This was my shortest trip to Vegas ever, and also my first trip report. Didn't even know this board existed until a short time ago. Anyway, on to the TR: My pops was throwing a suprise party for my mom at a friend of theirs house in Lake Havasu (that's where they live). I received an invite, but they never thought we'd go down. It's about a 10 hour drive and we had just visted them about 5 weeks prior. It was a big birthday for my mom so I decided to suprise them and show up at the party unannounced, knowing that my dad can't keep secrets and my mom would probably know about the party already, so this way she still gets some what of a suprise. Since it was such a long drive for just one evening, I decided to fly into Vegas then drive down to Havasu (about 2 1/2 hours). i got to the airport here in town about an hour before my plane left and found the security checkpoint to be about 1 1/2 hours long. Not Good. I just jumped in line and hoped it was faster then they were expecting. Luckily I had checked in at 12:01am for the southwest flight and I had no luggage (was coming back early the next morning) so I only had to go through the security line. The plane ended up being 10 minutes and the security line moved quicker than expected, so I made it into the plane right as they were closing the door, literally. Arrived in Vegas around noon and had to be in Havasu at about 5:30 pm, so I had some time to kill in Vegas. I rented a car from Hertz. Important note, the line at the service desk in the airport is really long, but the line at the service desk at the car location is really short. Don't wait in line at the airport, just get on the shuttle. I've never driven in Vegas before, so this was an adventure. Vegas is normally all about the taxis for me, so getting around was a bit of a challenge. I decided to head to the Monte Carlo as I always seem to have good luck there. I parked right outside the casino door and started walking in. I didn't really feel like gambling, so I was going to take the tram over to bellagio. But, as soon as I was in the door and heard the ching ching ching of the slots, I was drawn to the tables so I sat down at a BJ table that looked good and started winning almost non-stop. The jerk next to me at the table was winning even more than I was, but he would never tip the dealer. not once! Now, tipping is a personal thing, but I just feel it's good karma to tip the dealer if you're winning so I always do. I give them the option to keep the money or to bet with me, they usually always bet with me. Some newbies asked me what that bet was for, so I explained to them how it worked and the dealer appreciated it. She came over to me during her break (i was at a differnet table) and thanked me and chatted for a second or two. it was cool. The jerk who wasn't tipping never realized I was actually saying it so he would tip, but whatever, to each their own. I was a couple hundred up and it was time to leave. Went down to the party and I was a big hit. My mom got to brag to all her friends how I had come down there just for her and just for one night, yadda yadda yadda. Made huge brownie points for a long time to come and she really enjoyed it. Then, it was back to Vegas. I arrived back in Vegas at about Midnight, dropped off the rental car and headed back to the Monte Carlo. I continuted to have good luck there and this time started to drink (no more driving! yeah!). I've always tipped the waitresses, but usually a buck or two. This time I was tipping 5 bucks per drink and the cocktailer was very happy with that. She was there whenever my drink was empty and brought the drink back promptly. Both of the cocktailers through the night were very friendly and when I wasn't at one of the girls table anymore, she did a quick walk around the casino to find me and give me my drink. I tried to tip her that time, but she didn't let me. She just thanked me for being nice and giving her good tips through out the night. Once again, it was very cool. At about 5:30am, i had to jam to the airport, barely caught the plane (again!) and headed back home to spend father's day with wife and baby. Most of the day was spent sleeping All in all, a great trip and I learned a couple of key things: 1.) Check in early with Southwest! 2.) Don't drive in Vegas, it's easy to get lost! 3.) Tip your dealers, it's good karma and you'll win more! 4.) Treat your mom nice! 5.) Tip your cocktailers WELL and you'll get better service (didn't really learn this one, but needs to be said again!) 6.) Don't count on the airline holding your spot for you just because you're winning!