This is a long play by play account of my last trip. I added a â€œhighlightsâ€ section at the end if youâ€™d rather catch the cliff notes version. As usual please overlook the poor spelling, punctuation and grammar. As many of you know I was in town with my wife, our son and his sweet little GF just before Christmas. We hung out with several friends who we met off the internet like Airball, MikeE, Elvis66, Alexanbo, BeeJay & Darko. This trip started off pretty much like most others. I dropped L off at a shopping mall so she could spend all the money I hoped to win and then some. This time she had company in the form of my sonâ€™s sweet little GF. (SLGF) She is 21 and our son is 22, they are both broke college students at the University of Arizona. Ho Ho Ho! After dropping off the ladies the men didnâ€™t have any real plans for the early part of the day other than to check into our hotels, TheHotel at Mandalay Bay for us and MGM Grand for them. In route we stopped by the largest electronics store I have ever seen called Fryâ€™s Electronics which was somewhere near the strip and the 215. If you are an electronics junkie youâ€™d be in heaven here. A short while later we get checked in at both hotels without much hassle. I had booked the kids room from a deal I saw on twitter under my own credit card so I had to stand in line twice. They ended up with a bungalow king suite for $59, $55 and $55 which was about the same they paid to stay there in a regular room over the summer when SLGF turned 21. Only in Vegas can you see something called â€œTheTpâ€. After check-in the kids wanted to spend some time alone, I assume in the room. Unfortunately L has been suffering from a pinched nerve since about Halloween and all the pain had worn her out so she was napping in our room. Since I was already at the MGM I figure why not hit one of my favorite watering holes, The Mansion Bar. It was mid afternoon when I arrived and Shane was behind the bar. Iâ€™m not sure Shane remembered me at 1st but come to think of it he has only waited on me once before. My cell phone is vibrating off the hook from friends we were meeting and others wishing me good luck. I hung around for a few hours and before I left Airball and BeeJay had joined me. They both ordered something with Orange Grey Goose, not that I am judging their manliness based on choice of beverage. I was drinking Lagavulin 16 year old single malt scotch. Before we left BeeJay and Airball grabbed a snack off the mini buffet, BeeJay reloaded with smokes and I took a drink for the road. The kids finally had enough alone time and wanted dinner so I talked our son into driving us over to TheHotel to pick up the sexy redhead who was still sleeping in the room. We were headed for Grimaldieâ€™s Pizza on Eastern Ave. near the 215. It was Sunday night around 7 pm and there was a 20-25 minute wait to get a table for 4. Having never been there the wait was almost a deal breaker for me but Iâ€™m glad we waited. Iâ€™m no food critic but I must say this was quite possibly the best pizza I have ever had. Large cheese pizzas run about $15 and toppings are an additional $2 each. The crust in quite thin and crispy in the center but thick at the edge and really tasty. In fact everything we had there was awesome including the service. The broke college couple was happy when â€œBank of Dadâ€ picked up the check which ran just shy of $60 for 2 large pies, diet cokes and one large house salad shared by the table. Later that night Airball, BeeJay and I tried to hang out at Mandalay Bay only to discover that half the casino including the high limit room was powered off. What a buzz kill that was and no one seemed to know why. To add insult to injury I asked for a Macallan 12 at a $25 minimum BJ table and was told all they could give me was Dewarâ€™s White Label. For the record I have never had a problem getting Macallan 12 at any MGM property in the past. In fact last month they were bringing me doubles at the Mirage. With half the place shut down the casino really lacked energy so we left in my car and headed for Aria. On the way to the garage we encountered a working girl that Airball and BeeJay thought was hot, me not so much. As she approaches our group BeeJay quickly throws his arm around her and says: â€œI love your cocktailâ€. She was holding some sort of fruity looking martini and the comment might have been innocent enough. He did drink Orange Grey Goose and later I saw him order something called watermelon juice. She acted as if she was head over heals in love with him and soon more innuendos were thrown around but he eventually let her down easy. Honestly the whole thing took maybe 45 seconds but I was starting to think we were going to have to pry their hands off each other so we could leave. Mandalay Bayâ€™s Crystal Palace Room with the power back on. A few months before the trip we planned a little party for the following night that quickly out grew my little suite at TheHotel. Luckily BeeJay graciously offered the use of his Sky Suite at Aria for the night. I had all the booze in my car for the party along with some crystal glassware so we decided to move all the stuff to his room before something bad happened. For some reason the bellhop wouldnâ€™t follow us straight up to the room from the valet so we ended up tipping twice. Iâ€™m cheap so their policy pissed me off especially since we already had the room. It seemed totally pointless to keep us waiting when we were heading straight upstairs but enough of my rantingâ€¦. Two $10 tips lighter we head downstairs to gamble. On the way down BeeJay gives Airball and me a key to his suite which gave us access to not only his room but the Sky Suites Lounge as well. That was really cool of him especially considering we had just met a few hours earlier. Poor Airball seemed to be snake bitten the whole trip gambling wise but BeeJay and I did ok winning a little here and there. At one point I look at my cards and think I see 6, 7 so I ask for a straight 6+7+8=21. Turns out I have 6, 6 not 6, 7 so the guys all busted my chops pretty hard. Even the dealer pointed at me a laughed which was funny as hell. Maybe a bit too much Macallan that night for old PNut? (Nah!) By the time we left I was having no part of getting behind the wheel but Airball had been sitting out and not drinking so he offered to drive. We visited what seemed to be 3-4 different valet stands and every grey car he saw he thought was mine. Keep in mind he rode over in my blue car a just a few hours earlier. After the 4th or 5th grey car that wasnâ€™t mine I get him to accept my $5 bet that my car wasnâ€™t even gray. As he accepts he shows me the valet slip where the bellhop had written grey on the slip indicating the wrong color. Needless to say he thought I was so drunk I forgot which car I had drivenâ€¦â€¦.um you would be wrong pal. For the record he never paid off and the juice is still running on that 5 spot. Random shots from my room last month at the Mirage. The next day I goofed off with the family. I did a little shopping with L to help keep me out of the casino. She found this accessory thing-a-ma-bobber she wanted for her purse inside Louis Vuitton but it cost $450 and like usual she was too cheap to buy it. At this point in the trip I was up almost that exact amount at the tables. I suggest we go play one hand of BJ to double our money so she could get her charm for free. She looked at me like I had 6 eyes and only 5 teeth. Donâ€™t get me wrong I am glad she is frugal but I donâ€™t get the whole letâ€™s look at crap we donâ€™t intend to buy then spend most of dinner talking about the expensive thing-a-ma-bobber until it makes me want to gouge my eyes out. About midway through her explanation as to why she does this very thing my mind drifted as to why these malls donâ€™t install a cigar lounge to make it more tolerable for men to spend quality time shopping with their wives and while they are at it how about a little bar full of craft beers and single malts? After what seemed like 10 hours of looking at stuff we werenâ€™t buying the casino was calling my name so I snuck away to try to win another $450.00 so she get purchase her expensive thing-a-ma-bobber guilt free . A quick stop at a $25 BJ table found me fighting back just to cash out even for the session. Since that didnâ€™t work I wandered into one of Ariaâ€™s high limit rooms. I think I saw 3 of them. Baccarat, blackjack and one other maybe pai gow? I walk around the baccarat salon and notice they have 2 European roulette wheels. I stop and chat up the dealers who were both really friendly. Soon the pit boss has my playerâ€™s card and I have a big pile of chips. I decide to take advantage of the European rules and play only even money bets on the outside. After maybe 30 minutes I do a count and Iâ€™m up $500 so I stop, order a drink and text L that I won her thing-a-ma-bobber money so she should go back and purchase it. As it ends up she had been looking for me and was just around the corner so she joined me for a drink at the table and later some dessert off the mini buffet. Franco the pit boss made her feel at home as we sat there and chatted. I went back the next night and Franco greeted me by name which is always a nice touch. The profit Soon it was time to meet BeeJay and the gang for the party. This started out as some moderately priced champagne and scotch for 4-5 people and after a few quick text messages and emails wound up being 2 bottles of Cristal, a $600 bottle of Johnnie Walker King George V Edition and 11 people. I was all for the idea of up scaling the evening but it became a little more than my budget would allow. Thankfully everyone was kind enough to pitch in and pay for their share of what they were going to drink, which BTW was totally awkward despite everyone being really cool about paying. Before we ever popped open the champagne Alexanbo shows me this bottle of Single Malt Whisky he brought with him from Canada called Glen Breton 10. I couldnâ€™t remember where or why but I had read about this whisky a few years ago. It comes from Nova Scotia and is produced to replicate scotch as much as any whisky can that isnâ€™t produced in Scotland. We all took some and I will say itâ€™s pretty good. Later that night Alexanbo insisted I take the bottle home, um yeah ok, twist my arm. Later I found out it costs about $80.00 if you can even find a bottle. Holy crap buddyâ€¦..Thanks! When BeeJay and I went down to the Sky Suites lounge to get ice we were able to swipe some chocolate covered strawberries off their dessert stand to go along with the boxes of those little boxes of Desage chocolates they give out at the Mansion Bar. BeeJay requested an entire bottle of Cristal for himself which he easily finished and kept going with other booze. The other bottle was split among 6 people, which worked out to just over 4 ozâ€™s each. That was a little less than I wanted to sample but not enough to warrant opening a third bottle and I guess it did keep the cost down. The bright side is I have an extra bottle squirreled away for another trip. For those that have never sampled Cristal I found the 2002 version to be quite a bit fruitier than I was expecting. Maybe the chocolate and chocolate covered berries had something to do with this but I donâ€™t think it was that much of an influence. The experience was well worth the cost especially since we did it so affordably. Sometime after 8 our friends Mr. & Mrs. Darko showed up so we popped open the bottle of King George. If you look at the photo below itâ€™s the bottle in the center of my bar sitting on the little stand. I poured out 7 two oz pours, then took one oz of BeeJayâ€™s and poured it into my glass since he requested just a taste. King George V sitting in the center of my bar. By the time we got around to tasting the King George most of the gang was deep into various conversations so we never discussed the whisky as a group. I didnâ€™t write anything down but the following stuck with me from my 1st tasting. Nose: Smoky with hints of cinnamon and raisins. Taste: Rich yet an almost silky in the mouth, fruity with more cinnamon spice and nice amount of peat. Finish: Longer & more peat than regular Blue Label. Pure Heaven! I brought a small humidor full of cigars in case anyone wanted to smoke and made sure there were enough Cuban sticks to go around. As it ended up that is exactly what most people wanted to smoke. Darko wanted to taste the Laphroaig 18 I had brought with me so we ended up opening the bottle and passing it around. Iâ€™m not sure how but we killed 2/3 of the bottle. We carried glasses of Laphroaig 18 with our cigars down to the baccarat lounge. BeeJay walked out with his bottle of Cristal which by now was full of a rum concoction mixed with whatever else he found behind the bar. He spent the rest of the evening drinking from the bottle everywhere we went including the tables. If you ever want to get the attention of a pit boss just walk up to a table and plop a bottle of Cristal down as you are fishing through your wallet. Lol Alexanbo was totally plowed by now and became very entertaining. He was so drunk I actually felt bad for him. We end up stopping at the Sky View lounge so a few of the guys could grab a free drink or a half frozen diet coke. Alexanbo takes over and like one of those flare bartenders fills 3-4 huge tumblers with grey goose. I suppose he may have spilled a little on the bar too. The employees there seemed ok with it probably because several of us tipped them $10-$20 each for their troubles. Later I found out BeeJay tipped them $50.00. No wonder they loved us at the Sky Suites Lounge. It sure wasnâ€™t a result of being gentleman. Haha! We sat around the baccarat bar smoking and drinking. Without a doubt we were a little loud bordering on obnoxious but thankfully we had the place to ourselves. Our son ended up driving his mom back to TheHotel and then drove himself and his SLGF back to the MGM. Meanwhile our group of degenerates had moved into the casino fully lubed and ready to extract all kinds of cash from the money grubbers that make up the MGM Mirage Corp. Bellagio Conservatory The 1st order of business was to take over a craps table, Iâ€™m not sure probably a $10 minimum. Of course no one can roll for shiat including me. I lose about $150 before deciding to cash out and go play BJ. I thought BeeJay was coming with me but I guess he went to play VP or got distracted by hookers. It all worked out and I managed to win back what I lost playing craps plus another $100.00 leaving me up $1400 for the trip. I never saw any of the guys again that night. I had only slept about an hour total in the last 45 hours so I hopped in a cab and went back to TheHotel to try to sleep. Cab fare from Aria to TheHotel was $9, $12 with tip at 4 am Monday morning. I finally got 3 hours of sleep, thank you lord! I woke up craving grease so we pointed the car towards Sonic Burger on Flamingo for a burrito and tots. That did the trick. Luckily my wife didnâ€™t seem too pissed with my choice of fine dining establishments. Bahahaha! I had promised my friend Ann from Memphis that I would go to the Bellagio and have a drink for her husband. A few weeks ago her husband suffered a fatal heart attack and the Bellagio was his favorite place to stay, play and drink licorice flavored liqueur, Sambuca. More from the Conservatory I was there to play a little VP and BJ as well as drink his favorite drink. When the cards quit flying I ended up winning $100.00 while nursing the drink. It was very emotional as I was texting Ann while we were there. I have a feeling she was crying too. After taking some time to gather myselfâ€¦â€¦we took the kids to the Gold Coast for some low rolling and the lunch buffet. The receipt said $34 and change for the 4 of us and once again â€œBank of Dadâ€ picked up the check. Later on I blew through $300 playing $25 BJ which made lunch considerably more expensive. After lunch we dropped the kids off and more shopping ensued. I kept thinking she would wander into Louis Vuitton and buy her charm but it never happened. As a matter of fact Iâ€™m not sure I saw her by anything the entire time we were there. Two glasses of Watermelon Juice. Airball youâ€™ll notice they are clearly in front of where BeeJay and MikeE were seated. By 6 pm she wasnâ€™t feeling her best so I took her back to the hotel and put her to bed. That pinched nerve really put a damper on her trip, mine too for that matter. Our son was texting me wanting to meet for a drink so I head over to the MGM and find them playing slots. I ran $50 through the Mega Bucks machine without the result we were looking forâ€¦shocking as that was. From there I was headed to the Mansion with a quick stop by the single 0 wheel in front of Studio CafÃ©. I played one spin on red for $50 and it worked. Now with my Mega Bucks money back we walk into the Mansion and see Bob behind the bar. He comes out from behind the bar to shake my hand. I took that opportunity to introduce him to the kids. I asked for a Macallan 18 but I watched him pour from the 25 year bottle, several times in fact. I gave 3 of the monster pours to my son. SLGF ordered a mimosa which was made with Vueve Clicuot and orange juice. We ended up grabbing a few plates of food from the hot buffet. Some sort of batter dipped scrimp, brown fried rice and Asian style noodles where the big hit. Of course Bob made sure SLGF had 2-3 boxes of chocolates to take with her and sent the same back with me give to my lilâ€™hottie. As usual I order one for the road and this time he sent me on my way with a glass of the 30 year because he ran out of 25. BTW, he pours quite a bit heavier than the day time n00b named Shane. I ended up tipping him $100. Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge (Nov 09) Later that night several of us met up with Elvis66 at Aria. We sat around shooting the bull for over an hour. He hadnâ€™t had dinner and was getting really hungry so we had to cut the meet a little short. After he left Airball bailed out. Since BeeJay had left earlier that day so it was just me and MikeE left standing. We didnâ€™t do much other than spend some time catching up over drinks in the high limit blackjack lounge. We finally left there in search of a table with lower minimums where we played for 15 minutes or so. I am not sure he lost a hand but I managed to bleed out another $100.00 of profit. I drove back to the hotel and the trip was pretty much over by the time my head hit the pillow. Highlights: Suites and TheHotel and MGM Grand Grimaldieâ€™s Pizza Grand Lux-Which I forgot to mention above. We love this place even though itâ€™s a chain. Hanging out with family and friends at the Aria Sky Suite, sipping Cristal with: Lynne, Randy Jr., and his sweet little girl friend, Airball, MikeE, Alexanbo and BeeJay. By the time the scotch was a flowin we were joined by Darko and Mrs.Darko. I played on their money essentially the entire trip and won $1000.00 despite not playing a single hand of baccarat for the first time in 4 years. Sharing Cigars with my buddies: 1926 Padron #9, Tatuaje Red, Partagas short (ISOM), Trinidad Petite Corona (ISOM), Montecristo #2 (ISOM), Davidoff Anniversario #2, Arturo Fuente Work of Art Maduro, Arturo Fuente Anejo Shark to name a few. Johnnie Walker Blue King George V Edition, Macallan 12, Macallan 18, Macallan 25, Macallan 30, Laphroaig 18, Lagavulin 16. Gambling with the guys mostly at City Centerâ€™s Aria. Spending time in the Mansion with the kids and enjoying all the swank Catching up with old friends: Airball, MikeE and Darko Meeting a few new ones: BeeJay, Alexanbo & Elvis66 Winning $1,000 for the trip which pushed me over the top and made 2009 another winning year gambling wise.