Warning this is a long one. It is also my first trip report so please be kind. I am sorry it took so long but it has been nuts at work and I hate those multi-part reports. I am no way at all as good at this as Mikey but who is I guess! The Roller Coaster which is 13 Days in Vegas…May 26th to June 7, 2003 Every year my husband and I go to Las Vegas on the 4th of July. This year since he got a new job my husband had to take two weeks off at one time and it could only be in the months of May, June, September or November. We started talking about it and made plans to do New York to San Francisco to Las Vegas. After receiving an amazing offer from the Rio for two nights free and two nights at $55 we changed plans and said what the hell 13 days in Vegas is not too long. We also received two for one show tickets which we booked early to see the Scintas. Would it be a decision we would regret??? NOPE! We made plans to leave on Jet Blue on Memorial Day. Since we had one of those party all weekend type things going on we figured a late flight would be the best thing and booked the 6:45 flight. The weather all weekend in one word stunk. It rained and rained to the point that one of our friends wanted us to get the Ark for our trip out. We had a Friday night card game to get into the swing of things and I was the big winner. Saturday our friend had an all you can drink party and Sunday the in-laws had a little get together so when Monday rolled around we were ready to get away. As we were packing on Monday morning I heard what sounded like a trickle of water and realized that my apartment was flooding. Off we go running to the front area of my basement and start bailing out water like sailors on a sinking boat. About an hour later the rain finally slowed up and we were able to resume packing. Cleaning that mess up we made some lunch and left for JFK about 3:30. We hit no traffic at all on the Belt Parkway (most of the time it usually means what its name implies) and we got to the airport about 4:00. Thank God we did because we got the mother of all searches. Frank and I were put to the side and made to take off our shoes. We were then wanded with the stick made to sit down and re-wanded again while we had to lift our legs. They then had to get a woman to wand my chest area and she got down and dirty. I must remember not to wear an underwire bra next time they do not take your word and have to feel to make sure. I did not know whether to laugh or yell. I told my husband afterwards that I should have charged the girl. It would have made a fortune on pay-for-view. This was our first time flying with Jet Blue. We were big National supporters and hated to see it go out of business. National had the nicest people working for them. I have to admit I liked the service on Jet Blue it is not too bad we took off, flew, ate blue potato chips, watched TV and landed early. The Direct TV on the back of every seat makes a big difference when your flight is so long like ours is from NYC. I also took along my new MP3 player so as we were landing I was listening to Easy Money by Billy Joel. The only thing I did not like was that the walk from the terminal to baggage was horrible. Since we were going to be in Vegas for so long I wanted to treat my husband so I reserved Las Vegas Limo's to come and pick us up. I even paid extra to have them meet us with the welcome sign. Well I gave them all of my flight information and they said that they would check on our status and not to worry. When I got off the plane they were not there but being early I was not too concerned. Frank went to get the luggage as I called them. Getting a receptionist on the phone I gave her my conformation number and told her what was going on. She put me on hold to try to contact the driver and after about 20 minutes she came back on the line to tell me the driver was on his way. We waited for 20 minutes more and finally I called back again. I was again placed on hold, this time for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes I hung up and again called back. This time I got a different woman. At this point I was not so nice I told her to cancel the order and that I will never use this company again. She cancelled it and we were off to the Rio for the first leg of our trip. So much for trying to arrive in style. Her Name was Rio… We got a cab with one of those talkative drivers who could not wait to tell us about the gun laws in Nevada and how he hated all foreigners. When he heard we were from New York he wanted to tell us all about his friend who owns a Pizza store in Brooklyn. I have to say it was rather amusing to hear all the misconceptions he had about New York and Brooklyn in particular (where I am from). I love it when people believe that Tony Soprano is real. The ride itself was quick and painless and we were at the Rio in no time staring at the pretty purple and red lights of the Rio as we made our way to the front check in. I had never stayed at the Rio before so this was going to be one of many firsts on this trip. We got to check-in where I found out that I had become a Platinum Member. I still do not know how I got platinum status but I will not complain. While checking in we could not help but notice how busy it was. There was a jewelry convention going on and most of the people were staying at the Rio. We asked for a room in the Masquerade tower but none was available so we got a room in the Impinama tower. Unfortunately there were no regular rooms left so they gave us a handicap room with the promise that I could change it the next day. Of course walking away from check-in we got stopped by the timeshare people, which was the first of many times this trip. We let them know we were not interested and went on our way. Of course our room was one of the last on the floor so we had to walk the entire way with our luggage for two whole weeks. Starving after taking the bags up to the room we did another long walk and went down to the Sao Paulo Coffee shop for some food. Of course Rio Rita stopped my husband and handed him a coupon for some show tickets. Rio Rita is a very attractive woman that walks around the casino giving people an eyeful while handing out raffles and other goodies. I wanted some beads but none were available at the time. It was about 11:00 Las Vegas time or like 2:00 NY time so we had not eaten for hours. I got the French Onion Soup and hubby got the Clam Chowder to start then I had a Tuna sandwich with Fries while he got the BLT with Potato Salad. Food was good and so was the service but we had the itch to gamble. We quickly finished the food and off we went off to do some damage. I found a $1 Wheel of Fortune where Frank was playing Black Jack and quickly won $200. I got aquatinted with the Bevertainers rather quickly and I thought the idea was cute. The waitresses and waiters are now bevertainers which mean that they each take a turn singing on specially made stages placed around the casino. I ordered a drink watched the show and ordered another one. After a few drinks and pocketing the original hundred that I put out I put the winnings in a separate part of my wallet and went to find out how Frank was doing. He had lost about $300 quickly so I told him it was time for bed and gave him the $200 that I won to make the difference up. Just looking around the casino I could see that this was a "beautiful people place" or as my husband called it a Poon factory. We both checked out the eye candy as we made the long walk to the elevators and we wound up going to bed around 1:00 am. Tuesday morning we woke up about 10:00 and after showering we went down stairs to change the room. One thing I do not understand is why there is a window in the shower. Even in the handicap room there was one. I honestly do not want to look at anyone while I am showering and I don't think I am alone in that estimation. Either way I was too short to look through it anyway although Frank thought it was funny and kept knocking on the window to get my attention whenever he wanted to bother me. That taken care of we then went back to Sao Paulo for breakfast. Eggs and Bacon for me and Sausage and Eggs for him. Since we had just gotten there and we had the Scintas show that night we figured that we would give the Rio some play and hang around the hotel for the day. It sounded like a good idea at the time but by the time 1:00 came around I had lost my entire bankroll for the day. No matter what it was that I played. It went something like this Three Card Poker - Loss, Caribbean Stud Poker - Loss, Black Jack - Loss. Frank was not doing any better so we went over to the bar and played some video poker while getting hammered. This was the first time I was really playing Video Poker for any length of time and I got close to the Royal two or three times but no luck as of yet. The bartender was a nice guy and went out of his way to keep the drinks coming. We also went out of the way to keep his tips coming so it was a win-win situation. After about 6 vodka and cranberry's I could not see any more so I went upstairs to relax and get ready. Frank had made reservations for Burzo's which is there seafood place for after the show and I wanted to sober up a bit before doing it all over again. After about 2 hours Frank came up and showered while I got ready. We got down to the show picked up our tickets and were seated with another couple from the East Coast. They were from Virginia and just really nice people. We ordered a few drinks (of course) and chatted a bit before the show and found out that they were Survivor fans like us. Well the conversation did not end until the show started. We were discussing everything about the show and what a blast we had. The Scinta's show was great (most probably because those drinks were damn strong). For anyone who does not know what the show is it is a singing and impersonation show that stars Frankie, Joey and Christina Scinta. They are from Buffalo, NY and funny as hell. I laughed so hard there was times that there were tears in my eyes. I personally think the brothers were better than Christina was but she had a lovely voice. The show does get a little sappy at the end with the tribute to their father and the Proud to be an American but all in all it was worth the price and if you are looking to see a good show keep this one in mind. After the show we went to Burzo's for dinner and I was not really impressed. The drinks were good but the food was passable at best. Frank and I shared the Clams Casino, which was huge but not too tasty, and I had the lobster tails while Frank had the Crab and Cheese Tortolini. It was ok but not held highly on my list. I do not think I would go back again. The money was so not worth the dinner we received. After dinner we went back to the Casino to play a bit. Since the casino was packed there was not one table limit less then $15 dollars which is a bit too much for me so I went to find a nice slot machine while Frank tried to get on a craps table. Well I tried to find a somewhat kind machine I really did but as Yukon Cornelious says in Rudolph the red nosed raindeer…nothing. I went to Nickels and had no luck, tried quarters with no luck, went to wheel of fortune again no luck. I figured it was just not my night and went to find Frank to let him know that I was going to go up to bed. I knew we were in trouble when he came up with me but to tell you the truth I did not want to ask we still had 10 days to go and I did not want to panic. It seems that his luck was as bad as mine. Wednesday we slept in and got down to the casino about 12:00. We played some slots together and I got lucky on RisquÃ© Business. I got the stripper bonus 4 times and wound up cashing out for $400. It did not even put a dent into our losses at this point but at least it kept me playing. Frank was having no luck and we were getting hungry so we went to the All-American CafÃ© for lunch. I had a burger and Frank had a Fried Egg Burger. That is not something that you would find in NY at all so he wanted to try it. After lunch we went back to playing but not doing much I went up to the room to relax while Frank played black jack. I must have dosed off because when he came upstairs he was hooting and hollering that he won back some of our cash. I laughingly asked how much we had lost and when he said all of it I wanted to kill him but he replaced half of it and felt much better about it. That night we had reservations at the Voodoo CafÃ© for dinner. I had always wanted to try the Voodoo because of the views so when we got the offer to stay I made reservations. Well let me tell you that the view is even more amazing than I pictured it. We got seated by the window looking out on to the strip and I was in heaven. We could even hear the band playing up at the lounge and we made plans to hang out there after dinner. The only thing we said was we wished the Bellagio was not in the way of seeing the Paris side of the strip but it was still a wonderful view. The service was top notch and the food excellent. Frank had the Lobster Thormador while I had the Mange a trios which was a mix of Lobster tail, Steak and shrimp and was wonderful (yes when I ordered it even the waiter had to stop his snicker) and after drinking about 3 hurricanes with dinner we made our way up to the lounge where they had a band playing. We found a seat and ordered another drink while the band played. It was packed and people were dancing on the side while the music ranged to 60's to today. The band was wonderful getting everyone into the mood and we partied until the early hours of the morning. It was really fun to people watch and we had a great view of the action. Of course halfway through the night I was table dancing and singing along. Those waitresses really work hard and kept the booze flowing. Between the beautiful young things hanging out a la' Brittany Spears and the aging hipsters there was never a dull moment. The highlight had to be the high roller that said it was his birthday in the front dancing and feeling up an older drunk woman whose husband was sitting right behind me. Instead of stopping her, he was cheering her on while this other guy got his feels in. I could not believe it. Hey I guess it was one of those only in Vegas moments. Thursday was our last full day at the Rio so we wanted to make the most out of it. I found a nickel RisquÃ© business machine and kept myself playing while Frank tried to recoup some of our losses. It did not work but we both had fun playing. That night we had reservations to Emirl's New Orleans Fish House at the MGM and then we were going to see La Femme' which is the topless review there. Dinner at Emirl's was amazing. We wound up doing the tasting menu where the chef prepares things for you to taste and it was the most enjoyment I had ever gotten by eating…food. I did the wine tasting with the dinner and it just enhanced the entire experience. I happen to be a bit of a picky eater but there was nothing not to like. The service was amazing the headwaiter even got me a copy of the tasting menu so I could take it home. We liked it so much that we wound up going back later in the week for lunch when our friends came to meet us. I had again made the reservations very early for the show because we wanted good seats and we wound up being in the first row and let me tell you that there is such a thing as too close. Sometimes "A" seats are not the best bet. I am not a man so the sight of women's breasts do not excite me too much but these girls had bodies to die for. Every single one of them was gorgeous and I have to tell you I was amazed at the movements they make. The fact that the show is French and comes directly from France did not seem to have any affect on it at all. It was packed. All in all I liked the show but I think being that close was a bit too much. My husband liked it more than I did but you all can imagine why. Friday was moving day and Downtown we went. We checked out of the Rio and got it all comped. Frank's new host had hooked us up and told us to call him if we ever needed anything. Since we lost more than the wages of most small countries we were happy that everything was taken care of. We were ready for the downtown experience. I had booked three nights at the Golden Nugget when they were not running any special so we were hoping to get as much comped as possible. We had never stayed downtown and after hearing so much about it we could not wait. Check in was easy but they are still not on the MGM-Mirage players system so we had to get the Golden Nugget card. We stored our luggage in our room and after checking out the view of the pawnshop we went down to play a bit. I settled in to a Poker Machine and won about $300 quickly. I wound up getting 4 wild 2's and was very excited. I was again dealt four cards to the Royal but again did not hit it. That had been my first real win of the week. Thank you downtown. After hearing so much about the food we went to Carson Street CafÃ© for Lunch/Dinner and went back to the room to relax a bit. The room itself was a bit small and the bathroom was tiny. The tub if you could call it that was like a thimble. Oh well no soaking in that thing. We were really tired after 5 days in Las Vegas so we just relaxed on Friday night. It sounds like a sin but we knew that we were going to be there for another whole week and wanted to just chill. We woke up refreshed on Saturday morning and were ready to face the day. Over to Binion's to have breakfast where we had the breakfast special. Binion's Horseshoe has its own special charm and happens to be one of my favorite places in Las Vegas. It is dark, smoky and has the charm of a paper bag but once you get over that you realize just why the place is special. You can feel the history in that place. You can feel the thrill of winning big the minute you walk in. This was the first time we had ever eaten at Binion's coffee shop and it would start a trend that would last the whole weekend. Ham steak and eggs for Frank and bacon and eggs for me. I had never seen a slice of ham that huge before. It took up the entire plate. After eating we figured we would hang out there for a bit and try our luck. There is a special Double Diamonds Deluxe $1 wheel of fortune machine that I have been lucky on every time I had ever been in Binion's so I tried my luck but of course it was not too be. I tried a few new machines that came out but nothing good to report. Frank and I tried the new Clue nickel slots but nothing to write home about and we even tried the Elvira slots but again we hit nothing. Frank went to play some craps and I went to watch. There was nothing to be made as every time someone established the point a seven would come out. $200 went rather quickly and we took our leave of Binion's and walked down to the Las Vegas Club. After seeing hearing so much about it from Mikey we figured we had to try it out for our selves. Frank turned to me and said oh Las Vegas Club lets make some cash for Mikey and we went inside. We were pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere. We sat down at a $5 blackjack table both of us cashing in $50. There was a slot where you could bet a dollar and if your first two cards where the same suit you could win 3 to 1 on your bet. I know it was a sucker bet but I was playing it a bit and won more than I lost. I could not bust. It was amazing. I never stand on 16 when a dealer shows a 7 or higher and it seemed to me that I was catching every low card in the deck to keep me in the game. I actually had a 7 card 21, which even the dealer was laughing about. Frank kept getting 20's and in two hours time we had won over $700. Since it was about 3:30 and we were both starving we went to the best place in the world for a small snack…The Golden Gate. Across from the Las Vegas Club and into a dark Smokey hole we went yes it was time for a shrimp cocktail and a sandwich. It was actually pretty busy and we were shocked I am sure it was because it was a Saturday but it still was funny to see people actually playing there. Waiting in line and listening to the piano we looked over and there was an actual guy playing not just the music. It was a perfect Las Vegas moment. The piano music playing, the sound of the slots and the feeling that we had another week in the best place in the world. We upgraded the shrimp and wound up getting a sandwich to split between us. We sat down and just took in feeling. After eating we played some $3 craps and it was the first time I actually made a bet instead of watching. There was a young girl rolling when we got there and she and her boyfriend looked like they were in some sort of biker gang. Tattoos on their necks, a few select facial piercing and blue hair rounded the outfit so the people running the table was keeping a close eye on them. She rolled and rolled but never hit the point. Frank won some because he likes to bet across the numbers but I just stuck with the pass line so nothing for me. After that roll no one else put anything together so we left and went back to the Golden Nugget. Saturday Night on Freemont Street Before leaving New York I had made reservations for dinner at Hugo's Wine Cellar for 8:00 that night but neither one of us was hungry after the shrimp and sandwich so we cancelled and made an 8:00 reservation for Sunday. We figured we would gamble a bit and hopefully recoup some more of our losses. Back at the Nugget I sat down at a $10 Three Card Poker table and Frank went to go play some $25 black jack. He likes the double deck games the best and seemed to have the most luck playing them. I again could do nothing right and the only hand that I won was the first where I got dealt a straight. It was a nice pay off but it quickly went away along with my buy in. The dealer kept beating my pairs. It was actually like a comedy of errors. I would have a pair of 8's and she would have 9's and it went on like that the whole time. The dealer actually said to me that I should go to another table. After a while of loosing I went to find Frank and he was in the room in the back playing on a $50 table by himself. I peaked at the stack of chips and it seemed like he was doing well so I asked him what he wanted to do. He wanted to play a bit so I hung around. After about 45 minutes of going back and fourth they changed the dealer and he got out of there winning a little. Wanting to check out the light show we headed outside again and walked over to La Bayou for a couple of yard drinks. Frank sent me inside and of course I had to try everclear for the first time. I added the shot to both of our drinks and headed outside to watch the show. Frank was hot and started drinking his drink before I could tell him what I did. A quarter of the way through he asked me what the hell I put in the drink because he was starting to get a bit lightheaded. I laughed and told him that I got him on the grain train. I have to tell you that stuff is powerful. My husband is a big guy and half of the drink got to him. I also drank about half of my drink and realized that one of us would have to remain at least somewhat alert so I did not finish mine. Frank was so bad that he had to sit down and chill for a bit and since it was about 11:30 we went to get some food. We went back to Binion's and I went over to the players club to see if we had any money coming back to us. I sat Frank down at a machine with his card and went to stand in line. Since it was late they only had one person working at the desk so it took me a while to get back to him. They wound up comping us $20 to be used at the coffee shop and I went to collect my drunken husband. When I got back to the machine he was trying to get it to take $10 so he could play it. He kept trying to get the money in the slot and would miss the entrance. Sort of like getting your keys in the door when you are drunk. I was laughing so hard at him I had to sit down. All he kept saying is that he had to get a bottle of this stuff for our friend's bachelor party. Well it took a few minutes but I got him up and we walked to the coffee shop. We got seated in the back by the old bar in the booths and we both ordered the $4.99 steak dinner. We got a salad, steak and baked potato for $4.99 each. Frank got the Peach Ice Tea while I had a coke. It seems that most places in Las Vegas do not have sweetened Ice Tea so if you wanted it you had to order a flavor. Dinner was excellent and as we were finishing up the everclear hit me. Both of us figured we should not gamble any more and walked back to the room. I set a wake-up call for 10:30 because I had booked a massage at the Golden Nugget spa for the next day and did not want to miss it. The massage happens to be one of my rituals for my Vegas vacation. Sunday mornings wake-up call got me going and I hoped out of bed and over to the spa for a bit of relaxation. Frank mentioned to me in passing that if he won anything this morning he was going to go the Glitter Gulch. I laughed and told him that he should wait for me I would go with him he replied that you don’t take your wife to a strip club just girlfriends. My massage was for 1:00 so I got there early because I wanted to enjoy the rest of what the spa has to offer. Taking my robe from my hostess I took one look at it and asked for one a bit bigger. I do not mind walking around in a robe but I draw the line at my boobs on full display for a bunch of women. I took a nice long shower and went into the steam room. I sat there for a few minutes just to relax and went on back into the waiting area. The hostess offered me a beverage and I got an orange juice and sat down with a magazine waiting to be called. When I called to book my massage they did not have a woman available so they asked me if I minded a man doing my massage. I told them no and got Tim who was a very nice guy. He came to get me in the woman's spa and walked me over to the men's spa. Of course I was taken in the back way so I did not get an eye full and into his room we went. The massage was just what I needed. After 50 minutes I could have been hit by a truck and I would not have cared. He was not the chatty type so it was even nicer. I once got one of those chatty people and I could not even enjoy the experience. I finally told that one that if he did not shut up I was going to kill him. I got to lay there and just relax. It was just what the doctor had ordered. I left the men's spa and went back to the woman's spa to take another shower, wash my hair and get dressed. The spa had all the beauty supplies you would ever need so I put on some make-up did my hair and went on down to the casino. I had told Frank that I would be down around 2:30 so I did a once over the casino and he was not there. I went up to the room to see if he was there and of course he was not. I went back down to the casino and just as I was ready to page him I saw him walking thorough the door. By the smile on his face I knew that he had won that morning and went to meet the gorgeous girls of Glitter Gulch. Laughing I asked him if he had a good time and he smiled said something about Dakota and shook his head. I figured I should not ask any more the less that I knew the better and we went back to the Golden Gate for lunch. We hung around a bit and then went back to the Nugget to play. Frank went back to his black jack table while I went to find a machine that would pay off. I did not find one. I then went to go play some $5 black jack and won back the money I lost playing slots but not much else. Getting bored I went to find Frank and he was still in the room at the same table. He was holding his own not really winning but not really loosing so I could not complain. I sat down next to him and looked over at the table behind us. There was a guy there betting $5,000 a hand. He was winning and winning big. He had about $75,000 in front of him and was going strong. The guy was still there when we left to walk around a bit. Later that night we stopped in and I asked the dealer how the guy did. She told me he lost everything and then some. We were still not hungry so we again cancelled Hugo's. It seems that it just was not to be on this trip. I am sure we will get there next time. Since we had so many expensive dinners coming up I was not too disappointed. Since we were leaving the next day to go to our home away form home the Treasure Island we went upstairs to pack and went then went back outside to catch the light show. We again went over to Binion's and ate their $4.99 special and went to play some black jack. Even though it was a Sunday night Binion's was actually busy the tables in the front were all full so we stood in the back and got on a $5 table. The dealer was a very funny woman who kept making fun of the older drunken man sitting on the end of the table. They were really joking back and forth with him telling her she was pretty and she telling him off. We would up walking away from the table after about 2 hours up a little but feeling pretty good because the drink service was great. One thing I hate is those people who jump in the black jack game for one hand and then leave. The whole table was doing well and this one guy jumped in put $5 down and hit on a 12 with the dealer showing a 5. Of course he busted and the dealer got a 19. I wanted to kill him but there is nothing one can do about it. Before we went back to the Nugget Frank had to use the men's room so I was standing against the wall not too far from a pretty happening black jack table filled with a bunch of cowboys in hats and boots. It took Frank a few minutes to come out so I was stuck waiting there and I was just basically people watching. Next thing I know one of the cowboys comes up to me and starts a conversation. Being nice I answer him and then he asks the question…How much? I looked at him and was like excuse me? He again asks how much to spend the night with me. I laughed and said I think you have the wrong idea. He apologized and walked off and of course Frank is still no where to be seen. A few minutes later he shows up and I tell him what happened, of course he could not stop laughing. Needless to say I did not know whether or not to be insulted or flattered. The funny thing was that I was wearing nothing special just a tank top and shorts. Oh well at least I know that if things get real bed I can do the indecent proposal scene. Saying Goodbye to the Pirate and hello to the TI The Treasure Island had been our home since the first time we went to Las Vegas 5 years ago. They have always treated us well and were always happy with the atmosphere. Many people claim that it was a kids hotel but to tell the truth I have never really seen that many kids around. We love the location and the rooms are beautiful. It is everything we look for in a place to stay. The hotel is in the middle of trying to change its image. Gone are the Pirates and in its place are lounges and martini bars. We were a bit worried that it would have lost its charm so when we walked in to the place it was great to see that not that much has changed even though all the stories we have heard are true. They have taken out the Gold Bar and it is now the Breeze bar, which is a lounge in the middle of the casino. The Hideaway Lounge is now gone and in its place is Myst a trendy lounge. The carpeting is different and they took out one pit of Black Jack tables but not too much else is different. The service is still top notch and there are still a good variety of games. I was glad that they did not change the layout of the casino because I know it like the back of my hand. We quickly checked in, unpacked and went to Kahunaville for a quick lunch with a buy one drink get one free offer. We both got wraps and went to go check out the casino. Our luck changed the minute we walked into that place. We figured we should get our gambling in that day because tomorrow our friends were coming to meet us and they are not big gamblers. I checked out the slots while Frank went to play some black jack. I ended up loosing a bit but Frank had started a new streak this time of winning. We wound up eating at the coffee shop that night about 3:00 in the morning where Frank got his eggs benedict and I just got some chicken fingers. We went up to bed and set a wake-up call for 9:30 because we had to pick up the rent a car and then pick up our friends at the airport. Our friends had just gotten back from a trip to Puerto Rico and wanted to come out to look at some houses in the area. Our friend Sue researched renting a car and got a great deal from Thrifty of $179 for a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I called Thrifty from my hotel room had them pick us up with their shuttle and drop us off at the airport where we had to go to get the car. We took the shuttle bus over to Jet Blue's gate and waited for our friends to fly in and when they got there we were off. Suzanne and John (AKA Skippy) had spoken to the real estate agent the day before to set up what types of properties we were going to see and since we were just going along for the ride I honestly did not care where he took us. We drove back to the hotel got a quick bite at Kahunnaville again and called the real estate guy Bill. Bill picked us up in his Chevy Suburban and we were off to look at houses in Las Vegas. I will not bore you with all the details but the one thing I must say is that I want to move to Las Vegas in the worst way now. Being from New York houses are so expensive that truthfully owning one was never a real thought in my mind. After seeing what you can get for $170,000 I am sick to my stomach. We wandered around some new developments in Summerlin and Green Valley and to tell you the truth I was so close to putting a down payment down it was scary. Neither Frank or I can think of a real reason not to make the move and we might be going back in September again to see some more houses. The more we think about it the more we want to do it. I do not know if anything will ever come out of it but it was a real reality check. We got back from looking at the houses about 6:00 and had reservations at Roy's. Roy Yamiguchi is a Hawaiian chef and his hotels are all over the United States. I had never heard of him but Suzanne and Skippy had been to his restaurant in Hawaii for their honeymoon. Both of them loved it so much when they found out there was one in Las Vegas they wanted us to try it. Since we rented the car we figured why not and I got the driving directions from the nice lady I spoke with at the front desk. The restaurant was right off the Strip on East Flamingo Rd. and was easy to get too. The food was not really my cup of tea but the service was amazing and the dÃ©cor was also excellent. The menu was Hawaiian fusion and had mostly fish. I like fish but seared Mahi Mahi is not my idea of a great dinner. Skippy and Frank liked it more than I did and Suzanne does not eat meat so they had a vegetarian menu so she was very happy. The best thing about the dinner there was their chocolate soufflÃ©. In one word it was fabulous. That alone made up for the dinner. I have come to realize that I do not like citrus in my food and everything that was made had the taste of it. Well I guess you live and you learn. That night I went off to play some video poker and Frank went to play some craps. Skippy had never really played before so Frank was the patient teacher. When all was said and done Skippy had won about $60 and Frank about $400. There was a hot shooter and things went really good for a while. Frank was very happy that the guy kept hitting the 4 and the 10 because he buys it for $25 after it is hit once. We played a bit and after gambling we all wound up at the new Breeze Bar for a few drinks. Frank and I had something called the blue wave, which was a very strong martini, and Skippy and Sue just had a drink each. After the drink we all called it a night and I made plans with Sue to go to the pool the next day. All of that time in Las Vegas and this is the first time I had been to the pool at all. Wednesday we again got up late and while Sue and I went to the pool the guys went to gamble. That night I was going to see BlueMan Group at Luxor with Skippy while Frank and Sue had drinks at Red Square so Skippy and I made plans to meet at 6:45 in the lobby. Sue and I spent a nice relaxing day at the pool and I went up to the room at about 3:45. It was just too hot to stay there any more. We had been going in and out of the water all afternoon and drinking tons of water but of course it was a bit too much on my first day out. I went back to my room took a nice long shower and bubble bath and just relaxed until Frank came back up to the room. I knew that we were still loosing a ton of cash but the look on his face when he came in the room scared me. He told me I am sorry honey I lost it all and I wanted to kill him. We still had 3 more days to go and I did not want to have to hit the bank. Next thing I know Frank is smirking and I am like what the hell? You lost all of our money and you are smiling! I was in a rage but he calmly pulled $5000 out of his pocket and said well I lost it but I won it back. WHAT! I wanted to kill him so he tells me the story of what happened. Things were going bad and he and Skippy finally walked over to a Craps table. Placing the pass line the point established was the 10. Since he only had a limited amount of money with him he basically said let's let it ride and put a $25 pass line with $50 odds behind. He then went $54 across and had the guy roll for about 45 minutes. Not only did he hit the 10 but did it the hard way. Frank walked off the table with $2,500 and was thrilled. Skippy also did well but since he was only playing the pass line he made about $200. Taking the $500 that he had extra he walked over to $100 black jack and said if I win I win if I loose at least I have $2,000 he sat down and in two hours made $3,000 on the original $500. At this point we were not even but we were very close and I could kiss him. I also wished that I was there but beggars can't be chooses and I was just happy that he won. Well after a little celebration I got dressed and met Skippy to go over to Luxor and see the BlueMen Group. Seeing the BlueMen was not that high on my list but Skippy had wanted to go so bad that I said what the hell and went with him. I booked these tickets early as well and we were in the 5th row Center Stage. I did not know what to expect but Skippy had seen the show before and loved it. I do not want to give anything away but I can say it was an experience. Since we were in Poncho seats you have to sit there in plastic garbage bags and it gets hot. Other than that minor inconvenience the show was a lot of fun. It is like nothing I have ever seen before and very visually stimulating. If anyone wants any specific details let me know. We were going to Aurecole's for dinner which is at Mandalay Bay and we had to meet Frank and Sue at Red Square so after the show we headed over there. Since the walkway is now closed we had to take the tram which was a pain in the well you get the picture. Once we got to Mandalay we had to find Red Square, which does not have a sign. It is only known because of the headless Lenin statue out front and we passed right by it the first time and then find our spouses. Well they were drunk out of their mind and I was in the mood for one of the famous martinis but unfortunately we did not have the time because our reservations were for 9:15 and Sue really wanted to eat at this place. The bar at Red Square was really cool because of the ice top and of course I had to go to the bar and check it out. It did not disappoint and the staff was wonderful. Of course the drinks are very expensive but the scene is what you are after if you go. I wish we could have stayed longer. If anyone has seen the travel channel when they do the hot spots in Las Vegas, Aurecole's is the restaurant with the wine tower where they have to climb the tower with hoists to get the bottle that you want. The funny thing is that neither one of us really are wine drinkers and of course the whole time we were there no one got the wine. I can not remember what everyone got but I was again not that impressed with the food. Three of our party wanted to do the tasting menu but Sue since she does not eat meat was not interested. The waiter told us that we would not be able to do the tasting menu. The chef did not like to do it because of timing and we were not happy about it. It was unfortunate but honestly it was their loss. The tasting menu was more expensive and I wanted to do the wine with it which would have been even more expensive The service was great and the dÃ©cor again was amazing (done in beige and white) but the food was a bit lacking. They even served the food with Sue in the bathroom. The waiter tried to make it up after dinner by giving us a dessert-tasting menu by putting every selection they had on the table for us to taste. It was a nice touch and everything was wonderful but we were not thrilled. Again it was one of those places that I am happy that we tried it but would not go back. That night we got back about 12:30 and went to gamble a bit. We lost a little bit but not too bad and finally went to bed around 3:30. The next day we reserved a cabana at the pool and the men were going to join us. We spend the early part of the afternoon by the pool but the men were miserable so we sent them inside about 2:30 and Sue and I sat and relaxed. I had poured the sun block on this time because the day before I fried my Irish skin. I forgot that I was with an Italian who had been to Puerto Rico so she already had a tan and did not cover up like I normally do. I was a bit burned but made sure that it did not get any worse and we hung out to about 4:00. I went upstairs and showered and started putting on my makeup and fixing my hair because Thursday night we had tickets to Danny Gans. It was a show that Frank and I had wanted to see for quite a while now and never got around to it. Finally we booked it early enough and got table seating in the back of the theater. While I was getting ready Frank came in and told me he won another nice little stash of cash. I asked him if Skippy was with him and he told me that this all happened after Skippy went to go upstairs to relax a bit. We were on the up swing of the trip. If only I could win! Danny Gans show started at 8:00 so we took the tram over from the TI to the Mirage. We found our seats and sat back to see a master at work. Danny Gans was great. Every impression was wonderful and he gave a great hour and a half show. If you like impressions and the singing/dancing combo go see him. Try to get tickets close to the stage because his facial expressions were dead on. Since we were a bit far away it was not as easy to see them but I am sure closer must have been wonderful. He did a great Dean Martin impression as well as Frank Sinatra, Kermit the Frog and various other people living and dead. His Bill Clinton impression even had this democrat cracking up. After the show we went to dinner at the Bellagio. Leaving the Mirage we saw the Volcano explode which is always an awesome sight and then as we were pulling up to the Bellagio the fountain show was going off. It was one of those great Vegas moments leaving one hotel and arriving at another seeing dancing fountains and exploding Volcanoes. We made reservations for 10:00 at Aqua and got there just in time. The Conservatory was undergoing its change so that stunk but the stairway was still there. I just wish that the flowers were done so I could see it in all of its glory. Aqua was beautiful and we got a wonderful view of the outside too bad it was not of the fountain show. We had the tasting menu again and I had the wine with it. Again we had a wonderful meal and I would go back again. One funny thing that happened was that Frank saw some high priced hookers with an older guy eating dinner at Aqua. While we were at the Rio these two women sat down at his black jack table, they were talking and flirting with a few of the men and after getting no takers they moved on to the next table. He had told me about it and told me that they were very attractive. As soon as we walk into Aqua Frank was like those are the two that I was telling you about from the Rio. I could not believe how nice looking they really were. After dinner we headed back to the TI and again went for drinks at the Breeze Bar. The bar was really crowded and you could see that it was going to be a busy weekend for the TI. There was a black jack tournament going on and Frank wanted to play in it but the last round was at 4:00 on Saturday and we had to leave on a 2:00 flight so he could not do it. Skippy and Sue went up to bed and Frank and I went to go play a bit. Frank won about $400 and I wanted to try my "lucky" Treasure Island $5 Wheel of Fortune Machine. I try it one time every time I go to the TI and it has been good to me. I sat down put $100 in the machine and it always scares me when you see that it is only 20 credits but off I go and the second roll I get a spin and hit for $400. I continue playing down to the remainder of my money and I hit again for another $300 I walk away wining $600 and I am finally winning on this trip. That Friday we both woke up a bit depressed that it was our last full day in Las Vegas but we were determined to have a good time. We took the car out for a ride and went to the Caesars forum shops to get a DVD for Skippy to watch on the way home and to go to Wolfgang Puck's for lunch. None of us wanted to eat heavy because tonight was the granddaddy of all places to eat. Delmonaco's was the final destination of our culinary experience. We had gone there on our last trip and were totally impressed so we wanted an empty stomach. While waiting at Wolfgang Puck's Skippy and Sue realize that their safe is open and get into one of those couple fights. He runs off to close the safe and we go to get the car and meet him at TI. Of course we miss him and he heads back to Caesars so now it is like we are like Rocky chasing a chicken. We finally find him and he is not too happy but we just ignore it and head over to the Hilton because he wanted to see the Star Trek Ride. Of curse we don’t wind up going on the ride and we don't wind up eating at Quarks bar we just wind up in some little coffee shop and no one enjoys it. It wound up being one of those comedies of error things and at the end we all said forget it. We laughed about it and headed back to the TI. We got back to the TI and Frank wanted to play a bit so I went on over to the craps table with him. Sue and Skippy wanted to relax so they went up to get ready for the night as we went to roll the bones. Things started off really badly with two point then 7 rolls and finally the dice came to me. I established the 8 as the point and rolled for quite a while. I hit it the hard way then hit the yo. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and after a while I sevened out. It was then Frank's turn and he made the most of it. He must have hit the 10 about nine times. He started with $10 on the 10 and turned that into $200 by the time it was over. He hit the point like 5 times but he kept rolling number after number. It was one of those rolls to remember and it was great that it happened the day before we left. It was time to go and get ready for dinner and we got all dressed for our last nice dinner of the trip. We walked over to the Venetian and into Restaurant row. We were seated and welcomed back by name and if that does not make you feel special I don’t know what does. We ordered our drinks and got down to ordering the dinner. We all got steak and every one of us was thrilled with our selections. I got the bone in NY strip steak and Frank and Sue got the Pepper Crusted Filet. Skippy got some special with Cajun seasoning. We all had the barbecue shrimp and all got soups. What an amazing dinner. Well all good things must come to an end and we went back to the TI to get in some last minute gambling and to pack. We went to the lounge to have a few more drinks then Frank and I went to gamble while Skippy and Sue went up to bed. There was nothing much to right home about for that last night of gambling. We were still having fun and did not want to leave. We went from Craps to Black jack to slot machines just trying to get our final fix but it was time to go up soon enough and as we hit 19 on the elevator for the last time it was a bitter sweet ending to a great trip. We set a wake-up call for 10:00 and went off to sleep. We got up the next morning and packed our final things away got down to the casino and went to see Frank's host. They did what they could and we only got charged for the Cabana and tips for the entire trip. We collected our bags, checked out and made our way to the airport. The rental return was again very easy to do and we took the shuttle to the Jet Blue terminal. As we got there we found out that our plane was delayed 2 and a half more hours which stunk because I could have bet the Belmont. We went to Cheers for a beer and some food and watched the race and saw Funny Cide loose in on very sloppy track. This depressed us even more because we were actually going back to that weather. Two hours passed very slowly but soon enough we were boarding and getting ready to leave. With a last look we took off and had a VERY bumpy first 20 minutes of flight time. The flight settled in and they announced that we were getting $50 vouchers for our next flight because we were delayed. We landed in JFK on time and made our way home. Final Thoughts: Two weeks was not enough time. Renting a car is the way to go if you are going to be in Las Vegas for any legnth of time. Winning is much better than loosing. Too many expensive dinners in a row make you jaded. There is nothing like people watching in Las Vegas.