Finally rested enough from the 5 day trip over the 4th weekend! I will try to bullet point or highlight and keep it somewhat short.... Post Scrip Disclaimer: (this got long quick as I found many topics that might be hints for some heading to LV soon...) Flight out of Albuquerque on SW, the 3rd at 3:30 and arrive in LV at 4:00. Got to love those short flights! Taxi'd to RIO and checked in. Tried the $20 trick, but they were too full for holiday. The desk agent was nice and honored our request for the masquerade tower with an end-of hall room and a view. We stayed in #23028 and had a great view of the strip from Mandalay Bay all the way to the Venetian! Why the end of hall you ask? Because I am a very light sleeper and I hate hearing traffic in the hall or on and off the elevators. It was very nice and quiet in our room the whole time! After settling in, we went straight to the casino to check it out. Played some V.P. at the bar for awhile until my dreaded Cubs were down 6 runs. Decided that was enough watching them lose. Then we walked around and played some slots. I tried to find low limit tables to no avail as they were all $10 or higher. We decided to check in at the platinum players booth. My wife mentioned she wanted to see the Chipendales that night. I grumbled something about not being caught dead in there, when the players club agent overheard us and said he was being forced to go by the other girls working there. He gave my wife his ticket ($50) value! and so i got out of going and she got a free show in the front section!!! She had a blast at the Chipendales and made friends with the workers from RIO! After the show, We decided to eat light that night and had a pizza at Antonios. Then we headed for the GoldCoast to find low limit tables. I sat down at a $5 bJ and my wife wandered about checking out the slots. They had double deck BJ with "normal" payouts which was good. However, after a handful of shuffles, I was down $40 and decided tthe dealer was just to hot to catch a run. She kept getting one higher than me almost every hand. I found my wife and we decided to try our luck at the Elvira Spooky slots. The jackpot is 2.4 million! We won $20 and took the money and ran! We decided to head to Palms. This place was very busy on a Thursday night. Tables were all full. So i saw the Austin Powers slots. My wifes favorite! We won another $20 off it and cashed in. Then I saw the Harley nickels! Went through $20 in no time. (Oh well... We wandered the place a bit and were getting tired as it was almost 1:00am. Headed back to RIO and crashed. Up at 8:30 Friday morning. We played slots a bit at the RIO. my wife always wants Diamonds, so we tried the nickel machine that gives you real Diamonds. It is a 90 credit max to get the bonus diamonds, so here we are playing $4.50 a pull! Low and behold we hit bonus spins that gave us $160 bucks on our $20 buy in! So we cashed in and headed for the Shuttle to Harrahs. The shuttle does not start until 10am, so we said the [email protected]@l with it and grabbed a taxi to the Strat. At the Strat, I collected my $40 from the first time free money bonus that was waiting from my last trip! it is Cool playing money on the house. So I played quarter black cherry machines and hit $50 off one and $10 off another. This gave me $100 up for the day on Strat, not to mention the $160 at RIO. I decided to play craps and my wife who feels like bad luck when I am on tables always goes off to play slots. Found a nice low limit table with $2 if you play 2X odds, or $5 if you want 5X odds. Bought in for $100 and began to watch the shooters and place the 6 and 8 for $6. I noticed a few don't players, so became cautious. One had $100 on the lay 4 and kept it there the entire time i was at the table! He and another guy bet Don't pass on a shooter I will call Mountain Man. As he looked like he came from the Ozarks. The guy set point at 5 and proceeded. These don't betters even placed odds on there don't bets. Low and behold, Good old Mountain man proceeded to roll a 5- 6 times in the next dozen or so rolls!!! After about the 4th time, the don't shooters kept saying there is no way he would hit it again. Then just like clock work, he rolled another 5! Luckily, I was betting on the pass line so was winning the whole roll. Finally, the guy 7'd out. After a few more up and down shooters, it was my turn. I managed to establish an 8 point and rolled a handfull of times hitting the 6 and a couple hardways, (no bets on the hardways though), then the good old 7 came out. After another up and down turn around the table it was my turn again. This time the Don't guys did not bet when I rolled. I think they noticed I was setting and decided to wait and see. Well this time I managed an average to decent roll and hit my 6 and 8 bets a few times while rolling a point once or twice. just when I was getting into a good groove and "feeling it", my next throw had one dice land on the side of a chip stack and careemed off to the side wall. Well you know what showed up! All in all, I played craps at the Strat for 3 hours and payed for all the drink tips, which came often by the way and managed a small gain. Meanwhile, my wife lost $60 on slots. So we decided to walk down to Sahara and work our way to the MGM to pick up the Fleetwood tickets. Sahara was ok, but we did not play much there and moved on. We walked all the way to the Venetian in the 110 plus heat and my wife almost got sick! Right before we made the Venetian, my sandals blew a gasket, so we had to go find a shoe store in the shops at Venetian. After paying $45 for a new pair of sandals, (at least they were Rockports), We decided to catch a cab to the MGM and pick up the tickets. By now it was almost 4pm. After getting the tickets at the MGM box office, which by the way the line moves like mollasses in the Artic, we were getting hungry and wanted to eat at the Calypso in the Tropicana. The Calypso is always good and we enjoyed our late lunch. Then we played awhile at the Trop. before deciding to head back to the RIO as we wanted to go to the VOODOO lounge to watch the fireworks. After changing, we headed up a little after 6pm so we could get a good seat by the window. We had perfect timing and got the best seat in the house! (except for out on the deck which was way too hot to stand for 3 hours!) I have to say for $8 a drink which is really steep for me, we really enjoyed the VOODOO lounge and the drinks were really strong and worth the $8 each! We stayed through the Fireworks at Strat and Ceasers, we could also see some off toward down town?, It was a great night and we loved the Voodoo Lounge! We had reservations below at the Voodoo cafe, so headed down for a late supper. The Voodoo cafe was good but pricy. For me $35 for a fillet that I could get at Outback for $17, is high. But it was good and i had a great glass of wine. My wife was really enjoying the Voodoo drinks earlier, which started to take effect. So we had to call it a night at about midnight. Saturday morning, we decided to head to the strip again. We hit a few slots on the way out of RIO and were pleasantly suprised to come out a little ahead. Then off on the harrahs shuttle. We played at harrahs for awhile. Bad idea, as we lost at about every slot we played. So we decided to head down the strip. We stopped at the Flamingo and got players cards. My wife used to work at - what used to be the Flamingo in Kansas City, so she enjoyed visiting there. No luck here either except the, 7 for 5 coupon on roullette, which rewarded me with a black bet payoff. Off down the strip we went to the Alladin. my wife was dying for Chinese food so we went to PF Changs, which was excellent! Then we made the mistake of signing up for the "slot tournament" if thats what you want to call it? For $25 each we got to play the slots and got lousy credits so no $$$. Then you get the choice of $20 each in food credit or "JUNK". We took the food credit and decided we would come back to the italian resaurant the next day. You could get 2-1 show tickets, but we had our nights already filled so we passed. By now it was late afternoon and we had to catch a taxi back to the RIO so we could change for the concert. We got to the MGM early and so we played slots a bit. Well luck have it, I picked a quarter double diamond and after a few spins, hit Double, Double, 7!!! Unfortunately, we only had one coin in. Oh well can not complain about $80. By now it was 6;30 and the show started at 8, so we headed to the Grand Arena. My wife brought her camera, which we had to drop off at the security metal detector point as they are not allowed! Then we headed to our seats! I have to say, this was by far the highlight of the trip as Fleetwood Mac put on One Awesome show!!! We had a blast. They played all the oldies and some of the new album. To my amazement, they sounded much better live than on a CD! Stevie Nicks was great and Lindsay Buckingham pulled some Jimmy Hendricks style solos!!! The concert was absolutely fabulous and they even did a second on-choir! After that, we wanted to see the Luxor again as we stayed there last June. So we spent a brief while there and then caught a taxi back to the harrahs, so we could catch the $9.95 prime rib special in the Garden Cafe. We missed that by 15 minutes. But had the rib eye and eggs special for $7.99, which was almost as good. It was getting late and I was getting stupid tired (that is betting without a clear head! So, I got mad at a 4 times diamond quarter and managed to lose $160 in no time playing "MAX COIN" this time, on a lousy quarter machine!!! Time for bed! While walking through the RIO, I slipped a few quarters in a triple star sevens machine. After a bit, I hit Triple, Triple, red 7!!! Made some of my stupid losses back! Again only one coin in! Sunday morning, we headed to the pool, which was very nice! We had a nice relaxing hour or two before it started getting hot. On to downtown was our next objective! Caught the shuttle to Harrahs and picked up the Bus - 301- just past the Venetian. (By the way it is $2 and you have to have exact change, bills or coins) made downtown in about 35 minutes. Went to Golden Nugget and checked the tables. Craps were all $5, so we went to Binions. When we got there, my wife was hungry, so we ate downstairs at the cafe. She had the Rotissary half chicken for $4.95! I had the Binions Texas Chili bowl,Which I have had much better. I hate to brag, but I think i like my own chili much better... On to the tables. They had $5 single deck BJ, so i sat down and my wife decided to play slots and wander about... I played several shuffles and came out ahead $40. Then was getting anxious to throw the bones again! After all, It was already Sunday and it seems like all we had done is walk from casino to casino playing slots! So I found a $3 table and bought in for $100. I have to say, I am awefully thick headed, because there was not a single good shooter on the table, this time including me!!! I was too stupid to recognize the great opportunity to switch to the don't side. I managed to go through the hundred in little over 2 hours on a $3 table! The box and stick men were nice and chatty, but the pit boss was old and grumpy. (Or is that Grumpy old Man)? Anyway, I again failed to make the right moves and it was soon time to go. One walk through Binions and we found the Spooky slots again. We played on $20 and soon doubled our money, so cashed in and decided we had to get back to change for supper. We told the Taxi to get us back to RIO quick as he could and he would get $20... He made it in 13 minutes??? We changed, rested and then had to catch the reservation at the Alladin Italian restaurant, so we could use our $40 free food credit. The food was good but pricy there. The view was great, as it was dusk and we could watch the fountain show accross at the Bellagio. After dinner, we decided to play a little more at Alladin and then worked our way back up the strip. We stopped at Flamingo and had a coupon for 2-1 drinks at the pool party. That was a joke, as the drinks were $14 each for the tall frozen ones... Played at Flamigo and one a little on slots. Thne we headed up to Harrahs and played a little more. We were having no luck there again, so being tired, we decided to call it a night. Monday morning, Last day in LV We went to the pool early for an hour or so and then back to room to check out and leave the bags with the bell man, as our flight was not until 6:55pm We played all day at the RIO. I got on a lucky streak, found a craps table for $5! Played a couple hours and had a decent roll! I only got to roll once as soon after me, an Aisan lady rolled for ever!!! We all made good on her roll. Although, I was betting conservatively and did not come out as good as I could have. For example, I decided after each point she hit, to make a $1 crap check. One roll, she rolled 4 craps in a row! I said after each one, "I should press that" but never did! Then, just when the table was getting real hot, they moved the minimum to $10 and would not grandfather in... After winning at the craps table, I was off to find the wife, when I wandered in to the high limit and I always like to put at least $20 in a $5 machine. On my last spin, I hit $60... Time to move on. I met up with the wife and we played several slots winning a little here and there. Then at lunch we hit the RIO buffet. It was really good and I could not believe all the selections. They had everything!!! Problem is, I cannot each much at one time. I just nibble all the time!!! When lunch was over, we hit the slots for one last run! That was a mistake, as we were trying to make it all in a few hours... We managed to lose all the day's winnings and then some before it was time to go... Plane flight was an hour late as the plane in from Burbank had mechanical problems and we had to find a new plane... While waiting in the airport, I noticed someone must have hit the Quarter wheel of fortune again, as it went back down to $200k from $450k. All in all, a great trip!!! TOP TEN - 1) FLEETWOOD MAC!!! 2) Voodoo Lounge!! 3) Chipendales (for the wife) 4) PF Changs chinese food at Alladin! 5) Buffet at the RIO! 6) pool at the RIO! 7) Binions Cafe specials 8) Good gambling odds at the Stratosphere 9) View from our room at the RIO 10) Knowing we will be back soon!!! Bottom 10 - 1) Shuttling and taxi from the Rio (not on strip)!!! 2) Gambling at Harrahs! 3) Kids EVERWHERE!!! 4) STROLLERS with toddlers EVERYWHERE!!! 5) missed the night lazer show on Fremont street because we had to get back to eat at Alladin! 6) Slot tournament at Alladin (ties you down to that place, so you cannot have other options! 7) masquarade show at RIO - (not worth going out of way for)! 8) Binions air circulation - ( my wife insists she got sick from the stale, smoky, musty, moldy smell). - She got back and now has strep throat, although the doctors say it was probably the plane air. 9) Not getting to play tables or craps much, as my wife does not enjoy those, so we spent most of our time on slots or walking from casino to casino!!! 10) KIDS and STROLLERS EVERYWHERE!!! NEXT TRIP MUST DO's - 1) PLAY ALL tables and NO slots!!! 2) Catch the Fremont light show! 3) Stay "on the strip"! 4) Go when not a holiday full of kids! 5) Win lots of money!!!!!!!!!