April 25, 2004 We flew from St. Louis to Las Vegas on AA. Uneventful flightâ€”landed at 3:15 pm. We took a cab to the Aladdin. The cab line was very long, but there was no line at all to check in at the hotel. It was a very nice check-in experience. We used to always stay at the Luxor, but we got tired of waiting an hour in the check-in line. Our room was on the 7th floor with a nice view of the pool with the mountains behind that. I booked the room in February and got a $79 per night rate. We headed to the brewpub at the MC to meet some friends who flew in on a different flight. I really like the brewpubâ€”reasonable prices and tasty brews. I like to play keno (I know you are all yawning) and my husband plays Three-Card Poker and Let it Ride. We went to the Bellagio to gamble and finished out the night there. I love the keno lounge there. It is elegant, and they serve great cocktails. April 26, 2004 We went to the Paris buffet for breakfast (as we would every morning). We both love the crepes. The line is always long, but it moves fast. After breakfast, we went to the Mirage for gambling and I discovered that they have gotten rid of the keno lounge there. It was a great place for kenoâ€”right next to the poker room with no smoke and good cocktail service. I mourn the loss. Since there was no keno there, we went over to the TI where they were filming Miss Congeniality 2. We saw Sandra Bullock wearing a showgirl outfit and making endless runs down an aisle. It was exciting to see the process, but the process itself is far from exciting. It is amazing how long it takes to film one scene. We also saw Abe Benrubi. He plays Jerry on ER. We had dinner at Daddy Oâ€™sâ€”an outdoor joint on the strip across from the Harley-Davidson Restaurant. The dinner was only so-so, but we were outside and the weather was great. We had tickets for Tom Jones at 9 pm at the MGM. He didnâ€™t disappoint. Tom gave the audience everything he had. It was fantastic. There was a bunch of old gals in the front row who tossed there underwear at him. They were in a frenzy. Tom still has it! April 27, 2004 After breakfast, we hopped on the 301 and bought day passes. (Thanks for the tip on that.) My husband got off at the Luxor to play some poker and I went to the outlet mall that used to be called Belz. It is now called Las Vegas Outlet Mall. My husband couldnâ€™t find a low-stakes table at the Luxor so he played at the Excalibur. He played a couple of hours of Texas Hold'em and came out $5 ahead. He had a great time without losing any money. We used those bus passes all day and went to several places we hadnâ€™t been to in years. We gambled in the Riviera for an hour without seeing a cocktail waitress. We then went to the Sahara. I found both of those places dark and tawdry. We stayed at the Riviera our first trip to Vegas several years ago and found the room dreadful. We caught the bus to go downtown for the evening. We had a shrimp cocktail at the Gold Coast, and while it was good, I like the ones from the Fremont better. The Fremont puts some kind of hot celery relish in the bottom. The ones from the Gold Coast were just shrimp and cocktail sauce. They had an old gal playing piano in the Gold Coast while you ate your shrimp. She was great! We met our friends at the Plaza and we ate dinner at the Center Stage. Unfortunately, they are working on that section of the lighting for the Fremont Experience, so there isnâ€™t much of a show. The food was delicious and the view was still great. We gambled for awhile at the Golden Nugget, but it was really crowded, so we caught the bus back to the strip. April 28, 2004 We went back to the TI for some gambling after breakfast. We both won a little there, so we stuck around. The cocktails service was excellent there. The keno is in with the sports & race book, so you can place bets on the ponies too. We went to see Big Elvis at the Barbary Coast. We got there about 15 minutes before he started, so we got a good seat. We both thought he was great and we stayed for the whole first set. It was a good time! You better not put it off too long because I canâ€™t imagine Big Elvis living to a ripe old age. He has trouble getting his breath now. I had my picture taken with the King, but I found out that they will only email it to you. For $20, I would have liked to have seen it first. It is a shame that they donâ€™t print it out for you like they do at the Imperial Palace. We met our friends at the ESPN Zone restaurant at NYNY. They all liked it, but I thought the food was ordinary. The smell of cigar smoke was everywhere. Yuck. We went to the Comedy Stop at the Trop. We like the 8 pm show because it is non-smoking. We always go there because with a coupon from the Whatâ€™s On or Showbiz magazine, you can go for $10 apiece and that includes a drink. The comedians were all good. The Comedy Stop is a good value in Vegas. We finished out the evening gambling at the MGM. We both won a little and the cocktail waitress was very attentive. April 29, 2004 After breakfast, we checked out and left our bags with the bell desk. We started gambling at the MGM, but we didnâ€™t do any good so we went over to NYNY. My husband won right away on three card poker and I won a little in a $1 poker machine. The keno lounge used to be great at NYNY. It was out in the middle of everything and you could hear the bands and the singers. Now it is in a broom closet over by the ESPN Zoneâ€”too bad. Keno is labor intensive, and will probably be a thing of the past very soon. The casinos want slots in every nook and cranny. Our last stop was at the Bellagio. We gambled there until the last minute and then went back to the Aladdin to pick up our bags and headed to the airport. Final Thoughts â€¢We had a pretzel at NYNY every day. They are delicious. â€¢The Krispy Kremes and milk are cheaper at Walgreens. â€¢The Aladdin t-shirts are already sold out--so sorry. â€¢Only take comfortable shoes to Vegas. I saw all kind of stupid shoes choices. It is better to feel marvelous than look marvelous. â€¢Annoying time-share predators at the entrance of the Aladdin. Whatâ€™s up with that? â€¢Those 24-hour bus passes are the way to go. â€¢There is no other place like Las Vegas!