My husband and I took Allegiant out of Peoria- no problems, smooth flight, felt like it took days because neither of us could even snooze on the flight. Were out of the airport at 4 p.m. and straight to the Bellagio within minutes on a shuttle bus. We normally stay at MGM but Bellagio was desperate enough to send me the 3 night comp deal...so why not? We figured that would be the only way we would ever stay there because I'm way too cheap to pay their normal rates! The deal was 3 nights (over a weekend too!) with $100 freeplay, $25 food credit and 2 for 1 tickets to see "O". Check in was smooth and instantaneous. Seemed like a good omen. This was a thursday afternoon and the place was pretty quiet. Dropped off our bags, checked out the room... and went looking for a bar. I mostly play video poker, and even though the payrates are worse, I like to sit at the bar and play so we can people watch and chat with bartenders a little bit. We had a couple of drinks, payed for the first one... bartender irritated me by not waiting to see if we were going to put money in and play, but after that he was steady with the drinks, if not personable. We proceeded to win/lose until we'd had all the alcohol that was wise, and we were up on our gambling budget by enough that I figured I should stop. To all the casual video poker players out there: This entire trip there was a definite trend for me. I hit on the machines with the worst possible pay rates and torpedoed on any machine that was full pay or close to it. Had the best luck at the Bellagio bars and the Venetian bar, despite less than great odds... those were the machines that were throwing hands at me. That remained consistent every place we went. Couldn't decide where to eat- so wound up at the buffet. Very decent for the price, especially with the $25 food credit. Drank some more, continued the win/loss thing and went to bed ahead for the first time in many trips! Day Two: Woke up really early and headed down for bloody marys and more VP. It was about 7:00 a.m. and the place was like a morgue. I like that in the mornings but this was REALLY quiet. We found a bar, got a marginal bloody mary and started playing again. The bartender went on break, and stayed on break. There were actually people coming up to us and asking where we got our drinks. There were no cocktail waitresses around, and no bartenders to be found. After hitting a couple of nice hands and still no refill on the bloody mary available, we grabbed a cab and went to MGM for breakfast and to say hello to our favorite bartenders who make EXCELLENT bloody marys. Wonderful after Bellagio...can you imagine being in a las vegas casino and having people searching for a drink? Somehow or another we wound up at the Hard Rock. Never been there before. Weird acoustics at the bar. You can hear the conversations of the people across from you, and it sounds like they are talking right behind your ears. Did very well on the bar machines there, even though I was having heart failure every time I hit max bet and it was $10 a pop. That was the end of the winning for me at that point. Went to "O" after more drinking and some very unsuccessful VP at the Palms. I don't care if their machines are full pay... I've never done anything besides lose my shirt there. I may not bother going back at this point because I just can't even lose SLOWLY at that place. O was just fine but I'm glad I didn't pay full price for the tickets. The stage was amazing. I had to stop myself from punching out the couple next to us that came in late and then proceeded to talk for 45 minutes at full volume. Last Day: Saturday was an interesting stroll up the strip. I honestly don't remember everywhere we went. It was 98 out, so we would walk into a casino, lose some money at the bar for a drink or two, and then head out into the heat until we hit the next casino. I remember being at the Flamingo, Harrahs, Venetian, Palazzo..... there were some others in there, and I bled a trail of money along the way. It was like Hansel and Gretel... you could follow my breadcrumbs of monetary destruction right up the strip. We did eat at the Lux Cafe at the Venetian and the food was excellent and really reasonable. We meant to go to the pool at the Bellagio but it just never seemed to happen. We could see the pool from our room, and when they opened in the morning it looked like people heading to a rock concert. I just couldn't be bothered to put that much effort into fighting for a chair or finding a spot, so we just skipped it. Saturday night dinner just didn't seem very important due to all the alcohol consumption going on. Naturally, the solution was apparently more alcohol. It is always a good idea to play crappy odds video poker when your judgment is impaired and you've lost most of your bankroll... right? I should add I hit for $800 at the Venetian bar during our strip stroll, but that just brought me back up to even (still exciting at the time), so when we at Bellagio again I was determined not to lose too much. 7 o'clock on Saturday night at Bellagio and the place was dead by comparison to what I'm used to at MGM. There were only ever an extra couple of people sitting at the bar with us, and the bartenders were busy people watching (though very attentive and friendly with us). I managed to play up and down for an hour without putting more money in, and then the damned thing threw me four aces. I was so tired and buzzed it didn't even register. I held the four aces and threw the last card without even stopping to look at what it was. Luckily, the machine tossed me a low card, and there we were, waiting for an attendant to come help me donate to the IRS. sigh. There is always a down side, isn't there? We had a few more drinks that we didn't even ask for, and decided it was time to pack it in while I still had enough money to pay the taxes. Actually, we were smart enough to walk away before we put much back into the machines, which was really difficult with all the booze the bartenders were throwing at us! Room service for dinner, which we both pretended we liked, but was really pretty awful. We were just too beat to bother complaining about it to each other, I suspect. Lessons learned: Corona costs me about $100 a beer at the Palms and I'm not doing that again. Venetian gives you fruit punch if you ask for a Vodka and Cranberry juice. Bellagio bartenders are a lot of fun when they are bored, which seems to be pretty often these days! Bellagio room service is fast but the food sucks.