This is long overdue but I was inspired by an even more overdue report to write mine. I was there for a week so I probably will have to do this in segments. Normally I go to Vegas with my girlfriends. There are 4 of us that stay for 7 days from a Wednesday to Wednesday and others that come and go during that week. We usually end up with 10+ people over the weekend. This year we had one Weeker with a sick Mom, one Weeker with her own illness and one Weekender with a death in the family so our numbers were down. Wednesday, Jan. 24 Arrived at McCarran about 6:45pm from Minneapolis on Northwest. I had reserved a limo from Bell Trans so our driver was waiting for us at the baggage claim. The past couple of years we have requested a driver named George Johnson from Bell. He was the best!! This year Bell couldn't find him in their system so we ended up with a driver named Herbert. Herbert was a jerk. He didn't carry our bags, he didn't even put them in the trunk for us! We usually stop at the first liquor store and drive around Vegas and drink for two hours. Well Herbert took us to the liquor store and we went in. Normally the limo driver gets free ice at the store. Not Herbert. He didn't even go into the store and ask for it. So we (my friend Chris and I) had to buy our own ice and schlep it back to the limo. We asked Herbert if he would please open our champagne outside the vehicle and he reluctantly did this. Obviously we have been spoiled by other drivers and for sure by George. Anyway, we had booked the limo for 2 hours. As we should have expected, good ol' Herbert brought us to the Four Queens about 1:45 hours from the time our flight landed and told us our time was u. We were so sick of him by this time we gladly got out of the limo and took our bags to check in. We requested rooms in the south tower at the 4Qs but when we checked in they were sold out so they put us in the north tower. We asked if we could move to the south tower the next morning and were told it shouldn't be a problem; come to the front desk in the a.m. and they would rearrange things for us. So we met the bellman at the room, cleaned a little of the flight film off and headed out to gamble and drink some more. Our first stop was the VP bar upstairs at the Fitz. They have a progressive 4 of a Kind that hits when the pot is around $36-$40. We call it "The Races" because when the pot gets to that amount we play as fast as we can. So we raced for a while and both Chris and I hit two 4 of kinds! Then we headed to the Las Vegas Club not knowing that it was vastly different from the previous year. What a deserted place. It was like a ghost town in there. And no one seemed happy. Anyway, we didn't stay too long before we travelled to the Golden Gate. We sat down at the far end of the bar and saw that our favorite bartender Curly was working. Curly has been there for years and always remembers us. We both sat and played VP and chatted with Curly until he got off at 11:00. Then we went back to the 4Qs and played slots until about 2:00 a.m. It was time for bed. Thursday, January 25 Got up and made our way to the 4Qs bar by the west entrance and sat and drank coffee and played VP. Two of our group had flown in earlier on Wednesday so we met up with them. Was up and down but thorougly enjoyed the quiet. We meet at that bar in the morning and ease into the day that way. I think the bar is called the Kings Bar but we have fondly named it the Breakfast Bar. Then headed to Magnolias and had the Players Club ham and eggs special. You get a HUGE piece of ham, two eggs, hashbrowns and toast for less that $5 if you have a Players Club card. It was a good way to start the day. After breakfast we went to the front desk to see if we could change rooms and it was already all taken care of by the front desk staff. We were so impressed by how we were treated by everyone at the 4Qs this trip. The new owners have done great things there, both physically and with the friendliness and attitudes of the staff. We checked our bags with the bellman since our new room wasn't cleaned yet and headed to the Golden Gate so I could play BJ. I found a $3 table and played for a few hours. Chris joined me at the table for a while the others (Horton and McCormack) played various slots and then headed over to the ghost town (LV Club). We met up with them later and went to play VP and slots at the Plaza. Decided that we wanted to eat dinner at Center Stage so made reservations. Went back to the 4Qs and had our bags brought to our new rooms and napped until our dinner reservations. Got to Center Stage and were seated at a table right in the front of the dome with a great view the Fremont St. We each ordered wine and enjoyed their wonderful bread basket. I can't remember what the others ordered but I had the Filet Mignon. It was done to perfection and served with potato logs, asparagus, and topped with a Cognac peppercorn cream sauce. The bill was $35 with the tip. The only disappointment of the meal was that the sound from the Fremont Street Experience wasn't working inside Center Stage. The waiter told us that recent street repairs had been done and a cable had been accidently cut. But we got to see the shows while we dined and had a great time. Stuffed, we headed back to the 4Qs. Horton and McCormack went to bed and Chris and I ventured to the Chicago Brewing Company to enjoy some after dinner drinks and play VP in relative quiet. If you are looking for a quiet place try this place. Hit 4 Aces and took out $200 but I was still down for the day! At 10:30 two more of our group arrived. Most of us are from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area but Ann and Rosie live in Vancouver, WA and flew in on a late flight from Portland. Chris and I met them at the front desk and after they checked in and got their bags to their room we all went back to the Chicago Brewing Company and drank beer and caught up with each other. We decided to move and asked for our check. Rosie quickly decided it was her turn to buy when she saw that 8 big beers were only $25. We then went back to "the races" at the Fitz and were entertained by the bartenders trying to be Tom Cruise ala Cocktail. It was a pretty hysterical show that included Ann getting popped in the forehead by flying beer bottle caps. Decided it was time for some sleep and bid each other goodnight. More later.