Well trip #16 came and went as usual and I already have planned my next trip back to Las Vegas for November. Here is the whole nine yards of a very enjoybale and needed Vegas vacation. 8/10/03 Started the journey by saying good bye to the girlfiend and leaving for Memphis airport at approximately 7:30 P.M. Arrived at 8:00 P.M. parked the car at the Parking Company of America Parking lot and caught the shuttle to the airport. Had no problems checking in for my flight with Northwest. Caught the only non stop flight out of Memphis at 10:00 P.M. on Sunday night. Used frequent flyer miles to pay for the flight so more money to give to the economy of Las Vegas than the airlines. Flight was smooth had an exit row window with plenty of leg room. Arrived in Las Vegas at 11:33 P.M. and went to get my baggage. Had a Dollar Rental Car waiting for me on reserve. Sign up for their fastpas on the website it makes things alot easier in Las Vegas. Just hop on the bus and go to the lot and get your car. How simple is that. Got to the car lot and they were almost out of cars. Had reserved a Dodge Intrepid or similar ended up with a White Seebring Convertible. The man said I could bring it back the next day if I wanted the intrepid but anyone in their right mind would keep the convertible and I did. Got a convertible for 150.00 for the week. What a deal. Used the VGCOM discount and got 10% off when I reserved the car. It also did not cost me anything to reserve the car did not even have to leave a credit card with them and locked in at the killer rate. Ok , cruising out of the airport took tropicana and followed it to Paradise and drove to Sahara to get to Las Vegas Blvd. Miss a lot of traffic that way. Parked in the GN parking garage and went to the North Tower lobby to check in since it was approximately 12:00 a.m. and the south tower check in is closed. Tried to get into a North Tower room just by asking and was told they did not have a king bed available in either tower. Had to suffice with a double in the south tower but was told to check tomorrow about a North Tower room because I was not getting my King bed that I had requested. There was hope for me getting into that North Tower yet on just asking. Put the bags in the room and was hungry so I walked down to Fitzgeralds and went to the Coffe Shop by the Buffet upstairs. I got their Strawberry Tall Cake and wow it really hit the spot. The waitress made a special version for me and it was covered in so much whip cream I could not even see the cake any more . It was great. Would highly recommend it espceially late at night. Just 2.99 but I was only charged 1.69 for some reason that night. It is enough to share but I was alone so I ate it all. Walked around to the various casinos and did some gambling and did allright losing and winning. I was down a little bit when a Marylin Monroe machine was generous to me and spit out $125 for me. Nice way to end the night only down $40. Went to bed about 4:00 A.M. 8/11/03 Woke up at 8:00 A.M. to go running. Yes I am crazy, but have no reason to miss workouts when I am on vacation. I am there to relax and working out definately makes me more relaxed. Ran from Fremont Street to the Stratosphere and back and a few laps inside the Freemont Street Experience approximately 6 miles that day. Went up and changed and went to the GN spa. GN spa is small but a great deal 15 dollars gets you use of the spa, gym,locker, robe, and free fruit, drinks , and nuts. Also you have all your toiletries right there to get ready. Love the hot shaving cream while I am there. Worked out and walked out of there at 11:30 was supposed to meet a friend of mine that lives in LV at 12:00 for lunch but he had car trouble and could not make it. Will shoot to meet him on my next trip again. So I went to meet Jewel Fitzgerald the Private Arrangement coordinator for the Golden Nugget. She has always answered my stupid question every time very politely so I though I would bring her a gift for being so nice to me while she makes my reservations for the GN. Gave her a running jacket from my work. She is an excellent person to deal with if any of you have delt with her in the past. Talked with her briefly and went down to see if I could get a better room at the front desk. They did not have any North Tower rooms available with a strip view and a high floor but they did have a smoking room high floor in the north tower that I could have. I wanted to check out the North Tower so I said yes. I took the risk of the room being smokey but it paid off. The room was perfect. No smoke smell at all and so convenient to the casion where the North Tower Elevators are. There is even a guy that will push your elevator buttons for you or hold an elevator for you. Unlike the South Tower. So needless to say the North Tower room itself is really no better than the south but the convenience of walking is worth trying to get into the North. Ate lunch at the Plaza Diner. Had the beef ribs. Even though they have raised the price still a killer meal. Great sauce and ribs for the money. Went out and gambled some more that afternoon and was on a loosing streak until my buddy Elvis chucked up $250 on 5x x 5x bar win. Thank you to the King especially during Elvis week back in Memphis. Went back to the GN and put my trunks on to go to the pool. It was late in the day so not too much eye candy around for me so I just enjoyed the swim. Went back to the room to get ready for the Spirit of the Dance Show at the GN. Had reservations and tickets in the front row. Could not have gotten any closer if I wanted to . Could have been kicked by the dancers I was that close. Book in advance if you want to see this show. Your CC will not be charged until that day so it is just to hold your reservation. Show was excellent much better than Lord of the Dance when it was at NY NY. More crowd interaction and fun that just a story line like Lord is. The lead dancer that opens the show is extremely attractive and being up front and with a white dress on she looked great. After the show drove to Claim Jumper Resturant out in Summerlin behind Suncoast Casino. Would highly recommend eating here if you have never ate at a Claim Jumper before. A little out of the way but the food is worth it. Trust me. Had the BBQ Chicken Pizza since I was still a little full from lunch. Went back and gambled until my brother flew in from Ohio at 10:30 that night. Met up with him and did some more gambling and then went to bed around 3:30. I was up about 100 on the second day of gambling. 8/12/03 Woke up at 8:30 went running again. Only did about 4.5 miles that day. Fremont to The STRAT and back again. Did not go to the spa because I was meeting my brother and some friends for lunch at the Monte Carlo Brew Pub. Another excellent place to eat if you have never tried it. Had their dark beer dont remember the name very good. Also had the Cobb Salad. Excellent and very big for the money well worth it. Ask for a table so you can see the swimming pool. Always good to have some eye candy when you are eating. Next went to Harrah's for the Mac King Comedy show. Almost missed out but bought the VIP tickets to make sure we go into the show. Only a couple dollars more and guaranteed a seat. You just dont get a drink and really it did not matter to me after the big lunch with great beer. Mac King is funny but nothing to write home about woth the time to go see him. Place was packed and people was into the show. Last trick is his best makes you wonder how he did it because we were one of the last people out and could not see any doors where he went through to end up where he was. So needless to say he finished the show with his best trick. Raced over to Rio to catch Ron Lucas and his afternoon show. I would have to say this is a dont miss in Las Vegas for the money. A drink show price for a headliner. Not bad. Ron puts on a killer show. Definately go see it. Gambled at Rio for about 3 more hours caught the show in the sky and the singing and dancing waiters and waitresses. Neat to watch. Lost my ass in rio but had fun. Went down about 100 in there but played for 3 hrs. Was supposed to go to Hugos Cellar for dinner but did not make the reservations with my brother because he forgot to make them in time and they went without me. I instead at at the GN with some free buffet passes Jewel gave me. Thank you Jewel. GN buffet excellent as usual. Cant say enough about the GN buffet may be small but still killer and free that is even better. Went out the rest of the night and gambled a little and lost as usual down 200 at this point. So still doing well for the trip. Went to bed around 1:30 so finally an early evening. 8/13/03 Got up at 8:30 and went runing again. 4.5 miles Fremont to Strat and back and went to the spa. After some fruit and nuts in the spay headed down to the Las Vegas Hilton to go the Star Trek the Experience. Paid the 29.99 because I did not have any coupons for this. It was not worth 29.99 but overall not a bad exhibit and ride. Many cool things to see from the films and series. The ride is cool but you can tell it is out dated when they fly over the strip and the Harrah's showboat is still there. Went to the gift shop to get the girlfriend some Star Trek merchandise. She is a Trekie. Got a picture with the TNG crew for signing up for a credit card. Also got picture with a Klingon and Quark. Will try Quarks resturant and bar the next time I am there.Looked interesting. Did some gambling there and left to go to Tickets Tonight to see what tickets I cold get for my brother and I for that night. Parked at Aladdina and walked to the big Coke bottle and looked for tickets availble for that nights show. Saw they had Star Trek tickets for 15.00 so I felt kinda stupid paying 29.99 for my ticket. Met up with my brother and got tickets for Splash at 10:30 that night. Went to M&M's world also and got the girlfriend a M&M's Tea set for one. Cool item pot on top cup on bottom. Went out to my brother second hotel of the week. Fitzgeralds being his first then Castaways being his second. Castaways is not a bad place. Mostly locals in there but still a nice place to get away from the strip for a few hours. Played black jack for an hour and a half and came out even. The lounge entertainment is excellent there. Would recommend if your in the area to check it out. Had a country inpersonator do some numerous impersonations and two great jugglers do an awasome act. Drove to the Riviera and went to Splash. Splash is worth the discounted tickets. Would not pay full price if you can get it for half. Highlight of the show is the Michael Jackson impersonator and the 4 motorcycles in the spear of death. Have seen three but not 4 ever. Awsome. After the show went to one of my brothers friends who was staying at Mandaly Bay for the night. He needed two beds and they were all out of two bed rooms so they gave him and executive suite which is basically the Four Seasons rooms. Can I say wow. This place is bigger than my house probably about 2500 square feet with hard wood floors, dining room, 32 inch tv in each room. Wow it was nice. He lucked out on needing two beds he got a two bedroom suite instead. Stayed there sitting in luxury for about an hour and went back to the slums at Castaways for a late night dinner. Ordered the Monster Burger at the diner in Castaways. A 20oz burger with a bun to match it. If you eat the whole thing you get a T shirt. Well both me and my brother ate the burger. Believe me it is a challenge but can be done. Only 6.95 and you may get a shirt with it. Check it out it is worth ordering it to have it in front of you and get a picture with it. Went back to the GN and went to bed about 4:00 a.m. 8/14/03 Started the day at 8:45 and got my run done. Went to the Stratosphere for lunch. Would definately recommend this. Lunch at the Strat is actually pretty cheap 12-20 dollars for anything on the menu. Also get a free tower ride up so and have great scenery for lunch. Cant beat that. Had the Prime Rib and have to say one of the best I have had in Las Vegas or anywhere. It was great. Make a reservation before you go but calling the Strat and asking for Top of the World reservations. They are never full so dont worry but you get in quicker with a reservation. Went down to Excalibur and got a Cold Stone Ice Cream right by Crispy Cream. Some of the best Ice Cream around. It is a chain but it still beats the hell out of Baskin Robins. Got the Cake Batter Ice Cream with M&M's mixed in Yummy. Bought some toys for my girlfriends daughter and then gambled in the Luxor, Excalibur, and NY NY and basically got slammed pretty good. Not much luck at all. Went back downtown and got ready for the show that night. Had Tom Jones tickets 6 rows back and great seats. Met up with my brother for the show. Tom still has it. Great voice. Would recommend seeing him if you get the chance. Drove my brother back to Castaways. Castaways rooms are ok kinda reminded me of a run down Las Vegas Hilton room so not that bad actually. Went back down town and gambled. Did the hit and run routine to slowly build up what I had got so violently taken away from me in the Luxor, Excalibur, and NY NY. Did god doubling my money and cashing out and finally on a Risque machine hitting for $150 dollars and ending up the night down but not out. Went to bed after Elvis at 2 20 dollar bills with his peanutbutter and bannana sandwiches. 8/15/03 Last day . Got up and ran the 4.5 mile track again from Fremont to Strat and back. Worked out in the spa and wanted to use another free buffet coupon Jewel helped me out with but could not with the line I would not have made my flight. So I opted to finish the trip as I started with a Straberry Tall Cake at Fitzgeralds. Excellent as usual but not as good as the first night. Went to the Harley shop downtown to get a shirt for a co worker of mine and then off to the airport. Dropped the car off at dollar and checked in a the airport. Plane was delayed two hours from Memphis so I gambled at the airport and actually won. Risque machine paid out some more to me. Got on the plane slept most of the way and returned home in Memphis at 11:00 P.M. on Friday. Went home and went to bed. Overall a great trip . Did a ton of stuff and gambled a ton also. Would have to say I gambled approximately $3000 with only $400. I was up and down alot but I would consider this a successful trip all around from shows, to deals, to spending some time with my brother it was a great trip. Next trip November 11-16 with the girlfriend. She has never been there so I will have to show her why I like Las Vegas so much. Sorry so long and thanks for reading.