WOW...I'm still tired, this tourist stuff is rough. This was a totally different kind of trip for me. It was a THANK YOU gift for my Brother and his wife who had to deal with 2 1/2 years of EL TORO CRAPO from a Washington State EL TORO CRAPO bank that had my Mom's house, personal effects, car...you name it, under their control until we met the terms of her Will. It's over now, WE WON. Jeff and DeAnna hadn't been to Vegas in yeeears. The big, green MGM was the new kid on the block last time they were in town and wanted me to set the week up for them. It was quite fun actually...I had to put to the test everything I preach...organize and plan out our days... leaving enough room for spur of the molment things...stick to our budget and bankroll...be on time...get all our show tickets in advance and...HAVE A BLAST! I split the STRIP into 2 sections for sightseeing, one day each. First day...Mandalay Bay to BELLAGIO, Second day...VENETIAN to the Stratosphere , catching other properties while visiting for Shows. TAXI UPDATE: In re. to the monthly Surcharge evaluation...I didn't notice much change. (this month) the Meter starts at $3.50. My average fare from RIO to anywhere on the STRIP was $9.00 each way. I tip $3.00 on top of each fare, so my average ride each way was about twelve bucks. RIP-OFF-TIP: Make sure your driver always re-sets the Meter. We were going from RIO to BELLAGIO. Our driver had not re-set the Meter...it read $6.25. He 'blabed' something about starting the Meter from where it was..."it's a short ride"...meaning the total would come out the same when we got to BELLAGIO. We were talking...(not thinking) I said "sure" and off we went. Hop-Skip-andajump we were on top of the Flamingo/I-15 overpass...Meter read $7.75...arrived at BELLAGIO and the Meter was at $13.00...Oops, my fault. I gave him the $13.00 NO TIP and that won't happen again. Drivers pay (out of THEIR pocket) the re-set fee of $3.50 to the cab company. By not re-setting the Meter when he picked us up he saved himself $3.50 and ran the fare up more than it should have been, pocketing more money for himself. ALWAYS RE-SET THE METER...live and learn. SUN: I got in first. I was at the RIO by 8:30AM and set up my room requests. Two rooms, Ipanima Tower, one smoking, one non...both upper floors with pool/STRIP views. Their room was ready and I dropped my bag off. It was one of the newly remodeled Diamond Suites...sweet! It was an end room, close to Masquerade Tower side, with a great view of the pools below and the STRIP all out in front. My favorite room was ocupied but the guests were checking out that morning so I waited...and waited...and WAITED. By 1:00 they still hadn't shown so we had the Housekeeping Supervisor check the room. They had used the Express CheckOut and were gone but... there was a problem. Actually my registration friend called it a 'situation', and the room might not be available at all! Seems they had a little party and had totally trashed the place. I told them I'd wait and please get it ready...they did and I was in at 3:45. 'J' and 'D' arrived at 4:30. They got their bags up and we were off. We ate at RIO's BOMBALEO, then to the MIRAGE where we took the 'tram' to 't.i.' and MYSTERE. The tram works great for in 'n out and avoids all the traffic after the show at 't.i.' for cabs and valet. MYSTERE... to SIRENS, the VOLCANO, then back to RIO...enough for the first day...it was Midnight. MON: After a quick breakfast in the Cafe, we were out the door and at BELLAGIO by 9. FOUNTAINS were down due to wind...the CONSERVATORY OF FLOWERS was wonderful as usual, they went through the FINE ARTS GALLERY, I went through Gilatto out side (is that the way you spell it ?) in any event, I didn't care for 'Landscaped'. Next stop MON AMI GABI in PARIS. We had lunch on the terrace, then toured the hotel/casino. No, I didn't get them tickets for WWRY. They weren't even sure who QUEEN was...(I need new relitives) We cabbed to MANDALAY BAY, took in the sights, checked out THEhotel's Lobby, walked the Shopping Bridge and into the LUXOR. Snapped lots of pics, looked all around, and caught a cab to MGM. Lobby, casino, Lion Habitat, up the escalator...over the sky bridge to NYNY. Too windy for the MANHATTAN EXPRESS but walked all around the casino and got back to the RIO for the 4:00 SEAFOOD BUFFET. We went to the SCINTAS Show at 7:30, then up to VOODOO LOUNGE for drinks and the view from the terrace, then off to the 10:30 LA FEMME Show at MGM. TUE: We started at the FASHION SHOW MALL, then toured the VENETIAN and cabbed to the STRATOSPHERE for a 1:30 lunch reservation at TOP OF THE WORLD. We wouldn't have time for dinner, so chose the $30.00 three course lunch special which was a better deal than ordering alacart. A short rest back at the RIO and it was time to head for the COLOSSEUM... ...ELTON WAS WAITING. Rear Orchestra seats/center...F#$%@#$ AMAZING, it's such a cool Show! Up to the top of the EIFEL TOWER, then across to BELLAGIO for late night Spagheti. WED: A few of my local friends joined us at the RIO and we did the Breakfast Buffet. We found a nice secluded corner and ate and talked for 3 hours... interupted only by the damn BEVERTAINERS who's stand was just outside the buffet next to us. In a thank you email I sent MARILYN WINN the other day, I expresed my wish (again) that the BEVERTAINERS contract NOT be renewed. BRING BACK THE IPANIMA COCKTAIL SERVERS !!! We walked to the GOLD COAST, across to PALMS and played a bit, took a nap, then changed cloths and headed to the Mirage for DANNY GANS. I usually hit the HARD ROCK on my last night, so after Danny we cabbed to the ROCK. I had (the always questionable) LVA-not on the menu STEAK and SHRIMP. It's always interesting to see just how much of the Steak you can actually cut with a knife and chew...LOL...but hey!, it's tradition. Back to VOODOO LOUNGE and last night pictures, got my SOUTHWEST 'A' Boarding Pass printed from the Registration counter, and hit the sack. THURS: Left the RIO at 12:00, flight at 2:30, home by 4:30, thought about the fantastic trip for a second, then Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The upcoming December trip is going to be so slooow, peeeaceful, niiice. I'm getting too old for this kindashit...it WAS a BLAST though!