Trip report I defy you to read this entire thing. Consider it a personal challenge from me. If you canâ€™t, skip to the summary at the bottom. But I warn you, youâ€™ll be missing a lot of good stuff. Oh, and I love my wife very much. I get some digs in her a couple times in this report, but we really had a wonderful trip and some good bonding time. All my teasing comments are just in fun. And she does have a name (Suzi). I just like referring to her as â€œwifeâ€ in my reports. READ ON!!!!!! Palms, July 19-21 ****First and foremost, I want to wholeheartedly apologize for missing the LVA meet (that I originally called for) on Wednesday morning at MSS. I was certainly looking forward to meeting you all, but circumstances that morning guided us in an entirely different direction. You can read about it later in the report. Anyhow, Iâ€™m sorry for being a flake and missing the meet. Trip report background: This was to be a pretty short trip, coinciding with our 8 year-old being off at a weeklong â€œoutdoor schoolâ€ camp. Our 1 year-old boy went out to his godparentâ€™s houseâ€”they have four daughters between ages 12 and 21, so we knew he would have a great time out there. Booked the flight on Alaska nonstop from Portland, for $212 (which is pretty decent price). Originally we were going to stay at MSS on an upfront comp, but about 1.5 months before the trip I received an MVP card from the Palms, and an offer to stay free for any two nights over the summer, plus $40 in free play. As much as we liked MSS, the opportunity to stay at the Palms (which we liked when we were there for the first time last October) was too good to pass up. We were going to be spending time at the Palms anyway to get my wife a massage and use the 3x points coupon and 50% POV coupon, so it was a no-brainer to switch the reservation. This was also the first time we were renting a car, which I did through Dollarâ€™s fastlane program, using the CTI code. Our trip last October was more of a frugal trip, signing up for slot clubs, collecting little gifts and souvenirs, using matchplays and coupons, etc. This trip was more about getting pampered and having some relaxing time to ourselves. So, here we goâ€¦â€¦.. After only getting about 4 hours of sleep on Sunday night (due to last minute packing and other odd jobs around the house), we got up about 6:30 to do last minute preparations. My parents were picking us up at 7:00am, to beat the morning traffic and get to the airport 2 hours before our flight. Literally 10 seconds before my parents showed up, the strap on my wifeâ€™s enormous purse just couldnâ€™t take it anymore and it snapped. Perhaps not a good omen, but weâ€™re not really superstitious people so at that point it was simply an annoyance. Got to the airport in plenty of time, and did curbside check in since we had printed out boarding passes on the computer at home the night before (500 bonus points for Alaska Air the first time you do that). Had plenty of time to spare, so we set off to find a new purse for my wife. Found one in the gift shop for a decent price, and itâ€™s about half the size of the old one. Spent a few minutes doing some housecleaning to see what she really NEEDED to have in her new purse, and we were on our way. Still had about 1.5 hours to spare so we found the Gustavâ€™s in the main concourse and sat down at the bar for a drink. As we sat down, Suzi noticed some bills under the stool. She reached down and picked it up, and found that it was two $20 bills, folded up! We check with the other patrons at the bar, and asked the bartender, and nobody wanted to claim it or knew who it belonged to. So we pocketed the money and ordered ourselves two double Tanqueray and Tonics. With no food in our bellies, it started to hit us pretty quicklyâ€”Suzi got about 1/2way through her first one and started to feel it. We ordered the Hunters Breakfast to split, and I made my way through another double G&T. We spent the $40 we had found, but we both had full bellies and were veryâ€¦â€¦â€happyâ€ as we boarded the plane. I swear that was the shortest flight to Vegas from PDX ever. Normally Iâ€™m completely sober, bored, and just itching to get there. This time with the alcohol on board the flight sped by. We got started on the Alaska mag crossword puzzle and next thing we knew we were starting our descent. Right on time, pulled into terminal about 12:05pm. Snagged the luggage and headed out to the Dollar shuttle in no time. We had signed up for the Fastlane program but this was our first time using it and the driver did not have our info. Not a huge deal, we just hit the Fastlane line at the office and were out to the lot in five minutes. We were told to go under the tent and wait, and someone would help us. Well, we saw right away that there were WAY too many people waiting, and seeming only one person taking care of all of us. Plus, we are very hungry and the heat is oppressive. Saw one of the attendants drive up in a newly washed and gassed PT cruiser, and asked if we could take that car. He said, sure so we jumped in and sped away as fast as we could, off to Green Valley Ranch for lunch buffet using POV coupon. Easy drive out there. GVR is a really nice property, wish we would have had more time to look around it other than just eating the buffet. With the coupon the total was about $10, and the meal was definitely worth more than that. We both loved the food, and the service was top notch. Never had to ask for a coke refill, and they use that wonderful â€œrabbit-foodâ€ chunked ice that you used to get at concession stands everywhere. Loved that. Hand-scooped ice cream was great, as was the Mongolian grill. The only food that we tried that neither of us liked was the BBQ pork. Way too fatty for our tastes. After that nice relaxing meal we went to sign up for the slot club, even though we werenâ€™t really going to play there. Turns out then were having a promotion where new sign-ups get a card worth between $5 and $500 of free play. Turns out ours were $5 each (thereâ€™s a shock). Nice thing was, I turned my $5 into $30 (via a 5oak on a deuces machine) and wife turned hers into $10. So not only did we get a great meal for cheap, we gambled for 10 minutes and left about $30 ahead. This is a place I would definitely return to. Clean, well-ventilated, and it seemed like they had a great selection of machines. Back in car to finally go check in at the Palms. Pull up the PT cruiser and have it valet parked, sent the bags with the bellhop. Parked in the front of the hotel were a yellow Lamborghini, a red Viper, and some other sports car that had an INCREDIBLE paint job on it (turns out it was the resident tattoo artists car and he had done the car painting himself. Wow.) We are definitely not at MSS. No line whatsoever at check-in, and we walked right up to Matt at the counter. Very fortuitous choice by us. He noticed from our idâ€™s that we were from Oregonâ€”turns out he used to live in Clackamas (which is literally a stoneâ€™s throw from our house), and graduated from Clackamas High School in 2000. Small world. As he was checking us in I casually dropped, â€œI donâ€™t suppose any of the junior suites are just sitting there waiting for us, are they?â€ He checked, and sure enough he found one on the smoking floor (room 10-102), directly over the pool and a view of the strip. Free upgrade, no problem. He said that if it was too smoky that they could either move us, or bring an ionizer up which he said would take care of the smell. We hoofed it up to the room, and we both pretty impressed. Loved the view, bed was incredible, the warm bathrobes arrived like two minutes after we set foot in the room, the bathroom was spacious, and everything was immaculate. Like the Neutrogena products in the bathroom instead of just the generic shampoos and conditioners. The smell was slightly noticeable, but certainly tolerable. The hallway didnâ€™t smell at all. We got changed, and headed downstairs to play just a few hands of VP and relax before we needed to head off for Casa di Amore for dinner. We each played $20 that my parents had given us, and we doubled their money (while racking up points for ourselves). When we finally took off for dinner (meeting Geri and KW from the LVA board), we had the staff put the ionizer in the room to help with the smell. Like I said, it wasnâ€™t a really bad smell but we figured since we were going to be gone for the evening anyway there was no reason not to have them do it. We were a bit early for dinner, so we stopped at a Wal-Mart to get a couple things. A good friend of mine is getting married in Vegas this Saturday, and they are having their rehearsal dinner at Casa di Amore. We wanted to leave a surprise gift with the wait staff so that my buddy and his fiancÃ©e would get it during dinner. I wonâ€™t tell the whole story, but we got them a nice card and some red and blue kids bath paints. I was also looking for some shoes (yes, I was looking for shoes). I wasnâ€™t happy with what Iâ€™d brought with me, particularly since Iâ€™d bought some fancy new duds for Vegas and my shoes still looked like crap. No luck at Wal-Mart (duh). Met Geri and KW at Casa and had a great meal and nice conversation. This is definitely an old-school vegas Italian restaurant. The walls are covered with great old pictures of Vegas, back in the Rat Pack/Dunes days. The owners are incredibly friendly, but you swear they are just a generation removed from the mobsters who filled their share of holes in the desert. Wife and I had Veal and Chicken Marsala, which was excellent. Service was slow, but by the time we were ready to go the place was packed. Live music was a young lady singing jazz standards and she was very good. I would definitely recommend this place for those looking for some good Italian food and atmosphere away from the strip. Following dinner we headed toward the Desert Passage shops at the Aladdin, to see about some shoes for me and some gifts for friends and family. I lucked out and got a nice pair of Italian shoes for $50, and we found some great little trinkets for those close to us. Man, we did not realize how huge the desert passage is. I swear we got lost several times and wondered if we would ever find out way out to the car or even the casino again. Feet definitely getting tired, but after we dropped our goodies off in the car we decided to head out to the strip to walk around the strip a bit. Grabbed a margarita (good, but probably not worth the $$), and walked and talked a bit. Ducked into MGM at one point because wife had never seen it. I told her basically there was nothing to see there but she didnâ€™t believe me. Itâ€™s just an enormous casino that you can get lost in if youâ€™re not careful. There was some chick band playing live music on one of the stages, and we were both amazed at how bad they were. My god there has to be some better talent in town than these people. It was too loud, and just not very good. Finally decided that we were both too pooped to continue so we made it back to the car and headed home. Walking the strip has totally lost its appeal to me. Itâ€™s dirty, crowded, and depressing. The hotels are nice, and I can see going down there if I have a specific goal in mind, but at this point to walk the strip â€œjust becauseâ€ is pointless. Weâ€™ve been there, done that too many times. Itâ€™s frustrating trying to push through all the gangbangers and tourists just to have a relaxing walk. And itâ€™s depressing watching 3 and 4 year olds sitting in their strollers wide awake at midnight, mom and dad sitting next to them having a beer. My God people, sometimes itâ€™s not just about YOU. Anywayâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ Made it back to the hotel a little after midnight and both headed right for bed. Thought briefly about staying down stairs to play, but I wanted to save most of my money for the next day when I was going to activate the 3x coupon and really rack up some points. I think I was asleep when we walked in the room, BEFORE my head actually hit the pillow TUESDAY We had left the curtains open in the room so we could enjoy the view of the strip as we lay in bed. That also meant that when the sun came up and hit the room at 6:00, I was up for all day. Once I get a whiff of the sun I canâ€™t go back to sleep. Wife is a different story, and I knew sheâ€™d be napping up there for probably another hour or two. I threw on some clothes and headed downstairs. Played .25 JoB for a little while, but was saving most of my bankroll for 7:00am. Why? Because thatâ€™s when the slot club opened and I could activate my 3x points POV coupon. At 7:01 I was taken care of and headed off to rack up some points. I put about $250 through a 5cent, 5 coin 100-play poker machine ($25 per hand). The same one I had played on the last trip that let me rack up so many points. I eventually lost the $250 but I played for quite a long time, helped out by a royal for 4000 coins. Really ran up my point total on this machine. After that, settled down for another hour at the Game King machines that are right between Little Buddha and Gardunos. These are my favorite machines in this joint. Played .25, .50 and $1 9/6 Job for about an hour. Made the money last quite a while, but I eventually dropped $100 there and headed back upstairs. It was about 8:30 now and the wife was up and ready to go get some grub. After some debating we decided to use the POV coupon for the House of Blues breakfast at Mandalay Bay. Easy drive over, and had to wait about five minutes for a table. I created my own omelet with shrimp, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Wife had the eggs benedict. Her eggs were outstandingâ€”both agreed that the sauce was incredible. My omelet was good, if not a bit dry. We each had a blackberry margarita. Two for one coupon took 9 bucks off the bill. I would certainly go back there to eat, but probably for lunch. Iâ€™m not much of a breakfast eater, and the menu was a bit limited. The food, service, and dÃ©cor were all good though. Bought some drumsticks and guitar picks on the way out (for the guys in our band), and made it back to the Palms by about 11:00 to head out to the pool for the first time. Slathered the lotion on my fish-belly white body, and found ourselves a couple nice lounge chairs. Palms pool is small, but nice. Perfect temp. Waitresses are pretty darn hot in their little outfits. I think Theresa is the best looking cocktail girl I have seen anywhere, and she was pleasant and attentive to boot. Having the shades was definitely a plus at this pool, so as to check out the scenery without the wife whacking you for staring. Sunned for only about 10 minutes and decided we needed a drink because it felt like it was already 100 out there. Decided to go up to the bar instead of waiting for Theresa to come back around. Pick up a G&T and a Malibu and coke. While I was gone the wife struck up a conversation with the gentleman sitting next to her. By the time I got back they were good friends. Turns out this guy was Zagnut from the LVA board. Small world, eh? Had some great conversation with him, and he was kind enough to share a fry or two with us. Had a couple more drinks which I charged to the room, but they were so spendy that itâ€™s hard to justify drinking out there when you could be getting free drinks inside, plus racking up 3x points. $8 for a large bottled water at poolside, by the way. Anyway, we were only able to hang out by the pool for about 1.5 hours. Itâ€™s just too dang hot out there, and it sucks the life out of you. Also, I had forgotten to sunblock the tops of my feet, something which would come back to haunt me later. Signed off on the drink bill, and headed back up to the room to shower. Here enters Bill Le, independent casino host with ValetNoir. I had gotten Billâ€™s e-mail address off of another Vegas message board, and for no charge he had put our names on the guest list for the Skinny Dip Tuesday and Ghostbar at the Palms. He wanted to get together with us and talk about our stay at the Palms, give us a business card, and generally just chat. No problem, the guy had always been very helpful in his e-mails and answered a lot of questions for me. We called him up and planned to meet him at the lounge bar at the Palms at 2:00. We got down about Â½ hour early, so we sat down at our favorite VP machines and started playing. Drinks were coming pretty good at this point in the day, so we had at least 3 in the time before we were supposed to meet Bill. Found him at the bar, and had a great conversation with him about some clubs, about Vegas entertainment in general, about Harrahs taking over Caesarâ€™s, about the horrible gambling at the Rio, etc. Nice guy, and seems like heâ€™s doing well for himself. Had a few more drinks while playing and talking to Bill at the bar, wife left at 2:30 to head up for her 3:00 spa appointment. Bill left at about 2:45, and at that point I was pretty drunk. I knew I had about 4 solid hours to play VP and rack up 3x points while wife was getting pampered, but I didnâ€™t really want to do it while I was drunk. One tends to make mistakes, as well as execute poor financial judgement in this state. So I sat down and played some quarter JoB, slowly, while drinking some water to sober me up. As I got better, I switched up to .50 poker, and then $1 Eventually I lost the $200 or so I was working on, and had to dip into the ATM for the first time. Up until now, we had been working off of the $500 or so in cash that was in our Vegas jarâ€”just extra money earned from selling the halibut, singing at a couple funerals, etc. So I took the $300 out of the ATM, and settled back in to play $1 Job. I tell you, I had an absolutely amazing run with the first $100 I put in. I must have played on that $100 for almost 2 hours (and I play VERY FAST), and twice I was bailed out on my last $5 with a 4oak. I think I got four 4oak during that run. At one point I was up to $400 but eventually cashed out for $200. But the key was that I got to play for a long time, and ran my point total up to where I had over 20,000 points (BEFORE they tripled them). Took the money and headed upstairs about 6:30 to find that the wife had just gotten there a couple minutes before. She said her spa experience was great, as usual. She loves Cara Addis, the massage therapist there. Cara remembered her from last time and they had a great conversation. My wife got the 80-minute deep tissue massage and the express facial. We used the 50% POV coupon, plus we got an additional 20% discount because of my MVP status. So the total was about $180 before tip. The only complaint was that the girl who did the facial didnâ€™t seem to have a lot to sayâ€”not much conversation during that time. I think my wife is just spoiled because her and Cara are practically soulmates. Wife also loves the Elixir drinks at the spa, and recommends them. We got dressed in our â€œstylish nightlife attireâ€ that is required for the Ghostbar, and headed down to Little Buddha for dinner. Wife is looking really hot, and Iâ€™m feeling pretty good about myself too. We donâ€™t get dressed up like this very often. Iâ€™d read a couple reviews of Little Buddha, so I pretty much knew what to expect. There wasnâ€™t much of a â€œsushiâ€ smell except for when we passed right by the bar. I had heard that the pork potstickers and the chicken spring rolls were both very good, and they were not disappointing. I love pot stickers anyway, but these were definitely top-notch. Wife ordered the fillet mignon, and I had the Mongolian Beef. Both were outstanding. Wife said it was the best fillet mignon sheâ€™s had, but then neither one of us are really discerning gourmets. Wife also loved the Espresso Martini. We finished it off with the Liquid Center chocolate cake, which was perfect. You have to get that if youâ€™re ever at Little Buddha. Seriously. Only complaints about the place were that the music was a bit too loud and the table are a bit close together. The service was great and the food was outstanding. Iâ€™m willing to overlook little things, and highly recommend this joint. Total bill was $111 with tip, which I charged to the room. At one point during dinner, my wife walked out to the front of the restaurant and saw the doorman for the Skinny Dip Party. She decided to check to make sure that our names were on the guest list as Bill Le said, and they werenâ€™t so my wife comes back all panicked. After dinner we go up to the room and leave a message for Bill, so he can get it sorted out. He says that our names are definitely on the list, we need to go back down and check with the doorman again, that if we checked with the guy too early then the list probably wasnâ€™t down yet. Thatâ€™s exactly what had happened. The party doesnâ€™t open until 9:00 and the list doesnâ€™t come down until just before that. When we checked with the doorman again he had our names, and we went right by the 50 security guards and walked right out to the pool party. So basically they change the whole pool area into a big nightclub on Tuesday evenings. In the middle of the pool they set up these platform showers, which have girls in hot pants under the dripping water doing some weird gyrating dances. This is not a bad thing. They also have girls in little cabanas dancing above the pool, with colored lights and a screen so all you can see is their reflection. Again, a nice touch. And, at one of the side pools are three girls in mermaid outfits who hang out and talk to each other about their lives while ignoring the actual guests. This didnâ€™t do much for me. Not many guests thereâ€”seemed like most of the people were just like us, hotel guests wanting to check out the scene before all the raging 22 year-olds showed up and took over the joint. Got a tanqueray and tonic for me and the wife (2 drinks, $17 before tip???). The techno/hip-hop music was loud, but not obnoxiously so. I think I dug it more than the wife did. We hung out for about 45 here and watched this middle-aged couple total embarrass themselves by doing the drunk hippie dance when nobody else was dancing. They were off in their own little world, which is probably a good thing. Iâ€™m all for people having their own fun, but this was just a bit over the top. My apologies if they were any of you LVAâ€™ ers. Gave up on the Pool Party after about 45 min, and headed up for the Ghostbar. Walked right in and headed up the light-speed elevator to the top floor. Lounge is small, and with not too many tables (all of which looked to be reserved). Again, it wasnâ€™t crowded and mostly looked like they were hotel guests just checking the place out. The view is VERY COOL, and is a must see. Itâ€™s better than the Voodoo Lounge in my opinion. Thereâ€™s a section of the floor which is cut out and the inserted plexiglass there, so that you can actually look down 55 stories to the parking lot. This is a bit disconcerting, and I imagine that more than one person has lost their dinner staring down that far after a few drinks. Itâ€™s obvious that both these clubs are really hopping places by about 1:00am, but weâ€™re not going to be hanging out that long. Said goodbye to the Ghostbar after about 10 minutes, as neither of us felt like paying through our ass for drinks there. Definitely a cool view, and would recommend that you go check it out if at all possible. For some reason, we decided to walk over to the Gold Coast and then the Rio. Problem was, both of our feet were hurting (mine sunburned on the top) and since we were dressed up we werenâ€™t exactly wearing the best walking shoes. Gold Coast didnâ€™t seem to have much to recommend it, but to be fair we didnâ€™t look around very much. It did seem to be clean and didnâ€™t smell bad. To take a load off our feet we decided to sit and play $5 Pai Gow for a few minutes. Bad idea. Lost $60 pretty quickly, and decided to get out of there. Went through the parking garage to the Rio. Looks like they have been doing/are doing some renovation to this place. It still looks nice and is probably a nice place to stay, but if the gaming sucks that bad I have no desire to hang out there. We were just hoping to pick up some beads or a book of matches or something. I think we might go back sometime to hit the Wine Cellar, and the waitress outfits at the Tilted Kilt looked good enough to warrant a future visit, but we were pooped and we left again after only a few minutes. Encountered many cockroaches on the long walk back, and we were both getting tired and grumpy. It was definitely a long day of eating, drinking, gambling, and sunning, and weâ€™d made the most of it. Back to the room at midnight. Music from the pool party (which we could see was VERY FULL now), was loud, and if we had been light sleepers and not so exhausted we would have had a problem. As it was, we fell asleep pretty quickly. WEDNESDAY Up the next morning at about 8:15, threw on some clothes and headed down to the casino to sit at the bar and have a couple morning drinks and play some VP before we were supposed to be at MSS for the LVA meet. No problem, right. Well, we hadnâ€™t eaten anything, and we got into a great conversation with a really wonderful bartender named Fabian. Great guy, who has a couple kids of his own, about the ages of ours. We talked to him about all kinds of stuff. FYI for a little reference, he makes 100k a year as a bartender at the Palms. Itâ€™s Vegas baby. Anyway, he kept putting the drinks in front of us (without even asking). I must have had 5 strong G&Tâ€™s. Wife had a wet pussy (the drink! I canâ€™t remember whatâ€™s in it), and a couple other things. We had still had NO FOOD. Between the drinking, the VP and the conversation, we lost track of time and didnâ€™t even catch ourselves until it was 10:15. And at that point, neither of us were REMOTELY in the condition to be able to drive. So thatâ€™s how we missed the LVA meet. Not a good excuse, I know, but thatâ€™s all weâ€™ve got. Hope you guys will forgive us. Wife is absolutely PLASTERED at this point, and we head up to the room to get our suits on and try to go burn it off by the pool. For some reason, wife orders a couple MORE drinks out by the pool. Theresa is serving us again (mmmmmâ€¦.Theresa). Pool is great again, but our worlds are spinning, itâ€™s now about noon and we STILL havenâ€™t eaten anything! Charge the drinks to the room and head back up, both drunk. We had already asked for a late checkout (1:00pm), but itâ€™s already 12:30 and we have done NO packing yet. Wife plops on the bed and lays there moaning while I dart around the room throwing things in suitcases as quickly as possible. I somehow get it all done and call the bellhop to come get the bags and bring them down. I thought briefly about asking if he could throw the wife on the cart and bring her down as well, but I didnâ€™t want to tip him that much. While this was going on I went downstairs to VIP services to have my play reviewed. Walked back to the swanky little office and met this sort of snotty gentleman who made a phone call, and eventually decided to comp all of our food and beverage bills. That took care of the $100 at Little Buddha and the $50 we probably spent out at the pool. I was a bit surprised that they took care of Little Buddha, but I wasn't going to complain. Of all the service staff we encountered at the Palms, this VIP guy was the only one who had an attitude. Of course, my view may have been a bit distorted since I was still pretty buzzed at this point. I found out from the slot club that, after tripling my points from Tuesday, I had accumulated over 63,000 points in the time that we were there. I decided not to use any of the points to pay for the spaâ€”I figured weâ€™ll drop by there in October and I can use them up then. So now we are all checked out. Went back up stairs to retrieve the wife (who is now upright, and apologizing profusely for not helping me pack). Itâ€™s now about 1:15 and we STILL have not eaten anything. Iâ€™m pretty sober at this point, and I decided to take us over to the Orleans and Don Miguels. We were going to go to the Orleans for either Mexican or the buffet, but in this case I figured nothing will kill a buzz like a disgusting amount of chips, salsa, bean dip, and guacamole. Finally, itâ€™s 1:30 and we are sitting down for our first bits of food. I donâ€™t think that first basket of chips lasted more than five minutes. We ordered the fajitas using the 2 for 1 in the ACG. I thought they were outstanding! I order fajitas quite a bit and these were very good. Just the right amount too. Service was poor, but it seemed like the waitresses were pretty overworked. Overall a good lunch experience, and the value was great with the coupon. Signed up for the slot club to get some beads to bring home to the kids and a funbook to use on our upcomgin October trip. Walked around for a while, and eventually settled down to play some $5 blackjack. They had two $3 table but those were both packed. We just wanted to sit and relax and have a diet coke. The dealers were great, and the tables were a lot of fun. Pretty impressed with the casino, and definitely will make this a gambling stop on a return trip. Wish weâ€™d had more time (and money) to spend there. Itâ€™s getting close to six now, weâ€™d been at the Orleans for about 4 hours. We need to go back to Casa di Amore to drop off the gift we are leaving for my buddyâ€™s rehearsal dinner. Get that done, and believe it or not wife says sheâ€™s hungry again. Hey, weâ€™re not far from Ellis Island! Went there and got two new players cards (we hadnâ€™t brought them with us this trip since it wasnâ€™t on our agenda). When we signed up last time we each got 5000 in slot points (new members). We used the 2 for 1 from the POV (each had ribs at 5.95), and paid with our points. Total meal cost, $0. Well, we left a tip of course. The meat on the ribs was good, but I would have liked more sauce. I like my ribs slathered in sauce. Thatâ€™s really it for the trip. Dropped the car off at Dollar and made it to the airport with about 3 hours to spare. Flight home was uneventful, arrived at midnight at PDX. SUMMARY: Hotel: We had two nights comped up front from a marketing offer, plus $40 in free play. Upgraded to a jr. suite just for asking. I would definitely stay here again. All staff were courteous and attentive. Everything is clean, room was wonderful. Bathrobes when we arrived and newspapers on the doors is a nice touch. Noise from Tuesday night pool party could bother some people. I love the casino simply because it has all the games I want, and itâ€™s small enough to actually find your way around. Drink service was spotty, but thatâ€™s not a big deal for me. Interesting mix of peopleâ€”old folks playing slots and beautiful people trying to impress each other. GAMBLING: Unlike most of you, I donâ€™t keep track of EXACTLY how much I win or lose gambling. If I had to guess, Iâ€™d say I finished the trip down $750. But I racked up a buttload of pointsâ€”almost 63,000â€”and when you figure in the room comp and the food comps, it was a great trip. I am SOOOO overdue for a royal though. Starting to get frustrating. Especially when Zagnut mentioned that, â€œoh yeah, on my last trip I hit four royalsâ€. Iâ€™m happy for you man, but spread the wealth a little. ? I mostly played .25, .50, and $1 JoB VP, with a couple hundred going into a 100-play machine, and some occasional $20â€™s going into the 8/5 BP at the bars while we were drinking. FOOD: --Little Buddha. Definitely would return. $100 for the two of us, but the hotel comped it on our departure. --GVR. Definitely would return, would love to have dinner there --Casa di Amore: Good food and great atmosphere and nice entertainment. --House of Blues Breakfast. Could use more selection, but the overall experience was great and the eggs benedict were outstanding. --Don Miguelâ€™s. Service was slow, but we loved the bean dip and guac that comes right when you sit down. Fajitas were very good. --Ellis Island. Ribs were pretty good, needed more sauce. Staff is overworked, so service is slow. Probably should have gotten the steak at the restaurant instead. DRIVING: This was the first time weâ€™d rented a car. I was originally worried about driving in Vegas but it wasnâ€™t really a problem. We shared driving duties. Avoiding the strip after about 4:00pm is a good idea, and we only got caught there once late at night. Wouldnâ€™t buy myself a PT cruiser, but it was a nice car to have down there. Used the CTI code through Dollar and got $15 off per day, for a three day total of $53. PROPS: -To Bill Le, for putting us on the guest list for the clubs at no charge, and for following up promptly on our â€œproblemâ€. You want to know anything about Vegas clubs, or need to get in somewhere, Iâ€™ll give you his e-mail and heâ€™ll take good care of you. -To Matt at the front desk for being from our neck of the woods and for upgrading us to the jr. suite for nothing. -to Cara who gave my wife a great deep tissue massage to go with some great conversation TIP of the DAY: When you order a drink, order a bottled water along with it. They generally wonâ€™t let you order two alcoholic drinks at once, but you can get a G&T and a bottled water at the same time. You only tip once, and you take the water up to the room with you. The bottled water in the rooms was $4 per bottle and at the pool bar they were $8 a piece. Iâ€™ll take the free ones from downstairs please. THINGS THAT SUCKED: The chick band at MGM. 108 degree heat. Cockroaches. Never getting a royal. People having their babies out on the strip at midnight. Having to pack by myself because my wife is drunk and moaning on the bed. Burning the tops of my feet out at the pool. Thatâ€™s it guys. If you made it this far, God bless you. If you have any specific questions you can send me a personal message or e-mail.