Sorry it's taken me so long to get back online to send part 2. Glad you enjoyed part 1, Sonya! While still downtown Saturday night, we decided to walk to the El Cortez, about 2 blocks off the main downtown area. There's a Chicago newspaper columnist who raves about the place. We had visited there a couple years ago and were less than impressed, but they were renovating at the time and we thought it might be better this year. It was now dark outside, and about 100 feet past Las Vegas Blvd. we saw some unsavory characters hanging around and decided to save that casino for another time during daylight hours. (We never did end up going.) We lost a little money at the Las Vegas Club and Golden Gate. Then we took advantage of the deal where you cash your tax rebate check at the Plaza and get a $30 voucher toward dinner at the Center Stage Restaurant on the second floor overlooking the FSE. My husband had a large tasty steak and I had grilled salmon with dill (slightly bland but otherwise good) and our bill came to $7.50! What a lovely restaurant! We were so surprised since the casino there is such a dump. We caught a little of the so-bad-they're-good casino lounge act, the Sunspots, who we had seen on occasion before. We bought a neat souvenir for one of the kids at a Fremont Street kiosk where this guy writes/draws on a grain of rice, puts it in a small glass vial (you chose the shape), and puts the vial on a piece of jewelry like a necklace. We chose the light-up version. Really cool! We headed back to the Sahara , gambled more with no further luck, and went to bed. The next day was started with that delicious coffee from Jitters again. We had breakfast in the Sahara coffee shop, which was very good, with no problems with service, as we had seen in other trip reports. Then we walked over to the Stratosphere to check out their casino, which we had never visited. Aside from passing 2 sad ladies talking to themselves along the way, the walk was uneventful. I really liked their large casino, finding many older reel-type slots vs. the 45 coin video machines that I don't like as well. I didn't win anything but it took me a long time to lose $20-30. I joined the slot club before I started to play. They told me they would be sending me a voucher for my losses in my first 30 minutes of play plus 10% which I could redeem on my next visit, and that room offers would also be sent. Sure enough, about 2 weeks later, I received a voucher for $19 which I have until 11/6/02 to redeem. Also they sent an offer for a room at $15/night for 3 nights Sun-Thurs or $25/night for 2 nights Fri-Sat. I'm not sure we would stay there but the price is certainly right! The place is a little strange, but maybe I just feel that way after reading its history on the Las Vegas Strip History website (great site for those who haven't seen it). Oh, by the way, my husband did pretty well at their craps tables. We left there and walked back to the Sahara for the car. We drove out to Henderson to the Reserve. We had some friends who had done well there so we wanted to check it out. We ate at the buffet, which for $9.99 each was not bad at all, with the obligatory ethnic stations, but with EXCELLENT crab legs--yum! We gambled there a bit--not much luck except for a $30 nickel jackpot for me. I encountered my first multi-denominational slot of the reel type there. The machine was marked as a nickel machine but, when I put in my money, only got enough credits as though I put it in a quarter machine. Finally I figured out there was a button to press that changed it from quarter to nickel. I don't remember if it also went to $.50 or $1 since I wasn't interested in anything above $.25 anyway, but I thought it was cool. These were also coinless machines. The area around the Reserve isn't as pretty as the area to the northwest of Las Vegas in Summerlin--it's more industrial and barren dessert. After leaving there we headed back to the Strip and valet parked at the Flamingo. We just wandered that area of the Strip, visiting the Venetian, Mirage, Casino Royale just long enough for their free margarita, Barbary Coast, Bellagio fountains, etc. We got back in the car after a long wait at the valet--they were swamped--and drove up the Strip to the Sahara after dark, enjoying all the lights and wishing we had rented a convertible or at least had a sunroof! We gambled more at the Sahara, then walked across Sahara Ave. to the Holy Cow Brewery, and had a free beers thanks to the billhere coupons, and paid for appetizers and a salad. Upon returning to the Sahara, I continued to give them my money through the slots while my husband had a good run at the craps table. We found the number of cocktail waitresses in the casino adequate and the staff to be friendly, contrary to other trip reports we've seen. Our last day started with more Jitters coffee and breakfast at the coffee shop again. We gambled a little at the hotel and then had to head to the airport to return the car and catch our flight home. I didn't think the security at McCarran was as good as that at Midway in Chicago. Overall our trip was good, even though we didn't do as well with gambling as in other years. We would stay at the Sahara again. We found that the staff was friendly, especially one craps dealer neamed Marva, who teased us unmercifully that we "sucked" at craps during a bad streak when my husband was trying to teach me the game. Your expectations and attitude make all the difference in your experience. Don't expect the Bellagio at the Sahara prices.