First off I would like to thank this site for being such a great place for information and friendly comaraderie. I just read jimbo's diatribe regarding follow through and the ensuing thread. It prompted me to write this trip report about our trip this march 14 to 17. My wife and I recently vacationed with another couple. We stayed at the Excalibur because it was the best deal we could get on the strip. We paid $45 for Thursday night and $65 for Friday and Saturday. This was the first weekend of the NCAA tournament so we were pretty pleased. My wife and I are non smokers, while our friends are in heaven in Vegas partially because they are smokers. We dropped our kids off at school in the a.m. and left for SJO. We flew Southwest and arrived on time. The cab line was long already at 11:00. We arrived at the hotel at about noon. Check in line was about a half hour. We got a bunch of freebies. We used the free drinks, krispy kreme and match play coupons. It got to be a joke, we lost every hand that we used a coupon for. The room was better than expected. It had a great view of NYNY and the strip. The wife was favorably impressed because she had read the description of the hotel on cheapovegas. We had lunch at the brew pub at the Monte Carlo. If you purchased the souvenir glass all refills were $2. This was my first souvenir. It got alot of use. Lunch was good. There are 35-40 televisions so we could watch the games. We walked the strip until it was time to meet up with our friends. We met up with our friends at check in. We had checked them in already to avoid time in another line. After they got situated, they joined us in our (non smoking) room for some margaritas. I took alot of grief for packing hornitos tequila, cointreau and grand marnier, but they were all very grateful when I mixed them up. From there it was dinner at the brew pub at the MC. After dinner it was, finally, time for gaming. We hit the craps tables at the Ex hard. Surprisingly we did very well. We left the $5 table up over a hundred. Then we sat down to play some $5 black jack. Collectively we left that up over $100 and with a very happy buzz. One note, we had spent time in another line to get a "one card." They will not "rate" a five dollar black jack player. We got up the next morning and I met our friends down at the sports book. I let my spouse sleep in. My buddy and I made our bets for the day at the sports book and then we went to the krispy kreme shop. We took the donuts and coffee back upstairs to get my wife. Thereafter we wandered the strip. We walked most of the casinos on the left hand side of the strip, nyny, monte carlo, etc. until we got to Ceasar's. We wandered around for awhile. I wanted to play the nickel video poker in the area between the forum shops and the main casino. With all the construction, these were more difficult to find than originally planned, but I had done well last time and insisted on finding them. We did. About 20 minutes and $4 or $5 into it I was dealt four legs to a royal. I threw out the nine, even though it meant breaking up the straight. Drum roll please.... Yes! I got the correct ace for my first royal. In hindsight all of the yelling and screaming may have been overkill for a $200 win, but it sure was fun. After the "hand pay" we headed over to the Venetian. I made up for dragging our group all over Ceasar's by buying lunch at La Canonita. Lunch was very good and regionally (the Yucatan)authentic. We walked back on the Venetian side of the street. We stopped at the Barbary Coast for some more craps. My wife got her game face on and rolled for about 45 minutes. After a couple of hours we left, up about $200. We went back to the Excalibur to check on our games. Very modest wins. We had bought tickets to the Blue Man Group show that night so off we went. The show was very good in a very off beat sort of way. We had dinner at the Luxor coffee shop. Very pleasant experience. We took the tram back to the Ex because it was so cold and windy. We hit the $5 blackjack tables for a little more action and ended the session even, or up the beers we had consumed. Saturday morning was a repeat of the sports book and krispy kremes. Our friends vetoed any plan that involved significant walking, so we went to NYNY and participated in a free slot tournament. I have to admit, it was actually pretty fun. My friend actually broke a sweat pressing the play button over and over. The distaff side of our foursome won their respective heats. We got free t-shirts but failed to qualify for the final round. We went to the MGM Grand. It greatly surpassed my expectations. The initial impression after coming in from the nyny walkway was amazing. You get a great overview of the whole casino. We enjoyed the lion habitat. The lionesses were pretty active. We really enjoyed the stage bar. It had 3 big screen tv's which were showing the games and a cool old school bartender. He recommended hurricanes for the ladies and iced teas for the guys. We played video black jack and had 3-5 of these drinks. I can't really remember the number. I remember thinking my buddy and I were getting a little obnoxious with one of the more attractive of the waitresses. When we looked at our wives, expecting to catch a little hell, we noticed that they were getting obnoxious with some beefcake on the other end of the bar. It was obviously time to go. The Stanford game was supposed to start at 5:00. We all took a little bit longer "nap" than we intended, but not long enough to shake off the effects of the hurricanes and iced teas. Stanford got killed. This was the beginning of the end of our hot streak. We took our evening meal at the MC brew pub, those $2 refills are hard to beat. The High Roller reds and las vegas lites were the best beers we drank all trip. We gamed together at the Ex after dinner. Our friend has extremely "High Entertainment Value" and was in fine form. We won a little at the craps table. My wife and I generally play the pass line and two come numbers with odds. We only play one at a time because we would be making the same bets anyways and because the one that is not "playing" can help the other one keep track of bets when things start getting too fast. I failed my wife by not reminding her to make a second come bet. Because of the sequence of the following numbers rolled she figured I cost us over $45. She had a very difficult time letting this go. We then played blackjack. We lost $160 between us but stayed at a $5 table until 3 a.m. We would have left earlier, but it's so hard to find a low limit table that we just stayed and stayed even after our luck had left. The next morning our friends left early for the airport. That left us to do our favorite thing, walk up and down the strip! We walked all the way to Circus Circus. The Bellagio fountains were being worked on and tested. This was very enjoyable. We were very sick and tired of all the smoke, so the fresh was good for us. We used the restrooms at the New Frontier.... Scary! The description at the cheapovegas site fails to do it justice. I had a 99 cent margarita from the Ho. I think I shoul have tipped the bartender before she made the drink, no tequila. We signed up for the Venetian slot club and received $10 in play. That was fun. Had a beer too. We had a late lunch at the Paris. We cannot recommend the outdoor restaurant more highly. Great people watching. The Bellagio fountains are right across the street and the food was both excellent and fairly priced. The wife said that this might have been the highlight of her trip. From there we picked up our luggage from the Ex and took a cab to the airport. We can't wait to get back.