thanks to all members of this message board. even though this was the second trip of at least 3 this year, and i have been to las vegas more than 20 trips, i always have new questions before each trip, and the answers i got to those questions helped make this trip one of the great ones, though a little short. we left on an allegiant flight 8 pm our time on friday night, and made the 2 hour direct flight. this was our first time not doing the drop into salt lake, the sprint to change planes, and then the next leg. it was great to fly direct, and we will try allegiant again when it fits our travel dates, since we only have two flights a week from them out of our airport. we got to move our clocks back an hour, and after a pretty long taxi line on a friday night, and the haul from the airport to downtown, we got to the golden nugget just before 11 friday night. quick checkin, made the walk to south tower, ninth floor. threw the bags in the room, and was pretty sure that if we did the lv terry pit stop in the room we would not make it back out of the room til morning, so postponed and headed back downstairs. the nice thing about the 9th floor is that there is a bank of elevators for the 9th and higher floors, so when we got on that bank, it is straight to casino level without ever stopping at in between floors. made our way to the grotto restaurant, and thanks to the advice of hoyaheel, ate from the bar menu. sitting in the bar, right alongside a large aisle leading from the golddiggers nightclub that merges with the wide hallway going toward the pool and then the south tower, just like times square. sit there long enough, probably would see everyone in the world pass by! people watching was great, my wifes description for the pretty gigglers passing by on the way to the nightclub...trashy barbies. entirely appropriate. then there was grandma walker, with her walker. and lots of mommies. lots and lots, of every classification, you know what i mean, dont pretend you dont. grotto was not inexpensive, a couple pints of microbrew for me, a kahlua and cream for the bride, then an order of calamari, a split spinach salad, and a very good thin crust, oval shaped wood fired pizza, with a good tip for the british lady who was our server, came to about 75 dollars. at that point, just glad to be able to sit down, eat and drink and people watch. played a little after supper, found my favorite big split poker machine, two of them in the whole casino. never have seen them anywhere else but the golden nugget, til i saw one in the el cortez on sunday, more about that later. cashed out a little ahead on the big split, and headed on up to the room, it was about a 19 hour day by that point, and we had a trade show to get to the next morning, so called it a night. more later.