Well after bugging all of you for information about my upcoming trip I thought it only fair to post a little trip report; hopefully I'll manage to provide useful information to at least one person. Thursday, April 3 When I woke up that morning it was in the low 30's and the idiot weather person was once again talking about a "little snowfall"--all the words I needed to hear to convince me that this trip was the right decision, circumstances (Continuing Legal ed conference eating up some of time) and flight schedules notwithstanding. Puttered around the house (after giving solemn vow to wife and legal assistant not to try to cram in more work for legal assistant to do prior to catching plane. Took off out of a frigid Des Moines on time at 11:55 am. Flight was DSM to DFW to LV. We had 3 hour layover in Dallas which with two delays stretched out to about 4 hours; after complaining about having to rush from one gate to another to catch a connecting flight I've decided I'd rather run from one gate to another than be forced to hang out at an airport for 3+ hours. The only thing that made the waiting interesting was watching two harried gate attendants try to quell an angry crowd of about 150 people whose flight (which was supposed to go out of the same gate my wife and I were waiting at) was canceled at the last minute for reasons I don't think any of those people fully understood. Our plane finally left approx 1 hour behind schedule, we finally landed in LV at 6 PM local time, some 10 hours a after we arrived at the airport in Des Moines. After getting our luggage in record time (less than 5 minutes waiting at baggage claim) we took a town car to the hotel--this was supposed to be a splurge trip after all. THE PALAZZO Wow, this is one nice place. The public areas were gorgeous in a more understated way than her sister property, the Venetian. Tried the $20 trick on check in but failed--in fairness to the clerk, who was very funny, I think I inadvertently put him in a position where he could not upgrade me. I reserved a luxury suite with view (second rung on the ladder), which he explained is generally what the $20 trick will get someone (ie: non-view to view). Oh well, it was good for a laugh, he assured me that the trick generally will get you a bump to a suite with a view. The room itself was spectacular. We looked across to the Treasure Island and the new Trump hotel with a view of the pools far below. The room, while not a true suite, was very large--as you walk in you'll walk past the bathroom and into the bedroom area. There a 32" HD flat screen mounted above the dresser--there was also a large closet along with a settee, small chair and two nightstands. There was plenty of room to maneuver around. Two steps down are your in the sunken living area which has a large "L" shaped couch, a small table with two chairs and a writing desk with printer/scanner /fax and dataport provided. There is a mini-safe in the cabinet under the second 32" HD flat screen as well as the standard overpriced mini-bar. A large coffee table fills out this part of the room. The room had floor to ceiling windows with power drapes and roman blinds. Also gave you nice robes and slippers The bathroom was an all marble affair with a double vanity, separate shower/tub, the stool in a separate room, and yes, a third HD flat screen strategically mounted in the corner of the room. There was also a small dressing table for the ladies. In short, one of the nicer rooms I've stayed in anywhere. My love affair with the Palazzo continued in the casino. I don't like dark, smokey casinos--the Palazzo has high ceilings, a lot of light, and very little smoke. At first I was a little disappointed at the table minimums (generally $15 for BJ, although a stray $10 could normally be found and $10 for craps) however, I realized after walking through a few other places that these limits are on par for similar properties (ie: MGM, Mirage, Paris) and not much more than some (i.e.: Excalibur had nothing less than $10 for BJ) After checking in with the failed $20 trick and being blown away by the room, we had dinner at Dos Caminos. I would highly recommend this place--the atmosphere was nice, the service was quite good, and the food was outstanding--both in flavor and presentation. Dinner for two with drinks, an appetizer and tip for less than $75. By this point we've been up about 20 hours and decide to call it a night. Friday Up fairly early and hit a little coffee shop called illyespressmere for cappuccino and a chocolate croissant (wife) and bagel (me). Decided to walk down the Strip to Bellagio to see the post modern american art exhibit prior to my going over to the Westin to register for my CLE. This was bad on three counts: 1) my wife and I suddenly realized we had broken the cardinal rule for any Vegas trip "wear comfortable shoes"; so egregious was this mistake that we enriched the local economy by making a quick trip to Niketown (unfortunately my wife already had blister by the time she had more suitable footwear); 2) the walk between the Venetain and Bally's is a royal pain (note to smokers who like to talk with hands while smoking in this area--please don't, I like my shirt and am adverse to burns); and 3) you had to pay to get in--the last time I was there it was free, guess I should have checked first, thankfully the Conservatory was still free (Although for the crowds I'd probably have popped for $5 or so) Got a cab- dropped off at the Westin for CLE, wife back to the Palazzo. Legal tip: according to studies if you surf adult porn sites you have a 50% chance of being solicited (or be given a pop up window) to visit a site with illegal kiddie porn; that number almost doubles if your security software is not up to date. Now I know no one who reads this Board would engage in such prurient activity--but tell others who may be at greater risk. Also understand that receiving unsolicited kiddie porn by way of a pop up or e-mail (which probably ends up in your Windows temporary internet file) does not constitute downloading, which is good b/c if you do download (which is an intentional act) you can go to prison for a long time. Legal seminar over for day, gee maybe I'll do some gambling. Play craps, two hot rolls, but three bad ones you figure that one. Same for BJ at Palazzo and Paris. Dinner at Paris at Mon Am Gabi--this place is awesome--the food in my opinion is fairly close to what you get upstairs (at the Eiffel Tower restaurant) and comes at a quarter of the price. ($120 for two with appetizer, wine, and tip). Went to the Anthony Cool's experience--this is one very funny show, but have Grandma go see something else. Any straight male with a pulse will enjoy the pre-show as much as the actual show. Finished the night with a run at the Poker room at the Venetian, which is one awesome room. Memo to nasally voiced single 23 year old guys who are college drop outs with no kids playing poker: don't try to convince two married with kids engineers in their forties and a married with kids lawyer in his forties what a great guy you are by bragging about how you like to hit on married women in front of their kids and how you can't be expected to know the Red Sox won the world series the prior fall because your part of the "new generation" and you just don't have that long of attention span. All it will do is engender an animated discussion between the engineers and the lawyer as to possible scenarios wherein you have the crap beaten out of you and no one gets caught. Saturday Up way too early after staying up way late for more legal cramming in the morning and early part of the afternoon; wife seeing how many bubble baths one can take with being officially declared a prune. Tried playing poker at three different poker rooms but unfortunately was told would be first on wait list at each place. Manager at Planet Hollywood told me that he thought I'd be playing in less than 5 minutes because he'd open a new table if just a few more guys signed up--ya right, politely told him to take name off list (still only one on it) 15 minutes later :Ãž Back to the Palazzo for a late lunch at Grand Lux Cafe and a quick run to the Sportsbook to make bets on NCAA games another $20 down the ole Shi---. Had a late dinner at the Grand Lux, which was very good in a Cheesecake Factory sort of way (ie: huge portions of good to very good, but not great, food). Back to the Poker room where I fnally won some money--a three hour nap and its time to go to the airport. Sunday Saturday ends at about 1 and Sunday starts at about 4--off to the airport for two bearable plane rides back to Iowa. THE END A while back someone asked why people like to go to Vegas, for me it's simple: it's a place to relax, to eat really good food, stay in a nice place, see shows that will never come to Des Moines, just leave your cares behind, if only for a little while.