PARDON THE BAG OF WIND I'M ABOUT TO SPOUT, AND FORGIVE THE TYPOS, I'M LAZY ABOUT SPELLCHECK. Trip: 4/23 - 4/29 (yes seven days in Vegas, probably a record for most) Purpose: Three day conference followed by yearly mancation with two other guys I've been going there with the last three years. Demographics: Male, age 36, married with three kids. Thenafter two friends, both male, married with children, early 40's flew in for a long weekend starting on 4/26. Hotel: Paris Las Vegas No good hotel deals that week as there were big conventions in town drove prices up near rack rates. I had never stayed there before. Overall, out of 5 stars, I would give it 3 1/2. I had a 15th floor room facing the Bellagio which was very cool. Bathroom had a nice shower and bath. Toiletries were satisfactory, not great. Bed was comfortable. After a while the French accents throughout the hotel got tiring. From Le Car to Le Toilets, the novelty wore off quite fast. I played a ton of blackjack and craps, which with the right crowds was fun, though the casino didn't have the best vibe I've ever been in. The service help was OK, though I couldn't help but notice there weren't many people around if you just needed to stop and ask a question. The sports book was disappointing, though they were happy to take my money on hockey games. Monday, 4/23: Arrived on a one-stop flight at about 2:30 pm from Newark. Picked up my room key at the airport, which was easy and quick. Drove off in a rental car from a new central car rental building off airport. This thing is a monstrosity, housing all rental companies and their cars. Arrived to a big Parisian hello and wandered around for awhile settling at a craps table for an hour. Dined at Mon Ami Gabi at the hotel after seeing Jubillee at Bally's. Good show lots of feathers and a great view in the front row, wink, wink, if you know what I mean. Food was really good and the terrace view of the Bellagio fountains was awesome. After a few more hours of Blackjack, called it a night at 2 am. Tuesdsay, 4/24: Conference at the Venetian during the day. Snuck out to Casino Royale to play cards during lunch. Didn't look like the Casino Royale that James Bond played cards in, but it was a good way to spend the lunch hour. After conference headed to Planet Hollywood (Aladdin) to buy V tickets. Got our VIP seats at half off which was a steal. The interior of the hotel looks really good, clean, sleak, quite modern. Outside of the Aladdin is still under construction. Headed back to hotel, changed then went to Mandalay Bay to dine at Aureole at 10 pm. Lights out one of the best places I've ever eaten at. From food to service, it was A+. Meal set me back about $130. Donated a few hundred dollars to the coffers of Mandalay courtesy of their blackjack table and wandered the floor for a few hours, rotating between bars. Headed back to the hotel and after gaining some of my money back, packed it in at 3 am. Wednedsday, 4/25: Conference at the Venetian during the day. Left early to pick up tickets for the Comedy Show at the Riviera, which was recommended to me by the concierge at the Paris over going to the Improv (at Harrahs). How weird for a Harrah employee to tell me I'd have more fun at a show not at a Harrah's property. Got to give them props for honesty. Headed back to hotel, changed then drove to Luxor to see Carrot Top (front row). Really funny show, much more so than I had anticipated. Dined at the Burger Bar in the shops that link Mandalay and Luxor. Food was good, not great, but not a waste of money either. Went to airport at 12:30 am to pick-up my two other mancation friends who arrived late from New Jersey. Headed to Grand Lux Cafe @ Venetian for late night meal, only to find that their grills were not working, thus rendering half their menu to be off limits. We left frustrated and ate at the diner inside The Mirage. Walked back to hotel and gambled till 3:30 am. I had a work conference call at 4:30 am (7:30 eastern) so I didn't hit the hay till 6:30 that morning. Thursday, April 26: Up and out of bed at 10 am for a quick croissant at Lenotre. Headed for the Mandera Spa for metrosexual day #1. Have been to a couple of spas in Vegas, this was the most disappointing one. Very small and not great lounge area service. Treatments were fine, but we felt as if the men's spa at Paris was an afterthought. Vegetated in the spa until 3 pm then called it a day. Watched the NJ Devils game for which I placed a bet on. Lost my money as they laid down for the Ottawa Senators. Dressed for the evening and headed to Planet Hollywood for V. OK show, nothing special, but at half price I'll take it. After V, ran to the Palms for dinner at N9ne Steakhouse. Great food, hip buzz, but really noisy. We met a fellow named Uncle Joe Benson (DJ for KLOS in LA) and killed time while waiting for our table. Three of us spent $350 (including tip) for dinner with no wine. Great food, worth the experience, but my ears were buzzing when we left. Headed to a Gentlemen's Club at the "insistence" of my two other friends. What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas. The evening concluded at 4 am. Friday, April 27: 10 am wake up and breakfast at the cafe in the Paris. Nothing special, probably buffet food. Hit the pool around 11:30 am. Ok pool, but nothing like what I've seen at The Mirage or MGM. Hot day, 90+ degrees so the SPF infinity was needed. We sat, read, burned and swam till about 3 pm. No poolside service so we had to fetch our own $20 pina coladas from the outdoor cafe ourselves. Yes $20 for ice, pineapple and alcohol. What a rip off, but it was hot so chalk it up to being in Vegas. Gambled until 5 pm going up and down at the table. Dressed and left for the MGM for dinner reservations at Pearl. One of the overall best Asian restaurants I've dined at. We ordered, amongst other things, Peking duck, which was carved table-side for us. Presentation was awesome. Everything about this restaurant was first rate. Dinner tab with no wine was $295. Off to Howie Mandel who was appearing at MGM. Really frustrating show. He was heckled by the audience the entire time, so he wasn't able to gather any steam for his routine. Not sure if that was his act, but I came for something different than for what I left with. Had front row seats for this one too. Took a walk to the Tropicana (never been there in more than a dozen trips). Tried to play a little blackjack, but found myself at a table with someone who didn't know the strategy of the game and was burning the cash in my wallet. Folded tent and went back to MGM. Played there for a few hours, then headed back to the Paris. I can't recall what else we did but I remember rolling into bed at 3 am. Saturday, April 28: Lenotre again for breakfast followed by hours of gambling, and believe it or not winning. Sat in a poker tournament. Jason Alexander was at Paris playing which was cool. Generally just chilled out until late in the day when we headed to the Wynn to watch the Devils hockey game and dine at the Wynn Buffet. Sports book at Wynn is A+, and the bar where we watched the game was great. Hit the buffet and got pushed to the front of the line after my friend shmoozed up the hostess. $37.95 a person, pretty steep, but if you go in not trying to beat the house you can eat well. To that point it was our cheapest meal anyway so couldn't complain. The food overall was really good all things considered (it's being a buffet). Ran to the Riviera for a comedy show at 10 pm, which was ok, then back to the Wynn. Hit a club at Wynn called Lure for a little while then headed back to the Paris. The rest of the night is a blur but I recall rolling into bed around 3:30 am after donating money to the blackjack dealers at Bally's. Sunday, April 29: Ate at the Paris Buffet for breakfast on comps. It's breakfast so not even the french can screw it up . Headed over to Caesars Palace for a day of relaxation at their new spa, Qua. Holy cr*p, a totally awesome spa. They catered to everything. Yes the treatments were quite pricey, but we felt like a million bucks. The place is huge with steam and sauna rooms and Roman baths and on and on. A definite must for anyone who wants to spend a day in a spa. Wrapped up our day there at 6:30 pm as we had to change and begin to make our way to the airport for a midnight flight home. Dined that evening at the Burger Brasserie (in the Paris). Basically, a burger bar, but the decor and service were really nice along with the food. Headed to the airport for our flight. My life came to a crashing hault when the plane took off at 12:17 am. Final impressions from a guy, not on vacation with his spouse: The Paris is nice but not an ideal hotel for someone like me. Stayed at Mirage last year on the mancation and it was way better insofar as vibe for a married with children male. I've never seen so much construction going on, but with the building of City Center cranes are everywhere. With construction also ongoing at the Wynn and Venetian, rest assured that at some point the number of luxury rooms available in Vegas will outnumber people and prices will come down. Tip to the wise, if you know you are going to Vegas and want to see a show, buy your tickets early if you want a great seat. If you want to dine somewhere specific make your own reservations early. Don't wait till you get there. Next trip: August 21-25 with my wife for her well deserved vacation at The Wynn. Don't tell her it is a surprise. Did I put you to sleep?