This is a summary of the week that followed the Vegas Virgins. I hit the road by 11:00 a.m the day the Virgins were leaving. Thursday, July 5 The road trip begins and I take in The ExtraTerrestrial Highway (Nevada 375) and had lunch at the Little A'Le'Inn. I backtrack and head north to the Great Basin area. Then I head west on Highway 50..."The lonliest road in America" and spend the night at Ely at a little casino motel where I make $100 on the Wheel of Fortune. Cha-Ching! Friday, July 6 Road trip takes me south toward my destination of Death Valley, but I'm not scheduled to to be there until Saturday. I stop and photograph numerous brothels along the way and then I stop at Wal-mart for soap to wash clothes later in the evening. (I mention this as this is a prelude to a highlight of the trip) I check in around 8:45 p.m. at the Nugget Hotel and Casino in Pahrump, NV. Something like $70 for the room and that's ok since it's a weekend and I'm a walk-in. Store my stuff in the room. Head for something to eat. The buffet is closing and the prices were sky-high at the cafeso I skip supper. As I turn around, I see the staff closing up the only roulette table at 9:00 p.m. They're kidding right? I approach the cage to get a players card and ask questions about things closing up...but the buzz around the cage is that Stevie Wonder has just performed on the little stage to my right. Scores of people are standing around grinning and looking at the empty stage. It's Motown night at the Nugget. I say to the lady at the player's card cage, "Little Stevie Wonder is playing Parumph on a Friday night....instead of Vegas?....you're sh*t'n me right?" "Well that's what they're saying, but I'll ask my supervisor, she won't lie to me." Truth is...it's an impersonator but the crowd thinks he's the real deal. I begin to feel like I'm in the twilight zone. At 11:30 p.m. I head over to "Dirty Laundry"...the new laundry mat that just opened next to the Albertson Grocery store. One lone attendant sits crocheting and asks me if I would like to play cards. I pass but make small chit-chat. My clothes are finally dry and as I pack up the last pair of socks, a woman walks in carrying a couple of plastic bags. I recognize her immediately...although it was one of those "is this real?" kinda moments. The attendant says, "This is the owner Heidi." I stick my hand out and I'm shaking hands with Heidi Fleiss. For those of you unfamiliar with the name...she's one of the most famous (former) Madams in the US. We make small talk about washers & dryers. She escorts me to the bathroom because she's really proud of offering such a deluxe bathroom to the laundry mat public. As we walk into the parking lot, we talk about parrots. As I drive away from Dirty Laundry with my clean laundry....I get that sensation of the Twilight Zone once again. Saturday, July 7 It's 130+ degrees at Badwater Basin in Death Valley. I head on to Stovepipe Wells Motel & check in. This is a yearly destination for me as my little patio room has no phone and no t.v. And the cel phone reception is ZERO. Absolute solitude. I hit the pool where it's 120 degrees in the shade. I love this. ***For those of you who don't know...I wear hearing aids in both ears. Without them, I feel vibrations. When I wear them, I can hear most everything except for certain deep voices or sounds. I mention this as this is a soon-to-be critical factor*** After getting out of the pool, I reach for my nicely wrapped hearing aids and place them in my ears. DEAD. NOTHING. Damn? Did they melt inside? I'm a hundred miles from nowhere and can't hear a thing. It's one thing to not hear by choice, it's another when it's not your choice. What to do? Hit the bar. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday My road trip takes me east to Baker, California and the Worlds Tallest Thermometor. On my way back into Nevada, I came into Primm, NV on a Sunday afternoon. The traffic leaving Nevada into California was a sight to see. It looked like the state was being evacuated. Anyway, through Nevada and Arizona hitting Route #66 along the way. Road Kill Cafe, Standing on a Corner in Winslow Arizona, Wigwam Motel, Grand Canyon and the likes. Tuesday, July 10 ~Back to Vegas and my first time to stay at the WYNN. I had an offer for $139 night. Although that's not cheap in my book, it's a price I can pay to experience the WYNN. Check-in was speedy at 11:00 a.m. There were 3 Wynn employees who stood with the lobby and helped direct cusotmers into the fast moving lines. If the VIP counter became empty, they would lead someone to it. Very effecient. A young man Phillip checked me in. I clued him in that I was now deaf for the last leg of the trip and he was quite accomodating. I asked was it possible to be upgraded to a Panoramic View room. He checked and said he was glad to upgrade me. (No $20 here). My room was on the 58th floor. Room 5835. Just 2 doors away from the elevator and ice room. When I walked into the room, it took my breath away. VERY large, airy room that was clean as a pin. I opened the drapes and just whispered, "Oh, my God". Although the view was not of the strip, I looked out directly over the Fashion Mall, Frontier Hotel and over miles and miles of the the city/suburbs and the mountains in the distance. Very nice. Standing at the wall-to-wall window, I could look left and see the strip. Whatever the building is going up next to the Wynn (not Encore), it took a chunk of the view away from the strip. You couldn't see the Bellagio at all althought the Paris, MGM and Mandalay Bay could be seen. The nighttime show at the Treasure Island could be seen perfectly at night. And the view at night was amazing. I headed downstairs to the Buffet and then hit the video poker, slots and roulette. I play for several hours ending up about $100 ahead. I'm just glad to be getting some milage out of my money and time. I never go to Vegas looking to win. I enjoy spending time playing. While playing roulette I feel someone looking at me. I look to my left at the $100 "21" table and I make eye contact with the guy. I look away and then look back. He's still looking. It's John O'Hurly...the star of Spamalot. Cool! The dealers were very nice to me. Once again, I explain the hearing aid thing and they go to great efforts to signal to me and face me when talking. At one point, I wasn't looking at the table and the dealer reached over to tap me to let me know that my number had won. I believe dealers touching the public is a no-no...but they were very nice to me. I should have been paying attention. I guess I had gone so much the past 10 days, I elected to just stay at the Wynn to do my gambling and eating for 3 days. I have to say this. All Wynn staff members that I came in contact with were personable and friendly to me. Even the girl replinishing the plates at the buffet smiled and said hello. Sometimes if I was just standing in one place in the casino trying to decide what to do next, I would be approached by staff and asked if they could help. Drink service on the casino floor was excellent. Dealers were friendly. **Security** One evening I was walking through the slots. An elderly guy dressed in in jeans and grey t-shirt grabbed me by the arm and said, "There's a really hot machine over here!" He had a handful of money that he said he won. "You play it!" I asked him if it was so hot, why wasn't he still playing it? He said he needed a rest but wanted somebody to play it now. What the heck? I sat down and fed in a $20. It was one of those S & H Stamp Video slots. I didn't really understand it but I was quickly up to $45. The guy is still sitting next to me saying, "Spin! Spin!" I'm spinning and up to $90. Now the lights are flashing a little for some kind of extra spin and I don't really understand it. So I stop spinning and try to look for some type of directions on the machine. "What are you stopping for?! SPIN!!" the guy starts to raise his voice. Now I'm starting to get uncomfortable. I say, "I'm cashing out." The guy pushes my hand away from the cash out button and says, "You can't cash out now...if you want the money, I'll give you the damn money!" I start looking around for security while spinning. "What are you looking around for? Just spin the damn thing!!" I'm at $120 and I hit the cash out button. The guy slapped me on the arm and pushed my hand off the button. I cashed out and walked away. He was furious. I immediately walk over to two ladies with 2-way radios clipped to their lapels. I tell them a quick version of what just happened. The guy is not haning over a man and woman playing the slots and pushing them to play. In seconds there are two huge security men heading in the guy's direction. I walk away knowing that all is being taking care of. I look back a few minutes later and the guy is nowhere to be seen. **Pool** As Wynn is supposedly for the upscale, beautiful people, I was a little hesitant to go to the pool. I'm a 50-yr old, plus-size gal who buys her swimsuits at the local department store. I am happy to report that the Wynn pool was shared by folks of all sizes, shapes, colors and ages. There were a handful that walked the asphalt like it was a runway...but in most cases it appeared adults and children were there to have a relaxing time. Kids were there but not in your face. They were really good and not disturbing. Drink service was good. I did notice that by 3:00 p.m. half of the pool area is in the shadow of the Wynn building as the sun sets in the West. I really enjoyed my time at the Wynn. I must say that the bedding at the Bellagio is my favorite but the service at the Wynn in all areas was top-notch. And the crowds were less at the Wynn which contributed to a more relaxing playing time in the casino. I did end up flying home a day earlier than expected. I didn't even go to bed my last night. Stayed up all night playing video poker and roulette. At 5:30 a.m. I was still wide awake. I realized I was ready to go home. Back to hubby and back to the audiologist for repairs. I had wanted to see some shows in Vegas this time but had to pass them up due to the lack of hearing. Soooooo, I called Southwest at 5:30 a.m. and changed my flight. I left later that morning at 10:30 a.m. When I sat down on the plane, I don't remember it taking off. I woke up as we decended into Nashville. I look forward to returning in October.