Since nobody seems to writing many trip reports lately, I thought I better get mine submitted. It is a little delayed since hand surgery restricted my typing skills upon my return from Vegasâ€¦.but better late than never. I donâ€™t know if I prefer chronological or categorized trip reports, so I prepared this by category, then decided to rewrite it chronologically. I make no claim to self-editing skills, so this might be a little rambling, and also I warn you it might be a little opinionated - - but thatâ€™s what makes things interesting right?? Spouse (J) and me â€“ 50ish. 7 or 8th trip over that last 10 years. We usually go in September or thereabouts, but just decided at the next to last minute to make a Feb. trip. We have always stayed at different hotels. This time had a great deal via expedia at the Flamingo so decided to go for it based on location primarily. Direct flight from Toronto via WestJet leaving 9 a.m. Great time. Toronto airport has Longterm parking lot connected to the terminals via monorail that runs every 5 minutes or so. Why do people still use Park N Fly etc with the hassle of the shuttle?? And the LT parking is cheaper or same price. Last few times we have changed planes in Chicago or Denver as it was a couple of hundred bucks cheaper, and we only use carryon so no big deal. But, after this trip, I realize that direct flights are so so so much better, especially on the way home. Landed on time - -McCarren most deserted I have ever seen. On the shuttle to the Car rental facility, Ford from Alamo, and on our way up the Strip. The President of the U.S. was speaking at City Centre, and I think he was just finishing as there was security all the way up the strip to CC and cops all over each intersection. First stop before Flamingo was the liquor store just behind. We had put $1000 in cash in an envelope and put it in the side pocket of a small purse sort of bag, so I just will reach in there and pull out a big of money to buy some Rum and mix and we will be on our way. . . .Oh Oh Zipper open and no envelope!!! My heart sank and I could only think of all the areas we would be cutting back on this tripâ€¦After about 3 minutes of panic on the part of both J and I, thought â€œWell, Iâ€™ll just get my wallet out of my pocket and use my credit card to get the rum. Hmmmmm Whatâ€™s this bulge in my pocket??? Thatâ€™s right - -$1000 in crisp bills in an envelope. Check-in was quick - - but failure on the $20 trick. First time it did not work. Room was on 26th floor I think - -clean and acceptable. Walls were paperthin though, and seemed like a long walk to the elevator. A couple of warm-up cocktails in the room and then a few travelers to take off to Big Elvis. As always, a great show, and a great guy. I got my home-made Big Elvis Photo T-shirt autographed once again as is tradition. Next stop â€“ Margaritaville for burgers and unwind. As always, good crowd, good food, - â€˜nuff said. Flamingo had included a coupon book and one for Vinnie Favorito . This was on our list of shows to see so we decided to do that first night. VIP seating down front. Vinnie was fantastic. Laughed non-stop for 90 minutes. I had read all the reviews so I knew it was going to be good, but I think he exceeded even my high expecations. The show is completely interactive with the audience, and no matter where you are sitting, you will be part of the show, guaranteed. After Vinnie, decide to head south for our first look at City Center. A few stops into Paris and PH etc, but eventually headed into Aria via Crystals. As a shareholder (as at that time) of MGM, I was really looking forward to checking out CC. I feel lucky that we were even able to find our way to the casino eventually after a ridiculous, circuitous walk through Crystals. In a word â€“ disappointing. Dark, smokey, no â€˜atmosphereâ€™. I wonder who will make the effort to go to the casino at Aria if you are not staying there. I just kept wondering â€œIf I was at Bellagio, or PH or Luxor or any other casino and I was casino hopping, would I ever say to myself â€œHey, lets make the next stop Ariaâ€ and I conclude the answer would be No. Wandering up and down the strip you can duck into any casino but Aria takes a lot of effort and desire to get there, and I canâ€™t imagine most people wanting to do so. At the same time, I wonder about the Condos - - What type of person wants to own a condo on the strip?? Answer - - probably a reasonably high roller who goes to Vegas once a month or so. If that is the case, why would that person want to buy a Condo at CC when they can pretty well stay free at any Suite at most casinos.?? Just my opinion and maybe Iâ€™m missing something. Anyway, wandered around a bit then finally found the tram to Bellagio and headed eventually back to the Flamingo. Day 1 in Vegas done and time change has us beat. Up early Saturday - - coffee from Burger King (did you know you can get 75 cent coffee there just by asking for Seniors Coffee?? I donâ€™t think I look over 40 but the lady said the employees will never challenge your age - -- and it was $3.79 at the Flamingo - - Iâ€™m just saying. ) then we decided to head north to pick up a few chips we are missing from our collection. First though, lay down the dayâ€™s NBA bets at the Flamingo. As it turned out, this would have been a very lucrative venture but Houston happened to lose today and ended up wreaking havoc with a number of parlays. Overall though, Saturdays sports betting would end up positive. Still early so first stop is Wynn to have a cocktail (Itâ€™s 9 a.m. somewhere Iâ€™m sure) Walk in and see the new Sex and the City (SATC) machine that I had read a lot about. Decided to drop a few bucks in and see what it was like. J soon was up $100 or so, bonus rounds hitting us fast and furious, cocktails also fast and furious - - - We had discovered our new favourite machine and were hooked. ***A digression about a few machines** Last time we were in LV would have been Sept 08 and at that time we played Deal or No Deal all over the place. ..loved the machine and it loved us back. We discovered there were 2 versions â€“ one a bit newer that the other, and that the newer version was the best - - the older version had some different bonus rounds and less suitcases in the suitcase round - -anyway DOND was our game at that time - - when we got to LV this trip, I saw DOND everywhere - - - and they were penny machines !!!! yippee. I soon discovered the game had changed significantly and we were quite disappointed. I only saw the DOND machines from 18 months ago at one spot this trip, and that was Circus Circus). Another big change - -last trip Ebay machines were everywhere - - I mean EVERYWHERE - -- quite surprising that this trip I think I saw one or two Ebay machines. They all seem to have been replaced by those giant fishing machines So anyway, fortified with cash and cocktails, we head north, stopping at the Riv to pick up a chip, play some SatC then to Tix4Tonite (hint â€“ if you are near the north end of the strip, the tix booth at the Riv is much much less busy than the one at Fashion Show mall - -worth the walk). Anyway, see that they have Terry Fator tickets there â€“ not half price, but a good discount, so we decide on that for tonights show. That done, head up to Sahara â€“ repeat chip, cocktails, SatC and back to Circus Circus for chip. Havenâ€™t been to Circus Circus for years and now I remember why. We only went there because we started collecting casino chips last trip, and needed to get a CC one. I canâ€™t honestly imagine a scenario whereby I will be there again - -itâ€™s creepy. When people ask on the boards what is there for kids to do in Vegas, and lots of people always reply about the free circus acts at Circus Circus, I can only think to myself â€“ Really??? Is that the kind of parent you want to be - -you take your kid to a circus act at Circus Circus in Las Vegas ?? Leave it at that â€“ itâ€™s creepy. Next stop â€“ Mirage, pick up the TF tickets, then down to CP to lunch at Cheesecake Factory. First time ever being in a CF, and I have to say it was pretty good food and priced not bad. Iâ€™d go back. I will admit that I had a few reservations about spending $80 to see a puppet ventriloquist, but the show was almost excellent. Very Very entertaining and the backstory of TF struggling for years then finally hitting the jackpot is admittedly very heartwarming. I would give the show a 9.5 out of 10 except I have to knock it down for the following reason, which might give many readers heartburn. At one point in the show, Mr. Fator asked all the military people and their families to stand and we gave them the obligatory standing ovation etc. Personally, I found this to be a little manipulative, cloying, pandering to the audience etc. I was wondering why we didnâ€™t have all the nurses and teachers stand so we could acknowledge them, or the sanitation workers, or the cocktail workers or everyone else who performs a service in exchange for a paycheque. Call me cynical, and I understand that he is playing to his target audience, but I personally found it a little offputting. And before you flame, I understand everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that. After TF, we ended up at Paris, PG, CP etc just basically wandering around, playing spot the hooker and dropping a few bucks here and there. Sunday - - Up early, again. Into the car to head to Walmart for some supplies (thanks GPS) and then a zip down to check out M Resort and get a chip. â€˜Mâ€™ is a nice spot, although cocktail service was non-existent and hence, they have little if any of my money. Having said that it is a nice spot, I will also say that I have difficulty understanding why anyone would stay there. It is so far away. Canâ€™t you find whatever you are looking for on the strip?? Will I go back there again? No. Stopped at Southpoint for a chip on the way back and to check it out. Seemed like a not bad spot, but again, off the beaten path for my tastes. I did drop $1 in a machine while J was getting the chip and won $12 on the first spin, so that was a worthwhile stop! Into the Rio to use our Penn & Teller 2 for 1 coupon for tonight. Rio seems to be getting a little worn down? Cocktail service was ok at best. Over to the Palms for some SatC then off to In & Out Burger â€“ another first for us after reading so much about it. I have to agree the burgers are great and this will become a regular stop for us. Park the car and head up to Venetian to pick up some stuff for the kids at the T-shirt shop just inside the doors and play some SatC somewhat successfully. Off to CP for a Sonny & Cher shirt for J then back to Flamingo for some R&R prior to Penn & Teller. Iâ€™ve always liked P&T and we enjoy their TV show so I was looking forward to seeing the. The Theatre was about half full if that. Overall I would say that I was mildly disappointed. Although the magic was impressive, I found that much of it was â€˜subtleâ€™ or detailed and therefore hard to really appreciate in a large theatre. In addition, the show was a little imformal, and I guess, in my opinion, I would have enjoyed a show with a little more flash and dash - -some lights and big screens etc. Having said that, I am glad we went., but honestly would probably be careful about recommending it to friends. Monday - - up early again and into the car for a zip downtown. Dropped into GN and immediately saw a SatC so we sat down for a cocktail. J said she was not dropping more than $20 in it. Down to about $4 when the bonus round came up with a $360 dollar payout. Wisely, we cashed out and headed to Tix4tonite so make our plans for the evening. We were thinking of Zumanity (notwithstanding our disdain for CDS) or Jersey Boys, but after discussing it, J really just wanted to go back to Vinnie and I was happy to do the same, so that is what we did. Bought Paris buffet at T4T also, so we headed back to the strip. Paris buffet was the usual - - I donâ€™t understand the appeal of buffets - - one person can only eat a certain amount, so why not just go to a restaurant and order what you like. It was OK, but I really donâ€™t need to go back to a buffet, and Iâ€™m glad we did not pay full price. Wynn & Venetian followed for some more shopping and SaTC then back to see big Elvis again and then Vinnie that evening. As good as Vinnie is, we both agreed afterwards that we should have gone to a new show rather than going back to one we had already seen. Although his act is all audience based, it still is pretty well the same no matter how different the audience is. The one highlight is that we were sitting beside Maria Ho who was one of the poker girls on the Amazing Race last year. We were able to get a photo with her and chat for a few minutes. Being big fans of TAR, this was kind of thrilling. Tuesday -- -dropped car off and at the airport in good time for our noon flight. We were there kind of early and ended up lucky enough to get first row seats. Considering how much it drives me crazy when people in front of me recline all the way, this was a big win. Parting Thoughts: This was our first time renting a car. I had asked opinions on the boards about renting a car, and most were in favour so we decided to go for it. I will always recommend doing so. Vegas is so easy to get around, and we saved so much time. Downtown 5 minutes instead of 45 on the bus. . zip to the Rio instead of a shuttle, etc etc. It was very cold and windy. We usually go in Sept. and I think that we will not go back in the â€˜off-poolâ€™ season. I like Vegas when it is hot. City Centre is a mess. I sold MGM stock when I returned. I just think it was an 8.5billion dollar mistake. I donâ€™t understand why the Porn slappers all stick together in a row. There were 10 lined up just north of Flamingo - -- wouldnâ€™t they do better if they were all spread out?? Iâ€™m not sure how they are paid, hourly, commission, piecework etc etc Iâ€™m just wondering. Bill Clinton was at Caesars on the Monday night making a speech, so our trip was bookended by Presidential visits. J was wondering if he and Tiger would be hooking up for some debauchery in Vegas. For some reason, we never made it south of Aria. We usually do the whole strip at least a couple of times. I think it was the wind but I regret that we never got down to Exc./Luxor/MB etc . Somewhere during those 4 days we were in Bellagio, TI, Ballys, Pallazo etc etc. . just not sure when - -likely late late night early morning. Gambling included Roulette here and there, and some VP but again, who remembers when all that happened, or the results. Next time I think weâ€™ll stay at Wynn, Venetian or CP. We had a good deal at Flamingo, and when we were booking we thought, well $300 savings is money that can be used for something else, and itâ€™s just a room and the location is OK., but I think in retrospect that $300 is pretty easy to blow on anything in Vegas, so I would have rather have spent that staying at a nicer spot. Thatâ€™s it til Sept. any questions/comments feel free to message .