Flew Jet Blue direct from Boston. Great experience. Lots of leg room, snacks and no BS. Arrived at McCarren and hopped on a shuttle to the Riviera. The shuttle left the airport two minutes after I boarded and I was the second stop. Sweet. Short direct trip for $6 incl tip. Check in at the Riv was smooth. I asked for and got the Monte Carlo tower, which has been listed here as one of the nicer/newer towers. The room was nice, but nothing fancy. Iâ€™d still put the room I had at Orleans ahead of this one. I tried to get some food at Dennyâ€™s, but they were having â€˜computer troubleâ€™? After a painful wait and still no food, I told the waiter to forget it. After all this is Vegas time Iâ€™m wasting. I tossed the waiter $2 for the coffee I drank and left. He pseudo apologized for the delay and told me to keep my money, but I left it anyway. I grabbed a snack across the street and went to the Stardust. I sat for a while, enjoyed the 80â€™s rock cover band that was playing in the lounge, and observed the crowd. I needed to get into the â€˜Vegasâ€™ frame of mind. After leaving the Stardust I wandered into the Ho, where the Craps table looked like a morgue table. No one playing. So I hit the Slots o fun for some $2 Craps on the sidewalk with a near full table. Not bad for starting the trip, I ended the session up a few bucks, and decided to get some sleep. It was around 3: am local time, 6: am for me. I had contacted HurricaneMikey prior to my departure and told him I might try to catch up with him to say â€˜helloâ€™ at the Peppermill Monday morning. I met him for breakfast, followed by a drink in the Peppermill lounge, and then some craps/BJ at the Tuscany. I got the pleasure of a ride in the â€˜Ghetto Sledâ€™ as he calls it. Not a bad ride and he keeps it cleaner than my Honda. Craps went so/so, as did the first round of Blackjack. We met another BJ dealer at the table; I believe she dealt at TI. Since BJ was not going too well for us we moved back to craps. She had never played craps before, and the virgin lady shooter luck held true, and she had a great roll! I moved back to BJ after she 7â€™d out and my second attempt at BJ went better, and I doubled my $100 buy in. I said good-bye to Mikey around 3PM and made my way back to the strip. On my way back to the Riv, (I needed a siesta) I stopped at the tickets4tonight booth and got a ticket for the Rat Pack Tribute at the Greek Isle. I rested and regrouped for a while in my room, then had an early dinner at the Peppermill. I killed some time at the Stardust, and the HO before making the walk to Greek Isle. Itâ€™s only a 5-10 minute walk off the strip. The place is a dive, and had the worst Karaoke I had ever seen going on in the casino â€˜loungeâ€™. The Rat Pack show was really good. Iâ€™d rather get a good show for $28 than spend $80-$100 for a lot of special effects on the strip. After the show I decided to head downtown. Played some Blackjack at the Plaza and did o.k. Played craps as well. For some reason I kept bouncing the dice off the table at the Plaza. I very rarely toss the dice off the table. It must be a bouncy felt or something. Tuesday I headed out late morning and caught a bus to the center strip. Stopped by the Aladdin to try the buffet, but breakfast had closed and lunch wasnâ€™t open yet. So I wandered through the desert passage mall and found a Mexican restaurant (Sol Cantina?) that had a great breakfast burrito. I ate at the bar and watched people walk by. When I left the Aladdin it was raining. It seems to rain every time Iâ€™m in Vegas. Anyway, wondered through NYNY, Monte Carlo, Bellagio etc and back on up the strip. Played at the IP for a good portion of the afternoon, and then headed over to Ellis Island for the steak special. Service was better than Iâ€™ve had before and the food was good as usual. The change here is that instead of asking for the $5 match play after eating in the restaurant, the coupon is now in the placemat, but you have to have an Ellis Island playerâ€™s card to use it. Yet another card in my collection. Soâ€¦..I was thinking wouldnâ€™t it be great if all the casino corporations got together and worked off ONE card?! With technology today it would still be possible to track where youâ€™ve played so that MGM points would not be confused with Harrahâ€™s points. (God forbid). Etc. Even with consolidation by corporation Iâ€™m still carrying around about 15 cards! Anyway, I left Ellis Island and headed back to the strip. After some more Craps/BJ at IP I ended up by Treasure Island. Having never seen the Sirenâ€™s show I thought I could take this opportunity to enjoy a free show. The time was 9:20 and the show was scheduled for 10:00. Needed to pass the time so into TI I went. I hadnâ€™t been in TI before, but my expectations were on track. $10 tables and less than favorable conditions. But Iâ€™m on vacation and had some time so I played. Two BJ choices: single deck 6:5 or continuous shuffle machine. Iâ€™ll call these bad and worse. As I had limited time I decided to go single deck. First it was just me and the dealer and I was up and down for a few hands. Then a young dumb couple sat to my right. $40 buy in each - (this is a $10 table), and they had no clue about basic strategy. After losing a hand and watching their poor decisions, I opted to get up. I then played my first and last time at a continuous shuffle table. OUCH. Iâ€™m not sure how many decks they use but this was torture. I decided to go back outside and wait for the show. The wind was quite brisk from weather earlier in the day, and the announcement came that unless wind conditions improve in the next ten minutes, the show may be cancelled. I looked at the flags, and decided this was not going to happen for me tonight and proceeded to find something else to do. Late that night I hit the Sahara . The Sahara holds a special place for me, I learned to play BJ here. Anyway, I am one-on-one with the dealer $5 table. I get a good run of cards and am up around $85 when again, two clueless people (another young couple) take first base seats. This threw the whole game off! They were debating every move. Standing on a 14 against dealer 8â€™s and 9â€™s. And they would not reply or converse at all with me or the dealer as we tried to assist them. (There may have been a language barrier). I sat out a hand or two hoping they would lose their stake and leave, but no such luck. So I colored up. At least my winnings here offset the loss I had at TI earlier that night. Wednesday was similar to Tuesday. Plaza downtown and IP on the strip, with a few other places thrown in for flavor. I took a couple of losses out of both those places. I had decided earlier that I would go to either the Aladdin buffet of Ballyâ€™s for dinner and â€˜load upâ€™ for the evening and my trip home. Around 4:00 I decided to make my way south and Aladdin was my choice. Since it was still kind of early, and I was thirsty I stopped in Barbary Coast for a beer. I left BC just after 5pm heading for the Aladdin. After stuffing myself at the buffet, I came out of the Aladdin to see that the strip had been closed off, and there were helicopters above, and police directing the pedestrian traffic away from the sidewalk in front of Paris and Ballyâ€™s. For those who may not have heard, there was a major incident of a guy driving into the crowd while being chased by police. Details are in another posting. I realized I was on that same section of sidewalk about 5 â€“ 10 minutes prior to the accident. Whomever said 5pm is a good time to catch a buffet saved my a$$. I stopped at IP again for BJ and Craps, but did not do very well. So now Iâ€™m chillinâ€™ at the IP bar, and watching the time for my walk back north to the Riv and taxi to the airport. I decided that I would play one more Benjamin and be more aggressive than I usually am. I thought about the Wynn, but passed on by and stopped at the Stardust. Several BJ tables, all with open seats. I looked around for my targetâ€¦.Ah ha! $10 double deck 3:2 with only one guy at 3rd base. I sit at 2nd base and wait for the shuffle. Buy in, and off we go. I start with $20 in the circle. Winner. Yea, press to $30 and weâ€™re off again. I must have hit 5 or six blackjacks and only lost one or two hands in that deck. Within 5 minutes I was up about $230 and was very happy. I allowed myself one more hand at $10, if I win I keep going, if I lose, color-up. I lost that hand and colored up. Tossed the dealer his tip and cash me in please. This win made up for the losses I had earlier that day, and sent me home in a great mood. The taxi ride back to the airport was a little scary, not all drivers are created equal. I should have anticipated this when he asked where to and Isaid â€˜Jet Blue Terminalâ€™. He replied with â€˜Airport?â€™. Unless they moved it, thatâ€™s where they keep the terminal. Good flight home. Canâ€™t wait to go back. Maybe this winter for a long weekend. .