Seeing how SWA has a "Buy 2, get One" promo going, I decided to set up a couple fall trips, one of them being Vegas. Similar to one unplanned mid-summer Vegas jaunt, this trip just happened, making it Vegas visit #6 for the year with one more coming up in November. That's too much. Next year, I need to cut it back - it's hard to get motivated when you're in-and-out of town so much. I'm losing my appreciation for all things Vegas. This was a budget affair, with airfare $130 RT, lodging $46 (2-1 deal) at ELCo and third night on friend's couch. Highlight of trip was unexpected boat ride in Lake Mead. Over the years, I have developed a number of friendships with some of the locals. I was visiting with one the gang Tuesday morning and the talk turned to hiking. Found out he's training for a Grand Canyon rim-to-rim walk in a couple weeks. We decided to do a some hiking at Lake Mead that day. We get out there and I learn he keeps a boat at one of the marinas. After we were done hiking, he takes me out on the lake to see Hoover Dam up close. Neat deal, but it was depressing to se how far the water level has dropped. The marina his boat is on already has been relocated once due to receding water levels. If you like peace and quiet, Lake Mead is for you. Not much traffic. I'm still having a hard time figuring how all these people are drowning and the like this year. It doesn;t get much easier than boating on this seemingly placid body of water. I checked the dinner buffet at the Wynn for the first time and have to admit, I expected more. Perhaps, my expectations were too high. Sure, it was a gourmet spread (for a buffet), but it didn't reach out and grab me. Yes, they have the big pre-split king crabs legs from the Norton Sound of Alaska (this is how they're advertised), but chilled crab meat doesn't do it for me. I thought there would be more warm seafood dishes, but that was somewhat limited. The red meat meat items were inferior to what Bellagio offers. They are noted for seviches in individual glasses, but the type (scallops) I looked forward to was absent. Salads and desserts were fine, but not outstanding. Several times, dishes were empty and were not immediately refilled. I sensed the second-team was working that night. Maybe this buffet devotes all their resources to the weekend. Even our waitress was mediocre. The whole thing seemed like employees at the Wynn were going through the paces that night. Another thought is that maybe the Wynn is trying to be more than just a buffet and they get too cute with stuff. Let's take PH for example. The PH buffet knows it is a buffet and nothing more. They don't get over pretentious and are content with being known as a buffet. They do a gourmet buffet up right. I propose that the people over at Wynn think they are above being a buffet (I know this may not be making sense, but bear with me on this one folks) and end up doing a disservice to the art of buffeting. We ate at the RIO the next night and the experience was more enjoyable, even though I know the quality of ingredients of the Wynn are substantially higher. Next time I receive another comped buffet at the Wynn, I will re-evaluate my dinner experience. A buffet reputed to be as good as the Wynn deserves another chance. Also did the Red Rock buffet for breakfast. Okay, nothing more. For the off-the-beaten path stuff, stumbled upon a nifty military surplus store up on Lake Mead Blvd. This is an excellent place to find any type of gear for camping and winter survival. About anything you need is there. Very little gambling was done, other than some match-playing and a few hands of BJ. Said good-bye to the crew at the Wynn outdoor tables as the games will be shuttered at the end of the month until spring. Those guys treat you right.