This is my first trip report, so here goes... My boyfriend just returned on Thursday from our third trip to Vegas. We live in Michigan and flew Northwest nonstop and arrived on Sunday around 5pm. We stayed at the Flamingo this time. Checked in at the airport (there were only two people in line ahead of us) and the clerk upgraded us to a "junior suite". We received our keys at the airport, so we took a cab to the hotel and went directly to our room, I mean, junior suite. The room wasn't bad at all, especially since we only paid $75 a night. The junior suite consisted of a living room with separate bedroom. It wasn't much bigger than a normal hotel room, but the nice thing about was that there were no windows in the bedroom, which is great for people like us that sleep until noon or later. That's what vacation is all about! The bathroom was really small, with a tub and shower combo. I noticed that there was no plastic liner for the fabric shower curtain, which was a bit odd. They gave us lots of big, fluffy, white towels though. The Flamingo was a lot nicer than I thought it was going to be. There was brand new carpet in the hotel hallways with this funky bamboo pattern. The casino was clean, light, bright and not too smoky. Also, it was a short walk to get to the elevators to our room. I did notice that there was a HUGE line at the check-in counter. It must have been at least an hour wait. We were very happy that we checked in at the airport. There was also a long line all week at the Players club counter. They were giving away $20 in free slot play when you become a member. So now it's about dinnertime. We got a couple of drinks and started to wander down the Strip. Got drinks and did some gambling at Bally's and Paris and then headed over to Aladdin to hit the buffet we've heard so much about. The buffet was great, especially the sushi and Middle Eastern foods. I loaded up on sushi, shrimp cocktail, lamb and chicken shishkebob, hummus, and yummy peach crepes for dessert. I still think the Paris buffet is the best, but will definitely come back to this one. Next day, I hit the pool. The pool at the Flamingo is beautiful, but very crowded. If you have kids or a group of people, get there early or you wonâ€™t be able to find chairs together. The temperatures were is the high nineties while we were there, so I couldnâ€™t stay in the sun very long. I did notice they were playing great music and there were plenty of cocktail waitresses. We made a big mistake with our dinner plans. We wanted to check out Treasure Island, or TI, because we heard that they had made a lot of changes and their theme has always been one of our favorites, so we decided to go to their buffet and try to catch the pirate show. First of all, what is up with their new sign? The old sign was awesome. Come on, how can you beat a skull and crossbones? And to replace it with a ubiquitous, candy colored sign with a huge video screen? My boyfriend called it â€œan abhorrent travesty that can not be forgivenâ€. He tends to be a little dramatic, but I had to agree with him on this one. The next thing I noticed was that they have removed the skull door handles from the doors and all other cool pirate style decorations. Two big thumbs down. On to the buffet. This was one of those times that I wish I would have done more research before blowing $20 on a crappy buffet. It was horrible and small. The salad bar consisted of lettuce, cucumber slices, croutons, and dressing, and you had to use one of the heated dinner plates for your salad, which really irritated me for some reason. I scoped out half of the buffet and it was depressing, but I had a whole other half, right? Wrong! It was just a duplicate of the first half. I really could not find anything edible here except for some chocolate raspberry mousse cake type thing (when a buffet is really bad I tend to take 3 or 4 different desserts and eat a little bit of each just to get my moneyâ€™s worth). We were so upset over the sign and the buffet that we decided not to stick around for the Sirens of TI show. Plans tonight are to go to the Las Vegas Hilton to see the Borg Invasion at the Star Trek Experience. It was just okay. The old Klingon ride is actually better than the Borg Invasion. Luckily, you get a ticket to both attractions for $29.99. I did get the tar scared out of me by a Borg that was creeping up behind unsuspecting tourists. We like to stop at Quarkâ€™s Bar and get a crazy drink. I had a James Tea Kirk, a version of a Long Island Ice Tea, and my boyfriend had a Pattern Buffer, some sort of banana flavored concoction. Then it was on to some gambling in the Space Quest casino. This turned out to be one of those great nights of gambling thatâ€™s hard to duplicate. We sat down at two Big Bang Piggy Bankin machines and played for 5 hours. We had constant drink service from Debbie, and Rickie, the security guard, watched our machines while we went to use the restroom. We were up $500 between the two of us, but eventually ended up leaving with about $250. We had so much fun, though, I really didnâ€™t care how much we left with. The Space Quest casino is cool because itâ€™s small, so you get a lot of drinks, and they play music and videos on a big screen (lots of one hit wonders from the early 90â€™s, my favorite). Tuesday. I didnâ€™t make it to the pool today because I was a little hung over from the night before. Okay, honestly, I didnâ€™t think I was gonna make it for a while there, but lots of water and several Advil later and I was ready for more of the hair of the dog that bit me. We were able to catch the 3:30pm feeding of the tropical penguins in the hotelâ€™s gardens. My boyfriend loves penguins, so it was very cool to have them right there at the hotel. We were going to go to the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur tonight, but because of our horrible meal at TI, we decided to splurge on a really good buffet and go back to the Space Quest casino for more Piggy action. Because almost every review I have read on this website and others says that the Bellagio buffet is the best, we decided to go for the first time. I can easily say that it is the most overrated buffet in Vegas. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe they were having an off night. It wasnâ€™t that good. No, actually, it was bad. The dining room was small, badly organized and sparcely decorated, and completely lacked any intimacy. Also, the whole place smelled like fish. Not in a good way, but in a dirty fish market at the end of the day way. They did have interesting selections. I tried the sushi, prime rib, rack of lamb, mussels, and some different salads. Nothing was even close to as good as the Alladin or Paris buffets. My boyfriend, whoâ€™s a little more picky than me, ate fruit and cheese for dinner. We were both overwhelmed by the yucky fish smell. Desserts were so forgettable that Iâ€™ve actually forgotten what I had. It was truly awful. I guess Iâ€™ve learned that you canâ€™t always trust other peopleâ€™s opinions on this kind of stuff. Afterwards, we hit the casino, but of course, could not duplicate the luck we had the night before. Wednesday. We decide to spend some time at the south end of the Strip. We both woke up starving, so we went to the lunch buffet at Excalibur. We usually try to hit this buffet on every trip. Itâ€™s great for lunch because for $10 you can make yourself a big salad and have some dessert and call it a day. They also had some unusual things like a cold cut bar for sandwiches, a hot dog bar, and menudo, which is a Latin American stew made with tripe (and itâ€™s supposed to be a great hangover helper). This food isnâ€™t fancy schmancy, but itâ€™s consistent and cheap. I would eat here before I eat at Bellagio again. We spent the rest of afternoon gambling at Mandalay Bay and Luxor, and ended up getting a slice of pizza at that little place in NYNY for dinner (accompanied by several frozen drinks from Coyote Ugly). We just couldnâ€™t handle another huge meal. I think I like this end of the Strip the best. It seems like thereâ€™s more to do and everythingâ€™s closer together. Thereâ€™s nothing worse than having to walk 2 miles back to your hotel after a long night of drinking and losing money. Thursday. Our plane leaves at 2:30pm, so we check out of our room and have brunch at the Flamingo buffet before leaving. It was pretty good. They had a great salad bar and lots of fruit, including ambrosia, and a full breakfast bar, smoked salmon, cream cheese and bagels, Chinese, chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, pasta, a taco bar, and probably the biggest dessert buffet Iâ€™ve ever seen. Also, the atmosphere was very nice, overlooking the gardens with the penguins and pink flamingos. Weâ€™ll definitely do this one again. Now itâ€™s time to leave and I start to get sad. But we had a horrible experience on the flight home. We usually leave at night, so this was our first time flying out during the day. I know the pilot usually circles the city at night so everyone can see the city, but I didnâ€™t know they did that during the day too. So the plane takes off and my boyfriend, who is terrified of flying, realizes heâ€™s forgotten to take his valium. We both notice that the plane is flying really low and seems to be making a circle. My boyfriend, the drama queen, asks me to hold his hand, and thatâ€™s when I start to panic too. We are still flying very low, and I can honestly say that this is the only time Iâ€™ve ever been scared on a plane. I really thought we were having some sort of major problem. Then, after circling over the city, we started to ascend. It wouldnâ€™t have been so terrifying if the pilot would have clued us in on what he was doing. My boyfriend was sure that we were going to crash. What a hell of a way to end our trip! Well, I hope you enjoyed my first trip report. We did a lot more than this over four days, of course, but I tried to include things that might help other people plan their trips. Thanks a lot for all of the great tips and info. The one thing Iâ€™ve learned, though, is that you canâ€™t always rely on other peopleâ€™s opinions to help you plan. Everyone is looking for a different, unique Vegas experience. I LOVE Vegas and hope to visit at least once a year. Now I have to start planning our next trip: February 14, 2005 for my 30th birthday!