This was our 1st trip to Vegas together since before we were married 12 yrs ago. Got a good deal through Southwest Airlines. Sunday, 9/9: Got up WAY early & we arrived in Sin City about 10:30am. Took a cab to the Mirage, where we were staying. The cabbie long-hauled us, so what SHOULD have been a $15 cab ride turned into $23. Jerk! I told Hubby (I'll call him "DH" here for dear husband) in a loud voice as we were pulling up to the hotel, "He took the long way." Afterwards, DH said to me, "You know, you didn't have to say that so loud in front of the guy." Yes I did! He knew better! Oh well, next time I'll say "Please do not take the tunnel." Checked our bags at the bell desk because the front desk was mobbed w/people checking out. DH went straight to the craps table and stayed there for the next 5 hours. I played some video poker & slot machines. Checked in 2 hrs later...I picked the 1 line that had a male clerk (thanks to frontdesktip.com), but right when I got up to the front of the line, he left & I got a young woman instead. "Darn!" I thought. Well, I did the whole credit card - $20 bill - driver's license sandwich thing & said, "I was wondering if there might be any complementary upgrades available today." "Of course!" she said, "I'm sure that I can help you with that. Let me just check here." A little typing later, & she got us a pool view room on the 25th floor in a Tower Deluxe room (normally an extra $50/night - I think that my $20 tip worked out pretty well!). DH came up for air once or twice from the craps table, but he'd been there so long that even the dealers said, "You're still here?" He was playing $5 pass line & come bets (+ add'tl $$ on free odds bets behind those), but we found out later upon checking out that he'd been rated as playing $26/hand. I kept bugging him to make sure that he was tipping the dealers while he was playing (& we'd signed up for players' cards when we first got there). We went over to Excalibur because DH wanted to go to that Tournament of Kings thing. Gambled a bit at the craps table together before the show. The show was fun, but I don't think I'd bother again unless I had children there with me. Afterwards, we went over to Treasure Island. DH lost plenty at the craps table there...the dealers told him later that TI's craps tables have been so lousy that they're hardly earning anything on tips. I lost $$ on the slot machines over there. But had I been betting on "Spot the Hooker," I would have won a few rounds. LOL! Mon, 9/10: I woke up at the ungodly hour of 7am and couldn't go back to sleep, even though I was tired as a dog. DH was still sawing logs in bed, so I got up & had breakfast, then went over to TI for my spa appointment (the spa at Mirage is under renovation). Had a massage & a facial and it was fabulous! I took my time and didn't get back to Mirage until about 1pm. By that time, DH had played some more craps at TI and lost more $$ (he should have stayed at Mirage!). Let's see...what did we do Monday afternoon? You can SO lose track of time in Vegas. It's a very surreal place. LOL! I'm pretty sure that our afternoon involved more gambling. Then we went over to Bellagio to check out the buffet that everyone has raved about. It was good for a buffet, but I think that we learned that we're just not fans of buffets. And for about $60 for the 2 of us, if we had to do it again, we probably would have preferred to eat elsewhere. The Bellagio is a gorgeous hotel & casino, but I don't think that I'd want to stay there. Too over the top for me. Oh...I forgot....we had a light lunch at Mirage at Japonais. OMG, this was some of the best Japanese food we've ever had. They have this roasted tomato soup there (ok, not very Japanese) that was probably the best soup we've ever tasted. Awesome sushi. Everything was fabulous. It was way more than we'd ever pay at home to eat out, but hey, this was our 1st vacation in 12 yrs, so why not? After Bellagio, we headed over to the Venetian because we had tickets for Blue Man Group (which was AWESOME and so funny). Roamed around the shops there for awhile & roamed around the casino. By this time, our feet were getting weary after so many hours of standing & walking. DH was getting crabby about losing $$ on gambling and was crabbing about his job, so I asked him to can it because we're here to have fun....put a sock in it buddy! :Ãž After Blue Man Group, we were going to go downtown, but decided to save the $$ on cab fare and went to Casino Royale instead. I got $50 in free slot play & DH lost more $$ at craps (see a trend here?). Headed back to Mirage after awhile, but I don't recall what time it was. Tues, 9/11: Slept in until 9am! Seriously, this is the latest that I've slept since our daughter was born 15 months ago. Probably the longest amount of uninterrupted sleep in a LONG time. (thanks to Grandma for babysitting!) Took our time getting our act together. Packed up our stuff, which I took down to the bell desk while DH went back to the craps table. Before check-out, we went to the casino host's office in the casino. We did what somebody here recommended - introduced ourselves, said that we had a great time staying here, blah blah blah, Based on our level of play, would we qualify to have one of our meals comped? The host looked up our info in the computer & told us our average amount of play per hand. How long we'd played & she knew that we'd lost money. Asked how much we paid for the room (it was a SW package, so I don't know - I think that she might have given us a reduced rate/night if we'd booked through Mirage). In the end, all of the incidentals that we charged to our room were picked up by the casino. So THANK YOU to everyone here for your recommendations for how to ask...because had we not signed up for players' cards & had I not dragged DH w/me to the casino host's office and asked, we would not have gotten that stuff comped! Our flight didn't leave until 8pm, so we had lunch again at Japonais, then crossed the street to go through Harrah's & take the Monorail to the LV Hilton. DH is a Star Trek fan & he had to go to that Stark Trek Experience thing. Again, thank you to this website for the link about the 1/2 price Monorail tickets. I'll tell ya one thing....foot traffic on the Strip seemed busy for a Tuesday, but the Monorail was practically deserted. No wonder! who wants to pay $5 for 1 ride on the Monorail? Highway robbery, if you ask me. Ok, so DH is a TOTAL Star Trek fan (well, not enough to have one of those Star Fleet uniforms, but he owns every movie). It was fun. At the end of it, DH said that it was a little hokey. Quark's Bar & Restaurant was as dead as a doornail...as was the LV Hilton's casino. We had a snack at Quark's afterwards & I used the $25 gift certificate that I got from Restaurants.com for $4 (again, thanks to a tip on this website). The service was horrible....I ordered clam chowder & it wasn't exactly hot. And I didn't get my drink until after I was done w/the soup. I asked for a Coke & she brought me a styrofoam cup. Um, no, I said a COKE! Maybe she was new or didn't understand english very well. DH had a sandwich that came w/this pasta salad that was probably the worst pasta salad I've ever tasted. Ok, so Quark's didn't quite work out, but I would imagine that a Fri or Sat night would probably be a more fun time to go there because maybe at busier times, they have more Star Trek characters roaming around & talking w/people. Took the Monorail back to Harrahs & killed some time at Mirage on slot machines (I'm hooked on Wheel of Fortune). In the past, I recall horrible lines at the airport checking in at Southwest & going through security, so we got to the airport way early. Oh, this time, the cabbie asked us if we wanted to go via the freeway and I said, "The most direct route, please." BIG difference - $13 this time instead of $23! Although the guy wasn't paying attention & went in the shuttle bus way & almost passed Southwest Airlines & then stopped the cab in the middle of the road while we got out. Get off your blankety-blank cell phone! Maybe it's because today was Sept. 11, but the airport was dead. Just a few people in line at SW check-in and maybe 5-10 min wait at security. WOW! Oh....one of the lines at security has this big new device that you have to step into. It blows jets of air on you while you hold your shoes. Then you put your shoes through the x-ray machine & then you go through the traditional metal detector. Apparently, this big new contraption is used to detect whether people are carrying explosives on their person...kind of like the smaller machines where they swipe a white cloth over your laptop & analyze the particles, only this is a people-sized one. Well, I'm glad for this because it made me feel more secure. The TSA guy said to me that we don't fit the profile of people they're looking for & that they'll pull people out of the other security lines & make them go through the air blower thingy to test them. DH must have been bitten by the slot machine bug because he started playing Wheel of Fortune slots at the airport, too, & plunked another $40 in there. Got home around 10-ish. A great time was had by all! Hubby was amazed how much Vegas has changed. I think that he misses the old Vegas where you could eat really great food for really cheap & gamble in fabulous casinos for cheap, too. He's going to our soon-to-be brother-in-law's bachelor party in Vegas in early October. They're going to be staying downtown, so I think that maybe downtown may be a little more his speed for the gamble, stay, & eat cheap thing.