Warning: This is a long trip report. I like to type my reports in order of how the trip progressed. After a few months goes by and I'm awaiting my next countdown, re-reading my reports this way almost allows me to reenact my previous trips. So here goes.... DATES: May 21 - 27 HOTELS: NYNY, Ballys, Wynn (2 nights each) SHOWS: Dane Cook, Blue Man Group, Jersey Boys ENTERTAINMENT: Richard Petty Driving Experience FOOD: Luxor Pyramid Cafe, Mon Ami Gabi, Monte Carlo Buffet (Breakfast), Burger Bar, Le Crepiere, Grand Lux Cafe, Burger Brassiere, Peppermill, California Pizza Kitchen, Wynn Buffet (Dinner and Breakfast) Wed May 21 Flight out is supposed to leave at 7:30am. I had trouble sleeping that night as I was afraid I'd sleep in and miss the flight. I literally had about 30 minutes of sleep that night. We get to the airport at about 6:30am and find out our plane is delayed. Our plane was coming from another city and lightning storms was delaying their flights. No need to panic yet as it was supposed to be only an hour late. We eat breakfast over the course of an hour and check back at the counter. The flight's been cancelled! Now it's time to panic! They offer to put us on another flight at 3:30pm that afternoon with a connecting flight at 6:30pm, getting us to Vegas at 8:30. We had plans to meet a friend at 2:30pm in Vegas so now we're really stressing out. She doesn't have a cell phone so we had no way to leave her a message that we would be late. Long story short, we waited for the airline counter personnel to finish dealing with the line up of passengers. There was about 2 other flights later that day they could board and they were choosing their flights. Once the lineup disappeared, we got back in line. There was another group in front of us with a lady who was making a big fuss about the flights. In the end, she got them to agree to pay for another flight to Vegas on a different airline. We quickly jumped on board the same deal and we went to the back offices to book flights online this other airline. In the end, we got to Vegas at 4pm, about 3 hours behind schedule but way ahead of the proposed 8:30pm arrival. Once at the airport, we again were stressing out over where our friend was. We were to originally arrive at 1pm and she at 2:30pm. But with this flight mixup, we had no idea where she was! We hung around the airport for about an hour trying to find her, even having her name paged over the intercom system. Finally, we gave up and said she must have gone to the hotel herself. Took the shuttle to the new rental car facility. Didn't realize it was so far away. The new facility is a few miles past the Vegas sign on the strip (past Mandalay Bay). It's a nice, big facility but it seemed to take up so much time shuttling there and going through registration. Then the 3 of us had to pore over our chosen vehicle to pick out all the dings and dents to mark them down before leaving the facility. It's so dark in the parking garage, I'm sure we missed other scratches and dents but I guess that's done on purpose. It didn't matter in the end though. Now, it's 6pm, we've got our Chrysler Pacifica (full-size vehicle), but we still have a friend that's MIA. We drive up to the strip and valet at NYNY where we're spending our first 2 nights. We proceed to the check-in counter and hear a scream to the left..."Heyyyyyy!" Friend was waiting at the slot machines by the check-in counter. We chat for a few minutes, then quickly get our rooms to drop our stuff off. I booked a Park Avenue Premium View room at NYNY. I was disappointed with the room itself. It is definitely worn out and has seen better days. Oh well. I knew spending our last few nights at Wynn would more than make up for it. First thing we look for is a place to eat. I've been craving the American Kobe beef burger at Burger Bar in Mandalay Place ever since I had it last November. We made our way over there via the tram from Excalibur to MBay. Coming down the escalators, one of the timeshare folks got the attention of 2 of my friends (their first Vegas trip and hence, were not warned). I'm about to pull them away and then our other friend says, let it be, let them learn themselves. So, about 15 minutes goes by where I'm just looking around the nearby tattoo parlor while they make their timeshare pitch to my friends. Finally, they walk away and we keep walking. We get to Burger Bar at about 7pm and the place is packed! There's was probably about 30 people outside waiting for tables. No room for 4 at the bar so our only option would be to wait an hour for a table. Decide we can't wait that long so we head over to the Luxor to eat. We also got a couple of jello shots at Fat Tuesday's along the way. They've never had jello shots before so it was kinda fun to do it as a group. Boy, were they ever strong! Inside Luxor, I'm thinking about eating at the Mexican joint on the upper level only to find it boarded up for renovations. So we continue our search but now the call of the slot machines overtakes our hunger. One friend sits down for a $20 and quickly triples it. Score - he cashes out and we head off into the casino. I wanted to eat at the Cathouse only because it looks so funky but I was outvoted on that one. We ended up eating at the Pyramid Cafe. It was decent grub but I always feel it's such a waste to eat at coffee shops or food courts when in Vegas since there's so many other great places to eat. I had the sheppard's pie and shared some nachos. Again, decent grub but nothing spectacular. The cafe definitely does not fit in with the new reno's at Luxor. It's trying for a more modern feel in the casino but the cafe feels like it's ancient. Oh well. After dinner, we're all relaxed now that we're in Vegas. We walk over to the Criss Angel store. One friend is a biker so he's drooling over all the bikes on display. There's probably 5-6 bikes on display and all of them look like works of art, even to a non-biker like myself. Keep walking to Excalibur. Take a look around and play some slots. Head back to NYNY and play more slots there. I'm not a big gambler at anything but the other 3 like the slots so I'm hanging around them a lot this trip. We eventually call it a night a little bit past midnight since it was a long day traveling. Thurs May 22 Started the day off at about 9am. Went over to MGM to take a look around. They played a few slots. The tigers weren't out yet at that time. I think they're out on display at 11am. I was in desparate need for a drink so I go to the Rainforest Cafe bar to get a Baileys and coffee. I think with a dollar tip, it was about $11. Note to self, sit down at a penny machine next time when looking to order a drink. We continue walking up the strip. Our mission was to get to the Palazzo as that's where one friend wanted to go (she was only going to be there for 3 nights as opposed to our 6 nights so we tried to accomodate some of the things she wanted to see). We stop off at the M&M store at 9:30am.....we finally leave the M&M store at 11am. That was my first time I've ever been inside. It was much bigger than I anticipated but still, 90 minutes inside was enough for me. We contiue the trek up the strip and we get a good view of City Center's progress. I can't believe it's going up so fast, especially seeing how big it is. I took lots of pictures just to be able to look back at it one day and say, I saw it before it was even built. We make it up to Paris and finally say we need to eat - actually, it was the pregnant friend who said that and our eating plans the entire week were centered around when she was hungry. That was fine enough with me. She's still a pretty small person and doesn't eat a lot - just needs to eat every couple of hours. We got to Mon Ami Gabi at about 11:30am which was perfect timing. We beat the lunch crowd and were able to get a patio table. Weather was perfect and the Bellagio fountains were even running shows at that hour! Food here was great. 3 of us had crepes and all were delicious. I tried their french onion soup. After so much hype about it, I think I was a little disappointed. It was good, but not unbelievably good. Service was outstanding though. We even had another waiter (not our own waiter) come to us because one friend had a puzzled look on her face when she first ate her pea soup. They served it cold and she wanted it hot. This other waiter could tell she didn't like it when she first tried it so he collected it back and had the kitchen warm it up. Definitely a great place to eat. Prices are reasonable, views are fantastic and service is wonderful! We get a frozen daquiri at the Rock House bar. One of big long tubes. Can't remember the flavour but I asked for the most popular one and it was a mix of 2 flavours. It was orange and red. Bit expensive at $17 but I still get one once a trip now. We make it to the Venetian. Walk around the shops for a bit, then sign up for the Club Grazie card. I wasn't going to sign up for the card until one friend came back and said, hey they're giving $15 in free play. So, naturally I go sign up for a card. We go through the process and I get my card. I ask if there's any free play on it and she says no. I ask why not, all my other friends are getting $15 (who mind you are at the next counter over). She responds, you only get the free play if you provide your email address. She then asks, do you want to provide your email address? I begin to roll the eyes and feel a smart aleck remark about to come out but I restrain myself and just say yes, I'd like to provide my email address. I get the card, get the free play and sit down at a machine. I quickly turn the $15 into $35 and I cash out. The others play for a bit but now it's about 3:30pm and we've got 5pm reservations for Burger Bar way down at the other end. So we didn't make it to Palazzo but we'll save that for the next day. We start walking back and along the way outside of PHo, a guy was outside with a big lizard. My friends pose for pictures holding the lizard and after that, he outrightly says he works for tips, $3 or $4 would be satisfactory. My buddy was in a good mood so he gave $3. We get back to NYNY at about 4:30pm and have a few minutes to freshen up before dinner. We make it to Burger Bar just after 5pm and it's much less crowded at this hour. I rave to everyone that the American Kobe beef burger is phenomenal so 2 others order it while 1 opted for a different burger. I think the others only thought it was ok. They ordered it well done which I don't think would enhance the flavour of the beef. I ordered it medium-rare as I prefer any meat that way. We each tried a different type of fries. I had the onion rings. Another had the skinny fries. Another had the sweet potato fries and the last had a type of seasoned fries. Those seasoned fries had a little bit of kick to them and they were easily the best of the bunch. I can't remember the full name of those fries though. The meal was good but not quite as good as I remembered it. I would order that burger again if I went back but it's not a must go to restaurant for me anymore. After dinner, we went to the Shark Reef inside MBay. I've never wandered around MBay before so it was cool to see everything inside. The restaurant row towards the back looks very cool. I would definitely look to have a dinner at one of those restaurants in a future trip. The Shark Reef is way at the back of the hotel and is quite a long walk past the casino. You do get good views of the pool area of the hotel which as everyone knows is known to be one of the better pools in Vegas. I've always considered the pay attractions inside these hotels as just tourist traps and rip-offs. I normally would never pay $18 to go see an aquarium inside a hotel and if it wasn't for one friend, I still wouldn't have. I'm glad to say the Shark Reef was very cool inside and worth the admission fee. It's a nice place to visit for anyone of any age. It's not the size of a big city zoo's aquarium but it's much better than I would have thought it be. It took about an hour to go through the place. If you wanted to listen and read every display, you could easily add another hour to the visit. After the Shark Reef, it was almost 8pm and getting darker. I wanted to go MIX up top. I've never been there but have read all the rave reviews about the views up there. Unfortunately, I was wearing shorts and was stopped right before the elevator. Maybe next time. We made our way back to NYNY and hung around the casino for a bit. Played some more slots and the majority wanted to call it an early night. Too much walking today I gather. I called it a night too. Figured it was a chance to catch up on some sleep. Funny though, I think 2 of them came back down to hang out more with their one-armed bandits. Fri May 23 Checked out of NYNY. Next stop, Ballys for 2 nights. We left our bags with the belldesk at about 9am as we didn't plan on checking into Ballys until 11 or 12pm. As I left my bags with the belldesk, the bellhop made his pitch for a tip saying there will be a different person there when I come back to pick up my bags. Hmmm, thanks for letting me know. I'll tip that guy when I come back. So, I was the only one in the group that didn't leave a buck or two (we checked out separately so we weren't leaving the bags as a group). We joked all morning that my bags were now on a plane to Alaska because I didn't tip the guy. Then we joked that watch me be the only person to get my bags back while everyone else ends up losing their bags, lol. Headed over to Monte Carlo for breakfast. I definitely wanted to visit this casino as I haven't been there since my first trip. I just wanted to check things out again. We ate at the buffet. I know Monte Carlo isn't known for their buffet but I don't think anyone can screw up a breakfast buffet. As long as there's eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, fruit, etc, it'll be fine. Breakfast was good and everyone was happy. Walked around the casino for a bit and played some more slots. This was my first exposure to the Top Gun slots. Really cool that the seat vibrates and that it has surround sound! I started playing a few dollars to get my free drinks but other than that, just hung out for a bit. Went back to NYNY to pick up our bags and car and headed over to Ballys. Stayed at Ballys over this Memorial Day weekend as it was the cheapest weekend rates I could find. I think it was $130/$160 for Friday/Saturday night at Ballys while Wynn (where we were checking in later) was $399/$499 those nights. Checked in without a problem at 11:30am. I had booked a North Tower room. Room was spacious and I like the size of HET's bathrooms. The windows definitely need a cleaning though. Ugh. Those were some nasty windows. We hung around Paris and Ballys for the next few hours. Had a snack at Le Crepiere in Paris. Good crepes as always. Better than the real ones in France! We had to get ready for what would be the highlight of one buddy's trip - the Richard Petty Driving Experience! He had a 5pm reservation for the King's Experience package at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That would let him drive a Nascar-style race car for 18 laps on the same track the pros race around. It was a windy day that Friday. We took the freeway to the racetrack. Very easy to find and we followed the signs to where they have to register and sign their lives away. I was surprised how many people were there. About 20 people signed up to actually drive the cars and about 30 people were there for the ride-alongs. The rumble of the cars was very cool. The adrenaline started pumping inside of me even though I was just there to take pictures of my buddy. They take all the drivers on a tour of the track inside cargo vans. It was funny to see 2 cargo vans whipping around the track. The vans are driven by the instructors and I'm assuming they're giving instructions on how to take the turns and where to slow down, etc. Then the parade of race cars come out and the rumble of the cars reach very loud levels. Just being there is a thrill. I can only imagine how the people who signed up to drive must feel. After a while, I just had to do it myself (not drive though). I signed up for the ride along and I got 3 laps around the track in one of the cars for $109. For those who want to drive the cars, you have to be able to drive stick (I can't). The program is set up very safely. You have an instructor in front followed by one of the drivers. The drivers just have to try to follow their lines and keep up with them around the track. There's no racing with other drivers and there's no side-by-side stuff. It's all very professional and very safe. Highly recommend even just the ride-along program for anyone remotely interested in cars and racing. Just being on the actual track used by the pros, that was the cool thing for me. Two thumbs up! We rushed back to Ballys as it was now 9:30pm and we had 11pm Dane Cook tickets at the Collosseum at Caesars. We went to the food court at Caesars right before the show started and that was a gong show. Lineups everywhere. I guess the casino was still busy with those who came out of the Cher show and with those going into the Dane Cook show. I still don't know fully who Dane Cook is. I'll Google him once I have more time. I know he's been on TV shows and stuff but that's it. The show was funny. The second comedian to come out was way funnier than Dane Cook though. I'll definitely try to Google him to try to find out his name. My stomach hurt so much from laughing at his jokes. A good time for sure. And it was my first time in the Collosseum. Kind of a different atmosphere inside when it's just a stand-up act (one spotlight and a mic on stage). I can just imagine what it's like when there's singers and dancers bouncing around on stage. After Dane Cook, we headed back to Ballys. The plan was to freshen up and then meet back down in 15 minutes to continue the evening - it was about 1am at this point. Well, only 1 other made it to the rendezvous point. The 2 girls went to sleep. We walked down to PHo with the intention of playing in their 2am poker tournament but we passed on that once we got there. It wasn't a big turnout, maybe 10-12 people for the tourney. We just walked around the casino for a bit before heading back to Ballys to call it a night. Sat May 24 Woke up and knew we wanted to head to the 1/2 price ticket booth at the Fashion Show Mall as we wanted to see Blue Man Group that night. It was a short line at 11am and we got our tickets. Happy to know it wasn't just a voucher but the ticket itself so we didn't then have to go to the Venetian's box office to exchange the voucher for a ticket. We got floor tickets, albeit to the side of the theatre, for $105 with taxes and fees included. Walked over to Palazzo to go to the Grand Lux Cafe for lunch. Small lineup at 12pm but it moved fast, no more than 10 minutes in line. The room was very beautiful. We were seated in the room off to the right of the main dining room. Almost like a room normally reserved for private functions but it was opened up to allow for more diners. Very classy looking room. This was my first time at a Grand Lux Cafe. The menu was huge! I opted for the Express Breakfast which is just their buffet breakfast. The breakfast was good but in retrospect, I wished I tried an item or two off the menu as everyone here raves about this place. 2 of us went for the buffet and the other 2 ordered off the menu. I had a taste of the potato spring rolls...mmm...excellent. Played some more slots at the Palazzo. We stayed in the area of the Grand Lux Cafe, with the Jersey Boys theatre right down the hallway. Can't wait to see the show on Sunday night (one of main things I was looking forward to do this trip). One friend won big on the Monopoly slots, cashing out about $650. After that, we walked around the casino and shops to take a look through. Palazzo is very large and impressive but it doesn't scream luxury or classy like Wynn does to me...guess that's just personal preferences. Still, I'd like to try to stay in one of their rooms as the pictures look nice. Walked back down the strip to PHo. We all wanted to sign up for their player's card as they were advertising a $40 free play promo with it. The fine print reads that its $40 total with that being broken down by $25 matchplay on the tables, $5 sportsbook matchplay and $10 free play on the slots. The finer print reads that the $10 free play on the slots is only activated once you've put through $20 on a machine with your player's card in it. So, like the sucker I am, I put the $20 in to get the $10 and still came out with nothing but a few screwdrivers in me. But, the same friend who won big at the Palazzo also scored here...$450 out of one machine. And this was her last night in town! We eventually walked back to Ballys and stopped for dinner at the Burger Brassiere in the walkway between Paris and Ballys. Decent food. Sports pub atomsphere. The bartender was doing some tricks on the bar, pouring half a dozen drinks at the same time. My back was to the bar so I didn't get to see how it was all done but he was standing on the bar with about 6 glasses in his hands and holding them up high. They were being poured simultaneously to 6 glasses on the bar. Lots of hooting and hollering from the crowd on that one. Nothing special on the food. It was priced reasonably but nothing stood out for me to have to go back. If you're in the area looking for a burger, it'll do the job. I crashed in the room for about an hour before we had to leave for Blue Man Group. During that time, that same friend who won at Palazzo and PHo, now won $185 at Ballys! And her plane was leaving in 2 hours! Think it might have been a sign not to leave but alas, she chose to take the money and return home. I think she went home up a couple hundred bucks. Blue Man Group at the Venetian was a cool show. Not sure what to think of it though. Does it have a meaning? Are they trying to communicate a message? I'd rather not think about it and just leave it as an entertaining show. Does anyone know if they use plants in the audience? We debated the rest of the night if the 2 people they picked out of the crowd were plants. They seemed to flow along with the show just too perfectly to be random picks. I remember at the beginning, before the show starts, they introduce a couple of notable people in the audience. We had an Olympic gold medalist in the audience as well as a researcher who helped map the human genome! The Venetian was packed once we came out of the theatre. Tao's lines were wrapping around the outside entrance, the taxi cab line must have had a few hundred people in it, and the sidewalks were just shoulder to shoulder. We eventually made it back to Ballys but it seemed like a mission to get from A to B. On the way back, we saw Metro Police searching a guy on the overpass between Bills and Ballys. 6 cops had 1 guy spread eagled along the railing. Don't know what that was all about but I've never seen so many uniformed cops on the strip before...not just this instance but throughout the trip. We got back to Ballys and hung around for a bit. It was about 2am so we called it a night then. Decided to sleep in until 10am and check out at 11am. Sun May 25 Checked out of Ballys at 11am and picked up our car from the valet. Headed off to Wynn...I was really looking forward to spending the next 2 nights here. Been wanting to stay here for a long time. My friends got their room ready right away while I was told mine would be a while. Actually, my friends were upgraded to a panoramic room on the 59th floor overlooking the golf course. They liked it because their room was right by the elevators. Apparently their rooms at NYNY and Ballys were miles away from the elevators. By this time, we were ready for breakfast/lunch. The buffet line at Wynn was massive. The lineup stretched out into the hallway and they had a roped off lineup section building up down the hallway! Uh, no thanks. We kept walking until we got to the Terrace Point Cafe. Similar lineup, no thanks. Kept walking to the Country Club Grill, no lineup...yes, thankyou. A table would be ready in about 5 minutes if we would like to wait in their lounge. My friends took a seat while I checked out the golf store. $150 for a T-shirt, uh, no thanks. Back to the lounge to sit I go. We didn't get a table on the patio but we had a nice table inside which was fine with me. I could still see the waterfall from my seat and it was a nice room to be in. It definitely feels un-casino-like to be in there and like Steve Wynn says on his infomercial on the in-house TV channel, it sweeps you away to North Carolina when you eat in that room. I ordered the crab cakes. Very tasty but at $26, maybe a tad high. Still a good meal though. We had to go back to Palazzo to pick up our Jersey Boys tickets. I had ordered them online about a month ago and they were being held a the will call booth. Picked up the tickets, played some slots. Friends had some minor wins while I stayed even. During that time, Wynn tried to call saying my room was ready. So back we went so I could check in but we stopped in at Sugar and Ice first. We couldn't resist the brownies so we bought 2 of them and ate them outside overlooking the waterfalls. After that, I checked back in while friends enjoyed a drink at the Parasol Up bar overlooking the water. I had a room on the 6th floor looking out towards the strip. Because of the low floor level, I couldn't see much down the strip but I still had a good view of Palazzo, TI and Mirage as well as the Fashion Show Mall. Loved the room. The automatic curtains, the huge bathroom, the robes, slippers, couch and sitting area. I didn't sit on the bed just yet because I wanted to save that for later on that night, after reading these are the best beds in Vegas! Took some time to relax in the room, then met up with the friends at 5pm to walk over to the Fashion Show Mall. Bought a few things at Nieman Marcus. Just wished I had more time to spend there. As it was, it was now 6pm and Jersey Boys started at 7. So we went back to our rooms to drop our bags off, went to the Drugstore Cafe at Wynn to get a quick sandwich and walked over to Palazzo. Made it in our seats with about 5 minutes to spare. We were right at the back, maybe 5 or 6 rows from the very last. I went for the cheapest tickets possible but in retrospect, I would gladly pay twice the ticket amount to sit on the floor closer to the actors so I can see their faces during the show. I sat in row B-C, section 9 (left hand side of the theatre), almost right at the back. The first 2 rows were partially empty. I think that's done on purpose if the show is not completely sold out. Those rows would have railings in their view. We were in our seats at 6:55pm and the show started promptly at 7pm. Don't be late for the show as the lights go out and you'll be struggling to find your seats in the dark. The show itself - won't spoil the show for those that haven't seen it yet. But it was fantastic. Easily the best musical I've seen, not that I've seen a lot. But I liked it better than the Producers, Avenue Q and Spamalot - and it's not like those shows are slackers themselves. I thought the lead who plays Frankie Valli has too much of a phony falsetto (no idea if I'm using the proper terminology). It doesn't sound as natural as obviously as the real Valli nor the original lead actor on the original Broadway show. I'm only judging that based on YouTube videos of the original Broadway cast and by the Jersey Boys CD recording. Just seemed he was stretching too much past his boundaries. The show moves along at a quick pace. The 8 minute intermission is kinda useless but it gives a chance to stand up and stretch the legs. Again, if you do go to the washroom during the break, try to be back promptly as the show starts up right on time. Many do not make it back on time and they're left trying to find their seats in the dark with only the usher's small flashlight showing where the steps are. I went on Memorial Day weekend and at the end of the show when the actors take their bows, the one that plays Valli points out that there's a group of service men and women who just got back from Iraq and then led the audience in applause for their efforts. It was a great show with lots of singing and laughter with a teary point towards the end. Highly recommend the show to anyone and everyone. After the show, I bought the Jersey Boys CD at the gift store. I wanted to listen to it that night but the CD alarm clock in my room at Wynn wasn't working. So, I had to wait until my first night back home to listen to it. I wish the CD was of the whole play including the dialogue. The CD has some dialogue but most of it is just the songs (which are great), but I just wish I could listen to the whole play itself. After the show, we went over to TI to watch the pirate show. Still as cheesy as I remember it but friends wanted to see it. Very, very crowded. It's amazing fights don't break out with some of the crowds. My hand was on my front pocket (wallet) the entire show, just in case. We were hungry at this point so we took the tram over to the Mirage to have a late snack. I wanted to go to Carnegie's Deli as that's been on my list of restaurants to try for quite some time now. Instead, one friend saw California Pizza Kitchen next door and wanted to try that instead. I went along with it and got the BLT pizza...mmmmmm...that was good pizza. One of the food highlights of the trip for me. Very, very good and it wasn't greasy at all. After eating, we headed back to Wynn for a nice night of relaxation. Mon May 26 Got up around 9am and met to go to breakfast. Decided to try the Peppermill, again, because of the rave reviews on this board. I was expecting a big lineup but we were seated right away. I knew I was going to get an omelette before I walked in, now it was just a matter of picking which one. I ended up with the Mediterranean one with shrimp and crab. I didn't really like the omelette itself too much but the hash browns were excellent. The omelette tasted overcooked. Very fresh way of making hash browns and they weren't too greasy at all. One friend had the fruit and yogurt parfait and that thing looked like a work of art! As we left Peppermill, I glanced to my right and saw the Hilton hotel. I casually asked if my friends liked Star Trek, and to my surprise, they both said YES! Now, I was like, you totally have to go to the Star Trek Experience if you're into Star Trek. The 1/2 price ticket book by the Riveria was just a few feet away and we got tickets to the Star Trek Experience, except now, they only sell the Backstage Tour package, not just the plain entry tickets. That kinda ticked me off at first because now even at the 1/2 price booths, the tickets are $42 each and I remember I got the plain old package tickets (without the backstage tour option) for $26. The person in the booth said they stopped supplying them with the plain tickets about 2 weeks ago and now if you wanna buy Star Trek tickets from them, you have to buy the backstage option as well. We bought the tickets but it put me into a grumpy mood as I hate being forced to buy something. Well, it turns out, the backstage tour was one of the highlights of my trip! We know the rumour is the Star Trek Experience will close in December so I was glad I was going again as the last time was 2 years ago. The rides and museum are as how I remembered them, but the backstage portion was very cool. We got to see how the rides worked (with the lights on in the room), walk around in the costume/makeup areas, got some insightful commentary from our guide Melvin and posed for some pictures on the replica of the Enterprise bridge (extra cost). I don't consider myself a hard core trekkie but TNG is one of my favourite TV series ever. After that, we went to the Stratosphere with the intention of riding the rides at the top. I knew I wasn't going to ride them but one of my friends was determined to do it. In the end, he only bought 1 ride ticket and chose Big Shot. That's the one ride up there that I would have done. The one that spins you around off the side of the tower is just insane. I'd be scared sh*tless just sitting on the chair over the edge, let alone having it spin me around while over the edge. It was a cool time being up at the top and I'm glad I went up there. We went back to the Wynn to have dinner. Just went to the buffet. I hate how they jack up the buffet prices on long weekends. Such a rip off but what can you do. Food was still great and it still confirms it in my head as being the best buffet in Vegas. As this was our last night in town, we decided to just relax in the room for a bit, take a bath, enjoy the views and just hang around the hotel that night. Tues May 27 So sad. Last morning in town and our flight leaves at 2pm. We had breakfast at the Wynn buffet using the Red Card points. Very good buffet as always. We packed our things up and waved goodbye. Took one last drive down the strip and returned the car at the rental car facility. Spent the rest of the time at the airport taking a few last pictures of the strip. Another great Vegas trip and I hope to have another countdown soon. Final Thoughts: (a) Wynn was phenomenal. Definitely can tell the difference in hotel design with things like shorter walks. (b) I want to try to stay at either Bellagio or Palazzo next trip. PHo would be good too if the price was right. (c) Too many restaurants left to try to write down here. (d) Was shocked at how cool it was during the trip. Only warmed up the last 2 days we were there. (e) Richard Petty Driving Experience - I know it's an untraditional Vegas experience but it's so worth it if you don't have a track near your hometown. (f) I think I saw Shaquille O'Neal on Saturday at PHo. Don't know how I can mess this one up. Either I saw a 7 foot giant or I didn't? From a distance, it looked like him but then I thought, if it really was him, there would be like a 100 people around trying to get his picture. So I kept on walking. Since I've come back home, I read Norm's LVRJ column as I like to know which celebrities were in town during my visit. Some notables included Robin Williams, Sting, LeBron James, AND Shaquille O'Neal on Saturday! Guess it really was him. (g) As fun as the Top Gun, Monopoly and Wizard of Oz slot machines were, I'm still not a gambler but was kinda glad gambling played a larger role in my trips than usual. (h) Finally, Jersey Boys was FANTASTIC. Go see it, you won't be disappointed. I would splurge for floor seating if you have the extra dollars to spend.