DAY 2 Wake up at 8:30, D is snoring away. Go to the Plaza to put down a couple of football bets, give a bum my pocket change along the way (karma, baby). How sad is it that the LVC, the sports-themed casino, doesnâ€™t have a sports book? We decide to do the Hilton brunch, since I have a 2 for 1 (Las Vegas Advisor). We get to the Hilton and wait in line for a few minutes. The book there is quite impressive; huge screens, huge board, lots of seats that were already filled... The Sunday Champagne brunch at the Hilton was pretty darn good. It wasnâ€™t huge, but it seemed to be good quality. Could have used a few cook-to-order stations though. I feasted on crab-legs like the shameless tourist I was, and got a good-sized mimosa. We went back into the book, looking for our new-found friends. We were thinking maybe the changed their minds until we saw a couple of them. The rest are watching games in the Shimmer Bar, which is an excellent alternative to the sports book. Itâ€™s the Hiltonâ€™s nightclub, but Sundays they have all the games on TVs, with one big screen. They have a full bar, and the place was pretty empty, so no one in the way, plenty of seats, and the bartender (who introduced himself to me, and whose name I couldnâ€™t remember if my life depended on it) was really nice, even giving me a big Sam Adams at the Miller Lite special price. After watching the early games we decide to take our leave, and bid our newfound friends a fond goodbye. A better group of guys you couldnâ€™t hope to meet. We go back downtown to collect my winnings (should have been more, stupid Jacksonville two point conversion), then to the Barbary Coast to check in. Naptime. Seriously, she was sick. We like the Barbary Coast enough to declare it our Official Strip Headquarters, at least until we become independently wealthy. The room was really nice for the price (the 2 night stay (Sunday & Monday nights) came out to a grand total, with tax, of $43), and it had character, and a flat screen TV. The bathroom was small, but not smaller than ours here in you-want-HOW-MUCH-for-that-apartment Southern California. The shower had good water pressure, and it had a little stained-glass window you could actually open. It was a fine, fine shower. While D sleeps, I hit the casino. It was small, but it had everything I really wanted, and at $5 limits. Played blackjack for a while at a friendly table. Well, it was friendly until someone split kings versus dealerâ€™s 2. The guy next to me was not happy, and understandably so when the dealer got a 20. The splitter lost both hands. I hope for his sake he was drunk. I turned $60 into $100, then hit the craps table and ride out some rough spots to finish up $10. Time for dinner. We decide to do Gardunoâ€™s at the Palms, because we have a coupon and a car. Itâ€™s supposed to be New Mexican food, as in the state of New Mexico. For the most part itâ€™s like any other Mexican food, but they emphasize chiles in a lot of dishes. We got the queso, which was runny, and she got tacos while I got a bowl of posole and ceviche. The ceviche, which is supposed to be â€œrawâ€ fish and shrimp cooked by the acid in citrus juice, tasted more like shrimp cocktail. Not bad, but not what I was expecting. And my cheapness showed through, which annoyed me. They had a variety of special margaritas, and the premium looked quite tempting, but there was a $3 difference between premium and house. Now I knew I had a 50% off coupon, so the most it would cost me was a $2 difference, but I went with the house. Why? Was $2 too much for me to indulge myself? Would I invest those two bucks and retire early? I think nothing of blowing $50 at blackjackâ€¦sigh. But the soup was good, D liked her tacos, the house margaritas were solid, and our waitress, Heather, was really good, especially for a place like this. And you got sopapillas and honey at the end for free. Yum. Back to the Barbary. Hang out in the room for a while, Dâ€™s still not feeling up to a casino, so I head down alone. I play blackjack long enough to get a good buzz, and turn some money into a little bit more money. There was a country band wrapping up their rodeo weekend, and what they lacked in execution they made up for in song selection. Some old Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and even a Lucinda Williams song. Not bad. Some old cowboy sits next to me and clearly has no idea how to play the game. Standing on 14 w/ the dealer showing an 8, hitting a 13 versus dealerâ€™s 5. And then, after he gets a little lucky, he tells me that the girl on the end, whoâ€™s playing pretty much textbook blackjack, â€œshouldnâ€™t be hittinâ€™ on them 16s.â€ Smile and nod. Whatever you say, old timer. Time for bed.