The Wifester and I had planned to go to Mexico for our 25th, but Mr. Covid ruined (or as we say in Kentucky, rernt) those plans so we decided to head to Vegas. And head to Vegas we did! This is topical instead of day-by-day. The Flights We arrive at my employer's airport facility and request a ride from Uber. Ducking the BNA parking fees? MONEY AHEAD ALREADY! Uber was fast, driver was friendly, and we're at the airport in no time. BNA was... deserted. DE. SERT. ED. From the moment we entered the first line where they check your ID to the moment we were putting our shoes back on was five minutes. The only reason it took that long was because a lady in front of us was slow. We flew SWA, everyone was friendly, and they didn't sell any middle seats. Everyone wore a mask. I watched The Goonies. SPOILER ALERT: Those meddling kids save the day. LAS was equally deserted and the security process was just as quick. The gate agent was awesome. He told everyone to stay seated until he called your group to line up, "There's no reason to come up here if it's not your turn to get on the plane." There were 40 people on the plane. I told my wife that we could each have our own row. She didn't find that funny. Don't know why I married such a sourpuss. The Car We got the cheapest rental. Know what that means? When you take the airport shuttle to the rental place, you get to take another shuttle to the Fox Rent A Car office. It comes with a stopover! If you've never rented from Fox Rent A Car, you're missing out. Imagine the Hardcore Pawn TV show adapted to a rental car business. This location was a bit run down, there were ornery customers, and the employees were only slightly less ornery. The line wasn't long but it was slow. One guy in front of us took forever to be taken care of and he was pissed off about whatever issue was taking so long. They finally got to me and things seemed to be going ok. Well, the gal waiting on me was kind of a bitch. Not that she said rude things, but nice things said in a rude way. I think she meant well. She leaned toward me and pointed out that one of the guys waiting in line was drinking a mixed drink and already drunk. She said she hoped she didn't have to wait on him. Two other gals got pissed off about something and stomped out screaming and using words that you wouldn't use in front of your mother except on special occasions. We got a 2020 Mitsubishi SUV that was nice. Nice and dirty. And dinged up like hell. I didn't think the pen had enough ink in it to note all the defects on the inspection sheet. I should have just circled the picture of the car and written "ASS." Anyhoodle, after getting 3 cases of writer's cramp noting all the issues, we left. My lovely wife noted that they seem like the kind of people who wouldn't care if we totaled the car OR they might be the kind of people who would try to charge us $300 for brining it back with too many dead bugs on the front bumper. We couldn't tell. The car had CarPlay and all sorts of buttons and it ran really well with cold A/C and it got all the good radio stations and I have no complaints other than it was dirty. The Food We stop off at In-N-Out for our usual first meal. The place was busy, they do a good job of social distancing, the employees wore masks, and they were all VERY friendly. We ate twice at The Original House of Pancakes. Good food, good price, good service. We ate twice at Giordano's deep dish pizza place at Bally's. The first time was awesome. The 2nd time? Sometimes you can just tell when things aren't going to go well. This was one of those times. No one waited on us. Just as we were about to leave, a very nice lady asked if anyone had waited on us. Seeing as I had grown a beard in the meantime, no. She was nice, though. Our pizza was... eh. I can't explain it. It was lukewarm, but it was good and hot just as you were getting close to the crust, but crust itself was kind of doughy. It's Vegas, everything is a gamble. We ate at Outback in Casino Royale. Best Outback steak I've ever had, though that may or may not be saying much. We snacked at Sloan's ice cream place inside the Venetian or wherever it is. It was good, though pricey. The little girl that waited on us was mumbly and it was made worse by the mask. We ate at El Segundo Sol. Bottomless chips n' salsa and we split a fajita platter. VERY GOOD but I ate too much. The Hotel We arrive at Treasure Island and go to check in. The Wifester asks why I don't use the kiosk. Well, dummy, because I'm going to flash a 20 at the clerk, tell him it's our 25th anniversary, and you will be so impressed with the upgrade that you'll run naked through the streets with delight. And that's just what I did. The clerk told us that he really took care of us with an upgrade and a great view. He was polite, but kind of dull and indifferent. The upgrade WAS the view. It was the same damn room I booked. No one is staying in this hotel - you can't hook a brother up better than THAT? Sadly, my bride of 25 years did not run through the streets naked, though she did stand in front of the window in her underwear. About the room. It was a nice room, just worn. It was showing age. Lots of little things that come from indifference. The big Sexual Romp tub? It had a big funky stain on the bottom, similar to water rust. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US FROM TI!!! No one seemed to care, and that attitude was evident across the property. Went to get my player's card and the guy at the player's club didn't seem too enthused. Not rude, just indifferent, sort of like the guy who gave me the non-upgrade upgrade. The felt in the bubble craps machine where the dice sit was worn out. The touch screens were acting all screwy, like if you put a microwave too close to the TV. When you pushed the button to launch the dice, it launched them three times (but someone eventually fixed that). There were video poker machines with unresponsive buttons and one that sounded like someone poured a drink in the speaker. Just crap like that. Drink service was crap. I know that staffing levels are down, but there were suits wandering all over the place, looking bored out of their minds. Yet there I sat, playing a junky machine with no drink. It got a little better on Friday when the casino finally showed signs of life, but still. Twice I took a short walk to CVS because it was the only way to get anything. The rest of the week the place was deader than Kelsey's nuts, though that didn't stop them from having the craps table at a $15 minimum and the other table games at $25. No one is playing - why not lower the limits? We spent a few hours at the pool one day. It was nice and the staff was nice. Know what else they had? DRINK SERVICE. The unexpected entertainment was a couple of security guys running back to where we couldn't see them. They returned with a guy in handcuffs and a bag on his head. Looks like they caught a spitter. I don't know if the WiFi was any good. AT&T cell signal was great in the room, probably because TI had nothing to do with it. Also, getting back to the indifference thing, this was the WiFi setup: That looks like something I'd do when moving the equipment from room to room to see which location offers the best coverage in our house. Seriously, you're going to just sling all the crap under the desk? The traffic There wasn't any, either on the roads or on the sidewalks. Getting from here to there was QUICK. I don't think I saw cars stacked more than five or six deep at stoplights on the strip. Player's Clubs We went around to some casinos that we'd never patronized to get our cards. Bellagio: the lady was super nice and treated us like we were fancy. Cosmopolitan: the lady was super nice and seemed happy and excited for us. Venetian: she did not seem to think we were fancy nor was she excited for us. She seemed mad. Wynn: she seemed nice. Various We took a nice drive to kill some time and get away from everything, driving down to Needles CA, which could just as easily be Scottsville KY with sand instead of fields and different accents. In fact, this joke works just as well in either place: Q: What happens if you don't pay your garbage tax in Needles/Scottsville? A: They'll suspend all further deliveries until you pay up. The one thing that got on my nerves is that people wearing masks (which we did in all casinos) need to SPEAK LOUD AND CLEAR in order to be heard. My hearing has taken a very slight decline and it's hard to hear someone wearing a mask from behind a glass. The lady at the Cosmo player's club went out of her way to be heard and that was nice change of pace from what seemed like the Charlie Brown Teacher Speech Tournament. We were most impressed by... The Cosmopolitan. The ambience, the atmosphere, everything. The music was about as loud as I want background music to be. It wasn't packed, but it had enough people there to make it seem hap'nin' and whatnot. Going from the least fancy people that we saw up to the most fancy people that we saw, we ranked right there in the middle and didn't feel out of place as a couple of middle aged hillbillies. They have a Hattie B's chicken place and I LOVE HATTIE B'S chicken. We have made many trips to the HB's on Charlotte Ave in Nashville and I've tortured my stomach with several servings of their hottest (known as Shut The Cluck Up). I always thought Cosmo would be a pretentious place but it wasn't. Everyone was super nice, drink service was great, the machines work, and I understand why it's so popular. We were let down by... Treasure Island. Our room from our 2012 trip to the Imperial Palace was in better shape. We've also stayed at pH, CP, Paris, Linq, and Bally's. This was the worst of the bunch. Plus the guy at the desk took my twenty knowing damn well he didn't do a thing for me. Also, Radisson is spamming the hell out of me. Damn, I meant to... Bet on the Titans to win the AFC South (3/2). In the end... We enjoyed the trip and had a good time, TI notwithstanding. Didn't win a damn thing.