Food: Outside the places I mentioned in the hotel section, I also ate at Calypso's Cafe/Tropicana late one night. Had a pretty good chicken fried steak, eggs, biscuits & gravy meal. Was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Wednesday and Thursday evening, I had the Steak n Egg special (see a trend here) at the LV Club. Pretty good food though the service was kind of slow. Main Street Station Buffet Thursday afternoon. Had eaten here years ago and thought it was very overrated but it was really, really good this time. Ate to the point of explosion but walked it off in no time. Also had a late lunch Friday at the BrewPub...just some cheezy garlic bread. It was a huge portion, more like a pizza and really hit the spot. Finally found the right bathroom and got to pee on the Berlin Wall. Friday night had a late dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe. Hamburger and Fries were great and neither I nor my friend Kenny could finish them off. A little pricy for a coffee shop type place but really enjoyed it and left very full. Saturday I slept late and then "enjoyed" a Ho Dog for lunch. Lord...that is one disgusting food product. Still dozens of unsuspecting gluttons were polishing these off with chili, cheese, onions and God only knows what else. I didn't think I could ever reach a point of diminishing returns on hot dog consumption but this one was tough to finish. Give it a pass unless you've recently completed a stint in a Mexican jail. Gambling: Really took it easy this trip and stepped down my level of play....was never a high roller but have played quite a bit of quarter video poker over the years. Usually do well except that one bad afternoon can really put the bite on my somewhat limited bankroll. Just decided to stick with nickels mostly on this trip and also played a lot of those nifty little penny slots. I must say I really enjoy these dumb things and they are the only slot machines I have ever been able to get any play out of. Also a nice break from the thinking involved in VP. Played Little Green Men and a lot of Risque Business and a few others. Really liked Phone Tag though I only played it once. Hit for like 1400 pennies once after completely disrobing the stripper on Risque Business. Usually just played all the lines but only one coin per line so was only betting nine to twenty cents at a time. Got a lot of playing time and free drinks off these machines and I think I may have actually come out a little bit ahead. As for nickel VP, I had some fun little sessions. Found decent paying Double Bonus most places (much better than 6/5 JOB) and hit 4 Aces three times in two days. Played some 9/6 JOB at the Plaza and Hilton and pretty much broke even. Tried a little Deuces Wild as well but always lost all my money there. Had a couple of sessions on the Double Bonus where I cashed out $20-$40 ahead which is not bad just playing nickels. Sadly, despite hours and hours and hours of play (probably played more machines on this trip than any other) there was to be no royal flush...again. Had a nice little error on my part that made me a quick $60 on Saturday at The STRAT . Was trying to play some nickel DB and accidentally played quarters instead...when I noticed it, it was too late so I played out the hand...two nines became four and I became a very happy little low roller. I think I actually won more than I lost on this trip and I think that only happened one other time. I'm still due for that jackpot though so I've got something to look forward to. Meant to try craps this trip (almost made it...see later) and maybe live poker. My friends played at the Luxor one afternoon and I was supposed to join them but I had just cabbed all the way downtown and wasn't eager to move for a while. They had a good time and didn't lose too much...always next time. Also thought I might play the ponies some afternoon but never quite made that happen either. As for drink service, it was really good at the Golden Nugget and Barbary Coast...couldn't finish one by the time they came around again. And this was mid-afternoon and the places were pretty crowded. Many cheap bottles of gin had to perish on this trip and there a couple of days which were quite a blur. Next up in part 3...some (fairly wild) misadventures.