What day is it?? Sorry to be so slow in posting......thanks for all the tips on the board and insightful information. Hope someone can gleam something from the following.....anyone. Short report: The plane went up and came down in Las Vegas. We saw lots of things. It was fun. Then the plane went up and came down in Austin. It was fun too. But looked way too familiar. We are happy. Long report: Trip consisted of arrival on 9/6 and depart on 9/12. Southwest Airlines and no problems either way. Used a number of free drink coupons and they are a must for making the trip a bit faster and less stressful. Much less. Purpose of the trip was to manage to stay alive for 6 nights and their respective following days in LV while playing various games at various destinations. Rented from Thrifty Rental (havenâ€™t used them in 12 years or so as we are $ fans) and were upgraded to a midsize from a sub compact but was told upon ignition, that had been the plan all along as seldom are the SUBâ€™s available in LV and they just move you up a notch or two. You live / you learn. I was only thinking, what IF we actually got stuck in the sub-sub-compact? And the circus wasnâ€™t in town too? But alas, neither was the case. We were still in the lot. I am retired and so is my golf buddy Richard. We are both left handed swingers (down ladies) but do everything with our right hands predominately. He is living the last of the 50â€™s as next year is the big 60. Heâ€™s been to LV many times with the wife but not on a guys trip and never over 3 or 4 nights. He was unsure. He was wary. But, he lived up to his name and had a good timeâ€”ESPECIALLYâ€”on the last night when he knew he was going home with some of his cash. Always a good feeling but more on that later. We finally get out of the lot in our Chrysler something or other. It was white. There are a LOT of white rental Chryslers in LV in the summer. I know as my finger prints are on many of them. (Well then where the hell DID we park??). Heading south we eventually decide we must head north or at least west to meander somewhat toward the Orleans for our first two nights. Check in was uneventful and was free due to a mail-out for 2 free nights in September 4-7. We quickly went up to the 12th floor and looked around checking out the viewâ€¦â€¦nice. We then re-entered the elevator and headed down to the 3rd floor for our (cheap-0 las vegas) view which we had paid so handsomely for. If anyone was willing to hang out at the initial step of the pool and lean wayyyyy back while holding onto the edgeâ€¦â€¦we could catch a glimpse of them through the bathroom window. Apparently all the willing participants spotted us first. But ohhhhhh the thrill of singing in the shower and feeling fairly certain those offended had no idea what floor such unsavory crooning was emitted from with such delight. And the bubbles!!! Lawrence Welk may have actually been on to something although we had no blue hair to shine off the glistening spheres. So we headed downstairs and hit the nickel video poker for some quick drinks at minimal cost above tip$. And actually won better tips than was pre-ordained. Our drink waitress had an accent and upon a polite query stated she was from Holland. We did not demand a green card but accepted her at face (?) value; as well as other attributes. About 4 beers (25 minutesâ€”who would be rude to refuse an offer for â€œone more?â€ on our first day), I pulled out the cell and phoned the Hurricane for a quick (?) bite to eat. He answered or maybe called back after I left a message and we set up a meet at the Wynn for later. We continued with our max-coin betting as we began to think of as many beers as we could from Holland prior to our serverâ€™s return. I failed miserably and kept asking for Coronaâ€™s when prodded while Colorado Bulldogs were being slurped rather loudly in the seat next to me. About 45 minutes later or 6 beers (whichever came first) Mikey contacted us and set up the dinner engagement. It was time to wean from the European fare and head to the Wynn for some fine fixinâ€™s. And fine they were. We waltzed into the Wynn poker alley and there larger than life (how small IS life anyway) was this gargantuan of a man with a modest goatee leaning upon the rail and shaking his head as money was thrown forth into an ever-growing pot on the table in front of him. I introduced myself and extracted my seemingly shriveled palm from his grasp as he turned to little Dick and mangled his wares as well. Yikes!! The thought of ordering off a menu was not to be within my cranium this day. It may be an expensive buffet, but it was at least at a set price. Mikey looked like he the kind of guy you wouldnâ€™t take to the horse races for fear of his appetite and the need for nags in the 3rd at Pemlico. Holy wow. But gracious as he was, he made us feel comfortable in our shorts and sports shirts as we sauntered toward the buffet line and entered the land of aromas and taste delights. We were not disappointed. The shrimp were as big as your index finger unless it is unusually small, then it was as large as both thumbs placed side by side. My companions raved about the fact the shrimp was peeled except the tail (convenient for grabbing hold of) which was surprising to me as to their ravings. How else can they be de-veined prior to consumption unless peeled? My golly gee, what have I gotten myself into? After about a dozen were consumed by each of us, we moved forward to more hardy fare. If it is rude to wander the various areas of the buffet while consuming shrimp and other â€œfingerâ€ foods, then I must say we were a rude bunch. There; I said it. But be what it may, the buffet was wonderful. Up to this time I thought the Bellagio was THE buffet like the HOTEL was THE hotel (I assume). NOTHING tasted less than expected and much tasted so much better than possibly anticipated. Case in pointâ€”the mashed potatoes were frickinâ€™ amazing. The mashed potatoes!!! So you can imagine the prime rib; free range chicken; pasta; etc. And the dessertsâ€¦â€¦geez Louise!! They had a cheesecake with strawberries which were (I ate more than one piece, so â€œwereâ€ is correct in this instance) fat free Iâ€™m sure. And although I didnâ€™t partake, the ice cream was rumored to be acceptable to the fat lady waiting to sing. Did I mention the chocolate?? Damn damn damn. It was mostly a blur but I do recall finalizing the deal with coffee and cream, slurping happily as the table was about three inches further from my belt than when we arrived. Service was good and the glass of tea was seldom below half. We stumbled out the door and into the casino much more unstable than we entered. I felt like a pregnant woman with twins in the final trimester. Thumping my stomach it sounded like the guy at the vegetable stand trying to see you a ripe watermelon. And Iâ€™m 5 11 and 172, so itâ€™s not like there was a bushel of fruit there to begin with. I was satisfied. But wait, without sex, what IS satisfied in the bigger picture. So we wandered the tables to watch the large money go back and forth and WHOOOLaâ€¦â€¦I was given my first taste of â€œspot the hookerâ€ right there in the middle of the mecca for gaming and food. AHHHHHâ€¦.my day was complete. I stared. She didnâ€™t notice. I was pleased. My babies were asking for relief, but were far from full term. So we wandered about listening to Mikey give us the lay of the land. WPT was viewed and critiqued. I should have paid better attention. Alas, that will come later. We watched a bit of poker / poke him and Mikey, being the only one in the party with a steady (?) income, needed to go grab some wink wink time and we retired to the parking lot after getting lost in the wrong hallway. Even the golf course looked good at night. And night was the best time to view it as at 500 $ a pop, were guffawed all the way back to the Orleans commenting on the luxury of an 18 hole course at home which affords unlimited rounds for 215 $â€™s each six months. A yearâ€™s golf vs. a round at Steveâ€™s place. Heck, weâ€™re not even that good. But we have good imaginations. We ventured back to the nickel video poker and Caronaâ€™s and Colo. Bulldogs craning our necks across the sea in search of the Hollanaised one, but to no avail. It wasnâ€™t long before we made our way to our respective pillows on the third floor hideaway. We discovered we had left the window open while gone but nothing was amiss as far as we could discern. However, thoughts of â€œde plane, de planeâ€ passed us simultaneously and we grinned off into the slumber having completed our first night in the land where millions are won and lost without our witness. Ahhh, tomorrow beckons and we eagerly anticipate a trip downtown to see the changes. And we would. Up early enough to use our free buffet coupons for breakfast, we bounded down the hallway to the elevators like a couple of over the hill dudes on a mission to escape alcohol poisoning. Our mission was successful it would appear this day and nutritional foods were found to refill the tank. The 17 cups of coffee didnâ€™t hurt either. As a side note, I drink a bit of coffee with my cream but I like cream; not Â½ and Â½ substitute dairy product, or powder, or cheap imitation. It amazed me (how easily that is completed) how I could get cream (the real deal) by simply asking for itâ€”â€œDo you happen to know if there is any REAL CREAM about?â€ â€œOh yesâ€ theyâ€™d say and inevitably it would come out in a little juice glass which made a mess when you poured it (tried) into the coffee cup. This was at the Orleans, Samâ€™s Town, Ellis Island, etc. Not just one place. Wynn however (even at the buffet) had the real stuff right there for the taking. Of course. After taking care of the morning hygiene needs and heading to the car with minty fresh *kissing* breath (where ARE those hookers?) we headed to the far away skyline of Downtown. Parking was easy at the Main Street Station lot with no attendant in the little booth. He was there when we left but it became free enough for both of us. Downtown has changed radically from my first visit. But then Benny B. IS dead after all. Walked through Main Street Station as a courtesy to our parking choice. Went to the Plaza and headed down the street not missing any casino for the cursory peek inside and watch a game or two. The Pioneer is now a low rent t-shirt spot rather than just low rent and the vendors on the street remind me of the midway at a cheap carnival. Fun for some I am sure, just not for me. Golden Nuggett was undergoing some type of renovation and was messy although most patrons seemed ignorant of the hammering and yammering going on around them. Time and change are inevitable but a little bit of me wishes Iâ€™d never known the old times when I see what has developed. But then the old times had good times too so I guess history is not too bad to live through in a pinch. (I have got to get out of de-tox soon!!) Went to the Golden Gate and actually partook of a bit of the gambleâ€”no shrimp but interesting craps (a game which causes my blood pressure to rise and can only be attended to in 30 â€“ 45 minute segments for both my health and that of my bankrollâ€™s) which would be the salvation for this trip as I had a good run each time but once. Won about 65 $â€™s in 20 minutes or so as Richard went about sight seeing to note the changes from his last visit as well. Walked down to the El Cortez and relived a moment in time although the walk in broad daylight was much less scary than I remember the walks at night seemed to be. At least we would see the â€œgoonsâ€ coming from afar much more quickly than when cloaked in darkness. The good news is no goons spotted. Couple of hookers (I think) but we are still debating whether they were both of the female persuasion up to this day. A closer look might have solved the problem but it may have also alerted the goons. So we passed. Quickly. The El Co is always the same. No Jackie sighting but twenty-five cent roulette was a siren on the rocks for Richardâ€™s boat and the craps table beckoned me and my 100 $ buy-in rather quickly. Once again, good luckâ€”won 175 $ (which would come in handy later for my WPT lesson) and it was off to watch the spin of the wheel (w/o the lovely Vanna however). What a lame game! But it was cheap for the beer which I asked for the waitress to bring when hearing that popular call, â€œCocktails!â€, but alas, no chips in front of me. I have to be playing. â€œOk, can I just buy one then?â€ â€œNo, I canâ€™t sell you a beer you have to go to the barâ€; he heard as he was looking about as to where the heck that could be. â€œOh never mind, Iâ€™ll just bring you one.â€ And she did and I gave her 2 $ and thanked her and she said, â€œIf I had known you were going to tip me I wouldnâ€™t have said anything about playing.â€ What? Is that Rod Serling over by the slot machine? Where are we Toto? And Richard looked at me like â€œThat was 8 bets you just gave her!!â€ Hmmm. So Richard is the kind of customer this lady is used to it would appear. However, it turned out he was joking and in fact as in awe of the environment as was I. Round and round she goes and plink plop plunk, green double 0. You lose. â€œWhat??? This game has a double 0?? Forget this. Iâ€™m outta here.â€ This after 2 Â½ hours of one and two dollar play and all those beers for only 8 bets each. But he was only down 1.25 $â€™s so all was good with the world. Wherever it had disappeared to. Best sighting downtown was a black t-shirt with white lettering that proclaimedâ€” If youâ€™re rich Iâ€™m your bitch!! Damn was it tempting to get about 3 of those for some of the fellow hackers back at the homestead, but we refrained. After all, Richard was 1.25 $â€™s down already. We moseyed on back to the car and took the long way back to the Orleans. A car in Vegas is great if you are not paying for it by yourself. I think we spent just under a dollar a mile as we went about 150 miles over the week. You just get in and go. And stop and get out. Beat waiting for the bus or shuttle although I donâ€™t mind that either. A car just allows for you to make your own schedule. Back at the Orleans we had an uneventful day of BJ (where are those hookers??) and Pai Gow. Ate dinner and went to bed. Check out was Friday and we had to get over to ST in order to get a room and hopefully not look out over the a/c units. I like Samâ€™s Town. It is cool as it is filled with a lot of people a lot older than me. Young â€˜un and sonny boy are not references I shy from at my age. And blue hair. Whatever happened to that I always wonder until I get to ST and see women, and this time men too, walking about pushing an oxygen bottle with a walker through the casino looking for that ever elusive jackpot slot machine. Can you safely smoke next to one of these people with the oxygen and all?? Think of the pyrotechnic show that could bring on. As usual, they didnâ€™t have our suite ready and the nice lady at the desk said probably it would not be ready until Tuesday, our check out day. So we settled in to our 4th floor regular room at the regular rate (free) and gathered our bearings. We had one night we might have to pay for (30 $â€™s) but a long time to try and earn a compensatory rate as well. Also given with the room was 60 $â€™s worth of free sports bets which was divided into a number of â€œwheeledâ€ baseball parlays comfortably within the definition of â€œlong shotsâ€. But hey, I only needed one to hit. Oh well, it was free $â€™s. I didnâ€™t want to be greedy; it was just that I wanted ONE of the 6 teamers to actually come through so I could go BIG on Sunday with the NFL (buy a cigar, wear a suit, talk in a loud voice about how this that and the other team were going to kick some ass, and all that). But I hadnâ€™t brought a suit with me anyway (not even a pair of long pants) so it was all destiny from the get go. Played some BJ again and went to the Ellis Island for the first time for the steak special (which was very good for less than 5 $â€™s). The servers were great each time we went (6 times for dinner and breakfast total) and the food was most adequate (real cream). The kicker was to join their players club and receive 5 $ in credit for merchandise (food) and so we did. BUT, the place mats were the thing. A 5 $ match coupon for BJ which if won would net 10 $ return. We played each time we ate. I lost once and pushed once. Richard lost once. We each BJâ€™ed twice but you only get 3:2 on the 5 $â€™s you put up. Even money on the coupon. It was heaven!! We would eat, drink (non-alcoholic beverages of course) and tip for about 15 $ - 18 $ dinner and 8 $ or 9 $â€™s for breakfast for both of us. Then go into the casino and win 10 $ each (we actually played back to back rather than on the same hand in case the dealer had a great hand and would split the profit so no one lost any time unless both of us did). Many times we ate for free or 1 $. Most breakfasts were broken down to them paying us to come eat. I donâ€™t know if it was just a brief visit to the Twilight Z. or not, but we didnâ€™t complain. HOWEVER, the last night (Monday night) we went and had our usual routine and an Asian lady (never saw HER before) was dealing and I played and she said somewhat derisively â€œA coupon!! YOU play coupon?â€ Yes I said and told the gentleman in the first seat it was only for one hand and I apologize if disruptive, but perhaps he might want to sit out so as not to ruin his fortune. He laughed. I tied with 17. She GRABBED my coupon and said, â€œYOU TIE, NO COUPON for YOU. THATâ€S ALL!â€ Heck I felt proud to just get my 5 $ back from her. So with a wave of her hand to dismiss me, it was off to the casino cage for me to cash in. I then went and watched about a 19â€ tv hung from the ceiling to see if Peyton could hold the Giants at bay and allow me to win my 4 team parlay (always go with 3 or 4 money line and donâ€™t sweat the points although the payout is larger giving the pointsâ€¦â€¦the ambulance to the hospital would more than negate my winnings possible by playing points and last minute crap). Well, up comes Richard and he has a story. It seems all white guys look alike to this dealer as (according to him) she said â€œYOU CAN NO PLAY COUPON!! YOU ALREADY PLAY!!â€ Wrong thing to say on our last night. So they have a few words and the pit boss has a few words (no way she thought he was me) and Richard pretty much says, â€œIf you donâ€™t want us to play then donâ€™t put the placemats outâ€. (I think they wanted us to play, just not twice a day for 3 days). But anyway he won and we split so I won 5 $â€™s and all was right with the world as the Giants lost and my 30 $â€™s turned into 121 (a 91 $ win). I suddenly was wondering if a coupon and parlay ticket could be the same. NO COUPON FOR YOU!! Only other story is visiting Mikey at his place of employment and getting schooled on WPT. Just in passing conversation I lost 200 $â€™s (biggest of the trip for a day---took about 20 minutes Mano-e-Mano, I think) and never had the presence of mind to say, â€œI need a breakâ€ and just sit and talk with no one else at the table.. Very laid back casino and (from my side of the table) management. But it was fun. I wish he had dealt from the bottom of the deck to help me as much as he was helping the house; but hell, I was on vacation; he was working. I understand. The godâ€™s of gambling must have been aware of my plight as I was up for the trip even after the WPT fiasco. Needless to say we had a great trip. I like going out and playing for a number of days so if need be you can lay out and not feel like you must gamble (especially when going through one of â€œthoseâ€ streaks). Ellis Island is a jewel (even with the old crotchety one) when you want some good food and a little chance to win some money. Stopped at Blueberry Hill to eat on the way to the airport. Good food there as well. All toldâ€”6 nights of rooms cost us 4 $ (for phone and other stuff ST tacks on)â€¦no complaints. Came home about 450 $â€™s lighter than left with. Including parking at the airport, watching Mikey eat, watching Mikey take my money and be so sly about where those cards came from, legitimate gambling, tipping, drinking, etc. I thought that was good. Airfare was prepaid months ago so it doesnâ€™t figure in. Considering a return in November as the working Â½ is off for the T-giving holiday and Allegiant has a special which can get us both there for 276 $(and I assume back as well). If I am good, they say I can get out of the DE-tox unit about a week before that. Iâ€™m trying!!