Binkie and I arrived in Vegas at 9.30 am and decided to check into the Flamingo Hotel at the airport to avoid the lines. (Check-in storefront located near Carousel One, Baggage Claim area) The place was empty, three clerks behind the counter. I had my $20 bill carefully folded behind my credit card...we approached the desk...gave our nameâ€¦slid over the credit card with the $20. â€œWhat is this???â€ Clerk looked at the $20 like she had never seen one before. I sputtered, "I'd like something nice" in total embarrassment. Binkie gave me that â€œI told you so.â€ look. She handed back my $20, and said, "That's ok, I don't need that!" She then asked what side we would like to face, and I asked for a high-up floor. She checked us in, gave us all paperwork and coupons (LV Original Package) and told us since the room had not been cleaned, we would have to go to the information desk to get our keys cut. (So we still had to stand in line, but probably saved 50% wait time) She also gave us directions to the Park Place shuttle, $5/person - charged to the room. Van was waiting for us, and departed immediately, and we were the first to be dropped off. Room on the 21st floor facing Caesars. Size of a regular hotel room. Definitely a 70's property, worn, tired bathroom, cheap threadbare towels. Wallpaper was scary...yellow/white 2" stripes. Felt a lot better when we peeked into other rooms and saw pink stripes and realized we did get lucky. I did spend too much time trying to figure out what look they were going for, (circus??) and was this the new renovation?? No construction noise that I had been reading about. Pool area very nice. Jacuzzi, (2) both very warm and relaxing. It was 110 while we were there, 80 at nite. Pool area crowded, hard to find chairs, but still lots of room in the pool, and kids not really annoying. They are having a summer pool party with drinks 2/1 after 5pm â€“ everyone welcome. We had lunch at the CheeseCake Factory. Yes, the portions are large. Binkie and I have huge appetites. We ordered two appetizers and ate 2/3 so we could split one piece of cheesecake. The banana cream is heaven. We could barely finish it, and had to leave the sliced bananas. Dinner at the Peking Market in the Flamingo. Bink and I are vegetarians. Peking had a very yummy tofu dish, and a braised eggplant to die for. Stuffed again. I had been playing on Wagerworks and earned two buffet comps for the Mirage. (It took 10 hours of playing for each buffet coupon. Yes, I have no mind) So Wagerworks has you prearrange the day you want the comp for and then pick up coupon at the Club Mirage desk. Everything went smoothly. Signed us up for their slot card at the same time. We then went directly to their breakfast buffet. We were really pleased with how fresh everything was. Little blintzes were not soggy. Separate bar to make breakfast burritos. Usual breakfast buffet fare. This was Monday, around nine, no crowd, half empty. Now the strange partâ€¦.When we walked in..told to go a section and look for the hostess â€œChrisâ€. Stood around..stared at employeeâ€™s badges. Seemed to be 6 employees chatting, ignoring us. We finally asked for Chris. Female looked around and couldnâ€™t see Chris either. We explained we would like to be seated, seems she is unable to do that. Finally Chris arrives and seats us. We go up to the buffet, and return and look around for someone to serve coffee. Again, the staff standing around chatting. The waitress appears, very nice and apologizes for delay. I guess the Mirage hires more clean-up staff than wait-people. We then got to listen to Chris reprimand one of the clean-up people for standing around chatting. Another customer complained about lack of service, this employee had told the customer â€œItâ€™s not my jobâ€. At least they recognize they have a problem. We also had 2 free buffet coupons for the Flamingo buffet. Turns out dinner is a seafood buffet, (in our case it was See-Food-but-you-canâ€™t-eat-any-of-it) We arrived at 6pm on Tuesday and walked right in. The best deal was you could purchase a $6 bottle of wine from the cashier. Binkie and I love wine, so we were happy. We had to laugh at the buffet, itâ€™s a good thing it was free..I had a $15 baked potato, and Bink had his mashed. We did eat desert, and finished off the bottle. People seemed to like the seafood. When we left at 7 there was a huge line to get in. Yes, there is a timeshare booth by the Flamingo elevators to the rooms. We were stoppedâ€¦and I canâ€™t say â€œNoâ€ to 2 tickets to Jubilee for $10. (I guess they think youâ€™ll be forced to show up for the presentation if you shell out money in advance). Bink was not thrilled. I was kind of interested. What were they going to do with us for 1-1/2hrs?? The answer is numb your mind with figures. I was trying to figure out who would make a $13-14,000 decision after 1 hour and a butter tart. Needless to say we didnâ€™t. So we were sent to Closer #2. (You get Presenter, Closer #1, Closer #2 â€“ your mind is about to burst during Closer #1) Closer #2 says since you couldnâ€™t make big money decision â€“for this second only, he will give you the opportunity to put $1600 on your credit card for a trial membership! HA! â€œGive me my Jubilee tickets!!!â€ We were sent to the front desk and given our tickets to run to Ballyâ€™s to pick up the real tickets. (They will allow you to upgrade from D-nosebleed section to the first 2 sections) (By the way â€“ The timeshare folks â€“Hilton â€“said they close 25% of the time!!) So Jubilee, Nosebleed section, the show looked like it was sold out, people further back than us. Costumes were great. Iâ€™m buying a feather duster and making an outfit. The finale with Bob Mackieâ€™s designs was the hi-lite and really what I thought a Vegas show was. It did seem a little dragged out, and voices screechy at time. Set design was great. Do the dancers do two shows a night, six times/week or are there sets of dancers? How much are dancers paid? We also went to The Blue Man Group. For me it started off slow, I sat there thinking, â€œIâ€™ve paid $78 to watch a blueguy stuff marshmallows in his mouthâ€ but really picked up with the audience participation. Not going to ruin anything by saying too much. It is very loud, and there certainly are strobe lights like the signs say. It is a lot like â€œStompâ€ with the percussion. I was really surprised when the guys ran out into the hallway when we were exiting, and let people have their pictures taken with them. Gave out blue kisses. I left feeling that it was worth the high-ticket price. Binkie loved it. Maybe the best part of the evening was walking back to Flamingo via Excalibur and running into the Krispy Kreme donut store. Neither Bink nor I had ever experienced a Krispy Kreme. We bought 4 and took them back to the room with our Krispy Kreme hats and bottle of champagne and celebrated my 29th (again). Those donuts are in a league with that Banana Cheesecake that cannot be described. I havenâ€™t really mentioned the heatâ€¦It was so hot..It was so hot that you didnâ€™t even want to drink alcohol. (Donâ€™t worry we still did) Did I mention $2.68 for a 16oz cup of pop in the hotel! Someone on this board mentioned the convience store around the corner from the Flamingo. Thank you! We did go there and stocked up on water and snacks. Walgreenâ€™s is across from the MonteCarlo with even better prices. They should really incase the strip in an air-conditioned bubble with a monorail from one end to the other. I should end this before I ramble more. We did gamble, no big winnings. Shopping at the new casinos is amazing. Loved Paris and would probably stay there next time, it seems to be in the center of everything. Too hot even at nite to wait for the fountain shows. This must be our 6th trip to Vegas (Bink and I married at the Union Plaza) still have not seen the Treasure Island/Mirage shows!! We were amazed at how much the strip has changed in 4 years. Overall, a most enjoyable trip. Even though I complained about the Flamingo room, it was the best 4 nights of sleep in a hotel I have ever had. Fat, happy, and exhausted!