Sorry it took so long to get this on here! Itâ€™s pretty long so hope you make it through and hope you enjoy!!! DAY 1 Weâ€™re packed and ready to go, alarm set for 5 am, have to leave between 6 and 6:30. Can you believe we overslept! Who over sleeps the day theyâ€™re leaving for Vegas? Woke up at 6, have to haul some serious butt! Arrive at the airport at 7, go through the ticket line, check bags and on to security. I go through fine, Billy gets stopped. They did a check on him from top to bottom with the hand held wand, checked under his hat, he even had to take his shoes off, everything checked out fine â€“ he forgot to take the money clip out of his pocket when he went through the metal detector. On we go to our gate â€“ cool, 2 hours before we left and the plane was already there. We walk around the airport, grabbed a coke, checked out some of the shops. That two hours couldnâ€™t go by fast enough. Finally got the call to board the plane â€“ 2 aisle seats. Everyone was on board by 9:25, the plane was supposed to depart at 9:30. We head toward the runway and have to wait for 15 minutes waiting for other planes that were landing and taking off â€“ â€œmorning rush hourâ€ the pilot called it! Have to take off in the rain, go through some turbulence, but not too bad. We started to notice a funky smell in the plane, we looked up and a puff of smoke had come out from the door. The pilot came over the pa â€“ â€œSome of you may have noticed a little smoke in the cabin. Uh, we believe itâ€™s from the condensation build-up from the clouds weâ€™re flying through. Weâ€™ll check on it and let you know.â€ Okay, for those of you like me who donâ€™t really care for flying, imagine how you would feel right about then â€“ plane delayed, flying through turbulence, and now smoke in the cabin that the pilot is unsure of the cause! Anyway, the smoke clears out, we fly through the clouds, and the flight smooths out for awhile. About an hour into the flight, the stewardess comes over the pa and asks that whomever is painting their nails please stop because the air in the cabin is re-circulated and fingernail polish is highly flammable. Can you imagine? Finally, weâ€™re on final approach for LAS. We made it! As the pilot starts to land, the nose seems a little too high and then BAM, he drops the nose really hard. Please, someone get me off this plane! De-board, grab our luggage, hail a taxi and we were off to the Riv. As we arrived at the taxi stand, we decided to go ahead and check our bags with the bellhop (it was only 11 am, check in didnâ€™t start until 12). We went upstairs, checked out the registration line (last year we were able to check in at 10:30) Good thing we had already checked our bags, the lady behind the counter yelled out to everyone that registration wouldnâ€™t begin until at least 12, maybe even 1. We decided to get something to eat. We headed over to Kadyâ€™s. Ordered lunch, but realized as we were waiting the breakfast sounded like a good idea â€“ oh, well. After we ate, we went to the casino to check out our luck â€“ I think we left it in Texas! Lost a few bucks, decided to cross the street to the Stardust to pick up the tickets for Chicago. After looking at the tickets, we realized that it was assigned seating â€“ that was a relief, at least we didnâ€™t have to get there too early! Walk over to the Frontier to check it out, played the slots, pretty boring! Went back to the Riviera to try check in again â€“ line out the butt! Went ahead and stood in line, we were having trouble settling in with our bags still checked downstairs. Stood in line for 35 minutes, at that point it felt more like and hour and 35 minutes. Asked the lady at the desk for a room with a view of the strip (south view) she checked and found one for us â€“ Great! Off to the room. Billy stopped and picked up the bags and we headed for the elevator. Got to the room, checked out the view â€“ great view! â€“ of nothing, the La Concha, an old, run-down motel with a busted window and soot marks around the frame! Way off in the distance, we could see Mandalay Bay, but that was the only main hotel we could see on the strip. After we got over the stunning view, we unpacked. Decided to head down to the Trop. We headed for the bar to Billyâ€™s blackjack machine. There were two people sitting in front of it waiting on someone to come and join their party so we played the machines next to them. They werenâ€™t kind to us at all. Lost about $40 before we realized it â€“ on we went. Headed over to NY,NY â€“ Manhattan Express (thank you wager works). Roller coaster was awesome! Checked out the casino, not bad, had to hurry up and head back up to the Riv. To get ready. We had planned on walking to the Mirage for the dinner buffet, but about half way there we realized we werenâ€™t gonna have enough time to hit the buffet. Crossed to the Falmingo to grab a cab. While we were standing in the cab line, the fire alarm started going off. We were prepared for people to start pouring out, but nothing. The 2 or 3 minutes it took us to get a cab that alarm screamed. Back at the Riv, Billy hit Burger King and I went upstairs to start getting ready. Ate really quick, showered, changed and out the door we went. We got two free drinks with our concert tickets, so we headed to the bar as soon as we arrived at the Stardust. We still had about an hour to kill so we hit the $1 slots. I put in $10 and won $100! Cashed out, grabbed two more drinks a piece and went inside. We know when we had picked up the tickets that we were gonna be in a booth, but we didnâ€™t realized we would be sharing one. There were 2 girls already sitting at the table. We sat down only to find that they had already met and exceeded their alcohol limit! We had been there for about 10 minutes when they decided they needed more to drink. While they were gone, another couple joined us â€“ great, six people in a booth that was too small for four! The drunk ladies (youâ€™re gonna get sick of hearing about these two) came back just as the concert was about to start. Everything was fine for about half a song. Drunk lady #1 (Nan) decided to stand up and start singing (for any of you that have been in the Wayne Newton theater in the Stardust, you know that thereâ€™s really not any place to get up and shake it! But she was definitely making her own room!) Anyway, I was so irritated because every direction she was dancing in was right in front of me! I couldnâ€™t see anything! Drunk lady #2 could tell I was getting pissed so she kept trying to keep her seated. After the second song, Billy knew that I was pissed, so he offered to switch places with me. Instead of causing a lot of commotion for everyone else by making everyone get up, we just moved the table out and I crawled over his lap (This was actually a great trick and it was a good thing I hadnâ€™t had too much to drink!) Finally, I could see. I guess DL#2 got tired of trying to see around her friend too so she told her to go off to the corner and dance all she wanted to (there was another booth beside us and then some empty space off to the side of the stage) That didnâ€™t even last through one song â€“ she ticked another couple off. This time they complained to security. Unfortunately, security didnâ€™t throw her out they just told her to sit back down (you can guess how well this worked!) But, overall, Chicago was awesome! Iâ€™ve seen them 6 times in Dallas and San Antonio but never in a small theater like at the Stardust! After the concert, as we were leaving we saw DL#1 take off across the stage, only to be tackled by security. I had to laugh as we walked out. It was about 10 so we headed downtown. We had a great cab driver that decided to â€œgo around trafficâ€ â€“ almost $20 from the Stardust to the Horseshoe ! We checked out the Horseshoe and Four Queens, didnâ€™t have any luck on the slots and we were exhausted so we headed back to the Riv. about 1 am and crashed. DAY 2 Billy woke up before the sun, got me up around 6:30. We got ready and headed down to the MGM for breakfast (thank you wager works). The buffet was good. We got a kick out of the older people in the booth next to us, the lady got one of those small boxes of cereal and instead of asking for a glass of milk, she tried to use enough half and half packages to fill her bowl! It was so funny. After that we crossed the street to the Trop, did our free pulls and went and collected our free decks of cards. We donated about $10 before we left to go to the Excalibur. Last year on our trip we never made it in so we had to check it out. It was interesting, good if youâ€™re into the medieval thing, but not really for us! We didnâ€™t stay long before we continued up the strip. We tried out the Boardwalk, fun but no luck (are you seeing a pattern?) Went across the street to the Aladdin, promised the kids something from Build-A-Bear. Didnâ€™t find anything we couldnâ€™t live without so we kept on up the strip. Went into the Flamingo for a few minutes (had to check it out for my dad whoâ€™s going in three weeks and staying there). We were heading over to Caesarâ€™s Palace when we noticed Oâ€™Sheaâ€™s. Found some Wheel of Fortune nickel machines in the back so we sat for a bit. Billy put $7.00 in his machines, he was down to his last 40 nickels and hit a jackpot â€“ 5,000 nickels - $250.00! Billyâ€™s first hand pay. We left with our winnings and went to Caesarâ€™s. Checked out the mall, not really in the mood for anything â€“ too tired. We went back to the Riv. to chill out for a bit. Had a few small bills left from the day, put them in a quarter slot and won $36. Went up to the room and crashed for a little while. Around 6:30 we decided to get back out. We went down to the Sahara. Won a few dollars on a dollar slot, and started getting hungry. Checked out the buffet, smell was too weird for us. Settled for the Nascar CafÃ© â€“ what a great choice! Food was awesome! Took less than 3 minutes from the time w ordered until we got our food, and it was delicious! We highly recommend the place! Back down stairs, we tried the Big Six â€“ I won $5 and Billy won $5 â€“ not bad for a game neither of us had heard of! Hit the Elvis machines, Billy was the one hitting the jackpot again - $69 this time! Left with that and went back to the Riv. Comedy Club. The two comedians that were there â€“ Tim Clue and Rich Ceisler â€“ were hilarious! The opening act left a little to be desired though! I donâ€™t think we saw anyone in the place crack a smile. After the Comedy Club, we went to Slots A Fun â€“ way too crowded! Went to the Stardust â€“ it was dead, boring, no luck. Tried the Westward Ho â€“ same. Went back to the Riviera, ate at Kadyâ€™s again â€“ flapjacks and coffee special $2.50/person from midnight to 6 a.m. Hit the room about 3 a.m., crashed â€“ hard! DAY 3 Woke up after 10, showered and finally got up and around. Painful walking day! No luck at the Riviera, or the Stardust, or Oâ€™Sheaâ€™s. We went to the IP to see the car show. That was pretty cool. If youâ€™ve never taken time to check it out, I would recommend that you do. We left the IP and headed toward the Venetian â€“ stopped and saw the canal out front and moved on. It was about quarter till four and we were worn out. Went back to the Riv. for that afternoon nap we were becoming accustomed to. Afterwards we felt much better. Billy decided he wanted to go bungy jumping to get ready for the big jump the next day. So we changed and walked across the street to A.J. Hackettâ€™s. We went in and Billy filled out the form (you know, the one that says if you die or get disfigured you promise not to sue!) Anyway, they said it would be a little bit so we went outside to watch the last 3-4 people from the last group. One chickened out, one took about 5 minutes to actually come off the platform. For those of you ho havenâ€™t been to A.J.â€™s, thereâ€™s a 13-foot swimming pool under the 171-foot crane that you jump off of, attached at the ankles. When you jump, you have the option (most people) depending on how you leave the platform (either straight down or diving) to go into the water. One of the people from the group we were watching went in to his shoulders (remember they are hanging from their feet so you hit the water head first). Finally, after about 20 minutes, it was Billyâ€™s groupâ€™s turn to go up. There were about 15 of them. They all got harnessed on the ground and weighed in again and then headed up in the rocket elevator. I had the video camera with me on the ground so I was able to zoom in and see Billy really good up on the tower. We had met a couple while we were waiting who was letting their 13 year old jump so I was sitting with them. With the zoom lens, I was able to see Billy well enough that he could tell me when their daughter was jumping and when he was jumping. We watched her jump (she was #2) and I thought her mother was going to have a heart attack! But she made it all right. Billy went right after her. I saw him shimmy up to the platform and before I knew it, he was going. Luckily, I knew when he was jumping because he didnâ€™t leave me much time to get the video camera going! He missed the water, bounced three or four times, grabbed the ground rope and was pulled off to the side and un-harnessed. It looked really cool. We went back inside and got his t-shirt and free beer (we had a coupon from the 24/7 book that was good for $5 off and a free beer). Feeling lucky, we headed back over to the Sahara. I wanted to play blackjack (Iâ€™ve never worked up the nerve to sit at a table) and I knew the Sahara had $1 tables so I figured this was a good place to start. Unfortunately, being after 7 at night, these tables were completely full. There was a table open but the min. was $25 and I didnâ€™t think my first experience at a table should cost me that much (yep, cheap chicken!) Instead, we hit the nickel slots, Wheel of Fortune and the Price Is Right. We had pretty good luck at both, between the two of us, we cashed out with about $85. We didnâ€™t want to press our luck so we left and went back to the Riv. for the evening. DAY 4 Woke up to the cell phone ringing â€“ someone from Billyâ€™s work wanting to talk shop. He informed the guy that we were in Vegas and hung up. We were supposed to be picked up for the sky-dive at 10:30. We had just enough time to go down stairs and grab something quick to eat. Billy decided it probably wouldnâ€™t be smart to eat anything so I got some donuts and a coke and we headed back upstairs. When we got back to the room, there was a message from Las Vegas Gravity Zone. They said that they had to move our pick up time from 10:30 to 1:30, with no explanation. Billy called them and they said they were having plane problems. Scary! He called Look Tours (the skydive was booked through them) the guy Billy booked with called LV Gravity Zone and they said the guy Billy was jumping with had to go and get a physical and thatâ€™s why they moved the jump. That eased our minds quite a bit. We wasted time for a little while, went down to the casino for a little bit. Went back up stairs about 12 so Billy could shower and get ready. Went downstairs at 1:30 and waited and waited. Already a bit nervous and having to wait because the guy was late was not really a good thing. Anyway, the guy showed up about 10 minutes until 2. There were two other people that were jumping that rode out to Jean with us. On the way out, I couldnâ€™t handle it anymore, I fell asleep. Billy claims I was snoring but I donâ€™t think I was! Once we got there, those that were jumping had to watch a video and sign a release form (that took about 20 minutes!) then they had to repeat certain sentences out loud for a camera that we were being recorded on. (Believe me, they cover their butts very well!) After that, the first guy got suited up and off they went. It took about 40 minutes from the time he took off until he came back (when they jump, they land about 4 miles south of the air field) Billy got suited up in a black and gold wind suit and harness and the jump master grabbed his parachute and off they went. It seemed like forever but I finally got taken down to the drop zone. I was looking and looking for the plane. I could hear it but had trouble seeing it. 10,500 feet sure is a long way up! I couldnâ€™t imagine what Billy was thinking! I found the plane, and I heard the engines slow sown and then I could see him! They did a couple of flips as soon as they came out of the plane and then the instructor pulled the ripcord. It seemed like it took them 20 minutes to get to the ground (I was video taping, with the camera pointing straight up to the sky â€“ oh, my neck!) He had a great landing â€“ his instructor had told him he would probably land on his rear, but they actually landed on their feet. It was awesome. As soon as they landed, we jumped in the van and headed back up to the airfield. Once we got back Billy told me that they actually did have plane trouble that morning â€“ their regular plane was having brake problems. Every time they hit the brakes, they would grab and the tail of the plane would go up in the air. So, the other company out there (in Boulder) let them borrow one of their planes. Billy said the inside of it would make anyone want to jump out â€“ nervous or not â€“ he said the floor was made out of plywood and the windows were plexi-glass and there was duct tape all over the place (remember this was a plane small enough for four people). The last jumper was suited and ready to go and away they went (her trip to Vegas was her very first plane ride and now she was going up in this plane was going to jump out â€“ needless to say she was pretty nervous!) Almost everyone from the airfield was going down to the drop zone so Billy and I tagged along too. It was neat for him to be able to watch someone else doing a landing. She didnâ€™t handle it as well though, she was real pale and said she was trouble breathing. They got her calmed down and about 5 minutes later she was ready to go again! We went back to the airfield and got all of our stuff together and we left. The round trip that was supposed to take three hours, ended up taking almost 5. Seeing as how Billy had had no food and very little to drink, we set out to find dinner. We went to the Bellagio buffet (thank you wager works). I know everyone claims the Bellagio has the best buffet on the strip but neither one of us were overly impressed, but no complaints because it cost nothing! As we were leaving the Bellagio, we had perfect timing for the fountains. We came around the corner just as the music began. We watched the show â€“ Amazing! It was beautiful! (Sonya, we did notice a couple of policemen as people were starting to clear out) We made our way up the strip, catching the volcano at the Mirage and barely missing the pirate show at TI. We made it as far as Harrahâ€™s and took a cab downtown. Caught the first light show of the evening â€“ very impressive, a little too loud, I think they could have used about half the volume and achieved the same result! We went in the Plaza, grabbed bite at Mickey Dâ€™s (that buffet didnâ€™t last very long at all!) We hit the Horseshoe, Four Queens, the Golden Nugget and La Bayou. I loved the atmosphere of LaBayou â€“ great place! We left about $75 downtown so we decided to get back to the Riv. Being our last night we hit the casino one last time. We figured â€˜what the hellâ€™ and headed for the $1 Elvis slots. We won about $60 there and moved on to some other $1 machines. After about an hour we cashed out our winnings â€“ about $120. Pretty good for our last night! Went back up to our room, thought about packing but decided to just crash! DAY 5 Woke up about 10:30 â€“ showered, changed and ready to go. Packed all of our stuff and took our bags downstairs. Check was at 12 and we didnâ€™t have to leave for the airport until 2 so we checked our bags with the bellhop again. Went back upstairs to the lunch buffet. It was supposed to open at 11:30, we were in line at 11:15. Finally at 11:45 they let the first 4 parties in. Luckily for them, this included us! After we ate it was time to do some shopping â€“ we couldnâ€™t go home empty-handed with four kids waiting for us! We hit 5 or 6 souvenir shops. Went back to the Riv., picked up our bags and headed for the airport. This year we had brought an extra bag just for souvenirs so when we got to the airport we packed everything we had bought into this extra bag. Checked in, went through security and still had two hours to kill. We went into Cheers and both drank a liter â€“ if youâ€™ve never been in this bar, we definitely recommend it! Wasted an hour and a half in there and then hit the slots â€“ had to get that last fix before we got on the plane. I know people have always said donâ€™t play the slots at the airport but we actually had pretty good luck there. We cashed out with about $60! We saw a man at the Elvis machines win $250 â€“ what a way to leave Vegas! Anyway, had one more quick smoke and headed to the terminal. Uneventful flight home. It was great to see the kids again. Billy gets another vacation in September â€“ do you think itâ€™s too soon to go back? Thank you everyone that helped before we left!!!