Woo wee. I've had my day to recover, so I'll type out my report that you have ALL been waiting for. haha! First of all, we thought it would be "fun" to drive to Vegas (we live outside of Boston, MA), and the $300 each saved on airfare would bulk up our gambling budgets. In retrospect, I've told my boyfriend to hit me over the head if I ever suggested it again!! We left Friday afternoon (8th) and drove 2700 miles in 2 days. We broke down and spent the night in Denver, and to take showers so we didn't look like slobs checking in. We finally got to Vegas on Sunday (10th) about 6pm. Pulled into the Aladdin valet, and went to check in. There was no line (YEAH!) and we quickly went up to unpack. We had a nice room on the 37th floor, nice view. My boyfriend is not good with heights though, so he didn't get too close to the window We unpacked and went to explore the hotel. We had gotten a bunch of coupons at check-in so we went to the guest relations to redeem them and signed up for their club card, since everyone recommended doing it. We both wanted to get our gambling on, so I hit the slots and he hit the tables. We met again shortly...poorer and big losers So, we redeemed several coupons for free drinks where you could taste the booze and drank away our sorrows. It was early, but we turned in since we'd had a long day in the car. Day Two (Mon. 11th) Man, sleeping in a bed was so much better than napping in a car Since we'd had such bad luck the day before, we decided to do some non-gambling activities. We hopped back in the car and headed out to the Hoover Dam. We saw a sign for In and Out Burger on the way, and swerved across the freeway to catch the exit. We don't have them up here. We also hit off the Wal-Mart next door for things we'd forgotton and drinks to keep in the room. The drive to the Dam was very nice and I thought Boulder City was a very cute town. The Dam was awesome, We took the tour, walked around, took pictures. The whole DAM thing!! (haha, get it, haha...tough crowd) Anyway, it was a cool thing to see. We made it back to the strip and decided to hit off the Mirage buffet for dinner. We only waited about 5 min. while the people in front of us figured out their traveller's checks. I thought it was really good. My boyfriend ate until he was in pain We gambled for a little while in the casino, but I was a loser again in less than 30 min., my boyfriend began playing blackjack, and it was a good time b/c it was a good dealer. Jan from Austraila. Gave him losts of help since he didn't really know what he was doing. Once she left though, he started losing, so we left. We walked around the strip and wound up in the Bellagio. He found another great blackjack dealer, and sat there for what seemed like forever. I got bored, and somehow more of my money wound up in the slots However, it was mean and didn't give it back, just took it and laughed at me Day Three (Tues. 12th) Even though we were still kinda full from last night's dinner, we had a craving for breakfast food. We'd liked the Luxor buffet last trip, so we got up and walked down the strip to the Luxor. We got there at 11:45, but they still had a little section of breakfast food, so, we ate breakfast and lunch at the same time. It was alright, and not too expensive, so we weren't dissapointed. We walked along through those hotels while we were there and did a little more gambling at MGM. I lost (of course), and so did Tim this time, so I felt a little better. haha. We walked back up to the main part of the strip and decided to go up to the Secret Garden and Dolphin habitat at the Mirage. I thought it was really cool. White tigers are Tim's favorite animals, so, he really enjoyed it. The female and male tiger got into a bit of a tussle while we were there, and it was amazing to hear them roar at each other. There was also something being filmed at the time, not sure what, but I managed to get on camera a few times...i'll probably end up on the edit room floor though. I, like Emma, thought that Gildah, the Asian elephant looked really sad. So, I asked someone there about her and they said she was kept by herself b/c she did not like being around other animals. She was only good with people. So, I guess she's safer there than in the wild. I didn't know she was part of their magic show though. But, I think that S & R do alot for those animals, so I'm not complaining. The animals look very well taken care of. By now, it was early evening and we had ti head back to the hotel to shower and change. We had tickets to a comedy show at The Improv at Harrah's. We saw "O" and Danny Gans last time in town, so decided to do something different this time. We left about 7:30pm and stopped off at Paris since we'd never been in there before. I got a huge Eiffel tower shaped souvenier cup full of margarita, so, it made the trip inside worth it. We gambled a little at Harrah's and the losing streak continued. We sucked down a couple Long Island Iced Teas and headed up to the show. The comedians were HILARIOUS! David Gee and Mike Sunoco(sp?) were the openers, and Kivi Rogers was the headliner. He was SSSSOOOOO funny! I laughed so hard at times I couldn't catch my breath. It's not a very big club and we had seats at a table right at the stage. Somehow, we escaped being fodder for the comedians. But, if you ever see that Kivi Rogers is going to be near you, definitely go see him, unless you don't like to laugh. After the show we headed back to Bellagio for gambling. Tim's favorite dealer was at a table with a high minimum, so he found another. I swear I went in there boycotting the slots, but, again, they reached into my purse and took money from me. After midnight, my huge margarita started to kick in with the yawns, so we left. Tim broke even, I lost AGAIN. See a trend starting????? Day Four (Weds. 13th) Having decided to give up gambling, I decide that we shall do something off strip again for the day. We drove up to The Valley of Fire. If you have never driven through this, I recommend it! It was so cool. It was about a 45 min. drive, $5 per car. It doesn't take too long to drive through, but we kept getting out to take pictures and walk around. It was very windy, but very unique. We made it back to the strip for dinner, and hit off the Mirage buffet again. I didn't like it as much this time b/c it seemed like all but 4 of the main choices were seafood, which I don't really like, but I made up for it in other ways, and left quite full. I noticed that we were only eating about once a day, so I assume the buffets were the culprits! We were meeting one of my best friends and her fiance who were in town at the same time, so we just wasted a little time walking around, and went down to Fremont Street about 9pm. I'm certainly glad everyone advised me to go b/c we had a great time! We weren't meeting my friends until 10pm, so I headed off to La Bayou to hit off the daquiri bar I'd heard so much about. Tim just got a yard, but I got a HUGE one! I guess they were left of from the Superbowl, but they had huge plastic footballs that held 54 ounces of booze. She made me one called "Call Me a Cab" that mixed all the flavors. She said she could put in an extra shot of everclear and make a "Dead Man Walking" but I passed...why, I don't know. I guess if you're going to drink 54 ounces of booze, another shot of everclear doesn't make THAT much difference Anyway, the light show was really cool, and once my friends got there we started gambling. The guys played the tables and we hit the slots. My losing streak continued, but I seemed to be good luck for everyone else! We played at Binion's, Golden Nugget, Golden Gate, and Fitzgerald's. I think that the luck of the Irish finally tipped the scales though, because I FINALLY won! It was just enough to break even for the trip, which I was just fine with, given my luck of the week. I hit the big jackpot (aside from winning the progressive) on a Wheel of Fortune machine. I knew it was time to walk away, and I took my money and ran....OK, I did put another $15 into another slot, but THEN I did walk away. I wanted to go laugh back at the Bellagio slots, but thought better, since they can be sneaky! We headed back to our hotels after 3am, my friends had to catch a plane at 8:30am Day Five (Thurs. 14th) This was our final full day, and we were running on empty. Our feet and backs weren't ready for it. We just relaxed all day. Hit the pool, which wasn't too impressive. Only one was open, and there wasn't anyplace by the pool to lay out, so we had to go down the steps to the sun deck. We walked around the malls and ate lunch at Cheeseburger at the Oasis. The chili cheese fries and burger was good. The chicken sandwich was nothing special. It was good, but a little pricey for what you got. We drove down to the big souvenier shop across from the Sahara, and managed to spend alot of time (and money) there. We spent the rest of the day just driving around, went to Wal-Mart again to get provisions for the never-ending trek home, and managed to get some cool pictures of the strip. We went to the Stratosphere and went up to the observation deck. That was an amazing site at night. It was a little windy outside, and a little nervewracking standing up on the benches to get some pictures. Tim was happy to be back inside. Two helicopters flew by, a little too close for my comfort. But, we sat there for a while and just looked. We left for dinner and found a good Mexican place in the MGM. Ricardo's was the name. Not too expensive, and yummy, huge margaritas. I had rasperry, melon, and orange. Yes I had 3. The food wasn't too expensive. It was $60 for two. We had an appetizer, 2 entrees, and 4 large drinks. We went back to our hotel, very full, gambled a little more, then decided to go out on top. We turned in about midnight so that we would be fresh in the morning. On Friday, we checked out and hit the road. We stopped in Mesquite for a little bit for lunch and to look around. It was a nice town. We drove straight through and made it back here about 8am, Sunday morning. Slept until 5pm and am trying to get back on a normal schedule today. Top it off, it's snowing here today.... Can I go back to Vegas now!?!?!?!? Well, hope this wasn't too long to read! I'm a writer, so, I tend to get a bit long winded. haha Thanks to everyone who gave tips. We had a great time!!