Well, I guess it is time to finish up this trip report for my dozens of fans and before my memory dulls too much to remember the good parts. (Oh, wait. I think that already happened.) Well, I'll do my best. When last we left our hero, he and DGF (Degenerate Gambler Friend) had been deposited at the Rio Hotel and Casino on the afternoon of April 27th. We proceeded immediately to the registration and I once again didn't try the $20 trick. Not doing it has been a bit of a running joke. I did try the "be really pleasant and deferential" approach and it seemed the nice desk clerk was willing to try and find us a strip view room but insisted he didn't have anything available at that point and we would have to wait. He said he could give us a room right now on a "nicer floor" and asked whether we wanted to check it out. I just decided to take it and I can't say I was disappointed. It wasn't a strip view room but it appeared to have been a recently remodeled room in the old Masquerade Tower. 19th Floor...Nice view of the Mountains and the Palms hotel. Very happy, particularly given the bargain rate we were paying. Beds were almost ridiculously comfortable, maybe too much so as it was kind of like sinking into a cloud. DGF never sleeps in but he did every day we were at the Rio. TV was pretty new and the furnishings seemed up to date so that is why I am thinking it was remodeled. Anyway, enough about the room. It was nice and big and comfortable. DGF decided he needed a nap but I was energized my new surroundings and decided to pay a visit to the closest thing I have to a "home" casino these days: the Gold Coast. I knew they were having a promotion, where earning 250 points on my card would entitle me to a free buffet and was determined to get it. Decided playing some 50 cent video poker should get me there pretty quick. Now I am a major league low roller so it was a bit unnerving betting $2.50 a pop but I hit a Full House pretty quickly and played it back down to the original $20 and then chickened out. Slid over and earned the rest of my points at nickel deuces wild and managed to do it and still break even. Then, of course, I went and donated a good portion of that $20 playing some silly penny slots but it was fun and I got a few beers out of the deal. Went to the slot club booth and got my free buffet card and then cashed in a coupon from the ACG which I decided to buy this year and got a couple more free beers. Was a little late getting back to the room and, by that time, we were both getting hungry. Mentioned my 2-for-1 buffet coupon at the Orleans and we figured we would take the shuttle over there from the GC and eat on the cheap. We'd both stayed there a few times but hadn't been back in a couple of years. Was pleasantly surprised as the food was actually quite good. The last dinner there had been disappointing but it was much better this time. Decided to waste some time playing Keno and see if we could develop a close personal relationship with one of the lovely cocktail waitresses. It didn't take more than about 15 minutes for one of them to realize they had a couple of guys who were going to tip and she and one of her friends decided we needed a beer about every 10 minutes from that point on. Moved over to some of the machines near the keno lounge but the waitresses didn't have any problem finding us. They seemed to be trying to get back around before we could finish our beers but we did not let them down. We were now both pretty well stuffed full of buffet food and brew when I remembered the 2 free drink coupon I had for the Orleans and we just had to take advantage of it. Couldn't handle another beer so I got a gin n tonic. Seemed to settle my stomach and it was time to catch the shuttle back to the GC. That's where the evening should have ended but I decided I needed to hang around and check out the Rio. DGF headed back to the room and I wandered around the casino and played slots for a couple of hours. The Rio has one really bad feature, at least for me: The Male Cocktail Server. Huh? This is really not what I am looking for in my Las Vegas experience. Drinking, smoking, gambling and being served by a scantily clad woman is what I'm looking for. Oh well. I did notice the "boys" sure did try harder and I'm sure they need to. Never had any problem getting a drink from any of them, whether I was playing or just wandering around looking for machines. Since it was pretty late and I knew the Rio had a bit of a reputation, I decided to try and play "spot the hooker" for a while. Saw several likely prospects at the bar down by the Seafood buffet and a few others here and there throughout the casino and actually got "the look" from one who was pretty hot. I guess my constant wandering about must have got her attention as she walked right up to me at one point and made her pitch. Was pretty darn hot I will say and, if I was likely to take advantage of such a service, she would be high on the list. But I'm not and I turned her several suggestive offers down. She asked me if she could give me her card and I was like, "Sure, why not" and so now I have a real genuine hooker trading card, not one of those fake ones they hand out on the Strip. No, I'm not giving out her name or number. She's mine...all mine! Well, I knew I really couldn't top that so I made my way back up to the room and crashed. When I look back on it, it seems we drank a lot more that day than I thought. Oh well, I slept well and woke up feeling fine the next morning. DGF showed no signs of stirring so I showered and got ready for my day. When he still showed no signs of life, I decided that the Gold Coast for breakfast would be a good way to use up my freebie. Pretty fair breakfast with the omelet bar and enough edible food to fill me up nicely. I pretty good deal at the normal price and a great one when it's free. Played a few penny slots again and had a cup of coffee (still morning) while I killed some time. Finally heard from DGF and met him back at the hotel. Today was to be our "Strip Day" so we caught the shuttle up to Harrahs and wandered around for most of the afternoon. We walked through PH and ended up playing there for a while before making the rounds all the way down to Mandalay Bay and then back up the Strip to the Bellagio where we had decided to eat a late lunch/early dinner. Got there just as they changed over from lunch prices but we kind of wanted to see if there was anything special at dinner anyway. Buffet was very good as always but I think I'll stick to lunch. The Crab Legs were the only thing that seemed to be any different and they did have a large sushi bar area that I don't remember. Neither of those items is worth the extra $10 or so. We took our time, ate small portions and, between the two of us, managed to try a good percentage of the dishes. Even saved room for a little dessert. Went over to Caesars from there which tends to be one of DGF's favorite places to play. While he donated some cash to HET, I donated substantially less playing a few slots. Did a walk through of the Forum shops, up to the Venetian and then both kind of decided we'd had enough excitement and headed back to Harrahs and the shuttle. Did catch the "new" Mirage volcano and I guess it is somewhat more impressive than before but I won't likely make any special effort to see it again. Jaded I guess. So it was back to the Rio. Hung around a few hours again killing time and playing a little bit. Spotted a few more likely working girls but couldn't duplicate my solicitation experience again so I finally just headed back up to the room and crashed a little early. Wednesday morning: last full day in Vegas. Always a bit of a sad day and I slept a bit later than I had most of the trip. Still up and out by a little after 9 and, of course, roommate still sleeping like a baby when I left. Did I mention how much he loved the bed? Yeah, I think I did. Wandered over and played a little while at the Palms. Really like this place and it isn't just the cute (all female) cocktail waitresses. I always seem to do pretty well here and it feels comfortable. Thought about eating there for breakfast but it was getting late and the buffet there closed at 10 so I skipped it. Used another ACG coupon for Triple points for the day but I don't really think I played long enough for it to matter much. Went by the Gold Coast on the way back and finally got my morning coffee from the same waitress as the day before while playing exactly the same machine. She even remembered my "cream, no sugar" so that was cool. Now finally fully awake, I headed back to see if sleepy-head was up. He was and we were both now hungry again. Eventually decided on lunch right there at the Rio. Wasn't that excited about it because I thought it had gone way down hill the last time I'd eaten there. OK...it's back. I honestly don't know if I've ever seen that much different food at one buffet. And it was good. If you haven't been back here in a while, I'd try it again. Completely remodeled from a few years back and the quality of the food was much better. The final day of our trips together are usually designated as the "alone day" when I can go on my Las Vegas strip club adventures and he can hang out in the race/sports book and lick his wounds. So we split up mid-afternoon and did our respective things. Ended up visiting 3 gentlemen's clubs before my day was done. Discovered the only thing worse than not having much money when you hit a strip club is having too much. I'll spare the lurid details except to say I went to Cheetahs (lively place, extremely dark, dancers not too impressive,) Treasures (beautiful club, very aggressive dancers and cheap drinks until 6PM) and then the Spearmint Rhino, where I ended up blowing most of my disposable income. Had never been before but decided I was going to brave the ridiculous cover and the crowds and take the plunge this time. I will only say that the ladies who dance there are pretty amazing looking and were generally pretty friendly and not too pushy about dances. Got there pretty early in the evening and by the time I left, it was completely packed. Met a few very lovely women and am pretty sure I fell in love with one of them though I'll be darned if I can remember her name. Anyway, fast forward to the next morning and I'm a bit hung over and I have to go home. Talk about things going from good to bad fast. Choked down some breakfast (GC again), checked out and headed to the airport. Had a lot of time to kill before our flight but it went pretty fast. Flight home was packed but we made great time and returned about 30 minutes before scheduled. Have to say that I did pretty good on this trip. I didn't really lose much cash and spent a lot of time on the machines. (Didn't win anything much either, of course) Ate at 7 buffets in 5 days which is probably a record. Went to 3 strip clubs which is definitely a record. And, from the looks of it, drank a hell of a lot of beer. Never went to bed before Midnight and never got up after Nine. Not too bad for an old guy. And the good news is that I may be going back with some friends from out of state this year on my birthday. So I've got that going for me which is nice. Anyway, thanks for reading through all this. Hope it didn't get too boring.