Wed. 1/11/06

We flew on SW leaving Hobby at 6:55, arriving Las Vegas at 8:00 p.m. I had picked up Subway sandwiches for us at the airport to eat on the plane, so that and a couple of cocktails and we were primed to go!

Since this was a Wednesday night, we knew there wouldn't be a cab line, so we opted for that rather than getting a limo. On our past 3 or 4 trips, getting the limo thru the hotel we're staying has been a good deal at $38 plus tip, so we usually do that. Most times we have ended up getting the ride for free.

We checked into Treasure Island for our 3 free nights, $100 freeplay and $100 f&b. We got non-smoking room 18020 which had a nice Strip view looking towards Caesars, Bellagio, etc.. Unfortunately, this room did not have a King bed, but we kept it just the same.

That evening we checked out the hotel, getting our bearings and checking out the various bars and restaurants. We played lots of slot machines ... the craps tables were $15 and Mike wasn't ready to play on a table that high. We did get drinks at Isla ... neat bar outside of the Isla restaurant where you can play video poker. Throughout the next several days we did see people order the nachos in the bar and they looked incredible! Next trip I may have to have some! We did head over to Mirage at some point, thinking we would stop at Mirage and Caesars and head to Bellagio. We never made it past Mirage. We had a great time there, but they are doing renovations and have some areas taped off, so it can get confusing. We finally headed back to TI and were fast asleep by 5:30 a.m.

Thursday, 1/12/06

My brother was driving in from California to meet us and my cell phone rang at 9:30 ... he was downstairs playing video poker. We all walked over to Wynn ... last time we were all here together at our family reunion, Wynn opened the night before we all were leaving, so my brother had never been inside. We all played slots here for a couple of hours and had a great time ... no big wins. I like Wynn. I think once you get past the expectations that it is going to be just like Bellagio, you can relax and enjoy it. I like their casino because it's not as dark as most. I tried "going back to the well" where I won $3,026 last July, but I couldn't make it happen again.

My brother hadn't checked in yet, so he headed to TI and Mike and I headed to Fashion Show Mall. We walked around ... while they do have the typical stores you see in any mall, they also have neat boutique stores that you won't find in most cities, so of course I spotted a pair of shoes I Just had to have! I ended up wearing them every day for the rest of the trip! I also tried on a $60,000 Rolex just for fun. It had all kinds of jewels on it - mostly diamonds and pink sapphires ... it was absolutely gorgeous! If it had have been in white gold I wouldn't have been able to take it off! I'm sure Mike is relieved!

We all met up at TI again and Mike decided he needed a nap. My brother and I played and he showed me how to play the video machines. Now I know that sounds weird, but I have just never been able to figure them out ... how you win and that sort of thing and apparently the couple of times I have tried them I never got the bonus. Well, I am now a convert! They were so much fun and getting the bonuses on some of the machines were pretty elaborate! My brother and I were getting hungry so we grabbed a snack at Canter's Deli. It was good ... I ate about 1/3 of a club sandwich and my head was killing me. I had the worst sinus headache! I decided to nap as well and we decided to meet up later and head downtown. About an hour and a half later I woke up, head still pounding. I took a hot shower and we headed downstairs and I got some Sudafed. We then headed downtown for some cheap craps.

First stop was Golden Gate ... we probably lasted there maybe 15 minutes. Only one craps table had people on it and for some reason it just didn't seem fun. We hit several places downtown, but ended up spending hours at Fitzgeralds. They had a great band playing so it was great fun! Mike played craps and ended up leaving the table up $500. Meanwhile my brother and I played some penny machines that were playing with us and we were having a blast! These also had some sort of progressive where randomly you might win. There was a mini progressive which was around $5.00, the next one up was almost $15.00 and the top one was $197.00. Well sure enough, I won the middle one! That's a lot of pennies!

I can't remember which casino it was at (I think it was Binions), but there was a machine kind of like a Silver Strike machine, only you could win jewelry with a value of $300 (yeah, right!). Well we just had to play it and my brother won a necklace that was white gold with a heart made out of little diamonds. He thought that would be a perfect souvenir for my 11 year old niece. We couldn't win another for the other daughter, though. From there we ended up at Fremont where Mike decided to teach my brother craps. They played for about 2 hours and I just played slots here and there, not winning anything. We then headed back to TI. Mike headed to $10 craps and my brother and I played slots. Mike and I were still full from the big sandwich and potato salad we had shared earlier in the day, so we headed up to the room at about 2:30 a.m. Apparently my brother stayed up until 5:30 a.m. playing cards, but he said he couldn't win at anything.

Friday, 1/13/06

I was up early after having a good night's sleep and great news ... no sinus problems today! I was showered and all dolled up (and wearing the new cute shoes), heading out to find my coffee by 9:00 a.m. I settled in at some slots while enjoying my coffee. Mike met me within about 45 minutes and we got a call from my brother saying he had to wait in his room for a phone call from a client. He was finally done at around 11:30. We played some slots and decided it was time to eat.

We walked to Caesars and stopped at the first place we saw, called Joe's Seafood and Steaks, I believe. Well, what can I say ... this place was really good! We had to eat inside because the tables outside in the mall were full, but that was fine. My brother and I had the fish and chips which was heavenly! The halibut was cooked to perfection with a light crispy batter. Mike and I shared some Oysters Rockefeller that were great too. He had the fried shrimp and the lettuce wedge with Roquefort dressing. (We love Roquefort / Blue Cheese dressing and are always searching for who has the best and this one was good). Mike really enjoyed it. They had many great appetizers and some burgers and sandwiches and giant salads as well as steaks and lobster. It was a casual place, which is nice when sometimes you want a great meal but don't really want to dress up, and it was done in dark wood which is always very comfortable feeling. The bill was $89.00 and that included 2 iced teas and 2 beers. We will definitely go back to Joe's.

We then wanted to hit the casino. We wandered around in the Forum shops forever looking for the entrance to the casino. I think they make it confusing on purpose! Along the way we passed a sports memorabilia store and Pete Rose was sitting out front at a little card table signing autographs. Well, actually, he wasn't signing any because no one was stopping! Only one person came by the few minutes we were standing there. We felt bad for him, but we didn't want his autograph either, so we kept walking and finally found the entrance to the casino. We played a little bit, showed my brother the Seahorse Lounge and the seahorses and decided we had to go to Bellagio.

I love Bellagio! We must have played here for hours. We all had such a good time! They were just putting up the Chinese New Year flowers and decorations so you couldn't walk in that area ... it was roped off, but you could see that it was going to be pretty neat! They already had a giant pagoda and lots of red flowers displayed. I would have liked to have seen it finished.

We finally decided to leave and headed for Barbary Coast. They had a great band playing ... the lead singer who was a female was not very good, but the rest of the band made up for it. We sat and listened to them for about an hour and a half and then headed for O'Shea's for cheap craps. Mike was able to play there for quite a long time and my brother and I played slots. No big wins.
From there we walked down to the Venetian and headed across the street to TI.

We immediately went to our new favorite area which was in front of the Isla bar/restaurant. I decided it was time to put a $100 bill in a 2 coin $5 slot. I chose Pinball. Well, 2 spins into it I got the Pinball symbol! I ended up cashing out for $455! That was the best win we had this trip!.

Mike found the craps tables and my brother and I played every slot in the casino, I'm sure! We found another one of those jewelry machines and he won another one! This time he picked a sapphire ring. My nieces were sure to be thrilled!

By about midnight, we were all exhausted and decided to head to our rooms. Mike and I ordered room service at probably 12:15 and it was delivered in 20 minutes! That was great since I was about to fall asleep! We got a burger, French onion soup and chicken wings. The wings were horrible, but the rest was okay. I know I was asleep by 1:00 a.m.

Saturday 1/13/05

After a great night's sleep again, I was showered and out the door by 8:00 a.m. to get coffee. Mike met me about 20 minutes later and my brother followed. We all played for a few hours and my brother headed back for his 4 hour drive home at about 11:00. I ended up cashing out on a quarter Sizzling 7's machine for $175 and Mike put a $20 in a dollar Blazing 7's machine and hit Any 7's on the first time, so he cashed out with a $200 profit. For this trip, that was excellent! Why is it on our last day we end up having a few wins and really start having an extra fun time? I think it's because we play to hard, drink too much and don't get enough sleep the first night or two and then finally get a good night's sleep and we're raring to go again! Mike and I played until about noon and then packed and checked out. We got to the airport in plenty of time so we headed to this new Mexican restaurant/bar in the terminal for one last cocktail. Next time we'll plan ahead so we can eat there! It looked great! When we were leaving I noticed a purse hanging on a chair. I asked the people around that table if they had seen who was sitting there. They described the girl and sure enough I found her! They had moved inside to watch the game and she completely forgot her purse! I'm hoping that my good deed got me extra points. I sure would hope someone would do that for me.

Our flight was delayed, but since we had to go thru Albuquerque to get home anyway, we still made the connecting flight on time and we landed in Houston at about 9:00 p.m. I did stop in a Quizno's at the airport in Albuquerque to get us a sandwich for the plane ride home. We have them all over Houston but I have never tried them. It was actually really good! I'm not a fast food person, so the only time I eat food like that is on the run, so that's good to know for the future!

This trip wasn't as much as a "party" trip as some have been; not that we didn't drink and carry on, but just in a moderated way. I think I enjoyed it more that way. Since we only go for 2 or 3 nights, I guess we feel as if we have to do everything to excess to take advantage of every minute like we did in our 20's and 30's. In our future trips I would like to do it this way again. Getting to bed by 2:30 gave us enough rest so that we were refreshed when we got up and didn't feel the need to sleep the morning away. We really enjoyed TI and would love to stay there again. It was also so great spending time with my brother. Can't wait until our next trip in May!

Note: When my brother got home he called me and said he was reading the back of the jewelry box and it says you can turn it in at the cashier and get $300. Wow! I would have been playing those machines had I know that!