One more trip to Las Vegas is behind us. It was an unexpected trip due to quiting my job of 22 years in April, so we didn't think we would be able to go this year. We were talking about a local Indian casino run, but my husband said that we could spend nearly as much doing that, so we went ahead and made plans for FABULOUS LAS VEGAS!! I will put my opinions and such in categories.

TRAVEL: We flew out of our local airport on Midwest Airlines. Our connecting flight in Milwaukee was delayed 1 hour and 15 minutes for MAINTENANCE to replace the handle on the cabin door. Coming back through Milwaukee we were delayed 3 hours again. At one point, there were 11 Midwest flights on the board, and 9 were in delay status. Not a good sign!! They need to research the meaning of maintenance and do it. Maintenance means you repair aircraft on a schedule, not repair it only when it breaks! Enough said!

HOTEL: We stayed at Harrah's for $37 a night. After years of staying at MGM properties on comps, this was the best offer we got. Upon check-in at about 7 p.m. with no wait, I tried the $20 trick (which has always worked at MGM hotels) by asking for a room with a whirlpool tub, and was told that suites would be $100 more per night. I then asked for a renovated room in the Mardi Gras Tower, which I am sure I could have gotten just for the asking, as the hotel and all of Vegas was not that busy while we were there. The room was on the 14th floor overlooking Carnival Court. The music didn't bother us, but could if you are a light sleeper and turn in before 1 or 2 a.m. The room itself was fine for the money. As I said it was a renovated room with a very comfortable king sized bed. The linens and pillows were also very nice. Flat screen tv's were in the main room and the bathroom. Maid service was fine and we tipped $5 every day, as always. The view was of the north side of Imperial Palace, and above Carnival Court. Elevators were fast and the hotel was easy to get around. Staff were all friendly. Check out was fast as you could check out in your room via the tv.

GAMBLING: As usual, it was give a lot, get a little. We play slots, and had a few $300, $200, and $100 wins with $50 wins quite often. We received $10 free play for signing up for a player's card at:Bill's, Four Queens, Golden Nugget, Planet Hollywood, and Binion's. We won nothing at PH and GN, a little at 4 Queens, and $200 with the free play at BINION'S. We had fun and played A LOT.

FOOD: Breakfast buffets at Paris, TI, Bally's, and Flamingo. Got a funbook for signing up at Bill's, which had coupons for $5 off each person's meal at Bally's and Flamingo buffets. ( Lily, our favorite server at Bally's buffet told us that HET will be closing the buffet there on February 18th. She did not know what they were planning to put in that space. Good luck to you, Lily!!) Paris is my favorite breakfast buffet and TI is my husbands. We also ate at Planet Hollywood dinner buffet, and thought it was very good. Other dinner choices were America (NYNY)--Good coffee shop food, Main Street Station's Triple 7's Brewpub-- very good steak sandwich and chicken alfredo at very reasonable prices, Gold Coast $10.99 Steak Special in the Monterey Room-- the salad was the best part of the meal, and the service was terrible.

WEATHER: It was warmer this year than last year, but still cool. Around 30 degrees when we got up and about 45 to 50 degrees for the highs. It was windy one day and that sucks.

ENTERTAINMENT: We had a buy one get one coupon from ACG for Legends in Concert at Imperial Palace. Cost about $50 for the two of us, and a $20 bill got us a booth for just the two of us. It is still an entertaining, reasonably priced show with talented performers. Also caught a couple of songs by Big Elvis at Bill's. Pete sure can sing, and it is a free show, so, catch it if you get a chance.

TRANSPORTATION: Took taxi's to and from the airport with friendly driver's. It was about $20 each way (no tunnel) including tip. We also bought a 24 hour bus pass to ride the Deuce bus on the strip--cheap transportation, but not real fast and very crowded in the late afternoon. Walking is always your best mode of transportation, but remember to wear comfortable, not new, shoes.
,br /> WAKE UP CALL: When walking past the Flamingo one afternoon, a lady cane running out the door screaming for someone to help her as someone had stolen her belt bag. Before we could react, two or three young guys had tackled the robber and had pinned him on the ground. I was kicked in the leg by one of them, it was that close. The lady came and one of the guys handed her her belt bag, and she thanked them and started to walk away. Then the tacklers let the robber go and he ran off, two security guys came out of the casino and halfheartedly ran after the robber, but I'm sure they didn't catch him. My hat is off to the guys that tackled the robber, but I don't think they should have let him go. BEWARE, there are a lot of not so nice characters in LV looking for an opportunity to steal YOUR money! Don't let them, be aware of your possessions, wallets, puses, money in your hand or TITO tickets.

As we always do, we had a great time and are looking forward to next year.