Flew Southwest (free with points) from St. Louis into Phoenix to visit with wife"s brother & family on Tuesday & Wednesday, then they drove us to Las Vegas on Thursday. Staying 5 nights at Cosmopolitan comped through local Tropicana Casino Evansville offer. I was surprised that the comp even covered the normal $33 "resort fee" that they tack onto the room cost. Could not afford to stay in this place otherwise. East Tower Studio room facing Planet Hollywood from 37th floor. Room is great with king size bed with TV, separate living room with large TV, large bathroom with tub & really large shower with bench (first time I've seen that), but stocked frig and snacks are really expensive and were avoided completely. Frig was so full of $8 sodas and $14 liquor bottles that you couldn't bring in food as no room to keep it. There also was not even a coffee maker in the room. I guess that was to encourage you to go to the 2nd floor coffee shop and buy there $5 cup every morning. Room service each day was very good.

We knew when we scheduled the trip that it would be hot, and it was. By the day we left it was up to 105 degrees. We spent over $100 on taxis, with trip to and from down town being about $60 of it. Did not want to travel on the bus in that heat knowing how some of the people would smell. Gambled at Cosmo to late afternoon and ate supper at buffet. Not terribly expensive compared to others (~$50 total), but nothing special. Went to Planet Hollywood Thursday evening and gambled until tired. I broke even and wife lost a bunch. 

Got up and ate breakfast at Cosmo Friday morning ($40 total). Took a cab downtown to meet up with wife's sister-in-law and her mom. They love to sit and play video Keno for hours-on-end. Don't see how they do it, but they do win big sometimes. Gambled at Plaza, 4 Queens, Golden Nugget, & Binion's, and at Binion's - barbequed ribs and they were quite good. Took taxi back to room early evening (in-laws drove to Laughlin for the weekend) & then walked to Planet Hollywood and gambled into late evening. For the day, I broke even & wife dropped a bunch.

Got up Saturday and walked to Paris for another expensive breakfast. It was already hot, and I did hit for $287 on a Walking Dead penny machine - which would be the highlight of our gambling successes. We then walked up the strip and lost money at a few casinos on our way to Harrah's, where my wife found me the first live Keno game of the trip. They always had live Keno there but I had not been able to find it. I sat and relaxed there, with no big wins, while she continued to feed the penny slots $20 bills. Eventually we walked across the bridge to Caesar's, another bridge to Ballagio's where we lost a few more dollars, and finally made it back to Cosmo where we ate another expensive meal, lsot some more, and crashed for the night.

Sunday we headed down the strip south with stops at Aria, Monte Carlo, New York New York, and then to MGM, where I wanted to do the "CSI Experience". Since they have cancelled the series, I figure this attraction may not be long for the world either. For $31.50 each, it was not quite what I hoped it would be. It took about an hour, and then they took several pictures of the wife and I and then got us for another $60 buying a couple of poses and some items so that we would remember our "less-than-memorable" experience. I guess they did what they could to create something even the more mentally challenged patrons could get through and hopefully understand. After more slot play (and loss), we took a quick cab back to Cosmo.

Monday was more of the same - expensive meals and stingy slots. I will not go into more detail as we were just trying to not spend all our money before our Tuesday morning free SW flight back to St. Louis. 

I can't fathom where the young adults get the money to stay in a place like the Cosmo. The room rate was not on our door, and I know you can find regular rooms there on-line for $170/night, but our Studio would probably go for over $300 or more per night. 

Overall, the trip was somewhat expensive as my wife probably lost over $1100 and I lost about $950, but since the flight and room were "free", we could stand the gambling losses. We kept our meal receipts, and we spent over $500 on meals in the 5 days we were there. And we usually only had 2 meals per day. We went to Rio, and they have raised the cost of their Seafood Buffet to $51.95 each. They do offer a buffet coupon for $66 which lets you eat at 3 buffets over a set period of time. Since I am not much on seafood, we opted for other options which were a little more reasonable.

We used to have a Hilton Grand Vacations time share, which we sold 2 years ago since the yearly fees reached over $800 and we had not been able to regularly use it, and the rooms in those facilities were as good or better than Cosmo, even tho the Cosmo room was quite good. Had our room been in the west tower, we might have not had to walk quite as far as it was nearer the taxi station and reservation desk.

Not as many street vendors trying to hand you stuff as on previous trips, but still a lot of street entertainers to be seen. Some of the young women that we saw downtown while on Fremont Street were quite "scantily" dressed. One had a bikini bottom and just "nipple stickers" on her breasts. 2 others dressed in camo bikini bottoms and ammo belts across their breasts. Good viewing for an old man like me, but not a place for kids anymore. Some of the guys also did not cover their "packages" with much.

As hot as it was, it is hard to imagine how the street people that one sees on the bridges can stand the heat during the summer months. They have their signs asking for money, but many just lay there in their dirty clothes and seem to be almost comotose. 

I will close this lengthy report with a negative summary. This may be the last time my wife and I go to Las Vegas. The expensive meals & tight slots are not conducive to further trips. We can lose money at the local casino and eat much more reasonably. Even a trip to Tunica, Miss. is only a 6 hr. drive, and they have good food and several casinos, with Memphis, TN close by if you want to do some touring. Maybe Atlantic City is a place to try as well. Who knows?