Three hearty souls having celebrated the Yuletide with much merriment and joy set out on Saturday, December 26, 1:10 p.m. from the Los Angeles International Airport on Southwest Airlines bound for Las Vegas. Flight goes well, only 10 minutes late leaving LA. Arrive in LV at 2:30 p.m Only had carry-on bags so we bypassed baggage claim and headed to the taxi stands. Cabs are plentiful, so there is no waiting. Off we go to the Luxor. Check-in at the VIP Gold Chamber desk. Get two adjoining rooms on the seventeenth floor in the west tower. These rooms are simply elegant is all I can say about them. Much better than the Pyramid rooms we've stayed at in the past. Entry is to a marble floored foyer. Directly off the foyer is the bathroom. Again marble tiled flooring, separate tub and shower units, a telephone next to the toilet, hair dryer, and magnified make-up mirror. Plenty of lighting and plush towels. The room itself is designed in a very tasteful Egyptian theme. The faux-amoire contained on either side, his and her lighted closets. In the center of the amoire was the television and underneath the TV are drawers of various sizes. There was indirect lighting coming from the top of the amoire and around various areas in the room. A large round dining table with two plush upholstered chairs and of course two queen size beds. The room was done in a very elegant shades of gold highlighted with turquiose. The rooms are set a distance away from the elevators and the casino so there was no residual noise. (That is until my husband begins singing in the shower.) My daughters room was the reverse of ours and needless to say she was very pleased. We unpack and make our way back to the casino while my daughter heads for the attractions center to meet up with her cousins. We are set to have dinner with Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law along with the kids later that evening. My husband and I play a few slot machines in the Luxor and decide to look for the kids and see if they want to accompany us next door to the Excalibur. We find the kids and head off to the Ex. The kids are off to get some ice cream and then play the video games. We agree to meet again at 4:30 and make plans to meet with their parents for our dinner meeting. My husband and I split up and start spreading our money around. Time has a way of getting away from you when you're involved in keeping the economy solvent. I sit down at a Wheel of Fortune machine on the wall located behind the escalator to the Luxor. I put twenty dollars in and about half way through my funds, I get to spin!! Whooppeee! I land on a measly twenty coin win. Feeling frustrated with this effort, I cash out and move over to the Safebuster machines on the end. I manage to unlock a few combinations and win 260 coins... hey this is more like it!! Play some more, mark down one combination, play some more - mark down the center combination. One more to go..... will she do it?? BAM! She hits the third combination! But what's this, the third reel continues to spin, the window above the reels is flashing numbers 1X, 2X, clear up to 10X..... finally it stops on 4X. You guessed it! Miss Lilly is the Big Weiner!! $4,000.00!! While that third reel was spinning, my Husband walks up behind me and starts getting excited because he's watching the window above land on the 4X. I'm looking at the final tally and realize just how much 16,000 quarters is. I flag down a change girl. She in turn, calls in the Pit Boss. Everyone congratulates me, tells me to wait here (yeah, like I'm going to leave-sure). They assure me they'll be right back. In the meantime, could I turn over my Social Security Card or something that has my SSN as well as my Drivers License. Had no problem finding my Drivers License, but I could not find my Social Security Card for nothing. I did however, have my ID badge from work with me and this has my SSN on the back. Off goes the Pit Boss with my identification. Well as you might guess, this took an eternity to me, but it was actually about 20 minutes. I tell my Husband to go meet the kids as it is now 4:30. Husband and kids show up and get equally excited over this happening. Here comes the Pit Boss and my new best friend! He makes his magic resetting the machine, pulls out a W-2 form for me to sign. He explains that there are NO TAXES removed from the winnings and that the taxes are my responsibility. Yeah! Yeah! About this time as I'm signing the document, my Husbands hand shoots out waiting for the payoff..... I love this part... my new best friend says "I'm paying her off.." Down goes the hand and a sheepish grin shows up in its place. You must remember, my Husband is an accountant by profession, and once a money handler, always a money handler. So here it comes, the MAN now pulls out a wad of $100 bills from his pants the size of a sausage! (And all this time I thought he really liked me!) He counts them out into my dainty little palm... 1, 2, 3..... 38, 39,40! All this time my Husbands head is nodding, keeping a cadence count along with the Pit Boss. Change girl and Pit Boss split a $100.00 tip. Change a couple of bills for $50's and give one to each to my daughter, niece and nephew. Of course, by this time the Accountant is having a seizure!! That's when I give him $300.00. Now that everyone has calmed down and recovered, we meet up with Brother and Sister in Law for dinner. The Accountant suggests we go over to the coffee shop as he wants to get some soup because he has a tooth that's bothering him. "Whaaat! I just won some big bucks and you think I'm going to settle for a HAMBURGER???" It's off to Sir Galahads for prime rib and lobster tails - Oh yes Waiter, one bowl of soup, please. So, by this time we get out of Sir Galahads around 6:30 p.m. The night is young! And I am loaded! Now remember this is only the first day, and my Husband and I have only used about $60.00 of our own gambling stake to get this far. The kids want to go to MGM... so it's off to see the Wizard! We make plans to meet up with the kids at 9:00 for a trek over to NYNY. About 11:15 its back to the Luxor. We say good night to the family, my daughter goes up to her room with the treasure she's won and shopped for. And of course my husband and I are still alive and kicking! We bop around the Luxor trying to get some more points on the cards and finally decide to call it a night around 2:30 a.m.

Sunday, December 27 my eyes snap open at 7:00 a.m. I call room service for a pot of coffee and prepare to take advantage of that fabulous tub and the bath gel I got from my Daughter for Christmas. One word of warning at this point, if you stay at either of the towers, remember that the water gets very hot - very fast! I haven't stepped in yet because I'm trying to cool the water down, and here comes a knock on the door. I give a holler to my husband to get the door. Guess who?.... It's the coffee already! Perfect, now I can have a cup while I soak in the tub. By this time my husband is awake and grumbling. He has a cup of coffee and now I have company in the tub OOOOH! LA! LA! We get dressed, and it's off to the casino! We managed to put a few more points on the cards and come up with another $500.00 between us. Now it's 9:30 a.m. I call up to my Daughters room and tell her to get up and meet us at the escalator to the Buffet for breakfast. What a good girl, she was already up, showered and dressing when I called. She meet's up with us looking bright-eyed. We make our way down to the Buffet and use our VIP line pass. This sure is great! No waiting! And are we hungry! The breakfast buffet was fabulous at the Luxor. Plenty of fresh fruits and morning pastries, fresh juices and an omelet station! YUMMY! It's now close to 11:00 a.m. and we promised to meet with Brother in Law and Family to have lunch at Texas Station at 1:00 p.m. (Can't we call and cancel?? Who want's to eat so soon?) No can do. Actually my Brother in Law wants to show us his new business location and then do lunch. So we fritter away our time at the MGM once again. My husband will play a few machines and my Daughter and I will shop. She likes to collect "I Love Lucy" memorabilia and we need some girl talk time. The hours pass like minutes and before we know it we're off to see Brother in Law's new business location. He's a wholesale purveyor of sundries for small grocery stores and liquor stores in LV. "Yes, this is a great office!", "Nice kitchen area..", "Fabulous showroom!" and of course, "Very efficient warehouse." But in the back of my head the little kid is saying, "Can we go now??" We leave the office and head out to pick up Sister in Law and the kids. By now it's just after three o'clock we arrive at Texas Station. There's no line and we make a pass at the Margarita Bar before being seated. Make our way to the service stations, and guess what?? There are no plates?? And of course I'm hungry by now. Warning, I get really CRANKY when I'm HUNGRY!!! Went looking from one end of the serving stations to the other - no plates!! I ask the hostess, the cashiers, the waitresses, no one can get me any plates!! Finally I spot a bus boy I speak a few kind words in Spanish and VOILA! Just like that Platos por todos en la Familia! By this time others have spotted the armload of plates the bus boy is carrying and he's immediately deluged. Finally here comes a cart full of plates and once again the rush is on. The meals at Texas are always the best. Especially enjoy sampling the different types of chili. It's a good thing to bring the "Beano" with you when you sample at this station. Well by this time we're all laughing and scratching and having a good old time! I finish the last bite of my pecan pie, refill my frozen margarita cup and tell the family "I love you all, but it's been over six hours since I gambled - I'm outside at the slots look for me there." I managed to pick up an extra $75.00 playing on a few slots and a couple of video poker machines. Well here comes the family and now we've decided to go see Bellagio. I was a little apprehensive about not being allowed in with my 15 year old daughter. My niece is 20 and my nephew is 18, so there was no problem there. But we had no trouble at all. No one asked to see our key. There were even families with little children (4-10 year olds) welcomed into the hotel. This was a very orderly crowd. The children were all exceptionally well behaved. The hotel itself is lovely, the conservatory was beautifully decorated. And that ceiling everyone was talking about is a must see! We didn't get to play here as we could not leave the kids unattended. They were very strict about that. The shopping area was nice, with many of the same retailers as those in the designer wing of our local shopping center at home. So, for us, we really didn't see any thing that special. Bellagio is pretty to be sure, but in my opinion, it still can't compare with Ceasar's Palace. We say good bye to the family and head over to Ceasar's! By now it's 6:00 p.m., I want to see if my husband and I can hook up with Jean-WA. My daughter went to explore the shopping mall and we agree to meet at the escalator to the arcade in 1 hour. We have to meet Brother in Law #2 at 7:30 back at the Luxor. I wander around playing a little and looking around a lot. Sorry Jean, I was hoping to plan a little better. I hope you had a fun and profitable trip. Meet up with my Daughter and quickly cab it over to the Luxor. We meet up with Brother in Law #2 and his wife we go to Nefertiti's Bar for a drink while my daughter carts all her days treasures up to her room. My daughter joins us and we take a hike over to NYNY for some Chinese food at Chin Chin's. Great noodles! You can watch the chef making them depending on where you sit. We had a very nice visit with Brother in Law #2 and we head out to the casino for a little play time while Brother in Law #2 takes my daughter for a ride on the roller coaster. Those two have iron stomachs and are really enjoying themselves. Brother in Law meets up with us again and my Daughter stays to play a few games. We say good night around 11:00 p.m. after hiking back to the Luxor from NYNY, my daughter retires for the evening. My husband and I play for a few more hours. He managed to hit the Elvis Slot for $500.00! Needless to say, he was very happy. I cashed in my points and came up with an additional $60.00. We called it a night at around 1:00 a.m. as we had a 10 a.m. flight back to LA, and we were simply exhausted by this time. Now remember, I still haven't touched my big winnings!! Monday morning arrives, we pack up and head down to the Pyramid Café coffee shop for breakfast. Eat up and pay a few more machines. Cab it over to the airport, take off on time and arrive in LA at 11:30. Retrieve our car from the parking lot and arrive home by 1:00 pm. My husband goes to open the business, and my daughter and I are left to unpack. We team up and get things in order and start a load of laundry. Then we go over to our local mall and I buy a new washer (mine's been on the fritz), I pay off all the Christmas Credit Card Department Store bills. Have lunch and deposit the rest in the bank for the taxes.

Next trip is scheduled for March and I've told my Husband that we are not telling any family we are coming!