departed 630am on 10/7 from detroit. this was a "guys trip-no wives" with my law partner. northwest asked for volunteers to be bumped. our attitude was "nfw". we had planned this trip for almost 8 months and were not about to delay our gratification regardless of the price. flight was smooth. arrived in las vegas about 745m pacific time. rented the smallest and cheapest car that thrifty had for 21.89/day plus 23.25% tax. was a suzuki swift (equivalent to a geo metro). had no power steering, brakes, windows, doors or mirrors. was an automatic and had a/c but lost almost all acceleration w/ a/c on. probably wouldnt rent from thrifty again but had nothing to do with car. despite the low price--which is what gets you in the door, the location is off-site and inconvenient (near the belz factory outlets on warm springs road). the shuttle service was slow as we saw many hertz, avis and other busses pass us by time and again before getting picked up. the choice is saving a few bucks versus the convenience. will go w/ hertz or alamo next time. had carry on luggage only so no delay waiting for luggage.

arrived at mandalay bay about 845 am. told us to check back in about 1/2 hour about rooms. decided to play craps. lost a little and then ate breakfast buffet. price is $9.35 and w/ tax is $10.19. worth the money imo. eveything was good. had an omelette bar, grilled breakfast steaks etc. would have preferred fresh squeezed oj for the price but was only real complaint. good and large iced teas. dessert selections were average--nothing spectacular.

had previously checked our bags with the bell hop and went back to front desk to check in. had a n-smoking 22nd floor room facing the mountains with 2 double beds. the room had a privacy please sign on the door and we were leery. clerk said we could have the room but it wouldn't be cleaned until later. we felt that it was ok. listened to noises coming from behind door. woman was moaning (as if she was doing the nasty) and then shrieking (didn't sound like ecstasy). did knock on door but no response. at this point we were perplexed and amused but decided to go downstairs and ask for a "clean" room. again requested a strip view room but were summarily rejected. offered a 32nd floor room and an apology. said people do video check-out but don't leave the room immediately. went to new room and this time an adult family of four was still in the room and was just leaving. was an awkward moment but they said "come-on" in and gave us a tour of the room. faced mountains with a partial view of a few strip hotels. apparently, all rooms except the suites are the same size--which is a large room. long hallway upon entry. a bit of wasted space. large bathroom with sunken tub and separate shower. a separate room with toiler accessible through bathroom only. called bell desk and bags arruved w/in 5 minutes. quickly left room to "begin" day although we had been up since 3:30-4:00 in the am est. quickly toured the hotel and checked out the outdoor water facilities.

took tram to luxor. picked up tx for that night to see bill acosta. gambled a bit. had stayed there previously. thought place was ok but nothing special. weird casino layout due to shape of hotel and inclinator concept. walked to excalibur and gambled a little. partner actually liked it better than luxor. walked to ny ny and gambled a little. still not my favorite place by any stretch of the imagination. went to mgm to pick up tx for carrot top the following night. the re-do of the front and the change of the casino layout was far superior to the previous design and more user friendly. wouldnt hesitate to return. didnt gamble here at all. since we were stuffed from the breakfast buffet we decided that lunch was out of the question and made reservations at rumjunge at mandalay bay for dinner. next went to tropicana to get free slot pull-neither of us won--and free pack of cards. casino sucked-older-low ceilings and depressing. went back to mandalay bay and went to the pool/beach/lazy river for a few hours. was a bit windy outside so not that crowded. beach was nice but mostly taken up by lounge chairs. wave pool was fun-water was cold. lazy river is relaxing. don't rent anything to "ride" on it. the current just pushes you around and you can lay on your back and wade through it. the water is warmer than the wave pool and refreshing. music on outdoor speakers was good. fortunately, the hotel was shooting a promo commercial to be shown on all the in-room tv's in the near future and the models (all bikini-clad vixens and great to watch) were no more that 5-10 feet from us for a good 45 minutes or so. of course, as men, we had a duty to watch--and watch we did. wen to dinner at rum jungle. see my review under restaurant reviews (10/99-dhf333). had the fire pit. stuffed to the gills. good experience.

went to luxor and saw bill acosta-lasting impressions. he is no danny gans but worth seeing for less than 1/3 the price. in a small stadium style theatre. good entertainment but not great. would not see again. but not unhappy that we went. back to the hotel to pick up car. drove to the hard rock. gambled and lost. now down $80 for day. now is about mignihgt, 3am our time but we decide to push ourselves and drive downtown to the golden nugget to play craps. was a good idea because we both won. my partner was a very hot shooter. had fun. now up in winning for the day (won $154-net up $74 for day). was now about 145am. of course, had to end the evening with the girls of glitter gulch for some topless entertainment. what a joke. no cover but 2 drink minimum (ie $5.75/coke). surely makes up for the cover and then some. women were neither too bad nor too good. were extremely agressive. we sat at the oval stage and each dancer just goes up and down the stage and dances for 15 seconds in front of each patron and then pulls out her g-string for a tip. at about $1 every 3-5 minutes this gets old and annoying real quickly. at the same time, we get approached by a floor dancer for a private $20-30 dance every 5 minutes or so. too much for me so i reject their advances each time. after a while they become annoyed and wonder what we are doing there. i am asking myself the same question. after a while, we even reject the stage dancer who becomes pissed off and tells us to sit in a booth if we aren't going to tip. well i got sick of this activity real fast and left for some fresh air. my partner stayed and had one table dance and met me outside binions. it was now abot 230am (530 our time). we were exhausted and went back to mandlay bay and crashed about 315. was a 26-27 hour day. whew-end of day 1. day 2 and 3 to follow