Hubby and I flew out of Hartford, CT on Christmas morning on America West Airlines. Flew thru Phoenix and landed in Vegas at 2:30 PM. Picked up rental car at Dollar and headed to Sam's Town. This is our 8th trip to Vegas in 4 years and first time staying at Sam's Town. There was no line at check in and were headed to our room within 5 minutes. The room was good size, clean and comfortable and had a large bathroom. The view from the 9th floor faced Boulder Hwy to the north and we could see the strip from the Paris up to the Strat. We unpacked and headed down to find something to eat. Both the lines to the cafe and the buffet were extremely long so we headed to Billy Steak House. There was a 2 hour wait there so we headed to Fellini's and got right in. The dinner and service were superb. I had shrimp fettucinni and hubby had chicken parm and both were very good. Good video poker selection in Sam's Town and played for a long time and broke even before heading up to catch some sleep.

Day 2

Got up around 7:00 and headed to Green Valley Ranch for the buffet which cost $16.00 with a 2 for 1 coupon from POV. This is a great buffet and I had the best omlet I've ever had. Besides breakfast foods, they had 4 carving stations with Prime Rib, Salmon and I forget what else. They also had shrimp that was already peeled and Alaskan King Crab legs. The desserts had their own station, there were so many. After breakfast, played VP for a while at GVR, lost a little, then headed out to Lake Las Vegas. This is a beautiful area and we took lots of pictures of the lake and waterfalls and checked out the three hotels - Hyatt Regency, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons. We heard the VP was very good at Montelago so we went in there to play but lost quickly and left. Stopped at Pizza Hut on Boulder Hwy for Pizza then went back to Sam's Town and developed the pictures that we took with our new Kodak digital camera and photo printer. Played VP at Sam's for several hours and won a little.

Day 3

Went to Arizona Charlie's for breakfast buffet for $5.00 with 2 for 1 from American Casino Guide. Good buffet but service was a little slow. Played VP there for a few hours and had fun winning a small amount. Went downdown and played VP in all the casinos except Golden Nugget where they do not have a good VP selection. Won a little in the Freemont then left and headed to the Cannery in North Vegas. Played VP on one of the machines marked with a 100% sign and within a few minutes hit a Royal Flush for $1,000. They also gave me a t-shirt that says jackpot winner. Headed back to Sam's Town and ate burgers in the cafe. Played VP and won a small amount and went to bed.

Day 4

Went to Gold Coast for Sunday Brunch for $9.00 with 2 for 1 coupon from American Casino guide. This is a good buffet for the money and the service is very good. Headed down to strip and parked at Bellagio as it is so convenient to park there. We went in to see the Christmas decorations in the conservatory and take pictures. As always, it was beautiful in there and different from last Christmas. Visited all the casinos from Ceasar's to Mandalay Bay then walked back to Bellagio with tired feet. Didn't gamble much in the strip casinos except for a little video blackjack in Bally's but lost. Went to Palm's cafe on 2 for 1 coupon from POV and had two very good dinners for $10.00. Played VP in Palms for a while but lost and headed back to Sam's Town to develop more pictures in our room and hit the hey.

Day 5

Up early and head off to Laughlin to meet some friends of our from Phoenix. We met them and had breakfast in Harrahs cafe then played VP for a while. Won $60 then hit the blackjack tables and lost $60. Drove down the street to the Flamingo and went to the lounge for some cocktails before hitting their blackjack tables. I was up $100 before they switched dealers and the new dealer seemed to have a bad attitude and there went my winnings. Ended down $40. Played some VP and broke even before saying goodbye to our freinds and driving back to Vegas. The ride back was much faster as most of the highway back is now two-lane and what a fabulous view driving back into Vegas with all the lights.

Day 6

Our last full day so we got up early and went to Terrible's for buffet for $5.00 with 2 for 1 coupon from American Casino guide. The buffet has improved from the last time we were there but the service was a little slow. We played VP for a couple of hours before losing. We then went to check out the Tuscany Suites casino which was very spacious and had a good VP selection but was extremely quiet as harly anyone was there. Played VP for a couple of hours and hubby ended up $60 but I lost $40. Drove up to Westward Ho where we always do good on their full pay VP but this time the machines seemed like they were getting very old and warn and were not paying. I heard they added new machines in Nickel Heaven at the Riveria so we went there and played for a while. I lost $40 but hubby won $60. Headed to Boulder Station to eat dinner at the Pasta Palace and had to wait 1 hour so we played the Optimum Play machines near the restaurant while we waited and I hit 4 dueces for $300. Time to eat - the restaurant is very nice and spacious inside and the food was very good and cheap with the 2 for 1 coupon from POV. Bill came to $20. After dinner we played more VP at the Optimum Play machines and won a lillte more. Back to Sam's Town for more VP and won a little more.

Day 7

Checked out of Sam's Town and went to eat breakfast at Boulder Station buffet on 2 for 1 from American Casino Guide for $5.00. Breakfast was very good but again service was a little slow. Played the Optimum VP machines and on first try I hit 4 deuces again for $300. Hubby won $60 after a while then it was time to head to the airport. Airport security checkin was very quick as there didn't seem to be many people flying out. Plane back was only half full so we had a good flight and landed in Hartford 1/2 hour early at 10:00 PM, two hours before the New Year begins.

Trip Summary

We love breakfast buffets and all were very good especially GVR but it is a little pricey. We did much better at the casinos off the strip especially the Cannery and Boulder Station. The POV and American Casino Guide books are well worth the money as you more than pay for them using just a few coupons. The weather was a little cold but it's Vegas and who cares, you can stay inside and gamble all day.