Long lines and deceptive van service at the airport...took an expensive cab to liberate ourselves from the airport scene. Stayed at the Golden Gate downtown: easy check-in, renovated rooms, the oldest hotel in Las Vegas, nice diner, cool piano player doing old jazz and pop favorites. It's a three block walk to the bus that takes you to the strip. Or you can walk across the street and catch a cab. Or if you're a runner like me, you can run the distance too.

If you like good Mexican food, I suggest the Mexican place in the New Frontier on the strip. If you like brew pub food, I suggest the brew pub in the Main Street Station downtown. If you like R&B Motown hits of the '60s and '70s, you must catch Spectrum, performing in the Boardwalk Casino's lounge on the strip from 8 'till 11 (great vocal harmonies, no cover charge, cool scene).

My wife and I were a couple of the 200,000 people who descended upon LV for the new year's thing: great people-watching, but an ongoing rush and crush of people, including too many young males engaging macho drunken aggression with one another. Great fireworks, the strip closed to car traffic from about 7 until 2 AM. An overlooked, lovely little lounge is the one in the Peppermill Restaurant on the strip, near the Riviera (nice lighting, plush red velvet seating).

I wouldn't recommend the Zumanity show at the NY, NY. It has some humor and the performers are very gymnastically talented; but it's a shallow, flashy exploration of sexuality attempting to be "heavy." And a bit over-priced. But Mamma Mia is worth your time...even if you don't like the tunes of Abba.

We get to Las Vegas twice a year and we always have a good time, trying new places to stay, eat, drink, and gamble. I like reading other people's trip reports...maybe someone will like mine.