Wow! What a trip!

We left home in Oklahoma on Wednesday the 29th of December to drive to Dallas. Off topic for a minute.....
Friends told us to be sure and have dinner at Fogo DE Chao in Dallas. This was a unique dinning experience.

The waiters serve cuts of beef, pork, veal, chicken and other variety of meats on swords. It was all you could eat for about $50.00 per person. The steak was out of this world, so tender, with a melt in your mouth flavor.

Ok, on to Vegas......

After stuffing ourselves we started on our way to the DFW Fairfield Inn. My husband is one of those guys that will drive for days without stopping for directions. When we were 60 miles from Waco he finally pulled into a rest stop and found that we were about an hour past the hotel. We arrived at the Fairfield around 9pm. This
is a good place to stay when flying out of Dallas. You can leave your vehicle at the hotel and they provide a free shuttle to and from DFW airport. No hassles or expenses for airport parking.

We were lulled to sleep with the sound of arriving and departing planes and woke at 5 am to catch a free continental breakfast in the hotel lobby before taking the shuttle to the airport. We were scheduled to depart Dallas on a 9 am America West flight. The flight was overbooked. America West offered $400.00 per ticket to give up your seat and fly out on Delta at 9:45 am. We took the bait and proceeded to the Delta terminal. My husband and I won the random drawing for the extended security search and after being molested by airport security (My husband seemed to enjoy this a bit too much!) we made the 9:45 flight arriving in Vegas shortly before noon..

The America West flight we were originally scheduled on also arrived about the same time so we felt we had our first big win in Vegas by receiving $800.00 in airline tickets. Now for a lesson learned.....

We went to the Delta baggage area and did not have suitcases there. We went to the America West baggage area to search.. There was at least 300 pieces of luggage piled around the America West area. We searched for two hours for our suitcases without luck. America West told us to file a missing luggage claim with Delta. Delta did not want to accept the claim since we traded our America West tickets but after 30 minutes of pleading they finally filed a claim and told us that our luggage would be delivered within 24 hours to our hotel. We decided it was not a good idea to trade tickets in for free
flights when you have checked your luggage.

We took a cab from the airport to the Orleans hotel. I was surprised the cab ride was only $15.00.The check in at the Orleans was fast and we were in our room in about 20 minutes. We requested a
room with a strip view but were told it would cost an extra $20.00. We passed on the strip view and received a room on the 14th floor facing the snow covered mountains, Nice!

We grabbed a quick lunch at the Orleans Subway and used the 15% off coupon from our Orleans fun book. Total $10.86, Not bad. My husband proceeded to the Sports Book then to the black jack tables. I wandered the casino looking for the slot machine that would allow me to insert a buck or two and retire on my winnings, Yeah, right. Ok lesson two... If you play a nickel machine with 10 lines you are paying 50 cents a pull. Most nickel machines let you play up to 10 nickels per line. Now why did I decide not to play to dollar slots? I really like the multi level games. Its kinda like playing a video game. After losing a couple hundred I decided I should look into purchasing a game boy or x box. Oh well, What the heck, I'm in Vegas!

My son had given us tickets to the Blue Man Group for Christmas. Well, He emailed me to let me know that the tickets on row F would be at the Luxor box office. We took the free shuttle from the Orleans to the Barbary Coast on the strip then walked to the Luxor.

Looooooooonnnnnggggg walk. We arrived at the box office at 6 pm, an hour before the Show. They gave us tickets in the Mezzanine Section Row RR. This was at least 25 rows to the back and left of stage. I tried to call my son but to no avail so we were stuck with the tickets. Third lesson learned, If you pay $100.00 each for show tickets make sure you have a receipt showing you paid for front area seating.

The Blue Man Group show was OK but my husband and I found ourselves saying, OK that was funny for the first few minutes but please, move on to something else. Not to ruin the show for everyone but how long can you sit and watch 3 blue guys eat and spit out Captain Crunch Cereal or Twinkies? We decided this would not be a show that we would have paid to see and were glad that the tickets were a gift.

Day Two, New Years Eve!

24 hours had come and gone. We woke, showered and dressed in the clothes that we had on the previous day. We went to the breakfast buffet at the Orleans. It was OK. After breakfast we stopped by the bell desk and found that our luggage was still missing. We took a cab to Wal-mart to purchase the basics. After a $30.00 cab ride round trip and $100.00 in necessities we returned to the Orleans.

We decided to take the shuttle to the Barbary Coast and we walked the strip stopping to play at various casinos. We had the $8.00 Steak and Shrimp dinner at the Frontier. It was a good meal.
After eating at Fogo De Chao it would be difficult to find a steak anywhere near as good but then again, We were paying $8.00 each not the $50.00 each we paid at Fogo De Chao.

We took the shuttle back to the Orleans and paid for more free drinks while playing black jack and the slots.

Around 9 pm we shared a cab with 3 young guys and headed to the strip. The cabbie knew a back road to Ceasars Palace so we were dropped in an excellent area. I was surprised that the crowds were not worse than they were. It was crowded but not over whelming so. The fireworks were spectacular! I had heard that glass and cans were banned but there were many people with drinks in glass and cans. The New Years celebration went without incident. My husband had collected dozens of beads prior to going to the strip and
was totally devastated when he did not get the opportunity to give out any of the beads. We had seen videos of last years Vegas strip party and most all the young girls were flashing for the beads. My poor husband was so disappointed.

After the fireworks ended we headed back to our secret drop off point at Ceasars Palace. About 2000 others were there waiting for cabs so we decided to walk around a bit. By this time I had celebrated a bit too much and I followed my Vegas Virgin husband on the strip. The 40 degree temperature sobered me and I then realized that my husband had managed to walk us nearly 3 miles off the strip to some back road area. I told him he was headed in the wrong direction. He made me prove it with a map before turning around. It was after 2 am and an off duty cabbie took pity on us and told us for a $10.00 tip he would take us to the Orleans. $15.00 later we were safely back to the Orleans.

Day Three, Still no luggage. I tried to call Delta airlines from a pay phone only to realize that the pay phones at the Orleans will not allow you to call 800 numbers. I went to the bell desk to see if perhaps they had a local number for Delta but they didn?t. My cell phone was about dead so I called my daughter and asked her to contact Delta about the missing luggage. Delta said that they had not located our suitcases but would reimburse us $25.00 each per day for necessities. Wow, We had already spent $100.00 plus $30.00 in
cab fares to obtain necessities and a couple changes of clothes. I was so upset. Being a woman, I had purchased a special outfit to wear for New Years and ended up wearing jeans from wal-mart.

We decided to take the free shuttle to the Barbary Coast and walk the strip. We were going to go to the mall and purchase more clothes but decided we would surely have our suitcases waiting for us when we returned to our room.

My husband wanted to try the $10.99 Steak and Lobster dinner at the Stardust. The hostess at the Island Paradise Café was quite rude. We had a group of 6 waiting to be seated in front of us and about 20
people behind us in line. She seated about 3 couples that were in line behind us before I finally spoke up and reminded her that we were waiting for seating in the first available area, Smoking or Non Smoking. She got aggravated with me and seated 2 more couples before finally seating us. The steak and lobster was OK, again, What do expect for $10.00 each? The restaurant was a bit run down looking but the waiter service was excellent.

After dinner we walked the strip and ended up gambling at the Riviera. I quickly won $150.00 on the nickel monopoly slots and my husband lost at least that much playing black jack. A lady was walking the casino area handing out free tickets to the Dr Scott Lewis Comic Hypnotist show. We decided to go to the show. It turned out to be hilarious. The Hypnotist was excellent. Now this is a show that I would definitely pay to see again.

We took a cab ride from Circus Circus to the Orleans. The cabbie turned down a side road and I could see the Orleans on our left. The cabbie then took a right and we were headed toward downtown. I told
him again that we wanted to go to the Orleans and he said he was going to take the expressway because it was faster. I am not an aggressive person so I just shut up and let him drive. The meter ran to $16.00 upon our arrival at the Orleans. I told him that it cost us less for the cab from the airport to the Orleans. He just laughed and I nearly killed my husband when he gave the cabbie a $20. I told my husband I had some change but my husband said, just forget about it. So the cabbie got a nice tip for taking us for a rip off ride.

It was nearly midnight and I decided to go to the room. The message light was lit on the phone. I called The front desk and found that our luggage had arrived that evening, this was our last night in Vegas!

Our flight departed at 6 pm so I called the front desk to request a late check out. I was told this was based on availability and I was to call back in the morning. I woke at 6 am and called the front desk. I was then told that the late check out would be an additional $20.00. We decided to just check out at noon and leave our new found luggage with the bell desk. We had breakfast at the restaurant at
the Orleans. It cost as much as the buffet and the food was not any better. I would almost swear that they served us food from the buffet. Oh well...

We decided to give more money to the Orleans casino and then took a cab at 4 pm to the airport.

We then found that when we traded our America West seats on the incoming flight to Vegas that They cancelled our return flight from Vegas to Dallas. OK, Gees, the $800 in free flight tickets are not seeming to be such a good deal. After about an hour they managed to retrieve our original tickets to Dallas.

About 10 minutes before departure America West announced that they were again over booked and offered $300.00 each to give up your seat on that flight. I glared at my husband when he mentioned it. The next flight out would be at 10 am the next morning and would have a lay over in California. It would not arrive until after 10 pm the next evening in Dallas.

The flight was delayed nearly 30 minutes while they shuffled those interest in the ticket buy out. We flew through terrible turbulence as we neared Dallas. Finally, 11 pm we arrived in Dallas. The
hotel shuttle was waiting after we grabbed our luggage and we rode back to the Fairfield Inn to retrieve our vehicle. I was wide awake after the bumpy flight and decided I could make the 4 hour drive back to home in Oklahoma. My husband snored the entire 350 miles.
and did not wake until I pulled into our driveway at 4 am.

It had been more than 5 years since I had been to Vegas and boy has it changed!

We were glad that we decided to be a part of New Years Celebration on the Strip.

We ended up leaving about $1000.00 in Vegas at the Slots and the Black Jack tables but we had a great time.