Well, here goes! First trip report, so don't be too hard on me. we've been to Vegas numerous times. And because I had most of my faculties this trip, I'm able to remember most events. Parties involved: Myself, who I shall refer to in this report as Myself, Car, Bro & SIL. Occasion: Anniversary. Hotels: NYNY and MGM (not so) Grand. Airline: Northwest.

Flight: Left MBS Airport on a Sunday morning at 7:40 am, uneventful flight, with a transfer in Minneapolis. Tried the upgrade at Minny counter, only to be told that the flight was full. Arrived in Las Vegas at around 10:30 am. Lo and behold, there was a limo waiting for us. Of course we knew that the limo was going to be waiting, still, it's nice to see the placard held up high with your name on it, like we're somebody important. Presidential Limo ($54.00, not including tip), ask for Peggy Thomas, there is no mistaking her. She's a tall drink of water, beautiful, great personality, and more than accommodating for our needs/wants. Before heading to the airport, we asked Peggy to stop by the Welcome to Las Vegas sign to take pictures (for posterity). Along the way Peggy had provided us with a bottle of champagne, which we immediately had to partake in guzzling before we reached out destinations (not big on champagne, but hey, it comes with the limo, so...) The good thing about getting a limo is that you don't have to wait around like the rest of the schmoe's having to hail a taxi, which I've learned from past experiences could take up to an hour. The same could be said for the shuttles. But alas, I know in future excursions, we'll have to bow to their services (the low rollers that we are). Seeing that we're not whales, we could be considered guppies, minnows or even just bait, for the sharks out there, which there are plenty of.

Hotel: Depending on what comes in the mail, freebies, discounts, etc...we are pretty flexible. The past 5-6 years we've stayed at NYNY. However, prior to booking with them, we received an offer from MGM that we couldn't refuse (Don Corleone). Because we planned on staying 5 nights, we received 3 nights free, paid for 2, for a total of $270.00 (comes out to $54.00 per night), not too shabby. Prior to our arrival, I had asked for any upgrades, or any special favors they provide for anniversary guests (didn't try the $20.00 trick, too many standing in line). I didn't think they would go in the opposite direction. They booked us in this fabulous room overlooking a roof. Car didn't seem to mind, but, when I wake in the a.m. I like to relax and enjoy somewhat of a view of Sin City, and not at some pigeons trying their best to secure a stool. Any who, went back down to the front desk to inquire about changing rooms. Alex (I think) was more than accommodating putting us on the 25th floor overlooking Monte Carlo (or is that the Montecito?), NYNY and Excalibur.

Gambling: I had every intention of detailing most of our gambling ventures, however, that went out the window the minute we stepped into a casino, er....any casino. Again, let me just say that we are low rollers for the most part, but, now and then, foolishly bet large when the urge arises (translation: when we get too wasted). For the most part our games of chance were video slots, with a few table games thrown in now and then. Texas Tea, Reel Em' In, and I Dream of Jeannie seemed to have paid off the best for us. Up and down, mainly at the $.05 Reel Em' In at NYNY. we've encountered nothing but great service at NYNY slot area. After spending hours upon end for a few days at NYNY, most of the waitresses knew by sight what alcoholic beverage to bring Car and myself without even having to ask. We gambled, with not much success at the following: Imperial Palace, Barbary Coast, Caesar's Palace, TI, Casino Royale, MGM, NYNY, Sahara, Harrah's, Plaza, Fitzgerald's, Tropicana, San Remo, Aladdin's, O'shea's, Monte Carlo, Boardwalk, Sam's Town. We found that a lot of the Blackjack tables were full most of the time. That and the limits we came across were mostly $15.00 or above. However, when we ventured to Sam's Town, the 2 deck hand held tables were $5.00, however at 6:5, not too many players. We did have fun for about 4 to 5 hours, the drinks were flowing freely. We were somewhat, but pleasantly surprised at 6:5. Won more that we lost, and yes, we had a blast!

Food. (Scale 1-10, 10 being top shelf) Buffets at: The Aladdin. Not sure what all the hype is about. I found the food to be no better or worse than most of the buffets (6); Tropicana. Probably towards the low end of the totem pole(3); MGM Grand. Is it just me or is coconut shrimp the food of choice for this buffet? Like a bad habit, it's always there! Average at best (5); Boardwalk. Stay way!

One more thing before I conclude. I should've listened to reason when it came to drinking on an empty stomach. We had reservations to the Legends in Concert at Imperial Palace one evening, I had the bright idea of trying a different kind of alcoholic beverage. So instead of trying one of the fancy concoctions mixed everywhere, I had decided to try a Long Island Ice Tea (usually a Bud Light or Miller Lite man) which is about as adventurous as I wanted to be, liquorly (sp) speaking. Any who, the first one seemed to go down fast and refreshing, cocktail waitress were coming around more so than before, or so I thought. The next thing I know, we're (Car and myself) are sitting at a video poker machine, wondering how the concert was, if there was a concert, Bro and SIL made it thru the music festivities. Had to cab it back to the hotel. I think I may have given the driver $50.00 for a 2 block ride. Well worth it I suppose.

All in all, 5 days seems to be just about right, however, it's still kind of sad to leave. Didn't come home a millionaire, but, it's a lot of fun trying. Hope to be back in August for Car's birthday. If this trip report doesn't make any sense, it's because 'I THOUGHT' I had all faculties during this trip. 'Viva Las Vegas Baby'

BG & CG