I didn't take any notes on this trip, so I'm going to try and do it all by memory. It's long, but hopefully not too random. Without notes, I think it would be too hard for me to break it down by categories. Sorry ahead of time for the length! Just as a pre-cursor, I've been planning this trip since late September. It was a surprise for my husband, Kevin. He's a retired Marine, and although he's been all over the world - he'd never been to Vegas. That's just not right!

We left our house about 11 am, and headed to pick-up our friend, JB. She took us to the airport, and we left my car at her house. Kevin did not know where we were going until we got in line to check our luggage at the airport. He was very excited!

Sunday, flight 575 out of DFW to Las Vegas was on time, leaving about 2:15. Uneventful flight on America West (US Air). Got to LAS about 3:30. Our bags took about 15-20 minutes to get there. Line at airport check-in looked about 20 people deep. Decided to chance it at hotel. Took Showtime shuttle to Bally's. Got tickets right away, but took about 10-15 minutes to fill-up shuttle bus. So far, all is groovy.

After just a couple minutes wait, explained the travel situation to the nice guy at check-in at Bally's, and he was able to get us what I thought was a nice room. I asked for either a refurbished room in the south tower, or the best view available in the north tower. If needed, I would resort to trying the $20 trick. It was not needed. We got room 6532 on the 15th floor in the south tower. I thought the view was great, and so did Kevin. To the left, you could see Bellagio and the fountains. Straight in front, you could see Barbary Coast and Flamingo. Back to the left, you could see Caesar's.

We got unpacked and freshened-up - ready to hit the town. Before we could, however, Kevin had to fax some inventory lists to where he works. (Since he didn't know where we were going, he thought we would be able to go by his work. Wrong.) So we had to find a fax machine. To save a couple of paragraphs and some boring details, we ended-up having to have the Cashier's cage at Bally's fax it for us. It took forever for them to get the confirmation, but they did us a HUGE favor by faxing it!

Now time for fun! I wanted Kevin to be able to see Masquerade at Rio, so we caught the shuttle over there. I'd read that the Tilted Kilt at Rio was good, so my plan was for us to eat there and check-out the show. We were seated at Tilted Kilt right away, and the reviews I heard were right. They were good.

I had a french dip, and Kevin had a philly cheese-steak. Neither of us could finish our sandwiches, and the amount of fries they give you is unreal. Definitely share-able. Something to note here, there's a big barrel of free snack mix right inside the door, and it's pretty good.

I stayed at the table, while Kevin went out and watched the show. We stuck around and played slots here for about an hour afterwards. We then caught the shuttle back to Bally's, then walked over to Harrah's. We both love to dance, so I wanted Kevin to see Toby Keith's I Love This Bar. Originally, I'd kinda planned to see this later in the week when I was more dressed for it - not in slacks that were just a little too long (meant for heels) and brown loafers (meant for comfort). LOL! Plus, he was in a sweater, and he got way too hot. But oh well... the timing was right.

Their local band that was playing was pretty good. We danced a little bit. After a really drunk guy decided to stomp down on my right foot while doing some drunken version of the Cotton Eyed Joe, we decided to call it quits. By that time, Kevin had taken his sweater off, and I'm sure we looked like quite the "bedraggled" sight. We then caught a cab downtown, because I wanted Kevin to see the Fremont Street Experience. We drove up right as it was starting, and he enjoyed it as much as I thought he would.

We signed-up for players cards at Golden Nugget, and played there on a few slot machines for a while. Then we kind of wandered in and out of a few other casinos - just to check them out. We were both losing steam by this point, so we decided to head back to the hotel. We headed towards the Deuce, with the intention of getting two 24 hour passes. They had the road torn-up where we thought we were supposed to catch the bus, and a nice homeless man pointed us in the right direction. All he asked in return was for some change. He said he was alcoholic, and he needed a beer. Honest, but sad.

We got on the top of the bus and began the 45-50 minute trip back to our stop. This was made very entertaining by the people on the bus, however. When we first got on, there was a little party going on in the back of the bus. Very funny, and they were talking to everyone. After they left, what I assumed was a bachelor party group got on. There were six guys, I think, and they were all funny as hell!

Apparently one of the guys had ridden the bull at Gilley's, and one of the ladies on the bus recognized him. He hadn't been wearing a shirt, and she was teasing him about his man boobs. LOL! For the rest of the bus ride, all the guys with him were calling him "Moobs". I tried to get him to do a demo for us, because we hadn't been there. I even had beads from one of the casinos I was willing to give him in exchange, but he was suddenly shy. Whatever!

One guy kept breaking into song, but he didn't know all the lyrics to any of them. Every single one had "something something something" in the middle of it. They were so drunk, and kept joking about they hoped they weren't on a bus heading to CA for boot camp or something. It was so funny! Where we had been very sleepy, by the time they got off the bus, we were wide awake from laughing so much with them and at them. We got off the bus at Bellagio, and then walked back. On the way back, we walked through Paris. Once back at Bally's, we walked around a little bit, but ended-up going to bed around 2 am.

Even though we were both tired, we were up and getting ready about 8:30 Monday. Kevin went down and got us a bagel for us to share while we (okay, mainly me) were getting ready. We then took our time walking down to Flamingo, stopping in at Barbary Coast for Kevin to get a players card (and me to renew mine) along the way. Once at Flamingo, I showed him around the Habitat. Lots of photo ops here.

Afterwards we had lunch at Margaritaville. I had a cheeseburger in Paradise, and Kevin had a chicken sandwich and tortilla soup. Again, we could have shared this meal. We both had margaritas. With tip, this was around $30. It was nice and relaxing. Just what we needed.

Next on the sightseeing tour was Venetian, Mirage and Caesar's Palace. We got players cards and gambled at all stops. While at Venetian, Kevin learned a very valuable lesson. Be sure to take your ticket OUT of the machine when you're through. He had just stepped down three machines to check on me, and some guy swooped in and took his ticket. He didn't get a good enough look at him to ID him. It only had $14 on it, but it was the principal of it. Kevin didn't want to, but I pushed the issue, so he went to Security to see what they would do. Nothing. Kevin was temporarily bummed, but not for too long.

That night, we got "duded-up". Originally, we were going to do Karaoke at Barbary Coast first, but they don't do that anymore. We were going to do the karaoke at IP, but that looked a little too "dive-ish" for us, so we passed.

Then it was on to Frontier and Gilley's. For joining Frontier's players club, we got a funbook with a coupon for a fajita feast for two for with two margaritas at their Mexican food restaurant for less than $20. Heck of a deal! Being from Texas, it wasn't the best Mexican food we've ever had, but it was good. Way too much food for two people, though. We were both disappointed in Gilley's. Maybe it was just what night we were there, but it was dead. The DJ was playing pretty good music, but there were only about four or five other couples dancing. After not so much as a hello, the waitress we (supposedly) had when we first go there deserted us after less than an hour. The bartender was just above comatose. Kevin did ride the bull, but my pictures turned out way too dark. They closed at midnight, but we weren't ready to call it a night. After having a pretty good run at slots, then Roulette, then Blackjack, we headed back to our hotel. Got to bed around 2 am again.

Tuesday we decided to try-out the monorail. We rode it down to Sahara. I know it's had problems in the past. But with it coming every six minutes and getting there very quickly, we decided we loved it. At Sahara, we signed-up for players cards and gambled on their free money for a long time. It was Kevin's first time to play Green Acres, and we had a blast. (I know... we're easily amused.)

We then walked over to Stratosphere. Kevin LOVES roller coasters, so this was a must do for him. After us both going up to the Observation Tower, he rode the Get Down and the Get Off. Somehow I managed to take pictures of him doing both. It was way more nerve-wracking for me! He loved both rides, though, so it was worth it.

Originally, I'd planned on going to take him to see Viva Las Vegas. I knew he'd love the Big John comedian from Texas. The lady at the ticket counter informed me that show was over with at the end of December. WTH??? Maybe I just hadn't been paying attention, but I hadn't seen anything on the internet about it. Oh well... More time to wander around and gamble at Stratosphere. We played Blackjack and some slots.

That night was the biggest surprise of his trip. Kevin is a HUGE sports fan. If broadcasts, he would probably watch competitive cow tipping. So Tuesday night, I took him to ESPN Zone to watch his beloved Stars play San Jose. This was the ONLY time we had a problem with a cab driver. He must have thought we were stupid, and we had to "gently remind" him a couple of times where we were going. He got the 40 cent change part as his tip.

A couple of months ago, I'd signed-up online for the MVP Club, and on Saturday morning I made reservations for Tuesday night. They got us right in, and they were all just so nice! We had a booth, but this was no ordinary booth. It faced a wall of 14 monitors (12 were regular 32" TV's - I think - and the other two were gigantic screens). Each booth had an individual monitor on it that you could program to watch any of the 14 feeds up front. Plus the booth had surround sound. Way cool.

As if all that wasn't enough, they put a happy birthday message to him on the sports ticker that went around several times above the TV screens. Very, very cool. All of that, AND the food was really good. I had a grilled chicken salad, but I don't remember what Kevin had. We couldn't finish all of it, though. We stopped to be able to have room to share a brownie dessert that was awesome. He had a couple of margaritas. Even with a very good tip for our server, Stephanie (who rocked!), our bill was only about $60.

Because we signed-up for the MVP club and activated our cards there, we each got 40 points to be able to play the games upstairs. Hopefully none of you were witnesses to us being silly and doing the virtual jockey, motor bike, etc. games. It was so fun just to be able to cut-loose and be silly, though.

Afterwards, we were going to go to Coyote Ugly, but I'd managed to leave the free passes I had back at the hotel. We gambled a while, and then we decided to head back. I decided we could walk back. Ordinarily, wouldn't have been an issue. On this particular night, I was wearing three inch black high-heeled leather boots. Very cute, but not totally practical.

We cut across to MGM, and then walked on that side of the street. At first, I was all "Yes, I can do this!" It was a challenge, but I was up for it! About the time we got to Paris, my feet were very, very tired. At that point, though, we were so close, it was just a matter of mind over matter.

When we got to Bally's, we were GOING to sit in the Indigo Bar and check out their band (I really like them), but they were completely packed. My feet were just not up to standing and listening. Kevin was going to go up to the room and change, and I was going to sit and gamble a bit. As soon as he got out of sight, I realized I didn't have my bungee cord with all my players cards with me. I waited for him to come back down - thinking he may have them. Nothing. I called NYNY, because that's the last place I used them. I even remember what machine I was playing and where it was! Nothing. No one had turned them in.

I waited a little longer, and then trekked it up to the room. Only to find, I couldn't get in! Kevin had fallen asleep after dead-bolting the door. I had to have Security come up (called them from phone in hallway) and let me in. I could've banged on the door and woke him up, but didn't want to wake anyone else. He asked me why I didn't call him from the phone in the hallway. I knew his cell phone was off and in the safe, and the room phone didn't occur to me. These were our only two real "D'oh!!" moments of the trip. Fortunately for us, they were back-to-back and not anything earth-shattering. Again, in bed around 2 am.

Wednesday, Kevin was up before me. After going to get us bagels again, he trekked it down to NYNY and back to personally look for my players cards. No luck, but what a sweetheart! So after replacing my Rewards card, we headed to Harrah's - stopping to gamble at Barbary Coast on the way. At Harrah's, we were going to see Mac King. I've heard MOSTLY good things about this show, and I felt that Kevin would really appreciate his sense of humor. We both did! He is such a cornball, but he's really good! For a "free" show (price of a drink), it was definitely a well-spent afternoon.

Next was time for Big Elvis. I had wanted to go see him back in June of last year, and we just ran out of time. Before Kevin's dad passed away, he was a big Elvis fan. This would kind of be a way of remembering his dad on this trip. We had a lot of fun. I was an honorary Elvette (for dancing and doing the tambourine to Viva Las Vegas), and Kevin won a contest playing a plastic guitar to an Elvis song. The winner was judged by the crowd for having the most fun. That's definitely my Kevin!

We left after the first part of the show to do a little more gambling at Barbary Coast. Then we went back to the hotel to clean-up and change to go see Purple Reign at Monte Carlo. While I don't LOVE Prince, I do really like most of his music. I'd heard this was a good FREE show to go see. We decided to eat at the Brew Pub where the show is, and after gambling for a bit (I won $100 off $2 on a dollar slot machine!), we couldn't have timed it better, if we had tried. They were just bringing our food out as the show started.

If you like to dance, and even remotely like Prince and Morris Day - GO SEE THIS SHOW. It's very high energy, and the performers are truly great. Everybody was dancing (including us), and we had a GREAT time! The way they even mimic their body language, facial expressions, etc. is awesome. Our food was really good, too! I had little mini cheeseburgers ("dressed"), and Kevin had some kind of avocado wrap. Again - we had left-overs.

We left here to walk over to NYNY to go see Coyote Ugly. I'd watched the last series about this on CMT, and I wanted to check it out. My goal was to dance on the bar. Silly? Yes, I know. I didn't care. Well, now we can say we went, AND I danced on the bar - twice.

In hindsight, we both think the club is over-rated. (We should've just stayed at Monte Carlo!) CU is a bunch of college kids. The girls are wearing short skirts and thongs, trying to be seen. The guys are hanging around the bar (just past Security) trying to see. There are no tables and chairs (that we saw). Just a long, dark hallway - with a bunch of bras hanging in the back. I did enjoy watching the four Coyotes that were there dance, and I DID have fun dancing on the bar. Not enough to do it again, however. The $100 I won was spent on souvenirs. My t-shirt said "I danced on the bar at Coyote Ugly". Let me tell you, it's a real conversation starter!

We cabbed it back to hotel. Instead of staying up even later to pack we opted to do it when we woke-up. I called for a late check-out (noon), and we were in bed by 2:30.

Despite a later alarm, we were up and around by 8:00. We were packed and checked-out (by TV) by 10:00. While we were both very tired from the night before, we wanted to make the most of our last day. After much debate about what to do, we decided to eat breakfast at the Victorian Room at Barbary Coast. I had the John Wayne. Don't remember what Kevin had, but the food was really good. They also brought it out very quickly. With tip and everything, our bill was around $22.

We then caught the shuttle and headed to Orleans. I wanted to show Kevin this property, because I get really good offers for them all the time. (I stayed there a couple of years ago.) After a brief stop at Gold Coast, we were there. I asked someone at the front desk if we could see a room, and they very nicely obliged. We decided this would be a good place to stay if we come back and bring our mothers. Neither of them get around very well, and the fact that you can do so much at this one property is a big plus. Then we we need to head to the strip for shows or whatever, the shuttle would be pretty convenient.

We gambled for a while at Orleans, and then caught the shuttle back to the Barbary Coast. We gambled for a while at BC, then at Bally's. By 2:00, it was time to collect our luggage and meet our shuttle. They were supposed to be there at 2:35. They were about 5-10 minutes late, but we only had one stop (Bellagio) to make after us. Then it was on to airport. We got our bags checked, grabbed a sandwich to take on the flight with us, and were in our gate by 4:00. Later, we found out our flight would be delayed by about 45 minutes, because the flight coming in from Denver was delayed.

The flight back was pretty turbulent, but we still managed to sleep. This is very unusual for me! Kevin slept the whole way, and after eating my sandwich, I slept at least an hour. We had been worried we were heading into bad weather at DFW. The second round of freezing precipitation they'd been expecting that night had missed us, though, so no problems. We were surprised to find out our ride was there, because we'd discussed taking a shuttle if bad weather. Roads were clear, and after dropping off our friend (she was in our car), we were home by midnight.

If you're interested, I'm attaching a link that will hopefully take you to just a few of the many pictures I took. Let me know if I've left-out anything you have questions about.

Thank you all again for your help in planning this trip. We had a great time, and we're already trying to figure out when we can go back. I knew he would love Vegas every bit as much as me!

Y'all take care!!
Tammy

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