This will be a much shorter trip report then usual for me....it was only a 2 night trip (1 ½ nights really, as we got in so late the first night). I always travel cheap...but this time the budget was especially tight...I went to Vegas in January, Feb and now in March and my April trip is already committed. My Sweetie joined me for my birthday trip in Feb and he had to come back 'now'....and there was no way I could not go with him....

I booked a package through US Airways Vacations (air and 2 nights hotel for 450.00 total for two) we flew from Seattle at 7:50 PM Monday and then left Vegas 11:58 PM Wednesday...stayed at Fitzgeralds. I have always been happy here, and this time was no exception...the free upgrade to a suite just made the trip even better.

We took the CAT from the Airport. It was 1.25 each and took us right downtown, We only had to wait about 10 minutes for the bus and the trip was about 40 minutes. Not any longer then the last shuttle I took. The driver was friendly and helpful, and you have never seen Vegas Locals like you do on the bus.

There was no line at check in...not a surprise downtown at midnight on a Monday, but still something I appreciated. No tip or 20.00 trick, they just apologized for the upgrade (real sincerely too, like it was an inconvenience) and gave us the keys. Not a fancy suite in the Vegas scheme of things but very nice for downtown and for what I paid. I have to say the best thing about a suite in Vegas is the Jacuzzi....nothing like a soak to relax muscles tired from HOURS of 'gaming' and walking. I don't spend enough time in the room to warrant the extra money so I rarely book a suite, but when I get one I do make use of the tub.

He was hungry so he grabbed dinner at McDonalds....I was hungry too but knew better then to eat like that when it was so late. We tried a few hours of slots and decided we were not going to do anything and headed to bed. I am up at 4AM for work every day and so by this point I had been up for 24 hours. I love to arrive late like this. I get to work departure day. This allows me to save the vacation day as well as surf for last minute news/specials, print my boarding passes.....etc. Then there is nothing like seeing the Vegas lights as you fly in. The shuttle and check in lines are short. If you are winning the rush keeps you going, and if you are not you are sleepy enough to admit defeat for the night...this was an example of the latter....A soak in the tub and I was out.

We woke about 7 and he headed to the .25 roulette at ElCortez and I hung out at Fitzgeralds.....I did very well this morning and was playing a 'In the Money' penny game. To qualify for the progressive you needed to play 3 credits on each line and there were 20 lines available, so it was .60 a spin The progressive for all 5 sevens was 200-215 and I hit it 3 times....along with 4-5 second tier (four sevens worth about 20-22) and 10+ 3rd tier (three 7s for 5-6 dollars)...all said and done I walked away up 400 for the trip...played lots and by the end of the day was down 200 for the trip....took my last 20.00 budgeted for the day and within an hour had it up to 250 before I cashed out...again a penny machine, although I forgot the name of it...when I went to bed I was 200 down for the trip which was well within my expected loss budget.

He spent most of the day at Elco, and while I enjoy the place I never made it down there. Perhaps I should have because I NEVER have to wait for drinks there. Fitz was OK for drink service, but only about half as often as at ElCo....the difference between a very slight buzz and stumbling....We lunched separately I grabbed pizza at the pizza/hot dog place right across from Fitz on Freemont. As always cheap and good..we met up for dinner and ate at the buffet at Fitzgeralds....NEVER AGAIN...this was in the top 5 worst buffets I have EVER eaten at. I am not a picky eater. I do enjoy good food but will usually make do with what is available. The salad bar had lettuce and 5 toppings (no peas, egg, cheese, meat, baby corn, mushrooms, carrots/celery...nothing)....The gravy was WAY too salty, the potatoes were like paste, the beef was on display, but for over 20 minutes there was no one there to carve it....by the time he showed up I had enough bad food to ruin any chance that I was going to put another bite of that crap in my mouth...I am fine with dried, canned and frozen food and really have pretty low standards for 'cheap buffets'...don't make me sick and give me more then 8 dishes to choose from, and while I may not be back I won't complain....but here I am complaining loudly! Wednesday we ate at the Fitz coffee shop which was fine. Poor service but the food was OK...next time I will go to ElCo and Careful Kittys...MUCH better.....

Another soak in the tub and I was in bed by 2 am....only left Fitz to get my pizza and for water at Walgreens....I wanted to give them most of my gambling as I had not the last few trips and my comp/offers have diminished....I always have had great offers from Fitz, but not many since last summer or so.. I don't 'play for comps' but if I am going to loss/spend my money anyway I figure I should do it where they will give me stuff in the future.

Up at 6 and back at the machines....I could not win today...went through my entire budget by 6pm, and the flight was not until midnight...There was not even a room to sulk off too...as the late check out was 2pm and we had left our bags with the bell desk....I thought about paying cash for another night so we did not have to check out and could maintain our 'home' until we left, but with the suite it was going to be 100.00....Maybe if I had been winning like I did on Tuesday.

Not knowing how the CAT was going back to the airport, we left early and got there about 8pm...unlike the return shuttle the bus last time the CAT did show up...and with only about a 2 minute wait. I will ALWAYS take CAT downtown from now on!!

Next trip April 27th without my sweetie...this will be my fourth trip since the first of the year, once each month and the second one by myself.... I am thinking I should try to make it once a month every month this year....maybe that will take care of my obsession...this was only my Sweetie's second trip and I thought it would loss some of the magic...but he still talks about our next trip (May) daily...I love to Vegas by myself, and I love to so it with someone special and he lets me do both...he likes my kid and my cats, and now shares my passion for Vegas....Guess I got to keep him now.