This was a trip with myself, my wife, my brother, and his wife. It was my sister-in-law's first trip to Vegas. We had planned on an 8 day Saturday-Saturday at the Golden Nugget, but after we booked the air, we found that the Golden Nugget's policy is "No Saturday check in." We found that on this web site that the Fremont was rated better than the Nugget, so we booked it for our first few days.

Flight: Got a rate on Southwest for $336 per couple non-stop from Columbus, Ohio, the lowest I've paid in 8 trips. The ultra-smooth flight was extended by 20 minutes due to head winds, but we made up for it on the return flight.

Rental Car: Dodge Magnum at Thrifty's, $246 for the eight days. I always liked the looks of the Magnum so I thought this was a good time for a test drive. The ride was smooth, handling was OK, acceleration was a disappointment. View from the inside was not great as the top is chopped. Glad I didn't buy one.

Fremont: We arrived Saturday at 9:30am and our room was not ready, which we didn't expect it to be. After all if was Saturday morning and check in is 3:00pm. We checked our bags at the bell desk and headed to Magnolia's at the Four Queens for breakfast. The eggs benedict was as awesome as I had remembered. This was the first of 8-10 meals that we ate there over the next 8 days. All were excellent and we tried most of the menu. We were able to check in at 3:00. We found the rooms was average in size, clean, and the beds to be extremely comfortable. The bathroom was functional, but the smallest I have ever seen. We also had a few meals at Tony Roma's in the Fremont. Service was slow, but the food was tremendous. We checked out on Monday morning to head out to the Grand Canyon for 2 days. We would definitely stay at the Fremont again.

Maswick Lodge, Grand Canyon: Rustic cabin with two double beds and private bath about 150 yards to the south rim. The units are arranged with four units under one roof. The canyon was as beautiful as always. We had one meal at the Maswick Lodge cafeteria which was just average. We had dinner and breakfast at El Tovar. The food and service were fabulous. Every item we ordered was worth writing home about. We headed back to Vegas at about 11:00am Tuesday.

Golden Nugget: Check in was crowded at 5:00pm and we waited about 20 minutes or so. Not too bad. We asked a bellman (one of four discussing their weekend) to help with our 9 bags and he directed us to the bell counter. Another bellman kindly offered to help us since the first one blew us off. Not a good start. The rooms were large, clean, and the bath was large enough for one person, but you didn't have to leave for the other person to get past you and into the shower. We went to the ticket counter at 8:30am Wednesday to book a pool side cabana for Thursday. We had heard of the demand for these things and wanted to be the first in line. The counter was supposed to open at 9:00am, but at 9:15am, there still was no agent to help us. Someone from registration found someone to help us. It was money well spent. Cabana #2 is very nice and is most in demand from what the staff told us. Drink service was frequent and friendly. we'd do it again.

We had a few issues that required the attention of the front desk, but were never able to get them on the phone. The recorded messages that told us how important our call was to them were apparently a lie. We never got a return call. On the way to our room the first day, we saw a discarded napkin and a fast food taco joint sauce packet in the hall on the floor. They were both still there out last day, 5 days later. The public areas were spotless. The only staff that were friendly were at the pool, and the wonderful ladies that clean the rooms. We went to the registration desk and asked for a late checkout on Saturday as our flight didn't depart until 6:00pm. We were told that we could have the room until 1:00pm. I asked that if no one could check in on this day, why did we have to be out so early. The agent helping us asked why no one could check in. We told her that it was Saturday. She asked what the day of the week had to do with it. A man chimed in from about 10 feet away and told her that it was a standing policy of the Golden Nugget that Saturday check ins are not allowed. I asked him, then why we had to be out at 1:00pm if no one was going to get our room. He actually turned his back on us and walked away. When we directed out gaze towards the agent that had been helping us, she turned to have a casual conversation with the agent next to her as though we had disappeared. When we spoke louder to get her attention, she spoke louder to her friend. She might as well have stood there with her ears covered, stomping her feet, and doing the 'La la la' thing. She never addressed us again. We just stood there in disbelief. We were VERY disappointed with the service there, and will not return. The service just does live up to what we experienced there 5 years ago. We will however, gladly return to the Fremont.

Gambling: We did well at Four Queens and the Las Vegas Club. My brother paid for his vacation from a single $1 video poker machine, with multiple nice quads. It was a 10/7 double/double bonus machine at the Four Queens.

We can't wait to go back. If it's an all guy trip, we'll stay at The Orleans (nice place for an all-gambling trip). If the girls are coming along, it will be the Fremont or the Four Queens, as there is so much to do downtown that we enjoy.