WARNING! This TR will be a long one!

I was getting married in Vegas in Feb. and had a panic attack about trusting things to strangers on the internet, so I took advantage of a slot tourney @ the EX and went out to check things out. I went solo on Fri., my sister to join me on Sunday. My first 2 nights were at MGM on a quarterly players rate through my players card. I had regular king room on the 7th floor. The bed was absolutely amazing, softest thing I've ever slept on, I felt like a queen! I wa just above where the green lights are so my room had a cool green night light because I only closed the shears. I had absolutely no complaints about my stay @ MGM although I gamble more @ the Ex because I seem to get great comps there.

I got to the hotel about 9:30 pm and checked in my room and dropped my coat thinking I could run across the 2 walkways from MGM-NYNY and NYNY-Ex without being too cold, it was 29. MAN what a mistake. I ended up staying there til 1:30 a.m. before making the freezing dash back to MGM.

Saturday I took called the tux place to confirm our order and took a cab to the Little Chapel of the Flowers. I met with one of their coordinators and she walked me through all the different chapels, showed me their photo studio and florist. It was a really nice place, nothing tacky, so I was really happy with my choice. It was only a few blocks to the Sahara to catch the monorail. The temp had "warmed" up that day to 37. Let's just say the warmest it was during my whole trip was 39 and I seemed to walk all over the place (that explains the cold, viral infection and upper respiratory infection I came down with 2 days after I got home!)

Sat. night I had nosebleed seats for Celine Dion. I had taken the monorail to Bally's & crossed over and had a nice dinner @ Spago before the show. I was in my seat about 15 minutes before the show when I break into a cold sweat....2 hours ago when I left MGM I KNOW I left my curling iron plugged in. Now you ladies will understand this panic and hear your mother's voice nagging "make sure everything is unplugged before you leave". And then of course there's that "I think I left something plugged in" feeling and the "know you left something plugged in" and I knew I could not sit through that show knowing I had left it plugged in. By this time it is 2 minutes to show time and they are closing the door! I jump out of my seat and run out the door and the lady @ the door tells me "if you're not in your seat when she starts singing, we can't let you in until the end of her 2nd song" I told her that was ok, I just didn't want to be responsible for the MGM burning down! The only phone # I had was on my key card, direct to reservations and the nice lady that answered was sympathetic to my panic and transferred me to Security where I was assured someone would go to my room and unplug it. I explained my plight to the "doorkeeper" lady and she felt sorry for me, so she let me slip in after the first show. Crisis diverted, although isn't that GFCI thingie supposed to kick in and cut off the plug?

After the show I monorailed back to MGM and went back to the Ex. to play roulette and confirm all my room reservations for the wedding with my favorite pit boss. After I'd been there about an hour this poor guy came in and sat down next to me and said he had just walked all the from Caesar's because the cab line was an hour & 1/2 long. He looked colder than I did the night before as he had no coat and only jeans and a long sleeved shirt. I told him I'd just come from there, but I'd gone across the street and taken the monorail to MGM. He looked at me and said "I always forget about the monorail!" I told him I was a firm believer in it, I buy the 10 rides for $35 and this time really got my money's worth out of it.

Sun. a.m. I moved from MGM to the Ex. for 3 free nights and a Sun-Mon slot tournament. My sister was arriving around 9:00 pm and had 2 free nights @ Bally's. Our original reservations were to check out Tues. night as we had a flight out at 7:00 pm.....but that would change! While I waited on Sunday, I had a makeover @ Sephora and ordered my wedding cake from Chocolate Swan in Mandalay and didn't do much else. Took the monorail and an overnight bag to Bally's about 7:00 pm to put some play on my Total Rewards card since I don't play there often. I checked my bag and played nickel slots til I see my sister walk in. We go to check her in, like I said, 2 free nights + a $75 Nordstroms gift certificate. We were asked View or refurbished, we chose view. We could see the balloon @ Paris and about a third of the Bellagio fountian show. The room was huge and way nicer than mine at the Ex. We played slots for a few hours then got hungry....can you believe Bally's coffee shop isn't open 24 hours? We ended up the the one @ Paris. It was really good, I had chicken marsala.

Walking back to Bally's we spotted a dress shop that had a gorgeous ivory coat dress on a mannequin. I said that the coat would go great with my wedding dress. The store was closed but the sign on the door said COAT DRESSES 1/2 OFF. HMM....

Monday we went back to the EX for my 2 sessions of slot tournament and messed around @ Luxor & Mandalay. We went back to Bally's for dinner @ Mon Ami Gabi at 5:30, again passing that dress shop. While sitting at dinner (which was excellent and NOT on Weight Watchers) I say to my sister, "If we get iced in and can't fly out tomorrow, I'll go try that dress on" (back story- the weather in Texas had been awful for days. We almost thought my sister wouldn't make it out of Austin that Sunday because of the ice. I had spoken to my fiancee daily about the weather and he told me we might make it to the airport but probably couldn't get home from there!). After dinner we went into the dress shop and saw that 1/2 price was $300 - FOR A FULL LENGHT DRESS AND COAT. Still, I said, "if we get iced in I'll go try it on". We go back to the Ex so my sister can teach me Let It Ride and as beginners luck would have it, I hit 2 full houses! We went back to Bally's for the night. Tues. we get up and pack @ Bally's and go to the Ex. to dump her bags and I play in my last 2 rounds of slot tournament. Like I said, we were to fly out at 7:00 that evening. I called home and was told, since I still had my room for another night to just stay there and see if I could change our plane tickets. Mine was free so no problem and sister's they changed with no fee because of the weather. I call work and say darn, see you Thursday and they tell me they'd been closed for 2 days anyway! So I tell my sister, "I guess I'll have to try that dress on" and we go back. They didn't have the ivory one in my size but they had champagne and slate blue. My sister reminded my I still didn't have a dress for the reception we were having at home after the Vegas wedding so I tried it on. Darn it if it didn't look like it was custom made for me. SO, I got a new dress!

Since we were originally to leave that night we were going to miss the slot tourney awards banquet, so we actually got to go to that, food was good and I won a whopping $50! We then went to the Luxor to print our boarding passes for the morning. As we come down the people mover I tell my sister I want to go to the Chriss Angel store since I'm a fan and "wouldn't it be cool if we saw him?" Of course, she's older than I am and she didn't know who he was, but then again she didn't know who Gene Simmons was years ago when we passed him on the escalator @ MGM! Anyway, my sister had just won $1100 with 4 of a kind at Let it Ride and she wanted jewelery and there's a place in the Giza Galleria. We noticed a little action going on in Chriss' production office so I stop and ask a guy if he would be there and he said they were going to film in the ice cream shop. All of a sudden I notice that Chriss is in the production office so I ask the production guy I'd been talking to if I could get an autograph. He told me after the shoot he'd get me over. My sister found earrings in the jewelery store and said she was going into the casino and she'd come find me in about 20 min, by then the shoot would be over. Well I go watch the shoot and they need an "extra" to walk around in the shop so the production guy comes and gets me. Then Chriss decides to use me at the table with the kids he's doing the trick for, I get to be their mom. I asked, "do I look like I have 3 kids?" and he said "no but sit down anyway" How cool is that? Right after one of the takes, my cell phone rings (and it NEVER rings) and I answer it and tell my sister in Houston, "call you back, I'm on TV" I look up to see my other sister wandering around looking for me. When she sees me at the table she says out loud "NO WAY" and they tell her SHHHH. Afterward we got to go to the Chriss Angel store and have our picture taken with him and I had him sign my plane ticket. So, the series starts again on June 5 and if you see the episode with a lady and 3 kids in an ice cream store, that's me!

So, we had an extra night in our favorite place. A star sighting and I came home with $75 less than I started with, so I'd say THAT was a good trip.