A friend was supposed to join me on this trip and had to cancel at the last minute, so it ended up to be a solo trip. Oh well, I will struggle through somehow! My America West flight was only about two thirds full and the middle seat in my row was empty! Yeah!!!! I had to change planes in Phoenix, no big deal, got off one plane and right on to the next one. Arrived at McCarren with just my carryon bag, so no luggage to pick up. Hopped on a Bell Trans shuttle and was taken directly to the Orleans. I have stayed here once before, it is my kind of hotel. The young man checking me in said he had a non smoking room on the sixth floor and I asked if they had anything with a view. I ended up with a room on the 18th floor with a view of the mountains. I unpacked, grabbed a quick bite to eat at one of the restaurants and off to play. The slots were tight my first night so I called it a night about midnight Vegas time, (3 AM my time).

Sunday morning I again got a quick breakfast and headed out to play some slots. I took the shuttle to the B.C. and stopped at many casinos on the strip and donated, T.I. Mirage, Caesar's, Bellagio, etc. No wins, big or small. I went back to my room to watch football. After the Indy game started, I cleaned up and went back to Caesar's Coliseum to see the Celine Dion show. WoW! I loved every minute of it and I am glad I took the time/money to go. She has always been one of my favorites and my only regret was not being able to take pictures to have some memories of the show. Obviously I understand why, but it still would have been nice to have a couple! After that I returned to the Orleans by shuttle and after losing a little more there, I went to bed. I can't believe the Colts won!!

Monday I needed to stop the losing by getting out of the casino. So I bought a ticket with Pink Jeep Tours to see the Red Rock Canyon. Had a very nice lady guide and all ladies on the trip and we hit it right off and had a grand afternoon. Beautiful!!! I took lots of pictures and I was glad to get outside and enjoy this place. It was sunny but a little windy, about 50 degrees. Incidentally right before I went to catch the tour, I played a quarter Triple Double Diamond machine and won about $75.00. Woo-hoo! Better than nothing.

After my tour I walked the strip south this time starting at the Bellagio. I won $75 on the exact same kind of machine at Bellagio as at the Orleans!! So from there on out, every time I would see one of those, I would stop and play it. Never had the same luck, but what the heck, you never know in Vegas! Walked all the way down to the Mandalay Bay and back to the B.C.

Tuesday I slept late and had breakfast. I went back out to the strip and walked around until about 1 PM when I had a ticket to the Price is Right. What a blast. If you watched this show growing up, you would love to participate in this. I actually got into the Showcase Showdown, but bid too high and lost. I got a t-shirt as a consolation prize. I took the shuttle back to the hotel and rested for a while before heading out to Sam's Town. I originally had intended to go out to the Suncoast, but the shuttle was not due for another hour and twenty minutes and the Sam's Town bus pulled up and I thought "What the heck, I'll give it a try"! I am glad I did. I signed up for their players club card and walked around donating until I found a W.O.F. machine (quarter) and proceeded to win $200! Yeah!!! I caught the bus back and went to bed.

Wednesday I was leaving about 1 PM. I had so much fun on this trip, I cannot imagine what a blast it would have been if my friend had been able to join me. Next year... But I played the big W.O.F. game at the Orleans and won $100.

Some random thoughts:

Since they charged me $5 per day spa/coffe/phone fee, it was nice to justify that by sitting in the jacuzzi every morning. The Orleans was a good place to stay again for me. I am a low roller who enjoys the various themed hotels and sightseeing. I spend a lot of money on my vacation, but I do spread it around. I like the room size at the Orleans. When I get tired of playing the slots (losing), I like to sit on the sofa and read and look out at the view. Very relaxing. I think the slots on the strip are so tight now. I played $50 into machines while waiting to go into the show at Bally's and never won a credit. That seemed to be the worst one. The Barbary Coast, Caesar's Palace, Mirage and T.I. at least gave me some play for my money. The south strip hotels gave me the most play this trip. I sat at 3 different machines at M.B. and played on a $20 for about an hour.

I will be back next year, regardless of how much play I get! I want to return when it is warmer so I can enjoy the pool. I like staying off the strip and just shuttling to it. A lot of people view this as a pain in the #$$, but I like the smaller, off-strip places that are not so big. I am treated like a person, not just a tip!

My trip home was uneventful. It was sunny and 62 when I left Vegas and about 23 degrees when I returned home. Yuck! I will be back next March or April, I will start saving now. Good luck to all of you and keep writing these trip reports. It keeps us junkies fueled until we can go again.

Jan