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Category: 2009
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Well this may be quick and dirty, cause I don't like to type much.......

Sunday 2/15 Left Columbus on time on SWA, short hop to Midway Chicago for a little layover. If you have never landed at Midway, it has to be one of the shortest runways in the country. Wheels on the ground, full flaps and full reverse thrust, your seat belt cutting you in half and your head hitting the seat in front of you. Back on a plane to Vegas. Another full flight, so no full row for us. Put in the movie Step Brothers for my wife and I, 15 minutes in the DVD player dies.......shit. Boredom for 4 hours. Land in Vegas a little early, hop off of the plane and do a quick walk to catch the shuttle to the rental car place. The guy driving the shuttle must have been getting off of work at 2, because he drove the bus like he stole it. There were some older couples on the bus, and they looked a little nervous about it. Walk over to the Avis counter, and are in and out in a hurry with a 2009 Camry. I had a rental certificate from bank points, I asked the desk clerk if he wanted it, and he said no. He told me to use it when I paid at the turn in. OK off in the car to the Hard Rock to get a Rehab cup for my wife. Guess what, they don't sell those anywhere but at rehab, and they are re-doing all of that, so they are phasing it out. OK.....to the MGM into the labyrinth parking garage, luckily finding a spot next to an elevator, and the walk to the lobby. Get into the lobby, and holy crap! I thought this was an economic downturn!!! It is freaking packed. Luckily a host comes and takes me to a counter where they just opened a line. Room was comped, so very little to do at check in. Standard room, 17th floor, back right quadrant, so you can see the new PH tower and the back side of the East side of the strip. Not a great view, but I look out the window in the morning, and once at night when I stumble to the room, so it doesn't matter to me. Took off across the street for the Happy Hour at Diablo's Cantina. $3 margaritas....hell yes!! They also have an outstanding taco plate for $9.99 during HH. Grabbed a couple coupons outside the door for free drink with entree purchase, so when the wheel of sin was spun, and the drink special changed, we got 2 full size margaritas for free. Took $14 off the bill. So 2 dinners and 6 margaritas cost a total of $25.80. Don't pass it up, the food is good, and the drinks are stout. The bartenders are not afraid to pour the liquor. Anyway, we wore out the happy hour, and took off to Mandalay Bay. Played in the casino there, didnt get killed, but still weren't ahead. I hit quad deuces on DDB VP but no Ace kicker. Still not a bad payout. Went to the Purple Reign show at HOB. My wife likes Prince, so she wanted to go. I have to say, the show is good, authentic, and the music is very good. I am not a huge fan, but it is from my era, and I did enjoy it. Well woth the $10 per person. 2 drinks at the bar were $20 so unless you are drink starved, wait til the intermission to gamble and get drinks from the cocktail waitress. Went back to the MGM after the show, and proceeded to pay for my comped room. Drink service was poor on the side of the casino that houses the lion habitat and studio 54, but we like to play over there. We were up til about 3:30 AM, so we made our traditional 24 hours awake from departure through the first day. Went to bed down $156.

Day 2
Took off in the car around 10:30, headed for downtown. We had to turn the car in at the 4 Queens at 1:30, so we decided to stop at the Peppermill for brunch. Had the Reuben and Onion rings. Let me tell you this people. If you go to Vegas, and you do not eat here, you my friend are stupid. Some of the best food, at the best price you will find. I am a Fireman, and eat every meal like it is my last, and IO cannot finish a sandwich in this place, and it is good.
Took the car back to the 4 Queens to the Avis desk (refer to comments on first day) give the guy my $25 voucher, and he tells me I cant use it, and it should have been given to them at the airport. I explained to him that I had tried to give it to them there, but he told me not to........still couldn't use it.....crap. Therefore, Avis will get an e-mail from me today.
Went over to Binions to play some Craps......$5 tables because of the Holiday, and I usually only play $3 because I am not that confident in my skills. We walked down to the Fitz, and my wife findas a roulette table to play. I go to 3 card poker and turn $50 into $145. Had a few drinks, and built my confidence and went to the Craps table. $5 table, but I said why not? bought in for $50, and played for 3 hour on that, walked away even, and well buzzed. We caught the Deuce and headed back to the MGM. Proceeded to pay even more for my room, but had found an area near the Ka theater that had a very good cocktail waitress. We played there for several hours, and drank and drank, and drank. Went to the room at 2:00 AM, down the entire days budget of $500. Crap.

Day 3
Got out of bed late because I had a hangover, wife had a hangover, and I didn't sleep because I was worried that I was not going to get out of bed to check in for our flights home the next day. Got up, left around noon and walked up the strip and back to Ellis Island. Had the Usual Steak special, and as always, it was very good. Played in the casino there, won my $5 match play on BJ. Wn another $20 on a monopoly machine, and my wife hit a middle progressive on a WOF game. So we left there up almost $100. Walked further up the strip tthe Venetian to catch the deuce to go back downtown. It was COLD....40 degrees and about a 20mph wind. Went to Binions, and got on a $3 craps table, and lost $80 in about 15 minutes. 5 people at the table, and nobody made a single point. My wife went to the roulette table, and lost $20 really quick. We decided that was enough for a while, and headed back to the strip. Got off at PH, because the wife wanted to do some shopping for the kids. The Miracle Mile shops are nice, some are expensive. Went into the casino at PH, and played for a while. I like this place a lot. Started drinkin coronas, and they were coming pretty frequently. won some cash and so did the wife. We may look into staying here in the future. Got the shopping done, and headed for the MGM. We had planned on going to bed early, due to having to get up at 0600 to go home. MGM had different plans. I think they flipped the switches, because we won on everything we played, and I ended up about half lit again. I hit a 7/5times pay/bar 7 on a nickel machine for a nice payout. We played the bagpipe bonus for quite a while, and won a good bit of cash back. Needless to say, we were hungry, and ended up in the studio cafe at 0100. We had 2 guys passed out in the booth next to us, that they had to call security on, and 8 or 9 guys in the booth on the other side, who I would have pegged for gangbangers in a minute. Anyway, had a pizza, it was good, and went to bed.

Trip home
Cab to the airport $10 plus a $6 tip, because the guy was nice. Flight was on time. Got above 10k feet and turned on my GPS. If you have ever wondered where you were when flying, this is cool as hell. You can ID every city you fly over, and you can tell how fast you are going. We hit 619mph. Sweet. Made it back in record time 3:20. Got home, gave the kids a squeeze, unpacked, got to bed around 2330, and got called into work for 2 structure fires about 2 hours later. Stayed up all night, and half of Thursday due to work. Welcome home, the party's over.