Our annual trip to Sin City is again behind us. It takes soooooooooooo long for the time to pass to go to Las Vegas, and the time there goes soooooooooooo fast! I will put our trip into catagories instead of day by day.
Airline: We live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, about 100 miles northeast of Green Bay, Wisconsin, so we drove there on Friday after work, and spent the night at the Wingate Inn Airport Hotel. This is a nice place to stay and you can leave your vehicle there while you are gone. We flew out of Green Bay at 6 a.m. with a connecting flight in Milwaukee. As our luck goes, it was storming big time when it came time to leave Milwaukee. We were boarded onto the plane and then sat waiting for 2 1/2 hours to leave. The plane was deiced 4 times as we waited for the heavy snow to let up and the runways to be plowed. We had heat for about 10 minutes of that time, as the plane cannot be running while they deice. In light of all the recent plane crashes, it was a long wait, but I'd much rather be safe than DEAD! Anyway we finally took off and had a smooth flight to LV. On the flight home, we were supposed to have a 6 1/2 hour layover in Milwaukee, but were able to get an earlier flight to Green Bay, so we were able to get to Green Bay and drive home before we would even have left Milwaukee!! Whoopee! We popped the extra $50 each to upgrade to a Signature Seat from LV to Milwaukee, and it was well worth it.

Hotel: We had no wait in the taxi line (no big line for the first time, ever), and we were taken to the Flamingo for about $15.00 before the tip. We waited in line to check in for about 20 minutes (it was about Noon on Saturday, as we got there about 2 hours late). I gave the gal a 20 dollar bill and asked for a mini or executive suite, if possible, please. We were given executive suite 28119 on the top floor. We had originally booked a comped standard room. It has been several years since we stayed at the Flamingo, and it is showing a lot of wear and tear. Our room was good sized with floor to ceiling windows. It had a small sofa, chair, coffee table, desk, a t.v. in a cabinet, a comfortable king size bed, and a clean but very used bathroom with a tub/shower combination. The room looked out over the pool area, which was just fine. The worst part of the room was the carpeting, that was in bad need of being replaced. The $20 was well spent, I believe some of the regular rooms are in pretty bad shape. All in all, you can't beat the Flamingo's location, pool area, and friendly employees for the price.

Gambling: As many have said, Las Vegas is also being hit very negatively as far as the economy declines. Except for Saturday, there were a lot less people in Las Vegas, I thought. Less people playing and spending money, means less money to be won. That's the way I see it. So, it seemed the slots were somewhat tighter. The most either of us won at one time was me with a $500 win on a penny machine at the Venetian one afternoon. We had a few $100 and $50 tickets here and there, also. Towards the end of the trip, it seemed as though we just kept feeding the slots, and nothing came back in return. So it goes.

Transportation: Taxi fares seemed about normal, except we were long hauled from downtown to the strip one night. He said he knew all the shortcuts, but he sure didn't take them!! Almost 25 bucks for that fare! Hope my husband didn't give him much of a tip!
The 24 hour bus pass went up to $7.00 (from $5.00), but is still a good way to get around on the cheap. Buses run constantly from downtown to the south end of the Strip, it sure beats walking. The buses do, however, get very crowded in the late afternoon and early evenings, so, be prepared to be close.

Weather: The mornings and evenings were in the high 40's and it was about 65 to 70 degrees for the highs. No rain, but it was pretty cloudy, except for one day. Either way, it was so very nice compared to Michigan winter weather!

Food: We don't eat ate all the fancy high end restaurants, so it was basic eating for us.
T.G.I. Fridays at the Orleans: Good food and drinks for a reasonable price right off the casino with no wait. What more can I say?
Main Street Station Brew Pub: We went on Sunday early evening and it seemed very busy for a Sunday, so the service lacked a lot. I had the best Chicken Alfredo I have ever eaten, but my husband's Prime Rib was dry and tough, and his baked potato was hard as a rock. The onion rings were excellent, though.
Flamingo Room Service: We called for room service twice in the evening after we went to the room. We had a BLT with potato salad and a club sandwich with fries one night, and a Casear salad, a patty melt with fries and a desert one night. Each night the charge was $30 to $35, and they brought the meals within 30 minutes. Everything was hot and tasted very good.
One other tip: there is a pizza, salad, gelato snack area by the wildlife area where you can get good pizza by the slice for $3.50 or a whole pizza for about $12.
Breakfast Buffets at:
TI: $18 each, very good for breakfast--fresh fruit, traditional breakfast items, omelet station, lots of sweets, good drink service, etc.
Paris: It is still a very good breakfast buffet, but at $16 each, it continues to go down in quality. Has fair drink service, omelet station, crepe station, some sweets, fresh fruit, etc.
Flamingo breakfast buffet: in a word--AWFUL! don't eat here, the only thing that was good was the crepe. The service and the food were terrible, don't do it!!
Breakfast at The Victorian Room at Bill's: The morning we left, we went over to Bill's for breakfast, as we didn't want a buffet. I have never seen this small restaurant empty! There was NO ONE there besides the servers at just before 7 a.m. We had 2 coffees pancakes with strawberries, and pancakes with 2 eggs and a piece of ham for $31 and change. They used to serve cinnamon coffee cake at no charge at breakfast, but not this year. Things are tough all over, I guess.

Shows and attractions: We didn't see any shows this year, but we went to the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor. It was interesting, I guess. I wonder about the authenticity of some of the items on display, though. The charge to get in was $30 each, so if your interested, see if you can get tickets at one of the half price booths on the strip before you go. We bought 2 pictures of us on "The Grand Staircase" for $20 that were very nice. No photos can be taken in the exhibit though.

We did, as always, have a great time, and we still love going there after many years. The city changes every year, some things for the better, some things for the worse, but it's always an adventure.

Until next time, GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!