Hello everyone and thanks for your trip reports. It makes the time between trips go by faster. This was a girls tirp to celebrate our birthdays and see shows. I'll call it, "A TRIBUTE TO THE SEVENTIES". The trip was planned a year in advance so we could get good show tickets. If you like details, or have time to kill, you're in for a treat.

I am not a big drinker (I always feel weird enough in Vegas due to the time change) and didn't party too much, so if you're looking for a juicy story, sorry it's not that.

The girls:
S1- me, single, never married, no kids, 42. Call me an old maid if you will, but I'm having a lot of fun.
S2- Friend, married with a child, 45.

Tues. 3/17
I get up at 3am, drive to RSW, park long term, and am checked in at Delta and through security by 5:05am. I had a short 45 minute connection in Atlanta, but made it. The planes had a great feature where you could go through cds and make your own playlist. I listened to Abba to get ready for my week.

Met S2 at the airport, as she had a direct flight from Orlando. We made our usual stops. Took bus to pick up rental car, went to Walmart for snacks, then to Del Taco for lunch.

Checked in at the Hilton, mentioned both of our birthdays and were given a lanai suite. These are groovy and fit our theme. They are split level and face the pool. We had fake grass outside and lounge chairs. The best part of the room was the shower with rain head and separate hand nozzle.

That night I had Cher tickets (row RR) so after unpacking, we ate quickly at the sub place by the sports book. I had homemade chicken noodle soup for only $2.50. She drove me to Caesars and picked me up later. Cher was great- good voice and I liked the costume changes. My favorite medley was Gypsies/Dark Lady. It was weird to see that the audience was so old though. The median age of the crowd was probably 55. I thought she deserved more standing ovations than she got.

The strip was crazy since it was St. Patrick's Day. By O'Sheas it was mostly drunk frat boys, so after picking up my Donny and Marie ticket at Flamingo's will call, we headed back to the hotel. I was up almost 24 hours and after gambling a little, went to bed.

GAMBLING- I am a low roller for sure. I play $21 on Megabucks each day, .25 video poker, .25 WOF, .25 Top Dollar, and .25 Pinball. No big wins during the trip and still no Royal, but I played a long time.

Wed. 3/18
We started the day at the Hilton breakfast buffet. S2 is a Hilton Honors member, so we did this every day, as it was free. Even more important that the price was the fact that we didn't have to stand in line with all of the conventioners. What a luxury.

We visited several local malls including the outdoor TOWN SQUARE LAS VEGAS. It was very nice. We stopped at Whole Foods, Chicos, and Mac.
We then went to another indoor mall and shopped at Macys and got makeovers.

The day flew by again, and this was my night to see Donny and Marie at the Flamingo. We drove there and each had a quick Cobb salad in their coffee shop. It was HUGE.

On to the show- I had a seat close to the stage and paid extra for a meet and greet at the end. Donny and Marie both sang and danced well. Marie sang an opera song and it actually made me cry. Meeting Donny was a dream come true. He was not very talkative, but Marie was beyond bubbly. I got a signed picture of both of them, paid $45 for pictures of the three of us, and had them sign my 8-trax tape. The young photographer in line said he had never seen one before. WOW! They were just as nice as you would expect them to be. They said their contract is renewed for 2 more years. Good for them!

Thurs. 3/19
After the free breakfast buffet, we went to the spa for hot tub and sauna, then got some sun at the pool. We went to the Bellagio for the dinner buffet and couldn't believe the traffic. It seemed like every street was under construction. It took us 45 min. to get to the strip. The buffet was good as always.

8pm- finally, OUR MANILOW SHOW! S2 was nice to come to Vegas early and hang out, but we were really here for 3 Manilow shows. We had 2nd row for Thurs. 2nd row for Fri. and FRONT ROW for Saturday. We stay at the Hilton for this reason. It is so great to just take an elevator down to the show and take it back upstairs after the show is over. What a luxury.

This was my first time to see the show since it was changed from M&P to THE HITS. Barry was good, but had some trouble hitting some notes. Only a superfan like me would notice. Two highlights were the uptempo version of "Could it Be Magic" and the scaled down version of "Somewhere Down the Road" where he sits on a stool. You could've heard a pin drop- just fantastic. After 20 years of attending concerts, this was the first time he DID NOT SING "I Write the Songs". I was worried about his voice, but hopeful for the next night.

Fri. 3/20 S2's BIRTHDAY!!!

We started the day at the buffet, then went to the pool. The dinner buffet was at the Mirage, very good. We then went back to the room to get ready for the show. This is a big production with hair, makeup, dresses, etc. We were all excited and arrived at the showroom at 7:50. When we got there, there was no line, the doors were closed, and the staff said. WE'RE SORRY, THE SHOW IS CANCELLED! We went to Tempo for drinks and were very sad. We prayed that it would go on the next night.

Sat. 3/21 MY BIRTHDAY!!!

We woke up with a cloud hanging over our heads, knowing the show might be cancelled. We did the usual buffet breakfast.

VEGAS MOMENT- There was a sixtysomething man at the buffet in drag. He had long blonde feathered hair, dangling earrings, a silk top, makeup, and A GRAY BEARD AND MUSTACHE. OK, if you're in drag- wouldn't you at least shave off your facial hair? No one gave him a second look and we later saw him in the hair salon sitting under the hair dryer getting a perm!

I saw a flea market in the hotel magazine, so we went there in the morning and had pool time after that. It's called Fantastic Flea market or something like that. It was so bad, it was funny. We took Sahara to Decatur to get there. They actually had the nerve to charge $1 to get in. They had an interesting pet booth that sold snakes, but that was about it. I bought a hologram picture of the Virgin Mary (very Vegasy) and prayed the show would go on tonight.

I then packed up some things and went to the business center at the Hilton. I always mail home my dirty laundry and items I buy on vacation so I don't have to lug them through the airport.

Our dinner buffet was at Paris. Good as always. We got back to the hotel at 5 and I went to the ticket desk to ask about Barry's show before we got all dressed up. She told me the bad news, IT WAS CANCELLED! GOOD-BYE FRONT ROW TICKET. We were both extremely mad and sad. S2 had spent so much money her plane ticket, hotel, etc. and had only seen one show. She was very upset and didn't want to make other plans. I couldn't let my birthday be that depressing, so I quickly called the Mirage and got a single seat ticket for LOVE. I ended up with 5th row and really enjoyed the show. S2 drove me there and I took the monorail back to the hotel.

It was a quick 12-3:30 am sleep, then I cabbed it to the airport and was on my way home. Delta again, and I changed planes in Atlanta, this time with a longer layover, so I had time to get a burger. The flights were uneventful, except I had to give a shove to the girl next to me who wanted to lean against me as she slept. S2 checked out of the hotel later that day and returned the rental car.

Final thoughts- Missing 2 Barry shows was a big disappointment, but I will be back in May for the Manilow Convention, so I wasn't devastated. I've had front row before, and hope to somehow manage it again.

Vegas was VERY busy. I couldn't see any effects from the bad economy. All the places we went were busy. It was also basketball March Madness betting time, so that added to the chaos.

Good luck on your trips and thanks for reading!

Can't Smile Girl :)