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                 Ti & RB's 2012 Vega$ Saga...

 Thur. 08.30.2012

  Hey Now! Up at 3 a.m., we are ready! We leave our casa and menagerie behind, and make it as far as the hospital and I realize I left my phone at home. Quick turnaround, and in no time we are at the Park n Go for an eventual shuttle and TSA scan and we're on our way to Hot 'Lanta for a quick layover- or so we thought. 0830120636.jpg (429687 bytes) 0830120935.jpg (623719 bytes)

Delay/plane switch/seat change! 45 minutes late we embark, only to find Barbie in our seat But she agrees to move, and we are finally in the air bound for Lost Wages!! Got in to LAS, went downstairs to grab Big Un (our checked bag) and find that the zipper on an outside pocket is ripped, but it turns out that the pocket was empty anyhow, so all is well. We walk to catch the shuttle and are blasted by the desert heat, but are soon on our way to the rental car joint. We grab a Pale Green Tucson who we name Paley (aka) 

0830121220a.jpg (458744 bytes)  Time to head for Sam's Club (Town) 100_4030.jpg (1323312 bytes) 

Passing by the new Sky Vue  wheel being built across from Mandalay Bay 


  100_4036.jpg (1297586 bytes)  A right on Tropicana past the semi-caged kitty cat 100_4044.jpg (1312186 bytes)

and in no time we are on Boulder Highway and find the fabled Self Park #2, the one with the alleviated walkway to the casino..

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We are famished, so we go to the food court and get some really bad fast food while I check out the vpfree2 cheat sheet..Time to check-in, I ask for the 9th floor facing east and the really nice girl tells us the floor is all booked up, and gives us room 871 facing southeast.. I ask about a host and she tells me to talk to Johnny D before we check-out , and gives us the phone number. More on that at a later date.. We go up the room and check it out, not huge, kind of dated.. think 1960's..but it will work!

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I make a couple of luggage runs to Paley (aka), and try to take advantage of the cut thru from the 2nd floor hallway elevator to the breezeway to the skywalk to the parking lot. Problem is that they are replacing the carpet in the 2nd floor hallway, which means you have to take the elevator down (or up) to the atrium and walk thru and take the excalator (past the Hooters) to the parking lot. Or you can skip the excalator routine and walk all the way up front to those elevators and then all the way back down the hallway to the room..a bitch either way.. On my way back up I run into our maid, Elisa, and ask her about the carpet. She thinks they will be done by the weekend.. Elisa takes really good care of us during our stay, and we return the favor by way of lots of $2 bills from our stash.. We decide to only partially unpack, as we will be moving to Orleans soon enough, and go down to take advantage of the Young at Heart promotion. 7x/5x. We find the silver strike slots and right Ti hits 2 coins right away! Both of them are classic cars, and neither of them are the 99.9% but.. it's fun to watch the machine churn one out.. On to the workhorse of our Video Poker here at Sam's Club, the upstairs 10/7 Double Bonus they have have stashed upstairs.. $2 in = 1 point, but it's 5x today on VP. So we go up, and pretty soon Ti is up to her old tricks and hits a 4OAK-


0830121612.jpg (642854 bytes)   I return in kind with a dealt one.. 0830121717.jpg (654252 bytes)

And Sweet Ti ups the ante....    0830121725a.jpg (703116 bytes)  She remains the 4OAK Queen.

But right now she is very tired, and I escort her upstairs to bed. I go back for another short session, and find a 9/6 DB progressive and hit the 4OAK progressive right away for exactly what it pays anyway..$62.50! I have a bit of a walkabout, and spot an ice cream stand, and decide to get my Sweet Ti a surprise sweet treat, and take her an ice cream sundae. She is still awake, and enjoys a late night dessert in bed. I'm good for one more session, and find a good old friend from AC- 8/5 Bonus Poker. In short order I am dealt this.....

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Looks like a fine way to end our first day. Remember: it's not a race- it's a marathon!


Fri. 08.31.2012

  Up early to catch the full moon set I go across the street to Wally World for room supplies. Tired of leaky Styrofoam coolers that won't hold ice?? Try the new Rubbermaid© Wheelie Cooler! (Not a paid advertisement) Actually, I just grabbed a cheap Chinese knockoff of a nice cooler for like $25. But the wheels do come in handy. I get the rest of the usual suspects, fruit, snacks, cereal, yogurt, water, etc. Next stop is Lee's Discount Liquor for my requisite stash of Kaliber and a bottle of Moscato for the room. I also get a Lee's T-shirt for next to nada.. Back up Flamingo to Sam's I enjoy the craziness that is Clark Co.


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 I load up Wheelie and make the long journey upstairs. I peek my head in to the 2nd floor hallway, but not much progress to report on the carpeting project. Ti is awake- we are still on EDT, so.. We eat and arrange the food pantry, and decide to go next door and check out Eastside Cannery.

0831121046.jpg (585014 bytes) We enjoyed this property last trip, and Ti and I are off in search of a Monopoly Machine. We find a couple of Epic Monopoly Games, this and their Party Station (Tell 'em Lou!) would turn out to be our go-to games for the duration of our Saga. Ti scores a small bonus round hit, and we are soon off in search of the full pay VP. I consult my cheat sheet-vpfree2.com- I have printed out these for about 25 assorted casinos, always best to be prepared!! We are interested in the 99.66% Bonus Poker 1-2-3-4-5-35-35-35-800, which we find as advertised. No 4OAKs, but we enjoy talking grandkids with the waitress, Good beaverage service! Our Feather calls to say that they have left CA and are in NV, so we trek back to Sam's and have the first of many free buffets. 600 pts.= free din-din..()(2 sporks)     On the way out, we notice that they are having 11x/7x points the next 3 days, so we decide to hit 'em hard, first to the Silver Strike where I score a Pileated woodpecker coin and then on to our 10/7 DB. Not much action. Now the L.A. couple are on Boulder Hiway, so we tell them we will meet them in the atrium. I stop by the front desk to get their room, 2 doors down from ours. We walk around the atrium and notice the upgrades to the animatronic zoo creatures, looks like they even re-upholstered the grizzly bear!

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Feather and Tim are here, so we have a meet and greet, including hugs all around. I have never met Tim up till now, and we escort them to their room. They want to get organized and we give them so time to accomplish this by going over to Terrible's to see our dear friend Ziggy.0831121604.jpg (911122 bytes) We embrace him warmly, and spend some time talking about life and catching each other up on the families. We haven't seen him and his wife Bo for 2 years, so we chat while we sit at the bar and play a bit of VP.. My 4OAK Queen lives up to her name and is dealt one in short order....0831121732.jpg (588712 bytes) We ask Zig about the regulars, and about that time right on cue Lou walks in with his usual paperwork. We say "Hey Now!" and then he goes off on a Government conspiracy theory that has to do with what he calls the Obama Regime. We point out that we lean quite a bit to the left.....I excuse myself from the rant, and go over to the gift shop to see Tim and get some swag. Tim is there, and of course comments of my beads, he sez there are more somewhere in the back stockroom, I tell him we had this same conservation 3 times over the last 5 years.. By the time I get back to Ziggy's Bar, Tim has left for the other end of the bar, and we make our plans with Ziggy to go over to see them at home on either Mon. or Tues. He goes on break, so we hit the pit where our friend Ally is dealing at the Roulette table, and each play our $10 ACG MP coupons, but we both lose.. Time to trip on back out to Boulder Highway and catch up with the L.A. crew. We go over to their room, and talk while we watch the moonrise.

            0831121911.jpg (539278 bytes) Stretch guards the window.. 0831121912.jpg (415861 bytes) Beautiful!  They want to go downtown, but decide to wait as they are still a bit tired from their journey. Ti goes with them to Willie and Jose's Cantina, I'm not hungry so I go off the play. They enjoy their dinner, huge portions of the food AND the beverages! (3 sporks) I have a bit of a run on my 10/7 DB..

0831122004.jpg (716262 bytes)    0831122036.jpg (682874 bytes)   and then spot a progressive machine with 9/6 JoB and 8/5 BP and try my best to get a Royal, but alas nothing but 4OAKS come my way......

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I join them after the finale, and accompany them upstairs where I put Sweet Ti to bed and I go down for a short albeit losing session. Time for some shut eye meself!


  Sat. 09.01.2012

Welcome to September! Up early (imagine that...) and off for a chip/coupon run up Boulder Highway and then on to N. Las Vega$.. Sue (the GPS') first stop takes me to Arizona Charlie's.

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The joint is a bit bigger than I expected, not a whole lot to talk about here, the player's club isn't open yet, so I hit up the cashier for a chip for my collection, and boogie to my next stop, Boulder Station..


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Bigger is better is the reoccurring theme for Stations.. Certainly is here. These guys really believe in full pay VP- as you walk in the door you get bombarded by signs saying 100% or 99.57% payback! But I need to make like Mr. Natural and Keep on Truckin', so I grab a chip, and boogie on..

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and am soon in North Las Vegas 0901120637.jpg (544892 bytes) and at Jerry's Nugget 0901120639.jpg (545245 bytes)   I find my way to the gift shop/player's club, and sign-up using the ACG coupon for a free gift, which turns out to be a pretty sweet re-usable bag. And they give me $5 in slot play to boot, along with a sheet of coupons, none of which I use. I spot a Super Times Pay VP machine and use my free play, cash out $20 up and walk over to the tiny pit and decide to try my luck at a $5 BJ table. I buy in for my $20 profit, and it looks like a pretty good group of locals playing. We have a fine time giving the dealer shit... lots of pushes and I get 2 blackjacks.. I cash out for $35, color up and head to the cage to cash out and pocket a chip for my collection. All in all, this joint isn't too bad- friendly employees and customers, fairly clean too. I make a mental floss note to bring Ti here.

  Next stop is Bighorn- or more like Smallhorn.. 0901120755.jpg (630486 bytes)  We hit up the Longhorn last trip and didn't like the place too much-dark and unfriendly. This place is also dark, but the dealer is a bit more friendly, I buy in for $20 and I pull out my ACG book and player's card, making sure she sees me take it out of the book, as I have been warned they can be tough here, but she doesn't seem to care one way or the other, and I win a couple of warm up hands, and play the $10 MP along with 2 red chips. I win, and cash out $15 ahead. Again, I pocket a chip, and split.. I wouldn't want to be anywhere around this joint after dark, that's for sure!

  Now I'm not too sure where to now. I've inputted just about all of the N. Las Vega$ casinos into Sue's Favorites, but I left Sam's Club without a specific game plan or a map! It's getting near 9 a.m. so I decide against Aliente Station. and try and figure out one more close store to hit. I am driving around kind of aimlessly, when I spot the Silver Nugget in the distance. Sue catches up with me, and guides me thru a rather iffy neighborhood and we are soon turning in.

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  From the looks of this place, it's a bowling alley- yepper, it's part bowling alley, part casino. Taste's great- and just look at that floor shine! I get my ACG MP ready, but the 3 table pit is closed.. They don't even have a player's club, and the cashier doesn't have and chips. He tells me to check with the slot attendant but she must be on break, so I play some crappy VP while I wait for her to show up. I hit a minor 4OAK as she makes an appearance, but she too has no chips. I cash out $10 ahead, and leave N. Las Vega$ to the locals...As I'm getting directions home from Sue, my phone rings, and it's Ron (turtleman) from the VMB and we make plans to meet at Gold Coast on Sunday morning. I grab the interstate, and I'm soon back at our crib. I call my Sweet Ti, she's up, and F&T are with her in our room. So I score Dunkin' Donut's coffee for all 3 of them, using points to pay. Gotta love 11x/7x!!

  The L.A. posse have brought Cuban delights East with them for us, and they go nicely with their caffeine blasts. I pull out various coupon books and printouts, and share the ACG new member sign-up free drink ones for Sam's, along with a 2 for 1 to the Atomic Testing Museum, and they are soon on their way in search of Nuclear Memories...   We played for a while, and then it's time for me to head towards the strip. I stopped by for a quick hello to Ziggy, and then head out Caesar's way to meet Carol (cinnamonstick) from the VMB at the Colisseum Box Office at 3 p.m.  0901121415.jpg (626221 bytes) Can you spot Yarma's sister?

I park around back in the Colisseum Self-Park,0901121424a.jpg (655649 bytes)  0901121425.jpg (631957 bytes) and slowly make my way down 2 different elevators and into Caesar's. I even take a picture of where I park so I won't forget, 0901121424.jpg (443679 bytes) AND I even enter the floors where I get off the elevators at. I'm not getting lost... This place is frillin' HUGE! Ti & I have been here before, but never in this part of the joint. Soon enough Carol greets me smiling and gives me a big hug! We chat while waiting in line for her comp tickets. This is the first time either of us has met someone else from the Vegas Message Board. We get her tickets, and the one's that she got comped are closer to the stage than the one's she bought!. Here's what happened.. Carol was planning a trip here, and she was bringing her Father-in Law, and they wanted to see Tony Bennett, so she bought 3 tickets. Meanwhile, she took another trip here, and made Diamond while she was here. Way to go girl! One of the perks for being Diamond is comp show tickets, and sure enough she get 2 comped tickets to the show. She had bought insurance on the tickets, but they wouldn't honor it since it wasn't because of a medical emergency that she didn't need them. So she offered the comped ones on the VMB, and I asked for them. Hence, here we are. What a nice gift!

  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Hoss has gotten himself in a pickle, and Pa and Hop-Sing have to....opps, I got caught up in TVLand ...I'll try again...

 Meanwhile, back at Sam's Club, Ti, Feather and Tim are enjoying a relaxing afternoon. Tim takes a siesta while the girls go for a soak in the Hot Tub, dodging Rat Rats the whole time.

  I have a couple of hours to kill before they come across to the strip to bring Ti to the show. No way I'm driving back against Labor Day weekend traffic. I stroll thru Caesar's on my way to my destination- Cosmo for another loss rebate offer..

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I make my way amongst the throngs of touristlings towards Bellagio...

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The Bellagio is also mobbed, and I get to the Moving Sidewalk and enjoy the fountains and finally arrive at the Cosmo.. Inside I am a bit taken back by the opulence of the property.. The Aria is close, the Revel in A.C. is closer, but this Virginia boy has never eyed a place quite like this! World's Largest Chandelier and everything...0901121607.jpg (701406 bytes)  0901121719.jpg (799970 bytes) Damn thing is too big to fit in the shot.. Average age of the crowd -about 23..maybe even 22.. Seriously. I find the player's club to sign-up, and the dude explains the dealio with Zappos.com, and how dollars spent on anything count as points, and I ask if that's all the offers they have. He sez yes. I ask him about the $100. loss rebate offer. He sez you have to ASK for it. I say I'm ASKING for it. He finally offers it.. CRAZY!!! He shows me how to do it, and I head off in pursuit of a $1 VP, and put in a benny, and blow thru it in 5 minutes, and walk back to the PC, and the dude sez I'm back quick! I say it doesn't take long in this place.. Hw puts the $100. free play on my card, and I find a more reasonable .25 game to wager on. I can't access my play until I put some of my own money in...strange.. I finally figure it out, and end up cashing out $85.Not bad.. I walk around some and see the Big Fuzzy Craps game has a couple of open spots. I've been wanting to try it out, so I put a $20. in and bet $5. on the pass line. The girl next to me is rolling, and sevens out. My roll.... I put $5. on the pass line and the timer goes down, and a voice from somewhere inside this thing yells " HIT THE BUTTON!"...so I did. My point is 4. So I take the pass line odds for $10. and pretty soon the voice yells "HIT THE BUTTON!"..I seven out. So much for my Big Fuzzy Craps experience. I decide to try and find the super secret pizza place, so I ask the shoe-shine dude where it is. He directs me up the excalator (past the Hooters) to the 3rd floor. 0901121726.jpg (473120 bytes)There is a small non-descript hallway, no sign, and I get in line. I'm admiring the old LP albums all over the walls while I wait. I have no idea how long the hallway is- after 1/2 hour I see 2 pinball machines, another 15 minutes I spot the counter.0901121747.jpg (473922 bytes) Still 15 customers from ordering, I check the time and decide to abandon my quest. I make my way back downstairs. I go to the cage for my chip, and call my Sweet Ti. They are at the Mexican joint again, enjoying Bottomless Margaritas, and Endless tacos and enchiladas.( and a ). I leave the 20 somethings to their debauchery and take the Moving Sidewalk back to Bellagio. This crazy dude in huge sunglasses is walking in the wrong direction- only in Vega$ Baby!!! I follow a couple of newlyweds inside 0901121801a.jpg (719281 bytes)  noice!  0901121801.jpg (773320 bytes) I go over to the "O" Theater, and score our tickets for the show on Wed. from will call, and go on back to Caesars.. 

0901121815.jpg (543605 bytes)  This guy has GOT to be chilly!! I find my back to the Colisseum, and there is a food court across from the theater. I decide to go back to Paley (aka) and change clothes before I grab a bite to eat. I take the elevator to the floor I have entered in my phone, and get out...I don't recognize where I am.. I try again, and am soon lost in the endless maze that is Caesar's Palace Colisseum Self- Park Universe...I finally find Paley (aka) by hitting the alarm button on the key fob. Resourceful! I change clothes in the passenger seat, and go back inside- well, at least I've got the route down pat! I go to the food court. 20 minutes ago the pizza place there was empty. Now it's mobbed! I choose instead to hit up the quick-rip kiosk I passed on the way in, for a soda and a bag of Chex Mix.

  By now, it's about 6 p.m.- 7:30 is show time, doors at 6:30. Ti calls to tell me they are stuck in traffic, so I peolpe watch while I eat. Caesar's Guard Patrol makes an appearance. Ti calls again to say they are still stuck- and she is getting out at the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd. She is walking across the skywalk as she calls.. "How do I get there from here???" I haven't a clue what to tell her, so I say just axe someone..I try to head her off at the pass. Problem is that there are just too damn many passes here, and she makes it to the Colosseum before I can de-pass.. We hug our hellos and make our way inside. Very nice theater, a bit bigger than I thought it would be. The show starts with Antonia Bennet opening. She sings a few standards. Pretty good voice, she's 38- a bit older than she looks.. The jazz Quartet is a great keyboardist, Count Bassie's favorite drummer, a stand up bassist, and a guitar player on an old hollow body Gibson. Tony comes out- he looked and sounded great. He's 86, hard to believe! He told stories, sang his old hits, and showcased each band member. He sang a duet with his daughter- end even danced a bit! He sang for over an hour, and did 3 encores. He's still a great showman and a real gentleman. He stayed onstage and shook hands and gave out hugs to the ladies. And Ti got to hear her favorite standard, "The Shadow of Your Smile"

   We left happy, and paused at a slot machine to make a contribution to the Evil CET Empire- our only CET play the whole trip, and cashed out a .04 ticket.. We decide to get the hell out of Rome, and find our way to Paley (aka) and thru the crazt strip Saturday night traffis and high-tail it back to Sam's. I put Ti to bed after she checked in with F&T-they are downtown. I played awhile  chasing that ellusive Royal Flush Progressive but it wasn't in the cards.... Early bedtime crash for yours truly too!

   Sunday 09.02.2012

    Up before the sun, I head west to Gold Coast. I remember to bring my cheat sheet, and as the place is really empty, I soon find a MS BP .25 to try- but the volatility gets the best of me, and I blow thru a quick $100. But I have earned enough for my MRB $10. free play, and the BConnected shop is open early, so I get that loaded and try the DBDW- another highly volatile game- but one I never get to play in AC- and blow thru the free play and $60. I head for a roulette table for my ACG MP, didn't like the crew at the BJ table- and buy in for $40. I lose the MP and the rest without a hit. Well, there goes my morning BR, and it's still early! No sign of Vern or Ron.. so I decide to cut my losses and head back to Sam's Club.

   I call Sweet Ti to let her know I'm back, and they are about to come downstairs, so we meet at the buffet for a comped Champagne Brunch for 4 ... again you gotta love 11x/7x... I make a halfhearted effort to talk everyone out of the Valley of Fire trip, but our Feather has made up her mind, so they make our plans over bad champagne (think Cold Duck) but decent dessert.() We head upstairs, and F&T stash their stuff in our room- they check-out of theirs today. We pack up Wheelie, they have brought some food from LA, and I load up Paley (aka) while they check-out.. Sue directs us up I-15 about 45 miles, and we take Rt. 169 to the West Entrance .The route is interesting, as you travel east into the Valley of Fire State Park, there is much more scrub vegetation here than of the west side of Vega$. 14 scenic miles later we reach the west entrance.


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We pass the Beehives, and are soon at the Visitor's Center. We stop in and enjoy the exhibits. I and again surprised by the variety of plants and wildlife in the desert here. We hit up the gift shop for yet more swag. Next we head towards the White Domes. At an elevation of over 2000 ft. it's quite a climb for Paley (aka) . On the way up we stop and hike up the trail to Mouse's Tank. It's about 1/4 mile in each direction. We take extra H2O and prepare to sweat...We venture thru Petroglyph Canyon and are pleasantly surprised by the amount of ancient graffiti on the walls, some quite high up! There are a couple of shady rock overhangs along the way, and they are right on time as the temp is around 106°. 

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0902121321a.jpg (1015005 bytes)  We finally made it to the Mouse's Tank and sure enough- there is water there! Maybe enough for a 12 person Hot Tub?? Tim even makes it down to wet his tootsies in the Tank..0902121331a.jpg (989373 bytes)  0902121332.jpg (846937 bytes)  0902121332a.jpg (957048 bytes)  I spot our only encounter with the local fauna-

 Here Lizard, Lizard, Lizard....0902121333.jpg (944460 bytes)  On the way back we pass a few other hardy souls. We spot even more petroglyphs on the way back.


0902121338.jpg (864851 bytes)  We finally make it back to Paley (aka)- we are ready for some AC!!! Note to self: Never hike in the desert in the summer!!

     Back on the road, we stop at Rainbow Vista ( only for pictures) 0902121408.jpg (672087 bytes)  and then the  uphill journey to White Domes.0902121417.jpg (669956 bytes) 0902121426b.jpg (669898 bytes) 0902121426c.jpg (676440 bytes) Beautiful!!! Back down to Elephant Rock, Seven Sisters, and make it as far as Lake Mead Recreatioa Area for a glimpse of the lake...


0902121440.jpg (737868 bytes) 0902121443.jpg (636350 bytes)  0902121450.jpg (818081 bytes) We traverse the route back to the interstate while partaking of the delicious treats provided by our guests. And an ice cold Kaliber provided by Mr. Lee..     0902121441.jpg (451594 bytes) Feather the server...  

  Back to Sam's Club, our L.A. couple takes advantage of an ACG new sign-up coupon for free drinks at the Winchester Bar along with a Pina Colada for Sweet Ti while I stash Wheelie upstairs. Feather discovers the Joy of Bonus Poker. I gather up my Sweet Ti and we part company to truck over to Terrible's to see our Ziggy before he gets off work. He's really busy as it's football Sunday, so we just shore up plans for our visit to their house on Tuesday and say our farewells. On to Orleans, and the crazy Labor Day weekend crowds therein. We try to get in touch with Tammy and leave her a voice mail, and go to the host's office and find out she is off on weekends. We proceed to check-in and we explain our 3 different reservations for our 7 nights and he is very accommodating. We are booked straight thru all 7 nights. SWEET! Room 1998

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0902122301b.jpg (446204 bytes)  0902122302a.jpg (484243 bytes)  At least they have flat screen TVs now! 450 s.f., couch, pocket door, working bathroom window and everything!!! 

  Ti is really hungry, and we scurry about looking for a bite but even the TGIF is packed- so we decide to go back to Sam's to eat and pack up our stuffs so L.A. can occupy the given space. We slide by Sam's TGIF and it's mostly empty. And they have all day Happy Hour too. Sounds like a plan! Turns out to be yet another exciting Vega$ Event... The hostess gives us a cozy corner booth and Ryan as our server- how can I explain Ryan. He is a dead ringer for Capt. Jack Sparrow. His imitation reminds me of a combination of Ozzt Osbourn and Keith Richards. This dude is hilarious! He wears a necklace of skeleton keys. His explaination is much too esoteric to go into.As was much of our evening. We all hit it off great right away, and have a blast talking..

He has quite an interesting story starting with the fact that his Father is Paul Revere- as in Paul Revere and the Raiders.. on to stories of Sri Lanka prisons and psycodelics at the Cosmo, inculding techno-rap compositions on an IPad. 20 minutes into our journey we got around to ordering drinks. I ask for some paper and a pen to make some trip report crib notes, and Ryan brings me some register paper. I start making notes about this evening and he brings a sangria for Sweet Ti and an Abdouls for me, I am writing Ryan aka Capt. Jack- and he shows me he has written down the same thing.. Deja Vu all over again? We order some chicken appetizer and burgers- there are no potato chips left on planet earth according to Capt. Jack. Our conversation turns to theories of Don Juan- A Yaqui Way if Knowledge and "Pirates of the Can of Beans- Curse of the Black Nacho" .. I have to say that Ryan Revere was just what we both needed on this hectic day. We all had hugs and big smiles on the way out. Vega$ has a way of bringing a host of really special people our way every trip. This guy is defiantly a keeper....

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  We elevate upstairs and finish packing our possessions F&T are still DT, and go across the great divide to Orleans. The parking lot is still packed, so I drop Sweet Ti and the luggage at the entrance and find a spot upstairs for Paley (aka). Ti is tired and leaves most of the unpacking for tomorrow. I am ready to GAMBOL!!! Of course I am always ready to gamble- so I head for the DBDW between the Subway and the Poker Room. I only brought $100. with, so I don't know how long it will last. I sit next to a local playing regular DW..he is friendly, and we talk about the differences between the 2 games. I rely on my homemade strategy guide to stumble along. I actually got 2 hours of play in before my grub stake ran out....Time to sleeeeep.....


                                                                                  Monday 09.03.2012

  Welcome to our Labor Day! I wake up late- 6:30 a.m., long day yesterday, and dress behind the pocket door and kiss my Sweet Ti adios and go back to Sam's Club. I park in garage #1 and take some shots on the way..

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I'm in search of Double Deuces Wild. I have been playing this game a bit, Ti doesn't like sitting next to me while I play any Deuces Wild game- she gets upset about the fact that the strategy calls for throwing away so many hands that would be good in another game. There's a 10/7 DB machine next to the DDW one I like, so she has to put up with me playing it a bit, but now it's just me, $100. and the occasional cocktail waitress upstairs.. Nice and quiet.....I am in pursuit of the elusive 4OAK Deuces,,,,Be Vewwwy vewwy qwiet.....I play for awhile, and get dealt 3 deuces, hold them, and.....BINGO! $500.score!!!!!  

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    Looks to be a Helluva day!!!! I cash out, and head back to Orleans, it's still a bit early, so I look around for something new to play. My cheat sheet tells me there is an 8/5 BP spin poker game lurking about near Canal Street Grill, so I find it and I puts in my monies and I takes my chances.. Whoa- didn't realize it costs $11.25 a hand at the .25 level. But that's the only level that's 8/5 offered, and I'm still flush with my earlier win, so WTF?? I have enough small hits to keep me afloat, and then hit $OAK Aces on a couple of lines on the re-draw- Sweet! I cash out $150 up. No screenshot, a slot tech is working next to me on another machine..On to Multi-Strike, we have been wanting to play, but till this point haven't been around any full pay to speak of. Really volatile game..$5. at the .25 level, but the endorphins do fly during a streak!  I get enough decent hits like this to cash out $150. ahead.. 

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   Time for BnB (breakfast in bed..) for Sweet Ti, Java Vega$ is Seattle's Beast is Starbucks.. Bagel/Danish/Room for cream.. this will be the standard order for the next few days. Last day to take advantage of 11x/7x, so we descend to the floor after breakfast, and settle in at a couple of 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe machines. The nice thing about this game is that every 4OAK pays 400 credits.. so .25 level = $100.  I only hit one, while Ti racks up 4!!

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Feather and Tim call to tell us they have arrived, they are going back to LA this afternoon, and they are playing VP at the Piano Bar. Feather is doing good...by Jove- I think she's got it! The VP bug that is..We all go upstairs and hang out in the room for awhile, and give them a coupon for Big Al's Oyster Bar. They go down and Ti joins them while they lunch, and I go out to Paley (aka) to get supplies in. They split a jambalaya and still have some leftover to take home with. I come in just before they finish, and we walk them out to thier rental and say our goodbyes and wish them a  safe journey. We go back in and play the Hangover for awhile to earn Ti enough points for a buffet. every day it's 600 pts. for a dinner buffet so we have no problem doing this. We have a blast playing, I hit Alan's progressive right away- never saw this one above $30... it's the smallest one, so it gets hit a lot. Back and forth. we both end up pushing after playing for a long time. Fun game!! We eat an early dinner buffet. They aren't very busy. A bit better selection of entrees, but a bit worse selection of desserts. ( ) We play some more VP after dinner, but end up giving back a bit of the earlier profit. Left Tammy another voice mail, guess she had the holiday off. I leave Ti upstairs to watch some TV, and go back down to play some DW.. Must have used up our luck early today! Time to go back upstairs to snuggle with my Baby Duck!

                                                                                                Tuesday 09.04.2012

    Up at dawn once again, I decide to go check-out at Sam's so we have more time to take advantage of the Young at Heart promotion (7x everything 7 am to 7 pm) at Orleans.

                     0904120642.jpg (426809 bytes)                             0904120657.jpg (460820 bytes)           I park in garage 1 again and go up to the room to make sure everything is squared away- it it- and stop by my 10/7 DB and make a small donation. Then down to make one last try at getting one of those 99.999% Silver Strike coins, but strike out. I close out the safety deposit box and ask where the casino host's office is- seems to be in some cryptic location as the first place I'm sent is wrong. I ask a couple of skirts where I might find Johnny D- they say he isn't working today, but since it's 8 am there should be somebody on duty in the office, and point me in the right direction..

0904120803.jpg (525065 bytes)  I finally find it, and there is a sign on the door telling me to call using the wall phone for access. I call, and the Host answers- I think her name was Kathi- this chick asks me what I want! She seems to be hating life. I ask to meet her and she reluctantly sez to come in. She doesn't meet me at the front desk inside- I have to find her office myself. I introduce myself and tell her about our stay. I finally get her to look up my play- she just shakes her head and tells me I have no where near enough play to cover anything. She gets up to make herself something to eat- so I assume we are finished talking. Well- I am certainly done with this place! It's so much different with Tammy at Orleans. We only met for a minute 2 years ago before we left, and I emailed her to let her know we were coming back, and she was really sweet about meeting us. I head on over to the atrium to check-out. Vic at the desk is super nice, and I unload on him about my Host Debacle. Hw agrees with me that this host is just not right- and I thank him for letting me rant and rave. He laughs and tells me his mother is Mexican and his father is Italian- so his whole family does nothing but rant and rave! We finish up our business, and I go back across town. 

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   I ease past the Safe Nest Baby Repository 0905120841.jpg (573277 bytes) and have no trouble finding our usual parking spot. This is more like it! I play a bit of DW and end up pushing. Not So Ugly Ducks....okey-dokey!!!

  While I am waiting for my order at Java Vegoose, Tammy calls , so we make plans to meet. I get my order and go upstairs to enjoy a nice breakfast with my Sweet Ti. We go down to the casino to play some Multi-Strike till it's time to see Tammy. What a morning! Ti is on fire once again with her 4OAKS, she even does it on cue, not once, but twice!!!

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We stash a couple of nice tickets courtesy of Sweet Ti, and stroll over to the nice leather couches to wait on our Tammy.

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A nice girl and her daughter sit across from us, and her daughter spots Ti's lucky beads, so Ti gives her some. The little girl is thrilled, and runs over to show them off to her father. Tammy walks up and we all give hugs and chatit up for a few minutes. She tells up about her daughter starting college, and we give her the rundown with our kids and grandkids. She is gonna be busy this week, as she is running a different promotion every day! We leave to walk around a bit and stop by Costal Liquors for some wine to take to Ziggy and Bo's and some Beck's NA for yours truly. A couple of guys are working there stocking and they are talking about the elevator music in the warehouse??? I tell them about the bad 50's rock music playing on the floor- but the killer Paul Simon they had piped into the bathrooms.. Who is this wacky DJ running the soundboards in this joint?????  He hooks us up with a nice sparkling Moscato and we go up to our loft to get ready to go to Henderson. I shower first for a quick session while Ti puts on her face. There is a $1. 9/6 DB progressive bank that catches my eye, so I give it a try..Down, down, down, but not out..

 There it is!  0904121414.jpg (579026 bytes)  I cash out and wait for my pretty wifey.

  We embark for Henderson and I set Sue's controls for the heart of the sun-and SHAZAAM!! we are on Monteloma Way. Only problem is that we can't remember which house it is, they are all white stucco houses with tile roofs. I call the Zigmeister and he provides the missing link. We admire the front yard and hug Bo and meet a frantically barking Dusty. Their son Thomas was also there, he lives just down the street. We all have a nice chat, with Dusty providing the background music.0904121548.jpg (564525 bytes) Dusty is a year old terrier mix they got from the local shelter last April. He finally calms down. He reminds us of a buff colored longer legged Lucy Belle. We go out back to see what changes Zig has made to the yard in the last 2 years, and he has been busy! A lemon tree with fruit, a grapefruit with fruit too. An all too familiar woodpile of pine logs, and several new shrubs and flowers. He does a lot in a small area in very harsh conditions.lemon tree.jpg (1400198 bytes)  grapefruit tree.jpg (956358 bytes)  0904121517a.jpg (1219831 bytes)  0904121518.jpg (973953 bytes)


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  Bo is hungry, so we pile in Zigmund's Trooper and go to the new dim sum and seafood restaurant East Ocean. This place is in a strip shopping center, and gets great reviews- we concur! We get there around 4:30, and are just about by ourselves. The menu is mostly in Cantonese. Ziggy and Bo have eaten here a couple of times, and assist us in ordering. We get a chicken, duck, and pork appetizer, share a seafood soup, and get pork and oyster Hot Pot, scallops with veggies, and 2 fish with veggies entrees. All quite delicious. We have plenty of leftovers. Great company, great food! (

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  We go back to their hacienda and Ziggy serves up a bottle of his own vintage- blueberry wine. Some friends of theirs sent them a case of fresh picked blueberries that sat out in front of their house in the sun all day and simmered. So Zig juiced them and brewed up a batch of wine.( ) Bo serves tiramisu and I savor some of Henderson's fine tap water. We browse a book on the history of their hometown- Legnica, Poland. Settlement in the town dates from the 7th century. It's chronicled from 1004. Beautiful! We talk about the land and it's language for a bit, and Dusty really opens up to us.

0904121816.jpg (552868 bytes)  The Democratic National Convention is on TV, and they are interested in listening to the speeches, so we say our good nights. Wonderful evening, with dear friends..  Sue guides us back to the Big Easy, and we settle down at the Crawfish for a serious BP session- 0904122048.jpg (600292 bytes) Ti continues her 4OAK streak, but only captures a couple, as there is an obnoxious bitch sitting next to her, so we cash out and wander out by the keno lounge to play some BP Deluxe, but it's too smoky. We wander a bit, and finally find our way to the Mardi Gras Bar. Plenty of room without too many drunks...0904122159.jpg (650356 bytes)


0904122048a.jpg (539393 bytes)  0904122050.jpg (544680 bytes)  0904122103.jpg (538484 bytes)  0904122122.jpg (527842 bytes)  Ti has a sweet tooth, so we mosey down to the food court and she gets an ice cream. 

  Strange new fishing game,,,  0904122228.jpg (826060 bytes)

    I play Epic monopoly and score back to back Around the Board bonuses and cash out a nice score.. 

                        0904122306.jpg (919715 bytes)    We go upstairs for the evening, and do a bit of bankroll accounting. This marks day 6 of our trip, and it's a Push. Can't beat it folks!!!! 

                                                                                     Wednesday 09.05.2012

  It's about time for a "Hey Now!!". What a journey this day turned out to be.. It starts innocent enough- chip/coupon run to Henderson, I get my usual fairly early start, slipping in a kiss and a love note to my snoozing Sweet Ti. Paley (aka) and I follow Sue's instructions to Bruce Woodbury Doctor and Green Valley Ranch Parkway and glance down at the dash and notice the dreaded Tire Warning Light is on. I don't feel anything unusual in the car's handling, so I make it to the Ranch. After a bit on driving about I find the self-park. I've pretty much got the place to myself... I hop out and see that the driver's side tire is low and there's a big screw head sticking out of the tread! I go on inside- this place is like most of the other Station Casinos, except even nicer!



0905120627.jpg (617646 bytes)  0905120631.jpg (595695 bytes)  0905120703.jpg (703434 bytes)   They advertise their payouts for those what can't cipher digits... But I'm a man on a mission, so I find the cage and get my chip & coin, and ask the boothling if there is a tire place nearby, or at least an air pump. He pretty much tells me we aren't anywhere near either, but there is a gas station a couple of miles away further towards Henderson proper. So I thank him and decide to cut my losses and go ahead and change the tire. I see no reason to get the rental company involved. I locate the spare tire in the boot, and have to consult the manual to figure out where the jack is.... I am successful and am soon on my way......WHERE??? 

                  0905120725.jpg (689438 bytes)         Only Sue knows for sure....I hope....I find a shopping center nearby to park so that Sue can hook up with her satellite buddies, and ask her for car repair shops- she even narrows it down to tire repair shops- now picture if you will dear readers- the software in Sue's brain is from 2008, so it's a crap shoot, but what the hell we're in Vega$!!! She finds a bunch of Discount Tire locations, one of which is on E.Tropicana Blvd. 4 miles away. That will work just lovely! So she directs us up Eastern Ave, past Ziggy & Bo's ( I would have called them for info if I had to, but it's still only 7:20 a.m.) and in about 15 minutes I turn onto E.Trop, and there it is.....Discount Tire!! Sweet!!!

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  I park around the side, and go to the front door, but it's 7:45 and they don't open till 8:00. Not a problem as I'm kinda thirsty so I head to the strip shopping center next door. Yet another dicey neighborhood...well let's see.. there's a liquor store (closed and barred windows!), a Pizza Hut Carryout (closed), a Launderland (no vending machine),a Sushi Bar, a Foot Reflexology Store, and an Auto Repair Shop. 

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0905120748.jpg (612534 bytes)  0905120750.jpg (452332 bytes) But I find a lucky feather...0905120749.jpg (670418 bytes)

I put it in my cap and walk back thru the hole in the fence to Paley (aka) and spot the Discount Tire Assistant Mgr. there, writing down the car's info. I open the boot to show him the damage, and explain that I wasn't interested in getting the Rental people involved, I would just pay the bill. He finishes up, and inside. We shake hands, his name is - Ryan - and tells me it will be about 20 minutes. I ask Ryan if there is a place on this side of Trop. I can score some water, as I don't really want to risk my life trying to cross this crazy ass road in rush hour traffic! He just smiles and points at the mini- fridge in the waiting area that's full of-get this- comped water! Noice!! So I grab one and look out into the bay and see they have already pulled Paley (aka) in, and are tag teaming her.

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So I grab another water, take a seat, and overhear another customer talking to Ryan about his tire issues. 0905120757.jpg (520522 bytes)  He soon joins me in the waiting area and we nod. He tells me he likes my hat. It'a the old Life is Good hat that our Feather gave me years ago that has a guitar on the front. I notice he has a Martin guitar hat on and return the compliment. He asks me if I'm a guitar player. He sez he is too.. He proceeds to tell me the tale of his vintage Martin, totally amazing.. The tale included his owning a movie theater and an acoustic guitar shop near the Zimmerman compound in Minnesota, and culminated in a private screening of "Superman" from the early 90's with Dylan playing his Martin. I'm sitting there in awe... Dylan ended up the session with " If you ever want to sell this guitar... call me first...I'll give you whatever you ask.." The narrator introduced himself - Carl Brownfield KGFN 89.1 FM Program Director "Voice of the Old West" Goldfield, NV. He invited me to a jam session- next trip we will be taking a little 160 mile side trip...to Goldfield, NV.


 Carl got up to use the head about the time the mechanic came in with the paperwork and said I was all set. Great!! So I walk over to pay Ryan and open up the invoice... The repair was FREE!! I tell Ryan there must be a mistake- and he just grins and tells me to thank Mark the store manager. So I shake hands with Ryan, and tell Mark we need to talk.. I told him how much I appreciate this, that I really didn't want to wait on the rental car place to send somebody out and do all the paperwork and everything... he just grinned! Too bad they don't have any locations around VA....I walked out to Paley (aka)- they even put Armour-All on the tires and vacuumed her out!

   I check the time- and it's only 8:30. I called Sweet Ti and told her my story. 15 minutes later I'm at Caffine Vega$ and I soon deliver another BnB to my Baby that couldn't be beat!!!!! We head downstairs to the Crawfish Bar- our new favorite place, and meet our new  favorite bartender, well 2nd fav, Hank the Magnifico!! We are doing great with the bankrool, I'm getting close to 25,000 points- Sapphire level! So we move up to .50 Bonus Poker, and I actually move up to $1.00 long enough to hit one 4OAK>>>

  0905121005.jpg (561992 bytes)  Time for a road trip though.. the Trop is doing a new player rebate, and Sweet Ti hasn't ever signed up for a card. So we ease on over-  

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  They were still doing rehab on the property the last time we were here, and the old place is looking pretty good! They have the Mob Attraction going on there- and a Mobster gives us a couple of fake hundred dollar bills on our way in. Mayhaps we will have time to do this next time- it has gotten killer reviews. Ti signs up, and she also has the slotcoupon.com $50. for $25 dealio, which she has to wait to use until after she does the loss rebate. We decide to do the rebate for $100. I've got my cheat sheet printout, but the only full pay VP is a 50 play machine that's conviently out of order. We don't have much luck finding a machine without stickers on it saying it isn't eligible for the rebate, but a friendly slot attendant named Christina walked us thru it, and gave us an interesting history lesson about the place. The stained glass over the pit couldn't be replaced during the rehab, and even though they had a very lucrative offer for it, it was too old and brittle to be removed. So they had a conservator come it and repair it in place. 

  We end up at a Jackpot Station duo of machines, one of our old favorites. I pony a hunderd for each of usTi gets a couple of small hits, but I pretty much Barney Fife..  She ends up the same way. She goes back to the PC and they put her rebate thru, and her $50. for $25., so she has $100. in free play. We try to play some $1. 8/5 BP, but it's sticker city.. So we settle for 9/6 DB, and I play out my $40. for $25. Between the 2 of us, we cash out $35. But she still has $25. each of the next 2 days coming in free play, so we head back to the Big Easy.

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    We hang out at Hank's Bar and play a short VP session, Ti hit one 4OAK... 0905121319.jpg (623832 bytes)

I talk her into playing some roulette with our ACG MP coupons, and we buy in for $40. each. I win my MP, Ti losses her's, but hits 32 solid!! We end up down $20., but had fun.. We go over to Subway and get a couple of subs for dinner, and back to Costal Liquor for some chips and a bottle of that Asti Moscato () we got Zig & Bo. Back up to the room to pig out, then it's time to get ready for O.We make it to Bellagoi and find a place to park. It's 6 pm on a Wed. and the self park is mobbed! We walk across to the elevators- the heat is stifling!! Feels like Mouse Tank back in the Valley of Fire! We mercifully are soon inside, the nice thing about the Bellagio self park is that you enter the joint right next to the Conservatory. There are a whole bunch of people inside, turns out to be an Asian tour group, but they leave soon after we enter..

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  The rotating exhibit was still in summer mode, obviously. We always enjoy the conservatory. There was even a wedding couple there. Time to make our way thru the MGM masses toward the O theater, and we stop on the way in to buy a program to beat the crowds. Up the stairs to our seats- tomorrow is a rest day for my baby' ailing knee. Our seats are center stage, 2nd balcony. Very nice.. It pays to get your seats early.

  O is really pretty much a show about.....who knows??? The stage opens up to a large pool, and different areas of it rise and fall depending on the acts. The warm-up is a couple of clowns who are pushing/pulling an oversized inner tube thru the crowd- about halfway thru their journey they spot a leak coming from the ceiling. From there they do a skit with a holey umbrella, and end up dragging a guy plant) onstage. He climbs a rope ladder and ends up as part of the show. Soon to follow are a host of different characters, including divers, acrobats , synchronized swimming, battles, and even a flying pirate ship.. The clowns appear a couple of times on the roof of a sunken house, which they live atop. It's all very spectacular, one of the most insane acts is a troupe of contortionists who do truly amazing things with their bodies. Of course, as with all Cirque shows, there is so much going on at the same time it's hard to catch everything that's happening. The soundtrack is done live, including some really good vocalists, and on orchestra playing a host of really strange and exotic instruments. It was a fine show. We find our way back to Paley (aka), and shoot back to Orleans. I put Sweet Ti to bad, and head down for a losing session of DW. On well, gotta pay to play! Yet another great day to be alive in Las Vega$!!!


                                                                                        Thur. 09.06.2012

   Chip/Coupon Run to Henderson Part II. Let's try this one again... Up about 6 a.m., I leave Sweet Ti a love note ( I do this every day) and a kiss and leave her snoozing. I go down and start Paley (aka) and she doesn't have any warning lights illuminated, so I buckle up, fire up Sue, and am on my way! I thought ahead this time, and planned out my route ahead of time. First stop is Fiesta Henderson, not quite as upscale as Green Valley Ranch, but still nice, as are all the Station joints- at least the ones we've been in..



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  I decide to play a bit of full pay DW, and cash out up $20., and then spot a Monopoly Party Station and hop aboard the Party Train- right away I hit the bonus round and "Cue da Dog" my way to a $42. profit. Nice way to start out the day! I walk around a bit and find the cashier and grab my chip/coin and haul ass... Next stop is beautiful downtown Henderson. I was surprised how quaint S. Water St. is.... I pull into Emerald Island- "The Jewel of Henderson©"  Casino- I tell you the sign is as big as the whole property!!

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  I park and go in- dark and dingy... I have my ACG sign-up coupon, and find the Emerald Reward Center- just a corner full of cheap trinkets. There is a clerk there though, who is obviously hating life! He rolls his eyes at my coupon, but dutifully signs me up. I ask about any free play- he just looks at me sideways. I ask about my free gift- he grabs a hat off the shelf. I thank him and go about my way. No pit- no chip..

0906120806.jpg (632678 bytes)    0906120810.jpg (615752 bytes)   I walk over to the Rainbow Club, but I know they don'y have a pit, and don't even go in, but they do have a nice old school neon sign out front, and an interesting mural on the side wall. Not too sure what it is about- but it's colorful!!

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  On next door to the El Dorado- another great sign- another dumpy joint. This one is owned by Boyd's Gaming, but operates under a different player's card. Prime Rewards. So I sign up and get to spin the wheel for cash and prizes! I land on a hat, no cash, but I really don't need yet another hat, so I ask the nice lady for a t-shirt instead. The nice lady asks her boss, and she sez sure. Score! It's a really nice shirt with a picture of the sign on the back and everything....I thank them, and  at the cashier for my chip/coin.      0906120819.jpg (467953 bytes)        0906120822.jpg (722846 bytes)       0906120823.jpg (642265 bytes)    Time to leave the charm of Henderson, and Sue directs me to Boulder Hiway. The ride is very scenic..

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I pull in to Joker's Wild-another Prime Rewards property, but much bigger than the ElD. I walk over to the player's club and try to con my way into another spin of the wheel- for cash and prizes- but even with judicious, gratuitous compliments to the ladies, I strike out. So it's off to the cashier for my chip/coin.0906120840.jpg (568714 bytes)  0906120842.jpg (710657 bytes)  Next stop- Skyline Casino- another old school joint. I pull up, and there's a group of local biker types coming out of the back. Like 70 year old bikers. They must have just finished eating breakfast. This is the most old school place I've been to yet. The ACG lists this joint at 4000 square feet, but that must include the bar and restaurant. There are maybe 75 machines, and they are ALL coin in/out. And one BJ table. No player's club, no chips available. But a couple of old really old display shot machines, I really like the cowboy one.

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Onward to my next stop, Klondike Sunset Casino, yet another locals joint. Tiny pit that was closed, no player's club, no chip- but I got a coin. All of the 4OAKS are hand pay, so I put in a $20., but didn't score... NEXT! 0906120906.jpg (601765 bytes)  0906120906a.jpg (532157 bytes)  0906120907.jpg (524231 bytes)  0906120920.jpg (698681 bytes)

  Sunset Station- this is my new favorite Station. From the signage to the landscaping, the outside is quite nice, and the interior is even nicer! 

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    It's time to head back to the strip for my last 2 stops, and Sue sends me there via the 515.

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   In no time flat I'm at Ellis Island- but by now it's 9:30, and I'm late for Sweet Ti's BnB, so U call Tammy hoping she is in her office so she can patch me thru to the switchboard, but alas, she is already on the floor setting up her promo. She asks me what I need and I tell her I'm off property and can't play room service dude personally, and she gives me the number. She reminds me about the Pepsi promotion tells me to come by later. I call the operator and ask for room service. I get them on the line, but they are skeptical as I'm off property. I assure them that my wife will sign for the food. I order a variety of goodies, and they say it will be delivered in about half an hour. With that out of the way, I go on in to Ellis. Gotta love this place! Only a block away from the strip on Koval, it's a great little hole in the wall. Especially early in the day. I play thru $20. at a quick quad machine to qualify for my ACG/MRB free play, and push. I go to the player's club, and they are getting ready for a drawing, it's Senior's Day, so the boothling dude gives me a free drink coupon and a lucky coin, and tells me to come back later. I saunter over to the bar and order up a delicious frothy homemade root beer...TASTY!! Sfter the drawing that John Q. Local won for the 43rd time, I go back to the PC and he sets me up with me free play- 24 hours waiting time- I score some swag.. a great T-shirt, bottle condom, and shot glass. I head back to the Q.Q. machine to try my luck. I'm playing .10 3 play 8/5 BP and draw  QQ 8's..Noice! + $49.0906121049.jpg (603914 bytes)  0906121018.jpg (486850 bytes)  0906121124.jpg (603473 bytes)

  Ti calls to tell me she had just woken up and had a knock on the door.. "Who is it??" "Room Service" "I think you have the wrong room... are you sure you aren't the Land Shark???". Oh well, if you can't be handsome- at least you can be handy!! Last stop is the Trop, for day 2 on the lass rebate. I go to the kiosk and load up Ti's free play, and sit down to a VP machine, but cash out nada.. Interesting crowds here today, this is the official home base for this week's Gay Days..0906121142.jpg (659306 bytes) Time to traverse the strip back home.

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   By the time I park and go inside, Ti is at the Crawfish Bar, hanging with Hank, and makin' $$$$!! She hasn't been getting screenshots, so I settle down next to her and soon enough she scores a nice one..0906121233.jpg (611985 bytes) We finish out our session talking trash to Hank the Magnifico and end up with a small profit. Upstairs to stash our swag, I talk Sweet Ti into getting her nails done. We have scoped out a place just down the street on Yelp that got good reviews, so we hop into Paley (aka) and in 5 minutes we are pulling into the parking lot. The Nail Place.0906121339.jpg (610265 bytes) We walk in, I need to find out how long it's gonna take, about half an hour. I leave Sweet Ti to her luxury and walk next door to The Daily Egg - I haven't eaten yet. Nice greek joint, just breakfast and lunch. I' not much on breakfast food unless I'm the chef, so I ask the owner/waitress for a lunch recommendation. She suggests the Gyro (). Sounds good. I get the tomato on the side so I can de-seed , and chips. It's very good, with homemade pita and cucumber sauce...


0906121350.jpg (546867 bytes)  I soon am finished, and am reading the paper when a nice local lady sits in the next booth, and we chat a bit. She tells me how good the smoothie's are, so I order a mango to go for Sweet Ti, and bring it next door for her to enjoy while she id being pampered. She is all grins as I walk in with her treat. I go back to the Egg, and the ladies are effusive with their praise of my Southern Hospitality..(Y'all!!)   I digress... Along with my bill I get a piece of homemade baklava, and it's so good that I order on to go for Ti. I pay for my goodies and say good by to my latest local friend. She drops a penny from her purse while putting her change away, I pick it up for her, and she tells me to keep it for luck. 2 lucky coins in one day! Ti is just finishing up when I depart, and shows off her pretty purple toes.. Massage chair and everything! A very nice diversion indeed...

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  Back to Orleans for a quick Hank's Bar session..0906121520.jpg (495261 bytes)  and then on to Terrible's.  Ziggy is working at the Sports Bar. They are busy, and we finally spot a couple of machines in the back. Alan is there, a local we have known for a few trips now. Ti and Alan catch up on things, and I meet a newly local couple- John and Chris, who are sitting next to me. We have a nice afternoon session, except for the loud drunk guy yelling into his cell phone for an hour. I hit one BPDeluxe 4OAK on a short pay machine..0906121735.jpg (592439 bytes)  Ziggy is too busy to talk much, so we go back to New Awlns'.. Hank has split and the Crawfish is crawling with fishes, so we go over to the Poker Bar, which is mostly empty. I walk over to say hello to Tammy (hugs) and she hooks me up with 2 6packs of diet pepsi each nestled in a soft-sided cooler. She tells me to send Ti back for more. I haul my goodies back to the Poker Bar, and when Ti goes over Tammy is slammed, so Ti just grabs one and comes back. Lousy VP session though.. I take our goodies to the room and we try some uprights between the Poker room and the Subway. I get dealt this..



  Not to be outdone, Ti responds with this.. 0906122225.jpg (527918 bytes)  Time for dinner, so we go to the nearest kiosk and get a chit for a couple of buffets.  The food isn't getting any better() Upstairs to take a break, we decide to go down to the pool water for a Hot Tub soak, and run into a couple of crazy guys- 20 somethings- who are enjoying their libations by playing elevator police.. We walk into the pool area, very few people there, and Ti goes for the Hot Tub while I try out the pool water. Bad idea RB! Seems like the main pool is always chilly.. I jump in, do a couple of somersaults, and head for the Hot Tub! I don't care if it's 98° outside, pool water that's 74° is cold!! Needless to say, the Hot Tub felt great. We soak for a while and head back to the elevators where the 2 crazy dudes from earlier are just now exiting.. We tell them we are wet on account of the rainstorm outside.. Ti is in for the night, and I head back for one more session.. Once again>> DOOP!!! Say Good Night Gracie!

                                                                                    Friday 09.07.2012

  Downtown Day.. I get a before dawn start- I stop on the way out to catch a pic of the strip from the 17th floor.Our floor has a room on the end- and a wall.0907120448.jpg (517044 bytes) I jump on the interstate and am DT in a flash. I pop into the self-park at Main Street Station, and boogie up to the 3rd floor to find a spot- hey, there's Teal the xB's brother pulling out of a spot next to the stairs, how convenient!  0907120527.jpg (490363 bytes) 0907120548.jpg (634923 bytes)  0907120548a.jpg (503738 bytes)  0907120549.jpg (890764 bytes)

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 On into the oversized train car, this place is really done up right. I take the sky bridge to the California, and pop out on Ogden St. and walk up N. 1st St. to get a side view of the Fremont St. awning. I pass by a pink porta-potty on the way- the Gay Days Parade is taking place here tomorrow..

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      I stroll along the Experience as the sun is rising, the neon is still lit up, but starts shutting down as I pass. My first stop is to check on the progress at the D. The outside is buzzing with equipment and workers. The excalator and the new sign, as well as the new outside bar are all works in progress. and I have to step around all the construction in get in the front door.

     0907120607a.jpg (745469 bytes)  0907120607.jpg (923699 bytes)  0907120608.jpg (543757 bytes)  As I walk in, a guy starts talking to me- I guess I just attract people..- and introduces himself as Jonathan, he has lived downtown for a few months. We admire the long bar, and chat about the various changes going on. Nice enough dude. I tell him I'm on my way upstairs to find the Sigma Derby, he has business downstairs. We part company, and I take the excalator (past the Hooters). Upstairs I arrive, looks like they haven't done much to this part yet, and there it is,,,, Sigma Derby! 0907120611.jpg (783141 bytes)  It's empty except for a couple who look like they have been there all night- they are loud and trashed. I walk over to the cashier to get some quarters. There are no change machines. The cashierling is friendly enough, and I get $2. worth of quarters and sit across from the chain smoking couple, and get ready to play the ponies. So much for past performances and handicapping- you just pick from any of the exactas you want. From 2-1 to the occasional 200-1.. The girl across from me tells me "you can't win at this game"- but who can resist the 200-1??? The ponies never really stop, they just slow down long enough to place the bets and change the odds... Never won a single race, lost 8 quarters. She was smiling as I left.. On to some Loose Deuces Wild, bill in/coin out, no luck.

 0907120629.jpg (599378 bytes) I tries me some 10/7 DB, I put in a $100.- then realize I'm gonna end up with a butt load of quarters, especially if I get lucky, but it's too late now! I play for a bit hoping to see a cocktail waitress, but there aren't any around. Then my phone rings, and it's a guy from work, Brian, from ODUS. He asks me where I am, thinking I'm at work, and I tell him I'm at the D on Fremont Street, Las Vegas.He laughs and says "never mind!". We have a laugh...I cash out after locating a bucket, and carry my stash over to the cashier. He is still friendly- and bored, and I get my quarters cashed and the chip/coin combo. He asks where I'm from, and we end up talking about Atlantic City. He says it's on his bucket list. Funny how someone who works in Vegas is so interested in A.C. I tell him it's just like a tiny Vegas- sitting beside an ocean! Onward and upward, or in this case downward to the player's club, I have an old Fitz card, and I wasn't sure about any benny's for a new one, but I score a shot glass out of the deal.. Noice! I pocket my glass and stroll over to the Long Bar for an O'Dulls and to scope out the progressive and the pay scales. The Long Bar is wiyjout a doubt the longest bar I've ever sat at. Especially when I'm the only one there. The BP is some weird payout, and the barkeep tells me about the Harley up for grabs- a 4OAK nets each entry- don't have to be present to win, but I don't hit one. Time to boogie to the next stop on my list and cut my losses.

   I ease down Fremont admiring the old Neon in the morning light.0907120729.jpg (771227 bytes)                        0907120729a.jpg (743329 bytes) 0907120729b.jpg (665311 bytes)   0907120729c.jpg (702968 bytes)

Stopping to weigh myself at the Heart Attack Grill©...bummer- guess I have to pay to eat here...

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    As I'm crossing Las Vega$ Blvd. on my way to the El Cortez and I hear my name called out- it was Jonathan from earlier. That will get your attention! He wishes me good luck, and I continued my journey. I step inside and notice not much has changed since our last trip, including what some of the clientele are wearing. The Jackie's Club isn't open yet, so I check my cheat sheet- looks like the VP inventory is still about the same too. I head to the back room in search of the BPDeluxe, but the locals have the room so smoked up that I can't breath. I go back up front so I can catch some air. There is one multi-strike/ super times pay .10 machine, but there is an interesting looking chickadee sitting next to it smoking a very fragrant cigar and eating a sandwich. Some boothlings show up at Jackie's. so I walk over, but the dude kinda rudely tells me that they aren't open yet. I'm really interested in playing the MS/STP, so I slip in a $20. and stand as far away as I can from the smoke. I select the 9/6 BPDeluxe, and pushed. It's still not quite opening time at Jackie's, but the queue has started, so I go ahead and get in line. I make my way up, and get the same shitty guy I had before. I pull out the MRB book and rip out the coupon in front of him, and do the same with my ACG coupon- $10 free slot play each. He hems and haws about only using one coupon. I tell his I had no problem doing the same thing at Ellis Island, but he isn't listening. I just use the MRB, we won't be back DT this trip. So much for customer service! I go back to my MS/STP game. Our chickadee has finished her cigar/meal so I sit down this time. I put in my ticket, and load up my free play, and we start talking. She is from Seattle and is staying at the ElCo, she sez she has never seen anyone win playing this machine. I explain the differences in stragety ( sp on purple) between regular machines and MS machines having to do with it being more important to making it to the next level from the first 2 levels, except when you get a free ride. She is familiar with Bob Dancer, but doesn't have Video Poker for Winners. I recommend it to her, as well as the ACG  and the MRB. She takes notes. I end up pushing my free play, and walk away with a $10. profit. Time is marching on, so I head back to the Experience and stop by a souvenir shop for some swag and a swig. I never saw a beverage server at ElCo. I find a really gaudy sticker, a couple of cheap shot glasses, and a 16 oz. Double Caffine Energy Liquid Beverage. I enbark onto the Experience feeling like Hendricks, ready to set my guitar on fire!!0907120857.jpg (614646 bytes)  I needs me some more beads, so I head over to Mermaids. but they aren't quite open yet, so they point me scross the awning to La Bayou- which is also in the process of opening. So no beads of instant drink orders at the door. But I walk on in and put a $20. in a strange play BP game. Right away the slot attendant/casino shift manager/ cocktail waitress comes over to take my order and give me a ticket to sign up for the drawing. Her name is Barbara, and we have a good ol' time chatting, even doing 2 part harmony to an old Bowie song. She brings me my Ab'Dulls along with some beads about the time I hit a 4OAK....SWEET!!   0907120921.jpg (647913 bytes)           0907120921a.jpg (709652 bytes)          0907120924.jpg (607892 bytes)

  I find a bucket and cash out my quarters, heading to the back as Babs is busy with the only other customer to walk in yet. She soon joins us as I'm at the cashier exchanging my quarters for bills and having a great time regaling them with tales from Old Virginia and my Sweet Ti. Babs asks me if I want to pick the winning ticket for the drawing, I say sure, and they hand me the pickle jar with the tickets inside. There are only 2, so I have a 50/50 chance of picking my own name. "You feeling lucky there....Punk???" Of course I draw the other giy's name, and he walks up and spins the Wheel O' Prizes. He scores $10. free play. But I'm a good sport about it, and am soon back chatting. Babs gives me her business card and writes me a note for Ti on the back. Another fine interlude in the FSE... +$30....

  Moving ever onward, it's over to the Four Queens, I pull the handle on the Giant Slot Machine, but Barney Fife wins. On to the player's club, I trade in my MRB coupon for some free play. I beeline it to the Silver Strike machine. I know exactly where it is thanks to the Silver Strikers website. I use my free play, and right away score a coin. I'm having a blast playing and my phone rings and it's my son Mark, asking me if we're home yet. I fill him in on a few trip highlights so far, and hit another coin while we are talking. I cash out, and keep one of the coins for my collection, exchange the ticket and the other coin for duckies, and walk out with a $30. profit. I pop across the street to the Fremont to find the full pay Pick'Em. I love this game, and the only one's I play in AC have shitty pay scales. I try to find the ones from my cheat sheet by the Lanai Express, but have no luck. Instead I opt for the ones in the Keno Lounge. Now the Fremont isn'r much to look at from the outside- except for the Neon- and the inside leaves even more to be desired. Especially the Keno Lounge! Dark, smelly, and full of the kind of people you warn your kids about...I ease past the worse of them, and find an empty Pick'Em machine. I get rid of the butts and bottles, blow off as many of the ashes as possible off the screen and buttons, put in my card and a $20. Next time I come here I'm bringing a gas mask and latex gloves...I barely get a winning hand and am soon out of credits. Time to go! - $20.

  Back across FSE once more, next stop- Golden Gate. I head for Club 1906...

   0907120940.jpg (518119 bytes)   The boothling is cool, and walks me thru my gameplan, gives me my ACG $25. match play ticket, and tells me to come back for my $25. free play after earning 200 points and gives my my new card. I get a text from Sweet Ti telling me she is up- I text back that I'm still couponing, she sez take my time. I go to the cage to get my MP chip, walk over to a $5 BJ table, and but in for $40. 3 reds and a green, please. I sit at 3rd base and play a red for the first hand. I push. I put down a green chip along with my MP chip. I draw a 10. she draws hers. I draw another 10. she draws her 2nd. An 8. I stay. She turns over a 10. Bingo! I thank her, walk back over to the cage, and cash out +$25. SWEET! I need to earn my 200 points, so I peruse the slots. Just about everything is a penny, and I know that DT the best paying machines are at the .25 level. I finally find a Double Dublin game and put in $100. I keep an eye on my point total. I am up and down, no big wins, no losing streaks, which is fine, I'm getting close to my goal, and as I reach 200 points- I have exactly 400 credits. Perfect! I cash out, and head back to the booth. I notice the hotel check-in on the way in a little alcove near the Club 1906.

  0907120940a.jpg (528758 bytes) About the size of our living room back home..The dude is waiting for me, so I hand him my card and sign the paperwork.. I head straight for the Hangover machine out near the front door. I load my free play and start playing max bet. I hit a couple of Alan's bonuses, and hit his progressive twice. I am finally up $30. and cash out. Total:+55. Time to boogie!!  One last coupon shot- LVC. I call Ti on the way over, she is hangin' with Hank the Magnifico down at the Crawfish- you guessed it- poppin' buttons on her fav. BP machine, downing coffee with a splash of Bailey's! She's set for a while. I walk into the Las Vegas Club, as as I walk past the pit, I spot rows of machines pushed up against the wall. The whole floor seems to be more spacious. I go to the player's club to redeem my $5 ACB free play coupon, and head for a Sex in the City game. I haven't tried these yet- I only play the minimum to make the free play last- and hit some bonus..

     0907121047.jpg (780325 bytes)  I cash out up $35.,and go over to the pit and pull out my card and the ACG MP coupons for LVC and Western. I buy in for $10. I ask the dealer if I can play both coupons on 2 hands, and he asks the pit boss. He nods yes, and I proceed to lose both bets. Oh well. I'm the only player in the pit. I look around and only see 1 other customer in the whole place. Not too good for 10 a.m. on a Friday... First Friday to boot!!!! I would say the days are numbered for the Las Vegas Club... Boogie time.. Total +$25.

  I trek over to Californication, and go upstairs. Swag time! I enter the gift shop, grab a couple of shot glasses, pull out my Sapphire card, and make my purchase using comps.. Works every time!! I spot an Ethyl M's chocolate shoppe across the hall, and decide to get a sweet treat for my Sweet Ti. These cocoa bean delights are made right at the factory in Henderson. And they really, really want to separate you from your duckies in order to partake of them. So I order a box of 16 Nutty Delights for $25. The girl throws in an insulated cooler bag and a re-usable freezer ice pack, which is a nice touch.. I try a piece of white/dark fudge- it is quite tasty! She hooks me up, and I'm on my wat across the great divide to my starting point, MSS.0907121111.jpg (705465 bytes)  I am after some more swag, as well as the elusive homemade root beer they are rumored to serve here. I stop by the Boar's Head to snap a pic, and find the gift shop. I get a shot glass  and a key chain, and stop by the Triple 7 Bar, but the Hostess wants to seat me, but this place is much classier than I imagined it would be.

      0907121120.jpg (550484 bytes) I decide to head back to the Boar's Head and sit down to an 8/5 BP and put in a $20. and my card. The friendly barkeep comes over to take my order, I ask for a root beer. He tells me they don't have any here, only at the 777...I say I figured they would have taps at both bars, and he sez they only serve it in bottles. Huh???? Turns out they don't even brew the root beer here, they buy it off the shelf! So I ask if they brew an NA...Nopper!! So I settle for yet another O'Dulls, and blow thru my credits in short order. Total : -$20 and no root beer!! I gather up my card and my swag and head for Paley (aka) and home away from home to my Sweet Ti.

  I make it back in record time, and am soon showing off my latest swag to Ti at the Crawfish. I say hello to our Hank, and we order up as I settle into the bar. I give my Sweet Ti her sweets, and she she gives me a TITO for $200. She has been busy makin' duckies. Time to tag team for 4OAKs....

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    I check my points, and realize I'm over 25,000- time to head over to see Tammy and move on up to Sapphire level! She is setting up yet another promo- they are giving away dinnerware today! Doing their best to keep the oil industry and the Chinese economy booming... Plastic Fantastic. She takes my ID and old card and disappears into the back. I do my best ti help unloading boxes while she is gone. She soon returns with my new blue mid-level card and 2 Ban-Lon shirts. I an congratulated with a round of applause from the Hosts...Gosh Y'all! Tammy gives me a hug- she is never short on hugs- and tells me to make sure Ti stops by later to pick up some dinnerware. I return to the bar and we play for another hour, ending up with a small loss. Ti stops by to see Tammy, and returns with a couple of bundles of the finest Dollar Tree inspired place settings. We wander over to Costal Booze for another bottle of the tasty Asti Moscato () at 25% off, another Beck's NA 6 pack, and a bag of chips. Ti's comps this time. We pawned off our dinnerware on the clerk. She was (mostly) grateful. On to Subway to split a sub (). We head up to our stateroom and chow down while checking out my haul from my morning run. Man- I hope we have room for all of our treasures in our luggage. We get ready for our romantic dinner, and go down for a short unremarkable session at the Poker Bar, then stop by to see Tammy again, as she is off the next 2 days. She takes our cards to the back of the player's club, and returns to say that our room has been taken care of for our entire stay, along with a couple of dinner buffets on Saturday. She tells us to stop by the front desk tomorrow to make sure, as we are checking out at 4 a.m. on Sunday, and to call her if there is a problem. She has been so gracious to us, when we got back, I wrote a letter to her boss and the Casino Manager about her and Hank. We hug our goodbyes, and promise to return soon. We need to stop by the Trop on the way to our romantic dinner for Day III of the rebate, so we split fer da strip.  As we are in the turning lane for the Trop self-park, the guy in front of us has about half of his body out of his rental snapping shots of the Luxor and the Trop. Paley (aka) and I give him plenty of leeway. We park and head inside, find the kiosk, and download the last $25 of the rebate. We find a Reels O' Dublin game- I want to hear banjos!- and blow thru the free play with nary a pucking of a string. We have inside info that there's a good sized swag shop upstairs, so we take yet another excalator (past the Hooters) and sure enough- said swag shop DOES exist! We enter and are greeted warmly by the lady clerk. Ti gives her the rundown of what we need and she makes several recommendations. Ti makes her selections, and we check-out. The clerk sez she just recently got this job, and how much she enloys working here. She carefully wraps up our swag for our trip home. Nice person. Seems that even in these hard times, Vega$ abounds with decent people.. Restores a bit of faith in Mankind!!

   Time to drive south to our favorite Italian Cuisine Establishment...Casa Di Amore.  We pull into our usual parking spot next door. The building isn't much to look at...

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  But looks can be deceiving. We go in and are greeted by Vito- don't really know his name, but he sure looks like a Vito to us... We sit at an oversized leather booth- side by side. Stephan is our server, and we make our introductions. He takes our drink orders as we settle in and peruse the menu. He brings our drinks as the evenings entertainment starts, a Mitch Miller look-alike on keyboards, and George's drummer on..drums. George Bugatti recently got married, and is taking some time off. But this guy is really good. We order our appetizers while we enjoy the tunes. We get the Fried Calamari with awesome marinara sauce, and Twice Baked Prawns ( 4 jumbo shrimp wrapped with prosicutto and stuffed with cheese, then wrapped again with with filo dough and baked to perfection, accompanied by the chef's specialty sauce) . Stephan serves us up, and the shrimp are huge! The sauce is maple pecan, too sweet for me, but Ti loves it. We share everything, and Ti puts in a request for " The Shadow of Your Smile", which the play nicely. They do a variety of tunes, and have a nice banter going with the patrons between songs. 

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   We order Insalata Spinach ( fresh spinach tossed with walnuts, bacon, and balsamic vinegar), and fresh bread. Delish! We take a break, and sent our dear friend Scratchy a picture of us, along with a wish you were here.. Scratchy brought us here during our first visit in 2005, and we come every trip. He is currently living on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Now for our entrées, Ti gets the Lobster Ravioli, fresh homemade ravioli stuffed with lobster and cheese, and I get the Baked Lasagna- both are excellent!  

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    Of course we can't finish- so we get a kittie bag, and order dessert, Canoli ( comes with a free t-shirt, they are always out though..). We enjoy a couple of more tunes, and even get some Motown, and I walk over to tip the boys and tell them how much we enjoyed ourselves, and Stephan brings the bill, we have an R.Com coupon. We tip him well, and he even agrees to pose for a picture...()

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    Vito even shakes our hands on the way out. Our romantic little Vega$ dinner hideaway provides us yet another fine repast. Back to the Big Easy to deposit our swag and vittles, we hit the Poker Bar for an evening session.

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     Time to catch some serious zzzzzz's and get ready for our last full day in the wild, wild west.. Little did we know at the time what what Saturday- Day 10 would bring. Stay Tuned Gang!!!!!!

                                                                        Saturday 09.08.2012   

  Yet another early start- no time to dally around today! I leave my Baby Duck snoozing away with yet another love note, and head on down. In the elevator I met a dude with his baggage, and we talk about rentals and the airport, I tell his we are leaving tomorrow, and hope to get thru security on time. He saz that's not a problem for him- he flies his own plane. I wish him Happy Trails, and ease north on !-15. My destination is O.J.'s favorite casino- Palace Station. I pull into the parking lot and get out to take a few shots of the dawn sky.

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  The Stratosphere is quite striking in the distance. I then notice the bus stop is rather close to where I parked, and the buslings waiting there are really loud, and when one of the yells something at me, I turn around and haul ass for the casino. Once again with the train station theme, they even have a replica train outside. Well, not a very good replica, but as I walk in I see that the whole place is not a very good replica of a typical Station casino. Looks a bit shop worn.. Too close to downtown I suppose. I head for the cage for a chip- no coin here. The only interesting thing I saw was a pretty nice bar with this sign out front...

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  I jump off the train and into Paley (aka) and make the short hop to Flamingo Rd, slide down Koval, into E.I.

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   I am a sucker for the Quick Quads, and I load up my $20. free play and choose the .10 8/5 Bonus Poker. I order up a tasty root beer, and hit the buttons. I hit a single 4OAK.. and lose a little back and then hold 3 kings and draw the 4th on 2 out of 3 hands!

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        I down one more tasty root beer, and take off...+ $60. Next stop Westin Casualrina. Got to be one of the strangest names for an equally strange casino. I've always wanted to stop in here- driven by it many times, and now they have one of those loss rebate thingys going- so I pull in the front. Classy joint!

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       It's got to be the cleanest and most spacious casino I've ever been in. I mean the lobby/casino has very few machines, and the pit has very few tables. Plenty of room for more of both too. I go to the cashier, and ask about the player's club, but they aren't open. So I get my chip/coin and am walking around scoping out the place, and a dealer at the BJ table (only thing open) smiles and asks me if I want to play. I say sure, and buy in for $20. and have a seat. We talk while she shuffles, she is from Ethiopia. She has lived in Vegas for a couple of years, and likes it in America. She deals a couple of hands and wins. Soon, all of my short stack of reds are safely back in her tray, so I bid her farewell and head west across the strip to Palms. 

    The sky along the way is breathtaking. A nice perk about coming out this time of year is the changing weather patterns. Yes it's still the summer heat- it's been averaging over 100° every day, but the clouds have been awesome, as has the moon. I pull in and look out the back of the parking lot and spot the Orleans. 

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As I walk in, the first thing I notice is that they have moved the video poker and pit around. I walk around a bit to get my bearings, and the cashier and player's club is still in the same place, it's still only 7:30- they don't open till 8:00. So I pull out the old cheat sheet and figure oyt where they have moved the 10/7 DB and the FP DW. I find them and walk over to the gift shop, but there isn't much Plams swag to choose from- but plenty of designer goods! Looks like this place is for the 20's crowd, the 1% 20's crowd. there are really very very few leftover drunks leftover from the clubs, they are either still in the clubs, or are partying in their rooms. I put in a $20., and play a bit of 10/7 DB. No luck. So I walk back to the player's club and they are just opening. I have a $40 for $25 slotcoupon voucher, and get it loaded onto my card. I am on my way back to the video poker, and I pass the roulette tables, and a young dude calls out to mr, something about touring with Phish or Widespread Panic. I stop and talk to him, and he is surprised that I do. Of course, we end up talking for a while. Well, to be honest, he does most of the talking. He is a most interesting character! He's from Chicago, and does design and promotion work. We talk music, he and I share the same taste in jam bands. I mention Keller Williams, and he pulls out his phone- he has Keller on speed dial. I remind him of the time difference, and he decides not to call. He is friends with all the String Cheese Incident gang. His name is Franklin Franklin. Interesting name. He is in Vegas with his wife and a couple of friends. They have been up all night. He asks me if I know what a Lunker is. I'm a fisherman, so I tell him sure. Apparently a Lunker is a large hooker. Who knew??? I meet his wife- Hi Kristen! The rest of them are steadily playing roulette while we talk. We end up extolling the esoteric philosophies of life. Of course there are hugs all around. Safe travels Kristen and Franklin Franklin..

            Well, it's almost time to head back for Sweet Ti's wake up feast, so I belly up to my 10/7 DB and download my free play and get to work- no screenshots, but I do end up cashing out $60. for my $25 investment. I depart the Palms with a couple of new friends and some duckies on the hip, and find the back way to Arville and am soon again at Orleans. Over to Java Sin City to my girls- they all know me by now- for the usual, go upstairs to wake up my Baby Duck, and as I'm preparing to serve her, I notice my girls gave me 2 for 1 on the bagel! Those $2. bills do the trick every time! We eat, and make our list for the final assualt on Lost Wages. We need to go by and see Hank the Magnifico before he gets off at 6 p.m. to give him Wheelie in exchange for some Sailor Bob (Jerry) swag he has brought from home. We do some packing, Ti is trying to fit all of our swag into the carry on while I take care of the electronics. We decide to go on over to see Ziggy, and roll into Terrible's parking lot about 12:30. As I am parking, my phone rings. Sweet Ti answers it for me, and gets a huge grin on her face. It's Scratchy! He got our text last night and thought, "They have no idea" ..

- He's in town!! As a matter of fact, he is working just down the street from Orleans! We make our plans to rendezvous there around 3:30. Sounds like a plan. We go in all smiles and Ziggy is finally back at his own bar. It's game day, so he has on his referee uniform, and they are busy!

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  I choose yet another gimpy bartop. This has been an ongoing theme the whole trip. It happened 3 times at Hank's, and at Ziggy's it's happened a total of 4 times. I guess the buttons get more than their fair share of shots... We play while we talk and Ti hits a JoB 4OAK, and I follow with a BPDeluxe 4OAK..

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        Lou walks in and ignores us- that is fine with us. Ti is chatting up Mickey from Serbia, while I am talking to a guy who is standing next to me with a group of friends doing shots, and he shows us photos of his wife. Ziggy is pretty slammed, as his bar back didn't show up and he has to share the Sport's Bar's bar back. He ended up working thru his lunch, and is getting off early. So we bid farewell to our dear friend, and head off to the player's club to check on our earned comps. We each have enough for one of their new and improved ( though XXXL) T-Shirts. and Ti has $10. free play. So we head for a couple of Party Station machines and go to work. Ti turns her free play into a $35. profit, and I Cue da Dog to a bonus round Big Win ( tell 'em Lou!) for a $100. 

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        Time to cash out- the change machines are acting balky, so I walk over to the cage while Ti uses the bathroom. When I come back Ti is trying to use a different one, and up walk Chris and John, who we met the other day. Chris tells Ti that it's a cigarette machine- not a change machine- John just looks at me and rolls his eyes...Ti is sucessful this time, and we tell them we will see them next trip, and head for the gift shop to tell Tim goodbye. He isn't working, so instead we turn our remaining comps into even more swag. Time to take care of a few more items on our to do list, and trip back to Orleans after an impromptu tour of the campus of UNLV.... We finally make it back, and escalate up to do some more packing. I grab Lappy the laptop downstairs to Jumpin' Jive Java to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and check in for our flight. As I am doing this, Scratchy calls to say he is in Da house. We play tag amongst the slot machines and finally spot each other and hug our hellos. Ti joins us, and they have a caffine fix while I finish up on the interweb and Scratchy tells us about his journey west. He left the OBX and stopped by to see his kids and grandkids on the way. He's living in Summerlin again, with his Boss's dad- how is really old school Vega$. I go up to the room to deposit Lappy while they go over to Hank's Bar to hook up with our favorite amateur magician. Turns out he has dome an impromptu disappearing act of his own- he got off early. The on duty barkeep tells them he had a bunch of- you guessed it- swag for us. They won't leave him a note from us, as he is off for a couple of days. Oh well! I join them at the Crawfish, and feed a benny into each of their machines for luck. There's not an open spot for me, so I watch them play for a bit, and then spot the open roulette table behind me, and buy in for $60. I ask Scratchy for a lucky number, and he calls out 5... I play our usual numbers, and his 5. I also play assorted outside spots. I am soon joined by a couple of other players, including a chick who hits 00 right away. I never hit our 19 or 24, but I hit 5 SOLID! I color up ( or down) $40. I go over to a double deck BJ table and play a couple of losing hands. I win one, and decide to use my winning red chip on the Lucky Ladies side bet. I draw a 20... winner, winner, chicken dinner. The side bet pays 4 to 1. The dealer draws 21. I win the side bet but lose the hand. I leave up $20. I walk over to the Crawfish, and Ti hits this....

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    I trade her a benny for a $310. ticket. I head for the cage to cash out. I spot 3 open machines on the other side of the bar, and we go over there and sit down. On the way, I turned off the sound on the Superman machine behind us, man that thing is loud! We play for a while and enjoy Scratchy's company for a couple of hours. We're all getting kind of hungry, so we treat Scratchy to a dinner buffet. We have the 2 free buffets that Tammy hooked us up with yesterday when she comped our room, and with my points we manage a perfect record of never paying for a single buffet..(

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        After we piggly- wiggly out, we stroll over to the Poker Bar and play an uneventful session. Scratchy is ready to go as he has to work tomorrow, and we need to finish packing, so we take the lift to our hacienda and load up Wheelie with assorted goodies for our Scratch. We bid our brother adieu and finish packing up Big 'Un-hope it's not too heavy!!! I take it down to Paley (aka) and stop by the front desk to go ahead and check-out. The girl is very nice, and sure enough, Tammy has comped everything, even the resort fees!. Gotta love it. I go back up once again, and Ti is ready to get some sleep as we have an early start tomorrow. I go back down for one more session of DBDW. Right away I score 5 Aces, followed soon by 5 Queens....


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    I end up the session + $200. It's 10 p.m., and we need to get up at 4 a.m., so I make the final journey up to the 19th floor. It was really nice to see Scratchy, and what a fine way to end another fine day.

                                                                                        Sun. 09.09.2012

    Alarms will ring, and ours foes off right on cue. I stumble through the darkness to the pocket door, and light up our morning. We shower, check the room for leftover possessions, and are downstairs in record time. 15 minutes later we turn in Paley (aka) - Farewell our Fine Four Fendered  Friend- and catch the shuttle. We are soon standing in line to check Big 'Un. There are 3 dudes checking bags in front of us, heading home to Europe, and each one of them checks a bag that's overweight. The ticket agent's desk is soon overflowing with various bottles of booze that they have left behind. Looks like a party in Delta's employee parking lot tonight! We step up to the scales with Big 'Un and it weighs in at.......exactly 50 lbs. Perfect!! We make our way through Security, and we are at our gate with plenty of time to spare. We breakfast on overpriced Quizno's fare, and are soon ready to board our flight. I even resist the temptation of some really bad 6/5 JoB while we wait. We board and crash out, and make it to our connecting gate in Hot 'Lanta, and Sweet Ti needs coffee. I go off in search of said stimulant, and finally find a Dunkin' Donuts. By the time I make it back to the gate, we are boarding. Ti has her snack on the plane, and I gaze out across the states as we pass overhead. Gradual descent into RIC, we land and go off in search of Big 'Un. We find yet another broken zipper, this time the pocket has socks in it and I gather them and stuff them elsewhere. Next trip- we cinch a strap around the bag. We shuttle back to Teal the Scion, and make it home to our feline colony safe and sound. It's great to be home- can't wait to go back!!!



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