TRIP REPORT JULY 28TH-AUGUST 4TH:

This is the summer portion of my twice a year trip to Las Vegas from the East Coat (DC).
A little pre-trip information. Over the last 3 years SWest Airlines has had the best deals (from Baltimore-my other two airport were twice the price). I singed up for several airline email notification of 'sales.' With SW the emails arrived the day before their announcement hits the papers and this notice allows me to secure the lowest price along with the best schedule. The rental car companies do not like me as a customer because my rental period runs the full 7 days. About 3 months before my departure I conducted my search which always leads me to National. I am an Emerald Isle member and bypass all the lines and stuff and then pick my auto from their EI section. Three weeks before departure I called to confirm and I asked if they had a better rate-my rate went from $140.88 to $111.48 (plus the 23.25% tax). The car I selected was a four door red Buick Regal.

Friday, July 28th
For my solo SW flight from Baltimore ($220 round trip) all I need to survive is a few frozen bagels (thawed in route) and the SW coffee and OJ. Arrived at 12:30 p.m. and headed to the Orleans for lunch ($6.95). Just as good football teams plan their first 15 plays, I like to plan my first three days. The breakfast at the Orleans ($4.95) is a hidden value and the lunch did not disappoint me. This is an especially good place since it is only a few miles West on Tropicana past the strip. Orleans has close outside parking (with my luggage inside the car I don't want to valet until I check-in and all other times). Generally, on my arrival day a good lunch in all that I need. I like downtown as my 'home' because it fits my BJ play. I stayed at the Four Queens at their casino rate of 29/29 (Friday/Saturday), 19/19 (Sunday/Monday) and comp (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday). I used my Las Vegas Advisor Coupon to upgrade my room to a suite (large, but nothing special). Because of the summer temperatures and the effects of the desert, I bring my lip gloss and a powdered mix of Gatoraide. During my seven days'no alcohol'10 liters of Gatoraide, lots of OJ, and my morning dose of coffee. I play only BJ during my seven days (only single and double decks). During my first day I play at the lowest minimums ($3) I can find which takes me to some of the 'joints' in the DT area (G Gate, El Cortez). Then I can wear my painted/worn clothes that I bring for this part of my trip. In order to be sharp all week, I go the bed early (8:30 pm) my first night. I am never is a rush because I am here for 7 days and I will return for 7 more in January 2001 and 7 more next summer! The two trips each year are all that my wife allows me (but 14 nights in Vegas is fine with this East Coaster.)

Saturday, July 29th
Up at 5:00 am and playing some SD/DD at the Nugget and Four Queens. I always tip the maid each morning because they are one of the most underpaid workers in the city. The valet at the Queens had a $5 match play coupon attached to the parking stub for each of my many exits. Many places have both a Saturday and Sunday brunch and charge the higher price. I prefer to pay this higher price only once. My research led me to the Regent (their prices for breakfast Monday-Saturday was $4.95 {raised to $6.95 on 8/1). After this breakfast I wanted to go back and pay them more-I thought I had robbed them. Lox, great OJ, great Ftoast, omelets, fruit, good service, and no line. That meal was all that I needed for the day supplemented by my Gatoraide during the 115̊ heat. Today I played at Arizona Charlies, Four Queens, Fitzgeralds, changed my clothes to play at the ElCortez and the Western (showered immediately after my return to my room). The Western is a truly scary place even at 4:00 pm, but when I keep my bets below $25 I find some of the best 1/1 SD games. However, I can only take this place twice during my week. Evening play was at the Shoe and LV Club. As everyone knows, the weekends at both DT and the strip are very busy and 'full tables' for SD/DD are everywhere.

Sunday, July 30th
One of the highlights of the week is Sunday Brunch. There are a number of $9.95/11.95 brunches that are similar. I do not want to spend $50+ for Ballys, and I don't like the requirement to select a specific seating time at CC (although I have read favorable reports on this brunch). However, I wanted a "first class" brunch. After reviewing all of my options, I chose the Bellagio ($19.84 with tax). It was OUTSTANDING. I know that I had half of the price just in the "fresh berry station-blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and the fresh squeezed OJ. Also great omelette, smoked salmon, shrimp, lots of meats and salads. Great deserts, great service and chilled champagne-all in a civilized setting. The only down side was my 45 minute wait from 12:30 to 1:15 and the dreaded table for 1. After that wonderful meal I walked around the casino and the Conservatory for a perfect ending to this meal. The valet at the Bellagio is also quick and professional. Mr. xx--how was your visit today! The heat changed my plans for the strip. More DT BJ today and I played to 11:45 pm

Monday, July 31st
Another visit to the Regent for an outstanding breakfast. This was my drive around day. BJ play at Santa Fe, Fiesta, Arizona Charlies East, and a few in Henderson. For one of my few dinners I went to the Santa Fe's Steak Night and used a Casino Player 50% off coupon. Monday was steak night and the T Bones (two) which cooked to order and all for $4.55-it was a steal. I had a comp ticket to the Follies at the Trop and enjoyed the late show even though it hasn't changed much over the years. Now that the weekend crowds are gone I moved to the late night and early morning DT BJ play at the Shoe and others. Comps at the Shoe are simple-have your players card, buy in for $200, ask for a comp when you leave. I don't play for comps, I play for $$$. My 2 hours ($300 win) produced a simple $10 dinner buffet that I would use on Tuesday. To bed at 2:30 am.

Tuesday, August 1st
Up at 9:30 and walked to Main Street Station for breakfast ($4.95). The best breakfast buffet DT; however, I did not like that at 10:20 I had to 'get' all of my breakfast items because at 10:30 sharp they close down and prepare for the 11:00 lunch. I don't like to be hurried with my main meal of the day, but I followed the instructions. BJ play at MSS, LVC, Queens, Shoe. Afternoon rest in my room-it is hot!!!!!!1 This afternoon I took my BJ play to the CC and Slots Are Fun. The $10 minimum at SAF produced some good conditions with myself and another player. The other tables with lower minimums were full. Very few things surprises me during my stay. I know all about the mega resorts and have been to all (never overnight); however, none of them provide the favorable BJ conditions I seek. The dinner comp at the Shoe was that surprise. I've had the Friday seafood buffet before and all I remember were the crowds, but this meal was plain but very good. The made to order pasta station (two visits) was as good as any you will find and where else can you see such a wind range of people (I do miss the counter at the closed coffee shop now that had the characters). The ribs, salads, fruits, etc. all were worth another visit. More late night BJ play DT-to bed at 2:00 am.

Wednesday, August 2nd
Out at 9:30 am for the breakfast at the Bellagio ($10.95) with its great food (I have had all 3 meals and the lunch is the best deal). My timing allowed me to pay the breakfast cost (just a few $ less) and I was there when the lunch items arrived at 11:00 along with the deserts! Attended meet coordinated by the Las Vegas Talk Discussion Board http://www.lasvegastalk.com/forums/ at the Treasure Island Battleship Bar. This was a nice opportunity to see some of the contributors to one of the main resources I use in planning and keeping informed on the activities of LV. I used this opportunity to play some DD on the stip. More DT BJ to 12:01 am.

Thursday, August 3rd
Although this is my last full day I am not in a rush (airline reservations secured for January 12-19, 2001 on the new Non-Stop American West flight (thank you Sen. McCain and you are in our prayers) from Washington National to LAS!. Prior to this NS service we had to connect somewhere in the Midwest. Breakfast at the Orleans and some BJ after breakfast. Also BJ at Sunset and Sam?s Town. Final night BJ DT

Friday, August 4th
Some final BJ this morning. Check out Queens at 8:00 am. Breakfast at Palace Station (drew some points on Boarding Pass). This was once my favorite breakfast stop because of the OJ, omelettes (still good), coffee, fruit (not this time) and the price ($4.95). I now place it way behind the Bellagio, Regent, Orleans, MSS (Will try Paris and Aladdin in January). SWest flight to Phoenix/Baltimore returns me to BWI at 11:30 pm. Some weather delays?but for the price this was perfect for the solo traveler. If my wife would ever come with me (only once in my last 20 trips) I would have a different approach to my activities, hotel, shows and a gourmet dinner or two. I like the independence that I have and whenever I sit down to play BJ (except on my departure day) as I have no where else to go. Looking forward to January where Sunday is NFL Championship Sunday ?no BJ during the 10:00 am to 4:00 football time slots.

In came to play BJ!

GeorgeHarry