We went down to the Stratosphere (or, more rightly, UP the Stratosphere!) and saw below us that the new monorail appeared to be running, but further investigation discovered that it's still in the testing "must run 30 days without a mishap" stages -- according to the girl at the Star Trek Promenade, there was a mishap and they had to start over, and she wasn't sure exactly what day they were on. So no monorail. We didn't go further down the Strip. But I did finally get to ride the Star Trek Experience, and that was fun; trying to figure out when it was filmed, since our hosts aboard "The Enterprise" were Commander Riker and Lt. Commander LaForge. :)
Then back to Laughlin for Friday night and the sad discovery that people are starting to bring their hordes of children THERE, too. I'd come to expect it in Vegas, of course, because they started to aim for that with the theme parks and such; but Laughlin? There's no place for single people and couples without kids to go anymore. (Not that I dislike families and kids, it's just I would like to go someplace where there aren't families and kids once in a while.) I swear, when we checked in, there was a family there with FIVE kids of varying ages, and that was only the first such large group we saw. Oh, well. It was the start of the weekend -- we hadn't noticed any on Wednesday night. Minor weirdness in Laughlin: Everything is connected by the Riverwalk, and you can pretty much walk from one end of Casino Row to the other along the river (except where you have to circle into the Colorado Belle, the "riverboat" hotel that needs its "prow" set into the water). Anyway, there was a line six miles long at the cafe in the Golden Nugget -- we walked to the Pioneer, next door, and were seated immediately. That happened at the Golden Nugget in Vegas, too -- their buffet line was wrapped back to the casino doors. We walked across the street to the Fremont and were seated immediately (and the Fremont's buffet has to be one of the best I've ever had).
Major differences between Mom and I: I wanted to shop and walk around. She wanted to gamble. We didn't win anything, but I bought stuff. Okay, so she says I have too much stuff -- but at the end of the trip, I HAVE STUFF to show for my spending, and she has nothing but memories of slot machines and cards. Hmmm. (It was exceptionally crowded everywhere, which was pretty impressive considering it was just the middle of the week in June. We couldn't even get to a blackjack table until Saturday morning.)