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15 Year Anniversary, 3rd annual report, Crappy craps, awesome trip, Giada bummer

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by hoochiemama, Jul 18, 2014.

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  1. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    We’ve been going to Vegas for our anniversary every year since we ran into an older couple years ago in line for the Price is Right show at Ballys. This couple had quite an influence on us since they seemed so happy (of course we also love Vegas so it stuck). This was the 9th or 10th trip in a row now!

    I tend to get a bit verbose so bear with me. I’ll break it up by day along with a summary here…

    Plans started back in February for our July trip. Southwest reward flight - woo. Started to make reservations at multiple hotels - Aria (love that place), Vdara, added an extra myvegas night at Aria, contemplated free nights at Golden Gate from a mailer. All these plans went out the window when we each got an email for 2 free nights at Cosmo! Shazam! We promptly each booked two nights each back to back in a Terrace Suite. Waited a while to cancel the other rooms since it all seemed too good to be true (we are low rollers).

    Quick hits:
    Lodging: Cosmo - fantastic - terrace was surprisingly more awesome than expected

    Dining (no particular order): Burgr - great, Dupars - yum, Mon Ami Gambi - good as always, Giada - boo, Overlook Grill - fantastic, Five 50 - boo, Secret Pizza - yum, Julian Serrano - rocked again, Milos - totally worth it

    Bars/Drinks: Chandelier - yum, Comme Ca - fantastic, Nine Fine Irishmen - still good,

    Gambling: Crappy craps - played about 5 or 6 sessions, lost 4 :(, Roulette - so so, Slots - so so

    Weather: weird

    Transportation: SDX - thumbs up

    Shows: Jersey Boys - awesome, very impressed, Harrahs Improv - 2 out of 3 funny

    Spa: Vdara spa massage - huge spa - awesome massage
     
  2. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Day 1 (Monday)

    We started off cursing ourselves for booking an 8am flight out to Vegas which meant waking up about 4am! Made it to the airport without incident, checked bags and waited.
    2014-07-07 09.16.47.jpg

    It worked out as we arrived at about 9:30am with a quick and easy taxi ride to Cosmo. We had lucked out on the recent promotion somehow for a free Terrace Suite. We got an email the week before offering a guaranteed early check in for $50. We contemplated but didn’t bite since we had pretty good luck in years past and figured Monday morning would be quiet. I figured it wasn’t a good sign when at 10am the desk clerk assumed we were checking out. Anyways we pleaded a bit about wanting to check in, but she said nothing was available. However she punched around a bit and said there was a Terrace 1 bedroom suite (with a fountain view) available now for an extra $50/night. Zero hesitation we took her up on it! Not having to deal with a later checkin, plus the fountain view, plus the soaking tub all seemed well worth it (it was).
    2014-07-07 10.14.34.jpg

    Checked in, absorbed the room for a bit - really the terrace was pretty awesome. Not only you get the view, but you also get the sounds of the strip as well - a whole extra element to enjoy.

    We decided to head downtown first thing. We had some ACG coupons, plus I also had $50 freeplay and $25 dining credit at Golden Gate. We also did a first for us which was to take the bus! We were planning on getting a 3 day pass, but the machine only offered 1 day passes. Oh well. We got on the next SDX bus, we had to stand, but wow - so worth it! Easy and cheap! Plus you get to see things you don’t usually get to see :).

    Arrive downtown, straight to GG to redeem coupons (me for the dining credit, wife with the $25 match play). Off to Dupars - omelette, pancakes, shrimp cocktail - all fantastic. Very affordable - especially after the $25 off.

    By this point it was probably a record. We were in town close to 4 hours without any drinking or gambling! We changed that pretty quick. Wife tried to turn $25 into $100 betting on black with the matchplay, but no luck. Off to play some slots and use my freeplay. I did pretty good on the freeplay (maybe up $20). I was hoping to play craps but not much action going on there yet. We go to cash out our tickets and head to the D for sigma derby. However first my wife points to a 2 seater slot that we just have to play. I humor her for $20 thinking we’ll be gone quick...well not so quick, but we ended up $150 ahead after hitting a couple bonus spins, etc…(woman is always right!).

    Off to the D. Another $25 matchplay (for me this time). I try red and lose :(. Craps table looks fun. It was - walked away up $200. Woohoo (this is the game I remember playing my first time last year!). It was overall a good time...good dealers, fun players.

    Feeling good it was time to get some Laperts ice cream at Cal (a 2nd year tradition now). It didn’t disappoint.
    2014-07-07 16.31.49.jpg

    Found out it was happy hour next door at MSS (never been there before) so we venture off in search of 777. Found a spot at the bar (very cool place btw). Couldn’t decide on a beer so got the sampler (of course defeating the idea of the happy hour, but oh well). Anyways we ended up getting a couple. I had the pale ale, not sure what my wife had, but we both enjoyed.
    2014-07-07 17.30.42.jpg

    Coming off the tails of a craps win at the D I decide to try again. Well I should have read last years trip report to recollect my memory about single player craps. Sure enough the $200 from the D went straight to MSS just like that :(

    Decided to head back to the strip. Hopped on SDX and overshot our stop (intentionally) to make our way to NYNY. Another one of our traditions is the Nine Fine Irishmen upstairs bar. Again we had the myVegas $25 credit. Of course we missed happy hour since it was a bit late, but still cut down the bill. Bartender was a bit iffy - maybe seemed a bit new but friendly nonetheless. Got the cheese dip again - Yum! One last Guinness and took it downstairs to the patio...we both enjoyed just sitting there watching people walk the strip.
    2014-07-07 20.34.45.jpg

    Finished up our waters and made our way back home. Stopped by CVS on the way back to Cosmo - oh my what a sight - that place was crazy! Just bought some waters and candy and made our way back.

    We enjoyed our nightly tradition of the japanese soaking tub - quite nice - a bit cramped of a square, but very deep. We got the hang of it after a while :)
     
  3. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Day 2 (Tuesday)

    Woke up not too early, not too late. Got some coffee downstairs and made our way to Harrahs to get our tickets for the Improv Wednesday thanks to ACG we had a 2 for 1 coupon. Looked around Linq on the way - seemed pretty nice and fun. Stopped by the forum shops on the way back no biggie.
    2014-07-08 11.06.36.jpg

    We made our way back to Cosmo in time to catch the Milos lunch special. Wowza! Quite the meal. Very good deal. We both started off with the tomato salad - we were both overwhelmed with the amount of yummy tomatoes. Wife had the shrimp and couscous. I had the chicken breast - both excellent. I almost got the bass, but was just unsure since I’ve never had it before.
    2014-07-08 12.56.11.jpg

    Played some slots at Cosmo for a bit, nothing special happened. Went back to the room to get ready for the early 6:30 show of Jersey Boys.

    Jersey Boys was a fantastic show! They kept everything moving very fast - in and out of song to acting seamless. One nice and irritating thing at the same time is that the show started at 6:30 on the nose! Normally this is great since both me and my wife are habitual early birds. However we realized not everyone is like us - there were so many people arriving during the beginning of the show it was a bit annoying and distracting...anyways despite that it was all fantastic. Along the same lines there is an 8 minute intermission. Exactly 8 minutes! They have a countdown on the screen and sure enough right on time the show starts again when the timer ends. Very good show all around.

    Now for the first bummer of the trip :(. I had booked both GR Steak and Giada for after the show. We usually do one “nice”/expensive meal once/trip. I also had Giada booked for the next day as well, but we decided to shoot for today. We had reservations for 9:45, but we got there about 9:15 and figured we’d just see how it goes. Very nice hostess said it would be about 15-20 minutes so we just decided to sit and wait no biggie. We were pretty hyped up and the vibe was exciting.

    We were seated on time and got the tour of the kitchen - so far so good. Until we made it to our seats. We were seated right in between two other couples in a very cramped space. It was quite a bit awkward since we were almost rubbing shoulders with the others. Oh well, we’re there to enjoy so try to let it go. The manager bigwig guy came by right away and shook our hands and welcomed us. Pretty smooth. All was good.

    Well there we were. Sitting, staring at each other and staring at each other. Waiting. Waiting. No water, no menus, nothing. I don’t know how long it was, but it was definitely compounded by the awkwardness. It was definitely long enough that we actually contemplated getting up and leaving. I am very non-confrontational, but what I should have done was reject the table and see if we could get seated at a different table (a window table would have been absolutely awesome), but I didn’t. We just sat and waited.

    Finally the waiter came with the ipad menu. As cool as the idea is, that thing was a pain...multiple clicks, very slow, yada yada. Anyways we got a couple $20 drinks (Barbarella, Hannibal, Giada, something else). We planned on just getting the dates for appetizer, but we were talked into the sampler. It was good. We got the medium tray of Giada’s favorites (which included the dates). The dates were good as well as the pea pesto thing...the others (can’t remember) were “ok”. The bread and butter was awesome though.

    All the time something just felt weird. We didn’t understand the work breakdown. We barely saw our waiter. We had to ask for water all the time (at least 3 times). Normally whatever, but this place has all kinds of personnel and they can’t refill a water glass? Anyways, wife orders the lobster ravioli, and I get spaghetti. Both were tasty, but definitely the winner was the ravioli...spaghetti didn’t seem too special. Of course the prawn was huge! but just ok.

    By the time we finished eating we were just ready to go. We were too full for dessert and just didn’t feel like hanging out. One bright spot however was one of the busser guys...he was engaging and friendly and funny. I almost wish the whole tip could have gone to him.

    Hate to be a downer on such a well respected place. I like to think it was just a sequence of bad circumstances. I’m sure if we had another table that wasn’t so cramped it would have been a better experience. Also, if we would have got attention earlier it would have been better. I think the table was even too cramped for the employees and they just didn’t want to deal with it. Oh well. I’d still like to give it a try again some other time - or maybe we’ll try GR Steak after all.

    Anyways after dinner we decide to hit the Cromwell. A lot of hype so was expecting awesome. Not sure what it was. But I think it was the spill out from the club - we just seemed to feel out of place. We are not all club going people. The casino itself seemed cool. But the vibe just felt off. Anyways we played a few slots...maybe got propositioned once for drinks and declined. We made our fuddy duddy way back home to cosmo :).

    We cracked ourselves up this night and every other night as we walked into cosmo by the bond bar. We’re heading in and calling it a night just as Vegas is booting up! That place was rocking compared to the morning :). Another soaking tub - nice :).

    Off to bed. Except - we were awoken by some quite loud noises...look outside and lo and behold fireworks coming of the Cromwell! It was pretty cool. I wish I would have got some video of it. I figured I’d just get video the next night. But of course there was no more fireworks the next night. After a bit of research I really wonder if someone paid at least $20K to get a fireworks show! Tomorrow’s another day...
     
  4. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Day 3 (Wednesday)

    Today ended up being a pretty jam packed day….

    One of our recent anniversary traditions is to eat at Mon Ami Gambi. Even though our anniversary wasn’t until the next day we decided today seemed like a fine day to do it anyways. I think any day is a fine day :).

    Started off with a couple bloody marys and screwdrivers to get things going. Breakfast was great as usual.

    Off to another tradition to get a drink at Margaritaville. I am not much for tequila so got a rum runner. Wife with the margarita. At least the stench that was there last year was gone (can see previous trip report).

    Decide to play in the casino there. Wife found her calling with the group fishing game! She kept hitting bonus after bonus catching fish after fish. Good for her - up $300! I unfortunately lost $50 on roulette...no action.

    Off to Harrahs to play some $5 craps. My new found love from last year ;). Well, the dice didn’t love me this time. Lost my buy in of $200. It was still fun since I played for a while and there was a pretty cool older guy playing who was just positive win or lose...he kept rooting for hard-ways even if he wasn’t playing and just having a good time. Much better than the MSS experience.

    Make our way up to Wynn to get a drink at Parasol Up (another somewhat of a tradition). Pass by the $28.5 Million Popeye! Along with 2 guards watching over it! Pretty cool...if only we had enough money to think that was a good idea.
    2014-07-09 14.03.16.jpg

    Finish our drinks, play a few slots, nothing special. Walk across to take the SDX down to cosmo. The SDX was awesome. Usually we taxi anywhere we don’t want to walk but this was the first year we tried the bus. It really worked out great and was quite economical. Don’t know why we never did it before. Still have yet to try the Deuce but there’s always next year.

    We managed to time it perfectly to get to Aria just in time for the Julian Serrano happy hour at 4pm! That place did not disappoint. Service and food was great! We ate just off the happy hour menu which was a great deal. Can’t remember what all we ate, but it was all excellent. Granted it was not very busy at all, but the single waiter gave us much better service than the 5 or 6 at Giada! Had a couple happy hour sangrias to make us more happy :).
    2014-07-09 16.15.42.jpg

    Another thing we like to do is to play a bit on the horses...we don’t know anything but just pick off the numbers or names...it’s fun times. We actually one on one of the horses this time! $2 Win -> $14 or something :). The Aria sports booked seemed pretty cool and made a mental note to come back. Usually we stop by the Caesars book, but Aria seemed pretty cool...also made a mental note of the waitresses coming and going which will come into the picture on Thursday.

    Anyways make our way back to the room to get ready for Harrahs Improv (another tradition). As in a lot of comedy clubs you don’t always know what you’re getting. This time we lucked out with the two main guys (Gene Poppa and Ben Glieb). They were both laugh out loud kinda funny. The opener was ok, but struggled to get a laugh out of the crowd. One very weird thing was after the second comic, they brought out a girl (usually there’s just a total of 3 comics - MC/Middle/Main act). She was not very funny and I couldn’t figure out why she was there. At first I thought maybe the main guy didn’t show or something, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. He came on and was a crackup. He had a good mix of act, crowd work and improv...good times.

    Since we were at Harrahs I had to play some more $5 craps ;). My $200 buy-in dwindled down. I think had about $50 left when it finally came my turn to shoot. Sometimes I skip shooting, sometimes not. This time I shot - fun times! I don’t know how long I shot for, but it was quite some time. I managed to win back my buy in and then some (I typically play pass +odds and come +odds - depends on how well I do for how many come bets).

    One funny thing which I was surprised about that it went through...I shot the dice a big too high and ended up bouncing off some guys belly! :). It was quite a hoot especially since it made the point! I thought it would get called off, but it was all good.

    Oh yeah, in addition to that I hit the 4 point fire bet (with $5 on it!). Woo. I was shooting for quite a while, my wife standing off to the side towards the end. She eventually came by to talk to me. One of the guys next to me warned us about superstition (since I was on a bit of a heater). She promptly left and I was quite nervous that next roll as people would have been pissed if I 7d after she came by. Luckily not :). I shot a couple more rolls after that. Until there was someone with their hands down while I was mid roll….people yelled at him and sure enough 7. I’m not normally superstitious, but maybe that swayed me….I sure would have liked to hit the 5 point fire bet with $5!

    I got paid out, tipped $10 (seemed reasonable at the time). I think I was up to close to $300 or $350 (starting shooting with about $50 so seemed pretty good). However the next two rollers 7d out before doing anything. However I had 2 or 3 come bets for each with full odds so there went a bunch of my winnings. I ended up cashing in and I think up $85 ($285 total). Should have walked away after hitting the fire bet, but oh well.

    Back home, but only after a stop at Ghiradelli in Linq. Again around midnight we come in just as things are picking up.

    More to come...
     
  5. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Nice report!!

    I am a craps player and I cringed about the person who had their hands down on the table when you rolled. It is a major no-no on a "normal" table. But when you're four-to-the-fire and shit is getting serious then you REALLY don't want to be "that guy" who puts his meat hooks down and have the dice hit them.Hopefully he was properly heckled and jeered and maybe beaten in a back alley.:evillaugh
     
  6. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Ha! He was definitely more than heckled but not sure about the alley :). I actually saw a lot more superstitious people this trip compared to last year. I'll get to another story the next day.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Enjoying the report! Just a fyi, the beer at the main bar (Boar's Head) at Main Street are always $1.75. Free of course if you are playing VP, but remember to tip your friendly bartender.
     
    Christmas
  8. judy

    judy Low-Roller

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    great writing! loved the photos,too! I am going to try some of these on your list, hoochiemama!:thanks for sharing .
     
  9. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Great report! Go eat at restaurants in NYC and you'll never complain about being crowded again. We went to Giada's twice, once just to look. They had seats in the lounge for us but we weren't hungry. The next night we were hungry but no seats for us. It's very bright in there with an Ikea look. It's disappointing when your pricey dinner doesn't live up to expectations.
     
  10. SandsFan

    SandsFan VIP Whale

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    Great report, I plan to try some of your stops.

    Sorry to hear about Giada's. I think we sat in the same place but got there when they opened so no one beside us at the start. When people were seated next to us we struck up a conversation which went on most of the dinner.
     
  11. floridavegas

    floridavegas Low-Roller

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    Great trip report! Can't wait to hear about the rest..

    Making me rethink taking the SDX next trip... usually cab it.
     
  12. chonglosaxon

    chonglosaxon MIA

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    Great report. Live the 100 roulette match bet. Thanks for the ride
     
  13. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Day 4 (Thursday) - Our actual anniversary.
    By today we had covered already a lot of our known places. We didn’t have much planned except a couples massage at Vdara at 2pm.

    We took a look at the cosmo map to find a spot for breakfast…Overlook Grill sounded like it would hit the spot (it’s by the Boulevard pool). Although the weather was quite weird all week. We’re used to coming this time of year when the sun is blazing down and you get hit with a furnace whenever you walk outside. Well this week so far was overcast, some lightning, a bit of rain. Anyways off in search of breakfast. Since it was on the 4th floor we decided to take the elevator to 4th and “just” walk over there. Mistake! Somehow we got lost. There was a bunch of conventions going on and we just didn’t know where we were. We asked someone who directed us the other way. Anyways back and forth we decide to just go down to floor 2 and go up. Long story but eventually we hopped in the the right elevator and made it :).

    There were only a few people there and not many at the pool either. But what a welcoming place! We were greeted right away, very low-key and friendly. Sat by the window (although not much scenery with the weather not really pool weather). Anyways we started off with some morning cocktails. I had an Irish coffee - not bad. Wife had a bloody mary, but this was no ordinary bloody mary. Even the receipt had it listed as “obnoxious bloody mary”! Bacon, shrimp, yada. She said it was good too. Great breakfast too. Again friendly service too...a great start to our anniversary.
    2014-07-10 09.47.29.jpg

    Back up to the room and decide to head to the pool (bamboo pool) since the sun was trying to come out. We had a bit of a time before the massage. We made it down and it wasn’t crowded at all. Pretty nice pool. It was a bit funny to watch people get booted out of the daybeds (there were plenty of open chairs and surely people just thought the beds were open too). Surprisingly a bit later a family was escorted to the daybed right next to us (which they had paid for...who knows how much). It seemed a bit odd especially since it wasn’t crowded at all, but to each their own...maybe they reserved it ahead of time. Never made it in the pool, but at least we crossed going to the pool off our list.

    Again with our habitual earliness and not quite knowing how to get to Vdara we start to get ready and head over there. I had used the myVegas vdara massage upgrade...it was for a 80minute massage for the price of a 50min. Luckily they still took it for the couples massage too. Basically just took $65 off! Good deal along with some spafinder gift cards made the splurge a bit more reasonable. We eventually get into the massage room and get our massages...wow. In and out of consciousness. It was very relaxing and nice...but of course it went by way too fast. Vdara seemed pretty nice and the spa was nice as well...it seemed very huge as we walked through some pretty long hallways.

    Back to the room to get ready for the night...still not having plans which was kinda nice :). We decided to go to the Comme Ca happy hour to get some drinks (we weren't quite hungry yet and the happy hour food didn’t seem too appetizing). But the drinks hit the spot. Wife wanted to get what was called a blueberry smash which used some blueberry infused vodka and muddled blueberries. It sounded good, but the vodka was still infusing! Why it was advertised and not ready we don’t know. We ended up getting some Gordons cups (cucumber based) which were great. But we kept wishing for the blueberries. We thought it may be ready in time, but it was going to be too long. Bartender said if we came back later he’d buy us one :).

    So then a plan was born. We figured we’d go to Aria sports book, grab some free drinks and bet on some horses. Then grab some five fifty pizza (myVegas), then head back for some blueberry smash. Fantastic!

    Well, the free drink plan went out the window...I had assumed after seeing so many waitresses in the sports book the day before that all was good as long as you were betting. Well imagine my shock when she asked for drink tickets :(. I played dumb which I was and she saw the betting slips so she instructed me to go back to the betting window and get drink tickets. Sounded easy enough...I showed the guy my slips and he hemmed and hawed saying that I should have bet $20/race to get a ticket. I probably had a total of $30 between two races and he begrudgingly gave me one ticket. I figured we’d just need to pay for one of the drinks...thankfully the waitress let it slide. Oh well. Now we know. I ended up betting 2 more races at over $20 each, but he didn’t offer up any more tickets. Oh well.

    Five fifty was just ok. We had a slice and beer from myVegas so it was basically 2 for 1. Nothing too special.

    Anyways back to Comme Ca - bartender remembered us, but we didn’t count on him giving us a free drink. We ordered two rounds...the smash was tasty for sure. Sure enough he only charged us for one - nice! We ended up paying for the one and tipping another $10 on top of it. He was cool and the place was cool too. Would definitely go back (at least for drinks).
    2014-07-10 19.55.54.jpg

    Off to the Sugar Factory for some gifts. Wife then wanted to go back to Margaritaville for that damn fishing game, I wanted to play some more $5 craps at Harrahs (happy anniversary to us! :) ). She got herself a seat and I made my way down to Harrahs after losing $50 on LIR.

    This craps session wasn’t quite the funnest one. I managed to play quite some time on my $200 though. There was one guy playing dark side which I don’t mind, but he was being a bit confrontational and arguing with the dealers. He also got into it with one of the other players for a bit. Oh well, kept playing...some winning some losing. The shooter was doing ok for a while, but then the stick gave him his dice with 7 up...oh man it was over. I’ve never seen it before. He instructed all his bets off and made a big deal. Kinda funny though. He kept rolling for a while though.

    Then another downer (there was just a lot of negative energy around for whatever reason). Anyways one other guy won his field bet (I think it was a 12). I lost my come bet and placed another 5 in the come. This guy picked up my bet in the come box rather than his winnings in the field bet. Both me and the dealer was trying to tell him (I wasn’t about to touch his winnings though). This guy just didn’t get it. Finally the dealer put my come bet back and all was “ok”. Until of course he won another field bet and condescendingly asked me if ti was ok to pick up his bet! I am usually very easy going, but this guy got me fired up. I figured it was a lost cause and said something I don’t remember. Anyways, I felt better for some reason when the dealer was getting even more irritated with him when he just put some bets down without saying what to do.

    Oh well, enough for the downer, I cashed out (or maybe just walked away with nothing) and headed back to the fish game. Wife was playing for probably 2hrs! She got up to $500 on that damn thing (I swear she never walked away with less than she started). She eventually gave back another 2 or 3 hundred though. Good times.

    Well the single slice of five fifty didn’t quite cut it earlier so we ended up hitting secret pizza on the way to the room. That place was alright. It wasn’t too crowded yet, but there was an extremely drunk lady in front of us heckling all the workers...they took it in stride and I couldn’t figure out if it was in fun or not...it seemed like they were just joking with each other, but it was a bit weird.

    We ended up getting 4 slices (started with just 3 but then they pulled out a white pizza when we checked out). Had to get that one too! Off to the terrace to enjoy...we actually almost finished. Again, that terrace was awesome. Good way to end our anniversary and our last night.

    Next day - checkout
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  14. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    That would have been nice...I also think it would have been different if we were there first (or at least not sandwiched in the middle).
     
  15. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Do it! We're now taxi converts. A great way to get to and from downtown.
     
  16. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    I am enjoying your report especially the dice details.

    The dude who picked up your come bet thinking it was his field bet? I would have had to bite my tongue hard with that guy! A nice dripping with condescension reply of "my bet is here (pointing to the big COME area) and your bet is there. Do you know how to read?" would've served him right!

    That bloody mary looks delicious and I am not even a big bloody mary drinker.

    Have you been to other spa's for massages in Vegas? If so how does Vdara's compare?
     
  17. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    I agree! A lot more went through my head too. Between both me and the dealer nothing was getting through. A lost cause. I subsequently just tried to make sure my bets were away from his.

    We've also been to New York New York which was a joke. They crammed 2 beds into a normal room. The therapists kept bumping into each other.

    The best has probably been Planet Hollywood. They have a "ceremony of love" package which is pretty nice. First you get a bath in a big tub then the massage all in the same room.

    Vdara was good too. It was especially great with the discounts;). I also liked that they didn't use any service charge bs. The whole environment there was just nice and pleasant
     
  18. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Day 5 (Friday) Last day :(

    We had fairly late flight at 6 pm. Got some coffee and pastries at Cafe Bene? $30 later! Whoa. We had hoped for a late checkout around 3 or so (even were willing to pay a bit)...but the only way we could have done it was to pay half the normal rate which was $575! $290 was definitely not worth 3 hrs so we ended up just checking our bags with the bell desk which we normally don’t like but worked out fine.

    Head over to Aria for whatever reason to play some slots before leaving. I wandered around checking out the craps tables - I really wanted to get one last session in. They had a number of $10 tables but no one was playing (learned my lesson with that one already). They had some $15 tables with players, but that was a bit too rich for me. I went by a number of times just hoping to “feel it” and jump in, but never did :(. There’s always next year. I did play roulette a little bit and even hit one of my numbers with $5 on it - woo. Pocketed my buy-in of $100, played a bit more and left about $50 up. All this time wife was playing various slots...up down, down…

    It was starting to get a bit late, and we wanted to eat lunch before the flight. We decided to venture off and look for Burgr at PH. I couldn’t believe how zero signage there was for the place...we had to ask a slot guy (very friendly and walked us over). Of course it’s right by another entrance. It was probably about 1:30 or 2pm by now and we were planning on leaving by 3 or 4 (habitual early birds). Well we waited in line (the line is only for couples, others seem to check in and get a text message when the table is ready. They said about a 30min wait..ok. It turned out to be a little longer and it was approaching 3. We were a few from the front now and really didn’t want to miss out. So we stuck it out. We quickly figured out what to order and ordered right when the waiter arrived. Really liked the place. Would have liked to have a bit more time and enjoy some beers while we waited though...much more room between the tables too ;). Service was great, soda refills long before “needing” it, etc...great open vibe.

    I had the Hells Kitchen burger, wife had the American burger. Not really knowing we both ordered “medium”. They both came back more pink than we’re used to, but what the hey. The were both excellent. Definitely would like to come back. We also had the truffle fries which were good. Also thought we had to try the toffee push pops which we could have done without..nothing really special. We managed to get out of there sometime before 4 so still in decent shape on time.

    High tail it back to cosmo, get bags, get taxi. Funny thing - the doorman/taxi guy had to move the taxi drivers shoes and lunch out of the way in the trunk to make space...never seen that one before.

    Make it to the airport fine (a first - as this was only the second taxi ride of the trip!). The lines looked pretty long. We waited and got through eventually with plenty of time. Security line - somehow we ended up in the Pre-TSA line. They instructed everyone to not worry too much and leave everything on, etc..Of course I had already stripped down belt, watch, pockets, etc...After seeing that though, it may actually be worth it to sign up for the pre-tsa whatever it is.

    Some last minute gift buying and some last minute attempts at striking it rich with no luck...however i did manage to turn $20 into $80 so that was nice.

    Off we went and then we landed back in reality land :(. Each year we come home and think the once/year is just not often enough. But for now that’s what it is :).

    Summary next.
     
  19. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Summary and miscellaneous

    This was definitely one of the better trips we've taken. We've had 2, 3, and 4 night trips. Usually when we do 4 nights we stay at at least 2 hotels. This time we stayed at just one and it was fantastic. No packing and going, dealing with time restrictions, etc...Last years trip was so rushed around (also 4 nights, but 3 hotels!), this was a pleasant change.

    Also 2 shows in 4 nights worked out great. We had 2 nights just to wing it and the shows we saw were great.

    I'll reiterate to say how awesome the SDX was especially to get to downtown...no dealing with taxi drivers, tipping, yada yada. It was a bit crowded and we had to stand, but cheaper and fun :).

    Downtown continues to be fun...we were there early - maybe too early, but still fun and glad we went. MSS was the new place we saw this time and we were impressed despite the 2minute $200 craps loss :(.

    Giada was a bummer this time. I say it was just bad timing and sequence of events and would like to give it another try sometime. I think if you can sit by the window it would be absolutely fantastic. The food was good, but maybe we just weren't in the zone. Wife usually gives places one chance only so we'll see :). I forgot to mention that although we didn't really enjoy it, it was cool seeing Giada in person. I think another poster commented on her size...I agree - I can't believe she eats too much of her food. Her waist looked like it could fit through a ring! Actually another tidbit...while we were waiting in the lobby, a guy was talking about meeting Giada and stuff...he seemed like maybe just a fan, but wife mentioned that his wife was sporting some $2000 shoes! Sure enough that guy is who she came out to talk to...no idea why, but maybe he had some juice.

    Aria has been our favorite so far, but after staying in Cosmo with the terrace Aria may be replaced by Cosmo as our favorite. Of course somehow magically getting comped at Cosmo didn't hurt. But I'll say if anyone is contemplating the terrace or not or the fountain view or not, I say go for it...it was really pretty cool.

    Thanks to the message board for all the great ideas and feedback...it is always fun to try out new things found here!

    Some other misc pics

    Liberace's car
    2014-07-10 20.53.03.jpg

    Night panorama
    2014-07-11 00.32.24.jpg



    Until next year's report (if not somehow magically sooner)...
     
  20. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Thanks for the tip! Another reason to go back :). For whatever reason this time (except a bit at the D long bar) we didn't do much bartop gambling :(. I go back and forth, but I guess if you plan on getting more than one, it's definitely a better deal :beer:. The only thing we struggle with is money in the machine means it needs to be played! That philosophy ends up backfiring more often than not :). If we could only pace ourselves gambling vs. not pacing ourselves drinking it would be fantastic ;)
     
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