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2nd Annual X-Mas in Vegas TR

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by jillmn, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. jillmn

    jillmn High-Roller

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    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
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    My Trip Report

    My husband and I, along with my mom and my brother flew out of MSP on USAirways on Sunday afternoon, 12/21. Checked in and through security in less than 30 minutes, bonus!

    We arrived in Vegas at 4:20pm and were off to Planet Hollywood for 4 nights. No wait for check-in. We had rooms 1406 and 1408 standard rooms. We like the big bathrooms with separate tub and shower and I love the beds here and slept great the whole time.

    Once we got settled, we realized that we were starving, so we were off to our first ever visit to Ellis Island. My mom and brother decided to stay behind to gamble…they were jonesin for some slots, so just my husband and I went. The walk wasn’t bad at all, we left PH and walked through Paris and Ballys, then over to EI. Our plan was to go where ever they had the shorter wait- The Restaurant won out over the BBQ- 15 minutes vs. an hour and a half. They seated us in a booth, and we ordered a couple beers- a stout for J and a Hefe weissen for me. For dinner, J had the steak special with fries. He loved all of it, and I really liked the garlicky green beans that came with it. I decided on the Fish and Chips which was hot, crispy and really good. The service was fine- I was expecting worse from stories I’ve heard. Dinner for two, with 2 beers was only $19 and change, plus tip! SWEET! We will absolutely be back to EI, and we really want to try the BBQ.

    After dinner, we headed back to PH to catch the end of the late football game and to play some VP. We wandered around the Miracle Mile shops for a little while, had a few more beers. By then we were wiped out from a long day of traveling, plus the 2 hour time difference, so we were off to bed early.

    Monday 12/22

    We woke up at about 7am (hey…it’s 9 at home!) and went to the Spice Market Buffet at PH for breakfast. We used a $5 off per person coupon that we were given at check-in. They had all the basics, plus flame broiled tri-tip, kielbasa, tons of pastries, omlette station, fresh Belgian waffles, crepes… We enjoyed it, and left really full.

    I wanted to go see the lions at MGM so we walked over, and my mom called just as we walked in. She wanted to come and meet up with us and hang out; my brother was still sleeping after a drunk night. J and I wandered around a little while we waited for her to walk over. She made a friend along the way who gave her a flower and then took off his bandanna and bowed down to it. She was freaked out and ran when she spotted us. We went over to the Lion habitat, but they weren’t there yet. The three of us decided to go down to the Luxor to see Bodies. We walked through NYNY and Excalibur along the way to show Mom the sights. At the Bodies box office, they asked if we had AAA and we do so we got 10% off! We really enjoyed Bodies and thought it was interesting and super cool. We saw it last year at the Trop, and we thought it was smaller this time around, but still neat for us nerds.

    By this time, my mom and I were ready for a pick-me-up in the form of a Fat Tuesday’s slushie. Whaddya know, there’s one right there in Mandalay Place! We got the souvenir mugs for $10 apiece. Mom had Margarita and I chose Bellini- YUM! We kept our mugs for refills later. My mom got looped pretty quick because, as she said, she had “eaten coffee, cigarettes and advil” that day so far. We stopped off so mom could get a Krispy Kreme. Breakfast of champions. By this time, my brother had called us to say he was up and hungry, so we walked back to PH. Mom and brother went to have some much needed lunch at Cheeseburger Las Vegas in the Miracle Mile shops. J and I went up to the room to clean up and relax before we went Downtown for dinner and Monday Night Football. We all met up a couple hours later and made our plans for the evening; Mom and brother were gonna gamble a bit, then meet us downtown.

    J and I got a cab and headed DT right away. We had them drop us off at Main Street Station where we had dinner at the Triple 7 Brewpub. I just have to say, I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! We started with a couple beers- a Blackchip Porter for my husband and the Brewmaster’s Reserve selection for me, which was a Belgian Sour Cherry brew. We really enjoyed the beers, and loved the atmosphere here. My husband ordered the Brewmaster’s burger, a patty topped with Canadian bacon and four cheeses and I ordered a Cheeseburger with avocado slices. We, again, ate dinner for about $20. While we ate, we pondered where to watch MNF, and decided that we loved the Triple 7 and wanted to watch the game there.

    After dinner, we played some slots until game time, then bellied up to the bar at Triple 7. My mom and brother joined us just as the game was starting. We got raffle tickets for prize drawings, and put our names in to win a flat screen TV, ordered some drinks (3 Lagers and a Blackchip) and settled in for the game. The drinks flowed, mostly beer, but I mixed it up with some vanilla vodka and coke (or is it pepsi at MSS?) and we had such a great time. They had a shot girl with some Jack Daniels downhome punch shots for a buck apiece, so we indulged…even my mom did a shot with us! The balloon animal girl, Kari, is my new best friend, and she made me a dog on a leash balloon animal, and made my mom a stripper on a pole… During the trivia game, my husband won a Jack Daniels hat, and my brother won a T-shirt in the raffle. Everything at 777 was awesome, the staff was the friendliest anywhere and we felt like we were at our own neighborhood bar. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed ourselves here. I don’t even remember much about the game, but I know we had a fantastic time. We took good care of Ronnie, the bartender, and he returned the favor. After the game, my mom and brother wanted to see the light show, and we headed back to PH. We played some slots, got some wraps from Earl of Sandwich and headed up to the room. We ate our wraps, and then went to bed.

    More to come...
     
  2. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    I also love the MSS brewpub, and have never had a bad meal there. Great beginning, can't wait to read the rest.
     
  3. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    At some point I have to make to Ellis Island and the brew pub at MSS.
     
    Back where we belong
  4. jillmn

    jillmn High-Roller

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    Tuesday 12/23

    We were able to sleep in a little bit later today for some reason… We got up around 9 and went down to La Salsa Cantina in the Miracle Mile Shops for breakfast. J had the chicken fajita omlette with flour tortillas and I had the breakfast quesadilla with sausage. The food was really good, our meals came with southwestern potatoes and J’s came with refried beans. I liked the coffee here quite a bit, too.

    After breakfast, we shopped around a bit for ourselves and our nieces. We found some hoodies for the girls at a Vegas souvenir shop and I bought some candles at L’Occitane. After that, we decided to head up to the Venetian, mostly because we’ve never actually been inside it before. We spent a bunch of time browsing around in the david and goliath store and bought a couple of T-shirts. I love this store and could have gotten one of everything. All this shopping was making us hungry, so we decided to try out the Grand Lux Café.

    We were seated and ordered a Mt Dew and an Iced Tea. My first thought was, “this place is huge!†then I looked at the menu… Everything sounded good, but I felt like I needed to eat something green and not fried, so I got the Cobb salad. J decided on the chicken flatbread sandwich. Our food came, and the portions were as huge as the menu! The dressing and the bleu cheese on my salad were so good…I am craving one of these salads right now. J liked his sandwich, and I accidentally ate a few of his fries, which were good. :ssst: It was HOT in here, though! They seem to crank up the heat in most places during the winter in Vegas, but the Venetian was really hot. It’s heavily scented, too, but we thought it looked pretty.

    After lunch we went back to our room at PH to drop off our purchases and shower/nap. On our way up, my mom called us to say that she got the 4 of us tickets for Stomp Out Loud for tonight at 7. We made plans to meet at the PH buffet for dinner, then go up to the show on the Mezz level at PH. We hung out in the room most of the afternoon and met my mom and brother at the buffet at 4:30. Only a short line at this time, so we were in quickly. Dinner was $30 each, and they had a huge selection of all different types of food. I think I ate my weight in shrimp, and I also had some tasty roast beef. There were BBQ ribs, steak, Kung Pao chicken, falafel, pizza, crab legs, pad thai… a large variety. The only disappointment, mostly for my husband, was that the Mexican food station wasn’t open. The dessert station was my favorite and I had a few (or more) chocolate covered strawberries. We all left full, and went back to the casino. J and I decided to go to Sin City Brewing Co in Miracle Mile and my mom and brother played some slots until the show started. We like Sin City Brewing, and had a Stout and an Amber…and then another of each :beer: before we headed back through the Casino to the Mezz level.

    The doors opened at 6:30, so we went up right away to get seated for the show. My mom had a margarita and J and I split a water. I was expecting to like Stomp Out Loud, but I was blown away! It was really funny, and amazing how they do what they do. There were so many highlights, it’s hard to pick just one. All of us agreed that the show was great and we were so glad we went. Afterward, we gambled the night away at PH, had some drinks and got hungry again. It seems like we ate a ton today!

    Our choice to go to Planet Dailies was a mistake…and a costly one at that. J ordered a chicken quesadilla and I had a BLT. The entire bottom of the quesadilla was burnt and the bacon on my BLT was almost too tough to chew. We didn’t want to wait for new food, so we shared my fries, paid and left. It was over $30 bucks. On the plus side, our server was really nice and helpful, even considering how busy it was in the restaurant. Our $20 dinners the previous days were far, far better than this.

    Coming up…Christmas Eve
     
  5. jillmn

    jillmn High-Roller

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    Wednesday 12/24

    This morning we awoke to clouds and the meteorologists threat of rain. We got up and ready and headed down to the Spice Market Buffet for breakfast again. My husband loves this place and wants to hit it once more before we go. Fine by me. I loaded up on Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. The waffles are made fresh, so they were really fluffy and good. The berries and whipped cream were on the other end of the buffet by the pastry counter, though, so it took some searching to top my waffle. I remember the coffee here being better last year. This time around it was pretty weak. The buffet itself was good, all the food was fresh and tasty, but it just seemed better last year. Maybe there was a bigger variety or something, but whatever it was wasn’t that big of a deal because we always enjoyed the food and left full!

    After breakfast, we decided to visit the Bellagio Conservatory and do our last bit of souvenir shopping. We got naked cards, coffee mugs and a couple other things. I love those dinky little look-alike shops that dot the south strip. We bounced from one to the next, then through the Hawaiian Marketplace where I noticed there was a stand selling Corn Dogs. My mom had been saying she was craving a Corn Dog for two days, so I called her cell and left a message telling her that we found some! We finished up our shopping and went back to the room to drop our things off and relax a bit.

    By this time, A Christmas Story on TBS had started so we got sucked in. I love this movie no matter how many thousands of times I see it. My mom called and wanted to know if I’d go wandering around with her, so I met her down in the casino. The first place we went was the Hawaiian Marketplace so that she could get her Corn Dog. The guy selling them asked where we were from and when we said, “Minnesota” he got a huge smile on his face and said, “OHHH, Minnesota! Big snow, big snow!” So we asked him how he felt about the recent few inches of the white stuff in Vegas and he said the cutest thing ever, “I love it! It give me new heart!” Awww… So as we were walking, I asked my mom how her Corn Dog was and she said, “It give me new heart.” LMAO, my mom is awesome! Mom then wanted to turn around and walk up to Margaritaville for a frozen Marg, so that’s where we went. On the way back, I stopped for coffee and a cherry turnover at JJ’s Boulangerie in Paris. Then we went back to PH so I could get showered and ready for dinner at Mon Ami Gabi.

    J and I got ready and walked down to MAG. We wanted to do the same as last year’s Christmas dinner and sit on the patio here, so we requested a patio seat when we arrived. We were seated right away. We each ordered a beer- Guinness for J (seeing a pattern? Lol) and a Stella Artois for me, which is one of my favorites. We browsed the menu and J chose Onion soup Au Gratin to start, with the Steak Roquefort and Frites. I chose the Bacon and Frisee Salad with the Filet Mignon with Merlot Butter and Frites. They brought an amuse bouche of shredded carrots with a vinaigrette of some sort. It was surprisingly tasty to us. We wanted more! Along with the carrot dish, came a loaf of French bread with butter, which I tackled right away. (bread and butter is just about my favorite food. The bread, however, is just a vehicle for the butter!) Shortly after, our soup and salad came and both were great, and I loved the mustardy vinaigrette on the salad. I ordered another beer before our meals came…hey, a girl gets thirsty! Our steaks arrived, and so did the rain… At first it was only a sprinkle here and there- J didn’t even believe me that I felt raindrops at first. We didn’t have any problem with the sprinkles so we continued eating while some parties requested to be moved inside. By the time it was unbearable to us, we were finished eating anyway, so we asked for our bill ($92) and compensated our server well for having to serve us in the rain when all her other tables went inside. On our walk back to PH it really started coming down. Luckily it’s a short walk!

    We decided to hang out close to “home” tonight since we had an early flight to catch in the morning, so we chose the Extra Lounge because they had really comfy chairs. There was a guy playing piano and we were requesting songs, enjoying some drinks and having a good time. There was a group of people that were super drunk, so they were entertaining. One woman in the group kept going up on stage when he played a song she liked. The piano player kept holding up his tip jar saying, “next time that’ll cost ya” but she never tipped him and was pretty obnoxious. We were entertained, though. Her table was next to ours so when she wasn’t on stage, we couldn’t help but overhear her tales of her and her husbands sexual escapades. He was clearly embarrassed with his head buried in his hands. LOL, poor guy! We stayed for a couple more drinks, then called it a night so we could pack up and go to bed.

    Thursday 12/25

    We were up at 5:30am to get ourselves ready and down to the lobby to meet my mom and brother at 6:30. The 4 of us caught a cab and were off to the airport. Ticketing and security took a grand total of about 15 minutes! We decided Christmas morning is the time to fly! The real Santa (real hair, real white beard, belly jiggled like a bowl full of jelly, the whole bit) was on our flight, too, so that was a bonus. We wondered why he didn’t just fly in his sleigh, but thought maybe he gave the reindeer a vacation. We returned home to 15 degree weather, and a couple of very happy-to-see-us dogs!


    Thanks for reading!
     
  6. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    It sounds like all of you had a really good time. I should refrain from reading trip reports that talk about good food until after I've eaten; now, I'm hungry for steak roquefort and the french bread and butter. I also noticed the scaling down of the buffets when I was there in December. Whether it was the food selection, the number of servers, or just the area that was open for seating. I guess everyone is cutting costs where ever they can.
     
    Back where we belong
  7. judy

    judy Low-Roller

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    Mom

    I liked your report and especially stories of Mom:
    "My mom got looped pretty quick because, as she said, she had “eaten coffee, cigarettes and advil†that day so far. We stopped off so mom could get a Krispy Kreme. Breakfast of champions."

    Thank you for your fun report!:wave:
     
  8. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

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    another fun report Jill ..:thumbsup: Thanks...:wave:
     
  9. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Nice report thank you...all that talk of food makes me hungry... :licklips:

    :beer:
     
  10. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Nice report. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
     
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