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Bars, Guitars and Country Stars

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by westie, Jan 5, 2006.

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  1. westie

    westie VIP Whale

    Jun 24, 2002
    Kensington, CT
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    My much delayed TR.

    11/29 We once again find those intrepid travelers, Westie and Ms. Westie, on a SWA jet bound for Las Vegas. As usual Ms. Westie’s ticket was free compliments of purchases made on our affinity Visa card. Our one-hour flight to BWI coupled with an hour layover brought us no closer to our final destination in Las Vegas than when we departed Hartford. On the positive side we scored exit row seats on both flights this day so we were at least reasonably comfortable. Prior to flight departure from BWI we consumed an apple croissant ($1.74, 2 Forks out of a possible 5) and picked up a pair of spinach and cheese strombolis ($7.39, 4 Forks) at Villa Pizza for the last leg of our journey. Most of our fellow travelers wasted time reading, dozing or working on their computers during the long flight. Not me, I polished my language skills: “abrochese cinturon†= fasten seat belts and “use el asiento para flotar†= use seat bottom cushions for flotation.

    We arrived in Las Vegas on time and shuttled to the Dollar, a SWA Rapid Rewards partner, lot. I am an Express member and received an upgrade, courtesy of a $5 gratuity, to a Dodge Stratus. Did I say upgrade? Actually the car was fine, but it should have been enrolled in the 12-step program run by GA, Gasaholics Anonymous. Our next stop was the Wal-Mart on Eastern for supplies, followed by the usual quick check-in at Fiesta-Henderson http://henderson.fiestacasino.com/templates/fiesta_home.aspx?p=8. We received the requested king, nonsmoking room on the 9th floor. Requests for nonsmoking rooms will have to be reconsidered in the future since we invariably share the floor with scores of teenagers on weekends. Usually it is a baseball team, but on this trip it was a (well-behaved) high school ROTC squadron.

    We dined this first night at China Spice http://www.reviewjournal.com/db/dining.detail?pid=441&s=1 using a 2/1 coupon set to expire on 11/30 that I found in a Best Restaurant guide. This beautifully decorated and contemporary restaurant is located in the Green Valley Ranch casino. In the past we have been impressed by the freshness of their ingredients and sauces. We shared orders of General Tao’s Shrimp, large battered shrimp tossed in chef’s spicy sauce w/chili peppers and scallions, and Kung Pao Chicken, wok seared chili peppers, scallions, mushrooms and peanuts in a different spicy sauce. ($19.03, 4 Forks)

    The morning’s early wake-up call coupled with a three- hour time change proved to be too much for us so it was an early evening for the Westies.

    11/30 Today was senior day at Fiesta so my 5 AM VP session was earning 3 x points. I returned to the room around 7AM and woke Ms. Westie who did not appear overly appreciative. Shower, shave (me) and off to the Gold Coast buffet for my first huevos rancheros http://www.thatsmyhome.com/texmex/hueran.htm of the trip. I would not have been able to “abrochese cinturon†after this meal that included OJ, fresh fruit and chili verde. (ACG, $8.95, 3.5 Forks).

    We drove to the Strip and parked in the back of Casino Royale, a short walk from Harrah’s where we purchased (LVA) tickets for the Clint Holmes. After stopping for additional supplies (OJ, batteries and cream cheese), we retired to the room for some much needed rest plus a short session of VP in which I scored my #1 quad deuces of the trip.

    It’s Wednesday and as everyone in the north end of Boston can tell you “Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day†http://www.princepasta.com/Heritage.htm so our dinner choice was Viaggio’s Italian Cuisine. We arrived with Heidi Rinella’s latest review in hand http://www.reviewjournal.com/db/dining.detail?pid=149&s=1. Ms. Westie, being ever so trustful, ordered the baked gnocchi Heidi so highly praised. The promised mushrooms, artichoke hearts and cream were MIA and the gnocchi were anything but cloud-like. My chicken piccata with risotto and grilled vegetables was outstanding, as was the goat cheese salad with spinach, walnuts and cranberries we shared. ($28.99, Restaurant.com, 1.5 Forks and a Bronx cheer to Heidi by Ms. Westie, 4.5 Forks from me). Note: an 18% gratuity was included in our bill. In addition, the cashier mistakenly deducted the lowest cost dinner off our tab rather than the $25 value of our gift certificate. I caught it, it was changed and he apologized

    We drove to the Sahara to see SixtiesMania, http://www.sixtiesmania.com/, at Sahara’s Casbar Lounge. This group played for an extended period at the Showboat a few years back, but the production was downsized in the interim and is now clearly inferior. Music of the Beatles was prominently featured in recognition of the upcoming anniversary of John Lennon’s death, however, most of the impressions fell far short of the mark. (1.5 Claps out of a potential 5)

    12/1 My early morning VP session resulted in a modest gain after I skillfully hit #2 quads deuces. I drove to the Einstein Brothers bagelarama on Sunset and scored a cinnamon-raisin bran bagel that we shared along with OJ and a banana in the room. Ms. Westie played VP (lost) this morning while I ran, actually drove, a few errands.

    It was with much anticipation that we drove to the Desert Passage (Aladdin) for the Commander Palace’s, http://www.commanderspalace.com/, $18.80 three-course luncheon special. We arrived early so our first stop was the Landau store where Ms. Westie exchanged a tarnished tennis bracelet for a new one. I only hope she doesn’t get the idea this will work with a husband. We were then ready, willing and able to try some of those 25-cent martinis. We both enjoyed a bowl of sweet potato bisque as a starter. Ms. Westie ordered a smoked turkey breast sandwich on French bread with cranberry and sage aioli. I enjoyed a heaping bowl of alligator and venison chili. We were both full so we asked for our white chocolate bread pudding in a box to go. A total of 5 (3 for me) martinis were consumed with no business discussed. In a photo finish Lemon Drop nosed out Commander Palace with the French martini a furlong behind. . The maitre d’ handed each of us each a praline as we exited singing “We are the Championsâ€. ($24.60, Restaurant.com, 4 Forks).

    We retired to our room, but Ms. Westie soon departed for a short and sweet VP session. We had planned on taking in the Downtown Hoedown at Fremont Street Experience, but neither of us felt like mingling with the masses so Tuscany Casino got the call. The parking lot in the front was full, but we eventually located a convenient space in the rear parking lot. Their current promotion for new sign-ups includes up to $500 in free slot play plus a funbook. Our results fell a tad short with Ms. Westie receiving $15 and me $10. We both lost playing FPDW and decided the timing was right for a meal at Ellis Island. I tried to score a $1 senior discount coupon at the slot club, but it was only available before 7PM. We each enjoyed the special, not on menu, but on the menu cover, sirloin steak entrée that comes with potato and garlic green beans. Both steaks were served medium rare as requested and service was surprisingly efficient perhaps due to the late hour (ACG, $7.33, 3 Forks). We each enjoyed 2 free drinks (ACG), Merlot and Irish coffee with Baileys, pre and post dinner, respectively.

    Our entertainment tonight was provided by IN10CT, pronounced Intensity, at the Orleans. In my last TR I provided a very positive review and nothing has changed in the interim. Jef, the Orleans’ soundman, did an excellent job of impersonating Rod Stewart when invited on stage for a couple of numbers. IN10CT continues to be one of the best rock bands in Las Vegas. Anyone interested in seeing them should check the entertainment schedules of the various Coast Casinos. (4.5 Claps).

    12/2 No quad deuces to report from my Friday morning session, but I at least was accruing points at 5 x points the normal rate. We drove over to the Village Pub on Wigwam at Eastern for this morning’s sustenance. Our orders of eggs, bacon and home fries were very good. ($6.82, LVA, 3 Forks). We subsequently checked our email at the Green Valley library and enjoyed a walk in Sunset Park until a dust storm drove us off the jogging/walking track. We also stopped at Ethel M’s, http://www.ethelm.com/, for a few samples before returning to our room where we shared a piece of white chocolate bread pudding.

    Dinner this evening was at Piero’s Trattoria, http://www.usmenuguide.com/pieros.html. This beautiful, contemporary restaurant with large windows overlooking Flamingo Road is on Restaurant Row. We each ordered the grilled wild Alaska salmon with pesto sauce accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and a medley of 13 vegetables. Our only complaints were the fish was slightly overdone and I only counted 12 vegetables on my plate. ($22.16, R.com, 4.5 Forks).

    We then parked at the Barbary Coast and walked to Harrahs to attend the Clint Holmes show
    http://www.clintholmes.com/ for the fourth time. This multi talented entertainer totally updates his show every year and each edition seems to improve on the last. A number of Christmas songs were included this evening and his band is generally considered to be the best on the Strip. (LVA, 4.5 Claps). After the show we returned to the Barbary Coast and caught one set by Lisa Hewitt http://www.lisahewitt.com, a country performer from Edmonton, Alberta. Ms. Hewitt was both talented and, as they say, easy on the eyes. (ACG free drink coupons, 3 Claps).

    12/3 “There will be days like this, mama said†was the title to this morning’s VP session. The Jewel of Henderson, a.k.a, Emerald Island, got the nod this morning. Easy over eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast plus all the smoke one can inhale for only 99 cents. ($3.13, 2.5 Forks). We next made a pilgrimage to Boulder City Art Guild’s Winter Art Festival. What a disappointment as compared to the art and crafts show we attended on our October trip. There were only 2 dozen or so exhibitors and none offered much of interest. We beat a hasty retreat to Casino MonteLago where on earning 20 points we each received our very own snow train. We then toured MonteLago Village where another disappointing craft show was in progress.

    Locals receive coupons for gifts redeemable on many Saturday’s at the Fiesta-Henderson. We got in line and with one swipe of our cards we were walking off with a pair of King Kong stuffed animals. The downside is the animals are so scary we don’t know who to give them to. Lunch was the last of the white chocolate bread pudding followed by my #3 quad deuces of the trip.

    Our choice for dinner was Quinta Belina (Mexican), rated by Heidi Rinella as one of the 10 best restaurants in Las Vegas in 2004. Other restaurants on this same list included Alize, Piccaso, Craftsteak and Bouchon. After much cruisin’, cursin’ and a cussin’, we discovered the restaurant closed around mid year. Our back up was the Goolash Hungarian http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/2004/07/22/taste.html restaurant on W. Sahara. This is a very small storefront establishment catering to the local ethnic population. The husband serves as chef and the wife served our meals. We shared orders of beef goulash, veal paprika and a cabbage salad. Both entrees came with noodles although the menu indicated we would receive country potatoes. (Entertainment, $24.29, 3 Forks).

    12/4 There is a saying “some days the dog, some days the hydrantâ€, I was the hydrant at this morning’s VP session. We shared a bagel courtesy of Einstein, banana and OJ for breakfast. After cuddling up with the LVRJ, we decided to go to the Wild West Show at the Riviera and saw lots of grown-ups parading around in old time cowboy and cowgirl garments. I got bored real fast and beat a hasty retreat to the nearby Tickets4Tonight outlet to purchase same day tickets to the Havana Night Club show, http://www.havananightclub.com/. I used a coupon, found in Showbiz magazine, to reduce the service fee by one-half.

    We drove to El Coqui restaurant for lunch, but it is closed on Sundays. Plan B was hastily adopted and we went out Rancho to the Wildfire Casino. After a short wait we were seated and ordered junior cheeseburgers with fries. The burgers arrived overcooked and bone dry. (ACG, $5.78, 0.5 Fork).

    Due to time constraints, we voted for quick over quality so the Fiesta buffet had two additional customers this evening. I taste tested mussels, chicken wings, BBQ (baked) ribs, and a ½ order of shrimp with vegetables on the Mongolian grill. Everything was mediocre including a small wedge of cheesecake. (LVA, $5.78, 1 Fork). After rushing our meal, we headed off to the Stardust for the Havana Night Club show. The 13 musicians and 32 dancers/singers were excellent as they traced the evolution of music in Cuba from its origins to today. A true delight. (4 Claps). After the show we stopped at Ellis Island for a nightcap of Irish Coffee with Baileys (ACG). My pre bedtime VP session resulted in my #4 quad deuces of the trip.

    12/5 There is another saying, “sometimes peanuts, sometimes shellsâ€. Today I should have worn a hard hat because I got shelled. We drove to the Orleans amidst the Monday morning rush hour traffic. The tune playing in my mind was “Huevos rancheros you are a friend of mine†which I skillfully combined with fresh fruit, hash browns and OJ. (LVA, $8.95, 3 Forks). We then parked at the Riviera in order to attend the Cowboy Christmas show at the LV Convention Center. There were at least 200 vendors including one where Ms. Westie was able to exchange a slightly dented gold earring, purchased 2 years prior, for a new one. Ms. Westie also allowed me to purchase a bracelet as a birthday gift for her – what a gal! Upon exiting the show we stopped at the LVCVA office where we redeemed 3 coupons for a surprise gift – wow a handful of cheap necklaces!

    Seeing as it was Ms. Westie’s birthday, I took her to Ellis Island in the evening for a couple of glasses of Merlot (ACG). I am developing an appreciation for cheap wine or Ellis has upgraded its wine cellar. We then proceeded to La Scala http://www.usmenuguide.com/lascala.html, an intimate, white tablecloth Italian restaurant located on East Desert Inn. Our festa all’ Italiana appetizer (prosciutto, salami, roasted peppers, coppa, eggplant, olives and hearts of palm) was excellent. For entrees we each ordered cappellaci con granchio in salsa bisque, which translates into mmm good, mmm good. Actually it was crab ravioli in a lobster bisque sauce and it was truly mmm good. We also shared a serving of Italian flan and pear in a Barolo sauce (Restaurant.com, $47.65, 4 Forks).

    Our country singer of choice this night was Susie Dobbs, http://www.susiedobbs.com/, a.k.a. the Energizer bunny, who was playing at the Piano Bar at the Orleans. We have seen this Nashville-based singer in years past when she played at the Gold Coast during the National Finals Rodeo. She is a few years older, but no less enthusiastic (3.5 Claps). We also stopped in Brendan’s Pub to see the Rock N’Roll Fantasy show. (3.5 Claps). All drinks were on the house thanks to another ACG coupon.

    12/6 This morning’s VP session resulted in #5 quad deuces. We have now entered the 2nd Act of this trip so it was time to visit our friendly wash and fold laundromat. Breakfast at the nearby Ellis Island was vanilla French toast. Excellent food and entrée served hot had me walking outside to make sure we hadn’t wandered into one of those super overpriced Strip restaurants by mistake. (ACG, $4.12, 4 Forks).

    Green Valley Ranch library was next on the agenda. We were hoping to receive an email confirming that
    we had been selected to receive free to tickets to the taping of a Barry Manilow PBS special. I received lots of emails, but none from Barry. I am not bitter, but I do plan on ripping out his heart if he ever shows up on my doorstep looking for a handout. Ms. Westie trekked off to the Palms (LVA) for an overpriced massage after dropping me off at the Fiesta. I spent the afternoon playing VP, reading and my usual nap. On Ms. Westie’s return I acted like a local by gassing up the car, shopping at the nearby supermarket and rescuing our laundry while she rested and exercised.

    We dined this evening at the Blue Agave Oyster and Chile Bar at the Palms. Service throughout was substandard starting off when we sat for several minutes before the chef took mercy on us and delivered the menus. The waitress finally arrived and Ms. Westie ordered the crab pan roast while I requested the house special pan roast. Service problems continued when we had to request silverware and napkins from our ditzy server. The chef was again required to rescue us by delivering our meals when he noticed our server was once again MIA. The meals and margaritas (3) were otherwise outstanding. (LVA, $35.61, 3 Forks with 1 fork and a few dollars deducted for shoddy service).

    A late (for me) night VP session proved modestly profitable.

    12/7 The VP stork delivered quads #6 plus 3 x points (Senior day) this morning. We ate at the Gold Coast breakfast buffet where I limited myself to fresh fruit, juice and an egg beaters spinach/cheese omelet. ($8.95, ACG, 3 Forks). Next stop was the Bellagio Conservatory. 400,000 cranberries floating in a bog complimented by 1,000 beautiful roses, polar bears with fur of white carnations, a 45’ Shasta fir tree, poinsettias of various shades plus 20 portly penguins including five adult and two immatures brought to life by the use of animatronic technology. (4.5 Claps) We also stopped by the Jean Phillipe patisserie to see the large Santa sculptured in chocolate and browsed through the Chihuly and Giardini Garden shops.

    My afternoon VP session resulted in #7 quads and a dealt (no draw required – thank you) royal flush. I returned to the room singing “I’ma man of means by no means†to prevent Ms. Westie from getting any ideas about purchasing any more jewelry on this trip. Dinner tonight was at Bonjour Bistro http://www.reviewjournal.com/db/dining.detail?pid=62&s=1 on Eastern in Henderson. Our French onion soup was just average in both consistency and taste. We both ordered the crusted salmon entrée accompanied by roasted onion and carrots. Crusted is a misnomer since the salmon is wrapped in spinach and cheese and then baked in a wonderful pastry shell. The same entree two months prior seemed a little better, but that frequently happens when we make a culinary discovery. ($34.82 including a $2 addition error on my part, Restaurant.com, 3 Forks).

    We went 0 for 2 in the entertainment department this evening. We started off at Trax in Palace Station where Yellow Brick Road was playing. This group plays classic rock from the 80’s, but the room was way too small and smoky for us so we drove to the Sahara to catch the Honky Tonk Angels. We had previously seen this Country impersonator show a few years back at the Gold Coast and were hopeful the current incarnation would be as good. Unfortunately there were some technical problems and the show was delayed until midnight so we returned to the Fiesta.

    12/8 Another day, another bagel, banana and OJ in the room. We again checked our email at the library hoping Mrs. Manilow’s favorite son had reconsidered – no luck. Since we each had cashback, free lunch buffet and 3 x points coupons from Fiesta-Rancho, I set sail for North Las Vegas. Ms. Westie continued her quad-less streak and was now getting a little shell-shocked so I tried my best to cheer her up by singing “That’s Life†which did not go over well. Overall our buffet lunch was mediocre including my overcooked and over sauced Mongolian grilled veggies. (1 Fork)

    We planned on dining at Todd’s Unique, http://www.toddsunique.com in Henderson this evening, but first we headed to our favorite watering hole, emphasis on hole, Ellis Island. One too many is what I had and I was advised my time (one hour) expired on the LVA “all you can drink couponâ€. “Don’t fret my pet†I called out as I antied up the requested $2 for the round. We then realized there wasn’t sufficient time to dine at Todd’s and still make our show. No problem because on Thursday night at Ellis Island everyone knows it is BOGO at the Metro Pizza outlet. Our slices of cheese pizza were pretty decent, but suffered from spending time under the heat lamp. ($4, 2 Forks).

    We arrived at the Orleans with time to spare and did a few laps around the casino in an effort to work off those drinks and pizza. Our tickets to the Terri Clark show were purchased on our October trip using a 2/1 coupon from the Orleans funbook. Before entering the show I picked up a pair of free (the best type) Smirnoff Ice’s using an ACG coupon. Terri is an outstanding country singer, hailing from Alberta, Canada, with several platinum records to her credit. (4 Claps) After her performance, we retired to the Piano Bar lounge to catch Susie Dobbs again, but this old cowpoke was plum tuckered out so were left after one set. (3 Claps).

    12/9 A losing VP session this morning served as a precursor of events to follow. We drove to downtown Henderson with a Restaurant.com gift certificate in hand planning on having huevos rancheros at El Mexicano only to discover opening time was 11AM. No problem, the Jewel of Henderson was within easy walking distance. Ms. Westie ordered the short stack of pancakes while I hunkered down with easy (too easy) over eggs, hash browns, sourdough toast and bacon ($4, 2.5 Forks). There was a small Farmers’ Market in the adjacent parking lot so we did a quick tour – not much of interest, but one stand offered some nice banks in the shape of animals.

    Our next destination was the Las Vegas Premium Outlets, but we managed to lose both our senses of direction and humor after performing a pair figure 8’s around the Downtown area. On arrival we chose to split up with me heading to Le Gourmet Chef for some serious grazing while Ms. Westie gave equal attention to Chicos and Liz Claiborne. We regrouped after an hour and managed to locate a cute sleeper for Mama and Papa C’s grand child at OshKosh U’Josh as well as some Christmas gifts for friends of Max-the-Schipperke.

    Next stop was the Fiesta-Rancho to redeem a TITO that some idiot failed to redeem on our recent visit. Lunch was 2 cups (bowls) of the world’s best chicken noodle soup at El Coqui, a small Puerto Rican restaurant on Paradise. Each cup contained an entire drumstick and another part of the chicken’s anatomy that is best left unknown. The meat fell off the bone and the broth with vegetables was excellent. ($4.46, Entertainment, 4 Forks).

    Ms. Westie’s one and only quad deuces of the trip was unveiled at this afternoon’s VP session – “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever doâ€.

    We drove to the Strip and parked at the Barbary Coast this evening. Our dining destination was Café Ferrara, http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2005/Feb-23-Wed-2005/living/25893911.html located on the third level of the Forum Shops. There were only 3 other tables occupied, which come as no surprise given the limited foot traffic in the immediate area. I was shocked by the increase in the menu prices since this restaurant first opened less than a year prior. It appears an effort is being made to offset low customer volume by raising prices, a tactic sure to fail IMHO. Our lasagna entrees were quite bountiful and tasty. When we passed on dessert, the manager offered a complimentary, but stale, slice of tiramisu. ($19.98, Restaurant.com, 2.5 Forks).

    The Westies “can't sing the blues all night long like they used to†so we called it an early evening and returned to the Fiesta. A late night (9PM) VP session resulted in my #8 quad deuces.

    12/10 This morning’s VP session was a certified train wreck so I returned to the room a little earlier than usual. We proceeded to the Gold Coast for a breakfast of huevos rancheros, fresh fruit, OJ and corned beef hash. ($8.95, ACG, 2.5 Forks).

    There was still a little availability on the credit card so we drove to Mandalay Bay’s convention center to attend the Cowboy Market Place. Ms. Westie was able to purchase a magic elixir from a travelin’ (sales) man plus a few additional Christmas gifts. I managed to pull off an incredible deal by getting two packages of shammys for the price of one. This was a special deal for those of us purchasing before noon since we would serve as a walking advertisement. You don’t suppose attendees arriving post noon received a similar deal do you?

    The highlight of the show was the buckaroo rodeo where 3-6 year olds competed in barrel racing and riding sheep. One little 6-year old came out of the shoot clutching the sheep for dear life as it raced across the rink. The sheep seemed to possess a death wish as it ran straight for the metal barricade. About 2 feet before the barrier the sheep fell down sending the little boy sailing through the air and into the barricade. A hush fell over the entire arena as rodeo personnel rushed to the little boy’s aide. Fortunately the little guy was just shaken up. The MC later asked him what he was thinking as that sheep raced for the metal barricade. He responded “I was thinking I’m going to Win†and he did.

    Another Saturday at Fiesta-Henderson and the locals were lined up for more gifts. This time we each picked up a set of beautiful Christmas gift bags.

    We stopped by Casino MonteLago for a couple of complimentary glasses of Merlot prior to our 7PM reservation at MiraLago Lakeside Mediterranean Café, http://www.lakelasvegas.com/best-las-vegas-restaurants.asp. As mentioned in prior TR’s, this is a beautiful restaurant located in the Reflection Bay Gulf Club at Lake Las Vegas. There was a large wedding reception taking place in the restaurant so we were seated in an entirely different room that is usually reserved for group functions. We shared a baby spinach salad with avocado, goat cheese, walnuts, sliced pear, tomatoes, and fried taro sticks in a honey poppy seed dressing. Ms. Westie opted for the macadamia crusted blue nose grouper in a Cajun lobster sauce over UCONN mashed potatoes, red onion marmalade and mixed vegetables. I settled for chicken Melrose – chicken breast with Chardonnay vellute, wild mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. ($40.39, Restaurant.com, 4 Forks).

    We returned to Casino MonteLago and enjoyed a couple of sets by Sweet Louie and Sonny Charles, a.k.a The Checkmates. If you have yet to see them, you are missing the opportunity to hear one of the best old-style lounge acts in the business. http://thecheckmates.com/. (4.5 Claps).

    12/11 Another early morning VP session resulted in #9 quad deuces. Breakfast in the room consisted of an excellent apple fritter from La Patisserie Vons, OJ and a banana. We decided to visit the shops in the District http://www.vegas.com/shopping/thedistrict.html?f=m0sh&t=meadtxt at Green Valley Ranch. Ms. Westie headed east so I chose west. Ms. Westie visited with Chico and I stopped by to say hello to Billy Sonoma. We regrouped and settled on hot dogs at d’Mustard. The doggies lacked both snap and flavor, but I will long remember the red pepper relish ($1.26, Entertainment, 0.5 Forks). BTW – the cashier mistakenly deducted the $5 maximum value of the Entertainment coupon from our bill instead of the cost of one hot dog. We didn’t catch the error until later, but my conscience is clear since we probably paid more than fair value.

    We enjoyed complimentary (ACG) Merlots at the Gold Coast before dinner at Bonito Michoacan
    http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/2003/05_01/food_taste.html. This popular Mexican eatery located on Decatur is the sibling of Viva Michoacan that we visited last trip. Entrees include the usual chips and salsa, a very good sopa fideos, refried beans, rice and homemade flour tortillas. Ms. Westie chose camarones zirahuen described as shrimp sautéed in butter with tomatoes, onions, a bit of sour cream, paprika and secret spices. I chose camarones monarcas – shrimp grilled in shell (only the tail is still in shell) with spicy chili sauce. We also shared a flan that was large, but not as smooth as the best we’ve had. ($18.75, Restaurant.com, 4 Forks).

    Susan Anton’s annual holiday show at the Sun Coast was next on the agenda. She quickly established rapport with the audience and sang a number of Christmas songs. She told us about her years growing up in a small California town, meeting her husband etc., but somehow neglected to include those years spent being cuddly with Dudley. Susan looked great from our second level booth, but I wonder if I would feel the same viewing the show on HDTV. A complimentary Irish coffee with Baileys, courtesy of our ticket stubs, closed out the evening’s festivities. (2.5 Claps)

    12/12 It was another morning VP session with me impersonating a hydrant. Our eggs, bacon, toast and hash browns at the Jewel of Henderson lubed our internal organs this morning. Next stop was the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve known in some circles as the Henderson Sewage Ponds. We borrowed binoculars and circled several of the ponds observing a large number of waterfowl. On returning to the Fiesta we played a little VP and I scored my #10 quad deuces. At around 2:30PM we drove to the Green Valley library where I printed out our SWA boarding passes. Ms. Westie spent the remainder of the late afternoon packing while I did my impression of Rip Van Winkle.

    It was our last night in Las Vegas so we set off to meet our friends from CT, Mama and Papa C, at the Orleans. We talked over drinks (ACG) at the Mardi Gras bar before dining at the seafood buffet. Clams, mussels, crab legs (cold), Mongolian grill (awful) etc. served to fill me up. ($23.26, ACG, 2 Forks). As we prepared to leave Mama C realized that her digital camera was missing. We all gave her a mental head slap and wondered what the odds were that the camera would still hanging from her chair at the Mardi Gras bar? Well the odds may have been longer than rolling consecutive snake eyes, but we found the camera right where she left it. We were all tired, them from jet lag and us from burning the candle at both ends so we said our goodbyes.

    12/13 My last early morning VP session of the trip and I scored #11 quad deuces. We shared a bagel and banana in our room for the last time and played a little more VP. Prior to departing we gave our room attendant, Elena, both of our snow trains. Elena seemed Elated. Lunch was at Bonjour Bistro where we enjoyed the quiche of the day (mushrooms and spinach) with a mesculin salad ($11.50, Restaurant.com, 4.5 Forks). We then picked up a pair of chicken breast subs at Jersey Mike’s
    http://www.jerseymikes.com/. ($5.87, Entertainment, 2 Forks) for our journey home. Our nonstop flight to Hartford was uneventful and we were settled into our waterbed by about 1AM the next day.

    Thanks to all who took the time to read this TR.

    GREGRIO Tourist

    Oct 15, 2004
    Oakland, California
    Long over due, but well worth it...
    For an old cowpoke who gets plum tired out quickly and the fact
    you two (or at least the cowpoke) can't sing the Blues all night anymore...
    you guys get around to more restaurants, lounges, shows, and casino
    touring than just about anyone I read about on all the message boards
    combined! You guys just KNOW HOW TO DO IT UP RIGHT! You should really
    team up with Anthony Curtis....he could film you two and create a new
    TravelChannel special that could 'rattle' Jean Scott's Frugal way of doing
    Vegas!....of course, you may have to write your own book then and who
    knows when the hell you'd have the time.
    YOU DON'T SEEM TO TAKE PICTURES. You guys hit such a great variety of
    places...many of which, I've never heard of........pics would be wonderful !
  3. guilt1125

    guilt1125 Tourist

    Mar 6, 2004
    Thanks for the report....

    specifically the reference to each meal and the respective coupon used and the source.

    Just one question: Do people still have waterbeds?
  4. westie

    westie VIP Whale

    Jun 24, 2002
    Kensington, CT
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Max-the-Schipperke refuses to make a change.
  5. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Jan 16, 2004
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    westie - I also posted ny appreciation for your TR over on another board. But, I must say again how much I admire your use of coupons and the shear volume of restaurants you guys manage to visit. I add my encouragement to GREGRIO's - write a book or a least some articles. Lots of vegas maniacs would be interested.

    take care, scott
  6. westie

    westie VIP Whale

    Jun 24, 2002
    Kensington, CT
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the nice comments - I am glad you enjoyed.
  7. Mike

    Mike Tourist

    Nov 28, 2001
    Carlsbad, CA, USA


    I've got one more question... have you ever been busted for multiple coupon use? If so, where and which coupon?

    I agree, you should write a book. I used to think my TR's were good.
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