Vegas Trip Notes Trip Report Back from Vegas a little over 8 hours ago, and unfortunately, I'm already back to work. Suffice to say I'm hurting, on limited sleep, and still slightly hungover from the week. This was a four night trip celebrating my wife's 28th birthday. It was her first trip, and my second from a previous visit ten years ago. Day of departure, and we're already off to a rough start. You ever have one of those trips where the day of departure, nothing seems to go right? Looking back on it now, it was mostly minor inconveniences, but at the time, it was awful stressful. Woke up late, so right off the bat stress was high. Up at 4am, and it was pouring down rain, cold and pitch dark outside. Construction at airport made finding the Express lot tough. After 30 minutes of driving around the airport, we stumble into the remote lot. We park, and wait. And wait. Finally the bus arrives, and makes 2 stops before arriving at our terminal. At this time we have one hour until boarding. Battle the long lines at check-in, get to security, and wifey has loads of lotions, cleansers, and all the other typical women's products IN HER CARRY ON. You gotta be kidding me.. I wait, and she heads back out to check the bag. She waits a second time in the long line back through security. All clear. In airport now, grab breakfast and walk right onto plane. Light flight so we moved seats.. Had row to ourself. Hey things are looking up! Arrive at LAS. Take the bus to the rental station, and there's 15 people in line at Dollar. Thankfully, I'm a Dollar Express member. Walk straight to Dollar in the garage. Easy! Find name on monitor, announce lane number to attendant, directed right into car. Keys in ignition, with paperwork hanging from the rearview. We went with a Mustang Convertible. Tight trunk if you have large bags or more than 2 people, so keep that in mind. One of the bags had to ride shotgun in the back seat. We roll out of our parking space, and up to the attendant. She checks the paperwork, and off we go.. right into concrete barrier. Yes.. I crashed the rental car, and I'm not even out of the parking garage. It was totally my fault, as I was checking my GPS. Embarrassing to say the least. Thankfully, zero damage, since I hit only the front license plate holder. So, lets try this again.. off we go! Beautiful weather with clear sunny skies, top down, rolling to the Hover Dam. I'll say, LAS is one of the most organized, well designed airport I've visited. Dollar Express was a lifesaver. There were over 35 people in line, that evening we returned the car. It was literally the easiest car rental experience we've ever had Arrive at Hoover Dam, and it's crazy busy. We overheard one of the tour guides say that this is the busiest week of the year. Park in the paid parking garage, and make our way to ticket stand to purchase the long tour tickets. Next tour was 2 hours off, and we didn't want to wait, but we should have. Settled on the power plant tour. It was pretty weak. Wouldn't recommend it. A cramped elevator ride, followed by a look at the diversion tunnels and generators, definitely not worth the money. The views from the overlook and bridge however, were breathtaking. Left Hoover Dam and made a stop in Boulder City. Had lunch on the patio at Milo's Wine Bar. Absolutely recommend this place if you're planning on visiting Boulder. Had the italian dip. cranberry salad, and my favorite beer out of San Francisco, Anchor Steam. Great food, and a very nice little town to visit. Went into a few shops before heading off to strip. Left Boulder, and found a gas/liquor store, prior to returning the car to the rental station. Picked up some vodka, mixers, a cooler, and plenty of 5 hour energy drinks. We also picked up a bottle of Champagne to enjoy in the room. A quick ride to the airport, and right into a cab with no line. "Cosmo via Las Vegas Blvd" I stated. He asked if I was sure, as if I were making a huge mistake. Told me the highway is the quickest route, and said it will easily take 25 minutes if we take LVB. I held my ground. 17 minutes and $20 dollars later (including tip) we were being welcomed at The Cosmopolitan. A weaker person would have caved to his sales pitch, so stand your ground and dictate the route! First impressions of Cosmo, impressive. New, bright, and beautiful. Check in was lightening quick. Slid $20 in between DL and CC. We were upgraded rom city room to a terrace studio with a fountain view. Our room was located on floor 32 in the West Tower. The view was stunning. Not too high, not too low, away from the setting sun blaring into our room, and a beautiful fountain show all to ourselves every night. Spent way more time on the terrace than I ever thought we would. Nothing beats that, well.. Except for a bungalow or wrap-around. The room was spotless. It was large, with a double vanity, two TV's, and a bed that was simply to die for. Unpack, change, and head downstairs. Picked up our Identity card, and got the $100 promotion. This meant if your net loss was more than $100 during non progressive machine play, it's replaced same day. We used our card for points on gambling and food and drinks thought the entire stay. Conservatory at the Bellagio - Small. Pretty, but sort of lame. For the hype, it's a bit of a let down. Speaking of hype, Bellagio. From the hotel grounds to the interior, Bellagio is worn and dingy and dull. Dated. Like walking into your grandmothers house. The grounds were dirty, in need of fresh paint. Not impressed, with anything other than the fountains. Dinner: Circo at Bellagio. Food was eceptional. Ordered a spaghetti dish, but I don't recall the name. Wife and I agreed, it was the best spaghetti we'd ever tasted, as silly as that may sound. Unfortunately, the great food was overshadowed by absolutely horrendous service. A quick meal turned into 2 hours, 25 minutes of which were waiting on a glass of wine upon arrival. If the place were busy, one could understand, but it wasn't. With two servers assigned to our table, great service was expected, and Circo woefully fell short. This poor experience led us to cancel our planned visits to Cirque and Olives, and we never visited Bellagio again. Drinks at Cosmo - Bond Bar / Chandelier Bar. Excellent. Pricy. Fun atmosphere. After a long day, we retired early. Thursday: Breakfast at Cosmo: The Henry. Service was excellent. Breakfast potato was to die for. Seasonal fruit and natural omelette were also tasty and fresh. Lunch @ Planet Hollywood - Gordon Ramsay BurGR. Great, probably my second best burger. Tons of flavor. I had the Hell's Kitchen burger, truffle fries. Although still good, wife was not too impressed with hers. Took a long hike to the Titanic Museum at Luxor. Worth every penny. Drinks: Bond bar. Go-go dancers up in the ceiling. DJ playing music, very busy. Beautiful people. Chandelier bar, more of the same. Show - Carrot Top . First act was horrible. Top was funny as hell as he's always been. Luxor is a dump. Way overdressed and out of our element. Back home, and its time to eat. Room service at 2am. Fast delivery of wings and ranch, $50 bucks, but dang tasty! Friday: Wife's 28th birthday! Spent the morning walking the strip. Visited Paris, Venetian, Palazzo, and Caesars Palace. The forum shops were great, similar to the shops at Palazzo. Caesars is very nice, and we would absolutely stay here if need be. Breakfast: Mon Ami Gabi at Paris. Exceptional food. Fries were to die for. We split chicken sandwich and chicken Cobb salad. Great service and friendly waiter. Lunch: Ramsay Pub & Grill. Great Ramsay cocktail. Had deviled "little piggies". Only 4 egg halves, needed 6 to make the snack complete. Great though! Gambled at Aria. Craps killed us, won it all back and then some on BJ. Spa visit at Cosmo. Great service, friendly staff. Dinner: Gordon Ramsay Steak. Out of this world. Had the Rib cap, baked potato, mac and cheese, and caesar salad. Pricy. Worth every last penny. French press and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Somebody please roll me out of here! Best steak of my entire life, and wife agrees. Back to our hotel, and it's more BJ at Aria till 3am, up $650 for the trip! Saturday: Lunch: Secret pizza. Wife said best ever had. I say so-so. Gambled at Aria and Cosmo. Up and down, until it was time to head out for our dinner and a show. Dinner: Society Cafe @ Encore. Ordered the Tasting Menu. 4 course. Very good, very well priced, with a great wine menu. Terrible decor at encore.. White and red - blah. Wynn was beautiful. Older, high brow crowd. Not my scene. Would stay here if not for the poor location on strip. Show: Le Reve. Visual overload. Quaint theatre with great view of the action. Very cool show, but I'd have to say not as good as O. Long taxi stand to head back to Cosmo. Drinks @ Cosmo - Vesper Bar and Chandelier. Met some cool people from Cali and Austin. Sunday: Extended check out by one hour. Very busy in lobby. The bell stand is well managed and they store and recover your bags quickly. Lunch: The Henry. Gambled at Cosmo and Aria. Overall up $300 for trip. Conservative with bankroll. Had fun, and I'd say we did well considering our average hands were $25 to $50, and a few 100 hands in between. Time to leave. Check out was done on the TV in our room. Again dictated directions to taxi driver, who again wanted to long haul us. Once at the airport, check in was quick, but a very long line through security. Hung out at The Club (Priority Pass Member) and ate our to-go order from California Pizza Kitchen in the lounge. An uneventful flight back home, ended our trip. Vegas. Wow. We had a memorable time to say the least, and it's going to take at least a week or so to detox and get back in our groove. A few reflections.. We had exceptional weather this trip. Cool and breezy, and never rained. Warmed up during day. April is an excellent time to visit. Vegas was very busy, with large crowds everywhere. Mainly noticeable while walking the strip. Watch the crosswalks for traffic, and for pedestrians in the roadway if renting a car. The brains of many seem to stop working while walking the strip. Dictate your taxi route, or else bank on being long hauled. Reservations via Open Table can came in very handy for making quick dinner decisions. Join your car rental of choice express program. Made the rental process painless and quick! The $20 tip at check in worked very well for us. It's certainly worth a try wherever you may stay. The card slappers and promotions people were out in force. Just ignore them. Don't even acknowledge their existence, and you'll be fine. Comfortable shoes, nasal spray, and hand lotion come in very handy. The long walks, cigarette smoke, and dry air can wreak havoc on your body. 5 hour energy, and anti hangover pills are also in order. Aria was a fun place to gamble, and a very pretty hotel. We really enjoyed our visits there, and would encourage a visit! The Cosmopolitan hotel.. Cosmo is simply beautiful. Spotless, contemporary, upbeat, vibrant. Clean air and beautiful people. We absolutely loved this hotel. It fit us to a tee. The guests were young, well dressed, and well behaved. The service from the bars and restaurants were quick and friendly, and we always returned to a spotless room. Daily we left a few dollars, as well as a note for housekeeping, indicating any items we needed. The list was always granted. The gym was well appointed, and even had a full size boxing ring if you're into that sort of thing. One thing we didn't like.. the taxi stand at Cosmo. I'm sure this is an issue everywhere, but needed is a line for hotel guests only. Mid day when Marquee Day Club closes, the line is filled with drunk bottle rats, and DB's declassing and crowding up the line. There were also no robes in our room. We were very impress with the property, and wouldn't think of staying anywhere else. Things to do on next trip: Drinks at The Mix and Mandarin Bar. Visit Freemont Street. Spiramint Rhino. I'm already kicking around in my head when we can return. Hope you enjoyed the report!