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Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by MikeE, Aug 11, 2005.

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  1. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    My Trip Report

    Introduction:

    I think I should start this trip report with a bit of an introduction that some might find interesting. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible, but feel free to skip down to the trip itself if you wish.

    When I was around 10 years old, I met a cousin of mine for the first time who was about a year and a half older than me. Of course, at that time, that was a major age difference and we didn’t get along at all. About 10 years later (November 2003, to be exact), my older brother got married and that same cousin happened to be among many houseguests staying with us for a week. The both of us were now in our early 20s and much more mature. We pretty much hit it off; he was like the brother I never knew I had. I felt like this guy was my best friend after catching up with him for only an hour. It was then that I decided we needed to go to Vegas together, but of course, with my bro’s wedding coming up, this was not possible at the time so I guess you could say this trip has been almost 2 years in the making.

    Last year, I visited him for a week where he lives in Vancouver, British Colombia. I had the most amazing time (and consequently decided it would be a great place to retire). It’s a tradition in our family to be the best host possible when having a guest so although I tried to be pay my own way each time we went out, it simply didn’t happen. It was the time of my life and I promised him that the next time he’d visit me, I’d return the favor and that’s precisely what I did.

    I haven’t been online for a while since we’ve been partying/relaxing the entire week my cousin has been here concluding with 2 nights in Vegas. Last Thursday we were in San Diego, Friday in Santa Barbara (I swear State Street has more drunks on it than any given time on the LV strip!), Saturday in West Hollywood, and concluding in Vegas Sunday through Tuesday.

    So anyway, here goes nothin’…

    The Trip:

    We wake up at 6am after about 3 hours of sleep to get an early start on the road. The previous night partying on Sunset strip in Hollywood was a great precursor of things to come. We’re off by 7am and it turns out to be the easiest drive to Vegas I’ve ever made. Actually, it was odd because during a large portion of the drive, there was hardly anybody in sight ahead or behind me. I spent the time telling my cousin of Vegas’ history and whatnot.

    We’re in town at about 10:45am and cruise the strip for a bit. My cousin is totally overwhelmed and can’t believe the sheer size of these hotels; he was taking pictures left and right. We pull into Wynn and walk over to check-in. There’s no problem checking in this early and we’re given a room on the “53rd†(43rd) floor overlooking the golf course. We go up to our room and my cousin couldn’t believe it—he’s traveled the world, but had never seen such a nice room. Once we receive our baggage from the bell desk we’re off to the buffet for brunch.

    The line was over an hour long. I asked for a line pass at the comp desk and was not given one. I’ve been denied line passes at other top properties, but it was surprising at Wynn considering that a buffet comp was pretty easy to score here on my last trip. Well, after an hour in line, we’re finally seated and start eating. It was worth the wait. For brunch, they’ve got a great selection of freshly squeezed juices and some of the best carrot juice I’ve ever had.

    After brunch, we head out to the pool. After a quick walk-through we decide the spa would be a better choice today. Despite it being over 100 degrees, it was pretty gloomy outside, and the only topless people in the topless bathing section were men. The spa was great as usual and I think that if I could one day build myself a home, I’d definitely have a deluge built in the bathroom.

    After the spa, I give my cousin a tour of our hotel and showed him around the casino (he’d never been in a casino before!). We then walk down the street to the Venetian and did the same and then back to Wynn for dinner at Okada.

    My cousin is a sushi expert and he said Okada had the best sashimi he’s ever had. You could practically squeeze through it with your chopstick if you tried. Like I’ve mentioned in previous reports, the setting is wonderful and the waitress was kind enough to take us to the “floating†table at the base of the waterfall for a picture. Unfortunately, it didn’t come out too well.

    After dinner, we cabbed over to Luxor so I could show my cousin the interior of the hotel. After all these years, I still think this hotel’s “wow†factor is the strongest interior-wise. We walk through Mandalay Place and into “The Art of Shavingâ€. I hadn’t shaved in a few days and when I’ve got scruff, I could pass for 35. I decided not to shave tonight as we wanted to do a little role-playing at Body English telling complete strangers that my name was “Frank Grimes†and I’m some sort of major cardiologist or something. I tell my cousin before walking into “The Art of Shaving†that the sales associate would have a heart attack when she saw my face. She didn’t of course, but while I was speaking to her my cousin was just about to explode from laughter at what I’d said previously. It was one of those moments where the situation was just funnier than it really seemed and we had no idea why we were laughing so hard.

    We walked our way into Mandalay Bay still laughing for no reason as we made our way towards Foundation Room. I’ve been able to coax my way in on members only nights before, but tonight security was extra tight and they were having none of it at the door so I didn’t even bother. Instead we headed on over to Mix at THEhotel. If you’re into a great vibe, awesome people, and a nice atmosphere where you can actually hear yourself talk, this is a great spot. Here’s probably the best shot of the trip:

    [​IMG]

    After a drink, we cabbed over to Hard Rock. Bill (vegashost) hooked us up at Body English and we walked right in. I can see why this club is as hot as it is, but I was expecting a little more. It’s way smaller than it looks in pictures, but the stories I’ve heard are all true—everyone was dancing everywhere and it was just a crazy time. They blast the dance floor at sporadic times with some kind of freezing gas that drops the temperature by about 30 degrees… that is of course, if you’re not directly under one of the outlets like I was. In that case, it feels like the temperature drops significantly more. Let’s just say that was the most insane rush I’ve ever experienced. My watch and camera felt ice cold for a long time afterward. I actually had to test my camera to make sure it still worked.

    We head up the stairs just above the dance floor to overlook the action. My cousin points out this guy among the crowd with a beard hanging below his chest, long and scruffy hair, and torn clothing. I didn’t want to be too quick to judge, but he looked like a homeless guy. Needless to say, there are girls all over him and he’s dancing up a storm. We thought that maybe it was some dude wearing a fake beard and just dressing up for fun—I mean, this is Vegas. We walk up the stairs and leave the club rather early when we see this guy following behind us. Once in the casino, I turn around and glance at this costumed character. I was wrong. The beard was real, he looked like he hadn’t showered in days, and he smelt like it too. Indeed, it was a homeless guy. My glance had turned into a stare as he approached me, grabbed his crotch with one hand, and in the scruffiest voice you could ever imagine yelled, “Fashion statement, motherf*****!!†My initial fear turned into downright laughter and I asked to take a picture with him, but he refused and walked away. I don’t know how this guy got into Body English, but at least for one night, it seemed like he owned the freakin’ joint.

    We cabbed it over to Bellagio so I could show my cousin the resort. I haven’t been inside since March of 2004, but I’ve got to say, I’m not getting all these “Wynn looks exactly the same†comparisons in the interior design. The guy puts crown moldings in 2 resorts and he’s immediately deemed unoriginal. One thing is for sure: MGM/Mirage has completely ruined Bellagio. The Conservatory no longer feels like a tranquil oasis and the new Spa Tower feels considerably cheaper than the original structure. My cousin wanted to see the procedure of playing at the tables so I sat at a Pai Gow Poker table and explained the rules. He picked it up quickly, but doesn’t like to gamble. I really wasn’t in much of a mood to play either so I cashed out after 5 minutes up $26.

    We then head over to Seizures Palace. That’s the new name I’m going to give it because there’s no consistency in anything there especially when it comes to ceilings, carpeting, and signage. In fact, the only thing it’s got going for it is the new Forum Shops section (I think the old section has been outdone by other shopping malls in terms of beauty). By now our feet are killing us and at 4am, it’s still something like 90 degrees outside so we walk back to Wynn and turn in for the night.
     
  2. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    We wake up at 10am, get freshened up, and head over to the Country Club Grill for an early lunch. Please do yourself a favor and treat yourself to lunch here. For what you get, it’s a downright steal! The portions are huge and all I could think about were starving children throughout the world:

    [​IMG]

    Dinner, however, is much more expensive and the setting isn’t as great. After the grill, we headed to the pool. The weather was great and the “European bathers†were out in full force. We tanned… no… we cooked ourselves out there for about an hour. I had the most ridiculous tan lines. While there, I get a call from my friend who lives in San Diego. I guess she had heard I was in Vegas. Her and her friend were in town and they wanted to hang out because they consider me the Vegas expert so we decided to meet at 10:30pm. My cousin and I were thinking Mix again so the phone conversation with my friend went something like this…

    Me: I’ll meet you at THElounge in THEhotel.
    Her: Which hotel?
    Me: THEhotel?
    Her: Mandalay Bay?
    Me: No, THEhotel.
    Her: You mean Mandalay?
    Me: No! Begin quote THEEEEE [pause] HOOOTELLL end quote.
    Her: What?
    Me: ISLAND LOUNGE AT MANDALAY BAY!
    Her: Cool.

    After a few quality hours poolside, we head out to The Mirage. I wanted to see how the changes are coming along. Last time I went in, I remember the “magic†being lost. I’m happy to say that it was because of the obscure construction at the time. Although there still is construction going on, it’s still a great place to play. One thing MGM/Mirage has done right is the new Baccarat and High Limit salons. I wish I could afford to play in these rooms—I think they offer the nicest casino atmosphere I have ever seen. Supposedly, the entire casino will gradually get upgraded to look similar. The design works well for those small spaces, but trying that for the whole casino doesn’t seem to be the best idea. We then head to New York New York to ride the roller coaster. Maybe it was the sun that was affecting my thinking, but after cab fare both ways and $12 a person to ride, it turned out to be a very expensive idea.

    We had 6pm dinner reservations at Bartolotta at Wynn which we almost missed. I had the veal chop and my cousin had some kind of pasta dish. We sat outside and it was just beautiful. Here’s a shot:

    [​IMG]

    The service was top notch. The only blemish was a tiny rock in my cousin’s pasta dish. That really sucked as everything about this place could not have been more perfect. Despite that incident, we knew it was a one-off sort of thing and continued enjoying our dinner.

    After dinner, we cruised around town for a bit. I’m usually against driving in Vegas, but cab fare was adding up so we decided to drive ourselves. I’ve actually forgotten how fun it is to drive in Vegas at night. My cousin has been to France many times so it was a must for him to see Paris. I told him that the staff is required to learn a few words in French to heighten the experience and he decided he was going to have a little fun with this. Being fluent in French, he approached almost every hotel staff personnel he could find and asked the most random questions in French. Some were completely dumb-founded and some were surprisingly helpful. One lady heard “toilette†and took a map out explaining in English where the bathroom was while I was a few feet away trying to contain my laughter. We then walk across the street to Bellagio to see the fountains and back to Wynn to catch the “Lake of Dreamsâ€. The highlight of that show is the giant head that pops out from underwater, but I guess they were having some technical difficulties and it never happened. I was bummed about that, but it was still nice.

    We drive down to Mandalay and meet the girls at the Island Lounge. Now the both of us are really curious—my cousin wants to know what the other girl looks like and I’m curious of my friends’ boyfriend situation. I’ve always found my friend cute and I knew she had a boyfriend since I last saw her, but that was 2 months ago. They both looked stunning and my cousin and I were “sci-fiving†(telepathically giving high-fives so as not to make our excitement obvious) each other when we saw them. It was so good to see this friend of mine after 2 months. We’re both classical piano majors at school so all we do with our lives is practice hours daily. To see each other ready for a wild night in Vegas was great.

    We walk over to THEhotel and take the guest elevators to Mix. After 10pm, there’s a $20 cover, but in my experience, if you take the guest elevators up, you can avoid the cover all together and since we have to be gentlemen and pay the ladies’ ways, we already knew this was going to be an expensive night. The girls were really impressed with the place. Everyone ordered wimpy drinks, but I start off with a Grey Goose martini. I had hardly started my drink when I see everyone else was finished with theirs’ and are ready to find a dance club so I basically down the rest of my martini in 3 shots. They ask me where Monday’s hotspot is and I immediately think Foundation Room so we head there.

    We see a ridiculous line outside and this guy overhears our dismay. He tells us we can wait for who knows how long and pay $30 a head for the 4 of us or just pay him $120 and he’ll get us in immediately. The looks of this guy were about as fishy as it gets and I think he could tell I was really hesitant with his offer so he told us to follow him. He walks over to a bouncer and says, “I’ve got 4 right here,†and the velvet rope opens immediately. I had an ear-to-ear smile and gave him a $120 handshake. We were in the elevator in no time.

    I know I’ve bashed Foundation Room on public nights before. That’s because I once went up on this special Wednesday night where only the main room was open and we were packed in there like sardines. Then I went up a few occasions on members only nights and loved the place, but truth be told, it was dead. Well, on Monday nights, the whole place opens up which includes 3 large rooms with room to dance and several private rooms. I found this to be the perfect mix of a great crowd, but with plenty of space. The moment you step out of the elevator, there are bouncers greeting you and shaking your hand. It’s just a classy place and I felt the crowd was more my type than over at Body English.

    We all took shots of Patron Silver and got right on the dance floor. Modesty aside, I was tearing it up. My friend kept saying, “I wish my boyfriend could dance like you,†and “I need to take dancing lessons from you.†I personally think I suck, but there was a crowd surrounding us. As time passed and we had more rounds of drinks, we were dancing closer and closer. At one point, my friend says, “Promise me you won’t tell my boyfriend I danced like this with you,†to which I respond, “Only if promise you won’t tell your boyfriend I danced like this with you.†She laughs and we continue dancing and going together from room to room. Meanwhile, as I look over at my cousin and the other girl, I see they’re all over each other. I was pretty sure my cousin was going to get lucky tonight, but then one of the girls, I can’t remember which one, had to use the bathroom. Of course, the other girl follows her in. My cousin and I give each other a blank stare as we already know they’re talking about us and the situation at hand. They come back and we dance some more. I was surprised at the number of guys that were hitting on our friends by the end of the night. I had to smack some hands away, get in the way of others, etc. It must have been the alcohol motivating my actions because when I’m sober, I’m such a wuss. They both end up passing out with their heads on our shoulders.

    Our plans for tomorrow were to go to the pool again. The girls decide they should get their stuff from Monte Carlo, which was where they were staying, and come over to our room to spend the night at Wynn and go with us to the pool early in the morning. Mind you, we didn’t invite them—they invited themselves. When my cousin and I heard this, eye contact was met and the “sci-fives†started again. When we got back to Wynn, we decide to eat at the café. There’s nothing better than pancakes at 4:30am when you’re drunk. We start making our way toward the room and when we enter, it becomes apparent that these girls are nothing more than the biggest teases we’ve ever met. Almost like clockwork they said, “Oh, we’re so tired!†and both took a whole bed to themselves leaving us guys with a whole bed to ourselves. I guess they planned that in the bathroom at Foundation Room. In all honesty, I wasn’t looking for any serious action, but don’t sucker us into spending $280 on the whole night, protecting you from random guys, and then inviting yourself over to our room only to go to sleep. They would have been more comfortable in their own beds at Monte Carlo and we would have been comfortable not sharing a bed. 320 thread-count or not, 2 full grown men on a full size (not queen) bed is not comfortable.
     
  3. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    Morning comes and the weather is cloudy and surprisingly cool. We didn’t even go to the pool so there was no point in them spending the night with us. I wasn’t too mad since in the end, I had a crazy night filled with laughter and good times. The plans instead were lunch, shopping at Fashion Show across the street, downtown for souvenir shopping, and then heading home. Needless to say, we were ready to ditch these girls and we lied about going home early so just the two of us could go downtown together. After some souvenir shopping, we hit the road back. Much unlike the easy drive there, I had a near accident on the drive back when the guy in front of me blew a tire and began swerving, but I was just barely able to avoid him.

    All in all, a great trip!

    Final Thoughts:

    My cousin is without a doubt the best person to go to Vegas with and the only person I know who can keep up with me. We already know we’ll be doing it again.

    You’ll appreciate Wynn Las Vegas more and more with each visit.

    I could learn a thing or two from homeless clubbers.

    MGM/Mirage has done a great job ruining Bellagio and TI, but I think there’s still hope for The Mirage.

    European bathing is a beautiful thing.

    Sundays at Body English, Mondays at Foundation Room! There’s no need to go on a weekend for amazing nightlife.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  4. blackjack

    blackjack Monkey!!

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    Very nice - thanks for the read!! "Sci-Fiving" :thumbsup:

    That phone conversation was hillarious - too bad they scammed your room at Wynn. I guess Monte Carlo wasn't good enough.
     
  5. theking0075

    theking0075 Tourist

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    Next time, skip the pancakes. Food can sometimes sober up drunken and willing young ladies.

    :beer:
     
  6. duffelbag don

    duffelbag don Low-Roller

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    Took a bed and left you to sleep with your buddy so they could check the pool? Ahh, the old bait and switch. Sorry to hear it my man.

    At first I really had little interest in checking out the Wynn, but the more I hear about it the more I want to check it out now.

    One hour for brunch, yikes! CCGrill and Bartolotta both look very relaxing for a meal.
     
  7. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Very nice. You do Vegas very nicely indeed, sir.
     
  8. stuffic

    stuffic Tourist

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    I loved reading your TR. Liked the pics also. You guys are gorgeous ;)

    Why so sad in front of that delectable looking burger? Still hung over, huh?

    Was there champagne at that brunch on Sunday? If so, did you have any, and was it good? (I'll admit I've never heard anyone rave about carrot juice before :)

    A rock in the food? Uh-uh. I understand accidents happen, but I would have gotten a meal comp on that one!

    I'm glad you had a great time. Wynn sounds fabulous.
     
  9. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the great read. Seems like you had a freaking great time. Didn't seems like you got much gambling in or did you just leave off the boring parts?
     
  10. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    Thanks for the comments so far.

    stuffic, I'm flattered! There is champagne, but we opted not to have it and saved $6 a head although that carrot juice might have been even better spiked.

    YoungGun, other than the 5 minutes mentioned in the report, I didn't do any other gambling. Since my cousin was a Vegas virgin, I wanted to show him everything in 2 nights and there was no time. I remember him saying last year, "There's nothing to do in Vegas other than gamble," so in a sense, I also wanted to prove him wrong in that respect (and boy did I ever!).
     
  11. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Sounds like a great trip--what a way to deflower someone!! I'm making notes--we're taking my sister in January as a 21st birthday present.....Did you end up having any services at Art of Shaving?? In the photo you both looked scruffy.....Hubby still debating a nice shave or a massage....

    RE: the rock--was your cousin eating seafood, rice or beans?? Those are all foods I've found tiny rocks or other debris in--when cooking at home--Of course, that's why you're supposed to wash stuff and sort it out before cooking, but....In the scheme of things that could be found in your food, a rock scares me less--unless he bit into it really hard, in which case he could have really screwed up his teeth. Bummer.
     
  12. FLGambler

    FLGambler Tourist

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    Wow sounds like you guys had a great time.
    Even an enjoyable car ride from CA.

    It's going to take some work to make your next Vegas trip even better! :thumbsup:
     
  13. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    Hoya, we didn't have any shaving services. I walked in to check out the brushes. I could have sworn when I was in the store last year that they had a couple shaving stations, but this time around, there was only one and it was behind a display window so I'm not sure if they still offer their services or are solely a retail shop now.

    Edit to add: Thanks also for the rock info. He was having some sort of rice and seafood pasta thing (can you tell I'm a food expert ;) ).

    FL, I was thinking the same. I don't know if I'll be able to top this trip without breaking the bank.
     
  14. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Thanks for the info--if he does a shave he'd probably go to Truefitt & Hill at Caesars anyway, for location, but I haven't heard of anyone getting the services at either place so I thought I'd try for a first-hand review. So when are you and your cousin going back again??? Soon, it sounds like:thumbsup:
     
  15. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    If it were up to me, I'd do it again next week, but living 1200 miles apart, I'm lucky if I see him twice a year. If all works out, in a year, but I know I'll be back in December at the latest.
     
  16. Taris

    Taris Tourist

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    Great trip report. I cannot wait to go to Vegas with my favorite Cousin. He used to live in Santa Anna (sp) and he has more Vegas experience than I do.



    BTW, you should've ironed out the details with the girlies before they came to your room.
     
  17. Zarjoe

    Zarjoe Tourist

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    Great TR

    Joe... loved the TR! Thanks for posting and the details/pics. We need more TRs from people our age on the board who go to Vegas to club, party and let loose rather than just gamble and hit the buffets. That said.... party people in their 20's.... POST those TRs! Zarjoe
     
  18. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    I agree--us 20 somethings need to post more trip reports (although I have been seeing a positive trend as of late). I love everybody's TRs, but it's always fun to see what kind of trouble people my age can get themselves into. I propose a meet where the barely legal of this board hit the town hard. Imagine that TR ;).
     
  19. Zarjoe

    Zarjoe Tourist

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    Labor Day

    hey... its on for Labor Day weekend if the rest of you are up! A T2V meet up for 20 somethings.... hmmm, I am sensing a Rehab or Nirvana meet up! Ideas?
     
  20. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    So soon? You're tempting me, but after 3 trips to Vegas since May, I'm sort of... how do you say... BROKE!

    I was thinking of maybe making my next trip Sunday-Tuesday, Nov. 20-22nd. It's cheap, it's Thanksgiving break, and all the youngans are out of school and in the clubs!
     
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