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Encore 25th Anniversary Trip 8/1-8/7

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by abileneblues, Aug 9, 2010.

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  1. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    I'm going to have to do this in sections as I'm trying to decipher my notes.

    Flights: Southwest from HOU to LAS

    Flight out was non-stop Sunday departure at 11:15 a.m. with arrival at 12:25 p.m. There were no spots in the uncovered parking at Hobby, so we wasted time having to go out and come back in to the covered parking, so didn't hit the line at check-in until about 10:15. Lines were much longer than I'd experienced in early morning flights. We were a little anxious, but the lines moved steadily both at check-in and security. We had used EB check-in and had A28 and A29. We were able to snag bulkhead seats. The flight was full, so nobody got to have an extra seat of room. We were seated next to a uniformed soldier who was on his way to southern California for training. The flight attendants were genuine and actually served us the entire can along with our cup of ice, which I've discovered is only a sometimes thing on Southwest flights. The flight was smooth and we actually landed 10-15 minutes early.

    The return flight was also non-stop on Saturday with departure at 1:15 and arrival at 6:15. We were A20 and A21 on this flight and bulkhead seats were taken so grabbed the exit row on the left side. A lady in her late sixties took the window seat, then decided that she didn't feel up to performing the duties, so we ended up with an empty seat beside us. We were not given the whole can of soft drink on this flight. Flight was a little bumpy until we reached altitude, but was no big deal.

    Transportation: I had reserved a stretch limo from Presidential Limousines as a surprise for my wife. Once we landed in Vegas, I had just enough time to hit the men's room before our driver, Rob, was calling me on the cell phone letting me know that he was waiting at Carousel 5. The wife was surprised to see somebody standing there holding a card with my name on it. Rob supplied us with two iced bottles of water, poured the champagne and presented wife with a rose. Rob asked us if we needed to stop at a store for anything. Since we didn't need to, he said he'd go up the strip for us so we could look around. After arriving at the Encore, he asked us if we wanted a bellman. They took the bags and gave us a card with a number on it and told us to call down for them once we got to our room. I loved that as my wife does not travel light.

    The return trip to the airport was similar. This time we had John as our driver. I wasn't sure who would be our return driver and about 10 minutes before our 11:00 a.m. pickup, I called to make sure everything was in order. The dispatcher told me the driver was on the way and would be there in 5 minutes. In pretty much exactly 5 minutes, John pulled up. Once we arrived at curbside check-in, John got us a spot there that essentially jumped the line. I don't know if that is usual with limo service, but if it is I'm totally sold on it, though I'm sure people in line might have been willing to tar and feather us.

    Encore check-in: We had already decided to be friendly and ask for an upgrade and tip after the fact, rather than do the $20 sandwich. It was moderately busy with lines 3-5 people long all across the desk. The wife looked over the people working there and decided on the lady working the invited guest line. I still don't know if just anybody (or nobody, in our case) is supposed to use it, but we asked one of the bell guys and he said it was OK. There were actually two people working that area. We let some people behind us go ahead to his line as the lady that my wife decided to work with was busy with a large family and it was taking some time. Three people went through the next line before we were up and I was thinking maybe she'd chosen the wrong person as two people we'd let go ahead talked about "scoring upgrades". Of course that made my ears perk up, but once I listened to them talk, I realized they got upsold at $20/night. Once we got up there, we chatted with the lady, told her we were there for our anniversary and asked for a high floor, facing the strip. I had booked a resort suite with the 45 day advance promo. She told us that those were panoramic view suites, which cost more, but she would upgrade us and not charge us the upgrade cost. We ended up in E6244, facing south. I tipped her the twenty. From that room, the Wynn takes up a great deal of the view, but we could see TI and Mirage on one side of it and Planet Hollywood on the other side.

    We called down for our luggage and the wife called for a refrigerator. I've heard people say that they rent them, but it never showed up on our bill.

    I'll consider that the end of chapter one and add to this later. If you are thinking this is too long, you are right. However, it is much shorter than my notes. I'm never sure how much detail people want. If you want to know that Rob is married and that his day job is as a mortgage analyst or that Armando the bartender is from Cuba and has been married five times, divorcing the first four because they did not show proper respect, then let me know.
     
    Finally!
  2. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    only paragraphs can be too long, not a trip report!!


    and the paragraphs are looking good to me!!!


    More please

    Thanks :thumbsup:
     
  3. mjamesp

    mjamesp High-Roller

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    "did not show proper respect"

    After the 1st 2 wife's I'd figure out that this is the norm and not go looking for it from 3, 4 or 5.
     
  4. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

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    yes, more on Armando please...

    Great report so far, they are never to long imo
     
  5. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    The rest of Sunday

    I noted that the fridge took 5 minutes to show up from the time of the call and our luggage between 10-15 minutes. I have to say that, with a couple of exceptions that I'll note later, the service at Encore and Wynn is exceptional. The people on staff that we dealt with seem genuinely eager to ensure that your stay is everything you want it to be.

    We decided to just grab something quick, so headed across to the food court at the Fashion Show mall. We ate at Panda Express. It was nothing special, pretty much like every other one. *TMI Alert* Well, I thought it was nothing special, until I barely made it back to the room in time to take care of some traveler's stomach. :eek: After spending some quality time in our nicely appointed bathroom, I came to the decision that Encore could use softer toilet paper. My wife, ever the girl scout, had packed some pepto tablets. I wasn't about to let this stop me from having a good time on my first night on the town in Vegas.

    We worked our way down to the Fontana Bar in the Bellagio to see Isis perform. The band appears to have had some turnover, based on what I saw on their website, but did a pretty good job covering stuff mostly from the 70s and 80s. The first set was fairly quiet and low energy. There were two couples in their 50-60s that danced very well and made it pretty intimidating for everybody else. My wife was disappointed that I didn't want to shake my groove thing, but I didn't quite feel up to it. I can report that the Bellagio does have nice restrooms in that area of the hotel, but their toilet paper is no softer than that at the Encore. The second set was higher energy and higher volume. We broke out some earplugs to solve the latter problem. I know that sounds wimpy, but my ears are bad enough already. I did get the feeling that Isis would be much better in a larger, higher energy venue than a casino lounge. The Fontana has a very subdued atmosphere. We had the cheese and fruit plate while we were there. There was not a lot on it for the price, but about what I expected in Vegas. The drinks were pretty standard and the service was OK. Not particularly fast or friendly, just good, decent service. The fountains are beautiful from the terrace off the bar and you can get good pictures with the Eiffel tower in the background.

    We left before the end of the second set, intending to come back later in the week to see Dian Diaz, though that plan fell by the wayside.

    The rest of the evening, we just wandered around the strip between the Bellagio and Encore, making sure we knew where things were and watching the people.

    Special Lessons Learned (Sunday edition):

    • Unless you are going boot scootin' leave the boots in the hotel room.
    • Even 5 star hotels are unlikely to baby your behind as much as you do. Throw a roll or two of your favorite paper in the suitcase.
     
    Finally!
  6. LuvThatChaChing

    LuvThatChaChing Tourist

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    Awww Abilene, so sorry to hear you were hit with Montezuma's revenge. Or in this case Panda's revenge. I give you props for not letting it stop you from enjoying your first night in Vegas!! I have mad love for Encore; however, I agree with you about the t.p. there lol.

    Fontana is on my Vegas to-do list but have never made it there. Thanks for writing about it.

    Enjoying your report and looking forward to the next bit.
     
  7. sabrina

    sabrina Low-Roller

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    thank you for detailed report, TR's are all I have till October!
     
  8. 4Vegas

    4Vegas Low-Roller

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    What's Armando's definition of "respect"?

    Next section please.

    Good report.
     
  9. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    Sorry, we won't get to Armando until Friday.
     
    Finally!
  10. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    Monday

    We slept in. It was marvelous. No, glorious! Not many days in our lives nowadays that the alarm isn't set for something to get up for the next morning. However, it did make us miss breakfast at pretty much everywhere since we didn't get out until almost noon.

    Since we had seen quite a big line of people at the will call desks at both TI and Mirage, we decided to go ahead and pick up our tickets for Love. Then we decided to pick up our tickets for all the shows. Had no problems doing that until we went to get our tickets for Blue Man Group. I never did get a good sense of how that whole Palazzo/Venetian/Shops thing is laid out. We wandered around thinking we'd either eventually run across some place we could order breakfast or the will call desk.

    We happened upon the food court, my wife saw Johnny Rockets and wanted to eat there, since she had eaten at one in England (of all places). By the way, is that really a verb? I don't happen very often. Maybe it's something you can only do in Vegas. Unfortunately, this location was not a sterling representative for Mr. Rocket. The lady at the register was still-wet new and made me wish that the menu board was facing her, rather than us. Reminds me of a theory a friend of mine advanced -- the guy behind the register is the one too dumb to make burritos, while the guy making burritos is the one that is too dumb to work the register. Anyway, it only took two times through to get everything we ordered on the ticket and the food was actually tasty and exactly what we ordered.

    We happened (again) upon the Blue Man theater and picked up our tickets. The gentleman at the will call desk appeared to have no sense of humor. I'm sure he says the same thing over and over and ended up running sentences together and said something that struck us as funny (no, not something dirty). My wife went with it and made a joke out of what it sounded like he said. He just said and tried to explain what he was saying in words of one syllable or less. He either didn't get it, wasn't amused or was just having a bad day. She tried to explain the joke and I just grabbed her and took off. Whatever the reason for his attitude, explaining wasn't going to help.

    We decided to get dressed for the show and find something to eat so we could get to the Mirage in time to be at the front of the line. Yes, I understand that our tickets were for specific seats and it didn't matter one bit whether we were in the front of the line or walked in as the lights dimmed. It's her thing. She would show up early for her own execution.

    As we went through TI on the way to the Mirage, we noticed the sign in front of Isla was having a happy hour special on Margaritas, so we stopped in. We sat at the bar and met Erwin. Erwin has been married almost 17 years and has two anniversaries to keep track of. He and his wife first got married in Vegas the first time and more recently went back to have a church wedding where his wife was from. He has an anniversary coming up. He always has an anniversary coming up. I'm convinced it was an evil plot designed to make him purchase more gifts and flowers. He was generous with his pours and we tipped accordingly, which made him even more generous. While we were there, we ordered the chicken flautas from the appetizer menu and they were just right as a light something to soak up some tequila and keep us from getting hungry during the show.

    We took the tram over to the Mirage (luckily, as it had been out of order the night before). Since we were plenty early, we started looking around and discovered that there were 15 minutes of happy hour left at BB Kings, so we cruised in to, you know, recon for later dining. Got a jack and coke, but the pour was not particularly generous or anything. We sat next to a very happy lady. Very happy. She sold jewelry and was there for some trade show or another. She loved everybody there. I know because she told us two or three times. She and the wife started talking about jewelry, so I tuned out. Unfortunately, I think my wife got her card.

    Love: Yes, we were at the front of the line and the first ones to hit the concession area. We got two large cokes and went off to find section 306 row CC seats 5 & 6. The venue is well laid out for this show (probably designed for it). One hint, hit the bathroom before the start of the show as the rows are a little close together for getting up once everybody is seated. If you do need to take a break, try to time it just at the end of a song. Went back and got two large frozen margaritas. I know we sound like a couple of lushes, but we actually rarely drink much at all. Hey, it's our anniversary and who are you to judge?

    The show is awesome. The sound was perfect and we didn't need earplugs. I was actually glad we were seated up high. A great deal of the action takes place with people suspended from above. We felt like we could take everything in without craning our necks. The show just blew us away. Of the three shows we saw, this is the only one I would consider paying to see again. While I wasn't in tune with every interpretation of every Beatles song they did, for the most part I felt they were right on. And a couple were very powerful interpretations.

    We met some nice folks from the Dallas area that sat next to us. Turns out they were going to be at La Reve the next night also. We had coupons for free ticket upgrades at La Reve that wouldn't do us any good since we had the indulgence package. They said they were going to be in the splash zone, so we gave them the coupons to see if they could upgrade.

    And that, pretty much, was Monday. :D:D:D

    Special Lessons Learned (Monday edition):

    • Make friends with the bartender.
    • 32 oz. of Coke followed by 32 oz. of margarita will make you wish you had an aisle seat.
     
    Finally!
  11. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    Tuesday:

    Actually got up between 8 and 8:30, but took a long time to get ready. It ws just nice to not have to hurry. Headed out at 10 so I could finally get me some breakfast at the Wynn buffet. The line wasn't bad, only about 25-30 people ahead of us. We actually had a VIP pass for that day due to the La Reve package we had purchased and didn't think about until we were about 20 feet from the buffet. Could have saved a little time, but not if I had to walk back to the room to get them, so we soldiered on.

    They (the buffet people) seem to have this process down. They are efficient and keep folks in line. One young lady came in through the VIP line and tried to show her room key as a VIP pass. The cashier made her go back around and wait in line like everybody else. You could just feel all the people that waited in line silently cheering the cashier on as the young lady argued with her.

    The selection of breakfast food is excellent. Neither of us felt like waiting in line again to get omelets. I tried the breakfast pizza, but didn't find it particularly special. They had some sort of sausage links with little pieces of cooked apple in them. While I wish it had been a little hotter (spicy hotter) it was really a nice change from the regular sausage you can find anywhere. The drink service was fast and efficient.

    RantOn>
    I noticed the couple at the next table dropped two whole dollars down for a tip. Come on, really? On a $40 check you can't even leave 10 percent? How do you get to be 60 years old and not know how to tip? I might not have thought so much about it if they had at least treated her like a human being, rather than the robot built specifically to get them drinks.
    RantOff>


    Twenty dollars may seem like a lot for breakfast, but I think I got the better end of the deal. At least that's what my waistline told me. Side note - our room did have a scale in the bathroom. Like I want to think about that while I'm on vacation. Luckily, it was in kilograms, so I just pretended it was really pounds and felt much better about everything I was eating and drinking.

    My wife decided that she desperately needed to replace a couple of shirts that she had failed to pack, so we headed over to the Fashion Show Mall. Luckily, I steered her to Macy's, rather than one of the more expensive stores. You should be aware, however, that the Macy's there had much higher prices than the one here at home. In fact, their stuff on clearance was almost as much as regular price here.

    We also cruised into that gift shop that's in the front of the mall on the second story (accessed from the outside, rather than the inside of the mall) for the required investment of kitschy stuff to take back for family members.

    On the way back to the room, we stopped off at Parasol Up. They had a drink called a Smoky Margarita. It comes with a shot of Mezcal on the side that provides the smoky flavor. Rather than a shot glass, it's served in a little clay dish that is somewhere between a dixie cup and a tiny bowl. I figured it was a drink, but I asked the cocktail waitress if it was for dipping my fingers in to clean. She said that some people drink it separately but most people just mix it in with their margarita, which I did. It was very good. So often, the "premium" mixed drinks aren't worth the premium price. This one was.

    Next we hit Zooza Crackers for pretty expensive burgers and fries. I know, really romantic meal for our anniversary, right? Well, we're just trash like that. We can add all the fancy degrees we want, but rub us a little and the redneck shows through. I wasn't thrilled by the mix of the Coke Zero in this place. Tasted odd.

    RantOn>
    Has nobody on the strip ever heard of Diet Dr. Pepper? If there's some to be had, I didn't find it.
    RantOff>


    The burgers were pretty good at Zooza Crackers and they were actually pretty fast. Especially compared to many other places we ate on the strip.

    After dressing for our big anniversary night show, we decided to wait in Parasols Up. Our CW from earlier wasn't there. The one we had this time hardly gave us the time of day. Maybe she was having a bad day, but her smile just couldn't seem to reach her eyes and would disappear entirely before she even turned away from us. We felt lucky to get a beer. In the half hour we were there that one order was all we could get. We had to chase her down for the check. Maybe I'm just making this too hard. Seems to me, the more drinks, the more tips. But what do I know.

    Time to head over to the front of the line for La Reve. Wasn't hard, even five minutes before the doors were scheduled to open.

    La Reve:

    The indulgence package was what made this show worth it to me. We were seated in the seats that ring the top row. Even though they look like they recline, they don't. Probably a good thing, as I might have fallen asleep.

    A lovely young CW named Linda came, opened and poured our champagne for us and served us our plate of chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate truffles. She was very friendly. She's originally from Colorado Springs, but ended up in Vegas when her step-father was stationed there and fell in love with the place. I asked if she ever worked the floor or other parts of the Wynn, or just this show. She said that, unless there is a special event, the CW from the show never work the floor and vice versa. Linda gave the most incredible service. Not just because your glass would suddenly be full again about 5 seconds after setting it down (It never did get all the way to empty until the bottle was), but because whenever I asked for something or she asked me about something, she was totally focused in a way that was almost unnerving, but softened by an openness that is rare and refreshing.

    We also met a nice couple from D.C. that were there taking a break between family visits. She was a little envious that the wife and I had found each other so young, while they had not met until their thirties. I figure who cares, just hold on with all you've got. We enjoyed her loud, infectious laugh. They were neat. They seemed like the kind of folks you know you would be friends with, except for the fact that you know you likely won't ever see them again.

    The venue for the show is very nice, having been constructed for the show. The sound was louder than it had been for Love, but not to the point where we felt the need to put earplugs in. If you are seated in the Indulgence section, there are little tv screens in the back of the row in front of you that show live shots of what is going on underwater and backstage and overhead shots of the stage. I found it to be way too distracting and tried to just concentrate on what was happening in front of me. For a chunk of the show, I became bored as they did the same things over and over. How many times can you see somebody get dropped into the water from greater heights? To me, some of the dancing was OK, but I've seen better. Some of the feats of strength were quite impressive. I did see some very cool lighting effects and kept trying to figure out how they were done and how I might replicate it in our backyard. Yep, I'm a redneck geek. I did notice that it seemed like only about half of the indulgence ring was occupied and the theater as a whole seemed about a quarter to a third empty, while Love had been pretty much full up. It also seemed to me that the applause at the end was pretty weak, especially compared to the night before at Love. Maybe it's just that people can get into the Beatles more because it connects to their memories.

    After the show, we ran into Dennis and Sue again (the folks we met at Love). They had tried to use the upgrades we gave them, but when the people at the ticket office asked if they were guests of the Encore or Wynn, they told the truth and weren't allowed to use them. I won't say that's a hint, as I don't want to encourage anybody to lie. I'm just saying if you want to use something like that, you'll have to lie. Unless they don't ask. Which, I guess, would technically make it a lie of omission. And you know how God hates it when you lie about which hotel you're staying in.

    Gilley's:

    After the show, we decided to head over to Gilley's for some dancing. Unfortunately, it was karaoke and we had to listen to a number of people butcher mostly hip hop and Michael Jackson songs instead of some two-steppin', though we did manage a couple of them. The dance floor is not very big, at least by Texas standards.

    The wife did get to line dance to the Cupid Shuffle, which she loves and she danced with a couple of ladies from Australia, whose boyfriends/husbands (I don't know which as I was having trouble hearing in there) wouldn't get out on the dance floor. Hearing it was our anniversary, the guys offered to buy me a drink, but I figured I'd had enough. Didn't want to get wasted on my anniversary. They understood. Later, they asked us if we wanted to go back to their rooms for more drinks, but we told them we wanted to get another two-step in and then head back for more anniversary.

    One thing to know about the cocktail waitresses at Gilley's is that their outfits make them look more naked than naked. :eek: It's essentially a bikini with chaps. Seems like a recipe for trouble. There was actually one guy that followed one of the CW around and kept getting in her face, ignoring his friend who was trying to get him to stop. At one point she actually had to push him back as he moved somewhere between in-her-space and humping-her-leg, but closer to the humping end of the spectrum. This happened right next to us, so when she walked away, I tapped him on the shoulder. I started with the "dude, really" look, then just stared at him. His friend pulled him away. Hopefully, he took him out to sober up a little.

    At one point, a lady fell off her bar stool. I thought she was just that drunk, but turned out to be a diabetic. I thought the bouncers handled things professionally and with class. Most people probably did not even notice.

    The bartenders did not impress me much. You have to practically light a flare to get their attention and they practically throw the beer at you. Maybe it would help if I were young, attractive and rich. Or any combination of the three. Or even just one. I guess I'll never know.

    The wife did have some 55ish, drunk creeper that kept trying to get her to dance, but she pretty much just ignored him. Looks like that was the strategy that most of the women in the bar were using with him. If he actually got anybody to dance with him, I didn't see it.

    Nope, I didn't ride the bull. Most of the people I saw riding it were women. It appears that the goal is to get women in short skirts or blouses in danger of falling off or braless to get on it. The moves they have it do are less designed to throw the woman as to make her jiggle and expose herself, if possible. They guys, they pretty much just throw off pretty quickly. Unfortunately, we weren't there for the bikini bull riding. My wife was heartbroken that we missed it.

    Basically, Gilley's is geared more toward the 21-25 year-old crowd. There was hardly anybody there in the 40+ crowd besides us.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

    Special Lessons Learned (Tuesday edition):

    • The plastic, boot-shaped beer mugs at Gilley's are cheap and the tops (where you drink) chip very easily and can cut your mouth. Fortunately, I got to learn this second-hand.
    • Earplugs make Karaoke night at Gilley's bearable. Just barely.
    • Get gel pads for the boots before you walk a blister into your foot.
     
    Finally!
  12. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    I am REALLY enjoying your TR....the detail is incredible:nworthy:

    I'm w/ you on LOVE....after seeing it last year, I said the same thing to my wife: "it's the only show I've seen so far in Vegas that I'd pay to see again"... which we did this summer w/ our daughter on her 24th B-day. She loved it too.

    How bout those drink prices at Parosol Up/Down :confused2:
     
  13. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    They sure are proud of those drinks.
     
    Finally!
  14. jaxjoe

    jaxjoe Guest

    I'm enjoyiny your report as well. You have a great sense of humor:beer:
     
  15. hammer88814

    hammer88814 Tourist

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    Great report so far! Can't wait for more.
     
  16. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    Wednesday

    We slept in pretty late again. Today was the day that we had planned to go to Freemont Street, but we figured that since we had missed a few things on the strip that we wanted to do that we'd stick around and catch downtown on the next trip out.

    The first thing on the agenda was to find breakfast, or lunch rather, seeing as it was lunchtime. We intended to do that at the steakhouse at Bill's. Unfortunately, it's closed on Wednesdays and not even open until evening on the days it is open, if I understood correctly. Since we were already there, we decided to get something in the Victorian Room there at Bill's. Doreen was our waitress and she was a sweetie. Didn't get to hear much about her as it was a little busy. I had the prime rib special. While it was not the best prime rib I've ever had (Perinis in Buffalo Gap has that distinction), it was good and was a good value as it came with a baked potato and salad and was quite large. I couldn't even finish it. OK, part of that might have been because we noticed a guy in the 350-400 lb range sitting across from us with two or three full meals in front of him.

    Since we were there, we decided to get a club card and try some slots. I got on a simple, .25 machine with one pay line. I took $5 up to $25, then back down to zero. The wife took $5 to the penny slots and quit once she got 33 cents up. She then fussed at me for not stopping while I was $20 up. I guess I just don't get slots. I just kept pressing the button, waiting for the money to run out so I could go do something else.

    We then headed to the bar in the back to check out the .99 margaritas. The bartender told me I could sit at his bar in spite of the Dallas Cowboys shirt I was wearing. Turns out he was from Buffalo and was definitely a Bills fan. So I had a pretty good time talking football with him while we waited for Big Elvis. The margaritas are about what you'd expect out of a machine. About the best thing you can say for them is that they are alcoholic.

    Big Elvis was fun and certainly worth the admission price. :D There was a lady running around in the audience, dancing and just trying to make a spectacle of herself. She said she was from Canada. I briefly wondered if she was part of the show or maybe Big Elvis' wife, but thinking back, his wife's hair was much darker than the Canadian's. He introduced his wife later in the show. They also announced that Big Elvis had lost half his weight in the past 5 years, all through diet and exercise, rather than surgery. Way to go Big Elvis! I need to follow his example. :nworthy: If you're going to see him, you want to go a bit early so you can be sure and have a seat. There were a lot of people having to stand around the edges.

    We wandered around the Bellagio to see what other interesting things there were to see. I like the giant ants. I need a couple of those for my yard. Maybe they'll scare the fire ants away.

    By this time, we were hungry again, so we decided to head for Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill. They really buried that place in Harrah's. A guy took our drink order. I decided to get something new and different, so I ordered some sort of apple cobbler drink. Our waiter, Marcus, heard me and came over. He suggested that it was not their best drink and rushed off to cancel it. I ordered a Jack and Coke instead. He asked me if a mason jar was OK, and I said yes. Evidently, this doesn't mean just the style of glass, but size as he brought me back a quart-sized jar, filled to the brim.

    As it turned out, Marcus was from Lubbock and wants to move to the Dallas area in the not too distant future. Besides being helpful with the drink order, he was candid about what on the menu was or wasn't good. I can't remember what the wife had, but I had some fried fish and fries that came with a spicy tarter sauce that was mighty tasty. We decided to come back later in the evening as they were going to have a live band (as opposed to one of the many zombie bands on the Vegas circuit) and dancing.

    Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill:

    Much to say about this night. First, the band was really good. If they played any of their own music, I didn't notice, so basically a good country/rock cover band. They were loud, however, so our earplugs made another appearance. I was jealous of the ones the bartenders had.

    The bartenders must be the masters who taught those at Gilly's how to ignore patrons when not treating them with disdain. They have developed it into an art form. At least for those over 35. That's the treatment I received and what I noticed a couple of other 40+ patrons receiving. The seemed to be more attentive to the younger crowd.

    The venue is ok. The layout is not good for allowing a flow of people on and off the dance floor. The bar is set up to look like a big guitar, with the neck pointed at the door and the stage and dance floor at the other end. The neck of the guitar was hardly used, except for a few power drinkers who were not there for the dancing.

    The dance floor is really much too small for two-steppin'. At least with that many people that don't know how out there (not that I'm an expert).

    In spite of that, we had a good time and it seemed that most people were having fun as well. There was one mid-thirties blonde in a little black dress who seemed to be quite inebriated. I'll just call her blondie. The first dance with my wife, blondie came up to me on the dance floor and raised both her arms up into the air. I didn't know if she wanted me to high five her, help her get her dress off or tickle her armpits. She spent all of the first set trying to get men to get out on the dance floor. At one point, I saw her get one old boy out there where she immediately left him to go coax another guy. Inebriated and ADHD, apparently. I guess she passed out or followed something shiny out the door sometime between the first and second sets because I didn't see her later.

    The band pointed out a pregnant lady that was due that night. They played a couple of songs they felt were sure to cause labor to commence. Evidently, somebody on the dance floor had kryptonite that negated the bands vaunted contractional superpowers.

    My wife rarely left the dance floor. If I went back to the bar to drink a beer, she'd just dance with the other dance widows. I met a guy that was wearing a Dallas Cowboys cap. He wasn't dancing with his wife. I told him that if Romo were married and in Vegas, he'd be dancing with his wife. He assured me he would dance once he got drunk enough.

    There were a few guys dancing as if they were a thousand miles from home among people that they'd never see again and who's opinions count for squat. Regardless, I laughed at every one of them quite openly as I'm sure they did when I was on the dance floor. One guy in particular easily won the Elaine Bennis Dance Award. :Þ

    The wife and I danced as well as any couple in which both are trying to lead in opposite directions. She manages to make it look more humorously graceful while I simply try my best to keep from taking us both to the floor.

    There was one interesting young lady wearing short shorts who mostly sat on a couch by the DJs booth (maybe there with him). I only saw her dance with somebody once and they danced really well. The rest of her dancing time she would get out there by herself and do what appeared to be a line dance, even if it was not a line dancing song. She did it with her eyes closed. When we were two-steppin' I kept trying to avoid her, which wasn't easy as I don't line dance so I had no idea where she was going to go. For a while, two men sat down by her and tried to engage her in conversation while she looked right through them. Eventually, they gave up and left the bar. I got the feeling that her mind was someplace else all evening. I don't get it. If you're going to go to Vegas, wouldn't you want to take your mind with you?

    One guy kept brushing against my wife on the dance floor. She wasn't dancing with him, he just always seemed to be right there. I had not even noticed it, but she told me about it as we were about to leave. On the way out the door, she brushed by him and kept on walking.

    The walk back to the Encore seems even longer when you've been dancing all evening long. At least the Walgreens on the way has Diet Dr. Pepper.

    Special Lessons Learned (Wednesday edition):

    • Wear a Dallas Cowboys shirt on a day when you are wandering the strip. Family men will cuss you, hot young women will fist pump you and everything in between. You meet a lot of people when you wear it.
    • If you're in Vegas with your wife, dance with her. I don't care if the only move you have is the white man's overbite. Nobody cares.
     
    Finally!
  17. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    I'm glad folks are enjoying this. I'm getting a kick out of getting this all down before I forget it.
     
    Finally!
  18. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Great report so far, took me a while to get used to your style, but I like it. I'm in complete agreement on the Diet Dr. Pepper, hell I'd be happy if they just offered something diet rather then coke, somewhere on the strip besides a convenient store or machine. Outstanding comments on the dance scene as well at Toby Keith's, I'm from the same boat as you, if you are there, might as well enjoy it. And just to add your remarks on jerseys in Vegas are right on, pretty much regardless of what team it is, someone's bound to fist bump, curse you out, or strike up a conversation. I think I almost got into a fight with some rather large Pittsburgh Steeler women one trip while sporting my Browns jersey.
     
  19. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
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    Wisconsin
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    While Vegas may be, in some way, south of the Mason-Dixon line, it is solidly north of the Pepsi-Dr. Pepper line.
     
  20. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
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    Texas
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    I lost interest when you said "Dallas Cowboys". Barf.

    Otherwise good TR!
     
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