I enjoy reading everyone’s trip reports, so I figured I would finally post one of my one. I’m a mid-twenties male from Chicago and this most recent trip was my 5th time out to Vegas. I went with my girl, who has now been there 3 times. We both like to play pai gow, sports bet, as well as the kitschy new slots and video poker for the free drinks at the bar, and I play a fair bit of blackjack and craps. The Cosmo had posted a “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” deal on their facebook a few months before and as a joke I decided to price out the Wraparound Terrace Suite for the weekend before Christmas. I still thought it was a joke when the total was only going to be $400, but I showed my girl anyways. She said to book it and the next thing I know, we’re off to Vegas! She flies a good amount for her work, so this year she qualified for the Southwest Companion Pass. We used it a couple times this year and wanted to sneak in one more trip before it expires in January. We flew out of Midway without any issue and ended up scoring free bags of peanut butter M&M’s from the airport snack shop. When we landed in Vegas, we met up with our driver Will from Presidential, who took us to our limo. We’ve used Presidential a couple times now, and they’re always a nice way to start Vegas off right. We went ahead and got an extra hour to cruise up and down Las Vegas Blvd. to check out all the changes taking place and to make sure we finish that free bottle of champagne. We both loved Bill’s for it’s $1 margaritas and cheap pai gow, so it was bittersweet to see it torn up for its renovations. After our time in the limo, we stopped in to the front desk of the Cosmo to check in. There we were greeted by Jaysen, who, when seeing my $20 next to my driver’s license, said he’d “take complete care” of us. After clicking away at the keyboard for a few minutes, he came back with “Well, I’m not gonna lie, you guys have the best room with a great location already”. He pocketed the $20 and started to wrap our check-in up without any further word. I figured getting a Lanai suite upgrade would be a bit of a stretch, but I wasn’t going to lose $20 for nothing, so I went ahead and asked about getting our resort fees waived. “Yeah sure thing, just make sure you mention it during your check out and I’ll put a note in here for you guys”. Awesome!- Spend $20 to save $56 in resort fees. By my calculations I’m already up $36, haha. We take our bags up to room 5678 (this easy number would come in handy later during our drunken stupors) and check out the digs. It really was an amazing room, with two full baths and an incredible terrace that looked down right onto the fountains, extending south towards the MGM. I made sure to send all my friends a ton of pictures because I was sure I wouldn’t be spending another night here anytime soon for this cheap. Still on Chicago time, we decided to grab an “early” dinner at Wicked Spoon. We’d eaten there once before and loved the small plating they did with their dishes. Just like before, it was a very good option with a lot more hits than misses, although they seemed to be scaling back their small plates for the standard “Food Trough”. They were also serving Opilo crab legs- great if you’re a fan of Deadliest Catch, not so great if you want to eat some actual damn crab legs. A cool detail at the dessert bar- they had jars of wrapped candy and I made sure to pinch a pocketful of Bit-O-Honeys for myself on the way out. Since it was a Saturday and we wanted to go easy on this trip in terms of gambling, we avoided the Strip’s tables and took a cab up to Fremont. Before hitting the tables, we saw that there was an hour left before the Mob Museum closed, so we quickly rushed in and bought our tickets. The place was extremely detailed and had a ton of cool displays and exhibits on mob activity from all over the country. Being from Chicago, we were especially pumped to see the actual brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. If you do decide to check it out, give yourself more than an hour, as we ended up plowing through all three floors to make sure we at least caught a glimpse of everything. We promised ourselves that on our next trip, we’d come back with more time. Downtown Grand was just across the way from the museum, so we walked over to check it out. It had a very nice open feel, but that may have just been because the place was nearly dead. I signed up for their player’s card and got my $3 in free play. Got a couple beers and cashed out for a quick $20 on their video poker machine. My girl and I then played pai gow for a couple hours, leaving behind $75. We picked up a $1 chip before we left to add to our collection and headed towards Fremont. She’s usually complaining about being freezing half the time, no matter the weather, so I was surprised when she suggested we buy some novelty frozen drinks. Taking a turn to Mermaid’s, we both snagged a boozed-up football and wandered over to the 4 Queens. On a recent blog post, I had come across these “Silver Strikers” metal chips that are in a select number of slots around some Vegas casinos. Seeing as we love collecting chips from all the casinos we visit, we figured we’d try for one of these bad boys. It only took us $25 to score our $10 chip with a very fitting picture of a chick representing “Winter”. We grabbed a cab, frozen footballs in hand, back to the Cosmo and called it an early night. A note to anyone staying at the Wraparound suite- the pull out freezer drawer perfectly accommodates the Mermaids frozen footballs. Next time we’re here, we’ll be sure to stock that thing up. Coming into the trip, Sunday was going to be a contentious day for us. The Bears/ Eagles game was originally scheduled for 10AM Vegas time, which directly conflicted with the Curling lessons that were being held on the Cosmo Ice Rink. Thankfully, the gods saw fit to flex the Bears game, so we were able to grab a quick coffee at Va Benne in the Cosmo and head to the Boulevard Pool to get our curling on. The instructors there were from the local curling club and were extremely helpful and friendly, despite the “ice” on the rink looking more like slush. We were all of 5 people out there that morning, so it was really cool to get what amounted to private curling lessons in Vegas. Before curling, we wanted to get some action on the early games, so we picked up the money line bets for the Texans, the Cardinals, and the Giants. We wandered back to the casino floor and picked up some drinks while playing video poker and watching the rest of the early NFL games. Needing some food, we made our way to Holstein’s to pick up a couple burgers and the Cap’n Crunch vodka milkshake. Two of our three bets hit (thanks for nothing, Houston) and we cashed those out with a nice underdog profit. Here is the part where I skip talking about the embarrassing Bears game. Sunday night, we were supposed to check out Marquee, as our hotel guest privileges were supposed to get us in a faster line. My girl however ended up passing out at 8:30PM and slept the entire night, leaving me to wander the casino floor. For the life of me, I could not find a decent craps shooter. Every table I’d sidle up to, everyone would be either too green to hit anything or too drunk to care. After switching tables twice, I decided to walk away towards a blackjack table, where I found myself being dealt an amazing couple rounds of cards heads up by a dealer who went by “O.C.” By the end, I was calling him Outta Control because he threw me at least 4 blackjacks and busted out on split 8’s with a resplit and a double down on an 11. Tipped him $20 and walked away not caring so much about those Craps tables any more. The next time I got a look at my phone, I saw that 5 hours had passed since I had left the room. It now being 2AM and having not eaten since lunch,I trekked over to Earl of Sandwich at the PHo and grabbed a couple subs to take back to the room to call it a night and watch the fountains light up from the balcony. Monday morning was fairly tame, with us packing up and heading to check out. When we received our final bill, we noticed that the resort fees were not taken off our bill. After talking to a different front desk attendant and a manager, we got that squared away and received a corrected bill, but not without getting Jaysen in a bit of trouble, I presume. I felt a little bad, but then again he shouldn’t have said he could waive them if it was out of his control and pocket my $20 in the process. We made our farthest trek up the strip to the Flamingo to cash in our Blackhawks Stanley Cup ticket (cue “Chelsea Dagger” music). Throwing a couple random futures long shots for the NFL and NCAA March tournament in, we cabbed it to the airport and flew back home. Checking our bank account a few days after Vegas, we look at all of our purchases, partly to make sure our info didn’t get stolen, partly to help remember what all we had bought. Looking through it, we had a strange charge show up from the Cosmopolitan for the amount of $56. The exact same amount as the resort fees. Now I’m pissed. I call the Cosmo up and the lady on the line says she doesn’t show that charge being on our account. For all the initial complaints on their service and personnel, I had hoped the Cosmo would have gotten the kinks out of the operations after three years. We disputed the charge on our account and had an otherwise great trip end on a sour note. As much as I love the Cosmo and the rooms, I’m hesitant to stay there again.