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Getting Our Happy On

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by westie, Apr 17, 2013.

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  1. westie

    westie VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,022
    Location:
    Kensington, CT
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60

    My Trip Report

    March 27 – April 10 2013

    3/27 The morning of our departure is always stressful, not for us, but for Max-The-Schipperke. Ann does our packing behind closed doors, but Max can still sense something is amiss and then goes into meltdown mode at the first sight of our luggage. He immediately retreats to one of his favorite hiding places, there are a total of 9 and counting, and ultimately has to be carried to the car. As usual, he is occupying a junior suite on Alligator Alley at the VCA Cromwell Vet for the duration of the trip.

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    The cost of parking for 15 days at Laz Valet Parking at Bradley International Airport was only $50 thanks to a coupon I received in a mailer from Valpak. We also took advantage of a $99 special for a complete interior/exterior detail of Max's RAV4.

    Our SWA nonstop flight departed on time and in just 6 longish hours we were seated on shuttle #1 headed to the remote parking facility where we picked up shuttle #2 to Fox Rent A Car's remote parking lot. The 2-week rate was exceptionally high, so I booked 3 separate reservations which saved almost $100. Our mid-size Nissan Sentra had a little over 25,000 miles on the odometer and a few minor blemishes, but so do I.

    The Fox facility is located just north of the South Point where we are staying. Check-in went quickly and, in response to my request for an upper level room as far away from the elevators as possible, we were assigned room #2496 overlooking the pool. I booked our reservation prior to March 1st so we were not subject to the recently introduced $14 per night resort fee.

    We were soon seated at Miguel's Tequila Bar and asked for the happy hour drink menu. Our bartender indicated the $2 for any tequila drink happy hour was history and the new happy hour pricing is $3 for house margaritas, beer or a Cuervo shot. We chose house margaritas.

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    What he did not tell us until we were set to depart and after I toked him, was that we could have ordered off the old happy hour menu by showing our room key card. Note: the old happy hour pricing was discontinued as of April 1st. ($8, 2.5 Sips)

    I should mention my To Do list for this trip included a number of happy hours (HH).

    Our next stop was the box office to pick-up complimentary tickets to tomorrow's Dennis Bono show. I noticed the tickets no longer includes stubs good for a free drink. Boo on you Michael Gaughan! We then proceeded to the showroom for the Deja Vu show where we used funbook coupons to gain entry, a free drink (merlot) and a coupon good for $5 in free play. We do not particularly like the band so with wine glass in hand we departed for the Silverado lounge. http://www.dejavudanceband.com/

    Dinner was at DonVito's Italian restaurant where we each ordered eggplant (with ricotta) Parmesan. Entrees include a side penne pasta with marinara sauce and a Caesar salad. http://www.southpointcasino.com/dining/don-vitos.php We received a bread basket along with their delicious dipping sauce of roasted red peppers and garlic cloves plus olive oil. Unfortunately, our Caesar salads looked like coleslaw and were devoid of any “Caesar” taste.

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    Our entrees were bountiful, but it was quite obvious each came from a different batch. Mine was topped with a large amount of melted mozzarella while Ann's was charred on the edges with little in the way of cheese. She ended eating less than half of hers and about a ¼ of mine.

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    We were both full so we used free dessert coupons from the funbooks received at check-in for takeout orders of tiramisu and cappuccino cheesecake. We also took advantage of the ½ point dining promotion that ran on Tuesday and Wednesdays in March. ($7, points, funbook, 2 Forks)

    03/28 I am an early riser, but waking up at 1 AM is a bit much. I headed off to Sam's Town for the 7x points being awarded seniors. Had I checked my notes, rather than relying on my faulty memory, I would have known that senior day is now on Tuesdays. Duh!

    It was mostly give and take during my extended video poker session with Sam doing more taking than giving, but as the countdown meter approached 15 minutes to departure I hit the 1st Quad deuces of the trip.

    On my way back to the South Point, I made a short detour to an Albertson's for grapefruit, orange juice and bananas which constituted our daily breakfast unless otherwise specified. We tried to use the “free” in room WIFI service, but could not establish a connection so we stopped by the front desk and were told a “tech” would call us to set up an appointment. Note: we are still waiting.

    We ended up checking our email at the Paseo Verde Library and picking up a few books for Ann. Being a little hungry, we stopped at a nearby In-N-Out Burger and ordered cheeseburgers and a small fry. After reading so many rave reviews of this franchise, I was totally underwhelmed. The burgers were the smallest and most overcooked I have experienced since my last visit to a Mickey D's and the fries were wimpy. ($7.25, 1.5 Forks)

    We were running late so on our return to the South Point we made a quick dash, actually more like a slow stroll, to the room for our Dennis Bono tickets. His guests today were Clint Holmes, singer and acting co-host Reba Rice, comedian/magician Murray Sawchuck, singers Jennifer Delatorre and Laurie Schaffer. http://www.dennisbono.com/p4lvnow.htm (2.5 Claps)

    On exiting, Ann headed off to the video poker machines while I entered the senior slot tournament. I scored just over 2,000 points which is better than usual, but not nearly good enough for me to place in the money.

    After an extended nap, we headed to the Tropicana where we parked and made the short walk over to the MGM. We found our way to the MyLife (slot club) booth and redeemed a reward earned by playing the MyVegas slots. https://www.facebook.com/myvegas

    These Facebook games will eventually be included in the Time Wasters Hall of Fame because you exchange countless hours of time for comps. In this case we obtained a $30 comp for the The Lounge at Signature which is located roughly one mile from the MyLife desk. http://www.signaturemgmgrand.com/restaurants/thelounge.aspx

    By timing our visit to coincide with the $6 Martini Party held Thursdays, we parlayed our comp into 4 martinis and made a sizable deposit on a very ordinary heirloom tomato/buffalo mozzarella/basil oil bruschetta with balsamic reduction. For the first round I chose a blackberry-basil gimlet (Tangueray rangpur gin, mulled basil, lime juice and fresh blackberries (3.5 Sips)) while Ann's was a Winter White martini (absolut vanialla vodka, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and white Creme de Cacao)(3 Sips)). Ann decided to change sides for round 2 and ordered the blackberry gimlet while I ventured into new territory with a Special Appearance martini (Grey Goose l'poire, apricot brandy, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice (3 Sips)). ($8.35, comps) http://www.signaturemgmgrand.com/files/the_lounge_menu.pdf

    Neither of us was in the mood for dinner so we returned to the room and polished off our tiramisu (runny, but delicious 3.5 Forks) and cappucino cheesecake (mostly crust, little cheese, 2 Forks).

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    03/29 My 2AM-7AM video poker (VP) session was held at the Fiesta-Henderson where I would have earned the 6 x points (actually 2) had I only remembered to visit the slot booth to register for the bonus before departing. Double Duh!

    After our fruit-based breakfast we headed off to the library again to check our emails followed by a visit to the farmers market in the adjoining parking lot. There was only one stall devoted to produce with most of the vendors selling crafts that were likely mass produced in China.

    I needed a street taco fix so we drove cross town to Tacos La Mexicana where we shared a 4-taco platter that included beans and Spanish rice. Ann chose 2 al pastors while I settled on a pastor and a chorizo. All were authentic (that's good), but the chorizo made my taste buds do the Shimmy, Shimmy Shake.

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    Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet began singing as the Westies made their appearance at Ellis Island. We headed directly to the center bar and ordered a pair of merlots from our favorite bartender. I asked Suzie if she minded me taking a photo since she has been serving us for something like 20 years – ha ha. As it turns out, that may have been an understatement because she has been working there for 21.

    Dinner was at the Veggie House, a vegetarian Chinese restaurant we enjoyed for the first time last October. http://www.veggiehousevegas.com/ We started with an off the menu spinach salad which was very fresh and delicious.

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    For entrees we shared spicy crispy beef with oranges and a recommendation by our waitress Mimi of sizzling seafood vegetables. The spicy beef was again very good, but the Mandarin oranges on the side added nothing to the dish so I would take a pass on them next time.

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    Everything was very good including the service. ($25.24, Groupon, 3.5 Forks)

    On our return to the South Point we walked around the casino floor before retiring for the evening.

    03/30 Unless otherwise noted, I played at the Fiesta most mornings. I made a small profit after hitting my #3 quad deuces. We had our usual breakfast in the room and read the Review Journal prior to departing for Mandalay Bay. Our first stop was the MyLife desk to redeem a MyVegas reward for the Border Grill brunch. http://www.bordergrill.com/PDF/BGSM_Brunch.pdf

    We met fellow foodie and Vegas Message Board member Warren and his charming wife Louann at the entrance and were soon seated on the enclosed patio sipping bottomless mimosas while discussing Las Vegas restaurants and other matters of great import. Over the ensuing 1.5 hours, or was it 3 (inside joke), we did a lot of gabbing, eating and drinking, but I neglected to write anything down and someone kept plying me with mimosas so my powers of recall have been somewhat diminished.

    Our waitress and her trainee brought us plates of fresh fruit with a sweetened citrus sauce (4 Forks) and guava empanadas. I was saving my appetite for the “good” stuff so I only took a bite of the empanada (4 Forks) which turned out to be very good.

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    Our waitress encouraged each of us to order 2 items on the first round with mine being Peruvian shrimp and grits (3 Forks) and short rib hash topped with an egg (4.5 Forks).

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    In the meantime, we, actually Warren, ordered another round of mimosas (4 Sips).

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    For the second round I ordered a bacon jalapeno PBJ (2.5 Forks) and shared Warren's eggs Benedict (3 Forks) while sipping yet another mimosa. I closed my meal with a thimble sized portion of rice pudding (2.5 Spoons).

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    My 3 table mates ordered a variety of other dishes with the huevos rancheros, bread pudding French toast and the breakfast enchilada garnering the most praise. In the meantime I had a 3rd or was possibly a 4th mimosa before it was time to say goodbye to those 2 Hot Tamales from Long Island.

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    After 3 or possibly 4 mimosas, it is fortunate that the Fox Rent A Car lot is a straight shot up the Las Vegas Blvd because it was time to return our 3-day rental and pick-up our 4-day rental. I requested the same car and went inside to complete the paperwork only to discover a long line of new arrivals.

    I spent most of the remainder of the afternoon hibernating before it was time to head off to Club Madrid in Sunset Station to see MOCCA perform. We have enjoyed this R&B and Motown band in the past and this evening's performance did not disappoint. (3 Claps)

    At the break we broke and headed to the Cerveza Cantina in the Fiesta-Henderson where we each enjoyed a house margarita (3 Sips) and orders of Southwestern crab cakes with a chipolte sauce (3.5 Forks). ($4, LVA, points)

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    Ann decided to play a little VP so I retreated to the sports bar and watched the Georgia women upset
    #1 seeded Stanford while nursing a hefeweizen draft brewed at Barley's. ($4, 2,5 Sips)

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    On our return to the South Point we caught the last few numbers by Wes Winters in the Grandview lounge (2 Claps) before calling it a night.

    03/31 I managed to catch my #4 quads this morning. After some OJ and fruit, we returned to the Fiesta for breakfast at the newly opened Cafe Fiesta. https://fiestahenderson.sclv.com/en/Dining/Cafe-Fiesta.aspx We each ordered easy over eggs, wheat toast, hash browns and bacon. The eggs were perfect, the bacon crispy, the hash browns tasty, but the bread was barely toasted. ($2, points, 2.5 Forks)

    On our return to the South Point we stopped off at the bar for a spicy bloody Mary (me) and a coffee with Bailey's (Ann). ($4, 3.5 Sips)

    The room was not made up so Ann played while I read the paper and people watched in the hotel lobby. The beginning of this trip coincided with March Madness, spring break and Easter so thousands of children of varying ages have been milling around the property since our arrival, but they have now begun to depart.

    I enjoyed my first and last hot dog of the trip from the cart adjacent to the sports book just before returning to the room. ($1, 2.5 Buns)

    I spent the afternoon watching Louisville romp over Duke plus portions of a few other mens games in the confines of our room.

    At 5:30PM we met our niece Joy and husband Gino at Miguel's Tequila bar. I flashed my room card at the bartender and ordered a round of drinks (3) tequila mockingbirds for them and Patron margarita for me.

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    This was the last night the old pricing (e.g. $2 for any tequila drink) was in effect, so a second round was mandatory, 3 more mockingbirds and a tequila sunrise for me. ($20, 2.5 Sips)

    We, actually I, decided to take them to Fuego at the Fiesta-Henderson for Easter dinner. https://fiestahenderson.sclv.com/en/Dining/Fuego-Steakhouse.aspx I was in the mood for prime rib, but we were told the kitchen had run out. Since there were only 2 other tables occupied this evening, my guess is the chef decided not to bother roasting a prime rib this evening. Ann and I each ordered a 3-course for $24 meal which started with a warm bread basket and house salad.

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    Ann's was a prime, filet style, sirloin accompanied by a humongous sweet potato and baby carrots. I went with the evening's special, a braised lamb shank with roasted potatoes and baby carrots. Each of our entrees turned out to be pretty good though I was a bit surprised the lamb shank was served plain rather than in its braising liquid.

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    We concluded the meal with a pair of excellent desserts, crème brulee for the lady and fresh berries in Grand Marnier sauce for your humble, but stuffed reporter. ($20, points, 2.5 Forks)


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    After returning to the South Point, we bid adieu to Joy and Gino and settled in for the night while I am sure they had bigger plans.

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    04/01 Though Sam's was offering 7 x points this day, the joke was on me as my VP play turned into a train wreck. After our usual breakfast we returned to the scene of the crime with me losing again and Ann making a few dollars.

    For lunch we went to Pura Vida on Western Avenue. I would never have entertained thoughts of dining at this very modest appearing vegetarian restaurant, located in a sketchy section of downtown, except for its many favorable reviews. http://www.puravidavegas.com/

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    Ann ordered a Latin Tude (a burrito filled with black beans, refried beans, vegan cheese, onions, garlic, tomatoes, roasted potatoes with poblano peppers) while I chose, being a romantic, the My Love (2 burrito's with sun dried tomatoes, Cuban black beans, vegan cheese, spinach, roasted garlic potatoes and peppers). We were told the food would take 30 minutes and were encouraged to have an appetizer. In retrospect, I am glad we didn't because each of our dishes could have, should have, been shared. Both were beautifully plated and delicious, but we ended up taking half of each with us. ($18, Groupon, 4 Forks)

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    In the afternoon we watched the UCONN women easily beat Kentucky in the Bridgeport regional finals before heading off for dinner at 808 Tapas. https://www.facebook.com/808Tapas This Asian-fusion restaurant serves an eclectic mix of small plates. We started off with a crab stack (assorted chopped vegetables, mango and crab enhanced by a ginger-lime dressing and nasu fries (panko crusted eggplant. The crab stack (4 Forks) was light and refreshing while fries were melt in your mouth delicious (4.5 Forks).

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    Our second order of saikozuke (miso marinated black cod (3 Forks) and lamb pops (2.5 Forks) was not quite as good, but still recommendable.

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    We concluded this feast with dessert –an overpriced banana fritter with vanilla ice cream (2 Forks) and tempura green tea ice cream (3 Forks).

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    Overall, this was one of the more interesting meals of our trip. ($30, Groupon)

    On our return to the South Point we saw someone using a laptop in the business office so we inquired if he had a working internet connection as we haven't been successful and the tech hadn't called us. He said he (Mike) was a tech and had not been told of our problem but would come up and help us. Twice he got us connected, but shortly after he left the room we got disconnected again.

    04/02 I played at Sam's this morning since 7 x points were being offered plus seniors could swipe at a kiosk for goodies. I managed to lose a bundle, discovered the multi-points were only available after 7AM and my 3 swipes resulted in useless virtual sweepstakes entries.

    We again could not establish a connection to the internet so after breakfast it was off to the Paseo Verde library to check our email. Lunch was leftovers from Pura Vida which tasted good right out of the refrigerator.

    Ann played VP in the afternoon while I read and napped. On her return we watched
    the Notre Dame women beat Duke before heading to Romano's Macaroni Grill in Henderson for the nightly happy hour.

    On our first round I ordered an Italian mojito (Bacardi rum, mulled mint, Campari and La Marca prosecco (4 Sips)) while Ann requested a blood orange cosmo (Ketel One orange, blood orange (2.5 Sips)). On our next round Ann ordered the Italian mojito while I chose a Sorrento Lemonade (absolut vodka, Il Tramonto lemoncello and fresh lemonade (3 Sips) We enjoyed an order of spicy ricotta meatballs in a pommodoro sauce (2.5 Forks) which were tasty, but ricotta free from what we could tell.

    I used a $25 gift card I won last year in SWA sweepstakes. ($7)

    Dinner was at Black Mountain Grill in Henderson where we have previously dined on 2 other occasions. http://www.blackmountaingrill.com/ On Tuesdays the restaurant has a special of 2 for 1 entrees. We each chose the stuffed halibut (brie, shrimp and crab) that was accompanied by a delicious mushroom risotto and grilled vegetables. The halibut is usually very moist, but this evening it was bone dry from overcooking. ($32, 2 Forks)

    Photos of the above meal and those taken on April 3rd failed to upload and were deleted from the camera before I realized the error of my ways.

    On our return to the South Point we made our way to the Grandview Lounge to listen to the Magic of Motown show, but there were no available seats so we took our leave at the first break with Ann playing for an hour and me retiring to the room. (3 Claps)

    04/03 I hit my #5 and #6 quad deuces in an extended morning session at the Fiesta-Henderson.

    Today marked the half way point of this trip so our first stop this morning was the Laundrimat (sic) where we had clothes wash and folded at the bargain rate of $1 per pound. We then made the short drive to Ellis Island where we had our usual cinnamon French Toast (Ann) and easy over eggs with wheat toast and breakfast potatoes. Both dishes were very good as was the service. http://www.ellisislandcasino.com/ ($9, ACG, 3 Forks)

    We each played $10 through a 9/6 JOB machine and redeemed an ACG coupon good for $10 in future free play. Ann cashed out with with $18.75 while my cash out ticket read $13.75. We will be redeeming our free play on the next trip.

    I then dropped Ann of at Episage Wellness Center for a massage by Teri and then made my way to Sam's for an abbreviated VP session before returning to pick her up again. http://www.episagewellness.net/ ($66, 4.5 Hands)

    It was time to revisit Fox Rent A Car with a request, actually a demand, for the same car. The check-in attendant gave me some BS, but I told him I would be taking the same car. I also encountered an idiot (Walter) at the counter who was one of the laziest clerks I have ever encountered, but we finally were off in “our” Sentra.

    Next stop was the Green Turtle Spa where Ann had a hair raising experience while I visited the library.
    ($35, 4 Shears) http://www.gtsalon.com/

    On our return to the South Point, Ann played for awhile and then swiped her card at a kiosk winning $20 in free play. In the late afternoon we picked up our laundry and proceeded to Ellis Island. In the past we could not redeem our LVA free drink coupons at the Karaoke bar, but that policy has been changed. We had a pair of merlots while listening to Bill DeLoach and his wife perform. Bill is the former musical conductor for Danny Gans and a 3-time member of the Four Seasons. (3 Claps)

    Dinner this evening was at the Oyster Bar at Sunset Station where Ann ordered the crab pan roast and I went with the cioppino. https://sunsetstation.sclv.com/Dining/The-Oyster-Bar.aspx One would expect to find crab legs in the pan roast, but there were just shreds of crab meat. Meanwhile my cioppino contained a copious amount of seafood including the aforementioned missing split crab legs, mussels, white fish and clams in a delicious, slightly spicy tomato based broth. I was able to take advantage of the Wednesday ½ points for seniors promotion. ($6, 3 Spoons)

    04/04 Sam's was offering 7 x points, but my dwindling bankroll took a major hit this AM. I made the cross town drive to Ronald's where I picked up an apple fritter and cake donut. The fritter is by far the bestest in the land. ($2.10, 4 Crumbs)

    After a short visit to the library, we drove to Bellagio where I parked on the upper level of the self-parking garage. We picked up tonight's 'O' tickets, viewed the spring exhibit in the botanical garden, the patisserie and Chihuly shop before departing.

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    Lunch was at Fat Choy in the beautiful Eureka Casino. I have driven past this casino for many years and never once found a compelling reason to stop in. http://fatchoylv.com/d The owner formerly owned the now defunct Great Bao and is serving up of a tasty mix of Asian and American food.

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    We decided to share orders of Peking duck bao and a short rib grilled cheese sandwich. The former comes 2 to an order and is served with hosin sauce and some greens. The grilled cheese, served with a tomato dip and fries, had both cheddar and provolone cheeses on grilled buttered bread and proved to be a revelation.

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    I am looking forward to trying the shrimp toast, Grandma's potstickers and/or short rib rice on a future trip. ($13.81, LVA, 3.5 Chopsticks) As a side note, the Eureka Casino's clientele is, shall we say, interesting?

    On our return to the room, I napped while Ann played a little VP. On visiting the slot club, she was told she had an additional $10 in free play for April as a guest which we assume refers to being a non resident.

    Happy Hour #4 was at the Cortez Room in the Gold Coast. Drinks and appetizers are half priced, but there is no specialty cocktail menu so we opted for merlots (4).

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    ($3, points, 2.5 Sips). Note: normally when using points the conversion rate is 600 points = a $1, but I was charged 1,000 points which I assume is because of happy hour pricing.

    We departed again for Bellagio, an aquatic masterpiece by Cirque du Soleil. http://www.bellagio.com/o-cirque-du-soleil/o-cirque-du-soleil.aspx We found the show to be more artistic than exciting, but totally captivating. ($0, MyVegas, 4 Claps)

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    On returning to the South Point, we shared a cup of chocolate and double chocolate fudge ice cream at Kate's Corner. Not the best ice cream, but it was convenient. ($3.70, 2.5 Spoons)

    04/05 I managed to breakeven with hitting the quad deuces this morning.

    Breakfast was at Bon Chef Cafe in Henderson. http://www.bonchefcafe.com/
    Ann chose the eggs Benedict with me choosing a spinach omelet with mushrooms and cheese. Each entree included breakfast potatoes that almost were as good as those served at Ellis Island.

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    Both dishes were well executed and service was excellent. Our server turned out to be one of the partners that opened in mid-October 2012. ($16, LivingSocial, 4 Forks)

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    We made the short drive to the Paseo Verde Library before returning to the South Point. I napped for much of the afternoon, while Ann played some VP and exercised.

    At around 5PM we arrived at the El Cortez to take advantage of the Parlour Bar happy hour, only to be told that all happy hours had been discontinued 5 days prior. Not to be denied we walked to the Golden Nugget and found a couple chairs at the bar at the Grotto. http://www.goldennugget.com/lasvegas/eat_grotto.asp

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    This happy hour, running from Mon-Fri 2-6PM, features $5 martinis and bellinis plus $7 pizzas. Ann enjoyed a pair of bananas fosterinis while I found happy hour bliss by ordering a lemonade (spiked of course) and a pomatini.

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    ($24.82, 3.5 Sips)

    Dinner was at the Pasta Pirate restaurant located inside the California. It has been many calories and inches since we have dined at this Italian seafood restaurant. http://www.thecal.com/dine/pasta-pirate

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    Entrees include a glass of wine, fresh baked bread and a choice of seafood soup or the house salad. We each chose the salad with dressing on the side and cioppino as our entrees.

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    The cioppino, served over linguini, included lobster, shrimp, clams and white fish in a saffron tomato broth. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed our dining experience though Ann was a little less enthusiastic. ($6, LVA, points, 3 Forks)

    On exiting, we made the short walk to the Four Queens, stopping to listen to Carl Safe Sax Ferris and a couple playing the drums.

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    Tonight's show was Jay Bolan's 'Accoustic Rock' in the intimate and Spartan Canyon Club. http://jaybolan.com/

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    Jay performs on an empty stage populated by 5 guitars, a stool and 2 beers sitting in an ice bucket. The music is primarily cover tunes from the 60's, 70's and 80's plus he takes audience requests. We both found the show to be highly entertaining and recommendable. ($0, LVA, 3 Strings)

    Prior to exiting we stopped by the slot club booth and redeemed the $10 free play coupon from the LVA, netting $16.25 total.

    As we attempted to exit the casino, we encountered a massive crowd awaiting the start of the Joe Nichols concert held in conjunction with the Academy of Country Music Awards. We exited from a side door and took a circuitous route back to the El Cortez.

    04/06 The days are dwindling to a precious few and I cannot hit _____. After breakfast we visited the library once more followed by a visit to the downtown Las Vegas Premium outlets where we purchased a few gifts for our nieces children.

    We lunched at Presto Cafe on a shared B Reuben with corned beef topped with a unique purple cabbage slaw, Russian dressing and Gruyere cheese plus a scoop of one of their 8 prepared salads. It was a difficult choice but we settled on the one made with black beans, avocado, corn, tomato, onion, and cilantro. All the ingredients were very fresh and the staff was exceptionally friendly. ($7.85, KSHP, 4 Forks) http://www.prestocafelv.com/

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    I spent the afternoon reclining while Ann exercised and put in a short, but unprofitable VP session. On her return, we watched the Wichita State versus Louisville game in the confines of our room before departing for Ellis Island where we each enjoyed a pair of merlots. ($3, LVA, 2.5 Sips)

    Dinner was at Crab Corner, a Maryland style crab house. http://www.crabcornerlv.com/

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    We decided to share the crab cake entree which came with (2) 1/3 pound lump meat crab cakes and 2 sides with us choosing coleslaw and sweet potato tots. ($22.05, LivingSocial, 3 Forks)

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    We continued down Flamingo to Sam's Town where I lost in an abbreviated VP session while Ann won during a more extended session. During the interim, I visited Roxy's Lounge to listen to the band Nitro featuring Gabriella Versace on vocals. https://www.facebook.com/NitroLasVegas (2.5 Claps)

    04/07 Another losing VP session at Fiesta-Henderson followed by a cross town trek to Ronald's for his (I am tired of sharing) and hers apple fritters. ($2.60, 4 Forks)

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    The remainder of the morning was spent reading the Sunday newspaper and naps for one and all. For lunch we drove to the new Tacos el Gordo located on the Las Vegas Strip in the shadow of Encore.

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    We encountered long lines and slow service, but the food was as good as served at the Charleston Blvd location which have frequented many times. We ordered our standard meal of 4 adobada street tacos and a pina colada, non alcoholic drink. There is both inside and outside seating at this location with us choosing inside. ($3, KSHP, 4 Tortillas)

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    We next drove to the Smith Center to catch the Clint Holmes show in the intimate, 250 seat, Cabaret Jazz. This month's show, titled “This Thing Called Love, The Music of Cole Porter and Paul Simon”, garnered awards when originally performed at the Cafe Carlyle in NYC last year.
    http://tinyurl.com/csstlyo

    The show was being recorded for a live CD as well being filmed by a PBS crew. We have seen Clint perform at least 20 times over the years at Harrah's, the Dennis Bono Show, Suncoast and now the Smith Center and are constantly in awe of his showmanship, versatility and talent. ($90, 5 Claps)

    Later that afternoon we watched Louisville polish off California in the semi finals to set up the championship game against the UCONN women.

    Merlots at Ellis Island were followed by a light meal at Nosh & Swig. http://www.noshandswig.com/
    The chef/owner of this new restaurant offers unique small plates that hit high notes on this evening. We received a small bucket of popcorn while we perused the bound menu.

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    We started off with Elote (3 pieces of grilled corn on the cob with garlic butter, cayenne and cilantro pesto) and nachos O'Brien (house made potato chips topped with peppered pork, Dublin cheddar cheese and tomatoes).

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    On the second round we opted for paella served in a cast iron pot and Singapore greens. The latter combines romaine lettuce, crispy noodles, and stir fried veggies and is served in a mason jar to which you add tamarind vinaigrette before shaking and serving.

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    Everything was delicious so we will undoubtedly be returning. ($22.03, Groupon, 4.5 Forks)

    04/08 The temperature made a dramatic drop this morning as did our net worth.

    Ann played after breakfast while I drove to Manan Bakery and picked up a mini Napoleon and chocolate mousse at this Armenian bakery. ($5.78) http://www.mananbakery.com/

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    For all the times we have stayed at the South Point, we have never dined at Big Sur Oyster Bar, but now we have. http://www.southpointcasino.com/dining/big-sur-oyster-bar.php

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    $7.95 luncheon specials are offered Monday – Thursday with Ann choosing shrimp jambalaya and me the pasta primavera with shrimp. Each of the dishes were very fresh tasting and a return engagement is promised. ($3, points, 3.5 Forks)

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    Fearing our desserts might go bad, we decided to share the Napoleon. It was not crusty suggesting it had been sitting in the display case for too long plus it suffered by not having enough filling. (1.5 Forks)

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    Our late afternoon got worse when we attended the Mick Tiano show at the Clarion. The show, with an audience numbering 19, actually had an opening, DJ Disco and 2 female dancers. Disco music can be enjoyable in short bursts, but this performance seemed to go on and on.

    Mick, a comedic impressionist from Joisey, works hard, but never once had a spot on impression. http://www.micktiano.com/ We are way too polite to leave during a performance, but it was given serious consideration.

    Mick and DJ set up outside immediately outside the showroom doors before we could exit so we shook hands and gave them both attaboys. ($10, KSHP, 0.5 Claps)

    We decided we needed yet a little more nourishment, so we drove to Ramen Sora on Spring Mountain Road.*

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    This was the first time we have had ramen so we were fortunate to have a waiter who walked us through the various options. Ann chose shoyu ramen which had a slightly funky taste while I opted for chasu miso ramen.*

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    The pork was melt in your mouth good and the noodles were chewy, but neither of us are likely to order ramen again.* ($20.84, 2 Forks)*

    04/09 I managed to breakeven this morning while earning 7x points at Sam's.

    After breakfast we once again visited the Paseo Verde library to check our email and donate a couple of books Ann had read on this trip.

    In the early afternoon we drove to Bellagio, parking on the upper level of the self-parking garage, and stopped by the MyLife desk for our comped luncheon buffet coupons. This reward includes a line pass which was not needed.

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    I sampled a number of dishes including shrimp cocktail, a spinach salad with goat cheese, skirt steak, Chinese broccoli, sweet potato mash, a bbq rib, and 3 desserts.

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    Everything was fresh looking, but each dish seemed to be aimed at not offending rather than titillating anyone's taste buds. ($5, MyVegas, 2.5 Forks)

    On our return to the South Point we picked up Gary Puckett and Union Gap tickets for our next trip using a LVA 2 for 1 coupon. Ann played a little VP and swiped her card at a kiosk winning a free breakfast buffet. We both rested for much of the afternoon in anticipation of the UCONN versus Louisville championship game.

    Immediately prior to tip off, we secured our seats at the Silverado Lounge bar and watched UCONN Waltz to their 8th National Championship. GO HUSKIES!

    We celebrated the victory at the Silverton's Twin Creeks late night happy hour where all food and drinks are ½ priced. Ann chose the highly coveted toasted almond martini (amaretto, Kahlua and house made vanilla bean cream (4 Sips)) while I sought new ground by ordering a raspberry ice cream martini (raspberry vodka, Chambord, sweet and sour mix, and the vanilla bean cream (3 Sips)). We also shared orders of bacon wrapped dates with a balsamic reduction (4 Forks) and piquillo peppers stuffed with garlic cream cheese and served with marinara (3 Forks). ($21.62)

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    04/10 There was no hail Mary during my last video poker session at the Fiesta. Ann never hit a quad during this trip and my last one was a distant 7 days ago.

    Breakfast was at the Garden buffet at the South Point. This morning I opted for my usuals – OJ, fresh fruit with strawberry yogurt, bacon, huevos rancheros and corned beef hash. ($5, LVA, 2.5 Forks)

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    Our return trip was unmemorable except that we had to wait on the tarmac for several minutes before our gate became available.

    Our gambling record has now fallen to 15 wins in the past 23 trips and I now realize we are firmly planted on the wrong end of the bell curve. I do have a warning for Sam Boyd, Michael Gaughan and Frank J. Fertitta III; don't spend the money you won from us because we are returning in 6 weeks and expect to recoup our losses plus interest.

    Thanks are once again extended to those who have taken the time to read this long and rambling TR. Feel free to make comments and/or ask questions.


    “Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.”
    Johnathan Winters
    (November 11, 1925*– April 11, 2013)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Enjoyable report as always:thumbsup: I just get so hungry reading it.
     
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  3. blizzard96

    blizzard96 Low-Roller

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    Love all the food reports and how you combined MLife and MyVegas into the MyLife program..lol
     
  4. dawnnut1

    dawnnut1 Tourist

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    Loved the report - those quads and royals will come next time! I've never heard anyone else order my all-time favorite drink before - the Toasted Almond :licklips:
     
    VEGAS BABY!
  5. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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    Michele, the lead bartender, recommended the drink the first time we went to the happy hour, back when it was 75% off after 8PM, and we have been ordering every since.
     
  6. Hawaiianmark

    Hawaiianmark Low-Roller

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    Thanks now Im hungry!

    :nworthy:
     
  7. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    Great TR. Thanks!

    Always enjoy your reports on the restaurants off the beaten track :licklips:
     
  8. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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    Thanks for the great report, as usual! Clint Holmes at Harrah's was the first show I ever saw in Vegas. He was very talented and entertaining.
     
  9. guapoxxx

    guapoxxx High-Roller

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    westie,

    Awesome TR and thanks for sharing! Liked all of your food reports and definitely going to check out Bon Chef Cafe during my upcoming trip...

    Charlie
     
    Annual Golf Trip
  10. ant1433

    ant1433 Low-Roller

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    Is the Noshand swig walkable from a strip hotel? I haven't rented a car in vegas yet. Just wondering.
    Also..Now I am hungry.
    Thanks for the report
     
  11. txpeanut

    txpeanut Tourist

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    Great report! Thanks for all the pics and links.
     
  12. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Poor Max; I laws pack behind closed doors too, lol. I'm always starving after I read one of your reports but enjoyed the read and yummy photos.
     
  13. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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    \

    Not walkable, but it is on Flamingo so I expect you could grab the 202 bus around Bally's to get there.
     
  14. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Westie, I always love your trip reports and your pictures. Your dog is so cute, too. I have to pack behind closed doors because my cat jumps into my suitcase in hopes that she will get to go with us. I look forward to your next trip report.
     
  15. Check-Raise

    Check-Raise Low-Roller

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    Nice report, thanks for the pictures and for taking the time.
     
  16. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Never can I pass up a Westie report! I thought I was the only one who did not have a good first time meal at In & Out...
    As always, I love all the pics. Thanks for taking the time to post them all!!
     
  17. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

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    I always love a Westie report too. The pics and the descriptions of the menu items are much appreciated!!
    Looking forward to the next one..........
     
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