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How to Pack Seven Deadly Sins into One Vegas Weekend:

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by NICU8697, Aug 22, 2006.

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  1. NICU8697

    NICU8697 Member <IMG SRC=http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/f

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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    Long-winded but it's my first and (probably) last TR on the board:


    Thursday 8/17 [Pride and Lust]:

    The wife (a Vegas Virgin) and I both worked a half-day before heading over to MidAmerica Airport to catch our 2:15 flight on Allegiant Air, using their "buy-one-get-one-free" flight offer. It was much nicer having to only drive 5 minutes from the Air Force base to the terminal, instead of fighting St. Louis traffic to fly out of Lambert. The flight was uneventful and we landed in Vegas at 3:40. I sent the little lady off to wait at the baggage carousel while I went to check in at the MGM Grand counter. We had booked a West Wing room but I handed the clerk my ID and credit card along with a $20 and asked if there were any King-bed Bungalow suites with a decent view available. He checked and sure enough, there was one on the 17th floor with our name on it. :) I left feeling quite Proud of myself and met up with my better half. I then gave Bill Le (vegashost) a call to check on our table reservations at Tabu for that night and he set me up with his contact there. We grabbed a cab to the MGM and were up in our room by 4:30.

    After unpacking we made our way over to Mandalay Bay. We checked out the hotel and casino area and I showed her the sports book area. She asked for a quick explanation of all the different odds and such so I gave her the brief run-down. We, eventually, made our way to dinner at Caffé Giorgio. We used the $25 gift certificate purchased for $4 from Restaurant.com, which allowed me to get the Surf and Turf without feeling even a hint of financial guilt. I hate to speak in hyperbole but this was by far the best meal I have ever eaten. Both the lobster and the filet melted in my mouth. The meat was ordered medium and cooked that way, nothing but pink in the middle. Truly, "Lust" was in full effect as I ate my way through this fantastic meal. My wife went simple and had the chicken fettuccini Alfredo. Even though it's a fairly common dish and something she orders frequently she said it was excellent. The portions were very good as she even had a little left over to bring back to the fridge in the room. After dinner we strolled through the rest of the Mandalay Place and my wife's sweet tooth led us to the Chocolate Swan. We loaded up on sweets and headed over to the Luxor. This is one of the few places that I've actually seen in my past trips to Vegas (I've been there twice, both times for concerts so I usually only go to the shows then back to a hotel to party, so this was my first time seeing much of the Strip). My wife was very impressed with the inside. After some pictures of Luxor and Excalibur we made our way back to the MGM to get ready for our night at Tabu. It was only 8:30 so my wife decided to lay down for a little bit to recharge her batteries. I decided to take the opportunity to hit the tables. Sat down at a Blackjack table and immediately felt a good vibe. The dealer and other players were laughing and joking with each other so I had a good feeling. I sat down with $100 and after what seemed like only 30 minutes had doubled that. In reality it had been almost 90 minutes so I left the table and went upstairs to make myself presentable.

    We arrived at Tabu just before 11. There was really no one there yet but we talked to Bill's man Xavier at the door and were quickly led to a table by our gorgeous (and tall) server. We ordered a bottle of Chardonnay and just enjoyed being able to chill out and talk to each other at a normal volume. With a 2-year-old at home there doesn't seem to be much time for us to just chat. After nearly 3/4 of the bottle was gone the crowd began to move in. The DJ turned the volume up on the music and the place was in full party mode. The wife and I hit the dance floor and enjoyed the show being put on by two girls on a nearby couch. OK so maybe the real Lust part of the evening happened here. I mean the steak was good but tender beef doesn't hold a candle to some good, clean girl-on-girl Vegas fun!!! The wife still maintains that the ladies were "professionals" but after I saw them taking pictures with their "dates" I wasn't so sure. I mean would you let your "escort" anywhere near a camera in Vegas??? Anyway, after waking up that morning at 5am for a half-day of work, a 3-hour flight, digesting the greatest meal I've ever had, and a bottle of wine…we were ready for bed. So we left the club around 2am and made the short stagger to the elevators. Day one was in the books and in my opinion a perfect start.

    Friday 8/18 [Gluttony, Greed and Anger]:

    We were up at 7:30 so we could hit the Paris breakfast buffet before the line got too insane. We hopped the monorail from MGM to Paris and waited less than 20 minutes in line before being seated. Let me say that this buffet was "as advertised" by you T2Vers. I must have had at least 5 ham and cheese croissants alone. The made-to-order crepes and the various sausages made repeat appearances on my plate. The service was a little scarce but being a buffet that only meant that I didn't fill up on drinks, which left room for one more crepe. After stuffing our faces we knew we needed a workout. We strolled through the hotel and headed out the front doors to the Strip. We took a few pictures of the outside of Paris (the wife and I have been to the actual city so it was interesting to compare) and made our way North to the Venetian. We enjoyed the stroll, taking in the sights along the way. At the Venetian was stopped for some more pictures before going inside to window shop at the Grand Canal. The wife tried on a pair of $500 Jimmy Choo shoes, fortunately it's free to try them on.

    After leaving the Shoppes we crossed over to the Mirage. We marveled at the massive aquarium behind the front desk and took a few pictures of the lazy white tiger snoozing. Then it was off for some more "just looking, thanks" at the Forum Shoppes. Had to ride the spiral escalator and take some pictures of the fabulous statues inside. After checking out the inside of Caesar's we decided that 3 1/2 hours of walking was just about our feet's limit. So we headed back to the MGM for some rest. Well the wife headed for some rest, I headed back to the tables. Of course here is where Mr. Greed rears his ugly head. And we all know in Vegas, Mr. Greed is usually followed by Mr. Anger. So after giving back the $100 I had won the day before, and another $200 on top of that, I made that fateful (and irrational) decision to try and "get it back" at the craps table. Bad move. Let's just say that I had to really enjoy my five Vodka/7's, since they cost me $100 each.

    I made my way back up to the room with my tail between my legs. It was just about 4:00 so the wife and I got ready for the evening. She was signed up for the Stripper 101 class over at the V theater (bonus points: it was her idea!!!) so we got dressed and headed to the Desert Passage. Since there were no boys allowed in the class (I volunteered to be the test subject but was shot down) I headed to the Alladin/Planet Hollywood poker room for some $1/$3 Limit Hold 'Em. I've never played live poker in a casino before but I have to say that this was a whole lot of fun. Since it was a limit game I could jump on to a table with only $60 (the wallet was still feeling the sting from the MGM earlier) and not feel like a small stack. I played with some great people all there to have fun (no one was trying to be Phil Ivey) and walked away an hour later with $150 in my pocket. Met my newly certified Vegas Stripper wife, and we headed over to the Pampas Brazilian Grille, also in the Desert Passage.

    I was very excited to try this place out since I'm what you might call a meatatarian. When corn and potatoes are the closest you get to liking veggies, this place seemed to be right in my zone. We started out sampling the cold/hot food bar. There were various assortments of pastas, salads and other cold items, along with black beans, rice and some various sides. I took a small plate full of the "pre-meal" items and dug in. It was all very good, but I knew it was time for the main event. We turned the little disc on our table to green and we were off. I don't remember every type of meat that was brought to our table but it was all brought out in rapid succession. Some of the highlights were the lamb, the top sirloin, the duck and the Brazilian assuage. We eventually had to turn our service sign to red to catch up with all of the different meats. Since this was basically a buffet that is brought to you, the meal itself didn't take very long at all. Since we booked our reservations for free through vegas.com we received a free dessert. We got the chocolate cake and it was the perfect end to this wonderful meal. We used a 25% off coupon I printed out from vegas4locals so the total cost of the meal (+tip/tax) came out to just under $60. Not a bad price at all for the amount and variety of food that's offered. We rushed out the door to grab a cab so we could hit the Voodoo Lounge before they started charging a cover at 8pm. We made it into the elevator with a few minutes to spare, which worked out well because as we got to the roof we were able to enjoy a beautiful Las Vegas sunset. My wife was very impressed with Voodoo. We were able to grab a nice comfy couch on the lower level and just sat back and relaxed. The weather couldn't have been nicer, there was a slight breeze and the stars were just beginning to peek out overhead. We both really enjoyed the old school hip-hop mix that the DJ was playing and once we got kicked off the couch to make way for the VIP crowd we started to dance. It was at this point that my wife started to not feel well. I think it may have been from the massive amounts of food at Paris and Pampas combined with all the walking that morning. Whatever the reason she was in no mood to make our scheduled stop over to meet Bill's man Thomas at Body English so I had to text him a "thanks, but no thanks" and we headed home for the night.

    Saturday 8/19 [Sloth]:

    Saturday morning was all about relaxing. Since our son Jack isn't old enough to realize that weekends are made for sleeping late, we're usually up before 7 every day. So we decided that since we were on vacation, we should probably act like it. We woke up around 10, got ready and walked down to Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill for lunch, using the $25 dining credit that was part of our Maximum Escape package at the Grand. I had the Slow Roasted Prime Beef toasted Panini with Aioli and White Cheddar on a Baguette and a side of Potato Salad. I have to say that I didn't expect too much out of just a sandwich and potato salad, thinking that it was all about whose name was on the sign, but both things were really tasty. Probably some of the best potato salad I've had.

    After waiting 30 minutes (just in case my mom's reading this) we headed out to the pool. Finding 2 open lounge chairs was almost an impossible mission until my wife spots 2 open ones sitting right beneath an umbrella. We nearly leap over 2 other chairs, toss our towels down and begin the sun block application process. FWIW: We're of the Irish heritage so to say that we're fare-skinned would be an insult to ghosts. So obviously we're not the types to lay out in the sun all day, but again this was our Sloth day so we enjoyed the Lazy River and had a few frosty drinks too. After a couple of hours, the freezing cold casino sounded like a good idea so we headed back inside to zone out in front of some slots. I ended up just about even and the wife walked away with $40. Luck was certainly a lady on this go-around.

    I had bought tickets to the Rat Pack Tribute show (2-for-1 coupon from the LVA book, thanks chef!!!) so we caught a cab from the MGM and made our way to the Peppermill for dinner. What a great place! Although eating there can make you feel like you're in the land of giants, it was very good food. I had a Gyro and my wife ordered a Chicken sandwich with Avocado and Bacon on a Foccacia bread. Both sandwiches looked like they were made for some type of attempt at a world record so we ate what we could and had to leave the rest. I ordered a chocolate milkshake and even that was massive. We went in back and checked out the Fireside Lounge. It's the most spectacularly cheesy place I've ever seen! And the waitresses in those black dresses? Hummina hummina! After a drink in the lounge we headed across the street to say "hello" and "goodbye" to the Stardust. Even though I'd never been there before I'm one of those 30-somethings that wishes he was born about 2 decades earlier. I've always been enamored with "old, swingin" Vegas and to me the Stardust (along with the Sands and Sahara) really epitomizes that era. I sat down at the BJ table and quickly turned $50 into $100. I hit the craps table briefly (mostly just to collect a few $1 chips for friends and family back home) then it was off to the Greek Isle. As stated on this board the casino itself is nothing to write home about. Very small, very simple. While standing in line for the show we did get to witness a couple in their 70's tie the knot in the wedding chapel (her in full white gown, him in a purple collared shirt and bolo tie). Another great tip I got from the board was to not buy the VIP tickets to the Rat Pack show, instead I bought GA tickets and tipped the gentleman seating us a $10 and we were lead to our own private booth. Very nice score.

    My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this show! If you are a fan of the RatPack days then this is a great show to see. "Joey Bishop" does a few minutes of comedy to begin and he is followed by "Dean" then "Sammy" and finally "Frank" makes his way out on stage. All 4 performers were wonderful. I particularly liked the fact that they weren't all trying to look or sound exactly like the men they were portraying, it was more of a reenactment of the "spirit" of the famous shows at the Sands. There were many, many laughs and much applauding as the singers belted out favorites like "That's Amore", "Mr. Bojangles" and "Luck be a Lady". Of course one of the highlights for me was the "surprise" appearance of "Marilyn Monroe". She serenaded one lucky gentlemen in the crowd with her version of "Happy Birthday" even though it wasn't his birthday…I don't think he cared. After the show we ventured into the hallway for some pictures with the cast and left the Greek Isles very very satisfied.

    Since we had just checked out the "old" of Vegas we figured it was time to take in the "new". So it was off to Wynn. It was my turn to do a little window drooling…err…shopping at the Mazerati/Ferrari dealership. If only. After checking out the gorgeous interior and the even more gorgeous ladies in line for Tryst, we went to grab a cab to the Bellagio. We enjoyed seeing the Strip at night and from the street. We even got lucky enough to be stuck in traffic during the volcano show at the Mirage. We got to the Bellagio just as Elvis started singing Viva Las Vegas. So we watched the fairly short fountain show and made our way into the Bellagio. We marveled at the chululy glass on the ceiling and then went in to check out the Conservatory. It was all truly spectacular. We headed back out of the Bellagio in time to catch a longer fountain show. This time it was set to the fantastic "Luck be a Lady Tonight" by The Chairman. What a great way to begin winding down our trip.

    By this time it was almost midnight so we started to make our way back towards MGM. We hadn't yet made it into NYNY so a quick pass through there and we were back at the Jolly Green Giant. We still had 2 complimentary drinks at the West Wing Bar as part of the Max Escape package so we decided we better not leave a freebie unused. I have to say that for just a small bar this place was very nice. There was a DJ spinning some fairly chilled music and there were several couches and chairs available to just relax. If you're staying in the MGM and need someplace to begin a night (even though we ended ours here) I'd suggest having a drink or two here. Reasonable prices and a very nice atmosphere.

    Since we had an 8am flight out the next morning we packed our suitcases before bed and were up and ready by 5:30 the next morning.

    Sunday 8/20 [Envy]:

    Got to the airport and withstood the crazy-long security lines. One side note, they really shouldn't make those security videos so entertaining with Carrot Top and Lance Burton etc. A couple of times my wife was so engrossed in the TV that she failed to notice the line moving 10 feet ahead. I had to give her crap even though if I had been paying attention myself I could've told her to move. So onto the plane and a much more subdued flight home. Today's deadly sin of Envy comes from knowing that with me starting law school next year and with possible kid #2 around the corner (that was the secret secondary objective of this trip) I might not make it back out to this great place anytime before 2010. So I truly do envy those of you that are able to make it out to Sin City more frequently than every 5 years. With all apologies to the copyright lawyers at Disney, I think Las Vegas HAS to be the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!

    So overall it was a trip with some outstanding meals (Giorgio being the best), some amazing sights (seeing the fountains will never, EVER get old to me) and a truly wonderful trip back in time (The Stardust/Peppermill/Rat Pack trifecta). I had to spend all day yesterday wrestling with my post-Vegas vacation depression syndrome, I couldn't even read any posts on the board because of it. But I'm a little better today and I'm thinking that once I graduate law school I'll have to reward myself with yet another romp out to America's Playground.

    Want to say thanks SO much to everyone on this board. Some of you helped me out specifically and some just in general by leaving a review or note about something we wanted to see or do. This board is a great resource but it's also a great community too. Even though I don't think I'll be back to Sin City in the near future I'll certainly be living out my Vegas dreams through all of you.

    Cause hey, it's VEGAS BABY!
     
  2. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    That was such a great and well-written TR that it just CANNOT be your last one!! I'll pay someone to babysit for you!

    I really loved how you worked in each of the 7 deadly sins. It gives me goals for my next trip. :nworthy:
     
  3. abner2xday

    abner2xday Tourist

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    We should really start year-end awards around here. I nominate this one as TR of the year. Great read! Hummina Hummina LOL
     
  4. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    Enjoyable read, NICU- loos like you packed alot into a weekend for a well-rounded sinful experience.

    With #3 on the way, I feel and can empathize with your newly found Vegas Jones/parental conflicts.
     
  5. kitson

    kitson VIP Whale

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    yeah, what kikky said! that was extremely well written.

    when there is a will there is a way, just got to find a conference or trade show or something in las vegas that corresponds with one or the other or your careers...


    with that secret secondary objective of the trip, if it was successful, you might just have to find a vegas name for the youngster...i nominate hummina!
     
  6. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

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    LOVED IT!!! You guys did so much. It sounded like you had one hell of a time. Too bad your wife wasn't up to going to Body English it would have been a perfect ending to your night.

    ouch, that had to hurt!

    I have to agree with everyone else, very well written, maybe you two can sneak away to come back soon, I'm sure Vegas will be calling your names shortly!!!! it has a funny way of doing that!

    Thanks for sharing.

    ~Drea
     
  7. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Excellent TR, lots of good stuff in there. :thumbsup:
     
  8. tracy144

    tracy144 Guest

    Stripper 101 class over at the V theater

    How do you sign up for this class? I had no idea they offered anything like this. Sounds like it could be funl (and fun after you get home from Vegas).
     
  9. sailor53

    sailor53 Tourist

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  10. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    Very enjoyable read!!! Hopefully you will get back to Vegas sooner than you are thinking. :)
     
  11. NICU8697

    NICU8697 Member <IMG SRC=http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/f

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    Thanks for all the compliments. Coming from this group it really means a lot. I said before I left that keeping track of things for a TR would really make me take in everything while I was doing it instead of trying to remember it all afterwards. That was certainly true. I enjoyed every moment of the trip for sure.

    Thanks for the nomination, abner. Maybe if we do come up with some Year-End awards we'll have to hold the ceremony in Vegas. "Sorry honey I have to go, I'm being nominated for a big-time award!"

    Of course if our "mission" was successful I'm thinkin Frank or Dean for a boy and Wynn for a girl. :evillaugh Hell there were even times on this trip when I wanted to pass on trying for kid #2 just cause there was so much fun to be had outside the hotel room. I mean hey we can do THAT in our bed at home, but there's no friggin Stardust in St. Louis! :Þ

    My 18-year-old self would be shocked and confused by that statement. :wink2:
     
  12. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

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    Took the words right outta my mouth... Wow...

    Good work!:)
     
  13. kodidog

    kodidog Low-Roller

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    Wonderful read! Good luck with your plans for the next few years (including the desired addition to the family!)
     
  14. StickyFingers007

    StickyFingers007 Namer of T2V Gatherings

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    Freakin Awesome TR! Love that you did all the young hip things to do, but managed to sneak in some old time vegas too. Very well written. I second the nomination! Hope you make it back before 2010!!!

    Sticky
     
  15. NICU8697

    NICU8697 Member <IMG SRC=http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/f

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    Update


    In case anyone cares, my wife informed me this morning that...

    <img src="http://badattitudes.com/MT/mission-accomplished.jpg"width="380"height="168">


    :woot:
     
  16. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Good job! Congrats!
     
  17. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Well that was quick! Good job! Er, congratulations, I mean:wink2:
     
  18. blackjack

    blackjack Monkey!!

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    Way to go NICU - your boys can swim!! --blackjack high fives NICU--

    A bit passe at this point, but that TR was simply outstanding. Well written, informative, it was like I was there :thumbsup: :thumbsup: . I'm a 40 year old that wishes he could have done Vegas in the 60s & 70s as well. Very nice that you got to spend a little time in Stardust.

    LOL :kill:

    Again, well done!! I'd go with "Wynn" :wink .
     
  19. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    He shoots! He SCORES!

    Congrats from Fertility Central.
     
  20. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Just stay far away from me, please:Þ
     
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