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My Vegas TR

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by westie, May 20, 2015.

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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

    My Vegas TR – “A Rewarding Experience”
    May 2-16, 2015

    Our last trip to Las Vegas ended 6 months, 18 days and 3 hours ago, but who's counting? On the evening prior to our departure we went through our standard routine, Ann packed, I organized coupons and Brody attempted to hide behind the couch.

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    May 2 – We left home around 11:30AM and drove to the vet where we checked Brody in and asked to have him weighed, up over 2#'s since our last visit, OMG! He and I will be going on a diet as soon as we return. It was around lunch time and we made the first mistake of the trip by visiting Vito's in Wethersfied where we ordered 2 slices of cheese pizza to go – 2 inches thick, over baked and just plain awful. (1 Fork) http://www.vitospizzaria.com/home/

    The drive to Executive Valet Parking, a remote parking facility, went smoothly and I was able to use a discounted voucher for all but the last day. A quick shuttle to the airport, a gentle pat down by a member of TSA's finest and we were soon seated waiting for our 3PM SWA flight to load. We both used rapid rewards credits for this trip so our only costs were for early bird check and the TSA body massage I experienced.

    Our flight arrived in Las Vegas 20 minutes early, but no gates were available so we sat on the tarmac for 20 minutes. Luggage was quickly retrieved from the conveyer belt and we soon exited in the opposite direction from the shuttle pick-up point. After some cursing, we retreated and were soon standing in line waiting for the shuttle bus to the remote parking facility to arrive. Some 12 minutes later, it pulled up and off we went to the Fox Rent A Car lot. The line was short, but each potential victim was given the standard sales pitch promoting the full gas tank option and various types of insurance coverage. I gritted my teeth, adopted my James Cagney persona and told the agent he might be needing some additional insurance coverage if he wastes any more of my time.

    I typically book our rental car months in advance and rebook as rates drift lower, but rates only trended upward so I was more than pleased paying $162 per week for a full size car. The Kentucky Derby and the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight were being held this day so it came as no surprise to me when told there were no cars in our category currently available, but a second agent in the lot upgraded us to a new Kia Optima with 1,685 miles on the odometer.

    After making the short drive, we arrived at the Grandview at Las Vegas where we were booked for 2 weeks. http://www.vacationvillageresorts.com/VVR/grandview_las_vegas/

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    Check-in took longer than expected because our clerk was a tad too conscientious. At the conclusion of the check-in process, she directed us to the lions, aka as the timeshare sales reps, for our parking pass. I gritted my teeth once more as the rep commenced her spiel. In short order I adopted my Sam Kinison persona while telling her “I do not care for any show tickets or dining discounts, JUST HAND ME A #@$*$& PARKING PASS – NOW”.

    She quickly lost interest in our vacation plans and handed me the pass, but on exiting, I realized she “forgot” to include South Point funbooks so I returned to the sales counter and scored 5 from a different rep.

    Our one bedroom suite on the 9th floor of the Iris Tower included a king-sized bed, jacuzzi, separate bathroom, full sized kitchen, dining/living room and a washer/dryer.

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    Color us happy though on closer inspection we discovered numerous dings and scratches on the furniture and cabinets that became less of a concern as the trip progressed. Our room was serviced on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but housekeeping was available 24/7 should we need additional towels or supplies. We soon discovered we enjoyed this less frequent room service schedule as it fit better with our (my napping) schedule.

    We were running late so luggage was quickly tossed on the bed followed by a short drive to Green Valley Ranch Resort (GVR) for dinner, but first we needed to have (3) My Vegas rewards for appetizers issued at the players club. We were 30 minutes late for our OpenTable reservation at Tides Seafood and Sushi, but the restaurant was not busy so it proved to be a non issue.

    We started off with a pound of Cajun shrimp and a glass of Chardonnay for Ann.

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    An order of crab cocktail with atomic horseradish had me perspiring while we found pan seared scallops would have have benefited from an additional minute in the saute pan.


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    Overall, this meal proved to be a reasonably light dinner to start off our trip. https://greenvalleyranch.sclv.com/Dining/Tides.aspx
    ($16.57, 3 Forks out of a possible 5)

    May 3 – I had decided to concentrate my play at GVR on this trip primarily because of the recent reduction in the number of full pay deuces wild (FPDW) machines at Sam's Town, but I made the longish drive early (2AM) this morning in order to avoid having my existing points expire. My session proved costly so I decided to relocate to Fiesta-Henderson where I experienced better luck though I basically broke even in an abbreviated session.

    Prior to returning to the Grandview, I made a detour to Friendly Donut House on the Boulder Highway for a super-sized apple fritter ($1.75, 4 Forks) followed by a stop at the Albertson's on Silverado Ranch for OJ, milk, water, apples and bananas.

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    After breakfast, we made the short walk to the South Point to purchase tickets to the Bronx Wanderers show. We then scouted out a few of the Grandview's amenities including the internet (coffee) room, exercise room, pools, arcade, bbq grills and deli/gift shop.

    It was time for lunch so we proceeded to Garnachas Mexican Street Food restaurant on Valley View. We could not determine where to park or even if the restaurant was open so we entered via the adjoining/connecting Chi'Chica'Ron Sports Bar. https://www.facebook.com/garnachaslv An order of a soda, 1 chicken and 3 al pastor street tacos was placed at the counter. Taco chips and 2 fiery salsas were brought to our table while we waited. The tacos came with lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and cilantro.

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    These were decent, but we have better ones at more convenient restaurants so a repeat performance in the future is unlikely. ($8.92, Amazon deal, 2.5 Forks)

    We next drove to the Smith Center for resident headliner Clint Holmes' monthly show in the intimate, Cabaret Jazz. This month's show, titled “A Cool Night in New York”, co-starred the Christian Tamburr trio and focused on jazz music. Holmes proved once again he is a consummate performer.
    ($111, 4 Claps) http://www.clintholmes.com/ http://www.christiantamburr.com/

    After a short rest in our room, it was off to the Ellis Island Casino and Brewery. http://ellisislandcasino.com/ We ordered our usual merlots which were on the border, actually may have crossed the border, of being nasty. I should know by now, but I believe the house wine, which will never be found in our house, is Barefoot. http://www.barefootwine.com/ Though our Las Vegas Advisor (LVA) coupons are good for 3 rounds of drinks for 2, we almost always order bottles of water for the third round. ($5, LVA, 1.5 Sips)

    Dinner this evening was at Green Dacha Grill and Hookah that opened in late 2014 as a Russian and Mediterranean restaurant. We were surprised to discover we had the restaurant to ourselves this Sunday evening and that many of the Russian dishes had been removed from the menu in favor of both American and Mexican fare. http://greendachalasvegas.com/#/

    We began with a delicious beet salad that included both cabbage and seasoned carrots. This dish was followed shortly by varenki, Russian style dumplings generously filled with melt-in-your mouth potatoes and sour cream.

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    For an entree Ann ordered schnitzel, an Israeli style chicken fillet that had been rolled in panko and fried, adding a small house salad at a nominal cost. I chose beef stroganoff served in a cream and mushroom sauce that was accompanied by a belly filling side of roasted young potatoes.

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    The entrees were just satisfactory while the appetizers and side dishes excelled.
    ($32, Amazon deal, 3 Forks)

    After returning to the Grandview, we walked over to the South Point where Ann put in a video poker session while I did a few laps around the casino floor before calling it a night.

    May 4 – This morning's video poker (VP) session at GVR proved to be profitable with the highlights being my #1 and #2 quad deuces of the trip. I subsequently spent time on the computer checking emails and favored internet sites before waking up Ann.

    The line for breakfast at Images in the Rainbow Club and Casino was long, but it was not long before we were seated at the counter ordering the casino special – easy over eggs, crisp bacon, hash browns and wheat toast.

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    Though the eggs were not quite cooked enough, this breakfast, at a mere $1.99 each, is difficult to beat. http://www.rainbowhenderson.com/dining/ ($7.92, 3 Forks)

    Earlier this morning I received a call from the front desk informing me that an envelope was being held for us. It turned out to hold a $20 gift certificate for the German Bread Bakery from a generous internet friend from Seattle – thank you. http://www.germanbreadbakerylasvegas.com/

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    We decided to rush right over before the ink dried and confirmed that we need not use it all at once so a pair of rum balls to go were ordered. These are without a doubt the best 99 cent desserts we have ever had. (4.5 Forks)

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    It was a rainy, dreary day so Ann put in another VP session at the South Point while I killed the afternoon in the room reading and napping.

    Another personal happy hour was spent at Ellis Island (e.g. merlots) before we departed for Bellagio's parking garage.

    Alert: senior brain freeze ahead!

    We had a 2 for 1 coupon for the Wicked Spoon courtesy of our LVA subscriptions so we hopped on the City Center tram and accidentally hopped off at the Crystals station. After waiting several minutes we hopped on the next tram for Aria and eventually made our way to the buffet. I handed the cashier the coupon which she said was not valid, but I was prepared and told her the coupon's expiration date had been extended to year end. She replied that's nice, but the coupon is for another (Cosmopolitan) casino – duh!

    It was back on the tram to the Crystals station where we eventually made our way to the Wicked Spoon buffet. After a short wait in line, the cashier accepted our coupon without question. This buffet features small plates of ethnic food not customarily found in buffets. It would be difficult to recount all the dishes I sampled because I tried to sample as many as my belt would permit.

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    Though I enjoyed the experience, I would not consider paying full price. ($46.08, 3.5 Forks)

    Alert: senior brain freeze ahead!

    It was not until we returned to the room that I realized I had completely forgotten to pick-up our My Vegas tickets for the Australian Bee Gees and Jabbawoockeez shows at the Aria box office – duh!

    May 5 – this morning's video poker session at GVR featured several wild royals and 5's of a kind (5OAKS) plus my #3 quad deuces of the trip.

    Breakfast was OJ and bananas in our room before heading out for a short free play run. First stop was the Orleans where I netted a whopping $11.25 profit playing not so ugly deuces (NSUD) while Ann broke even. At the Gold Coast I managed to cash out with a $38.25 profit after hitting quad 7's while Ann cashed with a more modest gain.

    We decided to spend our, actually my, profits at the Premium Outlets with Ann acquiring 5 new tops at Chico's and me 6 pairs of briefs at the Jockey outlet.

    Last trip we discovered the Bronze Cafe at the Center and I made our return a priority. Ann again ordered the Tree of Life pita (roasted red peppers, avocado, mixed greens, tomato, house-made pickled onions, house-made vegan cashew "crema", brazil nut crumble, and mango cilantro ginger vinaigrette).

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    I also chose the same order, requesting the LGBTQ (house-made bacon jam, maple-glazed bacon, mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, basil aioli and lemon vinaigrette on a ciabatta).

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    Both sandwiches were prepared with exceptionally fresh ingredients and exploded with flavor.
    ($15.25, Restaurant.com, 4.5 Forks)

    In the afternoon I once again snoozed and read while Ann made a nice profit after hitting her first and last quad deuces. At around 4:30PM, we set off for Ellis Island once again.

    It was Cinco de Mayo so where better to dine than at a kosher tapas restaurant?
    Anise Tapas and Grill offers an interesting mix of kosher and Mediterranean small plates though not all of the online menu items were available. http://www.anisetapas.com/ A complimentary flat bread with spiced up marmalade was served that we could not stop eating.

    We started off with moussaka sliders (fried Japanese eggplant medallion and grilled fresh tomato atop a lamb and angus beef patty served with cilantro and tzatziki sauce).

    Next was an order of drunken avocado empanadillas (crispy egg rolls filled with seasoned avocados and fresh cilantro accompanied by Patron jalapeño agave sauce).

    Our last order of paella Para Mi’ (Spanish rice, flame grilled tomatoes, chicken and lamb sausage) sounded better than it tasted though it was still pretty good. ($37.70, Restaurant.com, 3.5 Forks)

    May 6 – I hit my #4 quad deuces within 10 minutes of arriving at GVR and then spent the balance of morning trying to avoid giving it all back.

    A bagel with cream cheese from the Del Mar Deli in the South Point plus OJ constituted this morning's breakfast fare. http://www.southpointcasino.com/dining/deli.php ($3.19, 2.5 Forks)

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    We spent time on the internet before departing for Ann's massage at the Episage Wellness Center. http://www.episage.com/ (4.5 Hands)

    Her massage ran late so there was no time for our planned lunch before her hair appointment with Melissa at Green Turtle Salon in Henderson. http://www.gtsalon.com/ In the meantime I stopped in a Sprouts and picked up some red grapes, bananas, granola and raisins. An anonymous and exceedingly generous person sent me a Sprouts gift card prior to this trip so when I went to the register to pay for my purchases I was floored by the amount ($100). Thank you Anonymous.

    On our return to the Grandview we headed to the South Point's box office to pick-up free tickets (with slot card) to tomorrow's Dennis Bono show. http://thedennisbonoshow.com/ Ann stayed and played VP, recording a modest profit, while I spent the remainder of the afternoon in deep repose.

    Drinks – yes. Where? If you don't know by now put on a dunce cap and go sit in the corner.

    Dinner at Yata Japanese Grill & Pub proved to be a mixed bag. https://www.facebook.com/yataigrill An order of kimchi proved to be pretty ordinary – read disappointing while (2) orders of coconut shrimp were very good.

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    The karage (deep fried chicken) was weird looking and on the tough side, but at least eatable while the garlic calamari was tougher than shoe leather and was eventually removed from our bill.

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    Twin orders of bacon wrapped scallops were tasty as were our orders of grilled asparagus, but the twin slices of grilled sweet potato were beyond blah.

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    The chef came to our table seeking compliments, but ended up with a critique he probably did not truly appreciate. ($19.30, yelp deal, 2 Forks)

    On our return to the Grandview we did a lap around the South Point and then separated with Ann putting in a VP session and me retiring to the room.

    May 7 – No wild royals, no deuces and no royal flushes – need I say more?

    The Feast buffet at Sunset Station was our breakfast destination this morning. I was surprised by the line on this Thursday morning, but it did not take too long before we were seated. After ordering OJ, I went looking for fresh cut fruit and only found orange and watermelon segments to which I added canned peaches and ambrosia.

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    I then assembled a plate of huevos rancheros.

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    My last plate included bacon, corned beef hash and Brussels sprouts. ($4, My Vegas, 2.5 Forks)

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    Next stop was the nearby Ross Dress for Less followed by a visit to Ethel M where we rushed through the factory tour and then assembled a 24-count box of dark chocolate satin truffles – 6 each of lemon cream, Irish cream, amaretto and dark chocolate. ($24, Groupon, 3 Forks)

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    Ann did the wash in the afternoon and then joined me in the showroom full of retirees for the Dennis Bono show. Today's guests included Corrie Sachs (star of Country Superstars and co-host), Eric Jordan Young (singer appearing in Rock of Ages), comedian Dennis Blair, Kendra Barry Band (pop country duo) and John Mueller (Buddy Holly tribute artist). ($0, 3 Claps)

    We celebrated happy hour in our room with glasses of merlot before setting out for dinner at the David Clawson restaurant. http://www.david-clawson.com/ David was not in-house, but we did get to meet his capable assistant chef. This new American small plates restaurant has been praised by just about every Las Vegas reviewer since its fall 2014 opening. We started off by ordering Mary's free range chicken which included prunes, capers and olives plus an order of garlic and more garlic noodles that were very good.

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    These were followed by orders of asparagus with meyer lemon, romaine lettuce and white anchovy that did not do much for me and sea bass with white miso, kabayaki and bok choy.

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    Perhaps the best was saved for last when we ordered the sticky apricot pudding with vanilla cream and rum toffee. With our check we received a pair of toasted caramel, chocolate and almond truffles.

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    Though each dish was impeccably prepared using the highest ingredients none included a wow factor. ($66.31, 3.5 Forks)

    May 8 – this morning's highlights included an amazing number of 5OAKS including back to back hands not once but twice plus a dealt, #5, quad deuces. I played the American Pride promotion for both of us with her winning a $5 dining credit and me 1,500 points.

    Breakfast was at the Baguette Cafe.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baguette-Cafe/201710196512826
    I answered the question – do real men eat quiche by ordering the vegetable quiche prepared with spinach, tomatoes, zucchini and goat cheese while Ann chose traditional with cheddar and Swiss cheeses plus bacon. Hers was very good, mine was even better. ($16.13, 4.5 Forks)

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    We made a short drive to Manan Bakery where we ordered a slice of mocha cake (dry - 2 forks), tea cup chocolate mousse (so smooth - 3.5 Forks) and chocolate ganache (chocolate yummyness - 5 Forks) to go. ($7, LivingSocial)

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    Later in the afternoon Ann could be found playing VP while I hibernated in our room.

    Dinner this evening was at Todd's Unique. http://www.toddsunique.com/ Owner/chef Todd Clure celebrated the restaurant's 11th year anniversary by sending out with $20 off 2 entree coupons via emails to his regulars including yours truly. We received a bread basket with 2 types of butter and then shared a pear and blue cheese salad that included cranberries with a fig balsamic dressing that was refreshing.

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    Ann ordered the evening's special – fresh Pacific swordfish with couscous while my entree was Alaskan halibut in an artichoke and caper sauce accompanied by bok choy and a decorative mix of fresh herbs and vegetables.

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    Hers was very good, mine proved to be the best dish of this trip. ($59.10, 4.5 Forks)

    May 9 - I was out the door by 2:30AM and put in a 3 hour VP session at GVR. This morning I kept track of my 5OAKS, a total of (21). Prior to departing I played the American Pride game and won 1,500 points worth $1.50.

    Our breakfast this morning was OJ, granola and fruit in the room. We then drove to downtown Henderson for its annual arts and crafts show which proved to be disappointing, but we did enjoy meeting a 4-pack of shelties with incontinence problems and artist Robert Shields who I assume does not suffer from the same malady.

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    Is there anyone else old enough to remember Shields who once represented half of the 70's mime/comedy team Shields & Yarnell? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km1QRnzIKpI

    Next stop was Buddha Belly Deli, an Asian fusion restaurant in Henderson. We decided to go light and ordered small bowls of Thai clam chowder – clam chowder with coconut milk and healthy douse of heat. ($8, 4 Spoons)

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    Last stop was the German Bread Bakery for 4 more rum balls and a scrumptious cream ring with cherry preserves (4 Forks) that we consumed shortly after returning to our room, so much for the light lunch.

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    Ann spent much of the remainder of the afternoon in front of a VP machine while I spent the same amount of time with my head resting on a pillow.

    As the sun began to set in the west, we could been found at the Drop Bar at GVR nursing cocktails courtesy of (4) My Vegas rewards. On the first round we each ordered margaritas that were followed by a tequila sunrise (Ann) and sea breeze (me). ($4, 3 Sips)

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    For dinner we made the short drive to the Great Greek Grill where we both ordered the Great Greek gyro at the counter, lamb and beef gyro meat wrapped in pita bread along with lettuce, tomato, tzazki and feta. We each upgraded our gyros to a platter that included a small Greek salad and soda. http://thegreatgreekgrill.com/ ($27.57, 3.5 Forks)

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    Alert: senior brain freeze ahead!

    Next stop was the Fiesta-Henderson to see Peter Love who according to the Neon section of the Review Journal was performing in Rosalita's Cantina. A bartender told us it was a long time ago that Love performed there and the last was Love was performing at GVR. It wasn't until the following day that I realized a) Rosalita's Cantina is now Cabo and b) it is not located in the Fiesta, but at Sunset Station.

    Plan B was the Gaudi Bar in Sunset Station to listen to Ryan Whyte Maloney and Cali Tucker while nursing a strawberry blonde cocktail (Ann) and banana and cream martini (me). ($14, 3 Sips)

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    Ryan and Cali became friends while competing against each other on season 6 of the Voice with him winning. Their music covers a wide range of music genres including country, pop, alt rock and rock. (3.5 Claps) http://www.calitucker.com/ http://ryanmaloneymusic.com/

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    An almost interesting bit of nostalgia - Ann & I saw Cali's mother (La Costa Tucker, sister of country icon Tanya Tucker) perform in a bar in Texas many years ago. When La Costa took a break, I, in alcohol induced sense of bravado, approached her and requested a kiss that was summarily refused.

    May 10 – Counting the number of 5OAKS hit during this morning's VP session was easy, a total of 7 which still is above my average.

    It was too early to wake Ann up on my return to the Grandview so I read emails that included a notification by our credit card issuer that someone had attempted to charge $107 in purchases at a Chevron gas station in Texas (Cali's mother?) to our card. We were instructed to contact Visa ASAP because our card was immediately suspended. This has happened a few times in the past so we now have a no fee back-up card that we used for the following 2 days before new cards arrived.

    I had planned on taking Ann to Whist Stove & Spirits for Mother's Day, but I checked its facebook page early this morning and discovered a buffet was being offered. Plan B was Fat Choy in the Eureka Casino where Ann ordered French toast with assorted berries and I the Fat Benedict – eggs Benedict with pork belly. I suspect the meat masquerading as pork belly was actually a thick slice of pork shoulder.

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    ($14.39, LVA, 2.5 Claps)
    We subsequently stopped at Ellis Island to redeem our LVA play $10 receive $10-$100 in freeplay coupons. We each cashed out our original $10 investment for $5 and then swiped our slot cards at a kiosk and won $10 in freeplay. These were played off with me netting $0 and Ann $5.

    Back at the Grandview we went separated after checking our emails with Ann off to the South Point for another VP session and me off to the room for a more profitable napping session.

    Later in the day we enjoyed a quartet of merlots at Lucky Bar in the Red Rock Casino Resort courtesy of (4) My Vegas rewards. ($5, 3 Sips)

    On exiting we made the short drive to the Suncoast where we held dinner reservation's at Salvatore's Ristorante Italiano. http://www.suncoastcasino.com/dine/salvatores We started by sharing a large artichoke stuffed with herbs, bread crumbs, Parmesan and EVOO that proved to be dry and taste deprived. Ann's entree was chicken involitini – a chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, spinach and mozzarella topped with a mushroom and tomato sauce while I settled on veal scallopini marsala. Both entrees were no better than average though the accompanying garlic mashed potatoes were good.

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    The restaurant was not quite full, yet the kitchen developed a back up with no explanation provided by our server until I inquired some 20 minutes after finishing our appetizer. Service overall proved to be a disappointment. ($10, points, 2.5 Forks)

    May 11 – my morning VP session produced (9) 5OAKS, a wild royal and a manageable loss.

    Later in the morning we parked our car at Bellagio and caught the City Center tram to Aria where we redeemed (2) My Vegas rewards for crepes at Jeane Philippe Patisserie. http://www.jpchocolates.com/
    We both ordered berry crepes souffle (vanilla cream center) style which we have enjoyed several times in the past. ($5, 4 Forks)

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    We then made our way to the Zarkana box office to redeem (4) My Vegas rewards for tickets to the Australian Bee Gees and Jabbawockeez shows.

    After returning to Bellagio we toured the Spring exhibit in the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. This season's exhibit had a Japanese garden theme that included bonsai trees, a 26' temple, an 18'' cherry tree, pond with Koi fish, turtle decorated in flowers, tea house, a crane, Faberge egg and countless flowers. ($0, 4.5 Claps)

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    On exiting we visited the Sprouts market on Tropicana where we purchased (4) bananas, granola and red grapes for $2.07 leaving a balance on our gift card at $94.26.

    Ann did another load of wash while I read and snoozed. While on break from her household duties, Ann took a walk around the Grandview grounds where she saw a western tanager near one of the pools.

    We enjoyed an early happy hour at Ellis Island before driving to Mandalay Bay for dinner at Border Grill only to discover our usual parking space near the convention center was part of an expansion project so we ended up in the regular parking garage.
    http://www.bordergrill.com/locations/las-vegas/bglvmb/

    We received (3) salsas and a basket of freshly prepared taco chips to munch on while we waited for our chile rellenos to arrive. The roasted poblano peppers were enormous and each plate included 2 types of rice plus refried beans. Service throughout was very good. I used a 2 for 1 entree that we received after signing Ann up for Border Grill's VIP club. ($27.54, 3.5 Forks)

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    We took the tram to Luxor where we took in the Jabborwockeez show. http://www.jbwkz.com/prism/

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    Our tickets were for section 201, but we were brought forward and seated just left of center stage, row 5. Though we thoroughly enjoyed this hip hop dance production, I would hazard a guess that it would hold more appeal for the 20-30 year old crowd than members of AARP. ($0, My Vegas, 3 Claps)

    May 12 – The card readers at GVR were down so I initially held off playing and killed time by walking around the casino and watching others gamble at the craps table. I finally relented, hitting my #6 quad deuces of the trip. Prior to exiting I stopped by the players club and was told I would receive my points and multiplier once the system was up and running. The skeptic in me was not convinced.

    We spent most of the morning hanging out in our room before setting off for Taco y Taco on Eastern Avenue where we enjoyed al pastor tacos plus a shared soda.

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    This restaurant distinguishes itself from the competition by offering an expansive condiment bar that includes many salsas, grilled jalapenos and scallions, pickled carrots, radishes and beans. ($10, 3.5 Forks)

    After lunch I dropped Ann off at the South Point for another VP session while I returned to GVR. Low and behold, the points earned this morning were credited along with the multiplier. I sat down at one of the slant tops in the nonsmoking section and in less than 10 minutes hit my #7 quad deuces of the trip. Though I fared poorly over the remainder of the session, I made a more a respectable profit.

    On my return I found Ann in process of doing another load of wash. She took a break and went to the deli/gift shop for postcards, selecting 2 and was told by the clerk that the price was 3 for a $1. She said she only needed 2 and was told the cost would be a $1 each. After doing a series of complex mathematical calculations she decided to purchase 3.

    In the late afternoon we made a return to the Gaudi Bar in Sunset Station and redeemed (4) My Vegas rewards good for drinks. We started off with a pair of tequila sunrises followed by glasses of merlot.

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    We originally had dinner reservations at N9NE in the Palms, but decided earlier in the day that we did not really want a big meal so we canceled and substituted Table Thai Bar and Grill on Sunset Road. This restaurant opened 6 weeks prior after its former occupant (Tiaga) closed. http://tablethailasvegas.com/

    Ann ordered pumpkin shrimp (red) curry while I chose the spice herb catfish entree. Hers was very good while mine was excellent.

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    Menu prices are more than reasonable considering the quality of the ingredients. Prior to exiting we met the owner who operates another Thai restaurant in San Diego and learned he took over this restaurant from his cousin. ($36.81. 4.5 Forks)

    Later in the evening we did a few laps around the South Point casino floor before returning to the room and enjoying our last 2 rum balls.

    May 13 – Had my VP performance this morning been recorded on the Gong show, Chuck Barris would have Gonged me.

    Following breakfast in the room, we set off for the Green Turtle Salon for another hair appointment for you know who. On my return Ann informed me that Jeannine, a transplant from Cape Cod and member of the LVA board, had recognized her from photos posted in our trip reports. I was introduced to not only Jeannine, but most of the salon's staff.

    On our way back to the room we picked up a slice of apple crumb cake at the German Bread Bakery that we ate later that evening. It proved to be fresh tasting, but hardly worth the calories. (2.5 Forks)

    We each had a long overdue hot dog from the cart outside the South Point's sports book with Ann choosing kraut and mustard while I went traditional with mustard, relish and onions. ($3, 2.5 Forks)

    [​IMG]

    Ann again put in another losing session of VP while I read/snoozed with the emphasis on snoozed. In the late afternoon we drove to Ellis Island where we enjoyed a couple of quick merlots before driving to Hollywood Noodle Thai Cuisine for a pre show dinner. http://hollywoodnoodlethaicuisine.com/

    We started off with shrimp rolls – egg rolls imbedded with an entire shrimp that were light and tasty.

    [​IMG]

    For entrees Ann chose Thai BBQ chicken and I the grilled sea bass in banana leaves. We also mistakenly requested 2 servings of rice – one being jasmine and the other a combination of jasmine, brown and red.

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    The BBQ chicken was juicy, but the taste fell a little flat in comparison to the sea bass.
    ($27.92, Groupon, 3 Forks)

    We found a parking space in the surface lot immediately in front of the Excalibur prior to attending the Australian Bee Gees show. The sound system has been upgraded in the interim since our last visit and the show continues to be fun for those of us who still remember the Bee Gees.
    ($0, My Vegas, 3.5 Claps)

    Elvis sighting on our way back to the Grandview.

    [​IMG]

    May 14 – I managed a small gain after hitting (9) 5OAKS this morning.

    Breakfast was served at the Grand Cafe in GVR. Ann chose bananas Foster French toast – what a surprise! Though the entree included 3 slices of Texas toast, Ann wants everyone to know she only ate two.

    [​IMG]

    I chose a Mediterranean frittata from the spa section of the menu – egg whites, spinach, fresh tomatoes, feta and pesto accompanied by a whole wheat muffin.

    [​IMG]

    Both were very good. I was able to parlay a My Vegas reward, good for $10 off a $20 purchase, with a $5 off coupon received in the American Pride promotion. ($12.08, 3 Forks)

    Ann also had a $5 free bet coupon from the same promotion that she placed on the pass line at a craps table, but she lost when the shooter rolled boxcars.


    On our way back to the Grandview, we stopped in a Target and purchased a plastic container to hold rum balls that we will hopefully purchase tomorrow.

    I dropped Ann off a the South Point on my way back to the room.

    We reconvened in the showroom for the Dennis Bono show in mid afternoon. His guests this week included regular Corrie Sachs, the Bronx Wanderers (50-70's music), the vocal group Jazzmin and comedian Basile. (3 Claps)

    Ellis Island again for drinks followed by dinner at Cleo in SLS Las Vegas. http://slslasvegas.com/dining/cleo This Mediterranean restaurant has received rave reviews since opening. Located in the middle of the restaurant is an open kitchen dominated by a wood burning oven.
    [​IMG]

    We started off with an order of lebaneh (Lebanese yogurt cheese) with feta that was served with fresh baked laffa bread that we could not stop eating. This order also included eggplant, fennel and chili prepared in the oven.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next we requested chicken kabobs, spanokipita and lamb tangine with couscous. The chicken was well seasoned, moist and the best we have ever experienced.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Though spanokipita was on the small side given its price tag, it too was delicious. We were a little less thrilled by the lamb tangine principally because the couscous was dry. ($59.89, 4 Forks)

    May 15 – I hit a total (9) 5OAKS, my #8th quad deuces and a natural royal flush. High 5's all around!

    [​IMG]

    I had less luck playing the American Pride promotion with Ann earning another $5 off a dining bill starting the week after we depart and me earning a blue bingo pack.

    We decided to give the recently opened Tangerine Cafe a try after I picked up Restaurant.com gift certificate earlier this morning, but we were not impressed its breakfast offerings. The restaurant is in a less than desirable location and I fear it may not be around by the time we return.

    Plan B was a return visit to Images in the Rainbow Club. There was a long line in front of us, but it moved quickly so we were seated at the counter in about 5 minutes. I took a photo of the kitchen staff and was immediately chastised by a nearby waitress.

    Once again we ordered the casino special of easy over eggs, bacon and hash browns, but requested only a single order of sourdough toast. When I took a picture of my meal, a security guard appeared and told us that their policy did not permit photos inside the casino. I assume one more photo and I would have been 86'd from the property. Our eggs once again were like Brittany Spears, a little too easy. ($7.92, 3 Forks)

    [​IMG]

    One last stop at the German Bread Bakery for (7) rum balls to take home and a cream ring for consumption later that evening.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ann spent the afternoon packing and putting in one final VP session while I concentrated on not concentrating on anything except sleep.

    Pre dinner drinks were at the Grandview Lounge in the South Point courtesy of (3) funbook coupons and the stub from my receipt for show tickets.

    We made our way to Town Square for dinner at Pot Liquor CAS. http://www.potliquorcas.com/

    [​IMG]


    On being seated I asked our waiter if the 25% off the entire menu happy hour promotion was still in effect and he said no. I sad oops, see you later because we are headed to Brio. He said give him a minute to confer with the owner and then signaled for us to return to our table. We accepted and ordered a rack of Memphis dry rub spare ribs plus sides of Hoppin John and mac and cheese.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The ribs were very good though mammoth in size so we each over ate without coming close to finishing. I would have preferred baby backs, but those only come wet. Though I am not a fan of mac and cheese, unlike my better half, our order was gooey goodness. The Hoppin John was okay, but not anything I would chose to order in the future. ($26.87, 3.5 Forks)

    Our entertainment this evening was the Bronx Wanderers at the South Point courtesy of a 2 for 1 coupon from the LVA. http://thebronxwanderers.com/ Father (Vinny Adinolfi), his 2 sons (Vinny “The Kid” and Nicky “Stix”) and backing musicians recreated not only the music from the 50's, 60's and 70's, but also featured a pair contemporary numbers including one by Bruno Mars that had the seniors in the audience rockin'. A great fun filled night of entertainment that I did want to see come to an end.
    ($25, LVA, 4.5 Claps)

    We closed out the evening with Bailey's Irish Cream and coffees courtesy of our ticket stubs.

    May 16 – my last VP session included (11) 5OAKS, multiple wild royals and my #9th quad deuces.

    Later in the morning we used one last My Vegas reward for breakfast at the Feast buffet at GVR. I had some fruit, OJ, easy over eggs, bacon (last until next trip), corned beef hash (last until next trip) and a little of this and that. (2.5 Forks)

    Our return flight arrived on time at Bradley International Airport, but it took forever for our luggage to arrive on the carousel.

    A few final comments and observations:

    I managed to put 1,022 miles on our rental car even though the mileage between our hotel and GVR was much less than to Sam's where I have played in the past.

    Based on the amount spent at Sprouts on this trip, it will likely take 8 more years before the balance of our gift card will be extinguished.

    The number of 5OAKS hit on this trip amazed me (in a good way), but I fully expect the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction on our next visit.

    With the exception of one session where I lost $300, my daily gambling losses were limited to $100 or less. Conversely, on days when I hit quad deuces, I ended up cashing out at the end of each session well ahead. The net result being a highly profitable trip considering I only play quarters for approximately 3 hours per day.

    Brody demanded a recount when we picked him up at the Vet and sure enough he weighed in at his usual 29 pounds so I will be dieting alone.

    The title to this report is in recognition of both the (26) My Vegas rewards used on this trip and our gambling results.

    As always, I fully appreciate everyone who took the time to read this long and drawn out trip report. Your comments, observations and/or questions are always welcome.


    “The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.”
    Bret Harte
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the report and the reviews plus food pictures. I just don't know how you eat that much in Vegas. We are two meals tops on any day.
     
    Christmas
  3. t3hcardshark

    t3hcardshark Tourist

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    What a great report. I just ate lunch, but somehow all of your pictures have me starving again.
     
  4. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    Ditto. Great job and thanks!
     
  5. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

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    Very fun and informative report. I think I gained a pound reading it!
     
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report!

    And good run on the deuces! I'm still waiting for quarter deuces. One of these days hopefully. I may have only played 10k hands of that at quarters lifetime though.

    Don't be surprised if you don't get any mail from Stations though. They don't like people that exclusively play that game from what I read.
     
  7. RedRiverRose

    RedRiverRose Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed your report very much and the photos were great.
     
  8. queentata

    queentata High-Roller

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    Thanks, as usual, for all the food pics. I don't know how you guys stay so slim and trim! Great TR. Glad it was a winning trip!
     
  9. Jonnyvegas

    Jonnyvegas Low-Roller

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    Another great report.
     
  10. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

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    Somehow, all your food pics made me not even think about gambling. I found myself scrolling through looking for the next food pic. Thank you for all the food porn! Awesome TR!
     
  11. justmare

    justmare High-Roller

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    Brody is adorable!

    Love the report. It always amazes me how many different places you and Ann eat each trip!

    Congrats on the royal and a nice, winning trip!
     
  12. parti_73

    parti_73 Low-Roller

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    Nice TR! My mouth is still watering...
     
  13. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Thanks for another entertaining trip report! I enjoyed all the pictures as well. I like the fact that you dine at all of these different and interesting food places. I will try to do that as well on my next trip.

    And it looks like you did pretty well on the gambling front also. Congratulations, and here's hoping the trend continues on to your next trip!
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  14. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Very nice TR as usual! How did you like the labneh and how did they serve it? My mother makes it herself (I'm Lebanese) and I love it with evoo, mint and fresh hot pita. She is actually making my favorite Arabic meal called kibba nayeh tomorrow evening. It is a must eat dish if you like authentic food. Will try to post pictures of it tomorrow night.
     
  15. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    I.Am.Not.Worthy.
    amazing trip report, when I retire and grow up (in that order) I want to be like you
    do you live in L.A.?, because I must buy you brunch or lunch some day
     
  16. Superpocky

    Superpocky VIP Whale

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    Wow, you have covered so many restaurants I have not even heard of before! Thank you so much for the details and I will have to find time to try the 4-fork+ places. Awesome trip report, thanks!
     
  17. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    Sup Pocky?, you coming back this summer?, I have possibly 3 trips before school resumes for the kiddos
     
  18. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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    We would have been reasonably happy just eating the lebaneh with the laffa bread. Kibba nayeh sounds interesting, though it is not a dish I would
    try in most restaurants because of the lamb being raw.

    Mare - Brody thanks you.
     
  19. ShepherdDon

    ShepherdDon Tourist

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    Not sure how I would even plan such a trip. I usually have trouble with 5 days.

    Enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks,

    Don
     
  20. wam

    wam Low-Roller

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    new york
    once again mr. westie a five star trip report that is appreciated by all. keep up the fine work. the bronze cafe looks like a real winner. hope to try it next time.
     
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