This was my Grandmother’s last trip to Vegas and probably anywhere. She has lingering health issues and her age (80+) just really caught up to her really quickly in the last couple years. My sister - G - promised to take her and I decided to come along. We had to compromise a lot on our usual tastes and activities to accommodate her needs. We really didn’t consider it a vacation. Grandma’s priorities were to gamble her $30/day budget, get some sun and see a show. Since airfare was so high, we really needed to get nice rooms cheap and settled on the Orleans. I had a room offer and my sister had a really nice rate because she is Sapphire. Orleans worked because we didn’t have to leave the property because of all the dining options, all gaming options and extras like the movie theater and bowling alley. The downside is there is nothing else really to do off property. That actually worked to our advantage because my grandmother can’t walk long distances but would have wanted to walk to neighboring casinos if we had been on the strip. Gold Coast would have been a good option for us too but my sister needed a nice pool (she can be a pain about her pool time!) and we had to pass on it. We had premium rooms. Mine had a view of the stadium while Grandma and G had a room with a lovely strip view that they didn’t even notice until the second day! I liked the premium room but the shabby carpet in the hallway detracted from the experience. Hopefully they will deal with that when all the rooms are done. The best part of the room is the super comfy bed. I liked the sitting area near the window but I didn’t like the way all the furniture was crammed in the corner when they have all that space in the room. I know some people don’t like the clothes rack in the bathrooms but I was fine with it. I was not fine with the crappy new toiletries they are rolling out in their hotels under the Spa Blu name. It especially pissed me off because the original Spa Blu products that they had at Blue Chip in Michigan City were so luxurious. The soap is gritty and didn’t lather. Being an overpacker, I luckily had shower gel to back me up but G was using the shampoo for soap. I hope enough people complain about it because they are using Gilcrist and Soames to make this stuff and there’s no excuse for it being so bad. Every other hotel they supply for has decent if not excellent toiletries. A rundown on the rest: Sightseeing: Red Rock Canyon: We decided to drive out here on the spur of the moment because we figured it be something Grandma could see without too much walking and when she did decide to get out of the car she would get some sun. The new visitor center was spiffy but I missed the old gift shop. This one seemed too corporate and cynical. Bellagio: Our only strip stop. Grandma wanted to walk on the strip but all we managed was to go out the Flamingo entrance, stopping for three fountain shows that managed to run in a half hour and back to valet. That tuckered her out. But she had never seen a fountain show in all her trips (it was too windy the last time) so I am glad she got to see three of them. Gambling: Orleans: I got FUBAR’d here the first day and half and was really discouraged. It didn’t help that I kept fooling with that stupid fishing game that hit for no one anywhere! I had a good run on their one Sun and Moon (really!) and hit a sweet bonus on a Mermaid game that left me almost even thank goodness! Silverton: Still my happy place! I love that I can come in here with a pretty small bankroll and usually can play for hours. Plus they have so many old favorite games that are hard to find in any market. I snuck over here alone and intended to be back before everyone else was up or dressed and ended missing pool time (Whoops!). Suncoast: We visited here after Red Rock Canyon just to see a new casino for us. I thought it was snoozy and too suburban. Don’t think I’ll be back. I may make an effort to check out Rampart one day but I really don't think I really have much more use for Summerlin. I've been over Red Rock Casino for awhile. Dining: Courtyard Café at Orleans: Ate here three times. First time I broke my no hamburger rule but hey, they had a double cheeseburger and fries for $5! It was clear the burger was frozen patties from a box but it was adequate. Second time was for the prime rib special which was pretty good but not as good as my Ellis Island benchmark. Third time was for breakfast on getaway day. Ugh, that was bad was both the bacon and sausage on my plate sucked. How can you screw that up? All though all the servers were sweet and patient with grandma, overall none of them were all that great. One even failed on adding a cup of gumbo to my order. Instead of making a fuss, I let it slide and figured she decided to reduce her own tip. Costa Cantina at Orleans: Decided to give it a shot. For someone who doesn’t eat Mexican inspired cuisine a lot, it was pretty good but not the best I’ve ever had. Ellis Island: Hit this place for breakfast and it hit the spot like always. The remodel is pretty nice but sparse. Anyone still claiming the restaurant is dirty or grimy A) has not been recently and B) is straight up wrong. We used to like to gamble here but not this trip. Anything worth playing was snapped up and we didn’t linger too long after eating. Bellagio Lunch Buffet: MYVEGAS Redemption! I’m glad we didn’t have to pay because my grandmother and sister eat like birds and my stomach was a bit upset so no one was really in the mood to gorge. We did keep hitting the carving station to try the new options coming out as they transitioned to dinner. The carver really had no idea what a small piece was though. Everything was great and it lived up to the hype. Sundance Grill at Silverton: Came here for breakfast again! I like this place but they keep changing the menu and it’s not always for the best. I understand why prices were higher than my first visit but I remembered a lot more traditional breakfast plates and they seem to have dried up a bit. Bagel Corner Deli & Bakery: Tried this at Suncoast. A spot like this is why I love offstrip casinos. We shared a sandwich and pastries and they were yummy and cheap. And we didn’t even pick up on the hot dog special! No wonder the counter was hopping. Show: Hitzville: My description will probably turn some off but this is the type of show Delores from Sister Act would do in Vegas. That being said, it was really enjoyable and the type of show I hope will always be in Vegas. We did a couple Groupons for the tix and when we went to claim them they hustled us on an upgrade. (They have a hustle for everything!) My sister decided it was worth an extra $11 a person for the VIP seating package. Was it worth it for the assigned seats? No, pretty much every seat is a winner in that tiny place. However, it will was worth it for skipping the line. They line you up well before they are ready to let you in for general admission. While the GA folks were in line we took advantage of Happy Hour right next door at La Salsa Cantina. We sipped on cheap margaritas and munched on chips and salsa ‘til it was time to go in. Every restaurant in that hall has happy hour right before that show goes on so keep it in mind if you go. The headliner actually had the night off which may explain why the female acts were so-so but the male entertainers were great. Considering the great values you can get for this show, I would recommend it. Rental Car: I ended up passing up on some cheaper options to stay with Alamo. It wasn’t my target price but since it was for a premium, it was worth it. We ended up with an Avalon from the National lane because the color was prettier. It was really helpful to check in online considering we wanted to get Grandma relaxing in the car as soon as possible. And big ups to the attendant who loaded our luggage on a cart for us on the way out! So again, not our ideal vacation but one my grandmother appreciated and enjoyed. She’s still raving about it. And since I was such a good granddaughter, I think I will have to treat myself to another trip later this year!