Weâ€™re home after enjoying a M-F trip (June 11-15) in Vegas. We had a blast and laughed a lot, which was truly the best part of the trip for us. Hereâ€™s a breakdown: (pics in next post) Planet Hollywood: Boy, I hate to start on a negative note, so I will try to make this as positive as possible. The casino: VERY nice. It is circular, so it can be confusing to find your way around. The entire thing has been redone and is upscale. We had a great time gambling here because of the nice variety of slots and decent drink service. A slot tourney of sorts is run daily (at least during the week â€“ donâ€™t know about the weekends), but donâ€™t get too excited. You play against yourself. I won the second tier â€œprizeâ€ and got a deck of cards. I was the only one to score in the second tier, so you know itâ€™s hard to get a deck of cards. Still, itâ€™s a nice gesture by the casino. The Extra bar (You know, the show Extra where the stars are interviewed) was a nice place for the working girls to hang out. Hubby was hit on at a nearby ticket cashing machine, but when someone who looked like he had more money walked by, she latched on to him. We later saw them plus one other girl shaking the deal down in the lobby area. CineVegas had an event on Thursday night at another one of the bar areas, and rumor had it Charlize Theron was thereâ€¦Iâ€™m sure additional famous people showed up later, but we were sawing logs by thenâ€¦ Outside: Still lots of work being done. It literally changed daily. One day you could use an entrance; the next day you couldnâ€™t. It was nice to see progress. No complaints. This will be very nice when done. Same story with the Desert Passage being changed over to Miracle Mile. Check-in area: Swanky. Very nicely done. Wall changes color as you watch. Good first impression. The rooms: First, let me say that I think they will be nice in the future. Iâ€™m guessing money was first spent on upgrading the casino and the faÃ§ade (which isnâ€™t done yetâ€¦pics to follow). We paid in advance for a resort room, but we were in the system as a basic, regular room. I had to produce my confirmation to prove otherwise to a check-in woman who in no way believed me and wanted to argue about it. Once I did that, she had to speak to a manager about putting us in one. We finally got one, but the view was terrible (tried the $20 trick for a fountain view to no avail â€“ she said they were near capacity and it was 9:30 p.m.â€”personally, I think she was just mad I could produce documentation to back my claim). She did give my money back, though. We had requested non-smoking king room, and first she tried to put us in a smoking queen. I said no, and low and behold, she found a n/s queenâ€¦no king. We didnâ€™t have a choice but to take it. We went to the room and it was pretty badâ€”carpet VERY worn and just an overall dirty feel. Clearly, this was an Aladdin room, and not a very loved one at that. My husband, who generally doesnâ€™t notice stuff like this, said there was no way he was sleeping in that room. Yuck! It was also missing the safe. We made our way back to the front desk and requested a move. The man there was very understanding and was not even surprised by our request. He moved us to another resort room, this time with a pool view/City Center construction view, and it was a little less bleak. We felt a bit stuck, so we stayed. The carpet again was in dire need of replacement, and everything is just tired. The worst part was the carpet in the bathroom â€“ the web site advertises a carpeted bathroom, but truly, there just a big rectangle of carpet in the middle of the room â€“ this was by far the dirtiest of all. We stepped around it for five days. Ick. There was a safe in this room, but it didnâ€™t work. I called maintenance, and they were up within 10 minutes to replace. They had trouble getting the second one to work, too, but finally they were successful, and we had a safe. The second guy at the check-in counter told us that most rooms were without a safe because many were broken and not replaced. Iâ€™m guessing there will be new safes in the refurbished rooms. That being said, the room was a nice size. The bathroom was big, and the shower was good. However, the air conditioning, even on high at all times, didnâ€™t cool the room very well. We kept the drapes closed to try and help it out. Still, we were a little hot trying to sleep at night. At least there was very little humidity compared to Iowa. One little touch I really liked was that when I opened the armoire, a light came on in the inside. By the end of the trip, we didnâ€™t mind the room as much (except for the carpet). Overall, we had a nice experience at PH given the fact we think it will be VERY nice once all the rooms are refurbished. PH buffet: We ate at the buffet for breakfast. It was OK and comped. Otherwise, I wouldnâ€™t have paid $14 plus tip for it. Someone else posted recently that servers roll their eyes and arenâ€™t real happy to help at PH. We found this to be true in the buffet but not in the casino. PH Planet Dailies cafÃ©: YUM!!! We both loved the food here. We ate dinner one night and breakfast the next morning. The breakfast portions are HUGE and delicious!! I had the banana split French toast â€“ to die for!! Dinner was good, too, and we highly recommend the bruschetta as an appetizer. It was the best weâ€™ve had anywhere. Being from Iowa, itâ€™s tough to be Iowa corn-fed beef; hubby had a t-bone, and it was pretty thin and grissly, but the taste was good. My filet mignon was excellent. We will eat here again in July, no doubt. PH pools: nothing special. Sure did feel good to jump in when it was 113 degrees, though! Maybe they will do a little enhancing hereâ€¦they could use additional green plants. No nudity that we saw. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s enough privacy for that. Seems those pools are usually somewhat secludedâ€¦?? No seclusion here. Very little shade throughout. View attachment 515 View attachment 514 Flamingo: We had a comped room here for two nights (T and W), so we checked in Tuesday morning to a standard room. It was spotless and less worn than the resort room at PH. We gambled and used the pool here. The pool is absolutely wonderful! I found a chair with no problem, but if we would have needed two beside each other, that would have been hard. We ate at the cafÃ© there, and we both had a good meal for decent prices. We had good service, too. We will stay here again for certain. We could have upgraded to a GO room for $25/night, but we declined since we had two rooms all ready. Shows: Momma Mia: My apologies to GregRio right off the bat hereâ€¦we left at intermission. I didnâ€™t mind it that bad, but my hubby was miserable. I have to say the biggest problem was the heating/cooling system, or lack of it. By intermission, hubby had sweat all the way through his shirt and it was dripping from his face! I am usually freezing cold in the theaters there, but even I was a bit warm. The story was Ok but definitely something he wasnâ€™t interested in (although he would have stayed had he not been sweating to death). I liked the singing a lot. However, due to the temp issue, that was wasted money for us. Bummer. Wayne Brady at the Venetian: FANTASTIC. We would see this again. Brady is such a talent! We laughed our heads off at his comedy and also enjoyed his singing very much. If you have a chance to see him, run to the box office! Two thumbs up! Downtown: We took the advice of many here and decided to visit Main Street Station downtown. Thank you to all who recommended this!! We loved the brew pub (the brews, food, and service folks), and casino was friendly and welcoming. The women at the Playersâ€™ Club desk were very, very nice, and the place itself is beautiful â€“ lots of antiques and gorgeous pieces as well as an antique slot machine collection. We may stay here in the near future. One thing we really liked about the casino is that itâ€™s not as noisy as many of the others, which was a nice little break from everything. Gambling downtown wasnâ€™t nearly as profitable as usual. The Nugget was really tight (and when we got home with the Friday edition of the LV Sun, we read the article about how the GN finally posted a quarterly profit). Now we know how. Tee heeâ€¦ Binionâ€™s has lost quite a bit of the dark, dingy feel and is better lit and seems cleaner. Gambling in general: We were lucky. Vegas liked us this trip. We won enough to pay for everything we bought, ate, and did. We actually even had a little more than that, so YEAH! Everything else: 1. HUGE laugh at the Wayne Brady show when some poor guy must have had to peeâ€¦he tried to sneak down the left side of the theater, but when he got to the bottom, he couldnâ€™t get through, so he tried to hop over the railing, lost his balance, went legs up, and landed in some position I canâ€™t even describe! The entire right side of the audience who saw him was dying of laughter, and poor Wayne thought he must be even more hilarious than usual. His sidekick saw the whole thing and was doing his best not to crack up on stage. Very funny stuff! 2. Stardust rubble: I almost cried. â€˜Nuf said. 3. Cab drivers: We had some really nice cabbies this trip. Nice folks. However, our most memorable ride was from PH to the Venetian (normally weâ€™d walk, but hubby hurt his foot prior to trip, so I insisted on the ride). This guy thought he was a Nascar driver. We would go from 0-45 in about three seconds, even through the spots that had speed bumps. Then the guy would slam on the brakes, go over the bump, and do it all over again. We laughed our heads off; this guy was a wild man! He actually floored it when the light turned green! If we hit a red light, he would say, â€œDammit!â€ He didnâ€™t talk to us one time, only to himself! 4. Bellagio flowers: Wow. Pictures donâ€™t do the conservatory justice. Period. View attachment 511 View attachment 512 View attachment 513 5. Blondies Sports Bar in Miracle Mile: Great cheese pizza late one night! We'll be back! I think thatâ€™s about it. I might think of more things as I download my pics, but for now, weâ€™re just looking forward to our next trip in July at the Rio and Ballyâ€™s (although we might change to MSS for the last two days). Hope to mosey along the North Strip more next time. We stayed fairly close to PH for the sake of hubbyâ€™s foot this time. Sort of a boring TR, but the trip wasnâ€™t boring at all!