The Seven Year Itch Trip- Las Vegas May 29- June3 Pete and I snagged $79 airfare back in January and decided to spend our 7th anniversary in the place where our "fabulous" union began: Las Vegas! We left from Nashville on Memorial Day. Our trip started with all kinds of good luck! We found a parking spot in economy parking right next to a restroom and a bus stop. We both used the restroom, got our luggage to the bus stop and a bus pulled up about 3 seconds later! So, then we check our luggage, breeze through security, and sit at our gate until boarding time. We had A passes, but it didn't matter because our non stop flight to Vegas was only HALF FULL! It was like Southwest First Class. :lol We were light and had some freaky east wind for half the flight--from gate to gate was only 3 1/2 hours! More luck! We retrieved our luggage and checked in at Dollar, went right onto a shuttle--and then for some reason was given a premium (Dodge Charger) instead of what we were expecting : full size (Ford Taurus). More luck! We stayed at The Tuscany again this time and all was great except the room our host blocked for us was given away already....not cool. The clerk sent us to another room she said would be the same (3rd floor /balcony) but it didn't have a balcony. One of the main reasons we choose this place is for a balcony! So, back down to check in and finally we get it worked out--3rd floor balcony in the building we wanted in the first place! Sheesh. By then we were to pooped to do much else but play a little and sit on our damn balcony! LOL But just being there was such a thrill--we even decided the room we ended up with was better--we could see the top third of Wynn one way and pieces of Bally's, Paris, and "lagio" (all I could see of the Bellagio sign) the other. LOL Tuesday we headed out that morning via Bally's to have the Paris breakfast buffet. We heard it was good (one of the best), and it was! They give you two cool dark blue mugs and a pot of coffee at your table. This coffee was sooo good. I tried to stick with French stuff (staying with the theme, you know). Crepes, quiches, croissants, what not--I had a great fresh waffle too. Very nice breakfast buffet. Then we registered for The Price Is Right Live show we were seeing at 2:30. They gave us big price tag name badges just like the TV show. Then we went piddling around. Pete loves the casino at Paris and he also loves Top Dollar slots and everywhere we went he played them. We went to Barbary Coast--which was pleasantly clean and nice. We thought it would be a great place to stay on the Strip if you didn't care about the hotel having a pool (they don't). We walked through the Flamingo--incredible pool area and garden area. We returned to Bally's to go to the show! This was a great fun show. It's just like on TV, except how you get to participate and the prizes are pretty watered down compared to the TV show. They had a good host (some guy from E!) and side kick announcer dude. They had two big screens they played classic PIR moments on between games. Everyone in the audience had a keypad and they posted questions these big screens where they show you 4 products (usually grocery stuff) and you had to pick the cheapest and most expensive ones and punch the letters on your pad in that order. The kicker was every time it was a different year--"In 1987, which of these cost the least and which was the most. GO!" It was tough when there's like 800 people racing --anyway the four people who answered right and the fastest went up to "contestants row". Then they bid on some little something and the winner got to play a game and the other three got a T shirt. Then the process would start all over. They played Hole In One, Plinko, Cliffhangers, In the Bag, and others. Then they had one where the 3 fastest got to come up and spin the "Big Wheel" Closest to $1.00 got $100 and a second chance bonus spin if you got the $1. Then you could win $500 or $1000 more. (I think) Then, of course, they end the show with a "Showcase Showdown". Everyone was eligible again to play this part--they asked three questions that each had one answer. The correct/quickest two got to play. I remember one was "In 1976, which of these cars was the most expensive?" And another was about what movie had the biggest gross last weekend...anyway, we were doing the best we could, and Pete was convinced he got them all correct--so it was a matter of speed against the other thousand of us. Then the announcer goes "Julia H, come on down!!" What the...?? OK!! I'm in the Showcase Showdown! Me and this young guy. So we go up and step behind the curtain and up to these Showcase podiums (just like TV). This producer comes up (host is explaining to the audience while she tells us)--The deal is: there is ONE showcase--whoever bids closer without going over wins ONE ITEM from said showcase. If the closest is within $500 they get EVERYTHING in the showcase. Ok. Got it. Let's roll. So the curtains open and here we go... I can't see him for the lights, but I can hear Pete and, of course, he's going apesh!t. :rollin The showcase starts off with a $100 watch, there's a stereo, a big screen (not plasma) TV, a massage chair, maybe a couple of other goodies and.....A NEW MUSTANG!! (V6/manual). Woo hoo! The place goes wild! In the meantime, I'm nervous as hell, and trying to come up with a decent bid that won't go over. I'm stuck between 22,000 or 23,000. Then the host gives us 10 seconds---so, I go with 22,000. The other schmuck bid 32,754 or some crazy thing like that. I KNEW he was over, so I'm hoping I'm not over too. The host polls the audience about who's winning and most of those bugger heads went with the young schmuck. I got a smattering of applause (mostly from where Pete was sitting!) So, hosty man starts with me: "Julia, the actual retail price of this showcase is Twenty Two Thousand.....(this is where I started getting super excited) .....Nine Hundred dollars. :\ .................... Crap. I was $400 away from the whole thing. Host: "Schmuck, you're over. Julia, YOU win!!" So, I won the Showcase Showdown!! But not the car. I get one thing. What did they give me? The massage chair. ....... Crap again. Then the deal is --you have to pay taxes on the retail value and we'll ship it to ya within 130 days. OR you can cash op (at a lesser rate of course) and pick up your cash at the cage. Gimme the cash. The chair was "worth" $250--they gave me $175. It also turns out that Pete DID answer the questions right and fastest --we were in the wrong seats so that's why they called me! Which Pete told me was good because he said he would have overbid. What a time we had! But even though I won the Showcase Showdown, we still felt like the prize was: "bawmp bawmp bum bum ---nyeerrrrr" (the losing sound effect on PIR TV) LOL We went back and played slots and video poker at Tuscany because it was 2X point day. Wednesday we lounged on the balcony most of the morning (it overlooked the pool, so we considered our balcony a high-rise cabana.LOL ) Then we played at Tuscany (5X point day) until nearly sunset. We also ate at their Mexican restaurant for lunch that day--tasty! Then we drove out to the new Red Rock Station hotel/casino. VERY nice place. We walked around and played a little there.The cocktail ladies were gorgeous!! They have a spa, a 16 screen theater, arcade and kid's quest, and all kinds of restaurants including a "food court" that had everything including a Fatburger. Pete & I split one and were glad for the experience, but just a good cheeseburger. We enjoyed our drive back into Strip land and went back to play at home before 5X points were over. Thursday we went out to see Wynn. What a great place--just beautiful. We enjoyed their (his?) casino very much too. They had really pretty ladies serving drinks there too. It's kinda weird--they are sooo pretty, you wonder why they're schlepping drinks. Plus we felt very honored to relieve ourselves in the fancy Wynn Pottyrooms.LOL Then we went over to Stardust because we'd never been there and it will be gone soon. Glad we did it, glad to get the photo, but it was slightly funky in there. I guess we should have gone there before Wynn. LOL Then we went to Caesars to see the spiral escalator and have lunch at MESA Grill. (Pete has a man crush on Bobby Flay) Caesars has just gotten so big, I don't care for it. We did enjoy our overpriced lunch--we had the Mesa Burger and the pressed pork sandwich. Great service and presentation and tasty, too. We went back to Paris to play a little a do the "Eiffel Tower Experience". Great views from the top of that sucker! Then we walked over to Bellagio to get my Mom an "O" program she wished she had bought the last time she was there. We played a little at Fontana and enjoyed getting served our sodas in glass goblets. LOL Spent the rest of the evening exhausting our gambo budget at Tuscany. Friday we laid low again at Tuscany most of the day. It was our anniversary day and we had big doin's for that evening. We dressed and started with dinner at Hugo's Cellar at the Four Queens downtown. This was the BEST dining experience we've had anywhere. As we were seated, I was given a pretty, long-stemmed red rose, and there was a bud vase on the table for it. (After dinner the server wrapped the stem so I could take the rose with us.) The meal began with introductions to the various wait staff and then glasses of spring water and warm bread and (rose-shaped) butter (nice touch). We chose to skip the appetizers (which ended up being a good idea) so our salads came next. There were a number of tasty choices for salad additions - all assembled table-side, including tossing! What a great start to our dinner experience! Next we were served little sorbet cones. They were so cute! Pete asked if they had a teeny tiny Dairy Queen in the back. LOL Our main entrees followed the cones. Pete has sea bass and I had the fillet. Both were served with tender-crisp veggies, I had mashed potatoes and Pete's came with red skinned potatoes. Both meats were generous and quite good. After the main entree comes a tray with various fruits (giant strawberries, apricots, and figs) covered with (dark and white) chocolate with a little bowl of whipped cream. And hot towels for your hands. Now, during this whole time, not one person was pretentious, condescending, or snooty. It was easy going, yet professional. We loved every minute of our experience. Eating at Hugo's is much more than a fabulous meal (that melts in your mouth), and atmosphere; it is a total dinner experience that shouldn't be missed. We went to the Mesa Grill and though we have no complaints about it at all, it certainly did not give what Hugo's did. Mesa is great, it just doesn't compare with that old fashioned elegance and style that Hugo's offers. Hugo's is definitely on our list to visit every time we visit Vegas. After that we played a little at Fitzgerald's and then headed back to Caesars to see Celine Dion A New Day. We are not fans, but I wanted to see a show at the Colosseum--Elton John would have been primo. But we heard Celine was good too and that it wasn't all about her anyway. We got "cheap seats" in the 2nd mezzanine. I cannot express how much we loved this show. It was the best show we've seen anywhere! The music, dancers and special (very special) effects were amazing. Celine has so much passion and energy; she sings with her whole body. Just incredible. And it wasn't all Celine songs--she did "I Drove All Night", "What a Wonderful World"--she literally (through their special effects) did a duet with Frank Sinatra of "All the Way". When she sang "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder, I nearly peed my pants. She did a great job with it!! She was also constantly reminding us of the dancers , musicians, techs--she understood her name sold tickets, but this is an ensemble show. The whole thing was visually and audibly the BEST. We saw "O" last time, and Celine kicked "O"s butt as far as we're concerned. I've heard it referred to as "Cirque de Celine"--and there is a little "Cirque" elements--but way better. We didn't cry at "O". Ms Celine got us about three times. Dammit, our hearts WILL go on!! LOL What a great anniversary!! Saturday we had a late check out (plane left at 4). We played some more in the casino and checked out. Our five nights, and the three meals we charged to the room cost us $98 after comps. Then we got $50 cash back, but no gift shop comp this time. But our host still ran around and gathered us up a bag of logo items (T shirts , hats, key chains).Good enough. The Tuscany is still our favorite place to stay.. We really didn't have any gambo luck, but we had a great time and did a pretty good job of pacing ourselves and our budget. (A week in Vegas goes very fast!) We dropped our car off and got to the airport --we had "C" passes this time and figured the flight back would be tight. But again, the plane was only about 2/3 full and Pete & I had three seats to share again! Cool! Another 3 1/2 hours gate to gate. Got home Saturday night about 11pm. Broke but happy. Good times! You know, misty, watercolored memories and all that crap! LOL Thanks for reading! Happy Gambo!