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TR 7 Nights 7/27 to 8/3 Cosmo Mirage GVR slot trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Geogran, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    Consider this a bedtime story - if so, no nightmares here, just something to lull you to sleep. I must say, this TR was the hardest thing I have done in a very long time - you guys make it look easy - it isn't....

    The plan: Staying 7 nights - Three different hotels - what were we thinking?? Well, it’s all our friend’s fault – they made us do it. This trip it is hubby and myself and another couple who are longtime friends and Vegas nuts. We usually go to Vegas 3-4 times a year and 3-5 nights each trip – sometimes just hubby and I and sometimes with our friends. My friend and I camp out on the slot machines – sometimes together but mostly separate – she plays pennies and always returns home plus or minus a few hundred bucks rarely impacting her Bankroll. I on the other hand have very little control of my faculties when in Vegas – I play anything with lights or sounds or whatever – although I’m partial to dollar and five dollar slots but play anything from pennies to $10 slots and some VP – last couple of trips have been returning home with nearly empty envelopes…does that slow me down? Noooooo…. As long as I don’t run out of envelopes I will be returning to Vegas. The hubsters gamble a little but mostly they run/walk early in the mornings, swim, watch sports, and both spend time in their rooms reading books (hubby is a Civil War buff) or sleeping – boring stuff.

    Neither I nor my Iphone 5 take good pics but as the TR itself will be plenty boring, I’ll try to distract you with a pic here and there – no real rhyme or reason – keep in mind, when I arrive in Vegas – all common sense and logical thinking are checked at the gate - all that matters for the next few days is mindless pursuit of slots! Sounds like a wild and crazy time, right?

    Cosmo 3 nights, Mirage 3 nights, GVR 1 night (first time ever staying off strip).

    Cosmo 3 nights:
    We arrive via Southwest Wednesday, late afternoon – some turbulence and a 20 minute wait for a gate, our female pilot landed that puppy on a pillow – smooooth landing. Host at Cosmo was kind enough to have a car waiting for us. Check-in was quick and easy. Savored a few minutes of the awesome fountain view from our West Tower 39th floor terrace took a few pics then grabbed my gambling BR for the day and hit the casino.
    I’m in Vegas.
    Check in Lobby:
    IMG_2386.JPG
    Chandelier at the bar near West Tower check in (not the Chandelier Bar)

    IMG_2393.JPG

    Question: What do you see in this wallpaper - Cosmo bathroom - really cool - stare at the white images. Ha Ha - who stares at wallpaper? I guess I do. Anyone see pairs of sexy ladies?
    vmb wallpa.JPG

    Get my freeplay loaded and off I go. Slots up and down, up and down. Video Poker up and down, couple of 4OAK’s not much else, got bored. Hubby is playing Buffalo and Quick Hits killing some time before dinner. Time for a break.
    The four of us grabbed a burger at Holsteins – liked the poutine and the burger was great – tender and flavorful and cooked perfectly. Hubby had the veggie burger and milkshake as usual. First time at Holsteins for our friends and they liked it so much they ate there again the next day – I should explain – when they like something, they stick to the same thing pretty routinely. Not adventurous eaters and neither are we, but we do like variety.
    IMG_2369.JPG
    More up and down slots – what’s up Cosmo, can’t seem to get a hit on dollars. Tried the High Limit Room five dollar slots – in for five hundred – nothing there.... Hubby and I played penny Lobster Mania and won a few hundred and split the win. Back to the dollars. In the meantime my friend who plays penny slots 12-15 hours a day on one or two machines – no kidding – is hitting on Buffalo Grand – end of the day she is up $950. Me – down my entire BR for the day. Off to our lovely terrace with a view at 10:30PM – what? I never hit the room before midnight on my first night. First time for everything. Slept like a baby – the oh, so comfortable bed envelops you like a cocoon and it’s lights out.
    I’m in Vegas.

    Next morning, Thursday, woke up to my cup of hot tea that hubby brought to the room – OK, I’m spoiled, in our XX years of marriage, the only time I have ever made my own tea was when hubby was out of town on business or I was out of town on business – so why should it be any different in Vegas? Nice Hubby. Now I’m ready to tackle the day. A few early morning pics from the terrace – the Arizona dust is crazy – thought it was early morning fog, lol..

    eifel dust.JPG IMG_2347.JPG IMG_2350.JPG

    Grab my BR from my 2nd day envelope and away I go. Slots up and down, up and down, down, down, down. Time for early lunch. We all did the 2 for 1 lunch buffet at Wicked Spoon – unlike our first two trips (dinner) which were ok but no standouts, we really enjoyed the brunch offerings including made to order eggs cooked over medium just right along with scrumptious greek yogurt and granola. Everything appeared fresh and tasted freshly made, so overindulged a bit with the beet salad, and fried chicken... Restrained myself and only had one dessert - two coconut macaroons. Now if I had the same restraint on slots, who knows?

    Highlight of the meal was watching an early teen-aged boy at the juice station methodically touching the entire rims of every single bottle of mango and grapefruit juice on the station. I’m sure everyone’s drinks that day were extra tasty! (yes, I looked around for staff but no one in the vicinity and the kid made a beeline into another section). Didn’t tell Hubby cause he would have tracked the kid down, and hauled him to the manager along with the parents if they happened to be there. Trust me, he has done this.
    I’m in Vegas.

    We decide to step outside to experience the 114 degree inferno – walk towards Aria – 5 minutes later – we are back to the Cosmo casino. Can’t describe it but wow, could barely take a deep breath out there. Then we wander around Cosmo and look at the art and sculptures on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Many, many great things to look at, just a few pics.
    IMG_2396.JPG IMG_2384.JPG IMG_2382.JPG IMG_2387.JPG

    Slots up and down, up and down, down, down, down. Take a break back to our lovely terrace and do Face Time with our two grandsons – ahhhh, all is well with the world. Nothing comes close to the joy of seeing those sweet happy faces and their animated descriptions with show and tell of the latest Lego they created out of the millions (ok, I exaggerate, the tens of thousands) of lego pieces they have accumulated. At 7 and 5, they are already Lego Masters. Next to our gambling, our biggest expense is buying Lego’s.
    Our daughters and sons-in-law love how we spoil their kids.:poke:

    We decided at the last minute to eat dinner Thursday night at DOCG (our friends went to – Holsteins, again) – loved the Caprese Salad – melt in your mouth mozzarella and tender yellow, red, green tomatoes served with the most delicious tomato bread wedges – this was a winner. The rest of the meal was ok, but not special – pizza and pasta. Back to the slots – up and down, down, down, down. In our 40 plus trips to Vegas, I have NEVER gone to the room before midnight two nights in a row – can this be happening? My reputation is at stake – I’m known for playing until the sun comes up. And carrying a purse full of money back to the room. And hand pays. What? Another early bedtime – this time made it to 11:30PM. Back to the cocoon for a good night’s sleep.
    I’m in Vegas.

    Friday morning tea and bagels in the room. Decide to sit on the terrace – step outside and there are broken cookies scattered around on our lounge and ottoman – not there the night before - how did it get there? Messy chocolate melted onto the seat. Called housekeeping and they sent someone to clean up the terrace – said folks on terraces above tend to throw things off their terraces onto the terraces below. I’d be fine with it if
    they wrapped some money around the stuff they were throwing....
    upload_2016-8-7_22-51-15.jpeg



    Grabbed BR for the day and head downstairs. I finally win around $340 dollars on a fifty cent machine and shortly thereafter a couple of more wins in the $300 range – slots are looking up. Is there a handy on the way?
    IMG_2372.JPG
    Lunch at The Henry – the Salmon was very well prepared, nice crispy top and moist and tender – served over bed of mashed potatoes with a side of asparagus. Hubby had some kind of croissant eggy, cheesy, sandwich which he couldn’t finish – said it was too rich but liked it. Frittered the afternoon away playing pennies with Hubby and then decided to head over to Aria for a bit. He immediately got the Buffalo bonus and won $327 betting, I think, $2.25. I donated $200 to Aria. Back to Cosmo for some VP – 25c and $1.00 – did ok but nothing to report. Bored again. Tried the dollar slots – no soap. Tried high limit – no soap. Oops – envelope is looking pretty puny.

    Friday night China Poblano for Dinner – some of our favorites at Cosmo – Carnitas tacos, Golden Pigs (love these things – fried delicate buns stuffed with Chinese bbq pork and served with sweetened condensed milk), Chicken Ji Song (lettuce wraps), and twenty vegetable fried rice.
    Too much food - Piggies are we. Slots til 1am – somehow managed to take $700 to the room – woo hoo.
    I’m in Vegas.

    Saturday morning breakfast at The Henry. Meet with our host who kindly covers all our meal expenses and offers a car to take us to our next destination, the Mirage. So now that we are leaving, our host mentions several machines we should have played in the high limit room that have been hitting for several of her clients – why, oh why didn’t she tell us sooner? OK maybe next time…cause the slots at Cosmo were not overly kind to us this trip. Our friends decide to do late check out – she is on another winning streak - and meet us later at Mirage. CW service at Cosmo was very good. Helpful and friendly staff.

    Mirage 3 nights
    Quick ride up to the Mirage, our driver told us a hilarious story of how his mother and dad met (think drunk) and before we knew it we were at the Mirage. Room was ready, and check in was a breeze, 26th floor tower suite with Volcano view which hubby likes. Hubby complained to me that they changed out the coffee machine in the VIP room where he likes to grab a cup but the coffee is undrinkable…and the water for the tea tastes like bad coffee - uh oh, he is a man who needs his coffee as badly as I need my tea. Major problem – for him. Me? Someone makes my tea every morning – no worries. Just FYI on the platinum experience check in – they didn’t give us the envelope for the free Habitat – picked it up later – hubby and friend went Monday while the ladies beat up the slots.

    IMG_2363.JPG mir bath.JPG mir dress.JPG mir show.JPG

    Get my freeplay loaded and away I go. Mirage has been our home base for quite some time and I KNOW here is where I get my first hand pay of the trip. Slots up and down, up and down, down, down, down. What? Gotta shake that bad karma and get down to business here. Finally things start to turn around – hubby has some nice wins on Buffalo and retires to the room up about $400. I hit a few hundreds here and and there on Blazing Sevens – back to the room up almost $600 – time to chill before dinner at Portofino. The chicken rollatini was excellent. Hubby had the lobster ravioli which was tender and buttery. After dinner we run to the room to change and watch the volcano erupt – never gets old and just love the night view of the Vegas strip…all is well with the world. Downstairs we go and Hubby goes outside to watch the Volcano again and walk the block. While playing dollar slots, I strike up a conversation with a couple of guys from Vancouver who kept asking me to say “y’all” again and again – somehow they guessed I was ‘from Texas’ even though I’m a yankee by birth. We talked a little about the TV show “Alone” and boom when I wasn’t paying attention, I won $350 on Flaming Sevens – the guys wanted to celebrate with a glass of wine, I had a ginger ale, nice young fellows...I’m an old but hip granny. Hubby, an old but not hip grandpa, returns and said he was approached 3 times by ladies as he watched the Volcano – he’s a magnet as this happens once or twice every trip – yep, seen it myself - times must be desperate if they’re hitting on him. “Are you with anyone”, “Would you like some company” and he couldn’t figure out what the other lady said to him. Anyway they were barking up the wrong tree – I’m the one holding the moolah… The guys from Vancouver leave and are headed back to Aria or maybe they went looking for those ladies…..

    Hubby heads to bed and I get down to some serious slots – five dollar slots for the rest of the night – had enough small wins to send me to the room up $1100 for the first day (playing Double Gold). And I played til 1AM. Sure enough hubby is sound asleep when I get to the room. Again the bed is so comfortable, wraps around me like a cocoon and light’s out.
    I’m in Vegas.

    Sunday morning, tea and bagels waiting for me. Pretty exciting, huh? Hubby has gone downstairs in search of good coffee and some penny Buffalo. Texts me – he hit for $549 on $1.50 bet. So, do I tell him I won $1100 the night before or let him enjoy his win? I head downstairs and play dollars til lunch time – no need to hit my BR envelope today, I hope. Quick breakfast/lunch at The Pantry – never mind – nothing quick about the Pantry – the pancakes and sausage are really good and the yogurt parfait with fruit and granola are yummy – the kitchen service is very slow but pleasant. Thank goodness they have a Platinum card line – must have been 40 people in the other line, we only waited a couple of minutes.

    After lunch, the four of us pool a hundred each and play five dollar slots – we won – nothing… but had a good time trying….not really, just being polite…we love hanging with our gambling buddies but man, those Mirage slots sucked. Four hundred bucks and best win was 5 credits a couple of times.
    Played a couple of hours and then to the room to shower and change for dinner at Le Cirque. Exactly 14 minutes walking, door to door from Mirage to Bellagio. Always a fine dinner there. I could have eaten two of the vegetable risotto’s and skipped the prime tenderloin which was Wayyy rich and perfectly tender. Hubby had the sea bass and it was excellent. Chocolate ball and raspberry ice thingy for dessert. Decided to throw some money into the slots at Bellagio. On the second spin on a ten dollar slot (playing one credit) hit for $800. Hubby gives me the eagle eye cause he likes to play max credit on my money! Cashed out and played dollar Blazing Sevens, after my 2nd hundred in the machine, I hit $600 (2 red sevens and the Double Jackpot symbol). Hubby cashed out with $170 on penny Quick Hits. I cashed out, gave my winnings to my hubby to take back to the room safe for the next day and headed back to the Mirage. (I am not to be trusted with extra money - somehow it rarely makes it back to the room).
    IMG_2378.JPG IMG_2379.JPG IMG_2381.JPG IMG_2385.JPG IMG_2370.JPG
    Back at Mirage and meet up with our friends, the hubsters head to the sports book. My friend and I play pennies side by side for a couple of hours – she wins, I lose. Tired of drinking ginger ale, we order virgin something or other with whipped cream and a cherry – too sweet but manage to finish it. Must have been something in my friend’s drink, cause she goes to the bathroom and comes back laughing – she wandered into the men’s room by mistake...ewww!

    I’m through with pennies and head to the dollars – played double top dollar (5 dollar) and I get the top dollar twice and cash out at $900. Do I go to bed a winner? Do I blow it? I’m in Vegas. I blow it. I go to the room with $100. Ha – tomorrow is another day.
    I’m in Vegas.

    Monday morning, sleep late, up at 9:00AM tea and bagels are waiting. Hubby out for his morning walk/run. Run downstairs and take a short walk with hubby – see? I do more than just play slots. Back to the room to grab my BR envelope for the day. Last full day here. Today is my hand pay day, right? Not a great day on the slots but I manage a few wins in the hundy’s. Not much on VP, held my own but nothing to brag about.

    IMG_2367.JPG
    Uh oh – the mlife system is completely down for some kind of upgrade from Sunday midnight to Tuesday at 5PM and during this time you cannot use Free Play or Xpress Comps – although when you play, the system will register your points towards tier credits. Bummer – I still had Free Play – oh well, next trip. Met with our Host and she said she would take care of any charges after the system was back up. Not that there will be much on there, we had ample F/B on our offer that took care of most everything. Always a good time at the Mirage and we really like our host here. Played til 11:30 PM won a little on the dollars and fives and went to room up about $300 for the day. No hand pay this visit, but had a fun time chasing. Friends went to see LOVE. Although LOVE is a favorite of ours, we passed since we had seen it for about the 8th time in April.
    Tuesday morning, tea and bagels and ready to check out and head to GVR for one night.

    Here comes a first – we are going to try out Uber from Mirage to GVR. Downloaded the app - husband had a $30 off from Chase for the first Uber ride. Read and studied and decided to give it a go. First entered the originating location and selected XL since there would be four of us needing a larger vehicle. Wanted to get an estimate, but before I even put in the destination, it ordered a driver. OH NO! A driver is on the way, but I’m not ready! How to cancel? I finally figured it out and hit the cancel, but the driver texts me he is 4 minutes away. OH NO! I text him back to cancel and he responds OK. I finally am able to see where the cancel was confirmed by Uber. Panicked for a minute there. Still can’t figure out how it ordered a driver when I was just trying to get an estimate….

    So now we are ready to go and head to the North Entrance of the Mirage and I order the ride, driver shows up in 3 minutes, takes us to GVR – nice clean car and friendly driver. Trip cost was $11.01 after the $30.00 Chase promotion was applied. We gave him an extra nice tip since it was a 21 minute drive and he was really pleasant. Weird thing is, I went back in to give him a 5 rating, but it looked like it had already been done. I really need to get the hang of that app before we use Uber again, I’m not sure how we even were as successful as we were because it was a bit confusing to this little old lady. Next time might try Lyft just to see the difference, if any.

    Tuesday – here we are for our first stay at Green Valley Ranch. Some construction going on so we used the registration on the lower level. Then the escalator to the 2nd floor to reach the room elevators. Room was ready, staff very pleasant and helpful. Room and bathroom were very nice and bed super comfortable. No pics because the room looks just like the pics on their website which are better than any pics I could take. We were in the East Tower which is a little quirky to get to – but once you’ve done it, it was easy peasy thereafter. The registration desk area on the 2nd floor has free coffee in the AM and free ice water during the rest of the day. They also give you a couple of bottles of water for your room if you request it. This is also the location to pick up a pass (30 minutes prior to departure) for the shuttle if you want to take the shuttle to the airport or Mandalay Bay. Note: the shuttle pick up is on the lower level by valet (not where you get the pass) – we almost missed our ride because we were waiting in the registration area on the 2nd floor – remember we left our brains and logic at the gate when we arrived in Vegas! (our bad)…

    GVR is a really beautiful resort – nice pool area, sandy pool area for young kids, lots of seating and cabanas and the area is serene and relaxing. A security guard told us the reason there is no access to the bridge across the pool is about 7 years ago a drunk fellow dove off the bridge into the pool which only has 4 feet of water in it and died. Plus folks would drop or throw glasses from the bridge into the pool so no one is permitted on the bridge. The interior is quite nice also. The casino is fairly large – with LOTS of VP – seemed almost 60/40 slots vs VP but I could be wrong on the percentage. Lots of locals; struck up a conversation with a nice older couple playing Buffalo – they said they come 3 times a week with a bankroll of $300 each for the week.

    IMG_2405.JPG gvr pool.JPG IMG_2401.JPG IMG_2398.JPG image.jpeg
    IMG_2404.JPG

    Slots were up and down, up and down. We only stayed one night, but I did win $480 and another $160 on dollar slots (Double Lucky) which allowed me to play longer into the evening. Somehow I earned Gold status whatever that means so guess I put in more coin than I realized. Lunch specials at the café were cheap and pretty good. Had a New York style pizza at Pizza Rock I think it is called, for dinner - very good pizza – would eat there again. Checkout Wed was quick and easy (our room was comp’d – we had played for 2 and one half hours about a year ago and started receiving 3 night complimentary room offers) and decided to try it for one night. We took the free shuttle from GVR to the airport – about 15 minute ride in a really nice 8-10 seat Mercedes Van. We would stay there again.

    Off to the airport – had the funniest TSA agent ever – the four of us were Pre TSA – and when he saw four Texas licenses in a row he asked us if all us Texans had locked the door and turned out the lights when we left Texas – he said he’d never seen so many Texans as he had this past week. He also told the lady in front of us to leave her water bottle in the special bin they were using to fill up Lake Mead.
    No delays on our Southwest flight home – I’m no longer in Vegas…: :(:(:(
     

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
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  2. VegasJmr

    VegasJmr Tourist

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    Great photos, looked like a fun trip!
     
  3. Fet297

    Fet297 Vegas is my happy place!

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    Great photos. I am sad that I cannot read your TR due to the font size. Looks like you had fun!
     
    First trip for 2017!
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  4. pleasemum

    pleasemum Low-Roller

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    If you are on a desk top just hold down the ctrl key at the same time click on the plus key as many times as you need the font to increase - I had to do this as well.


    Great report - thanks for the details - may try GVR for one night on my October trip.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Thanks for letting me know Fet297 - so sorry - got some help and hopefully fixed it:bang:

    Thank you pleasemum for the suggestion on changing the font size:wave: - thought that worked but ... I think I finally fixed it using the A^ font option and hope it is readable now.
    GVR was worth the side trip and hope you let us know what you think as well - it's also a nice one half day visit if you decide not to stay.
    And thanks for reading.:)
     
  6. Fet297

    Fet297 Vegas is my happy place!

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    The fix worked. Thank you, I really enjoyed your TR. great information and detail.:nworthy:
    Scott
     
    First trip for 2017!
  7. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

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    Nice report. Green Valley Ranch looks really nice. Will have to give it a try.
     
  8. emmas

    emmas Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed reading bout your trip. Sorry no handy, but it sounds like you had fun trying. Stayed at GVR last year and concur with your assessment. It's really a beautiful resort and casino. I liked that guests can use the spa facilities as part of the resort fee.
     
  9. the nuts

    the nuts VIP Whale

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    Nice report. Enjoyed the pics scattered between words to show what was going on. I need to try Le Cirque at Bellagio and Holsteins at Cosmo on our next trip!
     
  10. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Excellent report, Geogran! :beer:
    I quit trying to tell my bride about being approached by members of the "Vegas welcoming committee" on my morning walks on the Strip, because she would never believe it anyway!
    Thanks so much!

    RICHARD
     
  11. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Emmas - Always great to get a handy but not getting one never stops me from going and trying again, haha.
    Glad to hear you enjoyed GVR as well - we weren't able to do much in a day and a half -will try the spa for sure next time and stay longer. It was really nice getting off the strip for a change - never thought I'd say that :)

    thenuts - thanks! I tried Holsteins and China Poblano based on VMB recommendations and now are favorites of ours! Why I love VMB! Help is always a post away.
     
  12. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds High-Roller

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    Thanks for the report! Enjoyed it!

    For a price estimate on Uber you put in your location and the destination like you did, then you hit the black "set pickup location" button on the map. Once you do that the screen will change a bit and a price estimate appears at the bottom of the screen right above the black "Request" button. If you don't like the price or how long it's going to take for Uber to get there then just don't hit the "Request" button.

    The "Request" button is right at the bottom of the screen, so perhaps you accidentally hit it with your thumb.
     
    Trip #12
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  13. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Thanks boxofbirds for that info - that is probably what happened - thought I had really figured it out ahead of time, so when I saw a driver on the way, it was like - OH NO! :nono:But it all worked out. Next time will be better.. thanks again!
     
  14. tcocona

    tcocona Low-Roller

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    What an enjoyable read.Sounds like you always have a good time in Las Vegas.Keep up that positive attitude.You guys sound like me and my gal married 60 years this Oct. .
     
  15. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph Tourist

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    I really enjoyed your TR, sorry no handies but glad you had fun!
     
  16. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Wow tcocona - your anniversary coming up - 60 years this October! Congratulations in advance and hope you all have many more!
    Ours isn't quite there yet - but I attribute our marital longevity to my husband for putting up with me all these years - I'm told by my friends and my daughters I should count my blessings cause I am a handful and he is the 'saint' lol! Can't disagree with that! But the glue that holds it together is that cup of tea he makes for me every morning just the way I like it, ha ha. You are right - we both love Vegas and always have a good time, boring by some standards, but it works for us.

    Thanks for reading and your kind comments.
     
  17. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Thanks, carolineno! Just noticed you are just about to be in Vegas at Aria! Hope your trip is awesome and that you'll share your experiences - we stayed at Aria our first time this year and loved it and the restaurants. Good luck!


    LOL! Love the 'Vegas welcoming committee' sounds so professional :wink2:. Thanks for reading.


    Thank you Texas Steph! Crazy but we have fun even when we lose and eventually the handies return... Hope you have a wonderful Vegas Halloween!
     
  18. Grandmaw

    Grandmaw Tourist

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    I really enjoyed reading your report. Sorry that you didn't win more but you did get to play the slots for a long time. Good friends, good food - what more do you want...sounds like the perfect vacation.
     
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  19. CheeseHog

    CheeseHog Tourist

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    My favorite part of your report was your "I'm in Vegas" tagline! That's how I feel every time I wake up there!
     
  20. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    I really enjoyed your report! Thanks for taking us along and the great pics!