Trip Report June 3rd-7th I will try my first TR here in “highlight” style (instead of day to day)…here goes.. Trip number 17 overall, number 12 with my favorite traveling companion…Dad! Planes, Trains and Automobiles (well sort of…): Virgin America, Nonstop from JFK to LAS, minimal traffic to the airport, check in was a breeze (online, boarding passes on iPhone) flew through security. Though told by one person that Dad’s bag would be able to go onboard, the gate agent stopped and said no..gate check….no hassle and bag flew with us to LAS, minimal wait to retrieve. For those who have flown Virgin, they have an ordering system in the TV in the seatback for food/drink etc…it was down, turns out, we could have ordered whatever, as we never got charged…blew that one! Oh well, no biggie. Return flight was just as easy, save for a bit of turbulence, we arrived home 30 min ahead of schedule. Taxis..think we got taken slightly out of our way to the MC, added about $2.50/3 to our fare…didn’t argue…one taxi to Ceasar’s from MC…quick and efficient ride, no hassles…MC to Airport, very fast, despite a Saturday nite… Tram…on the Mlife side, used only once this trip. Always free and easy. Hotel: Monte Carlo 4 nites, one comped, the others at a discounted rate. Check in was quick, nice young lady looked for an upgrade, even Hotel 32 she said, without us really asking (no $20 trick), she said they were sold out for one of the nites, so couldn’t do it. Got a 25th floor pool/Aria side. No DJ noise at all from pool area, but then again, didn’t sense there was one this week as had been in the past. Hasn’t changed much, room was clean, but despite one of the relatively recent updated rooms, it needed a bit more updating, it was looking a bit tired. On the other hand, the bed was clean and comfortable, and the shower was hot, just not super strong. Served our purpose, sleeping and getting clean. Workout area, busy, but very usable..Spa area kept up nicely, fresh fruit for the asking, used to be kept out, no longer. None of the cardio equipment was out of order. Still limited floor space for stretching or free weights. Food: Pizza Ftifty-50 (Aria): ate here with 2 free myVegas coups, and once late night; delicious! Comparable to Hidden Pizza in Cosmo, although limited to only 4 “by the slice” where Hidden/secret pizza will “customize” your slice. Still worth it. Oh and they comp’d me any beer in their fridge with the myVegas coup, it was not limited to Draft beer, your mileage may vary tho I would bet. The Buffet (Aria)-Breakfast only-had myVegas Coups that kept us here for Breakfast for three mornings. Not beatable for essentially $10/pp; cant get a coffee and a pastry at Starbucks for 2 for much less than that! And the coffee here I thought was great! (for buffet coffee!) Fresh fruits, pastries were hit or miss, but those that were good were real good. Lots to eat for lunch if you want at 9 am…seafood, sushi, Asian dishes…Dad liked his omelettes…service was attentive, with quick refills of beverages. Yusho (Monte Carlo)-Food was innovative, Fresh, and very tasty, service was great. My only complaint…way too pricey! Drop the prices by 30% maybe you will survive, but at those rates, this place is not going to make it. Too bad, food is great. Also, why not open before 5p? Its “street food” eat it all day…its open late, but I do not see MC being the hang-out for the after hours crowd…maybe I am wrong. Javier’s (Aria)- Truly a disappointment this trip, after 2 previous great meals, Dad and I thought our shrimp dishes to be quite bland/flavorless…the shrimp were big plump and fresh tasting, but no salt or seasonings??? Fail! The drink I had was good…also thought the wait staff was a little too “cool for school” in their own minds… Spago (Ceasar’s)-a must go to for Dad and I, we love that place, service and food always perfect! I had the Lamb Saddle, Dad had an Asian Tuna dish, both kicked it! App was a beet salad that was not only colorfull, but had great flavors and textures… Todd Englis P.U.B.-great stop for lunch, dad’s burger was tops, and I had the Pastrami sliders…hit the spot, was stuffed, great beer choices, especially at happy hour. Drinks (comps while gambling)-Aria sports book bar, did honestly drink fast enough to see if the 30 min rule was in effect, but did notice that they raised the prices of their booze, so the best Bourbon you can get is Makers…man, we used to drink good at that bar! Aria-floor-got Woodford or Maker’s, Dad was drinking Macallan 12… MC-Maker’s, only Johnny red??? Really? TAG (The Quad)-what a find! Drank Goose Island Matilda and a Sour that I cannot remember how to spell or pronounce, VanderGhinste??…if you are a Sour fan, give this one a try… Shows-only made it to Absinthe…funny show, loved the crass humor, and the two main “characters”, the performers were so talented. Gambling-spent most of our time Gaming at Monte Carlo and Aria-VPFree found me at Aria at a 25c 99.1%BoneDeluxe machine..once I figured out not to pay the 25c/spin vig to get the STP bonus, I played at “full pay” single line..first day I lasted 5 hours on $100…wow, cashed out only even tho…no royals and very few quads…days 2 and 3 I did not fair AS well, loosing a couple hundred, but lasting the same amount of time..my coin in must have been good enough, because, with only gambling, I went from zero to Pearl in just 2 and a half days! Too bad I had no royals to show for it…you would think in 20 years I would have hit one! (only seriously playing VP properly for 8 years honestly, but still!!) Table games at Monte Carlo…finished ahead on all sessions of Blackjack and Crazy4…$5 min Crazy4 in the morning..Dallas, funny, fun, laid back dealer, nicest guy! Blackjack, two opposite dealer experiences…Mark…total DB…kept loudly bashing me for taking the surrender on 16 against dealer 10/A…”the casino offers you insurance but you don’t take that??!!” He kept saying…he didn’t stop, and found plenty of other things to “pick on me” about, almost went too far, but I was beating him, so…..I said nothing (Karma and all…) On the other hand Cherise…older petitie lady, gruff voice, black wig…says she used to deal BlackJack for Rosenthal, back in the day, at Stardust…quietly nice…made sure I made all the right plays, and complemented my play from time to time, especially with the “kids” at the table making crazy plays, despite her trying to help them too…she was the best…! Overall probably put in about 10 hours of blackjack…last session I asked the pit where he had me on avg bets, he said $25…I know that’s low for some of you, but for me, that was a step up… We really liked the limits and play at MC tables… Played some VP at Book and Stage and some at TAG, but no wins to speak of…probably played 3 hours on the same $100 at Book and Stage…nice place to hang out…TAG was great as above..never mind the girls behind the bar were quite attractive! Comps… So, room was under Dad’s name and MLife card, on check in I was sure to make sure my card was tagged to the room as well. Stopped at the Mlife booth just prior to checkout. Nothing on my Dad’s play…so, I asked about mine…initially they said they couldn’t do anything, but the person at the desk called marketing and got $120 in F&B taken off our account…I’ll take it…all of my VP play was at Aria, so this must have been based on my table play, right? Will be interesting to see if any offers come my way before my trip in October. As above, Flight home (Red-eye) left on time, was fairly uneventful, some heavy turbulence mid-trip, and a very funny mother and son “floor –show” (think a young Woody Allen and Howard’s Mom (from Big Bang Theory)..the loud banter was comically annoying… Overall a good trip, not a winning one, but we were relaxed and subsequently exhausted when we were done. I look forward to a completely different trip in October with the “guys”. Should be a blast!