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TR: Valentine's Day 2/14-2/17

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by FountainFiend, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. FountainFiend

    FountainFiend Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    159
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5

    My Trip Report

    INTRODUCTION

    I am going to start this trip report a year ago. My wife has been going to Las Vegas since was a few years old with her parents who are big Vegas goers. I've heard stories of my father-in-law seducing women in the elevator of the Sands and my wife being pushed down the strip in a stroller eating cheerios. My wife can tell me what the strip looked like before the Mirage opened, and when Circus Circus was her favorite place in the world.

    For our first Valentine's Day as a married couple last year, I decided that I would take her to Vegas, a place near to her heart and let her stay at the resort of her choice. Her parents, decidedly old-school low rollers with comped stays at the Flamingo never stayed at the big resorts she always wanted to. We stayed at the Encore for two nights. I went with a terrible attitude and really wanted to find all of the reasons to hate Las Vegas. To make a long story short, I fell in love with the place, especially the Bellagio Fountains (hence my name).

    Since then, we went once again last year for a 10 night stay at the Bellagio and had an amazing time, and I spend most of my free time playing WinPoker on my iPad. I love Monday mornings because I get to listen to Five Hundy and I spend most of my work day reading VegasMessageBoard.

    I am in a word: Hooked.
     
  2. FountainFiend

    FountainFiend Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    159
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    Day 1

    We had an uneventful flight to Las Vegas and it arrived a bit early, and we jumped in a car I booked through Presidential Limo. I've had nothing but good experiences with them and will continue to recommend it. We had a comped stay the MGM Grand to try their new renovated rooms and we were pretty impressed. The last two trips were to the Wynn and Bellagio, and while this couldn't exactly compare, it was also very nice. I was really impressed by the room overall, and it was very new and clean. The biggest gripe I have with the place is the pillows are terrible (fell flat immediately) and there just isn't much I want to do there.

    We checked in the MGM Grand, dropped off our luggage and headed down to the casino. I went to the players club to turn in my MyVegas comps, and had a bit of a snafu. I was trying to redeem for the Wolfgang Puck bar and grill in the MGM Grand, however, it isn't possible to do there. You have to go to the restaurant directly.

    Anyway, we went to the Wolfgang Puck and had a great meal. It remains one of my favorite places for a quick meal, and it didn't disappoint. The sidecar was also quite tasty.

    We then headed to the Excalibur and Luxor to look around. I've never been before and it was a couple of the last strip properties I haven't seen. They were pretty fine. I could definately see the Circus Circus in the Excalibur. I was really excited to see the Luxor and was hoping to see the pyramid from the Casino put apprently they put a canopy over the Casino so until I got to the reception I couldn't even tell it was in a pyramid.

    Anyway, we headed back to the MGM to change for dinner at Sage and got to spend a little bit of time just resting in the room. After my wife and I's rest in the room I felt really energized and ready to go.

    Dinner at Sage was fantastic, the food and service were as good as I've had anywhere. To be honest, I preferred it to Daniel in NYC, especially considering the price is fairly reasonable given the level of food and service. I had the roasted sweetbreads and scallops. I really loved the sweetbreads and the scallops were just ok. I would say I probably ordered poorly with the scallops although they were recommended by the waiter. My wife had the soft poached egg to start and it was probably the favorite thing I tried on the trip. Soft, savory and delicious. We had a couple of cocktails to start, and a bottle of sparkling wine so I was feel pretty happy by the time dinner ended.

    One curious thing was that we sat next to a couple who looked to be barely 21 and the man was wearing a very casual outfit and a baseball cap. It appeared he had a personal relationship with the staff (or at least he expected them to know him). He looked really underdressed for the restaurant, and it was kind of an odd experience. He and I were the only men there not wearing jackets that I saw, however, I was wearing a button up and tie, and he was wearing a t shirt and baseball cap. I really do wonder who he was, but that's Vegas for you. You never have to feel bad no matter where you go.


    After that, I headed to the craps table before we had reservations for cocktails at the Mandarin Oriental for cocktails. This was my first time playing craps where I understood what was going on, and my wife enjoyed hanging off my arm while I played. I bought in for 400 and ended up being up around 150 by playing full odds and placing the 6 and 8. The drink service at the Aria is great at the tables and I got a couple of Tom Collins for me and the wife while I was playing. Had a great time at the table, and was sad we had to leave to go get drinks at the Mandarin. I even placed a bet for the dealers and won for them so I was pretty happy to tip them. They have great crews there and had a great time.

    Headed over to the Mandarin which was a short walk from Aria, and got a seat next to the window at the bar. Had a couple of drinks which were too sweet in both of our opinions but the view and location is amazing. We'd probably go back, but I would order a wine or whiskey off the menu, and I think my wife would do the same. The cocktails are just too sweet.

    My wife had been feeling sick for a few days so she was fading so we just had the one drink and we headed to the Bellagio to see the fountains for Valentine's Day. We saw a couple of shows and then headed back to the MGM to collapse.
     
  3. FountainFiend

    FountainFiend Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    159
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    The next day we fed the Lion Share progressive machine. My parents had sent me a couple hundred dollars to play with so I played with that. At the beginning, I was holding my own but then I did not get anything at all until I was out of money. I was really hoping to have a little bit of fun with the two hundred I bought in for, at least long enough to get a drink, but it fell really quickly. We then headed over to Aria.

    \Sat down at the 8/5 BP triple play $1 machines for 400. Lost all of my money fairly quickly and only had one drink. The space those are at (right outside the high limit slots room) have had pretty consistently bad drink service when we were there. My wife did as badly as I did at the same machines, but she bought in for a bit less. At one point I had four to a royal (A K Q J) and was really hoping for it on my three hands. Unfortunately, didn't get as much as a pair of jacks.

    Went over to the quarter progressive machines to waste some time before lunch. I did really well at those, of course. Also I was playing 6/5 JoB and got multiple 4 of a kinds which would have been huge on BP. So anyway, I ended up cashing out with the same money I started with and we got three drinks. I also got four to a royal there twice, and again, no love. I am still chasing that stupid Royal Flush. I think I might be done playing video poker once I get it. (Yeah right!) The drink service there at the progressive machines off of the front entry way is excellent. I was really disappointed at this point. One that I was down so much at video poker, and two that I had gotten so many 4 OAKs at the JoB machine and missed my chances at the Royals. Overall a disappointing morning, but the drinks made it a bit better :).

    We had lunch at Estatorio Milos for the 20.13 deal. This is still the best deal in Vegas lunches I've found, but I was a bit less excited than the last time I was there. Maybe it was because we went to Sage the day before and had an excellent dinner, maybe it just wasn't as 'on' but I had the same courses as last time and was pleased but not amazed. We then headed to Book and Stage to play some video poker and get some drinks but it was rather busy so we left. We wanted to get some drinks, so we decided to sit down at the $5 push to win craps game and promptly lost all of our money after getting one drink. I really am done playing that. Last trip we played it quite a lot and it is fun if you are too intimidated by the craps table, but now that I am enjoying the table, it doesn't make as much sense. Also the Cosmo's machine only allows 2X odds which is pretty terrible.

    Back to the MGM to take an afternoon rest. The booze and the losing had caught up to us and we just wanted to take a break. I rested my eyes for a bit and my wife watched a wedding show on TLC, and then we headed back out to the Cosmo for the Comme Ca happy hour. They have half priced drinks and appetizers from 5-7, so we got a few drinks and the tarte and pig fries. The drinks were pretty good. I especially enjoyed the Catch Her in the Rye. If you are a fan of maple syrup I really suggest it. The tarte was great and the pig fries were good, but only if you really enjoy pig.
    Then we went back to the Aria to play craps. Ended up at a 15 dollar table and I ended up being super nervous as I haven't played at $15 before and there was a lot of regular players there. My blood was pounding as I bought in for 500, and the boxman was asking me to make a bet so he could start my clock on rating. Ended up placing the 6 and 8 and waiting for the point to be cleared. Then I continued playing pass line/full odds and placing the 6 and 8. This was the best hour and a half I've ever had gambling. The table was pretty hot and my chip stack filled up pretty quickly. At this point an italian man from another table stopped by ours, I am guessing because he had heard all of the hooting and hollering, and bought in for 4000. He refused to provide his players card and said they should know him. He then placed all the numbers across, and of course it sevened out quickly. He was acting like quite a big shot jerk and it killed the mojo. I am not superstituous normally but I didn't really want to bet when he showed up next to me and I didn't like him being there. The table was pretty choppy until he left, then we went back to hitting our numbers. When it was my second time to shoot a new player was at the table, and the woman asked another player how the table was and he said it was really choppy but I was lucky, so not to worry. Made me pretty happy to hear that :). I shot for awhile and hit a bunch of 6s and 8s and rolled some hard ways for the players around me. I also hit the all the small numbers bonus and that paid out for a few people so they were pretty happy. I played another couple of rounds and then decided to cash up. Ended up being up 430 dollars. I tipped the dealers $10 on my way out. I really wish I would have tipped more there. I was so excited to be up that much I just wasn't thinking clearly. My wife had a great time playing, and she helped me out to remember how much to bet and she made sure I always had a manhattan in my head. What a great wife :).

    I was on a pretty good high so decided to play a little quarter video poker, and my wife and I ended up even. I was up a bit and she was down a bit (I think 10/20 bucks either way) so it evened out and I gave her the difference. She then played the Alice in Wonderland slot for a few pulls and made a couple bucks.

    Having an amazing time, we headed over to the Cosmo's Chandelier Bar and got a couple of drinks. It was really hopping. Unfortunatly my drink wasn't really all that great, it had a lot of pulp in it and was difficult to drink. I was pretty bummed by that, but we headed out after that to Holstein's and got a late night burger and boozy shake. Really hit the spot to end the night. Drank the rest of our shakes on our walk back to the MGM and promptly fell asleep.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  4. FountainFiend

    FountainFiend Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    159
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    Saturday was our last full day, so decided to try our MyVegas comp for the lounge at the Signature so we headed over there (about 10 minute walk from the Casino). Unfortunatly, found out it didn't open until noon on Saturday so we headed back and then over to Aria.

    We went back to the Aria to try the renovated buffet. It was fairly expensive for brunch but in line with other higher end buffets. The drinks were around 7 dollars for unlimited wine and mimosas and bellinis. I ordered some sparkling wine but got a bellini instead. The bellini was really good and not too sweet for a bellini, but I preferred when I got the wine by itself. It was a big pour and all together got three drinks for 7 bucks so a great deal. The food was just ok. I think the best part was the Asian food. Everything was ok, but most of it wasn't too cold.

    After this, I headed down to play some video poker at the Aria . I played triple play for awhile and got a straight flush and ended up a hundred dollars and cashed out. My wife played and ended up a bit as well, so we headed to the View Bar and got a couple of drinks before heading to the Treasure Island. I hadn't seen it before, so I was wanting to see it. As we were heading out of Aria, I went to put on my sunglasses, which unfortunatly weren't in my pocket. I had taken them off at the Buffet and couldn't remember if I took them with me. The buffet didn't have them, so I went to the VP machines I was playing at, and no dice there either. Casino security hadn't seen them but told me to check back later.

    Went to TI which I was actually pretty impressed with initially. I had pretty low expectations and it exceeded them. We decided we needed another drink so went to a bar with video poker. Put in 20 bucks and played max credits 25c. Ended up getting billed 18 bucks for two mojitos and losing 30 bucks at the machine there, so I was pretty disappointed they weren't comped. Took the tram back to Mirage and got a free deck of cards from the MLife desk (got it from scanning a myvegas poster) and then got a glass of wine from a bar there. Decided to go to Aria to check on my sunglasses (still weren't found) and play some more video poker. Lost another 400 bucks playing video poker. VP really wasn't my game this trip so far. Cocktail waitress asked if I wanted a drink as I was cashing out, so didn't get a drink. Unfortunatly, my wife was excited to get one, so that was a bummer.

    Walked back to the Bellagio to get a MyVegas comp for Lily. We got a couple of drinks there before heading out to Hyde to watch the fountains. Went to Hyde and got a great seat in the middle near the fountains. My wife got the liquid nitrogen elderflower cocktail that they made table side. It ended up like a sorbet and was tasty. Ended up spending a few hours there watching the fountains. Unfortunatly none of our favorite songs played (I think I saw pink panther three times on this trip...?).

    Near the end of Hyde I was pretty done for, and was starting to feel pretty drunk and kind of hungover from drinking all day. We went to Javier's for some Mexican food before going to bed. It wasn't bad at all, but wasn't really the best Mexican I've ever had and was fairly expensive. For the cheaper traditional Mexican food entrees it was around 20+ which is a lot for a taco and an enchilida with rice. The salsa was also unbearably hot. I am a big fan of spicy food and normally ask for my food on the spicier side so it was pretty hot for me and ended up giving me stomach problems the next day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  5. FountainFiend

    FountainFiend Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    159
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    On our last day, I awoke and decided to check my flight information and realized that we were taking a later flight than I though. Bonus! Extra hour in Vegas. I called Presidential and pushed back our car 45 minutes, and we packed quickly and decided to head out. The valet where we dropped off our bag was pretty pushy for a tip but I usually don't tip until I pick up my bags so it was pretty uncomfortable.

    We decided to play the blackjack machines with the video dealer at the MGM Grand. Ended up there about even with where we started. Decided to head back to Aria and I went over to Aria casino security again and they had my Rayban sunglasses! Yes! Didn't end up being down the cost of them, so I got them back and I was pretty excited.

    Then decided to try for some last day video poker play. I was up around 650 from craps and down about 900 from video poker, so I was hoping to make some back with my last 400 or so bucks. I first played some 9/5 JoB 50c and did pretty well at that, was up 60 bucks at one point but then gave it back to end at 100.


    Wife wanted to play some dollar triple play machines which I was wary of, but decided to anyway. I was has holding steady but then dropped quickly. She was doing ok at first but then ran out of money too. I kept going even though I was down to 50 bucks, and I hit a straight flush. Back in the game and only down 50 bucks. My wife decided to put in her last 100 too. We both were getting great hands but no pay offs. I was four to a royal on a few different occasions, and I got dealt three aces once, and she did 3 times, but it didn't hit. Then, right at the end she gets dealt one ace she holds and she got dealt four aces! 400 jackpot, and she ended up about 60 ahead in the trip. I got dealt 4 to an inside straight flush and hit that and ended my video poker up a couple hundred.

    Overall I ended up about even for the trip (minus the feeding the lion) and had a good time gambling. Ended up with 95k tier credits and am hoping for some future offers from Aria, but we will see.

    Stopped by the Jean Phillipe Patisserie to get some food for the plane ride home and I got a breakfast sandwich as well. The ham and cheese croissant was SO GOOD. That and the dinner at Sage was my favorite food on the trip. Aria remains my favorite place on the strip.

    We went to the Bellagio to watch one last fountain show, headed back to the MGM Grand and took off.

    Another great trip. On our plane ride home we started discussing coming back again this summer :).
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  6. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    I like your tr so far! thanks for sharing
     
  7. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
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    Location:
    Twin Cities/Western Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Loved the preface..."hooked". Great job writing your trip report. How great to virtually come out "even" for the gambling scene. Hope you can go back this summer, as this trip sounded like a lot of fun for you & your wife!
     
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