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Wynncore Vs Cosmo - June 13 - 17, 2016

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by IHeartDancers, Jun 27, 2016.

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  1. IHeartDancers

    IHeartDancers Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    The Prologue

    Just like any great book series, there's a prologue that helps the reader understand what it is that they're reading a bit better.

    The planning of this trip began about a month and a half ago when my gf and I were trying to decide on where we should go away. We started exploring a road trip to NYC and Boston. Looking up all the touristy attractions to visit was the easy part. The hard part of planning the trip was deciding on where to stay, I started looking at hotel prices and the mediocre ones wanted about $200-$250 US a night. We're Canadians and our dollar isn't that great right now, so ouch! I then tried looking at Boston to see if their hotel rates are cheaper and maybe we could switch the dates around and head to Boston first then come back through NY, but nope, surprisingly Boston's hotel rates were even higher than NYC! I couldn't believe my eyes, there must have been some sort of event going on during those dates.

    That's when I said F-that, if i'm going to be paying that kind of money for a mediocre hotel room, i'd rather pay that kind of money and stay in a luxurious five-star hotel room like the Wynn in Las Vegas!

    And So The Planning Begins

    Wynn is always emailing me about how they always want me to come back, so I dig up a Wynn email, look at the offer and the compare the dates, yup it's within my travel period. Turns out Wynn was offering me 3 nights comped and if I booked on a certain date they could upgrade me to an Encore Suite with $300 in Free play, and I would just pay for the extra night. When I looked into that extra night though, it was almost 3 times the price for a regular night for whatever reason, there must be some huge convention going on during that time.

    It took no effort to convince her to drop NYC and head to Vegas with me for a week 'cause she know how much I enjoyed the place and she's never been but always wanted to go. So it's settled then, we're gonna go for a week, Monday - Friday. I'll book the Encore for 3 nights Monday - Wednesday and we'll check out and go to some other hotel for Thursday night 'cause it was just too expensive and there are plenty of other options in Vegas.

    I always hear about how much people save and what great deals they can get by booking through online travel agencies with their packages and such, so I looked into that as well, yeah their prices are great if you want to stay at Circus Circus, Excalibur or "on the strip Mandalay Bay", if we wanted one of the better hotels, we would have to pay a bit more, but we would still be saving money.

    Now that the hotel situation was almost out of the way, it was time for me to hop on VMB and catch up on Vegas fun facts and read other peoples TR's for inspiration. While I was browsing VMB that's when I came across the offer by the Cosmo host to match stay promos with competing properties. I've never stayed at the Cosmo, just passed through it quickly the last time I was there and from what I hear that place is pretty "lit", as the kids would say. So I decided to email the host with my offer from Wynn to see if he could accommodate me on the dates for my stay. Turns out he was about to offer me Tuesday - Thursday with $250 in Freeplay and a $50 resort credit. Deal! So it's settled then, I will just pay for Monday night at the Encore and stay the other days at the Cosmo.

    So we begin to plan for Vegas looking up things we want to do. She's heard of MyVegas before but has never played, so we download it onto her phone and install it on her FB page as well and we begin the quest to collect gold coins for free stuff. And during the planning process, even though she's never been there before, she's already suggesting that we make Vegas an annual trip. Guys, I think this one's a keeper!
     
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  2. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    LOVIN' your prologue! And an Encore Tower Suites/Cosmo combo is SPECTACULAR! :woohoo: Can't wait to hear about the trip. I'm feeling it was a good one! :thumbsup:
     
  3. IHeartDancers

    IHeartDancers Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My trip is scheduled for Monday June 13 - Friday June 17, 2016. With the first night at the Encore and the remainder of the nights at The Cosmopolitan.

    Flight was scheduled to depart from YYZ at about 9:30AM, but it looked like they had some mechanical issue with the wing because we saw about 3 trucks and half a dozen guys using duct tape that matched the colour of the plane trying to put it back together. Then when that issue was fixed, the pilot made an announcement that someone had clogged one of the toilets and they had to send another maintenance staff to take a look at it. So we took off about an hour later than scheduled, but only arrived about 30 mins late. So either the pilot flew a bit faster or there is less wind resistance with duct tape than we think.

    The flight was full of business people flying away to Vegas for "business purposes" so everyone of them was buying drinks and food, so it took forever for the complimentary drink cart to reach us, just so we could have our comped orange alcohol-free juice.

    I've been to Vegas a few times before but this will be the first time that i'm personally in charge of a rental car, usually i just rely on taxis, but a quick cab ride here and there, those costs add up quick! So once we de-board the plane, I make sure to let her walk first. Once the pathway opens up a bit more, I catch up to her and can see the huge smile on her face because there are slot machines in the airport and I explain to her that this is really where the saying "Go big or go home" really comes into play. As we walk towards the shuttle, we see a guy carry a water boiler and several packs of instant noodles as his carry on and seemed like he was in a rush to catch his plane, I guess he came here with one mission and one mission only.

    We get to the Rent-A-Car Center and i'm glad I opted with one of the smaller companies instead of the bigger named ones, 'cause those big name ones had long line ups, the rental counter at Thrifty's was empty and the agents looked like they were falling asleep, so they were ready and glad to help!

    I went for their 'wild card deal' where I pay for a compact and they could give me "anything" from a compact to larger. After most of the paperwork is done, I head to the garage where the guy tells me "Pick any car you want from Zone 5 or 6. The keys are in the car" OMG. I get to choose which car I want? Exciting! I want a Mustang! Oh wait, all the cars are practically the same, just in a different color, bummer. It's either a Toyota Yaris or a Mitsubishi Mirage. So we picked the very first car, a blue Yaris. Since this is my first time being responsible for a rental car I told her that we should inspect the car for any damage and make note of it in case they fault me for any of it. I think they thought of this too, because the parking garage is sooooo dark, you can't see anything! We start looking over the Yaris and we get to the front bumper, uhhh it's protruding from the side, I don't think it's suppose to be like that. It looks like this car blacked out with it's previous owner and someone tried to sell it's kidneys on the black market and did a rather poor stitch job. Rather than risk it, we choose the car next to it, a red Mitsubishi Mirage. We begin to look over that car doing the best we can with the lighting conditions and by the time we're done, we practically have every single spot on the sheet circled or noted. As we were loading up our car, a very old lady was helped into the Blue Yaris that we were just inspecting, she didn't bother to inspect it and just hopped in the car and turned it on, that's when I noticed that her car had a rear view camera and mine didn't, so I was jelly. My GF asked if we should tell her about the protruding bumper and I said if you want, so she knocked on the window to tell the old lady. The old lady thanked her and went back to play with her new rear view camera, she probably thought it was a GPS or who knows, she might have been late getting to a slot tournament because she didn't seem to care about the bumper.

    [​IMG]

    Once we leave the parking garage, our first stop is to hit up In-N-Out, 'because it's about 3:30PM EST and we're starving because we only ate a bah-gul for breakfast this morning.


    Two Animal Style Cheese Burgers, no onions and Two Animal Style Fries with one Large drink for here please. The burgers are only $3.50 and the entire meal came out to about $15 after tax? No wonder why Americans are so fat.

    [​IMG]

    Okay, now that our bellies are full! On to the "hotel" to check-in. Or at least that's what she thought! Since it was her first time here, I wanted to take her to the Las Vegas sign as a surprise. I made a turn and started heading in the opposite direction of the strip, at first she didn't notice because she was still in awe of the place, but eventually she realized we were going in the opposite direction and asked where we were headed. When we got there she was surprised and excited! I think more so excited than surprised. Even though i've been to Vegas many times, I didn't stop by here for the past 6 trips, I think the only time I ever came here was when I was really young, and we probably didn't stop either, probably just drove on by. So I had to read up on it and I read that there was usually long line ups and that everyone was very civil and would line up to wait for their turns. Turns out what I read was correct! There was a bit of a wait and everyone just magically filed into a line and waited their turn, everyone except wedding parties and people with limo service, 'cause yano, they're "special". We both understand that this economy runs on tips, there was this guy there taking pictures for people, but no one seemed to be tipping him afterwards, even though he would say "tips are appreciated" after taking your picture and not running off with your camera, so we decided to tip him a couple of dollars.
    [​IMG]
    (This isn't us, just a random family that happened to be standing there when I snapped the photo)

    Okay, so we're going to head to the hotel for real this time. We take a nice slow drive from one end of the strip all the way to the other end of the strip and take it all in. As we get to the lobby and head on into the line up, it's a very short line up as we're pretty "late" checking in, but there is someone serving everybody in line with Wynn water, this is pretty nice, I can get use to this. As we're checking in, the front desk girl is telling us about the Riveria implosion tonight that will happen at 2:30AM and there will be fireworks and they offer ear plugs if necessary, we tell her it's okay and head on up to our room.

    I've stayed at the Encore before and it's my favourite hotel to stay at while in Vegas and the room layout is a little different from the past, but everything else is just as I remember it.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    We get to the window and OMG, I know she was telling us about the Riveria implosion, but I didn't realize that we would be getting front row seats to it as well!

    [​IMG]

    So after a quick break and the traditional Vegas wallet switch, we're off!

    [​IMG]

    Off we go to Walgreens because she's never been to one before and we wanted to pick up a few things like snacks and some water for the room. After we drop them back off at the room, we begin to explore what's near by, the Palazzo, Fashion Show Mall, once we're done with all of that, we head on back to the Encore. We walk to the buffet and aiyah, it's $40 a person for a Monday night. So I explain to her the Red Card that we could either pay for dinner or we could sign her up for a Red Card and try to collect the 700 points to win the free buffets. Now, I have done this promo for new members countless times and have helped them get their free buffet every single time, and of course with me as their plus one guest. Hey, it's my money that i'm putting on the line to help them win this buffet! I'm sad to say that this time I actually failed at achieving the buffet target, we got 2 cards, she lost about $40 and I lost $50 and I was only at 170 points, still a long way to go for the free buffet. She's not a huge fan of buffets since she doesn't eat a whole lot, so we decided to abandon the quest for the free buffet and eat something else for dinner.

    We had planned to eat at Tender tomorrow night, but since we're free for dinner tonight, we decided to move it up ahead a night. Luckily I rented a car, otherwise, it would have probably been a $25 cab ride there and another $25 cab ride back!

    We get to the Luxor and head on over to the MLife desk and have them load my MyVegas reward of $75 off your $150 food bill, this is pretty much the only MyVegas reward I redeemed this time, 'cause all the other rewards suck now.

    Tender happens to be part of Restaurant Week so she ordered that and got her starter, main entree and dessert for only $50, which meant that the rest of the $100 was up to me!

    So I opted to go with (in order of appearance) the Soup Tasting Trio of Wagyu Beef Chili, Maine Lobster Bisque, and Exotic Mushroom Soup.

    [​IMG]

    All their soups was excellent, but once again the Lobster bisque was absolutely amazing, even though there were no actual pieces of lobster, you could really taste the lobster!

    And for my main, i'll have the steak please. Make that a 16oz Kansas City Strip, Black Angus Dry-Aged beef to be exact!

    [​IMG]

    and I was planning on ordering dessert as well, so that's probably $100 right?

    As for her meal, I forget exactly what it was that came with the meal but it was the Exotic Mushroom Soup, a steak and a dessert sampler.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    So before all of this amazing food arrives, our server comes by to tell us that we're about $20 short from meeting the $150 mark, so I look over the menu again and opt to go with the Big-Eye Tuna from the starter section.
    [​IMG]
    So as we're eating all of this, our server comes by once again and tells us that we're still about $16 short from hitting the 150 mark, he must have seen the confused looks on our faces 'cause he says he'll bring us a copy of our bill thus far, so we look it over and it seems fishy, but everything seems to add up. So I ask for the dessert menu, as I was going to order dessert anyways, so I order the Santa Barbara Strawberry Ice cream along with some strawberry short cake and that still leaves us about $2 short, but i'm hoping he lets it slide.
    [​IMG]

    At this point we're both stuffed, annoyed about having to keep ordering more and tired. I didn't bother taking a picture of the strawberry short cake, because we asked for it to go. He comes back and jokingly tells us that we're $2 short, but said it's okay, so after tax and tip, I still paid about $100 for the meal. Finally, we can leave! But i'd probably be willing to do it again next time. Even though we were both very full, i'll have to admit it was kind of fun for someone to tell you to keep on ordering food.

    MGM started charging for parking the week before we got there, so we had to pay $5 for parking as well. I paid for my ticket and upon exiting input it into the machine, but it just kept spitting it back out, luckily there was someone standing there, who took my ticket and just pushed a button for me to get out. I guess they're still working on some of the kinks.

    Woke up at 5:30AM EST and now it's almost 11:00PST, which is 2:00AM EST, it's wayyyy past my bedtime, so back down the strip we go and back to our room. I set the alarm for 2:20AM because they're blowing up the Riveria at 2:30 and we don't want to miss it! There are people out there who re-arranged their trips and stays just to see this and we just so happen to have a front row seat to this, so we're not going to miss it!

    I naturally woke up at 2:15AM and when the alarm went off at 2:20AM, she woke up too, and we sat by the window for God knows how long just waiting and waiting and waiting, until we were both wondering if they did it earlier and we missed it or something. From our window we could see that Las Vegas BLVD was jammed because that section of the strip was closed off and there were police cars with their lights on blocking the streets. After who know how long of waiting, we finally see some fireworks go off.

    [​IMG]

    It would have been nice if they had the fireworks shoot off 3. 2. 1. that way we would know when it was about to happen instead of asking ourselves "is it about to happen?, what about now? how about now?". And when it finally happened, all we heard was a loud boom and just watched as a building crumble followed a very large cloud of smoke slowly drifting outwards and towards the BLVD. The smoke reminded me of the Smoke Monster from LOST. Did we ever find out what that thing was?

    After that we just sat there and kept on waiting for more to happen, waiting for them to blow up the rest of the Riveria, because we could still see the Riveria standing there. So we came up with a bunch of theories, maybe they didn't tie the dynamite properly? and it only blew up one section of the building? Maybe they need to wait for the smoke to clear first before they can see and blow up the rest? but it never happened. And from there we just people watched, once the smoke cleared we could see sooooo many people begin walking back up the strip, had no idea there were so many people down there. I wonder what it was like down there inhaling all that dust/smoke in.

    END of Day 1 - Total Distance Walked - 10.77KM or 6.69M
     
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  4. Sam610

    Sam610 Tourist

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    Loving this report - hope the next posts come along soon!! :woohoo:
     
  5. CaliMike

    CaliMike Low-Roller

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    Keep it coming. Very detailed report. I want more :clap:
     
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good stuff so far!

    Re: Riviera Implosion

    Only one tower has gone down so far. The other requires asbestos removal before any implosion.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  7. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Great start! More please. :)
     
  8. Spivderman

    Spivderman Low-Roller

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    The last couple of trips, I remembered to bring a small flashlight in my backpack to help see dings on the rental car in that dark space you mentioned.
     
  9. Grandmaw

    Grandmaw Tourist

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    Thanks for taking the time to write this trip up. I'm following along. The Trio of Soup looks amazing!
     
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  10. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Ooh Tender looks so good. I keep wondering if that's a good MyVegas deal (if it's still there). And it looks like it is.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  11. Lady Fortuna

    Lady Fortuna High-Roller

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    I read your prologue and can't wait for my train ride home from work, so I can read further. Wonderful report so far!
     
  12. Lady Fortuna

    Lady Fortuna High-Roller

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    Love this trip report, the detailed descriptions and great pictures!
    For my upcoming trip in a few months I also plan to do the Tender reward, so I hope it will still be available by the time I can get it.
    Looking forward to the rest of the report!
     
  13. cssvt

    cssvt Tourist

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    Subscribing to ensure I don't miss the rest of this. If prologue and day 1 are any indication, this one is gonna be great!
     
  14. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Looking forward to the next instalment.
     
  15. IHeartDancers

    IHeartDancers Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Wake up at 6:30AM and go to the gym, gotta #HustleHart know what I mean? Actually F-That. I'm in a luxurious room, sleeping on a king sized bed with lots and lots of pillows and you want me to get up and go to the gym?

    Well going to the gym was always part of the plan, every time I go to Vegas I always tell myself that i'm going to wake up early and go to the gym even if it's for a little while. I mean it's part of the resort fees that we pay, but every time the bed always wins.

    Breakfast will be at The Peppermill this time, you know, since it's good and it's right next door. It's probably about a 5 minute walk from Encore and in Vegas leaving your hotel room and actually getting to your destination within 5 minutes is mighty rare. Well, once again that was the plan, but then we would have to walk back to the hotel pack and then walk over to the self park to get the car, why not save some time, just pack up and leave now?

    I must admit, I was sad to leave the tip money on the dresser and then quietly tip toe out of my suite and head on downstairs, it felt like I was paying for a certain service that was over before I even knew it. I mean, I didn't even get to go downstairs sit at the felt tables and get my happy ending. Alas, I guess that's what Vegas does to you, always has you wanting more.

    We get to the Peppermill and it's just as how I remember it from every other time i've gone there. Same decor, same outfits, same napkins, some of the servers are probably the same as well.

    I order the Eggs Benedict and she orders Joe's San Francisco Special. Which is the exact same two dishes that was ordered the last time I was there #Awkward. I gotta remember to try a different dish next time. But once again, my eggs benny did not disappoint![​IMG] [​IMG]

    From there we made our way over to Red Rock Canyon. Never been here before. Not bad, nice easy scenic drive. We pay the $7 vehicle admission fee, and drive along the already set out Scenic Route and we would stop at various look points to snap a few pics. We were suppose to go on a 2.6Mile hike that would take about 2.5hrs to complete, but uhhh, I couldn't do it. No shame in telling you guys about it now right?

    Silly me, I didn't bring the proper footwear. I wanted to pack light, so I didn't pack my running shoes. I already packed a pair of sandals, which luckily I did not wear that day! So I was wearing these cloth shoes that are similar to chucks, so with every step, I could pretty much feel the rocks underneath my feet. I was not planning on walking on hot stones today.

    So we stopped at the look point and began to set out on our planned hike. We walked a few hundred feet, but it seemed like forever under the Nevada sun and we get to a sign that supposedly marked the beginning of the trail. OMG. The hike starts now? This whole time I thought we were already on it? That's when I realized I couldn't go through with it, so we turned back and made our way to the car.


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    S
    o now that our adventure was cut short, we have a bit more time on our hands. We stopped by the Red Rock Casino on our way back for a quick coffee break, also stopped by their players desk, hoping to sign up for some free play, but nope, sadly they didn't have any promos of that sort. The only promos they had were catered to seniors, ughhh, we're not that old...yet.

    Alright, so back to the strip we go! Guess we'll just go check into our hotel and figure out what to do from there. So we're back on the strip and we're stopped at the red light, the red light just so happens to be the Palazzo/Venetian one. Hey, here's a great idea! They have free parking still, let's pull in there and explore the Canal Shoppes!

    Yes, it's just like any of the other shopping centres they have on the strip loaded with high end fashion brands that have zero patrons in them, but still it's cool!

    Whoa, wait a minute, is that actually people lining up to go on the gondola ride? $25 a person? that's not cheap either.... [​IMG]

    After all that walking, we're finally hungry! Hard to believe, I know.

    She remembered reading about this Mexican restaurant that was part of Restaurant Week and had seats right next to the canal, so you could sit there, eat, and watch the gondolas float by. So our quest for that began.

    It was an easy, but rewarding quest! Because we found it! The view was amazing and the food was delicious!

    Canonita, is the name of the restaurant and they were once again part of Restaurant week, so we ordered from their lunch menu, it was $20 a person, but $4 of it went towards feeding the homeless, and it was a lot of food, so it was really a good deal. So much food in fact that the server should have gave us a heads up about it. One order was more than enough to feed the both of us. But OMG. The food was so good, I think it was the best Mexican meal I've EVER had.

    Needless to say, they start you off with some chips and salsa, I opted to go with the Pozole as my starter, she chose a salad, and we both ended up choosing the Santa Rosa Pork Barbacoa's as our entrees, due to our servers recommendation. Boy was she right! Excellent choices!

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    So now that we're stuffed and all tired out from walking, onto the Cosmo, where it'll be our home for the next few days!

    We ended up parking in the East lot, but the front desk and our room was on the West Side of the property, so that was a haul! But the first trip always is, because you never know where you're going and you're just getting acquainted with the property.

    The check in line is long, but not that bad, so while we're waiting in line, I pull up my email, it says "Go directly to the Autograph Lounge, do not pass go, do not collect $250" So we bail out of that line and head to the Autograph Lounge, there's only one person in front of us, not bad. Check-in was smooth and simple, they had everything there correct. When we leave the autograph lounge, I see the lady who was standing behind us in the other line already up at the counter, so we saved a little bit of time.

    I must have been too excited, because silly me, I was busy snap chatting for my 10 followers that I forgot to take actual photos of the room and the view. We ended up with a balcony view over looking the Bellagio fountains! To make up for it, here is a video of the room that I posted on Instagram: Cosmo Room

    Anyways, after I get tired of running around the room like a kid flicking on all the switches and seeing what they do, we're ready to head out again!

    We head on back downstairs to their Identity desk so that I can pick up my players card and have them load my $250 free play and $50 resort credit on to it. I walk up to the desk, present my ID's and explain to them that i'm picking up my card, one should have already been created for me and that I should have some FP loaded onto it. She hands me the cards, but says there's no FP on it. So I explain to her a bit more about the situation, and ask her to look again. Oh yes, you're right. I see it now. $250 FP, here let me load it. Okay, so that's loaded, and then I ask her about the $50RC, she goes, oh I don't see anything about that. I say okay, and ask who I should email. She says your host. I then pull up my phone and pull up the email, she asks me for my host's name, I give it to her and tell her I have it written in this email right here. She takes a look at the email, looks at her screen again and goes "oh, you're right, it's here, I see it now". It's just funny how those credits miraculously appeared after telling her a few things, she just made it feel like the money was coming out of her pocket. It could have gone smoother, but in the end I did get it.

    I had a surprise planned for her, we needed to be there by 7:45PM, it's about a 25 minute drive, which means we should leave Cosmo around 7:15 in order to get there on time. I've been stressing out about this all day! Because of the timing issue, wondering how i'm going to trick her into going where i'm going and making sure it's timed correctly so that we get there on time and we're not in the middle of something then. We have a little under an hour to kill, and we just ate, so we're not hungry. So we decide to walk around.

    Great thing about the Cosmo is that the Bellagio is right next to it! So we leave the property, cross the side street, walk down the street and voila, we're right in front of the fountains. It's almost time for the fountain show, we stand there and we wait, we watch the show, it's amazing. I look back down at my watch, damn, didn't kill enough time, still a long way to go. We ask each other what we want to do? Neither one of us knows, we both just shrug and stand there. I keep looking at my watch, and I seemed stressed. She knows something is up 'cause I keep looking at my watch and my face shows frustration. After what seems like forever, I said screw it, let's go there now!

    In order to get her to the car, I make up some lame excuse about how we parked in the East lot and we live in the West lot now, so let's move the car closer. Gah! Can't believe she went with it! It's a good thing we left a little early to go search for the car too, because we kinda forgot where we parked. What? It happens. All the floors and rows look the same. We had to retrace our steps and eventually figured it out!

    By the time we got to the car, it was the time I wanted, 7:15PM. So I pull out the GPS and set the coordinates in. By now she's figured out that we're not just moving the car and we're headed some place else, but she doesn't know where and just goes with it, probably just thinks we're just taking a drive around town.

    We get to the airport right on time! Phew! She sees sign for helicopters and such, and she's asking me if I was going to fly a helicopter and brought her along to watch. Close, but not quite right!

    I was in such a mix of emotions that i'm pretty sure I forgot one of the most important parts of the surprise, to yell SURPRISE. Anyways, we get inside, we check in. Our scheduled flight time wasn't till 8:45, but they wanted us there an hour early. I assumed it was for forms and safety info.

    There's two other couples in front of us, so we're just sitting in the waiting area and this is when I finally remember to reveal the surprise to her and explain what's going on, but she kinda figured it out by now.

    I bought the tickets off Groupon, but you still have to pay an additional $25 airport fee once you get there. There are so many of these tour companies that you have no idea who to go with, the one I initially chose, when I called their toll free number, the operator said "This number is no longer in service" uhh sketch. So I decided to go with another company instead. But I did post on the other companies Facebook page telling them the number was not in service, by the time they got back to me and told me to call their local number instead, I had already opted to go with another company.

    They have an "upgrade" option, where for an additional $40 you could choose to fly without the doors, they claim it's a better view and you can see the ground. Uhhh, i'm flying in a helicopter why would I want to look straight down and see the ground, as if it's not scary enough already. Just based off of the girls voice who was telling us about this, you could tell it was an upsell. We passed, since neither one of us have been on a helicopter ride before, we didn't know what to expect.

    When it's finally our turn, they load us up into a golf cart and take us out onto the tarmack and wait for the helicopter to return, they unload and then we hop on. The couple in front of us did doors off, so when we got there, one of the mechanics had to quickly put the doors back on for us, and it took him less than a minute to reassemble each door, click click and he was done. Uhhh $40 more just for that? That works out to like $5 a click.

    The flight was about 15 minutes long, they fly you once around the strip and then back. Worked out to be about $100 CDN per person for this experience. It's alright to do this kinda thing once in your lifetime. This is the kinda thing you want to #YOLO about.

    I'm too young for the Vietnam war, but this seems like a fitting song for the helicopter ride up: To The Top Please

    This next video was taken while we were flying over the strip, this song is more of my taste: All The Way Up

    It was super windy up there, I can only image how much more windier it would have been without the doors! And when the helicopter turns, it's super scary! It's like you're about to fall out, would have been even scarier without the doors. And guys, word of advice if you're planning on surprising your girl with this kind of thing as well, make sure she's wearing pants and not a skirt, so she doesn't have to keep holding it down, and another thing, if she has long hair, make sure you bring a hair tie for her so that her hair isn't flying all over the place and keeps wacking you in your face and so that when she's done with the ride her hair isn't all in knots.

    I'm so relieved that I was able to pull it off and that it's over with, no more stressing about that surprise! We headed back to the strip and night time traffic on the strip was beginning to pile up, took forever to make it back to the hotel, and we were only going till mid-strip as well. By the time we got back it was around 10:15PM. I must be getting old because I was feeling tired in VEGAS and we still weren't hungry, so I wanted to rest for a bit and then we would get up and go on another quest to find Secret Pizza. I guess I was more tired than I thought because I couldn't get back up afterwards. By the time I finally managed to pull myself out of bed, it was 1:30AM and by then she was fast asleep, so I didn't want to wake up. So we just ended up sleeping the rest of the night and never went to go look for that Secret Pizza. Oh well, that's money saved by skipping a meal!

    END of Day 2 - Total Distance Walked - 11.64KM or 7.23M
     
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  16. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
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    Fun report; looking forward to more.
     
  17. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
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    Location:
    Missouri
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    Nice surprise! I don't blame you for wanting the doors on. I would be too freaked out otherwise!
     
  18. IHeartDancers

    IHeartDancers Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Thanks for the comments so far guys! Here is Day 3

    Today is a special day. Why? Because she planned it! While we were planning this trip together, she requested to plan a day. Sure! Go Right Ahead!

    Wake up early and go check out the fitness center @ Cosmo? Not a chance! But don't worry, today is gonna be another full day of walking!

    We're gonna start the day off right! Breakfast @ Hash House A Go Go @ The Linq! Last time I was in town, they weren't open yet.

    We've both done some research on this chain and know that they're synonymous for large portion sizes we both agree to just order one and share. We look over the menu and decide to order the Tractor Driver Combo and decide to upgrade it to a flapjack size for a buck more! Comes with 2 eggs, and 2 sausages or bacon, perfect for sharing!

    [​IMG]

    Our order arrives, and holy cow! That's the size of a flapjack? There's so much food that it's hanging off the size of that plate! Apparently our jaws weren't the only ones that dropped when we saw the plate, the table right next to us, ordered the same thing, but one for each of them. After they saw it, they quickly flagged down our server and told him to revise the order to just one and that they would share.

    Luckily we shared, but we did finish it! It was a bit of a struggle though. After that we stopped by the Starbucks to grab some drinks and started walking towards the cupcake vending machine. We only bought one cupcake just for the experience, I was so full, I couldn't think anymore about food! The cupcakes were probably left overs from yesterday since we were there so early in the morning and the shop wasn't even open yet.

    We bought these attractions tickets from MGM where you get entrance to 3 attractions for $57. We chose the Shark Reef @ Mandalay Bay, The Bodies exhibit @ The Luxor and the Secret Garden / Dolphin Habitat @ The Mirage.

    So first on our list was the Shark Reef and work our way back down the strip. We walked all the way to the Excalibur and decided to take the free tram to Mandalay Bay, you know for the experience, not 'cause we were tired.

    OMG. The drop off from the tram @ Mandalay Bay and where the shark reef is situated is soooooooo far away. We finally get there, line up in the Will Call line, which also happens to double as the line where the higher MLife people line up to get their tickets as well. Someone's being served at the ticket window, which is fine, we wait. After the teller is done serving that customer, puts a sign out and closes her window and tells us that we need to wait in the regular line. Yo WTF! Why didn't you tell us before, you wait till it's our turn then tell us to go wait in the other line?

    So we go and wait in the other line, this line is long and it's not moving at all! After what, maybe half and hour passes by, we're still in line, but now the Will Call window is open again, and there's already someone at the front of the counter, so I go back into the Will Call line and wait. Finally its our turn and we finally get it!

    [​IMG]

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    It's short/small. Doesn't take long to walk through it, it's a bit disappointing, nothing special. The Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto is a lot better, and I hear there's even better ones than that one as well.

    We make our way back to the tram so that we can take it to Luxor for The Bodies exhibit. The entrance to this one was smooth, no line ups, no waits, just a quick reminder that no pictures are allowed! This was my second time in that exhibit, still pretty amazing though to just look at all those preserved bodies and read about our muscles.

    Okay, the mornings over and it's time to make our way over to Aria to use her MyVegas reward of BOGO lunch buffet. Reservations for dinner is at 5:45PM tonight, so we need to eat and let the food digest before dinner, so we're a little pressed for time, so we just walk right on by pass The Park and the T-Mobile Arena, maybe we'll visit it another time.



    No wait time for the lunch buffet, plenty of seating available. The lunch time food selection isn't that bad. [​IMG]
    Like I always say, who cares about plate presentation when you're at a buffet. The crab legs were really small though, this is one of the reasons why we chose this buffet too, because they said they had crab legs for lunch! The best part about this buffet i'd say is their dessert selection, they all looked so nice and there were just so many!

    Since we're not driving today we wanted to get some drinks in us. Yes it's Day 3 and we haven't had a drink yet. And if we're gonna play, we're gonna play at the Cosmo, in hopes that they'll send us offers in the future!

    So we make our way back to the Cosmo. I'm not usually a slot guy, I prefer table Blackjack, but since we were just looking to kill some time until our dinner reservation and get some drinks on, slots was the perfect choice!

    When I play slots, I like to find machines that offer bonus games or free games, this makes them more fun. So I come across this penny slot where you can play anywhere between 2 to 8 screens and each screen can be a different game. Sounds fun right? So we sit down and plop a twenty in. We start off playing 2 screens, no hits, try more screens no hits, try changing up the games a bit, no hits. We order our drinks. Play some more games no hits. OMG. This game is sooo boring. At this rate i'm going to lose my buy-in before the drinks even get here. At one point we were just sitting there selecting and unselecting each of the different games we could play, just to make it look like we were actually playing with the "bonus" round, because we couldn't hit anything. Then right before our drinks arrived, this happened: [​IMG]
    and we just let the coins keep falling while we sipped on our drinks. I was planning on cashing out and going to another machine as soon as my drink arrived. So from my $20 buy in, turned it into a $170 profit from penny slots! Spoiler Alert: this is my only slot pic.

    So after that we just bounced around from machine to machine playing a little bit here and there, trying our luck. We eventually found a machine we liked, I think it was called Gone Fishing or something like that? Where they have a linked play with a giant screen up top and whenever you make it to the bonus round you can grab hold of the handle and pretend you're fishing.

    Shortly after that we headed back up to the our room to change for dinner. We were headed to Gordon Ramsey Steak at 5:45PM. We made reservations with them awhile back.

    Before we even got there, we both knew what we wanted to order as we had already read up on this restaurant and people kept recommending the same dishes over and over.

    When we sat down they offered us the Hell's Kitchen Tasting Menu for $145 per person and it comes with an autographed picture of Gordon Ramsey. Uhh, we weren't that hungry and we already had our stomachs set on the items we read off Yelp, so we'll pass, but not before I secretly snapped a pic of their offer.

    [​IMG]
    (The Hells Kitchen Tasting Menu you can just easily grab it from their website)

    Okay, we'll start off with the Macaroni truffle of some sort, she'll have the beef wellington and i'll have the 8oz American Rib Cap and we'll share a Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert, but not before our server gave us this look that read "that's it? that's all you're gonna order?" We both picked up on that look, so she explained that we just ate a lunch buffet a few hours ago and we're not that hungry.

    On the website, it said that the beef wellington would take 45 mins after you order it, it did not take 45mins, it only took about 20 mins for it to get here. Maybe someone ordered it and then changed their mind so we had their "recycled dish" which our server served to us.....maybe.

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    The bread was interesting, it was an assortment of sorts. I had no idea what was what as I was eating it.

    The macaroni was really good, but sad that we could only eat a few bites of it as we were stuffed, we the packed rest of the macaroni to go. Who knew mac n cheese could taste so good!

    Both our entrees did not disappoint and were really good. But the "to die for" dish was the Sticky Toffee pudding. OMG. It was just sooo good!

    Overall, glad this restaurant wasn't a let down, sure it's expensive, but you're going for the name and the experience. Would we eat there again in the future? Probably not, unless it was free. Not because of the cost, but because there are plenty of other celebrity chef restaurants to try out. Even GR himself has about half a dozen different restaurants in Vegas.

    So we head back to our room to drop off our to go bag, then make our way over to the Bellagio. She bought us tickets to 'O'. These tickets are expensive! Even with the 25% off discount we were able to find. According to people on the internet, 25% off is about as good as it'll ever get.

    Apparently there's no Starbucks inside the Bellagio? Why MGM why? You have Starbucks in every one of your other properties, but why not Bellagio? I wanted to grab coffee before the show, because I knew that without it, I wouldn't be able to make it through the show. Eventually we found a cafe and I ordered a shot of espresso, and even with that shot, it was still a struggle to stay awake during the show.

    Facing the stage, we were sitting to the left of it. She managed to get us front row seats. Interesting, never sat front row to a Cirque show before. The drawback of sitting where we sat is that during the pre-show entertainment, you had to strain your neck and turn around to look behind you to see what's going on, after a couple minutes, your neck hurts. Also, before the show actually begins, the curtains are closed and they'll stand in the middle of the stage doing some stuff, keeping them engaged and making them laugh, since we were sitting to the side we couldn't see any of it. Not really a big deal, but still worth mentioning.

    Since this is a water themed show, and you're sitting in the front row, there's a small chance that you'll get splashed on, some of the entertainers will even do it on purpose! But whatever, a little splash here and there will help keep us awake!

    Overall, it was a really good show! Worth the money we paid for? I don't know, I can go watch KA again for like the 5th time at half the price and the show will be just as good. It's hard to believe that Cirque almost went bankrupt at one point in time.

    END of Day 3 - Total Distance Walked - 23.62KM or 14.68M
     
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  19. Lady Fortuna

    Lady Fortuna High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    910
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    Enjoying your report, thanks!
     
  20. IHeartDancers

    IHeartDancers Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Apologies for the delay. Real life got in the way. Will try to crunch out the last 2 posts shortly. I intend to finish what I started!

    Nothing in particular planned today. Just some casino hopping, exploring the strip and some drinking/gambling. Let's get this show on the road shall we?

    Might as well go to the gym, I mean we did pack all that gym clothes, gotta make use of them!

    Just kidding! We didn't make it out to the gym today either.

    I woke up this morning and I was starved, even though I had a lot to eat yesterday, I think my belly is adjusting to the #VegasPortions of food. Before we could go search for breakfast we still had that macaroni appetizer from GR Steak from last night. I know what you're thinking, gross, cold leftovers! What? People eat cold pizza all the time. But don't worry, we have a microwave in the Cosmo room. So I pop it into the microwave and we split it. We're about to leave the room, then we look over and see a lonely little square box sitting there. Oh right! We still have that cup cake from yesterday to eat. So we split that as well. Okay, now i'm feeling a bit better.

    Where to go for breakfast? Neither one of us knows, we didn't have any particular place planned. So I suggested we walk over to The Miracle Miles shops and explore there to see what sparks our interest.

    So as we're walking we see a display sign that read "La Salsa Cantina Breakfast, eggs, potatoes, bacon or sausage for $4.29. Add coffee for $0.99 more" Both our eyes were drawn immediately to that sign, so it's settled then, more Mexican food!

    I ordered my eggs scrambled, potatoes and bacon with the coffee add-on. She had the potatoes, over easy eggs, with the sausage.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Not gonna lie, I was expecting the American version of this dish, but it came out Mexican, I don't know what I was thinking, or maybe I just wasn't thinking. So needless to say we were both surprised when her sausage looked like a patty and we got wraps with it. As the saying goes, when life gives you wraps, you make wraps with it.

    I think they add their own spices in the potatoes as well because it tasted Mexican, but hey at least the Ketchup tasted like Katsup. Regardless, the food still tasted pretty darn good and for that price, yes I would go eat there again!

    From our attraction package that we purchased from MGM, we still have one more to go, and that will be Sigfried and Roy's Secret Garden / Dolphin Habitat. So we're headed in that direction now, as we're still walking through the Miracle Mile shops we come across one of those alcoholic slushy places. It's like 10AM but F*ck It, we're in Vegas, plus there's already a small line forming. So we get in line present our ID's and we order one to share. I can't remember how much it costs, just that it was served in a nice strong cup and that it tastes great! This is awesome! I've always wanted to walk around with one. (There use to be one with the guitar as a souvenir cup, but I guess that trend has passed)

    We're just about done that drink by the time we get to Margarita Ville near the Venetian. We quickly look at each other and say "refill?" we both nod in agreeance. So we sit down, we order it to go. Step back outside, quickly gulp down the first one and open up the one we just bought and pour it into the first cup. Why? Because the first cup was sturdier, the one from Margarita Ville was served in a cheap flexible cup. (Maybe we accidentally bought the souvenir cup from the first place, who knows).

    We finally make it to the Dolphin Habitat and as we're walking by, we hear one of the trainers tell one of the other guest that the "training session" will begin in about 15 mins, so we decide to wait. So we sit in the shade for a bit, then as it's about to begin we walk out towards the pool area where the dolphins are. Man it's hot out today, just standing there for a few minutes I could feel my skin start to burn.

    The dolphin show was pretty cool. They had 3 different experiences set up that had guests who already paid in advance to enjoy the experience. One experience was where you could just sort of have the dolphin swim up to you and you could pet it and take pictures with it, the other one was where you held a piece of canvas and the trainer would put paint on one of the dolphins toys and the dolphin would paint the canvas. The kids seemed to really enjoy that one. The final one was probably the most expensive one, where you could be a "trainer for a day". You wore a wet suit, got into the water with them, you got to swim with them, feed them and kiss them.

    I didn't record any pictures, but here's a quick video of some of the experience

    From there we moved onto the Secret Garden to see the lions and tigers. Immediately transitioning from the dolphin habitat to the secret garden the mood was very different. In here, everyone was very quiet and moving around slowly, kinda like a funeral home atmosphere. I guess everyone in here felt the same we did, sorry for the caged animals. It was very hot out and they are covered in fur and just laying there trapped, looking dead tired and sad.

    [​IMG]

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    It was very hard for her to see them like this because she really likes animals and these guys are all caged up just so we could "save them". I tried to brighten her up, by reminding her about the dolphin habitat, that looked pretty good? the dolphins looked pretty happy and they looked like they were having fun, right? That's when she told me that they probably have to put a lot of chlorine or chemicals in the water because they let people in there as well, so it's probably really bad for the dolphins. Oh......

    Hey, I know what will cheer us up! Food! That will cheer anyone up! Not just any food, food at the Bellagio! Time for us to use our MyVegas BOGO lunch buffet reward. So we head on over to the Bellagio, by the time we make it there to the buffet line it's already 2:15. Wait, did I read that correctly? It's 2:15 in the afternoon, why is there such a BIG lineup for the buffet? Regardless, we join the line and we wait along with them. OMG. This line is moving so slow, so slow that I leave the line, walk through the exit to see if they're actually letting people in or if the line is at a stand still. Okay, they're letting people in. So I walk back to the line and re-join her. I wasn't hungry before, but i'm starting to get hungry now!

    There's a family of five lining up right in front of us, looks like it's mom, pop, a teen and two kids. Pop is holding a beer in his hand and is talking rather loud and his words are a bit slurred. Mom was complaining about something, and the kids? well the kids were just themselves. Anyways, mom and pop get into an argument, I think mom wanted to leave, but pop wanted to stay. I was secretly hoping that they would have a huge blowout and storm out of the line so that we could advance, it's been a long wait. But that would be the Hollywood version of the story, the Vegas version is that mom simply just left the line while everyone else stayed, about 10 or so minutes later she came back and showed everyone that she had just won about $100 at the tables, so mom and pop hugged it out and they were okay.

    Okay, it's almost 2:45 now, when does lunch end? So I pull up my phone and look it up, turns out lunch ends at 3PM, and dinner starts at 3PM. Wait a minute, if we make it up to the counter before they jack up the prices by $10, which happens at 3PM and use our BOGO lunch coupon you mean we get to stay for dinner as well? Okay! Now we're excited and a little worried that we might not make it, but we gamble it anyway and stay in line!

    By the time we pay it's 2:45 and by the time we're seated down it's around 2:50PM. So we grab a plate and make our first round, there's not much selection going on here. Grab a little bit of this and a little bit of that, that's about it, they must be switching over the dishes. We wait. Around 3:05 we go again, still not much selection out there. We wait some more. We get up and go again, finally there's food! Prime rib, beef flank, chicken, turkey, oh and of course crab legs!

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The selection of their dinner menu items wasn't that expansive or great, glad we didn't pay full price for this food, their beef flank was pretty good though, but hey at least the crab legs were bigger and juicier than Aria's. I think we filled up on them and shared about 2 plates.

    [​IMG]

    They also had a pretty big and appetizing dessert selection, way to go MGM!

    Once again, the benefit of staying right next to the Bellagio is that it's just a short commute to your room! So we head on back up to the room to rest for a bit. We're planning to go to Container Park and Fremont St later on, but I told her I think she would enjoy Fremont more at night, so we had some time to kill.

    She just wanted to relax in the room, while I wanted to take advantage and explore the pool. I mean people would pay extra just to use the pool, where as we could use it because we're already staying here. There are 3 pools and 2 fitness centres at Cosmo, I only ventured to the one pool and the one fitness centre on the West side of the building, was too lazy to make the trek to the East side. Overall, very nice pool and very nice fitness centre.

    I've been to Fremont many times, most of the times it was during the day, so I was always missing out on the night experience of Fremont St, so I was also excited to go there during the night time. And of all the times i've been to Fremont, I don't think i've been to Container Park before. So I told her that I wanted to go to Container Park during the day, which was a bit of a half lie, I just needed to get her into the car again, why? because I had another surprise planned!

    While we were planning our trip she said she wanted to go zip-lining and I scoffed at the idea, making it seem childish, the truth was that I had already purchased a zip line Groupon to the Rio, where you zip line from one building to the next. So I had to get us to the Rio somehow!

    We hop into the car and as we're driving she see's the Rio and asks if I've ever been there before, I told her yes, that the Seafood Buffet is there and I begin driving towards the Rio. She didn't suspect anything of it at the time, she just thought that because she mentioned it, I figured she was curious about it and started driving towards it, thinking she wanted to check it out.

    We find the self park and make our way into the hotel. Okay, something is off here, Vegas is #Lit but this place is a ghost town. It's practically empty! We start walking around for a little bit, but she doesn't really want to stay and wants to go already, well because this place is empty, so there's nothing really to see. I'm walking a lot faster than she is, trying to find a sign for the zip line, but nope nada, zilch, no signage. I finally across to the Voodoo Lounge and there's a sign that directs us to the zipline desk. Of course there is no wait, there's no one in the hotel! So this time I remember and I say "surprise, we're going ziplining" but she's not impressed.

    I hand over my Groupon and we blindly sign our waivers that probably says we forfeit the right to sue if the zipline snaps and we die. From there, we're directed to take the elevators up to the 51st floor. Has anyone ever been to Disney World and taken a ride on The Twilight Zone - Tower of Terror? Well yeah, if you have, the elevator ride up felt just like it, except this time you're standing, not sitting and there's no safety harness. Skip the Disney lineup and just come to the Rio and ride their elevator instead, it'll provide you with the same experience.

    We finally make it up there. OMG. This hotel has people in it! They're all hiding up here, like there's a zombie infestation down there or something. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people here to do the zip-line, they must all have Groupons, I can't see anyone paying full price to do this experience. The view from the Voodoo Lounge is absolutely amazing, a hidden gem!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So it's finally our turn, with this zip-line you get to set and it's made for two people, so we get to sit down side by side, and off we goooo, weeeeeeee. Zip-lining from one building to the next, we're going pretty fast, we're almost at the end of the zip-line uh-oh why arn't we slowing down yet? *thud* At the end of it, the zip-line comes to a sudden stop and jerks you really hard, that was scary, we thought we were gonna go splat up against the wall. From there we are pulled backwards into the direction where we came from, that ride is not that scary. We were gonna look at our pictures to see our silly scared faces, but the pair in front of us was taking too long, it's okay, we're not gonna buy anything anyways.

    We're headed to Container Park now! Supposedly this whole place is made out of....containers....hence it's name. I wasn't exactly sure where to park for this, so I just parked at El Cortez, at least they still had free parking, even though their said that parking was only for their casino patrons, but what are they gonna do? Have their 70 year old security guard who's having trouble staying awake chase me down in my Mitsubishi Mirage? I can go 0 - 20 #RealQuick. By the time we get there, it's dark and all the stores are closed, but we're still allowed in, after they check your ID, apparently after a certain hour, you need to be 18 in order to gain entry? or at least entry with a parent. It's a small place, so it doesn't take us long to do a quick lap. They're showing the Minion movie on a big projector screen in the middle of it. Will have to stop by and check this place out during the day on another trip!

    [​IMG]

    We get out, I look across the street. Wait a minute, is that Fremont St? We're that close? of all the times i've been to Fremont, I never once ventured past that giant martini glass? If I did I would have discovered Container Park? *facepalm*

    [​IMG]

    We start walking in and yo this place is #Lit, it's #Poppin, we're both really impressed and are stunned. There's so many people here. We even saw a tour bus full of old people, who looked like they would be judging us if we told them we were going to Sin City, but they looked like they were really enjoying themselves taking pictures with their selfie sticks!

    Before we venture too deep into Fremont, we stop by the slushie bar outside of the D and order a drink, it's been hours since our last one, we're long over due for one. So with a drink in hand, we explore the rest of Fremont St.

    We saw a lot of streets "performers" there, It was a wide variety ranging from a pregnant lady with pasties on taking pictures with folks for tips, to a handicapped old lady sitting in a wheel chair holding up a sign telling you to "suck my d*ck", along with dancers and musicians from a certain ethnic background entertaining us all.

    As we were leaving Fremont, we walked by them again and I turned to her and said "Sorry, guys are just more talented than girls" She jokingly and sadly agreed. Most of the male performers we saw were displaying some kind of talent that they had, whereas most of the female entertainers there were just standing there and relying on their body image for tips.

    We both had an amazing time there. Day 4 was definitely a good day. No set agenda, we could just walk around and do whatever we wanted, and most importantly, walk around with a nice cool drink in hand.

    END of Day 4 - Total Distance Walked - 23.96KM or 14.89M
     
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