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2014 Trip Report - Vegasworm's 40th Birthday (09/13-09/21) - Bellagio & Golden Nugget

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Vegasworm, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. LindaP

    LindaP Low-Roller

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    You mentioned that in your Oct 2019 trip you got to tour a minuteman missile silo - where and how did you do that?? That sounds so cool!

    - Linda in TX

    (Never mind - I see that it was in South Dakota)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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  2. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    You are correct @LindaP, we toured the Minuteman Missile National Historic Delta-01 Site in South Dakota. I made our paid reservations ahead of time through the National Park Service. I believe there are only 6 people allowed at a time on a tour, so it was our family of five and one other woman. It was a really interesting experience.

    We also did a free tour (but reservations still required) of the Peacekeeper Missile Alert Facility Quebec-01 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. There are a lot of similarities between the two sites. The WY tour was with a guide, but the SD tour was with an actual retired armed service guide who had worked at the Delta-01 site and is now a Park Ranger, so his insight was exceptional.

    The Minuteman tour is three parts: 1) You can drive out and see the location of the missile silo that is several miles away from the actual command bunker. 2) You can take a tour of the Delta-01 bunker facility. 3) There is a nice visitor's center with lots of memorabilia and information on the Minuteman Missiles. All three are located separately within about a 10 mile radius, so it requires some driving and devoting several hours to get the complete experience.


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    S, G, and H at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (visitor's center).

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    Sign posted at the actual tour location of the Minuteman Missile National Historic Delta-01 Site. We waited outside here for the guide to come unlock the gates and get us.

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    Elevator shaft that takes you 50 feet below ground to the bunker area where two guards were always stationed, while the rest were above ground in the living quarters.

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    The thickness of the door that leads to the bunker area.

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    Our guide showing us the underground command post where the "Minutemen" were stationed to deploy the nuclear missile if they received that "call".

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    The location several miles away of the now unarmed missile.

    Being the good parents that we are, we had prepared for this trip by showing the girls the movie "The Day After". It really helped them envision that missiles were literally buried in the ground near farms, in fields, out in the middle of nowhere, and would rise from the ground if launched. Now the girls have been comparing that movie to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are some eerie similarities of running out of food and supplies, medical facilities being overrun, and normal life disappearing. Weird!

    Seeing both the WY and SD facilities really helped pull together our tour of the National Atomic Testing Museum we did in Las Vegas. I would actually like to tour that again in the near future with the missile tours still fresh in my mind.

    Thanks for reading!
    Vegasworm

     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
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  3. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    I had a metal clicker that I bought in the early 2000's for tracking play at places that didn't have a readout at the machine or kiosk with points/coin in. Then I ended up using an app on my phone that has a virtual counter. Now days, seems you can calc hands/pulls played from the slot club points, etc, so I haven't had a need for counting in a long time.

    I like your notes about things no longer available on menus or that are significantly up in price! It's only when you look back at things from old trips that you notice this sometimes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
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  4. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Finger clicker 2.0... a smart watch app that detects your hand motion as you hit a slot button/pull a slot reel. That would be very easy to program, and all you'd need to do is enter the denomination of the slot to calculate coin-in.
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  5. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    Funny! I guess I should have mentioned that when I bought my first digital finger clicker in 2014, V put in a request for one too....the mechanical kind like you had! He didn't want his for gambling, he just thought they were cool and old school.

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    This is the one I bought for V off of Amazon in 2014. Looks like yours!


    I like your style @notfromconcentrate! Great idea! I have to admit I've gotten lazy on recent trips (especially ones with the kids) and have not used my finger clickers as much as I used to. I'm always racing, it seems, to get in a small slots session before meeting up with the family. The playing under a time crunch has me cutting corners.

    Well, I guess I better get the next day up in this trip report since it is my actual birthday, and it was a great day!

    Vegasworm
     
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  6. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    Day 6 (Thursday - September 18, 2014) (Happy 40th Birthday Vegasworm!, Belllagio Cabana, Picasso, and Vegasworm's Largest Slot Win to Date)

    It was hard to believe we were on Day 5 in Las Vegas by the time we hit my actual birthday. I was born in the early morning, so I started the day off as a newly minted 40 year old. Sadly, it didn't feel as awesome as a decade before when I had awakened in Vegas as a brand new 30 year old. Still, both birthday trips were amazing, and I'm sure you can figure out where I'll be celebrating #50 in 2024! :woohoo:

    Despite the day before being a long one, we were up early as I didn't want to miss a minute of my special day.

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    Love Vegas in the early morning.

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    Such a beautiful sight!

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    My mom had sent me with a fun card to open on my birthday. It held a much appreciated Benjamin and had a fun cabana theme to go along with our day.


    Even though we had a cabana rented for the day, we dressed in normal clothes to go grab some coffee and see the Bellagio Conservatory.

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    Let's get this party started!

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    They had a fun "Nightmare Before Christmas" chocolate display at the Jean Philippe Patisserie (now the Bellagio Patisserie).


    We grabbed a coffee from the JP Patisserie before perusing the fall exhibit at the Bellagio Conservatory. I had only seen the Winter and Summer displays before, so I was pumped to experience my favorite season Fall!

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    We had never done a cabana before, but I had been highly encouraged by a friend to give one a shot. We had never been what I would consider to be pool people, even in our younger college days. Ironically, this cabana experience would be a turning point for us. We're now fairly addicted to dropping the money it takes to have our own private space for the day at whatever pool we happen to be at, whether as a couple or with our kids. You will see mention of some of our subsequent cabana experiences in previous trip reports. Cabanas are a splurge that we love! :D

    We checked in shortly after 9am and were taken to Cabana B43 that was located towards the middle of the main Bellagio pool complex. Looking back at a picture of our receipt from that day, we spent a total of $492.83 ($300 - cabana rental, $117.83 pool service food/beverage, and $75 host tip).

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    Cabana B43

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    Inside shot showing the curtained changing area in the back. We actually got into our pool attire once we were at the cabana.


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    We started off with birthday mimosas. My mom had also given me a book to read as a birthday gift.

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    View from our loungers.

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    Cheers! Vegasworm soaking in the shade like always.

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    V just chilling.

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    Complimentary fruit plate.

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    Pool scene.

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    Beautiful pool grounds in September.

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    Our cabana was nicely tucked away.

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    Another beautiful shot.

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    It was a warm, sunny day for September 18th.

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    Round 2 of cabana cocktails.

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    Cabana lunch...lobster rolls, chips and dip, and chicken lettuce wraps. Yum!

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    Those were some tasty lobster rolls.

    When we rent a cabana now, we tend to spend the whole day there from opening to closing, and this was no exception. Depending on the time of year, I've seen the cabanas close anywhere from 5-7pm. Being September, we spent from 9am-5pm at the pool. We did our now usual cabana style of day drinking, reading, playing music (we always bring a portable speaker), dozing off, and just overall relaxing. Wish I were there now!

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    E got a margarita later in the afternoon.

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    V was foreshadowing E writing this trip report almost 6 years later under a quarantine. :haha:

    It was an absolutely amazing way to turn 40! I truly felt in Heaven that day being in the place I love most, with my favorite person, and knowing my kids were taken care of. I wasn't thrilled to turn 40, but I was thrilled to be celebrating in style. :blowkiss:

    We wrapped up our day at the pool when they closed the cabanas at 5pm. I believe the pool itself stayed open an additional hour, but we left to go back to the room and get ready for dinner. I took a nice long bath, V gave me a private in-room celebration ;), and we both got ready for my birthday dinner at Picasso. Having been so out of the loop on Vegas prior to this trip, I spent a lot of time researching what I wanted to see and where I wanted to eat. Unlike my 30th birthday trip to Vegas that was planned by V and was full of surprises from where we stayed to where we ate, my 40th birthday trip was all my doing, baby!

    Knowing we were spending the day at the Bellagio pool, I knew I wanted our dinner to be at the Bellagio too, so we wouldn't have to waste time driving or walking somewhere. I was smitten with Picasso as our dinner choice based not just on the delicious sounding food, but also on the amount of original Picasso art pieces on display. It was a no brainer for me! I also chose to dine in the restaurant so as to be able to admire the artwork and not out on the terrace with a fabulous view of the Bellagio Fountains.

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    I picked one of the most unflattering dresses on me that I've ever owned, for my dinner at Picasso. Go figure!

    Ahead of our dinner reservation, I headed down to the casino to play a few slots. We had done so much other stuff on this trip, that I really hadn't gotten to gamble much. I am not a table games player, but I do love me some slots! :thumbsup: As you may know from reading my previous trip reports, I have yet to get a handpay after 25 years of gambling (as of this year). My 40th birthday would have been a 19 year handpay drought at that point. Yes, sadly, I'm still waiting.....:( The good news is, my biggest win so far actually happened on my 40th birthday!

    I remember drinking delicious Lemon Drop Martinis on the floor as I played. It was about 5 minutes before I needed to meet V at Picasso for our reservation. I was playing a $2 max bet slot called Golden Wheels. I got the bonus round that spins a wheel for various progressive amounts. I'm pretty sure I hit the Silver Progressive. I was shocked to win this:

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    Yep, Vegasworm won $1,128.77!!!!

    Honestly, from a tax perspective, that was a pretty damn awesome win! :headbang::woot::woohoo: I madly tried to get a hold of V to come see my awesome win! It took a bit to try to guide him to where I was in the casino, but he found me.


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    Here is the shot of my win that V took. Brings a tear to my eye. :cry:

    I gulped down the rest of my Lemon Drop, cashed out my TITO, and off to Picasso we went. I was one happy birthday girl!

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    Entrance to Picasso.

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    Even the ceiling is artistic.

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    Lovely bar, but they seated us immediately, so we didn't get to have a drink there.

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    One of the pieces of Picasso's artwork. So impressive.

    If you've been to Picasso, then you know how gorgeous it is. Very classy! Remember I said I had not only done a lot of pre-trip research on VMB prior to this trip, but I also had recently started playing MyVegas? Well, Vegasworm wasn't too proud to cash in a MyVegas reward for two free glasses of champagne at Picasso. I did this shortly after we were seated so we could toast to my birthday in style. I believe I was one of the first (only) patrons to do this at Picasso, because it took the staff a long time to figure out how to redeem my voucher. :kill: I tried not to be embarrassed!

    There were two tasting menus available, and we both chose the same stuff from the cheaper one. We went with the cheaper option only because it suited our taste more than the expensive one did. We're not super adventurous eaters which cuts out a lot of fancy items for us. Really, it wasn't a huge price difference.

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    More expensive tasting menu ($125), but it's cool because it has my birth date at the bottom.

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    The cheaper tasting menu ($115) that we went with. I believe we ordered the exact same dishes from it. We're so original.

    Along with our day drinking at the cabana, my lemon drop martinis, and our MyVegas champagne, we enjoyed another round of cocktails with dinner and the optional wine pairing! :drunk: This was before I found DripDrop too, so I was hurting the next day!

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    Bread service...look how even the butter has the Picasso logo.

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    Love how even the plates show Picasso's artwork.

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    Vodka Martini for V.

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    Some fancy martini for E.

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    I continued to be impressed with the fancy butter. LOL.

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    An Amuse-Bouche that I can't remember what it was, but we enjoyed it.

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    Creme of Red Pepper Corn Soup.

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    Sauteed Ruby Red Shrimp.

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    Roasted Maine Lobster.

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    Our inside table was close to the windows, so we could see the fountain show. I believe they piped the music inside during the shows.

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    Fancy E.

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    Fancy V.

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    Dessert...no clue what it is, but looks good and it tasted good! We also enjoyed some strong, black coffee with dessert.

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    Some complimentary sweets.


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    We were sent back to our room with a box of goodies. I still have that box. I keep a spare key in it! :p


    Our meal at Picasso was wonderful! It was just an overall top 10 day actually. Such a great day to look back on, and my slot win was like a birthday bonus. I would love to go back to Picasso in the future. I think that's the hard part about our trips to Las Vegas, there are so many wonderful restaurants I have yet to try, and it's so hard to not want to go back to some of my favorites. I guess I just need to plan more trips! :feedme:

    If you've been reliving my birthday trip with me, thanks for reading along! There are still two more full Vegas days to report from this trip and then a very LONG drive back to Denver followed by an even longer week. Man, life didn't give us any breaks once we got back from this trip. Ha!

    Hopefully have Day 7 up tomorrow. Who was I fooling that this report would be mostly pictures with little commentary. Silly Vegasworm! :rolleyes:

    Vegasworm
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
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  7. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Amazing writeup, and that sounds like a day to remember... between the cabana, the slot win, and the meal at Picasso... truly a way to spend a birthday!

    I’m mostly done with “swanky” restaurants... there are very few fine-dining experiences that I’ll willingly pay big $$$ for nowadays, especially places with $100+ tasting menus. I have to say I’m thoroughly impressed with Picasso based on your review though. Showing off all those little details was very compelling to me, especially as someone who loved Picasso’s artwork from a young age.

    +1 for having no shame about the MyVegas redemption too :) do you recall what kind of champagne you got?

    Also, if I may say so, that dress isn’t unflattering on you at all. The design on it is great, the fabric looks nice and light for that time of year, and judging by your body language you seem physically comfortable in it, which is what matters the most.

    Looking forward to the day seven update!
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  8. MaxVegas

    MaxVegas Tourist

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    I always enjoy your trip reports. Looking forward to the rest. Thanks for posting!
     
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  9. LindaP

    LindaP Low-Roller

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    Thanks so much for the extra info on your missile silo trip. Very interesting!!!

    - Linda in TX
     
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  10. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    Sorry for the delay in Day 7. Things ramped up this week for my kids with their remote online learning, so I just had too many interruptions and decided to wait until the weekend to tackle the next day from my 2014 report. The day after my birthday was another busy one, with lots of firsts in store.

    Day 7 (Friday - September 19, 2014) (Slots, Afternoon Tea at Petrossian Bar, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Cirque du Soleil LOVE, Dinner at Wing Lei)

    I was on a high from my previous night's big (to me) slot hit, so I awoke the next morning and hit the slots at Bellagio. I didn't do too badly. I had only brought I believe around $1,800 in cash for this entire trip, so I was up for being at the end of the trip. Below are some of my wins from that morning. I tried to make lightning strike twice on Golden Wheels.

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    Knowing we had reservations for Afternoon Tea at the Petrossian Bar at 1pm, we had decided not to do breakfast that morning. We would survive on a liquid diet until then. Everything was so new to us on this trip, and The Cosmopolitan had not been around on our previous visit, so we headed over to have a look around. I loved the look and feel of The Cosmo. Everything looked so glittery, sparkly, and new. We headed to The Chandelier Bar for a drink. Don't judge...we sat and paid for our drinks...no VP playing for "free drinks". We did go play slots together after our drink at the bar, and got several complimentary drinks then. Our small amount of playing also earned a comp offer that we utilized the following year.

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    Walking from Bellagio to The Cosmopolitan.

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    So new and contemporary looking.

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    We've been back many times since that first visit.

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    I believe we were the only ones sitting on the first level of The Chandelier and not playing VP. :p

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    V got a delicious looking cocktail.

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    E got her first "Cosmo from The Cosmo" as she calls them.

    I thought that Cosmo was so good, that I located the recipe online and have since perfected making these beauties at home. I have to say, mine taste pretty close to what The Cosmo serves.

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    I made a batch for Easter dinner. (Have I mentioned my parents and grandmother live next door???) We all sucked down a pitcher of these babies when we had dinner at my parents' house last weekend.

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    I believe these prices look a little cheaper in 2014 than what I saw on my last visit. I need to hit up The Chandelier on my next visit and take an updated menu pic.

    I don't have any pictures of mine and V's slot play at The Cosmopolitan. In 2014, we got our hand slapped there for taking pictures in the casino and for filming with our GoPro. Now aren't they a prime hub for all the YouTubers who film their slot play? Go figure! :rolleyes: We had no major wins, but as I mentioned before, we played enough to get a comp offer that we used in the summer of 2015. We watched the demolition of The Harmon from our balcony on that trip...made up for not having a Bellagio Fountain View. :haha:

    After getting a nice morning buzz drinking and playing at The Cosmo (remember we skipped breakfast), we made our way back to the Bellagio for our 1pm reservation at the Petrossian Bar for High Tea. I had researched before this trip and knew you had to call for reservations for the tea service that is offered. I had read that it actually amounts to a lot of food, and that is why we chose to not eat breakfast that day.

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    A quick shot of the always amazing Chihuly Flowers on our way to the Petrossian Bar.

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    You didn't seriously expect us to not have cocktails with our tea luncheon, did you? V got a fancy Gin & Tonic and E got some type of martini.

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    E's cocktail #2 at Petrossian Bar.

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    V's cocktail #2 at Petrossian Bar.

    I have to say our drinks and tea service at the Petrossian Bar would cement coming back in future visits. I haven't seen the remodeled Petrossian Bar yet, and I hope they haven't taken away from the beauty and charm there. When we went this past Thanksgiving of 2019, they were still remodeling the Petrossian and had set up a temporary bar in the lobby. I see current pictures on the website and it doesn't look bad, but I hate change!

    When you have the tea service at the Petrossian Bar, you can opt to add champagne which of course we did!

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    Tasty tea sandwiches, scones, and desserts along with our bubbly.

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    Afternoon tea can be surprisingly filling.

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    Mini desserts!

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    V looking pensive at afternoon tea.

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    We were in an alcove with a table that overlooked the casino. Aside from not liking the cigarette smoke, I enjoyed seeing the casino action...plus I was close to the restroom!

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    I think I was trying to do a fancy rose and champagne shot here. LOL!

    After a delicious and very filling tea sandwich lunch and with a nice buzz still going, we went to the MLife desk and redeemed our last MyVegas reward. We got two free tickets for the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. I love visiting here so much! We have gone back every time we're in town, since the exhibits are always changing. It used to be that kids 12 and under were free, which was a great deal for a family. Sadly, they now charge and it's not cheap. I believe we paid around $65 for the five of us to go this past Thanksgiving. But back to my birthday, mine and V's tickets were free thanks to MyVegas and the exhibit was right up my alley: "Painting Women". I love art so much and there was such a beautiful and wide array of paintings for this special exhibit. I've added some of my favorites below. I don't have an amazing memory when you read the captions, I also took a picture of the information that went with each painting and have pulled my info from that. I think V and I spent almost two hours at the BGFA admiring the artwork that day.

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    Portrait of a Young Woman (c. 1797 - Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun)

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    Calla Lily on Grey (c. 1928 - Georgia O'Keeffe)

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    The Open Window (c. 1921 - Elizabeth Vaughan Okie Paxton)

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    Three Creole Women (c. 1929 Marie Laurencin)

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    Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading (c. 1876 - Mary Stevenson Cassatt)

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    Open Air Concert (c. 1890 - Lilla Cabot Perry)

    Wow! What a great first exhibit for us to see at the BGFA. It still stands out as one of my favorites. We headed back to the room after touring the gallery to change for the evening. We had tickets to see Cirque du Soleil's The Beatles LOVE, and we had plans to walk to The Mirage. A couple of outdoor shots on our walk up to the north part of The Strip.

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    We arrived with plenty of time to spare before the show started, so we did what we do best, we quenched our thirst. We sidled up to the bar at STACK and ordered a round of drinks.

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    E had a delicious Berry Martini at STACK.

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    V had a basic Vodka Martini at STACK.

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    We split a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup...we decided we better have a little something on our stomachs.

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    My all time favorite Cirque show. We saw it again a few years later with the girls.

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    The throngs waiting to get into the show. Looks like the perfect location to share a little COVID-19.


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    Love my LOVE drink!

    If you've ready any of my previous trip reports, you know I'm a sucker for souvenir photos. My 2014 birthday trip would be no exception.

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    I was having such a good time that night!

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    Great memories!

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    We sat in Section 207 Row M Seats 1&2 - I paid a total of $136.40 per ticket.

    I am a huge The Beatles fan and this show blew me away. I enjoyed every second of it. I'm sure my giant adult beverage helped my euphoric feelings that night. :woot: When the act with the song Yesterday played, I cried like a baby. I was full of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness at realizing I was 40 years old and how quickly life had passed to bring me to that moment. I think I cried during Yesterday when we took the girls to see LOVE a few years later, that song is an emotional one for me.

    When the show ended, I was on Cloud 9! I wasn't ready for the evening to end, so we quickly made plans for dinner. We had never been to Wynn or Encore before. We had been to Las Vegas in 2006 and 2007, but we had baby G with us both times, and I remember reading about Steve Wynn being adamant about not having strollers in his casino. We didn't even try taking G in back then to the see the fairly new Wynn Casino and then of course we wouldn't get back until 2014. It was time! I made an impromptu Open Table reservation at Wing Lei for dinner, and we proceeded to walk across the street to Wynn/Encore.

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    It was a beautiful September night as we left The Mirage.

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    Thank you for an amazing show!

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    The crowds weren't super crazy like a prime summer Friday night can be.

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    Glad to finally meet you Wynncore!

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    I was impressed by the floral presence just like the Bellagio had.

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    I wasn't as impressed by the price tag on this guy.

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    Wing Lei was such a random choice for us that night. I don't normally choose Chinese food when picking a place.

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    Even my cheap ass purse got its own seat!

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    The restaurant was beautiful...and empty when we left. I believe we got one of the last reservations of the night. We closed the place down.

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    More cocktails, well why not! E did not consume the flower in the champagne cocktail. She has a bad history with edible flowers.

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    I think V got a Sinatra Smash.

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    V looking happy.

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    Teary, emotional E.

    We split all of the food ordered that night.

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    Garlic Shrimp Spring Rolls.

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    Velvet Egg Wonton Soup.

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    Lemon Chicken and Yang Chow Fried Rice.

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    Jasmine Tea for Two.

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    I drunkenly took this picture as we left, because, well chairs.

    Our meal at Wing Lei was so amazing, that we would return a few years later. I documented that dinner in a previous trip report. :feedme:

    I still wasn't ready to let the night end, so we signed up for player's cards at Wynn and then played a few slots and enjoyed some "free" drinks. I was getting pretty hammered by then, and I didn't have DripDrop to save me.

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    I was so out of it playing slots, but for sticking a $20 in and hammering buttons, I managed to cash out $200 up.

    What I can't recall is how we got back to the Bellagio that night. It wasn't ride share, since we didn't start using Lyft and Uber until 2016. I think we walked??? I don't remembering getting a taxi. The drinking caught up with me though, because I have no further pictures from that night. :whistle:

    We had one more full day in Vegas to look forward to. The day after my birthday had been just as wonderful as my birthday. As with all trips, we were starting to get tired from too much drinking, lots of eating, not enough sleep, etc. The party wasn't over just yet though, even if we were starting to slow down. We had just enough Vegas adrenaline to keep us going for one more day. :woot:

    Thanks for hanging in there as I sporadically piece this retro trip report together! It takes me several hours to do a single post. Gathering pictures from the past isn't as easy as posting a live trip report in the moment.

    Hope everyone is staying sane and healthy during the pandemic! We have The Thunderbirds flying over in a bit as a tribute to healthcare workers. It's overcast today, but we're still planning on taking the girls outside to see if we can catch a glimpse. (Okay, this happened before I got this posted. Took a break and social distanced in the cul-de-sac with our neighbors. Now to finally get this posted!).

    Take care VMB until the next installment!

    Vegasworm
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  11. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Amazing writeup Vegasworm! Between the way you and V mix things up, the pictures, and the amount of detail, this is just what I needed to read to temporarily alleviate my Vegas withdrawals. What I especially like about your reports and trip planning style is the moderate emphasis on gaming. The persisting myth about Vegas is that it's all about gaming, which leads many people to believe that I have a gambling problem just because of how frequently I go to Vegas... and reports like this beautifully demonstrate how much else there is to the city.

    Thanks very much for sharing! Hope you and the family are keeping safe and well :)
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  12. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    @notfromconcentrate, thanks so much for your kind responses! I agree with you on so many levels about Vegas. I'm also trending towards being over expensive, swanky restaurants. Just seems such a waste once you factor in the price of everything including the tip.

    I so enjoy your trips too! You always do so much and hit up places I've never been to. I've gleaned a lot of info and ideas from your reports. We don't have any close friends who go to Vegas regularly like we do. I've found that nobody seems to understand how we can keep going back to the same place...and also that we must have gambling problems because that's all Vegas is about. It's hard to explain the way it is to them. I don't even try. :rolleyes:

    Stay safe and sane too! Looking forward to the day when we see the return of live reports to VMB.

    Vegasworm
     
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  13. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    Actually my memory is pretty crummy now a days @tringlomane. A few things going for me to rehash this trip are:

    1) It was a super memorable return to Vegas after a 7 year drought, so I think the memories etched deeper in my brain than normal.

    2) Thank goodness for the digital age of photography. I've utilized the dates and time stamps on my pictures to recreate this trip. It honestly has been like walking down a pictorial road map that has helped my brain connect the great memories I have from then. No way I would have remembered what we did on each individual day otherwise.

    I've always regretted not having a trip report from my 40th. I had the best intentions of writing one and even took my pictures based on all of the helpful trip reports I had read prior to this trip. I'm glad I'll finally have this trip in writing even if it came 6 years later!

    Vegasworm
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  14. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer High-Roller

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    Amazing report, @Vegasworm - thanks to both of your. Great hearing about your travels.

    GG
     
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  15. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    Day 8 (Saturday - September 20, 2014) (Last Full Day In Vegas - Leisurely Eating, Drinking, and Playing Slots)

    This would be the last full day of my 40th birthday trip. Based on the time stamps on the pictures, we were pretty worn out at this point and got a late start to our morning.

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    Vegasworm's last hurrah.

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    Good late morning to you Vegas.

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    Looks like a sunny one today.

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    View going down the hallway at Bellagio.

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    We made a stop at our newfound favorite bar, The Petrossian Bar.

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    A martini for E to start off her last day (This was 10:45am).

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    A whiskey drink for V.

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    Really love the beauty of this bar.

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    You're looking tired V.

    It was technically brunch time versus breakfast by the time we went for something to eat. Being a Saturday, I probably should have booked us a nice brunch somewhere, but I wasn't that familiar with all of the brunch locations at the time.

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    We ended up here, which is sadly no more. I haven't tried Sadelle's Cafe yet. I'm still in mourning that Cafe Bellagio is gone.

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    E had coffee and a Bloody Mary to get her day started.

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    Looks like V had a psychedelic Cucumber Martini.

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    Bananas Foster Waffle and Crispy Bacon for E.

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    An Omelet and Hash Browns for V.

    After brunch, we did another pass through the Bellagio Conservatory for a few more pictures.

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    Love the Fall display.

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    Favorite time of the year!

    We did a bit of walking around The Strip before heading over to The Cosmopolitan for some drinks on the floor while playing slots.

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    Honestly, we missed the abundance of smut slappers and hated the stupid characters everywhere. I don't want to feel like I'm at Disney World when I'm in Vegas. This was new to us.

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    It was a gorgeous September day!

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    Hello again my new favorite sparkly place.

    Played a few Quick Hits and enjoyed some more Cosmos from The Cosmo.

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    City Center was new to us, and we hadn't been over to Aria yet, so that was our next stop. My friend who encouraged me to get the cabana said she and her husband always stay there. We were impressed with its clean, modern look. This 2014 visit to Vegas opened my eyes to the new look Vegas was heading for. I missed a lot of the kitschy things that had disappeared since our last visit.

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    Beautiful and pretty empty for a Saturday at Aria.

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    V checking his phone next to a nice fall display.

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    Nice architecture at Aria.

    Doesn't take us long to get "thirsty", so we made our first stop at Javier's at Aria. We sat up at the bar. We loved this place!!! We've gone back a few times since. We really like the Mexican style offerings Javier's has. It's pricey, but good. :feedme:

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    Of course we had to have some Margaritas!

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    We also split a delicious Taco Platter and some Chips and Guacamole. Yum!

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    A view of the bar at Javier's. Love the dim look of this place.

    It was during our drinks and food at Javier's that I started getting that sad "I'm leaving Vegas" feeling. Know what I'm talking about? You know your body can't keep going, but you hate that you're leaving. I guess this is why I like longer trips in Vegas, because it takes a while to get to that last day feeling. I guess the flip side, is you leave with a pickled liver. :drunk:

    We glumly made our way back to Bellagio to get packed up for our drive back to Colorado the next day. I will do a recap of that day, not because it was amazing, but because it kicked our asses. I will never do a straight drive from Las Vegas to Denver again, after a week of little sleep and lots of drinking! :thumbsdown:

    After packing up, we returned to Cafe Bellagio for a late dinner that did not include adult beverages. The party was over. :(

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    E had a Cobb Salad and Iced Tea.

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    V had a tasty Club Sandwich and Iced Tea.

    Really miss Cafe Bellagio. I guess I'll try Sadelle's at some point. It just looked more expensive and less coffee shop food when I looked online. Sad.

    Thanks for following along! I hope to have our drive home day posted later today. On the drive home, we go on a wild goose chase for the friend who recommended us getting the cabana, have to pull over to take a nap, and face one of the longest weeks of our lives upon our return to "real life". Not as exciting as the Vegas part for sure, but it was memorable (scarring) enough for me to remember it quite clearly.

    Hope it's a beautiful Sunday where you are VMBers. It's a gorgeous day here, and the snow from this past week has finally melted!

    Vegasworm
     
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  16. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    Day 9 (Sunday - September 21, 2014) (It's Over - The Depressing Drive Home)

    I hate when trips end. :( This is why I'm usually always planning the next trip during the drive home. I like to know there is another trip always on the horizon.

    We got up and out of the Bellagio fairly early that morning. We had a 760 mile drive ahead of us.

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    On our way.

    The friend I keep mentioning, said she and her husband always leave around 7am, and it only takes them around 11 hours to get back. Bullshit! Took us forever. :biker: Said friend had put in a request for us to pick up some Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper to bring back. She was unable to find it at any of our stores, but said she grabs some at Wal-Mart in Nevada or Utah when she goes to Vegas. Okay, no problem, except it took us four tries before we found some. That's a lot of Wal-Marting for someone who tries to avoid Wal-Mart (I'm a Target girl).

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    The prized goods that ate up almost 2 additional hours of our drive home.

    My time stamp shows we had lunch around 1:15pm at Mom's Cafe in Salina, Utah. We were dragging.

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    Utah always has good Mom and Pop places. This was definitely a locals' joint. We were met with lots of stares when we walked in and throughout our meal. Guess we don't have that Utah look.

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    V had Chicken Noodle Soup and Iced Tea.

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    E had a Tossed Salad and Iced Tea.

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    We both got a Cheeseburger and Fries.

    We still had 460 miles to go and boy were we feeling the effects of a week in Vegas. At some point, neither of us remembers where, but I think we were still in Utah, we pulled into a parking lot by an abandoned building and took a short cat nap. We literally couldn't keep our eyes open. Now keep in mind, I did all of the driving, but I didn't let V sleep on the whole drive. If he's not going to share the driving, he doesn't get to nap either. :confused:

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    The long and winding road...that leads back to real life.

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    It looked bleak like we were feeling. Not the bright, sunny Vegas we had left behind. :cry:

    We eventually made it home...LATE. My mom and grandmother departed the next day to head back to Albuquerque. I was so appreciative to them for having held down the fort for the past week. :nworthy: The girls were thrilled to have us home, and life picked back up right where it left off.

    Now for those of you who have kids, you probably understand this. It takes a lot to get away without the kids...and you sacrifice a lot when you get back. You have no rest or reprieve to adjust back to normal life. Here's how the week back went for us:

    Monday, September 22, 2014 - V took the day off of work. E was a good mom and honored her Monday morning volunteer duties in S's Kindergarten class. V and E met up at their local Irish pub and lamented that the trip was over. E had three drinks after coming off of a Vegas trip and an almost 800 mile trip the day before. Who does that??? :whistle:

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    Lemon Drop Martini for E - Drink #1 at local pub.

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    Long Island Iced Tea for E - Drink #2 at local pub.

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    Pomegranate Margarita for E - Drink #3 at local pub.


    V had an equal amount of drinks, I just didn't take any pictures. I was obviously still in trip mode though. They must have thought I was nuts photographing my drinks at our local joint.

    We both attended H's Induction Ceremony as a Daisy Girl Scout that night.

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    H looked so cute!

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    We went out to dinner after the ceremony with G, H, and S.

    Long first day back!

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - V goes back to work. E scrambles to get caught up on laundry and buy some last minute gifts for G whose birthday is the next day. She also orders G's birthday cake for her party on Saturday.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - E chaperones S's Kindergarten field trip to the Denver Zoo. The whole day was spent on the field trip...gotta love riding on school buses and swarms of Kindergartners.

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    S looked so cute!

    The Vegasworm family then celebrated G turning 8! We always do our family party and gifts on the actual birthday. The party with friends would be that weekend.

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    Happy 8th birthday G!

    Thursday, September 25, 2014 and Friday, September 26, 2014 - E races around like a mad woman trying to get the things needed for G's birthday party with friends that is Saturday. I remember feeling exhausted that whole week and being in disbelief that we wouldn't even have the chance to sleep in or chill our first Saturday back.

    Saturday, September 27, 2014 - G had a 1pm birthday party at a local pottery and painting place. We hosted 16 girls (including my 3) in painting pottery and celebrating G's birthday. Naturally, everyone showed up! It was the one time I remember hoping kids were no shows. :D

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    G, H, and S (and all of G's friends) had a great time at the party.

    After the party, it was back to the local Irish Pub for a quick bite to eat and some drinks. The pub is literally next door to where the art place is located. We didn't even have to drive anywhere, we just loaded the gifts and party stuff in our van and walked next door.

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    Whew! Glad we're past the party and can relax a bit...but wait, we can't for long!

    That evening was the annual Scout Night at the Denver Zoo. Yep, I would be at the zoo twice in one week! My three girls were all Girl Scouts, and they were in three different troops which was a lot of work to keep up with. The Scout Nights were always neat, since we got to tour the zoo after dark and there were so many fun activities to participate in.

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    H, S, and G at the Denver Zoo Scout Night

    We got in after 10pm that night. It was a long day to cap off a long week!

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    S was zonked after that full day. I know how you feel girl!

    Sunday, September 28, 2014 - One week to the day since our return from my amazing 40th birthday trip. It was beginning to feel like a distant memory as real life took over.

    I was S's Girl Scout Troop Leader, and I had our monthly meeting the next day. Having been on our Vegas trip and then having a busy return week, I hadn't prepared for the meeting like I needed to. I sat on my deck drinking a Lemon Drop Martini and working on the lesson for my meeting the next day.

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    Mmmm....Vegasworm loves Lemon Drop Martinis!

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    This was the prototype for the cute craft to teach the girls The Girl Scout Promise. They were new Daisies and this was only our second meeting.

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    Here is S the next day working on our lesson. I cropped out some of the other girls for privacy.

    I worked on the Girl Scout stuff for quite a while and happily thought about how mine and V's return trip to Vegas had been. We vowed not to let 7 years pass again before getting back.

    As is typical in Colorado, a storm rolled in, so I moved my stuff inside and then poured a glass of wine to watch the storm from our more protected front porch.

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    I was taking a picture of the storm clouds rolling in...the plane photobombed.

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    I was like a robot trained to take pictures of adult beverages. LOL.

    I sipped my wine and continued to dream of Vegas. I hoped I would be lucky enough to return soon. I don't know, what do you think? I took this to be a sign that I would indeed be lucky enough to return to my favorite place on Earth. :thumbsup:

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    View from my front porch after the storm. Look closely...it's a Double Rainbow!!!

    And the rest is history! For you VMBers familiar with me, you know that Vegasworm has indeed made it back to her happy place several times and counting since 2014. I am so glad to have that 2014 trip to kick start my connection to Vegas after such a long gap in trips. I'm also grateful to have become acquainted with Vegas Message Board then. It was a lifesaver in helping me plan for my big return. Thanks @Sonya for that resource!

    Thanks for reading my recap of my 2014 birthday trip. It's been a pain trying to get things organized to post, but I'm really happy to finally have a trip report to consolidate those memories. Looking back on how hard and fast we hit the streets running that week in September of 2014 and then came home and continued the marathon, I feel exhausted!!! (Remember, I said I was a wimp.)

    It reminds me of Eric Cartman in the Casa Bonita episode of South Park when he's asked if all of his antics were worth it and his response is "Totally!".



    Exactly how I felt...it was totally worth it!

    Take care VMB!

    Vegasworm
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
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  17. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer High-Roller

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    You certainly had a busy week post Vegas! We also did a similar drive once (Vancouver to Reno) non stop. 850ish miles. We also had to stop in N. California for a 'nap'.

    GG
     
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  18. serenasea

    serenasea Tourist

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    I love your trip reports -- no matter when the trip took place -- and this was no exception. Thank you! (Just a note to share something we've figured out about the Mom & Pop cafes: the regulars have "their" tables, hence the glares and stares, even if you walk in and they tell you to sit wherever you want to. On the rare occasions we stop somewhere like that, we'll ask them to point us to a table that isn't reserved for one of their regular customers.)
     
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  19. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Another wonderful TR! Love all the pics, and yes, that does help jog the memory! Maybe I should look at pics to relive my Disneyland/Vegas combo in Sept. 2013. I thought about writing it here at that time, but I balked. Congrats on the big win on your birthday! I have the opposite luck usually.

    This year, couldn't gamble, but at least I won big (~$250) the session closest to my birthday. Lol

    Last year lost pretty quickly, iirc, at Rivers Chicago hours after we drove to ORD to buy plane tickets for Vegas for the beginning of April.

    2018, binged losing all night because M was awarded 100x RCs on slots at Tunica Roadhouse! I should have played even harder! But I hated to lose as much as I did in "real money". You read it before @Vegasworm Haha.

    https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/tring-plays-the-sluts-in-tunica.150066/
     
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  20. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

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    Great report. I always enjoy your reports. I have driven straight home on two of the father/son trips I made with my dad. After the last time he put a stop to it but our distance was around 1300 miles to San Antonio. Stay safe.

    Mark
     
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