Yeah, it's long. I'm too damned tired to re-edit. The nitty-gritty.... Arrived on Thursday via Ted (United), uneventful flight and luggage pick up. For the first time on our early AM flight, some dudes getting bombed on the back of the plane. Apparently they drank them out of rum and other spirits. But, you know you've arrived in Vegas when you hear one dude on the plane, as soon as the doors open, yell "Get me to a dice table!" and the airport announcer dude, trying really hard to not laugh, go "If he can even hear me... will the man who left his hearing aid and false teeth in the men's room please come to the lost and found?"... can it be a bad trip?? When the cab dropped us at the Flamingo, it was a first when we weren't swarmed by bellhops like the chapel peddlers outside the county courthouse. Odd. We had to get in a very, very slowly moving line for luggage check along with the all the folks who'd checked out and were checking their luggage. Seemed to take forever until it seemed like a new shift came on duty and they started pulling out the people checking in (like us) to get us out of line quickly. Went to the Hertz counter to pick up the Shelby GT-H. Dude at the counter "Um.... yeah.... I tried to call you....." Apparently something "happened" when they were transporting the car here and I guess there was some kind of accident, and they didn't have the car. Hubby said he actually had a feeling something was going to go wrong with the car rental, so he wasn't that surprised. Dude offered a deal on a Vette, but the hubby is pretty specific about his GT-H love. Dude made some calls, and said they'd get the GT-H from Caesar's for us for Friday, if we wanted. Oh, we want!! The check-in line was long, so we decided it was time to eat or gamble. And when the hubby realized his player's club card was in the luggage (and unwilling to stand in line for a new one) it seemed like lunchtime. But, a kink in the plans, since I still had my backpack with my laptop and we (ok, I) didn't really feel like doing a long Strip walk while lugging that thing, and the hubby had expressed and interest in going to Emeril's Fish House at some point for lunch. So, we headed over to Planet Hollywood to see if Pinks was open (it wasn't) and then decided to have lunch outside at Mon Ami Gabi, just so we could go home and brag about eating outside while it's a balmy 26 degrees back home. On the way, encountered one of the only in Vegas things of a happy, drunk frat boy on one of the walkways, welcoming everyone to Vegas as he sipped his yard-long slushy drink. Mon Ami Gabi had daily specials of a mussel/saffron soup and a Monte Cristo. We both got the Monte Cristo, I also had the soup. Both were delicious. Walked back to the Flamingo, and the check in lines were non-existent, so we got in line to get the room. Apparently the "Go" upgrades are taking over the whole hotel, check in clerk said everything Strip side above the 17th floor was a Go room, which were an extra $50 a night, compared to the usual $20 for Strip side. We asked the clerk to just check if there were any $20 rooms, and she happily went along. She was an older lady, when she saw where we were from, she mentioned that she was from Chicago. When the details were hammered out and we had our room keys, the hubby slipped her a $20 and a thank you. As we walked away, she called the hubby back, and said the upgrade charge would be taken off and we wouldn't see it on the bill. We weren't trying for a free upgrade, but it's nice when some clerks are happy about what should be the generousity of Vegas. Ended up with a room on the 11th floor that I *swear* we had briefly once, before we discovered the TV and internet didn't work and they gave us a new room. Checked in, we chilled, hubby fell asleep, and I eventually took a little nap. In dire need of a caffeine jolt, we then headed down to the gift shop to get some sodas (machine on our floor was broken.... great....) and sat in front of a couple of video poker machines to test our luck. Dumped $20 in to a multi machine and started some double (or was it double double?) bonus poker and it didn't last long. Hubby was playing JoB and fared a little better. Walked around the bird area of the hotel for a little while, then headed back up to the room to cleanup. I was very happy to find out that the awesome Betty Page shirt I got in a Secret Santa with these fine folks last (specificly, Beach Crazy) last Christmas fit me very nicely and not nearly as much like a two pound sausage in a one pound casing as I thought I would look. Yay!! Headed out to get some dinner, even though we were both still fairly full from lunch. We walked down to Planet Hollywood again to check out Earl of Sandwich, but nothing there looked too tempting. And we just didn't feel like walking over to Monte Carlo or Luxor or somewhere that had a food court. We ended up at Trader Vics at the Mag Mile shops. Sat at the bar, each had a couple of Mai Thais and split some appetizers. Some of the best calamari we've ever had, and some awesome duck tacos. Both very very good. And those Mai Thais are killer! There must be a loophole in the new smoking laws that it's still allowed at outdoor places, since they happily told us we could lite up. Same thing happened at Stripburger last trip. Hee. we happened to be watching the local news. And they're talking about how much snow the Chicago area is getting over the next two days. Tee hee. I was just cursing myself this morning for not bringing and sandals this trip..... We were worried the black cloud that followed us last trip might still be following us when it came to gaming. So far, not so. Hubby went out to proove he was not the bitch of a three card table that repeatedly kicked his ass quickly last trip, and I headed over to the video poker machines. Tried some JoB, nothing, then started some Aces something or other and dear god, I was actually winning. I cashed out TWO winning tickets. That doesn't happen to me at the Flamingo! I started actually talking to the machine like it was my bitch, and by golly it seemed to be working. I managed to make back all my losses and ended up even for the day. At some point, when I was ready to change machines anyway, this really LOUD noise started. Everyone looked around, thinking someone had won a big jackpot or something. Um, no. The fire alarms were going off. For those who noticed, security guards said not to worry. Ok? Guess it was a false alarm.... Hubby finally cashed out from the table, not a winner, but he had his fun and beers were not $100 a piece this time. Headed to the gift shop, made some impulse purchases (a beanie for me, something flamingo shaped and this LED lighter that the hubby had to have) and got some beers, and then chilled in the room looking at the soft glow of electric sex that is Vegas at night. There is something about the sunrise (even though I can't see it, I can just see the sunlight spreading) in Vegas that I just love. I love being up early in the morning in Vegas. Probably because my internal clock still says it's 8am when I wake at 6am.... Or, it might just be that I always get woken by the loud drunk fratboys who are in the hall at 6am. Donno. Woke up early on Friday. Went and got some coffee and pastries, fought with the crappy shower (perfect height for 5' 3" me, not so much for 6' hubby). Watched some of the local morning news. Now, I know newscasters, especially the morning crew, are not usually high on the list of in-demand serious journalists... but you poor people in Vegas have some particularly annoying ones. WOW. After the local color, we were off to pick up the GT-H. Wooo hoooooooo!!!! Picked up the Shelby and we rode down to The STRAT (forever now known in my head as "Stretchy Pants Land") to go up to the viewing area. Now, I have a fear of heights. Vegas gets me, because I'm not big on being super high up where there is air involved (really, anything higher than the over the street walkways and I'm a mess) but I'm usually pretty good in enclosed spaces. I don't have problems with tall buildings. But, as I ventured out of the elevator at the Strat and over to the window to take a peak out, I recalled the very well known shape of the building. And at some point, somewhere between me and the ground, there was a lot of air and not a lot of structure. After that, I preferred to stay a little closer to the interior of the viewing area. Yep, the hubby laughed at me and called me a big chicken. I'm fine with that. Hubby was attempting to find some Hummer dealership his work did a sign for that has some gi-huge-normus American flag, but we weren't even sure what direction to look and hubby didn't want to call work for fear he'd have to do some. We headed back down the elevator to sweet, sweet solid ground. After the Strat, the hubby said he was getting hungry, and suggested In N Out. Far be it from me to argue. And far be it from me to tell him that we were only about a mile from one, I knew he wanted to head to the one down on Trop. So we took a nice ride down the Strip with the top down. Traffic actually wasn't too terrible. Got to In N Out, I waited outside at a table and the hubby got the food, and the fries did not suck this time. The hubby is still a Fatburger person, and I think I slowly am becoming one also... but it was a good burger. We toyed with the idea of heading over to Red Rock or the Shelby plant to see the museum, but the hubby suspected I wouldn't be OK with the way he drives that car in more open spaces. We actually ended up heading down to the Attic, which we've wanted to check out for awhile. Cool place, and some cool stuff... but um, owner dudes, WAY overpriced. You might consider being more realistic and bringing down some prices to move some of that dusty old crap. I love a vintage store as much as the next person and used to frequent them often, but this one was a little sad, like walking thru the home of a hoarder who had put price tags on everything. I did end up getting some leopard sunglasses, and they did have some neat stuff, and now that I've done it I'll never feel the need to do it again. It was mid afternoon by then, and hubby was getting frustrated by the traffic, so we headed back to the Flamingo. Putzed around the room for a bit, and finally headed out at about 5:30 over to Guy Savoy to try the Bites & Bubbles menu. Oh my word. Oh. My. Word. There is a reason this guy is famous (isn't there usually??) Hubby had been worried, all he brought were jeans and Converse, that he'd be a little like a bull in a china shop there. But we were very graciously welcomed and headed in to the "bar" area, which is more just a few small tables that likely function as a waiting room during busy times. Not a traditional bar... we had drinks, but they did not come from within that room. And I think the hubby best described the decor as "stark". No fooling! Hubby didn't have to worry about the Frenchies looking down on him long, as a (very, very drunk) guy and his wife busted in to the place shortly after us and the guy insisted that he wanted some great food for his wife and he wanted to have her fed truffles and hey didn't that look like a great table over there (I'm sorry sir, that table is reserved... that one too...). They finally managed to wrangle him in to the bar, but he continued to be entertainment for us through the tasting. We each had a gin & tonic, and ordered 3 items off the "small bites" menu. He had the Foie Gras en Terrine and I had the Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup. Oh my lordy lord. Was my soup good. About a shotglass full of this soup, with artichoke and the wonderful, earthy truffle. Hubby said the foie was great. There was no sharing of plates this time around. Next up, hubby did the Scallop with Parsley All Around and I did the Ravioli of Beef cheeks w/ Foie Gras â€œVeloutÃ©â€. Wonderful. My dish was so perfectly matched, and the beef was like butter. Hubby declared it was the best scallop he's ever eaten in his life. Next up, we both had the rabbit, which this time was stuffed with foie and truffles. Yeowza. We both love rabbit, I can buy rabbit at a couple of the local markets, and I think I need to and I won't be happy until I can cook rabbit this well. It was just perfect. The little kidney, a shank (and by the size of the shank... these ain't no couple year old rabbits they're using, I think what we were eating was bunny) and the loin rolled and stuffed with foie and truffles. Every bite was wonderful. Hubby was a little sad he didn't go for the big boy portion of that one, which he said he'd happily have any time. Three cocktails (he had a refill) and three "bites" each came to a hundred bucks. Very well worth it, IMHO. I'd likely do this again, and explore more dishes, before I'd do a formal meal there. I would have liked it to be a little faster, but that's just me. I wish every place had this.... a great way to get a bit of the experience without the huge time or money investment. After that, back to the Flamingo and a costume change for me (I'd worn a dress) and down to the casino. There was some tweaker dude at my machine and I lost about $60 before he finally moved. I went over, started playing, having fun, and tweaker dude comes back to the area and throws out the "This is gonna sound really odd but I'm totally serious.... " - Note to everyone. If that is the opening line of your pitch, you suck at trying to grift people - "... but I'm like stranded here and I ain't go no friends...." I tried to politely tell him to move on. He eventually did. But then the dumbass came BACK. After I'd seen him having a fairly close coversation with some other dude who he was obviously there with. This time, the guy was really being a jerk (and he had NO clue he'd already tried me) and I eventually thew up the "talk to the hand" and challenged him. "No friends, huh? Who was that guy I saw you talking to ten minutes ago in this very spot? Leave me alone, now, or I'm getting security." Tweaker boy was gone after that. I suspect security did finally get him. I didn't do so well at the casino, but the hubby did. A couple of great hands and he is on top of the world. Back up to the room and sleep. Woke up early again - another drunken fratboy 6 am alarm clock - and watched the sunlight hit Caesar's and slowly make its way down the building. Tried to not disturb the hubby for a little while, then tried to disturb him as I wanted to make a coffee run and get his behind outta bed. I finally woke him up to get some cash, and headed down for coffee. It was a day for a large mocha and a shot of espresso for me. It was slow moving, as hubby found the CW/WB network and was all about sitting around and catching his usual Saturday cartoons. We finally did get moving, and headed over to the Bellagio to check out the conservatory. We decided not to lug the camera along, since we were probably going to hit the Mag Mile shops since hubby was in the market for some new Converse (and even in a shoe that he knows his size well, he's a "Try them on" kinda guy). Good thing we didn't bring the camera.... it was the same display we saw this time last year for Chinese New Year. Walked over to the Jean Paul Patterserrie but the place was mobbed, so we headed over to Fatburger. Fatburger was good, as always. Crowded, but good. Then we did head over to the Mag Mile shops... I went to the Department 56 store and got some Christmas ornaments (I do that most trips) and then we went to a store where the hubby had seen the shoes he wanted on Thursday. Turns out, the store only carried up to size 8 mens. Seriously??? So, we decided to trek it over to the Fashion Show mall. Hit a couple shoe stores and the hubby ended up with some Iron Maiden Vans, I hit the bookstore and got a neat "Las Vegas - Then and Now" book with photos of all the old spots and what is there now, and a little history on each spot. Pretty neat. Back at the casino, there was an open seat on one of the new "Press Your Luck" groups of machines that had a bonus round. Well, hubby and I both have an unnatural fondness for the old game show and the Whammy, so I sat down and we plunked in $40. One bonus round, but no good Whammy fun out of it. Back to the room, back for some rest, and then down to the casino for evening fun. My poker machine stopped showing me love, and the hubby had a bad run at a bad vibe table for the tune of a couple hundred before he went to find a new table. He was doing alright until a dealer change where a nametag-less kid came behind the felt, and hubby joked "Uh oh... the 'cooler' here to clean me out!" Yeah. He said that to someone else before, another young kid without a name tag, and ended up getting cleaned out. No different this time. But he had a good run and he was a happy man by the time he'd given back all his chips. I cashed out on my machine and tried to find the cocktail waitress who'd been taking care of me for the night to give her an additional tip, but she was no where to be found. I figured the $3 for each beer would have to do. We cashed out my tickets and actually ended up with about $300. And there was even a hundred bucks I hadn't even broken. At least I did good on this trip..... We hadn't eaten dinner, so we hit the little take-away pizza counter. We've had slices from it before and while not great, they weren't too bad. We decided to get a whole pepperoni and "sausage" pizza. What we got was a pepperoni pizza sprinkled with ground beef. Seriously, people?? It was ground beef. It wasn't even pork. That stuff had no business being called "Sausage". It didn't even have any flavoring too it. The hubby is seriously considering a lawsuit. We followed the disappointing pizza with some beers from the hotel gift shop, did as much packing as we could, and went to sleep. Sunday was of course the one day I wanted to stay curled under the covers until 9am, but we had to get to the airport. And of course, when we got to the airport we found out the flight was delayed by an hour. Great. Random notes.... Flamingo casino redesign - someone took a decorator to Planet Hollywood and pointed around the casino and said "Make the Flamingo look like that!" But, I am actually digging it a little more than all the old gold. Nice color changing light installs and other interesting things -- this propery is a-changing. And sadly possibly out of my price range.