Funny how you get all fired up to write the ultimate TR before you take your trip, then once you get back and settle into that post-Vegas depression, it just takes a while to get it done? Anyway, this trip was special because my wife and I were celebrating a bit of a "mini-moon", having been married on a destination wedding on 7-8-9. I've been hitting Vegas 2-3 times a year for 15 years and she'd gotten the bug after I took her a couple of times, so it was nice to share the experience in a new way... Although we live in Boston and greatly prefer JetBlue and will live with USAir out of Logan, the only affordable direct flights for this particular weekend happened to be SWA out of PVD..... at least we made Group A... anyway, uneventful 7am departure gets us into LAS on time... Although I almost always rent a car and spend time both on/off strip, this was such a short trip I figured forego the car and go in style... Reserved the Presidential "stretch special" ($112) and our driver Isaac was a pleasure. I'd not been to "the sign" since the parking area was built, so he snapped our pic, and new wife was pleasantly surprised by not only the limo but rose & champagne to boot! She did not know in advance where we were staying, thanks to a Travel2Vegas discount I managed to snag a Resort King at Encore for $169 which I thought was pretty good for a Friday-Saturday rate, not to mention Beyonce' was there with her crazy $1k concert tickets and apparently taking up all of the best rooms. Check in at 10am on a Friday was pretty smooth, although my first time at Encore I requested a high floor, even numbered room while flashing some $$ (but not 'sandwiching') hoping for something in the 50's-60's, i.e. Panoramic over Standard, but only got 38th. Had it not been a weekend, I would have waited and attempted a Tower Suites upgrade but decided to live with it this time around. Overall room was fine but do hope to try a Suite in the future. Keycards seemed to have major issues, you practically had to mutilate the card to get it to read. Very strange. Since it was early we decided on lunch by the pool, so went to Botero's terrace which is right next to the Euro pool and outdoor casino. Excellent burger (maybe not quite BLT) and then she enjoyed the pool while I hit the poolside blackjack for a couple hours. Interesting to me was that it was (I think) what I'd call a 3:2, single deck, continuous shuffle game. Never seen that before. I'd pre-qualified for casino credit as it was my first overall Wynncore experience (previously a dedicated MGM-Mirage player) so hoping for some future comps... hit the first $500 marker and other than a couple of streaks, was mostly even. I noticed that the $15 table became $25 the minute I sat down (alone) and requested the marker. Couple of other guys came and went during that time... although this was the Euro pool, I saw no one taking advantage... Friday night I had another surprise waiting, tickets for Seinfield at Ceasar's. Grabbed a quick dinner at Dos Caminos (definately better than Isla IMHO!) and over to the Colisseum for the show, which was excellent. Had hoped to party into the night but after waking up at 4am EST by 11pm PST we were ready to collapse. Saturday I'd toyed with the idea of checking out the Gun Store or similar place but we decided to take it easy in the Encore lobby (decent basic breakfast at the lobby bar) for a while and then head on down the strip. It was pretty early so few people out, we stopped in a few places I'd never really spent time in before (IP, O'Sheas) and wound up near MGM. I had ulterior motives, as I needed to pay homage to the Lion's Share machine as well as picking up Zumanity tickets for later that night. Wife loves Emeril's so had a fantastic lunch at the Fish House and managed to play the Lion with $20 going up and down... $169 at one point... up and down.. it really likes to give you $15-$30-$60 at a time just to keep going but no real wins. Ah well. Off to NYNY for ticket pickup... considered a roller coaster ride but was well into the 100's by then and right after lunch... maybe later... started walking up the west side and here we come to the City Center "office" by Monte Carlo... sure, what the heck, so we sit thru a 5 minute video and get free reign of the place (each building has it's own gallery/model), not to mention free stuff at the coffee bar etc... Will be very interesting to see it all come together... Kept on walking... and walking... Bellagio and more... I had reservations at CUT for the evening before 10:30 Zumanity so some rest was in order... Finally made it down to dinner... I'd been to CUT on a prior trip and really loved the place.. this time had the 25% Wolfgang Puck coupon and wanted to get the wife hooked... easily done!! Outstanding service, and we were seated next to a couple that had literally just gotten married and both tables received a complimentary dessert sampler... nice touch! Back to MGM for some more blackjack and Lion's Share ... our favorite Tiramisu Martini at FiAMMA... Zumanity was just as funny the second time around (for me) .... wife enjoyed it as well... decided after to avoid the crowds and grabbed a cab at Excalibur (no cab line) back to Encore to party the night away at XS.... until we found Beyonce's after party was there.. $100 for guys, $50 for ladies cover charge!! NO THANKS !! Sunday morning rolled around all too soon... wife was dead set on checking out Madame Tussad's for the first time, and thanks to a 2-4-1 AGC coupon from a fellow board member (thanks again, Jim!) we were able to do just that.. no crowds at 10am opening, easily saw everything in < 90 minutes... lunch with Emeril yet again (Table 10) and then back to Encore to pack up and head out... Presidential was right on time and I only wish SWA could have been the same. 90 minutes delayed... security was crazy... typical day at McCarren! Discovered Sammy Hagar's new "Cabo" tequila bar in the airport so killed time there... (interesting trivia, I'm a big Sammy fan and was at his original 'groundbreaking' in 2001 for what was to be the Vegas Cabo Wabo - at Sunset Station! Never happened... now of course soon to replace Trader Vic's at PH)... Finally back in New England well after midnight and home to some much needed sleep. Not sure a 54 hour honeymoon was ideal but we made the most of it ! Time to start the countdown for my annual between thanksgiving & Xmas trip with a possible business event there in Sept to tide me over... Overall, I really liked the Encore casino. Still a big MGM and Mirage fan but the smaller gaming areas with less of a "warehouse" feel, the rare windows and natural light, friendly dealers and Pit staff, all made it worthwhile. Of course the outdoor poolside gaming is also a big bonus. The long walk through Wynn to get anywhere does get annoying after a while, but I think on a more 'normal' trip where I'd have a car, that would be less of an issue. I gave Encore some solid multi-hour playing time and pulled a few markers here and there. At the end of the trip, I paid those off and stopped by the host's area to see if my play had any impact on the bill... NO sorry, nothing we can do... that was a little disappointing, but perhaps I'll get a future offer or something... my room rate did come with $50 resort credit, so at least my lunch the first day was 'free'. Cocktail service while gaming was also top notch.