I was so excited I could not sleep, so I got up at 3 AM to get ready to drive to Las Vegas. Did take long and off we where. We live in the high desert (4000 ft) of So CA just 2 1/2 hours away. We have snow and muck everywhere and it was nice to have my daughter take care of all the farm animals while we get away. This was just a 4 day trip for our 29th Anniversary. My husband and I go to Vegas pretty often (last trip Dec 26th) but this trip we where going to try to do a little different than our usual. First thing we wanted to stay where we never have before. We usually just stay where ever we are compt. The second thing we wanted to do different was not eat at a buffet since last trip we where so disappointed in the Parris and Carnival World (Rio) buffets. First stop was the Original Pancake House http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/ at 4833 West Charleston Blvd. I had read that this place had won lots of awards in the past for breakfast. I ordered there famous Apple Pancake ($9.49)and my husband ordered the Irish omelet ($9.79). There is a reason they are famous for there apple pancake. This thing is huge with lots of tart granny smith apple slices. It comes all puffed up and then slowly deflates as it oozed a wonderful cinnamon syrup. The pancake itself taste moist like a combination of a custard and french toast. It worried it would be to sweet for this time in the morning. It was the perfect amount of sweet with the tart apples and eggy pancake. I was not as impressed over the Irish omelet. It was big with bits of corned beef. It looks like they bake it with cheese on top. Nice and fluffy but both the eggs and the cheese where dry. The place was busy but we where seated right away. The service was good. With two coffee's and fresh squeezed orange juice the bill came to 27.95. I do think this place is worth taking a small drive off the strip, but stick to there specialties and skip the omelets. This was the day after the Monte Carlo fire. We where checking in to the MGM for the weekend then off to the Venetian. We had the Celebrity Spa suite. Got a good deal on Vegas.com for the room. Much better because of the upgrade than what we where offered booking direct from our MGM offers on line. This was a big room but it was a little run down looking to me. The drapes dragged down on the floor, deep scratches on the wall behind the sofa and chipped paint and water damage on the bar. There was little repair jobs that should have been done to the room. Of all the suites I have stayed in at Vegas this would rank at the bottom. Primms suites are even much nicer. Something about it was a strange design too. So maybe it was not such a good deal after all. On the good side the bed was very comfy and the spa felt good after a long night out. We went across the street and played the slots at NY NY for awhile. Broke even and had a few drinks. I just was not feeling any machine calling me. Went back to our room and had a bottle of wine. A co worker and a long time friend of my husband just happened to also be staying at the MGM at the same time as us with his fiance. He invited us to dinner at Emeril's New Orleans Fish House. We spoke with the hostess before reservations about her favorites on the menu. She was very nice and went over all the dinner items and deserts. Her favorite was a new dish that they just put on the menu. It is a pecan crusted redfish with a yummy blue cheese sauce. I have to say it was our favorite too. Our reservation was at 6 pm. We were seated right away. Our waiter was Adam. I nice young man that went over everything with us too. I told him I was from the Las Vegas message board and wanted to know if I could take pictures of the food. From this point on I think he got very nervous and acted like I was a big food critic that just came in. Don't know if this is why we had such great service. We even asked him to say BAM a few times. He did say they only say BAM if you ask. We did have a good time teasing and joking with Adam. We decided to do the six course Chef's tasting menu. Rock shrimp salad with horseradish, pecan crusted redfish, stripped bass, scallop, filet mignon and a raspberry desert. None of us had dinned there before and we wanted a taste of it all. They are only a taste and not enough to really fill you up if you're a big eater. Plates are pretty but a example of the size is the scallops is one scallop on a small plate with a little sauce. This was also a favorite of mine. So tender and sweet but just a tease. I wish I had more. We fixed the size problem with ordering two extra deserts off the main menu in addition to the desert that was on the tasting menu. We all shared the banana cream pie and the pecan pie . This is when you could really see the size difference. The pie pieces where huge and the tasting was about a 1 1/2" square. Our favorite was the pecan but our friends liked the banana cream pie more. Drinks where plenty. I loved the Hurricanes. Not to sweet. Just right for my taste. Dinner went very smoothly and we did leave full and feeling good. We went to see Crazy Horse. It was a nudy show with bright flashing lights. I have to admit it put my husband to sleep. I had to keep waking him. Even for me it was hard for my eyes to focus on. I think we where just to tried to enjoy it or it just is not our thing. Even our friends said they where nodding off. We played slots for a short while and then took a bubble bath in our spa and went to sleep. We are both early risers. We really slept in. We have 2,000 chickens at home to wake us. I didn't here the chickens and the room was much darker than at home. Missed breakfast so we drove over to Ellis Island (behind Bally's on Koval) http://www.ellisislandcasino.com/ for the $7.99 steak special. It was 11:15 AM and the wait was about 5 minutes. My steak was 3 inch thick easily, cooked a perfect medium rare. We both had coffee and the yummy root beer. The bill came to 18.51 for the two of us. I believe the steak special has gone up in price but still a good deal. It was more food than I could finish. We tried out the slots. I did alright. Made a few hundred and had a few micro brews. I had the amber. It was stronger than I expected so I had a few to make sure. Decided to see what the Hard Rock was doing. We had told our friends that we might stop in the Hard Rock. When we got there they where waiting for us. We had a drink and watched them loose some money. They wanted to see the Wynn. We dropped our cars off at the MGM and took a town car over to the Wynn. Showed them around some then we decided to check the new Palazzo out. I don't know where all the people went but for a Sunday afternoon this place was dead. Watched our friend try the slots. I didn't feel like gambling there. We went around and read some menus and checked out the bars. I wanted to see Mario Batali's Carnevino. I would have loved to try it but one of our friends do not like meat so it would not be a good choice. The Palazzo just lacked the luxury feel that the Venetian has. There is something very generic about it. After you pass the wall of water going over to the Venetian everything perks up. Very strange. Since I am a Mario Batali fan we decided to try Enoteca San Marco http://venetian.com/ENOTECA.aspx It is St. Mark's Square in the Venetian's Piazza next to the Grand Canal Shoppes on the second floor. I have no idea what time it was but we did not have to wait to long to get a table without reservations. While we waited they sat us at that round marbled bar you see on the link I posted. They gave us some fresh bread to eat while we waited. Being a award winning bread baker myself I can say there bread is excellent. I think I ate at least a full loaf on this visit. We had a chance to watch them prepare the meats that they age in that tower in the center. Our place mats explained what eat cut of meat come from and how it is made. That's what I love about Mario. He is such a great teacher. His staff is also very knowledgeable and are there to explain anything that you might ask about. We had wine, a wonderful platter of cheese (with fruit) and meats, Pizza, meatballs, pasta and a variety of deserts that we shared. Service was great and we loved the location. We could here the music playing out on the Piazza. It felt like daytime with that open air area yet it was getting late. We would defiantly come back again. Back at the MGM I tried the Hot Shot 5 cent slot at max bet. That's is a 5 dollar bet. I only played a short time but made $450. I think the secret for me was I don't play if I don't feel it, and I leave before I put it all back. Monday morning the MGM gave us a late check out at no charge. It was nice not rushing but it is still a pain packing up. I don't think I will stay at two places again on the same trip. Once again it seemed to late to eat breakfast so we went to McMullan's Irish Pub for a bite to eat. This is at 4650 W Tropicana Ave next to the Orleans casino. http://www.mcmullansirishpub.com/menu.cfm?cat=4 The pictures on the website do not show how cute this place is. I love all the decorations on the walls. We hit it for the noon rush. There was no tables available. It seemed like the place was filled with locals on the lunch hour. 4 different people came and apologized about the wait and told us it would just be 5 minutes. It was worth the wait. My husband is still talking about the Guinness and Irish Sausage in Puff Pastry with Irish Stone Ground Mustard ($7.98). The sausage was creamy tender and so yummy. We also loved the beef and mushroom Irish pie. This comes with a rich brown gravy with a slight rosemary herb taste in a flaky crust. You have to try it. After a few more beers the crowd went back to work. I will have to try breakfast here sometime. Got checked in at the Venetian. We had the standard luxury suite $179. with the $29.99 resort package. http://venetian.com/resortpkgaspx For some reason we also got $15 in free play with that package. This is my favorite room that I have stayed at in Vegas so far. The room was flawless like nobody has ever stayed there before. Pure luxury too. I loved the flat screen TV in the bathroom. I never have had 3 TV's in one suite. Everything was laid out so nice. This place blew the MGM spa suite out of the water. There was only a $30 difference in price too. With all the yummy places to eat here, I have my new favorite place to stay. If only I could get comps here. We had a few drinks in our room, then we went down to the casino for awhile. Didn't find any machines that where on but only lost $200. before we quit. We had dinner reservation at 8:30 at Mario other restaurant B&B Ristorante. http://venetian.com/BBREST.aspx I wish I had made the reservation earlier because we where starving. It is so hard to plan everything. I would rather be hungry than have reservation at a restaurant that your looking foreword to, and not be hungry. We even asked if they could seat us early but they had no tables. It was packed. They are listed as the top 10 booked restaurants in Las Vegas last week. http://www.opentablecom/topten.aspx?m=10 They sat us as exactly 8:30. I had read all the reviews on line and had a game plan. I like trying foods that I have never had before or ones that are cooked in a way that I have not had before. Mario has a very different menu that the typical Italian restaurant. We started with some wine that our server recommend with the food I ordered. I am no expert on wine so I let her guide us. I just told her our budget and she took it from there. We had Fett'unta that was a fire grilled rustic bread that is soaked in rare fruity olive oil. Now I eat anything but my husband was a little worried about my choices. The lambs tongue with chantrelles and a 3 minute egg and the tripe "alla Parmigiana turned out to be his two favorites. In fact he was going to fight me for the last few spoonfuls of tripe. Our server served the tongue first to not be over powered by the spiciness of the tripe. That was a good call. The lambs tongue was in thin slices as was the chantrelles (wild mushroom) in a rich sauce that you had the egg drip the yolk over. I have grown up eating tripe in menudo wondered how it was cooked in Italy? This dish is spicy hot and very flavorful reminding me of eating pasta and not meat. If you can take the heat, try this dish. It really got our taste buds craving for pasta. The pasta dishes I ordered was the Mint Love Letters with Spicy Lamb Sausage that I heard so much about and the Gnocchi with braised oxtails. Just sounded like great comfort food. The mint love letters I would describe as very thin pasta shaped like a small ravioli with a mint filling. It was good but something seemed missing and it did not come to me until after I got home. We did not get the spicy lamb sausage that should have been with it. I got cheated out of my sausage. I want my sausage!!! The gnocchi was the best pasta dish I have ever had. What is weird is I had not read anything about this dish. I changed my mind at the last minute and went for the unknown. So glad I did. Our main dish was grilled lamb chops and fennel dusted sweetbreads with sweet and sour onions, duck bacon and membrillo vinegar. Both where very good but we were getting so full at this point and we still wanted to sample desert. I wish we would have just sharred one dish. You can eat family style here with out being embarrassed. While we where eating my husband had seem Emeril walk into his restaurant across from us. By the time I turned around I could not see him. One irritating thing about B&B is it is very small and most of the tables sit very close together. There was a group of four on one side and two men on the other. The group of four did not bother us. The two men where loud the whole time we where there. The one man was some type of high pressure sales man. They where pretty much done eating when we got there, yet he had to hound and hound they other poor man for the rest of the night. We both just wanted them to leave. It didn't make for a romantic anniversary dinner even though it was some of the best food I have ever had in one place. Maybe we should have requested a private table if possible. I have read others also complain about the tables being close. I didn't think it would be a problem for us but this guy was a jerk that we where next to. About the time we where leaving there was lots of private tables available. One last thing about the staff. There was always 6 people standing by but not over you, to care for your table needs. The next day we got up and had a bottle of champaign then went to the Grand Lux for breakfast/lunch. My husband still on his Italian high ordered more pasta. I wanted breakfast since I had missed it the last two mornings. I had the home made corned beef hash. It was homemade with lots of large diced corned beef. You can see from what we order that we like corned beef hash. After breakfast we had ordered two Mojito's. Miguel was our server was very friendly and we had told him it was our anniversary. He ended up bringing us a cinnamon food anniversary card with two candles in whip cream decorated with happy 29th. It was a nice touch to a great time. It was sad to be checking out but it was a great time. We had our luggage checked as we made the last rounds to the slot machines. We also made a quick trip to Casino Royal for some $1 Michelob's while a made a two hundred dollars on the Megabucks slot and a look around Imperial Palace. For the whole trip we spent three hundred on gambling. I am very happy with that. I can lose that in 30 minutes on other trips. We went back to the Venetian for one last quick bite to eat before we headed home. We felt like Pizza so I thought Wolfgang Puck's Postrio would be a quick in and out for us. http://venetian.com/POSTRIO.aspx We sharred a soup and salad and the Spicy lamb chorizo, roasted peppers, onions, cilantro and lime pizza and the spicy hungarian goulash, crisp spaetzle, creame fraiche. We could not eat it all. It made great leftover's. I think I like it better the next day. I can't wait for my next trip. We are also already planning for our 30th Anniversary. Thanks for all the idea's. We could not have planned this trip with out you.