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First Trip in Nearly a Year/First Time at Wynn: 8/3-8/8

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by M_ILIS, Aug 11, 2019 at 3:48 AM.

  1. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,274
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    41

    My Trip Report

    Prelude: The origins of this trip date back to approximately February when a friend and fellow Vegas fanatic casually mentioned to me something like, “You know Wynn has a game sorta like myVEGAS now, where you can earn free rooms.” That set me on a course of playing the Wynn Slots app like a madman, and I eventually had enough gems (5800, IIRC) for three nights in August right when my wife had a two-week break from her work schedule. With gem accumulation extremely slow-moving on my account, I then turned to playing on my wife’s account, where I earned enough to tack on an additional night after the three I had already reserved.

    We found it sort of amazing that we were going to have four nights at the Wynn completely free just for playing a game on our phones! We’d never stayed there before and really haven’t spent much time there at all. I don’t think I’d been inside it since 2007.

    With our dates solidified, we started making other plans. I landed a free LOVE ticket from myVEGAS and then got another on my wife’s account. Then a new batch became available, making it possible for me to get yet another free ticket on my account for my daughter. We were able to book all three seats together in section 304.

    I also nabbed two free admissions to Secret Garden and the 2-for-1 Carnegie Deli sandwich rewards on my account, and the slice of free cheesecake at Carnegie Deli on my wife’s account.

    Finally, I took advantage of a GolfMoose deal for a course I’d always wanted to play but never had – Bali Hai just south of Mandalay Bay. The certificate was $99 for a round including a replay, and fortunately I’d been sitting on $75 in GolfMoose gift certificates, so the deal only cost me $24 out of pocket. I booked the first tee time of the day, 6:00 am, one month prior to my desired play date.

    The first day of our trip happened to be my birthday, and I really wanted to avoid the frustration of being stuck in Saturday traffic to Vegas, so I urged my wife and daughter to leave earlier than we typically do, with a planned 8:00 departure.

    Come see if we made it and follow along on our adventure!
     
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  2. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,274
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    41
    Day One: Saturday, August 3, 2019
    We had a busy week leading up to our departure, so we had lots of housekeeping to do before we could leave, but we still pulled out of our driveway prior to 8:30 on Saturday morning. And it worked! Traffic was not bad except for a weird stretch between Barstow and Baker where things kept slowing down for no apparent reason.

    With a quick stop at McDonald’s in Barstow for some hash browns, a Coke and a bathroom break, we made it to our first destination – Seven Magic Mountains – in just about four hours. We’d stopped here a few years ago but driven right by every trip since, so we were due for another stop. It’s a fun little diversion and a good photo op to start the trip.

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-27-41 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-28-36 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-29-58 by Mark, on Flickr

    We then proceeded into town and because it was my birthday, I wanted to take advantage of a couple birthday freeplay deals I knew of, thanks to a thread here on VMB.

    First we parked at Tropicana and walked over the Excalibur, where we sampled the new Vegas Frites french fry joint in the food court. We chose some loaded fries I believe were called Castle Fries, including cheese sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, sour cream and chives. They were good, but nothing out of this world. My daughter got a bottle of fancy root beer while my wife and I split a piña colada from Big Chill, the frozen drink place a few stalls down from the Frites trailer.

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-31-09 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-32-00 by Mark, on Flickr

    After a few bites, I left my wife and daughter to go inquire about the birthday freeplay deal at the Mlife Rewards desk. After about a 15-minute wait, I arrived at the desk, asked and was told they give you $20 in freeplay anytime within seven days of your birthday, which she quickly added to my card and sent me on my way.

    I found a Super Times Pay nickel VP machine and played through the $20, netting this:

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-57-07 by Mark, on Flickr

    Meanwhile, my wife and daughter did some souvenir shopping and picked up some cheap sunglasses and a hat.

    Next I asked them to bear with me as I hit up Ellis Island, because their deal is only on the day of your birthday. There was no line at the player’s club desk and they gave me $10, and I came extremely close to getting a very nice birthday present:

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-57-50 by Mark, on Flickr

    The $10 FP resulted in exactly $10 after playing it through:

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_09-58-06 by Mark, on Flickr

    We were anxious to get to the Wynn and relax, so we headed straight there next. We valeted the car and had a bellman handle all our stuff, and then found virtually no line at registration.

    Some people reading this will probably think we wasted an amazing opportunity next. When the front desk clerk realized it was my birthday, he said he’d try to get us a room with two beds (the Wynn Slots rooms are technically for a King room only), and he made a few phone calls and was able to offer us an Encore Tower Suites King Strip view room on the 59th floor with a rollaway bed for an additional $85/nt. I’ve heard how amazing the Tower Suites experience is, but seeing this was our first time at Wynn anyway, we were content with a standard room for free. I realized later that if we’d taken that deal, we probably would have had to pay the resort fee as well, so it would have been about a $600 difference. Probably a good deal for such a nice room, but I was content with free for four nights. Did I blow it? What would you have done?

    We eventually informed the guy we can all fit in a King bed and got assigned to room 2718 at Wynn. The 27th floor is the highest floor of the low-level elevators, so we had many stops en route to our room, but finally made it. It was very nice with a view overlooking the pool and the almost-back-to-life Wynn Golf Course.

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-09-52 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-10-12 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-10-47 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-11-10 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-13-16 by Mark, on Flickr

    When I went to get some ice, my wife and daughter surprised me with some balloons and chocolate chocolate chip muffins to celebrate my birthday:

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-12-47 by Mark, on Flickr

    It’s rare we spend four nights in one room on vacation, so we took some time to get settled in and make the space our own. Then we hit the pool but only for a little bit because we had tickets for LOVE at 9:30 and needed to eat dinner first.

    We’d yet to see any of the much-hyped grasshoppers, but this bold moth felt perfectly welcome to land on my board shorts while out at the pool:

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-14-21 by Mark, on Flickr

    After I got ready for our night out and while my wife was still getting ready, I went downstairs and joined the Wynn Red Card club. They added $10 in freeplay to my card for my birthday, which I played through a machine to this result:

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-15-12 by Mark, on Flickr

    I’d joined the Grimaldi’s email club because I knew they sent some sort of birthday month free pizza email, so that’s where we chose to eat on this night. The waitress said it was good for any 16-inch pizza on the menu and we could pay to get a larger pizza and/or toppings. We opted for a white pizza and paid $2 extra for a bigger pie and $4 for artichoke hearts as a topping. We also all split a large Lemon Arugula salad, which was probably too big for just three people. My wife got a beer while my daughter and I each had soft drinks.

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-17-58 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-16-41 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-09_10-17-09 by Mark, on Flickr

    The salad was extremely fresh and flavorful, and the pizza was great. We definitely didn’t need the larger size and ended up taking three slices with us afterward, which made for a good breakfast the following day.

    After dinner we walked through Palazzo and Venetian and then across the Strip to Mirage. Coincidentally, we stumbled across Laura Kimpton’s “LOVE” art installation in the Venetian’s Waterfall Atrium on the way to go see LOVE.

    (Not us in the O)
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-06-54 by Mark, on Flickr

    (Yes, this one is our daughter)
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-08-32 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-09-31 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-10-06 by Mark, on Flickr

    We also happened to catch the Mirage volcano erupting as we exited Venetian, so things were working out well!

    We’ve all seen LOVE multiple times before and enjoyed it yet again on this night. They now mention still photography is allowed as long as you don’t use a flash, so I took a few pics during the show. As usual, “Something” (in the Way She Moves) was my favorite part. (Second photo below.)

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-11-35 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-12-10 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-13-26 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-14-25 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-15-04 by Mark, on Flickr

    We walked back to Wynn after the show and were all ready for bed after a big, fun first day of vacation.
     
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  3. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,274
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    41
    Day Two: Sunday, August 4, 2019
    The myVEGAS reward for two free admissions to the Secret Garden requires you to book a specific date almost like a show ticket, and we’d chosen Sunday for our ticket. So that was our main plan for today.

    First, though, I woke up early and decided to go explore Encore, which I’d never visited in all my Vegas trips. I really liked this roof and light fixtures in the shopping corridor that connects Wynn to Encore:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-16-17 by Mark, on Flickr

    The previous day, I couldn’t find any single-play nickel VP at Wynn, so I was happy to find a 100-play machine at Encore where I could play just one line. I got a delicious Bloody Mary and hit a couple quads, but IIRC, I lost about $25 on the morning session. That brought me back to around even after all the freeplay returns from the day before.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-17-00 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-17-19 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-17-45 by Mark, on Flickr

    I also walked around the Encore pool area, spotting the first of maybe 10 total grasshoppers I saw on the trip – most of which were on the golf course.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-19-08 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-19-50 by Mark, on Flickr

    I got a text from my wife that she and my daughter were awake, so I headed back to Wynn and grabbed a coffee for my wife at the cafe near the elevators on the way to the room.

    We’d opted to head back over to Mirage early in the day to avoid late afternoon heat at the Secret Garden, so we all got ready and made our way to Mirage. On the way, I spotted the Bouchon snack bar window and told my daughter about the best chocolate milk I’d ever had, so we got one. Still good, but not as mind-blowing as I’d remembered.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-20-41 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-21-29 by Mark, on Flickr

    My wife and I took turns redeeming our Carnegie Deli rewards at the Mlife desk and then proceeded to the Secret Garden.

    It was already very hot and pretty dead in there, especially near the dolphin pools. The dolphins really seem to enjoy playing with the various balls floating in their pools, and they even attempt to “throw” the balls to people watching from the edge. Check it out:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-22-49 by Mark, on Flickr



    The cats are the bigger appeal for us, so we then spent the majority of our time observing them. The most active was the orange tiger named Svengali, who was walking all around his enclosure and really seemed to be showing off. It was super cool.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-28-13 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-29-51 by Mark, on Flickr



    On our way out, we ducked into the underwater viewing platform for the dolphin pool, and this dolphin swam right up as I was videoing.



    Next we hit up Carnegie Deli for lunch. Put simply, even with the myVEGAS rewards, it was disappointing. We got a corned beef sandwich and a tuna salad sandwich, the free strawberry cheesecake and a couple drinks. The sandwiches are very underwhelming, even when we added condiments. The pickles were good and so was the cheesecake. I’m definitely glad we had the rewards so we didn’t pay full price, but I’m pretty sure that was our last time ever eating here. It just doesn’t do anything for us.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-36-54 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-37-15 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-37-29 by Mark, on Flickr

    We then headed back to Wynn and just relaxed in the room for a while. At one point I headed across the Strip to Fashion Show Mall because it was the last day of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and I had a gift card to use. I didn’t end up buying anything, but it was quite a revelation to realize how gigantic Fashion Show is. I’d only been inside once a few years ago when we ate at Maggiano’s, and I had no clue the mall stretches so far back off the Strip. It offers a nice view of Wynn, too.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-42-01 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-42-25 by Mark, on Flickr

    I think it was at this point my wife went and did her first gambling of the trip. She didn’t fare well and lost $40 very quickly.

    We ended up not going to the pool at all on Sunday, and when it came time for dinner, my daughter didn’t really feel like doing anything. So I volunteered to walk to Tacos El Gordo and bring dinner back to the room. We all agreed and I set out through Encore and out to the Strip.

    It was that gorgeous time of night for photography:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-43-18 by Mark, on Flickr

    I arrived to find a gigantic line at Tacos El Gordo, but it moved quickly and then I got to cut in front of a bunch of people when no one else wanted to get in the line for Al Pastor tacos.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-43-56 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_10-45-04 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-24-35 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-24-53 by Mark, on Flickr

    Unfortunately taking them to go smushed the tacos a bit, but they were still tasty.

    After dinner, I headed back to that 100-play machine at Encore. I tried a Tom Collins (which wasn’t to my liking much) and hit one quad, but lost about $10, IIRC.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-25-48 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-26-09 by Mark, on Flickr

    With my 6 a.m. tee time looming the next morning, I called it an early night and headed back to the room around midnight.
     
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  4. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Day Three: Monday, August 5, 2019
    My alarm sounded at 5:00 and I made it to Bali Hai by around 5:45, just in time to get paired up with the rest of my foursome and sent on our way at 6:00. It turned out I played with a guy who works at the course and a twosome from England who sent us ahead after three holes, saying they’d prefer to play a little slower. Fine with me, especially because I had the opportunity to play 36 holes.

    As expected, Bali Hai is a really pretty course and offers extremely cool views of South Strip properties on some holes. It was in surprisingly good condition for mid-summer, too! On the negative side, there’s also a lot of billboards, power lines, traffic and other “industrial” elements in view from the course. I finished my first round in under three hours, and then the course was still really busy, so I talked the starter into letting me jump around a bit for my second round. Ultimately, the second round was playing much slower than the first (PLUS I wasn’t playing great and PLUS it was getting really hot), so I bailed after 12 more holes.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-27-25 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-28-32 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-31-02 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_11-32-58 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-20-02 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-20-39 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-21-19 by Mark, on Flickr

    After a quick stop back at Wynn, I hit up SLS to see what kind of birthday deal I’d get from their player’s club, but I struck out. The kiosk gave me three choices, and the one I selected only added 500 points to my account. Both of the other options included free play. I decided to play for a few minutes anyway and hit this lone quad for a profit of $5 on the session.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-22-05 by Mark, on Flickr

    I then headed back over to Flamingo and Koval for our favorite Port of Subs extra large No. 1 Italian sandwich, which we all shared back in the room for lunch.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-22-52 by Mark, on Flickr

    We spent a little time at the pool in the afternoon, and then headed out for our most-anticipated dinner plan of the trip: The fairly new and highly acclaimed Hatsumi Japanese restaurant downtown.

    Hatsumi is located at the Ferguson, an old motel a few blocks from Downtown Container Park that is being reinvented as a collection of interesting eateries. It seems Hatsumi is the first occupant, with a Mexican restaurant being built currently. We arrived for our 8:30 reservation around 7:40, just in time for a great-looking sky and for the neon to illuminate on the cool sign. Here are some pics from before we went in:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-23-17 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-24-03 by Mark, on Flickr

    (Is it weird this is probably my favorite photo from the trip?)
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-24-34 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-27-04 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-24-51 by Mark, on Flickr

    Despite our early arrival, they were able to seat us right away. They brought us some cool wet towels to cleanse our hands prior to the meal and took our drink order. I got a gin-based cocktail called Weekend at Bernie’s 2, my wife got a draft Asahi and our daughter got an iced tea. I wasn’t crazy about my drink, unfortunately.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-26-11 by Mark, on Flickr

    The food, on the other hand, was spectacular. We decided to order a bunch of stuff and split everything, so we started with the ocean trout Lomi Lomi, beef tataki, shrimp and bacon okonomiyaki, and a few grilled skewers: shrimp, mushroom, chicken thigh with spring onion, and bacon wrapped asparagus.

    The Lomi Lomi arrived first and was absolutely phenomenal. It reminded me of another extremely refreshing raw fish dish my wife and I had several years ago at Yonaka. I seriously considered ordering a second plate of it afterward, it was that good

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-27-38 by Mark, on Flickr

    The beef tataki was also great, similarly sauced and packed with flavor.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-28-17 by Mark, on Flickr

    We’ve never had anything like the okonomiyaki pancake, but we were immediate converts. The waitress explained it was a flour base but includes shredded cabbage and carrots in addition to the shrimp and bacon in the name. It’s then covered with an array of condiments and bonito flakes, making for a very unusual – but extremely tasty – culinary experience.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-30-19 by Mark, on Flickr

    The skewers were all good, although the shrimp wasn’t quite as tasty as we hoped. The extremely tender chicken thigh might’ve actually been the best of the bunch, and also the most inexpensive. We ended up ordering a few more skewers to close out the meal. It definitely wasn’t very busy in there, so I hope this place makes it, and I also hope this whole Ferguson Downtown experiment works out. It’s a cool little place.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-29-00 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-29-25 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-29-47 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-30-42 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-31-08 by Mark, on Flickr

    Random motel sign in the parking lot where we parked:
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-34-04 by Mark, on Flickr

    After dinner we retreated back to Wynn, where my wife went and gambled some more while my daughter and I enjoyed some Coconut Almond Joy gelato from the cafe. Our T-Mobile service wasn’t great in the room, and without the resort fee, we didn’t have wifi, so we sat in the cafe and updated our Instagram Stories with the Wynn-Encore Guest free wifi in the cafe while eating our dessert. (I’m @itslikeimsayin, if you’re interested.)

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-34-28 by Mark, on Flickr

    By the time we got back to the room, my wife was already done gambling, having turned $20 into a $30 TITO and decided to stop with her meager win. She gave me the TITO as I set out for the evening.

    I ended up doing something interesting that night… I tried the $158 Long Island Iced Tea at Encore! It’s really not as exciting as that sounds. What happens is you go sit down at that 100-play nickel VP machine, order a standard Long Island Iced Tea, and then proceed to play FOR THE NEXT FOUR HOURS WITH NO FOUR OF A KINDS! Throughout the process, you totally lose your self-control, telling yourself that something has to hit at sometime, and you eventually stand up totally dejected and trudge back to your room nearly 22 hours after you woke up.

    Yep, as far as I can recall, this was the worst VP massacre I’ve ever suffered. Nothing better than a Full House throughout four hours of play hammering the same machine. Have you ever heard of such a thing? (If I was a conspiracy theorist, I’d contend that thanks to my Red Card, they knew I was there for four free nights and they were exacting whatever cost they could.)

    Behold the $158 Long Island:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-34-59 by Mark, on Flickr
     
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  5. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Day Four: Tuesday, August 6, 2019
    For the first time all trip, we had absolutely no set plans for this day. Nowhere we had to be at a certain time, and we didn’t even have any firm meal plans. I love that freedom!

    I did have to shake off the previous night’s beating before I could start enjoying the day. If you read my trip reports regularly, you might recall I don’t like to lose more than $100 per trip on gambling (even though I sometimes do), so losing $158 in one night really stung. A couple Bloody Marys in the room helped ease the pain a bit.

    I think my daughter and I went to the pool for a little while and then we got our car from the valet and returned downtown for lunch. It was Taco Tuesday at Santos Guisados Tacos, which had replaced Bomb Tacos since our last visit, so we opted to try that for lunch. The kitschy interior design includes pop-culture “saints” enshrined on candles and the “Tacofessional” where you order.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-41-47 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-35-37 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-35-54 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-36-13 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-36-35 by Mark, on Flickr

    We ordered a variety of tacos, including some from the $2 Taco Tuesday menu: Shrimp, Crispy Beef, Chicharron Verde, carnitas, cochinita pibil, and bistek ranchero. With a beer and a soft drink, it came to around $25.

    Carnitas:
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-37-35 by Mark, on Flickr

    Shrimp:
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-37-56 by Mark, on Flickr

    Chicharron/Cochinita/Bistek (L-R):
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-39-35 by Mark, on Flickr

    Crispy Beef:
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-41-25 by Mark, on Flickr

    After we finished eating, my wife headed over to El Cortez for some more gambling while my daughter and I explored what’s new at Downtown Container Park. The toy store she liked is gone, but replaced with a “Everything Under $5” store where we found a souvenir for her friend and a pretty ring for my wife. This place called the Pixel Sticker Room was interesting. It’s an all-white room that seemingly allowed people to write whatever they wanted on brightly colored stickers and place them on the walls.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-42-45 by Mark, on Flickr

    We also roamed around Fremont East, checking out the various murals and art, although we couldn’t find a new (and controversial) mural featured on the news earlier in the week that depicts a handcuffed Statue of Liberty, a statement about the current immigration policies.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-42-09 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-43-26 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-43-46 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-44-08 by Mark, on Flickr

    Lots of this trip – and this day, specifically – was just spent hanging out in the room and relaxing in “vacation mode.” I think we went back to the pool for a bit, and I maybe took a quick nap at one point mid-afternoon.

    Here’s what I know for sure: After dark, we decided to hit up Ellis Island for dinner. Before we got our car from the valet, we took a minute to admire this neon artwork by Virgil Abloh and Takashi Murakami.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-45-06 by Mark, on Flickr

    Upon arriving at EI, we got seated right away, so I raced out into the casino and played $5 through a machine to get the $7.99 steak special coupon. I only lost 50 cents in that pursuit, so it paid off.

    My daughter used that coupon for the steak special, my wife got the steak and eggs that also includes toast and potatoes, and I got the fish and chips that I love so much. Everything was great – even if some of my pics are a bit blurry.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-45-47 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-46-04 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-46-28 by Mark, on Flickr

    I got lucky because my wife only wanted a little bit of her steak, so I got the best of both worlds, consuming my entire fish and chips meal and about two-thirds of her steak.

    After which, we still choked down the Really Big Hot Fudge Ice Cream Brownie Thing:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-46-50 by Mark, on Flickr

    One minor note: My wife got a Hefeweizen and it seemed to come in a pint glass instead of those really tall glasses that they used to serve. Not sure if that’s the new normal or what, but just a word of warning. It’s still a phenomenal deal at only $2.50.

    After dinner we ducked into that souvenir shop next door to Ellis Island and my wife found a $20 dress/cover-up she loved and my daughter made a smashed penny souvenir, so it was a successful night.

    Having lost so much the previous night, I didn’t feel like gambling any more, and we all went to bed fairly early for Vegas standards.
     
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  6. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Day Five: Wednesday, August 7, 2019
    I woke up before my wife and daughter and snuck out with my little flexible tripod to snap some quintessential “Wynn” photos before we had to depart. Throughout the trip, it had been difficult to find a time when there weren’t random strangers among the beautiful scenery, but on this morning there were very few people out and about, so I got some decent photos:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-47-45 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_02-48-13 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-01-20 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-02-10 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-03-10 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-03-50 by Mark, on Flickr

    My wife texted me that they were awake, so I grabbed her a coffee again and headed up to the room. My daughter and I went down to the pool for a bit, but then my wife texted saying she got us a 1:00 check-out, so we spent some additional leisure time in the pool before heading back to the room to pack up.

    All in all, Wynn is very nice, but it’s not close to my favorite Vegas hotel. Staying there for free was amazing, but the room decor and overall vibe aren’t really my favorite, and the location also leaves something to be desired. I’d much rather stay at Vdara, Aria or Cosmo if doing a high-end hotel. I also felt the elevators were lacking. There were supposedly seven elevators that accessed floors 1-27, but i think only a few of them were actually operational. Sometimes they stopped at so many floors it was almost ridiculous.

    Full disclosure: If you’re filthy rich and can actually afford to stay at Wynn and eat there for all meals, etc., I’m sure it’s even more wonderful. That’s not my situation right now.

    As we packed up our suitcases, we discussed a few options for the day before hitting the road for home. We narrowed it down to three choices: Check out the Block 16 Urban Food Hall at Cosmo, check out Eataly and Park MGM, or head out to Green Valley Ranch to utilize a gift card we were no longer able to use at home.

    Quick aside: For Father’s Day this year, my daughter gave me a $20 gift card to a local nitrogen ice cream place called Sub Zero. One night we went to use the card, but when we arrived, I had lost the card so we just paid for the ice cream. It turned out the gift card had fallen out of my pocket and onto our driveway when I was getting in the car, so at least I found the gift card. We went back to use it a week or two later, and our Sub Zero had closed permanently! The nearest one to our home is about an hour away in Carlsbad, but I noticed there’s one in Henderson, so that’s why we considered heading out near GVR.

    Ultimately, we decided on the GVR option, which worked out well. We arrived to find a sign advertising $1.99 Jose Cuervo margaritas at all casino bars, so I quickly got two of those while my wife and daughter used the restroom. Then we ate in the food court. Our daughter got Panda Express while my wife and I split some pizza from Tony’s Slice House (of Pizza Rock fame).

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-06-09 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-05-31 by Mark, on Flickr

    Grandma slice:
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-04-50 by Mark, on Flickr

    Vegetarian slice:
    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-05-10 by Mark, on Flickr

    After lunch, my wife played her favorite slot Coyote Moon for a bit while I took my daughter into the arcade. We got a $10 game card and then certain games were turned on for free, seemingly in advance of an upcoming birthday party. One of those free games was the Ms. Pac Man machine, which is my wife’s all-time favorite video game. Even though she lost some money on Coyote Moon, she certainly recouped it with free games of Ms. Pac Man.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-06-36 by Mark, on Flickr

    Meanwhile, I went upstairs with the intent of playing a maximum of $10 more on nickel VP. When I’d lost $10 and my wife and daughter hadn’t left the arcade yet, I put $5 more in. I lost that and put $5 more in, and eventually lost that, too. I got one last Bloody Mary out of it, though.

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-06-57 by Mark, on Flickr

    See… what I hadn’t realized is that apparently a couple days earlier, they changed the rules and now a Full House is the highest payout you can get in Video Poker. If I’d known that, I definitely wouldn’t have played that one night for four hours or lost $20 more today. ;)

    It turns out the Sub Zero in Henderson is a few minutes away from GVR, so we drove over there next and used $16 or so of the $20 gift card on two ice creams. My wife then had a great idea to give the remainder to the kids in line behind us, which made them very happy. Meanwhile, my chocolate ice cream creation made me happy:

    [​IMG]2019-08-10_03-07-20 by Mark, on Flickr

    As we left town, a thunderstorm was brewing with big lightning bolts to the north of the 15 between Vegas and Stateline. That was cool, even though it spooked our daughter. We then enjoyed an extremely smooth ride home, taking just about four hours flat, even with a stop in Barstow.

    Overall it was a great, relaxing getaway with extremely frustrating gambling results. Thanks for following along!
     
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  7. Mirageluvr

    Mirageluvr VIP Whale

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    Outstanding trip report, filled with beautiful pictures, videos and memories...thanks so much for the write up.
     
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  8. Robin W

    Robin W Low-Roller

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    Great pictures!!
     
    Solo!
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  9. spicole

    spicole No shirt, no shoes... NO DICE!

    Joined:
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    Great trip report! Love the pictures.

    You are right, the Bali Hai course looks pretty good for this time of year. I'd expect it to be more distressed.
     
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  10. yankees4ever31

    yankees4ever31 Low-Roller

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    Great report. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  11. gebruiker

    gebruiker Low-Roller

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    Wonderful report, lot of stuff done!
     
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  12. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    Great read. And cool you passed the remaining gift card to the group behind you.
     
    Hanging with Pete
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  13. Astribling

    Astribling VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report and all the pics!! Hope your birthday was wonderful!

    As an aside, I would have done the same at Wynn and just kept the free room! But then again, I'm cheap - at least when it comes to hotel rooms. LOL
     
    Fall Getaway, Cosmo - Subject to change upon better offers
    Fall Getaway - Solo trip
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  14. UnicornTX

    UnicornTX Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed reading. Loved all the photos especially the ones of downtown art.
     
    I was born on Friday the 13th. My lucky day!
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  15. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    Always love your TRs and feel like I’m watching your daughter grow up.
     
    Because Texas is not hot enough in August
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  16. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    Really nice report and wonderful pictures!
     
    Trip with the family to see the Eagles
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  17. BobLasVegas

    BobLasVegas Low-Roller

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    Very entertaining report!

    Great pics!

    You are a Wynner!
     
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  18. MacAttack

    MacAttack High-Roller

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    Great report, thanks for sharing
     
    Solo Trip 2
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  19. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Another great TR! But -$158 at four hours of 1 line nickels? Damn, you sure that Long Island didn't get you drunk enough to hit the "max bet" button? Lol
     
    MyVegas lets us stay again? Okay!
    Thanks Wynn slot app! M's birthday in style!
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  20. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS VIP Whale

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    Crazy, right?

    Should I feel bad for tipping only $2 on a $158 drink?
     
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