1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Ho, Ho, Ho, Season's Greetings from Palazzo!! 12/18 - 12/27 LIVE TR & Pics

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by MikeOPensacola, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,393
    Location:
    USA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    163

    My Trip Report

    Happy Holidays VMBers!!!

    8576B1BC-AF39-4196-8500-309E91C2782E_4_5005_c.jpeg

    This trip has been on the books since January of last winter only to be shelved on four different occasions. I’m so glad that its back on again and fully credit non-refundable airfare, a stellar matchup in the Las Vegas Bowl, an incredibly gracious & patient host at Palazzo and some serious cabin fever as the prime motivators for getting my butt back to Vegas, where it belongs, for a third consecutive Christmas.

    I’ve spent the previous two Christmases at Cosmo so when I planned this trip I decided to change things up a bit and situate myself away from all the craziness on that end of the strip. Its kind of funny, I clearly remember when Vegas was a virtual ghost town, and not that long ago at that, during Christmas but that definitely hasn’t been the case the last couple of years. So, a little less foot traffic and hustle & bustle is one of the things I’m hoping for this time around. (Anecdote alert: Back in the 80s, during Christmas, there were more tumbleweeds blowing across LVB than there were people walking it. Truly.)

    I’ll be staying at Palazzo which is without question one of my three favorite properties, where I have stayed, on the strip. In many ways’ V/P is my favorite. I’m really fortunate to be working with a great host there and I enjoy just about everything the resort has to offer. I have a great deal for the next ten days: three nights comped and the rest of the stay at a casino rate that is budget friendly to the nth degree. I’m really excited to return because V/P is one of those resorts where I get that gratifying “Ah, I’m home” feeling when I walk through the doors.

    60E861EC-2521-4DFA-9330-0942A493C29B.jpeg

    I’m going to try something different this trip. No more day long strip walks from The STRAT to MB or visiting each and every casino on LVB and the Fremont environs in a week. I thought I’d take a different tack, and try another challenge, this visit. In 35+ years of visiting Vegas I don’t think I’ve ever had a trip where I had a legitimate sit-down dinner each evening of my stay. I’ve had more slices of pizza and hot dogs on the run, for an evening meal, than I care to remember. So, this trip I’m going to make every effort to treat myself to a relaxing and slow-paced dinner at a nice restaurant each night of my stay. V/P has an incredible restaurant lineup so that should definitely help the cause. Who knows, I might get caught up in the moment, at the tables or slots, and not give dinner a passing thought until it’s too late. Whatever happens I’m looking forward it and I’m sure I’ll have some good ‘vittles’ along the way.

    This morning I contacted the Canyon Ranch Spa and decided to get a five-day day pass to use for their Aquavana Experience which, according to their website, includes:


    · Crystal Steam Room
    · Experiential Rains
    · Finnish Sauna
    · Herbal Laconium
    · Hydro Spa
    · Igloo
    · Wave Room
    · Salt Grotto

    I always enjoy this kind of thing and I get day passes on most of my trips. Besides, who doesn’t like a friggin’ Igloo in December?!? I’ve never experienced a Salt Grotto so that should be interesting. On many a Vegas vacation the whole sauna, steam room & hot tub rigmarole has been a great way for me to ease into the day, and shake off the cobwebs, so I imagine this will be more of the same and in a top-notch spa to boot. Just for the hell of it I’m bringing my swim suit and flip flops on the off chance that its warm enough outside to swim. I’m not expecting outdoor swimming but Palazzo has a heated pool so who knows? Last Christmas, when I was at Cosmo, it was so unseasonably warm I was able to take a dip in the Chelsea Tower pool on a couple of days so maybe lightning will strike twice. We shall see……


    One of the highlights of my trip will be the Las Vegas Bowl. Lord knows I’ve watched more than my share of college football this fall and this will be a fantastic way to put an exclamation point on the end of an incredible season. I’ve always liked Boise State, and kind of follow them along with my other teams. I really lucked out when they got selected to play Washington in the bowl game. That’s one helluva matchup for a relatively minor bowl game. Major score on the ticket too; midfield about 20 rows up. (Thanks to my VMB amigo @FormallyTD for pointing me in the right direction for tickets and all things Sam Boyd Stadium!!)

    C5618364-E4EC-49D7-B8D2-B27B29D9C05B.jpeg

    I haven’t spent near enough time downtown during my last five or so trips so I definitely plan to set aside some big blocks of time and spend at least two evenings on Fremont St. playing BJ, catching some live music, steering clear of the buskers, avoiding eye contact with the working girls – well most of them at least, and taking lots of pics. I’ll also be on the lookout for something in the vein of “deep fried- whatever” (Oreos, Twinkies, Ho Hos etc.). I was chatting with @rooster42000 last night and told him that for my lunches I intend to eat the kind of food that if my doc back home knew I was eating she’d send a para-military extraction team for me. For old time’s sake I’ll most def stop in the Rush Lounge at the Golden Nugget for a Mai Tai or two. Yep, even in December the Mai Tais at the Nugget are too good to pass up. If I remember correctly @carolineno is a big fan of Mai Tais so I’ll be sure to post a pic or two in her honor. I’ll also pass along some updated info on the Circa & DTG construction and a sitrep on the canopy overhaul. I think they might be done with the canopy but I’ll know for sure in a few days.

    At some point, probably about halfway through, I’ll make a run to South Point and play some BJ, carny games and maybe a little TDB VP. I don’t know if Brent Musburger still does his radio show there but if he does I’ll be sure to post a Brent, with his famous catchphrase, “You are looking live….” pic.

    2512BF62-8275-4886-84E0-0FDB93F28A48.jpeg

    I might even catch a movie there to relax and recharge my batteries a bit. I usually do this mid-trip to kind of break things up. I know I say this on every TR but I’m a big, big, big fan of South Point and I always look forward to spending at least a few hours there each trip. IMHO, it’s one of the most underrated properties in town. I’ve never stayed there, only because it’s too far removed from the strip, but, other than that, I really enjoy their casino and think the folks that work there are among the friendliest in the valley. Since I’ll be in the general vicinity of Silverton I might stop in there for an inaugural visit as well.

    I’ve got two definite purchases I need to make. Spinettis has a chip that I’ve been seeking for a long time, from a casino that shuttered long ago, so I’ve got to make sure to stop there and pick it up. I’m also going to stop in at Bauman Rare Books, in the Canal Shops at V/P. I get their quarterly catalogue and I saw few items that caught my eye so I’ll be dropping by there as well. I’ve only managed to duck inside to say hello the last few trips but as I’m staying on property I’ll have the opportunity to spend a little more time there. I also need to pick up a little Christmas gift for my host so I guess that makes three.

    I’ll be boarding the foodie train, big time, this trip and I’m looking forward to all of the stops along the way. My first night in town I’ll most likely eat at the recently opened Smith & Wollensky steak house. I’ve been meaning to eat at LAVO for a while so that will be later on in the trip. Looking forward to checking these off my “Vegas Restaurant Bucket List”.

    87C030AF-22D5-4899-A926-B31812A55B1D.jpeg

    D1BB1BB6-93DA-4F8E-9BE8-393C48DC577F.jpeg


    When I finally decided to pull the trigger on this trip one of the first things I had to decide was where I was going to have Christmas dinner. Last Christmas I dined at Bouchon and it was superb. So, I was thinking of either Bouchon or Sinatra. But, then I got to thinking about how it would be kind of fun to go completely old school and spend Christmas evening on Fremont St. So, I started mulling over my options: Oscar’s, Vic & Anthony’s, Andiamo and Triple George. The more I thought about it the more I kept coming back to Triple George. When I looked at their website to see if they’ve changed the menu much since my last visit I was thrilled to see that they have a special Christmas Menu!! Boom, a half minute later I was on the phone asking if I could make a reservation for one thinking that they wouldn’t give up a table for one on what would presumably be a busy night. Much to my surprise the hostess said that it would be no problem. Score!!! So, Christmas evening should be a memorable one. Dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in all of Vegas and an old-school night at all the Fremont St. joints. I don’t think I’ve ever been downtown on Christmas Day & Evening so this should be a fun first time for me.

    6F9C7A03-1C34-4100-A7F7-0660B7585E9A.jpeg

    Recently @luck.ofthe.draw had some great posts about her amazing dinner at Le Cirque which got me to thinking that my next visit to Vegas I should consider having a meal there. I’m going to bring some nice togs with me this trip so I just might give it a try.

    On the completely other end of the culinary spectrum I have never been to Nacho Daddy so I might stop in there for some noshing when I’m downtown or in the Planet Hollywood neighborhood. Howevah, if I’m down that way China Poblano, at Cosmo, will probably win the day if for no other reason than to post a pic or two to give @Geogran a little something to drool over until her next trip. But seriously, their chips & salsa, along with a few tasty tacos, are what keep me coming back each and every trip. For me, a beer never tastes as good in Vegas than it does at China Poblano to take a little of the edge off their kick-ass salsa.

    I’m going to really, really, really try to limit the amount of pizza that I normally eat. Really. But it will be incredibly difficult to not end up at Grimaldi’s, Pizza Rock & Pop-Up-Pizza during the course of my stay. I can’t even recall the last time I had some Barbary Dogs so if I’m in the Cromwell, and the timing is right, I’ll grab a couple of dogs and wash ‘em down with a beer or two.

    Breakfasts will mainly be at Bouchon and the little buffet that Grand Lux has on the Venetian side.

    Damn, there are just so many restaurants I want to eat at and even during a ten-day trip there is just no way I can hit them all. First world problems to be sure…. Methinks that my taste buds are going to get quite the workout over the next ten days!!! I was thinking the other day that the only serious regret I have in all my years of visiting Vegas is not taking advantage of their top shelf restaurants sooner. I’ve been playing a little catch up the last few years and I’m going to try to fill some of the voids this time around. Of course, this will inevitably result in me having to visit Fashion Show Mall right across LVB to buy a bigger belt and then some of those stretchy pants, ala Frank Barone.

    98ABCFBB-0E8C-4E8C-8AB5-591F9CE725C7.jpeg

    701E016D-FDDF-42DD-87FE-1C5D283DF6E3.png

    I was looking at the V/P website today and apparently, they have a 90-minute art tour each day. I’m not sure if this is gratis or not but if it’s at an even reasonable price I’ll definitely do it. I’m a big art and architecture buff, especially the ancient and renaissance periods, so this should be an interesting chance to grab a little culture and probably learn a thing or two. They have two tours a day so I’ll get in on one of them. This will be a great diversion to keep me away from the slots for a bit.

    Gambling wise it’s going to be slots, slots and more slots. I simply can’t grind, all day, all trip, at the BJ tables as in years past. Still, I’m looking forward to playing lots of BJ on Fremont St. as well as the odd carny game or two. It will be tough to remember all the on the job training @topcard gave me for UTH but I’m game for a session or two. I really enjoy playing roulette at Golden Gate so that is definitely on my dance card. I’ll try to time it so I’m there for the “Changing of the Guard”; Golden Gate patrons surely know what I am referring to.

    5737704F-6B50-45C5-AA94-CFBEEA2096ED.jpeg

    I’ll also play a little VP and definitely craps, keeping a decades long streak of ‘rolling them bones’ at Flamingo alive. V/P has Fortune Cup and I’d like to log some time on that, especially if I get in a situation where I need to low-roll for a bit. There are going to be all kinds of great football games going on so I’ll be sure to visit the sports books at Wynn and Venetian which will also help me slow things down a bit. I’ll probably be giving all of my slot play to V/P to keep the offers coming. With a little luck I might just make Grazzie Platinum this trip but I’m not going to chase it. One other thing I really need to do is start playing some different slots. At this point I am Willy Wonka’d out. Utterly. Completely. So, I’m going to watch some Diana Evoni slot vids on YouTube during the flight to LAS and make a game plan so I can hit the ground running.

    Probably not a lot of drinking this trip…. well at least not the “three sheets variety”. Still, there are a few favorite haunts of mine that I intend to visit and tip one or two back; mainly various lounges at Caesars, Golden Nugget, Wynn & Palazzo. On the other hand, I always enjoy the iced down beers from the “Beer Buckets” in the El Cortez BJ pits. I’m hoping to play lots of BJ there so I’ll have plenty o’ time for some ice-cold Coronas.

    I don’t plan on seeing any shows or concerts with the possible exception of Atomic Saloon at V/P. When I was on the phone with my host the other day he mentioned that I’d more than likely enjoy it. The only thing he relayed to me about it is that it is in the same vein as Absinthe. Sounds good to me. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a show in Vegas so I’ll probably set aside some time and check it out.

    978170B9-9265-49BD-AD26-F3C6EEDE853F.jpeg

    Other than that, my evening entertainment will pretty much be strip strolls and taking lots of pics. One thing I have to remember to do is take in the somewhat new light show that they have on the Eiffel Tower at Paris. Looking forward to seeing the Christmas decorations at Caesars, V/P and Wynn. I haven’t been to Bellagio much for the past several years so I’m hoping to stop in there and see what’s going on in the conservatory. I also have to get new chips for my collection at the Sahara and the newly renamed Strat. Heck, I might even drop in Circus Circus for a bit as long as I’m down that way. If I really get motivated I’ll stop in at the new OYO and get a couple of chips there if I’m in the MGM vicinity. I plan on doing all my mini strip walks and chip runs in the evening so I can get the full effect of all the neon up and down the strip.

    My next trip is a ‘whopping’ ten months away as opposed to my customary six-month interval. I was hoping to catch a good deal on the Wynn Cyber-Monday sale but it wasn’t in the cards for the days that I wanted. However, I checked out the Hotel Offers & Discounts section here on VMB and noticed that MLIFE was having a Cyber-Monday sale. I ended up securing an almost too good to believe discount for a stay at Aria for next October. Big time score!!! (Thanks @Sonya for posting the thread. This is just the kind of thing, along with many, many other reasons, that makes VMB rock as much as it does!!!) I haven’t spent a whole lot of time at Aria so I want to do a little recon mission there to get ready for my trip in late September and early October. That trip is only a paltry 280-something days away so I’ve got plenty of time to get things squared away.

    I’m going the whole nine yards this trip as far as indulgence goes. First-class air, Limo & a sweet suite. It’s one of those “Merry Christmas, From Me, To Me” type of deals and can’t wait to get it rolling. I’ve got a hellacious travel day to Vegas. Wheels up at 5:30 AM and arrive in Vegas around 11:00 AM. That doesn’t sound too bad but it means I’ve got a wakeup call here in Florida that is 1:00 AM Vegas time. I haven’t had time to adjust my sleep schedule like I normally do so I’m hoping like hell I can get checked in right away and catch a serious cat-nap before all the fun and games commence. Right now, I only have a basic outline of how I want to approach this trip but I’m sure once I get there Vegas will do a fine job of filling in the gaps. I don’t really have any concrete plans this trip, except the football game, so I’m just going to go with the flow and enjoy what Vegas throws my way.

    Well I’ve got a little more pre-Vegas prepping to do and keep another decades-long streak intact by watching “Let it Ride” on Vegas Eve, Eve.

    8F745138-E9D1-4A17-8E76-B53E9C7FB6BC.jpeg

    As always, when I’m out there if anyone has anything they want me to look into for them or take a specific pic of give me a shout and I’ll do my best to help out. If you’ve managed to read this far thanks for following along. It’s going to be a grrrreat ten days and I’ll take lots of pics to post and try to keep the TR interesting, lively and fun.


    ….. And YES, “Die Hard” is indeed a Christmas movie. I saw too many MEME’s on the internet for it not to be true……;););)

    C6B5C774-7D0F-472F-B48A-33B8B194563B.jpeg

    Wishing everyone here, and yours, nothing but the best during this holiday season!!!

    Ciao for now,

    By the by, this happens to be post # 6000 for me. Hoping this is one of those serendipitous situations where I get my first hand-pay, hopefully for at least $ 6,000. Serendipity? Only Dick Vitale knows how it will turn out….

    AF1473EE-DEE9-468E-844C-A97E73BF08CD_4_5005_c.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    Birthday Week in Vegas
    • Love Love x 31
    • Like Like x 13
  2. NCAAHoops

    NCAAHoops High-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    893
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Mike you are a Rock Star. Have the best trip ever. PS if you see a craps table with the group in that picture let me know.....it like looks like a fun crew lol
     
    • Love Love x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    3,558
    Location:
    west coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Oh my gosh I am SO happy you are in Vegas Mike and your TR is already off to an amazing start!!!!

    This made why WHOLE night knowing you're in Vegas. The question is, can Vegas keep u with our Mike O shenanigans? Time will only tell, and I am loving the TR!!!! :popcorn:
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Love Love x 1
  4. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph A Work in Progress...

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Wow! So many plans... when will you have time to sleep?!?
    Hope you have a wonderful Vegas Vacay, and hopefully the slots are generous, too!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer High-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    872
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Go get 'em! Sounds like fun! I'll be following along ....

    GG
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Geogran

    Geogran Whooo. Whooo.

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,762
    Location:
    TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    53
    Tis the ten days of Vegas full of Christmas cheer! :santa:
    Sounds awesome @MikeOPensacola.
    (I’ll definitely be drooling over Le Cirque, Bouchon, and China Poblano if you hit those three).

    Congrats on the 6000 and hope it turns into $$$$$$’s :woohoo:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. mickyblueeyes

    mickyblueeyes Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 14, 2017
    Messages:
    370
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    39
    Best of luck @MikeOPensacola ! I am doing Palazzo for Christmas as well. One suggestion if you do Le Cirque check the Pre theater menu as it is excellent and great price but you may need a reservation as I find they book in advance. If you happen to be in High Limit room of Venetian or Palazzo can you let me know if they have any new slots there for me to try. Look forward to following.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,602
    Location:
    DFW
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    Holy Cow! What a pre-trip write up! Just Win Baby!
     
    Big Game Weekend Once Again
    • Like Like x 4
  9. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Messages:
    2,691
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    42
    So happy to know you’ll be enjoying our favorite city once again! Have an amazing time!!
     
    A fun show and good-lookin' company at my favorite resort! Let's go!
    Place holder for An Amazing Time!
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    4,359
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    So happy that you are heading back to Vegas and have such a spectacular trip planned! I will be next door at Wynncore near the end of your trip so I will be on the look out for you!

    Safe travels and Merry Christmas!!
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,656
    Location:
    Miramar , Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Good Luck Mike , hope you have a awesome trip pal, win on your Wonka machine. And a wonderful vacation pal.go do your thing. :feedme: :beer: :woot: :peace: :headbang: :woohoo: Have a great time. :thumbsup:
     
    • Like Like x 5
  12. drac999

    drac999 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    634
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    So glad you are baaack Mike! :wiggle:Hope you win big and enjoy your trip! Must do LeCirque!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. jimboguy

    jimboguy My sloppy joe is all sloppy and no joe.

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,209
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    45
    Have a great trip, Mike. Maybe I'll run into you downtown. I'll be wearing my VMB wristband.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Valgal

    Valgal Interesting and rude are not the same thing.

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Messages:
    3,361
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    How wonderful. Wishing you the best of luck and a Merry Christmas. Expect to see lots of posts of you winning.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Maxbet

    Maxbet Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    414
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    So happy for you and for your return to Vegas. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and big wins on your trip!
     
    Seems like I was just in Vegas for NYE
    Superbowl!
    • Like Like x 2
  16. win4me

    win4me It's the year of the piggy, dontcha know!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    Pleasanton CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Happy holidays, Mike! Sounds like a wonderful trip you have planned. I hope the slots come bearing gifts :beer:
     
    Birthday trip with Sis! Jaleo or bust!
    • Like Like x 2
  17. carolineno

    carolineno VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,537
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Have a great time, sounds like the trip of a lifetime! I am not a spa girl but that spa sounds amazing, I wonder if they have a one day option. I'll be following along and I'm looking forward to the mai tais of Vegas reporting!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Lorraine

    Lorraine Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    I was smiling the whole time I read your pre trip plan. I have a similar love affair with the V/P properties too. I will be following along, Have a wonderful trip and Merry Christmas :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Love Love x 1
  19. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,656
    Location:
    Miramar , Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Lakers @ Bucks Thursday night. :peace:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. FormallyTD

    FormallyTD Big Time

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,070
    Location:
    VA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    130
    Mike,

    I don't mind at all if you lift a picture from one of my previous TR's for use of your own, but do you have to Photoshop me out of it?
    GoldenGateGals.jpg
    Right now you're probably flying over the Mississippi River...."The Mighty Mississippi. The Ole Miss. The Old Man. Deeeeep Rrriver..."

    Really looking forward to following along and hope you have a terrific, terrific trip.

    Go Pack. Be good.
     
    • Funny Funny x 21
    • Like Like x 1