First attempt at a trip report, and doing it after the fact. Not going to try to go day-by-day, but at least hit the high points. We like eating, drinking, and low-rolling. This trip, we also branched out and tried something completely new, a kayaking trip on the Colorado River on Sunday morning, which was a ton of fun. HOTEL: Paris (Saturday-Wednesday) Cosmopolitan (Wednesday-Friday) Got 4 nights at Paris for about $60 all-in. Paid for Saturday, comped the next three nights. No resort fee (Diamond). Was able to snag an end-of-hallway room with a view of the Eiffel Tower and the fountains, so easily the best room view I’ve ever had in Vegas. Room was plenty nice and comfortable. Refrigerator was a great help – we picked up an online order at Total Wine on the way from the airport with some beers, White Claws and liquor, so we had no trouble keeping our drinks cold. Paris was very busy Saturday and Sunday. The wait for the elevators was sometimes ridiculous – when you’re trying to social distance and keep elevator occupancy to 4 people or less, it became very difficult to find one going down that was sufficiently empty. So from the 18th floor, you were sometimes better off to go up first to make sure you had an elevator mostly to yourself. Security was pretty tight – checking for room keys and mask compliance at the elevators 24/7. Cosmopolitan was a dream compared to Paris. The hotel part was not busy at all Wednesday and Thursday, little to no waits for elevators. Had booked a terrace studio for $99/night and no resort fee from an email marketing offer, was able to talk my way into a terrace 1-bedroom at check-in. No fountain view, but I wasn’t too worried about that. Room was in great shape, love the shower and soaking tub. We did a daybed rental Wednesday at the Chelsea pool for $150 F/B minimum, and it was completely worth it. Pool wasn’t crowded at all – probably less than 100 people out there. Masks were required everywhere except when on the chair/daybed or in the pool. FOOD - I’ll go day-by-day on what we ate… Saturday Eat Wanted to avoid the Strip as much as possible on the weekend, so we immediately went downtown for lunch/brunch. Had wanted to try Eat for awhile, had no trouble getting in (was only one other table occupied at 12:30 p.m.). We shared the famous deviled eggs, I had a breakfast burrito, and L had the truffled egg sandwich. Everything was outstanding. Honey Salt Again, on the “avoid the Strip” mentality, we ventured out to Summerlin for the first time in our 10+ trips to Vegas. Had seen many great reviews of this place, so we wanted to try it. So glad we did. I had the meatloaf, and L had the fried chicken. We were very glad we didn’t get an appetizer because the portions of dinner were so big, there’s no way we could have finished all of it. L’s fried chicken was among the best I’ve ever tasted, and keep in mind I’ve lived in the Deep South my whole life. Drink-wise, L had the Dirty Paloma, and I had the Midnight Rambler (basically an old-fashioned). Neat touch: they had teddy bears/stuffed animals sitting at all of the tables that were closed, and all wearing masks, of course. I would rank it as our second-best meal of the trip. Sunday Black Bear Diner Our Sunday plans included a kayaking trip on the Colorado River, so we wanted a big breakfast before heading out there. As always, Black Bear did not disappoint. Nothing fancy, just good, solid breakfast food, and plenty of it. Charcoal Room (Palace Station) We had never been to Palace Station, and I had a LVA coupon for $30 off at Charcoal Room, so we gave it atry. I had a wedge salad, L had the lobster bisque, and we both had filets. We also split a bottle of wine. Everything was solid if not spectacular. I had ordered my filet medium rare and they got it a little more done than I would like, but it was still good. We were briefly confused by the line wrapping around the side of Charcoal Room but quickly realized that line was for the Oyster Bar. Had considered staying to play for a bit, but it was quite busy and the few tables open were full and had higher limits than I would have liked. Monday Mon Ami Gabi Had about a 10-minute wait for a patio seat. The food was pretty good, no complaints, but given the level of everything else we ate throughout the week, you could make an argument that it was our worst meal of the trip (and it was still quite good). I don’t remember what L had, but I had the salmon benedict. The most memorable part of our breakfast was this guy on the sidewalk that Paris security ran off. We saw him run across LVB, start yelling at random while in front of the fountains, then decide to go for a swim. I don’t think anyone else noticed, because he eventually pulled himself out of the fountains, got his clothes back on, and went on his way. Scarpetta Just fantastic. It was our anniversary meal, and it was spectacular. We shared the antipasti platter, I had the chicken marsala, and L had the duck and foie gras ravioli. We also had a glass of wine each, and we shared the Nutella bomboloni for dessert. Every bite was just wonderful. We had been wanting to try it for awhile, and we were not disappointed. Tuesday Ping Pang Pong We try to do lunch here at least once per trip. The food was great as always. Was kind of disappointed in the service, though. We had been at our table for probably 10-15 minutes and had received several helpings of food before anyone ever came around to take a drink order (we just wanted water). Still can’t complain too much, the food was great. In-N-Out Burger Took it easy for dinner Tuesday night after eating so heavy the last few days. Went to In-N-Out at the LINQ promenade. They were limiting occupancy in the restaurant, so we had to wait a few minutes to go in and order. Food was pretty strong as always. Wednesday Chelsea Pool Nothing special, just got an order of the burger sliders to get to our $150 minimum spend. They were fine, mainly just needed some food to help absorb all the alcohol. Hattie B’s Wanted a snack after we left the pool, so we stopped at Hattie B’s on the way back to the room. Shared a chicken tenders meal. We may or may not have eaten it while sitting in the soaking tub in the room. Catch We initially had reservations for Mayfair Supper Club, but we reconsidered and switched to Catch at Aria. Glad we did. Had one of the best sushi rolls I’ve ever had, then we shared the lobster mac & cheese and the lettuce wraps. Got the donut wheel for dessert. Service was outstanding, food was very good as well. Was a little aghast at the table next to us – they left so much food on their table (including an entire sushi roll). I’ll never understand going to a really nice restaurant, ordering a ton of food, and eating very little of it. Thursday Eggslut Gotta do this at least once per trip. I had the Fairfax with bacon, she had a burger. All very good, as usual. Lardo Wanted an afternoon snack, so I got the Bronx Bomber over fries, and we shared it. Very good. Mesa Grill Needed to use my Diamond celebration dinner, and this seemed like as good a spot as any. We each got a margarita, shared the goat cheese queso fundido, I got the pork tenderloin, and she got a roasted corn soup and a tiger shrimp tamale. All-in-all, it was pretty good and worth using the free dinner on, but I don’t know that I’d go back. Service was sub-par. Friday Momofuku Got the Momofuku lunch special before heading home. $25 for a bowl of the pork belly ramen and a pork bun. I always say I’m going to branch out and try something new at Momofuku, but I never do. And I’m also never disappointed. GAMBLING For the trip, I think I finished about -300. Not too bad. Had two really good sessions – won about $350 playing blackjack at El Cortez on Sunday night, then won about $285 at craps at Wynn on Tuesday. Also turned $25 MyKonami free play at Aria into $200 on a $1 Top Dollar machine. Other than that, it was small wins and small losses throughout the week. Didn’t see a single $5 blackjack table anywhere all week (strip, off-strip or downtown) with the exception of Ellis Island, and they only had one open there. The other two open tables were $10 minimum on Thursday afternoon. Did see some $5 craps off-strip (Rampart, Suncoast) on Saturday afternoon. My winning craps session at Wynn was on a $10 table around 5:00 on Tuesday; by the time the lady finished her long roll that made everyone at the table a lot of money (needed just a 12 for the All-Tall-Small before she went 7-out), they had upped the minimum on that table to $50. I was more than happy to take $350 of El Cortez’s money. The pit critter was extremely rude to me, my wife and the dealer the whole time we were there. This was a $10 minimum automatic shuffler game, so no chance of counting or anything like that, yet I went on a run where I kept pressing my bet by $5 after every win. Got as high as $55 after hitting a blackjack on my $50 bet. By that point, the PB was standing over the dealer’s shoulder. I asked for a beer (with the coolers full of beer 10 feet away), and the PB said I had to wait for the cocktail waitress to come back. She came by once. We probably sat there for two hours, and we got one beer between the two of us. As soon as we colored up, they pulled the dealer from our table. I hope the poor guy still has a job, he was clearly new but didn’t make any mistakes and did a good job. We have always enjoyed playing at El Co, but this experience was just terrible – even while walking away a winner. I did get my first-ever royal flush, but it was playing 50 hands for pennies on the 100-play machine at Cosmo. Still, 40 bucks is 40 bucks. Played Face-Up PGP to varying degrees of success. Won a few bucks here and there, but then lost about $200 at Paris. At Paris, Harrah’s and Rampart, you were allowed to pick up the cards and set your own hand. At TI and V/P, all hands were dealt face-up and the dealer set each player’s hand; you weren’t allowed to touch the cards. Not sure what difference that made, if any, but it felt weird having no control. Planet Moolah was a bad habit. I got a few good hits on it at Bellagio, won 30 or 40 bucks there. Then got another couple of good hits at Cosmo for another 30 or 40 bucks. Then gave every bit of that back and then some on Thursday night and Friday morning. DRINK SERVICE With the bars closed, tables and machines were the only hopes to get a drink (aside from the fridge in our room). The level of service varied wildly from casino to casino. Some places, I felt bad for the servers because they may have been the only one working for the whole casino floor (Downtown Grand, for one). Others, I never even saw a server (Golden Gate). My rankings on drink service for the week: Excellent: Bellagio, Paris, Suncoast Good: Cosmopolitan, Aria, Harrah’s, Ellis Island, Rampart, Gold Coast Fair: CP, Flamingo, Wynn, TI, The D, Downtown Grand, V/P Terrible: El Cortez, Golden Gate, 4Q OTHER THOUGHTS -Mask compliance was probably 95% or better. The casinos were very strict about it. The only time I ever took mine off was in my hotel room or while sitting at a table at a restaurant, eating or drinking. -We got a rental car for the first time in several trips. Given how few Uber/Lyft and taxis we saw around, it was a great decision. Also gave us the chance to explore off-strip a bit and save some money on our kayak trip. -The kayak trip was one of the most fun things I’ve done in Vegas. It was through a company called Blazin’ Paddles that operates out of the Hoover Dam Lodge. They load a group up in vans, drive you down to Willow Beach on the Arizona side of the river, and the trip is about 4 miles round trip from the beach to Emerald Cove and back. Saw a few bighorn sheep and some other wildlife. It was ridiculously hot (nearing 120 that day), but the water (about 55 degrees) was very refreshing. Really enjoyed that part of the trip. And we saved $50 apiece by driving ourselves to the lodge instead of opting for the on-strip pickup. -As referenced in several other threads and various social media posts, the amount of people one might term “trashy” was probably the highest I’ve ever seen in Vegas. Lots of people that truly had no idea how to act in public. The scooter thing was ridiculous. For every one person I saw that actually needed one, there were 50 that didn’t. And they thought it was their right to take over the sidewalks and the crosswalks to the point that it was difficult for anyone else to maneuver their way through or around. Some of them just took off across the street without even looking at traffic, red lights, crosswalks, etc. It’s a wonder I didn’t see any of them get run over. There were also groups of teenagers (probably local kids) that were walking around at night, clearly intoxicated, that were harassing the homeless population on the Strip, which was just disgusting. -Overall, it was a good trip, but we probably stayed about two days too long. For some reason, we were just over it by Wednesday. It wasn’t terribly busy, but it wasn’t exactly dead like we thought it would be. I had way more fun at the places we went off-strip than I did on the strip. We’re hopeful things can get back to some level of normalcy (whatever that means) in the coming months; we’d like to go back in the fall, but I don’t know if we would if things aren’t a whole lot better.