Quickie Trip Report Las Vegas Jan 24-28 Getting there Got up in the early hours on Thursday to drive to Las Vegas, coming from San Jose, CA. I had Harry Potter Book 2 on MP3’s and had to lug along my laptop to listen. At Santa Nella off the 152 just before the 5 I got a battery powered FM transmitter that only worked well for about 15 minutes. In Bakersfield I stopped off a t Walmart and got a tape adaptor and some munchies. I was then able to listen to Harry Potter with no problems. We made it to Barstow, where we got some liquor. Like an idiot I forgot to get gas there with a quarter tank left. I put in five bucks (2 gallons) of gas at Razor Rd, thinking Primm ain’t that far. Well, I was crossing my fingers going up the hill before the border, and coasting down it lest I run out of gas, my “low gas” light being on that long. We stopped at Primm to gas up and explore the Williams and Sonoma outlet and then we were on to Vegas. The trip; Stopped by the Alladin for a quick bite at Commanders Palace. It was kind of a disappointment. I remember it being quite the place last time I was in LV but this time the waiters seemed to look their nose down at us (despite my Jaguar sweatshirt and my wife’s knock off Chanel Sunny’s LOL). The tomatoes overpowered my Cajun shrimp and my wife’s gumbo, while excellent, wasn’t as fulfilling as we would have liked. The Banana’s Foster was good as always, but the in the end, I was disappointed by the meal. Drove over to the Bellagio to check in for my Wagerworks 2 Niter, saw that, like last time, the Invited Guest line was in use, and was shepherded to an open normal check in line. Checked in and got a Lakeview room, trudged over to our rooms, watched a few fountain shows, made a reservation at Picassos for the following night for before the 10:30 showing of O, and hopped back into the car to go see the Belz outlets. I gave the Valet a $2 tip, which they seemed to appreciate. At the Belz, I bought a $35 food processor, one of those pan racks you hang over the stove and a tie for Picasso’s the next night, having left all my ties at home. Back at the Bellagio we went in for my double WW comped buffet for dinner and had lots of food. Lots of crab was there, as well as Kobe Beef (Kobe Rump Roast I think LOL), Lamb, good clams and mussels, Cornish game hen, and the ubiquitous venison (although at a carving station) . The buffet was far better than it was when I went in October. And the service was also outstanding. In fact the service has been tops in general at the Bellagio the whole time were there. Friday we lazily woke up and made out way over to the Mirage after our second Bellagio Buffet where we got our Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden passes. It was pretty cool, and we spent some time watching the baby dolphin bounce the ball out of the pool at some kids. I even got to spike the ball back to the dolphin once, although it seemed to think it was less fun than having children run all over the place after the ball. This time the old elephant didn’t eliminate wastes in front of us, the heterozygnous tigers were active and making what we later found out were greeting noises and not severe gastrointestinal problems like we thought, and the old white Lion tried to get it on with one of the white tigresses. We drove back to the Bellagio and the wife wanted some naptime so I decided I’d go check out the Palms to see if it was any good or not. It seemed pretty small and not anything unique. The cocktail waitresses were OK, only at least they were all young. I walked around and just wasn’t all that interesting so I left quickly. I went over to Caesars to take a look at the Tasting Menu at 808. Unfortunately, I learned they didn’t really have a tasting menu anymore. Oh well! Got back to the room, we got dressed for our dinner at Picassos and went down and played a bit of 5$ Blackjack. Once it was time we walked down the escalator to Picasso’s got seated nearby a window thanks to our anniversary status (we have two anniversaries, one legal and one ceremony, this was our legal) and got to see parts of the fountain show. We both selected the Prix Fixe menu, having been disappointed at the change of the Tasting Menu. I wanted Turbot dammit! The meal was good but I regret having to pay so much for it and a wine pairing as the meal was just not that memorable. My wife had an interesting lobster sausage and I enjoyed some good quail salad but I think I enjoyed 808 more the next night. After Dinner we had to cool our heels to wait for O so we went over to the Petrossian Bar for some Bellagio Cocktails and Irish Coffees. It was nice listening to the music and talking about things for a bit. I tipped the piano player as we left. O was quite good. We got in pretty quick and were shown to our seats in the middle front section. One tip to you Wagerworks players, If you got a room using Wagerworks make sure that you use the marketing department number to try to set up shows and such. At the Bellagio at least, all they see is that you are comped and thus make yourself available to use the marketing dept’s store of show tickets, restaurant reservations and such without having to gamble a penny. Back to O, I really thought this was a neat show but I’d have to agree with others that Mystere is a better show. It’s not that the people are any less skilled, it’s just that the various feats aren’t as impressive because they get lost in the richness of the set and the multitude of things going on. Also Einstein was much funnier than two sad clowns. After that my wife crashed and I walked around for a bit, gambling a little but calling it quits because I was getting tired too. The next morning we decided to enjoy our room until it was time to check out so we ordered some forgettable room service food and hung out. At around noon we checked out, had Pizza and lasagna over at Olives where we could see the afternoon fountains, and then gambled some more. Here I tried the Hero or Zero maneuver and put all my chips (only about fifty bucks) on even at the roulette table and won. We played some more $5 blackjack until we were up $20 and left. Onto the Orleans. The Orleans is an okay joint, although Matt and Stinky said they had large bathrooms, which they don’t. I enjoyed the atmosphere at the Orleans and walked around a bit. But really, after the Bellagio, I might as well have stayed at the Westward Ho, I wasn’t going to be impressed with the Orleans. The bright side was the funbook. And the bright side of the funbook was the free drinks and free beads from the giftshop. We hung those things on the car rearview mirror and drove towards the strip. We saw a sex toy shop and stopped by to see if they had one of those Hitachi plug in massage wands and they directed us to Walgreens. It was getting later so we thought we’d go experience the Fremont Street Experience. We dropped by the Flamingo to see the Flamingoes and Penguins along the way and walked through the pool area, examining the closed lazy river. They were blowing weddings through at the rate of one every twenty minutes while we were there. We went downtown, parked at the Fitz on their evil parking tower where you gotta drive for what seems like miles to get to customer parking, past the tons of valet parking there. The Fitz seemed pretty forgettable and we walked on to Fremont, found that show wouldn’t be on for a bit and then took a look around. The highlight came when we got to the Golden Gate and got a shrimp cocktail. The wait is long but the cocktail is cheap and tasty. And there was one of those quarter flipping machines to keep my wife happy. Unfortunately, it caused us to miss the Experience so we had to wait around another hour. My wife complained but we found a couple of gift shops that kept her entertained for a while until the show. We saw some of the other casinos, and a particularly interesting point was when we were watching poker at Binions when a Poker player kept throwing his cards down face up with enough force that they went all over the table. Another thing he did was toss his chips at the pot, knocking the other chips, often in stacks around and even causing some chips to go towards other players. He got a severe warning at this and since I was laughing about it, I got a glare from him. The FSE wasn’t all that exciting but it was fun anyway, and after it I went to Caesars for our dinner at 808. Here I had a chance to eat Turbot and that indeed was what I selected to have. The highlight of the meal was the New Wave Bento box appetizer and the Poki Sampler appetizer. The were just scrumptious little sets of food that pretty much rocked our world taste wise. Our white wines also were quite perfect. Our meals were good too, as they always are at 808. Afterwards we wandered Caesars and we went the wrong way in the Forum Shops to see the Aquarium and we got tired and went back to the Orleans. The next morning we slept in and checked out almost immediately. We went over to Ballys and had their ever excellent Sunday Sterling Brunch. That was great, we were wanting the whole oyster and clam setup the whole time but hadn’t gotten around to it (even though the Orleans has a very nice looking Oyster bar) and my wife and I downed a lot of Bivalves that morning. The lobster was good but small as usual and everything was delightful. I get a kick out of recently frozen and very cold sushi that they have in abundance at the Sterling brunch and so I had a lot of that as well. A few platefuls later, after lamb, clams, and enough food to feed Sudan I was replete and even the denial on my card wasn’t too stressful, since I had a wallet full of cash. We wandered a bit but decided to get some $1 blackjack in and headed over to the Sahara . We got one table where we were doing good but they switched dealers and then everyone started losing. We found another table where found a mean old blonde lady who ridiculed(well, maybe ridicule is a strong word) me for not hitting soft 17 on a previous trip. But she was nice this time and we had a good time for a while until our $40 just dried up. We went over to the Barbary Coast to use up our free drink coupon from the Orleans and we played some VP nearby the Sportsbook and watched some football. I don’t much remember who it was but it was the weekend before the Superbowl so we were part of a large crowd. After that we decided to do some more BJ and went back to the Sahara before we left and drove home. On the way back I got to drive through snow for the first time near Mojave and we made it back in good time.