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Only a hour flight away from Las Vegas we visit frequently, sometimes once a month. I'll be sharing our trip reports, tips on making the most of your stay in Vegas, reviews of restaurants and shows we have seen, along with my thoughts related to our favorite place to get away from it all.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Uber Fun at Cosmopolitan, Aria and G2E!

This started out to be a five day trip with me flying out of San Jose as usual but instead changed to a six night trip flying out of San Francisco a day earlier then planned on Virgin America. My friend Boots had to change her dates for Vegas due to work and I wanted to spend a couple days gambling with her before G2E (Global Gaming Expo) so that's why I added the extra day and decided to fly out with her from SFO.

Photo below was at San Francisco Airport. My husband plays guitar so I had to take a photo of Metalllica's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett's horror movie memorabilia display for him.
There were also some cool guitar's in the collection!
Our flight was on time and we actually landed in Las Vegas a few minutes early. This was my first time seeing the new terminal 3.
Boots hadn't checked any luggage but fortunately mine arrived quickly and we were on our way to Cosmopolitan in a comfortable limo thanks to Boot's Platinum status.
Once we arrived Boots was whisked off to the VIP platinum lounge and since there wasn't a wait in the normal registration lines I was immediately helped too. I learned afterwards that Boots was trying to catch my attention as I could have also checked in with her at the VIP lounge. My lack of attention didn't hurt me this time since there was no lines, but something to remember for the future.
I was in a one bedroom terrace in room 4818 and Boots was in her favorite room called a terrace angle studio. The first photo is the city view from my room.
Below are photos of Boot's terrace angle studio.
Boots had a great view of the Bellagio fountains!
It was late afternoon and we hadn't eaten as we were saving it for dinner at D.O.C.G. so first thing we did was decide to have drinks at Bond Bar.
I loved my drink on the right! I asked the bartender to make me up something spicy with tequila and Thai spices and it turned out strong and yummy. Boot's drink on the left was gin based and refreshing. Neither drink we ordered was on their menu but we were told they might be in the future.
This drink is another one that our bartender is still working on and had orchids in it. While it was made for another customer there was some left over that Boots sampled and she said it was good.
Did I mention how strong our drinks from Bond Bar turned out? Well they were strong and we were tipsy! This video of us playing The Walking Dead will give you a idea of how tipsy I was! Also at the end of the bonus I have the hand pay I got later on Walking Dead after dinner!
Walking Dead Video:

After The Walking Dead we walked over to Lucky Cat at Cosmo and my card just had a fortune but Boots won a cocktail! If you haven't seen Lucky Cat before I have photos of it later in this report.
We played a few more slots after Lucky Cat but we were really feeling our drinks from Bond Bar and decided to go see if we could get seated at D.O.C.G. a bit earlier then our reservation.
The restaurant was fine with seating us early and it turned out to be a good thing as about 30 minutes later the restaurant filled up and I don't think we would have gotten our lovely corner table if we hadn't been early.
I don't care to dip bread in oil but I do like a little balsamic vinegar! Forgot to take a photo of the bread but did get the plate, LOL!
I really need to start keeping better notes. I believe this is the Cucumber Ginger Fizz that has prosecco, domaine de canton and soda water.
Boots and I share our appetizers. The Heirloom Beets with roasted ricotta and pistachios was great!
Diver Scallops with fregola (small round pasta) and mushroom vinaigrette was delicious. Would be a hard choice for me to pick between these two appetizers next time I dine at D.O.C.G so would  want to share again.
Boots ordered and enjoyed the Ricotta Raviolini as her main course.
We also had a side of Wild Mushrooms with parmigiana. If you like mushrooms,  you will love this side.
The shocker for me was the Swordfish Milanese, it was wonderful! The swordfish was flattened and the flavors marvelous and very much to my personal taste. I would return to D.O.C.G. just to order this entree!
We shared a dessert, that is now a must order for me, the salted caramel Bundino! Yum! Thanks Boots for treating me to a great dinner!
After dinner it was time to get our gamble on with the slots. Before dinner I had mainly stayed even which is almost a win for me on most trips these days! I tried the dollar Big Bang Theory Slot at Cosmo but since the bonus was just a wheel with dollar amounts on it I didn't find it as fun as the penny version of Big Bang.
I played a few more slots without much happening and then noticed that there were more of The Walking Dead slots. Previous to this trip the end of September Cosmopolitan didn't have The Walking Dead slot machines. Now all of a sudden they had seven of them! Three of them are in a corner not far from the main Identity Desk, two are in another section of the casino against a wall in the back and the two that Boots and I had played earlier are in between Bond Bar and one of the outside doors to the strip.

This time magic happened as you saw in the video above if you watched it! During a Wild Attack Random bonus a bunch of Rick's hit for a hand pay! I was so happy now that I came in a day earlier with Boots!
There were a lot of friends I know who love Vegas that were in town the same time as me this trip, some for G2E, others just for their love of Las Vegas! I knew it wasn't going to work out with everyone's plans for us to get together this trip so I had mentioned to just to text me if they found themselves around where I was staying. It was a happy surprise that shortly after that hand pay I had texts from several different groups of friends and we ended up having a drink at Bond Bar together! Thanks to Boots for taking our photo!

Kevin and his wife Judy on the left, Lisa, Anne-Lise, me, Sherri, Julie and her husband Paul. Shortly after this photo my friends Robert and Dean also showed up!
After drinks all of us went for a bit of slot play, but soon the group broke up with everyone but Boots and me leaving Cosmo.
My luck continued tonight, this was the lucky night of my trip! Above I had one of my best bonuses on Ruby Slippers! Here's the link to it:
The Walking Dead and Rick were still being good to me with this Wild Attack bonus for $768.00!
Hit the Green Progressive on 3D Dragon's Temple! Here's a link to the video if interested!
Best best bonus so far on Hot Hot 8 when I hit a Jungle Wild Bonus and got the spin for 8 games! If you haven't seen this slot yet here's the video of the above bonus:
A little love from my favorite Lord of the Rings slot.
Had some hits on the new Elvis Shake, Rattling and Roll slot machine!
Many slots and lots of fun later it was time to go to sleep and I was ahead about 2k! Great way to start out a trip!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The New Slots Are Coming! G2E (Global Gaming Expo) 2015-Las Vegas!

If it's the end of September then it's time for me to visit Las Vegas for G2E, something I have enjoyed going to for the last five years!

What is G2E? It is the Global Gaming Expo, an international gaming trade show and conference for the gaming industry by the gaming industry! It's for those businesses that are involved in anything related to gaming, for them to see the latest products and trends from food/beverage, hotels, slots, table games, etc...and to network with each other and no doubt to party together too. Then there's people like me who it's really not for but somehow we find ourselves there each year to see the new slot machine games and chat with some of the designers.

For the official scoop on G2E visit their webpage:

If you are on Facebook and want to see a overall look at some of the activities besides slots that took place during G2E go here:

This year was going to be extra exciting for me because a good friend of mine who has a very popular youtube slot channel SDguy1234 had been hired to be a character in a new Aristocrat Slot Machine and it was going to debut at G2E! Oops, I'm getting ahead of myself, more on this in a bit!
The exhibit hall of G2E opened on Tuesday,  September 29th from 10am to 5pm, the same hours on Wednesday but on the last day, Thursday it closed early at 3pm. I was there all three days but usually not until around noon as I knew from years past it was busiest the first couple days especially in the mornings. Alright, I'm not a morning person but honestly the first day is always super crowded with usually the last day being the least packed, though this year it seemed more crowded to me on all the days it was open.
There's so much to see at G2E but I only had time for the slot games this year even though there was some fun activities going on at the convention like a cooking competition among well known chefs. Also this report is slanted heavily to Scientific Games and Aristocrat because they let us record some videos of their slots and also they have most of the new slot games that I'm going to be playing the most in the casinos, though I also tend to like a lot of IGT games too. Both companies were great about making time for us, thanks so much!

I started out at the Scientific Games booth which now owns WMS and Bally Technologies. Actually there is a couple other companies they own too but I know little to nothing about them.

Since WMS and Bally Technologies were together in the Scientific Games Booth, I'm not going to say this slot game or that one was by the WMS or Bally Technologies Studios as I would likely get confused and make a mistake.  What I did notice is both studios have a huge selection of licensed games. Personally I'm fine with licensed games and enjoy many of them despite knowing that when I gamble at a M-Life MGM Resorts International property I will be penalized player points for playing them.  Oops, excuse the brief rant, going back on topic you will see above there is finally a Caddyshack slot! What took them so long? Unfortunately I didn't get a video of this game but like the movie it looked funny with some really cute bonuses and features. Can we say Gopher Bombs? LOL!
Okay, I confess, I like Cher's music and my husband and I enjoyed her show years ago at Caesar's Palace. Now there is a Cher Live video slot game! While many slots at G2E are six months to a year or more from being released to casinos, Cher Live does seem to have all its bonuses in place so perhaps we will see it within the next six months. If you are interested I have a video to share of some of the bonuses that we played during G2E. Instead of embedding most of those videos here on the blog, I will give links to the majority of the videos I took during G2E.  Here's Cher Live!

Thanks to my friend Brent who was smart to make an appointment with Scientific Games to record some videos of the new slots, I along with SDGuy was able to tag along and also record some of the new games.  The three of us when recording tried to do different games or when we covered the same game to record different bonuses. So check out Brent's channel for additional Cher Live Bonus previews!
My husband and I are both big Monty Python fans so you can bet we will be playing this slot based on the movie of the same name. There are two base games, Black Knight and Killer Bunny and both in my opinion are funny! Link below to what I briefly recorded. However keep in mind that a lot of the slots at G2E are not finished yet!
I didn't have a chance to play Elvis Lives but for fans of Elvis there is a new video Elvis game coming out in the future.  There's also a Miss Universe Crowning Moment Slot Machine but with so many other themed slots that appeal to me more I didn't even give it a try.
Space Invaders, a blast from the past! This new game has a skill based bonus round but for those like me who don't care to play anything skill based in a slot machine you can opt out of the skill based version and just go for free spins. All the latest news of course is about what is coming in the future with skill based slots, but since I'm not personally interested in that and I'm also not the demographic they are trying to entice into playing, I will stay neutral for now on the subject. I will give my opinion that if you want to entice the younger demographic who when I was their age I wasn't interested in playing slots either then do something tied to social media instead or at least tie that in with skill based gambling.
Quick Hit! They look interesting and of course I'm always going to give a new Quick Hit game a try when I see one but oh woe is me I forgot to play them as I was distracted by other shiny slots!
I did try Kronos and Zeus and if the Lightning Respin's happen as often when I'm playing with real money as they did during the brief time I tried them at G2E I will like these games!
This caught my eye when taking photos and while I didn't stop to try it then I likely will in a casino.
I love the Pink Panther theme, but didn't get a chance to try it out at G2E, but I will definitely give it a gamble when I see it in a casino!
More Quick Hit for those of us who love it! Apparently we can't have too many Quick Hit games!
I was surprised to see this new Friends slot at G2E as none of my friends seem to like the current Friends slot and when I'm in the Vegas strip casinos I seldom see anyone playing them. Perhaps they are popular at your local casinos?
The Simpsons! I love the the new cabinet that The Simpsons and the World of Wonka had at G2E. I read that it's called the Gamescape and I thought it was very immersive. There were three screens surrounding the gambler and then a large screen on top. While The Simpson's is still in development it's easy to predict this will be popular with fans of the show when released. Heck, I have never watched much of The Simpsons but I found the slot engaging and fun so even I will play it! Here's some video footage I have:

What took them so long to decide to put this classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show in a slot? I didn't get a video of it but did play it briefly and had the Time Warp feature a few times. Didn't get the main bonus so something to look forward to seeing when I play it for real!
Another Michael Jackson slot. I have had some luck on the previous versions so I'm sure I will also play Michael Jackson Icon too.
I was surprised to see a sequel to the Iron Man Slot Machine as I never see the original very busy. However what I glimpsed of it did seem interesting for those of us who like Wild Reels in our slots.
Pitbull and the Playboy Bunnies, a winning combination?  I'm thinking I would like to see a version of the slot with the Playboy Bunnies and the Thunder from Down Under hunks together. ;)
Upstairs in the private area of the Scientific Games Booth I'm assuming that was Pitbull himself with some Playboy bunnies meeting casino VIP's.
I have friends who love Titanic so I'm sure they are happy to read Titanic Heart of the Ocean will be at casinos in the future. Sorry, didn't have a chance to give it a try.
In the same cabinet as the latest Friends slot is Cheers.
The World Of Wonka was always so busy I never got to play it, I'm sad! It has the immersive new Gamescape cabinet that I loved on The Simpsons.
Parrots Head Fans of Jimmy Buffett will no doubt love Escape to Margaritaville featuring the music of Buffett with lots of clips of concerts and what looks to be lots of bonus features!
Gold Fish Deluxe!! Finally a possible contender to the original Gold Fish game that I love and still play at Venetian and Palazzo!  I've never been happy with any sequel so far, but this may finally capture what I loved with the original and perhaps, just maybe I might love it more? We'll see once it's released and I'm playing it with real money!
Here's a video of the new Gold Fish Slot from G2E that isn't released to casinos yet.

Next door to the Scientific Games both was Aristocrat! Here's where I finally got my first look at the game that my friend SDGuy is in, The Walking Dead  Season Three slot! The Walking Dead slot that is currently in the casinos is a personal favorite of mine because to date I have had two hand pays on it and numerous other big wins and now that SDGuy is a zombie in the new game I'm sure to love this one too when it's released. Unless of course I don't win, LOL!
The Walking Dead bonus in the new game has a picking feature before the free spins and SDGuy is the zombie in the middle row on the far right! Warning, why the picking I'm sure is random each time at G2E I selected SDGuy's zombie during the bonus he was the minor jackpot. ;)
At the link below is a glimpse of this slot which is not yet released and of course I'm not playing it for real money!

The last day of G2E Aristocrat surprised us with t-shirts with SDGuy's zombie character on them! That's SDGuy kneeling, Brent beside me and Rex next to Brent.