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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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Giada! Giada De Laurentiis New Restaurant at Cromwell!

On August 26th, Teresa, Liz, Terri and myself ate at Giada De Laurentiis new restaurant Giada which is located inside of Cromwell.
From the moment you walk inside the restaurant it screams out Giada! It's a beautiful, airy, bright restaurant that has Giada branded on everything. Yes, I mean almost everything! Giada's signature G is on plates, chairs, napkins, pens, pepper grinders, etc…no chance of forgetting for one minute where you are dining, and who would want to? It's a fabulous restaurant that reflects the elegant taste of Giada!
It's difficult currently to get a reservation at Giada and even trying to book more then 6 weeks in advance for a Tuesday it was either 5:15pm or after 9pm so we went for a early dinner.  I'm glad we took the early seating as we were among the first in the restaurant and got to see it briefly without the crowds it had later.
Even though we had a reservation and were there on time and the restaurant had just opened we still had about a 5 minute wait for our table which was fine. However I suspect as the restaurant filled up those with later reservations waited much longer.
I was happy with the wait because it meant photo ops for me!
I always enjoy restaurants that have kitchens where I can see the chefs at work, not to mention the displays of delicious breads and antipasti.
Liz, Teresa and myself while we are waiting to be seated. Of course Terri is taking the photo so that she can avoid being in it!
When the hostess came to seat us a nice touch was her offering to take us on a tour of the open kitchen area above. It only takes a couple minutes and I enjoyed it.
We had a lovely corner table where we could see the Bellagio fountains when they went off.
Our table was in the corner here and I liked the location so much I have requested it for a future dinner reservation.
Below one of six chandeliers that quote Giada's "I eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything".
The cocktail menu along with some appetizers is presented on a iPad. The cocktails are named after movies that her Grandfather Dino De Laurentiis produced.
Click on the photos to enlarge them if you want to see the ingredients in our cocktails.
Liz ordered wine and as usual ice for her wine. Her ice was served in a small bucket with tongs.
Teresa ordered the Hannibal which I thought was interesting enough to take a video:

Teresa liked it!

Monday, September 15, 2014

SLS Grand Opening Night and Room Photos!

SLS opened to the public at midnight on August 23rd, 2014! Photo below with the fireworks is from their page on Facebook.
Video of SLS Fireworks before they opened their doors to the public, courtesy of my friend SDguy1234! Ignore their comments about me, they were just bitter they didn't get VIP access. ;)

I was excited to cross off my bucket list a casino opening when we found out that my friend Gwen's Vegas birthday trip coincided with SLS's opening! Gwen arranged for our group (Barb, Ger, Teresa, myself, Terri,  Gator, Gwen and her Mom) to go in style in two Wynn Limos and thanks to her contact with a SLS casino host had arranged for the limos to let us off in the VIP entrance area and for us to enter 20 minutes before they opened their doors to the general public.
Even with the Casino VIP parking pass it was disorganized. SLS employees waved our limos around in what seemed to be circles even though Gwen had been given instructions for them to use the Paradise Entrance. However eventually we were cleared to go and were able to enter via a side door entrance.
As we walked to the casino area we passed some bars and a couple restaurants.
My first impression is that it's dark in the casino, much darker for example then Aria was when it first opened.
It wasn't crowded yet as most of the VIPS from the fancy dinner event we weren't invited to had either left or gone elsewhere on the property. There were a few people lined up to get "The Code" players card and others were having drinks at bars or standing around waiting to enter the casino.
I had signed up online to speed up the process of getting my player's card so of course I was the only one in our group that got the problem machine with the staff not knowing what to do and while the rest of our group received their player's card quickly I was last and just barely made it to them before midnight.
The sign in various locations warning us from trying to enter the casino early.
After the fireworks and the doors opening to the public.  I had other friends (Sdguy, Dproxima, and Brent) that were waiting outside with the crowds but the line was too long and they were only letting in so many people at a time so they went on to the Stratosphere to return later when the lines had died down a bit. They later told me when they did get inside to explore SLS they also weren't impressed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer of Birthdays Part Two-my birthday at Palazzo and Wynn-Summer Grazie Gift Show!

Part two of the Summer of Birthdays is about my birthday trip in July with my Mom and husband Randy. Mom came in from Fort Lauderdale and we both arrived on Thursday, July 10th and stayed at Palazzo for the first three nights. My husband Randy arrive on Saturday our last day at Palazzo before we switched to Wynn for the final two nights of the trip.

If you haven't read part one, Liz's birthday trip it's at this link:

http://www.lasvegasdaze.com/2014/08/summer-of-vegas-birthdays-trip-report.html

The cute graphic above was made by Sugar and posted on the Slot Fanatics message board for me.  I liked it so much I couldn't resist adding it to my trip report. Thanks Sugar!
To ensure I arrived before my Mom's flight I had to take a early morning flight out at 6:30am. Of course being me I arrived at the airport for my flight a bit earlier then I should have and ended up waiting with a few other people for the Southwest baggage counter to open up. Once I was checked in everything went smoothly and my flight was on time.
My Palazzo limo driver was waiting for me at baggage claim and I had arranged for Mom to be picked up by Presidential when her flight arrived a hour past mine so I was on my way to Palazzo immediately.

Normally VIP registration has my room ready and waiting but last trip I asked for a certain room number with Mom's room to connect to mine and while Mom's room was ready mine was not.  No worries I just checked in my luggage and played the slots for a bit.
A couple minor wins before Mom arrived on $5 Wheel of Fortune and $1 Quick Hit.
Mom sent me a text that she was on her way via her Presidential Sedan pick up so I decided to take a few minutes and go to the Venetian box office to pick up the comped tickets that Brian my host had arranged. Mom would be seeing Human Nature alone tonight since I had already seen it and wasn't ready to see them again. On Saturday both my husband and Mom would be going to see Panda which I had already enjoyed with Terri earlier this year. The seats they gave me at the box office were great as Mom had 2nd row center seats for Human Nature and for Panda they had front row seats!
After getting the tickets I went back to Palazzo to meet Mom at VIP services and since her room was ready we had both her luggage and mine delivered to her room. I ended up being able to check in to my connecting room a couple hours later. Below is the view we had from both rooms.
I waited for Mom to unpack and then we went for a early lunch at Delmonico's.  So early we were the first guests seated, LOL!
It was lobster week so we both ordered the special.
Service was fabulous at Delmonico's but then again we were their first customers and while other guests were arriving the restaurant wasn't full. The popovers this time weren't as good as usual so I only took a bite of mine while Mom ate only one. The pat of butter served with them was larger then the pop overs!
The Lobster Salad was fresh and we enjoyed it but it wasn't outstanding and I likely would order something else in the future if I'm there again during lobster week.
After lunch both Mom and I walked to Venetian from Delmonico's to play some slots while we waited for my room to be ready.
On my way to the Venetian High Limit room I saw Miss Kitty so had to stop and play it. I hit the bonus on Miss Kitty for a change fairly quickly which was nice, so took my win and ran!