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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.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring Time Meets and a Cosmo Wrap Around Suite Party!

Easy flight out of San Jose and it landed on time in Las Vegas where my driver Doug was waiting to whisk me off to Palazzo.
Upon arrival I went to the VIP Platinum lounge at Palazzo where my room was ready and as requested on a high floor, 47th in the 900 section with a view of the strip, and Mirage volcano. My room was not a handicapped room but once again I didn't have the step down into the living room area which I like.
After unpacking it was time to go hit some slots as this five night trip was full of activities with numerous friends who would be arriving today and later.
I first tried $1 Jungle Wild and lost a hundred on it and then tried the above slot that was next to it for a couple hundred and lost there too.
Went over to $1 Diamond Queen and continued my experiment from last trip in playing only 9 lines out of 20 and hit the bonus for a win of $360.00, which I don't think would have been that much more if I had been playing 20 lines! To see a video of this bonus and others go to my youtube channel at the link below. I don't want to embed the videos on this page as it seems to slow down things for readers with slower connections.

I tried a few more slots at Palazzo after my bonus on Diamond Queen but wasn't winning so walked over to Venetian's High Limit room where I immediately got lucky on $5 Cash Wheel hitting for $1000.00 when I hit the above seven's!
After that hit I tried the other $5 Cash Wheel next to it and very quickly hit the double pay spin for $700.00 and after a few more spins decided to cash out my ticket and move on to a couple more dollar slots like Sun and Moon.
Sun and Moon and the other dollar slots in Venetian's HL room let me down until I got a bonus on $1 Quick Hit for $287.00!
However my luck in the HL room had fled so I went outside to play one of my favorites the penny Walking Dead slot. Had a fun bonus on it for $128.00!

Around this time I had a text from Sandra who was staying at Palazzo and Wynn with her family and friends. Sandra and I had met on the SF message boards and then in person for the first time last summer during my birthday trip. We really hit it off so I was glad when she took a break from her family to meet up to play some slots for a hour. Had a great time but both of us had busy trips planned so this brief time would be our only chance to see each other until we both return to Vegas in July.
Sandra and I played several penny slots together. Both of us had some minor bonuses on the new Wizard of Oz, Road to Emerald City slot and Sandra had a decent bonus afterwards on Michael Jackson. However we had places to be and friends and family to see so we said goodbye and I returned to Palazzo to get ready to leave for dinner with Mike and Ken. On the way to the room to freshen up, I stopped at the $5 Wheel of Fortune Slot and was thrilled to get a spin on my first push, but it only ended up playing $175.00, still a good win since it was first push.
After changing my clothes I grabbed a cab to Aria as I was meeting Ken and Mike for dinner at Bardot.  It was a happy surprise when I arrived to find that Chris had walked over with Ken from Cosmopolitan to join us in a drink which ended up also joining us for dinner!
Bardot is a Michael Mina restaurant that recently replaced his American Fish. We were lucky and arrived there early for our reservation while Happy Hour was still going on so the four of us sat at the bar and had appetizers and drinks.
Chris had a sparkling wine from the Happy Hour menu, and both Ken and Mike went with the cocktail of the day that was gin based and very strong, or as the bartender described it a manly drink, LOL!
I decided to pay full price and ordered a cocktail not on the Happy Hour menu and went with the le Detroit, which had Bombay dry gin, Canton ginger liquor, green chartreuse, lime and cilantro. It was a pretty drink and tasty.
Ken and I ordered a few appetizers off the happy hour menu. Ken's macaroni au gratin.
My shrimp cocktail and Tarte Provencal during Happy Hour. The portions are larger if you order them off the regular menu.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Scientific Games Slot Company Tour Featuring Bally Technologies and WMS!

If it's April then it's time for The Shamus of Slots to arrange a slot company tour for the Slot Fanatics Message board.  Thanks Shamus! Big thanks to all the Scientific Games, Bally Technologies and WMS employees who were there to answer our questions!
My friend Boots and I were given a ride to Bally Technologies where the slot tour was held by Bill ( and his brother Nick. We were almost the last to arrive because we accidentally took a walk through one of the other Bally Technologies buildings across the street before learning we were at the wrong building!
After signing in and getting badges we entered a conference room where there was lots of food and drinks set up for our group.
Scientific Games now owns both Bally Technologies and WMS slot companies and while it's my understanding they will keep their own branding there is now a certain amount of consolidation going on which resulted in us being able to meet with all of them together.
We had a great question and answer period!  During that session I mentioned getting stopped for recording at Palazzo by a slot attendant and the answer I got via my casino host when I asked him to find out the official policy for me from one of the Venetian/Palazzo slot operation managers on why recording was not allowed there, was that the slot companies don't allow it. This is not correct, both Bally Technologies and WMS said they love when the slot bonuses are recorded and talked about on youtube!

Later Random$$slots made a suggestion to the companies that they publish a open letter by the game manufacturer's to the industry that players be allowed to record slot machines as long as no one is in the recording who hasn't given permission to be included, that table games aren't recorded and of course casino security features aren't caught on videos. So here's hoping that someone takes the lead on that in the future as currently there are only a handful of casinos who have entered the 21st century and are receptive to recording slot machine play and bonuses.
After our question/answer period which ran a bit over the time scheduled for it, we took a break to play the new and not yet released slot machines. We broke into three groups and entered several rooms filled with slot machines. The new Friends slot was there but I got distracted with other things and forgot to play and record it. Darn!
Some random photos of the various rooms with slots set up in them along with a few videos I took of slots that will be arriving on the casino floors in the future. Besides the main entrance there is a room full of WMS slots and then another one with Bally Technologies slot machines.
The Flintstone Slot Machine series will be releasing a 3 Reel format soon!

The main entrance now has a mixture of both Bally Technologies and WMS slot machines!
TwinFire a new slot that combines both Quick Hit and Hot Shot!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Giada Restaurant Revisited!

I had so much fun eating at Giada's last September with friends I was happy when it was decided we would eat there during the April Meet.

To read my previous opinions on Giada go to this link:
We grabbed a couple of taxis from Wynn and were at the Cromwell in about 5 minutes going the back way.
Above is Manette, Ken, Laurie and Mike.
It's Tuesday, April 7th and that means it's Laurie's birthday! Happy Birthday Laurie!
Also joining us for dinner was Cassie!
The regular menu, that all of us ordered from with the exception of Manette.
 I've had a few friends warn me off the tasting menu as not being worth the current price including Kevin and Judy who I had lunch with this morning, so I mentioned that to my friends but Manette decided to give it a try as it does sound good when you read about it.
All of us ordered drinks and while last time I was here I loved the La Strada this time I went with the signature drink the Giada cocktail. Notice it has a "G" monogrammed on top of the foam!
Ken ordered the La Strada that I enjoyed back in September.
Both drinks are great, though for my personal taste I will give a slight edge to the Giada Cocktail.
Like last year the complimentary bread was excellent. We had two round ramekins of focaccia, with cracker bread and breadsticks. Accompaniments were garlic puree, mascarpone lemon cream, pepper flakes, fried capers and pink Himalayan salt.