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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, October 11, 2010

Danny Gans, Terry Fator & slot tourneys at Bellagio & Venetian March 2009

We flew out of San Jose at 9:40pm on Southwest on March 24th. Thought I had a score when I got A-16 and 17 boarding passes. As we were waiting for our flight I thought perhaps that we had the wrong boarding gate because there was no one else waiting. Finally a Southwest employee starts announcing it's time to board, and his spiel goes like this: Diana, Randy, Russ, James, Shirley, Rhonda and Mary board the plane. That's right there was only 7 of us on this large plane, it was like a private flight! The captain came out and did his flight condition speech in person and introduced himself to everyone instead of doing it over the speaker. If it wasn't for the fact our plane had to be there in Vegas for a flight out in the morning, I'm sure our flight would have been canceled, so our first bit of luck. 

Arriving in Vegas at 10:50pm, the airport was very quiet. When we got to the luggage carousel our luggage was already waiting, but then it didn't take long to grab at the most 7 pieces of luggage from the plane and get it there. 

The taxi to Palazzo was uneventful as I told him exactly what route to take. Check in was smooth as they gave us a suite on the top floor which was the 50th, and overlooked the Wynn Golf Course. 


Normally I don't take our camera to Las Vegas as we have been going for so many years, but I wanted to be prepared to take a few photos of our mini-meet the next day at Grand Lux. 

After unpacking, it was about midnight so we went down to the casino and started hitting a few of our favorite machines. Of course they had to move our favorite Wolf Run or else they just took it out completely as we couldn't only find 2 Wolf Runs at Palazzo. This trip however no love from the Wolfies, our highest win on them was about $68.00 and when you are playing $4.00 a push, that's not good. That night before we went to bed around 3:00am, we did have some luck on Star Trek with a few bonus rounds and going on to Venetian we had some luck with Star Wars, Wheel of Fortune (the one outside the Grand Lux) and the Millionizer slots. By luck, I mean we broke even for the night.

Wednesday the 25th 

After 3 and half hours sleep we managed to stagger out of the room in time for the early morning (late) registration for the Venetian Tournament my husband was in, which was called "Follow the Rainbow". The invitation to this tournament was unusual in that it said we were allowed to invite a friend and their companion and they would also get a free 3 nights and 1 free entry into the tournament. Unfortunately the friends we thought were joining us for it, had a last minute emergency type situation come up and the extra offer went to waste. :( 

After signing up we went for breakfast at the Grand Lux which was good as always. Have to love the reasonable prices of the Grand Lux! My husband ordered the egg sandwich and it was divided into 2 halves both of which were huge, somehow he managed to eat most of it. image

Randy had his first slot session at 1:20pm, so we ended up playing the slots until then with little luck, though we had a nice run for a while at Venetian on the new Indiana Jones slots which has a community game bonus. A different version of the new Indiana Jones slots is also at that Palazzo. We also played the Millionizer slots and were up for a while on that, but it didn't last. We also continue to try various wolf run machines at the Venetian with the same results as the previous night. The first slot tournament session didn't go well for Randy, and we found out that this tournament had over 700 participants in it unlike the one in January that only had around 300. image 

After the tournament session we walked to Fashion Mall to the Wynn booth and used the ticket will call there for our Danny Gans tickets for that evening. Randy also picked up one of their scratch off tickets since he never turned one in the last trip and managed to pull the tab for a wheel spin. We then set off for the Wynn for DH to spin his way to that 20k free play but his luck staying true to form for the day resulted in a spin for ten dollars free play. Of course we tried the free play out in a wolf run not far from the red card desk, and a couple hundred soon followed that, but we never could get wolf run to hit for more then $50.00. 

Walking back to the Venetian where we were going to meet others from the Blonde4ever board for a mini-meet we stopped off at the Star Trek slots at Palazzo and finally managed to get some wins on a few bonus games for about $500.00. My rank is Lieutenant so we play the tribble level now and I prefer the pinball bonus over the tribbles. 

We got to the Grand Lux at the Venetian at 4:50 and as some of you already know from the mini-meet board, we didn't have any luck finding anyone there and finally left after waiting to 5:15. Randy's last slot tournament session of the day was next and he did a bit better then the first session but not by much so it's not looking good for him to be even among the first 50 (Venetian tournaments only have prizes for the first 50 places, or at least the ones we have been invited to so far). 

After going back to the room to change we walked over to the Encore and went to our front row center seats for Danny Gans. Front row at that theatre means your ticket starts with a B. Thanks to a post on these boards, I found out there was a offer on travelzoo for discount tickets for Danny for our dates so we saved about $25.00 per ticket. We really enjoyed watching Danny's show but a couple days later were thankful we saw his act first before Terry Fator's. Danny's material is more outdated then current but there's no doubt he has a great voice and he's entertaining. The band was also good and I like the theatre. I would recommend the show to anyone who hasn't seen him before, but it's likely not a show that I would return to unless I heard Danny had updated his material. 

We had dinner that evening at 9:30 at 
Cafe Ba Ba Reeba at the Fashion Mall. The restaurant was packed when we arrived but since we had reservations we got a nice table on the outside patio under a heat lamp.This was our first time trying this restaurant and we thought it had great food and reasonable prices. We had been drinking on and off all day so we decided to go with just individual glasses of the sangria which was so good I was sorry we didn't get at least half a pitcher to share. I had the passion fruit sangria and my husband the peach. I had the endive, blue cheese & walnut salad with quince preserves which was delicious and Randy had their Caesar salad which he liked. Since the restaurant is mainly tapas style, we shared a bunch of dishes. Among them the Garlic Shrimp which had a sauce we couldn't quit dipping our bread into and I normally don't eat bread, Serrano ham, and beef tenderloin which they set up on the table with a metal stand with the skewered beef hanging from it. Everything was delish and I would gladly go eat there again. They serve the tiny desserts there that comprise about 4 bites, so we ordered their apple crisp with ice cream, and 2 chocolate desserts, all were simply scrumptious. 

After dinner we went to Encore to play Zeus II and had some luck, lost what we won on that machine to Shimmer, Wolverton and then Wizard of Oz. Walked back to Palazoo and discovered a game called Stonehenge that plays a lot like Wolf Run and actually had some luck on it, so after gambling at least 7 hours today we ended up only down about $500.00. Of course we would have prefered to win.... 

Thursday the 26th 

We were happy to sleep in a bit today as my husband's final slot tournament session wasn't until 1:00pm. Went to brunch around 11:30, husband had his eggs, bacon, etc...and I had the crab cobb salad with their vinaigrette dressing on the side instead of the Louie since I'm not that fond of mayo based dressings. 


After brunch Randy went and completed his last tournament session which again went badly so we decided to skip the awards ceremony at the restaurant since due to the 700 people in this tourney they only would let the person entered in the tournament attend while last time in January at least you could bring one guest.

Previously to this year we didn't gamble much at Venetian and it wasn't until they started sending us free offers around the time Palazzo opened up that we gave them a bit of play so my guess is we are getting invited to the super low roller tournaments and in comparison to the one at Bellagio the Venetian tournaments come off as almost don't waste my time in Vegas. However we do love the suites at Palazzo so will likely continue to combine a visit there with one of our MGM/Mirage offers. We're now about 9k points from the grazie gold card so next trip should gain us that and then we'll see if they have better slot tournaments at that level.

After the tournament session we went to Bellagio to check in for our room and my Tango Dinero Tournament. Tonight we would still stay at the Palazzo and only take advantage of 2 or our 3 nights comped at Bellagio. Check in was smooth, we were given 11th floor overlooking the pools and we had a nice quiet section as I requested, well away from any construction noise from City Center. I was asked if I wanted a partial fountain view but as that put me in the tower near construction it was a no deal.

Our room was fine, but one of the smaller ones we have had at Bellagio. The view of the pools were nice I thought.

They sent us to a meeting room near the ballroom where we would have our tournament sessions and during registration showed us a lovely crystal vase made by Fabergé in a velvet lined blue box that we could take us our welcome gift or instead $100 free play. Since I already have a lot of crystal vases and most of them aren't in use, we took the free play which would be put on our card at the end of the tournament.

There was a machine that you ran your player card through and it did 3 spins of numbers for the machines I would play in the tournament. My first session would be on Friday at 2:40pm.
After registrating we went to see how lucky Bellagio was going to be for us and we played Hitchcock, Goldfish, the Emerald Eyes Hot Penny Slots, Monopoly Viva, Riches to Rome, Zeus and Stampede. Our luck all of a sudden seemed to be in as we started to get bonus games and wins. The best win came on stampede when we were playing max credits, got the stampede and instead of getting the lowest 2 progressives got the second from the top (can't recall what color cow that was) for $650.00. We ended up staying at Bellagio and recouping yesterday's losses until we got hungry for dinner around 7pm. Briefly feeling flush, which wouldn't last for long as we were going back to the Palazzo, Venetian and Wynn machines, we cabbed it to Wynn. 

We normally don't eat at buffets but we do like the one at Wynn and Randy had enough points on his red card for 2 free ones with line passes. I ate what I usually do when we visit the Wynn buffet and that was Alaskan King Crab, Shrimp,the Scallop coconut dish, and I tried a small piece of the sea bass and glazed salmon which was good. For dessert it was a small piece of their carrot cake and a small chocolate torte type dessert. 

What can I say, after dinner it was all down hill again gambling wise at Wynn, Palazzo and Venetian. There were a few hits but many more losses and the evening ended on a annoying note when we were playing the new Wizard of Oz slots, the one with the tornado and the theme is the wicked witch and of course they were packed as usual and there was a man sitting behind us at a group of machines and he wasn't playing just staring at us and the rest of the players so I assumed he wanted a machine. It made me uncomfortable enough that I told my husband lets go try something else and we cashed out the $77.00 we had left in the machine or so I thought. We had only walked past a few rows of machines when I asked my DH for the ticket and he hadn't taken it, he thought I had grabbed it, so we quickly sped back to the machine only to find the ticket gone and so was the man who had been staring at us the whole time. What really upset me is we hadn't had a drink for about 4 hours and were completely sober when this happened so I was feeling pretty stupid. Only good thing about it was the loss was only $77.00 and we didn't do it after one of our wins earlier in the day at Bellagio. 

At that point we called it a night since we were not winning and obviously needed a break if we were leaving tickets in the slots.

Friday, March 27th. 

Randy wanted to sleep in and since we had to check out at 11am from our lovely Palazzo suite, we didn't make it to Grand Lux for breakfast. image Check out using the TV was easy, so we were off and running with luggage to get a cab to Bellagio. Turns out you don't pick up cabs where we entered during check in but one floor down. 

Since we were already checked in to Bellagio we went directly to our room and unpacked. My first and only slot session for the day was at 2:40pm and the doors to the tournament didn't open until 1pm so unable to wait we went to Palio for a bite to eat. Unfortunately they don't sell the refillable travel mugs anymore though if you kept one from a previous trip and remember to bring it with you (we didn't remember) they will still fill up the old ones for free for you. I ended up ordering the matzo turkey sandwich and the inside of the sandwich was great, but the matzo bread/cracker was very dry, so doubt I would order it again. Randy got some sort of sandwich which I neglected to make note of, and a very large Cappuccino which he said was the best one he ended up having this trip. 

After eating it was time to hit a few machines and we found a 25 cent Stonehenge. Normally we don't bet $12.50 a push but that's the minimum bet you could make on this machine so we decided to run $100 through it. Got lucky on the third push and hit the bonus round which is very similar to Wolf Run's bonus. The first 3 spins were just average around $10.00 to $20.00 then to speed the machine on since it would ring up the credits rather slowly I hit the button to cycle through and accidentally stopped the machine as it went into the spin on its own and ended up with a screen full of wilds for a win of $789.00! This perked us up quite a bit, we cashed out and went on to try a few more our of favorites, Hitchcock, Goldfish, just our usual suspects that I've already mentioned. We were getting lucky hitting some bonus rounds on the machines but couldn't repeat my accidental win and win amounts were low. 

It was now about 20 minutes before my tournament time so we went to the ballroom and everything was decorated with a Spanish theme, from the walls, to the announcer in Matador costume to the buffet stations. The open bars had great drinks and also both red and white sangria's which were delicious. 


In addition to the meats there were tables set up with desserts, salads and coffee/tea stations. My slot tournament session was fun, machine 5 wasn't as bad as some as I got 10,800 points for my first round, but I also saw a couple people during my session that had over 14,000 points, so while not as bad as DH's session at Venetian it wasn't looking too promising. 

Here's a photo of Randy enjoying his Margarita. 


Since this was my only session of the day we ended up playing more slot machines and mainly breaking even for the day (yes our win went that quickly), until it was time to change and take a taxi to the Mirage for the Terry Fator show! 

We had about 30 minutes before the show we tried our luck at Mirage and that was up and down, with us having a brief lucky streak at a bonus poker machine and then deciding to play some $5 Top Dollars. Actually hit a bonus on the $5.00 top dollar and was disappointed that our top offer after we cycled through all 4 of them was only $110.00. 

Our seats for Terry Fator was row FF seats 11 and 12. Great seats in the center and able to see Terry perfectly. The show started 10 minutes late, mainly I suspect because they were seating some last minute people a few rows behind us. I can't say it enough, go see Terry Fator! Splurge and get the good seats since if you can't see him up close and personal and have to resort watching the screens you almost might as well wait and see him on TV. 

We thought he was hilarious and so did the rest of the audience. It was very clear that evening that the audience loves his show and even in this economy Fator will be sold out when other shows are struggling. Surprisingly he did make a couple mistakes once confusing his voice with one of his puppets and vice versa, however one could never see his mouth move at all. Halfway though the show Terry introduced Barry Williams who played Greg Brady in the Brady bunch. Then Fator explained to everyone that he was nervous due to someone else being in the audience and that's how the mistakes happened. The man Terry was a big fan of was Jerry Lewis who stood up and got a lot of applause. Jerry looked better then the photos of a few years ago when he was bloated from medication but he did look frail. 

After that there was still about 30 minutes of material by Terry but the show ended up running long because at the end he introduced 2 singers from Starship who were visiting him that weekend, Mickey Thomas and one of the lead lady singers whose name I forget (wasn't Grace Slick). They sang about 5 songs, among them Sara, Nothing's going to stop us now and We built this City. At the end of the show as we were walking up the stairs and Barry Williams and Jerry Lewis were being escorted down, they would stop and shake everyone's hands. I ended up shaking hands with Jerry as my husband was shaking Barry's. 

After the performance Terry Fator is outside in an area to pose for photos and sign books and things. From what he said at the end of the show he will stay as long as there's anyone who wants a photo or something signed. Unfortunately we had a dinner reservation at 9:30 at Olives and since it was 9:25 we had to leave. This is one show I would see again so perhaps next time, I'll remember my camera since he's the only performer on the strip I know of that will allowed you to take photos during his performance. 

Olives is a tradition with us, and we always wait to sit on the patio so I can enjoy the fountain shows. This time we only had to wait 10 minutes for our table even though the patio was packed. While DH usually orders a Margarita tonight he joined me in ordering the peppered Mary with extra olives with hot peppers in them. I ordered the pan seared scallops on the server's recommendation and they were great but the winner of the evening was my husband's Mahi Mahi with shrimp risotto. For dessert we shared the vanilla souffle which was fantastic! 

After dinner we continued to play the slots before going up to bed, and while we weren't losing a lot like at Venetian, Palazzo and Wynn, we were winning at this machine to lose it at another so we while we ended up a few dollars for the day it wasn't much. 

Saturday- March 28th

Woke up and went to the Bellagio Ballroom for the breakfast buffet they had for the slot tournament. Food was good, with eggs, Chorizo sausage, bacon, waffles, fruit and some other food items that I can't recall now.

My 11:40am slot session was on machine 23. My slot session was a little less then the first one and my score was 10,117. The gentleman next to me said his first session had been a bit over 14,000 but this round he only did about 8,000. During the session the Matador dressed announcer would come by and give my back a rub, unfortunately it didn't seem to help my luck. 

We left the ballroom and went to the casino to see how our luck would be today and again we were hitting a lot of bonus rounds on various slots, but wins were average for the most part, so mainly staying even for the day. 



At 2:40pm I had my last tournament session on machine 50 and the most points so far for me at 11,200. We stayed to eat lunch because once again they had a nice luncheon buffet set up and as I watched the next session machine 50 gave the lady on it 14,800 points!

The award ceremony was at 5pm so while waiting for it we went back to the casino again with the same results, lots of little wins enough to stay even so far for the day. At 4:50pm we went back to the ballroom and for the award ceremony they didn't have any refreshments available. This is the opposite from the Venetian tournaments that don't give you any refreshments until the award ceremony. I prefer the Bellagio way of doing things and next time they invite me to a slot tournament like this one I'll be doing my best to attend. The winning score for the tournament was over 40,000 points and they only announced the winners of the first 5 places, so we had to check my player's card after wards to see what I won. I was hoping I might be somewhere in the first 100 players who after 10th place received 250 free play, but I guess I didn't make it as I only found 250 free play on my card and since we had selected to receive 100 free play instead of the vase, then I must have been in the 101-300th place range. At the award ceremony they did announce that they were extending the $150 free play to everyone since they had more then 300 players so I guess theoretically I could have come in past 300. Regardless of not winning the big money, I really enjoyed my tournament experience at the Bellagio.

After the awards we had to run back to the room to change for dinner. This was the evening we were joining our friends at their hotel the Golden Nugget. RJ is a girlfriend of mine that I met through one of the social groups I belong to and she retired from the high tech industry last year and enrolled in wine school to become certified as a Sommelier. RJ and her husband Marty go to Vegas more then we do, but for shorter trips, usually at least once a month or more, for one or two nights and they always stay at the Golden Nugget where every single employee seems to know them. Since RJ had just passed her final exam and had become an official Sommelier they had invited us to celebrate with them at Vic and Anthony's.

Exiting the Bellagio we encountered the longest taxi queue line I have seen for quite a while as there was at least 50 people standing in line. Finally after about 10 minutes or more wait we were off on the taxi ride from Hades as we managed to get a driver that first thanked god (literally) out loud for getting a fare to the Golden Nugget. Then when he asked where we were from I made the mistake of answering honestly and he was off and running since he used to live in our area, then my second mistake when he asked why we were going to the Golden Nugget was to tell him we were celebrating my friend RJ's retirement from X named company and becoming a Sommelier and it turned out he used to work for that tech company in quality control and for the next 10 minutes it was a non-stop lecture on his complaints about them. Whew!

Arriving at the Golden Nugget we joined our friends in their suite. While we have met up with them in Vegas before it has always been on the strip where DH and I like to hang out, but now I understand why they continue to give Golden Nugget their play (RJ plays slots but her husband plays craps). Their suite was 2 stories. They had a huge living room, dining room, bath and bar area on the bottom floor and then a winding staircase up to the bedroom and master bath. We toasted RJ with the bottle of Dom Perignon champagne that their host provides each visit. I enjoyed the champagne as it's been quite a few years since I had it and believe me my play doesn't provide that from our MGM/Mirage hosts.

Dinner at Vic and Anthony's was delicious. RJ ordered a Grand Cru Cabernet Sauvignon to go with our steaks but I can't remember what winery or year. My spinach salad was one of the best I've had, the steak was cooked perfectly and I really like the way they season their asparagus. Even though I seldom venture off the strip I would return to Vic and Anthony's. RJ ordered a dessert wine that was $45.00 a glass because the master Sommelier who taught her class had recommended it to the class. The name escapes me, drat, but it was wonderful, pale gold, not as heavy as port and had a light taste of honey. Since I'm the only one of the four of us who drinks dessert wines, after everyone had a taste it was all mine. Their host picked up the dinner for all of us and we ended up getting players cards for the Golden Nugget from him.

After that Dh and I hit the slots with RJ, while her husband went off to his office, the craps table. The Golden Nugget had all the theme type slots we enjoy playing. Star Wars, WOF, Star Trek and many others of that type. Unfortunately I was picking machines just so RJ and I could sit and chat together and had even worse luck then at Venetian, Palazzo and Wynn. The Nugget slots managed to suck down $500.00 in about 40 minutes! Who said the downtown slots were looser then the strip? 

After a tour of the pool area with the fish/shark tank in the center and looking at the gold nuggets on display we left and went back to the Bellagio where we went to bed early around midnight.

Sunday, March 29th. 

We slept late until about 10:30am, then packed. While DH was still arranging things in his suitcase I ran down to the player's card desk where I got the grumpiest host I have ever spoken too. Not sure how much those tournaments count toward your comps but it must have been a lot since she wouldn't comp Olives or Palio's off and normally they do that for me and we played as much as usual. Oh well. 

Off we went to Mandalay Bay which is the first time we have stayed in one of their rooms. While Mandalay Bay is one of my DH's favorite casinos, we usually stay at THEHotel. However, Mandalay Bay was offering $350.00 free play for our 2 nights there and a free airflight voucher back to Vegas and we had heard the renovated rooms were nice, so decided to try them. 

We had a new taxi driver and he managed to let us off on the wrong level for Mandalay Bay registration so we had to use the elevators after we found them to go down a floor. At 11:30am the invited check in and all registration lines were full, there was a Prudential Insurance convention staying there, oh joy. Once up at invited check in the lady asked me if I wanted strip or pool view and I said (big mistake) the view doesn't matter so long as it's a very quiet room. 

Off we go to the room and it didn't have either pool or strip view but airport view and noisy jets flying nearby. Drat, never had this problem with THEHotel. Not liking the room but hungry we run off to THECafe for our traditional Eggs Benedict for DH and Lobster Cobb salad for me. I love that salad, it has a whole lobster tail, avocado, bacon, hearts of palm, various lettuces and a light dressing. THEhotel usually has good rolls and cracker bread too. It's not that bad a price really considering the amount of lobster and normally our host Tina always comps any meals at THECafe at the end of the trip. 

After we ate I went to the player's card desk to get our free play put on the card and asked if that was where I get the airfare voucher and the guy tells me invited check in should have given it to me. Going back to registration for both the airfare vouncher and to find out if we can get a different room we see the lines are longer then ever. Deciding to go try our luck at the casino and come back later we are on our way out when I see the VIP lounge. Some of our MGM/Mirage casinos always tell us to check in there, NYNY, Luxor and TI but never THEHotel nor did Mandalay Bay, but I decide to give it a try anyway. Turns out they didn't bat an eye and for the rest of the 2 days we were in and out of there taking advantage of the free drinks and service. The host at VIP services gave me the airplane voucher and also gave me a room with a strip view. Unfortunately while it was a strip view as you will see it was still on the far edge of the airport and sometimes you could still hear the planes, but it was still much better then the first room. 

The room itself and bathroom were nice, though I prefer THEhotel. What will make us in the future always stay at THEhotel over Mandalay Bay is their elevator system is a nightmare, and seems to stop at every floor and is always crowded, something that never happens at THEHotel where we have stayed about 10 or more times in the past. 


Time to hit the casino and try our luck with our free play. Last labor day, the Monday after the holiday we played $300.00 free play to $3400.00 at Mandalay Bay, but not this time. I think we took about $100.00 cash out of it playing various machines and then the $100.00 went quick. Grumbling about more bad luck like at Venetian/Palazzo we try a few other machines. Hmmm, down about $300.00 for the day now. We decide to walk over to the Luxor to see if our luck will be better there and on the way to the walkway by the Mandalay Shoppes is a past favorite of ours HexBreaker 2. DH decides to put $100 in it and pushes the button for max ($4.00) and hits a bunch of wilds for a win of $550.00. Ah, finally a bit of love again from Mandalay Bay. 

We decide to go over to the Luxor anyway and we play Aliens, Wizard of Oz and a bunch of other machines and have a nice run of hitting bonus games and are now up about $700.00 for the day. At this point we sit down at Stampede and hit the bonus and win both the first 2 lower bonuses together! This was because we were at 2 each for those cows and then our last spin hit one of each cow, lucky win for about $150.00 I thought. Then I look at the credits and it's not nearly that much so I'm thinking the machine cheated us somehow and decide to go get dress for dinner. Later we learned that of course the machine didn't cheat us but since max bet was higher on this slot then the Bellagio one we weren't playing max credits for some reason and didn't notice the fine print that stated you only got the full amount of the progressives if betting max, if not just partial, <Duh!>. 

Dinner tonight was at China Grille. I really wanted to try the spring seasonal 3 course menu that was advertised for Aureole but they were closed both Sunday and Monday. Too bad because it was a bargain price at $55.00 a person. We have gone to China Grille before and enjoyed it and last September after a Styx concert at House of Blues, we were eating there after the show when several members from Styx came in and ate dinner. Since my husband was wearing his Styx T-shirt they noticed it and were very nice to us. 

We decided to get the tasting menu and it was actually more at $72.00 per person then the Aureole 3 course dinner we missed. Everything was excellent though, the food and service. Way to much food with the China Grille tasting menu. They started with an amuse Bouche that was sushi which we don't eat and we thanked them for it but said we would prefer to skip it and start on our first course. Well, they insisted on fixing something else and the next amuse bouche was 2 small chicken skewers with peanut sauce, very tasty. 

We had asked to substitute the crackling calamari salad in the tri-star salad with a lettuce one with hearts of palm, in addition the other 2 salads were Caesar and Confucius Chicken salad. All three where really good. After that they brought out appetizers of Spicy Beef and Scallion Dumpling and Lobster pancakes. Then it was a delicious shot glass of champagne with strawberry sorbet to cleanse the palate. 

For entrees, they gave us Grilled Szechuan Beef and Grilled Garlic Shrimp with black fettuccine. The veggie sides were Crispy Spinach, and while it was to be a choice between the fried rice or wasabi mashed potatoes they brought out both. This of course was way too much food though it was delicious and most of the rice, potatoes and fettuccine were left. 

We honestly didn't think we could eat dessert but they insisted on bringing out this chocolate type mousse cake which was so light and delicious we ate the whole thing! 

Waddling out we decide we need to walk, and walk we do that night to NYNY, Excalibur, Luxor and back to Mandalay Bay. The rest of the night until we went to bed we were getting very lucky with bonuses, having lots of fun, racking up a lot of player points but it seemed we could never get more then about $800.00 ahead and that was for the day not the trip.

Our final day we had dinner at Craftsteak and had a better day at the slots but the trip report goes AWOL at this point as I didn't finish it due to a emergency with our son which also curtail most of our trips to Vegas for a bit until he was recovered.

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