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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, October 15, 2010

Vegas with Mom at Palazzo and THEHotel in February 2010

It was the best of trips, it was the worst of trips. In no particular order here's why.

It was one of my best trips, because I was in Vegas showing my Mom what’s been going on there since her last trip, 9 years ago. (Photo of Mom with the Encore Peacock).

I really enjoyed meeting Kydds and his wife from the blonde4ever Vegas message boards.  Kydds, thanks for the drink at the new champagne bar at Palazzo and being patient while it took over 30 minutes for me to get set up with their pocket casino gaming device. 

Watching Donny and Marie at Flamingo put on a very entertaining show.

Terry Fator, second time I’ve seen him, great show and with some new material. Would be happy to go see him a third time and I will seldom do that for any show. I also got some cute short movies of his material. 

A man in the row behind us (we were DD center) was selected for this funny bit as a human puppet for a Cher and Sonny skit.

Love, was great. Everyone had their money refunded the first time I saw it with my husband and son due to the white sheet breaking down and them not being able to retract it. This time taking Mom everything went well and I now understand why everyone enjoys Love, the Beatles Cirque show.

Having fun with Socalgirl at Wynn, Encore and M resort. I can't thank Terri enough for picking me up and making the day fun. Terri, I also appreciate the drop off at the airport! I really enjoyed going to M resort, and it gave me a lot more play for my money then the strip. Found the airplane slot there and experienced a couple cute bonuses that paid about a hundred each. 

Had a terrific time learning to play Pai Gow at M resort with the exception the pit boss convinced us to leave for the airport about 30 minutes before we really had too, even though Terri kept telling him she didn't need that much time. No, they weren't trying to get rid of us, they really did like us. 

Great lunch with Terri at Wynn's, Terrace Point Cafe. The photo below is a photo of the club sandwich she ordered there.

 I had to try the lobster salad which was very good.
Mom getting a comp from Wynn as a new member for Society Café. Mom's spin of the wheel though only got her the $10 slot credit. We enjoyed our dinner at Society Cafe, but it wasn't as good I thought as the previous times I've eaten there.

Mom's Beet Salad at Society Cafe
My artichokes with chipotle sauce was very good.

The side of Asparagus was prepared well, though I would have personally preferred the stalks to be trimmed.
The bone in ribeye that the employee at the Wynn Player's Club suggested was fine but not as good as I was expecting after her glowing report.

Mom said her Ahi seared Tuna was alright, but not great.
The lady at the Red card desk also suggested I order this chocolate cake was it was filled with mousse and very light. It wasn't light, in fact it was very heavy and I was only able to eat a tiny bit of it. 
Mom's cheesecake creme brulee however was delicious!
While we were eating our dinner at Society Cafe the man next to us who was dining solo struck up a conversation and it turned out he had been one of the 4 finalists that day in the Wynn poker Tournament and the 4 of them had struck a deal just to split the money prize between them. Nice guy hope he made his plane that night back to northern, California as it was taking off in about a hour and he was just leaving the Cafe.

Getting a patio table at Olives, enjoying the fountains and a great dinner. The slingback cocktail at Olives, yummy.
Above is the bread that Olives serves along with olives and tapenade. Below is the lobster salad that both Mom and I ordered.
Both of us ordered the Seabass which was delicious but the photos came out too dark. You can sort of see it in this photo of Mom I took during one of the fountain shows.
A win on Fireball at Mandalay Bay for $800 and a good one on Kitty Glitter for about $400, thanks to a decent bonus and a couple good hits afterwards.
Hit a Life of Luxury Bonus at Mandalay Bay on the first push and thought my luck might be changing. Hit the Opal progressive twice during it. 
Dinner at Alex restaurant's at Wynn was wonderful, really enjoyed the food, atmosphere and service. Unfortunately I only had my Iphone with me.

Our Amuse at Alex.

Bread Basket at Alex.

Mom and I both had the seared sea scallops in brown butter but I neglected to take a photo of it. Fantastic scallop, certainly one of the best I have ever eaten!

Mom and I both had the filet mignon with gnocci which was perfectly prepared.

The complimentary panna cotta intermezzo we received while waiting for our desserts because the pastry chef was not happy with the way our desserts were coming out.

Mom's dessert was the toasted vanilla Brioche with apples and maple ice cream and worth the wait.

Alex also gave my Mom a dessert for her birthday, which was a wonderful light cake with mousse.

My dessert was the toasted marshmallow cream with dark chocolate and Godiva ice cream. I loved it!

The box of tiny macaroons they give you as you exit Alex turned out to be delicious and light the next day when we ate them.

The tasting menu at China Grill was good as always and the better deal then ordering ala carte, even if we have to leave most of the food uneaten due to their generous portions. Only showing the photo of the 3 salads they serve with it, as I have shown photos of the other parts of the tasting menu in previous trip reports.
Mom finally discovering that she enjoys gambling a little on the new video slots like Goldfish and Sex in the City. In the photo below we were playing next to each other at Mandalay Bay, and both hit the bonus at the same time.

Dining at Raffles at Mandalay Bay and discovering their champagne chicken salad with artichokes is excellent. 
 Mom also thought her French toast with berries was good at Raffles. 
For those of us who enjoy walking, we found it easy to get to Mandalay Bay from Mirage by doing the following:

Take the MB tram to Excalibur using the express that puts you on the walkway to NYNY. Enter NYNY, go down to casino and exit outside by the doors near 9 Fine Irishmen. Walk outside to the first door into Monte Carlo and into the casino, walk past the food court, almost to reception and take a right at the walkway of dreams (I think it was called this), follow it to the tram for Aria/Bellagio, and take the tram to Bellagio (If you want to go to Aria instead, don't take the tram, just follow the sign and you will enter Aria's casino toward the back). From Bellagio of course you will need to talk outside until you get to Mirage or wherever else you want to go on that part of the strip. We found it a nice walk when the weather is good.

Lunch at Red, White and Blue at Mandalay Bay was good. I enjoyed my lobster cobb, though it's not as good as one they used to have at THECafe and Mom liked her egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms and tomato coulis.

I enjoyed meeting Amber from Big Brother's 8th season. Unfortunately for Amber during her season she didn't come out portrayed very well, but I found her to be a very friendly efficient cocktail waitress at MGM.

The not so good: 
My husband getting sick and having to stay home instead of flying out to visit his family in Seattle. This also resulted in him not being able to make the Blonde3ever April Mega Meet due to him rescheduling his trip to Seattle for that time period.

The main bad was I had a very losing trip. I suppose I was due for one since I mainly play slots, but at least give me a little play for my losses. Venetian and Palazzo took my gambling budget for 2 days there in 4 hours. Wynn wasn’t much better, though I didn’t gamble but a couple hours there in my fruitless search for the Airplane slot. I later found out from the slot attendant they didn’t have it. Found it at Aria of all places but couldn’t get a bonus or any other sort of win on it, so donating a couple hundred to it in the fruitless search to see what it was like. 

Le Reve in my opinion was not as good as the first time I saw it with husband and son many years ago. I love the fire and water and surreal show back then as did my family. Mom and I both thought this version without the fire and the romantic surreal theme was very slow in parts.

Missing out on getting Garth Brook tickets Saturday morning at 8am because you could only buy them online or by phone and my cell phone didn’t cooperate with me or Wynn was just so bombarded I couldn’t get through in time to get good seats. Oh well, perhaps next time.

The comped meal at Society Café was generous but the food was not as good as I remembered and would have preferred to be back at Cut.

THECafe at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay has once again changed their menu and replaced my favorite salad with a greek shrimp salad that I didn’t like. 
Wine list at Alex was excellent but could have had a few more bottles under $100, most of the list are bottles well over $200. The Pinot Noir we ordered in the photo below was one of the least expensive bottles at $100.0

Finding out that housekeeping didn’t have a hairdryer in our suite at THEHotel until after Mom washed her hair and we ended up waiting for over 30 minutes to get one, after calling 3 times.

Hearing about the suicide of Marie Osmond's son.

Venetian/Palazzo's, pocket casino gaming device, in my opinion it sucks. I had a $20 free play offer for this gaming device but it wouldn't have been worth trying if it had been $100. 

I felt their staff in the high limit room at Palazzo really doesn't know yet how to process the paperwork (you have to give them a lot of information plus start it out with $100, though not spend the whole $100 through if if you decide not to) and it took over 30 minutes to get it set up. It's possible that the staff at the sports betting books knows how to do this better so anyone interested in trying pocket casino out I suggest you do it there. However, if you want to play video poker or some of the slots using pocket casino instead of just sports bets, you are stuck getting it from either the Venetian or Palazzo high limit rooms, or at least in February that's the way it worked. What else did I dislike about it? Well, it works in very few places within Venetian and Palazzo. When it does work it shuts off within 10 minutes of inactivity and to restart it up again is a pain as you first have to hope you are in a area with connectivity to it, you have to run your player's card on the back of it, also punch in your player's card number and password and it's just not a easy interface. It might work out well for sports bettors but for those who play video poker and slots, just go to the casino and play them, this device is not worth the effort in my opinion for anything other then sport bets.

Overall, I still had a wonderful time in Vegas and Mom is already talking about going back with me next year.

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