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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 7, 2011

Las Vegas Halloween Stumble Trip Report

This was a last minute trip to Las Vegas due to me telling the organizer of the Slot Machine Forum's Halloween Stumble Meet that I would attend if I won 20k on my earlier trip to G2E in Vegas this month. The improbable happened and if you want to read about that trip and win, here's the link:
My husband wasn't able to join me again this trip due to work but was  kind enough to get up early and drive me to the San Jose airport on Saturday the 29th. Security was speedy and since I had a couple hours until the flight left I had breakfast at the airport Chili's restaurant. The egg, bacon, avocado quesadilla above was really tasty but huge, I had to leave two thirds of it.
The flight to Vegas was smooth but crowded. I didn't have much of a wait for luggage and soon I was in the Palazzo limo arriving at the VIP check in desk. My room was on the 33rd floor of Palazzo and had the typical view of Treasure Island.
The suite was in good shape, though I found out when I went to check my bill the last evening of the trip that both televisions weren't working correctly. For those who might be wondering how the offers are at Grazie these days, they seem to be coming back for mid-level gamblers. My upfront offer was 3 nights in a suite, $600 free play and dinner for 2 at Venetian's Valentino restaurant and since I'm platinum level it also included limo transport to and from the airport.  Current offers from them online are very similar to this one, though some include slot tournaments and there's a offer for New Year's Eve with dinner, dancing and entertainment by Huey Lewis and the News.
While my husband remembers room numbers, I can sometimes get confused so lately I have resorted to taking a photo of the room number with my cell when on a solo trip.
After unpacking I headed down to the casino where I first stopped and played the Hangover slot. I played a bit of Hangover this trip and had some bonuses but most of the time picked badly during them and ended up with the cash payout bonus instead of a fun one like Mr. Chow's below.
I played a few more penny slots including the new Joker's Heist which was a disappointing slot as far as pay outs are concerned, but just continued to lose so I made my way over to Venetian's high limit room where my luck started to change!
I started out playing the $5 Pinball at 3 credits and hit a Pinball fairly quickly that paid out $450.00 which recovered my previous losses.

I moved over to the next $5 Pinball machine that was also 3 credits and hit a Pinball that paid $925.00!
The third Pinball machine in Venetian's HL room is a $5 that takes 2 credits and I also hit Pinball on this for $325.00. I'm now feeling like I'm on a streak and while earlier there was a man sitting at my $1 DaVinci Diamonds who had been waiting for a hand pay on it, he left and I decide to see if my beloved DaVinci wants to welcome me back to Vegas. Unfortunately it didn't want to do anything for me but since I was flush with my Pinball winnings I decide to give $1 Wolf Run a try. Each trip we like to run a few hundred through the $1 Wolf Run, but being a highly volatile slot we have never won much on it if anything. This trip it surprised me 3 pushes in with a bunch of wolves and a hand pay of $2400.00!
I immediately called my husband to tell him I'm now about $3400 ahead and I'm going to be careful and either come home a winner or at least with the bankroll I left home with! ;) The best laid plans and all that, yeah....
I decide to continue in the high limit room since my luck seems to be with me and I try $1 Cleopatra. I have a couple decent hits on it but can't get the bonus. Then I start to play really risky and try the high limit slots that I've always wanted to but was smart enough to stay away from.  I tried $1 Stonehenge at $50 a push for a few hundred, next up was $1 Sex in the City at $50 a push and then finally some $1 Goldfish at $33 a push, none of these sessions ended well and I'm not longer $3400 or so ahead, but instead about $1800.00. At this point it's time for me to head out to Cosmopolitan for the evening.
A couple friends of mine Loser and Kydds were in the Cosmopolitan million dollar slot tournament and the awards event was tonight. My friend Steve (Loser on SMF and Blonde4ever) had invited Terri and I to go with him. Terri had some delays today and couldn't join us until after the event, but I headed out to Cosmo to meet Steve. We met up in the high limit room where I had just lost $200 on my favorite $1 DaVinci Diamonds, the one that paid out $5,000 to me last March.
Steve suggests a high limit pull between the two of us where we combined either $500 or $1000 each. I said lets do $500 each because my luck seems to be fading. We each started out by putting $300 in the machine of our choice and playing it. Steve selected a reel slot and I think it was $25 a push. A couple times it looked like it might hit but before long that money was gone. I played $1 DaVinci Diamonds and hit for a thousand so we split that and got our original amount back and then took the remainder to a couple other slots where we lost it.
Walking to the last slot that Steve was to play during our high limit pull I ran into Brian another friend of mine who was staying at Cosmo!
As Brian and I were hugging I asked who his entourage was as there was a group of 5 women surrounding him. Brian looks around and replies he has no idea who they are, as the ladies giggle and ask Steve to take their photo with Brian.
Brian had brought three costumes with him for Halloween and I thought this one of him in drag was fabulous!  Brian was on his way to meet up with friends so we made plans to see each other later in our trip and I went off with Steve to play some penny Kitty Glitter.
Since I haven't been able to hit a bonus on the 4 screen Kitty Glitter in about 5 months, I was happy to get the bonus and hit for $259.20. What made it perfect is Steve hit the bonus on his Kitty Glitter slot next to me too. For all you Kitty Glitter fans out there, I was disappointed that both Venetian and Palazzo have removed them from their casinos.
After Kitty Glitter we headed off to the room for the awards event for Cosmopolitan's 1 million dollar slot tournament. On hand under guard and plexiglass was the 1st place prize of $500,000.00!
While I was tweeting about the event two nice looking guys came up to me with one of them holding out his cell and asked is this your tweet. When I replied yes, he told me what a fan he was of this blog, which was great to hear! Really what was the odds of one of my readers finding me at one of the slot tournament events, especially when there were several hundred people or more in that room?
The Halloween theme of the slot tournament was done well and in various sections of the rooms there were glassed in windows with lovely ladies in costumes striking poses.
There were open bars at the reception plus a large variety of desserts.
A older woman was the winner of the $500k and of course she was quite happy about it.

Kydds wasn't at the awards event as he was with his wife's slot tournament award dinner at MGMGrand, but I think both him and Steve won some free play from the Cosmo tourney.
It was past 9pm now and Steve had to get back to his wife and kids who were waiting to eat dinner with him. Terri had just arrived so they briefly got to say hi before Steve had to take off. I had just had texts from both Ken (Cennpenntraveler) from the SMF (slot machine forum) and Kydds that they both had arrived at Cosmo and while Terri and I waited to meet them, I snapped a few photos of people in costumes.
While waiting we ran unexpectedly into Dan (Dhort) and his wife Maureen (MammaCat) who were staying at Wynn but had just finished dinner at Holsteins. Before long we had a nice little group of us there, Ken, Kydds, Dan, Maureen, Terri and myself and I forgot to take any photos!
After a chat Ken headed off to try his gambling luck at Cosmo, Dan and Maureen to head back to Wynn and Terri and Kydds were kind enough to join me at The Henry restaruant because I had forgotten to eat anything other then my 9pm breakfast and a dessert at the awards event.
I had the "Henry" salad with hearts of palm, shrimp, baby beets and goat cheese which was good. I was half way through eating it before I remember to take a photo.
Terri and I shared the spinach artichoke dip which was tasty and typical of that kind of dip.
Kydds kept busy while I ate. All of us love our smart phones. :)
During my Cosmopolitan visit and later at Venetian/Palazzo that evening I saw tons of cute costumes but neglected to take photos of many of them thinking I would see plenty more the next 2 days, but silly me the majority of the costumes I saw was on Saturday evening so I missed a lot of photo ops.
I thought the couple at the next table to us had cute costumes!
After I ate we caught up with Kevin's wife Judy and had a nice chat before Terri drove me back to Palazzo.
We headed over to Venetian's high limit room because I wanted to see if my beloved $1 DaVinci Diamonds wanted to give me anything and I was quite happy when it gave me a hit of $560.00
The lucky streak continued when shortly after that I go another for $510.00.
Also immediately after the hit for $510, I hit this hand pay for $1200.00! After my hand pay things went downhill in the Venetian high limit room as Terri wasn't doing well on Top Dollar and the pinball slots were just eating my cash.
Terri spotted a new penny Bally slot she wanted to try that had sticky wilds in the bonus so we played them for a while at max which was $2.50 a push and I finally hit the bonus for $258.50 on Baccus gold,while Terri also hit the bonus on her slot.
I then went around to the other side of the bank that had a game with the same type of bonus and its bonus was $149.25. Terri then found some reel type slots she wanted to play so I walked down to the new Journey to Oz community game and had some fun on it when I hit a bunch of lions for $540.00, betting max.
After that I had a couple other low hits and since it wasn't giving me any bonuses I left with Terri and we walked back to Palazzo.
Terri decided to play some DaVinci and Treasures of Troy and I wasn't having any luck in that area so I decided to play the new Batman slot. I ended up with a active slot that hit the bonus regularly but the pay outs were so low that by the time I hit the next bonus I was just basically staying even.
It's a fun slot when the bonuses are coming but I don't see where the bet is worth what I'm seeing so far as the pay out even if the slot is in win mode.
Meeting up with Terri I found she was having some luck so I wandered off to try my luck with the $5 WOF and finally got a half decent bonus on it of $400.
I think Terri stayed with me until 3am and I finally went back to the room at 4am where I couldn't fall asleep until around 5am, which didn't bother me since I was planning on sleeping until noon or so. When I went to bed I was about $1600.00 ahead for the trip.
I woke up around 11am due to cell beeping so was out of room around noon. Last time I ate at Zine Noodles at Palazzo I said it would be the last time, but once again they sucked me in with their coupon for $20 off a $50 bill. This is the last time I eat there regardless if I have a coupon or if it's completely free. The shrimp tempura was all breading, I was hard pressed to find much shrimp in it so didn't eat it after I broke open the first piece. I will give credit to my server that he noticed and offered to replace it.
The pan fried chicken dumplings above were fine, but really no better then the frozen ones I buy at Trader Joe's and cook at home.
The Chilean sea bass with zucchini, tofu, garlic and enoki mushrooms was good at Zines.
To bring the bill up to $50 for the use of the coupon the server recommended the crispy pancake for dessert. It was good, but not outstanding. To be fair to Zines Noodles every time  I have eaten there the service has been excellent, unfortunately that doesn't make up for over priced food that's just not up to the quality I expect these days on the strip. 
After eating I decided to give the new Joker's Heist slot another chance as I had played it briefly the day before and been unimpressed. Lucky me (not) I hit the Sonic Wave bonus for a win of $8.40 on a $2.70 bet. After that bonus along with the couple bad ones I had yesterday I wrote off the Batman and Joker's Heist slots.

Moving on to the Venetian to visit the high limit room, I passed the Ringling Bros and Bailey Slot penny slot and decided to give it a brief try.  I hit the above bonus almost immediately which was a lot more generous then Joker's Heist.
As I was playing I was talking to EastUpper3 on Twitter and while yesterday the pennies and five cent wasn't where I was having most of my luck EastUpper3 mentioned his past luck on the five cent DaVinci so I decided to give them another try as I was walking past one.
This turned out well as my $70 ticket I put in ended up over $800.00 after some nice hits like the ones above and the one below.
Luck seems to be with me so it's time to visit the Venetian high limit room, where I find DaVinci and Pinball do not want to give me anything today. I look around and spy the $5 Double Triple Diamond Deluxe with Cheese slot. I tried this slot with my husband earlier this year but wasn't playing the max of $15 a push and when I got lucky and hit the bonus, it only paid credits instead of going into the bonus round, lesson learned! This time I played max credits and hit the bonus for  $1200.00, my 3rd and last hand pay of the trip.
Feeling like a winner, I start playing some $5 Wheel of Fortune and Top Dollar slots only to start burning through my winnings way too quickly. Time for something different so I walk over to Wynn.
Once at Wynn I walk over to their high limit room but discover it's closed for renovations and most of their high limit slots have been moved to the area outside of the room where they already had dollar, five and ten dollar slots. I decide to give Terri's favorite $10 Top Dollar slots a try at $20 a push.
I'm feeling lucky as I get a few Top Dollar bonuses but the bonuses at $250 and $150 feel a bit disappointing on a $20 bet especially since my original offers were higher then those but the lousy slot told me my best deal was to try again, it lied to me twice! Lesson learned,  I finally hit one for $450.00 and ignored the slot machine's advice and hit take offer. After that things go south with the $10 Top Dollar and it's time to move on.
While I'm trying my luck with Wynn's $5 Wheel of Fortune, $1 DaVinci Diamonds and $5 Pinball and finding it not there as I lose all my winnings, I see a older man with a good looking younger woman going from one high limit slot to the next with a slot attendant trailing after them. Seems he is playing at such a high level that whenever he has a win on one of the slots it's a hand pay and the attendant has been assigned to him so he doesn't have to wait more then it takes to sign the form before continuing to play.
After the high limit slots I try the penny slots at Wynn but I don't have any luck with Wicked Winnings II, Black Widow, Tarzan or Buffalo so I decide to walk back to Palazzo, as once again I'm not a winner at Wynn. Okay, I did win at Top Dollar so perhaps it's more my fault and not the Wynn casino that I left a loser. As I walking out I noticed a large group with suitcases standing around the entrance to the casino looking rather lost and no one seems to be helping them.
Back at Palazzo I return to playing the penny and five cent slots only to be annoyed when I get a bonus on five cent DaVinci Diamonds playing $5 a push that only paid around $20.00.
I spot the game at Palazzo that Terri and I liked last night with the sticky wilds and win $501.75 on it when I hit the bonus. I really like this new slot by Bally but I was very lucky getting the bonuses I got as it was easy to sink a hundred or more into them before the bonus hit, if it even hit.
The photo above of my Baccus Gold Bonus win at Palazzo was the last time I could get a bonus on these sticky wild slots by Bally and it wasn't for lack of trying! It was now time to walk to Venetian to meet some of the Halloween Stumblers from the Slot Machine Forum for dinner at Grand Lux at 7pm.
Gene (GoldenGreeke) did a great job organizing our dinner at Grand Lux that evening. Above is a few of us waiting for the rest of our group before we are seated. Below is Ting, Gene and Ken.
Love the photo below of Wickedcl (Caroline), Gene, his wife Sharon and his daughter Cindi!
Angela (twinslotaddicts), Gene and Kadia.
 Ting and Irisheyes.
Ken (CPT) and Marc (MJLDynamo)
Mike (Dragonslayer), Diamond49 and Al (Rambler) who is Irisheyes husband.
Dinner at Grand Lux was a blast. Great company, good food, lots of laughs!
I took a lot of food porn at Grand Lux so those who haven't eaten there so far can have a idea of what the food at least looks like.
So far I've never had anything at Grand Lux I haven't enjoyed. Some of this we'll have to take a guess at what it was because I no longer recall what everyone ordered.
Portions at Grand Lux are always generous.
Service was excellent at Grand Lux even though we were a large group they did a great job!
While we were eating Ken (CennPennTraveler) did some live streaming of our dinner for the slot machine forum.
I'm not sure who had the pasta dish above, but all of a sudden I'm craving spaghetti for dinner tonight.
Seriously getting hungry as I upload all these photos from Grand Lux at Venetian. The dish above is likely the Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken.
I'm pretty sure that's the fried chicken that Gene was saying was very crispy and delicious.
All the Grand Lux Salmon dishes I've had in the past have been tasty and the one above looks good. I believe it's the Mizo glazed salmon.
Someone had the Sonoma Chicken Salad that I frequently order for brunch. One of my favorite Grand Lux salads!
Above is the chicken cobb type salad that Grand Lux serves.
 Manhattan chopped salad with chicken and shrimp I ordered. Delicious as always! Along with this I had a delicious blood orange mojito. As I had invited Gene and his family to share my limo the next morning to the Halloween Stumble breakfast at Golden Nugget, Goldengreeke generously paid for my dinner as a thank you. Thanks GG!
Above is the Grand Lux Caramel Chicken always a delicious entree to order.
Last photo is Chicken Piccata and it looks great.
After dinner most of the group left for a tour with Gene of the Venetian while a couple others like me left to gamble. This turned out to be a mistake for me because I went back to the Venetian high limit room and lost about $500 of my winnings.

When I left the high limit I tried those Bally slots with the sticky wilds but after $200 there I gave up and walking past the older Dukes of Hazard slots on my way back to Palazzo I stopped to play one. No luck either on Dukes of Hazard and as I was getting up to leave the gentleman on my left said good luck and I realized I had been sitting next to Mike (Dragonslayer)!
Back at Palazzo I'm texting Terri while losing and it's looking like I'm on a path to give back everything I won when I finally had some luck again and won $984.05 playing Aztec Temple. I play a few more slots but I'm just losing so I decide to go to sleep early at midnight before I lose all my winnings.
The next morning the alarm wakes me at 6am because I need to meet Gene, Sharon and Cindi downstairs so we can go over to the Halloween Stumble breakfast at Golden Nugget that is scheduled for 8am. I'm not a early morning person so I'm mumbling to myself about why couldn't this thing kick off with a early lunch around 11am? Being the trooper I'm not, I pull myself together and go down to the Palazzo Platinum lounge for a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant. 
I still have about 15 minutes before Gene and his family are to meet me outside the Palazzo high limit lounge so I take this opportunity to lose a bit more money there on $1 Texas Tea and $5 Top Dollar. 
Gene, Sharon and Cindi are prompt and meet me at 7:20 and we go back to the platinum lounge for some coffee. Gene is dressed as a gangster and his ladies are wearing lovely vintage hats.
I had ordered a limo to take us downtown and to pick me up later because both Terri and my host thought I would be more comfortable but more importantly I would avoid arguing with the taxi driver if I took one. I'm so tired of 80 percent of the Las Vegas cab drivers long hauling me that I tend lately to get into arguments with them when they try it. Earlier in the trip when I took a cab to Cosmopolitan I had to argue with the driver to take the strip as he wanted to go the freeway and then when I said no to that, his next suggested route was a back way that cost me more but save him time. I had to show him I had the taxi authority's number on my cell phone before he would take the strip where the heavy traffic he claimed was slowing things up was non-existant. I tipped him well even though he didn't deserve it and suggested he might make more in tips if he takes the route the customer wants in the future.
We were a few minutes early to the breakfast when we arrived so all of us went out to the Golden Nugget pool area to admire the shark slide.
It was a beautiful Halloween morning and great weather for the stumble.
As we arrived outside of Carson St Cafe, we found some of our group already in place. Below is Wickedcl in a cute costume and Marc.
The photo below is Monica (Mauretania), Forrest (Ntman) and his wife Brandi. Forrest's costume is the  internet!
Rhonda, Toc, Ken, Sharon and Gene outside of the restaurant.
Notice that all of us are wearing name tags. Ken (CPT) designed and made these for us and he did a wonderful job, thanks Ken!
Trey (Treyster) from the SMF (Slot Machine Forum) had organized this breakfast and deserves a lot of kudos as he worked with the restaurant to provide us a more expanded menu then the one groups are usually allowed to select from and he took all our breakfast orders a week or so before our trip so everything would be ready for us.
The restaurant put us in a back room where we had a lot of privacy which was great. That's Irisheyes standing up, Treyster dressed as a pirate with his back to the camera, his wife Linda in the cute red pirate costume, Sharon, Cindi and others in the background.
Irisheyes went around giving all of us lucky state pins of Delaware because during the last SMF Meet on the east coast one of our members from that state hit a big jackpot during it.
A couple other photos of our Halloween Stumble breakfast.
Breakfast was good, I had a healthy white egg spinach, artichoke, tomato Frittata. 
However, what I really wanted was Caroline's waffle with strawberries. Doesn't this look scrumptious?
I really enjoyed chatting with those around me at breakfast and I was very happy that I made the effort to get up so early in Vegas to spend the morning with this fun group of stumblers!
After breakfast we had a strict schedule to keep so if anyone became separated from the group or stopped later for lunch they could find where the rest of the group would be by consulting the schedule, which basically called for switching casinos each hour. The end of the Stumble which would be around 9pm originally was suppose to culminate with a high limit slot pool for those interested. A few of us, especially me, felt we might not make it to the end so we asked GG if we could do the high limit pool first instead of last so with his agreement and the other participants we did it at our first stop after breakfast the Four Queens. 
We had Gene's wife Sharon do the spins for us and we were quite excited when she got some action off the above slot and we ended up doubling our stake. At that point everyone was given back their original stake and the winnings were played off of a couple other slots but alas we lost.
Above is part of our group at the Four Queens during the high limit slot pull. I just love the costumes of Trey and his wife Linda!
After the high limit pull we split up to gamble and I tried Kitty Glitter and a few other slots but ended up losing a hundred. 
Time to make the walk to Fitzgerald's.
As we were walking I took a short video which is below.

As we entered Fitzgerald's I spotted Betty Boop's Love Meter and decided to play it. This turned out to be a lousy idea and I lost another hundred.
Wandering around I see Ken playing Buffalo for a few cents a push and he's doing surprisedly well so it finally clicks with me why am I still betting max on slots downtown where I don't intend to be comped in the future?
I sit down next to Ken and start playing 80 cents a bit and start winning finally with a couple bonuses and some decent hits considering the amount of the bet! I had a lot of fun playing Buffalo with Ken and also have a new appreciation of betting lower amounts as I recovered most of my losses from downtown at this point.
While we cashing in our tickets we hear the fabulous news that WickedCl has hit for $600.00 on Rawhide betting 80 cents a push right when she was down to her last few cents on the slot!
It's now time to walk to El Cortez and you can see that Fremont Street is very slow this early in the morning.
Another photo of our walk to El Cortez.
Couldn't resist this shot of the Heart Attack restaurant. I've heard mixed reviews about the food. 
More walking, I seem to recall this same walk from a previous trip earlier this year when Terri, Randy and I joined the Rex group on a walk from Golden Gate to El Cortez, but that was at night and everything looks different downtown in the early morning hours.
Once at El Cortez we briefly stand in line for player's cards, the only casino during the Halloween Stumble that I do this with. After getting my card I make the mistake of playing Kitty Glitter again and decide that's it this trip for the kitties. 
I decide Ken is my lucky charm today so I sit near him while he is playing Buffalo and decide to play this penny DaVinci diamonds that has a foggy looking screen. This turned out to be my lucky slot downtown as I hit a couple bonuses on it that re-triggered several times. 
 Now that I'm ahead playing downtown I'm appreciating these casinos a bit more. :)
Next on our schedule is Gold Spike where I get my 4th hand pay for the trip! Too bad it's only for a dollar since they don't have the ticket system there and all cash outs are hand pays. No luck at this casino so I decide to not wait around for my hand pay and I leave early with some of our group for California. 
I have a brief run of luck on DaVinci Diamonds at California but ended up giving it back to Whale Song which sucked me in due to it's two progressives which were up to high amounts. After California most of the group was heading out to eat lunch around Main Street Station but I was getting tired so I called Palazzo and had my limo driver pick me up at Main Street Station around 2pm. On hind sight I wish I had stayed longer because I was having fun with everyone and holding my own gambling downtown. 
I decide to eat lunch at First Food and Bar though I've been avoiding eating there the past 6 months since they took my favorite entree off their menu. I start out with the Tiger's Blood cocktail which is Effen raspberry, canton, muddled ginger, blood orange bitters, blood orange puree and juice. It's a great cocktail and not too sweet.
My entree is the sesame roasted salmon, wilted spinach, winter citrus, yuzu beurre blanc, pickled ginger and wasabi. It's wonderful, the salmon is cooked perfectly and it has just the right amount of heat to it.
After lunch it's time to gamble where I'm staying to keep up with my historical play with Grazie. I've had 2 days of luck, I'm currently still about $900 ahead for the trip and things are looking good. I decide to try for a big win and I visit the Palazzo high limit room where I commence to lose most of my winnings playing Top Dollar, $1 Texas Tea and a few other slots. 
Time to go back to my comfort zone of the penny and five cent slots and I have some very brief luck with Wolf Run.
I go around the other side and start playing Cleopatra II which normally I don't do much on but this time I hit a bonus for $216.00, which is quickly followed by a hit for $220.00.
Cleopatra II goes cold so I move on to Witches Riches and it's about this time that my friend Terri joins me as we're going to have dinner tonight together at Valentino's. 
Witches Riches gave me some action but then went cold so I try the five cent DaVinci next to it at max which is $10 a push and luckily got a bonus right away for $538.00. After that I just started losing at Palazzo so we walked over to the Venetian high limit room.
My $1 DaVinci Diamonds decide to give me a couple good hits so I'm now up over $1000 again.
However, I was only briefly ahead because I gave it all back then trying $5 Pinball, $5 Top Dollar and $5 Wizard of Oz. The high limit slots giveth and taketh away! It's now time for dinner so Terri and I meet up at Valentino's where they give us as requested a corner table.
Above is the prix fix menu we were to select from since this dinner was part of the marketing Grazie offer, though there was a option to order off the regular menu too and get it comped off by the host. I started out our evening with a peach martini which was light and refreshing.
Terri's appetizer that she enjoyed was Montasio Gn-avioli in butter and sage with wild mushrooms and demi glaze. 
I had the eggplant parmigiana with three color salad and tomato vinaigrette which was a outstanding starter and the best eggplant I have had.
The bread basket was aright but wasn't anything special.
We both had the 8oz filet mignon with spinach garlic mashed potatoes. The filet was good but the mashed potatoes were served cold. 
I really liked the dessert sampler but Terri didn't seem to enjoy it that much and left most of it.
Service was good at Valentino's. I would return if offered another complimentary dinner but with so many of our favorite restaurants at Venetian and Palazzo I doubt I will return on my own like we do with Cut, Tao, Aquaknox, Carnevino and others. 
After dinner Terri and I went to Palazzo and played the penny and five cent slots. I had a great hit of $764.00 on a Miss Kitty bonus betting $2.50 a push.
Wolf Run also gave me a couple good hits, but basically I started losing my earlier winnings. Terri left early tonight around 10:30pm and I just continued to lose. Around 11pm I had some texts from Brian that him and a friend would be coming to Venetian and to get ready to play Journey to Oz with him.
Brian was dressed up in another cool costume this time as Pinocchio! The back of his shirt says "Always up for no strings fun". His friend Anderson, a really nice man was dressed up as one of the guys from "Glee". 
Brian and I played Journey to Oz together and about the time I cashed out after losing $100 the bonus comes around and gives Brian a great win of over $100. After that the three of us walked over to Palazzo and had drinks at the platinum lounge. 
The guys were going out clubbing and had invited me to join them but my clubbing days are long past so after I declined Brian said lets stop off at the Venetian high limit room I want to see you play $1 DaVinci Diamonds. Darn that DaVinci, it teased us by dropping the 3 bonus symbols but not on a pay line so I quickly lost another two or three hundred dollars. 
Brian had told me earlier that he had never had a hand pay in Las Vegas. He then decides to try his luck in the high limit room and spots a $1 Zeus and decides to play 5 lines out of 30 for a $5 bet. This turned out to be pure genius when he hit the bonus, got a screen full of Zeus and wilds and a hand pay of over $1600.00! Such a fabulous win and I never thought to play less then all the lines on this type of slot. You can bet I'll be trying his strategy in the future!
After Brian and Anderson left I played a few more slots, won a bit but also lost and decided to retire early around 1am. The next morning I woke about 10:30am, and it was a beautiful day. I had a late check out today of 5pm because my flight home wasn't until after 6pm. Normally I wouldn't play on the day I leave but they sucked me in due to it being one of those rare triple point days to gamble for holiday gift points and also they were giving out $20 coupons for Butterball turkeys one to a customer after you earned 2000 points starting November 1st which was today. 
It didn't long to earn the 2000 points and I was the first one to get the coupon. I know this because it took them 15 minutes to figure out how to process it and their excuse was that I was the first one to qualify since the promotion had only started at 10am.
After earning the coupon I returned to First Food and Bar and ordered the goat cheese soufflé, pistachio crusted with cherries, white balsamic and asian pear. It was delicious and if you like goat cheese, I highly recommend it.
Walking back to Palazzo I stopped for a few minutes at the Gondola area.
I had a few hours until check out and I was down as few hundred as I had given back my earlier winnings and a bit more. However, I wasn't satisfied with that, I wanted a big win on my last day and a lot of points since it was triple point day. 
This turned out to be a pretty dumb decision on my part as my visit to both the Venetian and Palazzo high limit room ended in disaster and while I had a few good hits later on the penny slots like Miss Kitty and Wolf Run, I ended up down for the trip by over a grand. I would like to say lesson learned but we'll see next trip if I learned anything or not.
I stopped gambling for the trip when I hit a zero bonus on Aztec Temple while betting $7.50 a push, <sigh>.
Limo ride back to airport was uneventful except traffic was heavy due to construction and it ended up taking 25 minutes to get there. 

Next trip to Las Vegas is the day after Thanksgiving the 25th and my husband will be joining me. We'll be staying 3 nights at Palazzo and 2 nights at Mandalay Bay trying out one of their sky view suites for the first time instead of staying at THEHotel like we normally do. Plans are to attend the Grazie gift party and also join up for fun with numerous friends who are also visiting Vegas that weekend. As always I'm looking forward to returning to my favorite vacation spot!


  1. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Your huge swings in wins and losses would give me a heart attack, but they're fantastic to read about.

    Glad to see you've been giving the cabbies a hard time! I am really over their attitudes and "I know better than you" responses to everything.

    Sorry I'll miss you in a couple of weeks, but I know we'll catch up again in our favorite place sometime soon!

  2. Thanks Deann, I have a few exceptional cabbies in Vegas but lately it seems they are in the minority. I knew you would understand the issue. :)

    I know you and your daughter will have a great trip soon and I can't wait to read about it when you return.

    I'm sure we'll see each other in Vegas next year!

  3. Always so entertaining and so well done.
    Looking forward to meeting up in Dec
    cheers Deb

  4. Thanks Deb, I'm looking forward to meeting you in December too. :)

  5. I always love you reports-not just your honesty with wins and losses,but wonderful food reports! So looking forward to meeting in December,with Debs,Bre, etc!!! Thanks again,for a wonderful report!!! Chriss.

  6. Great trip report, lots of awesome pictures. The Aztec Temple zero bonus is a common theme with that game. If you dont like seeing Bonus Compete at the end of your bonus rounds then I suggest staying away from that game! I stopped playing it a few years ago for that reason. It seems to happen the most when you pick the 5x multiplier and 12 spins! Good luck on your next trip!

  7. Thanks so much Chriss, it will be great to finally meet!

    Thanks Joe, I agree with you it's why I seldom play Aztec Temple any longer too.

  8. Holy Cow! Your reports are always so detailed and informative! Although I live on the East Coast and don't get to visit LV anywhere near as often and I'd like, I do so much enjoy and learn from your trip reports and look forward for the next.
    Thank You!
    FI(Rhode Island)

  9. How much do you tip the hotel limo service? Was offerd service once but declined not knowing how much. Do you ever play v/p machines?
    Really enjoy trip reports!

  10. anonymous, I tip the hotel limo service from $15 to $20 depending on the service. I seldom play V/P any more but my husband usually plays a bit of it when he's on trips with me.

    I'm glad you are enjoying the trip reports, thanks.

  11. FI, thanks so much. I know the east coast airfares can be really high for Vegas, but I hope you get a chance to visit Las Vegas next year. When we lived on the east coast we hardly every went to Vegas too. :)

  12. Diana, your trip report is amazing! I just love all of the photos along with the narrative! What fun you had! I wish I could have made it. I appreciate all of the hard work that you put into this TR for all of us to enjoy!


  13. Thanks Janet. Hope to see you at the April meet next year.

  14. Long time reader, first time commenter. I love going to Vegas, and in between trips, reading your blog is the next best thing! I always enjoy reading your posts, as they're always filled excellent reviews (and tons of pics!)

    Thanks to your trip reports, I now understand the awesomeness of Wolf Run (when the bonus actually hits) and knew what to order when I ate at Jaleo (btw, you were right..the paella was WAY too salty - I tried to veto that order, but my friends insisted on getting it).

    I know you have experience with most of the vegas player clubs, so I had a quick question for you. I'm trying to decide on whether to concentrate my play on mlife or total rewards properties. I was wondering which players club you've found to be the best? In the past, I've kind of spread around my gambling, but from now on, I kind of want to just focus on one players club (and maybe even one property). Granted, my gambling budget is nowhere near yours (hopefully someday! =) ), but I figure if I'm going to gamble, might as well pick one players club and focus my play on that.

    Thanks in advance for the advice and thanks again for the great trip reports!

    I also live in the silicon valley, so I also fly out of SJC whenever I go to Vegas. You're smart to take the early flights out because the late flights are ALWAYS delayed.

  15. Hi Steve, I'm glad you are finding my blog helpful. We'll be leaving for Vegas this Friday the 25th again and I'll be posting photos and comments on my twitter account here (and of course later writing a TR):

    Since M-Life changed to express comps this year, I think it and Total Rewards are more similar now. I prefer M-life myself because I like to stay at their properties. Also I have never done well gambling at the TR properties, but that's just me, plenty of people win at Caesar's, Harrahs, etc...

    It seems for minimal points most times of the year you can get a comp room at Harrahs, IP, Rio and Flamingo and for more points, P-HO, Paris and Caesar's. If you like staying and playing at those properties then you should think about concentrating your play there.

    If you prefer playing and staying at the M-life properties like Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mirage then concentrate play at them. It's easier to get comps at MGM Grand, Luxor, NYNY then for example at Bellagio and Aria.

    M-Life is currently having some growing pains on their online player's club website and their marketing offers are all over the place these days, which is frustrating some members but I'm sure they will eventually get back on track.

    Drop me a line on one of the Vegas message boards or here, if you see we might have a trip that coincides as there's always a Meet going on these days and they are a lot of fun!

    Good Luck on your next Vegas trip!