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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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with the family!

My Mother who lives in Fort Lauderdale but doesn't really enjoy gambling surprised me when she decided to go to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving with a friend. This meant of course that I had the perfect excuse to convince my husband and son that we also needed to be in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving! Mom and her friend had gotten a great rate at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay so I decided we would use one of our M-Life offers for there and then stay the last night of the trip using one of our offers at Palazzo.

We had a easy flight out of San Jose and were all smiles when we arrived in Las Vegas on November 19th! While our son Matt had visited Las Vegas in the past when his Grandfather had lived there, this was his first trip back to Vegas as an adult. 
Our Mandalay Bay Limo driver was waiting for us at baggage claim and we were on our way to THEHotel at Mandalay Bay very quickly. Unfortunately this was the week THEHotel was redoing their entrance so limos and taxis had to drop guests off at one of the entrances of Mandalay Bay.
Check in was a breeze in the VIP lounge where they already have our room assigned on the 19th floor. This turned out to be a good floor for us as my Mom and her friend Alan both had their rooms on this floor. However since I'm NOIR level with M-Life I was a bit surprised not to be upgraded to a higher floor. 
Our view of the strip was okay since we never had much time to look out the windows.
We had plans for a early dinner tonight with Mom, Alan and our friends Michael and Trisha so after unpacking we didn't have much time to gamble at Mandalay Bay. This turned out to be for the best as the few slots we had time to play like $1 DaVinci, $1 Zeus and $5 Top Dollar were as cold as ice. 
Dinner was at Emeril's at MGMGrand tonight so we took the Mandalay Bay tram to Excalibur walked over to NYNY and then took the bridge from there to MGMGrand.
We had about 20 minutes before Emeril's would open at 5:30pm so of course we tried our luck at a few of our favorite slots like Alfred Hitchcock and Ghostbusters.

We actually had some luck during our brief time in the MGMGrand casino and little did we know that would be our best run at the M-Life hotels this trip.
As we were walking to the restaurant we ran into Trisha (Pennyplayer) and Michael but I forgot to take a group photos of all of us!
Once seated at Emeril's all of us decided to go with the three course tasting menu for that night. The amuse was a chip with avocado, cheese and salsa and while it was nothing out of the ordinary it was tasty.
The breads were fresh and hot and I always love pretzel bread!
Above is the Chef's chopped salad with hard cooked egg, California blue cheese, seasonal greens and veggies in a white wine dressing.
Above is my salad with greens,avocado, cucumbers, greens and fried cheese.  
The chicken and Andouille Gumbo before it was poured out into the bowl. Both my husband and I had this and thought it was delicious!
Above is a corn chowder soup that was very good.
No one ordered the butternut squash soup it was served by mistake instead of one of the gumbo's. The server of course brought out the missing gumbo to us. Service was fine that night but not outstanding.
While I could take a guess, I actually don't remember who ordered the dish above or below and what they are. Also since we were a party of 7 and had 7 entrees either we had some duplicate entrees or I forgot to take some photos. Have I mentioned I had the wine pairing with dinner and before that one of their specialty cocktails. ;)
My BBQ salmon with Andouille & potato hash with crispy onions was great, I would order this again.

I think most of us ordered Emeril's specialy dessert the Banana cream pie. It was good but I've had this at Delmonico's a couple times and liked it a bit more there though I think it's suppose to be the same recipe.

Michael and Trisha had tickets to see Human Nature tonight so they had to leave us immediately after eating. It was Thanksgiving 4 years ago that we first met Trisha and Michael and it's always fun to meet up with them again in Vegas which we are usually able to do a couple times during the year.
Once back at Mandalay Bay Alan headed to the Black Jack tables, Matt off to roam around and Randy and I tried our luck at a few slots with Mom watching us.
After a very brief run of luck on Clue, we played more slots but all we did was lose. It was getting depressing but fortunately it was now time to meet up with Kim (Sam Marques) and Suzanne for drinks.
After introductions Mom went back to her room as she was still on east coast time and tired, and Randy left to lose, err I mean gamble.  Kim, Suzanne and I ended up having drinks at Mandalay Bay's Eye Candy Lounge.  I had met Suzanne earlier this year at Brian and Sharon's wedding in July but this was the first opportunity that Kim and I had to meet in person and I was so glad the three of us were able to get together because they are fun ladies!
The drinks were pretty but nothing outstanding.  
This was Kim's birthday trip and I had a card for her but in the purse I had left in our room! I was too lazy to trek through the casino and up to the room to give it to her (hanging head) so Kim here's your belated card you never received!
After Kim, Suzanne and I said goodbye for this trip, I met back up with my husband to find out that his luck had not been good. SHOCKER! Trying to change that luck we went to a favorite 5 cent DaVinci Diamond slot that has paid off well in the past for our friend Terri, and while it gave us some activity we were soon losing on it.
Outside the high limit lounge we decided to have a go at $1 Jackpot Party but while we had a $80 hit on it we lost more then that during our play.
It was the same situation with the $1 Zeus, a couple minor hits but basically just losing.
So back to the pennies, were we had our best hit of the trip on Lord of the Rings. Yep, it's pathetic and it's a good thing from past trips I know this slot can pay off big or I would be writing it off.
We had a bonus on 5 cent Jungle Wild but for the next few hours all we did was lose, lose lose, so that's pretty much it for photos of wins from Mandalay Bay this trip. We ending up losing so much that evening we went to bed at 1am which is early for us.
We met Mom and Alan at THECafe for breakfast around noon. They had already been up for hours so it was more their lunch and our brunch. Below is one of my son's favorite breakfast's dishes, Huevos rancheros.
Alan ordered French toast and seemed to like it. My Mother ordered cereal and a banana so I didn't bother with a photo of that.
Randy had his usual scrambled eggs and fruit since he doesn't like their hash browns because they put onions in in them.
I no longer care for the way they make the lobster salad so I defaulted to the Greek salad with pawns. 
After brunch Alan headed to the BlackJack tables where he was having some luck and the rest of us went to Shark Reef. Remember if you are Platinum or above with M-life you get free tickets to Shark Reef, Mirage's Secret Garden and the Bellagio Art Gallery!
Matt with his Gramme.
Guess who!
I like Shark Reef but doubt I would ever pay for it, but since it was free it was a nice way to spend some  time as a family.
Matt used to love the sting ray's when he was young but this time I had to talk him into touching them.
The rest of these are family photos for us so just fast forward. :)
Yep, entrance was free but I couldn't rest the cheesy photo op and ended up buying them, so much for my bargain free tickets! LOL!
After Shark Reef we walked over to Luxor and all of us had a brief bit of fun playing the Mummy slot. However we were still on a losing streak so we soon returned to THEHotel to change our clothes for our evening of drinks, dinner and Zarkana!
First stop of the evening was at Cosmopolitan's Chandelier bar as my Mom wanted to see it and we were meeting our friend Boots there. Unfortunately the floor with the drink menu Boots and I like wasn't open yet so I think we ended up on the 2nd floor. This was also Boot's birthday trip and you guessed it, I forgot her birthday card in my room! I'm not going to show that card here because I'm going to see her soon and give it to her in person. I hope I don't forget it again!
Boots ordered the signature Cosmopolitan drink which suspiciously sounded and looked like the free ones you can get on the casino floor! I had the Butterfly which is Hanger One Mandarin Vodka, Aperol mango and strawberry puree with yuzu sour and it was nice. Mom had a gin drink I believe, Alan's was Crown Royale, and Randy really enjoyed his Lime in the Coconut drink which was Hanger One Kaffir Lime, Creme de Cacao, and Coconut Creme.  
Matt didn't make it to the bar, he went off to play slots and drink Red Bull. Below was one of the lobby videos they run on their pillars. I hadn't seen this one in the past where they have shadows of men and woman posing.
After our drinks we went up to Boots lovely wrap around terrace suite so Mom and the rest of us could enjoy a Bellagio Fountain show. We ended up having perfect timing and almost immediately got to see a show. After that we had to say goodnight to Boots and hurry off to Aria for dinner at American Fish.
I really like American Fish's bread basket, hard to beat the grilled bread there and corn muffins.
Our circular table was near the kitchen where we could see all the action.
Several of us had the Farmer's Market salad with hearts of palm, fried Camembert and heirloom lemon with greens, lightly dressed with a sherry vinaigrette.
My son ordered the salmon tartar and loved it.
Alan said his cornmeal crusted Rainbow Trout was good.
I had recommended my favorite entree at American Fish to Randy and my Mom, the Mustard Marinated Black Cod. Unfortunately our cod was served to us cold and my Mom's was very undercooked and later that evening she had a few stomach issues.
Our server to make up for the cold cod surprised us with three desserts that were delicious. Above is the Mascarpone Cheesecake with blueberries and a vanilla crust.
White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Caramelized Bananas and White Chocolate Ice Cream!
I can't recall if this was the Devil's Food Cake or the Valrhona Chocolate Custard!
After dinner on our walk to the Zarkana Theatre we tried a few of my favorite slots like $1 Airplane, $5 Top Dollar and the 5 cent Zeus II but again with little luck. I was feeling grateful at this point we hadn't had time to gamble earlier in the day.
Outside the Zarkana Theatre.
We had excellent seats in the center about 7 rows from the stage.
The stage before the show starts, no photos allowed of course, except during the pre-show.
The pre-show clown act and other characters.
I really wanted to like Zarkana and it wasn't bad but it wasn't great.
Unfortunately during the show the clowns began to pall and get tedious to the extent that Mom sort of fell asleep a couple times. :)  Some of the special effects are great but there's nothing in the acts of this show that I haven't seen before in a Cirque show and frequently performed better. However it's early days and I'm hoping they will fine tune it though I don't see me going to this show again like I have in the past for O, Love and Ka.
After Zarkana Matt, Mom and Alan took a taxi back to Mandalay Bay while Randy and I decided to head out to Palazzo and Venetian. M-Life properties were not only taking our bank roll with little play to show for it but earlier in the day when I checked my express comps balance I found out their new system since October 1st, gave me about 1/4 the amount of EC's I would have earned in the past! At this point I decided unless our luck changed drastically at Mandalay Bay the next day our gambling was going elsewhere.
Home sweet home, that's what it felt like when we arrived at Palazzo and went to our favorite $5 Wheel of Fortune slot and within a few spins got the bonus for $600!
We tried another $5 WOF and got a spin for $200.00 before heading over to $1 Jungle Wild where we had a great hit of $755.00 after only putting about $80.00 into the slot.

Even the penny slots like Clue, Hangover and Ghostbusters were hitting for us, at least for a while. Yep, we won and gave it all back, however we didn't lose at Venetian or Palazzo and we had fun playing the slots for hours, plus our points were accumulating at a good rate since V&P doesn't have that specialty slot nonsense that M-Life does which makes most of their slots earn points at the same rate as video poker!
Next morning we found out our son had enjoyed playing Clue, Ghostbusters and a few other slots at MB and while he wasn't winning much he wasn't on the terrible losing streak we were having there. Alan also continued to win and enjoy playing Black Jack there. 

For breakfast/lunch that morning all of us went to Raffles. I had my usual champagne chicken salad there. Mom had cereal and fruit and the men enjoyed their eggs.
After we ate Alan went off to play more Blackjack, while Mom, Matt, Randy and I went over to Mirage to see the Secret Garden of Siegfried and Roy using the NOIR M-Life status to once again get free tickets.
I'm the only one that had seen this attraction before and it was lovely weather for us to walk around the grounds so it was a nice Vegas family outing for us.
The only time I've been here in the past I missed the dolphin show and the tigers and lions were snoozing.
This visit several of the tigers and lions were very active, including acting like they were stalking each other, drinking from the waterfall,  and marking their territories.
I know a lot of people don't like seeing Dolphins and other animals in captivity, so please skip these photos if that bothers you.
 The Dolphins at the Secret Garden seemed very friendly even when food wasn't involved.
 The lady above was doing Trainer for a Day with the Dolphins and obviously enjoying ever minute of the experience!
After enjoying Mirage's Secret Garden Mom and Matt went back to Mandalay Bay as they would be eating dinner with Alan at RM Seafood and then going to see Chris Angel's Cirque show, Believe.
I had been exchanging some texts with Boots during our trek though the Secret Garden and she was now at Mirage so Randy and I got to enjoy some slot play at Mirage with her after Mom and Matt left. We had some brief luck with Clue and some fun playing the Mummy slot before Boots had to head back to Cosmopolitan.
It was now time for us to check into Palazzo where we had used one of our comps for a 2 night stay though we would only be staying there Thanksgiving and still sleeping at THEHotel tonight. Walking over from Mirage we arrived at Venetian just in time to run into a lot of the performers from their Winter in Venice Show.
After we left Venetian to check in at Palazzo we ran into the Queen and King posing for photographs with other performers at the Palazzo waterfall Atrium area.
We checked in quickly at VIP services and they gave us the Winter in Venice coupon book that has some minor discounts at restaurants and shops, but also includes a free cupcake at Surrender and a few free drinks at various bars.
While we weren't sleeping at Palazzo tonight we did plan on spending the whole evening gambling here so we were eager to see if our luck was going to be better like last night or turn to the dark side and go the way of the Mandalay Bay slots. Walking back to Venetian with the intention of using our free play in the high limit room we came across the new Beverly Hillbillies Slot. 
While not a fan of the old Television Show we thought the slot bonuses were fun. 
After hitting both the silver and gold progressive during the Millionaire Mile Bonus we decided this was one of our favorite new slots!

This is the video of that win:

Hoping our win at BH meant we were on a lucky streak we headed to the Venetian High Limit room and the $5 dollar Cheeseburger slot that has been kind to us in the past. We were happy when we quickly hit a bonus on it but it ended too early at only a $350.00 win.
Luck continued though when we got second bonus on it but one that also ended up too quickly for $375.00.

$1 DaVinci Diamonds had been cruel to us at Mandalay Bay so we were crossing our fingers when we set down and started playing it at Venetian. We had a couple minor hits when the bonus dropped and what a bonus it was, the longest and best paying one we have had so far with numerous re-triggers!
Here's the video of our best DaVinci Diamonds bonus to date!
Dinner that night was at our favorite Tao! I wanted us to eat Thanksgiving here with Mom, Matt and Alan but Tao was closed for Thanksgiving. 
Randy's favorite appetizer is always one of the spring rolls.
Tempura garlic green beans, always a good choice!
Every single visit we have to order the miso glazed sea bass, yes it's that good!
We can't resist our favorite dessert the Giant Fortune Cookie with one side of vanilla mousse and the other chocolate mousse!
After dinner we headed back to the Venetian high limit room but we weren't having any big wins so we were heading back to Palazzo when we met up with my friend Jon.
After our chat with Jon we headed over to Palazzo as I wanted Randy to try the new Wicked Witch of the West slot. We played it at $1.20 a spin and did get a couple minor but fun bonuses on it. I think the bonuses have potential for big wins if one gets lucky with their picking.
Tried the new Mission Impossible slot and found it interesting to play. While we didn't get anything major on it I will try it again in the future.
We had a nice run on Ghostbusters for a bit with the bonuses.
Before we headed back to THEHotel to sleep we stopped at our suite at Palazzo to put money in the safe and found our basket of treats and water waiting for us.
On the way to catch a taxi we stopped off at the MJ slots and hit a bonus for $200. I really like the Jackson slot but this trip it was rare to get the bonus so we didn't play it much.
Once back at THEHotel we met up with our son in the room to discover that the three of them thought the Believe show was a lot better then Zarkana! My son was picked during the show to  give a random number to Chris and ended up with one of his armbands they throw out during that act.
Next morning was Thanksgiving and  all of us went back to THECafe to eat before Randy, Matt and I left for Palazzo where Mom and Alan would join us later for dinner as they were staying all 4 of their nights at THEHotel.
Alan had the lox above, Mom again with the cereal but this time strawberries, Matt and Randy had eggs and I went with grilled chicken in my greek salad instead of pawns.
After eating we left Mom and Alan and checked out of THEHotel and gave a sigh of relief as we departed Mandalay Bay and for us this trip, it's tight casino.
When we arrived at Palazzo we were greeted in the lobby by a friendly elf offering cups of cider. While Randy and I had checked in the previous day we had arranged for our son to have a separate but connecting suite to our room so back to VIP services we went and they quickly checked Matt in with the promised connecting room.
Matt who had been gambling on and off this trip with varying degrees of luck joined us in the casino where we had some brief fun again with the Wicked Witch of the West slot. After that it was time for me to meet my friend Kimsa so Randy and Matt went off to have some father and son bonding time.
Kimsa and I had missed each other by days on previous trips so to finally meet in person was long overdue. We enjoyed drinks, snacks and trading stories about our gambling wins and losses. Kim like me this trip was discovering that the new M-Life player club changes sucks!
While we were having fun at the Platinum lounge I received a text from Alan that they had arrived so Kim and I went off to the Venetian Gold lounge to meet Mom, Alan and Randy. Once there I discovered that one of the changes to the Gold Lounge is that they will now serve alcoholic drinks there without having to call in the high limit server. Kim and I didn't think they were as good as what we had at the Platinum lounge and the server completely misunderstood what Alan ordered, but hey it's a step in the right direction for the Gold Lounge!
After Kim departed to return to Bellagio we met Matt and all of us went up to the second story landing at Venetian that overlooks the ice skating rink and Christmas tree.
This didn't turn out to be the best place to view the parade, show and lightning of the tree. If I do this again on my next trip I would prefer to be on the ground level.
For a free show I think Winter in Venice is well worth going to. There are 2 shows, one is at 6pm and the other is 8pm
After the Winter in Venice show it was time for Thanksgiving dinner at AquaKnox! No turkey for us, Mom wanted seafood and it turned out no one wanted turkey. :)
The drink above was the orange spice cocktail that Randy liked so much that he ordered two of them.
I had a raspberry cocktail which was fine but in hindsight I should have gone with the orange spice cocktail.
My shrimp with the spicy atomic cocktail sauce was firm and fresh.
Randy said his romaine salad with the pt reyes blue cheese dressing was boring. He would have preferred they also add some of the blue cheese to the salad itself.
My son really liked his crab seafood salad.
I had the scallops which I've ordered before and like always they are a winner.

Alan got adventurous and ordered the Chef Moloney's Fish Soup as his entree. This entree is a comboination of mediterranean tomato-saffron broth, Maine lobster, John Dory, mussels, clams, pawns and cous cous!

Randy had the King Salmon which was delicious.
My son went with the server's suggestion of the barramundi which was a special that evening. Matt liked it and said he would order it again.
My son skipped dessert but Randy went for the banana tartin dessert and said it was delicious!
I ordered the dessert I had last July which is a chocolate s'more type concoction which is very yummy.
Mom ordered assorted ice cream and sorbets but I can't recall what flavors.
After dinner Mom and Alan returned to Mandalay Bay while we grabbed a taxi to Monte Carlo to see the new Blue Man Group Show.
This is a old theatre so the plus is the seats are larger then most and fairly comfortable. The downside is the lines to get in to the theatre snake around the casino floor and it's a slow ticket taking process.
No photos of course allowed during the show but I got a few shots before it started of the giant floating eyes.
The three of us had a good time at the Blue Man Show. While some of it is a repeat of what they did previously at Venetian there's enough new material to make it worth while going if you like the Blue Man Group.
I'm not going to spoil the ending of the show for anyone but I had fun with it and enjoyed the new ending more then the previous one at Venetian.
After our return to Venetian and Palazzo Randy and I had some minor luck playing the $5 Cheeseburger slot while Matt headed out to the electronic craps game that ended up being his favorite place to gamble at Palazzo.
 Randy and I were holding our own that evening with lots of play. We had some fun with the Aladdin slot but no big wins.
We found this new fishing game that had the love seat for two so we played it for a bit and had some wins on this 5 cent slot.
I didn't get as many bonuses on the Mummy slot as I would have liked this trip but like the new Beverly Hills slot I can't seem to stay away from it.
When we went to bed that night we were still down from Mandalay Bay due to the heavy losses during our first night there, but we were up at Venetian and Palazzo.

Unfortunately I couldn't sleep that night. For the last 2 days I had a scratchy throat and minor cough and now I was quite stuffed up and so uncomfortable that I did something I haven't done in years, I got dressed and went down to the casino deciding to stay up all night.
Once in the casino I headed to the Platinum lounge and ordered a cappuccino. It's around 4am at this time and the casino is as serene as it ever gets. I walked over to the waterfall atrium area and took a couple shots of it with no one else around.
I decided to limit my gambling since I didn't want to go on a losing streak at the end of the trip and possibly repeat our Mandalay Bay experience so I decided $200 would be my bank roll and I would see how long it would last.

Not a big bonus on Showgirls but fun to play.
At Palazzo I played Witches Riches for the first time on the trip and had a nice run of luck on it increasing my $100 to over $600.00!
Here's the video of my bonus on Witches Riches
I cashed out around $659.00.
Nearby was a 5 cent DaVinci Diamonds and I had some luck there too.
The 5 cent DaVinci got me thinking about our lucky $1 DaVinci Diamonds so I walked over to Venetian and started to play it.
I had a few good hits and enough play to rack up quite a few player points.
I tried a few more slots in the high limit room after DaVinci and ended up losing back some of my winnings but I was still ahead a couple hundred as I left the HL room and went off to play the pennies.
Beverly Hillbillies was calling me and I'm glad I answered the call when I got the Millionaire Mile Bonus and won the Silver Progressive during it.
Next up was Miss Kitty and while it's not Kitty Glitter which I lost to at Mandalay Bay at least Missy here gave me a bonus.
I had a lot of fun playing Clue at Palazzo with several good bonuses but this one was the most fun because I had so many extra spins! The video is below:

I ended up having about 6 hours of slot play and while I was up and down during those hours the end result when I quit was that I had won about $300 and made a boatload of grazie points. Never has feeling sick felt so good!
It was now 11am and the Grazie gift show had just opened so I decided to call a end to my gambling this trip and went to cash in our holiday points while Randy and Matt who had just woken up got ready to join me for brunch.
The Grazie gift show each year is always decorated so pretty and has light refreshments.
While I went around admiring all the gifts I could get with my points I already knew what I wanted, Best Buy Gift Certificates. I ended up cashing in my points for $750.00 worth of GC's!
On my way to join Matt and Randy at Grand Lux I used our coupon for the free cupcake at Surrender. This year the Winter in Venice cupcake flavor was chocolate and peppermint, yum!
At Grand Lux, Randy and Matt had their breakfast buffet which was opened late I guess due to the holidays and I had my usual Manhattan chopped salad with chicken and shrimp which has been in many trip reports.

On our way out we ran into another elf serving complimentary cider.

Check out was smooth with my host picking up all our meals. While we had burned about $1500.00 or so express comps at Mandalay Bay for meals and shows, Randy and I just feel more valued at V&P then at the M-Life properties these days.

At the airport we were able to join Mom and Alan for drinks at Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar and Grill before our flight which would leave 30 minutes before their flight back to Ft. Lauderdale.  I could tell Alan had the Vegas bug and would be returning in the future, not too sure about Mom the non-gambler. :)
We ended up losing this trip due to our substantial losses the first 24 hours at Mandalay Bay but thanks to the wins at Venetian and Palazzo it was far less then most non-gambling vacations would have cost us. It certainly was a fun Thanksgiving especially since Mom and I didn't have to do any cooking or cleaning up this year!
My next trip to Las Vegas wasn't going to be until February of next year, but my husband surprised me by encouraging me to go for a couple nights starting December 15th to meet friends Gwen, Liz, Boots and a couple others in Las Vegas so I'll be leaving again soon. Not sure if I'll have a winning trip but I already know it will be a fun way to close out my Las Vegas trips for the year!

Happy Holidays!


  1. Always enjoy reading your trip reports! Sounds like you had a great time! I hope your trip in a few days is a winner!


  2. Thanks Tim, I think it's time I had another winning trip. :)

  3. Again thanks for allowing me to experience Vegas through your eyes. I will be there for Christmas and for the first time, New Year's Eve. The countdown is less than 2 weeks now, and I am so eager to be there. This trip report has calmed the pre trip craving for Vegas. I look forward to trying the BH slots, looks like its a winner!Enjoy tour Decemeber trip, would have been fun to have spotted you there. Once again I am missing you by just a few days.

  4. What a write-up... I get more impressed each time you review your trips. Its great you can enjoy all Vegas has to offer and having family with you makes it even better. Too bad your $5 WOF game didn't work out for us at the last G2E M&G- I think we played the same machine... Slotspert

  5. Just what I needed to get into the spirit. Can't wait to see you in a few days, Diana. :) Lots of fun to be had! :) -G

  6. G, we're going to have a blast. See you soon!

  7. Thanks Slotspert. However we didn't play my lucky $5 WOF during the G2E M&G. My lucky slot is at Palazzo, I'll how it to you in April. :)

  8. Aricczona, drat, so sorry we missed by days again. Have a great Xmas trip and I know you will a terrific time celebrating New Year's Eve in Vegas!

  9. Thanks for another great report and glad everyone had fun. I appreciated the feedback on Zarkana, as we will be at Aria in a couple days and were considering seeing it. Also agree about the improvements to Gold Lounge at V/P. Have a great time this weekend. Hopefully we'll both have winning trips!


  10. Why do you say the first hit on Cheeseburger in Venetian High Limit was $350 and the picture says the denom was $10..wouldn't that be a $700 win? Or did you change the denom after the win?

  11. I wish it had been the $10 denom. :) For some reason even when set to $5, the different bet amounts on that Cheeseburger slot machine flash around from $5 to $10 to $25 and the photo was taken when it was flashing on $10.

  12. Shorelinepaws, if you will be at Aria on Saturday night look for us as my girlfriends and I will bet at Aria having dinner at Javier's.

    Safe travels, lots of wins and fun to you on your trip!

  13. Safe travels to you as well, Diana. I will be checking into the Octavius tower at CP on Sat. afternoon (Aria would not comp me that day, boo). Hubby is arriving at midnight so he won't have much time to get settled there before we move over to Aria on Sunday. We will finally be trying the Jasmine Brunch that day! If I spot you at some point, I will certainly say "hi!".


  14. Shorelinepaws, I'll be at Jasmine Brunch on Sunday the 16th, so please say hi if you see me! I'm not sure about the exact time as I'm not the one that made the reservation.

    Good luck on your trip!

  15. Excellent! Have fun and hope to see you.


  16. Happy Holidays Diana!

    Great trip report. It's great to have family time in Vegas.

    On my last two trips (Oct and Nov) I played the LOTR Fellowship you played and walked away with 3K each trip over three days. Needless to say that's my new fav slot. Going in two weeks and will try the new BH you played. Hope to run into you soon.

    Happy Holidays and a Blessed 2013 to you and yours!


  17. Awesome Report as usual Diana. Hope your current trip is going well also, have to pop over to twitter to see your updates.

    Thanks again for a great blog and the constant trip reports, they really make the down time between my own trips bearable.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.


  18. Thanks David. I love the LOTR slot too but it hasn't rewarded me as much as it has you. I just returned from a quick 2 night trip in Vegas and I did have a couple sessions with the slot when it kept bonuses every few spins, but unfortunately I kept getting the Aragon bonus which usually ended up being zero and other bonuses that only paid me a few bucks. However, it was fun having frequent bonuses and hoping for the big hit. :)

    The slot that treated me the well on this latest trip was Beverly Hillbillies so I hope you like it.

    Good luck on your trip! Happy Holidays to you and your family too!

  19. Ken, it's always great to hear someone enjoys the blog and my trip reports help the downtime.

    My current trip was fun, but I took some heavy losses the first night which I never recovered from. However the second day was much better and the day I left I actually recovered some of my losses.

    From now on I think I need to just watch my play more on the first night when my luck seems sour and stop playing on a big losing streak. ;)

    Happy holidays to you and your family too!

  20. Hi Diana, you have the best trip reports!

    I have a couple of questions about Grazie slot tournaments - for the first time, there happens to be one lined up with dates I'll be in town in February.

    1. Do you have to be staying there during the tournament (my guess is yes)?

    2. How many people typically enter? From what I can tell, this is a run-of-the mill tournament with 100 winners and a top prize of $7,500. I have a regular MSO with $100 free play, so I'm trying to judge whether it's better to just take that guaranteed, or enter the tourney for a shot at more (with a good shot at placing in the top 100, for the $100 free play that goes with that).


  21. Chuck, you do have to be staying at Venetian or Palazzo to participate in their tournaments.

    In years past there could be 300 or more participants in some of their tournaments, they don't seem to limit it to 250 or 300 like the M-Life tournaments do. However if not that many people come in on the tournament offer it can also be a lot less, it's really hard to say in advance unless you get someone who knows at the Grazie desk to tell you in advance what it's looking like for sign ups.

    These days I usually don't participate in the Grazie tournaments because they don't offer the fun factor of a party atmosphere with food and drink during the sessions like the Bellagio tournaments do and I've never been lucky enough so far to be in the first 10 places of any tournaments. :)

    Good luck on your trip!

  22. Your blog is very cool.