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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, December 20, 2013

Grazie Gift Show Trip during November 2013!

Our trip to Vegas started out with our Southwest flight being delayed due to bad weather backing up McCarran airport, so we arrived 2 hours late. Normally this wouldn't be a issue except that we had show tickets this evening to Tim Allen so from the time we stepped off our flight, and were whisked away to Palazzo by our limo driver to the time of the show that evening it felt rushed. Whew!

Check in went quick thanks to Palazzo's VIP desk and my husband went up to our suite on the 32nd floor to wait for our luggage while I ran to the Venetian Box Office to get our comped show tickets.
There wasn't time to unpack before our dinner at Aquaknox so Randy joined me at the restaurant immediately after receiving our luggage.
There's always time for a photo or two and since it's Venice in Winter at Venetian and Palazzo the winter characters are always roaming around and there's plenty of opportunities for photos ops.
One juggler is taking a brief rest before he is off and running again. The photo with the two ladies below was  taken right outside of AquaKnox.
AquaKnox no longer has my favorite spicy drink of past dinners on their menu so I went with a sweet one called Black Garden. This cocktail has Tequila, St Germaine liquor, muddled blackberries and basil in it among other ingredients and I enjoyed it.
Randy's drink was boring. Okay, I'm assuming it was boring because I don't recall what it was!
The amuse looked good but we don't eat raw fish so it went uneaten.
We do love cooked seafood and Randy's shrimp cocktail with atomic cocktail sauce was fresh, tender and spicy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

G2E Trip Report! Fun at the Global Gaming Expo playing the new slots!

G2E is held in Las Vegas each year around the end of September or early October. It's the world's largest gaming event for the industry where the slot and other gaming related companies show off their new products to the casino executives and other industry professionals. There's a lot of networking, conferences and three days of exhibits. It's also a chance to try out and experience the new slot machines before most of them are available for real play at a casino!
So if it's a industry event why have I been to it the last four years? Fortunately some of the exhibitor's provide free passes to those interested in their products and if you keep a eye out on various gaming websites you might be offered the chance to register for this convention, if you have the interest.
G2E was a couple weeks ago so I'm not breaking any new ground here as far as announcing what new slots are coming out, I'm approaching this from my personal viewpoint of roaming the exhibit hall and why I enjoy attending this event.
Due to crowds and slacking off for a few minutes at Venetian's Gold Lounge I missed the opening ceremony and cutting of the ribbon that opens up the doors to the exhibits, but as the crowds passed through the doors into the conference center the Avatar characters were still around for photos. Yes, there's new slot machines coming to you with a Avatar theme from IGT!
In past years photos have been discouraged and videos only allowed to those with press passes or other credentials and even the press has to be under escort unless they have made arrangements with the individual companies to take videos within their booths.
Lately the rules have been relaxed to where all are allowed to take photos from outside the booths on the main walk ways and within some of the booths they were allowing photos. However the companies that don't want photos or videos taken had a lot of security at their booths and they would quickly shut people down if they caught them taking photos. If you continue to do it after being asked to stop they can remove you from the convention center.
There's always lots of little free gift promotions being handed out, with these costumed ladies it was colorful lollipops.
The first day of the event I was only there for a few hours and I was walking around with friends Shamus and Slotspert. Always interesting to view the slots with these two as they are more knowledgable then me about the technical aspects of slot machines.
WMS studios has a fun new BEETLEJUICE slot so there were a couple Beetlejuice characters around the WMS booth. I really had fun with the Beetlejuice slot. It might have been a fluke but I hit the bonuses a lot even when a WMS rep wasn't around to bring up a bonus for me manually.
 Below I have a video of the bonus in the photo above.
I also found this slot hilarious, especially the above free spin bonus with the giant heads where the song DIO plays and you see that scene from the movie where Beetlejuice makes them sing and dance to it during dinner. Made me want to watch the movie Beetlejuice again and I haven't thought of it in years. Here's a video of a Beetlejuice slot bonus, thanks to WMS studios for giving me permission to record it.

I was excited to see the new Gold Fish 3 slot as the sequels to the original Gold Fish so far have not been my favorite slots. Love the graphics of this new Gold Fish, but not to sure about the spinning wheel for selection of bonuses. A lot of games arriving soon to a casino near you involve wheels this year.
Below is a video of the new Gold Fish Slot. Thanks Shamus for arranging with WMS Studios to let me take this and a few other videos at their booth during G2E.

There's a new reel type Willy Wonka slot. Since I love the original Wonka slot I was excited to see this sequel. Here's a video of it:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Aria 300k Winner Take All Slot Tournament!

I wasn't going to Las Vegas in early September until a post in Slot Fanatics reminded me about a slot tournament invitation from Aria that I had forgotten. It was a buy in tournament for 1k and since I miss the free ones that M-Life used to have, I usually ignore the buy in tourney's these days. The post was asking if the tournament was a good deal because it was a winner take all tournament with first place getting a prize of 150k and everyone else in tournament getting their 1k buy in back in free play at the end of the tournament. With the tournament limited to only 150 participants (or so I thought, more on this later), it seemed like a great deal to have a 150 to 1 shot at 150k jackpot so Randy and I entered!
We left on Thursday, September 5th and had a smooth flight to Las Vegas from San Jose. Since we're still NOIR with M-Life until October 1st when we revert to Platinum status (it was fun while it lasted, hate the new M-Life rules) we had the complimentary limo to and from the airport.
Our Aria host had provided VIP check in via the Aria Sky Suites Desk.
Service was excellent at the Sky Suite VIP check in, though we did have a problem starting out. We weren't in a Sky Suite but a panoramic corner suite. I requested a corner suite far away from Cosmopolitan and Aria nightclub noise. I must have originally had a new person helping me at the VIP desk because she gave us a suite on the 19th floor that she said wouldn't get any noise. Hmmmm.
Above is photo of floral arrangement at Sky Suite check in.

We get to our suite on the 19th floor and not only isn't it the panoramic corner suite, instead it's the corner suite with the large pillar in the middle of the living room. The worse is that the bedroom overlooks the Cosmopolitan pools where they have the day time parties with loud music playing and the living room is almost on top of Cosmopolitan's Marquee nightclub! No way am I'm staying in this suite! I immediately call down to VIP check in and tell them the problem and while I'm on hold waiting for them to locate a new room our bellman arrives with the luggage. I tell our bellman I'm on hold to change rooms because I'm concerned about noise from Cosmo and he takes a look around and cracks up agreeing with me that we would never get any sleep in that room either at night or during the day.
We finally get located to a actual panoramic corner suite with city view and close to Monte Carlo on the 23rd floor but had to accept a smoking suite. John our bell man was great, stayed with us for the 10 minutes I was on the phone trying to change rooms and then escorted us to the new room where he checked it out and found one of our air conditioning controls was not working and reported it to maintenance for us. John received a various generous tip for his patience and customer service skills.
This is the 5th time I have stayed in a panoramic corner suite at Aria and I love them.
I always request the city view because at night I love the neon, lights and Aria's colorful entrance fountain.
In the corner suites the safe is in the closet, unlike their regular rooms where it's hidden in a side table drawer.
Here's a lot of photos of the suite in case you haven't seen it before.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Mob Attraction at Tropicana!

We decided to go to Mob Attraction on Sunday after our lunch at MOzen Bistro. We walked over to the Tropicana from Aria and then once in the Trop we had quite a long walk to the attraction.
While we had a great deal from livingsocial for two ticket vouchers that I had paid $26.10 for,  if you haven't gotten an online deal before going, look for someone around the box office area giving out fake 100 dollar bills that will give you a discount off your admission before you make your way up the escalator.
When we redeemed our livingsocial vouchers for our tickets we were given a passport for the two of us.
We then commenced our sojourn into the Mob Attraction where the first thing we encountered was of course a bar. :)
We didn't stop for a drink but headed right to Immigration, which is a translation for photo op, with you  and your group doing different poses!
After our photos were taken we waited for the group ahead of us to finish with their first interaction with the actors and then we were on our way.
Mob Attraction did an excellent job of introducing us to the old time mob scene, starting out first in Coney Island.
As we made our way down alley's, streets and into buildings we were given mob history by James Caan, Tony Sirico and others.

During the first part of the Mob Attraction you will have several interactions with actors.
I'm no snitch so I don't want to give away the plot too much but both my husband and I had fun trying to get a job and become part of the family.

Did the cop get anything out of my husband and I during our interrogation?
Did we land in jail with this poor soul?
Thanks to a timely telephone call we escaped from NY and made our way to a place called Las Vegas!
Once in Vegas we were given a quick education on how things work there.
I'm innocent I tell you, innocent!