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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.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Valentine's Day and a 60th Birthday, Vegas Style! Finale

The is part two and the end of my February trip report. If you haven't read the first part yet, please go to this URL:
Sunday morning I dragged myself out of bed around 9am which is early for me in order to pack and get ready for my move to Wynn. Since I had a late check out at Palazzo and brunch at Wynn's Country Club Jazz Buffet this morning I left my suitcase and walked over to Wynn to check in. I had a nice surprise when there wasn't any line and I was able to check in immediately. Thanks to my host I was given a panoramic room with a view of the strip and Wynn's Lake of Dreams.
 After a quick glance at my room I hurried down to the Country Club Restaurant for their Jazz Brunch.
Gwen had arranged 2 tables at the Jazz Brunch for those of us who wanted to brunch and we had a beautiful view and delicious food.
To see lots of photos of food and read my opinions of the Jazz brunch go to this link:
After our delicious and fun brunch the group split up to go their separate ways as there were various fun events planned for the evening. I went back to Palazzo and gathered up my luggage, checked out and caught a taxi to Wynn. Kudos to my taxi driver who was the nicest driver I've had in a long time and didn't mind the short ride.
After taking my luggage up to my room and unpacking (again!), I was hopeful that my luck might change at Wynn. At first it wasn't too bad as I had some small hits on $1 DaVinci Diamonds and $5 Top Dollar but it quickly went back to the dark side, eating up my free play and more, so I went back to the penny slots.

The extra reward slot above is called Victory's Favor and was introduce to me by Gwen last year. This slot at Wynn and the one like it at Encore was one of just a few that I had any luck with during my three nights at Wynn!
I was happy to see that Wynn had the Beverly Hills slot that I've grown to love (translation, it's one of the few slots in the last few months I can win on occasionally) and I finally hit the Silver Progressive this trip playing the London spin bonus. Unfortunately after this hit it just didn't want to give up any more wins.
Buffalo doesn't usually like me but I try it each trip and this hit at Wynn was the best I could do even though I tried for quite a while.
I had a fun bonus on Miss Kitty but it basically only gave me back the money I had put into it.
This sculpture is new outside of the Wynn Theatre. It's certainly bright and colorful, not sure if I care of it, perhaps it will grow on me.
There was a Group Slot Pull today at 5pm in the Harrah's High Limit Room but I didn't attend as I felt like a jinx at this point. So I just continued to play and lose until it was time for dinner at Palazzo's Grand Lux with Gwen, Sharon, Brian, Jen, Claudia, Tobi and Chad.
 Grand Lux was busy but we had a nice table at the casino patio area. Above is Sharon's seafood salad.
The food and service was great as always. Yes, I have forgotten who ordered the dish above and the one below.
Below is my Mango Chicken Salad with lime dressing, it was very good.
Gwen, Jen, myself, Brian and Sharon. I'm not sure why Chad, Tobi and Claudia aren't in this photo.
After our dinner at Grand Lux we split up again. There was a group going at 9pm to Indigo Lounge but I decided to stay at Palazzo and gamble because I was sure Lady Luck would eventually smile on me!
I couldn't get a bonus on Aladdin at Palazzo but I had one good hit before I gave up.
Last December I tried this new Man of La Mancha slot and couldn't do anything on it. Then someone on Slot Fanatics posted they had won and had fun on it so I tried it again and had a bunch of fun bonuses before it dried up.
My brief fling with Gold Fish had mixed results but I did have one good Fish Can Bonus!
I decided to see if my favorite Hangover slot at Palazzo would cooperate and started playing it with little luck.  As I was playing Jonathan who is on vegasmessageboard and also reads the blog came up and introduce himself and we had a fun chat. There was a man playing Hangover to the right of me and we asked him to take a photo of us and he agrees and then said something like don't you write a blog and so I got to meet another reader!
Above is Winton, I also met his brother who is a nice man. We had a great conversation and it made up for Hangover failing me. I tried a few slots after meeting Jonathan and Winton but it was just more losses so I finally gave up on gambling at Palazzo for this trip.
I returned to Wynn and went to bed, I had enough of losing that evening.  I ordered the Deli platter from Wynn Room Service as a snack as I stayed up until 3am. Why up until 3am when I'm not gambling or having fun? Well, I went back to the room to discover email from Virgin America where they canceled out my family's non-stop flight to Ft. Lauderdale in May and gave us terrible seats on a flight that went through L.A. instead. I had to find new flights and call them up to sort it out. My luck really was out this week!
I slept in and then had a quick bite to eat in my room. I ordered the Cobb salad with shrimp from Wynn room service and they were quick to bring it.
After eating I left the room to meet up with Trish (Lantana) and her friend who had come in from the UK both for a holiday and Lowrance's birthday. I met Trish years ago on Trip Advisor and always have a great time when we meet up in Vegas. For those who have read this blog before you might remember me writing about her birthday party two years ago during a Thanksgiving trip.  After meeting up at Wynn we walked over to the Platinum Lounge at Palazzo for cappucino's and had a lovely chat catching up a bit. After this afternoon I wouldn't see them again as they were flying back to the UK tonight.
After I left Trish, I decided to see if today would be my lucky day at Wynn. It started out promising when I played Michael Jackson and won $94.80 on a $1.20 bet!
I then went over to the Tarzan and Jane slots and had some luck with a Ape Battle bonus.
I had several good bonuses on Tarzan and Jane and really becoming hopeful that I might at least get some decent play in today.
Well, Tarzan eventually dried up and I just couldn't find a winner among any slot I tried at Wynn.
Fortunately there was still fun to be had this evening as it was time to meet up with Gwen, Liz, Teresa, and Claudia and go to Casa di Amore for dinner with some of our friends from Lowrance's birthday party who were still in town.
The photo above was Jane, myself and Liz fooling around after dinner.
It's half price wine night at Casa, so cheers!
Sheri, Robin and Robin's Mom!
Carol, Lowrance, and others! Brian had organized the dinner at Casa as he also did back in July. We had two large tables for our group and besides us there were two other large groups there this evening. Half price wine night draws a crowd, the restaurant was very busy!
Teresa, Julie and Roz above and Liz and Teresa below.
Lea, myself and Shaunna.
Love this photo of Jane, Barb and Ger!
John, our master photographer and his wife Teri.  I love John's photos which is why I borrowed quite a few for my trip report.
"Lola the stripper doll having a bit much too drink as usual!" Quote from Mr. TJ (John) plus I stole err borrowed his photo!
Sharon, Gwen, Jen and Claudia!
Sylvana and Mary Ann!
This is the second time we have eaten with a large group at Casa di Amore and as back in July the food was great and the service terrific!
I didn't order filet but it looks great!
I can't recall what the dish is above, time to take a guess?
Above is Bruschetta, so yummy with lots of garlic! The photo below is Eggplant Parmigiana with pasta.
They gave our group complimentary antipasti platters.
Looks like chicken with red roasted peppers, broccoli and a stuffed potato.
Most of us ordered wine but Sylvana drank the Kinky Tickled Pink!
Moi, having too much to drink like Lola the stripper doll above. Have I mentioned it was half price for wine that night and no one wanted to drink Riesling with me so I was forced to drink it all myself?
We had two large tables that night, below is a photo of the table I wasn't sitting at. There were about six more friends at this table but I can't locate a photo that has everyone in it.
Myself with Jane and Barb.
There's always entertainment at Casa. The musician below reminded several of us of Sammy Davis Jr.
Dessert time found me ordering the Cannoli below so I could get the free t-shirt!
This is the back of the Casa di Amore t-shirt that my son is now wearing around our house.
The Creme Brûlée dessert looked delicious.
I think this was the Coppa Spagnola, vanilla and amarena cherry gelato swirled with amarena cherries.
A big thanks to Casa di Amore, not only do they have good food, the service is wonderful and once again they treated us like family! Casa even provided two limos for those of us who were going to Mandalay Bay to see Vegas Limit perform! Brian, thanks for organizing a fun dinner for all of us!
Liz, Julie, Gina and others are big fans of Vegas Limit and try to see them frequently in Vegas.
The guys are good and they take requests.
Jen, Lowrance and Roz having fun at Mizuya Lounge where Vegas Limit and other groups perform. At one point I left briefly with Jen to go to the sock store at the shops at Mandalay Place and yes I bought some very cute socks. Thanks Jen for telling me about this store!
Gina and Teresa, time to get our dancing on!
This shot might have been when we were dancing to "Highway to Hell".

Gwen, Claudia and I were the first to leave and we caught a cab back to the Wynn. I think we were all tired, I know I was and I didn't even try to do any gambling I just headed to my room and finally had a good night's sleep.

I woke up late next morning and ended up ordering the same as the day before, the shrimp cobb salad from room service.
After eating I went down to gamble for a bit, surely my luck would change?  As you can see I started to low roll for me and did hit a decent bonus of $95.99 on Gone with the Wind on a $1.20 bet but I couldn't get anything else going.
Tried Tarzan since I had some luck on it the day before but could only get one bonus for $77.30. No more photos of slots during this time period because it's hard to take photos of losses! I needed a break from losing so I sent a text to Gwen and discovered that her and Jen were going to Bellagio to see the conservatory which sounded fun, so off we went.
After going through the conservatory and admiring the flowers and displays we stopped in the VIP lounge at Bellagio for some water and soda and also grabbed ourselves a couple of their great herbal tea bags. The couple I took was for my son who loves hot tea.

For more photos of the Year of the Snake at the Bellagio Conservatory, Palazzo, Wynn and Aria go to my previous post on the blog at this link:
After the conservatory we walked over to Cosmopolitan because Jen was craving to try a Smore Campfire Martini from the Chandelier Bar only to discover that the bar level that has that drink on the menu was closed and the level that was open wouldn't make the drink. This is twice that's happened to me, previously it was during the Thanksgiving trip of last year when I took my Mom there. It's starting to get annoying that only certain levels of the Chandelier Bar will make certain types of speciality drinks, so annoying that we decided to take our business to the free drinks on the casino floor where Jen and I would indulge in Cosmopolitans.
We were playing various slots at Cosmo with Jen having some luck and Gwen having fun with the Gems slot when I found the Mission Impossible slot. I had enjoyed playing this slot at Palazzo last year but they have since removed it. I had a brief run of luck on the one at Cosmo when I hit for $74.33 on the bonus which was a good win since I was only betting around one dollar.
After Mission Impossible I joined Jen at the slot she was playing when a man using the ATM/Ticket machine glanced over and asked if I wrote this blog! As always it was great to unexpectedly meet up with one of my readers.  Lionel was a nice guy and it turns out he lives in San Jose which isn't far from where I live. Lionel was with his girlfriend but I didn't get to meet her this trip.
As the three of us were leaving I saw the Mummy Slot and had to play it, so Gwen joined me, and Jen sat next to me playing Gone with the Wind. All of us had some luck, Jen on Gone with the Wind and myself with a few decent bonuses. Gwen was luckiest of all as she had about 3 times the bonuses on her Mummy slot as me and was betting max. Perhaps this is a good time to add that Gwen was having the luckiest trip of anyone and was getting a record amount of hand pays on VP at Wynn during the time I was there and also after I left Vegas. I don't think I've ever seen anyone has so many straight days of luck and all of them were well deserved!
Once back at Wynn I left Gwen and Jen to the gambling and went back to to my room for a short rest and to change my clothes for dinner.
Gwen was treating us to drinks at Parasol Up and dinner at La Cave tonight. Thanks Gwen, it was a lovely evening!

Jen's drink above was the one I wished I had ordered, a tasty concoction of gin, cucumber and ginger, very refreshing!
 I had the Pear A Sol which is also good.
 I think Sharon also had the Pear A Sol!
 Brian, Julie and Tobi. It was great to run into Julie and get a chance to say goodbye before she left for the airport to return home. My only real regret of this trip, despite the constant losing (LOL) was that due to the size of our parties and that I missed going to several parties, I wasn't able to spend very much one on one time with a lot of my friends. Fortunately there will be other opportunities but that's the one issue with really large parties, no matter how much fun they are.
Sharon, Liz, Gwen, Mel, Chad and Jen!
Liz, myself and Teresa at La Cave. Last time I had eaten at La Cave it was for brunch and it was great to return here for dinner.
All of us ordered a dish we would like to try at La Cave and then Gwen ordered several of them so we had plenty to eat. Sorry for the dark photos I should have used my flashed. I want to say the above dish is the yummy bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese fondue, so I will!
The star dish of the evening for me was the delicious Chicken Thai Basil, Chili Sauce and Garlic Flatbread!
A selection of cheeses and meats from the Charcuteria Board.
Rigatoni pasta, grilled chicken in a basil creme sauce.
Above is onion soup with puff pastry and Gruyere Cheese. I didn't taste this but heard it was great!
Diver Sea Scallops on top of a polenta cake with shrimp sauce and mushroom, and another dish I loved.
Photos of us at La Cave, I guess by now everyone knows the names!
We said a tearful goodbye after LaCave, literally in Gwen's case as Jen was leaving that evening and this was also the last night of Brian, Sharon's and Tobi's trip.
After leaving my friends I decided to walk to Encore and try my luck there, it sure couldn't get worse then what I was experiencing so far this trip. As I'm walking by the Wynn theater I see a group of men and woman having fun posing on the floor like the posters for the show Le Reve!
Once at Encore I see Victory's Favor the same slot that at Wynn was giving me some wins earlier in my stay. Finally I had a brief run of luck as I hit several good bonuses.
It was when I hit the bonus for $441.20 and had gotten my wins up to over $600.00 a strange man walks up to me and congratulates me on my win. Then he asks me if I play poker and I say do you mean VP and he says poker do you play poker. I answered that occasionally I do where he starts in that he can show me a hot machine, ah, okay I guess we were talking video poker after all. No thanks, not playing VP this trip, bye bye! If I was to get any advice on a hot VP machine to play it would have been from Gwen or my friend Terri, certainly not some random stranger.
Fortunately the man took the hint and since Victory's Favor started to cool off I left to go find Gwen, Liz and Teresa who were playing VP at one of the bars where Gwen was having one win after another! I had also just missed seeing Steve Wynn who I guess had just walked by with his entourage.
I tried playing VP briefly with my friends but I was losing and getting bored so went off to play Miss Kitty. I got the bonus but basically won what I put into it.
Walking back to Wynn I gave Beverly Hillbillies another try and did have one good hit on it, but then it died on me.
I should have taken my brief run of luck on $1 DaVinci Diamonds and quit but there seemed to be play in it tonight so I ended up staying too long at this party and lost my money for the evening. At least I got some play for a change, but it would have been nicer to have gone to bed a winner!
Once back in the room as I was packing in preparation of moving to Aria the next day I noticed that even though it was around 1am the Lake of Dreams was active.
I'm not sure if they were doing shows this late at night or just running some tests but it was interesting.
Night time view from my room of the strip.
Next morning I slept in a bit and then checked out of Wynn and took at taxi to Aria. Final thoughts on Wynn is rooms are great, service is terrific and I love the property, I just can't seem to usually win there, however it's me, since Gwen as mentioned was winning like crazy there!
Aria's Chinese New Year's decorations were nice. Registration went quickly after the clerk called up the player's club to see if they could upgrade me to a corner suite for the one night I would be there. I'm currently NOIR  level but even if there's availability they have to check so it's really not the automatic perk it sounds like in their brochure to get a complimentary upgrade.
This corner suite was nice but wasn't a panoramic as I've had in the past so the living room area was a bit smaller and the view wasn't as great since there was less window space in the bedroom.
The bedroom area was a duplicate of other corner suites I've had in the past and there's also a guest half bath I didn't photograph.
A couple photos of the living room area.
I hadn't eaten yet for the day so I decided to get a quick bite at the newly renovated Aria Buffet.
I've already written up a review on the Aria buffet with lots of photos, if you want to read it go to this link on the blog:
After the buffet I tried a bunch of slots at Aria, new ones, old ones, it didn't matter what, I just couldn't get anything going except for a few wins.
One of the few reel type slots I enjoy Pink Diamonds gave me a win, but mainly it was just giving me my money back.
I still couldn't get much going with the new Kiss slot though I like it.
My friend Kevin came over to Aria late afternoon and starting winning up a storm on the $5 Top Dollar slot that earlier I had played and lost on. It wasn't the Aria slots that were tight it was just me. I think Kevin took about $1400.00 out of the above slot while I watched. As we were chatting Maureen from the Vegas Rex board came up and surprised us, small world sometimes in Vegas! We went off to the City Bar on the casino floor and had a couple cocktails while we all caught up. Some of the Vegas Rex group was having a Meet this weekend and while Kevin tried to convince me to stay over one more night, I was tired of Vegas or at least losing and just wanted to go home.
After a nice visit Kevin left to pick up a friend at the airport and Maureen went off to meet her husband.  I tried the Beverly Hillbillies slot at Aria and was rewarded with a bonus, just as Terri sent me a text to let me know she was there for dinner.
Tonight Teri and I went to a restaurant I haven't been to before, Sirio! My drink above was a vanilla ginger mojito. It was a very interesting taste, but I'm not sure I would order it again.
The focaccia was soft, warm and delicious!
Terri ordered the White Dover Sole that was served with crushed potato cauliflower and toasted pine nuts. Terri said she liked her sole a lot.
I had the beef tenderloin with lobster tail, it was very good!
Terri's vegetables are above. I thought it was strange to serve a white fish with two white vegetables. I would have preferred to see something a bit more colorful with one of the vegetables.
The dessert menu was interesting and there were many things that sounded good, but we were really full. However, we couldn't resist sharing a dessert out of curiosity and I'm so glad we did because it was not only pretty to look at it tasted great! Below is our Chocolate Hazelnut Semifreddo with Amaretto Caramel and Candied Hazelnuts. Loved it and would go back to Sirio just for this dessert!
After dinner Terri and I gambled for a while but both of us were losing so she returned home and I went back to my room around 11pm.
When I entered my corner suite, I could hear the night club noise from Cosmopolitan so I called registration and they gave me another corner suite on a lower floor and I moved as I knew that noise would keep me up all night. The new room was fine and since I was leaving in the morning and hadn't unpacked much it wasn't that much work to move.
The next morning the Aria limo took me to the airport for the flight home to San Jose and on the way out she pointed out that some of the strip was closed due to the terrible shooting and deaths that had occurred around 4am that day.

Once at the airport I had my first meal for the day at Sammy Hager's Beach Bar and Grill. I ordered the chicken sandwich and had them leave off the bread. The flight home was on time and so was my son who picked me up at the airport.
I had a blast this trip despite the losses. Being able to spend Valentine's Day with my husband and celebrate Lowrance's 60th birthday with him and other friends was so much fun. The only way it could have been better besides not losing would be to have spent additional one on one time with more friends.

Thanks again to John, Lisa, Liz and anyone else I borrowed a photo from for this trip report.

The next trip is March 10th for 2 nights when I will be staying in a Mirage Suite on a Myvegas reward. If you haven't played it yet Myvegas is a free game on Vegas where you earn loyalty points and turn them in for a free room, food, show and other comps in Vegas at a M-Life property. The main purpose of this quick trip is to see my friends Terri and Claire and eat at a couple restaurants participating in restaurant week. Here's a link to information about restaurant week and 3 square if you are interested:

Thanks for reading and good luck on your next trip to Las Vegas!


  1. Hi Diana!
    It was great to see you in February at Palazzo. Thanks for the great TR and for the mention. My dad and I did really well that trip. I'm back at the end of March and hope for equal luck!

    All the best to you!


  2. David, it was fun to run into you again. I'm happy you and your Dad did so well! Sorry we'll miss each other this month. Are you going in April?


  3. Hi Diana!
    Great to see you also. My next trip is Mar 29. No Vegas in April. I have work trips that will keep me busy and far from Vegas. I will be in Vegas over Memorial weekend with group of 12 to celebrate my sister's and my Bday.

    Take care and see you in Vegas soon I am sure.


  4. David, have a great trip the end of this month and on Memorial weekend with your sister and friends. Happy Birthday in advance hope you have lots of birthday luck! I'm skipping Vegas in May due to a cruise we're taking that month for our 25th wedding anniversary. :)