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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, August 13, 2013

Friends just want to have fun, Vegas Shore Style! Part two of a two part seven night trip.

This is part 2 and the end of my July 2013,  seven night trip report. If you haven't read the first part please go to this link:
Today is Sunday and I've checked out of Cosmopolitan and into the Wynn after having very little sleep which was my fault since I didn't have any nightclub noise. Check in was smooth and my wonderful host Edward arranged for a panoramic room, which is Wynn speak for high floor with a great view of the strip. I also had a view of the Wynn Lake of Dreams. Better yet since Tryst would not be open during my three night stay, no nightclub noise! After quickly unpacking I scurried to the Country Club restaurant where once again I would be enjoying the jazz brunch with friends.
Our group had their usual large tables in the back of the restaurant with a view of the Wynn golf course.
Several ladies in my group ordered the unlimited Veuve Clicquot champagne which costs a extra $50. I ordered iced tea because after my sleepless night I was afraid having a drink would knock me out.
Anyone who has been reading this blog has seen food porn like the cheese board above from the Jazz Brunch before, along with the rest of the buffet set up. However, I was shocked and disappointed that this visit the jumbo shrimp had their shells still on. They were split which made the shell easy enough to remove but when I go to a high end brunch the last thing I want to do is get my hands icky from shelling shrimp! I'm not sure if the decision to leave the shells on is a ploy to get people to take and eat less of them or what, but they need to go back to serving them without the shell!
The jazz trio is still behind the cooking station. They used to be to the side but I guess they wanted to put in more tables in that section.
Other then my issue with the shrimp not being completely shelled the brunch is still fabulous!

Our group photo minus moi, not sure why I didn't ask one of our servers to take it.
What has become a tradition the handing off of Lola the stripper doll. This time Lola is going to Ft. Lauderdale with Lisa for a fun time!
As mentioned in previous reviews of mine in addition to the buffet there is a limited made to order lunch menu that you can order as much as you want from. They have a poached egg on muffin with BBQ pork dish on there and I made the request to have the BBQ Pork served to me without the egg and muffin. Unlike last time I ate there this time when they said yes they meant it and I got the dish of pork. It was delicious! I wish they would put this out on their buffet!
Below is the egg dish the BBQ pork is served with when you order it from the menu.
Shrimp and grits, yum! I don't normally enjoy grits but this is a tasty dish made to order off the menu.
Love their desserts but my favorite is the chocolate mousse like lollipops below.
Roz, Jen, Lisa and me after we finished our brunch.
Jeff is going for Jen's lollipop I gave her, watch out Jen!
Barb had injured her foot days before the trip to Vegas but she did great getting around on the scooter she rented and everyone wanted a ride on it. :)
Weeks before our trip we received tragic news that Gabbygambler (Maggie) had passed away due to complications from an operation. Our Vegas family group was devastated. After brunch the plan was to visit the Bellagio fountains and conservatory in memory of Maggie since they were two of her favorite spots. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling well after the brunch, likely due to lack of sleep and went back to my room for a nap and missed being there. Below is a group photo of those who went in memory of Maggie to Bellagio.
Most of us had last been with Maggie in February during Jeff's 60th birthday party celebration.  Gabbygambler was a lady who was always ready to have fun and enter into the spirit of things and for Jeff's birthday she dressed up as a crab to tell a funny story about her and Jeff.
Maggie, you are missed a lot by your Vegas Family!
After my nap I went down to the casino to see if any luck was to be found at Wynn. I was really happy when I hit this bonus on $1 Cleopatra. Here's the video of it:

After Cleopatra I lost on $1 DaVinci Diamonds and went over to try my luck at the $5 Wheel of Fortune where I hit for $600.00.
I was up again for the trip and feeling lucky. I made the mistake of going to Wynn's high limit room where I had one small hit on a $25 Pink Diamond slot before starting to lose.
I tried some Wynn penny slots after that but they weren't hitting for me so I walked over to Palazzo to try my favorite $1 Quick Hits slot.
I had a few decent hits and then a sad little bonus.
Then I hit 6 Quick Hits after my crappy bonus for $750.00 and my winning streak was on again!
Getting a bit nervous about continuing to push my luck in Palazzo's high limit room I moved on to some of my favorite penny slots.
I had a good hit above on Lord of the Rings but after that couldn't get a bonus or much of anything else.
Tried to repeat my success that I had at Cosmopolitan with Monopoly Super Money but while I had some fun and decent hits, no big wins this time!
Walked over to Venetian's high limit room and tried a few spins of $5 Pinball and got a quick bonus of $400.00.
Found myself in front of the $25.00 Wheel of Fortune and had to give it a few spins. Had one hit but gave it more then it gave me.
Played a few more slots at Venetian so walked back to Palazzo.
Spied the new Monopoly Prime Real Estate slot and had some fun bonuses on it, but no big wins. Here's a video of that new slot if you are curious:

Walked back to Wynn and decided to try some 25 cent Buffalo and had some decent hits on it.
When I stopped playing Buffalo and a few other slots at Wynn I was up again for the trip about $500 and really feeling good about the way gambling was going for me so far.
It was time to meet up with Liz as we were taking a taxi over to Caesar's Palace to have dinner in Gwen's suite and watch the reality TV show Big Brother.
Gwen had the Senator's Suite at Caesar's Palace and it was huge with 3 bathrooms and terrific views of the strip and the Bellagio Fountains.
Liz, Sharon, Gwen and I had some fun playing around in the various bathrooms.
Gwen's suite came with butler service and in the photo below he is getting ready to serve our dinner to us.
Jen who had been resting in her room joined us about now. Brian showing us the night time view of the strip from one of the many window's in this huge suite.

A short family dinner video of this meal:

If you watched the video then you know what each of these dishes are and who ate them. Also if you viewed the video you might have noticed I don't stop eating while Gwen is filming, not much gets between me and my dinner. ;)
The Butler took a group photo of us before we started to eat.
It was so much fun this evening to kick back, relax and watch Big Brother, just the break we all needed during a long Vegas trip!
Brian, Sharon, Gwen and Jen were to see Absinthe after dinner but Sharon was not feeling well due to her pregnancy so her and Brian went back to their room. Having already seen Absinthe I went back with Liz to Wynn to gamble while Gwen and Jen went to the show.
Nothing much was happening for me at Wynn. I had some brief fun with Spiderman but the wins were fairly low. Here's a video of a Spiderman bonus if you haven't played this slot yet.

Since I was starting to lose at Wynn I walked over to Venetian to play the Willy Wonka slot. I didn't have much in the way of great wins on it but did have some fun like this Chocolate River Ride Bonus.

After Wonka I walked around and played a lot of penny slots that I lost on. However my luck seemed to turn around again when I started playing the original Wizard of Oz and Glinda gave me 3 wilds for $706.00!
I didn't know it then but that was the last of my big wins.
I returned to Wynn and the 25 cent Buffalo, but with the exception of the hit above it didn't want to give me any action. I had some brief fun with the Dolly Parton slot but mainly I just lost lost lost so I went to bed.
Next morning Gwen treated our group to Cabana day at Caesar's Palace. She had three cabana's set up, with lots of food.
My favorite was the shrimp, notice how many were missing? <hanging head>.
The quesadillas were yummy!
Jeff who lives near me and had the big 60th birthday blow out in Vegas this past February. Jeff and his wife Roz frequently eat lunch with me in San Jose at our spot, the Cheesecake Factory! Jeff was enjoying the shade in the cabana and could be heard occasionally muttering about why did he eat breakfast when there was so much food at Gwen's party. :)
Vinette who also lives near me and is good friends with Jeff and Roz. I met her for the first time in February at Jeff's birthday party and she is a lovely fun lady.
Sharon, Brian and Lisa enjoying the sun.
Above is the yummy cocktail I drank that had blackberries in it.
A couple group shots around noon. There were actually more people at Gwen's party but July Vegas heat doesn't agree with me and no one was surprised that I left after about 90 minutes, so I did miss a lot of the fun they had.
Plenty of pools at Caesar's, here's one of many. Roz, Lisa, Jeff, Jon, myself, John, Brian and Liz are above.
I grabbed a cab to take me to Venetian and got a strange driver who wanted to let me out in the driveway of the Mirage cross walk so I could walk across the street to Venetian. No thank you if I wanted to do any walking in this heat I would have just walked!  As I entered Venetian, the usual entertainer with the accordion was in the lobby playing.
Walking back to Wynn in the cool air of the Venetian casino I couldn't help it, I had to stop and play Willy Wonka for a bit. Wonka gave me one nice hit before trying to take all my money so I soon got up and walked to Palazzo.
I had to try the $1 Quick Hits again at Palazzo because it was on my way as I walked to Wynn. It gave me one decent hit before trying to grab all my money.
Back at Wynn I was trying slots that normally I don't play in the hopes that something would happen. Jon had been playing Wicked Winnings III the previous evening when I ran into him at Wynn and had hit for over a grand on a $1 bet but my best hit on WWII was $135.00 and most of my wins were  under $10.00 so I moved on.
Wonder 4 can be fun but today it was taking more then it was giving.
I went over to Encore and had a little fun with the CSI slot but it also soon started being a hoover and I had to leave.
I love the Mummy slot and hit the Major progressive for $100.00 but couldn't get another bonus after this one so I went back to my room to take a break. Here's the video of my progressive win on The Mummy!
We were having a late dinner tonight at 9:30pm at Casa di Amore so I had a salad and some chicken satay around 4pm in my room. Wynn room service as always was perfect.
After a bite to eat and a change of clothes I had a few minutes before Liz and I were due at Mirage to join up with Jen, Brian, Sharon, Marie and Jim to see Love with free tickets courtesy of MyVegas.
I tried what used to be my favorite slot (LOL) $1 DaVinci Diamonds but put in more money then I cashed out with, so I tried the Cleopatra II quarter slots at Wynn because I saw someone get a hand pay on it the previous evening. I had one decent hit and then just lost.
This would be the 3rd time I've seen Love and I enjoyed it just as much as the previous times, though I doubt I would have seen it again if not for the free ticket. Jen and Liz scored a bunch of crepe paper during the show that they carried off to give to Gwen or for this photo op, okay I really don't know why they carried it off.
Brian and Sharon arranged and treated our group (below) to a limo ride from Presidential to Casa di Amore.
Once in the restaurant we were surprised and thrilled to see that T had flown in to be with us for the last few days of our trip. All of us were so happy to see our Teresa and be able to offer some emotional support to her!
Family dinner at Casa is always fun, there's Shona, Thomas, Jim and Marie.
Vinette, Roz and Lisa, looking good ladies!
Myself with Gwen, Brian and Sharon.
Love the Casa bruschetta!
It wouldn't be dinner at Casa di Amore without some antipasti!
There now seems to be a tradition for one or two of us to drink directly from our wine bottle. You go Jeff and Jen!
Always a duo or trio entertaining the restaurant.
One of our favorite servers Brad. It was half price night for wine, so wine on!
Barb, Ger, Thomas and John.
Looks like Shrimp scampi to me.
Zita and cheese?
I'm guessing eggplant parmesan.
Chicken Marsala?
I know what this is because I ate it! Delicious scallops florentine.
Gwen giving a toast to the group, but I seem to have neglected getting Gwen into the photo! Around this time Gwen passed a card around for Jane so that we could all sign it and tell her how much we missed her. Jane was originally suppose to be with us but had to remain home to take care of her family. Jane, we missed you!
If you order the cannoli for dessert at Casa you get the T-Shirt below for free.
Tiramisu for dessert was delicious. I had the cannoli previous trip and while good prefer the Tiramisu.
Their creme brûlée looks good too, this is one of Gwen's favorites.
Yes, that's Brad holding my leg up, that's what happens after a bottle of wine. ;)
A fun evening with a terrific group of friends!
After Casa di Amore I returned to Encore with Liz, Lisa and Teresa. I briefly played video poker with Liz and Teresa and while I did hit a 4OAK, it was obvious due to some errors I was making discarding my cards even though Liz tried to watch to make sure I didn't make them that it was time for me to return to the slots where I don't have to think after drinking.
Okay, I shouldn't have returned to the slots. I had a few minor hits as you can see below but I lost lost lost and was now down down down for the trip. On the good news front Gwen who earlier in the trip had been losing at Bellagio was winning big at Caesar's Palace and MGMGrand on VP.
Beaten down by the slots at Wynn I soon went to bed and got a good night's sleep.
My last full day of this trip to Vegas started out with great company at a wonderful restaurant Tableau!
Yummy peanut butter muffins, apple fritters and other goodies in the bread basket that came with Gwen's breakfast!
Teresa's lobster and shrimp frittata with creme fraiche and salmon roe looked wonderful!
Looking good, Liz and Teresa!
I enjoyed the Spanish three egg omelet with chorizo, guacamole, cheddar, lime creme and salsa ranchera.
Below is the white chocolate and orange French toast which is so wonderful. They had taken this off their brunch menu but they were nice enough to make it up by request.
Jen's sticky bun with a caramel and granola crust.
Gwen's Tableau Breakfast.
Eggs Benedict, always a yummy choice.
On our way out of Tableau happy after a delicious brunch.
After brunch we split up for a while to go our separate ways and I decided to go lose more.
I had a few good hits, but they were few and losses were many.
When the Dolly Parton slot is in bonus modes it's great fun.
I finally gave up again on the Wynn casino, the penny, five and quarter cent slots were killing me. I was now down for the trip. I'm not blaming the Wynn casino as Liz was having great luck their playing VP, it was just me that can't seem to win there. Obviously once again 7 night trips are just too much for me, though at least this trip I had been ahead for 5 days!
I was pleasantly surprised to see a basket of tasty fruit waiting in my room, a gift from my host Edward! After a brief rest I met up with Liz and Teresa as we were going to Max Brenner for happy hour!
Max Brenner made me very happy with this wonderful chocolate martini, shaken not stirred, of milk and white chocolate, Absolut vanilla, bailey's, kahlua with a granish of spiced sugared hazelnuts.
Lots of yummy drinks and appetizers each for $6 Monday- Friday from 3-6pm!
Above the hummus and Babu-Ghanoush that I ordered and below yummy chicken tenders.
Beer Battered Vidalia Onion rings with a dark chocolate ranch dressing.
The Brenner burger sliders!
Last trip I learned about doing threesies in photos from Cocktail Doll so here we go.
If I ask you to do threesies, I'm talking photos!
Thanks Brian and Sharon for picking up the tab at Max Brenner's!
Above is my second chocolate martini and below is Jen and I eating our marshmallows!
After we left Max Brenner, Liz, Teresa and I headed back to Wynn where we met up with Terri who took us into Wynn's VIP Lounge. While having a good time chatting at Edward who is Terri's, Gwen's and my host showed up. It was Edward's day off but somehow he was at Wynn that evening. We had a fun chat and then Liz took off to win more money playing VP, while Terri, Teresa, Edward and I went to La Cave.
No photos of Edward or Terri, but Teresa and I are never camera shy!
Edward ordered a banana beer! Terri had coke cola as she was driving later, Teresa and I had martini'd out at Max Brenners so we ended up with iced tea.
Charcuterie Board where you select 3 cheeses and meats.
Salmon Sashimi Tostada with avocado and a sesame seed oil dressing. I pretty sure Edward ate most of this as Terri and I don't eat sushi, though perhaps Teresa had some.
Above is the shrimp dish I ordered. It had a lot of tomatoes but was good.
Can't eat at La Cave without ordering bacon wrapped dates.
Above is the s'more dessert on flat bread that La Cave makes. My photo of it is terrible, it looks much better then this and is delicious. Try it you will like it! Thanks Terri for taking us out to La Cave!
After dinner Edward was kind enough to get my boarding pass printed out for me while I had a couple wins before continuing my losing streak.
Yep, no more photos of wins, I went home a loser again. However, if I figure out the comps I received over 7 days and nights, they equaled out to my losses gambling, so thank goodness for comps!
I had a blast this trip, but how could I not? Fun friends to hang out with, great food, many wins though never enough and lots of entertainment.

I was going to skip going in August, yes I hear your scoffing through your smart phones, Ipads and computers, but honestly for the longest time I had no plans for Las Vegas until late September when I go to G2E. However, it's Mom 80th birthday in August and while we were originally planning on her visiting me, somehow it turned into a trip to Las Vegas to see the shows of comedian David Spade and Celine Dion. There's also a 50k Venetian tournament that I somehow entered, a Meet that is planned on Saturday night, a birthday celebration or two... Our trip starts on August 15th for 4 nights of fun and hopefully some luck too!


  1. Awesome TR and pics as usual. I love that it was long and very informative. I always feel like I was there. Thanks.

  2. Thanks, Diana. Your trip reports are so informative! Looking forward to your August report. I have an invitation to a 50k tournament at the V/P and I'm curious what the award dinners are like there. Hope your Mom had a great birthday!

    1. Our award dinner was in one of the ballrooms from 4 to 6m. Since I knew I hadn't won and it was so early for dinner we didn't go. I was told though that they would have entertainment, food and open bar. Usually the dinners aren't so early and if they had the usual time of it starting around 6pm we would have gone.

      I also have a invite to a upcoming V/P 50K tournament again but decided to go with one at Aria in early September that's 150k.

      Are you thinking of doing the Secret Service slot tournament that is September 5th or the Day of the Dead tournament that they are doing around October 31st?

    2. Thanks. I'm considering the Day of the Dead tournament. I was told the dinner is also scheduled to be in one of the ballrooms from 4-6pm. It is early, and I like enjoying a nice meal in the V/P restaurants, so unless I'm a big winner I'd have to debate whether to go or not too.

  3. I came in 133 place in my tournament. Hoping for better luck in the Aria 150k. At least with the Bellagio, Aria and Mandalay Bay slot tournaments everyone gets a free play prize unlike V/P where only the first 100 entries do.

    Good luck if you play in the Day of the Dead tournament! Love all the costumes and funny things one seems around Halloween in Vegas, a great time to people watch!

  4. Another great report. Good luck in the Aria tournament! Just wondering though how Gwen got such an awesome room with butler service? Isn't she a video poker player? Good for her though. She seems like a great person.

    Can't wait for the next report!


  5. Thanks, crossing my fingers over the Aria tournament which has 3 other people entered that I know from the slot fanatics message board.

    Gwen lately has been primarily a VP player though at a high bet level, but she also plays slots. A while back someone from the CET group talked Gwen into staying at Caesar's (contacted her, not the other way around) and gave her a fantastic offer with free play, this suite and other perks which she used on this July trip. After the trip that employee reneged on some of the offer even though Gwen played at a higher level then her Total Reward history, so she has sent off a letter to their boss and we're waiting to see if she gets a reply and what they do about it. While I never trust any casino group, it's for sure I will never trust CET after this.

    I'm currently writing up the next report and hope to have it out next week. :)

  6. Hi Diane,
    Great blog. Do you have any tips for a noob (me) for starting to enjoy your comps? My husband is turning 50 and we are splurging on a stay at encore at the end of October. I have a red wynn card but was wondering if you had advice about getting free upgrades/comps during our stay without being obnoxious. I know I will have to play my dues with my play level. Just looking for tips! I don't have a google account but here's my email: And my name is Dorrie. Nice to meet you and thanks in advance.

  7. Heading out this week, thanks for the great tip about Casa Di Amore. I made arrangements for the Limo pick-up. I am looking forward to this "old Vegas" style restaurant. Just missed you again... someday our pats will cross. I hope good fortune finds you on your future trips.

    1. Request Brad as your server he is fantastic and a fun person. He's the server photographed in this trip report.

      I can't believe we are missing each other again. My husband and on 9/5 for the Aria slot tournament so you are between my 2 trips. :(

      Good luck to you, I know you will have fun!