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Only a hour flight away from Las Vegas we visit frequently, sometimes once a month. I'll be sharing our trip reports, tips on making the most of your stay in Vegas, reviews of restaurants and shows we have seen, along with my thoughts related to our favorite place to get away from it all.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Las Vegas Christmas winning trip report- part two at Mandalay Bay

This is part two of a two part trip report so if you haven't read part one where we start out staying at Palazzo please go to this link:
Laura and Yon not only helped Mom and I with our luggage when leaving Palazzo they drove us to THEHotel at Mandalay Bay before they went to check in at their next hotel Aria. They did not long haul us! ;)   Sadly though we didn't get another chance to see Laura and Yon before they left to return home but will have to wait until later in 2014 to meet again.
I had VIP check in at THEHotel and they also allowed Mom to check in via the VIP desk. Our request for adjoining rooms was not honored but we did get suites on the same floor.
My husband Randy and our son Matt would not arrive until around 6pm so I had a few hours to gamble after unpacking and Mom decided to rest up for a bit. I was up a couple thousand or so from my wins at Palazzo but nervous about giving it all back since one of our Christmas presents to our son was $500 of gambling money and of course I didn't know if my husband and I would have any luck during the next three days, as the past year or so we had mainly lost at Mandalay Bay.

After getting my lowly amount of $200.00 free play from the players club desk I started out with my favorite $1 Davinci Diamonds slot since it was nearby. Davinci took my free play and some of my bankroll so I decided to move on to the penny slots. I tried playing the new Avatar and Iron Man slots and lost a couple hundred on them. Tried some old favorites like Wolf Run and lost more money and was getting a bit worried that changing casinos had changed my luck too!
Earlier my favorite Lord of the Rings slot at Mandalay Bay had people playing it but it was finally free and I put a hundred in it and starting max betting. I hit a Frodo bonus on it pretty quickly and had a surprise win at the end of it of $761.00. Of course if you watch the bonus of it below I was greedy and wanted even more!

Whew!  I had recovered my earlier losses and was now ahead for the day at Mandalay Bay. I played a few more slots like Twilight Zone and started losing again!
Fortunately I didn't lose too much before my husband and son arrived and I took them to the room where they unpacked before dinner.
I really like the suites at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay,  even though these days they are showing their age before they are remodel them due to Delano taking over THEHotel later this year. They are two room suites with a living room that makes it convenient when traveling with our son as he can sleep in there on a roll away and also in addition to a huge master bath the suites have a half bath that is handy when sharing three to a suite.
After Randy and Matt had unpacked we met up with Mom at her room and walked over to Luxor.

In addition to the $300 resort credit I had with my offer I had a myvegas coupon good for $75.00 off a $150.00 or more bill at Tender Steak and Seafood. Randy and I used to love this restaurant which has had an old Vegas feel to it and the same menu for years, even though the name was changed a couple years ago. However last time I ate here with my friend Terri some of the food was a bit off so I was hoping they once again had their act together and we would enjoy our dinner.
The bread was nice and my shrimp cocktail with coconut curry greek yogurt sauce and seaweed salad was fresh and firm.  I didn't really care for the coconut yogurt sauce and I like coconut, I ended up just using the cocktail sauce. As you can see there wasn't much seaweed salad but that was fine with me!
My husband liked his baby iceberg salad but fell in love with my son's chili appetizer.

Las Vegas Winning Christmas Trip with my family and friends-part one at Palazzo

I've been visiting Las Vegas a lot the last few years, but never at Christmas time which has always been celebrated at my home, Mom's house or another family member's home. This year when Mom mentioned she would just as soon be in Vegas as at my house with potentially bad weather I was happy to oblige and plan our first Christmas trip to fantasy land. :) The plan was for me to fly in late Saturday night the 21st, Mom would arrive the next day and my husband and our son would join us on Christmas Eve the 24th.

The plan worked with the exception that bad weather backed up McCarran airport and delayed flights out of San Jose so that I arrived an hour late. Not a big delay but since I was meeting friends Trey and Linda that evening at Palazzo, I kept texting them with updates on my delay until I'm sure they wanted to say enough already, cease and desist!
Once I arrived at McCarran,  Lenny my limo driver was waiting at baggage claim for me. Lenny was a friendly driver, he's 76 years old and has been driving taxis and living in Vegas for 40 years so he has lots of stories! I was glad Lenny was interesting because my luggage was delayed too! Once we had my luggage Lenny drove me quickly to Palazzo and I was checked in at the VIP desk around 11pm.

I scurried to my room and just left my luggage so I could run down to the casino and meet up with Trey and Linda. It didn't take long to find my friends and soon we were enjoying champagne in the Platinum Lounge at Palazzo! I've know Linda and Trey a few years now thanks to the Slot Machine and Slot Fanatics message boards.  They are always fun to be with and Trey writes up great live trip reports on SF.
After drinks at the Platinum lounge we started playing slots and drinking at Palazzo. Normally I don't order the complimentary drinks at Venetian and Palazzo because I usually don't like them, with the exception of their Bailey's and coffee with whip cream. This trip Trey told me that V&P makes a great spicy Bloody Mary and will bring extra olives on request. Who knew? Not me!  I can be a fast learner when there's a drink involved and soon I was also enjoying what was a great spicy Bloody Mary. I discovered one needs to be careful about ordering extra olives as some servers will being you a extra glass full of them and even I don't need that many olives, LOL!

I had fun playing slots with Trey and Linda, though I had a slow start until I hit the above bonus on Super Monopoly Money. While over $400 looks great for a win on a $3.50 bet it wasn't that great since the game kept having re-triggers and I had over 100 free spins and was envisioning at least a win of $900 or more. I recorded a video of it but it's too large to post on youtube as the bonus was 18 minutes long!
At the end of my long bonus my Grazie host found me (it can be hard to locate me because I'm on the move so much from slot to slot so he was amazed I was still on the same slot as his computer claimed) and let me know that Mom and I didn't have comped tickets to the new show Panda because the show was delayed due to some of the performers having Visa issues. B offered me other comp tickets but Mom and I had seen those shows so I decided to pay (ouch) for tickets and we would go see Terry Fator's Country Christmas show instead.

I played a few more slots with Trey and Linda but they decided to retire for the night as they would be checking out of Palazzo in the morning and into Wynn next door, so I walked over to Venetian. I had some luck on the new Phantom of the Opera slot! Here's a video of that bonus:

Also had a bit of luck on Hangover and the $5 Cheeseburger slot at Venetian.
I can't seem to walk by the $1 Sun and Moon slot in the Venetian HL room and frequently get a bonus on it, but so far the bonuses have been disappointing.
$1 Quick Hits was calling my name as I walked by and I had a decent hit on it though usually it's the Quick Hits in the Palazzo high limit room that I have my most luck with. When I have luck that is, which this year hasn't been very often.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Photos of Bellagio Christmas Conservatory 2013 during the day and night!

The first group of photos is from December 26th with my family during the crowded daytime hours of the Bellagio Conservatory.