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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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Summer of Birthdays-Gwen's Birthday!

This is the last Las Vegas birthday in my trilogy of trip reports,  a Summer of Birthdays! If you haven't read the first two you might want to read them first. They are at the following links:

June: Liz's Birthday Trip report at:

My July Birthday Trip Report at:
Photo of Delano from their Facebook webpage.
It was August 22nd and time to to celebrate Gwen's birthday with her! Flight out of San Jose was uneventful and on time. My limo was at the airport waiting for me, i.e. chauffeur Laura and her husband Yon in their rental car. Thanks Laura and Yon for chauffeuring me around the strip several times! For the first three nights of this six night trip I would be staying at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay for the last time, as the following week it would officially turn into Delano. My husband and I have always loved THEHotel at MB but the rooms were long overdue for renovation so I was eager to see what Delano had done with them as the branding of the property was now complete, though there was still some construction going on to finish up the lobby in time in time for the Grand Opening.
Check in was efficient so we were able to take my luggage to my suite before the three of us went to lunch.
The lay out of the suite is the same as it was when it was THEHotel,  however the furnishings and style is completely different.
The color scheme is neutrals and whites and time will tell if this was a mistake for a color scheme in Las Vegas. However, the furniture seems cheap enough so perhaps they just plan on replacing it frequently.
THEHotel sofa used to be fairly comfortable, all three of us thought the new sofa was very uncomfortable. The room was clean, but sterile, sort of like a upscale hospital room and channeling some Ikea style furnishings.
Below is the art hanging over the sofa.
The half bath guest room has new wall paper, the sink has not been changed.
The bedroom furniture is new but as previously when it was THEHotel it has two small but new closets/wardrobes on either side of the drawers and the TV. However while there was plenty of room in the closets previously for a Vegas stay some genius has put the clothes hanging bar in from front to back instead of side to side making not only less room for clothes but making it harder to reach the ones you do have room to hang up. What's up with that?
I'm happy to report the bed is very comfortable but be warned the pillows are rock hard. I had read about this months earlier when people started to stay in the renovated rooms and I was really surprised this hadn't been corrected yet. Latest reports say they are replacing the pillows but how many months does that take? I know, first world problems, right? But for some of us a decent pillow is the difference between getting some sleep or not.
I neglected to take photos of the master bath but it's the same as it was, and still with the dark color scheme that matched THEHotel but doesn't match the Delano style. The bathroom toiletries are Malin+Goetz which I liked.
After touring the room the three of us had lunch at Mandalay Bay's Raffles Cafe.

Yon enjoyed his Raffles Omelet with hash browns.
Laura had the yummy Belgium waffles with Sausage.
I liked my Apple Salad with Shrimp added to it.
 After lunch Laura and Yon headed out to check in to their hotel and I went to the player's club to have my free play put on my card. The regular line at the M-Life player's club didn't have a wait but there was a separate line with about 10 or so people for MyVegas rewards.
I gambled a bit with my free play but wasn't winning anything.  My friend Sdguy had just arrived in Vegas and while he was staying at Bellagio he came to Mandalay Bay to meet me. We decided on making our way to Bellagio to check him in by walking and playing slots together along the way.
I forgot to take photos of us this trip but there's plenty from NYE's if you are curious about Sdguy. On our way to the Mandalay Bay Tram we saw Jurassic Park and had a lot of fun playing it for about 20 minutes. Well, I had a lot of fun because I was getting frequent bonuses, Sdguy not so much!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Zombie Burlesque Show at V Theater at Planet Hollywood

Zombie Burlesque at the V3 Theater is a funny variety show! Not a fan of the Zombie movies and TV shows? Neither am I, but I loved this show and never fear it's not gross or scary, it's sexy and fun.
I don't do justice to this show due to recording this on a iPhone and not being seated near the stage but I put together some small parts of some of the acts in this video. For high quality video that does justice to the show visit their website.

This show is fairly priced but if you check around on Groupon or Living Social you will likely locate discount tickets for it for around 50 percent off.
The theatre is small enough that there's really not a bad seat in my opinion.
Live music, dancing, great looking female zombies, with occasional partial nudity. If you went to see Absinthe and were offended you will want to skip this show as there is suggestive material in it and  one song that I thought was very funny is about a certain part of the male body and includes a prop. ;)
The Zombie MC of the show is hilarious, energetic and quick with his numerous costume changes. Sometimes he seems to be channeling a bit of Nathan Lane.
I failed to take a photo of him because I personally get the creeps from contortionist acts but Turf from the TV show "America's Got Talent" is one of the acts in Zombie Burlesque. If you like contortionist acts he's terrific!
There's some audience participation in the show as the gentleman in the above and below photo was from the audience.
The sexy ladies in the show are introduced with cute names such as, Marilyn Monrot, Sophia Lamorte, and Tiny Bubbles who of course isn't quite a lady or tiny.
I thought the cast had good voices and were very talented and if that's not enough toward the end of the show they give everyone in the audience shots of Jello Vodka! I don't like Jello so I didn't try one but my friend Debbie said it was good!
Below is the other audience participation act, a take off on the Newlywed game that pulls a couple from the audience.
This is our friend Gator Larry with Debbie and Brett looking on while a sexy Zombie tries to eat Gator's brain. It was so pickled with beer at that point I don't think she was successful, or was she? ;)
After the show the cast is outside of the theatre for a photo meet and greet. Below I'm with Tiny Bubbles.
I really had a good time at this show so much that I would see it again sometime.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Giada! Giada De Laurentiis New Restaurant at Cromwell!

On August 26th, Teresa, Liz, Terri and myself ate at Giada De Laurentiis new restaurant Giada which is located inside of Cromwell.
From the moment you walk inside the restaurant it screams out Giada! It's a beautiful, airy, bright restaurant that has Giada branded on everything. Yes, I mean almost everything! Giada's signature G is on plates, chairs, napkins, pens, pepper grinders, etc…no chance of forgetting for one minute where you are dining, and who would want to? It's a fabulous restaurant that reflects the elegant taste of Giada!
It's difficult currently to get a reservation at Giada and even trying to book more then 6 weeks in advance for a Tuesday it was either 5:15pm or after 9pm so we went for a early dinner.  I'm glad we took the early seating as we were among the first in the restaurant and got to see it briefly without the crowds it had later.
Even though we had a reservation and were there on time and the restaurant had just opened we still had about a 5 minute wait for our table which was fine. However I suspect as the restaurant filled up those with later reservations waited much longer.
I was happy with the wait because it meant photo ops for me!
I always enjoy restaurants that have kitchens where I can see the chefs at work, not to mention the displays of delicious breads and antipasti.
Liz, Teresa and myself while we are waiting to be seated. Of course Terri is taking the photo so that she can avoid being in it!
When the hostess came to seat us a nice touch was her offering to take us on a tour of the open kitchen area above. It only takes a couple minutes and I enjoyed it.
We had a lovely corner table where we could see the Bellagio fountains when they went off.
Our table was in the corner here and I liked the location so much I have requested it for a future dinner reservation.
Below one of six chandeliers that quote Giada's "I eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything".
The cocktail menu along with some appetizers is presented on a iPad. The cocktails are named after movies that her Grandfather Dino De Laurentiis produced.
Click on the photos to enlarge them if you want to see the ingredients in our cocktails.
Liz ordered wine and as usual ice for her wine. Her ice was served in a small bucket with tongs.
Teresa ordered the Hannibal which I thought was interesting enough to take a video:

Teresa liked it!