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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, December 27, 2014

Las VegasThanksgiving and Grazie Holiday Gift Show Trip or How My Son Lost His Wallet And Returned Home Without ID!

My Southwest late afternoon flight was on time out of San Jose airport and I had the pleasure of Roz and Jeff's (Lowrance) company at the airport before we both boarded the same flight to our favorite city Las Vegas!
An uneventful flight to Las Vegas and a short wait for luggage I was off with my Driver Janet from Presidential Limo to Bellagio. I had scheduled a airport pick up the next morning for Mom with Presidential so I asked Janet if she thought the driver would pick up Mom, then pick me up at Bellagio before taking us both to Cosmopolitan to check in and she said she would make sure of it by being the driver. Next thing I knew Janet was on the phone with Presidential making arrangements for her morning pickup to be handled by a different driver and she would be the one to take care of Mom! I'll be using Janet as my driver in the future when I book Presidential. For anyone interested in her contact number it's 808-280-3600.
Check in at 5:30pm at Bellagio was very quick, no lines tonight on Saturday the 22nd. I was out of the room at 6pm and had a chance to lose some money at the slots before meeting Terri for dinner at 7pm.
 We had planned on eating at Noodles but that restaurant doesn't take reservations and there was a long line when we got there. I was starving so we ended up eating at the Bellagio Buffet.  Their upgraded gourmet weekend version of the buffet is very nice especially the desserts.
After dinner it was time to get the slotting on with Terri. We had a lot of fun, and I think Terri left a winner by the time she had to head home. I wouldn't see Terri again this trip but we'll be staying at Aria for NYE with friends the end of December.
Here are the best of my wins at Bellagio that evening which aren't very good so you know at the end of the evening I wasn't leaving Bellagio with more money then I arrived with!
I had some decent wins playing Clue 2 this trip. I still prefer the original Clue slot but it's no longer on the Vegas Strip.
I'm still loving the Walking Dead Slot. Out of two hand pays this year (yes I know it's been a sad year for me for big wins) Walking Dead was one of them and I've had several friends now who have received hand pays and big wins on this slot!
I'm sure most people have seen photos of a regular room at Bellagio prior to this but just in case you want to see more, here's the room I stayed in that night. It had a view of the pools.
I was dressed, packed and down in the casino early next morning as my Mom's flight arrived early and I was checking out of Bellagio and staying at Cosmopolitan with her for two nights.
Since it was early morning around 9am I was able to get some photos of the Bellagio Fall Conservatory before the crowds descended on it.
Janet the nice driver I had yesterday picked Mom up at the airport and was soon at Bellagio to pick me up and take us both to Cosmopolitan. Besides the comp I had at Cosmopolitan with free play,  I was using my Gold Membership with Identity for the companion comp benefit that also gave my Mom her own room at Cosmo for two nights and is not suppose to count against my gambling average. Check in was easy enough but we were told our rooms on the same floor next to each other wouldn't be ready for a while so we checked our luggage. Imagine our surprise when 5 minutes later the rooms were ready! Fortunately it didn't take long to get our luggage delivered to our rooms which had a view of Aria. I had requested the view of Aria on purpose in the hopes of avoiding nightclub noise from Chateau and Drais and our rooms were very quiet.

Mom and I were both hungry after unpacking so we went for brunch at Wicked Spoon after first stopping at the Identity desk to get a comp for one free buffet as Gold membership offers buy one, get one free along with Gold being a automatic line pass. Since I charged the one buffet to my room that also ended up being comped since I used my player points on my room charges when checking out. Gold membership gains triple points when playing the slots but only for comps, they don't count as triple points for Identity Tier points.
Both of us liked the selection and quality of the food at Wicked Spoon. I've eaten here several times this year and it's consistently good for a buffet.
For more information and photos on the Wicked Spoon Buffet at Cosmo go to this link on the blog:
After eating, Mom and I played slots for a hour. My best win was on $5 Pink Diamonds on my first spin when I accidentally hit the one credit button instead of max bet like usual, so while I was happy with the win I was disappointed that it wasn't at my usual bet.
It was time to walk over to Bellagio where we were meeting my friend Gina (BhamBound) to see the Faberge Revealed Exhibit at the Bellagio Art Gallery.
If you are Platinum M-Life members you can get 2 free tickets a day to the Bellagio Art Museum. NOIR likely gets more free tickets and it's possible that Gold M-Life members also get something.
Mom and me above, Gina and me below!
All of us really liked the Faberge exhibit and would recommend it. The exhibit has 238 rare Faberge pieces on display with 4 Imperial Easter Eggs.  This exhibit will be at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts until May 24th, 2015.
After Faberge Revealed all of went to Olives for dinner. It was 4:45pm and already there was a line up of people with 5pm reservations that wanted to make sure they would be seated on the patio with a good view of the Bellagio Fountains.
Fortunately we were one of those to get a great table and the weather was perfect, not hot and not too cold.
Last Olives visit I discovered I liked the Cable Car drink so I ordered it again.
Olives, tapenade, rolls and cracker bread!
The salad I had above was a special for the evening and had apple, greens, feta, etc..I liked it.
Mom's, mushroom purée, portobello, red onions, fontina cheese flatbread at Olives was yummy.
 Gina's flatbread- fiery fhicken fausage herbed ricotta cheese, balsamic onions, was delicious! It was a special for the evening and even better then Mom's Portobello Flatbread.
The Chilean Sea Bass with cannellini bean & sausage cassoulet, garlicky broccolini, oj glaze that I ordered was delicious.
After dinner three happy ladies, as the food was good and company was great!
Walking out of Olives I noticed musician and artist Nick Cave's Sound Suit on display.
After dinner we made plans with Gina for meeting up the next day and said goodnight to her.
Once back at Cosmopolitan Mom and I played more slots, but I just couldn't get much going.
I had a couple hits on dollar QH but eventually lost it. I was already tired of losing my 2nd day into the trip so decided to go to the room early around 11pm. Imagine my surprise when my Mother who normally doesn't like to gamble and just does it to be around me told me she was winning and was staying in the casino! I'm still not sure what time Mom made it back to her room. LOL!
Next morning despite Mom going back to her room later then me she was up earlier and I'm sure you guessed it, down at the casino plays slots.
After collecting Mom from the casino where she was still winning we went to Milos for lunch which has a great 3 course special for $22.14 per person! I recommend this special the food is good, service was excellent and the ambiance is nice.
Mom's tomato and feta cheese salad was fresh and good!
I enjoyed my Meze appetizer.
Sourdough bread was hot and tasty.
Mom and I both ordered the shrimp Saganaki with cous cous which was really good.
Greek Yogurt with strawberry puree. Mom originally ordered the fresh fruit but when she saw and tasted my yogurt she changed her order.
After lunch as we exited the escalator and entered the Cosmo casino, I was recognized by two fans of this blog, Kyle and David. They read about Cut restaurant here a while back and now like me are big fans of Cut. It was fun to meet you Kyle and David and hope to see you both in Vegas again soon!
After we left Kyle and David we had some time to play more slots before meeting Gina at Luxor for a late afternoon show.  I finally  started to have a few wins on one of my favorite slots $1 Davinci Diamonds.
The best hit of my trip so far was during a bonus where I won $610.00!
After that I had a few more decent hits and cashed out with $810.00
Fortunately it was time to grab a taxi to Luxor to meet Gina as we had tickets to see Menopause the Musical, which meant I didn't have time to lose my Davinci Diamonds winnings.
Of course it ended up there was time to lose a little money at the slots before the show!
Menopause the Musical at Luxor is fun, love the music and has a great cast. However, this is a musical mainly for females over 45 years of age. Sure you can take your husband with you and he may like it but its real appeal is to females of a certain age. In our audience we had some 20 somethings both males and females and you could tell they just weren't getting it, so don't drag your young adults to it.
After the musical we said goodbye to Gina who would be leaving Vegas for home the next morning. Mom and I then walked over to Mandalay Bay and Four Seasons to eat dinner at Charlie Palmer.
In addition to the regular menu Charlie Palmer has two great pre fixe menus that include wine pairings in the price and it's a fabulous deal! I ordered from the "Cut of the Week" menu and Mom from the Michael Jackson prix fixe.
Bread basket above and Mom's Roasted Squash Soup.
Loved my salad with Ambrosia Apples and Pomegranates. First time having Ambrosia apples, won't be the last.
Mom liked her Snapper with Israel Cous Cous.
Bone in Strip Steak with Onion Ragu was prepared perfectly.
We shared the sides (Nero Cavola Kale with Prosciutto and Sweet Potato Puree) that came with my prix fix as there was plenty for two or more.
I've had Mom's dessert of Chocolate Mousse Bar with Caramel Salted Ice Cream when I've eaten here before and know it's a yummy dessert.
My Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Ice Cream was wonderful, very light tasting for Cheesecake.
We were there on a Monday evening when they have live entertainment.
After dinner we didn't visit the Mandalay Bay Casino but returned to Cosmopolitan.
Mom was still winning at Cosmopolitan while I was still trying to regain what I had lost at Bellagio and my first day at Cosmo. I was finally winning today and it felt good.
Not sure how I had missed it the previous day but I found the new Wizard of Oz slot and while I didn't have any huge wins playing it I had quite a few fun bonuses. Here's a video of this bonus:

Of course play the pennies too much and it's my experience I start to lose on them and so I wasn't surprised to stop winning and start losing. Mom on the other hand was still ahead and winning on those penny slots!
I was starting to get tired and decided to make a early night of it again but before I did I was going to play $1 Davinci Diamonds once more in the high limit room and run my point play through it.
Shocker, I started to win again on $1 Davinci Diamonds!
Here's a video of one of my winning sessions on $1 Davinci Diamonds!

By the time I started to lose more then win, I had back all the money I had lost and was even for the trip! It was time to go back to the room and not give it back and that's what I did with Mom deciding to also call it a night.
The next morning it was a easy check out from Cosmopolitan and both Mom and I were in a happy place as she left Cosmopolitan a winner of over $400.00 and I was just happy to be just even, LOL! We were soon on our way to Palazzo and checking in at the VIP lounge.  Our rooms which were on the same floor were ready and Mom and I quickly went up and unpacked our luggage.
My husband was arriving today around 1:00pm so Mom and I had time for lunch at Palazzo's Grand Lux Cafe before meeting him.
Mom went with a egg white omelet for lunch and I had my favorite the Sonoma salad.
After lunch I had time to hit a few slots hoping my luck from late last night would be with me today, but other then a hit for $150.00 on dollar Quick Hit and then a minor hit on dollar DaVinci Diamonds I was just losing.
Randy's arrival put a stop to my losing and when he arrived we went to the regular Venetian registration desk as Randy had a comped 3 night stay on his Grazie player number which we were going to use for our son's stay. We had a really friendly clerk who honored our request for the room to be on the same floor we were on. Matt wouldn't arrive until the next day Wednesday night so we just briefly checked out his room, put the do not disturb sign on it and then went to our room for Randy to unpack.  Once in our room we found our host had a basket of snacks delivered. We also had 2 front row tickets to Human Nature for my Mom and husband.
After Randy unpacked we went downstairs to meet up for a drink with our friends Lisa and Troy. We met Lisa and Troy for the first time during Thanksgiving of 2009 at Palazzo's Sushi Samba for drinks with a few other friends for the first time including my good friend Terri who lives in Las Vegas. We had a lot of fun catching up over some drinks at the Platinum lounge.
We had a early dinner today at 5pm due to Mom and Randy going to the 7pm show of Human Nature so after making plans with Troy and Lisa for dinner the next night at Table 10 we played a few slots. I was really happy when I got the Clue 2 bonus where you solve the mysteries and for the first time solved them all! If you are curious here's a video of that bonus:

Dinner today was at db Brasserie. This would be Mom's 2nd time eating here, my 3rd and Randy's first time.
Our happy group before dinner. Randy and I both ordered the spicy Smokey Bandit cocktail and Mom had her usual vodka on the rocks.
The only thing that I still don't care for is the bread, they really need to step it up a notch and have some great bread choices like Cut.
Bouche with cheese for the amuse. Randy can't wait for me to take the photo as he wants it! Really yummy!
Caesar salad Roselie! Very unique Caesar salad, we all liked it.

Randy said his Flat Iron Steak with Pom Frites was good.
Mom ordered the special tonight which was Mussels. The Mussels were good but our server failed in serving it without a extra plate for the shells, and a small fork to help remove the Mussel.
I loved my Scallops!
Great desert menu but of course I had to be different and request a dessert that is on their lunch menu which I like.
I was in luck, they still had some available from lunch. It's their Rocky Road Dessert, it's so creamy inside and delicious!

After dinner Mom and Randy went down the hall to the theatre to see Human Nature! In addition to the comp front row seats it came with a meet and greet and a signed program. Mom loves this show and says she can see it every Vegas trip. I saw it a over a year ago with my friend Gwen because Randy wasn't interested in seeing it at that time. Well, surprised Randy loved the show too!
While Mom and Randy saw Human Nature I met up with Sandra to play slots! I know Sandra from one of the gambling message boards I'm active on and it was great to meet her in person and play slots together. While I didn't have any luck while we were playing she joined me playing one of my favorites The Walking Dead slot and hit a big win of $1000.00 on it! We had so much fun together that we ended up in the Palazzo Platinum lounge for drinks and chatting for a couple hours even after Randy and Mom got out of the show. Sandra hope to meet up with you in Vegas again!
After Sandra and I said goodnight I caught up with Randy and Mom and we played some more slots. Mom was still winning and ventured off on her own mainly playing at Palazzo. Randy and I went over to Venetian had some fun with the Michael Jackson Slot.
We then went to Dragon's Temple which I have liked since hitting three bonuses on it at Mandalay Bay this summer. Venetian has three of these slots and I learned months ago that despite my success at MB, it's hard to get the bonus on this slot and each trip I have failed at getting one at Venetian until tonight when finally the bonus hit! The bonus on this slot gives you a choice on amount of spins and wilds to take. I always take the fewest spins which are 5 with the most wilds which are three and it pretty much guarantees your bonus will pay you 100X or more of what you are betting.
Here's a video of that bonus if you are interested:

After the bonus I continued to play for a bit and had this nice hit. Randy was playing the Dragon's Temple next to me but ended up losing over a hundred on it.
Walking back to Palazzo we stopped at the Waterfall atrium where their winter display is a white peacock theme.
Before we headed off to sleep tonight we tried our luck on $1 Quick Hit in the Palazzo High Limit room but we lost more then we won.
Our weather during Thanksgiving week was great. Here's the view from our room next morning!
Next morning Randy, Mom and I went to Grand Lux to eat. Randy had his favorite the Egg Sandwich.
Mom, had a egg white omelet and I had the Sonoma Salad again.
After our meal all of us played some slots but while Mom continued to hold her own Randy and I despite the wins in the photos below were losing lots.
Our favorite Wolf Run slot gave us some wolves but not enough!
Growing weary of losing we decided it was time to trade in our Holiday Gift Points at the Grazie Gift show.
There was no line in the room where you register for the show. Mom also went with us as she had about 15k in points. Randy and I had a lot more points. ;)
This is the entrance to the show, not as fancy as in previous years.
Lots of gift card opportunities. There seemed to be less showcases of gifts this year, but that's likely due to most of us using our points for gift cards or free play.
Last year Omaha Steaks were cooking up samples at their display but not this year.
A few of the displays.
My favorite gift this year was the Macy's gift cards!
Past years at the holiday gift show and this year at the summer gift show we got a lot of Best Buy gift certificates but passed on them this time.
There wasn't much of a line when we went to redeem our points.
This was a area where you could have free photos taken. They were then presented to you in a nice leather looking binder.
More shots of the Grazie Holiday Gift Show.
The below photo shows the green screen they used for the free photographs.
A couple of the photographs we had taken.
Today we redeemed points for $650.00 worth of Macy's gift certificates. The pen set is the gift by Grazie that is given out to everyone regardless of the amount of points you have.
We played some more slots after the gift show but continued to lose. I found that at some point today they installed the new Willy Wonka Slot Pure Imagination. I was briefly excited when 4 wilds dropped during a bonus but my symbols  in front weren't good so the win was disappointing. If you want to see what this new slot is like here's a video of it.

We were happy to go to dinner tonight and take a long break from gambling. Tonight we were eating at Emeril's Table 10 restaurant at Palazzo.
Table 10 has a great 4 course tasting menu they offer for $45.00 per person and we all ordered from that menu which is below. You can add their wine pairing for an additional $28.00 per person.

Taste of Table 10 Menu


steamed rice
windrose farms head lettuce-bacon- chive
buttermilk dressing- heirloom tomatoes
gem lettuce- grilled crouton- parmesan
tomato puree + white anchovies

pecan - sage butter - romano cheese
gulf shrimp- New Orleans BBQ glaze
rosemary biscuit
Noble Tonic #1
mushrooms- pastry shell- garlic sauce
st Andre cheese


dried tomatoes - roasted garlic + parmesan broth
broccoli rabe
Spanish chorizo- broccolini- quick potatoes
beet - horseradish glaze - black kale
mixed olives - smoked tomato - peppercorns - grilled leek - fennel
spinach - potato puree - red wine sauce

Choice of dessert from our dessert menu

Our friends Lisa and Troy joined us for dinner! I would like to blame my goofy smile in this photo to my Mom's lack of camera skills but actually it's due to the drink and then wine pairing I had during dinner!
Dinner started out with a yummy amuse of Prosciutto on top of Bruschetta.
 My favorite drink at Table 10, Mango and Spice,  which I discovered earlier this year,
Boston Bibb Salad.
Squash Gnudi soup.
Troy order the Candied Bacon. After we saw this both my husband and I were jealous of Troy.
I no longer have a clue what the below dish was, I'm blaming it on the wine pairing I had.
BBQ Shrimp with a Rosemary Biscuit!
Crisp Roasted Chicken with Broccolini.
Arctic Char, I had this and it was good!
Carrot Cake that Mom ordered.
Emeril's speciality Banana Cream Pie.
Smores Dessert, gooey and looking delicious.
Photo of us outside of the restaurant before we parted company with Lisa and Troy.
After dinner there was time to lose at some more slots! I gave Fireball After Burner a try and it did give me a couple sad bonuses. It was likely tired (grin) because the lady playing next to me told me after my second bonus that a gentleman had hit the night before for 10k on it!
It was now 10:30pm and our son Matt had arrived! The three of us went outside to meet him just as his taxi was pulling up. Somehow in the excitement of greeting us, paying for the taxi and grabbing his carryon Matt managed to leave his wallet in the taxi. Unfortunately we didn't discover this until we took Matt to his room and he started to unpack. We run back down to the taxi area but it was too late, that cab wasn't in the line up for grabbing a new fare. We were given a list of taxi companies to call, notice the comment about Uber at the end of the list!
The next couple hours and also times during the next day was very stressful as Matt called up every taxi company on the list and left his information with them.  Long story shorter, he never had his wallet returned to him.  Fortunately there wasn't much money in his wallet as I had his gambling money with me. However clueless had his social security card in his wallet along with a credit card and his Driver's License so the big worry now is monitoring for identify theft as we immediately reported the loss of the credit card. So what happens when you don't have ID and need to get through the airport security? I'm going to write up a summary of that at the end of this trip report as a FYI and so it's easier to locate in the future if I need to refer anyone to the information.
Eventually the three of us went down to the casino to try to have some fun but we were all stressed out about the loss of Matt's wallet so when we did more losing then winning we called it a night around 1am.
View from our room at night. In my opinion the addition of the high roller wheel to the strip makes the view more interesting.
Next morning it was Grand Lux again. Matt had the Bacon Burger with a side salad instead of fries.
Not wanting to order the Sonoma Salad three days in a row I went with the planked Salmon which was great.
Randy had his favorite the Egg Sandwich again and Mom a Egg White Omelet.
After eating Mom didn't want to hang out with the losers, haha, so she was off to her favorite slots while we tried and failed at $1 Quick Hit again.
We then went to play the penny slots with Matt but all of us were losing so we took a walk upstairs to watch the gondolas and see the Venetian performers.
Once we returned to the casino Matt had enough of losing and went to his room to do some work on his computer for one of his college classes and Randy and I continued to lose at the slots. After losing about $500,  Randy and I split up to play alone and see if that would change our luck. Since I was on a losing streak with the slots I decided to try quarter Ultimate X poker and was thrilled to hit Aces for a win over $400.00!
After my win at Ultimate X I cashed out and decided to play some Baccarat this trip but couldn't take a photo of it. It's Baccarat where you bet electronically but have live dealers. It was packed too with about 40 players and I got one of the last seats. I played Baccarat for over a hour and went back and forth with wins and losses, betting anywhere from $5 to $75.00. I ended up walking away a couple hundred ahead. I think next time I stay at Palazzo I might play a bit more Baccarat and Video Poker and less slots!
After Baccarat I started playing slots again and I had a small hit on the Godfather slot but every other slot I touched I was losing on. Matt and Randy weren't doing any better but Mom bless her was continuing to win.
Our Thanksgiving dinner tonight was at one of our favorite Las Vegas restaurants Cut at Palazzo. We were joined by my friends Ken and Alicia. Before dinner we had a drink with them in the Platinum lounge and afterwards walking over to Cut I asked Ken to take a photo of us in front of the Palazzo Waterfall area.  I liked it so much I used it on our Christmas card this year!
Below is the Amuse they always serve which is a light as air Cheese Profiterole!
Breadsticks are complimentary and among the best I've ever eaten.
A photo of our Thanksgiving group!
The meat display and explanation of the different cuts and grades.
Love the Cut Focaccia and Pretzel Bread!
Roasted baby beets, goat cheese, pistachios and micro greens.
Butter lettuce salad with avocado that is Randy's favorite salad.
All of us ordered steak, Mom had the petite cut New York steak.
I added caramelized onions to my Filet Mignon.
Hand Cut French Fries.
Creamed Spinach with fried Organic Egg. After presenting it they mix the egg in with the spinach before serving it.
This Asparagus with brown butter was a special for the evening. We ordered two and later when I looked at the bill I was surprised to see they were $22.00 each when usually sides are always $12.00. Sadly though this was the side I ended up liking the least even before I knew the price. My first Cut fail since in my opinion if you are going to charge $22 for a few asparagus it better be outstanding.
Moroccan spiced carrots.
Caramelized Cauliflower.
The Biscotti below is served when you order Cappuccino.
We skipped the usual chocolate soufflé and went for Cut's version of Doughnuts.
 We also ordered Cut's version of banana creme pie, both desserts were great!
The complimentary miniature sweets they serve, our table was given two plates.
As always dinner at Cut was superb with the only off note being the Asparagus.
After dinner we had fun playing slots with Alicia and Ken at Venetian for a while. We stopped at the Venetian High Limit room so Alicia could try her luck with the $1 Sun and Moon slot but it didn't cooperate. Then we went into one of the side rooms and Randy and I put a $100.00 in dollar Zeus but instead of playing all the lines we only played five for $5.00 a push hoping to hit the bonus like Sdguy did a few years ago when betting only 5 lines. We hit the bonus!!! We were excited but unlike Sdguy our bonus was not a hand pay, instead it paid us about $10.00, ouch!

We left the Venetian High Limit room and tried a few penny slots like Stinkin Rich, and Wheel of Fortune, but even though we had some bonuses we weren't really winning.  Soon it was time for Ken and Alicia to leave as they were going to walk the strip back to their hotels. Matt had already headed back to the room as he doesn't last long playing slots if he's losing. Actually he doesn't last long even if winning as he is known to take his winnings and keep them! I mean really? ;)
At this point in our trip we were down several thousand and tired of losing even though our losses were partially offset by the Grazie gifts, two comped rooms and show.
We had about $400.00 of point play (free play was lost by me before Randy arrived) so we decided to play a couple penny slots and in 20 minutes had lost $200.00 Enough was enough, tired of losing to the penny slots we went in to the Venetian High Limit Room to play our final $200.00.
Surprise! We started to win thanks to two bonuses and a couple decent hits!

As we were walking out of the Venetian High Limit room I had a urge to play the $1 Sun and Moon Slot that Alicia had earlier lost on and surprise I hit a bonus that paid $527.00, so we ended up with around $1300.00 from playing our last $200.00 of point play! We were feeling like we might be on a slight winning streak but decided to end our trip on a high note and not try to attempt to recover all our losses so we stopped and went back to our room to get some sleep.
The next morning we joined Mom at Grand Lux for a drink while she had breakfast before leaving for the airport for her early afternoon flight back to Fort Lauderdale. Mom ended up leaving Vegas even when you considered her comp rooms she had.  My next trip with Mom will be sometime next year and likely back in Las Vegas!
The reason we didn't eat with Mom as usual at Grand Lux is for the final day of this trip we were having lunch at Buddy V's!
This was Randy's and Matt's first time at eating at Buddy V's, but my third. I've previously eaten here with friends for lunch and dinner.
View from our table.
Our family shared the flavorful antipasti salad which was the perfect portion for the three of us.
Both Randy and Matt ordered the pasta with meatballs and enjoyed it.
I loved the pan roasted salmon with charred broccolini, sweet and pickled vegetables and balsamic reduction. I would return to Buddy V's just to eat this salmon it's delicious!
We really didn't need dessert but hey when you eat at the Cake Boss's restaurant you better order a dessert or two! Matt and Randy shared the three donuts which has fillings of raspberry, chocolate and lemon, yum!
I went with the Tiramisu and grudgingly shared that with husband and son.
After lunch we decided to visit the Grazie Holiday Gift Show for a few minor items to use up the last of our holiday points. As we walked out of the restaurant the bakery across from Buddy V's had a huge line, looked like the type of line you might see when waiting to board a popular ride at Disneyland. I love the Cake Boss's desserts but not enough to stand in a huge line for them!
They were giving out samples at the Harry and David display so we ended up using some of our last points for a box of cookies. Our main reason for returning to the show though was to have a photo take with our son.
After the Grazie Holiday Gift Show we went back to our room and caught up online until it was time to leave for the airport at 6pm. When you are Platinum level with Grazie the latest check out time is 6pm.  Palazzo Limo to airport was comfortable, flight was on time and uneventful and we were home by 10pm.

Next trip is for New Year's Eve! Last year I enjoyed Aria's NYE party so much I'm going to Aria's Dreamscape Party this year with Terri, Sdguy, Gwen, and Teresa. Look for live tweets on December 28th from Vegas on my twitter account:

What we learned the hard way about losing a wallet in Las Vegas.

Always take a copy of your drivers license on trips separate from your wallet. No one should be carrying their social security card in their wallet. If you think you lost it in a taxi cab like Matt did then refer to list I have here and call up all the taxi companies and leave your information with them. You might get lucky and either have a honest driver or the next passenger might find your wallet and turn it in. If you aren't' sure where you lost your wallet then unfortunately you are going to have to try to trace back your steps and check in with the security offices of any place you might think you have lost it.

It's time to leave for the airport and you didn't recover your wallet. The best thing you can do if you have internet access during your trip is to go to this link on TSA:
We called the policy, talked to casino security, talked to our airline by phone and all of them gave us conflicting advice on what to do and all of it turned out to be wrong. Mainly we called them to report the loss of the wallet and they volunteered the information on how to get through airport security without a ID. We talked to the airline to see what the procedure was to check in your luggage if you didn't have a ID on you during check in.  I'm not going to detail wrong information, you don't need that. This is how it works. We had a late night flight so we couldn't check in luggage outside but had to go inside and use the Southwest Kiosk. While in line and because I was mumbling being upset about what I thought we had to do being given incorrect information up to that point, one of the Southwest airport employees monitoring the Kiosk asked me what the problem was. When I told her about Matt's lost wallet and then asked for directions to the police substation at the airport she told me I didn't need to go there. The correct procedure is to just go to the airport security lines and tell the TSA agents there you lost or had your wallet stolen and they take over from that point.

BTW, even though we were Matt's parents the TSA didn't want us to vouch for him, they sent us on our way and took Matt aside. Matt said he got to bypass the normal security line and was taken to a area where they did a computerized background check. Then they ask a few questions like a parents name, the parents birthdate, your own birthday and where you were born. After that they search your carry on if you have one and give you a complete pat down. If they don't find anything suspicious in your luggage or on your person you are cleaned through security and on your way.  Matt's experience during this TSA process was good, the Las Vegas TSA employees were very pleasant to him.

List of Las Vegas Taxi Companies with their phone numbers! Click to enlarge!


  1. Diana! It was so wonderful to meet you and your mother! Thank you for posting the information about the lost wallet (I'm always paranoid this will happen to me). David and I are in Vegas right now for my birthday (CUT, here I come!) and New Years. We hope to bump into you again soon!


    1. Kyle, it was great to meet you and David too! How fun was it to run into each other tonight at Venetian? Too funny as I hadn't yet read your comment and didn't know you were there! Hope to run into you both again this trip!

    2. Oops, forgot to add, Happy Birthday Kyle! Have a fabulous celebration!

  2. Enjoyed the photos and the trip report Diana! Felt like I was right there in Vegas with you and your family lol. Good luck and have a great time ringing in the new year in Vegas this week!

    1. Thanks Albert! Hope to see you in Vegas next year and play slots again together. :) Happy New Years!

  3. Hello Diana..sorry about your son's wallet!!! I would have been a basket case LOL. I really enjoyed this trip report and have a happy new year in Vegas (keep Sd away from the unlimited Cristal as we don't want anyone becoming a hot mess LOL hint hint)

    1. LOL Mike, your suggestion came too late. ;) We had a great NYE and I hope you did too! See you in April! Cheers!

  4. Hi Diana! Awesome trip report as always. It's funny that you mentioned your son left his social security card in his wallet because my sister recently had her wallet stolen and when I was asking her what items she had in there so we could report stolen credit cards, etc. she said she had her social security card in her wallet. I said "who does that?!" Well, as it turns out some people do lol. Happy and healthy New Year and wishing you a lucky and fun rest of your trip (following your tweets!)

    Best wishes,
    Tim (inceptiongeek)

    1. Tim, I guess there's more then I thought. I'm sorry your sister had her wallet stolen.

      I had a great NYE at Aria, will be writing it up soon.

      Happy New Year, wishing you a healthy, fun and winning 2015!


  5. Big fan of your blog Diana, so what would they do if you did happen to have a copy of your drivers license, go through the same TSA screening or can you actually get through the regular check in with a copy?

    1. I'm not sure if having a copy prevents some sort of TSA screening or not. I suspect it mainly makes it easier for them to confirm your identify and they ask less questions.

      I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I just returned from NYE in Vegas so I'll be working on writing that up soon. :)

  6. Hi Diana,

    Love this blog post. Photos are amazing as always and I'm starving now! As well it's lunchtime...

    Glad the lost wallet didn't cause too many issues - I can imagine most folk losing their wallet in Vegas say cheerio to a significant amount of cash at the same time so hopefully a relatively inexpensive lesson learned.

    We're booked up for out Summer of Slots 2 so will hopefully happen upon one of your visits in late July to mid August 2015 for a bit of a slots session.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful and successful 2015.

    Billy and Moyra xx

    1. Hi Billy and Moyra, so great to hear from you both!

      I'm so happy you are returning to Vegas for Summer of Slots 2. Would love to spend time with you if we have trips that coincide so please remind me in early summer.

      Wishing both of you a healthy, happy and winning 2015. Hope to see you this summer!


  7. did your son get back his wallet by any chance?

    i love that set lunch at milos. last time i was there, i asked for the walnut cake for dessert - it's not on their menu anymore- but they were able to accomodate!


    1. Hi Nancy,

      Matt never got his wallet returned and had to replace everything. Good to know that people can still request the walnut cake at Milos.

      Hope to see you in LV this year. :)


  8. I keep checking back every week hoping you've updated your blog with your NYE trip.

    1. I'm going to get the NYE party part of the trip up in the next day or two, so sorry for this long delay. I will try to get the complete NYE TR done before my trip on Valentine's day. Unfortunately after I returned home from NYE in Vegas I got sick. Then I got well and started catching up on things, only to get sick with bronchitis. January was not a good month for me, hoping to stay well in February.

      It's nice to hear though that someone is looking forward to reading it!


    2. I hope February is a better month health wise for you. I love reading your blog so I'm always looking forward to the next installment. I wish I had a trip coming up but I'm not sure when I will make it back. Until then I will have to live vicariously through trip reports. Monica

    3. Thanks Monica! February is looking pretty good at the moment. I just published the NYE party at Aria part of my trip report. I'll try to get the rest of the NYE TR done before the 13th. :) Glad you are able to live a bit of Vegas through my reports, that makes me very happy.


  9. Catching up on your trip reports is the best way to spend a sick day at home on the couch. As always, great details, anecdotes, photos, and videos!

    1. Thanks Michael I'm happy you enjoy them. I'll try to write up my Valentine's Day TR and get it out soon.

      Very sorry to hear you are home sick, get well soon!