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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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Palazzo and Cosmopolitan Fun with a Tournament!

For the first time my husband Randy was joining me at G2e (Global Gaming Expo), not to see the new games so much but because John Fogerty was performing at Venetian during the same week as the convention. We would be staying at Palazzo since the G2e convention was at Sands convention center at Venetian. Randy would be departing on Thursday to return home after G2e while I would move to Cosmopolitan for three more nights to participate in the Up Up and Away tournament!
Randy and I had a quick bite to eat at the airport on Monday, September 26th before our flight. The flight was on time and we had our first win of the trip when we were one of only 2 rows on our Southwest flight not to have someone in the middle seat with us!

One hour and 10 minutes later we landed in Las Vegas where our limo driver was waiting for us and we were off to Palazzo.

For those of you who aren't using a limo service in Vegas but don't care for the taxi service, I want to once again recommend Uber. I have been using them successfully in Vegas this year and have been very happy with their pricing and service. If you haven't used them before you can use a code like mine and get your first ride for free up to $20.00. My code is dianae549ue. Full disclosure if you use my code I also get a free ride. If you want to try them out and need instructions on using the app, just ask me in comments for help.
Arriving at Palazzo we quickly checked in at the Palazzo VIP Platinum lounge and were up in our room five minutes later unpacking.
Twenty minutes later we were in the casino and gambling!
My first bonus and win on the trip was on Super Diamond Jackpots, just outside of the Palazzo High Limit lounge. This machine also has Top Dollar and Pinball that you can switch between. I landed a bonus fairly quickly and was so happy when it landed on the Emerald progressive! It's always fun to start out your gambling with a good win. After this win I played the same game but on a different machine while my husband went over to play House of Cards. I was about five minutes into it when I heard my name and there was Slotspert, a friend I have known for years via a couple slot machine message boards. While in years past Slotspert and I have spent some time walking around G2e together this year we just got to chat a couple times while running into each other at the casino. It was great to see you Slotspert!
Randy and I started losing after my great beginning but he did get a decent bonus on Game of Thrones and I did okay on Lightning Link Happy Lantern.
We had heard that the new game World of Wonka had been installed at Venetian the day before so off we went to Venetian to seek it out. We found it and after a short wait for a seat at it we were having fun playing it. This game at Venetian has the comfortable love seat for two. While we didn't get any big wins on it, we managed to come out a bit ahead. I have a live play video of this session and a couple others, it's long so you might only want to watch a little of it. We did have a couple nice Oompa bonuses!

After World of Wonka we played a few penny and high limit games without success so we returned to Palazzo where Randy decided to play Plants and Zombies 3D. Above is Randy recording one of the bonuses he got.
I sat down at the game that is to the right of him in the photo above and hit a good bonus of $432.60! If you want to see a video of this game and win, this is it:

After Plants vs Zombies Randy went over to play Buffalo Grand while I tried a few other games that turned out to be losers for me. While I'm losing Randy got a bonus and a big win of $752.83!
After Randy's great win it was time for dinner at Aquaknox.
It's been at least a year since I have eaten at Aquaknox and I'm not sure why I have waited so long to return as the food was great. Service was a little slow but the restaurant was completely full due to G2e with the overflow filling up the lounge.
My drink above is their version of a sidecar, it was good.
Our amuse was tasty, I remember we were both glad it wasn't something with raw fish as Randy and I don't eat sushi and many times in the seafood restaurants that is what is served. While I don't recall exactly what was in this I remember we both ate it and said thank goodness it's not sushi.
Randy and I shared the Pacific prawn cocktail, that has a spicy cocktail sauce.
Both of us ordered Halibut as our entree, it was excellent!
We split the pomme frites and asparagus with bernaise, and while the serving of pommel frites was large we somehow managed to eat them all!
We also shared the flourless soufflé dessert and it was fantastic!
After dinner we were off to meet Superpocky who is a member like me of the VegasFanatics group. We had a nice chat and a photo op at the new World of Wonka game. We also had a minor miracle for Vegas when Superpocky noticed he had left his money in the Dragon Spin, the slot that we had met up with him at and when we ran back the money was still in the game!!! Randy and I in the past have left money in a game thinking the other one had cashed out and rushed back in one minute to discover it cashed out so it was amazing that after almost ten minutes that money was still there.
After we left Superpocky, we walked back to Palazzo in the hopes of duplicating Randy's win on Buffalo Grand and while we had a bonus we didn't get near the amount of his previous win. 
We were walking over to see if Monopoly Jackpot Station was free when we ran into Lacey a lovely lady I know from the Joker's Wild Gambling Emporium message board. 
Monopoly Jackpot Station was busy so Randy and I went and played Gold Fish. Where by some miracle I picked award all during the green fish bonus with the bubbles. Green fish is usually nicknamed Sucky Fish by me, but not this time!
After Gold Fish, I introduced Randy to Orange is the New Black, which cooperated by giving me a nice bonus. Later in the trip I had a nice bonus again when playing it with Rex. Here's the video of both bonuses.

Before going to bed Randy wanted to try Buffalo Grand again but the machine he won on earlier had someone playing it, however we had a nice Buffalo hit for $144.40!
We also won $115.60 on a Buffalo Grand bonus. This video has several Buffalo Grand bonuses on it and also the end of Randy's great win!

Next morning Randy and I ate at Grand Lux Cafe, our traditional place for brunch when staying at Palazzo. Randy loves it because he can still get eggs there even though it's usually lunch time when we make it out of our room.
Palazzo in addition to a breakfast buffet now has a lunch buffet. It's very good, I've had it a few times now. Venetian does not have the lunch buffet for some reason.
Randy's favorite egg sandwich!
Today I didn't have the buffet I went with the Chili-Lime Salad.
After breakfast it was time for G2e which I attended all three days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. G2e ends at 3pm on Thursday and I stayed until about 2pm. The write up on G2e is at this link:

After a full day of running around G2e it was time to meet up with my friends Terra (Skyler) and Gary (Random slots) for dinner at Tao!
Randy and I shared the Lobster and Shrimp Spring rolls, always a winner.
Everyone at the table ordered the Miso Chilean Sea Bass and like always it was delicious!
We shared a fabulous Giant Fortune cookie filled with chocolate and vanilla mousse and surrounded by fresh fruit.
Skyler ordered the yummy sugar dusted doughnut with chocolate, caramel and vanilla sauces. Only problem that evening at Tao was their music was the loudest I have ever heard it and it was really difficult to hear each other.
After dinner and saying goodbye to Terra and Gary, Randy and I tried our luck in the Venetian High Limit room. We had a nice Pinball bonus for $500 and a little luck on dollar Quick Hit but we quickly left for the penny games as we started losing.
We played a bunch of penny games and here's a few photos of our wins, but mainly we lost, lost, lost on the pennies and before we knew it we were down over a grand!
Since we were being so lucky what do we do but visit the Palazzo High Limit room to play some dollar Quick Hits, LOL! While we were there we ran into Lacey and Jason.  I had met Jason earlier that day and he told me that he had played dollar Kitty Glitter at Cosmopolitan after seeing my video of a hand pay I had on it in August and he had hit a bonus and also gotten a hand pay on it! Great to meet you Jason, hope to see you again in Las Vegas. :) 
With our losses the previous day and now today we were down almost 2k. It was time to go to bed after we played dollar Jungle Wild at Palazzo and hit a bonus that only paid $19.00! However Randy mentioned we hadn't played $5 Wheel of Fortune this trip so we decided to try and get a spin before we went back to our room.
We put a $100 in and hit a spin fairly quick. The win was only $200 but at least we had a spin.
We cashed out and moved over to the next $5 Wheel of Fortune and quickly had a line hit for $250.00.
Followed up by a spin where Randy hit the button and it landed on $1195.00!!!
We debated if we should take our money and go to sleep but decided we should try the 3rd and last $5 Wheel of Fortune in the bank which was WOF with Pink Diamonds!
Randy and I had some nice hits while playing Pink Diamonds and finally a spin too. I have a video of our play on Wheel of Fortune that evening if you want to watch it.

After playing Pink Diamonds Wheel of Fortune and taking our initial $100.00 to $1937.50 we cashed out and went to bed!
We woke up feeling great after last night's streak on Wheel of Fortune. We were now even for the trip and hoping for more luck to put us ahead.
I left Randy finishing getting dressed and went down to the casino to wait for him to join me for brunch at Grand Lux again.
I decided to pick out a game near Grand Lux and found a Wolf Run! Randy and I used to play Wolf Run every trip but our favorite ones at Palazzo had all been removed and since I don't normally play the games near Grand Lux I had forgotten there was one over here.
I was glad that Randy took his time getting dressed because by the time he came down for brunch my $100 had turned into $598.50! Lovely way to start the day and it gave us hope we might continue last night's winning streak.
Randy ate his usual egg sandwich at Grand Lux and I ordered the buffet.
After eating we headed out to G2e to spend the day looking at more new games.
At 5pm we headed over to Palazzo's Table 10 restaurant where the Vegasfanatics group was having a meet. Vegaschic and VegasMonkey the owners and moderators of VF arranged for the first round of drinks to be on the board, thanks so much! For anyone who loves Las Vegas and hasn't checked out VF yet, I encourage you to visit:
Randy, my friend Boots and I could only stay at the meet for 30 minutes as we had a early dinner at 5:45 so that Randy and I could make the John Fogerty concert at Venetian that evening.
I did stay long enough for a drink, photo op and chat with this fun group!
Below is VegasMonkey, VegasChic, Cathy and VegasChicbff!
Randy, Boots and I were seated at a comfortable booth at db Brasserie.
I've enjoyed eating at db Brasserie about 10 times the last few years and it's always busy, the food is great and the service is usually good so I was very surprised to learn that the restaurant will be closing early next year. No word yet on what will replace it.
All the breads are great but our favorite is the very light cheese puff that you see on the end.
Randy enjoyed his iceberg salad with bacon and blue cheese dressing.
The Caesar salad has always been one of my favorites here but they recently changed the name and recipe from Roselie to Provencal Caesar and while it's good it's not as great as it was previously, in my opinion.
I like their Smokey Bandit cocktail that is no longer on their drink menu but they made it for me by request. Below is the side of roasted heirloom carrots we ordered for the table, they were tasty!
Boots ordered and enjoyed the scallops, another recipe that had changed but for the better being lighter then the previous one that had short rib medallions underneath the scallops.
Randy's flat iron steak with grilled tiger pawn!
I had the ribcap, yummy! We also had a side of pommel frites!
All of us shared the light Grand Marnier Souffle!
Boots departed for her hotel and Randy played 3d Sphinx briefly while waiting to enter the theatre.
Before entering the theatre I met Paul and his wife Jeanette from Florida who are fans of my blog. They were also going to see John Fogerty. Paul and Jeanette it was great to meet you both!
John Fogerty was a fantastic concert, I highly recommend going to it! Randy and I enjoyed it so much we would both see him again!
After the beginning of the concert John brings out and introduces his adult son who is now part of his group!
After the concert we met up with Vegaschic and her sister to go to Vom Fass that is located in the Venetian Canal shops not far from Tao restaurant. They sell liquor, vinegars, oils, and some gourmet foods. They also do tastings of the liquor, vinegars, etc...I forgot to take photos, darn it! After a few tastings I ended up buying some balsamic vinegar and some really flavorful spicy vodka make from a variety of hot peppers.
Before taking our purchases back to our rooms at Palazzo the four of us stopped in to the Venetian High Limit room. Hey it was on our way back to Palazzo, LOL! We put $100.00 each into dollar Sky Rider and hit a full screen of bonuses!  Yes, I have a video of it, now one of my favorites!

Vegaschic, me and her sister!
Randy and I are all smiles at that full screen of bonus symbols!
Before we left the high limit room our group divided the money from our first bonus, then put $200.00 into another Sky Rider game and hit a bonus on that one too, though it didn't pay much we still all walked away winners.
All of us went to put our purchases away in our rooms and then headed out for more gambling. Randy and I played a lot of penny games but started losing.
We continued to lose but before we went to bed we tried some more games in the Venetian high limit room and won back some of our money.
After winning some of our money back with the high limit games we then gave it back to the pennies again, LOL! I did have one great bonus on penny Showgirls! This is a fun game, if you want to see how it plays this is live play on it with the best bonus I have ever won on it.

Next morning, I headed to the Platinum lounge to get a coffee and ran into my friend Julie. Julie is so much fun to be with and I was sad that as she was arriving with friends, I would be checking out and going to Cosmopolitan.
Okay, you know the drill, we ate at Grand Lux again and Randy had his egg sandwich and I returned to their lunch buffet .
We had a late checkout at Palazzo of 4pm so I returned to G2e which would close at 3pm while Randy gambled and lost more money on the penny games!  While we were at Palazzo there was a promotion to get 2 free tickets each day if you got X amount of points, which I can't recall now how many, think it might have been 3500.00. The vouchers were for either Baz or Clint Holmes show and had to be redeemed within 72 hours but could be used for show dates up until the end of December! I went and turned in my vouchers for six tickets to Baz that we will use the evening of Thanksgiving with friends!
Randy was leaving to return home today and headed out to the airport in the Palazzo Limo around 4pm. I arranged for a UBER and it was there for within 3 minutes of calling for it on their APP.

I checked in at the VIP lounge at The Cosmopolitan and had a wonderful view of the Bellagio Fountains on a high floor. I had just enough time to get settled, unpacked and cleaned up before meeting friends for dinner at 7pm at Beauty and Essex.
While my friends Sdguy and Brent had returned home today, Rex was staying over until tomorrow afternoon and he joined us for dinner. Below is Cathy, Chris, Rex and of course me. Boots I believe was taking the photo.
We ordered the menu for our group! Just kidding but we did order a lot of food to share. Below is seared rare tuna, I believe those who ate this really liked it.
Shrimp cocktail!
Caesar toast. Try this if you like Caesar salad!
Chile Relleno Empanadas with poblano, manchego cheese and jalapeño-lime cream.
Maine lobster rolls are great!
Spaghettini with zucchini, lemon, parsley pesto, parmigiana and sunny side egg is really good!
Oven braised chicken meatballs. I didn't try this but I don't think anyone cared for it.
Basil pesto ravioli, I didn't try this but it looked good.
Lobster tacos, YUM!
Elote Style Scallops with charred corn salad is always good.
My favorite vegetable side, cauliflower with ginger verde. As long as you don't absolutely hate cauliflower try this, the flavor is incredible!
KYGO Cloud Nine S-mores my favorite dessert here. It's a dark chocolate torte, with marshmallow clouds, white and milk chocolate sauce.
After dinner our group split up to gamble and I decided to introduce Rex to one of my favorite new games, Plants vs Zombies! We ended up with a very good bonus of almost $400.00 but it was touch and go there for a while!
My friends Greg and Lee arrived after we played a few games and we headed over to the Chandelier lounge where we found other friends from the Vegas Fanatics group we didn't know were going to be there too! Unfortunatelywith about 12 of us there and the lounge being busy we had to split up between 2 or 3 tables.
Our drinks were good but I can't remember what we ordered, LOL!
After drinks at Chandelier Greg, Lee, Rex and I returned to the casino, while the rest of my friends headed out for shenanigans elsewhere. There's a trip report on vegasfanatics that they did live at the time or our trip that describes their adventures.
The four of us had so much fun playing slots together that evening that after this photo I forgot to take any! However, I have a couple videos of our live play on Ruby Slippers (big win) and Hot Hot 8!


Next morning I met Sue (Aces and Royals), Boots, Lee and Rex for lunch at Wicked Spoon buffet.
I can't believe I remember to take some photos of the food and then forgot to take one of our group!
We didn't linger at the buffet because Boots and I had our first tournament session at 12:20pm, while Sue had hers after ours. What tournament you ask? The Up, UP and AWAY TOURNAMENT!
My slot tournament session times.
Boots had costumes for the two days of our super hero theme slot tournament. Below is Super Boots with her face blurred out. :)
That's VegasMonkey below in his VF super cape! A group of us from the VegasFanatics board were participating in this tournament and Dirty Shirley (so named due to her love of Dirty Shirley cocktails) had red capes made up for us with VF on the back! Thanks Shirley!
Rex and others cheering me on during my first session.
Cathy having laughs with the tournament MC.
I can never pass up a photo op at these tournaments, so I did one with both Rex and Lee!
After my first tournament session I played slots with Rex until he had to leave for the airport. Then it was time for my second and last tournament session of the day. The second session today would end up being my best score.
Tonight dinner was with friends at Carbone at Aria.
As we were walking to Carbone I had to stop and take photos of these clever Halloween themed chocolate desserts at Jean Philippe Patisserie.
Outside of Carbone at Aria. Vegaschic and VegasMonkey did a great job setting up our reservation of 12 for dinner, and at the last minute Vegaschic scored a private room for us!
The bread selection at Aria is great, loved the bread!
They serve complimentary parmesan, salami and pickled cauliflower. I forgot to get a photo of the pickled cauliflower.
To make it easier on our servers and division of check VegasMonkey came up with a menu for our group but of course Boots and I had to be difficult and order separately since we don't eat veal. Here's the menu the group had.

Caesar salad
Appetizers - Sizzling pancetta and meatballs
Pasta - Spicy rigatoni and spaghetti pomodoro
Veal parmesan with extra sauce

Above the delicious Caprese salad that Boots and I shared.
 Caesar salad prepared table side.
Our happy group!
Their famous Spicy Rigatoni Vodka
Someone insisted I try the spicy rigatoni so I tried a piece, it was very good, LOL!
Boots and I shared the chicken Massimo which was very good.
Meatballs! I didn't taste this but it seemed like everyone liked them. 
Boots and I shared the Scallops they were fine but not the best I've had. 
Boots and I shared a side of grilled Asparagus. It was good but likely we could have skipped it, we were full and couldn't finish our chicken.
The dessert cart looked yummy!
All of us were full so we didn't order dessert, but they did serve us these complimentary Italian cookies which I was to full to try.
Our group left Carbone and hurried back to Cosmopolitan for our High Limit Group Pull!
Our Vegas Fanatics High Limit group pull was for $500 each with participants being able to pick the game they wanted to play it through. Unfortunately it was a fail until the very last minute when Broncofn arrived and hit a spin on $100 Wheel of Fortune for $3000.00! Our group ended up getting back about $285.00 so we lost some money but the fun was priceless. Win or lose I love our high limit group pulls!
I had some bonuses and minor luck later that night in the High Limit room.
$600.00 win on the very last spin of Pink Diamonds!
Top Dollar and Cash Wheel gave me a bonus but they were low wins. Unfortunately after these wins it was just losing at both the dollar, five dollar slots and lots of penny games.
Next morning Boots and I ate at Wicked Spoon again. Why Wicked Spoon? Well the tournament had gifted each participate with a free buffet for two so Boots and I traded off with one of us using our buffet comp yesterday and the other one today.
Additional photos of the buffet because apparently that is one of the few things I was able to remember to take photos of, since I forgot to take them at the slots most of the time.
I guess I love taking photos of desserts. :)
I mean I really really love taking photos of desserts!
 After my dessert photo blitz we left Wicked Spoon and went to do our final tournament session.  Tournament session over it was time for Boots and I to have a drink and play some Video Poker at Bond Bar!
Boots and I didn't win anything playing video poker but I did enjoy my spicy Ay Caramba drink.
We split up after Bond bar because I had to return to my room to do my drawing for my youtube channel's Facebook page. If you want to participate in it in the future go here and like my FB page.
This is how my slot suggestion, double or nothing event works. My latest post about it on Facebook:
 In comments below let me know what you would like me to play and from the suggestions I will draw 2 names and I will put $100.00 each in their suggested game and do a double or nothing video with a shoutout to the person whose name and game I drew. These will be live play videos so it has to be a slot game that I can locate at either The Cosmopolitan or Aria where they won't stop me from recording. While I will only play one game for each name drawn, you can suggest up to 3 games if you want, in case I can't find your first choice. Monday the 24th at noon I will close out suggestions to give me time to organize the names/suggestions for the drawing before I leave for Las Vegas. The Slot Suggestion event video will be released in early November.

Back in my room I drew just 2 names because if I haven't mentioned it yet I was losing this trip at Cosmopolitan. I had won at Cosmo in August and returned home ahead a couple thousand but Cosmo decided to take it back and some additional money too! 

The first name I drew was Kevin Moore and his game choice was Crazy Money Deluxe. Unfortunately this turned out to be not the double, but the nothing. :)

The second name was Jose Gonzalez and his game was Flintstones 3 reel. This game I ended up doubling my money on and more! If you want to see the video of this event here it is.

After recording Flintstones for the slot suggestion event I continued to play it and I was shocked when I had a great bonus for $429.90. That video is here if you want to see it.

After recording my slot suggestion event I decided to try Ruby Slippers again and it surprised me with several bonuses of which the best one was over $300.00!
Ruby Slippers turned out to be my only good win that afternoon besides Flintstones as numerous other penny games let me down!
At 5:30pm it was time to go to the tournament award show.
They had appetizers, desserts and drinks!
Out of our Vegas Fanatics group the highest win was $1000.00 free play. Boots came in I believe at 50th place and I was 40 something and we both won $325.00 free play.
Dinner after the tournament results was with Boots at D.O.C.G. where we caught each other up on what our families were doing.
Crispy artichoke appetizer above and delicious halibut below. 
Boots had a steak and we shared some spinach.
As we were leaving the restaurant we found Aces and Royals, Elf (a member of both Jokers Wild Gambling and Vegas Fanatics) and my Cosmopolitan host Rebecca also eating there. We had a nice chat and then left to gamble.
Our gambling sucked, or at least mine did despite the wins you see here. I hit a bonus on Cleopatra II and some other penny games and they were really bad bonuses, and many of the penny games didn't give me a bonus, darn it!
Late that evening at 10pm a group of us gathered at the High Limit lounge of Cosmopolitan for table games. The buy in amount was $500.00 each and it was high stakes Blackjack. Broncofn was our player because he's had trips where he has won over 100k playing Blackjack! Unfortunately this night the Cosmo dealer kept hitting 21 and we lost. We still love you Broncofn, and we'll get them next time!
Photo of Broncofn and me.
Vegaschic during the High Stakes Blackjack event gave me some goodies from Canada. I took them home and my husband and son devour them, except for the Ketchup chips which lived up to you can't just eat one, so I ate them all!
I had a early morning flight so I only played and lost a bit more before going to bed. I tried out the new Big Bang Theory 2 game, but not sure if I like or not. 
Even though it was a losing trip this time I went to bed on a high note when I had a run on Jackpot Inferno and also a couple nice hits on Davinci Diamonds!
Check out was easy next morning and one of the Cosmo cars was outside to take me to the airport. Flight was on time and husband was waiting for me at the airport.
I'm back in Vegas for Halloween weekend, staying at The Cosmopolitan. Once again there will be a Meet of Vegas Fanatics members, this time at the Chandelier Lounge with a open bar compliments of Cosmopolitan and VF! There's also going to be a high limit group pulls, some lovely dinners and lots of people dressed up in costume for Halloween! Vegaschic, VegaschicBFF and me will also be going to see Greg in 50 Shades of Parody at Ballys!

Thanks for reading, have fun and good luck!


  1. Hey Diana it was great to meet you on this trip! Jeanette and I agree that the John Fogarty show was fantastic. The band was great especially good.. the drummer was unreal and John and & his son were great on guitar. We also ate at 2 of the same places. First time for us at Beauty & Essex fantastic food & service. Carbone, second time for us and our favorite Italian restaurant in town. Looks like the rest of your trip was action packed and lot's of fun! Love reading the blog and again very nice to meet you.
    I am jealous that you are already back for Halloween weekend! Look forward to reading all about it!
    Paul & Jeanette

    1. Thanks Paul and Jeanette, it was wonderful to meet you and hope to see you again in Vegas on a future trip!

      Sounds like we enjoy the same type of restaurants. :)

      Just returned from Vegas and had a great time. Hoping to get that trip report out in a couple weeks or at least before the Thanksgiving trip with family and friends.

      I'm very lucky to live such a short inexpensive flight away to Las Vegas!


  2. What a great trip report. So entertaining and informative. I loved, loved, loved it.

  3. Great trip report. I bet John F was great! Always been a big fan of his.

    1. Thanks Valarie! We're looking forward to seeing John Fogerty again sometime,he puts on a great show.

  4. Great report, enjoyed the read! Thanks Dianna


    1. Thanks Suzanne, I'm so glad you liked it. :)