This is trip number 30-something with my mom, and we stayed at Harrah's again. We found out after the fact that we could check in ahead of time like I'd done previously at Flamingo, but the email went to my parents' shared email and my dad neglected to let us know. Instead, he wrote down the confirmation number and deleted the email, and told my mom after we were home from the trip. How helpful. (I seriously wish I had a Sarcasm Font.)
Friday, May 22nd
Little did we know then that South Texas was just entering the "flood period", but it was raining while we were waiting for our late evening flight. Interesting person sitting next to mom on the plane. I think - I HOPE - she was either a dental hygienist or a dentist, because the disgusting photos of peoples' mouths that she was editing during the ENTIRE flight should only be used for dentistry. Bleh...
Using mom's Platinum Total Rewards status, we got a Carnaval tower room with a view of the High Roller and used the Diamond Check In (us lowly Gold players get no such things), then put our stuff away and went in search of a snack.
|Not a bad view.|
Over to the Linq casino for some of my favorite True Blood slots. NOT my best friends on this trip, anywhere! I found the new Gold Fish 3 slots there, too, which I like more than Gold Fish 2 but not as much as the original Gold Fish. Sometimes the original is the best, and change is not always good. I also tried the Mad Men slots at Harrah's, and they were interesting and gave me some play. I haven't decided if I like all of these new slots with the giant wheel, but they are not completely horrible. I managed to stay up until about 2:30 a.m., so that's 4:30 a.m. San Antonio time, and not too bad considering that we have a new puppy at home, so I'd been up almost 24 hours.
Saturday, May 23rd
I could NOT sleep! I was awake by 7 a.m., and tried to go back to sleep and/or keep quiet, but that didn't happen. Mom and I were up, out, and on our way to the monorail by 9 am, where we enjoyed the MGM brunch buffet again, thanks to another myVegas reward. Good as usual, but they didn't have our French toast casserole this time, which was disappointing. More lunch options on the menu at 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. than last time, too. I don't know if they're changing it or if that's just what they had that day.
I got to play the new Friends slot machine at MGM, and of course I love it because it's FRIENDS! I sat next to a cute young girl who didn't know much about the TV show itself but who'd had a run of luck on these very machines the night before to the tune of $400, so we got along famously, and I was able to get three bonuses - the wedding bonus, and two of the same picking bonuses that I can't remember the name of but didn't do well on. Still walked away with money doubled, so that's something.
|This looks impressive, but it's only $6.00, LOL!|
|My heart will go onnnnnnn...|
|My version of Ellen had a "Know Or Go" bonus that I liked.|
|Using my Miniature feature.|
On to Caesars Palace, where I should have just handed them my money instead of wasting time playing any slots. OMG Puppies!, Elton John, and Lil Red - all poopers. They took out my favorite Moo-La-Lah! machines there AND at Paris, so that makes me unhappy. I usually love CP, but the lack of happy games and good bonuses made me ready to leave, so we headed to the Mirage.
At the Mirage, we discovered "Cash 'Em If You Can", and played a long while on these. Kinda like Reel 'Em In, but more of those stacking wilds you find on the new Friends slots and the like. I gave mom her choice of dinner locations, and she checked all the menus at Portofino, Stack, Japonais, and Fin before finally choosing Fin. This was her favorite meal of the trip, and it is one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas.
|Cash 'Em If You Can|
|Mom's Kung Pao Chicken, and my Singapore Noodles.|
My Singapore Sling is to the right.
I played only one session of The Hangover on my entire trip on that night, and it was a bust. That game will suck your money out soon quickly, and it did, so I gave up. No bonuses at all. I finally settled in to some Hot Hot Penny Reels O' Dublin for the night, and played until I was finally too tired to stay awake anymore, which was around 1 am. After the previous night's lack of sleep, I was ready for bed. Plus overall I was losing, so that didn't help anything.
Sunday, May 24th
We walked to the Venetian for breakfast at Bouchon. I'd never been there before, and had never been in the Venezia tower, for that matter. Beautiful space, and I love the detailing of this area of the Venetian. We only had to wait about 5 minutes for a table at Bouchon, and enjoyed our copycat breakfast: omelets with hangar steak, mushrooms, and spinach, served with a side of fresh strawberries and sourdough toast. Their strawberry jam was great, the toast was mom's new best friend, and we ate every bite again. They serve fresh bread and butter at the beginning of the meal, and overall the whole experience reminded me of Mon Ami Gabi at Paris. The prices, the atmosphere, the service - all of it reminded me of Mon Ami Gabi. It's not as convenient as Mon Ami Gabi because you have to really walk to find it, but if you're on that end of the Strip and willing to walk to find it it's certainly worth a visit.
|The walkway to Bouchon|
|Venezia tower ceiling|
|Hallway outside of Bouchon|
|Bouchon breakfast - times two|
|Palazzo waterfall area|
|Palazzo waterfall area|
On to Wynn, which I love as a casino, but never have much luck in. I found another Titanic slot that let me play for a good, long time, and took advantage of that while my poor mom bounced around from machine to machine, looking for something friendly. Not too much to be found there. Time to take a cab down to Planet Hollywood.
|I'm the King of the World!|
On to Cosmopolitan, where mom found some of her beloved Fireball machines, and I chose to see if True Blood was any nicer here. It was not. This is certainly becoming a pattern, and one I don't care for. We didn't spend too much time gambling, because it was painful. Instead I took mom to China Poblano, where I had eaten before, to try some sui mai.
Eclectic is the name of the game at China Poblano, which serves both Mexican and Chinese cuisine, and we had to a wait a few minutes for a seat at around 5:30 p.m. Our service was spotty, as the waitress said she would bring out our food "as it is ready", and it was a random delivery at best. We ordered chips and salsa to start, which I hadn't tried there before, and it was good stuff. Mom had the Lucky 6 sui mai, and I had the scallop sui mai. Mom also ordered a chicken chorizo taco and I ordered a mushroom and guacamole taco, which were both very good, but mom's taco came WAY after everything else. For dessert we shared two paletas (ice cream bars): coconut and pineapple, and key lime. OMG, those were delicious! They had six total selections, and I can imagine that the others were just as good.
|Mom's Lucky 6 sui mai, chips and salsa, and my Scallop sui mai|
|My mushroom and avocado taco. |
Mom's chicken and chorizo taco came too late for a photo.
|OMG! So good!|
Coconut and pineapple paleta on the left, key lime paleta on the right.
Flamingo is a mixed bag, too. That was our next stop, and it seems like they've taken out most of the games I like to play, which is unfortunate for me. Margaritaville next door does have some games I like, but at least everything in this area of the Strip is close together so you can move easily from one casino to the next.
Back to the Linq so that I could play Gold Fish 3. These are definitely growing on me. I do like many of the games in the Linq, but they can get crowded fast because it's not a huge casino. Mom went back and forth to the Sports Book to see if the Cavaliers were losing (unfortunately they came back and won that night), but we didn't stick around for too long.
I ended the night at Harrah's bouncing around from game to game and finally having a pretty good run on Phantom of the Opera, but nothing that helped replenish my lost funds, and I was still pretty down for the trip. Mom and I tried the new Captain Nemo Treasures machine together, and we had a hard time understanding what the hell was going on. A couple of bonuses, but...me no likey.
Monday, May 25th
Going home day, but still an almost full day in Vegas. Our flight didn't leave until 8:25 p.m., so we had time to roam. First it was over to Bellagio Cafe' for breakfast, where mom had eggs over-easy and toast while I went all in for Maryland Crab Cakes Benedict, which were really yummy. Served with hash browns that were perfect for dipping runny egg middles. Mmmmm....
|Maryland Crab Cakes Benedict at Bellagio Cafe'|
|Lick 'Em wilds. They are weird...|
|I had a Disney World Haunted Mansion moment here, but they never started singing.|
Once mom's VP fun was over, we switched to playing side-by-side Zuma slots before we headed to the airport. At least they let us play for awhile! Finally it was time to head for the airport, and another trip was almost in the books.
|We're still smiling at the end of the trip!|
Phantom of the Opera and Titanic were much nicer to me on this trip. I completely enjoyed the Gold Fish 3 slots (though not as much as the original) and the new Lord of the Rings slots (again, nothing can replace my all-time favorite LOTR original).
I'm looking forward to my July 4th weekend trip and hoping that there are few new changes to enjoy, with lots of new food discoveries, as well.