Arrived in LV on Valentines Day early afternoon and left Thursday, 2/20 morning.
Southwest Airlines - Flew non-stop from Philadelphia. As always, perfect. Had a very funny female flight attendant who obviously enjoyed entertaining the passengers. She was a riot.
Alamo Car Rental – Based on how high rates were/are, we got a pretty good deal from Alamo through Corporate Perks membership. We paid just over $200 for 5 days for a compact. When we got there our choices of compacts consisted of a Kia Rio or a…well…a Kia Rio. All I can say is it got great MPGs. We drove all over the place, including the Shelby Museum one day, then out to Valley of Fire, Lake Meade, and Hoover the next and we only used 5 gals. Other than that, it was basically a skateboard with a roof.
Westin Causarina Casino/Hotel – Booked through Priceline for $69 per night average. After we got it I did some research and got a little worried reading the reviews, mostly because it’s a pet-friendly hotel. I called Priceline and attempted to cancel, saying that my wife was allergic to pets but no-go. Priceline simply called the hotel and arranged for a non-pet room. This all turned out to be a waste of my time however because the place was very nice and we saw a total of one dog the whole time we were there. The rooms, while small, were quite clean and furnished nicely. Westin claims to have the best beds in the industry and based on my (albeit limited) experience, they are right on! I would’ve taken that bed on the flight home if I could’ve fit it in the overhead bin!!! Also nice is that the hotel is non-smoking. We had a fairly-nice view of the Wynn and Bellagio (over some dilapidated apartments). The casino, while small, was fine to spend more than a few hours (plus even more-er dollars) and it was not non-smoking like the rest of the place - no biggie. Slots were fairly-loose for us. Got a few perks to gamble there and we used them all, earning a free buffet breakfast along the way. As you all know, there was nothing free about the breakfast ;-) but the food was great and the staff was even better. The hotel’s location was great; an easy 1.5 block walk to the strip by Ballys or through Ballys/Paris and was an easy getaway from the strip also. They had a convenient (and free) parking garage as well. The only *big* negative was their amenities fee of (I think) $15 because we reserved through a 3rd party service. We would most definitely stay there again but we would try reserving through the hotel directly.
Paris Casino – One of our favorites. For some reason we like the atmosphere there. Didn’t do too well except for one time… first, know that we had never played any table game before. Friend at work gave my wife $5 to put on “red 26” so after we watched the goings-on at several roulette tables my wife spots one with only one person playing. It’s a $1/$5 table. Wife sits down and hands the guy $5 but he makes her lay it on the table; clue #1 that she’s a major ROOKIE. Anyway, realizing there’s no “red 26” causes her to delay a little (clue #2) but she eventually gets a $1 chip down on black 26. Uhh, no, $5 minimum (and clue #3). Flustered, she throws five $1 chips on 26 and throws her hands up. Off the ball goes and...you guessed it!...guy slides some nice piles of chips her way!!! The other player just rolls her eyes and whispers to her significant other. My wife gives the attendant 5 chips and slides the rest back to cash out. A classic LV memory born!
Silverton Casino Hotel– Went to see the aquarium and lose a few bucks. Nice enough place but the casino was kinda dreary.
South Point Casino Hotel – Seemed like a very nice place – clean and new. Looked like a nice place to stay if you’re looking off-Strip. We will consider it for future trips.
Casa di Amore Italian Restaurant – Way cool place with excellent food. An Old Vegas (or should I say Old North Jersey?) kind of place. Had a Restaurant.com certificate and used it well. Live music, lots of chatter, good staff, great food. We had a great time there.
Border Grill (@Mandalay Bay) – another Restaurant.com cert and another fantastic meal. In fact, one of the best dining experiences we’ve ever had. It will be on our itinerary every LV trip from now on. I highly recommend it.
Tequila Bar @ Ballys – Was one of our favorites. This time was dirty and table waiters were horrible. Ended up at the bar with a good bartender pouring excellent Tequilas! All in all, we were disappointed (and ripped) when we left
Shelby Museum and Shop – I’m a Ford Mustang junkie so I really enjoyed this. Not as big as I expected but it was cool...and free!
Valley of Fire Park – WOW. Fantastic, awesome, beautiful. It’s a pretty easy drive – do it.
Lake Mead / Hoover Dam – Very neat. IMHO one of those “won’t go back but very glad we went” kind of places. Didn’t do the tour or anything, we just walked around.
Southwest Airlines – Home to SE Pennsylvania. A real rocky landing with an 8/10 on my pucker scale! How do they get those things on the ground when it’s that windy?!?!
CAN’T WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR!