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First TR, Encore and LOVE

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Seattle, Washington
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250 posts
12 reviews
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First TR, Encore and LOVE

This is my first time posting a Trip Report, and I hope I'm not too long winded, but I wanted to be detailed. I'll post as a reply.

Seattle, Washington
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250 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

Our trip was from January 31 - February 2.

Just a little background on us first. I’m 47, my husband is 36 (we’re just like Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, before they broke up of course) It’s my fifth trip to Vegas, my husband’s third. We’re not huge gamblers but we do like to play.

This was a birthday trip for my husband. We woke up early to catch our 7:45 am flight from SeaTac to Las Vegas. Alaska Air, tickets were purchased with miles so they were free. The flight was uneventful and we actually slept though beverage service. They had us on the ground 15 minutes early.

I had booked a limo through Presidential Limo as a surprise for my husband, but the driver wasn’t at the bottom of the escalator to baggage claim so I had to let my husband in on the surprise so he could help me look for the sign with our name on it. Turns out the driver was waiting for us over by the baggage carousel, but we didn’t have any checked bags so we just took off. When we got to the car, the driver handed me a rose and handed my husband a bottle of champagne. I had asked the limo company if it would be possible to have orange juice in the car too, because we love mimosas, but alas, the driver said he “forgot about it”. Bummer, but we still drank the champagne 

I asked the driver to swing by the Vegas sign because in our combined 8 times there we had never stopped at it. It wasn’t too crowded there and the driver took a couple of pictures for us. There was also a pretty sad Elvis standing there with another guy with a camera waiting for someone to want a picture with him, but nobody was biting this morning.

After a pretty quick down the strip, we arrived at the Encore. This was the second surprise for my husband because he thought we were staying at Bill’s. I actually got a super deal on the Encore room so decided to splurge a little for his birthday, and it was my first time staying on the strip. I usually stay at the Four Queens for some reason, with the exception of my very first time in Las Vegas when I was 14 and my parents took us to Vegas and put the three of us kids in a room in Circus Circus and we didn’t see them again for three days. That was old school Vegas time! When parents didn’t really care what the kids were doing, they just told us not to leave the hotel.

Anyway, by the time we got to the Encore, we were both feeling pretty drunk. Did I mention that we’re not big drinkers? The nice lady at the desk checked us in right away even though it was only 11, and gave us a strip view room on the 27th floor. Not the highest room, but still a nice view. For the record, we never heard one peep from the club even though XS was almost right below us.

Wow, the Encore room was fabulous! We admired the view, played with the buttons that move the drapes, checked out the mini bar without touching anything (that 60 second rule is kind of scary), and then decided that we needed food immediately, having had nothing to eat all morning but a bottle of champagne. So off we went in search of food.

Seattle, Washington
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250 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

We wound up at Stratta for lunch. We split an order of parmesan cheese fries which were very yummy and immediately started soaking up the alcohol. My husband had the pulled pork sandwich which he said was very good. I had the bolognese. I measure every bolognese against the stuff I get at the Pink Door in Seattle, and this was not quite up to that gold standard but was still very good.

After lunch we wandered around the casino a bit and I decided to start with a few slot plays. I had budgeted about a grand a day for just gambling, so I took my first hundred and played some random machine for a while and cashed out when I was about $30 down. We wanted to walk down to the Mirage and pick up our show tickets for the 7:00 LOVE show. It was a gorgeous day outside (it’s been raining for a while in Seattle, imagine!) so we took our time and enjoyed the stroll. I did notice that there were not that many people outside, or inside for that matter, but I’ve never been to Vegas in January before so I’m not sure if it’s always like that. There was also a serious lack of porn slappers outside. We did not see one, honestly.

We got to the Mirage box office, waited in a short line, and picked up our tickets. We decided we’d play here for a little while, so we picked a $10 craps table. Craps is our game of choice, it’s really all my husband plays. I like slots every once in a while and sometimes Pai Gow if I want to make my money last for hours without a lot of excitement.

We played craps for about an hour, quiet table and not much happening. We were about even when we were done, and had won back my $30 that I lost in slots earlier. I played a little Pai Gow but it was an awkward game because there were two other guys and me, and the guys and the dealer were having a great conversation but it was all in Chinese and I felt like a little island at the other end of the table. They smiled a lot at me though so I didn’t feel like an intruder. Anyway, cashed out after an hour or so up $25.

By this time we were feeling pretty tired, so we headed back to the hotel to rest and clean up for the show and dinner. We both took a bath, changed, and headed back to the Mirage. They were already letting people in when we got there, and the line for the box office was really long so I was pretty happy we had got our tickets earlier.

We had seats in the balcony, 306 AA, and they were great for the show. Thanks to TA, I knew we’d be able to see everything really well up here, and we did. The show was fantastic! I literally cried from happiness by the end – I’m not sure why I was so emotional, it just made me feel really good but a little nostalgic too, hence the tears. My husband was a little perplexed at the weeping, but he also really enjoyed the show. We both agreed that we were planning another trip right away to bring our daughters, both huge Beatles fans.

Again, thanks to TA, I had made reservations for a late dinner (9:30) at Bouchon over at the Venetian.We had about an hour between the end of the show and our reservations, but it turns out we needed most of that time because we could not find the restaurant. My husband referred to the Venetian as Pan’s Labyrinth from that point on. We finally found our destination, and were seated almost immediately. It was still pretty loud and crowded at that time of night, but we enjoyed the vibe and were looking forward to dinner since it had been about 9 hours since we’d had lunch. First the waiter brought us this delicious French bread, which we devoured. The people at the table next to us had not even touched their bread, and I just wanted to reach right over and take it. We split a half carafe of wine, I had the roast chicken and the husband had the Beoff Bourguignon. Both were absolutely delicious. The chicken was done perfectly, and the beef was just as tasty. We split a desert of vanilla ice cream éclairs with chocolate sauce and we each had coffee. The bill of $128 plus tip was totally worth it, everything was delicious.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

We went down to the Venetian casino, ready to do some gambling. I spied an empty WOZ slots, and having heard so much about them from TA decided to play. I have never played penny slots before, and I had no idea what was going on with the paylines, but I played Max each time and $140 was gone in a flash. I decided this was not for me, and went in search of an old fashioned machine. Found a $1 Double Diamond and the husband and I each put in $60. We took turns pressing the buttons and pulling the handle and were up about $40 or so, when I hit the three bars with a Double Diamond for $160. Yay! I had just made back all of my WOZ losses with one hit. Hit the cash out button right away, and the voucher was for $284. Up $164 from our original credits, and $24 for the night so far.

Oh, I should explain our gambling habits. We employ a “hit and run” strategy most of the time, meaning we play until we’re up, then we cash out immediately. Doesn’t matter what game we’re playing the strategy remains the same. Of course, we don’t always get to the UP side, but that’s our strategy.

We left the Venetian and headed back up the strip to the Wynn. We walked around a bit checking out the vibes at the craps tables and settled on one that looked promising. $10 craps, we played through three shooters, and the last one was pretty lucky. We knew were ahead so we colored up, went to the cashier and came out $179 ahead. Walked through to the Encore casino and played some random slots and lost about $40 really fast. So we decided to try craps again. We wound up at another $10 table, where everybody was having a great time. We each dropped $200, and my husband was up. He’s a notoriously lousy shooter, but he did make one point. Fairly soon after that he shot a seven though, so the dice passed to the next guy. He was hot, and the chips stacked up in front of us. I play mostly a pass bet with odds, and then one or two come bets with odds, and my husband plays the same with a few extra numbers on the side. We both looked at each other across the table and nodded. Time to color up as soon as this guy was done. After a fantastic run, the guys shoots a seven, we say thank you, tip the dealer, and head for the cashier. We had doubled our money, and came away with $801. Total winnings for the night was over $500, so we decided to call it a night. It was after 1 am by this time and we were feeling pretty tired. We hit that soft Steve Wynn bed and were out in no time.

texas
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4. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

loving the report! great wins!

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

Loving the report so far - more details the better, I always say! Keep 'em coming!

blacksburg va
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6. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

what a great suprise for hubby,and a great tr.

very romantic of you guys ridinfg down the strip drinking champeign(for some reason i thought you couldent be in any vehicle while drinking)

we are having the cp limo pick us up im march nad i always assumed thats where he would met us.at luggage claim.

your husband is a lucky man,and wishing you both many many more fun trips together

Canada
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7. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

The WOZ slots aren't for me either! I can't believe how fast my money disappears on those machines...I'm definitely NOT a fan!! Nice wins to finish the night!

GREAT trip report...can't wait for more!

Seattle, Washington
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250 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

The next morning we woke up at 9:30, very hungry. After showering and dressing, we headed out into the gorgeous Las Vegas sunshine in search of breakfast. We wound up at the Venetian food court, and had a wonderful breakfast there. French toast for the husband with a side of bacon, and scrambled eggs, sausage and potatoes for me. Plus huge mugs of coffee which we really appreciated. Total was $38 plus tip. We really wanted to check out City Center, so we headed that way. I can’t remember which way we wandered or what trams we took but we wound up in the Bellagio and decided to play a little craps there. Lucky again, we cashed out about $170 ahead. Walked over to City Center and did a loop around to look at all of the shops. The building is gorgeous, with very interesting architecture and quite massive. But the shops were all literally crying for customers. There were NO shoppers, just lookers like us. The poor sales people were just standing inside the doors looking so lonely. It was quite intimidating actually. I felt like if I were to enter a store just to browse, they’d jump on me like a hungry hyena.

We had a peach cream smoothy at The Cup in City Center (very refreshing) and headed over the Aria Casino. Yes, it is very dark. And the smell was making me kind of sick – I think whatever they put in the air filters to purify it was just too strong since the casino was pretty empty – not too much air to purify I guess.

Anyway, wound up at yet another $10 craps table. I put a come bet down while waiting for a new shooter, which was quickly scooped up. The new shooter was a one-armed dude from Philadelphia who was just hysterical. He and his buddy were quite a comedy team, and the shooter was so funny because he couldn’t really hear, he kept knocking over his chips when he would shoot the dice, and he just generally seemed to not be there all together, but BAM! He could shoot those points. There was no question we were coloring up when he was done. We thanked him, tipped the dealer, headed to the cashier, and came away with an extra $540. We wandered around the casino a bit more, I played some Pai Gow where I won $20, then we played some Roulette and lost $50. We were never up at Roulette, so no hit and run there. Our one armed friend was still at the same craps table so we hit that again, but there was no love this time, and we lost $50. We decided to quit so we left to head back down the strip.

By this time, we were up about $1200. It’s funny, because we came to Vegas with the biggest gambling budget we ever had, and once we hit that magic $1000 number I was suddenly not so anxious to part with it. I actually felt like I had won over $3000 since we still had our original bankroll plus our winnings. We decided together that we would quit now because we’d had an awesome time, and with our winning, our entire trip would be completely paid for and we’d still have some left over. So we just had fun the rest of the day watching other people play. Then we headed back to the Encore to get dressed for our dinner at SW Steakhouse.

San Antonio, Texas
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9. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

Thanks for the great TR! Love your details and enjoy hearing about your gaming and hotel.

thanks again!

Seattle, Washington
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250 posts
12 reviews
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10. Re: First TR, Encore and LOVE

We got all fancied up and went down for cocktails at the Eastside Lounge. Two cocktails, $40 - yowza. But they were good  On to SW. We’re both big carnivores, so we were looking forward to this dinner. I started with the foi gras which was served sautéed with a poached pear. It was heavenly. The husband had Caesar salad. We both had a glass of wine. Again, the bread was fantastic. The chili cheese rolls were wonderful, especially with that poppy seed butter on them. We each had the filet mignon, medium rare, and ordered pureed Yukon potatoes and green beans with carrots and ginger as side dishes. One side would have been plenty, as we didn’t even finish half of either one. Not that they weren’t good, they were. But we were so full by this time that I couldn’t even finish my steak let alone more sides. And we did want dessert, so I reluctantly let the rest of the food on my plate go back to the kitchen.

We ordered Vanilla Crème Brulee, which was served on a big platter with warm Madeline cookies and the chef had written Happy Birthday on the plate with chocolate for my husband. We had coffee with dessert, and by the time I was done I told my husband he’d just have to roll me back to the room because I didn’t think I could move. Dinner was $240 or so plus tip. It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful day, and we made or way slowly back to the room and called it a night. It was early, but the food had put me in a coma and I was out shortly after I hit the bed. We have a late afternoon flight home tomorrow, so I know I can sleep awhile.