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TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

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Dallas
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TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Myself, hubby (DH), hubby’s BFF (N) and N’s brother (B) went to Vegas for N’s 40th birthday.

Hotel: Aria

Eats: Holstein’s, Lemongrass, Five50, Secret Pizza, Michael Mina, The Steakhouse, MAG, The Henry, Jean Philippe

Drinks: Hugo’s Cellar, Chandelier Bar, Hyde, Level 107, Mandarin Bar, City Bar

Show: Mystere

Other: Presidential, Spa at Aria, Downtown, $100 promo, Sigma Derby, Lionshare

This trip was mostly about food and shows. Serious gamblers should probably look away now!

Pics: …photobucket.com/user/…20b-day

Dallas
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1. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

About 6 months ago, B calls up DH and says let’s plan a surprise trip for N’s 40th birthday. The guys kicked around various locations like Key West, Tahoe, or N’s favorite city, San Francisco. N eventually found out what they were up to and said he’d like to go to Vegas. Now I was perfectly happy to let the guys go and have their fun but eventually they all agreed I should go too – because this way I could plan the whole thing. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to Vegas with three boys but it didn’t take long to twist my arm. As N showed us a great time last year when we all went to San Francisco, I figured I could return the favor.

This would be the 4th trip for DH and I and he also went with N and B in 2007. We kept most things a secret for N throughout the trip so that he would be surprised. We chose Aria as DH and I liked the looks of it when we stayed at Vdara last year, we thought it would be a good central location and the price was right.

Hotel: Aria

I wanted to love Aria. Really I did. But in the end, it was just OK for me, and frankly I don’t see what all the fuss is about. In the Aria vs. Wynn debate, for me, it’s Wynn hands down. I think mainly I prefer the bright airy opulent décor of Wynn—I found Aria sort of dark and dreary. Even our room was dark without the curtains open. I thought our room at Encore blew our room at Aria away in terms of luxury. We also found it harder to maneuver around City Center than we expected—in fact, DH and I thought we found it easier to get around when we stayed at Vdara. It seemed like there were always several ways to get to things and we always ended up picking the slowest one. But of course, if we were to stay there again, no doubt we would get around much easier. (Thank goodness for this forum—we consulted it many times while there.)

There were things I did like: I loved the “goodnight” button in the room—we just pushed it every night before bed and everything turned off and the curtains closed. Easy peasy. The bed was comfortable as everyone says. We didn't have any issues with the technology, although N and B had to call to get theirs working. Our room was nice overall and I liked the shower—although I found the whole tub in the shower thing odd. The hotel was quiet overall and we heard very little noise.

I also liked the clientele of Aria—most people were our age and since there is no hot club like XS, there were few rowdy clubbers (or if there were, they were at Haze downstairs—quite the brilliant design if you ask me). But I totally understand those that say it’s dark, sterile with no personality and the casino was pretty dead. We ended up spending most of our time at Cosmo and Bellagio. We also had a fairly significant billing issue that has now been resolved. I know Aria has a ton of fans but I didn’t end up being one of them but that's simply due to my personal preferences. I’d stay there again if the price was right but I’d pick Encore again if money was no object. (DH says I’m being way too hard on Aria and he liked it just fine.)

Some things to note: the daily hold is $130 and there is a $50 charge to store anything in the mini-bar.

Dallas
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2. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Day 1 - Halloween

Uneventful flight from DFW got us to Vegas around 9:15 a.m. We had reserved a limo through Presidential using the $135 web special and James was waiting for us at baggage claim. We had B make the reservation so the birthday boy’s last name would be the one on the sign. He asked us if we’d like to stop anywhere first and I asked if we could go to the Vegas sign. (I think James expected us to ask for the liquor store.) James offered to pop the champagne for us even though it was early and while we declined at first, we finally said what the heck, it’s Vegas, where else can you drink champagne at 10am? We enjoyed our champagne to the sign and there were only a few people there so James took some great pictures—probably one of my favorite pictures from all my 5 trips.

I had read plenty of stories about long check-in lines but when we arrived no one was there and we walked right up to the desk. Our rooms were not ready so we were given our keys and told we would get a text when ready. We stored our luggage—the guy at the desk impressed upon us many times that we “wouldn’t see him again” so if we needed anything, to let him know now. Uh yeah, we got it, here’s your tip dude.

By now it’s only around 10:30 so we decide to explore Aria before lunch at Holstein’s. We find the pool, gym, etc. then make our way to Cosmo and show B and N around since City Center wasn’t yet finished the last time they were here. We had been to Holstein’s last year and hubby couldn’t wait for his Drunken Monkey shake. We all got burgers except for N who got a chicken club and all the boys got shakes. They didn’t have the Hen House burger I got last time so I just got a regular burger and added a fried egg. Hubby got the Steakhouse burger and B got the Gold Standard. Everything was good but my burger was covered in cheese and slightly over medium so I didn’t like it as much as the first time but it was still very good to the tune of $132.

We went and signed up DH for an Identity card so he could do the $100 promo. I did it in April and won $200 in the high limit room. We signed up B too and he went to the high limit room and lost some of it (and I got a lemon drop martini, as delicious as I remembered) before finding a Michael Jackson machine. He ended up getting a bonus with free spins and won $80. This machine was a blast and we had so much fun watching B win! Hubby decided to wait until later and as B and N’s room was ready, we decided to back to their room to rest before going downtown for Halloween night.

Our room was ready in about an hour and it was on the same floor (24th) on the other side of the elevator and had a view of the Aria pools with some mountains in the background. The view didn’t look like much then but it was really pretty at night. The elevators were always fast since the floors were broken up into 3 elevators which was nice—there was never a wait.

The day before Halloween, I went to Wal-Mart and got a $20 ladybug costume just so I’d be dressed up when we got downtown. I think the boys thought I was crazy when they saw me come downstairs, especially N who had no idea where we were going.

We went downstairs and played a few slots with no wins (or drinks). At 6:00 we got a cab downtown. We had a nice cab driver—in fact all of our cabbies were honest and friendly, no problems at all. The cab was around $20 and B tipped him $8. My plan was for us to see the parade, and as I had never been downtown, I wanted to see all the usual sights, casinos, etc. The boys went downtown on their trip in 2007 and DH was in no hurry to go back. So I didn’t expect to like it but figured hey, we’d go once, it was the place to be on Halloween, etc.

Well I don’t know if it was because it was Halloween or what but we had a great time. I never once felt unsafe or saw any shady characters. Lots of people were dressed up (DH admitted I had done the right thing!) and while it was crowded, you could certainly move around easily. We saw all the casinos, the shark tank and golden nugget at GN, the million dollars, etc. I really liked the GN—I thought it was pretty in an old-Vegas way. We played a few slots there and I actually got carded when I ordered a drink! I asked the CW how I could even be sitting there if I wasn't 21, and she said "You'd be surprised." So I got out my DL and said, "Well, now you'll really be surprised." I'm 44 so that is now my favorite CW in Vegas.

As we got to Four Queens, DH said let’s go see Hugo’s Cellar since he had heard about it on TA. I told him we couldn’t eat there but he just wanted to see it so we walked in and saw the bar and decided to ask if we could sit and have a few drinks. The host said of course and I apologized for my attire and he said “Every ladybug needs a rose” and handed me one of the long-stemmed roses which I thought was so sweet. The drinks were delicious—I had another lemon drop—and we sat and chatted for a few rounds of drinks. DH and I will definitely have dinner here at some point. We left in time to see the 8:00 light show (Heart) which I enjoyed.

Now N has a new hobby collecting vinyl records so I did some searching and found a coffeehouse/record store called The Beat on Fremont and asked if he’d like to go. So we looked it up and it was only a few blocks away so we headed that way and passed the D and I told the boys that I just HAD to go and play Sigma Derby and they obliged me. Thanks to Vegaschatter we found it on the second level and there was one empty seat on the end that I slid into.

B went to get me some quarters and after watching for a while I started playing with DH making my bets for me. It was great fun and everyone was having a blast but finally the boys were ready to go and I said “just one more” so B handed me $.25 which we bet on a 200-1 odd pairing—apparently the whole table bet it as well and what do you know, here come the horses and we are all out of our seats yelling and cheering and yippee it wins! We all go berserk and I look down and see all these quarters being dumped in my lap and I don’t know what to do and a nice lady next to me smiles and hands me a plastic cup to put my winnings in. It was so fun and we went off to collect our $50 which we split with B since he gave me the quarters to bet with. I highly recommend this if you go downtown!

We make it to The Beat and look around—it’s sort of a quiet place with hardly anyone there but N finds the records and DH finds a few little hallways where people are selling artwork. We look around and rest a bit until finally we go and wander around Fremont a little more just seeing the sights until we’re ready to call it a night. We never did see any of the parade although we saw some floats and stuff that looked like they might have been part of it at some point.

I had Peppermill on the list for a late dinner but as it would have meant two cab rides, we decide to just go back to Aria where the boys wanted Thai food so DH suggests Lemongrass against my better judgment. We ate here last year and it wasn’t very good at all. But this time was much better, I got a different appetizer this time and it was good and the boys loved their dishes. The only bad thing was our waiter disappeared and it was a very long wait for the check and I thought I might possibly fall asleep at the table. I begged DH to flag down someone—anyone—so we finally got our check and called it a night around 11:15—1:15 am our time and we had gotten up at 4:00 am that morning. But I was happy that our first night in Vegas was such a success and our trip was off to a great start.

Dallas
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3. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Day 2 – Friday

Ugh, I wake up tired, stuffy and feeling hungover even though I didn’t drink that much and felt fine when we went to bed. I decided I needed breakfast ASAP. The boys weren’t quite ready so DH and I went downstairs and found something called a “Hot Spin” game where you got to choose if you wanted more spins or higher payouts. We chose the spins and had great fun winning $8.50 while waiting for the boys to come down.

I chose The Henry for breakfast from recommendations here. The restaurant was nice—kind of reminded me of a nice cafeteria. I got a classic 3-egg breakfast like I always do and the biggest glass of orange juice I had ever seen. It was yummy but pretty pricey at $105 for the four of us. I’d rather go to MAG and get the same breakfast for much less in a much nicer atmosphere.

So my big plan for us was to walk to the MGM which I had never seen on any of my trips, and for us all to do a pool-your-money slot pull on the Lionshare machine. We all planned to put in $50 each for $200 total.

I thought we would make our way down leisurely but B is a power walker and we made it from Cosmo to MGM in under 15 minutes. I stopped and took several pictures of the NYNY skyscrapers which turned out great as well as the lion in front of MGM.

Wow, that casino is huge but thanks to TA we found the Lionshare machine outside the High Limit room. But there was a guy sitting at the machine with $200 in tapping the button with one hand and texting on his phone with the other. He looked at his phone the whole time just tapping the machine, never once looking up. What fun is that? So we figured we’d walk around some and try back later.

N remembered getting a Pina Colada at the Tropicana on his last trip so we walked over and found the same bar but the guy said they don’t make them anymore. Bummer. So the guys played some VP and DH got a $10 beer (ouch) while I Instagrammed my pictures and rested. All 3 guys were playing VP at the bar and I asked for one of those small waters that the CW waitresses bring around (B and N had already gotten one) and I was surprised that I got charged $1.75. Sheesh dude, DH already tipped you $2.50 for his $10 beer. Guess I should have known better.

Back to MGM and the same guy is sitting there and it’s obvious that he’s not going anywhere. So no slot pull for us, boo. I have a MyVegas reward for Minus5 that I planned on DH and I using but we didn’t really feel like it so we decided to go to Aria and have pina coladas by the pool instead.

We change and make our way down and N and DH do indeed get pina coladas—32 oz pina coladas no less and I get some kind of tropical banana drink with rum in it. This turned out to be a bad call because the drinks were awful. I mean, terrible, I’ve never had such bad drinks at a pool in Vegas before.

The pool was pretty crowded as far as loungers go although not many people were actually in the water. We sat out at the pool and enjoyed the sunshine. The loungers at Aria were spaced apart nicely, you weren’t totally on top of your neighbor. DH and I got in the hot tub as well and I was happy we got to enjoy some pool time as I wasn’t sure if we would. Our phones said it was 73 but in the direct sun it felt much warmer than that.

Back up to shower and change for dinner. We met downstairs at 5:00 for HH at Level 107. This was something DH and I did in April and we wanted the guys to see it. Got a cab over to Strat and waited for about 10 minutes to take the elevator up. We got a table and stayed for 3 rounds of drinks and had an appetizer. Just FYI, the drinks had gone up $1 and are now 2 for $15. I got a lemondrop again (my drink of choice this trip apparently) and it was strong. We then went out on the observation deck and asked a nice French couple to take our picture after doing the same for them and it came out great. When we were there in April, we went at sunset which is what I tried for this time. But we ran a little late so this time it was dark and I liked the view much better.

I planned our dinner at The Steakhouse in Circus Circus and took a lot of grief from the guys on this one. But I thought it would be kitschy, I had never seen CC before and besides that, the food is supposed to be good. So there.

So, wow, yeah, it’s interesting. There were kids literally everywhere, running, jumping, in strollers, everywhere you looked. We made our way to the Steakhouse and got a nice table in the back—I noticed we got better tables as a 4-top than we do when it’s just me and DH.

Entrées come with a choice of potato and soup or salad. The steaks are big too—the “petite” filet was 8 oz. DH, B and I got filets while N got the porterhouse and we all got baked potatoes except for DH who got rice and we all got salads. There is also a big bread basket for the table. I felt like I ate and ate and still hardly made a dent. Everything was good—not crazy good like Gordon Ramsay but still good nonetheless. The steaks come with béarnaise sauce which hubby loved but I preferred the charred flavor of my steak without it. My steak seemed a little on the rare side but it was still very good. DH took a bite of N’s strip however and pronounced it tough and subpar for a steak of that price. So stick with the filet if you go. Total with tip was $275—a great deal considering DH and I usually spend almost that much for just the two of us.

I had planned for us to go to GRS and have the sticky toffee pudding for dessert and maybe go to the Eiffel Tower bar but we were totally stuffed and the guys were tired so we decided to call it a night. We looked around CC a little more and I got to see one of the circus acts—a foot juggler. With that, I was ready to bid adieu to Circus Circus.

We played some slots at Aria including pooling $20 each instead of $50 on a Megabucks machine. We won enough for us all to break even and got a round of free drinks. And with that Day 2 came to a close.

albuquerque
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4. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Although I do like the Aria, I tend to agree with your observations. We love the Wynn, but with the offers we get, which are usually from the MGM, Bellagio and Aria, I have stated too my DH that we should up our budget and start staying at the Wynncore property, or perhaps the Palazzo/Venetian property, he said I should lower my gambling budget, uummm lol and "no" lol! about the tub and shower combo comment, I couldn't agree with you more, now I will say, I love love love their beds, so so comfy! Anyway I'll continue the read and Thank you for posting about your trip.

Dallas
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5. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Day 3 – N’s 40th birthday

I had planned brunch for today but this was before I found out N and B aren’t big breakfast eaters so hubby and I just got breakfast croissants at Jean Philippe—I got the ham and cheese croissant and DH got the breakfast sandwich and a raspberry donut and with juice and milk it came to $34. N grabbed a slice of pizza at Five50 and said it was delicious.

I wanted to see the conservatory, and go to Mlife to redeem our MyVegas reward for that night (as well as get another MLife card as I promptly left mine in some machine somewhere on Day 1). I also wanted to play my favorite slot machine, Kitty Glitter. So off the Bellagio we went, going next door to Vdara and taking the covered walkway over since we were already familiar with this route.

Over to B and I see the conservatory and hastily take my pics since the boys are bored. I had never been on a weekend before and it was definitely crowded. Off to the MLife desk for a new card and to redeem my MyVegas reward for two glasses of champagne at Michael Mina.

Side note on MyVegas—I don’t play it much since I am an iPhone and iPad user. I just can’t find much time to devote to it. But I did have enough for the champagne which was perfect since we were eating at Michael Mina for the big birthday dinner. I also redeemed entry to Minus5 (which we didn’t end up using). But honestly, I couldn’t find much else I wanted or thought we’d use. So I’ll just try to build for another trip later on I guess.

Redeeming the reward did seem to take awhile but we got it no problem. Off to Kitty Glitter where I promptly lost $20 but at least I got a mimosa out of it. All 4 of us ordered drinks from the CW who told us someone else needed to stick in a dollar before she could bring us all a drink. So B said never mind and DH and N got a bloody Mary. At Aria, we would all 4 order a drink even when only one of us was playing and no one said a word but we made sure to tip at least $5 if we did so and that seemed like enough to keep the CW’s coming.

We went back over to Cosmo so DH could do the $100 promo. We went back to the same Michael Jackson machine but it gave DH very little love betting max bet and he lost his $100. We finally found some old school Triple 7 machine that he could use his free play on and he won back $74 so that was pretty good.

For lunch we went to Secret Pizza and all got a slice and ate outside the restaurant on the couches and I thought the pizza was really good—N said Five50 was still the winner with this a close second. We discussed our next move—N still really wanted a pina colada and I said we were at the hotel with some of the best bars in Vegas so let’s go find one. DH suggested Chandelier Bar—which I did not think was the best choice and sure enough they didn’t have a blender but the bartender said he’d make one on the rocks which he said would be great. So they got those and I got something called Lime in the Coconut (which DH found hilarious) and it was deeeeelicious. The boys liked their pina coladas too. We could have sucked those down all day but it was getting late and we had an early dinner so back to Aria for a nap and a shower.

I told DH to not let me sleep past 3:30 thinking I would only close my eyes for a second. Good thing I said something because next thing I know, he is shaking me awake at 3:20. Ugh. I always feel awful after a nap! We shower and I get all gussied up and meet the boys downstairs at 5:00.

Dinner was at 6:30 and I had planned for us to go to Hyde for a pre-dinner cocktail. This was a big hit, everyone loved it, and the drinks were delicious. I got a passion fruit bellini, N got his favorite Manhattan which he pronounced superb and B got one of those drinks that they make with dry ice and you eat it with a spoon. He said it was delicious. We saw two fountain shows and the only disappointing thing was we were outside in the bar area and they had the windows closed so none of my pictures came out very good.

N’s favorite city is San Francisco and when we went there last year, we almost ate at Michael Mina’s restaurant, but instead chose Gary Danko. Knowing N was a fan, I chose Michael Mina at Bellagio for his 40th birthday dinner. I was a little worried about it since it doesn’t get talked about much on TA.

We are seated and our waitress immediately asks who the birthday boy is. She asks us for drink orders and I present my MyVegas voucher to which she says she will bring us two glasses of my favorite champagne Veuve Clicquot. SWEET! That made all that spinning during my lunch hour worth it. She presents all the menus and explains them and we finally decide to splurge and do the Signature Tasting menu at $115 pp for six courses.

Everything, and I do mean everything, was delicious. I will do a review on TA with pictures of all six courses but every mouthful was wonderful with the standouts being the sea bass and Wagyu steak. Before dessert, they presented N with an extra dessert of panna cotta with happy birthday written in chocolate and a candle. We can hardly touch dessert and are very full by this time but we are told to take our time and relax so we sit awhile and B has coffee. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday dinner for our friend! The total before tip was $554.

We have tickets for the 9:30 showing of Mystere. We cab over to TI and I see the longest line I have ever seen for a show. It was truly crazy. But it moved fast and by some miracle we were in our seats by 9:15.

This was not my first choice of show—I wanted to see Absinthe but got outvoted. But that was fine because N wanted to see a traditional CDS show and this was it. I saw this show on my first trip to Vegas in 2006 and it was not as good as I remembered. I don’t know if it is because I have seen so many CDS shows since or what. But I wasn’t wowed like before. But N enjoyed it and we had great seats on the third row.

For after the show, I had plans for us to go to the lounge at Nobu for post-show cocktails and maybe some sushi. We have a Nobu here in Dallas which we love and the drinks are always delicious. I thought it would be a nice quiet place to chat and talk about the show and the trip so far.

Well, this turned out to be the one bust of the trip. The drinks were awful—like Aria-pool awful. The lounge was dead and it wasn’t quiet due to the music thumping from something called the Gossy Room next door. After one round, we were ready to go. Oh well, can’t win them all I guess. Back to Aria, a few slots, then bed.

Dallas
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6. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Day 4 - Sunday

I wake up with a sore throat. Oh well, at least we leave tomorrow.

I have learned in 5 trips now to plan next to nothing for the last day. All I had planned for today was drinks at the Mandarin Bar for Jazz Sunday.

B and N decided to watch some football as they had placed some bets the day before, then do some exploring on their own. I convinced DH to have breakfast at MAG saying we could eat inside and not wait for the patio. We timed our walk to Paris at 17 minutes. DH and I enjoyed the stroll and it was nice to be alone for a bit in Vegas. We waited about 10 minutes (sneakily getting on both the patio and inside wait lists) but my inside buzzer went off first and we were seated right outside the entrance to the courtyard. I got my usual classic 3-egg breakfast which was every bit as good as the Henry but for $12 instead of $18 and DH got the blueberry French toast. The only bummer was that both mine and DH’s meals could have been hotter and they were out of jelly for my toast.

Our plans were to spend the day at the Aria spa so we walked back, changed into our suits and went down to the spa.

I was a little worried as I had read reports of the spa being small and at crowded times, not great if you’re trying to spend time with your significant other. We started at the infinity whirlpool and by sheer luck snagged 2 of the 6 loungers. We saw many people come in and take one look at all the loungers taken and leave. We had a nice day alternating between the whirlpool together and the steam room and sauna in our separate areas. However, we never did get to use the stone beds as there were none ever open and the salt room—I’m not sure what that is all about exactly. It’s just 4 chairs in a room and you just sit there. So we skipped it. I would have enjoyed lounging in my own area by the whirlpool but again it was small and all the loungers were taken. So I met hubby in the co-ed lounge and sipped some hot tea for my throat before we decided to go, having stayed around 3 hours. Definitely worth the $30 day pass but next time I think we'd try to go a little earlier.

Up in the room, we checked in with the boys and asked if they wanted to go to the Mandarin Bar so I snagged a table at 5:15 on Opentable. We met up for drinks in N and B’s room before heading over to MO (B got tired of paying so much for drinks and bought a bottle of Jack Daniels which the boys made great use of). I had thought the jazz started at 5:00 but it starts at 6:00 and ends at 9:00 and when we got there I found out there is a $25/pp minimum for a table. Since one drink is $18, we knew we'd meet that no problem.

We got a nice table by the window and enjoyed drinks, small plates and jazz for a couple of hours. Everything was delicious. I got a champagne cocktail with blackberries to start and then their version of a lemondrop—both were out of this world. We got sliders, tuna tataki and a charcuterie platter. All were yummy and it was a great place to be on our last night. The three of us had paid for everything for N the whole trip and he insisted on paying the bill at the Mandarin Bar as a thank you.

Back to Aria for some slots and VP, a drink at Citybar (tasty but nothing special especially after the Mandarin), and some pizza slices at Five50 before heading to bed.

Dallas
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7. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Day 5 – Leaving Las Vegas

We got up and checked out of Aria after another breakfast at Jean Philippe but we had time to kill before our pickup so we hung out in the casino for awhile. B put $20 in a video BJ machine and played solidly for an hour before doubling his money and cashing out. We all had pizza at Five50 for lunch and debated which was better—Five50 or Secret Pizza (Secret Pizza gets my vote). I got some gelato at Jean Philippe and since N and B still had their room keys, we went back down to the pool to lounge until our 1:30 pickup by Presidential to the airport.

Observations:

- Weather was beautiful, low 70’s during the day and sunny and 60’s at night

- I like the CityCenter side of the strip better as there seem to be less timeshare people, etc.

- Saw an older lady pass right out and do a faceplant in line at Five50

- No big wins or losses for any of us. The boys played mostly video BJ and hubby and I played a few slots. We liked the “Hot Spin” game and the Michael Jackson game is fun if you win! B showed us a BJ game at MGM that has a virtual dealer which was interesting. B also played a Footloose slot which was fun—he had much better luck on the slots than we did.

- I usually keep track of what DH and I gamble and how many drinks we get but I lost track. I think in the end we probably gambled around $200 total and ended up losing around $50 of that—high rollers we are not. Our biggest wins were downtown--$50 on Sigma Derby and DH won $20 after putting $5 in a slot machine. Drink service was pretty good except at Cosmo—in 4 trips the only drinks I have gotten there were in the high limit room.

- Timeshare people were pretty relentless. DH always says no thanks and we keep walking but it sometimes doesn’t deter them. We had some follow us for a good ways. CD people weren’t that aggressive, we just kept walking. All in all it’s a minor inconvenience, nothing more.

All in all it was a great trip and I had a blast planning it for our friend. We are not big gamblers as is obvious—gambling for us is brief entertainment until our next dinner or show and that’s about it. But we love Vegas for everything else it has to offer and are thinking of coming back for hubby’s 40th next year. Hopefully the Lionshare will still be there and we can try again! Thanks for reading.

Orland Park...
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8. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

You do great TR's thanks!!!

Omaha, Nebraska
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9. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Thanks for a GREAT TR! Sounds like a lot of fun--let me know when you go again & I'll tag along it sounds so much fun!

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10. Re: TR 10/31-11/4: Four friends, food, fun and a 40th Birthday

Very nice report! Thanks for sharing! Makes me want to go again! :)