Let's see if I can finish this up during lunch.....
DAY 4 - PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF
Our Thursday begins exactly like the two previous days.....early morning to the pool with muffins and coffee from the Roasted Bean. Excellent. With the help of a couple of frozen drinks from the Dolphin Bar, we last until nearly 2:00pm in the sun before heading back to the room for a nap and shower.
Using a 50% off code (thanks again, TA forum), we had bought a $25 certificate for $5 from Restaurant.com for Kahunaville in TI and despite lukewarm reviews, we stopped by for an early dinner. I was prepared to be disappointed and the empty bar area and decoration best described as Rainforest Cafe Light didn't bode well. We split orders of fried cheese (hey, why take cholesterol lowering medicine if you don't eat artery clogging food every once in a while and besides, my doctor will never know since WHIVSIV), coconut crusted chicken strips, and crab cakes. The cheese was good, the chicken not so, but the crabcakes served on a bed of rice with steamed vegetables as garnish was a definite highlight. Very good! Total after deducting the coupon was $25. When we left, the bar had started to fill up and appeared to be a good spot for adult beverages. This place is worth a visit with the Restaurant.com coupon, but I wouldn't go out of my way to dine here again.
The only stops my wife wanted to make this evening were Paris and the Desert Passage Shops. While walking south, it was decided more Jackpot Party was in order so back to Bellagio to sit at the same bank of machines J had played at previously. She agreed to let me pick the machine so I selected one directly adjacent to the main walk way that ran past the restrooms and the nearby Fontana Bar. The machine was still showing a payout of 501 quarters when J sat down. Given her JPP disappointments this trip, she was not confident and announced she was only going to put $26 into this machine with the rest of her daily funds being saved for BJ later that night. $26? I have no idea how she determined that figure, but in it went and playing max credits, she immediately began to garner small and medium wins until her initial buy in had nearly been doubled. At this point, the machine turned cold and her profit dwindled. With credits nearing her original $26 investment and beginning to contemplate cashing out, she hit the machine's JACKPOT on her 5th credit line. Amazing. Although only $250, it seemed like $250K to her. She cashed out $281 and left B very happy.
With a spring in her step, we wandered over to Aladdin/Planet Hollywood to check out the shops. Neither of us had ever verntured into this shopping area and we now see why many speak highly of it. Good selection of reasonable places. Will definitely head back. From here, we headed to Paris and walked through the casino and walk way to Ballys. I thought about playing some BJ at Paris, but their tables had not only continuous shuffle machines, but some even had another electronic screen hanging from the back of the table. I inquired and was told this is a way to track play down to individual hands? Is that correct? Either way, the CSM's meant I passed and we headed back to the Mirage.
Thursday night brought a more crowded Strip and younger, obviously intoxicated visitors yelling YEEAAHHH, VEGAS BABEEE!!. Yard long drinks and open containers ruled the night.
Back at the Mirage, the casino was appreciably more crowded than it had been the entire week, but we found open seats at a $10 BJ table adjacent to the sports book. Evidently our luck had changed because in addition to the nice slot win earlier that evening, we both caught mostly good hands from the outset and quickly got ahead. J got tired after less than an hour and cashed out up $80.
Eventually a young lady and her boyfriend sat down to provide some table entertainment. He played exclusively by the book as determined by his strategy card, while she played using "womens intuition". At one point, she mentioned being glad the table was non-smoking since she was a singer. This, of course, drew questions about what type music she sang and the entire table was surprised to hear her claim to be a classicly trained opera singer. Now there's something you don't hear every day at the BJ table. We of course asked for a sample of her voice and she asked for us to let her know what to sing. Silence. Crickets heard. Seems, not surprisingly, that nobody at the table was an opera buff. A short while later, her luck ran out and as she got up to leave, the guy sitting at third base suggested she "might try singing for her supper". We goaded her until she favored us with about a minute's worth of song. I don't know opera, but her voice sounded beautiful. Applause ensued from our table and all 5 players threw $5 chips her way and she continued to play.
My luck continued even after the opera interlude and I continued to mostly win. Eventually, with the table surrounded by a rude and foul mouthed bachelor party watching two of their buddies play, I called it a night up nearly $300.
DAY 5 - HEADING HOME
We stopped by the pool early in the morning and stayed until 10:30am. Made our way upstairs, changed and used the on screen check out. Very easy and definitely saves time. Left Mirage at noon for our 2:00pm flight. Cab driver was quiet which was a welcome change from the last ride. Flight to Salt Lake City was on time, but the climb out on the 70 person regional jet was about the roughest I've ever had.
We had a three hour layover and eventually, J suggested we leave the gate areas and see what the main terminal looked like. Knowing we would have to go back through security, we went ahead. After seeing very little of interest , we got in the security line, with me standing in front of J. When we neared the metal detectors, the security officer spoke to the man in front of me like he was used to seeing him. I assumed he was a frequent business traveler judging by his small carryon and laptop. While waiting for our personal items to come off the conveyor, he struck up a conversation with me. Nice guy. It took me a few seconds to realize it was Donny Osmond.
The return flight home was uneventful and ended a great trip filled with relaxation and fun. We met a ton of interesting people and had more than our share of stories that only seem to occur in Vegas.
Speaking of such, how could I leave out the Mirage valet delivering a silver Lamborghini to what must have been a professional body builder and his stripper looking friend?! We'll save that for another time.