This my first trip report and 4th trip to Vegas. Hoping for many more! Reading over this it is probably the most boring TR ever! Many thanks to the forum. Will post as a reply.
This my first trip report and 4th trip to Vegas. Hoping for many more! Reading over this it is probably the most boring TR ever! Many thanks to the forum. Will post as a reply.
Saturday May 24th.
Flight out of OKC was delayed about an hour. Direct via SW and arrive in Vegas around 4pm. An older lady dripping in diamonds with a bad dye job starts chatting me up about her travel woes. During the conversation, it struck me that no one ever really gives a flying poo about your travel woes. As someone who rarely gets chatted up by strangers, I try to appear as friendly as possible having just worked a 12 hour shift without much of a nap before the airport. Never so thankful for boarding group B in my life as Dye job was slated for medical pre boarding! Three hour convo avoided! Completely full flight as seems to be the norm these days. It sucks, but does anyone really care? Arrive in Vegas, breeze past the suckers at the rental car counter and head straight to Budget garage. Husband (C ) now thinks I’m a genius. We get a beige Toyota Corolla. It was parked right next to the white Elantra that I really wanted. Boo.
Zoom to Paris for the night! More like inch at a snail’s pace. I usually enjoy the initial drive down the strip for the first time, but big mistake doing this on Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend. Really didn’t think we’d ever make the turn into Paris. We get the third degree from valet about being a guest at the hotel, which thoroughly pisses C off. I’m more go with the flow…take the damn car and be gone with you! Check in was quick and easy. Red room reserved—thank you credit card points! Room is okay and has what I think is a great view. Not sure how that happened as I certainly would never pay extra. Furnishings have some markings if you care about such atrocities. I like Paris and later decide that I really like the easy access to the rooms.
After settling in, we realize that we are starving and hadn’t had a bite in 18 plus hours. Mistakenly we gather the car from valet. C had seen Texas de Brazil on the way in and nothing else would do for our first meal in Vegas. Hop back on the strip after finally being able to make the turn. Traffic was better this direction, but I’m still in disbelief that I’m headed off strip for my first meal in Vegas. Texas de Brazil was good. Great pineapple carpaccio on the salad bar. We stuffed ourselves and decide this location has a slight edge over the location we’ve been to in Dallas.
Back at the hotel the valet is now full and we can’t park the car. This does not sit well with C. We check out the parking garage and find an acceptable spot for our sweet ride. Pretty nice view from the back. C heads up to the room and I do a little low rolling. Jump around a few slots, and watch some of the real gamblers at the tables. Had the absolute worst Manhattan of my life. Free-ish, so I drank it anyway. No wins to speak of. Meandered around the casino, but couldn’t find my beloved Da Vinci Diamonds. Next round was a rum and coke, much better. Called up to C and no answer. Paris was offering a free ride on the Eiffel tower for veterans. Something else I probably wouldn’t pay for but since it was free I was sorta wanting to go. Still no answer from C. I watch a little craps action and watch the Heat close out the Pacers in game 3. Up to the room and slept like a baby.
Today we are moving to Aria and we have reservation at the newly redesigned Sterling Brunch. I was mildly concerned that C’s shorts and polo would not be dressy enough, but it was fine. We arrived about 20 minutes before our reservation and we were seated immediately. Let the Perrier Jouet begin. Had a toast with C and then I proceeded to drink his share of the champagne as he doesn’t drink. At first he wasn’t having his glass refilled, but midway thorough we started letting them fill it. I think I easily polished off a bottle myself. Service was spotty. Not bad, but I felt like I was asking for refills more than I should have to. Also, brunch wasn’t explained very well. I didn’t see the caviar and asked at the sushi station. I was told to ask my waiter. I asked the first person I saw that was refilling the champagne because I was never exactly sure who our waiter was. He was introduced when we were seated and I never saw him around our table again. She became my go to person to ask for stuff. Lucky her! C asked for crab crackers and she brought him a pair. Now, I’m eating crab as well and feel like she should have noticed and brought two pairs, but we shared and it was fine. Maybe I’m fussy. Really neat crab crackers though. Fancy, with little scissors on the end similar to kitchen shears. Had to fight off the serious urge to pocket them. Brunch was awesome! Especially the stuffed main lobster, truffled mashed potatoes, and the signature BLT popovers. King crab was fabulous. The lobster tails were overly salty and somewhat tough. The desserts—WEAK. No matter, Perrier Jouet to the rescue! I would definitely go back, but it is not a must do for me every trip to Vegas. I posted a couple of really bad photos of the brunch menu for that day if you are interested.
We hang around Bally’s and check out the shops. I purchase the cutest white flipflops for way cheap. C gets a chair massage. I decide to hold out for my fav chair massagers at NYNY. After hanging out at Bally’s we head on over to Aria. Valet with no problems. Check in was a short line and they moved about 20 people within 15 minutes. Staying for three nights with one being courtesy of MyVegas. Asked if we were celebrating anything and I mention our wedding anniversary. It’s in June, but I was just happy that I thought of something to say. We get a room on the 31st floor. I think. It was high and I’m not the best with numbers. Spent about 30 seconds too long figuring out which way to get to the room. Boy, those hallways are LONG. Not so bad if you’re fresh, but I’ve got finicky feet. I decided to time it and the walk from elevator to room was one minute and 49 seconds at a normal, tired walking pace. I’m one that scoffs at people thinking the walk from MGM to the Signature is too long, but man that walk to your room at Aria is just super annoying. I’m actually rethinking my desire to stay in a Corner Suite. But probably not, I try to fight the laziness factor.
Beautiful view of the Orleans, pool, and the mountains. Convinced C to sleep with curtains open each night. I loved waking up to a very early sunrise. A lot of beautiful people at the Aria. But does anyone actually wear the clothes anymore? So many swimsuits. So many shorts with butt cheeks for days. Oh well, if I had the body I’d probably hooker it up too. We hang around Aria and feel like we might never eat again. We decide to head towards Caesars because C is meeting some sports person for way too much money. I stop the trek to Caesar’s at Bellagio. Find my Da Vinci Diamonds and plant it. Cocktail service was good. A nice manhattan to be had at the Bellagio. I wander around and check out the conservatory. The birds are there like last year in May. Starting to think those birds are there permanently. Barely avoid getting mowed over and head back to the casino. Peruse the slots. Almost sit down at an end slot, some kind of party theme. Decided on Wolf Run instead. I lose. Guy sits down, plays max bet on the party nickel slot. Hits a bonus and gets a quick hand pay for 200ish. Uh yeah, have I mentioned that my unluckiness is surpassed only by C’s unluckiness?
I meet back up with C and we head to Aria. We have tickets for the 7:30 pm show of Vegas Nocturne. We get the run around at Cosmo about where to pick up tickets. The guy at the info desk has no clue. Finally procure the tickets and decide we might be good for a slice of pizza after all. Trek to the secret pizza place. The line was crazy out of control. Not so secret. About face and back to wait for the show. I loved it. C thought it was corny at first, but he came around. We had the half circle plush seats right behind the splash zone. During the show I start scheming on if I can convince C to go to the 9:30 show tomorrow. C bought me a fuzzy navel at the bar before the show. Really small, but delish craft cocktail. After the show, we head back to Aria and get a couple of slices at the pizza joint. Head back to the room for pizza and rest. Oh and we return to the room, we had a welcome gift of several varieties of rice crispy treats courtesy of Aria. Perhaps due to the special occasion question at check in? Maybe just because. I love you, Aria. And I forgive you those torturous hallways.
The next day we came down with the Vegas lazies . We had planned to tram to Bellagio for our MyVegas buffet comp, but the tram didn’t open until 8AM. Too lazy to get the car or walk so we headed up to the Aria buffet. We knew we couldn’t use our MyVegas Aria buffet comp on Memorial Day, but didn’t realize it would be holiday brunch at 7AM. Paid a nice 77 bucks for breakfast. Nothing like a dinner buffet at 7AM. And there goes our $100 F&B credit. I had a plate of breakfast, and then a plate of prime rib lunch. The prime rib was stand out. Also, the mashed potatoes were quite good. We decided that we would return for our MyVegas comp, but probably wouldn’t pay to eat here again.
We drove downtown as I was on a quest for a cup from The D. Found what I was looking for in 5.9 seconds and was basically ready to go. Decided to walk down Freemont and it was dead except for the panhandlers and the sales people. Played a little at GN. Had my first big win of the trip on Da Vinci Diamonds on a 10 cent bet. 12 bucks! Winner, winner! Cash out! Yeah, so not a gambler. Cocktail service was nonexistent at the D and the GN. Decided to head to the outlet mall and do a little shopping. Finagled C into buying two Kate Spade cross bodies for my Mom and I. Wasn’t that nice? We somehow managed to drive by the Catholic charities while we were on the outskirts of downtown, and a lot of people with unfortunate circumstances were milling about. It was Memorial Day and it really made me think about sacrifice and how lucky we are to be able to enjoy a nice vacation in a Vegas they don’t get to experience.
We drive out to the base to check out the BX and the base in general. It was deserted due to the holiday. It reminded C of a Saudi base being the desert and nearly deserted! We head back to the strip for more low rolling gambling losses. I really wanted to check out the American Fish HH for dinner, but Fifty50 at Aria won out. We sat in the restaurant. Service was good. Had a fancy beer, the warmed ricotta and split a pizza-- half Truffle/Bianca. After dinner we plopped down at the Aria sports book. I have an unnatural love of the Aria sports book. Ordered a Manhattan and Holy @#^!, that’s a strong drink. So strong that I mentioned it to Camille the cocktail waitress, to tell the bartender that he makes one hell of a Manhattan. Well, apparently, he was quitting in the next two days and just didn’t give a bleep anymore. Ok, I’ll have another! Stumble to the room and goodnight!
Our final day, Boo Hoo! We wake up early and head over to Bellagio. I had stopped by Mlife earlier in the week to have my buffet loaded. They would not preload at Bellagio, but did preload at Aria. Go figure. After paying for brunch earlier, I was wishing that I had not preloaded the Aria buffet. Oh well. Also, Bellagio told me to go to the invited guest line. Aria did not. On the way to Bellagio, I enjoyed seeing a couple ending, or perhaps beginning their night. The guy was very casually dressed and his companion was dressed to the nines, including black sparkly booty shorts. He dances up an older lady checking keys at the Aria. His friend does a slow, teasing dance up to her as well. It ended with him dancing behind the key checker and his companion on the side. The lady finally waves them off. They make their way towards the elevators and then the guy gives his lady friend some cash to run back over to the lady checking the keys. After a halfhearted attempt to give it back, she pockets it. It was all very entertaining. Much more so than my Bellagio breakfast! No line, so the invited guest line was not useful. The buffet has really lost its luster, but C still loves it. I think it is fine for what it is. Glad it was free.
After breakfast we head to Luxor to do some sports exhibit thing that I bought on TravelZoo. C does this and I check out Mandalay. I tried hard to win that red corvette, but no such luck. Mosied to the sports book and decide Aria is by far my fav. Really can’t see myself hanging out at the Mandalay sports book. Head over to NYNY. It is time for C’s Haagen Daz Dazzler. He loves the things. I find my chair massage people and the girl worked me over. I really thought she was going to push me through the chair and into the casino. Debated the foot massage, but pressed on. We did some shopping, checked out Monte Carlo. Had a few small wins and cashed out 20 bucks up having put a loan dollar in my Da Vinci diamonds. Ran over to fashion show mall and did some browsing. Checked out Sur la table and got the cutest wooden salt spoon. Discovered Hot Dog On a Stick and even though I was stuffed, the world was going to end if I didn’t have a cheese on a stick. SO GOOD. Contemplate staying at the Venation next time to be close to Hot Dog on A Stick. Not kidding.
Back to Aria, we were feeling a nap. The Vegas Blues were upon us. We had to be at the Aria buffet before the dinner service started. We weren’t looking forward to it, but free is free. Get there 45 minutes before dinner service and was surprised to see a good little line. We hop in and I think we both were praying the line would move slowly and we wouldn’t make it in time. Made it with 15 minutes to spare. I actually enjoyed this dinner a little more than brunch. They had some interesting salads, the brisket was good, and of course the prime rib. They had hot and cold crab legs, but no king crab. I was reading recently that they offered king crab. I too used to be obsessed with getting hot crab legs in Vegas, but we have a good place in OKC now. We really enjoyed having fruit and cheese after our meals here. C adores the Maytag bleu cheese, and I informed that we can procure Maytag Bleu cheese in OKC. This makes him happy.
We had our fill and off to the sports book for Thunder Vs. Spurs. Placed a couple of bets and collected from the other day. This is actually the only gambling that C did this trip. We plop down and I order a chocolate martini. And C a sprite. The martini was good. Wynn’s is better. I leave and donate a little to the Aria. Cocktail waitress comes by and I snag a water. She has an extra rum and coke and I take that off her hands as well. Back to the sports book and the Thunder are looking good. A Lot of Spurs fans at Aria. C has another rum and coke ordered for me. It was WEAKSAUCE, the casino one was actually better. Guess the other bartender really did quit! We head to the room after the Thunder win. C can’t resist one final slice of pizza. We share a slice of cheese and end our night in Vegas.
Memorial Day weekend was WAY more crowded than last year. C thinks we might avoid this weekend in the future.
Four days was too short. We did 8 last year and that was too long. I have five booked for October.
Too many buffets this trip. Between Sterling, Aria, and Bellagio I am buffeted out. C loves a buffet so I’m sure we’ll be back. I think Caesar’s is on the list for next time.
I was really wanting to book at the end of July for C’s bday, but he’s whining about the heat. I might still, yet. Alas, I have booked flights for October 9-14. And the Monte Carlo for the first 3 nights. I’m sure this will change about 12 times before a final decision is made. I have a $500 credit with Marriott so I’m hoping Cosmo’s rate becomes reasonable.
First time at Aria and I loved the bed. C has been informed that this will be our next mattress.
We were delayed two hours leaving McCarran. They said we could get off the plane, but there was so much drama over seats I was almost afraid to leave mine. The plane got HOT! C vows to drive to Vegas from now on. Not a good flyer that one. The flight is finely deemed safe and we arrive in OKC two hours late and made it just in time to pick up our dogs.
Thanks for reading!Edited: 07 June 2014, 05:16
My daughter and I went this winter and couldn't believe how busy it was and it was off season. I do believe Vegas is definitely getting busier, sounds like you experienced that also.
Loved your trip report. Thank you so much for posting. Your description of the older lady dripping with diamonds and that young couple dancing for the Room Key attendant made me laugh out loud. Sounds like you had a really fun trip.
Thanks for the report. We've done a few Memorial Day weekends in Vegas and they a crazy busy but sometimes we just bit the bullet to get that extra day of vacation.
Thanks for posting. Makes me look forward to my first stay at Aria.
Fun report, I enjoyed it! A Manhattan is hubby's new drink of choice--not sure if he'll try one our trip in December or not (but probably). Thanks for the read!
Great stuff!!! We all complain when it's busy but it definitely adds to the atmosphere. Thanks for taking the time to write.
Sounds like a very go with the flow kind of trip ... fun read and this made me crack up:
Oh well, if I had the body I’d probably hooker it up too.
Enjoyed the read! "hooker it up" so laughable! So agree Aria beds are comfy! Too many buffets for me, lol! Thanks for sharing.