Another great trip in the books! We really enjoyed ourselves on this trip in spite of losing overall. We took Southwest out of Manchester, NH and rented a car for the week. I'm sure Michele will add her thoughts.

Pics can be found at:
http://family.webshots.com/album/557717844HMlWVX

Sunday

Wynn

Our trip was already booked when Michele received an offer for a free night on 2/11. This offer was not based on any play since she never had a Red Card with her name on it. She had signed up for e-mail promotions on the web site. The offer also came with $100 in free play which we turned into $360 on a $1 DB machine.

The room was very nice. We checked in around 11:30 and were surprised that they had rooms ready. The gentleman at the front desk offered a view of the golf course or strip view. Michele told him whatever he thought was best. He gave us an end room at the northern end of the building. These rooms have windows on 2 sides. We had view of the south strip from one window.

 

The view out the second window was toward the west and the Frontier. If you looked to the right, you could see the north strip, the shell of the Stardust and The Strat in the distance.

 

The rooms and beds are very nice here as most know already. However, I wouldn't stay w/o some type of promotional rate and would choose the GN Spa Suite over Wynn since the rate is similar and the room is superior to the standard Wynn room.

I used the fitness area and steam room in the Spa. The service here was OK, but I get better service at the Rio Spa. This is probably nitpicking, but at the Rio, I am presented with a bucket of ice loaded with a towel, orange sections and water in the steam room. At Wynn, there was a bowl of facecloths outside of the steam room...help yourself. The service wasn't very personal. At Rio, I am constantly offered juice, water etc and the attendant also lays a towel on the floor covered in foot powder when he realizes you are getting ready to leave. The fitness area was outfitted well, but did not have any stair climbers.

We ate at the dinner buffet and the cafe. Both were great. The buffet was the best we have had in Vegas. It is pricey, but worth it, especially if you like King Crab legs. We also had prime rib, tenderloin tips, pasta from the pasta station, grilled asparagus and many other selections. The dessert selections were also impressive. I had wanted to try the Country Club Grill, but since we got the buffet with the 500 point promotion, we opted for this. We had breakfast at the cafe on the veranda overlooking the pool area. This was a very nice spot. The prices were reasonable except for the beverages (coffee and juice) which pushed the bill up to $63 with tip.

We left Wynn up around $700 on the strength of Michele hitting Aces w/kicker for $500 and me not losing! We also won some money on the free play as noted earlier. It was mostly downhill from here. Although Wynn no longer offers any full pay at the lower denominations, their pay tables are better than most on the strip.

We hit the sack very early this day. We had been up since 4AM eastern and just ran out of gas. We ended up back in the casino around 2AM. I was playing a machine and just kind of zoning out when I heard ...PSSST...wink wink...are you alone? A simple "I'm not interested" sent her on her way.

Monday-Tuesday

MSS

After a night at Wynn we headed for the MSS. We had the rest of the week booked here with a break in between at the Nugget. The rooms here are adequate which is fine by us as we stay here for the games and great staff. Our first day here was a marathon session of VP.

Those of you that travel in pairs understand that it is difficult for both players to get on a roll. I turned my first $100 into $500 playing 50c DB at the bar tops hitting several 4OAK on the same machine. Michele was struggling in the AM but started coming back in the afternoon. We ended up with 20 scratch cards on Monday. In addition, we had several good hits on a downtown crawl. I hit 4OAK?s on a single $20 at 4Q?s at 2 different bars while also hitting a 4OAK at the 10/7 DB at the Fitz. Michele hit 2?s w/kicker at Fitzie?s. We then made the mistake of heading to ElCo. The mistake is the fact that I seem to be a freak magnet! I just can?t avoid the characters in this joint as hard as I try. We sat at the bar in the back of the casino. To my right was a guy who seemed fairly normal (at least for this place). To his right was a woman who was clearly inebriated. He starts hitting on her with some awful lines...a real scumbag...?come on baby, you can open up to me, tell me your problems...I?m sure I can help you out.? What an idiot!!!! After about 10 minutes of this she is having none of it and he leaves. I am trying as hard as possible to avoid making eye contact with this woman and even though I was successful, she got my ear anyway......She starts....?you know, I?m not that kind of person, but I just had to knock her effin block off.? Then she starts shadow boxing while she?s still jawing about knocking the **** out of someone. Ok, time to leave. We head to the bar up front and a guy sits next to me playing Keno......his eyes are bugging out of his head like he?s been doing crack for 24hrs......he?s whacking the hell out of the screen before each spin. We decide it is time to leave and will probably never go back as we just can?t avoid the unwanted entertainment.....plus we always lose here. We end up losing about $400 for the day and are still up $300 for the trip.


We took a beating on Tuesday playing mainly at MSS and making an $800 dollar swing to be down $500 for the trip. It was ugly...we tried everything, but both of us got killed.
We even took a ride to Ellis Island for lunch and hit Tuscany and Terrible's to try and change our luck....it didn?t work. Our other meal that day was at the Triple 7. We couldn?t hit anything on the DT crawl that day either......Michele decided she had enough and headed for the room. I was determined to play my last hundred and switched to 50c DDB at the bar. I normally play a lot of BP since it is low in volatility while Michele plays mostly DBB. I?m playing along when........UP COMES A $600 DRAW!!!! I had been dealt Aces with a King and had the chance to draw the kicker........I waited a few seconds.....hit the button...and UP COMES.....a SEVEN!!!! WTF!!!!!

Ok, so I cashed out $450 and hit the sack. Pulling the kicker would have brought us back very close to even, but it was not to be. Oh well.

Wednesday

The Golden Nugget

We booked a Suite in the spa tower for Wednesday. The plan was to chill in the room, catch a movie and take a break from gambling. These rooms are phenomenal!!! They are 1500 square feet although ours (9A) seemed to be a bit smaller. All lights and drapes can be controlled from any room. They are 2 stories with floor to ceiling windows. Our view overlooked the pool area. Downstairs consists of a living room, dining room, large flat screen, half bath, wet bar and a spiral staircase leading to the Master Bed/Bath

Upstairs is the bedroom. Also upstairs is the large master bath with an oversize whirlpool tub, a 4X6 steam room/shower, dual sinks with a flat screen TV, vanity and a separate room with toilet and bidet.

We spent the afternoon watching The Departed on the big screen with some wine and cheese/crackers. Dinner was at the Grotto seated overlooking the pool area. The meal was good for a chain type restaurant. The pasta was freshly made as advertised. Michele had 4 selections from the antipasti bar and Fettuccine Alfredo. I had seared mozzarella, salad and penne pasta with sautéed shrimp, asparagus, garlic and citrus. It was good and the bill was around $80 with 2 glasses of wine.

We gambled a bit at the Nugget and didn?t hit a thing...another losing day.

The next morning we lounged around the room reading the paper and ordered room service. The price was very reasonable and the service was excellent. 2 full breakfasts, a large pot of coffee and 2 large juices was around $50 with a $10 tip.

These rooms are available Sun-Thurs starting at $249. We paid $299 and would stay here again without question. We were very impressed with the changes made by Landry?s to date. The only exception to this is the lack of any decent VP. What they have done to the pool area is truly remarkable.

Personally, I would choose the GN Spa Suite over the high end strip properties such as Wynn and Bellagio since the rates for the GN room vs. their standard rooms are often comparable.

Thursday

We headed back over to MSS for the remainder of our trip and played a little VP. I then went over to the Tix4Tonight at Four Queens and picked up 2 vouchers for Carrot Top. The total was $68 for the 2 tickets. I met up with Michele again for some more VP. We both had some luck and left to head for the strip up around $300. I dropped Michele at the Bellagio so she could pick up some wedding info for our daughter and headed down to Luxor to pick up our tickets. Our original plan was to meet up somewhere in the middle and eventually head back to Luxor for the show. Michele was also going to try getting to Venetian to check out the wedding area there. As I arrived at Luxor, I realized that I only had a TITO for MSS and didn?t have any cash to play as I made my way down the strip. I called Michele and since the strip was pretty crowded she decided to jus meet me back at Bally?s. So I headed north on the strip since the southern direction was such an easy ride.....big mistake.....traffic was completely jammed at MGM and I was right in the middle of it. The All Star weekend crowd was arriving and boy did they look like a bunch of all stars!!!! I could tell this was going to by a rough weekend on the strip.

I eventually met up with Michele at the Casuarina for a quiet drink and some VP. We then took the back roads down to Luxor, picked up our tickets and walked over to MB. We were going to play some bar top VP, but could only find $1 bar tops. I don?t mind playing dollars now and then, but the pay tables are lousy. We headed back to Luxor and played some quarter VP at Nefertiti?s bar. The pay tables were very ?Harrah?s like?, but Michele had some luck on Super Double bonus and cashed out about $250. We then walked over to the Excal and had a drink at Octane which appears to be a new bar on the walk level of Excal near the theatres. They made some good drinks and the pay tables weren?t that bad. They weren?t full pay, but weren?t bad for strip bar tops.

We headed back to Mandalay Place for dinner at the Burger Bar. Michele had the Angus and I had the American Kobe. She ragged on me all night for putting ketchup on the Kobe . Other than the fact that it was juicer than most burgers I?ve had, the flavor wasn?t overwhelming. Michele enjoyed hers also and we also liked the sweet potato fries and onion rings. Good burgers, but a little pricey.

Off to Carrot Top.......in spite of my 18 year old son informing me that CT is the ?lamest comedian ever?, he was a riot. His use of props and sound is very creative. We both enjoyed this show. It was definitely worth $68.

We went back to MSS for some more play with little luck. The details are getting fuzzy at this point. We did write down the number of daily scratch cards somewhere and will fill this in if we can find it. We had some hits this night, but nothing earth shattering. I do remember hitting the MSS 3 plays near the bar and playing the 8/5 BP. I managed to cash out up $100 on these and cashed out a $100 or more the 3 times I played them. I should have stuck with these instead of the bar tops!!! In general, we both had far more luck on the floor at MSS during this trip. In past trips we?ve had great luck at the bar, but out last 2 trips haven?t yielded the same results.

Friday

I headed to the Rio around 8AM to hit the Spa. Michele came along for the ride thinking that the shuttle started at 9AM. She was going to play a little bar top VP at Rio and then take the shuttle to Harrah?s in order to visit Venetian for the wedding tour. Turns out the shuttle didn?t star till 10AM. I grabbed a Starbucks and met Michele at Sweet Daddy?s to pick up some cigars for our daughter?s fiancé. We then went to Venetian and toured the wedding areas. (which were very nice by the way). The strip crowds were pretty evident even at this early hour. Once we were done at Venetian, we decided to hang DT for the day. We had an early lunch in the Triple 7 and then put in a lot of play at MSS. We had dinner at the Pullman Grille which is always solid. Michele had the Seafood Medley appetizer and the King Crab Legs while I had the Louisiana Crab cake and a 10oz Filet. The food was excellent. We also hit Fremont. We had OK luck on the crawl. One place that we seemed to have luck consistently was the Four Queens. We both hit several 4OAK?s here and I always seemed to have luck at the 9/7 DB bar tops with the 40AK progressives. We put in a long day and night ultimately losing the daily allowance.

Saturday

Had the MSS Buffet for breakfast. We then played a bit before heading out. I pulled 5 scratch cards at a 3 play machine and Michele did OK on the 25c coin droppers. We packed up the car and hit the Gambler?s General Store for some souvenirs. No problems at the airport and we were back home around midnight. Overall, we got our butts kicked to the tune of about 3K which still isn?t bad for a 1 week vacation

Observations

We really like the weather this time of year. Low 60?s and close to 70 some days.

The transformation of the GN is impressive.

We?re done visiting the ElCo.

If you think Massachusetts? drivers are bad......drive in LV for a while and your opinion will change.

We spent very little time on the strip and we?re OK with this.

The MSS Buffet seems to be getting worse if that is possible. This is the one down side of our experience there. Michele?s favorite word to describe this is ?nasty?!!

Wynn was very nice, but the rate would have to be much lower for me to stay here again. As I said earlier, rates being equal, I pick the Nugget Spa Suite.

Renting a car is well worth it when in town for a week.

MSS is still a great value for the low to mid roller. There?s plenty of FPVP and the comps come easy. The amount of extra cash resulting from the scratch cards is surprising. We we?re somewhere around $150 on this trip. Good source for tip money.

After observing some of the strip crowd toward the weekend, I would be surprised if the NBA All Star game was ever played in Vegas again.

Tuscany was one of the most boring casinos I?ve ever stepped foot in and Terrible?s is one of the most crowded. The machines are all on top of one another. I have no desire to visit either again.

Carrot Top was great

One thing I did miss was not hitting any of the off strip casinos such as Montelago and Red Rock. We may try a one or 2 night stay out at Montelago next trip.