Trip Report - March 18 - 21
Sunday, March 18
This was a virtually unplanned - serendipitous - spontaneous - spur-of-the-moment - Vegas trip. TMM found out he had a conference in Vegas and invited the Ace & Qn to go along to keep him company. Once again, we flew Allegiant Air out of Wichita. coincidentally, this was the Sunday at the end of the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. This was our problem...why???? Because Sunday morning at McCarran Airport (Vegas) was apparently a total zoo. Security lines were long and a mess and planes couldn't leave on time because many of their passengers were still fighting through the chaos. As a result, our plane was about an hour late getting to Wichita, the baggage handlers were slow in getting the baggage off and ours on....we were about an hour and a half late in heading toward Sin City.......not happy, but we were on our way!
When we arrived at McCarran, we found the typical 30 minute taxi line [getting used to that] and taxied to the Mirage. We didn't take the tunnel, but due to traffic, ended up on interstate anyway and the cost was about the same as if we had taken the tunnel route. Check in was absolutely marvelous.....no wait.....they gave us "strip views" on the 11th floor, next to each other.....all very nice and effiecent. As soon as we got to out room, we called down to housekeeping to tell them we would be out of the room between 9:30 a.m. and noon. We've found this is a super way of making sure we would have access to the room for some down time in the afternoons without fighting the maids. We were happy to see how great the Mirage looked. We have been staying here for several years, and for the past couple they have been remodeling. It is complete and looks terrific. All the beautifully remodeled restaurants around the casino and especially the new Revolution bar and lounge add so much to this wonderful resort.
TMM had to rush off to a business dinner at the Capitol Grill in the Fashion Show Mall where he had an excellent steak dinner, so the Ace & Qn were on their own. We had planned to eat at Mesa Grill in Caesar's Palace, but when we got there with no reservations, we found an hour and a half wait......so we returned to the Mirage and decided to try the Samba Brazilian Grill...bar-b-cue house. We had their "all-you-can-eat" experience. Very good...not cheap...but good....and oh so much food. Too much after a day of travel. After dinner,. we hooked up with TMM at around 10:00 p.m. for gambling at the Mirage.
TMM is off to his conference. We decided to cab it out to the Green Valley Ranch as we had never been there before and had heard it was nice. $35 there and $35 back. Probably won't do that again. But, it is a very nice place. Very friendly staff and very elegant surroundings....just a long way from the strip. We ate breakfast at the original Pancake House...very good and very reasonably priced. Gambled a little...vp machines...then returned to the strip...had the cab take us directly to the Fashion Show Mall....Not particularly a thrill for the Ace, but we needed to buy a couple of pairs of shoes for our grandkids....Travel to Vegas to buy shoes.......go figure.....Return to Mirage....real easy walk through TI and tram to Mirage. TMM had a break from his seminar so we met at Mirage's Roasted Bean and ate ice cream from Coconut's. TMM returned to Harrah's for more of his seminar and Ace&Qn decided to take a swim. The Mirage pool is one of the best on the strip, and the weather was beautiful. Additional plus, we didn't have to fight for pool side lounge chairs. The crowd was not as bad as it always is in June when we visit. After a nice swim. Ace & Queen put down $40 at a $1 VP machine at the Mirage and walked away with $550! We hooked up with TMM at 4:30 and walked over to Bellagio. We checked out the beautiful conservatory. The theme was Spring. Wonderful as always. We tried to get on a BJ table but couldn't find available seats. Played a little VP and lost. Walked over to Paris. No BJ tables available there either. Ace & Qn were going to make a reservation for Tuesday evening at Ah Sin's but found it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Later that evening we had 7:00 reservations at Mirage's newly remodeled Onda. TMM treated us to a great Italian meal. Ace had Linguini Pescatore, Qn - Veal marsala, and TMM - Chicken Parmigiana. We all had a couple glasses of wine and shared a wonderful Chocolate Mousse for dessert. Service and food were top notch. I won't bore you with the cost, but, suffice it to say, we probably owe TMM a dinner or two in the future. After dinner, we enjoyed more gambling at the Mirage....btw, we noticed more cocktail waitresses on the floor this trip...an improvement. Ace retired early with stomach issues, too much rich food? TMM and Qn spent more time on VP machines. Side note, while Ace was up in the room, he noticed the sound of water running in a nearby room. Called Mirage maintenance. They were quick to investigate and resolve the problem.
Tuesday, March 20th
TMM off to Hilton Conference Center for meeting. (He heard very negative comments about the rooms at the Hilton from some of the conference attendees - no hot water, etc.) We won't be staying there anytime soon. Ace & Qn enjoyed free breakfast buffets at Mirage's Cravings. We are always somewhat disappointed in Cravings. Just doesn't hold up against the better buffets like Paris, Bellagio, Wynn, Alladin's. But it was sufficient. We then trekked over to Wynn's and signed up for their Player's Card. $10 free play. Lost it at VP. Left and went to Frontier casino across the street. We wanted to see it before it was torn down. Not worth the trip...needs to be torn down. We played a little BJ, lost, and left.
Back to Mirage. TMM had a long break from his meeting. He ate lunch at Harrah's "Flavor's" buffet with a fellow attendee. He was not impressed at all. Ace & Qn met him at Mirage for more VP during his break. Ace learned to play Let It Ride during this trip. He played several times, very conservatively, and was a few dollars ahead in the end. He decided it wasn't very exciting, and prefers BJ. Afternoon break consisted of naps for A & Q and a little shopping at the Forum. While there, made reservations at Wolfgang Puck's Chinois for dinner. TMM had cocktails and dinner with a group at Postrio in the Venetian. He reported the service was excellent and the food super. He had salmon. Our experience at Chinois was a good one. Ace had catfish (whole and filleted at the table) and Queen had beef tenderloin. We enjoyed wonderful soup as an appetizer. Everything was great!
We three hooked up (as 50-somethings know the term) at Mirage's after our dinners and spent the evening gambling. Played some BJ. One surly dealer, one nice one. Ace and TMM up a little. Queen big loser. We then went to VP and shared money on $1 machines. Played a long time on one machine. Kept getting 3s of a kind. Nothing else. Toward the end of the vening, we visited the Player's Club to find out the level of our "comps." A&Q received $45 off food and beverage, besides our free breakfast buffet. Also, we have earned $35 in free play on the machines. The casino used to write checks for this comp....no more....you have 18 months to use it in their casino....don't like it this way. All of this was in addition to our "Blossom Special" which gave us our room for $79 per night and $25 in free play up front. The "BS" will also apply to our June trip, which will be mentioned in a bit. TMM, although his gambling was limited due to his conference, also earned about $20 in free play.
Wednesday, March 21st
Up early, left Mirage for the airport at 6:30 a.m. for a 9:30 flight. Wanted to beat long lines, we did and everything went smoothly. Cinnabuns for breakfast. Took off on time. Back in Wichita before 2:00. This was first out of many trips that we didn't take time out for a show. Didn't want to cut into our gambling time. We will always refer to this trip as our "fine dining" trip. Ate great food and spent a lot of money doing it. We had a great time and, best of all, we have a 4-day trip scheduled in June...T-10 Weeks!!!......p.s. The trip can be topped off by a Kansas University NCAA Championship.....as Ace put down $25 at 4 to 1 odds at the Mirage Sportsbook..........we'll be happy to pick up our winnings in June!