Trip Report - June 3 - 7, 2007

Viva Las Vegas - June 3 - 7 - Stayed at Mirage

Our apology's to Jim of Ct. Wish we had your talent and sense of humor! We sure hated that your last report was cut short!

we're BAAACK! Every year we travel to Vegas on the Sunday following Memorial Day weekend and stay through Thursday........We call it a 'family reunion'...makes us seem a little less frivolous.

Saturday, June 2
As usual, Brother-in-Law from Hays, hereafter known as TMM ('the Mirage Man'), joined us (Ace & Queen), hereafter known as Ace$Qn at our home in Salina for some blackjack practice and planning the day before our Vegas venture.

Sunday, June 3
On Sunday, we traveled to Wichita and boarded an Allegiant flight to Sin City. Non-stop...no problems. Arrived at McCarren....the taxi line was virtually non-existent!!!! Taxi to Mirage.....No We Did NOT take the Tunnel! Check-in was quick. We asked for rooms above the 10th floor. The receptionist gave A$Q a room on the 19th and TMM a room on the 17th....both facing the Strip..............We Don't Need No Stinking $20 Trick to Get Good Rooms! (Heck, we aren't in the room that much anyway!) One trick we do practice every time is to call 'maid service' as soon as we get to the room and tell them we are out of our rooms between 9 am and 12 noon. That way we can have access to our room for naps, pool changes, etc. in the p.m. without worrying about the maids. (Of course, if you sleep late you might want to change the times.)

We met the rest of the family (Qn's sisters E & P from Lawrence) by the elevators at 5 p.m. (G from Hays was unable to make the trip this time.) -- and took off down the strip toward Paris. At Paris, we had dinner at Mon Ami Gabi. Terrific French restaurant! Two of us had the fish and fries..........the fish was super, and the fries were much better than one might imagine....different. We jumped over to the newly named Planet Hollywood (formerly Alladin's) and were impressed with the new décor of the casino. Very hip! From there we walked down the strip to the Imperial Palace, where we picked up tickets for Legends In Concert. We hadn't seen it since 1999, and we thought it was about time for a repeat. After we got those tickets, we walked on down to Jim of Connecticut's favorite casino...Wynn's to pick up our previously ordered tickets to Spamalot. The rest of the evening was spent gambling at the Mirage. We stopped by the new Revolution Lounge (we're all big Beatle fans) and had a drink. It was a very nice place but they kept playing the same song over and over again (Tax Man). Come on, there are only a million Beatle songs! Server seemed uninterested in figuring out why.


Monday, June 4
Breakfast at Bouchon's in the Venetian. We all had the French Toast. Magnificent! When it came out, we thought it might leave us a little hungry (not very big), but we were wrong! An excellent breakfast!
In the afternoon, swimming pool, ice cream, gambling and rest time prior to our evening plans.
We had a 7:00 reservation at Nora's Italian Cuisine a couple of miles west of the strip on Flamingo Road. Taxied out there at about 6:30, got right in.........and had one of the best Italian dinners we have ever had. Ace had the Crazy Alfredo....Fettucini Alfredo with all kinds of sausage, pepper, mushroom, etc..... TMM had Spagetti a la Nora. P had Lasagna....enough for a small army. E had Shrimp Scampi and Qn had Eggplant Parmesan. All agreed it was well worth the trip off the strip to eat at this place.... Not to mention very affordable, even the wine! THIS IS A RAVE REVIEW!!!!!

After dinner, we returned to Mirage for a little while prior to walking over to Imperial Palace to see Legends in Concert. We had great seats - front and center, and the show was excellent. These guys and gals can really sing and perform. 'Janet Jackson' agreed with Qn that Ace really was a 'nasty Boy'. Bruce Springsteen - the Boss' hurt his knee in the middle of his part of the show, but like a real trooper, he finished his act. He wasn't there to take his bow at the end of the show....hope he wasn't hurt too badly.
After Legends, time for a little more gambling prior to bed.


Tuesday, June 5
Tuesday was our Wynn's Day.........Catch the play on words?????? Breakfast at the Wynn's Buffet. Very good! From there, we taxied to the Golden Nugget and spent a couple of hours playing blackjack on Fremont Street. ½ hr in one casino...move....1/2 hr in another....we didn't want to win so much in any one casino that they would bar us in the future...;-) We played blackjack and did pretty good. We did learn we prefer our cards dealt face-up.
Taxied back to Mirage for an afternoon of gambling, the pool, snacks at the Roasted Bean, more gambling....until it was time to go back to Wynn's to see Spamalot. Super performance starring John Hurley (J. Peterman from Seinfeld) It was a hilarious Musical Comedy! If you like Monty Python, it is a must see! After Spamalot, we went to Red 8, an Asian restaurant in Wynn's. We shared family-style four different appetizers and four different main courses as well as wine. A great meal. After dinner, more gambling until exhaustion!

Wednesday, June 6
We used our 'comped' breakfasts at the Caribbe in Mirage. Very good as usual. We walked over to the Bellagio after breakfast. A&Q and TMM played blackjack with good results. We always have good look at the Bellagio tables and the dealers are great! E met up with P after her hair styling at Bellagio Salon. She's always happy with the results.
In the afternoon Ace$Qn & TMM, decided to try some blackjack at TI for a change..........Bad Move.....For the first time this trip, Ace got burned at the table. Up to now...untouchable.........now....not so much!
Our Wednesday evening meal was at the Bellagio Buffet. Very Good! Way too much to eat! We were really Stuffed! After eating way too much excellent food, we walked down the strip to Harrah's where we had tickets to the Improv. Three really good comedians, headlined by Wendy Liebman. We hit the Improv almost every trip and are never disappointed. Affordable and always funny! The rest of the evening was spent gambling.

Summary Time:

Pros:
Nora's Italian Cuisine.....Super Meal....Reasonably Priced.....Well worth the trip off the strip!
Spamalot......one of the best shows we've ever seen! Cirque de Soleil's Love is still #1.
Red 8....We finally got TMM to eat Asian food.......all really enjoyed it.
Ace at the Blackjack tables......
P&E had a great time shopping at Forum, The Miracle Mile (at Planet Hollywood) and Venetian. Found some terrific deals!
Mirage pool - not nearly as crowded as in past years and as always, a beautiful spot!
The conservatory at the Bellagio....we are always anxious to see their latest creation and this time the theme was summer time on Route 66...outstanding!!
The Mirage has really improved the appearance of the Casino floor with the changes to its restaurants and clubs.......now it needs to get back to work on the basics......see the following.....

Cons:
What has happened to the maintenance of the Mirage? The 'moving' walkway from the 'tiger doors' out to the strip hasn't moved in over a year.....inexcusable. The pool by that non-moving, moving walkway was drained and dry, an invitation for the homeless to pick up some coin for a fix. The carpets in the hallways and elevators were dirty and stained. (We observed one black oil stain the day we arrived, and it was still there when we left.) There was a cigarette burn on our bedspread. And finally - last - but not least....on Thursday, they shut off the water from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. 'for maintenance.' Those of us needing to shower prior to an early flight found 'dirty water' and no hot water! One would think the hotel might want to compensate their clients for this inconvenience, wouldn't one????? Please Mirage, Get your act together. We have stayed there for a number of years, but if this doesn't improve we will start looking elsewhere.

Overview - not counting the above negatives - We had a Great Trip! Travel was problem free. For the most part we came out ahead gambling, especially with blackjack. The dinners and shows were terrific! We had another great time in Vegas!