This was our only trip to Las Vegas in 2009. We last visited Vegas in December 2008 and posted a trip report at that time.
Sunday, December 13th
Our first flight on American Eagle was cancelled. We luckily got tickets for the next flight, but missed the connection and arrived in Vegas a little later than planned. From now on we will try to fly out of the city instead of relying on American Eagle to get us out of town. Every flight we have booked this year has been delayed or cancelled for one reason or another and it has become unacceptable.
After a great flight from DFW to LAS, we were picked up by Presidential Limousine for a ride to the Bellagio. Check in was quick at around 3:00 and we were off to the lake-view room on the 20th floor. After getting our luggage, we set off on foot to Walgreen's, ABC Store, Wienerschnitzel, and the M and M shops. I always get a Polish Sandwich when in town and P stopped by Paris for one of their sandwiches. We walked through Crystals in City Center and I bought a book on Vegas. We played some VP at the La Fontana Bar the first evening.
We checked on Dollar Rental Car and found we would have to wait until 2:30 that afternoon to get a car. We decided to taxi it to the Premium Outlet Mall north of the Stratosphere. Just before we left, I realized the book I purchased Sunday had been left at the Fontana Bar the previous night. I went to the Concierge desk and asked what I should do, and I was directed to a security representative. She advised me that my book was in the lost and found and would soon be returned to me at the Concierge desk. Sure enough, a little while later, I signed for my book. We were running late by this time and a great cab ride got us safely up I-15 to the shops. All the cabs we took this trip were quick, fair, and a good experience (maybe a little scary at times). After our return to the Bellagio to put up our Christmas purchases, we headed over to Bill's. We finally saw Fat Elvis! It was a good time. We walked up to Imperial Palace (one of my old favorites) and played some VP. Crossing the strip, we ate at Cheesecake Factory in Caesars Palace. They always serve way too much food. I read about a half serving menu that is available, but forgot until we had already ordered. After we ate, I picked up some license plates for my collection and P picked up some Dior make-up that is not available where we live. Next stop Paris. This is one of our favorite properties on the Strip. P won over $100 on a dollar machine; the biggest win so far this trip. The drink service was good everywhere, but the machines were not paying out any big wins.
We had pastries and a yogurt parfait at Palio in the Bellagio for breakfast. I got the Royal Shave at the barber shop and P got a Hydro Therapy massage at the spa. Nice. After some VP and a Bloody Mary near the Caramel bar we started south on foot. The Conservatory was great and always drew large crowds. We walked through it several times as we left or entered the Bellagio. Had a great lunch at Mon Ami Gabi. I enjoyed sitting in the warm sun and eating a great tasting steak (Dijon Butter Sirloin) while people watching in my favorite city. P had the fish and chips and they were good too, although presented differently than the traditional English fish and chips plate. We had Frangrias and they were refreshing. NYNY looked better than last year and I rode the Manhattan Express for the first time. I had sore shoulders for two days from getting tossed around in the car. We went to Excalibur and had some Christmas pictures made with a Santa on a Harley trike. We walked through Luxor and Mandalay Bay. The old sign for Lush Puppy was still above the darkened store front. We played some VP and Monopoly slots at MB.
After reversing our course, we walked through the Miracle Mile of Shops at Planet Hollywood. The weather all week was great for walking. Dinner was a light BLT from Snacks at Bellagio. We then went north to Imperial Palace, the Flamingo, Bill's, Paris, and Ballys. Our time was split between VP, Monopoly slots and Wizard of Oz slots. The Monopoly slots seem to come in several versions and I'm not sure which ones are the most enjoyable. Payouts were small and after a little play, we were on our way without payout coupons.
Our order for room service included croissants, bacon, and coffee. Service at the Bellagio was consistently good. All employees seemed interested in our enjoying the stay. Went to the Paris buffet for lunch and enjoyed it as usual. There was quite a crowd but not a bad line to get in. The Service was good and the selection great. We decided to purchase day passes for the monorail. We headed off to Harrah's then up to the Venetian. P got some shoes at the Walking Store and we both got some great insoles. Christmas carolers added to the holiday spirit. We went through Madame Tussauds and a spook alley there as well. It has been several years since we visited the wax museum and we enjoyed it. We used the $5 off coupons available in various travel guides around LV. At the Palazzo we walked through the shops and the casino; played some VP. We took the monorail down to MGM and checked out the lions, but they were sleeping. Dinner was a late one at the Cafe Bellagio. This turned out to be a very good pasta dinner (rigatoni with sun dried tomatoes and spinach and spaghetti bolognaise). My watch was stopped, and I was surprised to see how late it actually was. We watched the Aria grand opening fire works from the Planet Hollywood side of the street. They were quite a spectacle, but didn't last very long. Our path took us through the Passion Pit at the PH (crowded - pole dancers by the tables) then on to the Bellagio for more VP and the fountains. Some of the seemingly inexpensive nickel slots can easily be a $5 per 'pull' machine. P found out to her surprise how fast a $20 can disappear.
Played some Quarters Millions slots and P again did well on these machines. After cashing in her voucher, it was off to Planet Hollywood and the La Salsa Cantina for breakfast. A friend had recommended a place for a good deal on breakfast and we thought this was it. It had a different name, but was good deal. We paid 3.95 for a two egg, potatoes, tortillas, and bacon breakfast and had a .99 Bloody Mary. Crossing the new bridge over the Strip to City Center, we went to Aria. This place looks nice, but P thought it was too dark and I thought my money disappeared too rapidly. Bill's was the next destination (a real about face) and we enjoyed VP and Monopoly. All the drink service was great this trip. I thought the machines were tight, but drink comps were abundant everywhere. Lenotre at the Paris provided us with pastries and bread before heading up to the room to get ready for the Love show at Mirage. While P got ready, I dropped $50 into the Quarter Millions slot we liked but emerged without a cash out voucher. Dinner was at B.B. King's inside the Mirage. I had a great lettuce wedge and some sliders and P had a cheeseburger. A band was setting up as we left for Love. Over all the Mirage is a nice property and had a good atmosphere. BLT burger was closed. We saw a lot of eateries closed for the middle of December. The MGM had half of its restaurants shut down and Bill's had the Victorian Room closed and the furniture torn apart (the sign said closed for cleaning).
Love was a great show and my favorite Cirque show to date. We went to the early show and the theater was ¾ full. The pictures we had taken by a roving photographer didn't really turn out that well. This show is fast paced and never boring. I couldn't believe an hour and a half had passed when the show ended. We would both see it again, but may try to see KA next trip. Unfortunately, we had to return to the Bellagio and start packing for our early morning flight home. For the last eleven years we have stayed at the Bellagio. Maybe one day we will see what a lakeside suite looks like.
Up at 3:00 to get to the airport. The bell desk as usual did an excellent job with the bags, and they were already loaded in the Presidential Limo when we got down stairs.
The trip to the airport was quick and check in with American was easy. Even security was painless. The Burger King that was centrally located in the D terminal is now a Starbucks. Our flight to DFW was nice and quick and then trouble hit again. American Eagle had four planes down for maintenance and mobs of people from various flights filled the gates. There were gate changes and our departure time came and went while another plane at our gate, going to another destination, was fixed. We eventually made it home with all our luggage so it was a success story.
This was an enjoyable, well balanced visit.
Service at Bellagio, especially turn down service was great
Fast elevators at Bellagio
The good old Bill's to IP section of the Strip
The Paris looks good and has great food venues
Antiquities in the Forum Shops for my license plates
ABC stores around the Strip
Bill's was in disrepair (paint and lights)
The Mai Tai lounge was closed again in the IP
Many escalators on the Strip were out of order
The Mirage volcano was not operational again this visit