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Category: 2011
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30th Anniversary Vegas Trip
We left on Saturday night. Flew out of Detroit, with Spirit. Flight
was on time and hubby had extra leg room in the exit row (for an extra
fee). We found a very good car rental rate of about $65 for 4 days
with Payless. We never have a problem with Payless, unlike Dollar. We
spent our first two nights at The Plaza in downtown Las Vegas. We had
to see the new renovations and if it really was competitive with our
favorite downtown hotel/casino, Golden Nugget. In short, it was not.
Can you believe they do not even provide hair dryers in the room?
While everything was newer in the rooms and on the casino floor, it
was still drawing a less than savory crowd and still felt like the old
Plaza. I was also not happy with valet at one end, check in at the
other, and then back to the valet-end for the elevators. We payed for
a while and then were off to bed.

Sunday morning's breakfast was at DuPar's restaurant in the Golden
Gate. I don't imagine you can go wrong at DuPar's- great service,
great food, great prices. Interestingly, later in the day we ate
dinner at the Du Par's Deli in the back of Golden Gate and again, we
were very pleased. We never get tired of those shrimp cocktails! I
played Bingo at the Plaza in the AM and won $160. Took hubby there
later for another game and neither of us won. I started winning at
penny slots- at least winning more than losing. Ahh, I think, this is
going to be a good trip after all! It just felt like good karma. I
played live poker at Binions, as is my tradition, and unlike previous
visits, actually walked out with $50 more than I started. I am still
drawn to those darn Hot Shot machines and outside of one or two good
hits, these slots drained my winnings. I am also fond of all the
Vibrant 7 games and the variations of them and I was able to pull some
money out of them at various locations throughout the trip. I was
staying even with video poker. Black jack wins help fuel the slot
play.

On Monday morning we ate at Hash House A GoGo at Plaza and for the
second time in the row we didn't like the food. My corn beef hash was
unlike any I had ever had before and was inedible. The fresh peach
jam for the biscuit saved the meal from being a disaster. We packed up
and decided to do a tour of Boulder Highway, stopping first at Boulder
Station. I love the vibe of this place, but I never win there. Oh
well. It was on to East Side Cannery- this was this trip's visit to a
'new' casino. Interesting theme (World War II-era factory) but
gambling went south here and we didn't stay long. We checked in to the
Orleans where I received my slot tournament packet. Our deal was a
stay for 3 days at $99 and I get a free entry into the slot
tournament. Of course they assign you to two sessions about 4 hours
apart which keeps you on the property. Nevertheless it was exciting
and with around 500 players I placed high enough to have $50 added to
my slot card. First time to have made that level- yeah! This day
happened to be our 30th Wedding anniversary and hubby had made
reservations at the Strip Steak Restaurant at Mandalay Bay. It's been
a long time since I've been in a high class restaurant like this, and
while it was an exciting way to celebrate our important milestone, I
am not one to be excited about spending that kind of money on any
meal. Instead of bread before the meal, they brought us three small
bowls of french fries cooked in duck fat, along with three dishes of
dipping sauces. These were heavenly! I had large garlic-y scallops,
cooked to perfection. Hubby tried the Kobe steak and found it not much
different tasting than most other good cuts of steak.

On Tuesday we visited Palms because we had the 50%-off-up-to-$50
coupon from the LVA coupon book and this had to be spent! Couldn't
find anything reasonable in the gift shops so we went to the 24/7 café
and enjoyed a very large breakfast that carried us over until dinner.
We found some unusual slots, made by Konami, the same folks who make
Vibrant 7 machines. The slot activity takes place in a globe-like area
on the front of the machine and bonuses were frequent and
entertaining. We visited the Gold Coast but didn't stay long and had
no significant wins there. Tuesday was the slot tournament day so
everything else was gambling here and there at The Orleans. I had an
opportunity to play some more hold-em poker at The Orleans but lost...
just a little. Hubby enjoyed an afternoon movie (Contagion) at the
Orlean's theaters. Later, we visited South Point and had a light
dinner at the Steak and Shake. South Point VP was not nearly as
friendly to hubby as it was when we stayed there in May.

On Wednesday we decided to make our way out to Green Valley and we
were glad we did. This is one lovely property! Everything about it was
top notch. I didn't realize it was so far from the Strip and if not
for that I would definitely want to stay there. The hotel looked
amazing as did the grounds. There are a lot of shopping and dining
options in the area as well. We returned to the Orleans where I had my
last big win with a three-of-a-kind at Three Card Poker. The trip was
winding down and we packed up and checked out of The Orleans. I wanted
to visit some Strip properties but we had run out of time. There was,
however, enough time yet to visit The Luxor. We hadn't been there in
several years and the place has aged well. It was bright and shiny and
a fun place with lots of my favorite penny slots and some I hadn't
seen before. My favorite, by far, was the Ghost Busters slot machine.
The seats are wired for both sound and motion and when ghosts would
appear the seat vibrated wildly- what a buzz! From the Luxor it was
time to return the car and catch our red-eye back to Detroit. Great
anniversary trip- I had winnings in excess of what I brought and hubby
even came out nearly even. Can't beat that!