Las Vegas Trip Report Feb 2012

David and I take trips to Vegas at least once a year.  It is our favorite non-kid place to go.  Our most recent trip was last month for a few days.  Thanks to our friends at casino marketing, we were able to take advantage of a fully comped stay with two nights at the Mirage and one night at the new Aria Hotel and Casino at City Center. 

We arrived late the first night and checked into our room at Mirage.  The room was larger than I remember and the recent renovation boasts of modern decor and bold colors. 


We didn’t have much of a view and as usual our room was 100 miles away from the elevator.  I don’t know how we always luck out with those long walks to our room but it always seems to happen that way! 

The casino was less than kind that night, however we did get to try out some of the new slot machines that had come out since our last visit.  Davidfell in love with the Dirty Dancing slot and was hitting sustainable winspretty consistently. 

I had great luck on the Batman slot while playing as the joker…not to mention the bonuses are great. I won the Joker’s Heist twice and walked away with about $80. Batman was not kind to my husband, he didn’t hit one bonus while I hit at least 5 in one sitting! I wish I had gotten a video of the Batman slot.

Ghostbusters and Hangover were a ton of fun and we got several bonuses on them as well. I tried my hand at the Playboy slot….great money but no hits this time.   We also played “Panda Race” because Amber loves pandas.  It was fun and we made a profit of $12!

On the second day we got up earlier than I think we ever have inVegas.  We were up and out by 8am.  Both starving, we made our way to Stage Deliinside Mirage.  It was not very busy atall and we were sat quickly.  I ordered apotato knish and my husband ordered the eggs and bacon with a huge orangejuice.  Food took forever and theyfinally brought  D’s meal out but ourwaitress said “I forgot your knish it’ll be right out.”  A while later the waitress walked by and I motioned to her so I couldtell her I didn’t want the knish anymore. She looked my way but didn’t give me a chance to tell her.  She raced off to the kitchen and came backwith my knish.  I told her that I didn’twant it anymore and that I was trying to tell her that.  She said “The cooks are really messing upback there so I’m going to take care of your meal”.  Now I did notice how she blamed the cooks,even though she told us a few minutes ago that she was the one who forgot myorder.  But, taking care of the check wasa decent customer service gesture so I was fine with it.  We gave her a pretty good tip even after whathappened since she did comp the meal.  Ieven got to take the knish with me to eat later.  I wish the Mirage rooms had a fridge becausethen I would’ve eaten it later that night. By the time we were back in the room it was cold and didn’t taste verygood, I had to throw it away!

David’s Meal @ Carnegie Deli
Wentover to the forum shops at Caesars and did our traditional walk through to thecasino.  On the way there we saw something pretty interesting — Spiderman chillin on his cell phone.  I wonder if he was playing “Angry Birds”?
It was early still so the shopswere just opening up.  It was quiet andrelaxing just walking through without people on top of you constantly.  Inside Caesars, David met up with his old nemesis….DavinciDiamonds.  I played a few slots here andthere and while I was losing, he was trying hard to kick DaVinci’s ass.  Pretty soon he was like “what?’ and I lookedover at his $100 hit off of a 30 cent bet. Then he walked over to Kitty Glitter and another few pulls….a $62hit.  He was having all the luck thisday.
We walked over to Casino Royale to do the pomotional slot pull and to get our $.99 margaritas.  They don’t pack much punch but they sure are good!  Saw this on the way:

The things you see in Vegas!  His sign says “Why Lie?  Minnie left me…need money for girls and booze”. 
Nextstop,  Venetian/Palazzo.  I was hoping that there would be a wax figureof Justin Bieber at the top of the moving walkway so I could get a picture forour daughter.  Nope – still WhoopiGoldberg and now there is a pretty good Elvis standing there lookin sexy.  We walked through the Venetian shops (anotherthing we do every trip) and looked at everything we can’t afford whilewondering who CAN afford shopping there?  Palazzo was decorated in honor of chinese New Year.  I love this stuff so I took a few pictures.

While I couldn’t hit anything to save my life. inside the Venetian caisno,  David found a Star Wars Droid Hunt game and hitabout 5 bonuses almost in a row.  Walkedaway with a $65 profit.  He loved these Star Wars slots!  I only caught the end of one of his bonuses here:

Wedecided to walk back and have lunch at the Mirage and ate at California PizzaKitchen.  I had the best pizzaever, it was the wild mushroom pizza on whole grain crust.   I wish I knew how to make this at home!

The next few hours consisted of us just walking around and visiting Treasure Island next door since we had not been there in a while.  It is there that I left my hoodie in the bathroom and it disappeared.  I had a couple of really good NewCastles and David found a weird sort of tribal, volcano slot machine that he spent a while on.  He also found another Dirty Dancing machine!

Hours passed quickly and already it was time for dinner!  We went to the Mirage and knowing that we would have expresscomps coming our way, we chose to eat at the buffet.  It had the shortest wait.  The buffet was decent.   Buffets are great for veggie-pescatarianslike me.  I love sushi, shrimp andcrab…where else can I get my fill of that for a decent price?  I don’t think my husband liked the buffet asmuch as I did but he said it wasn’t too bad. I swear I must’ve been Asian in a former life because I cannot getenough of Asian themed food. It’s my favorite!

That night we spent at the Mirage trying some new slot machines and found a few that we really liked.  Ourfavorite was the 3-reel Haywire slot. Not sure if you’ve seen them but it’s a quarter slot, max bet of $.75and whenever you hit something it will randomly stop the reels, start shakingand blinking and multiply your winnings by a random number.  The machine can go “haywire” up to 8 timesand the credits add up until the haywire bonus is over.  It doesn’t go crazy on every hit so it’sexciting to sit there and wait to see if it’s going to go nuts or not.  The first hit that David had was for $150 and hehad no idea what was happening.  Hethought something was wrong with the machine. I sat down at the one next to him and within a few pulls I had a win for$150.  We played these machines for avery long time and both started with only $20. 

Day three began with getting up earlyand moving over to Aria.  We checkedout of the Mirage via the TV and made our way to the taxi stand.  I guess the cab driver was expecting anairport run and didn’t seem too happy when we said we were only going to theAria.  There was NO traffic on the stripat this time of morning however he proceeded to drive as slow as he could tokeep the meter increasing.  As he pulledinto the Aria front drive he literally was at a crawl.  The fare was $10 and when I gave him a $20 hegave me 2 $5’s back.  Uh….fat chancedude, give me ones please…. Here’s $2 for ya now go screw someone else.

Thebellman took our bags, as it was only about 9am and we knew we wouldn’t be ableto get into our room yet.  We looked fora check “in” area but there were only check out lines that were a milelong.  Not a problem, we just went towalk around for a bit and see what the Aria was like.  Last time we visited we only went in for afew minutes and didn’t really spend much time there.  I have to say, this time I really likedit.  It is much more sophisticated andupscale….laid back and quiet even at times. The clientele seemed even to be of a different level than I saw at theMirage and other places.  Overall theAria casino had a great atmosphere. 

Aria hosts the Cirque Du Soilel production “Viva Elvis”.  We wanted to see it however it was dark on all the days we were in Vegas.  Davidwanted to see the Elvis shop so we took the escalator upstairs.  Talk about ALL things Elvis…he was loving theshop! 

It was still too early to check in so we decided to go check out the new Cosmopolitain next door and try our luck at their “Win $100 on us” promo.  We did and profited only about $30 but hey, we didn’t lose!  Wewere really impressed with the inside of the casino.  Cosmo was veryupscale, clean and comfortable.

After the Cosmo it was around 1pmand we decided to see if we could check in. When we walked outside between Crystals and the Aria lobby we noticedthe weather was changing.  It was gettingcooler and windier out with a few sprinkles here and there.  For the most part we had been having somegreat weather.  There was a pretty longline at the check in counter due to an HP conference of some sort however thestaff at Aria had it totally under control. They had several agents at the desk and we moved through the line veryquickly.  We had no issues checking in,we got our smoking room and she told us about our $40 buffet credit. 

Instead of going to the room first,we utilized our $40 credit at the Aria buffet for lunch.  It was very good.  2 “brunches” came to $78.00 so $38.00 for 2buffets was not bad.  I was starvingagain and got my fill of fish, Asian food, salad and sushi.  I also had my first and only dessert of thetrip which was a blueberry filled crepe. It was yummy!  D and I got a kickout of watching this young Asian boy who must’ve been around 12 years old at atable next to us with his family.  Hefilled his plate at least 6-7 times with sushi and crab and cleaned it off eachtime.  At one point he was over at thesushi station telling the cooks how to make it! It was hilarious. 

Wegot up to the room and it was very nice. There is a very large entry way and as everyone here has mentionedbefore, everything is electronic ally controlled.  I was familiar with this because at the hotelI used to work at in Dallas recently did a renovation when I was there andeverything was upgraded to the exact same thing.  Shades, lights, alarm, privacy signetc….everything controlled by your TV and one touch of a button.  Pretty cool. The room was a good size and the bed was comfortable. 

After we freshened up it was time to go pick up our show tickets at NYNY.  Thewalk to NYNY was interesting and very convenient.  You go through Monte Carlo and barely have togo outside.  There is an exit on the sideof Aria that leads you down a hallway where there are a few shops andrestaurants along with a food court.  Iwanted a Starbucks but there was a long line so we stopped at Mickey D’sinstead and go ice coffees.  You exitthis area into the Monte Carlo casino. I’m not sure if the Monte Carlo has renovated recently (?) but it wasnicer than I remembered.  I actuallywouldn’t mind staying there some time. 

Once inside NYNY and while waiting for a snafu to be worked out about our show tickets I thought I would give my mother’s luck a try.  My mother gave me $40 to play forher because she is always lucky and I always bring her something back off ofher money.  She said I had to play WOZfor her, as I always do.  I plopped $20into one of the WOZ machines and just like every other time this trip I hitnothing, nothing at all.  I’m reallystarting to hate this machine and I don’t think I will ever play it again.  Here’s the proof of me losing!

We had to wait for our show tickets for “Zumanity” due to some mistake that was made by casino marketing.  So we headed over to the MGM for a little luck on the Majestic Lions machines. We have aritual that we play a little bit in a few different machines.  In the past when we have hit something onthem, it has been a quick hit off of just a few pulls so we stick to thatstrategy.  $20 in onemachine…nothing….  $20 in anotherone….nothing.  I decide to play my mom’s$20 in a different machine and take a video for her.  3 pulls and …..almost!  Down to $8 and ding, ding, ding… $300!  See I wasn’t lying when I said SHE waslucky.  Every freaking time without failand we had it on video this time too.  Dcalled her and told her…after all the screaming and rejoicing we sent her thepicture I took with my phone of the machine and her TITO.  She said that she showed my kids the pictureand my daughter said “Hey, that ticket says $308 dollars!  Can I have the $8?” 

Back over to NYNY after that to get our tickets.  The lady that helped us at the ticket office was very nice and gave usseats in section 102 row A … which we find out are right behind the loveseats…so 2nd row dead center! I thank MLife services for screwing things up because I think we gotbetter seats because of it.  The ladyfelt bad for us that we had to wait 2 hours so she fixed us up nicely.  These were $115 seats for F-R-E-E so Iconsider that a win in itself!

We had a 5pm reservation atGonzalez y Gonzalez however neither of us were hungry for dinner so instead whenwe went back to NYNY we grabbed 2 Antie Annie’s pretzels and a big diet coke.  Dinner of champions.  On he way back to the Zumanity theater westopped at the big pirate game since we had about 20 minutes before getting inline.  It’s a bank of 4 machines, eachone a different slot but there are community bonus rounds of a piratebattle.  We were on the far right machinecalled “Laredo”.  D was hitting severalsmall wins here and there and then racked up $90 in the bonus round.  We were only betting 50 cent bets.  There was nobody else playing on the bank soduring the pirate battle he won off of that too.  We walked away with a $120 profit from thatmachine in only a matter of minutes – just long enough for us to eat ourpretzels and get in line for the show.

“Zumanity” is not for the faint of heart, the prudish, the ultra-conservative or anyone without an open mind and sense of humor.  It’s got great acrobatics, music and dancing as well, but just keep in mind it’s Cirque’s “adults only” show, so there you go.   I haven’t seen this show in at least 5 yearsand I don’t remember it being so ….. well…..full of boobs.   The best part of theshow is the little guy who does the aerial act. He was amazing. 

After the show we needed drinks soI sat down with $8 at the Planet Moolah slot, ordered my vodka cran and hit forabout $45.  Cash out!  Thank you cows.  The waitress came back really fast so doublewin there!

That night was full of wins and vodka (well the vodka was for me).  Cocktail service at Aria is really good and the glasses are huge compared to other casinos.  We had some great hits on Playboy, Battleship, Maltese Fortune and more.  Later we had a bite at the cafe and then called it a night. 

On our last day, we did some shopping @ Miracle Mile Shops and played a few more machines here and there.  I had some great last mintue wins on Top Dollar, Betty Boop and Battleship before we caught the shuttle back to the airport that day.  We had tons of “excitement” at the airport regarding our flight but finally made it back to DFW around 1am.

Overallit was a great trip.  We came home withabout 1/3 of our bankroll still left intact which was a plus and we had gonehard at the slots all weekend.  Not bad.  Aria was fabulous, I think we will stay therefrom now on and our MLife status moved up to Pearl which only makes me want to goback soon so that we keep moving upwards instead of down.  We’ll be back sooner than later hopefully to our favorite adult Disneyland!

11 thoughts on “Las Vegas Trip Report Feb 2012

  1. I enjoyed your take on Vegas, and I realize how much I missed out on my first time around. Next time, I guess. 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by my blog!


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