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Trip Report It's Vegas, baby! Motorcycles and more.

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We just returned from a 5 night trip to Las Vegas. This was just our second trip to Las Vegas [the last being in 2004 for a seminar]. This trip was to attend the annual motorcycle auction. We had a bike up for sale and hence, the trip.

Unfortunately, the auction took place during CES and that caused room rates to be out of sight for several days of our stay. We were able to book the first 3 nights using a group rate at South Point Casino and Hotel and then we spent the last 2 nights at The Signature at MGM. I booked The Signature originally using smartvegas.com and then followed prices and was able to get better prices just before our arrival. What started at $100 a night, ended up at $79 at The Signature with a $50 food credit. The Signature does have a $25 resort fee, so the food credit really was a wash. And considering that we stayed at The Signature on Friday and Saturday nights, I thought this was a great deal.

First the best part of the trip – we sold the motorcycle at a price that we were pleased with, so that made the whole trip even better!

We drove in from our home, took about 8.5 hours and it was an ok trip. Got to South Point around 3 pm and checked in. We got a coupon book which had a few things we used. We got Player Cards because I had read that you needed to have one to use the coupons. It took only a few minutes to get a card. We stopped at a bar for a drink, which was a Cosmo for me [pretty “meh”] and a draft Sam Adams for hubby. The bartender did not ask for Player Card.

Room was large, clean and not the most stylish, but it would work for our needs. I asked for a high floor with a view, got one on 21st floor with a view looking west towards the mountains. Since the hotel is about 15 minutes south of center strip, I guess that was a good view. It also had a coffee pot, a nice thing.

We were pretty tired so we decided to eat on property, knowing full well that the food would be chain restaurant quality, if that. We had dinner at Don Vito’s and it was comparable to Olive Garden. Decent but nothing to cheer about and we used our coupons to get free dessert. Waiter did not ask for Player Card and took only one coupon for 2 desserts, so we would “come back again,” though that isn’t likely.

I spent a bit of time on video poker and slots just to pass a bit of time. The casino is VERY smoky and that was unpleasant. The smoke wasn’t noticeable on the elevator, hotel floor or in our room.

The hotel room was quiet during the night which was a plus. Also, lots of convenient self-parking which we liked.

The next morning we went to Bally’s to check out our bike, do some final paperwork and for hubby to clean the bike, hopefully for that last time! [Someone transported the bike for us].
We got done early and as it was a nice day and the weather was supposed to get really cold starting the next day, we headed to Hoover Dam. We had thought about stopping on our way into LV, but it’s a good thing we didn’t as we learned that there had been no tours for the previous couple of days because of elevator problems.

We opted for the longer Dam Tour [jokes and all] and really enjoyed it. Found it to be impressive and worthwhile. We had to wait about 30 minutes extra as the elevators were acting up again! I wasn’t sure I wanted to descend all that way on an elevator that was having issues, but I put my big girl pants on went for it! Glad I did.

Headed back to South Point and had decided to use the 2 for 1 buffet and the cashier did ask for our Player Cards. The buffet was….a buffet. It did the job, but again, nothing to write home about.

I spent a little time on the slots and it was funny but the lady friend of our transporter guy sat next to me without realizing it was me. She was with a friend of hers. Her friend put $20 in the machine [penny] and on the fourth spin hit for $160! Nice, but I said I didn't want to use up my luck, preferring it to hit at the auction :o)

The next morning was the auction, so off we went. Had a nice lunch at Mon Ami Gabe. It was too cold to sit outside, but we had a nice table with fountain views, just inside the patio. We had a long wait for our bike to hit the block, as there were many before us. We were very happy with the results and the trip got a lot better from this point forward!

We took the person who transported the bike [he also did some restoration on it and actually found the bike for us to buy] and his lady out to dinner. We went over to Cosmo and had a great meal at Scott Conant’s D.O.C.G. Great food, nice restaurant, very good service – perfect place for a celebration.

The next morning we moved to The Signature. We liked the idea of non-smoking, non-casino a lot. We were heading to Qua Spa at Caesars to spend some quality time relaxing. We thought we would just drop the bags off and then check in when we were done in the afternoon. Imagine our surprise when they checked us in at 10am! We got a lovely deluxe suite on the 30th Penthouse floor in Tower 3. The room had a balcony, though it was too cold to be out there more than a few minutes to take pictures – a nice view of the strip, looking towards Cosmopolitan.

So, high floor, early check in and a balcony with nothing more than me asking nicely for a high floor with a view. Normally a guarantee: high floor, balcony and early check would have added $50 to the stay. We were very pleased with all of that!

The suite looks exactly like the pictures on their website. Rather luxe, comfy and room [550 sq ft]. Huge bathroom, kitchenette with high end accessories including toaster, blender, coffee maker and bone china!!

If I had to find any “con” it would be that there is no self-parking. You can self-park at MGM Grand and walk over, but that seemed to be a pain. That first day, we did quite a bit of in and out, but it certainly didn’t break the bank to tip the valets. It was more of a convenience of just hopping in the car and going. They were pretty fast in getting the car.

Left our bags and headed over to Qua. Massages, lots of soaking, steaming, resting. Spent 5 hours total and left feeling top of the world.

Evening plans were an early dinner and then Rock of Ages. So we headed over to MGM Grand for dinner at Michael Mina’s Nob Hill Tavern. We had 5:30 dinner reservations thinking we would be out in plenty of time for 8 pm show at The Venetian. Service was not good. We sat for quite awhile before we got wine menu. We noticed that the tables on either side of us got drink menus. We had to ask for those. The maitre d’ brought the drink menu and took our drink order. Then we waited and the drinks came and the waitress still hadn’t come over to take order. The maitre d’ stopped by and we said that our order hadn’t been taken yet, so he took it.

Hubby had cioppino and I had scallops and we ordered duck fat fries. The food comes out and there are no fries; the waitress says they come out separately. Ok, so we start to eat. I had 4 scallops and a bit of cauliflower that is supposed to be caramelized but is in fact, bitter.

Hubby’s dinner was on the spot. My scallops were perfectly cooked. Still no fries, and I am about to start to eat scallop #3. Waitress comes by and still no fries. She goes to check and say, sorry, they were never ordered – do we still want them? At this point, we are nearly done. So we say no and she offers a dessert instead. So we opt for that and have a nice Chocolate Lava Cake. Overall - food was good, service not so much.

We head over to see Rock of Ages. It was fun, loud, and the theatre is small so there are no bad seats. We are a bit older than the intended audience and although we recognize some of the songs we don’t know most of the music. It reminded us of how “Momma Mia” was created. A lot of songs loosely strung together with a story line.

Saturday we just kind of walked around the Strip stopping in at the Bellagio Conservatory to see the current display set up for Chinese New Year. It was a lazy kind of day.

We had a great lunch at Milos [also at The Cosmopolitan] – it was a prix fixe for $20.13 which include a choice of appetizer [we had bagel, lox and cream cheese] and choice of entrée [we both had grilled Mediterranean Bass] and choice of dessert [again, we both had walnut cake, which was a cake version of bakalava]. This has to be the best meal deal in LV!

We had tickets to Jersey Boys at 8:15, so we walked over to Paris for the show. We really loved it, the music and the actors/singers were top notch. We like it much more than RoA, but it is most likely an age thing!

We had a late bite to eat over at MGM Grand at Studio Café. We had sandwiches which were ok but expensive [no surprise] and used our food credit.

Check out was fast and efficient the next morning and we were homeward bound. All in all, a really great trip for 2 people who don’t care all that much for LV. We decided that it is a perfect destination for us for some nice meals, a couple of shows over about a 3 day period of time. It is a short flight for us and we will consider heading back for this type of stay.

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