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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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Las Vegas TR

Halloween - The Nightmare
westie is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2011, 03:58 PM
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Ooops - hopefully this is the correct link:
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 04:33 PM
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neither link worked.

Let me guess though. You are the genius at getting good deals in Vegas if my memory serves me correct.
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 05:41 PM
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You have posted nearly 30 Vegas TR's . . . so far.

Maybe just a tad on the obsessive side
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 08:01 PM
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Westie is our Fodor's Las Vegas expert. Great info to gleen.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 02:45 AM
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Both links do not work.. thanks for trying
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 02:49 AM
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appears to link to a commercial site of some sort
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:19 AM
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I do like the writing style. And I don't recall any nightmares from previous TRs. I was looking forward to a Halloween version. I wonder how many forks you they will give for halloween foods?
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:15 PM
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"You are the genius at getting good deals in Vegas if my memory serves me correct."

Formerly known as Black Bart?
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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I can't understand, both links work for me. Here is another link:
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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The original links were to a Las Vegas discussion board - not a commercial website.
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 02:42 PM
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Halloween – The Nightmare
October 19-November 2, 2011

Most of our experiences in life are destined to become little more than vague memories, but one may hold the potential to turn into a living nightmare. Mine began in 1964 while on spring break in New Orleans where I spent considerable time in the backroom of Acme Oyster House drinking hurricanes, eating oyster po’ boys and playing 7-card stud.

One evening while engaged in a no limit game with some locals, a fella known as Handsome Jack sashayed through the door and pulled up an empty chair. As night gave way to dawn, I went all in after being dealt a pair of tens. Handsome Jack said he was a little short of cash to call my bet so he offered to sign over a deed to some acreage in Connecticut I accepted the offer and won the pot after catching trip tens to his Aces and eights.

What wasn’t known at the time was Handsome Jack had sweet talked Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen of New Orleans, out of the Connecticut property plus a million dollars in gold bullion. Later that same day, upon learning of his betrayal, Marie started mumblin', her fangs started gnashin', her body started tremblin’ and her eyes started flashin' as she rid this world of a rogue known as Handsome Jack and placed a curse on the property now owned by yours truly.

Let us fast forward to 2011 on a recent October evening as Ann and I were preparing to go to bed.

Dum dum dum deedum

Max-the-Schipperke howled.
I cowered under the blankets.
Ann pushed aside the shades and saw a coven of zombies dancing around several bonfires.
The line between sanity and madness had just become finer.
Our living nightmare had returned.

Dum dum dum deedum

Every seven years since we first moved into our Connecticut home, zombies have taken over our back yard and embarked on a nightly ritual of incessant drumming followed by blood curdling chanting:

Dum dum dum deedum

“1 – 2 – Freddy’s coming for you, 3 – 4 – Better lock your door, 5 – 6 – Grab your crucifix

From prior experience we knew their ritual would grow in intensity over the following 2 weeks culminating on the eve of All Saints Day when a one-eyed snake, a three-legged dog and a pair of Las Vegas virgins would be sacrificed.

I could not face the ordeal again so I begged Ann to call our travel agent and book us somewhere, anywhere, just so long as it was far removed from zombies, vampires, ghouls and witches.

Dum dum dum deedum

7 – 8 – Better stay up late, 9 – 10 – Never sleep again…”

……….and this explains why on October 19th, I could be found clutching a black cat’s tooth and a Mojo bone while seated on a SWA flight bound for Las Vegas, Nevada.

Our usual non stop out of Hartford would have arrived late in the evening so we opted to leave a few hours earlier and make a change in planes in Chicago. We arrived on time and were soon shuttling off to the rental facility before shuttling off to Fox Rent A Car. Unlike our previous experience with Fox, the clerk only made a half hearted attempt to sell us insurance and the full tank gas option. We were soon off for the South Point in our Nissan Altima at an all-in cost of $280. Ann used a free night coupon from a locals’ mailer and we were assigned room 919 which offered an expansive view of the rooftop and the distant Spring Mountains.

We were both thirsty after our cross country journey so we headed north to the upscale Ellis Island Resort and Conference Center for a pair of merlots. Dinner was at the Broiler in Palace Station. In the past the expansive soup and salad bar was included in the price of entrees, but a $3 surcharge has been recently introduced - WeLuvYouTooStations!

We each ordered the bouillabaisse which included a copious amount of seafood in a just okay tomato based broth. The medium spice level we requested turned out to be too spicy for Ann, but about right for me. The bill, including tax and gratuity, was $60.35, but by stacking a LVA $25 off $50 coupon meal with a gift card I purchased at, the bottom line was a more frugal $20.08. (2.5 Forks out of a possible 5)

After concluding dinner we stopped at a Walgreens for sundry items before returning to our room for the evening.

10/20 I woke up a few hours later and, because I am Young at Heart, but old of body, I headed to Sam’s Town for the 5 x points offered to seniors on Thursdays. My 4.5 hour video poker (vp) session turned out to be beyond Grimm even though I hit my 1st quad deuces of the trip.

The first order of business was for Ann to checkout and for me to check back in for the following 13 nights. Since our stay would extend into November, I was able to use a 2nd free night coupon for our last night’s lodging. I received two more funbooks which we immediately used for breakfast.

My first buffet breakfast of the trip included OJ, fresh fruit with strawberry yogurt, easy over eggs, a sliver of ham, bacon, a bloody Mary and a Tums. ($4, 2 Forks)

After reading the newspaper, we headed for the Fiesta-Henderson where we got new Station casino slot cards and had our old points adjusted upwards to reflect the new points system. The Fiesta was offering a scratch card on quad Aces and Faces, but neither of us hit one during our hour of play. Ann stopped playing and told me she would be walking near the gift shop until I quit which I took as an implied threat so I cashed out immediately. LOL

We attended the Dennis Bono show at the South Point at 2PM with today’s performers being Corrie Sachs (Country Superstars), the Kingston Trio (2 members of the Trio were not in town yet so Corrie and Dennis filled in), Domenick Allen (former lead singer of Foreigner), his wife Leigh Zimmerman (Broadway actress, singer and dancer), their daughter Cayleigh Capaldi ( plus singers Joey Dee (personality-challenged) and Elisa Fiorillo-Dease. ($0, 4 Claps)

Later in the day we made our way back to Ellis Island where Ann ordered a merlot and I tried my first and last Ellis Island Tea. (1 Sip) On learning we would be dining on Bulgarian tapas this evening, Ann inquired if I had totally lost my mind.

I was somewhat dismayed to discover on entering Forte European Tapas Bar & Bistro that the interior was small and more reminiscent of a biker bar than a fine dining establishment. Our waitress turned out to be very informative and helped guide us through the menu. We ordered Adjarski Khachapurri, Selska Ljutika, kiufte (sausage), Hungarian Ghoulash and a biscuit cake.

For those who have not been to Bulgaria or Russia recently, Adjarski Khachapurri is a boat shaped loaf of bread served directly from the oven with cheese and a cracked egg that are cooked and mixed together tableside. The Selska ljutika is a refreshing salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers tossed in olive oil. The Hungarian goulash over mashed potatoes was excellent, but took second place to the biscuit cake which is described in the menu as a liqueur dipped honey tea biscuit layered with creamy mascarpone, decadent espresso and chocolate. ($39.40, 3.5 Forks)

On our return to the South Point we did two complete laps around the casino as penance for woofing down the biscuit cake in record time.

10/21 Fiesta-Henderson was offering 2 x points today, though my extended vp session turned out to be even worse than yesterday’s.

We had OJ, grapefruit and a shared bagel in our room this morning before departing for the Las Vegas Premium Outlets (South). We agreed to meet in an hour and after circumventing the entire outlet, I bumped into Ann in the Fossil store some 45 yards from where we separated. Since she wanted to pick-up some baby clothes for our nieces’ newborns, we retraced my steps.

Lunch was at KoMex Fusion Express, a small, but popular Korean/Mexican restaurant located on Decatur Blvd. The staff was very friendly and offered to take our order while we waited for a table. Our fried wontons, 4 per serving and costing a mere $1, were good, but totally unnecessary since they were preceded by complimentary housemade chips, salsa and guacamole. Our order of 4 barbecue tacos (2 pork, 1 chicken and a beef) came with cilantro, lettuce, onions and kimchee, the latter being optional. Each was very good to excellent, though next time I would skip the beef in flavor (sic) of the pork or chicken. ($10, 4 Forks)

We were both stuffed so we retreated to our room and changed our dining reservation to later in the evening. The remainder of the afternoon was spent snoozing (me) and reading/playing vp (Ann).

At 6PM we joined the mostly senior crowd in the Grandview Lounge where Wes Winters was performing. His website needs to be updated to reflect a recent schedule change; he now plays 6-9PM on Friday and Saturdays. (2 Claps) We used our ticket stubs from yesterday’s Dennis Bono show for a pair of merlots which we nursed for almost an hour.

This evening we dined at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Ventano Italian Grill and Seafood. Although this was a Friday night, the restaurant was not as busy as usual. We took a pass on the bread and shared a delicious spinach salad with onions, hard boiled egg and mushrooms in a warm bacon dressing. For an entrée we shared our usual eggplant rollatini, but the portion size had been reduced by 50% and the ricotta filling was a mere memory. We also ordered a side of sautéed spinach to meet the value of our Groupon, but the waiter substituted it for the usual sides of ziti so we were forced to order a crème brulee. Unfortunately it was overcooked and very disappointing. I don’t know whether we caught a bad night or not, but I am not inclined to rush back. ($26, Groupon, 2 Forks)

10/22 This morning’s vp session at Fiesta-Henderson featured 2 x points and my 3rd consecutive losing session.

We drove to the Rio first thing this morning to pick up GregRio and headed off to Aliante Station following directions I downloaded from Yahoo maps. These directions sent us over hill and dale plus our nameless navigator misinterpreted them so we eventually ended up going over dale and hill as well.

We finally made our way to Aliante and headed directly to the buffet for breakfast. The food quality was good, but the variety was disappointing because the ethnic stations were closed. This proved to be another marathon dining experience where we spent more time gabbing than eating. I settled on an omelet, OJ, fruit, bacon and more fruit. Greg picked up the tab (thanks). ($5, LVA, 2 Forks)

We toured the beautiful casino and pool areas finally making our way to the slot booth where we met Sue Casey from the LVA board who provided us with helpful information, not least of which were directions for our return to the Rio that saved us mileage, time and frustration. Thanks, Sue.

After dropping Greg off, we went to the Enterprise Library and used its computers plus borrowed a few books for Ann. On our return to the room we shared a fortune cookie which read “Be a winner”. I’ve been trying!!

We had an early dinner at Thai Original BBQ on 3rd Avenue. On our last trip we ate twice at their Flamingo location so in spite of its seedy location, I maintained high expectations. We each ordered the BBQ chicken that came with shrimp fried rice. The food was tasty, but the chicken was obviously reheated and overdone. On being presented with our check, net of my ( certificate, of only $5, I pointed out the $10 error to our server. She initially did not understand, but upon taking the bill to the cashier we could hear the two of them giggling which continued in spurts as other staff members were told. ($15.22,, 2.5 Forks)

We then made the short drive to the Clarion to see “Illusions” starring Jan Rouven in the Fame Theater. The show started with some close-up magic by a friend of Jan’s. For his part, Jan performed several illusions including Bed of Death, Fire Spiker, Hand stab where a volunteer from the audience will play Russian roulette with a sharp knife and the Water Take where he is cuffed and chained under water. Jan was pretty personable and frequently sought audience volunteers though he sometimes carried on a little too long. Overall, I felt the show was well worth our time and money. ($40, Groupon, 3 Claps)

10/23 I hit a 2nd quad deuces at Sam’s this morning, but managed to turn in yet another, my fourth, losing session. To add insult to injury, I discovered only points earned between 9AM and 9PM qualified for the gas promotion. On the journey back to the South Point, I tossed my black cat’s tooth and Mojo bone out the window.

For breakfast we went to the Maple Tree Café on Spring Mountain Road. This used to be one of our favorite places for breakfast, but the original owners sent it on the skids before selling out last year. Our waitress took our orders and returned with a miniscule sample of a coffee cake “that just come out of the oven” though it was served at room temperature. We each ordered French toast stuffed with strawberry cream cheese and topped with strawberries. The cream cheese filling was little more than a smear and the French toast itself was pretty ordinary. Based on our experience on this trip and last, I feel the new owner needs to address pricing and quality issues. ($15, Groupon, 2 Forks)

Our next stop was the box office at the Orleans, but it doesn’t open until noon so we returned to the room to read the paper and rest. Ann incurred a small loss during a short vp session.

In the early evening we retraced our steps to Ellis Island where we enjoyed a pair of merlots. Dinner was at the nearby McCormick & Schmick’s.
The restaurant offers a 3-course menu on Sundays that was reasonably priced at $19.95. We started off with a mixed salad of greens, blue cheese and candied walnuts with a white balsamic vinaigrette. Our entrees were sole stuffed with brie, crab, artichoke and sundried tomatoes with tomato Romesco sauce. I thought the sauce detracted, rather than complimented, the entrée so I largely ignored it. Our crème brulees were, as usual, excellent. I used a $25 credit on Preferred Guest card. ($24.15, 2.5 Forks)

After concluding our meal, we made the short drive to the Las Vegas Hilton for the Greg London’s Impressions that Rock show in the intimate Shimmer Cabaret. We had a coupon for VIP Tickets so we first went to redeem them at the Box Office. These tickets called for seating in the first 3 rows which are way too close IMHO so we opted for seats in the general admission section, but center stage.
A scant few of Greg’s impressions of rock stars were close to being spot on, most were not and a few were outrageously bad (e.g. Julio Iglesias). Overall we had a good time enjoying the music.
($39, KSHP, 2.5 Claps)

10/24 My streak of bad luck continued as another loss was registered at the Fiesta-Henderson. This trip is rapidly turning into a Nightmare on West Lake Mead Parkway. I put on more than enough points on each of our slot cards to earn free breakfast buffets, but after touring the buffet we decided to head elsewhere.

Elsewhere turned out to be the Feast buffet at Sunset Station. I was dismayed to discover the fresh fruit section had been downgraded since our May visit. My breakfast included OJ, fresh fruit, premade huevos rancheros, bacon and potatoes. I normally assemble my own huevos rancheros, but the cook told me they did not have ranchero sauce. More likely, he was just too lazy to make the effort to comply with my request. ($2.75, LVA, gift card, 2 Forks)

I was in desperate need of a haircut so we made the short drive to Supercuts on Sunset Road.
($16, 3.5 Shears) We then went to the Paseo Verde Library to check out email, but they were experiencing a temporary problem logging into the system which took about 20 minutes to resolve.

We then returned to the Orleans box office to purchase tickets for the Osmond Brothers show for later in the week.

Our merlots this evening were served at the Grandview Lounge where we used ticket stubs from the previous week’s Dennis Bono show. We then departed for Taj Palace on Eastern, a recently opened Indian restaurant in Henderson. We received complimentary papadum with a spicy mint sauce and the worst tamarind sauce I have ever tasted. Our entrees were boti kabob masala (lamb chunks in a rich yellow curry) and Murgh madras (boneless chicken in a tomato/cream curry). In addition, we ordered naan and zeera rice (lightly spiced basmati rice with cumin seeds). Neither entrée scaled any culinary heights though the amount of animal protein in each would likely have caused Hannibal Lechter to rejoice. ($20.70,, 2 Forks)

10/25 Though this morning resulted in my 6th consecutive losing session, I was somewhat mollified by the knowledge that there are only 8 more mourning (sic) sessions before the end of our trip.

We enjoyed fruit and OJ in our room before heading for the breakfast of champions, coffee for Ann and a shared apple fritter, at Ronald’s Donuts on Spring Mountain Road. ($3.92, 4 Crumbs)

We killed a little time walking around the Las Vegas Premium Outlets (North) before it was time for Ann’s massage at Elements Therapeutic Massage on Eastern Avenue.
($54, Groupon, 4 Hands) In the meantime, I returned to the scene of the crime at Fiesta-Henderson and hit my 3rd quad deuces of the trip.

After picking Ann up, we returned to Paseo Verde Library to check our emails.

For lunch we attempted to go to the Great Greek restaurant, but the road was blocked due to construction so we opted for the luncheon buffet at the South Point, but discovered there was a 40 minute so we settled on plan C, hot dogs and a soda at the cart next to the race book. ($3.50, 2 Buns)

Ann won a few dollars playing vp in the afternoon while I catnapped. Dinner and libations were at the beautifully decorated Hachi restaurant at Red Rock Resort. We timed our arrival to take advantage of the drink specials offered during happy hour at the bar. Ann ordered a glass of Chardonnay (3 Sips) while I chose a Zen-Tini (Chai liquor, green tea liquor and Stoli vanilla vodka) (3.5 Sips). We started off sharing a bowl of the spicy Kabocha coconut soup (4.5 Spoons) and nasu dengaku (broiled eggplant with sweet miso (4.5 Forks). Our next order included a large portion of veggie fried rice (3 Forks), a mixed greens salad with ginger dressing (2.5 Forks) and chicken kushiyaki with a Peruvian sauce (2 Forks). Overall the meal was very satisfying though the portion size of the chicken skewers was ridiculously small and the meat was overdone. ($36.85, WeLuvLocals gift card)

On our return to the South Point I took a few laps around the casino before retiring to the room while Ann chose to play some vp before eventually joining me.

10/26 I managed to hit my 4th quad deuces at the Fiesta this morning, but lost once again. On my way back to the South Point a light rain began to fall and, as the sun broke through, I saw several rainbows, but each pot of gold turned out to be just beyond my grasp.

Our breakfast this morning was OJ, grapefruit and a shared bagel from the Del Mar Deli. We then dropped off our laundry at our favorite wash and fold and learned the owners have the business up for sale. Sigh.

We then walked around the Las Vegas Premium Outlets (South) for an hour in order to kill time before Ann’s appointment at Elite Hair Salon. ($41, 4 Brushes) As I waited in the car I gave serious consideration to committing hari kari, but could not locate a sword.

Our last stop before retuning to the South Point was the Paseo Verde Library where we checked emails once again.

For lunch we used free buffet coupons from the funbooks received on a previous stay. I enjoyed cocktail shrimp, a tomato salad, one BBQ pork rib, a few tiny meatballs and a fresh fruit tart. ($4, 2 Forks)

The afternoon was spent reading and snoozing while Ann won a few dollars. We then drove over to pick-up our laundry; returning to South Point in time to watch a little of the PBR finals plus the UCONN versus Pitt football game. We then used funbook coupons for entry into the showroom to see the Déjà Vu Dance & Show Band and received both a free drink coupon and $5 in free slot play.

Later in the evening we headed to the lounge at Twin Creeks Steakhouse in the Silverton. After 8PM on Tue-Sat, all drinks plus the entire tapas menu were being discounted by 75%. Do I hear a Hallelujah? I ordered a mojito (3 Sips) while Ann wisely chose the Espresso martini (espresso vanilla vodka, coffee liquor, Irish liquor and a shot of espresso) (4.5 Sips). Each of these drinks cost a mere $2.50. Give me another Hallelujah and a 2nd round of drinks!

Our first order of tapas included stuffed mushrooms (chorizo, chicken and parmesan cheese) (3 Forks) and bacon wrapped dates (3.5 Forks). Service was extremely slow so our waitress, cum bartender, Michelle gave us a complimentary order of bacon wrapped shrimp with an adobo BBQ sauce as an apology.
(3.5 Forks)

For the second round, Ann ordered a glass of Chardonnay while I went with the Zombie martini (light and dark rum, coconut rum, Bacardi 151, OJ and pineapple juice). (4.5 Sips) Our last tapas order included piquillo peppers stuffed with garlic cream cheese (4.5 Forks) and red potatoes in a spicy aioli sauce (3.5 Forks). Our bill was $61, reduced to $15.36 with the happy hour discount which was covered by Ann’s points. ($10, 4 Forks) One last halleluha!

Note: the 75% late night Happy Hour was discontinued as of November 1st, but a 50% discount is offered Tue-Sat from 5-8PM.

10/27 An incredible number of wild royals kept my gambling loss to a minimum. .

We returned to Ellis Island this morning for breakfast with Ann ordering the cinnamon French toast while I went with easy over eggs, wheat toast and hash browns. Service continues to be very good. ($8.14, LVA, 2.5 Forks)

We then parked at Bill’s Gamblin Hall and made our way over to the Bellagio where we took in the fall exhibit in the Conservatory and Botanical Garden, the Chihuly shop and the Jean-Phillip patisserie.
(4 Claps)

On our return to the South Point it was time for me to get in line for the Dennis Bono show. This week’s lineup featured a number of tribute artists including Kaleidoscope who cover such diverse performers as the Righteous Brothers, Mama’s & Papas and the Carpenters. I recognized one of the members who previously performed with a group called Spectrum. Other performers included Roy Hamilton Jr. who sang his father’s hit Unchanged Melody and Bobby Brooks Wilson who had people dancing in the aisles when he sang two of his father’s (Jackie) greatest hits - Lonely Tear Drops and Higher and Higher. (4 Claps)

In the early evening we sought courage by downing merlots before heading off to the Sanctum of Souls haunted attraction on Sahara Avenue. This was one of the newest Halloween attractions so we were not sure what to expect. It featured 3 haunted houses: the Clown Carnage in 3D, Flatline & Nightmare! There were very few cars in the parking lot so we proceeded with much trepidation.

On entering we were assigned a leader who guided us throughout and joined 3 women as we entered the first house – Clown Carnage. At the end, the others departed and we were left alone with the leader as we continued on to Flatline followed by Nightmare. On exiting I mentioned there had been awful lot of screaming going on considering the few visitors. Ann said it was me who did almost all of the screaming. ($20, Yipit, 2.5 Screams)

Having worked up an appetite and thirst, we made the short drive to the Las Vegas Grill for some barbecue Business was very slow with only one other table occupied during our entire stay. The owner explained that everything is made in-house and each meat is smoked by choosing an appropriate variety of wood such as apple, pecan, hickory etc. We ordered the 4 meat and 3 sides platter choosing ¼ rack of ribs w/a spicy pineapple sauce, New Mexico chili sausage, tri tip and pork loin.. Our side dishes were Bavarian potato salad, rainbow slaw and spicy beans. The ribs and sausage were excellent while we both felt the pork loin and tri tip were dry. None of the side dishes distinguished themselves. ($12.56, CBS, 2.5 Forks)

We decided to have a late night cocktail at Twin Creeks, but the waiting time was prohibitively long so we retired early this evening.

10/28 Today was Nevada Day and it also commemorated my first and only Royal Flush of the trip. To celebrate we headed to the Gold Coast for the Ports O’Call buffet. The buffet was disappointing on a number of levels including the absence of ripe fruit and no Chinese or Italian food. My huevos rancheros suffered from stale tortillas and overcooked eggs. I used a pair of free buffets that I won by posting on the American Casino Guide (ACG) website. ($4. 1.5 Forks)

Later in the morning we spent a few hours at the PBR Fan Zone at Mandalay Bay with the highlight being a soothing chair massage. I spent the afternoon in the room reading and snoozing while Ann worked the vp machines until she hit her 1st quad deuces of the trip.

Several hours later we found our way back to Ellis Island where Ann had a merlot and I tried an in-house brewed Octoberfest beer that left a sour aftertaste. (1 Sip)

Dinner was at Panna Thai located on Fort Apache. Our appetizer was Golden Cups – sautéed minced pork, chicken and vegetables with a touch of curry served in small pastry cups. We selected our entrees from the list of Chef’s specials; seafood eggplant (mixed seafood stir fried with chili, basil and eggplant) and spicy basil clams (clams sautéed in a spicy Thai chili sauce with sweet basil). Both entrees were served on sizzling hot plates and accompanied by Jasmine rice. We ordered a medium spice level which turned out to be perfect. The food was appealing to both the eye and palate.
($25.25,, 4.5 Forks)
We drove to the Orleans to see the Osmond Brothers show. When I was planning this trip I asked Ann if she would be interested in seeing the Osmonds not realizing she thought we were going to see Donnie & Marie. The brothers are now celebrating 50 years in show business. Their performance was smooth, but I did not find either their voices or music to be particularly good though I am certain their fans would disagree. ($45.95, LVA, 1.5 Claps)

10/29 This morning’s session at the Fiesta-Henderson netted me 2 x points and little else. We again made the trek to Ronald’s Donuts for a coffee (Ann) and shared a delicious apple fritter. ($2.92, 3.5 Forks)

Later in the morning we played for an hour at the Fiesta-Henderson with Ann hitting her 2nd quad deuces of the trip while I lost.

It was time for lunch so we made our way to Beijing Noodle Café which is located in a shopping center on Sandhill at Flamingo. This is a small husband/wife operated restaurant where the wife serves as manager and waitress while the husband and his 2 apprentices make the same hand drawn noodles as at the highly (expensive) regarded Beijing Noodle No. 9 in Caesars. We started with an order of vegetable spring rolls that were light and flavorful. We also shared a bowl of Lan Zhou noodle soup which was delicious, but a bit too spicy for Ann. ($11.65, 4 Noodles)

Later in the afternoon while I was napping, Ann put in another winning session without hitting quad deuces. I have never figured out how she manages to do that while I lose even after hitting quad deuces.

We enjoyed a pair of merlots at the Grandview Lounge using ticket stubs from the Dennis Bono show before heading to the Silverado Steakhouse. On the walk over I looked at our locals coupon and realized Saturday evening was excluded. I rescheduled our meal and went with Plan B, dinner at the Primarily Prime Rib using a LVA 2/1 coupon. Oops, no availability until 7:30PM – too late. Plan C was using 2/1 LVA coupon at the buffet – nope, that doesn’t work on Saturday night either. Plan D was a shared corned beef on rye at the Del Mar Deli using a 15% off coupon from the funbook. The corned beef was lean and delicious. We also shared a soda and a large Napoleon for dessert. ($16.25, 3 Forks)

We exited the deli and got in line for the Lettermen show.
We have seen them previously though the line-up has slightly changed, but their performance continues to be as smooth and polished as silk. We were surprised at how many audience members were in their 20’s and early 30’s so before exiting, Ann asked one of the young ladies sharing our table how she become a fan. She responded that she was Tony Butala’s fiancée. Tony is the sole original member of the Lettermen and is now 73 years old and celebrating his 50th year as a member of the group. God bless him.

On exiting the showroom we headed directly for the corridor leading to the Events Center where attendees of the Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball were beginning to line-up. We watched them for about an hour and discovered they were a fun group who were not nearly as outrageously dressed as I suspected (hoped) though there were a few R-rated costumes. (3.5 Whips and a boa)

10/30 I was up early enough this morning that I saw a number of the attendees returning from the ball before I headed off for the Fiesta-Henderson. After putting in another losing session, I stopped at Sunset Station and picked up a pair of apple fritters at the Grand Cafe. These were only distant relatives of those offered at Ronald’s. ($1.72, gift card, 1 Fork)

It was Sunday morning so we read the paper in our room followed by 3 laps around the casino before making the long trek to Abuela’s Tacos on E. Sahara. The family that owns this small, casual café-style Mexican restaurant makes everything from scratch. We had some difficulty deciding what variety of tacos to choose – eventually settling on (2) shrimp, a chicken and a Barbacoa (beef). While waiting for our tacos, we enjoyed the complimentary salsa (spicy) and chips. The shrimp tacos were by far the best though the others were very good with each being served on a homemade tortilla. Prices are bit higher than the comparison. ($9.86, CBS, 2.5 Forks)
Before returning to the room, we played a little at the Fiesta with me losing and Ann breaking even. This evening’s libations were served at Miguel’s Tequila bar where all tequila drinks at just $2 during its Wed-Sun happy hour. Ann chose a tequila mockingbird while I opted for a tequila sunrise. ($5, 3 Sips)

While we were enjoying our drinks, a woman at a nearby table came over and offered us tickets to this evening’s Lettermen show because she would unable to use them. We declined though I was sorely tempted.

Dinner was at the Silverado Steakhouse where our entrees included a decent house salad with blue cheese dressing. For entrees Ann ordered the 8-ounce filet while I went cowboy style by ordering the 16-ounce prime rib. Both entrees were perfectly cooked to medium rare as requested and included a baked potato with all the fixings. My prime rib, served with au jus and a horseradish sauce, turned out to be a mammoth slab of beef with most of the outer ring of fat and near fat removed. I only wish Max had been with us because it took a Herculean effort for me to finish it alone. Dessert was out of the question. ($10, 2/1 locals coupon, points, 3.5 Forks)

After a few laps around the casino, I returned to the room while Ann put in another short vp session.

10/31 I was hopeful that my luck might change with this being the 85th anniversary of Houdini’s death, but I suffered yet another loss at the Fiesta-Henderson. The weather once again was near perfect; clear skies and temperatures in the low 80’s, but we learned folks back home were experiencing a historic snow storm that paralyzed much of the northeast with fallen trees causing over 900,000 CT residents, including us, to lose power.

We decided to use my coupon for 2 free buffets at the Orleans, won by posting on the ACG discussion board, this morning. Most of the buffet employees were dressed in Halloween garb and they seemed to be in a particularly cheery mood. I had my usual huevos rancheros, fruit and OJ. The quality and variety of the food was a notch above those at both the South Point and Gold Coast. ($3, 2.5 Forks)

We made the cross city trip to Sam’s where we each played for about an hour with Ann winning and me losing - same old, same old.

In the late afternoon, we drove to the historic El Cortez.
On entering we headed for the recently renamed and renovated Parlour bar for the happy hour 2 for 1 martinis. I ordered a raspberry martini (Sky infusion raspberry vodka laced with Baily’s Irish Cream – 4.5 Sips) while Ann chose a lemon drop (3 Sips). On the second round, Ann ordered the raspberry while I achieved martini nirvana by ordering The Bullet (Tangueray Ten Gin, Sambucca Romana and lemon juice – 5 Sips and no sharing).

We then meandered over to the Fremont Street Experience and watched the Halloween parade for about a half hour before becoming bored. We then directed our feet to the Golden Gate where I had a $50 dining comp at Du-Pars Restaurant and Bakery that I won by posting on the ACG board.

Our dinner at this coffee shop proved to be disappointing. Ann ordered the fresh salmon which came with mashed potatoes, salad and mixed vegetables. I ordered the halibut, salad, roasted potatoes and the same mixed vegetables. Both pieces of fish were overcooked and everything else was below mediocre with the exception of the veggies. I thought we could salvage our dinner with slices of their highly acclaimed pies. Ann chose chocolate cream while I settled on coconut custard. Each was probably the equivalent of a Mrs. Smith’s frozen pie though, in all honesty, I have never had a Mrs. Smith’s pie so I may be insulting Mrs. Smith. One last note – our server was crabby. ($7, 0.5 Forks)

On exiting we enjoyed a leisurely walk back to the El Cortez, stopping for photos and to listen to Frank & The Steins and an Alice Cooper tribute artist perform. (4 Claps)

11/1 One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I must be insane because I returned to the Fiesta this morning and ended up losing again.
We soon departed for Our Families Country Café for breakfast.
The address is Rainbow Avenue at Cactus Avenue though neither road will be completed for at least 2 more years. Fortunately, a yelp poster provided correct directions, use Buffalo and turn on to Cactus Avenue, so we avoided getting lost. The inside is quite homey and the Sturtz family proved to be very affable proprietors. We both ordered easy over eggs with bacon and wheat toast. The eggs were perfectly cooked (runny) and the bacon was by far the best I have had in ages. ($13.88, Groupon, 4 Forks)

Most of the remainder of the day was spent at the library or in our room considering whether or not to extend our stay in Las Vegas or return to CT where widespread power outages are forecast through at least Sunday evening. After mulling it over for several hours we decided to decamp and booked the only lodging available.

In the late afternoon we washed our laundry followed by drinks at the always inviting Ellis Island casino. On our return to the South Point we deposited our clothes in the room and headed downstairs to Don Vito’s Italian restaurant. We received warm rolls which we normally refuse, but not tonight because we knew from past experience that they would be accompanied by a small bowl of roasted garlic, chopped tomatoes and EVO. We each ordered the eggplant Parmesan which came with a choice of soup, salad or pasta. Ann chose the excellent pasta faglioli while I ordered a salad dressed with tomato basil vinaigrette. The eggplant, stuffed with ricotta, was very good and I was able to use a 2 for 1 coupon from a locals mailer. ($6, points, 3 Forks)

We called it an early night in anticipation of our long travel day tomorrow.

11/2 One more losing session at the hands of the Fiesta before I returned to the room. We noshed on a shared bagel, the last of our jarred grapefruit and OJ in the room before departing for the Fiesta for our last session. While I made a whopping $5, Ann pulled off a Hail Mary by hitting a royal flush in spades. Can I have one more Hallelujah?

For our last meal of the trip, we decided on the 3-course $10.95 lunch at Opus Too in the Art Institute of Las Vegas. This student run dining room is tastefully decorated and overseen by a pair of experienced chefs. In the past the menu changed weekly, but since our last visit the number of menu items has increased and the menu now changes on a semester basis. We both chose the grilled polenta with black and green olives and pimento roasted vegetable coulis which was just plain delicious.

For an entree Ann chose moussaka; a combination of ground lamb, eggplant, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese and béchamel sauce – again, delicious. I somewhat hesitantly ordered the cioppino, a fisherman’s seafood soup which was one of the best I have ever tasted. We closed out this feast by both ordering the crème brulee medley – small servings of both traditional vanilla bean and espresso. The traditional was excellent, but the espresso raised the dessert bar by a full notch. ($30.86, 4.5 Forks)

There were only 60 passengers on our return flight and I wonder if it had anything to do with it being Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday known as the Day of the Dead? We arrived at 11:30PM, approximately 30 minutes early, and were soon off for our temporary lodging in the Comfort Inn in Wethersfield. (1 Night) We lucked out by having our power restored on Thursday afternoon in time to cancel the remainder of our reservation and pick-up Max at the kennel. On arriving home we found the Zombies had departed but had left the backyard littered with chicken bones, smoldering bonfires and a large sign that read “Be afraid… Be very afraid” scrolled in what appeared to be blood.

Thus concludes our vacation. Ann did her utmost best to offset my run of bad luck, but came up a bit short so our record now stands at 14 winning trips out of the past 18. Thanks to each of you who took the time to read this TR and feel free to comment or ask questions.

“This is no dream! This is really happening!”
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
westie is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Forte looked interesting tapas. The Rueben Sandwich looked tasty too.
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