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Joined: April 22nd, 2011, 7:22 pm
Posts: 183
Location: Just outside Savannah, Ga.
Favorite Property: Mandalay Bay - Monte Carlo

Post Posted: October 10th, 2013, 7:58 am 
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Wednesday, September 18 - Off we go.
We leave on a 1:00 P.M. Delta flight. Ashley gets her first pat down (after I have received many over the years). Shouldn’t you get a sticker or something? “I had my first pat down and all I got was this sticker.” SAV-ATL-LAS.
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When we land, other than taking the annual picture under the Welcome to Vegas sign at the airport,
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we always cruise over to the Mrs. Fields counter (2 double fudge brownies, please) near the TapOut kiosk.
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We arrive at McCarren and after our first bag comes right out, the second bag takes forever. Got a little paranoid, but the second bag finally arrived towards the end of the stack. We notice at the luggage carousel that the band Jackyl was also on the flight and waiting for their luggage and equipment. Take the shuttle over to Dollar to get our rental car (I wonder why a 5 day rental in September is always more expensive than a 7 day rental in May?) The rental guy (lot guy not the counter guy) was trying to get people into a little Mazda (for a tip). No dice here. If you want to listen to a great Las Vegas radio station, try 105.7 The Oasis. It's old school and a lot of fun. We head over to Monte Carlo to check in with John at VIP. We met him during our May trip and he is really a great guy. They also had a lobby bar during our stay while the I Heart Radio festival was going.
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We get moved into our Monaco Suite home for the next few days and head down to Brand for some Happy Hour Kobe beef sliders. (Monaco Suites have a small refrigerator in the dresser, nice touch.)
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The sliders were excellent, as usual. Be really specific about what you want or don’t want on your burger. If you think pickles are the devil, like Ashley, ya gotta ask them for no pickles. Brand is always good. The food and drinks are great, but it's like it can't decide if it wants to be a bar or restaurant, casual or dressy. When we went it was full of thirtyish age loud, but relatively polite people enjoying happy hour. 4.5 Miles (we track our walking using a pedometer during trips)


Thursday, September 19 -
We wake up early and head down to Peppermill for some of their great breakfast food. If you are a coffee drinker, you'll enjoy a great cup of coffee that puts casino coffee to shame. If you haven’t made it there yet, SHARE A PLATE. The food is crazy generous and if for some reason you don’t have enough, you can always order more. After a filling meal, we get a couple of their great blueberry muffins to take back to the hotel for a snack later on.
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We head over to Aveda (Tropicana @ Eastern) for a facial which was really relaxing. We also saved some money booking using their Facebook special. Back to Monte Carlo. Hit video poker and Hexbreaker for a while before going back upstairs for a nap. When we wake up, it's time to head over to Metro Pizza for their half-price pizza special (Mon-Thu, 2:30-4:30 P.M.). Get the "Metro crust". It's not thin & not deep dish. A nice hand tossed delicious pizza made from fresh ingredients. It's a favorite every trip. (If you’re into shooting, they are also very near The Gun Store.) Now that we're full, we head over to the Zombie Apocalypse store and pick up a mug, stickers, and a Daryl Dixon figure.
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While we're looking around, we see these remnants of the City Center Sales office, now flattened.
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Since we're staying on east coast time, we head down to the games early, which is not good to me, but Ashley is down just a little. The drink service is good for the night. 5 Miles


Friday, September 20 -
We get out early, again, and head over to the M Resort for a BOGO Studio B Breakfast Buffet mailer deal and it was a most excellent way to start the day. That place is really nice, just a ways out. Gamed for quite a while and was only down $5. It's a nice property and has a good vibe. Baby Cakes bakery is open 24 hours and looks incredible. After that, we head over to Grouchy John's for a cup of coffee and a fruit smoothie. They are on S. Maryland Pkwy and Wigwam. Can't rave enough about Grouchy John's. The coffee is excellent, the Lando Smoothie is like dessert & good for you. We also lucked out and met Tommy Vinci whose art hangs on the walls there.
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Next stop is Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) from the show "Tanked". We saw the General, Redneck, and a couple of other folks we recognized from the show. You can see some of the tanks they're working on and the dozen or so birds they have in the warehouse. You're held to the retail shop area, but it's almost an afterthought. They did have quite few folks come by while we were there, but I'm just not sure it would make a "Must Do" list of places to go. Definitely not worth a cab ride! You can buy the same stuff online and they don’t have the free signed pictures anymore. It was surprising you only got to see one “fancy” tank. It was more about selling t-shirts and charging for signed pictures & merchandise Enough about that.
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Back towards the Strip and go over to the MGM’s Television City to preview an upcoming TV show and give our opinion of it. That was enjoyable and ended up with a few coupons for our time. We stop at New York-New York and take these pictures of the construction out front.
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By now, it's time to go get a bite to eat, so we hop in the rental and drive down to Caesars Palace/Forum Shops to go to Carmine's and try a new Italian restaurant, since our favorite, Carluccio's has gone away. We were seated in one of the three tables that juts out from the restaurant, so you can watch all the people walk by in the forum shops while you eat.
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It’s not cheap, but it is crazy plentiful (also called, "Family Style") and quite delicious. One entrée is enough for four people. We got the spaghetti and meatballs. Trying to think how to describe how good it tasted, and all I can think of is that Ashley keep repeating “I am so happy” (chew chew chew) “I am so happy”. You get my drift. Ashley’s Pomegranate Spritz was really tasty and she threatened to have another. My virgin pineapple drink was not the best (Pineapple Julep) and we should have just swapped it for something else.
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The bread basket they brought to the table had a nice variety of breads and were delicious as well. Did a little walking after that big meal and got a free birthday lip balm at Kiehl’s (Ashley got an e-mail from them right before we left) before heading to the car. We were stuck in traffic in the parking garage. Not sure what kind of problem they had, but it smelled like an electrical burning smell. Fire trucks were around the garage and slowly, we started moving again. A lackluster night of gambling. 5 miles on the pedometer for the day.

Saturday
The Stations casinos have really great buffet deals. We went to Green Valley Ranch in Henderson for breakfast. The selection is great, the food is hot and fresh, and it’s our favorite buffet every time.
Did a little gambling in their non-smoking section, I wish more casinos had these. You can generally play for a good while on your money, but we didn’t end up ahead this time.
Went to Maximum Comics and stocked up on Walking Dead magazines and a Michonne vinyl figure.
We were starting to get the early afternoon sleepies but instead of a nap, we paid to get the crap beaten out of us. We went to #1 Reflexology for their new $20 special. It used to be just a foot rub but this time you get the added bonus of “massage”. Really, they call it that. I’d call it more like tourist abuse, but I know folks who like their massage a little more intense. Unfortunately, this wasn’t for me or Daryl. Gonna take this one off of our list and look for massage deals on Groupon or use the LVA coupon book and try out the Palms.
Today was 100 degrees and beautiful. Time for something to eat and we tried Diablos. Should have just turned around and walked away, but live and learn. The huge chicken nachos were tasty, but overpriced and the volume is louder than a MC Hammer concert. Disappointing.
Went towards the Cosmopolitan to go to Kidrobot. Strikers were on the pedestrian bridge and were very loud and obnoxious. Went inside and talked to the guy we’ve met several times over the years from shopping there. Left and heading back to the Monte for an evening of gambling.
Ashley ended up right about even. Daryl had a good gambling night. And the gold star of the night goes to Angela the cocktail waitress with the terrific attitude and incredibly speedy service. 
4.5 miles
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Sunday-last full day
Breakfast buffet at Monte Carlo: uninspiring. Save your money, breakfast is pretty much the same everywhere.
Ashley needed a little manicure repair so we stopped by the Spa on the second floor to see if there was any availability. TIP: if you ask for a “polish change” instead of a manicure, you can save some serious coin. She had a manicure right before the trip, so she didn’t need the works. The polish change is just that, no extras. BUT, it cost a grand total of $10 (without tip). Nice if your polish is chipping before the end of your stay and so you go back to work fresh. Topped of the gas tank since we’d be leaving insanely early on Monday. Went to ABC to get Ashley’s favorite coconut lotion. Saw these great hangover cure bottles there, also.
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We went back to The Café for dinner. Had their happy hour specials (which they don’t list on the menu, but they do list out in front of the restaurant. Just decide what you want before going in). Ashley tried a Mojito along with the flatbread pizza and I got the steak & cheese. The warm berry cobbler dessert is quite good too!

Monday-early
Easy to check out when you’re up as the drunks are wandering back to bed. Got the car dropped off quickly and took the shuttle to the airport.
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Saw a kid wearing a fez and Doctor Who shirt checking in with the skycap right ahead of us. OH, big tip, use the skycap at the curb. You save a crazy amount of time and just tip the guy a few bucks for the help. The security line, as always, was a slow trudge but it went fine. Got everything back on and headed for the monorail over to the main Delta terminal. At this time of morning there aren’t many choices. It’s mostly Ruby’s Diner or Burger King. We noshed with the BK man and boarded shortly after. The flights went fine and after a short layover in Atlanta, we were back amongst the land of overcast skies and humidity in Savannah. A good trip, but a little tired heading back to work on Tuesday. 4 miles

All-in-all, a good trip. Gaming wasn't as good as the last couple of trips, but didn't lose a huge amount of money. This trip was for relaxation, so sorry we didn't do our usual volume of stops. If you've not read our trip reports before, try our May report, I think you'll like it. Until next year Las Vegas...

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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 6:55 pm
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Location: Cumbria, UK. (Back of Beyond)
Favorite Property: Rio

Post Posted: October 10th, 2013, 8:09 am 
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Thanks for posting. Sounds like you had a fun time.

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Post Posted: October 10th, 2013, 8:21 am 
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An excellent TR. But yours always are. I had Grouchy John's on my to-do list but never made it. Hopefully in April.

Does Carmine's have a plate sharing policy? I always feel a bit guilty when I think about anywhere other than my favorite, Nora's Cuisine for Italian food.

The gaming luck will be waiting for you next time.

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Joined: April 22nd, 2011, 7:22 pm
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Location: Just outside Savannah, Ga.
Favorite Property: Mandalay Bay - Monte Carlo

Post Posted: October 10th, 2013, 1:17 pm 
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Thanks pebbles & historian.

We split our plate at Carmine's without an extra expense. They know how big their portions are, they call them "Family Style".

Hopefully, gaming luck will smile on me next trip.

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Post Posted: October 10th, 2013, 2:24 pm 
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Great report and pictures, thank you!!

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Post Posted: October 12th, 2013, 10:06 pm 
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I finally read through it. It took me a while and I loved every part. That was a great statue of liberty shot with the sun behind it. I wish your gaming was more on the positive side, perhaps next time.

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Post Posted: October 13th, 2013, 12:49 pm 
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Always enjoyable read

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