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Our achy breaky trip

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  • Our achy breaky trip

    Our Achy Breaky TR
    April 27 – May 11, 2019

    You just might be reading the wrong trip report if you are expecting to find us:
    clubbing on the Strip
    dining at high-end restaurants fronted by celebrity chefs
    downtown casino hopping
    engaged in extracurricular activities past our age-imposed bed time
    gambling in the high roller section of a casino

    The (non) essentials:
    our dog Brody enjoyed his spa vacation at Groomin’ N Roomin’
    we stored our car at Executive Valet Parking where a competitor’s coupon culminated in an all-in-charge of $75 for 15 days
    lunch of cheese pizza slices from Papa Geno’s in Bradley Airport proved to be just as underwhelming as expected 1.5 Forks out of a possible 5
    we flew Southwest Airlines (SWA) using accumulated mileage so out-of-pocket costs were limited to security and early bird check-in fees
    14 nights were spent at the Grandview timeshare situated adjacent to the South Point Casino. Thank you, you know who are

    April 27 – Our outgoing flights to Las Vegas via Saint Louis proved to be uneventful, that’s good, so we arrived on time and caught the shuttle to the remote parking facility where an intermediate automobile from Dollar had been secured for an all-in-cost of $301.25. I managed to bob, weave and duck each time the sales agent attempted in rapid fire succession to sell us CDW, a gas option, an upgrade and an interest in an east Texas oil well. We departed in a 2018 Nissan Sentra with 37,470 miles on the odometer and little in the way of dents or bruises on either the car or us.

    At check-in we requested a room in the Iris tower of the Grandview, but were told none were available due to renovations so we settled on the Lily tower that proved to be more convenient to the South Point. The only problems were one of the two elevators was on the fritz and the lights in the bathroom did not work. The latter was fixed minutes after a call was placed to housekeeping while the former took several days.

    It was around 8PM, 11PM EST, when we arrived at Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill on Blue Diamond for dinner bearing a $25 gift card. After reviewing the menu, we each ordered an organic roasted vegetable bowl with grilled chicken that included roasted carrots, beets, yams, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, red onion and walnut-cilantro pesto sauce over spinach, quinoa, black beans and brown rice. Healthy? Seems so. Tasty? Not bad. 2.5 Forks

    Last stop before beddy bye was a nearby CVS for bottled water, Listerine and a few personal items that we chose not to tote from home.

    April 28 – I arose several hours before the roosters and put in a 4.5 hour marathon video poker (VP) session at Green Valley Ranch (GVR) that ended in a crushing defeat. It was still early so I decided to check out the location of the new Costco on St. Rose Pkwy where I put in a total of 2.5 gallons of petrol at $3.17 per gallon. I also stopped in the new Sprouts Farmers Market on Silverado Ranch where I picked up some fruit, yogurt, granola, dried apricots and nuts.

    After waking Ann, reading the Las Vegas Review Journal and showering it was time to meet Big Daddy and Deanna for the Sunday only brunch at Fat Choy in the Eureka Casino. It is difficult to believe, but just 1 year ago minus a solitary day these youngsters were married and the four of us had celebrated the occasion at this very same restaurant – my how times flies.

    Ann ordered the traditional eggs Benedict while the rest of us went full boar by ordering Fat Benedicts, the latter substitutes pork belly for Canadian bacon. The only quibble with our Benedicts was the eggs were not runny as preferred, but shame on us for not making that request when ordering. Our foursome were once again allowed to use a pair of Las Vegas Advisor (LVA) 2 for 1 coupons.
    5 Claps for the company, 3.5 Forks for the food

    Our SOP for most afternoons is Ann plays VP at the South Point while I spend time on the computer, walk around the casino, read and/or nap with the emphasis placed on the nap. Today was not an exception.

    As the clock approached 4:30PM, we reassembled and headed off to Ellis Island Casino where we traded in a LVA 3 rounds of drinks for 2 coupon for 4 glasses of Robert Mondavi Reserve cabernet sauvignon plus a round of bottled water to go.

    Dinner was at D E Thai located in the Arts District. The restaurant is extremely small, perhaps 13-14 seats, and, at least on this evening, difficult to locate thanks to nearby construction barriers. We started off with a Thai yum salad – greens, cucumber, tomato, cilantro and lime dressing. Our shared shared entrees were pad gra prow crab meat (stir fried crab with garlic, pepper, bamboo shoots, onions and basil) plus pad see eiw (stir fried big rice noodles, Chinese broccoli and egg). Each dish proved to be good, but nothing out of the ordinary. 2.5 Forks

    As usual, we walked around the casino on our return. On entering the Lily building we discovered the second elevator was not working, fortunately our room was on the fourth floor because, had we been on an upper level floor, oxygen would surely have been required.

    April 29 – the second elevator was now sporting a security guard because the problem resided in the ground floor button. Once again I failed to hit quad deuces or the elusive royal flush thus incurring a second consecutive losing VP session at GVR.

    Found this morning affixed to the roof of the car – was it a bug, a bird or an alien?

    We had planned to walk around one of the local parks this morning after breakfast, but it was both windy and cloudy so we adapted by making a mini casino run or, in our case, a mini casino crawl. Starting at the Gold Coast, we tendered LVA play $10, receive $10 in freeplay coupons. This followed by us redeeming similar coupons at the Orleans with us netting a combined profit of just a shade over $30.

    Prior to departing from home, I had discovered Billy Ray Cyrus would be playing at the Orleans during our stay so I had asked Ann if there was any interest in seeing him. Her initial response was “you cannot be Cyrious?” Once I explained tickets were reasonably priced, we had little on our entertainment agenda and a 2 for 1 American Casino Guide coupon would ease the pain, she relented and tickets were purchased at the box office.

    A light lunch was in order so we drove to Made in Argentina for empanadas only to discover the restaurant had closed since our May, 2018 visit. Not a problem, Cured & Whey was on our way. On our prior visit we had totally enjoyed the French sandwich so we settled on the Italian (mortadella, calabrese, genoa, spicy muffalata spread, lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini with a balsamic vinaigrette). Another delicious sandwich featuring exceptionally high quality ingredients masterfully combined. 4 Forks

    On our return we encountered torrential rain, high winds, thunder and great balls of hail so I dropped Ann off under the South Point’s portico. Later that afternoon, I drove back to rescue Ann from the clutches of “her” VP machine.

    Today’s happy hour was celebrated at Zenshin in the South Point where we enjoyed a pair of cocktails with Ann ordering a Caribbean cosmo (mango rum, pineapple and cranberry) while her favorite spouse requested a Li Hing martini (Tyku silver, mango rum, triple sec, lime and Li-Hing rim). 3.5 Sips

    It was an easy stroll to fulfill our dinner reservation at the Silverado Steakhouse on this Monday when those of us sporting varying amounts of gray are charged ½ points. I parlayed the promotion by tendering a free bottle of wine funbook coupon sent to me by Bob of the almost famous Bobs duo.

    We took a pass on the proferred basket of bread, but gratefully accepted the table side tossed house salad. Each of us ordered an 8 ounce filet mignon, rare please, with Ann requesting the always excellent baked potato and I the asparagus though each was shared. Service throughout was very good. 4 Forks

  • #2
    Re: Our achy breaky trip

    April 30 – today’s video poker session proved to be an 180 degree change from the first 2 days with me hitting the first quad deuces of the trip 15 minutes after arriving followed by #2 a mere 1.5 hours later. Due to technical difficulties, me forgetting the camera, photo coverage of these events is not currently available though I am willing to flash the cash for your viewing pleasure.

    Shortly after consuming fruit and yogurt, we settled in at Paris Baguette on Spring Mountain Rd for a most righteous breakfast with Ann choosing a raspberry cream croissant and I a sweet potato pastry. Too good to stop at one each, we decided to share a hash brown pastry. Each was excellent so a return visit is most assuredly guaranteed. 4.5 Forks

    Though a $5 parking is imposed, we decided to shop at north premium outlets after being disappointed by our experience at the south outlets on our last trip. Ann was again recognized by a clerk at Chico’s as a “Chico girl” prior to exiting with a pair of clam diggers. She also discovered the Sketchers outlet had “her” size so a pair of new shoes would be accompanying us home. Meanwhile I picked up a much needed wallet and a less needed T-shirt.

    As the big hand rested on 12 and the little hand caressed 5, we could and would be found in the karaoke lounge of Ellis Island casino. I was just beginning to enjoy a glass of Robert Mondavi cabernet when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Big Daddy and Deanna. Since Chris Heers and band were (loudly) entertaining in the lounge, so we resettled at a table near the Metro Pizza outlet where we enjoyed both the conversation and a much needed second round.

    Dinner this evening was at BG Bistro on W Tropicana, the self proclaimed only Bulgarian restaurant in not only Las Vegas, but the entire west coast though Forte Tapas, situated only a few miles away, serves similar fare. Our shared arugula salad that included lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, sunflower and chia seeds plus feta cheese tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar proved to be an exceptional beginning.

    Ann wisely chose chicken kabobs (2 skewers) while I regretfully requested the mixed grill of sausage, meatball, pork chop and shish kabob. The problem with my entree was the over abundance of meat had spent an over abundance of time on the grill. My cardiologist might have suggested quitting right then, but no, a biscuit cake was ordered that proved to be different than Forte’s version though equally delicious. 3 Forks

    May 1 – quad deuces #3 and #4 were gratefully accepted this morning bringing the current score to GVR 2, Westie 2. Life is (temporarily) good.

    We possessed a $25 Public Works Coffee Bar gift certificate that I knew would be far more than we could use, but by shear happenstance a street person was standing on the sidewalk nearby. I walked up to him, introducing myself, and inquired if we could possibly buy him breakfast. He appeared a bit hesitant, but finally joined us introducing himself as Fredo while proclaiming to be an unparalleled source of LasVegasAdvice. To say he was an interesting character would be an understatement, for example, he claimed to have relocated from the Bay area 6 months prior and owned not one, but two local residences though currently undecided in which to live. Sounds plausible - right?

    Ann ordered a blueberry scone and I an almond croissant that proved to be okay, though nothing special. 2.5 Forks

    Around an hour and half later as we prepared to depart, Fredo bestowed upon us a box of rum balls (3.5 Forks) from nearby Chef Flemings Bakery that we enjoyed over the following 3 days. Thank you Fredo for both the rum balls and your companionship.

    Before returning to the car we had yet another meet and greet, this time with a pair of joyous border collies that were sitting on the patio.

    On our return to the room, I could not rest because we were scheduled for a mid week mini room service so I took matters in hand and exchanged used towels for new ones while placing a do not disturb sign on the door.

    Today’s happy hour was celebrated at the Brio Tuscan Grille in Town Square where on Wednesdays, and this being a Wednesday, specialty cocktails are half off. Ann chose a tropical cosmo (pineapple infused vodka, Malibu coconut rum, cranberry and lime juices) followed by a razzertini (raspberry vodka, black raspberry liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup) while my selections included a traditional cosmo plus a flirtini (raspberry vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry and pineapple juices topped with Prosecco). Bar bites are also discounted so we decided to share an order of crispy calamari that included pepperoncini, fresh arriabiata and lemon aioli. 4.5 Sips, 4 Forks


    • #3
      Re: Our achy breaky trip

      Station Casino’s My Generation members receive half off on Wednesdays when paying with points so we decided to enjoy dinner at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen in Texas Station. A full rack of St. Louis ribs with house pickles plus 2 sides, I am slaw and mac n’ cheese, were devoured. The ribs were both tender and bountiful while neither of the sides proved to be any better than average. 3 Forks

      This night, as was the case on most evenings on this trip, was concluded after walking around the South Point Casino.

      May 2 – Though many 5 of a kinds (5OAKS) were encountered, none of them involved 4 deuces so GVR has now taken the lead at 3 wins versus Westie’s 2.

      Following a breakfast of fruit and yogurt, I drove Ann to Green Turtle Salon to have her hair washed and blow dried by the incomparable Melissa. She learned that during the interim since our last trip, the salon had been sold and rechristened as GT Salon though the signage remains unchanged. 5 Curls

      Meanwhile I gassed up at Costco.

      On our return we walked over to the Del Mar Deli in the South Point and shared a very good rendition of a corned beef Reuben with crunchy French fries. 3 Forks

      Ann played a little VP while I secured seats for the afternoon’s Dennis Bono show. Guests this week included Frankie “The Showman” Scinta, tribute artist David Halston plus singers Giada Valenti, Ronnie Rose and Emily Yates. Emily had an exceptional voice, but Giada just about blew the roof off the showroom. 4 Claps

      Ellis Island Casino received the nod for drinks this evening followed by dinner at the Great Greek Mediterranean Grill on Blue Diamond Road where we each ordered our usual Great Greek gyro. 4 Forks

      Our next stop was the Fiesta-Henderson to listen to the Tammy Graham band, but we were dismayed to discover Sixties Mania on stage and the lounge packed with their fans so we scurried back to the car and returned to our room.

      May 3 – a new day, the same results though a ridiculous number of 5OAKS kept a win close, but just out of reach. GVR 4, Westie 2

      Brunch was served at Rosallie – Le French Cafe with Ann opting for the always delicious quiche chevre while her escort dined on the even more delicious quiche tartiflette. 5 Forks

      We then drove to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area planning to walk the boardwalk trail at Red Springs, but were disappointed to find it closed for repairs. Nonplussed, we continued to the visitor center where we enjoyed the exhibits including the tortoise habitat.

      Continuing on we drove the 13 mile scenic road stopping periodically to enjoy the scenery that included a surprising number of wildflowers.

      Tonight’s happy hour honoree was Miguel’s Tequila Bar in the South Point where we kicked off the night by ordering $3 house margaritas that were worth about $3.01. These were followed closely by $3 glasses of the house cabernet sauvignon that proved to be much better. 2.5 Sips

      Dinner was at the decidedly upscale Shiraz restaurant, former home of Habib’s, that serves both Indian and Persian cuisine. The interior was enormous and beautifully decorated though almost entirely unoccupied on this Friday evening. A large Greek salad was shared that proved to be undistinguished followed by orders of fesenjian and shrimp masala. The fesenjian, though certainly tasty, was like a thick curry with very little in the way of chicken. Our meal included Persian rice and an order of garlic naan that had been both blistered beyond repair and garlic lite. Overall, the meal proved to be the most disappointing of the entire trip. 2 Forks

      Speaking of disappointing, we stopped by the Grandview Lounge in the South Point and listened to Wes Winters perform before calling it a night. 2.5 Claps


      • #4
        Re: Our achy breaky trip

        May 4 – this morning’s VP session included my #5 quad deuces though I returned to the room neither wiser nor richer. GVR 4, Westie 2, Tie 1

        Following fruit and yogurt in our room, we made the short drive to Crepe Expectations on Eastern Avenue. The Ana Banana crepes had been removed from the menu since our last visit, not a problem as we each chose the Go Bananas Foster crepe (fresh bananas, crème de banana and brandy sauce) with fresh strawberries added at a minor up charge. These were packed with slices of bananas, mammoth sized and delicious though Ann’s crepe was overdone and the core of my banana was brown. 3 Forks

        On our return, Ann put in a long VP session while I went to a Kentucky Derby viewing party to check out the ladies, I mean the ladies hats, before stopping at one of the bars for a $1 bloody Mary prior to exiting for the room.

        Happy hour was celebrated in the Twin Creeks Steakhouse lounge at the Silverton. We were disappointed by the current list of specialty cocktails so Ann ended up enjoying 2 glasses of Sonoma-Cutrer chardonnay while I started with a strawberry blossom cocktail and concluded with a glass of Storypoint cabernet sauvignon. 2.5 Sips

        We had dinner this evening at Black Sheep on West Warm Springs Rd commencing with a shared poached bartlett pear salad that included whipped goat cheese, crispy prosciutto, candied walnuts and basil seed vinaigrette. Truly a yummy for the tummy. Ann ordered a fabulous entree of seared U-10 diver scallops nestled atop kabocha polenta with toasted pine nuts and tamari butterscotch sauce. Not to be outdone, I sunk my chops into a pan seared, crispy skin seabass served over cavatelli with asparagus, dan dan sauce and hen of the woos mushrooms. Outstanding in every respect including service by Joel. 5 Forks

        The night was closed out in the Piazza Lounge of the Tuscany Suites listening to Joey Ugarte and the Jazz Vibrations band with Ronnie Rose. 3.5 Claps


        • #5
          Re: Our achy breaky trip

          May 5 – there were no wild royals and very few 5OAKS this morning, but I did manage hit #5 and #6 quad deuces. GVR 4, Westie 3, Tie 1.

          To say our morning was leisurely may be an understatement with us enjoying fruit and yogurt in the room, followed by a review of the Las Vegas Review Journal, followed by a brief nap and a longer shower. We then had a late, late brunch at Baguette Cafe where Olivier was handling the cash register duties and brother David was overseeing the kitchen. The kitchen was out of vegetable quiche so we each ordered the curry quiche that included onions, chicken and red peppers plus a side salad. Good, but the vegetable option is the far better play. 3 Forks

          Prior to departing we enjoyed an extended conversation with Olivier who indicated the restaurant would be celebrating its 10th anniversary this coming September.

          On the way back to the Grandview, I stopped in a Lee’s Discount Liquors outlet and picked up a bottle of Torres 5G, Cinco granachas that we enjoyed in our room later that afternoon. 4 Sips

          Juns’, a Korean restaurant, received our dining dollars this evening with Ann ordering boneless, marinated grilled chicken while I defaulted by ordering Jun’s Special (kalbi, bulgogi, chicken, meat jun, and mandoo). Each plate included white rice that was upgraded to brown plus 4 banchan (eggplant, zucchini, shoyu potato and kimchi) that we were allowed to select. 3 Forks

          A return to the Piazza Lounge was made to listen to Nik At Nite croon songs from the Great American song book. 3 Claps


          • #6
            Re: Our achy breaky trip

            May 6 – the appropriate music to accompany today’s VP session would be Wipe Out by the Surfaris.
            GVR 5, Westie 3, Tie 1

            Following a breakfast of yogurt and fruit, we navigated our way back to Ellis Island Casino to play LVA play $10 get $10-100 in freeplay coupons. Ann received $10 in freeplay while I, drum roll please, won $50. Ann’s net win was $3.75, mine $90. Can I have a Hallelujha?

            Since it was Seis de Mayo, we decided to visit our old friend Taco Y Taco on E Tropicanna Ave for a pair each of al pastor street tacos. The meat was sliced to order and each taco included crema, salsa, cilantro and pineapple. In addition, I took advantage of the expanded salsa bar by sampling the hot pickled carrots. 4 Forks

            The South Point in May is running the Spin to Win promotion so Ann put 300 points on each of our cards this afternoon in order for us to qualify.

            Later that afternoon we visited a pair of craft breweries located on Eastgate Road in Henderson that are within easy walking distance of each other though admittedly we drove. We started off at the larger of the two, CraftHaus Brewery, ordering pints of their Silver State Blonde and Vanilla Lux ales with the winner being the blonde. 3 Sips

            We then made our way to Bad Beat Brewing where we enjoyed pints of their Ringer, a German pilsner, and Bluffing Isn’t Weisse, a hefeweizen. 3.5 Sips

            The bartender at each brewery was very friendly and the beers enjoyable enough that return visits are seriously being considered.

            Mondays are senior days at the South Point where the cost of dining when paying with points is reduced by 50% so this pair of seniors had dinner at the Big Sur Oyster Bar. Each ordered the combination pan roast that included shredded crab, a few small shrimp and an excessive amount of rice in a less than flavorful stew. Even at ½ off, this meal proved to be no bargain so a return visit is not being contemplated. 2 Spoons

            Next was the kiosk in front of the slot club where Ann spun the wheel and earned 2,500 points ($2.50) while I won $50 freeplay that Ann used the following day to re-qualify.

            The evening was closed out after walking around the casino and spending a ½ hour catching up with social media in the computer room of the Grandview.


            • #7
              Re: Our achy breaky trip

              May 7 – No quad deuces, no wild royals and a pathetic (3) 5OAKS – enuf said.
              GVR 6, Westie 3, Tie 1

              My day did not improve after my return as I ran out of shaving cream and had to lather up with soap – scrape, scrape, ouch!

              First stop, actually my 2nd stop, of the day was Bellagio to view the Japanese Spring exhibit that featured cherry blossoms, red-crowned cranes, butterflies, a towering replica of Osaka castle and thousands of fresh flowers. We enjoyed the opportunity to converse with Mr. Green Thumb who dispensed numerous bits of information before we departed. 4 Claps

              I am overdue for a tummy tuck

              Saga Pastry + Sandwich, a Norwegian restaurant, opened on Eastern Ave since our last visit so we made our way up the fjord for lunch there this fine day. Though a limited menu is offered, we were attracted to the baguette with Arctic shrimp, lettuce, hard boiled egg and mayonnaise that did not disappoint. 3 Forks

              Since we were both close to finishing the books brought from home, we stopped in the Green Valley Ranch library where a pair of used hard cover novels were acquired for the paltry sum of $1 each.

              Ann put in another VP session that qualified us for the Spin and Win while I again displayed my domestic skill set by washing and drying our clothes before taking a much needed nap.

              On Ann’s return, we set off for Ellis Island’s karaoke lounge where Chris Hears and company were belting out a number of Jimmy Buffet tunes while we enjoyed glasses of Josh cabernet sauvignon.

              Tres Cazuelas, our scheduled sustenance provider this evening apparently eliminated dinner service because we fond the lights off and doors closed. Not a problem, Plan B was Lamaii, a Thai restaurant located in Chinatown, owned by Bank Atchawaran, the former owner of both Chada Thai and Chada Street.

              The restaurant was beautifully decorated and relatively busy on this Tuesday evening. Dishes shared included gong pae (chopped shrimp over ?? with plum sauce), mun pu fried rice (rice stir fried in crab fat with jumbo lumb crab) and tom yum hang (salmon with bok choy and tom yum sauce). Everything was absolutely delicious. 4.5 Forks

              On our return we walked around the casino stopping at the kiosk where Ann spun and won 5,000 points ($5) and I an additional $15 in freeplay that you know who is going to be playing tomorrow afternoon.


              • #8
                Re: Our achy breaky trip

                May 8 – I must have still been asleep on arriving at GVR because I made a rookie error by starting to play without determining either the denomination or the VP schedule. Two hands in, I realized I was playing double, double bonus at the $1 level and losing my shirt. There was but minor improvement in my results after switching to quarter full pay deuces wild. GVR 7, Westie 3 and Tie 1

                I drove Ann to the GT Salon for yet another wash and blow dry with me killing time by visiting Costco for gas and a quick tour of the adult beverage section of the warehouse.

                Lunch was at Joe’s New York Pizza located in a shopping plaza directly in front of the South Premium Outlets. A number of pizzas by the slice were on display with us each ordering the white spinach pizza that included mozzarella, garlic, feta and spinach. Hands down the best slices of pizza we have had in Las Vegas. 4 Forks

                On our return we picked up Dennis Bono tickets for tomorrow’s show and an American Towman T-shirt for our niece’s son. Ann spent the remainder of the afternoon playing VP while I spent a similar amount of time on the computer, reading and napping.

                It was deja vu all over again as we settled in at the bar at Brio Tuscan Grill. Ann ordered another razzertini followed by a glass of Chardonnay while I had a Moscow mule and a lentini. The absence of muddled mint rendered this mule to one and done status. We couldn’t and didn’t depart without consuming another order of calamari. 3.5 Sips, 4 Forks

                Tonight’s dinner was served by the good folks at Fish King Grill on Windmill Lane. This is a very casual restaurant where orders are taken by the cashier and brought to the table when ready. I ordered the grilled catfish Veracruz accompanied by grilled zucchini, beans and rice while Ann went (almost) healthy with the grilled salmon salad with blue cheese dressing. Both dishes were very good and reasonably priced. 3.5 Forks

                Tonight we attended the Billy Ray Cyrus show at the Orleans. Y’all remember Billy Ray, the man who gave country fans achy breaky hearts by fathering Miley. He ran through some of his “biggest” hits as well as a few country classics including Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues. 3 Claps

                On our return we walked around the casino floor before spinning with Ann hitting for $15 freeplay and me a $25 resort gift card. Can I have an Amen?


                • #9
                  Re: Our achy breaky trip

                  May 9 – a boatload of 5OAKS, but only 1 wild royal and 0 quad deuces doomed this day’s VP session to the loss category. GVR 8, Westie 3, Tie 1

                  Almost 4 years have transpired since our last meal at Truffles N Bacon, so we were not surprised to find numerous menu changes. Ann, who as recently as 5 days ago swore off all things involving crepes, pancakes or French toast, succumbed to allure of the menu description of the banana walnut French toast.

                  I decided to go a wee bit healthier by ordering the vegetarian omelette (asparagus, red peppers, mushrooms and goat cheese) with a side salad and wheat toast. The food was very good while service by the staff proved to be both efficient and uniformly friendly. 4 Forks

                  It was a beautiful day so we walked around Sunset Park in an attempt to work off a few calories before heading back for this week’s Dennis Bono show. Featured performers included comedian George Wallace, singers Vanessa LaGrande and Lisa Gray, Johnny Cash impersonator Peter Pavone as well as Jackie Wilson impersonator Bobby Brooks Wilson. 3.5 Claps

                  We went our separate ways after the show with Ann playing VP and me spending time on the computer and resting.

                  Prior to departing for Ellis Island for this night’s adult beverages, we did the spin thingy with Ann hitting for $15 in freeplay and me another $25 resort gift card. Can I get another Hallelujah?

                  Speaking of Ellis, we saw little to no progress made in the construction of the Front Door over the 2 weeks we were in Las Vegas.

                  Dinner this night was at Carson Kitchen in the Fremont East district. We found the restaurant packed and quite noisy on this Thursday evening. No reservations are accepted, but the wait for a table was no more than a minute or two. We kicked off the meal with bacon jam and baked brie served with toasted baguette slices that I could not and did not resist until the final morsel was consumed.

                  Our Brussel sprout slaw was likely much healthier but registered much lower on the flavor scale. Lastly, we each had the seabass entree with chili oil that was topped with a cauliflower tabbouleh. Brooke, our server, was excellent. 4 Forks

                  May 10 – I broke a personal VP record, most sessions without hitting quad deuces, as well as extending another, longest time without a royal flush, this morning. I hope you’re happy GVR.
                  GVR 9, Westie 3, Tie 1

                  We finally got around to visiting the “new” Palace Station and its “new” Feast buffet this morning. It is hard to believe the upgrades made ranging from the facade all the way to the bathrooms since our last visit.

                  There may have been a few oinks emitted as I sampled one small dish after another, finding most to be good though several of the baked items suffered from sitting out too long. The highlight was the fruit section that included a number of tasty salads.

                  My sole venture into the meat department was a sampling of baked ham that I found to be excellent while a small sliver of pork belly disappointed. In lieu of OJ, I managed to sample a number of beverages including horchata, canteloupe aqua fresca and strawberry boba tea. A slice of bread pudding proved to be barely okay and certainly not worth the calories. Pricing using the LVA 2/1 coupon was quite reasonable. 3 Forks

                  We walked around the entire casino floor, stopping to talk at length with the manager of the Brass Fork restaurant about the many impressive improvements completed recently.

                  Prior to returning to the Grandview, we took an extended walk around Silverado Ranch Park where we met a few puppies and their owners.

                  Ann put in one last VP session later that afternoon while I stationed myself at the corner of Silverado Ranch and Las Vegas Blvd in an attempt to generate enough funds to feed us this evening. My results were better than hers with my final take being $23.22, a ½ eaten Big Mac and a Pat Paulsen for President button.

                  The great Monique was stationed in the Ellis Island lounge this evening and, not only were warmly greeted but poured glasses of Robert Mondavi cabernet without having to ask. 5 Claps

                  Also on hand was Gary Benson, the Ellis Elvis, who entertained one and all until it was time for us to depart for our final dinner of this trip. 3.5 Claps

                  Choosing your last meal, as any condemned man will tell you, is not to be taken lightly so I was truly looking forward to dining at EDO Gastro Tapas & Wine this evening. As it turned out, my last request was not honored because the paella had recently been removed from the menu.

                  We received small glasses of refreshing gaspacho as an amuse shortly after being seated. Accepting our server’s suggestions, we started by sharing the green tartare (asparagus, avocado, pistachio vinaigrette) and crab cake a la donostiarra tapas that were equally delightful. These were followed by arroz meloso con uni (bomba rice with octopus) that was again wonderful though we found portion size relative to price of each dish to be relatively low. This was not true with respect to the flan which may have been the best we have ever encountered and, trust me, we have encountered more than our fair share of flan. Service was outstanding throughout our meal. 4.5 Forks

                  Lastly, we attended Travis Cloer’s “Broadway” CD release party at The Space. Travis is well known to the local theater crowd having performed as Frankie Valli in The Jersey Boys on both Broadway and the Strip. He covered songs from an amazing variety of Broadway musicals including South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Company, Avenue Q, Shrek The Musical, Catch Me If You Can, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen before closing with a medley from Jersey Boys. 4 Claps

                  May 11 - my last VP session of this trip only served to extend my losses so the final tally was GVR 10, Westie 3 and Tie 1. Needless to say, I lost – BIG TIME.

                  Our return flight, no change of planes thank you, was once again uneventful and actually arrived 15 minutes early. I managed to hustle off the plane during our Denver stop to pick up a pair of chicken wraps at Woody Creek Bakery & Cafe that proved to be better than good. 3 Forks

                  Thanks to one and all for reading this trip report, hopefully your time has not been wasted.

                  I gotta story I'd like to tell
                  But I'm gonna need help to tell it well
                  I gotta story about fame and money
                  And it's got more curves than a Playboy Bunny

                  ”Live and in Living Color” from the Broadway Musical “Catch Me If You Can”