But, it was not meant to be. So I had to cancel.
This was going to be the only time my Fiancé could see his brother and wife, so we were going to meet them in Downtown.
I was going to salvage this at least by going to Scott Conant's other restaurant-D.O.C.G.
But fate was not on my side:
Instead, we decided to free-style today and ended up in Fashion Show Mall, then Downtown again.
We've always walked by Fashion Show Mall, but never walked through.
It's almost lunch time by now and I could tell my Fiancé was hungry. "I know of a restaurant around here. Do you want to check it out?" I was referring to The Capital Grille. I didn't have it on my "must-try" list of restaurants, but I remembered seeing all of the positive reviews on Trip Advisor and Yelp.
- All of the staff were very friendly. The manager even came out with one of our dishes. Really nice touch.
- Good food (depending on what you order). I really enjoyed my Crab and Lobster Burger and the soups, but my Fiancé thought his Cheeseburger was just average.
- Semi-dressy restaurant (most of all the patrons were in business suits), but the atmosphere was still comfortable even if you're not fully dressed up.
- Location at the Fashion Show Mall (which also could be a plus if you are already there).
- Not the best view; restaurant overlooks Wynn or construction site.
After filling our tummies, we walked over to Wynn. I played the new(er) Goldfish slot, landed on the bonus which was really fun; doubled my money, and also got a Chocolate Martini. We walked over to Encore and I watched my Fiancé play his favorite game---wait for it..."OMG Kittens." The kitties didn't want to come out to play today. But they did give him a small bonus. Since I wasn't having too much luck, I gave up on slots so proceeded to just watching. Then of course, the floor manager comes over to ask to see my ID (I don't look that young do I?).
We didn't play long here, since it felt like we lost on majority of the machines we touched. So we whipped out the Uber app, and waited for our ride to go to Downtown. I guess we were not standing in the right pick-up area. But the driver was nice to call and find us (we were waiting by the shuttle buses). The car was a very clean Honda Pilot SUV that looked almost brand new. Very nice and friendly driver too. It seems he does both Uber and Lyft (we saw the sticker on the dash board). Maybe we should have asked him which company he liked better, but he wasn't that talkative so we (ok, I) didn't want to be nosy. He got us to Downtown pretty quick. It was $13.52 and I tipped him $5.
Ok, enough playing. Now that we were back in Downtown again, we should pick up more snack gifts. We were told by friends that The Beef Jerky Store was worth a stop. We tried to find it, but got a bit lost in the process. We utilized the GPS on the phone, but it kept giving us the wrong direction so we were walking in circles. Finally, my Fiancé called the store for help. The person advised us to walk through the current area and it should take us right there. They also told us to push a green button to open the gate, but we didn't see any green button. We searched for a bit and finally found a yellow one. Technicalities aside....DO NOT walk through the ALLEY in Downtown!
Its really different in person (versus observing it from the safety of your television screens at home). It's a given that it doesn't smell so great. But the Downtown Alleys are something else. With lots of trash scattered about, and the pungent smell (okay...in all fairness, it wasn't as bad as the sewage smell emanating from MGM just days before), but pretty close. And I've stayed in an Alley in China before, this was many times worst!). The only thing that crossed my mind was, how many showers do I need to wash off the smell from this expedition?
At check-out, we opted to have them ship it home for us (since we figured by now there's not that much room left in our luggage). They do phone and online orders too if you can't make it in person. Currently, they offer domestic flat-rate shipping through the United States Postal Service, so it's very convenient and inexpensive. Their prices are super affordable too.
After we got some shopping out of the way. There's still a few hours to kill before meeting Fiancé's brother. I mentioned to him that we could check out Binion's Million Dollar Display. Even though they offer free photos, we opted out of taking one. He was a bit disappointed by how small it looked.
We signed up for a player's card, and it came with a coupon for a guarantee ACE for blackjack. The special was if you earned 10 slot points (I think that was the amount; ~$50), you can go back and get a free spin on their promotional wheel. I played some Video Poker and some random slots. The thing that caught me off guard was that I was expecting touch screens on the Poker machines. But you had to physically press the respective buttons on the card positions you want held.
We both got enough points pretty quickly and tested our luck. I ended up with $15 free play, and my Fiancé had a buy-1-get-one coupon for their café (which we didn't use). I do want to mention their player's card staff was amazingly friendly.
Interesting note, I was able to cash out part of the free play (I think I cashed out at around $12 because I wanted to see if I could use it towards another machine). That or was it just a total fluke?
After slots, we decided to take the plunge and try out some blackjack for the first time so we could use the coupon from the sign-up bonus (yes, we are slot junkies). We meandered over to the table game area, like two baby fishes out of sea. We picked a table with one other player and they were training a new dealer. The other player was very friendly and didn't mind us joining him (we asked). It sounded like the other player more than tripled his buy-in (with side bets). His significant other came looking for him so he left after a short while. We then had the whole table to ourselves.
To be honest, I don't remember what the minimums (probably $1?) or odds were. But we bet about $5-$10 a round. We spent what seemed like over 30 mins, and we were both slightly up (ok, for me it was only about $15 up; after tipping the dealer a $5 chip). Each round was very slow since the veteran dealer would walk through the trainee through every step- which I liked since I'm a newbie. Overall, we really enjoyed it and we will try more table games in the future.
We walked around Fremont a bit more, then finally got a call from Fiancé's brother that he and his wife had arrived and parked at the Plaza.
The four of us walked on over to the Container Park. My fiancé was fascinated at the sight of the Jungle Gyms. I could imagine what a fun place the playground area would be if you had little ones.
I wasn't too hungry, so I told my Fiancé to just get me a small order of wings and an Ice Tea. If anything, I could always take small bites off of his plate.
Too late now. On the other hand, I'm sure I've had loads more unsanitary food in mainland China, so I'll probably live.
They had a few customers when we left. Should we have warned them what they're getting themselves into?
I do admit, the outside looks very inviting with the patio and bistro seating.
As we started to head back to Fremont, we were serenaded by the giant Praying Mantis at the entrance:
After, my Fiancé's brother dropped us off at Paris and we bid our goodbyes. We went back to the room to rest a bit, then headed to the Eiffel Tower (current price list) to watch the Bellagio Fountains.
It didn't help with any luck, unfortunately. The disappointing thing was that a big portion of the Cosmo gaming floor had been deactivated (by Va Bene Caffe ). It looked like they were installing new slot machines and moving things about.
Later, I went back to the room to rest while my Fiancé stayed in the Paris casino. Shortly, I joined him for a bit, then we did a swap. He returned to the room and I played slots by myself until 4am. No major wins (the most was probably $80), but it seemed like 90% of the machines I played were being kind and many let me keep or double my money. In the end, I think I was up for the day.
I think staying up till mid-morning playing slots was one of my best ideas all week, as I could actually sleep on the plane ride home for the very first time. I can get used to this new ritual...maybe.
We were told that since we were on a comp, it was fine so we didn't have to check-out until 1pm (our flight didn't leave until 5:30pm).
We had a good time at Le Village Buffet earlier in the year (my past review is on Trip Advisor with better pictures). So for convenience-sake, we would just dine here for breakfast on our last day. I debated whether or not going to a buffet before a flight was a good idea, but since we weren't technicallly leaving until almost evening, we decided to go ahead.
We went when we weren't really hungry, so this is all I ate (I know such a waste of a buffet right?).
After breakfast, we headed back to the room to finish packing.
Look- a war movie (The Thin Red Line) is on the television, let's watch it. We went downstairs by 12:30p, then stood in line to check-out. The front desk agent didn't do the text-book one liner of "How was your stay?" Was it because they knew I was fully prepared to show them everything that was wrong with the room (with pictures on my camera)?
I guess the good thing was that they didn't charge us for late-check out.
Time for some last minute slotting time. I went back to the multi-game machine I liked (I was just playing it the night before for quite some time), but it doesn't like me today. After a while, my Fiancé gave up on playing and just sat down by the shuttle pick-up area with our luggage while I continued playing random slots.
$160. Not bad ROI! I went to cash out all of my tickets (including ones from last night) then happily walked back to my Fiancé around 2pm-- ending my gambling runs this trip on a positive note. Though trip-wise, I was still down overall.
I had confirmed our ride with Bell-Trans the day before that our pick-up was between 2:20-2:40p (the original reservation was for 3pm). I double-checked with the operator on the phone and was told that pick-up was at the North Gate (shuttle bus entrance; despite that the print out confirmation said "Main Valet"). 2:50p came, and still no sight of our ride, so I got worried and called Bell-Trans again and was told that was indeed the pick-up point. We were getting antsy. So my Fiancé walked to the Valet area (on the opposite side) to wait--just in case.
He spotted a Bell-Tran driver, showed him our confirmation to make sure of the pick-up area (I had the hard copy of the voucher print out). The driver radioed in our information and it turned out our ride was for 3pm and at the Valet area. So my Fiancé called me and we wheeled everything to the opposite side of the Casino.
When our ride came, it was a really nice stretch Limo (actually it was nicer than the one from Presidential Limo that we had the last trip). The only thing that stood out was there was some kind of strange (whistling noise) of something loose inside the vehicle. Not sure what it was.
The driver was nice, but he completely missed our drop-off point at Hawaiian Airlines (located right next to United). He didn't say anything, instead, he made a loop all the way back to drop us off (which added another 5 mins+). That's a first. My Fiancé wasn't too thrilled. He gave me hand signal and eye contact as I was taking out tip money to half it. But since the driver was friendly, and the vehicle was in good condition, I still tipped him $20.
After going through security at the airport, we grabbed a small bite to eat at Quiznos, then I was graced with my Fiancé's spiel of how good his sub was and how much he missed it (we no longer have Quiznos at home). Then it was time to board the plane.
Good bye Las Vegas. Until next time!
- I didn't see the MegaBucks machine at Paris. What happened to it? I know they did only have one (previously hidden near Chateau night club), but I'm curious to it's whereabouts.
- Like anything else, Uber can be a hit or a miss.
- The Bell-Trans VIP shuttle works, and from the airport to hotel it was excellent. I can see how it can work well when you stay at a hotel that only has one pick-up/ drop-off area. For us, maybe we will just take Uber next time since the return experience left a not-so-great impression.
- I thought it was interesting that Paris (I'm guessing all CET hotels) has an envelope with the name of the housekeeping staff that serviced the room (I assume its for leaving them tips?). I'm unsure if they subsequently are the same person though. I kind of like this, I've only seen it done in Asia, but it gives them some accountability.
- Maybe bring your own toilet paper if you plan to stay at a Caesars's property?
- While we enjoyed seeing the view from the Eiffel Tower, I really wish they would have used clear plexi-glass or something to that effect for more of an unobstructed view. But I guess they were going for similarities like the original. While the Eiffel Tower was nice, I don't feel it's a must-do, but more like "do" when you have time.
- We probably won't be going to a buffet again on the day we leave Las Vegas as it felt rushed (excludes the express breakfast buffet at Grand Luxe).