Ahhhhh Los Wages , I mean Las Vegas.
My mom’s favorite Hawaiian island.. hehehe.
For those of you who don’t know, Las Vegas is considered the 9th Main Hawaiian island, as many Hawaiians travel extensively there monthly, yearly, and actually a ton have even moved there. This is evident if you ever venture Downtown past Fremont street to the California Hotel ( should be called Honolulu Hotel), where you will find 95% of the people are from hawaii.
My mother is one of them and she loves to go at least 3 – 4 times a year. She feels her money is best kept there since she makes a lot of deposits , even though she swears that she breaks even.
Alright back to my story….
For the past 3 years, my mother and I have been visiting Vegas right before the Christmas holiday. I’m normally on a 2 week hiatus, so it works out fine.
We can’t be away too long as the holiday season is a special time for my father so we need to be there to celebrate with him.
One condition I do impose on my mother is that if we are going to Vegas, we are not and I repeat NOT staying downtown.
The first time we started this tradition, we stayed at the lovely Palazzo Hotel with all its luxury.. That is of course, until I got invited by the beautiful WYNN Hotel and Resort to come and stay for 3 nights complimentary. I was hooked , lined , and sinker 🙂
So, on Friday December 18th, my mother and I took the red eye on Hawaiian Airlines, bound for Las Vegas Nevada.
Flight: Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 – 200 or A332
We decided to give the Premium Economy option On Hawaiian Airlines and wow were we pleasantly surprised. We chose row 11. Going we sat in the middle occupying seats E& G. I know where’s the F? No F’n Idea hehehehe. The seats are directly behind First class with the most amazing leg room ever. In fact, there were more leg room in our row then in first class. They provide you with blanket and a pillow … Thin Blanket and tiny pillow. But it was comfortable and served its purpose. This made for a lovely flight and I did manage to have about a good 3.5 hours of snooze time before landing. And as usual the FA’s on Hawaiian Airlines are always the most polite, the most gracious, and the most caring of all the Airlines I’ve ever been on.
We landed bright and early ( 6:30 am) and a mile and half walk down to the trams we got to Baggage claim and within 20 minutes grabbed our bags and headed out for a nice LONG Ciggie Break ( yea i know, cigarettes are so 1980’s … I am trying to quit mind you)
After doing massive research on Trip Advisor ( one of my go to sites) I found out that the Las Vegas Mcarran airport is now allowing UBER to pick up passengers. This was indeed amazing news to me, as I was dreading the $25-$30 rip off taxis with the inevitable Tunnel scam and depressed driver.
So, i fired up my Uber App. We were in Terminal 3, great this is where they pick up. Was instructed to go to the 2nd level of the parking garage where the Valet is, and within 5 minutes an nice CHIC black BMW picked us up. He was a chatty Kathy but nice none-the-less. 15 minutes or so later and we landed at the South End Entrance of the Wynn Hotel ( this is where they are able to drop off) Right by Dior. And guess what? Our fare was only $14 … You heard me, $14. I was so happy I threw him a $5 tip. I never tip on Uber its not necessary.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to check in being it was around 7:45 in the AM. The check in area was empty and a nice gentleman took us straight away. He asked if we would like to upgrade to their Panoramic Room for an extra $25 a night. I said sure…. Big Mistake… Made sure we had all that was promised ( 3 free nights, $300 in casino credit, and 2 free buffets) Yes, yes, and yes…. Ok just had to pay for the Saturday Night as the free nights do not include Fridays’ or Saturdays’ .
Walked through the casino to get to the elevators, Pressed 57th floor and up we went. Well , my mother was not having it at all… Why you ask? because our room was the LAST ROOM down the hall. She’s 82 and not too keen about walking so far away from the elevator. I said don’t worry mother, it will be an amazing room…. Well, it is amazing, it is beautiful , it is everything we experienced the last time. Well, the last time we just had a regular room with two double beds. And that is what we got… The panoramic view you ask? The exact same view as our previous standard room facing the mountains and golf course … ugggg I was so irritated but too tired to care. We put away our clothing , freshened up in the lavish drop dead gorgeous bathroom, put our money in the safe and headed down for our 9 am breakfast reservation I made on Open Table at the Brand Spanken New Restaurant in the Encore side called Jardin.
Jardin Restaurant :
Was lovely. Beautiful white and Winter green furniture and art work, the place looked immaculate . Its in the former Botero Restaurant and Jardin was originally called Society Cafe.
Mom ordered Ricotto Short Cakes and I the vegetarian ( yes i pretty much am ) ordered the Duck Confit with Poached eggs. hahahaha My mom and I had a big laugh.. The meal was delicious now it was time to make some withdrawals from the machines..
We started to gamble right away at the Encore , since it was right outside the restaurants door. I tried immediately to locate my favorite Willy Wonka Machines since I love the Umpa Loompa Bonuses … Eh, it was ok….
We headed back to the Wynn and I proceeded to use my $300 in free credit on the Blazing 7’s Machine… I was down to $50 from it and I hit a nice $600 woo hoo great way to start … The rest of the day I couldn’t stop winning. I ran across to the Palazzo hotel to go pick up some water and antihistamine for my mom at the Wall Greens with a quick stop and 2 perfumes later at Barney’s New York and also a quick $400 win on the Wheel of Fortune machine at the Palazzo..I ended the day with being up by $600….
For dinner we decided to eat at Red 8, since we liked it there the last time and its the closest full restaurant to the casino floor. OH MOTHER> lol
Yummy Hong Kong style dim sum …. I was exhausted so we called it a night.
5/20: Day 2
Woke up this morning jonseing for a cigarette and coffee.
Went downstairs to order 2 coffees and a croissant from the Cafe and sat at this new Dragon spinning machine to smoke my cigarette before returning upstairs. Well i slipped in a $20 bill , hit the buttons and hit the bonus immediately. Thank god my mother always tells me to max bet. That bonus paid out nicely…. $1400 to be exact and it was my very first hand pay .. Oh the taxes 😦 My mother upon hearing the news immediately got ready in lightening speed, tanked down her coffee and ran out the door to press her luck… on the most boring game known to mankind. click click click … click click click …. goes the poker machine… BORING….
After a few hundred lost on her end I convinced her to join me on a walk to the Monte Carlo because we need to try the “Best Ramen ” on the Vegas strip. The Wynn is on one end, and Monte Carlo is on the opposite. HA!
We walked and played at all the casinos…. Palazzo, Venetian, Flamingo, Harrahs, LINQ, Cosmopolitan, until we got to the cockroach infested Monte Carlo…. We did enjoy playing 3 card poker ( moms’ learning) at Harrahs to which down to my last $50 in chips I put it all in on as much as I can and hit with a 3 of kind 6’s and a full house on the dealers end. That was a nice $600…. Mother is super jealous… haha
Well when we finally got to Monte Carlo, we discovered that the restaurant serving the “Best Ramen” was “CLOSED”… Irra’s!!!!!
We played a bit in the dirty casino lost a lot and decided to leave via the tram to the Bellagio Hotel. The funny thing is that this hotel is the very first I ever stayed in on the strip on my second trip ever to Vegas. I thought it was fine and decent , I guess what you don’t know won’t hurt you huh…..
The tram is great, and I’m glad its still there. Got to the Bellagio in a snap, except the tram stops way in the back of the hotel so you still have a mile to walk. It’s ok though it’s a pretty hotel. Pretty until you end up by the conservatory and there are a million people everywhere. Bummer this is what we came for, to see their christmas decorations and to buy my annual ornament from the shop…. We rushed through it and bee lined it for the closest restaurant that was open…. Well they were in-between meal times so most were closed, but we were lucky enough to get into Lago and have some Italian tapas…. It was delicious and so were the margaritas…
We decided to cab it back for a rest at the hotel and I’m so glad we did. There’s nothing like coming home to the Wynn hotel.. It’s more civilized, beautiful, clean and comfortable…
Later that night I got a few texts from friends hoping I was ok. Some crazy woman drove her car onto the pavement by the Paris and Planet Hollywood hotels and killed one and inured dozens. Funny thing is that we were right at that intersection earlier that day to cross over to the Cosmopolitan Hotel… Wow Lucky…
My work mate Michael drove up from LA for an overnighter since his host back in LA ( his cousin) was baking cookies for the holidays ( she’s amazing at it mind you… Culinary cookies for the seasons) so I went out to meet him at the newly opened Club Fizz at Caesars.. Owned by Elton John’s Husband… It was pretty dead, but it was a nice club serving up beautiful cocktails…. After a few, we just decided to call it a night as he was going to pick my mother and I up early to to downtown ( for her) and to the Outlet Mall ( for us) before driving home.
When I got to the hotel room my mother wasn’t there. OH Oh I do tend to get worried constantly when it involves her… I took a nice luxurious bath and said if she’s not back by the time I’m done I’m going on an old lady hunt… Sure enough she decided to show up right when I was going to call out the National Guard to search for her…
We were starving… So we took a chance and ordered room service. OMG it was divine.. The hotel has their own kitchen and is not affiliated with any of the restaurants. My mom ordered the Wonton Mynn soup and I ordered the French Onion…It came up just under a half hour and we dined bedside and moaned and groaned on how ONO ( delicious) it was… Great choice!
5/21 Day 3
After grabbing some coffee we played a few games and waited for Michael to arrive. We then set off for Downtown, dropped my mom off at the CAL and headed for the Outlet Mall… It was packed … with only 3 more days till Christmas everyone was trying their best to finish up their list. As costumers, we were joking about how of all the things to do, we decided to go look at more clothes.. We deal with it all day long. But who better to appreciate it then us right? I found a great deal at Ted Baker on a lovely Camel color thick long trench coat. It was so beautiful and a steal.
Michael dropped me off at the Cal, we said our good byes and Holiday Salutations, and I went off in search of my mother…. Found her at guess where? The POKER machine…. boring… The machines there were so tight and the casino boring, so i decided to go and hit the Golden Nugget to try my luck and to take in the scenery of Fremont street. Well, there were some good performers and some really really crazy not good performers. Like the one girl who dressed in leotards and leg warmers and jumping around doing a dance like she was Isadora Dunkin… She was hideously bad but oh so entertaining. hahaha.
I did try a new game at the Nugget… The Flintstones… It was fun and I won a $200 bonus… By this time though I’ve been going down down down… Not under but just down from my previous winnings… Found my mom back at the CAL and told here we needed to go back to the hotel to get ready for the show I booked there called “ShowStoppers” .. So we called an UBER and $26 later ( yes I know … I was pissed ) , packed free way and jammed strip, we got back to the hotel , and got ready for our show.
“ShowStoppers” at the Wynn was amazing.. Its all the number one songs from Broadway Hits that actually stopped the show because it was so great. And Great they were and it was… it was spectacular.
Later I met up with a few friends at Parasol Down in the Wynn which is down a flight of escalators and outside by the Lake of Dreams where they put on a very cool Avant-garde show every Half Hour for 5 minutes. We cocktail to the tunes of a very very very very slow server. So slow, that I swear she was on her lunch break every time we ordered or waited to order something.. Upset we decided to leave and go try the Eastside Lounge in the Encore. Well that wasn’t any better as they tried to charge a cover to sit on their couches when there were 2 people there. So instead of arguing we decided to sit on the bar and enjoy some cocktails. Lucky us , there was a boy from hawaii tending the bar. And we made fun of him as any good Hawaiian does and enjoyed his company… Tired, and a little bit tipsy called it a night and said goodbye to my friends…
Got back to the room and i was starving , so what did we do? Order room service of course. Flat bread Pizza it was and Flat Bread pizza that was so damn delicious we got… Great way to truly end the night.
Today is our last full day and night… We started the day off by having a most absolutely stunning breakfast at Tableau located on the Tower suite Side of the Wynn. It was stunning with fantastic service and a nice little chaise Long for y our purse. I’m not kidding. The food was great the atmosphere superb and it was just a lovely way to start the day.
We spent the day gambling away at the casino. And it seemed that my luck was now running out 😦 So I decided to step away and go and get some necessary therapy, AT THE FASHION MALL.. Scored some really great deals BTW.
I had a show to see that evening at the Paris Hotel, so my mother and I put on our jackets and made the slow journey over to the Paris while stopping in Venice 🙂
Jersey Boys, was introduced to me by the actual person the show is about. i dressed Frankie Vally a year ago, and he recommended I see the show , a story of his life , as it was to him really great. Boy he was not wrong. It was beautiful, and the music was amazing. I got so emotional because I got to know Frankie, and to see his life unfold in musical theater was just phenomenal…
The Paris hotel with all its Quirks irritated us so we couldn’t wait to cab it back in a taxi with a women complaining the entire way how she hates her job , back to the Wynn…
We ran to see if we could get into the Buffet as we haven’t used it yet.. Luckily we had a good 15 minutes before they closed the entrance…
The food was so mediocre I was so shocked. It was so delicious before. What happened? Oh well free meal,
Ahhhh our last night 😦 How sad… We spent the rest of it playing on as many different types of tables as possible. My mom perfected her 3 card poker, only thing we didn’t perfect was winning big. I finally tried my hand at Ultimate Texas Holdem… Easy game … Didn’t win much or rather nothing at all… $15 Black Jack… $100 gone in 5 minutes with the angry Korean Lady smirking at me lol
So our luck went way way south… Back to the room for our last night on those super comfy beds….
We packed and got our things together. Went down for a quick gamble before checking out Prior to me checking out I went to see the Red Card table for Players Cards. I asked to speak to a Casino Host ( I learned that it doesn’t hurt to try) to see if my play constituted for any extra comps.. I also charged almost everything to the room. And from when I looked on the TV to see where my bill was at… well it was at a lovely $1300 lol oops…
The lady informed me that although I played a lot, I also got a lot of comps already so unless I spent like $6000 a day , I’m not getting any additional comps. All of a sudden a light bulb flashed in my head. ” Excuse me, but what about my mother? She hasn’t used or received any comps in 2 years” 5 minutes later the lady offered me the hosts card, tells me to contact the host next time i”m planning on coming into town, and that the host took the first night $285 off our Bill as well as the resort Fee…”
YAY us… So our bill came out the a lovely $999… weird right… oh well I’m happy…
We checked our luggage into the luggage hold ( free) and continued to gamble because our flight didn’t leave until 5pm … I was going down down down so I stopped playing and ran back to the mall for some really last minute shopping at Saks and Nordstroms… Nice deals Happy I went.
My mother and I walked around the hotel and casino again to take in an appreciation of where we were and then fired up the UBER and $13 later we were at the airport.
check in was long so we hired a porter to check us in and gave him a $5 tip… TSA Lines were long too so we walked to the first class side and slipped right through lol yay….
Played a bit in the smoking lounge slot machine area by our gate and sure enough hit another $250 … nice way to leave Vegas.
Our flight home was lovely:
Hawaiian Air A300-200 A332 Premium Economy Row 11 Seats 11h & J by the window .. Like being in your own section of the plane. Same ton of space and lovely leg room. They served us a veggie pasta dish and the ride was just heaven. got to snooze again.
All in all it was a really nice trip. I would have to say it was my best Vegas trip to date. 1. I won a lot so didn’t really loose out on money 2. Got to see some old and good friends, 3. ate spectacularly, 4. saw 2 really really good shows and 5. Got to spend some quality time with my mother..
Aloha and Mahalo