Saturday, October 17, 2015

Las Vegas 2015 Trip

Cody and I went on our annual trip to Vegas this year.  However, instead of our usual week in Vegas we only went for 5 days this time.  Honestly, we've been to Vegas so many times now that I felt like this was a fine amount of time for us.  We loved going in October so much last year that we decided to do it again this year.  I absolutely love the weather in Vegas in Oct, because every day it was 90 degrees and sunny with absolutely no humidity and a lot of breezes.  Talk about wonderful weather!

Cody surprised me with getting a limo to pick us up from the airport.  We got into Vegas around 8:30am Vegas time so we had a full day to be in Vegas.

Here we are enjoying our limo ride to the Bellagio!!

The Bellagio has always been our favorite place, and we've always wanted to stay there.  Since we were only staying for a few days we decided that this was a good trip to finally do it!

Pictures really don't do the lobby of the Bellagio any justice.  Every season it is decorated differently and it is absolutely beautiful.  Here is Cody checking into our room.  We paid an extra $30 to be able to check in our room early.  Turns out that is the best thing we could have done, because we had the whole day at the Bellagio because of that.

Here is what our room looked like.  It was much simpler than the rooms that we've been getting used to staying at.  Usually we stay in suites with a full kitchen/living room.  So this was a change for us.

Here is one side of the bathroom...

Here is the other side.

The view from the door.  One really nice thing about the Bellagio is how many elevators that they have.  They have 24 guest elevators to get into the main tower, and they have those elevators separated into different floor levels.  So you never had to wait long at all for an elevator.  They also had a security guard in front of the elevators checking for keys to allow people up.  Other hotels make you swipe your card before you can use the elevator so it was nice to not have to do that.  I'm glad that they use people as security and not make you do that like other hotels.

One nice perk about checking in early was that we had access to the pool all day.  In order to get into the pool area you have to show your room key to the security guard.  The Bellagio actually had 6 pools and 5 hot tubs.  One of the pools you had to pay additional for and it had extra plush chairs inside.  But the free pools were spacious and nice enough for us.

The pool area also has a large garden area and pool cafe.

Here are some different views of the pool area.  It's hard to see from pictures the true scale of the pools.  I think the only way to get a good picture of it all would have been if our room had been facing the pool and I could have taken a bird's eye view of the whole area, but alas... we did not have a pool view room.

There were a lot of chairs in the Bellagio pool area, and every time you came into the area they gave each person two large towels to use.  Our first day was mostly spent around the pool, doing some gambling, and then we went to the Bellagio buffet.  We had a 2 for 1 buffet coupon from MyVegas rewards.  We thought that they always had king crab legs on their menu, but they only had snow crab legs our first night.  We were so bummed because we had been looking forward to all you can eat king crab legs since we had left last year... 

The next day we got up and we were going to go explore around Vegas and gamble a little bit at the Cosmopolitan.  As we were walking out of our hotel, I asked Cody what we were going to say when the timeshare people approached us.  I asked him if he wanted to do a presentation.  He said absolutely not...  So we had walked out of the Bellagio for about 2 minutes... and what happens??  We are swarmed by timeshare people offering us free stuff right outside the Bellagio at the Jockey Club.  The Jockey Club is one of the places that we can already stay at with our vacation club so I was a little interested in checking it out and seeing what it looked like.  Long story short...  we end up going to the timeshare presentation... for 6 hours!!!  AH!  At first their program seemed like it was really good, but I don't believe half of the things that timeshare presentations tell me anymore.  I think they all obviously over sell and I'm not sure if everything they led you to believe is true.  For going to the presentation we got two free gondola rides at the Venetian, 2 tickets to the wax museum, $100 in junk free play at Casino Royale (when we were told $100 in free play... we were excited but the machines we were allowed to play you had to hit the jackpot in order to get any money... which probably never hits), a free dinner somewhere at the Venetian (that we didn't use because we didn't like the menu option choices we could pick from) and $200 for  They also gave us a 2 for 1 coupon at a Brazilian steak house, called Pampas in Planet Hollywood.  We had done that during our honeymoon and it was fun so we decided to go there.  I thought our coupon was much cheaper than what our bill actually came out to be, but it was still pretty good.  When the guy was trying to get us to go the timeshare presentation the free gifts he was offering... sounded a lot better than what it actually was, but I thought it'd be an ok deal for 1-2 hours of our time.  But for what we actually got... I don't think was worth the 6 hours of our time.

 Right after we ate dinner we hopped onto the SDX (express bus) for $8 a piece to Fremont St (took about 45 mins to get downtown).  They had live music going on there and we were excited to hang out for the night.  We watched a group called Frank and the Steins for about 2 and a half hours.  They play various rock songs, and some usual Halloween songs like Thriller and Monster Mash. It was fun to hang out and listen to the music.  By the end of the night we made it up to the front of the stage and had a great view.

Here we are in Fremont Street.

One nice thing about Vegas is that you can take your own drinks with you wherever you go...  so this time instead of getting my usual Malibu and Diet Coke... I went for the drink that I had during my bachelorette party:  Caramel Vodka and root beer.  It was really good when I had it before... but not so much this time.  One problem about the Bellagio was that we did not have a refrigerator so everything was warm.  We packed it up to go, and had to sneak it onto the SDX so we didn't bring any ice with the drinks.  Bleh!  It wasn't too good warm.  I eventually went to one of the bars and got some ice and then it was better, but my stomach didn't feel good from drinking it warm all night so I didn't drink too much of it.  Cody changed it up too and got some red bull and vodka's instead of his usual captain and coke.

Cody and I watch "Good Morning Cleveland" and on one of their shows they went to Vegas and talked about "Vegas best bets."  One of those places happened the Peppermill.  We still had our SDX pass so we took it and went down a couple of stops.  The Peppermill is off of the Las Vegas strip but it is pretty close to Circus Circus area... so it is a pretty far walk if you are going to walk all the way there, but as you'll see... it's doable to walk it.  When we got there it was super crowded (we went on Saturday morning) and we had to wait in line for about 50 minutes before getting a table.

The Peppermill is known for their giant 10 egg omelets.  So of course that is what Cody and I got.  I got a bacon and green onion omelet.  Not only were the toppings on the inside of the omelet, but they were also right on top too.  They were delicious!  I think it was probably our best breakfast in Vegas.  It is worth venturing off to get.  Our one problem was that we didn't know where the SDX bus picked up for near the Peppermill exit.  We didn't see it anywhere... so we decided to walk up to the Wynn and get on the bus there.  Only there was a bunch of construction there so we couldn't get to the bus stop.  We ended up walking all the way back to the Bellagio around 12:30pm in the afternoon.  To say it was a hot walk was an understatement!!!  We were both drenched in sweat and completely ready to hop into our pool when we got back to the Bellagio.

Unfortunately, everybody else at the Bellagio decided that they wanted to come to the pool right then as well.  It took us forever to find chairs, and both of us were getting upset about it.  It was worse than a cruise ship... everyone had towels on the chairs, but no one was sitting in the chairs!!  We were especially upset when after circling the WHOLE 5 pool area about 3 times we finally saw a big group of people were leaving and we went to get some of the chairs... only to be told by two guys that they were taking all six chairs!  Cody was not pleased about it, and he actually said something to the guys about it too.  Luckily, not too long after that encounter we found two chairs right by one of the big pools.  We hopped right into the water, and where it had felt a little cold to me the day before... it felt wonderful after walking around for a couple of hours.

We still had our king crab leg craving... and we knew on the weekends all the buffets served king crab legs.  We were going to go to Caesar's buffet, but when we called to ask about the price is was $66 a person plus tax!!!  We thought that was insane!  The Bellagio's buffet was about $25 a person cheaper than that... so we decided to go back to Bellagio's buffet again.  Mmmm!  To say we ate a bunch of king crab legs is an understatement.  I'm pretty sure that I had three or four big plates full of crab legs!  They were soooo good! And they were already pre-cracked so they were super easy to eat too.

Later on that night we went to NY NY Dueling Piano Bar.  We had such a fun time on our cruise at the Piano Bar that we were excited about coming to this one, but we feared it wouldn't be the same as our cruise.  And it kind of was... but it wasn't at the same time.  To get in we had to pay either $10 a person for standing room only on the bar side or pay $25 a person for a table all the way in the back of the room. We decided to just go onto the bar side, but we are more of sitting down/table people.  We had $50 worth of free drinks from our MyVegas rewards to use there.  That got us five 12 ounce drinks.

We were there for a while, and the piano guy had just said that the table side people were more fun, and that the bar side people needed to get more exciting...  well... he shouldn't have said that, because right afterwards a HUGE fight broke out on the table side!  Almost the complete area was throwing punches and fighting with each other.  At first it seemed like it was only two guys that were fighting with each other, but then a girl yelled at one of the guys that had been fighting and he went after her like he was going to hit her... and then the WHOLE side converged and started fighting with each other.  There was an old guy with his shirt ripped and getting punched on the floor, and this older woman (probably 60 or older) grabbed a stool and started whacking the younger guy that was hitting her husband!  It was crazy!!!  The old ladies were even fighting!!!  And it took security FOREVER to get there!  Even when they came people were hitting the security guards and they were refusing to leave!  There was one group that was a bacherlotte party that was getting kicked out and the bride was throwing a fit.  She was up in the managers face screaming at him, and she refused to go!  They had to turn on the lights and there was blood all over the place from fighting.  I think it probably took a good 20 minutes for them to get the people out and then clean up everything.  It was crazy.  Needless to say... everyone on the bar side was happy that we weren't over there!  The piano's were separating the sides so no one could get over to us.  But we were all chanting "bar side... bar side..."  I think that was the most interesting part of the Piano Bar.

I think that Vegas has gotten more new games this year than any other time we've been there.  However, the price of these new games were that a lot of our old favorite games that we used to play in Vegas were almost gone.  Our Game of Life game was gone from the Cosmopolitan, and Cody's True Blood game was gone.  It was also hard for us to find our Ghostbusters, Avatar, and Tarzan games that we used to really like a lot and play.  Now everywhere you go there were Ellen, Superman, Friends, Big Bang Theory, Batman, and Flinestones games EVERYWHERE!  Those definitely weren't there last year... and they were only ok games.  I did really like the new Britney Spears games that were added in.  I had fun playing those, and I liked listening to her songs playing.  The bonuses were fun to play too.  We had $125 worth of freeplay at the Bellagio from MyVegas rewards, so that was awesome to use and helped us save some money.

The next day was Sunday, and at first I thought that my day was going to be spent around the pool reading my book, and that Cody was going to be watching football.  Cody was really excited to get to bet and do parlays in Vegas. He was betting on several football games, and wanted to watch.  However, when he went to the Sportsbook... all of the chairs/tables were reserved and there was no where for him to sit.  So he decided to come out on the town with me instead.

So we went to the brunch buffet at the Mirage.  We also had a 2 for 1 coupon from our MyVegas rewards.  It was still pretty pricey to go to the buffet, but they were giving out unlimited mimosa's, champagne, wine, and beer.  I think that it was actually more expensive to not have a room with a kitchen, because we had to go out to eat for every meal.  Usually we make breakfast/lunch on our own, and save a ton of money. This time we went out for every meal.

After our buffet, we went right across the street to the half price shows booth. We decided that we wanted to go see Million Dollar Quartet that night.  We had really enjoyed the Jersey Boys last year, and we thought that it was going to be a similar type of show.  After that we decided to cash in on the stuff we got for our timeshare presentation.  We went to reserve our gondola rides for the day, and luckily got right onto one.

Here we are briefly waiting in line.

I was shocked by how short the ride was in the gondola.  The price to go on the gondola is $21 a person!!  And it only lasts for about 10 minutes!  They row you around the small water area and go underneath the bridge twice. 

The girl driving our gondola was very nice and was chatting with us.  She also had a beautiful voice.  She sang two songs for us and sounded very beautiful underneath the bridges.  So for going to it for free... it was nice.  Never in a million years would I pay $42 to go on it though.

Next we went over to Madame Tussuade's Wax Museum.  This was another thing that we've never done in Vegas... and again... another thing that was fine to do for free, but I wouldn't pay to do.

There are several rooms to walk through, and the wax figures are staged all around you.  You can see in this room almost all of the figures in this picture are wax figures of celebrities.  I kept saying "excuse me" as I passed them, because I thought they were real people!  Every wax figure has a plaque next to it with a quote from the person and then a little bit about their career.

We walked through the various rooms and snapped some pictures with our favorite wax figures.

After about a half an hour we were done and headed back out for the day.

Later on that night we went to see Million Dollar Quartet.  It was the story about a night when Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley were together in a recording studio.  It was an alright show.  I actually didn't know nearly as many songs as I thought that I would.  If I knew more of the songs they were singing I probably would have liked it more.  But as it is... I thought that the Jersey Boys show had a more interesting story line and I enjoyed it more.  If you have a choice between seeing the two shows, I'd say go to the Jersey Boys.  

 After the show we were starving and decided on getting a burger and fries.  We ended up going back to the Cosmopolitan at Holsteins and had a burger, fries, and split a yummy milkshake with each other.

The next day, we went to PF Chang's for our usual Vegas dinner tradition, and then we went to the show that I've been wanting to see for years!!  TERRY FATOR!  He won the second season of America's Got Talent, and I've heard that he has one of the best shows in Vegas. He actually makes $100 million dollars a year in Vegas!  Unbelievable!

We didn't know this... but his show has a "pre-show."  There was a DJ out there playing music and pumping up the crowd.  Then for the last 5-10 minutes before the show he started doing dance routines to almost any song that has a dance.  It was awesome!  Everyone was cheering him on and it got everyone in a great mood for the show.

Then Terry Fator came out and he was amazing!!  He was funny and unbelievably talented.  He has all of his puppets sing songs and he does it without moving his lips!

He had different puppets do Kermit the frog, Garth Brooks, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Adele, Stevie Wonder, some rock songs, and all kinds of other songs.  He had numerous puppets and they all sounded just like who he was imitating.  The whole show was excellent and I was smiling it and enjoying it the entire time.  It was a good mix of humor and music.  I hope that he changes his shows up sometimes, because I'd love to go back and see him again.  His show was my favorite Vegas show that I've ever been to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Cody was happy with it too, and it was a good way to spend our last night in Vegas.

We ended our trip by watching the Bellagio Fountains.  My two favorite songs to watch are Luck be a Lady and Viva Las Vegas.  Believe it or not... we said that we were going to watch one more fountain show and then head up to pack/go to bed... and wouldn't you know that Viva Las Vegas came up!!  I love it!!  So much fun and so much energy.  The fountains are awesome to stand by and watch.  We really enjoyed our trip to Vegas and we loved the nice weather.  After the 90 degrees and sunny everyday... it was hard to come home to 40s-50s and raining.  I told Cody that maybe we need to try the spring season next time... and then we came come home to the weather starting to get nicer.  But overall, nice trip to Vegas.  We enjoyed it as usual.