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Subject: Tally and Tommy Mack's Vegas Trip Report

Just got back from my postponed annual birthday trip to Clark Co NV. 
Tommy and I usually fly, but due to recent purchase of Prius it was much more cost effective to drive, 
and about the same amount of time (3.5 hours) to get there. We normally fly out of Burbank, which is 
5min from home, but get there at least 90 before flight, then flight is 1 hr, claiming bags another 20 min, 
then waiting for a taxi another 30-45 if we don't pay for a town car... then another 10-20 min, depending 
on time of day to get to hotel... so roughly the same and only $60 rt in gas.

Damn, you guys are only $60 away from Vegas all the time?

Stayed at Bellagio for the first time. At first I wasn't WOW'ed. I wanted to be über-wow'ed, but I just wasn't. 
The rooms are nice, we requested to be as far as possible from the CityCenter construction and we got a lovely
room overlooking the pool. Very quiet, on the 24th floor. Bathtub was the greatest ever. Very deep, arm rests...
spent hours there. Nice, comfy king bed. The housekeeping staff never bangs on your door, they send a quiet 
message to your phone if you sleep in and ask you to ring them when you're heading out. However, the AC 
was set to 60F and never once felt as though it went below 70 - should have been colder for such a small room. 
(Should have called facilities, but never got around to it. That was our fault.) The hotel is undergoing some 
remodeling, and our room was not one they had gotten to yet. There was a lamp shade that needed badly 
replacing, and several tears in the wallpaper, but all in all, it was lovely.

I agree about the AC.
I want my room to be so cold that I wake up with Ted Williams.

I will say the service at Bellagio is the best we've experienced in Vegas. There is turn down service at night 
as if you're on a ship... with chocolates on the pillow, bath robes. And every employee from the maids in 
the hall way to the bartenders, to the maintenance guys all greet you, and ask how you're stay is going. 
They all go out of their way to help you. The pool is wonderful too. Plenty of sun or shade, whichever is 
your preference, and is open until 8pm (July - dusk.) By the end of our stay I was impressed, and if a get 
another great rate, I'll be back.

Arrived Saturday at 11am, and immediately got into our room. Unpacked then walked across the street to
my very favourite restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi at Paris for some lunch. After lunch we played a little, and then
back to our room since the 2nd bottle of Grand Ardeche Chardonnay in addition to getting up at the crack 
of dawn and driving across the desert had me a little sleepy. Tommy went to the Crown & Anchor pub on 
Flamingo to watch the Galaxy/NY soccer game. After his return we hooked up with our in town friend and 
had originally planned to go to his new restaurant Simon at Palms Place, but ended up going for something 
quieter at Trader Vics at Planet Hollywood.

Next morning it was lattes and parfaits for breakfast, then we played a little as it was kind of a cloudy- it may 
rain any second - kind of a day, lunched at Olives, then got ready for our big night out to see Bette Midler at Casears.

Bette - This was my 7th time (or something like that) seeing her. I do not own any of her music, but as a live 
performer in concert, there is no one better. That said, The Showgirl Must Go On is more Bette-lite than 
real Bette. Considering she has a 90 min time limit, the show is amazing, and I would probably have LOVED it, 
had I not seen her touring shows. Because she has to try to fit as much of her signature stuff in as possible, 
it doesn't flow like her road shows, and so much time is wasted as her chorus line of Caesar Salad Girls along 
with her Harlettes do dance numbers while she is off changing costumes. Her big Rose (Joplin) character, 
beat the stage, overwhelming emotional lava-flow numbers that made her famous, such as Stay With Me and 
Fire Down The Road are painfully missing, however Soph is present in all her bawdy glory and tasteless hilarity. 
Warning: do not take a camera, even accidentally - mine was in my purse, and it was taken and checked at the door, 
so we left during her encore of Wind Beneath My Wings so we wouldn't have to wait in an hour-long line at the 
box office afterwards to claim it.

After Bette, we went to a late supper at Rao's. Tommy had a wonderful Vognole Linguine, 
and I had a gnocchi bolognese which was just average. 

Then back to Bellagio and sleep.

Monday was a gorgeous day so after hitting 4 deuces on a Deuces Wild machine, we made the pilgrimage 
to Quark's at the Star Trek Experience to see our friend Lydia (GM) and say good bye as the whole STE is closing Sept 1st. 

After that we spent a few hours at the pool, then just couldn't get the steam up to go across the street 
back to Mon Ami for dinner, so we ordered room service and watched TV - it was heaven.

So all in all, we liked Bellagio, and would stay there again. I love the Venetian and used to stay there all the time 
when they opened, and were giving me a good rate. Before that it was pretty consistent Mirage and Hard Rock 
(both have great pools!) Then did a stint at Caesars (also great pool) until Celine came in and they stopped the 
great rates. Then moved to Paris and Ballys which we've been at until this trip when Bellagio's rates were even 
better than Mirage. Paris/Ballys were sold out. 

I'm hoping once Encore (Wynn) & CityCenter opens, and there's a bit of a glut of rooms on the strip, there will 
be decent rates again. However, I've noticed that the slots have gotten super tight, and you can't put a $20 in 
and get any play whatsoever on most machines unless you're playing video poker. Most machines just suck 
your money. That's not fun. At least give me 10 minutes of entertainment for my $20 - I mean, you can have it, 
but let me have some fun, don't just TAKE it. That's one of the reasons we didn't play much this trip. 
The Great Sucking Sound was very LOUD.

Tommy loves sitting at a bar, playing video poker, and drinking for free..... I don't mind it, and loved hitting 
4 deuces, (too bad it was only a 25¢ machine), but I love the silly video slots that give the bonus games with all 
the bells & whistles. Last Oct when I was in town performing in Twelfth Night, I put in $2 into an annoying Money 
Storm machine at Paris after a nice lunch with the cast at Mon Ami, and the damn thing payed for TEN MINUTES. 
At the end of it I had $400, so I took everyone up to the Eiffel Tower Restaurant for champagne & dessert. 

I get why the MGM/Mirage properties are tight right now - they're the ones building CityCenter.

My only advice: GO ASAP - as soon as CityCenter opens mid strip - the Strip will be even more chaotic than it is now...

Now time to plan for our Harry's Ashes & Whisky Tour of the UK.

Note: Harry is Tommy's late father. 

Tally - great trip report.
I love the details about where you went, what you ate/drink etc.

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