Friday February 24, 2017
A business trip to Las Vegas for one couple and a home under repair for another, prompted a quick call between the two. 10 seconds later a weekend Vegas was in motion. Although no Honeymoon in Vegas this year, both couples had rendezvoused in Sin City before, celebrating a 20th anniversary several years ago for one pair of love birds and now celebrating 30 years of a fabulous, fun, and happy marriage for the other.
The journey began with connecting through BWI from Boston for the trip to Vegas. Flight was smooth, other than a one side cribbage battle where Mick lost 4 games of cribbage on route. Was real nice to travel together as it makes the 5+ hour flight go by much faster.
We had decided to try something different on this trip and not stay on the strip. We chose the Rio for its proximity and price as well as it was somewhere new neither of the couples had stayed. I would not recommend the Rio, best to describe it as tired and in need of some slight upgrading. It is not awful and from an economical perspective it was fine. I am sure though there are better options. A positive I must mention was the automated check in kiosks, all hotels should go this way.
After getting our room keys and heading to the elevators, the couples had an itch that needed to be scratched. Hit some slots before unpacking. While we made a very quick donation to the local economy, our partners on the other hand hit for a quick $500 on $4 bet…Game on.
Unpacked and hungry we headed to Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho restaurant in the hotel. The food was good and happy hour drinks were reasonable. They were also very accommodating for those of us with a recently diagnosed gluten allergy (celiac).
We then checked out the Rio casino, hit the roulette table, allowing Mr. P to win back some of his earlier losses. We all decided we did not enjoy gambling at the Rio. To dark and very smoky (cigarette). After a long day of travel we all called it a night around 9PM local time…Tough to get old.
Saturday February 25, 2017
No shock here, up early, very early. couple C went for a run and couple P headed for breakfast. We ventured over to the palms for their buffet breakfast. I highly recommend this for breakfast as well as to just visit. Very nice hotel/casino. It is a 5-10 minute walk from the Rio. Make sure you apply for their club card as it entitles you to $2 off the breakfast buffet (total cost $6.99), that includes all your non-alcoholic drinks.
After breakfast couple P headed to the gym. This is another nice feature of the Rio, the fitness room is included with your resort fee (free Wi-Fi is also included). If you want to use the sauna, steam and showers there is an additional $10 fee. As couple P had their workout, couple C had breakfast and headed to the store for room provisionals.
We headed over to the Strip around 10AM and bought show tickets from the discount spot Tkt4Tonite. This is also something we recommend, you can get up to 50-60% off shows. We chose Vegas! The show. It was enjoyable, cannot say to run out and go but is not a poor choice either. Gives you a little of history of what Vegas was like back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
Prior to the show we had some in room refreshments, before heading over to the Gold Coast for some gambling and the Palms for some more gambling. While leaving Gold Coast and just about to cross over to the Palms the dreaded ‘I forgot my purse at the craps table’ was heard. Mr’s P & C hightailed it back to the table where the very nice pit boss told us they found it and security had the purse. The men were not allowed to get the purse as the owner had to personally retrieve it. As you can imagine as her cell phone was in the aforementioned missing purse, I high tailed it back to the girls and informed they must come to security as well. After having her entire purse contents emptied on the counter and inventoried we were free to leave, this time with the purse. We did a quick view of the Palms and headed over for dinner and the Show.
Prior to the show that evening we had dinner at Lombardi’s in the shops at miracle mile (attached to Planet Hollywood casino), everyone was satisfied with their meal and I would put this as a yes in regards to recommendations.
Sunday February 26, 2017
In keeping with the Escati lifestyle of enjoying all things in life, we rented a car for the day and headed out for Valley of Fire National Park. It is about an hour ride from downtown Las Vegas and I give this a very high yes to do if you have time on your visit. It costs $10 per car and the ride through the park is beautiful. We stopped at two areas to hike in and get some better views of this wonderful place. We took Rainbow Vista and White Domes. The first hike was a short walk in and then a climb up a flat rock to the top for a spectacular panoramic view. The second hike was the opposite, took you down in the valley and walked between small alleys carved in between enormous boulders.
On the ride home we drove through Mead Lake Park ($20/car), a scenic road that brings you back to the strip. We stopped for lunch at Callville Bay Resort, this is also a recommendation as it had good food, good service and great views of Lake Mead
Before returning the car we presented Mrs. P with a lifelong dream of seeing Casa De Shenandoah (Wayne Newton’s home) as well as Liberace’s Home. If you do not know who they are Google them. It was fun and you should drive by if you have a car. Here is a tip, google maps will take you to Casa De Shenandoah visitor center, no need to panic, just look behind you and the house is across the street.
We headed back to the hotel, showered up and headed over to Caesars Palace for dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. We would highly recommend this place if you are looking for a high end meal with some expensive wine. It is not cheap, but one of those you only do this so often nights out.
After dinner we finished our last evening in Las Vegas at the Gold Coast for some gambling. It was a good ending as both couples came away winning. And Mrs. C even remembered her purse this time.
Rio is not recommended, Palms is. Take a day to get off the strip and go visit some wonderful National Parks, Treat yourself to a fine dining meal.
And last but not least, travel with lifelong friends and always remember to live the Escati life Style.
Until next time