Las Vegas – June 2009

2009-079I just recently returned home from a recent visit to good old Sin City. We left KCI on a Thursday June 4th. We used a new parking lot called Park Air Express, located at I-29 and 112th St on Prairie View Rd. I just received an email to inform me of the June special for the Grand Opening. Three parking days FREE, we could not pass up that offer. We arrived and valet drivers were waiting. We left the keys in the car, received a ticket to pick our vehicle upon our return and our luggage was unloaded and immediately put on a shuttle bus for our convenience. We loaded on the bus and were given a complimentary US Today and headed to KCI. It only took maybe 5 minutes and could not have been more efficient. After a 2 1/2 hour flight we arrived to the city of lights. 2009-100We checked in Caesar’s Palace. We stayed in the deluxe towers. Very beautiful room with a full mini-bar, flat screen TV and a jumbo jet tub. The room had an ok view of the strip, but only from an angle not offering great views. The elevators to the towers were right in front of the pool entrance making it very convenient for swimming on the warm desert days.

On our first night we visited the Mirage. After a late flight we were starved. We choose California Pizza Kitchen to dine at. I know it is a chain restaurant and we have one here, but my family had never tried it and I had to show them how great it was. I ordered the Chicken Tequila Fettuccine. This was my first time trying it and it was very flavorful, cheesy and delicious. My family tried the Jerk Chicken Pizza and the chicken on the pizza could not compare to anything we have had before. It was a perfect dinner. After dining we tried our luck at the slots…Turned out to be an ok night.

2009-037The next afternoon we visited Caesar’s Neptune Pool. The main pool offered a stunning circular wading area with many fountains. Unfortunately it was very windy and chilly so swimming was not called for. Another unfortunate event is the construction going on at Caesar’s. During the week they are rebuilding around the pool. During this time you will be deaf from the loud noises and expect to get flying debris in your eyes, hair, clothing and the numerous amount of it in the pool. So BEWARE! After basking in the sun for a few hours we headed to lunch at the always entertaining Margaritaville. I settled on the Coco Cabana drink. It was a definite quencher and had a great splash of summer style. For lunch I decided on the Mexicali burger. It was a great burger served with fries. The bartender was very friendly and we enjoyed the entertainment the hula dancers offered on stage. Another great meal!

2009-021

We headed down the strip for some evening fun, stopping to visit the older digs: Imperial Palace with musical impersonators as card dealers, Casino Royale and the $1 Beer and cheap Margarita pitchers. New places we visited included Palazzo and Wynn. After researching dining in Vegas we decided to have one nice dinner. We choose Dos Caminos in the Palazzo hotel. A very modern dining atmosphere, but quite overrated. We ordered the table side guacamole dip. I am not sure how they make table side guacamole where you are from, but they usually don’t bring it out from the back in a bowl already made. Not to mention appetizer size tacos were $20! I guess economy has not affected these outrageous prices. The food was good, but the price is not justified. This was one of our disappointing dining experiences.

2009-061The next morning we set our sights on the other end of the strip, including the Miracle Mile Shops. Before leaving Caesar’s we grabbed a bite at Augustus Cafe. Service was average. Our waitress was not very friendly and the food consisted of your basics and was unimpressive. The coffee was horrible. We had them make three pots and every time it got worse, like hot water. Following the horrible brunch we hit the strip. We walked by Serendipity, Caesar’s new outdoor restaurant, consisting of burgers, ice cream and hot dogs. Eventually we wound up at the Miracle Mile Shops, connected to Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino. We visited some great stores including H&M, Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, GAP, Bath & Body Works and many more unique shops.

4538_1120596108791_1643712986_317040_3958913_nAfter shopping and a little gambling it was off to dinner. This time at Harrah’s, finding a great dinner special at the Cafe, steak & shrimp with veggies & baked potato for $8!! Available from 2pm to 1am. Not only affordable, but the steak was very tender and shrimp could not be better. A dinner I could eat again and again. Heading back to our room we packed our bags in anticipation for our final day. I contacted Caesar’s guest services and got a late checkout since our flight did not leave until 7pm.

2009-097bThe next morning we awoke and decided to eat breakfast at the Flamingo buffet, however on the way we walked by Maragaritaville and saw that they now served breakfast and that if you use your Total Rewards card you receive a 20% discount off your total bill, which included beverages. It was a deal we could not pass up, and we were pleasantly surprised. I ordered the avocado omelet and it was perfect sided with toast and hashbrowns. We dined on the third floor in the outdoor area on a beautiful sunny day.

We were down to our final hours. I played a couple hours at Flamingo and had the best odds there, taking in $500 on my final day! After leaving with my winnings I checked out of Caesar’s and enjoyed my final hour’s poolside on the hot sunny day. I ordered a couple drinks, but at $8 – $15 a drink you are better off mixing your own drinks in your room and taking them with you.
The weather was disappointing, but a fluke. I have been to Vegas several times in June and temps usually are in the 90’s, so for it to be 65 it was very strange. Aside from that my final review would be:

Park Air Express – New efficient valet parking to KCI
Southwest Airlines – Always offering discounted direct flights to Vegas.
Caesar’s Palace – Over-rated, expensive and the pool is under construction now to August. Wear your protective goggles while there.
California Pizza Kitchen (Mirage) – Delicious in any city!
Margaritaville – Perfect Drinks, Superb Entertainment and now serving Breakfast.
Dos Caminos – Catering mainly to the upper class. Nothing to be overly impressed by.
Augustus Cafe – Average food, TERRIBLE coffee, and slow service.
Harrah’s Cafe – Steak & Shrimp special a must eat for only $8!
Weather – partly cloudy, chilly (65 degrees) & windy. Below average for June.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville (Flamingo) on Urbanspoon

Augustus Cafe (Caesars Palace) on Urbanspoon

Café at Harrah's on Urbanspoon

California Pizza Kitchen (Mirage) on Urbanspoon

Dos Caminos Las Vegas on Urbanspoon

One Response to Las Vegas – June 2009

  1. angela says:

    Thanks for letting us know about the new parking situation at KCI. I had no idea and will be flying later this year. Anything that can save me money is good to know.
    Also, I’m lovin the Margaritavilles as well. Every time, I’m around one, I must eat there. There $10 nachos appetizer is a meal for two easy!

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