Latest Entries »

Las Vegas – Halloween 2012

Our Halloween Vegas adventure started on October 29th with the end of another road trip which had taken us from Las Vegas through Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah, nearly 4,000 miles later we were back in Vegas.

We arrived at the MGM Grand parking garage around 2.30pm and jumped the check-in queues by using the ‘invited guests’ only desk, where there was no queue.  Our executive suite was ready and the check-in guy showed us the comps that were included with our free room (tickets to Brad Garrett’s Comedy Show and $100 mlife daily credit).  I asked where we could use the daily credit and he explained that it was valid at any of the resorts.  We asked where should we collect our free show tickets from and he pointed across to the concierge desk.

MrSlotNoodles decided it would be best to get our tickets now and then we could leave them in the room.  So across to the concierge desk we went.  I explained that we had two free tickets included with our offer and he made a few phone calls and printed out the tickets. I then noticed that I was being asked to sign for a $72 charge… I again explained that I had two free tickets included in my offer.  He made some more phone calls and said the record says it’s buy one get one free.  Into my bag and I bring out the print of the offer which clearly shows two!! He gets back on the phone again and issues the tickets and says the charge will be removed from our room account.

Off to our room, up to the 23rd floor to find our room cards don’t work!  This is a common problem at the MGM Grand… MrSlotNoodles heads back down to front desk and I wait with the bags in the corridor.  It’s not long before he’s back and we’re into our lovely mini-suite.  It’s prefect!  Great view of the MGM properties, NYNY, Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay.  We have two large windows, one in the bedroom area and one in the ‘lounge’ area.  I already decide that tonight and every night I’m going to sleep with the bedroom area blind open so I can look out at the lights!!

Quick shower and change of clothes and I text VideoSlotPlayer to let him know we have arrived and that we are ready to play.  I checked whether he was planning to eat and he said go ahead and let him know when we were done (we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and MrSlotNoodles had already had a very large whisky to finish off his road trip bottle and a stupidly strong large margarita) so getting some food in MrSlotNoodles’s tummy was my top priority!!

Across to NYNY and into the Nine Fine Irishmen for a Shepherd’s pie.  MrSlotNoodles ordered a beer and he was showing signs of not quite being all there!! Giggling, slurring his words and fighting with his lamb shank… I could tell this was going to be one of those nights that he was not going to remember much about!


Dinner finished, I texted VideoSlotPlayer that we were ready and parked ourselves at two of the new WOZ Wicked Witch of the West machines.  My machine had several bonuses and MrSlotNoodles only triggered a bonus once during our play time.  This was my best bonus…

VideoSlotPlayer then joined us and relieved MrSlotNoodles’s suffering by playing in his place and after a few more bonuses we moved on to find a community game to play.  We stumbled across Texas Tea and had varying degrees of success, this was the best overall bonus…

MrSlotNoodles managed to get his $20 starting amount up to $300 through community bonuses and individual bonuses… in his not so sober state he raised his bet to $3 a push and promptly lost it!  VSP and I also watched our starting amounts slowly drain away and decided enough was enough and moved on to try and find something else.

We played Superman, got a few bonuses, none of them were that good, but they did keep us playing for a while.

VSP pointed out one of the WMS power spins machines.  I so wish he hadn’t!  While I lost my money on rubbish bonuses he sneaked off and came back 5 minutes later with a large TITO (think it was around $400).

We moved onto some Aristocrat machines and got this nice little bonus…

After several more beers MrSlotNoodles was looking like the walking dead and it was time to say goodnight!

Back to the MGM Grand and MrSlotNoodles was snoring on the bed within 1 minute of walking into the room!  Unfortunately, he was spread across the entire bed and was still fully clothed.  I got ready for bed, undressed him and rolled him to one side of the bed and stared happily out of the window while he snored the night away!

Vegas day two – we had to be up early, as we wanted to return the rental car to Dollar at TI before the strip got busy.  We were both showered and ready to head out before 7am and got the car to TI just as the desk opened at 7.30.

Popped across the road to Casino Royal to get a bit more cash from the $1 charge ATM (last night had been a big losing affair).

Back across the road again to the Mirage for breakfast in BB Kings, but there was a massive queue.  So instead we decided to start our day of play with a favourite from our last LV visit, Bally’s Cherry Red Bullseye.  I hit a bonus pretty quickly on a 60 cent bet…

We then upped our bet to $1.50 and had several bonuses taking us up and over $120.  We played for about an hour on my $20 and eventually the wins dried up and the credits slipped down to $40.  This covered my original $20 and MrSlotNoodles’s $20 that he lost in the machine next to me.

We went to breakfast having not lost anything.  We both had omelettes in BB Kings and MrSlotNoodles had his third Bloody Mary of the morning.

We had decided before the trip that we would give some higher denominations a try and I spotted a 5 cent Jackpot Block Party.  I had never played this one but I had seen plenty of great videos on YouTube and decided to use $50 of my freeplay to see whether the machine wanted to be kind to us.  The $50 freeplay turned itself into just over $100 credit and then we started hitting some bigger line hits and finally some bonuses…

At the end of another hour of play we cashed out $500 and decided it was time to move on and head down the strip.  First stop was Bellagio where we played some Bally Quick Hit machines, we had a couple of bonuses and some nice line hits, including this $114 six quick hits.

The drinks service wasn’t too good so we took the tram to Aria.

Since opening, Aria had always been a good casino for us, that was until our last two trips.  The result of this meaning we hadn’t spent much time playing there.  We looked around the casino floor to see if there was anything new to play, but couldn’t find anything that took our fancy.  That was until I spotted a Cleopatra II.  I had seen lots of nice wins on Cleo from Evoni and decided we should give it a try.  This was the first ever time we had played this machine.

We put $100 in and played max bet, which on this 1 cent version was only $2.  After running $18 through the machine we hit this nice $53 line hit.

Got down to $82 of our original $100 and we triggered the bonus.  I picked the right hand symbol (I always start my picks on the far right) and got the maximum spins available to me, 10.  Here’s the result…

And the final screen…

It’s a funny old feeling, I was quite pleased when we hit $75… Was smiling like a Cheshire cat when the total went over $122 and the spins retriggered, my hands started shaking on spin 10 when it hit $500!!  My eyes started welling up on spin 19!!!  HANDPAY guaranteed!!!  I can’t really describe how happy I was!!

A slot attendant came across and took my players card and driving license and then came back with a colleague with a pile of forms.  We were going to need my passport and I didn’t have it with me.  MrSlotNoodles was immediately dispatched to the MGM Grand to retrieve it from our room safe and I started the process of answering a long list of questions for the tax exemption form.  A cocktail waitress brought me a few drinks while I waited for MrSlotNoodles.  It was quite nice being able to sit back, relax and admire my hand pay screen… something I thought I would never see in Las Vegas!  My passport in hand the guy with the forms was immediately back at my side, several signatures later the $1,311 were counted into my hand.  I gave each of the attendants $20 and played the $82 through the machine with no repeat of our previous success.

It was time to move on again… to Monte Carlo.  We were still playing with our winnings from my free play, we hadn’t touched today’s money and we had our hand pay stored away in MrSlotNoodles’s wallet.  Today was going great!!

I spotted a Gone with the Wind machine as we entered MC and decided to give it try with $20 minimum bet, got one crappy bonus and decided it wasn’t for me.

Tried out Li’l Lady 2, max betting ($2.40) and hit a nice little bonus quickly…

And then a nice line hit…

Onto A Night of Mystery, a couple of OK line hits later…

… it was time to head to MGM Grand, Rainforest Café for dinner…

Not sure why, but after dinner I decided we would play a couple of old favourites, Goldfish & Hitchcock… max betting.  $300 later we had a few crappy bonuses that paid the same as if we had been playing min bets!!!

Onto Quick hits…

And then it was time to freshen up, get our tickets and head to Brad Garrett’s Comedy Show.  Those of you that read our June trip report may remember that we were not at all impressed with Brad Garrett last time round.  This time we made sure he was not appearing!!

Our free tickets were for zone one and we were shown to the very front middle directly in front of the mike.  Oh no!! In the eye line of all the comedians.  We didn’t need to worry though, as one of the comedians mentioned we were way to normal looking to make fun of!!  The show was great and we laughed from the beginning to the very end!

Gosh, what an amazing day!  If I hadn’t been a bit stupid in MGM Grand on those old machines we would have finished the day with our day’s BR and the hand pay… but in the end we had just over half the days BR and the hand pay.  Whatever, it was still an awesome day!!

Stumble Day – yesterday had been so exciting it caused us both to oversleep!! Something that has never happened in LV before!  We weren’t up and ready for breakfast until 8.30 which gave us one hour to have breakfast and get our Halloween costumes on.

We decided on the closest restaurant to the elevators, Studio Café.  There was a massive queue, but we zipped by it, using our platinum card and were taken to a booth.  We had $100 credit to use so I over ordered, asking for the waffle and the French toast.  MrSlotNoodles ordered a Bloody Mary & NY Steak.  Fortunately, the food came quickly, unfortunately, the steak was still mooing!!

Quick bit of complaining and the meal was taken off the bill and we out of there getting our costumes on.

We were meeting Mauretania and the Treysters out front and it wasn’t difficult to spot the Treysters as they were drawing a bit of attention in their cool outfits.  A big thank you to Mauretania for organising the car to take us to Downtown.

We arrived at the Golden Nugget a little after 10am and met up with the early arriving Stumblers.  It was great to finally put some faces to the names!!  We chatted until it was time for the high limit pull.  MrSlotNoodles and I had four shares between us and also put another $100 in for VSP (another four shares).  Unfortunately, the pull finished up the same way as most of the others have and I was able to text VSP to tell him he now had four shares of nothing!

It was soon time to move onto the Fremont Casino and we quickly found a WMS Free Spin Frenzy machine and MrSlotNoodles posed in front of his machine.  We played some of the old machines with absolutely no success.

VSP texted that he had finally arrived in DT and the three (party?) animals were finally together!

We played a few  more machines with no success and then it was time to move to Four Queens.

Can’t even remember what we played there… but no wins onto the ‘D’ and all three of us were losing on everything… fed-up with losing on the supposedly DT looser slots and not much liking the clientele, the animals decided to make their way back to the strip.  We lasted 5 hours in DT, which was a bit of a record for me 😉

We took the Deuce bus back to the strip and took VSP up to our mini-suite so that MrSlotNoodles could drop off his shark accessories.  We played a while in MGM Grand none of us winning we quickly moved on to Excalibur… I was searching for WWIII which we never found.  But we did find The Mummy, which VSP and I played.  No great bonuses were to be had and we moved onto NYNY.  We hadn’t eaten since breakfast and I hadn’t seen VSP eat all day, so decided we should all go eat.  We decided on an Italian.   The boys both had Calzone and I had a pizza.   The calzones were cold in the middle and had to be sent back but my pizza was fine.  We had a great chat over dinner though and MrSlotNoodles made all sorts of plans for VSP to come over & stay with us, once he gets himself a passport 😉

After dinner we played a few different machines including Monster Jackpots.  I got this nice random bonus after a few spins…

… but it was all down hill from there and we all ended up losing our money and moved on to Monte Carlo.

Played $100 through a 2 cent jackpot block party machine with only one bonus (near to $100 win) but played it through plus our original $100.

VSP was doing really well on the Princess Bride machine, so I sat at the one next to it.  I was max betting and my machine only hit two low paying bonuses.  I ended up losing $200.  At the same time VSP was betting 60 cents a spin and seemed to be winning every dollar I was losing!!

Fed-up with losing we moved onto Aria and this little win was about as good as it got.

Tired and having lost more than I wanted to, we called it a night and said our final goodbyes to VSP for this trip.

Last day in Vegas – Up early and packed it was time to go check our bags in for the flight.  It’s one of the reasons why I like to stay at the MGM Grand. If we are flying with Virgin Atlantic we can check our bags in and get our boarding passes printed out right there in the hotel.  Which means, later we can walk straight through to security without the hassle of loading our luggage in and out of a taxi.

All done and our next job was to sort out our room bill.  There were around $450 of charges that I wasn’t expecting… off to the MLife counter to get it sorted.

I explained to the miserable looking MLife rep the situation and was told that our offer didn’t include 2 free show tickets or the $100 daily amount. Fortunately I had a copy of the offer on my iPod & I showed him the screen shot.

The guy at the desk was the rudest ‘service’ person I have ever dealt with. He spoke in an off-hand, unfriendly manner and referred to me as ‘she’ when he was checking things on the phone. As I had proof he couldn’t argue about the show tickets. Then we discussed the food that should have come off the bill. He said we shouldn’t have eaten outside of the resort and that the only food they could take off was at Studio Cafe, a whopping $52!

I explained that I had specifically asked when we checked in and that we were told we could use it anywhere. Looking down his nose at us he said we would have to take it up with front desk!!

We then asked if we could have a comped late check out and he said the latest our status would give us was 1pm, we were asking for 3pm. After asking very nicely again, and him saying no, we had no choice but to accept it.

Off to front desk and I asked to speak to the manager. She was so friendly, I could have hugged her! She apologised for the misunderstanding and cleared our bill and gave us the 3pm check out we wanted. Result!!

Time for breakfast.  Back to the Rainforest Café, we had earned a $25 off voucher and used it for the majority of cost of the breakfast.

Decided to walk down to Mandalay Bay and spend the day working our way back again (we were going to play in MGM Grand, but decided they didn’t deserve any more play!!).

Started on Li’l Red Colossal Reel had a nice little $20 bonus on a 50 cent bet and then decided to give some 25 cent machines a try and this nice line hit on a triple Double Dragonfly Sevens machines.

Gave Bally’s Reel Money a try and quickly hit the Ruby progressive for a little over $100.

Ended up not losing anything in Mandalay Bay and moved to Luxor and decided to give Godzilla a try.  We had run several hundred dollars through this machine since it was released and had never seen its bonus… wish I could say it was worth the wait…

Played The Mummy again, still no great bonuses to bother sharing.

Then onto Mission Impossible, had to run $75 through the machine to get this bonus…

Tried a 25 cent Pinball, triggered a bonus quickly but it was low paying.  Final play was on Leprechaun’s Gold Land of Luck, where I had a rubbish bonus before I decided it was time to go put our feet up and save our money for another trip!

We relaxed in our room until it was time to head to the airport.  Unfortunately, the President was also heading to the airport at the same time and our terminal was closed.  Our taxi driver took us to terminal 1 and we decided to catch the shuttle to our terminal.  Fortunately, we had this idea before the majority of other people and there were only three shuttle loads of people ahead of us in the queue… an hour of waiting later there were hundreds of people behind us in the queue!!

Once we had finally got to terminal 3 we had a meal, after which our flight was ready for boarding.

The end of our most successful and fun trip yet!

Finishing thoughts… I still love the MGM Grand’s rooms, the executive suite was the perfect size, not too big to feel like a barn, but large enough to spread out.  Even the basic sized Tower rooms are still superior in size to a lot of the strip rooms and I would stay here again (especially when flying with Virgin Atlantic).  But the casino’s slot machine selection is no-where near as good as it used to be and they ‘seem’ to be so tight!!

Our March trip is booked and we are using comped rooms back at the Mirage… and their MLife staff are so much more friendly!!

Day 1

Our final day of travelling on our long road trip to Vegas took us from Ely to Las Vegas.  As we approached Vegas the temperature reading on the car kept rising until it hit 112 degrees!!! Maybe a June visit wasn’t such a good idea.

We drove off the interstate and into the Mirage parking lot and lugged our four bags of luggage to the reception to check-in for our three night comped stay.  We got our bags up to the room and then returned our rental car to Dollar Rental in TI.  Very hot and bothered we returned to the Mirage for a shower and change of clothes.

As the Mirage has kindly adopted us I decided we should give our first evening’s play to them.  You can’t play on an empty stomach so we made BB Kings our first stop.

MrSlotNoodles had Chicken fried chicken…

…and I had Chilli spaghetti…

We began our play side-by-side on Fireball, MrSlotNoodles lost his $20 and I had a nice bonus which paid this…

I then spotted WMS’s Monster Jackpots, I had seen WMS’s promotional videos on YouTube and had been looking forward to playing it, I dragged MrSlotNoodles away from Fireball and we both sat down at different Monster Jackpot machines.

My first bonus produced this nice little win…

Followed by a random Dracula wilds bonus…

And a Monster staked wilds random bonus…

We both triggered many bonuses, however, my first one was the best paying.  We got plenty of play for our bucks and cashed out a nice profit.

We tried out some of the IGT games, those staked wilds are a real tease and rarely pay anything decent!!  MrSlotNoodles did manage a small line hit on Voodoo Vixens…

I played Wolf Run 2 with $75 of PointPlay and played for an hour getting several nice random wild wins and a few bonuses.  I do like howling along with this machine.

The evening’s play was going OK for me so I decided to step it up and play IGT’s Wild Reef, a 5 cent machine, $2 max bet.  MrSlotNoodles was off playing a boring game on his own (probably Fireball)… I stuck in $20 and quickly triggered this nice bonus…

I played this machine for a couple of hours with more bonuses and line wins..

I kept recycling the money until I got too tired and ended up cashing out $100 before we retired for the evening.

Day 2

We were up nice and early and started our day at 6:45am with a walk to Mandalay Bay.  We arrived there at 7:45, 15 minutes before the House of Blues was due to open.  With 15 minutes to kill what were we to do?  Go play of course!  I found a bank of IGT games close to HOB that we hadn’t played before so I put $20 in Boingy Beans and after patiently waiting got this bean bonus…

… and the main bonus…

I then spotted a bank of Bally’s Michael Jackson machines and I just had to go play them, breakfast could wait a bit longer.

MrSlotNoodles finally dragged me away for breakfast at HOB (no pics as it was too dark in there).

After breakfast I decided it was time to use some more of my PointPlay and loaded $25 onto a Wolf Run machine.  I quickly turned it into a TITO for $100… I had about 5 awesome spins in a row that hit around the $10-$15 mark and this nice $23 hit.

We played Bally’s Grease… I couldn’t hit anything on this and my $20 was eaten way too quickly and I demanded that we move on! We moved to Luxor and played a few games there including…

Reel Money ($1.50 max bet)… with a few nice bonuses and a nice $76 line hit…

MrSlotNoodles then played WMS’s Money Burst Glitz and had a lovely 100x bonus…

We remembered we were supposed to be visiting the Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay and back tracked making the long walk to the back and beyond of MB to find the entrance to the reef!!  It was our first use of our Mlife Platinum status and I wasn’t sure how to get the tickets.  I stuck MrSlotNoodles in the very long queue and went to the empty VIP/will call window and asked how we should get our complimentary entry tickets.  She asked how many we wanted and promptly gave me the two tickets I asked for.  I waved MrSlotNoodles through and we jumped the big queue and went straight in.  Tickets are normally $18 each, our first score with our plat status.

We have never visited the Shark Reef before and hadn’t ever really thought about visiting it either, but as it was free, why not.  It was fine and probably a good diversion if you have children, not sure it was worth the usual high entry fee though.

After just under an hour we moved on to MGM Grand to collect our tickets for the Brad Garrett Comedy Show… and we gave the IGT games another try.  I tried out Lion Heart and had a massive $2.30 bonus win!! MrSlotNoodles had better luck on Black Widow…

But his bonus only paid $6.88 so we moved on.

I played Three Kings for the first (and probably last) time.  I was betting $1.25 a spin and ran through $150 before I triggered a red lion bonus for 21 spins… it netted me a massively disappointing $28.35!

I wasn’t doing too well in MGM Grand and since they started doing their renovations their number of machines has reduced massively.  They used to be able to brag that they had the largest number of slot machines on the strip, they now have the largest amount of empty floor space!!

We moved on to New York New York and went into the Nine Fine Irishmen Pub for a late lunch / early dinner.  I was craving some traditional food from home and I had the Sheppard’s Pie.  It turned out that the Pub was a NYNY wi-fi hotspot and I was able to access their free wi-fi from there.

After my yummy meal we decided to seek out an old favourite… Deep Sea Treasures.  We always give this machine a try and it rarely lets us down, tonight was no exception…

Our first progressive win was $43,

Second $24,

A double for $54

Another for $23

A treble for $81

We upped our bet to $2 and we hit another double for $97

And another double for $90

A bonus for $61

The top progressive for $261

Upped our bet to max at $4 and got our last progressive at $91 helping us net a total of $600.

We gave the 3 reel LOTR a try, but found it very boring and quickly moved on to Pirate Battle and enjoyed a few battles with others and both left the machine with more than we stuck in.

We moved on to Monte Carlo briefly stopping to play a couple of the G+ games this being MrSlotNoodles’s best bonus…

He insisted on playing the IGT stacked wilds games again and this was the best result he had…

Off to Aria (a casino I used do quite well in but the last two trips it hasn’t been my friend).

We started by playing on some 2 cent Hot Hot Super Jackpot machines this was my best effort…

MrSlotNoodles gave IGT’s A Night of Mystery a try and had a successful bonus…

We then played some Aristocrat games… MrSlotNoodles gave All Stars a try and thanks to his final spin in his second bonus he left it with a nice little profit…

I played Hooray for Honeywood, managed to trigger a bonus but only got $7 out.  I also tried Cool Shark but the bonus only gave me $5!

We decided to call it a night and headed back to the Mirage.

Day 3

We started the morning with breakfast in BB Kings

I had an omelette…

MrSlotNoodles had a steak burrito (he said it was a bit bland and it needed some hot sauce) …

I really wanted to play Aladdin and I hadn’t seen it in any of the MGM properties, so we popped across the road to the Venetian and we both played it side by side.  I triggered the bonus quite quickly and had the Aladdin Magical Flight bonus winning $21.  I filmed the bonus but I haven’t uploaded to YouTube as I had a better bonus later in the day.

MrSlotNoodles didn’t trigger a bonus with his $20, so I cashed out my $40 and we left the Venetian even.

We went back to the Mirage and played on Ghostbusters, a very strange game by Infinity called Suite Success, Epic Monopoly, Cashcoaster and I gave Clue another try.

I fell in love with Clue during our March LV visit, but my opinion of it couldn’t have changed more!!  We played on our first night and again today, but we just couldn’t hit a bonus!!  This was our best win on it…

It was soon 10am and we headed for our second Platinum complimentary experience, the Dolphin Habitat and Secret Garden in the Mirage.  Again, it was new to us… we’re not keen on viewing mammals in captivity and wouldn’t pay the $19.95 each entry fee but we were curious to see what conditions they were kept in.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the dolphins and big cats appeared to be well kept, looking healthy and content.  There were only a few other people there and we got to see the dolphins up close and they actually spoke to us!!  The big cats were mostly sleeping as it was another hot Vegas day.

After saying goodbye to our new friends we headed to Bellagio and were happy to find that WMS were just completing the installation of four brand new Aladdin machines!!  I hovered close by on an Alice machine and as soon as the rope was removed I leapt onto one of the machines as did MrSlotNoodles as soon as the seat next to me came free.

I slipped in $100, I wanted to try and get all the bonuses on video so that I could share them on YouTube.  I hit a bonus after a short while and got the Clash of the Genie bonus…

And then Aladdin’s Magical Flight bonus…

During the above bonus and my other bonuses lots of Bellagio staff came to watch (you can hear one of them yelling ‘yeah!’ during the above bonus.  They could see I was filming and waited until I had finished the bonus to ask what I thought of the machine and it’s moving chair.

MrSlotNoodles got the Genie bonus and only got $1.50.  He then got the Mystical Spins bonus winning $6.

I triggered Aladdin’s Magical Flight again at $13 and again for $16.  I then triggered the Mystical Spins bonus $7.20 being our best win on this bonus…

As well as the triggered bonuses, Aladdin has a few random bonuses, which include adding wilds and multipliers… this was one of my random bonus wins…

I cashed out my original $100 and MrSlotNoodles hit one last flight bonus, which I was filming when security came over and asked me to stop as it wasn’t allowed… so what’s with that?  I record many bonuses with a crowd of Bellagio staff around me and 30 minutes later I’m not allowed.  I of course stopped but snapped a picture of the end result…

Feeling a little disgruntled with Bellagio we stopped playing and decided to use our complimentary Platinum status entry to Bellagio’s Gallery of fine Art to see the Claude Monet Impressions of Light exhibition.

We weren’t allowed to take any photographs inside.  We used the audio tour and enjoyed discussing our own views on the works on display.

We stopped off at the summer display…

We moved onto to Monte Carlo where I uploaded one of the Aladdin bonuses (using free wi-fi) from the casino floor.  We played a couple of machines these being our only hits worthwhile mentioning…

We both decided we were hungry so we headed to the MGM Grand and to the Rainforest Café.  There was a massive queue, but as we are Landrys Select Club members we were able to jump the queue.  This caused a little bit of upset with one of the couples waiting and I explained that if they join the club for a $25 refundable fee they too could go straight in.  We left for our table as the couple argued between themselves whether they should join.

I had my favourite steak and shrimp…

I didn’t take a picture of MrSlotNoodles’ meal, but it was a spicy pasta dish.  The restaurant has been halved in size due to the MGM works, this made it very busy, meaning our food took a while to get to us.  This allowed us to chat and rest and save some money!

Meal over, we made our way back over the bridge to NYNY and gave Deep Sea Treasures a try, only had two progressive hits and it went cold on us so we moved on.

Aladdin had been added to NYNY overnight so we played that and had a few bonuses before we spotted that Pirates Battle had been replaced by Monster Jackpots.  We got a few bonuses, but my $20 ran out quickly so I watched MrSlotNoodles and the guy next to him who he had been chatting to.  This guy was max betting and doing really well, hitting the top Monster Jackpot, I think it was around $260.

We moved onto WMS’s Land O’ Luck.  I don’t like this one very much and never seem to do well on it.  MrSlotNoodles had three random bonuses and four triggered base game bonuses and my money was bleeding away with no hits or bonuses to speak of.  I was about to cash out when I finally got a random bonus and won this…

Hooray indeed!!

We then found a bank of four Michael Jackson slots and we sat at one together playing 80 cents.  We had lots of bonuses…

It was nearly time for the Brad Garrett Comedy Show to start so I reluctantly left MJ and headed back to the MGM Grand.  We were shown to our seats and watched four support acts before Mr Garrett.  They were all OK and we both enjoyed their sets.  However, Mr Garrett was another matter!!  He came onto the stage and said his goodbyes to one of the support acts and launched into abusing the Mirage for ‘letting him go’, the comedians he has worked with in the past and anyone sat within his view!!  Luckily we weren’t!  It was painful to watch and he was too abusive, raciest, sexist and everythingist to want to laugh.  We will not be returning to see him again and I would not recommend his show… unless of course you like cringing comedy at the expense of your fellow audience members.

Feeling slightly depressed we walked back to the Mirage and retired for the evening.

Day 4

Today was our leaving day, so it started with me packing up everything.  We went down to the Player’s Desk and asked if we could have a complimentary late check-out at 6pm.  No problem and all was arranged.

Great, we could relax the rest of the day and play to our heart’s content.  We went for the buffet breakfast.  It’s nothing special, but it allows you to eat a little bit of everything you fancy for a cheap price.

We hadn’t played as much on this trip as we have our previous trips (due to all the free distractions) so we thought we should step it up for our last session.  I started by playing on Wild Reef and recycled my money nicely before moving onto some of the other similar IGT 5 cent machines, including Boingy Beans, Diamond Jubilee, Pink Diamond and Ruby Reels and although we bonused on them all they were low paying.

I decided to play MJ again (I really don’t remember seeing it in the Mirage before today, must have been another overnight entry!)  Lots more bonuses including this nice random wild bonus hit…

MrSlotNoodles slipped his TITO into an Azure Raging Eruption machine and hit the bonus on his first spin, producing this…

We then found a (think it was Bally) game that we hadn’t played before it had targets on it and you had to get three or more to get the free spins and then collect them for wild reels… well, we had quite a lot of fun on it, hitting some nice bonuses and line hits…

I convinced MrSlotNoodles to load $25 of his PointPlay onto a Wolf Run machine and this was the result…

We took a break for lunch in the Californian Pizza Kitchen, shared a Caesar salad  and had a pizza each (we saved the remains of our pizza for a snack at the airport).

After popping the left over pizza up to our room, MrSlotNoodles insisted that we play Bally’s Lightening Jackpots (think that’s what it was called)… we had lost $100 on it on a previous day with absolutely no bonus to show for it, so I wasn’t too impressed when he expressed an interest to play it again.  Play it we did and another $100 was quickly eaten, but we did have one bonus, which paid a massive $16!!  We will not be playing that one again… well, I won’t anyway!

Finally I finished the day on Wild Reef and it reliably gave me some nice wins including this one..

5pm soon came around and we visited the Player’s Desk to see what could be taken off our bill.  We already had our room comped so it was to see what they could do for us on top of that.  We ended up with a zero bill, all food and our Brad Garrett tickets were comped… yay!!  At least we were kind of winners in the end.

We didn’t use all our BR, a fair chunk of it, but not all of it.  We had a great time, doing things we don’t normally do.  The Mirage is gradually becoming our new favourite base casino and if they continue to send us comped offers (we get a new 3 day comp offer every month), we will continue to give them our loyalty.

Next trip is in the fall and we have our 3 comped nights reserved (at the Mirage) ready for the Halloween Stumble… just 19 weeks to go… good grief!!

During our ‘long road trip’ to Vegas we made two casinos stops… the second was a very quick casino visit in Ely, NV.

We didn’t intend on gambling in Ely, however, MrSlotNoodles had read that the Jailhouse casino and motel had a unique restaurant which involves you having your meal in a jail cell!!  We stayed in a motel up the road from the Jailhouse and walked a few blocks arriving at 4pm but the restaurant didn’t open until 5pm… so we had an hour to kill… the Jailhouse’s slot selection was not very good so we popped across the road to the Hotel Nevada to see what they had to offer.

Amazingly they had a lot of the releases from the last year, including titles such as Ghostbusters and some machines we had not played before.  I found myself gravitating towards Ribbet and we played it until we hit the bonus…

We played a couple other titles… including Outback Jack (which I found really boring) and after a $8 bonus we moved on to play IGT’s Red Hot Fusion and hit the bonus pretty quickly…

By this time it was getting close to 5pm, so we max betted on Jaws at $3 a spin… with no bonus and no TITO to show for it at the end!!

It time to cross the road again…

And we had what turned out to be a very average meal in the Jailhouse restaurant!!

… however, the couple of hours spent in Ely were good fun if not at all profitable!!

During our ‘long road trip’ to Vegas we made two casinos stops… the first was at the Swinomish Casino, Anacortes, WA.

We arrived in the afternoon and checked into our room…

Spent a couple of hours updating our blog and then popped on down to the casino floor to see what this small casino had to offer.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a decent selection of WMS, IGT, Bally and other manufacturers’ slot machines (some manufacturers we hadn’t seen before).

I started the evening by slipping $20 into a Whale Song slot and that $20 disappeared with no sign of a bonus!  MrSlotNoodles reminded me that we were supposed to be having a meal before we started playing and dragged me away to the sports bar for a meal.

I wolfed down my sandwich and fries and we were soon back on the casino floor.  I sat at a machine that I didn’t note the name of.  The man next to me was smoking and apologised to me, I told him that I knew that he was smoking when I sat down and for him not to worry, but he put it out anyway (what a nice guy!)  I slipped in $20 and on my first spin I hit the bonus winning $46.50.  The guy next to me congratulated me and I told him to light up again as I was moving on.

I found myself on an oldie but new to me, Xerxes.  Turned my $66.20 TITO into a $119.46 TITO.

I cashed the TITO and then we played a few different machines winning a bit here and losing bit there…

…MrSlotNoodles had lost his $100 and I was $100 up when I decided we would play IGT’s Puppy Stampede.

We started with a 30 cent bet…

Moved up to a $1.50 bet…

Down to 60 cent…

Back up to $1.50…

And finally up to $3.00…

After this nice win MrSlotNoodles wanted to play a few other machines which quickly ate the ‘up’ money and we finished the night even.

Our final thoughts on the casino… to begin with it was quite overwhelming with smoke, but we soon got used to it.  It was busy enough to have a good atmosphere but not too busy that it caused any problems with playing the machines we wanted to play.  The hotel room was modern, clean and well-appointed.  Should we find ourselves in Anacortes again, we would definitely stay and play there again.

Day 18 More Birds, Bison, Bears…….oh and some wolves…and some…..

Today was a long day, with an early start and a lot of miles in Yellowstone National Park. We woke at 04.30am and were on the road before 05.30 to see what early morning wildlife was on show.

The Mammoth Elk herd were out and about early, and as we drove east towards Lamar Valley we got caught in a large Bison jam, well lots of large Bison if not too many cars, near Wraith Falls. We continued on to Tower Falls to see if the Black Bear from yesterday was still in the area, and right enough she was getting some early morning grazing in. We and some other early starters took a few shots and then backtracked into Lamar Valley.

We saw a stack of vehicles and scopes at a turnout east of the YAI buildings and on parking could see many wolves on a Bison kill (or carcass) across the river. Some of the regular wolf watchers confirmed it was the Molly pack and we saw around nine wolves either eating or resting, although it was some distance in terms of photography. I did get some video by asking to use someone’s scope (I won’t be uploading any video until I get home).

We had a lot of ground to cover, so set off towards Cooke City, and soon saw a Black Bear a mile or so north of Ice Box canyon. Again, a good distance away.

We drove through Silver City, stopped for some pictures of a Mule Deer near to the road…

…and then through Cooke City and out of the east entrance, with a sigh of relief as the sign said Beartooth was open (it still said closed at Mammoth!).

It was far less snowy through the start if the drive than it was last year and as we started to ascend after the Cody junction the snow returned and we stopped just short of the summit on the Wyoming side for some landscape shots and some of a couple of cute Marmots.

Past the temporary ski resort that was still doing business and into Montana. We Eventually stopped at Rock Creek Vista Point, elev. 9190 feet at about 09.30. We took a few photos of the Montana switchbacks and the begging Chipmunks, and then headed back towards Yellowstone.

 

We had hoped to see Mountain Goats, but had seen no sight of them on the way up. I had resigned myself to no goats, when just as we took the hairpins towards the ski resort we saw a group of them below the road. Luckily, the nearest overrun on the bend had no deep snow, so we parked up, jumped over the barrier and watched as they crunched on the ice and looked for grazing. If we had been in a car we would not have seen them so the SUV higher position saved the day.

…then back down and on towards the east entrance. We disturbed a female Moose, near to where we saw them last year about 2 miles west of the junction to Cody, who was looking to cross the road, and she ran in front of us but luckily far enough away not to be a problem. By the time we drew level she had disappeared from view into the undergrowth.

We continued on towards Lamar Valley, and saw a Cinnamon Black Bear, quite close to the road between Ice Box Canyon and the Trout Lake trailhead.

We cruised along Lamar Valley, but the wolves were gone, just a lot of ravens picking what was left of the carcass bare. Some people were hanging on, hoping for bears, but we decided to head south.

No bears at Tower Falls, but a Coyote with a convoy of cars in tow, following him down the road. We drove on, over Dunraven Pass, past Canyon and into Hayden Valley. We have never had much luck in wildlife spotting in Hayden Valley and apart from a few Bison, water birds and the odd Elk, we had a nice drive but no photo stops. We turned at Fishing Bridge, after a fruitless check for Otters (one day!) and returned to Canyon, where we spent an hours rest, had a couple of drinks and edited the pictures on the data cards.

After that it was back to Gardiner, via Norris and Mammoth to a very busy hotel and overloaded wifi.

Day 19 Yet more Birds, Bison and two firsts for our Yellowstone visits

After yesterday’s early start, today was a much more sedate 07.30 start. We decided to tour Lamar Valley again, hoping the wolves or a Grizzly or two would be in evidence.

However, not far after Black-tail Deer Creek trailhead we had an unexpected pleasure. A lot of photographers, what can they see? Badgers!! A sett, with four Badgers!! We have only ever seen one American badger very briefly (near Bear Lake, UT). We have badgers living in the woods near where we live and have only seen them four times in 12 years and always at night time. We stopped to take what seemed like a million photos, before well pleased, we headed back to our car.

A guy pulled up, half on half off the road on a blind bend! I politely suggested he might like to move, but he wanted to know what is was first.

‘It’s a Badger sett, with Badgers’ MrSlotNoodles answered. ‘Pardon’ came the reply. ‘Badgers’ he again responded. ‘Hey?’ came the reply. I have less of an accent so I gave it a try and said ‘Its Badgers!’ ….’What’ came the reply again, ….‘You know, squat animals, black and white striped faces, live in holes in the ground, Badgers!!!’ ……‘Oh, Baaaaaaaaadgers‘ he drawled, as the penny dropped, ‘Its only Baaaaaaagers’ and he turned and got back in his car and drove off… perhaps we don’t speak English anymore!

We then toured the Lamar Valley/Tower Falls area for a few hours but nothing was on show other than lots of Bison and Pronghorn, not that we don’t like Bison and Pronghorn, but we were on a Bear mission.

I had heard that over the last week some Grizzlies had been spotted around the Bridge Bay marina so we headed back to Hayden Valley, through a heavy rain storm across Dunraven Pass. Again, not too much around, until we got to Trout Creek where the whole world and his wife were watching a Mother Grizzly and her two yearling cubs some distance away over the river (another first for us at Yellowstone, we’ve seen lots of Grizzlies but no sows with cubs). We watched for a short while before they moved into a gully and we lost sight of them.

We continued to the marina, and I asked the Ranger on duty who said that no bears had been seen for a few days (perhaps the mother and cubs in the valley were the ones spotted at the marina) although he did confirm that they do often frequent the meadow to the west of the marina (so a future location to try).

We stopped on the way back to take a few shots of Yellowstone Lake… it is usually still frozen during our May visits, so it was interesting to see it look more like a rough sea in the strong wind!!

Day 20 Another Beary Wolvederful day!

After a not very good nights sleep, we were already awake around 4am, so we showered and packed as we were moving location… finally leaving around 6.30am. The ladies of the Mammoth Elk herd were again in evidence around the town and campsites and we then headed again for Lamar Valley. No badgers out this morning.

Just east of Phantom Lake, which at present is not quite a phantom, we came across a young black bear. It was not a good place for stopping, no pullouts and a steep verge, and fortunately the bear moved off before too much traffic arrived, given the first cars there had just stopped in the road.

We continued on until we saw a ranger and a few vehicles and scopes/lenses just west of Petrified Tree. Another Black Bear, but some distance off and in an area of new growth pines. We watched through our binoculars until it went to ground and then continued towards Tower.

We talked on route that the sow Black Bear could not be there again? Well, yes she was! We spotted her on the way back down from a quick restroom stop at Tower Falls.

Again, some of the driver behaviour was not so good, and a special mention must be made of the complete prize pillock parked full on the road, facing on-coming traffic, who sounded his horn to try and make her turn, which just made her move more into the trees… it seems a pre-trip lobotomy is a requirement for some visitors!

We then headed into Lamer Valley and were a bit surprised by the large numbers of morning visitors with scopes trained on the area a little west of the previous kill. We could see a fresh kill, covered in ravens but lots of suspect dots which we and the people we spoke too could not identify as wolves.

Then there was a bit of chatter, and a Wolf ran behind us parallel with the road, as we struggled with camera settings, it crossed just to the right of us (our closest ever sighting of a wild wolf) and then set off on a zig zag route through the many Bison, who were not pleased to see him or her.

It made towards the kill, stopped, and then two of the dots turned into animated objects and all three moved off up the valley. Fantastic!!

We chatted to a few people, swapped a few tips, and then headed towards Pebble Creek campground to turn round. Whilst there we noticed some white dots on the cliffs to the west, which turned out to be two mountain goats and a kid, when viewed through the binoculars. Seriously thinking about renting a scope (and a 600mm lens) next time.

We headed west back through Lamar valley, but with so many animals in view, if you checked out every dot, light or dark patch, you would find one I’m sure.

No bears at tower, but on the ascent to Dunraven Pass, we came across a Coyote, who was enjoying the remains of a packet of chips someone had dropped. We took some photos and video, and as he had dropped the packet, we picked it up along with the other trash left by careless visitors, as we didn’t think Lays Originals are really a good diet for a Coyote. So another first, a hand full of coyote drool!

 

Once we bagged the chip bag etc we made sure we sanitized our hands and we moved on. Btw, just what are the symptoms of distemper?!

We drove on, headed for West Yellowstone, but decided to drive through Hayden Valley, (lots of animals, several scopes were out looking far into the distance but there was only Bison near the road), West Thumb and then passed the thermal features in the geyser basins, such as Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic; We have never seen them so busy!! Cars parked on the road verges as the parking areas were full.

We continued on to Madison Junction, then west to West Yellowstone. Not too much wildlife on show along Madison River, a few Elk and lots of fishermen.

We checked in a had a late lunch and did some gift shopping before we head towards Las Vegas.

Day 21 Start of the (Logan’s) run to Vegas

We woke, took breakfast quickly and checked out. We headed west on US20, crossed the border into Idaho, and continued to Ashton, where we turned onto the ID32 and headed for the ID33 and Driggs, with great views of the Tetons to the east. We passed the large model potato at the Driggs drive-in movie theatre, and then took the 31 to Swan Valley.

This area is rich in bird life, especially water birds, and as we drove alongside palisades reservoir towards Alpine, Wyoming, we saw American Pelicans and many Osprey nesting on telegraph poles. We pulled into a camp site along a dirt track to try and get some photos, but as MrSlotNoodles went to open the door I yelled ‘No!!- look!’. We were surrounded by a cloud of Mossies that looked bigger than the Pelicans! MrSlotNoodles is particularly tasty to US mossies, so he chickened out and we drove on. Fortunately, just south of Alpine there is a wildlife viewing area that was mossie free, so we eventually got some shots.

At Alpine we had joined the US 89, which heads south to Utah, or north to Jackson. We continued south to Montpelier ID (you do a lot of State hopping on this route) and then continued on the US89 to Paris, at the north end of Bear Lake.

Here, we diverted on to a gravel road to visit the Bear Lake NWR, which again is rich in water birds, raptors and such.

We continued around Bear Lake, until we reached Garden City (did not stop for a famous Raspberry Shake as the queue was long), and turned west, still on 89 towards Logan, UT. We ascended the Bear lake pass, Elv. 7810 feet. and then through the very scenic Logan Canyon until we reached Logan, our stop for the night.

Logan is a busy University town (Go Aggies apparently!) and the Mormon Tabernacle and architecture are worth a look. We ate at the Beehive Grill, which was very good and MrSlotNoodles had 25oz. Moab Brewery ales, which he have enjoyed in Moab and did here too, for only $4.00.

Day 22 To Nevada via a rocket(s) and a surprise look at Jupiter!

MrSlotNoodles had not decided on a route for this leg of the trip, other than we would finish in Ely, Nevada. So, was it Antelope Island, and the Salt Lake to Wendover or Golden Spike NM. We had never been to Golden Spike, and as we wanted to avoid the Interstate on this trip as much as possible, we headed for there.

So onto the UT30 headed west, and eventually picked up the brown signs for the NM. On the way in we spotted lots of raptors and snapped a lot of pictures.

Once we arrived at the NM we got a pleasant surprise… Golden Spike NM marks the location where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met in May 1869, and so completed the first transcontinental railroad, opening up the west to more settlement and trade. We were aware that each May 10th there is a re-enactment, but the NM staff said each Saturday during the summer there is one as well!

So we stayed to see the replica locomotive, the Jupiter, steam up the tracks and pull up to the golden spike location (the last rail spikes driven into the sleepers were symbolically made of gold). We did not stay for the second loco, No 119 or the re-enactment as that was an hour later, but drove some of the auto tour along the old formation through cuttings and across embankments before heading back to the highway.

We then passed the ATK rocket testing/manufacturing facility, which is huge, and took a few photos of the samples in their display, including the Shuttles boosters and Patriot missiles.

Then onto I-84, until we rejoined the UT30/NV233 for a long and lonely drive across range and desert to meet I-80 at Oasis (we could not find the Cobre Ghost Town; it must have been spirited away!).

We left I-80 at Wells, gassed up and then headed south, over 130 miles to El yfor the night, an old Nevada gambling town. We visited the historic and quirky Nevada hotel, and ate in the Jailhouse casino. Yes, we did have a small flutter and no, we did not end up winners! I’ll write up a mini trip report when we get back home.

Tomorrow, the last leg to our final destination Las Vegas… and no more blog updates until we get home 😉

The long road trip continues…

Day 11 Half way to Vegas, so it must be time for slots!

We awoke around 5.30am, could see no early morning wildlife around Lake Crescent, so packed, checked out and headed for Port Angeles to find breakfast. We stopped at Joshua’s, the car park was full of pick-ups, usually a good sign.  However this was for some sort of meeting, not a mass approval of the fare on offer! Luckily it was fine and less than half the cost at the Lodge.

We then drove up Hurricane Ridge Road to an elevation of around 5,700 ft for a great view of……………nothing but 10 feet in front of us in the fog, snow and below zero temperatures at the top.

Drove back down, but the weather was not kind for good views over the Strait of Juan de Fuca (no sniggering at the back!), or of the mountains. Then back on the 101 and a quick divert to Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and Dungeness Spit. The spit is 5 miles in length, but after about the first half mile, and due consideration of a combination of poor choice of attire on MrSlotNoodles’s part, a stiff sea breeze and no sign of any harbour seals or any birds but gulls, we turned and headed back.

Back into the car and the heavens opened as we drove past Sequim and onto the Wa20 to the Quimper Peninsular to Port Townsend where the rain abated.

We originally planned to stay in Port Townsend, but ferry cancellations next day would not be helpful for our journey on to the San Juan Islands, so we decided on Anacortes for an overnight.

We had a reservation on the 4.30 pm Port Townsend to Coupeville (Whidbey Island) ferry, but we managed to sneak onto the 12.45pm one.

A 30 minute crossing later and we on Whidbey island. Then north on the 20, past Coupeville which is some distance north of the port, watched a few F16’s (I think) fly low across us as we drove past the Oak Harbor Naval air base and then stopped at Deception Pass.

Then continued north to Anacortes for our overnight. We had passed a large number of NA Casinos, more than we remember from our last visit this way, and when I learnt that one had just opened a new hotel in April…….well it would have been rude not to!…………and they have cheap gas!……. and it looked nice……..and free coffee……..and free wi-fi…. and…..!!  We had a great time and the full results will be the subject of another blog 🙂

Day 12 Voyage to the San Juans, ‘wot, no whales?’

We left the Swinomish casino and lodge having fought an honourable draw after a late comeback on the ‘Puppy Stampede’ slot with a $168 hit.

We drove the 8 miles to Anacortes ferry terminal and caught the 08.30am ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, which is an international sailing which goes on to Sydney, Canada (Vancouver Island).

The voyage took an hour and is a dedicated Washington Scenic Byway, justifiably so.

We drove off the ferry and decided, given the clear weather today and rain and wind for tomorrow, to book an extra whale watching trip with western Prince, to leave at 12 noon. Then we checked in to our hotel and walked back down to town grabbed a pizza each from the Chinese restaurant and were ready for 11.45 boarding.

The trip was very enjoyable, gorgeous scenery, and we saw eagles, Stellar Sea-lions, Harbour seals and Harbour Porpoises but no Orcas. The resident pods were not currently in residence, must be a rent or lease dispute or just the price of fish. So we were looking for Transient whales, who do not travel in large pods, hunt seals and are harder to find.

 

After three and a half hours we returned to port (no boats saw whales that day or for the previous 4 days) and had a early meal at the Cask and Schooner, Lamb burger and Shepherds Pie, then returned to our hotel for the evening.

Day 13 Captain Jim and the search for Orca

We awoke, early as usual, took the comp hotel breakfast and headed out to explore some of San Juan Island before our booked Orca trip at 12 noon. We drove down to the southern tip of the Island in windy drizzle, and when we could go no further, drove back stopping at each location.

First up was Cattle Point, where we thought we saw an Orca, but it was a porpoise on closer inspection through the binoculars, but no pictures as it was soon gone. A couple of Bald Eagles were using the wind to swoop over the bay and look for food.

We then stopped at south beach, but no red foxes or other animals on view, then drove on to the National Park Service American Camp site (more on this later), a pretty bleak and windswept location from the 1850’s Pig War.

San Juan island is about 15 miles long by 6 miles wide so it really does not take too long to get anywhere. We then headed north and after a quick look at False Bay, we pulled into Lime Kiln Point State Park, which is the only dedicated whale watching park in the US. We spent a couple of hours on the trails, watching a harbour seal and various birds but no whales in the Haro Strait.

That’s me all wrapped up 😉

We then headed for our trip, which was booked with Maya’s Western Charters which has good reviews. Capt. Jim Maya, who owns the Peregrine which takes six passengers max, was on hand and unfortunately our trip was cancelled, seas too heavy and no whales. His 3 pm trip was full, but as consolation he said if he saw whales on the 3pm trip he would ring us and take us out later. It’s a cash on delivery trip so we said ok and set off for some more exploration.

We continued north on West Side Road to English Camp NPS site. As I said earlier, this location dates back to a territorial dispute between Britain and the US over ownership of the San Juan Island, which reached a head over the killing of a pig (I kid you not!) in 1859, and resulted in armed garrisons being established by each nation. The US barracks on the south of the island were spartan, but us Brits, as the Dick van Dyke in ‘Mary Poppins’ style narration of the film in the visitors center would say……..

‘Cor Blimey me old china, us Brits know how to fight a war! Whilst those Yanks are freezing their ‘Alberts’ off down south, we are just sat here on our ‘arris’ whiling away the day, or enjoying tea dances, parties, gardening, or time in the ‘rub-a-dub-dub’….luvlee!’

After MrSlotNoodles told the lady in the office that Kaiser Wilhelm 1st got it wrong in 1871, (arbitrated in favour of US) and she should ‘get off his land’ , which she did not seem to appreciate, we moved on, due to lack of reinforcements, to Roche Harbor. Very nice, and very quaint, owned by the company that once made all the Lime on the islands. We had a quick lunch, then drove around the rest of the island, then headed back to Lime Kiln Point.

We asked at the information centre about Orcas, and the lady there said that they had been spotted off Victoria BC, and were headed this way so two hours maybe. We spent two hours with more birds, seals and waves, asked again and got the same answer!

So, about 5pm, we headed back to our hotel, thinking our chance was over. We had not been back 5 minutes when the phone rang, it was Capt. Jim. No, not Klingons, but Orcas, he had followed them in and we could go out at 6pm.

We drove to Snug Harbor, joined three others and set off on our sailing. It was fantastic!………….. We saw J Pod, the residents were back after their Canada vacation, and whilst they are a challenge to photograph (very sneaky, they swim fast and are good at appearing behind you!) from a small boat, we saw seven different individuals, some interesting weather, a Peregrine Falcon, lots of other birds and really enjoyed Jim’s wit and knowledge.

We got back to port just before 9pm, and returned back to our hotel tired but very happy.

Day 14 Goodbye to the Ocean and we head east to the mountains

We awoke at 04.00am so we could catch the 05.50 sailing back to Anacortes. The ferry was not that busy and we docked on time at 07.15 and set off on US20 to drive to Spokane, via North Cascades NP.

We got to the Newhalem visitors centre just as they opened at 9am, and unlike our previous visit, although it was cloudy, we could actually see something as we drove through the park.

We stopped at various sites, including Gorge Creek Falls, Diablo Lake, and Washington Pass (5477 feet) as the weather alternated between sun and showers.

We then dropped down, passed through Winthrop, which has a very western film set feeling to its architecture, rather than say that of Jackson, WY. Trying too hard to look like a cowboy town, even down to the gas station.

We then joined the 215 and 155 through Omak and the Colville Indian Reservation until we reached Grand Coulee Dam. It is a very impressive piece of civil engineering, but like the Three gorges on the Yangtze, is not very photogenic.

We then joined the US2 to Spokane, and the scenery changed from open range with sage bush and scrub to large expanses of agriculture. We eventually reached our hotel, after a drive in heavy rain on I-90 at 3pm, after 8 hours of driving plus ferry crossing.

Day 15 A long day drive through rainy Idaho to cold Montana

We checked out around 07.30am and hit the I-90 for a short 10 mile stretch to join the US95, just west of Coeur d’Alene and then headed south.

We eventually arrived at Moscow, and negotiated the thronging streets for the Saturday farmers market, well a few pedestrians thronging maybe. It had probably only just opened and looked to have plenty of fresh produce to buy although today we were on a tight schedule, over 500 miles, so no loitering allowed!

We continued along the 95, until we reached Lewiston, on the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, and stopped at an overlook for a couple of pictures before descending to the US12, which is known as the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, part of the Lewis and Clark NHT.

It starts with signs which say winding road ‘next 99 miles’ and it is not joking! But, it is extremely scenic as it runs alongside the Clearwater River and ascends from a wide open canyon to narrow forested mountain canyons very popular with weekend white water rafting trips as far as we could tell.

It was even magnificent in driving rain, so wet that the rafters were probably drier in the river than on the banks! Not good for hikes or photography but we did get a couple of snaps between downpours. The road has a 55mph limit and was heavily policed in the congested area around the rapids. We saw three drivers pulled over and another cruiser on the prowl. Compared to previous trips, we had seen far more active enforcement of speed limits on this one in all the States that we had visited and we wondered if it was linked to poor safety records or pressure on local budgets?

As we climbed up to Lolo pass, elevation 5,235 ft, the rain turned to sleet, then we entered Montana, lost an hour and gained some sunshine.

We continued on the US12 until Missoula, then joined the I-90 again until we reached Drummond, and turned south onto Mt1, or the Pintler Veterans’ Memorial Scenic Highway.

This forms a 64 mile ‘L’ shaped divert off the I-90, rejoining at Anaconda, and gives some great views of the mountains, with a final climb up to Georgetown Lake, before the longest length of 35/25mph speed limit I can remember anywhere in rural USA around Anaconda.

We rejoined the I-90, then onto the I-15 and drove south to Dillon for our overnight, to explore the region northwest of Yellowstone the next day. If Idaho was wet, Montana was cold, with snow flurries and a sharp chill wind. The local forecast was for snow next day and a quick check of the Montana roads info website confirmed that NPS had closed Beartooth Highway at the Wyoming border.

Day 16 A change of plan and an extra day in slightly snowy Yellowstone

Originally we had planned to drive to Laurel in Montana today, to allow us to enter Yellowstone by the northeast entrance tomorrow and finally drive all the Beartooth Highway in one go. The closure led to a rethink over breakfast, and we cancelled the night in Laurel and added another night to our Gardiner reservation.

NPS info on the Beartooth in real-time is pretty poor on-line, but the info on the Montana roads site had not changed and the weather was worse for today in that area, so we decided there was no point going to Laurel and having to wait around or come another way in anyway.

So, we had a later start, and took the 41 out of Dillon towards Twin Bridges, seeing lots of raptors looking for their breakfasts in the sage grass and verges. We then joined the Mt 287 with a short stop at Nevada City ghost town; well sort of a still lived in ghost town, with a tourist train which today was not running.

Then through Virginia City, which appears to have held onto its western look by maintaining its old buildings (rather than building fake new ones) and looks much more authentic for it, than some others (I MrSlotNoodles’s HO).

 

The weather was a mixture of wind, sleet and light snow showers and at Ennis we joined US287, and headed south towards the Madison River Earthquake Area and visitors centre, near to Quake Lake and Hebgen Lake.

On August 17th 1959, a 7.5 Richter scale quake caused the mountain side to slip, blocking the Madison River with 80 million tons of rock, and killing 28 people, many just sleeping in the camp grounds. You can still see the scar on the mountainside and the lake created by the blockage.

We then headed into West Yellowstone, had lunch at Bullwinkle’s Bar, and then checked on the Beartooth. Closed until Monday ‘sometime‘, so the decision looked a good one and with an improving weather forecast we will drive it both ways later in the week.

We then drove into the park in snow/sleet flurries, saw a few baby Wapitis alongside the Madison River, the usual Bison alongside the roads, lots of wet tourists and steaming thermal features and a great view of an Osprey along the Yellowstone River, just south of Mammoth as we approached Gardiner.

The wildlife highlight of the trip starts here!

Day 17 Birds……………oh, and the usual few bears

We woke a little later and decided to take the hotel complimentary breakfast rather than an early start in the park. We recalled it was not that good, and unfortunately our memories did not deceive us, but suitably calorie laden for a day of wildlife spotting we set off about 7.30am.

Today’s wildlife highlights…

Golden Eagle

Black bear with her two cubs…

A bit of scenery…

We have another three days in Yellowstone before we start to head south to Las Vegas… I’ll do one final progress update (probably on Saturday).

So we continue with day 8…

Day 8 Gorging on the Gorge

Today was a day spent touring the Columbia River Gorge.

Started the day with watching the US TV stations going overboard about Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, probably more so than the UK media. However, the Anchor needs to do some more homework, he did not know Betty likes the ponies and he enjoyed the Royal wedding earlier this year!!

Whatever, we left, headed west on I-84, crossed the river into Washington State on I-205 and then turned west onto the 14, to tour the north side of the river. The weather was overcast with a few light showers.

We stopped at the Steigerwald Lake NWR and spent a good hour spotting birds including various hawks, eagles, herons, warblers, deer and an otter, oh, and a few mosquitoes and nibbling gnats.

The north side has a few other wildlife refuges, Franz Lake and Pierce, and we were lucky enough to see more deer and juvenile Bald Eagles. As we drove west, the skies cleared and we stopped at a number of State Parks as we headed for The Dalles, to cross back to the Oregon side.

Once back on the south bank, we headed west on I-84, until we could join historic route US30, and climb the twisty road to Rowena view point for majestic views over the gorge and Columbia River.

We took a packed lunch break, last night’s cold pizza, near Cascade locks and then headed to the waterfalls area from Moffett Falls westwards. If the north bank had wildlife, the south has people!

We walked to McMenamins Historic Edgefield Complex, a strange assortment of pubs, gardens, and entertainment, and ate at the Power Station Pub. It was very busy, although MrSlotNoodles said the beer was great and I thought the food good, the service was a bit patchy. In case you’re interested… the Deep V Wheat, Bohemian Pilsner and Raspberry Ruby were very good craft ales, and the White Owl whisky basically posh moonshine 😉

They also have live music and apparently ZZ Top will be there, outdoors, in August, MrSlotNoodles says he would love to return and hear them play……… ‘Give me all your larger, all your stout and bitter too,…. give me all your lager, don’t let up until I’m stewed!’

Day 9 Goodbye Oregon, Hello Washington and an Olympic drive

Woke early as usual, and hit the I-84, and headed into Portland city, negotiated Portland’s version of Birmingham’s Spaghetti Junction, and a right tagliatelle of slips, flyovers, weaving lanes and underpasses it is, but we made it to the US26 towards Seaside.

We made a brief stop on route at Stub Stewart SP but no early morning wildlife was on show.

We joined the 101 at Seaside and proceeded north to cross the Columbia River estuary, into Washington State, at Young’s Bay across the massive bridge at Astoria.

…and took a drive around Cape Disappointment. It lived up to its name as we only spotted a distant Bald eagle.

The weather was better than forecast with a mixture of sun and showers and we continued on the 101, stopping for gas in Aberdeen, not like the original other than its near the sea, and finally entered Olympic National park at Lake Quinault.

We arrived at the Lodge about 3pm, and checked in. We did a bit of photo deleting, and then took an early dinner (relatively expensive as national Parks places usually are but fabulous views over Kalaloch beach with tasty food and micro brews).

The view from our room…

The lodge…

We then went for a walk along the beach, taking shots of bald eagles. The sun had finally broken through and we had blue skies and a stiff breeze to help us along.

Day 10 Hi Hoh, Hi Hoh, it’s on a rainforest walk we go!

We were awoken bang on 5.15am by the raven alarm clock, which appeared to have no snooze button, quickly followed by the sounds of hungry swallow chicks as their parents started the daily chore of feeding. We watched the bald eagle return to its nest, silhouetted by the dawn light, from our window then got up.

Once we had showered and packed, we took breakfast in the lodge, again fine but not cheap, and saw our first ever live Racoon. It was in the trees across the Kalaloch creek.

We then set off, back on 101 to start the days exploration along the route to Lake Crescent. First stop, Beach 4 which was supposed to have good tide pool life and did not disappoint with some great sea stars and other stuff.

Then to Ruby Beach, although we did not find any of the garnets which earned it the name. It was starting to rain, and the tide was turning, so we were forced to cross over the creek that runs across the beach a little higher on the return route. MrSlotNoodles did not quite make the jump he attempted and ended up with rather wet legs, I laughed so hard I nearly did as well!! 😉

We then headed inland to the Hoh Rainforest, 13 miles along one way to the visitors centre. On route we stopped to see a large bull Elk who had no fear of humans and seemed quite intent on saying hello, walking to about 20 feet away, so we politely moved aside and let him pass. This was the same with the mule deer we met later, they seemed unconcerned by us but were not after food.

At the rainforest we took both the Hall of Mosses trail and the Spruce Nature trail which goes to the river. On the HoM trail we finally saw a Banana Slug as well as all the trees hung with moss and a few birds.

Back in the car and into the ‘Twilight Zone’, Forks, which is the setting for the books and films about moody teenage vampires and werewolves. The town is trying to cash in on it to some extent with tours and renamed businesses, but I can’t say we saw any pasty faced garlic fearing locals.

We drove on to our next lodge, Lake Crescent, arriving just in time to check in and have a late lunch. We then decided that as the weather looked a bit suspect, we would stay in the area and took in the Moments in Time and Marymere Falls trails.

All in all a very enjoyable day, and a great look at all the diverse landscape and experiences Olympic has to offer, and there’s still much more we didn’t have time for.

Day 11 Half way to Vegas, so it must be time for slots!

We awoke around 5.30am, could see no early morning wildlife around the lake, so packed, checked out and headed for the Hurricane Ridge Road to an elevation of around 5700 ft for a great view of……………nothing but 10 feet in front of us in the fog, snow and below zero temperatures at the top.

We originally planned to stay in Port Townsend, but ferry cancellations next day would not be helpful for our journey on to the San Juan Islands, so we decided on Anacortes for an overnight.

We took the 12:45pm ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville (Whidbey Island).

And as I write this we are at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge 🙂  I’ll let you know how our visit goes in our next update.

OK, so I should have explained a bit better in my first ‘long road trip to Vegas’ blog that MrSlotNoodles and I are on a three week long road trip to Vegas!!  If you read the first instalment you will have seen that the trip started in San Francisco.  We pick up here on Day 4…

Day 4 Exploring the Redwoods National and State Parks

Above… Trees of Mystery attraction. The Mystery, of what is actually mysterious about them, remains a mystery (as we did not pay to enter) although I reckon it’s a mystery how they get anyone to pay to see trees, thousands of which you can see for free! However, whilst I did not think much of his blue ox, as for Paul, well ‘He’s a lumberjack and he’s ok!’

Above… Whales seen from a coastal hike.  We watched them feeding in Klamath Bay.

Above… Osprey feeding along with the whales.

Above… View from inside a redwood 😉

Above… Elk

Above… Trinidad

Day 5 Onwards to Oregon

Above… Jedediah Smith State Park

Above… John Dellenback Dune Trailhead

Day 6 In search of sea lions and mountains

Above… Cooks Chasm

Above… Silver Falls State Park

Above… Really cool full circle rainbow around the sun (first one we have ever seen!!)

Above… Cute and friendly snake 😉 at Fish Lake off the 126

Day 7 From Sunny Sisters to Cloudy Portland

Above…  Cline Falls

Above… Smith Rock State Park

Above… Cove Palisades State Park

Day 1 To the airport!

Due to us flying out of one terminal and back into another we started our trip a day earlier than normal with a drive down to Heathrow and an overnight stay near the airport.

Day 2 The long journey to Las Vegas begins!

We were up at 3am, and left at 4am to park our car at Terminal 5, and catch the Heathrow Express to Terminal 3. American Airlines check-in was pretty quiet and after a debate about our baggage allowance, which we won on evidence submitted, we proceeded through security, had a very average breakfast snack, and boarded our 777 to Chicago for the first leg.

The flight left on-time at 07.45am and was fine, looped films… but ok, food passable, and the passengers mostly Americans heading home after trips to Europe, which meant our quickest ever pass through immigration. It was 30 minutes from plane to security at ORD terminal 3.

We had a quick reconnaissance walk, as it’s over ten years since we were last there, and settled on lunch at Wolfgang-Pucks, which we have yet to sample in LV even after all these trips. Two very nice salads and a pint were consumed (pint by MrSlotNoodles) and some ‘food porn’ is provided below! Yes, that is a banana split 🙂

We then sat and waited as we had taken the 4 hr lay-over as the later flight only left 2 hrs and sky tracks is full of bad news on queues at ORD… well not on the Sunday of Memorial Weekend.

The 4 and a half hours flight went really quickly as I signed up for the Wi-Fi!!

On arrival at SFO, collected our bags and caught the sky train to the rental center, Dollar Express meant we jumped the queue and set off for Pacifica nice and quick.

We met Boots and her husband in the hotel bar, which has a stunning view of the ocean. We had a lovely chat and watched the sun set into the Pacific… then MrSlotNoodles and I turned into Zombies (we had been awake for getting on for 30 hours).

We were in bed and sleeping soundly by 9pm!!

Day 3 Through the land of the giants

Despite the fatigue I awoke at 1am, then 2am and again at 3am… finally MrSlotNoodles said it was time to get up at 4am.  So we got up… I unpacked everything and then repacked it all into the bags I wanted it all in (for our flights I always spread our clothes equally between the bags and ensure we both have clothing in each bag, that way if one or more of the bags goes missing during the flights we both have some of our clothes).

Yesterday, the Golden Gate bridge had been closed to celebrate its 75th Birthday with a fireworks display but it was now open and shrouded in mist as we drove across it and the drive out of San Francisco was nice and quiet on a holiday Monday. We stopped at Vista Point on the north shore for a few quick photos of the Bridge, Alcatraz and the Bay, then headed north up the 101.

MrSlotNoodles decided that with the lack of sleep and knowing how winding and slow it could be, that this trip we would not take the coastal route on Highway 1 via Mendocino (we have driven it all before) but instead stay on the 101 mostly all the way to Crescent City.

We passed through the wine region and eventually decided it was time for breakfast at Windsor, just north of Santa Rosa at 7.30 am. We were the only two customers as we tucked into our signature omelets at Omelette Express, which were excellent. Then back on the road until we reached Leggett, where we drove through one of the remaining drive through trees, the Chandelier Tree, $5 a go…

… and then continued to drive the Avenue of the Giants and took a few walks in Humbolt Redwoods State Park.

Finally we arrived at Crescent City, checked in, got provisions at Walgreens and tomorrow we will explore Redwoods NP and other areas to the south in a more relaxed mode.

With only one week until we start our ‘long road trip to Vegas’ blog I thought it was about time I got round to sticking on our part two March trip report!!

Picking up from where we left Laughlin…

We arrived at the MGM Grand around 1pm.  At check-in we used the invited guests desk and jumped the long checking in queue (one of the perks of our last trip earned Gold status). We are also supposed to get a complimentary upgrade, if available. So I asked for a renovated room. The desk clerk said that there should be a charge but he would waive it. We didn’t argue, but we are supposed to get it free anyway!

Up to the 10th floor and to our renovated room. Thought I was going to hate the new décor but it was nicer than I thought it was going to be. The carpet was bit too light in colour and you could see every bit of fluff and a few crumbs that had been left by the previous occupants!! The bathroom (still the same generous size) had had a few changes, but still the same tiles… one of the changes we didn’t like was the shower head… they had taken away the power jet and replaced it with a shower which felt like you were showering in a gentle rain storm!!!

I was really pleased with our strip view of NYNY all the way down to Mandalay Bay, until I saw a friends tweet of her awesome view from Cosmo!! More about that later.  We spent awhile in the room unpacking and uploading some more Clue video before Mr SlotNoodles demanded that we get down onto the casino floor… yes… my Hubby was trying to convince ME to go play!

Had a look around the casino floor to check out what was where and went for an early birthday dinner at the Rainforest Café. The inner child in me loves the fake animals and scenery!! After my yummy steak and shrimp dinner we hit the slots and lost $100 trying to trigger a bonus on Godzilla, we didn’t hit a bonus and neither did we see anyone hit one!!

Our first decent win was on monopoly bonus city… I was filming a nice little win of my own ($32) when Mr SlotNoodles hit a bonus and I started filming his after mine had finished.

While I was playing LOTR, Mr SlotNoodles gave The Dark Knight a try and hit a $94 bonus.

We both played Ghostbusters side by side, he ran through his $20 quite quickly and he moved on to Betty Boop, while I continued playing and hit the $42 progressive…

I gave Frantic Antics a try… cute but somewhat annoying.

We moved on to NYNY and tried to get on Pirate Battle… but no spaces became available while we waited. Played Tarzan for the first and probably last time.. Mr SlotNoodles did get an OK bonus.

Instead we played Instant Spin and had the best line hit of the trip, $250 and ended up cashing out $300.

 Spent some time playing Reel Money, $51 being our best hit.

We finished playing for the day around 9pm. Overall we had had a slightly better day only losing half of that day’s BR.

The next day we wanted to get up bright and early to drop the rental car off at TI. We handed back the key at 7.30am (when the desk opened) and strolled to the Mirage… On the way to breakfast we walked by an Airplane machine and on his 4th spin Mr SlotNoodles had a nice little near 100x bet bonus.

We had breakfast in BB Kings… Afterwards, Mr SlotNoodles decided to give a reasonably new IGT reel machine a try, Super Comet Streak… after only a few spins he hit $90, $60 and $20 on three different Super Comet Streak Machines. Here’s the end of the best bonus.

We moved on to Bellagio… and played some WMS reel progressive machines and with his first spin Hubby hit this…

 And here is my best effort:

After losing on a few different machines we headed to Aria… and nothing was hitting we ran through $20 after $20… until Mr SlotNoodles played Wolf Run 2, which had both of us howling with $20 for over an hour.

It was then time to walk over to Cosmopolitan for a mini-M&G and signed up for an Identity players card, the offer was lose $100 before midnight and get another $100 freeplay to replace it. We also got $5 of freeplay for signing up. We started with meeting meal in Holsteins, had a great time chatting and burger eating. The 90 plus minutes went by real quick and it was time to hit the slot floor. I hadn’t played Little Shop of Horror before so I gave it try max betting … it started off promising with a couple of nice line hits… but then all too quickly the $100 was gone. Mr SlotNoodles was sent to get the $100 freeplay loaded onto the card … Mr SlotNoodles wanted to use the ‘free’ play in the high limits room, so we went to see which machine we could play our freeplay on… I went up to a Lil’Lady machine and was horrified to see that the $100 was going to only achieve 1 or 2 spins and quickly high tailed out of there again.  We then found a 5 cent Lil’Lady, at $10 a spin, lucky Mr SlotNoodles hit the bonus with the first spin and won $82!!

We played through the rest of the freeplay and cashed out a $200 profit.

Our friend gave us a guided tour of Cosmo, including the awesome view of the Bellagio fountains from her room…

And then back to the casino floor to play The Dark Knight. Mr SlotNoodles had a couple of nice bonuses:

Our second to last full day in Vegas began with a walk to Mandalay Bay. Today we would concentrate our play at the south end of the strip. We started with Ghostbusters but it didn’t want to play with us and we both quickly lost our $20s. Moved onto a couple of older machines and Nr SlotNoodles hit’s the bonus on Water Dragons with his second spin…

And then on Shark Free Spin Frenzy…

I played White Pearl and got the bonus on the second spin…

We played Quick Hits for a couple of hours happily recycling our money, which helped build up some more tier credits.  We moved onto Luxor and played a few games that we had seen videos of on YouTube including Flippin Wild (cute game with frog wilds at the end) and Hot Hot Habanero…

We had a late lunch in the pyramid café and a very yummy BBQ pizza. We took the remainder of our pizza back to our room in MGM and then back down to Excalibur… Both Luxor and Excalibur are the filthiest casinos we played in, they appear to be cutting back on their cleaning as a lot of the machines had ash and empty glasses on them!! The only win we had there was this one:

So we moved on to NYNY lost some money on Reel Money (we usually do really well on it, but it didn’t want to be friendly this trip).
We were about to give up for the day when we found our new true love Deep Sea Treasure…

We had progressive wins of $81, $40, $35, $88, $71 and $90. Each time we got down to what we had started with it would hit another progressive!! After such a good run we decided we should quit before the machine went cold and cashed out and happily went to bed.

Our last full day in Vegas we headed down to the Mirage for breakfast in BB Kings… With a total of 181,600 MLife tier credits under our belt, today’s aim was to recycle as much coin in as we could to make it to the 200,000 tier credits needed to make Platinum status. We had a horrific day of max betting and lost on everything in Mirage, Bellagio and Aria… we reached Monte Carlo played Reel Money ($1.50 max bet) and hardly hit the bonus and when we did we were only winning $4.50 (the minimum win possible)… We went to the players desk to see how many more credits we needed and they confirmed that we needed 9,000 more (approximately $1,800 coin in)… with our luck that wasn’t going to happen!! It was looking like we may have to make the walk of shame when we decided to step back from max betting and gave Pirates Battle a play, we both played with $20 each for an hour and had multiple battles and base bonuses while we waited for the buffet to open for dinner (I don’t recommend eating at the Monte Carlo buffet, it was one of the worst we have tried, but we needed to get something to eat and it was conveniently located).

After we played on Pirates Battle and having something to eat I was feeling a bit happier and we made our way to NYNY.  We didn’t know what to play, and walked past our lovely Deep Sea Treasures machine and thought… let’s just try it out again. Loaded up $100 and played $1.20 a spin.  Hit $74 within a few spins, then $39, then $78, then $26, then $171, then $26, then $77, then $15, then another $15, then $16, then $32, then $26, then $70, $16, then $24, then $22… Each time we thought the machine was going cold we hit another progressive… now this was what I wanted!!! To keep recycling my $100 and earn some tier credits!!

We cashed out our original $100 and went to the players desk to see if we had recycled enough and worked out that we needed to run through approximately another $400… Dare we try Deep Sea Treasures again… YES!!
This time betting $2 a spin on our first spin we hit $203!!! 

Then $26, then $41, then $135…

Then $76, then $25, then $91…

Then $28, then $41.  Played it down to $200 and cashed out… returning to the players desk to see if we had made platinum… YES with 204,000 credits we could now have our platinum cards… YIPPEE!!!! I didn’t feel the same sense of ‘achievement’ as I did when we reached Gold status… it was more relieve than anything, we had done it the hard way… but at least we would have the status for the rest of our visits this year!!  A lot happier we went to bed!!

Final day in Vegas before our flight home late afternoon. The day started with breakfast in Rainforest café… my favourite Tonga Toast.  We played a little bit in MGM and then went across to NYNY… ran $20 through Deep Sea Treasures… but no magic today.  Finally got on the NYNY Pirates Battle machines and had great fun playing with an older couple… who kept missing the community bonus because they played too slowly!! I had lots of base game bonuses as well and multiple battles and cashed out $45 (put $20 in).

Played a few other games before returning to MGM.  It was going to be a busy weekend with March Madness, so we could only get a late check-out to 2pm and made our way to the airport and our return home.

The countdown now begins for our return to Vegas… I’m wishing away this week, however, the following three weeks we will be on vacation road tripping.  Stay tuned for daily blog updates (when we can get wi-fi connection) on our ‘long road trip to Vegas’.