January 29, 2009

Staycation - MGM Bungalow Suite

We were slow to rise Monday morning. There’s nothing better than lying in bed with no rush to be anywhere or do anything. Hunger eventually struck so we showered, dressed and headed out. We considered breakfast at Verandah inside the Four Seasons (I’ve heard it’s quite good), but Frank had a craving for a ham & Gouda omelet. A stop at valet, and we were on our way to The Original House of Pancakes. Who eats a few blocks from their house on staycation? We do. I ordered pancakes and Frank got his omelet. We share, it works well for us. Food was great as usual, although, we did have a taste of reality while there. Frank had to take a couple calls from work. Luckily, he was able to wrap up the issues while we ate, so once we left it was back to vacation mode.

We returned to MGM, dropped the car at valet and went to the lobby to check-in. Our second night was booked in Frank’s name, with his MGM/Mirage Visa. He was more persistent than me and he was able to score the upgrade, we received keys for a bungalow suite on the 16th floor and we were on our way. The room was being cleaned and it would be ready in an hour. No troubles because we still had the Grand Tower Room for a couple more hours. Why did we make two reservations? Because I wanted two dining credits and four free drinks. Yeah, I’m frugal like that. It worked beautifully. We returned to the room, I packed and Frank snoozed. More than an hour passed so we left the room and headed to our suite.

The bungalow suites are large; the sitting area and bed are divided by a huge armoire. The tv inside is on a lazy susan and can be viewed from either side. The bath has a tub and shower combo, and a walk-in shower. Kinda odd. We later decided the walk-in shower was made for Oompa-Loompas, I’m 5’3” and I looked down at the shower head. Frank was sparkly clean from his belly button down, but he had to work to clean the rest of him. Anyway, back to the room, it hasn’t been updated since the Wizard of Oz days, but like the Grand Tower Room, linens were replaced not too long ago. We got settled and then I went down to the lobby to check out. I paid for the first night’s charges with our reward certificates.

Minutes later I was back in our suite. I joined Frank in bed. We lounged all afternoon. We watched the planes at McCarran come and go. We rented Ghost Town, it was one of the few movies listed we hadn’t seen. Eventually 6 o’clock rolled around and it was time to head to Fiamma for dinner.

We were seated in the main dining room. We selected to dine from the winter tasting menu although Frank was tempted by the scallop special. I asked our waiter if they still offered the complimentary wine pairing for locals, he had to check, but it was available.

We were started with Pinot Grigio and ciabatta bread served with oil and vinegar. Perfect beginning. Then, we each ordered calamari. It was delicious, and a treat not having to share. The wine for the main course was going to be Chianti; we asked to have another glass of Pinot Grigio instead. It wasn’t a problem. Frank selected Spaghetti with Kobe Meatballs. The sauce was good – not too acidic. The meatballs were tender and tasted like they were braised in red wine. He enjoyed the dish. I chose Linguine with Prawns, because I loved the dish last time. Once again, it was excellent. As much as I enjoy it, I’ll never finish it because it’s simply too rich. Moscato was paired with dessert; Frank again opted for another glass of Pinot Grigio. The first dessert was a trio of Sorbet: blood orange, pomegranate, and exotic. Frank didn’t like any of them, but I enjoyed the pomegranate. And the second was Cioccolato, a triple chocolate cake, with white chocolate gelato. They never give enough gelato, which is a shame because it’s so good.

We were stuffed. Service was great. Bill was $71 after the dining credit. It was a wonderful meal.

We planned to get some drinks and gamble, but we decided to go back to the suite to digest. Turns out my own dish of calamari and rich roasted garlic butter wasn’t the best idea. My stomach was in knots. We watched the planes to kill time, after a couple Rolaids I was feeling human again. So, we headed down to the casino. First stop was the West Wing Bar. We each ordered a beer. Happy hour was over, but earlier in the day Frank texted MGM for promotional offers. The offer he received was good for 2-for-1 drinks. It couldn’t have worked out better. We took a couple beers for the road and we were off to the casino. We played video poker and a few slots. We weren’t having any luck. We walked the pits, but minimums were $10. We didn’t have much to spend. We found ourselves at the latest Price is Right video slot. It’s nickels, max bet is .25 cents. There are two bonuses: spin the wheel and cliffhanger. We played there for a long time, long enough to get a couple drinks from the cocktail waitress. We cashed out about $10 ahead between the two of us and scoped out more games. We were down to the nitty-gritty. Frank stopped at the $1 slot that was his personal ATM back in December when we stayed at the Signature. Sure enough, he hit $100! We had more money to spend. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any luck and we returned to the suite not long after that.

The planes weren’t too active. But the city still twinkled and I love watching the world go by from way up in the sky. We were as happy as can be, just sitting in the green glow enjoying the view together. We watched a little tv and eventually crashed.

We slept in Tuesday morning. Another slow start to the day - Lovely. Reluctantly we had to get moving around 11 o’clock. We couldn’t stay for a late check out because Frank had an interview for City Center. Kinda ironic. We checked out, used the remaining reward credits to cover the second night’s charges, we grabbed the car from valet, and headed home, with a brief stop at In-N-Out for a couple double doubles.

We pulled into the garage and heard piercing beeping coming from the house. Every smoke alarm in the house was going off. Luckily, there was no fire or smoke. Turns out one battery had died and sent them all into frenzy. It took a good ten minutes to find the culprit. What a rude awakening back to reality! Once again we were wishing to rewind. Remind me again, why isn’t there TiVo for life?

Frank went to his interview, he made it past panel; he’ll be called back for another interview in a couple months. Jobs will offered in September, for Aria’s opening in December. I want him to explore all opportunities but I’m not sure I’d like giving up our play and stays at MGM/Mirage properties (assuming the have similar rules to Harrahs).

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