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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Creamy Bellagio Drink

I hadn’t been able to see Oleg at the Main Street Station's Boar's Head bar last trip, due to the Spirit airline snafu. The hot blonde who makes up the other half of our Debutante of Debauchery duo had arrived several hours before me two Fridays ago, and sent my regards to Oleg. If it had registered then that I would miss Oleg, the young birthday boy I gave up my seat for would have been celebrating his big day at Gate C22.

“Your friend was here. You didn’t come?”, said Oleg.

Pictured above:  NOT the creamy Bellagio drink. But still a dreamy crink

Ah, to be remembered and greeted by the great Oleg. Yes, he’s a bartender, so of course. Yes, we all love him. But he’s also sweet, genuine and fun. He remembers me; he remembers regulars from all over. Real warmth lights up his smile. He mixes up my favorite, “the creamy Bellagio drink”, and sets it next to me. When someone invariably asks what’s in it, he always replies: “the secret ingredient is love.”

There’s no better breakfast than The Creamy Bellagio Drink. I fire up the video poker, sip my drink, gulp down water, chat with Oleg, and feel right at home. Relaxed. Comfortable.

A couple from Texas next to me says hello, and am I here for the VP tourney? Yes, yes I am. They have all the questions I used to have about how to participate. I explained that it is double double bonus, that you have 20 minutes to play 1500 credits, and the strategy is a little different because when there’s a chance for a royal, even a little one, go for it.

Playing 1500 credits in 20 minutes is challenging. Usually, video poker for me looks like this: play a few hands, dink dink on some buttons, check out the casino energy, watch sports highlights on the TV, play a few more hands, and maybe switch games or denominations.

Because of media drawing a causational line from video poker to a madman losing his moral compass and shooting people, VP has been painted as the suspected root of all evil. I expected to be checked for gunpowder residue when I got up to go to the bathroom. I am not saying VP is a good and necessary thing, and it should be installed everywhere. For most of us, though, it's what keeps our fingers off the trigger.

Soon, nature called. I took my drink to the bathroom. I texted this information to my good friend and yours, Royal Flusher. (Since I am about to conduct a royal FLUSH, alright.) RF called me out, said that picture is gross. And he’s right.

It’s disgusting.

I do not take my drink to the bathroom at home. Actually, I don’t drink much at home. So there’s that. But even with Oleg the Vonderful looking out for me, there is NO WAY I’m leaving a drink unattended in Vegas. Or anywhere.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Vegas, it’s to insist on NO TUNNEL when cabbing or Ubering.

The second thing I’ve learned is that single gals, all gals, and some of the prettier boys, need to keep their drink with them all the time. A good friend of mine was roofied at the Hard Rock years ago, and we were even with her. Some people blame the alcohol. I’m pretty sure Bud Light Lime doesn’t come in 900 proof, guys. Sorry.
Luckily for me, the Main Street women’s bathroom has cup holders.
Around Vegas, some places offer nicer areas for drinks than others. Kudos for the Cromwell, as its drink shelf is far from the toilet.

The D is "ok".

The D-luxe stall cupholder.
This bathroom resides saddest sportsbook in America. Seriously, Derek. You know I love you. But one of the coolest casinos downtown really should have a respectable place to catch the game, and not while luxuriously reclining on a folding chair.

MGM don’t care. F you and your dumb, delicious, breakfast beer, lady.

Fashion show mall rocks a full marble shelf. For a full shelf full of beers.

But I digress... Back to the Boar's Head bar. After returned a couple of the forty Benjamins that Main Street gave me back in June, it was lunch time. The old gang of Oceans 14 XL, people I’d never met before, was meeting up at a place I had always wanted to try: Wicked Spoon buffet at Cosmopolitan.

I’m not a fan of buffets, but I am a fan of the Cosmo, and of many of the Oceans 14 XL member's podcasts and blogs. How could I decline chance to hang out in the locker room and talk shop, being the lurker I am?

I’d eaten a protein shake (a real thing, people. Minds outta the gutter!) for a pre-dawn breakfast, and I ravenous. I met up with my buddy Eric, known as “our good friend Eric”, who is mentioned fondly on many a Vegas podcast. Being my mother’s daughter, I had a 2 for 1 Wicked Spoon coupon.

I sat down with the crew, pretending to belong, next to Eric, who really does belong. I even removed my treasured and tattered old UNLV hat as I sat, because I am a lady. Albeit, shady.

I ordered this lovely drink.
This was one one fancy buffet. Here's their plate of beautiful sushi:

Here's my plate of sushi:

Can’t take me anywhere.

Oh, the gelato. The coconut lime was quite sublime.

Exuberant Julian was there. This guy’s charm and enthusiasm infused the whole room with... charm and enthusiasm.

What up! It’s the Trooper! Well, it's Julian wearing Trooperware, anyway.

Fed and happy, it was time for another adventure. Virtual Reality games at MGM beckoned, so across the boulevard we went. By this point, it was noon. I'd been up for 11 hours, had enjoyed three cocktails, and a bunch of sushi and ice cream.

What could go wrong?

Tune in tomorrow to find out what happened to me, and my bankroll.

Joan of Aces' Points and Miles Tips

As for the getting miles conversation, it continues here.

My Southwest points come from my Chase Sapphire card.

While you can get Southwest points from the Southwest credit card, and I’m all for that, you get a lot more flexibility with Sapphire points. The Sapphire points transfer to many other travel partners, including 1:1 to Southwest. The point transfer is instant, fair and free.

The sign up bonus for Sapphire is 50,000 points, and for Southwest is 40,000 Rapid Rewards points. Both waive the annual fee for the first year, and both require a minimum spend.

This is a Vegas guest blog, I know, so I won’t go into gaming the travel points system beyond this.

But, man. It’s a great way to get to Vegas for next to nothing, and I’ve done it. A lot. I don’t get a kickback for plugging Sapphire, Southwest or even Frontier. But if you’re gonna apply anyway for Sapphire, email me and I'll send you a link that gets us both points. Only if you feel like it. Or just apply on your own, and enjoy.

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