Olympic Opening Ceremony in Las Vegas

We had planned our weekend get away on the July 10th. I started researching for a room on betterbidding.com .. They have a very helpful tool called the ‘Calendar of Wins‘. I’ll put some links together soon with instructions for those of you who have trouble using it. But visit the link above and try it. It’s self explanatory and easy to use without any additional instructions.

Since I’m a gambling man, I like bidding on hotel rooms in Las Vegas. I like bidding on 4 and 5 star rooms between $75 and $125 per night. The wife and I had planned on visiting in time for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. I had no luck bidding on the strip for $125 for a 5 star hotel. So I went ahead and changed my region and bid on the Henderson area think I would end up at Green Valley Ranch .. But to my surprise I ended up with the Westin Lake Las Vegas!

I’ll have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. Being a regular in Las Vegas, I know that there isn’t a casino on this property. Boo!! Seriously, I can understand the need for some people that don’t want to stay at a hotel with a casino in it. But this is Vegas and I really think that Priceline should have some type of option that asks for a hotel with or without a casino. I have Siri set to give me a reminder to write them a strongly worded letter when I get home tonight.

The wife and I both have doctors appointments for the early afternoon so we can hit the road early. We leave the doctor’s offices at about 3:15 from the East Hollywood area. If we hit downtime soon enough we can hop onto the carpool lane before 4pm. Between 4pm and 7pm you need 3 people in the carpool late. The bad news is that we hit traffic! There was a 6 car pile up going east bound on the 10. And it was in the carpool lane! We didn’t hit the 15 north until about 5:15pm.

Keeping in theme with the Olympics / Vegas thing, at the state line I saw that one of the banners outside of the Fashion Outlets Las Vegas was this wonderful Kobe Team USA basketball. Well I just had to stop and take a photo.

We ended up getting to the Westin Lake Las Vegas at about 9:30pm that night. We pull into the resort and come up on the valet to unload the car. We find out that this is not your typical Las Vegas property. There is a $15 charge per night for the valet. The wife is preggers so I didn’t want to self park it. No big deal. We get to the lobby and it is impressive. My wife is getting flash backs of her cabo trip. This property really does look like you are in a different country. Doesn’t feel like I’m in Las Vegas. This is easily a 4 star resort bordering on 5 stars. The services isn’t quite up to the Ritz Carlton but the amenities sure are there.

We get to the front desk and find out they are booked solid at the hotel so we end up getting placed in an upgraded Villa! The room wasn’t part of the hotel. It was off towards the side but well worth the added walk. Here’s a tour of the room.

After unloading the car and then settling in, we made our way to Green Valley Ranch to grab something to eat for the evening and maybe we can catch some of the highlights of the opening ceremony from London. I was hoping for a Freddie Mercury hologram but instead we ended up with Mr. Bean farting at the end of Chariots of Fire. This is my kind of opening ceremonies!

My last couple of trips, I started playing an unmanned craps table. It was all electronic and no dealers. The plus side is the limits are low and it’s a self serve craps machine. The machine at Green Valley allowed for a $3 minimum bet and up to 5x odds and a $2000 max bet. While playing, I didn’t get a chance to whip out my phone but I found this video on YouTube:

My better half was able to get some slots time in on a Superman machine that we have never seen before. We racked up some points and went back to the hotel. We got in and found a door tag for a breakfast menu. We looked it over and found that we were a bit too late to turn it in for morning delivery. I called the front desk and they said to go ahead and fill it out and someone will be by. We filled it out for a standard american breakfast and one continental breakfast and set it for a 9:45 am delivery.

I have to hand it to the folks at the Westin Lake Las Vegas. They really do what they can to make sure you have a wonderful stay. Breakfast arrived on time and it was yummy!

We spent some leisure time at the resort most of the morning. In the evening we made our way to the Montelago Casino at the other side of the lake. We pulled up to the valet and walked down to the casino. You take an escalator down to a small tidy casino floor that can’t be much bigger than The Gap at your local mall. Not much to see at as far as gaming. But we did make our way to the back which lead us to a shopping / dining area by the lake. We found out that they have Saturday Night Jazz at the MonteLago Village. You can find the full schedule here:

http://www.montelagovillage.com/the-village-at-lake-las-vegas/events/saturday-night-jazz-on-the-lake

We were lucky enough to watch Marque Woolfolk perform by the lake. The lead singer did a melody of artists that recently passed like Whitney Houston and Etta James. Out of all my visits to Las Vegas, this was the first time I ever got a sense of community. The wife and I started looking for jobs!

We were able to walk into a couple of shops and restaurants. Because the wife is showing her baby bump, people are more friendly about ignoring the ‘Restrooms are for customers only’ signs. Here are a couple photos from Luna Rossa.

 

Here we were out on a beautiful summer evening by a lake and a live band was playing. We couldn’t believe that we had to leave the next morning.