Every day, we scour social media and blogs to find the best trip reports from among the Vegas-obsessed community (if you’re reading this, congratulations — you’re a member of the club). Below is one of our top finds from spring 2023. Got something to say? Don’t wait to be discovered: Contact us to submit your own stories for potential publication.

Grandpa Boomer & The Little Lady Visit Las Vegas – by Gene Wachtel

Day 1 — Grandpa Boomer reporting

We flew in on a Sunday — 1/2 hour delayed because of runway construction. It was no biggie. 

Before boarding the flight, I stopped by a store and picked up six small boxes of Skittles.

When I boarded, I asked how many were in the flight crew. Then I dug out the boxes of Skittles for the crew (including the pilot and copilot) and gave them to her to pass out to the crew. 

The boxes are sealed with plastic. I’ve been doing this for years. They always appreciate it and will show it on the flight. 

This flight I ordered two Jack Daniels with ice. When I finished that, the flight attendant brought me another two. When it came time to pay she only charged me for one ($7). She told me thank you as I got off.

We grabbed our checked luggage and ordered a Lyft Max and had him put our luggage in. He can scratch his own vehicle. From the airport to Luxor was $29, plus I added a tip since he had to find an alternative route because the game meant a number of streets were closed around the stadium. Plus people were going to the EDC concert and traffic into town was awful.

We checked our luggage at Bell Check, went to the rewards desk, and got all my comps. The person was really nice and I gave her $5 for including all my Vegas game comps, too. 

I had $5 saved in my wallet from the MyVegas slots. I made sure I had spread them out on all the MGM properties. We checked into our room — The Pyramid King Corner Suite. I found a little surprise in one of the drawers. Yes, we brought our own coffee pot, coffee and cups. The refrigerator is part of the room.

We ate at the El Diablo Cantina. The food was good. I had the Shrimp Enchiladas and the little lady had the Glazed Salmon. I used one of my comps there, so the price was reasonable. More tomorrow when we sit in the private cabana next to the north swimming pool and eat dinner at Lago.

Day 2 of Grandpa Boomer in Vegas

I got up in the morning and made coffee while looking for my online purchases for the private cabana ($350 for all day). I got it all set. 

I stopped at Johnny Rockets for breakfast sandwiches. The pool opens at 9:00 am, I was there at 9:15 with my sandwiches. The pool boy wouldn’t let me in with my sandwiches. The first written rule is no outside food or beverages.

No problem. I sat outside the fence and ate one of the sandwiches and threw the little lady’s away. As I was eating mine, I noticed that the pool boy was letting anyone with an outside drink in. I mentioned this as I walked in. And he said “Tuff Grandpa” so I simply stated “No tip for you” and walked on through to the reservation desk to get my private cabana at the north pool. 

Since they gave me my choice of cabanas (I was the first to check in), I tipped the host $20 bucks in front of the pool boy and thanked him for being so pleasant unlike the pool boy.

The host made sure my day was awesome. The pool boy disappeared soon after. The cabana was fully stocked with snacks, drinks, television, fan, and as many towels as I wanted. The little lady arrived at 10:00 am as the bar and cafe opened. She got to order what she wanted before going to the spa. We enjoyed sitting in the sun and taking a quick dip to cool off, and the little lady had a ball getting her facial. We left a little early at 3:00. We had the cabana until 6:00 pm. There were servers that came with anything I wanted all day long.

We went to our room to get ready for dinner at Lago in The Bellagio. Took a Lyft and dropped us off at the front door. This dinner was spendy but she has always been worth it ($840 with tip). 

The three course meal was awesome. We didn’t get to meet the chef, but were served everything on the menu. We didn’t have to choose the third course or the dessert. They served it all and gave the little lady a big vase with roses. Yes, we did dress up and sat outside and watched the fountains for two hours while eating and drinking, and getting photographs.

We took a Lyft back to Luxor and shared our nightly Tums and crashed. More tomorrow on Grandpa Boomer adventures.

Day 3 of Grandpa Boomer Takes it Easy in Vegas

We slept in. I slowly woke up, made coffee, and took a long hot shower. All that fine Champagne, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon at last night’s dinner took its toll on us. 

Finally the Little Lady got up and took her shower while I went down and got her favorite breakfast sandwich.

I had made reservations at 11:00 for her and at 11:30 for me to see the Doctor in The Miracle Mile Mall. We took a Lyft to Planet Hollywood and found the Dr.

Now before you get concerned about us, it’s something she has wanted to try. It’s to spend some time with Dr Fish…you know, those little fishies from Turkey? You stick your feet in a tub and let the little fishies attack your feet. I thought I would give it a try too. It didn’t hurt or tickle, but felt like a gentle massage by little gnome hands (don’t ask me how I know this). 

I’m sure I kept many alive from my 30 minute feeding. They really worked on the tough calluses on the bottoms of my feet.  They have no real teeth, but little suckers like catfish. The attendant was super nice. Of course, the joke of the day while walking and climbing stairs…be careful how you walk! Don’t want to squish the fishies stuck between your toes (Grandpa Boomer Joke).

We left there and picked up a cool slushy from one of the shops. Walked by Oceans 1 and the wait looked long. I’m too old to wait in lines, so we moved on. We walked to the Horseshoe, not much has changed on the main casino floor. We checked out Paris — still the same. We went back to Horseshoe and on to the food court to get a slice of pizza from Sabaro. It wasn’t that good today. We were comped for the monorail for 48 hours, and picked up our tickets.

We rode the monorail back to the MGM Grand and walked through to New York-New York, on to Excalibur and back to the Luxor. Took a little nap. Woke up about an hour later and tried my hand on the roulette wheel and only played with my winnings. Walked away with $78 ahead in the game, but a good 90 minute time waster.

The Little Lady woke up and texted me, we met up at a sock store. She was looking for a certain kind of socks to purchase. We decided to eat at the Pub in the Luxor where we were comped $25 off of our dinner. She had the chicken salad and I had the 1/2 rack of ribs and a couple Double Jack Daniels on the rocks. 

We watched the Vegas Golden Knights win their third game, went back to our room to have our Tums addiction satisfied, and then crashed. I need to pick up some Prilosec…~burp~

Tomorrow, our attempt to tame Fremont’s Slotzilla!

Day 4: Grandpa Boomer and The Little Lady!

Another late wake up day. 

We made reservations for the Neon Museum. The only time slot left was at 6:00 pm and we took it. However, today’s real mission was to take on SlotZilla on Fremont Street. 

But first, we were comped for a Luxor buffet of breakfast/lunch. It was a buy one get one free. It was awful. The gravy on the biscuits and gravy tasted like it was made with vinegar or belly button lint (again, don’t ask how I know how this). The fresh fruit was lacking. The sausage links had no spice or taste to them. The buffet has dropped in quality since the pandemic and has not lived up to its pre-pandemic days.

We walked to the MGM Grand to ride the monorail to The Sahara and then grabbed a Lyft to Fremont Street. We got there and found SlotZilla was closed until 4:00 pm Monday through Wednesday. We were too early. 

We have a gift card to Vic & Anthony’s Restaurant and thought we would use it. It too was closed until 5:00. So, we decided to go to the Native American Arts and Crafts store, three strikes! It’s permanently closed.

With all of the walking and disappointment of breakfast and everything being closed, we went to Mickie Finnz across from the Heart Attack Burger restaurant. Mickie was open! As usual, they welcomed us in where it was air conditioned and we ordered a drink that comes with a free glass. 

So a Tropical Paradise was ordered along with their Gringo Nachos. As you can tell from the pictures, we thoroughly enjoyed them. As we waited for our order we made alternative plans. Since we had to be at the Neon Museum at 6:00, we decided to visit the Mob Museum. We went years ago when it was only one floor and no interactive classes. 

The Little Lady wanted to learn more about the Firearms Training Simulator after cruising through the museum. I wanted to go to the Speakeasy and experience the Distillery Tour & Tasting. After discussing it, we decided to do the Firearms Training. 

I’m glad I let her have her way. In practice, she grouped all her shots in the paper target in the middle…I managed to take out the left side, the right side, middle of the target and bottom half of the paper target. Of course, she followed directions on aiming with one eye, whereas I was trying to use both. I, of course, had to change tactics. So if you ever hear about Grandpa Boomer being…oh…never mind.

We highly recommend going to the Mob Museum and taking the Firearm Training. You’ll learn about all the safety factors that are set in place. The museum has a lot of history on the mob and where it started in Las Vegas and around the country. It even has the brick wall from the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. It’s a great little history lesson if you’re into social studies. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures, my phone was dying and I didn’t bring a power pack with me.

We attempted to walk over to the Neon Museum in the 94 degree weather. Little Lady started turning red, so I bought her a cold bottled water and called a Lyft. It got her quickly cooled down. 

We did the quick tour of the cool neon signs. They have the original Hard Rock guitar from the original restaurant (I have a picture somewhere of me standing by it with a rented Dodge Challenger. The original sign now sits on a timeline and map of where most of the neon signs with past casinos on the strip and downtown were located.

We grabbed a Lyft back to Luxor and ate dinner at Public House. For the second night we had a great dinner. Then we went up to our room and got our Tums addiction satisfied. 

Tomorrow morning we’re taking Prilosec. The battle to take on SlotZilla will have to wait another day as well seeing the Neon Museum after dusk in the evening

Day 5: Grandpa Boomer and The Little Lady in Las Vegas

I got up early and had my massage and spa day. I chose the 100 minute massage with a facial. I’ve been kind of sore, but getting up this morning, I was moving like a Grandpa. 

The spa was excellent and the masseuse worked on my legs, back, and shoulders. I slept through 75% of the massage and part of the facial. I finished at noon and went up to get the little lady for lunch. She hadn’t eaten breakfast. I also called to make reservations at the Golden Steer Steakhouse for dinner. The only time slot left was at 4:45. 

We walked over to Mandalay Bay and ate at Citizen Restaurant. Little Lady had me try the avocado whole wheat toast and poached egg. Surprisingly it was delicious.

~sigh~ Gone are the days of steak (bacon, sausage, and ham), eggs, crispy hash browns, and white bread every morning.

We charged our breakfast to the room and left. We stopped in the Mandalay Mall to look at 1923 Prohibition Bar. The entry way is through a bookshelf.

We then walked to CVS to pick up six packets of Skittles, checked out Park MGM and Eataly. It looks intriguing and I’ll do some research when I get home. We walked through New York-New York, and it still looks the same, but they have changed the upstairs and added a food court. We got back to the room and changed clothes so we were in compliance with the dress code of the Golden Steer.

We took a Lyft. It was pretty cool since the driver took us down Frank Sinatra Drive and  then to the crossroads of Dean Martin Drive and Sammy Davis Jr Drive. The driver then followed Sammy Davis Jr Drive to Sahara Avenue to The Golden Steer.

The reason I mentioned the street names is because this restaurant has a strong history with these entertainers. The booths are named after entertainers that have visited this establishment. They seated us in Marilyn Monroe’s booth.

Dinner…what can I say. My report so far has been full of tips on places to go to treat your Little Lady. This dinner? Well the Little Lady knew that I wanted this. Since my first visit to Las Vegas in 2007, I’ve been trying to visit all the old haunts of the Rat Pack, but I have yet to visit The Golden Steer Steakhouse.  

We did the Dinner for Two special. It did not disappoint. The dinner salad we requested was prepared at our table and served. The Jack Daniels they served was prepared just like how Frank Sinatra would order it. The lobster and steak was cooked just right. The creamed corn was spiced with cinnamon and tasted great. The mushrooms were perfect. We were both stuffed when we finished. I bought the steak spices they use on their meats. 

We grabbed a Lyft and went back to the hotel and crashed early. 

Day 6: Grandpa Boomer and The Little Lady Leave Las Vegas! 

An overview of our stay and what we have done and will do next time: 

We purposely booked for the week before Memorial Day weekend. This was because we expected fewer people and for flights to go smoothly. It worked — it wasn’t as crowded and we experienced only small delays.

Flights — always get sealed candy that isn’t messy and make sure you have enough for the flight crew. Usually six is enough. Give all of it to the flight attendant that greets you at the door. 

Thank them for everything they do. What’s going on during flights is crazy and they need to be appreciated. Today the flight attendant served me my three Jack Daniels and conveniently forgot to charge me. When I got my card out she just put it in my shirt pocket and said thank you. I can’t say the same thing will happen to you, but you made someone’s day.

We have been coming to Las Vegas for the last 16 years. Through those years, we explored different hotel resorts. MGM Grand (3X), Paris, Golden Nugget, The Residence Inn, The Westgate, The Stratosphere, and we have settled with The Luxor the last eight years.

The Luxor? For a 30 year old casino and hotel — she’s okay. I wouldn’t recommend staying in the pyramid. We have experienced the lower level rooms and they are really small with only a shower. The one we had during Christmas week to New Year’s Eve in 2021 had plumbing problems. The shower overflowed since the drain couldn’t keep up. 

This last week we had the Pyramid Corner King Suite. It was nice, but the moths and crickets were awful. It was so bad that the large tub would have the critters’ bodies in it. If we come back, we will stay in the towers. If you elect to stay in the Pyramid, check to see if the window vents are open. They’re located at the bottom of the window and have no screens. The towers have a few more amenities and more room. We will be bringing our small dogs next time. 

Lyft — we used Lyft for the first time since July of 2018. I always check prices between Lyft, Uber, and the local transportation of Limousines, taxis, and Super Shuttle type of rides. I used to rent from Fox, but they wouldn’t hold a car for me after a flight delay one year.

Super Shuttle canceled my ride when they shut down and left us stranded. This time, when I checked, I found Lyft was less expensive each time. It can be spendy if you’re looking for an immediate ride, but if you’re willing to wait five minutes, the price is usually around $10.

Buffets? Don’t go to the Luxor. The food was awful. The gravy for the biscuits tasted like vinegar. The fresh fruit was lacking. The green melon was either just ripe or going bad. The same can be said for the cantaloupe. The sausage links were tasteless (I didn’t need any Tums!) and the eggs were cold.

Breakfast. We aren’t big breakfast eaters (I could be, but I need to lose some tonnage). Johnny Rockets in the Luxor has some good breakfast sandwiches. Grab and go until lunch. Citizen in Mandalay Bay always has great food for breakfast or lunch.

Spa and massages — The MGM owned hotels are all great, but a little spendy. They do great men and women work on facials, pedicures, and manicures.

Shows — We had planned to see Ringo Starr and his All Star Band, but his tickets were bought up by scalpers. I’ll only buy tickets from the hotel/casino for shows and concerts. We have seen the tribute show a couple of times and enjoyed them. Motown, The Rat Pack, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson. The Blue Man Group and Carrot Top we have seen twice. Carrot Top is still funny on Instagram, but his material can be dated. If you can catch Aerosmith and Boyz ll Men, both were really good. The most recent shows we’ve seen were Jersey Boys and Phantom of the Opera, but both are now gone.

Rewards — if you choose to participate, charge everything you can to your room. Don’t forget to put your card out if you play the tables. The one time I played, it slipped this old geezers brain. But use your cards.

Gone are the days of getting a good package from Priceline, Kayak, Expedia. Since the pandemic, I have found I still use them to find a hotel and flight, but I call the hotel directly, flights directly, and make reservations. 

I’ll start with OpenTable, but found the restaurant would be full with no openings. If I call directly I can make reservations. Plan early and decide on a hotel. Make the reservations and then check weekly for any specials. If you find your room is less expensive, call the hotel and cancel your room and remake your reservations with the new price. I saved about $2,000 doing this when I made my reservations back in February. The same with airlines. I end up with a credit I can use when I check in.

Play MyVEGAS Slots and MyVEGAS Blackjack. I play only an hour a day. One week before I arrive, I use my loyalty points to get my comps. Make sure it’s in your wallet. I used all of mine on this trip.

That’s about all for now. We are looking at taking on SlotZilla on our next trip and learned about a few more restaurants to have dinner in. We hope to get back to Sinatra’s in the Wynn. They have the best desserts. 

We are now planning for Sturgis and following the Mother Road (Route 66). Since we will be near, we are looking at Sam’s Town to park the motorhome and Harley. We might stay for a few days before continuing on. 

~Grandpa Boomer & The Little Lady~