The Friday Five, 1/27/23: 5 things I've been up to this week

This will mostly be a Vegas post, as I was there Saturday through Wednesday. I'm unfortunately still on West Coast time today/last night, and I'm definitely dragging today, as I stayed up way too late last night.

Venetian Hotel, Vegas
At the Venetian

What I've been up to this week:

  1. Eating a lot of tasty foods. Best meals of the trip included Giordano's—yes, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza in Vegas is maybe cliche, but we don't have it and I always look forward to it—Bugsy & Meyer's Steakhouse at the Flamingo, all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ at Captain 6, and dinner at OTORO (Japanese food) at Mirage/Hard Rock Hotel/whatever they are calling themselves these days. We also ate at Pizza Rock downtown—my second time there, and the pizza is always good, plus they have some $7 pizzas during their weekday happy hour—plus got some Krispy Kreme takeout from Excalibur for breakfasts. (Krispy Kreme is my ALL-TIME favorite doughnut place, and I live 10 minutes away from the Troy one and never allow myself to go ...)
  2. Seeing shows in Vegas. The first show we saw was free through the myVegas app: Tournament of Kings, at Excalibur. I had seen it before, I think in 2000 or 2001 when I'd go to Vegas with my parents as a tween/teenager, but not since then. It also comes with dinner, which you eat with your hands (but cutlery can be provided if you ask), which included a Cornish game hen, potatoes, dinner roll, and corn on the cob, plus a tasty apple strudel for dessert. I'd give the show maybe 3.5/5; it's more suited for kids, but does have some cool pyrotechnics.
    On Sunday, we headed to Bellagio to see "O," by Cirque du Soleil. Pretty pricey ticket but I'd say worth it; it was pretty cool and unique, and I'd give it 4/5 or 4.25/5 stars. And on Tuesday, we headed to TI to see "Mystere," another Cirque show, with THIRD row tickets (TI was doing a sale on their site), which was awesome; but I'd give Mystere 3.5/5 stars. "O" was better.
  3. Staying at two different hotels. I have Caesars Diamond status until 1/31 which is why we took this trip—we stayed at Bally's aka Horseshoe Hotel now for two nights, and then Aria for two nights with myVegas comps; my boyfriend now plays it too, so we cobbled together two 1-night stays. With Aria, we would have had to pay $51 per night for its resort fee—still not bad, as Aria is considered a "luxury" MGM Resort hotel—but because I parlayed my Caesars Diamond into MGM Gold status, and Gold members don't pay resort fees, it was $0 for our stay, so I can't complain!
  4. Riding the status "merry-go-round." So since I only have Caesars Diamond till the end of this month, I "status-matched" to MGM Gold—this means that they gave me the same or slightly lower status in their rewards program. Gold status has only been extended to me until June, but I am hoping to go back in April for a friend's wedding. From there, I status-matched to Unity Rewards "Icon" status, the new program at Hard Rock Hotel aka Mirage, and they even threw in 10,000 tier credits—which means we got $100 off dinner at OTORO our last night (which is why we stopped by there). For both MGM Gold and Unity Icon, it also means no resort fees, and I now have Unity Icon status until Feb. 2024, I believe.
    From THERE, I re-matched my Wyndham to Diamond level; what's funny is most people START with this, and then match to Caesars, but I'm not sure if they still do that. I also was able to match to World of Hyatt Explorist status (second-highest tier), then Radisson Gold, and I'm waiting to hear about Hilton Gold too, although I already have Silver status with them since I have their credit card. I do know with Hilton and probably some of these others that you can only status-match ONCE during your membership, though. 
  5. Yelp Detroit event at Portillo's. I was definitely dragging yesterday BUT I went home, dropped off my bags from Vegas, carpooled with my boyfriend, and immediately headed to Portillo's, in Sterling Heights, for a Yelp event. Definitely glad I did: we were treated to its Chicago dogs, plus samples of its cheeseburger, onion rings, fries, milkshakes, beef sandwiches, and chicken sandwiches. Definitely a fun event and always great to see fellow Yelpers too; I missed the in-person events during the pandemic.
Lobby at Aria, decked out for Lunar New Year
Lobby at Aria, decked out for Lunar New Year

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