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2009 Boring #2 Report.........Mothers Day

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by jgates8, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    This trip has been planned for several months - with a long list of must do's. It was my mom's Christmas present from me. She hadn't been to Vegas since 1975 when we drove through it on the way to Disneyland. She is a slot lover like me. Although her play is more on the penny a line on 5 lines at a time and once in a whle go for broke and bet 15 cents. Mine is more in the buck at a time or so but still on penny slots.

    The big surprise of the trip was supposed to be seeing Terry Fator, however, my aunt spilled the beans a few weeks ahead of time. So I ended up with another surprise for her - although it cost a ton! My son has been unemployed since February - he is an engineer and became a victim of the economic conditions when his company in the Milwaukee area had to lay off for the 2nd time. (ANYONE IN THE MADISON AREA NEED A GOOD ENGINEER??????????) I became a bit paranoid about him sitting staring at the walls all the time so I guilted him into agreeing to go with us with the promise of paying for his airline ticket, meals and $100 in gambling money. This also gave his fiance' a few days of peace. So now I am paying for 3 full trips. Ugh. I offered him credits on AirTran to fly for free but he didn't like the times. I couldn't use miles for me and mom since we would have had to then connect thru Dallas also and it would be just too much for her. We were flying from LaCrosse with a connection at O'Hare and DS was flying from Milwaukee through Minneapolis. Weird....we go south and he goes north - just to end up in the same place and I pay a fortune.........

    I had just spent 4 days in Des Moines for business and encountered a long drive home, laundry and repacking so I couldn't sleep Friday night. After 1.5 hours of sleep we headed slowly to LaCrosse to avoid the masses of deer lining the roads through west central Wisconsin. I didn't want my first trip meal to be grilled venison from the front of my grill......The trip out went smoothly - other than mother who is partially disabled and has troubles walking. At O'Hare however they sped off with her in the wheelchair to the departure gate while I followed along on my short little legs with a backpack, 2 purses, a carry-on bag, and a walker.....Ok, I'm ready for a nap and we haven't even left the central time zone. I tried to nap on the plane, however, my mother decided I needed to see Pikes Peak and woke me up. The entire trip out was a battle with my bloodsugar which wanted to skyrocket. I'm sure the stress of no sleep was helping it along. We did arrive safely in Vegas. I abandoned her and the walker to wait for me and then I, 2 suitcases, backpack, 2 purses and a few other odds and ends hit the rental car shuttle bus. Grabbed a bright red Impala from the executive aisle with Oregon plates (made it easier to recognize) and sped back to pick her up. Found out the entire trip was nearly dumped when her leg gave out under her in the washroom at the airport. She was tender and bruised for several days. A couple slight detours before the strip....

    Krispy Kreme! Ahh....a dozen doughnuts to fortify us in the room (we actually didn't go through all of them - what a waste). The nice young lady told us glasses of water would be .75 each and I said fine - no problem. I was already dehydrated. Then she didn't charge us for them. I wonder if it is just a deterrent - tell customer they have to pay and then if they are willing don't charge them. No matter - it was nice of her not to charge me and she gave me very specific directions to the next important destination. Sonic! Now granted, we now have one 50 miles away, but a chili cheese footlong coney from Sonic is a 'vacation' food since they were never previously in Wisconsin until the last few months. And to borrow a phrase - 2 forks (if chili dogs can qualify for fork ratings). They actually tasted awesome but no way could a drive-in rate any higher than that! After that we went directly across to the Sahara and headed south on the strip with a quick pick up of Terry Fator tickets (I left her in the parking ramp talking to the bored security guy driving around) before arriving at Paris.


    Paris check-in was easy, although someone was very stupid (that would be me) and did not have bell services help us with the luggage. I checked into the room (strip view courtesy of a host on duty one night - didn't need to use the $20 trick). Between the check-in and walking to the concierge to rent a scooter for mother, I received a text. LUCKILY I actually read it. Since I was charging to the room in Nevada and my daughter was busy charging food at Culvers in West Central Wisconsin, Bank of America froze my card. By the time I waited for the 2 people ahead of me I had confirmed my transactions with BOA and they released the card for use.

    I left mother at the penny slots and hauled the mountains of junk to the room, making sure not to damage the valuable Krispy Kremes. To be bluntly honest I was so hot, tired and dehydrated that I remember virtually nothing of the time until we left for Mirage for the show. Probably why I lost so much money that afternoon. I was just being totally idiotic because my brain was like mush. My son & I spent quite a bit of time texting while he updated me as to where he was and how he would meet us after the TF show. I was exhausted when we sat down from pushing her in the walker most of the way through Mirage. (Original intent was to drive the scooter up the strip but it was just too stinking hot). So.....Terry Fator....the show I really didn't even want to go see and would never have bought myself a ticket for on my own. A ventriloquist? An impersonator? Geez. However....

    IT WAS ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY TOTALLY AWESOME. I would recommend it in a heartbeat and would go back to see it in a heartbeat. The show appeared to be totally sold out. I had booked early and we had 3rd row seats. I seriously could not see a single open seat in the place, although I am sure there must have been a few around. The man is full of talent and I was just absolutely amazed. I tried to take some pics during the show, however, we were off to the side and the low lighting made it a bit difficult. Somehow I fogged out on normal supper time and ended up with a large diet soda and a popcorn..........

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    My mother had made comments several time during the day that she kept seeing people she was sure she knew and that looked familiar. I used that wonderful comment to say, 'yeah that guy right over there looks like DS, see him?' She just was astonished I had managed to keep this from her. By the time we got back to Paris it was 10 pm Vegas time - Midnight Sat night in Wisconsin. I had now had only 1.5 hours of sleep since Friday morning and the last food other than Mirage popcorn & diet soda was a chili dog. Mom & I grabbed a late supper at Cafe St. Louis and DS (who couldn't get his clocked switched off central time) went to bed. He managed to keep his clock on Wisconsin time every day, while we both shifted into Vegas time. He started to get mad at us for eating at odd hours so we had to adjust it a bit. I don't know what mom ordered, but I had the $12.95 shrimp special - ok and worth the price but just too tired for it to hit the spot.

    Somehow I went to bed losing all of my Saturday money and somehow managed to burrow into my Sunday money as well. Yikes - this was not going to be a good trip!!!

    DS was up at 8 am Vegas time to go for his 8 mile run. I think this run consisted of south to MGM over to HardRock & back up that street past Gordon Biersch, etc? I have NO idea how this athletic kid ever managed to come from my couch potato genes. Sunday morning DS & I went to LeVillage Buffet for breakfast. We were there early enough so that even the regular line area was short. By the time we managed to get back down with mom later on the line had grown significantly - again it sure didn't look like Vegas was suffering. I think mother had stayed up too late and resorted to a breakfast of Krispy Kremes. I asked the waitress if it was ok if I took my coffee cup back to the room with me. She said 'Of Course!' so I filled it up again, drank about 1/3 and gave the rest to mom to wash the donuts down with. It was enough to inject some caffeine into her and get her moving.

    We postponed our planned trip to Hoover Dam & Red Rock to partake of some air-conditioning. We visited the Conservatory and Chocolate Fountain, went across to Ceasar's and played a bit of slots.

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    I picked up my $100 Mothers Day gift card which he thought would be great to spend until he realized I was planning on going to Kiehl's with it (limited to a few overpriced stores & Kiehls). That store did not excite him a bit LOL. We had a quick lunch at Ceasar's Food Court - which ranged from ok to my mom's absolutely awesome Baked Potato from the rib joint. No more chinese food for me next trip - I'm after one of those potatoes. I would call that 5 forks for a food court. The Chinese was about 1 fork. Somehow we lost DS during our trip out through the Forum Shops. We ended up at Flamingo and texted him to find he was still waiting for us in FS area. We had walked right by him outside the 'Pete Rose lives here everyday selling autographs store'. Regardless he caught up with us, was cranky and made a brief tour thru Flamingo gardens and abandoned us to go back to the room and live in unemployed depression for awhile. We finally made it back to pick him up and head for Bahama Breeze for Mothers Day supper. Having just been there in Orlando in February I was wise enough to order the Shrimp Pasta in the larger size for mom & I to share. We still ended up leaving some. It was fairly quiet there, however, we were eating around 8:30 so well past normal supper hour for an off-strip restaurant probably. Back to Paris, keep the rest of my Sunday money intact and get to bed late. I love Bahama Breeze, but with no locations near me I have to save it for Orlando or Vegas.

    Son went back to the room to try to stay on Central Time zone. Mom & I ended playing - luckily managed to hold my own and at least stay at even for the night. I had one nice hit on a machine where it holds & respins and had a full screen of the same symbols.

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    Monday morning. OK - WHO DROPPED A CONVENTION OFF AT PARIS????? Yikes - this lobby is all of a sudden full of suits. It is extremely hard to move through here with that scooter for mom. The economy right now again does not appear to be having a negative impact on business travel. We headed to Earl of Sandwich for an actually great breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee to try to get ourselves moving. Headed to Hoover Dam today. HOT. Did not do the tour as I had not rented a 'breakdown' scooter so we could only take the walker along. HOT. DS walked across the dam and took some interesting photos. He has a great eye with his new camera. HOT. Oh, by the way.....did I mention it was HOT...............

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    Headed back around Vegas on the 'scenic' route because I missed the exit to go back past Green Valley Ranch. Ended up taking the I around the east side, north and back down the west side. Oh well. No hurry to really be anywhere. Had a decent sandwich & soup at Atlanta Bread Company because it was the only thing we could spot to easily get in and out of. Had the heat not killed all our appetites we might have headed to the buffet at Red Rock. Drove out thru the Red Rock Canyon drive. Very beautiful but we only made a few stops due to the heat. I swear it felt as if your skin just sizzled when you stood in the sun - just like laying your arm on the oven door.

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    After a change into fresh clothing & a shower, we decided to head to downtown for a planned meal at the 777 Brewpub. I thank all of you that recommended it. It was a reasonably priced awesome meal. Even with 2 beers for DS, we came in around $45. And the Prime Rib was great. I kind of felt like I had morphed into Hawaii though.... Unfortunately the heat was still sending my blood sugar back and forth to every end of the spectrum. This time it was LOW. I tried for a fried twinkie but they just changed the grease after the last show when they had a slight traffic break. Wandered to the other end and found a Krispy Kreme donut to get me sweetened up again. Managed to play a bit at the Fremont before the next light show. And then back to Paris. DS headed for bed and mom & I managed to keep plugging money into the slots. Seriously - the casino was full of people and it was actually difficult to even get the opportunity to play on some of the machines I wanted to. The bar back near check-in and adjacent to the cafe area was FULL. Very few open seats. Whatever convention was at Paris or Ballys evidently was bringing in a LOT of people. I just kept asking my mom, 'Who forgot to tell these idiots the economy stinks and they should be staying home?' We were so engrossed in our slots that it took us about 10 minutes to realize a lady had passed out cold on the floor about 7 feet away from us. Didn't even notice it until the EMT's arrived. The 2 gentlemen with her sure didn't seem too concerned. They just stood there looking around like it happened all the time............After they took her off in the ambulance, the cleaning guy had to mop up all fluids left behind. I was exhausted again after an hour or two of play and a couple of pina coladas and left her at the casino and went to seek some sleep. PS - I hate sharing a bed! At home DH works at night so I have an entire bed to myself. I hate running into another body in it and I was forced to sleep with either mother or DS. Since he is about 1/3 the width of her I selected him, LOL.

    Tuesday......the days are starting to blur together in the heat. DS came back from his run with a picture of P'Diddy (?) who was filming and had the entire Planet Ho half of the strip closed off. DS was within just a couple of feet of him. DS was determined he was going to sit by the pool today. Mom was forced to come and try the Paris buffet today. She did a walk-thru and then gave me directions on what to bring her. DS & I pretty much ate the same things as the previous trip. Despite all the criticisms this buffet has endured the last few years, I still think it is an awesome reasonably priced breakfast. My only criticism is the location of the 'Made to Order Omlette' area. People ending up standing in line and not even realizing what they are waiting for. All they really need to do is grab their food and go sit down. It would be nicer to have the omlettes right at the beginning so the people that did not want them could just walk around that area and get the food they want. As always they have awesome Corned Beef Hash. The buffet area was decorated with sugar sculptures - made for Mothers Day by the chef.

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    We 'dumped' mother to the Paris & Ballys casinos while we headed down to Mandalay Bay - I had a quest to pick up some trinkets from the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef gift shop for a fellow from the OV Forums. We parked at NYNY, played a few minutes there, tram from across the street to MB and walked back thru Luxor. DS disappointed me as he blew off going to MGM. I still regret not just sending him back with the car and going myself. The south end of the strip seemed a LOT quieter than the mid-strip area. The exception being the MB pool area. IT WAS BODY TO BODY OUT THERE. In viewing the Paris pool it was also masses of bodies there. We dropped the MB gifts back at the room and tried to get Pizza @ JJ's. DS will only eat cheese & the lady ahead of us got the last piece. My combo pizza was nothing great at all. Again, this place was a madhouse with a huge line of people and nowhere to sit once we got our food. Gee-glad the economy stinks and crowds are down!! I went down to Ballys to play for awhile while DS went to the pool. Found mother & helped her in getting a sandwich from Nosh. She was a bit aghast at the sandwich prices but calmed down when she saw the size of it. She only ended up eating half and had the other half after an hour or so (you can't really save chicken salad any longer than that!). DS wanted to eat at the Mexican restaurant in the shops at the Venetian. He wandered up there to take some photos and we wandered through the Flamingo and then back to Bill's to hear Big Elvis. Nearly a duplicate of the show I saw in March, however, his voice was awesome as ever. I know the sign said no cover, no mimimum, however I swear the waitress was telling the people at the tables they had to order one drink. Never came back to the back area where the crowds were standing - but maybe a change in that they require a drink purchase when sitting at the up-front tables? I really didn't want to watch the entire show but mom was enjoying it. We then wandered further back up the strip to meet up with DS. This meal was massively more expensive than the previous one at 777. We dumped around $95 with our 3 meals and a couple of drinks from the bar. And I wasn't even all that excited with my 'S'more' drink. Wandered a bit thru the shops but cut back at the Umbrella entry to Palazzo and followed this with a walk back up the strip and a view of the Bellagio Fountains for 2 shows.

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    Awesome and the weather at night was very comfortable once the sun was down. Final famly event was a trip up the Eiffel Tower. Staying at Paris gave me BOGO on the tickets and mother was then charged the senior rate so I believe it was only $22.50 for all three of us. Weather was MUCH nicer than in March LOL. Were able to view a fountain show again from up top but wind was strong and could not hear much of the music. Mother & I were taken down in the first group of people because of her walker, while DS had to get in the regular line to go back down. He said that when he came off the elevator there were in excess of 200 people waiting to go up in the tower in the line across the bridge. Obviously this conference missed Obama's comments about Vegas.......

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    Wednesday -time to go home. Mom took off to play the slots while DS & I ate one last meal at LeVillage Buffet. Headed to rental center and then to airport. Our gates were massively busy as George Clooney was filming a movie that day there. Unfortunately he did not arrive prior to our departure but I did see one gentleman being filmed 'running with his ticket to catch the plane' I will have to see the movie to find out if this was a major star or not. Unless someone recognizes him here....

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    We just didn't recognize him and no one seemed to be fawning over him. Heard references to Mr. Clooney's limo etc but again no luck in spotting him. DS headed for Milwaukee via Minneapolis and we were headed back to LaCrosse via Chicago. Sounds totally backwards. He ended up with a 2.5 hour or so delay in Mpls but did get back into Milwaukee. We sat at OHare for 4 hours before our flight was finally cancelled. I immediately called and rebooked flight for the next morning but waited for assistance in finding a hotel using a 'distress' rate. Then another 1/2 hour of pushing in the walker and getting to the hotel pick-up. Was pushed out of way on 1st shuttle because I couldn't get her and walker to the bus in time. I made sure I was a bit pushier on the next shuttle since we were the first ones waiting out there - although we nearly got bumped off again. Spent the night at Springhill Suites although really didn't sleep. Really wish we had just been delayed in Vegas - would have been nice to have another night there instead of 4 hours in an airport and another 2 hours fighting to get to a hotel.

    An exhausting trip - a hot trip. I really didn't have the 'fun' I normally did because I was so focused on making sure my mother enjoyed herself for her Christmas gift, and my son tried to keep his mind off unemployment. Since I am writing this man days later, I am probably missing a ton of stuff, but it is already long and boring so no big deal.

    And what did we miss????

    I forgot to take mom to the gardens at Flamingo.
    Never got her to Lions at MGM
    Never got to the Lions at Mirage

    And what did we wish we missed????

    Fishnet stockings with a mini skirt, orthopedic black shoes & more wrinkles than you could iron out.....need I say more.

    So for those of you who have finally managed to wake back up again......I really need my own vacation now. And son still needs a job. So anyone who needs a Dean's List Graduate with 2 years of experience in Civil Engineering in the Madison area - PM ME!!!

    And if anyone wants to look at all the photos I think this link will take you there..........

    http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=3CcNGLhuyYQ0
     
  2. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Great trip report and pictures. Thanks for posting.

    What a fantastic thing you did for your mom and son. Sounds like a great time was had by all. I hope your son finds a job soon; I'm sure he will with those qualifications.
     
  3. sb_039

    sb_039 Tourist

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    Nice job on the TR! Thanks for the pictures from the Eiffel Tower. My boyfriend and I are taking my son (22) this time, and I have suggested he make sure to do the tower. I have already sent him your pictures. Thanks again.
     
  4. mardaho

    mardaho Low-Roller

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    no such thing as a boring trip report

    good job

    thanks
     
  5. loser #2

    loser #2 Tourist

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    what's the name of that machine you hit?
    thx
     
  6. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Great trip report from a great person! To pay for your sons trip and take your Mom, it didn't sound like it was easy for you, but you are the nicest person to do it!

    I am not surprised how crowded that part of the strip still can be.....it is why I made the choice to stay at The Orleans next week.....

    People are now starting to go to Vegas again, but they have cut back on the gambling, hence the crowded restaurants, food courts, and pool!
     
  7. Jade88

    Jade88 High-Roller

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    Great TR, those pictures are amazing.
     
  8. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    That wasn't a boring tr. You're right, you definetly need a vegas vacation by yourself. Hope you son finds a job soon.
     
    Back where we belong
  9. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Very enjoyable TR. Nice pics, too. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
     
  10. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    I hate to say I am not really sure!!! Ballys has a couple of them - near where you walk down from the check-in area. Paris has them over one bay of machines back from the Mr. Cashman Tonite/Zorro machines. If all the 'gates/doors' show up on the first column it holds that and then respins to get wilds or more 'gates'. The gates then open at the end of the 3? spins and display a symbol. There is another one of the same basic premise but I think it holds Zeus symbols instead and that one may only be at Ballys.
     
  11. sailor53

    sailor53 Tourist

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    You're a good son and parent. And a trip report about chewing gum in Vegas is a good read in my book. Thanks for posting!
     
  12. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    Thank you so kindly, but I'm the good daughter, LOL! (No picture of me in my photos - I need to talk to someone about actually taking a photo of ME on vacation!)
     
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