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3/23 - 3/29 at Monte Carlo

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Mike_in_KC, Apr 4, 2005.

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  1. Mike_in_KC

    Mike_in_KC Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Kansas City, KS

    My Trip Report

    Sorry this took so long to get posted, and sorry for my possible bad grammar.

    The following events are listed by the days they happened, and some may be fuzzier than others. The involved parties include myself and my girlfriend (Who we'll call L). I’ll include prices when I remember them, and the readings from my pedometer, if anyone’s interested. May cause drowsiness. Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Your results may vary…..

    Wednesday, 3/23/05
    Woke up at 5, got to the airport WAY early for our 10:15 flight, found out there was plenty of space on the 8:30 flight, got to Denver early. YAY, enough time to grab a few cigarettes at the smoker's bar. I'd like to know why they can't have a spot in the "A" terminal for smokers to go in Denver's airport. It's takes about 45 minutes to get from Frontier's gates in "A" terminal clear over to the "B" terminal. I know, I should quit and then I wouldn't have to worry about it. For the time being, I enjoy being a smoker. Don't ask, I can't explain. Got into Vegas about 12:30 PM, on Frontier flight 777! (This wouldn’t turn out to be as good an omen as one would think!). Got the bags, grabbed the shuttle to National/Alamo to get the car. I wasn’t aware that National’s “Emerald Club†never expires, but according to the annoyed guy at the counter, it doesn’t. So off we go, get a newer Bonneville. Sweet. Get to the hotel and check in. Ask about upgrades (tried without the $20), got the standard “You can have a Monaco suite upgrade for an arm, or a Spa suite upgrade for only one and a half legs.†Hmmmmm. “Do you have a standard room on the Concierge level?†“Let me checkâ€â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.â€yes, it’s $35 extra a night on weeknights, $50 extra on the weekends.†We had heard that this was a nicer level than the rest of the MC, so our answer was “Yesâ€. VERY nice room, comfy bed and six total pillows, nice heavy robes, BIG TV (Had to be at least 27â€, flat screen), desk, beautiful furniture, and a wonderful view of… The Orleans, Palms, and Rio. Bellagio could be seen, but the fountains required pressing a cheek to the window. I still don’t know how the regular rooms are at the MC, but I’m guessing the extra bank for the concierge level is worth it. Included with the nice room is a private lounge area, with “snacky†food served throughout the day, drinks from 4-8 (limited selection), and a need to insert a key every time you want to go up in the elevator (okay, this just makes it look like you’re a high roller of some form). All totaled up our bill for six nights booked through the hotel website was under $940.00. That included the $240.00 upgrade fee. However, we did eat all but five meals there, so figure (Avg about 20.00 a meal after tip) we saved around $320.00 in food expenses, so it did all work out. Anyway, one of the meals we didn’t eat here was the first night, at Bellagio. This one gave me a coronary. $55.00 for two people for the buffet. Dunno why, I was thinking maybe 40 for both of us. I was a bit disappointed, the crab legs, while being cut in half for easier pickin’, were chilled (we’re used to hot). They’re the main reason we went there. Then, dessert time. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to Chocolate. Gives me horrible migraines (We found out this week that something in Vodka or Cranberry juice does it as well). Bellagio’s dessert selections, for the most part, were some form or another of chocolate, or had chocolate dust, sprinkles, or syrup on ‘em, and the Ice Cream machine hadn’t been filled recently. So I managed to find a cheesecake slice I could do. Strawberry. YUM! After this we walked back to the MC and crashed for the night about (GASP!) 7:30 PM.

    Pedometer: 11567 Steps, 3.46 Miles


    Thursday, March 24th.
    Woke up about 4:30 this morning. Tried going back to sleep. Finally gave up, showered, and hit the casino by 6 AM. Had a Vodka and Cranberry at 6:15 AM. This is LIVIN BABY! Hit two different 5 cent haywire slots for 60 bucks total. This was probably the biggest win of the trip. Finally decided maybe we should go out exploring. Grabbed the car, headed west on Trop to The Orleans. I’ve heard some good things from fellow T2Ver’s about this casino, and it didn’t disappoint. Signed up for a coast card, played for a while (It’s both mine and L’s birthday months, so we each got a 2500 point bonus for signing up). Played here and there, left about $15.00 up. I really like some of the new slot machines they’ve got out now. We both left the Monty Python machines up about 30 bucks. I’ve never been big on video slots, but I think I’m coming around. While walking form MC to Bellagio on Wednesday night, L allowed us to get roped into a timeshare sales pitch. We had decided before going out that we wanted to see Amazing Jonathan or We Will Rock You, but only if we could get tix free from the timeshare people. Saw Rita Rudner last year thanks to them. Well, this one (I forget the name, east of the Riv on Convention Center) had tix for Amazing J. We agreed, 10 AM this morning was our time. We arrived at 9:55, and immediately found out that they HAD Amazing J tix, but didn’t any longer. Well, since you don’t have tix to any show we wanna see this time, we’ll just circle the lowest income on your form here…. And we’re gone! Drove around and checked out some sights, and finally decided to go back to the room, as I was getting a pretty bad headache (I get bad migraines, as I said before, we found out it’s the Vodka & Cranberry this time). Slept till about 4, got up, and headed out. Sunday is L’s birthday, so I wanted to celebrate right this trip. Neither of us has ever been in a Limo, so I had called ahead and reserved a strip tour with Champagne and a rose for 8-9 PM. He got there promptly at 8, and L was so surprised she cried. Got in, he stopped before leaving the parking lot and brought not one rose, but FOUR! That was a nice touch, and I know it is one of the highlights of L’s trip. It was $51.00 for the hour, and I tipped $20. Presidential Limo.

    Pedometer: 13500 Steps, 4.04 Miles


    Friday, March 25th.

    Woke up about 6 this morning, head hurt. Woke back up about 9, felt better. Went out, decided that since we didn’t check out any of the east side of the strip north of Paris last time, we’d do that today. Grabbed the car, headed north on the Strip. About an hour and a half later, we ended up parking at the Venetion. We’d been here before and were coming back Sunday, but believe it or not this was the first place I could get pulled into. Wandered around for a while, checked out Casino Royale, Harrahs, and Flamingo. Headed back north and decided we were tired & had some sore feet, so back to the hotel for a nap. I swear, we took more naps this trip than we do at home. Woke up from that, oh no! It’s 6 PM! Grabbed the car, headed downtown. We finally got to Binion’s garage about 6:45. Dang! We were supposed to meet up with DonD at the Plaza between 5:30 and 6:30. Figured we’d missed him, and decided to play around downtown anyway. Walked through the Fitz, 4 Queens, La Bayou (where, for some reason, L decided she didn’t want a drink after all?), Hit some of the shops, then headed for the Plaza. Now, last year, we walked around the Plaza for a little while (maybe 20 minutes), and that was about all of the smell we could take. I don’t see how people were hanging out there. But this time, it smelled pretty good! Wandered around for a bit. Checked out the Craps table, and there were two guys shooting. Now, one of ‘em both L and I looked at and said “That looks like Mikeyâ€. However, we’re both notoriously shy people, and neither of us had the intestinal fortitude to walk up and say “Are you Hurricane Mikey?†Anyway, we headed to the Golden gate, got in our 5.95 Prime Rib (It may be cheap Prime Rib, but it’s still better than most of what we eat at home). Get back to the hotel and I plugged in the laptop. T2V.com, checked under the “Pic of Sin†thread, and sure enough, IT WAS MIKEY! Mikey, if you’re readin this, I’m sorry man. I didn’t recognize you without your cans. =) Hopefully we’ll meet you next trip.

    Pedometer: 14318 Steps, 4.29 Miles


    Saturday, March 26th

    Woke up about 8 today, and headed down towards Caeser’s Palace. Last year they were right in the middle of construction, so we didn’t come in. This place is HUGE! We didn’t even get into the main casino or go into any shops, and we were still in there almost 3 hours! Hit a few bucks on Cops & Robbers, gave it back on I Dream of Jeannie (sp?). From there we went over and checked out the Rio and Gold Coast. Gold Coast was apparently hosting a “Rockabilly weekenderâ€, which apparently meant you had to have an old “Rat Rod†(common name for an old street rod or custom car built more for driving than looks). As we pulled in to Valet, there were five mid-sixties Cadillacs in various shade of primer (one was actually a metallic green). The casino was PACKED! Didn’t get a good vibe inside, so we headed back out pretty quick. Again with the headaches, so back to the room. I would have no more V&C after this. Woke up about 3, headed downtown, getting there about 3:45 or so. Parked in LVC garage ($1.50 per hour after 4 hours, w/ free validation). Wandered Fremont Street for a bit, then headed to the Plaza. DonD had left me a PM that said to ask the Keno bartender for him. First bartender look at us like we’d just asked him to “Take us to your leaderâ€. He did, however, ask the other bartender, who immediately knew who we were talking about. Unfortunately, Don’s gone for the moment. Wait about five minutes, and we see a man come up and sit down in Don’s chair. Sure enough, it’s the World Famous T2V’er, DonD! We drank and talked for a bit, he showed us his suite at the Plaza (VERY nice!). We are definitely converts now, and will be staying at the Plaza next trip. Apparently, they’re in the process of remodeling all the rooms. After that we went down and drank a bit more. I’m pretty buzzed at this point, L is almost falling down, though in the process of about 10 minutes she was up $275 on 3 Card Poker. She decided we were hungry, I agreed, and were planning on another GG night. Don recommended Center Stage at the Plaza. THANK YOU DonD! Anything they lack in atmosphere (Which, really, they don’t) is more than made up for by the wonderful food they serve. We got a basket of what we believe was raisin bread, and fresh butter. L had the Filet, I had the Veal Tenderloin. Melted in your mouth. To die for. Heavenly. Pick a phrase, it was THAT good! Also, it’s a really good place to watch the lights on the FSE. Bill came to about 80 bucks, we tipped $25. By the way, if you’re planning to eat here (which I’d recommend), make reservations. We were VERy lucky to get the seats we did as fast as we did. Went back downstairs, and Don offered to help me with my Blackjack playing. Since I’m horrible at Blackjack, I agreed, and we headed over. I bouight in for a hundred, and was progressive betting with Don. However, every last stinkin time I bet three chips, I’d lose. Not like once or twice, like 25 times over the weekend, IN A ROW! I figured at least I’d be able to catch SOMETHING, but at no time this weekend did I win when it hit 3 chips (which, I believe, is when you’re playing solid on casino money). I very rarely buy in with enough to outstand a winning streak, but this time I bopught in for $100.00, and just couldn’t catch a break. Left about two hours later, down $100. Headed for sleep.

    Pedometer: 9649 Steps, 2.89 Miles

    Sunday, March 27th.

    This evening we had reservations at 7 PM at Zefferino’s Italian at the Venetion. Started the day off right, went to Barbary Coast hoping to get in on their 2 or 3.95 Ham & Eggs breakfast. It goes till 7, it was 7:15. Bill still wasn’t too bad, coiming in at about 23.00 for the two of us. Unfortunately, Drai’s is apparently at the BC, which normally wouldn’t bother me, but it must close VERY late, as there were a bunch of kids in the restaurant swearing and yelling at each other. Finally Security came by and hauled one of the girls that was causing the most problems out. Things got quieter from there, but breakfast was still pretty good. We spent the next part of the day playing slots at BC, then trying Harrah’s and Casino Royale again. L hit for some nice wins, but I couldn’t get anything going. Back to the Plaza, didn’t see Don this time, played a bit of 3 card and craps, up on 3 card, back to them with interest on Craps. Back to the MC for naptime, up and showered at 5, headed to the Venetion about 5:30. Got there about 6:15, signed up for their slot club, $5 is free slot play with first $5 played. Played first $5, didn’t hit a THING! Different machine, played on the free $5, got 4.50 back from it. Always happy when I leave the Venetion down $.50! Dinner at Zefferino’s was excellent. Forgot what we had to eat, but do remember I had a blue martini that was EXCELLENT, and L had a half bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (sp?). Bread and pasta were both excellent, and since it was L’s birthday, she was serenaded by their strolling musicians on the violin and I think it was a Mandolin. We both teared up, enjoying her free dessert. The ambiance in this place is great! Apparently, they had most of the furnishings brought over from Italy. Total bill was 140.00, after a 30.00 tip. After dinner we headed back to the Plaza, met up with DonD and his wife again, made another run at BJ, where my 3-chip issues continued. An hour and a half later, we’re leaving. If you get the chance to hang out with DonD, be sure to do so. He and his wife are great people. Don, we look forward to playing with you again, maybe we’ll get our revenge on the Plaza’s BJ tables. =)
    Back to the MC for more Z’s.

    Pedometer: 12598 Steps, 3.77 Miles


    Monday, March 28th – last full day in Vegas

    Decided we’d check out some more of what we hadn’t seen yet today. I wanted to try playing some Blackjack Switch, since I’d been practicing it at home a lot, and www. Wizardofodds.com shows it to have a ridiculously low house advantage. Casino Royale has four or five tables, and they were all full when we got there. I waited around and finally a table opened up. The guy leaving said he was up a hundred, so I was hoping this was a good sign. Won my first hand(s), then they brought in a new dealer, Bob. I think Bob is the CR’s “Assassin†dealer. Couldn’t mount a good offensive against him for nothing. At one point I was dealt two kings on one hand, and two 8’s on the other. He showed a 5, so I split the 8’s, getting a third 8 on the first draw. Okay, split those out. Now I’ve got 20 and three 8’s. Next cards for the 8’s were face, face, 10, so I had a 20 and THREE 18’s showing against his 5. He flips to show….. 4! Draws… 2.. Draws…3… draws… 2.. draws….5????? He drew a 6 card 21?!?!? OUCH! At least I left the table with half my buy-in, $50. Headed back to the Plaza (L wanted to hit one of the street vendors on Fremont Street). Made our purchase, tried for the Corvette at the Fitz, tried some more BJ Switch at the 4 Queens, nothing. Back to the Plaza, played for a bit at 3 card, couldn’t do much, but figured at least it’s helping our points out, so maybe we can get some good room offers. Headed back to the MC about 5, decided we hadn’t been to the Trop yet, and wanted to see the insides of Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and “the trashy castleâ€. Besides, we really hadn’t walked all that much today. So , we took out of the MC, and headed south to the pedestrian bridges. Across trop from the NYNY, then across LV Blvd to the trop. Our Limo driver said that the Trop is scheduled to be imploded this summer for either some condo’s or a newer Tropicana. I dunno, looked good enough in there for me, but maybe the casino is nicer than the rest of the place. Back out, over to Excal. We had originally planned to ride the tram from Excal to Lux, then maybe tram the rest of the way to MB. Unfortunately, they’ve redone things. Now, the express tram goes from the old station to MB and back, not stopping at Luxor. To make matters worse, it’s operated as a one-way at certain times, this was one of those times. So now we’re faced with being sardined into the tram to Luxor/Excal, or walking back to Excal. I remembered there are moving walkways between Lux and the castle, so we decided to hoof it. However, when we finally made it to the walkways, the first two were shut down. Apparently someone had fallen on them while not paying attention. I heard one of the group she was with saying “The end comes up on you so quick!â€, and remembering I saw it from about halfway back. Oh well, if the person who fell is reading this, I’m sorry for your incident. At least the third one was up and running. By the time we got to the spot where they have the water massagers, we decided that we’d go ahead and get one. Wanted a 7 minutes, the girl working the booth was having some special where you got the 15 minute run for 20 bucks, instead of the posted 25. That 15 minutes was too short, but afterwards my feet and legs felt 100 times better. We headed back to MC, and felt good enough we even walked to CVS for sodas and a bag of chips. Back to the room, exhausted, and crashed.

    Pedometer: 16532 Steps, 4.95 miles


    Tuesday, March 29th.

    Leaving Vegas today. Sad day. Headed up to Aladdin to check it out one last time before Planet Hollywood gets their grungy paws on it for good. It’s a beautiful hotel, I wish we’d have been able to stay here instead, but prices is prices. Walked from Aladdin up to Caesars so we could get some good pics of statues to use for possible wall hangings. Went form Caesars to Bellagio, as we hadn’t seen a fountain show all week. It was about 11, so we decided to play some penny slots and get some drinks. L got a margarita as said it was the best she’d had in town. I suddenly realized she hadn’t yet requested a Patron Margarita, so I suggested next time she do that. Bellagio DOES comp Patron, and I don’t think L will ever be happy with a Jose’ margarita again. Walked outside about 11:50, get to the railing just in time to hear an announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen: We are currently performing tests on the Fountains of Bellagio. Regularly scheduled performances will begin at 3 PM.†3 PM? We’ll be on the plane! Then, as if my wish had been granted, the speakers popped, and started playing “God bless the USAâ€, with the accompanying fountain show. If you haven’t seen this show (presumably the 12:00 noon show), go immediately on your next trip. If you’re even the least bit patriotic, it’ll get to you. We were both bawling like babies at the end. Back to Aladdin. Funny, we both really liked it here last year, and this year didn’t disappoint. Played some slots for a while, turned five bucks into ten thanks to the Rodney Dangerfield 5 cent machine, turned that 5 into 20 on the Monty Python & The Quest for The Holy Grail (I *LOVE* this movie!). Went down to the tables, sat down at the last two seats on a three card poker table. Walked away up about 65, after about 30 minutes. Headed to the airport, sad to leave but happy we’d get some sleep in our own bed.

    Random thoughts that didn’t make it in above:

    Had a few at Margaritaville this time. I’d highly recommend this place, but plan on spending at least 8 bucks a drink, and give the top level (Outdoor) a try. Be advised they don’t always serve food up there.

    Our next trip, for the most part, will be spent downtown (more drinkin’, less drivin’).

    Bellagio’s fountains get me teary eyed.

    I dig drinking in public.

    Pedometers are evil devices. They make you do crazy things, like walking instead of sleeping.

    I LOVE VEGAS!
     
  2. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Another downtown disciple...

    Aint it great?

    Love your trip report, and I really wanna meet the famous "DonD" as well!!

    Well done Mike!
     
  3. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

    Joined:
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    Can you give me some of your thoughts on the Monte Carlo? I will be staying there in July.

    Last time we were in Vegas we stayed at the Tropicana and thought it was nice but wanted something different this time.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  4. Mike_in_KC

    Mike_in_KC Tourist

    Joined:
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    It was a pretty nice place overall. We were in one of their "special" rooms, which was nice enough. Apparently they recently finished a remodel, and I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.
     
  5. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    Mike, thank you for all the kind words. At first I thought you were talking about someone else. It was a pleasure meeting you and your girlfriend "L." She now has a new name. We WILL have better luck the next time for sure. Also, Jennifer said to say Hi to you and L. Don
    [​IMG] .. [​IMG] .. [​IMG]
     
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