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3 days of Mommy Alone time, just got back

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by mn girly, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. mn girly

    mn girly Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Hi, first I'd like to thank the board for all of the wonderful ideas and tips over the last two years! I think it really helped me plan my trip. This trip report is going to be pretty long and detailed. That's the way I like the other trip reports on the board. My hubby and I are a couple of early 40 year old weirdos. He doesn't gamble, I do. He was there for the CES show and I tagged along. Grandma watched our 3 year old at home. Grandma and I have our own Vegas trip coming up in March. She likes to play the newest video slots (so do I). A lot of the trip was spent searching for them. Our own Indian casinos here always have the newest machines way earlier than Vegas does. More on that later. I don't play any table games, so you table game players might find the rest of this report boring and might not want to read it.

    Flights: We had separate flights out on Thursday 1/8/09 AM/PM, which turned out to be a LIFE SAVER! He had an early 7 am flight out of Minneapolis, so we got up at 4 am, left the house at 5:15, and by 5:30 our car was over heating on the freeway. I will spare you the details, but we got to a gas station, I sent him off in a cab while I called AAA, had the car towed and took a cab to the airport. He made his 7 am flight by the seat of his pants, and I still had from 7 am to 2:45 pm to kill at the airport. I scrapped the original plan of taking the free train to Mall of America, and opted for the airport manicure/pedicure and a lot of walking and sitting around. Had a quiet flight out, it was beautiful over the Rockies, could see about 10 ski areas, not a cloud in the sky. Landed early, took shuttle to rental car place (this was new since the last time I had rented a car.)
    The flight home was fine, except that my flight was at 9 am on Sunday 1/12/09 and I had a car to return. I checked in at the computer kiosk at PH, which took me a while to figure out how to use, but got it done and printed out my boarding pass. No one was on the strip at that time in the morning, got back to the car rental place no problem, took the shuttle to the airport, short line at Starbucks, no line at the security checkpoint, and took a short nap waiting for my flight. Flight was uneventful again just the way I like em, esp after having a plane start on fire once when I was flying to Europe. Took a $60 cab ride home and spoke with my husband who was thoroughly enjoying a lunch of mussels and Belgian beer at Mon Ami Gabi, under the Eiffel tower in 70 degree weather (it was a warm 10 here at home.)

    Driving In Las Vegas: I was a little nervous about having a car in Vegas, but it turned out to be the best thing in the world. I'll never be without one again. Got a great rate through Dollar (9 something per day), originally reserved the smallest, cheapest car, but ended up with a Dodge midsize. And I drove all over dodge!!!! I was originally nervous about driving the strip in rush hour, it was about 6 pm when I got there, so I had mapquested a LONG way around the airport from the car rental place (Warm Springs east to Eastern, north to Tropicana, North on Koval, then West on Harmon, to get to Planet Hollywood, our home for the next 3 nights). Looking back, I should have just taken the strip, there was a awful lot of road construction going on, and there was a lot of traffic anyway. But I did stop and get a few things at a CVS (WATER, Tums, chocolate and Advil, all which turned out to be necessary!)
    I brought my GPS, and I'll never leave home without it again. I did have a AAA map of Vegas that I had carefully marked out all my possible destinations on, and that helped a lot. I ended up driving to downtown, Boulder Highway, Ellis Island, Terribles, and the Palms/Goldcoast by myself. Had some other destinations, but ran out of time and will save them for my next trip. We did cab it a lot when my husband got out of the CES show, which sucked because most of the cabs DO NOT TAKE CREDIT CARDS, and each cab fare came out of my gambling fund (which he could get back after the expense report was paid, but that did me no good in VEGAS.)

    Hotel: We had stayed in a beautiful room with a view of the Bellagio fountains and the Eiffel tower at PH last year. This year we stayed there too, but it sucked. We couldn't get a free upgrade. His company had spent a small fortune for our nights there. The first night we were in a room on the 26th floor of the North tower, and it was right next to the elevater mechanical equipment. It sounded like a fricken washing machine on steriods. Also the remote didn't work, there was a cabinet door falling off and something broken off of the light switch in the bathroom. Clearly it was a room that shouldn't have been given out. The bellhop was fully aware of those rooms, and even said to us how he didn't know why those rooms are ever rented out (as he was moving us to our new room at midnight, how convenient for us.) Our new room was 1209 South tower, view of the south strip and the construction across the street, but it was quiet, and not so broken down. It was fine, but the rooms showed a lot of wear and tear already (especially since last year). It was a good location though. We ended up getting 2 meals comped after it was all said and done. My husband had spoken with someone on the plane who ended up getting the same room for $50/night, instead of the $200 per night that his company paid. He spoke with the front desk at the end of the trip and let PH have it. He has to go to another 3 shows this year in Vegas, and he doesn't have to stay THERE. You'd think in a down ecomomy they would think about things like that, oh well. The topper was too that you could tell the place was no where near sold out. We made the best of it. I was originally excited about the pool being open at PH, but I never used it.

    Dining: By the time I got to PH I was starving, and my hubby hadn't eaten since breakfast. We went to Todai, a sushi buffet in the Miracle Mile shops. It did the job and was fun. Not a sipping or tasting sushi, but rather a session sushi! We had breakfast twice at Planet Dailies, which was nice, quick and pretty good. We had a vendor dinner at Battista's which wasn't the best, but it was more about the history and the ambiance. I must say that the fried ravioli was great. We had another vendor dinner at a sushi place in the shops at MGM called Shibuya. It was nice and a good time. I also had a quick lunch on some points I earned at Sam's Town at the Sportsbook Deli. It did the job. I didn't really eat much this trip. I did have a lot of free drinks!

    Shows: Before we left for Vegas, there were two shows we were interested in seeing, Hitzville and The Rat Pack is Back. We didn't buy any tickets and thought we would just see what happens. Hubby called me, said he got the hook up from a vendor, 2 tickets to a private party for Monster with Diana Ross performing. I'm a huge Supremes fan, and she was GREAT! I never thought that I would be able to see her live. She performed her songs chronologically, which was awesome, I'm such a nerd. She sang a lot of Supremes songs and then went into her solo career. We had a great time and a bunch of free drink tickets too. The people sitting around us were fun and we ended up dancing by the end of the performance. There must have been 3000 people in the Paris Ballroom. Another vendor got us tickets to see Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo, but we passed on that because I wanted to gamble my last night there.

    Gambling: Due to this board and Coaster Kikky's Royals thread, I decided to play more video poker this trip. I had practiced on the freeslots website, and I'm glad I did. I like to play deuces wild, and I learned all the different deuces games (bonus, double double bonus, etc...). My first 20$ at PH was a winner, made that into $80 quickly (Love Boat and Wheel of Fortune, the one where the letters light up for the bonus) Lost that quickly, and maybe played at PH another 80$ over the 3 days. It was soo tight, and no one else was gambling. And I felt totally out of place. There were 200 rich, drunk, smarmy young folks in the casino hanging out waiting to get into the nightclub. I couldn't even get to the machines. God I'm old, or maybe just a nerd! I felt like that at Hard Rock too. We spent $40 at Hard Rock, (found an Anarchy In Vegas slot machine) and then tried to get the hell out. But the cab line must have been 2 hours long. Some private party had just ended. Crap. We looked up and saw the Hofbrauhaus welcoming us in. We went there for last call and then were lucked out when a nice danish couple said we could share a cab with them and got back to PH.

    The next morning I got up and drove downtown, parked at MSS in the free garage, got a b-connected card. Played a little bit there, had good luck on a Zeus machine and not much luck after that. Walked from there through the California, crossed the street to Binions, and went into every casino on Fremont street, except El Cortez (the blisters on my feet were already forming). I played maybe 60$ at most. It sucked, there were almost no newer machines, nothing I hadn't seen before. I decided to get the hell out of downtown, felt a bit uncomfortable walking by myself between MSS parking garage and the Plaza/California and back. I drove to Gold Coast and had some fun. Found one of my two favorite machines there, Max Action. Played that and some VP, held my own for a while, then lost. Got the car out of valet and went across the street to the Palms. I actually like to play slots there. I played my Max Action there, and found a fun Deuces Wild Bonus quarter machine. The first $20 I put in, got 4 deuces with an Ace for $500! My first big VP win, how fun! I kept winning there, won on Alpine Adventure a progressive of 230, and had about 3 other 100 to 200 wins. This was in the early afternoon. It was busy there too. And drink service sucked there again. It takes them forever. I walked away from a few drinks. Oh I had fun though. Went back to PH to get ready for dinner & the Diana. Later that night I played a bit at Paris (TOTALLY SUCKED, no new machines, and tight as a drum. I'll never play there again.) I did the looking for slots power walk through Bally's to Bill's, and was surprised to see how small it was. Won a bit on multistrike vp there and then walked to Battistas for dinner.

    The next morning I got up and drove to Boulder Highway, first to Eastside Cannery. Much fun was had there. I signed up for the players club, got $15 in free play and played on that the entire 2 hours I was there. It's big and new in there (and no one else gambling, more on that later) I found a bunch of machines I liked there and a few new ones. I walked out with $60 from the free slot play after playing slots pretty hard. Drove to Sam's Town and had a blast there too. Played a lot of Loose Deuces Wild and some regular Deuces wild. They had a great selection of newer slots, and both of my favorite machines (Max Action, and After Hours) Had to pry myself out of there after I started to lose. Had to go back to PH before traffic started to get ready for dinner. Found Terribles on the way back, won $50 there, but walking in the parking garage alone creeped me out. Small and smoky in that one. Also stopped at Ellis Island too, I found my After Hours slot there and won another $30 and walked out. Felt REALLY uncomfortable walking from the parking garage to the casino alone there. I didn't get to eat there, maybe next time.
    After dinner we walked through MGM and NYNY, didn't get a good vibe and there was nothing new in either of those casinos. Screw it, let's go back to Gold Coast or Palms, ended up at Gold Coast and played some VP and Max Action, ran into some friends there, came out really drunk. Cabbed back to PH and stupidly played about $60, waste of time and the people there creeped me out.

    Didn't touch any of the slots at the Airport! Yeah!

    Final thoughts: I had an overall feeling of foreboding, not many people in Vegas, esp not many people gambling, kinda felt I should really take in and enjoy this trip now, because this Vegas might not ever be the same for a long long time. Just a feeling I hope. Unfortunately people around me kept having the TV news on, about how bad the economy is and how bad Vegas is doing, that the CES show attendance is down, so many people are losing their jobs etc. and that was a real downer, started to feel a bit guilty gambling. Not many people were playing except at the Palms and Gold Coast (that I saw). Overheard a bartender saying that the local casinos are doing better then the ones on the strip who depend more on out of town visitors. No lines in airport creeped me out in a way. There is a lot of construction going on there and a lot that has been stopped, makes you wonder how in the world they're going to make it through this. I thought there were less porn slappers, and only one time share person tried to talk to us, not like last year! I did see a few homeless people downtown, but no one asked me for money.

    Overall had a wild and crazy time. Wanted to have a gambling bankroll of $1500, ended up having only $600 to start with, came home with $50 in my purse, and ended up spending at least 250 in cabs/tips/valet/misc/husband money, so I figured I only lost $300, which isn't bad, and I played hard (for me). Of course I would have liked to win some money. Oh well, the flight was free with bank account points, the room was paid for by hubby's company, all meals were paid for by someone else, Diana Ross was free and I had a BLAST!

    I'm going again in March and there is a lot that I didn't get marked off of my to do list, like Frankie's Tiki Room, Circus Circus/Slots of Fun/Strat, Rampart, Suncoast, South Point (or whatever it's called now), In and Out, Arizona Charlie's, and my 2 foot Eiffel tower filled with Pina Colada.

    Krissy in Minnesota
     
  2. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the TR, nice pic! Seeing Diana Ross unexpectantly would have made my trip!
     
  3. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Nice TR thanks for posting
     
  4. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Nicely done. A good read. Thanks for posting. Have a fun trip with your mom.

    later, GVJ
     
  5. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Sounds like you had an excellent trip! I enjoyed reading. Hope you'll post another one for your upcoming trip with grandma. It's nice to have family member enjoy Vegas the same way you do.
     
  6. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    With the casinos being as empty as they were you would have thought that service would have been much better than it was. Sorry to hear that being by yourself in certain areas creaped you out. Those four deuces with the ace kicker looked real good.
     
    Back where we belong
  7. mare592

    mare592 Tourist

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    Nicely done~ I really felt like I was there with you! We were there over new years, and with my 6'2 husband with me it was creepy in the parking garages, even during the daylight hours. There were a lot of shady characters around scoping us out. We literally threw our bags in the car, jumped in, and drove off. The gamblers were out in full force (us included) and all the casinos were packed, from 11am on. I felt LV was alive and well, at least from Jan 1-4.
     
  8. mn girly

    mn girly Tourist

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    Thanks for all the nice comments! I'd love to be back there right now, it's -20 F and that's not windchill kids! (AAA was called tonight for a jumpstart...). I can't wait to go back! Everyone have fun on their upcoming trips!



    Krissy in Minnesnowta

    wish we would have had this room again, oh well!
     
  9. lithelady

    lithelady Low-Roller

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    Krissy - loved the report. That vp win was sweet!
     
  10. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Krissy...I love that view too! Great pic! It is one of my favorites. We had a similar view a while back, but a lot higher up.
     
  11. Souette

    Souette Tourist

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    Good job!

    That photo of from the room is excellent. Kinda gave me the feeling that I get when I open the curtains for the first time when I settle into my room. Just a sigh and a smile with the comforting thought, "I'm here!"
    Thanks for the great report.
     
  12. sailor53

    sailor53 Tourist

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    Great view from the room. Enjoyed the report and thanks for posting!
     
  13. Leeza14

    Leeza14 VIP Whale

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    Enjoyed your TR! Sure makes me wish I was there. I feel your pain on the temps -- it was more than 30 below every day last week but Friday!!

    I just don't get the PHo train of thought on their rooms. We stayed there two summers ago, and the first room was so filthy that we refused to even unpack; several things were broken as well. After going back down to the front desk, the man who helped us told us he wouldn't stay in that room, either. He moved us to another resort room that still was icky but better. We're not "germ-a-phobes," but the carpet in the bathroom was so dirty that we would avoid walking on it. We were really disappointed with the room but loved the casino and eateries. I thought maybe the room issue would be resolved by now, but I guess not.

    Hope you have a great trip in March!!
     
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