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8/25-8/28 at the Flamingo

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by togurt, Aug 31, 2015.

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  1. togurt

    togurt Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    My wife and I just got back from our most recent trip. This was our second trip in about a year, and it was a blast. Last year it was just the two of us and I think we tried to pack in too many things in a short time. We had fun, but didn't feel like we had a ton of time to just enjoy being on vacation. (it's especially important for us to try and relax since we have 3 small boys at home) This trip we went with a group of people, mainly current and former co-workers of mine and their spouses. We had only gone with other people one other time, and it wasn't exactly great. On that trip our traveling companions weren't exactly Vegas types. They liked to stay in their room and complained about walking. So we were a bit skeptical about going with traveling companions again. We are glad we did because we had a fantastic time. The group was all like minded people who were all laid back. No one felt left out when others went off and did something on their own. We didn't have a constant need to check in with each other, but still hung out a bunch because we enjoyed each others time. We all agreed it was one of our more enjoyable vacations. We will definitely do this again together someday.

    We left out of Oakland on Southwest on 8/25 and were in Vegas by 1:30. The flight was uneventful, which is always a good thing. Caught a taxi, driver asked if we wanted freeway or surface streets, so no long haul. We all decided to stay at the Flamingo because its center strip, has a good pool, and wasn't too expensive.
    [​IMG]

    Got to the hotel at 2:15 and waited in the check in line for 15 minutes or so. We booked a Go Room with a strip view. They offered us an upgrade to a Go Mini Suite for $30 a night, which we declined. Looking back I may have gone for the upgrade had I known everyone would end up in our room for drinks several times. Would have been nice to have the extra seating. We were told they had none of our rooms available and they should have some ready between 4-6. Wasn't thrilled, but it was do-able. Just as she's ready to let us go, she said a room popped up. It was a Go Room Luxury, so it was 50 square feet bigger that the room we booked and it would be $10 more a night. We went ahead with it since we just wanted to sit in our room and relax for a bit anyhow. I was a bit skeptical that it was any bigger than a regular Go Room, but looking back at pictures from a previous stay it was a bigger room. The room was very clean and well kept. No rips in furniture or problems with wallpaper. The only issue was a sitting chair at the desk area. At one point someone picked it up to move it across the room and we saw the underside. It had a red blood looking stain on the bottom side. No one sat in that chair the rest of the stay.
    [​IMG]
    The Murder Chair

    We were on the 27th floor on the south side of the building. The hallways carpets were very clean, and looked pretty new. There were no major issues with the elevators, but they were a bit shaky. I did see an elevator repair company there at one point. Here are the day and night time views from our room.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    We met up with a few from our group who were already there and went to Margaritaville. We go here at least once a trip to get drinks and Volcano Nachos. If you haven't had them before, you should remedy that. They are great and gigantic. There were 5 of us and we didn't finish them.
    [​IMG]

    The last of our group wasn't due in for a few hours, so we walked the strip for a bit. Went down the Linq area and through the casino. Gambled a bit here and there, but nothing major. We ended up at the Bellagio and took some pictures in the conservatory.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    We then went through the The Cosmopolitan. I do like the casino, though I don't think any one of us gambled a dime there. I like the glass elevators, though when you are on the upper floors and the elevator isn't there, it just looks like a door to step out to your death.
    [​IMG]

    After the Cosmo, we walked over to Twin Peaks and had drinks. The beer there is so nice and cold. It was especially great since it was so muggy that night. After drinks, we met up with the last of our group who had finally got settled in. We met and went to our room for drinks. We had a great time BS'ing and discovering the murder chair, while getting a good buzz going. We went back out and hit the strip. Ended up at Harrah's playing slots and then back to the Margaritaville casino at the Flamingo to play some more. The gambling was pretty bad this trip, pretty much losing at every turn. I did find one machine I liked to play, and kept going back to.
    [​IMG]
    Thanks for playing Kiss!

    I think we all turned in around 2 or so.

    I'll continue the rest later
     

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  2. Lhammer28

    Lhammer28 High-Roller

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    Yay! Im glad you had a good time! ill be at the flamingo in less than 36 hrs!!
     
  3. togurt

    togurt Tourist

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    Going through my photos I realized I completely forgot we went out to get some late night food that first night. We all went to Hash House A Go Go. I had heard their portions were big but
    [​IMG]

    My wife and I weren't all that hungry so we just got a side of fries. Another couple split the Chicken and Waffles, which they said were excellent
    [​IMG]

    Our other friend ordered a pancake. A, as in one, pancake. She had not heard their portions were big
    [​IMG]
    It was easily the size of a medium pizza.

    The fries were good, I can't entirely speak for the rest. Must have been good since one couple went back for breakfast in the morning. The fire alarm went off at the end of the meal. Everyone in the whole place just sat and pretended it wasn't happening. It was quite odd.
     
  4. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    Enjoying the report! Haha at 'the murder chair'. We'll be there in October, and I guarantee I will be looking at the under side of the chair... Hope you had better gambling luck.
     
  5. hotreds

    hotreds VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report, looking forward to our stay at the Flamingo and will have to try those nachos!
     
    Will give them a try!
  6. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Lol @ murder chair. What camera/phone are you using for the picture? The day/night room views are super!
     
  7. 1slomofo

    1slomofo Tourist

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    mmmm nachos...

    Looks like a wonderful time and great photos!
     
  8. togurt

    togurt Tourist

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    Day 2

    I woke up around 7 and didn't really get back to sleep. I snuck out of the room and walked down to Walgreens to get some supplies, water, plastic cups, cheap shot glasses,etc. It really is nice walking the strip in the morning with so few people. Nice and calm. Not long after I got back my wife woke up. Still took a while to get ready for the day though, and didn't get back out the door til 1030. We met one of our friends at the Flamingo Buffet for brunch. It was $20 per person and included bottomless bloody mary's and mimosa's. I don't think it was really worth it. I think we all had one drink each, the OJ for the mimosa's was super pulpy. Not much of the breakfast food stood out. Nothing was terrible by any means, but I don't think I got seconds of any one particular dish. I did get a good crepe though.

    After brunch we went to the pool and met up with a few others from our group. It was probably 1230 when we got there, and there wasn't a seat available at the Go Pool area. That was too bad because it is a nicer pool. Not a big deal overall as the other pool was just fine. There were a few kids there, but that doesn't bother me much. We got a few seats practically poolside and split a bucket of beers. $35 for 5 Coors LIghts isn't exactly a good deal, but they were nice to have on ice considering how hot it got. At one point my wife's phone turned off because it was so hot, she wasn't even using it and had it under a towel. We saw an elderly woman get taken away by medical too. Pretty sure she was suffering heat stroke. She appeared to have spent years in the sun, she was deep brown and looked like a raisin. My buddy spotted her when we first sat down. Her hands were shaking as she applied lotion, sure enough 30 minutes later security came running down. I think my favorite part of the whole thing was when a security guy ran off and came back with a bag and two bottles of water. Then he sets the bag down next to her, opens a bottle of water, and drinks it himself! I'm sure they were taking care of her, but it was a pretty comical sight.

    Once we all started to bake, we went back to our room to recover a bit. We all had discussed doing a show that night, but hadn't purchased any tickets or had a solid plan on what to do. My wife and I walked over to the Tix4Tonite booth to check out what was available. We all had discussed Tournament of Kings, as it wasn't too expensive, included dinner, and a few of us had been before and thought it was fun. It was about 330 when we checked. I explained we had 7 people and were going to get them all separate and wanted to make sure there was tickets left. The guy was pleasant and told me they had lots of tickets left. We relayed this to the rest of the group (some of which were just finally making it out into the sun for the day) but we did not buy our tickets. We didn't want to get ours, and then be stuck being the only ones with tickets. We went next door to the Casino Royale and tried White Castle for the first time.

    [​IMG]

    It was edible. Nothing special, but not bad either. I had tried the frozen sliders you can find in most supermarkets before, and the fresh one's weren't much better. The fries were good, and I'd probably have enjoyed it more had it been closer to the middle of the night and I'd had a lot more to drink. I'm sure we'll try it again someday if only to get an order of chicken rings.

    We signed up for the players card at Casino Royale and did the promotion where they give you $20 free play after you lose your first $20. It was pretty easy to redeem as long as your pin is entered correctly, mine wasn't. It wasn't a big deal, I just had to go get it reset, but it was a bit annoying. We continued our losing at the slots. Especially my wife. She was going through 20's like they were napkins at a rib eating contest. She just could not win this trip.

    I'd been texting with everyone in the goup to try and coordinate the show for the evening. My friend finally made it to a half price booth to get his tickets. Tournament of Kings was sold out! Apparently they stop selling tickets at 430 for that show. That would have been nice to know when we talked to the guy an hour before. Anyhow, my friend called the box office and they had plenty of seats, and they were only $7 more at the box office than the Tix4Tonite booth anyhow. No big deal in the end.

    One friend and his wife went downtown to find a poker game. The rest of us met in my room for some drinks. I was probably drinking 2 for everyone elses 1. So by the time we started to walk to the south end of the strip I was feeling pretty good. I'm not real sure which casino's we went through to get to Excalibur (see above regarding feeling good) but I do remember getting the feeling my friends thought we were crazy for walking. My wife and I pretty much never take taxis on the strip, we walk everywhere, its just part of the fun for us, going through casino's, people watching, etc. My friends went along with minimal complaining. We got to the box office about 30 minutes before show time and got 7 seats together with no problem. The show was fun, pretty cheesy, but fun. Food is decent, but not spectacular. Its worth the $52 for dinner and a show. This was the 3rd time we've seen it (once on our own, once with our kids, and this time). I doubt we'll do it again, too many good shows to see.

    After the show, to the amazement of our friends, we walked back to the Flamingo. One couple was flying out the next morning to be at work by 8am, poor bastards. My wife and another couple decided to do the High Roller. My wife would have never done this if it was just the two of us, but she went along when it was someone else's suggestion. The flamingo gave us a coupon book with $5 off admission. None of us brought the book, but we showed them our room cards and they gave us the discount. It is pretty awesome being up that high. Since the pods are so big, and it moves so slow, you really don't notice how high you are getting. My wife, who doesn't really like heights, had no issues. I'm glad we did it at night since the lights are so cool. I doubt I'd do it again, and certainly not during the day.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    A few shots from the High Roller

    We walked down the Linq and ended up at the cupcake ATM.

    [​IMG]

    It was around 1am when we got the cupcakes, and I expected them to be a bit stale. They were pretty darn good. I may be a bit biased of course since we got a white cupcake with chocolate frosting, which is my favorite, but I still think they were good. Our friends agreed, I think they got red velvet.

    After the cupcakes we went over to Harrah's, where we dumped more money into slots. We did all sit at the electronic roulette machine toward the end. That was a lot of fun. Played for half an hour and only lost $8, plus drink service was excellent there. We finally got to bed around 230.

    I used an Iphone 6 plus by the way. The night shot is after some editing on the phone, but they day shot is as is. Really love the camera, and probably would have better pictures if I ever took the time to try.
     
  9. B S

    B S MIA

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    Thanks for the TR! The night pictures look amazing.

    What app do you use for editing pics? I thought to myself, damn my i6 never had photos that good!
     
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice stuff so far!
     
  11. togurt

    togurt Tourist

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    Day 3

    Going home day for most of our group. My wife and I got out of bed promptly at 10:30, quickly got ready and were out of the room by noon ;). We met with the friend who was leaving earliest for breakfast/lunch. We finally made it to secret pizza at the Cosmo. No pictures, but its pizza, so there you go. I thought the pizza was great. Especially the crust and the pepperoni. Not necessarily the best pizza I've had, but pretty darn great for a quick slice in Vegas. Wasn't totally thrilled with the place itself. I understand it is supposed to be a cool little hole in the wall type place, but its really really small. The employees aren't exactly stellar either. They weren't very organized, and it took forever to pay. The guy in front of me had been given his pizza and he at the entire slice while waiting to pay, and waited for a while longer after he was done. I got the three slices we'd ordered, and waited for drinks for a while. Then, he rang up my order and went back to prepping slices for others. I ran my card and hit ok and thought I was done, so I went and sat down about 5 feet from the register (which is about as far as you can get because its so small). Suddenly the clerk is yelling at me "you didn't pay!", like I'm running down the hall or something. I walked over and re-ran my card and realized there was another approval screen, to add a suggested tip of course. If the guy was any good at actually ringing people up and processing orders in a timely fashion then it would never have been an issue. On top of that, yelling at me like I'm stealing something is insane. Could have walked to where I was and just talked to me. Just terrible customer service (which I find to be a big problem a lot of places, but shocks me how bad it was several places in Vegas since its such a tip hungry place. I will say all the cocktail waitresses I ran into were fantastic, most others left something to be desired). Anyhow, pizza was good, probably would have been better had I not grabbed the garlic powder thinking it was cheese, but no big deal, still good.

    After saying our goodbye's we went back to the Flamingo for a bit. Lost some more money, though the Lets Make a Deal machine at least made it interesting. My wife and I then headed over to the Bally's marketplace to check it out. Pretty unimpressed. Not much to draw you in. Seemed like a bunch of storefronts for those carts you find in the center of the mall. My wife grabbed starbucks, then we spent some time in the Lush store.

    Our last set of friends met up with us in front of Ballys, and we decided to walk back over to the Cosmo since they wanted some pizza too. We watched them eat, since we weren't quite hungry again, they liked it quite a bit too. After our second trip to secret pizza for the day, we went to the secnd floor and hit the Chandelier Bar to try the Verbena. I bought a round for everyone and the bartender walked us through the whole thing. It was quite a unique experience. I'm not sure the flavor really changed for me after chewing on the flower anymore than having some lemon zest in my mouth would have, but the tingling was really neat. The drink was great on its own without the flower. Totally worth trying, especially fun to do with friends because of the conversation you can have about it. After drinks we parted ways as they were headed to the Wax Museum, which we didn't have much interest in, then they were headed home.

    My wife and I walked down to New York New York, as I had a MyVegas reward to cash in. I got the free shot from the chocolate bar outside Hershey's. They gave me a $5 voucher, though I signed 3 $5 vouchers and they only gave me one. Anyhow I took the voucher and asked the bartender if I could apply it to one of their cocktails. He told me no, it was just for one shot of one of 3 flavors. They were Jolly Rancher shots and I chose blueberry. It was good, but we probably would have had a few cocktails if they would have let me use the voucher towards them, their loss I guess.

    We walked through the Hershey's store, eyeing souvenirs for home, then went to the M&M and Coca Cola stores to do the same. Not much to be found at the M&M store except the Bank of America ATM on the top floor. My wife is a Coca Cola freak so we spent plenty of time in that store, but didn't get anything that day except a Coke Float. After that deliciousness we headed back to our room to cool off for a bit and get changed. It took us probably an hour to decide on where to go for dinner. Sometimes there are just too many choices. We decided on Guy Fieri's place, which we couldn't do with our friends because they would have given us shit for just suggesting it. We played a bit at the Linq while we waited for our table, and left about even there. As far as food, we both got burgers. I must say, they were damn good. I got the ridiculous mac n' cheese burger, and honestly it was excellent. Well seasoned patty, good sear, and the bun was toasted and complimented the burger really well. The bacon was great, which is not always the case on a burger. The mac n cheese was not overpowering at all, just added a nice cheese flavor. I fully recommend it. The fries that came with it were interesting. It was a mixture of waffle fries, shoestring fries, and some thicker cut ones. They were all heavily seasoned, but not overly so. The waffle fries were easily the best of the bunch and I'd like to just get an order of those.

    [​IMG]

    After dinner we went back to Harrah's to play for a while. We tried our hand at Keno for the first time. I know the odds are awful, but it was damn fun. Played for a half hour, had great drink service, and only lost $18 (won nothing of course). Its great to sit and BS with my wife and root for our numbers to come up. Not nearly as fun to play on an automated machine, really only worth it to play where you get to see the balls physically pop up in my opinion, We tried playing roulette again, but the machine was full all night. We continued to lose, so we tried a few more casinos. Tried the LInq, which is a nice place, just not nice to us, lost again. Decided to try Bally's, as we'd never actually been inside the Casino there. I actually thought it was pretty nice, Made nicer by the fact it was the only casino we left up. I hit $80 on a Red Riding Hood machine and we got the heck out of there. Walked through Paris briefly, but were running out steam, and money. We grabbed a slice of Pizza at the food court at Flamingo and went up to our room. I didn't find it quite as good as Secret PIzza, my wife found little difference between the two (its the crust and the pepperoni, especially the pepperoni, the toppings at Bonnano's were a joke). It really wasn't bad pizza overall, and I'd eat it again. Got to bed around 3.
     
  12. hotreds

    hotreds VIP Whale

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    The point is to have fun, even better with a loved one. Good for you, who cares if you didn't win!
     
    Will give them a try!
  13. togurt

    togurt Tourist

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    Day 4

    We woke up around 9 so we had time to pack up and clean up. Then we took our luggage and checked it since our flight wasn't till 6pm. No gambling today as we had already lost enough, plus, we had souvenirs to buy.

    By the time we got checked out, using online check-out since we had no special charges or credits, it was lunch time. I wanted to do a nice buffet, like Wicked Spoon, but my wife wasn't on board. She's not a huge fan, and I already used my buffet card for the Flamingo buffet earlier in the week, a bad misplay on my part. We decided on Shake Shack since we've heard plenty about it and we weren't likely to be able to try it anywhere else. The trek down to New York New York was warm, but not too bad yet. The line went quick and we both ordered just a standard shack burger and fries. I may have got a larger drink had a known their regular size was so small.

    [​IMG]

    I do love burgers, and was really looking forward to checking it out. The burger was pretty good, but nothing fantastic. Better than your average fast food type burger, but pretty on par with all the other burger specialty type places like five guys and the habit (though I think The Habit is better). I liked the shack sauce, my wife did not, which dampened her opinion of the burger overall. I would certainly go back and try it again, but I wouldn't make a special trip anywhere to get it. It would probably be worth checking out the original location in New York to see if there is a difference, I suspect there might be. I would like to try a shake there at some point too.

    After lunch we were on a mission for souvenirs for our kids since we had zero at this point. We finally found some shirts we like in a shop in Excalibur. We also went back by the Hershey store and got some Christmas presents for a few nieces. We stopped back by the Coca Cola store as we couldn't get out of town without buying something there. It had been a few hours of looking for souvenirs and we started back north toward the Flamingo. We were hungry again as it had been a while and we discussed going back to White Castle just to try something different. By the time we made it to Paris we were wiped. It was super hot out and the sun was taking its toll. We scrapped all plans to go any further than the Flamingo, and just went to Margaritaville and got drinks and nachos. Yes, the same nachos, but only split 2 ways this time. It was an excellent choice.

    We got a taxi to the airport and flew home with no problems. Our kids, especially our youngest, were super happy to see us, so that just made coming home that much better.

    Overall it was one of our favorite trips everywhere. Had a great time with our friends, and we talked about all going back again. Sure the gambling wasn't great, but honestly it didn't detract from the fun much at all. Over nachos at Margaritaville my wife and I were discussing that it would likely be our last Vegas trip for a while. Its tough to leave our kids with my in-laws so often. As we are having that conversation, my mother in law sends a group message to my wife and her brothers. She was suggesting we do Thanksgiving in Vegas this year! She figures its a good place for everyone to meet since there are a few in LA, one in Reno, and us. So, I guess our next trip will be sooner than expected!
     
  14. NCAAHoops

    NCAAHoops Low-Roller

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    Thanks for posting, Enjoyed the TR sounds like you had a ton of fun with the group. Good Luck when you go back at Thanksgiving. You can show the family how you win at gambling then tell them you do this all the time. LOL
     
  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! Sucks about secret pizza being disorganized like that. And good to hear the bank of America atm is at M and M world. I hope to never use it!
     
  16. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Sounds like quite the enjoyable trip. That's how it should be - win or lose - have fun.
     
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