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A long and long overdue TR - May 16 - 20

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by BlondWidow, Jul 5, 2010.

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  1. BlondWidow

    BlondWidow Low-Roller

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    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
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    My Trip Report

    This was our first trip to Vegas for more than a year. We were super excited to be going and I was also super nervous about this one being a family trip. So the line-up was my husband and me, my in-laws, my husband's grandma, a good friend of hers and my mom. It worked out that we had free flights on American and I had enough Delta Skymiles to fly my mom for free. We managed first class tickets for us, which was a first for me! We were flying out of IND and mom was flying with the rest of the gang out of CVG.

    Our flight was leaving at 8:20 am, which meant leaving our house in Cincinnati at about 4 am. Luckily we left on time because when we got to Indianapolis, the airport was gone! Yep, gone. I was driving, my husband was sleeping, we took the exit and drove toward the parking lot where we always parked and there were absolutely no cars there. It was the weirdest thing ever! We pulled into a hotel lot nearby and my husband ran in to ask what they had done with the airport. Turns out it had been moved and we actually had driven past it on the way to the old location. Really funny once we learned what had happened. Anyway...

    Made it to our gate in plenty of time to grab a couple bagels and cokes for breakfast first. We were going to be served breakfast on the plane, but we were both starving. Well, I have to say, first class wasn't how I had pictured it, although the extra leg-room was nice, especially for my big & tall hubby. Our flight was uneventful and nice with the breakfast and the first class service and all. We had a layover in Dallas and another uneventful flight to LAS with a lunch served as well. Nice!

    Got to LAS and got in touch with the rest of the group who had landed about 40 minutes before us and were getting the rental van all squared away. We took the shuttle over there and were off to the Flamingo to see if DH and I could score a GO room. We were in luck. We had 4 nights comped and ended up paying $30 a night for the upgrade, which we were okay with. We took everyone up to see the room, dropped off our bags and headed up to the Venetian.

    We had 2 comped rooms there, so we put our in-laws in one and the 3 ladies in the other. That was nice of us. ;) Check-in took maybe 10 minutes at the invited guests desk and they got us a couple of rooms fairly close together, which was nice but not a deal-breaker. As always, very friendly at the desk.

    After getting everyone to the rooms and dropping off bags, we drove over to the Bellagio for champagne brunch. We always go there if we are out there on the weekend, this was no exception. I think the ladies were a bit overwhelmed by all the food. I know my mom was. Everyone enjoyed it thoroughly and we were on our way to the lobby and conservatory for some pics of the spring display. After about an hour hanging around Bellagio, we headed for downtown.

    The ladies wanted to see "old Vegas" and how could we say no? We went into Binion's first where we got mom, Grams and Joanie to shoot craps. That was fun. I'm not sure they quite got it, but my husband is quite supersitious (he's a craps player, isn't he?) and none of them had shot dice before, so he strongly encouraged them to try. After that, we bounced around at the slots for a bit. I didn't realize just how "not gamblers" the ladies were. They were feeding $1 at a time into these machines and kind of getting aggravated that they weren't winning anything. Oh boy. Then my husband sits down at a quick shot (or something like that), throws in a $20 and hits a progressive for $600+! We hung around downtown, in and out of casinos until it was time for the Freemont Street Experience to start. They all wanted to see it, we had seen it before. I really am not a fan, but couldn't say no. By then, everyone was pretty tuckered out so we headed back to our rooms. We were starving, so we hit one of the shops in the Flamingo and bought some snacks.

    Next morning we walked up to Venetian and stopped by Bouchon for some pastries (beignets, croissants... mmmm...) and coffees for everyone. We went up to the in-laws room and they were already awake and ready. The ladies were almost ready. We all ate and then headed off to Red Rock Casino. We hadn't ever been there and were really excited to see it.

    I was impressed. It's really nice inside, although on a Monday morning, it was anything but crowded. We screwed around there for a bit and joined the players' club for the heck of it and were off to Red Rock Canyon. Oh, my, that place is beautiful! I only wish it wasn't overcast that day. We stopped at the visitors center and walked back toward the mountains there, but with the 3 ladies in their 70s and 80s, we didn't venture far from the overlook. We got lots of photos and then drove to a couple other overlooks and then we headed to In-N-Out Burger for lunch!

    Everyone enjoyed their burgers and fries and then we all headed out to Hoover Dam. The Dam tour was booked up, so we took the tour of the insides only. We were several stories below ground. It was interesting, but not really my thing. I did enjoy just seeing the Dam. They are building a new bridge to divert traffic from the dam that is just a wonder.

    After the Dam, it was back to the rooms to get ready for Mystere that evening. We decided to just stay split up and find whatever sounded good for a quick dinner before meeting at Treasure Island for the show at 9. We changed and headed over to TI to find something to eat and of course ended up play black jack and screwing around there. When we realized how short on time we were, we grabbed a couple slices of pizza there at the little joint near the theater. It was bland... really underwhelming.

    We headed over to the theater a few minutes before 9 pm and the line was very long already. We found everyone else and got seated for the 9:30 show. We bought tickets as close to the seats GREGRIO recommends here as we could get for 7 people. They were great and the show was fantastic. We all enjoyed it. After that, they all went back to their rooms and we tried to find a poker game. Played for about 20 minutes at TI, but the room was dead and they really couldn't get a no limit game going.

    The next morning, we met around 8:30 and swung by McDonalds for breakfast and then set out for the long drive to south rim of the Grand Canyon. After a very long drive (very, very long. Longer than this trip report) we stopped at the cafeteria there for some grub. Boy was I longing for the bland pizza at TI. lol. In a word the food there was horrendous. Please do yourself a favor and don't eat there! omg.

    The Canyon was beyond my imagination. We took the buses all the way up and back throughout the entire south rim, stopping at all the overlooks. It was bright and sunny, but pretty chilly to downright cold that day. I was glad to have my sweater with me! It was getting to be around dinner time when we were heading back to the car. We did have to wait for a couple different buses to get us back to where we parked. That seemed like a long wait. I was getting a little tired (okay, and a little cranky too, I guess).

    By the time we got back towards Vegas, it was after 10 pm. We were wanting In-N-Out again, so they drove us through the drive thru and we got dropped off at Flamingo where we ate in the room. Everyone else was going to bed, but we weren't done yet! We headed down to the poker room for a few hours.

    Wednesday we didn't really have any plans for the day so it turned into a bit of a confused mess. We couldn't seem to get everyone on the same page, so we ended up splitting up for a while, my mom with us and everyone else to the Venetian pool. I would have gone with them, but my mom refused to bring a bathing suit or even go out and hang out there for a bit. So we bummed around the casino for a while until it was time to get ready to eat.

    The only thing we had planned was dinner at Texas de Brazil. My husband had found a discount book on their site for $50 or so, which gave us 10 meals at half off. We had a reservation for 7:15 for seven people. We headed down to check out the South Point and then The M before heading over there. South Point had fun craps dealers and The M is beautiful!

    We arrived on time for our reservation and we had to wait for 10 to 15 minutes for our table. That was not a great start. We have a Brazilian steakhouse here in town and the service is superb. I guess our expectations were high going in. The service was not up to par, although the food was pretty good. Everyone left there aggravated, which got me even more cranky. I don't think I'm a good group traveler. :Þ

    We rushed out of there and up to Bellagio because no one had seen the fountains yet. DH and I got the group out there and then ditched and went down to check out City Center. We took the tram to Aria from Bellagio. We got there and loved the place. Got absolutely slaughtered at craps and then at black jack, but had friendly, fun dealers the whole time.

    We decided to sit and play some cards. Their poker room is posh. Very comfy. I ended up busting out when my flopped set of kings ran into a flopped set of aces. Nothing I could do, all-in pre-flop... We headed back over to Bellagio on the tram and then walked back to Flamingo to pack and get ready to leave in the morning.

    We caught a shuttle back to the airport and had a basically uneventful flight back to Dallas. Until they didn't approach the gate after landing. When we finally pulled up, we were told not to leave. Police boarded the plane and took a lady off, then we all were allowed to go. We got to watch the interrogation as we waited for our connecting flight to board. Apparently she and another lady had gotten into it on the flight, not sure over what, but boy was she in some trouble. We didn't get to see how it worked out, but she was still with police and airport security when we left to board our flight back to IND.

    The flight back was fine and we're looking forward to just the two of us heading back out there in September for a few days. :peace:
     
  2. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    Excellent report

    3 generations too! Glad they all enjoyed their show and the sight seeing and the shot at gambling :)
     
  3. hkings01

    hkings01 Tourist

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    Great trip report . . . the Grand Canyon and Red Rock are both very beautiful!! You're right on that! My husband and I were married at Red Rock Canyon at sunset in 2008. We had the most beautiful sunset!

    Just an idea to throw out there for your next trip if you enjoy the site seeing another beautiful place and IMO better than Red Rock and Grand Canyon is Valley of Fire. We were there in Dec and it was blown away by that even more so than Grand Canyon! Amazing and it's only 45 min away and you can take a nice drive back around Lake Mead! Just a thought!
     
  4. BlondWidow

    BlondWidow Low-Roller

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    Oh, I'm envious of your wedding! :nworthy: We got married in Tropicana's gazebo in 2005 (which was before the place went completely downhill) and it was beautiful out there. I wasn't very familiar with Vegas at the time. That must have been just a perfect setting!

    I just saw someone's pics from VoF today on another thread and it is on my list for sure. I'm thinking we may try to rent a car, even if just for a day to take a little trip out there. Thanks for the tip!
     
  5. BlondWidow

    BlondWidow Low-Roller

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    Thanks, Diva! It was an interesting mix of people, that's for sure, lol. I think my in-laws just went because Grams was wanting to go. She and her friend hadn't been there since they went with their husbands back when Mirage was new. FIL is not into the whole Vegas scene much, is there a few times a year on business and usually sits in his hotel with a book! MIL seemed to really enjoy the room at the Venetian. That was my mom's first trip anywhere, so it was all new to her!
     
  6. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    A fun and busy trip! You are a lot nicer than I am, I would have parked someone else at The Flamingo and used the comped room at The Venetian, but Venetian and Palazzo are my favourite places to stay in Vegas. A little excitement getting off the plane.....bet she won't do that again!:eek:
     
  7. BlondWidow

    BlondWidow Low-Roller

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    I could feel myself getting less nice as the trip went on. :eek:

    The weird thing about the lady was that we were sitting near her and her traveling companion on our layover in Dallas on the way there. I'm a people watcher and I just couldn't help but watch them. She seemed so uppity and obnoxious then and she just talked and talked... We spent the layover trying to figure the couple out. To see her get escorted off the plane on our return trip was a little funny to me. I think she was in pretty much trouble though. She was really, really trying to convince the police of something. It was like a train wreck, I just couldn't look away! :popcorn
     
  8. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    still reading but may i say - airport gone = HILARIOUS
     
  9. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Sounds like a great trip. Although I don't think I would have been able to be as patient as you! And verrrry interesting with the lady @ the end. Hmm...
     
  10. BlondWidow

    BlondWidow Low-Roller

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    bshowell, it was SO funny that the airport was gone. I mean, we figured it couldn't have gotten far, so we weren't really in a panic or anything. That helped. lol

    We had a good time, but I don't think I'll be doing a family trip quite like that again anytime soon!
     
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