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A nearly perfect trip.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by llb8187, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. llb8187

    llb8187 Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    I begin by saying that this was almost as good a trip to Vegas as I can have with my wife. These trips are always different than those with the boys, which always involve a little more drinking, alot more gambling, and much more debauchery. These trips involve shows (at least the kind where you are not allowed direct physical contact with the performers), fine dining and more sightseeing. With that disclaimer, onto the report.
    We flew AirTran out of Indy on thursday afternoon. It was an uneventful flight and arrived in the only place in the world where I am truly happy exactly on time. While I have read how slow things have been in Vegas with the economic downturn, I was still shocked to see how completely empty the airport was when we arrived. The baggage claim area was a virtual ghost town and our luggage arrived there at the same time we did. We walked immediately into a cab and were checking into TI 15 minutes later. We were in our room less than 40 minutes after our plane arrived at the gate.
    The rooms at TI have recently been remodeled and are nice. The beds are very comfortable. I would complain about the size of the new flat screen TV if I spent enought time in the room to actually watch it. While the room was nice, I do have a complaint with the casino at TI. I have become, and I have a hard time admitting this to myself, a dedicated slot player. Other than several misguided, but well intentioned, forays into a craps table, I spent most of my gambling time playing the slots. TI has removed my favorite slots, the 5 line reel Jackpot Party games. Not only did these machines serve as my personal ATMs, but they payed off consistently enough to allow one to build up considerable points on your players card resulting in comps and free offers. Besides, who doesn't love the sound of party horns and the music of the Village People. Suffice to say, I was crestfallen to discover the Jackpot Party was gone. For those who still see the video Jackpot Party games, I refuse to play any game with so many lines that I cannot tell if I won anything by simply looking at the screen.
    Not finding my favorite game on my arrival, I was forced to play another of my lucky games, Wheel of Fortune. (Are you starting to see a trend that I only play the most irritating sounding games in the casino.) I got a quick spin for $200 and took my winnings to the craps table where a great roll by a very nice elderly gentleman netted me another $300 profit. (Another sign of the slow times in Vegas were the low table limits. TI had more $5 tables available than I can remember in the last 10 years. The same trend of low limit table games seemed true at all the casinos I visited.)
    After getting off to a quick gambling start it was off to the Palms to take advantage of my 50% off LVA coupon. By running up a $92 tab at Gardunos (which was not hard when drinking the large $22 margaritas) we got nearly the full value of the discount. After dinner, I continued my impressive streak of never winning a dime at the Palms and giving away a substantial part of my earlier winnings. We then head over to the Rio via the Gold Coast. Walking into the Gold Coast from the Palms is like being in two different worlds. We went from being the least hip people at the Palms to being the young trendy jet setters at the Gold Coast. Since we had already eaten and the only reason I would ever linger at GC would be to dine at the highly underrated Cortez Room, we contiued on to the Rio. Even the Rio seemed to have slightly lower limits than usual.
    We saw the new sexy show in the sky and I proceeded to give away the rest of my winnings. It was on to the VooDoo lounge, where we we paid for several overpriced drinks and took in the breathtaking view of the strip, which was somewhat lessened by the construction of the City Center. It was a gorgeous night to be on the roof of a Vegas casino and the crowd was all outside taking advantage of it. I was a little diappointed as no one grabbed my ass as occurred on my prior visit to this establishment.
    We cabbed it back to TI and went accross the street to check out the new Palazzo. Sheldon, let me give you a tip. You should not build a fancy casino that cannot be reached from directly accross the street without walking through a construction area along the street or winding your way throught all of the shops at the Venetian. I liked the casino once we were able to find it. It was small, but still had that new casino smell that I love. It also had many of my second favorite game, King Cash. God I love those silly bonus games. While I got to play one of my favorites, my luck did not improve as the lions were as elusive as a sober man in Vegas. After leaving the Palazzo we made our way throught the labyrinth of the Grand Canal shops to the casino at the Venetian where I found my holy grail, Jackpot Party. It was just as wonderful as I remembered and I even got to see the Party Animal. (For the uninitiated, the Party Anuimal appears randomly to allow the bonus game to continue after the pooper- often GW Bush, would have shown up to end the bonus round.) For the rest of the weekend I discovered that the Party has been removed from most of the MGM Mirage properties. The one exception was the newly unEgyptized Luxor.
    Thanks to the party, I made it through day 1 of my Vegas adventure with my bankroll still intact. As we were still on Indiana time, we returned to TI and went to bed, where I dreamed of how I was going to spend the Megabucks jackpot. To be continued.
     
  2. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Low-Roller

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    Great TR~ I can't wait to read the rest . . . . don't you love it when someone grabs your a$$? Even in Vegas, it make you feel like you still got it.
     
  3. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

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    Nice TR so far. Don't be ashmed to admit you like slots, that is all that I play.
     
  4. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    As gamblers we are antipodes. I don't play slots. I augment and celebrate the unhip culture of the Gold Coast you go to the Palms to avoid, and only a blind person would grab my a$$, (and then only to move it out of the way.)

    However, this is such a well written trip report, I thoroughly enjoyed all if it and look forward to installments.

    Your vote for the "underrated" Cortez Room is particularly credible given your distain in general for the casino. I had one meal there. I should go again.

    Over all this was thorough and nicely written without superfluous information. And "as elusive as a sober man in Vegas" is certainly an expression to savor.
     
  5. mardaho

    mardaho Low-Roller

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    My first goal in vegas is to be in my hotel room within an hour of landing
    carry ons only this time so I think we can do it :nworthy:
    Nice TR
    waiting for the rest
    I live through you guys for the next 3 days:kiss:
     
  6. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Wow. What a great first post! Thanks for writing. Looking forward to reading the rest. :thumbsup:

    Welcome to the board!
     
  7. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Very good so far. Look forward to reading the rest of your TR.

    later, GVJ
     
  8. llb8187

    llb8187 Tourist

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    perfect trip continued

    We woke early on Friday morning to commence our annual stroll down the strip before it got too hot. We started through the Mirage (my wife liked the changes to the casino since she had last been there), moved on thru the Forum Shops and Caesars (Fortunately, my wife is a frugal shopper so it did not cost me anything), and onto Bellagio to view the conservatory. Maybe we have seen it too many times, but I was left a little cold by the train motif. (Apparently they changed to the fall design on Sunday after we left.) I then discovered that along with TI, Bellagio had eliminated all of the reel Jackpot Party games. This irritated me enought that I decided not to donate any money to the Bellagio coffers.
    We went from Bellagio to Planet Hollywood as my spouse had not been in the casino since the change. We both really liked the casino. She signed up for a slot card which allowed me to lose a $25 match play when the dealer got a blackjack. (During my last trip I managed to win 6 consecutive matchplays, including getting 3 blackjacks). I did manage to recoup my losses and a little more when the lions favored me with multiple appearances on King Cash. We travelled thru the Miracle Mile shops in search of a LV sign charm for my wifes bracelet. Much to my surprise, there was actually a store which sold nothing but charms. We found exactly what she was looking for, but of course, she was concerned about the cost. I told her I refused to spend my Vegas time doing any comparison shopping for charms and I would pay whatever it cost. (Fortunately it was reasonable). After stopping for a Sin City beer, for which I had a coupon and which was extremely tasty, (God I sound like a dork). we headed back down the other side of the strip to TI.
    We made stops on the way at Paris (I lost money), Ballys, Bills, IP (where I won a matchplay dealt by someone who was supposed to look like Charo, but appeared more like someone from La Cage), and my favorite, Casino Royale. There is an odor at CR which I cannot adequately describe and is unlike any other casino I have ever been in. I like to think of it as stale beer and desperation. We then returned to TI so my wife could get some pool time and I could lose some money playing craps. I always tell people that there is no feeling in the world like a hot craps table. Well, I have discovered that there is nothing quite as depressing as a cold craps table. Because I refuse to play the dark side, I slinked away from the table after losing my buy in in about 10 minutes. With plenty of time to spare, I decided to try my luck at the WOF. After hitting a small spin to keep me afloat, I moved to the next machine which had been abandoned by a nice lady who had no luck whatsoever. After two spins I got the spin and it turned into $1k. The woman next to me congratulated me and seemed genuinely excited. However, her friend who had moved around the corner after abandoning this machine, seemed less than thrilled at my good fortune. If you looked up sarcasm in the dictionary you would see her picture when she told me congratulations.
    After pissing away some of my winnings with my annual contribution to the state of Nevada by playing Megabucks, I joined my wife in preparing for evening plans. We had tickets to Love for the early show. (I refuse to attend any more late Cirque showings as drinking and exhaustion have caused me to nod off, or at least fight nodding off, on several occassions). We were wise enough to only get the normal sized drinks (and the tiny little popcorn) to take into the show, as we did not want to get too drunk or have to visit the facilities during the show. All I can say about the show is wow. It was by far the best Cirque show I have ever seen. In fact I have not enjoyed any show in Vegas, which did not involve tipping the performers for personal services, as much as Love. The music, the staging, the performance were all amazing. I even liked the fact that they had a little X-games type act worked in. I was also curious about what they were going to do for Elanor Rigby. I thought it was highly inventive and entertaining.
    My wife decide on Mon Ami Gabi for dinner after the show. After making our way to Paris (my wife refused to take a cab and learned how hard it must be on the professionals to walk so much on heels) we had about an hour wait before we could get an outside table. It was well worth the wait, and not only due to fact I won some money while we waited. We got a table right on the rail where we were entertained by several fountain shows and enjoyed a fabulous meal. The filet was to die for and the escargot were quite tasty as well. It was also ideal weather, as the temperature had to be in the mid 70s.
    On our return we stopped at the Venetian so I could visit my old friend Jackpot Party. Suffice to say the horns were not good to me. I managed not to let this setback spoil an otherwise wonderful evening. We ended the night visiting the new TI nitespot, Christian Audigier. I like to go to these clubs for several reasons. First, you never go wrong paying $14 for a drink that I could get for a $1 tip in the casino. Second, it reminds me how old I am getting. However, to quote my favorite philosopher, Wooderson from Dazed and Confused, no matter how old I get those ladies in the club stay the same age.
    To be continued.
     
  9. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I'm really enjoying your trip report!!! Love the "CR stale beer and desperation odor" and I do believe you are bang on with that theory!! Who among us hasn't fallen asleep or at least resembled one of those "bobbing dogs" you see in rear view mirrors after drinking and late Vegas nights......show of hands!?" hmmmmmmm Just you and I then??? lol I had a good wee nap off and on when we went to see O a few years back and for some reason (perhaps alcohol, perhaps not) everytime I nodded and caught myself I woke up saying "Whoops", I'm sure those around me loved it....thankfully they seemed to giggle each time. Who among us hasn't been the brunt of giggles in Vegas!? Show of hands! I know it can't be just me, Vegas tends to bring out "foolish behaviour", thus the allure. We returned home from Vegas late Saturday night, so I'll have to sit down and "pen" my first TR soon.....I always enjoy reading about everyone else's adventures! Looking forward to the remainder of your report.:eek:
     
  10. llb8187

    llb8187 Tourist

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    The final chapter

    On Saturday I awoke with the same melancholy feeling I always seem to get on my last full day in Vegas. After picking up gifts for our kids from the LOVE gift store (my oldest girl has become a huge Beatles fan and was upset that we went to see the show without her), we took advantage of the free buffets TI had so generously provided for us. As always, the TI buffet was solid but not outstanding. We then took to the monorail to the other end of the strip. When walking thru MGM I was left with the same thought I always have, the place is too damn big. We went into NYNY so my wife could see the changes there. While there is still alot of work going on, I really like the new look. They have made a great deal of progress since I stayed there in March.
    We travelled down to Mandalay Bay where I tried to recreate an amazing run of luck which changed the financial fortunes of my previous trip. On that occasion we went to MB for the buffet (my buddy loves that buffet) and arrived while it was closed between lunch and dinner. I had been on an incredibly bad gambling streak and was not looking to play anything. Well, I could not just sit around and wait so I put $100 into King Cash. After blowing through that money in about 3 minutes I was really depressed. My buddy insisted that the bonus had to hit soon so I should keep playing. As I have absolutely no ability to turn down a gambling challenge, I put in another hundred. I shortly hit the 3 lions and got back to even. I then moved from machine to machine and got bonus after bonus until 20 minutes later I was up $1200. As the buffet was still not open I went to a craps table and won another quick $400. After that I was as big a fan of the MB buffet as my buddy.
    Well they say you can't go home again and I was not able to recreate the majic of my prior visit. I did not take too bad a beating and we wondered back through the shops to the Luxor. I have stayed at Luxor on 2 previous occasions and never won a dime there. I was not looking to gamble there until I spotted several reel JP games, both $1 and .25 cent variety. The horns called to me and I answered, leaving the Luxor with a tidy profit. I have to say, I was not sure whether MGM Mirage could take a property shaped as a pyramid and eliminate the Eqyptian theme effectively. I think they managed to do so and I like the new look of the casino. If they keep JP I may even have to stay there again.
    We went back to TI ( We did walk thru the Excalibur to check out the new dealerless poker room. I found a bunch of guys setting around a poker table with no dealer and no cards kind of creepy.) to get ready for our dinner at Social House. My wife had never seen the siren show so we did take it in before dinner. My wife was of the opinion that when they described it as sexy they really meant insipid and cheesy. I had a different take,that you can't go wrong with a free show with scantily clad women. to each is own.
    Dinner at Social House was fantastic. I am a recent convert to sushi and my wife knows less than me, so we are no experts, but we loved it. The waiters (there were 2 so it was sometimes confusing) were extremely helpful and everything they recommended was delicious. While far from cheap, the cost was not too outrageous. They also have a very attractive clientele, which was somewhat lessened by my presence there. I would dine there again in a heartbeat.
    After dinner, I finally found a slot at TI which I enjoyed. Fox and Hound is an incredibly simple game with 5 lines and only 4 symbols on the reels, foxes, hounds, 7s and bonuses. The bonus game consists of the hounds chasing the fox and the further the fox gets the greater the bonus. It is a silly game with silly sound effects and won only a little money but had a great time doing so. We then went to the Venetian and listened to the band playing some great cheesy 80s hair rock and enjoyed it thoroughly.
    I awoke early on Sunday to get in some more gambling before we had to leave for the airport. I had another brief, yet highly unsuccessful craps session, but won the money back on WOF. We had luch at BLT Burger at the Mirage before we went to catch our plane. It is a little overpriced but the burgers were great and the milk shakes were even better. The flight home was fine and even arrived 30 minutes early.
    Overall it was a fabulous trip. I came very close to breaking even on my gambling (which is a success in my trips with the Mrs),we got a free room, we had some fine meals and saw a great show. I cannot wait for March Madness.
     
  11. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Awesome comeback at MB. I'll have to give that King Cash game a try sometime.
     
  12. Bert

    Bert Tourist

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    Great TR. I love the Jackpot party reel slots too. I couldn't seem to lose on them 2 trips ago when you could find it almost everywhere. But on my last trip it had all but disappeared from most of the Casinos so it was great when I could actually find them and play them for a while.
     
  13. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    I know how you feel when your favorite slot machines seem to disappear from one visit to the next. We tend to search all the casinos for the slots we've enjoyed and have been kind to us. I'm not a big fan of the TI casino; I found it dark and in serious need of a remodel when I was in it in August.
     
    Back where we belong
  14. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Great report, really enjoyed it, and can relate to your feeling of getting a bit older, or being a bit of the high end clientele at certain joints, certainly all perception, but some fun insights.
     
  15. Super400

    Super400 Tourist

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    Great trip reports!
     
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