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An unplanned trip: I suggest it highly

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Sierra, Feb 20, 2008.

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  1. Sierra

    Sierra Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    I flew home from Vegas at midnight Monday night.

    This last Saturday, Stanley and I were in Orange County on the last day of a business trip (for him), I had joined him midweek to hang out at the pool. We were flying home at 3 (Sac area). Stanley had finally finished his work, was staring out at the Pacific Ocean, and said, I don't want to go home, let's go to Vegas. Hmmm....give me a minute....

    We had three obstacles: getting there from the LA area; getting home from Vegas; and hotel rooms. Also, our plane was due to leave in a couple of hours, so I needed to put this together quickly. Our rental car was easy, the desk said you have it till 5 PM tonight, no drop fee in Vegas (premiere account-business), so no extra cost if you make the clock. Southwest gladly changed our trip from LA/Sac to Vegas/Sac, only$35 more each; then it was on to a room search.

    I started with Harrah's total reward desk. I was calling at 10 AM for a room that night, SATURDAY night on a 3 day weekend. Good luck with that. I was also wanting a player/flyer rate. Heh. Once the lady quit laughing, and I got that there was no availability for Saturday under $200, she did tell me I had free rooms for Sunday and Monday night. Score! hooked up Bally's, hung up and puzzled over that night, Saturday night. Because I read this and other forums, I know which rooms might have a Saturday rate I could live with. Gold Coast came through at $119 that night. I took it.

    Okay, we have to take a co-worker to the airport at noon, ½ hour a way from our hotel, that gives us 4 and ½ hours to make it. The National car rental lady said 3 times, not to be after 5 PM for no charge. It put the fear of god into us, why? Not sure, what’s the worse they could do, charge us another day? Ok, this business account was like $65 a day for the car, so it was a little pricey, but on the company’s dime, if we could get there by 5 PM.

    We’ve never made this drive from LA to Vegas, Sacramento-yeah, but not LA; hey, it’s closer by about ½ so we should be fine, right? I figure we need to hit Barstow by 3 to have any chance in hell, since it was 1 PM and it was only 80 miles from where we were, no problem. Around the 15 and 215 intersection, we were at a standstill, we lost about ½ hour. Stanley kicked it into 85-90 to Barstow, getting there at 3:15. Can we make it? Well, he continued the Nascar driving, I tried not to pay attention, limiting my gasping to only 1 every 15 minutes or so, NOT stopping to pee at all in 250 miles, we pulled into Vegas at 5 PM. After gassing up, we hit the rental center by 5:15, all was well.

    We decided to just cab it while there for the short two days, though we had 3 nights booked, 1, Saturday night at Gold Coast, and 2 at Bally’s, we were flying home the last night at Bally’s, and only needed the room till 8 PM. We usually drive there to Vegas, thereby having our own car. When we fly we rent a car. I hate cabbing it! It’s so stressful with the long hauling, the crazy driving, the pissy attitudes. Sheesh! We leave the airport (shuttle took us back there after returning the rental) by cab, he tunneled us. When I saw what he was doing, I called him on it. He went into the terrible traffic on Tropicana crap, as usual, I started in about what the fare should cost, and Stanley gave me a nudge, said let it go, we’re on vacation, yada, yada. Fine, take your $22 fare, hey here’s a tip too! But, I didn’t lose my temper and go off on him (I have before, and it leaves you pissy for a while, ya know?)

    We arrive at Gold Coast, get our room, give it the nod, and hit the casino. We decided to team play, using a pooled kitty, watching each other hit the button, moving on when we lost one buy-in, cashing out at double ups, pretty structured stuff, more fun than it sounds when you’re drinking martini’s. After too many martini’s and no food, we go for their T-Bone special. 16 oz steak with all the fixin’s including a beer, yeah, we needed the beer. Service was crappy, food was good, too good, actually. We split this meal (as usual), and I gave Stanley the ½ a steak with the big juicy bone. At some point, he got tired of cutting the meat away from the bone and picked the whole thing up with his hands, gnawing on it like a dog. Pretty funny stuff considering this guy is meticulous about eating. I mean he can eat a dripping buffalo wing, or bbq rib and never get a mark on his face. Fascinating. I’m staring at him in disbelief, he’s not only gnawing on this bone, he’s over exaggerating his enjoyment and the process with sounds and big gestures, we’re both laughing, in our own drunken, Vegas world, when I notice Stanley look up across the aisle, grin (with bone in his mouth) and wink ever so cutely at this Asian couple (maybe not U.S.?), who are staring at him with some shock, but mostly amusement. After Stanley’s wink, the Asian gentleman laughingly tells Stanley it’s been some time since he’s seen someone enjoy their food so much. Stanley sweetly and earnestly told him he’s glad he enjoyed it. We left wiping tears from our eyes.

    Because it was Stanley’s birthday month, the extra points they give, and the discounted comp use, bought the meal. We played a bit more and ended up ahead about $20 bucks for the night, cool.

    The next morning, we team play more, stay even, check out and head to Bally’s by 11 AM. Though they have a shuttle, we didn’t want to shlep our bags into it for the ½ mile to Bally’s so we grab a cab. Guess what, she tried to long haul us! Rather than pull out on Flamingo (where Bally’s is, same street), she heads toward Circus. Stanley says, rather forcefully, and not a little mad, “Where do you think you’re going?!†She jumped, and nervously said, it was a short cut. Huh? What can be shorter than a straight line, ½ a mile, with lights in your favor and no pedestrians to worry about? She was scared, I felt sorry for her. Remember how Stanley made me back off my cabbie attack the previous day, now he’s going to let her have it. She sheepishly admitted she’d been loading for an hour and a ½, she probably saw our luggage, and thought she had at least an airport fare. The fare was $7 something, I wanted to give $12 as usual, he wouldn’t let me, she got $10 total, but he wanted to stiff her. I think I’m done with cabs, our own car or a rental. Between the 3 trips, it was almost $50, we could have rented a car for two days, and will next time.

    They have a room ready, we drop the bags and power walk down the strip to the Venetian food court, since its noon and we haven’t eaten since the split of the T-Bone. Our destination is the Italian joint. Their calzones are awesome; loaded with ricotta cheese too. We split one, and then head to Palazzo, no luck there, but quite crowded. Pretty place. After a slow crawl, playing hit and run at the strip casinos, we head back to Bally’s to clean up for dinner.

    Dinner is Ellis Island’s bbq. Since there is an hour wait, we grab an amber ale and settle in for some video poker. I like playing single line 50 cent double double (one at a time). I hit 4 aces with a bonus card for $200, and we’re up for the trip. They’re calling us for dinner and we skip into dinner (okay, mentally skip). Delicious dinner as usual, and we head back to get some points at Bally’s/Paris. We go to the machines that paid us last trip, (usually a mistake) and drop $20 each right away. Oh, did I mention we just then quit our team play and started pulling out 20’s, we were winning dammit!

    Well, “wereâ€, is the word. Winning over. Stupid, drunken play takes over. You know the results. Also, weird thing happens at Paris. We’re playing 50 cents video poker, triple play. We order our usual Absolute vodka martini’s (Grey Goose at Bellagio) and the cocktail waitress wants to see our player’s card cuz only diamond can get that. WTF?! I say order something else, the lady says she can give us Kettle one, whatever. The point is, what game was she playing? New rule as of that moment? If so, why was she the ONLY one enforcing it? Going for employee of the year while cutting her own throat? Stupid. We took the Kettle ones, tipped our usual decent amount; she was on us like white on rice. Her relief brought us Absolute no problem. Maybe we should have switched to root beer or something, because the booze gave us no skills or smarts. Bad evening, winnings gone. Still laughing/skipping to bed, booze will do that.

    The next day we take stock of our play. When we team play, we win/stay even, when we split up we lose. Hmmmm…. What shall we do today? We team play, slow lose and try Bill’s for the Wizard of Oz game. We couldn’t get on it the day before, and it looked like a hoot! Yeah, it kinda was, with the speakers in the back of the seat and the wicked witch cackling at you, the voices were good, pretty original sounding. However, it was a tight as a MF! We’re back to our slow play, putting 5’s in at a time, at this ole lady, next to us, goes through $70 in 10 minutes with 20 line 3 on a line. Ouch! The game isn’t THAT fun. On to breakfast/lunch at the Flamingo buffet. Not that we wanted a buffet, we wanted the cool view of the fish, falls, flamingos, you know, the ambiance! Using $5 coupons, and some TR points it was almost free, the wait was okay, and the food selection a little odd, but small quantities, so good. However, I have to quit eating at buffets, they’re just too stressful! And I’m not someone who stresses easily.

    Here’s the stresses: 1) Waiting in line, buffets make you do this, restaurants don’t. Why? Can’t the buffets afford the buzzy thingys? 2) Getting a seat with a view, or some comfort factor, most buffets have tables, icky, stuck in the middle of the room, straight back chair tables-no booths, due to ease of getting in and out. 3) Choosing food. Walk the damn thing first, make your choices, otherwise, the shrimp you picked out on one end, done in pickle sauce, will appear at the other end-freshly sautéed in garlic. 4) And finally, and most important to me, drink service. I usually only get one plate, I eat fast, and am done in 15 minutes. So guess what, I’m finishing up when the server brings my water/coffee. Now this is my fault, I know. I could sit there and WAIT until my drinks come before I go get food, I could, but I’m not, so shut up, the gambling is waiting. Oh, and I forgot to sneak coffee out this last time, I’m losing it.

    We finish the afternoon at Caesar’s and Bellagio, losing slow, and drinking fast. Hey we’re leaving soon! We head back to Bally’s for a rest before the plane takes off, shower up and head to the airport. This cabbie was spot on. Friendly, didn’t try to take us to the airport via downtown, and actually helped with the luggage. So, what is that? 1 out of 3? About right, methinks.

    We were hoping for a bump. It was the last flight back to Sac, on the last day of a holiday weekend. We were full, but not overfull, no bump. The ride was bumpy, no drink service, and we were home a bit after midnight. Work today. And it was all so worth it.

    I’ve never had a trip with no planning before. It was good and bad. Bad, because, as we all know, the anticipation can actually surpass some trips. Good, because it was stress free. We actually felt like kids playing hooky, and went with the flow.
     
  2. Drumgurl

    Drumgurl Tourist

    Joined:
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    Yessssss

    You are my hero and my idol! When can we go to Vegas together??
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the awesome post!
     
  3. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Great tr! Those unplanned trips are often great little bonuses! Glad you two had such fun!
     
  4. Hoopswife

    Hoopswife Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    and I thought my trip was impromptu only scheduled a month in advance. Great report! Thanks for writing it up. Sounds like a good time!
     
  5. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

    Joined:
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    Wow!! Talk about last minute!! Great TR...you gotta love those types of trips....oh, and thanks for the re-clarification you are a girl ;)
     
  6. aggie182

    aggie182 Off Key and Out of Tune

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    Great TR and extremely well-written in a very fun way. Sounds like a good trip. I am jealous.
     
  7. ohioblackjack

    ohioblackjack Tourist

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    GREAT TR, fun, fun, fun, way to go with the last minute trip! :))
     
  8. Leeza14

    Leeza14 VIP Whale

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    What a fun TR! I smiled the whole time I was reading. Thanks. :thumbsup:
     
  9. swanny

    swanny Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Excellent TR. Thanks for the laughs. Sounds like you two had a blast.
     
  10. shitzumama

    shitzumama Tourist

    Joined:
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    :nworthy:Hands down to you. Sounds like you had a great time.:nworthy:
     
  11. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Unplanned trips are always the best!

    But no need to stress over taking the tunnel. If you're going from the airport to the Gold Coast, the tunnel is much quicker than fighting traffic on Tropicana/The Strip/Flamingo.

    Oh, and by the way... I can't help it, I don't even drink the stuff, but it's a pet peeve of mine.

    Anyhow, it's NOT "KETTLE" One:

    [​IMG]

    Mikey
     
  12. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    My wife and I do that every trip. We'll pick a day and gamble that way. Hey, not bad on an impromptu trip. I wish I could do something like that.
     
    Back where we belong
  13. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    There's two things I can't stand, and one of them is people who are intolerant of other peoples spelling mistakes.

    And the other is the Dutch.

    Ketel One is what's on the label, but why? It's neither the English spelling of kettle nor the Dutch spelling of the number "one".
     
  14. Double_Down

    Double_Down Tourist

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    Ketel Een?

    Vodka trivia:

    Ketel One is named after the original, copper pot still, "Distilleer Ketel #1"

    :drunk::drunk::drunk::drunk::drunk::drunk::drunk::drunk::drunk::drunk:
     
  15. WallyBoag

    WallyBoag Tourist

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    Sierra,

    I have to say I am extremely angry with you. When I saw your name pop up in the trip reports thread I got extremely excited. I couldn't wait to find out how you smuggled your coffee out of the buffet this time. So the first thing I did was scan through your trip report to find out where the buffet paragraph was. I read it... and you forgot to smuggle the coffee. What the hell happened? Did you see Juan Valdez staring you down or something? I was so angry I didn't even read the rest of the report. You should be disappointed in yourself. I hope you lost a billion dollars on the Wizard of Oz slots.




    OK, I lied. I read the rest of the report. It was entertaining.

    But if you forget the coffee again next time, I'm bolting.

    Thanks.
     
  16. Sierra

    Sierra Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the nice comments everyone! I wonder if the new name changes the inflection in the read? Nathan Lane does have a sweet way about him....

    As for Cedle/Ketle/Kettle...whatever, One. It's out of my life, I've decided if I'm going to "dramble" foolishly, let it be at the hands of the vodka gods, Absolut or Grey Goose.

    When I walked out of the Flamingo buffet empty handed, I almost panicked with the realization I had no coffee. I almost turned around to go back for the coffee, but wondered if there might be a road block, a "tire puncture thingy" which would prevent my re-entry. I voiced my thoughts, Stanley poo-pooed my desire, and off I went to Caesars to beg a cup of Joe.
     
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