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April 4 - 13, Mirage and The D

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by robron, Apr 23, 2015.

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  1. robron

    robron Tourist

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    This was our 10th annual trip to Vegas. Vegas is our place to unwind and get away from the norm for a while. We go with no real plans and just do whatever we want or feel like doing at the time.

    I did get a few Groupons (ATV tour, Pampas, Fresh Bar and Grill, Banger Brewing Co.) and we had some MyVegas buffets (Monte Carlo, Mirage) to use but other than that there were no plans, just flying by the seat of our pants.

    We usually go for 7-8 days, this year the prices for flights made it cheaper to stay an extra day, first win! The cheapest flights ended up being on Delta out of Bangor, $424.00 each, ouch! It didn’t matter, we are getting to Vegas no matter the cost! Last year we only paid $288.00 each out of Bangor.

    We ended up going from Saturday through Monday which was strange for us also, usually we go Tuesday through Wednesday. We had two weekends in Vegas so we got to spend one on the strip and one downtown.

    We are definitely more downtown type of people but always stay on the strip for part of our trip because there is more to do during the day. I think that I am afraid that I would feel like I was missing out on something if we stayed downtown for the whole trip.

    DAY 1 - Saturday
    We flew out of Bangor at 8:45 am with a stop in Detroit, everything was on time with no problems. Landed in Vegas at 1:30 and hit the ground running.

    The traditional selfie before getting on the plane…

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    We got a cab to the Mirage where we would be staying for the first 5 nights. There were only 4 people in the cab line. This was the first time that we have had a cabbie ask us whether we wanted to take the highway or not. I told him no highway, no tunnel. The bill came to around $25.00 I think. Seemed high to me but whatever we are in Vegas!! After flying for 8 hours with only a quick stop in Detroit, I would have paid $50.00 just to get the vacation started!

    The check in line at the Mirage only had about 4 people ahead of us and it went fast. We had 2 comp nights and 3 MyVegas nights that they strung together for us so that we wouldn’t have to check out and check back in again. This was the first time that we ever had gotten comp nights, we were so excited! We are very low rollers, this trip we had $1000.00 each total for gambling, last year I think it was about the same. We were very surprised to get the offer for free nights.

    They put us in room 200003 with a view of the volcano. We love the Mirage rooms they are always clean and have lots of room in them compared to other places we have stayed. The bathroom is small but it works for us. I would rather have the room in the entryway so that the room seems bigger. This is the third year in a row that we have stayed at the Mirage. I really like it there but the casino seemed really dark this year. It just seemed different for some reason.

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    As soon as we dropped off our bags we went to BLT Burger. We had planned on going to KGB but they had closed the week before we got there, bummer, we loved that place. Our burgers were delicious, not as good as KGB but still really good.

    We were both exhausted but wanted to try to stay up late so we could be on Vegas time the next day. A couple of slushy drinks and wandering around got us to midnight (3 am our time). I have never seen so many people in Vegas before, I guess it was the final 4 this weekend. We are not basketball fans so didn’t realize what was going on. The walkway from Caesars to Bellagio was near impossible to walk across there were so many people. And for the most part none of the escalators were working, that didn’t help.

    You haven’t lived until you drink an everclear slushy from a 48 oz plastic beer bottle! Yes, we might be rednecks!

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  2. robron

    robron Tourist

    Joined:
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    DAY 2 - Sunday
    Woke up around 8am. Perfect we are on Vegas time already, it was worth staying up to the point of falling down last night! We picked up 3 day bus passes and were off……

    We have started a tradition of going to the Peppermill for breakfast on our first morning in Vegas. We forgot that this was Easter Sunday. There was about a 40 minute wait. We went outside and just soaked up the sunshine. We haven’t seen a lot of sun or temps above 30 F for the past 3 months so it felt pretty good. Ron had the eggs benedict and I had the corned beef hash. Both were very good as usual.

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    After breakfast we went to pay our last respects to the Riviera. Ron finally got his picture taken with the crazy girls. We both put $20 through the machines and walked around a little bit and said good bye.
    This was the first time that we knew ahead of time that a casino was going to go away so that we could go one last time. It was a little sad when we looked at all the neon and chandeliers and knew that it was all going to be destroyed.

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    Our next stop was Circus Circus. We had only been here once on our first trip to Vegas. We went to the buffet because we didn’t know any better. We left immediately after that and never made it to the casino.
    This time we just went to the casino. I really wanted to play the slot machines on the carousel. I know, it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.
    I played Yatzee and Ron played a Monopoly game. We both lost, imagine our surprise.

    Our next stop was supposed to be Count’s Kustoms . I had seen a post on here that said you could cut through the back of Circus Circus and just walk over. I had even gone on Google Maps and printed out a picture of the walk, it didn’t look that bad.
    We forgot all about it and ended up at SLS instead. I kind of liked SLS, I don’t think I would want to stay there though, it is too far away.

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    We ended up going to the Stratosphere to catch the bus back and dropped another $20 each there.

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    We went back to the Mirage and just rested a bit after this. This is something that is unheard of for me on a Vegas trip. I am always going constantly until I drop. But we tried to do it differently this time and take an hour or so rest every afternoon.

    I hate to admit it but I really wasn’t in as bad of shape as I usually am when we came home. I think we are getting old!
     
  3. robron

    robron Tourist

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    DAY 3 - Monday
    This morning we used our MyVegas comp for the breakfast buffet at Mirage. I thought it was very good. Then we just went out wandering. We did the $20 promotion at Casino Royal. You lose $20 and you will get $20 in free play.
    I lost my $20 within just a few minutes, Ron was able to make it last a little longer. I had seen a post somewhere that you could do this every day. So we tried again the next day.
    This was a onetime thing for us. We were never able to get the $20 again.

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    We ended up at the Linq in the Tag bar. I love this place. Of course I had my ever present slushy drink with me but they were ok with me sitting at the bar with it.
    The bar tenders were really good about helping you find a beer that you would like. Ron got to try out some different beers and we played VP for a couple of hours.
    I was winning so it was fun! I kept getting full houses with 3 nines over and over. I ended up walking with a $50 profit. Ron didn’t do as well I think he was down $20, although he did get the only 4 of a kind for the trip.

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    While at the bar a friend of ours (E) who lives in Vegas called and wanted to get together. E wanted to take us to the Mormon museum.
    I had seen posts on here about it before so why not? Ron and I were both half cut but we behaved ourselves. The museum was interesting it is amazing to think of the Vegas that was before everything got all Vegasy (does that make sense?).

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    E and I are both fascinated with the seedier side of any city. Much to Ron’s discomfort we went by tent city where a lot of the homeless live. That is a sight that will never leave me.

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    We also went by D street, which I guess is one of the more dangerous streets in Vegas. There were a bunch of gang like people about so no pictures.

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    Then we went down a part of Tropicana where there were some street walkers out and about. I only got a blurry picture there due to not wanting to get shot by a pimp or something.

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    The new stadium….

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    Tonight we were going to Pampas for dinner so we headed south. Another thing on my check list was to try the Verbena drink at Cosmo.
    Ron chickened out and just got a captain and coke but the bartender put an extra flower in so he could try it. I must say it was interesting.
    Nothing I would order again but am glad that I tried it. There really is not any way to describe the feeling that you get.
    The closest we could come to is smoking menthol cigarettes with a cough drop in your mouth at the same time. We were almost drooling for a few minutes.
    And honestly the flower has got to be about the worst tasting thing I have ever chewed on purpose. It tasted like a dandelion off the lawn.
    I paid $15.00 for it so I drank every last drop!

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    On to Pampas to get the nasty taste out of our mouths. I had bought the Groupon for dinner, 2 drinks and desert.
    The place was packed. The food was good but I am one of those people that want their meat very well done, no pink at all.
    All of the beef and lamb were at the most cooked medium so I couldn’t eat it, but the chicken, pork and fish were very good.
    Ron said all the rest of the meats were good also.

    Rob & Ron at Pampas.

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    We just wandered around and went back to the Mirage and gambled for the rest of the night.
    We walked through the Bazaar shops also, it didn’t really impress me much, been there done that, don’t need to go again.

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  4. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    Great start! Love the pictures!
     
  5. robron

    robron Tourist

    Joined:
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    DAY 4 – Tuesday
    I honestly don’t remember what we did this day. I think we went to the south end of the strip for a while. I just don’t seem to like the south end of the strip, I don’t know why but it is just not the same as the center part.

    We used our free coupons for the Earl of Sandwich for lunch. They have signs up that the Cannonball sandwich is back, but when we got to the counter they didn’t have any, bummer, I loved me some cannonballs!

    I think this is the day that we used the MyVegas comp to the buffet at Monte Carlo for supper. All I can say is never again! I was expecting to hear “do you want the blue or the yella” like from the Vegas Vacation movie.
    We are not really picky about what we eat but there was really not a whole lot of selection and everything was very dried out. It was free, so no worries.

    We ended up at the pool for a couple hours at some point. This is another first for us. Our 10th trip and we finally sat and relaxed with our overpriced pool drinks. Actually it was pretty nice and will probably become something we do every trip.

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    DAY 5 – Wednesday
    We both woke up with a lot of cobwebs in the head this morning, damn slushy drinks. We ended up down at the pool and hitting the hot tub. There was no one in the hot tub so it was pretty nice. We lay in the sun for a while and our heads cleared.

    We went to the Pantry for lunch. There were not a lot of people there so we were seated pretty quickly. I have to agree with some of the comments that I have read, the service is pretty slow. I ordered the clam chowder and grilled cheese sandwich.
    To be fair, I am from Maine and I knew going in that the clam chowder was probably not going to measure up to what I am used to. The chowder was ok but the grilled cheese had been sitting under a heat lamp for way too long.
    The bread was soggy and the cheese was congealed. Ron got the club sandwich and had no complaints.


    We decided to walk to Hard Rock Casino, why not right, it looks close by. You would think that we would learn after the first trip that things are further away than you think. We had never been to Hard Rock before so off we go.
    We stopped at Ellis Island for a few minutes then went to Tuscany, we didn’t play at either of these places, nothing really “spoke” to us so we just walked around for a few minutes and continued our quest.

    Something of note…..if you are walking down Flamingo on the sidewalk PAY ATTENTION!!! The sidewalk is uneven in places. I almost took a digger because I was gawking around instead of looking at the sidewalk.
    Luckily there was a light pole a few lurches ahead of me that stopped me from going down. I ended up with a stiff wrist from when I hit the pole but that was much better than if the pole wasn’t there.

    Our next stop was at Silver 7’s. This was not what I expected for some reason. It was a lot smaller than I thought.

    RANT - We also were on a quest to find the old penny monopoly games, I assumed that the smaller/older casinos would have them. They didn’t have them. They were very few and far between and when you did find one usually someone was already playing it. Is it some kind of licensing thing that the casinos don’t keep more of those machines? They keep all the other old ones just not monopoly. It’s not fair! We love those machines! Ok, rant over. I found some new favorites this time.

    We didn’t stay long at silver 7’s and continued on to Hard Rock. I liked it here. We spent some time looking at all the memorabilia and gambled a little bit.

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    They had the best drinks while gambling. They were big and they used chopped ice in them instead of cubes. I know, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. We decided to take a cab back to Mirage, my feet were done!

    We rested for a little while and went to Toby Keith’s for supper. I got the fish and chips, which were very greasy, but ok, Ron got the bbq sampler plate, he loved it and is still raving about it.
    We also got the deep fried mac and cheese, awesome! I got a drink called toadsuck pond (it was an odd color but yummy) Ron got the margarita which he said wasn’t that great.
    I tried it too, it had a kind of cardboard taste to it. He ended up not drinking it all. They were 32 oz drinks so we ended up taking about half of them to go.

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    Another of my must do’s this time was to go to Gilley’s at Treasure Island. I don’t know why I thought this was the “place to be”, well it wasn’t.
    They were doing a karaoke night and it was just the people that they hire to keep the thing going doing it. I’m not a big karaoke fan anyway but at least make it humorous with some drunk people who think they can sing! We had one drink and left.


    We went back to Mirage and gambled. I was having great luck at the Ghost Busters machine, it was putting out bonus’s every second or third spin winning $30 - $50 with each bonus.
    Then I got stupid and started max betting and the machine stopped paying and I started chasing wanting to have a hand pay – it never happened.
    Ghost Busters became one of my go to games after that but I never won on it again. Ron was staying pretty much even trying out many different machines.
    His favorites were always those bright shiny ones with the orb bonus’s.


    Another rant – while at the Mirage a woman came up to Ron and asked him to go in the men’s room and call out to Parker to see if he was in there. We figured she was looking for her husband. Ron goes into the men’s room and she says to me that her parents were supposed to be watching Parker but they got caught up with gambling and stuck him with her, she wanted to gamble so sat at a slot machine and told Parker to “go away” (I shit you not!), I’m standing there with my mouth hanging open in disbelief when Ron comes walking out of the men’s room with a 9 or 10 year old boy. Wow, just wow.
     
  6. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Great report so far. Its amazing that you each only had 1000 for the trip, it is good to see that it can be done, especially for as long as you were there.
     
    Tentative Arrival
  7. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    Great TR so far, looking forward to the rest!
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  8. robron

    robron Tourist

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    DAY 6 – Thursday (our 27th anniversary)
    Today we move downtown to The D. We took a cab which came to around $30 I think. We both love staying on Fremont Street. It just feels like home to us.
    Plus they have Dunkin Donuts there, no more burnt tasting coffee. I don’t know what that says about us, that we feel at home alongside the guy in the diaper and the topless nuns, but we are comfortable there.

    I had reserved a corner king room on a lower floor, the girl checking us in recommended getting a higher floor because of the elevator construction. We could get upgraded to a premium corner king for $10 per night.
    We went ahead and took it, room 2241. It was well worth it in my opinion the room was much bigger than the regular corner king and we had a view looking up towards the strip.
    The only problem with the room was the bathtub. It was a tub with jets in it, but it had a big hump in the middle for drainage so it felt like you were balancing on a rock trying to take a shower.
    The shower head was way too low, I am 5’7” and had to do some kind of make shift limbo move to get my hair wet.

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    The D elevators – there are so many complaints on line about the elevators at the D I figured I would put in my 2 cents. We really didn’t have a whole lot of problems.
    I think the longest we had to wait was about 5 minutes and that was only on Saturday night. Some people were saying that they waited for 30 minutes or more.
    We did take one trip in the service elevator one time. I felt bad for the poor employees running the elevators, some people can just be so ignorant.
    It isn’t these guy’s fault that the elevators are slow. Chill out people! Bitching about it isn’t going to make it go faster.
    People were literally standing there with stop watches going on their cell phones to see how long it was taking. What the hell good is that going to do?
    They are already working on new elevators to fix the problem, bitching about it now is not going to help anything. Yes, it is a pain to have to wait on vacation,
    we just made sure we had everything we needed, just like when staying on the strip, so we minimized how often we had to go to our room.
    One of the guys running the elevators gave Ron a free drink coupon at the Long Bar, I think it was probably because he didn’t bitch.

    We went to Pizza Rock for lunch and ordered the butcher (all meat) pizza. It was very good. The place is a lot bigger than I thought it would be.
    After that we just walked around and gambled and took in the atmosphere of Fremont Street.

    Another tradition that we have is going to Magnolia’s for dinner the first night on Fremont Street. I always get the French dip and Ron gets the prime rib.
    We are such creatures of habit! It was very good as usual. By using our card I think it was around $20 for dinner, can’t beat that.

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    Our new nicknames, 4 Queens and Big Balls! (I didn’t notice the signs until I sent the picture home to the kids, of course they picked right up on it!)

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  9. robron

    robron Tourist

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    It can be done and we really didn't feel like we were being held back from playing at all. I think we were very lucky this time though and kept winning enough to recycle our money. Neither one of us had to actually get into our original bankroll from Thursday on.
     
  10. robron

    robron Tourist

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    Day 7 – Friday

    Today we went on an ATV tour in the Nellis Dunes. We did this same tour last year. We had so much fun that when I saw it on Groupon we decided to do it again.
    The tour was with Las Vegas ATV Tours. Our driver picked us up at 9:15 and we had to go to SLS to pick up the rest of the people.

    Ok I’m going to have to rant again – if you set up a tour that other people (strangers) are going on too, be on f-ing time! Our driver Anthony (who was fantastic by the way)
    called them 15 minutes before we should be there, they wouldn’t answer their phone. We get to SLS and wait and wait, finally they answer the phone.
    They decided they were hungry so they went to McDonalds for breakfast. REALLY! Anthony handled it a lot better than I would have, he ended up having to call
    them 2 more times before they finally came out to get in the van, without any sorry or anything.
    I would have left their sorry asses there and charged them anyway.
    So because of these losers we ended up having to cut our tour short. They never said as much, but since we took the same exact tour last year we knew that we had missed out on a lot.
    Anyway the tour was still fun.
    We have realized that we really need to get into shape if we ever do it again, our legs were killing us for about 4 days after the tour.

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    We just hung around Fremont Street for the afternoon and evening. We went to Chicago Brewing for pizza. Ron got the deep dish and I got thin crust. We liked it better than Pizza Rock.

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    Tonight was a major slushy drink night, even Ron was sucking them down (usually he just has one and switches back to beer or something).
    I got hooked on the raspberry mixed with lemonade at the D Bar. That’s some good stuff right there. Sammy Haggar was supposed to show up at
    the stage in front of Golden Gate so we hung out and watched Spandex Nation for an hour or so to hold our spot (I liked them, Ron, meh). I do not like crowds.
    What the hell was I doing at the front of the stage on Fremont Street when Sammy Haggar is supposed to show up? I was doing ok until I looked back and you couldn’t
    see the end of the mob in back of us. I started to freak out a little but luckily I still had my slushy drink and it calmed my nerves a little and I was able to make it through.

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    Was it worth the wait? Hell no! He came on stage, talked a little and sang like a 20 second little ditty that no one had ever heard before. I can say that I saw him but that is about it.

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    Oh well, off we go to play Sigma Derby. This is usually a highlight of our trips, it can be so much fun. It also can turn into a really boring time watching plastic horses.
    We found that it all depends on the crowd playing. We waited about 15 minutes to get a seat, we should have known before we even sat down that the crowd just wasn’t what we were looking for.
    I hurried and got one quarter in before the race started, I went for the long shot and won it! I think it was 140 quarters, woo hoo, off to a good start!
    We were high fiving and woo hooing, everyone else looked like they were half dead. Another guy had won the longshot too, so it wasn't even just because they weren't winning.
    One guy was writing down stats for each race, and the rest just sat there.
    We stayed for about 45 minutes or so and left. We never won anything of any note after that. I’d never seen such a depressing crowd at Sigma, drink service was great as usual.


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    By this point we really were feeling absolutely no pain. Ron dared me to have my picture taken with the Chippendales. Drunk dares have always been my downfall, I never seem to pass one up.
    That was certainly an experience. All I can say is, Wow. One of them was actually from Bangor, so I’m thinking, God I hope I don’t know your mother! I lived through the experience and have
    a photo that will never be seen again to prove it.

    We wandered around Fremont Street and gambled some for the rest of the night. Ron just had to have a Coney Island chili dog and French fries for a midnight snack, I stuck with McDonalds.
    He said the dog was good. He actually woke up the next morning feeling ok.
     
  11. robron

    robron Tourist

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    Day 8 – Saturday
    Today was a mostly gambling day I think.
    We went to Banger Brewing Co. to use the Groupon I bought. We got a flight of 4 different beers, 2 pints and a filled growler for $29.00. That really is a great deal if you like craft beer.
    I don’t really care for beer, I will drink maybe 3 a year, and Ron found that he really isn’t a craft beer kind of guy. Give him a Bud light and he is a happy man.

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    The ones we tried were grapefruit, coffee, jalapeno, and another one I can’t remember. I drank the grapefruit one and Ron liked the coffee one.
    We stayed long enough to drink our beers and left, it was pretty quiet there.

    Ron won an Alan progressive bonus on the Hangover machine in 4 Queens for $424.37. That is the most either of us has ever won on a machine, so that made his night.
    I had won $117.00 on a monopoly game at The D earlier so he just had to beat me.

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    This day was just a blur, I can’t remember where we ate or what we did. I do know we had slushy drinks!
    On our way back to The D, Horny Mike from Counts Kustoms was standing at the end of the bar. Ron got his picture taken with him. He seemed like a really cool guy.

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    I remember it being 4 am when we got back to the room, so I guess we had a good time. It looks like we had McDonalds again for supper.


    Day 9 – Sunday

    Our last full day and we slept until almost noon, damn it! Ron went to get coffee at Dunkin Donuts while I tried to do the limbo in the shower one more time, god I hated that shower!
    Once we got going we went to Dupars for breakfast/lunch. They were out of cinnamon rolls, bummer, but we had a bear claw instead, it was good.
    Ron had the French toast and I had a bacon and cheese omelet. Both were yummy.

    We then went on a quest to win the mother load! Yeah, well, it didn’t happen. We had fun trying though.
    We were trying to be good today and not drink a whole lot because we had to be at the airport by around 9 am and we didn’t want hangovers. I think we both stayed pretty much even today so it was fun.

    Finally after 10 trips we went to mermaids and had the deep fried twinkies. They were pretty good but I don’t need to have any more. Been there done that.
    We were surprised at how much different Mermaids was. They have new rugs, TITO machines and most of the stench was gone. We stayed and played for a little while.

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    We did a final walk on Fremont Street and grabbed some McDonalds and went to bed.


    Day 10 – Monday
    We grabbed a cab to go to the airport at around 9am. Our flight left at 11:45. We sat in the smoking aquarium for a while and I lost another $50.00 Ron lost another $20.00 before taking off.
    Grabbed a couple of breakfast sandwiches from Quiznos and were off.

    We got home at about 10:30 pm eastern time. It felt like we had been traveling forever! I wish Vegas was closer, we would go a lot more but that flight is a killer.

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    For the final tally we (I) ended up losing only $600.00 of our bankroll. So now we have $1400.00 to go towards the next trip, woo hoo!

    When we left there was still 2 feet of snow on our lawn, when we got back there was no snow at all, another win!

    Another fun Vegas trip in the books. We can’t wait for the next one.
     
  12. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Great report! Thanks so much for sharing with us. :)
     
  13. M0rtyC

    M0rtyC Low-Roller

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    Great trip and fun report. The last of our snow left us last week

    I just made reservations for a solo trip May 30. Your downtown reporting will be very useful... Thanks a bunch
     
    Annual end of the rodeo trip
  14. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    Great report. We were on the outside patio area of Golddiggers when Sammy was performing. Fremont street was jam packed.
     
  15. robron

    robron Tourist

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    Thanks, have a great trip!
     
  16. robron

    robron Tourist

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    It amazed me at how quick we got swallowed up by the mob. There was all kinds of room and then all the sudden we were just squished in, it kind of freaked me out a little bit.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks Sybgal, glad you liked it.
     
  17. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    This was around the same time at center stage. You can kind of make out the crowd. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  18. WHU66

    WHU66 Low-Roller

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    Great report, we take a similar budget and always seems to last....gamdrinking all day and night, just wandering and people watching. Great pics, great report - thanks for sharing
     
  19. robron

    robron Tourist

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    Thanks for reading. We always can find something else to do if the bankroll gets tight. I think staying away from the table games helps with us too. Every time we try them it seems like we lose way more.
     
  20. robron

    robron Tourist

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    We have never gone up to Golddiggers, it looks like it would be pretty cool. Now I have to go back to try it out. Thanks for the pics.
     
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