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Back 2 Vegas Basics Aug. 19-29 Long & Detailed

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by VegasGirl80, Sep 11, 2008.

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  1. VegasGirl80

    VegasGirl80 Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    95
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15

    My Trip Report

    I had plans to write this report sooner but Hurricane Gustav made his presence known here in Central Louisiana two days after we got home. The power was slow to come back, the roof leaked, we were left with no internet or phone, but we were left with safe family and friends – I think I came out a winner. With the AC on and life back to normal in most regards let the fingers get busy bringing you my report from ten days in my favorite desert oasis. It will be long and detailed. You have been warned.

    As soon as we got home last year from Vegas I went right into trip planning mode. My husband, who I will refer to as D, and I bounced plans and opinions off each other. We came to the decision we would go back to basics in terms of taking the Bellagio and Wynn way of doing Vegas go for this trip. Our last two trips bordered on decadent, and although we loved every minute of it, we were ready to take it in a casual flow direction. We almost caved with the great offer we had from Wynn, but last time was so near perfect at Wynn I decided to just savor the memories and our hotel choices for this trip came in at everyone’s favorite price- free.

    We used our OnePass miles for the airline tickets and were not charged for our first or second bags due to acquiring our tickets before April 2008. We try to put a new spin on Vegas each trip by staying at properties we have yet to stay at. I logged on to our MGM Mirage player club accounts and discovered a great offer from TI. We booked TI Tuesday- Thursday comped with Friday and Saturday at $99.00 each. Add to the offer $$$ in free play and two comped buffets and this became a no- brainer. HET came through with a Summerfest Slot Tournament offer of four comped nights at Rio with one night at $78.00. Our host from the Stardust is now at Rio and with one well placed phone call we were set with five nights comped. No one could believe we were headed to America’s Playground for ten nights with air/hotel coming in around $200.00. With two of the biggest details nailed down it was on to the entertainment part of the trip.

    We both knew Cher was at the top of our list. Fab Four Live and Mama Mia always make the cut, D suggested Danny Gans, and we rounded it out with Sheryl Crow and James Blunt. I quickly became a coupon searching, web surfing, message board hunting aficionado. I fought the hell out of the bargain hunting search and as it goes I lost a few battles but won the war overall. We got our money’s worth and we got 10X our money’s worth at the Sheryl Crow/James Blunt concert. More on that later, but I will say it was one of the best evenings I have ever had anytime, anyplace, anywhere!

    We went with Dollar as usual. We were directed to a Chrysler Sebring which had absolutely no power. I drove the entire time and D reminded me on more than one occasion that this was not my “pick it up and haul ass†car. Total charges at drop off came to $207.43. It does pay to check and re-check your rental car prices. I will bring to your attention that IMO there is more of an emphasis from Dollar’s part on dings, scratches, and the cars condition upon return. I took pictures of the car when we picked it up and marked each ding and scratch with an X on the diagram. D thought I was a little too tuned in but it never hurts to be thorough.

    Time just stands still when the trip is in front of you. I could not get enough of checking in on Vegas boards, going over our itinerary, and talking Vegas with anyone who would listen to me. Thank goodness I am from a long line of Vegas freaks. I made two trips up to Bossier City to search the stores for the perfect Vegas attire and to get in some gambling practice. D and I both did well on each of the trips in the gambling department. We just put it in the fund and began counting the days down, and yes, it does finally get here.

    Flying on reward tickets has the drawback of limited departure times. We chose the crack of dawn departure time of 5:40 a.m. It had not rained for weeks and wouldn’t you know the morning of our departure it was cutting up real good. I just kept my eye on the ball and a few bumps and five hours later it was touchdown McCarran. I treated myself to a MP3 player and a pair of Bose headphones for the flight. Great investment and I even impressed myself with my choice of tunes. The flights out were by no means full meaning we scored the row for ourselves. This was lining up to be a great day.

    We landed at 8:49 a.m. putting us at Planet Hollywood’s valet around 10:10 a.m. We wanted to kill an hour or two before checking in at TI. D loves playing blackjack at PH, and I couldn’t wait to hit Sephora, ABC, and L’Occitane. D won, I knocked a dent into my credit card, and with goodies in tow we headed the Sebring to TI. The check- in line was wild at 11:45 a.m. but it went fast. Stephanie at check- in informed me that I should have been in the Invited Guest line and I informed her there was no signage indicating the area. She was a delight to deal with and after a nice conversation we were assigned room 31036 with exactly the view we wanted. The room was on the corner with one window facing the Venetian and LVB and the other window giving great views of LVB from Mirage to CityCenter. The bellman was to the room with the bags in short order, I checked my look in the mirror, and it was time for our favorite lunch destination, the Palm.

    The Palm business lunch is one of the best wins of every trip for us. We both ordered the filet with salad and D had Lobster Bisque. Our “Welcome to Vegas†lunch was exactly what we needed. Well, almost. What we needed was to get our gambling on at Caesars.

    D, uh oh, I can’t remember if he won or lost at blackjack. I think he might have won $100.00. I played reel slots and VP holding my own. I was on a $1 WOF machine and was just about to call it an evening when I got the bonus spin and the sweet cry “Wheel of Fortune†sang out. It landed on $500.00 for a nice ending to the Caesars afternoon. I was beginning to feel the effects of travel and just the basic sensory overload of arrival day in Vegas. We made our way over to Java Coast for a much needed dose of caffeine, some quality people watching, and a phone call back home to check on our son and oh yes, to inform inquiring minds of the days gambling take. No one likes a good gambling story like another gambler and there are a few of those in my inner circle.

    We dragged our tired bodies back to TI. D hit the casino and I could not get into the bath quick enough. I had set the mood with good jazz playing, the air turned down to artic blast, and the drapes pulled back for prime neon viewing. D hit his win mark and was back up to the room about an hour later. It has become a first night tradition to have room service. I ordered my favorite, French onion soup, along with chicken noodle for D, toast, milk, and one of the best slices of cheesecake we have had in quite awhile. It was in no time that a knock was at the door. We were both surprised when D opened the door to a delivered tray of fruit, nuts, chocolates, and two large bottles of Fiji water iced. Our TI fairy godmother sent it up with a very nice handwritten note of welcome. It was a very good evening that ended at the embarrassing hour of 9:15 p.m. I announced “we are officially old†and went smooth out.

    Guess who is up at 3:15 a.m. raring to go? D went with this idea. I made myself go back to sleep. By 7:30 a.m. I was up making coffee and taking in the morning sights from the chaise lounge moved to in front of the window. D’s gambling was very good this morning. A win always starts out the day in a good way. He brought croissants from Starbucks up to the room and we planned our day. I love the first morning in Vegas. Your trip is out in front of you, the hope of victory looms, and that feeling of being a kid on Christmas morning is palpable.

    We got back to basics at Ellis Island for lunch. Ellis Island had dropped off our radar the last few trips. It a successful rediscovery it was. D ordered the chicken fried steak and I ordered the French toast. I swear D’s cfs could feed a small third world country! I won $60.00 playing VP and D won $100 playing blackjack. It was a fun couple of hours and I made a mental note we would be back. We drove to the .99 cents store for wine glasses and goodies for the room. Vons was the next stop for wine. The errands were quick- just the way D likes them. I knew I was pressing my luck on the errand thing anyhow so I made them fast and a one time thing. We put the stuff in the room and made our way to the tram to go over to the Mirage for Danny Gans.

    In all the time we have been going to Vegas this would be our first time seeing Danny Gans. We had seventh row seats in the center section. We loved the live music and his Johnny Carson and twelve days of Christmas are hilarious. He did his best at Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open†and where he lacked the band made up for it. I have to admit only a small percentage of the audience seemed to be familiar with Creed but those that were gave him a standing ovation. We left the theatre thoroughly entertained and ready to take down the Mirage in the gambling department. The Mirage was well armed for battle against us giving me the honor of being seven for seven in the “I can’t win a damn thing in that casino†category.

    French onion soup, anyone? I have read less than stellar reviews about the coffee shop at TI but found the food and the service to be fine. The neon viewing rounded out the night. I remember mumbling something about the gambling gods and their presence being known tomorrow. A girl can dream, can’t she?

    I am going to give the “Readers Digest†version of our Thursday. We spent the afternoon at the Venetian and Palazzo including lunch at Grand Lux at the Venetian. I did not break tradition and ordered the chicken pot pie. D ordered the pull apart pork sandwich which made him a happy camper. The Venetian casino was packed. I played $1.00 Top Dollar slots with no big wins. D did not fare well at the tables. He found a $1 Double Top Dollar to play. We both love Top Dollar and Pinball. Overall for the trip both types of machine were very good to D. I got not one ounce of respect, love, or pay from either. I now fondly refer to them as “sucker machines†and D now fondly refers to me as a sore loser. I played on a three line .25 cent Double Diamond machine that allowed me to play for well over two hours. I cashed out with a good show for points and up $100.00. The band playing at La Scena had the music good and loud for the perfect gambling ambiance.

    We both liked the look of Palazzo. I just am partial to the Venetian. We have had great times, stays, and wins there but I would not refuse an offer for a stay at Palazzo.

    I played slots for a few hours back at TI with the dreaded give and take scenario in place. D sat down at a $1 Pinball machine. He could not lose. He cashed out the first time for $850.00 and gave it to me. When I shared with him a few minutes later I was “out†he asked me where the $850 was. I pointed to the $5 Top Dollar machine he had not noticed me playing. He continued to play on “his†machine and got back what I had lost and pulled off a nice win for himself. I played cheerleader and congratulated him. I signaled I was heading up to the room. I gave room service a call for my favorite French onion soup. I sat at the window watching a few Bellagio fountain shows while my mind drifted back over the good times Vegas had provided me over all these years. The knock on the door from room service brought me back to Vegas reality. D came in during my dining experience fresh from a blackjack victory. It was a good day in the neighborhood.

    I got it together earlier than usual so we could be on our way for lunch at the Paris buffet. I knew I would want to play before lunch and also figured the line could be rather long on a Friday afternoon. I could not win but left the casino floor for the buffet line exactly even. The buffet was good, but this is a buffet that shines at breakfast. It does offer crepes at lunch. D pointed out the French onion soup and I informed him I had worked the soup enough for awhile.

    After our late lunch we walked over to Planet Hollywood for the Fab Four Live show. This would be our first time seeing the new format and the new Paul and George. We did not talk much during the show for studying the performance. We take our Beatles impersonators some kind of serious. We both thought the new Paul hit the notes with better ease than the “original†and might favor his look more. We could not figure out what was up with George. His was not a bad performance but it was not a great performance either. We planned to see the show again the next week and both decided to keep our opinions to ourselves until the next show. We left during the last song in order to move over to the concert venue to see Sheryl Crow, James Blunt, and Toots.

    I went into Clinique to put on a spray or two of Happy. The sales clerk and I began to converse about this and that and she asked me if we were going to the show. Her friend had given her tickets and she would have to close the store and not be able to attend. She asked me if I would take the tickets and give them to someone. The line was formed back into the casino entrance and we offered the tickets to a couple who were genuinely thrilled. We invited them to go into the venue with us (the thought is always in the back of your mind it might be too good to be true- thank goodness all was legit) and they could not thank us enough. They offered to pay us for the tickets and we assured them both we did not want one cent of their money. We were just glad the tickets did not go to waste. Quick goodbyes and a couple of beverages later, we were in our seats listening to Toots. He is a Jamaican performer Sheryl Crow “discovered†and invited to tour with him. We had never heard of him so going in we had no opinion one way or another. Toots and band put on a great opening show incorporating the audience in the fun with sing- a- longs. He did his version of “Take Me Home, Country Roads†that was sweet, kind, rockin’, and his idea of what a true American folk song is. His set entirety came in under fifty minutes. The crews were breaking down his set and getting James Blunt and Company in place. More concert goers started to trickle into the theatre, and being the people watcher that I am, I naturally started to study my neighbors in section 102. People, clothes, conversations, pairings, it all fascinates me. We are an interesting group, we humans. I noticed large cameras everywhere. I commented to D some type of filming was going to take place. I also noticed along with oh I’d say the other hundred people in the four rows behind and in front of ours the couple to my left about six seats down heavily making out. A girl in I would guess her mid 20’s and her mother sat to my immediate left and let’s just say we had quite the conversation about and with these two. He told us they had been married twenty five years, were empty nesters, and just wanted to be all over a good time. Yeah, they were all over something for sure. Their “show within the show†picked up steam as the night went on and by the end of the night it was a free for all with a few added cast members. They were in Ecstasy, if you get my drift. About every five minutes the guy would scream out, “Sheryl†in a New York/New Orleans blended accent. How many times do you think D had to hear me mimic it the rest of our trip?

    James Blunt took the stage to enthusiastic applause. He performed all of his hits, brought down the house with “You’re Beautiful†and impressed me as not only a good singer and musician but a solid performer. During one of his songs he hopped his little self off the stage and into the theatre. He ran up and down the aisles bringing those that weren’t yet on their feet straight out of their seats. The night was entering the next phase. I was ready!

    Down with his set and bring on “Sheryl†Crow. An announcement was made strictly prohibiting use of cameras and video due to A&E Television filming the concert for a special. We had been taking pics left and right and so had the entire theatre. Safe to say everyone stopped for about twenty minutes and went back to taking their pics. The show to my left was in full force. I did not want to look, but I had too. Good times!

    Sheryl Crow hit the stage running with her soulful, rockin’ voice and guitar skills. D was quick to mention her killer body and her killer derriere. She does a body good and gives hope to this soon to be 46 year old. She wears it very well. Gush over.

    I let my inner showgirl out to play when she broke into “Leaving Las Vegas.†The crowd went nuts. A surreal moment being in Vegas seeing and hearing Sheryl Crow perform this anthem to my favorite city live. I closed my eyes at one point and just went with it. I think at one point the “X files†group gave me a “Damn, girl†thumps up.

    This evening met my expectations and then some. It is safe to say I have never had a better time at any Vegas show/concert ever. We entered the venue at 7:10 p.m. and walked out at 11:15 p.m. rocked and ready for a Vegas Friday night/Saturday morning. Do yourself the favor even if you are just a small fan of her music- see her live in concert. A huge thumbs up!

    The first order of business was to walk down to Clinique and thank the sales associate for her generosity. I could not thank her enough on behalf of the couple whom she had made very happy.

    We played slots for a couple of hours at PH and a few more hours over at Paris. After all the play I once again cashed out dead even with what I started with. A win perhaps, but I wanted winning territory. I also wanted a bed fast at this point in the evening/morning. “Let me sleep in the morning†was the last thing I remember saying.

    Saturday morning was a rinse and repeat format. We had Mama Mia tickets for the 6:00 p.m. performance meaning we needed to be dressed and down at valet for 4:45 p.m. to allow for traffic/construction on Frank Sinatra Drive. It can be a cluster with CityCenter trucks and construction. I did not want to fight the smoke and crowds in the casino or the buffet. I suggested Canter’s Deli for lunch and D offered to run the errand. He went by the host office and requested a comp which was granted. The room service cart from the fruit basket and goodies remained in the room throughout our entire stay by our request. D got back to the room with our lunch and I organized it all on the cart complete with fruit centerpiece. Canter’s makes one mean sandwich and is not afraid to pile the meat on. D had the best ham sandwich on wheat and I had a BLT on white. We had French fries, pickles(we do love us some pickles), iced tea, and a shared black and white cookie. Wow, was it good! I sat at the window perched on the chaise lounge in complete and utter Vegas bliss. I put our clothes together for the evening, got myself into gear, and we were on our way to THEhotel valet.

    This was our ninth time to see Mama Mia. We had front row seats 16 & 17. I like Mama Mia, D loves Mama Mia. We both agreed the show was one of the best performances. Sophie, Sky, and Bill are new to us. A new spin on an oldie but goodie. We visited with two ladies from Salt Lake City and a local mom with her six year old daughter. Pre show visits continue to be a part of the Vegas experience that pleases. The “Dancing Queens†that we are surfaced during the finale along with most of the theatre. If this is in fact our last time to see the show in Vegas it made for a great memory.

    Mandalay Bay gambling was not as giving to me as it has been in the past. The give and take grew old fast. We drove over to a favorite. It was not long before our traditional Vegas Saturday night dinner was being placed in my hands. In and Out Burger never disappoints. We were back to TI for our last night sleep.

    I packed the room up over coffee and croissants. D went down to visit with the host with positive results. The host comped the room for Friday and Saturday and the room service. Ten nights in Las Vegas free- a huge win! We checked out over the television and said goodbye to TI. We would not hesitate to stay at TI in the future. D loved it because he left $$$$ up. The customer service is first rate and the hotel was convenient and comfortable.

    We made our 11:45 a.m. reservation at the Palm right on time. Each visit is better than the last. D was shocked when the final cost of lunch before tip was $16.70. I had a $25 gift certificate that came in handy. We had our only celebrity sighting of the trip at lunch. I saw a large entourage following a gentleman I did not recognize at first glance. It wasn’t long before I put it all together and identified the celebrity as designer Christian Audigier of Ed Hardy and Von Dutch fame. MAGIC was hitting the town for the next few days and from all the advertising around down he seemed to be the star attraction.

    I scheduled an appointment at Truefitt & Hill for D for a birthday surprise. We walked/hiked down to the shop and D enjoyed his afternoon of man beauty. I called our son and had a nice conversation with him. Kids can be so nice when you are some 2000 miles away and still will not see them for another five days! Moms can be very relaxed and overlooking when in Vegas for ten days! D tried to deny he was in fact asleep during the shave. That is how I measure a successful treatment- if I go out you have done your job.

    We checked out the menu at Joe’s for future reference and I found a pair of earrings at Brighton that caught my eye. I could not resist Louis Vuitton and added a few things to my wish list. Down to valet and we were Rio bound.

    Our host met us at VIP-Diamond check in. We were assigned room 1671 in the Ipanema Tower. The room reminded me of the suites at the Stardust we loved. An in room refrigerator, the dressing area, the two sinks, and the size won me over. The view was of the back side of the property, the mountains, Trump, and the I-15. I would stay at Rio again just for the room in a heartbeat.

    We got our gambling on for about an hour and I finally had a $200.00 win on a five line .25 3X 4X 5X machine in front of the performing stage. The cocktail service at Rio was fast and frequent. My server took my Coke order and asked if Pepsi was fine. Are you kidding? I changed my order to a Shirley Temple- yes, I was on the hard stuff this afternoon- and returned to my play. In a few minutes he returns saying “You had the ice cold Pepsi†to which I spun around to him standing there holding my ST with the biggest grin on his face. We both laughed and he became my cheering section for a big win. I was on a time clock to be back to the room to get ready for Cher. Time clocks when gambling can be a good thing or a very bad thing. It was a good thing this time and the $200 made it to the room.

    Our party duds were on for Cher. We were through security and seated quickly in our first mezzanine seats. The show, performers, spectacle, and Cher delivered. I saw Cher on my first trip to Vegas in 1980 and again on another trip in 1981. I was convinced lightening would strike twice and the combination of her performance and all that is Vegas lined up. D loved every minute of the show. It was a great choice.

    The Cheesecake Factory was next on the agenda. We shared a cheese pizza and strawberry shortcake. No huge difference between Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux, but I give the nod to Grand Lux. I played .25 vp on our way out to the Colosseum valet cashing out with $100 more than I put in. D stayed downstairs at the Rio’s blackjack tables. He came upstairs to the room less than thrilled about gambling at Rio. The Rio gambling gods heard him and wreaked havoc on his bankroll for the rest of the trip. It wasn’t pretty.

    To recover from the previous evenings beating Monday at Maggiano’s it was. I purchased a dining certificate for lunch, and after hearing and reading nothing but rave reviews regarding this restaurant, I knew I wanted to give it a try. It is now on our list of must do’s in Vegas. We were seated by the window giving us the perfect view of Wynn and LVB. White linen tablecloths paired with traditional Italian red/white drapes with classic Sinatra, Bennett, Martin, and others playing softly for your listening and dining pleasure made us right at home. Our lunch consisted of spaghetti with meat sauce (D), eggplant Parmesan (me), iced tea, lemonade, and the best spumoni for dessert. The portions are plenty, too plenty. Our final bill with certificate and before tip- $10.18

    D was a sport and kept me company while I spent the afternoon shopping at the Fashion Show. I picked up a bangle bracelet at Brighton for our host along with a box of Godiva, Vegas calendars and water from ABC, a haul of Kiehl’s and a very special surprise gift for a very special family member who might be reading this from the Louis Vuitton counter at Saks, and a beautiful cardigan at Dillards. I was getting no satisfaction from gambling, so I put my money into something I could show for it. D suggested we give the Gold Coast a visit and with packages locked in the trunk we were on our way.

    The Gold Coast is a favorite. I fell out of love with it on our last visit but it courted me back into the fold with a few nice .25 slot and vp wins this time. D won $100 playing blackjack and I left with another $200 win.

    We had not gotten our fill of In and Out and the dinner plans satisfied. The gambling back at Rio did not. Rio was not nice to D and the $$$$ win at TI added to Rio’s bottom line. I squeaked out the win on Sunday and never had a repeat success. I did not gamble much after Sunday and am sure our host would not be pleased. D made up for my gambling absence.

    Tuesday was slow and easy with our dinner at the Range at Harrah’s being basically the only plan. We enjoyed it so much last trip. The reviews for the Range are a mixed bag but we are two for two in the positive column. We were seated by the window and even had the same waiter as last time, James. His personality added to the evening. D started with the lobster bisque and I had the blue cheese and apple salad. For our entrée we both ordered the 12 oz. center cut pork chop and we shared an order of mashed potatoes. The manager was aware we were celebrating D’s birthday and sent over a fantastic chocolate cake with strawberries and coffee. The food was well presented and prepared. The service and the wait staff could not have been more professional or friendly.

    We both got our butts handed to us on Harrah’s gaming floor. I was full, tired, and defeated. Back in our room at Rio I ending the evening announcing I was sure of a victory at tomorrow’s Summerfest Slot Tournament over at the Flamingo. The machines I would be playing on went to bed that evening laughing at the gambling fool in room 1671.

    We were dressed and waiting in the Rio valet at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday. That is the equivalent of 3:15 a.m. for most people. I am not an up and dressed and ready to greet the day kind of girl. D knew I was serious about this slot tournament. Ooh, Sheryl Crow is playing on Rhapsody. Onward with the typing…

    Got it over to the Flamingo and found the events area down past the buffet. The tournament was open to all Total Rewards card holders so D put down a few $20’s and we were registered for 10:30, 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, and finally 2:00 p.m. One would think we had a chance. Goodness knows as many times as we entered we did! We did not even come close to placing but we had an absolute ball trying.

    We drove over to Ellis Island for lunch. Lunch was paid for compliments of a $50 win on a .25 WOF slot. Our second time to see Fab Four Live was up. The second time was the charm. Come to find out the “George†from Friday night was in fact a stand in. The original George to the show was more like it. It was a solid effort. After the performance I introduced myself to the producer of the show and complimented the new performers and format. He gave me his cell number and invited me to phone him before our next trip out to be his guest at the show. I purchased our tickets for $35.00 for the pair and the 5:30 p.m. performance time makes this show right for the price and easy on the schedule.

    We spent the evening gambling at Paris and Bally’s and the decline continued. Blackjack and slots- we tried them all and it was ugly. We were on the end part of our trip and I decided I needed to reconnect with reality. We went up to the room and had coffee while watching the news of Hurricane Gustav and the DNC.

    The last day in Vegas gives me a pit in my stomach that no words can describe. Staying busy cures it. My gambling for the trip was over. I had not been able to win enough to make it accumulate over what I started with and the wins were too far apart from each other to save me. I find it is easier to swallow if I quit without too much damage to the initial bankroll. D opted to gamble in the evening instead of his usual morning routine. I suggested In and Out to no complaints and a little business venture. I took advantage of mixing business with pleasure by visiting a few design boutiques and antique shops. We saw parts of Vegas new to us and I lucked up on a few items I could easily pack. We parked and watched the planes at McCarran landing and taking off. I must admit after nine full days and nights in Vegas this was a nice change. I did not want to get too far off the Vegas course. Dinner at Ellis Island would stand as our farewell dinner. We really enjoyed the crowded atmosphere and the kitchy vibe, food, and talking over our desert adventure. It was funny how we basically ignored EI over the last few trips and overdosed on it this trip. Also odd was the fact I did not set foot in Bellagio this trip. My days have run together and I almost forgot to include one afternoon at the Monte Carlo. D and I both found the Wizard of Oz penny slots by the front door and had so much fun. I put in a $5 voucher and cashed out with $398.00 for a nice win. Glenda was very good to me resulting in the big hit. I could become addicted to these machines with no problem.

    The Friday going home wake up call came at 5:30 a.m. with coffee shortly after. We were out of Rio and at Dollar’s rental return by 9:15 a.m. straight to security and Continental gate D 20 with fifty minutes to spare. I took in the final sights of the strip from the plane. I settled in for the three hour flight with good tunes, better memories, and big plans for our next trip.

    Getting home to a full house of family and friends on Hurricane Gustav alert and all he dumped on Central Louisiana naturally put my priorities where they should be. Normalcy is back in our reach and has allowed me to share with you my trip report. I relaxed more than usual, and the overall casual tone was the right way to go for us this trip. It was easy on the schedule, our expectations, and the wallet. I wasted no time bringing to D’s attention with all the money saved this trip compared to our last two trips we would be stupid not to book another trip within the next six months. My logic has him thinking about it. My logic always has me thinking about Vegas.

    Please excuse any grammar or punctuation mistakes. Thanks to all who have stayed with the reading.
     
  2. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,160
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Awesome!
     
  3. shitzumama

    shitzumama Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Great TR. Saw Sheryl Crow and James Blunt in Albuquerque. What a show and to think I wasn't excited about seeing it. Was easily one of the best concerts I've ever seen. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,081
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    nice....ten days for free!!!!! that is so awesome...glad to hear that the trip was great!:beer::beer::beer:
     
  5. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Messages:
    322
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    Nice TR!:peace:
     
  6. ant1433

    ant1433 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    nj
    Great read. I will try Ellis Island on my next rip in October. Quick question. Where did you get the coupon for Maggiano's?? We love that place and I think it is as good as or better than the majority of Italian restaraunts in the Mega resorts.

    Glad to hear everything was OK after Gustav as well.
     
  7. Hoopswife

    Hoopswife Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Location:
    Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    What an excellent report! I truly enjoyed reading it. Thanks for taking the time to type it all out. Im glad you and your family are safe and sound.
     
  8. michigander

    michigander Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    13
    Fantastic Trip and Report. I live vicariously through everyone here till I can get back, and this report filled a void. It was a TWO Martini read.:beer:

    You guys sure do Vegas Right.

    Thanks for taking the time to post this.

    I stayed at TI back in the 90's and it may be time to give a smaller casino a chance again.

    Lately every thing at Venetian has been comped, for the lasr 4 years, and including Palazzo which we have not been to yet.

    Thanks again.:wave:
     
  9. Souette

    Souette Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    580
    Location:
    Rural Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Good Read.

    Loved the report and it's always good to have the entire trip comped as well as having numerous wins during the stay.
    Thanks for taking time to provide details.
     
  10. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,249
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    29
    Awesome report! Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for taking the time to post.
     
  11. judy

    judy Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    sunny florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    great report

    I loved every single minute of it! You are an excellent writer,Girl!
    Question: Does TI have coffee makers in the room (suite?)or was it room service?
    signed, Java Junkie Judy:eek:
     
  12. VegasGirl80

    VegasGirl80 Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    95
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Thank you all so much for the nice replies.

    ant1433- I got the Maggiano's dining certificate from a friend in Vegas. She acquired it from a local radio station promo.

    judy- we travel with our own coffee maker. No in room coffee pots at TI but the room at Rio did have one. Java Junkies rejoice!
     
  13. nyr2

    nyr2 Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    long island, ny
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    wow. great trip report. :thumbsup: ten days is long but you did it the right way. awesome.
     
  14. kimrye

    kimrye Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    northern OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    I really enjoy your writing style. Thanks for all the details. Rio rooms sound great, but too far off the strip for two ladies or a lady traveling alone.
    Great Vegas relationship with D. Can I borrow him?
     
  15. kimrye

    kimrye Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    northern OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Ike

    Hope you don't have any problems from IKE?
     
  16. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Very, very nice TR. Thanks.

    later, GVJ
     
  17. vegas777

    vegas777 Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    What a great TI. Sounds like a wonderful time, and glad everything is ok at home.
     
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