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Better Late Than Never: SpinyNorma's November Micro-roller Trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by SpinyNorma, Feb 16, 2015.

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  1. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12

    My Trip Report

    First off, my apologies for being so slow to finally write up my Trip Report. The delay was pretty much equal parts of pesky Real Life interfering with my free time and, well, let's just say I seem to love procrastination almost as much as I do Vegas.

    But without (much) further ado....:wave:
     
  2. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    I was due to leave November 17, a Monday afternoon and I was sooooooooo ready to head off to my Shiny Tacky Mecca. Then the weather decided to liven things up by turning really cold Saturday and then even colder Sunday. As if that weren't enough, it rained all day which turned to snow that night. I was not happy.

    Granted, it wasn't a lot of snow, even by our low standards for what counts as snow here in Texas. Those of you who are of the Northern persuasion would laugh at us even calling it snow. Even so, it doesn't take much white stuff for it to screw things up around here and with the streets already wet, it was icy too. I did some championship cussing.

    It seemed my fretting was for naught as the weather remembered this was Texas and the ice and snow had melted off by the time I had to leave for Rinky Dink Airport. I was still concerned that the flight might be delayed since I had a very short layover at DFW and RDA is not known for its timeliness, even without giving it a reason to run behind schedule.

    Rinky Dink had started renovations when I was last there a year ago and I had no idea how far along they were with them by now. Last year they were pretty much at the digging up the parking lot stage. I assumed they had progressed beyond that by now but I couldn't find any information on it.

    My friend Robin's fiance had offered to give me a ride, which was really nice of him. When we arrived, we saw a new terminal that looked pretty complete so we drove over to it. Luckily, he waited while I went in to check because it turned out to be a mostly empty building. I later found out it was due to open some time in the next month.

    After driving around a little, we finally found the old terminal, which was almost totally hidden by construction stuff. I got checked in with no problem and they insisted everything was running on time.

    To my happy surprise, they said I didn't have to take my shoes off to go through security. I still had to do all the other stuff but I was happy with not having to jack with getting my shoes back on while gathering up my assorted crap. To celebrate, I managed to remember to take everything out of my pockets and not set off the alarm. It was a proud and happy moment.

    Once we got to DFW, I was taunted by having to just sit there on the plane while we waited for someone to come officially open the door so we could leave. That put me enough behind that by the time I got to my departing gate, they were already calling for people to board--even the lowly Group 4 folks who generally don't get called until they've gone through every possible grouping of passengers imaginable.

    I was really hungry so I took the time to go over to the only food thing by my gate and got what turned out to be the driest oatmeal cookie in the history of the world. During the flight, I managed to pick at it just enough to keep from going zombie on the other passengers.

    Unfortunately, the bathroom was several gates away from the one where my flight was boarding so I had to give up on my dream to go there before getting on the plane. I tried hard, so very hard, to hold out till we landed but about halfway through it became apparent that things were going to get both ugly and decidedly damp if I didn't break down and squeeze myself into the micro-toilet. That definitely wasn't pretty but at least there was no inappropriate sogginess. I grade on a sad curve.

    Eventually, despite the conspiratorial efforts of the weather and the airplane door guy (who I was picturing as Tim Conway's little old man from the Carol Burnett Show), I had made it to Vegas! I found my bag quickly and headed outside for a dose of Vitamin N. While I was killing time, I got out my Kindle Fire to check my email and saw I had one from Bally's offering me online check in.

    I took a moment to consider holding out for the chance of an upgrade but quickly decided I was fine with the regular room and that skipping the check in line outweighed the possibility of an upgrade.

    Having finished my smoke, I headed over to the nearest shuttle window, which was Super Shuttle. I would recommend you skip this one and go with one of the other companies. Instead of pointing out a shuttle for you to go to, like all the others do, they give you a ticket number and have you wait around in a vaguely designated area for the driver to come get you.

    After the driver had called the ticket number of literally everyone but me, including people who came after I did, I was starting to have flashbacks to picking teams in gym. Actually, this was worse because I generally wasn't the very last person picked then (although pretty damn close to it). I was about to go get my money back and take a different shuttle when the driver finally deigned to call me over.

    Outside of that, the ride was fine and I was the first one to be dropped off, which was nice. With the construction out front, they dropped me off at the side entrance where you go to catch the free shuttle to Rio.

    The good news is that this door's pretty close to the registration area and the line was long enough that I was glad to get to skip it. The bad news is that the part where you pick up your keys was way down on the far end of the registration area.

    There was a line at the key pickup but there were only about two or three people ahead of me and it moved quickly. Soon I had my keys in hand and was headed to the North Tower elevator in search of room 2523.

    I really liked the room, outside of it being so far from the elevators that I started to worry I was going to need a passport. It had a king bed, a desk, a marble top computer desk with computer chair, two small loveseats with a glass top coffee table in front of one and a small round glass top side table between the two sofas.

    There was a large window the size of a patio door at the far end of the room. To my surprise, there was even a tiny balcony, although the former-door-turned-window was welded shut. That was fine with me because with my heights thing, the very thought of stepping out on to it made me feel vaguely queasy.

    From the window I could see the High Roller, the Cromwell, Flamingo, and a general view of the north strip. It was late afternoon and pretty dark by then. Oh, it was shiny, my children!

    After resting a bit, I headed out. First I went to check out the Cromwell. I have to admit that it was very pretty but I still miss Bill's. From there I headed into the Flamingo where a lot of the slot machines seemed to be offline. Part of the casino floor was roped off so they might have been preparing to move machines around.

    I was going to get a new players card at Margaritaville because their cards look cooler than the regular Total Rewards cards but there was a sign at the desk saying to go to the Flamingo TR desk. I passed on that and headed onward to check out the Linq (the shopping/eating one, not the hotel).

    It was bigger than I'd expected. I was going to take some pictures but realized I'd left my camera back in the room. Way to go, Me! I briefly considered going to get it and coming back but my feet began laughing in a loud and dangerously maniacal way at the very idea. It seemed best not to provoke them so I just wandered through without getting any pictures.

    I stopped by Sprinkles on my way out, intending to get a cupcake but ice cream appealed to me more (Added bonus: with ice cream I was less likely to end up looking like a toddler learning to feed herself by the time I was finished) so I went to that section and got a cup of salty caramel. It was very good but it does definitely have a salty taste to it if that bothers you.

    From there I made my way into the Linq casino and then on into Harrah's. I was starting to get pretty hungry by then and I thought I'd check out the new Fulton's Market. Instead, I found every eatery they had except for that one.

    After circling around a few times, I was starting to feel like a shark so I decided to just eat at the buffet. I hadn't eaten there in years but I'd liked it well enough, especially since it was priced really cheap. I started to get in line but then saw the price list. Apparently they'd changed their minds about cheap being good and supper was now $26. I moseyed on.

    I stepped outside, intending to cross over to the Mirage bus stop but decided to just walk back to Bally's instead. I did catch most of the volcano show though.

    While crossing through the IPQUADLINQ, I stopped a few times to play a little (Okay, mostly to have an excuse to sit down) but none of the machines would take my players card. I trudged onward, trying to ignore the increasingly dark mutterings from my feet. I thought of stopping to try out Guy Fieri's new restaurant but I really wanted something along the line of regular food, not fancied up regular food so I plodded onward.

    The Margaritaville players card desk was still unmanned so I stopped at the Flamingo desk to get another card. They gave me some coupons with it so that was nice. The only one I remember is one to see Divas Las Vegas for $15. I like that show so I was happy. I'd have been happier if I'd remembered later that I had it and used it but oh, well.

    I tried the new card in a random machine to see if it worked and it did but it wasn't one I wanted to play. I didn't see anything there at Flamingo (Well, not any game that was working anyway) that called to me so I just plodded onward without stopping to play. By the time I got back to the Cromwell, my feet were screaming really nasty things at me so I sat down at a Hangover machine. I hit a couple of nice bonuses and turned my $20 into $34. My feet were so surprised they forgot to fuss at me when I got up. That was an even bigger win!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  3. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    I made it into Bally's without my feet actively trying to kill me. I considered going upstairs to rest first but I knew my traitorous feet would let me starve in my room before they'd agree to let me go out again in search of sustenance so I gimped my way into the hallway between Bally's and Paris.

    I stopped in at the pastry store but they didn't have my beloved Napoleons. Saddened by this further evidence of conspiracy, I settled for an eclair and headed back, stopping in to get a slice of pizza on the way. They're selling pastries there now--including my addiction, Napoleons!--so I got one along with a slice of pepperoni and as big a cup of caffeine as they had. The pizza wasn't bad but the service still sucks there.

    Having eaten my slice of pizza, I gathered the energy to make my weary way back to my room with my tasty pastries in tow. Once there, I tried to connect to the WIFI. They supposedly allowed two devices now but neither of those devices appeared to include mine. At long last, I must have hit the required cussing quota and was able to connect.

    After a quick check of my email, I gave in to the overwhelming need to nap. Tired as I was, however, I was awake again in under an hour. When Vegas calls, I have to answer so I got dressed and made my way downstairs.

    Vegas cut me some slack and said I didn't have to go wandering and could just play some slots there at Bally's so that's what I did. I stopped at my friends the Goldfish, who turned out to be cold fish. The Hangover, however, still had some drunken revelry left in it and I turned $50 into $75 and then turned that into $70 before deciding it was time to move on.

    I forget what I moved on to but I eventually turned that into $101, came to my senses, and cashed out. I celebrated by heading back to my room where I ate pastry and vegged out until around 2 AM when I started getting hungry again.

    I actually wanted to go to Planet Hollywood for Earl of Sandwich or Planet Dailies but my feet threatened to start commitment proceedings against me if I did that so we settled for the Tequila Bar and Grill there at Bally's. I'd been there once before for the same reason--it was open, it was close, and it was relatively cheap.

    I got the steak and eggs, which wasn't bad. The service wasn't impressive but it was a lot better than the last time I was there. All told, it came to about $20 with iced tea and all.

    After leaving there, I put $20 into a Ringling Brothers slot. I played it down to $15 before remembering that I don't really like circuses and apparently they returned the sentiment.

    I wandered around a bit, not really drawn to anything, when I came across the Buffalo slots that Bonnie (from the LasVegas4Ever forums) loves and had recommended I try. A bonus round brought me up to $25 but I didn't have the sense to stop there so I played it down to $1.10 when I hit another bonus for $11. Play went up and down until I finally quit at $16, ever so slightly up from what I'd put in. WIN!

    That was good enough for me and I made my gimpy way back to my room.
     
  4. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Tuesday, 11/18/14

    I went to bed around 3:30 and finally did some pretty serious sleeping. I woke up a couple of times and briefly debated getting up and heading out but it was a pretty one-sided debate which ended in me rolling over and passing out again.

    At 11 AM, I finally got up and joined the vertical world. I made my way down to the box office with two burning questions in my mind. Could I buy a ticket to Penn and Teller here instead of having to go to the Rio and could I pay with my Rewards points? Happily, the answer to both was yes and a few minutes and $109 later I was in position of a ticket for Section 2 for tonight. YAY!

    Next I moseyed my way over to the Paris casino where I wandered in search of a slot machine that called to me. I put $20 in a Buffalo machine, only to discover that apparently the French Buffalo are kind of uppity and felt no amour for me.

    I couldn't get any other slot there to work up even a slight fondness for me so I took my ticket with all of 20 cents on it and headed for the redemption booth. Once I found one, I was taunted by long lines of people who presumably were more popular with the slots than I was so I shuffled off. I may not be above cashing in a 20 cent ticket but I'm not going to stand in line to do it. I have my pride.

    On my way back, I stopped in Madeleine, who still didn't have any Napoleons, and got a chef salad, then stepped into the pizza place long enough to get another Napoleon.

    I stopped briefly to try my luck in my home casino but it seems the Paris slots had been talking smack about me and Bally's machines were cold to me as well. Harumph!

    Back in my room, I settled in to veg out, catch up my notes, and eat my lunch. That salad was really good and at about $9, also counts as a pretty cheap lunch in Vegas. I'd get it again.

    This sort of thing can really wear a girl out so I settled back in bed for what turned out to be an expanding nap. I'd only intended to conk out for about an hour and then head out on the strip but I just kept setting that alarm for later and later each time it went off.

    At 6:30, I finally made myself get up, get showered, and dressed. I wanted a Diet DP but didn't want to jack with hiking to get one so I just got a big bottle of water and went to see if the slots were feeling friendly again.

    I settled in at the Buffalo machine. I put in $50, played it up to $70 and then back down to $50. I took that as a sign, cashed out, and decided to give my old nemesis Dorothy (Ruby Slippers version) a chance. My $50 turned into $65 and then back into $50. A theme seemed to be emerging here so I cashed out, redeemed my ticket, and headed outside to wait for the shuttle to Rio.

    The shuttle was running late. It was pretty chilly outside, not too bad at first but it kind of crept into your bones after a while. By the time it arrived, the crowd waiting for it had grown quite a bit but the shuttle had shrunk since the last time I'd taken it. I thawed out enough to get in line and hoped I wouldn't end up having to wait for the next shuttle. I made it on board with two people to spare!

    I'm guessing that luck wasn't going well with the guy I sat next to because he tried to sell me his coupon for free play at Rio. I recognized it from the free book of coupons they gave me when I got my new Total Rewards players card yesterday and simultaneously remembered that I'd forgotten to bring mine. This realization didn't tempt me to buy his though.

    The show wasn't until 9 so I killed some time doing a leisurely walkabout in search of the theatre, which of course turned out to be way in the back. I stopped in a few stores on the way, just to look around. I was starting to get hungry but I planned to go eat after the show so I just picked up a pack of overpriced cheese crackers and snacked on them as I continued my lengthy trek in search of the theatre.

    Eventually I found it and still had about 15-20 minutes before the show. I went inside and found my way to my seat--Section 2, Row G, seat 15 which was the third seat in from the left aisle. Of course I came down the right aisle so I got to sidle/scooch my way down a long row to get there. It was worth the trip and was a good seat with a nice clear view of the stage.

    On the stage was a box and audience members were invited to go up and inspect it if they wanted to. There was a list you could sign up for if you wanted to possibly be called on to be an audience participant. All that wandering had made me a big fan of sitting down so I passed on both opportunities.

    At the far end of the stage was a jazz duo. I'm not a huge fan of jazz but I thought they were pretty good. The bass player was a pretty big guy. He wore a hat pulled pretty low so you couldn't see his face but that height is hard to hide and I seemed to recall hearing that Penn played. My suspicions deepened when the bass player left the stage about 5-10 minutes before the show was due to start.

    The show was really good and I was glad I'd decided to go. This was my first time seeing them live, although I'd seen them on TV over the years. I'd seen several of the bits they performed before but it was fun seeing them in person and there were also things that were new to me.

    I'd heard a lot of people complain about the political content of the show so I was a little leery about that. As it turned out, there was some but it was a very small amount, just a few minutes and it didn't bother me at all, even though I am definitely not a Libertarian.

    I'd heard that they always waited in the lobby after the show and indeed there they were, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. Teller was first, situated pretty much right there as you came out.

    He was very sweet. I got an autograph for my nephew (and now roommate) Duncan and had my picture taken with Teller. I have a digital camera rather than a phone one so someone in the crowd took the picture for me. Teller checked it, said it was a little fuzzy and offered to do another, which we did.

    I moved on to Penn, who was near the souvenir stand. I stopped and got a Tshirt for Duncan before getting an autograph and picture with Penn. He's really big.

    I was really impressed with both of them. For one thing, there aren't many performers of their stature who go out and meet with fans after the show--and especially not for free. They kept the crowd moving along very efficiently while still being completely pleasant and not giving any sign of being bored with doing it.

    I do have to say, however, that their handwriting is terrible. I'd gotten both signatures on the same piece of paper and by the time I got home and showed them to Duncan, I really couldn't tell you who signed which one. Luckily, he didn't care and was happy with it. He'd become a fan over the summer with their TV show Fool Us.

    Now it was time for the next part of my plan for the night. I made my way back out and got in the cab line. The wind had picked up and it was even chillier but the line moved quickly and I was soon on my way to Ellis Island.

    I was hungry but the restaurant wasn't overly busy and I wanted a smoke first so I wandered around the casino first. Just a little into my wanderings, I see it--the Walking Dead slots! I love the show and have been wanting to play this since I first heard about it last year but they didn't have them at any of the properties I'd been to so far.

    I put in $100 and watched it quickly eaten up by the zombie horde. Sadly, this game pays very poorly. I'd almost reached the point which I had mentally designated as my quitting point ($50) when I hit a couple of bonuses. Ironically, they were the Andrea and Shane bonuses, two of my least favorite characters, but they redeemed themselves with me a little when they brought me back up to $80. I decided it would be wise to cash out while I was still relatively uninfected.

    From there it was back to the restaurant where I got the prime rib instead of my usual order of the steak special. It really hit the spot and the service was good, even though they were starting to fill up right after I got seated. I even forced myself to make room for a slice of cheesecake, which was excellent, although I had a serious fear that I might actually explode. Still, what's Vegas without taking a few risks?

    I waddled around the casino for a bit afterwards. I saw a Monopoly Planet Go slot and sat down for a happy reunion. I hadn't seen one of these machines in a good while but they'd been pretty lucky for me back then. Well, that was then and this is now and Planet Go made my $20 go away pretty quickly.

    I decided it was time to make myself go away. To my surprise, there was a cab waiting outside. I'd never seen them waiting outside Ellis Island any other time I'd been but I was glad to see it. The driver was very nice, even when I told him I was only going to Bally's so I gave him a tip that wasn't much less than the fare.

    I really wished I'd been able to find a cab to drive me the 12 miles from the elevator to my room but, alas, I had to make this trip on (throbbing) foot. I think I stayed awake just long enough to change and fall into bed. Barely.
     
  5. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Wednesday, 11/19

    It was Moving Day. I got up in time to head down to the shop level and look around but didn't find anything that tempted me. Nothing in the food court really called to me either so I decided I'd just wait and eat after I got downtown.

    I headed back to the room and finished packing. I'd really tried to avoid doing my usual overpacking thing but you have to grade on a sad curve with me on this sort of thing. In addition to my usual stuff, I'd also put my laptop and purse in the suitcase so I wouldn't have to jack with carrying them on the trip to my next hotel. More convenient for walking around but it made the suitcase even heavier. Thank God for the guy who invented rolling luggage!

    Between all that and just being tired, that suitcase felt like I'd packed a body in it. I even briefly considered trying to pack myself inside it and just calling a bellhop to haul it and me downstairs but managed to talk myself out of it. Barely. Very barely.

    I'd planned to take a bus downtown like usual but at the last minute, decided to splurge on a cab. I was saluting myself for this indulgence as I sat down in the relatively luxurious seat when we got caught in traffic snarl on Flamingo. As I watched the meter ticking upwards, I was starting to think I had made a big financial mistake but then we broke free and it was smooth sailing for the rest of the trip. The fare was $21 when I was let out at the D.

    Check in was quick and soon I was on my way to room 314. Well, the part where I made it to the elevator to go to room 314 was quick but then time slammed to a stop.

    I had heard about the new elevator system but this was my first experience with it. On the wall by the elevators was an electronic pad with numbers. You punched in your floor and it told you which car (A, B, C, or D) to get in. This apparently confused a lot of people because they had someone stationed there to help people with it pretty much every time I got on or off at the lobby. Actually, upon thinking about it, I think they stationed the poor guy there to keep the elevator crowd from rioting.

    Once your car arrived (finally), you got on and it took you to those floors which had been punched in to the pad. There were no buttons inside the car so it did you no good to get on a car other than the one it had specified for you.

    I have to say that I was not a fan of this new system. When I stayed last year, they had the regular kind of elevators everyone else has and I don't recall having to wait inordinately long. Even during peak usage times like checkout time, the wait was not as long as it was under this new system.

    Seriously, it was awful, especially at the lobby level, although it wasn't good at any level. It also eliminated my own little game that I like to play to amuse myself while waiting, Elevator Bingo. Any time you have a bank of elevators, I like to try to pick which one will be the car that opens for you. What can I say? I'm easily bored and easily amused.

    Anyway, I deeply hope that they get rid of this new system and go back to the regular way. I found it so aggravating that by the end of my stay, I had pretty much decided that, much as I love the D, I would probably skip staying there next time solely because of the elevator situation. If they won't dump it, I wish they'd at least put out some chairs or benches--maybe a few recliners so you could kick back and nap while you're waiting.

    Anyway. I found room 314 pretty easily. It wasn't really close to the elevator but, unlike my last room, I didn't wish I could hire transportation to get there either. I had two queen beds which gave me a total of eight pillows and two small red ones. YAY! I am a major Pillow Ho.

    I had a spectacular view of a roof, AC components, and the top of the Fremont Experience canopy. This was the lowest floor I'd been assigned there and I soon realized I had better hope I liked the bands playing during my stay because I was right over the stage. It was pretty loud but that doesn't bother me overly much.

    What bothered me more was that the TV kept flashing a message saying that the signal was lost. Despite this, it kept playing with no interruption so eventually I just ignored it. The internet was pretty good once I was finally able to log on but it took several tries before it took. Vegas seemed determined to make me work to get internet access this year.

    The desk was connected to the chest of drawers which the TV sits on. The desk itself was fine but I do wish they would spring for computer chairs or at least a more comfortable chair for the desk. Electrical sockets easily accessible near the desk area would be nice too.

    The bed was comfortable, especially once I got all my lovely pillows arranged like I like, and I spent most of my room time there.

    I decided to try Pizza Rock for lunch so I walked over there and got a slice of pepperoni and a drink which I took back to the room to eat. Luckily, that was one of the few times where waiting for the elevator to arrive didn't involve using a calendar to measure your waiting time.

    I'd heard a lot about Pizza Rock and I have to say it lives up to the hype. In fact, I went back a few more times during my downtown stay.
     
  6. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Now that I was properly filled up on good pizza, it was time to head down to the casino and try my luck. I saw that they also had Walking Dead so I hustled over to see if it paid any better here. It didn't but I hit on a Daryl bonus and brought myself up to being only $30 down from what I'd put in. Sadly, for this machine, that counts as a win.

    I found a Buffalo machine and it was much kinder to me. I got some nice free spin rounds and brought my total up to being only $5 down from where I'd started. I was really starting to jones for some Doctor Pepper so I decided $5 down was good enough and headed out in search of carbonated goodness.

    The cokes tend to be cheaper at the souvenir shops on the Plaza end of Fremont so I turned that way. Those shops were also further away than I'd remembered and my feet were pitching a fit again by the time I looked through a few shops and got my cokes. My feet are such wusses.

    While I was down that way, I stopped in Mermaids and got a fried Twinkie to appease them. As it turned out, they didn't much care about that but the rest of me was pretty happy with it. One thing that made all of me (even my contrary feet) happy was my decision to head back to the room for a nap.

    And a fine nap it was. It was late afternoon when I woke up and I was feeling pretty human again. I couldn't remember where I saw the Buffalo slots I'd played before but I found I found a variation of them so I gave that a try. As it turns out, Bonnie was not only right about Buffalo being a good slot game but she was also right that I should just stick to the original version.

    I decided it was a good time to walk away from the slots and headed out to the Container Park. It had opened last year, ironically on the afternoon of the day I left downtown so I had only seen it from the outside.

    It too was farther from the D than I'd remembered although, of course, nothing compared to Strip distances. It was smaller inside than I'd expected but nice. There's a play area for kids in the middle that was pretty cool and a stage for bands at the other end. The band that was playing that night was good but not my personal taste.

    I mostly wandered around and window shopped. I kept to ground level places because of my thing about heights and also I didn't see any elevators and my legs threatened me with an ugly revolt if I tried to climb stairs. One shop I did go into was a toy store. It had a lot of toys and games from back when I was kid (Let's not do the math on that) so that was a fun bit of nostalgia for me.

    Once I'd finished looking around, I stopped in at Big Ern's BBQ and got some ribs and a baked potato to go. I forget how much that came to but it was pretty reasonably priced and those were some good ribs.

    Once I'd hosed myself off after the ribs (Have I mentioned I tend to be a messy eater?), I went out to catch some of the light shows and play some more. I have to say I was disappointed in the light shows this year. They'd taken out the Queen tribute and American Pie. Yeah, I know they'd run them forever but they were my favorites. I've heard people say they were tired of them but, on the other hand, every time I'd seen those shows, people were always dancing and singing along.

    That night I caught half of the Bon Jovi show and later saw one of the replacement shows, something called Area 51. As you might suppose, it was about aliens and pretty generic ones at that. I wasn't overly impressed.

    Back inside the D, I found the original Buffalo slots and offered them $20 to make nice. It wasn't showing me much love and I had almost played it down to nothing when I learned something about the Buffalo. They like to sweep in right at the end and renew your love for them. I got 12 free spins that jumped me back up to $30.

    By then my lower half had about played itself to nothing and it wasn't offering me any free spins or bonuses so it seemed time to drag myself toward the elevators. There was a crowd the size of New Delhi already waiting so I decided to play a little Monopoly Grand Hotel while I waited.

    This idea ended up bringing me back down to my original $20 but that up and down ride lasted long enough to bring the crowd down to the population of Newark and let me sit down while I waited so I didn't fuss too much. I joined the horde and eventually got to make my way back to my room.

    My legs and feet were really feeling cranky so I appeased them with a nice hot soak in the tub. They did feel better after that but then I had to cope with a sad reality. Getting a fat gimpy geezer out of a tub is neither an easy process nor a pretty one. Let's just leave it at that.

    Once I finally managed to escape the tub, I stayed awake just long enough to fling my pitiful self into bed.
     
  7. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Thursday, 11/20

    I got up and out at 9:30. This morning's mission was to try out the famous DuPar's. I ended up getting ham and eggs instead of the pancakes because I'm generally really just middling on pancakes. It was good but not spectacular. I'll go ahead and try the pancakes next time.

    I wandered around that end of Fremont and checked out some souvenir shops I'd missed the day before. This was a pretty successful run. I found DP's at a cheaper price than what I'd paid yesterday but the big score was at another store.

    I found hand fans! Okay, that may not sound like such a big deal but I love those things and it's hard to find them. I'd found one a few years ago at Dollar Tree and got it on a whim, only to rediscover how handy they are and how much more efficient they are at cooling you off than the magazines, etc, everyone uses as improvised substitutes. Plus it's fun to snap a real fan open and closed. I don't know why these things went out of general use.

    Unfortunately, I never saw them for sale again outside of that one time but here they were! The one I had from Dollar Tree was black with tacky gold designs. I think it was supposed to look Spanish but in actuality, it looked like a souvenir from a drag funeral. These, on the other hand, were classy with colorful depictions of the Vegas strip. I got one each for a couple of friends of mine and two for me because I lose things.

    Happy with my new classy fans, I made my way back to the D. I had two TITO's for about $20 each so I tried one on the Buffalo slots. The Buffalo were not so impressed with the fans and cheap DP and ended up eating my offering. Sadness.

    Around 4, I crossed the street to have the prime rib buffet at Fremont. It was okay but they seemed to have cut back on their selection since last year. On the up side, the Korean chicken was very good and their desserts had improved quite a bit.

    I saw a Walking Dead game at the Fremont casino and had to give it a try. I think this has become my new Dorothy as a slot that doesn't do well for me yet I just can't seem to quit it. As usual, it wasn't going so great but I hit a bonus that brought me back up to $49. I called that close enough, cashed out, and wandered the casino a bit.

    I saw a Buffalo Stampede slot and, having learned nothing from my ill-fated flirtation with Buffalo Deluxe, gave it a try. My $49 rapidly turned into $25. I cashed out and headed back home to the D.

    The regular Buffalo game was occupied so I meandered the casino and looked around. I saw a Buffalo Deluxe game and started to pass it by when I realized it could be set to play either that or the original version. I sat down, switched it over to Buffalo, and fed it my $25.

    Things weren't going so well. I was getting a fair amount of play out of it as it went up and down. Unfortunately, the down outweighed the up and I had played it down to $4.60. I considered cashing out but I figured I might as well just play it out.

    That was a good choice because, once again just before totally bottoming out, I hit some free spins and then I hit more free spins within the free spins. Now to be honest, these were some pretty sucky spins, generating very little payout, but I kept hitting additional free spins within the free spins and eventually the payouts started getting better.

    By the time the free spins ran out, I was up to $118. I had to push it a little further, of course, which brought me down to $106. At that point I decided it was best to take the money and run (Well, hobble) back to my room for a while.

    Zowie Bowie was listed as the performer on the Third Street Stage at 8 PM that night. Being a geezer, he was the only one of the music acts listed that I had heard of so I figured I'd check it out. Instead, however, it was the Dancing DJ. I've read a lot of good stuff about her on the message boards but the act did nothing for me (Probably that geezer thing again) so I moseyed on to check out the other stages.

    The next stage I came to had an Elvis impersonator. He sounded reasonably like him but only marginally had the look. He also had these huge thick black eyebrows that reminded me of the cranky eagle muppet. That kind of killed the Elvis thing for me.

    The stage down by the Plaza had a group of girls singing. I have no idea who they were but they sang a series of songs that I hate so I started making my way back to escape.

    I had almost recovered from the bad songs and was going to go to the Golden Nugget's outside bar (picked because it was the only one with prices listed) to celebrate when it happened. In a burst of inexplicable cruelty, "Elvis" began to sing that Titanic song, My Heart Must Go On.

    I hated that song the first time I heard it and my hatred has only grown over the billions of times I've had it inflicted on me since then. I learned that night that the one thing worse than hearing Celine's nasal rendition is hearing done by an Elvis impersonator.

    As I stood there in shock, wondering if my ears were actually bleeding from the horror of it all, I was snapped out of my shell shock by yet another revelation. There was something worse than a fake Elvis singing that song and that was a very drunk woman singing along at top volume, screeching right into my shattered ear.

    I fled, somehow managing not scream as I left, and stopped at the bar in front of Binions to get something to drown my sorrow. I got a drink with the dainty name of Lickee Lickee which consisted of OJ, pineapple juice, rum, and grenadine. It was pretty good.

    In my wanderings up and down Fremont, I noticed that there seemed to be fewer costumed people than last year. I did notice two sets of KISS impersonators standing only a few feet apart and wondered if it had occurred to either that it might be better to have more distance.

    I also noticed that two or three of the costumed characters were just this side of nekkid and it was not a good look on any of them. I'm still trying to erase the image of a guy who seemed to be going for a Cupid thing. Sadly, he went for this by means of tiny wings on his shoulders and what appeared to be a pair of adult diapers wedged up his crack like the Thong of the Damned.

    When I got back to the Third Street Stage, the sign now said that Zowie Bowie was playing at 9. It was almost that time so I watched the overhead show (The Who) and then moseyed over to the stage and watched a few songs. It was a good act, although not my personal taste in music. I liked the girl with the electric violin.

    Later I looked it up and realized that Zowie Bowie was a band name and not the son of David Bowie. I refer you to that geezer thing again. Still, it did explain why he had an American accent and why he didn't look like David Bowie at all, although he did have a fairly strong resemblance to a more orange and less sullen version of Keifer Sutherland.

    I went back to the D's casino and looked around but all the machines I liked were taken. Instead, I walked over to Pizza Rock and got a slice to take back to my room.

     
  8. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Friday, 11/21

    It was my last morning at the D. I didn't really do anything other than sleep in, finish packing, and do some vegging out until time for check out.

    The elevators, which had been tormenting me more often than not for the past two days of my stay, really rallied to give me a big send off and were even slower than usual. You'll just have to trust me on how impressive that was.

    I would rate them in agonizing slowness as being second only to the Elevators of the Damned at the old Imperial Palace. At times I think they may actually have been worse. The only up side is that I got to bond with many of the other angry villagers who formed a mob while we waited.

    Once I finally escaped The Elevators That Time Forgot, I crossed over to the Fremont where I'd be staying Friday and Saturday. Check in was quick and easy and soon I was on my way to room 710. I almost wept with joy when the elevator arrived mere moments after pressing the button. I resisted the urge to cry out, "It's a miracle!".

    My room was pretty close to the elevator, something which brought joy to my tortured feet. The doors on the rooms here have those weird locks where you sweep your key card vertically rather than inserting them. I don't know why this gives me so much trouble but it always takes me a while to get the hang of this. It took a few tries but eventually I was in my new room.

    I traditionally seem to end up on the side facing Binions but not this time. I had another spectacular view of rooftop machinery and the top of the light show canopy but I could also see Pizza Rock, the Downtown Grand, Gold Spike, and the top of Slotzilla.

    There was the usual tiny bathroom. I checked in the little basket and found individual tubes of shampoo, conditioner, two soaps, and three shower caps. I was pretty happy. I can't use the combination shampoo/conditioner that most places put out so I was really glad to see shampoo in its own bottle and the lotion turned out to be pretty good.

    I had two queen beds again, giving me a total of 6 pillows. There was a small round table with a chair, and two lamps but no overhead light other than in the foyer when you first enter. I had a nightstand between the beds and a small dresser with the TV on top. On the wall there was a safe that operated with a key.

    The TV had more channels than I had at the D but there was no channel which listed what was playing, which is always a nice thing to have when you're vegging out while waiting for your feet to return to something somewhat human.

    There's no resort fee at the Fremont (YAY!) but that also means no "free" WIFI. Still, the $10 per day WIFI fee was less than any resort fee I paid during this trip so I didn't get worked up over it.

    I got some ice to keep my cokes cold and then headed downstairs to check things out. I found a Buffalo machine and sat down. I wasn't doing so great but then I hit multiple free spins and cashed out with $120. BUFFALO!

    I celebrated with getting a French Dip and drink at Lanai for $9, ate it in my room, and then followed it up with a short nap. When I woke up, I headed back downstairs and sat down at a different Buffalo machine, this one right across from the B Connected desk. This one was showing me no love so I hit the button to cash out.

    That's where things went bad. I got an error notice that said I should contact an attendant. I hit the light to summon one, got out my Kindle, and waited.

    After about 5 minutes, I started looking around for someone. The woman working the desk is being kept fairly busy with people getting cards but there's an older blonde woman at a computer stand adjacent to the desk. Near as I can tell, her job seems to consist largely of talking and laughing with the one at the desk in between customers or with whatever other employee comes near to snare.

    We made eye contact several times and I tried to wave her over but she always looked away and started talking to whoever else she can find. One time she actually held up a finger in the "Just a minute" gesture and promptly went back to ignoring me. By this time I've got a finger in mind for her too.

    Since I still had money in the machine, I didn't want to walk away from it to try to tackle someone to force them into helping me so I concentrated my energy on watching my new blonde nemesis ignore me. In doing so, I learned that it wasn't a case of her being unable to leave her station because I watched her leave it twice during this interlude, neither time coming remotely near me.

    After I'd been waiting about 20 minutes, a floor supervisor came over. She had a very professional demeanor and explained that the machine had gone offline and therefore didn't send the signal that anything was wrong.

    I told her I could understand that but I was pretty angry that Blondie there saw me trying to get her attention and couldn't be bothered to come over and explain anything or even acknowledge that they were aware there was a problem but were having to wait for a supervisor.

    Maybe she and Blondie were buds because she seemed to get a bit colder after that but she did go and got me the money and paid me the amount owed. Probably the closest thing to a hand pay I'll ever see in Vegas.

    I'd lost the mood to gamble so I went out and got some more cokes to take upstairs. On the way back to my room, I stopped in at the candy store and got some amaretto truffles.

    Back in my room, I tried to connect to the internet but kept getting a message saying the name and room number didn't match. After double checking the room number (I was pretty sure I had the name right), I called the customer service number who transferred me to the front desk.

    They were very nice and apologized, saying it was a mistake on their end. A few taps of their keyboard and the problem was fixed.

    Eventually I started getting hungry and decided to go to Binions to try their new BBQ place I'd been hearing about. I walked pretty much all over the casino trying to find it. I saw signs for it but couldn't find the restaurant itself, although I think I got a good look at everything else in the place. I was starting to consider giving up when I finally found it way in the back.

    It was pretty tasty and a good value. I paid $13 for a half rack of ribs, sides, and tea. I do wish they'd let you get orders to go though but at least they give you a roll of paper towels at the table. I went through quite a lot of them as I'm not one of those people who can eat ribs without looking like I just had a barbeque sauce facial.

    From there I headed back into the casino. I hadn't played at Binions in a long time and I had my card with me so I decided to give their machines a try. This wasn't my best idea.

    I found my buddies the Buffalo but got stampeded. I was going to give my old foe Dorothy a chance but the hussy was busy letting someone else win so I moved on. I saw a Rolling Stones slot and gave it a try. Play went up and down and I finally cashed out close to even.

    I moved on to The Hangover, which had done tolerably well for me this trip, but this time I got hung instead. It seemed like a sign to give up and gimp on back to my room.

    In addition to the usual complaining from my feet, my left middle toe had started really hurting. I couldn't get a good look at it but it seemed to be on its way to developing a blister. Apparently one of my weird super powers is getting blisters in weird places. A couple of years ago, I got one on the bottom of my little toe. I need to develop hobbies in Vegas other than finding weird places to blister.

    I put some lamb's wool and a bandaid on the pre-blister and vegged out in the room till around 8. I remembered I never had used the coupon from the D good for $5 off something from the D Grill. I checked to make sure I didn't still have to be registered there but there was no restriction other than using it before 11/30.

    I wasn't real hungry and am not that big a fan of the D Grill anyway but the chocolate mousse cake sounded good and with the coupon, it would only be a couple of bucks.

    I started to rethink this idea as I spent roughly three weeks waiting to get on an elevator. The growing crowd was getting cranky and restless and the poor employee they had doing elevator duty appeared to be trying to remember where they kept the riot gear. I think he was more relieved than we were when the cars finally arrived.

    I tried to order the cake to go but they insisted I had to sit at a table to do that. This made no sense to me but I did it. After finally getting the to-go bag with my cake inside, I headed back to the elevators where I joined another mob of angry villagers waiting.

    One of them looked vaguely familiar and was even angrier than most of the other villagers. He finally growled something about being tired of wasting his time waiting on these elevators, muttered something about rehearsal, and stomped off to take the escalators. Some of the others followed him, albeit at a safe distance. I think he may have been one of the Scintas that have a show there.

    I would have gone for the escalator too but those things send my heights problem into overdrive so I continued to wait. I was glad I hadn't ordered any hot food.

    I made it back to my room and sat at the little table to eat my cake. Rather than being a slice as I had assumed, it was a small round cake, maybe the size of my palm...if that big. It was okay but I'd have been pretty PO'd if I'd paid the $7 menu price for it.

    I went back downstairs for a bit. The machines I liked were all occupied except for that ill-fated Buffalo one from earlier. I wasn't falling for that again so I continued to cruise the casino like an ad for Shark Week and finally decided to give the Clue slot a try. I eventually lost what I'd put in but I got a good amount of play out of it.

    I headed back upstairs to appease the weird toe, which was starting to make its unhappiness known again. It accepted this offering and let me fall asleep for a long nap. I woke up around 2 and went back down to try my luck at Clue again.

    My $20 had devolved down to less than $4 when I hit a bonus and jumped back up to $25. I collected my ticket and cashed it in, along with one for a dime that I'd found in my purse, and ambled back to the elevators. I stopped on the way and got a breakfast platter from Lanai. All this activity had worn me out and I passed out again.
     
  9. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Bear with me, folks. I'd intended to get this posted all at one time but pesky Real Life is rudely interrupting me. I should be back in a couple of hours or so to finish up the last bits. This assurance would probably mean more from someone who hadn't taken from November to February to post but this time I mean it. Really. Here is a random pirate to tide you over until I get back. :pirate:
     
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,887
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    You either had good notes or an awesome memory!

    Tons of detail! Look forward to reading the rest of it!
     
  11. WestTexas

    WestTexas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    39
    Great trip report. I wished I could write with that much detail.
     
  12. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Thank you guys. Actually, I cheat a little on these TR's--I take a little notebook with me and jot down stuff while I'm there. Mostly I do it during the times when I'm waiting for my cranky feet to stop throbbing and threatening to kill me. Even when I wait this long to write up the trip, I've got my notes to go by.

    And now, back to our story!
     
  13. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Saturday, 11/22

    I did a series of experiments with consciousness where I alternated between waking up and going back to sleep before finally deciding on going with consciousness. I celebrated my newfound decisiveness with a shower. The shower head there was weirdly low but the water pressure was good and the hot water situation was great.

    Squeaky clean once more, I started to head down the hall in search of more ice and noticed a housekeeping cart in the hallway. I didn't really need maid service so I ducked back into the room, gathered up what trash I had along with my used towels, and dropped them in the appropriate places in the cart. I didn't see the housekeeper so I just grabbed a couple of clean towels and some more lotion, etc.

    Now it was time to head down and out. The last few years when I'd stayed downtown in November, on the weekend they'd had food carts on the street that isn't on the Binion's side of the Fremont. I was really hoping for it to be there again this time but no. I had a great sadness because I'd really been rooting for that cart with the giant Cajun shrimp to be there.

    I swallowed my disappointment (which wasn't nearly as tasty as that Cajun shrimp) and went back into the casino to ease my sorrow. It was a decent session when you grade on the micro-roller curve with no spectacular ups or downs. Once again the Buffalo rolled in at the last minute with some free spins to bring me back to being a little ahead.

    This seemed like as good a time as any to go check out the Downtown Grand. I'd been in it briefly last year and hadn't been that impressed but, long story short (Hey, it's possible), I'd gotten in an off and on email correspondence with one of the managers there about the place. He was really nice and his enthusiasm for the DTG made me decide I should give it another chance.

    I walked in and set out to find the players card desk. I ended up getting a pretty good overview of the casino because I could not find that players desk anywhere. Finally I asked someone and got directions. It turns out it was very near where I first came in but the signage wasn't very clear.

    I settled in at the end of a fair-sized line and prepared to wait. In a fit of optimism, I got out my drivers license to have handy. An employee comes up and asks if I'm in line to get a players card. When I said yes, she pulled out some handheld device and made me one right on the spot. I've never had that happen before but I loved it.

    I decided to get some lunch before trying out the casino and picked S+O. I got seated quickly. The waitress arrived to take my order and brought my drink quickly as well. That ended the quick portion of my lunch.

    It's fairly busy there but I see my waitress returning to several other tables other than mine. I suspect I am once again the victim of the belief that single women diners don't tip. This always annoys me on two fronts, the obvious one being that I get crappy service. The other is that it always leaves me with a dilemma--if I tip appropriate to the service, it perpetuates the stereotype but, on the other hand, I don't like leaving a nice tip for poor service.

    A different waiter finally brings me my order, a French dip. It was actually pretty good but it would have been better with a bread that was hinged along the side. With the top and bottom being completely separate, the meat had a tendency to try to leap to its death out of the sandwich. It was tasty though.

    Once I was done, I had to flag down my waitress to get the check. She did apologize for not checking back with me and actually seemed moderately sincere. It was a bit little and a bit late but the food was good, even if the service wasn't impressive. The price was pretty moderate with the whole thing, including drink, coming to about $16.

    Now it was time to visit the casino. I found a Buffalo machine and a familiar pattern emerges. I wasn't doing so great when I hit on another series of free spins within free spins. I got $56 on that bonus, turning my original $50 investment into $96. WooHOOO!

    I cashed out and decided to try my luck on a machine I'd never tried before. I put in $20 and immediately the service light comes on. I got my money back and decided that it was a sign that this was not my game.

    I found a different bank of Buffalo slots and offered one $20. I was soon reminded that the Buffalo don't always rally with a comeback series of bonuses when you get right toward the end of your money.

    Still, I'd earned enough points to get my free Tshirt so I headed back to the players desk to collect it. The line was moving faster now and it didn't take long at all. Since it was a white Tshirt and those tend to make me look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Chick, I got it in Duncan's size.

    Overall, I'd say my impression of the DTG was positive. In fact, I'm thinking I might give staying there instead of the D a chance next time if they have a sale going. Actually, I almost did this time but you don't get your deposit back if you cancel and my nephew was having some problems with his transplant at the time I was making reservations.

    Speaking of Duncan, I told him I'd bring him back some jerky so I stopped at a store midway between DTG and Fremont. I hate the stuff but he likes it and the jerky here was supposed to be really good. I wandered around looking at the assorted varieties when I was suddenly frozen with horror.

    They had clam jerky!:eek: It looked like a bag of freeze-dried phlegm. Oh, the horror, the horror....I grabbed a bag of regular disgusting beef jerky, paid for it, and ran before I could no longer resist the urge to scream.
     
  14. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    When I got back to my room, the light was blinking on the phone. I almost didn't check the message because I figured it was the usual one from housekeeping that you get when you leave the Do Not Disturb sign on your door. It wasn't.

    Instead it was someone from Customer Service. After the incident with being stuck at the Malfunctioning Slot That Time Forgot, I'd ended up contacting Customer Service via their website because the more I thought about it, the more PO'd I'd gotten.

    Since it was after hours when I did that and a weekend to boot, I hadn't really expected to hear back but that's who the call was from. He left a very nice apology, which was really all I'd wanted. Well, if they'd said they wanted to give me free stays for the rest of my life, that would have been great but it did seem a bit much.

    For supper that evening, I walked across the street to Four Queens and got the prime rib special at Magnolia's. It was pretty good and only about $13, including the drink.

    I was feeling pretty perky after that so I decided to try my luck at the slots and settled in at the Twilight Zone machine. I put in $20, which promptly disappeared into the Twilight Zone. Just as I was about to bottom out, I hit the wheel bonus and bounced back up to $20.45. WOOHOO! Hey, Big Spender!

    I cashed out and put my big win into a Buffalo slot. Sadly, the buffalo were apparently miffed not to be picked first and I walked away with a big ticket for 21 cents.

    I cashed it in then made my way back home, somehow managing not to strut as those coins jingled jauntily in my pocket. Since my luck was running so well, I put $40 into a Ruby Slippers machine. I can't say the slippers were a good fit but Gilda showed up with a bunch of wilds and brought me back up to $35. I took the money and ran to a Buffalo machine.

    Alas, the buffalo here were also miffed at being chosen second. I was taunted by getting just enough decent spins to raise my pathetic hopes. Unfortunately, the buffalo giveth and they taketh away. I was further taunted by continually getting two out of the three coins needed to hit the free spins. They're a good slot but, damn, they do tend to be delicate little flowers about perceived slights.

    I finally cashed out with a whomping 47 cents and walked away with as much dignity as I could muster. I might have carried that off better if I hadn't left my card in the slot and gotten jerked back when the cord connecting me to the card reached its maximum length. My last remaining shreds of dignity melted away when I removed the card, only to have it try to leap to its death to escape me. I'm not sure how I achieved this but somehow I managed to have the cord wrap itself around the chair bottom, which took longer than you'd think to undo.

    But my luck wasn't totally gone. As I was leaving, I passed a machine where some high roller had left a ticket for 2 cents. Some people, apparently, are too good to cash in such a piddly ticket. I am not such a person.

    Stoked by my new riches, I swaggered over to Rocky Mountain Chocolates and got some more amaretto truffles. Ah, the good life....

    Back in the room, my dignity took yet another hit when I realized that the pants I'd been wearing all day had a hole in the crotch. Just when I thought I couldn't be more proud!

    Luckily, one of the things I had overpacked was a little travel sewing kit. Unluckily, I really suck at sewing. Still, while it wasn't pretty, it did do the job of fixing said hole and I figured the odds of anyone looking that closely at my crotch were poor so I didn't much care--and if they did look, well, it served them right. So there.

    Having had enough high class excitement for one day, I soothed myself with some truffles, vegged out a bit, and called it a night.
     
  15. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Sunday, 11/23

    I did the sleep/wake up/sleep/ wake thing until about 10 AM before finally joining the vertical world. I gathered up my stuff and packed while watching a Law & Order marathon, as is my tradition. I then rewarded my industriousness by walking down to Pizza Rock for one last slice before leaving downtown.

    That had me feeling so festive that I called down to the desk and got an extra hour on my checkout time, giving me till 1 PM before I had to leave.

    I was really pretty much done with my preparations so I was just killing time. I'd mainly asked for the late checkout to increase my odds of being able to get into my room when I got to New York New York. I considered going down to play one last time but decided to save my money for when I got to the new hotel.

    At 1, I gathered my stuff and headed out. I'd been planning to take the bus like I usually do but there were a lot of people waiting at the stop. I debated with myself for about 30 seconds before deciding that I just couldn't face having to stand while wrangling my overstuffed suitcase on that long bus ride to the strip.

    Despite the several clunkers in my slot play last night, I'd come out up enough to splurge on a cab so I made my geezerly way past the bus stop and onward to the cabs parked behind it.

    As I drew near, I realized that what I'd thought was the first cab was actually a car marked as belonging to the Transportation Authority or something like that. The guy was out of his car and talking to the driver of the cab parked behind him. I couldn't hear what they were saying but neither looked happy so I just kept on going to the third car and hoped the driver wouldn't try to take me to NYNY by way of, well, NYC.

    He didn't and the fare was less than I'd feared, between $24 and 25. There was a line at the registration desk but it was moving along tolerably well. The woman behind me was there with her mom, a first trip for both, so we talked some and I suggested some places they might want to check out.

    Then it was my turn and minutes later I was on my way to the Century Tower, 31st floor, room 3119. My feet were happy to see that I wasn't too far from the elevator. Every step I don't have to take is a triumph by this stage of my trip.

    I had two queen beds. I forgot to write down the pillow count but I had enough to make me happy. There was a desk with a computer chair, two soft chairs with a small round table and a standing lamp between them, and an armoire with dresser drawers and TV.

    The bathroom, to my surprise, had both a tub and a shower. On the sink counter was a metal ice bucket, which brought joy to my heart since, unlike the usual plastic ones, it actually keeps ice cold enough for it to remain ice. It takes so little to make me happy.

    I could even see some of the strip from my window--Monte Carlo, Aria, Cosmo, Planet Hollywood, and the Rio, off to the side. It was all very shiny at night. I love NYNY.

    Having taken inventory of my room, I went down to try my luck at the casino. Sadly, I was tried and found wanting. I took the meager remains of my wagers and set out to find the deli for my traditional Welcome Back pastrami.

    The casino floor had changed quite a bit from last year and it took a bit to get my bearings. I eventually did find my way and then made my weary way back to the room. After the sandwich, I watched the new episode of Walking Dead and then celebrated with a nap.

    When I rejoined the conscious world, I headed back down and gave the buffalo a try again. They were more gracious this time and I walked away $90 up. I promptly lost most of it to the Walking Dead and the Stones (Yes, these are actually two separate entities, even if Keith Richards does seem a little iffy.), keeping only $20 for my shredded dignity.

    I wandered around for a while, looking in stores. I considered going over to Excalibur but decided it would be a better idea to get a frozen pina colada and a soft pretzel to take back to the room. It was a good choice.
     
  16. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Monday 11/24

    I decided to head over to Excalibur while my feet were still being relatively cooperative. I was on a mission of benevolence, hunting for presents for Duncan and my friend Jan.

    I gathered up the trash and set it near the door, along with a note for Housekeeping to please dump the trash and restock the bathroom and to just leave the rest of the room as it was.

    My legs started whining at me before I even made it off the bridge. I swear, those humps in the overhead walkway between NYNY and Excalibur get longer and steeper every year. To my happy surprise, at least the moving walkway was actually working.

    I got on the elevator to the second floor to check out the shops. My first stop was a (mostly) $10 store where I found a pair of the kind of sunglasses Duncan likes. That was one errand taken care of but I didn't see anything sufficiently Jan-like.

    I then set out to find the store with all the dragon figurines. Duncan likes them and I was hoping to get one for him for Christmas. It wasn't where I was thinking it was and I was starting to think it must be gone when I finally saw the Dragon's Lair sign. After looking around, I settled on a figurine I thought he'd like and make my weary way back.

    I dropped off my packages and decided I had enough energy left to go downstairs to play a bit. The machines showed no real love for me but I got enough play to keep going for a while.

    I was starting to feel pretty hungry by then. I'd originally planned to use some of my remaining Total Rewards points for lunch but I was pretty tired and my feet were saying very ugly things to me so I ended up getting some fish and chips to take back to my room. With the drink, it came to right at $13. It was pretty good but on the greasy side.

    I celebrated with a nice nap. Tonight I was planning to use the third of my My Vegas rewards, the supper buffet at Bellagio. I was sitting there in a post-nap glaze, trying to work up the energy to get dressed and head out, when the phone rang.It was Housekeeping wanting to know when they could service the room. I was a bit puzzled since I hadn't had the Do Not Disturb sign out but I told them that now was fine.

    I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and on the way, noticed I'd put the deadbolt on the door, which was probably why they hadn't come in earlier. When the maid arrived, she knocked so softly that it was easy to see why her previous attempt hadn't roused me from my stupor. I barely heard her while wide awake and near the door.

    I let her in and told her all I really wanted was the trash taken and the bathroom restocked but she was a go-getter and I could hear her giving the bathroom a good cleaning as well.

    It was around 5 by the time I showered, dressed, and headed back out into the shiny, shiny world. I took the bus up to the Planet Hollywood stop, then backtracked my way to the Walgreens next to it. As is always the way in Vegas, it was more of a hike than I remembered it being.

    Having restocked on my Vitamin N, I turned back toward Planet Hollywood until I reached the intersection where I could cross over to Bellagio. I thought I remembered pretty well how long and steep the walk up the driveway was but I was wrong. It was (Surprise!) longer and steeper. Luckily, my feet and legs kept up a lively running commentary every step of the way to keep me occupied.

    Once I finally made it inside, I headed over to the M Life counter to redeem my buffet reward. There was a bit of a line but it wasn't uphill so my lower extremities kept their commentary down to a low rumble.

    They don't give you a voucher anymore. Instead, they just load the information on your players card and you give it to the cashier. Being from Generation Geezer, I kind of prefer having something I can actually see but I roll with the times. I was told I could get in the VIP line, something that always perks me up, so I jauntily gimped my way over that way.

    I wanted to see Faberge collection at the gallery and since it closed before the buffet did, I figured to do that first. Continuing my theme, it was a whole lot further away than I remembered it being. I somehow managed to ignore the wicked whisperings of my feet who suggested I steal a wheelchair, although that plan got increasingly tempting as I reached the fourteenth mile of my journey.

    I finally got there, paid my $15, and went in. There weren't a lot of other people there at that time but the collection was beautiful. There were the expected Faberge eggs but also some decorative boxes, bits of jewelry, photos, and furniture. Sadly, no photographs were permitted.

    Afterwards, I made the long trek in reverse to get to the buffet. The line was huge. There were three lanes available. The longest was the one for the common folk, my usual lane. The furthest lane was promisingly empty but it was for people exiting the buffet.

    The middle lane wasn't labeled but I figured, by process of elimination, that it had to be the fabled VIP line. Apparently a lot of P are VI because it was pretty freaking long as well. Not as long as the other line but still impressively long. Neither line was moving much, although the VIP line was moving fractionally faster than the other one. My aching feet passed the time by whining the song of their people. It was a long song.

    Several months later it was finally my turn to step up to the registers. There was no problem redeeming the reward loaded on my card. Now I just had to wait again in a shorter line until a hostess took me to a table.

    The food was good, although I don't think it was quite as good as last year. I'll go back again but I'll probably just stick with the lunch buffet like I usually do or, at most, try to sneak in under the wire to in order to get supper while it's still at lunch prices. I don't think I'll pick it as one of my rewards again though. There are better values for the points and that line pass didn't save a whole lot of time or aggravation.

    Afterwards, I headed toward the Conservatory. I stopped along the way to play a few slots, mainly to get a chance to sit down a bit. No spectacular results but the sitting down part was always a winner. The winning feeling stopped when I realized that I had somehow ended up circling back around until I'm back by the buffet again. My feet had some very colorful things to say about that but I'll spare you the details. I'll just say that it was ugly. Very ugly.

    Once I actually got to the Conservatory, it was, as always, very pretty with lots to look at. When I left there, I looked at some of the shops in the area and at the fancy bakery but what really caught and tempted my eye was the cab stand. I resisted the temptations and made my way outside to head to the bus stop.

    It was almost time for the fountain show so I stopped. As I waited, I tried to ignore my cranky feet and concentrate on remembering where the bus stop was. I saw a bus slow and stop, making a mental note of the location just as the show started.

    The show was Singing In The Rain, which was very nice. When it ended, I plodded my way toward the strip. At least this way it was downhill. My feet kept urging me to just drop down and roll my way down the driveway but I ignored them.

    I turned in the direction of where I had seen the bus stopping and started walking. There was much walking but no bus stop. When I realize that I'm across the street from the Sugar Factory at Paris, my Evil Brain finally wakes up from its long nap and reminds me that the bus stop is actually there by where I crossed over from Planet Hollywood.

    That, of course, is WAAAAAAAAAAAY back in the opposite direction. As I'm wondering if I just hallucinated seeing the bus stop, my Evil Brain figures out that the bus was stopping because of traffic, not because it was at an actual bus stop. My Evil Brain actually starts giggling then. My feet begin plotting ways to kick my brain to death and I'm having trouble finding reasons to try to stop them from doing just that.

    I manage not to cuss (at least not very loudly) as I head back the way I had come. Another fountain show started so I stopped to watch. This one was Luck Be A Lady. It was good but I liked Singing In The Rain better, despite the Clockwork Orange association.

    Two, maybe three, decades later, I finally make it to the stop but by now I've remembered that I need to get more cokes. I so very much don't want to walk any extra but I'm out and I really need some Pepper goodness. My feet agree to it, only because they need the caffeine in order to have the energy to kill my Evil Brain.

    On the bright side, Walgreens actually had Cherry Diet Dr Pepper, my personal favorite, so I grabbed some of those. My quest of the last several years to find a replacement of the cigarette case I'd lost so long ago had once again been fruitless. While I was there, I officially give up and got a small yet tacky souvenir bag sort of thing to use instead.

    Purchases in hand, I slowly shuffled back outside, trying hard not to look like a zombie as I debate whether I should get off the bus at Monte Carlo or Excalibur. Either one involves a lot more walking than I want to do. Frankly, walking out of Walgreens involved more walking than I wanted to do.

    It was at this point that I said the hell with it and decided to take a cab. Cruelly, there was no cab stand at Walgreens so I trudged over to Planet Hollywood and tried very hard not to get lost.

    I passed the Earl of Sandwich on the way so I got a ham and cheese sandwich to take back for later. The chance to sit down while I waited was a huge selling point in that decision. I paid with my points, giving myself the illusion of having gotten it for free while also not dipping into my taxi funds.

    I couldn't remember exactly where to go to get to the PH registration desk and therefore the cab stand so I asked for directions. To my weary delight, I was actually very close and managed to get myself there without getting lost.

    There wasn't a line to get a cab so I was on my way to NYNY pretty quickly. I had a nice driver and the fare was only $10. Well worth it!

    I used the last of my energy to drag myself up to my room, kick off my shoes, and drop on the bed where I vegged out as I watched my feet throb. Good times. That kind of excitement really takes it out of you and soon I crashed into a coma.
     
  17. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Tuesday, 11/25

    Alas, it's Departure Day. For once I didn't get stuck with a morning flight so I had until 2:20 before my plane was scheduled to leave.

    I roused from my coma around 3 AM and stayed awake long enough to eat my sandwich and do some packing. Of course, you can't keep up that kind of whirlwind excitement for long so I found myself crashing again pretty soon.

    I roused again at 6:30 and decided to head down for a last go at the slots. I pressed the button for the elevators but nothing happened. I could hear cars moving but nothing was stopping. This went on for quite a long time, long enough that I was starting to get flashbacks to the Elevators of the Damned at the D.

    At long last, a car finally stopped. I kind of held my breath as I got on but the ride down was mercifully uneventful. Unfortunately, the slots were also uneventful and my intended last hurrah was more of a "Yeah, whatever". I did get a chocolate croissant that was pretty damn good though.

    I head back up to my room to finish packing. Happily, the elevators seem to have gotten over their shyness and are working in a wonderfully predictable and dull way. I celebrate by calling down and getting an extra hour for checkout time.

    Around 9, I head back down, ignoring those uppity slots in favor of checking out some of the shops. I stop in SOHO to see if they have anything for my friend Jan. She loves vivid oranges, greens, and leopard print but I've had a weirdly difficult time finding anything right for her so far this trip. If Vegas doesn't get off this trend of pretending to be high class and tasteful, I'm going to have to start ordering her presents from Ebay.

    Almost literally at the last minute, however, I find a bright orange purse, a leopard print flat wallet, and some drop earrings with stones of orange and green. That takes care of Christmas and her birthday.

    I headed upstairs and looked around. I remembered seeing some compact mirrors with shiny Vegas skylines on the cover that I wanted to get as souvenirs for my two best friends, Jan and Robin. I found some in one store but they were more than I really cared to spend but then found them in that kiosk across from Nathan's at a price that fit my end-of-trip budget.

    On the way back to my room, I strolled into I Love NYNY (and I do!) and picked up an overpriced cheap lighter with the NYNY emblem on the side. Coming from there, I found a slot machine, Jewels of Africa, that I'd had a lot of luck with when playing online. Better late than never, I settle in to play. I turned $20 into $50 and then back into $20 again. Least impressive magic trick ever!

    Back in my room, I showered and finished up the last of the packing. In the process, I found a coupon they were passing out the night before for a free appetizer with the purchase of an entree at Chin Chin. I decide to head down there and see if it would apply to a to-go order. The manager okays it so I order some broccoli beef and pan fried potstickers. It took about 20 minutes, which left me cutting my time pretty close.

    Back in my room for the last time, I changed back into my PJ top (Hey, I told you I'm a messy eater), spread a big towel over my lap and dig in. I really wished I wasn't under a time constraint because it was HOT.

    It was pretty good but I think $17 is kind of a lot for an order of broccoli beef. Still, when I pretended that price included the potstickers, I felt like I'd gotten a real bargain.

    I changed back into my going-out-in-public shirt, do one last final check for things I'd forgotten, and, with a heavy sigh, I'm out of there. I considered pausing to give the buffalo one last go but decide they had their chance and blew it. Yeah, I showed them who was boss alright.

    I get in a cab and the driver is very chatty. He seems to take longer than seems necessary to get off the NYNY property so I'm watching him. Sure enough, he turns the wrong way and the next thing I know, I'm saying, "Tell me you are NOT trying to take the highway to get me to airport!"

    He looks startled and starts trying to tell me that he HAS to go that way. I tell him that no one in all the times I've been here has ever had to go that way and that I know that the fare from NYNY is roughly $15 and I'm not paying more than that.

    He then tries to say they have to go that way for the next two years because of construction on....He must have seen something on my face because the sentence kind of mumbled out and he makes a U turn just as I'm asking "You're saying you CAN'T take Tropicana?".

    He countered by saying that he was on Tropicana, to which I add, "Yes, but now you're headed in the right direction on it". There's no further conversation the rest of the way. The fare came to $14 and change. I started to ask for change because of the long haul attempt but didn't want to have to jack with coins when going through security so he did get a very tiny tip.

    I did make sure he saw I wrote down his information. I had intended to contact the Taxi Authority but I ended up forgetting about it by the time it wouldn't be inconvenient to me.

    Speaking of security, my annoyance with Long Haul Boy lessened when I got sent to the pre-checked line. Not only did I get to keep my shoes on but I didn't have to open up my laptop case and didn't have to take off my jacket. Now that's living!

    I have no idea why I got these favors because I've never applied to get the certification thing to get to skip the annoyances. If I had the money to spare, I'd consider it because it sure was nice.

    The trip home was uneventful. I had time to hit the bathroom before boarding so I didn't have to squeeze my mass into the micro-john during the flight. I'd offered to take a cab home from the airport but luckily Keith and Robin are very nice people and insisted they'd pick me up.

    I always hate to leave Vegas but I have to say my trip home was (outside of Long Haul Boy) probably the easiest one ever.
     
  18. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Really enjoyed your TR - I can relate to the feet - last trip I was miserable. Although I should have brought more comfortable shoes - since then I have bought some skechers relaxed fit - that I love. and for really pounding the pavement I got some Gravity Defyers - really happy with both - I am on my feet at work fo 12 hours non stop - I think I have found my HG for now. I used to swear by Dansko and Saucony but I had to make a switch.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  19. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,590
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    I really enjoy reading your trip reports, thanks for sharing! Your attention to detail, along with your witty humor is riveting.

    Hope your feet are better and am looking forward to your next trip report! Thanks again. :wave:
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  20. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,289
    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    SpinyNorma, I love your sense of humor! Even your name makes me laugh; I kept hoping your TR would never end!

    Thanks for sharing. Your report was so much fun to read and full of information.
     
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