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Blonde Trips Again

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Blonde_4_ever, Sep 2, 2006.

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  1. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,817
    Location:
    Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    35

    My Trip Report

    Destination: VEGAS!
    Date of trip: Aug.22 to Aug.30, 2006
    Traveling companion: My son Mike




    Day 1

    BLONDE TRIPS AGAIN

    From the minute I returned home from my May trip to Vegas my son has been “putting the screws†to me about taking him again this summer. He had enjoyed his first visit so much in July 2005 that he was dying to go again. I told myself that it was crazy to go back again so soon, but he had his heart set on it, and he starts college after Labour Day, so it was now or never. So, with him twisting my arm the whole way (yeah, right!) we traveled back to Vegas, just he and I. He is an excellent traveling companion. The only time he balked at anything was when I tried to take him to high places, but more about that later.

    DISCLAIMER!!!
    There will be underage drinking mentioned in this report. (again) If this is going to send you into some kind of moral snit-fit…STOP READING! We already established last summer that I am not doing anything illegal by giving my offspring a beer….so chill.


    Tuesday August 22
    I will spare you the travel details as it was uneventful. We got to the airport 3 hours early to allow time for border or security backups….but there were none. Arrived in Vegas on time at 10:35 AM. Was at TI by 11:30 and Oh! The excitement! I got to use the “Invited Guest†check in for the first time. I am a Big Shot now…lol! We got the best view I have ever had from a room in Vegas looking South strip.
    We grabbed a cab down to Caesar’s as we were starving and I wanted to try the Palm’s Businessman lunch. I expected it to be a little fancier, I guess, but the food was very good. For 18 dollars you get a salad and an entrée. Mike was adventurous this trip and kept trying foods he had never ordered before. I had the steak and he had the salmon and we shared. He was surprised at how good salmon was. (Why does he think I order it all the time!)
    We wandered around Caesar’s till we found the Seahorse lounge where there was a small LVTalk meet. I was worried that the lounge staff would ask questions about Mike (he is 18) but no one did. It is always fun to get to know a few new members, although this meet couldn’t match the excitement of that huge meet in May! I had hoped to see more of you but I enjoyed meeting all who did make it!

    [​IMG]

    After the meet I decided to do something that I thought would probably be a mistake, and it was. We went to Circus Circus to check out the Adventuredome. My son remarked, “The clientele is different here than at Caesar’s…†(Ya think?) It was interesting to see it again as I haven’t been there since 1991. It wasn’t THAT bad…really.

    Our real reason for going there was because I had purchased the 3 day Power Pass from home, so in an effort to get “our money’s worth†we wanted to try and see as much as we could wedge in. The Power Pass was on special, 3 days for the price of 2, so I ended up spending about 190.00 for the both of us. However, after circling the Adventuredome once we could see that there was nothing there that appealed to an 18 year old so we did not activate our Power Passes that day.
    We walked out on the Strip to look around as we are not used to being down at that end of things. Mike remembered a Cheap Store (Ross) that he had gotten some good deals in last summer so we walked down that way so that he could hit that store again. Arms laden with purchases we stumbled across a large liquor store where we stocked up on some supplies. We each cracked open a cold beer and wandered down to TI in a classic Las Vegas moment. Mike remarked, “ It is so strange to be walking down the strip in Vegas drinking beer with my mom.â€

    Back at TI we rested a bit. We were running on about 2 hours sleep but we couldn’t sit still so we went down to Harrah’s for the Improv Comedy show. Back to TI by 10pm. Mike went up to bed and I went to gamble. Got my freeplay from the Slot club and made it last on a VP machine at the Breeze Bar for about 2 hours. Then I came across an agreeable Dollar (!) Blazing Seven and actually went back to the room UP on that first night!
    Here we are at Harrah's....hot, sweaty, exhausted....but HAPPY to be in Vegas!

    [​IMG]

    Weds. August 23
    Included in the Power Pass was a Hoover Dam tour. I have been before but I thought it might be interesting for Mike to see, so we activated our Power Passes this morning with that tour. This was called the Hoover Dam Tour Company and there seemed to be a fair amount of confusion and hold ups, but eventually we were on our way. As we were driving on the highway the driver pulled over and announced that he had to re-start the bus. What the heck kind of bus just STOPS as you are driving along??? That kind of worried me. When we got to the dam there was another problem. Apparently there are State Troopers stationed at the beginning and the end of the top of the dam. Some loser had decided that it was a good idea to race past the guards so they had just shut the gates and caught him at the other end. Idiot….This whole scenario was playing out in front of the busload of tourists. The guy waving his arms, the girlfriend yelling, the cops and the handcuffs. Very interesting….but we had to wait a while to get thru. When we finally did get thru, the elevators were supposedly “down†that day, so I had paid $30 extra dollars for a “tour†that consisted of watching a movie and going up to the observation deck. Mike didn’t want to get too close to the edge so I am not sure he appreciated the view from up there.

    We spent most of our time eating some snacks REALLY SLOWLY trying to kill time. Back in the bus and on to Ethel M’s to buy some of those lovely chocolate caramel apples. Mike ended up loving these as much as I do. Although this was advertised as a 4 hour tour, we left at 9:30 and didn’t get back to the strip until 3:30, so I hopped out at the first stop which turned out to be the Tropicana. I had had quite enough of that bus, thank you. I figured since we were down at the South end I would try to get Carrot Top tickets for that night. I know he is at the half price places sometimes, but I just didn’t have the time or energy to get over to them that day. So I ended up paying full price which was around $120 for two.

    Next we called a cab and went down to Liberace Museum. It was another thing I have always intended to do but never did because it wasn’t on the strip. This was also part of the Power Pass. I am obsessed with all things sparkly…so I enjoyed his museum. Mike bought a KING OF BLING T-shirt.

    I had purchased a $25 certificate from Restaurant.com for Carluccio’s which is Liberace’s restaurant in behind the museum. He supposedly haunts it. (Didn’t see him…) Mike and I had Shrimp Parmesan and it was very tasty and a great value with the coupon.
    It took eons to get a cab to take us back to the Luxor but we finally made it. We went to see the King Tut’s tomb exhibit. (Power Pass again) Very brief but interesting.
    Carrot Top’s Show was one of the highlight’s of our trip and our favorite show that we saw this time. Mike was looking at the pictures of him that are all over Luxor saying “That’s not him. He is skinny!†I was able to correct him from info that I had learned on this board. Carrot Top is not skinny anymore! From the neck down he is gorgeous. (Sorry…but he is a funny looking fella from the neck up) But what a high energy, great show! Go see him!
    We were parched by the time the show let out so we grabbed some beer and did my very favorite thing to do in Vegas…..just wandered all the way down the strip, sipping beer, observing the people, watching the fountains, glorying in the lights! We made it back to TI where I tried to repeat the success of the first night, but did not succeed.

    Thursday August 24
    We started our day by visiting the Secret Garden again. (Power Pass) There can never be enough visiting of cute animals for me. Cabbed down to Aladdin for our Commander’s Palace lunch specials. I was excited to show this place to Mike. I have been raving about it for months. I made sure Mike wore a collared shirt and dress shorts and since I never did ascertain what the proper footwear would be for this outfit, he just wore his running shoes and we prayed they wouldn’t throw us out because of it. But they showed us to a table, improperly dressed or not. The big room with the poufy ceiling feature was closed for construction so we couldn’t sit there unfortunately. We had appetizers and we both ordered some kind of sausage stew. It was very spicy and although it was good, I could only eat about a third of it. Mike wolfed down every morsel on his plate. (He apparently likes spicy food) So he ended up enjoying the entrée even more than I did. I tried raspberry and chocolate martini’s which were both yummy. We finished up with some sort of banana cake that was just heavenly.

    Now pay attention here…here comes the important part…the great things you learn from this board. I had purchased a $25 certificate from Restaurant.com BEFORE they came out with the $10 lunch ones. I didn’t feel like buying anymore certificates. Also, I remembered reading in someone’s Trip Report that CP had accepted the $25 dollar at lunch…even though it is clearly marked dinner. So when the waiter brought me the bill I asked if I could use it and he said “I will have to ask my managerâ€. I was thinking to myself, “ It doesn’t hurt to ask….all they can do is say no…and they probably will.†But no, the waiter put the bill down with a flourish and the grand total for that fabulous meal was. $15.22!!!! Mike asked why I was smiling at the bill and I told him I would explain later. He couldn’t believe what an amazing meal we enjoyed for the same price as eating at McDonald’s! So CP has a new convert now for sure.

    Next I had to visit my favorite store Shemoni in the Desert Passage Mall and buy a new necklace in peach tones this time. (Those people must LOVE me!)

    We crossed the street to Bellagio to see the Ansel Adam’s show at the Gallery. (Power Pass) I was admiring their pools out the window so I suggested we try to get back to TI for a swim before they started the pool party at 6 pm. The swim refreshed us so we walked over to Venetian and did Madame Tussaud’s again. More photo op’s. Mike just loves posing with those figures for some reason. (Power Pass) We tried to do the Guggenheim but it had closed early. (PP as well)

    [​IMG]

    It was around 8 pm by now and I had a food comp coming to me so we went and had the buffet at Mirage. (Apparently when you have a food comp from TI you are suppose to eat at TI but they comped it anyhow, thank goodness.)
    To finish up the night we went to the Legends show at IP. The whole thing is great but the Temptation’s act STEALS the show!!! (Of course, growing up in Detroit’s back yard…Motown is all we heard. The Big 8 was in Windsor.) So Mike and I really enjoyed that show. We both agreed that we think Steve Connolly is a better Elvis than their Elvis. But he is good too. We ended the evening the same way every night. Mike went up to the room and I tried to catch some lucks with the slots. Tonight I came up about even.

    Friday August 25
    Today we checked out of TI and moved downtown to the Fitz. I know, I know. I am doing things backwards. You should stay in the worst place first and move up. However we wanted to be downtown for Friday and Saturday nights so this is how it had to be. I got the room for $51 dollars a night so I thought that was a good deal. As everyone else has said, the Fitz isn’t fancy but it will do. It seemed clean enough and I had no problems with the elevators.
    After we got our room assignment I asked Mike if he wanted to do the Star Trek thing because we still had another day on our Power Pass and also I had a two for one coupon for the Hilton’s buffet. So that is what we ended up doing. We both think their buffet is excellent. I think the Star Trek stuff is lame but it was mildly amusing for an hour.
    It was around 2pm by this time so we cabbed over to Harrah’s to see the Mac King show. Mike had not seen him and I knew he would enjoy it and he did. I love the face Mac makes when he does he whole “Cloak of Invisibility Actâ€. LOL!
    We returned to Fitzgerald’s and rested for a bit. I had free tickets to see Steve Connolly so we did that and enjoyed it. We shared a football of Strawberry Daiquiri while roaming the streets listening to the bands and watching the light shows.
    Mike went up to bed around 11 pm and I tried gambling at the Fitz but was having no luck so I walked across the street to the Fremont. BOY! Am I glad I did! I got on a happy little quarter Blazing Seven that just went on fire for me. Not only did I get the Blazings ($400) but I had the credits on that machine up to 1800 which is almost unheard of anymore! I played it down to around 1400 then cashed out. As I was walking out I passed a dollar Blazing Seven that was calling to me. So I gave it a few pulls and on the third pull I had turned $100 into $300. Cashed out and scampered back to our room. I was really pleased with downtown that night…let me tell you.
    Saturday August 26
    I told Mike that I just had to visit Main Street Station because I have heard so much about it and am I ever glad I went. We were in awe…literally. What a gem that place is. The place itself is just gorgeous, especially if you like “old thingsâ€. I love the dark woodwork, the tin ceilings, the beautiful light fixtures. And my goodness, that buffet room! I think that is the prettiest room I have ever seen. People were giving me weird looks because instead of concentrating on the food…I was running around taking pictures of the room. And the meal wasn’t bad either. We LOVED it here and I will definitely be back!

    We didn’t have much planned for today so we shopped for souvenirs and then went to Neonopolis to see World Trade Center at 4 pm. (Good movie, by the way) Bought Larry G Jones tickets as he is about the only other show playing downtown and spent the evening doing the same things as the night before. I wasn’t able to repeat my luck of the night before but my money sure lasted a lot longer. (I am a fan of the Fremont now.)

    [​IMG]

    When I got back to the room my son had apparently had a encounter with a lady of the evening (We think). For some unknown reason I kept losing the Fitz room key. So when someone knocked on the door at 2:30AM he thought I was me forgetting my room key again. I guess he has never realized that hotel doors have peepholes so he just opened it to a young attractive girl who asked him where to find a certain room. This freaked me out of course. I was afraid to go to sleep for fear it was some criminal checking out the occupants of our room in order to try something later. Nothing else happened but it was an odd occurrence. No hotel security checking keys at the Fitz , unfortunately…..

    Sunday August 27
    We checked out of our room but left our luggage at the bell desk because I wanted to visit the Fremont buffet with yet another 2 for 1 this morning. After a very nice meal I stood up, stretched and felt for my money belt around my waist and realized that it was back at the Fitz…underneath the mattress!! So we tore back over to the same girl who had both checked me in and out and I told her I HAD to get back in the room NOW. I guess she could tell by my tone that I was worried and she said I had to tell her what I had left there and she would send a manager to take care of it. So we spent a few anxious moments waiting for my money belt that contained traveler’s cheques ,cash and ID to be returned to me. We figured I would get it back all right because only one person could have come into contact with it and that was the maid. Luckily she was honest and it all turned out right in the end. Whew!!! The stupid things you do when you are only getting about 4 hours sleep, eh?

    After that bit of excitement we moved over to MGM for our last 3 nights. Got a nice, cool room in the Grand Towers facing NYNY. We walked over to the Trop to Bodies…the Exhibit. It was interesting but the shock value wears off quickly and the bodies all start looking the same after a while. It is definitely something to see though. We rested from 4 to 6 then we bought Louie Anderson tickets. ($105 for two) I enjoyed his show but it is a very different, low key kind of humour. Both Mike and I agreed that you come away after the show feeling sorry for him, which is kind of a strange way to feel after a comedy show.

    I had been dying to show Mike the view from Voodoo but the only way to accomplish this was to have dinner there. (He is too young for the lounge) So we cabbed over to see if they could work us in and they did. I was thinking you could appreciate the view from inside the restaurant but actually the windows are very darkly tinted and you must really go out on the balcony to see the view. I had to do quite a bit of coaxing to get Mike out on that balcony for a second. Personally I would love to just sit out there for hours…I just have to find someone who loves the view as much as I do to do it with! We both ate the stuffed Blue Crab and cheese thingie and loved it. OMG! SO GOOD!!

    When we came down from Voodoo they were just starting a Show in the Sky. I tried to talk Mike into going on the floats with me …but I guess one “high thing†a night was his limit.
    Went back to MGM where I proceeded to have nothing but bad luck. On other trips I have always had a bit of luck at MGM but not this time.

    Monday August 28
    Well, we are on our second to last day and we haven’t hit the Cheesecake Factory yet so we decided that that needed to be rectified immediately. Went down to the Forum and split a Bacon and shrimp sandwich and Mike ordered Peanut Butter and I ordered Toblerone cheesecake which was AWESOME as usual. Once again I observed the same thing I always do about that restaurant. I love the food and the atmosphere is nice, but it has to be the noisiest restaurant EVER! It must be something to do with the design I guess. All you can hear is clanging silverware and dishes.

    Walked over to Bellagio’s to see another fountain show. Hit a a few more stores and bought Mike a Scarface shirt. He actually got a couple on this trip. He is a HUGE AL fan…….Went back to MGM for a rest then over to Mandalay Bay for Mamma Mia. I saw this before I thought Mike would enjoy it. He did like it but only recognized three songs. I thought he would know more of them. He knew almost all of Queen’s songs from We Will Rock You.

    After the show I wanted to do my favorite activity again so we took off walking the strip. Made it down to Casino Royale and them cabbed back to MGM. Since MGM slots were being unkind to me I decided to try Monte Carlo since I have never played there before. It is an attractive place but I had no love from them either.

    Tuesday August 29

    Our last day. Decisions, decisions…..where should our last meal be? We find that we can only manage one big meal a day…and then some kind of snack later at night. I finally decided on the Paris buffet as I have never been and (wait for it) I have a coupon! Buffet was as amazing as expected. Walked over to Desert Passage and bought tickets to the Popovich Animal Show. It was cute….a good way to kill an hour.
    Back to MGM where we had tickets for KA that night. Now...I know I said I would never do another Cirque, but I wanted to give my son the opportunity to see one and also I thought maybe I shouldn’t judge them all by one show. I must say I enjoyed this show more than Mystere, but it is not because of the performers. I still find a lot of what they do pretty much incomprehensible. As others have said…the STAGE itself is the star of this show. And it is truly visually stunning, no question. Mike thought it was good…but over priced. (200 for two)
    We needed a snack after the show so I used some coupons to get two for one hotdogs and two for one ice cream. Tried gambling for a short while at the EX but they had gotten rid of my favorite machine. (Darn them) Was back in the room in time to watch Carrot Top on Leno that night. We had to get up early to fly home.
    Flight home was smooth and peaceful but all hell broke loose when we touched down. I had been told by Spirit Air that we would leave from Smith terminal and return to Berry terminal. Wrong…wrong…wrong….. They gave me the wrong information which I passed on to my husband who was picking us up. Husband is not a patient man who takes things in stride. On the contrary, I knew he would be blowing a gasket somewhere because we weren’t where I said we would be. The fact that it isn’t my fault seems to escape him. Anyhow…we spent the next hour running from terminal to terminal trying to find each other. We finally connected and made it home safely. A yucky end to a wonderful trip.

    In conclusion I must comment that although we did get our money’s worth out of the Power Pass. (About $340 for the $190 I paid) I don’t think I would do it again because I don’t enjoy the time constraints of having to cram everything into 3 days. (Or however many days you purchased it for. ) I would much prefer it if you did not have to use it on 3 consecutive days. If you could start and stop it, it would be more pleasurable, I think.

    So, I am once again in the sad condition of having not knowing when I will be back. The definition of depression must be NO T-TIME!
    Until the next time I remain…..Blonde4ever
     
  2. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Excellent TR Blonde...sounds like you and your son had a great time. I can relate to your trip (2 close together) planning.... we just went in July and I started planning for late Sept as soon as I got back.. why not I say? :) Get your calendar out and start researching those flights and room prices.... you know you want to! :)
     
  3. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

    Joined:
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    Thanks Dean!


    Yes...of course I would like to start planning again immediately....but I think I had better lie low for awhile! :)
     
  4. xizor

    xizor Tourist

    Joined:
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    :eek: :confused2:

    You sure do know how to tease. I was just skimming your report looking at the
    pictures when my eye caught the line above, so I had to go back and read the entire thing after that. This should have been the title to your report.
     
  5. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    BTW...after seeing your photo's and some in depth analysis, I'm thinking the guy you ran into at the Mermaids last trip was right on... "not a day over 35" :)
     
  6. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

    Joined:
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    AAwww...what a sweet thing to say to an old woman.:) And you even remember my last report! Amazing!
     
  7. paulalovesvegas

    paulalovesvegas Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Messages:
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    Location:
    oklahoma
    I love going back so soon

    You sound just like me.. I went in July (4th) with my family and we had a good time , this was the first trip I had anyone go other than my hubby and myself.. but it was fun and other than losing the rental car keys and IP having them the whole time,,,,, I won 2500.00 on ELvis quarter slot... but I still didnt have the fun that I have when its just doug and myself... so I decide that since I got a great deal 504.00 for 4 nights airfare and rental car... I book it for the 25th of Aug.. well I guess I was being punished ffor something because I get strep throat the first real day there and have to go to a clinic and have never been so thirsty in my life and cant eat or drink and I am at the Plaza with no room service and it SUCKED and the med's they gave me did something to my lower throat and still today anytime I swallow food or drink it kills me .. but the good news is I am going back to VEGAS next friday the 22nd of Sept for my birthday on the 23rd we leave friday at 10:30 pm and then leave vegas sunday at 10:35 pm I cant wait I really hope I dont get sick... I have been taking herbal stuff trying to ward off anything.. I own a daycare in my home so germs are everywhere..uugghh..

    So wish me luck, I hope I have as much fun as you guys did..
     
  8. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

    Joined:
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    Wow Paula....it must suck to get sick in Vegas....Better luck next trip!!:)
     
  9. paulalovesvegas

    paulalovesvegas Tourist

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    it sucked really bad thats why I have to go back next weekend ,,,, I need that vegas fix ....lol
     
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