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BlueSkadoo's Birthday Adventure- Oct 20-24

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by BlueSkadoo, Nov 10, 2013.

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  1. BlueSkadoo

    BlueSkadoo VMB Sweetheart

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    My Trip Report

    It was my birthday, and what a better place to celebrate than Las Vegas! Joining me on this adventure was my mom. This is a bi-annual journey she and I have been making for the past few years, for my birthday and Mother's Day. We are toying with the idea of next birthday going somewhere more tropical, but I'll believe it when it happens. We seem to say that every year....and we end up right back on the boulevard.

    We stayed at the MGM Grand this trip. This was mom's first time on the south strip, and she was torn if she liked it or north strip better. She said she leaned more toward the north end at first, but confessed it was because she knew her way around a smidge better down there. By the end of the trip, she felt pretty comfortable with the directions. We had an executive queen suite, which was nice to have the extra room. The room had a living room area with a large L-shaped couch, two queen beds and an oversized bathroom with a separate shower and large soaking tub. We also had two big TVs in our room. We had a view of the airport, and got to watch the constant stream of planes landing and leaving McCarran. The thing that befuddled me most at check-in was that the MGM Grand has gone paperless. You now don't sign anything, initial anything about resort fees or get a printout of your room rates. I ended up going back through the check-in line and asking if I forgot to do something because they didn't explain this to me at all.

    One downside (to me at least) was that this was the first time my mom stayed in a hotel with a food court. And buddy, did she love that food court. We had many meals there and in the end, they probably cost almost as much as if we would've gone somewhere decent and shared. My mom enjoys getting a lot of bang for her buck, and Vegas prices can sometimes make her eyes pop out of her head. I'm sure mom would consider this a plus, but I did miss a few of our usual haunts that were subbed instead for a "quick bite".

    The "big dinner" for the trip (we usually try to do one) was at THE Steakhouse at Circus Circus. I was a little disappointed with the quality this time. In May, our meal was outstanding- on par with Prime and Cut. This time was not like that. The meat didn’t seem nearly as well seasoned or cooked. I didn't eat a ton of it, but I had enough to get sick and need to stay at Circus Circus and gamble. My new stand-out place was the pizza bar (Five50) at Aria. It was so delicious. Blanco pizza FTW! I actually ate there twice on my trip just because it was addictive.

    We had the Paris buffet for breakfast one morning. It wasn't terrible, it wasn't great. We were going to go to Bacchanal, but decided to just stop at Paris instead because we got lazy and decided for breakfast food, it would be good enough. And that's what it was, just "good enough". I did a lot of picking at my food, and mom enjoyed hers more, but she made wiser selections than I did. I think this is off the radar for me for a while. But, to be fair, most buffets other than bacchanal are off my radar lately. I'm just over the buffets because I eat too much and then feel like a sloth. We didn't each much the rest of that day because we were miserable.

    Mom and I were treated to a spa day as a birthday surprise from my gentleman caller. We both got massages, and mom had a pedicure and I had a haircut. Best. pineapple.juice.ever. This was mom's first visit to a Las Vegas spa and her first massage. I made the mistake of scheduling mom for a Swedish, when she probably could've handled a more aggressive massage. I forgot my mom is a tough lady and I didn't want her to hurt for the rest of our trip. I had a hot stone massage, which was a special treat as I usually go for more muscle work and just wanted to relax this time. I enjoyed mine a lot. I liked the whirlpools but mom said it was way too hot for her. It was such a great gift to get to spend that time with my mom and bring her into my world of what I enjoy doing. Sometimes she needs that little push, and it was perfect!

    Another first for mom was a visit to the pool complex. I completely pulled the "it’s my birthday and I live in the tundra, so if you love me mommy, you'll come with me to the pool"...and it worked! Now, because it was late October, only 2 of the pools were open. Mom and I staked out a good spot right by the lazy river and let the rays shine down on us. After about an hour, my mom said "Why haven't we done this before?” We made a second visit to the pool on a different day on the same trip. I think I have made mom a convert to the pool. My only regret is that I didn't order us some strawberry daiquiris when I could've gotten away with it on my birthday. (Well, maybe...)

    Gambling was pretty meh for me, but mom ended up having her best trip ever. She only lost 50 bucks over the entire four night trip we were there. She doesn't have much luck at all, typically. We played only slots, and bounced around all over creation. I couldn't get any real wins of substance, but not for a lack of trying. A great part of being at the MGM was that I was pretty close to the Lions Share. I think that machine has really built a following. I had to wait several times to get a go at it. Sadly, I didn't walk away a big winner, but I didn't see anyone else winning while I was there either. My mom got it up to 75 bucks and cashed out. She was thrilled with that win!

    Several of our favorite machines were harder to find this trip. I've written before several times about my mom's love of the "Elvis: The King" machine. We couldn't find many of them on the strip proper. We found a few downtown and at both Circus Circus and the Riviera. The new MJ machine really threw mom for a loop. The "inching diamonds" was also harder to find all over the place, as well as old fashioned Haywires. We saw a machine at Aria that I'm surprised is legal because it seriously looked like it could induce seizures. There was only one on the floor, and I’m interested in seeing how long it lasts. I wish I could remember the name now, but I'm blanking out completely.

    We did one night downtown, but nothing really of note to relive. We played our family favorite flip flop machines. It was really paying off, but for some reason, we didn’t try to up our betting amounts. It gets really really warm up in the D's vintage Vegas section. The buttons on some of the machines were so hot, I was worried it would burn some of the patrons, but the floor people seemed unfazed. We also had a deep fried twinkie. Mom says they weren't the real thing because they weren't as tasty as last time. I think it was just old and once the grease cools, I can't imagine it being a quality product. Mom and I discussed a trip to stay downtown, but she vetoed it rather quickly, because she says she would miss the strip too much.

    We did a good bit of shopping, but mom was really sad she couldn't figure out a way to stay late enough Thursday to get into see the new Marshall's store on their grand opening. We both agree, however, that we wouldn't go back out to the Outlet Malls again. We went to the North mall, and it reminds me a lot of the mall that’s about 20 minutes from my house. Similar stores, similar prices, same parent company. If I didn't live so close, perhaps I would be more enchanted, but I feel like it’s the same as in my back yard, whereas Ross isn't and it's right on the strip! I did find several new things, but had more success at Ross than the outlets.

    Departing was really stressful. I mis-calculated the time I needed to get back to the airport, and cut it way too close. There was a huge taxi line and the valet cab guy said "If you're going to the airport, go get on the shuttle, its leaving right now!" so mom's little ears hear shuttle and she's off...and then we load a shuttle and sit there while the guy fools around with loading all the bags and writing receipts and I'm thinking "OMG, I'm going to miss my plane!!" We eventually make it to the airport, and of course, the southwest line is HUGE! I had brought a giant bag that wouldn't even make it through a TSA scanner so I had to check it. I make it to the front of the line with about 3 minutes until the one hour cut off for luggage. I remark to the guy I know I'm cutting it close but I never dreamed the line would be this long on a Thursday morning. He makes some kind of smart comment about how the airport is always this busy. Listen, dude...I post on Vegas Message Board....I know the airport's not this busy on a normal Thursday at 9:45 am. We have threads about this kind of stuff! Of course, I didn't say that to him, I just hightailed it off to security.

    At the end of it all, it was a really great trip. Everything went smoothly (except my figuring out when to leave), we had fun being together, and mom did some of the things I really enjoy on my other trips and found out they weren’t so bad! The only thing that would've made it sweeter would've been a nice hit on a slot...or if I had won that Lion's Share. That's okay....there's always next trip!
     
  2. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

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    Happy Belated Birthday and glad you had a great trip with your mom! Thanks for the report and we are looking forward to trying the Five50 pizza on our January Trip as multiple people have commented how good it is.

    Thanks again for the report.
     
  3. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I have heard mixed reviews on Aria's new pizza. I am going to try it this weekend, so it sounds like blanco is the way to go. Thanks!
     
  4. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    Nice Trip Report! So was your Spa visit at MGM? If so, how would you compare it to other Spas in town?
    I'll be staying at MGM for the first time next month. I'm excited! I like staying at different places on the Strip.
    And I especially like going to the different Spas so I'm looking forward to my visit. Thanks again for the report!
     
  5. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    I played an inching diamonds machine at the Nugget - it was a slant-top too. Very comfortable button-pressing. Good ergonomics.

    You can do much better on a slot machine if the button logistics and arm-rest positions are just right.
     
  6. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    Good to know I wasn't "that drunk" when I thought this was the best pizza ever last trip!

    Thanks for the trip report, it was great.....only thing missing would be a couple bikini photos....i'm sure you'll get around to posting them eventually. :wink2:
     
  7. BlueSkadoo

    BlueSkadoo VMB Sweetheart

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    We did go to the MGM Grand Spa. It was my first visit to that particular spa. It wasn't a huge spa, but had all the essentials that you would need- sauna, steam and whirlpool. The nice part is that it didn't feel crowded but there were several people there. I would still rank Spa Mandalay higher above it, but it was certainly an enjoyable place to spend the afternoon. My biggest regret is that we didn't book until later in the day and have our treatment, so we ran out of time to go back and enjoy relaxing a second time. The quality of the shampoo, conditioner, etc is night and day with the stuff they put in the rooms....soooo much better! My mom LOVED their products (like the mousse, hairspray) they had out for your hair.
     
  8. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the reply. Doubt I'll need the hairspray haha -- No Hair!
    I like going 1st thing in the morning and then later before closing too!
     
  9. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Low-Roller

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    more tropical vacation

    If you guys are thinking of a more tropical vacation next time, just stay at Mirage!!! LOL Great report by the way, thanks for sharing it with us!! I am leaving to Vegas in 3 weeks for my 3rd trip this year. I always say to myself that maybe I should go somewhere else, but Vegas just gives me everything I want from a vacation. Great food, wonderful shows and gambling!! What other place can give you all that and such a fun atmosphere?:nworthy:
     
  10. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report!:thumbsup:
    I'm really disappointed to hear about The Steak House and your meal. Maybe it was one of those days, but really that is no excuse. I have always expected a place like that to be top notch any day.

    Now I might hesitate to recommend it to visitors.
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  11. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Good point. Or stay at the TROPicana! ............... or better yet, don't :yuck:
     
  12. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    Great trip report, sounds like fun. Happy Belated Birthday.

    I wish I had a mother I could take trips with, but there is no way. I love her, but just, no. You're very fortunate!
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  13. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

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    Happy Belated Birthday, Blue! It sounds like you and your Mom had a great time on your birthday trip.

    When is your next trip?
     
  14. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    THIS

    And Happy Birthday
     
  15. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Sounds like a fun trip and nice to be making memories with your Mom. I miss bringing my Mum to Vegas but have lots of wonderful memories from our trips together.
     
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