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Boring 2011 #1................

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by jgates8, Apr 17, 2011.

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  1. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    I'll apologize in advance. Normally I call my TRs boring & everyone says 'No - that was great!'. I will warn you in advance this trip truly was boring. No shows, no big wins for me, etc. March 6 - 10th.

    I scheduled my trip at the same time as my BF & her DH & 2 of her 3 kids (all adult & one lives in LV so it was time to visit him!). I think it has been nearly 3 years since we were able to go together & it was very nice to have a companion to putz around with.

    In order to keep gambling money up & trip costs down I used Frontier FF miles & paid $10 for my ticket. I decided to treat myself AND my back and pay $40 to check a bag (round trip). My mom delivered me to the shuttle stop in Eau Claire (about an hour) so I could take the shuttle ($35 each way) the airport. For one person the $70 RT fare (plus tip) is cheaper than paying for parking at the airport (I believe it is about $18 per day there). BF & family, with four people, drove & parked offsite. I think that only runs around $10 per day but I just hate having to shuttle off just to the parking lot. It would have been great if we could have ridden together, but their flight was about 2 hours later than mine so I would never have asked them to leave early for me and then sit and wait. As I had a layover in Denver & they had a direct Sun Country flight, they arrived about 40 minutes after me rather than 2 hours. Flight was uneventful. I had taken an earlier shuttle (just to avoid problems) and had a 3 hr wait for my flight. Forty-five minute layover in Denver.

    Arrived safely & headed down to bag pick-up.................................Yeah you guessed it. No bag. The guy in the office is like 'Well did you arrive late?' NO - I was THREE HOURS EARLY. Filled out the paperwork & off I went.

    Since I was the rental car driver I didn't even check for 'bumps'. I went to National & even though my ExecAisle membership SHOULD have expired at the end of February, it stated Exec on my rental. (Actually checked it when I got home & it was extended another year - and I definitely didn't meet the criteria). I grabbed a Buick Lucerne from the Exec Aisle & quickly headed back to the airport. They have changed pick-up parking a bit in the last few years but found a spot I would be able to return to without a guide & headed in to greet my friends. Had we not been renting a car, I would have sprung for a surprise Limo - but I can't justify it for myself. I grabbed a piece of paper & scrawled their last name on it & stood near the limo drivers so I could hold up their 'sign' when they arrived. Everyone got a great chuckle out of this & they were impressed with the car we had.

    Headed to Paris. I tried to get BF to come to Diamond check-in with me but she just peeked her head in the doorway. They headed to Platinum to check-in. I had ben pre-upgraded to a Red Room which was comfy as heck as always. BF requested a NS room & they received a gold room. DS's both wanted smoking rooms & none available. Their clerk was a bit snippy & told them they could come back the next day to move to a smoking room and they had oversold the hotel so none were available. They were not very happy with that & she finally put both boys into a Red smoking room at no upgrade charge. My poor BF still only had a gold room but she was, as always, happy with it. None of us had a view - I think the boys had the back side & I had the roof of the MM mall, but did have a view of south strip. Son#3 said the Red room was so nice he didn't even know if he dared to smoke in it - even with ashtrays in the room!

    We dumped all luggage in the rooms (gee - that took about 12 seconds to drop my back-pack - remember my luggage is still MIA). The guys headed off to play & we went to eat at Café St. Louis. I had a quesadilla & french onion soup & couldn't even eat half of it. She had a Reuben which looked great. It was around 9pm by now - nearly 11 at home. Our trips end up really screwed up on the clock & eating times. She went up to bed & the guys & I gambled till the wee hours. Finally had a VM at 12:30 that my bad had arrived in LV. At 2:30 I called bell services & they said it just arrived on site & he brought it up right away. (I assume they wouldn’t have called until a.m. if I hadn't as they wouldn't want to wake someone up). So no new clothes shopping for me! It was funny - no labels at all on the bag when it arrived, so I never found out what part of the country it got to visit!
    I lost track of so much this trip - I was in a massively depressed mood and one of her sons wasn't doing a whole lot better. My DH is employed by the State of WI & son #2 is employed by the local school district - both Union jobs. At this point in time our Governor was in the midst of attempting to destroy the union bargaining power - which he evidently has succeeded in doing at least for now. (We have between a 7% - 12% take home decrease in pay hitting in about 2 weeks due to some of his changes). I have never been a 'pro' union person, but I definitely am not anti-union and I feel they are definitely needed. This resulted in no shows, not much appetite and no ambition to do virtually anything.

    We did eat breakfast at the following:
    Planet Hollywood Buffet (Mon) - very good. We got there VERY close to changeover to lunch. This caused us a lot of RUNNING to get breakfast items as they were pulling them off. However, BF's hubby paid for us & it was a couple of bucks cheaper at breakfast prices. Cotton candy for desert! We hit it with no wait & were able to walk right in.

    Flamingo Buffet (Tues) - a bit earlier today! We managed all the breakfast food. My BF is a patient person but she ended up waving down a manager as we didn't get drink refills at all from our server. (I hadn't noticed as I had coffee, juice & water so I was well loaded up). However, the atmosphere was great - we were near the windows & seated in the area straight out from the desert area. We had cotton candy for desert for breakfast again. Used Diamond/Plat line - regular line was back up the ramp & by the windows.

    Paris Buffet (Wed &Thurs) - We had good service & good food both mornings. One morning the crepe line wait was awful. I went into the line as there were only about 5 people in it. However, one person ordered 5 crepes & the next ordered 4. Well that made the wait a lot longer........ We were in the side room the first morning & right near the entry to it the 2nd morning. I had no complaints with anything at all on the buffet as usual.
    We basically skipped lunch every day - eating breakfast later in the morning left us no appetites until supper.

    Suppers -
    Rio Seafood Buffet (Mon) - her LV son & his buddy came to eat with us here. Then he came back to Paris with us as she had booked a room for him one night under her TR card. The person seating us apologized as there was no room in the Diamond area (who cares?) but seated us directly next to the main hot food area. So lots less walking anyway. Her hubby teased me unmercifully about my expiring Diamond status - but we did get to line jump to the front of the bus to & from RIO. And it was nice as it was COLD & WINDY that night. I actually stuck no $ in a machine at RIO because my budget was kind of cruddy that day. It seems as when I am depressed I have a tendency to lose easier than when I am in a good mood. I swear the machines pick up my moods.

    Earl of Sandwich (Tues) - my shoes were rubbing & my BF had blisters. We did a stroll thru MM mall (SLOWLY) to try to find better shoes, to no avail, unless I wanted to dump $85 out. Nope. We had an excellent sandwich (I had the Hawaiian one a usual and a soda). A long stroll thru the mall (shuffle actually) & we just vegged at machines for the rest of the night. I was able to at least rotate my money for a long duration at LOTR in Paris.

    DS#1 House - (Wed) - spent the afternoon at the guys house & had an awesome supper of grilled chicken & sides. By far the best meal of the trip. I felt like I wanted to just curl up & go to sleep afterwards.

    Thurs night they had a late flight out so I ran them back to the airport & then endured rush hour traffic to get back to the strip. I ate at Margaritaville & had chicken, broccolli & pasta - I just love it. Sat on the balcony overlooking the strip.

    BF & I went to Mandalay Bay to the aquarium. It was a very interesting experience. I wouldn't do it every trip but really enjoyed it and no regrets at all in going. We both avoided the case with the big snakes...........but were able to touch rays in the one pond. I really enjoyed it.

    Another afternoon we wandered through Caesars & into the Forum Shoppes. Watched the big show from a bench in the hallway (it was MOBBED down in front). Still no luck in locating new shoes, but she did buy moleskin in MBay gift shop. On the walk back we stopped for a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity2.

    BF's husband & Son #2 both won $1000 on Pompei. My biggest win was $200 on the 'tent' bonus on Mr. Woo - and I had the tents at least 4 times. Normally I have a 50% success rate in hitting the major when I finally get the tents but not this trip. Son #3 didn't hit anything big & BF isn't a diehard gambler like the rest of us - she is the smart one. We teased her because she had $1.37 in comps.

    Tried to do the IP daily slot tourney, but even with the sign outside, there was no one upstairs in the event area & a sign up that said 'no events today'. We never went back later in the week.

    Never made it downtown - intended to do the zipline. Son #3 was happy he found late night poker tourneys though - he was the one who was willing to zipline with me.

    Had contacted the Neon Museum to get on the list for a Tues visit but never received a reply from them. My own mistake for not following by phone. Would have been nice to get back there when it was cool outside.
    Drink service was great at all CET locations. I didn't drink much but they were around frequently. One night at Paris she didn't come back at all with my daquiri. When she came around again I said I never received it - she looked at her list, shook her head and looked at a different bay of machines. Evidently someone else had claimed my drink!!!!! But she came back quickly with a replacement. I spent most of my time gambling at Paris - a couple of decent stretches at Flamingo and one at PH, as well as a couple hours at Harrahs. Spent about 20 min in IP this trip as they didn't have the daily tourney going I guess - otherwise would have played there daily. Never stuck a dime in at OSheas, RIO or Caesars. (I was planning on playing at Caesars to get better free rooms again).

    Ran up about $189 including tips in charges - had all taken off but the tips at check-out and still somehow ended up with more comps left than I should have. They must have discounted something in the Diamond check-out area. I didn't do the Buffet of Buffets as we were eating lighter at supper. However, probably will next trip as I can time my dining so I can get 2 breakfasts at the buffet and then still eat a lighter supper & spend the same or less money.

    DF noted at RIO Seafood on the brochure for BoB's that you CAN add the Seafood buffet for an extra fee of about $10. I was going to grab a brochure & post a pic of it, but forgot it when we left. That seems like a really nice deal.

    No bumps or lost luggage on the way home. Dang. I did manage in 4.5 days to put 2520 TCs on my card. So I did manage to cycle through my normal daily budget a bit better than usual. It's been running around 400-450 per day. With DHs impending take home pay decrease, a daughter headed to college & no waitressing hours on the weekend, I was in fear a summer trip might not be in the budget. However, I won the final week of our local casinos March Madness contest - $2000 at the beginning of the month. Gave $500 to DS who helped me & mom pick choices. She came in 2nd & won $1000 LOL! So I have that $$ tucked off to the side for a July trip, barring any disasters in the meantime. In the meantime I wait for Disney in May for DDs graduation trip (had that money stashed!).

    So no, it wasn't exciting & if you are still awake - thanks for reading!
     
  2. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Nice trip report. Congrats on the local casino win and the potential summer trip.
     
  3. AB2Vegas

    AB2Vegas Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed your TR, thank you for posting it. I did not find it boring at all, sounds like you had a good time - that is what is important. :cheers:
     
  4. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    You stole the title for my upcoming trip lol...not boring for me...my kind of trip...slots and cheap food. :thumbsup: Sorry about the job situation.
     
  5. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    I think you did a great job. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. :peace:
     
  6. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Not boring at all, nice report.
    Just curious, which airport did you fly out of? Minneapolis?
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  7. daveg000

    daveg000 High-Roller

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    No trip report is ever boring! Yours are always great! As a fellow Wisconsinite I commiserate with you, about our state of affairs.

    Glad you are hitting the big ones!
     
  8. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the kind words guys.

    Yes, I did fly out of Minneapolis. I wanted to fly out of Madison, however, I couldn't grab a free flight with miles on Frontier. I could get it via Minneapolis.

    As a point of note, I HATE flying out of Minneapolis, although it wasn't quite as bad using the shuttle. Madison is just such a fantastic airport to fly out of - park in the ramp - walk across the street - you are in the terminal. Only thing better is LaCrosse - but flights are so $$$ from there that unless I can redeem miles, it doesn't happen too often. A short layover doesn't bother me as my legs get really bad if I sit on a plane for 3 hours - so a layover is perfect for me physically. (I'm just a hair under 5' so the seats just do NOT fit me well).

    For my DDs grad trip to Disney I used Delta's B1 G1 $99 voucher you receive with the Amex card each year. The points from the purchase were already enough to bump me over 50,000 with Delta again - so I have 5 potential flights waiting for me between Delta, AA & Frontier!!! I doubt we will be lucky enough for any bumps on the Disney trip as there are 3 of us.
     
  9. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Your trip report wasn't boring at all. I wish you were able to have a better time in LV. I'm thinking that I should put our request for the boneyard in now, after what you went through. Just want to let you know, our household is appalled at what your state did to you guys. We live in a right to work state, and I hate it. My job is dependant on our state budget, and I haven't seen a raise in 4 years. It's rough when you make way under the poverty level. But I love my job. You will never be alone, you have all of us on this board.
     
  10. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    I don't understand the disdain for MSP just because of the parking situation...it services a LARGE metropolitan city. Money spend on it for the RNC in 2008 actually made it quite nice inside.
     
  11. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    I don't really hate the airport - just GETTING there. Now if they moved it out to Hudson..........well, that might be a different matter. Hate the traffic & that bypass - although cutting thru from St. Paul downtown isn't quite as bad. It is also huge (and yes it is a huge city), and somewhat overwhelming.

    Madison is just a perfect size (as mentioned with the ramp), 7 minutes thru security, less lead time, & half the cost in parking, etc.
     
  12. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    I am wide awake and enjoyed your report!
     
  13. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    :clap: a lovely TR

    Loved the report , was laid back and still fun to read :) Glad you were able to get away , even with all the bruhaha happening back home

    Sometimes being in Vegas , just lets you take the weight of the world off your shoulders , if only for a few days :)
     
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