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dbueler's TR with Fflowers March 31-April 6 Long!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by dbueler, Apr 11, 2016.

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  1. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hannibal Mo
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Pre-Trip Notes:
    When Fflowers and I planned this trip (during our Christmas trip, ya we’re degen), Bally’s didn’t have a Jubilee king room available so I decided to take a chance on the new re-modeled Carnival South rooms at Harrah’s. I haven’t stayed at Harrah’s in many years, but I do like the property and have positive memories of staying here long ago….. I hope those positive memories are joined with new positive memories this trip!

    This is a long one folks! I decided to go back to typing my report every day, therefore I capture more details and don’t forget half of what happened. I enjoy reading these and re-living the great memories. If you don’t appreciate a lot of detail, please pass this one by. I’ll admit I read very few TR’s now, although I was addicted to them for years. The live TR thing really isn’t my bag, I get so tired of scrolling through (sometimes) nearly a hundred comments not from the OP, and honestly I totally lose track of which ones I’ve read and where I stopped. And sometimes the live TR’s just stop and don’t ever resume. No way can my attention span accommodate the sometimes week-long TR’s. And when I read the live ones, it’s not like I feel like I’m there, so? To each his own!!

    Well, it happened. The nightmare I’ve always feared…. I became really sick right before this trip. To put this in perspective, I have not had so much as a cold in 4 years. A few allergy issues, but not even a cold. But did hell ever break loose before this trip! I awoke at 4am a week before the trip with a severe, severe as in crippling, UTI (bladder infection). I haven’t had one of these in at least 25 years, but since I travel every week, and am an OCD planner, I had emergency AZO in my travel bag, which helped. Went to the ambulatory clinic over lunch, just as a woman walked out who was coughing her lungs up, got meds, and I’m good, right? Ugh no, not by a long shot. One day after the antibiotics were done, the UTI returned with a vengeance and involved my kidneys as well. The same day, I began coughing horribly and had all the head shit as well. Its 2 days before my Vegas Vacation begins. Lordy Lordy.

    Doctor put me on double strength antibiotics and, not kidding, the doctor called my house twice daily for the first 2 days to check on me. I think about cancelling, I must have been hallucinating. I’m not a quitter…… and besides, sick in Vegas is better than sick at home, right?


    Woke up on trip day not feeling too bad, cough is 1000x better, thank god because my ribs and ab muscles (I assume I have ab muscles) hurt like hell. UTI is under control, but to be on the safe side, I paid for one of the Frontier Stretch seats in the front ($27) in case I spent a portion of the flight in the ladies room and so I could more easily contain any coughs. Dodged that bullet, so let’s GO!

    The REASON for the Trip (Not that there needs to be a reason!)
    Fflowers and I usually plan our spring Vegas trip over Easter, although I really don’t like the crowds. We decided to go a week later this year, and FFlowers’ mom and her niece are flying out to join us! Vegas will still be really busy as the CMA’s are the weekend we’re there. We’ve got lots of plans (we each have our own spreadsheets… seriously!) but hopefully not crazy busy or over-planned. We haven’t seen each other since Christmas, although we text frequently, and it will take us hours to catch up. Can’t wait.

    So speaking of Frontier….. I’m a SW fan myself, but not enough of a SW fan to pay $300 more RT than Frontier prices (even paying for a checked bag). My direct flights were $49 each way from STL and I paid, I think, $30 for my checked bag. SW wanted $250 each way.

    The Frontier planes used in STL are usually new and their on-time record is great, although my flight did leave a few minutes late. Frontier really needs to invite the SW folks over to train them on how to turn a plane. The arriving flight arrived at the gate a full hour before my flight’s scheduled departure time and they still couldn’t unload and load the plane in an hour. Honestly, they do this same process literally thousands of times daily, you would think practice makes perfect. Not a big deal on a few minutes late, but it was extraordinarily painful to watch.

    I was one of the last to board, and sure enough, there was a little trailer trash ho sitting in my third row aisle seat. I nicely told her that was my seat and the (trailer trash) women in the entire row said they were all shuffled up and I could just sit HERE – and pointed to the middle seat. I laughed and said, nope that’s not how this works. I paid for 3C and you don’t play musical chairs in the paid section. They start spewing how THEY are ok with it, well of course you are…… you aren’t in the middle seat on the (no doubt) first flight you’ve taken in years. And none of them were even starting to move. The stewardess quickly stepped in and forced everyone into the right seats. None of them paid for their premium seat, the flight was oversold so they got them assigned just by luck.

    After I flopped in my stretch aisle seat, the youngest Ho (next to me) started bitching under her breath. I let it go for a while, funny how a seat she didn’t pay for meant so much, perhaps she is accustomed to handouts and considers them entitlements? Anyway, I let it go for a while then I finally looked at her and quietly said “Look, this isn’t the fight you want. I paid for THIS seat because I have a serious UTI and I didn’t want to bother other people by using the ladies all the time. You may think you know everything that’s going on, but you don’t. You don’t know my story and you aren’t entitled to a seat I paid for. If you want to pay me the going rate of $50 for this aisle seat, and get your ass up every time I need the bathroom, then it’s yours. Otherwise, I’d let this drop.” She decided to let it drop. I would be so embarrassed if this was one of my 20-something children pouting over something that wasn’t even rightfully theirs to have. I admit I didn’t worry about covering my cough as much.

    Other than the initial episode, the flight was uneventful and arrived 20 minutes early! Since I got burned the last time, I remembered that Frontier’s checked baggage arrives at Terminal 3 so I carefully followed the signs to T3. My bag was one of the first to arrive, score! I had planned to use Uber for the first time, but when I googled the shared ride spot at T3, it showed valet level in the parking garage. The cab line was completely empty so I made the executive decision to NOT drag my 49.5# bag up an escalator, across the street to the parking garage when I had no idea where it was located in the parking garage. I’ll give it a try when I’m a little more mobile!

    I had a great cab driver, I asked for the city streets and he indeed took the shortest way and was rewarded with a generous tip. I had used the email check-in that Harrah’s sent me this morning and I had received an email at 1pm CT that my room was ready, sucked that I was still in STL. The email said to use the Gold line to pick-up my keys, and the Gold line was completely empty when I arrived at 7:15pm. A very nice elderly lady assisted me, and answered all my questions about the room…… is it a renovated room (yes) does the room have an adjoining door (no) is it a king bed (yes) is it at the end of a hallway (no) is it near Carnival Court (no). So, in other words, is it the room I booked and is it quiet? Yes.

    The newly renovated Carnival South rooms are very well done! They remind me of the Jubilee rooms at Bally’s, except purples & beiges instead of red. I noticed right away there wasn’t a frig or coffee pot, even though the website listed both as standard features. I don’t drink coffee but I do really enjoy a frig, so I called guest services and she said they would immediately bring a frig right up. It arrived on a cart, which is nice because I could roll it around and decide where I wanted it. The flat screen TV is larger in these rooms compared to the Jubilee rooms, probably a 40-something inch. Linens are nice, pillows are awesome. There are two very small closets so my large suitcase won’t fit inside. Plenty of drawers and they added electrical outlets everywhere…….how nice not to have to move the bed to charge my phone or laptop! AND there’s a clock/docking station exactly like I have at home for my iPhone 5s.

    The bathroom is nice, but a little strange. The toilet has a button on the top of the tank that you push to flush it. Probably very handy for guys, but I’ve about dislocated my shoulder thirty times reaching backwards for a handle that’s not there! I wish the vanity was a wall-to-wall vanity rather than a “table”, although it is roomy. The shower is a walk-in shower with no tub, but it has no door! To be exact, the front half of the shower near the shower head is glass and does not move. The rear half has no glass or door, it’s totally open. Since it’s a rain type shower head the water doesn’t splatter out. The door situation is fine with me, I really don’t like the rain type shower heads as I have long hair and it takes forever to rinse out shampoo.

    My room is the first one around the corner from the elevator and directly across the hall from the room with the ice machine…… yippee!! For those of you interested in these newly renovated rooms, the photos on the Harrah’s website are very accurate. My room has a tiny window, I miss the floor-to-ceiling windows in the Flamingo Go Rooms and in the Bally’s Jubilee rooms, but it’s no big deal. I think they did a nice job.

    After calling home and unpacking a bit, I went downstairs to play my usual multi-hand nickel VP. Although I did hit four deuces on deuces wild, the continual dealt non-winning hands contributed to a losing session.

    Friday April 1st
    The damn 2 hour time change had me waking up at 5am and I couldn’t get back to sleep, even though I slept less than 4 hours. I enjoyed watching Wake up with the Wagner’s on NBC (I follow them on twitter) then some of the Today show.

    I was really looking forward to the Harrah’s breakfast buffet, I hadn’t eaten since a grilled cheese at lunch the day before and I was beyond starving. I appreciate Harrah’s buffet because they have the basics I like (CRISP bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy), but wow has the price increased since I was here last! I didn’t have a coupon this time, they called it a weekend brunch, and it was $28 with tax. Yowza! In their defense, they had tons of shrimp and other brunch items, but since I only eat breakfast basics because I love them so much, it felt really overpriced. I paid with points and the food was excellent. I wish I could have eaten more, the recent illness has put me off my feed a little bit. I ate a ton of bacon, but no way did I eat $28.

    I decided to play some VP and hit 4 aces on nickel DDB 5 play, however the other games and machines I played were duds. I had a $6 ticket and decided to play Crystal Forest penny game, many casinos don’t have this game anymore and I love it. Better 50 cents/spin, I hit a huge bonus for right at $100. A lot of fun and took some of the sting out of every single dealt hand on vp being a loser. It’s amazing to me how many hands in a row can pass without even hitting a pair of Jacks or Better on the deal.

    I wanted to mention the new Carnival South rooms have the keys that you wave in front of a circular disc to open the door. When I arrived back at my room, neither of my keys worked. The front desk lady said I must have put it by my cellphone (my cellphone pouch is on the outside of my purse, so no way), I somehow must have deactivated it, blah blah blah. However, while I was in my room later that afternoon, an elderly gentleman using a walker and an oxygen tank, couldn’t get his key to work for his room across the hall from mine. I went out and tried to help him, but the key didn’t work at all, just like mine hadn’t. I told him I couldn’t go get him a new one because they check ID, and there was no way this poor guy was going to make it all the way down to check-in, so we hollered at housekeeping, who couldn’t let him in either. I left him in their hands and finally heard security arrive 15 minutes later to let him in. I know it’s a small sample size, but I suspect Harrah’s has problems with these new keys. I didn’t have another key problem during the trip. Also, for those who might wonder, I never waited more than 30 seconds for an elevator and rarely shared one.

    FFlowers arrived around noon and checked in at Encore. We have dinner plans at Giada’s (our fave) before she sees Kenny G, so we confirmed plans via text.
    I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I spent the entire afternoon camped out in my room watching a Law & Order SVU marathon and dozing. I’m finding I run out of gas much sooner than usual while I’m dealing with this infection (or plague as I’m starting to call it). Honestly, to this mom of 3 who travels every single week on business and works her a$$ off, lounging in my room watching tv with no laundry, or cooking, or work……. What an incredible luxury. I’ll do a better job enjoying Vegas on future days, but today, it was exactly what I needed.

    Fflowers and I met at Giada’s, so wonderful to see her after 3 months. We had requested Kevin as our server, but his section was full and we had Greg, who also does a wonderful job. Kevin came over to our table and pouted, LOL. We have a number of small plates we love, we really don’t care for the entrees and we’ve tried most of them. We order the bacon wrapped dates, the margarita pizza, the prosciutto with pears and mustard, the gorgonzola with wild pear honey, meatballs, and always order at least two of the Rosemary breads. We’ve narrowed these down to our very favorites and it’s a lot of food, we enjoy the variety. We were seated along the window and it was one of the few perfect evenings when they open the windows. Perfect start to the trip.

    We played some VP at Harrah’s, my session was up and down then finally down and I retired to the room around 11pm. Fflowers was excited for an all-nighter at Wynn with her beloved Double STP and Ultimate X
    I only have one room “touching” my room, the other side is a large closet for housekeeping, and wouldn’t you know the ONE room was a bunch of kids having an excessively loud party, even propping the door open and spilling out into the hall. Who raises these self-absorbed children who have no respect for others? Good lord, you could do what they’re doing in the Hampton Inn in St Louis! I let it go until I was ready to go to sleep at 12:30 then I called security. Security responded promptly and I heard them chewing the kids out for using the hallway as an additional party room. Security basically told them if they wanted to continue the party, they had to go out. They finally left about 20 minutes later and I made sure I fell asleep as quickly as possible before they returned.

    • As I walked to Giada’s, there was a homeless man asleep on the sidewalk in front of the Cromwell. I glanced at him, but this isn’t an uncommon occurrence in Vegas. One of the young girls walking behind me ran over to him and told her friends “Oh good, he’s breathing”. Her girlfriends started poking fun at her and she said “I’m a Criminal Justice major, this could have been a crime scene!”. Good for her, she cracked me up!
    • Walking back to Harrah’s, I saw a number of young ladies who must not have mirrors in their room.
    • There’s no better feeling than toasting the first night with Fflowers, knowing the whole trip is in front of us. I always wish we had more time to visit.
    • The weather is absolutely perfect. High 70’s to mid-80’s. Bright sunshine!

    Saturday April 2nd
    I slept in until 6:30 and hung out in the room until it was time to meet Fflowers for our traditional first morning breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi. We love sitting on the patio and enjoying the view, this is about the only trip we take that’s not too hot or too cold. I love their eggs bene and she is crazy over their blueberry French toast.

    I excused myself to use the ladies room in the Paris casino and there was a group of security officers approaching a bank of four slot machines. There was a young woman sitting at one playing, and beside her were two children, probably 2 and 3 years old. The kids were playing the slot machine beside her, slapping the buttons and laughing at the noises the penny machines make. Naturally, I didn’t hurry to the bathroom, I couldn’t wait to see what happened. The security officers quickly told her children were not allowed in the casino and she blew up, telling them the kids “weren’t hurting anybody” and she didn’t see the problem at all. Ahhh… I get it…. Its mother’s like this who raise the self-important hoodlums in the room next to me! I’m a pretty chill person, but it was all I could do not to bitch-slap her. I couldn’t dash back into MAG quickly enough to tell Fflowers all about it and watch her expressions!! Priceless!

    Fflowers took the bus back to Wynn to ready everything for her mom’s arrival in the early afternoon. I played some VP and had a few good hits, then everything I touched died. I did make $60 on a penny machine bonus, so it wasn’t a total loss.

    After breakfast at MAG, I played some vp and actually won for this session, thanks to two 4oaks on quarter single line Bonus Poker Deluxe where quads pay $100 regardless of which quad they are. It’s pretty cool to win $100 for quad queens!

    I relaxed in the room then got ready for our dinner and show plans. Dinner tonight was the Wynn buffet, courtesy of Fflowers having accrued numerous free buffets during a promo. Since she stays in the Encore Tower Suites, her room key doubles as a line pass, but we didn’t need it on this night as there was no wait at all. Dinner was very good, especially the already-peeled shrimp. I’ve read the Wynn buffet has slipped a bit, but we didn’t find that to be the case.

    Afterward, we went to Showstoppers. Fflowers and I have seen this before and I enjoyed it even more this time. Her mom was afraid she would doze off after a long day of travel from the east coast, but we were all wide awake and enjoyed the show so much. There isn’t one slow minute, it’s one hit song from the best Broadway musicals after another. The vocalists are so impressive, as is the orchestra. After the show, my face ached from smiling so much! This farm girl has never seen a Broadway musical, but my parents played albums of several older ones, so the songs are nostalgic. Cabaret is my favorite!

    Afterward, I walked back to Harrah’s and went straight to bed, exhausted. Although Fflowers mom thought she was tired, I hear they gambled the night away! No room noise tonight, the hoodlums must have gone home! I’m glad because I’m still wearing out earlier with this plague and I didn’t want to deal with them.

    Sunday April 3rd
    I slept in then played some vp. I started out well on triple play nickel DDB hitting a few 4OAK’s, then the machine died and the ones that followed were worse. I switched to single line quarters and was dealt 4-to-the-royal TWICE on the same machine, the first time needing the 10 of spades and I drew the 10 of clubs…… also known as the OTHER black 10. The second time I needed the ace of clubs and drew a blank. The ace of clubs was a pain in my ass the entire trip, but this time for a grand.

    Lunch was at the Wynn Country Club jazz brunch. It was a perfect 75 deg sunny day and Fflowers had reserved a table on the patio overlooking the waterfall and golf course. It was a perfect shade day! We went to this brunch the last trip and the food is fabulous! The beef tenderloin is the best I’ve ever had, there are so many excellent choices, it’s hard to pick. There is also a menu and you can choose unlimited small plates in addition to the buffet. I ordered the scrambled eggs with caramelized onions and they were served over toast, which brought back memories of eating eggs on toast from my childhood. The grand prize goes to the made-to-order waffles. I skipped the toppings and chose the usual butter and syrup. These were the lightest, most crispy waffles I’ve ever had and I would return just for these. We loaded up with their handmade caramels, simply delicious.

    I returned to Harrah’s and chilled out in the room. It probably seems like I spend a lot of time in the room, I enjoy the quiet and having absolutely nothing to do and zero responsibility.

    Dinner this night was Border Grill at Mandalay Bay, followed by MJ One. Fflowers and her mom were taking a cab so they could bring the scooter, I took the bus. Traffic was light and we literally walked into MB at the same time.

    Dinner at Border Grill was excellent, we usually eat at the Border Grill in the Forum Shops since the location is so close, but we especially appreciate the view at MB. We ordered several appetizers and liked their cheese dip so much we ordered a second (I’m certain we could have eaten more!). Our server was a real disappointment, which is unusual for Border Grill, this guy was a real mess. We had to enlist other waiters to help us when someone spilled a drink on our table. We asked our server for paper towels as the cloth napkins were worthless and he just disappeared and didn’t come back. I walked across the restaurant several times to get another waiter to bring something to us. For example, when he brought my iced tea, he didn’t bring sweetener (although I had requested it) so I asked for it again. He disappeared. For a loooong time. So there I am with no drink and the apps are coming out. I finally had to get another waiter to get it, at least 20 minutes had elapsed. Food was excellent, service sucked, but that is unusual.

    Mandalay Bay was overrun with cheerleaders, everywhere. Some were with their parents, many weren’t. We all agreed we were happy we weren’t staying there.
    MJ One was fantastic, it still is my favorite show in Vegas. We had 4th row seats, so we’ve now seen it from the front, from mid-way back, and from the rear. Personally, I think 4th row is way too close, too much of the show is overhead and it’s hard to take it all in from so close. My recommendation is mid-way back to the rear, but definitely center. MJ was the rage while I was in HS and college, and I’m a Thriller purist. The way they begin Thriller makes you wonder if they are going to do it well, this isn’t a song where people take creative license well. They really do nail it. Late in the show, the performers are in the aisles and Fflowers jumped up and danced with them. You could tell they enjoyed it, the girl has the moves!

    They cabbed back afterwards and I headed out to the bus stop. It was 11:30pm and I didn’t realize the sidewalk beside MB and Four Seasons was so dark. I crossed the street to the northbound bus stop and the area is definitely sketchy. There wasn’t anyone else at the bus stop, but a few people were hanging outside the area. I was looking at my phone then noticed a couple of REALLY sketchy guys walking towards me. Naturally, I was mentally planning what to do if they stopped, and OMG they approached me. One said something to me softly and I told him I couldn’t hear him. So they came closer. Honestly, I nearly peed my pants, and looked around to see if anyone else was around (nope). He mumbled something again and I loudly told him I couldn’t hear him, so he spoke up and asked if I knew what time it was. I replied 11:30 and they both said “Thank you ma’am”. When they called me ma’am, they were so nice, smiled and walked on. They both were pretty nasty, no doubt homeless, and I chided myself for judging. You know, when it comes to my safety, I need to judge. Accessing the situation and making judgement calls is what keeps you safe. Maybe I wouldn’t have been as alarmed if it had been someone well dressed, but I still would have been on high alert. Regardless, I will not use that bus stop at night again, and probably not during the day. Maybe not ever now that I’ve discovered Uber and Lyft! I met some nice people from PA on the bus, it was a quick trip back, and I went straight to bed.

    Monday April 4
    I slept in really late (for me) due to the late night and had no time to lounge around watching the Today show since I was meeting the Fflowers gang at Wynn for the breakfast buffet at 10am. The walk to Wynn from Harrah’s was pleasant, the weather this trip has been 10-15 deg above normal, so very nice in the mornings and a little hot for me in the afternoon.

    There was a long line for the breakfast buffet, so we were grateful for Fflowers’ line pass. The buffet was excellent, except they have no biscuits and gravy for us southern gals. The bacon was crisp and the made-to-order pancakes were excellent. Fflowers gave the lemon ricotta pancakes two thumbs up.

    Once I arrived back at Harrah’s, I grabbed my swimsuit and dashed to the Flamingo spa for a long awaited massage by Erlinda. Several years ago, Erlinda gave me the best massage I’d ever had and I have been booking specifically with her every trip since. I like light pressure and although I always tell my therapist this, most acknowledge my request then do what they want. Not Erlinda! And every minute when I think it can’t get any better, she adds a hot towel or stone and takes it to another level. Fflowers is also a big fan and schedules her well in advance each trip. I also adore the spa attendant, Miss Felli, who spoils me rotten while I’m there.
    Today was no different, the massage was the best I’ve had and it’s so wonderful to chat with Erlinda. I promised to return in August and left feeling like a virtual noodle.

    After returning to my room for a quick change, I walked to Caesar’s to catch the Orleans shuttle. Since CET wouldn’t comp a 6th night, and the price they wanted for an extra night was ridiculous, I booked a 2 night comped stay at the Orleans. I don’t really mind packing up and moving for the last night as I have to pack up anyway.
    When I reached the shuttle pickup spot at Caesar’s, there were several pissed off people there saying they had waited an hour and no shuttle? That didn’t sound right to me, the Orleans shuttle is always reliable, so I googled the location of the shuttle and, sure enough, it had moved to the LINQ near the high roller. I rallied the troops and lead them to the spot and the shuttle was just arriving. That’s a pretty good hike from the base of the high roller to the strip, much further back than it appears. The shuttle now stops at the Gold Coast both to and from the strip. The shuttle used to go from the Orleans directly to the strip then to the Gold Coast then on to the Orleans, I liked that schedule better than stopping at the Gold Coast in both directions. I’m sure I would feel differently if I stayed at the GC!

    Once we arrived at the Orleans, there was no line and I checked in immediately. I went to my room, hung the Do Not Disturb sign on the door, and then caught the very next shuttle to the strip. I only needed the room for Tuesday night, the offer required a 2 night stay so I booked for both Mon and Tues nights. This worked well as I could arrive at the Orleans anytime I wanted on Tuesday and my room was waiting for me. In hindsight, I wish I had completely moved on Monday, believe it or not the whole shuttle/check-in/shuttle thing took 2 hours. I thought it would only take an hour, and since I didn’t do anything Mon night at Harrah’s that I couldn’t have done at the Orleans, it was a time waste.

    Back at Harrah’s at 5pm and had not played at all this day, talk about a bankroll saver, I mean a waste! I went directly to the VP area at Harrah’s to get my game on. I love the location of the vp area at Harrah’s and they have a number of games I like to play, but there is one thing that drives me nuts….. There are two 25 play machines virtually in the middle of the vp area and every single session, without fail, there was a husband and wife playing these. Every single win was allowed to tally up, with the sound turned up full blast, until the last credit was racked up. And since its 25 play, even if it’s not a winning hand, there is a lot of noise. I do understand wanting to hear the machines, and I’m sure the sound wouldn’t bother me as much if it were my machine, but give me a break. There are 25 play, 50 play, and even hundred play in most of the VP areas I play in, but I’ve never had this bother me as much, I assume the volume was louder than most. Sometimes I just wanted to scream “Push the damn button!” Between the two of them, the noise was constant. I heard a number of other people mumbling about it, and there was seriously not one session that I played when they weren’t there.

    I had some great hits on 10 play DDB this session, not the largest monetary hits I’ve had on 10 play, but the number of quads I got was staggering. The quads and winning dealt hands must come frequently to keep ahead on 10 play, and I hit at least 30 quads in a little over an hour! Most were the 250 variety, but I did get 4’S with the kicker once and aces once, the machine finally died and I cashed out $150 profit. I played quarter single line and hit two quads very quickly then my luck ran cold and I couldn’t hit anything. I watched the National Championship Basketball game as I played then walked to the bar to watch the ending very closely. What a game! The entire place went nuts.

    Somewhere during that time I grabbed some dinner at (don’t say it) McDonalds. Yep! I wanted something quick and about once or twice a year I get a craving for a big mac. The Big Mac was only ok (McD’s burgers are never hot) but the fries were insanely good and piping hot. I might have regretted my choice a little afterward, but I was pretty full of rich food and just wanted something basic. And for basic, McD’s fits the bill.

    Tuesday April 7th (My last day)
    I awoke around 7am and watched the Today show for a little while. I was all packed up so I decided to just leave for the Orleans and eat breakfast there as my offer came with a $10 dining credit. I quickly cleaned up hauled drug my bag to the Uber pickup area. Harrah’s does a nice job of having signs that clearly mark the Uber/Lyft area. This will be my first time using Uber and I had the first ride free promo code loaded in the app. I took a snapchat pic of the Uber sign and sent it to my husband and kids with the comment “Modern Momma!” Once I pressed the Request A Ride button, it showed I would be picked up in 5 minutes, and that was very accurate. The guy driving says he does this full time and does pretty well. His car was immaculate, he was a really nice guy. At the end of the ride my bill was $0. I had another couple of experiences with Lyft coming up and I am totally on the bandwagon. Comparing the cost and the ease of use, not to mention the superior condition of the cars and drivers, I’m a huge fan and will never use a cab again in Vegas.

    I was glad I had checked in the day before so I could go straight to my room and drop my bags. The Orleans really did a nice job with the renovations. I zipped down to the breakfast buffet and feasted on scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits & gravy, and more bacon. They didn’t have eggs bene as in the past, which was disappointing. Overall, the standard breakfast items are very good and it was certainly worth the price $9.50 including tax, which I charged to my room to use the room credit.

    I realized later I made a real bonehead move and forgot to leave a tip. I suppose I was ready to gamble, although I’ve been getting more forgetful lately! I returned to the buffet when I realized it (a few hours later), explained my faux pas to the cashier and they were happy to allow me to enter and give the tip to my waiter. I added an extra dollar as “interest”. More like Guilt Tax!

    My plan was minimal play at the Orleans. I stayed there in October with my sons and I believe they really shorted me on comps. I get far more comps with CET for similar play compared to the Orleans. To top it off, the host I called was really rude and condescending. So I was not worried if my play was low, if I don’t get the 2 nights comped offer as usual, so be it.

    I started out hitting some nice 4oaks on the Super Triple Play DDB games where all quads pay double. You must get quads on these to keep alive. I really like that Bonus poker is one of the games offered as the 2 pair really help offset the 1 coin premium per hand. I played these machines and the standard ones for an hour or so with a minor win, then played single line quarter VP. That didn’t last very long, I hit quite a few quads on single line quarters at Harrah’s but none at the Orleans.
    I played a couple more hours of nickel vp and a few fun penny games and ended up even at the Orleans. I returned to my room to relax and get ready for our dinner and show plans.

    I decided to take the Orleans shuttle to the strip and didn’t have to wait long. I wish it didn’t stop at the Gold Coast each way! We arrived at the LINQ and hiked to Harrah’s. Every walk feels like a hike because I developed a blister on my left foot. Thank goodness for Second Skin!

    Since I had to allow extra time in case I had to wait for the shuttle, I arrived 45 minutes early. I decided to play nickel multi hand vp without my card since it was a very short session. I hit several quads and cashed out $25 ahead. I then played single line quarters and was dealt trips multiple times but couldn’t pull the fourth card for a quad. The machine finally showed mercy and dealt quad 7’s. Shortly afterwards, I rec’d a text from Fflowers saying they had arrived at Harrah’s, so I cashed out $80 ahead. Not a lot but a heck of a lot better than earlier sessions.

    Dinner was at our favorite, Ruth Chris. We had a wonderful table on the window and we able to spend considerable time with the manager whom we’ve become friends with over the years. She has such attention to detail, there’s no doubt why the service here is always impeccable. We always feel so welcomed by the staff and they remember us each trip. My filet was excellent, the others ordered the bbq shrimp and scallops and said they were excellent as well. As usual, we ordered way too many side dishes and I took a pic of the lobster mac & cheese to send to Fflower’s brother, Champster. He is mighty fond of the lobster mac & cheese, so we think of him every time we order it! I think our favorite dish here is the harvest salad! We always say we should split one, but never do, but we really should!

    After dinner, we waddled across the boulevard to Caesar’s and the Rod Stewart concert. Rod was rockin’! We were grateful our tickets weren’t in the front orchestra as the front 5-6 rows were full of fan club members who stood the entire concert. Fflower’s mom has mobility issues and there’s no way she could have stood for any length of time, and I sure wouldn’t want to either. We were a few rows up in the rear orchestra and I thought they were the best seats in the house. Rod can sing nothing but hits for 90 minutes straight! Even though he isn’t an artist I have on my play list, I know and like all the songs and enjoyed this even more than I thought I would. He had a tough time with the high notes, but his backup singers were amazing.

    I didn’t realize how much violin and sax are in his songs! His band was incredible and the violin and sax players blew us away. We had comped tickets, and while I thought I wouldn’t pay to see Rod Stewart, after seeing him I can honestly say I would pay to see him again.

    Of course it was a madhouse after the show and I needed a ride back to the Orleans. I knew the cab line would be a mile long, and I had a 3am wake up call to catch a 6am flight home, so I needed something fast (and that wouldn’t be walking to the LINQ, catching the shuttle, then dealing with traffic crossing back over the strip!) so I walked to the Colosseum valet parking area and the valet pointed me to the Lyft pickup area. The area at Caesar’s isn’t marked at all, as it is at Harrah’s. I requested a ride and the ETA was 5 minutes and it showed me a pic of the driver, his car, and I could follow his arrival on the gps. This driver was a young guy who works at Vdara, he works for Lyft and Uber on his days off. The ride back was quick and, with the $5 discount code, my total was $4! He assured me there would be drivers available to pick me up at 4am if I didn’t want to use a cab. From the time I walked out of the show to the time I arrived at the Orleans was 15 minutes, that’s crazy fast.

    I hated saying my goodbyes to Fflowers and family in the show, the trip always goes too fast and we will see each other again in August for her birthday.

    Wed April 6th
    My alarm went off at 3am and I thought it must be a nightmare, but no, time to go home! The Orleans Lyft pickup is on the south side near the Orleans shuttle pickup area, I waited until I arrived to request a ride and the ETA was 6 minutes. The driver arrived in another very nice vehicle that was immaculately clean (I’m 3 for 3!), he is a Lyft and Uber driver full time. He prefers Lyft because they pay you better (his words, not mine). I had another $5 discount, so even with a generous tip, my ride to the airport was $12. Much less expensive than a cab from the Orleans.

    Since I’m flying home on SW, I have TSA Pre-Check. I’m glad to be away from Frontier and their long security lines because they “don’t participate” in TSA Pre-check. So I walk up to security and there’s not a single person in line. Not one! It’s just me and TSA. I make a point of showing them I’m Pre-check so I don’t have to take off my shoes or drag out my laptop and I was at my gate in minutes. I knew the flight wouldn’t be crowded as I had just purchased the flight a few weeks prior and I was A20 using Early Bird. Sure enough, there were 62 people on the flight and they announced everyone could have their own row. But not so easy……….

    I’ve just got to tell this story. For those of you that fly a lot, you know the person I’m talking sbout. I’m actually the second person after the handicap boarding, so when I walk on the plane, there is a handicap gentleman sitting in the window seat of Row 1, so I take the aisle seat of Row 2. After 20 people or so board, this woman and her husband (I assume) came on the plane and they started HOISTING her bag into the overhead compartment. I’m serious, it took both of them. Then they started pushing and pushing to get it inside. The stewardess tries to help them, they insist it will fit, it takes forever, but they get it shoved in. Then the woman flops into the aisle seat of Row 1 and motions for her husband to sit in the middle. That’s right, let’s cram into a row with a handicap guy who could use a little extra room, when there’s only 62 people on the flight!

    After a few minutes, the handicap guy stood up, excused himself, and moved back to an empty row. The woman then asked the stewardess if it was a full flight, and when she said no, the woman giggled and had her husband move from the middle seat to the window seat the handicapped guy had just vacated. Because of them. And don’t think for a minute they didn’t have the same access to the information the flight was nearly empty as I did…… they were both sitting in the gate area when it was announced and it was announced again when we were boarding. They didn’t affect my flight, but it was an excruciatingly painful process to watch. I felt bad the handicapped guy moved because of them, and it really pissed everyone off who had to wait for them to unwedge the obscenely oversized bag out of the overhead. Painful.

    I landed in STL 10 minutes early, my bag was already in baggage claim when I arrived, and I made the 2 hour drive home in record time. It was cold in Missouri!!
    So another trip is in the books and it was a fun one. Next trip is August 18 for Fflower’s birthday. I just got home and I can’t wait to return!! Good luck out there!
  2. dcdrogers

    dcdrogers Tourist

    Jan 23, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great trip report. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks so much for sharing.
  3. erica1025

    erica1025 Low-Roller

    May 15, 2013
    San Antonio, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sorry you got sick before the trip but you're right... Being sick in Vegas beats being sick at home!
    Thanks for the great TR.
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report! But Orleans still gave you 2 free nights this trip after playing that likely tiny theo earning nickel 8/5 Bonus? You must have done something right! ;)

    Glad to hear that the antibiotics worked well enough to not completely derail the trip! Glad you enjoyed the shows!

    With "Jubilee" gone, I feel like "Showstoppers" might be the biggest type of that show left! And glad to hear Rod is still going strong!

    Sucks about the "colored Royal straight" though. I've pulled that off in Vegas from just holding one card. Silverton April 2015, last card damn 10 of Spades vs. clubs.


    One of these days, I'll get a quarter royal. Maybe at Hollywood Wednesday night! :wink2:
  5. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hannibal Mo
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Tringlomane, The Orleans gives the 2 nights with very little play, my son plays a few hours of $5 blackjack and gets those offers as well. In the past, they were very good about comping additional nights for bigger play, but my last experience wasn't good. Nonetheless, I needed one extra night this trip and didn't have to pay for it, so it worked.

    Damn that 10 of Clubs! Go get 'em at Hollywood! That's a really streaky place for me, but I like it there.
  6. mafig

    mafig Tourist

    Jul 26, 2014
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thank you for your report.
    We were going to check out Orleans .... never been there. Thanks to you we know to grab the shuttle at Linq!
  7. Mayoman

    Mayoman Low-Roller

    Oct 26, 2011
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great TR, really enjoyed it.
  8. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

    Apr 6, 2015
    Dublin, Ireland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for sharing Diane! :)

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  9. Candydave

    Candydave mid-roller

    Jun 27, 2015
    Conifer Colorado
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report! Enjoyed reading it.
  10. VegasinApril

    VegasinApril Tourist

    Jun 21, 2002
    Really enjoyed your trip report! Thanks for posting it.
  11. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

    Mar 10, 2009
    Southwest Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Enjoyed it as always! Nice that you didn't have the check in room bullshit you usually have at the flamingo!
    Holiday Gift Shoppe
  12. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

    Mar 11, 2010
    Central TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great TR, thanks for sharing. One of my massive pet peeves is parents who say "They aren't bothering anyone!!" when their kids are bothering EVERYONE. Or are doing something they shouldn't. I'm sure that security guard was having none of it.

    Hope you are feeling much better now.
    Vegas Just Because...
  13. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

    Mar 26, 2009
    New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report - I prefer the longer non-live reports - more info in one spot instead of spread across 20 pages.

    I hear ya on the Royal Flush tease.....my last trip I held 10 J K A of diamonds - only needed the Q of diamonds to fill in and what fills in? Yeah the Queen of hearts - a red Queen for the tease. :thumbsdown:
  14. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hannibal Mo
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    No kidding! JPW sooner or later our trips will overlap!!
  15. Niteshade

    Niteshade Low-Roller

    Nov 17, 2013
    Abilene, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report. Sounds like
    you had a nice time, even though
    you weren't at top form. Being sick
    is never fun. It is always nice to meet up
    with old friends in Vegas. Enjoyed the read.
    Thanks for posting!
  16. CalifLovesVegas

    CalifLovesVegas Low-Roller

    Mar 1, 2014
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for posting dbueler! I got some scoop from Flowers too, I think you left the day I arrived. Nice catching up.
    Sorry to hear about your SW experience. No accounting for Morons.
    We had a gal who tried to CRAM her bag in the overhead too..... Several of us already seated were talking,
    WHY doesnt SW catch those large bags at the Gate? Its ridiculous the size bags being allowed on,
    and they rarely fit! Or they have to turn them sideways & take up two spaces.
    Slows everybody boarding.......
    And the coughers! Why do so many sickies fly? HATE that. Ever hear of a kleenex? Use it!
    Cough IN IT! ick.

    Anyway, glad your trip went ok overall & yes, I'll be back in Aug too.
    And May, June, July....... lol
    Take Care! CLV
  17. bretmc

    bretmc Tourist

    Jan 27, 2015
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Awesome trip report!
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