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Derby, Food, Phantom, Multiple HotelsTrip Report 4/30 - 5/4

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by RWDPeanut, May 6, 2010.

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  1. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
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    Location:
    Chicago Burbs
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    35

    My Trip Report

    Hope you enjoy the TR below! :beer:

    My wife and I left Chicago Midway on Friday, 4/30 on the 9:00 PM flight. We didn’t take off until about 9:30 PM, but still ended up arriving in Vegas pretty much on time at 11:00 PM local time. We were nervous that we would not take off as Chicago was about to get hit by brutal storms, which included numerous tornado warnings. We took off literally about 5 minutes before everything hit. Phew!

    Arrived in Vegas to a 20 minute cab line and headed to the Venetian. We had 3 nights comped and were pretty excited as it was our first time staying at the Venetian. Our cab driver took the freeway to Venetian and it ended up costing $21, before tip, and I know plenty of other ways to get to Venetian so I know this guy ripped us off.

    Venetian was PACKED when we arrived, including the cab area. I am assuming Tao causes this every Friday night based on the people we saw, but luckily check-in was empty. It only took us about 5 minutes to check in. The room was very nice and I would stay again for sure. The bathroom was huge, 3 TV’s, tiered rooms, view overlooking the pools/strip, and a super comfy bed. The only downside is music constantly plays all night from Tao Beach, so if noise bothers you, do not stay here. We are in our late 20’s so it does not bother us, but it is loud and you can clearly hear the songs all night and all day, every day.

    After our Venetian check-in we headed over to Bally’s as we had 4 nights comped there. I had Bally’s booked originally months ago and the Venetian offer came along a few days before we left so we took advantage of that. Also, we only had 3 comped nights at Venetian so our last night would be at Bally’s. We checked in around 2:01 AM and they said they gave our room away since we didn’t arrive by 2:00 AM. I said, “Really, we arrived 1 minute late and someone was waiting to snag our room?†The guy laughed, went to the back for 10 minutes, and when he came back he checked us in and gave us a free upgrade to the North tower. I am glad that did not turn into an issue, but it got me wondering what people do when they have massive travel delays and they actually NEED the room. We really didn’t need it since we were at Venetian.

    Day 1 – Saturday, 5/1

    I woke up around 7 AM, got some coffee, and headed to TI. I played Let it ride for an hour as I love playing table games early in the morning while it is slow and you can talk with the dealers. I love hearing about the dealers and how they ended up in Vegas. My first hand was a 3 card flush and 3 of a kind so it paid $200 which was awesome. However, I proceeded to lose the next 19/21 hands and left down $80. It kept me busy for an hour so I was happy. :peace:


    I headed back to Venetian to make my sports bets for the day and brought up some coffee and donuts for my wife and me as we got ready for the day. We played some slots and then I parked myself in the Venetian sportsbook at 1:00 PM. My wife met up with a few of her friends that flew in the night before, while I watched some Racing, baseball, playoff hockey, and playoff basketball. I had the Flyers and a +170 ML which sounded like a good bet, but turned out to be a losing bet. The game was exciting as the Flyers scored 2 goals late in the 3rd period to send the game to OT, but wound up losing in OT. DARN! :grrr:

    I proceeded to win most of my baseball bets and was up $175 in the sportsbook by the time the Kentucky Derby Started. By this time my wife and her friends made it to the book for the Derby where I lost $91 and my wife’s friend won $100. I continued to stay in the book and win a few more baseball games while losing my basketball ML bet.

    At 7:00 PM we headed across the casino to see Phantom. The theater is fairly small and looks really cool with the fake people. The show was good, but I am not really into shows so I really can’t comment. My wife loved it so I assume it was really good.

    After the show we headed across the street to Isla at TI. Isla is a small Mexican restaurant in TI that we have gone to for the past few years. We always order the guacamole with our chips and it is so good. I get the steak pyramid which is always solid and my wife ordered some chicken salad was was really gross. Stay away from the salads and get real food at Isla. The make a great mojito and if you like tequila they have everything.

    We played for a while at TI and I broke about even playing slots while my wife was up about $150. We played Time Machine, Monopoly, Hot Hot Super Jackpot, Hot Hot Penny, and Kitty Glitter. TI has some fun slots if you are a slot player and I know it is just my imagination, but we seem to stay about even or make some money at TI. I don’t ever remember leaving TI down a lot of money.

    Since we were also using this trip as some relaxation from out 2 year old, we decided to get at least 5-7 hours of sleep every night so we headed to bed around 1 AM after leaving TI.

    Day 2 – Sunday, 5/2

    Got up at my typical 5 AM to walk the strip while the wife slept until about 9:00 AM. I played at Caesars and Bellagio for a few hours and then headed back to the Venetian sportsbook. My wife went to the Gardens at Mirage with a few of her friends, while I sat in the sportsbook with some of her other friends.

    Her friends are amazed that I can spend the majority of my day in the sportsbook. I love it, I think the sportsbook is both one of the most relaxing and exciting places in the casino. You get to sit in nice chairs, watch sports, drink, and half the crowd roots with you. Vegas does a great job setting lines as the rooting interest is always split 50/50. I had another good day betting on baseball while getting destroyed in basketball and hockey. I ended up about $145 when all said and done.

    As the sports started to die down, my wife and I headed to Joe’s Seaford and Steak in the Caesar’s forum shops. Please go there if you want great service, amazing food, and giant portions. It gets expensive, but it is so worth it. My wife had the parmesan crusted fish while I had the filet. Our side was the Jenny’s mashed potatoes which are amazing.

    After Joe’s we walked the strip hitting various casinos and just relaxing. Again, the point of this trip was not to get belligerently drunk with little to no sleep. I reserve that type of trip for March Madness and football weekend. As the night ended I was down about $500 for the trip which is not normal for me. Slots are killers and I generally stay away from them. However, my wife loves slots so when I am with her we end up playing pretty much only slots and I get destroyed. My friends and I were so confused by slots and have a running joke where we just name 5 symbols for a jackpot. The best was the text I got from a buddy asking if I pulled a slot and got a triton, Bill Walton’s beard, a phonebook, cookies, and a calculator to win a jackpot. Oh well, it is funny to us. :rolleyes2:

    As Sunday night came to an end around midnight, sadness came over me as Monday was our last full day. I get so sad as the trip comes to an end and we hit milestone’s such as last full day, last night, last nice meal, last few hours, etc. so sad.

    Day 3 – Monday, 5/3

    We packed up, left Venetian, and headed to Bally’s. The check out at Venetian was busy, but it was quick and well managed. Venetian did a really good job managing lines for check in and check out so good job.

    We threw our stuff in the Bally’s room and ordered a pizza at JJ’s in Paris. If you have never had this pizza and you like NY style pizza that is greasy and you have to fold, go here. The service is terrible, but once you get the pizza you are set! This is the 4th time in a row that they forgot to make my pizza and they do not speak English well so communicating is really frustrating.
    We took the pizza into the Paris sportsbook, placed bets for the day and played the horses for a while. We ended up staying a few hours in there and broke about even, but scored numerous drink tickets and drinks so it was fun.
    I spent the rest of the afternoon playing 3/6 limit poker in Bally’s and grinded out a $3 profit. I usually can at least get to $75, but the competition was actually decent this time, except for the middle aged Russian lady who bet every hand and went through $500 in 2 hours at 3/6 limit. We pretty much took turns taking her money.

    After poker we got cleaned up and headed to the Paris sportsbook for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game.


    What a game and the Hawks ended up winning 4-2! I am a huge Blackhawks fan being from Chicago and a bunch of Hawk fans were in the book so it was fun. My wife and I ended up sitting next to 2 Maple Leaf fans turned Canuck fans so they were fun to banter with and talk too. Overall the atmosphere was fun and friendly until the last minute of the game. The hawks pulled off a tie, a go ahead goal, and then an empty netter to secure the win and these Canuck fans came out of the Paris bar behind the book, really drunk, and started yelling at all the Hawk fans. I attempted to ignore him, but then he yelled in my wife’s face “CANUCKS IN 5†even though she was just sitting there and could care less about sports, ha. I backed him up against the wall and I was clearly bigger than him and finally his female friends dragged him away, so overall a good ending and thankfully no fight. Why can’t people just behave? :poke:

    After a great win, we headed to La Provencal in Paris because we wanted some Italian food. This place is very, very, average, but I get to use my Rewards points there so it all worked out. I would only eat here to use points, I wouldn’t pay for it. It is cool when the servers start singing though.
    After dinner we played a few more slots then headed to be as we had a 10:20 AM flight back home.

    Day 4 – Tuesday, 5/4


    This does not count as a day in my book as our flight was at 10:20 AM. I played some Let it Ride at Paris and was winning. Every hand was a flush, straight, pair, etc and of course I start winning when I had to leave like 5 minutes ago!!

    I finally pulled myself away, up about $240 in 20 minutes and stopped to get my wife and me a Crepe. She had the favorite crepe and I had the chocolate. The crepes in Paris are sooooo good. Make sure to get one if you never have.

    We then packed up our stuff, got in the cab, and had an uneventful flight home. :cry:

    Negative Notes and Observations

    1. The majority of the guests that stay in the Venetian are total Dbags (Think: The Hills). I would almost consider not staying at Venetian because of the crowd.
    2. I am terrible at betting Playoff Hockey and Playoff Basketball, yet I do it anyway
    3. Falling asleep and getting sunburn at the Venetian pool sucks
    4. Terrible drink service at Bellagio, as always (Except for the sportsbook)
    5. City Center/Aria – I keep trying to go and like it and I just don’t. Too much empty space before you hit the casino and then dark/gloomy in the casino.
    6. Guys that wear big drinks around their neck and/or have large fruity drinks should get their man card revoked.
    7. People who talk to me at slot machines because they are confused! This has happened the past few trips and it is starting to tick me off because it is not friendly conversation. No, I don’t know which boat you pick for the most bonus credits, I can’t tell you how much to bet, and don’t get angry and tell me I am doing good because I bet 90 credits and “won†55 credits.
    8. JJ’s Bulongierre in Paris – Thank you for making this the 4th trip in a row that you forgot to make my pizza I ordered. And the same fat slob who speaks no English looks at me like it is my fault and then asks me something in broken English. I am always polite when something is screwed up, it happens, no big deal, so please don’t give me an attitude because I waited 20 minutes until I ask if my 5 minute pizza was done.
    9. Although they were much better this trip, the bums on the overpass still annoy me. Now they play drums, banjos, etc.
    10. Joggers in the morning – When did this happen? I used to see the random jogger, but now it is like packs of joggers and they run into you, cross the street when it shows do not walk, etc. Wouldn’t mind seeing one get hit by a cab.
    11. The next person or group that stops walking and looks up and/or randomly stops in front of me is going to get bulldozed. Also, do not congregate in front of doors or walk 5 people across so no one can get around you!
    12. Ending the trip down $1000

    Positive Notes and Observations

    1. Venetian Check in/Check out – Very polite and quick
    2. Venetian Sportsbook – I tipped the guys/girls in the morning $10 when I bet and they handed my MOUNDS of drink tickets. I had enough drink tickets for 4 drinks every time the server came around and I still have a ton left over.
    3. Phantom – Excellent show, short and to the point, and cool theater
    4. Joe’s in the forum shops – The best meal of the trip as always
    5. Nothing better than grabbing a cup of coffee at 5:00 AM and walking the strip. It is so peaceful (except for the joggers).
    6. Venetian bed was awesome
    7. The Ice Cream store being open at 11:00 PM in TI!!!!
    8. Great drink service at Venetian, Bally’s, Paris, Caesars, and Aria.
    9. Finding a $100 bill mixed in with my singles was the same as a win
    10. Southwest is always on time and flies through any condition.
    11. I am not going to be back to Vegas until March 2011 at the earliest, so I spent lots of time slowing it down (Not getting ridiculously wasted) and taking it all in. Nothing beats Vegas :beer:
     
  2. VegasRandy

    VegasRandy Low-Roller

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    "10. Southwest is always on time and flies through any condition."

    I don't know if I like the second part of that equation.
     
  3. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    nice report! I was there same weekend and watched the Derby in the MGM book.
     
  4. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Great report man!

    Your statement below was the best because I can relate big time!!!!!!

    "The next person or group that stops walking and looks up and/or randomly stops in front of me is going to get bulldozed. Also, do not congregate in front of doors or walk 5 people across so no one can get around you!"
     
  5. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    I find it amazing how people have absolutley no clue that they are blocking an entire entrance or coming to a complete stop for no reason.
     
  6. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Great report. When you know you're not going to be back in Vegas for quite some time you just want to soak it all up and enjoy it.
     
    Back where we belong
  7. SloppyJoe

    SloppyJoe Tourist

    Joined:
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    Heading to MGM on the 18th. Leaving our twin 2.5 yr old boys with Grandma and Grandpa. Was this your first trip away with your wife? This will be ours. Looking forward to relaxing...And drinking...And Gambling...And...
     
  8. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Awesome, love the negatives and positives too, the bums on the overpass are way out of hand, for Bellagio, I've found if you can get served on the floor, they'll find your area again regularly but getting noticed at first can be a bit of a challenge.

    Thanks for the great report on the Venetian, staying there for the 1st time next trip and looking forward to it.
     
  9. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    what did you mean when you said "The theater is fairly small and looks really cool with the fake people."?

    great tr!:beer::beer::beer:
     
  10. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    This was our second Vegas trip away from our 2.5 year old. He makes it easier to leave Vegas and come home!
     
  11. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    I am used to giant theaters in Chicago, so I was surprised with how small the theater is. It wasn't bad, I liked it a lot better, but it is just smaller then I pictured in my head.

    Also, the whole theater is designed specifically for Phantom so it is retty cool as that is something else I am not used to. "Box Seats" are built on the sides of the theater with fake cutout people sitting in them. It makes a lot of the scenes really cool and realistic.
     
  12. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Nice report. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
     
  13. rlhendrix

    rlhendrix Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed it
     
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