Hi Friends!! I went to Vegas with my Mom! Different and lots of fun! A little background on her: She used to go to Vegas all the time, averaging 3 or 4 times a year. But she’s getting old and frail. She doesn’t go to Vegas as much nowadays, and when she does she usually goes with my sister, who lives with her. She has a group of friends who always bug her to go to Vegas with them. My mom is 85 years old, and her friends are in the mid 70’s and younger. They’re not spring chickens either but they still can get around pretty well. Not so much my mom. She has trouble walking and can’t see as well as she used to. When my mom goes with them to Vegas my sister always tags along so there were no worries from me. My sister saw to it that my mom is well looked after. Which leads to the story of this trip. My mom gave in to the bugging of her friends and decided to go to Vegas with them. My sister, however, could not go because of her work commitments and tried to talk my mom out of it. But no, my stubborn mom insists she will go and assured all of us in the family that she will be all right. Meanwhile, I’m temporarily out of work due to a lag in construction where my company’s contracts with several builders were put on hold. The fact that my mom is going to Vegas without my sister was too much for me so I booked last minute on the same flight as my mom and her friends. I surprised her 3 days before the trip that I was coming also and she was so excited and happy. Seeing her face light up made me glad I decided to go with her and her friends. Thus begins the story of Electroguy goes to Vegas with Mom. The players in this story is myself, my mom, Flo and Mits (husband and wife) and Masaki, Mits younger brother. I plan to talk some about the things we did together, and also my take of things I observed here and there. I’d also like to share some pics of some VP play I did. The pics are pretty bad since my phone is just a cheap flip type. I’m a craps player but played more VP this trip as it makes it easier for me to just stop and check on my mom. The craps play sucked anyway, for this trip. So come along if you’d like, I’ll try to make it as interesting and informative as possible. I can guarantee this is not going to be like the epic reports one is used to seeing on this forum but you might decide to save this report for the boring rainy days when there’s not much to do. Friday the 31st came soon enough and I met my mom and her friends at the airport. Another typical Vacations Hawaii charter flight. My mom sat with her friends and I had a seat on the very last row, middle aisle. I was sitting with a nice couple but because they were on the larger size it was a bit uncomfortable but we made do of the situation. 1st win of the trip was when the Vacations Hawaii lead escort offered me a window seat with no one next to me (the flight wasn’t full). Great!! Win for me and also for the nice couple who could now have an empty seat between them. By the way on the return flight home we scored the same arrangement. I hardly ever could sleep on a plane but because of the roominess and having two seats all to myself I slept like a baby on the way home! Wish this would happen more often. I actually felt it was better than flying first class, which I’ve done before on these charter flights. After 5 ½ uneventful hours we arrived in Vegas around 10:30 or so p.m. Then straight to the busses that would take us to either the Cal, MSS, Fremont or the Orleans. My mom and her friends had the wheelchair option so we were one of the last ones to board the last bus. Unfortunately this bus takes all the leftover stragglers to the Orleans first. Because we were going to the Cal it meant we arrived at our destination well after 12 midnight. What a bummer. I’m thinking of writing a complaint to Vacations Hawaii about this. They usually have a bus specifically for the Orleans customers and the rest of the busses are for Downtown. On past trips we would be in our hotel before 11 p.m. Oh well. By the way our luggage is automatically picked up for us at the airport and delivered to our rooms by the Vacations Hawaii people so we don’t have to go to baggage claim for it. My mom and her friends had adjoining rooms with a common door between the rooms. For this trip Mits and his brother Masaki shared a room and my mom and Flo had one to themselves. They had regular rooms on the 13th floor of the west tower. The Cal gave me a mini-suite (I think) on the 23rd floor which is their top floor. I had room 2313 and it was the same type of room I had on my solo trip in March. It has high ceilings, a king size bed, a jaccuzzi, walk in shower, a double sink vanity and a single sink vanity, a living room with sofa, coffee table, and lounge chairs, water closet, refrigerator, and 52 inch hi-def T.V. Really nice. I texted my wife about this and she again became jealous just like last time and we both couldn’t figure out why a solo traveler like myself could score this kind of room 2 times in a row. But I’ll take it! It was well past 1a.m. already and my mom and her friends went and had something to eat at the Cal’s Market St. Café. I went and scoped out the craps tables. As usual they were full with old Hawaiians having a great time. I sat at a VP machine close to the tables so I can play and watch the action at the same time. It was one of those machines where you can play various bonus type games either triple play or 5 play. I chose triple play DDB at 25 cents. On my 3rd spin I hit this: Yay!!!!! (Dealt too, talk about lucky!!) I then jumped on the craps table and sure enough, I lost my ass. After losing 2/3rds of my buy-in I colored up and played some VP. Nothing great happened so around 4am. I went up to bed. Saturday I was up at 6:30 and went down to the casino. I played various slots and VP and then called my mom. Uh. Oh. No answer. The call immediately goes to leave a message. Thinking maybe it was a bit too early I planned to call later. So off I went to MSS and sat down at a slant top VP. I selected DDB at 25 cents and after a couple of hands got this: I played for a while longer (after forgetting to get a scratch card, I’m always forgetting…) I went back to the Cal to look for mom. She’s actually quite easy to find. Her strategy this trip was to play 25 cent reel slots (Red, White, Blue, Double Triple Stars, etc.) and if she hits pretty good go and play the same type of slots but for dollars over by the east wing by the Keno area. I found her and she gushed about winning 600 dollars or so last night. “That’s great mom !! Do you still have some of it left over?” After a pause she said “Uhh….no.” Oh. O.k. “Are you having fun, mom?” I asked. And she said “Of Course!!” I smiled. That’s all that matters. To my dismay I found out that my mom’s cell phone is broken. This might be a problem since my mom, as fragile as she is, is fiercely independent. She hates it when someone is following her around and looking over her shoulder when she is playing. She also feels it is bad luck. We decided to try to meet daily at a certain time and discuss when we’ll meet for meals, etc. It actually turned out o.k as we were able to keep in touch with each other. Of course her friends also helped. I made my mom promise never to leave the Cal or MSS without me and with her promise we went our separate ways. The Cal and MSS complex is full of senior patrons like my mom so as long as she doesn’t leave the premises I felt a little more relaxed. My mom went off with her friends to play and I headed to the craps tables, which for the duration of the trip was a huge money vacuum. Could not get any decent run, but I still had fun playing. I made it a point to never play down to the last chip so there were countless times I colored out after losing ½ to 2/3rds of my buy-in. It was brutal. This never happened to me before and I don’t think I ever had a session where I colored up ahead. On Sunday my mom was a bit tired from the previous night so she slept in and later we had a nice lunch with her friends at the Market St. Café. Vacation Hawaii customers all get what they call Aloha coupon food voucher books so my mom and her friends made exclusive use of these coupons. Problem with this (well, not really a problem, depends how you look at it) is that your restaurant choices are limited to the café, the MSS buffet, the snack bar, and similar places if you happen to be at Fremont. To me, it gets boring eating at the same places but for my mom and her friends, it’s a cheap way to get a meal. And really, for these senior gamblers, that’s all that matters. A meal is a meal. And truthfully, having a meal with my mom and her friends were priceless. They are such a fun loving group and you can see that they truly love each other as friends. I had a great time just being with them and listening to them rib each other about their gambling antics, their wins and losses, and about how much fun they are having. We parted ways after lunch and made plans to eat dinner at the MSS buffet later on. I walked over to Fremont, hoping to get on their craps tables but it was packed. I hung around a bit to see if I could squeeze in but to no avail. So back to the Cal I trudged and decided to play some VP. Here are some pics of some pretty decent wins: Dinner at MSS buffet was nice. I always enjoy this place, it’s so bright, airy,and has a cheerful atmosphere. Here was one of the places where I was glad I joined my mom in Vegas. She’s pretty unstable when she walks and can’t see too well so I had to escort her to the buffet and help her select the foods she wanted and hold her plate for her. The buffet plates are huge and heavy and I knew she would have problems holding it and walking with it. They had some carved roast beef and turkey but they looked a bit dry. Their food selections were solid though, lots to choose from. For some reason even though I’m stuffed I always find room to eat a slice of their pizza. I have a pretty pic of the entrance I want to share but my phone sucks, it’s a whole lot better than how the pic looks. My mom and friends went off to play slots and I decided to visit the Fremont canopy and scope out the madness there. I often rant about how the performers and beggars are getting out of hand but for some reason it didn’t seem as bad as before. But then this happened: I was standing outside the Fremont watching this dude bang on some drums when this scraggly lady walked up to me smiling. Uh oh, I thought, here we go. “ Hi, do you have the time?” she asked, of which I replied quarter to 7 or whatever. Then she said “You from Hawaii?” of which I answered in the affirmative. “You mind if I ask you something?” and I answered yes, I do mind. “Do you know what I’m going to ask you?” Yeah, I said. You’re gonna ask me for money, which the answer is no. She said, “You won’t give me money? Not even to buy water?” That’s correct, I said. Then I told her if you ask other people long enough someone will give you money but you won’t get any from me. She then lectured me about God and how even he took pity on someone asking for water. I just looked off in the distance, pretending she wasn’t there. Eventually she walked off and started to cross the street. Before she crossed she opened her purse and took out a pack of cigarettes and lit up. I shook my head and laughed. You have money to buy cigarettes but no money to buy water. Yeah. I get it. Go ask God for money. See what he says….. That “You from Hawaii?” comment stuck in my mind. I wonder if she had a lot of success asking Hawaii people for money. If that was the case I bet she was shocked when she got none from me, LOL! Here’s a pic I took of some of the performers. I snuck it in which is why it’s of bad quality. There was this very large lady with very tiny boobs covered only with tape. (Mine are bigger.) She was in a thong…..yikes! Diaper man. I’m afraid of him. These girls have no “assets”. Monday morning found me playing VP at the alcove by the craps tables. I managed to get these hits: I then walked over to the Fremont to see if I can get on their craps tables. I managed to get on a table with a couple of Hawaiians and a bunch of local players. I got on a decent run but my throwing sucks. Most of my wins were from the other players rolling the dice. As usual I went up a couple of hundred then gave it back and more. I played for a couple hours then walked back to the Cal. I found my mom and her friends all looking bored. They mentioned that the slots were not too friendly this morning. I looked at the time and suggested, “You folks want to visit Sam’s Town?” I told them the free shuttle leaves in about an hour and it would be a change of pace. Their faces brightened up and they were all for it. So on to Sam’s we went. It was a fun ride, my mom mentioned to me that the last time she visited Sam’s Town it was in the 70’s and it was a shack, she said. Well you’re in for a surprise I told my mom and she was. All of them really enjoyed the place. And all of them got lucky! Not filthy rich lucky but they all managed to win 200 to 300 dollars here and there. Of course they put some of it back into the machines but they had fun and it was a great change of pace. They marveled at that animatronic park thing in the middle and reminisced about when Sam’s Town was just a smokey shack with tables and slot machines jammed inside. On a sad note my mom lost her $100 TITO somewhere. We were having so much fun talking, laughing, and joking she must have dropped it somewhere. I remember her holding it in her hand but stupid me didn’t think of having her cash out and put the money in her purse. I should have known better. We rode the shuttle back and got off at the Fremont. We all went in to play, and I again could not find a spot on those craps tables. Maybe that’s a good thing, LOL! My mom wandered off to play slots and came back all excited. She hit $200 on a quarter slot machine! That kinda makes up for the $100 TITO she lost at Sam’s. I told her the gambling gods felt sorry for her. I was happy she won something. She felt pretty bad about losing that TITO. The walk back to the Cal was an arduous journey for my mom. She’s unstable and weak in her legs and needs to look down to walk. This results in her literally walking into people. The afternoon walk back wasn’t as bad, I’d hate to think what would’ve happened if we were caught later at night with all the crowds. I had to gently guide her around people but it took a toll on her. She had to rest a couple of times. This is the second time I’m glad I decided to come with her to Vegas. Her friends only can do so much since they are old too. Next time I will inquire about renting a wheelchair from the Cal in case my mom wants to visit other casinos. We all had dinner at the Cal’s café. My mom’s friends ate their regular stuff and I ate the Prime Rib. In my past reports I always say that this dish is hit and miss. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s…..junk. Well, happy to say this trip it was great and I had a wonderful meal. My mom had Prime Rib also and I ate some of hers since she couldn’t finish it and for some reason I was famished. After dinner my mom and friends went off to play and I ended up playing VP by the multi-play machine next to the craps tables again. I got these hits: I then played craps. I was just having a bunch of bad luck. Mits (Flo’s husband) walked over and stood next to me at the table. I told him “Know how to play?” He said no. So I put a red chip on the pass line for him and told him just watch and hope for the number. Seven out. He cracked up laughing. He has this really funny laugh and it got me laughing too. Next shooter steps up and I again place a red chip for him on the pass line. I then placed $66 inside. Shooter sevens out. Again Mits cracks up in his funny laughter. Too funny! I told him he’s bad luck, let’s get out of here. He follows me, laughing his infectiousness laughter all the way. I pretend to be mad at him and he says he’s sorry…then starts laughing again. I gave in and burst out in laughter too. How can you get mad at a fun guy like that? Tuesday. Our last day in Vegas. We need to be at the staging area at 3 pm so we decided to just hang out at the Cal and MSS. I told my mom I plan to gamble till the last minute so go ahead and have breakfast and lunch with her friends. I walked over to Fremont to play a last session of craps there. On the way back I walked through Binions and did a double take. There was this panhandler person that I always see on Fremont sitting on a chair. She always has a cardboard sign and a small bucket for money. Her sign says “Please Help. God Bless You.”. Well, this person was going at it at a Buffalo slots machine. She still had the bucket of money on her lap and the cardboard sign around her neck. Well Dear Readers, now we know where some of the well intentioned money people give them goes…..BUFFALOOOOOO!!!! LOL! I walked over to MSS to play my last session of craps there. But not until I got this: I also remembered to get a scratch card. I got $2.00 on the card. Yay. I kept it for a souvenir. There was this big dude that auditioned for craps dealer while I was playing at the table. He did a great job. I hope he gets hired and I see him here on my next trip. I could swear I remember him as a dealer at the Golden Gate. I’m pretty sure that’s him because he showed up at the audition with the uniform of a Golden Gate dealer. Those of you who play at GG will know what I mean. To me, based on his audition performance, GG’s loss is MSS’s gain. The time came to leave and I met my mom and her friends at the staging area. I bought some Ethel M’s chocolates for my dear wife and then just sat and waited for the bus to take us to the airport. We reminisced about our trip and laughed about all the crazy and fun things that happened. I really am happy I decided to take this trip with my mom. I had time to spend with her whereas in our everyday hectic lives it becomes harder and harder to do. I wouldn’t hesitate to do this again. Here are some reflective thoughts about this trip: Downtown will always have panhandlers and obnoxious performers. But somehow it didn’t seem that bad. I realize it is what makes Downtown unique and it will always change in some form or another. I still hope some kind of control gets implemented. There are more younger people hanging out Downtown. Much more than I’ve noticed in the past. They seem more mature than the over the top drunks one associates with younger people. I see them hanging out at the Bars more than at the tables or machines. A rant about Asian craps dealers: They need to speak up louder when they are on the stick. They are so quiet (especially the female ones) when they are on the stick that nobody can understand what number has been thrown. Very irritating. I wish they were more like that guy who auditioned at the MSS. With him at the stick there’s no mistake as to what number was thrown. I think I will complain to mgt. about these Asian dealers. (I’m Asian, so don’t think I’m picking on them.) Bar scenes are where the Boyd properties are headed. The new bar at Fremont is really nice and it attracted a lot of young people. Looks like the Cal will follow suit. MSS should be left alone. It’s a gem and doesn’t need fixing. Unfortunately, the Cal Noodle House (Old Pasta Pirate) is not a hit with the patrons. I never saw it busy. Even when the casino is busy there’s hardly anyone in there. Not even the young people who I figured were the target demographic. Maybe it will change over time. The Cal was always known as a home for the elderly gamblers, especially the ones from Hawaii. Even if there are efforts to appeal to a younger generation, I hope there will still be a place for senior gamblers. After all, it won’t be long before I myself become just like my mom. I hope when that time comes I will have a place to stay at the Cal where I’ll feel comfortable. Thanks for reading! I plan to take another trip before the year is over. I’m looking forward to a trip with my beloved wife, maybe in November or December. Good Luck Everyone! Electroguy. P.S. I wanted to put 40K of play over the 4 days. Fat chance. I only managed 28K over the 4 days. I also lost half my bankroll allotted for the trip. I usually lose less but meh, it happens…..but I’m positive I’ve maintained Sapphire for another year.