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Excalibur - May 1 - 5 - "Short Version"

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JoeVegas, May 7, 2006.

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  1. JoeVegas

    JoeVegas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Illinois

    My Trip Report

    Hi all,

    I’ve broken my trip reports into 2 separate reports. One is this “short version†and pretty much just provides a summary of the different events. Believe it or not it just hits the highlights although it did turn out to be quite lengthy. For those of you hardcore addicts who want more, then please feel free to read the long version.

    My 22 year old son decided to move to Vegas and I volunteered to drive with him. My son, his dog and I left Rockford, Illinois at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday April 30 and exchanging driving responsibilities, drove straight through arriving in Vegas at 7:00 p.m. (Vegas time) on Sunday evening. Although we were in some light rain all the way until Omaha, the rest of the drive was clear and uneventful. Leaving on Saturday night allowed us to travel through the mountains during the day and see the spectacular views they have to offer.

    I had gotten an e-mail deal from the Excalibur on Saturday morning and had originally booked only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night as I wasn’t sure whether we’d need to stop along the way. When it was evident we were going to arrive on Sunday night, I was able to extend my stay with the Excalibur for Sunday and Monday as well at the same preferred rate. ($51 for Sunday and $31 for each night thereafter).

    My son dropped me off at the Excalibur and his roommate (a friend of his who moved there last August) was there to meet us and the roommate would accompany my son to their apartment. I checked-in at the kiosk and went directly to my room. The air conditioner wasn’t working but a maintenance worker came within a few minutes and got it operational.

    Even though I was exhausted, I couldn’t sleep (a consequence of being in Vegas no doubt). So resigned to the fact that my weary body would have to wait, I got up and went down to play some slots.

    I’m your quintessential low roller and generally stick to quarter video poker or slots and find penny slots to be right up my alley. I will play blackjack on occasion but I knew that I was too tired to concentrate even if I was fortunate enough to find a $5 table.

    I couldn’t hit a darn thing and so about 2 hours later, I ended up going back to the room exhausted and a bit poorer.

    I got up Monday morning and headed over to the Monte Carlo where I hit the buffet which for $11.99 was pretty good. There was no line for the buffet either so that was an added bonus. Their dessert bar was lacking but the rest of the choices were typical and I enjoyed an omelette made with my choice of fixings. (Ham, sausage and cheese). Service was good with frequent refills of the ‘ol coffee cup.

    I stuck around and played some penny slots and found a decent selection. My favorite penny slot is one called Money Storm as I find that it pays small amounts frequently so although you may have bet 40 cents (20 lines times 2 coins per line) and only get back 24 cents on a hit, the losing doesn’t seem so bad. The bonus round pays pretty well and you can make-up those 16 cent losses. However, I also like to mix it up and will try out other machines as well just to see if I can get to the bonus round and see what happens.

    I decided to leave and stopped by the CVS pharmacy to pick up some snacks for the room and on the way back to my room decided to play a bit at NYNY. I drew the interest of a couple of the security guards at NYNY as I think they weren’t sure whether I was a tourist or a homeless person because I was carrying a couple of shopping bags. Cocktail service was good and I enjoyed a couple of Corona’s during my stay. I did pretty well at NYNY and left after about 90 minutes.

    After a short nap in the room I arose and played some penny slots at the Excalibur and enjoying some more Corona’s. I was heading over to NYNY and witnessed the end of the immigration rally that was taking place in front of the Statue of Liberty. I suggested to an older couple near me that we begin to sing America the Beautiful but the horrified look on their face before they made a hasty exit convinced me that it wasn’t probably such a good idea. Realizing that my judgment was probably more impaired than I wanted to acknowledge I decided it best not to gamble anymore and returned to my room and went to sleep.

    I got up Tuesday morning and watched the Convention and Tourism channel which a number of the hotels apparently carry. The programming is all about the Vegas area and includes the history of Vegas, the building of Hoover Dam, Area 51, etc. The channel was pretty much on the entire time I was in the room although I did begin to feel a bit like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman with the facts I was accumulating in my head.

    My son came and picked me up on Tuesday and we headed over to the Gold Coast. We were going to just grab a couple of hot dogs at the sports book but the attendant told us she’d been out for 45 minutes but was expecting them any minute. We decided not to wait and ended up at the buffet for lunch. They had a decent selection and the dessert bar was very good. Service was a little disappointing as we had to repeatedly flag our server down for refills on the drinks. But the $7.45 (I think that’s what we paid) was IMHO a good deal.

    We played some penny slots and my son ended up about $40 up and I was $20 down. I decided to cash in some points I had accumulated on my card from my last trip when I stayed at the Gold Coast since I hadn’t received any offers from them since then. My points came to $35 so we both walked out of there ahead.

    We walked over to the Palms and found a good selection of penny machines there too. Neither one of us could do much on them though so we headed over to the Rio. We got to see the Bevertainers do their thing and walked around a bit. We played a short while on the penny slots but I’ve never had much luck at any of the Harrah’s so when my son said he still wanted to go get a new cell phone, I wasn’t at all disappointed.

    He dropped me off around 6:30 at the Excalibur and I played the next few hours playing penny slots including 100 play penny video poker. It seems that you can sustain yourself with partial paybacks on these video pokers and by varying your bet (since unlike quarter video where I always do, I don’t play max coin on these penny 100 play) and hitting at the right time, the potential to quit ahead is good. At least I’ve generally done pretty well on them. Drink service was very good the entire time I played at the Excalibur and tonight was no exception.

    Still recovering from the long road trip, I went up to the room around 9:30, turned on the Tourism channel and went to sleep.

    Got up Wednesday and got an all day bus pass for the Deuce and headed to downtown stopping at Wynn and Circus Circus along the way. Wynn was pretty dead for 11:00 in the morning as expected, I found the slots exceptionally tight. A good way to pay off that 2.7 billion dollars it took to build it.

    At Circus I met up with a buddy of mine who works there and had lunch with him. Stuck around to enter the free slot tournament but alas, didn’t qualify nor was my name picked at a chance to spin the wheel and win some money. One of the person’s whose name was drawn did win $500 which was pretty neat to see.

    I continued on to downtown and played some slots in a few different casinos and ended up at Main Street Station and had some chicken wings and a couple of house brewed pale ales. Played 9/6 JOB at the main bar as well as some $5 single deck blackjack on the way out.

    Returned to Fremont Street and ended up in Binion’s where I played pai gow poker for the first time. I enjoyed the game and the table was very social.

    My son called me with his new cell phone number and it turned out he and his roommate were heading downtown. He called me after they arrived and we met up and hit a few more of the casinos and caught the light show. They gave me a ride back to the Excalibur where I played some more 100 play video poker before calling it a night.

    Thursday morning I ventured between the Excalbur, Luxor, NYNY and Monte Carlo. I had a problem with the TITO system at the Monte Carlo as their main computer indicated that a $14.64 voucher I was trying to cash had already been paid. The matter was eventually resolved and they paid me $15.00.

    I used some comp dollars I’ve accumulated from the slot club at Excalibur to pay a portion of my room. I applied $115 comp dollars and although the total bill should have been $175 plus tax, I was only charged another $21. I can’t figure out the math on it but I’m not complaining.

    I took my son and his roommate to dinner that night at the Rainforest Café at the MGM. They had tickets to see KA at 10:30 so we met at 8:00 for dinner. It was a decent meal and at less than $50 for the three of us (we didn’t have any alcoholic beverages) I didn’t think the price was outrageous.

    With my flight leaving at 6:00 in the morning I had to be at the airport around 4:00 so my son offered to take me. They called me after they got out of KA and we took his roommate home as he had to go to work the next morning. Sunset Station isn’t too far from where they live so we headed over there and killed the next few hours playing some slots.

    The flight was on time and uneventful and I slept most of the way home. Can’t wait to get back there in a couple of months.


    If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

    JoeVegas
     
  2. dscs007

    dscs007 Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    driving to vegas

    You let the dog drive too Joe? lol

    David
     
  3. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    4,981
    Location:
    Illinois
    Joe,
    I've done that Rockford to Vegas trip non-stop (about five years ago), as well. It was also with my son, who was about the same age as yours.
    We live 25 miles south of Rockford, but rented a car at the airport and drove to LA and back. The Rockford to Vegas leg wasn't as bad as I thought it would be with both of us sharing the driving. We timed it so we'd hit Vegas at night. The only drawback to out trip was we had no idea what Vegas was about when we got there. Stayed at a fleabag place off the Strip and were up and gone early the next day.
    You must have flown Allegiant on the return flight. Do you recomend, like others have said, getting to airport atleast two hours in advance?
     
  4. JoeVegas

    JoeVegas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Illinois
    Chef asked:

    I would agree that two hours prior to departure is a wise decision. I arrived just about 2 hours beforehand and I was surprised how crowded it was at 4:00 AM. I made it through without a problem but there was a large line quickly forming within a few minutes.

    I'm pretty sure there were other airlines operating in that area so I don't think it was just Allegiant. But at any rate, if you want to keep your stress low and avoid long lines, I'd definitely recommend getting there early.

    JoeVegas
     
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