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Family Vacation to Vegas: Yes we're Crazy!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by NurseLisa, Jun 24, 2012.

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  1. NurseLisa

    NurseLisa High-Roller

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    Portland, OR
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    My Trip Report

    I've been telling my kids for years now that they don't allow kids in Vegas and that's why they have to stay home when daddy and I go (usually about 3 times per year). But this year we only had one week for a summer vacation as my son is starting high school football which runs ALL SUMMER long and the tickets to LA for Disney or a Cruise were crazy expensive that week. Yet Vegas was pretty darn reasonable. We also are embarking on a Huge remodel project of our house very soon and didn't see a Vegas trip anywhere in our near future. So we invited another family, took advantage of one of our comped rooms and also reserved a 1500x3 Suite at Mandalay Bay and planned our family vacation in Vegas June 18-21 (Monday-Thursday).
    My 14 year old son was not happy about this trip "You said I wouldn't like Vegas" and My 6 year old was THRILLED about the idea "I thought they didn't allow kids in vegas" she said. So what does mom say to this? A little Fib. "Well it's School's out Week and the only week they allow kids in Vegas." You'll see lots of kids everywhere taking advantage of this one week! Didn't want them liking it and thinking they could come along every time.

    We knew this would have to be a completely different trip than my husband and I usually take or we'd be miserabe, so we planned a family vacation in Vegas and here is how it went.

    Monday:
    Flight out of PDX to LAS via SW Airlines was a little late due to weather in LAS. We were A borders in the 49-56 group. Got a whole row for us three girls the Two dad's set accross from us and the two teenage boys set in front (that poor woman who had to sit next to our teenagers :).) Flight was pretty bumpy with high wind warnings in Vegas that day. Landed to a temp of 100 at 11:00am.
    Took the bus to the rental car center. got in and out of the Alamo office using the kiosk in less than 5 min. Chose a White Town and Country Mini-van. No problem getting all of our 6 checked bags and 7 carry ons in the back and loaded all 7 of us into the van and headed out.
    made a quick stop at the Vegas Sign on the way to Mandalay Bay. Got parked in the Self Park and to the Lobby to check in JUST before a huge group of people arrived. Requested that our 2 Queen and 1500x3 Suite be on the same floor. At first she said there were no clean suites. Gave her our Gold Card and suddenly they were able to find a 1500 suite and a 2Queen room that were just a few doors down from each other and ready to occupy.
    Dropped our bags in the room, called down for a fridge as there was just an empty cabinet where the fridge should be next to the mini-bar fridge in the suite and headed out to Burger Bar for lunch. The kids had HUGE milkshakes. My Friend and I checked out of lunch early and headed back to the Town and Country and ran up to Alberson's on Tropicanna for some groceries to stock the suite.
    After unpacking groceries we haeded over to Monte Carlo to pick up Tickets to the 7:00 Jabbawockeez Show. We had 4the row seats, all of us really enjoyed the show, especially my 14 year old who really enjoys break dancing himself. The six year old danced in her booster seat the entire show, Had to settle her down a couple of times as I was afraid she may hit the woman in front of her with her wild arm movements.
    After the show we took the tram to the Bellagio and checked out the chocolate fountain, the conservatory, and the fountain show. Everyone really enjoyed this as well. Then we walked back to the Monte Carlo on the strip. There was a little more complaining about the heat and sore feat on this part, but they enjoyed the atmosphere of the lights on the strip and it really wasn't that far.
    Back in the suite we set up the kids with snacks and games. The boys were planning to play poker and Risk and the 6 year old had the ipad with Netflix and her jammies on in bed.
    Off we went to the craps table. I'll take this moment to say that I think the gabling Karma was against us. I'm going with the theory that we were being punnished for bringing out kids to Vegas! So we spend about 20 min at the craps table without anyone hitting a single point. And this pretty much stayed true for the entire trip for me. After three days of this I swore off craps for the rest of the trip and stuck with VP and slots. Never before have I said that my money lasts longer in slots than at Craps but it sure did this trip.
    We were pretty tired and discouraged our first night and headed up to the room about 1:00.

    To Be continued.....
    View from the Mandalay Bay 1500x3 suite room # 19235
    Master Bedroom view
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    2 Queen Bedroom view
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    Jabbawockeez Show
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    My son and I at the conservatory, fun summer theme with bees and ladybugs and a carosel.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  2. NurseLisa

    NurseLisa High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Day Two (Tuesday):
    All Day pool day! Made Breakfast for everyone in the room and took em down to the pool.

    [​IMG]

    Rented a East Lagoon Cabana #25.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It was the perfect size for the 7 of us, especially with the three kids spending 90% of the day in the water.
    We all traded off spending pool time with the 6 year old. She loved the Lazy River. It was nice to have the two free lazy River inter-tubes that came with the Cabana. This was the first time we have done the cabana and it really made a difference with the amount of time you can stay out at the pool when it's 106 degrees. Having shade and a continuous flow of ice and water from the fridge was very helpful. We had great service from our "cabana boy" and our souvenir cups of Pina Colada's and Mai Tais were never empty. We ordered lunch out there and that was fine as well. The TV was a good distraction to keep the kids out of the sun for an hour or so.

    [​IMG]

    Left the pool around 5:00PM and got cleaned up for dinner. Dinner was at A Slice of Las Vegas Pizza and pasta in Mandalay Place, it was decent food. Husband and I had a 4 cheese pizza that has some truffle oil on it that was nice and a unmemorable Ceasar salad. The other popular items at the table were the 10 meat pizza and fettuccine Alfredo with prawns the shrimp where huge.

    Walked through the Luxor to the Excalibur so the kids could play at the fun dungeon, it was about 8:00 by the time we got there. The website said it closed on Tuesdays at 9:00 so I took one for the team and offered to hang with the kids while the other three gambled upstairs. Well I lost on that gamble too, Guess what "summer hours" were not on the website. They were open until 11:00. By the second hour I was understanding why they called it the fun DUNGEON!! Left Excalibur and took the tram back to Mandalay Bay to tuck the kids in.
    [​IMG]

    Headed back out about 11:30 and completely forget how early they close that MB, Luxor, Excalibur tram. So walked back over to Luxor via Mandalay Place to play some craps there since Mandalay Craps has been so bad and by this time of night were all $15 tables.

    We found a table that was half empty and could accommodate all 4 of us at Luxor. The table staff there were very friendly and the drinks flowed nicely for about an hour or so then came the 7s again.....ended up busted at the Craps table again that night. Played a few $1 slots which sucked up my money as fast as the craps table, had a little luck at Wiz of Oz and then headed to the room about 1:30am.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  3. NurseLisa

    NurseLisa High-Roller

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    Day #3 Wednesday

    Headed to the pool early on Wednesday to get a good Shady spot by the Lazy River as the 6 year old was pretty sunburned dispite or best efforts to reapply sunscreen every time we had her out of the pool.

    Headed in around noon to get ready for out big day of sightseeing.
    Lunch was at In and Out burger.
    [​IMG]

    Then over to MGM parking so we could do the M&M Store and coca cola. Kids got pics with Elmo and Hello Kitty. My son got to dance with Micheal Jackson.
    [​IMG]
    The little one was DYING to go to Sugar Factor since we always bring her Lolly Pops from there when we return.
    So we ventured down to Paris to check out their Sugar Factors store. She was in heaven!
    [​IMG]

    Back to the room to clean up for dinner at Hash House downtown at the Plaza so we could spend the evening on Freemont Street. Our Friends had never eaten at Hash House, nor had the kids. Needless to say they were all surprised by the size of their meals. Meatloaf sandwich, Big Ol Chicken pot pie, kids meal pancake and chicken with pasta. Husband and I shared a chicken and waffles I don't think the food was as good as the one at the Imperial Palace and by the time our waffles came out everyone else was done eating.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The grown ups split up so we could gamble a little. Gave the Nugget all my Craps money in a quick 15 min as my girlfriend and I were the only ones at the table and we couldn't hit a point for the life of us. I've got to learn to play the don't pass line. Saw a couple of shows, got the kids some deep fried twinkies and headed back to the Mandalay Bay to put the kids to bed and hit the Mandalay bay slots. Found a fun slot Phat Cats that was quite good to me downtown. Then found it again at Mandalay. It was still good to me there, but didn't seem to pay out as high as the one at the Nugget ( surprise surprise). Gambled until about 2am on the machines at Mandalay Bay and headed to bed as we had to check out at noon on Thursday.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  4. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Glad to see this report, sounds like everyone (even the teenager) is enjoying themselves. Sorry, the craps has been dismal.
     
  5. NurseLisa

    NurseLisa High-Roller

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    Day #4 Thursday

    Thursday morning we slept in a little and then packed up. We ran out to Mandalay Place to buy a few last minute souvenirs.
    We checked out and had a really hard time getting the front desk people to apply our express comps to our bill.
    They called and said that they had been applied, but the bill was not at all reduced so we stopped by VIP services on the way to the parking garage and sure enough, they had not applied them. What a pain. One comped room and one paid for room seemed to confuse everyone. Then I wanted to play my point play and they had my account locked up or something because it said that It was "acquiring my account information, every time I put my pin in." So hopefully I'll return before my point play expires.

    After check out we went to Circus Circus adventure dome for the kids to play.
    [​IMG]

    My GirlFriend and I ended up on a Wiz. of Oz game in the casino and played for over an hour on $20, good times there. When then went over to the dollar coin machines and she put in $20 and walked away with a really heavy bucket with $116 in it.

    We then made a quick stop at Cesar's Forum shops as we hadn't made it to Cesar's yet. Got there just in time to see the Atlantis Show. My Son got his Air Jordan shoes he wanted at the Nike Store, the other Teenager hit Abercrobie and Fitch and the 6 year old enjoyed watching them feed the fish. We had a little Sorbet & Gelato and then headed back to Mandalay to pick up luggage and to refuel the Town and Country.

    We returned the rental car (I love how easy it is to rent and return a car in Vegas!!) and hit security with no line or waiting around 6:15. Got a table for 7 at Chilis just inside B Gate security and had another kid friendly dinner before our 8:20 flight home to Portland. The flight home on SW Airlines was on a brand New
    737 that had only been in service since June 6th.
    [​IMG]
    Very nice plane, felt like it has more leg room than the previous plane on the trip to Vegas. The flight attendants were a little thrown off by having to learn to use beverage carts on this new plan rather than their usual tray service, but they all had good senses of humor and the flight home had lovely sunset views all the way home.
    [​IMG]
    Summary:
    Overall it was a successful Family Vacation. All the kids and the Adults enjoyed themselves.
    Gambling was terrible, again I'm thinking that it was Bad Karma for taking Kids to Vegas.

    Things I've never done before that we did on this trip:
    Taken my kids to Vegas
    Stayed in a 1500 Suite at Mandalay Bay
    Rented a Cabana
    In & Out Burger
    Excalibur Fun Dungeon
    Hash House in Plaza Hotel
    Circus Circus (why would I if I didn't have kids)
    Drove from Downtown to Mandalay Bay via the strip at night- super fun!!
    Not eaten at Mon Ami Gabi :( really mised that. The food on this trip was nothing to talk about.
    Lost every single time I played craps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  6. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Hey NurseLisa! Would you do another family trip? Enjoyed the read.
     
  7. carlyzmom

    carlyzmom Tourist

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    Fun trip report. We just made our first trip out there last week. Couldn't stop thinking about our kids! They are 11 and 9. They would have LOVED the M & M store and the Cirque shows, etc. I would just be concerned (for the younger ones) with all the little cards on the ground. That would be a tough one to explain! LOL I do think a kids trip may be in our future, but only when they can really walk far! Glad to hear your perspective!
     
  8. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    Fantastic trip report - thanks for posting.
     
  9. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Great TR. It can be done.

    BTW, love your 6 yr old. She's going to have her own TV show someday. Great pictures.
     
  10. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    great trip report! i remember when you were asking if people on here thought it would be ok to bring them. disney is super expensive! btw, i am not one of the people that say you can't bring kids to vegas. i am, however, one of those people who say you shouldn't bring babies to vegas. so many people that bring kids and even teenagers to vegas try to have their usual adult trips just with kids in tow. i don't like that. and i am guessing that is what most people who say kids don't belong in vegas are referring to. there is so much to do there for actual kids (not infants and toddlers) and teenagers. plus, you actually planned the trip really well. it sounded like it worked out since you had another group of adults to help trade off the kid duty. and a whole day at the pool?!?! i've never done that. sounded like fun though.

    so will you be having another family vegas vacation??
     
  11. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    and am i the only one who can't see any photos??
     
  12. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    Nope, I can't see them either.
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  13. lvpeg

    lvpeg Low-Roller

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    So glad I'm not the only one that can't see pics.....
     
  14. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    Sounds like you had a great vacation, even though you had to "share" this time :evillaugh

    Spending a day by the pool was a good idea, including the Cabana rental, and definitely a good idea to travel with another family to split up the kidsitting duties.

    I think that's where people run into problems taking kids to Vegas: if there's only the 2 adults, who has to stay in the room when the child goes to bed? No one wants to, so they end up dragging the poor thing through the casinos and streets. :rolleyes2:
     
  15. NurseLisa

    NurseLisa High-Roller

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    We really all had a good time. They kids were really well behaved and I probably would do another trip with them. But no time soon. Vegas is my husband and I's place. We like to splurge on food and drink and gambling and pretend we are someone else when we are there. So we were a little worried When my daughter threw a penny in the fountain and said her wish was that she could come every time we went to Vegas. It'll be much harder to leave her next time now that she know's what she'll be missing.

    I changed my photo album to public, so hopefully all of you, not just the moderators can see the pics.
     
  16. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Yep, now I can see the pix which are great. Thanks for sharing, glad you had a good time.
     
  17. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    Hmmmm....sounds like you may have opened Pandora's Box.:confused2:

    Glad the trip worked out for you all....:thumbsup:
     
  18. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    the pictures really add to your already good trip report :thumbsup:. your daughter is a hoot! :)
     
  19. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Yeah, making your album private will keep everyone but me (and the other admins) from seeing them. Glad you got it worked out.
     
  20. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    You did a great job. Nice pics too!

    Sounds like you are one of the few that did right by your kids without having them out all night on a Vegas trip.

    Well done.
     
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