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Flamingo-Orleans-Flamingo TR July 2013 Long trip-Long report!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by dbueler, Jul 10, 2013.

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  1. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Hannibal Mo
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50

    My Trip Report

    I begin this trip report sitting at Macarren airport, my flight home is delayed 30 minutes and I will use this newfound windfall of time to begin my trip report. Although I miss my family, I don’t want to leave and consider this exercise as therapy phase one. It was an awesome trip to my favorite city in the world.

    Preface
    My Vegas buddy, Fflowers, is enjoying a nearly 3 week sabbatical between jobs. She is spending nearly the entire time in LV, the first portion of her trip with college friends and her mother. Since we live thousands of miles apart, I booked an extra long trip (8 nights) in Mecca and I will be the caboose of her long trip. It takes a special kind of planning to remain financially solvent through a 9 day trip to LV, and a little luck. Mission accomplished.

    We love shows and decided to book quite a few as our version of ‘tipping our hat’ to Gregrio. Each show had a nearby empty seat and we knew he was with us in spirit.

    Before I begin, I’d like to give a nod to the wildfire burning near Mt Charleston. When I arrived on the 2nd, it was 1000 acres. When I departed on the 10th, it had grown to 25,000 acres and only 10% contained. Plumes of smoke were easily visible and some days, it drifted into the valley. It made for some beautiful sunsets, but not worth the price.

    July 2nd
    I drove 2 hours from my lovely home in Hannibal Mo to the St Louis airport, most of the drive in torrential rain, which is uncommon for July in Missouri. I made the executive decision to upgrade to covered parking in the hopes of not drowning. The thought of a 3 hour flight to LV soaking wet was enough to loosen my purse strings accordingly. It was a good move as I arrived at STL high and dry.

    The flight was a quick one; we arrived 30 minutes early at 1pm. I had paid for this flight ($150) and used points for my return flight. I did purchase the internet onboard for $8 as it keeps me entertained and makes the flight so much more bearable. I will confess to a strategic and selfish move… when I boarded in position A33, there was an enormous women seated in the window seat of row 6. I chose the aisle seat knowing the last middle seat that would be taken would be in row 6. The plan worked and I enjoyed lots of leg room as the lady (who was very nice btw) feasted then slept.

    Baggage claim was excruciatingly slow, SW in Vegas is usually so fast, but not this time. No matter, I’m here on a long trip and I have a lot of ‘stuff’, I will wait. Jumped in a cab, had just a fantastic cab driver who took the lightening fast route and fare was $16, plus a very generous tip. Arrived Flamingo to the pina colada smell that assures me I am indeed on vacation and darted directly to diamond checkin. As a note, a diamond representative had called me at home several days ago to confirm my room requests and my fsp offer.

    I was greeted at the diamond checkin then told that absolutely none, as in not-a-single-one, of my requests could be honored. No GO room, no king bed, no close to the elevator, nada. And to put the cherry on top… no sign of the fsp offer. I’m a chest-thumping supporter of the CET diamond customer service and have been for years, they have the spoiling you deal down pat. However, this guy was a real jerk and snottily advised me that no downgrades or upgrades were available either. Keep in mind this is a Tuesday and GO rooms are selling on their website to the general public for $65. The chick beside him chimed in and started with the lecture on ‘preferences are not guaranteed….blah blah blah’. I asked about changing rooms in the morning and the guy said “We will have to see”. WTF? That straw broke this camel’s back and I asked to see a host. I was dripping sweat from coming in from the 115 heat and a long travel day, all I really wanted was someone who actually gave a damn. I did mentally jot down their names and the Flamingo email survey is now in my inbox just waiting to be filled out.

    The host on duty was Alex, a young fellow and very nice. I explained that WE have two problems, first my room preferences and, secondly, my fsp offer. And why the hell would a diamond rep call two days before if absolutely nothing, not one thing, was being honored? Didn’t diamond at least count towards one single request? I explained (very nicely as not his fault) that I travel every single week for work, this kind of thing might happen at a Hilton, but please don’t do this to me on the one week I travel on vacation. He set to work…..

    Now usually the Flamingo has my fave room (26059) blocked for me when I arrive and checkin is the least of my travel problems. Alex quickly took care of the room situation and told me that 26059 was ready for me RIGHT NOW. It really didn’t matter that it was the same room; I just wanted the same kind of room. Getting the fsp offer back on the res took a lot more time, but I waited patiently as I cooled off knowing I had my GO room. The entire ordeal took at least 45 minutes and he escorted me back to the horrid checkin guy to give me my keys with his apologies.

    The guy presented me with keys to room 25059, and I realized it was a different room than I was told, but couldn’t really read if it was a 25 or 26 so I braved the crowed elevator, which stopped on every floor, to room 26059. The keys didn’t work. Ok, he must have told me wrong and the 26 must really be 25, so down I went to 25059 and the keys worked. I opened the door with a sign of relief, only to find other people’s belongings in the room. I quickly exited and drug my large bag, my laptop bag, and my sizable purse back down to diamond checkin. I certainly felt like a VIP in this moment.

    I completely ignored the asshole who checked me in before and announced to a different lady that I had been given keys to an already occupied room. She freaked out a little bit, confirmed that I should indeed have room 26059 and gave me new keys. They worked and I was greeted by my favorite room in my favorite city. I was still fuming from the buzzkill that was Flamingo checkin and called my husband at home. For whatever reason his “alls well that ends well’ provided little comfort. I sent Fflowers a text that I had arrived and applied the cure-all for weary travel…. Video poker!

    In Vegas, I am generally a nickel and dime multi-line vp player. At home, I gravitate more to single line quarters, both BP and DDB. I was fortunate to hit both a quarter Royal and aces w/ kicker 2 nights prior to leaving for LV, so I left my bankroll at home and pronounced my LV trip would be financed by the local casino. That’s about as good as it gets. Of course, I took my ATM card along not knowing how I would fare with 9 days in LV. Fflowers texted that she and her mother were eating an early dinner at Mon Ami Gabi prior to the Jersey Boys show and invited me to join them in 30 minutes. I had 20 minutes to play.

    I wasn’t able to pick up my fsp until the following day due to the Flamingo res screw up, so I started with $20 of my own money. I was thrilled to see “my machines” were empty and waiting for my arrival. Went thru a couple of games that weren’t playing and landed on triple play BP dimes and starting hitting a few quads. I held 3 cards to the Royal and hit it on the top line for an instant $400 bankroll boost. I snickered as I thought “Take that Flamingo!”. LOL. Cashed the ticket and dashed to MAG, it was so great to meet Fflower’s (and Champster’s) mother, she is a classy lady and I fell in love instantly. Dinner was good at MAG, we enjoyed sitting on the patio in the shade and it was quite comfortable with the misters, even tho it was 115 deg. Fflowers was suitably outraged at my treatment by Flamingo checkin and I felt vindicated. Fflowers treated dinner then they departed for their show and me for the Flamingo.

    I’m a huge STL Cardinal’s fan, my husband and I went to a game on our wedding day, LOL. Tonight was opening night of the Cadinals vs the LA Angels, against Albert Pujoles, so it was a big game for us Cards fans. The bartender nicely turned the big screen tv to the game and I played quarter vp while watching and had a few beers. It was a fun night as a number of LA fans came up to watch the game and we talked good-natured smack about the whole Albert deal, which I won’t go into because I remain a bitter hater. Cards lost but I won as I hit quad 3’s and had more than my fair share of full houses on Aces Bonus where the full house pays 50 coins.

    I do love the GO rooms, the linens are very nice and soft, the beds are soft, I love the floor-to-ceiling windows with the electronic drapes, and really enjoy watching the tv in the bathroom while I get ready. Especially in the early morning when I can watch ‘Wake up with the Wagners’ on the NBC news. I really like both of them, probably more so as it means I’m in Vegas. I will note I spent more time in the room relaxing this trip, reading and (mainly) playing MyVegas. I read Westie’s tr on the flight out and I promised myself I would slow down more on this long trip.

    July 3rd

    I have my trusty dusty spreadsheet to refer to, otherwise I can’t remember everything I did!

    Flamingo Breakfast Buffet – For the record, for the remainder of this report, if I ate a breakfast buffet then my plates were full of bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and eggs bene (and more bacon!). Breakfast is my fave meal, those are the choices I like, and I eat the same thing every time because I don’t get them much at home. The Flamingo buffet has evolved into a real joy, the diamond section with takes sitting along the glass where the flamingos and fish are rocks. Both times I was able to sit at a window seat and watch the flamingos while I ate. The bacon was crispy good, the biscuits and gravy were great, the eggs bene were overcooked, although I did find one that was soft. Their scrambled eggs were not wet, thankfully. Price was a shocking $17.99 and I paid with points.

    I stopped at the Diamond desk to inquire about the $100 celebration dinner I read about on the chat boards. Word is that, if you made diamond last year, they give you a comp slip for $100 to use at the restaurant of your choice. The info was correct and in 30 seconds flat I had a $100 comp slip!

    I picked up my fsp at Paris and joined Fflowers and her mom for the car drawing (with a thousand others). Sadly we didn’t win, nor did we expect to, I booked the offer only for the fsp. I do remember my fsp was my bankroll for the next 2 hours then I relaxed in the room.

    In my quest to relax and do Vegas more like Westie, I booked a 50 min massage at the Flamingo spa. Once inside, I added on a foot massage and scrub. Beforehand, I enjoyed the ripping hot whirlpool then the cool whirlpool, back and forth. My massage was excellent. Diamond players get 20% off and my total bill before tip was $86, good for the strip. I could have gotten a groupon for an off-strip massage less expensive, but part of the fun for me is going straight back to my room and relaxing afterwards. My skin appreciated the oil.

    Fflowers and her mom took the bus downtown and toured the new Mob Museum (to rave reviews). Not a huge fan of downtown, I stayed on the strip and dinner was at Carlos and Charlies Mexican in the Flamingo. I had a Groupon which had expired long ago, but the original price ($20) never expires so I used it for a mountain of nachos and an iced tea. There was no balance required, left a tip, and played VP for the rest of the evening with few memorable results. BTW, the nachos were good, I like them because they melt real cheese, I’m not a fan of the canned liquid cheese ‘food’.



    July 4th
    Our nation’s birthday. Today would prove to be a busy day as I was picking up a rental car and was checking into the Orleans for s slot tourney. The tourney offer was 3 nights comped and 3 sessions in the tourney for cash (not fsp) prizes. I would not be using the Orleans room tonight, but would need it early tomorrow morning when I moved there.

    I returned to the Flamingo buffet and was shocked to find out the price was $23.99 due to the holiday. The offerings were the same as yesterday. I’m a big fan of capitalism, so I get it, but come on CET, this is just robbery. I didn’t know the price until I already was seated and eating and the seating host took my players card and rang it up herself. Paid with points. I did have a donut to avenge the additional cost… LOL.

    I had booked a RT shuttle from Flamingo to the airport with the return trip from the airport to Flamingo a few days later. I used American Shuttle Corp and using a promo code, the total cost was $12 online. I printed the voucher and they just scanned the barcode, it was really easy. What wasn’t easy was, due to the construction, the Flamingo shuttle pickup/drop off area is clear behind Batista’s! Shuttle was 15 minutes late, wouldn’t have been a big deal except it was HOT.

    I arrived at the Payless booth to a very long line. I’ve never used Payless before, but I’ve read the reviews. Awful. I was fully prepared to hate Payless and this long line was a good indication my hate was confirmed. I booked them as the car was only $11/day when all others were $25-$30/day, so yes, I sold out. The rental from Thursday at 1pm to Monday at 1pm was $71 all in.

    They had 5 attendants working and I was surprised my wait was only 13 minutes (yes, I was timing them so I could rant about my long wait). The guy was really nice and when he started the insurance sell, I gave him a copy of our auto insurance proof of payment, then the conversation quickly turned to the Bueler FLEET of vehicles. We have 3 teens, 4 vehicles now which will become 5 next year when teen #3 turns 16. I had my paperwork in 2 minutes and headed to the garage for my car. Surely they must be out of economy cars or just have a crappy one? Nope, they had an Accent with only 7000 miles ready for me. Certainly not as nice as the Civic I drive at home, but it was a solid car for the intended purpose and the AC was unbelievably good. The Payless hater in me dreaded the return process.

    I checked in to the Orleans in minutes at 1:30 pm, my room was ready so I checked it out and put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. Cool, I had a nice clean room waiting for my arrival in the morning. Signed into the slot tourney, my first session was at 9:30 the following morning. Zipped back to the Flamingo and valet parked the car. Valet was full, except for diamond and seven stars. Long live Diamond!

    I had reserved a table at Ruth Chris Steakhouse at Harrahs for Fflowers and I to use my $100 diamond comp slip. They seated us at a table directly on the glass, fabulous view of the strip. Our meal was excellent, the first filet they brought me was overcooked and they whisked it away quickly. The 2nd was perfect and one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Fflowers had the bbq shrimp which were simply amazing. We shared some au gratin potatoes, which we couldn’t finish, and also ordered salad (me) and soup (her). Our bill was around $1 plus a generous tip for excellent service. We feasted and visited for over 2 hours then walked back to the Flamingo to watch fireworks.

    In short, the strip was crowded, it was hot, and we should have just stayed at our table and watched the fireworks. We went inside the Flamingo to cool off, became distracted by our machines, and didn’t see so much as a sparkler. But we heard them and I think that counts.

    I did play some vp around the errands today and held my own hitting lots of quads on dime multi-play. I should take better notes.

    July 5th
    Moving day to the Orleans. Checked out from the Flamingo and paid the internet charges with points. Internet at the Orleans is only $4.99/day and my signal was excellent. The drive over was fast during the early morning hours and I appreciated the room waiting for me so I didn’t have to deal with my bag.

    My slot tourney machine was a pain in the a$$ to begin then went on a mini-heater at the end and I scored 14,000+ points which put me in the middle of the pack. Next session at 1:30. Fuddruckers burger for lunch and it was surprisingly good. I intended to go to the pool but played instead, I hit a ton of quads on BP and DDB, including two’s with the kicker playing dimes and aces several times. Cashed a profit.

    My machine in the second go-round kicked a$$ and I scored a whopping 19,600 points, the highest of the 30 people playing. The Orleans runs these so well, perfectly orchestrated. They announced they had planned for 200 players and there were 310 instead so they would be adding prizes. My hopes are raised.

    I picked up FFlowers as we had reservations for the steakhouse at Luxor using a MyVegas reward for $150. I had luckily snagged this before the reward was downgraded to get $75 comp when you spend $75. It was our first time here and the décor was nice. We started with a shrimp cocktail, 4 massive shrimp and several different sauces. I ordered a wedge salad and she ordered the lobster bisque. Her bisque was so rich, like drinking butter. Wedge salad was very good. The standout was their feta bread, amazing, nearly brought me to tears.

    FFlowers ordered the yankee pot roast which was beautifully presented and equally tasty. I ordered a filet, which was very good just not quite as good as Ruth Chris. We enjoyed a side of a potato casserole of some sort, it was excellent. Then Crème Brulee to wrap it up, one of the best I’ve had. She had wine and iced tea for me. I believe we were $9 short of the $150 but just could not eat another bite. Left a generous tip as the service was good.

    Traffic was a PITA due to the holiday weekend, I played vp when I returned to the Orleans and hit 4 deuces on deuces wild nickel triple play. I checked the slot tourney results and I was in 24th place out of 310. Time to go ice my arm and call it a night.

    July 6

    I enjoyed the Orleans breakfast buffet even more so due to the $6.99 price tag, which I paid with points. Afterwards, I had a slot tourney to win.

    My machine began horrifically slow as my dreams of riches crumbled. It did come to life at the end but scored a disappointing 12,000 points. I was definitely in the money as there were people who never broke 10,000 points in any of their session, I was just hoping for improvement but not to be.

    Fflowers rode the shuttle to the Orleans then we drove to Springs Preserve. I had bought 2 passes online, but miracle of miracles, today was the one FREE ENTRY day the entire year! Who knew? The passes won’t go to waste as her brother, Champster, has a trip booked in a month and I will pass the torch to him. Springs Preserve is so fun, the gardens are beautiful as I just love the desert landscaping. It’s a kick to park under the solar panels and your car doesn’t get hot. If you are interested in a non-gambling activity, especially with kids, check out their website. This place never ceases to amaze me.

    Upon returning, I quickly checked the tourney results and found I’d finished #50 for a $25 prize. Hey, 3 comped nights over a holiday weekend and they paid me $25, I was cool with that.

    Dinner tonight was at Capo’s Italian restaurant using a $60 groupon. This place is about 10 minutes from the Orleans and is built like an old speakeasy. There’s a cool gimmick when you arrive, I won’t ruin the surprise. It’s VERY dark and the Godfather movie was playing when we arrived. The food was just ok, I kept wishing I was at Casa Di Amore instead. The bread was clearly warmed up in the oven and every piece was like toast. We had a buzzkill moment at the end when our teenage (?) waiter said we hadn’t used up the entire $60 and the Groupon didn’t work unless we did…. Which is not correct as I use these all the time. So I ordered the chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream, it was so good. Then the check came and we were over by $4.25. I checked the itemized bill and found a $3.95 soda that we did not order (me – iced tea, FFlowers – wine) so I flagged down our waiter. He said we still weren’t over the $60 so he “just added” a soda to get us over. WTF? I double checked the math and told him we were clearly over by $.30 before the soda so he grabbed the bill and re-worked it.

    It wasn’t the few dollars, it was all the hassle using the Groupon for an average meal. Groupon did email and ask about my experience and I related all the details.

    My VP luck didn’t hold at the Orleans today and I was slowly, but surely, losing my royal.

    July 7th

    I awoke to the sound of thunder, serious thunder. A glance out my window confirmed a thunderstorm was slowly moving from the mountains into the valley. The lightening was really sharp and I lost count of cloud to ground strikes. I watched the curtain of rain move in from the southwest across the valley until it reached and passed the Orleans. I was grateful not to be driving. Rain in the desert, surely a sign of a lucky day?

    Another busy day as I was moving from the Orleans back to the Flamingo. I lounged in my room a long time then enjoyed another Orleans bfast buffet, which I paid with points. Used points to stock my big suitcase with water and soda for my upcoming days at the Flamingo. Checked out at noon and used points to pay my whopping $10 internet bill for 2 days. I thought they charged the $6 resort fee on comped rooms, but they did not.

    There’s a little dive laundrymat just north of the Orleans on Arville and it’s a tradition for me to do laundry here IF it’s a long trip and IF I have a car. I brought laundry supplies from home and my husband, who saves every bit of change he’s ever gotten, hooked me up with a baggie full of quarters. The place was full of families, so I threw my laundry in a machine and thought the risk was low enough that I should walk to the Palms to play my $40 freeslotplaycoupons.com voucher. Everyone was busy with their machines and kids so out I slipped.

    The line at the Palms player card desk was loooooong. Anyone who slams Terribles for their long lines should first visit the Palms. It’s like this every time I come, and every single time I swear I will never do this promo again. I spend the next 30 minutes pissed at myself for being a slot play whore and finally get it loaded on my card. I have no interested in playing or staying here, ever, so I always cycle the fsp through dime triple play bonus poker and take what I’ve earned at the end. This time my ending result is $52.50. I paid $25 for the voucher, so I more than doubled my money….. again. I have never lost money on this promo.

    I walked out of the Palms with the vision of that long line vanishing from my memory and marveling at the power of the promo. You know I’m going to do it again.

    My laundry was just finishing and no one seemed interested in it, so a quick dry and I was on my way to the Flamingo. Quick valet parking, it was full again…. But not for diamond… LOL … it’s the little things.

    Dreading the diamond checkin was wasted time and my checkin was perfect. Perfect room a couple doors down from my last one, only this one had stronger internet signal and the AC was much colder. Rock on.

    I rec’d $50 fsp on this offer and Flamingo is also reimbursing you up to $25 in FSP if you arrive in a cab since the shuttle pickup is so far. I didn’t arrive in a cab today, but I did on the 2nd. We asked a cab driver for a blank receipt, so I rec’d a total of $75 fsp.

    I played $50 in dime multi-play and although it lasted an hour or so, my luck wasn’t great. I decided to play the remaining $25 fsp in a quarter single line machine, ironically the only one open in the area. Started on BP, no love, so I switched to DDB when I was at $10. It began hitting full houses and flushes, so I was happy to get to play for a little bit. Then it dealt me (3) fours and I drew the fourth one for a $100 win. I was so pumped. Three hands later, it dealt me a flush with (4) cards to the Royal and a three of hearts instead of the king. Praying as never before…. I drew the KING! Cashed out a ticket for $1100 using $25 of fsp! The funny thing is, if my first offer hadn’t been screwed up, I would have definitely began with a fsp voucher and would have hit the dime royal on fsp as well.

    It took a good 10 minutes to text the picture to everyone I know. I cashed the ticket and went straight to my room

    Picked up Fflowers at Ballys for dinner at the Steakhouse at Camelot (Excalibur) using a $150 MyVegas reward. I was kinda stressed this day as it didn’t feel like vacation, I had been busy doing chores and just didn’t have the relax time (nor the play time) I wanted. Note to self, no big dinner and show on a moving day.

    We’ve eaten at the Excal Steakhouse before on a MyVegas promo and were so impressed, and were again this time around. We had shrimp cocktail to begin and they are huge. Lobster bisque for Fflowers (much more lobster-y than the Luxor’s version and very good) and a wedge salad for me…. This steakhouse has the best one I’ve had anywhere. I had prime rib, which was good but not the best choice as their filets are so good, and she had stuffed shrimp… the same as out last visit so that’s a ringing endorsement. Stuffed potato to share and a crème brulee. Wine for her, tea for me and I think we were a dollar or two short of the $150. They seated us by the glassed in kitchen and that was really cool to watch. Left a generous tip, the service here is always top notch.

    We drove to Hooters for the Purple Reign show (Prince). This has been on my bucket list for years and I was FINALLY going! I won an auction on Ebay for 2 tickets, so made a quick exchange. This show is very popular so I booked the Sunday night show knowing a lot of people had left Vegas after the holiday weekend. Seating was general admission for everyone and it was about half full. It’s a small showroom and we sat in the back so we could dance! This guy is good, I’m a big fan of Prince and was very impressed. The guy playing the steel guitar really stole the show, incredibly talented. Fun show, about an hour, highly recommend.

    Decided to play quarter triple play VP (I’m rich now, right?) when I returned to the Flamingo, caught some nice quads and ended my night up $100.

    July 8th
    Fflowers treated breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi, always perfect. There is so much construction behind and beside Bills, they had the sidewalk completely closed from the Flamingo to the corner then down almost to Batistas. That made a long walk around for me, but the sidewalk was blessedly open when I walked back. Fflowers went to Canyon ranch spa, I passed as I had a rental car to return.

    I played quarter triple play BP for an hour and hit quite a few quads and many dealt winners. Drove the car to the Payless return and it was…… uh… painless. Maybe my experience was a fluke, but they were just fine. Would use again. Car got good gas mileage, gas cost to fill it was $16.

    It was 112 deg and I stood staring at the line of people boarding the shuttle to the airport. Where I would board ANOTHER shuttle to Flamingo. Which would stop at multiple hotels before mine. And, oh by the way, would let me off a country mile from the Flamingo. And it’s 112. So now that I’m independently wealthy, I threw caution to the wind and marched straight to the cab line. The trip with a good tip cost $25, saved me an hour of vacation time, and I didn’t sweat a drop the entire way. Proud of me.

    Played at the quarter level for a couple of hours then met FFlowers at the Bally’s shuttle entrance. The shuttle was THERE so our ride to the Rio was quick. I had a Groupon for dinner for two PLUS unlimited alcoholic drinks at the Rio buffet, which BTW rang up to $96… good grief. I think the Groupon was around $30 but can’t remember. Anyhow, thank goodness for diamond lines as the regular line was insane…. There is NO buffet anywhere I would wait for in that line.

    We both thought the buffet was much improved since our last time and the food was all very fresh. I liked the fact the food was very hot, some buffets aren’t. We did indulge in some wine then made out way to the showroom to watch MJ Live (Michael Jackson). I had bought a Groupon for these tickets using a credit I had and the show reviews are rave. They are right.

    I am absolutely convinced MJ is not dead. He must have gotten tired of the legal problems, the leach-like family, all the publicity and faked his death only to resurrect at the Rio showroom. This guy looks exactly, and I do mean exactly, like MJ. And he sounds like him. A lot. I have some very favorite MJ songs and would be terribly disappointed if they were butchered, or even not well done. He nailed every song. The dancers are so awesome, and the costume design was inspired. And family friendly, no tatas showing. The renovation to the showroom was amazing, the seating and sound is great. If you like MJ music, don’t miss this one. It’s going to be around for a long time.

    The shuttle was waiting when we walked out of the Rio, quick trip back. I then had a favor to ask of Fflowers. When I departed the Flamingo, I had reached 625 tier credits. Since I was having a winning day, I wanted to make a run for 1000 tier credits to get the bonus 1000 credits in my quest for a diamond repeat. I was willing to risk some cash to do it, but nothing silly. Since I’m a wimp, I didn’t want to stay up really late to accomplish this and was hoping we could play side-by-side on my card, using my $$ of course, and knock it out in an hour playing triple play BP. If the hands weren’t coming and it was getting expensive, then we’d just call it a day. She agreed and we discussed strategy during our shuttle ride back to the strip.

    One of my favorite things to do is play side-by-side with Fflowers, so I figured this would be fun. I salted both machines with a $100 bill and inserted my players card in each. We had fun watching each others hands and cheered wildly as we hit the occasional 4oak. Dealt 2 pairs were cause for celebration. When the dust settled and the 1001 points had been accumulated, it cost me a combined total of $30. It would have been a blast to win, but that cost for the fun we had? Priceless.

    July 9th – Last full day
    Slept in later than normal then met Fflowers outside of Paris, we walked together to the breakfast buffet at PH. I had purchased a Groupon that was valid for two people, so it was our obvious choice. The waiter was not impressive bringing our drinks so he tried to make up for it by offering complimentary mimosas. Plying us with liquor for a bigger tip? Hell yes, it worked! He claimed to make an extraordinary mimosa, and I can confirm that is true. The buffet was good, the scrambled eggs were amazing, bacon crisp, the eggs bene seriously overcooked.

    After rolling out of the buffet, we walked to Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian. Fflowers had 2 passes to the spa and it was time for us to chill out and digest. Nice facility, friendly staff. I did notice I was the only country bumpkin in a swimsuit vs a birthday suit. Heck, I don’t want to look at it in the mirror, I certainly shouldn’t force it on others… LOL.

    I left early and couldn’t get to the Flamingo fast enough to play. The entire walk back I coached myself… “It’s your last day, just play nickels and book a big profit”. Self control has never been my strong suit as I collapsed into the seat of my fave machine and selected triple play BP quarters. I played for hours not hitting much, only the occasional 4oak, and losing.

    We took the monorail to the LVH for “Raiding the Rock Vault” which featured classic rock from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s sung by stars from many rock groups. I saw this show was #1 on Tripadvisor.com about a week before the trip, everyone was raving. It just opened on March 9th (my birthday BTW) and include band members from Heart, Asia, Guns ‘n Roses, Survivor, and many others. What sold me was Mickey Thomas from Starship was making a guest appearance on the 8th and 9th. Many years ago, I saw Starship in concert from the front row and Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas have always been favorites of mine. I had to go. They had a BOGO deal online, so I purchased the 2 tickets for $80. I normally don’t book a show on my last night as I usually blow it off to play, but knew I’d never skip this one.

    Only the front orchestra section was open and we chose to sit in the back row so we would have plenty of room, all the views were great. All I can say is – if you love, or even just like classic rock, GO. These guys rocked the house for 2 hours THEN brought out Mickey Thomas who sounded as good as ever. Very high energy, non-stop, these guys have so damn much fun playing it is contagious. Tracii Guns from Guns ‘n Roses played the most amazing guitar, and all the guys still had long hair, open shirts… or no shirts! Just like the old days. They performed Stairway to Heaven and it was perfect. The lead singer from Asia was awesome as was the lead singer from Survivor. Smoke on the Water and Honky Tonk Woman brought down the house.

    You know how there’s always an older fat girl dancing in the back, making the ‘sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll sign with her hand waving wildly in the air? That was ME last night! We shouldn’t have bought seats, we danced the entire show as did most of the audience. I was exhausted afterwards, and reminded why I was so thin when I was 20. The guys received a standing O and deserved it.

    I was at 920 tier credits when I returned to the Flamingo, so I knocked out the 80 points to reach 1000 and it didn’t cost me a dime. Then played some uneventful penny games with Fflowers before calling it a night. Sad to part, but we are planning to meet in LV Christmas night, it is tradition!

    July 10th

    I paid for my Flamingo internet charges with points in the diamond room and they had my A44 boarding pass printed and waiting. I had another great taxi driver and a quick ride to the airport.

    I will spare you the details of my travel home, other than to say my flight was an hour late and it took 45 minutes to get my bag in STL. Absolutely ridiculous considering the small size of the East terminal. Very pleased I paid for covered parking as I was the first to be dropped off and the bus was packed. Drove a very long 2 hours to Columbia Mo as I’m working here tomorrow, so I have essentially gone from my favorite city in the world to one of my least favorite. I arrived back to Mo with more cash in my pocket than I took to LV and only had charge receipts from the rental car and my airport parking. The hotel room here in Columbia (which the company I work for is paying the bill) costs more than my 8 nights of hotels in LV ($0). I will drive the 2 hours home after my meetings tomorrow and can’t wait to see my family.


    Last Thoughts
    • It’s a lot more fun to come home a winner, or at least not a big loser
    • My deepest regret is - I was supposed to text Sionow and meet up with Jon for a drink during this trip. It’s a tradition and he’s such a great guy. We ended up being so booked up with dinners and shows, it just didn’t happen
    • The Orleans was over-run with kids. They usually don’t bother me, but so many were running wild, even thru the restaurants and buffet, not to mention the casino. It worries me what this next generation will be like without discipline. Man I sound old.
    • I still didn’t want to come home after 8 nights. I wonder how many it would take?
    • Once again, I lost off strip and won on the strip.
    • The Orleans had a gift giveaway if you earned 50 points, I had thousands. I found a cute Christmas salt shaker set my mom will love. I got caught up in the moment and selected a large pasta serving bowl with matching individual bowls. Once I put them in my suitcase, it was obvious it was a bad choice. I toted them to the Flamingo and gave them to my favorite housekeeper who always remembers me and cleans my room so perfectly. She was a little choked up and couldn’t believe I brought her a gift. I didn’t provide details.
    • I’m going to miss the MyVegas rewards now they’ve been so dramatically cut.
    • With the exception of the Flamingo, all other casinos I was in were not cool enough for me. They are either cutting back or the equipment just can’t manage 115 deg.
    • The people who meander and completely stop in the aisle, the people who walk sooo slow and walk side-by-side to take up the whole aisle, the 20 somethings dressed to leave nothing to the imagination, and the girls whose rooms cannot possibly have a mirror are all still in Vegas.
    • We didn’t make one appearance at a diamond lounge and our diamond tickets went to waste. Shame.
    • I didn’t spend one minute at the pool despite plans to do so. I love the pools, I’m not sure how that happened.

    If you made it this far, thanks. It was a long trip and thus, a long report. I would live it all again, given the opportunity. Best of luck to all!
    diane
     
  2. jfn111

    jfn111 Low-Roller

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    Great report:beer:
     
  3. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    I had the opposite - but same - luck for my trip in May. I had a C2 assignment, but a large man was in the aisle of Row 13 and nobody else was in that row. He mentioned that the seats were not occupied, so I grabbed the window, figuring that nobody would want to sit next to him and me (also of ample carraige).

    Worked like a charm. C2 was my worst draw ever, but I had one of my best seats ever.
     
    Super Bowl with my son
    2017 USBC Open Championships
  4. sura83

    sura83 Low-Roller

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    Loved the trip report. Sounds like you had a great time between the gambling and the visiting. We always go for 10 or 11 days, and I'm never ready to come home either!
     
  5. Burt

    Burt Tourist

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    Awesome report.
    :nworthy:
     
  6. VPmiracle

    VPmiracle Tourist

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    Loved the trip report, as always. My kind of trip. Where are you favorite bank of VP machines at Flamingo? I'm platinum at CET, wonder where I'd park a car if valet is always Diamond and 7 stars only? Good reason not to have a car I guess!

    Again, enjoyed the report immensely, congrats on a lucrative and relaxing trip with your friend.
     
  7. Rush

    Rush High-Roller

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    Sorry for the little "snags", but in the end it all seemed to work out! Good hit on the royal!
     
  8. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    I really enjoyed reading your report!
     
  9. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    Great trip report. I really enjoyed it! Thanks for posting.
     
  10. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    Great trip, Diane ... lots of fun activities & dining, along with your successful VP.

    Very much enjoyed the detailed report ... :thumbsup:
     
  11. VegasGroove

    VegasGroove VIP Whale

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    Diane,

    Let me tell you why your reports are always wonderful:

    1. You write them IN WHOLE - IN ONE POST! I don't have to keep checking back for the next installment. It is such a delight to read - thank you for that.

    2. I love your writing style. You can poke fun at yourself and don't mind others laughing at it.

    3. You are detailed and succinct. You include information about everything: travel, food, gaming, hotel.

    I'm glad you had a great time in Viva and do look forward to your next report!

    Thanks again! :wave:
     
  12. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    Nice report, glad to see a fellow VP Poker fiend strike gold!
     
  13. craps1

    craps1 Low-Roller

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    Nice TR - Thanks for sharing! Is it really only 1k points in a day to make diamond? Doesn't sound very hard or much $$$. What does that equate to for coin in?
     
  14. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    Allow me to answer your question. At CET properties, playing video poker requires $10 coin-in to earn 1 reward credit (regular "slots" are just $5 in to equal 1 reward credit). SO ... to earn 1000 reward credits at VP, you need to cycle & recycle $10,000 coin-in.
    This is NOT a "Diamond in a Day", but simply a daily average that "dbueler" likes to maintain during her trips, which will easily keep her Diamond status over a couple Vegas trips.
     
  15. Kimsa70

    Kimsa70 High-Roller

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    Diane, great trip report! I think I stayed in the exact same room in Flamingo! And I love your comments above...those are also my biggest pet peeves in Vegas (and in any casino).
     
  16. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thoroughly enjoyed the report:thumbsup:
    I also have to agree it is nice reading it in one post.
     
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  17. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

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    Enjoyed the report, as always.

    What are you going to do about diamond now that Harrahs STL is no more?

    The starship concert, was that at the amphatheatre in STL out by where Harrahs is now back in the late 80's? If so, I was there too.

    The day after could have been worse, it could have Jefferson City.:wink2:
     
  18. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

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    Buddha said it well. Since CET changed the diamond requirement higher, they also added bonus tier credits if you earn a certain amount, these allow you to reach diamond level easier. For instance, earn 500 tier credits in one day and get a 100 tier credit bonus. Earn 1000 in a day and get 1000 bonus. Etc... And no, not diamond in a day. Not even close.

    JPW you crack me up as always. No, the Starship concert was at the Hannibal Mo ampitheater which lasted 2 years, I think. My husband and I had front row "season" tickets and Starship was one of the bigger names who played. Gracie Slick hung over the fence singing her heart out right in front of me. I can't remember what I ate for breakfast, but will never forget that!

    Diamond is a real bite for me since CET sold St Louis. I'm trying to get as many 1000 pt days as i can to work the bonus points. Not sure if I will make it with only Vegas adding to my tier score, but I'm trying when the luck is right.

    diane
     
  19. VegasCigars

    VegasCigars Tourist

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    Thank You!

    Thanks for sharing! :peace:
     
  20. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Thoroughly enjoyed your report....especially because I am trying Flamingo for the first time in the fall. Thanks for sharing.
     
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