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Flamingo, Valley Of Fire, March 15-19... ramblingy with photos

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by mrubs4, Jul 18, 2010.

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  1. mrubs4

    mrubs4 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Saratoga, NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2

    My Trip Report

    Yes this trip happened quite a while ago, but I've been going through what few pictures I have of the trip and thought I'd do a a little reflecting and share my experience with some fellow vegas lovers (my friends are beyond sick of hearing me talk about the place :rolleyes2:)

    The trip started off on a positive note, we were A-21 and 22 so we were one of the first on and got to sit back and relax while the rest of the cattle were herded onto our completely full flying tin can and fought over precious overhead bin space.

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    I was travelling with a vegas virgin and arranged a limo with presidential as a bit of a surprise for my buddy (and because I didn't feel like dealing with taxis)

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    They tried giving us a room with a single bed. I like my buddy, but not that much. The bathroom situation in the Go rooms was a little too cozy as it was. The hallways are a bit of a maze, and their signage sucks, but we eventually figured it out.

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    We got a room on the 26th floor with a cool view of the pool area

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    Random token pedestrian overpass picture that everyone who's ever been to vegas has also taken.

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    Day 1/Monday was a planned wasted day. We spent half the day on a plane, got settled in the room late, probably 7:30PMish or so then wandered around the southern end of the strip before calling it an early night. We had to be up early the next morning.

    I'd arranged for a rental car to do a trip to the Hoover Dam and wherever else we might have ended up (original plans were Pinball HOF and the gun store). Gina from the rental place dropped the car off at valet the night before, and we were supposed to meet her around 8am to sign stuff. I used www.vegasexoticrentals.com and the service was absolutely great, I'll definately use them again.

    So half asleep we wander out to valet to pick up our sweet ride for the next 24 hours.

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    The Elise has always been a "realistic" dream car for myself, but I'm glad I had a chance to rent one before I ever got to the point where I was in a position to actually buy one. Plain and simple there's no way to get in and out of the thing without looking like an idiot. It was worsened by the fact I was nursing a severe quad strain, and using your leg muscles was essential to maneuvering yourself in the thing. It's also a very uncomfortable choice to use for what turned out to be an ~9 hour road trip.

    However, once we both finally managed to climb in and fall ungracefully onto the little plastic mat on the floor one might mistake for a seat, the car was tons of fun. I'm 5'9 and my buddy's 5'6, and we both felt like giants in this thing.

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    So while we were doing the paperwork Gina tells us about the Valley of Fire and gives us directions on how to do a loop to the dam then VOF and back home, as well as giving us an idea of the total miles and how much extra in milage fees it could potentially be (another mark of great customer service, IMO). We decide to do that and forego the gun store and pinball HOF

    First we stop at the dam. In lieu of a picture of a dam that everyone has seen many times over, I'll put a picture I took of the access stairwell that came straight out of the camera unedited looking like something from a video game. It's by far my favorite picture I took the entire trip from a photography perspective.

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    From there we got absolutely lost, because I never actually wrote down the directions we were given. They actually went more or less in one ear and out the other because of the excited anticipation of driving my dream car. We did manage to find a walmart though where we were able to get the stuff we forgot to pack. Our plastic walmart bag fit nicely in the little compartment next to the engine they call a trunk. Originally I had thought about getting the car at the airport instead of doing the limo service, and wow what a mistake that would have been! We'd have had to send our luggage to the hotel via taxi and meet it there, or my poor buddy would have been stuck cruising the strip with a mountain of bags on his lap.

    Eventually we managed to find our way. We could have just stopped and asked for directions, but we had a cool car and a lot of open road around us. VOF was fun. I'd never heard of it before, and had absolutely no idea there were petroglyphs there which was freakin awesome. I'm a total nerd for that sort of stuff. We had to skip some of the longer hikes because of my leg, but on the plus side it gives me a good reason to go back.

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    Amusingly every time we'd pull into a parking lot to go explore, people would start taking pictures of us. We even had our picture taken at a couple stop lights when we were roaming around whatever town we found a Walmart in. It's a cool car, but it's no Ferrari or Lambo or anything and I'd always figured people around Vegas were probably used to seeing stuff like that

    We killed off most of the day wandering around VOF then headed back to cruise up the strip where every red light someone would talk to us about the car and/or take our picture, and brought the car back to valet. We joyrode the crap out of it and I believe we went 260some miles over our allotted mileage, but it was absolutely worth it.

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    That night we wandered around the north end of the strip a bit then headed into Harrahs to play some blackjack, where I proceeded to play for a few hours until my bankroll was gone.

    Wednesday was Saint Patricks day. We did put in some pool time where the service was absolutely abysmal. No waitress ever once came in our section, and both times when I went to buy a bucket of beers there was a group of them just hanging out shooting the breeze next to the bar. The rest of the day was non-eventful. More drinking, more wandering around, more drinking, and eventually some FSE action where I drank more. I think I played some slots too with no luck.

    Thursday I woke up feeling terrible. Regardless we wandered down to Excalibur to buy tickets for the tournament of kings that night. I decided to head back to the hotel and go back to sleep and my buddy went off to meet a couple of his friends who were also in town.

    At some point my phone woke me up, they were down at MGM but were headed back up the strip to eat at some restaurant in Paris and wanted to know if I wanted to meet them there. I agreed and wandered down to the casino to play a little blackjack until they made their way up the strip.

    I sat down with $300 or so on a $15 table. I did the typical win some/lose some, but the rest of the table kept losing and leaving, and eventually it was just me and the dealer. And that's when I started winning. And winning. And sometimes losing. But mostly winning. My phone rang, then my text message alert went off a couple times. Not now Chief, I'm in the zone!

    I was betting wildly from $15 to $150/hand, playing for the dealer and tipping incessantly. The first dealer I had was making stacks out of the tips behind one of the signs, and when they switched dealers she pointed at them and me and told the new dealer "they're all from him". I'm not sure how much I tipped, and I'm kind of glad I don't know, as I do remember there being a lot of red and some green.

    The new dealer was really into it, and it started rubbing off on me. I was having a ball cheering and yelling and throwing chips around like I was some big shot. People passing the table would stop and watch. The pit boss kept engaging me in conversation. The cocktail waitress was bringing me new beers before I'd finish the one I had. I was splitting tens and staying on 14s when the dealer showed a face card. Thirteen and the dealer's showing a 5? Double down! I was doing basic strategy mixed with a little bit of "what not to do when playing blackjack" strategy and it was paying off. Every time I won and was paid with a black chip I put it in my not-to-be-gambled "black chip" pile, which just kept growing. Finally my luck started to run out, my "gambling chip" pile ran dry, and I pushed my stack of blacks to the dealer and asked to color up.

    I headed over to the cashier than quickly made my way up to the room to make a deposit in the safe. I probably could have won a lot more if I wasn't doing the more ridiculous plays, but damn it I was having fun!

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    I sent that picture to my buddys phone with a message "sorry I missed lunch, was busy". He understood. Once the adrenaline rush wore off, I realized I was absolutely hammered. Looking back I'm amazed that I still had the willpower to not start throwing down chips from my black chip pile. It was also way later than I thought it was, so I cleaned up a bit and met up with the other guys and we headed off to excalibur to see the show.

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    The show was lots of fun, but it was probably because I was riding that thin line between fun drunk and blacking out. After that it was back to Flamingo where I finally played some penny slots with the $10 freeplay I got for signing up for TR. I had a couple decent sized hits, I know I was well up over a hundred at one point, but I kept mashing that button until it ran down to $0. I know you're not supposed to play for comps, but hey, I was playing for comps with their own money.

    Finally Friday came, which was spent sobering up and relaxing, doing a little wandering, then meeting up with our guy from Presidential to take us back to Mccarren... where I popped open my laptop, got on the free wifi, and started planning my next trip.
     
  2. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Enjoyable read! Has what every trip should have, a good winning run and some new out-of-casino experiences. And well written to boot. :thumbsup:
     
  3. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
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    Location:
    Flusherville, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Very enjoyable read! Pictures made it super visually awesomer.
     
  4. unomas

    unomas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Sounds like you had a ball! Great report
     
  5. JulieM

    JulieM Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cape May NJ
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Great TR..and pictures..thanks for sharing:beer:
     
  6. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
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    3,038
    Location:
    Calgary , Alberta , Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Excellent report with all the pics
    Ty for sharing
     
  7. Greensideup

    Greensideup Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Carrollton, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Congrats on the BJ winnings. NICE picture!!! And Valley of Fire, awesome, and definitely worth the trip. Speaking of, that Lotus. Friend of mine owns and races one. He's six feet and 220, and for the life of me, I don't know how he can tolerate the interior of that Hot Wheels car!!!
    Thanks for the report, better late than not at all.
     
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