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Fun Trip to Vegas....really long!!!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by dbueler, Apr 3, 2011.

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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

    DBueler’s Las Vegas Trip Report March 29th-April 2nd 2011

    You have no idea how badly I’ve needed this trip. Work has been insanely HARD, we are super busy and I’ve been completing contract after contract for millions of dollars worth of capital equipment, all while covering for an open position in our Supply Chain group that we can’t seem to fill. My (3) teenagers are busy in sports, which keeps me hopping, as well as just FEEDING (3) teenagers. I’ve also been traveling for work about 70% of the year, significantly more than usual. On top of all that, I had a serious car accident (my first in 33 years of driving!)….had my cruise control set on 70mph and hit a deer head-on. Air bag didn’t deploy as the deer didn’t hit the bumper before slamming the hood and breaking my windshield. $7000 in damage to my Civic (it’s perfect now!), a concussion for me, and one very dead deer. Thank god for seatbelts.

    I usually travel to LV in March the week of my birthday (9th), but that week was complicated both at home and at work. Much as I would have loved to join my fellow Vegas-addicts Buddha and his lovely wife that week, it wasn’t happening. I have no desire to do Vegas during March madness, I despise crowds, therefore I chose the last week of March, a “dead†week in LV, just perfect for me.

    If you’re looking for a TR full of drunken escapades and high-limit gambling, move along now before you’re sorely disappointed. And I’m trying to type this up each day, in full detail, the world according to Diane, so it’s gonna be long. I play, nearly exclusively, multi-line nickel VP games. It’s what my bankroll can handle, and makes my love of occasionally playing volatile games palatable. I travel to LV 4-5 times per year, play frequently in my “home†casinos, and just really enjoy the play of low-roller VP. Consider yourself warned!

    Tuesday March 29th
    Original plan was a FF SW ticket on the direct non-stop 11:20am flight from STL, arriving LV at 1pm. The forecast I saw on Sunday showed snow on Tuesday for STL, and I live 2 hours north. While I am willing to take a chance on missing a flight to a business destination, not happening on a Vegas trip! Decided to change my flight to the 6:20am direct flight (ugh) and book the Hampton Inn airport using HHonors points, which includes free parking and shuttle. I drove down after dinner on the 28th, the snow and bad roads did not materialize on the 29th as predicted, but better safe than sorry. After all, this trip is all about no-stress! And by the way, I’m traveling solo. I travel solo on business all the time, and while I love to have friends in LV with me, I do dearly love my solo trips as well. A few days all about me!

    Up at 4am (ugh) and shuttle to the airport. Few lines, checked a bag for free. Soon the boarding began, I had paid the $20 for Early bird check-in with SW and think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a pain to check-in exactly 24 hours in advance and $10 each way is a small price to pay for dicking around checking in on vacation time. I was A20, but there were only 80 people on the plane, so I enjoyed an empty middle seat. Watched dvd’s on my laptop during the flight, it seems so long when I just want to be in Vegas! There was a very strong headwind and, even tho we left on time, we arrived 10 minutes late at 8:10am.

    Walked a short distance to baggage claim and within 10 minutes, my bag popped out first. Yes, the very FIRST bag! No taxi line, I was the only one, great taxi driver, took Tropicana to Koval to Paris. Fare was $14.80, I gave him $20 and I thought he was going to hug me. Checked my bag with the bellman, and was dining at the Paris breakfast buffet at 8:40am.

    Yes, you heard that right. Plane arrived at 8:10am and I was eating the breakfast buffet at Paris at 8:40am!

    The regular line was long, but I was the only one in the Diamond/Platinum entrance. Too bad this buffet has gone downhill so badly. My needs for breakfast are simple….crisp bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and eggs bene. Bacon was good, eggs were soupy…why the hell do they do that? Runny scrambled eggs are gross. Biscuits were flat, gravy was good. Eggs bene was good, eggs were not overcooked, but their sauce is not nearly as good as Harrah’s or the Orlean’s. I used the $10 off LVA coupon and paid the remaining $6.80 with points. For this price, it was ok. Would NEVER pay full price.

    Walked to Bally’s and played triple play nickel VP for half an hour, hit a few quads and broke even. Headed out to the strip, beautiful day, 60 deg and no wind, lots of sun. Walked to Flamingo and played triple play and five play VP. Hit a few quads, played 2 hours and lost $20.

    Decided to try to checkin at 11am. No one in the platinum line, got a nice young lady clerk. Handed her my license and credit card and held a $20 in my hand. I asked if there were any upgrades available, she was staring at the $20. She asked what type of upgrade I had in mind. I told her I really like the Red Rooms, wanted a king bed, and would be flexible with the view. I’m booked at Paris (2) nights comped in a regular room, then will be moving to the Flamingo for the last (2) nights. To many people, I know the room isn’t really important, but it is to me. I like to veg in the room several hours a day and I really like a NICE room. I don’t require, nor really deserve a suite, but I do really enjoy a good room.

    Clerk says she thinks it won’t be a problem, says a Red Room is available right now, and hands me the keys. No BS about upgrade charges, no phone calls or whining to a manager, just hands me the keys. I give her the $20 and say thank you, she is beaming like a new bride and is very grateful. I’m very happy to tip $20 for several nights in a room I otherwise can’t afford.

    Room is 2747, much larger than the last Red Room I had, and a perfect view of Cosmo and the strip. Awesome room! I call the bellman and he brings up the bags in 5 minutes flat, $5 tip for him. I unpack a little, do some emails on my blackberry, make a few calls, then watch some tv. I’m exhausted, it’s not even noon yet, and I fall asleep for 2 hours. What a luxury, a nap. I must be on vacation. The bed is nice and soft, the tv is a 52†flat screen, it’s all good.

    Shower when I finally wake up, wow that felt great. Called home, heard about all the sports, didn’t feel a single twinge of guilt about being away. Walked to the Flamingo, triple play Bonus poker wasn’t getting any traction, changed to DDB, held 2 aces the first hand, and filled the other 2 aces with the KICKER! Hot damn! Played a few more machines and left $80 ahead.

    Stopped in to listen to a set by Big Elvis when I walked by, I enjoy his voice so much. He didn’t get out of the chair as much as last time, I’m concerned the hot new wife is wearing him out. At least I hope so .

    Walked to the Mirage to eat dinner at BB Kings. I had purchased a $50 Groupon for $20 several months ago and it expires late April, so I need to use it this trip. I’ve read a lot of reviews and the service is always rated as poor and the food as OK. $50 is a TON for a solo diner, good thing I was hungry. I looked forward to ordering with abandon, ignoring prices. I was seated immediately and could watch the UCONN gals beat the pants off Duke.

    Honestly, my server was exceptional. I arrived at 5:40pm and about 80% of the tables were full. She was friendly, tucked my Groupon into the leather case which would hold my bill, and took my drink order (Iced tea). I then ordered the filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Added a side salad and an order of cornbread. Salad arrived quickly and was very good, crisp and very cold. Dinner arrived shortly afterwards. The filet was large, cooked perfectly (medium), nicely charred, good flavor, but not as tender as I like. Garlic mashed were good, green beans were meh. Cornbread was a waste, wasn’t hot enough to melt the butter.

    I couldn’t finish the filet, probably would have if it was an excellent one. The waitress said I had lots of money left on the Groupon, order dessert! I was awful full, but she recommended the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, so what the hell, bring it. Folks, this dessert was ‘da bomb. Huge Brownie, warm and gooey, good quality ice cream. Lots of whipped cream, and the hot fudge sauce was awesome. It was huge, and yes, I ate at least 75% of it. $8 and plenty big to share.

    So here’s the play for BB Kings…..much better places to eat dinner, so eat somewhere else then head there for a terrific dessert!

    Waitress said I had $3 left on my Groupon, but I was done. Stick a fork in me done. So full. Tipped her $10 and rolled out, glad for the long walk back to Paris.

    Crossed LV Blvd and turned in a voucher for (2) tickets to Defending the Caveman for Wednesday night. I bought the voucher on Ebay for $12, someone gave blood to get that voucher, glad I only had to give cash. Noticed the box office had stacks of these in their drawer, lots of people must be giving blood for show tix. Wow.

    Played some VP at IP, just don’t like the smell there, so didn’t hang around long. Played more VP at Flamingo, down $60. Decided to head back to the room and start typing the trip report and watch some tv. No cooking, no laundry, life is good.



    Observations –
    Is it REALLY necessary to have your (3) children under 6 years old all holding hands, and walking side-by-side up the strip, blocking the entire sidewalk? Are you TOTALLY unaware of your surroundings?

    And WTF is it with all the Disney characters on the strip? There were more characters lining the strip looking for tips than porn-slappers. That’s just downright Un-American.

    If you can’t walk gracefully in your 4†heels, then you look stupid and shouldn’t wear them. Clop, Clop, Clop.

    Wednesday March 30th
    Despite taking a sleeping pill, I awoke every two hours all night long. Viva Las Vegas. I gave up at 5:15am and turned on the tv. Cleaned up, left the room at 6:30, walked to Planet Ho to gamble a little and eat breakfast at the Spice Market Buffet…another first for me.

    First hand of triple play nickel VP and I noticed max bet is 45 coins, rather than the standard 15 coins. I also noticed it dealt me 3 aces. Couldn’t connect with the fourth…that would have been a massive win for me on a mistake bet. Switched to an All-Star machine, couldn’t even hit a flush. Lost $40 quick.

    I used the LVA $10 off coupon and paid the remaining $6.50 in points. Nice buffet, wasn’t crowded at all, of course, it was 7:15am. My food comments:
    Bacon – very good, I ate a lot. Nice and crisp.
    Scrambled Eggs – Good. Better than Paris.
    Biscuits & Gravy – Very good. Much better than Paris.
    Eggs Bene – Excellent sauce, eggs were cooked hard. Paris needs to use the same sauce.

    Spice Market buffet was better than Paris, but not $17 worth of good for breakfast. Worth it with the $10 off coupon.

    Went to the ABC shops in the Miracle Mile shops and bought soda for my room. The mini bar has been cleaned out, leaving a big refrig, really nice for drinks in the room. Hauled the soda back and vegged a bit.

    Walked to the Flamingo and played triple and five play VP. Hit lots of quads, enough to keep me playing and cashed out a little ahead.

    Caught the Coast Casino shuttle at Bills, it was sitting there when I walked up, waved at the driver and he waited. This is my coupon run to the Gold Coast and Orleans, plus swiping for points for my birthday month. Very quick ride to the Gold Coast, noticed I was the only rider who tipped the driver. Sheesh.

    Swiped for my birthday point promo and, same as every year, picked the 2000 points. It’s so rigged, there’s no way one person can possibly be so unlucky to pick the lowest amount every single year! Nonetheless, it’s a nice promo. Wednesday is a bonus swipe for points if you play and earn 10 points. I also needed 10 points to qualify for the LVA $10 freeplay coupon. Played nickel triple play BP to earn my 10 points and hit quad 2’s on my last hand, cashed out with a $10 profit. Swiped for the bonus points and picked, again, the lowest amount, 1000. Still nice. Turned in the coupon and loaded my $10 freeplay in another nickel triple play machine, playing bonus poker. Hit quad jacks and several full houses, turning my $10 freeplay into $15 real money. Was tempted to keep playing, nope that’s not the plan, and caught the shuttle to the Orleans. Wait was only 5 minutes and I was, again, the only rider to tip the driver.

    Swiped for bday points at the Orleans, no promo. Guess they don’t do this any more. I played and earned 10 points, cashing out a profit of $3 (this covered the $3 in tips for the 3 shuttle rides). Players club loaded my $10 freeplay from the LVA coupon plus I had an online offer of $5 freeplay. Chose a machine, loaded the $15 freeplay and cashed out $10. Shuttle was waiting when I arrived, jumped on and enjoyed the ride back to the strip. So I cleared a $35 profit for the hour of “work†plus 3000 points.

    Played VP for a couple hours at the Flamingo, nice run of quads to keep me playing and cashed a small profit. Walked back to Paris, again. The room is so nice, and I love the quiet hotel, but it’s a real pain in the a$$ when you don’t like to play where you stay. I move to the Flamingo on Thursday and I’m ready, I’m tired of walking back and forth!

    Beautiful day, time for the pool. I’m blonde and, although I tan very well, I’m lilly white from the long Missouri winter, so I loaded up on sunscreen before leaving the room. Slipped into shorts & t-shirt, grabbed my book, and headed out. The pool area is nice and wasn’t very crowded. Decided I wanted a terribly expensive Strawberry Daiquiri, $12 for 16 oz, so spent my hard-earned Coast cash to celebrate my first pool time of 2011. There is major construction between Planet Ho and Paris, there must have been 10 jackhammers going non-stop. And I mean NON-STOP. The noise echoed off the buildings, not enjoyable. I lasted an hour, probably best as my skin couldn’t take much more, even with sunscreen.

    Showered and hung out in the room a couple of hours, called home and did some emails. Back to the Flamingo to gamble, decide where to eat, and go to Defending the Caveman at 7pm. Best of intentions…. I was on a five-play machine that was hitting some quads and I just knew it would pay-off, yep I was on a ‘heater’, so I blew off the show. I’m the worst, I should know not to gamble within hours of going to a show. Held 2 aces playing DDB and pulled the last 2 aces with the kicker for $100! Sweet! Played it down to $100 even, then decided to eat at Margaritaville using a $30 Groupon I purchased for $15 several months ago. I usually eat here once each trip, it’s convenient, and I do like the food.
    Ordered the spicy peel and eat shrimp, and Jerk chicken that comes with island rice and grilled veggies. Iced tea to drink. The shrimp are really spicy, I love them. First time I’ve ordered the jerk chicken and it was very good. Island rice was incredible, could have eaten a whole plate of it for a meal, and veggies were excellent too. My bill was $1.01 so I left that plus $6 for tip.

    Back to the Flamingo, VP wasn’t treating me well, so I played a penny machine, Wild Bear. I just love this machine, they have quite a few at the Orleans. Hit a lot of bonuses, but they were small. Played for over an hour on $20 and enjoyed the lack of thinking involved. Walked back to Paris (again) for some tv and bed.

    Observations:
    If you are going to STOP in the MIDDLE of the sidewalk to kiss and make out, make sure you’re attractive so others don’t mind watching. After all, it is Vegas and shit happens. If you’re attractive, we just think you’re tacky and we’ll watch to see how far you’ll go, if you’re not….You are gross AND tacky.

    Did it occur to you, while you were busy getting knocked up by some loser and you have no money, that if you got pregnant, you would have to sit on the walkway on the LV Strip with a picture of your ULTRASOUND and a sign that reads “Pregnant, kindness helps�? I kid you not, a picture of an ultrasound. DFS should be all over that now, as a preemptive move.

    The Bellagio fountains never fail to impress. So classy, I never tire of them. Luck be a lady.

    It rocks when your room is on the 27th floor and your bank of elevators service floors
    26-33!

    Thursday March 31st:
    Another day in Paradise! With help from 2 sleeping pills (a full dose), Sleeping Beauty didn’t awake until 7am. Lounged in bed watching tv until hunger drove me to the Harrah’s breakfast buffet. As in the past, the four breakfast items I prefer were better here than both Paris and PHo.
    Bacon – excellent, very crisp. Ate 3 pieces before reaching the table.
    Biscuits and gravy – outstanding.
    Scrambled eggs – fully cooked, not soupy, as god intended.
    Eggs Bene – Great sauce, eggs nice and runny, English muffin was a little hard.

    I used a LVA $5 off coupon and paid the remaining $10 and change with points. I’m going back tomorrow for sure. Breakfast is my favorite meal, and I rarely eat it at home (good thing, or my arteries would be clogged by now), so this is a real treat in LV.

    Stopped at the Flamingo enroute back to Paris and played triple/five play vp. Bonus poker has been such a disappointment this trip, I can really only get ahead on DDB. Go figure.

    Hit quite a few quads to keep me going without getting ahead much. Was DEALT 4-to-the-royal twice on five-play and couldn’t pull even one. I just can’t do it. This makes 8 times on this trip I’ve been dealt 4-to-the-royal and can’t close the deal. So frustrating. Ended up down $20 after 2+ hours of play.

    Time to move to the Flamingo for the last 2 nights and to take advantage of my offer of 2 comped nights plus $50 freeplay. I’m glad to move, I really enjoyed my room at Paris, but since I hate the casino, I’m tired of trekking up and down the strip just to play for a little bit. During the trip planning, I had purchased a 24 hour monorail pass, preferring to drag my bag through the monorail rather than straight down LV Blvd. I also needed the monorail pass to get to the LV Hilton for my birthday Benihana dinner tonight, so it was a smart buy.

    Dear lord, it is obvious why the monorail is bleeding money. Walking from my room at the end of the hall, through Paris, through Ballys, down the looong corridor to the monorail, I easily could have walked straight down the strip and arrived at the Flamingo. The walk from the monorail into the Flamingo is much shorter, but still fairly long. I got a blister on my foot, even tho I was wearing my Birkenstocks.

    There was a line in the platinum/diamond check in at Flamingo, a Japanese couple had taken the phone from one of the check-in gals and were screaming into the phone. Don’t know what they said as they were speaking Japanese, but they were livid. They finally hooked them up with a manager and the girl who was helping them waited on me. I held a $20 in my hand and asked if a Go room was available. She checked with a manager, but said they were sold out of Go rooms for the next 20 nights. Damn. I am booked in a regular room, and have been terrified of these rooms, based on reviews. That said, my gambling buddy from home, who also travels on business every week as I do, said the regular rooms are “fineâ€.

    The poor girl was really flustered from the Japanese couple, and a truck had hit a utility pole earlier, knocking out the power down the whole block. People couldn’t get into their rooms, her morning had been hell, and it was her first day back from maternity leave. I felt bad for her. She said they had me booked in a strip view room and she found one on the top floor that was ready. I tipped her $5, she was happy and apologetic for all the drama. Not her fault.

    My room was in the Habitat tower, elevators near the buffet. I didn’t even realize there was a hotel tower there. I’m please to say the room is indeed “fineâ€. Oh yea, the furnishings are old, especially the carpet. The tv is a tiny old tv, but the picture is good. The linens are nice, same as the Go rooms I’ve stayed in (I’m a linen snob). Mattress is nice and soft with lots of pillows. Bathroom size is normal, no frills, but everything you need. It’s probably the best strip view I’ve ever had, straight on Caesars, Bellegio, and Mirage with floor to ceiling windows the entire length of the wall. There are a few things I like better than the Paris room – the ice machine is two doors down instead of a mile away, this room gets nice and cold, I couldn’t get the room at Paris to cool off enough at night. The sink drains well, the one at Paris was slow. So yes, it is fine, especially for free. Not what I would consider a “vacation†room, but perfectly adequate and very clean, and believe me, I checked.

    I prefer the elevator location of the other towers, either near the lobby or near Sin City Brewery. To reach the Habitat tower, you must drag your bags through the casino. Granted, it’s not far, but the walkway to the elevators is also the walkway to the café, the buffet, the habitat, burger joint, and pizza place. Always lots of people.

    Unpacked the rest of my clean stuff and headed down to the casino to play. Once again, no love from Bonus poker (what gives?) so switched to triple play DDB. Held two 2’s and hit 2’s with the kicker right away. Hit four kings very next hand. Feeling cocky, I switched to dimes (usually the kiss of death). I then proceeded to hit four 2’s with the kicker 3 more times over the next hour! Each time holding two, twice I was dealt trip twos and couldn’t pull the fourth one. This was one of the machines that dealt me 4-to-the royal, and I figured if any machine could hit it, it was surely this one. No dice. Cashed out $180.

    I had planned to go to the pool, but noticed during the hike from the monorail the main pool was empty and the small pool was packed with people. People piled on top of people. I asked during checkin and she said the main pool didn’t open until tomorrow April 1st. That seemed late to me, but changed my mind about pool time. Definitely tomorrow. Spent part of the afternoon watching the Cardinal opening day game (we choked).

    Dressed for Benihana and stopped downstairs for more gambling. Lost $40 then took the monorail to the Hilton. This is a fun place for a solo diner as the table is inevitably different groups of people, our table had another lady dining solo, and everyone chats and has a good time. If you don’t know, you can sign up for the Benihana email club on their website (for free) and you will get one email each year, days before your birthday month. You get a voucher for $30 off your meal! Now, Benihana is much more expensive than our Japanese restaurants back home, but it’s great food. I ordered the filet mignon (incredible), it came with the onion/mushroom soup (best I’ve had anywhere), salad with ginger dressing (good), veggies (very good), mushrooms (excellent), and steamed rice. It was $34 for the meal, plus I upgraded to the fried rice and they charge an extra $6 for that. Is that insane? $6 to add a little sauce, seasoning, and butter. No matter, I’m not eating Japanese without the fried rice. The waitress brought a huge bowl of ice cream for my birthday, with a candle, and singing, a lot of hoopla for a day that was weeks ago. Even with the voucher, I owed $15 plus left a $10 tip. Great food for a $25 dinner, but not worth $55 to me. It was one of the best fillets I’ve ever had.

    While walking to the monorail, I saw an Invaders of the Planet Moolah penny machine, I love those, but they are hard to find. I wasn’t planning on playing at the Hilton, but decided to slip in a $10 and have some fun, I hoped. I shortly hit the bonus with 25 free spins which also resulted in 7 more spins. I was only betting 50 cents as I occasionally play pennies for entertainment and try not to turn a penny machine into a dollar machine. I ended up with $83! Played it down to $80 and took the money and ran! Fantastic dinner and a $45 profit.
    Monorail ride back to Flamingo was nice, lights were coming on along the strip and I never tire of that view. Changed into shorts and tshirt in the room, then hit VP. Lost $80 over the course of several hours, damn, and retired for the night.

    Observations:

    Only one more day left on my trip, man I hate the idea of leaving. I only have $100 less than when I arrived 3 days ago and that’s counting all the tips and anything I’ve paid cash for, haven’t charged anything. Just one nice royal and I’m a winner.

    Evidently the beggars and pregnant lady on the Flamingo overpass between Bally’s and Bill’s sleep in during the morning. The bridge was empty at 8am.

    Once in front of Bill’s, I had an obvious hooker walking in front of me. Young colored gal, very tiny, I was envious of her shape. 5†heels, skin tight revealing clothes, you get the picture. A car pulled up to the curb and I heard her say “I’m just walking and getting some exercise, what are you doing?â€. Yep, all the other walkers and joggers had on 5†heels (not). She sat down on a bench, the guy stayed in the car, and they were talking across the sidewalk. I turned around 3 times to see if she got in the car, but they were still talking when I rounded the corner by IP and I didn’t think it was cool if I stopped and stared. The guy was really nasty, I pondered how much money it would take for me to get in the car with him, but never landed on an amount (I have a short attention span). It would have to be enough to retire…..

    I haven’t been dealt a 4oak once. I usually have this happen at least once, and often more, during a trip, since I play a lot of hours. I’m starting to obsess.

    Why do old people, and I’m sure young people too, although I haven’t seen them, stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the aisle to talk? And we all know you shouldn’t text and drive, well you shouldn’t text and walk either. Trust me, you aren’t doing it well.

    Friday April 1st – April Fool!
    Last full day, I sure wish that was an April Fool’s joke. Sigh.

    I had a great night’s sleep in the soft, comfortable bed in my Non-GO room….go figure. Maybe I’m not as big a snob as I thought. I was really worried about it being noisy (neighbors), but I didn’t hear anything all night. Slept in until nearly 8am, cleaned up, then walked to Harrahs for the breakfast buffet. I won’t bore you with details, I ate the same thing as yesterday, and it was even better than before. I used a $5 off coupon from Harrahs and paid for the remaining $10 with points.

    Back to the Flamingo for some VP. Hit quad aces shortly after I began playing, played for an hour and cashed a $20 profit. At 10am., it was time to collect my reel rewards from the Casino Cage. She gave me 5 $10 vouchers, I saw many people getting $500-$1000 in vouchers. Naturally this nickel player was envious, but I reminded myself that if I get their wins, I also get their losses.

    Played the vouchers on triple-play bonus poker, which was probably stupid since bonus poker treated me poorly this trip. Nonetheless, I turned it into $48 in cash. I played some penny games, hit a few bonus games, went to the room even for the morning counting the freeplay cash.

    I had really been looking forward to pool time, and this was opening day. I arrived at noon and it was packed. I’ve used the Flamingo pool many times and the crowd is usually a smattering of 20-somethings, a fair amount of families with children, and a lot of middle aged folks like me. Not today, and maybe not again. The families with children were required to use the ex-GO pool. It was crowded and I can’t imagine what it would be like in the summer. The main pool area was FULL, and I mean packed full, of 20-somethings. There was a DJ, loud music, lots of dancing….stuff I would have enjoyed 30 years (and 30 pounds) ago! But for today, I had hoped to quietly soak up some sun and read. I did bring in a bottle of soda in my pool bag, the attendant saw it but didn’t say anything. I had the receipt with me just in case, and the Flamingo pool bar will give you all the cups of ice you want.

    I did find one lounger behind the DJ, although it was in the shade. That worked out ok as it ended up in the sun after an hour. Since I’m a flexible gal, I ended up having a pretty good time watching all the happenings from behind my sunglasses. There were 2 girls and a guy across an aisle in front of me and they never stopped dancing, so there was always entertainment. It was amusing to watch them party, it must have been because I was there for 2.5 hours and only read 4 pages of my book!

    Back to my room, showered and went downstairs to gamble. Bad move as I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. I was dealt trips constantly and couldn’t pull the fourth card of anything. Was also dealt 4-to-the-royal needing the queen of diamonds (again) and didn’t get it (again). That queen of diamonds cost me a lot this trip. Tried couple of penny machines, absolutely nothing. Retreated to my room.

    Paid the $13.99 for internet using the company credit card as I had a bit of work to do. Relaxed then tried to decide where to have dinner. I had a $30 Groupon for Isla Mexican Kitchen in TI, but it doesn’t expire until August, so I didn’t have to use it. I really wanted Japanese again, so I decided to part with some of my TR points for a nice meal at Hamada of Japan. I arrived shortly before they open and looked at the menu. Good thing I did! I like the filet mignon and shrimp meal, at Hamada it was listed as $80 PLUS a $5 upcharge for fried rice. Dear lord, not worth that! I had more than enough points, but there’s no way I’m spending that on a meal. Isla’s Mexican Kitchen it is.

    Walked to TI, took about 20 minutes, which is no big deal except that blister on my foot keeps growing. The gentleman who sat me was thrilled with my last name (Bueler) as he’s a big Ferris fan. He said I made is night, I told him I don’t hear that often. Chips and salsa were ok, the chips were thicker than I like, but I was hungry. I ordered beef fajitas which come with rice and beans. Added a side of roasted corn, which I really didn’t like (kind of gummy). The fajita beef was excellent, although the slices were thick and difficult to bite through. I fixed that with my knife, the beef really was good. I didn’t like the rice and beans being combined in the same bowl, they kind of mix together. The beans were ok, but were really good when I used them as a chip dip. My bill came to $29.65 so I worked that Groupon! Left a $6 tip and walked back to Flamingo.

    The strip was completely packed with 20-somethings. It was 7pm, I have never seen so many in my life that time of night. It’s not spring break, no big concerts, I have no idea why. So many girls on 4†heels walking slower than I could crawl, so many guys falling down drunk. You could barely walk both sides of the strip. I couldn’t get back to the Flamingo soon enough. The casino was busy, but not like the strip.

    Played VP for a couple of hours and lost, the quads had slowed down where I just couldn’t keep up. It’s my fault as I’ve been complaining about not getting a dealt quad, even after all these days and hours of play. Just as I was finishing up for the night (an early night due to a 7:30am flight the next day), I was dealt quad 5’s while playing triple play DB. I was gleeful! Not a huge amount of money, but a moral victory and good way to end the VP portion of my trip.

    While walking to the room, I realized I had forgotten to cash a $10 ticket and decided to play it in a penny slot. I played Wild Bear at $.40 per spin and hit a couple of nice bonus rounds, cashed out $30. I decided I’d take one more swing at Cleopatra II, a really volatile game where you can hit nice bonus rounds, but they can be far and few between. I’d played these twice during the trip and lost a $20 each time.

    Stuck in my $30 ticket and bet 20 lines at 2 credits per line. First spin was a bonus round! I chose the least number of free spins (of course) and got 7. Hit some nice pays and the bonus re-triggered, which doesn’t happen often. I thought I won around $28 when I noticed something was wrong with my credits. I checked more closes and , OMG, the machine was set on nickels, not pennies! My credits were now $140! I cashed out and headed to the room. I am usually very careful about denomination, missed it somehow, evidently stupid does pay off sometimes.

    Finished packing and getting ready for that 7:30am flight the next morning, ugh.

    Observations:

    I love the strip in the morning, and I despise it when it’s packed.

    To all you girls who wear bikinis….do us all a favor and Look In the Mirror Before Going To The Pool. I’m all for being comfortable with who you are, but if it’s disgusting in the mirror, it’s worse to us.

    It’s easier leaving Las Vegas when you have another trip planned.

    This was one of the best weather trips I’ve had, Friday was 91 deg, light breeze, lots of sun. Love the low humidity after living in Mo along the Mississippi.


    Saturday April 2nd
    Up with the alarm at 5am. Left room at 5:30am and stopped by the front desk to checkout, the express checkout on the TV isn’t available until 6am, didn’t matter as I was the only one at the desk.

    Hopped in a cab, nice guy, fare was $13 plus tip. Used SW skycap to check my bag as they were all standing around with no customers. He checked my bag and printed my boarding pass (A19), tipped him $2.

    No one in the security line, I’m serious, no one. I really need to quit leaving so damn early for these Saturday early morning flights, the airport is always so empty. I do love the free internet at the airport, keeps me busy until the flight boards.

    I’m now on the airplane enroute to STL, there is a medical emergency on board. The stewardess called for any doctor or nurse, then came on begging for anyone with medical training at all. There’s a hillbilly looking guy who volunteered, I would guess he’s volunteer rural fire department. They’ve grabbed the de-fib kit and medical bags, plus oxygen tanks. One stewardess came back to the front and told some passengers it’s a 29 year old male who’s been incoherent. They think he’s stable now, and as long as he stays that way, we will continue on to STL. We’re about 1.5 hours away, hope he’s ok.

    Added later – they kept us on the plane when we arrived to allow the 5 paramedics to board and tend the ill passenger. Turns out, according to the stewardess, the guy had been partying in LV for 3 days straight, with little to eat and even less sleep. He passed out just after take off and was non-responsive for quite some time. He did walk off the plane on his own power. Must have been one of the 20-something armatures I saw on the strip. To quote The Hangover “Somepeople just can’t handle Vegasâ€!

    Summary:

    What a fantastic trip I had! I great balance of stuff to do and relaxing, great to get away. My hotel and airfare were free. I am heading home with $200 less than I brought with me, that includes all the tips and cabfare, and I paid for everything with cash, no credit card receipts. I have a lot more TR points than when I left home.

    I was dealt 4-to-a-royal 9 times this trip, mainly on five play. Never closed the deal.

    I gambled about 8 hours/per day for 4 days. Cabs and tips came to about $140, so I would say I did very well gambling over this many days. I didn’t cook, or do laundry, and did exactly what I wanted when I wanted. I drive 30,000 miles per year, and during these 4 days, I didn’t drive one single mile. To a mom of 3 and a working girl, that’s priceless.

    To those of you who finished, thanks for reading, I know it was long! You are the true Vegas addict…good luck!

    dbueler
     
  2. Sniff009

    Sniff009 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    Earth
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    21
    This is an awesome and great detailed TR!

    Can you explain something to me though about the Reel Rewards? Was it a promotion or was it something else? I have received the rewards vouchers in the mail for Reno, but never for Vegas. Does that mean if I go to to the Rewards Center I have numerous RR vouchers waiting for me? I started my CET account on 1/10 and am currently Platinum Status. My buddy started around the same time and is Diamond. If there are RR's there that I dont know about then I can sure use them!

    Thank you!
     
  3. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
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    TEXAS
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    great report...thanks for sharing...i'm finally under 100 days...need to get back!!! :beer::beer::beer:
     
  4. sulobo

    sulobo Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
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    Location:
    Beverly,Ma.
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    That was a good detailed trip report.


    you really tell it like it is . All the observations were great . It cracks me up .
    Thanks
     
  5. MomtoCCC

    MomtoCCC Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Great report!

    As a mother of 3 - I can certainly appreciate the time alone - sounds like you had a great time! I'm headed out Wed for one night of alone time before a company meeting. Reading your report made me even more excited!!
     
  6. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Hannibal Mo
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Sniff - The rapid rewards certs were an offer from the Flamingo, I saw it in my online account and eventually rec'd the offer in the mail as well. I recommend you sign in to CET online and check your offers, you might have some good ones!

    MomtoCCC - Enjoy your time! Funny, my 3 kids have the initial C - Chris, Courtney, and Caitlyn, we may have more in common than you think! These solo trips are real therapy for me, today I'm cooking up a storm and doing laundry, not bad after 5 days off!
     
  7. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Loved your TR and your daily observations. Thanks for an awesome report and lots of giggles!
     
  8. pa_pa33

    pa_pa33 Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
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    Location:
    Finland, Oulu
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    I finished :) This was the best TR I have read! I got some interesting information for my trip (in late April), and I just joined to Benihana email club. It's going to be my 22nd birthday on the day I arrive.
    Thanks
     
  9. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Some excellent words of daily advice

    Nice report. Nice humor and words of wisdom.

    Sadly, the people will still stop and talk in the main intersection and block as much as possible. The families will still hold hands and block the entire sidewalk. The bikini girls will still wear their bikinis even after that extra 60 pounds.

    And in conclusion, I will still probably be one of the drunk guys walking the strip.
     
  10. robert m.

    robert m. High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    texas
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    Thank you for the excellent report. The buffet reviews were worthwhile! I laughed a lot when you were talking about people blocking sidewalks, hobbling on high heels and just generally being inconsiderate. Funny stuff! Thanks!
     
  11. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
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    2,656
    Nice TR, thanks for posting. I will be at the Flamingo in May. Glad to know the rooms are "fine". I too like a nice room but I'm trying to stick to a budget for this trip as it's a 7-nighter for me. Will try the $20 trick but glad to know the standard rooms are "fine" just in case. Gotta look up this Groupon thing. Sounds like it works good.
     
  12. sandc4e

    sandc4e Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Great report, I love reading others recents trip reports, certainly gets us in the mood for our May trip.
     
  13. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Yes, it does do that. I'm off in May as well.
    Thanks for a fine, detailed report. The observation format is very interesting both in content and in developing a style that breaks the narrative so that while you wrote a long report, it did not seem long.

    I love the mistake plays. I have done that. It can break the bank or make it.
     
  14. Chuppa76

    Chuppa76 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
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    5
    Loved it!

    Loved reading your report! Thanks for sharing! Got a good laugh from your daily observations and found myself nodding as I noticed a lot of the same things in my recent trip.

    You said it's easier to leave when you have another trip planned... I've never experienced this, but it makes so much sense! I also struggle when it's time to leave, the sadness is unbearable! Next time (hopefully) I'd have another trip planned and see if it works!!

    Chups :wave:
     
  15. IowaRyan

    IowaRyan Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
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    Iowa
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    Great TR! I only eat Eggs Benedict when traveling, happy to hear of a few places where they're good. Like one of the other posters I also think I need to educate myself on this Groupon thing. Thanks for writing.
     
  16. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Ottawa Canada
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    Your TR was a great read. Good job. The buffet reports were very informative and definitely something to keep in mind.

    Your observations were bang on. Must be nice for some people to be so totally focused on themselves that they never have to worry about how their actions affect other people :rolleyes2:

    Hope your next trip is as rewarding, with the addition of that elusive royal :wave:
     
  17. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hannibal Mo
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    50
    Thanks for all the kind comments! Since I was solo, it worked nicely for me to type up the TR at the end of each day. Since I had no one else to share my random "observations" with, or bitch to, I was able to have a conversation via the TR. You poor readers bear the brunt of that!

    I travel so often solo, I really never get lonely. I've often wondered how long it would take for me to get lonely, but never arrive at an answer, as I have a short attention span!

    Yep, sign up for the Groupon email and you can see what is offered each day. It is often haircuts or tanning or things you don't really need unless your a local, but I've bought alot of show tickets and meals this way, get to try alot of new places. It's especially fun solo as they are ususally for $30 so I get to order the most expensive thing on the menu, and often dessert, without worrying about cost!
    diane
     
  18. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    I just laughed so hard when reading your runny egg comment about Paris. I was SO HAPPY that the eggs were moist this time!!! Sometimes they are a bit dry & I hate that. So we are on opposite ends of the spectrum there. I can't eat the eggs bennie at either Paris or Cafe St. L - something about the hollandaise doubles me over. So I limit my bennies to Perkins.

    As a side note on Groupons - they are not always just food, spas etc. The other day eBay did a $15 for $7 Groupon to use on a future purchase. Awesome!

    Thanks for the Benihana info - I would never consider going there but might be worth a monorail ride if I can get there in July (b-day month).

    My Free Play offers have been running in the $50 range - I can't conceive the $500 - $1000 offers either, but maybe if my local tribal casino would hook up with them...............
     
  19. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Joined:
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    We have a widget posted here:
    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62165
    that shows today's deal and side deal for Las Vegas.

    I try to post in the appropriate category if there's a good one for one of the places often discussed here or geared towards tourists.

    If you're able to use them, they can be a huge savings.
     
  20. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Southwest Missouri
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    50
    From one Missourian to another, great report. Seriously, I thought people only used ultrasounds to beg for money in Southeast Missouri.:Þ

    Maybe I missed it, but how did you manage to get comped rooms at two CET properties back to back?
     
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