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Headed that Way - My " Vegas Diary"

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by TxFoldEm, Aug 7, 2015.

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  1. TxFoldEm

    TxFoldEm Tourist

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    I've never done a trip report before, so I hope this isn't too long. I figure that I would kind of document my pre-trip, trip and post trip - "My Diary" so to speak. What we do, what happens to us, how the trip goes, what I think and what I feel. I'll be updating this thread over the next 30 days. This first post will be long so I can play catchup for the last 3 weeks to get me to today

    Bear with me, I'm trying to set up my backstory and background :)

    ***The Story***

    We booked our trip about 3 weeks ago. We found some decent deals on airfare to Vegas and I kind of went back and forth on whether to go or not. It's been almost 3.5 years since we've been and this will be our 6th trip. Our first trip was in 2006.

    After a trip to Disney World this past May, I struggled with whether we could really afford to go. We had a new house built last year and there's so much that we still want to do with it...... outdoor kitchen, pergola, etc.... For me, those are pretty big expenses and I was trying to decide whether to make the trip or go with the "smart" decision and get a pergola. My wife was up for both, but she said she was leaning toward taking the Vegas trip. After the construction started on the house (March 2013), I told my wife that I wanted to go Vegas when the place was finished - for a vacation. Well... to make a long story short, what was supposed to take 6 months, ended up taking over 11 months to get finished. I had to stay on the builder, the contractors, everything. It was a real pain that took up so much of my time. When the house was finished the last thing I needed was a "sensory overloaded" vacation, so we didn't go anywhere last year after we moved in.

    Fast forward to this past May. My daughter turned 8 and we had always planned to take her to Disney World for her actual birthday. Although the trip to WDW would be my daughter's 3rd time to visit, my wife (who is a HUGE Disney World fan) wanted to take her for actual birthday, so be it... I like Disney World too, that's where we went on our honeymoon, so it does hold a special place for me, for both of us.

    Fast forward to 3 weeks ago.... I've been itching to go to Vegas ever since we got back from WDW, which is weird, anytime I get back from a trip, I'm ready to get back to work and "relax" from vacation. It was different this time though, when we got back from Florida, I wasn't ready to get back to "normal life" - maybe it's the stress from the house? Who knows. Anyway, we get a bid for the pergola that we want (we actually had extra concrete poured per our plan for it). The bid comes back at $11,272 - about what I expected. We decided to get other bids too... during the next few days of talking to different contractors, my wife and I keep talking about Vegas. She tells me one day that it sounds like I really "need" the trip, that "we" need the trip since it's been 3.5 years since we went anywhere - just the 2 of us. It will also be our 19th wedding anniversary (August 31st) and 20 years since we met the first time (we got married a year after we met). Sooooo, we decide to put the pergola on hold for the next few months and go to Vegas instead. Here's a picture of the patio where we to install the pergola. On the right side of the photo (where the water hose is located) is where we're planning to add an outdoor kitchen - that project is probably another year may 1.5 years away though. The pergola is going to so expensive that we'll need to wait on the ODK. The pergola will be about 49 feet wide when done.

    20150714_114609.jpg

    Anyway, back to the Vegas diary.... so we book the trip and reserve a room at The Paris... The past several trips we always had a comp'd room... but I guess since it's been awhile since we've been there, we had no offers for free stays. At first, I booked at Planet Hollywood, but the rooms seemed small (even though the listed square footage wasn't bad) on youtube videos that I saw. We decided to switch to Paris. Still not sure about staying there, but I think it will be good. I like the Palazzo, but don't want to spend that kind of money on a room (last visit there was comp'd).... the more I spend on a room, the less we have to play with! Our last trip we stayed at Bally's and really enjoyed it there. I liked the casino and the "laid back" feel of it, Palazzo is my first choice and Bally's my second... but I do like the location of the Paris on the strip though.

    We've both been excited about the trip for the past 3 weeks. I joined this message board and have been trying to read up a little more on Vegas and gaming. Whenever we went before, we always just played slots and Texas Hold 'Em Bonus and Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em. We decided that we want to play Blackjack and Craps and maybe a few other games too. We rented a car last trip and decide to rent a convertible this trip too. I enjoyed the Valley of Fire last time and look forward to doing it again, especially the drive back to Vegas along Northshore Rd.

    I've been playing some online slots, blackjack, craps, etc.... getting geared up to have a blast in Vegas! When we go, we're probably doing it wrong, but we really don't try to "win"... we just try to lose "slow".

    As I'm writing this, at this very moment, Vegas is the last place I want to be right now. I know we most likely won't cancel the vacation, but my heart isn't in it today.

    Yesterday we had to put our beloved pet cat, Thelma, to sleep yesterday. It was heart wrenching for both of us. We adopted her and her sibling when they were kittens. We've had them for 15 years. Thelma started to get sick a few weeks ago, she pulled some hair out and had a bald spot, we took her to the vet and the vet gave us some medicine to give her. I could see her getting worse. Last week, she started peeing in our bed when we weren't looking (she had ALWAYS used the litter box). We had to change our sheets everyday, I felt bad for her hurting. We took her to the vet again on Wednesday and they gave her shot. I think the stress of the vet on Wednesday really got to her. She was doing okay for a couple of hours, she then started to decline rapidly (kidney problems). Yesterday, we both stayed home from work to take care of her and by 9am it became apparent on what we had to do. She could barely move, when I looked into her eyes it seemed that she was barely "in there". It was awful. We made an appointment with the vet again, but the earliest appointment we could get was for 3pm. We spent the day petting Thelma and loving on her at the same time knowing that in a few hours she wouldn't be with us anymore. It was killing my wife (and me too)... When it came time to put her in the cat carrier to take her to the vet, I kept apologizing to Thelma... my wife got really broken up. She's been a part of our lives for so long it's just hard to let go... I know for some people it would be "just a cat", but for us, she was family. I've attached her photo.

    2008-12 (89)-1757.jpg

    I know there probably isn't much to worry about, but I do wonder how our other cat, "Louise", will do without her sibling. After all, they've been together since they were born. Louise is a pretty healthy cat, but... I just don't know. When we got back yesterday from the vet, Louise was looking for her sister. It broke my heart when she couldn't find her. I know we can't introduce a new cat to her at this age, but she's never been alone.

    Anyway, as I sit here, I thought that maybe I would write a "different" type of trip report. Not just of the trip or the winnings or the losses, but the emotions, the conversations, the thoughts and that go along with it.

    I know we most likely won't cancel our Vegas trip, but I sure don't feel like "Vegas Baby!" - today.....

    This thread won't be such a "downer" thread! Just the way I'm feeling right now... I imagine this will be a roller coaster report, at least for me... I'm going to try and keep this report as "real" as possible
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  2. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 Low-Roller

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. Kidney issues with cats is such a cruel thing. My wife still misses our beloved Mugsy that we lost to kidney problems.

    Mark
     
  3. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Sorry to hear about your cat. We are cat-people too.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  4. Brick

    Brick Low-Roller

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    Sorry for your loss. Our family had to put a sick cat friend to sleep last year after 14+ years. It sucked but it felt better knowing he was no longer suffering. Took us a few weeks to accept it. A few months later, the wife and I took a Vegas trip with friends. After we got home, we decided we were ready to adopt another cat. Your grieving process may be different. For us, getting away from home and having low-rolling fun in Vegas definitely helped us move on. Thanks for keeping it real.
     
  5. sandybeachbar

    sandybeachbar Low-Roller

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    So sorry to hear about Thelma. Our animals are our family. Always so hard to say goodbye.

    Hope you will enjoy your Vegas trip. I will enjoy following along.
     
  6. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    I feel you, took one of our 5 sled dogs to the vet last night( she hasn't been eating right for a couple weeks and dropped from 75 lbs to 57!)
    took her back this am for ultrasound, not really feeling like going to Vegas tomorrow, but I have my cousin in from Europe and we've planned this for 6 months

    here's hoping for good news
     
  7. jagdan61

    jagdan61 Low-Roller

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    I am so sorry for your Loss. She was so beautiful. Thelma was my Mom's name so touched me as well. Very hard to lose a part of your family that you have had so long. We have all been there and know the feeling.
     
  8. onebud1

    onebud1 Low-Roller

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    So sorry for your loss...time will heal your heart.
     
  9. TxFoldEm

    TxFoldEm Tourist

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    Thanks for the kind words! I really do appreciate them.

    Sorry to hear about your Mugsy, Mark. The vet said there was nothing we could do about her kidneys. What an awful way....

    Brick, glad to hear you adopted another pet. I tend to be an animal person.

    Frank, oh man, that's awful. How old is your sled dog? Man, I would hate to leave at this time too... I hope everything picks up for you and your pet.

    ***Update***

    Talked to my wife earlier, we're probably still going to go on the trip. It sounds stupid, but I'm a little relieved that we had to deal with this now. I would've hated to hear that our pet started declining so rapidly while we were gone.

    My daughter asked us today if we were still going to Las Vegas. I told her we were probably still going to go, she told me that maybe me and mommy need to do something fun so we wouldn't be so sad and Las Vegas might be just we need. She offered to let me play with her "shopkins" toys if it would help. I told her I'd take her up on the offer after work. She did ask if we could get her some more M&M pajamas from the M&M store. Last trip in 2012, we brought her back a pair of shorts and shirt for sleepwear. She loved them! So she has requested Green, Red, or Blue (in that order). I think that maybe we'll just get her all 3 colors :)

    I've been looking at dream car rental places in Vegas, trying to get in the mood to go (and distract me a little) today. Hasn't worked as well as I hoped, but it has a little... distraction away from work and Thelma, which is a good thing. I really couldn't find anything great as far as corvette rentals. The prices are a lot higher than I would've thought - $1,330 for the week. We reserved a convertible from Alamo for $227 for the week (Sunday - Friday), they said it was a Mustang or similar.

    I thought it would always be fun to rent a Lamborghini for like 6 hours (If I could fit in it - I'm 6'3"). I found one place that had 6 hour rentals for $700. That actually sounds fun.

    When I was talking to my wife today, she suggested maybe we can watch some Las Vegas themed movies tonight, which sounds like a good idea :)

    She told me that she'll back whatever I want to do... if I decide to go to Vegas, she's all for it. If I decide that I don't want to go, she'll back me on that too.

    Anyway, back to the "trip" report. Sorry if I keep babbling on my cat, it's just what's on my mind today, hope you can bear with me.

    We did get our airfare, I think at a decent price - total $396 for both of us roundtrip from Dallas. At the Paris, we booked the room for Sunday - Friday, that cost came in at $565, which I think is a decent deal. The last 4 times we went, we always had a free room... once at the Palazzo, one at the Bellagio, a one bedroom suite at the Luxor (a co-worker and his wife was actually going the same time we were on that trip, it wasn't planned that way, but he called his casino host for me and got us the one bedroom suite), and then once at Bally's. We really enjoyed Bally's. The room was okay, but for some reason, we really enjoyed the casino there. We didn't win or anything (we've never had a "winning" trip to Vegas), but I guess the vibe (in the casino) on that trip is what we liked.

    Actually, typing this post distracted me more than looking at exotic car rentals, nice break from my own head for a few minutes :)
     
  10. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    So sorry about your cat - I'm a big animal lover too -- The last night of our trip - 5 nights- I was so ready to be home with my two mini weenie dogs - They are like children. I am sure you will have some good memories/times on your trip.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  11. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    TX, Zoe is 13..so not completely unexpected news
    but our kids are 8,7 and 5 so this would be their first experience with the "circle of life"

    heads up?, I went to exchange some PJs at the M&M store last Dec, they said the discontinued all their PJ line
    (something to do with flame retardant specs), so have a backup plan for her

    forget the Lambo, I'm only 6'2" and I barely fit

    also check out Vdara next to Bellagio, my fave place to stay
     
  12. Spock

    Spock Tourist

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    Sorry to hear about Thelma - beautiful cat.

    God bless and hope you enjoy time with your wife. Thank you for sharing your story.
     
  13. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    ugh inoperable cancer of the spleen, great start to my Vegas trip:cry::vomit:
     
  14. TxFoldEm

    TxFoldEm Tourist

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    Frank, sorry to hear that man. Awful just awful. Please keep us in the loop
     
  15. Angiemac

    Angiemac Tourist

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    Condolences on the loss of Thelma, the loss of a fur baby is never easy.
    Hopefully Vegas can be the distraction that you need.
     
  16. Angiemac

    Angiemac Tourist

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    Aw Frank, that is terrible news. I am so sorry. It will be a tough one for the kids.
     
  17. npom

    npom High-Roller

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    So sorry to hear about your kitty. I lost my cat Fuzzy last year about this time. I never thought She was a Christmas present to me 12 years ago. I never thought I could get that attached to an animal but it was like losing my best friend. We did finally get another kitten about six months ago. I named him Bally after the casino I love!
     
  18. TxFoldEm

    TxFoldEm Tourist

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    *** Update ****

    So, me and the wife decided to watch some Vegas or Gambling typie movies to put is in the mood for Vegas in a few weeks. It worked a little... We watched "Last Vegas", "21" (again), "Lucky You".... "Last Vegas" - what a great stupid movie. Those are my favorite kind of flicks. You know, the ones that you don't expect much from, but then pleasantly surprised it doesn't completely suck.

    It's hot here in Texas about 100 with a heat index of around 104. Stupid me decided to mow the yard at about noon, yeah I'm a glutten for punishment! Eh, what doesn't kill ya' makes you stronger.

    So I'm here taking a break, started looking up the MyVegas facebook reward thing. I signed up for it a couple of weeks ago and I've had a lucky run on it. I bought $100 worth of chips (can't remember how many chips that gave me... somewhere around 4 million or something, they had a some limited time buy special, can't remember) I'm back down to about 2.5 million right now. My rewards balance is showing as 83,495. I'm trying to figure out what to buy.

    I've heard that Zumanity is good, but that they pull people from the audience... yeah, that would be a no bueno. We may try to check out a different Cirque show if anyone has recommendations.

    Last trip we went and saw the topless burlesque show at Bally's.... When my wife mentioned it....yeah, no problem talking me into going. You know it's funny. I actually enjoyed the show, I mean the real show. My wife asked me what I thought about it when it was over and told her I enjoyed it, but honeslty.... at one point there were way too many boobies on stage, yeah, I was shocked when I said it too!
     
  19. Vegasaddict2014

    Vegasaddict2014 Low-Roller

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    Sorry to hear about your cat. My 16 year old cat died whilst I was away in Vegas. My friend had been watching her for me and she text to say she'd died and I read it whilst standing in Luxor. It was a shock because she was fine when I left her 6 days earlier.

    I hope you have a great trip and I look forward to reading the rest of the TR. :)
     
  20. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    So sorry to hear about your cat. I'm a cat lover, so that's always a tough one.

    I love what you're doing w/this as a sort of diary. Cool idea.
     
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