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January 10-14 Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by enterpriser2151, Jan 15, 2005.

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  1. enterpriser2151

    enterpriser2151 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    322
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4

    My Trip Report

    Considering some of the tales of drunken buffoonery on this site, my little TR will seem dull by comparison, but here goes.

    Drove from Knoxville, TN to Nashville, TN to catch the non-stop Southwest flight to Vegas on January 10th. We (me and the wife) left home a little later than I wanted (approximately 9:30am for a 2:20pm flight) plus we stopped for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel about half way. By the time we arrive at the airport, park, shuttle to the terminal, check the bags (checked in on line), get through security and get to the gate, everyone is already standing in line ready to board. But at least we didn't have to sit for a couple of hours. As both my wife and I are overweight, I was afraid they would want to charge us for an extra seat on a full flight, but no one said anything. The woman who's sitting next to me is working on some papers and she looks familiar. I ask if she ever posts on a Vegas website and she says no. During our conversation, she tells me she works for Harrah's casino in Illinois and she's going to Vegas for some corporate meeting. I am able to hold my tongue and not tell her Harrah's slot club sucks and for that, I mentally pat myself on the back. The flight leaves on time and is uneventful.

    We get our bags and I hire a limo from the Las Vegas Limo desk just outside the terminal. The wife looks at me like I'm nuts, but this was something I planned on doing. Actually, I tried to arrange one on-line that morning before we left, but couldn't since it was too close to our arrival. The limo is comfortable and it was a nice way to start our first trip to Mecca in nearly two years. For those who are curious, it cost $38 plus tip.

    We arrive at TI and check in quickly. I have reserved a petite king suite. Apparently, the word "suite" means something different in Vegas since this is just a slightly larger than average room but with two baths (which I knew going in, but still). One bath has a deep jetted tub (score for the wife) while the other has a large walk-in shower and both have marble tile all over. The room itself is tastefully decorated in golden tones with a king size bed, couch, coffee table, overstuffed chair, small desk and chair and various accent tables. We are in room 26076 which faces one side of Fashion Show Mall with a partial strip view and mountains in the distance. Not the greatest view, but not bad. By the way, in-room porn is a great invention. 'Nuff said.

    We put our stuff away and head down for something to eat. We decide to try Dishes, the newly renovated buffet at TI. Dinner is $20 per person, lunch is $15 and breakfast is $12. There's also something called "Fancy Dishes" that's $26, but I don't know why (maybe a seafood buffet on the weekend?) While the food is good, it's not $20-per-person good. We ate a couple of meals at Canter's Deli, and while it is also on the expensive side, it's also pretty good if you want a deli sandwich and soup or something along that line. The Krispy Kreme shop supplied our breakfasts and a few snacks during our stay. Excellent as always. We also ate at Quark's at Star Trek: The Experience in LV Hilton. More on that later. Our last night in town (1/13) we ate at the TI Steakhouse. I had the 12-ounce filet and my wife had that night's special, trout in an orange sauce with grilled baby asparagus. We ordered sides of the wild sauteed mushrooms and a baked potato and split those (everything is a la cart). For dessert we split key lime pie. All the food was excellent and the service was top notch. Since I knew going in that this would be an expensive meal, I didn't plotz when the bill arrived. It was about $110 plus tip. But, IMHO, it was well worth it.

    I am not a big time gambler and get nervous when I sit down at a $10 blackjack table. But on my last night in town I was determined to play at least a little. So, after trolling the casino floor for over an hour looking for a space at a $10 table, I ended up taking a spot at a $15 table that had just been emptied by a group travelling together. Myself and three other guys sit down and before the first hand is dealt, the dealer goes on break and is replaced by a middle aged woman with what sounds like a German accent and she is not happy to be at work. This is single-deck blackjack and the rules are a little different. You can pick up the cards but only with one hand, if you want a hit, you scratch the cards towards you on the felt, if you get blackjack or bust you turn your cards over and if you are done hitting, you slide your cards under your bet. One of the guys at the table apparently has never played this way before and he is constantly doing something the dealer doesn't like. She is sighing and rolling her eyes and correcting him in a stern voice and is just being a [email protected] I probably didn't play five or six hands and I'm down over $40 so I leave. That dealer needs to find another line of work if she hates it that bad. The rest of my gambling consisted of video poker, nickle and quarter slots. I ended up down about $300 total, which for me isn't too bad considering I was there five nights.

    I walked around quite a bit looking at a few of the other strip hotels. The Mirage is right next to TI and there is a free tram between the two. It looks like a nice place, but I didn't spend much time there. I walked over to The Venitian and went though the shops. That is a fascinating place to just wander through and look around. Paris didn't do much for me (maybe because it was at the end of a long day when I was there). Bellagio is...well, the Bellagio; Big, beautiful, ritzy, intimidating, impressive. My wife wanted to see the Tiffany's at Via Bellagio. She looked at several items but didn't buy anything. Not that we could afford anything there anyway!

    The wife went to the TI spa. She got a facial, massage, manicure and something else in a package. She seemed to enjoy it and spoke at length with the ladies who were providing her services. That's something she really enjoys doing chatting with people and learning about them. Her massage therapist was apparently one of the first female dealers in Vegas, but had to quit because of a lung ailment caused by secondhand smoke.

    We rented a car and drove to the Primadonna Outlet Mall in Primm. The wife loves Coach handbags and there is a store there. She bought a couple of pieces. We then walked down to the New York Diamond Exchange jewelry store. WARNING: DON'T GO THERE! The place struck me as a huge ripoff. They wanted $12,000 for a two-carat heart-shaped diamond solitare in white gold that had a huge inclusion that was visible to the naked eye. When my wife pointed it out to the salesman, he offered to take 10% off. HA!!! We left and went to another jewelry store in the mall, the name of which escapes me at the moment. There, we found a very pretty emerald and diamond ring at a very good price and I bought it for our 19th anniversary coming up in June (get your shopping done early, I say). The wife loves it and I'm a hero once again. :rolleyes:

    Being a couple of Star Trek geeks, we went to the LV Hilton and went through Star Trek: The Experience. This was our fifth time (I think) on the original ride, now called the Klingon Encounter. I think it's a pretty good motion simulator ride and being on the bridge of the Enterprise is still pretty cool to me (big geek, I know). We also did the Borg in 4-D show and it was a disappointment. Too much standing around, not enough action. The 3-D movie is well done, but the motion simulation is weak at best. Since you get both rides for the one price, it's still worth it (to me anyway) but the Borg part needs some punching up. After the rides we ate at Quarks. The food was pretty good (me-Teryaki chicken stir-fry, her-pizza) but the best part of our meal was when the tall, youngish Klingon came to our table. He was in a talkative mood and was very funny. My wife wanted a picture with him and he sat down next to her at our table. He looks ticked off in the picture, just the way a Klingon should be. OK, geek section is done.

    We rode the monorail from the LV Hilton. Whoever designed the route should be taken out and beaten. It is not very convenient. We got off at the Bally's/Paris station and I thought we'd never get to Paris. Maybe I just got off at the worst stop, but if the rest of the stops are like that it isn't going to last long. By the way, nothing fell off while we were there.

    The flight home left on time and was also uneventful. The plane wasn't full so me and the wife had the row to ourselves (biggest win of the trip).

    Click here for pictures.

    Questions? Feel free to ask.

    [ January 16, 2005, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: enterpriser2151 ]
     
  2. spendo

    spendo Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Excellent trip report....and Happy Early Anniversary!

    Spendogirl
     
  3. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,360
    Location:
    Idaho
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Very nice report. Glad to see it is still possible to do it in a single try.

    Hope you got a great deal on the ring. That is something I have never paid my trip tax with.
     
  4. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    well done well done
     
  5. RamBill

    RamBill Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,470
    Location:
    west hartford, CT
    Very good TR and kudos for scoring points with the wife! "Live Long and Prosper".
     
  6. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Messages:
    11,671
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Nice report. I'm looking forward to the pictures.
     
  7. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    12,917
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    36
    Amen.

    Nice trip report E-man. [​IMG]
    That Star Trek Experience, especially Quarks is a hoot. Unfortunately we always get stuck talking to a Ferrengi [​IMG]

    Oh, by the way, while you were away, look what we're Santa brought us Knoxvillians as a belated Christmas present.
    http://www.travel2vegas.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/13/915.html

    I'm still giddy over that :D
     
  8. enterpriser2151

    enterpriser2151 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    322
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    Unless it is significantly cheaper, I'll probably still take Southwest out of Nashville for the non-stop flight. I hate changing planes and the drive from Knoxville to Nashville isn't that bad.
     
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