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January 1st-6th (stole an extra day!)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Sierra, Jan 9, 2008.

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  1. Sierra

    Sierra Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    55

    My Trip Report

    From December 19th-January 6th, we were away from home all but 3 days. We spent Christmas with Stanley’s family in Spokane, and New Year’s Eve in Reno. On New Year’s Day, we checked out of Reno and headed down 95 to Vegas. Of course we got no sleep the night before, but rather than being tired, we were energized with the prospect of Vegas in front of us. Neither of us napped and we arrived at Paris at 4 PM.

    We pulled in valet and sat in the long line. I had to go to the bathroom, so Stanley told me to go on in. I did and came back to find he hadn’t moved an inch. WTF? Let’s get this party started, self-parking here we come! Ugh! That had to be the worst. I don’t know what was more fun, the long stretch through the parking garage, or the bumpity-bumpity of wheeled objects over French cobblestones, not to mention the zoned out mall walk of all the recovering NYE’s partiers breaking our stride to registration. A couple of minutes later we were in front of a nice girl, and we turned on the charm, chatting about the holiday, our travel from Reno, the weather the night before, all in hopes of landing a “P†room. We were on a comp, and I didn’t know which way that would cut it. They were not full, it was 4 PM, we were only staying 2 mid-week nights, all the makings for an upgrade, + she now loved us and was ready to have us babysit her children. She asked us if we wanted a high floor, and I said it didn’t matter if it were high/low, smoking/non-smoking or one or two beds, IF we could get a P room.

    Wow! Her smile vanished, she was now all business as she informed us that yes she did have an upgrade available, at $85 more a night. Gulp. No thanks. She said it was worth it, especially since we were comped already, uh…no it’s not. We ended up on the 28th floor, view of the parking garage roof, but the room was very nice in tans and reds. On further examination, we noticed that over the top of the roof, we had a nice view of the construction at city center (center city?) and all the crane work. Cool. We turned our love seat to face the window, moved the coffee table in front of it, made a drink, propped up our feet, and reveled in the happiness only experienced in that magic first hour of Vegas where anything is still possible.

    After about an hour of this, we got hungry and headed out for our traditional first meal in Vegas- the Ellis Island BBQ. It’s ½ a rack of ribs, ½ a chicken, beans, slaw, two corns and two breads. $8.95- split this. We used our ACG 4 free drinks, getting 2 ales and 2 waters and were seated on the patio. 50 degrees felt fine with the heaters nearby. After dinner, we walked out the front and saw a cab dropping off. We grabbed it and had it take us to Bellagio.

    After a walk through of the conservatory, we debated buying in at a bar or taking our chances on the frequency of the cocktail waitresses. We spied triple play quarter (and up) video poker, and planted. I have found that single line play on a multiple play machine produces better hands. This is anecdotal, and I’m sure some of you have scientific mathematic info to dispute this, don’t care. Since my anecdotal world pays me, I’ll stay in it, thank you very much. I play .50 cent one a time triple double, double whatever video poker. Stanley likes the extra lines, so plays at the quarter level, 4 quarters at a time. After 15 minutes, we were up $50 and Stanley went for change. I hit 4 aces and the kicker for $200) this was off one .50 cent bet). We took that out and continued to Paris to rack up some points on the Harrah’s card to insure the free rooms keep coming.

    Since we were up, we decided to play some video pennies, 15 minutes, one drink and $60 each later; we admitted defeat and went in search of some more triple play machines. I went back to my one at a time .50 cent play and Stanley with his quarter method. We lasted 2 more hours and 4 gray goose martini’s long. It was nice going to bed up the first night.

    Since we were at Paris, and most of the rave reviews of breakfast center around their food (buffet or cafes), I thought we should give them a try. I wasn’t in a hurry to leave the pretty room, so checked out room service. I love room service, I hate the charges, I was shocked when I saw how cheap Paris room service was. Yes, I said cheap. But maybe it was the cheap way I ordered, anyway, this is what we got: Large slice of smoked ham, bone in, scrambled eggs, hash browns, wonderful crunchy whole wheat toast and a basket filled with: croissant, muffin, cheese Danish, apple Danish, chocolate croissant and another pastry. This also came with a pot of coffee (3 cups) and a large juice. I ordered for one, Stanley used a spoon, but got the coffee cup, and the price was $18.99 + tax and $2.50 for a service for one. With tip $25 total. It was very good, it allowed us to relax in the room longer, watch the construction and enjoy the Paris food. I love the way their breakfast comes with coffee and juice.

    The soaps and little bottles were extra pretty. Stanley and I stood starring at the neat little packaging, admiring the bath gel, oo-ing over the different soaps. He helps me pack them up and asks if I brought another hotel’s soap to use instead. Yes, of course I did. This is love folks. Years ago he didn’t get the obsession to save these things, take them home, and covet them. But after years with me, he accepts it, helps it along, and doesn’t argue the illogical use of using another (just as nice) soap from another hotel, and taking these home.

    We drove to TI to park and walked across the street to check out the new Palazzo (spelling). It’s hard to get in there, maybe the soft opening? And later it will be more accessible? It’s a “nice†place. Not Wynn, not Bellagio, not even Venetian standards. Stanley and I both said at the same time that it was like a Coast casino, South Point in particular. Even the machines are for the low roller, mostly pennies and quarter video poker. The service was very good. There looks to be another Grand Lux here. The atrium was disappointing. They need to google the word, it means live trees I think, not plastic cone shaped ugly evergreens sparsely placed. I will play here, it was comfortable. It was hard to get out; they take you through the WHOLE Venetian, shopping mall and all.

    We hit a few more strip casinos and headed downtown. We had a coupon for $10 free slot play at El Cortez. We had never been, let’s go! We used Las Vegas Club valet, asked where El Cortez was, and started walking. We didn’t stay under the Fremont Ceiling, and I was feeling creeped out by the time we got within 3 blocks of it. Looking down at its sign, seeing the draw of the 4 Queens, we elected to save the coupon for a nicer walking day.

    4 Queens gave us $20 each in free play and we played on it + $20 of our own for two hours. The beer pub was out of IPA , so I sadly sipped wimpy amber ale. Well, not sadly, but not with the same enthusiasm reserved for their IPA! We used the ACG’s coupon at Magnolia’s, and left happy from 4 Queens. Binion’s was next, playing Mr. Woo and trying to re-capture the fun we had on it at Thanksgiving. Not happening. In fact, nothing happening, so we headed back to Paris. No love on the machines from the evening before, so over to Bally’s for the same triple play action. I hit a few and we ended the day within $100 of the money we came to town with, including tips and food.

    The next morning we were checking out and heading to Sam’s Town. We had the steak and egg special ($3.49) at Ellis Island, and then visited the Pin Ball museum on Tropicana for some exciting competitive play. We started with centipede, it only took about 3 quarters for me to remember the short cuts and skill play, enough to beat Stanley with; he was suitably impressed. He tore me up on the police academy shooting game, and I was surprised at how accurate he was with that little plastic gun. Well, he is from the Pacific Northwest after all. Not that folks use little plastic guns up there, but even your average 6 year old knows his way around a gun, really.

    Once again we are standing in front of a reservationist, hoping for a decent room, too cheap/scared for the $20 trick. Since we were paying for these two nights, and we got them off the internet, I figured we might score the atrium view, yup for $10 more. Stanley said no, really? I’m usually the cheap one! It was the principal or something like that. Also, everyone checking in around us was paying $1 a night for their rooms with their mailer, yup $1. Bastards. They probably got the atrium free too! Shake it off… you’re in Vegas….you’re winning…all is well…bastards….

    The room was fine, not Paris nice, but fine. We tossed the bags in, started with a drink and then headed to the casino. It was now about 1 PM. Have I told you about Sam’s Town? I mean, my personal experience with them? They hate me, really hate me. Like my Harrah’s player’s card problems, I have about 4 accounts with Sam’s. I don’t know why. It’s got to be my 13 letter last name that they misspell, and than open a new one. When I go to get a card, they either grumble about the ones that are there already, or can’t find any of them, hence, another card. And get this, I have NEVER gotten anything from them. We stay there at least once a year, visit 2-3 times, using one of the cards, nothing. I’ve had more promises, fixes and lectures from their player’s club than even Harrahs. I even wrote a letter to the powers that be to try and see why they ignore us. Stanley’s mom played last year with us, for about $5, and gets free room offers, so you can see why I’m a bit testy with the “bastard†stuff, okay?

    This time, I was going to use a different strategy, I was NOT going to ask for a card with the most points, or the right address, or this century or anything, I was going to let THEM choose it for me. Turns out, they did it sooner than expected, my player’s club card was waiting for me at check in, never seen that. It was only one, Stanley needed to play one, so I asked for a couple more at the player’s club. No, you can only have two, and you already have one. Okay, sorry for asking. Hey! Your points are due to expire today! Let me refresh them. What?! I have points? How many? 6000 or something. What’s that good for? $14 in comps. Okay, something back from Sam’s.

    We played some Goldfish games. Have you played them? Lots of fun, many bonuses, and pretty. Left even with a couple of drinks under our belts. Than we found a great game, well, this night it was great, Cherry bomb! I’ve never seen another. Stanley got a $110 bonus with a .60 cent bet. I was winning on the neighboring Goldfish, and the martini’s were flowing (Absolute, no gray goose). It was time for dinner, so we used the comp in the Mexican joint, good food, too much. We then tried some 2 cent triple line video poker, 60 cents a pull. It dealt me deuces; I landed a bonus one and cashed out over $100 on that machine. Bed time! Still up for the day.

    The next morning we ate at the buffet, well it was after 11, so I guess it was lunch. Anyway, it was nasty. It looked good, smelled good, but tasted odd. Maybe it was me and I just don’t like buffets anymore. We used Stanley’s points and ate for free. You know what? All that worry about points, mailers and the lack thereof, big deal! At the rate we were accumulating points, it would be another 2 years before we have enough for a meal, honestly. The rate was between 50 and 100 points an hour. It takes at least 6000 to eat, so you do the math. I wonder if they have special coupons that give some bastards 10 times point play or something, what do you think? Our wager was between 50 cents and $1.25 a pull, I know that’s not a lot, but I also know that at most properties it works out to a $1 back an hour, or about $10 a day. Sam’s is less than ½ that.

    After lunch, we went to the theatre at Sam’s and saw I am Legend, good flick, though a bit sad. We refilled the popcorn (no butter for this second bag) and planned on taking it home for the road trip the next day. However, we didn’t go home the next day, the west coast was under hurricane conditions Friday, still ugly Saturday, so I called and asked for a host to give me a casino rate for Saturday night. They had us by the short ones, as it was Saturday in Vegas, and the weather was keeping folks there. Surprisingly, he gave me a $55 rate, so I was liking them again. We hadn’t left Sam’s in two days, so we got in the car and went to the Silverton. Stanley loves their buffet and we had the ACG coupon. We didn’t know it was seafood night, so with the coupon it was still $21. I didn’t want to go in, Stanley said we were going in and we did and I’m glad. It was really good. They steamed the crab legs, I now spit on cold crab legs. I think it is analogous to eating the best cut of filet mignon hot from the grill, or cold and greasy coagulated . They also were pouring free wine, and had my favorite coconut white cake. Oh, and the coffee, scrumptious! Served in BIG cups, mocha size cups. Perfect for taking out of the buffet as it holds a lot, not perfect for sneaking it out of the buffet, and it was huge, could not be palmed, hidden at my side or made to look aloof. What to do?

    Stanley once again tried to talk me out of it; “the lady is standing right there, waiting for this sort of thing!†I merely saw it as a challenge, and plotted my strategy. I noticed she actually moved from her spot about every 5 minutes, usually to gab with someone, perfect! That would be my moment! As soon as I made my decision, but before I could start on timing, she moved, Damn! Must go now! Stanley, take care of the tip, my coffee will be cold if I wait another 5 minutes! Off I went, and I didn’t stop until I was ½ way through the casino. A few minutes later, here comes Stanley with his cup of coffee! Yea! A convert! I’m so proud.

    We ended up even for Silverton, a couple hours of play, the meal on them, and the tips too. We headed back to Sam’s. Upstairs at Sam’s, we stopped at a new game, I don’t know the name of it, but it’s medieval, has the last reel a bonus type reel, and pays really nicely! We lasted a couple of hours and left $10 up. Sigh, that’s the way of penny machines, even is a win.

    After maintaining all day, we moved downstairs and lost on everything, the fun went out, we decided to call it a night about 11 PM. The next day, I insisted the weather was too bad to go home, Stanley said I just wanted to prolong the trip and escape from reality. It really made me mad because he was right. So we packed, checked out and headed home the California way. It took about 9 hours, wasn’t too bad, and the popcorn was just a little stale.

    Next trip? Not sure, depends on the offers. But probably by late spring….


    Sierra
     
  2. PokerrNutt

    PokerrNutt High-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Stuart, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Good TR! Real easy to read and it sounds like both of you have a good sense of humor -

    I'm with you on the buffet at Sam's Town - the food tasted a little "off" to us...couldn't figure out what it was.....:confused2:
     
  3. Reston

    Reston VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Funny stuff! Luv the story with the player's cards at Sam's Town. I have a similar issue with Total Rewards. I have four different accounts now.
     
  4. hanoscf

    hanoscf High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    A machine called Cherry Bomb? I will have to hunt for one.

    Thanks for the great report.
     
  5. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Raleigh
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    :thumbsup:Nice TR!
     
  6. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

    Joined:
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    Love the TR and love that you beat Stanley on Centipede...I'm more of a Ms. Pac Man myself, but the "old school" games still kick ass!
     
  7. WallyBoag

    WallyBoag Tourist

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Sierra-

    Your exploits avoiding the buffet Nazis with your coffee are so freaking amusing! The highlight of my morning. Thanks! :)
     
  8. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
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    Winnipeg, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Great report............love hearing all your "frugal" tips!!
     
  9. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
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    Very nice TR. I agree that room service is not that much more expensive and it's a lot easier to hang out in the room waiting for the food then it is waiting in line at the buffet or cafe.
     
    Back where we belong
  10. Sierra

    Sierra Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Thanks for the nice comments guys!

    If any of you find the Cherry Bomb machine, let the game pick it's own tiles (on auto), it's a lot kinder than the random choices we made.
     
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