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July 23 – 29 “Red Meat, White Socks and Plenty of MGD”

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by wizard950, Aug 6, 2006.

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  1. wizard950

    wizard950 High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Harleysville, Pennsylvania
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    July 23 – 29 “Red Meat, White Socks and Plenty of MGDâ€

    This is a long winded version of "What I did on my summer vacation.". I hope you enjoy it and maybe get some useful information out of it as well.

    The title is a blatant rip off of Johnny Russell’s classic country song “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer”. I did this because I ate more red meat and drank more MGD than I have in the last two years combined. And I pretty much wear white crew socks all the time with my sneakers.

    <b>Sunday 7/23 – A Winning Day Overall</b>
    What a wonderful day! We woke up excited to go after the long wait of a year. The drive to the Philadelphia airport was uneventful, no traffic at all. The lines to check the bags and get through security were non-existent; whizzed right in to our gate. Had great positioning at our Southwest gate and landed two seats on the port side bulkhead row of the airplane. Wife got the window and I got the aisle and nobody took the middle seat despite the plane being almost full. The plane pushed off from the gate 5 minutes early, flight was smooth; we arrived in Las Vegas a full one hour early. A great $89 flight! (I’m afraid those cheap fare days may be over for awhile.) We checked in to Paris at the airport; about 10 people in front of us, so not too awful bad. We were assigned room 2511. The woman taking care of us told us that we would have to check out and check in on Wednesday since we were booked on two comp offers. No big deal, even though we have never had to do this is in the past. (If you are staying at a Harrah’s property and are a Diamond Player, its better to check in at the hotel itself. They all have special Diamond check-in areas away from the long, long check-in lines. And Harrah’s itself has a Platinum check-in area.) We picked up our bags and our Avis Rental car which was waiting for us engine running and already cooled down. After a quick run to a Von’s market on Tropicana it was off to Paris. For some reason at about 2:15 on a Sunday afternoon there was virtually no traffic anywhere, including the Strip. We pulled up to the Valet at Paris in what seemed like 2 minutes. The service was spectacular, Valet, Curbside and Inside Bellpersons. Room 2511 was small compared to what we were used to at the Rio, no refrigerator (which was brought in after I requested one), but otherwise nicely appointed. And the view! What can I say? We were directly across from the Bellagio with a clear view of everything. Our only obstruction was the Eiffel Tower dead center out our window.

    After unpacking and resting up for a bit we went down to the casino level to scope out the place since we have never been there before. We hit the Diamond Lounge for a quick snack to take the edge off and some ice tea before heading over to the Gold Coast for liquor shopping. We parked in the garage at the Gold Coat and went down to the casino to play a little after we found out the liquor store was open 24 hours. This was the place where Mrs. Wizard won $1,200 last year. She was hoping lightning would strike twice. We won some, we lost some and the next thing we knew it was 7:30 and time to eat. We were hungry. Rather than go running around looking for a place to eat we decided to try the Monterey Room in the Gold Coast. Marlene had the fried chicken dinner and I had the Texas T-Bone Special for $9.99. The chicken included a salad and was pretty much a southern style platter; the steak special consisted of a fresh salad with dressing of choice, a nice T-Bone, roasted potatoes, onion rings, green beans and a tall (16 or 20oz) frosty glass of beer. Both meals were very tasty. The total bill was less than $20.

    After dinner we played a little more on a 60 line Elvis penny slot machine (I don’t remember the name). It was a progressive with a max bet of $3. It was a lot of fun with frequent bonus rounds. We pretty much held our own before deciding to leave. We bought the booze and headed back to Paris.

    We played for another hour or two before turning in for the night.

    <b>Monday 7/24 – The Arizona Charlie Challenge </b>
    About 10am we finally got up. This is late for us! We headed down to the St. Louis Café for breakfast. On the way out of the elevators we saw the long, long line of people waiting to get in. Then I spotted the Diamond entry with no one in line. Walked up, introduced ourselves and were immediately seated in the outdoor café section.

    The waiter arrived almost instantly and asked what we would like to have to drink. After my wife and I both said “kawfee”. The waiter asked what part of Philadelphia we were from. I told him originally Port Richmond, my wife North Philly now out of Montgomery County. He introduced himself as Dennis from South Philly, Porter Street! We had an insider buddy on day one. Dennis worked for Trump Castle and his wife for Harrah’s both in Atlantic City. Ten years ago she got an offer she couldn’t refuse and here they both are in Las Vegas. We talked Phillies, Eagles, this that and the other thing. And the breakfast was good too!

    After breakfast we checked out the pool which is located on the 3rd floor. This is nice because you can go directly from the elevators to the pool without walking through any major public places. It is a large, very nice pool. By this time of the day it was completely in the sun with little shade. The hotel shadow moves across the pool from west to east as the sun rises over the hotel tower.

    Now off to Arizona Charlie’s on Boulder Highway to see if their $100 cash back is a gimmick. It is not! If you are a first time sign up for their players card they will reimburse up to $100 of your loses in that day. We used our new cards when we played, and they did refund the money as advertised.

    I liked the casino. It was not gigantic. They had a large selection of slot machines that I’ve never seen before in all denominations. Neither my wife nor I did anything spectacular. In fact we lost pretty much on everything. After each of us got our $100 in losses back we decided to give it another go. I sat down at a nickel Cleopatra II and quickly hit 3 bonus rounds for $200! Yahoo! I cashed that in and went over to a 50 line penny Pelican Pete and won another $300 on two quick bonuses. I like Cleopatra II unless you don’t get a bonus, then it really sucks! There are no scatter payouts for two sphinxes, only the bonus for three. Pelican Pete is a fun game with a really neat bonus where you can win some pretty big money.

    After winning it was off to The Bootlegger Bistro for dinner. We shared the Bootlegger Mixed Antipasti for an appetizer, followed by Bistecca French Sauté for me and Pollo al Marsal for Mrs. Wizard. Both were made to perfection and very tasty. We used a Restaurant.com certificate for $25 off.

    After dinner, for no reason that I can think off we decided to drive down to the end of the Strip where the road becomes just good old two lane highway 91. We just drove off into the desert for several miles. Driving that road brought back many memories of days past when I frequently drove across the mountains from California into Las Vegas. Maybe I was trying to go back in time, I don’t know. All I do know is that it is beautiful, peaceful and threatening out there all at the same time. I made a U turn and headed back up the street to Paris, where we played a little more before turning in.

    <b>Tuesday 7/25 – Mamma Mia!!</b>
    After a nice early breakfast at the St. Louis Café (once again with Dennis) we hit the pool. We lounged around in and out of the water until the sun got too intense for us. Then up to the room to shower and just take it easy in the air conditioning. Now the big moment, off to Mandalay Bay. We’ve never been there before either! That place is huge! It took a few extra minutes to find the correct valet; I think they have a dozen or so (Not really; just kidding.). We signed up for the MGM card, wandered around looking like confused tourists. Which we were! As a surprise I took my wife to Wolfgang Puck’s Lupo for dinner. She had the braised beef ribs with teeny, tiny carrots served with the tops still attached and I had the bay scallops served with their special white wine risotto with a light touch of marinara. Oh my goodness! They were both out of this world. We both had iced tea before and after our meals. It was absolutely the best either of us has ever had! I don’t know what made it special but it was fantastic!

    Then it was show time. Off to Will-Call. We sat in section E; row G, seats 7 and 8. They were excellent. I got them with a MasterCard discount before we left. We both truly enjoyed this show. Having never seen this show, I was surprised at both the length of the show and that there was an intermission. It seemed like the show just started and the next thing you knew it was intermission. We loved this show and will see it again someday. It was either Mamma Mia or Phantom. We decided on Mamma Mia because we have already seen Phantom twice. This show and cast are marvelous! If you want a fun evening, go see it. I still have ABBA tunes in my head.

    Hung around and played a little while the crowd engulfed the garage and valet. Then, back to Paris.

    <b>Wednesday 7/26 – Check-Out and In!!</b>
    This was the day we were to check out and check in. First thing in the morning before breakfast we went down to the Diamond Registration Area to do the deed. Just joking, my wife said, since we have to do this would it be possible to get an upgrade to a suite? The next thing I know, we’re packing and heading up to Suite 3275P. A marvelous suite of rooms including a couch, two stuffed chairs, marble coffee table, walk-in closet, makeup/dressing alcove, bar, king size bed and a huge bathroom with shower, Jacuzzi tub, double sinks, white bath robes and a bidet and toilet in a separate room. Way to go Mrs. Wizard!!!!

    Today we are visiting some “R” casinos! Red Rock and Rio After moving and some quality morning time at the Paris Pool, we were off to Red Rock. A special thanks to Mikey for directions given on this board. West on Flamingo to 215 north for two exits to Charlestown; we were there in no time. I loved this place. It is beautiful both inside and out, a very pleasant atmosphere. As I was signing up for the Station Casino Players Card, the woman asked me what part of Pennsylvania I was from. After I told her, she volunteered that she and her husband moved to Las Vegas from Pittsburgh two years ago as therapy for her husband’s mid-life crisis. We were losing our asses until good Old Pelican Pete came to the rescue again. Another $300 win.

    The next stop on our journey was the Rio. We had cash back coupons from our stay there last year. First stop was the cashier for our money and then to go see what, if anything had changed. Only two things stood out as changes for me. First, the shows (we were there for two) seemed more subdued with a quieter crowd. Secondly, the casino was not crowded. This was something I noticed in several places we stopped. We had dinner at the Tilted Kilt two rib steaks which were very good. Again we used a restaurant.com $25 certificate.

    Played some after dinner but something wasn’t right. So we just headed back to Paris for the night.

    <b>Thursday 7/27 – Big Elvis and Us</b>
    Off to the pool first thing in the morning. We had a nice cool brisk swim and some lounging around. Then I tried out the Jacuzzi to see if I could get some of the kinks out of my legs. My legs have been giving me major problems this week. Then around 11 it was off to Caesars to see what was going on over there. We looked around, played a little went out into the Forum Shops. I wanted to get a Caesars t-shirt as my old one is shot. When I saw it, the 40th anniversary t-shirt of Caesars 1966-2006 I bought two. You see its my 40th anniversary of going to Vegas. I could have easily named this vacation <b>Vegas XL The Anniversary Tour</b>. Around 2pm we headed over to the Flamingo and left the car with the valet. We walked over to the Barbary Coast to catch Big Elvis at 3. This guy can sing! He had 2 other guys with him; one did a bad impersonation of Austin Powers singing “I’m Henry the 8th I am….” and another guy who sang Conway Twitty (Its Only Make Believe, etc.) songs. He was no Conway, but very good nonetheless. All in all it was a nice way to spend an hour and the price was right!

    Here we go, off to the Flamingo. On the walk over I asked my wife if she remembered anything special about the Flamingo. She thought and said she couldn’t. I reminded her that the Flamingo was the first casino we were in together as a newly married couple back in 1967 and that she bumped into the star of “Adventures in Paradise” Gardner McKay on that trip. Then she just looked at me and smiled the smile that snared me oh those many years ago.

    Off we went, back to Paris for a special dinner and evening. We went to the room and freshened up for dinner at Mon Ami Gabi. Our waiter and his associate were superb! We both had their Onion Soup. Wonderful! My wife had a special chicken breast pounded and seasoned with breadcrumbs and parmesan, flash fried and served with frites and an arugula salad. I had their Steak Bordelaise and frites. They could have brought a barrel of that Bordelaise sauce over and I would have eaten it. Words cannot describe how good the food was there this night!

    We went up to the suite to spend some time with each other and get away from the hustle and bustle. Around 9:30 or so my wife says she feels like going down to the casino. I said go ahead, I’m tired tonight and just hanging out up here is fine. She is back in about and hour and a half. She won over $900 on some new fangled hexagonal penny slot machine called “Dynasty of the Rising Sun” and another $300 on the same type of machine named “Egyptacon”. These machines are different in that the symbols do not have to line up, they have to touch. At least 3 like symbols touching for a win. The bonus rounds are the traditional free games with payout multipliers up to I believe 16x on some. These are fun, if you see them, try them, you might be surprised.

    <b>Friday 7/28 – Last Full Day, Double Buffet</b>
    Today is buffet day. Nothing special happened today; until later! We had breakfast at the Paris Buffet; again no waiting and a wonderful spread. Before leaving Paris for our daily excursion I stopped in at the Diamond Registration to get our Southwest Boarding Passes for tomorrow. At 10:34 the wonderful woman behind the counter pressed the button and Southwest said we were too early. In a delightful French accent she said we’ll try again in a minute. At 10:35 Voila! We were in; numbers 18 and 19 on the “A” list. She printed our boarding passes at no charge. Merci, and off we went.

    I found out something interesting while chatting with all these lovelies at the Diamond Registration Desk. The entire Harrah’s Corporate System, Reservations, Total Rewards, Credit Checks, etc. is internet based. What this means to the average layman is that any Harrah’s employee with access to the Harrah’s system also access to the internet and by extension Southwest Airlines or any other entity with an internet presence. Believe me, they all know how to do a Southwest Boarding Pass!

    We drove down to the Giant Gift Shop and played tourist for a bit buying cards and stuff for a casino night this coming November. Then we went to Harrah’s to spend the afternoon playing. I won $300 on some Egyptian King Penny game. My wife won another $200. Off we went back to Paris for dinner at the buffet. Paris was much more crowded and louder than it had been all week. It must be the weekend crowd! Once again there was no line for us even though the regular line was extremely long. After dinner I hit those same hexagonal slot machines that Mrs. Wizard hit on the night before. I started playing $1 a spin on this Egyptacon machine and was holding my own when I decided to press the $2 button. Then there they were; 5 sphinxes and a diamond all touching for a quick $600 pickup. Then off to a Buccaneer 50 line penny machine where I hit an amazing 18 Pirates and Jolly Rogers all lined up for another cool $500. Not bad for a couple of penny machines. By this time it was starting to get late and we had to pack and get ready for an early morning departure.

    <b>Saturday 7/29 – Aurvoir Paris! </b>
    The wake up call came at 6am. We didn’t want to go! The bellman was very prompt and pleasant, so was the young woman at check-out and the valet. (We had to use the regular check-out because the Diamond Check-out was closed this early in the morning. Poor us; Boo-hoo! LOL.) What nice people and great service! This was really important because my legs were really hurting this morning and walking was more than a little difficult.

    With all the bags in the car we bid Aurvoir to Paris and began our trek home. We stopped at Terribles at Flamingo and Paradise for breakfast. This has become sort of a tradition with us on getaway day. They have a nice cafe on the second floor (thank God for escalators), with good food at very reasonable prices. My wife had a giant Belgian Waffle with strawberries and I had a chicken fried steak with two eggs over medium and rye toast. I hope what happens in Vegas really stays in Vegas; otherwise my cardiologist will be pissed at me! So shhhh, nobody tell him. Oh hell, its vacation and only 1 week out of 52.

    While eating a group of about 50 young men and women came in for breakfast. They were the “Zuni Hotshots”, firefighters in Nevada helping fight some of the wildfires in the area.

    The trip to McCarran was uneventful, the curbside check line was tolerable but I was done by the time we got our bags checked. One of the sky caps saw how badly I was struggling, trying to walk that he asked if he could get me a wheel chair. Without thinking I said yes. I had never thought that in my lifetime I would need or use one of these things. But I’m glad I did and I’m glad someone asked, because I never would have thought of it.

    Getting pre-boarded at Southwest is always a good thing. Once again we got port side window and aisle seats. And no one wanted to sit between the two old folks! I ain’t complaining. Once again the flight was smooth. After a quick stop in Pittsburgh, we were home in what seemed like no time.

    Another Vegas Vacation has come to an end leaving more pleasant memories.

    <b>Observations</b>
    1. The weather was unusually uncomfortable. Temperatures ran in the low hundreds with humidity levels around 50%. People were sweating who have never sweated before.
    2. The cocktail service at Paris was superb! At least for me. Plenty of cold MGDs brought by lovely, pleasant young women in really, really terrific outfits. Magnifique!
    3. Las Vegas was much less crowded Sunday through Thursday then I can remember in a long time. Sandy, one of the young lovelies bringing me MGD, said that a lot of their California, Utah and Arizona clientele were not coming as often as before due to the high gas prices.
    4. Gas prices in Las Vegas are cheaper than here in Pennsylvania. Under $3.
    5. We never got to play the Giant Wheel of Fortune. It was always standing room only anywhere we saw it.
    6. We loved Paris and would recommend it to anyone.
     
  2. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Excellent TR! And I promise I won't tell your cardiologist anything! :ssst:
     
  3. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    What a great TR... excellent hit on the suite...kudos to the Mrs. As they say...it never hurts to ask. We want to check out the RR too on our fall trip.... I still don't know why we didn't go when we were there in July?? Just too lazy and content to gamble, eat, drink and be pool lizards at the Wynn I guess since we were exploring everything there. It does look like a very kool resort. We actually tried to stay there in Sept and they were sold out for a few of the nights the week we we're going to be there. I guess that's going to happen at a place w/ only 400+ rooms.

    Thanks again for the TR :) Dino
     
  4. LVLady

    LVLady Tourist

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    Great trip report........Thanks.........I am so looking forward to our next trip. It sounds like the two of you are on the go as much as we are!!
     
  5. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Great TR....We'll be staying at the Paris the end of October so it's nice to know that you can get a refrigerator....and the excellent service.
     
    Back where we belong
  6. dcwolf

    dcwolf Tourist

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    As a HUGE country fan, I just have to give you kudos for working in a take-off of a Johnny Russell song into your thread title. :)
     
  7. Vegas_Baby!

    Vegas_Baby! Newbie

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    Great TR. We're going to have to try those new slot machines you're talking about sounds like you two had a blast.
     
  8. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Very well written TR...enjoyed it so much!
     
  9. tara

    tara Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the trip report! Well written and besides your legs, sounds like it was an awesome trip!!
     
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