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July Anniversary Trip – the trip of rushing around.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by hoochiemama, Jul 12, 2013.

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  1. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15

    My Trip Report

    This was our 14th year anniversary. This was our 9th annual Vegas anniversary trip and our second annual trip report. This ended up being a long report so first just a quick bullet list of highlights (not really any particular order)… Also, I enjoy how people break things down into days, so that’s how I’ve done it…
    • Downtown – had a blast playing at Golden Gate.
    • Played craps for the first time and had a blast – now hooked.
    • Dupars pancakes - yum
    • Free night at Mandalay Bay (thanks myvegas)
    • Finally made it Vegas sign
    • MJ One Cirque was awesome
    • Margaritaville stench – wtf?
    • Julian Serrano – awesome
    • Tropicana – not planning on ever going back
    • Aria – upgraded to skysuite – pretty sweet!
    • Golden Nugget – Rush tower – yeah
    • Pedialyte trick – hit and miss
    • Renting a car was a bit of a pain, but convenient
    • Too many hotels for a short stay
    • Stocked up on $2 bills for tips, but didn’t get much notice good or bad (taxi’s, bartenders, waitress, etc…)
    • Enjoy the All Tall, All Small, Nothing At all at MGM better than the fire bet – seems much more doable. Plus I hit the all tall one time!
    • Nine Fine Irishmen – good, but lost a yummy app
    • Lapperts ice cream at the Cal – yum!
    • Aria suite bidet action – hello!

    Each year around January we start planning. I must have booked and canceled about 5 different rooms since then. It all worked out great as we had a blast like always. I think this was the first year we actually had a lot on the agenda that we wanted to hit up. I put together a word doc and everything. Of course, I think the list of things we didn’t hit is bigger than the things we did hit. This trip we seemed to be rushing around more than in the past. I think staying 4 nights in 3 different hotels maybe had something to do with it ;). We stayed 1 night at Golden Nugget, 1 night at Mandalay bay, and 2 nights at Aria.
    A quick list of things I/we wanted to hit, but didn’t:
    • MSS (would have loved to try some of the brews!)
    • El Cortez (Especially the $15 shave)
    • Vue bar
    • Chicago Street Brewing
    • Golden Nugget pool (even though we stayed there!)
    • Madame Tussauds
    • Wynn Auto Collection (actually didn’t make it north of Caesars at all), Bellagio conservatory.
    • I was also prepared this trip with both the ACG and LVA coupons. However somehow we managed to not use a single LVA coupon! Luckily I think the ACG paid for itself and the LVA so it worked out.

    Some of things we did end up doing, we felt like we did them just to cross them off the list. But we did hit a lot.
    Also, I was committed this time to trying craps. I had wanted to try before, but was very intimidated by the table, but this was going to be the trip to play, I knew it. I read the sticky craps threads – thanks Ben Jammin, read the other craps threads, got some iPhone apps and practiced, watched some “live” craps videos on YouTube. I felt as prepared as I could ever be. And boy am I ever hooked!!!
     
  2. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Day 1

    Day 1
    We had a reasonable timed flight flying out at 10:30 am. No traffic on Sunday so we got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We were a bit worried about what the airport may hold since we flew out the day after the Asiana airlines crash (although we flew out of a different airport). However, the airport was not crowded at all and we got through security without any troubles. We flew Southwest and paid for the early bird boarding (way worth the price in our opinion).

    The flight in didn’t disappoint with regards to the turbulence we hate. In fact this may have started the “rush” theme of the trip…the captain announced that it was going to be extra bumpy so the flight crew was cleaning up early – fantastic. A few swear words and cold sweats and we landed. Phew.

    This year since we were staying all over town we decided to rent a car. It pretty much paid for itself considering the taxi rides we would have taken just for lodging. It was definitely convenient having a car, but the rental process, shuttle, etc…had us thinking getting in a cab straight to the hotel would have been easier – but overall the car really worked out nice.
    We got the car, drove down to Lees (first time) stocked up on some beer and water. Since we’ve never hit the Vegas sign we figured we’d “stop by” on the way to the Golden Nugget. Yeah right – not at 2 in the afternoon on a Sunday. We drove by and it was nuts – also we were going the wrong way to get in as we were headed north. We decided we have 4 days to get there so we skipped.

    Another tradition we have is to go to the Harrahs improv one night. We planned to go on Tuesday. Usually (since we are over-planners we buy the VIP tickets weeks to months in advance). This year we decided to wing it and use the 2 for 1 ACG coupon. We decided to “stop by” Harrahs to buy the tickets on the way to downtown. With all the construction going on it took us a while to figure out where to enter (from Koval). We first turned into a construction zone and had to turn around. We then found the correct entrance for Harrahs, but somehow I managed to drive into the employee lot rather than self-parking – doh!. The attendant looked like he’d seen endless fools like me do the same thing so that made me feel a bit better. We turned around, but couldn’t turn left to go to self-parking – we ended up going way down the street to turn around. At this point, we’re thinking a taxi would have been a much better choice, but anyways finally park and head upstairs, get tickets. We both surprise ourselves when we walk out of our first casino without drinking or gambling!

    Finally off to Golden Nugget. I booked the room on a Landry card promotion – Rush tower (again the “rush” theme) for 89 with a $50 Landry card. I also bought a Landry card so that would give us $75 to spend. I planned on doing lunch at the Chart house, but alas we were too late :(.

    Anyways, the rush tower check-in was awesome. Straight through the doors, no wait. A quick flash of my Landry card and bam – upgrade to a Rush junior suite. The room was fantastic. Extremely nice and roomy. We had two windows – one a view of the pool, and the other a view of the parking garage. Chill out in the room for a few and have a couple beers. In fact we were so pleased with the room and check-in clerk and check-in process we thought to give her a tip when we went downstairs. She was there with no line – I got cold feet, but the wife persisted. Now something I never expected, my wife tried to give her $10, but she quickly said she couldn’t accept tips, but appreciated the thought. It all seemed pretty classy, but not sure what would have happened if we were more sly about it.

    It was already close to 5 at this time so we figured we’d just have an early dinner at Chart house (probably should have just opted for appys and drinks since our bill ended up being twice our gift card balance). However, the drinks were excellent and so was the food.

    We left dinner feeling no pain. We checked out the nugget and the gold vending machine. Finally time to gamble. We hit up roulette, lasted a little while but nothing special. Then we wander down Fremont St. I had high hopes of hitting the D (Vue bar, playing sigma derby, hitting MSS for some micro brews, playing at a few other casinos, yada yada). High hopes went out the window when we stumbled upon the Golden Gate. I think we must have stayed in that place for at least 4-5 hours! The gin and tonics kept coming and coming. The place was a blast.

    I finally gave craps a try and became instantly hooked! The wife found a couple fun machines and was having a great time. Craps was a blast, and I really enjoyed playing at the Golden Gate (throughout the trip I played a few other places, but Golden Gate was my favorite). Thanks to the advice on the forum I figured I’d start out with the place bet and 2 come bets. Before long I was playing hardways, two way yos, tossing $5 chips for the dealers (they were very appreciative), playing more come bets, multiple odds, etc…it was a blast – I never mentioned it was my first time playing, but I think the dealers could tell ;). They were helping me out all night…since I was also tipping fairly frequently, during shift changes they made a point to let the new dealers know I was a “good guy” or something. That was cool. I played two sessions and I think overall I ended up about $400. Probably not what a newbie needs though – from then on I was chasing the same fun :).

    I used the ACG coupon for $25 matchplay and also the $25 freeplay. I dunno what happened to the freeplay, but the matchplay doubled on a spin of red on roulette. I tried 3 card poker later on, but it just ate my money. It was interesting with the dancing girls and all, but I think I enjoyed playing craps there the most.

    The wife was hooked on a 4 reel wheel of fortune machine and I have to admit it was pretty cool. You could get up to 4 spins if it worked out although the most I saw was 2.

    Finally, we decide to leave, probably about 1am. We were hungry and went for 2nd dinner at Golden Nugget café – good food. Off to bed and crash. Had read here about pedialyte so we both tried it out and hoped for the best…
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  3. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Day 2

    Day 2
    Oh boy, we’re not used to this . We don’t usually drink that much and usually we’re asleep long before midnight. I think we woke up by 7 or 8 and realized that we probably drank too much for the pedialyte to handle ;). I went for another one when I woke up, the wife was in worse shape. One of the reasons to stay at the GN was the pool and the shark slide (we did it once before and had fun). Not this time. Looked out the window and already by 8 it was way crowded and we just weren’t feeling it. We chilled in the room until 1 (got a late checkout). I was feeling functional, the wife still not so good. I still wanted to at least see the sigma derby and the D in general and also wanted to get some Dupars pancakes. We made it to Dupars – no wait. Wife just got sprite and toast, I got the short stack and sausage and eggs. I think the sprite definitely helped and she took a turn for the better (thank goodness!). The pancakes were definitely yummy, but we couldn’t finish them – very rich.

    Now off to check out the D to cross it off the list . We had a blast in the vintage slot area – we never played sigma derby what we were highly entertained by the people playing – they were totally getting into it, yelling at the horses like they could hear them, awesome. I think it would definitely be a blast at night too. Took a look at the Vue bar, but just looked (the downside of renting a car means no drinking till you get to your next destination).

    One other thing we wanted to try downtown was Lapperts ice cream in the Cal. It was excellent – I had some white chocolate macadamia nut ice cream and I think it had at least 10 nuts in one scoop – yum. Highly recommended. Also, we’d never ventured off Fremont before and never knew it was there. It looked really nice inside and looked like a fun place to gamble and stay. Although walking over there was a bit sketchy, but no biggie.

    By now it was close to 3 so we make our way down to Mandalay Bay for our second night. We originally had 3 nights at Aria, but we cut Aria short by 1 day to use 1 night at Mandalay from MyVegas. It was “free” minus resort fee, we were seeing MJ One that night, and we also wanted to use the pool so it seemed like it made sense.

    We were greeted with a very long check-in line – it took about 1 hr to get through. Finally make our way up, it seems MyVegas entered in the comments about the free night, but didn’t enter it in properly. The clerk had to go to the back a few times, make a few calls, etc. probably about 10 minutes sitting there. Didn’t complain at all since it was “free”.
    Made our way up to the room which was really nice for a standard room. As we were rushing around it was already too late to use the pool today. We chill out for a bit, then decide to go up to Mix lounge for a drink or two before MJ One. I was also hoping to check out one of the other happy hours in Mandalay, but we had the early show and didn’t have enough time (again this rushing around!).

    Mix was very cool. Although the wife did not like the windowed elevator heading up! Once we got there, we weren’t quite sure what to do (no “greeter”), so we asked the bartender who just said to pick a seat. There were 2 other couples there when we got there, plus a solo sitting outside. We picked a seat and a waitress came pretty quickly. I didn’t know they have a happy hour there so that was a bonus (same menu but 25% off). We each had two drinks (I seem to always pick the “girly” looking one). I can’t remember the first one, but the second one was a rosemary mojito which was pretty tasty. We had a few appys and enjoyed the view. By the time we left a few more people came in. Including a group of 4 guys wearing tank tops and shorts (so no worries on dress code at all – especially at that time). It would have been nice to see the view at night, but we never made it up. Although we did see a nice view of the smoke from the big fire.
    Off to MJ. We had what I think were really good seats. Section 203 3rd row. I think the first row in 203 would have been better just because there’s no heads in front of you, but we had a good view of all the action. Speaking of action, about 10 min before the show there are “actors” from the show walking around (normal for cirque shows) doing their shtick. However, around this time there was some action in the front. A bunch of the audience were standing up looking at something at the front of the stage. Of course we thought it was part of the show. Then the employees start going down there, then more, then more. After a while it becomes apparent that it isn’t part of the show. But the weird thing is the actors were still doing their thing (kind of competing with some unknown hoopla). Anyways after a while the side doors open up and in come paramedics. They ended up bringing in a stretcher and carrying out somebody. I have no idea what happened, but maybe he fell or something. The employees continued to stay down there after he was gone I guess inspecting (maybe cleaning up something – yikes). I guess the show probably finally started about 20-30 min late. Hope the guy ended up being alright.

    The show was awesome. I can’t really add more than what’s already been written, but I’ll just say that it was very entertaining. A lot of production value. Would definitely see it again.

    I was still very hooked on craps from the night before at Golden Gate, but no way was I going to play $15 minimum at this point. So I figured I’d get my fix from one of the automated craps machines. Definitely not the same. One of the things I didn’t like was how fast it went (more rushing!). I’ve seen the other ones where you have a plunger and people take turns “shooting”. This one was all automated and I think the dice bounce every 30s or so. I think I lost $100 just like that .

    Anyways we were still recovering from the late night the previous night so we headed to the room early – got some snacks at the store and called it good. At this point we were very happy to have a room at the same hotel as the show since we just had to go up the elevator without much walking or taxis.
     
  4. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Day 3

    Day 3
    Woke up feeling better. Phew. Again one of the main reasons we wanted to stay here was to go to the pool. We made it down before it was too crowded, however we also wanted to check out the Vegas sign and get to Wicked Spoon for brunch. We maybe lasted ½ hr at the pool. Again the downside of renting a car means no buckets of beer while chilling. Maybe we have a problem considering that a downside ;).

    The pool area is definitely nice. We got some chairs by one of the smaller pools. The sun wasn’t quite making its way through the clouds so it wasn’t too unbearable (actually I got into the water and it was a tad chilly – but would have been very refreshing later on). It would have been nice to stay there longer, but this was the rush trip after all so off we go to get ready and head to the Vegas sign, then to check-in at Aria.

    We made it to the Vegas sign before it got too crazy. It was much more inviting that the day before. We pulled in just as someone was backing out so we took their spot.

    Most people ahead of us were just taking their own pictures. Elvis was there hanging out as well as a guy off to the side who offered to take anyone’s pictures. Thanks to this forum we were prepared for this and we had a $5 ready (too much? I dunno, but he was cool and got good pics – even had us pose – so I think it was worth it). The people in front of us had him take their picture with an ipad, but I don’t think tipped him. After seeing this guy, I am wondering how they work a schedule since it seems like they may just go down there to try and earn a few bucks. Anyways, I’m glad we finally made it there and it all worked out great.

    Off to Aria. We got there on the early side around 11. We weren’t sure we would be able to check in so just left the bags in the car (a huge benefit to having a rental car). Well not only could we check in – we got upgraded to a skysuite 1 bedroom (we think he said penthouse suite). I had originally booked what looked like a great deal…a corner suite with a free city view upgrade along with $50/day credit for $158/night. So we were going to be pretty happy with that. We mentioned it was our anniversary and when giving us our keys he casually mentioned that he upgraded us – bonus! We were so in shock, plus after getting denied a tip the day before we didn’t tip him, but kind of regret at least trying – however I wouldn’t have known how much to tip anyways. We were very grateful and appreciative though.

    We went back to the car to get the bags and off to the room – or I should say rooms! This suite was huge! Living room, dining room, bedroom, huge bathroom, awesome. Great start to the final two days of the trip. I don’t know how much it would have cost outright, but this place was great. We seriously walked around the place oohing and awing for a good 10 minutes. The only downside if I can say anything was that the windows were very dirty – we didn’t really care too much, but if I was paying a crapload of money, it may have irritated me. Shortly after we arrived they brought up some chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary – yum. Although we felt awkward and I tipped her $5. Not sure if it was too much too little.
    Saw the fancy toilet with all the controls and knew I definitely could not leave the place without trying things out. I didn’t need to do any #2’s, but definitely just had to try things out . Let me tell you, that thing is awesome. It knows right where to go, and what temperature is good. Although that anticipation when you hit the “clean” button and you hear the arm move out and you’re just waiting for the blast is all quite accelerating. Once the stream hits you, it all makes sense! . I tried multiple times to get the wife to try it, but she wanted nothing to do with it .

    I also just had to try the steam shower – I would have never thought, but that thing is damn nice. Just breath all that steam in and have a good time…

    We had heard good things about the Wicked Spoon buffet so we were off to Cosmo. However, we figured we’d get a few “free” drinks at Bond bar thanks to the recommendations here. We got there a bit after 1 and the bar had just opened. Anyways we sat down and I asked to make sure drinks were comped – he said yeah with whatever minimum. I felt a little weird after since it was totally obvious we were slow playing, etc…but oh well, I’m sure we weren’t’ the first . He was a cool bartender and we ended up going for a second round. I don’t remember what we drank, but they were all yummy drinks. I think we both blew our $20s, but it was worth it.

    Off to Wicked Spoon. Now for more rushing! We got there about 1:45. The cashier warned us that they close at 2, but start taking away food at 2:15 to prepare for dinner. If we would have known this we would have skipped the Bond bar. I guess we should have researched it, but I would have never guessed. I thought they’d just transition to dinner, but nope! We knew if we didn’t eat there now, we wouldn’t make it back this trip so we went for it (although in hindsight I think we should have got a discount). So now we felt like we had to race to try everything. We got one plate and it was already 2 so by now we were getting worried so we double up and get two more plates, plus a dessert plate – should have got a picture since we looked like total pigs! Anyways, it was ok food – some things were very good, but the rushing around and stress, we felt like we couldn’t enjoy too much. However, we were happy we stocked up since they started taking things away just as promised at 2:15. Luckily we didn’t get kicked out, but it was a bit eerie since there was only about 2 or 3 other groups eating in the whole place.

    Now that we were properly filled to the gills, it was time to gamble.
    Last year the wife used up her $100 rebate promotion, but I didn’t since I won $100. This year I figured I’d try again. I went to the Identity desk to make sure, then I proceeded to look for a $5 slot to burn through and hope for the best. I found a $1, $2, $5 slot and went all in with $5 coins with max bet for $15 per spin – it was pretty exhilarating. I managed to get up to 220, but got greedy since I had the safety net. Just like they’re supposed to, $100 gone. Off to the desk and got the freeplay. Ended up playing some penny slot and came away about even. Wife burned through some cash on slots.

    Decided to go by Harrah’s to see if there was a good band at Carnival court (was hoping for Spazmatics), but no luck. Decide to play a bit. I was still itching to play some more craps. Wife with the slots. Found an open spot at a $5 table (I have decided my favorite place to play is on the right of the stickman). However this time my luck wasn’t so good – down $200 just like that. But hey, I’m still up overall (on craps at least). Wife lost again.

    Done gambling for now…we had always enjoyed having a drink at Margaritaville so off we went. We should have known it was a bad omen as there was some awful stench in the place. We sat at the bar, and the stench came and went every so often. I was going to ask the bartender what it was, but the wife did not want to know. It almost smelled like a portapotty mixed with a dead animal. It ended up being our cheapest tab ever there with just one drink each. Anyways, back to Aria. We ended up taking a cab from the Quad (3rd day in and our first cab ride – not too bad for us).

    Wanted to take advantage of American Fish happy hour (we still had $50 credit for the day) so off we went. I enjoyed the place, there were quite a few people at the bar, friendly bartenders. I think I had a Tom Collins and a something very gingery (can’t remember the name), but it was good. The food was good – small portions, but tasty. Fish tostadas, crab Louis, and some salmon thing. Good experience overall.

    Tonight was the Improv night. We always enjoy it, as mentioned we usually end up in the 1st row with VIP seats and occasionally get made fun of. But this time with the 2 for 1 coupon we just got “regular” seats and we actually liked them much better. There’s a row of bench seats behind the front tables and it was great. Much more comfortable and not too close. We each got a drink – this was the first bar I knew that charges tax on drinks – what’s up with that. I like to get money ready to pay for when the drinks come so I had exact change including a $2 tip ($8 each plus a $2 tip). But she came with the drinks and said it was $18 and change. Damn. Fumbled through the wallet and think I gave $21. I was dumfounded and told the wife they should really put that in writing. I was taken down a notch when I re-looked at the drink menu and sure enough says plus tax. Oh well – minor gripe.

    The theater wasn’t quite full which usually isn’t too good for a comedy show. There was also quite a mix of crowd – old, young, and in between. The first two comedians struggled a bit and it was obvious. I think they were actually funny, but the crowd just wasn’t into them and it showed. Usually when we would sit in the front, nothing behind you matters (you can’t really tell if people are smiling or not so it’s a different experience). Towards the back, you can see some audience members with just straight faces (but I think it’s hilarious when the comedian picks on them). Luckily the headliner pulled it around – he got us cracking up along with the crowd. Good show.

    Now off to gamble some more. I see a spot on a craps table at Harrah’s. As I’m writing I can’t remember if it was $10 or $5 minimum. Hmm...what did I have to drink? But no matter, either way I won! I was flying high as I was up $500. Damn this game – now I know such things (and more) are possible so I’m hooked even more. The wife lost $300 on slots, so maybe it all evens out (I wish).

    Stop by the Quad before getting a taxi to check out the dealertainers. It was quite a sight as we’ve never been there before. I played 3 card poker with “Pink”. She was quite friendly, but I ended up being the only one at the table (I really don’t like playing games solo). Lost it all, but hit a couple straights along the way. Went for one last “blind” hand at the end with $10 on all four bets. Lost it. She didn’t qualify, so took the last ten and tried a 7 and 13 hit and run on roulette, but no luck. Back to Aria we go.
     
  5. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Day 4

    Day 4

    This is our last full day/night in town. Today was our actual anniversary. Nothing is really planned (at least nothing with a schedule) although we enjoyed Mon Ami Gambi last year for breakfast so wanted to do that again, plus in honor of my pops I wanted to play some horses, and lastly we always like to hit Nine Fine Irishmen at NYNY preferably for happy hour ($5 Guinness ).

    Took us a long while to get up and going. Finally made our way to Paris for breakfast. Since we had a late start we thought we’d be waiting forever. Also, got worried when we saw a sign for breakfast ending at 11. Look at the watch and it’s now 11! Luckily 0 wait, straight to the patio (still had shade) and breakfast menu. Mimosa, and bloody mary gets the day started. I had a heck of a time deciding what to eat for some reason and actually probably pissed off the waiter by changing my order after he put it in. I think it was a good choice – corned beef and eggs – was pretty yummy. Very nice. This place will stay on the yearly agenda.

    Off to Caesars to play some horses. My dad used to play a lot so last year we decided to try it out at Caesars and it was a pretty good experience despite losing. This year we went back and had another good time. It’s fun to just pick some horses (we do by name and/or number) and have a few drinks (my dad was probably turning in his grave since he’d study the horses, jockeys, terrain, etc…). Although I couldn’t quite ever figure out the drink ticket rules. I would bet $15 on a race and get 2 tickets, bet $5, get 1, bet $15 later and only get 1. Any which way we ended up with more than we could use so no worries. We had fun again, but only won with one horse the wife picked. We had $5 to win and it paid us I think $38 bucks! Nice. Anyways another race and we left to the shops. Did some shopping then off to NYNY.

    Took a cab from Caesars to NYNY, head straight to the mlife counter since I had a $25 reward for Nine Fine Irishmen. Redeemed without issue, head straight to the bar upstairs. The place has changed – they used to have glass dividers at the bar so you can sit at the bar and kind of have more privacy. They got rid of them. That’s no biggie, but the big bummer was they took away one of the appetizers we enjoyed (fried potatoes and curry). Sounds like an odd combination but it was really good. Probably worked out better though since one app was probably enough. At least they still had the very yummy cheese and bread tray (melted cheese and various breads to dip). 2 or 3 $5 Guinness and we’re good to go. Thanks myvegas since it was mostly paid for!

    More gambling time. Craps again for me (did I mention I was hooked on craps now) and slots for the wife. I quickly and promptly lose $100. I also learned another lesson – I don’t like being the only one at the table – it goes way too fast and just isn’t as fun. When I got there was one other guy there, but he left so it was just me. Took a break and played some roulette – thank you #7. Hit it twice with $2 on it. Also hit another number or two. Left up $150 (from roulette at least). Try craps again, but lost again. Whatever happened to my new favorite game? Also, between playing craps and roulette I didn’t see one waitress.

    I had one other myvegas reward – for the $75 credit at the times square bar. We decided not to use it. We just weren’t feeling it for whatever reason. Also captain ron’s review didn’t make me want to try it out either. At this time there was someone playing sax and singing…he sounded pretty good. But I was worried about the whole table situation and all the other troubles, so we ended up leaving. But at least we used another ACG coupon and got 2 for 1 pretzels! Yum.

    Now for the biggest bummer of the trip…Don’t ask why, but for whatever reason I wanted to check out the Tropicana. I actually stayed there on my 21st birthday years ago and thought it was pretty crappy, but wanted to see how things were since they remodeled (plus I thought I may be able to find a $5 crap table ;) ). We went straight to the players card desk to sign up – figure the wife may use the rebate promotion. Anyways, when signing up, they mention there are 50% off drinks in the lounge bar or whatever. I would have guessed ½ off may end up being $2/drink. Didn’t get much at NYNY so that sounded good to just chill and have a cheap drink or two. We find two seats at the bar and sit. And wait, and wait. It took a while so even see a bartender. In fact we eventually saw 3 bartenders. However the problem was that they didn’t seem to see us. It’s not like they were across the bar either. They were literally right in front of us. Chopping, talking amongst themselves, etc. No greeting, no order taking, no acknowledgment, nothing at all. We are feeling pretty crappy at this point as no one likes to be ignored. Also it was not crowded at all. Maybe 4 or 5 other people at the bar. I was irritated, wife was fuming! Wife puts $5 in the machine since she can’t sit in front of a machine without playing . Finally one of the bartenders came over and asked if we needed anything. I asked about the half drinks which he confirmed and got a beer and a g&t. Wife got hers comped since she was playing and my ½ off drink was almost $6! No special booze, just a g & t. Anyways we left, now we’re sour and leave. I stumble upon a $5 craps table, but should have known since no one was playing. The wife was on fire because of the poor service at the bar and was determined to find a manager. I crawled in my hole and played / lost. At least drink service was pretty quick here. I can hear the wife talking and complaining, but I just keep playing and losing. First $100 buy in goes like that. 2nd $100 buy in goes almost quicker (I hit a lot of 7s). All in all it was just not a good visit to the Trop. I thought at least it looked kinda neat in there. But we won’t be going back there any time soon.

    We puddle around MGM a bit, then head back to Aria. We had planned on maybe hitting Sage again for dinner, but missed the early dining menu. We decided upon Julian Serrano and my goodness what a good choice. It was extra refreshing to be acknowledged too. The wife talked me into trying an Aviation – that was a damn good drink and ended up having 2 (I think I grew a few new hairs on my chest)! I think we had 5 tapas or so plus dessert. I really can’t determine which my favorite was as they were all excellent. There was a caprese salad that had mozzarella ice cream, some kind of beef dish, chicken, all fantastic. We even tried some oxtail dish that we never would have guessed, but the waiter recommended it. It was great as well. This place is definitely on the comeback list!

    Now it was late, but I was still craving some craps action. Went over to Monte Carlo hoping for some cheaper tables, but just $10 was available. I tried it out. Played for a while, and about lost $200. However, got a few good rolls and started coming up. Hit a two way yo and that felt good and the dealers got some too. I had a good roll going for a while. I hit another 11 and the stick lady got excited for me, but I thought she made a mistake since I didn’t play the yo this time. But she pointed to the All Tall bet I had $2 on that 11 was the last number – yeah! It was a fun table and had a good time. I left up $75 for the session. I was also 1 short of the all small bet – that would have been nice.

    Off to bed, but some pedialyte first .
     
  6. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Day 5

    Day 5

    Last day with an early afternoon flight. No luck on the late checkout so we get moving. We check out and find out about the skysuite lounge that we never took advantage of for our whole stay. Oh well, now we know. I don’t know what all they had in there, but we saw people with fruit and waters.
    I was determined to get one last craps run in. Had to buy in twice for $100. I think I had $5 left in my rack, then the dice turned for the better. Left the session for $195 (down $5). Would have had an even $200, but I tipped $5 a few rolls earlier…no matter still hooked.

    One more myvegas reward – JP crepe – yummy! Chilled and ate, then off to return the car and get to the airport. One last attempt to win some money at the airport but no luck.

    All in all, good trip with lots of stuff. It seemed like it went really fast – seemed like we were in a hurry a lot of the time. I definitely liked the downtown stay, but 3 hotels in 4 nights was probably too much – maybe next time, one night downtown and two nights at Aria – let’s see. Now we just have to wait another year for another trip!

    Thanks to this forum, I felt the confidence to play craps, checked out the Mix lounge, had a chance to prevent hangovers (and probably prevented one 2 nights), had some excellent pancakes, and got some good deals via coupons too!
     
  7. bearnana

    bearnana Tourist

    Joined:
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    Congrats on the good craps run. I've always wanted to check out Nine Fine Irishman. Good to hear there is another Mon Ami Gabi fan for breakfast out there. We go every time.
     
  8. ilovevegasbaby

    ilovevegasbaby Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    280
    Great trip report! You were busy. It sounds like you had a very good time though. We are leaving for Vegas next Saturday and we are staying at Aria for 3 nights and then downtown for two more nights. Your report has me pumped and ready to go.
     
  9. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Highly recommend Nine Fine Irishmen. Especially for happy hour...the Guiness is a great deal at $5 each, plus lots of cheap appys.
     
  10. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Good luck! Aria was awesome and I almost wish we spent 2 nights downtown.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  11. fadetheseven

    fadetheseven High-Roller

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    Welcome to the terrible terrible world of craps. It sounds like you had enough winning sessions to keep it interesting.

    It also looks like you saw that $100 buy-ins on a $5 table can go very quickly. That is what I dislike about craps. If you want to bet more than 1 number, it requires you to have a decent session bankroll. Otherwise you could get wiped in a few shooters. I've gone back and forth on the comebet vs placebet approach. While the edge on come bet/odds is lower, it does require more ammo than a single unit place bet.
     
  12. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    OUTSTANDING trip-report!!! Thanks for takin' the time to share it...
     
  13. craps1

    craps1 Low-Roller

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    Nice trip report. Don't sell sage sort. I've been to Serrano and will say Sage is outstanding and probably my favorite. I had the same experience in sky suites lounge. Didn't realize it was there until the last day. Craps is a lot of fun. Welcome to the club.
     
  14. deadeye

    deadeye Tourist

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    Great report enjoyed all the details.
     
  15. TomTWI

    TomTWI High-Roller

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    Thanks for the trip report.

    The rushing around is what I hated most about short trips (well that and losing). We gradually started taking longer and longer trips. Last trip was three weeks (I had to retire to do this) and I didn't want to leave. Now I plan just a couple new things each trip I want to try and let everything else just flow impromptu.

    I never understood changing hotels but I think renting a car is a great time and money saver.

    TomTWI
     
  16. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report!:thumbsup:
    I read through it and I think I prefer our method. Sit and play VP for 12 hours.:evillaugh
     
    Christmas
  17. CVG2LAS

    CVG2LAS Tourist

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    Great TR. I can totally relate to the:
    - Rushing Around
    - Continual impromptu cocktails (so fun)
    - Craps fun
    - MJ One. That was something special.
     
  18. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    Yeah, I learned that pretty quick. Also I noticed not a lot of people making come bets (maybe that should have told me something!). I may have to try the place bets next time, although with my mentality I may start to bet all across and need to again buy-in multiple times!

    Definitely not done with Sage (especially with the beer pairing :beer:) - we just may have to hit both next time!

    I think the late night and late start the first day set a trend. Even with saving us about $200 I think we should have skipped the Mandalay Bay. We both enjoyed staying both downtown and at Aria.

    I think the only thing that could make a rental car better would be to have a designated driver :beer:

    I think you may be onto something! Speaking of VP - that's another thing I was planning on doing this trip, but didn't...I even bought the $10 WinPoker iphone app and everything. I guess I'll get more practice for next year :)
     
  19. hoochiemama

    hoochiemama Low-Roller

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    One other thing we noticed new this trip was the massage therapists on the casino floor?!?! We were walking through the casino one day and saw a lady working on a guy playing at the tables. At first I figured it was his wife or something giving him some encouragement. But turns out she had a kind of uniform and everything. We saw them a few times around (never tried it though). Always something new!
     
  20. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    Enjoyed your TR!

    I have to agree w/ Tom on the changing hotels. We've done it twice and decided it just takes too much of our "Vegas play time" to pack, cab to your new place, check-in and unpack. I love going for 5-7 nights and really setting up house at my favorite place. One of our "move" trips was 10 nights and 3 hotels.....never will I stay that long or move that many time again.:rolleyes2: That was the one and only time I have ever found myself saying "is it the go home day yet?"
     
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