1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Low rollin' w/tweens Orleans 7/4-7/9 (long)

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11

    My Trip Report

    I managed to make it through a long New England winter by reading everyone's great trip reports so I decided to submit my own. I tend to blather on and on, I hope it's not too dull & thanks for reading. Gonna do the report in 1 day, 1 post pieces.

    This trip was born out of the $130 July 4th ticket price for Vegas from BOS I found on Southwest. I used miles for 2 tickets and paid a nominal amount for the other 2, so I was considered myself ahead already. My children, 10 and 13, had been nagging me for months about what we were going to do for a Summer vacation, so Mom decided on this! It's a part of the country the kids have never seen, so even without the Strip experience, it would be an eye-opener for them. My husband used to do a lot of mountaineering out West in his day but hasn't flown since 9/11. I am the traveler in the family.

    Our flight was fine. A short jaunt to Baltimore and then the long haul to Vegas. Amazingly we saw both the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam from the plane! We were able to watch Dish TV on the 2nd leg of the trip with our iPod touch and the iPad. My older 3G android wouldn't pick up the Dish. The channel choices weren't great. My husband watched Law and Order, I watched CNBC on the way home.

    Because we wanted to visit Red Rock Rec Area, we decided to rent a car. We went with Alamo. Lots to Europeans in line. Entirely sold out too. I have to give props to the Alamo people, I don't know how they navigate all of those international licenses and whatnot. Waiting for the car in the parking garage was surreal. Roasting hot, clearly running low on cars. Staff kept their cool somehow. We were able to watch random fireworks go off all around the city while we waited, so it wasn't so bad. Eventually our car rolled up. Once we figured out how to drive it (ours is 10 years old and doesn't have all the new gadgets) we were on our way to the Orleans.

    Check in was very easy. I asked for a room with a strip view for the sake of my children. The clerk tried, but there was nothing left. Fine by me, I was just glad we still had a room as it was 10:30PM at this point. We had a nice view of the mountains and the hotel pool from the 15th floor. Room was great. Two firm beds and no extraneous furniture that one gets to bump into in the middle of the night. As everyone got settled I went down to the casino floor, got my players card, some pizza for everyone (10% off coupon) and visited the hotel liquor store. It is a lovely liquor store I have to say, and not gougey in price at all. You get a discount with your players card. Being exhausted, I couldn't decide what to buy, so I ended up with a Death Valley Pale Ale. I don't usually like beers but I loved the label on this one and it turned out to be an excellent choice! Note to self: bring a bottle opener on vacation
     

    Attached Files:

  2. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Day 2

    First full day. We decided beforehand that we would stay at the hotel pool most of the day today, and use the all day buffet pass. We're not buffet people but it seemed the easiest way to keep the kids full of some kind of fresh fruit, plus I knew they would enjoy a dessert buffet. Buying the pass allowed us to bypass the line all day, so that was another plus. Breakfast was great minus the scrambled eggs, ew. Do the time and wait in the omelet line instead. Lunch was ok, dinner was a bit of a drag as my daughters were not hungry enough to eat and the sushi wasn't great.

    Pool was wonderful. I'm very anti this pool/pseudo nightclub dayclub stuff and I just want to sit by the pool and fade away. The music wasn't too loud and most of it was ok. Very nice sound system. Despite the heat, the pool water was still cold, and the hot tub water was hot but not unbearably so. I bounced from one to another. 3 dollar drafts at the pool bar. I got a free one with the coupon they give you at check in, and then I got a mai tai that actually tasted like a mai tai and not some amaretto-infused nightmare, so I was happy.

    I played some kind of Wizard of Oz wicked witch machine that night. Instantly won $80. Unfortunately that would be the high win of the trip. Getting three rubies became my mission. Eventually I got them but they didn't pay as well as the 3 witchy faces or when the monkeys come and scratch away some of the symbols. Oh well it was fun. Back to the room to pass out.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,551
    Location:
    Southwest Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    good read so far!
     
  4. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Day 3

    Today we drove early to Red Rock Rec Area to revisit glory days of rock climbing and see the sights. The smoke from the Mt. Charleston fire is now over the mountains that we view from the room, but I guess that is on the other side of town. Just grabbed muffins from the Java Vegas, and finally heard "That's Why God Made the Radio" while in line woohoo! Passed by Red Rock Casino on the way - man if you thought the Orleans was out there is place is almost off the map! Looked awesome though, I'd love to stay there sometime.

    We were concerned about how much the price might have skyrocketed since our last visit 17 years ago. Amazingly, it was only $7 to enter! We thought it would be $27! Some of the sights were so impressive that they were literally dizzying; I got a touch of vertigo looking at some of the rock walls. And thankfully, it was cooler outside of the city. We didn't see any wild animals but we did see some horses on one of the rural routes off of the loop.

    Lunch was at Sushi21, a place near the Walgreens, 2 blocks from the Orleans. All you can eat sushi and apps and such, but with rules. There was no sashimi and they wouldn't let you "make" your own sashimi or else they would charge you ala carte pricing. And there was a time limit, loosely enforced. Whatever. The rules were off-putting but with all the cheapos in Vegas I can see why they might need to spell these things out. Basically if you can eat like a normal human and not a pig you were fine. My kids really enjoyed that they was a projection of Asian pop music videos on the wall and they got to see the PSY Gentleman video that had them in stitches. Best meal of the trip. Friendly staff, only bad thing was that there was no tobiko, which my eldest loves.

    I took a peek at the Orleans poker room but it looked about as fun as playing with a bag of rocks so I passed.

    Dinner was at In-and-Out Burger on Tropicana. Place was off the hook busy. It was good, but not mind blowing. I can see being a regular if this was part of my city, but it isn't, so I probably won't bother going back. Everyone else in my party really liked it though, so maybe I'm just missing a gene or something.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Day 4

    Like every family vacation I've been on, some people missing the comforts of home, siblings feel comfortable enough to resume fighting, and we are all starting to get on each others' nerves. Sigh. We ended up at the Peppermill for breakfast but it was a miserable experience because everyone was being an ass to one another. Food was great though, sometime I will return alone.

    Then we were off to the Mirage to redeem 2 free admits to the Secret Garden. Yay they do have self park! MLife desk was no problem and the staff didn't make me feel like a cheapy in redeeming them. The dolphins and garden were great, some of the tigers were a bit animated, maybe because a storm was moving in, so that was a bonus. Back at the hotel, I took my youngest to the pool, the only person I was getting along with at that point. There was an almost-fight at the pool, not rival gangs but what I call the Yosemite Sam vs. Used Car Salesman incident. Some problem about ice being thrown at someone, eventually it was all kiss and make up an hour or so later. Probably beer-fueled testosterone, can't really blame the Orleans for that.

    That evening my husband took my eldest to drive the E.T. highway, and I took the youngest to the strip. First use of the Boyd shuttle. Pretty simple, drops off in the back of Bally's. Man what is up with Bally's? They have totally given up, yuck! Dirty water in non-running fountains, people mover not moving, icky stores in a gross mall, only saving grace was the Sinatra music they play at the entrance.

    We went to Paris to use a 2-for-1 eiffel tower coupon from the ACG. They ding you for "fees" and taxes on both tickets, so what would logically be $10.50 turned out to be $17. Whatever it's Vegas I expect a few surprises. Then we went to the Sugar Factory and the Patisserie in Aria. I wanted to redeem a MyVegas in Aria but they wouldn't let me with my "minor not in constant motion on the casino floor" lol. No big deal, a "minor" annoyance, we got eclairs anyway.

    I never figured out how to get into Aria without going through Crystals at Citycenter. I like the openness of the space but the perfume smell was really gross. Anyway, it was a bit of a walk to get to the MLIfe desk. I was worried I wouldn't find my way out, but fortunately there is a sculpture of a giant mens' portable urinal that was my guiding light :p Back to the Boyds shuttle and the Orleans we go.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Day 5

    Last full day. I get the first shuttle to the strip by myself in order to redeem 2 MyVegas rewards. I love to walk and so I love the strip in the morning, no porn yet, very few pedestrians too. Trek to NYNY first and get the $75 Sporting House. No problem. I played the Family Guy slot but it showed me no love. Then back to the perfumed giant portable urinal sculpture and Aria. Redeemed my pastry reward, which was for $10, so I got 2 pastries, the raspberry and the intense. Then I played a Goldfish slot but it was sort of dull. Moved on to Plants vs Zombies and won back my Family Guy losses and them some. Of course I love a slot once I win from it lol.

    The strip is waking up so off I go to catch the Boyd shuttle to the Orleans. Now as gross as Bally's is, the food court near the shuttle seems to be trying to draw a distinct line of cleanliness between itself and Bally's. Different flooring and hyper-clean looking. Since I had just missed the shuttle, I used one of my ACG coupons for Nathan's and got 2 chicken wing meals to go. Of course I missed a shuttle in the process, but they were running every 15 minutes at this point in the day, and the food was good. It was around $12 for 2 meals; a rip off for 1, but ok for 2 of them.

    Back to the room and pool, then off to NYNY for one last MyVegas treat. More self park to be had. Even with 4 of us it was hard to use up $75 (no one wanted steak wth?) so I decided to drink a bit. I got a cherry picker cocktail, which I was thinking would be martini-like but this red thing in a pilsner glass came, seemingly with no alcohol in it. Not high dining at all but for free it was a good choice when with kids. TV screens were great, nice and dark, good place to hide or recover from a hangover. We got 2 desserts and it all came to around $85.

    Then it was back to the room, one lame attempt at pai gow for me. Loss, loss, push, loss, loss was the pattern, including one 10 high pai gow ugh that did me in. And then one last drive to part of the ET highway. We got such a late start that we couldn't see much of the highway but saw a bit of the Mt. Charleston fire on the way back to the city. Back at midnight and out of the room by 6am. All and all good fun. Not all Vegas trips have a royal flush but that is realism for you. Some observations....

    ~I have no fear of Vegas summers at all, it was strange that it didn't cool much at night, but the days were tolerable.

    ~Taking the shuttle gave me a better handle on how the city is laid out and a lot of casinos I thought were remote are actually doable.

    ~I wish I had known that the Sugar Factory MyVegas rewards did not count towards the 3/30 day limit. I would have killed it!

    ~The MGM property staff never looked down their noses at me for using MyVegas rewards, so that was a relief.

    ~While tweens can't appreciate the gaming in Vegas, give them a good pool and a drive on the strip at night and they are happy (for a spell). However, their age will obviously curtail your gaming and wandering around aimlessly time.

    Can't wait to go back next month for a high-gaming, child-free trip!
     

    Attached Files:

  7. TomTWI

    TomTWI High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    930
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    That is the funniest line!!! Believe it or not I actually miss those days now.

    Thanks for a great trip report.

    TomTWI
     
  8. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    4,909
    Location:
    Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Appears to have been a well balanced trip even though kids were included.
    Must have been a great teaser for your next trip. :beer:
     
  9. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Yes, it was a good refresher course on Vegas, and it kinda showed the non-gamblers (yes amazingly the kids don't yet play cards) that "see it's not all sin-city" and I will come back in one piece and a few dollars in my pocket. I think my next trip will be very different :wink but that is what is great about Vegas, you can do the town so many different ways.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.