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LV with my teenage daughter

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Jimbo338, Apr 27, 2002.

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  1. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Location:
    Laconia, NH
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    My Trip Report

    The long awaited return to Las Vegas finally arrived. It is April vacation here and my 13yo went with his best friend to Arruba; My oldest boy went with his best friend to Disney World; Kate (my oldest at 15) was going to Las Vegas with dad. I thought 4 days was about right since this is my busy time of year and we would be there at noon the first day, with 2 full days to follow. Kate is interested in theater and though I take her to summer stock, she has never seen a big $$ show. In feb. I walked to the MGM and purchased tickets near the front of the stage.
    I swore after leaving in feb. with 2 hours sleep that I would never do that again for any reason. My intentions were good but I only managed to get 3 in this time. My daughter was so excited that she got very little sleep and was ready to go at 4AM. I found the airport fairly busy for early morning but considering it was spring vacation I wasn't surprised. Southwest was not crowded and I checked my bags in quickly while my wife got something for us at McD's. I asked my daughter enroute to the airport if she had any nail files or anything. Then going through security I realized that I had forgotten to through my trusty jacknife in the armrest in the car. I guess they have a procedure for buying a mailer and sending it to yourself. I asked him to just throw it away. We proceeded to the gates and take our place in line (SW is all about standing in line). Lesson #2 it is neither easy nor fun to eat McMuffins standing in line with carry-ons etc. We each finished about half our meal. Our flight to Nashville left on time and was nice. We had quality time to chat and there was lots of excitement about the shows and things in LV. In Nashville our plane was a bit late do to high headwinds all the way from Albany where it originated. We encountered these all the way to LV and the landing was a little rocky but not bad. I was happy to be on the ground though.We wee just about 30 minutes behind schedule. Our bags came up fairly quickly and within minutes we were in our shuttle (ALC) and on to the Tropicana. We only had 2 people ahaead of us so didn't have to wait long at all. I used the LA TIMES special deal when I booked (Garden Rooms). I smiled and asked if there were any upgrades available. The woman responded, "Well, let's see what we have" and checked the computer, responding that she could put us in the Island Tower. I was happy about that. I asked about the $50 in food certificates and she handed me a sheet of perferated coupons. When booking I specifically asked if the $50. was able to be used anywhere. I was told that there were discounts at different restaurants but not the buffet. In fact it was a 2 for 1 at the Breakfast Buffet, and like a free dessert at one restuarant, and $5.00 off this meal at this other restaurant, and $5.00 off each entree at another (they count that as $20) So all in all for us the $50. food savings amounted to their breakfast buffet saving us 8.95. I did use the 2 for 1 coupon for the Rick Thomas show. One other thing that irked me was a $1.00 a day charge added to your room for unlimited local calls. I had my own cell phone and didn't need it but you have to agree to it anyway. I just hate hidden charges for this or anything else like the energy charge at some hotels. I think they should just charge what they need to and we can compare apples to apples when we shop for a room.
    We didn't find the walk to the Island Tower bad and thought the room was very nice. We overlooked the pool,the decor was pleasant and the room was clean. One light didn't work and a call to maintenance had an employee at the door in less than 5 minutes! The temp outside was over 80 and the AC was on and the room was too warm for my liking. I remember a guy mentioning in a post that he preferred the Garden Rooms cause they had better control of the AC. I switched the fan on to high and drew the draped to get it as cool as we could. I prefer cool for sleeping and spend little time in the room so I'm sure most would find the room temp quite acceptable. It was no big deal.
    After unpacking,we went downstairs and got tickets for Rick Thomas for the 4PM show. My daughter who hates clowns was not too excited about goint to this show; I had seen him perform 3 years ago and enjoyed it. His performance was superb! His act was reworked; illusions were new, bigger, better and now has dancers. My daughter thought he was great! She bought his poster and he signed it for her. She was pleasantly surprised by her first show.
    We hopped on the CAT and stopped at the Treasure Island to watch the pirate battle. She wanted to shop for souvenoirs and then we headed downtown for dinner at Bay City Diner at The Golden Gate. I love this place. I had a great Porterhouse steak dinner. We caught the end of the light show, did a bit more shopping and headed back to the hotel; pretty tired from a long day traveling. It didn't take long to fall asleep; I found the beds a bit hard but I am used to a water bed. We enjoyed a good night's sleep.

    Day 2
    I was up and showered early and went down to the slots while my daughter did her daily ritual.
    I joined the slot Winner's Club. I found the promotion people rather apathetic. Considering how friendly the staff everywhere else was I found this kind of amusing. What is LV all abaout? Gambling. All the cheap rooms, perks, comps, cheap food etc. is to get you to play at their casino. and who do they staff promotions with? People who obviously hate their jobs. I got the same impression for several years when redeeming stuff there from the Free Spin outside. Wouldn't you think management would put their best folks here? I thought it would be different for guest but it is not. Anyway, I got my card and the slots were not any nicer.
    We decided to eat there so we could get on with our agenda and so used our 2 for 1 breakfast buffet coupon. The buffet was ok; I think that you could find better ones for 8.95 but they had the usual stuff not much out of the ordinary and it was pleasant but they did have a nice little salad bar. I could eat salad at every meal so that made me happy.
    I said that it wouldn't happen but I fell victim to a daughter's power of persuasion and went to the Belz Outlet with my daughter. It was nice but nothing nicer than at home. We did enjoy a ride on the Merry Go Round (it had been about 13 years and the lady took our picture together. To get there ride the 301 or 302 to the end. They let you off on some dusty street which was very hot and dirty with the wind kicking up lots of dust to wait for up to 30 minutes for the one 303 bus which circles to the mall and back. We returned to the hotel to store our treasures and went over to the food court at O'Shea's for a snack and then went shopping for more souvenoirs and a trip up strip to Caesars. We saw the display and my daughter loved the shops. We headed downtown to see Stars of the Strip at Lady Luck. The Walkers were off that week and they had an Elvis Impersonator and a comedian filling in but it wasn't nearly as good as with the Walkers although worth the price of a drink. My daughter didn't like the theater or the show much. We decided to head down the strip before dinner since we had tickets for EFX and the bus service had been slow; it was a wise move. We grabbed fome fast food at Excaliber food court and changed for the show. I had seen EFX 3 years ago with Tommy Tunes. I had read that Rick Springfield changed it and it is the best it's been. It's TRUE! It was GREAT!!
    The usher brought us to our seats at a table for 4 center stage. Our tabale butted up against a partition. On the other side a bit lower was a booth, an aisle and another table then 2 rows of seats. We were perhaps 30-35 feet from the stage.The show started and from the start my daughter was estatic by the effects, the grandeur of the stage, the elaborateness of the sets and all the things that big money can buy in theater! She, of course had no idea who Rick Springfield was other than my explanation. From our seats you could see every expression on his face and everything on stage. At one point he ran off stage and jumped on the partition and walked along. He High Fived Kate; she thought that was awesome. However, a little later on in the show, he ran up the aisles and walked behind us stopping right next to me and stopped. My daughter was still looking onstage, I called, "Kate". She turned and Rick shook her hand. You couldn't have found a happier kid in the place; it couldn't have been arranged better if I had scheduled the whole thing. The entire show rocked! It was four times the shopw I saw with Tommy Tunes! It was all I hoped it would be for her and then much more! She was on cloud nine and of course needed to buy a Rick springfield T-Shirt! We went backt to the hotel to change and then out to eat but were pretty tired and ended up back in our room to relax a bit before bed.

    Day 3
    I woke up at some ridiculous hour and rolled over for another hour or so and got up at about 5; I showered and went downstairs to attempt to recoup my losses from the day before. I played for about an hour and won about $120 bucks all of which was redeposited before leaving thursday. Can't complain though my losses for 4 days in LV were about $20.
    I just HAD to go to the San Remo to try their prime rib dinner. Kate had the buffet and I ordered the dinner. It is 4.95 which as you know is frugal. Watch the extras though. OJ was 2.00 and coffee 1.25. I have already posted about the meal. Size was fine, thickness was normal; meat was tasty but tough. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and returned the next day to find it tough again. I have had frugal prime rib all over LV (Golden gate; Frontier;Fitzgeralds just to name a few) and have never had a tough one unmtil there (SR) twice. I had to conclude that it was not frugal to have prime rib there! I did not try their steak and eggs; I'll have to try that next trip. I did join their slot club as well as the Trop, the Strat and Excaliber.
    We headed up strip to see the statues at Caesars
    and walk through the Forum Shops. Needless to say, my daughter wanted to extend our vacation a fes days so she could shop til she drops. "NOT" says dad, lets go. Lunch and to the Strat and get tickets for Viva Las Vegas and American Superstars. I had seen both. Viva las Vegas was the frst LV show I saw at the Sands in 1997, my first trip. It has changed quite a bit and was enjoyable again. Kate thought it was very good. we had some time to kill between shows and guess what we had to do? SHOP!!!!!!!! I did buy kate a jacket that she liked; what a sucker a nice set of blue eyes can make of you! we were a but hungry so I took her down to Roxy's Diner in the Strat cause I had read a couple of comments here about it. What a FUN PLACE. It wasn't busy so we got right in and seated. The waiters, waitresses, cooks and everyone else who work there sing and dance and do funny stuff. It was quite a rush and they told us to relax and enjoy ourselves. some of them are quite talented; all loved their jobs and just had so much fun; we had fun too! Food was very good; service was great; prices were very reasonable. I had a turkey dinner with stuffing and gravy and real mash potatoes with coffee. My daughter had chicken tenders, a side of french fries,a soda and I think ice cream. Meal was $21.50 plus tip. Well worth it too!
    We sat outside; the weather was gorgeous and we ralaxed before going up to American Superstars. I had seen the show before and it was pretty; much identical; Kate really enjoyed it. Our seats were great. We were either very lucky or a compliment to the ticket agent got returned 4 fold! We got the 302 to Excaliber and went back to our room and pretty much packed for our flight home.

    Day 4
    I was up early and went to return the Tropicana's money back to its rightful home (the innards of its slot machines)while my daughter got ready. We had breakfast together and went back to finish packing. She chambermainds here in the Lakes region of NH so shw went about rying the shower curtain, cleaning the mirrors, twirping the toilet paper, piling up the towels etc. I had to laugh,when I returned our second day I found the beds all made and towels replaced. She went and talked shop with the chambermaid (networking?)and got all clean towels and stuff. The maid asked her if the room was ok since a couple had stayed there before us with 4 kids and really trashed the place. Kate told her it was fine.
    We went down about 9:20 to check out which only took about 4 minutes. Again everyone was just so nice. we went outside to enjoy the nice weather and wait for our 10AM shuttle (ALC). At 9:35 an ALC bus pulled in to pick up another guest and I asked the driver if we could ride that one and he said "sure." So off we went our adventure almost at it's end! We went through the SW baggage check in quickly and got our boarding passes. We waited in line to board and I was pulled out for the first time and searched. Now someone said in a post that when they do that they have a seat for you in the front.Not so, but I had told Kate if that happens to be sure to save me an aisle seat. She did and SW rewarded us with one of their brand new planes.....nice! all leather seats which seemed to be just a tad bit bigger and definitely more comfortable. We were a bit late getting off the ground but arrived again at Kansas city. I don't like KC cause you have to go through security again. I forgot to remove my watch so I set off the metal detector and won another pat down and search. we benefited from a tailwind and arrived back in Manchester, NH a full half hour ahead of schedule to cold and snow!
    It was nice to get home and in my own bed but for a little money I got a million dollars worth of memories and quality time with my oldest child. we didn't do all I had hoped to do but had lots of fun and lots of neat experiences. I kept asking her to go to the 13 th floor,then told her you had to know the way there;then, "gee, I forgot to take you there Kate" I guess she hasn't figured that there is no 13th floor in LV but I haven't told her yet; I can still get some more milage out of that one with her brothers when then come home.
    Observations: I wouldn't enjoy temps any hotter than they were (must be why I live in NH)so I guess I don't want to go any later than April. People should supervise their kids better at airports. I like kids but bratty kids aren't cute at all.(probably are more this week since it was spring break for many schools).Mindful of the posts here I did see SO many exhausted kids, little tykes who should have been in bed being dragged around to everywhere on the strip and downtown. I didn't see as many homeless this time for some reason but the buses were much more crowded that I have ever seen them; perhaps it is not as congested in Feb when I usually go for my trade show. Teenage children have much more energy than their 55 yo daddy!
    I had worried about the Garden Rooms which is what my package was for. So one morning went over to the units and walked down some hallways looking in as the maids cleaned them. They would hve been quite adequate although I enjoyed the upgrade. I was mostly concerned about noise. I wouldn't hesitate to stay at the Tropicana again in any of their rooms. The ultimate reason for choosig the Trop was location and the pool. It was convenient but we never did get a chance to try the pool. My daughter says next year when we come again; I said, "RIGHT!" What a great mini vacation!(frugal too!)

    Jimbo

    [ April 27, 2002: Message edited by: Jimbo338 ]</p>
     
  2. Coecat

    Coecat Low-Roller

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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Jimbo338:
    We wee just about 30 minutes behind schedule.

    [ April 27, 2002: Message edited by: Jimbo338 ]
    <hr></blockquote>

    Jimbo--even though Southwest Airlines is a no frills (frugal) airline, they DO have bathrooms!

    :D

    Sorry--I just couldn't resist, and I had to practice my new "quoting" skills!

    It sounds like a wonderful trip! Did you have any problems with navigating her through the casinos, such as getting to the food court at O'Shea's? We're possibly taking our 2 teenagers in the future and I recall seeing hotel security shooing kids away quickly from casino areas. I know I'd be so distracted by all of the action I might accidentally lead them into forbidden territory.

    Thanks again for sharing this and past trip reports and your always valuable frugal advice.

    Debbie
     
  3. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

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    Jimbo, that was a Lot of shopping!! hahahahaa What a great Dad. Sounds like you and your daughter both had a really great time. I guess you will now have an informed opinion for people who ask if you should bring your teen agers with you to Vegas...the answer, as suspected, is yes, IF you act like a good parent and make it mostly about the child and not you. Way to go Jim.

    Glad to hear you had such a good time.....sounds to me like you won't be coming by yourself as much as you used to! ;)

    T.
     
  4. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Coecat:
    Here in New England the natives often drop their "r's". Hehe! eg. "Pahk the cah heya!"

    The only time anything was said was when I joined the slots club at Excaliber. My daughter came over to stand near me as I filled out the application. The woman asked her to just walk around a bit, that she was not allowed to stand or loiter in the area of the casino. Kate, of course was put out but I explained that it is NV state law and that if gaming inspectors found minors loitering they could lose their permit and that being shut down even for a few hours would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    The woman was nice about it but Kate just whined as teens sometimes do. I understood, having been a cop and having to deal with a million NH liquor regulations. She got over it!
    So they can go through any casino or gaming area as long as they are moving and going somewhere (like shopping!!!).

    Jimbo
     
  5. Elmridge

    Elmridge Tourist

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    Jim-
    Terrific report and a very lucky daughter!! Sounds like you both had a great time!
     
  6. Coecat

    Coecat Low-Roller

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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Jimbo338:
    Coecat:
    Here in New England the natives often drop their "r's". Hehe! eg. "Pahk the cah heya!"
    Jimbo
    <hr></blockquote>

    LOL!! Good answer!!
     
  7. Coecat

    Coecat Low-Roller

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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Jimbo338:

    So they can go through any casino or gaming area as long as they are moving and going somewhere (like shopping!!!).

    Jimbo
    <hr></blockquote>


    Thanks, Jimbo. That clarifies things a lot. (I love this quote thing--can you tell?)

    Debbie

    [ April 27, 2002: Message edited by: Coecat ]</p>
     
  8. lorio

    lorio Tourist

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    Hey Jim,

    Nice trip report. Sounds like you had good fun and great quality time with your daughter. Making memories in Vegas - oh ya!

    Thanks for your story,

    lorio :D
     
  9. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

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    Jim,

    Glad you had fun... I can't wait to take my boys when they are old enough to hit shows and what not... My wife is already giving me $%^& about that, lol


    [​IMG]
     
  10. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

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    GREAT trip report. When we were there and I saw the garden rooms I thought, I could handle that. Our Island Tower room had no hair dryer (which I need) and I'm glad I brought my own. And our AC didn't seem to work right the first day but I called and I think they fixed it. It seemed a little cooler. Overall I liked the Tropicana but not sure if I would stay there again. I was liking the center strip (by Harrah's, Flamingo).
     
  11. golf_fanatic

    golf_fanatic Tourist

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    Jimbo - Great trip report! Sounds like you saw alot in the time that you were there. Glad to see that you got the the Belz outlet! LOL! I didn't make it out that far! It also sounds like your 15 year old really enjoyed it. My daughter is 16 and I'd love to take here out. :D
     
  12. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

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    Great report, Jimbo! My oldest 2 daughters are just 9 yrs old, but maybe when they are 14-15 they will get there chance. I'm also glad to hear someone take there child and the whole trip is'nt just about the grown up. What a dad!!!
     
  13. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Thanks Billy:
    I'm not quite sure who had the most fun but youngest son has notified me that he wants to accompany me to LV in february to my trade show. This will be during his school's february vacation.
    I always think of a fellow who worked at the YMCA where I taught for awhile. I bumped into him after he left the job and he explained that he wanted to spend more time with the kids camping while they were still interested in that kind of thing. Then he said something about kids that I'll always remember, "the dividends you get from your kids will depend on what you have invested (time)." So true!

    Jim
     
  14. GNH2000

    GNH2000 Low-Roller

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    Good report Jimbo....we're still waiting for Southwest to post their fares for the end of September/beginning of October. Would much prefer to fly from Manchester (Live 2 miles from airport),rather than driving to Boston.
     
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