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LVChic and her Mama 1/9-1/13, TI and Venetian

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by lvchic80, Jan 18, 2009.

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  1. lvchic80

    lvchic80 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12

    My Trip Report

    There are no mentions of expensive dining, or high-roller gambling.. it's long and as detailed as I could possibly remember. Sorry in advance if the detail is a bit TOO much :)

    January 9th, 2009

    I knew I would have a hard time focusing on work today. Our flight wasn't to leave until 9:05pm. I had a ton of things that I needed to still do before heading to the airport, and I ended up bailing out of work at noon. I'm glad I did because from that point forward, time went really quick. By the time I went to the bank, got the kids out of school, cooked dinner for them, and made sure all the last minute details were taken care of, it was already time to go to DFW. I had hired car service, which from now on will be the only way that I go to the airport. No stress driving to DFW and dealing with traffic, finding a parking spot, hauling luggage onto the shuttle, etc. Just settling back in a Town Car enjoying the ride. I had gotten a Cranberry Juice slush from Sonic earlier in the day that had been kept in the freezer. Right before we left for the airport, I poured some Grey Goose into it and had a nice drink to slurp on the ride out. Our driver was on time picking us up. A chic named JB, a little on the manly side, and too talkative for my tastes, but she did a helluva job going around some traffic near the airport. We got to DFW around 8pm. We were shocked at how DEAD the airport was. There was no line to check in, and no line to get through security. On a Friday evening, this is not what we were expecting, but not complaining about it either. We hiked to gate D28 and sat down for all of 10 minutes before we started boarding. It was a smooth flight, less than half full. Smooth sailing into LAS..just the way I like it. I could have easily slept, which was my intention all along, but the inflight movie screens bugged me. We made it in about 15 mins earlier than scheduled. My mom had to check her bags, as she doesn't like carrying them through McCarran's terminal down to Ground Transportation. If you have ever flown American into McCarran, you know it is quite a hike. Usually, it still takes another 30 mins AFTER we've landed and made it to Baggage Claim for luggage to come down on the carousel but this time it was actually waiting for us. Imagine that. Boarded a nearly empty Rental Car shuttle headed to get our car. I chose National this time and ended up with a Pontiac G6. It was either that or a PT Cruiser(bleh) I absolutely HATED this car. It sat really low to the ground, and I can't count how many times I bumped my head getting out of it. 3 right turns out of the parking garage and we were on Las Vegas Blvd heading towards Treasure Island. With this weekend being big convention wise(Consumer Electronics Show and something related to the Porn industry) we were expecting bumper to bumper traffic. Ummmm.. no. We made it from the airport to the hotel in 10 minutes. That's got to be a record time. No check-in line at the "Invited Guests" counter. I was expecting with our late arrival for rooms to be kind of picked over but my requests were quite simple.... a room with double beds close to the elevator. Everytime I have stayed at TI, I've always been stuck with a room at the dead end of the hall. Right next to the exit. TI has really long halls, which make matters even worse. Of course the bitch tells me the ONLY room with double beds in a 2,880 room hotel that she has left is where? THE END OF THE FUCKNG HALL. I asked for a manager, gave him my story, told him to look at my previous stays and you'll see each time I get stuck with an end of the hall room. I am becoming convinced(especially after Venetian tried to do the same thing on this trip) that this is a matter of race. "Put the N's at the end of the hall" I won't be staying at TI again. I've had it with them. Hotel occupancy is at 22% in this city, damn near an all time LOW and you want to tell me thats the only room you have? Total bullshit but whatever. I wasn't going to let that ruin my trip. After we got settled, it was around 11:30 or so before we decided to go downstairs. We played a few slots which quickly ate up our money. We went to The Coffee Shop and had a late meal. Mom had a BLT and I opted for eggs, hash browns, bacon and toast. At this point, it was nearly 3:00am Dallas time, so I had officially been up for almost 24 hours. Time to hit the rack. The one positive thing I can say about TI is their beds are heavenly.

    January 10th, 2009

    The combination of a carb-ridden meal and a comfortable, and curtains drawn the previous night to block the beaming Las Vegas sun caused us to slumber until around 9:30, which is LATE for both me and my mom. We really didn't have set plans for Saturday other than the Bette Midler show at 7:30. We ended up leaving our room around 11, and decided on Baja Miguel's at South Point for lunch. We had a 2-for-1 coupon from the ACG for their lunch special which consisted of 2 entree choices, soup and a free margarita for 8.95. It was a pretty decent meal for 12 bucks total for the both of us, and the margarita tasted like top shelf. We hung around in South Point for a while, used another coupon for two free drinks at any bar. We opted on bottles of water instead of alcohol. After we left there, we went to Von's(grocery store) over on Tropicana to get a few snacks and drinks for the room. I wouldn't recommend going to this one. It felt dirty in the store, and every corner we turned this weird lady was asking if we needed help finding something. Um hello it's a grocery store. I witnessed a couple attempting to steal toiletries and where the hell are shopping carts in this place? Anyway we were out of there quickly and made our way down to NYNY. This is my mom's new favorite joint since her last trip in November. I really liked the vibe in there too. The only negative I would say about it is it took Valet a really long time to bring our car to us. By this time it was around 4-ish, so we decided to head back to TI and relax a little before going to see Bette Midler. My mom has been a fan of hers for YEARS, and I always try to surprise my mom with something special. Two days before we left, I was able to snag a deal on Travelzoo for some pretty good seats. We had 2nd Mezz Row A, right in the middle. The tickets were only $45.45 a piece. They normally go for double that. I went into this with a bit of a closed mind, but the show was great. She was hilarious and her humor was frank and grotesque and we laughed the whole way through. Getting into Ceasar's valet was a hassle, and there was a mass of people at Will Call picking up their tickets. Taking 3 sets of escalators to our seats was not fun either. Vegas, in my opinion shouldn't be done without hitting up at least one major production show. Especially right now, if you go most of the shows you can find deals for 50% off the "good" seats. Getting out of the venue and back to the garage to get our car was a nightmare. Traffic inched along the strip back to TI. The weekend crowd was officially here. We were both starving, having not eaten since our early lunch at Baja Miguel's. At this point, I don't think either one of us felt like dealing with crowded restaurants and hearing all the "buzz" so we opted for room service instead. I had a cheeseburger that was too big to finish and mom had hot wings, and we split apple pie a la mode which ended up being a puddle of non-descript looking mush. Total was 38.54 + a 10.00 tip. The waiter that brought the food was so cute. All over Vegas, service workers have where they originated on their little badges(I guess theres no such thing as born and raised in Vegas?) His said "Germany". We struck up a conversation about that and he told me his life story(just about, meanwhile my food was getting cold) He was a mixture of black/german/native american. Quite the cutie. Nice tats too. I should have taken a picture. Anyway, we ate and called it a night somewhere around midnight. I was tempted to make a trek down to the Casino to play for a while. I still had like 20 bucks of my "free casino money" to play out, but I started thinking about the hike I would have down THE END OF THE FUCKING HALL and decided against it. I instead settled in for my last comfortable night's sleep in Vegas.

    January 11th, 2009

    I love my mother to bits and pieces.. I really do. I think the pictures that we take together are a true reflection of our unique bond. She is the bestest friend I have on this earth. She is my rock, my strength, and I'm thankful to have inherited her beautiful spirit. With all that said(I love you Ma) did you have to get up and start packing up your stuff before day in the morning? lol I was hoping to sleep in as late as I did the day before, but that didn't happen... Mama was quite ready to make our move over to The Venetian for our last 2 nights in Vegas. We were out of TI by around 10:30 am. Upon checking out, the very least that I expect of the person checking me out is to ask how my stay was. I didn't get that. And I had to ask for an itemized bill. I'm so done with TI. Now that Mirage has sold their asses off the finish the City Center project, I'm quite sure their service will become even worse. I have to find a new home base. Instead of trying to check in so early on a Sunday morning at Venetian, we decided to drive out to Eastside Cannery. This place is east of the strip, off Boulder Highway. I really liked the vibe in here. It was laid back, not as superficial and just felt comfortable. I had an ACG coupon for some free crap for signing up for a C.A.N. card. I got a free hat and deck of cards, and today was my lucky day cus I hit the magic button and landed $15.00 worth of Free Play. My slot machine strategy is go walk around until a machine calls my name. Mom has taught me to pay close attention to the "winner paid" screen, and hit "repeat the bet". If the last person walked away a winner, just do whatever they did. The first 10 bucks I ran right through. Then I found a nickel machine and sat down to play the last of the $5 bucks in Free Play I had left on it. A cocktail waitress finally made her way to me and I ordered a Strawberry Daiquiri, no whip. I start to play and this machine was kinda hot. I played off their 5 bucks for a good 30 mins before I hit a couple of "big" ones. There were a couple of old dudes walking around me(probably hoping I would get up soon so they could play) I played for another 30 minutes and ended up cashing out ahead $50 bucks, after only playing with THEIR money. The table games were so empty. It was quite sad. The only reason in my previous trips I never really got into tables was because they were usually crowded and I felt intimidated because I didn't know what I was doing. There was a roulette table that was empty, minimum bets were $3 bucks, so I thought what the hell it can't be that difficult right? Plus, a friend from home wanted me to bet $8.50 on Black and I didn't want to leave without doing what he asked..lol. So "Thuy" at the table was my dealer, and she was kind enough to explain to me as best she could in her broken English the basics of the game. A pit boss came by and broke it down for me a little bit better. I ended up sticking to bets on the outside, betting either on Black only, or even/odd. I had alot of fun playing, I put in 10 bucks and collected $12 bucks in chips.. lol. A new experience for me though, and thats part of the reason I keep going back to Vegas.. always something new to experience no matter how many times you've been. After we left Eastside, we went over to Red Lobster in Henderson near Sunset Station and had a pleasant Sunday afternoon lunch. During the meal, my son called me upset because he thought he had broken his PSP. Oh boy. Motherhood never escapes me. After the meal it was nearing 2pm so we decided to go ahead and get checked in at Venetian. It was pretty crowded at check-in but the line moved quickly. As long as I've been going to Vegas, I've always wanted to try them. They sent me an offer a couple weeks before I left, the price was right so I canceled my reservation for Wynn and booked here. This place is a bit scary, in the sense that they remember your name. After I got checked in for the rest of my stay, nearly every staff person I encountered, it was "Ms. P this, Ms. P that". Nice touch, but the paranoia in me crept in and I ended up being bothered by it more than anything. Checked in by a guy named "Nikola" I as pleasantly as possible asked for a room as close to the elevator as possible. We had a reservation for the Bella Suite. He's typing away on his little computer, smiling and talking about how he's going to fix me up. I did not feel the need to mention a 2nd time that I wanted a room that wasnt too far down the hall. So when he handed the keys over to me, I trusted that the request had been honored. Well.. it wasn't. Dead last. End of the hall AND to top it off, there was a view of FOUR WALLS out the window. Called downstairs and requested to be moved. This time we got 22nd floor, still a crappy view but only a few doors down from the elevator. Our luggage took entirely too long to receive. It took 2 phone calls, and an hour of my vacation wasted before they were received. Sampson finally brought them up and with the luggage in plain sight he asked me how many bags I was expecting, as if this was supposed to be a trick question.. duhhh let me count them on the cart behind you..dumbass. The only think Venetian has going from them is the location(center Strip) and the size of their rooms(700+ square feet with sunken living rooms and a huge bathroom) The casino itself felt really cramped, or either there were just alot of people there. After the hassles with the room change, the wait to receive our luggage, it was about 6 before we left the room. We decided to walk the strip. We hiked all the way down to Bellagio where for the first time out of 7 trips I finally caught the water show. During our walk down, we stopped in Casino Royale, Harrah's, O'shea's, and Flamingo. In Harrah's, we caught two old dudes singing karaoke. It was hilarious. They sang an extremely tone def version of "If you don't know me by now" It was in Harrah's that I found out where Ghalib Ghallab is playing, which is an act I've been trying to catch forever. He used to be at Cesear's Palace in the Terrazza Lounge. Now he's at Harrah's and unfortunately I missed him this trip. I'll catch him next time for sure. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Food Court between Harrah's and Casino Royale opting for Panda Express. Don't really remember what else happened.. don't remember doing any playing at Venetian this night.. I did take a long, relaxing soak in the huge tub while watching the season premiere of 24. The TV in the bathroom is a nice touch. Their beds are so uncomfortable. I tossed..and turned.. and tossed.. we heard the sound of beating drums.. Mom was like.. what is that.. I was like, I don't know but it's definitely drums. I lay there and it dawns on me... it's the fucking Blue Man Group so 22 stories up and we heard that shit.. can't imagine how loud it sounded inside the theater.

    January 12th, 2009

    Woken up pretty early again but I didn't mind. The last couple days of my trip I like to get up and get going early since my time is starting to wind down. Mom went downstairs really early. I got up and started moving around too. Went downstairs and caught her coming back up. I went to the Club Grazie desk to get something taken care of on my Player's Club. The chick sees my license and was like, "Wylie, Texas?" I said yup, have you heard of it? Come to find out she is from Dallas and lived in Wylie before she moved to Vegas. She said she was really homesick and was leaving Vegas as soon as she could find a job back home. She seemed so sad. My thoughts were kind of with her for a while. I made my way over to a diamond something or other nickel machine. Hit a few bonuses, but I got up cus I couldn't find a cocktail waitress. There were plenty of them around the bar but none of their asses were serving drinks. I finally managed to hunt one down near a penny machine. It just so happened that as I was sitting down, getting my players card and money out to put into the machine, she came around so I asked for a Strawberry Daiquiri(no whip lol) and the bitch had the nerve to ask me if I was playing. Heffa don't you see me about to stick money into this damn machine. Ugh. Just bring me my damn drink and collect your dollar for a tip. So I played there for another 20 mins or so and headed over to the Rialto Deli. Picked up a breakfast special to go and headed back up to the room. It was gross. Really gross. It came with a coffee so thats all I had of it. Our plans for the day were to head Downtown. Downtown gets a really bad rap but I always make it a point to go. We self-parked at Golden Nugget and validated our parking ticket at the Cashier Cage which gives you 3 hours worth of free parking. Just the right amount of time to spend downtown. We didn't do anything other than walk through Golden Nugget. Once outside, we walked next door to 4 Queens. This is my favorite downtown casino. It's small and cramped but the machines usually play well and the drink service is decent. Had some fun playing a leprechaun penny slot that hit a few bonuses. We left there and walked under the canopy..toyed with the idea of walking down to El Cortez but its quite a ways from the other casinos so we decided not too. Walked past Binions and took a picture in front of Binion's 1928 Cadillac Limo complete with Longhorns on the front of the grill. Ducked into The Fremont..drawn in by signs that read ".99 Margarita's all day" Grabbed a couple of those and sat down to play some nickel slot that wasn't very nice. The drink was delicious though. Mom wasn't feeling hers so I took the liberty of finishing it for her. Another Roulette table was calling me in there, so I humored myself and played for a little while. After we left there, I went to the ABC store to pick up a few things to take back home(as if we don't have enough Vegas souvenirs). My kids have learned now to ask for non-Vegas items for me to bring back. My oldest daughter wanted the new Jonas Brother's CD and my youngest asked for a purple monkey and a tiara. Because of such requests, I was forced to stop in the Best Buy off Maryland on our way back from Downtown for the CD. We then stopped at another Von's, can't remember what for.. I think a bottle of wine, then we went back to NYNY and had a late lunch at Gonzalez Y Gonzalez. Using another ACG coupon, we scored a free margarita. Excellent nachos and good service. We hung out in the casino for a while.. played on mom's lucky machine in the back corner. I put in 20 bucks, got up to 40, and like an idiot I played it all down. Then I was really feeling like walking on the edge and put a $20 in a Butterfly $1 slot. It took at most, 2 mins to play that out.. lol I was done gambling for the day. We left NYNY, and drove down to the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. They recently built a little parking lot allowing tourists to safely take pics in front of it. This was another Vegas first for me. I should have had one of these in my photo album years ago. After we left there, we went to MGM Grand. This was the first time I'd been in this place.. I liked it. I'm really scoping out a new place to call my home base since TI has screwed me over for THE last time. We caught the Lion Habitat exhibit. Here kitty, kitty, kitty.. this was more up close and personal than being in a Zoo. They were so cute. I got some good vids of them too. After we left there, we headed back down the strip towards Venetian. We hit a few slots and had a couple drinks.. watched the pathetic act at La Scena. My mom blurted out, "I hope she has a day job". A couple of people around us agreed in laughter. I went up and walked around the Grand Canal Shoppes. Right off the escalator I found a place that had the purple monkey and tiara that my daughter asked for back. Picked up some Hagen Daazs ice cream which later turned out to be a horrible mistake. I won't ever eat dairy hours before I fly. Ever. Our flight left Vegas at 7:00 am the next morning so we got re-packed and placed a call using the "wake up" button on our phone. I spoke with a gentleman and set the wake up call for 3:30, with an additional one at 4:00am. I'll be damned if we didn't get EITHER call. Thank god the beds were as uncomfortable as they were otherwise we would have overslept for sure.

    January 13th, 2009

    Up early, and the sadness sets upon me. Vegas vacation over :( Checkout was easy, the clerk seemed apologetic about the lack of a wake-up call. Getting through check-in at the airport and TSA was a breeze. We were just kind of strolling along. It was way too early for me because I nearly went up the wrong(down) escalator instead of up after getting off the tram, and I tripped on the moving escalator. Talk about embarrassing. I'm quite sure I was mistaken for a drunk. Nah.. not this time. By the time we got to our gate, they were already boarding. We departed out of a runway that I've never taken off from before. It had views of the strip to the left, and it was just like riding down the strip in a car. Really neat. Next time I'll make sure to book seats for the return flight on the left hand side of the aircraft. We made it to Dallas about 20 mins ahead of schedule. Perfect flying weather. We were greeted by my Dad and my daughters. One of my favorite parts of the trip is coming home safe and sound to my kiddos. I was only gone 4 days but to them I'm sure it seemed like forever. I really miss Vegas already and planning my next trip, which will probably be in July for my birthday. I still have yet to have the wild and crazy Vegas experience that Vegas is known for, but I'm so content going out there and doing the things that I do. Till the next trip........
     
  2. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thanks for posting your TR. It was a good read.

    later, GVJ
     
  3. FoolsGold

    FoolsGold Tourist

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    Everyone wants rooms that are on the upper floors, have great views and are fairly close to the elevators.

    Its only in the really thin walled places that anyone wants to be far from the conversations of everyone passing by on their way to and from the elevators.

    The best thing to do is to make it clear that being close to the elevator is a priorty consideration for you when you make the reservation. Note: any change in your room will definitely delay your luggage. I actually find it easier to keep my one and half bags myself. Its not the two dollars that I save, its the time and effort.

    Not knowing in advance how to play the games? Well, ... its a house edge of 5.26 percent. Better than a slot machine but not by all that much. The figures preceeding the percent sign in the following table represent the House Edge:

    Baccarat 72 1.2%
    Blackjack 70 0.75%
    Big Six 10 15.53%
    Craps 48 1.58%
    Car. Stud 50 1.46%
    Let It Ride 52 2.4%
    Mini-Baccarat 72 1.2%
    Midi-Baccarat 72 1.2%
    Pai Gow 30 1.65%
    Pai Pow Poker 34 1.96%
    Roulette 38 5.26%
    Single 0 Roulette 35 2.59%
    Casino War 65 2.87%
    Spanish 21 75 2.2%
    Sic Bo 45 8%
    3 Way Action 70 2.2%
     
  4. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    Nice TR. I've fortunately never had to go thru a 7am flight out of Vegas. I actually had a 7am flight booked for my next trip but I had to modify it due to some changes and now I leave at 11am! I was so not looking forward to the 7am flight but I can handle an 11am flight. I'd be scared out of mind of oversleeping!
     
  5. ez369

    ez369 High-Roller

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    One would like to think that but not necessarily true.. Some people prefer lower floors (I personally don't) in case there maybe an emergency room evacuation, they just don't want to wait longer for elevators depending on how the hotel's elevators are setup, or are afraid of heights. I can agree with everyone liking a good view. Close to elevators is usually nice but I prefer end of hallways because of the potential for corner rooms bonuses and I like it being quieter.. close to elevators for me simply means more noise. btw, thanks for posting the casino house edges!
     
  6. mainstreetcm

    mainstreetcm Tourist

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    In an emergency evacuation I'd rather be closer to the stairs then the elevators...
     
  7. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    I actually don't like being near the elevators I would rather be near the stairs because I know everyone wants to be near the elevators. :thumbsup:
     
  8. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Nice TR. The Binions caddy is awesome. Too bad you didn't make it down to El Cortez - next time maybe?
     
  9. shitzumama

    shitzumama Tourist

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    Nice TR. I always seem to get the end of the hall rooms to. I have asked for the rooms closer to the elevator but never have gotten one either. Seems we were downtown at the same time but we did go down to the El Cortez just long enough to decide not to go again.

    Agree with you on the Venetian casino. Too cramped. And those tubs are heavenly.
     
  10. Cowgo

    Cowgo Tourist

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    What?!?

    The only color that matters in Vegas is green.


    Except the Irish....We can't have the Irish.:poke:
     
  11. farkingidiot

    farkingidiot High-Roller

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    One thing I have noticed is that the people with room complaints seems to be the ones who get there late. Kinda like getting on the plane late with Southwest and having only the middle seats available.

    I always get into Vegas no later than 9:00 a.m. Seems to really help on getting the room I want. I thin they take the bird in hand policy. despite your room request, they give the best available room to whomever gets to them first. Money in hand, so to speak.

    The one time I came into Vegas late, it was around 10:00 p.m. Not only was my room not ready, it was not available. They gave it away, despite my calling to let them know I was going to be late.

    The upside for me was that they gave me a suite to make up for the inconvenience.
     
  12. lvchic80

    lvchic80 Low-Roller

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    This was my first time getting to Vegas late. I'm usually an 8am arrival and usually don't attempting checking in until 12 or 1. I took into consideration that I was a late arrival and that it was supposed to be a busy weekend. I guess this was kind of a "final straw" moment since it's happened on so many of my trips prior. I'm over it now though :beer:
     
  13. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    Love the TR! Mom/daughter Vegas trips are wonderful -- I took my mom for her birthday in June 2008, it was one of the best trips ever. We also saw Bette....what an awesome show....love her!!

    When my husband and I stay, we almost always get stuck at the end of the hall...it's a joke of ours now and we just expect it everytime we go!!
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  14. lvchic80

    lvchic80 Low-Roller

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    Ya know, in order to ensure it doesn't ruin another trip this is the approach I'm taking from here on out :beer:

    And thanks- my mom is quite a character and loves to cut up so I always enjoy her.
     
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