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Martin/Judy's Post 4/23-26 TR

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by martinr, Apr 27, 2015.

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  1. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    The diligence to provide the "stream of consciousness" blow-by-blow TR obviously failed.

    I will recap our trip here and may follow up with photos in a seperate post.

    DAY 1 - Thursday

    Delta flight 7:50 am Memphis to LAS connecting in LAX.

    Took a cab to Mirage. We got a Tower King on 25 overlooking the Strip. Not sure if it was the 20.00 trick that got us the room or my sparkling personality. We couldn't check in at about 1:00 pm since the room was not ready. We did get the room key and gave my phone number for them to notify me when the room was ready. I got the text at about 3:00 pm with the room number and letting us know to go directly to the room rather than back to the check in counter.

    We had gone across the street to Harrah's and found ourselves in the bar where Big Elvis was about to start his afternoon show. We had seen him at Bill's Gambling Hall during a couple of trips several years ago and somehow were drawn in to see him again. Just a Vegas icon. He actually is a good entertainer if you can get past the "cheese" that is his persona. After we watched this show is when we got the text about the room being available and we headed back to the Mirage.

    We unpacked and Judy spoiled herself with an afternoon nap. I set out to find a fan that we could have in the room to provide some noise similar to what he have at home. I knew there was a Walgreens across the street next to Venetian. This location did not sell fans but I was sent to the next closest one at the Palazzo which was much larger. They did have a fan that did the trick, but I had to shlep it down the Strip back to the Mirage. It turned out to be most satisfactory for our needs.

    We had reservations at Old Homestead at CP. We got to CP a few minutes early and had time to play some slots withhout much success. I had forgotten that OH was open to the casino corridor. Reviews mentioned to sit nearest to the outside in order to have a good vantage for people watching, etc. In hindsight, we would have been happier deeper into the dining room to avoid the noise, unruly masses of humanity, etc. that do not actually enhance an expensive dining experience. But, I digress. I truly wanted to walk away from OH with a sense of uphoria. I was psyched to do this. I had built it up in my mind and had painted the picture for Judy of a world class meal. We opted to skip an appetizer and to split a Caesar salad in order to save our appetites for the main events. I have to have anchoives with my Caesar, even though Judy is mortified by the tthought of them. But, since they split the salad they brought them to me just on my plate. Very nice white anchovies. Ok, here was my first problem. A restaurant like OH should provide ice tea spoons when they serve ice tea. Instead, they brought straws to stir the tea with. Maybe it's just me, but this shows a lack of attention to detail on the management side. Back to the meal. Judy had an 8 oz. filet, I had the 16 oz Ribeye and our sides were the Brussel Sprouts and onion rings. The entrees and sides were presented and my initital response was that the steaks were far from mouth-watering in appearance. No garnish, no sizzle and visually not very appetizing. I don't judge a steak by thickness alone. But, the filet as well as the ribeye were far thinner than I am used to at nice, upscale steakhouses that I have enjoyed over the years. They were cooked to our requests and had some flavor. The Brussel Sprouts appeared not to have been cooked to order rather earlier in bulk and left under a heat lamp. The onion rings were very good and hit the spot. I ordered a flight of sauces and enjoyed them with my steak. Our server, Bradley was excellent and was actually the highpoint of the experience for us. He couldn't however, make the food more like what I was anticipating. I kept thinking about Ruth's Chris and their sizzling, thick cuts of meat as well as other Las Vegas steakhouses like the former Bally's Steakhouse. I was using my RCs for the meal but even with that, I left with a certain level of disappointment. Actually, I had not been eating red meat for a few months upon advice from my doctor about blood pressure elevating slightly. Nothing too high but just precautionary. This meal was going to be a real treat to myself. Maybe I had just fantisized about this and obsessed beyond reality.

    All in all, we had a very enjoyable first day getting to and being in Vegas.
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  2. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Sorry to hear you meal didn't stack up.
    Big Elvis is a good show, we've seen him at Harrah's and Barbary Coast.
    I'm curious, did you take the fan home with you?
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  3. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I know many like the Old Homestead but after my first visit, I'd never go back. While my meal was good, not great, the place just scores a zero for atmosphere.
     
  4. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    Funny question TY31088 about the fan. I had tried to see if the hotel had one that I could use while we were there. That was a no go. So, my plan B was to buy one and leave it in the room since they are usually only about 10-15.00. The only one I found was not the box fan that I envisioned. It was about a 12 inch round metal fan on an adjustable stand. It did put out a lot of sound for such a small fan and it was about 24.00 at Walgreens on the Strip of course. Long answer to your question.......Yes it fit in my carryon bag where I carry my laptop and came back home with us. .
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  5. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    I'm with you breanna61. If I was in NYC and had RCs to spend on a similar meal there (which could never be the case), I would love the chance to see if it is not worlds apart from the location in CP. Supposedly, the NYC one is an institution, so it must be totally different. I wouldn't give the CP one another chance for free since I would be sacrificing the ability to eat at a better place at my choosing.
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  6. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    DAY 2 Friday 4/24

    We had the Scoot City Red Rock Canyon tour booked for Friday morning. We had a quick breakfast at Starbucks at Mirage and the Scoot City shuttle van picked us up at 7:30. WE were first on the van and it picked up others at various hotels until the van was full. Then we wnet to their facility in Summerlin. That's where the 3 wheel scooter cars are kept and operating/driving instructions are given. We then headed out single file with a tour guide in front and at the rear of the line of about 20 of these "skittle colored" open air sccoter cars. Two wheels in front and one in back with tall roll bars behind seats for two passengers. Controls were all on the handlebars like a motorscooter or watercraft leaving no pedals on the floor to bet in the way. Naturally there are safety belts since they are open cars and can get up to 60 mph. So, we take off through Summerlin on the city streets which was not bad since it was fairly early in the day. We got to the entrance of Red Rock Canyon and the tour charge included the entry fee into the area. The roads then became one way and wide enough for our type vehicles and others to pass beside us for faster traffic if necessary. There were about 3 stops for resting and photo ops as well as an exhibition center where there were exhibits and a nice gift shop along with restrooms of course. The tour guides were very helpful and personable and made sure we had no issues with the operation of the scooter cars. They were very good about taking photos of anything we wanted for us. Judy decided to try her hand at driving as the guides encouraged switching drivers. She had a ball. After all, she is the speed demon type! I dnjoyed being the passenger for a while until the roads became more curvy and we started descending at a much faster speed than these little engines that could had chugged up the hills. At our next stop. She turned the driving privileges back over to me. I felt like I was on some sort of road rally course with all of hte switch backs, S curves, etc. That is where the cars get up to max speed of about 60 mph. No hats were allowed while the cars were moving for safety reasons (?) and everybody had totally wind blown hair at the end. Judy, always wanting to look her best, didn't seem to mind since this was so much fun and every other woman's hair was similarly void of it's original styling. The guys didn't even seem to be concerned with this, however. We returned to our hotels in the van at about noon and probably rarely didn't have a smile on our faces during the entire morning. I would recommend this highly. We got tickets through Groupon and there was even an extra 20% discount offer for a while that I took andvantage of. So, it ended up costing about 160.00. A great value for such an experience!
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  7. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    DAY 2 continues...

    After the Red Rock Canyon tour, we went to Serendipity 3 at CP for lunch. I had been there with my daughter a couple of years ago and enjoyed it a lot. I couldn't resist the Mac and Cheese w/ bacon and truffles with a strawberry shake. Judy was in a burger mood and had a really tasty burger and fries. She ordered the frozed hot chocolate and we shared it as a dessert. Our sharing, since she is diabetic, means I get about 75% and she cheats with the rest. I had forgotten how large this thing was and she had never seen one at all. It did get consumed eventually. We sat outside and enjoyed the temps which were only in the 60s. The had to dress in layers with jackets for the Red Rock tour so we peeled off our jackets to sit on the Serendipity 3 patio.

    Next we went to the Forum Shoppes to Gucci. I had won a Gucci gift card at Horseshoe Tunica last year in a promo drawing and planned on letting Judy spend it in Vegas. She had no problem with this even though it was only for 500.00. A very nice prize from a drawing. But, at Gucci, 500.00 is not so easy to spend by itself. She did end up with a very nice wallet and the experience of walking out of Gucci without having actually spent any money.

    Then it was off to the Bellagio. We always enjoy the Conservatory and Gardens. It was not quite their best presentation as we both agreed. Usually, it has a real "wow" factor. This time, not so much though. Did some slots at Bellagio and racked up some points but no significant wins.

    Back to the Mirage where Judy had an afternoon nap accompanied by our new fan. I took advantage of the time to get my gamble on. Now, I'm a traditionalist whenit comes to slots. I'm not into the latest video oriented machines, except possibly some of the new themed ones like Rolling Stones, etc. My mix is usually the Wheel of Fortunes, Spin and Wins, Cash Wheels, etc. I really have fun with the Silver Strikes. The ones at Mirage, Terry Fator themed, seem to be very productive for me. I also have to try the MegaBucks and Monopoly machines. I also spent a little time at a Roulette table. I've never had any luck in Vegas with Roulette, regardless of the property. In Tunica, where I go practically on a weekly basis, I can predict where I can be productive with some regularity. So, I don't dwell on Roulette in Vegas. After my afternoon session, I was down a couple hundred on the sessions, which wasn't too bad. The Silver Strike ws the most consistent with those 10.00 coins being dispensed fairly regularly. At one point, I could barely carry them to the cashier. But, that's not a bad thing.
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  8. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    DAY 2 continues....

    Dinner on Day 2 was at Giada. Been there once last year solo. I knew Judy would love this place. We started off in the photo booth (nothing kinky though !) We had a nice two top not too far from the windows. It was really windy so they didn't have the windows open. Our server was very well versed in the menu and had been there since they opened. Judy had the Spaghetti with shrimp and lemon seasoned sauce. I had the Branzino. We split a Caprese salad first after having a couple of drinks. Sides were grilled asparagus and a corn w/spicy sausage casserole style dish. Great meal, great atmosphere, great service and paid for with RCs.

    Took a cab to Tropicana for teh Raiding the Rock Vault show. Never been to Trop. before. Got a Players Card and put a 20.00 in some random machine and instantly won 150.00. Saw that as a sign so I cashed in and didn't try any other slots there. That paid me back for the show tickets. This show was truly up our alley. Good old classic rock played by a band made up of music veterans from iconic bands. I can see us making this a regular thing on future trips. Afterwords, we did the "groupie" thing and went to the meet and greet line where they were seating signing autographs. WE had them sign our program. These guys were so cool and appreciative of our interest in them. We talked to each one of them and an usher actually tapped me on the shoulder to tell us to move along so other people in line could have their turns. I think the musicians were enjoying talking to us and probably get carried away so the ushers have to cut them off. It wasn;t us it was them keeping us talking. Of course, a couple of the guys seemed to be more interested in talking to Judy than to me and vice versa. She didn't mind the attention at all, naturally.

    Back to the Mirage for the night. It had been a long day and we enjoyed a happy ending to a great day. :wink2:
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  9. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Happy Ending!
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  10. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    Maybe it was the fan. Or, maybe it was just coming back from a rock concert. Or, maybe it was just my good looking redhead wife and the left over thrill from the scooter cars. Whatever!
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  11. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I need the make and model of that fan please.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  12. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    DAY 3 Saturday......

    Planned on getting up early and going to the pool. Didn't happen. Two reasons...slept late and temps were not pool-ish for us.

    I went down to tempt the gambling fates while Judy got ready for the day. My slot session produced a largest W of only 150.00 while my roulette session lasted about 30 minutes with nothing to color in with. Had fun though. Saw a few die-hards trekking through the casino going to the pool.

    Judy and I debated on our lunch/brunch spot for the day. Made last minute resv. on OpenTable at Mon Ami Gabi. Glad we did since the Saturday wait would have put us eating at about 2pm otherwise probably. I did have to go the the Total Rewards counter at Paris to get a voucher for RCs for the restaurant since they don't directly process TR points. No biggie. We had a great meal inside since the patio was packed. Me: lobster roll adn frites Judy: ham and cheese crepes.

    Played some at Paris. Left about 100.00 ahead. Went to Miracle Miles shops and bought Judy a Pandora charm to add to her bracelet. I'm such a good husband! Played at PH for a while with no positive results. (this trip seems to be losing steam on the gaming side).

    Went back to Mirage where I redeemed a MyVegas comp Carnegie Deli cheesecake reward and we took it to the room. Afternoon nap time for Judy and I went to another tour of the casino. Crossed over to Harrah's and found some luck on a couple of newer slots that kept me going for about an hour. When it was getting time to go back to the room, I was surprised to find it was raining and really windy. Nothing to do but make a run for it across the street and get wet.

    Dinner time and I wanted my fix at the Oyster Bar at Harrah's. We planned our night and took jackets and an umbrella and headed out. I had the Crab Louie salad and Juy had crabcakes. I've never had anything I haven't loved there. Of course, i used RCs for dinner.

    We took a cab to the Orleans to see Don Rickles. This is the reason for the timing of this trip. Got tickets month's ago and started planning around the show. At 88, he may not be performing too many more years and I really wanted to see him live. We were not disappointed. He does the show sitting down for the most part. But, sharp as a tack! he has a full orchestra and does his usual schtick with the audience. The Orleans is a great venue since the theatre is not huge and it has an old Vegas vibe. It was a tossup whether this was the highlight of the trip or the Rock Vault show or the Red Rock Canyon tour.

    Back to Mirage where we ended the night enjoying the sound of our new fan once again.
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  13. Superpocky

    Superpocky VIP Whale

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    Thanks a lot for sharing!
     
  14. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    DAY 4 Sunday.....

    Mixed emotions when you wake up on your final day in Vegas. We had a flight leaving at 1:50 pm. Didn't get up too early since the trip was catching up with us, Decided to pack and see how much time we had for any activities before leaving for the airport.

    Went to Carnegie Deli for breakfast/lunch. Got down there at about 11:00 and there was no line. I still do not understand the changes that they made and how they have benefited. Orders are given at what used to be the Take Out counter and they give you one of those vibrating pagers. But, it wasn't flashing and never went off. When you get to the table, there is a server who comes by and collects your receipt and leaves the pager on the table. She tried to bring us other people's meals twice before getting our to us. It was like "chickens with their heads cut off" with servers darting back and forth. We did get our correct order and enjoyed our choices as we usually do here. The only advantage that I can see for guests is that they can't charge a "split" fee when you're ordering one of those giant sandwiches for two or more people since you order at their counter. Anyway, their food will always bring me back.

    At this point, ther wasn't much time to do much else but spend a little while playing some machines. Judy was usually in the room resting when I was playing since she is not at all a degenerate to any degree when it comes to gambling. Once she won 150.00 on Fremont Street and acted like it was 100 grand and stopped playing. Our visit to the slots was fun since she had never played the Silver Strikes. Since they only have two, side by side, we each played our machines and got several coins to drop.

    I checked with the front desk the previous night about check out and my Express Comps and MyVegas covering my three nights. The guy couldn't see my ECs in his computer and was making me nervous since I knew I had plenty prior to coming to Vegas and obviously had earned more during the trip. He suggested that I go to the MLife counter which I did. They had no pronlem finding my EC balance and were even able to apply them to my room charge balance. One night was a comp night, one night was a MyVegas reward night and one night was a discounted rate. So, I actually had three seperate reservations. They had to check me out each day, in their system and the new reservation automatically kicked in the next day. It was all seamless but a little nerve-wracking at the end to make sure I didn't get charged o my credit card in lieu of my plans not to be out of pocket for any expenses. Everything turned out of including the Resort fees being taken care of.

    We left for the airport and already had our boarding passes. TSA Pre-Check for both of us on both legs of our trip. Stopped to buy a box of See's Candy at a shp in the airport to take home. I always do this since we don't have a See's store at home. Played a few slots near our gate and ended with a 65.00 gain. Full flight Las - Atl on a new Dellta 737 with the Entertainment system at each seat. Love that. Good flight and we caught our next flight from ATL - Mem on time. Funny incident on this short flight (56 min.) Drinks were served along with pretzels. When I asked for peanuts, I was told that the flight was not long enough for peanuts, just pretzels. I've been trying to figure this out every since then.

    Got home at about 11:00 Sunday night and had to go to work Monday morning. Judy and I were probalby lie zombies all day on Monday. But, it was the best kind of tired.......Vegas tired!
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  15. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    Oh I forgot, Saturday night I saw a girl walking through the Mirage wearing a full monkey outfit. Now, I don't know if this was some sort of clubwear or what. But, I instantly wondered if she was a VMBer. Somehow, nobody seemed phased by this.
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  16. sandybeachbar

    sandybeachbar Low-Roller

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    Great report. Thanks for sharing.

    I took two friends to the Homestead in January. While it was all ok,nothing stood out and can't see a return visit in my future!
     
  17. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    Been to Ruth's Chris in three diferent cities, all more memorable than OH. Been to Capital Grille in two locations, same comparison. Been to a local steakhouse at home, similar prices, much better quality. I would love to try the OH in NYC just for comparison sake. I guess my reaction is as if my feelings were hurt by my experience there. I'll get over it, but hate to think there are people considering this place so spectacular.
     
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  18. Slotchick

    Slotchick High-Roller

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    Sounds like you had a great trip, thanks for sharing. We find we are zombies when we get back from a trip to Vegas too, you aren't alone!
     
  19. queentata

    queentata High-Roller

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    Great TR. Thanks for sharing. We also LOVE Raiding the Rock Vault. Glad they moved it to the Trop. The guys are awesome with the audience during the show and after.
     
  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report!
     
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