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May 1 - May 6, Part I

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by DaveP, May 12, 2005.

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  1. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    2,909
    Location:
    At work
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20

    My Trip Report

    This is a very very long report, with additional review under "Restaurants..." and "Shows...". Hope it holds your interest. If not, I just have to go back to Vegas and do better next time.

    Who --- Me, solo in Vegas for a couple days. My folks joined me for a couple days.
    What -- 5 nights, 4+ days in paradise
    Where - Treasure Island (excuse me, TI)
    When -- Sunday night, 5/1 through Friday morning, 5/6
    Why --- Because I LOVE VEGAS. Love the food, the sights, the gambling, the shows, the atmosphere.
    How --- My wife let me go solo because I was joining my folks, to keep an eye on them, and to spend quality time.

    Sunday, 5/1

    Got to the airport around 4:15 for a 5:30 flight, and used the self-service checkin. Gotta love that self-service checkin. Hung around with my wife and 2 1/2 year old daughter before going through security. My daughter loved watching planes land and got a kick out of seeing a dog in a crate, waiting to go for a trip. Took Delta from Hartford to Cincinnati. The flight was on time, and fine except for annoying opera music that was coming through the overhead speakers in the ceiling next to me. The flight was 1/2 full and the seats next to me were empty, so I got to stretch out. Landed in Cincinnati on time. Well not really Cincinnati, since the airport is really in Kentucky. Grabbed a quick Philly cheesesteak with onion, provolone, lettuce, mayo and fries at Great Steak & Potato. Not bad. Caught the next leg of the flight to Vegas. On that full flight, I sat next to and in front of a few older couples that were travelling together. They were ready for Vegas, having a good time, very friendly, in vacation mode. The landing in Vegas was pretty bumpy, since it was really windy, but that was the only rough part of the flight. We touched down right around 10:00 PM.

    After getting off the plane, things moved quickly. My bag was one of the first off onto the baggage carousel. Went to pick up a rental car from Budget, and since I had their Fastbreak card, I got right on the shuttle, and the car was running and waiting for me when I got to the lot. Into the car and off to In-N-Out. Went through the drive-in and got the much recommended Double-Double Animal Style, well done fries, and a vanilla shake. The burger was great. I didn't care much for the fries, but as ordered, they were well done. I prefer the regular fries, but had to give the well done ones a try. The shake was great.

    After this late snack, it was off to Treasure Island where I had 5 comped nights. I tried the $20 trick, and got a Tower Deluxe room with a nice view of the pool and The Strip looking up towards the Mirage, Caesars, and beyond. I was in my room about 3 minutes before heading to the casino. Went to play a little video poker before bed - lost, lost, lost. Finally got to sleep at 2:00 AM Pacific after getting up at 6:00 AM Eastern. It was a long day, but that's the way Vegas usually starts out.

    Monday, 5/2

    Got up at the ungodly hour of 6:20 AM, with my body clock still on Eastern time. Checked out my email on the bad Web TV system they have in the rooms at TI, and then headed over to Wynn Las Vegas for breakfast. The resort looks pretty nice. My first impression was that it's the Bellagio, only with a redish tint. Redish from the carpets, drapes, etc. Entrance from The Strip is through the Esplanade, or their version of expensive shops. I couldn't afford to even window shop, and the guards drew their guns when I tried to get near the car dealerships. I'm not going to be doing any shopping there. The resort looks really nice, with lots of plants and flowers around, waterfalls and lakes surrounding the front, and a pretty high-tech sign in front. I was headed to the buffet, but got there before they opened at 8:00, so I put $20 in a video poker machine. Nothing happened. No credits. It didn't spit the money out. My first impression was "Man, these machines are really tight." After a while, I got a message on the machine - "Bill Jam". Attendants came pretty quickly, and then I lost my money in the traditional way. After that, I headed to the buffet. I've got a review under the "Restaurants" section.

    After breakfast, I wandered down The Strip. Along the way, I played at The Mirage, Caesars, Bellagio, The Boardwalk, and Monte Carlo. That had been my first visit to the Boardwalk, and maybe my last if their fate is to be demolished soon. It was nice to find some $3 tables on The Strip there. Played some Caribbean Stud and Let It Ride. All along the way, I lost, lost, lost. Whatever I played. Then I got to New York New York and my luck changed for the better. After playing about a 1/2 hour, I hit a Royal Flush on a $1 Bonus Poker machine with 5 coins in. $2,000 and a tax statement for year end. But who's complaining. I took the tram from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay, and played at MB for a little bit.
    Then I met the man himself - Hurricane Mikey - for lunch at the Burger Bar at Mandalay Place. It was great to meet someone from the board, and what a place to start. Mikey had gotten to the restaurant before me, but I got there before he was able to order a drink. If you're ever in Vegas, try to hook up with Mikey, he's a lot of fun to talk to, and has some great stories. Mikey posted a review of the Burger Bar out under the Restaurants section, and I put in my 2 cents. Once again - thanks Mikey, for coming out to meet me, and for doing the review. I had a great time.

    After lunch, Mikey went to get the ghetto sled, and I headed back to NYNY. Had to pick up my surprise gift that went along with the ROyal jackpot - a NYNY t-shirt. From NYNY, I was planning on going to MGM to pick up Ka tickets for the next night. I trucked about 1/2 way back through the MGM, picked up the tickets, and figured I was this far into the casino, why not try out the monorail. So, I walked the rest of the way to the far back of the casino. Someone already said this, but the monorail isn't well marked. Took me a couple minutes to find the station. Good news and bad news. The good news was the monorail was up and running that day. The bad news - the ticket/token machines weren't. All 4 or 5 self service machines had the "temporarily out of service" message flashing. And no one was around. So.... Walk all the way back to the front of the MGM and back up The Strip. On the way back, I was sure it was going to rain. It was dark and very windy. The mountains must have had a storm, but it never hit The Strip that day. Made it all the way back to the Mirage on foot, got some good iced tea at the Carnegie Deli, and took the tram home to TI.

    This was a day for video poker. I played when I got back to TI, and kept winning on a multi-denomination machine. Started playing with $100 on a $1 level. Got it up to a couple hundred and switched to $2 VP. When I got up around $800 or $900, I switched again to $5 VP. Got as high as $1700, and finally cashed out when I got back down to $1500. No major jackpots, just a lot of flushes, full houses, and a few 4-of-a-kinds. Nice day at VP.

    That night, I went over to Wynn and saw Le Reve (pronounced by them as Le Rev, as in what you do with a car engine). My review of that is under "Shows....". Good show. Less so because I've seen other Cirque du Soleil shows. After the show, I headed back to TI, played a little VP and Caribbean Stud, got a little late room service since I hadn't eaten since 3:00 with Mikey, and got to bed by 3:00 AM.

    Tuesday, 5/3

    Awake by 7:00. Damn. Just can't get past that Eastern Time wakeup call. Took a slow start to getting ready, and hit the casino around 8:30. Played a little VP to warm up, and then tried out Pai Gow Poker for the first time. That was my new game this trip. I sat down at a $10 table with a dealer that was looking pretty lonely. Figured she could help me out more if there were no other players, and she did. After about 15 minutes or so, a couple other players sat down. They were friendly too, offering advice when they could. They put up with me, probably because my play didn't effect theirs. Anyway, after about 45 minutes, I left $15 down. Not bad for a learning experience.

    From there, I drove down to the Peppermill. Wouldn't be a bad walk, but I had the rental car so what the heck. And after eating one of their breakfasts, I was glad to have the car. I was really stuffed. A full review is out under "Restaurants....".

    After breakfast, I drove down to The Excalibur to visit the southern Strip. I walked over to The Luxor to take in King Tut's Tomb. There is a $5 admission, which gets you into the show/exhibit. The tour starts with a 5 minute video showing a little background of the discovery in the early 1900's. Then you walk through the exhibit peeking into a recreation of the tomb, along with some displays of artifacts found in the tomb. There is a self-paced audio tour that you can follow if you want to carry the handset. All together, the tour of the tomb took me about 20 minutes. I enjoyed it, but I've always been interested in King Tut, ancient Egypt, and archeology type stuff. I thought it was worth the $5.

    After the tour, I experience the awful slot service at The Luxor. I put $20 into a Phantom Belle video poker machine, and the machine jammed. This type of machine has a video screen that tells you "help is on the way" while the little service light on top of the machine flashes away. Figuring that help was on the way, I waited. And waited. And waited. After 20 minutes, no one had come by, so I left the machine and went to a change booth to get help. After another 10 minutes, and attendent came by, and I got my $20 bucks back. I was told that this was an older machine and it didn't take the new 20 dollar bills. So, does it have to jam????? Can't it just spit it back out???? I got out of there and headed to Excalibur to kill some time. Played a little Let It Ride and VP, and got out of there even.

    Headed out to the airport to pick up my folks who were just coming into town. My excuse for being in Vegas without my wife and daughter. Got them and dropped them off at TI. Then I headed over to the Venetian to see the Guggenheim, and the Ancient Egyption Artifacts exhibit. Guess today was "looking at really old stuff" day. This exhibit was $19.50 to see real artifacts from Egypt (unlike the replicas from King Tut's Tomb at The Luxor). This tour also ahd the audio handsets that gave you information, narrated by Jeremy Irons, to accompany the exhibit. The audio was a little long winded. I would have preferred to see more info on the plaques on the wall and heard less audio, but who am I to decide. I'm no art historian. Anyway, after a couple statues, this got a little boring. No cool mummies to see. No violent curses to hear about.

    Dinner tonight was at the Carnegie Deli at The Mirage. The short review is this - "Excellent". A longer review is out in the "Restaurants..." section.

    After dinner, we headed down to MGM to see Ka. The tickets suggested that everyone be seated by 7:15 for the pre-show show, but with the doors opening at 7:00, this wasn't going to happen. A full review of Ka is out under "Shows...". The short review of this is "Excellent". One of the best shows I've seen in Vegas.

    After the show, we headed back to TI and the Mirage to play. Hit up VP, Caribbean Stud, Let It Ride. Nothing spectacular. No big wins or losses. When I was done for the night, I grabbed some cheesecake at the Carnegie Deli and headed back to the room. To bed early tonight - 1:30 AM.

    (to be continued)
     
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