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MB and first time Downtown 8/13-17: pool time, pizza and luck

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Mrs. K., Aug 21, 2015.

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  1. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Us: we're a thirty-something married couple from SoCal who gamble lightly, drink moderately, and forget to eat when in Vegas. This trip, our goal was lots of pool time. We also decided to see Kelly Clarkson in concert at MB since neither one of us is a Cirque fan but we didn't want to gamble too much. We also planned to go to the shark tank with MyVegas rewards but (spoiler) we didn't.

    We spent 3 nights at MB and 1 night at the D. Odd, yes, but MB wanted $255 for our last night because Magic (huge fashion convention) was coming in. Our first 3 nights were $19, $19, and free. So we figured we'd spend the last night downtown. We'd never been downtown after 9 trips. We decided we really like downtown and really liked the D until our last morning.

    We eat well at home so when in Vegas we tend to eat either not much or the kind of food we don't eat much, like burgers, pizza and tacos. Healthy food is sometimes hard to find so we just give up for a few days.


    Day 1

    We planned to leave (driving) from SoCal at 10 AM. Of course we left closer to 1.

    Drive was fine. We hit some odd showers and got a few weather warnings but didnt really see any extreme weather. Not much traffic other than the usual Cajon pass BS. Stopped in Hesperia for In n Out and Barstow for Starbucks. Got to Vegas around 6:30.

    Immediately we got stuck in a huge line of cars at the MB valet. Cars were jumping out of the line and we were like WTF. A valet came over and asked us if we were guests and we told him we were checking in. He put a ticket on our car and we waited. 20 minutes after we entered the MB property a valet finally took the car.

    Check in was quick and easy. I actually recognized the clerk from the last time we stayed there in October!

    We had a King suite and were overlooking the pool and airport. There was a huge rainbow visible from our window as the thunderstorms were still rolling through. I like this view a lot and never ask for a strip view here.

    Our room was clean and comfortable. It wasn't one of the remodeled rooms, but the only thing I hate about these rooms is the low table that always seems to bite my ankle.

    We wanted to nap but duh, Vegas. So we grabbed some beers from our stash and headed down to the casino.

    Mr. K. lost his Mlife card on our last trip so we went to the desk to get him a new one. Somehow we ended up with three cards each and none of mine worked. Back to the desk and my cards were fixed.

    We poked around on slots and had a few more beers. I'm so happy they have Lagunitas on the casino floor. I found Spin Poker With Dream Card which I had fun with for a while. We played on the same $40 for a while just trying out different machines. Soon it was close to 11 PM and we we hungry so we went to Citizens and had a BLTA (him) and fish tacos (me) and more beer. We played more slots, only losing our initial $40 (I consider this a win) and headed back to the room around 2, intending on drinking more and maybe watching a movie. Instead we fell asleep with our clothes on, waking up around 4 to change into pajamas and go back to sleep.

    To be continued ...

    Sent from my iPad
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  2. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Day 2

    I woke up before Mr. K and per our usual Vegas procedure I slipped out to play some slots. I didn't manage to win anything but didn't lose too much either. I got him a coffee and Baileys so he could catch up to the two mimosas I'd had and headed back upstairs.

    However, something very lucky happened.

    Before we left I forgot to go to the ATM. So I gritted my teeth and paid the $5.99 ATM fee.

    We got dressed for the pool and I realized I'd left my ATM card in the machine. I quickly checked online and nobody had charged anything. I called the front desk in a panic, and the clerk assured me that if nobody actually took it out that the machine would eat and shred the card. She put me on hold to check lost and found just in case but warned me it was unlikely someone turned it in.

    Someone had turned it in!

    She advised me to go down to the security desk to pick it up so I ran down to get it. Of course since I now felt like the luckiest person in the casino I tried a few more slots. Guess I used up all my luck for the morning because I didn't win anything.

    We headed down to the pool area and walked around and around looking for chairs. It was packed! It was already about 2 PM and we were hoping some people had left. Fortunately we found some people leaving their chairs in the West Lagoon area. We sunned and swam for about an hour while ominous clouds rolled in. Suddenly the lifeguards all stood up and blew their whistles. They explained that there were lightning strikes and everyone needed to get out of the water. They had to clear the pool for 45 minutes after any lightning strike was spotted. We hung around until it started to sprinkle and then walked around the pool area for a little bit, checking out the beach casino (lame) and peeking into Moorea (boobies!) and the villas above it (and getting chased away by security) until finally deciding to head back for a late lunch.

    We wanted to hit a happy hour and decided on Tacos & Tequila at Luxor. We took the tram over and found we had missed happy hour by 10 minutes. I explained to them their website said happy hour was until 6, not 5, and they honored the drink prices, which was nice of them. The food was good but not great and we played some slots afterward at Luxor, finally winning a little bit, ending $7 ahead by the time we made it to the Shoppes at Mandalay Place. Mr. K. bought a shirt at Suite 160 and I stocked up on Lush products. MB no longer provides shower gel without a "special request" and their soap was quite drying so I bought a small one at Lush.

    Coming back to MB we encountered some odd people, including two dudes on our floor who wanted us to come hang out with them (no) and a woman pacing the halls screaming on the phone about her child custody issues. We iced up our beer for the night and tried to nap, getting sucked into a movie on fx instead.

    To be continued....
     
  3. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    I'm sure you thanked the kind person in your mind for turning in your ATM card. That is something that will hardly ever happen nowadays. Nice to know there are still good people amongst us.

    Nice report.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Thanks! I certainly did. I hope they won many hand pays!
     
  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Night 2

    After our non-nap we decided to take the tram to Excalibur and walk to NYNY to eat at Shake Shack. We decided this would be the first trip where we remembered to eat at least twice a day. I suddenly remembered that the tram had limited hours. Sure enough, I looked up the hours and it said it closed at 10:30. It was only around 9:30 but we didn't want to walk all the way back. We decided to just walk to Excalibur instead and then eat at Backstage Deli at Luxor on our way back. This turned out to be a good decision.

    Excalibur was fun, mainly because we kept winning. We left about $400 ahead and lost $20 at Luxor. Had an unremarkable turkey wrap (me) and breakfast (him) before heading back. Walked back through the mall and played a little at Mandalay. I noticed people exiting the tram station and I wondered if the online hours were wrong. No matter, we wouldn't have won if we'd taken the tram! Went to bed around 3:30 fed, drunk, and still up a few hundred.

    Day 3

    We slept until 11 and I went out again to get Mr. K. some coffee and Baileys and played a little WOF. Lost $60. We went out to the pool and realized it was just as crowded if not more than the day before, I quickly snagged some chairs on the beach while Mr. K. looked for better ones. He was gone about 10 minutes and then came running back to tell me someone who was leaving was waiting for us so we could grab her chairs! We ran over to the East Lagoon and got some great chairs right under the speakers (we like the music) and next to the pool. The woman leaving was on her way out of town and she offered us a bag full of various sunscreen, some barely used! Yay!

    We sunned and swam and drank for hours. Mostly sunned and swam, since drinks were ridiculously priced. Also, we almost didn't get served since we didn't bring our ID and the waitress insisted she couldn't room charge without. She finally did, though. MB please don't fire her.

    After the pool we showered and got ready for the Kelly Clarkson concert. First we stopped at Citizens to pick up salads and sandwiches which were fresh but expensive,

    We skipped the first two opening acts as we'd never heard of them.

    Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix were both great. It's refreshing to see people actually sing, and she seems sweet and silly and down to earth, and then she opens her mouth and this huge voice comes out.

    After the concert we walked back over to Excalibur to cash a TITO from the night before that Mr. K. forgot about. We realized we'd only eaten once so we got some pizza at Buca Di Beppo and wandered around, giving them back some of their money along the way. We saw a woman who apparently thought that slapping and punching the slot machine, grabbing it and hugging it, screaming and spinning around in her chair would bring her luck. She did this on every spin.

    Back to MB to play some more slots (bye, profit) and to bed around 4.

    More to come including our virgin trip downtown.
     
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yeah that was fortunate. And typically ATMs will eat unattended cards after a certain amount of time. I'm fairly sure it happened to me once at the Bank of America nearest to Ameristar St. Charles.

    And as for the Mandalay Bay tram, yes that closes wayyyy to early. We saw the lion king there on a Tuesday right before it left to make way for MJ One. Decide to gamble for an hour there afterward since we hate traveling all the way down there. Mistake. Tram closed. We gambled at MB BEFORE seeing MJ One last trip. Lesson learned.

    Typically it closes at 10:30p Sunday - Thursday and 12:30a Friday and Saturday.

    Good report so far!
     
  7. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I guess it's cause I really am getting older, but this sounds really cool... even in Las Vegas!!!

    My take on Kelly Clarkson as well... we LOVE her!!!
     
  8. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Whew, close call on your ATM card! I would love to see Kelly Clarkson in concert; that lady sure can sing!
     
  9. retro

    retro Low-Roller

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    Great report. Got to ask, you gamble lightly and got two nights at 19, plus one free?! How does one get such a great offer?
     
    Eighth & final trip for the year. This time with real wife
  10. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    I had a big win in November and gambled way more than I usually do. That's the only explanation I can think of! My spring MB offer was 2 nights free but I had the same deal at Mirage so I took it. My summer offers were just discounted rates except MB which had the 1 free night. The $19 rate was a nice surprise they gave me when I called.

    "Lightly" is relative to this board. I play mostly slots and VP and bet $1 to $3 generally, for about 2 hours in the morning and 2 at night. I've never brought more than $600 cash with me for a 4 day trip except when I won the hand pay and definitely spent more than that. And I always leave with at least $100 of that still in my pocket.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Last day at MB

    Having procured a 1 pm checkout we lounged around the room for a while and planned how we were going to use the pool and not have to carry our bags. We put our phones, wallets and an outfit to change into in our tote bags and wore swimwear. I went down to the Mlife desk to see if I could get some more comps and they basically laughed at me. I also asked how close I was to Gold and the clerk smirked and said "not close." When I got home I found out I was only about 1500 TCs away. And no trip planned before October. Ugh. So I checked out while Mr. K. waited for the bellman in the room and asked the clerk if I could get more comps and she apologetically also said no. Oh well. But it is the first time I've never had so much as the resort fees waived, except once at Aria where they treated me like a con artist for even asking.

    Note: if you want to use the pool on your checkout day be sure to tell the front desk when you check out. They actually scan the cards at the pool. Fortunately we knew this.

    We went to the pool and it was not crowded at all which surprised me. We chose the East Lagoon and set off to find the lockers for our wallets and phones. For $20 it was worth the peace of mind. We sunned and swam and drank (a little, one of us still has to drive today) and split pretty delicious BLT and fries. We chatted with the waitress for a bit and she said when the conventions come in the pool slows down, but they raise the drink prices!

    Around 4 we decided to get moving for our first stay (and first visit!) downtown! I had booked 1 night at $28 (plus resort fee of about the same) at The D.

    I went to use the restroom right before we left and there was a woman in there desperately searching for her lost sunscreen. "I've got 4 kids I need to put sunscreen on!" she said. I took the bag of assorted sunscreen I'd received two days prior from the woman who was leaving town and handed it to her. I owe some good deeds after my ATM miracle!

    We changed in the bathrooms next to the valet and got our bags and car. We decided to take the Strip since we hadn't made it anywhere off the South Strip this time. We arrived at the D, excited for a new adventure. It turned out to be just that.

    More to come!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  12. Gmoney10

    Gmoney10 Low-Roller

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    Can't wait to hear about the adventures downtown. Sounds like a great trip up to this point. Thanks for the TR.
     
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    You must have dealt with the same front desk people at MB that we dealt with. Not going to run back to that place anytime soon.
     
  14. Wezvidz

    Wezvidz High-Roller

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    Excited for the conclusion
     
  15. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Real life has intervened and it might be a few days before I post more. But I promise I will. I still have detailed notes. The downtown part of the trip and its sights and ... smells .... was interesting. Nothing super dramatic happened, just a lot of stimuli and two people who had never ventured off the strip before!
     
  16. mkcoroner

    mkcoroner Low-Roller

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    ...LOVE DT!!!! Can't wait to hear how a newbie views all the craziness and fun of Fremont. Great report!!
     
  17. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Nice report so far. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on downtown.

    Question: I don't use ATMs but except for the inconvenience of having to replace the card, nobody could use it without your pin number, right? Or did you write it on the card. :evillaugh
     
    Christmas
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  18. B S

    B S MIA

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    Hell of a cliffhanger, I am hooked!

    How was The D?
     
  19. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Our Downtown Adventure

    OK, sorry for keeping you all in suspense.

    We decided to drive up the Strip to the D since we hadn’t made it north of Excalibur the entire time we were at Mandalay Bay. Once at the D we pulled into valet and were immediately greeted by a friendly valet parker who called over a bellman. The bellman showed us where the registration desk was and took our bags, telling us that we could either call down from the room and he’d bring them up or we could come back to the desk and he’d come up with us.

    We checked in and were assigned a room on the 21st floor. We went back over to the bell desk and there was a different bellman there and he was not very friendly. He insisted that he could not follow us to our room because they were not allowed on the elevators with luggage. We offered to at least walk him to the service elevator and he got sort of agitated and he said he couldn’t do that either. My paranoid husband started to suspect that something had happened to our bags in the 15 minutes we had left them there. Finally he showed us our bags so we knew they didn’t lose them and we left to find our room.

    The room was about what I expected. A/C in the wall under the window with settings that seemed to be mislabeled – should have been “OFF”, “FREEZING” and “LOL”. Surprisingly decent bathroom products – Bath & Body Works. A small-ish TV, desk, one chair and a bed. The bellman shortly arrived with our luggage, which was unmolested.

    Suddenly our plans to shower and nap were foiled by our excitement at exploring a new area of Las Vegas that we were completely unfamiliar with! We headed down to grab some beers for later and get the lay of the land. First we went to Walgreens to grab beer and … they don’t sell beer! They recommended a gift shop across from The D or the ABC store further down. We walked down to the ABC store, gawking at the sights, sounds and …smells. We saw a creepy Elmo but not too many other characters I recognized – mostly fat guys in drag, large ladies with pasties and homeless people. Lots of very aggressive sales people, too. I think I prefer creepy Elmo to a salesperson jumping in my face and almost not letting me pass. We found that in the Strip casinos a little white lie – “I’M LOCAL” got rid of the time share people and when the sales guys on Fremont come up and yell “WHERE YOU FROM?” the same answer suffices to get them out of your face. Some bands were setting up and there was one street performer we kind of liked – a kid rapping while his friend aggressively danced around. Some of the other … talents … we didn’t find quite as amusing.

    We walked down to the ABC store and bought our cans of beer, which had to be placed in plastic bags with security tags so we didn’t drink them on the street. I was happy with the prices, though. We ain’t on the Strip!

    We returned to our room after our quick tour so we could shower and change for the night. We decided on Pizza Rock since we’d heard so much about it. It’s kind of funny – I had been warned that it’s “not on Fremont Street” and so I assumed it was far away – the same way if you say something is “not on the Strip” you probably need a car to get to it. But no, it’s right there one block away.

    We had a very weird experience at Pizza Rock. Our waiter seemed annoyed with us (we would figure out why later) and when we ordered two bottled beers (great beer selection!) we were handed the bottles and two glasses which each had about a teaspoon of water in the bottom. I politely called the waiter over to tell him we needed some new glasses and he told me it’s NORMAL – that they use a “nitrous pour” to chill the glasses. I said yes, I understand what that is and yes it can leave a bit of water in the bottom of the glass (which in any case should not be served to the customer that way) – but these glasses are not chilled. In fact they are warm. They probably just came out of the dishwasher. He was really annoyed but came back with “new glasses” which I think were the same ones – maybe he used a dirty rag to clean them out, who knows?

    After we ordered, we were giggling and joking about the waiter because he just seemed so out of it … like he was going on vacation the next day or something. Then he came over with another waiter, told us he was off for the night and this new guy would help us. Now we understood. He just wanted to go home.

    But then about 10 minutes later the waiter, now in his street clothes, sat down less than two feet away from us at the bar with his friends (who had definitely heard everything we said since they were sitting there from the beginning) and started drinking. Now, I don’t own the place but I think it’s a little awkward to not only let your employees drink at the bar but to let them drink right next to the customers they were just serving.

    The pizza was good and there was way too much for two people. I was annoyed because we didn’t have a fridge for leftovers and then my husband pointed out that there were tons of homeless people outside who might want it. So we took it to go.

    We walked outside and poked around the block – Hogs & Heifers was rocking but we were dressed more casual Friday than rock n roll so we decided against it. We walked back toward Fremont street and approached a homeless guy in a wheelchair and offered him our leftover pizza. He pointed to a bag next to him and said he already had some food but there was a guy across the street who was hungry. We found the guy he meant and gave him our pizza.

    To be continued!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  20. Sam610

    Sam610 Tourist

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    I've been enjoying this TR - looking forward to the next instalment! :)
     
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