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My 13th Vegas Trip: Planning, Prelude, TR

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by billduhcat, Aug 14, 2012.

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  1. billduhcat

    billduhcat Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    24

    My Trip Report

    About 7.5 days until my 13th Vegas vacation begins. It's been hectic at work this summer, and I'm definitely in need of a break.

    Planning:
    After my trip to LV in March, I had a strong desire to go back later this year. My March trip was with my wife and we had a wonderful time, but I didn't get a chance to visit downtown, play more than a few hours of poker, or do some more extensive casino touring. I very much enjoyed my solo trip to Vegas last year for a convention, and wanted to do another solo trip this year.

    After receiving spousal approval :peace:, I booked the following:
    Wednesday = fly, 1 night @ M Resort
    Thursday-Friday = 2 nights @ Vdara
    Saturday = fly home.

    re: M Resort
    I've heard really good things about this place, and figured it would be fun to explore and stay at an off-strip casino for a night. I'm looking forward to the buffet, and the 32 deg. bar.

    re: Vdara
    We stayed here in March, and thought it was fantastic. Great location, really nice room (corner suite), but still relaxing due to the lack of a casino.

    My tentative plan:
    Thursday @ M resort for video poker, some baseball betting, and some relaxing by the pool after my flight.

    Wednesday @ Vdara to stay, up to the Venetian/Palazzo complex for dinner, and then to downtown for fun that night.

    Thursday @ Vdara, and visiting various casinos on the strip. I'll hopefully fit in the afternoon poker tournament @ Caesars or Aria.

    Prelude
    Last week, the company I work for was selected to evaluate the IT systems of a business in Vegas, and my boss assigned me to the project. A coworker and I flew out Tuesday afternoon, worked Wednesday, and flew back on the red-eye Wedneday night/thursday morning.

    We stayed at the JW Mariott in Summerlin. The room and hotel was nice enough, but not really up to the standard of other JW's that I've stayed at (Oahu, Washington DC). It was close to our client's location, so it fit the bill for one night.

    We ate a late dinner at the Irish pub/restaurant @ the JW Mariott. My rating was "meh." The food was ok, but it was pretty empty at 8pm-ish on a Tuesday night.

    Although I had to work Tuesday night, I broke away for 45 minutes for some video poker. I hit 4OAK on the triple-play machine winning 1600 nickles, and putting me up a grand total of $28 for the night. I figured that was a good stopping point and omen for my trip in 2 weeks.

    After finishing work Wednesday, we headed to Red Rock to use their wi-fi, and work for a few hours before dinner. I'd never been to Red Rock, and was pretty impressed by the place. It was pretty crowded, and there seemed to be a fair amount of families w/ children out and about.

    At around 6pm-ish we headed to the Strip to have dinner at Jaleo @ Cosmoplitan. I still think Julian Serrano @ Aria is a bit better, but we very much enjoyed our meal at Jaleo. Service was outstanding, and the whole experience made for a nice way to spend the remaining few hours in Vegas before our plane ride home.

    Made it to the airport about 3 hours before our 11:30pm flight home. We hung out in the United lounge until our flight was scheduled to board (it's going to be hard giving this perk up when I stop traveling regularly).

    We make it down to the gate, and find out that the captain declined to fly this plane, resulting in a 2 hour wait for a plane inbound from SFO to replace our "downed" aircraft. I was pretty tired by the time we finally left LAS, and completely dead by the time we got back home at around 6am-ish.

    Next Steps:
    As I wrote above, my vacation begins in about 7.5 days. While I don't have quite the level of talent or Vegas expertise as other posters on this board, I'll try to post semi-live trip reports.
     
    Big Game 2017 == Vegas XXVI
  2. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Hannibal Mo
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Hey! This is a great start, can't wait to read about the REAL trip!

    I understand what you mean....I was in LV for 8 nights with the family and just returned 2 weeks ago. Fantastic trip, memorable for the whole family. But I leave in 3 days to head back to LV for a girlfriends bday, staying for 5 nights and I cannot wait! LV is my 'no responsiblity' place, but it wasn't like that on the family trip. I'm ready for an adult trip! My gfriend and I are both really independant, so we don't hang around all day, so it's like the best of both worlds...solo trip + BFF trip.

    I know you are counting the days, right down to the decimal point! Have a great time and keep us updated!
     
  3. billduhcat

    billduhcat Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    24
    Day 1

    Trip report day 1
    Going to clean this up a bit later, as I'm typing on my iPad.

    My flight to LAS left and arrived on time. Flew 1st class on American using FF points. Plane was an MD-80, so not the biggest 1st class cabin, but the extra room and in flight meal was certainly nice.

    On the approach to las, we went through more weather than I had seen outside of Vegas before. After we landed, we sat just short of the gate, waiting for the ground crew to get released from their lightening hold. Sat on the Tarmac for almost 30 minutes.

    Finally got to the gate and exited the plane. The gate area was pretty full, you could tell that everything was delayed due to the weather.

    Waited about 45 minutes for the 1230 shuttle to the m resort, wondering (due to the continuing rain) if we had landed in the right city :).

    Arrived at the m resort, got checked in immediately. The desk agent upgraded me to an "executive room" which is supposedly larger than a standard room. Same view as what I booked, however, so just a lovely view of the desert.

    Dropped my stuff off in the room, and headed to the buffet for a late lunch. My rating: "good, but not as good as Bellagio". Had about 8 different dishes, and the desserts were great!

    Made some baseball bets, did a self guided tour of the hotel, and then headed up to the room to relax for a bit. Bed is nice, tv is nice, a/c is effective and quiet. Overall I'm very impressed by the accommodations.

    Relaxed for a few hours and then headed downstairs for some video poker at their 32 degrees bar. Quite a few beers on tap, good views of the tvs in the sports book, and not too bad pay tables. I was slightly underwhelmed by the beer selection, but that's my inner beer nurd talking. Played for about 2 hours, and service was excellent. Headed back to the room to chill for a while before going to dinner. The rain has stopped and the sun come out, so I'm hoping for some nice strip views when I go downstairs for dinner in a bit.

    ...
    Had a light-ish dinner at the burgers and brews restaurant, sliders and fries. Food was good, and I love the space the restaurant is in.

    Did another video poker session after dinner, and watched some baseball in the bar. Finally quit and went back upstairs at around 10pm.
     
    Big Game 2017 == Vegas XXVI
  4. billduhcat

    billduhcat Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    TR: day 2 part 1

    Trip report day 2, part 1
    Slept fitfully throughout the night, hopefully will get a nap in later today.

    Out of bed at around 545 am (I'm still on central time). Was puttering around the room when the hotel's power went out. I usually have a few flashlights with me, we'll see if I need to use them to shower. I'd love to go see and take pictures of the casino with the power off, but I don't think I'd be able to get back in my room with the electric door locks off :cry:

    Went back to bed, power came back on at around 8am. Slept until around 930, then went downstairs for breakfast and wifi at the baby cakes bakery/cafe. Had an awesome apple pastry, but the free wifi wasn't working. Back upstairs after that, showered and out the door to taxi to Vdara.

    Overall I was impressed by M resort. The room was very nice, the restaurants and common areas spectacular, and the casino very fun. I was hoping to find some$5 blackjack tables, but no luck there. The VP bar was great though, and the sports book is pretty impressive.

    I think it makes sense to stay there if its the first or last day of your trip. If you dont have a car, it can get pretty expensive to stay there and see other Vegas sights, as the shuttle bus only runs a few times a day.
     
    Big Game 2017 == Vegas XXVI
  5. billduhcat

    billduhcat Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chicagoland
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    Day 2, part 2

    Trip report day 2, part 2

    Made it to Vdara at around 1130. Quite the interesting crowd in the lobby, a combo of business travelers and a group of young kids dressed so differently that I have no idea how to describe them. I assume they were from CA, other than that, I could not figure out what their fashion sense represented. Maybe some California/Asian fusion thing that only someone from the west coast could understand.

    My room wasn't ready when I checked in, so over to the Bellagio buffet for lunch. Bellagio buffet = still the best = end of story.

    Many many Asian tourists at the Bellagio.

    My Vdara room opened up while I was eating, so I headed back there. My wife and I stayed in a corner suite earlier in the year and loved it. Just a regular deluxe suite for me this time, but I think it's as nice as its larger cousin, just smaller. Decent-ish view of Aria and the back side of the south strip hotels.

    After chilling out, I did some casino touring, walking through aria, Monte Carlo, nyny, excal, Luxor, and Mandalay. Some thoughts:
    --too many kids on the south strip, happy I'm not staying there
    --Aria sports book looks nice, hopefully they'll have the Bears game on tomorrow
    --if Aria isn't showing the game, I'll head to the pub @ monte Carlo
    --excal and Mandalay were pretty crowded for a Thursday afternoon, Luxor seemed less so
    --surprised by the number of new (to me) shops in the Mandalay place mall

    Tonight I'm off to public house @ Venetian for dinner, and then to Fremont street for fun.:beer:
     
    Big Game 2017 == Vegas XXVI
  6. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

    Joined:
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    Many asian tourists at Bellagio! Unheard of :faint:
     
  7. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Captain refused to fly??

    Is United having problems with the Pilot Union or does this actually mean something about the safety of UAL planes?

    Enjoy your next trip
     
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