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My Boring Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Jimbo338, Mar 12, 2014.

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  1. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    I don't read trip reports too much anymore due to the volume of posts on VMB. Nice thing about them is the tips you gain that are often in the report kind of off the cuff. I wrote a few when I first started my annual journey but I don't think my trips are very exciting to anyone else. I go to a trade show, I like to take in a show or two and I like to explore. The rest of the year, I make notes from things I read here and put them in a folder, always planning the next trip. I don't over plan because I like to be flexible but if you do have a few things planned you tend to get more done.

    I start my planning in ernest when SWA extends their reservation system far enough to cover both legs of my trip. When SWA came into our Manchester NH airport the prices dropped and choices increased. They even added one non-stop flight a day. Then they moved into Logan in Boston. The number of flights in NH dropped, and the non-stop was eliminated. I always check flights from Boston, both Jet Blue and SWA but so far none was cheap enough or convenient enough to outweigh the inconvenience of driving, being driven or busing there after time, effort and cost are considered. This year a bus from out capital city made almost hourly runs to the airport allowing me to park for free at the bus station and ride to the airport for $4.00. I thought it was a great idea and initially booked to coincide with the bus schedule. It didn't last as initiated so that fell through. Since SWA no longer has a deal like it did on fuel there haven't been nationwide internet sales for a few years.....just some little ones that often end up going down for some and up for others but I have observed here that they come out and in a week or so drop done a bit for one time or another, one leg or another so like others here I book each leg of my trip separately. SWA prices have increased but they still do not charge for changing flights, days or times. They also do not charge for baggage which still makes them cheaper than most. With a lack of sales, I pay more attention to which days I fly and what times I choose. Normally I prefer a 6am flight for instance which gets me into LV before noon and a full day. Evening flights are cheaper but you are there just hours and have to pay for the hotel.

    I chose flying out later in the day and returning earlier in the day neither of which I usually do. I didn't think I would be able to get a better price ($258) but I thought I might get better times as prices fluctuate. Truth is that I could have but didn't have time to rebook in the short period of time that better times were offered at close to the same price that I paid. I got to the airport, checked my suitcase at the curb and went up to go through security. I always ask how they want my DVD player and/or laptop displayed. He looked at my boarding pass and said I was a "Pre-screen". I ha no clue what that was or why but I guess they choose what they consider "safe" people at random, I had to put my wallet and pen in the basket and walked in. WOW, was that nice. I read the info on applying and it amounts to filling out a bio, bringing a license or passport and driving to a center (Portsmouth for me in NH,,,about an hour) and paying $85.00. If I flew more, I'd do it in a heartbeat! might just do it anyway.......a Christmas present to myself.

    Now that I'm inside, I bought one of the inside security golden Cokes.....a 1.29 bottle of pop inflates to 2.99 (3.39 in LV)! I had a EBCI boarding pass A29 and since the plane came in from somewhere else I figured all hopes of an Exit seat were dead. In line the guy in front of me had purchased his ticket weeks ahead of me without EBCI. I asked if he had it and he replied no, but he is a frequent flyer. This happened on the return as well so I guess it is not when you purchase the original ticket (July 2013 for a 2-2014flight, but when you book, cost of ticket and frequency of flights. they did offer an upgrade for $40. As we boarded, there actually was one Exit seat but in the middle. Since I was only flying for 2 -1/4hours I took an aisle seat. it was a new 737-800, gorgeous, new and clean with 2 johns in the rear. These planes have 6 exit seats, plus the oddball seat in back of it with no seat in front of it.,,,so 8 in all. The plane seemed quieter and smoother for some reason. We hit turbulence a good part of the way.....nothing scary but kind of annoying. I switched planes in Chicago, and had A19. When passengers got off and they started boarding I walked to the Exit seats and they were ALL empty so I grabbed the aisle Exit seat and had a great flight to LV. The plane was empty and when we left it was less than half filled. I watched 2 movies in my DVD player and I was near time to land. I stopped to use the men's room and walked to the baggage carousel and waited 40 minutes. I thought this was unusual cause usually walk there and only need to wait 5 or 10 minutes. I went to the SWA office and there were so few passegers that everyone grabbed their bags and mine was left and they locked it up. I was to take a shuttle to the RIO where the trade show was to be held and stay that night with a friend who I was working with the next day. I grabbed a shuttle one way for 9.50....a bit more than the last shuttle I rode and was about the last one dropped off. Normally I wouldn't care but I had slept 2 hours the night before and got to the Rio after midnight. We had to be up at about 5 to have breakfast with the boss, then set up 2 booths. The Rio was clean, quiet and comfortable and I was happy to see what the rooms were like but I do prefer smaller hotels for some reason. I slept well.

    Next day we did the morning ritual and met to have breakfast and the breakfast place was closed and asked several employees where we could have breakfast, they told us Starbucks. Bummer, I was starving and dying for the standard bacon and eggs thing. we ended up with coffee, cinnamon bun, and OJ and the 4 of us must have been $65. THEN we walk right by Hash a go go enroute to the show floor! At lunch we were all straved so we went there to eat. I wasn't impressed. First I hate restaurants that have to have fancy,often foreigh names for every dish. I don't find it exciting or exotic, I find it annoying. If it's a freakin meatloaf sandwich, call it a freakin meat loaf sandwich! In order to get a steak I had to offer steak and eggs. You get a huge serving of potatoes which was ok cause I love potatoes and I was starved. The steak was ok as were the eggs and toast. Mine was $17.95, about $10 more than most of americans would pay for the same thing at your favorite diner.

    We finished early......about 2:30pm and rested a bit and they drove me downtown and I checked in at the El Cortez. Check in was pleasant. I had booked through Travelocity and everything was fine. There was no resort fee since I booked before it was instituted. I got a mountain view as I had requested and my room had a fridge ( I have one med that needs to be kept cool). The room was clean but I noted that the rooms are getting a bit worn, same thing last year (7th flool last year; 9th floor this time). I had booked 3 times with Travelocity ending with a price of $278 for 7 nights. I thought something was missing in the room. They eliminated a chair that was usually near the door. They put the fridge near the bureau and unplugged the light and put it over near the coffee table. I moved the fridge near the love seat, put the light back on the bureau. they have all those curly flo lights in the lamps. Must be the 13Watt ones that give off the same as a 40 watt incandescent bulb. You had to have all the lights on in the room for decent lighting IMHO unless it was daytime and you open the curtain.

    I opened my laptop on the desk and looked for wifi and there was el cortez, and it worked withut asking for 11.99 . I was afraid they were going to charge me the resort fee since the wifi was free so I called the desk. The guy said no that it was on everywhere now so it wouldn't cost me anything. I had to put $ 120.00 on my debit card for security as I did last year and it was credited 2 days after I checked as it was last year as well. Enough of this bordom. I'll do part two if I read this later and don't fall asleep.

    Jimbo338
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thanks for posting!
    The SWA and baggage claim is really strange. We always stop at the bathrooms after we get off the flight. McCarren has one of the fastest luggage deliveries of any airport we have been to, but the luggage has never beat us after a bathroom stop. And why would they grab it? Unless you read a novel while in the bathroom.:evillaugh
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  3. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    As a matter of fact I spend as little time as possible in publc rest rooms esp when not standing up! As I said there were very few people on the plane so not much luggage and the only flight I can remember with unused exit seats!!!

    Jimbo338
     
  4. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Enjoyed reading part one.

    Our luggage got locked up one time, we had stopped for a drink after getting off the plane.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  5. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    love the detail jimbo....waiting for the next installment
     
  6. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Enjoying the report. We love MHT but due to prices and no nonstops we have switched over to BDL... being in north central mass bdl is about 15 mins longer of a ride. We noticed the decrease in flights from MHT also...the husband doesn't like the drive to BDL but that is what we are stuck with for now. Looking forward to reading more.
     
  7. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Keep in coming Jimbo. I enjoy the detailed accounts, and your penchant for frugality.
     
  8. Rumdranker

    Rumdranker Low-Roller

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    Come on Jimbo, let's get to part duex. Good detail's, the work is done so break out the fun.

    I've been too slow getting to my bags too. I like to move at my own pace.

    When you pay for early bird checkin, does it cover connectioning flights too? My knees love the exit row, and so does the guy who wants to let his seat back.
     
  9. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    duex? Parle tu, francais? Good god, I took me a month to get part I done! Yeah work is done.....hardly anything left, I lead a pretty boring life! As for my pace, I have just 2 speeds......slow.....and off. When you have Early Bird Check In, you receive both boarding passes when you check in. You can print them then, or when you get to the airport. I generally print mine at home and in LV for the return, I have the front desk print them out for me but there are Kiosks all over the airport and also at the Convention Center where yu can print them out for free as well.

    Jimbo338
     
  10. Rumdranker

    Rumdranker Low-Roller

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    Je ne' parle pas francais. I can read it a little bit after years of study. Thanks for the info.
     
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yeah I read French way better than speaking it. Bleh.

    And as I learned last month, detailed tr's are a lot of work!
     
  12. emmada

    emmada Tourist

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    Je peux vous traduire le Trip report en français.
     
  13. Canuckgem

    Canuckgem Tourist

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    I'm enjoying your "boring" trip report and looking forward to the completion of it. How do you remember all the details? My Vegas vacations tend to be a bit of a blur (and no, I don't drink....perhaps I should?)
     
  14. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I should write my trip reports at the airport waiting, then I'd really remember the details! Easy to remember is when vendors have their way with me with inflated special tourist prices. For instance, I ought a can of cocktail peanuts (Planters) at the supermarket to take with me on the trip. Cost was 2.99. I noticed when I went into Walgreens downtown, they had marked it up just a tadd to take advantage of las toristas........8.99! Pack your own peanuts folks!

    Actually, I pack some munchies for the trip, an when I check into my hotel and unpack I usually take a bus down to Sahara Drive and go east a stop or two and I think it is Marilyn Pkwy there is an Albertsons and Smiths. I generally go to Smith's and buy milk, juice some fruit and cookies etc. at normal people prices and I'm all set for the week. Downtown the ABC stores aren't too bad and there is a dollar store on Fremont East about half way to the El Cortez from LV Blvd. I buy my Coke there in 2 liter bottles. I generally drink water with my meals, or milk.

    Jimbo338
     
  15. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    My Boring Trip Report Continued

    Due to the success of my first Boring Trip Report I decided to try and outdue myself. I managed to put 14,000 of our 16,000 members to sleep. I can do better I thought. I just wrote a long reply to one of the posts about my first report and I hit something and it just disappeared. I guess I need to save my masterpieces once in awhile. Don't you just hate when that happens?

    Well, normally when I get to the hotel I unpack and head for the supermarket to stock up the room for a week, juice, milk, cookies, chips, fruit. I usally head down the strip to sahara and bus to Marilyn Pkwy where there is both a Albertson's and Smith's. I have found Smith's to be cheaper so I go there and even have my little member card. Downtown, I don't buy too much usually but the ABC stores aren't too bad and there is a dollar store between LV Blvd, and El Cortez. I buy Coke there in 2 liter bottles.

    This time I had slept for only 2 hours the night before my flight arriving at the Rio after midnight and getting a bit less than 5 hours sleep before working to set up a double booth at the trade show with friends from California. They dropped me off to check in and we went out to eat later at an Italian Restaurant chain that serves things family style in bowls. I can never remember the name but I noticed that there is one adjacent to the food court at the Excalibur. As usual it was delicious. They dropped me off and I was pooped. I was pretty stuffed up and was hoping that I wasn't going to have a miserable cold during my week's vacation. I felt lousy for a couple of days and didn't venture too far from the hotel (wanted to be close to the toilet, if you get my drift. I needed the down time anyway. The room seemed different. There was a chair missing. and a light was misplaced. I moved the fridge to the sliding glass doors, put the light at the end of the chest of drawers and plugged it in. I must remember to brink a couple of reg bulbs next year. They have those little cirly que flo tubes all over, you know the 13 watt babies that are supposed to be equivilant to 40 watts. Trouble is yu have to have every light on in the room after dark to see! The room had twin queens, and was clean. I did check for bedbugs and all was OK. The furnishings are getting a bit worn. I was on the 7th floor last year and noticed it; it doesn't get better as you go up. I was on the 9th floor this year. I usually ask for an extra blanket and didn't this time for some reason. It was a little cool. The next day I found that the heat works. My first year in the towers, the ac was on but when it got chilly the heat didn't work. I called the desk and the maintenance guy said they just swithed the rooms over to ac. He was going to switch it back but I figured if I had to have just one I'd stay with the AC. I assumed they were all that way but when I tried this year both worked, yu just had to switch to ac or heat on the thermostat.

    I had a good night sleep and went down to the Cortez café and had Bacon and eggs. As usual it was great. I love their hash browns and everything is as ordered and all hot, even the toast. I don't keep a diary or notes so I want to comment on things but they won't necessarily be in correct chronological order, not that it matters. As I mentioned, I stayed pretty close to the hotel room for a couple of days, opting for some walks to FSE and Fremont East. The BEAT was still on the corner. I used to go there for coffee and to use the wifi but with wifi in the room that wasn't necessary. Wifi in the room was slow but for free, that's ok.

    I took a walk down Ogden street. The high rise condos opposite the EC has a restaurant or club or something in it. It has no signs or lights and don't know if it just opened or there is a restriction about that in the high rise or perhaps it is a private thing. I meant to ask someone but never did. The Gold Spike is kind of funny. There's a sign as you approach, "We're Open.....kinda!" On the other side there's a sign, that if if you're knocking and no one is answering, it's cause you're at the wrong door......with an arrow to the main entrance. There is a fence up and they are building something new befor eth GS in front of the 7-11. THe downtown Grand looks great, with Pizza Rock and Georges the street looks like a main street, withlots of pedestrian traffic as well as parking. It doesn't resemble the dark and shady place that Ogden did years ago. With new restaurants and container park, parking places are full and they have a system where you buy a ticket and place it on yur dash.....gone are the old meters of our day. I took a walk through the Downtown Grand. It was new and clean; I was hoping for a diner like the Gold Spike or Bay City Diner like the old GG. Pizza Rock looked good and was packed. It is good to see the places busy again.

    The zip line was not running and the hugh towers at either end of Fremont St. Ext. look like ugly warts on a super model's face. It's like yu spend millions to get people to the FSE and then put up a hugh baracade to make they squeeze by uncomfortably. I saw fewer beggars and fewer fat and funny looking Elvis' and others than last year, thank goodness. Downtown was packed and was quite orderly and it was good to see business picking up. I did make a walk through one night (morning) and a hooker walked and said, "Wanna have some fun with me tonight?" I answered that I didn't think so! She laughed at me and walked away. I guess business isn't good for everyone!

    I checked online before heading out to LV to see if I could get tickets to see the Scintas. I saw their act on my 3rd trip to LV at the Rio with my son, Matt. I thought they had a great show and saw them a few years later at the Hilton. They redid their show and I liked it as much. The D website had them playing the day before I was to arrive and no again til the day that I was leaving. Then I guess they added some days and I bought a ticket at TIX4TONITE. Their sister Chrisse, had problems with her vocal chords and could not do 5 shows a week. They are from Buffalo, NY 2 brothers and a sister and the drummer was an "adopted" bro that was always at their home growning up. they found a singer in LV who was also from Buffalo originally and she took Chrisse's place.

    The show was good but just good. The singer while probably a better singer than Chrisse, came on about 4 times and did a couple of songs. The brothers struggled to make the show work but the chemistry just was not there. I guess if you had never seen the before you would probably like the show. If you went back, you'd be disappointed as I was. I won't see them again. On the other hand, I took my confirmation from Goldstarevents and went to the Luxor to get my ticket to see Carrot Top . I got a front row seat and he is great. He has a clever and funny film as you enter and are seated. Then he has a warm up comic come on for about 20 minutes. I don't remember his name and he was just OK. Then Carrot Top came on and never stopped. Talk about non-stop jokes, laughs etc.....he's really good. He is current, incorporates current events, play off the audience.....just a great show that will never be the same 2 times in a row. It was fun, entertaining, and a good value for the admission. It is a small theater with all good seats and he is in and out of the audience. I'd return again.

    I wake up early and so I headed down to the 24 café whih was closed for cleaning. Damn, I was hungry! So out the door I went to the Gold Spike. I entered the front door and the bartender was cleaning up, it was dark and there were a few patrons. I didn't see the restaurant. Is the restaurant open I asked? Yeah, keep going he answered, "find a chair and sit down, they'll take care of you!" A few more steps, and I could see it. I was alone in the plade with the cook. You open" I asked? Always open. He was cordial funny and it was like I was one of the employees. Workers came in and out like one big family. I had my breakfast and a million laughs as the morning crew came in and took over.

    I did enjoy the prime rib at the California, and returned for the strip or T-bone steak with the salad bar. They always do a good business. The steak at the EC Café was good as well. I didn't spend a lot of time at my trade show. I have been having problems with my back, and walking aggravates it. I think I am too fat. the more the stomach goes out the more you compensates by leaning back and it puts strain on your back. I have always enjoyed walking and hiking so I guess I need to do more exercise and drop some weight if I want to continue walking. Well, I have run out of time before I ran out of trivia so I need to go out for coffee. You can wake up now. The last part, if there is one will be short.
     
  16. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    I always find the details of your reports very useful. They are focused on downtown where I had spent most of my time. I was sorry to hear about the Scintas. I did like them. I was born and raised in Buffalo, but on the East side. My Mom was raised on West side near where they were raised. Perhaps her vocal chords will recover.
     
  17. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Not boring at all; I'm enjoying your TR. I saw the Scintas years ago when they were a lounge act in Vegas. I didn't realize they were from Buffalo and noticed a few years ago on a billboard in Buffalo that they were playing there....that explains it. I've seen Carrot Top three times using Goldstar for tickets and no two shows have been the same. Excellent show!
     
  18. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Loved the report and love the updates from downtown. I couldn't stay there during my last trip, had only one night downtown, but I love staying and playing on (or near) FS.

    How was the steak (and did you pick a Strip or T Bone)? Love the salad bar at their diner, but never tried their steak before (would if I knew it would be good).

    I saw Carrot Top over 20 years ago when he was first starting outat a 100 seat club (if that) and I remember he gave a great show. I should make plans to see him again next trip in.

    Looking forward to your October trip report!
     
  19. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I believe I had a T-Bone at the California. It comes with the salad bar but not cherry jubilee. Last year I tried it for the first time; I was getting sick of prime rib and I enjoyed it. This years was not as good and I decided to stick with the rib and go elsewhere for T-Bones. I did the strip steam at Café El Cortez and it was very good. I did want to try their Chinese food but didn[t wan to be disappointed if it wasn[t good with all the Chinese restaurants available. Anyone tried the Chinese cuisine at el Cortez?

    Jimbo338
     
  20. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    I'm enjoying your report Jimbo. No sleeping going on here!

    This has happened way too often to me. It always seems to happen just when you're finished a long trip report too. :cry:

    It's probably too late for you now but there is a way to get it back. Open a new tab and (while your cursor is on the new tab) right click on your mouse. Click on "undo close tab" and it should restore your last page. If you keep opening new tabs and repeat the process, it will keep going back in your history and restore many previous pages. You may still be able to recover it if you open enough new tabs.
     
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