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My First TR in years; Part 2

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Jimbo338, Apr 8, 2008.

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  1. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Laconia, NH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    I must admit that over the years I haven't read a lot of Trip Reports. I tend to read more specific posts. However, when people post here, there are a lot of little tips or hints that come up nowhere else.....good ideas for planning, packing, prices, etc. Thank you for some positive comments and I will kind of make some comments and not necessarily go in chronological order here.

    I decided to walk to Kady's Coffee Shop at the Riviera. It always seems busy. They have a counter and I am a counter person normally but they have a counter and after several meals there......I really don't think anyone works there! No one seems to stay there, fill up your coffee, and ask you how your meal is. If you wait long enough someone who appartently has nothing else to do will wait on you and eventually will leave a bill....with little service or contact inbetween. So when I made it to the hostess at Kady's she asked if the counter was OK. I responded that it wasn't, and I was seated. The service there was good and the food was fine. I had a couple of eggs, coffee, hash browns and toast. Price was 11.30 plus tip. This is more than double the price at local diners and in a town that offers prime rib at 6.95 seems a bit high. Actually, there are lots of breakfast lunch places around cause breakfast is a real money maker. Actually I'd prefer coffee and a couple of donuts but the media has made me feel guilty. I always go for coffee but at home often cook a couple of eggs, have a bowl of cereal or an english. I love my potatoes though so once or twice a week do the eggs, potato and toast thing. Well, it was good anyway.

    Iwalked to the TIX4Tonight trailer passed the Riviera where La Concha used to be (BTW, they were just removing the old neon sign as I was walking). TIX4Tonight has always been much more accomodating than the other ticket places so I always go there. Their selection was good, I thought. They now have half price meal deals but I really don't care about that. My first ticket was for the Tribute to Country Music Stars at the Fitz. They issue the actual tickets and the seating is first come, first serve. I am really shocked that in a state so far west and considering the popularity of country music, there is little in LV that is country. My first or 2nd trip to LV included a country review at the old Alladin. It was voted best show in LV for several years and was a great show. When they imploded the Alladin, I guess they moved to the Saraha for several months and then disbanded. Then, aside from concerts from headliners, and occasional lounge acts, there was little aside from "Buck Wild" which I was going to see in it's 2nd year but it had folded before I got there.

    Well the ticket with service fee was $20. The theater is small and intimate, and the show was good, somewhere between a lounge act and a real good country review. I read that you could hardly tell it wasn't the real Brooks and Dunn performing..................I didn't agree at all......but it was a good show and felt it was worth the ticket price (but not if I had to pay $40).

    My daughter "borrowed" my suitcase to go to England where she studied 2 years ago and British Airways had it way with it. The handle on top is missing, and the handle that telescopes out.....doesn't so I thought I'd buy a new one last year. I wasn't in LV long enough so this year I had it on my list. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one that suited me and prices were not any better than NH where there is no sales tax. Also on my list was a spring jacket. I found one with "Las Vegas" stitched on it tastefully (I dislike being a billboard). After looking at many places I found it just south of Cathedral Drive in one of the little shops there. They had a good selection of sizes and colors and I bought a shirt for my wife as well. Later I found a great selection of winter, and spring coats as well as t-shirts and sweatshirts just south of the Harley Davidson Cafe at that little store with the internet cafe (a Hawaiian theme). While downtown I found the best prices for shirts, warmups and jackets, etc. at a little tent in the middle of the FSE. I bought a real nice sweatshirt for wifey here.

    I tried the Denny's near Walgrens at the corner of LV Blvd and Convention Center Drive. I had the same thing as before, a couple of eggs, potatoes, toast, coffee and bacon. Food was good, service was good and price was ten bucks. I headed to TIX4Tonight again and bought a ticket to see the Scintas new show at the LV Hilton. I went to get my tickets early but seating is general admission so it didn't matter. I arrived early and really had my choice of seats when I entered. I sat back 6 or 7 rows. It was comfortable and cozy there and the 2 Scintas brothers were walking around working the crowd.....nice touch. They introduced themselves to folks and asked where they were from. I told them I had seen their show at the Rio and they said I'd love this one......and they were right. They have added a piano player, a base and guitar player and all play several intruments. Chrisy walsed in sipping some green tea.....bad throat. The show started promptly and went non-stop with impressions, singing and comedy. It is a class act and full of talent. It was fun and as enjoyable as the first time, perhaps more.

    I tried the steak special at Ellis Island again. I have enjoyed it for years. This year was no exception. The price is 6.95 now but includes either a glass of their homemade root beer or their microbrewed beer. I am not a beer drinker so I had the root beer which I have had before; it is delicious. I was surprised that the 2 for 1 or 50% off excludes the steak special.....it is only for MENU ITEMS. Not a problem though since they have many great menu items and all are reasonable. I ate there later in the week and had their cod dinner. It was just OK (I'm from the east and am used to fresh haddock).

    I ventured down to Terrible's one day to use my coupon for a t-shirt. They; had to re-issue my players card so I ended up with 2 T-shirs and I had their buffet with a half price coupon. It was OK, nothing fancy, not lots of choices but good. I guess I have buffeted myself out. I always enjoyed them because I am a salad person and love to make a big salad and go back for a 2nd. I used to hit them all. This year, I think it was just Terrible's and LV Hilton when I was attending my trade show at the LVCC. I made a trip to the Rio to see the Mascarade in the Sky show but the list I had downloaded had the shows starting at 3 or 4 or something like that and their first show wasn't until 6. I figured I'd come back later in the week and see it , then either go to the Gold Coast for the buffet or Montery Room for a steak dinner.....but I never did make it.

    I was thinking of seeing Mama Mia again. I didn't buy a ticket from goldstarevents cause I knew that they sell tickets at TIX4Tonight. Goldstar however allowed you to pick your seat (best available seat and you keep trying) but I decided to see Menapause The Musical at the Riviera. It was enjoyable and well done.Of course, it is not a production like Mama Mia. I returned to the Riviera to see an evening at La Cage. I was disappointed. I had talked to my brother who is a big theater buff. He told me about La Cage. It is a play about the son of a gay guy who is going out with the daughter of a prominent family. They wanted to meet his parents so the partner of the son's dad, went in drag.The two gay guys run a club with female impersonators. It is a comedy. SO that was what I was expecting.HOWEVER, this was not "La Cage"(the comedy) but "An Evening at LaCage". Instead it was just a bunch of guys dressed in drag with make-up caked on who didn't even sing......just lip synked. Well, they walked well in high heels, and Frank had lots of gowns. I have nothing against gays but this just didnt do much for me.

    In one of my trips downtown I went to see if the California was still offering their Prime Rib special. They are, after 4PM Prime rib, salad bar, and cherries jubilee. Price is now 7.25 It was very good. In the salad bar, they have a brochli salad that I remembered for previous trips there. I am not a fan of raw brochli in my salad but had tried this once and it is delicious. It also has raisins, sunflowers and a special dressing the waiter says they make themselves. I have never seen it or tasted it anywhere else. Try some if you are there.

    I had thought about the divine Miss M. She opened the day I arrived. You have to buy your tickets from Ticketmaster which drives me crazy, or at the box office. I didn't even try the box office, figuring that they would be easily sold out opening week, and were pretty pricey. I saw here on Oprah with video of her rehearsing and I wasn't thrilled though I have been a fan for years. Perhaps another trip.

    Well, my trade show started.....which, of course, was my purpose for going to LV. I ran for 4 days at the LVCC. I have been attending since 1997 and the show has grown i n numbers and in quality of seminars and exhibits. (The Awards and Recognition Association). I have an awards and engraving business. My first show was to be my only one and my first trip to LV. I learned far more than I had ever imagined and vowed that if I could learn just half as much at the seminars as the first year that it would be worth it to return. I did and I have returned every year since. I also learned the value of networking. Contacts that I have made along with the friends that I now see each year have not only been fun but have saved me thousands of dollars in business. Secondly, this makes my trip tax deductible. Not only that, but I learned what many people know....that you can save lots of $$$ buying at shows with discounts, end case pricing and other discounts. This year I purchased enough from one vendor to have my order shipped free. I figure that savings was about $150 in shipping fees and end case pricing. In addition, I purchased a new software package which was $1300 cheaper than the one I was going to buy and purchased a refurbed computer system designed to operate this software and the engravers. Savings was 50% of the cost of a new one.

    It was good to meet up with old friends, enjoy some meals with them, attend seminars, shop for new products and equipment and volunteer for some association functions. Alas, the show came to and end and this was the end of my LV trip again. I left an awards breakfast to pack. I had called the shuttle to pick me up at 12:30 and checked out just before noon. As I waited in the lobby another guest saw me and asked if I was going to the airport. I said that I was and he asked if I wanted to split a cab. I replied that I had a shuttle coming. He said that he'd take that instead and save a couple of bucks. We started talking and that made the time go by much faster. We boarded ontime and chatted until we arrived at the SWA area at the airport.

    I was worried that my suitcase might be overweight. When we got out of the shuttle I noticed that there were only about 8 people at the curbside checkin. So I checked my bag there to avoid the long wait inside. They didn't even have a scale. So I avoided the lines. I had gotten my boarding pass 24 hours in advance at a kiask at the LVCC and had A49 even though I was there exactly 24 hours before flight time. The security lines were long but kept moving slowly and I made it through without problems. I went to eat and started talking to a guy who sat at the same table. He was from CT where I was born and raised and we chatted. I went to the gate and got to board with Southwest's new boarding policy. It worked pretty well; I like it much better than having to camp out in line on the floor. I managed to get an exit seat and was much more comfortable on the trip home though my elbow and tailbone were still pretty sore.

    A friend was waiting and we were anxious to hit the road since it was snowing again. It was not to be. For some reasona it took over an hour for our luggage to come up. i have never had to wait more than 15 or 20 minutes since I have been flying SWA but they finally came up and we headed home. I hit the sack about 2:30 am; it was a long day. I had booked airline and hotel in August...to leave on Feb. 20, 2008. Just before the trip a letter arrived ordering me to report for jury duty on Feb. 19, 2008! You are allowed a one time postponement in NH so I wrote a letter and got a postponement to March 31, 2008 so I am serving now and thinking about next year........47 weeks to go!

    Jimbo338
     
  2. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Low-Roller

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    nice trip report . . . do you always go to Vegas alone? I always need a traveling buddy. How long did that Country show last at the Fitz?
     
  3. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I usually go to LV alone; wife has never flown and doesn't care to. She used the kids as an excuse until all 3 started college; now she cannot leave the house in winter. She loves watching people so I keep telling her how much fun she could have in LV. I have taken all three of my kids to LV one at a time when they were in high school.

    The country show at the Fitz lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes or so as I recall. They have an older guy that comes on and looks so much like Willy Nelson I thought it was the real thing!

    Jimbo338
     
  4. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

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    Nice TR...thanks! :D
     
  5. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Nice report. It's always good when you can incorporate business and pleasure.
     
    Back where we belong
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