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My First TR in years

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Jimbo338, Apr 3, 2008.

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  1. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2000
    Messages:
    5,497
    Location:
    Laconia, NH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20

    My Trip Report

    I really needed a vacation....and rest this year. I have a trade show near the end of february each year. Last year I booked hotel, airfare, bus pass, shows and POV and AMC, flew out and had to return the next day to be with mom. She went into heart failure and passed on at age 94 and I was able to be with her. My sincere gratitude for the fine folks at the Somerset Motor Logde, an unknown taxi driver, who rushed me to the airport in heavy traffic. I hung up the phone with SWA at 2:30pm with the hopes of catching the last flight out at 4:05.....my only chance of making it to mom's side while she was still alive. I packed, checked out of the room, hailed a cab, drove to the airport, checked my luggage, got a boarding pass, made it through security and rushed to the SWA gate in 90 minutes! I called my wife who said that she didn't think I'd make it in time. She put the phone to mom's ear and I told her I was coming home to be with her. Her eyes moved a bit and she waited. Special appreciation for the fine SECURITY staff at the Las Vegas Hilton. While I was standing in line for a sandwich my cell phone rang.......my wife. I was immediately ordered out of the hotel by security. I told them that it was my wife telling me my mother was dying, and they ordered "Get out now!"

    So I was ready for a relaxing time this year. Southwest must be needing to generate some cash flow as they opened their reservations at the end of the summer or early fall through early march and I booked my flight with the intention of attending both my awards and recognition association show and a huge gift show which usually starts the day after my show ends. I checked the dates and the next day the flight I wanted was full. Sensing something was up I checked the school schedule and found that this week was february vacation week so I figured that I'd better change my dates and book now. Once I had airfare I called for reservations and found prices outrageous and realized that in between the 2 shows, NASCAR was in town. Not willing to spend several hundred dollars to spend a day at a 2nd show,I rebooked my flight and changes the dates.

    I really wanted to try the El Cortez. I love downtown, like to eat there, and enjoy the convenience of so many places to eat, things to do etc. all within a small area. My trade show is at the LVCC but I usually leave my hotel and not return except to sleep. I always send for a 30 day bus pass and it is an easy trip to the lvcc on the 108 or the deuce to CC and walk over down Convention Center Drive. The price was right but I decided that I'd enjoy the convenience of staying at the Somerset again...a 10 minute walk to the LVCC or 5 minutes to the strip. They have a weekly rate if you book direct and so I reserved a room for 9 nights.

    I was more organized this year. I have check lists on the computer for packing, itiniary, emergency numbers etc. So I packed and is always the case whenever you leave, I got busy as crazy at work and finished a couple of trophy and signage orders at 3:30am the morning of my flight. Arriving at home I loaded the woodstove up and decided I'd crash for 30 minutes. I no sooner got into bed when the fire alarms went off, I guess a little too much smoke got out as I rekindled the flame, and the alarm scared the bejesus out of both of us and so I never got my nap. I finished packing and drove to the airport here in little NH. I always arrive 2 hours early and get through check in in about 15-20 minutes. I was about 90 minutes early and couldn't believe the line (and on a wednesday)! I spent about an hour and ten minutes in line to check in my bag and she placed a "LATE" tag on my luggage. I asked what that meant and she said that it might be too late to make it on that plane. I was concerned since I was exhausted and couldn't imagine getting to LV early (10am) and having to wait til 1:30 for my bags! Well, I had A28 for a boarding pass for a flight that originates her so i was happy........till I went up the stairs and realized that all the people in front of me in the baggage line were now trying to get through the security line......now I was down to 10-15 minutes. I proceeded to take my place and when I finally got to the x-ray machine with all my junk in the bin they asked if I had a DVD player in my carryon. Oops! so out it came and had to take it out. Then I was told I had to take it out of its case and break it down. Yipes now I am down to about 5 minutes til take off and I make it through. I had to put my shoes on, leave them unlaced, put my belt through 2 loops and just grab my stuff and run like hell to the gate. there was no one there, and the attendent asked of I was going to LV. I said I hoped to and ran down the ramp and with my A28 was the last person to board.....but at least I made it. Of course all that was left was middle seats in the rear. Of course, I had hoped for an Exit seat especially in lieu of the fact that we had an ice storm and I couldn't get to my car in the parking lot at work a couple of days earlier so opted fot the truck in the rear of the building which was closer. The granite steps were glazed over and I fell down the strairs on my elbow and tailbone sliding partially under the truck on the wet ice. I layed there long enought to determine that there didn't seem to be any broken bones but the tailbone was terribly sore and made it difficult to sit, or to lift anything. The elbow was swollen and quite sore and still is. So the middle seat was tough. I endured it as long as I could and got up to use the toilet and tie my shoes and put my belt on. The second time up I got a charlie horse which without anywhere to walk it off was both painful and comical a the same time on a plane at 37,000 feet! I watched a couple of DVD's and fortunately arrived early in LV.
    I cannot sleep on planes, and surprisingly, I felt pretty good when we arrived though I was exhausted. It felt good to walk and by the time I found the carosel the bags were already coming out and I found my luggage quickly.....it had made the plane. I walked out and bought a RT shuttle pass with the Grey Line. I always check the time I wait cause it is always brought up here in the forum. It was exactly 3.5 minutes from me handing my bad to the driver and the bus starting to roll with 1/3 capacity and it want directly to the Somerset as the 1st stop......my luck was improving. SInce check in is at 3 ( usually can get in around noon), I had planned on leaving my bags and going to get something to ear. When I got in they said that the room was ready so I was able to get in, and decided to take a nap for 3.5 hours. When I awoke, I felt great, went to have a steak at the coffee shop at the Riviera, and return to unpack and relax a bit. I now felt good, and would be tired at night and thus would be aclimated with Pacific time.

    I did some shopping at Walgrens and stocked the fridge, and I shopped for a spring jacket, some sweatshirts and shirts for my wife and stopped at Tix4TONIGHT to see what was available. I took a bus downtown to see what was new and ate dinner at the Bay city Diner at the Golden Gate. I had their 16oz. Porterhouse steak dinner and it was ok.....not as good as it sometimes is. I liked the new entrance to El Cortez and liked the entry to Fremont St. East and the new signs and pavement. The area now looks brighter, safer and more inviting. I'm sure things will improve as new businesses come in though I have always walked down and never felt uncomfortable. Ironically, I was pestered more on the strip where this year I noticed a big increase in panhandlers and drunks. Not only were their numbers up, they were rude if you ignored them, making insulting remarks......perhaps a sign of the times. Of course, the porn peddlers were out in numbers as always.......but I always figured that they were at least out working for a living. I retired early for a good nights sleep.

    In the morning I decided on having a good breakfast so I went to the Peppermill. For years it always stood there kind of non-descript. While open 24 yours it always looked dark and gloomy especially with its colors of blue and pink! Since they installed new lighting in the parking lot in front, It lookes more inviting and alive. Anyway as I sat down to order they informed me that there was no gas so the grill was not working. Hey, as long as I can have my coffee, I was ok, so I ordered an English muffin. She said that they could only sell them in pairs. That is the weirdest thing I have ever heard but I was ok with that so I ordered, and enjoyed the coffee and muffins.

    I had only purchased one ticket online before leaving for LV. I got a half price ticket for Spamalot, orchestra section for that night (thursday) from Goldstarevents.com. I had gotten tickets from them before when I saw WWRY at the Paris and they were excellent. I decided to go to the Wynn when the box office opened at 10. I took the bus down and walked up to the hotel/casino and walked around a bit. When the box office opened they had to go get the FAX; apparently Goldstarevent faxes over the list of ticket purchasers each morning in time for opening. The girl was quite pleasant and asked me if front row center orchestra was OK. I love it down front, and have been in the theater before so I said that was great. She said is an aisle seat OK, and I'm thinking I'm just doing OK so far. I know that Gregrio and many others prefer about 4 rows back but I was ok with this. Actually, it was a bit cramped in center orchestra except that I had the aisle. Orchestra B or C had legroom, center had about as much as SWA....yipes! I had seen the show in Boston but this was far superior. I guess a resident cast allows you to be more elaborate in sets, a bigger orchestra etc. and I can honestly say that I couldn't say where they cut out the 20 minutes or so to make it into a 90 minute show after eliminating an intermission. For those interested in seeing the show at WYNN.....it is a great show, I enjoyed it just as much the 2nd time (something I seldom say) and there really isn't a bad seat there. I had been in the theater soon after Wynn opended to see Avenue Q. The show was good but not great and the theater was perhaps a third full. I thought about seeing Mama Mia again but I wasn't sure if I would enjoy that as much the 2nd time....and there were several other shows that I wanted to see.

    Well, I suppose I should go to work and finish this in another installment. I have probably bored you all enough for one sitting......perhaps it's a good thing I haven't written a TR for a number of years!

    Jimbo338
     
  2. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,580
    Location:
    anglo american in Tampa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Thanks Jimbo – enjoying it so far.


    I was out of Manchester last week – the security line was a bitch then as well. Took way longer than it had to.
     
  3. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
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    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
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    24
    Glad you made it to Vegas and I'm eagerly awaiting the rest of your report.
     
    Back where we belong
  4. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Mass
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Glad you made it out...sounds like a stressful travel day. I am currently watching the sunrise from my Rio Masquerade suite :banana: We flew out of Manchester yesterday morning...same 7:05 flight you took. We lucked out no one in front of us to check luggage...security was long...I counted the day before and there are 12 flights going out of MHT between 6:00 and 7:05, you know how small that airport is....3 security lines open...still took 30 mins to get through that. Just catching up on my reading here while hubby is out for his morning run. Will post a TR next week when we get back.
     
  5. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sunshine State
    We want more Jimbo :wave:
     
  6. OnTheHorizon

    OnTheHorizon Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Jimbo - first off...sorry to hear about your mom and how stressful that had to have been.

    Need more of the trip report though! It's good so far!
     
  7. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    4,981
    Location:
    Illinois
    Jimbo my former co-mod,
    Your TR is another example of the diversity available on the board. Even though MMV has been getting a lot of play lately, your report is a nice change of pace.
    Boring, of course not.
     
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