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Oops I did it again!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Coaster Kikky, Dec 18, 2006.

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  1. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Another Vegas trip just concluded. This one featured no hijinks, little drinking, no buffoonery... aw man, what's the point in even writing it if no one's going to read it? LOL

    Highlights to be covered after I get out from under the avalanche of papers on my desk:

    3 nights at the Hard Rock (first stay there)

    Some new restaurants tried, and only one repeat from previous (and that was several years previous)

    I can tell you right now the gambling highlight was sitting down to a $5 double-deck blackjack game at South Point. The only other person on the table begged me not to wait til the end of the shoe to play since he was down to the felt. I had $50 to play when I sat down, and I walked with $225. The guy who had about $40 when I sat down? He was betting substantially more ($50-100 vs my $5 or $10) but when I left, he had colored up to $800 and was still going strong!
     
  2. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Just a quick write-up to a short, pretty uneventful trip 12/14-12/17.

    Flew out after work on Thurs 12/14, not feeling 100% and not quite convinced I should be going. But I would have stewed about things related to my upcoming move if I had stayed home, so I went.

    Got in a little late, thankfully not substantially and over to Enterprise rental cars. One cheerful person working the desk, and she thanked me for paying attention to the questions she was asking the people in line ahead of me so I knew what was coming. Man, if that's all it takes to make some people happy wouldn't life be easier?

    Anyway, I'm not a fan of current Chevy models (I don't subscribe to the Ford/Chevy rift of manufacture, I just happen to think the large marjority of Chevys these days are ugly beyond hideous) so I asked for something else. I was hoping the Nissan Maxima they drove up was mine but nope. Got a piece of crap Hyundai (I used to own one several years ago). It got me around ok, but squealed when going around corners and the seat belt didn't always want to extend enough to buckle. And the radio was junk.

    On my way to the Hard Rock to check in, I past a CVS and stopped in search of something for my scratchy throat. Got some brand-generic Chloraseptic spray and off I went again. Parked at valet at the HRC, which worked wonderfully well except for Saturday night when they were full and I had to self park.

    Checked in, no Strip view available. Pool room available but only in a room with two beds. So I went for the parking lot view and passed on looking out the window much. Fun decor at the HRC. I loved the elevators with the leather studded walls and leopard print carpet. And the drum top hats at lighting fixtures in the hallways. The room was nice, good sized, and the bed was super comfy with a feather pillow top. Not as nice as Wynn's but the 3rd most comfy bed in Vegas that I've found (Wynn #1, Caesars Augustus #2, HRC #3). The bathroom was pretty small, along the lines of the Mirage. In other words, if you're sitting on the commode with the door shut and someone opens the bathroom door.... goodbye knees. My real complaint about the room was the lighting was atrocious. Even in the bathroom, it never really got any brighter than "mood lighting". It became quite obvious that those cute little hotties at the HRC in the evening were not staying there, because there was no way they could see to put on their makeup.

    One of the perks of the room was to get a $25 food certficate (not good at Nobu or Starbucks) and a $25 slot play bonus. I took the slot play bonus and worked it into $100 that night playing video poker. The casino was pretty dead on Thursday night. Actually the entire town was pretty dead this past weekend.

    Friday morning I contacted Patti to meet up, and I was going to take her to the airport. I had breakfast (oatmeal, juice and a huge cup of coffee) at Mr Lucky's at HRC before getting my car out of hock and driving up the Strip. Placed a phone call home while driving up the Strip: "If you thought it was dead last week, you should see it now! The city is EMPTY!". Yes, it was late morning by then, but... I've never seen the Strip so quiet.

    I got to Downtown and parked at LVC garage. Took the $220 in chips I hadn't cashed in from the previous weekend and got money for them, and met up with Patti. We weren't sure what we wanted to do, so we pretty much just got in the car and drove around. She'd never been to Red Rock Station, so we headed out West Charleston, passing a couple apartment communities I have under consideration (one might do in a pinch, one was ruled out based on the drive-by).

    She hadn't eaten, and wasn't feeling real wonderful but had a long flight in front of her so had to do something before boarding her Air O Canada back to the Arctic north. We decided on the cafe at Red Rock, where I had some clam chowder and a cheese quesadilla. She ordered something breakfast-y before deciding that my lunch sounded better and changed her order. The waitress described the soup as "the best". I told her I'm from New England so that's a pretty tall order. It was pretty good... not as good as Wynn's last week, but not bad. I've had worse, that's for sure. The quesadilla, I thought, was delicious, but the little pepperoncini's in them gave Patti quite a fire in her mouth. She picked them out before continuing to eat. The restaurant was quite pretty, especially the view of the palm trees out the window.

    After lunch, we drove around town a little bit, and I dropped her off at the airport when I had to... :blah:

    Then I was supposed to go look at different apartments.

    Except, I didn't feel like it. I just wanted to wander. So... I did. Drove by a few more places, ruling out a few more just based on feeling (isn't a lot about real estate based on feeling - if it feels wrong, it's not a good place for you to live, and vice versa). And ruling in one place I had kind of put way on the back burner but it was in a comfortable neighborhood. More and more it feels like Green Valley area is where I'm going to be. There or on a hillside in Henderson. Most of the jobs I'm looking at are on that side of town. Anything less than an hour each way commute and my life is that much more improved.

    Checked out South Point casino that afternoon as well. Nice facility with extremely friendly dealers. I liked it there, despite not really being a fan of the Coast designs. I also did a coupon run-through of a few places... used the match plays I had (from LVA) at HRC, Palms and one other place. It didn't matter - I lost all 3 of them. Sigh.

    I had dinner reservations at 7:30 at HRC at Simon, so I returned back there to change for that. Table for one. I'm sure that impressed them... got seated promptly, about 10 minutes before my assigned time. The restaurant wasn't very busy. The decor is the opposite of the food they serve. They call it comfort food, but the decor is modern and jarring. It doesn't match up, in my opinion.

    I ordered a pasta bolognese dish and a side of steamed veggies, along with a Chimay belgian ale to wash it down. They served me a bread bowl first. One of the breads was a warm pretzel loaf and it was very good. That's the only one I tried. The meal was served almost before I was ready for it. The steamed veggies were carrots, baby bok choy, zucchini and asparagus and were nicely done. The pasta did not equal that which I had at Thanksgiving at Fiamma at MGM. The meat was uneven. Instead of having finely ground meat, either as is or made into meatballs, there was some of each, except it wasn't meatballs. It was chunks of whatever. At a restaurant of that caliber, I do not want to be served mystery meat. It wasn't tender either. I used the $25 dining coupon given to me at check-in to lessen the cost to about $14 plus tip. I passed on dessert, but noticed that the table next to me had one of the featured desserts: a huge bowl of... cotton candy. Ugh! I'm glad I couldn't smell it. The smell of cotton candy makes me nauseous!

    I went to bed pretty early and slept well on the comfy bed, despite being able to hear the music from the temporary ice skating rink (Rock-a-fella) set up in the parking lot.

    Sunday morning got up leisurely and fought the urge (with the help of some friends) to be lazy and/or drunk that day. Had breakfast at a place I'd been before, years before - at Aladdin's buffet. It's back downstairs in its original location, and it looks more or less the same as far as the food setup and tables go. I easily spotted the table I'd eaten at in... 2002 maybe? They still had signs up for Middle Eastern fare but they didn't have any out that morning. The cost of breakfast was $13.99 plus tax (came to $15.07).

    I ordered coffee, juice and water and made my way around the stations, picking up some apple strudel (yummy), fresh pineapple (a little over-ripe), bacon (nice and crisp), tri-tip beef (alright! I like!), and an omelet (a little under-cooked even though it was made right in front of my eyes). It was pretty good, but I don't think it equaled what I remember from previous visits. Mostly what changed is the rug and lighting fixtures and wallpaper, and a few food selections taken away. I still liked it better than Mirage's buffet, but I think Bellagio's is better than Aladdin's at this point. Paris is still easily #1, followed by Wynn.

    After that, I pointed my car to Henderson and started the apartment search a little more in earnest. Visited a couple (one a definite possibility, one a no-thanks based on a tiny closet) and tried another but it was closed until 1pm for reasons unknown. Decided to drive by one on the south side of town (it'd do in a pinch, but I wasn't wowed by it at all) and ended up at South Point again.

    I decided to play $100 there. Went through $25 at video poker while enjoying a pomegranate martini. Then lost a very quick $25 at pai gow ($5 tables) to 3 successive dealers who were on fire. Considered leaving but decided to have a light lunch at the cafe. Had a vegetable soup (the veggies were mushy and without flavor) and a side salad (it was pretty fresh, and I chose to make balsamic vinegar/olive oil my dressing, which was not on the menu but they were happy to do for me). Overall I wasn't too impressed with the meal.

    After eating, I found a $5 double deck blackjack game, even a 3/2 one. There were many good games to be found there, another reason to like it! The man at the table was playing $20 cash for his hand. I asked if he wanted me to wait until the shoe was done and he begged for any help I could give him. And I did! I sat down with $50 and cashed out for $225. He had no chips in front of him when I got there, and I saw him cash out for $800 and then some. It was a pretty impressive run of cards!

    After I left there, it was nearly getting dark, and I really didn't know where I wanted to go. Apartments generally stop showing their models after dark (for safety reasons) so I knew I was done with that for the trip. So I decided to just drive through various neighborhoods and get a "feel" for areas. Went out on the west side by South Decatur, and on up to Flamingo, then turned west again and ended up on the 215 heading north. I was considering going to Rampart but decided to stop at Red Rock again. I kind of like that place. Ended up watching football and enjoying a Kona beer on draft.

    I also stayed long enough to decide to have dinner there and chose the Italian place. I never did get the name of it, but one of the people I was sitting next to told me that the chef there was a woman who won the Iron Chef contest on tv. Never watched that, but have heard about it.

    The restaurant was fairly crowded, but I got the last remaining seat at the bar. Told the cute Eastern European bartender that I wanted something with pomegranate and he obliged. Don't know what it was called, but it was really tasty. I also ordered minestrone (yes, more soup) and a spinach and ricotta ravioli. The soup was very good, a nice balance of beans and veggies. The ravioli was so fresh and tender I didn't really need to chew it. It was one of the better pasta dishes I've had. The price was very reasonable too, I thought. The pasta, soup and my cocktail cost about $32. I'm glad I stopped there on the spur of the moment.

    When I left Red Rock, I got my car out of valet and drove out of the garage. To my surprise, I found it was raining! Ut oh! I do not drive well in the dark in the rain. Thankfully, I stayed on major roadways, and they were well lighted enough that I could make my way back down to the valley and to the HRC with no issues. I considered stopping at Rampart, but didn't, in part due to the weather, and it was getting late and I had a flight early the next morning.

    Back to the HRC, where valet was full so I had to self park. Played a little vp before heading to my room to pack up and head home on Sunday. All that was uneventful. Breakfast was a danish and coffee at Starbucks. And the only thing of note on Sunday morning was snow on the mountains. Very pretty - at a distance. I've seen too much snow up close and I'm tired of it.

    One more planning trip, then the next time after that I'm in Vegas, it's HOME. That doesn't seem possible yet, but it's coming soon!

    Thanks for reading... so much for my "quick" write-up! :haha:
     
  3. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report! Again with the soup, huh? Sounds like you're trying to joing Ken and write your own travel guide - "Soups in the Valley". Can't imagine what it will be like once you move there. :)
     
  4. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Think the title of the TR should have been "Soups I did it again?" or something? :poke:

    Once I move there, it'll be soups at home. Got a nice Cooking Light Soups cookbook the other day, and looked it over last night. Yummy looking.

    I'm not much of a soup person in summer. It's a winter thing.
     
  5. sageblue

    sageblue High-Roller

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    Or, "Soup, there it is."

    I too enjoyed South Point--nice and airy with great variety of games. I'm looking forward to visiting Red Rock this trip, and glad it passed the CK test.

    Thanks for the report--and also proving to me that I don't really have to eat or stay at HRH (unless it's a suite or Nobu, respectively).
     
  6. LilGizmo5

    LilGizmo5 Tourist

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    I was there at South Point from wednesday-sunday and enjoyed our stay there.

    I was lucky enough to hit 4 aces on video poker for $500 and earned enough points for the $25 gas card :thumbsup:
     
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