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PH & Rio Jan 4 - 9, 2008 long, detailed, wordy and drawn out

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by mn girly, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. mn girly

    mn girly Tourist

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    Hi, this is my first trip report on this message board! Here's some background info: Me, a 39 3/4 y.o. stay at home mom of a 2 y.o. daughter and my hubby "J", a 41 y.o. fun lovin' guy who doesn't gamble, but likes to SHOP! and has to go to Vegas 5 time this year for trade shows. Last time I was in Vegas was in 2005, I was pregnant, but that didn't stop me (I was good, tried to stay out of smoky areas and get lots of sleep and eats). J and I are 50's and 60's buffs (music, art, furniture, lifestyle...) and we searched the internet to find stuff to do/things to see, and to see what's left of old Vegas.

    I LOVE to play slots, and I don't go to the local casinos here in MN anymore because I'm not working, have no one to go with, and I have a daughter now. So I had been looking forward to this trip for a bunch of reasons! My very cool mother agreed to stay at our house and watch our very active little girl who has food allergies to boot. I had been cooking and freezing meals for them like crazy in December, and got the house totally baby proofed, and enlisted a bunch of friends to stop by everyday to give my 66 y.o. mom a break. We were to be gone 5 nights; our very first vacation away alone without baby. AND WE HAD A BLAST! HERE WE GO....

    J had to go to the big trade show for 2 days. His company set us up at the Rio for 3 nights and paid for his flight. We decided to leave on Friday 1/4 and fly home Wed AM on 1/9. We chose to stay at Planet Hollywood the other 2 nights, because of it's location, it's new, and I really liked to play there when it was the Aladdin. We booked it through their website, and got the "Hip" deal which gives you a round trip flight for $19.00 and some coupons for the Miracle Mile and a room rate of $149 per night. It turns out that the roundtrip $19 ticket involves more than you think, you have to book 2 nights at full price at PH and book 2 roundtrip flights all through this Archer Travel Group. I don't know if I'll be able to use it even! We ended up calling PH before we left and paid extra to make sure we had a view of the fountains and the Eiffel tower, but we still ended up with a deluxe room. The room was AWESOME, and the view was GREAT. I need to thank all those on the list who posted their room/view pics, it really helped us decide on PH.

    So the night before we left I discovered that I had taken cash out of the wrong bank account and that our checking account was 700 in the RED! Oh great. I transferred funds online, and we had to go to the bank in the am to make sure everything was okay. The night before we left should have been a fun, packing night, but instead it was full of anxiety. Long story short, everything was still pending and there were no fees, i.e. everything fine. No traffic to the airport, zoomed through Northwest's baggage check in & security, and before you knew it we were in the air heading to VEGAS (on flight 777!) I was so psyched. We played cards and played with our new IPOD all the way there, and sat next to a very interesting young lady who was a dancer at Scores. She was returning home to Vegas after traveling around a bit. She was really loud and kept going up a few aisles to sit on her new friend's lap. She pissed off everyone else around her, but I thought she was a hoot. I swear this was the most somber flight to Vegas I had ever been on. I remember the old days when the flight attendants used to get everyone on board involved with some sort of game, and everyone was really excited, anxious and antsy...

    Soon we were whisked off to PH, and up in our room even though it was only 2pm. The room was very nice with a sexy view of the fountains! Let's just say we had a lot of fun in that room with the big tub and the view. (north tower, 19th floor).

    I had promised my hubby that I wouldn't gamble for the first 3 days we were alone together and that I'd wait till he was at the trade show. This worked out perfect. We did a lot of shopping, walking around, saw the Picasso Ceramic exhibit at Bellagio, and there was another Picasso exhibit at this art store in the Fashion Show mall which was pretty amazing. We must have been to every shop in Vegas, but we didn't have time to hit the 2 outlet malls. Favorite shops were: The Ben Sherman shop in the Miracle Mile and the Jo Malone Shop in the Wynn.

    Friday night we took part in the First Fridays (local) art crawl, which was fun, but we almost didn't catch a cab out of that area. We were going to end up at the Beauty Bar to catch "the Get Back" a soul/funk night, but the cover was too much and we were exhausted. We walked up and down Fremont street, saw the "Experience" which was a total let down for a straight chick. I saw it when the show was cowboys and horses and different things, it was pretty cheesy then, but really tacky now. We checked out Fremont East, nice to see the neon signs and the exterior of the El Cortez, but the inside definitely did NOT match the cool new redone vintage exterior. We ended up finishing the night at the Hennessy (looks like a giant pint of beer, I believe it used to be a Nascar cafe.) The sounds of The English Beat lured us into the door, and there was a good reggae/ska/dancehall dj spinning upstairs on the balcony.

    We walked around like crazy the whole weekend, and I went from wearing pumps in the beginning to tennis shoes by the end of the stay! Note to self, find some very comfortable sexy dress up shoes for next trip that don't give me blisters! The good thing about waiting 3 days before gambling was I got to walk through a lot of the casinos downtown and on the strip and quickly spot the new machines and my favorite games, and get all the vibes from each place. And the anticipation of playing was almost as good as the slots themselves. I guess the best part is that I had money left over to play and I didn't blow it all in the first 2 days. Nothing sucks more than losing all your playing money early and having 2 days left of your trip.

    Sat am we went to the Paris Buffet early before the lines. It was really quite good, and the coffee was nice and strong. After the buffet I got myself a 2 foot plastic Eiffel tower filled with Pina Colada at 9:30 am. Much classier than the plastic foot ball or bongs-like containers! Unfortunately I had to carry the thing around with me for the next 2 hours (even through the Picasso exhibit), but I had to take it home with me. It's sitting next to J's Spamalot goblet here on my desk. We saw Spamalot on Sat night, had awesome 1/2 price seats to boot. Sunday we left the PH and went to the Rio, and it was like night and day. Our Rio room was old (Masquerade Tower, room 16009, had a moldy bathtub and just plain bit the big one in comparison to PH. There must have been 10 people staying in the room next door partying it up, and it started to bug us, and after calling security 3 times, we gave up. They never showed up, and Rio told us they didn't have any other rooms to give us. The only good thing about the Rio was The Rub a southern style Barbeque restaurant and the fact it was next to the Gold Coast. It was a total drag having to take cabs everywhere, and it cut into my gambling money. I did end up taking the shuttle buses quite a bit.

    Other places we ate at were: Trader Vics, The Palms Steak house, & Sushi Roku (2x). Trader Vics was fun, didn't have all the tiki kitch like the one that's closed now in Chicago, the food was good, and J claims his steak filet (medium rare) was one of the best ever. The Palms was good, we both had this filet covered with a crab and some sort of hollandaise sauce, and it was even better because it was a free dinner from a vendor! Sushi Roku was really good, especially the crunchy spicy tuna rolls. A word of advice for people visiting during the big trade shows: GET DINNER RESERVATIONS EARLY, like days before! I must have called around to 10 places without any luck, and that's why we ended up going to Sushi Roku twice.

    So, Monday came around, and after having an awesome time getting to know my husband again, it was my time to be alone, gamble and drink. My budget was less than 1000 (I think it was down to 750 for 2 days when I started to play with the option to take a bit more out of our checking account if I ran out.) During my walk around Vegas, I searched and searched for my Austin Powers machines, and the "After Hours" slots, the one that looks like it was done by the artist Shag. Didn't find either. The closest thing I could find was the "That Girl" slot, and the first one I sat down at the the Mirage was a WINNER. Played for a very long time on 60 and cashed out almost 300, and my husband was there with me. Good start! We also had luck on the Goldfish machine there at the Mirage, cashed out another 140 from 20. Had ZERO luck at the Flamingo and the Rio. Played quarter VP at the bar at TI, and was not comped any drinks in the end because we weren't playing 5 at a time. That was BS, and never going there again. Had good luck at Paris, I really like it there, even though it is a Harrah's property. I had a blast at the Gold Coast and had my biggest win there, 650.00 on a penny slot that had to do with eating, the bonus round a big boy gets to open the fridge, and you get money for picking out the food that didn't go bad, forgot the name... Everything I touched there paid off. I love days like that! I tried to catch a taxi from the Gold Coast to the Palms, which was just across the street, and I had a purse full of cash, but I waited and NO TAXIS CAME! Ended up walking it and did not feel comfortable at all. J met me at the Palms after the trade show and we found this really fun new penny slot called "Max Action", where a dude on a lambretta scooter drives up to a bar and you get to pick which girl he dances with and money comes out of her butt if she's a good dancer! How fun! Okay, I'm a total sucker for the cheesy games, and J is convinced that you have to play the slots that you have something in common with, if you are gonna play. There also was this one that was called Alpine Skier or something like that, and that was a hoot.

    That night J was exhausted so I went out at 10:30 at night, knowing we had to get up at 5 am to start packing for our flight out at 9:30. I took the shuttle over to Paris and walked to PH, and again, everything was golden. They had a lot of different slots there that I had never seen before, had good luck on the Drew Carey, the Powerball, the Norseman, the Viking one, and the traditional dollar slots were pretty loose. I was playing this new penny machine, and all of a sudden all 5 columns lit up with 15 kings. I'm like, what the hell just happened? But who's complaining! I stumbled back to the taxi line and snuck into bed at 4 am.

    Got to the airport early made it though security and had time to eat the WORST breakfast of my life. I had to wear sunglasses because the sun burned my eyes. The flight was fine and quick and before you knew it we we're home to 18 degrees and a foot of snow, and our wonderful little girl who did just fine with grandma.

    I ended up losing about $300. for the whole trip and still had cash in my purse on the way home. I'm okay with that, of course it would have been better to be ahead! But it was fun.

    We've been home for 8 days now, and am still reeling from such a fun, exciting trip! I'm secretly waiting for the free comps to start rolling in, even though they probably won't. And J gets to go 4 more times this year. And one trip just happens to coincide with a nascar race (he's a big fan). So anyway I hope that I can tag along another time this year. Next time I'd like to check out the south end of the strip more, and I have it on my list to visit the Hard Rock, the Atomic Testing Museum, and the Neon Boneyard if it is open. Also next time I hope to have a laptop computer with, it definitely would have been helpful a few times.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for another Vegas trip this year!:cry:
    Cheers
    Krissy in MN
     
  2. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Great report for a first timer Krissy. Losing only 300 on your first trip isn't bad, but, I agree with you coming home a winner is much better. You know, Vegas gets in your system and you just can't stay away for long. Maybe you could sneak a trip later this year with your hubby.
     
    Back where we belong
  3. PokerrNutt

    PokerrNutt High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Even though I play more poker than slots - I'm keeping my eye out for the "Max Action" slots you described - I'll be there in April.......

    Great TR!
     
  4. VPmiracle

    VPmiracle Tourist

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    I enjoyed your trip report, sounds like you had a really good time. I'm glad you spoke up about the Rio room. I get offers there occasionally but have other options and they sound better. Thanks for taking
    the time to write this up.
     
  5. mrbadger12

    mrbadger12 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
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    Hello, Im a Vegas lover, been there 11 times now, last time was 3 years ago. I been getting calls from Planet Hollywood and some promotion thing. Can u please tell me about the tubs? Is it like a regular tub or is it a whirlpool type made for 2? Also, when I was at the Gold coast last time, We ate lunch buffett and omg--was the juiciest ham that I ever had--was awsome!! And hit 2 royals on nickel machines! I really liked it there! Glad you had a great time. I hope to be going soon. Also, your flight, I also been noticing each time I go, the airlines are less "excited" also. We used to have contests, drawings and stories oh, and airline only funbooks and they also used to say where we were in the air like every 20 minutes. It was great--ty for the report--Mrbadger12,Wisconsin:beer:
     
  6. mn girly

    mn girly Tourist

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    tubs at PH, Gold Coast, flights

    Hi, thanks for all the posts! The tub was a soaker, didn't have jets, but was really deep and was big enough for 2! And the water was HOT. Too, I wanted to add that you could hear the bells ring at Bellagio that announced that the fountains were going to go off soon from our room in PH. Those fountains were a real turn on!
    I had never been to the Gold Coast, but had an idea that maybe because it was off the strip a little, and not so new and fancy, that it might be looser, and that day it was! OOOh I had fun. Was there on that Tuesday from 10am to about 2:30pm and then it seemed to cool off a bit and I moved on to the Palms. Gold Coast wasn't empty, but you definitely could get any machine you wanted, and there seemed to be some newer ones there. My biggest payout like I said was only 650, but it was there against the back wall of the place with that "eating" video slot.
    Yeah, the flight out was filled with a bunch of "Minnesota-Nice-Haters" that acted like they were going to a funeral. I was just bouncing off my seat for joy! I did like that fact that our flight number was 777, J thought it was just coincidence.
    Krissy
     
  7. hanoscf

    hanoscf High-Roller

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    Great report. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I'll be looking for the Max Action macines next week.
     
  8. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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    The flight number was definitely not a coincidence. I'm an air traffic controller, and I see these flights all the time. Lots of flights numbered 777 going to Vegas. It's kind of torturous, really. Every time I see one I can only sigh and wish I were in Vegas.
     
  9. swanny

    swanny Low-Roller

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    Great report. I enjoyed reading about your trip. Can't wait to write my on TR in a couple of months.... I have a 3 year old, so I know how difficult it can be to get away the first couple of years.
     
  10. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Nice report, sounds like you had a blast. I can relate to your letting the anticipation build while waiting to play the slots while your husband was at the trade shows. One of the things I love about going with my wife is my trips aren't so gambling centric, where I get to gamble enough to fill my need, but I get to do a heck of a lot of fun things with her as well, that I might not do on a solo trip.
     
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