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Post-Graduation May 17-20 Trip Report!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by kingpasty, May 21, 2015.

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  1. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    OK here goes! My only other trip report was a completely weak attempt at a live trip report, so I decided this time I would try a proper post trip report. I just don't get to go enough to dedicate enough time and energy to a live trip report, and I'd rather do a posthumous trip report than a half-assed live one.

    Background:

    In my single days, I went to Vegas every year. I was never a high roller, but my bankrolls and accomodations were improving, as was my income. I had eventually gotten to the point to where I would probably be able to start going multiple times a year and then I met the woman that would eventually be my wife. Unfortunately we didn't live in the same place, and after the decision was made to move to her hometown, a career change was also in order. I worked in retail management, and if I was able to land a job in retail management at all there (I moved from OKC, OK to Wichita Falls, TX), there would be no opportunity for advancement. On top of that I was tired of retail, and knew that if I was going to have a family I didn't want to have to work nights and weekends. Hence the decision to go back to school and finish my degree! It would take 6 semesters, but it was the only path I saw to a good income and a stable work/life balance.

    We got married in Vegas on 8/20/12 and I started school the very next week. I worked part time at AT&T selling phones and was able to make great money the first year and a half. I had to work every weekend, but the money was great. My wife (K) already had a child (She's 6 now... about to turn 7) and along the way we had Aubrey in February of '14. 9 days after she was born I got an opportunity to interview with a CPA here that had a firm, and that summer I started working there on my off days in hopes of landing a full time job by the fall. So last summer I worked 7 days a week (thinking about going to Vegas the whole time!) and by the time school started up again he hired me full time. I had to work 55 + hours a week in the fall and the spring, all while going to school 18 hours in the fall and 10 in the spring and having 2 kids at home, one being a newborn and one being a high maintenance 6 year old. Needless to say it was crazy!

    2 tax seasons (think fall for extensions and the April deadline) and 28 hours of school later I graduated! We had both agreed that as soon as I graduated we would go back to Vegas. It would mark our 3rd time there together, all 3 times for a special occasion (#1 proposal, #2 marraige, #3 graduation).

    We booked the trip in January and the anticipation was on!!!! I graduated on Saturday, and we had a 6:05 am flight out of DFW, direct on Southwest. I booked 3 nights at the Golden Nugget Rush Tower and used the Landry's Select card to upgrade to a Junior Suite.

    Day 1:


    We got about 4 hours of sleep Saturday night because my 6 year old had a dance recital at 7 pm and we were dodging tornadoes all night. Up at 2 am to drive to Dallas. Around Ft. Worth we hit torrential rain which made for an interesting trek to the airport. We arrived and our plane left ontime with no problems. Southwest was great! I checked in online with no earlybird and was able to get a late A boarding pass with no problems.

    Arrived in Vegas at 7:00 am to pick up our EZ rental. I had a booked a mid-size and was offered a new Kia Optima. I asked about an upgrade (waving a $20) to a convertible and was offered a Mustang for $80 more total. I took it and put my $20 away (c'mon that was for a FREE upgrade!). Our car was great!

    20150520_133101.jpg

    We got it around 8 am and took the strip to downtown.

    20150517_075839.jpg

    Arrived at the Nugget Rush Tower valet and was greeted by J.P. at the check-in desk. He was rude at best. He offered an upgrade to a Spa-Tower Suite, but offered no help on an early check-in for our upgraded Junior Suite in the Rush Tower. I would've liked to upgrade, but I had to take a big pay cut to take the accounting job, and our overall budget for the trip was around 2k. We opted to walk around and hope that his ETA of 1-3 pm would be earlier for our room so we could take a nap. We were operating on 3-4 hours of sleep and even with the excitement of being in Vegas we were badly in need of a place to crash. So we checked our bags with the Bell and headed out to Fremont. First stop? Four Queens VP progressives! I had a rum and diet and K had a bloody mary. She said it was terrible so got a beer and I opted for one was well for my second drink. She won and I lost the same amount (Like $20) so we headed to the El Cortez to play some $.25 roulette, but no before using the first card ace for signing up for their playing cards for a $25 win. To our displeasure it was now $.50 chips but we played anyway and I won another $45 while she lost her $20 buy in. Hungry now we headed back to Golden Nugget for a burrito at the Grille. It was tasty, but for $17 for two I'd probably look for other options if we had more energy to walk elsewhere. The original plan was to go to MSS brunch, but we opted for quick option.

    When we had orignally checked in I had tried to use the VIP in the Rush Tower check-in, but it was closed. After breakfast our buzz was killed and we were REALLY wanting a nap, so we walked back to Rush Tower check-in and was closed again. We got in line and J.P. was working the only line again, so I used my super-nerd Vegas knowledge to remember there was ANOTHER VIP check-in next to Vic and Anthony's. We walked there and were handsomely rewarded with a 10:00 am check-in to our promised Junior Suite in the Rush Tower. As we were walking by the Rush Tower check-in with our room-key brouchure, J.P. gave us the evil eye. Fuck you sir, we are tired.

    Napped for an hour or two and were up and at-em! After our nap we drove to SLS to sign up for the players card. We both got $5 freeplay and quickly lost it, along with another $100. We headed west on Sahara to the In-and-Out. I'd had it once before in Dallas (drunk) but my wife had never had it. Holy ball shit it was amazing!

    IMG_20150517_154206.jpg

    It was literally the best meal we had all trip. My wife raved and raved.

    Here's where the trip started to go bad. We. couldn't. win. shit. Slots? Fuck you. Blackjack? Fuck you. Video poker? Thanks for the money sucker! I mean bet after bet after bet lost. Our first stop was the Golden Gate that evening and we met a very cool dealer named Christie.

    Christie was cool shit, but my wife only wanted to gamble with her and she was tighter than a virgin on prom night. We lost our budget for the day and (gasp!) dipped into our budget for the next day. We bounced around a little bit, but for the most part we kept going back to the Golden Gate. It's just so dammed fun. We tried the Four Queens but it was like gambling in a library. Walked down to the D and all the tables were more than $5, so like I said we ended up going back to GG. At one point we walked over to Pizza Rock for a slice:

    IMG_20150517_201526.jpg

    Walked into DTG but didn't gamble even a buck. Back to see Christie again and after she finished robbing us for a 3rd time I had shrimp cocktail and we headed to bed. At 10:30 pm. Pussies. But we woke up the next day at 6:30 and it would be our best day yet! More to come tomorrow I'm going to bed tonight! Hope you all enjoy!!!!!!!!!
     

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    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  2. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    Tried to correct the orientation of Christie, but now there's 4 versions of it and can't figure out how to delete them. Sorry!
     
  3. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Cant wait to read the rest.
     
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  4. Tonez78

    Tonez78 Low-Roller

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    Great start to your TR. I like the background at the beginning of the report. I have stayed at the Rush Tower before and thought the room were pretty nice considering the price compared to the strip. Hopefully your luck will change and I look forward to more of your trip experience. Thanks for sharing!

    Tony
     
  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good start! Hopefully you and your wife can loosen Christie up later. Lol She looks like the type of dealer I'd let myself lose more than I should to.

    And writing up this much detail is nearly impossible live. Unless you're BeeeJay. because he's degen enough to get up at 8am to summarize. Screw that!

    I would rather see a report like this than an incomplete live TR.
     
  6. parallax

    parallax Low-Roller

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    congrats on graduating. looking forward to hearing about the rest of the trip.
     
  7. parti_73

    parti_73 Low-Roller

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    good for you to go back to school and better yourself for your family! Good start to the TR! Good luck!
     
  8. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    I'm hooked! Great start, and congrats on graduation! Looking forward to the continuation.
     
  9. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    Thanks everyone! I'll try and finish it up tonight...I have new respect for the amount of work that goes into one of these.
     
  10. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    Day 2:


    Day 2 we woke up at 6:30 am ready to go! Walked over to MSS for the breaskfast buffet. Service was good and buffet was as expected. Nothing spectactular, but for $7 you can't beat it. Decided to just head down to Wynn and walk around early in the morning. We grabbed some coffee and sat outside the check-in area and enjoyed the lake. IMG_20150518_095003.jpg

    We had discussed seeing a show that night to slow the gambling bleeding. We were also going to use a MyVegas 2 for 1 at Bellagio buffet, so we opted for Jubilee at Bally's. Bought our tickets @ Tix4Tonite in the Bazaar shops...the service left much to be desired. When asked if I had dinner plans I told her I had reservations. She basically badgered me into telling her where I was eating dinner and when I told her Bellagio Buffet she made sure to point out the fact that I didn't need reservations to eat there. Twice. After the second time of her stating the obvious just to be rude, I told her I knew I didn't need reservations, I just didn't want to listen to her try and sell me dinner tickets I wasn't going to use. After that she shut up and got us out of there. Bad interaction, but worth it for 1/2 price tickets.

    Back to the hotel after lunch @ PF Chang's to change clothes and pre-game a bit. Since we were trying to save money we took the SDX to Cosmo to pick up our tickets at Bally's. OMG it took forever. Probably 45 minutes. My wife had to pee like noneother, so it was quite a miserable ride. Probabaly wouldn't do it again if I had her with me, or if we were pinched for time. Picked up the tickets and headed to Bellagio for dinner. Got our vouchers and were able to use the VIP line (score!) since we had the MyVegas comp. Dinner was great!
    IMG_20150518_202609.jpg

    We kept saying we had to do something to change our luck gambling. So far that day we'd lost a little bit on some slots at PHo and I had broken even on Walking Dead at GN. The gentleman helping me at the seafood station at Bellagio was the best! His name was Oscar. He's from New Orleans and I just really felt each time I went back for more legs he went above and beyond for me...even getting me fresh HUGE legs from the back and steaming them from me. As we went to get up from our meal, I was almost out of the buffet when I decided to turn around and tip him. I folded up a $5 and put it in his shirt pocket and told him how much I appreciated his service.

    We walked over the the Sports Book bar to play a little VP and more importantly get a Bellagio Cocktail for the walk over to Bally's. 3rd hand in? Aces no kicker! I was so excited I forgot to take a stupid picture lol. At any rate it felt GREAT to book a win. Tipped the bartender and headed to Bally's for Jubilee. I won't bore you with details of the show, but my wife liked it a lot more than I did. It was entertaining, sure, but I probably wouldn't go see it again. Not bad though.

    At this point we both had a solid buzz on and we cabbed it back to the Plaza to do some gambling at where else but Golden Gate w/ Christie. Christie still wasn't paying much but we at least held our own ground, and possibly booked a win I can't quite remember. She even took our pic for us:

    IMG_20150517_192217.jpg

    I also hit another 4OAK playing BPD at the bartops there! This time I remembered the pic :)

    IMG_20150518_233009.jpg

    By this time my wife was feeling NO pain. Time to put her to bed so I can do some real gambling! So after a quick trip to Mermaids for a quick win on Monkees I put her to bed around 1:00 am. Now it was time for me to do some damage! Literally everything I played that night up until my last session was a win. Played DD BJ at Fremont for a long time and cashed out for $250 on $100 buy in. Walked up to an empty craps table at Four Queens and proceeded to make it my bitch, probably hitting 4 points and lots of field numbers with lots of money on the field. Cashed for probably $300 on $100. Played a little at Golden Gate and LVC winning at both those places as well. I told myself I would stay up as long as I was winning, and after losing my $100 buy-in at Golden Nugget playing BJ I headed to bed around 3:30 am. I'd like to tell you it wiped out the previous day's losses, but in reality it just put us back in budget for our trip. At any rate it felt GREAT to win.

    Day 3:

    Dinner at Sinatra on Day 3 was the main plan for the day. That and nursing this AWFUL hangover we both had. Breakfast at Peppermill...awesome as always:

    IMG_20150519_102758.jpg


    To be continued....
     
  11. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    Congrats on getting back on track. Hope you continued your good luck.
     
  12. mrjvegas

    mrjvegas High-Roller

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    VERY fun read man..... A++++
     
  13. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Great report. Cant wait for the rest.
     
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  14. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Great report; looking forward to the next instalment.
     
  15. sandybeachbar

    sandybeachbar Low-Roller

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    Waiting for more. Good luck on the remainder of your trip!
     
  16. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    OK I'm gonna try and wrap this up tonight before I forget everything! I didn't take any notes, so I'm afraid my memory will fail me if I let too much time go in between.

    So Peppermill was great but we still felt like death, so it was back to the room for a nap. After a couple of hours my wife decided to head to the pool. I joined her after a while, but even though it wasn't that hot, the sun wasn't doing my hangover any favors. We decided to walk down to the international eatery for some tacos. I'd read about this place in another TR (sorry can't remember whose it was) and it didn't disappoint!

    IMG_20150519_152505.jpg

    Really, really tasty meal. I can't recommend this place enough....DJ's tacos was the name of it. The only Yelp or other review I could find for it was for the strip location in the Hawaiian Marketplace, but please don't forget about this location. Great service, very reasonable and quite delicious.

    We gambled a bit here and there at The D and Mermaids but really just kind of donated money. We got ready and went to the Cosmopolitan to pre-game before dinner.

    IMG_20150519_184701.jpg

    I had a Verbeena and I have to say it was quite the experience. Somewhere north of Pop Rocks and south of sticking a 9V battery to your tongue. I had to have my wife take a drink of it to tell me whether or not it was carbonated lol. After a few drinks and a few slots here we cabbed it to Encore for our 8:30 pm reservation at Sinatra. Walked around Encore and gambled for a while...we actually made $50 or $60 playing slots. The cocktail service was virtually non-existent. We've stayed there before but haven't gambled much in their casino. We eventually saw a waitress and put money in some machines in her sections and were able to score a beverage before dinner. We arrived 5 minutes early for our reservation but were told it would be a while. The restaurant was packed!!!! We didn't mind though as I ordered a Sinatra Smash and watched the end of the Golden State game. Unfortunately they didn't cover the spread.

    IMG_20150519_202703.jpg

    Dinner was fantastic! This was our second time here, and while the first time was much better, it probably had something to do with the fact that I had just propsoed to K and we were still very high from the whole experience. That being said, the first time I had the Veal Parm and I really wish I would've gotten it again. We had antipasto for an appetizer, I had the lasagna and K had the chicken parm. All were great, but the real stand out was the antipasto. The olives were fantastic, the proscutto the best I've ever had, and the mozz was great as well.

    IMG_20150519_212428.jpg

    One final note about Encore...it really is just such a beautiful place. I love the Cosmo and I love Wynn, but to me Encore is the nicest by far. Steve really outdid himself with the design of the entire place.

    After dinner it was back to downtown where K was never really able to shake her hangover. I put her to bed and walked/gambled around but eventually lost what I had planned for the day and went to bed myself. Walked up to El Co to play some more Roulette, and it was indeed back to $.25 chips. They must go to $.50 chips only on weekends, as Sunday was the day we arrived.
     
  17. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    Last Day!!!

    So we got up and around at a decent time and by this point we were both ready to get home and see our kids. Our flight wasn't until 5:50 pm so we had a lot of the day to kill. By this time 3 days of hard drinking/lack of sleep had definitely caught up with me and I was feeling like ass. K felt good, but was ready to be home too. We skipped breakfast and checked out around 11:00 am and headed to Mirage to use our other MyVegas 2-4-1 on their buffet. Lunch was good but I felt like there weren't a ton of options. I basically stuck to the Asian station and loaded up on Hunan chicken and lots of sushi. My only complaint was that they didnt' have bottles of soy sauce, you had to use the stupid packets. So in the process of emptying 354 of them into a cup for my sushi one of them exploded onto my shirt, so I got to wear soy sauce the whole way home. We were both tired of walking around and shuffling in and out of parking garages, so we decided to take a drive out to Red Rock.

    It was a nice change of pace for sure, and it fit in with our plans perfectly. I'm not sure I'd go unless I just had a ton of time to kill like we did, but it was nice none the less.

    IMG_20150520_133309.jpg

    We had our traditional Popeye's at the airport and our flight was on time. My dumbass forgot to check-in the night before so we got stuck with a C boarding pass and had to sit separately. Not a big deal, and definitely not worth the $80 upgrade to an A 1-15 pass. Landed in DAL 20 minutes early and a 2 hour drive later we walked into our door exhausted at 1:00 am CST.


    Final Thoughts:

    - Staying Downtown is great, but with one big caveat. When you're down on your luck, and have blown your daily gambling budget, there really is not much else to do at night besides drink and gamble. Granted, this is probably what we would've done on the strip too, but with so much more walking time and things to see in between stops, it really helps to stretch out your losses. That being said, it was GREAT to have so many cheap food options and cheap eats available. Any time I wanted I could run back to the room to make a drink, or even go up to the bar @ Golden Gate for a $8 HUGE Bacardi and Diet. The cheap eats/drinks are definitely great. Not saying at all that I wouldn't stay downtown again, but I'll probably go back to the strip for my next trip and just make a trip downtown each night.

    - Downtown is NO place to bring your children. The street performers are really out of control.

    IMG_20150517_125012.jpg

    Seriously people, get a job or put on some clothes. We're by NO MEANS prude, but the amount of kids down there walking around seeing all that was astounding. We got a good chuckle out of it, but people....c'mon...take your freaking kids to Disney. Save your trips to Vegas for adult time.

    - Not sure next trip we'll have a really expensive meal again like Sinatra. Our meals at In-and-Out and the taco place were just as good in our eyes. The experience is nice to do once, but the last two uber expensive meals we've had (Vic and Anthony's and Sinatra) I've left feeling like I paid more money than I should have for just a meal.

    - Encore is just so nice it really gets me every time I walk in there. Everything from the chandeliers to the bathrooms just ooze class. I liked our room at the Cosmo more, but it's hard to beat Encore.

    - We loved our room at the Nugget, but the service wasn't up to par with the nicer strip properties. I tipped housekeeping every day, and each day our service was worse. Good the first day, and by the 3rd day they basically just made the bed and replaced our towels. The dude at check-in was a dick and noone else really stood out as being super helpful.

    I hope everyone enjoyed this report! It was a ton of work putting it together, but after looking over it I'm glad I did it. I'm impressed I was able to piece our days back together just from memory and looking at our pictures. If you have any questions or comments please ask!
     
  18. allmine1958

    allmine1958 Low-Roller

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    Great report! Congratulations on your graduation. Best wishes for you and your family.
     
  19. RM777

    RM777 Low-Roller

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    Congrats on graduating!

    Thanks for your TR.
     
  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    This is also a reason why I like doing them. It helps me relieve the trip again! Good report and thanks for sharing!

    Also another reason I like detailed TRs...I can update the bartop list...thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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