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Sept 11-15

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by HoyaHeel, Sep 20, 2004.

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  1. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    My Trip Report

    I have a trip report. I tried to post it (with pictures) on my website last night but it wouldn't publish (grrr, argh!!) So I put the text version on a zip disk and brought it to work, assuming I could at least get that up. But the dang laptop we just switched to (I'm out of the office, on-site at a clinic) doesn't have a zip drive OR the external zip drive that the old laptop had.....So I apologize. I'm trying to see if someone can bring me an external drive later today. That's how dedicated I am :D It'll be up as soon as I can work things out...
     
  2. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Zip drive, eh? Living on the blunt edge of technology there, hoya. ;)
     
  3. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I have a cd burner on my desktop & laptop at home. I just hate using them! Plus, at work I only have a zip & a cd drive but no burner (I work for the government--guess my taxes don't pay enough for me to get a cd burner at work) So I have the technology, I just don't always use it....
     
  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Got a USB slot? They have those little USB memory sticks, can pick one up cheap sometimes. In the pre-win2k world you need to load a driver, but they should 'just work' for win2k and winXP. Don't know about macs.

    Or, I just mail myself the file, long as it's under a meg or so.
     
  5. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I'm thinking about getting a memory stick--I still can't use it at work though--I don't think I have an extra USB slot (the computer is 2 years old--hopefully I'm on the next list to get an upgrade, don't know for sure) Plus, living in the boonies I only have a dial-up connection, so if the file has any size at all it's not worth emailing....Oh, the hassles I face..... [​IMG]
     
  6. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    I hear ya. Somewhere my pioneer ancestors are completely failing to appreciate my hardships... :D
     
  7. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Hoya you evil tauntress! I've been at a conference in Flagstaff this weekend thinking to myself....(really not joking) when I get back to a computer I'll get to read Hoya's TR. I make it through half the day before I can get to the board and now look. I'm re-thinking the LOR fable regarding Technology now.
     
  8. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Here's the report with pictures Text only is below

    Hard Six, Coming Out.
    Hit me [owww]

    Las Vegas, September 11-15, 2004
    Fitzgerald’s 9/11
    Aladdin 9/12-15

    Trip: We flew Delta, $246 per person RT from Raleigh-Durham. Our original flight to Cincinnati was cancelled a couple weeks prior to departure so we re-booked through Atlanta. Got into Vegas around noon and took a cab downtown to Fitzgerald’s (~$30 with a tip I think). Our return trip was also fine—though McCarran was shut down for a little bit on Tuesday due to the President being in town and a communications issue in California that messed up flights all over the southwest. They were still trying to get people out of town on Wednesday when we left.

    Hotels: At Fitzgerald’s we had a $47 rate through the casino (the actual offer was for two free nights but since we only stayed one night, it was $47 for that Saturday). We had a king non-smoking room on the top floor (34) facing the Plaza and the mountains. Plain room but it was such a great rate. The a/c was loud but it was definitely cold enough. In addition to the king bed, we had a table & two chairs, armoire with the tv, and a dresser. There was a safe in the closet (keyed) and some toiletries and a hair dryer in the bathroom. This trip we didn’t have any problems with slow elevators on Sunday checkout—but then, we were on the top floor so we got first pick of all that showed up. When we switched to Aladdin, Heidi and I stood in line to register for our rooms so we could try to get them near each other, Brian watched the luggage, and Dane bought us all “waiting in line†beers. We were worried that we wouldn’t get a great room since we were checking in around noon, just after checkout, but we ended up loving our room. We had a Resort room, our friends had a standard, both on the 21st floor. We looked out at Paris and could see the Bellagio fountains—and hear them too—dang they’re loud! Resort room (and bathroom!!) were all we remembered and loved from last year. We sincerely hope the new owners don’t change the rooms at Aladdin—they’re great! The standard room was really nice too, especially as our friends had a $49 rate (casino mailing). We had a little table in the foyer—the ice station, a king bed, loveseat and comfy chair, upholstered desk chair, desk (the bar) and coffee table. Also an armoire with hanging space, drawers, the tv, and a keypad safe large enough for our dvd player and probably most laptops. The only problem we had—I was doing the tv checkout and noticed two days of internet charges—we didn’t use the internet at all. So I went to the desk to check out (no line, 8:15 am) and briefly explained—the clerk removed the charges instantly with no questions. So always remember to check your bills!! [if anyone is interested in using the internet, it’s $9.95 a day—there’s a flat screen monitor on the desk in the Resort room, don’t know about the other rooms]

    We went to the pool at Aladdin on two different days—it was hot enough for me that I needed to be in the water, couldn’t sit on a lounger. There weren’t really too many people at the pool. There are two pools, each with a hot tub, and a large field in between with no water but lots of lounge chairs. There’s a bar and a snack bar, and the cocktail waitresses come around quite regularly.

    Food:
    Saturday: I got a sandwich in Atlanta for the flight over lunch. After we checked into the hotel we went to the outlet center and when we were done shopping we had a shrimp cocktail snack at Golden Gate. Yum. The couple in front of us got the hot dog & beer special then gave Dane their beer—they didn’t want the beer but it’s cheaper to buy the special than the hot dog alone. For Saturday dinner, we ate at the coffee shop at Binions. I had a cobb salad and hubby had the steak & lobster special ($20 total including tip).

    On Sunday, we ate at the Champagne brunch at Main Street Station and thought it was very nice. $9.50 a person (we had a 2-for-1 coupon from the Las Vegas Advisor POV so it was $9.50 total--fantastic value). The champagne was not great but free flowing (worked nicely with oj for mimosas). The variety was good and the quality very nice--again, especially for the price. We had eaten at the MSS dinner buffet a couple years ago and didn't think it was all that special (we don't eat at too many buffets) but had heard the breakfast buffet on weekends was nice so we tried it. They had the made-to-order omelet station, lots of breakfast foods and pastries, and a variety of non-breakfast foods too, including asian, mexican, and "american" options. Mid-morning we checked into the Aladdin and headed out to the pool—got some beers and food at the pool snack bar—turkey wrap and quesadillas. For dinner on Sunday, we went back downtown to Center Stage. We had THE best seats in the house. Center Stage is at The Plaza, part of the seating is in the glass dome overlooking the Fremont St. canopy—apparently used to be the swimming pool for the hotel. We sat in a semi-circular booth directly facing down the FSE canopy—and our dinner reservations were 7:00, so we saw all the shows while we were eating dinner, plus being able to watch all the neon casino signs. Truly fantastic seats!! And the dinner was good too!! I had French onion soup ($6), Dane had the Martini Shrimp (shrimp cocktail served in a martini glass--$9). We both enjoyed the sea bass ($20), which came with salad. We had a pinot noir (La Crema, $35) and coffee afterwards ($6) but no dessert—we were too full. To top off the evening, we had a $25 discount coupon from the LVA POV. Our tour of the gourmet rooms of downtown Vegas continues, not a bad egg in the bunch.

    Monday we ran over to the Victorian Room at Barbary Coast—quite nice but the service wasn’t quite as good as the first time we ate there. Dane had French toast and I had eggs, bacon & toast. I ran over to the Palms to the spa after breakfast and met hubby & friends afterwards. We ran over to the Gold Coast to buy liquor and ate at the snack bar for lunch—split a large cheeseburger ($5) with Dane. Bought some liquor too—great prices! Since we went to NYNY to see Zumanity Monday night, we ate in the food court there—Fulton St. Fish Market—I had the clam chowder in a bread bowl and Dane had fish & chips. Bought a yard of margarita at Gardunos to share—brought it into Zumanity with me and still couldn’t finish it. I’m clearly getting old.

    Tuesday we ventured into the Desert Passage Mall and ate breakfast at the Cheeseburger in the Oasis. Dane got eggs, toast & Portuguese sausage and I had macadamia nut pancakes. Very good—25 cent coffees with the purchase of our entrées. ($20 total for 2 including tip) We spent the morning gambling and weren’t too hungry so we got some nachos takeout from La Salsa Cantina (in the Desert Passage Mall) and ate in our room before heading to the pool again. For dinner, we headed to the Aladdin Spice Market buffet. We had a 2-for-1 coupon with our room rate and we had never eaten there before—it was really enjoyable, an especially good value with the coupon, and the service and food were great! Unfortunately we weren’t that hungry and didn’t do the buffet justice, but I tried to sample at least one little thing from most stations.

    Wednesday we left for the airport—grabbed some breakfast sandwiches at the Rubys Diner in the airport and some pizza in the Cincinnati airport. Then home and back to normal….

    Gambling:
    I played slots, video poker and craps this trip. Sadly, I was only able to find one Press Your Luck game (at Golden Nugget) It doesn’t appear to have caught on anywhere else—since I REALLY like it. When playing nickel slots, I stuck mostly to American Bandstand, some Austin Powers and a few random nickels here and there. I put $20 into a $1 Ten X machine in the high limit area at Aladdin and won $100 on my first spin of $2 so I cashed out right away! I didn’t have a chance to play VP at Palms though I’ve heard their inventory is good—I played downtown a little, mostly Deuces Wild. Hope I got the strategy right… I played craps a couple times (as usual, whenever I play, I wish I’d played MORE because it’s so fun!!) Of course, the fact that I won probably influences me—if I lost I doubt I’d remember it as fondly. I played only at Aladdin—there were always $5 tables, even at night. The dealers were all friendly and helpful and made the experience more fun. (I won $200, just playing pass-line and a couple of come bets. My rolls weren’t terrible but I didn’t have any outstanding runs either. Dane had a couple of really good rolls (including one I didn’t witness, just got to hear about that lasted about 20-30 minutes.)

    On my downtown search for Press Your Luck, we stopped into the Fremont hotel & casino. I sat down and started playing nickel slots; Dane decided he would too. A cocktail waitress came by and took our order for Coronas. A little later we were walking through the casino and ran into the same cocktail waitress who TOLD us we needed another Corona, right??!! So we told her we’d be at the slot machines with the jewelry and 2 minutes later she was dropping off our fresh beers. Gotta love a casino where the cocktail waitresses chase you down and force you to drink—that was by far the best cocktail service I had the entire trip!!

    Entertainment:

    Zumanity, Dane’s comments [aka Hoyahubby]:
    At the end of the show I thought it felt like an expensive version of the old "Splash" show at Riviera; a variety show with boobies (some real some painted skin tight suits), some gay/lesbian for shock value, some nice Cirque aerial/acrobatic work, and a double jointed carnival act. The music was live and the theater was first rate. We had some great front row "stool" seats on the upper level, they were close with a clear view of everything. It's a good show for good stool seats or front row love seats. Be warned... you will get attention in the front row. I would not want to sit in the row seats, the stools are cheaper with a great view but I'd spend the money for front row. Getting dragged up on stage looked like a lot of fun.
    My comments—it was an interesting show, a little bizarre, and I still don’t have a strong desire to see any of the other Cirque shows….

    Spa at the Palms: I had a fabulous experience at the Palms spa!! I went early, signed in & got the tour, then went to the gym. It’s smaller than it looks in the pictures on the web but very nice. Each piece of cardio equipment had its own video screen and headphones—I used the bike and treadmill, then did a round on the circuit weights. They also had free weights, mats, exercise ball, and other cardio machine I didn’t go near. After an hour in the gym I was ready to relax and enjoy the spa before my treatment. I rinsed off in the regular shower then went into the swiss shower—10 nozzles on all sides of you and in the ceiling. Wow! What an experience (gorgeous blue tile work as well!) Then I went in the hot tub and turned the deluge ceiling on (a series of nozzles in the ceiling over the hot tub that make it “rain†on your shoulders while you sit in the hot tub!) There’s a hot tub outdoors on a patio as well—overlooking the Palms pool, with some lounge chairs, but I didn’t use that one—you need to wear a swimsuit or robe outside, nothing inside though. I went in the sauna for a while, then the cold plunge, then back in the hot tub. Only thing I didn’t hit was the steam room. I had some more water & herbal tea while I waited for my treatment. I had the “Plush Papaya Body Facial†which was AMAZING. My body was exfoliated with a scrub, then I rinsed off, and my body was massaged with lotion. Total time was 80 minutes. It cost $170, plus 18% tip, and I had a $50 coupon from the LVA POV. I decided to see if I could get a haircut too, so they were able to squeeze me in and I got a haircut in the Amp Salon too. I went upstairs to get ready—shower, play with all the lotions & potions and trying to figure out how to dry my hair (still working on that….) Tipped the woman who’d been helping out up in the ladies spa and went down to the casino to meet hubby & our friends. The Palms is pretty small but it looks cool. I’m not one of the beautiful people, but it looks like it might be fun anyway. I didn’t have a chance to play there.

    All in all, a fabulous trip! I came back with almost as much money as I left with (considering how much slots I played, that’s pretty good!!) We had a blast with our friends, I had a blast playing craps. The service at Aladdin was spectacular and we really hope they don’t change too much in the coming months. We’ll be back to Vegas in February but that’s business and we’re staying at Luxor for a show at Mandalay Bay. Too much work, not enough fun, I’m sure!!

    [ September 20, 2004, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: HoyaHeel ]
     
  9. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Nice, well done. How was the steak and shrimp at the casino-formerly-known-as-Binions?

    Hope the sea bass at Center Stage were at least ill-tempered... [​IMG] seriously, though, I get the impression that Barrick has spiffed up that place, I recall some fairly iffy reviews previously...
     
  10. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    The sea bass at Center Stage was pretty good, but the french onion soup was absolutely amazing! Dane reports his steak & lobster at nee Binions was ok, nothing superb. It was, however, only $11.95, and there was a lot of food, so the tradeoff in value was towards quantity over quality I guess.
     
  11. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

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    That's funny. They should just replace the name with a horseshoe, since that logo is all the remains the same.
     
  12. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I have to admit I was confused as all the neon signs still read Binions Horseshoe...
     
  13. Scott R

    Scott R Tourist

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    Good report Hoya. Sounds like your room at Aladdin was really nice. Glad you had a fun trip.
     
  14. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Yep, the place is covered in H's and horseshoes, so naturally the name they're keeping is... Binions. (Although properly put, it's the name they're left with... :rolleyes: )
     
  15. JR Swift

    JR Swift High-Roller

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    What? No mooning or flashing of any kind? Geez...just sounds like a nice few days away with friends. Well...that's not so bad either. Good solid report. You could actually hear the fountains from your resort room? Wow...we were on the 23rd floor in April (Room 2370...looked it up) and, try as we might, we couldn't hear more than an occasional orchestral flourish? Where was your room?
     
  16. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Our room was one of the short jags in the Aladdin building that went directly out towards Paris (overlooking the porte cochere and their pool) Our view was slightly obstructed by the Paris balloon, but we could CLEARLY hear the water cannons and hear the music too--at least, I knew when it was Bocelli playing, might not have heard all the words.
     
  17. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Hoya nice report! I'm glad you enjoyed the spa! Sounds like you had a good trip all in all! One day I won't be so damn broke and I can go to a spa. Until that day comes, I must live vicariously through your great detailed description of one.
     
  18. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I will gamble less and spend the money on a spa if that's the choice I have to make. I LOVE going to the spa in Vegas. (I'd do it at home too but it makes it more special when I save it for vacations) I know we had a pretty mellow (and therefore somewhat uninteresting trip) but thanks everyone for reading [​IMG]
     
  19. 39forevr

    39forevr Guest

    gret report but what is LVA POV? I need to find me some coupons or freebies or something. As it stands right now I dont have any bargains for food or shopping and that spa sounds heavenly. I would like to set that up for my Hubby. Thanks for the report.
     
  20. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Las Vegas Advisor Pocketbook of Values: www.lasvegasadvisor.com

    Memberships are annual (Calendar year) An online membership is $37, which is what I bought, and if you want to get newsletters in the mail instead of online it's $54 I think. You can also find coupons in the American Casino Guide (ACG) but I don't know that website--it's posted here somewhere. The Entertainment Book for Las Vegas has coupons too, but (to me at least) those are most valuable if you live in Vegas since many of the discounts are local restaurants and businesses that aren't on the Strip and don't cater to tourists. Go to the Frugal forum and the Coupons forum here and you'll find loads more info to help plan a trip.

    As for the spa, most places on the Strip have them, and the Golden Nugget downtown. I've been to the Golden Nugget, Elemis at Aladdin, and now the Palms, and I've loved them all. I'm certain your husband would enjoy a massage and the spa experience as well!! [​IMG]
     
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