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Sept 24-27, IP and Cher

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Lori R, Sep 28, 2010.

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  1. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    Disclaimer: There are some referernces to people who are members of another board.

    Friday, 9/27/10: On this trip was my friend, Ross. We couldn’t get a ride to the airport so I picked up R at 7 and I parked in one of the off-site lots and we were at the airport by 7:45. The flight was pretty full so Ross and I chose the same row—he had aisle and I had window. We lucked out—nobody sat between us. I think we were the oldest people on the flight. Everybody else was in their 20’s or so. The thing I noticed most was that these people did not shut up for a minute (and they were loud). Not even for the safety lecture. Then, when the captain said that they could turn on their approved electronic devices, those little bluish lights were emanating from everywhere. To answer Mister Keno’s question from a previous thread, you cannot access the internet through the whole flight. Everything gets shut off for take-off and landing. Since it’s only a 50 minute flight from San Diego, it hardly seems worth it to get internet access.

    We were met at the airport by Doris (Applegreenjade) and our boyfriend, Bill (she let’s me share). We went over to Ellis Island for the steak special as Doris and Bill had not yet tried it. We had a good meal and then it was on to IP for check in. Doris and Bill were dropping us off but then they decided to come inside for a while.

    The check in line had maybe 10 people ahead of us. It moved slowly and the air conditioning in IP leaves much to be desired. For the women who are having their own personal tropical vacations, it feels to be almost non-existent! While on line, we were joined by the ever lovely and popular Vegasbabe (Jane).

    We finally got to the counter and I presented my ID. The desk clerk punches a few keys and then says, “Excuse me for a moment.†I turned to R and said, “This isn’t good.†He asked why. I explained that the auto room assign didn’t come up with anything so she had to go to the back office and ask a manager for a room. She finally came back and told us she had a room for us but it was in Tower 5. “What’s wrong with Tower 5?†I query. Response: You hear the noise from Carnaval Court.†“Does it have 2 beds?†I ask. She answers in the affirmative and tells me that we can ask for a room change in the morning.

    The good news about Tower 5 is that it is the closest to the front desk. The room was plain and simple but looked clean overall. The bathroom was a decent size and clean, except for some grout stains. There was plenty of counter space for two people to spread out there stuff. It was a non-smoking room but had a balcony (3 feet) so I could get my fix without getting dressed to go downstairs. Here’s the bad news, so far. The elevator is NOT air conditioned. The hall carpeting is stained and dirty. It’s not threadbare or anything but it looks like they cut back on their janitorial services. It really needs a good shampoo. The carpeting in the room was also dirty and stained. I guess they don’t take these rooms down for a deep cleaning/shampooing.

    Here is the view from our room, taken just after sunrise:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] That's the Harrah's pool. Pretty plain. What's funny is, if you look at the semi-circular rooftop next to the pool, those things on there are phone books.

    We unpacked, had a smoke, and went downstairs to join Doris, Bill and Jane. They were playing some 100 hand VP so I joined in. R went to walk around. After a while, Doris and Bill left and Jane and I decided to play Goldfish. She wanted to learn “the dance.†At first, our machines were not showing a lot of love but then things picked up and we were dancing! Great fun. I looked at my watch. What? 4am. “Jane, I’ve been up almost 24 hours. I have to go to bed.†We said goodbye and I went upstairs.

    I tried to be real quiet as R was already in there asleep. Then I remembered that he’s a deep sleeper so I went about my business and crawled under the very thin covers with the A/C on max! Didn’t hear any Carnaval Court noise so I guess it won’t be an issue.
     
  2. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    Day 2

    Saturday 9/25/10:

    R wakes up about 5, gets ready for the day, and goes on a 5 mile walkabout. This would be every morning. I never heard him at all. I awakened at 8 and pulled myself together on too little sleep. I had a certificate for Margaritaville so I suggested breakfast there. We got there about 10:10 and there was a smallish line to get into breakfast which is served up on the terrace. While we were waiting, the line grew. There was some talk that we wouldn’t be allowed in to have breakfast since they shut breakfast down at 10:30, but then the manager up there made the decision to let some people up. We were one of the lucky few, being only 4 parties back. Then, it turns out, they let everyone up. They just extended breakfast up on the terrace. I thought that was a sound decision.

    It was very nice on the terrace. A little hot though. We had a lovely view of Caesar’s. The food was decent enough. Ross felt that it was a notch above Denny’s. I should mention Ross’ credentials. He is a talented chef. He owned his own catering company for a while. He currently is a food and beverage director of a Salvation Army facility. While we were there, the POS computer went down and the servers were going crazy trying to remember what everybody ordered. Our server neglected to remember that Ross ordered a screwdriver with his breakfast.

    Here is a picture of our view from Margaritaville:

    [​IMG]
    After breakfast, we headed over to Caesar’s to pick up our show tickets for the evening. We waited on line and when we got to the desk, the clerk couldn’t seem to find my reservation. He asked if I had my confirmation number which, of course, I neglected to bring with me. Finally, he found me. Our tickets are for Sunday—not Saturday. This isn’t my first gap of the trip but I always had my room key with me! That’s ok, though, since we didn’t have anything planned for Sunday night. Now, we didn’t have anything for Saturday night.

    Next, on to Max Brenner, where we planned to enjoy the Sunday brunch. After walking the entire length of the Forum Shops, we learned that it was way back in the wing where the Atlantis ride is, shortly after you walk into the mall. It’s the old Chinois space.

    The manager, Ryan, greeted us and gave us the cook’s tour. I should mention that Ross and Ryan know each other. It’s a very nice two-story establishment.

    A few pictures:

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We had some samples. First were chocolate covered pecans (chocolate and pecan are two of my favorite words). Then, we had shots of warm chocolate ganache. Next came samples of chocolate pizza. Last came this chocolate chip cookie that was beyond huge. They call it the OMG cookie. I took a piece off to taste. I exclaimed “Oh my G-d.” R took a taste too and he was done. I finished the cookie. With some concern, at this point, for my blood sugar, I suggested we start walking.

    We went back into the CP casino and R went to look for a restroom. I sat down at a Wolf Run machine. I was playing modestly and got a nice payout so I went to max bet and, shortly thereafter, won $269!! I made the nice Canadian lady next to me give me high fives. LOL. Happy Birthday, Jacqui!

    I cashed out and we went up the strip as R wanted to go to the Wynn. We stopped at Palazzo for a little bit (I needed to sit down) and I played some VP. R walked around. I think he played some craps there. We went through Venetian and Palazzo. When we got to Wynn, I asked R if there was anything in particular that he wanted to see. The answer was “No” so we walked around and then went back through Palazzo and Venetian.

    At this time, it was about 6:30 and I was getting hungry. Actually, I was hungry at Wynn but couldn’t think of anything I really wanted. All that chocolate really messed with me. At the V, I went to the food court and stopped at the Rialto Deli. R wasn’t that hungry so he walked around (played some Goldfish—I got him hooked, no pun intended). I ordered an egg salad sandwich. For less than $6, I had a nice egg salad on rye (not loaded with mayo). a pickle and coleslaw. A great bargain, as far as I’m concerned. They had more expensive sandwiches but this hit the spot. Then, we headed back to IP. I had a coupon for the wax museum but everything hurt me so I will go next time.

    We got back to IP about 8 and all I wanted to do was go upstairs and lie down. R was now hungry. He asked if I knew anything about the Mexican joint at IP. I replied that I hadn’t heard anything positive. He went and tried it while I went upstairs. He came back to the room about 8:30 and said it was terrible. Then he lay down as well. Right around then, I decided I was in for the night. I know, who am I? 8:30 pm and I’m in bed in Vegas? Unheard of!! I called my friend, Connie, to tell her. This has never happened. I slept straight through until 6am! Oh, there was an Ashanti concert at Carnaval Court tonight. You could hear the bass like crazy but the air conditioner noise masked it somewhat.
     
  3. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    Day 3

    Sunday, 9/26/10:

    R was already on his morning walkabout when I awakened. He came back as I was dressing. I told him I needed coffee badly so I was going out. I went over to Harrah’s to my Starbucks on the second floor near Toby Keith’s. The line was pretty long—usually there’s nobody in line. What cracked me up was that it was all men in line—and me. Everyone ahead of me was ordering some kind of foo foo coffee drink. You know the kind where they write your name on the cup and then the clerk who works on the side makes it up for you. I turned to the gentleman behind me and commented that you don’t usually see men ordering the fancy coffee drinks. I’m simple. A grande coffee with room for cream. They raised the prices. $3.35. Ouch!

    I took my beverage downstairs and planted myself in front of a Goldfish machine. After a while, the machine warmed up and I won $100. I took the money and went back to IP. I met R in the casino where he had some nice luck at craps—nothing showy but a tidy profit.

    We headed over to Max Brenner about 10:30. It was not crowded. It should be. The food was amazing. We both had the guilt-free omelets. It’s served with home fries which were to die for, a sugar-dusted biscuit, some warm butter, and warm chocolate ganache.

    Here's what it looked like. The butter did not resolve well but I'm not a professional photographer.

    [​IMG]

    When you order cream for your coffee, you get heavy cream. Delish! They have a varied menu and there were many things that I would have enjoyed tasting but eggs are fine for me. I was planning on paying for the brunch with a loaded Visa card that was given to me as a gift but Ryan comped it. I argued with him, of course, but he said that he couldn’t charge Ross. I said, “Well, then charge me.†He replied that he couldn’t do that either. R agreed that the food was superb. It was miles ahead of Margaritaville. Oh, and Ryan pulled our boarding passes for us. I was a little late in remembering to do that and we got B. *sigh*.

    Here are some more pictures of Max Brenner:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After brunch, I needed a little walkabout so I went up to PH. First I stopped in at Flamingo. I went to go play the cigar machine where LVlovernana won back in July. It doesn’t appear to be there anymore. I walked around looking for it but didn’t see it. Then I stopped at Bill’s to visit the Goldfish and Kitty Glitter. No love. While I was playing, I chatted with a slot attendant. I asked her about the changes that were coming. She confirmed that the pool was going on the rooftop. I asked her who the investor was who was going to run the new boutique hotel. She said it was going to be Victor Drai and that an announcement was coming soon.

    Finally got up to PH. Played there for a while. Nothing. About 3pm, I headed into the Miracle Mile Shops to go find Red Mango. For those who don’t know, this is a frozen yogurt place that my sister, in N.Y., just raves about. We don’t have them in San Diego yet so I needed to check it out. I’m not even going to talk about the general incompetence of the counter help. OK, a little bit. So they have 2 registers open. One girl takes my order and then comes back and looks at the lady next to me and asks if she wants any toppings on that. I said, “Excuse me. I’m your customer!†I ordered the pumpkin spice yogurt and it was very good. Sorry, Mike, no taro flavor.

    After watching a fountain show, from across the street, I stopped in at Paris for a little VP. Nothing. Remembering that the escalators between Bally’s and Bills were down (3 out of 4), I went out the side entrance of Bally’s and crossed the street there just east of Bill’s parking garage. That’s better then walking up and down all those stairs. My feet, knees and hips thanked me!

    I got back to the room about 4pm to rest up for the show which started at 7:30. I just lay there like a lox for about an hour with some intermittent smokey treat breaks. About 5:45, we started getting ready to go (my getting ready to go involved some hair and makeup).
     
  4. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    Day 3 Continued and Day 4

    I wanted to add another pic to day 3 so...

    At 6:30, we’re ready to depart. I started going through my coupons as we were going to have dinner after the show. I picked a few and put them in my purse. Just as we were about to leave the room, I said, “Oh, the tickets. I need to check where they are. Now, this one’s for you, Steveslot. I looked in my purse. They’re not where I put them yesterday. I start ripping everything apart. Fortunately, R remained calm during all this. Now, there’s all kinds of paper and stuff all over my bed because I was sorting through the coupons. I’m checking my purse. R is checking my purse. Then, he starts looking through all the junk on my bed. The tickets were in a small envelope which was turned over and was pretty non-descript. He picked it up, he turned it over and it said “Cher†on there. “Is this it?†“Yes, Thank G-d!!!†I knew that I had to do something stupid—I just wish it had not been that. I have some extra gray hairs today.

    Ross and me before we went in. Notice the black rectangle in his pocket. I put him in charge of the tickets. LOL.

    [​IMG]

    As many of you know, the show is incredible. Lots of costume changes but the slide shows and other fillers were very entertaining. Cher looks great. Unbelievable for 64 years old.

    After the show, we decided on BB King’s. I had an r.com coupon for $25 off. We get there about 9:30 or so. The girl at the front show us the late night menu. Really? 9:30 is late night in Vegas? The items on the “limited†menu looked ok. I asked if my coupon could be used and there didn’t seem to be a problem. Then, let’s do it. She walks us back to the restaurant hostess who informs us that there will be a $5 per person cover charge. “Huh? For what?†“Well, there’s going to be entertainment (the stage was set for a live band).†“Yes, but we’re going to eat dinner.†“It doesn’t matter.†OK, who wants to guess what I did? Right you are! Turned on my heels and walked out. The place wasn’t even full. I’ll be damned if I’m paying $5 for the privilege of sitting in their restaurant! I’m glad they can afford to lose customers.

    OK, we need plan B. Well, as my luck would have it and, since we already were at The Mirage, B stands for BLT Burger which I have wanted to try. Since I didn’t use my loaded Visa this morning, I will use it for dinner tonight (I’m getting another loaded Visa tomorrow). I got The Stripper burger which is a burger, lettuce, tomato, red pepper, onion and avocado but no bun (still trying to offset all that chocolate). R had a bacon and swiss burger. I tasted his burger. It was good. We ordered sweet potato fries and Vidalia onion rings as sides. I thought it all was very good but it still can’t compare to the burgers at Bradley Ogden.

    After dinner, I didn’t feel like gambling or anything. I just went back to the room and changed clothes. I went downstairs to the gift shop to buy some Tums. That burger is going to mess with me tonight, I just know it! I also bought a banana so I’d have something to put in my stomach in the morning. While downstairs, Doris called me but I couldn’t get service in that area so I went out to where the monorail station is to talk to her. She is insisting upon driving us to the airport. I don’t deserve a friend like this.

    We decide that, since the flight is at 10:55, she should pick us up at 9am. I went back up to the room and relayed that to R.

    In bed at midnight (really, who am I?) with the alarm set for 7.

    Monday, 9/27/10:

    I awakened at 6:30 pretty much hating life but I didn’t try to go back to sleep. By the time, R got back from his morning activities, I was packed, showered and dressed and just finishing my makeup. About 8:20, we headed downstairs, luggage in tow. I thought maybe we could get a bite at Betty’s Diner but the line was pretty long and I was fairly well convinced that nothing there would be worth standing in line for. R, meantime, was looking for a gift for his 10 year old daughter. That took about 30 minutes so I just went back into the casino. I sat at a 25 cent VP machine and won $2. Impressive, no?

    Doris and Bill got us to the airport which was quite the zoo so I suspected that the security checkpoint would be jammed. Not so. Only about 5 people in line ahead of us. Our flight was completely full and was rather uneventful EXCEPT for about 20 minutes outside of San Diego we hit some turbulence. Scary turbulence. I think we’re going to die turbulence. I was very grateful when we landed.

    So, that’s it. Came home to 113 degree temperature. It’s 12:30 am, at this writing, and we’re sitting at 75 degrees. Tomorrow is supposed to be 90. A cooling trend? Looks like no real relief until the weekend.

    OK, a few more things:

    Thank you to Doris and Bill. You are way too kind and generous.

    Thank you to Jane. It was great to see you and thanks for spending your night off and early morning hours with me.

    IP isn’t half bad. If you’re a light sleeper, Tower #5 will kill you. They do need to upgrade their HVAC units.

    Cher is amazing. See the show, if you have the chance.

    I urge everyone to try Max Brenner. If the brunch is any indication of their food, you will not be disappointed. Decent price points as well. I will go back!

    Thank you for reading it.
     
  5. Blondie76

    Blondie76 Low-Roller

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    Sounds like a fun trip. Glad you enjoyed Cher too. Thanks for the report and all the nice pics too. :)
     
  6. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    You're very welcome, Blondie. Thanks for reading it.
     
  7. justmare

    justmare High-Roller

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    Enjoyed the report and the pictures.

    Still haven't seen Cher and now I'm not sure it will happen before she goes.

    Glad you had a good time!
     
  8. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    Thank you, Justmare. Glad you enjoyed.
     
  9. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Great read! Thank you so much for posting it.
     
  10. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

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    I think it's great you walked out of BB King's at the Mirage over the cover charge. What a bunch of morons. I'll try to take my daughter to Max Brenner's next month...we'll see. I'm usually only good for one planned event per trip once the chips and drinks start flying.

    Thanks for the read. As always I love your reports.
     
  11. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    Thank you, Sin. Appreciate the compliment.
     
  12. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    You are so kind, Peanutmnm. If your daughter likes chocolate, she will love MB. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
     
  13. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    Great Report!! I enjoyed it , love the pics and the details

    Not sure if I'll get to see Cher (saw her here in Calgary 5-6 yrs ago on one of her final *tours* , great show) and I now must try MB lol sounds yummy
     
  14. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    Thank you for the nice compliment, VegasDiva. If you want to try MB, Groupon has them featured today. For $12, you get a $24 coupon but it expires in January.
     
  15. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Very nice report Lori. Enjoyed the review of Max Brenner too, as I've had it on the to do list since it opened. Great pics as well.
     
  16. Lori R

    Lori R Tourist

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    I appreciate your kind words, Jinx. Max Brenner does not disappoint.
     
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