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Stratosphere/WYNN

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Souette, Oct 14, 2007.

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  1. Souette

    Souette Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    580
    Location:
    Rural Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17

    My Trip Report

    What a rollercoaster trip this was for me.
    For those of you who don't know, I spent several days at the bedside of my grandmother who passed away 2 days before my scheduled Vegas trip. I was there when she passed away. At the encouragement of my family who said I was there when it really mattered, go to Vegas. It's what my grandmother would have done if the roles were reversed. I'm very much like her. :)

    Sunday, October 7
    Left on Southwest @ 8:00 a.m. which meant I had to leave my house at 4:00 a.m. Pretty uneventful but it was much harder than I expected to leave the family behind. My grandmother's service was that morning at 11:00 a.m. I kept looking at my watch and thinking about the family.
    On the plane, I did notice that it was exceptionally quiet on board. I even stood up at one point and looked behind me to see how full the seats were because of the stillness on board.
    Toward the end of the flight, the attendant noted that the plane was full of funeral directors on their way to Vegas for a convention. All I could do was laugh out loud.
    Still being in a kinda bummed out mood, on arrival in Vegas I just walked out and caught an $8 shuttle to the Stratosphere . I usually rent a car or limo. At this point I didn't care. Only 2 stops before the Strat. Circus-Circus (damn! That place appeared to be a cluster with absolutely NO order of any kinds with the folks waiting for cabs/shuttles, etc.) Next stop was the Hilton. I look around to see if there were hidden cameras to catch my expression. The Hilton parking lot was full of semi trucks....hauling caskets in for the funeral directors' show. Once again I laugh. But I'm not really sure why.
    I was at the Stratosphere in less than 30 minutes from arrival at the airport. Check-in was a breeze and I had the $29/night for 2 nights. Room wasn't quite ready so I decided to use the free buffet for lunch. This choice reconfirmed my opinion that the Stratosphere buffet sucks. Lukewarm champagne in thimble-size plastic glasses and mediocre food. But it was free and I didn't feel like going anywhere else. I also hate having to stand up and stand in line to fill your own drink glass. The wait staff is only there to take your dirty plates away. Oh yeah. I have a free "2 Buffets" but they will not split the 2 dinners, even though I'm solo. I question this practice to the buffet manager and she looks at me like I just sprouted a second head. "That's just the way they do it." she says.
    O.K. Room is ready in early afternoon. Premier Tower request is honored. The basic room is equivalent to a Motel 6 or such. Not a problem.
    Down to the casino to play for hours on roulette or slots. Up, down, up, down and end the evening with the same amount that I began with. That's good.
    Upstairs to shower and dress up for the Don Rickles show at the Golden Nugget.
    I chose to have supper at Vic & Anthony's Steak House at the Nugget before the show. I absolutely LOVE this place. The food and service is perfection. I had the stuffed salmon. I recommend this place to anyone looking for a small, intimate restaraunt. With no alcohol, my bill was about $35. The food was so good. Did I mention I love this place?
    Don Rickles. Old? Yes. Slow moving? Yes. Classic? Yes. Funny? Yes. I was really glad I saw this man. Folks were laughing out loud and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Mainly an older crowd, but then I remembered. I'm 50. Guess I'm now officially part of the "older crowd".
    Did some slots at the Nugget with no luck at all. I head back to the Stratosphere.
    I play roulette for a couple of hours and head to bed around 3:00 a.m.
    **Before bed, a phone call to my sister calms my thoughts about the day's events. The service went well. Not going into many details, my mom and her sisters/brother stuggle financially. Paying for the funeral was an issue but I was in a position to pay a good portion. They opted for the least expensive but evidently it was presented beautifully and the family was very pleased. That was another reason for my not so good mood. At this time...Vegas was a guilty pleasure for me. Spending the money for a trip when my family was struggling to pay for a funeral. I was exhausted and don't even remember hitting the pillow.

    Monday October 8
    8:00 am. The sun is up and hitting the mountains. Physically and mentally I'm rested! I'm in VEGAS!! :nworthy:
    Hmmm. What to do for breakfast? No car. And no more food at the Stratosphere. So I start walking. That's gonna be my day! Just walk toward the South and hit the strip.
    Breakfast is a half-pound hotdog & beer at the Slots-O-Fun outside of Circus Circus at 10:00 am. Now I'm really laughing! All while playing penny Roulette machine at Slots-O-Fun for a couple of hours. I'm in the groove now!
    I'm walking south again...and there it is! I've heard about it, but never seen it. The PEPPERMILL. I make a mental note to come back this trip. Walking past the Frontier I take a few pictures of the building and sign. It's a lonely ghost of a building. I hope some of you have good memories of the Frontier. I cross over and hit the slots at the WYNN for a few hours. I leave even. Good!
    Over to Treasure Island for the first time. What the heck is this place? It's like a dungeon! :eek: I kept thinking, "I need a flashlight to find my way around in this casino." Played the slots and never saw as much as one win for even a blank line. I was outta there in 30 minutes.
    Over to the Fashion Show Mall to look around. I'm not a shopper, so a quick in and out of the stores satisfied me.
    Holy Cow! It's 10 p.m. Where did the day go? I head back to the Stratosphere. It's roulette and slots for a few hours with a couple of breaks to listen to the jazz/blues groups playing in the back lounge area. That place was rock'n! Loved the music.
    BAck to the slots until about 5:00 a.m. Still not up. But not down either.
    Up to the room but too excited to sleep.
    I shower and pack up a few things.
    I head to the Wynn without even going to bed.

    Tuesday October 9th
    I was checked into my room by 8:30 am. Unbelievable!
    I had 3 nights reserved at the WYNN Tower Suites with a Parlor Suite at the rate of $550 night. This a promised birthday present to myself for my 50th birthday. Although a cheaper rate would have been welcomed, I could only travel during the second week in October. This was a long holiday weekend in Vegas and most hotels were sold out. Thus, I paid the price.
    I had stayed at the WYNN once before in one of the panaramic view resort rooms.
    Is there a difference between the resort rooms and the tower suite rooms/service? You betcha!!
    The separate arrival area and check-in area has staff almost begging to assist you. Everything was quick and orderly. "Yes, Ms. Quinn." "Thank you Ms. Quinn." "Is there anything else we can do for you Ms. Quinn?" This must be how the rich live every day.
    When I first entered the Parlor Suite, I was a little stunned. It was all the RED that jumped out at me. Red couch, red chairs, red vases, red in the carpet. All in the living room area. I could see how someone could go into seizures if they were epileptic. The bedroom was much more subtle. And the bathroom was beyond belief! The bathroom is about the size of the resort room I had stayed in during the summer. My room overlooked the golf course and pool. I really have to say that I like this view better than the strip. Last stay, I overlooked the strip and I couldn't really see much due to the ongoing constuction of the Encore and the addition to the Venetion. Yep, the golf course, pool and mountains were a good thing.

    I had a friend who was going to fly in and join me that afternoon. I invited her to share my room at my expense. We share the same birth date and have worked together for 15 years. I decide to stick close to the Wynn in case she calls. Downstairs I go for a couple of hours of slots.
    When I went back to my room something caught my eye. Hmmmmm? What is that? A gift? What a beautiful package!
    The closer I got to the table. I see that "package", two plates and silverware and a vase of fresh flowers and a card w/ "Ms. Souette Quinn". I open and it says, "Happy 50th Birthday" It was signed by the general manager of the Tower Suites.
    I look at the "package" and touched it. Holy Moses!! It's not a package. It's a cake! One of those beautiful cakes that you see on the food channel cake challenges. The yellow "ribbon" covers the the top of the cake and cascades down the side of the cake. Wow. I just barely mentioned that I had a friend joining me later and they remembered to send 2 plates and forks to accomodate her as well. What a neat gesture and neat surprise. This must be how the rich live every day. I place the cake in the refridgerator in the bar area.
    It's 11:00 a.m. and I head accross the street to the Fashion Mall to have lunch at Maggiano’s Little Italy. This was my first time there. Once again, excellent service and great food at a good price.

    At 2:30 p.m. my friend Channy arrives. She is stunned at the hotel. This is her first trip to Vegas and she's the type of person who does not hold back on her excitement. She's 36 and never been married and is the hardest working person I know. She has worked with special needs children since she was 16 yrs old. She is working on her 3rd Masters degree while working full time. She deserved a break and I'm glad she took me up on the offer to meet me. As we enter the suite, she drops her bags and literally screams over and over. She screams in the bedroom and once again in the bathroom. I think she broke the sound barrier when I showed her the cake.
    Vegas is good when seeing it once again through the eyes of a newbie.

    Over to Treasure Island Dollar Rent a Car at 4:30 to pick up a 2-day rental. We drive south so she can see the strip and drink it all in. We end up in Red Rock Canyon to watch the sun set. She makes the observation that "I bet most people who visit Vegas never get this far out. They are missing a lot." I agreed.
    Back toward Vegas by way of Charleston. We stop at the Wal-Mart grocery for the staples: Champagne, Wine, various cheeses and crackers. Indulgence is the word for the week. Channy wanted to eat at the P.F. Changs that we passed. Fine with me.
    Back to the WYNN by 11:00 p.m. and it's time to teach Channy to gamble.
    Slow and easy. A dollar bill at the nickle slots. This is hard for her. This is a chick with no debt and will work a second job to pay for a new heat pump if she needs it rather than go in debt. By 2:00 a.m. it's getting easier. I see her slip a $5 bill into the nickle slots. By 4:00 a.m....she's sitting at a dollar machine. Oh Yeah!! She's got the fever.
    In bed by 5:00 a.m.

    Wednesday October 10th
    Up by 10:00 a.m. and rested. Channy wants to see Hoover Dam. But we're both pretty hungry.
    Breakfast at the Peppermill Restaraunt. What a cool place. It must be even more so in the darkness of night. Good hearty food at fair prices. We sneak a peak at the Peppermill Fireside Lounge. We add this to our list of places to return to.
    Hoover Dam was packed with tourists but if you're a first timer it's very interesting I'm sure. I tried to remember back the first time I visited. We drove on into Arizona so she could see the desert. Her camera clicked every few seconds as we drove down the road.
    Back to the Wynn. I have enough points for 2 free buffets. 7:00 p.m finds us at the dinner buffet. We leave full and satisfied.
    Now what?
    We drive over to the Bellagioto see the fountains. She seems unimpressed with the hotel itself. So we hit the other hotels around the Bellagio and we find ourselves at the Flamingo at 3:00 a.m. By then, she's giddy and laughing from the jet lag. No luck at the slots at any of the mid-strip hotels.
    We head back to the Wynn. She hits the pillows and is snoring in seconds.
    I head back downstairs. There's a guy who has hit 1 million 2 Thousand on the $5 Wheel of Fortune. I may have my days and times mixed up on this one, but the guy was standing there beside the machine with the giant plastic check with the photograper and several security guards.
    A split second of jelousy and envy entered by body but when I saw it was the $5 WoF, I knew I'd never be playing those. $1 machines are my limit.
    I do have this observation though about the WYNN slots. Those things were singing all around me. Especially the high dollar machines. $5 and up. There were payouts going out all around. But still I couldn't make myself drop $5 into the slots.
    I talked to the woman who was sitting beside the guy when he hit the big Million. Seems the story was....the guy had applied for a job at the WYNN and was returning to check on the position. Great story. But I couldn't help but think, "If he was out of a job, what was he doing dropping cash into a $5 machine?" Whatever his story was...CONGRATULATIONS!!
    Back to the room and into bed at 6:00 a.m.

    ****Oh! I almost forgot. Earlier in the day before leaving for Hoover Dam, I noticed our sinks were draining slowly. I mentioned it to Channy but passed it off. When we returned to our room to rest before dinner, the sinks were still running slowly as we washed up. Then I went to the main bathroom (there are 2 in the suite), the toilet wouldn't flush. Nothing. Like the handle wasn't connected to anything. I took the back off the tank and I saw some kind of tank I've never seen before so I just put the top back on and called the front desk. They would send up "engineering" to take care of it. In the mean time, we called housekeeping to clean up our room because we forgot and left the "Do Not Disturb" sign on. So the room had not been made up. ( In the Tower Suite, you flip what looks like a light switch that turns on a do not disturb lighted sign outside your door.)
    We go down to gamble a little before supper and need to go back upstairs for something before dinner. When we enter the suite...I see evidence that housekeeping is in the room. I enter the bedroom and look into the huge bathroom. I see the little Mexican maid down on her hands and knees cleaning the floor. I also see at least 2 dozen towels piled up in the floor. It takes me a minutes to realize that she's soaking up water out of the bathroom floor. Seems the pipes or something busted and the bathroom is flooded. The maid is flustered. I'm sure she doesn't want to be in trouble.
    We head to the front desk and explain. They will find a room and send a bellman to help move us. I told them not to hurry and we would return after dinner.
    After dinner, we are moved from a lower floor to the 51st floor at the end of the hall. It's laid out exactly the same, except what was red in the first room .... the color is now chocolate. I like the chocolate better. I notice that the bar is empty of all the pricey food items. And seemed a little bare. I remember the staff saying the hotel was sold out for the days were were there. I'm guessing that this room was kept for emergencies only. The next day, the room was supplied as usual. Oh, and we did receive calls from the front desk and the night manager asking if any items were damaged and apologies came left and right.

    Thursday October 11th
    Up by 1:00 p.m. What have we done? Overslept? I choose to say overindulged in sleep. But we hit the door running as this is our last day in town.
    I can't really remember what we did that afternoon except head to Wal-Mart because Channy's camera was full. And we filled up the car and turned it back in at 4:30 at Treasure Island. Supper at Maggiano’s Little Italy.
    Then we walk the strip heading North towards downtown. We spent alot of time at the Riviera and playing in their promotion. We leave with a load of prizes like coffee cups, giant, I'm talking HUGE flashlight, fleece robes, t-shirts and caps.
    We catch the city Bus to Freemont, carrying our stash with us all the way.
    We wander downtown and photograph all the neon to be seen.
    We slip into the Golden Gate for our 99 cent shrimp cocktail. Yummmmmm.
    We head back to the Wynn.

    We are in our hotel room at 1:00 a.m. but we're afraid to go to sleep in fear of missing our 7:00 a.m. flight home.
    We break open the bottle of champagne and pull out the devine birthday cake. With 2 forks, we indulge in many women's Fantasy (that doesn't include a man...or another woman)...as much chocolate and champagne as we can hold with absolutely NO GUILT!! Between the two of us, we can't even finish half of it. But oh what fun!

    AS we check out at 5:00 a.m., $100 is reduced off my bill for the inconvenience of moving.
    We choose to sit separately from one another on the plane so we won't talk. We both slept all the way home. I don't remember taking off and I woke up when the wheels hit the runway in Nashville.

    Whew! Where did the week go? Glad to have went and I'm already looking at the hotel deals on this board. Is that crazy?!
    **My soldier son-in-law has received orders for Germany and my daughter and 2grandbabies will be leaving in about 3-4 weeks for 3 years. As much as I love Vegas, I love the grandkids more. So as a betting woman...I'm betting much of my Vegas travel money will be spent traveling to Germany. I haven't really looked at the world map lately, but I'm wondering how I can plan a 2-3 day layover in Vegas on the way to Europe. :rolleyes2:

    Thanks for reading my report. I appreciate all the time the rest of you take to report yours as well.

    ~Souette in Tennessee
     
  2. LadyNoah

    LadyNoah Tourist

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Absolutely fantastic TR, Souette! So glad you enjoyed your trip like your grandmother would have wanted!
     
  3. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    So Cal 91748
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    :nworthy: Nice TR. BTW, you never want to be in the room when they clean out the slow drains. The black muck they pull out is horrifying. :vomit:
     
  4. hula96717

    hula96717 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    you go girl!!.... im sure your gramma was soooooo happy that you went.. i can relate to you on so many levels... i sat next to my gramma when she passed, and i just took a solo trip to vegas.... im glad that you were able to de-virginize channy!!... and at the WYNN!!... what a way to go!!

    aloha,
    hula :thumbsup:
     
  5. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

    Joined:
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    Your birthday ROCKED! I can't imagine a better way to have spent your birthday, and I completely agree with how going with a V-virgin makes it slightly better.

    So glad you had a great time, and that was super awesome of mgmt to send you a b-day cake!

    Great TR!
     
  6. tnkc

    tnkc High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Thank you so much for the TR! I'm glad you were able to get away and have some fun.

    I am a huge Peppermill fan; I can just taste it now. I'm VERY impressed with the Wynn based upon your comments (a pipe can break anywhere)...I'll have to try and stay there some day. I love hearing about a newbie's thoughts...it sounds like you two had a blast.

    I appreciate your son-in-law's service to our country and your daughter's sacrifice. Sorry to hear you'll be headed to Germany more than Vegas for a while, but I'd do the same.
     
  7. Peri

    Peri Tourist

    Joined:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    This was an absolutely fascinating report! What a great trip - you are too cool!

    Have fun in Germany! LOL
     
  8. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    I think with eveything that transpired before your vacation this was very much needed. You ran the gamet of hotels from the Strat to the Tower Suites at the Wynn; that's a huge change. I'm really glad you enjoyed Vegas and who knows maybe you can get to Germany via Las Vegas:haha:
     
    Back where we belong
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