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Summer TR, One part pink, one part dazzle

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by easystreet57, Aug 29, 2014.

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  1. easystreet57

    easystreet57 Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    TR 7/27-8/2/2014

    I apologize for the extended length of this report. I tried to make it short and to the point, but I just can’t. The complete report is in excess of 5500 words plus pictures. I won’t subject this audience to all that in one dose, so I plan to post in sections or topics with some editing.

    First … we have no gambling events to report .Just the usual slot contribution throughout the week at five or six different locations with the expected ups and downs finishing a $100+ or so down, this is routine and expected. Gambling is not the lure of Vegas for us, it’s the experience of new things and old favorites, and the chance to play in the glitz and glamour “sandbox” for a couple of weeks each year.

    Non-stop Philadelphia to Las Vegas via Southwest no problem, except for the long ride, each trip we seem to get less tolerant of the continuous 5 hours of sitting. Don’t know if it that each year we’re older or if the level of trip expectation is less but there seems to be a lot of uncontrollable squirming between us, like kids at church, that reading, music or even a DVD player cannot relive. The “red-eye” back home at the end of the week proved to be even worse. We have another non-stop trip planned in December but after that we’ll have to discuss the one stop version of the trip. Non-stops are getting harder to find anyway.

    The Stays
    The summer trip is always split into two locations three nights apiece. This time we chose Flamingo and Aria. Yes, two strip hotels, one each from the big players, walking distance apart, but oh how different, here’s how it went…

    Flamingo, Sunday thru Wednesday
    DSCN3142.jpg

    The check-in using the private room for Platinum and above at Flamingo is a plus. Upgraded to a Mini- GO suite for $14 a night over the booked room rate as part of the eUpgrade offer. The offer also included other available discount and offers TBD at check-in. Sometimes the norm at CET locations, the agent knew nothing about this “plus” part of the offer, so I produced the e-mail and let her read it. Still clueless, said she never saw that before. It must be a cost saving tactic at CET to let the customers train the employee. All she could offer, with a smile, was a list of BOGO options on property as part of the “Platinum Perk”. Ok…good enough. The room was not ready as it was early in Vegas, not yet 11 a.m. After breakfast and a walk along the strip for some room supplies the GF’s phone rang with the news that the room was ready, it’s now around 2 p.m., not bad, returned to Flamingo and picked up keys for the mini-suite.
    The room on the floor 22, overlooking Ballys with an angle view of the strip was larger than a standard room and I suppose, exactly as describe, a mini-suite. Most of the extra space was found in the center of the room which also included a sofa and table and still ample area for walking around without bumping into each other. The bed was situated in its own alcove with a ceiling fan and a TV mounted on a swing arm, much like a hospital room set-up. Another TV on the wall in the main section of the room which was viewable from the sofa as well as the bed, plus the bathroom TV in the mirror. As part of the fun, the TV remotes had the same frequency, so when you operated one TV, the other one had to get in the act too. Took some skill each night to turn off the bed TV without turning on the room TV, turn one off, the other would pop on…just what you need after running hard all day in Vegas. Other note on the room was the storage situation. Desk top counter ran almost the entire length of the long wall with a single drawer of 4” depth in each, obliviously these were four desk units mounted side by side. Ever try to store clothes in a 4” drawer, not much fits above a single level. Very annoying, the only other options were to pile clothes on the desk top or to live out of the suitcase. Bath with tub and separate shower was adequate. Last room note, had two lamps out, one of the side bed lamps (that would blink on if you smacked it) and one of the pink accent bulbs in the bath ceiling that bugged me the entire stay.
    IMG_20140727_134208.jpg

    Generally, the stay at the Flamingo was what was expected. I know that the property is no “spring chicken”, (ah..I mean flamingo) and just moving around in the building can be a chore with super crowded first floor and painfully slow elevators. We had stayed here before during a short winter trip so nothing was new to us except the mini-suite and the pool area (more on that later). We had eaten at most of the casual restaurants on the property including Margaretville spot during previous visits, so that was a pass this trip, although, the pizza joint near the café and buffet was a good find late one evening. A big slice, the perfect midnight snack.

    We’ll move on from the Flamingo with good thoughts and regards, except for the mini-suite and its clothes storage, which made absolutely no-sense. Time to go Aria for a first time stay, let see what we find there…

    Aria Wednesday thru Saturday.
    Stepping on the property from the cab ride from Flamingo we first met Dean, really nice young man who took our bags, showed us the way to the registration desk and made us laugh. Then a reasonable wait to a smooth check-in. It was just noon and there was no wait for the room. Because we had scheduled the “red-eye” home for Saturday, I asked about late-check-out. The well spoken woman explained in a friendly but “matter of fact” tone that hotel policy was that late check-out was only available at the time of booking (advance notice) but she would make a note for us to have a “courtesy hour”, check-out would now be 12 noon. Another stop at the Concierge to pick up our room package “Welcome Letter”, up to the 22 floor into one of the most attractive and stylish room that we have ever been in, although the Première room at Palms with the “eyes” on the wall will always be one of my favorites.
    DSCN3084.jpg

    A call for the bags not only brought us the luggage in less than ten minutes, but with them came another equally polished employee who greeted us and assumed the role of “room tour guide”. He showed us the use of the high tech room controls and warned us about messing with the mini-bar and refrigerator, unless we were willing to pay dearly for our actions. The tour was necessary because, for those who have never been, the room can be completed managed electronically from a control pad. Just the sort of frills that no one needs but must have and are willing to pay to get it, us humans! I am sure folks back at the Flamingo are still turning on the lights with manual switches and actually walking over to the thermostat to adjust room temperature, unbelievable. The “goodnight” button by the bed was my favorite. Oh, those poor creatures back at the Flamingo without one…
    After the tour and being able to see the pool at Vdara through our window, I asked the bellmen about Aria guest using the pool there. He said he was not sure of the policy but he would find out. He stepped over to the phone and one touched someone and began a conversation as if he were a hotel guest, asking about using the pool at Vdara. He went on with whom he was speaking about meeting old friends at the Aria pool and it being crowded and noisy and he thought it would be better for their reunion to go to the quitter Vdara pool if that would be possible. I could hear a woman voice on the other end of the phone. I had no real reason to want to use the pool at Vdara, just curious if we had that option being the two hotels are so closely linked. After our question about late check out and now this, I started to notice how an underlining message was being sent in just the short time that we have been on the property.
    First, the response from the voice on the phone was “no”. Ok, that is probably always the policy and he must know it. He could have said “no, that’s not allowed”, right when I asked him… but he didn’t… He made it look like he had a personal interest in what we wanted to do, he made the show on the phone, told me that he was sorry but they said “no” and then left me with the suggestion that I should go over to Vrdra anyway and tell them that the “kids at the Aria pool are driving me nuts” and maybe they would let you in to the pool. Do you see what happened here, even though the answer was” no”, the negativity was removed by the positive effort and hope that it could happen, without any guar tees. And the check-in host, who stated the policy which didn’t work for us, the “no”, quickly threw in the hour. Nothing huge, but it took away the negativity. The message was that all your request at Aria will be considered, not answered, just considered. But when you’re being dazzled, who can tell the different between yes, no, considered or answered. Think back to the Flamingo check-in agent who when asked a question about hotel offer, replied with, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”, is it training or the 5-star rating? most likely both. I do enjoy the “theater” and how a customer facing job at Aria is a “craft”…and heck, just being dazzled. The entire stay at Aria was at this level and a wonderful experience.
    DSCN3059.jpg

    The two hotels are not only separated by a few blocks and six lanes of traffic, but also decades of time. Am sure that the Flamingo has bed sheets older than City Center complex. Spending time at the strip “matriarch” and then at the “sassy upstart” was the point of the choice. The Aria was the classer place, with top level service and good planning throughout, especially the elevator design where one car only serves a limited number of floors, not the entire building. But then again it should be… it’s newer and the cost of staying, eating and drinking there reflect the “polish”. The Aria may have the edge on creature comforts, but the Flamingo is, and always will be “Vegas”. Staying at the Aria you could be in any major city, but at the Flamingo… this must be Vegas. Where else could that wonderful tacky “pink” be accepted and displayed so proudly. There is a place for them both. The Flamingo, forever fabulous, has my respect because it’s not perfect and has survived in a neighborhood that eats its old. But it sure was “dazzling” on the other side of the street. A shot of each was the perfect Vegas concoction.

    Nowhere else was the contrast more evident that at the pools…more to come.
     
  2. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

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    Loving this! Can't wait to read more!
     
  3. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Great start, cant wait to read more!
     
    NFL Championship Weekend
  4. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Looking forward to more!
     
  5. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Awesome so far. Love your thoughts and writing style.
     
  6. easystreet57

    easystreet57 Low-Roller

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    Part 2 of the Summer TR, one part pink, one part dazzle

    Thanks to all who took time to post a positive reply. After this, Eats and then Shows and Nightlife are on the way, hang in there

    The Pools

    Once again, two pools with different personalities. The Flamingo pool was up first… most noticeable was the “chair Olympics” at the Flamingo each morning. Sunday afternoon, after we settled into the room, the pool was a picked over mess by the time we arrived. Most chair were occupied, or appeared to be, with a combination of towels, plastic cup and beer cans scattered everywhere you looked, evidence of a wild weekend, sorry I missed it. We found a couple of seats by the family pool and listened to kids screaming, broken up with occasional walks to get the lay of the land, and after a couple of hours we called an end to the pool day. The GO pool would be our choice for tomorrow; the trick was to get a spot.


    Monday I arrived at the pool early, pre-9a.m., where I landed two chairs on the end, 10 yards from the pool and on the edge of the walking lane for the servers going to and from the pool bar, primo spot. Tuesday morning we repeated the quest with poorer chair location, for some reason, 9-9:15 was a little too late on Tuesday. Each day was good, friendly party vibe at the GO pool with pleasant servers with decent food and drinks, priced as you expect in that environment. I enjoyed the DJs on duty each day, Tuesday a little better with Priscilla Torres (Stilla the Thrilla) performing. The music, which some may consider loud, (I did not), completed the party atmosphere, along with nearly everyone holding a can or a Flamingo cup, me too!

    The Aria pool had just a bit different appearance. Pretty… pretty place, pretty pools and of course…pretty people. Clean and well maintained area with three pools, hot tubs and ice water stations positioned throughout. Plenty of chairs for everyone any time of the day, in all section of the pool area, some even came with attached umbrella. The music was upbeat (no DJ), more relaxing and just below conversation level. The servers were polite and ambitious. Kids and adults had free range, but the pool areas with the shooting streams from the sides seemed to attract most of the children. Food and drinks were great. Generally, a dollar or two more than Flamingo, not a huge price difference. The Asian Chicken Salad was the best I ever had from a plastic container.


    Aria does have Liquid Pool…ah, Liquid Pool…now here’s a bit of a story…

    As part of our package, free passes to Liquid Pool were included. Ok, I know what a “Liquid Pool” is…a day life club, young, loud and costly for the privilege of hanging with the millenniums and DJs of some notoriety. This is an ongoing joke between the GF and I, where I convince her that I belong in such places, causing her eyes to roll while thinking on the potential embarrassment ahead. When someone gives me free passes, this only heightens my determination to go in, grey chest hair and all. So off we go just after the 11a.m. opening with our free passes and the GF head shaking and grins. Inside, it is nearly empty of guest, just workers and bikini clad servers gearing up for the day. We our immediately set upon by one of the workers with a clipboard who begins to explain “how it works around here”, reciting the pricelist for sitting. I only remember the top and bottom prices, $250 min. for a day bed, and the very least, a small table and chair in front of the bar at $25 per hour. Now both he and the GF are grinning at me, what to do? grin right back and say,… “That’s not happening, what else you got”

    Well, he says, you’re welcome to use the pool, but don’t sit anywhere except on the pool edge. Ok… that’s what will do. I knew we weren’t staying, never had intentions of it, in fact we already put our stuff on two poolside chairs before walking over to Liquid pool. Just wanted to see inside and be able to say that I was at Liquid pool. Next came the security guard who informed us that we now had to step over to a window in the wall and give up all of our possessions, deposit them in a bag and get a claim number for the bag, much like a coat check. Nothing could be taken off at the pool or left sitting by the edge, that meant anything that was not going into the pool with you had to go into the bag. Shirt, shoes, cover-up, wallet, (not me, DL and credit cards are waterproof!) everything into the bag. We followed the instructions and eventually got into their precious pool. We stayed for nearly an hour and watch the parade of people, (free passer am sure) come in and meet the clipboard, with most turning around and walking out. Some of the looks on their faces while they were listening to the price list were quite funny. While still other, youngsters, stepped in, handed over a credit card and were then showed to their spot for the day. Cool, good for them! Soon after we dried off and collected our bag at the little window and went on our way to the main pools. Mission accomplished, been to Liquid Pool. I didn’t turn around, who’s grinning now? Yeah, she still is!

    Side note. The next day we did the SPA at Aria in the late afternoon, the therapeutic pool at the spa is located outdoor about 2/3 stories up…overlooking Liquid Pool, in fact, right behind the DJ booth. So while relaxing at the spa pool, you can listen to the music and watch the fun..just like being there with balcony seating…Vegas never disappoints.

    So the summer of 2014 pools days were all good, as was expected. Once again I am torn…while the Aria pool is…dazzling… like being swept away to a different world, the Flamingo pool was, like the kids say, “kickin it”. I just can’t pick a favorite, there is an element in each that I really enjoy…only in Vegas can you "stir the blood" and "sooth the soul" in the same week, is that “red-blooded or blue blooded”, oh someone stop me…

    And there is still more…two dinners, one in sky the other on the water.
     

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  7. oldcrabtom

    oldcrabtom Low-Roller

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    Amazingly enjoyable read, keep it up ! Would like to hear how ya killed em @ craps, though !!
     
  8. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    Really enjoying the report. I like the way you're comparing the Flaming and Aria, without being negative about it.

    I agree that while the new hotels are quite stunning, they could be in any city and lack the "Vegas feel" of the older hotels.

    Looking forward to the rest!
     
  9. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Excellent report - looking forward to more.
     
  10. pphold

    pphold pp Park Place Degenerate

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    THANK You for the great Pool report.

    I say I'm going to hit the pool and never do. Great TR for a view on the other side of Vegas for me. I only know the casino. I'm going to hit the pool and clubs one of these trips.


    Love the pics and report.



    Another Funny thing I have never notice is your check in a both Flamingo and Aria. I guess since I have my Host book my stays that I have the room booked one day before I arrived and check out is the day after I leave I never notice the is the room ready and asking about late check out.

    Very good TR. You have such a great view on this in a very positive way.


    ONE great honest informative review.
     
  11. easystreet57

    easystreet57 Low-Roller

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    Part three of TR one part pink, one part dazzle

    THE EATS

    During the course of the week, we ate at several restaurants that we had not tried before. They included the Hash House, Beach Café at the Trop, the Aria Café as wells the Vdara Market Café. Of the new finds, all were good with no complaints. I am no food critic so my opinion on the food would be of no help or interest to anyone. I do notice the surrounding and the attitude of the staff. Generally, I feel that the worker in all walks in a tourist town, like Vegas, seem to get it. That the tourists are vital to their success of even survival. So I find almost all of them to be engaging and making an effort in their work. The Vdara café was a standout, small place that’s big on service with good food at a reasonable price considering its location in the style and grace of City Center. We found our way there for breakfast the first time with a BOGO MyVegas coupon. Later in the week we went back on a full pay. Because it’s small, perhaps less than twenty tables, watching the activity is a pastime. The staff was all busy, but not too busy to help each other clear tables, check on customers, carry dishes etc. It was refreshing to watch the teamwork. The Café also enjoys a robust “take-out” business. During both our visits, the line never stopped with a couple of food runner dedicated to just that service.

    Other BOGO MyVegas offers took us to the Mirage and Aria buffets. Good eats at both but the Aria buffet was a little disappointing in it overall “feel”. Don’t know why, just thought it would be quieter and less cafeteria “feeling”. The food selection was great and nice friendly staff and that’s really all that matters. Don’t know, maybe it was just me that night. Looking for another “Wicked Spoon” but not finding it there.

    E ach trip we always plan a special dinner, someplace that we feel is unique to Vegas, which are many. This trip we went wild with a double…


    Voodoo Night

    First up was the Voodoo Steak House. I enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere but don’t think it made a “let’s go back” impression because the Voodoo club experience was a dud. Unfortunately for the restaurant, in our minds the two will be linked together because we planned it that way. Dinner and dancing. The self-created hype was more exciting than the event, nobody’s fault but our own. True party people make the party, not stand around and hope to be swept up in one. More on this later when we all make it to the nightlife section, but remembering the Voodoo will conjure up,” Oh yeah, we went there…(cricket, cricket, cricket). Anyway back to the dinner. Shared appetizer, two dinners and shared dessert, $120, ok for a jacket and jewelry night. No drinks or wine were included in that price, John our waiter gave it his best shot in suggesting a nice glass of (name unrepeatable) or even a glass of (what he say?), but no sale here. Been there before, after the first taste the GF nose goes up and there it sits till my “blue collar” appears and I subsequently drain all the glasses and even her plate if necessary, I hate waste. Besides, there will be time for that later at the Voodoo lounge. Good/Bad point, long time for dinner to unfold, nearly two hours from sit down to stand up. I suppose that fancy dinners aren’t to be rushed, but seemed longer than necessary being the restaurant was not crowded, 20% on a Tuesday night. No matter, we were at the RIO for the evening and not in a hurry. The waiter, John was a fun guy and added to the “nice evening” experience. We were not seated on the good view side, but did get to watch the “zip-liners” all through dinner. Wish I had the guts…or do I?

    Dinner on Lake Mead (previously posted in “Restaurants” thread)

    Next up on the planned dinner list was the much anticipated “Lake Mead Dinner Cruise”. This night was booked from home pretty much sight unseen. Very little information was available from the tour operator, and even the knowledgeable VMB was sparse with details. No matter, booked and paid for the trip receiving only a receipt and instructions to call a given number 24 hours ahead of a 4 pm. departure. When the time came, the voice on the phone at Grey Line Tours told us to be at the Planet Hollywood bus platform at 4:30 and look for a Gray Line bus. Upon arriving at PH, we quickly found a security guard and asked about the location of the bus platform, a nice guy, he walked with us and took us right to where we need to be. The below level area was not in the Vegas glamour brochure, but we waited on a concrete island as other buses and cabs came and went. Seemingly out if no where another couple appeared, now there were four freshly washed object perched on the” island of fumes”. After a few glances the females made contact, “Are you waiting for the Lake Mead bus? Yes we are. Oh good. This began some relaxed conversation with the nice people from Nebraska which continued throughout the evening. We passed the time till the sought after bus did arrive about ten minutes late. More pick-ups at Excalibur and we were on our way to the Grey Line office, somewhere in and industrial park SE of the strip. Off the bus and in-line to be processed to be sure everyone had paid, either in advance or now, before we ventured any further.

    With everyone ready, next stop Lake Mead. The 40 min. or so trip through Henderson was uneventful and interesting to some degree, because this is the side of a Vegas trip not always seen by us, and probably not many others. The bus driver talked the entire trip pointing out places and telling little known stories of what was passing by the windows. He is often asked” Where do the real people (of LV) live”, he tells us, “Well, this is part of the real (LV area), and these people are the real people going about their lives.” As the bus neared Lake Mead, the stories change to the plight of the Lake in regards to the continuing lack of water. I sincerely hope the trend changes so that one of the greatest accomplishments of the “Great Generation” isn’t undermined by the one thing thought to be constant. Anyway, this is an evening to enjoy the lake, we’ll worry again tomorrow. With the paddle boat in sight, off the bus to line-up for wrist bands and photos, always the photos, and on to the paddle boat to set sail…so to speak!
    We were shown our assigned tables as the seasoned, but well cared for boat made its way into the center of Lake Mead. Two levels of table seating for eating and drinking, the third level, on top outdoors was provide for walking and taking in the beautiful scenery. One note was the high temperature. Indoors the AC struggled to keep the temp comfortable, but outside on the deck, you couldn’t help but notice and comment on, the hot breeze blowing on your face. The bus driver told us to expect this as the walls of Black Rock Canyon tended to reflect the heat of the day onto the lake surface, he was right, easily 10 degrees hotter than the advertised land temperature. But no matter, more noticeable then the heat was the absolute beauty of the lake and the surrounding Vistas of the canyon in the setting sun. The American Southwest can be breathtaking. As we were sightseeing, a recorded tape played for about 10-12 minutes with details of the area and engineering marvel of building the dam. Earlier, the Captain welcomed us aboard and invited anyone interested to visit him in the pilot house to see how the boat operates, what, no TSA screening?

    The paddle boat rounded the last rock formation to bring into view the back side of the Hoover Dam, complete with the intakes standing too far above the water level. And always while enjoying the views, that hideous white ring, now seeming stretching 100 ft above the lake top, the high water mark from the 80’s. God, please send tons snow to the Rockies!

    Dinner is served…

    The meal was good, but not the reason for the trip. More like, ride our boat, see the sights and might as well eat something while you’re here…A choice from each food group was offered, meat, fish, poultry and pasta. Certainly respectable enough coming from a floating kitchen on a little boat, but just one part of a great trip. Now with dinner over, and the lake nearly in darkness, came the last chance for more top side strolling and viewing the sights. We spotted the silhouette of a long horned sheep standing atop the canyon peering down on us, and by now, everyone on deck was pointing at him, good stuff. As the paddles slapped the water, the lights of the lake port came into view. With the boat and the dock coming closer and closer together under a crescent moon, nothing to do but embrace and enjoy this moment in time. A good trip and an evening away from the glitz well spent. This sight unseen gamble paid off. With romance over, time to get back to the Vegas fun…

    The trip included a stop at the famous Vegas Welcome sign for a photo opt, good idea except it was after 9 pm. when we arrived, along with everybody else in Vegas. The little parking area was jammed packed with people, brides and Elvis(s) everywhere. Getting that motor coach in there was like the 10lb. of ---into the 5lb bag, but he did it, much to the annoyance of others, including several stretch limo drivers trying to herd their charges in and out of vehicles. There were people everywhere. The driver told us to be quick and that he couldn’t linger here long. We tried to make the best of this opportunity but it was just way too crowded and the site of the bus not parked but constantly moving and repositioning to let other in and out was distraction. Having been off the bus for only 5-7 minutes, we ditched the picture taking and hurried back to the bus for fear it would leave without us, which it almost did. I think our new mid-west friends spotted us outside and told the driver to wait up. We fear some other were not as lucky. Back on the bus, we noticed some now empty seats that we thought were occupied when we arrived, the abandoned sweater and bags were another clue. We’ll never will know how that all worked out, second drop off was the PH and the driver was still talking and unconcerned when we left the bus. Little did he know he was maybe headed back to the “sign circus” or to the Supervisor’s office in the morning.

    DSCN3102.jpg

    DSCN3100.jpg

    DSCN3114.jpg

    DSCN3029.jpg

    Some details on the LMDC. Time; 4:30 – 9:30 pm. Cost; $110 pp. for the bus and dinner pkg. Just dinner and cruise is available if you get to Lake Mead yourself.
    So much for the tales of eating in Vegas.

    Thanks again for all your positive comments. Hope all readers will return for the last installment, “Why ruin the fun with cocktails?” coming up next.
     
  12. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Fantastic...you have a smooth and enjoyable writing style.

    I laughed at the comment about the driver being asked where the real people of LV live...I have heard that in passing while in town where some people can't fathom that there is normal every day life going on beyond the confines of the strip.
     
  13. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    So enjoyable. I liked your comparisons of Aria & Flamingo. When I took my daughter for NYE we were at Cosmo the first two nights, then Go Flamingo the last 3. I expected some disappointment when we switched to the Go room but she said she absolutely loved both places - each was different, but each was special. I think she would have been happy to move into Flamingo permanently if they had a balcony like Cosmo lol.
     
  14. queentata

    queentata High-Roller

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    Love your style. Looking forward to the rest.
     
  15. easystreet57

    easystreet57 Low-Roller

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    This is the next and last entry on Summer TR, one part pink, one part dazzle.

    Again I thank those members who took the time to add a positive comment after reading.


    Vegas Nights…Just can’t sit down…so stand!

    Oh those Vegas nights! … where? Drinking, laughing and funning the evening away is something that we as a couple just can’t pull off. This part of a Vegas trip has always been hit or miss for us, and honestly more of a miss. Whenever we have tried to visit clubs and bars in Vegas, we always seem to run in to a sudden attack of “nightlife constipation”. Two quiet people sitting with drink in hand with the facial expression of someone waiting for a root canal. Not that were not fun people, other situations where we have been with friends in a drinking establishment always turned out to be a fun time. I think it only works for us when the drinks are a part of the overall event, like at the pool or on the casino floor. It’s when having a drink is the main or only purpose for being there, that’s when it fizzles. It’s something that we don’t do at home, that is going out to bars and clubs just to drink. We have been to places where we know a particular good dance band is appearing and its swell, dancing not drinking. So to think that when we get to Vegas, we’re going to start being “loungers” is just foolish. We had BOGO drink offers at GOLD, Deuce and passes to Liquid Pool (which we used) and Haze which did not get used. We did go to Voodoo Lounge (an hour) and the Duce, (less than ½ hour) and at each location it was a firecracker without a fuse.

    I know we could work on the “mechanics” of the situation, like planning to be at a better place at a better time, but its ok, know your own skin. Done trying to force it. The planning for any future trip to Vegas will not include any expectation of club or lounge visits. We’ll leave the nights to the party people (not that they ever knew we were there) and stick to eating, strolling and seeing more shows, because that’s the element of Vegas that works for us and leaves the best memories. We’ll keep the door open for lounge fun and who knows, we may stumble into something fun when it not on the agenda.

    A review of each evening’s events. Buckle up,

    • Sunday…Legends in Concert, at the Flamingo. BOGO tickets for Platinum. Really good show. Great effort made by the entertainers. Blues Brothers and Cher were the best, especially Cher, she had her down pat! Even the speaking tone of Cher’s voice. After the show, we went to ride the “High Roller”. Walked up in line to buy the tickets and the couple just ahead of us turned around and offered us two “free passes”, just great! They were a nice couple who said they (he) had won the passes playing BJ, had four passes and they were only two. Didn’t want anything in return, couldn’t even buy them a drink because we all had free drink vouchers. The only requirement was that we appear to be a group of four when we get to the cashier, which we did. They got on a different car so we didn’t ride with them or see them again…to bad, but Thanks..saved us nearly $70. The wheel ride was good but certainly not thrilling. To me, it was exactly as you would envision it from standing on the ground. Views were good at night and the darkness helped to disguise the many rooftops and parking lots visible from that elevation, no WOW! factor in the movement. The “ride guide” on the video screens was a nice touch. I think we may try it again, next trip, in the daytime to get a different perspective of the view, just hope we don’t have to stand there to long waiting for someone gives us “free tickets”.

    Vegas second set 7-14 232.jpg


    • Monday…Went to theTrop, played some and ate at the Beach Café. The sandwiches were ok, but all the doors were closed so there was no pool view or atmosphere. Hoped for some dancing at the lounge but nothing. No music on Mondays. I know that Mondays are not the party nights, but I thought maybe in Vegas…not so…could have made it work with some dancing, but not just drinking. (refer to opening paragraph)


    • Tuesday…Voodoo Night. Good dinner but the visit to the lounge was a little disappointing except for the view, pretty awesome from the outside deck on the 51st floor. Stood around with no more 15 people who were all ignoring the DJ and talking among themselves in groups of three or four. All the chairs were roped off, so thinking that we could extend the stay till maybe some dancing would breakout, we slipped passed the rope to grab a seat with a view. Soon a twenty something with a new suit came over and told us the chairs were just for bottle service and without that service we would have to stand. We finished our one drink and left because of, (once again, refer to opening paragraph), and being ushered off the vacant seats with no bottle service takers in sight. I don’t get it.

    Vegas second set 7-14 296.jpg


    • Wednesday.. After the Aria buffet, strolled the MGM side of the street down to MB and back. Later we found our way into the Duce lounge at Aria, nobody there, 6 workers, 4 customers. One annoying worker kept trying to teach us manners. The little cocktail table where we were sitting had a menu opened as a “V”, standing upright. After browsing it, I set it back on the table on its side. Over he comes picks up the menu and stands it back up, just like I found it, really? There’s more, somehow, I set my beer bottle on the same little marble top table bareback. Back he comes, picks up the bottle and places a napkin under it and sets it back down, really again? Reminded me of “Raymond’s Mother”. I guess he’s just bored, or was told to “watch that guy”, what am I telegraphing? let’s drink up and go.

    Vegas second set 7-14 354.jpg

    • Thursday…Lake Mead Cruise. A good night.

    Vegas second set 7-14 373.jpg

    • Friday… Nothing planned. We had been to the pool(s) everyday this week and this day we spent late afternoon/early evening at the Aria Spa, so we’re starting to wind down. Just walked over to the “Pub” at MC and got a quick sandwich and watched the first set of the “dueling piano” show. Ok show from what I saw of it. Had potential to be heavy on audience participation which I am not big on, you’re getting paid to entertain not me, you make’em laugh. Finished up the night with some strip wandering and casino time.

    • Saturday… After checking out and storing the bags. Off to Stratosphere . First time there, took the tower trip and hung out, seemed kind of crazy to pay $20 just to up the elevator, but I guess they have to cover the cost of operation somehow, plus no doubt, it keeps excessive crowds down. We did wind up with one of our best souvenir photos to date. Back to Aria via a walk from TI. A quick bit at the Aria Café, and then off to the airport for the 10:30 flight to Philly.

    Vegas second set 7-14 398.jpg


    If your still with me, that’s about it. After re-reading my report, there seems to be some negative aspects of our trip. Not so, please don’t think so… I enjoyed every moment, even “Raymond’s Mother” doesn’t bother me, not much does. These are the things that stand out, not as complaints, but as things that happened in Vegas. Even the lack of party nights is not a complaint, just a realization that will take the pressure off any future trips. If you’re here on this board reading this, you no doubt know how good ALL times are in Vegas, little glitches have no chance of spoiling my happy place.

    Heading back in December for Rodeo Vegas. Last year was our first time in town during the event so we’re going back as sophomores with a little better idea of what to expect. Guess that mean another TR of epic length, you been warned!

    Thanks for reading, and will be looking forward to your comments. Viva Las Vegas!
     
  16. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Loved your report and writing style. Bummed to hear they don't have a band every night at Tropicana Lounge; perhaps I've just never been on Monday because there's always been a really good band on the nights I've been there...though some nights they start much later. We usually go for rodeo asell...hoping my husband's work schedule will allow it again this year.
     
  17. easystreet57

    easystreet57 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    PA
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    Hello Breanna61,

    Thanks for your reply to my TR.

    Perhaps you remember, we had a few (web) laughs about whether to take or not to take the “playpen room” at the Palms year or so back. You know, since that time of great decision at the Palms check-in counter, I signed us up for a Fantasy Suite at a local casino/hotel and it was swell. I scored major points. Sometime I still wonder “what if…” but anyway,

    As far as the Lounge at the Trop goes, I made plans to go down there this trip partly based on reading your VMB post concerning the Trop. Somehow you have a lot of influence on me. Through your posting I got the sense that you enjoy your stays and visit to the property and it somehow stuck in my mind that they had a top forty band there for some “old school” fun. I knew it was chancy on a Monday but because we had something planned each evening, Monday was the only night open to take a walk to the Trop. We hung out there till after ten and I kept going back to the lounge area to see if anything was shaking, but nothing. Just a few folks sitting around and one bartender. The stage was vacant with just a couple of lonely mic stands in the dark. When the Mama-Mia show let out and everyone keep walking away, I knew for sure that Monday was a quiet night, they would have caught the crowd then if there was going to be singing and dancing. It still worked out. Ate and played and enjoyed the stroll and our time there.

    Thanks again, nice eChatting with you. Hope you make it to the Rodeo! JW
     
  18. kevstf

    kevstf Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Almere, Holland
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    Thanks for the TR!!
     
  19. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

    Joined:
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    SoCal
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    Loved your Trip Report. I'm kind of disappointed that you didn't visit the Cromwell. Best service on the Strip. Many people in here feel the same way.
    Glad you had a great time and hopefully some of us here in Cali and Nevada will get some much needed rain and snow pack this Fall/Winter.
     
  20. zignerlv

    zignerlv Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Your Liquid Pool report was the highlight here. "That’s not happening, what else you got?" That's a gem! Very entertaining!
     
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