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The annual Christmas Trip 12/23-12/26

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Habanaman13, Dec 26, 2004.

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  1. Habanaman13

    Habanaman13 Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    12/23/04-12/26/04

    The Horror! The Horror!

    We just got back and this one hurt a little! I was so looking forward to the trip and chance to relax. Work had been hectic and I needed a break. Well, I didn’t get a break so much as I got broke!

    We arrived at Mccarran roughly on time after a smooth and uneventful flight. After seeing all the people on the news stuck around the country and not having luggage, I was happy to being using a Las Vegas based airline (Allegiant) with a non-stop flight! We left 4 degrees with a –25 degree wind chill for the balmy (high 40’s, low 50’s) high desert. After waiting 45 minutes for our luggage to arrive, we were off to have some fun.

    Getting into THEhotel was interesting. Had I been in a cab, I would have assumed I was being taken for a ride! For some unknown reason the entrance is buried in a parking garage. They spent so much on the rest of the joint; I am surprised they skimped on the entrance. Maybe they were going to a secret entrance type thing. I don’t know. Whatever the deal is, it is lost on me!

    While opinions vary, I thought THEhotel was nice; lots of dark woods and lighted columns. There was no wait to check in at 6:15 pm. We asked for a view facing north and after lots of typing, we got 28801. I gave the nice lady a $20 for her troubles and we headed for the room. Our room was close to the elevators, right in the corner of the building and just about to the apex of the pyramid, so the view was not bad at all. We were right beside the room containing the ice machine, which was very convenient, even if it was a little noisy when folks were making a racket while getting their ice.

    These were quite the digs! It had a tile entry with a “water closet” (Half-bath), beyond that was a nice living area with a wet bar, couch, desk (with fax machine) and chair, four end tables, two of which were pushed together to form a makeshift coffee-table, and the star of the show… an entertainment wall with a 40-some odd inch flat panel TV! Through a doorway and you were in the bedroom. The armoire took up a whole wall. It has two closet spaces, drawers, a safe and a nice little bonus space housing a 30-some odd inch flat screen TV. There were mirrors on both walls, except in headboard area, and that made the room look a lot bigger than it really was. Both the living room and bedroom had floor to ceiling windows.

    On to the bathroom: Double sinks, marble shower and huge, did I say HUGE separate tub for three. By my estimation, not experience. (As you’ll soon see this trip was a real bust just about all around!) But I digress… The bathroom had a separate water closet in it as well. All I can say is thank god the accommodations were nice because we spent an abundant amount of time there!

    After we unpacked, we headed downstairs to eat and then make our fortunes. There was not any substantive discussion about where to eat, as I had to go to my beloved Raffles. The Prime Directive, (Shaved prime rib, caramelized onions, on a Kaiser) never disappoints! It hit the spot and we beat it for the door. It was already 8:00 pm and I needed to gamble. We wandered a bit looking for our old favorite machines. Except for “my” Texas Tea $1 machine, they were all gone! We tried to find something worth playing; sadly we never found anything worth a hoot! At 8:30, we had blown the entire days gambling budget! Hundreds of dollars gone and I hadn’t even seen a cocktail waitress yet!

    We wandered up around the Mandalay Place shops and headed down THEtunnel to THEhotel. We stopped at THEgift shop, got THEdiet pepsi & THEwater and headed to THEroom. I put it that way because one of the annoying things about the place was every little thing is THE____. They even had a sticker on the fresh roll of TP that said, I kid you not, THEtp!

    We took our beating like big kids and hit the sack early hoping for a fresh start the next morning. We were up early, Christmas Eve and went to the House of Blues for breakfast. My wife has a waffle with strawberries and whipped cream (It looked more like dessert than breakfast) and I had a bowl of Cheerios with bananas and a double order of hash browns. Good stuff to fuel our battle in the “green felt jungle!”

    Not having had any luck at the Bay, we wandered over to Luxor. It was about 9:00 and the shops of Mandalay Place were not yet open. They still weren’t open when we walked back a half hour later. Yes, my losing streak remains unbroken at the Luxor. But they were nice enough to cash some more traveler’s checks for me before I left!

    At this point my wife and I went our separate ways. She was going to shop with her gambling money (she is no dummy, she figured out the direction the trip was going and stopped gambling for the day). As for me, well I am a bit more, shall we say, dense! I headed to the Poker Room at the Bay. It was another guy and I sitting there shooting the bull with a dealer, then when her time was up a new one showed up to chat. Six other folks had come and gone after signing up for the tourney. Figuring there was not going to be a game to be had, I signed up for the tournament at 9:50am. $30, I figured what the heck. I have been playing Pot Limit table tournaments on PartyPoker, so I figured it was time to take my medicine and hopefully learn a lesson or two. I lasted almost an hour! Four people from my table alone got knocked out ahead of me. One of guys got knocked out by his wife! He seemed happy with the prospects of taking it out in trade later and that she got his ammo instead of us. And I did learn a lesson when my pocket 9’s got knocked out by pocket aces. That lesson: I can’t lay down the second best hand. Nope, I knew I was beat on the flop. I knew it was going to be over if I kept re-raising and yet, I could… not… stop… firing. Everyone at the table just looked at me knowingly and with a sympathetic node bid me farewell as I sulked away to battle with my Poker demons. My uncle was due in town and was staying at THEhotel as well, so I wandered the casino looking for him. No dice.

    Up to the room to rest my feet for a few minutes before we went to lunch. Then it was off to the Burger Bar. This was tremendous! I had a Kobe beef burger (I had never had it and am glad I did, but I am an Iowa boy and am partial to my grain-fed, un-massaged cows) with caramelized onions, cheese and peppered bacon. For a side, I got the zucchini fries. Basically, they were strips of breaded zucchini with ranch dressing. My burger was juicy enough that I didn’t even bother to add ketchup and mustard. My wife had a chocolate shake, a regular burger with cheese and baby asparagus (I think that is what the green stuff was anyway.) and fat fries. She said hers was very good as well. The tab was $38 thanks to my $18 hamburger and $4 side, but it was vacation and we both got to try something new. Plus it had the added benefit of keeping me away from the casino for a while. We wandered a bit; I lost some more money and went back to the room to rest before the evening’s festivities.

    We were going to try 3950 at the Bay, but at the last minute, I decided taking an extra suitcase just for a couple hours (Lord knows I am not wearing a suit any longer than that) was just plain dumb. So we opted for Rumjungle instead. It was truly a dining event. They take the oddest combinations of spices and flavors and blend them into wonderful food. We started with Coconut Shrimp. The waiter actually tried to talk us out of it since what I had ordered was so much food already, but I pressed on. Besides, I was curious and a glutton for punishment. Oh who am I kidding, I’m just a glutton! Hands down the best coconut shrimp I have ever tried and well worth the $20 price tag. Although the salad in the center and it’s vanilla vinaigrette were highly forgettable. Something about the texture of rabbit food and the flavor of vanilla did not mesh.

    For a main course, my wife had a jambalaya with shrimp, salmon, lobster, chorizo (some type of sausage) served in a carved out half of a cooked pineapple. As for me I went with the house specialty, the Rodizo (sp?) Fire Pit, and a side of vanilla bean mashed potatoes. That’s right sports fans, Vanilla flavored mashed potatoes. It was out of shear curiosity that I order them and I was overwhelmingly surprised. They were delicious! Just a hint of vanilla to almost tease and make you question whether your taste buds have gone crazy.

    Here is the scoop on the Fire Pit. Guys bring out these three-foot long skewers and cut off chunks of meat for you. The free-range turkey with Mango-Curry-Mustard sauce was the best item in my opinion. The boneless chicken thigh with cheese, wrapped in apple wood bacon was also good but the bacon was a little underdone. Other items included a Angus sirloin with caramelized onion sauce, a seared Ahi Tuna (I tried it, but did NOT like it, but then again, I like my tuna cooked, from a can, with lots of mayo and onion), a salmon dish I did not try, a sausage I did not like and a huli-huli chicken with pineapple teriyaki I also did not care for. They then came around to ask what I wanted seconds on. All I went for was the Turkey. By this point my expander-Dockers had reached their limit. The waiter brought the dessert menu and we went with a light assortment of sorbets with mixed fruit chutney. This was very good and refreshed the pallet after all the exotic flavors. Total bill was $114.

    Enough of the fat-man-food-talk, on with the gambling! My wife had pointed out that the gambling was never good until after our Christmas Eve meal. So with renewed vigor (And some more cashed traveler’s checks) we hit the casino. It still sucked! With the last of our daily funds, we stopped at the Island Bar for a couple Pina Coladas. By now I was so shell-shocked, it didn’t even taste right. Then it was off to the room to lick our wounds.

    Christmas, our last day in Paradise. We started off with another trip to the cage to cash some traveler’s checks and then back to Raffles. Today would be different. We were going to go up to NY-NY so I could get the $10 in free play I had coming. I was going to parley the house money into a small fortune. After my second trip to the Slot club, and being told to watch the stupid video to figure out how to make the free play work I finally stumbled onto a machine I could use the money on. A little hint for the fine folks at NY-NY, first of all, I know you were going for a New York feel, but loose the attitude. Secondly, putting a NY symbol on the console of a machine the size of a half-dollar in a casino where NY is printed everywhere you turn, does not make for a “clearly marked” machine. Anyway, in my quest for the free $10, I managed to lose most of it just getting it to drop from the “free side” to my actual, cashable credits.

    Off to the MGM and to change my luck. It did, much like Clark Griswold, I was mid-beating and could actually cry out with Joy, “I DIDN’T LOSE!” We were there for a good hour and I still had my initial buy-in! We picked up some souvenirs and headed back to NY-NY to use a shopping credit and to get a boot full of booze at Coyote Ugly. I was going to pass, but my wife pointed out it was past noon in Iowa! 54 ounces of delicious Pina Colada later and I was well buzzed and ready for lunch. We went to Red, White & Blue at the Bay. I had Mac & Cheese and a side of steak fires. I had to “carb-up” for my big comeback. You see I was flying high on my BIGGEST win of the trip so far. We stopped at the Beverly Hillbillies penny machines on the way into the Bay from the tram. I hit it the bonus screen after lining up five symbols! I cashed out $10.20 ahead!

    I roamed around a bit to sobered up before hitting the poker room. This was the only place I sat long enough to see a cocktail waitress twice, but I was not about to start drinking after messing up bets doing that last year. I left after two hours up $41.75. I even kept the half kill button for a couple hands in a row! My winning streak was alive and gaining the big MO! I racked up as the big blind got to me and made my first trip the cage with something in my hand besides Traveler’ Checks!

    As I was walking back towards the room, I ran into my uncle and decided to join him for some video poker. We chatted for a while; his trip had started off showing some real promise, but ended up looking more like mine. We had a good chat and I played for a long time on a $20. So the MO was gone, but I felt entertained and had a good time. It was at this point that I got my first free drink. It was back at THElounge and was actually on my uncle’s tab. We sat with his lady friend and her friend and talked while watching a good Raiders-Chiefs game. They had tickets to a comedy show at the Trop that night so we all headed for the elevators after the game.

    My wife had had about all the smoke she could stand and was not feeling well. So I went down to the Turf Club Deli for some sandwiches to take up to the room. Her vacation had officially ended. I was not ready to give up just yet and went back down for more. There was a list at the Poker Room, so I went up to the Mandalay Place shops to get her a little something to ease the pain of being sick on vacation. With the purchase in hand, I ran the $0.35 TITO slip I had in my pocket though a machine and my hopes of the big win officially died in a quiet corner of the Bay when Jeanie gave me no love. (But then again, in Vegas $0.35 isn’t going to get you love anywhere!)

    I shuffled off to THEgift shop for some beverages and a candy bar. From there it was off to pack and then sit in the dark, staring up the strip. Dazed, confused, but happy to be sitting there looking at the giant light and funny castle in the foreground of the faux-NY skyline. Even when the gambling gods are downright vengeful, I still go to bed with a smile, because I am in my “happy place.”


    Parting shots:

    I never got a single comp drink the whole time!

    I bellyached a lot about it only being a 64-hour trip, but in the end it was a good thing.

    I will say, when the wife goes, I tend to come home in better shape! Typing this trip report was a lot easier to recollect than the trip in May!!!

    I need to stick just to 4-8 Hold ‘em at the Bay. In that room, my hourly “wage” is just over $20 lifetime. I don’t even what to calculate my hourly cost in the rest of the casino, but it has to be well north of 10 times that after this trip.

    My wife dropped a bomb on me that she wants our Christmas trip to be someplace else next year. That brings my countdown to T-725 days. I mentioned that I could not go on living with that long of a countdown. She just smiled and said, “Something tells me you’re right”. So either she is planning to off me for the life insurance, or she knows I am secretly trying to plan a Fourth of July trip under the auspices of “its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission”. I hope it’s the later! But if I drop off the board for an extended period, someone call John Hancock!

    [​IMG] T- I just can't bear to type it [​IMG]
     
  2. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

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    Sorry to hear that your trip was not what you had hoped for. I can't believe you did not get a single comp drink the whole time you were there. Could it be because it was Xmas weekend?
    Here is to wishing you better luck the next time.
     
  3. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Habanaman, sucks when the trip isn't lucky, but you were still in Mecca!!! Thanks for the excellent and funny report! I'll keep you in my prayers for that July trip!
     
  4. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Habanaman--

    Thanks for THEreport.

    It sounded an awful lot like my last couple of trips as far as the gambling is concerned, and even though the wins and the free booze were scarce, it sure beats the hell out of what I was doing while you were wandering the Bay--I was pouring microwaved Listerine on my frozen car door trying to get it open!! Thanks for taking me back to a much better place!

    Mikey

    [ December 27, 2004, 08:09 AM: Message edited by: HurricaneMikey ]
     
  5. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    Didnt sound like too bad of a trip, actually. I know i'll be jealous of THEroom. -- on account of i'll be in the 'reg' MB in 2 weeks.

    I did a double take & now i'm doing a triple-take at the line where you typed 54 ounces of pina colada. Please tell me that they fill it 1/3 of the way so you can carry it. I love rum & coladas & daquiri's & all that---but hollllly crap !!

    Rum Jungle sounds like a lot of fun. Plus i hear their bar has top-shelf rum (& why shouldnt it!). Hmmm, a whole lotta vanilla goin on there? I thought MB used vanilla just for the air-vents. LOL.

    The shaved prime rib sandwich, indeed, sounds like an ole stand-by winner for ya.

    So what sort of slots were you HOPING FOR, but didnt see?

    mK
     
  6. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Is that vanilla in MB's air vents? I thought it smelled like something burning. Didn't like it.
     
  7. Vegas Tonya

    Vegas Tonya Margarita Connoisseur

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    Wow, sorry you didn't have that much fun...and to not even get 1 comped drink...Blasphemy I tell you! I would have moved on to another casino after the first hour of no drinks.

    Well the plus to this is the next trip (however far away) will be much much better.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    Habanaman,

    Enjoyed your TR. Too bad you got THEshaft at THEcasinos. But hey- I'd rather be DOWN in Vegas than UP in Detroit.

    As an aside, my gang makes a point of it every year to gather the first night of MM at Rumjungle for a kickoff meal. We eat, drink, and laugh ourselves silly for two hours, enjoying our repeats on the skewered Angus beef chunks.

    Jack21
     
  9. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    I asked the roulette croupier what the 'scent' was last time i was at MB, on acct of i couldnt put my finger on it. Mirage one is easy--coconut. Anyhow, guy gells me 'its vanilla'. Sooo, either that's what IT IS. Or, he just took a guess, lol.

    mK
     
  10. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

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    Microwaved Listerine to open a frozen car door? That's a new one Mikey! Thanks for the suggestion being that I live in upstate NY and right now it is FRIGID.
     
  11. NEON

    NEON Tourist

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    Habanaman,
    Nice report and at least you had a nice room and good food it sounds like! Our luck was similar most of the trip. It is ashame when you hit big right away, because you know darn well you will not hang onto it! As upposed to my last three trips this year when I hit it big right before the end and made the trip even each time!
    We will have to try the Rum Jungle as it sounds nice.
    Hope you can move up the T-count. maybe you can convince the Mrs to meet up with another Iowa Born couple and best of all, My wife is just as big a shopper as yours and I am just as big a degenerate as you. At least the next trip, - misery could have company!!!
     
  12. Absolutdrinker

    Absolutdrinker Tourist

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    Hey Habanaman... Im thinking did you and I play in the same tourney? I played on 12/24. was the wife a tight player in seat 10 (to the right of the dealer) and the husband in seat 9 (to her right) ????
     
  13. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    You just need some alcohol--and Mikey is NOT going to be wasting Capt Morgan on something like a frozen door--far better to stay inside and DRINK the Capt Morgan and let the car door do whatever it wants....
     
  14. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Yeah Kathy, Hoya is right...it was soooo cold that night, we had a monster winter storm and my car was encrusted in about half an inch of ice. I couldn't even open the trunk to get the windshield wiper fluid out. So I went back in the house thinking I'd sacrifice a bottle of 151 for the cause, but I saw the Costco-sized bottle of listerine instead.

    Poured a bunch in a bowl...nuked it for 2 minutes, then poured it all over my driver's side door and windshield. The ice started falling off in chunks.

    And as a bonus, my ride smells minty fresh...

    Mikey
     
  15. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Yeah Mikey, the minty fresh scent on your car probably makes a better impression "just in case" that officer decides to make you the catch of the day. A vehicle reeking of 151 would probably put a damn good damper on New Year's... 2005, 2006, 2007....
     
  16. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Now there's a COPS moment: "Of course I didn't DRINK the rum, officer -- I just poured it all over the OUTSIDE of the car, you know, to melt the ice..."
     
  17. Smarra17

    Smarra17 Poker Queen

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    LOL! Ok Dr. Al any ideas how to get the corn flake residue off my screen? Great one!
     
  18. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Well, COPS in LA might not understand, but I bet COPS in Buffalo or Minneapolis would [​IMG]

    Sammi--you're a mom now. Don't you know how to clean everything yet?? Oh wait, the baby has to start toddling and playing with markers before things get REALLY interesting.....Then you'll know all about magic erasers and want to own stock in oxyclean.....
     
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