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The long trip to Vegas.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by pebbles, Jul 21, 2009.

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  1. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    I finally got around to writing a brief review of our trip. Here goes.

    The people on this trip were me, Tony and, for two weeks, Jobey, Tony’s 26 year old grandson. Jobey had been to the USA before, but never to Vegas, so this trip was slightly different because we had a newbie to show around.

    Flights – These were with Continental. We travelled from Manchester UK, to Las Vegas via Newark. First leg was on a 757-200 and second was on a 737-800. On the way back it was a 757-300 then a 757-200.

    I dinged the bell on the screening thing on the way through security at EWR. I always do because of my hip replacement. Well, they couldn’t find a female TSA person to pat me down, so I had to wait for a long time. I was very concerned that I might miss our connection because I had to wait so long. I started to complain loudly and they finally found someone. I think that they had forgotten about me. Luckily (?) our second flight was delayed slightly, so we caught it with time to spare. Caught up time in the air, so we were only a few minutes late arriving in Vegas.

    Cost for the flights was $992.92 ($496.46 or £344.50) per person.

    Hotels – we spent a total of 39 nights in Vegas, just short of six weeks. This cost us a total of $1481, or $740.50 per person. Tony is hoping for 7 weeks next year because that is the maximum that he can get travel insurance for. I haven’t decided yet, we’ll see.

    Excalibur
    –We had a widescreen room in tower 2, which was really handy for the pool. No need to trail through the hotel to get there. Six nights here cost us $356.
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    Rio – Our second hotel. Ipanema Tower, pool view. Five nights here cost us $218.
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    Flamingo – Our third hotel. We had a standard room facing Flamingo Road. Two nights here was $98. We moved here for the weekend because the Rio was asking silly money for the rooms.
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    Rio – Fourth hotel was Rio again. Ipanema Tower, pool view. Six nights here was $376.

    Imperial Palace – Our fifth hotel. Eighteen nights here was $348.

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    Golden Nugget – Our sixth hotel. Two nights here was $85.

    Getting around

    Took a taxi from the airport to Excalibur when we arrived. The driver tried to tunnel us, but I resisted. Fare was $13.80 before tip. That turned out to be the only taxi of the whole trip.

    Used the shuttles from Rio to Harrah's/Paris and from the Gold Coast/Orleans to Bill’s a few times.

    Hitched a ride from Kiddo two or three times.

    Norm took us on a few outings in his car. We went to Death Valley, A hike to a spring in the Red Rocks area and Tony went to see Sin City Kitties at Primm with him too.
    Death Valley

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    Indian Rock Art at a spring area Red Rocks

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Bought a day pass for the bus a few times and did a lot of walking.

    We had three separate reservations with Dollar. This was for two days, ten days and eight days at various times during our stay. We booked through Netflights, who have the full insurance package required for UK drivers.
    First rental period we had a Subaru Impreza. Second, we had a Jeep Liberty. Third was a Dodge Caliber. These were all by booking the bare minimum economy package.

    Entertainment and attractions


    Checking out casinos - We did more of this than we would normally because Jobey had not seen any of them before. We visited a lot of casinos. Too many to mention, it would be easier to list the ones we didn’t see.

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    Fremont Street Experience - Saw a couple of the light shows. Liked Queen the best. Used up all our coins in the slots that still take cash. Didn’t win anything, but after being in Vegas for a while, you tend to get rather a lot of loose change, so it was a fun way to get rid of it and we had a few free drinks too.

    Big Elvis. - Thoroughly enjoyed hearing him singing all the old Elvis standards. Tony likes it when he does those gospel type tunes too.

    Mirage Volcano – Now that this is only in action once every hour, we missed it several times. It was far too warm to stand too close to it; I’ll check it out again in October. At least Jobey finally got to see it.

    Bellagio Fountains - I always like to see a few fountain shows. I think Jobey was impressed.


    Hoover Dam - We took Jobey to Hoover Dam and Primm one day. That was our 4th Dam visit. Stopped to look at Bonnie and Clyde's car at Primm.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]



    Stratosphere Tower
    - I didn't do any of the rides on there, although Jobey would have liked to go on one if he’d had a companion. There was no way Tony or I would do that. Far too scary for us! The view over the city is spectacular. I still prefer the VooDoo lounge area for nighttime views though.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Shows

    Jersey Boys – We got the tickets on an offer that was $99 tickets with a free upgrade to from orchestra seats. I thought the show was great. We both really enjoyed it and I’m looking out for offers for October so we can take the family.

    Nathan Burton – Good early show. I’m not really into magic, but the show was funny too and I did enjoy some of the magic. We had VIP seats and you still couldn’t tell how he did the stunts.

    Blue Man Group – Thanks to Norm for the tickets. He gave them to Tony and Jobey because he had seen the show several times already. I think it would have been too loud for me.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Sin City Kitties
    – Tony went to see this with Norm and they both seemed to enjoy it. It’s a burlesque type show and is very entertaining is what Tony said, so I’ll take his word for it.

    Mike Tyson movie at Suncoast
    – Tony and Jobey went to see this. I just hung out in the casino while they were in there.

    We didn’t get around to any other shows. We had a look at tix4tonite a couple of times, but we couldn’t decide what we wanted to see. We’ll probably be doing a few shows in October with the family, so I wasn’t too bothered about it.

    Food


    We mostly ate at buffets, Coffee Shops or Ellis Island. We had the BBQ at Ellis Island four times. It’s currently Tony’s favourite and Jobey really liked it too.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We had quite a few 2 for 1 and $5 off coupons and used them when we could. The buffets we ate at (in no particular order). Orleans, Rio, Suncoast, Harrah’s, Silverton, Red Rock Station, MSS Golden Nugget and Excalibur.

    We also used a couple of Restaurant.com certificates. One was for Tacone Flavour Grill in the Miracle mile and the other was for McCormick and Schmick’s just off Flamingo Road East. I would recommend McC & S. They do a mainly seafood menu and it changes daily depending on what fresh fish they have that day. They also have a happy hour menu that is only available at the bar during the afternoon. We’re planning on trying that out next trip. It looked good.

    Meetings

    MSE meet - Our first meet was with posters on moneysavingexpert.com - Luci and her husband, Lorraine (Tangobunny) and her husband and Richard (funkyfin) and his wife.
    The plan was to meet before a Big Elvis set and chat for a while, and then watch a bit of his show. Luci and hubby had bought Cher tickets that evening and couldn’t stay long, so it was just the six of us for most of the meet. I’d already met Lorraine in Benidorm earlier this year, and it was nice to put names and faces together with the others.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    777Brewpub with SHF– We had lunch here one Saturday.

    Café BaBaReeBa – Tony and I met with B7’s and his family. Unfortunately, we misjudged the timing for eating earlier in the day (Memorial Day) and had eaten later than planned because there were lines to get in everywhere. We didn’t eat any Tapas; I just had a couple of glasses of Sangria.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Breakfast at Suncoast – Historian, Norm, Tony and I met for breakfast before they on a hike to the Muffins. I just hung around and played a few slots and read my book while I waited for them to return. The traffic on the highway back to Vegas was dreadful. It took us forever to get back.

    VooDoo Lounge – We went up to the VooDoo lounge while it was still daylight and watched the sun setting over Vegas and all the lights coming on. I think that is the best sunset view in Vegas. We all had a good time.

    Breakfast at Peppermill – There were Pebbles (me) and Tony, Vegasbaby and John, B7’s, Mychal, Kiddo, MrBigPants, Historian and Mel. Sorry if I missed anyone out. I should have made notes.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]



    Poker/Soccer match
    - I was going to play, but I chickened out. Players were Kiddo, Historian, Airball, Cory, Hawaiian Mark, Mr BP, Mel and B7’s. While this was going on Tony and John watched the football match between Barcelona and Manchester United. They were both very unhappy with the result. I kept popping back and forth between poker and football. Alora, Brigette and Mychal turned up during the game.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Bally’s Tequila lounge. - We didn’t spend a lot of time here, maybe an hour or so, because we had a prior engagement to meet with Norm and Andrea for dinner.

    I met with Doxie for a coffee in a small place inside the Flamingo. DonQ and Bunnykat came too and DonQ gave me a signed bookmark to go with his book. It was good to catch up with Doxie again and also to finally meet the author in person. We all had other people to meet, so after chatting for a while we parted ways.

    [​IMG]


    Gambling.


    As some of you know, we don’t do much in the way of gambling. We had coupons for $10 free play at Hard Rock and 2 x $10 at El Cortez. I also had a coupon for $25 free play at Planet Hollywood once I had got one point. I had heard that it was no longer being honoured, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway. I got the free play, no problems at all. Tony likes to run the exact amount of his free play through and then cash out to find out how much he has actually won off the original stake. I don’t know what difference it makes, but he seems to like doing that.

    Didn’t get anywhere with Wizard of Oz this time, Goldfish was OK, but not as good as previous times, my old favourite Texas Tea was quite kind to us but all in all no wins, just quite a bit of play (and $1 drinks) for not much money. I tried the Planet Moolah slot that Zombie mentioned and did quite well with that one too. I have to say my favourite is still Outback Jack.

    I played a little bit of video poker again this time. Tony and Jobey tried it out too. Of course they both did better than me.


    If you got this far, thanks for reading.

    The bits I forgot. On the way back from Death Valley we visited a date farm and had a lovely date milkshake.

    We went to see Fleetwood Mac in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. I got our tickets for $25 from an offer someone posted. That place is huge! We were so far away; we could hardly see a thing. Thank goodness for big screens and good acoustics.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    We went to see Richard MacDonald and his sculptures one day. They were giving out champagne and soft drinks. He came over and started chatting to us and he was a really nice person. He had been in London recently, working with the Royal Ballet, and he was telling us where in Scotland his ancestors were from. Out of nowhere, Tony asked him if he’d considered adoption. He explained that he was an orphan and would like to be adopted. After a moment of disbelief, Mr MacDonald cracked up laughing, thank goodness. I was embarrassed, but I should be used to Tony’s antics by now.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  2. ODCaloney

    ODCaloney Tourist

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    Fantastic report. Thanks!
     
  3. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    You're welcome.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  4. rowEn

    rowEn Tourist

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    Great trip report and pictures! Makes me even more antsy for our trip in Sept!!
     
  5. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    :nworthy: Exceptionally well done trip report!
     
  6. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

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    Thanks...........great report! My Mom and I are staying at the Rio in November for the first time, did you miss being on the Strip? We have no problem using the shuttles and I think I can even get my old Mom ( 71 but very young at heart!!) to walk a few times...........We are comped for our five days. We could get the Flamingo comped for two nights and pay for three, but I really have a hard time giving up free!!!!!
     
  7. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    39 nights? Mamma mia!

    Nice report.
     
  8. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    Fantabulous report!!

    what a great price on the airfare!! wow that works out to over 600.00 Canadian dollars

    I stayed at Flamingo on July 2/3 nights had the same view as you lol
    how was your room?

    lol at Tony asking to be adopted hehe
     
  9. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Btodd - we were quite happy with the shuttles over to the strip. Occasionally it was a bit busy in the shuttle area, so we walked over to Gold Coast and got their shuttle instead. We really didn't miss being on the strip full time.

    Vegasdiva, - Tony never ceases to surprise and (slightly) embarass me. It's a given wherever we go. I spend quite a bit of time looking out the best flight prices. We're both retired, so have no restrictions and can hit the best prices when they crop up.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  10. Dr. Dollars

    Dr. Dollars Tourist

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    Where is that table you all are playing on? Can't you see each others screens?


    Dr.d
    $
     
  11. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    It's at Excalibur and I believe they are removing them soon.

    No, you couldn't see each other's cards. You had to put your hand over the top of the cards and they would turn for you to look at. As soon as the hand was moved, the disappeared again.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  12. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    thanks for the report - excellent.


    nice flight prices...about as low as I've seen from from the uk for a long time.

    I recognised the ellis island pics immediately - can't blame you for eating there 4 times.

    can you not get annual insurance anymore - I used to do that - with Churchhill I think... I'll check with my folks to see what they do.

    the footie being on espn makes it easy to catch.. fox have some of the CL next year which may make it a bit trickier.. I was delighted with the result - especially as I watched it with a bunch of mancs..
     
  13. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Mike Re the footy result, you are a bit evil, I can tell. ;-)

    We usually get personal insurance for the whole year, but Tony is getting on a bit and can't always get the cheapest deals. We usually insure with Flexicover, but they limit the time for over 60's to 35 or 50 days. Tony has to pay an extra premium to stay the same time as me. The sad thing is that he is far healthier than me too. It slightly pisses him off.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  14. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Wow Pebbles...great report and pics. Thanks for posting.
     
  15. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

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    Terrific trip report

    Excellenent report. Thanks for posting that.

    No way could I handle that manys days and nights in Vegas.

    My liver surrenders on the thrid day.

    My plane ticket to Vegas is something like $216 round trip.
     
  16. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    lol I look for good air fares too

    i'm less than a 3 hr flight from Vegas and we have a couple direct flights , others routed thru hub cities

    I just went and spent 350.00 CDN round trip for 4 nights
    was 89.00 going out and 139.00 coming back plus taxes , its the tases that are the killer
     
  17. vegasvacation

    vegasvacation Tourist

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    Imperial Palace

    Hello. Great trip report! Thanks for sharing. How did you like the IP? We have a couple of nights scheduled for November in a deluxe room and I'm wondering if you liked it. Can't beat the price and location, I think!! Thanks.
     
  18. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    We like the IP. The location is awesome. Not the lap of luxury, I must admit, but it's good enough for us.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  19. Jacko

    Jacko Tourist

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    Outstanding report...Thanks!
     
  20. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Great report. Very reader friendly. Concise and packed with bits of interest and possibilities.

    Tell me a little more about that poker machine at the Peppermill. It looks like what they just took out of the Excalibur. Was it entertainment or gambling?

    Death Valley sounded interesting. Where was the date farm?

    Great photos. Happy that you had such a good trip.
    I connected with Restaurant.com this morning and got a $10 coupon for 80 cents using their NAPKIN code.
     
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