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Three sisters invade vegas, 8-8-08

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by northerngirl, Aug 18, 2008.

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  1. northerngirl

    northerngirl Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40

    My Trip Report

    FRIDAY, August 8, 2008

    Finally, the day has arrived to leave for my absolute favorite city with my two best friends/sisters in the whole world. How priceless is that?

    We booked our flights the first part of March when Allegiant was offering their buy one hotel/air package and get the second airfare free. I booked two sisters using the package and booked one air only. We took the total amount and divided it by three. The total cost for each of us was $291 direct out of Duluth, MN which included seven nights at the luxurious Plaza Hotel downtown Las Vegas (not the Palazzo!)

    Background--Tammy (baby sister) and I go to Vegas every year as our husbands go pheasant hunting in Nebraska every year. They had asked us many years ago if we wanted to go hunting with them (whatever). We told them to go and have a great time as we are going to Vegas. Colleen (middle sister and lives in Minneapolis) went two years ago with us. At that time she told us it would be at least five more years before this incredible trip would happen again. Well, that turned into two years. She has promised she will return in two more years. Tammy and I know come August of 2009 she will not be very happy when we go to Vegas without her.

    The plan was to meet at my house at 10:30 a.m. Tammy arrived around 10:00 and was surprised that she beat punctual Colleen. At 10:45 a frazzled sister finally arrived. Forty five minutes from home Colleen stopped for gas. Using her debit card, she was asked for her driver’s license for ID. Oops! In changing purses, she inadvertently left it in her other purse. Driving like a bat out of h____, she drove back to Minneapolis to grab her DL and then start all over again. Luckily, she had left home a bit earlier (some excitement regarding Vegas) than she needed to. After finally finding her cell phone, we were off for the airport. Checked in 2 ½ hours before the flight and were fortunate to get three exit row seats together. We went to a neighborhood bar for lunch and several cocktails and back to the airport. Once again, Allegiant was right on time. Played some cards on the plane and had another cocktail. Time is passing by quickly and we arrive in Vegas at 2:30 p.m.

    Once at the airport, with smiles on our faces, we head to the baggage area. Colleen and Tammy have this brilliant idea to take the shuttle. Being that I am outvoted we head to the shuttles. After continually being told that we weren’t in the right line, I told them we should just take a cab. Across the baggage area again to get a cab. By now the cab line is really long. Across the baggage area again (suitcase is getting really heavy) to try the shuttle line again. Finally board and were guaranteed it is a downtown only shuttle. Five stops later we are heading for downtown. Another hour wasted. Upon arrival at the Plaza at 4:00 p.m. there is the longest line I have ever seen. I am thinking to myself had we originally taken a cab I would not be in this long line. The check in girl was kind enough to see if there was a room available in the north tower with a FSE view. There was one available, however, it was not ready yet. We decided to take it and use the hour to eat. We walk over to Binion’s coffee shop to take advantage of the comps I had left over from my last trip.

    Back to the Plaza and the room is still not ready, but check in was able to find us another room with a view. Now we are in business. Up to the room and from all appearances, it is the standard Plaza room with a great view and only two chairs. We put a call into housekeeping requesting a third chair be brought to our room. Time to unpack and make this our new home for the next seven days and nights. First stop is the ice machine to make a cocktail. The machine on our floor wasn’t working but someone had kindly left two half eaten chicken wings in the dispenser with some soggy napkins—yuck. We get the liquor table set up, snack area set up, etc. Tammy is busy looking for an outlet to make a coffee area. She finds an outlet behind the bed that she thinks will be perfect. But the bed needs to be moved. She is pulling on the headboard to move the bed away from the wall and the headboard is now in her hands. Silly girl—the headboard WAS bolted to the wall. Ooops! Luckily, we are at the Plaza and not the Palazzo.

    It is six hours since landing in Vegas and we have not gambled yet. We work our way to the El Cortez soaking in the sights and busy people watching. First stop was the Player’s Club to get our fun books. Side note: We each had been emailing the El Cortez over the past few months so we had coupons for seven fun books. In each book, there is a $5.00 food coupon, $5.00 match play and a free drink from the bar. We easily find a $5.00 BJ table. We have this deal with three of us sharing a room with two beds, whoever gets the first blackjack gets the bed to themselves the first two nights, etc. Colleen is pleased when she is dealt the first BJ, I came in second, and after that Tammy didn’t care that much if she got a blackjack or not. Cards were tough so we played craps for a bit at the $3.00 table. An elderly gentleman asked me where we were from. For some reason “Hawaii†came out of my mouth. He was excited as his wife was originally from Hawaii. Of course, he had to ask me where in Hawaii. His tough question completely caught me off guard and I replied “Malibuâ€. I don’t think he believed that we were from Hawaii but gave the sisters a good laugh.

    Worked our way through Binion’s and the California and played cards at MSS for several hours sipping on B-52’s. Time to head back “home†and play a few machines before calling it a night. Colleen was firm in the fact she was going directly to bed. Tammy and I played machines at the Plaza and finally headed up to the room at 5:00 a.m. We had been up for 26 hours and time to call it a night. Even though it was late and we had been drinking, we couldn’t help but notice that the carpeting was drenched and there were towels laying everywhere. What had Colleen been up to?

    SATURDAY

    Rise and Shine! Time to hit the pool—9:00 and our first full day in Vegas. For some reason, we couldn’t get Colleen to move and had trouble understanding her. Something about “my lips hurt when I talkâ€. Tammy and I find humor in this and laugh our way to the pool. I had left a packet of Alka Seltzer Morning Relief on the table and told Colleen I had heard great things about it. Tammy and I are loving the pool and discussing what we should do our first full day without Colleen. (Guys, please under any circumstance, do not wear Speedos—especially if you also wear a toupee.) This is not priceless. Two hours at the pool and we head back to our room prepared to be quiet for our “over-served†sister. To our amazement, Colleen has made a miraculous recovery. Tania, thank you so much for the care package you sent. Colleen swears by the Alka Seltzer. We were finally able to ask Colleen why our floor was soaked. About 3:30 a.m. maintenance knocked on our door as water was going through the ceiling in the room below us. They ended up pulling off the fake cover in front of the sink and left it there. Maintenance made a second visit to the room with a vacuum cleaner.

    We went downstairs and played the Jackpot Deluxe penny machines which were quickly becoming our favorites for the week. Ate a great lunch at the Triple 7 Brew Pub at MSS using our comp from the evening before. We ordered fish & chips, Italian sausage pizza and garlic bread. We had so much food left that we asked for a container. On the way back to the Plaza we were stopped by a homeless fellow who asked for spare change. Tammy and I were all for giving him our leftover lunch, but Colleen was determined to eat it later. (Yes, it eventually ended up in the garbage can.) We were pretty much losers for the day, but laughed that it was still priceless. We couldn’t help but giving Colleen a hard time that had we given our lunch to the homeless guy, maybe we would have some luck that day. All three of us were in bed by 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday evening in Vegas. Sure sign of how our luck went that day. Chicken wings and soggy napkins are still in the non working ice machine.

    SUNDAY

    Woke up at 8:30 a.m. This morning all three of get to enjoy the pool for 2½ hours. Called maintenance again as our floor feels like a swimming pool. A competent maintenance man comes up and immediately cleans the air filter of the air conditioner unit. He can’t believe that the sink cover has not been put back on and noticed the headboard sitting on the floor. (We informed him it fell on us when we were sleeping.) After getting ready for the day we walk to Binion’s for some cards. We are happy to see the return of 3:2 blackjack. We finally all won some money playing cards. We ate in the coffee shop using some more of my leftover comps. We are doing our best to not pay for food this trip—so far, so good. Purchased our tickets for Menopause at the ½ price ticket booth for a total cost of $35.50/ticket. We took a cab to the Hilton ($15.00 including tip). The showroom for Menopause was quite small and the show was fine. I think we had expectations that our guts would be hurting from laughing throughout the show. All in all we enjoyed it and thought the four women were very talented.

    We went back to our room at 7:45 p.m. to watch Big Brother and take a little break. Our room still is not clean, no third chair and no working alarm clock. Made another call to housekeeping. We are laughing that this is not priceless.

    After our nice break we went to the California Club and I proceeded to lose eight hands in a row playing BJ. Tammy decided to call it a night and Colleen and I walked over to MSS. I was bound and determined I was not leaving until we got another comp for 777 so told Colleen she had to stay with me until mission completed. We headed back to the room at 1:30 to a message on the phone from my husband telling me that our daughter was in the hospital. Of course, it is too late to call at this time so we called it a night.

    MONDAY

    Husband called at 6:30 a.m. to tell me that our daughter was in the hospital and the test results had not come back yet. During the conversation, the phone constantly cut in and out and I couldn’t hear him say much of anything except yelling “get a new damn phoneâ€. Another call to maintenance. Phone is finally fixed, we get a third chair, and a new alarm clock. However, chicken wings are still in the ice maker and the piles of towels in the hallway are still there after 24 hours.

    We had finally decided that we were going to see Mystere. We finally made it to the ½ price ticket booth only to find out that it was sold out. We are kicking ourselves that we should have gotten there earlier. Only practical solution that tomorrow morning one of us would have to give up pool time and be in line at 9:45. Being no one was volunteering, once again a blackjack would seal our fate. Tammy got the first and was very, very happy. Then Colleen decides she needs to use the restroom. While she was gone, I got two blackjacks. Being the fair person I am, I knew they wouldn’t count. Upon Colleen’s return, I finally got another blackjack. But it was my star day. Colleen was cranky, which of course, made us laugh even harder.

    Headed off to MSS to use our comp for 777. Had to get another order of fish & chips and chicken wings (can’t imagine what made us think of wings). We had leftovers and this time Colleen thought maybe she should do a good deed so had our food wrapped up. On the way to the El Cortez a gentleman was digging through the garbage and we thought “perfectâ€. I went over to him and placed the container on top of the can and told him this was for him. We watched him from the corner of our eyes while we were waiting to cross the street. He carefully opened the cover, closed the cover and continued his dig of the can and walked away. We figured he didn’t like fish & chips. Oh well, we tried.

    We had our pictures taken at the Cortz for our free key chains. We each had black t-shirts on for the occasion. Across the front in white letters, mine said “honestâ€; Colleen’s said “trustworthy†and Tammy’s said “genuineâ€. When someone would inquire about our shirts, we would reply that we were politicians. Stopped at the player’s club at the El Cortz for our fun books for the day and on to the bar to use our coupons for our free drinks. The bartender handed us crayons and told us to sign the back of the coupon. Being slightly confused, the gentleman sitting next to me at the bar told us we needed to sign them. Tammy and I couldn’t believe it—it was Laughing Jeff. We met him last year and spent several afternoons’ playing cards with him and laughing. Jeff has the most contagious laugh of anyone we have ever met. And the more we laugh at him laughing, the more he laughs. He is a local and other than a few more teeth missing, looked great. We had a great time reminiscing with him and playing cards for a fun-filled afternoon. Stopped by Binion’s on our way home and played our favorite Jackpot Deluxe machines. I was lucky and hit for $400—the biggest hit for the trip. But, then again, it was my star day. Another early bedtime (1:30) and the chicken wings are still in place.

    TUESDAY

    Usual pool time for Tammy and me. Colleen had to make the trip to buy our show tickets for Mystere. Being the good sisters that we are, we told her once she got to the pool we would stay two hours with her. We found out that Mystere was sold out for the entire week. Lesson learned—buy tickets for a show ahead of time if it is something you really want to see. We ended up buying tickets for “Ice†at the Riveria for $47 each. We have a system of when done at the pool, I go downstairs to shower, Colleen comes 15 minutes later, etc. It is like an assembly line of women getting ready. Colleen comes out of the bathroom with two bloody feet laughing that she shouldn’t shave her feet in the shower. I personally can’t imagine shaving my feet at all. She left the toilet paper on her bloody feet until Tammy arrived so she could get a good chuckle out of Colleen’s misfortune. I was finally able to connect with my husband to find out our daughter was diagnosed with Mono.

    Usual stop at Binion’s to play an hour’s worth of cards and to the El Cortez for fun books. Ate at Careful Kitty’s—we really enjoy their food. And the price is right when using the $5.00 food coupons. We then took the bus to the Fashion Mall as Colleen wanted to go to a store called Local Charms. They have one in Minneapolis and she has gotten some really nice sterling silver pieces there at reasonable prices.

    Next we walked our way down to the Riveria to see Ice. The show consists of 42 ice skaters from Russia. The showroom seats 1000 and was very cramped. Luckily when the show started there were empty seats available, so we quickly took advantage of the opportunity to move. We all enjoyed the show.

    None of us were in the mood to take the busy back downtown so decided to take a cab. I was the lucky soul to get the front seat. After telling the driver several times “downtown†and the “Plaza†we are on our way. He immediately began telling me his life’s story starting with him being in Vietnam and his life as a homeless man for 10 years once he returned to the states. He told us how he ended up in Las Vegas and the first person he drove cab for and how grateful he was to him for giving him a chance that literally changed his life. I am busy listening and Colleen notices that we are going in the wrong direction. We are being taken to the Palazzo. We soon end up back at the Riveria with the meter now reading $9.00. He apologizes and continues to tell us about the different muggings he has witnessed driving cab in Vegas. During this time he literally had a flashback of the war and started crying. The driver drops us off at the Golden Nugget. None of us had the heart to tell him again the “Plazaâ€. He knocked $2.00 off of our bill. None of us had the heart to tell him he should knock off $9.00. After some hearty handshakes and well wishes we head to buy some much needed refreshment at the ABC store. We purchased Raspberry Smirnoff and mixed it with diet 7-up—very tasty and refreshing. Enjoyed our drinks after our cab ride and caught some of the Olympics. We did a little more casino hopping between the MSS, California and Binion’s and making it to bed around 3:00. Of course, the usual check for the chicken wings—no change.

    WEDNESDAY

    After our usual relaxing pool time, went back to the California to eat at the Market Street Café using our comp from the night before. We had leftovers of omelets, hash browns and toast. Colleen must still be feeling slightly guilty about denying the first homeless guy a meal and got a container ready with a supply of napkins and silverware. Colleen put the container on a garbage can and it literally was gone in a flash. We made one last trip to the bus station to attend a meet at Bill’s. Rhonda from the OV board had arranged a meet during Big Elvis’ first set at 3:00 to celebrate the wedding of Teash who got married in the UK on 8-8-08. After the first set Elvis said a few words to Teash and his new bride and then he sang to them. I will admit it did have the three of us crying. It was nice to meet Rhonda and Genna. Elvis has now lost 500 pounds with 150 more to go. He did not have any type of surgery, just sheer will power. It was a treat to be able to see him move around the floor.

    We then caught the bus and made our way to Hooter’s to see the Mentalist show. I had found coupons online for $7.95 and the show sounded interesting. None of us had been to Hooter’s before and all loved it from the moment we walked in. Because we signed up for their player’s cards, we received free tickets to Gerry McCambridge’s show. The show was absolutely mind boggling and in a nice showroom. We all would see his show again in a heart beat. It is all audience participation and unbelievable the mind reading he does with the members in the audience.

    After the show we noticed that it was ladies free drink night (yes, we love our freebies) in the Dixie’s Dam Country Bar. The country western band was incredible with awesome country music. Another group of three young cute gals called “The Fiddlers†also performed. They were as full of energy as the band. None of us knew we could line dance, so we think it may have had something to do with the Vodka we had consumed. After hugging and kissing all of our new friends, including the security guard, time to call it a night. This time we made Tammy sit in front during our cab ride home. The cab driver did not talk at all, but you could tell he was perturbed when Tammy was playing with his radio trying to find a country western station. We were still in a dancing mood the rest of the night, but had forgotten the steps we had learned at the Dixie Bar. So we came up with our own line dance and named it “The Carâ€. We had easy steps incorporated into the dance such as hard left, brakes, wipers, etc. We pretty much line danced through the casinos for the night. Because we had to be in a cab at 5:00 on Friday morning to head for the airport, we wanted to stay up as late as possible and try to sleep in. We finally called it a night at 5:00 a.m. and even with the Vodka consumed still remembered to check the ice machine. Still no surprises there.

    THURSDAY

    Just as planned all three of us slept until 12:00 and were sad that the week had gone by so fast. One last relaxing morning at the pool. It didn’t take us long to figure out why we use the pool from 9:00-11:00. What a difference in the heat during the middle of the day. We all did some packing and finally left the room at 3:30. Only 13 ½ hours left to win our fortune. Walked for our last visit at the Cortz and another fun book. Ate another great meal of quesadillas and shrimp and for once cleaned our plates. Not much luck at the Cortz so onto Binion’s. Seeing an empty $10.00 BJ table, we sweet talked the pit boss to change it to a $5.00 telling him it was our last night in town. In seven days of playing cards I was finally able to get on a good run and ended up cashing out with a profit of $700. The timing was perfect as I had no time left to recycle this win. One last meal at Binion’s using my comps and our mission of not paying for food would be a success. We can’t believe it—the 24 hour coffee shop is closed. We decided to bite the bullet and ate at the Carson Street Café in the Golden Nugget. This was a new concept paying for food this trip, but the food tasted great.

    Up to the room to get our bags and catch a cab. Good bye Plaza and bye to the chicken wings still in place. The cab driver took a route to the airport that was not familiar to any of us and the meter said $42.00. We were all too tired to argue and I was too tired to mind having SSSS printed across my boarding pass and having a woman search done.

    FINAL NOTES:

    Plaza pretty much sucked this trip. However, it did not make our sister trip any less enjoyable. It is sad to think that it will be two years before the three of us go again. Only consolidation is that two of us will be back August of 2009.

    Vegas is a great place if you continue to keep an open mind, no set in stone agenda, and go with the flow.

    One of the benefits of a trip like this with your sisters/best friends is that you seem to be hungry at the same time, like the same food, and best of all—laugh at the same stupid stuff.

    EXPENSES:

    Air and hotel = $291
    Tips/cabs = $120
    Purchases = $ 30
    Gambling = $100

    TOTAL = $541
     
  2. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

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    Great TR! The Plaza sounds like a DUMP. Wonder if the Chicken wings are still there?
     
  3. acesupmike

    acesupmike Tourist

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    Very Nice TR...is disappointing to hear about the Plaza. I am surprised they never offered to move you to a different room
     
  4. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Loved the TR, vacationing with sisters sounds like more fun than going with hubbies...:wink2: I also loved the feed the homeless parts...ROFL.
     
  5. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    northerngirl - thanks for the fun TR. Good win on your last day!

    later, GVJ
     
  6. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Great trip report; sounds like the three of you had a blast despite the "less than desirable" accommodations.......I've never stayed downtown and I think I'll stick to my rooms on the strip and just do some low stakes gambling downtown.:eek:
     
  7. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Great trip report! Really enjoyed it.

    Could you explain the 'email El Cortez for a funbook coupon' thing?

    I would love to be able to get my hands on those match plays and food coupons.
     
  8. northerngirl

    northerngirl Low-Roller

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  9. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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