1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

TR 07/20 – 07/28 O'Hare Hyatt + Palace Station + ER

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Bazzito52, Aug 4, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bazzito52

    Bazzito52 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60

    My Trip Report

    TR 07/20 – 07/28 O'Hare Hyatt + Palace Station + ER

    TR 07/20 – 0728 O'Hare Hyatt + Palace Station + ER

    How did a 4 night solo trip to Las Vegas end up being a 7 night ordeal, including a stay at the Chicago Hyatt, Palace Station and the University Medical Center? Read on…….

    This is my first bona fide trip report for one of my numerous trips to Las Vegas over the past 30 years, but the unusual events led me to share.

    Day 1:

    I was just sitting at home, minding my own business, when an offer came in the mail for free nights at the Palace Station. Puzzled, I imagined that they checked their records and saw the total reaming I gave the craps table at Texas Station this past March and wanted another shot at my bankroll. Probably just pride on my part, but it got me thinking and after some discussion with my wife, I decided to book four nights from 07/20/08.

    I got a reasonable air fare from Orbitz and added a rental car, as Palace Station isn't really close to anything, so I was all set for some serious relaxation and recreation. Flight to Vegas, connecting in Chicago left at 4:30 PM on Sunday – a little late for my taste but OK, with an hour and a half layover in Chicago. The 8:00 return flight from Vegas wasn't insanely early, and still got me home before dark. On the whole, not bad.

    My first glimpse of trouble was after being super-early to the Tampa airport on Sunday, I hear the announcement, "The departure time for United flight 1581 has been changed to 5:30." Great! Connection time now shortened to about 30 min. The United agent at the gate gave the "Everybody-is-going-to-make-their-connections-don't bother-me-kid" spiel, so all I could do is hope for the best.

    Flight to Chicago: Horrible. I sat next to a woman with the WORST bad breath ever. Kept telling self, "It's only for a couple of hours. You'll be sleeping in VEGAS tonight! You can handle anything." I also started getting an irritating cough during the flight. On landing, the plane sits on the tarmac for twenty minutes waiting for a gate, so I saw my connection slowly slipping away. They had announced connecting flight gates and my 7:59 Vegas flight was at gate B3. Low and behold the plane pulls up to gate B2 at about 7:55. I CAN SEE MY PLANE RIGHT OUTSIDE THE WINDOW!! There it is! And sure enough, as we're shuffling out of the door, the plane at the adjoining gate pulls away and slips the surly bonds of earth…two minutes before I can get there!

    I make my way to the "Customer Service" counter in the B concourse (a rack of computer terminals and phones) and talk to a representative in Manila to try to get on another flight to Vegas. The two remaining flights out that evening are full, and after about 2 hours, the actual human Cust. Svc. reps in F concourse get me booked on a 6:00 AM flight on Monday with overnight accommodations at the O'Hare Hyatt Regency plus a meal voucher.

    I call the hotel from my cell phone while I'm eating my voucher meal at the "Chili's 2" outlet at the airport and they change my arrival to Monday. I also call Orbitz Customer Service to change the pickup date for the Budget car I had reserved. I got the absolute NICEST agent (Manila, again) who called the Budget office in Las Vegas while I was on the line. She told me, "You can pick up your car on Monday, and the estimated cost for the 3 days will be $249.00." Say what?? I had reserved a 4 day rental with am estimate of $146.00. Why can't I pick up THAT car and return it on Thursday for the original price. She calls Budget back and we eventually cancel the Budget car entirely. I can take cabs where I need to go for a lot less then the extra dough they were going to charge me. Anyway, Orbitz TLC service was excellent – courteous and accommodating. Couldn't have been nicer.

    Hyatt room was nice, but by now I'm coughing quite a bit and swear that I see the beginning of every hour tick by on the alarm clock before a too early wake-up to catch the 4:00 AM shuttle back to O'Hare. I lay there thinking, "Damn! I should be shooting craps in Vegas right now instead of this." Thus ends the first day of my cheap Las Vegas summer getaway.

    Day 2:

    Day 2 started early and I got to O'Hare at 4:30 AM. I stood with a great mass of humanity in a giant cattle pen, as the TSA checkpoints weren't open until 5:00. At one point I hollered quietly, "Give 'em the Soylent Green!" which elicited a chuckle from another over-50 type nearby.

    Flight and connection through Phoenix were uneventful, getting to Vegas about 10:00 AM, just 12 hours late. I had the cab driver stop at a drug store to pick up some cough syrup on the way to Palace Station, where I checked in about noon.

    Check-in was slow, but a posted sign explained that check-out time was noon, and guests checking out would be given priority to those checking in before the 3:00 check-in time. Got a coupon book on arrival with a $5.00 match play, some two-for-one meal offers, and various discounts. They offered a $3.99 "Check-in special" for the breakfast buffet, but the front desk clerk didn't seem to want to sell it to me and said that I could "get it later."

    The room was not overly large but tastefully decorated. Nice, modern furniture and a giant flat screen T.V. which displayed a fuzzy, grainy picture. (All except the Station Hotel channels, which came through with amazing clarity.) The bathroom was very spacious, with granite countertops, a magnifying makeup mirror mounted to the wall. The shower was new tile with marble shelves and featured a very large "rain" type shower head that gave excellent volume and pressure. End table had a clock radio. No in-room coffee. The in-room safe was locked, but Security came promptly to unlock it. I was surprised by the quality of the room and appointments. Much better than I expected.

    I was famished after the flight so went for some lunch. There was a long line to the Grand Café, so I opted for the Buffet. The food selection and quality were mediocre and totally ordinary. Decided not to go back to the front desk for the breakfast buffet special.

    Took a long nap, as I was exhausted from the travel and lack of sleep the night before. Woke up about 6:00 and went down to the casino for some play. Shot craps for a while and then went to dinner in the Grand Café, where I had the NY steak special. Excellent and well worth the $6.99 price. This was one of a number of meals at the Grand Café, each of which was satisfying and reasonably priced. It's also not possible to go near the Grand Café without staring into the refrigerated case in front to marvel at the beautiful pastry and cake creations that comprise a veritable museum display. I don't have a sweet tooth and normally don't eat desserts, but just looking at the cakes and pastries became a daily ritual for me. Who would have thought?

    Back to the craps table for a short while and then turned in for bed at about 9:00 PM down $53.00 for the day.

    Day 3:

    Awoke about 4:00 AM after a fitful night's sleep. I had woken up frequently coughing, despite the cough syrup. Still, I felt fairly refreshed and caught a cab downtown for breakfast. I had to use the internet to transfer some bank funds between accounts and I figured I might have time left on the computer terminal that I used in the Four Queens lobby back in April. Sure enough, I had a couple of minutes left, but just a few seconds short of what was needed to transmit the transaction. Another $3.00 into the machine took care of it. I'll probably use it in January '09 when we make a family trip for NFL regional playoff weekend.

    Breakfast at Magnolia's at the Four Queens followed by crapshooting at various locations downtown. Four Queens, Binion's, Golden Nugget and the Fremont. While at the Fremont, I went to the bank of slot machines where you can win a car. My wife and I, since our first trip there together 21 years ago have made it a habit to play $20.00 per person per day in these slots. Sometimes we win, sometimes we loose, but it's a ritual for us every trip. And it's the only slot machines I play (until this trip….more about this later). I'm playing to win the Mustang (the car used to be one of the various Cadillac models, a Chrysler for a short time, and lesser models lately) and up comes 2X – 4X – Red 7. That's 8 times 200 = 1600 quarters!! I cash out almost immediately over $400.00 to the good! Not only that, but after more than two decades I finally accumulated enough credits in the slot club to get the Fremont ball cap!! What a morning! By now I'm tired again and cab it back to Palace Station about 9:00 for a nap.

    I get about an hour's nap and catch a cab over the The Venetian, where I register for the Noon poker tournament. It's a $150.00 buy-in event and with the half hour I have to kill before the start, I go over to the craps table. It's a $10.00 min table but I buy in for $200.00 and immediately shoot a pretty decent hand. I quickly high-tail it to cashier cage to collect me $237.00 winnings and find that I have been standing next to the comedian Wayne Brady for the whole time. (I didn't really recognize him, as I haven't seen anything he's been in, but the cashiers and he were chatting and I figured it out.)

    I play in the tournament until about 2:20 when I make a decent bet with pocket jacks & 3-Q-J on the board. Another player shoves all-in and I make an all-in call. He shows Q-3 for two pair. Turn is a 10 and the river a Q. So my boat has hole in it and I hit the strip on foot. I walk down through Harrah's & the Flamingo to "Bill's." Where I shoot some more dice, have a drink and listen to Big Elvis. An altogether pleasant way to spend an afternoon, if you ask me.

    I walk across to Bally's and try some more $10.00 craps, but the cocktail waitress can't get my drink order straight after two tries, so it's back to Bill's for dinner in the Victorian Room and a cab back to Palace Station. I play there for the rest of the evening and turn in at about 10:00, ahead $274.00 for the trip so far. Another fitful night of sleep - again interrupted by coughing spells.

    Day 4:

    This is my last day in Vegas, so I head back downtown after breakfast in the Grand Café. I shoot craps at the Golden Nugget for a while where a player next to me gets thrown out of the casino. He's Chinese with a heavy accent and can barely speak English…except for the words "F***!" "SH**!" and "MOTHER******!", which he hollers with perfect English pronunciation after almost every roll of the dice. Even thought he's betting over $500.00 a decision, after repeated attempts to get him to curb his language, the pit supervisor sends for two security guards to escort him out. Everyone at the table cheered as he was led away. I shoot craps at various places downtown, each for about a $100.00 loss. I enter the afternoon poker tournament a Binion's (A $70.00 buy-in affair, as I recall) and after getting nothing to play hand after hand, I leave my $800.00 in tournament chips on the table and leave after the first hour's break. I'm just feeling tired and uninspired and want to take another nap. Very unusual for me.

    It's back to Palace Station where I have dinner back at the Café, take another shot at the craps table where things turn around and I turn in for the night about 9:00 PM about $279.00 ahead for the trip. I pack most of my stuff up and get to bed about 9:30, anticipating an early wake-up to catch my 7:55 AM flight back to Tampa via Denver.

    About 10:15 PM I wake from a sound sleep and find that I CAN'T BREATE! I can't breathe in or out. I can't cough. I don't know what to do. I get to my feet, get into the bathroom and try to cough into the sink, but can't. I simply can't get air of any quantity into or out of my lungs. I stumble to the phone and push the emergency button and they send security to the room, within about two minutes. I get to the door and just before security arrives I cough up a large quantity of reddish-blown phlegm into the sink. The three security officers get me seated, calmed down somewhat and ask if I think I need a paramedic. I'm breathing better now and decline. After calming me down they leave, offering to return at any time. I sit for a while and doze off, waking once again about 11:00 with another choking spell of lesser intensity. It's clear that there is something wrong with my lungs other than an irritating, dry cough, so I call my wife in Florida. We agree that if anything like this should happen in the air, I'd probably be out of luck, so we decided that I should seek medical treatment and to keep her advised. I call security back and decide that, rather than be wheeled out on a gurney, that I was breathing well enough to take a cab to the nearest Emergency Room.

    I catch a cab to the University Medical Center on Charleston Blvd., arriving right at midnight. I was beginning to think that I wasn't going to make my 7:55 AM flight back to Florida.

    Day 5:

    I check myself into University Medical Center Emergency Room just about midnight and see the triage nurse about an hour later. Chest x-ray, blood samples, etc. and I see the ER doctor at about 2:00 AM, to the best of my recollection. He asks numerous questions about the choking incident and tells me that he needs to check for a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) and that I'd be getting numerous tests. I call my wife, letting he know what was happening, and she said that she would be flying out as soon as she could. I was taken into an observation room in the ER where I was hooked up to an IV, EKG and more blood samples. Later in the morning, I got a CT scan. About 8:00 in the morning the supervising doctor told me that I would be admitted to the hospital for observation and treatment. During the next few hours I got two IV bags w/antibiotics and a couple of nebulizer breathing treatments. The nurses were very attentive and helpful. I got lunch about 2:00 PM and was admitted to a regular hospital room at around 3:00PM.

    My wife arrived about 4:00 and calls my cell phone to let me know she was in town and would be cooing to the hospital as soon as she could get the rental car and get checked into the room at Palace Station. I was my assigned doctor about 5:00 PM and he tells me that the CT scan showed no sign of a blood clot, but that I did have pneumonia and that he was going to release me with an antibiotic prescription, "because of your young age and good health." HOT DAMN! I swear I'm moving out here! My doctor at home keeps telling me how old, fat and out-of-shape I am. Hey! Compared to a typical 40 year-old Las Vegan, I'm young and in good health! What a day brightener.

    By the time my wife arrives, the discharge paperwork is done and we hit the street, its 8:00 PM - just 20 hours after I checked into the ER. We go back to the hotel and have dinner – we're both famished by now, and then right to bed about 10:00.

    What a day! I've never had a day like it in my 30+ years of visiting Las Vegas, and hope not to again. I sleep soundly feeling much better and free from worry.

    Day 6:

    We wake up around 7:00 feeling rested and refreshed. I shower and go downstairs and get coffee for 2 and some pastries for my wife. While she's getting dressed, etc. I go to the casino for some crapshooting before breakfast. My wife got the "check-in special" for the breakfast buffet for 2. I didn't mention that I had lunch there the first day, and the quality was, once again, mediocre. (I just didn't want to hear the,"You knew it was this bad and didn't stop me!" lecture, even though she bought the two tickets while was in the hospital. I knew that I'd be blamed, somehow.) After breakfast, my wife played some slots and I returned to the craps table until about 11:00 when I felt the need for a nap. I spent the rest of the day resting in the room, and gambling in the casino in short spurts. On the whole, not an unpleasant way to recover from a stint in the hospital. In fact, I'm going to suggest that our local medical center install a craps table in the lobby in order to help patients recover from surgeries and illnesses. I think that the therapeutic benefits are undeniable!

    I had to tell my wife about the coupon book. I kept trying to figure out how all of it adds up to the "$500.00 Value" as printed on the cover. I tried to estimate the value of everything, including the free cocktail at the Irish pub, and all I could do was tell my wife, "Honey, don't you DARE spend $2,250.00 at the gift shop for a 20% coupon discount!"


    Day 7:

    We woke up about 7 after another deep, restful night's sleep and decide to have a an EXCELLENT breakfast, so my wife drives us to the Omelet House, just two blocks from the UMC where I spent all day Thursday. This is our all-time favorite place for breakfast. Delicious pumpkin bread, the best corned beef hash ever, and their fabulous "spuds" starts the day on a high note and banish all inferior breakfasts from our memories.

    It's back to Palace Station for more R&R. We book or return flights for Sunday and spend the rest of the day like on Friday – resting and gambling as the spirit moved.

    My wife did discover the "Wizard of Oz" slot machines at the hotel and I consented to give them a try. Incredible! I'm normally not a slot machine player (except as mentioned in Day 3 above), but I must admit that these machines were obviously invented by a true evil genius. The entertainment value and visual/aural/sensual reinforcement is so high as to be positively addictive – almost enough to turn a lifelong crapshooter into a penny slot player. I said ALMOST. They have high-backed seats with speakers and a vibrator in them, so the player is surrounded by sound. The visible symbols are familiar and comforting. The normal pulls invoke a swelling chord just about the same rhythm as breathing. The scattered bonus symbols deliver a loud tympani shot that vibrates through the seat, making the experience both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. The "Glinda the Good Witch" bonus sends a low frequency vibration right down your back into your butt – very invigorating. The "Flying Monkey Bonus" is pure, surprising sensory overload. The combination of sights, sounds, and vibrations combined with low & high frequency sounds added to the measured, swelling sounds requiring constant reinforcement add up to a recipe for bankruptcy unlike any I can recall. My wife blew over $100.00 in these machines and I put in another $40.00 myself. Very entertaining.

    We had our final dinner in Palace Station's steak house, The Broiler. The quality was good and the prices on the high side, considering the quality. We weren't disappointed, but wouldn't rush back either. Then it was time to pack for the return trip. My wife suggested that I go to the Subway and use the 2-for-1 coupon, our last chance for that "$500.00 value." She figured we could ice down the sandwiches and pack them to have on the flight the next day. I got to the Subway, which was located inside of the sports book just in time to see the opening round of the Cotto-Margarito fight. Wow! About two-thirds of the crowd was rooting for the Mexican and the other third was supporting the Puerto Rican. Every punch from each fighter invoked shouts and hollers from each faction for each of the 11 rounds. It was like witching the Rock 'Em-Sock 'Em Robots battle without quitting 'till the knockout. Highly entertaining. How come we never have this kind of excitement in the Subway in my home town? The perfect ending to a strange week in Las Vegas.

    Sunday would bring an early wake-up and an uneventful flight back to Florida. We got back home about 9:00 PM and I was grateful to be home alive, in recovering health and over $535.00 ahead from my gambling winnings. That won't in any way offset the three extra nights at Palace Station, the extra meals for two for the three day until I could get home, the three one-way airline tickets it took to get my wife to Vegas and both of us home, the extra expense of a rental car, not to mention the ER and hospital bills, which have yet to come in.

    So, my cheap Vegas getaway turned into a week long, expensive ordeal. Never would have figured, but grateful for the positive outcome, nonetheless.
     
    NFL Divisional Playoffs!!
  2. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,685
    Location:
    City of Angels
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    999
    OMG...talk about a memorable trip. Glad to hear you are doing much better, but talk about a scary experience.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    9,139
    Location:
    So Cal 91748
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    300
    :nworthy: Great report. Thanks for sharing it with us. BTW, I've used that pneumonia one myself! :poke:
     
  4. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,081
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    glad all is well and that you got some extra time in vegas! never a bad place for that!!!!:beer::beer::beer:
     
  5. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,838
    Location:
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    That was a fascinating trip report, my friend. Very well done. I hope you are feeling better.

    Mikey
     
  6. matguy

    matguy High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    884
    Location:
    Seattle-ish
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    Wow, very eventfull, too bad it got so expensive.
     
  7. PokerrNutt

    PokerrNutt High-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Stuart, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Wow! What a trip! You think you might have gotten sick from that woman with bad breath (on the first flight)??? I've heard that bad breath is caused by illness, germs, etc..... Just a thought.

    Glad you're alright now.
     
  8. IcyVegasAgain

    IcyVegasAgain Tourist

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    382
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Glad you are feeling better now. An extended vacation is always fun, but not really under those circumstances! Hopefully your next trip will be much better.
     
  9. Jamie in PA

    Jamie in PA High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    732
    Location:
    Greensburg PA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    24
    Glad your feeling better.
     
  10. eucerin101

    eucerin101 Tourist

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Wow signs of a true degen! sick - check into ER - check out - straight to the gaming tables, nice!

    I hope your health is recovering, what a bad experience to have on a solo vacation!
     
  11. Bazzito52

    Bazzito52 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    Thanks for the get well wishes, all! I'm feeling much better, and am beginning to get some of my stamina back.

    BTW, eucerin101, I didn't go straight to the crap table....we went straight to dinner! I at least waited till the AM, when my wife was getting ready. Still, I suppose I'm pretty much guilty as charged.

    My follow-up appt. with my normal physician last week confirmed that I had the pneumonia long before getting on the plane to Las Vegas. What happend was that the dry desert air dried out the mucus in my lungs, congealing it and it eventually constricting the air circulation. When some of the goo got lodged in my windpipe, I got the choking sensation. I knew that it was dry out there, but this pretty much took the cake!

    Again, thanks for all of your good wishes!
     
    NFL Divisional Playoffs!!
  12. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Dude - that was a saga! Glad you're doing better. Thanks for the good read.

    later, GVJ
     
  13. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,907
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    106
    Glad to hear you are feeling better! I spent a day in the Emergency Room in Vegas about 10 years ago as well.....never a planned part of a trip that's for sure!:eek:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.