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Tr 7/31-8/4 ti

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by rowEn, Aug 5, 2008.

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  1. rowEn

    rowEn Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    The TR is coming, though I'm sure it will NOT be long. Stayed at TI, saw Elton, came home with all our money, went to Death Valley....and had the trip home from hell. Been up for about 30 hours now, just got home, having a vodka tonic and calling it a morning. Will type more out when I can form coherent sentences. And I'll download pictures! :)
     
  2. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    30 hours??? ya, i can't do that...i'm a wuss!!!:beer::beer::beer:
     
  3. timmysmom

    timmysmom Low-Roller

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    Gee, I just bet you went through Atlanta if your trip home was "HELL."
     
  4. rowEn

    rowEn Tourist

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    OK...on to the trip report! I'll post a link to the Flickr pictures at the end. They are huge and should pretty much go in the order of the report...to a point (we used two cameras, which will be addressed later)

    Departed Huntsville on United airlines to Denver early in the morning. No delays and a pretty smooth flight. We were in the "plus" section, so we had a little bit of extra leg room. We checked both suitcases as we knew we'd be running around Denver for a few hours (free, as I have 'status' on United!). Got to Denver and finally found the passenger pickup area and my son picked us up. Got a bit of a driving tour, went to lunch and did some catching up with him, took a picture (as I ALWAYS seem to forget to get pictures of us together!) and headed back to the airport. Lovely layover and it was great to see him again (there is a long story there...but in a nutshell, I'm the birthmom, met him when he was 21, we have a great relationship now!). Get back to the airport and go through security and head to the gate. This is the first foreshadowing of the trip...the Ted flight is delayed by an hour. We find the smoking lounge, have a beer and head off to the plane. Uneventful flight, although late, and when we arrive in Vegas we hear the ticket agent rudely telling all the passengers to call United, that there was nothing they could do. I commented to John that the flight they were waiting on was the flight we were scheduled to depart on when we leave Vegas. Head off to the rental facility and pick up our Alamo vehicle (used the kiosk, got a Pontiac G6) and head off to TI...

    Went to get in line and were ushered over the invited guest check in. Mentioned the whole Iraq and belated anniversary thing...and got a regular room (to her credit, when I mentioned all that to her, she immediately apologized and said that their upper floor smoking rooms were being renovated). Went to the room, unpacked, ironed clothes (so we wouldn't have to at any other time during the trip), showered and got ready for our dinner at Delmonico.

    Dinner was nothing short of amazing. My husband had let them know about the Iraq and anniversary thing, so the chef sent out an amuse bouche that was nothing short of amazing (shrimp and cucumber ceviche on a crisp round with a lovely sauce drizzled over top), we had the calamari for an appetizer and each got our own petite filet. Cooked to perfection, the wine suggested by the sommelier was amazing and we left quite happy.

    Did a little gambling and drinking at TI but went to bed probably by midnight (I can never remember what time we go to bed the first night!).

    Day two we got up very early and went down to the coffee shop for breakfast. Not bad, not spectacular...but decent value for the price and it hit the spot at 6am. We bounced around from TI to Caesar's for a bit and headed back to the room later to get ready to see Elton John. The show was absolutely amazing and it was his last show until some time in October. Totally worth the money for the tickets...and if we go again, I'm springing for the floor seats to get up on stage! Headed back to the hotel and actually went to bed fairly early as we had plans the next day....

    Got up around 7ish and got ready for our trip to Death Valley. We were on the road a short while later, stopped in Pahrump for water and gas and continued on our way. Did not see any aliens while going through there, was quite disappointed. Death Valley was an amazing sight! Stopped at Dante's Peak (and no, I didn't upload all the pictures we took up there...but quite a few), the Badwater area and thought about stopping at the visitor's center until John decided to hop out and look at some of the rocks...and promptly pulled a muscle in his calf. There's a picture of him hopping back towards the car. No, I didn't realize he was really hurt until I took the picture and realized he was hopping! Needless to say, that put a damper on the rest of the day. We decided to just head back to Vegas. Stopped at a grocery store and bought some hot and cold packs, some icy hot stuff that claimed it didn't smell (it still did a little...but he didn't smell like an old man!), and some more water. Went back to the room and just relaxed for a bit and let his muscles calm down. After some hot and cold packs, and a long hot bath he felt up walking a bit. We stuck to the Mirage and TI since there was a tram. Played a Price is Right game that paid me a few hundred and about the same to John. Then played some giant bonus Monopoly game that gave me money and stole John's. Headed back to the room at a decent hour as we were pretty worn out from Death Valley.

    Sunday we took the monorail to the Hilton (in all our trips we'd never been there!) and played there for a little bit. Won some money on the Star Trek machine, which was nice. Thought about trying the Star Trek Experience but the line was horrendous so we passed. I wonder what they are going to do with the area once they close STE down? Headed down to the end of the line at MGM and got a quick bite at the food court (some egg drop soup for me, some black pepper chicken and rice for John) and went to Mandalay Bay. Stopped at Lush, which is one of my favorite stores in the world! Got some great bath bombs as well as restocking my favorite shampoo and conditioner. Played our way slowly back to the MGM. Stopped at Fat Tuesday and went in to the Luxor. Won a few hundred on the Kenny Rogers machine at the Luxor, which was nice. Skipped Excalibur as there were WAY WAY WAY too many kids and families around and went to NYNY. Was sitting in there and got way overheated, even with a cold drink. John steered me towards the food court, fed me some cold water and half a bagel...felt a thousand times better, but that might have also been because we were sitting right under an AC vent. Stopped and shared a pretzel for good measure on the way to the MGM to catch the tram. Went back to the TI and thought we'd just take a short nap...

    ...woke up at about 2am on our last morning there. Decided against going down to the casino and instead went back to sleep for a few more hours. Woke up and was showered and all packed to leave by 7am. Went down to use our two free buffets...nothing to write home about but hit the spot. Figured we now had four hours to kill. This is when the fun starts...

    Sat down at a dollar machine to play out my $50 FreePlay. A quick accounting in the room before breakfast tells us that we've still got $300 in uncashed traveler's checks, as well as about $200 cash. We started the trip with about $1400 in the gambling budget. So I am playing my freeplay dollars and John puts a $20 in the machine next to me...promptly wins $300 on the first spin. Cashes out and puts the voucher in his pocket. We mosey over to the Goldfish machine and they are busy, so he puts $20 in the Stampede machine right next to them. First spin, max bet, gets the matching cow bonus. Gets Every. Single. Cow! $550+ for the one spin. Cash out! We walked around and played quite a few dollar machine, winning and losing. Played the Ebay machines...hokey but nice bonuses if you can get one! Final accounting once we head to the room to check out and grab the bags...$1400 in pocket! We're going home with all the money we came with, which is just as nice as winning...and we put plenty of points on the cards so the offers should still keep coming.

    Grab our car from valet and check messages on the cell...flight delayed two hours, which means we're going to miss our connecting flight to Huntsville. Get to the airport and there is a line from hell at United. Get placed in that line and politely ask if I can use the Priority line since I have status from all the flights to/from Kuwait. Use that line and get the rudest clerk in the world. Offer us a flight at 6am the next morning, but still not getting us to Huntsville until later in the afternoon. I pass and tell her I'd like to get to Huntsville as early as possible. We get put on US Airways and head over to that line as she can't get us a seat assignment. The flight isn't until 1045pm...it's noon. Get our seats (together at least!) and hunker down for 10 hours in the airport. Wandered around the terminal without going through security so we could still pop outside and smoke. Finally head through security...our tickets had the dreaded SSSS but the bonus was that there was NO line there, and the main line for terminal A was very long. No issues and we were through there in a flash. Ate at Chilli's Too, had a beer, got on the plane, which was completely packed, and tried to catch some sleep. Dozed off and on but no real rest and the seats were uncomfortable. Got to Charlotte and had another two and a half hours until our flight to Huntsville. Called my boss who told me to just get some rest and come in tomorrow (gotta love him!) and John's boss said the same. Only sleep we really got was on this flight. We both were sleeping before takeoff and woke up when they announced our final descent to Huntsville. Great...we've been up for about 30 hours with a 45 minute nap! Got our bags, got to the car and made it home in a flash.

    All in all it was a great trip, we did a lot of relaxing. Sunday morning we did hit the pool for a few hours, and it was nice. Can't stay at the pool too long as John is a natural redhead and burns to a crisp. :) Already planning the next trip in my head...

    Pictures can be found here.
     
  5. rowEn

    rowEn Tourist

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    Uh....ok, that was way longer than I thought it would be! :)

    The camera issue...like a dolt, I forgot to pack the battery charger for the Nikon...so we mainly used it at Death Valley...and one picture of me packing just before John packed the camera back in the bag for the trip home. Next trip we decided that we'll bring some small tripods with us and take some good photos of Vegas...wanted to this time but the battery was about to die :(
     
  6. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Nice report, congrats on the win/break even always nice to do in Vegas, and one of the few vacations that offers that possibility.
     
  7. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    Hey rowEn, nice TR, loved the photos too!

    Good thing you won that $$ on the last day, hopefully it helped to ease the pain of all the other problems you seemed to encounter.

    I don't understand some people...I can't believe the way you were treated after telling them about your time in Iraq. :eek: I'd hate to think that's the way our forces are treated. Shame on them. :nono:
     
  8. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Rumor I've heard about the Star Trek space at the Hilton is that it could be used as a theater for Michael Jackson....
     
  9. matguy

    matguy High-Roller

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    Not that it helps you now, but might help someone in the future... You might have been able to find a cheap Nikon charger at Fry's down past Mandalay Bay.
     
  10. rowEn

    rowEn Tourist

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    We actually saw the store and were planning on buying another battery and charger (since we'd like a second batter anyway) but were absolutely melted by being in Death Valley and just wanted to nap when we got back :)

    Thank you all for the nice comments! We did eat at BLT, forgot to add that in there! Shared a naked burger and some fries, each had a beer and a glass of water. All was very good and we both agreed that we'd eat there again. Also ate at CPK and shared an appetizer and one pizza, both very good.
     
  11. LVLady

    LVLady Tourist

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    Great report. I take it Chris is your son...My birthmom lives in Huntsville also, she lived in Canada when I found her though. It's great that you know him and have a relationship with him. Mine means the world to me.
    As for your TR it was great, thanks for sharing, sorry about the crappy flights home though.
     
  12. rowEn

    rowEn Tourist

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    thank you! Yes, he's my son :) he continually confounds me by being confused about the music his parents listen to and the music I listen to :)

    Love him to death and my daughter really looks to him as an older brother since she's an only child
     
  13. kodidog

    kodidog Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the report...

    ....great that you could come home 'even'....yes, that is always considered a win in my book!

    Too bad about the flights...and the stressed, rude, airline employees.

    Nice photos!
     
  14. Jamie in PA

    Jamie in PA High-Roller

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    Nice report
     
  15. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the good read. Congrats on going home with your bankroll for gambling intact - that's a win in my book!

    later, GVJ
     
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