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TR - IP - The Great Storm Chase

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by spendo, Jan 30, 2005.

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  1. spendo

    spendo Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada

    My Trip Report

    Well lets just start out this trip report by saying I'm glad to be alive and back home again. After reading on you will find out why...

    Flew out of Detroit thru Americawest @ a cost of $244 US each.

    Flight out 7:15 am arrive LAS @ 9:00 am
    Rtrn Flight 10:55 pm arrive back at DTW @5:50 am

    The characters are my best friend Liane, my sister Dale and Me, Spendo.

    This was an all girls trip where we left the husband and kids at home. If you like to read about "clubs" and never ending partying.. stop reading now.. we had the kind of fun where you gamble non stop, shop till you drop and laugh at just about anything or anyone after we had a few strawberry daqaries..

    To start things out, we were to leave at noon on Saturday from Ontario, Canada, drive to Detroit, stay at the Marriott and catch our 7:00 am flight out of Detroit....well, it didn't go exactly as planned...

    In the wee early hours of Saturday morning, I was woken up by a sudden jolt... I'm thinking to myself, hmm this is strange....well to make a long story short, I couldn't fall back to sleep so I got up to read LVTalk, surf the web and most importantly, check the weather in LV. Aah good to know, sunny skies and 69 degrees...life is good.

    At the same time I put the TV on to check our local weather for driving and was shocked at all the local weather warnings. Yes for all of you who live anywhere in Southern Ontario, Detroit, Ohio, NY, Philly, Chicago, etc... you all remember the storm last Saturday....crap...this is not good.

    By this time it is 5 am and some quick decisions have to be made... stick around for my 10 o'clock nail appointment or get the show on the road to try to beat the worst of the storm...well after some consideration and debate with my husband (he gets home at 4:30 from work) it was decided to leave early and get things moving... my nails will just have to look ugly for Vegas...oh well

    So at 5:15 am I call Liane and she was also awaken suddenly and lied back down on the couch....strange, this is the room where the phone is. If she had gone back to bed, she never would have heard me call her. Very strange indeed. Ok, so we decide to get ready, grab some coffee and drive to the city where my sister lives. It is 6:30 am by the time we hit the highway and we have an hours drive to get to the meeting point with my sister. Luckily she keeps a phone in her room and had packed the night before, so she was ready to go.

    The drive to London was uneventful and the snow had not started yet. We put all the suitcases in Dale's car as it was decided she was going to drive her own car and do the whole "park and fly" thing. After grabbing another "Timmies" we were set to go and so was the snow. We bid our hubbies goodbye and they wished us much luck and to call them when we got to Detroit.

    So here we are, all happy and glad and giddy. That lasted for about five minutes after we hit the highway. Sheesh the snow is really coming down now, but Dale has nerves of steal and is used to driving in the snow on the highway.... I tried to relax and let her do her thing.

    Well to get to the point, after 30 minutes, the highway was gone, the whiteouts unbelievable, the snow was blowing and if we were lucky, we could follow tracks left from the car in front of us. There is no rest stop between London and the Sarnia border so we had to keep going. I said to the girls, I'm not driving any further in this and we should stop at the border and ride it out. Well, thankfully we did get to the border, and the guard said to us "it's only going to get worse, you've come this far, keep going" So Dale, being the good listener that she is, took his advice over mine and kept going. In retrospect, this was the right decision as highways were being closed and we never would have made the trip with our early flight. Oh and does anyone realize how difficult it is to pee on the side of the road during a snow storm? Yes I had to pee I was so nervous... a girl has got to do whatta girl has gotta do...

    Well, we managed to grab the I94 all the way to Detroit after crossing the border. We continued to just follow tracks and thankfully there were only us few idiots who braved the highway and traffic was light. Other than the snow, zero visibility, and icy roads, the only other really scary part was when a Armoured Truck couldn't stay straight at the I75 turnoff. Since this was a hill, alot of cars and trucks couldn't make it up the hill with the volumn of snow on the road. Watching all these cars and trucks go up the hill sideways was a site to be seen. I got some great pics of this and will post them later on.

    Well, since I'm writing this, you all know we made it safely to the Courtyard Marriott nearly 6 hours after we left our hometown, where I promptly kissed the ground (I kid you not!). This trip would have normally taken 3 hours.

    We checked in, settled down, soaked in the whirlpool, grabbed a bite to eat and tried to get some sleep for our early morning flight.

    We wake up at 3:00 am to catch the 4:30 am shuttle to the airport. The storm is over, it looks to be about 2 feet of snow out there, but our flight is not delayed or cancelled. WooHoo, Vegas here we come.

    We pre-printed our boarding passes the night before at the Marriott, so we checked our bags at the curb and headed off to security. There was no lineup and proceeded through and waited to board.

    After the plane de-iced we were off the ground about 7:40 and arrived in Vegas shortly before 9 am. This was the smoothest flight I've had to Vegas, no turbulence, great take off, great landing.... I was thankful for the small things after the drive yesterday.

    The bags took forever at the baggage claim, but eventually arrived. We grabbed a taxi to the IP, no tunnel...cost of $12 bucks with tip.

    We get to the front desk and were told our room won't be ready till later on and we could pick up our key at around 3. This is very normal for the IP as arriving on a Sunday, we figured we would have to wait anyway. I asked the girl what floor we were on and she said "13"... I said, uh uh, no way, not gonna happen. (we stayed on the 13th floor last year, we didn't win a single thing and I got sick). I asked if another room was available on another floor.. So she looked and said "oh, I have a room on the fifth floor, handicap, non-smoking, 2 queen beds and has been remodelled" Wonderful..... first win of the trip... I gave her 10 bucks and said we'd be back at 3 for the keys.

    We always get the handicap room for my sister, who has bad knees and it's easier because the showers are walk-in and finds them easy to use. She was also going to rent a scooter for this trip. She picked one up at the Bell desk for a cost of $110 bucks for 4 days.

    We wondered around the IP for a few hours, grabbed a quick bite at the Burger King in O'Sheas, and basically killed time before the room key was ready. I must say that the IP has completely changed their slots to all the modern, up to date slots. Since we are mainly low limit slot players, we were in heaven. All machines are Tito's so you can cash out and jump from one machine to the other. We totally got hooked on the Williams Neptune's Fortune and Fortune Fairies. We did very well on these machines and they have great bonus rounds. We also spent time on the back wall playing our beloved Deuces Wild video poker.

    At 3 o'clock we grabbed the key and headed up to the room #5101, where we were pleasantly surprised. We overlooked the pool and two doors down from the elevators. The flowery bedspreads have been replaced by plain beige and gold ones. Very subdued and pleasing to the eye. The bell desk brought up our bags, threw him a couple of bucks and we were off to the Frontier for some bingo.

    Now this was Liane's first trip to Vegas and we were going to show her all we could. She absolutely hated this place...kinda had a funky smell to it, and it's age is showing up big time. We played two rounds of bingo, didn't win a thing, so we grabbed a taxi back to the IP.

    We were getting hungry at this point so we headed up to the Pizza Palace for bite to eat. We all had the spaghetti and it was yummy. I luv the pasta in this place. Excellent service, good price, good food.

    Since we were pretty beat up from the travelling and time change, we just hung out at the IP, jumping from slot to slot, not really winning or losing and called it a night around midnite.

    We woke up, showered, got dressed and grabbed something to eat at the IP breakfast buffet. Not that bad, hit the spot.

    We headed out to work our way south along the strip.

    We stopped at O'Sheas, Flamingo, Barbary Coast, Bally's, Paris, Aladdin and walked all the way back again. It was at Paris where I discovered the Aristocrats Tiki Torch machines. I did very well on the bonus rounds and cashed out a couple of bucks on these machines.

    While in Barbary Coast, we all sat down to play some Pai Gow. I taught Liane how to play this and she was quite excited to play it in a real casino. We ordered some strawberry daqaries and settled in for a few hours of play. Our $20 buy in lasted a few hours and we all eventually busted out, but had a great table and lots of fun losing our $20 bucks.

    Now a few month's back we all had a great debate on this board as to where I could buy the "Louis Vuitton" replicas and was told they were all over the place. Well, I looked in every shop I could find and had no luck at all.... I guess I'll just have to go to the real store tomorrow.

    While in Aladdin we toured the shops and grabbed dinner at the Salsa Cantina. Liane had chicken quesadias and Dale and I shared a chicken Fahita. The total bill came to $35 bucks with tip. The food was very tasty and I always enjoy eating here. Somehow, a new bottle of hot sauce ended up in my purse.....how on earth did that happen???

    So after a full day of gambling, some shopping, some drinking, lots of smoking, we called it day and headed off to bed with a serious case of the giggles...why do we grown women find this necessary after we've "had a few"

    Woke up the next day, had the IP breakfast buffet again.. a really cheap meal when we use the players points on the card you sign up for.

    Today we were going to head over to the Mirage and Ceasars Palace then grab the bus to downtown.

    We watched the white tiger at the Mirage lick this rock for at least 10 minutes until it got bored. To funny to watch a grown tiger lick and lick and lick. We got bored and headed off to the casino to gamble. Dropped a few bucks here and there, took some great pics and headed to Ceasars for more shopping and gambling.

    We entered through the new forum shops and rode the spiral escalator while Dale found the elevator. This would be ongoing for the entire trip, but her knees where very thankful for the scooter.

    Wow....is all I can say.... unbelievable...soooo beautiful... we headed off in the direction of Louis Vuitton and shopped along the way. I finally found paradise... Liane took some pictures of me in front of the store and that is about all I got from there. We walked in, and the nice guards at the front who look like the secret service chatted in their little wrist walking talkie thingy's while we wandered around. I looked at a few of their handbags, looked at the price, just smiled and moved on. Maybe I'll get a wallet.... I ask the nice lady "how much is this changepurse" $450... I just smiled....ooohhhh, look at this leather wristband... how much is this? $275!!!!......one day, perhaps when I've lost my sanity I'll pay the kind of money they want....but not today while I'm still sane.

    We moved along to the Guess store where I picked up my daughter a Guess handbag for $35 that cost $85 here in Canada. That price I can live with and she will be so happy.

    After shopping we headed to the casino where we did really well on their slots. Cashed out a few bucks ahead and decided to take the money and run. We walked and scootered back to the IP, dropped off our shopping bags, left the scooter behind and grabbed a bus to head downtown.

    Now anyone who takes the bus downtown knows what kind of experience that could be... It's quite the adventure and a must do for all Vegas travellers.

    We finally get downtown and wander in and out of all the shops and casino's picking up souvenirs and leaving a couple of bucks in each casino. Dale and Liane just had to buy the underwear for their husbands that read "silent but deadly".... laughter and tears where flowing after this purchase.

    I felt it very important for Liane to see the Horseshoe...old Las Vegas... a legend in her own right.... I figured for sure we could find our old style deuces wild machines in here....nope, best we could do was loose deuces, so we sat and played at the two machines available. The lady that was on the third machine proceeded to tell us exactly which machines won that day, what they hit, and when they were "due". Well I threw a couple of bucks in the middle machine, got nothing and said to Dale, "here, you play for a bit, then I'll play for a bit" she jumped in and on her third spin... she holds 2 deuces.....bang.... up pops the other two.... what a nice sister I am.....

    Well it payed 2500 nickles for 4 deuces on this machine, so she was one happy camper... we decided pre-trip that only wins of $100 bucks or more we would split... so we all got a piece and celebrated our first real win in Vegas this trip.

    We all had a few drinks, gambled some more and grabbed the bus back to the hotel....played some more slots and headed off to bed..

    So, we wake up Wednesday morning and I can't believe we only have 2 days left and still so much to see and do. I looked out the window and it was just pouring....rain... wtf...no rain was predicted...yuck...oh well, we will just have to work around it.

    We head off and eat at the IP Breakfast Buffet again.

    The IP parking lot looked like you could go white water rafting through it. Quite the site to see....

    Oh yea, on one of the days we rode up the Eiffel tower and it was simply breathtaking. We got some great pics of the strip and this is a must do for everyone. It only cost $7 as we had a coupon for $2 that we had.

    Today we were going to ride the monorail. It has excellent handicap access. I will say though, it is quite the hike to get to the monorail locations and I often wonder if it's any quicker. We took the monorail from the IP to the MGM. We gambled and drank some fruity drink that put us all into another giggle fit. We watched the lions at the habitat and took some great pics of them. We then crossed the bridge over to Excalibur, toured there, Tropicana, and NYNY. Tropicana really creeped us out and had a really funky smell to it. We did not like this place at all.

    We grabbed a hotdog and fries at Nathan's in NYNY. Yummy as always.

    We originally decided to see Thunder from Down Under, but changed our minds and decided to put our money into a better show. We opted for "We will rock you" at Paris where the tickets were $53 bucks. This is a small theatre and there isn't a bad seat in the house.

    While at the bar, the bartender said "what part of the midwest are you from" and we are like "uh?" you need to go much further north and cross the border...lol...he said we had a very "distinct" accent. I'm guessing one of us said "eh" one too many times.

    We grabbed our beers and headed into the theatre. The show was only 3/4 full and everyone around us did a seat change. Well, if you can't beat em, join em. So we stayed in the same row, but moved closer to the centre.

    Wow, what a great show, if you love Queen, you will love this show. The singers were fantastic and the showed moved along at a very fun and entertaining pace.

    After the show we walked back to the IP and casino hopped along the way. During this walk 5 nice looking Australian men kept us quite entertained. We all may be married, but we know nice butts when we see them, and believe me, they were nice... So in the end, I guess we did get to watch "thunder" after all!!!

    Slightly tipsy, we called it a night....


    Thursday, our last day...sigh... We set the alarm for 11 am as we had a very long day ahead of us. We got up, packed, checked the bags and monorailed it over to the Aladdin where we had their lunch buffet. Fantastic. Food choice was excellent and the ribs from the chinese station were unbelievable. Filled up and headed out the casino to do some gambling.

    Liane decided she wanted to bet max on a couple of the penny machines to see if she could win a jackpot....well low and behold...she bet max ($4) and on the second spin hit for 12,900 pennies... Woohoo another group jackpot... we celebrated with a round a fuzzy navels.... We all did well here and cashed out several 20 - 50 $$ tito's. We headed back to the Barbary Coast to play some more Pai Gow and listen to Big Elvis. Boy that man can sing. We did ok and casino hopped all the way to Casino Royale and picked up a cheap jacket at the little booth when you first walk in.

    We eventually made it back to the IP where we parked our butts until it was time to leave for the airport. Dale was going to play some Let it Ride while Liane and I hit the slots and do some more crazy betting.

    Dale came back a little while later and said to us "close your eyes and hold out your hands" so we did and she put 3 $25 chips in each of our hands...woohoooo.... she hit a full house with the bonus buck... a great ending to the best trip ever. We all played slots until 8:30 where we grabbed our bags and headed off to the airport.

    The flight home was smooth and uneventful. The drive from Detroit back to Ontario was bright and sunny. Thank God!!

    Overall this was the funnest trip ever. We didn't lose that much money and had several cash outs and even a couple of wins. The service at the IP was excellent and the machines are all modern and up to date. I still don't understand why this hotel gets labelled a dump. Yes it is old, but clean. The dealertainers were a blast to watch (especially the Ricky Martin guy, a real cutie patutie)

    The only downers on the trip was the free buffet at Harrah's we got for signing up for their players card....horrid, terrible service and food. The other one being an elevator that didn't work on one of the overpasses at the MGM, and had to walk all the way back and cross at another intersection.

    Otherwise, Liane our Vegas Virgin had the time of her life, got to see just about everything Vegas has to offer, Dale's knees thanked her everyday for the scooter and I couldn't have gone with two better people.

    I hope I didn't babble too much and thank you for reading.. I'll be happy to answer any questions.

    Spendo
     
  2. spendo

    spendo Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
  3. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

    Joined:
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    Outstanding trip report! And all pics were great... they always add so much to a report... pouty lip at the airport is a classic!

    There is just something extra fun about a road trip with your friends, isn't there?

    Sounded like you had a great time...thanks for sharing it with us!

    T.
     
  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Sounds (and looks) like it was a fun trip. Nice composition on the photos. [​IMG]
     
  5. enterpriser2151

    enterpriser2151 Tourist

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    Great pictures...much better than mine. I need to make a few friends and force them to go to Vegas with me. [​IMG]
     
  6. East Coast Shuffle

    East Coast Shuffle Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Nice TR my fellow Canuck.
    A whitenuckle start...but you finished winners.
    Gotta like it !.
     
  7. Carly

    Carly Guest

    is the theatre at the Paris all one level? And would you pay extra for better seats or just get the cheapest tickets? I really want to see this show.
     
  8. spendo

    spendo Tourist

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    Ty all for the nice replys.

    Carly...No, it is multi level from tickets ranging from $53 up to $120 I think. The theatre really isn't that big for a vegas production. Yes I would pay more for better seats, we were 2nd row from the top of the theatre but moved towards centre stage when those seats did not fill. I would have liked to have been at least 10 rows down...it would have been perfect, I think they cost around $80 bucks.

    When you go to the box office at Paris, they have a seating plan and you pick where you want to sit and how much you are willing to pay.

    Good luck and you will definately enjoy the show!

    Spendo
     
  9. ncgirl

    ncgirl Guest

    Great TR ! Thanks.
    A question about the scooter rental.
    Did you know in advance that the IP had scooter rentals and did you pre arrange that before hand?
    Also did the scooter fit into the taxi trunk or busses you used? Was it heavy or combersome?
    I ask because we are going in July with my daughter who has had multiple joint replacements and is walking much better but still cannot do long distances nor stand for long periods of time. We were thinking of taking her foldable wheelchair but then someone always has to push her and her independance is restricted. The scooter rental sounds interesting and might be an option for her.
    Thanks for any info you can give !!
     
  10. spendo

    spendo Tourist

    Joined:
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    ncgirl:

    She just rented it at the bell desk at the IP, and I think now-a-days it's pretty much a standard option at all the hotels. It was very easy to navigate according to my sister and if you look at the pics above, you can see that it is not too big. As it relates to taxi's, go to a white house phone, ask for taxi companies with wheelchair access. The company will send you one, but be prepared for a wait. It took 1/2 hour for one to arrive. As for the bus, my sister left the scooter in the room when we used the bus, but I did see one of the buses loading a man in a wheelchair by dropping the steps with hydrolics. I'm not sure if each and every bus is equiped like this, but I'm sure the bell desk would know that too. Every hotel we encountered has some sort of wheelchair access, it was just a matter of finding it. The bridge crossings at all the major intersections had elevators for you to use also. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

    Spendo
     
  11. IllMarty

    IllMarty Orangutan

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    Spendo,

    I had same type of experience getting to the airport that Saturday. Yuor road pics look very similar to the condtions in Chicago that day.

    Nice TR. Glad you had a good time, eh.

    Marty
     
  12. ncgirl

    ncgirl Guest

    Many thanks !
    Will look into it.
     
  13. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I think all the CAT (city) buses are handicap equipped--with a lift for wheelchairs. Certainly all the buses I've ridden have been (that's the Strip routes as well as off-Strip) There have been a couple of other trip reports discussing scooter rentals and accessibility at casinos and elsewhere--try searching for scooter in the upper right hand corner, I think Ms. Sonya got the "search" problems fixed.
     
  14. Cowgirl44

    Cowgirl44 Tourist

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    Spendo,
    Thanks for the great report!! I can't wait to go back in October with my family. We will be staying at the Luxor.

    Also, I love booking my trip with America West. I noticed you had great arrival and depart times. We will have those same times and the best thing is that Luxor has a late checkout time on the last day (8pm), so we can have more time in Vegas on the last day.

    Again, great report.
     
  15. Carly

    Carly Guest

    Spendo, I called Paris yesterday and got my tickets for the show. I can't wait! Was it casual wear at the show?
     
  16. spendo

    spendo Tourist

    Joined:
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    Carly:

    Yes, very casual, it is theatre style seating and even have a drink holder on your arm rest.

    Enjoy the show!
     
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