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Trip Report 11/11-11/14

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chrispy, Nov 15, 2006.

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  1. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

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    My Trip Report

    Hi, all...hope you don't mind a newcomer posting a trip report. This one will be a doozy...

    My lady and I had a flight departure time of 12:45 pm on Saturday. Her sister had agreed to drop us off at the airport...unfortunately, she had to run an errand first before coming back to pick us up to take us to the airport. Long story short, we arrive at the airport, check in our luggage, and I get my boarding pass....BUT MY LADY DOESN'T GET HERS! Yep, oversold the flight, so Southwest is asking for volunteers to take a later flight and get at $200 bonus. No takers. I tell Southwest I'm not getting on the flight without her, so I end up giving my boarding pass to someone else who was waiting for an open seat. Southwest ends up getting us on the next flight, which was scheduled to arrive at 6:30 pm. Not good when you have tickets to Manilow at 7:30! Southwest also gave us both $400 Southwest vouchers for future travel, which was nice of them to do.

    I was feeling really bad about the delay, not only because my lady loves Manilow, but also because my brother-in-law and sister were driving from San Diego to Vegas to meet us. Luckily, they got a late start, so they would only beat us to the hotel by an hour or so. I had paid for their room in advance, but was worried that they wouldn't be allowed to check-in unless I was there to present my card info. Thankfully, it wasn't need, and they checked into the Stratosphere without any problems.

    Now that our nonstop flight had turned into a flight to Houston, then switching planes to fly to Vegas with a stop in El Paso, I was definitely irritated. Luckily, the flights went off without a hitch, and we landed in Vegas on time. We rushed to the Southwest baggage claim, where our bags were sitting there waiting. How lucky that they got to Vegas before we did?!?

    We immediately hop into a cab towards the Strat. Thankfully, the check-in line was short, and we ended up with the only remaining king bed room they had left...on the 21st floor of World tower II. View of the strip! We rushed towards our room...only to find the keys don't open the door! I rush back to the lobby, get another set of keys...failure again! I find a phone near the room, call the front desk, they send security up to let us in. They tried a third set of keys...failure again. They then use a master key to get us into the room. I tell them about the rush to get to the show, they tell us to find security when we return to the hotel so they can let us into our room. We rush to get dressed, meet up with my sis and bro-in-law, and hop into a cab towards the LV Hilton. I gave my sis money and a 2-for-1 buffet coupon (they're young, everything tastes good to them!) and told them we would meet up with them after the show.

    Rush over to will call, grab the tickets, get into the line to get in...we made it just in time! Girlfriend LOVED the show, cried practically the whole time. Even I have to admit that it was pretty entertaining and not nearly as painful as I thought it would be. Still, I mainly did this one for my lady...the same lady who had agreed to go to the Ultimate Fighting show that night on my behalf. If I had actually landed tickets for the UFC, she would have missed out on Barry...in retrospect, I'm glad I missed the UFC show so she could have a memorable trip. (She hadn't been to Vegas in 20 years, so everything was practically brand new to her.)

    After the show, the four of us hop into a cab towards downtown. Saw the Fremont Street Experience, not much of a show as much as it was a bunch of quick themes thrown together. Still, they enjoyed seeing it. Walked up and down the stretch, gambled a little at the Binion's...lady played some slots and won about $15, bro-in-law and I lost about $25 each playing blackjack.

    Lady and I were starving at this point, and we found a tiny casino with some sort of tropical theme selling Nathan's hot dogs and fried oreos and twinkies. I'm a glutton for punishment, so we head inside. Lady and I loved the hot dogs at $1 each, and we split an order of the fried oreos with bro and sis. Were surprised how much we liked them...

    By this time, it was past midnight, so we headed back to the Strat for the evening. Security lets us in and tells us to call the front desk so they can get us into a better room. "Make sure to ask for an upgrade if they don't offer it to you", says the security guy. Damn right! Called the front desk, who then tells us that the next day, we are to be upgraded to a Player's Suite next door to our current room. I'm satisfied for now, and the lady and I retire for some needed rest around 1 am.

    More to come...

    -- Chrispy
     
  2. VegasDog

    VegasDog High-Roller

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    Mermaids! Those Oreos are great, but a bit much at the same time! Looking forward to reading the rest!
     
  3. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Great start chrispy...can't wait for the rest!
     
  4. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

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    more please!!
     
  5. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

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    Part two

    It is 6 am, and I am wide awake. My lady is sleeping soundly, so I quietly shower and get dressed. I am the first to discover that not only is the door lock for this room flaky, but the bathtub drains VERY slowly. We're talking ankle deep water by the end of a normal shower.

    Around 6:30, I'm walking over to the bed where my lady is sleeping. I see her reach for where I would be, so I stop and take in the moment. Her first reach finds nothing, so she tries another spot...still nothing. By now, I'm grinning...and she sleepily says "honey?"...by now, I can't take it. I walk over to her side of the bed, kiss her on the cheek, and tell her that I can't sleep, so I was going to gamble for a bit. She's understanding and says she'll sleep until the 9:30 wake-up call we had scheduled. Off I go to gamble...

    Head downstairs to the roulette table. Single zero roulette! It's my first ever live roulette game, but I'd been playing online for months now. I decide to limit myself. $100 budget, $10 per spin for 10 spins. I put $1 on the 9, $1 on the 23, and $1 on each of their respective corners. After 10 spins, I leave the table regardless of results. First three spins earn me nothing. Fourth spin...is a nine. Fifth spin...is twenty three. I leave the table up $67.

    Off to play some blackjack with my $67 in winnings. Nice guy at my table, but a REALLY erratic player. I leave after a few shoes down about $20.

    I then randomly play a few slots and some VP here in there...probably lost about $20 total.

    Then, for some odd reason, I decide to enter a hold 'em tourney that starts at 9 am. (Nevermind that I'm supposed to meet lady, sis, and bro-in-law around 10.) $30 entry, I'm playing well the first half hour and building my chip stack. At that point, I know I need to hurry, so I'm playing REALLY aggressively. Unfortunately, players are afraid to challenge me, so I'm finally showing my bluffs after I win pots. No one knows what's going on, they think I'm nuts. I whisper to the two people next to me "if I go all in, call it. I really have to leave." Meanwhile, the rest of the table is clueless. I admit it was a little fun stringing them along.

    I head up to my room at 10. My lady is almost finished getting ready for the day, so I call my sis and tell them we'll meet up at her room. Lady and I head upstairs and find out that the room I had bought for my sis and bro is some sort of mini-suite with a small living room area. Lucky them!

    We decide to view Vegas from the top of the Strat. Amazing view! The rides looked absolutely sick, and my lady was begging me and bro-in-law to get on the ride with her. I, enjoying life, pass on the opportunity.

    The four of us then head over to the Rio...it's now just before noon. I totally forget it's Sunday...brunch buffet! I had a 2-for-1 from the POV, so for the four of us, it was only $78. We were all VERY happy with the food quality and ate way too much. Their dessert selection is quite impressive, especially the gelatos.

    Then, we hop into sis's truck and park at the MGM Grand, where our Strip walking tour begins. This is sis and bro's first trip to Vegas, so they want to see the standard stuff. MGM was impressive, far more memorable than my last visit in 2001. We'll be staying there next time around, if only because my lady loved the lion exhibit.

    Went over to NYNY and rode the Manhattan Express. Lady screamed nonstop, I yelled "YEAH!" nonstop, we both end up with sore throats the rest of the trip. Go figure.

    Then we walked to the Bellagio fountains, which bro was psyched to see. We then decide to view the next fountain show from the top of the Eiffel Tower, so off to the Paris. We get on top of the tower just in time and snapped some great pictures. Finally, off to the Venetian to see the gondola ride and visit a shop or two.

    By this point, we're drained...we monorail back to MGM, bro and sis take us back to the Strat, and we wish them a safe trip home. They loved their first visit and can't wait to comeback.

    We grab security so they can let us into the room, then we call the front desk to ask about our upgrade. A few minutes later, a Strat staff member shows up with keys to our new player's suite! We get settled in, I instantly notice the refrigerator while she notices two huge windows with an incredible view of the Strip! Say what you want about the Strat, but they do have a helpful staff.

    We catch a very quick nap before our evening festivities...unfortunately, these will need to remain private for many reasons. Sin will be happy to confirm this statement. :wink2:

    Monday report coming soon...
     
  6. xizor

    xizor Tourist

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    Why can't I get in on a poker table where everybody has to leave and is going all-in when bluffing?
     
  7. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Yup, I'm confirming it and you people only wish you knew!!!
     
  8. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

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    Can't wait for more!:thumbsup:
     
  9. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

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    Part three

    It's Monday morning, and we are feeling the effects of two hard days. Our feet are sore from walking up and down the Strip on Sunday. My lady is nursing a hangover after more than a few tequila shots the night before. We haven't had food since the Rio brunch almost 20 hours earlier, so we get showered up (in ANOTHER room with poor tub draining) and cab off to the Paris buffet.

    We get there around 10:15, and both of us eat for under $20 thanks to the POV coupon. Lady starts to get some food in her, which makes the hangover disappear quickly. We shared a blueberry crepe, which we enjoyed. However, the made-to-order omelette earns our "favorite breakfast item" award. Some of the lunch items were being served as well...bacon mashed potatoes! WOW! We don't overdo it this time around since I have big dinner plans for us that evening.

    We decide to gamble a little while at Paris. I drop a quick $50 in a $5 slot (just for the heck of it), the lady drops a quick $25 in some slots including a fun Munsters slot. I then discover the World Series of Poker video poker. Very addictive and I left after turning my $20 into $37.50.

    We then cab over to the Hard Rock. Lady instantly fell in love with the casino atmosphere and the music. The gambling was not so kind to me here, as I lost around $75 in 3 card poker and $50 in Let It Ride.

    We then cab back to the hotel, as we are both exhausted. We decide to take a nap before dinner and our show plans.

    We forget to set the alarm, and I luckily open my eyes at 4 pm. I wake up the lady, and we get dressed up for a nice dinner and show.

    Cab over to Mandalay Bay and dinner at Rumjungle. We were cutting it close on time, as we get there around 6 and have trouble finding the restaurant. Finally, we find it and get seated. We both get the $40 "meat extravaganza" (I forget the formal name) and mention to the waiter that we have 7:30 show plans. He makes sure that every item comes to our table first.

    Dinner was great...lady had her first Cosmopolitan and loved it. The meats were very tasty as well. Lady loved the salmon, while I loved the bacon wrapped chicken. Also had the best salad I had ever had. For $40 per person, I have no complaints. I just wish we could have stayed longer and ate more.

    We catch a quick cab over to MGM and get seated in the front row for David Copperfield. Our seats are the next to the aisle near stage right, so I figured our angle might help us see how some of these illusions are pulled off. A lady from the MGM then comes by, takes some pictures of us, then tells us they'll be for sale after the show.

    First, someone from the show comes to everyone in the front row, tells us that David will do an encore trick if he's feeling love from the crowd, and "suggests" we give him a standing ovation after his closing trick, even going so far as to say what he will do to signify it is his closer. I immediately wonder if we're in for a long night.

    The show starts with a 5 minute video package of various TV show clips that somehow make specific reference to David Copperfield. VERY self-promotional and made us wonder how much of an egomaniac he is.

    Then the show starts...and I'll be damned if I wasn't incredibly impressed with his show. He mixes in some decent comedy, but the fact is that Copperfield delivers with his illusions. My lady and I are still stunned that he made the body of a friggin' CAR appear in front of our eyes. An amazing and entertaining show that probably can't be truly appreciated unless you're sitting as close as we were.

    We look at the pictures that had been snapped earlier and end up buying a 5x9 and 2 wallets for $38. Ripoff...yeah. Still, it was the best pic the lady and I had every taken together, and it was worth every penny to us.

    We head back to the Strat for what ended up being our best night's sleep of the trip. Next day was uneventful...I showered up, got dressed and decided to get us some food while my lady got cleaned up. I grab us breakfast at the McD's in the Strat, pick up coffee for my lady at the Starbuck's in the Strat (I swear, there's a Starbuck's every 5 feet in Vegas), and head back to the room. We have a quick breakfast, finish packing, and say our goodbyes to the Strat.

    I'll be honest, I had VERY low expectations for the Strat. I had discovered this board after buying our vacation packages from Southwest Vacations. The reports I read about the Strat had me dreading our stay, but we were happy with the size of the rooms. If it weren't for the slow draining tub and the door problems with our first room, we'd recommend the Strat as long as people were OK with the location. Overall, I can't completely recommend the Strat, but overwhelmingly give a thumbs up to everyone on their staff. Without fail, every person we dealt with from the Strat was very helpful and bent over backwards to make our stay pleasureable. For that, we say "thanks" to all of the Strat's staff.

    We cab over to the airport. Considering our issues with the flight into Vegas, we made sure to leave around 9:15 to get checked in for the flight home. Sure, we had an hour to waste at the gate, but at least we were getting home on time!

    The lady loved this trip more than her previous 4 trips and thanked me profusely for all of my planning. I can honestly say I wouldn't have made her that happy without the help of all of you on this board. For that, I offer you all my most sincere thanks. Giving my lady three straight days with moments she will never forget means the world to me...thanks for all of the help in giving those moments to her!

    -- Chrispy
     
  10. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Excellent TR Chrispy!

    We saw Copperfield a few years back. There were 3 ladies in our group, and we were right next to an aisle. I noticed that the person you're talking about didn't talk to everyone. After the show, it occured to me. You know how Copperfield seems to pick all the hottie females out from the audience? This person was scouting them for him. Yeah, making "small talk" with people, but they were looking for the hottest chicks they could so they could tell Copperfield where to point to get his "volunteers", I'm sure of it.
     
  11. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Congrats on a wonderful trip and a great tr chrispy! Thanks for posting it!
     
  12. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

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    Copperfield

    I absolutely did notice that he not only picked hotties out of the crowd, but he would point to his cheek so they would kiss it after the trick was over. I got a kick out of that routine.

    The "scout" that gave us the standing ovation speech was a female, so it would surprise me if she was Copperfield's talent judge. That said, at our table of 4, there were two ladies, one of which was my lady. Maybe I should smack David around for not picking my lady! :)
     
  13. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    Chrispy -
    Glad you were okay w/ The Strat.
    Nice report.
    Now, get that next "Vegas Vacation" booked !
    My wife + I go the end of April.......too long to wait !
    Joe
     
  14. paigowCY

    paigowCY Low-Roller

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    Great TR. It is always fun to hear how different people do Vegas. I really thought there would be a next day follow up on the fried oreos/twinkies.:)
    Sounds like a great time, I cant wait to get there myself. SO CLOSE.
     
  15. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

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    :thumbsup: great job. loved it.
     
  16. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Great TR. Glad you enjoyed Vegas. How'd you like the gambling at the Strat?
     
    Back where we belong
  17. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

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    The only time I got to gamble at the Strat was during my 6-10 am period while my lady was sleeping. Your question actually triggered a memory that I forgot to talk about...

    While playing roulette, an obviously new "dealer" (for lack of a better word) was in charge of the table. I'm not sure which Asian country she was from, but she was having MAJOR problems figuring out what the payouts should be. The pit boss was literally arguing with her about payoffs, with him saying "here's the winnings, pay it off" and her still trying to figure out if he was right. It was really bizarre and borderline uncomfortable to watch, but hey, if you don't know your math....

    My blackjack dealers were very cool and fun to play with. When the other guy at the table would make ridiculous hits or non-hits, we'd both roll our eyes at each other. Fun stuff, but not fun enough to stay at that table.

    I'd really like to play in that poker room again...really nice room, great lighting, clean tables. The dealer did make one error, but the people at the table quickly corrected her.

    The drinks came a little slower than I would have liked, but then again, it was early in the AM.
     
  18. Andrea

    Andrea Tourist

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    Glad you had a great trip, we also have stayed at the stat and thought it was a good hotel for the price we paid for.
     
  19. sanonofresurfer

    sanonofresurfer Dude

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    Good trip report. Thanks for sharing...especially from a new guy.:poke: I've never stayed at the Strat, but I've always had good luck playing there.

    By the way, how was the line for the elevator to go to the top?
     
  20. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

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    We went to the top of the tower Sunday just before lunch, and the line wasn't horrible. I'd estimate about 15-20 people in line in front of us, but we got up there fairly quickly. No complaints at all on that one.
     
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