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Vagabond Vegas (Spiny moves around on the cheap)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by SpinyNorma, Jan 1, 2014.

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  1. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Tuesday, 19 November, 2013

    The pre-trip portion started better than usual. I didn't quite manage to achieve my goal of not overpacking but I did manage to overpack much less than usual. We grade on a curve here in the Land of Spiny.

    There was none of the usual last minute panic over where I'd put stuff I needed. There was, however, the proud moment when I realized I'd packed my underwear and the suitcase was already in the car. I would now have to traipse down 3 flights of stairs to fetch a pair or risk eternal shame in case of accident.

    Outside of that, all was going well until I got to our famed Rinky Dink Airport, only to find out the place was one huge torn up mess. A huge area in front of the airport itself was now filled with construction equipment and bare dirt.

    I circumnavigated the mess, following the detour signs, but saw no place to park. Well, hell. (I actually said much more colorful things than that but I don't want anyone to faint.) Finally I saw a construction guy and got directions to where they were hiding passenger parking.

    Not only was the nice short walk from the lot to the airport gone but now you had to pay to get in. It was only $3 but previously we only had to pay to get out so I hadn't come prepared. Luckily, I managed to scrape up three ones, then drove around (and drove and drove) in search of an empty space. I finally found a spot located just this side of Iowa. To put this in perspective, I live in Texas.

    Once I made the Long March and got inside, check in was a breeze. My suitcase weighed in at a relatively svelte 35 lbs. A new low! I asked the clerk what the hell was going on out there and was told they were building a whole new airport. And I thought we were big time when we finally got rid of the prop planes and got that second gates. I just hope people don't start thinking we're putting on airs now.

    They called us in to board and I got pulled over for the Super Duper Theoretically Random Security Search. It figures--the one time I was good about remembering to take out my phone, keys, and all change, I get pulled out for the SDTRSS.

    Actually, I'm pretty sure it was because of my purse being so full of crap. While I'd (relatively) restrained myself with the suitcase, I'd packed the hell out of my purse. They ran it through X Ray twice and then brought it over (Contrary to rumor, they didn't actually need a forklift) and took everything out. It was like a clown car.

    Once it was emptied and everything in it explained, they did the Magic Wand thing over it all and ran it slowly through X Ray again. I passed. The really sad part was that I'd emptied it out some before I left. Of course, this is more effective when you don't immediately replace this stuff with different crap--or so I hear.

    In other news, the ticket guy at Rinky Dink Airport who always reminds me of Philip Seymour Hoffman now looks more like a younger, blonder Charles Durning. I had mixed feelings about that.

    Outside of that, the flights were pretty unremarkable. I never sleep on planes but I'd been up a long time and found myself nodding out for a few seconds at a time throughout the flight from DFW to Vegas. I actually tried to do a real nap but my brain insisted that the little short-outs were a better way to go. I believe I've mentioned before that my brain hates me.

    The plane wasn't full so we ended up spreading out and I got a row to myself. That was nice. It also meant that, for once, I wasn't trapped in my seat, waiting with impatience and cramps while the person in the aisle seat inevitably refused to stand up till the last minute. That was really nice.

    Once off the plane, I began the long trek to baggage claim. I saw a group of 3 people, one in a wheelchair and one an airport employee, and fell in behind them because I knew they'd be using the elevators. Eventually I felt compelled to explain that I wasn't some bizarro stalker, just someone with a major fear of heights who wanted to avoid the Escalators of Terror. Somehow I don't think they found my explanation comforting but at least no one called for Security.

    My plan worked and soon I was at the luggage carousel, watching bags roll merrily around. I grabbed and then put back two red suitcases and began to wonder if this was the trip where my luggage decided not to join me. Happily, it turned out to just be the day that I couldn't recognize my own bag. Sad really.

    Reunited with my luggage, I headed out for some Vitamin N and pondered my transportation options. I generally go with a cab but I was considering a shuttle since A) It was cheaper, B) I was killing a little time anyway so I wouldn't have to pay for early check in, and C) Someone who can't recognize her own luggage probably shouldn't try to tell a potentially long-hauling cabbie which direction to take.

    I was staying at Bally's the first 2 days and it turned out to be the second drop off so I didn't get too antsy on the shuttle. It was about 2:30 when I got there and the line wasn't too long. I considered doing the $20 sandwich to try for an upgrade to the newly renovated South Tower rooms but decided I had things I'd rather spend the money on and I was fine with North Tower.

    I was in room 2269. I was pleased with it. I'd gotten everything I'd requested--it was a smoking room on a high floor and I could see some of the strip. From the right side of the window, I could see Harrah's, the Venetian, Palazzo, the former Las Vegas Hilton (now jazzily renamed LVH), and Wynn with the mountains in the background. From the left side, there was Caesars and the Flamingo. Construction on the Linq was in front and I could easily see the big ass Ferris wheel, which they were adding cars to. There were 10 on it when I checked in and about 15 by the time I left Bally's.

    I was on the Diamond Floor, even though my budget wouldn't even qualify me for Cubic Zirconium, and I was close enough to the elevators that it wasn't a major trek like last time I was in the North Tower. My feet rejoiced.

    I had two queen beds, as requested. I always ask for that if it doesn't cost more, ostensibly so I can put my suitcase on one and spread my stuff out easily but the main reason is to get more pillows. What can I say? I'm a big ol' Pillow Ho. Anyway, the beds were a little on the hard side for my taste but comfortable enough.

    There was a big overstuffed chair by the window and a small table by it. The desk was a long bar-shaped thing. I couldn't get the internet to come through unless I went wired, which wasn't long enough to reach the bed so, to my chagrin, I had to sit at the desk to use my computer.

    The Gods of Irony stopped by for a chuckle later as I was getting ready to check out. As I started to unplug everything on the laptop in preparation to put it in its case, I saw that the Ethernet wire had come loose at some point so I'd been using it wirelessly after all. There may have been some cussing at that point.

    Oh, and for those who care about these things, there was a coffee machine with several packets of coffee in the bathroom. There was no pot so I assume it was one of those single serving deals. Not being a coffee drinker myself, I can't speak for how well it worked.
  2. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Having dropped off my stuff and made my room inspection, it was time to head out into the wilds of Vegas. My plan was to see if I could sneak into the supper service for the Bellagio buffet at the lunch time price. (Insert patented Evil Genius laugh here)

    YAY! My plan worked and as a bonus round, there was no line. With tax, it came to a little under $23. It was pretty damn good, especially the prime rib, but I don't think I'd pay the price difference between lunch and supper. I would, however, be glad to sneak in at the lunch price again.

    For once, I hadn't gotten incredibly lost while trying to find the buffet but I made up for it by being tremendously incompetent at finding the Fine Art Gallery, which was the next thing on my agenda.

    Eventually I did make my way there and $16 later I was looking through the Andy Warhol exhibit. I liked it. It had several of his celebrity portraits and self portraits, along with the ubiquitous soup cans and some of his more abstract stuff.

    By now my feet are threatening revolt so I gimp my way back to Bally's. I check my watch and it's only a few minutes until the next scheduled fountain show at Bellagio so I pause to wait, despite the ugly threats from my feet.

    It seemed to be taking longer than I'd figured to start so I checked my watch again. It turns out I'd looked at the hour hand instead of the minute hand originally. Did I mention that my brain hates me almost as much as my feet do? I can only hope they never join forces against me.

    Anyway, by now it actually was only a few minutes until time for the show so I went ahead and waited, ignoring the ugly comments from my feet. It was, as always, very pretty. The music was something I've heard before but couldn't tell you what it was.

    Finally back at Bally's, I decide to try my luck at the slots. I stopped first at The Hangover and soon left feeling, well, hung over. I wandered a bit and saw they now have a Dolly Parton slot machine so I decide to give it a try. After all, she's nice, isn't she? It turns out she's not nearly as nice as her image would have you believe.

    I then crip my way over to the hallway connecting Bally's and Paris in search of a sugar rush from my favorite bakery. Logic tells me that they did not actually make this hallway MUCH longer than it used to be but my feet voted that it was entirely possible that they'd done just that. I tended to believe them.

    Once I finally got there, I perked up to see that they actually had my very favorite of all, their glorious Napoleons. The slots may have no love for me but my bakery luck is going well and my spirits lifted as I gimped my way back to the room.

    I sit at the desk, grumbling darkly about stupid wired connections, and attempt to check my email but I can feel my energy fleeing so I move over to the bed and try to catch up my notes. My brain puts a big veto on that idea so I lay down and seconds later I'm out like a non-neon light.
  3. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I woke up a little after 10 that night but it was 11:15 before I could get myself moving. I had originally thought I'd have supper at the burger place in Paris but it was getting close to time for them to close and I wasn't all that hungry.

    I ended up at the pizza by the slice place. The pizza was pretty good but the service sucked. I stood there waiting to order but, although someone came by several times, they never acknowledged me standing there. I'd have left but my feet didn't want to walk any further and you know how pushy they can be.

    Eventually I started to wonder if I'd acquired the superpower of invisibility, especially after two slightly drunk guys came in after me and the woman behind the counter waited on them while still ignoring me.

    One of the guys told her that I was here first so she forced herself to wait on me. Afterwards, I thanked him but he just smiled and said, "Hey, I may be drunk but I'm not an asshole".

    After finishing my slice and drink (roughly $7 total), I decide to go throw away some more money. I see a new Monopoly game and offer it $40. I had cleverly run it almost into nothing when I hit some bonuses and brought it back up to $20.

    I decided to take that and run (Well, gimp) so I moseyed my way over to an older slot, Jackpot Block Party. There was no jackpot and I was soon reminded that I don't really care much for parties. At least I got a free drink out of it.

    I figured it was probably best to take my drink and my bad luck back up to my room. I concentrated on not whimpering and/or grumbling darkly (at least not loudly) because these things tend to look bad later at your eventual competency hearing.

    On the way, I saw a bank of the new Willie Wonka machines I'd been hearing about online but they were all full so I just kept going. The way my luck was running, I figured it was probably just as well.

    I made it back to the room where I checked the weather and was pleased to see that the rain chances for tomorrow had dropped from 90% to 30%. I don't actually mind rain much but Vegas isn't really built for efficient drainage and they'd already had a couple of incidents of pretty good flooding on the strip this year. I wasn't looking forward to participating in a third.

    I appeased my feet by remaining largely immobile while they shrank back down to human size again, occupying myself with a little internet surfing, some reading, and some vegging out with TV. One nice thing about Bally's is they have a guide channel that shows not only which channels you get but what's playing.

    That kind of excitement can wear a girl out so some time in the wee hours, I settled in for another nice nap.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  4. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wednesday, 20 November, 2013

    I woke up at 7:30 and spent a half hour debating whether to go ahead and get up. My bladder, as it so often does in these situations, cast the deciding vote. After that excitement, I got dressed (because that's how the classy people do it) and headed downstairs. First stop: the registration desk.

    While I was debating on joining the vertical world, I'd killed a little time playing with the TV menu and saw that I was being charged a fee for internet access. Since that was the only thing covered by the stupid resort fee that I actually ever used, I was not going to pay for it.

    The clerk was nice and quickly removed the charge, although she seemed compelled to keep reminding me that only one device was covered by that and an Ipad counts as a separate device. I told her I only had one device but she seemed convinced that I did have an Ipad too.

    Hell, I don't even have a smart phone. My big technological advancement this year was that I finally got a cell phone that could take pictures. Still, all I really cared about was that the charge was removed and it was so I moseyed on.

    I went over to where I'd seen the Willie Wonka machines last night but they were gone. Evil Elves had obviously snuck in and stolen them just so I couldn't play! Unlikely, yes, but I try not to let reason interfere with my paranoia.

    Before I could get really worked up over this elfin conspiracy, I remembered that this wasn't where I'd seen the machines after all so I made my way over to that area. Willie wasn't showing me a lot of love either but before I totally bottomed out, I hit a bonus round that brought me back up to hardly sucking at all.

    I took that as a sign and trudged my way outside and over to the Stage Door (We Have A Billion Years Left On Our Lease!) Casino to get some acceptable caffeine. One of my few disappointments about Vegas is that it makes you work hard to stock up on Dr Pepper.

    I got a couple of bottles and made my way up to pay, noticing that the clerk was wearing a Walking Dead Tshirt featuring legendary apocalyptic redneck Daryl Dixon with a crossbow. We spent a couple of minutes enthusing on the show and sharing a swoon over Daryl.

    From there it was back up to the room to drop off my drinks and get some ice to keep them properly cold. I killed a little time, then headed over to Caesars where my plan was to try to sneak into the fancy buffet for lunch at breakfast prices. A guy was in the courtyard passing out coupons for $20 off the ticket price for Absinthe so I got one of those before heading inside.

    I'd gone to the buffet last year and had, amazingly enough, found it with surprising ease. There would be none of that today and I found myself back to my true form as I wandered for what felt like days in sad confusion. Even so, I still managed to get in for the breakfast price (over $20), which I paid for with my Total Rewards points.

    I'd timed it nicely because they were just starting to change over to the lunch menu. I sampled a lot of different stuff rather than really settling in on any one thing. It was good but I thought it wasn't as good as it was the last time. I don't know that I'd pay the prices they want for it again. The service was better though.

    On my way out, I stopped to give The Hangover another try. Again, it wasn't going too well but I hit the Mr Chow (although he'll always be Senor Chang to me) bonus and ended up $20 bucks ahead. WOOHOO! I was pathetically excited about that.

    On the move again, I passed a cocktail waitress who looked so startlingly familiar that I actually stopped to take a better look. After a moment it dawned on me--she looked exactly like an Asian version of Allison Janney.

    I wish I had thought to snap a picture because the resemblance really was remarkable. Lacking that, here's one of Allison Janney, who appears unimpressed with my foolishness:


    I waddled my way out and headed to the box office to get a ticket for Absinthe that night. I'd been toying with it off until later but there was already a line and I was right there so I figured I might as well get this done.

    The line wasn't really long but it was slow. My feet helpfully roused themselves to pass the time by bitching at me. Finally it was my turn. I had hoped to pay, at least partially, with my players card points but was told that, although the show played at Caesars, it wasn't part of Caesars and therefore I couldn't do that. I decided to go ahead and get a ticket anyway so I used my coupon and got a (relatively) cheap seat for the 9:30 show at a little over $80.

    My next task was to head over to the Mirage to pick up my ticket for LOVE. I'd gotten this as a reward through the My Vegas game on Facebook, so I had gotten a ticket worth $130 before taxes for free. WOOHOO! I just had to go over with my players card, picture ID, and confirmation number to pick it up.

    The downside was that I really didn't feel like doing the walk over there. The show wasn't until Sunday night so I could have put it off but it would have been an even bigger pain for me to pick them up any other day so I told my feet to shut up and began trudging that way.

    As you might have guessed, my feet did not shut up. You don't want to know the ugly things they said to me as I walked (and walked and walked), especially when, as usual, it turned out to be a longer walk than I'd figured.

    I already knew that it was going to be a long walk because everything's a long walk in Vegas and Caesars is huge, even by Vegas standards. What I had forgotten was that there was a whole 'nother block (and that's a Vegas block, of course) of Caesars in between the main building and Mirage. Had I remembered this, I would have splurged on a cab. Hindsight is a taunting bitch.

    At long last, I arrived at the Mirage. Happily, getting my ticket was very easy, even though I went to the wrong place to redeem it first. My ticket securely in my purse, I headed across the street to Casino Royale to get some cheap Tshirts.

    This is one of my Vegas rituals as their Tshirts are not only cheap (formerly $5 but now $7) but they actually last and don't fall apart after a couple of washes. The selection for Tshirts was smaller this time but I did find a couple.

    I'd originally planned to cross back over to Mirage and catch the bus but my Evil Brain told me it would be a better idea to go next door to Harrah's and take the monorail. My horror of the heights involved in getting to the monorail train would be offset by it going straight to Bally's, unlike the bus which did not stop there and would require doubling back on foot.

    This idea lost its charm when I couldn't find elevators to the monorail. Not even the idea of more walking could convince me to get on the escalator--or, as I like to call it, the Devil's Staircase. Harrah's may have bested me on this front but I showed them by stopping to play (and lose) at the Goldfish slots. Sometimes you just have to teach these places a valuable lesson.

    Onward I trudged, heading into the Flamingo. It seemed odd going though the Carnival Court without all the usual kiosks. The only thing left was the stage where bands played at night. I'd meant to look to see what I could of the Linq construction but I couldn't hear that thought over the enthusiastic whining of my feet.

    I vaguely considered hunting down the monorail there but decided it wasn't worth the hassle at this point and just plowed on through. I did appease my feet by sitting long enough to lose more money on slots.

    I did try a new machine (Well, new to me anyway) called Queens of Cash, mainly because one of the icons was an adorable little corgi puppy on a throne. I was up and down on it before hitting a couple of nice bonus rounds that brought me to being up about $15. Yeah, I'm a high roller.

    I wasn't sure how the walk was going to be once I got out of the Flamingo since they had all that construction going on with the sad remains of the former Bill's Gambling Hall but it really wasn't bad.

    After all that walking, I was pretty well beat by the time I got back to Bally's. I paused long enough to throw away some money at Willie Wonka before making my slow and geezerly way back to my room.

  5. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I vegged out in my room, trying to nap before the show but didn't manage to do more than doze a bit. Right around 9, I made my way back over to Caesars for Absinthe and got in one of the two massive lines right at 9:15, which is when the box office said to arrive.

    The line started moving soon after, reducing itself to merely the population of Albania, and then it stopped. And stayed stopped. I stood there for seemingly forever, my enjoyment of this enhanced by the shrill whine of the voice of the woman behind me who kept complaining about her drink in a Valley Girl voice. That voice almost managed to drown out the cranky commentary from my feet.

    Just when I was beginning to suspect the audience from the 7:30 show had staged a coup and had started surrepticiously looking around for SWAT Team activity, it started moving again and let us inside.

    I had an aisle seat about 5 or 6 rows back from the stage. I had brought a jacket with me, not so much as protection from cold but in memory of the hideous hard seats. I folded it up to use as a seat cushion and my butt was much happier.

    All was great until right before the show started and the people in the seats next to mine arrived, one of whom was a BIIIIIIIIG guy. We're not talking circus material (and Lord knows I've got a good bit of heft to me so I can't be uppity on the subject) but he was big boned and heavy and these chairs were small, causing him to spill over into part of my seat and forcing me to scooch over just enough for the hard back of my chair to press uncomfortably into my back.

    A few minutes into the show, an employee came and asked if I was the only one in my party and if so, would I like to be moved to a more comfortable seat. That got two enthusiastic yeses from me.

    My new seat was in the back row but I could see fine. This chair had padding not only on the seat but on the back as well. I concentrated on not making disturbing noises of squealing happiness. That sort of thing tends to make people look askance at you and possibly alert the authorities.

    Was this move the result of pity for my plight? Was he just concerned that I'd partially block the aisle performers used for entrances and exits? Was he merely afraid that I and my beleaguered butt and back would snap and start screaming and slicing at Big Boy for encroaching? I don't know and I don't care. It was, as always, a great show.

    Afterwards, I crossed the street and visited Flamingo again. I played my new friends, the Queens of Cash, again and came out about even. I was actually up a little after some nice bonuses but didn't have the good sense to stop while I was ahead.

    Feeling a buzz from my newfound power of mediocrity, I headed back toward Bally's but then got the bright idea to head over to Planet Hollywood for the Earl of Sandwich. Once again, I was tragically wrong about how close things were but the real pain was yet to come.

    I got to PH but didn't see the bus stop where I thought it was. As an appeasing gesture to my feet, I was planning to take the bus back to Paris so knowing where the bus stop was figured highly in my plans. I did finally find it on the far, far side. I'm not sure if they actually moved it or if I was just misremembering where it was but I blamed Evil Elves all the same.

    My feet were very unhappy with me by this point so I geezered my way inside. My bladder had begun a bitching second only to the job my feet were doing only with more urgency so I followed signs till I found a bathroom--and just in time. I half expected to hear an awestruck voice on the other side of the stall say, "Wow, that's good peeing!".

    Several pounds lighter, I left the bathroom and headed out in search of the Earl of Sandwich. I thought I had a pretty good idea where it was. I was wrong. So very wrong.

    I wandered around for a couple of years, finding signs directing me to every place in Planet Hollywood except the Earl of Sandwich. My feet begged me to just give up and get something else but by now I was on a By God QUEST. Yes, I had hit the point of being Stupid Stubborn.

    I did finally find it and was soundly taunted by the Gods of Irony (We Hate Your Feet Division). It was right by the area I'd headed to in the first place and had then returned to roughly a thousand times, always stopping just short of where it was hidden.

    I was really wanting a smoke by then so I sat down at a Dolly slot. I was still kind of peeved with her from last time but somehow it didn't seem too good an idea to wander too far afield from Earl. Dolly must have felt a little bad about our last meeting too. She wasn't feeling too bad about it but she did give out a few bonuses that left only a little down.

    I not-quite-literally dragged myself into line at Earl's and ordered a ham and cheese sandwich. Seating was pretty full so I stood to wait. It was only a few minutes in real time but an eon in Excruciating Feet Time, which is kind of like dog years--if the dogs are really old and cranky.

    My quest completed, I gimped my way out to the bus stop. Sadly, my recurring superpower this trip was timing my arrival to just miss the departing bus and I once again demonstrated this talent.

    Further cussing ensued when I realized this stop didn't have real seats, just those skinny little rails you lean your butt against. These taunting little seatlets do little to assuage my feet, which were already threatening to kill me in painful and inventive ways.

    I was planning to get the 3 day pass for $20 but they only had the option for 2 hour and 24 hours. I may have muttered something about bastards. It's about 1 AM now. I was short on ones so I get the 2 hour pass and wait. And wait.

    Finally another bus comes and I get on. Of course, since I was just going to the Paris stop, it was barely worth sitting down but I managed to force myself anyway. I could feel the looks of the people sitting next to me when I got off again so quickly. I restrained the urge to yell "Don't you judge me!" and gimped away with both dignity and feet in tatters.

    I made it back to my room and had my sandwich, which was pretty damn good. It would have been better if I hadn't walked 300 miles for it.

    Now I had hit that point where I was too tired to sleep but too pained to pack for tomorrow's move. On the bright side, that also made me too pained to go back downstairs and throw away more money. Around 3, I laid down and fell asleep but kept waking up roughly every hour.

    At one of the wake up times, I considered again going down to play since I was awake but my feet made ugly threats against me. To be honest, I was having a hard enough time convincing them to take me as far as the bathroom. Happily, I did win that argument.

  6. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Well, we'll try again to see if it will let me post pictures. If this link works, it will be pictures of my room at Bally's and the views outside.

    It seems one link did but not the others. Maybe if you copy and paste, assuming you're all that interested in seeing the pictures.






    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  7. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I woke up again at 7:30. By then, my feet were feeling less cantankerous and agreed to heading downstairs to look around. I saw a couple of Twilight Zone machines that I had somehow managed to completely overlook during the past two days I'd spent here.

    They had one of these at NYNY the last time I was in my shiny tacky Mecca and we had gotten along quite well so I was very excited to meet up with this game again. Well, briefly. It turns out I would have been better off to have kept missing it.

    Getting soundly trounced made going upstairs to pack seem like a viable idea so I did that. I put my laptop in its case and packed it in the suitcase as well. It made for one less thing to have to carry but it also made the suitcase heavier, leading my shoulders to add to the whining chorus my feet had already begun. I was well on my way to having a complete symphony of cranky body parts.

    I trudged my way through Paris, which had overnight grown to the size of France, and made my way to what I thought was the exit closest to the bus stop. Of course I was totally wrong about that and found myself at the cab stand instead.

    I tried to talk myself into believing that this was a sign that I should just blow the money on a taxi but my Evil Brain instead whispered to me that the bus stop was so very close, just a few more steps up the sidewalk and around the corner. My brain lies to me. It's really quite shameless.

    By the time I made it to the corner, the suitcase had begun to feel as if I had a body stuffed in it. I'm not talking some sissy scrawny little Kiera Knightly type body either but more like an Andre the Giant sort of thing. I made a mental note to myself never to try to smuggle a body inside a suitcase.

    After pulling the hefty case roughly the length of Wisconsin, I made it to the stop just as the bus pulled up. This would have been impressive luck but I still had to get my ticket. Luckily, I had set the amount of a 24 hour ticket in my shirt pocket,ready for quick access.

    I could have made it if the dispensing machine hadn't decided to get persnickety about one of my dollar bills. It was like trying to feed an ornery baby with the machine spitting out the bill just when I'd think it had finally decided to swallow. Somehow I wasn't surprised when it finally spewed out my ticket just as the bus drove off. I had two words for the Gods of Irony and they weren't "Thank you".

    To add to my enjoyment, there were no seats at all for us weary waiters, not even the crappy leaners. There was a homeless guy sitting at the foot of a small tree cussing at invisible people in such a manner that it impressed even me. The nicest thing he called anyone was "fat bitch" but most were more inventive. It was like being back at work, only for free. On the bright side, I was fighting the urge to let loose a cussing streak my own self so I considered this guy to be my proxy.

    The next SDX bus finally arrived and a nice man took pity on me and hoisted my suitcase on board for me, then promptly disappeared lest he had to testify about the body apparently packed inside.

    There were no seats available that wouldn't require having the body bag blocking the aisle so I had to stand. At least I managed to avoid standing on the rotating floor at the accordion section of the bus.

    Even so, I was soon reminded of the downside to spinner wheels on luggage. While I generally consider them to be one of the best inventions ever, they are NOT an asset on a moving bus, especially when it takes a corner. With each movement, the suitcase would try to cast and roll like it was on a ship--I suspected the Titanic.

    Finally, after a particularly big turn when I barely managed to stop both the luggage and myself from turning into deadly missiles, a young guy in one of the seats facing the exit door offered me his seat. I didn't even consider playing the polite game of pretending I couldn't take him up on the offer but I did thank him profusely.

    At long last we make it downtown, although the stop isn't where I expected it to be. I got off, got my bearings, and headed toward my next stop, which was The D. In its former life as Fitzgeralds, I had stayed there several times but not since it had been sold, redone, and trendily renamed.

    Much had changed but luckily registration was still where I remembered it being. It was slightly after noon when I rolled up but there was no problem with checking in early.

    Well, there was one problem and it was (DAMMIT!) totally my fault. Being experienced at checking into Vegas hotels, I had come prepared with a print out of my booking confirmation and my driver's license within easy reach. The only thing lacking was my credit card....

    ...which was packed in my suitcase. I had brilliantly thought my wallet was safer packed there than in my purse or pocket. While I did think to remove my license first, I forgot about the credit card. Thank you, Evil Brain.

    I unzipped the top of the suitcase, fervently praying that the purse containing the wallet was packed near the top so I wouldn't have to turn the 3 ton luggage on its side and go digging through its vast and unorganized innards.

    Luckily, it was and soon I was heading up to room 2036. It was about halfway down the hall, not as close to the elevator as my cranky feet would have liked but not far enough to require transportation or a tour guide to reach.

    The remodeled room was definitely a lot nicer than in its incarnation as Fitzgeralds. I had 2 queen beds again, both with lots of pillows, making my heart swoon. There were 4 on each bed, plus a red rectangular decorative one on each bed. I was in Pillow Heaven!

    There was a desk, which was attached to the dresser, and had a chair, although not the comfortable rolling kind. The internet was wireless, though, so it didn't really matter.

    On the dresser was a large flat screen TV and a tray which held a Keurig coffee maker and 2 bottles of Fuji water. Luckily, I noticed the note saying the was $4.50 a bottle before I drank one. There was also a $2.50 charge for each coffee packet (Starbucks) but that didn't concern me.

    The bathroom seemed to be pretty much the same as it was before the renovation. It had been a couple of years since I'd stayed here so I couldn't swear to that.

    My plan was to rest up a bit, just long enough to get my feet off my back, then head down, maybe play a bit, get some lunch, and nap a bit before heading back to the strip for the show I had tickets for. I settled back against my harem of pillows and punched the remote to turn on the TV.

    Unfortunately, the only channel that would play was the one where the hotel advertises itself. The volume and the mute buttons worked but no other buttons on the remote did anything. Once again, I demonstrated my impressive vocabulary of cuss words.

    I'd seen that housekeeping was cleaning a room a couple of doors down from me so I went there to ask if there was some kind of trick to using the remote. There wasn't that she knew of but she said she'd call maintenance for me. Good enough.

    A few minutes later there's a knock on the door. The housekeeping lady had come with a remote from the other room to see if it was a problem with the TV or the remote. It was the TV. Oh, well. It was worth a try. She told me she had already called the problem in so someone should be along shortly.

    Maintenance actually arrived pretty soon after that but it felt like much longer because time spent waiting to get on with your Vegas plans is measured in dog years. It was a pretty quick fix. Apparently there is a sensor attached to the TV and it had fallen down behind the dresser. Once back in place, it worked perfectly.

    By now I was aching to hit some slots so I headed downstairs. I hit a Monopoly machine and quickly learned it was prepared to hit back. I took that as a sign to go get some lunch.

    I didn't feel up to wandering so I went up to the D Grill on the second floor. I was winding down fast so I just ordered an Italian sandwich to go. I had a coupon for $5 off so it was a pretty cheap meal.

    Once back in my room, I changed into what passes for my jammies and settled in. I soon found myself wishing I had thought to get a drink as well. One of the changes I didn't like since the changeover is that there used to be a coke machine (one that actually had Dr Pepper!) on each floor. I decided I didn't want it badly enough to get dressed and go in search of one.

    I ate half the sandwich and all the cole slaw that came with it. The sandwich was just okay. It would have been better as a hot sandwich than a cold one. The slaw was actually pretty good though.

    I was pretty tired so I set the alarm and got ready to take a nice nap. Sadly, this didn't work out as I had planned. I could fall asleep briefly but couldn't seem to stay asleep. Taunted!

    I'm going to give inserting a picture another shot.

  8. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    If the link worked, that was my room at the D. So are these:



    Around 4:30 I gave up on getting a decent nap and decided to just get up and get ready. At least I should be in plenty of time to catch the bus back to the strip for this evening's plans. Like Pavlov's dogs, you should now be conditioned to listen for the crazed laughter of the Gods of Irony when you read a sentence like that one.

    My plan for the night was dinner and a show. The show was Veronic: Voices, a relatively new show in which she does impressions of assorted female singers. I probably wouldn't have gone to see it but Ticket Master had a super sale going where you only paid their fee so basically I was getting to see the show for $2.50. For that price, I'd give almost anyone a shot. In addition, people on the Vegas message boards had given her really good reviews.

    I had also bought a Groupon for Bally's Steakhouse, $30 for $60 worth of food. I had planned to go during the first two days of my trip when I'd be there at Bally's but since the show was dark those days (Thanks again, Gods of Irony!) and I'd have to return anyway, I decided to go ahead and do both Thursday night.

    My dinner reservations were for 7:30 and the show was at 9:30. If I caught the bus anywhere between 6 and 6:30, I ought to be in plenty of time. As it was only 4:30 now, there should be no problem at all, right? Yeah, right. Vegas is a wicked bitch who brings out cruel optimism in me.

    Shortly after 5, I make my first attempt to head out, only to remember while in the elevator that I'd forgotten my bus ticket so back up to the room I went. I made it a little further on my next attempt, actually getting off the elevator, before realizing I hadn't brought the print outs for my show and dinner. Up I went again.

    Luckily, I checked both print outs before leaving the room because that's when I realized that what I had was a print out of the receipt for my Groupon and not the actual page I needed to present. I looked through all the papers I had but none of them was the right one. I'd printed out the wrong thing.

    No worries. I had at least saved the email with the link I needed and right by the elevators was a little kiosk where you could overpay to access the internet and print things. I was still golden. Yeah, golden like the showers.

    As it turns out, "Internet Kiosk" is a brand name based on some foreign phrase that translates roughly to "Abandon all hope". First I had to fight with the machine to get it to take my $5, the minimum charge. My next fight was to get it to respond.

    It insisted that I sign in, even though I didn't have an account with them which, of course, every user name/password I tried bounce back. I finally managed to get it to show something that said "create a new account" but the only thing that link led to was the place to sign in for an existing account. Trying to fill that in led only to a message saying it didn't match their records.

    Well, it also led to me cussing like a sailor with Tourette's but that wasn't any more helpful than the stupid kiosk thing. I was running out of time fast. I decided to give up and just cancel the transaction but discovered that once it finally decided to take my money, it intended to keep it.

    By now it was nearly 7:00. There was no way I was going to make it in time on the bus, especially considering it didn't stop at Bally's and I'd have to double back on foot. I was going to have to take a cab. This necessitated yet another trip upstairs to get more money out of the room safe.

    $22 later the cab dropped me off with about 15 minutes to spare. Bally's had a different internet kiosk that I'd managed to work once before on a trip a few years ago so I had hopes that I might be able to manage it again. It started off well, connecting me to FAOL but refused to let me access my email which was, of course, the part I needed.

    I tried to access it through Google Chrome instead but some chick named Sylvia had left herself not only logged in but she was logged on in Portuguese to boot. I suspect that "Sylvia" is the Portuguese word for "Devil".

    Try though I might, I couldn't get her logged off. Finally I hit "clear files" and I'm free of El Diablo at last. (Yes, I know that's actually Spanish but the only Portuguese I know is the word "Portuguese".) Now I can log on to FAOL mail and I find the email about the Groupon.

    Apparently, however, my brain was so giddy with delight at this triumph that it decided to go take a walk because the next thing I know, I've printed out the exact same useless receipt that I already had. What a maroon!

    To add to my happiness, printing that had used up the last of my minutes so I had to put in another $5 in order to print out the part I actually need. Afterwards, unlike the wicked Sylvia, I actually log out of Chrome and then close my session. I have 14 minutes left on my account, which I saved so I could taunt myself again at some later date.

    With the correct paperwork now in hand, I headed over to the steakhouse and got seated right away. I got lobster bisque, a filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and an iced tea. They brought out a basket with three kinds of bread, all of which were good.

    The bisque was good, although I think the one I got at Excalibur's steakhouse was a little better. The steak was tender and flavorful. The potatoes came in a separate little cast iron container and were also very good. Unfortunately, I was getting pretty full so I ended up sacrificing finishing the potatoes in favor of the steak.

    Definitely sated, I waddled out onto the casino floor. I had about an hour to kill before the show so I looked around. The Twilight Zone machine was occupied so I strolled over to my old friends, the Goldfish. They were in a good mood and I walked away slightly up.

    The line for the show was already long. It turned out the people behind me had the same Ticket Master deal as I did. An employee came down the line checking tickets and print outs and soon after that, they started letting us in.

    I had read my ticket as putting me in Row P, seat 33 but the usher directed me to Row F, seat 31, which was a lot closer. Once I was seated, I looked at it again and, sure enough, I had misread the seat number.

    A little later, two women came to our row. One of them peeled off to go get some drinks and the other sidled her way in to get their seats. Now we had a bit of a problem since her tickets showed they had seats 30 and 31. We looked at each other's tickets and they both showed us as being assigned seat 31.

    There was no usher around and seat 32 was empty so I said I'd just move over to it, so long as no one showed up for that seat. Then another couple arrived and there was more seat confusion. By now an usher had arrived and checked everyone's tickets. I half expected to get booted back to Row P but he read it as F also so there were 5 of us but only 4 seats. I'm bad at math but even I could see that wasn't going to work.

    The usher offered to move two of them down to a table in front but neither couple wanted to do that. I would have been up for it but he had specified couples so I didn't say anything. The other Seat 31 woman was having a near fit at the very idea of being moved to another seat. It was actually a better seat but she was acting like he'd offered to seat her in the toilet instead.

    The usher looked at me with quiet desperation and asked if I'd mind moving down to the table. I was more than happy to take the upgrade so I gathered my stuff and followed him down to the front.

    I had the table to myself until right before the show started and another couple joined me there. There was no fighting over the seats and, unlike Absinthe, no one tried to ooze into my chair space so no problem. The only drawback was that the woman of the couple was one of those people who likes to yell "WOOOOOOO!" at a pitch that set my eardrum to vibrating but I could deal with it.

    It did turn out to be a surprisingly good show. To be honest, I had some reservations since, to me anyway, a lot of female singers have fairly generic voices and I wasn't sure how well impersonations would really come off or if there was really enough material for a whole show.

    Although this was true of a couple of the more modern singers she did, it turned out there were plenty of more distinctive voices and she really nailed them. In between the impressions, she was funny and charming and it was a really good show. I was glad I went.

    The only criticism I had of the show was that I thought she deserved better background dancers. There were 5 of them and, for the most part, they had more enthusiasm than talent in my opinion.

    The only real complaint I had heard about the show was that several people said they thought the country music section was not that good and kind of dragged the show down a bit. I'm not a fan of country music but I thought that part was okay. They weren't her best impressions (although her Patsy Cline was great) but they weren't bad and it didn't seem overly long to me. Maybe she had tightened that part up after seeing the comments.

    The show had started a little late due to a technical problem so it was 11:30 when we got out. The usher led those of us at the tables to an exit that seemed to be part of backstage. We wandered semi-aimlessly for a bit, making me flash back to the scene in Spinal Tap where they can't find the stage, but we eventually came out into the casino floor. I paused long enough to stop by the bathroom. I considered spending a little time in the casino but I didn't want to miss the last SDX bus so I headed into Paris.

    I tried again to go out the door closest to the bus stop and, once again, got it wrong. It did come out a lot closer than my first wrong guess though. Even so, I managed to demonstrate my new superpower and arrived just in time to see the bus pull out.

    It was raining again--very lightly but it put a damp chill in the air. A Deuce bus pulled up soon after the SDX one left and I considered taking it but it was standing room only and the Deuce just makes too many stops. I decided to brave the cold and take my chances with the next SDX bus.

    At least while I was waiting, I got to see 2 Bellagio fountain shows. I also got to watch a large black woman yell at a taxi for blocking where the bus needed to be when it pulled up. I think she scared him.

    I was glad I'd waited since, outside of the three bonus shows I'd gotten to see, there were plenty of seats on the next SDX bus so I got to sit the entire trip. Add to it that this time I didn't have to fight luggage determined to make an escape and it felt like a limo ride.

    It was the last SDX bus of the night and the driver seemed eager to be done with it so it was a fairly short ride. I had survived.
  9. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I gimped my way back to my room to drop off my purse, then headed back out to get some Dr Pepper. The souvenir shops tend to have the cans cheaper than Walgreens so I figured I'd try them first. I did find cheap cans of assorted sodas but, alas, none were Dr Pepper. After checking two or three of them, my feet gave me the excellent advice to just get a bottle and go back to the room already.

    The store I got it from was pretty close to Walgreens. I stood there for a moment because it seemed like there was something I needed from there besides the DP. I couldn't think of what it was, however, because my feet kept screaming at me so I turned and headed back to the D, doing my impression of Igor as I made my painful way there.

    Once back in my room, I opened my hard-won DP, propped up my Infidel feet so that they could begin to shrink back to a normal human size, and decided to eat the rest of my sandwich from earlier.

    I only had a couple of bites because it had really absorbed the taste of the pickle which was also in the styrofoam container. I did go ahead and eat the pickle since it didn't matter so much if it tasted strongly of pickle.

    Virtuously, I caught up my notes. As I was doing that, I heard muted music and, after a moment, realized it was American Pie. I looked at the clock and saw it was 1 AM. Well, hell. That's my favorite light show number but I thought the shows stopped at midnight and that I'd already missed it. Taunted yet again!

    Even if I'd had normal human feet instead of these mutated cartoon appendages, I wouldn't have made it down in time to catch it so instead I just indulged in one of my favorite Vegas pastimes, cursing the Gods of Irony.

    Once that was done, I decided to head back down to the casino. I got on the Monopoly Grand Hotel machine and caught two of the Tycoon Bonuses, turning $30 into $60 which I cleverly played back down to $40. I have a system, you see.

    From there, I hobbled over to The Hangover. I got two bonus rounds on that too but they were the stupid ones which earned me a whomping $2 cash. I cashed out at $30.23. WOOHOO! That meant I was still up from my original $30 investment! Then I decided to visit my old friends, the Goldfish. I went up and down on that one and got two Fish Food bonuses, allowing me to cash out at $30.08. Still up! It seemed wise to quit while I was ahead.

    After I made it back to my room, I remembered what it was I'd needed to get from Walgreens. When I was packing before the trip, I saw I still had a tube of toothpaste in my suitcase so I didn't put a new one in.

    Once I got to Vegas, however, I realized that the reason I didn't bother unpacking it the first time was that it was nearly empty. With a lot of coaxing, cussing, and squeezing, I'd managed to eke out enough to last till I made it downtown where things are cheaper.

    So, now that I was a big winner at the slots, I made my way over to Walgreens to get a new tube and was rudely reminded that cheaper is a relative thing. I finally found a Walgreens brand of toothpaste that was actually cheaper than just buying new store-bought teeth so I got that.

    While I was there, I figured I might as well go ahead and get some more Dr Pepper. To my amazed delight, I discovered they actually had my preferred flavor--Cherry Diet Dr Pepper. You can never find that in bottles! If my feet hadn't been bitching at me again, I'd have danced to the counter, which is probably just as well.

    I was still a little hungry so on the way back, I stopped in at the Coney place at the D and got a hot dog. I'm kind of middling on the place. It's an okay hot dog but kind of high. On the other hand, it was right there in my hotel and I didn't have to go out of my way at all. That counted for a lot by then.

    I took it up to the room to eat where I multitasked by also finishing off my previous DP, watching some TV, and appeasing my feet. This sort of manic energy can wear a girl out and soon I decided it was Bedtime for Bonzo.

    Creepy artwork guy by the elevators:

  10. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Friday, 22 November, 2013

    I was still sleeping in bursts and finally decided to just give up. I got dressed and headed over to Four Queens for breakfast. I rarely have actual breakfast food for breakfast but that morning I had a wild hair and ordered ham and eggs.

    It was okay but not great. The ham was pretty dry. I forgot to bring my players card so I had to pay full price too. At least there was that.

    I went back to the D where I played some more. It was pretty uneven, going up and down but mainly down. Eventually, losing lost its charm so I headed back up to pack. By now I was having a strong urge to nap again but there wasn't really time, even though I only had to do a really half-assed job of packing since I was just moving catty-cornered across the street to the Fremont.

    I pretty much flung stuff in the suitcase, then did my double/triple/quadruple checks to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything. I almost forgot to pack my alarm clock and felt pathetically smug about catching that.

    I was going to check out via the TV but saw it showed I owed $75 when my total, even after resort fee and taxes, should have been under $50. I was going to have to go check out in person.

    There was a bit of a line but it moved pretty quickly. The clerk checked and assured me I wasn't being charged the $75. In fact, since I'd paid the actual room cost when I made the reservation, all I was being charged now was the resort fee and taxes. Well, okay then.

    That settled, now I headed over to the Fremont for check in. That light steady rain was still going, making the air damp and decidedly cold. I also learned, as chilly drops of wetness smacked me on the head, that the light show canopy is apparently not a solid roof. Vegas is alway an educational experience.

    Checking in was a breeze. The clerk asked if I minded a room near the elevator. I quickly said that was fine so he wouldn't hear my feet screaming "Less walking? Hell YES we want it!". I get my keys and headed on up to room 617.

    He wasn't kidding about it being close to the elevators. My room was catty-cornered across the hall, maybe 6 or 7 steps from the closer elevator. My feet rejoiced.

    The key slots at Fremont are weird, being vertical rather than the usual insert-and-remove kind. I'm not sure if that's new or if I just forgot about that since the last time I stayed there. Probably the latter. At any rate, this messed with my head way more than it should have--not that it takes a lot to confuse my brain sometimes.

    My room wasn't fancy but it was comfortable. I had a king bed with 3 large firm pillows. There was a nightstand with a lamp on either side (although, sadly, not the fancy kind with plugs in the base like I had gotten happily used to in my last two hotels) and one standing lamp by the window, which has shutters instead of curtains.

    My view looking straight out the window was much the same as last time--the bus stop at the side of Binion's. Moving to the far right side of the window, I could see the outside top of part of the light show canopy.

    There was a chair with a small round table beside it. Opposite the bed was a dresser with 2 large drawers and a large flat screen TV on top. The TV had fewer channels than the other two hotels and, while it had a place on the menu that listed what channels they carried, there was no guide showing what was playing now. Bummer. I missed that during my feet-shrinking times.

    The last time I stayed here, I was surprised that the bathroom was bigger than I remembered. With this room, we were back to the old legendary teeny tiny Fremont bathroom. The toilet was mounted at an odd angle and had no tank. To flush, you had to either close the lid or reach at an odd angle. You pretty much had to close the lid to flush.

    Later in my stay, for some reason I reached around and flushed it with the lid still up. It was a startling experience as the water rises almost to the rim, making me think for a moment that I'd avoided flooding outside only to have it happen inside. It never did but I found myself oddly compelled to flush it with the lid up just to see. I need hobbies.

    Near the door was a safe mounted on the wall. A safe...a safe....Somehow that triggered someth--OMG! THE SAFE! I left my money in the safe back at the D! What a maroon I am!

    I hustle (Well, the geezer version of hustling) back over to the D's registration desk and explain the situation, trying to appear humble despite being the newly proclaimed winner of the Who's An Idiot competition. She gives me a new key and tells me to go on up.

    Housekeeping is apparently in the middle of cleaning the room since the sheets are stripped and on the floor but no one's in the room. I punch in the code, grab the money, and head back over to Fremont, vowing not to do anything stupid for the rest of the trip. You can probably guess how that vow worked out but at least I didn't do anything else THAT stupid.

    I put most of the money, rather nervously, in the safe in my new room and took some of it downstairs to see if it felt like celebrating its luck in being reunited with me. I can't say it did but I've done worse. I left the casino neither compelled to dance in the streets nor to slash my wrists with my players card. Instead, I picked Option #3--going up to my room to stock up on some ice.

    I found the little room with the ice machine at the far end of the hall on my floor but nothing happened when I pressed the button that would, theoretically anyway, bring down the icy goodness. I looked around and saw that the machine was unplugged. Figuring it might well have been unplugged for a reason, I decided it was probably best to just go to another floor for ice.

    This actually worked to my advantage because the ice machine on the fifth floor was right by the elevator. Given my own room's proximity to the elevator, it was easier to go to that machine than the one on my own floor so that's how I did it for the rest of my stay.

    I headed down to Mermaids for my downtown addiction, the fried Twinkie. To my surprise, there was only one person ahead of me in line. I can't remember ever not having to stand in a line there before. Then it was back to the room for a nice nap and then I caught one of the light shows. I believe it was the Doors. Afterwards, I went back in to get some supper.

    My room came with a $10 food credit per night. (Don't worry--despite this major perk, I managed to remain the same humble person I've always been.) I wasn't really wanting to spend much on top of the credit so that pretty much put my choices at the buffet and Lanai Express at the food court.

    I was kind of figuring on doing the brunch buffet tomorrow so that left Lanai. I'd eaten there only once before, many years ago, and wasn't that impressed but it hadn't killed me so I figured it would do.

    I checked out the menu before getting in line and saw they had a French Dip. I love those but I really figured it would not be that great a sandwich here. Then again, nothing else really called to me and, what the hell, it was free. I went ahead and ordered an egg roll too because what else would you order with a French Dip? The whole thing came to right under $10.

    I took my multicultural meal up to my room. To my surprise, the French Dip was actually pretty good. It even came with fries, which were only your basic generic frozen fries but at that price, I didn't expect anything extra.

    The egg roll was also surprisingly good. When I realized it was $3 for only one, I almost said never mind but, again, what the hell--it was free really. It was large, hot, and very tasty with tiny shrimp in it as well. I really liked it.

    I was pretty tired so I just vegged out with a Modern Family marathon, set the alarm to get up in time to catch the new Who light show, and took a nap.

    The alarm went off but I was really groggy and still sleepy. I decided I cared more about going back to sleep than catching the show. I woke up again a little before 11 but couldn't get in gear in time to catch that hour's light show.

    I did manage to stumble out in time to head over to Magnolia's for their prime rib special. This time I remembered to bring my players card to get the special price. The prime rib was good. The service was not that impressive although not actively bad.

    From there, I headed down to check out the souvenir shops on the other side of Fremont Street. I got a couple of magnets and key chains for friends and a Vegas ornament for myself. After all, what says Classy Christmas like Vegas?

    Throughout most of the day, my Evil Brain had been telling me it was Saturday. Somewhere in my shopping run, however, it somehow dawned on me that it was actually Friday. It felt like getting awarded a bonus day in Vegas. WOOHOOOOO!

    I felt so perked up at getting a whole "extra" day in my shiny, tacky Mecca that I decided to go back to Walgreens tomorrow and celebrate by loading up on my happy find of the Diet Cherry Dr Pepper (Don't you judge me!) but for now, I'd get one of the more mundane regular Diet DP's to get me through the night.

    I timed my shopping perfectly and left the store just in time to catch the American Pie show. Damn, I love that one. I wasn't alone in my love for it as I saw several people not only singing along but dancing. Afterwards, I headed back to my room to drop off my stuff. While I'm there, I figure I might as well replenish my ice supply so I dumped the melted ice from my baggies and went down to the fifth floor.

    As I was filling up the first baggie, I see 5 girls, dressed to party and obviously sobriety-challenged, come stumbling and giggling down the stairs located at the back of the room with the ice machine.

    Once I had the second baggie filled, I turned and headed toward the elevator. To my surprise, all 5 girls are sitting in a row on the hallway floor in the lotus position, eyes closed and intermittently saying "Om", then giggling. Well, okay then.

    I iced up my cokes and decided to try my luck at the casino again. I saw the new Ferris Beuller machine but, outside of one small bonus round, it turns out I'm more of a Cameron than a Ferris. Next I tried a more familiar game, Texas Tea. As it turned out, I got Tea-boned.

    There was obviously only one thing to do. I got myself a consolation donut from Dunkin Donuts and then went back to the room for another nap.

    Room 617 at the Fremont:




    The teeny tiny bathroom featuring the toilet of exciting flushes:

  11. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Saturday, 11/23/2913

    I awoke from yet another cat nap (It occurred to me that this is not an entirely accurate name since both my cats tend to nap for a lot longer than I did on this trip) around 5:30 AM. I indulge in the delusion that I might get some more sleep until a little after 6, when I give up on this dream (so to speak) and just get up.

    Even in Vegas, there's not a lot doing this early in the morning and, since I'm teaching the slots a valuable lesson by playing hard to get, I decide to mosey on down to Binion's to get some breakfast. I'd had a really good breakfast there the last time I stayed downtown but, alas, it was not to be. The cafe was closed so they could do a deep cleaning of the grill and kitchen. Taunted by tidiness!

    Their fancy ways had put a definite crimp in my plans. I didn't want Magnolia's again and I didn't want to walk as far as the Golden Gate to try Du Par's so I made my lazy way back to the Fremont.

    I figured the slots had surely been chastened by my shunning and were now probably ready to make nice. (Note to self: Never trust thoughts you have this early in the morning.) I visited with my old friend Dorothy, only to find that my absence had not made her cold, cruel heart grow any fonder of me. So much for that cliche.

    I moved on to the Goldfish but apparently that bitch Dorothy had been influencing them and they, too, were cold to me. Well, I showed them and haughtily gimped back to my room. Going back to sleep still wasn't happening so I hung out until around 7:30 when I started getting really pretty hungry.

    I didn't feel like walking back to Binion's (a sad statement for those of you who know the geography of downtown) since I didn't know when they'd open their newly sparkling cafe again. I decided I'd use my second day's $10 food allotment at the champagne brunch at the hotel.

    The server seemed a little surprised when I asked for the champagne that came with the meal. Maybe my Southern Baptist ancestors had bequeathed me the look of a tea-totaler. I will say that they kept it flowing though. I'm sure the Rockefellers wouldn't be falling all over themselves to stock up on this vintage but it was certainly okay for the kind of champagne you'd expect to get at a cheap buffet.

    They had prime rib, which was good but not great. I basically did a bunch of sampling of assorted things, leaning more toward the lunch end than the breakfast, rather than getting a big helping of anything. All in all, it was pretty good but I have to say their desserts kind of suck. The only one I ate more than a bite of was the chocolate pie and it wasn't that great either.

    From there, I decided to go back to Walgreens and get more of my happy find from the other night, the Diet Cherry Dr Pepper. On the way, I stopped in at various souvenir stores to look around and see what they had to offer in the way of cokes. None of them on that end of Fremont St had DP in cans and all the bottled ones were higher than Walgreens prices.

    When I got to Walgreens, I decided to first find the newly opened Downtown Grand (formerly the Lady Luck) and check it out before loading myself down with packages. I had a vague idea where it was but it turned out my idea was a good bit vaguer than I'd realized, causing me to wander around a lot more than I'd expected.

    I did see the surely-close-to-finished but not yet open for business giant Slotzilla zip line. As it's huge and right in the middle of the street, I can't take a lot of credit for that discovery. It looked suitably tacky and will probably be a hell of a ride but, of course, personally I'd rather gnaw my own head off than ever get on it.

    Eventually I finally found the Downtown Grand and went in, trying to ignore the shrill giggles of the Gods of Irony. As it turns out, the Downtown Grand is pretty much about a block behind the Fremont Hotel in fairly plain sight. Pretty much only someone with my legendary sense of direction could have missed it.

    It was nice enough but I have to say I wasn't really all that impressed with it. I don't really have anything specifically negative to say about it. It wasn't unattractive; it just didn't...wow or even really call to me.

    I actually found it more interesting to realize that several places I'd heard of but didn't really know where downtown they were turned out to be across the street from the DTG--Triple George and Hogs & Heifers among them.

    On the way back to Fremont, I saw the new pizza place, which is across the street from DTG rather than actually in it like I had somehow thought it was. It looked pretty good and I was tempted to try a slice but they were setting up the food carts between the Fremont and the big souvenir shop and they called to me.

    I'm not sure if they do this every weekend or if I've just managed to be there the weekends that they did but they were there the last time I stayed downtown and had some pretty tasty stuff. It was already smelling good but none of them were open yet so I settled for sniffing and perusing as I walked by.

    I decided to kill some time by going back to Walgreens to get those cokes. Sadly, I was taunted yet again. There were no more cherry flavored ones, only regular Diet DP. I found it hard to believe that there was someone else out there with such questionable taste in soft drinks who had taken my beloveds but it was either that or they had just hidden my precious in the back to torment me. Either way, I had to settle for the more mundane variety.

    I was pretty sure I'd seen boring old regular Diet Dr Pepper selling for cheaper at the souvenir shops on the other end of the canopy so I just got a big bottle of water and one coke, then trudged my taunted way through the cold rain back to my room.

    Lobby area of the Downtown Grand:



  12. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    After all this wandering about, it was getting to be lunchtime so I headed back out to the food carts to see what they had. There was a BBQ cart that smelled really good but it seemed to be running late and didn't look like it was going to be open anytime soon.

    I was drawn to another cart which was selling Cajun shrimp. I'm normally middling about shrimp but this looked and smelled really great so I got the small cup for $10. These were those huge mutant shrimp and there were 4 or 5 in the cup.

    I was headed back to my room when I decided to make a quick stop at Lanai in the food court and get an egg roll to go with it. This would have been an excellent idea if I hadn't gotten behind Just Can't Get It Woman.

    She apparently had the same deal I did where you got $10 food credit with your room. The way it worked was that you charged the meal to your room. Anything up to $10 was removed from the charge and you paid anything over the $10 allowance at checkout. Not really a complicated set up--or so you'd think.

    Just Can't Get It Woman, as you might have guessed, just didn't get it. She wanted them to just take $10 off the cost of her food. The clerk explained it to her 573 times without success and finally just called the front desk who confirmed that this was the way the deal worked. Meanwhile, the line was growing and now equaled roughly the population of Pakistan.

    FINALLY she gets it. Well, not really but she did finally shut up, take her food, and go away, although she had the disgruntled look of a consumer conspired against as she did so. I suspect her belated surrender came from getting an Angry Villagers vibe from the ever-growing line.

    Once I finally escaped and made it to my room, I cleared off the little table and dug in. The shrimp was still hot, amazingly, and it was just the right amount of spicy. It was some seriously good and seriously messy eating. I was very glad not to have witnesses to how messy my hands and face were afterwards. I'm sure potential witnesses were very happy to have missed that too.

    Not a lot happened Saturday night. I went back to the carts again for supper, this time getting ribs from the BBQ cart which I took back to my room. Again, quite good and again, quite messy. Once again, you are welcome, potential witnesses.

    Once I'd hosed myself off, I went down to the casino and visited the Goldfish. They accepted my offer of friendship and mocked me with it, taking my $20 and bringing it down into the low single digits. Then I hit a bonus round. And another bonus round. I end up cashing out at $60. WOOHOO!

    As any micro-roller would after hitting a relative jackpot, I strutted out into the street. I caught the new Who light show which featured a medley of I Can See For Miles, Pinball Wizard, and My Generation. I continued my wanderings, loading up on cokes to bring back to the strip tomorrow and forced myself to indulge in another fried Twinkie. A balanced diet is important, even on vacation.

    Back in my room, I got most of my packing out of the way and then celebrated by catching up on my sleep.
  13. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sunday, 11/24/2013

    Today I was moving to the last stop on my migratory tour, NYNY. Not wanting to arrive too early and either have to wait for a room or pay for early check in, I went down to the registration desk and asked if I could get an extra hour on my checkout time. No problem! They're really very nice at the Fremont. Checkout wasn't until noon and with my extra hour, I didn't have to go until 1. Add in bus time and registration line time and I figured I'd be checking in some time after 2.

    I had intended to head out that side door by the registration desk, cross to the bus stop, and go ahead and get my ticket but I overheard a couple trying to figure out how to find the buffet and my Inner Good Samaritan took over. The next thing I knew, I was walking them over to show them where it was.

    Since I was now at the other end of the hotel, I decided instead to take a walk to see the new Container Park. There was a rumor that they were going to do a soft opening that afternoon and I considering hanging around for it but decided against it. I could go ahead and take a peek at it though. The rain had stopped but it was still grey and cold outside.

    It was a longer walk than I'd expected and there really wasn't much to see at that hour of the morning but I did get to see the giant praying mantis outside. It was weirdly cool and I wished I was able to see it shooting flames as it would at night but I just added that to my list of things to see on a subsequent visit.



    I moseyed on back to the hotel. I decided to save my shrinking gambling fund for NYNY and virtuously went back to my room to finish packing.

    I indulged in one of my Vegas traditions, the Law & Order marathon until around 11 when I started feeling the call of lunch. I headed back to the carts, intent on one last round of the Cajun shrimp but they weren't ready yet.

    I killed some time wandering through the big souvenir store next door but the shrimp people still weren't ready. I considered trying another cart but my taster was set for the shrimp. They said it would be about another 5-10 minutes.

    I'd liked the combination of the shrimp with the egg roll so I figured I'd go get one while I waited. I took it on up to my room to kill a little more time and then went back to the cart. They were finally ready to serve by then so I got another small order. The woman at the grill wasn't as generous with the shrimp as the guy yesterday (Maybe that's why he wasn't manning the grill today) but they're big so the three shrimp was fine.

    Having years of experience at being a slob, I first changed back into my sleeping clothes to eat so as not to make others jealous of the collection of greasy stains I was sure to collect while indulging in the tasty but messy shrimp. It was a wise decision.

    Once I'd hosed myself presentably clean again, I caught up my notes and started on the last rounds of checking that I had packed everything. That went pretty well until I couldn't find my bag of coins.

    When I'm in Vegas, I put all my coin change into a small baggie. It adds up and once I'm home again, I take it a Coin Star machine where I trade it for an Amazon certificate. It helps ease the pain of having left my shiny tacky Mecca.

    I was starting to panic a bit when it finally occurred to me to check my luggage. Yep. I'd been good and had packed it away last night. D'OH! In fairness, who expects me to be good and do the smart thing in Vegas? I know I didn't.

    Panic averted, I added the morning's coins to the bag, got dressed, checked out via the TV, and checked my purse to make sure I had everything in it. Now it was time for Panic, Part Deux. Where was my wallet?

    It was, of course, right where I'd put it so I'd know where it was. I'd set it on top of the clothes I was going to change into for the trip. That way I wouldn't panic. I can now tell you that it isn't easy to maneuver a 3 ton suitcase while you're rolling your eyes at yourself.

    I made it to the bus stop and prepared to do battle with the ticket kiosk. Amazingly, I had no trouble at all, although I did hear the Gods of Irony snickering at me because this was the first kiosk for the whole trip that offered the 3 day pass for $20. I only had 2 days left in town and wasn't sure if I'd be using the bus at all Monday so I got the 24 hour pass.

    I managed not to cuss at the Gods of Irony and even helped the person behind me figure out how to work the kiosk. I'll probably get a Nobel Prize or something similar for that.

    Well, okay, that might not happen but karma did pay me back by not only having the SDX bus arrive within minutes but also having a seat available for me and my big ol' luggage. WOOHOOO!
  14. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    The ride was happily unremarkable. I got off at the Excalibur stop, which was a relatively short distance from NYNY. There was a line at registration but it moved pretty quickly and soon it was my turn.

    This was a free stay (Well, outside of the stupid resort fee), courtesy of My Vegas. I had a small moment of panic when, at first, she only saw one night reserved but that was over in a moment when she found the second night. She did caution that I might need to have my key redone after the first night because of how the system showed it as two separate reservations. As it turned out, that did happen but it took barely a moment to redo the keys.

    Check in accomplished, I was on my way to room 2331 in the Century Tower located, to my feet's delight, right by the elevator. My reservation was for a Park Avenue room but I think I must have gotten a bump up to the next grade (Broadway? I forget the names of their rooms). I've stayed in both and this was bigger than the Park Avenue room I'd had before.

    I had 2 queen beds again with a total of 6 nice-sized pillows, plus 2 decorative ones. Across from them was a combination entertainment center/dresser/closet with a safe inside. There was a round table with two chairs and a desk with a lamp but no plugs in the base. Bummer. Really the only complaint I had with the room was a definite shortage of available plugs. I managed to find one for my alarm clock and one to use for recharging assorted stuff.

    The bathroom seemed huge after the teeny one at the Fremont. To my surprise, it had a shower and tub combination. Every other time I've stayed here, it was only a shower. The hot water was great and the shower had the best water pressure of any of the places I stayed on this trip.

    I was also happily surprised to see I could see part of the strip from my window. Part of the roller coaster was outside my room but I wasn't bothered by noise from it.

    My room and view at NYNY:




    Once I was settled in, I headed back downstairs and over to Excalibur. My feet argued for a nice lie down but I was on a mission.

    The last time I was there, I had gotten a couple of small dragon figurines for my nephew and house/cat-sitter Duncan. He really liked them, especially the one with the dragon gazing into a crystal ball, inside of which was an even smaller dragon.

    Sadly, within a day or so, we learned that the crystal ball was not plastic and was made of thin glass. Even more sadly, we learned this because I had a fit of coordination and knocked it to the ground, breaking said crystal ball.

    My mission, therefore, was to return to the store where I got it and get him a replacement. It was a long walk to the shops, made longer by my legendary sense of direction, but I finally found it.

    Well, I found the shop at least. They had a lot of dragon figurines but none of them were the one with the crystal ball. I asked the clerk on the off chance that maybe they had some in the back that hadn't been stocked but no.

    I did find one that I thought he'd like. It was larger than the ones I'd gotten last time and had the dragon holding a silver sword. The sword was actually a letter opener. He likes swords and knives and stuff like that so I think he'll be happy with it. It's going to be his Christmas present.

    Filled with the exhilaration that comes at the end of a round of shopping ending in "Well, it'll do", I gimped my way back to NYNY, pausing to try my luck at some slots (middling), and to get a sandwich from the deli. I took the sandwich, the dragon, and my draggin' ass back up to the room.

    After eating, I tried for a nap but that wasn't happening so I settled for resting up and vegging out some before it was time to get ready for the show.

    I had a ticket for the 7:30 showing of LOVE, also courtesy of My Vegas. I had the premium ticket which would have been $130 before fees and taxes. I'd heard mostly good things about it since it opened and had toyed with the idea of going before but I'm not generally huge on Cirque stuff so I never did talk myself into springing for it.

    I was more than happy to see it for free though! Around 6, I got dressed and headed over to MGM to wait for the Deuce bus. I overheard a couple trying to figure out where to get off for Mirage so I butted in and told them. I'm much nicer (though more prone to butting in) in Vegas than I am in real life.

    The bus arrived and I was once again rewarded with getting a seat for the trip. I hopped out (Well, the geezer approximation of it anyway) at the Harrahs stop and crossed over to Mirage. I even managed not to get very lost as I hunted down the theatre for the show.

    There was already a crowd and they apparently weren't letting people in yet so I took a seat at a slot. I don't tend to have a lot of luck playing at Mirage so I just sat there while I waited, hoping an overzealous cocktail waitress wouldn't chase me away.

    I saw the crowd starting to move so I made my way over. They had a refreshment counter with some drinks that sounded pretty good but I didn't want one bad enough to stand in that line or pay as much as they wanted so I followed the usher's instructions to find my seat.

    I found my section without too much trouble. Since I had time before the show started, I figured I might as well hit up the restroom before finding my seat. I grew up in a military family who traveled a lot and one of the first life lessons I learned from my dad was to always take advantage of an opportunity to use the bathroom when you had the chance, even if you didn't think you needed to right then.

    I was glad I'd followed his training instead of waiting until I really had to go because the bathroom was quite small with only a few stalls, obviously designed by a man--or maybe a woman with a fetish for standing in line with tightly crossed legs. It would have made for a painful wait with an after-the-show crowd.

    I found my seat pretty easily. I was one seat in from the aisle and had a really nice view of the stage. There was a little girl, maybe 8 or 9, in the row ahead of me wearing a red Sgt Pepper style tunic and looked adorable in it.

    I loved the show! I was occasionally distracted by my neighbor with the aisle seat who had a habit of randomly humming (Not humming along with the soundtrack--just randomly making tuneless humming noises) and breaking into bursts of playing the air drums. It was a bit odd but didn't detract from enjoying the show.

    Afterwards, I debated what to do next. I'd originally been planning to take a taxi over to Ellis Island but I was kind of tired and didn't feel like dealing with cabs so I decided to just catch the bus back to NYNY.

    The Deuce arrived right after I got to the stop but I had the bright idea to just wait for the SDX bus since it makes fewer stops. My legendary Evil Brain (Have I mentioned that it hates me?) waited until it pulled away to remind me that the SDX bus doesn't stop at Mirage. D'OH!

    Oh, well. I caught the volcano show while I waited for the next one. There was a guy on the sidewalk selling bottled beer out of a cooler for prices he seemed to set at a whim, ranging from a dollar to $5. I hate beer so I didn't much care but I was mildly amused by him calling out assorted prices for the same product.

    On a whim, I got off at the Bellagio stop and crossed over to the area where the new Walgreens was and the Goretorium used to be. I checked out some stores and got some more refrigerator magnets for myself and some friends. What can I say? We're people with sophisticated tastes.

    I looked at the menu for Bubba Gump's. It ran a lot higher than I'd expected and there wasn't anything on there that I wanted to pay that much for so I moved on. I looked around in Walgreens and got a bottle of water and a really cheap Vegas calendar.

    That kind of festivity can wear a girl out so I got back on the bus and headed homeward. I dropped off my accumulated loot, then hung out long enough to appease my feet a little before heading back down.

    I looked for the Twilight Zone machine I'd liked last time but it was gone. I played a variety of other slots instead with a variety of luck, most of it not so impressive but there was enough of it to let me play for a good while.

    Most of the places to eat were closed by then so I got a slice of pepperoni pizza and took it up to my room. I managed to stay awake long enough to eat it and conked out.

    Outside LOVE:


  15. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
  16. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Monday, 11/25/2013

    I woke up some point in the wee hours feeling hungry so I got dressed (as is the way of my people) and went to America. I forget what time it was but it was after the Club People had staggered back to their rooms and before the Morning People had crawled out of theirs. The place was empty outside of me and two other tables.

    I ordered the ham and eggs, which I always like there and liked again this time. Since there was no one waiting for the table, I dawdled over my meal. By the time I was done, I felt like I could nap again so I headed back to my room and did just that. There's a certain satisfaction that comes from coming up with a plan and executing it.

    Monday was basically a Lazy Day. I went back down to the casino after I woke up again and played for a good while with no spectacular results, either good or bad.

    I decided to get some lunch to take back to the room. I stopped at Chin Chin and perused the menu but wasn't really in the mood for Asian so I moseyed on. I ended up going to the Fish & Chips place where I got some fish (duh) and shrimp. It seemed to take a long time but that was probably mostly because I was tired.

    It was pretty good and afterwards I celebrated with another session of vegging and napping. I gave the slots another chance after my nap but got pretty much the same results--no impressive wins or losses but kept it going long enough to get a good amount of play.

    That evening I worked up enough ambition to get out for a bit since it was my last night in the shiny. I decided I'd try the not-so-Secret Pizza place at Cosmopolitan so off I went. I should have been cued by the theme music from Psycho that started playing right after I had that idea.

    I had another reason for getting out and about. I'd realized earlier that day that I'd either lost a pack of smokes or miscalculated how many to bring but either way, I was running pretty low. I knew I'd have to sell a bodily part to pay for a pack in a hotel so I popped into one of the little souvenir shops just past MGM.

    I forget what the cost was (I suspect the trauma of hearing how much they cost blotted the actual number out of my mind) but it was enough to make me vow to be a LOT more generous in figuring out how many packs to bring next time.

    I backtracked to MGM to catch the bus, getting off at Planet Hollywood and then went up to the overhead walkway to Cosmo. My legendary fear of heights tends to abate somewhat with repeated exposure to the same place and I've reached the point where I'm pretty comfortable with most of the overhead walkways in Vegas.

    Notice I said "most". The one between PH and Cosmo still creeps me out fairly badly. I think it's a combination of not going on that bridge very often and that the clear plexiglass on the sides goes down closer to the walkway level than it does on other bridges.

    Even so, I can maintain some semblance of being a relatively normal grown up person if I walk right in the middle and focus my gaze on the back of someone in front of me. This works fairly well, except that people inconsiderately keep moving over to the side to look out and I have to keep finding new backs to focus on.

    I made it across and managed to keep the combination of darkly muttered cursing and pathetic whimpering to a minimum. I took the elevator down to street level, and went in the entrance to Cosmo.

    Right inside was Liberace's car that was covered in rhinestones. I'd seen it several years back when we'd gone to the Liberace museum but I stopped to spend a couple of minutes checking it out again. That's one fancy shiny car.

    That done, I made my way to the first elevator. The elevators there are rounded and made entirely of clear glass. I suspect they were designed by a fellow acrophobic person with a very deep masochistic streak. I spent about 3 seconds trying to talk myself into getting in and then decided to look around and try to find a more conventional, non-heart-attack-inducing type of elevator.

    The closest I found to that were a bank of elevators to take guests to their rooms. I was thinking I'd heard you needed a room key for those so I kept going. I walked and walked until my feet forced the rest of my sissy self to just get over it and take the damn Elevator of Horror. For the record, feet give very bad advice. smiley: devil

    I damn near had to grab myself by the scruff of the neck and fling myself in there but I was getting annoyed with my wussiness and forced myself to just step in. I pressed the button for the third floor and screwed my eyes shut as tightly as I physically could all the way up.

    I really figured that would be good enough to allow me to ride up without dissolving into an utter meltdown. This was only partially true. I did make it to the third floor without screaming, fainting, or flinging myself on the floor and digging my nails into the carpet... but not by much.

    My hands were shaking, my innards had turned into a mass of churning nerves, and I had probably turned a sickly cross between white and green. With all the churning going on inside, I wasn't really feeling too hungry by now but I had braved that stupid Elevator of the Damned and I was going to By God find that pizza place.

    Well, that was the plan anyway. I wandered all over that area and didn't see anything that matched the descriptions I'd read that told you how to find the place. The only eating places I saw looked to be the sort I'd need a bank loan to visit.

    I considered getting back on the elevator and trying another floor. That idea barely had time to form before I inwardly screamed "Oh, HELL no!". At this point, I really just wanted the hell off that floor and out of there but I didn't want it badly enough to be able to force myself back into one of those Death Elevators. I determined that I was going to find another way down or die trying and THEN they'd be sorry!

    I found the elevators for guests of the hotel. I hesitated to take them but by now I had walked roughly the equivalent of the breadth of Canada with no luck. I decided if it required a room key, I'd stand there until a hotel guest showed up and beg them to take me down to the casino floor. At that point, I didn't really care if Security hauled me off to Hotel Jail for trying to usurp the guest elevators--just so long as Hotel Jail was on the bottom floor.

    It turned out that it did take a room key to go to the higher floors but you could go to the lower non-residential ones without. I've never been so happy to step out onto a casino floor in my life. This relief overwhelmed my sadness at realizing that I was an even bigger wuss about heights than I'd known. Seriously, it was pitiful.

    I scurried toward the door to the strip. On the way, I saw where they had the Liberace exhibit. It was right there and free so I went in, figuring I might as well get something out of the trip to this sadistic casino.

    There were a couple of TV screens showing clips of him at various stages of his career, mostly the 50's and 60's. I watched a few of those and then went around the room looking at an assortment of his costumes on mannequins set in clear glass cubes along with a few other artifcacts like shoes and a piano.

    It was an interesting display and I felt much more like a normal person again when I left. Flamboyance apparently has a calming effect on me. I caught the bus and headed back to NYNY, having had enough of adventure to do me a while.
  17. SpinyNorma

    SpinyNorma Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2007
    Deep in the hot of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Liberace stuff:





    I played some slots for a bit, then went up to my room. I was leaving at 1:00 the next day so I did some packing. As I was depositing the day's coins, I noticed that the baggie was really getting heavy.

    My suitcase was heavy enough as it was and I certainly didn't want to carry that hefty bag of coins through two airports (Two and a half, counting Rinky Dink) in my purse. The last couple of times I'd tried to cash in my accumulated coins for folding money at a casino, they'd declined to do it so I hadn't bothered trying the last few trips.

    Still, this one was heavy enough that it seemed worth a try so I took the baggie with me and made my way over to the cashier's cage. To my delight, she agreed to change it for bills with no fuss at all. A couple of minutes later, I had $34 in much lighter form.

    I confess I got sloppy about keeping up with my notes the last couple of days so I'm not sure when the timing of this next bit happened. I know it was either late at night or early in the morning when most of the eating places were closed.

    NYNY had a promotion going where if you hit 250 in points on your card, you could take it to some desk and get a card. I got the impression that it was something like a lottery scratch off card, giving you a chance for winning some amount of free play. Sorry, I don't have the pamphlet explaining the program and I don't recall the details.

    Anyway, I hit that point so I went to the desk and told them I had, handing them my card. The woman at the desk spent what seemed like a really long time tapping on keys and frowning at the monitor. Another woman came over and now they were both working on it.

    I'd really expected this to be a fairly straightforward transaction. One of them asked me something that seemed unrelated (I forget what) so I was kind of confused but I answered. More tapping on keys. Finally she said something along the lines of there really wasn't much she could take off the bill since my room was comped.

    Eventually we got it figured out. She thought I was wanting comps for my play. As it turned out, I didn't have enough points for the promotion since about 150 of my points were from previous visits and the whole 250 had to be earned on this one.

    I hadn't understood that part so I was about to thank them for their time and go on but they offered to give me a comp in the form of a voucher for one of their restaurants. They told me, rather apologetically, that they couldn't give me much but they could do one for $12.

    That was actually a lot more than I figured my relatively tiny amount of play would have merited so I was pretty damn happy. I had to pick a restaurant and I chose America, mainly because I was leaving in the morning and it was open 24 hours. Maybe they took pity on me for being such a micro-roller and so happy to be getting such a pittance but when I looked at my voucher, it was for $14. Hello, Big Spender!

    My new swag was burning a hole in my pocket so I scurried over to America, only to be told by the hostess that their computers were down so they couldn't do any room charges. I asked if that applied to using vouchers too and, alas, it did. At least I thought to ask before ordering. She thought they'd probably be back up around 5 AM but that was just a guess.

    I took a nap and came back between 5 and 6 to see if the computers had ended their strike. They had. I didn't feel like staying to eat so they told me I could sit at the bar while I waited for a to go order. I wasn't really in the mood for breakfast so I ended up ordering a burger and my voucher covered the bill.

    That's pretty much it. There wasn't much aggravation with the trip home, at least until I got to DFW and my flight back to Rinky Dink kept getting delayed. Even so, we finally did make it home. Vegas and I had survived each other once again! :wave:
  18. TomTWI

    TomTWI VIP Whale

    Jan 28, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like a good trip and a very detailed report!


  19. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Sep 11, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for entertaining and very detailed report!:thumbsup:
    Our 36th anniversary, an Oct tradition
  20. RAWDAWG33

    RAWDAWG33 Low-Roller

    Mar 21, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great Report, great details. I loved the small breaks to keep the reading easy. There is clearly a ton of work to put out a TR this detailed. We thank you!!! :wave:
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