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What a week!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by LV Dawn, Mar 22, 2004.

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  1. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    I've been home for a few days but I didn't have the energy to post this until today. Sorry for the delay!

    Sunday, March 14, 2004
    I had a 9:15 am flight into Las Vegas. I had car service pick me up at 7:00 am and there wasn’t much traffic, so I got to the airport rather quickly. For some reason, Continental Airlines shut down the main check in area just as I walked through the door and sent everyone over to another area, which was a hassle since it was at the other end of the terminal. I thought I’d save a bunch of time by printing out my boarding pass online, since the last few times I was there, they had a special line for people that did that and it was always empty but not this particular day. No such luck! After waiting for quite sometime, the kiosk they made me use to check my bag crashed and it took another 15 minutes to get it back up and running and then I had to drag my bag to the security screening area to wait on another long line. Then, I had to go through the metal detector and the regular line was horrible, but since Continental let me buy back my Elite status this year, I was able to go through the shorter line but had to walk halfway across the terminal to do so. After that, I went up to the President’s club to hang out and e-mail Hurricane Mikey one last time. (Mikey and I have been exchanging e-mail many times each day getting psyched for the trip) Since it was a Sunday morning, I couldn’t get a drink but I knew that ahead of time and bought some airline bottles of vodka from the liquor store, so I was prepared. My flight left on-time and was basically uneventful although it did arrive a little late and there was some turbulence. It was a full flight and they were offering vouchers for $350 if anyone wanted to wait until the 3:00 pm flight. I was tempted but didn’t want to waste almost the whole day at Newark Airport. It just wasn’t worth the compensation. It took a while to collect my suitcase and even longer to get a taxi cab. I got the scariest cab driver possible. As soon as I got in the car I asked him to take me to The hotel at Mandalay Bay, but not through the tunnel. He went off screaming about “cheap a-holes†and I said, I’m not cheap but I just don’t want to be taken advantage of. He went on and on about how everyone in Vegas is cheap and they’ll gamble tons of money away but he always gets screwed and how he hopes everyone loses every penny they have and about how Jews were responsible for the spike in the housing market there and it’s their fault he can’t afford a house and about how much better communism is than capitalism and on and on and on. I was tempted to argue with him but I was scared he’d bury me somewhere in the desert so I sat there quietly while he screamed the whole way. I was SO glad when that cab ride was over. There was a line at THE hotel but it moved quickly. My room wasn’t ready yet but they allowed me to put my stuff in there. (Nice room but no fridge or coffee maker and no easy access to the pool) I don’t like flying and needed to settle down so I dropped my stuff off and went to Raffles Café for some chicken noodle soup and then I spent the rest of the day gambling. I wasn’t winning but I hit a few small things to keep me going. A friend that I used to work with really needed a vacation and wanted to come so I let her tag along. My flight was too expensive by the time she was ready to book so she was on a late night flight and got in around 9:00 pm. We went to bed around 11:00 pm.

    Monday, March 15, 2004
    We were both still on East Coast time, so we woke up around 4:30 and showered and then went down to grab a bite to eat. My first class wasn’t until 9:30 am. We were downstairs by 6:00 am but couldn’t get anything to eat until 7:00 am. My friend doesn’t really gamble but she watched me. We grabbed turkey sandwiches for breakfast at around 7:00 am at the Kona Café. After that, my friend walked me to register for my sessions and then she went to the pool and I gambled until it was time to go to class. My classes were uneventful. Most were boring but a few were interesting. I got back to the room around dinner time. My friend said she went over to the Luxor after the pool. She wanted to see the strip and this was her first trip to Vegas so we walked from Mandalay Bay down to Harrah’s. We stopped at the Bellagio for a few fountain shows and grabbed dinner at the Harrah’s buffet. I shipped some Hurricane Mix and snacks to myself so we could have drinks up in my suite when the rest of “the gang†arrived but they never made it. The mail lady here is supposedly tracing the package but I’ve lost all hope at this point. Anyway, I stopped at the liquor store by Harrah’s and picked up a bottle of Stoli’s and stopped at CVS for some mixers on the way back to the hotel. We got back around 11:00 and my legs hurt. I’m not sure how far the walk was there and back but it was much too much for me. I paid for it the rest of the trip.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2004
    Woke up at 3:00 am, not by choice but because my friend’s friend was sending her text messages via cell phone and her phone was making all sorts of noises. I tried to go back to sleep but it kept going off. Personally, I need my sleep. I can’t focus on classes if I am sleep deprived. I felt like crap the entire day and I didn’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings so I waited until I calmed down and I asked her to shut the phone off or to go in the other room because I need my sleep for the rest of the week. She said she only needs 3-4 hours of sleep a night but I told her I need much more than that. She still got up early for the rest of the trip but she went downstairs until 7:30 am so I could sleep. My classes were ok. My friend went out by the pool and spent most of the afternoon out there. Bazootch got in and called me and I gave him the key to the free room I had for him and Mikey at Mandalay Bay. Hurricane Mikey got in around 9:00 pm and I gave him the other key. We walked over the Mikey’s room so he could get his stuff and then we went over to Luxor so Mikey could teach me how to play Craps. I had a blast although the table wasn’t kind to us and we called it a night.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2004
    Got up around 7:30 ish and met Bazootch and Mikey at the buffet. My friend Pat was going to meet us but she got caught up and was late and because I had to go to class, I told her we couldn’t wait any longer so we went in. She eventually joined us. By this time, my stomach was killing me. I suffer from acid reflux and the doctor tells me that it’s due to stress and anxiety. The lack of sleep and tense situation made that believable. I was in agony! Bazootch and Mikey were playing in a poker tournament that morning. I went to a few classes but played a little hooky, so I could hang out and have some fun. I grabbed the study materials for the class I skipped and after two Long Island Iced Teas, I lost the study material. I didn’t realize it until I got sober again. Oh well. Mikey and I went back to Luxor and played some more craps. After waiting for a very long time, it was finally Mikey’s turn to throw the dice and they changed the table minimum from $5 to $10 and wouldn’t grandfather us in, which wasn’t very nice. We immediately cashed out. We went back over to Mandalay Bay and Mikey kept me company while I played a little roulette. I didn’t win but after all was said and done, I was only down $10 for the session. While we were there, Vegas Jer came by. I don’t remember the rest of the afternoon though. We met up around 6:00 pm. We were supposed to go to Red Square but it was crowded so Mikey, Jer, my friend and I grabbed burgers and hot dogs at the deli in the sports book. We met up with everyone and hung out until it was time for the limo. While waiting, I met LV Terry and 3 Cats and her husband Jim, all very nice people! The limo ride was a blast. We drove downtown because everyone wanted shrimp cocktail from the Golden Gate. The line was long but 3 Cats walked right up to the cashier and cut the line!! After the shrimp cocktails, (and the bottle of water that LV Terry bought me, thanks again) we drove along the strip and everyone (except me because my stomach was bothering me) was drinking champagne and tequila. They were even giving shots away to people on the strip while we were stopped at traffic lights, in between drunken cell phone calls! It was a wild and memorable ride!! We eventually stopped off at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas Sign’ and had our picture taken. We went to the Orleans after that. Mikey, Vegas Jer, 3 Cats and I played some craps. Mikey and I doubled our money, which was nice, especially after taking such a beating at the Luxor. I was pretty tired and needed to rest because I had class again on Thursday so I took a taxi back to the hotel. Mikey, being the nice guy that he is, walked me outside to make sure I got into a cab ok.

    Thursday, March 18, 2004
    I don’t remember what time I got up. As the week progressed, things got fuzzier and fuzzier. I went to breakfast at Raffles Café with Mikey, Jer and my friend. After that, I had to go to class. All the guys were checking out of Mandalay Bay and into the Las Vegas Club that afternoon. I was hoping to hang out with Mikey to play more craps but that didn’t work out. I went to my classes and then spend lots of time on the phone trying to set up a contingency plan in case my flight was cancelled due to snow in the Northeast. I called the front desk and they wanted to charge me $499 for the extra night. I went online and everything in town was basically sold out. I decided to call the slot club to see if they could offer me the casino rate and the guy said that was no problem and quoted me a price of $189, which wasn’t bad. Of course, I have problems trusting people because they never do what they said they will. I stopped off at the front desk to confirm everything and not only did he screw up the rate for Friday but he also screwed up my reservation. He changed my Thursday rate from $169 to $189 and put a rate of $289 instead of $189 in for Friday and put in a rate of $599 for Saturday and had me checking out on Sunday. After wasting ½ hour there, the gal went back and fourth between me, her boss and the host and got it corrected. (My flight did depart on time and the snow wasn’t a problem but I needed to be sure I had a back up plan, just in case) After this, I took a long shower. My friend Pat was out and she said she’d meet me at the Tropicana so we could go downtown to meet the guys. I really wanted to go without her since she doesn’t gamble and the cell phone text message thing every five minutes was getting on my nerves, but she gave me an earful and was a little sarcastic because I went out without her the night before and she kind of knew that I was having much more fun with the guys. I felt obligated to hang out with her. I’d never been to the Center Stage Restaurant so we made reservations for 6:30 pm. I met my friend at 4:45 pm at the Tropicana and we got on the bus. She had a bus pass and I figured, what the heck. Bad idea! It took about 1 ½ hours to get from the bus stop outside the Tropicana to downtown. I called home a few times along the way. My 12 year old daughter got on the phone and said “mom, stop being so cheap, get off the bus and take a taxi cab or you’re going to be 60 by the time you get there†but I was at the Riviera at that point so I figured, why bother? We made it there just in time for our dinner reservation. A waste of 1 ½ hours! Dinner was good and I enjoyed the light show from there. After dinner, we met up with Mikey and some of his friends at the Golden Gate and then went back to the Las Vegas Club. I played a little video poker and some Elvis slots. Mikey was playing black jack. At about 9:00 pm, I decided that we should probably head back because we had to leave for the airport at 5:00 am. We walked back to Neonopolis because I wanted to stop in the new Gambler’s Museum but it was closed so we caught a cab and called it a night. I didn’t see Vegas Jer or Bazootch before I left but I went over to see Mikey. I was sad to go! I definitely want to go back again when everyone is out there. I had so much fun. If I didn’t have class or my friend with me, it would have been the ultimate Vegas trip! What a great bunch of people! I miss Mikey!!!!

    Friday, March 19, 2004
    The snow was expected to clear up before the plane was scheduled to land. Everything was on-time and uneventful. I got home and my husband and daughter were happy to see me. They bought me a bouquet of white tulips (my favorite) and a can of WD-40, because they said I was so tight (cheap) that I was squeaking!
     
  2. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Kudos to Dawn for being the first to post a trip report from the epic T2V March Madness 2004 trip!

    Other than the T2V stuff---which you knew was going to be a blast [​IMG] I'm sorry you had such problems with your friends. I've gotten to the point where I can count on one hand the people I'd like to travel with (esp. Vegas) I'm happy to give other people LOTS of information, and MAYBE meet up for drinks or dinner if we're out there at the same time, but otherwise....I don't want the hassle on my vacation. As always, I'm in awe of you going to class AND managing to fit in so much gambling and other amusements. I'm so exhausted at the end of a day of a conference that I can barely handle feeding myself, much less stay out late & party with heathens :D

    Was your class in the MB Convention Center? We have a trade show there next year and I was wondering how you get to it (of course, I'm not very familiar with Mandalay Bay to start with...) Can you get to it from THEHotel or just the "regular" hotel?

    I think the can of WD-40 is too funny!! Hey--you can tell them at least you didn't give up your seat on the flight out to get the voucher--you weren't cheap enough to waste the day at Newark Airport ;)
     
  3. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    Hoya, the convention center is attached to Mandalay Bay via the mall area. It's a far walk from both the Mandalay Bay rooms and THE hotel rooms. (It's even worse when you have breaks in between sessions and you have to walk back and fourth multiple times) Honestly, I don't think THE hotel rooms are worth the extra $50+ per night. They're nice but if you want to go to the pool, you have to either walk over to the Mandalay Bay tower to access it or walk through the convention center. Both were quite a hike. The only thing really nice about THE hotel rooms were the plasma tvs. If you are going to attend a conference at Mandalay Bay, you should either stay there or at the Luxor. The mall between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor makes getting between the two properties a breeze.
     
  4. 3cats

    3cats High-Roller

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    Dawn:

    It was a great week and I sure enjoyed meeting everyone as well. Next time come alone and just meet up with everyone or if nothing else I will pal around with you and beleive me we will cause some commotion where ever we go.
    Great trip report.
    YEH!!!
    3cats
     
  5. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Thanks for the info, Dawn. I want to stay at MBay because I never have, but hubby will probably be relieved that Luxor is a decent option, distance-wise, if budget dictates we don't stay at Mandalay...

    So how much did you love coming back to snow? Hee hee.....
     
  6. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    Hoya, sometimes you can get a great rate from the conference you're attending. I noticed that the conference was offering a rate of $119 for Saturday 3/13 at Mandalay Bay and the regular rate was quite a bit more than that. The mall connecting the Luxor to MB definitely makes Luxor an option. Don't even bother with THE hotel. Not worth the extra $$ + the room service menu was different from MB. Room service is never cheap but the menu at THE hotel wasn't as extenstive as MB and was quite a bit more money. THE hotel doesn't even have chocolate chip pancakes on the menu! (I'm a chocolate addict and was upset by this)
     
  7. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    BTW, I hate snow!! I was tempted to check out Dealer's school with Mikey. The weather was warm and pleasant all week. I went from 88 degrees to about 38 degrees and have been miserable ever since!
     
  8. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    The conference we're going to (trade show) doesn't have a good reputation for charging better hotel rates than direct booking would achieve--though they HAVE started to improve in the past couple of years--guess they realized they HAD to since no one was using their room reservation services. When we first found out the show would be in Vegas in 2005, I got excited (originally it was supposed to be in Dallas--nothing against Dallas, BUT it's no Las Vegas ;) ) Hubby said we couldn't stay at MBay 'cause it would be too expensive but after reminding him what a hellacious walk he had from his Excalibur room to the MGM convention center, I at least wrangled a compromise to wait & see what the actual cost of the room would be.

    Of course, after the show, we'll head downtown for a few days :D The show starts on Valentine's Day so the following weekend is President's Day and I'll have a long weekend from work anyway ;) I just love planning in advance :D
     
  9. rje

    rje High-Roller

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    Dawn-

    Curious, what kind of class were you taking??

    It sounds like you had a great time! How long was your limo ride? Did you just do it for an hour? When I go in May, my friends and I were thinking of getting a limo to get us from the airport, but now I'm thinking it my be more fun to get one for an hour or so for a drunkin' ride up and down the strip.

    I have to concur, the WD-40 was funny! Were you on the bus because your friend did not want to pay for a cab, or was it a mutual decision? Everytiime I see a bus on the stip it always looked packed! I think its worth $15.00 for a cab ride, if just to save the time!
     
  10. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

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    I think that was the best part about meeting people from the board....you Knew everyone was happy just being there...no pressure to make sure everyone was entertained....can't wait to do it again.

    I do have to say in defense of the room at THEHotel...the view from the room you got for the Fella's was awesome!
     
  11. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Hey Dawn!

    Great trip report--I recall most of it, I think. I think that limo ride was some of the most fun I've ever had.

    Glad you survived!

    When are we going again??? ;)

    Mikey
     
  12. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

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    Dawn,

    Great trip report! [​IMG] I enjoyed the read - sorry about your friend. I guess you won't be meeting her in Vegas again anytime soon.
     
  13. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

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    MULLIGAN TRIP!!!

    Pleasure meeting you and everybody else. I am sorry the storm missed ya...
     
  14. Mia4071

    Mia4071 Tourist

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    Thanks for the trip report -- I just can't wait to get there in june. I hope that one day I can attend one of these meets.
     
  15. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

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    I loved that last paragraph. I've been told by family members that you can stick a bucket under my butt and coins come out, LOL. Glad someone else has sense of humor about conserving their money when gambling. [​IMG]
     
  16. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    RJE, The classes I took were marketing and trade show related. The conference I attended is held every year in Vegas.

    The limo ride was for a few hours. If you decide to do the limo thing, you should contact 3 cats about setting something up with her husband. Her husband drove the limo and was such a nice guy!

    My friend has a bus pass for the day and since we weren't at the same hotel at the time, I walked over to the Tropicana from Mandalay Bay and met her on the street and that is why we decided to take the bus. I'm sure the bus is easy and economical during most of the day but definitely not during rush hour. I could have walked faster than the bus was moving. ;)
     
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