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1/25-1/29/2017 - 7* retreat tol "The Big Easy" (aka New Orleans)

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by DaiLun, Jan 26, 2017.

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  1. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    My Trip Report

    So far, all has gone splendidly.

    My ex-wife's train was on time, had lunch at the airport, and the plane flights were on time (early for the LAX to New Orleans segment).

    50,000RCs were applied to my account on Monday, so I'm all set there. The trick will be in the proper use of RCs this trip. I do have another trip in February, a GGWU event, and I plan to use the RCs for FP there.

    I only plan to put in 500-1000TC days this trip, and maybe some time at Beau Rivage (mLife casino in Biloxi).

    Got to Harrahs and found out that there hotel had sent a shuttle. It would have been nice if they would have told me . . .

    Anyway, made it in on the paid shuttle. Will pick up my rental car tomorrow.

    Harrahs is a "small" hotel (compared to anything in Las Vegas and Reno. The rooms reminded me of Bellagio.

    NO_room_1.jpg
    NO_room_2.jpg
    NO_bathroom.jpg Ate at the buffet. Definitely just "life sustaining", but it was OK since I only needed life sustenance anyway.

    Didn't plan on playing, but got lucky and was up $1100 at one point, but I decided to put in a 500TC day and the machines went cold on me. Finished the day up $600.

    The Sugar Hit machine responsible for most of my "ups" tonight.

    HNO_SugarHit_1.jpg

    Tomorrow's another day . . . .
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
    Another NGO trip. QQQQ/NYNY
  2. rgrif57

    rgrif57 VIP Whale

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    We did our 7* there last March, really enjoyed the place. Try Besh's for the local cuisine it is very good (will eat there in May), plus RC's are 1:1 there. Enjoy your time and check out the WWII museum if you have time, it is very informative...............Rick
     
  3. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm VIP Whale

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    whatever host booked your trip should have let you know about transportation, limo is always free for 7* trip up to 50 miles each way. you only had to go about 10, lol...as for sending a shuttle, unclear but I have seen it in front of the hotel before..they use liverly limo which keeps them up pretty good, sometimes when they cant keep up with it for the 7* event they hold, they will use other companies, if you happen to get celebrity limo, you are better off taking a cab, terrible, unsafe cars...let your host know and they should have transportation back so you dont have to pay

    the buffet, personally, I dont go much but when I do, the best times are friday and saturday night...they do have diamond and 7* lines if the regular line is passing the theater up.

    ill be out there tonight, friday and saturday, usually found in the palm room drinking, lol
     
  4. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    Hi DaiLun:

    You disappoint me in opting for a buffet in the Big Easy. If you just want a bite using Reward Credits go to the attached Mannings where you can use RC at the standard RC 100:$1 ratio. Be careful because some restaurants take reward credits but at an unfavorable ratio. I don't know how much time you have but I loved visiting the WWII museum which is walking distance from Harrah's as well as Mardi Gras world where you can see the floats being built and floats from years ago.

    The concierge at Harrah's hotel has a lot of local maps and suggestions for your interest. I always use my 7 Stars Retreat for New Orleans and never get board. Once we combined a Retreat flight with an NCL Seven Stars Cruise from New Orleans and double dipped. My current favorite place is Fritzel's on Bourbon St. http://www.fritzelsjazz.net/ It is an more adult place a bit away from the "spring break" atmosphere.

    Good job making money. Remember you are not there to gamble but to enjoy so if you are ahead, don't worry about the points. If you use the 7* retreat offers, you will always get a room regardless of your play.

    Did you dip into the Jagermeister?

    FAB
     
  5. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Right now I'm in Biloxi "collecting chips" and eating lunch at Imperial Palace.
     
    Another NGO trip. QQQQ/NYNY
  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Mannings is fine, but from the casino floor it is a good block down the street. If you just want a quick bite... buffet is not bad. You have variety. If something is not good, go try something else.

    Heading down there next month.. been maybe 2 years. I think the only 1 to 1 dining is Buffet, Mannings, and Besh Steakhouse

    All the others, even listed on their site are 2:1
     
  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good start! Hope you take them for a bundle!
     
  8. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Day 2

    Woke up in the morning. Shuttle wasn't due until 8:55 AM, so I had an hour to get my "day's play". Made my 500TC day in about 45 minutes, but it did cost me last night's winnings. Oh well, that's why they call it gambling. I had two gambling days out of the way and I was effectively "even".

    Went out to the airport and rented my car. The car rental area is a LONG walk from the terminal, so be aware of that, and there's no transportation (that I could see).

    Picked up the car and decided to check out a local casino, Treasure Chest. Yes, it's truly a "local" casino. A 3 story "riverboat"

    20170126_100802.jpg

    The parking lot is about a mile away from the casino. Valet is available, but costs $5. Shuttles run continuously.

    Anyway, I played a "new" machine that I hadn't seen before and on the 3rd spin, I got the bonus, and made a quick $150. Went down and tipped the Player's Club gal $5 and the shuttle driver $1.

    Came back to Harrahs. Thinking about having lunch in Biloxi, since I opted to return the car with the gas tank empty. Oh, and Gas is about $2.09 a gallon for regular.

    Went to Biloxi, more for chip collecting and other stuff, to keep me out of the casino. Played at Harrahs Gulf Coast, Beau Rivage, Imperial Palace, and Scarlet Pearl. All of the casinos were very nice, Beau Rivage, which some have called a mini-Bellagio, was a beauty and for those who don't ever get to Las Vegas, it's an "elegant" casino.

    BeauRivage_2.jpg
    BeauRivage_1.jpg
    I didn't take a picture of the exterior, which really looks like a "mini-Bellagio" Had lunch at Imperial Palace, and for some reason my account became locked, at Bconnected. Up about $150 on the day. Collected "chip souvenirs"

    Biloxi_Chips.jpg

    Time to pick up my BFF from the airport and dinner will be at Besh Steakhouse. I have a $100 voucher to use up.

    Had dinner at Besh Steakhouse

    Caviar topped deviled eggs

    Besh_DeviledEggs.jpg

    Appetizers were Seafood Gumbo and Oyster sliders. The seafood gumbo was much better than the lunch I had at IP (of course), the sliders, not so much.

    Les had the 14 oz. ribeye

    Besh_ribeye.jpg

    I had the 10 oz. Filet mignon

    Besh_Filet.jpg

    Both were excellent!

    The side was crab risotto, another excellent dish.

    Besh_Risotto.jpg

    I took a serving of 12 layer coconut cake home. We walked around the casino. It's a BIG casino. At 105,000 sq. ft., it's the same size as Palazzo casino floor.

    We checked to see if I could renew Les's companion card, even though my card showed renewed dates, but no go. Not until February 1st.

    We continued to walked around, getting near the entrance, and I showed Les the machine that helped out me up early on ghe trip "Sugar Hit".

    Les sat down to play after walking around and hit the bonus game playing $6 a pull.

    He made a quick $250 and we went back to the room.

    I stayed in to watch "Arrival", Les went out.

    I didn't make it through the movie, and I'll pick it up tomorrow.

    Tomorrow. . . . a very busy day. 6 casinos in Biloxi/Gulfport.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
    Another NGO trip. QQQQ/NYNY
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  9. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm VIP Whale

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    yea treasure chest is real small, that is where lots of people went when they banned smoking in new orleans...I have never won there so I dont go there anymore, lol...it is a Boyd BConnected property BTW...boomtown "pinnacle property" across the river on the westbank is another local casino, I have been past it but never inside, it is also a small riverboat but I hear of people doing way better there. its just not around much.

    good choice on besh

    as for the companion card, last year I gave my friend one as she didnt renew her diamond. I deal with the supervisor, big black guy Gilbert at total rewards, he said, this one will only be good til the end of the year, just come back after the first and well get you one good for the year...so go back and try again, lol
     
  10. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Day 3

    I got up at 6AM and went down to the casino to put in my play. There may be a minor change in plans, since we are scheduled for dinner tonight at Antoine's and lunch tomorrow at Commander's Palace.

    So, we ended up going to Biloxi.

    Went first to Scarlet Pearl

    On Wierd, Wicked, and WIld I hit the money bag jackpot

    upload_2017-1-28_6-6-37.png
    Les won $50

    Imperial Palace

    Mike - shut out at Kooza "eff that Cirque du Soleil POS Machine" Les can play it all he wants - lost $100
    Les - The "Kooza master" won $60

    Went by Boomtown, it was a small riverboat casino, and we passed

    Harrahs Gulf Coast
    Les lost $136 chasing the 25TC
    Mike won $200 on Buffalo Grand

    First, the good news:

    As a 7* member, I get 2 free buffets at Harrahs Gulf Coast
    The bad news, they are only open for lunch Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Friday-Sunday

    So, I still had mLife Express comps (I had left my mLife gift cards at the hotel room), so I decided that we could eat at Beau Rivage.

    Beau Rivage

    We decided to have lunch at the beau Rivage since I had mLife Express Comps. We stood in line and an Asian Waitress (middle aged) took notice of us and led us to a table. After a few trips, I asked her if she had tomorrow off, (Chinese new Year), she said no, she had to work. That got us started on a conversation, where we were from, (Les mentioned that he was from San Francisco) and since Les speaks Cantonese, he carried on a conversation with her and another Chinese waitress that happened to pass by.

    I mentioned that I don't speak Chinese due to:

    1)Being 5th generation born in America, and
    2)Neither of my parents had jobs where they needed to use the Chinese language, so they didn't speak it at home
    3)I asked my Mom and Dad to take me out of Chinese school because it was a "waste of money"

    Anyway, the waitress had worked at Beau Rivage for 18 years, since it opened. She had two daughters, 30 and 28, and one of them was a pharmacist. She was very proud that she put the eldest one through "Ole Miss" pharmacy school. She also asked us if we knew any "prospective suitors". <G> Les told her I was single, but I quickly added that I was "too old". She lived in Mississippi with her husband and daughters, but most of her family was in San Francisco. It was a good lunch, Beau Rivage buffet is reasonable priced ($17.99) and they serve regional cuisine.

    As an example, they served:

    Crawfish Eutoffee
    Jambalaya
    Chicken Pot Pie
    Turnip Greens
    DIrty Rice

    Plus, all of the regular buffet food

    We finished lunch and spent 45 minutes playing.
    I hit the bonus on a Flintstones machine and made about $150, which lasted me the rest of the 45 minutes.

    Mike won $20
    Les won $50 (no Kooza machines)

    Island View

    Signed up for the Players Club and got $10 in Free Play

    Mike won $100 by hitting a bonus
    Les won a few dollars
    I picked up some more souvenir chips

    We then made a decision to go to Silver Slipper in Bay St. Louis, MS.

    The attraction was on the roadside billboards:

    Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Buffet every night!!

    We both signed up for the player's club, after $100 in play, you get a swipe at the kiosk and a chance for a free buffet.

    Les played Zen Chan (a variation on Fu Dao Le), and was betting $8.88 and shut out the first 8 pulls. Three coins showed up on the ninth which triggered the bonus and he won $401.22.

    I lost $35.00 but was down to close to losing $200 by hitting the bonus on Queen Elizabeth.

    We each have one buffet, and the guy at the Player's Club desk was nice enough to extend it for two weeks. ()of course he didn't know that we weren't local.

    We may go Saturday night.

    Went to Antoine's for dinner. I highly recommend it. They "invented" Oysters Rockfeller.

    We had An Oyster Trio of clockwise from the top

    Huitres Thermidor (bacon and tomato sauce)
    Oysters Rockefeller


    upload_2017-1-28_6-20-29.png

    we also split an order of Gumbo Creole

    Les had Pompano Pontchartrain

    upload_2017-1-28_6-27-29.png

    I had Crabes Mous Frites

    upload_2017-1-28_6-28-19.png

    We shared spinach sauce cremes

    upload_2017-1-28_6-36-1.png

    OK, an editorial comment. I have now had soft shell crab prepared two ways, and I now know that I don't like it. Crab in the shell, cracked and chilled is the only way I like it. Being from the West Coast, I guess that I'm just "used to it" that way.

    Les and I split <ice cream> for dessert

    We walked back on Bourbon Street, looking for a deal on raw oysters, since we hadn't had any yet. Found $15/dozen to be the cheapest.

    upload_2017-1-28_6-30-42.png

    Went to Walgreens and bought two rail passes. My "old knees" weren't up to making the walk back, and we needed them to the ride to Commander's Palace tomorrow for lunch.

    Took the streetcar to Harrahs casino. Les was going to walk around, maybe play a little. I made a quick $100 on Guardian's treasure and decided to call it a night with 600TC.

    upload_2017-1-28_6-30-23.png

    No sense in "killing myself". I'm going to LV on Tuesday for Silver Strikes and again in February for a GGWU bonus event.

    I finished "Arrival", went to sleep.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
    Another NGO trip. QQQQ/NYNY
  11. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm VIP Whale

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    i tell people this all the time, $15 a dozen is what you will pay all over the quarter and CBD area...hop in your rental or take the street car down St. Charles. it will go around Lee Circle and back down St. Charles...at St. Charles and Euterpe st you will see a burger king on the left, right before that burger king is two house that are actually resturants. you will see "Tacos and Beer" and "the blind pelican" not only good but happy hour at blind pelican, oysters are 25cents a piece..sometimes if you sit a table they will try to limit each person to two dozen, sit at the bar with the owner and you will eat all you can


    as for silver slipper, another I havent been to yet, but from friends to random people they say hands down they have the best buffet on the gulf coast
     
  12. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good update. Good for that waitress helping her daughter through pharmacy school. I toyed with the idea of studying that, but didn't. And Ole Miss is a pretty cool to visit for a football game, but much closer to Tunica (90 minutes from there).

    Is "Kooza" newish? I haven't seen it in a casino yet.
     
  13. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

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    Awesome trip report (as usual).

    Two quick comments:

    - in Vegas, they've let me renew my seven stars companion a week ahead of time
    - never tell a girl that you are too old for her, let her decide.

    I'm waiting for the 7 stars event details to come out. Need to book quick.
     
  14. grosx2

    grosx2 Have fun storming the castle!

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    Great TR!
     
  15. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Great report. I haven't be to NO in 2 decades and would love to visit again. I never thought of making it my 7* trip but that's a great idea.
     
  16. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Kooza is a Cirque du Soleil machine that up until recently, was only seen at mLife casinos. I played one a year ago at Aria, but with the decline in popularity of Cirque, they have been showing up in more and more casinos. AFAIK, they haven't made it to mLife.
     
    Another NGO trip. QQQQ/NYNY
  17. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Day 4.

    Got up at 5:30AM. Les was still asleep. Decided to get my CET "play day" out of the way early. Went downstairs and started my day a little early, 5 minutes to 6AM, but added a few points to yesterday and got my 500 in.

    When Les woke up, we went for a snack at Cafe Du Monde, Beignets and coffee au lait

    Later, I went to two of the shops to pick up "gifts" for my ex-wfe and son, and Les and I split up. I took the streetcar back to the hotel, and Les continued on shopping.

    I had to go to the airport on Jefferson Davis Highway because the maid threw out the box and shipping label that I brought. A minor inconvenience.

    From there, I went to Treasure Chest to take a picture of the Luck Ladies machine that I had hit for $150 the day before. Well, as they say, the machines giveth, and the machines taketh away.

    TC_LuckyLadies.jpg

    Gave the $150 back to Treasure Chest and beat a hasty retreat.

    Les had already gone out to Commander's Palace, and as soon as I parked the car, I headed out there as well. I walked 4 blocks to St. Charles and had just missed the streetcar, so I waited 15 minutes for the next one.

    I got to Washington Avenue just in time to walk the block and a half to Commander's Palace.

    WARNING!!!!! THERE IS A DRESS CODE. NO SHORTS, AND MEN MUST WEAR A COLLARED SHIRT. Les was wearing a t-shirt, and had to have his jacket zipped up to cover it.

    It's a semi "prix fixe" menu. You choose one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert.

    The menu changes regularly, this is a sample brunch menu

    http://www.commanderspalace.com/uploads/files/CommandersPalaceBrunchJanuary.pdf

    I had

    Commander's Creole Gumbo
    Chargrilled Gulf Redfish with Crayfish tails

    CP_RedFish_CrayfishTails.jpg

    Ponchatoula Strawberry Shortcake

    CP_StrawberryShortcake.jpg

    Les had
    Commander's Creole Gumbo
    Pecan Crusted Gulf Shrimp

    CP_Pompano.jpg

    Pecan Pie ala mode

    The Gumbo was rich and flavorful (as I had seen on Travel Channel shows highlighting Commander's Palace) , the redfish was excellently prepared, tender, and juicy.

    The service was superb. Our waiters were Clint and Stephanie. Stephanie was from Aiea, Hawaii, and had lived in NO for about 5 years. She was a professional musician by trade, but had to quit due to injury.

    Lunch came to $101, and Les paid cash. was finished, and I was pretty "beat", we both took the streetcar back to the hotel, and I took a nap.

    Got up at 5PM, and Les had taken off. I went over to the casino to complete my 1000TC day, and got beat up, fairly badly, but since I made my 1000TC day, I can consider myself done for the trip.

    Here are some of my wins

    Cheeky Devil

    HNO_CheekyDevilBonus.jpg


    King of Reels Turqoise Princess - Was down a lot more than when I hit this one. I made $650 back and said "time to quit".

    HNO_TurquoisePrincess.jpg


    Les and I met for dinner. Since we had eaten so much "rich" food, including lunch at Commander's Palace, we decided to back off and our last meal was a "light bite" at Grand Island Seafood restaurant on Fulton Street.

    https://www.caesars.com/content/dam/nor/Dining/Upscale/Grand-Isle-Fresh-Seafood/GrandIsleMenu1.20.2015.pdf

    We shared 18 raw oysters and Creole Tuna Tartare. Les had Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo and I had a small house salad and the Fisherman's Stew. IMHO, the oysters were a little "flat", but the Stew was very delicious.

    Dinner was $105, and I paid in cash.

    We have to get up early for our flights tomorrow, and I abandoned any thoughts of playing "one last $100 with Les".

    Well, time to go home. It was a good trip. I will come back, but my stay won't be as long.

    Stopped at the bar and got a shot of Maker's Mark, they do not sell airport sized bottles at the gift shop. Drank it, and tried to watch "Fantastic Beasts" again, but was too tired, knowing that we had to leave at 5:30 to go to the airport.

    Day 5 - time to go home

    Woke up at 4AM local time and knew I couldn't go back to sleep. Went downstairs as quietly as possible so as not to wake Les, who was still sleeping.

    Went downstairs and Fuddrucker's was the only place servin things to eat at that time of the morning.

    Picked up a brownie for me and Pecan Pie for Les, and a coffee at the bar, and went back to the room to finish this TR. I'll be home in about 7 hours.

    Here's a picture of me with the CNY (Chinese New Year) lion (or is it a dragon?)

    HNO_MikeLion.jpg

    Summary:

    New Orleans has a lot of things to do if and only if they hold your interest. There is a WWII museum, but that really doesn't interest me. If you're gonna drive to Biloxi, there is a Space Museum on the Mississippi border, but that doesn't really interest me. There is an aquarium, but I live close to three world class aquariums. What I enjoy seeing are the scenery, the people, and the variations on the casinos, but don't need to spend hours looking at them. Les and I have always tried to "squeeze as much into a short period" as we can.

    If you drive and/or rent a car, Biloxi is a scenic 90 minute drive and has miles of white sand beaches, and the most of the casinos are updated.

    The food is terrific. The next time we come, I will structure the meals better. I cannot imagine if we had Commander's Palace and Antoine's on the same day.

    If you are a 7* member, you will receive 50,000RCs to your account. I would suggest paying cash for anywhere that is 2:1 (partner restaurants), there are a few places that are 1:1 were you can use RCs. IMHO, RCs are much too valuable to use at 2:1, even in the nice restaurants in N.O. Book early because this is a very small hotel, and you could get put into a partner property.

    I may come here for another 7* excursion, or for my DAL2 trip this year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
    Another NGO trip. QQQQ/NYNY
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  18. emmas

    emmas VIP Whale

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    Sounds like a very nice trip. Thanks for the report.
     
  19. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    DaiLun, Thanks for another awesome TR! :thumbsup:
    I love to follow along on your travels!
    NOLA sounds like an interesting place to visit!

    RICHARD
     
  20. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm VIP Whale

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    you had me screwed up trying to think what airport you went to...the other airport that is actually in New Orleans is in a rough area...the airport you went to is on airline, you went back to the airport in kenner..."jefferson highway" runs along the river in that area just south of airline highway

    yes, commanders and a few others are pretty strict on dress code and I think a few of them have sports coats to borrow for people who forget or dont know about it

    grand isle, the oysters are pasteurized and dont have the salty good taste, I have eaten many there but only when I didnt have to pay, lol...they have an oyster challenge there, if you can eat 12 raw oysters in 1 minute or less, you get a beer of your choice, a t-tshirt you cant buy and the oysters are free, fail and you have to pay the $15 for the oysters...the catch, they put a teaspoon and a half of beavers brand extra hot horseradish on each oyster, i have completed this challenge and watched many fail.


    and yes, many things to do here, if you visit a car is a must although you can do plenty without one, just have to figure what interest you

    glad you had fun, side note, I paid harrahs light bill last night so they can keep them on, lol
     
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