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Belated Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by joespoolhall, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60

    My Trip Report

    This is from last May, but since TRs are relatively timeless, I thought I'd throw it out there.I hadn't been down in over eighteen months, the longest span in over 25 years. I was overdo seeing not only LV, but my good friends in Henderson.
    I arrived at SeaTac International, checked in at the kiosk and proceeded to the end of the longest TSA line I'd ever been though. We literally walked without break for about twenty minutes before getting to the checkpoint. From that point on everything went like clockwork. Got in on time, caught the bus for car center and got in line at Payless. At $149 all in for the week, I could stand the 15 min I stood in line. I asked if I could get an Elantra as that's what I drive, but was told there was only a Dodge, which I assumed was a Dart. Downstairs, I tried again only to be told no smaller cars were left. I was assigned a Dodge Grand Caravan. I thought I could live with a mini-van, not realizing the actual size. A return to the shack yielded the offer of an Excursion, so I took off. Driving out of the facility, I knew this wouldn't work. I stopped at Smiths by GVR to pick up a couple of things and it took two tries to get into the space. This would be corrected. I got to my friends place in Green Valley and Sue greeted me with a hug and a double take as I'd lost over 40 pounds since they last saw me. I took my bag upstairs and then sat and caught up 'till Bob got home. More time catching up and talking Seahawks. They're from Seattle, but moved down in '98 and are huge fans.

    I always stay the first two nights with them and normally dinner the first night involves Bob, some sort of protein and his grill. After many years though, Sue has established a well deserved "weekends off" policy. We ended up at Cheesecake Factory which i liked. I usually stay way from chains when in LV. Why go to a place I can visit 15 min from my house, but I always trust their judgement. I had no complaints. Bob had Mongolian Beef I think, can't remember what Sue had, but said it was good. I should've written a disclaimer on memory as I'm doing this report almost four months after the fact. Anyway, I had Spaghetti Carbonara and it was very good. After dinner we went across the street to GVR to play a little. Bob was driving the van and concurred on handling the monster. Instead of the usual VP, we all decided to play one variation or another of Buffalo. My decision was easy as my mistake level would be high. A couple of hours later we left with Bob winning, Sue about even and me losing about fifty. After a long day, sleep came easy.

    Sunday morning Sue went to the pool leaving Bob and I to have breakfast at Village Pub (Ellis Island group).Back home I called about switching out the van and was told no problem. This only took about 5 min once I got there with one hitch. I was given an Elantra, but on the way to the car I realized it had mechanical locks. I thought about seeing about another, but figured they'd stick me with a stretch limo if I tried, so I just sucked it up! I made a quick trip to Reebok at the outlet mall and made it back for the start of the Golden Knights Western Conference clinching game. I've never been much of a hockey fan and neither were Bob or Sue, but that day we were! Pretty exciting stuff for an expansion team.

    We had dinner in the Twin Creeks Steakhouse at Silverton. I hadn't eaten there in awhile and forgot how good it was. It's really evolved from the casual little place it start out as. Sue said the prime rib was great and I planned to have it or ribeye, that sounded good. Bob loves steak, but said he was having Scampi as he's had it before and it was great. So I made it pasta two nights in a row. Everything including the service was really good. $200 later the bill and tip were handled. First time in 60+ trips that I've left a LV steakhouse without consuming an ounce of bovine.

    After dinner, we played for a couple of hours. I quickly realized that I should have practiced VP before the trip as I was making too many mistakes. I figured I better stick to craps and maybe some more Buffalo for the rest of the trip. I was out like a light after the short ride home.

    I was hoping to have breakfast Mon morning at the Rainbow in DT Henderson, but Sue said the cafe doesn't open until 11am now. Instead we went to another joint they like, the Cracked Egg over by GVR. Nothing fancy about the place, just good food, good portions and good prices. We returned to the house and just sat around talking old friends. sports, politics etc. A few hours later I figured I better straighten up the room, pack up and head on. My first hotel was the Fremont which I like.

    We said our goodbyes and I said i call later in the week. My first stop was Trader Joes for some scotch, bananas and apples.. Next was Dollar Tree for some cheap snacks, a glass for scotch and one for wine.
    Hotel glasses are either plastic or suspect if glass so I for two bucks I have glassware for the room that's safe. On the way i got a quick burger at Jack's and it was on to the Fremont. Checkin was quick and up to the room. The rooms are small, but they have a nice comfortable chair for morning and afternoon news. I got settled in and then took a walk around the casino and out to Fremont. I picked up some water for the fridge and then played craps for a couple of hours. I lost about $20-30, so that fine for that stretch. I headed for the room to have a glass of wine and watch the news. I had thought about 2nd St Grill for the t-bone special, but decided on wings from Chicago Brewing across the street. I had a Red Label waiting for the wings. They have to consistantly pour the heaviest I've seen in casino bars. I was a bar mgr for many years, so I can judge pour levels very well. I'm not talking that visit, but many with different BTs over a number of years. I took them back to the room and consumed as directed. I watched a little tv and went to bed. I'll just post this for now as I have a pot roast that evidently doesn't cook or even prep itself! I'll return to finish, but might not be until tomorrow.

    Good Luck!
    Ric at Joes
     
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  2. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
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    Location:
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    Sounds like you had a good time with some good friends. :)
     
  3. Geauxtgr91

    Geauxtgr91 Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
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    Location:
    Heath TX
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    Wow---never have heard such complaints about a Mini Van--we love getting a Mini Van--they are easy to handle and plenty of room and efficient on the mileage--Sounds like a lot of wasted time ---Hope you enjoyed your friends
     
  4. Miller12pack

    Miller12pack High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Messages:
    570
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Tell us more please.
     
  5. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
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    Location:
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    That's a good idea getting cheap glasses from Dollar Tree. I never use the hotel glasses if they're glass cuz ew.
     
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  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
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    Yeah one trip I used on from the IP. 95% sure I ended up with a cold later thanks to that glass. I've avoided hotel glasses ever since.
     
  7. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    The Grand Caravan was huge. More of a mini-bus than van. Mini van would have been fine.

    Good Luck!
    Ric at Joes
     
  8. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    Sorry about the delay, but it's been one of those weeks and still is unfortunately. To get things done I'll finish by catagories.

    Transportation
    Flights both ways on SW were good and on time. The only hitch was the TSA line in Sea.
    Once I switched out the "bus" for the Elantra, the car rental was fine. The extra 10-15 min in line was worth the price ($149 all in for the week).

    Hotel
    I like the Fremont, but I travel solo. A bit cramped for a couple I would think though. Nice being in the middle of things. Want something different? Just walk out the door and go right or left. Hard to beat the location.
    MSS was my second hotel and a very good choice. I like the casino with all the wood and it's hard to beat the 777 for bar/food versatility. My room (1601) was comfortable and quiet, to my suprise. I've always heard about train/road noise, but it was minimal.

    Casinos
    Fremont is so so. I found the MSS more comfortable and easier to navigate. The Cal connection also makes MSS a lot better. The new sportsbook is comfortable to watch games and hasa nice bar inside.

    Gamble
    Typical 3-4 hours a day. Especially on machines, but even with craps, there's a certain window I reach and I get bored. I forgot to practice VP before I left and it showed. I figure it lowered my EV down to the level of slots, my electronic gamble was on them which probably shortened the aforementioned window a bit, but to mention the wallet. Craps went decently, but I probably dropped $150-200 for the week which isn't bad. The bright spot was baseball bets. I picked 4-5 games a day in addition to the Mariners if playing. I bet $20 on the first Sea game and kept letting it ride until they lost Thurs. If they won it would have netted about $280 to go with the $160 on other games. Since they lost, it dropped the net to $140. Better than nothing.

    Food
    This was my first trip (in 60+) ever to LV that I never had steak or prime rib. All my nights DT I just ended up having apps or the equivalent in the bar or my room. Just didn't see the need for a regular dinner. I went out for lunches with one day at at a Thai place on Spring Mtn and another at Angel Park Golf Club. One afternoon I went to Dona Maria's mexican on LV Blvd between the Strat and DT. I've driven by here countless times and always meant to eat there and now I have. It was good and reasonable. I'll be back. Breakfasts DT were at cafes. Nothing special.

    Other Activities
    Normally this would be the golf section, but for the first trip in 25 years I didn't play. My buddy had some health issues and my wrist could feel a whole lot better. I'll have to get it fixed before my next trip.I just don't gamble enough to fill all those daytime hours and play more at night. It felt like the old trips to Reno before i started playing golf. If I don't play golf on a future trip, I'll probably shorten it. On a positive note, I did read a book, relax a lot and even visited the Cal pool.

    Random Thoughts
    All in all, it was an enjoyable trip. It felt kind of boring writing it, but the trip wasn't. See Bob and Sue after 18 mo was great. We did an awful lot of catching up.There were some missed opportunities. I missed breakfast at the Rainbow in Henderson, never made it to the Double Down and a few other pre-trip plans. It never seems that i get in everything i hoped to. Hope I didn't put you to sleep unless you needed to in which case just thank me when you wake! Thanks for reading.

    Good Luck!
    Ric at Joes
     
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  9. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    I stopped using hotel glasses years ago after a Dateline or 20/20 segment on housekeeping in hotels. Everything from using Windex to clean glasses to washing them out using the same gloves used to clean the toilet. I'm sure it's not typical, but you never know when it's being done.

    Good Luck!
    Ric at Joes
     
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
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    Nice report!

    And as for the lack of VP practice. Meh, if your playing the better paytables, you need to make some pretty egregious errors to lower it to slot EV level. But of course, the more practice the better!
     
  11. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the great report, Ric!
    Good times! :D

    RICHARD