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july 9-15 report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Jul 16, 2004.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002

    My Trip Report

    I should warn you, my TRs don't involve boozing it, staying out late, chasing women or any other wild stuff. If still interested, read on.
    Flight from Midway to Vegas fine other than exchange of words with fellow passenger upon arrival. Him and three others tried to bolt from back of plane ahead of everyone else. I got up in front of him and he became upset. I explain the protocol was to let those in front of you deplane first. He didn't want to hear that and called me a name.
    Headed to Dollar and got rental ($12/day without taxes, etc). Nice coupon in vehicle for $5 off Rio carnival buffet. Dollar seems to have improved on check-in time.
    Our (my son and I) first stop was Sam's Town for Saturday brunch. It wasn't bad, but I left with a crab shell stuck between my molars. I tried about everything Walgreens stocked in dental to get it out but it wouldn't budge. Oh well, I guess I see a dentist when I get back.
    After eating, we headed to Death Valley to camp out. We do this once a year in July. Usually, we golf there, but didn't have time.
    What was interesting is that many ultra-runners were about readying themselves for a 135-mile marathon from Badwater Basin to Mt. Whitney on Monday. That would have been fun to see.
    Saturday night, I spent more time trying to get that nagging crab shell out, but finally gave up.
    We returned to Vegas on Sunday and checked into the Rio Masquerade Tower ($69). As others have said, it's very nice. We had a great view (25th floor) of the strip. The highlight of our stay was eating at the Carnival buffet for lunch on Monday. I'm a big fan of the Bellagio buffet, but this one is right up there with it with. On Sunday, the lines to get in had to be two hours long. Currently, they have a special deal (I think $5 off) for the locals.
    We also ate at the Palms buffet the night before and it is much improved. They even had one of our favorites - gyros.
    We spent Monday and Tuesday nights at the Cortez ($25 one night, next night free with LVA coupon). This place is highly underated. The room wasn't much smaller than the suite at the Rio. The beds were comfortable, the walls are thick and we slept great.
    I forgot about a Las Vegas Advisor Member Meet at the MSS Monday at 5:00. A few members of that board (of which I'm also member) who happened to be in town at the same time, were going to get together.
    Those are a good time if you remember to make it.
    Before checking in to the Cortez, we stopped at the library on Flamingo to use to the computer. I check this board and saw the presidential limo thing flared up again. That kind of bummed me out since I was responsible for it. That combined with the crab shell in my teeth and losing at the crap tables in Henderson Monday night put a bit of a damper on things.
    As they say 'time to get our of Dodge'. So we did. On Tuesday, we headed 50 miles northwest and hiked to the top of 11,000-feet Mt. Charleston. It felt good to do something physical. That took most of the day and we were content to come back, eat at the Fremont seafood buffet and call it a night.
    I wish the Fremont would serve the lobster claws and crab legs warm. I put some on a plate and asked the waitress if the kitchen would heat them up. She said it was against county health codes to do so.
    I did not doubt her because for one thing, she was a fantastic waitress. She knew exactly how to serve people. And, I must say, Vegas has many outstanding waitresses.
    By the way, those lobster claws give lobster Maine or wherever they come from a bad name. Otherwise, this isn't a bad buffet for a downtown joint.
    Before calling it a night, I took in the new FSE and there is more clarity to it than before. However, I do miss the cheesiness of the old FSE light show.
    I've got to give the Fitz a plug. They do a nice job of having free entertainment. Anytime I've walked through there, people genuinely looked to be enjoying themselves. The place has a good feel to it.
    On Wednesday, we finally made it to the Strip with the Imperial Place as our home for the night. Before we checked in, we headed to Railroad Pass (between Henderson and Boulder) and played 25 cent craps. Another side trip outside of Vegas that provides a different side of life.
    After we checked into the IP, my son suggested we mix it up at the Bellagio crap tables with the high rollers. Since, I was headed over there anyway to watch my favorite attraction (the fountains), I joined him.
    Bear in mind, we're small-time gamblers and the prospects of rolling at a $10 minumum table was a bit unnerving. I bought in for $100 and him for $50.
    After the nervousness wore off and a few lucky rolls later, we started to get into the flow. We shot for awhile with Paul Pierce of the Celtics. Nice guy.
    There was another guy betting thousands of dollars on the don't pass line. I had a good streak going and had to have cost him atleast $20,000.
    Later in the evening, another High Roller with a briefcase full of money was betting bigtime on all the hard ways and giving $500 to any shooter that would hit one. By then, I had moved to another table and missed out on that action. My son stayed at that table and just before it was his turn to shoot, the high roller left.
    Originally, we were just going to play for about a half hour. We ended up playing six hours and making several hundred dollars each. I forgot all about the crab shell stuck in my teeth.
    It was a great way to end the trip, knowing you had made enough gambling to pay all your travel expenses. Plus, craps is so damn much fun when you're winning. Our tables were loud and boisterous and fast friendships were made with fellow shooters.
    Thursday morning, we took in the Bellagio breakfast buffet and headed home very happy. I wanted to go on the inagural Monorail ride, but was too worn out to make the effort.
    On the return flight, we took Trans Meridian Airlines to Rockford (which for us is much closer to home than Chicago). Normally, we use Southwest for everything.
    We had one small glitch. One of the passengers didn't board and her luggage was on plane. They had to take every piece off to find hers. It delayed us about a half hour.
    TMA flight was just as good as SWA, plus it uses the must-less congested Terminal 2. I'd be tempted to use them again, but SWA offers far to many flights, has a better cancellation policy and is normally cheaper.
    Glad to be back home, but will be ready to head back out to Vegas the end of August with my wheelchair-bound friend.

    [ July 16, 2004, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: chef ]
  2. boxcars

    boxcars High-Roller

    May 19, 2004
    North Dakota

    Nice trip report! Sounds like my calliber of trip!

    I played BJ with Paul Pierce once when we were in school together at the University of Kansas. Definately a nice guy. I have not been following his career too closely though lately.

    Craps is my favorite game, and it sure is fun when the dice are hot and the chemistry is there for everyone to have a good time.

    I can't wait to get back! I just wish it was summer... not winter. I love Vegas when it's 100-110!
  3. Falcon_Rob

    Falcon_Rob Flying Winnebago

    Jun 29, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Good report Chef. I think in one of Mikey's top ten lists, he says that watching a high roller lose a big bet is a must! You did one better and was actually the CAUSE of the loss! :D

    I guess the $100,000 question is, "Did you ever get the crab shell out of your mouth???"

    Also glad to here you enjoyed TMA. Before my last flight home on TMA, I got out of the cab and was waiting at the gate exactly 15 minutes later! Terminal 2 is awesome!
  4. veck101

    veck101 Tourist

    Jul 8, 2003
    How come you didn't just go to Walgreens and buy some floss to get the crab shell out?
  5. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Sep 21, 2002
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Hey Chef, great report. I like low-key fun in Vegas too.

    Just a safety hint, you're supposed to eat what the crab shell contains and not the shell... LOL just kidding!

    When I read you sticking it to the darkside player, I let out a nice "Yeah!!!" I hate darkside bettors, especially when they bet against my tosses. I've only cost one "Don't" guy few hundred, and not a few thousand like you did. Good for you.
  6. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

    Mar 9, 2002
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report, Chef; thanks! :cool:
  7. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002
    I did try flossing. I even considered going to Walmart to get some nylon fishing line after the dental floss didn't work.
  8. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Very neat trip, chef. Good to hear someone else's comments on the El Cortez rooms. And yes, craps is great when you're winning, and can stay at the table for a while.
  9. scoobagirl

    scoobagirl Tourist

    Jul 5, 2004
    Nice trip, chef! I really enjoyed reading a "low-key" travel report, though it sounds like y'all really got around. [​IMG]

    About the crab shell - you didn't check for any after-hours dental services or any that took walk-ins? I suffered with a popcorn hull for about half a day and decided I had to get to the dentist. The hygenist took me after the one she was cleaning, didn't take her a minute to get it out. I don't think I even had to pay, but I'm a regular customer.

    Just a thought, but since you made it through the trip and came out on top $$, all's well! Thanks again for sharing your adventure.
  10. Suzibell

    Suzibell Tourist

    Mar 25, 2004
    I'm dying to know....did you get the crab out or not?????!!!!!
  11. pezarino

    pezarino Guest

    Well......did you get the shell out or not? We're still waiting for the conclusion [​IMG]
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