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Nov3-11 Dude, where's our car!??

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by g-didi, Nov 18, 2009.

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  1. g-didi

    g-didi Low-Roller

    Jun 23, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Vegas has now become a biannual event for us – always an enjoyable time, but this was probably one of our most fun - even if we didn’t come out ahead gambling wise! Forewarned it is a report from Frugal travelers…..

    Several firsts for us this trip – first breakfast after sleeping the night away (gasp) and getting up before noon, first show, first time playing WII, ummm oops....first time we lost our car… I fear this trip will be remembered only for this one, minor misplacement of our wheels…..

    Getting there and getting around

    Left home - near London, Ontario, Canada, at 9am EST to drive my darling pups to the dog sitters’, then onward to Detroit. Stopped for breakfast along the way and to pick up the $50 million Lotto Max ticket (never did win!)

    Crossed the US border via Ambassador Bridge and was given a full grilling by the Customs Officer – he asked us a lot of questions (like if my mom had met my boyfriend – its me and my boyfriend in the car!) and for a moment I thought for sure we were going to the secondary search area, but I suppose we answered alright and were on our way.

    This area of Detroit is and has been under construction for some time and I am always guaranteed to get lost navigating from highway to highway even with GPS, but it was a trip of firsts this November and I managed to unbelievably navigate right to the airport (helps that the highway ramp is right near the bridge now and I don’t have to drive through Mexican Town and do 3 240 degree turns that disorient me totally! And it is all now well signed.) Arrived at the airport around 2pm after parking at the US Park on Middlebelt. (check their website for a coupon. 8 days for $60 is a good deal!) Nothing too special to report about the airport – wish they had free wi-fi!


    Flight was with Spirit Airlines departing 345pm, arriving 5pm PST. I usually fly late night or early morning, so this afternoon flight was new to me….. Everybody was having a grand ole time chatting – especially the ladies behind us taking up 6 seats and talking back and forth from window to window for 4 hours straight….. Thank God for sound reducing headphones. Never did get my little power nap in there. The flight was prompt and as no frills as flying gets – bring your own snacks and drinks – but for $63 each way, I will not complain. Also snagged exit row which is helpful when you are bigger and 6ft tall.

    The return flight with Spirit Airlines again was November 10th at 1030pm PST. Flight was not full so we could spread out, but this has to be the most ridiculous load of moron passengers I have ever seen. The gate agent has let people on with baggage that is clearly over the limit for carry on size and weight despite making at least 3 announcements advising passengers that their bags will be gate checked if they do not comply. One man had a hockey bag for goodness sake! A young lady had a suitcase so full and heavy she could not carry it and then attempted to lift it into the overhead area (20 rows before her own seat) and almost killed the man sitting the row ahead. Surprise! It didn’t fit after a young man offered to help her lift it up. My #1 rule of flying – if you can’t carry or lift it, its too much stuff! DUH! It took forever to get the people and their moronically sized luggage ready for take off. Board early if you fly Spirit to avoid the gate check people! Napped through the red-eye as we had a good 3 hour drive ahead of us once we hit Detroit.

    Rental Car

    Carry-on baggage only for us, so deplaning was prompt and off to the rental car centre. I have found that booking a compact car usually ends up with us in a mid size at Alamo as they are always out of the compacts, so when we get to the lot (kiosk check in) and the man tells me there is an Chevy Aveo available or I can upgrade for free to a PT Cruiser I am happy that my secret free upgrade plan has worked, but alas I despise the PT Cruiser – we had one before and it was not a pleasant drive at all. So I accept the Aveo, (not really knowing what an Aveo is) there are only two of us with a 2 carryon bags, so most any car should do.

    It’s a tiny little car, but turns out to be super nifty to park. It is a basic vehicle. No power locks, mirrors etc…. and it had little dents and scratches everywhere – I had the agent make note of them, however once out of the dimly lit parking garage they were at least double the number of dents we saw inside including a large one on the hood. 32000 miles on the clock so lots of creaking and moaning from the axles! Returned the car and did not have any hassle regarding the dents and scratches. It cost us $23 for gas for the whole week, so that was great. Total car cost using ACG code and online coupon was $147 for a week and one day. Vegas with a car is a whole different experience.


    We play at Caesars Windsor, so got our rooms comped from Harrah’s for the week. We are frugal travelers so no hotel room needs to blow my socks off – only be clean, safe and quiet.

    Stayed the first 3 nights at the Rio. I enjoyed this location. Room 1622 in the Ipanema tower was easy to get to, close to the parking lot, but it did have a steady road noise rumble – turned the a/c up and it was fine. Loved the vanity area with the safe and the fridge. Bathtub/shower combo was a little out of place for the room (and beware the shower rod is held up by pressure only as I discovered accidentally!), but practical enough. Beds were not nearly as comfy as anticipated. Woke up early everyday we were at the Rio. Would stay here again but only with a car – it seems a costly place to eat 3 meals a day. Check in and out was smooth.

    Moved to the Imperial Palace Friday. Check in was 15 minutes at around noon Friday. Room was available right away. I tried to maximize the number of free nights we got. (Frugality at its best – I really wanted to try Harrah’s this time, but alas the comps didn’t work out ideally) The deciding factor was that we departed Tuesday night on the red eye, but actually kept the room through Wednesday (just did an express check out) which was fabulous so we didn’t have to get up early to check out and then could return in the evening to shower before our red-eye. Total cost $0. Love it.

    IP casino is still smokey as ever. Stayed in room 1669, a non-smoking level. On Fridays I suppose that rule only applies to cigarettes as all I could smell was weed on the 16th floor! Room was moderately updated, but was still very simple. Good enough for our purposes. IP location is hard to beat if you don’t have a car and are on a budget. Wish they had room safes at the IP. Balcony is lovely this time of year for a fresh evening breeze.


    We are not foodies in the least…. Coupons work well for us and most days involve a buffet for us. When I use the coupon it is so dirt cheap to eat that I don’t feel obliged at all to stuff myself. We really spent very little on food this trip.

    Tuesday: Gold Coast Buffet with ACG aprx $12 for 2. Not the buffets best serving.

    Wednesday: South Point LVA breakfast buffet aprx $7.50 for 2.
    (This is the first breakfast we have eaten in Vegas where we actually slept through the night and got up for breakfast – usually we have breakfast and go to bed!)
    MSS Buffet for dinner using online printed coupon $11.88 for 2
    99 cent deep fried Twinkie and Oreo from Mermaids. Disgusting actually and what is that smell in Mermaids?

    Thursday: Silverton buffet, which turns out to now only serve buffet for dinner on weeknights so was a wash for lunch/brunch, so went to Orleans and had 241 there aprx $8 for 2.
    Went to Silverton for dinner which was Hawaiian night and used our 241 cost $21.88 for 2 including Hawaiian punch and Mai Tais.

    Friday: Terribles 241 breakfast $8.64. Most inferior buffet all trip, but some eggs, bacon, fruit and coffee for $4 each is hard to beat.
    Makino Sushi on Decatur for dinner. 2 for $55. Really quite good. Hot food was not that inspiring, but sushi and rolls were delish.

    Saturday: Freemont buffet with 241 $11.88 for 2
    Binions coffee shop 2 prime rib dinner specials – used comp points (aprx $19 worth). Really enjoyed this simple meal.

    Sunday: Silverton champagne brunch for 2 $18.36 with coupon. French toast is fabulous.
    Victorian Room late night steak and egg specials $5.99 each

    Monday: Todai Sushi used Tix 4 tonight discount so got 2 lunches for $14.95 (used the $2 off per ticket coupon from ACG as well). Enjoyable.
    BLT Burger at Mirage – 2 Angus beef burger, 2 fries and 1 shake $40! For my frugal tastes this was the most overpriced and average meal ever. Burger was dry. Thankfully we had $20 comps from the poker room to ease the pain of this meal.

    Tuesday: Harrah’s Café for breakfast – overpriced basic bacon and eggs for 2 $28.60 paid for in Harrah’s points.
    Gold Coast buffet before hitting the airport 2 for $12.50.

    Total restaurant food costs for 2 for a week $231.50.
    Spent $37 during the week buying packs of water, juice, Gatorade and room snacks like granola bars, cookies, chips etc. I think $300 for two for the week is great.


    Poker, lots of it! Played IP, Harrah’s, Rio, Mirage, Monte Carlo, Golden Nugget, Caesars, Stratosphere , Flamingo, Ballys, Binions and Venetian. For some reason my boyfriend hates the 1/3 game, so tended toward the 1 / 2 no limit game. Did play some Limit for short periods while waiting for the no limit game.

    Usually one of us hits a high hand jackpot every trip, but again a first – neither one of us cashed. I did flop quad sevens at the Rio – where they have no high hand – but did manage to double up through and aggressive seat mate. At Caesars the bad beat jackpot was 240K, with quad 3s as the qualifier. I had a hand where I flopped trip 3s vs trip 8s…. I was so close to my 40K. Overall both of us took horrible beats (nut flushes vs straight flushes), but managed to stifle the bleeding. If you want to win money sometimes you have to play bad players to do it and it doesn’t always work out. We did have fun though.

    Some strange floor rules reared their heads in Vegas. The Mirage won’t spread a pot (weird), nor tell you the amount in the pot (which is normal). They also have one of the worlds slowest and unfriendlest dealers around.
    IP floor ruling was the weirdest – the dealer dropped the cards on the flop thinking only one player was left when he bet, but turned out there was a player with cards. Floor comes over and says flip the cards and whoever has the best staring hand takes the pot! HUH???? Where is the poker in that? The flop was already out! It was an $8 pot, which the bettor ended up claiming as the other guy thought the ruling was ridiculous and mucked his cards – why he didn’t just split it with the guy I don’t know. Karma will catch up with you……. Also seen a clock called by a player not in the hand for a young guys whole stack – he had barely 20 seconds to act. Very weird. Saw numerous pot errors at Flamingo and Binions.

    If you play for high hands or bad beats, some places seem better than others. Ballys high hands are progressive – the spade royal is over $4000 whereas the Harrah’s or IP pot is capped at $599. Stratosphere had a very fun environment, but none of their high hands was more than $100. Also bad beat qualifiers vary from place to place, so pay attention if you are going for it! (i.e. make sure you have $10 in the pot most places, $20 at the Nugget….. Always ask or check the rules)

    Played slots and video poker at numerous spots. El Cortez is still my favourite slot place – too bad I had to smoke 17 cigarettes while I was there – and I am not a smoker!

    Did a few roulette match plays and ended up a few bucks here and there. Not much to write home about.

    Played some 3 card here and there and some Pai Gow, nothing special.


    Worked hard to combat the HINI flu – constantly washing our hands, but it is hard in Vegas with all the slots and chips passing through numerous hands…. Had my handy Lysol wipes with me. We are home now and seem well. Last July I am sure the boyfriend came home and had caught HINI flu. It was bad, so take precautions people even if it seems futile – try at least.

    Vegas first was a Mystere show at TI. Picked up tickets from tix 4 tonite for $58 each including svc fee and tax (use the ACG $2 of service charge coupon) and managed to get my boyfriend who was never inclined to see a show, attend with me. Fabulous – a feast for the eyes and I am sure I didn’t even see it all. I will be seeing another Cirque show next trip! “Love” btw was sold out every time I looked.

    As for the most embarrassing situation of the trip – or any trip – involved driving into the Mirage, gambling, and drinking lots. We met a couple from Ottawa and had a great little chat and then went for BLT Burger. As we come out of BLT Burger we automatically stumble for the strip and cross over to the IP.
    Next day we go to leave the IP and do you think we can find our car?!!!? We walk the lot from floor 5 down. No car! Who steals a Chevy Sh*(box car the size of a lawnmower? So we have security look for us. Oh crap, our rental is stolen. Can’t retrace our steps clearly so resort to the boyfriends little notebook that he jots trip report stuff in….. Turns out we were at the Mirage….. Maybe our car is at the Mirage. Oh how embarrassing! An hour I will never have back. At least it wasn’t stolen.

    There is a lesson here for those that drink…. don’t drive, but try remember the next day where you left your car! I am never going to live this down. It was not pretty! I can laugh now, but it was not funny at the time. (Note that my boyfriend insists all references in this story referring to 'we' actually mean "I" or "me". He accepts no responsibility....)

    Onto other tales....Saw a young lady face plant at the IP poker room. Just walking along and she falls face first in between tables into a chair leg. Staff quickly surround her and nobody touches her as staff wait for security and medical help. She lays there for a good 3 minutes face down. I could see her breathing thankfully as I was seated at her feet. Her friend comes over and says they should give her some sugar and then goes back to playing cards….. Oh my! Some friend. Anyhow, paramedic shows up with 4 minutes – I am told there is one on duty somewhere upstairs in the IP all the time, true or not, they were fast – and take her off. She showed up later shaken and looking very scared. Diabetic perhaps?

    It was strange after the incident happened. At the risk of opening a debate I don’t care to have, (this is MY OPINION) I was thinking how noticeable it was to me that no one was looking to help or get involved. I felt the urge to help – maybe others did too – but no one did. I know paramedics were on the way. A couple trips back we saw a car get rear ended by a tour bus – the man in the car was writhing in pain and screaming and onlookers gathered, but only my friend and I went up to the driver (whose car was off the road) to see if he was alright and tell him to be calm that an ambulance was coming. The bus driver didn’t even go over to see if he was ok. I always feel like there is such a liability in the US – you can get sued for anything is my perception. Anyone notice the lawyer section in the yellow pages is bigger than the restaurant section????? I digress…..

    Weather is fantastic in November! Cool at night, beautiful in the day. We actually walked the strip numerous times this trip - we never do in July.

    Visited Silverton casino several times.... love the Bass Pro Shop. One of the most fun couple hours of the trip involved being kids again - testing our putting skills, checking out the animals.....oh we discovered WII fishing. What a riot. Seems some of us only know how to drive the boat backward and drop and lift the troll motor repeatedly. We really needed a 10 year old around to show us the ropes. It was a riot anyway.... I was laughing so hard people must have thought we had our drink on... which we hadnt started just yet that day I confess!

    Had our first Vegas sighting of crazy over the top Vegas behaviour.... you see a LOT in Vegas, but when riding up the escalator into Ballys behind - and subsequently below - the young lady with a skirt shorter than mosts' beltline (and heels to heaven of course) It is a sight seered onto my eyeballs. Aforementioned "lady" decides now is a good time to display her wares down there (for what seemed an extended period!)to her boyfriend.... and well, yes her hand was very definately in the area!!! It was way more than I ever wanted to see. My boyfriend wanted to ride that escalator again and again and again....

    Made it home safely to frost…….ewwww….. and are wondering where time went…. And how soon can we go back? Sigh……love Vegas. By far the most fun trip we had
  2. redzone

    redzone Low-Roller

    Jan 13, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report. We also stay at IP or harrahs and also rent a car. We had Ceasars comped a couple times but turned it down because the girlfriend just feels comfortable at IP and likes sitting out on the little balcony in the morning. I was not impressed with the IP poker room especially with the Mirage just across the street.
    We have always flew out of Toronto as it is closer but I have to check out those flights from Detroit. You cant beat $63.
    Enjoyed the report and the lost car story. Thanks
  3. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

    Apr 4, 2006
    I try not to think about all the germ possibilities
    in a casino environment.......but.......
    My wife + I, ALWAYS remind each other
    "Let's wash our hands !"
    Nice report. :thumbsup:
    I wish I knew how to play poker...damn ! :nworthy:
  4. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

    Mar 26, 2009
    New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report and thank you for sharing. :thumbsup:
  5. DBear

    DBear VIP Bear

    Mar 14, 2006
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the TR. Interesting to know there are medics available 24 hours within the casinos.
  6. Rick1323

    Rick1323 Low-Roller

    Sep 16, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Loved the TR! You didn't happen to ask the girl on the escalator when she is coming back did you?
  7. g-didi

    g-didi Low-Roller

    Jun 23, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I was too busy putting my eyeballs back in my head to think to ask....LOL
  8. Hoopswife

    Hoopswife Low-Roller

    Apr 24, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for posting your report! The paramedic thing was interesting. I also carry hand sanitizer in my purse at all times. Im convinced however, my level of alcohol consumption could easily kill any bacteria Im likely to come in contact with while Im in Vegas :evillaugh
  9. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Jan 16, 2004
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for posting your trip report. Very enjoyable read.

    later, GVJ
  10. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

    Mar 14, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    $126 round trip? Cheap!!

    I pride myself on getting there cheap. that is a nice price.

    How can you not go at that price?

    Another reason to NEVER rent a car. Cab all the time. That way I can drink and never worry about the location of the car.
  11. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

    Jan 11, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Cabs are pricey though, I dropped at least $200 over 5 days on cabs when I was there in Oct...kinda wished I had rented a car
  12. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

    Apr 23, 2009
    Calgary , Alberta , Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great TR
    nice you can play in Windsor thru the year and build up comps, I wish there were a HET or an MGM out west here , we could take advantage of! :evillaugh

    haha @ the escalator lady ~~ sure does give new meaning to the term
    people mover I bet! :evillaugh
  13. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

    May 19, 2009
    South Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thank you, thank you! That was a funny TR, and only in Vegas could so many of those things happen. The face plant and the "lady" with her hand in her nether regions still has me wiping the laugh tears from my eyes. But leaving your car at one casino, and thinking you parked in another - priceless, and something I can relate to. Can't wait to read your next TR! Hahahaha.
  14. sailor53

    sailor53 Tourist

    Jan 18, 2006
    Pensacola, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    We all make those 'oops' mistakes. I forgot my room number on one occasion. Quite embarrassing! Thanks for an entertaining read.
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