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OLD Trip Report December 2012

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by cvkelz, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

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    My Trip Report

    So I don't know if this is allowed or not and if it isn't, please go ahead and remove it with my apologies, but I was thinking since a lot of ppl are staying home currently due to the state of affairs in the world, that I would post an old trip report from my blog.
    My hope is that it will encourage others to do the same if they have any old archives they haven't already posted here.
    Keep in mind when reading that this was written for my blog so it has explanations on things you guys will already understand - like what the Duece is and so on a so forth.
    Anyhoo, here is my trip report from late November to early December in 2012 when I walked the half marathon highly under-trained.


    After a seemingly unbearably long and busy day at work on Wednesday, 5:30 finally rolled around and I boogied on home. Rob had taken the day off to get some last minute stuff done so he was ready and waiting with the van already loaded. After throwing a few more things together we hopped in the van and took off for Vegas.

    It was a nice smooth trip to Bakersfield where we stopped for sodas and other little things we had forgotten and then back on the road. It was an uneventful road trip with very little traffic so that was very cool.

    A little after three in the morning we rolled into downtown Las Vegas and checked into the El Cortez. We dropped off the luggage in the room and then Rob went back down to the car to get more of our stuff while I headed down to the 24 hour restaurant to get us something to eat.

    About 15 minutes later I was back up in the room with a burger and some chicken wings, where I changed into my PJ’s and we relaxed.

    Two observations here: The El Cortez stinks. Literally. In order to mask the overwhelming cigarette smoke smell, it’s almost as if they have piped in a nauseating perfumey scent that is just disgusting. So instead of it smelling like old school smoky Vegas, it now smells like an old school French whore.

    The other is that while the stink is the smell that wins over the smoke, the smoke is still very much there. In the few minutes that it took us to check in and me to get food the smoke had clung to my hair and clothes. I didn’t notice it until I went to change into my pjs and my hair fell in front of my face. It reeked of smoke and I hadn’t touched a cigarette. I smelled my clothes and they were as smoky smelling as they used to be when we used to smoke in our hotel rooms back in the day.

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    The next morning we got up and puttered around the room. It was very nice to just relax and not have anything that we HAD to do. Rob played guitar and I crocheted and watched bad TV until the early evening. Around five or six we showered and headed down to Fremont St to see what was new and to get something to eat.

    We knew that downtown had been overtaken by celebrity impersonators over the last couple of years. This year we saw more panhandlers with “clever” little signs that say things like: “Why lie? I need a blunt.” “Will take verbal abuse for cash.” The most entertaining thing about that was watching a middle aged man in front of us explain to his wife what a “blunt” was after passing one of the panhandlers.

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    We stopped at The Plaza and played for a while on a couple of Ghostbusters machines. Lots of changes to that casino, for the better I think.

    After that we stopped at its sister casino the Las Vegas Club. They are another fan of the perfume vs. smoke smell thing. We found that almost half of the casino was just empty. Dead space that used to have machines, a sports book and a bar. We were going to play but it was just depressing so we headed over to Binions.

    There were some good changes there. We got our pictures taken with the million dollars again. You have to wait thirty minutes to get the pics so were going to gamble until I realized I was starving so we stopped at the cafe and split a chili dog and fries. That totally hit the spot so we gathered our pictures and headed back out.

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    We stopped briefly at a stage that was set up and watched a Van Halen cover band for a couple of songs. I was kind of funny to watch the middle aged women in nice dresses and shoes just lose their shit when they started playing “You Really Got Me” Hehe.

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    As we were heading back to our hotel I noticed a banner near Neonopolis that said something about drag queens. I pointed it out to Rob and declared that I needed to go there so we headed over.

    Neonopolis was supposed to be the savior for downtown. Many years ago they opened the three story “mall” for lack of a better word full of shops and restaurants and bars with a movie theater on top. It was touted as the biggest thing to happen to downtown since the Fremont St Experience but it just never happened. My friend Renee and I went to see the Sex and the City movie when we flew out for my birthday one year and the place was just deserted. Over the years pretty much every single place that was housed there had closed down.

    This is the first year where we saw some more life coming back in. Not a lot, but on the second floor there is a new bar called Drink and Drag. It’s a cute little nightclub with drag queens as the staff. There is also a bowling alley in there. We stopped in and got a drink. A Cosmo for me and a Diet soda for Rob.

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    While Rob was getting the drinks I took a seat and was approached by a waitress asking if I was part of their text club. I told her no, it was our first visit. She told me to get out my phone and she would guide me through it when all of a sudden a song started playing. She looked around and turned to me. “Hold on, and can you move your purse off the table?” I did and then watched her and the other waitresses and bartenders climb on the tables, dancing and lip syncing to the song until it was over.

    While they were dancing Rob came back with the drinks and we moved to a smaller table. I almost choked on my cosmopolitan when he told me that both drinks had come to SEVENTEEN DOLLARS! Wowser. It was a cool place but not someplace we could afford to go to.

    When the song ended my waitress came back over and set me up for the text club, which just consisted of me texting the word drag to a number and that was it. She said that would get me a deal on drinks and bowling.

    After we had our drinks we made the decision to return the next night to bowl and headed back towards our hotel. We still had nothing for dinner so planned on hitting up our favorite Mexican/Cuban place but we noticed it was completely dark so we got a pizza and some cheese steaks from a place we had enjoyed eating at last year and took it back up to the room.

    Rob ate and went to bed while I stayed up and watched some crap TV before getting disgusted with the state of late night cable television and going to sleep.

    To Be Continued...
     

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  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    There are no expiration dates on a Trip Report, IMO. :thumbsup:
     
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  3. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

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    This morning I woke up at seven with cramps. Oh good. Mother Nature is a royal bitch. Now I have to run the race while I’m on my period? REALLY?? Ug. I sent my loving husband down to the gift shop for some Advil, which I took and went back to bed. I woke up around 11:30 feeling much better and we relaxed around the room for a while watching TV and eating leftovers.

    Around noon we showered and headed down to catch The Deuce. The Deuce is a double decker bus that goes up and down the strip and back to downtown. It runs 24 hours and you can get a 24 hour pass for only eight dollars. We had never used it before but really wanted to last year, we just never found the time.

    The debit card machines weren’t working and we didn’t have exact cash so after quick trip to Walgreen’s to buy some cheap nail polish and get change we hustled back and got our passes.

    We rode the bus up to the Venetian where the race expo was being held in the convention center. It was an enjoyable ride, not much traffic at that point and it was nice not having to drive.

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    Rob eating and edible before edibles were legal in Vegas. Shhhhhh!

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    We checked in and got my Bib number for the race and perused the expo. Last year Rob won me a pair of Brooks running shoes but this year we just won a tee shirt and a bandana. I had forgotten my hydration belt at home so I was in the market to actually buy something this year, however I couldn’t find anything that I really wanted/worked for me so we left empty handed. I’m hoping to find a Big 5 or something similar tomorrow, otherwise I’m SOL.

    Finished with the Expo we got back on the bus and rode it all the way up to Mandalay Bay where it stops. We then got off, crossed the street and caught the next bus heading back downtown. There were lots of delays because the weekend traffic was starting to come in but it didn’t bother us because we weren’t the ones driving and having to deal with the traffic.

    I have nothing else listed as far as what we did on that night...
     

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  4. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    You guys are the most photogenic couple on VMB. :clap: Here are a couple of pics from this past Xmas at Cosmo.

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    Birthday Week in Vegas
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  5. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

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    I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not Mike! Oh wait! Is it because we love to make funny faces?? LOL! Was so great to spend time with you last year and I hope to do it again in the near future! :love::love:
     
  6. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

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    On Saturday we woke up and got going. Rob has a contact from his work that lives out here and he was having a BBQ for his family, one of them that was going to be walking the half marathon like me so they arranged it so we could all meet up. It turned out really well. The family was fantastic and the marathon walker and I had tons to talk about since she had done the half the last two years as well. They were dog lovers too so I got to share dog stories and get my puppy fix with their adorable poodle mix named Shadow. He was soooooo cute!!

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    We spent several hours there enjoying good food and good company before returning to our hotel where we just chilled out and I got nervous for the race.

    No worries though, we went down and drank to calm my nerves.

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  7. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    Not sarcastic at all; you guys are so great in all your photos. :woohoo:

    Cant wait to see you guys out there again and whoop it up even more. :faint::faint::faint:

    Here’s another one from the way back machine......Mirage M&G and slot pull Thanksgiving 2016.

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    Birthday Week in Vegas
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  8. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

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    Sunday was the day we changed our hotel to The Flamingo and I pretty much spent all day wanting to back out of the race. We packed up the car and headed to the strip. After a few minor traffic snarls we found the parking garage and checked in. We were early and the lady that checked us in was awesome. Long story short, we would have had to pay a 25 dollar fee for early check in but because we requested an upgrade that gave us a strip view we got to waive the 25 dollar fee in favor of the ten dollar a night upgrade. Totally worth it!



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    The room cost us very little and it was pretty cool. It was small but had a fridge and coffee machine as well as a pink bathroom with a separate bathtub(huge plus for me after running the race) and the curtains were on a separate electronic runner.

    The Race:

    Okay so if you know me at all you know that I was very unprepared for the race. If you know me very well you know part of the reason why but that is TMI here. Either way, I procrastinated a lot and by the time it came down to serious training time I was waylaid by something and the longest distance I got in for training was three miles. Yeah.

    So I was really scared about this race. I knew at this point that running it wasn’t an option…even power walking/jogging was out of the question so I spent a lot of this trip thus far wondering how I could skip the race and come back home without feeling like a total loser. Should I “trip” and turn an ankle? Should I come down with a 24 hour flu virus?

    In the end I realized that there was no way to save face on this. I had to at least attempt to get my medal. If I tried my honest best effort and couldn’t do it, than I wouldn’t feel guilty about not finishing. But I had to TRY.

    The thing about having a race at 4:30 in the evening is you get a lot of time to psyche yourself out. I spent most of Sunday puttering around trying to find a way out of it, but in the end I couldn’t justify any idea that popped into my head. Around three fifteen Rob walked me down to the monorail at the Flamingo and I traveled over to the MGM where I followed all of the other runners to the corrals where the race would start. Once I was there I stopped getting as nervous. I just kept telling myself that I only had to walk it. Just go for a 13 mile stroll. If I didn’t finish, I didn’t finish but at least I tried.

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    The first two miles were pretty easy. Vegas was experiencing some very high winds so I was getting sand in my eyes and all the mile markers were knocked over but overall it wasn’t that bad. Around mile three my feet started to hurt. A half a mile later I saw Rob outside the Flamingo. I gave him a kiss as he told me I was looking strong. My response was that my feet hurt.

    By mile five EVERYTHING hurt, my hips especially. I think it is because when I run my legs go straight forward but when I walk my hips sway. I’m not used to WALKING long distances but I wasn’t cardio trained to run this. It was a toss-up I guess. Mile seven had me wondering if I shouldn’t just turn around but at that point I was over half way there and pride kept me going.

    Around mile nine I felt a newly formed blister pop on my second to last little ttoe and every step for the next mile was agony. I think mile ten might have felt like the longest mile for that reason and the fact that we were being routed through downtown and I just kept seeing the Stratosphere and it wasn’t getting any closer! With only three more miles to go, I should be half way up the strip right??

    The last three miles were literally me just trying to put one foot in front of the other. I held a pretty steady pace but I was ready to burst into tears at any moment. I just kept telling myself when I started to well up, that I could cry as much as I wanted once I crossed the finish line.

    Finally the finish line at the Mirage hotel loomed ahead of me. It was still another mile but it was the LAST MILE! I would finish. Even then I fantasized about just stopping and giving up and letting the bus come pick me up with the rest of the people that couldn’t finish, but at this point it wasn’t an option.

    Rob texted me about a half a mile out that he was at the finish line waiting for me on the left side. That gave me the motivation to step it up a little and for God’s Sake Get This Over With!

    I crossed the finish line a little less than twenty minutes later than my last two times, but I crossed. I finished and I got my medal.

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    I got a text from Rob that he was waiting by the Caesar’s Palace sign so I continued on. I asked the man that gave me the Mylar blanket if there was a shortcut to get to my hotel since everything was gated off and he very nicely said no. However, as I was nearing Rob I saw a couple of guards let a guy out through a part in the chain link fence. I approached them and asked if they could let me out too since my husband was right there. He was very hesitant and asked to see where Rob was. I pointed and the man evaluated me for a few seconds. Finally he said: “You are feeling very ill right? And because you have a responsible party here to release you to, you need him to take you to your hotel right away right?”

    I said: “You are so correct sir.” And with that I was released to my husband…where I promptly burst into huge wracking sobs like I haven’t produced since our beloved dog Romie died. Everything hurt. I was sure I couldn’t move another step and we would have to call an ambulance.

    Instead, Rob led me over to the sidewalk and kind of guided me to our hotel. Once inside he directed me up to our room where I peeled off my clothes and got into the hot bath he had drawn for me.

    I didn’t stay in it very long but it felt like heaven. Once I was out I hobbled to my suitcase and put on my pj’s before collapsing on the bed and not really doing much else the rest of the night. Believe it or not, Rob went to bed before me that night but I couldn’t sleep for quite a while because every part of my body was throbbing in pain.
     

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  9. Saydeesgoto

    Saydeesgoto Tourist

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    Wow, what an inspiration you are! I thought for sure you would call it quits with the race and was thrilled for you that you finished. Brought tears of joy to me eyes :)Thank you for sharing this trip report with us.
     
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  10. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall High-Roller

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    You read my mind! Not 20 sec before I read your post title, I thought reviving old TRs would be a great idea. I leave for work momentarily, but will read when I get home. Let's see some other oldies but goodies!
     
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  11. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

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    The next morning was a planned lazy day. We both knew I wouldn’t be very mobile, but I actually was walking better than I thought I was going to once I got up and around. We coughed up the 13 bucks for the internet that day since there wouldn’t be a lot of movement from me and I was able to upload all my pictures thus-far.

    I watched a movie we had brought with us that afternoon and by the evening I was feeling like I might be able to do a little exploring down in the casino. We got showered and dressed and headed out. For some reason, my mind reasoned that since my blisters were mostly on my toes I should wear open toed shoes instead of sneakers. They weren’t high heels or anything but they had no cushion on my feet so I didn’t last long. We were able to order some Mexican food and check out the Margaritaville Casino while we waited on that to be cooked, but by then my feet were toast.

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    Tuesday was a kind of play it by ear day not knowing how I was going to be feeling, but my feet were considerably better.

    When Rob and I met in Vegas over 13 (now over 20) years ago we stayed up all night gambling and drinking and at Circus Circus where we were both staying. In the morning we capped it off with what we would always refer to as our “White Trash Breakfast”. It was at a little snack bar in the casino where we split a pastrami sandwich, potato salad and cheese nachos.

    We hadn’t been to Circus Circus in at least ten years so we thought it might be fun to see if we could find the same snack bar and get the same meal 13 years later. Wearing sneakers this time, we headed out on the Deuce again and motored on over to Circus Circus. It being Vegas where change is constant, we weren’t even sure if the snack bar still existed but we were determined to try.

    It actually only took us a few minutes to find it. It had been expanded to an actual deli and was much nice than we remembered it but it was still there and all our items were still on the menu.

    The lady that took our order was an absolute doll. So nice and cheerful. We ordered and got our food where we discovered he portions were MUCH bigger than they were 13 years ago, but we managed to eat half the sandwich, most of the potato salad and part of the nachos.

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    Once we were good and full we headed over to Slots A Fun next door. Neither of us had ever been there and it was just dingy enough for us to like it. After that we caught the bus up the strip to the MnM museum. We had been there years ago but hadn’t been lately. It’s always a cute way to kill some time. The only purchase we made there were two tags for our dogs. Something we had been meaning to do anyway and this way it was also a souvenir.

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    After that my feet were starting to hurt so we headed back to the Flamingo and up to our room to rest up.
     
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  12. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

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    Wednesday it was time to check out of the Flamingo and head over to Jean to stay one night at the Gold Strike before going home. Jean is a tiny little town that has one casino/hotel in it. It looks and feels very old and it’s probably one of the only places you can actually get coins from a machine any more. We’ve stayed here several times over the years and is one of the only places we will play table games at because it is so old school.

    We did have one stop to make first.

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    This last Halloween the theater company that Rob and I had worked for put on a production of Night of the Living Dead. Rob composed the score and played the music live every night of the show. Having gotten to know his share of “Zombies” this was a pretty important stop on our trip.

    This place was pretty awesome. We were helped by this adorable young girl that worked there and as we were picking out tee shirts Rob handed her the CD soundtrack he had made for the production of NOTLD. She totally geeked out and grabbed the owner so they could play it over the speakers ASAP. Every so often as it was playing she kept saying how cool it was.

    We dropped more cash than I care to mention there but it’s not like I’m ever going to be at a one stop Zombie merchandise shop ever again so it was worth it.

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    The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. We hadn’t stayed in Jean for two years prior to this and I have to say it has changed for the worse. There is only one place to eat that is open while it is a 24 hour buffet, you can’t do take out and the selection is VERY limited if it isn’t during peak breakfast/lunch/dinner hours. There is a lot of open space that has no machines and any of the newer games they have are a hand pay no matter what. Meaning if you gamble down to 30 cents on a came that takes 40 cents to do a row you have the option of hitting a button and waiting for someone to come bring you your thirty cents or you just leave it in the machine. Kinda sucky.

    The black jack was good however. We played for about two hours and while we lost forty of the eighty we invested, it was enough to get us two comped buffet’s as well as the room for the night for free.

    Thursday we woke up early and were out of the parking lot by 8:20, making it home in a little less than eight hours. I dropped Rob off at the house and rescued our doggies from jail AKA the vets office and boy oh boy they were happy to see me!

    Overall the trip was a really good one. If I had trained more for the race, it obviously would have been better, but we got in a lot of good time together being tourists and just relaxing. Much needed.
     
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  13. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    Thank you!
     
    Hoping the Easter Bunny delivers Jackpots!
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  14. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Thanks for posting....it is fun to take a stroll down memory lane....:)
     
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  15. MacAttack

    MacAttack High-Roller

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    Thanks for sharing, very enjoyable read.
     
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  16. LvBlitzforce

    LvBlitzforce Low-Roller

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    Awesome, i love older TR's.

    That zombie apocalypse store would be booming through the roof it was still around
     
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  17. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! We were in Vegas then too!

    I don't have tons of memories because I didn't write a report and I had a dumb phone, so didn't take lots of pics.

    But 1st night (Saturday) we were at Rio, and then the rest of the nights (3 more?) were at Bally's. We were cheap and stupid enough to wheel our luggage from Rio to Bally's. So stupid. Ate at Carlos and Charlie's via Groupon the night of the marathon. Yeah that food sucked. Watched a little bit of the marathon action. Played in the 3/6 mix game at the IP Sunday night. The game was actually upstairs in the old sports book.

    Also played 4/8 mix at MGM Grand on Monday night. I hinted to M that I would only play a "couple of hours". But that changed when poker pro Karina Jett was on my left, running good and playing good, and I was quickly down almost $300 in two hours and had to go to the ATM and pull out $400 more. :( I'm a loss chaser at heart. Fortunately, she left for a bigger game and I began to make a come back. The game breaks at 530am(!) and came all the way back to even. Whew. I gave another poker pro, Jason Stern, $15 to drive me back to Bally's. Lol

    I'm pretty sure slots/VP was quite unmemorable for most of the trip. I also want to say that it was the last time I played a "Star Wars" slot machine.
     
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