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Orleans 4/6 - 4/9 Unique Wedding, Outstanding bike trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by vegasvette, Apr 11, 2018.

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  1. vegasvette

    vegasvette High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60

    My Trip Report

    Friday 4/6/18

    This was my second trip to Vegas in about 6 weeks. Nonstop SWA from Milwaukee to Vegas departing at 5:15 am allowed for a full first day in Vegas, arriving on time at 7:00 am. While most flights are rather mundane, this one started with a surprise.

    I always purchase the early bird ticket in order to get an exit row seat for leg room. I was lucky enough on this flight to get the best seat on the plane, the exit row seat with no seat in front of it. Even Manute Bol would have enough leg room in that seat. The flight was only about 2/3 full and oddly enough, I had the entire exit row to myself when boarding was done. That is, until a couple ran onto the plane just before the door was closed. They appeared to be very hurried and discombobulated.

    The woman who sat in the center seat explained why. When they were going through security, she properly placed her purse on the x-ray conveyor belt. After she was stopped as she exited the giant x-ray machine, she was asked a question by a TSA employee. “Do you know what’s in your purse”? It was then she noticed five sheriffs surrounded her and realized she had forgotten to remove her pistol from her purse. She did have her conceal and carry permit though. She was detained for about a half hour and fined $800. That’s why they were late getting on the plane.

    No other issues on the flight, and I was able to pick up the Thrifty rental of a Sonata with 3200 miles by 8:00 am. I am a pearl cardholder at Mlife, so I self-parked at the Luxor to use the MyVegas breakfast buffet reward. I hadn’t been inside the Luxor in about 15 years. It’s no less confusing to navigate that property than it was back then. The buffet was about as expected, meh, and certainly not worth the $25 posted price. I lost $40 playing two slots at the Luxor in about 5 minutes. I drove over to self-park at NYNY and texted the 6 BIL’s and SIL’s already in town for the wedding. We talked and played slots a while, before they went to breakfast. I lost $130 on slots in NYNY by the time they were done eating. Absolutely no good hits. I then played BJ with one BIL & SIL for a short time, until I lost by $100 buy in. I decided to go to the Orleans to check in, rest and play a while before the 6:00 pm wedding.

    I arrived at the Orleans about noon. Unbeknownst to me, there was an international curling tournament taking place at the Orleans, creating a sold out situation. I had my three nights comped, with no resort fees, a small food credit and some free play. Unfortunately, I was unable to check in and asked to return around 1 to see if any rooms were available at that time. I checked my bag and lost a quick $150 on slots and BJ. This was not the start I had envisioned in my trip planning. When I tried to check in, the rooms available were only smoking rooms, so I waited a few minutes, and was able to get a lower level, fifth floor non-smoking room. It fits my requirements for a place to stay in Vegas.

    I unpacked and had to actually iron my slacks that had gotten very wrinkled in the suitcase for half a day. I surprised myself having not lifted an iron since my U.S. Army days some 50 years ago. After a brief rest, I returned to the Orleans casino and played some VP, slots and BJ, all the while breaking even for the afternoon. It was time to get into my wedding attire and pick up a BIL & SIL at NYNY to drive to the most unique wedding I’ve ever attended.

    A grand nephew and his fiancé, both Vegas residents, were tying the knot and having the reception at the Spahn Ranch McKee Ranch near the Silverton Hotel. You can check it out at: mckeeranchfoundation.com. The wedding invitation stated “formal attire” required, but we found in advance that really meant “no shorts”. Now, the “ranch” features wild rabbits a plenty, birds a chirping, chickens a feeding, and horse stall shavings a bundant. I saw neither a partridge nor a pear tree. As for the wedding ceremony, it was well done, with a minister and everything. So, I guess it was official. The 200 guests were herded (I mean that literally) to the other side of the “ranch” where we found tables and chairs set up for dining. The tables were pre-set with attractive plastic plates, plastic silverware in their plastic bag protectors, plastic glasses and a sealed plastic bag of plastic champagne flutes for the guests. When the taco truck arrived with our self-serve dinner, we were treated to a choice of beef, chicken or pork taco’s with all the trimmins. I swear, I heard the music from the boom box sitting in front of the microphone, playing the banjo/guitar duel from Deliverance. I commend the “ranch” on keeping the port a potty very clean. The “ranch” décor is early route 66 souvenir stand. Cattle skulls, deer antlers, a teepee frame made of tree branches, and sage brush litter are placed around the property. Think I’m exaggerating? Check out the link above.
    teepee.jpg

    The seven of us left after dinner and went into the Silverton to check out the bikes and aquarium that some in our party have not seen before. We played a short while, then I dropped the other two off at NYNY and I went back to the Orleans for an early bedtime. I’d been up for over 20 hours already. The weather forecasts for Saturday called for temps in the low 90’s and a wind advisory. I’ve been in Vegas several times during “wind advisories”. Sometimes golfing in them, sometimes just walking the strip. Either way, 50 mph gusts can be concerning, especially with our planned motorcycle adventure.

    Saturday 4/7/18

    I woke up early and turned on the weather. Their prediction had not changed. Heavy winds in the afternoon. One BIL and I had reserved motorcycles from Eagle Rider in Vegas. I decided I would cancel and try to defer the trip until Sunday, when the winds subside. In my shorts and polo shirt, I picked up BIL at NYNY and we drove to Denny’s in the Tahitian Village to have breakfast. He asked if I reserved a bike with an oversized saddlebag to place my purse. That and the fact it was only 9:15 am helped me change my mind and go on with the planned adventure. Earlier, just in case, I had placed my boots and gloves in the trunk of the car. I changed clothes and we drove to Eagle Rider. If any of you have the opportunity, the desire, a motorcycle license, and $200, I highly recommend you spend a day and do this trip. It was, in one word, extremely spectacular. We had each reserved a Harley Davidson Street Glide bike. I got switched out to an Ultra Glide that had 8 miles on it. BTW, both he and I have Harleys. The trip map took us north on highway 15 to Crystal, about 45 miles. We turned off on exit 75 and entered the Valley of Fire. At the truck stop on exit 75, we got a bottle of water, emptied ourselves of coffee, and headed east. There’s never been any reason not to.

    The actual park entrance is about 6 miles down the road. After making the turn around an expansive hill, the Valley of Fire comes into full view. Reds, oranges, browns and yellows filled the rock formations. It was really quite beautiful. It only cost $10 per bike to travers the 15 miles of the park. The road was rarely straight, plenty of turns to enjoy on the bike. I’ve ridden for many years, in many states, but this ride rates right near the top. Upon exiting the park, we headed north to Overton just for a pitstop and an ice cold beer. It was over 90 degrees and no wind yet. We then headed south along Lake Mead for about 50 miles. We stopped at the Echo Bay Lounge and Marina for lunch, right on Lake Mead. It was about 2:00 pm and we just wanted a break. When we left, the wind really picked up. It never really bothered us, but it was noticeable. We headed back to return the bikes around 4:00pm and 170 miles later. The sights, the weather, the company and the three AC/DC songs I blasted on the radio during the trip made it most memorable. I guess I still have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

    Lake Mead.jpg


    Valley.jpg

    The staff at Eagle Rider is outstanding. From beginning to end, they were all courteous, helpful and friendly. I highly recommend this crew. I dropped off BIL at NYNY and headed to the Orleans to shower and change into shorts. It was then I noticed how fried my face and arms were. Holy cow. 6 months of winter had left me vulnerable to the sun, being in roughly the same posture for about 5 hours. However, totally worth it. I played BJ for a while, winning $100 at each of a few tables a tried. It got to be about 8:00 and I went to have dinner at Bailliwick’s in the Orleans. I had a $15 coupon and some food credit and wanted to try something different. I ordered a couple ice cold Blue Moon 16 oz. drafts, and a steak and shrimp combo. I didn’t expect much, and got what I expected. Nothing special for sure, but the duo playing guitar and drums in the lounge made the dinner enjoyable.

    I played a while longer and attempted to meet up with fellow VMB member Rush, but it didn’t work out. It was a very sad day for the Canadian contingent of Curling players and fans, given the tragedy with young hockey players and team members perishing in a horrible accident. Overall, I won a few hundred today, but once again, nothing big at any one sitting.


    Sunday 4/8/18

    I started the day with a donut and hot chocolate from the Java hut place in the Orleans. I sat at a slot to enjoy breakfast and was rewarded with two symbols that forced the machine to empty the contents of the hidden progressive award, $120. So a nice unexpected start. My arms and face are the color of Yosemite Sam’s beard. I wish someone would invent some sort of screen you could apply to your skin to protect you from sunburn.

    I decided to spend the morning at MGM and met some of the family there to play slots a while. Lost about $50 then decided to use a MyVegas buffet reward. The buffet was one of the better ones in my opinion. A nice variety of brisket, turkey, smoked sausage and ham at the carving station. I’m not sure I’d ever pay the going rate for any of these buffets, but MyVegas makes them worthwhile. I drove to the Gold Coast to try my luck there. It did not improve. A quick hundred at BJ, and more at VP. I ended up on a dime VP DDB game and got a premium quad.

    [​IMG]
    Dimes.jpg
    I gassed up the car and went back to the Orleans and rested a while before heading into the casino for my last night in town. I won a couple hundred playing BJ and broke even on VP and slots. The Orleans was hosting an international curling tournament and a group of 4 members of the German team sat at a BJ table I was on. They were all young men in their early 20’s, dressed in black suits, white shirts and a red bow tie. Very cool. They didn’t speak much English and had some difficulty understanding the Asian dealer when she explained some table rules. They ended up spilling a mixed drink all over the table. That did not make the dealer or the pit very happy. They left soon afterward because they really thought it was a funny event.

    But, like the entire trip, there were few memorable hands or slot hits. The only excitable slot chance was on a Fort Knox slot. When entering the Fort Knox bonus, I was presented with 16 boxes to select from. When I matched three of them I would win that progressive. There were four progressive jackpots and the extra box was there because there were four “prize boost” selections, so, 5 progressives in all. They ranged from $26 to $15,201. As you can see from the picture below, I had selected 11 boxes without matching a progressive jackpot. That meant my next selection would be one of the 5 jackpots. I calculated that I had a 1 in 5 chance at $15k. Dream on, right? I’m curious about which box others would choose. Of course, I chose the $26 box, and maybe all of them were the $26 box, I don’t know.

    Choose.jpg
    [​IMG]


    Monday 4/9/18

    My flight left at 9:45, but I had to have the car back by 8:00. Packing was easy, and I played a while with nothing to show for it before checking out. I had charged various meals to the room and got everything comped at check out. I returned the car and had an easy, quick flight home.


    It will be another 10 months before I return. The highlight of this trip was clearly the bike ride. There were no low lights other than a few choice words for two bonus rounds of ZERO. Overall, I only spend $350 on this trip, so I’m still ahead for the year. Good luck to all.
     
    Early spring golf trip
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  2. Bonzai

    Bonzai Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Sturbridge, MA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Nice report, thanks for taking the time to write it!
     
  3. Miller12pack

    Miller12pack High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
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    Wisconsin
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    My son-in-law owns a Harley, and renting one out there would be perfect for him. It sounds like you had a great trip.
     
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  4. Rush

    Rush MIA

    Joined:
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    Sorry we couldn't cross paths out there.
     
  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
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    Location:
    Missouri
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    Nice report!
     
  6. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Enjoyed the TR :thumbsup:

    I think I would remember that wedding long after some of the "stock" weddings I have attended so I give them a thumbs up for uniqueness.

    Never even sat on a bike that big let alone ride one. Sure looks like a comfortable powerful ride, glad the wind wasn't a big deal.

    $350 trip seems great, good luck on the next trip.

    :beer:
     
  7. kkinwi

    kkinwi High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
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    Enjoyed your report! I have not seen that version of Fort Knox...interesting.
     
  8. Beanbon

    Beanbon Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Brady, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    I agree with Camp Rusty -- an in addition, I am a fan of couples who invest as much as possible into their marriage and as little as possible into their wedding.
     
  9. DiamondJim21

    DiamondJim21 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
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    Location:
    Arizona
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    Nice report. Thanks for writing. I used to work with a guy who rode his Harley all over the U.S. Maybe I'll tell him about the Red Rock ride. Thanks again for writing.
     
    Christmas Trip
  10. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
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    Location:
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    Your TR was packing, too--
    Packing lots of excitement, that is! :D
    Thanks for sharing your adventure, @vegasvette!

    RICHARD
     
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