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Our "Coronovirus" trip March 6-12, 2020

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by KKB, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. KKB

    KKB VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    I usually always write a trip report...but with a world that has turned upside down in the last 6 weeks, it slipped my mind. Goodness knows it wasn't because I didn't have time...

    OK...this was booked with friends who usually go in March as well (a couple in their 40s, and a single friend in his 60s; we are in our 50s). We decided it would be fun to go together so we timed it for our spring break.

    They like to stay DT so we agreed even though we prefer the Strip. We decided to extend our trip through Spring Break on the Strip. HA. Big convention in town (150-200K) so best rate we could get T-Sat was $275/nt, and that was linking our accounts. Um NO. So we booked the Candlewood Suites 1 mi. east of the Strip on Flamingo with points. Easy walk or a cheap Lyft.

    Our son lives in San Clemente so he drove out Tuesday to return Friday. Bless Candlewood Suites--points only allowed me to book a single Q room. I called a week ahead of time & they had a Q suite left with a pull out sofa, so we only had to pay $10 more/nt.

    The weeks before Cornovirus was heating up. We did consider cancelling but since we were going with friends & meeting our son we decided to go ahead & go. We took several small bottles of hand sanitizer & were neurotic about using it (used it all up, too!). We brought clorox wipes, washed hands neurotically & were super aware of not touching faces/avoiding using hands when an elbow or arm will do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
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  2. KKB

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    Friday night we arrived around 8PM. We were staying at the DT Grand & our friends at the Nugget. I stayed at the Grand last summer & we really like the casino. Room was well priced at $300 all in w/ AAA rate for 3 nights.
    Met our friends & jumped into a 10PM poker tourney at the Nugget. Probably not a great plan, cuz there was only 1 table--and we were 5 of the 10! Our single friend took 3rd for a small profit.
    We discovered our friends like to hang a lot & people watch--they really don't gamble except poker tournaments. We love poker too but I play video poker, as does DH & he makes sports bets & we will play table games some too.
    We did make a couple hundred playing video poker at Furnace Bar at Grand. Great band was playing too
     
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  3. KKB

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    Saturday the other couple wanted to go see the Atomic Testing Museum. I had always wanted to see it, so tagged along. It is 1 mi. east of the Strip on Flamingo--nearly right across from the Candlewood Suites! It was quite interesting if history is your thing. It was less about the Atomic bomb/Area 51 & more about the testing done in NV, but they did include both.
    We had an early dinner at the Camelot Steakhouse at Excalibur (had $100 off $250 from MyVegas) & it was TERRIFIC. Everyone very much enjoyed their meals & drinks and the service was great.
    Before dinner, DH & I each popped $20 into machines at the bar & played for 30-45 min. We popped the TITOs out & popped them in our wallets & didn't bother to cash them. I knew I had $20 freeplay at each Excalibur, MGM & NYNY, so we would be back later in the week...or so we thought....that decision will be a bit of a PITA later in the week...
    We then saw MJ One at Mandalay Bay--OH MY GOSH! It started out a bit bizarre (but what Cirque show doesn't...) but by the end it became my fav Cirque show ever! I was not a big MJ fan, but over the years have appreciated his work more & more. Quite a few songs I didn't know, and definitely a theme of making the world a better place.
    Didn't gamble a ton today but no luck at anything we did.
     
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  4. KKB

    KKB VIP Whale

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    Sunday we decided to play the big morning poker tourney at the Nugget--it's $120 instead of $50-70. I played well, battled back from a low stack & then my pocket 5s ran into pocket Ks with 2 tables left.
    We played a later tourney as well. No luck. Neither of us had ANY luck ANYWHERE on ANY game DT Saturday or Sunday. UGH.
    Trying to remember meals...for breakfast we did Magnolias, the Cafe at the D & Main Street Station. We usually skipped lunch & had a good dinner. But for the life of me I do NOT remember dinner on Sunday!! I do remember ordering chicken tenders & cheese curds at the Furnace bar in the Grand & thinking they were some of the best I'd had (and a great price)
    We did hear some bands on Fremont Street. My fav band, Roxy Gunn was playing, and unfortunately about this time DD called in a panic. She & a bunch of friends were scheduled to get on a cruise in Houston Monday. I had spoken to her some Saturday about concerns by some about the coronovirus. I wasn't worried about it--they are young, no cases in that area as of yet. She was concerned as she had been the one to make a big push to cruise in the first place. Well, then Sunday the State Dept put out a notice saying no one should cruise. GREAT. Needless to say, missed most of my band on the phone with her. Lots of drama.
    Kinda put a damper on the day...honestly, I don't remember the rest of the night. Emotionally shot, losing & I think I decided to drown my frustrations...can have an ill effect on memory...:beer::drunk:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  5. KKB

    KKB VIP Whale

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    Monday we decided to use our LVA & ACG matchplays & freeplay. We also got 2 $25 MPs each at the D with SWA boarding pass. Well, I was playing roulette...and THREE TIMES IN A ROW (The D, CAL & ElCo) that damn wheel hit ZERO (and 2 of those didn't even have 00!!) ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!! :soapbox:
    So I said NO MORE MATCHPLAYS!! (which means we brought QUITE A FEW of those D MP chips home...) ElCo Freeplay was good to me, I hit a Royal on .05STP for $200. FINALLY.

    Our friends were heading home & we were heading to the Strip. Monday was still low occupancy so we had scored Caesars Ocatvius Tower comped. Woo hoo! Caesars for a long time can be exhausting since everything is such a long walk. But for a night it is nice.

    We went to TR to get our free Diamond show tickets. We picked up 2 for Jimmy KImmel's comedy show Thursday (paid $25 for extra tix for son) & 2 to X Burlesque Friday night. We were excited to X Burlesque back on the Diamond list--its our fav burlesque show we have seen in Vegas (and we have seen about all of them over the years...) As Diamond players we each get 2/month in Vegas. The selection of shows can ebb and flow. We go often enough that there are times there is little we want to see--either we have seen it or not interested. But now that Rio has the Comedy Cellar & Jimmy Kimmel's club, we can always hit those since they are different comediens all the time.

    We played 7PM poker at Harrahs & I was "bubble girl"--I was the last one our b4 they paid players. Ugh. But an improvement on the weekend so I'll take it!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  6. KKB

    KKB VIP Whale

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    Tuesday
    We headed to Mirage to play 11AM. Only 1 table. Ended up DH, myself & another guy shoving chips back & forth so chopped 3 ways for a small profit. He is a realtor in Vegas, so got his card. May give him a call this summer! (we are looking to move sometime between summer 2021-Jan 2023)

    Our son got there & we had a diamond Dinner at Mesa Grill in Caesars. It is a MUST DO for every trip. We get a couple cactus pear margs, and several appetizers & get a wonderful meal for around $100 (which our voucher covered most of), even for 3 of us. Last summer we ran into Trevor Noah & got a photo with him, so good memories abound.

    We puttered around together. DS loves slots (we don't) but we love to belly up to the bar at Casino Royale & play .05 video poker. Plus they pour a LONG POUR of Crown Apple:woot:
     
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  7. KKB

    KKB VIP Whale

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    OOPS--forgot a BIG deal on Tuesday. While playing at Mirage :poker: a guy who was in town for the BIG convention was talking about the lack of people who came.
    It made me realize that there were likely A LOT of open rooms in Vegas...
    So I popped over to Ballys (where we had checked out bags; we knew DS was driving in & Ballys would be one of the easiest places for him to swing in & get us) & spoke with a host about staying at Ballys Tues-Sat. She gave us rates of $10 T-Th & $35 F/S. SOLD!:clap: Cripes we probably would have spent that much on Lyft rides back & forth when we didn't want to (or shouldn't!) walk to/from the Strip. A NICE WIN!
     
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  8. KKB

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    Wednesday--the winning continues...but a roller coaster day...
    DH & I played Harrahs at 9AM...he got out early & headed back to Ballys. I think I was the bubble AGAIN...so headed to Casino Royale to cheaply lick my wounds. I was texting DH & he wasn't responding well which was annoying...then suddenly he text:

    "I just hit Four of a Kind on TX Hold Em Shoot out"

    "Nice--how much did that pay?"

    "$2000"

    "Wait--WHAT??!!":kiss:

    NICE--gambling aspect of the trip SAVED!:peace:

    We decided to have our 2nd diamond dinner at Ruth Chris' as DS wanted steak. (BLT Steak is better but Ruth Chris has a great Prix Fixe that DS & I split). We usually used 1 diamond dinner one one trip & save the other for a later trip. BUT with coronovirus looming, we aren't sure of future travel this year, so figured we better enjoy them both this trip! (we have 1/2 price meals constantly at our local casinos which have a couple great steakhouses, so the diamond dinner loses half it's value if we use it there). I know it's a chain, but we always have terrific meals there.

    That night THINGS GOT REAL. That was the night that basically EVERY sport SHUT DOWN. It was weird to be in Vegas as all this ensued...we discussed going home early but DS was staying until Friday so we decided to simply leave things as they were.
     
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  9. KKB

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    Thursday--things get VERY real.
    I admit about this time the whole cornovirus thing is starting to consume my brain. (not good for a poker player).
    I decide to play 9AM tourney at Harrahs. Right as it starts I see a Facebook post that our school district (teachers here) is asking local businesses for bags for elementary students to tote Chromebooks home.
    WAIT!
    WHAT??!!
    HOLY CRAP
    I realize that this means our district is very likely not returning after Spring Break & they are preparing for a period of shut down.
    WOW WOW WOW WOW
    I have just wasted $70 on this tournament because I am BARELY even registering anything that is happening in the tournament. I finally just play every hand to get this over quickly for myself.
    About this time, DH is making a bet on an ACC tournament basketball game. Goes up, tells his bet, it shows up on the teller's machine...AND THEN...it goes black. They literally JUST cancelled the district tourney as he is betting.
    We are texting each other simultaneously. These 2 events in addition to everything else that week convince us it is time to GET HOME. Before we risk ourselves further...before the only way home is an 18 hour drive...
    DS hasn't even woken up yet!
    We wake him, pack up & let our host know we are out. I can see it all over her face that we are far from the first ones.
    We realize that we have $50 in vouchers from Excalibur--ugh. But when will we be back? So DH hooves it down to cash those out.
    Will NOT make that mistake again.
    Then we realize we have tickets for shows Thursday & Friday. No big loss, we paid about $25 total...I give them to one of our fav bartenders at Ballys Sports Book. Tell him to use them himself, give them to a friend or a customer. He was appreciative.

    We went home with more $ than we brought--including giving DS all the $ he brought (and lost....), so that was nice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  10. KKB

    KKB VIP Whale

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    We breathed a sigh of relief when we got home.
    DS works for Nike. They closed all stores March 16. Bless them--they are paying him through this & have said they will as long as it lasts.
    Nike has gained a customer for life.
    Vegas shut down the following Tuesday, March 17.
    Teachers returned March 16-18; they deactivated our badges so we can't even get into our buildings.
    And we have been working from home ever since.
    We were practically empty nesters as DS19 headed to college at UNL last fall. He is home.
    Honestly the toughest part is all the cooking!! I wasn't doing much of that for just the 2 of us...

    DD21 is graduating from TCU next month (well, ceremony rescheduled for August). She has a PT job at a dance studio that was set to go FT upon graduation. That is still the ULTIMATE goal, but a bit on hold at the time. I think this is hardest for her. She was on to the next phase in her life & now her life is truly on hold (all of our lives are, but the rest of us were not making big changes soon). She has gone ahead & rented an apartment (since she & her roommates lease expires the end of June). She figures she will freelance (graphic design/marketing) or get a PT job until the FT gig gets going. She does have the blessing of a nice chunk of her 529 is still there. We had told them any leftovers STAY until they have children of their own. But this is an unusual situation. We said if she does need to take a small piece out to get through this time, we understand. (She, DM & myself were supposed to be taking a Med cruise for her graduation departing May 31...:cry:)

    Traveling is our THING. Vegas, cruises are our favs. I don't know for sure when all that will get up & running.
    We plan to move to Vegas in the next few years...hopefully that is still a go.

    But we are VERY blessed.
    We are both working & being paid our full salary, and we have the resources so our children will be able to pay their bills as well.
    Knock on wood, no one we know has gotten ill. (tho cases in our city have doubled each of the last 4 weeks; state cases have doubled each of the last 3 weeks)
    And the weather is gorgeous, so doubly blessed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  11. KKB

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    LOL--ONE MORE NOTE.
    I have pulled the trigger on a Vegas trip the end of July that is SO cheap, I gotta take a chance.
    I have NO idea if it is gonna be a go. I have no idea if we would really gamble much--they are talking no poker for a while, potentially high minimums at table games & I am betting that bar top poker will be a no. (Poker & bartop video poker r my games of choice...)
    But how could I pass this up:
    2 rooms at Ballys for $75/week each!
    RT flights for $71 from home. Mom wants to go, too--so $213 TOTAL. We can change free if need be, or cancel for a voucher good for 2 years, so virtually risk free.
    DS could drive out to visit.
    DD can get a flight for $68. She has not been to Vegas & this could be a mini grad trip until we can get to Europe.
    DM, DS & DD like slots so they probably could still have fun gambling.
    I figure we could rent a car & go see all the things we talk about but never seem to get to...cuz gambling & drinking call!:drunk::poker:
    Plus we could use this time to tour Vegas neighborhoods to research our future move. It's always better in person than just on the web.
    Pool is always good too.

    So, yeah. $363 for flights for 5 & 2 rooms for a week??

    (of course right now car rentals are obscene, so hoping those will come down eventually)
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  12. KKB

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    OOPS--FORGOT TO FINISH THE STORY OF DD's SPRING BREAK DRAMA!!
    This poor girl spent a lot of Sat-Mon hysterical.
    Finally a parent rented a house on the FL Gulf Coast & about 10 of them opted for that instead.
    Her roommate on the cruise decided to go & decided to room alone instead of sharing a room with her boyfriend.
    Which means our daughter LOST her cruise fare.
    Had her friend roomed with someone else, she would have gotten a full refund.
    Needless to say the parents who rented the house didn't want any $. I believe some kids did pay some, but it was unanimous that DD should not since she got screwed out of her fare...
     
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  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! Glad you were able to squeeze in a trip before they really shut it down.
     
  14. booker

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    Truly enjoyed reading this. Your poker & vp preferences are also mine. I would have enjoyed more poker info, but that's just me jonesing and crying over the loss of poker which will surely be a long time coming. BTW, my local poker friends, women and men both, have a saying when relating our stories when busting out on the bubble. "I was the bubble bitch."
     
  15. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like y’all did a good job handling all the drama and stress.
     
  16. bull1029

    bull1029 High-Roller

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    Great report, thanks Sounds like you had a great time.
     
  17. KKB

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    I honestly don't remember the details as much as usual...(I usually take notes, too). I also didn't play as much as usual.
    I think my mind was so preoccupied with my daughter's drama Sat-Mon & then Weds ON with coronovirus in gerneral, that I don't remember as much as I usually do.

    We usually play poker tournaments 4 nights a week at home. Sundays 3x plus Monday & Thursday nights at a nearby bar (free to play; they pay $30 cash for first & then gift cards for 2nd/3rd; we usually got 2-4 tables) plus a Friday home game of 1-3 tables. Also trivia on Wednesdays & Thursdays at the same bar (yep, poker & trivia at the same time--annoys the hell out of a lot of poker players), and sometimes Tuesdays at another bar. (can ya tell we are empty nesters??!!)

    I haven't missed it much, remarkably. Something about the stress of work all day made me NEED that most days. Work is much less stressful from home.

    But today I am jonesing for SOMETHING. Work, walk, cook, watch TV, read, repeat. Ugh.

    ADDITION: Was discussing Wednesday in Vegas with DH. I TOTALLY FORGOT that I played in a tournament at Orleans! I think it is an 11AM but I was a bit late. I did end up cashing, just a bit more than my buy in if I remember correctly.

    See--pandemics suck a lot of brain energy!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
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