1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Solo Vegas trip 11/8-11/13....Ouch

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by WHITEJACKET73, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    949
    Location:
    Rochester,Mn
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    68

    My Trip Report

    I decided to take CET up on a promo offer for the GGWUP, comped room, bonus gift wrap points and a 5X gift multiplier. I had plenty of airline credits coming to me, so the flights were essentially free. The impending Minnesota winter was staring a me (already had two snowfalls in October) so this looked like an opportune time to escape. My friend, Dave, from San Diego, had been sending me photos the previous week of him soaking up the rays poolside sucking down cocktails at the Aria with some very lovely cocktail waitresses attending to his every need. That's all the incentive that I required.

    Flights/Travel:
    I had a 0700 flight so driving up to MSP in the middle of the night, I encountered no traffic with the exception of watching for the wayward whitetail deer. I left my car at the EZ Airpark and they shuttled me to the Humphrey Terminal. Checking in at the Sun Country desk took a matter of minutes and with the TSA pre-check I was sitting at my Gate in a matter of 10 minutes after stepping off of the shuttle bus. The flight left on time with about 25% capacity. Sun Country had blocked out the middle seats going out and returning; don't know how long this will be the case, but I won't complain. I had no one sitting in my aisle seat, but the lady in the row behind me was coughing up a lung during the flight. There was no food or beverage service on either flight which is standard for this airline during this COVID time. I caught a few zzz's during the flight and could not believe the thick cloud cover over the Vegas area during our landing. I took a brief bathroom break at the baggage claim area and my suitcase was waiting for me when I came out of the restroom. When I walked outside I could not believe how cloudy and cold it was....what the hell happened to the sunshine and warm weather? I was almost warmer in Minnesota.

    There was a couple of clueless young girls at the Enterprise car rental desk, with an equally clueless person behind the counter. One of the women did not have her ID with her so she had to go outside to retrieve it. Instead of waiting on the next customer(that would be me) the boothling chatted with the other girl until her companion returned about 5 minutes later to complete their rental...come on dude, they were not that good looking. I ended up with a Nissan Ultima with 20,000 miles on it; a solid comfortable ride. I parked all week at the Cromwell parking ramp and walked across Flamingo to Bally's where I stayed all trip. You have to be on your toes crossing Flamingo as Vegas drivers have a tendency to run red lights.

    My flight home was uneventful; the airport was a ghost town, no TSA pre-check at Terminal three and most of the shops and eateries were closed after 5pm. My return flight was about a third full and I had no one else sitting in my row. Apparently it had rained then snowed the day before in Minneapolis so I spent about a good 15 minutes chiseling the snow and ice off of my car's windows. I'm glad that I had the foresight to leave a stocking cap and a pair of gloves in my car. I encountered exactly two cars driving the 75 minutes back home and the only deer I saw were only a few blocks from my house...oh how those critters love my backyard garden.

    Hotel:
    I stayed all trip at Bally's which has become my favorite Vegas hotel. The rooms have been recently remodeled in both towers, rooms are on the large size compared to other Las Vegas hotel rooms, the rooms are generally quiet unless you get a room facing Flamingo Rd (traffic noise). The staff is friendly and helpful, I know many of the bartenders(an added plus) and the casino suits my gaming needs. Also, location, location, location. They painlessly checked my temperature before check in, no questions asked about my health. I asked for an upgrade and the sweet young thing at the desk took my player's card, talked to someone on the phone and gave me an executive suite in the Jubilee tower. The suite was not the two room extravaganza I had back in September, but was a large room with a sunken whirlpool tub with a nice view of the Eiffel tower and most of the Bellagio fountains. I bought a bottle of wine and some bubble bath to use for the tub, but I was so tired at the end of each day that I did not avail myself of a whirlpool bath....much to my regret. I generally have trouble sleeping during my Vegas stays and this trip was the worst. The room was quiet and the king sized bed was comfortable, but I found myself retiring early each night, waking up frequently during the night and waking up around 0600 and not being able to fall back to sleep.

    Several places at Bally's are closed or open only certain hours/days. Nosh was closed during the weekdays, only open on weekends, the bar near the poker room was closed, the lobby bar was opened only from 4pm until midnight during my stay and my favorite bartenders were not working(oh, the horror). I had no problem getting a timely elevator. One night I did have three young women waiting for the elevator talking nonstop with their masks pulled down. When the elevator arrived, they got in but I stood back. They asked me if I was coming and I told them, "Not with you Chatty Cathys". I was talking a foreign language to these girls. For the younger viewers ,a Chatty Cathy refers to a talking doll back in my youth...quite the novelty back then.

    Dining:
    Generally, I eat once or twice a day in Vegas; this trip it was once a day....with plenty of liquid libations. Sunday night I had a large taco salad at Magnolia's at the Four Queens. food and service was good. Monday I just had a couple of appetizers at Vanderpumps at Caesars... bacon wrapped dates and chicken sliders which were tasty(along with some interesting cocktails). Tuesday evening I picked up a foot long Subway sandwich at the food court at Bally's. I decided to use my Diamond card privileges to grab a Heineken at the Lobby bar, but they were closed. I then retraced my steps to Sully's bar and waited a few minutes for the bartender. I flashed him my card and requested my beer but he said that I had to go to the TR desk to get my diamond drink vouchers. Ok, so with sandwich in hand, I wait at the TR desk for five minutes and get the vouchers. I then schlep back to Sully's and wait another good five minutes before the bartender takes my voucher and I finally get my Heineken...geesh.....my sandwich is cold when I get back to the room.

    I had learned that the Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace was closing soon. I have never dined there so I decided I would this trip. I started out with the tiger shrimp appetizer which was delicious. My opening margarita cocktail was one of the best that I have ever enjoyed. I opted for the steamed halibut which came in a sauce that was good but a little too spicy for my midwestern palate. When my friendly waiter came over to check on my entree, I commented that this fish selection likely does not appear on any Wisconsin Friday night fish fry menu which prompted a loud laugh from him. It turns out that he grew up on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio and regularly fished for perch out on the Lake. I grew up fishing for perch on the Saginaw Bay(part of Lake Huron) so there was an instant bond between us...midwestern roots run deep....although Ohio State football..... I digress. I also enjoyed a delightful glass of a German reisling wine and finished the meal with a large slice of a coconut cake.

    Thursday I dined at an old standby, Battista's Hole in the Wall restaurant. The place has an old school ambience ( like the photo of Tracy and Hepburn on the wall by my table). It does not have gourmet Italian food but I enjoy their veal marsala. The carafe of wine is not Opus One, but it is entirely drinkable to this person. I mourn the retirement of Gordie, the accordion player as he is a delightful fellow and had been with the restaurant for decades. Battista's offers a quiet dinner venue, good service, good, but not great food and a great value for dining on the Strip. I'll be back. Friday I grabbed an order of fish and chips at Gordon Ramsey's at the Linq and had to eat it standing up outside...good fish.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    Christmas comes early.....
    • Like Like x 15
    • Informative Informative x 2
  2. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    949
    Location:
    Rochester,Mn
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    68
    Gambling:
    I piled up a lot of Great Gift Wrap Up points, so with the addition of some promo bonus points and a 5X multiplier day I should have enough points to pick out some nice articles next month. It was a frustrating gambling trip as a Royal eluded me again with several close calls. I had no big winning VP sessions, but I did hit a dealt eight line quad Jacks hand one morning along with some single line straight flushes. I played JOB at the Pho high limit room several mornings; a place where I usually do rather well. I got my ass handed to me this trip. One morning I ran through $400 in less than 30 minutes without one quad (playing eight hands at a time) and only accumulated 180 tier points...OUCH. I also played in Bally's high limit room playing eight hand 7/5 BP, I did a little better there. I like to play triple play BP by the Keno room at Bally's. One evening I was dealt trip aces eight separate times and could not convert to a quad once(playing three lines)....OUCH. I had a couple of brief 9/6 JOB sessions at the Four Queens and again came up empty losing $250 each time.....OUCH. The Golden Gate treated me better with me leaving with some small wins....and several Heinekens. One afternoon I was playing the bank of 8/5 BP machines and the straight flush progressive was over $300 and the progressive for a regular quad was over $50. I reluctantly had to leave for my dinner reservation at the Mesa Grill. I would have dearly loved to have hit that juicy straight flush. I did hit the progressive straight flush for around $150 later in the trip and another straight flush at the bar for $125. I still have a lot of unanswered questions about Derek's new tier system and all of the employees that I talked to were of little help. My favorite bartender at the Gate, Valeria, was glad to see me and had my bottle of Heineken waiting for me as I sat down at my usual bartops at the end of the bar, which I call the Muppet seats. It was quiet during the afternoon, so we were able to have a nice chat. I walked over to the Downtown Grand to use a couple of matchplay coupons but there was no one attending the players card desk. I asked a security guard about it and he called someone on his radio. I waited for several minutes and still no one showed up....to hell with this...I'm outta here. As you can guess, my bankroll took a significant hit this trip, wiping out my wins from the Tahoe trip in June. I'll take them down next trip.....for sure?

    Misc. Observations:
    The weather was on the cool side for most of the trip with highs in the mid 50's. Friday, my last day, was beautiful with the temperature climbing into the upper 60's...a heat wave. I took a tour of Circa on Sunday afternoon and the place is impressive...beautifully done. The huge sportsbook was a madhouse of activity with the football games going. People standing five deep at the railings watching the action on the screens. My favorite afternoon watering hole, Hogs and Heifers bar was closed with a sign on the door that they were closed for "deep cleaning" and would reopen on the 11th. When I returned, a new sign had been posted stating that they would reopen on the 18th.....that's some cleaning going on. The usage of facemasks was up significantly compared to my trip in late September; especially people wearing them outside of the casinos.

    I went to the Wynn salon barbershop one morning and had a much needed haircut and beard trim. My last haircut was at the Art of Shaving at the Venetian Shops a couple days before the Super Bowl....I mean The Big Game. My barber, Jessica, was great and took great care in cutting my hair to my liking. She said that all of the Art of Shaving shops in Vegas have been permanently closed....OUCH. I have been enjoying their services for a number of years; the royal straight razor shaves have a been real treat for me. They routinely add an automatic 20% gratuity for their services at the Wynn barbershop, but I was so pleased with Jessica's work that I gave her a little extra. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is now open so I visited using a MyVegas voucher. They did have a couple of Picasso paintings, but the display was not impressive. The Christmas conservatory display at the Bellagio should be open the Sunday after Thanksgiving according to one of the employees that I talked to.

    The Strip and Downtown were fairly empty during the week, but there was a significant influx of people on Friday; most of whom I would not rate as typical Vegas tourists. Would someone care to explain to me what the hell is up with apparently young healthy people renting these scooters and driving like maniacs on the Strip and through the casinos? Annoying as hell. I cannot get use to the constant smell of weed when I am out and about in Vegas now. I even saw a sign posted outside of the rental car center stating "Public smoking of marijuana is illegal in Las Vegas". The cocktail service at Bally's was terrible...thought I would die of thirst. Cocktail service at the Four Queens was good and very good at the Gate....Mona is such a sweetheart. I really miss not being able to enjoy the Diamond(Laurel) lounges and conversing with some of the Vegas "regulars". My favorite "Vegas moment" this trip was on Wednesday morning, around 9 o'clock. I was playing my usual VP machine near the keno area at Bally's and the casino was devoid of gamblers. But there was a guy playing a Heidi Beerhaus slot machine with the volume turned all the way up. He hit some kind of bonus and the music started blaring from the machine....I'm sure you could have heard it from all over the casino. The guy, who is by himself, gets up from his chair and starts singing and dancing along with the music with wild abandon. I had to stop my play and watch him enjoying Vegas.

    Well that's a wrap...I'll be back at Bally's next month for five days. I've given CET plenty of play this year so I'll be concentrating my gambling downtown. Hopefully I will be able to talk my two favorite Vegas people, Dave and Julie, to meet up with me and have a shot and a beer at Hogs and Heifers. Thanks for going along on the ride.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    Christmas comes early.....
    • Like Like x 19
    • Love Love x 1
  3. AyDee

    AyDee is getting too old for this

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    2,719
    Location:
    City Of Angels
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    419
    :love:I love both V, and the "Muppet seat" terminology, planted my friend there two trips ago.
    Did the GG trial drink ticket experiment hopefully fail miserably?

    Was the H&H opening Nov or Dec? Feel like I need to get there at least once, soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  4. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    949
    Location:
    Rochester,Mn
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    68
    The bartops at the Gate were still spitting out the drink vouchers, about one every twenty minutes for me. I had a couple of vouchers left over each session.
     
    Christmas comes early.....
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,432
    Location:
    Northern WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    80
    Enjoyed your report....esp the deer comments! As they seem attracted to my vehicle, I am super paranoid about them!
    Sad about the weather.....that is a top reason I travel to Vegas in the winter. If it's cloudy and windy there.....yuck!
    Glad Bally's worked out for you....I have stayed/played there enough to know the areas you discussed, and it all sounded so fun!
    Thanks for posting!
     
  6. carolineno

    carolineno Balcony Brat

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,157
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Nice report! I’m glad you got to go to Mesa Grill. Also good to hear that the Bellagio museum is open. Even of the exhibition is dull I always enjoy my visits there.
     
  7. pass line man

    pass line man High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    45
    Great report, thanks for sharing. Good job on the suite at Bally's
     
    Christmas fun f##k COVID
    Warm up my January
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    22,707
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Nice report!
     
  9. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    5,574
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    I enjoyed reading about your excursion. Yes, I heard it was a cold week. I was once in LV, leaving on Christmas Day, and I woke up to about 1/2" of snow on the ground. The city was at a standstill and it made it difficult to get to the airport. I'm sure the locals loved waking up to a 'White Christmas'.
     
  10. TriggerMN

    TriggerMN The Norwegian Hammer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,632
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    I almost thought this was my own TR! Drive to EZ Air Park from SE Minnesota, check. Had the big two room suite at Bally’s recently, check. Was in Vegas around Nov 10, check. Shitty weather upon return and scraping ice off my car, check. All my favorite bartenders not working at Lobby Bar, check. Cold Subway sandwich from Bally’s food court, check. Executive suite in Jubilee tower in a couple weeks for GGWU, check.

    Only difference is that I’ve been on ten Sun Country flights since June and they’ve all been packed to the gills.
     
  11. Chrisbeans

    Chrisbeans Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lalaland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Thanks for the trip report!
     
  12. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    5,413
    Location:
    Illinois
    Bad timing on the weather. I was out from the 3rd to the 5th and it was near record highs. Upon leaving on Thursday, saw reports of cold spell settling in on Saturday. Ouch.
     
  13. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith High-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2019
    Messages:
    783
    Location:
    Aloha, OR
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    200
    Just stayed two nights at Bally's. Always one of my favorites. I tend to spend most of my time in the sports/race book and I was extremely happy with the new William Hill service. Ticket writers were friendly, drinks were usually prompt. The food court nearby is acceptable with a Johnny Rockets, Nathan's Hot dogs, Pan Asian, Subway and Sbarro's. There's also a Jamba Juice type place—and several cool virtual experiences (you know, where you put on some goggles, sit in a chair and have an adventure) that looked like fun, if I were only about 30 years younger.

    The book itself is old school as they haven't made any changes in decades, but I think I may move my race betting dollar over to Will Hill since they are now ubiquitous in much of Vegas, stateline and Laughlin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  14. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    9,984
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    A tip, if it applies. If you live in a urban area, you can buy most of the items locally and pay much less than the equivalent GGWU price.

    In that case, VISA gift cards are the better deal. I live in an area where most of the items are available and can be bought for cash at a much cheaper price.

    Just a thought . . . . .
     
    Happy Birthday to me!!! Food folks, and fun!!
    Mandalay Bay, the last of my domestic Playstudios hotel comps.
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Some Canadian

    Some Canadian Tourist

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2019
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    I live in northern BC and I have hit two deer in my driving life. I've earned my title of The Deer Hunter despite never firing a rifle.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    949
    Location:
    Rochester,Mn
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    68
    I've hit two deer over the past 40 years and had multiple close calls. Once, a doe leaped over the roof of my Buick Century two blocks from my house, leaving only a smudge and belly hair on the top of my car.
     
    Christmas comes early.....
  17. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,432
    Location:
    Northern WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    80
    I actually hit 2 at once the first time I ever hit any! They were both running together and I got 'em both. Last time was 4 years ago....the sheriff said "that was an extremely large doe you hit".....I'm like yes, my vehicle is totaled!
     
    • Wow! Wow! x 1
  18. booker

    booker VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    2,417
    Location:
    Washington State Coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    I hit a deer about 1/4 mile from my house last year at dusk soon after daylight savings time ended. I joked with the repair guy who told me that the end daylight savings time, they get a lost of business. Then he turned around his computer to show me his desktop. It was a deer standing on the road.
     
  19. joehypnosis

    joehypnosis Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Sorry to hear about Gordie! But I guess he couldn't be there right now with covid. Do you think he's permanently retired?