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Trip #49 May 26 - June 5; 10 nights, 3 venues

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by CheeseHog, Jun 11, 2017.

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  1. CheeseHog

    CheeseHog Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    56

    My Trip Report

    VEGAS TRIP REPORT #49 MAY 26 – JUNE 5, 2017

    Friday, May 26: First Vegas trip of 2017. Been 6 months since #48 in November. We are psyched so let’s go…. This will be our usual 10-night trip which includes 3 nights at Luxor ($337 fixed), 4 nights at Venetian ($655 fixed), and 3 nights at Excalibur ($357 fixed) resort fees and tax included. It’s amazing that we are comped 2 nights each at Luxor and Excalibur and still over $300. each. We usually stay at a Caesar’s property every trip, but got a good offer at The Venetian where we haven’t stayed since 2013. Setting the budget for this trip, total fixed costs @ $2745. (hotels-airfare-car rental-bellman/skycap-airport parking). I use a $210 per daily variable for food, entertainment and gaming so budget set at $5055. Methinks it would be best not to hit that unprecedented figure!!!

    Had our usual non-stop out of Little Rock. Flight good. We had downloaded a couple of old “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episodes. It’s amazing at how hilarious that show was. Our first lasting memory of the vacation was the lady who pulled out the smelliest beef jerky out of her purse and proceeded to eat it. The smell permeated the whole bus from the airport to the Vegas Car Rental Center. IT’S A 7 MINUTE RIDE!!!!!! Laurel once brought an onion bagel on a plane and is still trying to live that one down. . . We selected a nice Nissan Altima from Thrifty ($357 fixed), stopped and got supplies---- beer, wine, soda and snacks. Of course, my Total Rewards credit card got denied!!! ARGHH!!! Not the first time it has happened. Crisis averted when I notified them I was once again in Vegas and my card was not stolen. On to Luxor. 2nd trip in a row staying here after a many year hiatus. Last time we stayed in the tower. This time she wanted to stay in the Pyramid to be closer to casino and pool. I am NOT a fan of the inclinator. Everyone happy when we ended up on the 5th floor facing the pool and had our own dedicated elevator. We had planned for 2-hour pool session but plane was late and it seemed everything was taking a little longer the usual so we didn’t. Being M-Life Gold, we are just happy to have free valet and V.I.P. check-in. We also now have the bellman in the fixed budget. After all these years of schlepping our own, I decided I was not going to do it again. Not sure what their expectations are, I give the guy who unloads it out of the car $10 and the guy who brings it to the room $15. Hope that is good enough. On to New York, New York. My boss and his wife were in town too, so I made 8:00 dinner reservations for the patio at Nine Fine Irishmen. They got in today also and staying across the street at MGM. His wife has never been to Vegas and we were anxious to show them on of our favorite eateries. They bailed, but no issue, we had this scripted for the night anyway. We had 2 My Vegas Rewards that we wanted to redeem. First was the BOGO Tom’s size beer at Tom’s Urban. Laurel not much of a beer drinker, but we had done this on our last 2 trips. Will it be the last time??? Maybe. We ordered 2 fancy craft beers (32oz) and they came in fancy glasses with 2 handles. Sat at the bar and watched some baseball (I had bet on the Brewers) and enjoyed the moment. Imagine my surprise when I got the bill. The comp was for $15.00. Our portion including tip was $35.00. So it was $50.00 for 2 beers!!! Was it a good time and memorable? Of course. Was it a bargain? I will let you decide. Time for dinner at Nine Fine. We always prefer the patio so we can watch the masses walk by. I had the bacon wrapped jalapeno meatloaf and Laurel had the fish ‘n chips. Fantastic as always. To us, this is the best My Vegas rewards. It is a 2 for 1 entrée, but they give you a $35 comp to use for however you wish. Total bill including my Guinness Blonde was less than the 2 beers at Tom’s Urban. Back to Luxor where she got her second wind, so I drank 2 more beers and smoked my daily cigar outside while she gambled. Was a wonderful first day.
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    Day 1 variable: $133

    Saturday, May 27: Up at 6:00. Was smart to get back @ 11:00. Last thing I remember was her securing us two more My Vegas Rewards for Luxor breakfast buffet. We are not buffet people, but wanted to be at the pool when it opened at 9:00. Ever since MGM lost the McDonald’s last year, I am in a quandary, because breakfast options are limited. So, using 10,000 points each we had a very nice breakfast. On this holiday weekend, they even had unlimited mimosas. If we had eaten at the pyramid café, it would have been $35 easily. . .Time for pool. I was excited when I read online that they now allow you to carry in one outside beverage. I recall the time at Flamingo where we were searched and the guy discovered my stash (I have a plastic container disguised as a suntan lotion bottle). Laurel was mortified because she was holding the bag he searched. It was not one of my favorite Vegas experiences. We were joined at the pool by Mindy, our local friend. 5 ½ hours later we were still there. I made 3 beer runs back to the room, so all was happy. All that fun and sun caused the inevitable nap and POOF, it was 5:00 and finally ready to start the day. Probably a good thing we got a late start because the machines not kind to Laurel today. Went to Ellis Island where we met Mindy and her husband Bill for BBQ dinner. We always get here once a trip. 16 oz craft beers for $2.25! I no longer play table games but I will sit at a Blackjack table here. Played 7 hands. . . 1 win, 1 push, 5 losses. Enough is enough. Was my only blackjack of the whole trip--- tough to be me. However, dinner and fellowship was top notch. I had the BBQ ribs and she had the BBQ chicken. They also give you a side of beans, coleslaw, 2 rolls and 2 cobs of corn for under $16.00. One of the best deals in town!!! Afterward the plan was to go to Mandalay Bay, but she said to let’s play at home--fine with me. We enjoy Saturday night people watching at Mandalay Bay, but I know she was not looking forward to the trudge back to Luxor, tired, with cane in hand. One of my favorite Luxor pastimes is to hang outside LAX nightclub as the “pretty folk” arrive. Wait--LAX is now closed! They are going to build some type of interactive gaming venue for the new breed of gambler. I am always one to promote progress and although it is not my cup of tea, I will keep an open mind and I wish the venture well. So, instead of LAX, I stood outside the main entrance doing my thing and watching people. Sights were plentiful; a very lovely evening. In bed at 11:00. She’d had enough “fun.”
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    Day 2 variable: $257

    Sunday May 28: Stayed down ‘til 7:30. Plan is 1:00 brunch at Border Grille inside Mandalay Bay. So, I went to Deli for coffee and 2 croissants. We always room charge to get 25X points. This is the only way we can retain our gold status. Of course the guy yelled at me because I brought no ID. Today is the day before Memorial Day so that means one thing to me--Indy 500 and Coca Cola 600. I am not a big race fan, but we are here this time every year and am familiar with the people. We pick 3 drivers in each race and check in from time to time. If you have a stake, the last 10 laps can be a lot of fun. I had Alex Rossi last year at 30-1. Had the wrong drivers this year but still had the potential for a big win the whole time. Since we had a 1:00 deadline, we only spent 2 hours at the pool. We love the heat, but for some reason it seemed extra hot. We figured out why… not only do you get the blazing sun, you also get the bounce off the pyramid----that is the science lesson of the day. On to Border Grille. We had a BOGO tapas brunch last trip and absolutely loved it. It delivered again. Along with the bottomless mimosas (prickly pear, peach, pomegranate etc.) we had Peruvian shrimp and grits, eggs benedict, chicken and waffles, pigs in a croissant, breakfast fries, steak and eggs. . . all with a great presentation. Not only did we need to be rolled out of there, it also took a huge bite ($138) out of my $210. daily variable. Too bad we didn’t have a BOGO this time. After brunch, we played here for a while then headed over to Monte Carlo. We have stayed there on many, many trips and wanted to see how the redo was progressing. I also needed to go to the T-Mobile box office to buy concert tickets (Rammstein-Korn-Stone Sour) for Trip #50 schedule in 4 weeks. Imagine my surprise when told it was sold out!!!! We already have plane tickets, 5 nights at the Linq, and the rental car. Never in a million years would we have thought it was sold out. So, unless we can get the tickets from another source, we will cancel and defer Trip #50 to Labor Day. (We eventually found tickets for $287 each, but not gonna happen). Maybe it is all for the best, there were some ramifications to a 3-week bounce Vegas trip. After a while here at Monte Carlo we played our normal “What do you want to do… I dunno, what do you wanna do”. So, the next logical step was to go to a liquor store and I got some Jose Cuervo and Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey to have some options in the days ahead. Then for some bizarre reason she suggested going downtown. It has been a couple of years since we have gone down there, it is not one of her favorite places. I love downtown and away we went. However, logic took over. We are moving tomorrow and I usually get trashed down there and I do not want tomorrow to be tainted. So we ended at Level 107 at the top of the Stratosphere . Such a beautiful spot to sit back and relax. We got there just as the sun was going behind the mountains. Seeing that and the lights start to go on in the valley as it gets darker is always so memorable---that’s what is really all about. We missed the 4 to 7 happy hour, but not a big deal. We each had a drink and split the goat cheese stuffed pepper appetizer ($49.) I even spent some time another level up walking around outside on the observation deck. So glad we did it, and I recommend the experience to everyone. We stayed and played here for a bit then ended up at In ‘n Out burger on Tropicana. What a zoo that place is but, food is consistently good and people watching is always premium. Back to Luxor and settled into our usual routines. The daily variable hit an all-time high today. But I heard her say twice during the day “I love my life”. That is all that really matters!!!
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    Day 3 variable: $482 (ouch)

    Monday, May 29: Moving Day #1 Up early and glad I did not overdo last night. It would have happened if we had gone downtown. Still can’t believe we were $272. over budget yesterday. I was surprised that we got all packed and left Luxor at 9:00 as planned. With Monte Carlo out of favor, nice to have another MLife go-to place (especially if you can avoid the inclinator). Room #5069 was perfect for us—view of the pools, near casino and valet—just great. On to Paris for breakfast on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi. I always wear the Logo shirt I bought there 12 or so years ago. The manager noticed and we struck up a couple of conversations during the course of our meal. We both had Quiche Lorraine. I usually get fancy Eggs Benedict but opted for quiche—a great choice. Best part of the meal is we paid with Total Rewards Points, so only had to pay tip. Coming into the trip, I had $347 and Laurel had $362. I usually like to hoard my points, but I “paid” today! And after yesterday’s $482 variable, this really helps today’s total. I walked next door to Planet Hollywood to secure my VIP pass for the year compliments to the Total Rewards Credit Card. Then off to Venetian. Haven’t stayed here since 2013 as they aren’t related to the big guys (MLife/Total Rewards/Boyd), but with a great pool deck, glad they made it back on the radar. Venetian is now an IHG property (we’re Platinum Elite), so we get VIP check-in. We had secured a pre-paid room in the Venezia Tower. The only other time we stayed in that tower, we had a great view of the Mirage Volcano and the strip. I remembered the room #1408 and asked if they had comparable. Daniel accommodated us with 1418 which was outstanding. Steps away from the Venezia Pool (open 6:30 am – 10 pm) a quite peaceful pool located away from the crowded main pools. I love the “action” of a crowded pool, but nice to have another option. Plus, being an early riser, love sitting out there drinking coffee, hopping in the hot tub, reading the paper, and writing in my journal. So, after the pre-ordained 1 hour for room setup, we headed to Venezia pool. I’m a little ashamed of the incident that occurred. A bearded, middle-eastern man, dressed in black long-sleeved shirt and pants arrived with a backpack. He covered the backpack with towels and walked away. I was not the only one who noticed/worried. He reappeared 10 minutes later in a bathing suit. With the state of the world, I was a legitimate concern. As I write this he has walked off again, leaving his backpack covered. Of course, there was no crisis, and after 4 ½ hours at the pool, it was time to get the day started at 5:30. I put a healthy dent in the 18 pack of Modelo I bought yesterday. Our Vegas friends joined us for dinner and they were happy to find a venue with free parking! Venetian has so many restaurants we love (Grande Lux, Morels, Bouchon, YardBird, Lavo, etc.) so where’d we end up? Food Court! Mindy and Laurel had Lobster Me, Bill had Johnny Rockets and I ate a bag of Fritos. My emphasis was more of a hops and barley variety. Gaming went well for Laurel tonight. Had a couple of small wins and ended up $27 ahead for the day. I walked some ways down the strip enjoying he sights and sounds. There was early talk of late night sliders at White Castle, but wisely headed to bed instead.
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    Daily Variable $53

    Tuesday, May 30: Up at 6:15, the Venezia pool was calling. Early pool time is awesome for this old (58) man. Woke up hungry but no hangover (although I drank 10 of the 18 Modelos). Walked a couple doors down to McDonald's and brought breakfast to the pool—great start to the day. It took a while to awaken “Sleeping Beauty,” so we didn’t get to the main pool until 9:30. Not too crowded so we got good seats. Only spent 3 ½ hours, first two in peaceful silence, the last 1 ½ with the boom boom music emanating from Tao Beach. Back to room at 1:00 only to find the room was not made up yet. Even though the maid saw us leaving this morning. I scored 2 clean towels from an unattended card. We got ready to head out so I called down to ensure room got done. She chose happy hour at Pot Liquor in Towne Square for lunch. She won a couple $25 gift cards almost 2 years ago and they’ve burned a hole in her pocket ever since. I was just happy to get off Venetian grounds! Great decision-$2 PBR and Craft Shandys, $5 appetizers. We had BBQ Chicken Sliders in spicy mayo, Oinks (meatballs wrapped in bacon) with Jalapeno cole slaw and Garlic toast, and BBQ Pork and Grits. Only used 1 gift card so have one for a future visit (as long as they don’t go out of business). But with food this great, felt safe to save one!

    Discussed 5 o’clock bingo at South Point but ended up driving down the strip to M Resort. Figured we haven’t been here in 4 years. I was surprised how busy the place was considering how far away it is and the fact that it was a Tuesday afternoon. She was happy with all the different machines, I headed to Sportsbook to bet some races and watch Brewers vs Mets. The beer I had at Pot Liquor was my only beer of the day. I bought a fancy bottle of Jose Cuervo the other day. I’ve been sipping Fireball as my go-to liquor but I saw folks drinking it on the beach when we spent 5 days in Florida in April, and it rekindled my interest in tequila. Spent awhile here. I won $2 after betting several $5 show bets and she only lost $16 (after being down around $100). On to South Point for a bit. Too early to head back to Venetian for the night. Highlights at South Point? Well I found a $20 bill laying on the floor. I tend to be a little more observant that most and constantly find “booty” left behind for me. A lot of the time it’s of the $100 variety. Anyway, now 7:30 and where to next? We were disappointed yesterday that the volcano didn’t go off. So, she went online this am and found out only 8 & 9 pm on weekdays. So we gave it a shot. Got to our room at 8:01, just as the volcano was going off--perfect! What wasn’t perfect? Our room was still not made up! Arrgh!!! Am I asking too much? hardly. But we needed Kleenex, shampoo and our garbage emptied, plus we needed towels. I called down again and nicely told the story of unmade room after pool, calling to arrange, unmade room after being gone all day. They not only made up the room, they left us some chocolates in a cute Venetian string bag on our pillows. Finally, someone got our $5 tip along with the beaded bracelet and earring combo we left for her. I then went outside and took a movie of the 9 pm volcano. Finished up my bottle of tequila. It was hitting me hard, even mixed with 7up. Smoked my cigar and walked to Linq and back. Alone, I seem to be a magnet for hookers and tonight was no different. She even commented on my pretty toes (duh, I had a pedicure last Friday). I wished her well and walked away. 10:30 found us eating our favorite food “Asian Nacho’s” at Grande Lux. She had $66 in Venetian comps so we used $20. Most of today’s food was free today. Watched a roulette table on the way back to the room. . . it was piled with chips but only 1 chip was on #8 (my magic number since 8/8/58 is my birthday). I knew it was going to land on #8, and it did. I often consider myself to be a cooler, but I’m not doing it on purpose! Laurel did fantastic playing here various penny lots, she logged a $180 win tonight at Venetian, mostly on Baywatch. She kept getting bonus after bonus. The whole world was happy!!

    Daily Variable: -$65 (that’s right, we made money today!)

    Wednesday, May 31: Trip now half over and a bunch still to do. With yesterday’s positive, daily average dropped from Sunday’s high of $291 and is now a manageable $172. We ate a lovely breakfast of croissants and butter while at the main pool. It is so nice to bring stuff in without feeling like you are breaking the law. Today was not your normal May pool session. It was cloudy and windy. In the 4 ½ hours we were there, I only dipped twice. Laurel would not even attempt it. It turned out to be a relaxing change not having the ever-present oppressive sun beating down on you. Ok, let’s get the day started . . . hung at the Venetian for an hour or so. The Memorial golf tournament starts tomorrow and I wanted to get my bets in. Like auto racing, I take 3 golfers and follow the action. A $5 investment has the potential for a fun Sunday afternoon. I also bet a stupid run line/puck line 3 team parlay. Of course I lost it, but am always intrigued that a $10 wager can turn into a $218 win. Today, I am back to beer. Gold Coast was the plan of action. On Wednesdays, they have point multipliers for old people (over 50). She enjoys the games here and I like the cubicles in their race book. But, mostly we like Ping Pang Pong and Wednesday gives us an excuse to come here. Before dinner, the inevitable happened while playing a new version of Wheel of Fortune, I hit a hot streak and logged a $165. win. I limped into today negative $97 and in 1 quick minute was ahead for the whole trip. That happens to me frequently and is always a welcome sight. Next was dinnertime and we discovered that Ping Pang Pong has moved to a new location inside Gold Coast. Was it a good move?? We didn’t think so. Part of the allure was sitting amongst the locals while watching the cooks with the funny red hats scurrying about. It seemed like in this new venue, they are trying to be like all the other fancy Chinese restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, the food was fabulous and inexpensive as always. I always like to try something new and this time I chose Salt and Pepper pork chops, Laurel got Orange Chicken ($11.95 each). Hope the new place works out for them. Ok, what’s next? I devised a plan and off we went. I dropped her off at the Cromwell, drove back and parked at Venetian. Went back to our room and grabbed 2 beers in a plastic cup and hustled (Orange Chicken leftovers in hand) back towards The Cromwell. I gave her remaining food to one of the less fortunate who are always along this walkway. We proceeded to spend the next several hours working our way back home by way of Cromwell-Flamingo-Margaritaville-Linq-Harrah’s-Casino Royale. It was a perfect progression. Here were my observations and highlights: 1) I drank plenty of beer and smoked my cigar, 2) I was mortified when I found our empty to-go container complete with fork and napkins sitting empty in the rock bed. The guy couldn’t have thrown it away??? 3) There was a 3-man band playing inside Margaritaville and not one person was listening to them, 4) My I Pod battery ran out and I had to spend the last 1½ hours in silence, 5) Street performers still hang out between Linq and Harrah’s. It now includes topless nuns with pasties on their boobs, 6) The Linq complex was very busy tonight. I see that Gordon Ramsey Fish ‘n Chips and In ‘n Out Burger are now open. And what the hell is a Sushi Burrito??? 7) I spilled some Smithwick Brown Ale on my nice white shirt and it is now tainted forever, 8) She gambled at all places (-50) and I only played at The Linq (+6) , Lastly (9) We ended up eating 10 White Castles at Casino Royale. The place is a gold mine for them. Laurel was a real trooper tonight and was heard to say when we made it back to Venetian--- Hip Hip Hooray!!!
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    DSC00983.JPG DSC00985.JPG Daily Variable: $48

    Thursday June 1: Smaller Venezia pool on the docket today. She had done all that walking yesterday and had a terrible night’s sleep---probably the late-night sliders. Unlike yesterday, sun was blazing and after 2 hours I made her move to the shade. Combination of breeze and quiet made it a perfect setting. We even broke tradition and had lunch at pool. Chicken Tenders and a fruit bowl ($24). Ended up being another 5 ½ hour experience, all within 20 steps of our room. We finally left the room, Fireball in hand at 4:30. First stop was Bellagio. I dropped her off at the side valet, drove and valet parked at Aria, and took the tram back to Bellagio. I always enjoy watching the higher limit play here. I watched a millennial lose hand after hand in Blackjack. Eventually he had his last $175 up and wanted to double down. He asked a buddy at the next table to cover him. The guy did and lost… I watched another guy playing “black” on Casino War (go figure). After a couple losses, he put his last $400 up and got a Queen. Dealer pulled a King. I never critique other’s gambling style, but dumbass came to mind. I then went and settled in a cubicle in the sportsbook. I put a couple $5 show bets and was stunned when offered a drink ticket. I never even bother to ask anymore because all the humiliation I have endured over the years. I took the ticket and got another Fireball. Thank you, ma’am. Time to head next door to Aria. I never did find her while I walked around, but no worries when she showed up at appointed time. She was even a $60 winner. We walked the conservatory and took a couple pictures while trying not to photobomb others (a difficult task). On to Aria by tram. Plan is 8:30 dinner at Wolfgang Puck Cucina inside Crystals. She got a Bogo entrée on My Vegas Rewards. We had some time to kill so we went our separate ways. We spend a lot of time @ Aria and both knew what we wanted to do. She gambled and I went outside and sat in one of those Pidgeon chairs. Time for dinner. Our 4th time eating here. I had a beer, she had sangria and we had antipasto as I was hungry and needed something quick. Dinner was very good. She had the Veal Scaloppini and I, despite the fact that I have never has Sea Bass and I don’t like cauliflower, ordered the sea bass with the cauliflower trio. I like trying new things and it turned out to be very tasty. The only bad part of the experience is watching all the salespeople in the Shops at Crystal stand in respective doorways for customers who are not coming. How boring would that be!!! The dinner bill came out to $99.00 even after $34 was taken off. I knew it would be that much when we sat down.
    DSC00993.JPG Daily Variable: $329

    Friday, June 2: Moving day #2. Heading to Excalibur today. Sorry to see the Venetian go. We were amazed to realize that in the 4 days, we only ate at one of our favorite restaurants (Grande Lux) and never even walked to Palazzo!! We did both pools proud though and she did play a lot, so no regrets. We are IHG Silver Elite so we asked and got late checkout. This way we can get our required pool time in with no worries. 3 ½ hours later it was time for chop-chop. My mental state of mind was not as sharp today. I found it difficult to get into a comfort zone. What’s next…this weekend is always the Las Vegas Bead Show at Palace Station. But, first we had lunch at Macaroni Grill on Sahara . I was determined not to be happy at this moment and this is what she wanted so…. whatever. Turned out she chose wisely. We split an entrée and an appetizer and each had a draft Peroni. It seemed my cloud was lifting. Restaurant was a bit empty being an off time of day (2:30). I couldn’t decide if that was Wayne Newton having lunch near us, or was it Gene Simmons of KISS. I guess only their plastic surgeon knows for sure. On to the Bead Show. Laurel does a great job making bracelets and earrings. We always leave jewelry as extra tips for maids, waitresses, stewardesses… It makes her happy and occasionally we get tracked down and thanked. It never hurts to try to put a smile on someone’s face.

    I was surprised that they only got $67 out of us!!! On to Excalibur. We got our normal Resort Tower room. This way she does not have to walk the casino floor to get to the pool. The view from the room was terrible, but, it was right near the elevator and after having the strip and the Mirage volcano view at the Venetian, nothing was good enough. It took forever for the luggage to get to the room. However, after setting up room and an hour nap, I was relaxed. We stayed here the rest of the day, Bill and Mindy joined us for the night. It turned out he knew the lady bass player in The Lounge, so we spent some time listening to the band. She joined us during the break and it was very interesting to discover how the lounge band system works and all the politics involved just to play in front of an audience. We wish her well. The 4 of us had dinner at Buca Di Beppo. We get along very well. Bill and I have similar political views, but are diametrically opposite on more than a few opinions. Some of our conversations turn quite passionate and one or both of us has been known to get fired-up. After dinner, we settled into our normal settings. I walked out to the New York, New York/MGM bridge and did my thing. Looks like they are going to revamp this whole area. To me, the aesthetics are perfect and I hope they don’t change too much. I went back inside around midnight and was stunned to see the 3 of them still playing together. All I know is I am glad that, despite myself, the day turned out wonderful.
    Daily Variable: $240

    Saturday June 3: We got back at 1:00 last night and up at 7:30 this morning. I got enough sleep, but when I am not up at my usual early time, I feel that I start the day behind. I was determined not to repeat yesterday’s tone of the day. I finally got her up and we had to chop-chop to get to the pool at 9:30. We love the adult pool here at Excalibur. For $10 you get a cushioned lounge in a segregated area devoid of children. I had checked yesterday also to reconfirm it was still $25 to rent an umbrella for the day. So, imagine my surprise when the guy said “$40 on the weekend”. Of course, I was going to pay it and Jesus took his ass chewing like a man!!! The adult pool was packed today and I am always amazed that no matter how much partying the folks do, no one has to leave to go to the bathroom!!! Go Figure!! Any way the 3 of us had lunch (Mindy joined us again) and spent a wonderful 6 hours just relaxing and bonding with others. It turned out to be a $127 venture (3 chairs + umbrella was $70 of total). As we left I overheard Laurel say “I am smiling so much I think my lips are cracking”. To me, she is still the 16-year-old girl I met (1975) in a 58-year-old body…… On to the rest of the day. Game 3 of the NHL finals is tonight and I was lucky to get it in. I put my largest wager ($50) of the trip on Nashville (-1.5 +200) puck line. Place for tonight’s action was Orleans. Why? Because it is the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. We stumbled upon this event about 5 years ago. It is always the first weekend in June, and we have even managed to stay here twice in the past during the event. We tried again this time, but each year the event gets larger and larger and we could not get a room for the 3 nights. For people-watching folk like us, it is the event of the year. The outrageous outfits-hairdos-costumes-tattoos on these voluptuous women/men, comfortable in their own bodies, is so much fun to watch. What we were sorry about is that we had no pool time with them this year. Last year we heard one lady exclaim “BEST POOL DAY EVER”, and it was. My advice to anyone who finds themselves in town next year not to miss it. You won’t be sorry. We stayed here at Orleans for quite a while. I was surprised how much they have upgraded the place in the last 6 months. They have new restaurants and the bathrooms revamped. We ended up eating Endless Appetizers at TGIF. Not my first choice but is convenient. Pulled out of Orleans @ 11:15. I’d lost my buzz and I was tired. Being married for 36 years, like most husbands, I spend a lot of time guessing what the wife wants. Tonight, I told her what we should probably do-head to bed. It was not the smartest thing I ever said. So, bedtime it was. At least Nashville won 5-1 so I won $100.00 on my $50.00 bet.
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    Daily Variable: $216

    Sunday June 4: Up at 6:15 with no residuals from last night--good. I also awoke realizing that with last night’s hockey win I am ahead $70 for the trip. Nice. She is at only $50 loss/day average, and that is also an accomplishment. With coffee in hand I walked over to Luxor. We had stayed here last weekend so I dug through some crap and snatched the room key we used. Yesterday I had gone to the Excalibur gift shop to retrieve my “resort fee” USA Today. The lady said “We haven’t done that in quite a while.” I know better, so I walked next door (to their sister property) where I know I could get one. I understand the resort fee concept and what it means to their bottom line, but you figure the policies would be the same. While at the Venetian earlier this week, the first 2 days I got a free one. The last day a different lady at the same gift shop said they no longer do that and it was available only online. I told her “thank you very much”. It wasn’t worth the breath to argue. Laurel asked me why I just didn’t pay $2 to get one. A discussion on principle then ensued. Anyway, plan was breakfast buffet here at Excalibur. Breakfast is only the buffet that I am willing to eat (unless lunch at Wicked Spoon). We used a BOGO from MY Vegas and paid M-Life points for the other so, the only out of pocket was the $5 tip and of course a bracelet/earring set for the waitress (actually they are more just table cleaners now----you have to get your own drinks). Fare was standard. The buffet at Luxor last week was better. This venue will always be tainted though because on Trip #43 (02/15), Laurel had to be wheeled out of here in a wheelchair when her knee locked up. Time for the pool with my usual entourage. Turned out the guy I yelled at yesterday only charge me $30, so I was prepared for the $40 umbrella plus $30 for the 3 chairs. Total 2-day pool expenditure of $130. May move that to fixed on subsequent trips because it puts a dent in the daily budget. For the 4 hours, we each did our thing. Yesterday’s pool session included a raucous bunch of Brit’s. Their mood today was much more somber after the terrorist attacks that happened in London last night. Living in Arkansas, it is easy to live life with blinders on. I feel truly sorry for those have to face realities over which they have no control. Evening time found us at Silverton and dinner at MI Casa. Mindy’s mom and sister joined us. Laurel and I have no family, so it is nice to be able to glob on someone else’s. Mi Casa is a great place to talk and get together and the food is always great. It is always on the table every trip. Another thing I like about Silverton is that I can watch the mermaids swimming around the big fish tank. We all hugged and said goodbye for this trip and headed back to Excalibur for the nights festivities.
    DSC01012.JPG
    Daily Variable: $355

    Monday June 5: Trip #49 now history. Don’t fly out until 2:15 so it was nice to be able to stay out and party last night more than a usual final night. We had got all packed up after yesterday’s pool session so did not have to bother too much with that. I did survive 2 of my pet peeves upon departure. 1) TV checkout didn’t work so no final accounting yet of bill. The checkout line was long downstairs and VIP not open yet so, checked out via her Kindle; 2) People who get their cars at the valet then just sit there blocking the whole area! We then drove to Mon Ami Gabi for final breakfast of the week. We had eaten their 1 week ago on our way to the 4 days at Venetian. We even ended up with the same waiter (Manuel) as last time and he even remembered that we both ordered the Quiche Lorraine. We were duly impressed. This time I had the eggs benedict and Laurel had her quiche. The food and view was spectacular as always. It is always nice to have one more positive memory before flying home.

    Daily Variable: $75

    Final Wrap-up:

    * Variable budget of $210 per day was an actual of $193
    * Cancelled our July Trip. Not willing to pay $287 each for concert tickets
    * Laurel has her usual wonderful time and kept her losses to $54 per day--GOOD GIRL
    * I logged a $26 win for the 10 days. Since I de-emphasized the gaming portion after trip #16 (11/2003)
    my record is 28 winning trips and 5 losing ones. Beat that!!!!

    Estimated initial budget: $5055 Actual Expense: $4903 (almost a record high)
    Trip #50 is now scheduled for Labor Day---that means college and pro football
     
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  2. Tahoejoe2

    Tahoejoe2 VIP Whale

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    Does Mon Ami Gabi allow you to directly use TR credits? In April I had to go to Paris TR center and get a voucher.
    Great trip. I love people watching.
     
    Super Bowl baby
  3. CheeseHog

    CheeseHog Low-Roller

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    No, you've got to get a Comp at the TR desk, but it's pretty close to Mon Ami Gabi! Jeff
     
  4. Niteshade

    Niteshade VIP Whale

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    Great report! Sounds like a wonderful trip.
    Thanks for sharing!!
     
  5. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Great report; sorry your concert trip didn't work out :(. You did well staying within your budget for a long stay.
     
  6. pleasemum

    pleasemum High-Roller

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    Thanks for the great read, pics and detail. Sounds like you two had a wonderful time.

    We really enjoyed Cucina at Crystals - I love the open feel of the place - it is after all in a mall but somehow it works nicely.
     
  7. carolineno

    carolineno VIP Whale

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    Wonderful report! I am spending my last day in Vegas at Mandalay Bay and I'm very much looking forward to the Border Grill. I love that spot in WP-Crystals, great way to relax and people watch. Gonna try the 107 lounge at sunset one of these days!
     
    Optimistic, might make Identity Gold?
  8. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Nice long trip, love it!

    Since you hadn't used the bell service before, I'll just chime in on that for your next trip - you really don't need to tip both the guy who takes your bags and the guy who drops them off. The guy who takes your bags and gives you your ticket may kinda try to make you think he's expecting a tip, but it isn't necessary. And $10 to the guy who drops off your bags is fine unless you really really have a lot of stuff.
     
  9. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

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    Thanks Cheese, thoroughly enjoyed it.
     
    Reno to Las Vegas...and other places in between..
  10. sharper

    sharper Low-Roller

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    Really enjoyed reading your trip. Thanks for sharing it.
     
  11. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Caesars Diamond Member

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    Great trip report Jeff. I will be in Vegas in July. Sorry you guys won't make it, since it would have been nice to meet up and see you and Lauren again!!
     
  12. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Chief bottle washer

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    Never in a million years would I have taken you two for Rammstein--Korn fans:headbang:
     
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  13. Hurricane

    Hurricane Eat, drink, be merry and roll points

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    What a trip report! Glad you had a great time and stayed within budget! You saved it with that hockey bet!
     
  14. CheeseHog

    CheeseHog Low-Roller

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    We'll meet again Igor....Wish you luck with the Mets. I found and took the Brewers at 50-1 and at 75-1. It'a gonna be a good season

    Jeff

    Thanks for the tip tip Chuck. I always have an issue trying to meet someone's expectations

    Octane: In the recent past we've seen Slipknot and Five Finger Death Punch We were the oldest people there!!!
     
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  15. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

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    Great report! What a variety of hotels....but the Venetian sounded wonderful! How are you a Brewers' fan? Even I can't keep up with all the roster changes and we watch them nearly every night!
     
  16. mdm4sfest

    mdm4sfest VIP Whale

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    You guys are cute lol glad you have a fun and interesting trip.
     
  17. 1eyedJack

    1eyedJack Tourist

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    This was a nice trip report. You are a good husband that treats his wife well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. CheeseHog

    CheeseHog Low-Roller

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    kkinwi.... I lived in Wisconsin for 35 years, That is the cheese part of my name, I live in Arkansas now, That is the hog part, It's the best I could come up with

    1eyedJack... thanks. I know where my bread is buttered.
     
  19. Keebler

    Keebler Tourist

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    Great TR CheeseHog, We plan on being there 09/09/17 and will be watching the Arkansas/TCU game somewhere (any ideas?), if you guys are still there, holler!
     
  20. CheeseHog

    CheeseHog Low-Roller

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    We'll be somewhere...I'll never forget last years game. We are usually in Vegas for 4 Razorback games each year. Last year betting for and against, I was 4 for 4. Even though I tend to lose focus, football season is the best!!!

    Jeff
     
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