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Trip Report - August 27-September 2 - Stardust

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Annie Vegas, Sep 5, 2005.

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  1. Annie Vegas

    Annie Vegas Low-Roller

    Jun 2, 2005

    My Trip Report

    This is my first trip report so please bear with me everyone! :thumbsup:

    Warning: Portions of this trip report could cause the reader to experience severe drowsiness. It is very, very long and BORING.

    Please STOP reading if you are looking for information on shows, pools or strip clubs. This is a boring report and written by a boring person!!! I will refer to my husband as “BP2 (Boring Person 2)â€.

    Planning this trip for the last 3 months was very exciting to say the least, but in spite of all our best laid plans to catch a show and spend time by the pool (didn’t actually see it until our last day there ), BP2 and I were so excited about being there after a 3-year absence, we forgot all about our plans the minute we stepped off the plane, and our true degenerative nature revealed itself. In essence, we spent all of our time gambling, eating, and sleeping in that order, (no emphasis whatsoever on sleeping), hitting as many places as we could, and if we happened to see something interesting or fascinating along the way, it was a bonus.  It was probably the best time I’ve ever had in Vegas, maybe because I had been so long away from it. I am now bluer than blue and planning the next time I can get back there.

    To make things easier, and to give you an idea of how much playing BP2 and I did on this trip, the following are the casinos we did not visit. Any casinos not mentioned were visited and played at:

    Bourbon Street
    San Remo
    Sunset Station

    On Saturday night, we flew out of Boston on Jet Blue. This was the one airline I had not yet flown on and being really terrified of flying I have to see it was one of the best flights I’ve been on. Of course I was heavily medicated, but the seats were really comfortable and roomy (indication of a fat person here), I loved the Direct TV they have, and it seemed there was an endless array of snacks. I had 2 Bloody Marys to calm myself down (in addition to the pills I was popping in the terminal) so needless to say I was flying all by myself. The coffee was even good which was shocking. BP2 & I had an empty seat between us which made things even more wonderful. The only crimp in the flight was that there was a Muslim family of about 30 (really, no kidding) with several small children, one of which screamed for his/her mother through half of the flight. The fact that this didn’t really piss me off indicates how “happy†I was on the plane. 

    I have to say we have to be the most foolish couple ever to visit Las Vegas, at least from our perspective. The plane had a middle door that you could exit from and it was right onto the tarmac, so the minute we stepped off the stairs, and saw the view, we literally were squealing with delight. I asked the flight attendant if I could take a pic of the strip and he said no problem. Well, we were shooting and re-shooting, trying to get it just right, really a couple of idiots, that the guy finally asked us to move along into the terminal because there was a guy there holding the door open and he apparently was waiting on us, who were the last ones in! You would have thought we had never been to Vegas or seen the Strip or the dozens of photos of the view! 

    Because I had to give up my lighter at the Boston airport, I couldn’t find a soul to give me a light for my cigarette when I got to MacCarran so I had to wait until I got to the hotel. I didn’t care because I was so excited. We shuttled to Thrifty and got our car (Dodge Neon – cheap bastards here) with no problem and were on our way. We deliberately drove from the North strip at Tropicana so we could see the whole Strip, playing our favorite Vegas music (Elvis, Rat Pack, Wayne Newton, etc.) Well, we certainly found out how much traffic had changed because it took us 50 minutes to get from Tropicana to the Stardust. However, we just waited it out and took in all the sights. Being a Saturday, I don’t have to tell you the Strip was hopping at midnight.

    We got to the hotel, finally, and valet parked and checked in at the Stardust. I didn’t attempt the $20 trick and just told the clerk how happy we were to be there and asked if there was anything with a view that was close to the elevator available. He was so accommodating and sincere, in what he thought was a great room, I tipped him $10 and we were on our way. I say “what he thought†because when we got up there, we realized immediately that it was a handicapped room! Now this isn’t that big a deal except the closet is half size so dresses had to be hung elsewhere. I was disappointed that the bathroom didn’t have one of those long counters, but instead a half counter with an underneath space, presumably for a wheelchair. I did however like all the bars in the tub so I could hoist myself out.  I called down and asked if we were taking this room away from someone who needed it and they said ‘no’, that there were plenty of them. This was Room 12102. It had a “view†of the back lot, but the mountains were pretty and BP2 got to look directly at Palace Station all week where he later took a beating. I wished we had gotten a room across the hall, where we were last time we stayed there (12107) because that has a view of the Strip. The other thing I noticed was that the safe was really small, much smaller than I remembered, and instead of a digital combination, it had a key which you get charged $25 for if you lose it.

    There was a sign on the bathroom sink that listed all the prices of their cheap white towels if you steal them. I didn’t want the towels and didn’t steal them, but I did steal the sign. You will find a photo of it in my collection. 

    All week long, by the way, BP2 kept asking the maid for additional towels because we are slobs, and she acted as though we were asking for vials of blood. It was ridiculous the way they hang onto to those stupid towels. I mean they’re not exactly plush, who would want them? In addition, we had to ask a couple of times for additional laundry bags – those little plastic bags. I was really surprised by the $$ watching that this hotel has started doing, but I suppose it’s like that everywhere.

    So we dropped our luggage, and being calm, cool and collected people that we are, immediately hightailed it down to the casino, licking our lips the whole way. However, to our dismay, all of the tables were $25 and up and the Hippy Pit was $10 (I think) but was 6/5 which I won’t even go into except to say I avoided them like the plague. We were disappointed but it was a Saturday night after all, and since we could not afford such high stakes, we walked over to the Westward Ho where we played a very reasonable $5 BJ. After winning a couple of dollars, we then indulged in our very first Ho Dog! I have now joined the ranks of the very brave. I have to say it wasn’t that bad at all, not nearly as bad as I expected, reading the reports about it, and I want to point out that I am not a hot dog lover at all. Since BP2 and I were both not that hungry, we split one and still couldn’t finish it. BP2 said it reminded him of knockwurst. After that, we moseyed on over to Slots-A-Fun where I played a little bit and used my AGC coupon for a fun book, free t-shirt and deck of cards. I broke even there, and then we stopped in at the Riviera where I promptly lost $50 in 11 minutes. By this time, it was about 3:00 a.m., and stamping my feet all the way back to the hotel, we went to bed.

    Sunday, 8/28

    On Sunday morning, late morning, we got up and ordered our room service coffee (our only real “splurge†on vacation) and took showers, got dressed, and headed over to the Peppermill for our long-awaited breakfast. We checked out the tables in the hotel casino first and saw that they were mostly $10 (this was noon) except for the $5 6/5 Hippy Pit. There was one $5 table so I played for a bit but when I went to give my players card, was told they would not even clock me for less than $10 per hand. This really irritated me to no end.

    Before anyone jumps all over me, asking me what I should expect, let me point out that first of all the Stardust is not the Bellagio, and should look upon themselves that way. It is an older property and I would think since they are competing with all these mega-resorts they should treat their customers a little better. In addition, people on this very board have told me they get comped when all they play is penny or nickel slots, so why are their pennies more important than my $5 per hand? I played for a bit anyway and left.

    On we went to the Peppermill. This was a real disappointment to BP2 in a sense and myself as well. The one thing that brought us back there time and again was the huge portions (which still exist) and BP2’s favorite breakfast, ham and eggs. They would give you this huge, thick ham steak with the bone in. However, that has changed somewhat. It is still a bone-in ham steak, but of a much thinner cut where it curls up at the ends and seems drier. It was still good, but when we got the check we nearly died. I recall breakfast at the Peppermill being about $25 every day with tip and we didn’t mind since it was our only meal until dinner and it was pretty big. However, the bill was $37 with tip and I thought that was really steep for breakfast! I mean we’re only talking ham and eggs here, not caviar. Even BP2, who is a die-hard Peppermill fan, questioned the reasonableness of dining there every morning, but I told him so what, we’re on vacation and we cut corners everywhere else. While we were having breakfast, I looked up and in walked our very own Hurricane Mikey from this very board and another board. I recognized him immediately from his photos and walked over and introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes. So if anyone is looking for proof of my existence, you may contact him directly. He said he would be at the Sunset Station dealing BJ that night and I told him I would try to get over there – but we ended up not being able to. (Sorry Mikey! I was stuck at a winning table!)

    We then headed downtown for the day, where I began my day long odyssey of losing everyplace I went. I mean, I could not even get arrested. It was putrid, really. BP2 won small amounts here and there, but I was a wet blanket. We valeted our car at the Plaza, since we had dinner reservations there at Center Stage that night, and headed over to the Golden Gate and got our free deck of cards with an ACG coupon, Golden Nugget, whereupon I discovered a Starbucks (be still, my heart) and proceeded to lose more $$. We got $10 in free slot play each for getting new cards (apparently 3 years is a long time to some of these places) and BP2 won $12 on a slot machine with free money. I couldn’t even win that. We did however finally find the gold nuggets on display which was a bonus. Never saw those before. We did play those special slot machines at the Plaza for free and I got a high score of 11,000+ and was told to check back later to see what I’d won (I came in fifth and won a BBQ set). On to the horribly changed Binion’s where we got a free mouse pad and light up necklace (whoopee) and more $$ lost. I insisted we go to Lady Luck where I had so much luck a few years before and lost another $60. At this point, I was afraid my whole week was going to be this way. BP2 got a free cap and I got a free LV sign pin and then we went to the Four Queens for more free crap and more lost wages. I played a little at the LV Club and managed to break even there, and went back to the Golden Gate for their famous shrimp cocktail which I’d never had (it wasn’t bad, kind of mushy) and played there, but didn’t like the fact that the dealer doesn’t check the hole card if there’s no Ace showing but found that in several other places all week too. At this point I was down about $150 for the day and didn’t have much left to play with for that day.

    We walked around and around looking for that damn Neon Museum and finally found it where BP2 spent a small fortune on magnets from dead casinos and I bought a poster. The guy told us they owned the Gambling Museum at the Tropicana and since we were going there the next day, we didn’t go into this one.

    We went to the Plaza’s Center Stage restaurant and BP2 tipped the maitre’d $10 for a seat by the window where they were most accommodating. They really can’t do enough for you there. Sitting across from us in one of those elevated circular booths was a very drunk man and who I’m sure was his favorite call girl, who was bitching him out for something or other.

    We both ordered the Queen Cut Prime Rib, BP2 got a baked potato and I had garlic mashed. While it wasn’t a bad dinner, it wasn’t cooked medium rare they way we liked it, and I sent mine back and it still didn’t come back pink, but it was still tasty so I ate it anyway. There was too much food to finish, and we enjoyed our coffee and the fabulous view (which in my opinion is really what you’re paying for) and tipped out of there at $80 – no alcohol. Including the maitre’d tip it was $90, and somewhat pricey, but like I said, it was the view that was worth the $$. We then went down to the casino where I managed to win back about $25 of my money, and felt a little better.

    Everywhere we went downtown, and all week for that matter, we saw those light-up Welcome to LV signs and I really wanted one but they prices were different at each place. Some had them for $40 and some even less and we saw a kiosk on Fremont Street that had it for $26.70, but we made a note to go back to get it, not wanting to carry it around with us.

    We drove over to the El Cortez so I could see it and it was cozy and cute and I played BJ for a little bit and won a few dollars. I am glad we drove because I would never walk over in that area at night. Very scary.

    We then headed back up the Strip where we didn’t want to turn in yet so we headed over to the Imperial Palace to check it out. The security guard said we could valet even though the sign said “hotel guests only†and the valet got offended that BP2 told him that and said “I’m the valet, it’s my call, blah blah blah†but he let us valet and we stayed awhile. I loved the Champagne Pit, it was so much fun. I played DD pitch BJ which I had been doing all day and won about $60 back. I loved the Dealertainers too, loved watching them that this. Some of them are right on the money in the look-a-like department and it was fun watching Elvis one on the platform doing his thing. However, all their tables were 6/5 so we stuck to the Champagne Pit for playing. At about 3:00 a.m., with our blisters and a few bucks in our pockets, we headed back to the Stardust and fell into bed.

    Monday, 8/29

    More of the same, ordering our room service coffee, over to the Peppermill where I tried a cheese and spinach omelet, which was enormous and I had to take a business call while I ate (horror of horrors) while BP2 tried the bacon and eggs. Breakfast was about $40 (the omelet was more expensive) and then we drove to the Welcome to LV sign to take photos. There was a small group of people there taking pics and we asked them to take a pic of us on both sides of the sign. We then went over to the Klondike where I really wanted to see it, from all the stories I heard. The parking lot was familiar from Miss Congeniality 2 but I had heard that the film was partially filmed in there and Vegas Vacation but it didn’t look at all like the film so I’m thinking it may have been another casino. It was very small with 10 cent roulette, which I thought was a hoot (I mean what’s the point really) and $2 BJ which I played for a little bit. I lost about $4 and we left there after having a drink. It was the only place I’ve ever seen the pit boss smoking a cigarette!

    We headed over to the Luxor and played there for a little while, and won a few dollars, and then went on to the Tropicana, to check out the Museum again (we had been there a few years before) since we had free admission coupons. I was looking through the old photographs the souvenir shop had for sale and made a comment to BP2 that I thought the photo of dead Bugsy Siegel, bullets and all was in poor taste, and the proprietor was standing behind me and became very cranky, muttering comments under his breath. We played there for a little while, where BP2 promptly took his first of many, many beatings for the week from a dealer that he was sure was related to the Desert Inn dealer he still talks about to this day who crucified him (he likened her to the Vegas Vacation dealer). We played for about 2 hours and I came out about $15 up so we left after realizing it wasn’t going to get any better, and headed over to our beloved NYNY. This has always been one of our favorite places, and that hasn’t changed. We stopped in to the America Restaurant because although I could have gone all night without eating, BP2 was wasting away (so he said) so he ordered a cheeseburger and fries, and I ordered a grilled cheese which came with fries. We ate our meal and had coffee, and tipped out at $26, and practically ran into the casino, salivating all the way. We both won some $$ there (I won about $90) and then went over to the Boardwalk, where we both played for a couple of hours – he playing shoe BJ and I played DD pitch where I had a good run and walked away with $125. I was at a real fun table and played with a fellow Massachusetts tourist so we had something in common to talk about. We stopped in the many shops they have there and saw the very large version of a suitcase with Vegas logos all over it. We had seen it downtown on Sunday for $50 and $60 but here it was $39.99 so being old and foolish, we bought it! I told you we were goofy.

    By this time it was about 2:00 a.m., and we headed back over to the Stardust where BP2 was hungry again (can I help it if he has a tapeworm, and he weighs five pounds?) so went into the Island Paradise Café and got what I am sure was the phoniest and yet bitchiest waitress I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. I wasn’t that hungry but could eat something, so I asked what the soup du jour was, to which she responded “soup of the dayâ€. I think I was a little abrupt when I said “I know what it means, but what kind of soup is it?†and her phony sweetness became nasty. She replied that it was onion soup and brought me this bowl of slop which apparently had been sitting in the pot all day, (my own fault for ordering it) so I sent it back and got an English muffin which I had to wait until about 3 minutes before we paid the bill for. It is important to note that I have now sent back two items in two days and have never sent back food. I am pretty easy to please when it comes to restaurants, usually.

    BP2 went up to bed and I stayed a little bit and played Let It Ride a little, and they had a couple of decent BJ tables open so I played that a little bit, but not having won anything, finally gave in and went up to bed.

    Tuesday, 8/30

    By now our feet were really sore and we switched from sneakers to open shoes. Clearly we are not used to walking much anymore. We had our usual ritual of coffee and then breakfast at the Peppermill where BP2 again got the ham and eggs and I had bacon and eggs and pancakes (which we split), and then headed to mid-strip where were visited the Flamingo first. We valeted there and played BJ for awhile and I played a little JOB VP. While I played $10 BJ and BP2 was off somewhere doing the same (we don’t generally play together) I chatted with the friendly pit boss about the 60th Anniversary design on the chip and asked if he knew when the Flamingo opened. I thought it was 1946 but the chip did say 60 years so maybe it was 1945. This started a long discussion because he thought the place was built in the 60’s and then asked everyone he could, to which we got a different answer each time. We laughed about that, and I continued to play. The chips were electronically tracked but you can’t tell if you didn’t already know it and truthfully, I wasn’t as offended by it as I thought I would be. I don’t play enough (high enough) to get all kinds of free comps and it doesn’t affect me one way or the other if they want to track me. I am much more offended by the 6/5 BJ I saw in all the casinos on this trip. I came out ahead about $25 there which was shocking because I’ve never won at the Flamingo and we then walked over to the Paris (my favorite, not BP2) where we played awhile and I walked away from a table with around $100!!!

    We then went over to Barbary Coast which seemed much bigger than I remembered it but that could have been because both doors were open on either side. Neither of us could do anything and while we were playing, they had a screen on the wall in the bar with the real Elvis singing. Apparently, during this time, their Elvis impersonator, Big Pete Vallee came on and started singing, and not being a true Elvis aficionado, I couldn’t tell the difference. When we were done playing, we went into the bar and had a drink and listened to him for a little bit and then headed over to Harrah’s where I had a great table of mostly black women and one Caucasian guy and took the place for over $125. It was $10 table and in the party pit and it was great fun, but at one point, the guy started to make anti-gay comments about a previous gay couple that had been at the table, and the women were just politely going along with him. When he turned to me to ask me what I thought, I told him I was a lesbian and didn’t have any comment about it. The whole table went quiet and he was very uncomfortable so I finally told him I was kidding, and he laughed but I could tell I pissed him off. Too bad, he shouldn’t be talking about stuff in front of people he doesn’t know anything about. The ladies however thought I was a real riot and a sisterhood was formed. They did not have outdoor BJ like I’ve seen in reports (it’s only Thursday-Saturday) and it was too hot to be out there playing anyway. We saw the Dueling Pianos in the bar which had a very interesting twist – identical twin sisters. They were very talented and entertaining and we watched that for awhile and then on the way back to the Flamingo, stopped into Casino Royale where they bombard you with free coupons for free slot play which is meaningless, and not having any decent tables (they were all 6/5) we stopped in at O’Shea’s and not being impressed there either, headed back over to the Flamingo where we stopped in Margaritaville and had a drink overlooking the balcony and where I bought BP2 a straw hat.

    After playing a little more in the Flamingo, we got our car and went over to Ellis Island for the famous steak dinner I’ve been hearing so much about. It was absolutely wonderful. The steak in both our opinions was better than the pricey Center Stage, cooked to perfection, with a baked potato, green beans and salad, for $15.00 with tip and coupon. In addition, they had Match Play coupons on the placemats so we tried our luck in the casino where I won $10 and therefore practically paid for the whole meal. We got players cards and were told that the next day we would have a free 5,000 points each on the card which was good for $5.00 each. We agreed to go back and eat there before the week was out. We noticed a sign on the way out that said everything on the menu on Thursdays was .99 each but that was only if you had so many earned points.

    We still didn’t feel like going back so went over to the Monte Carlo where I won some more money but had a true idiot at my table who was splitting 10’s and he was on last base! It was driving me absolutely crazy and he finally was drunk enough to leave. We stayed awhile longer and at one point, while BP2 was standing behind me while I was playing, I looked up and saw Louis Lombardi walking between the tables down the aisle with a girl on his arm. For those who don’t know who this is, he plays FBI Agent Skip Lipari in the Sopranos, and has a recurring role (he was Big Pussy’s handler) and has appeared in several films. I was in the middle of a play so BP2, never shy, walked over and told him how much he enjoyed his work, etc. etc. and Mr. Lombardi was very pleasant and told him he’d be on next season’s Soprano’s again as well. We finally left and headed back to the Stardust where BP2 wanted to get a snack at the Island Paradise Café but it was closed for cleaning, and they directed us into the buffet restaurant where we got a coffee roll and coffee. The same waitress was there but didn’t wait on us, and after that, off to bed we went at a very early 1:00 a.m.

    Wednesday, 8/31

    This was the day we were planning to spend a little time in our own casino, and played there for awhile where I won $100 at the BJ table. Now the card was being rated because I was playing $10 per hand, of course. (My bets go up as I win.)

    As we were waiting for our car from the valet, one of the valets pointed to the limo that pulled up in front of the casino, and said Joan Rivers was in it. Of course I am fumbling with my damn digital camera that I still haven’t figured out how to master, and took a very blurry pic of her talking to the concierge that clearly cannot be distinguished at all – you’ll just have to take my word for it. She is a very tiny bit of a thing much smaller than she appears. We then went to breakfast, and first headed towards downtown to the Gamblers General Store where I had to purchase several items for work and which is a very, very expensive store, for those who have never been there. We agreed to spend our day doing the “drive-to†casinos as we like to call them like the Palms, Hard Rock, etc. I would like to start by saying that before you read the following, be warned it was the worst losing streak of my short gambling life. First we headed over to Wynn to see what the fuss was all about. The very first thing you get when you walk in is how much it looks like the Bellagio. This is clearly a Wynn property (no pun intended) and he was obviously going for the same look. It was really beautiful and I took a few pics of the lobby and the wall of water (is that what it’s called?) and proceeded to lose $115 at 3 tables in about 15 minutes. I am not exaggerating when I tell you not one of those dealers busted. BP2 started his losing streak right there, and we left a little poorer sputtering things like “the place looks like deathâ€, etc.

    Over to the Palms we headed to check that out (not having been there before) and I lost another $75. I did win $10 on their free slot play at VP, but big deal. We stopped at the Seattle Best Coffee there and I had my iced latte while BP2 had his coffee and we left and headed over to Bellagio. There was like a 20 minute wait for valet parking there, but we finally managed to get the car valeted. We were going to go to the Fontana Bar and watch the water show but instead watched it from the little fountain area by the valet. I took a few blurry pics and we headed into the casino, where we first stopped in the conservatory because that’s always beautiful. The theme was America and it was really something to behold. They had figures of children flying kites and selling lemonades, that were made completely of flowers, a cracked liberty bell that was huge and even two eagles clucking in their nest. Such detail was magnificent, really. We then went into the casino, of course, where I promptly lost another $115. At this point, I was considering jumping into the man-made lake out front but BP2 convinced me to instead head over to the Hard Rock where I have never, ever, ever won but this time won $35 playing BJ. I got my Venti Latte at Starbucks and played awhile, with a guy at my table worried about his father who was in New Orleans. We then headed over to the LV Hilton because I had an AGC 2 for 1 Buffet coupon and a MP coupon as well. We played there awhile where I won a little $$ back ($25) and BP2 won nothing, and we ate at the buffet, which I can only say was mediocre, at best. Off to the Frontier we went where we both lost a little $$ but got more free crap (cards and dice) and went back to the Stardust where I played a little (won $15) while BP2 went off to bed.

    Thursday, 9/1

    This time we did not have our usual morning routine, having received two free buffet coupons from the hotel upon checking in, so we decided to use them for breakfast instead. At first I called a casino host to complain about what I thought was the unfair practice of not rating players under $10 there and she said I should talk to someone in casino services who was out for the day. She did tell me to call when I checked out and she would see what she could do. I had been playing there intermittently all week and sometimes the pit boss would take the card and sometimes they would not. She pointed out that it was really up to them whether they did or not.

    We had breakfast at the buffet, which was pretty decent. BP2 was bitching that he hated breakfast buffets but was pleasantly surprised that the omelet station would prepare his eggs any way he wanted them. They had quite a few choices for breakfast and you couldn’t beat the price.

    We then headed over to the Bonanza Gift Shop to pick up a couple of things for family members, and then went downtown to Main Street Station where we hadn’t had a chance to get to on Sunday. While I was in there, BP2 went over to the kiosk on Fremont Street to pick up the LV sign since it was the cheapest we had seen it, and then came back and took a beating from a dealer that kept smirking every time she made 21. We went to the restrooms where I had heard about the famous “Berlin Wall†in the men’s room and while BP2 was making sure the coast was clear, I snuck in the men’s room to see it and take another crappy picture. An Asian guy started to approach BP2 to get into the men’s room and it was comical to listen to BP2 try to explain to the guy what his wife was doing in the men’s room. 

    We then headed over to Ellis Island for another great dinner. This time BP2 got the Porterhouse steak, baked potato, green bean and salad, and I ordered the Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, also with a salad. With the $5.00 each on our cards given to us earlier in the week, and tip, the total bill came to $20.00. Unbelievable! We then proceeded into the casino where he used another $5 MP coupon from the placemat and won $10, and I had a $10 AGC MP coupon and won $20. So we got a free, fabulous dinner and came out $10 ahead.

    Feeling very full of ourselves, in more ways than one, we headed over to Palace Station where I won a little bit and lost it, and BP2 continued his bad run of luck.

    We then decided to check out Terribles again because I liked it there when we were here last and on the way over on Paradise Road, had a blowout on the tire and had to pull over to the side of the road. I’m a hysterical wreck now worried about my husband out there in the right turn lane trying to change a tire, worried he’s going to get killed right here in Las Vegas, and trying to call Thrifty’s Miserable Roadside Assistance. Finally getting someone on the phone, they inform me that they will send someone out there but I would have to pay them $60 to change the tire because we didn’t take the “coverageâ€. I hung up with them and called AAA and they agreed to send someone out but BP2 got the “tire†(i.e., donut) on and we went to Terribles which was a few feet away and he went to the men’s room to wash up and we hung out awhile. I won $50 playing BJ – BP2 won nothing and we headed back to our hotel where I won $50 on a Strip slot machine, and then proceeded to play BJ for 2 hours and win exactly $2.50. 

    Friday, 9/2

    Our last day and we were feeling the full effects of sadness early on. We asked for a late checkout but because it was Labor Day weekend they could only give us until noon, which was fine and we finished packing and made it down to the lobby by 11:45 a.m. I called the casino host I spoke to the day before and much to my pleasant surprise, she comped me $40.00 which pretty much paid for 3 days of room service coffee. Hey, I was thrilled with it, not expecting anything at all.

    We had our last breakfast again at the Peppermill, and headed over to Harrah’s again to play some more. First we stopped in at the Tower of Jewels where BP2 insisted I buy a gold dice charm for my chain to complete my “Vegas chain†(I had lost the dice charm years ago) and it was reasonably priced at $49.00, compared to the $78.00 the Stardust wanted for a much smaller one and that was supposedly 50% off!!! We then played the casino for a couple of hours where BP2 again had no luck, but I had tremendous luck and won $165!!! This was a great way to start our last day in LV. We initially decided to head over to Excalibur but couldn’t figure out how to get into the valet so we stayed at NYNY for awhile where I broke even but BP2 finally won something (thank God!) and then headed over to Orleans for a few hours before our flight.

    Before I go into our experience at the Orleans, I want to point out I had only been there once before and lost $$ there – both myself and BP2 – and we never went back. However, after hearing so many good things about it on the boards we decided to check it out again. BP2 won some money and I lost a fair amount of money – about $75 – but we loved the place!!! First of all, we never realized how enormous it was, with nine restaurants which is a lot for a place that’s not nearly as big as MGM! In addition, we decided to eat at the buffet because we had an AGC coupon and I have to say it is one of the best buffets we’ve ever had in LV. BP2 went on and on about how great the food was, the huge selections (7 countries represented), and that if he lived in LV he would eat there all the time. There was Italian, Chinese, Mongolian, American, etc. etc. We had chicken, ribs, pasta, salad, and an array of desserts at our table, eating like we were on death row. There were a couple of small children playing tag with an adult in the casino area outside the buffet but it was the first time all week we had seen children in the casino so it didn’t really deter us. The place is great. The atmosphere is fun in the casino and even though I lost $$ there, I would go back in a minute. To really top things off, I was out of cigarettes again because the packs I had were in my luggage in the car with the valet so I was contemplating paying the $7.00 or $8.00 I knew the cigarette girl would charge (it’s what they were asking at the IP and Paris). When I asked the girl how much the cigarettes were, she replied that players get 1 pack per day for FREE. I couldn’t believe my ears. I tipped her when she brought them and really thought what a great place it was that they would do something like for their players. Really old school. BP2 (not a smoker) commented that when we came out to LV again he might want to stay there. You cannot realize how shocking this statement was since he has made it abundantly clear that he would never stay off-strip.

    We hated to leave but we did and on the way to the airport, put $20 gas in the Neon, which didn’t even fill the tank (gas gouging starting everywhere that day).

    We returned the car to Thrifty where they promptly started to give me a hard time about the tire saying I would have to pay to have it “repaired†since I didn’t take the coverage. I told them I would notify my credit card company that had coverage but didn’t think it was my fault I had to pay for a tire that may not have had enough air in it to begin with. The funny thing was there was no hole in the tire at all, it was just flat. They said that they would submit the claim form but that nothing may come of it.

    We then went to the airport where our luggage weighed too much because of the purchases I made at the Gamblers store so right there in the terminal, we emptied some of it out and placed stuff in a duffle and off we went where we flew the red-eye back to Boston and landed at 8:00 a.m., tired, happy, blue and already talking about our next trip. I came out $350 richer but BP2 lost a few hundred so it kind of evened out.

    As soon as I got home, there was an email from IP for Labor Day Weekend for $29/$39 per night which made me laugh.

    Things I learned/noted on this trip:

    It has changed somewhat. We hated the TI sign. And I didn’t like how Caesars has basically taken over the sidewalk on the strip. It’s just too overwhelming and appears to be a big roman cluster f&ck, and I really didn’t care about going in and spending hours navigating the place, having been in there each trip before, how much could there be to see?

    Not one person asked for my AGC card which I dutifully carried with me everywhere. However, for the $11.84 I paid for the AGC book, we saved $74.00 in the coupons we used, not counting all the free crap we accumulated. It was definitely worth the investment.

    Many, many more pitch games since we were there before. In fact in some places, the shoe games were harder to find. Every casino has 6/5 in addition to 3/2 so be careful when sitting at a table, making sure to check out that info.

    Now that I know BJ as well as I do, having improved my game over the years, I have less tolerance for other players who don’t know how to play. Sorry. 

    The Strip is now owned by about 4 corporations, Boyd joining the fray, having just acquired all of the Coast properties. It was confirmed by several dealers that the Stardust is supposed to come down by the end of next year.

    With all the talk of JOB VP and my practicing for months, I was hard-pressed to find many machines. I think they were mostly part of the GameMaker collection but rarely saw a JOB 9/6 machine.

    I learned that the hotel has all kinds of funny charges, like $1.00 per day for the safe in the room and valet services. Phone charge are also high at $1.00 per call plus .10 per minute for local calls.

    Hope I haven't forgotten anything. Tried to be as detailed as possible. To those who are not asleep yet, I told ya it was boring.
  2. kenophile

    kenophile Tourist

    May 14, 2003
    Famous Person Sightings in Vegas

    Thanks for the great trip report! I love to spot famous people in Vegas. When you are from Hooterville like I am, you really get a kick out of seeing celebrities. Last time I was there, I saw Charlie Pride, the country singer, in the LV Hilton. He asked me for directions to a restaurant, and I took his picture.

    If you are ever in Vegas during a prize fight event, go to the weigh-in. It is free and full of celebrities. Also, you get to see the fighters in their undewear!
  3. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

    Jun 25, 2005
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Glad to hear you had a good trip, despite the flat tire. I was also glad to hear you bumped into HurricanMikey! I met him back in June myself, nice guy and funny. :goofy:

    Thanks for posting!
  4. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

    Nov 11, 2003
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report, full of detail and not boring at all!! Isn't the Ellis Island steak special the greatest??? People don't believe it until they enjoy it for themselves.......
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