Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by LITTLECAESARS, Dec 19, 2007.
Hate being home but a report will surface soon!
tap... tap... tap...
It's a coming! I'm finishing day 3 of 5. I promise, I'll have it out today!
It must be a good one!
DEC 10-15 Stratosphere
OK here goes!
For those graduate students, this report will not be in APA format! Incomplete sentences and such.
It was cold in Vegas, although I came from â€“30c. It got dark around 5 pm. It wasnâ€™t as busy as it is in the warmer months. Go figure, right.
Received an invitation for comped days at the Stratosphere so I thought Iâ€™d take advantage of the deal before a hectic Christmas. Flew out via Allegiant on Dec 10 from Duluth. Crew was fantastic and friendly. They even had raffles for show tickets, Vegas memorabilia and the like. It offered a nice way to kill the time and get one into the gambling mood. Flight was supposed to be 3hrs 37 min but ended up being over 4. The captain had this annoying habit of continually announcing the delayed arrival time, thereby pushing back my first beer! I just let it fly because I was where I wanted to be-on a flight to Heaven. Arrived, and as I always do, stopped at the bar in the airport for a large stein. This proves lucky for me as well as starting the process of destroying my body. Bad omen-the bar tender was nowhere to be found. So I left without my lucky stein. After collecting my bag, I took a loaded shuttle to the Stratosphere. Painful! It was long, about an hour but once again it could be worse, right. Shuttle stops in order: MB, Riv, LVH and me at the Stratosphere. OK, hereâ€™s where my patience finally got tested. I straddled my comped stay with two other days, one at the beginning and one at the end. Front desk staff had to make three separate reservations to accomplish this. Patience grasshopper, I assured myself. The rep at the front desk typed furiously to record my information. This took 20 minutes. I made a comment like â€œthis is taking a little long.â€ The girl then handed the process off to a more senior person, who took another 20 minutes. Total check in time was 40 minutes. Finally got to my room after dealing with the MENSA members at the front desk. Stopped at the store within the casino and bought two large cans of Bud. Think I had them finished in the elevator. Showered up, applied the love juice and was ready to start Day 1.
Hopped in a cab and headed downtown. The driver dropped me off at the Golden Gate. (Note: only had one bad cab driver-surly guy who was too opinionated for me). Worked my way in and out of the casinos until I ended up at ELCO. Took me quite awhile as I indulged in my favorite libations along the way. Anyhow, got to ELCO and started playing VP and ended up playing three card and craps. This is where I had a celebrity sighting, Billy Bob Thornton, or who I called Billy Bob Thornton. This friggin guy was the spitting image of Billy Bob Thornton. Drawl and all. Apparently Billy Bob had made an enemy at the end of the table because he could not roll the dice to this guyâ€™s standards. A shouting match ensued and Billy Bob lost his engaging demeanor. He just wasnâ€™t the same after the yelling. Didnâ€™t bother me though. You must be aware that you will meet all kinds of characters at ELCO. It is not for the faint of heart. Great guy and we made some money to boot. No serious wins but no serious losses either. Felt like superman and thought Iâ€™d make it a long night. Ended up that I was in bed in my hotel room by 9pm. My homing beacon went on around 8pm so I looked, weaved and wandered in search of a cab. Caught one outside of the Plaza. Home in about 10 minutes. Picked up a pita from the Stratosphere store and some diet cokes and called it a night. So you know what happened the next morning.
Up at 5am. What to do? Do I wait in my room until later to get the day started or do I start now and pay the price later? Itâ€™s Vegas baby. Start right away. Today was haircut day so I made my way back to ELCO after playing VP for about three hours and 5 or 6 buds later. Tolerance built up already. The ELCO has the best barber shop in town as far as Iâ€™m concerned. Itâ€™s on the second floor of the casino in the old section or pavillion. Be careful, you may get lost. I did. Itâ€™s like a maze of sorts. Got a great haircut and proceeded to walk around floor 2 for 15 minutes before asking for help. Got out ok. Note to self: ease off on the buds at 5am. Note to self: forget that idea! So I stayed at ELCO, played VP and drank beers until mid afternoon. Again, no serious wins or losses. Left ELCO and walked down Freemont and ended up at MSS for happy hour. Just what I need right. Stopped in for a shrimp cocktail at the Chinese buffet at the Freemont first, though. After arriving at MSS, I sat at the bar, tried the beer sampler and decided on the golden and an order of wings. Nothing outstanding, here folks in my opinion. Wings were ok and the beer was lacking. I would come back here only for the happy hour wings, which I did twice. I did meet a nice guy who lived in Vegas, however. He was a software salesman, named Stu. Great guy. Folks, salesmen are the best people to meet for a variety of reasons. They are conversationalists and generally know much about the area they operate in. I just added the occasional nod and listened to his stories. They were riveting or what seemed to be riveting after many beers. We agreed to go out for a steak dinner the next night. Never made it. I really regret that. I will touch base with Stu at some point to apologize. Stu, if you are a borad member, Iâ€™m sorry for missing the dinner. Iâ€™m sure it would have been great. Homing beacon comes on after the sampler so I have to eat quick. In bed by 6:30. You know what that means.
Up at 5 am. The pattern is the same for the remainder of the trip. Started day 3 off with my usual 5 am beers and video poker. Service at the Stratosphere isnâ€™t bad at 5 am as long as you sit in proximity to the serving bar, which I did. Tipping as we all know, goes a long way. Lost a hundred at VP. Iâ€™m a little pissed both literally and figuratively. Hopped in a cab and headed for Carnival Court. Never got there. Started off at Oâ€™Sheas playing VP and sipping tea. Stayed for about an hour and really enjoyed it. Ended up at Flamingo chatting with a bar tender who was pretty cool. He was definitely old school with a lot of Vegas stories. Wished I could have stayed longer but I was afraid of a premature homing beacon. More beers then I caught the monorail to MGM. Walked across the street and headed for Hooters. Casino was dead. Needed a little break so I went out to the pool area and sat on a lounge and enjoyed the sun for a couple of hours. The temperature was as good as it gets for this time period. Checked in with the commander to let her know that I wasnâ€™t passed out in an alley behind Binionâ€™s. (Past trip) I assured her that I was taking it easy. I really was. After all, it was American beer, I explained to her. Yeah but she said, 42 beers is 42 beers. After my brief rest, I made my way inside and ordered a beer at Hooters. Waitress was what I would call, a bitch, so I left after my quick beer. This place is basically the San Remo all jazzed up. Made my way to Bills and left just as fast. Must have missed Big Elvis, so there was really no reason to stay. No vibe. Headed back to the Stratosphere. By the way, I missed the $40,000 slot tournament-the reason I went to the Stratosphere in the first place. I also forgot to pick up my welcome package, which Iâ€™m sure included a free trinket or two. I always say that Iâ€™m going to Vegas for relaxation but never seem to get any. I always feel like Iâ€™m on the 10 yard line in the Superbowl: heightened senses, adrenaline flowing and invincible! Picked up an egg salad sandwich and some hydration beverages at the Stratosphere store and went up to my room for a rest. I have to tell you that Iâ€™m not really a big eater. I like small meals but lots of them. I had plans tonight to go to NAGA at the Stratosphere and check out their sushi and wander around the casino afterwards. Woke up around 6pm and headed down to NAGA. Wanted a California roll but a spider roll was recommended by the gracious host. Thank you for the recommendation. It was fabulous. The sushi chef also prepared something for me-Iâ€™m not sure what it was but it was also tasty. Anyhow, had the spider roll and what I call the surprise, some cab sauv and a large saki. Bill came to $51 with a $10 tip. I enjoyed this place tremendously. It was a little on the quiet side but the staff were terrific. The next part of my night was out of character for me. Letâ€™s just say I hate heights. The Deuce is scary for me! But being superman for a week gave me some extra kohonies. No kryptonite to be found! Up the tower I go. I really wanted to just grab an after dinner sherri and relax but something interesting happened. More on that in a minute. I ended up on the observation deck and was amazed how beautiful Vegas was at night. As you recall Iâ€™m usually in bed at night. lol I stayed up there for an hour, listed to all the screams from the people partaking in the rides and took Vegas in. All you veterans know what Iâ€™m talking about. Itâ€™s our second home after all. Called the commander and explained to her what I was looking at. She was very happy for me. Amazing woman. Sheâ€™s a Vegas vet as well. Iâ€™m paying for her next trip as a Christmas present. The gentleman that rides the elevator up with you was extremely nice and was rewarded. God, it must suck to stand in an elevator all day. He directed me to the bar and guess what? They were having a free wine tasting. Oh my liver! All you had to do was provide some personal info. Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll get something in the mail real soon. Met some cool people. Enjoyed various wines and appetizers. Hung out right at the kitchen door to get first dibs. Worked out great. Met some great folks from New Orleans who told me Katrina stories. Really horrible. I consider them my friends now. Left the tower circa 10pm and headed up to my room. No beacon tonight, tolerance must be building up. Maybe I can wake up late and see the night again tomorrow. What do you think?
Up at 5am. Damn! Had a nice bath as I did every day and headed down for 7am. Whoo hoo! Headed to the Stratosphere store and was looking for something different as the hair of the dog. Sick of bud by this point so I tried a large seagrams cooler. Mistake! Fell in love with a new beverage. Headed to VP and collected myself and decided on a plan. Head south young man, old man! I basically spent most of my time in north Vegas so I decided to go south. Took a cab to IP. Havenâ€™t been here in a few years so I thought it would be a nice change. It was. Walked around the place and ended up in the sports book. Love the IP sportsbook. No bets today. I bet hockey and there were no good bets to be made. Played some slot game and had a couple of beers. Headed downstairs and caught the dealertainers performing. Love this group! They immediately add vibe and electricity to the casino. You can literally see it. The crew: Blues Brothers, Ricky Martin, Britney, Charo and ofcourse, the King. I enjoyed this tremendously. Walked around after the show and stopped at a Texas Tea machine. I prefer Texas Tina but couldnâ€™t find the machine. No big wins but I played for an hour. Left IP and took a cab downtown. Had $30 in comp dollars at ELCO to use. Bought the commander a nice fleece jacket for $24.95. Well worth the price. Played some slots and built up more comp dollars. Love ELCO! Pit boss said hi as I walked by. Donâ€™t know if thatâ€™s good or bad. Left ECLO and walked up Freemont again. I love this walk for some reason. If you can get your head around all the characters that youâ€™ll see, itâ€™s worth the time to walk it. Headed to MSS for you guessed it, happy hour! Same deal, wings and beer. Believe it or not I didnâ€™t finish the beer. Still hungry, I walked over to the Plaza and had a personal pizza. Not bad, a little doughy though. Headed back to the Stratosphere or home-base as I like to call it. Showered up and was ready to head out. Decided to go to Treasures. The commander gave me the go-ahead. The best thing about this place was the architecture on the outside of the building. It was really spectacular. If you are in the vicinity, take a look. Paid $30 to get in. Oh, got there just after 6pm. Happy hour was from 4-6, free beer and food. So, I ate their buffet-egg rolls and the like, had one beer and got the hell out. The girls were way too aggressive. Not what I remembered in my bachelor days. Waited 75 minutes for a cab and headed back to the Stratosphere. Oh I forgot, I had comp dollars to use up at the Stratosphere, so I ordered a cheese platter that would take 2 hours to prepare. It would be ready when I got back from Treasures. The platter ended up costing me $20 because I had $30 in comp dollars. Note to room service personnel, please do not cut up processed cheese on a platter and include it as a domestic cheese. Otherwise the platter was fine. No beacon today either. Tomorrow was my last day as my flight was leaving at 7am the following day. Made it to bed at around 7pm.
Started the day off with my usual bath and beers. I decided that I wanted to upgrade my flight on the way back. Iâ€™m 6â€™1â€ and my legs get real cramped on the plane. Upgraded to first class. I thought this was a good move. More on this story later. I caught a cab to McCarren at 7am to do this deed. Seemless. Had possibly the best cab driver I have ever had. This guy was from Pittsburgh originally and man was he funny. He took me in a circuitous route to the airport. I would have preferred to travel down
Paradise which would have been fine at this time of day. I didnâ€™t really care, though. Seeing as I didnâ€™t see a show, it was worth the extra cash just for the ride. He got a great tip and I enjoyed the show. Caught a shuttle to PH on the way back. Walked through PH, Paris and Ballyâ€™s. Man Ballyâ€™s hasnâ€™t changed. Walked for what seemed 5 miles and hopped on the Monorail. Took it as far as Sahara . Got out at Sahara and planned on walking to the Straosphere from there. Ended up at a bar across the street from the Stratosphere. This place had the coldest buds in the world. Stayed, people watched, played VP and left. VP machines are definitely tight here. Wish I could remember the name of this place. It has character for a dump. Walked back to the Stratosphere. Spent the rest of the day playing Cab Stud and three card. Was getting killed in Cab Stud but hung in there and it started paying off. Hit: flush full house and 2 trips. Then a thunder stealer came to the table and I promptly exited. No luck at all at three card. Took me no more than 10 minutes to lose $100. Picked up a sandwich from the Stratosphere store and headed up to the room by 4pm. Had to get up at 4am so I called it a day. Man I hate the day before you fly out.
Made it o the airport by 5am. Remember when I told you, I upgraded to first class the day before. Well apparently airport security doesnâ€™t like when people do this. I was cattled into a special area and patted down. My belongings were swiped by a towelette of some sort and processed by a machine. I was briefly detained and let go. What was that all about? The only thing I can think of is that the plane ticket indicated something to the screeners. Next time, I will purchase my ticket in advance. Made it to Minneapolis where the commander picked me up for our 5 hr ride home!
Going to Vegas in December has its pros and cons. The pros are that its not real busy and the cons are that the weather is less than hospitable. But itâ€™s what you make of it, right. Had a great time. Met lost of great people! One more thought. The rodeo was in town and virtually every casino was pumping in country music. Now, Iâ€™m pretty open-minded but a rock song every now and then would have broken up the musical monotony. Ride em cowboy!
Thanks for the report. I have gotten my hair cut in that barber shop at the El Co about five times and on two of those times, Jackie was in there getting his cut.
Great report, worth the wait. I can sympathize on the up at 5 am every day, even though that's not the exact number for me, it's earlier than I want to be up.
Haircut at the ElCo - priceless.
Nice report, Thanks!
I'm wondering about that tourney you missed. Some tourneys include a banquet awards dinner.
I wonder if The STRAT does this too?
I'm kinda in Low roller status at the Strat , but could dedicate a little more play if I think there is a reason to.
Drinking at 5am will get you everytime
On the intinerary, all that was included was a continental breakfast. If the event was more elaborate, I might have considered it, It's a nice place to gamble. You don't have to walk miles to get to the slots!
Don't think I didn't consider that! I was running through my mind all the possibilities. Maybe Canadians aren't as universally loved as I thought. lol
Nice TR. I have never started drinking at 5:00am but there have been a few times when was still drinking at 5:00am:evillaugh
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