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Whirlwind 2 days @ Signature (8/7 to 8/9)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by BostonJP, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. BostonJP

    BostonJP Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Welcome back! This is my second Trip Report, though notably different from my first in March: this time, due to numerous scheduling conflicts this fall, in lieu of a family Disney vacation we decided to take our three kids on a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas!

    The timing and cost of airfare lined up perfectly to fly out of JFK Airport on Sunday and back early Wednesday. This would give us two full days in Las Vegas and plenty of time to get home Wednesday night.

    The busy day started Sunday at 11:00 -- a close friend get married in my hometown an hour north of New York City. At 4 PM we gave our final congrats, jumped on the highway, and drove to Queens. The flight didn't depart until 8:15 so my kids passed out on the flight.

    Halfway through the flight the pilot announced good news! We are going to land roughly 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Upon landing, he announced that we are TOO early and have to wait for another plane to leave our gate. After a few minutes we got our exhausted kids awake and off the plane. It was too late to drag them through the rental car center so we took an Uber right to our hotel.

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    (Before and after the 5 hour flight)

    Twenty dollar trick what??? At the front desk I asked if I could have something on a high floor facing the strip. Did the front desk guy deliver? You bet your ass he did.

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    The first thing we noticed upon stepping into our 35th floor room was the view from the balcony. Hoe. Lee. Crap. This isn't my first time staying on a high floor in Las Vegas, but it is the first time I had a view of mid-strip like this. The kids loved it but were exhausted so we called it a night and went to bed.
     
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  2. BostonJP

    BostonJP Low-Roller

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    MONDAY

    At 5:00 AM, well-rested and still on east coast time, I woke up with my 6 year old Gavin fidgeting next to me and asking a few hundred questions about the incredible skyline just outside our sliding door. So as to avoid him waking up the rest of the family we showered, called an Uber, and went to pick up our rental car near the airport.

    It’s now close to 6:30 and the sun is just coming up over Las Vegas. Gavin was already super impressed just to see the desert and the mountains in the distance so I decided to blow his mind a bit. I took the strip from Gillespie up toward Mandalay Bay and noticed something I’ve never seen before: there was not a single car parked at the famous Las Vegas sign. I cut around, parked, and took advantage of the opportunity to take some pics of myself and the boy with the place to ourselves.

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    We got back to the hotel where the rest of the family was awake and dressed, and continued our drive all the way up the Strip to the Peppermill. It was all of our first time there and we were particularly impressed with the size of my massive omelette or my 9 year old’s chicken tenders.

    We decided to grab a couple snacks and drinks for the room at the CVS at Treasure Island and to let the kids see the pirate ships. I have only seen the pirate show once and tried describing it to the kids. They could not have cared less. It’s time for swimming!

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    We got back to the room shortly before 9 AM and changed. The pools at the Signature wouldn’t do, though: The reason we chose to stay at that particular property was access to the MGM Grand’s pool area. We took a couple spins around the lazy river and spent some time in one of the larger pools before deciding it’s time for lunch.

    Lunch was The Sugar Factory. The kids wanted to try the milkshakes and weren’t disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed either: my nine year old finished his, but the 4- and 6-year old couldn’t, so I was forced to help them out. No regrets.

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    After lunch we stayed at the Fashion Show Mall for a bit and did some shopping. The rest of the family was really interested in more pool time, though, so we returned to the Signature and bounced from pool to pool until it was dinner time.

    At around 8:00 the stomachs were full, the kids were pooped, and the sun was setting over Las Vegas. Since Mrs. JP and I had other plans for Tuesday night we felt there was no better opportunity for the kids to see the famous Las Vegas Strip lit up at night.

    Well, one of them. The 9 year old and 4 year old passed out moments after getting in the car so the night drive was really all about Gavin at that point. We tried timing the drive to see the Bellagio fountains and Mirage volcano and missed both; on the way back, however, we were able to catch the tail end of the Bellagio water show from our car.

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    (Plenty of time for sightseeing while sitting in very slow moving traffic)

    Back at the hotel room the kids and wife were done for the night. I wasn’t tired and realized I’ve now been in Las Vegas for over 21 hours and hadn’t gambled at all. I took the walkway to MGM Grand and explored a bit, ending up at a VP bar and enjoying a couple drinks while I played video poker very, very poorly before returning to the room.
     
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  3. BostonJP

    BostonJP Low-Roller

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    TUESDAY

    Our whirlwind vacation already half over, we were up fairly early once again. We had already decided to go to Hash House a Go Go for breakfast. I have MLife Pearl status which gives me free parking at any MGM property so, cheap bastard that I am, parked at the Mirage and walked across the street to the Linq.

    We got exactly what we wanted at Hash House a Go Go: Full. Also, of all the meals I ate in Las Vegas, this was the only one that I felt was fairly reasonably priced. Every other sit-down meal exceeded $100 for my family of five but at Hash House we squeezed by at just under $100 including the tip. What a bargain!

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    Before going back to the car we decided to explore a bit, but as it was not quite 10 AM yet not everything was open. We found the wildlife area behind the Flamingo, explored the shops by the Linq, and took a little walk around the Mirage before heading back to the car. When we parked back at the Signature we didn't go straight to the room, rather we did a last little bit of shopping near the MGM: the M&Ms Store and the Hershey Store at NYNY.

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    Once again the kids wanted to do some swimming so we picked up lunch at the MGM Grand’s Cabana Grill ($80+ for pre-made sandwiches!) and sucked it down before spending a few hours in the pool. At 5 PM we returned to our rooms and changed for the evening: the kids into their PJs and Mrs. JP and I into our nicer clothing. Prior to flying out I had arranged for a babysitter to come to the room at 6 to do some arts and crafts for a few hours while we had a date night.

    We had 7:30 reservations for two at the Blue Ribbon, a newer restaurant at the Cosmopolitan. Despite the Cosmopolitan being only a few blocks walk, it was 110 degrees so we called an Uber and paid all of $4 for the quick trip.

    This was my first time at the Cosmopolitan and I was seriously impressed. We spent an hour playing the slots, first both losing quite a bit of money and then both hitting some bonuses at the same time at the Game of Thrones video slots. I had to try the Verbena that I’ve heard so much about. It was tasty but I’d argue not worth the steep $15 price tag, and my wife was not a big fan of having to eat the flavor button.

    Dinner time: The Blue Ribbon was outstanding. The food was packed with incredible flavor and, while still not cheap, priced much more reasonably than many of the high-end steakhouses in town. The service was also exceptional. I had a question about the mezcal they were using in their high proof drinks so the manager came over with two tasting glasses of mezcal for me to sample. And this guy knew his stuff too: where the drinks came from, how they were distilled, and how they mix best with other flavors. I ended up having the lamb - some of the best I ever tasted - and my wife ordered the Maine lobster.

    I gave her hell for flying 2,000 miles and ordering a shellfish that was caught less than 100 miles from our home.

    As this was our last night in town we hopped to a couple more casinos. She wanted to find another Game of Thrones machine. We walked to the Bellagio and watched a complete fountain show on the way in, and then took another Uber back to the MGM Grand. Usually I make it a point to play either roulette or craps at least once but for some reason tonight I wasn’t feeling it. At this point she was a few dollars behind and I was a few dollars ahead so we continued playing the slots. After some moderate wins and losses (she ended up winning $250 on Heidi’s Bier Haus, which is probably my favorite new slot machine). Before calling it an evening I threw $20 into a Hangover slot game and played various medium bets. Down to $8 left I played a max bet and it hit a series of different bonuses with free spins worth another $140. That was my cue to end the evening: I cashed out, went upstairs, and sent the babysitter home before packing up for the night.


    WEDNESDAY

    Our last couple hours in Vegas began at 4 AM. We woke up, showered, and left the room by 4:30. Returned the car and stumbled through security, exhausted, for our 6:40 AM flight back to New York. Lots of walking, lots of driving (from JFK Airport to my parents’ house in southwestern Connecticut for dinner, to our house another 3+ hours away) and finally pulling into my own driveway around midnight.

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  4. BostonJP

    BostonJP Low-Roller

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    Oh! One more random observation. I have read on this board, on Facebook, and on several more official media sites how the legalized cannabis is not intended to be consumed in public and is prohibited by hotels. Really, it's not for tourists. HA!

    There were multiple times that I could smell the STRONG undeniable smell of people smoking it right in the middle of the crowd. The billboards were everywhere too and very clearly directed at the tourists. A "#Weedmobile" made its way up and down the strip advertising a local shop just off the strip. Several cars' bumper stickers advertised similar shops. Anybody who tells you that weed is just for locals is grossly misinformed. I'm pretty open minded about it but I was actually pretty shocked to see just how quickly legalized cannabis is becoming a part of sin city's culture.

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  5. davehughes123

    davehughes123 Tourist

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    Nice report. It sounds like that little Gavin has a little of the Vegas degenerate gene in him. Only 15 years until you can celebrate his 21st birthday in Vegas, right?
     
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  6. emmas

    emmas Low-Roller

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    Eventful trip. Glad you and your family had fun.
     
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  7. amk121

    amk121 High-Roller

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    Sounds like it was a really nice trip for you!
     
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  8. BostonJP

    BostonJP Low-Roller

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    That's the plan now! I knew he would like the swimming and seeing Excalibur but didn't realize just how much of a little Vegas maniac I was creating.
     
  9. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    Great trip report. You guys packed a lot of fun into a couple of days.
    Love the photo of you and Gavin at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign.
    Nice memories for the two of you as the years go by.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
     
    Anniversary Trip. Lucky 13.
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Glad you guys had a good time!

    We almost picked the Signature for part of our trip, good to know there are some strip views!
     
    Quick Birthday Trip! LOVE via myVegas!?!?!
  11. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Good stuff! You guys packed a lot into a few days!
     
  12. Scott Blair

    Scott Blair Tourist

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    Great report. Glad the family enjoyed the trip. I can't imagine bringing my kids to Vegas but yours seemed to enjoy themselves. Maybe when they are 21.
     
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  13. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    Great pics of the children, looks like they had a fun time. Nice TR!!!

    :peace: :beer:
     
    Christmas at Cosmo!!!
  14. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Chief bottle washer

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    Great TR! I've almost booked Signature several times and it's hard to find reviews on here so thx for the great pics.
     
  15. jcombs

    jcombs Low-Roller

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    My kids are 1 and 3, so I'm nowhere close to considering bringing them out to LV, but for future reference...is that a babysitter you know, or a service that provides one? Do you get to screen them or anything? Did you find her via card slappers with "normal, plain jane babysitter, straight to your room" cards?
     
  16. BostonJP

    BostonJP Low-Roller

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    There was a lot of discussion that went into whether or not to bring them. I'm not at all naive to the fact that many visitors believe kids shouldn't be there at all and judge the shit out of parents who bring them but the truth is there is so much for them to do. There is also plenty for them NOT to do, like go to Fremont Street at night. Having them there actually kind of helped me see Vegas differently - for one, I acted more responsibly with regard to gambling and alcohol consumption and got to see places I normally wouldn't venture, like the Flamingo habitat.

    The babysitter was hired from an agency called Artsy Nannies who I found online after some searching. I investigate people and companies for a living; I conducted a detailed check on the company and its officers and it passed with flying colors. As it turns out, because of the huge convention market in Las Vegas there are quite a few companies like this in town. Our sitter was in her mid 20s, has two kids of her own and was very well liked by my kids. I'll definitely use them again!
     
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  17. pleasemum

    pleasemum Low-Roller

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    Cute kids!! Thanks for sharing your family vacation with us. Those milkshakes look like a lot of sugar....hope your kids weren't bouncing off the wall......oh yea now I remember, it was you that finished them, just like any good dad would!!
     
  18. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    Thank you - I really enjoyed reading this. Making special memories with your kids is important and it really doesn't matter where it is. I'm so glad they enjoyed it & you and your wife enjoyed it. You could easily take them again & find a ton of other things to do (Vegas has some great museums kids would like also).
     
    Guess it's a solo trip..........
  19. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft VIP Whale

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    As much as I hate to hear it, hank you for this bit of info.
     
  20. Spock

    Spock Tourist

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    Nice read and looks like you guys enjoyed the 48 hours to the fullest