Prologue: I have read a lot of trip reports and have enjoyed most of them. I hope this will help those out there with long T ¡Vtimes and lived vicariously through trip reports like I did for 18 months since my last trip.
T-1 to 2 years Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh!
The trip started out like any other, too long of a T-time, long days at work before the trip, and 2 days of running around the house packing and cleaning the house for Grandma.
We decided that we would have to go to Vegas more often if only for the reason that the house was spotless!
I spent a day updating the will because the BIL(brother in law) and SIL(sister in law) who would normally get the kids, were going with us, so we had to find someone else to pawn the kids off on to.
Luckily, my brother and his wife agreed to take the kids in the case of our untimely demise.
The players are myself, wife Lindy, and the inlaws that will be refered to BIL and SIL their daughter who lives in Vegas will be NIL.
The TR was recorded as I experienced it on my trusty Blackberry during waits for service at restaurants, while in the potty, while waiting for Lindy to get ready, or anywhere I had a few minutes to jot down some thoughts.
We got to Detroit Metro Airport at the prescribed 2 hours early to hurry up and wait. My SIL told me the flight was on schedule for us to arrive in LAS at 9PM Vegas time according to what she saw the web.
Well, an hour before the flight was scheduled to arrive, the announcer¡¦s voice came through my iPod headphones about flight 711, I decided to pay attention. We were going to be delayed 2.5 hours!! Arrrrrh! Good thing I had my iPod loaded with a few movies, Seinfeld reruns, and Vegas music. The plane finally came at 10 PM and we were off - so I thought. We had to sit there with a full flight waiting for a plane to arrive so 2 people could run across the tarmac to hop on our plane.
The flight attendant was funny and told us to embarrass the late arrivals. We gave them a hard time as they boarded. A smooth flight ~4 hours later and we were waiting to get our luggage. There was no clear indication to which carrousel the luggage would be offloaded on to so we walked back and forth at baggage pickup till one of the signs said Spirit 711. Thirty minutes or so the luggage finally showed up. Then it was off to another line to get to the rental car center. Then the line for Budget was the longest one there. It was 12:30 VT before we got the car. I was up 18 hours and mentally having an argument with myself about sleeping or gambling ¡V guess what we did?
The car was upgraded to a bright yellow Nissan Extera because our midsize car was being repaired.
The directions to the Polo Towers were not complete as we drove around behind the complex trying to find the entrance.
I checked in and we went to the Alladin/Planet Hollywood to play a little. Needless to say, my play was terrible. The table minimums were 10 and I did not feel like parting with a whole days "limit" there.
I played a little VP at the bar and proceeded to down 3 Crown Royal's as fast as I could.
We walked to McDonalds to grab a quick bite, walked back to get some sleep.
The room @ polo was quite nice in my opinion. We got a 2 bedroom unit on the 15th floor facing the strip. It was actually 2 separate units joined by a common door. The only problem was the ac did not cool the room enough and there was a little construction noise, but where in Vegas is there no noise?
Even though we went to sleep @ 3am, I was up by 7 am. We wrestled for who had to get up and shower first and I pinned her - I think we were both winners
We went on a coffee hunt and passed one of many Starbucks. I will drop a hunde on the craps tables, but still cringe at a 3 or 4 dollar cup of joe.
We noticed that the Planet Hollywood sign was being put up during the night. When we went to sleep, it said ¡§Planet Hollywo¡¨ In the morning, they finished the sign. They got wood sometime early that morning (another common theme this trip).
Gambling started for us at the venerable Tropicana. It has not changed since I was there 2 years ago. The bj rules sucked as they did all over town. I started the day with a bloody Mary. We left there up a few bucks (a nother common theme of the trip). From there we walked to the MGM and walked around without any gaming. We headed up to get something to eat. We were at the Harley cafe and decided to try it. It was good for a chain. I had the meat loaf sandwich and it was good with decent mashed potatoes.
We went to "Bills" next and it seemed like BC to me. I made a few bucks there playing bj and craps. The drink of the trip, Crown Royal on the rocks (CR) was starting to flow.
Another old gal, the IP was our next destination. Lovely as usual, We were up and down. We played there for a couple of hours and had a few more cr's
Went back to the room to S#@$, Shower and Shave. Then out to dinner. We decided to go to Hash A Go Go. We had a Restaurant.com certificate for 50 off 100 and the 5 of us easily spent that much. The food was very good and VERY large. It had both quality and quantity. The meatloaf sandwich that was served to another table was the size of a Buick. I had the salmon and it was very good. The portions were, as I said, very large.
They have a variety of values for Hash a Go Go on Restaurant.com and I would not hesitate to recommend them. Speaking of Restaurant.com, it is a great deal while in LV or many other cities. If you have a car, it opens up a wide selection. Sign up for their email newsletter and they will give out codes for 50% off, so a $25 certificate costs $5.
After dinner, I had our party drive me over to the Mirage to pick up the tickets to Love. The rest of the party went back to the room to freshen up. What a great show!! Being the cheap bastard that I am, I got the $69 dollar seats that were in the second row from the top. As I read other reviews of the show, a lot of people did not recommend the up close (expensive) seats. We had a great view of the entire show. We had tickets to the late show and we were pretty tired from the flight, 3 hrs of sleep, and the huge meal. I did manage to stay alert through the entire show. If you like the Cirque shows and love the Beatles like I do, this is a must see. I wished I was still young and inhaled, it would have made the show even more interesting. I have had the CD for a while and it too is an excellent addition to a collection for any Beatles fan.
This morning we actually slept in till 7:30. Then an early morning sumo match which I ended up on the mat, where I usually end up on top. Go figure.
We ate some danish from the CVS and coffee from McDonalds and started our walk up the strip. We went to the Westin and they do have 1 dollar craps and .25 roulette and 5 bj from 5 till 10 during their happy hour which is Monday thru Thursday from 5PM to 10PM. It is a nice casino, small and NOT crowded at all. We signed up for their player cards and received a little free play that we quickly lost.
We went to Ellis Island next to play, they had 1 dollar bj which gave me the ability to play for a while. I dropped 25 or so and we decided to go to the restaurant and have the steak special. This is truly one of the last great deals in LV. My SIL and me has the steak special, my wife had the burger and my BIL had the big breakfast. The ham was the size of the plate. All the meals were very good, though the SIL sent the steak back because it was too rare. They quickly brought a well done replacement back.
We stopped back at Bills and took out a few hunde from the craps tables ¡V like our own personal banker! My in-laws went to O¡¦Shea¡¦s and I told them we would be there in a little while. My wife was playing at a Let It Ride table and told me she did not like me over her shoulder while she played. I had a few cr¡¦s and thought what she said was uncalled for. I was not telling her how to play, I was just waiting for her because the BIL and SIL went to O¡¦Shea¡¦s. I said something not so nice to her and walked out. I heard her call me a few times and kept walking, she grabbed her chips and followed me as I walked to O¡¦Shea¡¦s. I kept ignoring her ¡V now before you think I was a total ass, this all worked out for the best.
She caught me and we kissed and made up. We went into O¡¦Shea¡¦s and she played Let It Ride and hit a straight flush for $350. I quickly took credit for the win because if I did not walk out, she never would have followed me and never would have hit on the straight flush. I know, but this is the way I saw it through the Crown Royal eyes.
We then went back to meet some family that live in town. Then we did the unthinkable while in Vegas, we went shopping at Wal-Mart to find our son a certain Lego we could not get at home. My wife found it and we had 1 gift taken care of. I did notice they had better prices on booze than we had back home. I made a mental note to buy a couple bottles of Patron for ~$39, which are $50 at home¡Kneedless to say, I forgot.
Tonight was going to be the Station family of casino¡¦s night. We to Santa Fe Station and decided to have the buffet. We used the niece¡¦s player card and coupon for 2 for 1 buffet. $11 for the 2 of us, not bad. Decent buffet food. It is a nice looking casino but I reserve the right to change my mind after dinner and a little playing time.
Gambling was good. I walked away with 100 from bj and my wife and SIL and BIL and niece had a terrible time at craps. I was still playing bj and while waiting for me, they went back to play again, they walked away with ~1500. A great run on the craps table.
We went to the Texas Station next, we also had some fair luck playing bj and craps.
As most gamblers think, we did also, and thought we could not lose ¡V WRONG!
On the way back to the Polo Towers we stopped by the Flamingo and dropped a few hundred of our hard earned winnings.
Overall we were in Vegas for 2 days, gambled our buts off and were up 500. Gotta love this town!!
Got 4 or 5 hours of sleep and decided to keep our wresting streak alive. Both winners again. Gotta love a tie.
Went to the Monte Carlo and played craps. The dealers were very aggressive in soliciting tips. I do not like that. I understand that the dealers make a fair portion of their salary on tips, but if I am down, I generally do not tip a lot, if the dealer is asking for tips, I am really turned off.
I normally do not play @ nyny, but a beautiful woman with BIG boobs in yellow made me want to play craps if only to see her bend over the table. I made my money back and and an extra $60. Hey I am a guy, I cant help it Æ’º There also was an old Asian gentleman that kept yelling NANCY while rolling. The odd thing was that he was alone. So we adopted the saying and yelled NANCY every time there was a good roll. People thought we were as weird as we thought the Asian guy was.
We had lunch at Blondies (another restaurant.com certificate). It was average at best. Without the coupon, I would have been pissed about spending $60 for 4 people. We went into the Aladdin, I mean Planet Hollywood and looked for a table. I lost a hunde and was pissed. It is a beautiful property, but I did not win.
After Planet Hollywood, we went to the Flamingo and there a milkshake (a Detroit term for a senior citizen) that rolled for 50 minutes or so... My party made 4 or 5 hunde and I got in a little too late to make much money.
We went to Harrah¡¦s next to place a sports bet for the Red Wings to win the Stanley cup and play some roulette. 13 4 times - needless to say, he is not a winner for the 13, and the Wings...who knows.
Casino Royal was the next stop. I played the bj that you can switch the cards. I have to check the wizard of odds to see what the advantage is for the house on this one. I walked away with half of my stake, so obviously not so good.
On the way back we stopped at O¡¦Shea¡¦s and proceeded to lose the rest of my hunde. After a stumble (I was over served - not my fault) back to the Polo Towers, I needed some food, so we went to the Fatburger. This was our first time there, overpriced and average food at best.
We decided to go downtown that night. Binions was cold. I walked around while my party played some craps waiting for the Freemont Street Experience to start with a Starbucks. I debated for a brief second to have a deep fried Twinkie, but after my 2 cholesterol meds, I decided to forgo it for a low fat Starbucks frozen coffee drink.
I walked around and went into 4 Queens, Golden Nugget and a few others not very memorable. I wanted to go to the El Cortez, but decided not to risk my life!
We decided to call it an early night @ 12:30 am.
Actually got 7 hours of sleep, still a little fuzzy headed, probably the multiple CR¡¦s.
Another morning of sports, (I wish I was 18 again Drove down to Las Vegas Hilton (where is Paris Hilton?) for food and gaming. The party decided to eat the buffet, I wanted Peppermill, but was vetoed.
We hit the buffet sweet spot and had both breakfast and lunch. Nothing special - filled the belly and then some.
We went into the casino and found a $5 bj table and quickly doubled 50, found a $5 craps table and quickly lost 100.
The Dealers were nasty; you would think that a property away from everyone would have nicer people working there. Needless to say they were not tipped.
Next we decided to go to the Stratosphere to go to the top. This is a great view - worth 10 bucks. I have never been there at night, but would like to go up there 1 time at night to see the lights of the city.
The craps sucked there and the bj was not much better, so we decided to go to Circus Circus and Slots of Fun for a little low end fun. We played craps and made a little money and then I broke even at bj. We went home and changed for the night to go to the Rio.
We were supposed to go to the wine bar for some tasting. For some reason, we did not go and decided to eat at some sports bar type of place near the sports book in the Rio. It was not very good.
We went to the Orleans and I waited to play for a little while by watching my Redwings lose in the sports book and their comfortable chairs.
I found a single deck 21 game and I managed to make 100 on a 50 investment.
My wife hit a straight flush for 300 again this trip on Let It Ride (her personal ATM).
We are still up for the trip. We are going back to home base. Hopefully we will not lose any ground.
Dropped SIL at the Polo Towers because she was not feeling well and headed out. Went to Bills and could not get anything going on single deck bj. Next to O¡¦Shea¡¦s. It was packed (thurs night) and we could not buy a win!!
Had a quick burger at Burger King at O¡¦Shea¡¦s. As I sat there in the food court feeling the warm glow of a day of serious drinking, the thing I wanted most was some WC. For all of the readers lucky enough, I am talking about White Castle. Nothing goes better with a buzz. Why is there not a White Castle on the strip?? The place would do great with all the free alcohol that is served. If there are multiple McDonalds on the strip, I think there should be at least 1 Castle.
Gonna call it a night @ 2am or so O¡¦Shea¡¦s...can't win for nothing...
Tomorrow is a new day
We slept into 9 or so, repeated the morning routine, then picked up the niece and went to a place called Blueberry Hill on Decatur. It was a good solid breakfast for ~10 a person. Properly fueled we were going to see the Red Rock Canyon and then the Red Rock casino.
The Red Rock Canyon is a worthwhile trip when in Las Vegas. It was nice to see a little nature in a sea of neon. I would like to spend more time there perhaps hiking...but then again, the Red Rock casino was calling my name.
It is a beautiful property, and I sat at a 5 bj table and grinded out a 50 profit. We are still playing on casino money, but it is dwindling fast. The dealer was new, being trained and as cute as the day is long. She messed up on a pay on a win and she had to call over the pit boss. I did not want her to get into trouble, but a win is a win. We liked the Red Rock, but it is a bit of a haul to get to.
In order to save a little money, we stopped gambling and had the BIL drop is at Fashion Place mall on the strip and looked for something for my older son. He likes Abercrombie and Finch. We went into the store and it is loud and expensive, I guess I am getting old. I get my pants at Sam Club or Kohls, I could care less about who made them.
We walked to the Frontier, one of the old venerable locations. We went there after the mall to play a little. I made 50 or so playing bj and I started pounding Makers Mark bourbon and I was getting quite hammered. I cashed the chips I started with and found a fun table. With a nice dealer, I was playing, drinking and holding my own when my wife started to yell my name. I finished the hand and walked over. She got a 4 of a kind on Let It Ride and the entire staff was figuring out what to pay. I found out that the staff was a little inexperienced on that payout. Shortly after that, she yelled again, and had a full house.
We walked away with $1600 of the Frontier¡¦s money. I hope we do not help with their demise.
We were very hungry and buzzed so we walked over to eat at TI because it was the next casino we ran into. We decided to eat at the coffee shop. The food was pretty good, but after some heavy drinking and winning $1600, everything tastes good. I had some kind of a blackbean chicken pasta dish and the wife had a burger. 30 dollars or so, I did not complain about the price because of the recent wins.
Heaven forbid we stop with the winnings, so we headed to the Texas and fiesta Station casino¡¦s to give some money back. We played for a while and had minimal losses.
We got back to the room and counted the cash we had. We are up~1200 with 2 days to go. The reason I mention specifics is that we usually come home with far less "profit". We have not had to touch a travelers check yet this trip and it looks like we would not have to.
We got up, made it 6 for 6 in the good clean adult fun category. And had to pack up for the move. We are going to the flamingo for 2 comped nights, but are only using 1.5 days. We packed our stuff back into the suitcases. How come it never fits back like it went in? We checked out of the Polo Towers and drove to the Flamingo.
We checked in at the flamingo around 10. I was hoping to get a Room early.
The line was not very deep, but it took a while because the checkouts got preference.
We got a king non smoking on the 5th floor and it was available. We decided to have lunch at the cafe. The BIL and SIL got a table while we waited in line to check in. This was a good move because the entire population of Flamingo seemed to want to go to breakfast at that time.
The food was average at best and a little overpriced. Should have went to Denny¡¦s.
Went to the room to drop off our overnight bags (big luggage in car). The room was nice, an Ok view of Caesar¡¦s Palace, but being on the 5th floor, we saw the roof of the casino as well as limited strip view. I thought I should have tried the 20 dollar trick, but for 1 night, who cares.
We started at the Flamingo and got our ass's handed to us. The BIL and SIL went to their daughter¡¦s apartment and managed not to lose any money! The wife and I went to O¡¦Shea¡¦s (talk about repeating) and got our ass's handed to us. We went to Caesar¡¦s and my wife got her ass handed to her while my ass is still intact! The wife dropped half of her "allowance" for the rest of the t ip.
She had signed up for a 5pm hold¡¦em tourney for 45 bucks at O¡¦Shea¡¦s . Probably the cheapest gambling we will have had all week. We had an ice cream at the food court while she waited for the tourney to start.
I walked back to the room to relax for a while. She called me around 6, just when I fell asleep and told me she lost. She was disappointed because it was a bunch of young bulls charging in like madmen from the beginning.
The buy in was for 2000 chips. The bulls went all in from the first hand then there was some team play towards the time my wife busted out.
She told me she would never play at a tournament like that again.
We decided to go to the Border grill @ Mandalay Bay with a restaurant.com coupon. It was in the 60's and quite a walk from Flamingo. We took the tram from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay to save time
Rickey Martin was playing @ MB and while we were eating when the show let out and it was crowded - timing is everything.
Food was very good, service excellent for ~40 inc tip.
We stopped at the trop to recoup some losses and walked out from it with an extra 100.
We were tired and decided to go to bed.
Tried to eat at Harrah¡¦s buffet with coupon from fun book. Neither was hungry and breakfast was over and we did not want the brunch @ $25.
Went to McDonalds next to Harrah¡¦s - excellent service. We both had pancakes and sausage with large coffee and a cini-melt $10.
Went into O¡¦Shea¡¦s, cute little dealer from the Philippine¡¦s named Cris. Walked away with 50. We are inching back up to a good profit.
Went back to the room to wrestle, shower, and pack up our overnight stuff. We had till 7 or so to play before we have to leave.
We headed to Caesar¡¦s to buy my parents a 100 worth of chips for their trip in June. My mom would never take cash from me, so we got her the chips, she has to spend them now.
We went to O¡¦Shea¡¦s to play a little more. I made a hunde or so and drank a lot! We decided to eat at Harrah¡¦s buffet so we would be full on the plane. The buffet was ok by buffet standards, but it was probably not worth ~15 a person after coupon. So we took some cookies with us for the plane ride. We will get our money¡¦s worth one way or another.
Then we decided on 50 more a person, and we pissed that away in less time than it took me to type this.
That leaves us up ~500 for the trip. When the charge bills roll in (we charged all food) it will probably break us even for the trip. I can live with that!
The BIL and SIL met us at the room and we picked up our bags and did the video checkout. We said goodbye to the niece and dropped off the rental car. Went to the rental center, a worker scanned it, we hopped on the shuttle and off to the terminal. The check in line at Spirit was not bad. We got up to the line and my wife's suitcase was 57 pounds - 7 over their new limits. They have some outrageous fees for overweight now. But I booked in October 06 and I informed them that their new fees did not apply to our 6 month old ticket. He looked up something on the computer and let us go. It pays to be an informed traveler.
One of the service agents said the security line was 2 hours and the line was back to a Starbucks. It was not that long and only took 15 or 20 mins to get through.
Then we sat in the terminal. I was finishing up some final thoughts on this trip report. The plane is supposed to be on time
Gaming - We did manage to find $5 bj and craps at most places. The 6/5 is out there and we avoided it as often as possible. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of $5 gaming on the strip not only downtown and at local places.
Starbucks - they are everywhere in Vegas now. I even bet my BIL about the amount in 1 casino (I said 4) and he thought there could only be 1 or 2. An easy win for me!
Vegas is for the young Thursday through Saturday nights. I guess most of the old people are required to go to bed at that time.
Boobs - they are everywhere! There must be a law that you push them together and up and then put on the lowest cut top you can find.
Dealers - We had a wide variety of dealers this trip. There were some that you could have poked with a cattle prod and their expression would not have changed. Fortunately these were not all that common. I think the best dealers were at O¡¦Shea¡¦s. Our favorite one was Faith. She was cute, funny and fun to sit opposite of at the tables.
Strip traffic - Seemed like it was always bumper to bumper. Actually, most of the major roads were very slow and congested. We had a car (I did not drive, I was the designated drunk) and drove a lot around town and it was busy everywhere.
Prices - The prices for everything was expensive. Food, many drinks, just about everything you might buy. There are still reasonable priced things like 1 beer at Casino Royal, 1 water some strip stores. McDonald¡¦s on the strip was still reasonable priced.
I know that the casino companies are making more on room food and board than on gaming, and it hard to miss.
Construction - We were right across from the new City Center and they were working a lot of hours. Also, the projects at Wynn, Planet Hollywood and smaller sites must be keeping the construction workers busy.
Downtown - It has not changes much since our last visit a couple of years ago. Still a little seedy, but a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the strip.
Local places - We liked the local's places. The Station casinos were mostly clean, safe, with friendly personnel.
Airlines airports - Spirit is a no frills carrier. I fully expect to have to push the plane out by hand in a few years. They sardine us in there and it is a long 4 hour flight from Detroit.
Drinking - don't get hammered on the last day. A hangover makes for a long day and flight home. Otherwise drink up a storm in Vegas after all it is free!!
Weather was not too warm for mid April, but who cares, I was in Vegas. I got calls from friends in Detroit telling me it was 80.
One last thought - PLEASE POST YOUR TRIP REPORT.