A little background for this trip. Players include myself (S), wife (K), wife's brother (T) and his friend (B). Wife and I went last May for my birthday with another virgin Vegas couple and had a wonderful time. This trip went a little different due to the two others we brought. T and B both just turned 21 in Dec 07 and were both Vegas Virgins, actually the trip was T's Christmas present. The reason it was different is K and I love Vegas but our trips usually consist of walking the strip(drinking/sightseeing), eat(mostly fine dinning), and the occasional gambling session. This trip however was gambling, gambling, with a little walking and eating thrown in for good measure. Now, looking back it was great because I never left a session of BJ, that's all I play, down. Best gambling trip I have ever had by far.
Ok on with it huh, this was a real short trip. Usually we go Thursday thru Sunday but with my wife being a teacher she could only get one day off so we did the Friday through Sunday trip. That might sound like 3 days but it is actually 1 ½ because the Sioux Falls SD Allegiant flight leaves at 11:30am and lands at 12:30 pm Vegas time which is great cause you have the entire afternoon and evening the day you land. The horrible nightmare is the flight home that leaves Vegas at 6:30am and land in Sioux Falls at 11:30am. 2 hour time change. I have yet to sleep the night before we leave on any trip. Anyway so the question is how do we show Vegas to a couple 21 year olds in a day and a half? Answer, give them booze and it doesn't matter.
Ok on with it for real. Went into work for an hour to wrap things up (Mortgage lender for a bank) got to the airport at 10:00. Through security no problem, couple beers at the lounge before the flight and we are off. Flight was fine, like usual. In Vegas at 12:30. Only bring carry on luggage in Vegas so we are on our way to Excalibur (EX), check in un believably fast, stop in the hotel to get some booze and water and in our room by 1:30, that's pretty good for landing at 12:30 if you ask me. Didn't do $20 trick, have in the past and didn't think it helped that much since I would never ask for a suite anyway. Room on 25th floor overlooking Trop and MGM. Fine by me. I know a lot people rag on the Excalibur and that's fine. I guess I don't mind my hallways dark and the casino layout. I feel the best thing you can bring to vegas is a good attitude and a little tolerance. As far as the room it was just fine with me since I might, and I stress might, sleep 3 to 4 hours any night in Vegas, don't need much sleep anyway.
Made a couple drinks, ironed some shirts and off we went to explore the wonderful Las Vegas. Went north to NY NY, my personal favorite. Haven't figured it out yet but it is still my favorite. Grab a hotdog and on North on the strip. Went through Bellegio, need some drinks so went into Bill's for the 99 cent margaritas, got two each and boy didn't think those were good but oh well they're 99 cents. North again thru flamingo with a quick stop at OShea's to show T and B the beer pong tables, they play that all the time in college. Show them leprechaun and on through Harrahs to Casino Royale. T and B needed there BJ fix so they sat down and played BJ switch, not sure how I feel about the game yet but it seems ok and very steady without a lot of cold or hot streaks. They played there for about and hour and a half will we all had margaritas and michelobs for 99cents. These were way better than Bills. After that we started our wall back to EX to get ready for the night. Stopped a couple places to grab a drink but basically just hoofed it back. Back at the room made a drink and went down to play BJ with T and B while K showered and got ready. We were already ready. Sat down at a $10 table bought in for $80 and left with $160, not bad for and hour of playing for me. T was up too and B was down, this is basically the story for the trip. I play strict basic strategy, B would ask what to do, I would tell him, and he would lose. Felt bad for the Kid because he was playing it right. On the other had T wouldn't do anything right and win all the time. Oh well that's why it's called gambling huh.
K came down, loved cashing the black chip and pocketed my money, nothing new there believe me. We walked over to NY NY to try and eat at Nine Fine Irishmen, that is my favorite bar/restaurant in vegas. I have eaten or had a drink there every Vegas trip, except this one. Wait was 1hr, no surprise but didn't want to wait so we went over to Fulton Fish Fry. Not exactly what we normally eat but K wanted fish, we both love seafood, why do we live in South Dakota again, please someone remind me. But everything is fried and we rarely eat fried food. Bother ordered the fish and chips and calamari, calamari was good fish and chips just ok but for the price not bad. Grabbed 3 beers and a limon diet for K at the Bar at Times Square, get place, but $27 for that seemed a bit high. Again oh well needed a beer. We were finishing up our food and a homeless man kind of kept hovering around us. Not bothering us, just watching us. Not a one of us finished our food so as we were getting up K found him and asked him if he wanted the rest and he looked like Christmas just came. K serves at our local banquet a lot so that made her night.
Plan was to cab to the Palms and play it by ear from there. Got there and found a $10 table with one other person playing. So all four of us sat down. I bought in for $100, cashed about 3hrs later with $250, another nice gain for me. K bought in for $60 and cashed out with $130, her first ever black chip of her own, oh the excitement. The two boys did ok. Steve was the other guy at the table, in from Orlando for, very nice guy. But big hi to Amanda, dealer at the Palms. Best dealer I have ever had. K still talks about her. Will be back to play so hope she is still there. One celebrity sighting. While we were cashing in I turned around and Brady Quinn, the Browns QB was right behind me, a little startled but said hi and so did he. No bid deal but seemed like a pretty regular guy, other than being 6'4", making 3mil a year, and unbelievably handsome and K points out quit often now when we see him on commercials.
K wanted to go to Ghostbar, she loves Celebrity stuff, the boys just wanted to go back to the strip and gamble. So we split up, Oh by the way the women at the Palms were beautiful, K agreed. Went up to Ghostbar, it was actually pretty cool. Had about 3 drinks apiece and did a little dancing. Glad we did it. Cabbed back to EX were K was ready for bed 1:00am, 3:00am our time. I found T and B and we played BJ till 4:30am. Bought in for $100, cashed out with $300. I know this is not how gambling is supposed to work but boy did it make it more fun. Finally up to crash 4:30. Day one over, one day left.
Ok day two. I am up at 8:30. Shower up and am ready for the entire day, dressed sharp for the evening to come at 9:00am. Didn't want to change for the day. Also it was about 55 degrees with for some sounds cool but with the sun out it was wonderful for us since in SF SD it was -4 when we left, can you say heat wave. I could have had shorts on and been fine. I walked through EX to Luxor and to Mandalay Bay (MB). In May we at Red Square and it was great so I was just wandering over to that. Sat down at a MB table and bought in for $50. Played it in won had, won and left, excellent. K called at 9:45 she was up and ready too so we met in between MB and Luxor, bought a small pina coloda to share and walked over to Trop. We stayed there in May and again, didn't really care for the casino but loved the pool and our room was great with a balcony over looking MGM and Luxor. Then over to MGM to eat. Couldn't find exactly what we wanted so we just grabbed sandwich and chips at a deli. Not bad but not real good either. Around noon now and the boys are up ready to go. Met at the lion habitat and started walking North again. Grabbed a drink at a liquor store and walked north all the way to the Venetian to show the boys. They really liked it. Also stopped in the new Planet Hollywood on the way for the first time since it changed from Aladdin. I really like the place. K likes TI so we walked over there, stopped at he bar and grabbed a drink. K had to use the rest room so we sat at a $5 BJ, of course it was 6-5. Yes I hate these too but it was the only kind of table we could find with chairs open. Bought in for $30 cause didn't think we were going to stay that long.. By the time K got back I had that doubled. She sat down and I gave her my other $30 to play. Hour and half later we get up to leave, K has $50 but she took some of mine when she ran out a few times and I had $150. Another excellent BJ for us. So for the initial buy in of thirty we left $170 ahead. Next we started heading back and had to stop at Caesars to touch the fertilization statue, don't ask me K read about it and since we are starting to try for children she wanted to touch it. She read something that three women all touched it on there trip and with in 10 months they all had babies. Whatever makes her happy I am all for. We didn't find the statue but showed the boys CP anyway. Grabbed a drink at the outside bar of CP, wow, very strong, nice. Walked back to NY NY and got another hotdog. K wanted to take a nap and then get ready so we played BJ at EX again. Yep you guessed it bought in for $100, cashed out with $200. K was ready by 7:30.
We walked to Luxor then to MB to go to Red Square. Said I would buy everyone a drink so the boys could see the place. B and I ordered a bloody mary, K had some vodka tini, and T had a vodka cranberry, all very good but total was $58. Anyway, just love the place, the lighting, the décor, the ice bar is a little overrated so if that is the only reason you are going I would say pass on it but if you have never been there I highly recommend the blue cheese crusted sirloin and lobster tail. It was a special when I had so not entirely sure if it is on the menu all the time. After the drink we walked through MB and it is a beautiful hotel, it really is. On to the next spot.
Cabbed to the Hard Rock. Very beautiful people there. Had some drinks and played a little BJ again this is the only time I left down, $40 down so not bad but K was up $50 so it was a wash. I have always like the HR especially because of the casino layout but had a better time at the Palms this year. We cabbed it back to EX at midnight. K was tired and wanted to get some sleep before we had to leave for the airport at 4:30. T put a $100 bet down on BJ and won because we couldn't find a table with three chairs open. With the win he said he would buy us a drink so we went to the lounge in the corner at EX. Can't really remember the name but all had a very strong morgan coke. Return to the tables and fine one open with only one other person, sit down and the guy there didn't seem to want to play with us so he left, sorry to him if he is reading this. I buy in for $100 and cash out with $230, great way to end the trip. At 3:00am I went to the McDonalds in Ex and grabbed 6 double cheese, 2 fish, 2 hot mcchickens, and a chicken select for us all to split, not just for me, don't get the wrong idea here. It all looked so good after two straight days of drinking. Brought it back to the room, think we left half of it, too bad the homeless guy wasn't around again. Grabbed our stuff and off we went. Flight home was fine but crappy as usual with no sleep, back in Sioux Falls, in laws pick us up and off to bed all day Sunday.
A little recap - Definitely had a wonderful time, this is the first time I have been to Vegas In the winter months, all other times have been in the summer or late spring, early fall. Found the weather fine but do like to be able to eat outside in the evening and this trip would have been too chilly. This is the first trip ever we have not eaten or had a beer at Nine Fine Irishmen. We love sitting on their patio listening to music, having a nice reasonably priced meal and just watching people. Oh well, still no complains from K and I.
Now, at first K and I thought the trip was going to be a lot of showing the boys around because we thought that is what they would want. Well it turns out that is what we wanted and once we realized they would rather gamble and drink instead of pressing to see all of Vegas in 2 days we just settled in and relaxed with them. So our plan now is to make this a yearly trip for T's birthday present. This way we will just try new things every year and don't have to rush to see everything. K and I are big travelers, we will go anywhere and we have a lot of trips planned this year already so don't know if we will make it back this year, my though is we will, an opportunity will come up and we will go on a whim. After talking we would like to take a trip with just us to Vegas once since we haven't done that yet. That way we can do as much or as little as we want together.
Well if you made this far my hat goes of to you since this was probably pretty boring. I do apologize for the spelling and grammar, English was not my best subject, hence I am a banker not a writer. Want to thank everyone for writing these, I just love them and check the board twice a day with hopes of a new post showing up. Thanks again everyone and keep them coming. Hope to see some of you in Vegas in the future. Take care.