Trip report Nov. 20 - 24 Day 1

Why is it so easy to procrastinate when writing a trip report? I suppose Thanksgiving has something to do with it...anyway, here is my payback for all those reports I love to read:

My hubby Bill, our friends Tom and his wife Jane, and I finally began our trek on Thursday afternoon Nov. 20 by flying from Texarkana airport (an hour's drive from our home) to LV via Dallas. Flights were thankfully very smooth - security was a bit weird in the small Texarkana airport; our checked luggage was inspected very carefully in front of us with most items being removed from the suitcases.

Since this was our friends' first LV trip, Bill and I tried to show them as much as we could within the allotted time. Bill prefers blackjack and craps while the rest of us usually choose video poker. Trying to find the best-paying VP machines became the top quest in our casino missions.

We stayed at Harrah's since our rooms were already comped because we're Diamond card holders from play at the Shreveport and Tunica Harrah's. Upon check-in, hubby and I asked for an upgrade but were told there was nothing available and were assigned a room on the Carnaval tower 7th floor. It was the smallest and tackiest room I've ever seen, and I was verrrry unhappy. Our friends, on the other hand, were told they were to be given a junior suite on the 21st floor. This made no sense to any of us because hubby and I are bigger players than the others. Friends said it wasn't anything too special. When the clerk saw the fire in my eyes, she said to come down the next morning and they would move us. Sure enough, about 10:30 the following morning, hubby went back to the Diamond check-in and we were moved to the 24th floor to a pretty nice room. I'd be happy to have it again. Small bathroom, but a nice large irregular-shaped room with a chaise longue in front of one of two large picture windows. BTW, no coffee maker in the 7th floor room but one in the room on the 24th floor.

The first evening (we arrived about 9:30) and we hit the strip to begin our fantastic adventure...I insisted we didn't have time to waste. Actually, all we did was to walk across to the Mirage and watch the volcano. Then we entered through the front door so we could walk through the tropical environment on the way to the casino. After checking most of the VP machines, we left by way of the white tiger display and watched one play in the water a bit. He (she?) kept standing and lying on one of the water jets positioning it just so(!) I was glad we got to see one out.

We then went back to Harrah's, and I proceeded to lose (gulp, do I really tell?) $700! And on the first night! I'm surprised we weren't moved to a penthouse suite after that!!! Gee, looking back, I can't believe I really lost that much in a few hours, but gambling is a strong addiction, is it not?

Day 2

Friday morning we began by eating breakfast at the Diamond Lounge, I think. We ate there on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but I'm not certain it was open on Friday morning even though that's what my notes show. My mission today was to show them my favorite casino/hotel - the Bellagio and have lunch buffet there. We walked over and looked at the lovely Chihuly glass ceiling flowers and walked around the conservatory. They had yet to change out from fall to Christmas in the conservatory but were putting out giant Christmas balls in other places in the building.

We ate the delicious buffet, and I was probably more impressed by it than the others. I happen to like "different" foods and I don't enjoy eating much meat. Therefore, buffets which feature mainly slabs of rare beef I don't get into. I really enjoyed the Bellagio again. We played several hours here but none of us came out ahead although we did get to cash out some tickets.

We then took a cab to the Venetian where we played awhile after walking around the Grand Canal and looking at the awesome ceilings in the hotel area. Wow! We hit nothing here either but I think hubby won some on BJ. We had planned to eat at the Grand Lux(e?), but we weren't hungry yet so we headed across the street by the overpass to Treasure Island. The others were anxious to try the Siren Show, so I told them to go on, but I'd just play some VP since I didn't want to brave the crowds. It was about 15 minutes till showtime and they came back in. Said the show had been called because of high winds - sure enough, the front had hit and it was very cold and windy.

We played awhile. Hubby actually played some .25 5-play VP and hit 4 Aces and a kicker for $500, and a few minutes later, I hit 4 2's and a kicker for $500, too. I think I was playing something like Triple Double Bonus, or something like that... When Bill started playing BJ, I went over to a dollar single line machine and put in a $20. Two plays later I hit 4 Jacks for $250. Whew...now this was better and I began to feel as if I might enjoy VP again...

We discussed where we wanted to wind up for dinner. Jane and I walked down to Kahunaville since I had read some good things about it on the forum. HA! That place is way too loud for the likes of us...we're in our 50's, and we really prefer quiet lovely places for our dining experiences. However, it was fun to stand and watch what was going on in there. We all decided at my suggestion to just go back to Harrah's and eat at The Range, charging it to our rooms in hopes of comps (which is exactly what happened). The other three ate delicious steaks which they raved about, while I ate giant butterflied fried shrimp. They were so big that I could eat just one. Another was divided among the group, and one was thrown away...wish I had it now. In lieu of dessert, we opted for Brandy Alexanders which were delicious...yum.

At this point it was about 11:00 PM and we all went to bed. We had walked a lot, and I had a pretty bad sinus infection (or bad cold) and was living on Benadryl, Actifed, Advil, and Vicks Salve...not a pretty sight! By the way, at The Range, we were seated by the window overlooking the Strip and the wind was so very strong that the palm tree fronds looked as if they were being ripped off the trees. They shut down the Mirage volcano for the next two nights at least.
OF course, going to bed that early in Vegas is so foreign to me that I was still awaked at 3:00 AM...yuck, not a happy camper.

Day 3

Saturday morning after another brief breakfast at the Diamond Lounge, we tried unsuccessfully to catch the shuttle to the Rio. It was pulling out as we approached it, so we just took a cab instead. What the heck!

I headed back to the Masquerade area to check out some VP slots I had read about on the west-point site. Didn't find them but sat down at a $1 triple play, put in a $20 - nothing, of course, one max play is $15, put in $100 bill and immediately hit four deuces! Hooray!!! $1000 - now we're having fun. At least I am. The others aren't doing too well.

We didn't stay at the Rio too long; we played a bit more in another area of the casino, but it seemed nothing was paying off (other than my beautiful 2's).

We cabbed it over to the Palms where we really weren't impressed at all with the casino. We'd never seen so many VP machines at such good pays, but Tom and I couldn't hit a thing. Jane hit several 4 of a kinds to make her happy and hubby won a bit on BJ. We played for a couple of hours, ate a comped lunch at the cafe (only thing open at 3:30-ish). Jane and I each got a Reuben sandwich, and it ranks right up there with one of my all-time favorites...good!

We caught another taxi downtown to Main Street Station. I understand what all the talk has been about...it's a really neat little casino with a pretty buffet area. Of course, we weren't hungry at this time, but I'd like to eat there someday. Jane hit a royal here - on a nickel machine. She said she's been chasing a royal for months and now she gets it on a nickel machine. Whatever...it's the only one we saw this trip.

After playing a couple of hours, we headed on the bridge through the California and walked up to Fremont Street. We played in the Nugget for awhile, went outside and saw the
Experience. Enjoyed it immensely this time (I'd seen it twice before). The first show was that of space and a bit of patriotism and I really liked it. We then went into the Horseshoe, saw the 2nd show, went back into the Horseshoe, and saw the 3rd show. (Rock and Roll was one of the others)

We arrived back to Harrah's about 9:45, just in time to grab a quick sandwich and a drink in the Diamond lounge. We played until the wee hours of the morning up and down, up and down, before finally slinking off to bed.

Part4 will follow. There will probably be 5 parts, and I'm sorry to do the report like this so it's scattered all over the forum. It's not very easily read, but I'm not sure exactly how to write it in another program and paste it here, and I'm afraid I'll lose what I write if I make each section very long.

Days 4 and 5-

O.K., here I go again. After finishing days 4 and 5 earlier, I lost it all and my computer shut down. Decided to try it on the word processing program and see if that works...
After eating breakfast once again at the Diamond Lounge at Harrah's (where we stayed in case you haven't read the earlier reports), we crossed the street to stroll through the Forum Shops. A shoe store selling Borns, Clarks, Mephistos, and other comfortable walking shoes was having a sale, and my three companions bought several pairs. I'm the one with the shoe fetish, but I just didn't find what I needed in my size.

We went through Caesar's although we didn't stop to play. I must say that Caesar's has definitely improved since I was there three years ago. It's light and airy now. Gives me a whole new feeling. I'd like to stay and play there, I think. We went out the front door (had to get some direction) and crossed the street to Barbary coast to check it out. (Jane hit another 4 OAK here in about 5 minutes). Then crossed to Bally's and Paris. Ate at a small café behind the Creperie and I had a wonderfully delicious Italian sandwich. When we were talking about our favorite meal later, I decided the taste of that sandwich may have made it my favorite...weird but true.

We played some at Paris but aside from Jane's hitting another 4OAK, we struck out, so moving on, we taxied to Mandalay Bay. I was more impressed by this place than I had been the other time I was there (for a meet ). It could be that I was staying at the Bellagio at that time, and this time I was staying at Harrah's, but it had a really good feel to it. Once again, Jane hit a couple of more 4 OAK here. I just held my own. We trammed to the Luxor , played an hour, and trammed back to MB to eat a comped buffet. The huge boiled shrimp were delicious, and the others had some rare beef they said was excellent.

Then we had to get back to the Number One Must Do in Vegas: the Bellagio Fountains! The taxi let us off near the entrance to the hotel, so we caught the first show 'Luck, Be a Lady' from one side of the lake. I insisted we must see a show from the street sidewalk, so we shivered our way down there in time for the next show 'singin' in the Rain?. Ah, so delightful! However, by this time it was 28 degrees (according to the forecast), and we were some kind of cold in our thin clothes. We hoofed it back to Harrah's where we played for hours. Up and down, of course. I finally hit 4 deuces for $250 and 4 Aces for $200 before going to bed. That helped a little to even things out, but I should have quit sooner.

Part 5 Monday

We ate a good comped breakfast at the café in Harrah's. I had the Spanish omelet, and it was very good. I think I enjoyed it more than the others enjoyed their eggs benedict, but it had just the right flavor. The orange juice was the best I've had in years - freshly squeezed at $4 a glass.
We headed to the airport two hours early and had to stand in a HERD of people trying to go through security for D Gates - we flew American. It seemed like a thousand people trying to get through those gates, but I guess the airport personnel had it pretty well under control. I was glad we had so much time - we arrived at our gate with an hour to spare, but I would have been concerned if we hadn't been so early.
We played a bit on VP machines at the airport. Hubby cashed out a little. Man sitting beside him hit several 4 OAKs in about 15 minutes and cashed out several hundred dollars. Never can tell.

Flight was again smooth - that's a big plus in my book! Interesting note - on the flight to Vegas, hubby asked for his usual Crown and water and was told he couldn't buy top shelf liquor. It's reserved for first class!!! The stewardess said first class is allowed one drink and they had one bottle of Crown for them...hmmm.

Overall, we had a super trip. We all came home with SOME money though we left much of it in Vegas. That's sort of to be expected. Since we gamble often on the 'boats', we're used to the ups and downs of gambling trips. Our friends have said it's the best vacation they've ever had, and we enjoyed showing them The Town. we're looking forward to another as soon as possible. I love going to shows, and we didn't work one in this trip. I also craved dim sum at Chang's but the timing was always off. Our itinerary worked out well, I think, without much back-tracking, and we saw and gambled about as much as humanly possible.

Hope to see you in LV sometime...may luck be with you, Judy
Edited by: judyinar at: 12/1/03 11:19 pm