First of all, I am a 48 year old Vegas fan, my wife (LuLu) is 40 something and a bigger Vegas fan. We save our pennies all year and get out to our favorite city once a year or so. This is NOT the mortgage, car payment, or college money. The kids are safe with Grandma is staying with them, so we can jet off to Vegas with very little guilt.
We had an offer for 3 free days from Flamingo and got the other 2 nights for ~$80. The flight from Detroit to Vegas was $450 with all the fees included, and can Spirit tack them on! I am sure they would have pay toilets if they could get away with it. An early eff u to Spirit for the nickel and diming their customers to death!
We left Detroit on the 8:15PM flight. Got out on time and sat on the runway for 20 minutes waiting to takeoff. The Flight was smooth except for the last 30 minutes. A little rough flying but nothing to freak me out. I watched Couples Retreat (funny, would have been mad if I had paid full price for it) and Taking Woodstock (OK, but a little weird. I expected music footage) on the iPod touch. Speaking of the iPod touch, it is worth the price of the device if only for use when you travel. Put 6 gigs of music, 2 or 3 full length movies, a few DVD's of TV shows on it with a few casino games and the longest flight is a lot more bearable. The plane was too hot, glad I bought water. I bet Spirit would have charged $20 a bottle :)
Got to give it up to the airport in Las Vegas, they are on top of things. The luggage came off fast, by time we walked to the baggage pickup area. Our bags were one of the first 10 bags off the belt. We did not have to wait more than a few minutes. My wife's niece and her boy friend picked us up from the airport. 1st win of the trip. I save enough cab fare to try the 20 tip. I was surprisingly nervous for some strange reason (I was sober) about trying the trick. I waited about 20 minutes in line even though there were only 3 groups of people in front of me. It worked fairly well. The female clerk set the "sandwich" on her keyboard and it showed the bill. She asked me what I was looking for and I asked if there were any nice rooms available. The clerk informed me the hotel was totally sold out and I asked her what was available and she told me a king smoking or queen non-smoking. I told her I had reserved a king non-smoking and she disappeared and emerged 7 or 8 minutes later and said that she got me a non smoking with king and strip view on the 21st floor. So, $20 over 5 nights for $4 average per night increase.
The room was an old room with CRT tube TV (for all you youngsters. That is a cathode ray tube). It was clean and comfortable. It had a good view Bellagio (no fountains), Caesars, and Mirage. My wife laughed when I told her I did the $20 trick because I am "careful with my money".
We were very tired, but decided to go to O'Sheas for an hour or so. I lost a hundy playing BJ with an incredibly drunk guy. He would sit there and first touch the cards with both hands, a no-no. Then he would close his eyes and think - I think he was falling asleep, and then play his hand. The bitch was, he was winning and I was losing.
Lulu was tired so we went back to the room, stopping in the Flamingo and playing a .25 top dollar machine. $20 in and she hit the coveted bonus round. The first offer was 35 credits. The second offer was like 15 or 20 credits. I told her to wait for the last offer, it was the mother of all offers - 1000 credits. Too bad she was not playing dollar slots. She cashed out $250 and went to bed +100 for the trip.
Slept poorly, she was too cold and I was too hot. What else is new-- As it is a custom in Vegas to do things we don't do at home, we HAVE to have sex every day in Vegas even if we don't feel like it. So we wrestled in bed for a while. I ended up on top, so I won! ;). We showered (hot water but poor pressure), dressed and went on a search for some food. We decided to go to the Tropical Cafe for breakfast.
Quick, very short line, but it was early. The food was expensive and marginal and the worst part was that the coffee sucked. We should have eaten elsewhere. It was $27 bucks with tip. We put it on the room in hopes of having Flamingo take it off upon checkout.
Monday Day 1 - Off to gamble!!
We decided to go to our favorite casino - O'Sheas. They have pretty good Irish coffee's and walked out down a few bucks. The trend of the house being just a little bit better started early this trip I had a 19, the dealer got a 20. I would double on an 11 and get a 2. This was a theme throughout the trip.
We stayed close to home and went to Bills, Flamingo, Imperial palace and donated at each of them. Down about $160-ish. Not too bad for a full day of card playing. Drink service good at Bills, fair at IP and decent at O'Sheas.
Lulu's niece lives in Las Vegas and was going to hang out with us old people for the evening. So for dinner, we were going to head down the strip to Mandalay Bay to go to the House of Blues using a Restaurant.com certificate. For all you people out there, who are "careful" with your money, check out this site. It is a great way to save money in Vegas as well at home. She drove us down there, and we self parked. I have a frind that raved about the food at the House of Blues and I thought the food good, not great. They have a live musician playing. He was good and it made the time there more enjoyable. We decided to play MB a little. Tight slots, high minimums on the tables.
The niece and her boyfriend decided to go home as he has to get up very early for work. We decided to walk back to the Flamingo. It was VERY windy in LV and due to the below average temps, it was more than a little chilly. I we took the tram to the Excalibur and then walked over to New York, New York. We walked through there and then walked outside (quickly) to Monte Carlo. We found the tram there and took it to the City Center. We walked around inside and the place is HUGE and very impressive. Even though it was nighttime, it was still dark. We wandered through the place and did not play. We wanted to get back to the Flamingo. We took the tram to the Bellagio, crossed over to Bills and decided to play for a little while. We decided to play Rapid Craps for a few minutes. It was fun, but just not the same as a real craps table. Obviously the casino's want to cut the number of employees it takes to run a table. I guess people will have to trust the random number generator that is running the machines. I am not sure if I do.
We decided to go bed at 9:30PM to save money as our luck never changed the first day.
Tuesday - Day 2
Got up at 6am, wrestled, I won again!! We learned our lesson about the cafe at Flamingo, so we had Breakfast at McDonalds. $9 bucks, quick and good. Went to Casino Royal, down $160 in the time it took to have a cup of Irish coffee. This is quickly becoming an unwelcome trend.
We caught the Duce downtown in front of the Venetian. It was ~9AM and chilly. We had a chilly week for mid-May!
Gambling overall downtown was bad for us the only bright spot for me was Fitzgerald's. I was up $50 or so when we left. Went into 4 queens, held my own for a while, then eventually lost a few $$. First time at mermaids and we had a fried Twinkie. If I take the pills, I will eat the bad stuff once in a while. It was surprisingly good.
Downtown is different during the day. It is for the lack of better terms, ugly. We had many beggars. One asked for money to fill the gas can that he and his girl friend were carrying. They were both smoking, if they can afford to smoke, they can quit and buy their own gas.
We walked over to the El Cortez. The gambling sucked, and I was not too impressed with the place. At night it might have been a questionable walk.
Went into the Plaza - 2 dollar BJ even money BJ. What a rip off. Cashed a 100 and you would have thought it was a million by the way they looked at it. Cashed back in $100, not going to reward even money BJ. 6/5 is bad enough, but even money--
Took duce back, nice view, slow ride. Saw the Pawn Shop from the TV show. It is located in a dumpy area. Hoped they have good security. We got off at fashion Place mall. We had a Restaurant.com certificate for Strip Burger. It was very tasty, two burgers, fries, a beer and a coke $15 including a tip.
Walked around the mall for a while, went into the Apple store and was depressed when I thought that I could have bought a couple of iPads for the money we lost. We were tired, heading back to room to sleep or should we gamble--
Won a little bit at BJ at the Flamingo and retired to room at 930 again. Either we are getting old, or the gambling is forcing us to bed early. I did not sleep well, heard the boom boom boom of some bar last night in our room.
Up early, you guessed it, early morning wrestling match. I ended up on top again.
We had some coupons for the Flamingo breakfast buffet. With the discount, it was OK - coffee still sucks!!
I went to O'Sheas to wait for tickets to Donnie and Marie. I was first in line at the ticket discounter. Got decent seats and saved a bunch off the box office price.
Played at O'Sheas for a while and left up a little. Went to Bills and made a little more money. Is the trend reversing-- I could only hope.
Worked our way to Westin and they had no tables open for ACG match play coupon. I decided to play the Goldfish machine. The music is still stuck in my head!
Had a frappicinno at the Starbucks and walked over to Ellis Island for match play - lost. Broke even and had a good home brew and proceeded to get hammered on my 4 free drinks at casino bar.
Wife was obsessed with video poker progressive. Kept saying she was going to hit it to the tune of about a $100 loss.
It was early afternoon, we walked over to Planet Hollywood and ate at Ocean Grill, and we both had filets. The food very good, it was about ~$35 after the Restaurant.com certificate.
We played at the Planet Hollywood for a while - for me it sucked. Bought in for a hundy and poof, It disappeared on the BJ table. My Wife hit 17 on roulette to save us
We went back to the room to clean up and get ready for the show.
Donnie and Marie were very good. Us Old folks still remember them. I have has a crush on Marie since I was a teenager reading my sisters teen magazines. They both looked very good for their ages. The showroom was very old school Vegas and I liked that. I did not like $12 for 2 soft drinks (I was over served all day long - no booze for me). We sat with a couple of retired gentlemen and talked for the 25 minutes till the show. The show started with Donnie and Marie together, then they each did a solo part and they ended the show together.
After the show, we went to the old standby O'Sheas. It was packed with a capital P. Got on the $5 BJ table and lost a fast 50 or so and the wife pissed away 3x that . We decided it would be cheaper to go to sleep. When we got back to Flamingo, she decided to put a hundy in a VP machine and I walked over to the pleasure pit and played with marginal looking girls at a fun table. Up down up down and I walked away with an extra $30.
Stopped at the snack place near the elevators and got a slice of pizza and a gleato.
Went to sleep by the end of day Wednesday, we were down a good grand. We can only hope for better luck tomorrow.
Got up early and coaxed my little buddy to performing one more time - I keep telling myself, you are in Vegas, act like it. We decided to go Ellis Island for breakfast (2-4-1 American Casino Guide coupon).
I had biscuits and gravy and an order of breakfast potatoes, LuLu had an omelet. The food was excellent and the coffee was good also. After the coupon, it was under $10 with tip. You can't get a better breakfast at any price in my opinion. Played the free bingo that was a benefit of having a player's card. The dabber was a dollar. As was our custom this trip, I lost at bingo also. I wandered over to the BJ table and dropped another $40 quickly. We stopped in Westin for a Starbucks. Free with my Starbucks that I received as a gift.
We walked back towards the strip and Stopped at Bills played for an hour or so with a fun group. The dealer was from somewhere in the old Soviet Union. He was complaining about the economy, I think he was fishing for tips. More loses, down another $60 or so...started to drink!
In order to save money, we decided to go to the pool at the Flamingo. We managed to get a couple of lounge chairs and laid down to soak up the Vegas sun. It was cool for mid-May, and only in the upper 70's. I forgot the sunscreen and got fried. I am glad that I kept my hat on.
The pool is a strange place when you are like me, a middle aged bald guy that could stand to lose 30 lbs. I feel that I should be able to stroll over and hang out with the young people. But I feel that there is an invisible barrier that keeps us not so beautiful people over on -our side- of the pool. Just for the record, I do not wear a Speedo!
We went back to the room and cleaned up for dinner at the niece's house. We were going to meet her at O'sheas when she finished work. I had one of my first streaks of the trip. I was playing alone with a nice dealer. I do believe in gambling karma, and I feel that if I increase my bet too much, I will start to lose. I turned $40 into almost $200. Nice, but certainly not enough to turn our trip around.
The niece lives with her boyfriend north of town. I do not know where, but they have a nice place. The houses are WAY too close for me. They have a backyard about the size of a postage stamp. Also, how do these people live in a house without a basement-
They grilled some chicken and veggies for dinner. Good food. We visited for a while and
She drove us back and decided to play with us for a while. LuLu hit a roulette number to help us crawl back a little more. I lost about the same amount playing BJ
I did make friends with a security guard at O'sheas, he told me his life story and how he met this foreign lady and is moving half way around the world. Nice guy, hope it works out for him!
We had a snack at Burger King in O'sheas. I wanted to wait till midnight and go to the Burger place in Flamingo for the $2 after midnight special. All week, we were never up at midnight for the special. What a drag it is getting old!
We stumbled around our favorite 3, O'sheas, Bills, and Flamingo. On the way back to room, I Had a good run at pleasure pit in the Flamingo. Cute girls, but more important, I turned 80 into 215. Wife has similar luck. Basically even for day still down for trip.
With all the dry air, I was very congested, hope it is not a cold.
Going to bed - tomorrow is our last day in Vegas. Hope the luck is better.
Got up, yes, I have a cold but even though my head was plugged, I had to keep the streak alive at 5 wrestling matches in a row. We wrestled one more time. I am not sure who won. Wait a minute, we both win!!!
On the way to get breakfast, my wife dumped $20 into a machine she is convinced will pay off any second. Any second eluded us all trip long.
Walked to the McDonald's near Casino Royal and had sausage biscuits and coffee. The is the most efficient McDonalds I had ever been to. They really know how to keep the line moving.
Walked into Casino Royal and made a donation to their upkeep and expansion Walked back towards the Flamingo and stopped at the camera shop near Harrah's and bought a set of batteries for $4 to charge iPod for the flight. I don't mind dropping $40 at a BJ table, but it bothers me to overpay for something like batteries.
We went back to the room and packed the bags. We said goodbye to the $20 trick room and did the express checkout. I checked the bags and we have 10 hours to kill before the flight.
We walked down the strip and bleed money the whole way.
Went to Bills - bam loss, Planet Hollywood same thing. Decided to eat at Tacone Grill (Restaurant.com certificate). Very good meal $11 after the discount. Walked into the Monte Carlo. Un freeking beleivable, cashed a hundy, lost 10 hands in a row. We took the tram back through City Center. Not quite as dark with blazing sunlight. The complex is huge. I do not know who is going to live there in the apartments in this economy. I guess if you can afford the rent, the economy is not an issue.
Went into Bellagio and donated a few bucks - not that they need it!
Walked back across the overpass and donated some change to the bum with the sign, "I am a drunk, but - still have to eat". You know what- It did not help the gambling karma by donating money.
Dropped the last hundy of the trip at BJ in Bill's My gambling is offically over.
I watched big Elvis for a while. He can still sing even though he is not so big anymore..
Because we stopped gambling with 3 hours to go...we sat at Margaritaville for a while and watched the World go by. Walked back to the Flamingo and sat in flamingo garden for a while.
Went to the baggage pickup and got out luggage. Waited a few minutes for a cab. $13 cab ride. Do they take the tunnel to the airport-- Driver was friendly.
Text from buddy that is on the plane they we are going back on. It is late. Got to the airport 3 hours early and no one at Spirit counter except a guy who told me they went out of business. Turns out it was a funny janitor. They tell you to be there 3 hours early and they are not. Another strike against Spirit.
We are first in line for the agent when they finally arrived. I wonder if the $20 trick works for airline seats--
The flight ended up being a little late, and we got in maybe 30 minutes late. I was not aware of time. I was all hopped up on cold pills and still could not sleep on an airplane.
On this trip the eff u's go to the time share and porn slapper people. Very aggressive this trip. They really need to rein in the porn slappers. I thought they passed some kind of law where they had to stay a certain distance away from the sidewalk.
Another eff u to some of the dealers. They really went after the tips. I tip after a meal, when I have received a service. When gaming. I tip when I am up, just because I got $6 on a $5 BJ, should I be expected to give the extra $1 to the dealers-
Speaking of tipping dealers, there are some really cheap people that color up $300 more from $50 and won't throw the dealers a couple bucks.
With restaurants, if I have to stand in line to order, carry my food, and bus the table, I will not put anything in the tip jar. Sorry if service people think this is mean or cheap. But a tip is for exceptional service, not an automatic surcharge.
All in all, a fun trip. Even a losing trip to Vegas is better than no trip to Vegas at all.
The gaming sucked, but we had good food, many drinks, daily sex and no kids along. I call that a winning trip.
I still have almost half of the bankroll that I will put away for next year's trip - good Lord willing!
Hope you enjoyed reading this trip report as much as I enjoyed living it. If you read these and go to Vegas, please post one yourself. Many people enjoy these diversions from their daily grinds and they just don't get posted often enough.
Hope it was not too long or boring!
Viva Las Vegas!