Trip Report 02/03/09 through 02/06/09

This trip was mainly to see Elton John after I received an offer for two free tickets. Ok, any excuse will do. Initially my DH was going with me but he backed out. I asked a few more folks who had been to Vegas before but none would commit so I asked a non gambling Vegas Virgin and she finally made up her mind about 1 week before I was set to go.

Luckily we were able to get her a Southwest ticket for only 239.00 and I was able to catch a ding fare and get mine for 170.00. I had made reservations at The IP because it came with my Elton John offer. The room was supposed to be a regular room but I emailed a host there and was able to get a King Suite comped for three nights. I let my friend (N) stay there and I stayed at The Stratosphere on an offer for three free nights in a Suite, 100.00$ slot play, 50.00$ food comp and two free show tickets. I am a smoker and my friend is not so it worked well having separate rooms. It only took me on average around 15 minutes to pick her up in the mornings so that wasn't bad.

Rental car was from Payless and was $68.41 total for 4 days. We had a Chrysler Sebring. It started out at 150.00 and I kept checking until it dropped.

Tuesday, Feb 6th

Flew Southwest out of NOLA. Left around 8:25 AM and got into Vegas about 10:30. We actually were asked for our luggage tickets this trip and that has never happened before. Took about 1 hour from the time we landed until we were driving away in the rental.

It was very early so I didn't even try to check in. We drove down the strip turned left on Sahara and went to Hash House A GO GO for lunch. This place is awesome. I had the scrambles - Scrambled eggs with avocado, bacon, cheese and onions. Fried potatoes on the side. N had a one pound burger that she managed to eat ¾ of. This is my second visit. I highly recommend it. The food is awesome. I think the bill was around 25.00$ and I had a coupon for 10.00 off. So with tip we each paid 10.00$ we left there and toured red Rock Canyon since we were so close.

After that I checked in to The Stratosphere and got my two free tickets to American Superstars.

The only have shows on Tue, Wed & Friday so if we wanted to see them it would have to be that night as we were seeing Elton John on Wed. There were 5 performers, Elvis, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera and Tim McGraw.
It was ok. If I had paid 49.95 for the tickets I would have been pissed. After that we rode to the top of the Strat (free if you are a guest at the hotel - 13.50 PP otherwise). The view was amazing!!

For dinner we shared a ½ pound chilidog with delicious onion strings at Roxy's Diner in the Strat. It was somewhere around 10.00$. I took N back to the IP and I went back to the Strat and did a little bit of gambling. I managed to end the night up about $180.00 playing mostly penny machines. Wednesday - Day 2

Today's the big day. My two free tickets have to be picked up between 3:30 and 6:30 so I have to remember to watch the clock. Ever notice how hard that is to do when in Vegas?
We decided to drive out to Green valley today to eat at The Original Pancake House and let N see a different part of Vegas. As always the food at the Pancake house is awesome.
Did a bit of gambling there and left about 100.00$ up. So far the gambling fairy is being pretty good to me. We left there to head to Caesars Palace to catch the Atlantis show and kill some time before I had to get my tickets. I was able to get in line and get the tickets at around three. I have to say when I saw we were going to be on the third level I was a bit disappointed.
We left there and went to Bills to catch Big Elvis. For some reason and I never did find out why he wasn't playing Wed or Thurs. That was a huge let down. I love to catch his show while in Vegas.

We decided we were a little hungry so we went over to the Diamond Lounge at Paris to get a little snack. They had chicken wings, teriyaki chicken, chips & salsa, assorted nuts and a few pastries. They had cut back on the choices but it was still enough especially since we had such a large breakfast. After that we went back to N's room to change for the show.

Elton John was even better that I expected. And I knew it was going to be good. I just had no idea it would be that good. Even though we were seated on the third level the seats were still pretty good. I honestly don't believe there is a bad seat in the place. If you are a fan (and I am) go see him before his last show in April. He did all of his greatest hits and there were video screens behind him that had some pretty off the wall stuff but I expected no less from Elton John.

Day 3 Thursday

Up at 7 am with plans to go to the Hoover Dam and eat at Green Valley again. Also have plans to see what free show tickets are available for Diamond members this month. We stopped and had the buffet at Green valley. Breakfast was 7.99 pp. They have a good buffet and the price is better than you can get on the strip. On to the dam. N had never been there so I drove her out to see it. There was no one in line for security so we sailed on through it. I imagine during peak times this would be a real pain. Lots of construction going on but should be nice once they finish it. She enjoyed it.

After that we drove back to the strip to see Big Elvis again but again he was out. Bummer. We walked around a bit and ended up at Bally's gift shop to buy some souvenirs. I walked all over the place looking for The Total rewards center and finally asked someone who worked there. She says they have shut it down and you now have to go to Paris to their Total rewards Center. The free tickets were George Wallace, IP's impersonator show or buy 1 get 1 to Jubilee. We chose George Wallace; I have seen him before but figured what the heck it's free. The place was maybe 1/3 full. Kind of sad. We did the Diamond Lounge at Paris again for hot wings, pot stickers and pretty much the same menu as the day before.

Day 4 Friday

It's already time to go home. My plane leaves at 6:55 PM. We slept in and didn't check out until right at 11:00. I'm pretty tired by now and for the first time ever I'm ready to go home. I packed up the car and called N while on my way and she was waiting by the time I got there. Traffic on the strip was picking up.

We put the bags in the car and headed to the Bellagio so she could see the conservatory. It was decorated up for Chinese New Year.

Flight back was uneventful except for the 2 guys sitting behind us in opposite aisles who carried an extremely loud conversation. The plane was only about half full and I could have easily slept had it not been for these loud mouths.

Notes on this trip:

The weather could not have been better. It was between 65 and 70 degrees everyday, sunshine and very little wind. Cutbacks are everywhere.
Total reward booths close at midnight now. Or have completely closed.
So don't lose your players card or need a voucher for anything after midnight.
The Reward booth at The Strat also closed at midnight.
The slots at all Harrah's properties were terribly tight. I never hit anything at any of them. Not even play time.
I won a little at Green Valley & the Stratosphere.
Bringing a Vegas Virgin who doesn't gamble sure cuts into your gambling time. On this trip it was probably a good thing due to the machines being so tight. I came back with most of my money so I'm planning yet another trip. Any excuse will do.....