Tiny Tim's Birthday Trip
After listening to some of my whining about missing Las Vegas, my wife (A), said she'd buy me Jimmy Buffet tickets for my Birthday. What a Gal!!
As soon as she said that I booked the flights and got the Hotel rooms booked. Canadians can't change flight reservations with out forking out BIG BUCKS. Anyway I then proceeded to book the concert tickets only to learn it was sold out. OH OH....I'm in trouble now!!! We decided to go with the Vince Gill concert instead and was VERY happy with that choice. We'd seen him already but it was about 3 years ago. We haven't seen Jimmy yet so he'll have to wait for us to honor him with our presence.
Flights: Direct (both ways) from Calgary with West Jet. Entertaining crew as always. They did the 'Lucky Penny' contest while waiting at the gate and my wife won. Whoever has the oldest penny wins a prize. She won a $50 West jet gift certificate (we think) but hasn't arrived in the mail yet.
Off to a lucky start...should be a lucky trip. After a smooth flight we got to Vegas about 15 minutes late. No big deal.
Rental Car: I wasn't going to rent a car as we were staying on the strip unless I got a very good deal. Went with Alamo and an econo model. I tried to score a free upgrade using the Birthday excuse, but it fell on deaf ears. We got a Hyundai Accent that had a surprisingly large trunk. Price after all taxes and fees was $123. I used two codes from www.rentalcodes.com Friday thru Wednesday.
Hotels: NewYork NewYork ...I was offered 3 comped nights and $25 free play in a Park Ave Room with Players Club. I didn't try the $20 trick since it was a Friday but tried the Birthday excuse again. The clerk was friendly and joking with us but said the Pro Bull Riders were in town and they were full. So I asked for a room close to the elevator and said a view wasn't too important thinking that it might help the cause. We got that. I should have asked for a higher floor (got 6th floor in New Yorker Tower with a view of two walls). Oh well. We booked 2 nights of the free available as I don't want to abuse the privileges especially since we had a car. The room was nice, clean, modern and will definitely stay again if it's free.
Caesars Palace...Sunday thru Tues for $70 with Total reward Club. I FINALLY had success using the $20 trick. Did the Sandwich ($20 between Credit card and drivers license) emphasized the Birthday and requested a complimentary upgrade to a high room, close to the elevator, in either the Palace or Augustus Tower. He slid the twenty out beside the keyboard and typed for about 10 minutes. He then said 'is the 42nd floor high enough? In the Augustus tower?' Yippeeeeee. The room was AWESOME with a separate Shower, a jet tub and separate little room for the toilet. The only down side to Caesars is the hike from the parking garage to Check-in and our tower but we'd stay again with another deal like this.
Food: We only eat 2 meals a day on holidays. 'A' has many food allergies so we ate almost exclusively at Buffets so she can pick and choose what to eat. The one exception was breakfast at America in NYNY. Good food at an average price.
Dinner Buffet at Luxor ($20 each ) was good and had the BEST Prime Rib we've had anywhere! Both A and I were raised on a farm and live in Alberta Canada so we know our Beef!!! I actually cut it with a fork. The rest was typical buffet food but didn't find the Dessert section until we were walking out. Probably a blessing in disguise.
Breakfast the next day was a buffet at ChinChin in NYNY. Standard Breakfast fare. Good service. I think it was about $14. Each.
Other buffet were the 'Buffet of Buffets' at the Harrah's properties. This is a 24 hour pass and is $39.99 with a players card. Breakfast...twice at Caesars and once at Imperial Palace (yeah...I know IP gets slammed a lot But BREAKFAST there is one of A's favorites.) Breakfast buffet at Caesars is very good but I don't think dinner there would be as good of a value as it's very small and selection wouldn't be near as good as other choices. Wouldn't know for sure though as it was closed for dinner on Tues and Wed. WTF???.
Dinner Buffets were at Planet Hollywood (huge variety), Flamingo (skip the roast beef), Harrah's and Rio (both are always a favorite).
Shows and exhibitions: Vince Gill...will go down as among the BEST concerts we've seen. I should mention that I've worked in Radio for 16 years so we've seen A LOT of concerts!
Titanic Exhibition at Luxor: Was a little expensive ($65 for 2 after a $10 off coupon) but very glad we went. We almost passed due to the price. Perhaps checking at the Tix 2nite places would have saved a little more.
Carrot Top...Tix 2nite gave a great deal and I loved it. A thought it was just OK
Red Skelton...Brian Hoffman does a spectacular job imitating a legend. I got the half-price tix http://www.vegas4locals.com/couponre...edskelton.html His show is now at LasVegas Rocks in Neonopolis, downtown on Fremont street. Right now, he only plays a day or two a week at 2pm so if you're looking for a hilarious afternoon show...this is a must see!
Gambling...A plays only penny slots while I play mostly slots and VP. I also got 'killed' at BlackJack and lost over $300 in two sessions. I have the basic strategy down pretty good but the dealer was just a little better. IP had a $10 game paying 3:2 but I lost 13 hands in a row, heads up against the dealer. Wow! Caesars had a $15 game early on that quickly jumped to $25 at 10am but they 'grandfathered' me in. Texas Hold'em (table game) at Flamingo with $5 minimum...a fun session lasting about 45 minutes or so and I walked away up a whopping $13. I also won about $80 at a $5 craps table at IP. The best single win I had was on a $1 VP DDB game at The Hilton after the Vince Gill concert. I hit quads for a $250. win. Another session at Caesars saw me hit quads twice but it was a 25cent machine. We only witnessed 2 hand pays in 5 days. A saw a lady cashing out $2200. On a penny machine at IP and I saw a hand pay with A LOT of paperwork on a VP machine at Caesars. Not sure how much as it was a Royal Flush on a multi-hand game PLUS it had a multiplier. I THINK he won $4000. But not sure.
Not much else to report but be sure to ask about the pool if it's important to you. 'A' goes to Vegas mostly to relax and suntan by the pool. We had ONE day that wasn't unseasonably cool and VERY VERY Windy! (Oct 22-27). After being at the pool for 1 hour, Caesars closed the entire pool area for a private function. This was about 2pm. She was NOT very pleased with that to say the least! We'll ask in advance next time and might pick Rio or even Flamingo over Caesars if this happens again. Hard to give up that room tho.
Refuelled and returned the car, then continued home on an another smooth flight. LasVegas has this rental car garage thing down to a fine art! If renting, be sure to sign up for the loyalty club and book ahead on-line for an absolutely painless routine.
Thanks for reading...and planning on an April trip.