2013 Las Vegas Trip Reports
Stayed at Orleans & Flamingo April 13, 2013 to April 18, 2013
- Category: 2013
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Warning - Long report!!! I am Jdub and I am heading to LV for a conference with my SIL Ang and her friend Suz, who is a "vegas newbie". At our age, Virgin seems like a hypocritical term!! We left St. Louis Saturday afternoon and arrived in LV about 30 minutes late. As we picked up our luggage from the carousel, we could not see a Limo driver with our party’s name. We shared a limo from Presidential with some co-workers. After a call to Presidential, the driver says she will be there in two minutes. Well, that turned in to about ten. She did arrive looking a little disheveled. I don’t really think anything happened to her on the way, I just think that is her look! She must be in her sixties and did not get around very well, even with her orthopedic shoes. I felt bad as she was trying to stuff all of the luggage in the trunk. Each bag was right at the 50 lb. mark and we had six people in the group. She did manage to stuff the trunk and use some tie downs to hold the trunk shut. It really did not look too classy, but we couldn’t see the mess since we were in the lovely mirrored interior. Note to self - don’t forget to wear undergarments with your dress next time! No, I was covered but we did have a conversation about the mirrored side wall of the car and how you could definitely see up a girl’s dress while riding in the bench side seat!! I guess the view could go either way depending on the size, shape and grooming habits of the dress wearing individual! Ha! We made a stop at a local liquor store to purchase some beverages for our room and arrived at the Orleans about 10 minutes later. Room - I decided to try the $20 trick to see if I could get a refrigerator and upgraded room. The gal at the desk did not seem to have a problem with the $20 and told me she was giving us a nice room on the 16th floor with a view of the mountains. Ok, up we go. Same kind of room as I have stayed in before! No better! But, within three minutes our refrigerator arrived. I think the daily fee for the fridge was $5 or more, so about the same cost using the $20. The room was nice. I still wish there was a door between the toilet/tub and the rest of the bathroom. It would make it a lot easier for three women to get ready. One could shower while the others were using the rest of the bathroom. Oh well, we made it work. Casino - after drinking a couple beers and freshening up we decided to hit the casino floor. Ang and Suz needed to get b-connected cards so we looked around the casino and they each got their cards. We took Suz to the Alligator bar and got her set up at a machine. Time for some VP! Slipped in $20 and ordered a beer and decided to try Dueces Wild first. Crap! Money is dropping fast. Tried some DDBonus Poker and not luck!! Well, $20 gone in about 10 minutes! Suz tries some BJ and the slot game on that machine. She is very frugal and did not want to spend anything on gambling, but we were determined to turn her in to US! She made $40 on the slot game somehow. She was betting .25 x 9 lines. That is huge for her! Now she may be hooked! SIL Ang made $20. I am the only loser. But that is how it goes sometimes! We are from Illinois so we have casino games in most of our local bars and I sure am used to losing money! I guess no better place to lose than in the Mecca!! By now, it is approaching 9pm and we are starving. We decided to head to the Coast Cantina for some south of the border food. BTW, they have three really great dips/salsa for the basket of chips. Ang had the fajitas, Suz an enchilada(I believe) and I(J dub) had the Tostada Grande. All the food was very good and service was fine. I would eat there again just for the dips & salsa! Following this, we were beat and went to bed! The strip - Sunday 4/14 It is time to show Suz the strip and all it has to offer! We took the shuttle from the Orleans to Bally’s. I really liked when the shuttle went to Bill’s. It was much closer. It is quite a walk from the new location to the strip. At least it is free, so I won’t complain anymore. Having never gone to Ellis Island, today was the day. It was only a few blocks from the shuttle drop. We each got a card and some playing cards for signing up. We received $10 in free play. We each used it on VP and no one came out ahead. I like this place even though it is small. There is just something "homey" about the place. I guess it feels like a Moose Lodge or an Elks Lodge. I like those places. Always fun and cheap drinks. We walked back to Bally’s and sat at Sully’s bar for a couple of drinks! No wins, but Miller 64 on draft was a nice surprise. I know, watered beer. Drinking is a social thing for me and as long as I am drinking and not getting drunk, I love it! I don’t like to drink to get drunk even if that does occasional happen!! It is lunch time by now and we took Suz to Margaritaville at the Flamingo. We wanted to eat outside and overlook the strip but the line was huge. We got seated right away inside. We were seated in one of the fishing boats. We had to get the nachos! SIL got a salad and Suz got the blackened fish sandwich. Once again, all the food was great. Time for some more walking. We went to the Quad to check out the renovation efforts. It is much nicer but seems so stark. I hope the interior is still under construction and they are going to give the place more character. We did watch the Marilyn "dealertainer" perform. She sang diamonds are a girls best friend. Ang and Suz purchased a frozen drink from Harrahs. I just stick with beer. At Casino Royale, I played Lord of the Rings and did win $100. The Michelob beers are a great deal here. The next casino to check out is the Venetian. I played a WOZ game here and won about $60. It was the multi-player group and we got quite a few bonus games. After we played here and there and went on to Palazzo and took a few pics of the girls. The Wynn looked as nice as usual. We played some slots here and Suz became very upset. She had lost her purse!! Oh Crap!! She was trying to hold it together. She found one of the attendants to walk around with her and look. No luck. SIL asked directions to security. She was familiar with this area as I lost my sweater last year while staying at the Wynn. No comparison to losing your purse!! We got a call from her saying, "they have your purse. They have your purse!" What a relief. One of the other attendants saw the purse hanging on the pack of a chair and took it to security! Whew! Now we all need another drink! We taxied back to the Orleans and downed a couple beers in the room. We ventured back down to the casino and wondered around and Ang & Suz went to room. I played a lion game. Not sure of the name. It is the one with a lot of bonus spins if you get three lions of a certain color. Anywho, I did get a bonus with thirty-some spins. I made about $150 off of $20. That was great! I called it a night also. I have class on Monday morning for the conference. Monday - 4/15 Up early to get ready and I head for class. The other two took the shuttle to the strip. The plan was to meet up in the afternoon so we could pack a small bag and check in at the Flamingo. I had three nights comped and it is so nice to have a place to stay as an option on the strip. We met and went to the Flamingo about 4pm or so. Check-in line was HUGE! No way. We checked the bags and set off to Treasure Island to eat at Gilley’s. We split the Ten Gallon Platter which consisted of baby back ribs, pulled pork, hot links & rotisserie chicken. We also were served some sides of fries, baked beans & chipotle cheddar tater tots. The meal was really good and easily fed the three of us. We just happened to be there on a night of teaching line dancing. After dinner the other two ladies stayed and I went to gamble awhile. I played some VP and had a couple beers while losing $20. I wondered around and played various slots with no luck. Because I had class the next day, the girls made sure I got safely on the shuttle bus back to the Orleans. After returning I decided to play a few slots and with no big wins. Off to dreamland!! Tuesday - 4/16 This is an easy day of classes because they are only held in the morning and the afternoon is free. Yeah!! I gave Ang & Suz a call and find out they were out until the wee hours of the morning. (Here is a long side note) - What? I missed a crazy night? After placing me on the shuttle, the girls went over to Caesar’s to check out the place. I guess they went to one of the bars to sit and get a drink and struck up a conversation with a group of people in town for a movie conference/convention. I think it was for CinemaCon 2013. Sounds like there are businesses from all different aspects of movie entertainment. Apparently Brad Pitt was in town on Tuesday and Johnny Depp on Wednesday!! We didn’t run across them anywhere!! As it turns out, Suz, who is single, chatted it up with a wealthy cowboy who also has ties to CinemaCon. Ang left the two and moved to another bar in Caesar’s to be able to let them keep chatting. While Ang was waiting, she was invited to join a couple in town for CinemaCon. Oops! Awkward for Ang. She said she just kind of politely brushed over the subject. She said this was a nice looking couple, so she was flattered. Ha! I would have loved to hear this conversation!! All of this talking caused the night to move in to morning and they were up way longer than they realized!! So, nothing too crazy. I didn’t miss too much. On to Tuesday- I arrived at the Flamingo via shuttle about 11am and I am in pain. I have no idea, but the side of my foot was bruised and swollen! The girls were up and around, but a little tired! We walked over to KGB burger . I had the Sliders and fries. Ang had the buffalo chicken sandwich and Suz had the Cheddar Cheeseburger. The service was good and the food was excellent. I would recommend the food at KGB. It was very reasonable and when you show your TR card, you get $1 off each entrée. I had a 2 free pass to the Secret Garden at Mirage from Myvegas. This was a first. I don’t think it would be worth the full price of admission. It is small. The dolphin show was nice, but I was pretty disappointed in the place. We picked up the bags at Flamingo and shuttled back to the Orleans to get ready for an evening Downtown. We took a taxi to Fremont. I believe it was around $25 with tip. Not bad, but the driver kept speeding up and slowing down over and over. Ang could not stomach this too well. Luckily, the rest of us were ok(we were joined by a co-working for the evening). We purchased tickets online for the Mike Hammer show(Four Queens), so we went to will call. Of course they gave the sales pitch and my co-worker upgraded the tickets to VIP. The show doors opened about 6:30 and it was a little after 5pm, so we went to sat at the bar and played VP while Ang could sip and drink and eat a couple olives. She says they help with her motion sickness. IDK, if that makes her better, than great! No big wins. We each cashed with our original $20 or more. Following, we went to dinner at Chicago Brewery. Ang had the Garlic knots which are like buttery garlicy knotted rolls. She is still a little nauseous. I decided to try the Muffaletta. It was not bad, but not the best I have eaten. Suz got the quesadillas and my co-worker got the Sliders. The food was good and the beer was even better. I had their wheat beer "Weizenheimer" with an orange. Very good and we were eating early enough that the food and beer were available at happy hour prices!! Mike Hammer is in the Canyon Club bar- VIP seating consists of a round tables at the front of the stage. All other seating is rows of metal chairs. There is not a bad seat. With VIP tickets, you get a ticket for a free drink at the bar which is located left of the stage. While everyone is seated, they are playing funny videos. I guess this gets people in the mood to laugh! The show has a lot of interaction with the audience. Suz was called to the stage and she did fine. She was nervous. He didn’t embarrass her, so she survived. Towards the end of the show, Ang was called up. She had to disappear with Mike hammer behind a sheet. When she appeared she was wearing his sport coat. After a second time of disappearing he was wearing a bra around his neck! It was funny. He greets guests and take pictures after the show. I would recommend the show. VIP tickets with one drink cost $32.50 and general seating is $20 each. The show started at 7pm and we were out by 8:20pm or so. We walked thru various downtown casinos and took a Limo back to the Orleans. This driver just happened to be sitting near the taxi line and said he would take us back for a reduced cost. It seems like it was around $40, but I am not sure. My co-worker paid! Thanks! Wednesday - 4/17 Following class, we got some things together and shuttled to the Flamingo. BTW, my foot is really swollen and really painful. Still not sure what I did!! We are all going to stay on the strip tonight as I don’t have class on Thursday. Due to my painful foot, we took a shuttle to the Riviera. We walked thru and it was so slow. Not many people. When I first started going to this conference we stayed at the Riviera and it was really busy all the time. I loved Pennytown with a performing Elvis!! They had a nice snack bar with 99cent shrimp! Fun times. I hobbled with the girls to Peppermill. Suz watches a show about Gigolos on Showtime and they film inside the Peppermill at times, so she wanted to see the place. I took them in the Fireside Lounge to see the retro look. I just love this place. We each had one of the gigantic Bloody Mary’s. So good and filling. We took a few pics and walked over to the Wynn. We knew we wanted to go to the South end of the strip, so we grabbed a taxi and went to Mandalay Bay. I have a couple more passes to the Shark Reef from Myvegas and two passes to the buffet at Luxor. The Mlife reward desks were overly crowded at both places, so we skipped both all together. It was approaching lunch time, so we decided to try Public House for a beer and appetizers. The beer was only like $2 per draft and the apps were $5 each. We shared the Cheesesteak spring roll, hummus plate and Spinach & artichoke dip. Good lunch and well worth the cost. $24 for all three of us. They walked and I limped to the Cosmopolitan. They sat me at the VP bar at the back and went in search of an Art-o-matic machine to buy a gift. Well, I guess the machine would not work and then took their money without dispensing any art, so they had to speak to management. This was too long for me as I had already gone thru $40 and two beers. Obviously we are not huge gamblers but I would like to get a lot of play out of $40. More than two beers and no wins!! Oh well. Off we (I) limp to Flamingo to prop up my foot for a bit!! We freshened up and go to Caesar’s. These girls drag me all over the place looking for some chocolate store and then they don’t even buy anything!! Wth? Finally we go to place some VP at one of the bars. Right away Ang is being hit on by a guy obviously younger than we are. She can just go along with things and I would want to say, "hey, we are in our 40’s but we are not cougars on the prowl." He finally got the hint and moved on. We decided to try a different bar and went to sit by the sports book. I played some VP and spoke to the bartender about the Army. My son is in the National guard and going to basic this summer. He was in the Army and his son is in the service, so we had that in common. I notice the longer I sit, the worse my foot is swelling. At about 10:30 I can’t take it anymore and tell the girls I am heading back to the Flamingo. They were concerned about the walk by myself but it was fine as it wasn’t that late. No issues, just painful from the foot. The food court was smelling great. I got a plate of Asian food and took it back to the room. I have been teased in the past about waking up with dried noodles stuck on my chest, so this was the fitting ending to the night. (btw, there was no dried noodles on my chest, but there were a couple in the bed. Shh! Told tell the girls!) Ang came in the room a couple hours later with a slice of pizza. She was so jealous because she wanted noodles, but the place was closed. Suz came in later. I guess after I left she saw the same cowboy as the other night and had a "conversation" with him. A great "conversation" is always good!! Thursday 4/18 We were up and ready by about 9:30, so we checked out of the room. Ang & Suz needed to pick up some souvenirs and I did not want to walk on this still swollen foot, so I sat at the bar and had a morning bloody mary while playing some VP. They picked up a few things and we took the shuttle back to the Orleans to gather our luggage and check out. We were flying out at 3:35, but we wanted to get to the airport and have plenty of time to eat some lunch and relax before out flight. Southwest terminal area was jam packed. Tequileria restaurant was overflowing. We eventually found a seat and each had chicken quesadillas. They were just ehh. I would not recommend. But, at least we had a place to sit and let time pass. There was a flight before ours that was late, so all of those travelers were waiting at the same gate we were to leave. We had to sit on the floor for awhile, but we finally left about 4pm. The flight was uneventful and we made it back to St. Louis about 9pm. Grabbed our luggage and were finally on the road about 9:45pm. All in all it was a good time and we made some memories!!