blount2000
blount2000
Joined: Oct 15, 2010
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July 15th, 2013 at 6:18:03 AM permalink
My son and I made our annual summer trip to Vegas a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I’d post a little trip report about the experience.

As I’ve stated before in other posts, I’m a low roller so you may notice a common theme that keeps cropping up in this report.… frugality. I’ll be putting various costs of items here and there in the report in case anybody is interested. Be forewarned: there is probably going to be quite a bit of “non-gambling” activities reported such as dining, entertainment, etc. We usually do as much of those types of things as we do gambling.

We were in Vegas from the evening of Thursday June 27th through the afternoon of Monday July 1st, which happened to be during a heat wave that drove daytime temperatures up over 110 degrees with a couple of the days being around 115 degrees. Needless to say, it was quite hot. In all fairness it was a dry heat compared to what we are used to in the southeastern US, but 115 degrees is tough no matter how “dry” it is. Luckily our itinerary did not have any outdoor events on it this time and almost all of our activities were conducted indoors where we could enjoy the A/C.

Anyway, I’ll just make a post for each day and say what all we did, with a few pictures thrown in here and there for good measure. In an effort to keep some anonymity I’ll probably blur out our faces on any pics, but trust me you won’t be missing anything!

Note: I wrote the report in Word first, and I’m now seeing where it ended up being quite long (although I enjoyed writing it because in some sense I was able to “re-live” the trip again). So for the TL;DR crowd, here is the short version: We went to Vegas, it was hot, we won at bingo, we lost at roulette, we won at 3CP, we lost on slots, we ate lots of pizza, we saw two shows, we had a great time!!

For the others who wish to plow on through a mighty long trip report, the expanded version of each day of the trip will follow in the posts below.
You serious, Clark?
blount2000
blount2000
Joined: Oct 15, 2010
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July 15th, 2013 at 6:18:30 AM permalink
DAY 1 OF 5 - THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH

Our flight on Southwest departed around 5pm local time (CDT) with a projected landing time of around 7pm local Vegas time. The flight was completely full (as usual), but we had checked-in online the day before and received “A Group” boarding passes which allowed us to sit together as well as snag a window seat before the plane filled up.

We each enjoyed a mixed drink on the plane courtesy of two Southwest drink coupons I pilfered from my wife right before the trip. The coupons had her name printed on them, so I was hoping the flight attendant wouldn’t examine them too closely and question why two guys were trying to use them. They didn’t give the coupons a second glance (maybe they don’t even care) and ten minutes later we were both enjoying a jack & coke. The flight itself was uneventful which is just the way I like it, and I was actually able to catch a bit of sleep before landing in Vegas.

After landing and claiming our luggage, it was time to find some transportation to our hotel (Harrah’s). As we walked out the doors from the baggage claim area, I was hit in the face with a blast of hot air and I knew I was back in Vegas!

When there are three or more of us on a trip, my economics say we take a cab. But since it was just my son and I, it was off to the Bell Trans Shuttle stand for a $7.50 “capped cost” per person ride to Harrah’s. We were lucky and Harrah’s was the first stop the shuttle made on its route. In the past when we’ve taken the shuttle (and stayed at Harrah’s) it seemed like there were several stops before ours. Anyway, the shuttle went on the street behind the Strip and it drove past the Silver Sevens casino and the big ferris wheel that is under construction. After arriving in the shuttle area in the Harrah’s parking garage, we tipped the driver and proceeded to the registration desk.

We got to Harrah’s around 8pm and there was only a short line of people at registration, so check-in went smoothly. I had reserved my room online before the resort fees were introduced and I was curious to see if they would mention them or if the fees would show up on anything they wanted me to sign/initial. I had a printed copy of my reservation in my pocket ready to whip out just in case, but they did not say anything about resort fees and the page they printed out matched my online reservation exactly (a double-Queen room, four nights, $244 all inclusive). Nice.

While checking in I requested a room on the “quiet side” of the hotel (i.e. away from the Carnaval Court nightclub). I also inquired about the procedure for a late check-out since our return flight this time was late in the afternoon on Monday. The clerk said she could extend it from 11am to noon right then and there, but I’d have to call the front desk on my final morning to see if they would be able to accommodate a check-out later than noon.

I was tempted to try the $20 trick and see about getting an upgraded room, but I didn’t. So we ended up on the sixth floor of the Mardi Gras Tower, which was fine with me. The room itself was in good shape, although it seemed a bit smaller than rooms we’ve gotten before at Harrah’s. The view downward out the window was of some rooftop fans and such, but the outward view was of the side of the Venetian which was ok. No real “strip view”, but we don’t spend much time in the room looking at the view anyway so that wasn’t a problem.

The room was fairly warm when we entered it, and the A/C kicked on right as we opened the door. It turned out the thermostat had a motion activated feature that turns on the A/C when it senses people in the room, but then turns it up to a higher temperature when it senses nobody is in the room. It had a sign on it explaining what it was doing (conserving energy) and said that the room should get to the desired temperature within 30 minutes of walking in the door, which it always did.

We always take it easy on our first night in Vegas, so after getting unpacked in the room it was time for a light meal and some light gambling. We walked out the side exit of Harrah’s around 8:30pm and went to the food court between Harrah’s and Casino Royale.

The food court has a pizza place, a Chinese place, and a Mexican place on the ground floor, and a big McDonalds on the top floor. From the downstairs restaurant choices, we’ve only ever eaten at the pizza place which is what we did once again this time. They serve pizza by the slice and it is one of those places that has the various pizzas all laid out to choose from, but then they put your selected slice(s) in a big pizza oven to warm/crisp it up. We each had a slice (me a pepperoni/mushroom and my son a meat-lovers) and a drink which came to around $15 total.

The inside eating area is kinda shared by all three restaurants, and it was pretty crowded and hot from the door being constantly opened/closed. We found two bar-top style spots available and took a seat to enjoy our meal. The pizza here has always been good, and it did not disappoint.



After eating, we decided to continue on to Casino Royale to play a few slots and relax. We walked past an open-wheel car that Casino Royale has on display outside by the food court that indicates it can be won on the penny machines inside. I may have to stand corrected, but I’d swear that exact same car has been sitting there “un-won” for almost as long as I can remember!

We have some favorite machines we like to play at Casino Royale, and they are the Star Wars ones at the back of the casino past the bar & the table games towards the restrooms. We’ve been playing these same machines on our trips for a couple of years, and I guess we may be the only folks that like them because for some reason they are always totally empty every time we go there (which is good for us).

We each put a $20 in the machines and then played for a half-hour or so just to get that first “gambling fix” for the trip. We played 30 cents per spin (the minimum), and I was getting lucky and hitting several small-pay bonus rounds in fairly rapid succession which is unusual. My son did not hit a single bonus round on his machine, and we left about $10 down between us.

Around 10pm we headed across the street to the Mirage for a drink at Rhumbar. I had previously purchased a Groupon deal online that was good at Rhumbar for two 17-oz headhunter tiki drinks for $14.99, and we were ready to use it! They do have an outside seating area, but we took a seat at the regular bar area inside and the bartender was quick to approach us to take our order.

The bartender must have been very familiar with this particular Groupon deal, because as I told her I had a coupon for some drinks and was taking the Groupon page out of my pocket, she was already turning to get two of the tiki mugs off the shelf behind her. She told us we could choose between four different drinks to go in the tiki mug: Mai Tai, Rum Punch, Hurricane, and Sangria. I chose a Mai Tai and my son chose a Rum Punch. We took a sip and both drinks were excellent, but I found the Mai Tai to be just a tad too sweet for my tastes. My son liked the Mai Tai more than me, so we switched drinks and I had the Rum Punch instead which was much more to my liking. Unfortunately the tiki mugs themselves were not included in the deal, but we ended up purchasing one for $10 to add to my collection.



We hung out there at Rhumbar for probably close to an hour nursing our tiki drinks and doing some people watching of folks going in and out of the property (since Rhumbar is located right at one of the main entrances to the Mirage). Around 11:15pm or so we decided to ease back to Harrah’s and prepare to call it a night. I’m an early-riser versus a late-sleeper, so we usually tend not to stay out too late at night so we’ll have plenty of energy for the following day(s).

Went back to the room, and upon opening the door was greeted once again with some warm air and the A/C immediately kicking on. The room cooled off fairly quickly, and all was well. We were fortunate and did not experience any “noisy-neighbors” or “door-slammers” during the entire trip, so we were able to get a good night’s sleep each night we were there (which hasn’t always been the case in the past)!
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Coming Soon: Day 2 of 5…
You serious, Clark?
PapaChubby
PapaChubby
Joined: Mar 29, 2010
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July 15th, 2013 at 6:58:28 AM permalink
Thanks for the report. I look forward to reading the rest.
zippyboy
zippyboy
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July 15th, 2013 at 7:59:42 AM permalink
This is exactly the kinda trip report I like to read, especially the dining, entertainment, prices and such. Keep up the good work, and know at least this guy ain't sayin' tl;dr.
"Poker sure is an easy game to beat if you have the roll to keep rebuying."
KeyserSoze
KeyserSoze
Joined: Jul 14, 2013
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July 15th, 2013 at 8:09:25 AM permalink
I understand the need for them, but those motion sensor thermostats suck. Luckily, there is a way around them.

1) Do a google search or visit youtube. Either will provide instructions to override this.

2) Pack a couple balloons and some string. Blow them up and hang them from the ceiling. They will gently sway when the room is empty, or when you are asleep, and the AC will run uninterrupted.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.
goldengreeke
goldengreeke
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July 15th, 2013 at 8:49:54 AM permalink
Looking forward to the rest of your report because I have 6 nights booked at Harrah's during Halloween week. I'll be in Vegas for 12 nights, the other 6 nights are booked at the Venetian.
1BB
1BB
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July 15th, 2013 at 8:50:08 AM permalink
One of the reasons I read this forum is because of reports like this and I too look forward to your follow ups. As far as I'm concerned no detail is too small and I will read every word. I'm curious to know what airport you flew in from but don't say if you're not comfortable doing so.
Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth. - Mahatma Ghandi
RaleighCraps
RaleighCraps
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July 15th, 2013 at 11:46:41 AM permalink
Quote: blount2000

...We were in Vegas from the evening of Thursday June 27th through the afternoon of Monday July 1st, which happened to be during a heat wave that drove daytime temperatures up over 110 degrees with a couple of the days being around 115 degrees. Needless to say, it was quite hot. In all fairness it was a dry heat compared to what we are used to in the southeastern US, but 115 degrees is tough no matter how “dry” it is...



I was in Vegas in June one year when it hit 110. It may be a dry heat, but it still feels like an oven.
When your $$$$$ are roasting, who cares if they are sweating or not. LoL

We always walk the strip when we are in Vegas and I remember wearing all black sneakers one day. I swear if I had stood still for 30 minutes, I think my sneakers would have melted right into the sidewalk.

Good report. Looking forward to the rest.

As for Southwest flights, I have taken to paying the extra $10 to get the lowest A number available at time of booking. Just makes it way easier to sit where you want. When the ticket is $300, to me the extra $10 is hardly worth thinking about.
Always borrow money from a pessimist; They don't expect to get paid back ! Be yourself and speak your thoughts. Those who matter won't mind, and those that mind, don't matter!
RaleighCraps
RaleighCraps
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July 15th, 2013 at 11:48:10 AM permalink
Quote: 1BB

One of the reasons I read this forum is because of reports like this and I too look forward to your follow ups. As far as I'm concerned no detail is too small and I will read every word. I'm curious to know what airport you flew in from but don't say if you're not comfortable doing so.



Well, he flew Soutwest from a southeast location.
Depending on how tightly you define southeast, there are limited airports who fly Southwest..........
Always borrow money from a pessimist; They don't expect to get paid back ! Be yourself and speak your thoughts. Those who matter won't mind, and those that mind, don't matter!
tringlomane
tringlomane
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July 15th, 2013 at 12:06:05 PM permalink
Quote: KeyserSoze

I understand the need for them, but those motion sensor thermostats suck. Luckily, there is a way around them.

1) Do a google search or visit youtube. Either will provide instructions to override this.

2) Pack a couple balloons and some string. Blow them up and hang them from the ceiling. They will gently sway when the room is empty, or when you are asleep, and the AC will run uninterrupted.



Thanks! I have been ruling out Harrah's because of this in the past.

Quote: RaleighCraps

Well, he flew Soutwest from a southeast location.
Depending on how tightly you define southeast, there are limited airports who fly Southwest..........



He also flew out of the Central time zone. My guess is Nashville.

And good to hear that the pizza place is good. I have never ate there though, but have ate the other two options at least a dozen times. Chipotle has the exact same prices as St. Louis, and Panda Express isn't that far behind. But the pizza place is too cheap to even offer free refills on soda and charge more than the other two places for the initial fill-up.

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