robbiehood
robbiehood
Joined: Dec 7, 2009
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January 10th, 2015 at 6:44:03 AM permalink
Trip report synopsis: Drank lots of gin in the morning at the MB and Mirage pools; pretended to read an easy reading mystery; fell in luv with the Glitter Kitty slot machine at Ellis Island; fell out of luv with craps; played the few remaining classic rules blackjack games on the strip. -$300 to bankroll.

I started booking this trip at the beginning of July as a consolation prize for failing to complete my big plan to embrace the dawn of my seventh decade in Las Vegas, entertaining friends and family with fancy French wine and gâteau d'anniversaire. Earlier in the year I had planned to travel to Las Vegas at least four times. Work load and ridiculously high prices for airline tickets equally confounded Plan A. At the end of June I found myself exhausted, without a plan to take a week of vacation for the year and started to earnestly search for a Vegas vacation. On the Fourth of July I found and booked a great fare to Las Vegas for the third week in August. I would leave from my office on Friday afternoon and spend the weekend, Monday and Tuesday decompressing in and around the pools at Mandalay Bay and Mirage. I offered to take Sarge to celebrate his graduation from grad school and booked the two tickets. Sarge called 30 minutes later and requested that I book a ticket for his, not yet announced, fiancée. In this half hour her ticket cost an additional $110. The ayes have it.

I don’t like flying into Las Vegas in the evening since I am an early Eastern Standard Time riser. Arriving round midnight PST usually means pulling an all-nighter on the fumes of distant memories of Las Vegas past. I did, finally, fall asleep during the twenty-fifth hour of the day. This trip was low energy from the start, with the expression of inhibition suppressed by the recent loss of my father. My father, born and raised in Brooklyn NY, a WWII Veteran, called himself a “child of the Depression”. After working in the day and attending NYU at night, he earned a MBA, bought a house in the NJ suburbs on the GI bill and then enthusiastically joined the three martini lunch, jet-set, business crowd. He flew around the world several times and then flew back to visit all the places historic and exotic he enjoyed. During one of our last conversations he quoted Marvell: “Had we but world enough, and time”.

The Pools and a $25 gin and tonic.

The first goal of this trip was to lounge around the pools at Mandalay Bay and Mirage, read an easy mystery and sip gin and tonic. Too much unprotected fun-in-the-sun has damaged the skin on my face and, now, bald scalp, so I had to find a full shade spot to sit in around the pools. This was possible, at both pools from 8-11am and 3p-closing. The weather was unusually cool for this time of year. The temperature did not rise above 95 on any day of the trip. Mandalay Bay has three distinct, tops not optional, pool areas: the beach; the pools; and the lazy river. I dipped in the pools a few times, then hustled and bustled through the congested lazy river once-just to say I did it and survived. The wave pool and beach was wall-to-wall speedos, thongs and swimmies. Lots of Divas and Adonis’s, slathered with coconut oil, primping, posing, prepared to sizzle a tan on the sandy skillet. Like a proper tourist, I ordered a double gin and tonic in a plastic souvenir tumbler with a screw top and straw for $25 at 9a. Ordered an $18 refill by 10a. It had to be five o’clock somewhere in the world, right? Of all things, a tall, beautiful liquid mistake with two limes was delivered by an angel at 10:15a. “Candy is dandy-But liquor is quicker”. Sated, I paused to reconnoiter the horizon. Packs of yellow shirted security guards seemed to be interacting and rousting a gang of unruly speedos from the beach. The speedos were m-f-ing this and f-ing that with every other Jerzey Shore accented word. Hard feelings must not have been forgiven through the night. Wobbly and reluctantly I had to put on over-complicated lacing shoes to walk past the beach, the no urinating in the pool sign, the Jerzey Sewer fruckus and the human, coconut oil fricassee just get to the men’s room. “Put down the books, pick up a gun, ‘cause we’re going to have a whole lot of fun”.

The pool at the Mirage, Sunday evening, did not seem as frenetic, dynamic or greasy. Most likely due to the weekend crowd leaving. However, I did observe frequent poolside “Ice Bucket” challenges which were all recorded for posterity on smart phones. They usually ended with the iced challenger screaming, then jumping into the pool. I didn’t get much reading done during the weekend.

Food and more drink.

For some reason Sarge had to take Fiancée to Ellis Island for lunch on Saturday. He drove the rental minivan there as the designated driver. We all signed up for the player’s card so that we could order the steak special and receive $10 free play. I had a nice hit on a Glitter Kitty slot machine and then caught a 4OAK on a 9/6 JOB machine. Glitter Kitty is now my game of choice. “I hear the click clack of your feet on my stairs”. With wiser generosity I picked up the check but made Sarge leave the tip. On the way back to MB we stopped at a Walmart and bought a swim suit, an inner tube and a bottle of gin. Through the week, with Fiancée in tow, we ate at Cravings for two breakfasts and one dinner, at the Bellagio buffet for one dinner, at Olives for a fountain side lunch and Aria for a dinner buffet. In between check-out at MB and check-in at Mirage we stopped Downtown for a burger and beer at the ElCo, a couple of pints at Bangers and hot sandwich lunch with shrimp cocktails at Dupars. Sarge and Fiancée broke off from the old man one evening and had dinner at Triple George.

Gambling and craps farts.

Well, I remembered why I don’t like craps and remain skeptical, dubious and suspicious of its purported entertainment value. First, Sarge turned into a craps monster and had several negative interactions with the boxmen, who were calling him out on short throws. In an hour he had three tuff-ups in four downtown casinos. That’s two more than I had in 40 years. The best I could do was offer very simple advice and walk away to find FPVP. I did take Fiancée to the vintage room at the D while Sarge huffed and puffed and blew his craps house down. Next, I did attempt to play craps on my own at various strip hotels without any success or enjoyment. Last, I found myself questioning my motivation and loss of faith in craps after a particular set of wasted throws. When I heard myself reciting Matt Arnold’s lines about loss of faith (“for the world, which seems to lie before us like a land of dreams, so various, so beautiful, so new, hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain”) I knew it was time to quit, color-up and say “hold, enough!”. Losses on craps were partially recovered playing the few remaining classic rules blackjack games left on the strip. Soon, I expect to see more horse and buggies on the strip than classic blackjack games. I am numb to the loss of the great game and observed at MB, a full $25, h17, 6:5 table next to an empty 3:2 table. Anesthetized to the horror, I didn’t shake my head, wring my hands, mutter WTF or feel obliged to warn the 6:5 players. Still, I wonder, if there is a correlation between the infestation of 6:5 “21”, increasing visitor volume and decreasing gambling revenues on the Strip. One cannot play anonymous classic rules blackjack on the Strip any more.

A good time was had by all. Maybe the D will place a couple $3 classic blackjack tables in their vintage room. I understand that the Plaza has upgraded their VP. Who knows, maybe a few more Downtown casinos will begin to offer a 3:2 single deck game again. I’m still chasing my first royal. I hope to be in LV on 1/11/15 and try for a royal at 777 MSS.
Let down the curtain; The farce is over.
aceofspades
aceofspades
Joined: Apr 4, 2012
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January 10th, 2015 at 7:20:45 AM permalink
Quote: robbiehood

Anesthetized to the horror, I didn’t shake my head, wring my hands, mutter WTF or feel obliged to warn the 6:5 players.



Truer words have not been spoken.


Excellent TR — why the 5 month delay from trip to report? Not complaining but your writing style is excellent and would love to hear more of these reports sooner rather than later. If you do go to LV on 1/11/15 I wish you positive variance.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit 
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
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January 10th, 2015 at 8:56:36 AM permalink
sort of funny the unlovable game for me is BJ ... we are opposites
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
RS
RS
Joined: Feb 11, 2014
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January 10th, 2015 at 9:49:35 AM permalink
Nice trip report. I like your writing style as well. I would love to drink gin n tonics poolside. Perhaps my next mini-vacation will include that. Any way to get those drinks for free?

By the way, it's Kitty Glitter, not Glitter Kitty!
robbiehood
robbiehood
Joined: Dec 7, 2009
  • Threads: 13
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January 10th, 2015 at 9:53:42 AM permalink
Quote: aceofspades

Truer words have not been spoken.


Excellent TR — why the 5 month delay from trip to report? Not complaining but your writing style is excellent and would love to hear more of these reports sooner rather than later. If you do go to LV on 1/11/15 I wish you positive variance.



Thanks Ace. I do let a lot of time pass. I start to write the trip report on the home bound plane but sumpin important always gets in between the first word and the last punctuation mark. If you’re in Las Vegas next week, positive variance to you, too. Catch you at an empty 3:2 table!
Let down the curtain; The farce is over.
Mosca
Mosca
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
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January 10th, 2015 at 10:06:52 AM permalink
Kitty Glitter can be a real blast, if you start filling up a lot of cats in the bonus game. Both Mrs and I have had huge hits on it.

Nice report.
NO KILL I
robbiehood
robbiehood
Joined: Dec 7, 2009
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January 10th, 2015 at 10:06:56 AM permalink
Quote: RS

Nice trip report. I like your writing style as well. I would love to drink gin n tonics poolside. Perhaps my next mini-vacation will include that. Any way to get those drinks for free?

By the way, it's Kitty Glitter, not Glitter Kitty!



There are lots of ways to drink for free. For poolside drinks you may have to talk to a host; or, maybe, compliment, in a non-pervy way, the energetic cocktail servers and you may find a perfect mistake next to your chair. Thanks for the heads-up on Kitty. No wonder she's not calling me back.
Let down the curtain; The farce is over.
aceofspades
aceofspades
Joined: Apr 4, 2012
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January 10th, 2015 at 10:11:01 AM permalink
Quote: robbiehood

Thanks Ace. I do let a lot of time pass. I start to write the trip report on the home bound plane but sumpin important always gets in between the first word and the last punctuation mark. If you’re in Las Vegas next week, positive variance to you, too. Catch you at an empty 3:2 table!




And the comment "an empty 3:2 table" is the reality as it seems nobody cares about 3:2 or 6:5 except us (meaning gamblers not tourists) lol
Uranium235
Uranium235
Joined: May 22, 2014
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January 10th, 2015 at 1:06:35 PM permalink
Quote: aceofspades

Truer words have not been spoken.


Excellent TR — why the 5 month delay from trip to report? Not complaining but your writing style is excellent and would love to hear more of these reports sooner rather than later. If you do go to LV on 1/11/15 I wish you positive variance.



Hear, hear on the writing style! Perhaps robbiehood is a pseudonym for Hunter S, Thompson?

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