I had a lot of use or lose vacation time off, so I decided to take Friday 10/9 and Monday 10/12 off and take a road trip from Southern California, to Laughlin, then Vegas, and then back home. This was a much needed break as Mrs. SR and I have definitely felt the COVID fatigue and being stir crazy for several months. We decided to eat in the room as much as possible and not spend too much time on the casino floor to minimize covid exposure.
Day 0 Thursday:
Got off work early around 4PM, picked up Mrs. SR and we were off on our mini-road trip from Southern California. It really puts a damper when you start your road trip with the legendary Socal rush hour traffic. We pulled off to an In-N-Out, got some double double via drive-thru and headed back on the bumper to bumper traffic. Once I got on one of the carpool lane, it was a little bit better. The key to being able to eat a double while keeping an eye on the road is to ask In-N-Out to cut the burgers in half. They individually cut and wrap the burger for you to easily handle while driving. It took 2.5 hours to barstow, and we decided to take a quick pit stop by the gas station. I loaded up with a case of water and some beef jerky. When we took the 40E from Barstow, it was pitch dark and not a lot of cars all the way to Laughlin. I actually prefer to drive when it's really dark because the lone headlights point to where I need to focus on and I don't get distracted by the surroundings. It almost felt like I zoned out the whole time 40E ride, and there I was seeing the faint neon lights of Laughlin. I must admit, it doesn't matter where it is (Primm, Laughlin, or Las Vegas), when I see hotels lit up in those tacky retro neon lights I get butterflies in my stomach. It always feels like Christmas day. Once we got to the driveway of Harrah's, Mrs. SR ordered me to self park because she didn't want the valet to possibly "expose" our vehicle with COVID. I happily obliged even though I was dead tired. All I cared about at that moment was to race to the room to have my first drink. Well $#izzzz! Mrs. SR forgot to pack my bottle of pinhook. I was on a fence about gambling that night as I just wanted to get some good sleep. Now she left me no choice but to get some booze downstairs. Mrs. SR is didn't feel like joining me because she wanted to videochat and stream the rest of her shows. I honestly don't mind it when the Mrs. and I want to do our own things. I was surprised that on a Thursday night during COVId, Harrah's Laughlin seemed bustling. Maybe I underestimated how small the crowd size was going to be. There seemed to be a strong mask mandate, and I saw almost 100% compliance amongst guests who were playing. I did see a few with the nose slightly hanging out, but I felt like it was strictly enforced. I bought in for $200 at the craps table. There were a couple of players rolling. I did not see any plexiglass dividers or the 6-feet rule being strictly enforced. I waited until the puck was off, and then I put $10 on PL and max bets with $52-54 across. We made a couple of points, but ultimately bled the $200 quickly. I bought in for another $100 and made a run with couple decent rolls, but ultimately walked out -$40. At least I got a couple of drinks. I dabbled a little bit on VP, lost another -$50. Ultimately went upstairs pretty unscathed with $400 in my pocket after a small loss and tips for the cocktail waitress. That was the end for day 0
Day 0 +/- = -$100 Total Trip +/- = -$100
Day 1 Friday:
We got a late check out, so I slept in. I had $20 F&B credit, so we opted to get take out from the cafe downstairs. We got one order of their country fried steak to go and shared it in our room. It was pretty darn good. I'm not much of a breakfast/brunch person, so it was the perfect amount for us to share. After breaking even while playing a little bit of HC-flush with the Mrs. we went upstairs to pack our bags for Vegas. The short trip to Vegas was enjoyable. No traffic and nothing eventful to report. We had room reservation at the Venetian with some $400 match play and food offer. I also double booked at TI with some $500 freeplay offer and to my surprise no food and beverage offer. Oh wells, it's not like we were fans of TI food, but if it were comp'd we would have used it at the cafe. We checked in at the Venetian by 3PM, and we decided to split the $100 food credit into an early dinner and brunch the next day at the Grand Luxe. For dinner, we shared a spring roll app, Mrs. got the chicken caesar salad, and I got club sandwich. Again, we got our food to-go. I struggle with whether to tip or not tip when I get things to-go. Is there a Vegas tipping etiquette for getting take-out for strip restaurants? None-the-less I left a 10% tip on bill. The food was delicious. I really think the Grand Luxe Cafe is underrated. Everything is so solid. We're always satisfied with the standard venetian rooms. This time, they had us at the Venezia tower which was a trek to get to. We got lost along the way and I just don't find the appeal for this tower. It's hard to get to, and quite annoying. I used my $400 match play on one hand of blackjack right outside the high limit lounge. The announced to the dealer that I was only going to play one hand, and she seemed pretty annoyed. I mean, why does it matter to her, it's not like she had any other customers or players at her table. I got four black chips with the $400 match play and got two face cards with the dealer showing a 6. Of course I stayed and the dealer flipped over a 10 and busted with a face card like how it should be every time! Up $800 for the day. I asked for one black to be changed into green and threw the dealer a green chip for tip. She seemed less condescending at that point. The Venetian had plexiglass on most of the table games except roulette. It felt odd at first, but it wasn't terribly inconvenient. I kind of felt safer in my area. Throughout the weekend, as I started encountering more and more plexiglass table dividers, I felt more comfortable. The Mrs. wanted to walk around the strip, so I cashed out and we started walking south on LV BLVD. What is up with all the cannibis smell on the street. I feel like it's more prevalent than ever. We were sad to see the Cromwell still closed. We stopped at an empty face-up pai-gai at the Flamingo bought in for $400 each for a total of $800 between us. We played for a few hours averaging $25-$100 on main bet and $5 on the bonus. I hit a couple of full houses, and the Mrs. was running hot hitting so many trips and straights. Overall, I walked away $675, and the Mrs. $800. We felt like it was time to head back to the hotel before it gets too "dangerous" on the strip. We again got plenty of second hand of reefer on our way back. Mrs. played a little bit of buffalo slot max betting at $3.75 (i think), and got one bonus for a lousy $20 win off of 10 free spin and no retrigger. I ordered a drink while at the slots and waited another 10 minutes, but the cocktail lady did not show up, so no night cap for me.
Day 1 +/- = $1050 Total Trip +/- = +$950 (Mrs. SR total trip +/- = +$200)
Day 2 Saturday:
Despite the venetian beds being heavenly, I just couldn't sleep well. I mean, I never really sleep well in Vegas in general. I think it's the adrenaline and excitement that wakes me up every few hours. We woke up and I called ahead to order breakfast to-go from Grand Luxe. We both got some standard breakfast with coffee. This time I didn't feel so bad leaving a 15% tip for take out as they went over and above packing all the condiments, napkins, cream, sugar, jam, and you name it. I didn't feel as conflicted leaving a standard tip. After having breakfast in the room, we walked over to the TI to "check in." I got the $500 freeplay offer and used it on some slot. I think it's really dumb that you can't use the freeplay on progressive slots. Anyhow, with the freeplay we got $290 back from it. I was not too disappointed because it was freeplay after all. We then played some shoe blackjack and got killed. We played about 3 shoes and I've lost 90% of my double downs and lost all my splits. I kept getting Aces when I was doubling down with an 11. After three buy-ins, I was down 1500. Mrs. SR was down 500 as well. I would have usually bought in for more, but I knew it wasn't that kind of a trip so I cut my loses and left. We also went to check out the TI room because the registration girl said she "upgraded" for us. The room was at the end of the hall and the view was nice. However, TI rooms are dingy and smelly. I came for the $500 freeplay, but I ended up being the sucker by giving them collectively $2K to win their $290. I guess that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes. We started heading to Cosmopolitan to try their buffet. Have I mentioned that I smelled a lot of weed on this trip? When we got to the Cosmo, I was informed that their buffet was reservation only and they were filled. We were disappointed, but then again we understood. We walked around the casino, saw some slot pulls going on. I swear, people really get excited over such small bonuses. Anyhow, we ended up at a craps table and I bought in for $500 while the misses went to play penny slots. The table was hot and I waited a good 15 minutes until the guy 7 out. After getting my chips, I laid $25 on PL and the shooter was taking his sweet time, but I didn't mind. He was betting big. The point was 8, and I made the $130 across. The shooter rolled about 10-12 times and hit a lot of my place bets before making the point (luckily I pressed). He then got on 8 and shot 5-6 times before making the point again. He got on 9 and then made his point soon after. He then finally 7-ed out after establishing 10. He rolled for a good 45 minutes I think. Between hard ways and pressing some of my bets, I walked away $2200. I cashed out and got the Mrs. and went to Mon Ami Gabi for an early dinner. We sat outside and both had the steak frites. It was just OK. It looked better than it actually tasted. Both of us had couple of cocktails and people watched. It was a nice night. The food actually taste better when you make a good comeback on your gambling. After dinner, we walked back to the Venetian and played some FU-Pai Gow. There was nothing really note worthy to report other than me having a Queen high pai gow and beating the dealer who had a lower pai gow. I don't know what to think of the Ace high pai gow side bet. I didn't play that side bet because It just seems like such a long shot. After a couple more cocktails and down about $200 each, we called it a night.
Day 2 +/- = $290 Total Trip +/- = +$1240 (Mrs. SR total trip +/- = -$700)
Day 3 Sunday:
Woke up and decided to be tourist and go to the Hoover dam. It's been a few years and with limited things you can do in Vegas, we wanted a change in scene. The drive to Hoover dam was roughly 40 minutes and it was a pleasant drive. You can see the water levels on lake mead significantly lower than where it used to be. After walking around the hoover dam for a bit, we also decided to drive up to mt. charleston. We've never been up, and I saw some cool youtube clips of Mt. Charleston. The drive up was the highlight of our trip. We were amazed by how the scenery changed so rapidly as we were climbing. When we got to the top, we grabbed some coffee and slowly made our way down. We had early reservation at Spago. We had some oysters and shared a fish dish and some pasta. The outdoor patio is fantastic. We strolled through the Bellagio casino and did not play but noticed the atmosphere of Vegas definitely changed. We decided to head back to the hotel and catch up on some netflix. I don't know if it's just us, but we felt like the energy and the atmosphere of the casino was subdued. It felt like there was definitely a cloud over our heads. We caught up on some netflix in the room, and called it a night.
Day 4 Monday
Nothing eventful. We were thinking of doing a late check out and hanging out in Vegas, but honestly there was nothing to do. We decided to check out early and head home instead.
Conclusion. We both had a good time, but it definitely wasn't what we thought it'd be. Maybe we were overly careful and decided to dine in our rooms or out on restaurant patios. We're definitely going to wait a bit until our next trip. We kind of understand everyone else warning us that Vegas is "different." Ultimately, gambling for the trip between us was +$540. We can't complain given the rooms were comp'd and all we really paid for were half of our meals and gas. This really was a lowkey weekend as there were a lot of time we spent in the room just watching netflix and resting in the bed.
What was the temp difference between Vegas and MT Charleston?
I did not check, but it was noticeably different. If I had to guess for early afternoon, it was in the low 80s, high 70s...and disappointingly no reefer smell up there.
Got a chuckle out of this. I was thinking back to times when I had played a session or two of FU Pai Gow. Then I realized you meant face-up! ;)Quote: SiegfriedRoy
played some FU-Pai Gow.
Nice report, SR. Thanks for sharing!
Got a chuckle out of this. I was thinking back to times when I had played a session or two of FU Pai Gow. Then I realized you meant face-up! ;)
Yup. Sometimes FU Pai Gow can definitely be "FU" Pai Gow! =)