helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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Thanks for this post from:
unJonsmoothgrhJoeman
July 25th, 2021 at 8:43:39 AM permalink
30th Wedding Anniversary Trip

My wife and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary this year and with us missing the last two March Las Vegas trips due to COVID we decided to get fully vaccinated up and head down to Las Vegas. We tried booking a trip to Las Vegas several times over the last year both last summer and this spring, but quarantine restrictions were for 14 days after. Our anniversary is on July 20th so with the Canadian government loosening up quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers on July 5th the trip seemed doable.

Flights Out

Flights were the worst part of our trip. Weíd booked with Westjet to fly direct from Toronto to Las Vegas. However Westjet cancelled the direct flight a month before the trip and instead had us connect through Calgary. Their initial re-booking had us fly to Calgary on Saturday and then fly to Las Vegas at 10AM Sunday. I noticed there was a 6:30AM flight by Westjet to Calgary on Sunday so I spent 1 hour 45 minutes waiting on hold to re-book the flight. On-line re-booking wasnít possible due to me using Westjet Travel Bank dollars that we got as a refund for the original flight cancellation when COVID first hit back in March 2020.

To be able to fly to the US, we needed a negative COVID antigen test no more than 3 days prior to our entry to the US. These were quickly sourced through Shoppers Drug Mart on the Friday before leaving, cost $40 each, and were completed in 15 minutes.

Flying out at 6:30AM to Calgary meant we left the house at 4:30AM to drive to the airport. That drive was great as the 401 was nearly empty that time of night.
The flight to Calgary was largely uneventful, but once we got to the airport the rigmarole began. First we had to leave the secure area to connect to our flight to Las Vegas. There was no option to go directly from the Canadian secure area to the US one. This meant that 88 folks including us had to jam our way through security again and then pass through the US customs pre-clearance. Unfortunately Calgary airport capacity planning was poor and there was a single line to get through security for flights to the US. The US border pre-clearance was better, but all this took time and we were due to fly out at 10:15AM Calgary time. We just got out of the US border pre-clearance at 10AM. Luckily Westjet decided to hold the flight for 45 minutes instead of face 88 angry people.

Landing in Las Vegas had only one hitch. We were leisurely getting through the airport as we needed bathroom breaks and whatnot when they called my name over the PA at McCarran to come and pick up my property. It was for a gate number on the other side of the terminal. We walked all the way over there only to find they hadnít called me. Strange. We eventually made our way over to the trams to pick up our bag and thatís where two-and-two came together. Our bag was pulled off the carousel fairly quickly and the announcer was trying to tell us to pick up our bag. The number theyíd announced was the carousel number where the bag office was not a gate number.

The Wynn

We got a great offer from the Wynn in last week of March this year for 2 free nights on a Sunday to Thursday stay with $100 in Resort credit and $100 in Free credit with a minimum two night stay. We said what the heck weíll book it hoping the Canadian government was lifting restrictions by July. Luckily that gamble paid off with the fully vaccinated exemptions coming on July 5th.

We were at the front desk by 2PM and the fellow checking in confirmed our stay, and congratulated us on our anniversary. Unfortunately he said our room wasnít ready yet, however he could offer us a Wynn corner room on a $50 per night upgrade and that room was ready now. We took it. It was a very nice room and view. My wife was very happy with the room. The only quibble is that because of the second set of windows the room doesnít have a sofa and foot rest because there is no wall to accommodate the dresser where the bar is and the couch/foot rest.

Getting Destroyed

My first gambles Sunday were losers. I hit the blackjack tables at TI where it was a $15 minimum at the double-deck game. Unfortunately I didnít realize I was at a double deck game until a couple hands in and I was using the Wizardís 4-8 deck strategy and I hadnít brought my printed copy of the double deck one. I persevered just being happy to play blackjack again. I quickly lost $120 of my $200 buy-in. Nothing strange, but lots of stiff hands against a dealer sitting on a lot of 10ís turning into 20. I lost 2 hands for every hand I won.

I quickly switched over to craps at TI again for a $15 minimum. I started on the pass line when the dice were at the other end of the table. Tried some place 6 and 8ís to no avail and the table was choppy. Not very many points made and not a lot of 7 or 11ís on the come-out either to compensate. I briefly tried donít pass too once the dice got close to me to no avail. I won on my roll betting donít pass, but the choppiness continued when the dice passed so I gave up. I ended up down $150 from my $200 buy-in.

Meanwhile my wife searched for decent video poker at TI and settled for a $0.25 7/5 Jacks or better game. It quickly ate the $60 she put in it.

We then decided to do some stupid gambling. My wife likes the Wheel of Fortune slots and likes hitting the big wheel for spins. We first tried $80 on the $1 Wheel of Fortune slot and came up empty with no spins on the big wheel so we moved to a $0.25 machine and got up to the big wheel once hitting the lowest possible value of 25 for a mighty $6.25. Ugh! That washed out another $80 from the gambling budget.
After that beating we decided supper was a better idea.

Jeannieís at Nordstrom

We headed over to the Fashion Show Mall and Nordstromís where the cafe got replaced by Jeannieís a couple years back. Jeannieís is a collaboration with Seattle-based chef Tom Douglas whoís won a few awards.

My wife had a feature salad with grilled salmon. I had a feature salad that had figs and the house pepperoni pizza. My wife said her salmon was grilled perfectly and my salad and pizza were excellent. Iíll also plug their bartenderís ďHigh FashionĒ which is their take on an old fashioned. They boil figs in their simple syrup to put in the High Fashion and garnish with a dried orange. A very nice drink.

We also ended our trip here at supper on Wednesday since we were looking for lighter fare. We each got one of their Toasties with a salad. Both were very good.
I would recommend Jeannieís for anyone looking for a nice light meal during the day.

Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

After supper, we searched around the main casino on the Wynn for some decent pay tables on Jacks or better. I wasnít holding out much hope as vpfree2.com has 9/6 JoB only at the $5 level. The high limit room offers a $1 9/5 Jacks or better Spin Poker game so we played that. Nothing except misery here too. We didnít hit anything more than a flush and that short 25 minute session cost $100 before we gave up. We went to bed down $650.

Getting up the next morning I found Wynn blackjack tables at $50 or $100 minimum and craps at a $25 minimum so I didnít play either game.
Instead I searched the casino floor for more video poker. I did find a multi-line Super Times Pay Jacks or better game at $0.25 and played that to the tune of an $80 loss. It was a frustrating run because I actually got a fair amount of multipliers during play, but very few of them ended up on winning hands including at 10x that ended up with nothing. Grrrr...

I also found a 3-line JoB machine at $0.25, but it was 7/5, but thought my wife would enjoy playing for lower stakes. I gave it a try to the tune of a $30 loss and down $750 overall.

Shopping

After the morning beatings, my wife and I grabbed breakfast at Dennyís and then headed over to the Fashion Show Mall to buy some new shirts. These shirts were the last part of my combined birthday and anniversary present. Sheíd bought me a nice Tudor watch just before the trip and I agreed to buy some new shirts with the agreement that she could throw out a few of my old shirts in exchange.

We ended up at Macyís for Men and the Calvin Klein rep was there tending to stock. We got him to help us pick styles and sizes for some collared shirts and some T-shirts.

We also browsed around other watch shops. My brother is a big watch and Rolex fan in particular and we agreed to look around down there for him. I guess there is a Rolex shortage world wide as COVID had the Rolex factory shut down for some time in 2020. My brother was looking for a steel Datejust. Heís on a waiting list here in Canada, but wanted to know if there was any stock in Las Vegas.

The Wynnís Rolex store is being re-done at the moment so theyíre selling Rolexes out of Watches of Switzerland. We wandered in to find most of the Rolex displays empty except for a half dozen of the super high end ones that were $10,000+. We chatted with the Rolex salesperson and he claimed that heíd got 40 watches in last week and they sold within hours.

Similarly we hit the Bellagio Rolex store and found it similarly empty. My brother will be sitting on that waitlist for any hope of a watch.

Shows

We discussed what show to catch during our anniversary trip. I was pulling for one of the Cirque shows, but my wife doesnít like Mystere and O only had shows on Sunday or Wednesday evenings.

Instead we agreed to see Blue Man Group now housed at Luxor. We caught the Monday 5PM show.

It was nice to just sit in a group of people and enjoy a show. We havenít done that in 18 months. The show itself is a series of performance pieces that use the actors, music, lights, and effects to entertain and amuse. There is even some audience participation during the show that gets the crowd excited. The show is family friendly and there were a number of enthusiastic children in the audience. We enjoyed Blue Man Group, my wife moreso than I, and would recommend seeing the show. Is it the best weíve experience in Las Vegas? No. Cirque du Solielís O and David Copperfield are still our favourites, but at $60 per ticket Blue Man Group offers good value that everyone can enjoy.

One word of warning though. Neither my wife or I are epileptic, but the end of the show has some really strong white light strobe effects that we found difficult to watch. My wife actually shielded her eyes while those lights were on.

The performers Ė Blue Men, musicians, and stage helpers/roadies Ė all came out for a bow at the end and both performers and audience seemed genuinely happy to be sharing the experience again after a long layoff.

Tacos El Gordo

Weíd delayed supper because of the show so we had the taxi drop us off north of the Wynn/Encore at Tacos El Gordo. It was strange because we got dropped off at the old location which is also a taco place called ďTacos El PastorĒ. Hardly anyone was there. Meanwhile down around the corner the lineup just to get into Tacos El Gordo was a dozen deep and inside was a madhouse of people. My wife and I split up. She got into the steak and chorizo line and I got into the spicy pork line. Those were about 8 people deep. I got two pork tacos plus two pork quesadillas. My wife got two each of the steak and chorizo tacos. It took us 15 minutes to get to the front of our respective lines, but those tacos are delicious. Whenever we make tacos or fajitas at home I always say, ďItís not Tacos El Gordo...Ē

While I love the quesadillas there, Iím not sure how youíre supposed to eat them given their construction. Itís a tortilla and melted cheese base with the meat and whatnot covered by a corn tortilla. No fold in there to help out. I ended up struggling with a plastic knife and fork.

Hint of a Recovery

We cut through Encore while walking back to the Wynn and I spied that the craps table at Encore was at a $15 minimum. My wife wanted to rest back at the room so I walked her up and then headed back down to the Encore. In that 10 minute stretch, the table had attracted more players so it had jumped up to a $25 minimum.

Disappointed I gave the $1 9/5 JoB Spin Poker a try at the Wynn high limit room and lost $100. At this point, Iím down $850 overall and Iíd brought $2000 for the gambling budget. Iím beginning to wonder if this trip will be a total washout.

I then headed over to TI to see where their minimums were at. Again blackjack and craps were at $15. The craps table was packed so I first played a little blackjack. This time at an 8 deck game with surrender. It was back and forth, but a manageable loss of $60.

When the craps table cleared I jumped ship from blackjack. I started small this time with just a place 8 and won a couple times. Once the point resolved I started on the pass line thinking win more with betting less. It didnít work out unfortunately so I switched to donít pass and started winning. It wasnít consistent, but at least I won. This time I managed a small overall win of $80 so I felt as if Iíd pulled out of the nose dive.

Blisters and Water

Tuesday was the day of our 30th anniversary. Unfortunately my wifeís feet had developed blisters and we had a few spots to travel around that day so I popped over to the CVS at TI to get some blister bandages to help ease her feet and a few items to eat for breakfast.

It was 6AM and Iím crossing the plaza in front of the Fashion Show Mall on the way to the escalators that lead to the bridge to TI. Itís largely empty except for a woman walking towards me. She is dressed normally, but sheís muttering to herself. I glance down to see that sheís not wearing any shoes and I think to myself, ďThatís a little oddĒ and I look up at her as she passes by. Itís at this point that she takes the water bottle sheís holding and splashes it all down my arm. I exclaim, ďWhat the hell?!?Ē and she beetles off.

I quickly headed into TI and find a washroom to wash down my arm. I buy the bandages and head back to our room and relay the story to my wife. We chalked it up to some form of mental illness. Weird. I then tell my wife, ďGiven today was our 30th wedding anniversary I was going to play the pass line today, but given the events that just happened Iím betting donít pass the rest of today.Ē

While my wife got cleaned up I popped over to the Encore to see if they were back down to a $15 minimum. They were so I joined and they immediately hiked it up to $25.

As promised, I stuck to the donít pass and won pretty consistently. A point made for every 3 points with a 7-out. That session I was up a modest $80, but given how far Iíd sunk I was happy to be at least pointed in the right direction.

Given my success at craps I thought my luck at blackjack might turn too. The Encore minimums for blackjack were $50 so I went over to the Wynn where they were sitting at a more reasonable $25.

Here my luck really started to change. I got a blackjack right off the bat and for the 20 minutes I played it felt like I lost 1 hand in 4. It was an amazing run. I never got a stiff hand and my totals always ended up 18 or higher. When I had 18 the dealer had a 7 behind their 10. Lots of hands of 20 for me. No splits and only one double which I lost. I bought in for $300 and with that short run I coloured up at $525.

COVID Effects

Entry to the United States required a negative antigen test no more than 3 days before arrival. We sourced these tests at Shoppers Drug Mart at the nearby mall at home. Itís a quick 15 minute test and it cost $40. Not a big deal.

Entry to Canada, on the other hand, requires a more advanced negative molecular test (PCR, RT-LAMP, NAAT, etc.) no more than 72 hours before your flight. Neither Canadian airline will even let you board the plane without proof of a negative molecular test. The problem with molecular tests is that they need 12-24 hours to turn around so you have to be careful about the timing of the test vs. the time of your flight. You might not get your test results back in time to fly out. We ran into one poor fellow at the airport who said he spent an extra two days in Las Vegas because of the lack of a test.

Given all that, we decided to go with Elite Medial for a PCR test. They offer walk-in PCR testing that they will turn around in 24 hours. A PCR test from them costs $249USD per person. We didnít want to risk a Walgreens or some other outfit as most of them say 1-2 days with no guarantee of a result in time for a flight. Elite Medical is on Harmon Ave just east of the strip.

We took a taxi over from the Wynn to Elite and went into reception only to find out that they did not have any PCR kits to test with and they were not expecting any until Wednesday at 10AM. Our flight back to Canada was 12:15PM on Thursday so flirting with testing on Wednesday sounded like a bad idea to us. We quickly walked back to the strip which unfortunately triggered a hot flash for my wife so we had to hang out a bit inside the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood. We high-tailed it back to the Wynn in a taxi and did a little more research and found e7 Health south of the airport that guarantees a 12-24 hour turnaround for $249 per person. We taxied out there to complete our tests.

Mon Ami Gabi

After the testing schmozzle, we directed our taxi driver to take us back to the Paris where we had a 3:45PM dinner reservation at Mon Ami Gabi.

We were seated just inside to avoid the heat, but near one of the open roll-up doors they have so that we could watch the Bellagio fountain show.

My wife had a Cesar salad and the chicken while I had the Baked Goat Cheese appetizer and then the Filet Mignon. All the food was delicious. Maybe too much. My wife loved her chicken, but it was almost certainly prepared with MSG. MSG makes my wife swell particularly in her feet so this exacerbated her blister problem and the straps on her sandals were pressing into the tops of her feet by the time we taxied back to the Wynn.

Despite that we got to enjoy the 4:00, 4:30, and 5:00PM fountain show at the Bellagio and my wife was very pleased with her 30th wedding anniversary dinner.

The All Bet

We propped up my wifeís legs on a couple pillows to try to help with the swelling and she sent me off to gamble a bit while she rested.

I headed over to TI for their $15 craps game and when I got there a fellow was stubbornly betting the ĎAllí bet saying, ďIím not going to dinner until I hit that thing!Ē He was betting $5 on the ĎAllí.

Meanwhile I jump onto the table and start betting donít pass. It was choppy overall, but we did get a really long roll on a point of 9 where the fellow who bet the ĎAllí finally hit it. Everyone at the table cheered for him as he received his $750 in winnings.

I managed another solid win of $140 on a $200 buy-in.

Big Stakes (for me) Blackjack

Wednesday morning my wife had arranged to have her hair cut at 10AM at the Wynn salon. This afforded me an opportunity to hit the tables.

First stop was blackjack for $25 at the Wynn. I bought in for $300 and I had to surrender on the first hand with a 9+7 vs. a dealer 10. This gave me $12.50 in change so I moved immediately to $30 and got blackjack right off the bat. Encouraged I stayed at $30 and it became a little back and forth, but I was up $100 until I hit a double opportunity. Ace, 6 vs. a dealer 4. I doubled down and I got 3 as my double for 20. The dealer had a 3 behind then pulled a 9 and an 8 to bust.

Iím up $190 for this session and I think what the hell and go to $50 a hand. As soon as I change my bet, I get a pair of 7ís vs. a dealer 3. I split and get another 7. I split again. First hand turns into 17. Second hand I get a 3 for 10 so I double down and get a crappy 4. Last hand is another 10 for 17. Dealer has a 5 behind for 8 and pulls a 3 as their next card. Iím muttering, ďOh crap, need a little oneĒ when the dealer pulls a 4 to reach 15 and Iím feeling better. The dealer pulls an Ace to get to 16 and finally a 6 to bust. I breathe a sigh of relief and gather my $200 in winnings.

It went back and forth after that and I moved back down to $30 a hand where I started losing more than winning. Overall I walked away with $625 from my initial $300 buy-in.

Godzilla vs. The Doníts

Flush from my success at the blackjack table I wandered over to the craps table at Encore where something strange was happening. There were two players to the left of the stick playing pass line, and to the right of stick one older fellow sitting in the hook betting donít pass.

Surprised at the arrangement I thought Iíd better even out the table and bet doníts with the older fellow to the right of stick. The older fellow says to me, ďWatch out for GodzillaĒ looking at the shooter immediately left of stick. ďHe destroys everythingĒ.

Sure enough Godzilla would make at least a point on his rolls. The older fellow and the other player on the pass line refused to shoot the dice so it was just me rolling for the donít side vs. Godzilla.

In the final battle, Godzilla gets a point of 9 and then goes on a monster roll. He hits all the points multiple times except his 9. Heís got $20 buys on 4 and 10 and $30 place bets on 6 and 8 and he hit a couple 4ís and 10ís, but multiple 6ís and 8ís. He braved a few hard ways too and won. He finally gets his point of 9 after about 10 minutes of rolling. We lose but he colours up a pretty happy fellow.

This leaves me as the only shooter at the table since the older fellow refuses to shoot despite my encouragement.

I then spend the next 40 minutes rolling from the donít for me and the older gentleman. I think I hit one point in that time, but the next roll after was an immediate point 7-out. I even got in a few donít come bets that hit when the donít pass was on a point of 4 or 10.

By 11:30AM I was concerned that my wifeís hair appointment was finished by now, but given no other player would shoot I felt a sense of obligation to keep it going. Luckily by 11:45 the older fellow had to run off to catch a plane so I stayed for one last donít roll after he left which I won and then coloured up.

Godzilla had had me down to under $100 with all the back and forth, but by the time I left I was up $375.

Wherever Two or Three Gather Together Bureaucracy Shall Preval

My wife was waiting for me upstairs when I got off the elevator and we proceeded back to the room to fill out a bunch of paperwork.

Canada only gives a quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers so we needed to use the ArriveCAN app to upload proof of vaccination plus travel dates, address, quarantine plan in case landing tests came back positive, etc. etc. I also got printouts of our boarding passes and pre-flight PCR tests down at the Concierge.

That actually consumed about two hours of time to get all that arranged, printed, and uploaded.

The rest of Wednesday was fairly quiet. We taxied up to Bellagio and browsed a few more watch shops. Popped over to Cosmopolitan where vpfree2.com listed a $1 9/6 JoB Spin Poker machine in the high limit room. We gave it a whirl and managed a small win of $25 after playing for 40 minutes.

That last win put us up $260 for the entire trip. I did play a little more on Thursday morning before we flew out, but the play largely evened out Ė lost $100 playing the $1 9/5 JoB machine at the Wynn, lost another $150, and won $225 at the Encore craps table. That last successful craps session I actually played both pass line and donít pass with good effect. That hardly ever happens to me.

It was nice to come home actually up for a trip. That hasnít happened to me in a long time.

Flights Back

The flights back home were worse than the flights coming to Las Vegas.

Everything was going well at check-in with Westjet and we made it through security without much trouble too. However while we were going through all that a notification came from Westjet that our flight out of Las Vegas was delayed by 30 minutes to 1:15PM.

We had a 2 hour layover in Calgary with landing tests to perform so that left one and a half hours to get that done and make the 6:30 PM flight back to Toronto.
Weíre just sitting down in our seats when it started to rain. A thunderstorm had rolled into the area during the half-hour delay and disrupted flight operations. We pull away from the gate and waited on the tarmac for 30 minutes. We finally got in line and the pilot comes on to tell us weíre in the queue to take off behind 15 other planes. We wait another hour. The pilot comes on again and says that weíve had a runway change and now we are 18th to take off. Weíre two hours late taking off and at this point there is no way weíre getting on that 6:30PM flight from Calgary to Toronto.

We get to Calgary airport, get through security and customs in a typical amount of time and submit to testing unfortunately leaving the secure area. These ones were throat swabs that made my wife and I gag, but it was fairly quick. We then have to traipse back across the entire Calgary airport to check in with the Westjet domestic desk and find that weíre on the red-eye at 12:05 Friday morning and we canít sit together because the flight is full. The best they can do is two middle seats one behind the other. We get through security again on the domestic side and wait out the 6 hours before we can fly home.

We survived the red-eye and finally get home at 7AM. We actually felt lucky because a bunch of the people on the Las Vegas flight were put on a 7:30AM flight out of Calgary to Toronto.

All the connecting rigmarole has my wife swearing off any connecting flight in the future.

Tidbits

Except for the flights, we had a lovely time in Las Vegas and we were very pleased with our 30th anniversary trip.
My wife found not having to wear masks very freeing. People were out and about acting normally for the most part. Inside the Wynn probably only 1 person in 4 was wearing a mask.

The weather was 38-40C (100-104F) every day we were there. There was a fair amount of cloud cover throughout our time too and it spit rain on us a couple of times when we were walking around. Our trips arenít in the summer so we ran into a little trouble not hydrating properly so by Monday we resolved to drink more water whenever the opportunity presented itself.

We took taxis everywhere. Before the trip renting a car would have cost me just over $400 CDN. Adding up all the taxi trips cost me $378.53 CDN. So we came out slightly ahead. If we didnít have to do the COVID testing Ė where it cost $126.26 in taxis Ė we would have been much further ahead with taxis. All the taxi drivers were glad to be working again and many of them described how empty things were from March 2020 until February 2021.

I only played $15 minimum 3:2 blackjack at TI, $25 at Wynn. $15 minimum craps at Wynn and TI. The minimums at Wynn were mostly $25 or more. There was a convention at Wynn with 1000 attendees so I think that held the minimums at Wynn higher than the Encore ones for the most part. I never found a blackjack or craps game for less than $15 and I wandered through Luxor, Paris, Harrahís, Flamingo, Ballys, Bellagio, Cosmopolitan, the Linq, and the Cromwell.

All the table games at TI opened at 11AM. The Wynn and Encore would have at least 1 craps table open any time of day or night.

The Future

Weíll certainly be returning to Las Vegas in March 2022 provided everything has returned to normal. Hopefully by then direct flights from Toronto are back, testing requirements have lessened, and COVID is solidly in the rear view mirror for everyone.
ThatDonGuy
ThatDonGuy
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
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Thanks for this post from:
helpmespocktringlomane
July 25th, 2021 at 9:50:25 AM permalink
Quote: helpmespock


Meanwhile my wife searched for decent video poker at TI and settled for a $0.25 7/5 Jacks or better game. It quickly ate the $60 she put in it.


I learned the hard way on my first trip to Vegas - to find the best VP at TI, go up the escalator, then get on the tram to the Mirage. (This assumes the tram still runs; back then, TI was part of what was then called the MGM/Mirage group.)

Quote: helpmespock


The Wynnís Rolex store is being re-done at the moment so theyíre selling Rolexes out of Watches of Switzerland. We wandered in to find most of the Rolex displays empty except for a half dozen of the super high end ones that were $10,000+. We chatted with the Rolex salesperson and he claimed that heíd got 40 watches in last week and they sold within hours.


$10,000? Is that all? Here are some I saw back in 2017 at the Rolex Duty Free area at Dublin Airport:


Yes, the one in the middle is over $50,000 "tax free."
unJon
unJon 
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Thanks for this post from:
helpmespock
July 25th, 2021 at 10:41:11 AM permalink
Very enjoyable trip report. Thanks for sharing.
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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Thanks for this post from:
helpmespock
July 25th, 2021 at 12:01:15 PM permalink
Nice report. Donít you sometimes save $$$ by flying out if Buffalo on SWA?
helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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July 25th, 2021 at 1:16:12 PM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

I learned the hard way on my first trip to Vegas - to find the best VP at TI, go up the escalator, then get on the tram to the Mirage. (This assumes the tram still runs; back then, TI was part of what was then called the MGM/Mirage group.)



I didn't go over to MGM Grand this trip. vpfree2.com lists 9/6 JoB either at the $5 level or $1 100-play so I didn't bother wandering down.

TI used to have $0.50 9/6 JoB before COVID hit. They had the double up feature on them. They're still there, but they got moved over to an aisle and they're 7/5 at the $0.25 level and 8/5 at the $0.50 level.


Quote: ThatDonGuy

$10,000? Is that all? Here are some I saw back in 2017 at the Rolex Duty Free area at Dublin Airport:

Yes, the one in the middle is over $50,000 "tax free."



Men's watches feel like a fad right now.

I had an old Seiko quartz watch that my wife bought me 10 years ago. It stopped working a few months back and when I sent it into Seiko Canada they said the mechanism is broken and is no longer made so I was out of luck. Hence the watch purchase before the trip. When I was at the store I said, "This is the last watch I ever want to buy" and the 1926 Tudor is what my brother and his salesperson hooked me up with.

--helpmespock
helpmespock
helpmespock
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July 25th, 2021 at 1:26:03 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

Nice report. Donít you sometimes save $$$ by flying out if Buffalo on SWA?



Thanks!

We do indeed fly SWA on some of our March Break trips. The land border is still closed so there was no possibility of flying out of Buffalo this time. Plus when we cancelled the original March break 2020 trip Westjet only gave credit back. Westjet calls it Westjet Travel Bank. The upshot is that money is tied up with Westjet and we can only get it out in flights from them.

Air Canada and Air Transat accepted Canadian Federal Government loans recently and part of them accepting those loans was that they were forced to offer full refunds to their customers. Westjet is still holding out.

It's fine that my money is trapped with Westjet. We got the round trip flights this week for about $350 per person way back in March when we booked it. That's a pretty good deal.

--helpmespock
MDawg
MDawg
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Thanks for this post from:
helpmespock
July 27th, 2021 at 9:28:34 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Here are some I saw back in 2017 at the Rolex Duty Free area at Dublin Airport:


Yes, the one in the middle is over $50,000 "tax free."


If you had bought that Platina in the middle for $50,000. in 2017, you could sell it for perhaps triple that today.

I made the mistake myself of not buying one for around $70,000. last year. Ace2 actually suggested that I buy one and pointed out where it was available. Instead, at the time, I put about $130,000. into some other watches, all of which are up in value due to my buying them below market in the first place but not up like that Platina would have been.

Just in general, the Rolex Cosmograph / Daytona, especially the stainless steel models but also including that platinum one, are some of the best investments in watches available. There are older Cosmographs that have sold for millions of dollars, that sold originally for a tiny fraction of that.

Timepieces may be investments, if bought right. I put average around $100K per year into them (with some individual pieces even more than that), and I could sell today any timepiece I have acquired for more than I paid for it. But, the thing is, I never sell them. But if I wanted to, the potential profit is there.
Last edited by: MDawg on Jul 27, 2021
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helpmespock
helpmespock
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July 27th, 2021 at 3:58:31 PM permalink
Quote: MDawg

If you had bought that Platina in the middle for $50,000. in 2017, you could sell it for perhaps triple that today.



My mom's side of the family owned a tobacco farm in Southern Ontario and all of us kids worked there every summer. My brother took his earnings one year and bought a steel Rolex Submariner for $1500 CDN. This was probably like 1985. My brother claims he could sell it now for $15,000.

--helpmespock
MDawg
MDawg
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helpmespock
July 28th, 2021 at 10:53:47 AM permalink
Yes definitely, there are Submariners that are worth a lot too. The older stainless steel ones, such as the ref. 1680, especially the "Red" Submariner

are worth a lot. The problem with these Red submariners is that sometimes someone has actually touched up the dial to make the Submariner red, and it often takes an expert to figure out if it is all original.

I assume your brother's is not a Red because typically those are worth up to 50K depending on the year and exact version. As well, the 1680 stopped production in 1981, I believe it was, so your brother's is probably a 16800, like this one:

and those are worth anywhere from around 9K to $15K. If he has the original box and papers and it is in mint condition could be worth even more.


Another Submariner that is worth a lot is the 16808 with the Nipple dial. That one is solid 18K gold. I have one of those.

Even the newer stainless models like the "Hulk" 116610LV are worth more today than full retail. I have one of those too. The newer Submariners like the Hulk have a feature where you may wear them outside your jacket, such as when skiing. They have two settings on the band all ready to go - one for your wrist, one for wearing outside a thick jacket, like a down jacket. (Rolexís Glidelock clasp.) I suppose the feature is more intended to wear outside a dive suit, but I don't wear a Rolex when I dive. Leave that for James Bond.
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helpmespock
helpmespock
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July 28th, 2021 at 2:24:42 PM permalink
Quote: MDawg

I assume your brother's is not a Red because typically those are worth up to 50K depending on the year and exact version. As well, the 1680 stopped production in 1981, I believe it was, so your brother's is probably a 16800, like this one:

and those are worth anywhere from around 9K to $15K. If he has the original box and papers and it is in mint condition could be worth even more.

The newer Submariners like the Hulk have a feature where you may wear them outside your jacket, such as when skiing. They have two settings on the band all ready to go - one for your wrist, one for wearing outside a thick jacket, like a down jacket. (Rolexís Glidelock clasp.) I suppose the feature is more intended to wear outside a dive
suit, but I don't wear a Rolex when I dive. Leave that for James Bond.



Yes that's my brother's watch above. No red on it. His does have the feature where it'll fit over a wetsuit. It was sort of an extender on the clasp that flipped out and made the band bigger. It's been a while since I've seen his watch.

He bought it new in Toronto way back when and he'll have all the stuff it came with -- box, papers, and whatnot.

--helpmespock

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