Category Archives: Solo Female Travel

From Four Queens on Fremont to Red Rock Hotel and Casino in Summerlin

As I mentioned in my  last post, while going to bed at Four Queens, I set the sun as my alarm clock.  I ended up awake at 5:00 am.  I was out of my room at 6:30, first stop: Dunkin Donuts for coffee.  Dunkin Donuts is a huge part of why I love downtown.  First of all, it exists.  Second of all, you do not have to walk ten miles to find it.

I played around Binions a bit.  I love Binions and would love to give them a proper degenerate session.   My last many trips to Vegas, I have low rolled them.  I also wish they would reopen the hotel.  But from what I understand, they have an asbestos problem which would make that a project that would probably not pay off.

I started off playing Buffalo, which got my heart racing faster than the extra large coffee, as the machine makes this insanely loud noise when you insert cash.  I lost there, lost at Cleopatra Keno, lost on Double Double Bonus video poker and “won” a deck of cards in the Motherlode game.

I went outside to take the bus to Santa Fe to redeem a MyVegas reward for a free buffet.   I did this last year and had an accidental Keno win that ensured I will do this again every year.

The bus comes, I sit down and the next thing I know, I have a win even bigger than the accidental Keno win.  There is a PUPPY on this bus!  Oh it was so soft and so sweet.  I got the tiniest puppy kisses.  I did not take a photo because that would have required removing my hands from the puppy.  I. LOVE. DOGS. SO. MUCH.

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I enter Santa Fe.  They have promotional kiosks all over the place (all Stations do) and none of them were working.  People were MAD.  This was the big buzz throughout the entire casino.  I felt bad for the people working at the Player’s Club because they were being given earfuls of whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

I got my MyVegas reward, which is actually good for two buffets.   As always, the cashier at Santa Fe offers that I can give the second one away to someone.  This was the only Stations that let me do this.  I gave it to the man behind me.  No, I did not have to sit with him. The cashier printed out two receipts.

After eating, I played around a bit.   I tried Hot Roll Poker for the first time and lost.   I gave that machine the finger and played some normal quarter Double Double Bonus video poker.  Here I hit four of a kind twos.

santa fe twos

On my way out, I played a penny Ultimate X Double Double Bonus video poker game. I love playing this in pennies because I can afford to play ten hands.  I hit this, which would have been more exciting if I was not playing pennies, but was still exciting because ACES ARE ALWAYS EXCITING.

santa fe ultimate x aces kicker

I got on the bus back to Four Queens.  I stopped at Binions again and went nutso there.  I was playing my Buffalo machine when some guy started playing the machine next to me.  But he did that thing people do, when instead of sitting down, they play leaning over the chair.  But he is leaning partially on MY chair.  I tried abruptly swiveling to knock him off and it didn’t work. I had to cash out because no way in hell was I going to risk the Wish RNG to land on me during the nano second I was wishing him to spontaneously combust instead of all the times I was wishing for a million dollar win.

I swipe for the Motherlode promotion now that I have 40 points again and AGAIN I win $10 credit for the cafe.  This is so first worlding my Four Queens Go Green dining credit!

I stopped to get water at Walgreens and noticed something was going on at The D.  Not sure what they are doing, but this is what the main floor looked like:

The D Las Vegas renovations

I went to the room for a bit and checked my email.  Cosmopolitan sent me an email thanking me for stopping by and offering me $15 free play if I came back by Friday.  I consider going right now as being on the bus will keep me from losing. But you know what, so will a nap.  And a nap is easier.  So I nap.

I wake up, go claim my Binions burger and come back to the room.  Even though I am booked to stay at Four Queens tonight, I am not.  I am checking out and heading to Red Rock.  I have a free night reward from MyVegas.  It seemed easier to do this.  I would wake up at Red Rock, use a MyVegas reward for breakfast and then take the free shuttle to the airport.  No, not to fly home.  But to continue on with my trip.  Brilliant idea.

Before leaving Fremont Street, I stopped to the same photo I take on every trip to Las Vegas:

fremont street las vegas

I took the bus to Red Rock.  This is pretty easy although I get that a lot of people are uncomfortable with branching out to bus lines that are not Strip bus lines.  The bus stops right at Red Rock.  I checked in and remembered how nice these rooms are.   It is really unfortunate Stations no longer participates in MyVegas.  These rewards were the best ones they offered.

red rock las vegas roomred rock las vegas bathroomred rock las vegas tubred rock las vegas room viewred rock las vegas room view of pool

I went downstairs to play.  I did not have on a coat or anything since my room was right upstairs / I wasn’t going to be going outside.  But the casino had the heat blasting so hot.  It was like this in most places during this trip.  But Red Rock went above and beyond with TOO FUCKING HOT IN HERE.  I am losing, I am sweating.  The Starbucks closed at some ridiculously early hour.  Like 8:00.  Toto, we are not on Fremont Street any longer.

While playing, I hit four of a kind twos for my second time today:

red rock las vegas twos

I continued until I had wiped out all the cash in my wallet and headed upstairs for bed.   As nice as these rooms are, they do have a flaw.  THIS BED FRAME.  I smashed my foot into it and suddenly remembered I did this the last time I was here years ago.  Thankfully this time I had on sneakers.  But it still hurt so very bad.

red rock las vegas death

Gambling Day: – $200
Gambling Trip: – $210
Miscellaneous: (bus, coffee, water, tips): $18
Comps used: Nope
Coupons: Nope
Freebies: Free night at Red Rock, calculated on the rate showing the day I booked it = $185.57 via MyVegas (this includes room cost, tax and resort fee, I paid zero), free buffet at Santa Fe via MyVegas = $6.99 (x two since it was for two, + tax), $10 meal at Binions from the Motherlode promotion.

Today’s itinerary:

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Breakfast:  Santa Fe Station, 8-11 MyVegas
Lunch:
Dinner:
Four Queens Go Green credit
Silver Nugget / Lucky Club half off ACG
Jerry’s Nugget $5 free play ACG – 113 bus, 104 to LC
Jerry’s Nugget 10x video Keno
Check into Red Rock
Red Rock – swipe Polar Bear 5x entries Wednesday, must be present 8:15

Las Vegas Trip Report: Moving from Bellagio to Four Queens

This morning I am awake at Bellagio at 7:00 and out the door at 7:40.  I decided to go to Monte Carlo for their buffet, using a MyVegas reward.  I am in the spa tower, which is conveniently located near the tram.  But it isn’t running because it is too early.  I walk all around the platform looking for a sign with hours on it and never find one.  Does it start running at 8:00?  Or 9:00?   If I leave, it will be 8:00.  If I stay, it will be 9:00.  I say screw it and leave.

View from the tram platform:
Las Vegas strip view from Aria tram platform at Bellagio

I head outside to walk and end up playing at Cosmopolitan. I stop to check on brain surgery bear.  He is doing better.

Bellagio Las Vegas conservatory brain surgery bear on the mend

His friend seems to have caught his illness though.Bellagio conservatory Las Vegas sick bear Continue reading

Bellagio conservatory Las Vegas Bellagio Las Vegas reception

Las Vegas Strip Paris from BellagioI haven’t been to Cosmopolitan in awhile. They had sent me a teaser offer a couple of years ago and I had intended to focus a lot of play here to try and keep them coming.  Unfortunately, my stay was during a horrible losing streak and even I was unwilling to go that far into future days’ budgets to keep them happy.  So I accept that our love affair is over.  But since I am here, and since there is a Starbucks…You know how it goes.

I went to where the Double Double Bonus video poker games I used to play used to be located.  They are not there.  Where are they?  I don’t know because I never found them.  I thought I did but when I put a $20 into a machine and hit max bet, I noticed max bet on this machine was 100 quarters.  Oh hell no.   But it is too late as my credits are already gone.   You know how this goes too. You think “Okay, this is it.  I will win so much money and have an anecdotal story of how I made a mistake and it paid off and now I am rich!”  Except it didn’t happen. I didn’t even get Jacks or Better.

I put in a second $20 and this time play five quarters.  I hit four of a kind fours.  Look at that pay table.  They short you on the Royal Flush if you are not playing max bet, which again is 100 quarters.  I didn’t realize this until I took the photo.  I cashed out gave the machine the finger and moved on.

cosmopolitan las vegas video poker fours

I played some Ultimate X, some Cleopatra Keno, some more Ultimate X.  And before you know it, I had blown through my entire budget for the day.  Without having eaten breakfast yet.  Because of the stupid tram my degenerate gambling problem.

Ugh.

It is only 8:30 am and my day is basically ruined.

I walk across the street to Planet Hollywood.  Their breakfast buffet is my favorite buffet in all of Las Vegas.  They have a $10 coupon in the Las Vegas Advisor coupon book.  I have used mine back in January.  But I have a second one.  Since you present it at the cashier and not at the player’s club, I get away with using it a second time.  I didn’t really enjoy it because I was so full of self loathing that there was no room inside me to fit any food.

Back across the street to sulk and pack as today is moving day again.

I get an error message when I try and check out on the television.  I get an email to check out online, doesn’t take.  I am not going to the front desk so I don’t check out at all.  I tried.

Outside and across the street to catch the bus to downtown to check into Four Queens.  I let the first bus that comes go, because PEOPLE.   The second one is relatively empty.  We pass my beloved Riviera.   Or what was my beloved Riviera.  I haven’t been here since they murdered her.  I miss her so much.  I gave the new parking lot that replaced her the finger as we drove by.

I get off the bus and walk to finally take this guy’s photo:
Mannekin Pis The D Las VegasI attempt to check in at Four Queens.  They have no rooms available right now (absolutely fine) but no smoking rooms at all (not fine.)  I begin whining, begging, pleading PLEASE.  ANY ROOM.  I WILL TAKE ANY ROOM.  EVEN A BROOM CLOSET PLEASE.

I am assigned the worst room in the hotel.  I do not fault them for this, they tried to give me a better room and I refused it.  For all I know, this room was never intended to be rented out again until after the renovations were done.  Hell, for all I know, this room has sat empty for ten years because no one wanted it.  Except it maybe didn’t because I was told housekeeping hadn’t gotten to it yet, so my key would not be available until 1:00.

Four Queens has a “Going Green” promotion going on that you have to specifically ask about, it doesn’t automatically apply.  What it is, is that for every day you waive housekeeping, you get $10 dining credit.  This is a fantastic promotion.  Dining is cheap here so you could get a completely free meal just for hanging up a Do Not Disturb sign.

I have it applied to my room and off I go to gamble. First stop, Binions.  I lose some more money on both Cleopatra Keno and Double Double Bonus video poker.  Then I pull out a win on a Buffalo machine.  This machine makes a really loud noise when you put cash into it.  The first time I yelled “CALM DOWN” at it.  Every time after that, it would startle me.  No matter how many times I played this machine on this trip, it scared the daylights out of me.

Binions has a promotion named “Motherlode” that is fantastic.  You can swipe your card at three points, first is at 5 points, second is 40 and third is 300.

You can win anything from a deck of cards (of course!) to free play to dining to cash.  I had played long enough to earn 40 points, which gets me two spins. I won $5 free play and $10 dining.  This caused a first world conundrum.  I have $10 dining at Four Queens I need to use today, and I now have $10 dining at Binions I need to use in the next 24 hours.  I am obviously going to use it to get a Binions burger because Binions burger.  I cannot use either for breakfast tomorrow if (a) I am getting a Binions burger today (b) I have plans to go to Santa Fe for breakfast tomorrow.  Life can be hard sometimes.

I lose the $5 free play and it is now 2:30.  I was told I could get my key at 1:00.  And now I am being told nope, 3:00.  I do not want to keep gambling.  Well I do want to.  But I lost my daily budget before breakfast this morning.  I am now playing (and losing) with my winnings.  So I decide to get on a bus and go check out Lucky Dragon.

Lucky Dragon is a new casino located on Sahara.  I took the Deuce and walked over.  This place has a huge distinction from every other casino in Las Vegas that the entrance is actually on the street.  You are walking on Sahara and you do not not have cross a parking lot to enter it. It is right there.

I thought I would continue to Palace Station afterwards but there is a gate type thing that blocks off Sahara if you want to keep walking in that direction.  This may be poor urban planning, this may be a purposeful blockade to keep pedestrians from leaving.  You could always head back towards the Strip to catch the bus.

I sign up for a card and “win” $8 free play.  I used it on triple line Double Double Bonus video poker, nickel denomination.  I don’t like this place.  The machines all have that new machine smell, so the place is burning wire scented.  I did not take a walk around but the place looks tiny.

I lost my money and head back to Four Queens.  I am finally given my room.  The room that I begged and pleaded for.  PLEASE I WILL TAKE YOUR WORST ROOM IF I CAN SMOKE PLEAAAAAAASE.  The more I got “noped” the more I would beg until she finally relented and gave me this room.  It isn’t really fair to judge the Four Queens by this room as she did not want to assign it to me, I begged for it.  But out of the dozen times I have stayed here, this was the worst room I have gotten.  So if you are reading this and considering staying in my favorite place to stay in all of Vegas, do not let my room deter you.  You will likely get a better room.

There is no plug by the nightstand so the alarm clock is on the desk in the corner.  Four Queens Las Vegas desk

There is also this suicide maker, convenient for when you cannot open the window far enough to jump out of:

Four Queens Las Vegas death

That room view though.

Four Queens Las Vegas room view

I drop my stuff and go back out to claim my Binions burger.  It is fantastic as always.

I gamble around Four Queens, which is something I rarely do.  As much as I love being here, comps just do not come my way here.  So long ago, I gave up trying.  I am better off putting my money in a casino that will reward my play.

I lose some more money and give up.  I take a walk to Walgreens to get some water before going to the room.  Some guy says “Excuse me Miss, you dropped…” and as I am looking down, I catch the rest of the sentence “your smile.”  My response: “Ugh, that fucking thing.”

I have a tendency to draw in people who just love to comment on the fact that I am not walking around like a maniac with a smile on my face at all times ever.  So many “It cant be that bad!” and “Smile!  It can’t be that bad!” and just so many, sooooooooo many, complete strangers who are constantly telling me to smile.  Remember this post about that altercation I got into with that guy outside Plaza?  Like seriously, YOU aren’t smiling either, asshole.

UGH.

I head to my room, unable to keep my phone charging near my bed since there is no plug there.  So I set the sun as my alarm clock by sleeping with the drapes open.

Gambling Day: – $400
Gambling Trip: + $90
Miscellaneous: (bus pass, coffee, water, tips): $24
Comps used: $9.99 Total Rewards credits to make my Planet Hollywood buffet free after the $10 coupon, $2 in points at Walgreens that were on my card – does this count?
Coupons: Nope
Freebies: $10 free dining at Binions, $5 free slot play at Binions, $8 sign up promotional free play at Lucky Dragon.

Itinerary:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Breakfast: Planet Hollywood LVA $10 or ACG 20% 7-11
Check into Four Queens
Lunch:
Double Points Four Queens + Binions ACG
Downtown Grand 5x ACG / 500 points = pull tab
Dinner: Four Queens Go Green credit
Rainbow Casino
Emerald Island earn 100 points and spin the wheel
Stations 10x slots, 6x vp
Sam’s Town 15X Buffalo, 11x reels or 7x VP

Las Vegas Trip Report: Is That a Rat?

Good morning from the Bellagio hotel!  When we last left off, I was having an issue with redeeming my free play reward from MyVegas.  I figured I could go try again this morning.

I stopped for some photos of the Bellagio conservatory.  One poor bear was getting brain surgery.

bellagio las vegas conservatory christmas brain surgery bear

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Bellagio Las Vegas Christmas conservatory bellagio las vegas christmas conservatory north pole bellagio conservatory christmas las vegas Bellagio Las Vegas conservatory Christmas Bellagio Las Vegas conservatory Christmas bears

When I finally make it to the Player’s Club booth, the same woman who denied me last night, was behind the counter again!  How is this even possible?  So I kind of stood off to the side, playing with my phone, until someone else was free.  I was able to get the free play and two buffets loaded.  With the holiday black outs, today is the only day of my entire trip the Bellagio buffet reward is available to  use.

I then head over to the buffet.  There is a woman on line behind me, who wants to be on line in front of me.  Nope.  We had both paid and were waiting to be seated.  She then walked a couple of feet into the buffet and began screaming to someone in Chinese.  That person then came over, took this woman’s water bottle, got it filled from inside the buffet and brought it back out to her.  What the hell.  You can’t do that.  And no one is stopping her.

I am next in line to be seated.  This woman is just dying to be next in line. Her entire life is now focused on the one goal of being next in line at the Bellagio buffet.  She is trying many methods, most of which involve physically pushing me out of her way.  Not today, lady.  I will be the victor.
I am then called to be seated.  Oh hey, look!  I am seated next to the woman who gave the filled bottle of water to the woman who…wait a second, what is going on here?  WHY IS THIS WOMAN SITTING WITH ME.  That’s right.  The woman who was behind me, who wanted nothing more in life to be in front of me, is now sitting across from me at my table.  What the fucking fuck is this?  I didn’t even have time to think before my mouth acted on it’s own “NO. NO NO NO NO NO.  NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.” I also realized I was wagging my finger at her.  The server seemed completely confused as to how this woman got there.  “She is not with me.”   The life’s goal woman acts as if  this is not happening.  She runs away to get food as the server and I just stand there absolutely dumbfounded.  I tell  the server I will happily move to a new table, as this one is next to this woman’s friends and I don’t want to be anywhere near these people.  She tells me no, it is okay, she will move them.

As this drama kept unfolding, I become convinced that this woman did not pay.  Her and her buddies are now appearing at different tables in the buffet.  I am pretty much an “in and out” type of buffet diner so I was done before most people were getting started.  As I am on my way out, a man came to get a server to say “They are over there now.” I watch the server as she bolts towards a table so far away, where this party has now taken up residency.  I don’t know what the outcome was because I left.

I want to use my $25 free play on Cleopatra Keno.  Bellagio for whatever reason (probably a mistake) has the second highest paytable for Cleopatra Keno that I have seen in Vegas.  (First is Rainbow casino in Henderson.)   I love this game, I love this machine.  And there is someone on it.  I have to play on the other side of the bank, which I am fine with.  For some reason THIS machine plays a brief trumpeting fan fare intro when you hit the bonus and I love that.

I played for-EVER here.  I kept doing that thing where you have to get up and cash out because every $20 bill in your wallet has been doubled and you are out of cash.  In some cases they were tripled and twice I had cashed out at $100.

On my last cash out before I had to go get more cash, the paper ran out or jammed or something.  The machines starts beeping and calling for an attendant.  I cash out and come back, still not fixed.  I am not playing any machine other than this one so I wait. When the attendant comes over, he asks me how much he owes me.  No, it paid me…er no wait, it didn’t and you owe me $3000.  I am sure I made his day with this hilarious joke that I am sure he has never heard before!

Next thing you know, my full cigarette pack is empty.  I look at my phone and I have been sitting at this machine for six hours.  Oops?

I go to the room and shower, because I didn’t earlier because I had not been planning to be out that long.  On my way to my room, I pass a door that has placed this sign on their doorknob.  Bellagio guests are fancy ya know.

eat a dick

After showering, I go back to the Bellagio buffet for dinner.  This time the line is insane. It is 7:00 and I need to be out of here by 8:30 to go see Mystere at Treasure Island.  After half an hour I begin to realize that I am not going to get inside before 8:30.  i stick it out though because today is the only day I can use this MyVegas reward as it is blacked out for the holiday starting tomorrow.

Luckily, someone comes and pulls anyone off the line who is willing to be seated at the bar.  That would be me!

There is a slight issue with paying for the meal.  The bartender first mistakes that I am with the people next to me and charges them for me.  Then he does not know how to run a MyVegas reward.  He goes up to the register and I wait for him to come back.  If anything goes wrong, you can be damned sure I am not paying money for this buffet.  It costs $39.99 with tax.  Only when he is back do I go and get food.

I am in a rush because I have to leave so I do not gorge.  I hurry up, get out and begin walking to Treasure Island.

I wish I could show you fabulous photos of the Strip from my walk.  But I did not bring my camera on this trip.   A good blogger would have.  But after spending a month in Nepal/India with this thing wrapped around my neck, choking me, only to then discover there is a crack on the (insert terminology for that thingy across from the mirror on the inside) that made a mark on all my photos, I am over it.  I hate my camera.  It will be awhile before I can stand to look at it again.

I do have a couple though.  You can barely tell Casino Royale exists any longer.

white castle las vegas strip treasure island las vegas treasure island las vegas pirate ship

As I am walking, I spot movement on a ledge near the fountains outside Caesars Forum Shops.  Oh fucking FUCK it is a rat.  That is a rat.  MOTHER FUCKER THAT IS A RAT.  I try to take a photo of it, which is difficult as I am shaking with fear.  I move (not really) closer to it.  Between me and the rat is maybe five feet.  Behind me is about 879423746237 feet of open space.  So everyone walking by has to ignore that wide open space, to wedge themselves between me and my rat.  This scares him and he bolts into the bushes.

(Insert Rat Pack jokes here.)

I do find it amusing that this rat was hanging out at Caesars.  If you are familiar with social media accounts that are aimed at Las Vegas addicts, you have no doubt seen the vast amount of people who love to cut down others who do not have as much money as them and tend to take trips that are more bargain friendly.  It disgusts me that this is socially acceptable.  That cutting down people about this is totally fine, but calling someone an asshole for cutting people down will get you yelled at.  Well guess what?  This is my blog so I can tell you:  If you cut people down for staying at any hotel that you feel you are too good for, you are an asshole.

There are hotels in Vegas that are absolutely fine, but are not five star hotels.  People love referring to these places as “dumps” and going on about how the rooms are filled with mythical roaches and rats.  I know they think it makes them look like a better person because MONEY.  But to me, it just makes me sad to see someone who puts so much value on money.

A three star hotel in Las Vegas is not a dump.  This hotel in Tibet is a dump:

Dege China disgusting bathroomI would not trade all the crappy, filthy hostels I have stayed at in the world if it came with giving up my life experience.  Including the experience of seeing this bathroom, saying “nope” and high tailing it to a new hotel.

So the next time someone tells you that your perfectly fine hotel in Vegas is a shit hole and “if you cannot afford a better hotel, you should rethink going to Las Vegas”, feel free to let them know that their precious Caesars is housing rats out front.

<end rant>

I got to Treasure Island just in time to get on the line that I could not get on because it never ended. It literally did not end.  It was snaked all through the casino.  I kept trying to find the end, but the end kept growing before I could get there.  I would see it, walk towards it, more people would enter it, and I would have to keep walking.   Finally when I get on it, we move.  Then someone tries to cut the woman in front of me.  She turns to me, makes a face and motions to them.  Don’t worry, I’ll take care of this.  “YOU KNOW THERE IS A LINE RIGHT?” as the offenders skulk off without even pretending that they didn’t notice that the 23894732847 people lined up were doing so because LINE.

If you have seen Mystere, you know to get there on time.  If you have not, just trust me on this.   My section is in the furthest section on the left if you are facing the stage.  My seat is the first seat on the left in the row.  I am as far to the left as I can possibly be.  The rest of the section seems to have been ticketed on the right side of the section.  So I am all alone over here, surrounded by so many empty seats.  An soon as the show starts, an usher beings yelling to me that I can move if I want to.  Given that I am so obviously isolated from the rest of the audience, and the fact that the usher is yelling during the show, makes me first think I am unknowingly about to be made a part of the show.  So I stay put for a few minutes before moving.  All clear, whew.

Mystere is by far my favorite Cirque du Soleil show.  I love this show so much.  I love the choreography and the baby!  Oh how I love the baby.  I was laughing so hard I had tears pouring down my face.

After the show, I played a bit of Cleopatra Keno at Treasure Island.  I had a lot of fun, but had no big wins.  Eventually I got up and left, stopping at CVS for water, paying in all change.  Yet I still have fifty pounds worth of change left.

Back to the room and in bed by 2:00 am.

Gambling Day: + $260
Gambling Trip: + $490
Miscellaneous: (tips, water): $11
Comps used: Nope
Coupons: Nope
Freebies: $65-ish? on two Bellagio buffets. I am not sure of the cost after tax on breakfast, $25 free play at Bellagio.  These were all MyVegas rewards.

My itinerary that gambling got in the way of:

Monday, December 19, 2016
Breakfast: Bellagio, 7-11 MyVegas
Palace Station t-shirt MyVegas/Stations 10 slots/6x VP
Lucky Dragon
Lunch:
Dinner:
Bellagio, 3-10 MyVegas
Mystere 9:30
El Cortez 10x Buffalo 10-midnight

Las Vegas Trip Report: I’m Moving to the Bellagio!

Good morning from the wonderful Orleans hotel and casino, located in fabulous Las Vegas.  If you are just joining us, you may want to start at the beginning of this report, which you can find here.

I slept with the bathroom door closed, which meant the bathroom window did not wake me up by screaming “LOOK AT ME!  THE SUN IS OUT!”

I had intended to get up early, go use a MyVegas reward for breakfast, and then come back and check out.  Instead, I gambled.

I stopped at Java Vegas, where the line was so very long.  GIVE. ME. MY. COFFEE. PLEASE.

I gambled around Orleans and did not win anything because only winners win and I am a loser.  I said a last goodbye to all my favorite machines and went upstairs to grab my stuff.

I looked at my bill on the television and I owed $1.87.  I went and counted out $1.87 in change to pay at the front desk.  That is a thing I have noticed while in Vegas, the accumulation of change.   Once I started getting comped everywhere, I stopped using cash daily.   So all that change you collect when you play slots and cash out with change, just grows and grows.  I used to use it to pay change on bills at restaurants, gift shops, etc.  Now I just use my slot card and watch as my wallet grows fatter in the wrong compartment.

As I get ready to hand over my $1.87, the guy at the front desk asks if I want to use my points to pay for the charge.  YES.  Oops.  I guess I will use this change to pay for the bus.

I go outside and walk to the bus stop.  You walk the entire parking lot, which is ginormous.  Then you cross Arville, which is easy peasy.  Then you cross Tropicana, which takes forever.  And of course, during the time you are waiting for the light to say “walk” your bus comes and leaves while you just stand there on the wrong side of the street, watching it pull away without you.

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And the bus, OH THE BUS.  Last year, my “act like it isn’t happening” meter broke and I just about snapped about the bus system in Las Vegas.  I got so tired of the bus being “right across the street” and having to walk one mile to get there.  The most infuriating example I can give of this is the bus stop outside Longhorn.  The bus going towards downtown is right across the street.  But the street is Boulder Highway.  And once you get across this, which can take about ten minutes depending on how long you have to wait for the light, the stop is then nowhere near the corner. And I promise you, as you are talking this insanely long walk from the corner where you crossed, to the actual stop, a bus will pass and you will curse up a storm.  Why is the bus stop nowhere near the corner!??

But today, Las Vegas has outdone itself in public transit mishaps.  Oh yes, yes you did.

I take the bus to the Strip. I am going to Excalibur.  The bus does not stop on this side of the Strip, it stops on the opposite side.  Why not stop at both?  Because HATE.

I get off the bus at Tropicana, nowhere near the corner.  I then attempt to take the pedestrian bridge across the Strip to get back to Excalibur.  Except it is closed off.  I do not mean the escalator was not running.  I mean the walkway to the pedestrian bridge from Tropicana was completely fenced off.  I could see guys working on the bridge, but for the life of me, I could not figure out any way to possibly get there.  I decided maybe they got onto it from the Excalibur side.

So now for me to get “right across the street” from where I am, I have to: Take an elevator up a different pedestrian bridge.  Walk around the side of MGM to their pedestrian bridge.  See the escalator there is out of order, because of course.  Wait for the elevator for a few minutes before a guy in a Spiderman costume comes and tells me that it is not working.  Then I carry my luggage (because oh yeah, I had checked out of Orleans and had luggage with me) up the steps.  Cross the pedestrian bridge.  Walk into New York, New York.  Veer all around idiot tourists who love to just suddenly stop walking without any concern that people may be behind them.  Say “excuse me” about seven times to people who are so engrossed in their phones that they do not realize they are blocking the entire walkway.  I make it outside, cross another pedestrian bridge.  Then once I hit Excalibur’s property line, I am on another bridge, and a very long hallway, and then finally, I am at my destination.  I don’t know exactly how long this all took.  It had to take at least twenty minutes.  To get to where was literally right across the street from where I started.  YAY.

I also noted that Excalbur removed the banner advertisement for Dick’s Last Resort in the window that used to belong to the wizard.  I hope they bring the wizard back!

excalibur-las-vegas

I check my bag with the bell desk, get my MyVegas buffet reward added to my card and play a bit before eating.

excalibur-vegas-four-of-a-kind-sixes

Then I get to the buffet.  There are zero people on the line, which is weird.  The buffet normally comes to $21.78. but for me, it is free because I am using a MyVegas reward.  Score.

The Excalibur buffet has self serve drinks and they have the holy grail of drinks, Sobe Lifewater.  They also have red velvet pancakes.  This place has certainly improved since the last time I was here fifteen years ago.

On my way out, I spotted this store.  I exhibited self control by not purchasing anything but promised to be back later in my trip to purchase everything.  This is an excellent way to control your spending in Vegas.  Every time you want something, do not buy it that second.  Instead, tell yourself you will come back.  You will never come back.  Everything that is “right there” in Vegas takes a minimum of eleventy billion years to walk to.  You will never, ever come back.

pug-bags-excalibur-las-vegas

On my way back out, I play some more and win some more.  I always have to play the machines with the annoying glare.  I don’t know why.

excalibur-las-vegas-fourf-of-a-kind-jacks excalibur-las-vegas-four-of-a-kind-eights

Now it is time to make our way to Bellagio.  I walk because I am from New York and in New York, we walk.  I only took a couple of photos.  I didn’t bring my camera on this trip.  I have grown to hate my camera.  I hate carrying it, it is so heavy.  I hate that I will never find the most perfect bag to carry it in.  And as I discovered after taking 2389438924 photos in Nepal and India, it has a tiny crack in the mirror so all photos have a scratch mark on them.  So I decided to do phone only for this trip.  And I loved it.

new-york-new-york-hersheys-las-vegas

While walking, I pass this.  What is this?  It is where New York, New York ends. What used to be there?  How is it possible that this is taking up so much space on the Strip and I have no clue what used to be there?

las-vegas-strip

One thing I learned on my walk is that Cosmopolitan now has a Starbucks.  Upgrade!

I get to Bellagio and check in.  I am here on a two night reward from playing MyVegas.  The cost of this room had I paid for it, would be $139/night + tax = $155.68 per night.  So for two nights, my pre-resort fee cost would be $331.36. Most people would put this amount in the list of money they saved by playing the game.  I do not as I would not be paying $311.36 to stay here at all ever.  If anything, this reward is costing me $71.68 because if not for the reward, I would not be paying the resort fee.  If I sound like I am being negative about this, I really don’t intend to.  Of course I am willing to pay $71.68 to stay at the Bellagio.  I just don’t consider it a savings if I am not actually saving anything.  A really cool freebie, yes. A savings, nope.

While I was checking in, I fantasized about beating the life out of these two horrible bitches who were screaming at a manager.  It seems their room was not ready when they tried to check in.  So they did the check in process, and were told they would receive a text when they could come back and pick up their keys.  They had gotten the text, but their names were not on the room.  One of the two women’s  husband had made the reservation.  He had done the check in, given his wife’s number for the text.  But he neglected to put his wife on the actual room.  So she could not pick up the keys.  Instead of being mad at him for being an asshole, they just kept screaming at the manager.  As I was walking away with my keys, the husband showed up and now the women were demanding compensation for their horrible experience and now ruined trip.  That manager deserves a medal for not calling the police and having them escorted out.

I am put in a room at the top of the spa tower.  My view was pretty much only the sun glaring into the window.  The spa tower is a million miles away from the casino, but I am also right near the tram to Aria.  This is a good thing because I can go there to smoke without having to go to the casino.  Bellagio only has one floor for smokers and there was no room for me there.

The Bellagio may be the most famous hotel in all of Las Vegas.   I just don’t get it. Maybe if I had a fountain view or something, but there really wasn’t anything special about my room.  It was just a room.  A very nice room, yes.  But just a room.

bellagio-las-vegas-spa-room-tower bellagio-las-vegas-spa-tower-room bellagio-las-vegas-spa-tower-room-soaking-tub bellagio-las-vegas-spa-tower-shower

bellagio-las-vegasI did laundry in the sink because obviously this is the first thing I would do in a five star hotel.  Then I went out.  I went “right across the street”, meaning I left the spa tower, walked a million miles to the casino, then through the enormous casino, out the casino and down another very long hallway, to a pedestrian bridge, down an escalator and bam!   I am now right across the street!

I stopped at the new Starbucks at Ballys.  This place is enormous so only two people were working.  One at the register, one making drinks.

I then went to Cromwell to visit the Ultimate X video poker machine that was so nice to me last year.  Of course, they moved the machines around.  I think the one that was my machine, is now occupied by some guy who is playing ten play quarters.  If someone has to be playing my baby, I am consoled by knowing he is at least treating her well.

I sit down to play at a nickel SuperTimes Pay machine.  I realize I do not have my player’s card with me.  I get up and go get a new one.  Sit back down.  Now I realize I did not grab a pack of cigarettes before I left and my pack only has three cigarettes in it.  I am not going to buy cigarettes.  I am still smoking cigarettes I bought at the duty free shop in the Delhi airport on the way back from India.

So I play and lose $40 and decide to go back “home” to the Bellagio.  I stop there and go to the player’s club to get my $25 free play reward from MyVegas loaded on my card. I am told I cannot do this as I am there on a MyVegas room reward.  Yes I can.  I am told the rules have changed and you can no longer do this.  I ask when the rules changed and she tells em “Months ago.”  Nope.  But arguing is not going to get me anywhere.   I go online and verify that the rule has not changed, my free play is indeed good.  I agree to go back and try when this person is not there.  Except she is always there.  I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

So I end up playing with cash.  My cash.  Which was only mine temporarily until the Bellagio Cleopatra Keno informed me it was her cash.  So I gave it to her and slumped away defeated.

I was in my room and in bed by 11:00.

Daily totals:

Gambling Day: – 200
Gambling Trip: + $230
Miscellaneous: (tips, coffee, bus, trip to CVS): $19.11
Comps used: $1.87 for the room charge at Orleans
Coupons: Nope

Freebies: $353.23 for my two night stay at Bellagio, and my brunch buffet at Excalibur.  These were MyVegas rewards

My itinerary is hilarious:

Sunday, December 18, 2016
Breakfast: Excalibur 7-3 MyVegas
Check into Bellagio
Bellagio $25 free play MyVegas
Lunch:
Dinner:
Sunset Station 4-9 MyVegas / Sam’s Town 200 points ACG
Sam’s Town 15X Buffalo, 11x reels or 7x VP
115 bus to Longhorn play $10 get $5 ACG
Ellis Island play $5 free shirt ACG
Tuscany earn 300 $10 free play ACG
El Cortez 10x buffalo 10-midnight
SLS 10x points

Las Vegas Trip Report: Spending a Day at Orleans Hotel and Casino

If you are just joining us, this is a Las Vegas trip report for my annual Christmas trip to Las Vegas.  You can find part one here.

Despite going to bed at 3:00, I am up and wide awake at 6:15.  Nope, not because I am in Vegas.  Not because of the time change.  And not because the machines are screaming my name.  But because of the bathroom window.

See, Orleans has windows in their showers.  That means that while you are showering, you can have this pretty view.

orleans-las-vegas-bathroom-window

Although I wouldn’t suggest maybe viewing it WHILE you are showering.  If you can see these car windows, then the drivers can see you.  Or maybe you are a voyeur.  In which case, get thee to Orleans NOW!

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The door for the bathroom is a pocket door.  This means it opens side to side, and when open, the door is concealed behind the wall.  They are also really, really, really thick.  So I didn’t close the door before going to bed because (a) I am not accustomed to having to and (b) I fear getting up to pee in the middle of the night and slamming right into the pocket door and dying.

As I am awoken by the insanely bright sunlight flooding my room from the window in the shower in the bathroom, I flash back to this happening to me every time I stay here.  Maybe one year I will arrive in daylight and prevent this from happening.  I sure cannot count on my brain operating it’s memory function.

I count my money and at first get confused as to how I am short $100.  This always happens in Las Vegas.  A quick check at my notes explains this.  Yesterday, I spent:

$20 on scratch off lottery ticket (I always leave a big one behind so that when I return home, I have one last chance to become a millionaire)
$3 on breakfast at work
$3 for water at the airport
$24 for a cab to Orleans
$2.25 on a Diet Pepsi at Orleans
$8 on dinner

I also have $13 in little bills.  So I am really just missing $27.  I rack my brain and then realize where at least $20 of it went.  It went into the video poker game I took $200 out of.  Isn’t that funny. After all these years, I still do “I WON $200!”  But in reality, I had a $200 win and lost $20 so I really only won $180.

I will never know where the $7 went.  Maybe it evaporated in the desert air.

My plan this morning is slightly different than my normal plans, and yet at the same time, exactly the same. It involves shoving money into machines.  BUT I decided I was going to put $100 in a dollar video poker machine and play until I either hit four of a kind or zero.  At $5/hand, this is so far out of my comfort zone.  I decide to warm up by putting $20 into a slot machine.  I cashed out with $20.04.  Okay this is a good sign.  Must be from that lucky quarter I have stashed in my bra.

I stop to fuel.  My room offer comes with $10 dining credit.   I ate breakfast at the Courtyard Cafe, which is temporarily located over by the buffet as they renovate O.G. Courtyard Cafe.

While waiting for my food, I started making notes, and as always, went to pull out my phone to note the time.  My phone isn’t in my bag.  It must be in the room.  HEY.   Remember the last time I was at Orleans and left my phone in the room and could not take a photo of my $940 win on nickel Keno?  Maybe that will happen again!

There was some high school sportsball thingy going on at Orleans this weekend.  There were so many high school kids in sportsball uniforms, traveling in packs.  I had one of these packs in front of me when I went to pay for my breakfast.  One kid was trying to pay for his pack’s breakfast with his mom’s credit card. She had given him her credit card AND her ID!  He thought he should be able to use that, while also showing his own ID, to show the same last name.  Nope.  This took quite some time.

Finally I was free and I am going to do it.  I am going to lose play $100 in dollar video poker.  Well I played lost $100 in dollar video poker.  DAMMIT.

I go up to my room to grab my phone.  My phone is not in my room.  It is in my bag.  I just didn’t see it when I was looking for it.  That was a wasted trip that spanned the entire circumference of the never ending Orleans casino, and losing ten minutes of my life waiting for an elevator behind 238947 packs of sportsball kids.  At least I can grab my 10% off coupon for that saves me $0.33 cents on an iced coffee at Java Vegas.

Iced coffee run complete, I then head to the player’s club booth.  My offer came with $10 free slot play, that I need to have loaded.  I also have the 2017 American Casino Guide, which has a coupon for $5 free play when you play $10.  (American Casino Guide coupons are good as soon as the book is printed, so you can use them for a couple of months in the preceding year.)

I was not sure if I would be able to use the ACG coupon as you are only allowed one per calendar year, and I already used one in January.  HOWEVER.  The coupon for 2017 has been reduced.  The one I used in January was for $10 free play.  This one is for $5.  Different coupon. So I ask if I can use this even though I used a different one in 2016.  I get lectured, but not with the lecture I was expecting.  I get told that since this is a 2017 coupon, I can use it now BUT I cannot use it again in 2017.  Which is fine with me.

I get the $15 loaded and lose that AND a $20 on the Double Double Bonus video poker machine that was kind to me last year.

I then go back to the room and take a nap, this time with the bathroom door closed.

When I wake up, I look at my itinerary. I am supposed to go to the Excalibur to use a MyVegas reward for dinner.  I don’t want to do this.  Despite never having been outside today, I am convinced it is freezing out there.  Maybe it is the whoooooooooossssshhhhhhhhhing sound that is coming from my doorway that convinces me of this.  So I check the weather on my phone.  Oh  hell yeah it is freezing out there.  I don’t want to walk across the parking lot and then across Tropicana to wait for the bus.  This sounds like such an easy thing to do, but you forget I am in Las Vegas.  Where parking lots are miles long, streets are six lanes wide, and buses do not drop you off anywhere near the places their stops are named after.

So I decide to just gamble here.  And gamble I do!  I found a bank of new Cleopatra Keno machines.  That have four card Cleopatra Keno, YAY!  That are formatted incorrectly, BOO.  Just like the ones at Downtown Grand, these machines are set to maximum bet of four coins.  Per game, not per card.  So if you want to play four cards, you can only play one coin per card.  This is frustrating.  I stick to single game, even though the degenerate in me is having a conniption fit knowing that there is FOUR CARD CLEOPATRA KENO on here and I cannot play it.

I start with nickels and parlay up to playing quarters.  I had two big bonuses and leave here with $220.

I then go back to my Double Double Bonus video poker machine from last year and hit Aces, no kicker.

orleans-vegas-double-double-bonus-aces

A couple of other hits:
orleans-las-vegas-kings orleans-las-vegas-four-of-a-kind-twos

Surely now I should break the degenerate cycle brewing inside of me and GO OUTSIDE and head to Excalibur?  Or maybe I could grab dinner to go and head to the room and read a book?  I look at my phone and it is somehow 9:00 PM.  How did this happen?  It is legit too late to go to Excalibur if my only purpose is to eat dinner at their buffet.  So dinner to go and my room it is.

Some people stay up all night in Vegas, drinking and gambling.  I however, stick to a schedule that allows me to be up and out early AM.  There is nothing I love more than having a casino to myself before the sun rises.

Daily totals:

Gambling Day: + $250
Gambling Trip: + $430
Miscellaneous: (tips, coffee and dinner): $14.29
Comps used: Orleans hotel stay, $10 dining credit and $10 free slot play
Coupons: $5 free slot play from American Casino Guide

My planned itinerary for the day:

Saturday, December 17, 2016
Breakfast: Orleans $10 comp offer
Lunch:
Dinner:
Excalibur 4-10 MyVegas
LVA: Palms $25 free play 1,250 slots, or 5,000 vp
ACG: Palms $10 free 400 slots or 3000 vp
ACG: Palms $50 free 2000 slots 15000 vp

Gold Coast play $10 get $5 free ACG

Las Vegas Christmas 2016 Trip Report Starts Now!

If you are a regular here, you know that every year I vow I am done going to Las Vegas.  The more I travel the world, the more I want to keep traveling the world.  Las Vegas takes away from that.   Not even just in time off, but in budget.  If you are a believer that “Las Vegas is the cheapest destination in the world!”, you may want to fact check that.  I am not at all trying to talk anyone else out of not going to Las Vegas.  I would never do that.  But for me personally, having traveled outside of America, I realize that all the times I proudly stated “Las Vegas is the cheapest place on Earth to visit!”, I was mistaken.  It is a cheaper destination in the United States.  And yes, you can win enough to cover your meager costs.  AND YES OF COURSE, if you want to go to Las Vegas ten times a year, then by all means, you should do exactly that.  I however, do not wish to do that.

So why am I going again?  Fate is making me go.

Last January I was supposed to fly to Chicago.  That flight got cancelled because of a blizzard.  I used the flight credit to book a flight to Niagara Falls over the summer.  That flight got cancelled because of a thunderstorm.  I was left with JetBlue credit that needed to be used by the date of the first cancelled flight back in January.  I did not want to take a long trip in January.   Or any trip at all in January.  Why would anyone want to use up their vacation time so early in the year?

But I am a cheap fuck and I could not let that flight credit go.

I already had the week of Christmas off from work.  Now I have a “free” plane ticket.  Then MyVegas* went and put out two night rewards at MGM properties.  Here is my chance to spend two nights at Bellagio for free.  FINE.  I’LL GO.  BUT I WON’T LIKE IT.

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Except I will!

*Note to self:  Can you please use your “I am going to be a good blogger!” energy towards making a static page about MyVegas so that you do not have to explain it every time?   No?  Fine, I’ll explain it again.

For those of you who randomly stumbled on this blog, MyVegas is a game on Facebook where you play slot games and earn a thing called Loyalty Points. You then can exchange those Loyalty Points for things like free food, free shows and free hotel stays.  You can also play on mobile, but since I have a Windows phone, I am not going to be very helpful with that.  Actually, I am not going to be helpful at all with anything ever because I am going to stop typing about this and go back to my trip report.

So here we are, getting ready to leave for a surprise trip.  I booked the Bellagio nights.  I booked two comped nights at Orleans.  I booked two nights at Four Queens, using Hotwire credit from last year when I stayed at a hotel that advertised having a casino, but the casino was closed.  Then I booked a three night comp at California.   And of course, I ended up redoing everything and added in one MyVegas night at Red Rock, and one MyVegas night at Green Valley Ranch.

I am all ready to go!  My packing skills have improved like crazy.  The big Las Vegas themed bag in the back is what I used to use for two week trips to Las Vegas.  The pink one on the left in the front is what I currently use for month long trips overseas.  The teeny tiny purple one?  That is what I used on this ten night trip.  I also managed to fit my winter coat in there.  Aren’t I queen of packing light?
las-vegas-luggage-top-view

And then it starts.

The weather.

The mother fucking weather.

JetBlue starts announcing that they are allowing people who are scheduled to fly in and out of JFK on Wednesday and Thursday, the opportunity to change their flights for free, due to possible weather related interruptions in service.  I am leaving on Friday. I decide that if Friday is added to this, I will leave a day early.  I let my job know, I book a “comped” night at Ballys (paying the resort fee, fuck you) and sit back and watch.

Nothing.

Until.

On Thursday night, JetBlue adds Friday to the dates you can change your flight for free.

Reminder: I am booked on a flight to Las Vegas only because two previous flights were cancelled for weather.  To say I am a bit rattled about the possibility that this will happen a third time, is an understatement.

Thursday night after the last flight to Las Vegas has left NYC, JetBlue adds Friday as an option to rebook your flight for free.  If this had happened a few hours sooner, I would be on a Thursday night flight.  But no, it happens after the last flight on Thursday leaves.

I consider changing my flight for Friday night to Friday morning.  This would mean missing work (YAY) but I cannot do that because I left some stuff behind that I would need to take care of. I didn’t do this before leaving because I thought I was in the clear if they weren’t doing voluntary changes when I left on Thursday afternoon.  So I leave everything as is, and head to work with my fingers crossed so tightly I think I may have lost circulation.

I leave work on Friday to catch my flight.  I get off the subway and onto the AirTrain and check my email.  There is an email from JetBlue.  “Important information regarding your flight.”  My heart drops.

I try bargaining with fate.  “If you let me get to Vegas, I will not gamble tonight.”  Then I start reasoning with fate “Okay I am going to gamble, but only $20.” to “You know what?  Fucking fuck you Fate, I am going to Las Vegas TO gamble.  Who the fuck are you to fucking tell me what I can and cannot do?  Go eat a fucking dick.” And back to “I am sorry Fate, I am just really anxious because if my flight is cancelled, I will just DIE.  And I do not want to die.”

Then I read the email.  WOO!  My flight is only delayed, not cancelled!

We landed at least two hours late.  As I am exiting my row and I see a quarter on the aisle dude’s now vacant seat.  Score! I haven’t even gotten off the plane and I am up $.25!

We arrived so late that all the shuttle companies are closed.  The last WAX bus is long gone.  The 108 is probably done for the night.   The 109 is running, but then I have to wait for the 109 AND for the 201.  God dammit, I don’t want to.

My only choice to get to my hotel is a cab.  My credit card on Uber is expired and I really don’t feel like fixing that right now.  Lyft, forget it.  They do not have an app compatible with Windows phones.  So cab it is.  I do not remember the last time I afforded myself the luxury of a cab.  $24 later, I am checked into the Orleans.

I get a room at the end of the hallway.  It is also one of those weirdo rooms that you sometimes get in hotels with many floors.  Where for whatever reason, when  you close the room door, it creates a whooshing noise.  Open the door, silence.  Close the door, whooooooooosssshhhhhhhhhh.   If there is an engineer reading this, who would like to explain this to me, please do so.

I drop my stuff and get ready to go downstairs and gamble.

There is a short cut to get from the hotel to the food court.  You walk outside instead of going through the casino. Tonight I actually took it for the first time ever.  Holy shit, why have I  been walking all the way through the entire casino for all these years!??

I sit down and put a $20 into a machine.   And I get this:

orleans-threes-with-kicker

$200 win.  Almost immediately.  What a great way to start off.  I decide to play down to $200 and go to bed with my winnings.  It is REALLY late, and I have plenty of time left to lose it.  After all, I just arrived and still have nine more full days!

One thing I should probably mention…the quarter I found on the plane?  Well when I was getting ready to go gamble, I found it in my pocket. I took a couple of seconds to question whether or not I was going to do this, before I did.  I put it in my bra for good luck.  Why did I do this?  Because I read this trip report shortly before leaving where the author put her lucky change in her bra and she won. So obviously, I must do this too.  And that is how I ended up winning $200.  And that is also how I ended up carrying this quarter around in my bra for the next nine days.  Sigh.

Atlantic City, New Jersey: Full Day of Degenerate Gambling

I woke up at 6:15 am.  I was tired and thought I should go back to bed, but we all know how this goes, right?  GAMBLE.

I went out to get some iced coffee at Starbucks.  I meant to time the walk, but forgot.  My guess is that it is about ten minutes?   I got a trenta iced coffee (that is a size up from large) and a McDonalds breakfast sandwich and went back to the room….where I immediately dropped my trenta iced coffee.   It landed upside down, which was good in that it didn’t all spill out since the top was on it.  But was bad because it made the straw shatter and there were a million tiny green plastic pieces now floating in my coffee.  No no no no no no no no noooooooooooooooooooo.  NOT MY TRENTA ICED COFFEE YOU BASTARD.

UGH.

DEATH.

NO.

BAH.

BAD.

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So anyway.  After eating my breakfast with no iced coffee, I took a shower and headed downstairs to use my Caesars $10 free play.  I also had a promotional offer to swipe my card and get a multiplier on points.  Of course, zero of the kiosks were working, and the Total Rewards Center was not yet open.   Of course.  So I played anyway, because degenerate could not wait until later.  Fortunately, I hit this:
ultimate x video poker quad twos x 2I took the Jitney, to The Borgata.  The Boragata actually has a Starbucks, so I got to get another coffee.  But I still will forever mourn my OG dead coffee.  RIP OG dead iced coffee.  I miss you.

I had $10 free play here, from a mailer and also $10 from MyVegas.  I stopped to get the MyVegas free play loaded, and the woman at the booth let me know I had $10 more, which I already knew…but we’ll get back to this in a minute.

I tried to use the free play on a quarter Cleopatra Keno and nope, it will not let me.  So I play $20 through and then try again.  Now it lets me.  But it is only showing I have $10, not $20.  Maybe I have to play the $10 and then I can get the other $10?  Nope.  Nothing I do will make the second $10 show up.  Back to the booth I go.  She confirms she can still see $10 available on my account and suggests maybe I use the slot machines near the booth since “they usually work pretty well.”  Um, shouldn’t ALL the machines work pretty well?  Or even maybe just the one that let me use my first $10?  How annoying.   I ended up losing the $10 on some crappy slot I played just because it let me download the free play.

Then I went back to Cleopatra Keno.  I kept doubling $20 bills on here.  It was so cool.  I love this game and it has been a long time since I have actually won playing.  I won enough that I was able to play nickel Ultimate X video poker.  The machines here do not let you choose hands so you must play a minimum of five hands, which is 50 coins per game = $2.50 on five play nickels.  My first nice hit was this:

ultimate x video poker borgata atlantic city

Shortly after, I hit this, which seems really cool.  But I felt like had JUST sat down to play and wanted to play.  I didn’t want to cash out and not play.  So I played down to 1200 credits = $60.

ultimate x borgata 990 win

As I was cashing out, I noticed a game named Carnival in Rio.   I thought “Hey!  I want to go to Rio!  I should play that!  So I did.  And I hit a $205.60 bonus.  Sweet!

carnival in rio slot machine win atlantic city

I left Bogata up $100.  Then I took the Jitney to Trump Taj Mahal.

6tag_280416-123537I lost $40 on video poker but then won $80 on a Buffalo slot machine so I was up.   When I was in Las Vegas in December, the bulk of my wins were on Keno and Buffalo slots.  This is not supposed to happen, video poker is where it is supposed to happen.   Guess I got lucky!

Once here, I got my $20 free play and $20 dining credit from my Groupon.  I was told I could just charge my meals to the room and the $20 would be taken off when I checked out.  Great!  But I am not staying here?  I ended up with a voucher.

I get a large iced coffee from the Dunkin Donuts in Resorts.  Every casino should have one of these.  So good.

I turned my $20 free play into $50 on nickel Supertimes Pay video poker.  Then I lost the $50.  Then I lost $20 cash.  Then I decided to stop playing and eat.  I wanted to try their new restaurant, Burger Bar, but it does not open until 4:00 and it is not even 3:00 yet.  So I went to Breadsticks cafe, which has now moved upstairs to make room for Margaritaville downstairs.

I sit down, place my order and never see my server again.  I played on my phone, including taking a photo of this tram going down the boardwalk. I have never see this before:

atlantic city boardwalk tram

Rainy Boardwalk:

atlantic city new jersey rainy boardwalk

I play some more on my phone, check Facebook, respond to an email.  I get bored and start writing in my journal.  Finish that and realize that the couple next to me, who were seated after me, are now on desert and my burger is still not here.  Quick check of the time and it is 3:45.  I have been here for 45 minutes.  Where is my food?

Another server asks me if someone is helping me.  I say yes because the answer is yes.  I should have elaborated that while I do have a server who took my order, I haven’t seen her in 45 minutes.  The next time he passes by, I do say this.  He then goes in the back and out pops my server with my burger and fries, which have been sitting somewhere for all this time, as they are now cold.

I am starving, I eat the cold burger.  The second server comes over and apologizes to me, tells me the first server had gone on lunch.  But it is okay, he is going to be helping me now.  I tell him that my food was sitting somewhere, show him the cold fries.  He offers me new fries, I tell him I have already been here over an hour, please give me my check.   He does.

I obviously do not want to tip.  But now that I have a new server, do I have to tip?  I don’t know the protocol and I do not want server #1 to get a tip so I don’t leave one.  Sorry server #2 but I am not taking any chances here.

I leave and walk past Burger Bar, where I originally wanted to eat.  It is now after 4:00 so they are open.  Sigh.

I  walk back to Caesars in the rain.  I stopped at Ballys to use my $10 free play and lost that and a $20.  Over to Caesars where I did the promotional swipe to get a multiplier on my points today and got a 10x. I also had this promotion available at Ballys but I had forgotten and was not going to go back.

I take a nap and when I wake up, I am not sure what to do.   It is 8:00 pm, I do have $100 left for today’s gambling budget.   This is shocking after the beating I took at Resorts.  I want to go back to Borgata.  But maybe I shouldn’t.  $100 could go in five minutes, do I really want to go all the way there for five minutes?  What’s to stop me from going degenerate if I lose all my money before I finish an iced coffee?  Maybe I should just stay here.  But gambling.  But you can have an extra $100 for tomorrow if you don’t go.  BUT GAMBLING.

I flipped a coin and it told me that I should stay in my room.   Oh yeah?  Screw you stupid penny on tails, you can’t tell me what to do.  You’re not my real mom.

And off to Borgata I went.

I wanted to play Cleopatra Keno so bad but obviously, all four of them were occupied.  I tried playing the bank behind them and lost $40.  Cleopatra Keno was still occupied.

I walk past the Carnival in Rio machine I won $200 on earlier, and it takes my money.  I walk back to Cleopatra Keno, still occupied.

I walk further into the casino.  Guys, Borgata’s casino is so enormous.  You can walk forever in here.  And I did.   Until  I found a four game slot machine, where you can pick the four games  you play.  I don’t remember what I started on, but I was losing. So I ended up moving down to two games of Buffalo and then this happened:

buffalo slot machine borgata atlantic city 33440 win

Sweet!

I cash out and try to walk back to Cleopatra Keno.  This took so long because I got so lost.  I had no clue where i was for at least twenty minutes.  Finally I got my bearings and made it back to Cleopatra Keno.  Still occupied.

I go back out and play some video poker.  I saw a guy waiting for a handpay, he had hit a Royal Flush on Ultimate X with a 2x multiplier = $2000.  I did not hit anything.

Back to Cleopatra Keno.  STILL OCCUPIED.

I tried to find the Buffalo game I won on and could not find it.  I didn’t know where I was when I was playing it, I most certainly do not know where I am now.  Where am I?  Why is this casino so HUGE?  Oh my god, is there like a trick door and I am in another casino and just don’t know it?  I walked all over just half an hour ago and none of this looks familiar.  Oh hey there’s a different Buffalo slot machine yay!  And then this happens:

buffalo slot machine 34450 win borgata atlantic city

Seriously guys.  Slot machines have terrible pay outs yet Buffalo keeps paying me.  I want to play Buffalo slots now and forever.

I cash out and try and find Cleopatra Keno again.  I managed to accidentally happen upon Starbucks so I had a guide.  Back to Cleopatra Keno.  STILL FUCKING OCCUPIED.  ARGH.

I play a couple of slots, nothing.  I check Cleopatra Keno, still occupied.  I sit down at Ultimate X and play this for a bit, losing money.  I start to put another $20 in, then realize I only have one $20 bill left.  The rest of my money is in hundreds.  I need to either break another hundred, or leave NOW with this last $20 as I need it to buy something to drink on my way to the room.

I start reasoning with myself.  Dude, you are throwing money away just so you can throw more money away if those people ever leave the Cleopatra Keno machines you are stalking.  Stop being such a fucking idiot.  You know what, I am right.  I will stop.  I get up, start to walk to the Jitney, which is a course that takes me past Cleopatra Keno…where holy fucking shit, SOMEONE IS GETTING UP FROM ONE OF THE MACHINES!!!!  WHEEEEE!  GET OUT AND STAY OUT.

I sit down.  I play.  I hit a bonus, I win $400.  BAM.

I cash that out,  I go to put another $20 in and remember I have no more $20’s left.  So I cash out knowing that if I leave to break a bill and come back, this machine will be taken.  And I am okay with that.

I leave Borgata with $700.  Not too shabby.

While waiting for the Jitney, I saw this ad lit up on Golden Nugget across the way.  Chachi.  I have no idea if this is a current celebrity, but I hope as all hell it is Scott Baio coming out on stage with a handkerchief tied around his thigh.

chachi

I went back to Caesars and decided to let myself go nutso with $100.  I do have a 10x multiplier on points, plus I am a degenerate.  It took me hours to lose that $100.  I kept going between Buffalo, Supertimes Pay video poker and Ultimate X video poker.

Bed time!

Trip Report to Atlantic City, New Jersey: Travel Day

Once upon a time I was booked for a trip to Europe, for a fest.  As it got closer and the lineup didn’t get anywhere near as great as I had come to expect it to be, the less I wanted to go.  Finally I threw in the towel, but decided to keep two days off work to get a break.   Where oh where should I go with this newly found free time?  Oh hey, GAMBLING sounds good.

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I tried to stay at Borgata, since they have been sending me two night offers.  Problem is, they were not available on my dates.  I could use them if I wanted to go a week later.  But once I got the idea in my head that I was taking a break from work and going gambling, the idea of waiting a whole other week seemed too long.  So I booked a CET comp.  CET owns three properties in Atlantic City and all three properties came up as comped for me.  Ballys was immediately crossed off my list because there once was a time where no matter what room type I would book, I would end up in their crappy Claridge Tower.  Thing is, that building is now a completely separate hotel so you no longer run the risk of being put there.  But I am still mad, so no thank you.  That left me to choose between Caesars and Harrahs, the latter offering me a suite.  Pretty tempting.  But I chose Caesars instead.  Let me go on a little rant here.

If you have read my reports over the years,  you know I love gambling with a large iced coffee.  None of the CET properties have a Starbucks.  Or a Dunkin Donuts.  Harrahs has nothing in walking distance.  Caesars has both a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts in walking distance.  Although some will argue with me about it being too scary to walk a few blocks off the Boardwalk.  Please, don’t.

It was really sweet when Trump Plaza was open, as they had a Starbucks.  It kills me that it went away when the casino did.  So now I will stay at Caesars and walk to either Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.  In case you care (you shouldn’t) I prefer Dunkin Donuts but I have a bunch of money on my Starbucks gift card (god bless everyone who gives Starbucks gift cards as holiday presents) so that is that.

If you want to respond and tell me that Caesars and Ballys AND Harrahs all have places that sell coffee on their properties, I will save you the trouble.  I do know this.  I also know that zero of them have super sized iced coffee.  I promise you, this is not my first caffeine infused rodeo.

I have free play at both Ballys and Caesars, $10 each day so $60 total.  I also have $20 at Borgata, $10 from my offers and $10 from MyVegas.  I also purchased a Groupon for Resorts.  For $30 I get $20 free play, $20 dining credit at any restaurant and $20 to play on their online casino (which I cannot do until I am in the state of New Jersey.)

I also got $25 free play from the casino bonus for riding the bus.  I had to work for this one.  Normally, I buy bus tickets online, and they do not have an option to print at home, so I pick them up at Port Authority.   Greyhound now allows you to print at home, so I did.  And there was no casino bonus.   I got to Port Authority an hour and a half early to deal with this.  Have you ever spoken to a Greyhound employee at Port Authority?  Here’s a tip: Avoid this at all costs.  It is not their fault at all they are curmudgeons.  They deal with assholes all day long.   Like the guy who refused to believe he could not get a refund on a non-refundable ticket, or the guy who cut the line, got denied cutting the line, started yelling about coming back with his AK, and so on.

Finally it was my turn.  I explain my dilemma and am told that I needed to book a ticket to the casino, not the bus terminal. But I did, see?  Caesars.   Then it was that I must have picked the wrong ticket type.  Nope.  Finally she stops making suggestions and just looks up the ticket type for me.  Oh hey, I booked a discounted ticket so that is why I did not get the bonus coupon.  Except that I did not book a discounted ticket. She looks again.  “Oh, you did purchase the right ticket type, why didn’t you get the casino bonus?”  Exactly.  She voids my ticket and reissues me a new one, with the bonus.  SCORE.

I will never print at home again.

My bus was only half full, so I had two seats to myself.  It makes me laugh that there was a point in time where the 2.5 hour ride used to seem absolutely unbearable to me.  After a 26 hour flight to China, this was a walk in the park.

We get to Caesars, I get my bus bonus.  They have changed the rules on this.   You now have to wait half an hour before it hits your card, and it is only good until 5:00 am.

I took a walk to the gas station about a two block distance from Caesars to get water and soda.   Then I checked in.   I get asked “Are you interested in an upgrade?”   Um, I don’t know?  “Well we have suites available at a discount……..”  Yeah, no thanks.   I get room 7503 in the Ocean Tower.  Don’t let the room number fool you, it is on the fifth floor.

I get to the elevator, it opens and there is a man in there who cannot figure out at all how to get the elevator to work.  You have to put your card into a slot, and then push your floor.  Nope, this is too complicated for him.  So I put my card in, pick my floor and tell him to pick his while the light is still green. He does.

The elevator stops at the third floor and some guy gets on.  Then we stop at the fifth floor and I need to get off.  OG dude has his suitcase almost completely blocking the door, newbie is blocking the rest.  I say “excuse me” and neither move.  I yell “EXCUSE ME” and newbie turns sideways, but he is the same width sideways as he was front ways so this does not help.  OG dude grabs his suitcase handle but does not move the bag.  I yell “I NEED TO GET OFF THE ELEVATOR!”  No one moves.  I am getting so annoyed thinking the door is going to shut and I am going to have to go to both their floors, which OG would never have even gotten to push the button for if not for me, if one of these fucking assholes does not let me off the fucking elevator.  I am getting off this elevator.  Just ask that woman who I accidentally knocked down in Las Vegas when she would not move out of my way when I tried to exit an elevator.

I ended up wrapping my foot around OG dude’s suitcase and pulling it with my foot, out of my way, while squeezing past Newbie on my way out and yelling “ASSHOLES.”   That’ll learn ’em.

I had booked a premium ocean view room.  We all know that you are not guaranteed a room type so I was not surprised that my ocean view looked like this:

Caesars Atlantic City Premium Ocean View room

I did have a Jacuzzi, or as my buddy Royal Flusher likes to call them, a Jizzcuzzi.

Caesars Atlantic City Premier Ocean View room jacuzziOh and no Do Not Disturb sign.  But don’t worry guys, I will spare you the rant that I normally make when this happens to me.  If I still have your attention after the elevator story, I would be pushing my luck ranting any further.  And if I am going to push my luck, it is going to be on a video poker machine.

My plan is to use my $25 bus bonus, $10 free play at Caesars from an offer, and $10 Ballys from an offer.  Zero cash, just the free play. Then I will get dinner to go and watch Survivor in my room.

I lost the $35 in Caesars on a Double Double Bonus Ultimate X video poker machine.  Then I lost a $20 in cash, because I said I was not going to play cash.  Over to Ballys, where I lost the free play and $60 in cash (didn’t I just say zero cash?) before this saved me:

four of a kind nines

I cashed out, got some Johnny Rockets to go and went to the room with zero damage done.  I watched television, because I love television.  Then I played the $20 free play at Resorts online casino, that I got from the Resorts Groupon I purchased.  I played quarter Double Double Bonus video poker.  It was weird to realize I was gambling in my room, in my pajamas, while watching television.   I never hit anything significant, but the $20 lasted about half an hour   So there is that.  You get a bonus for depositing money.  I am not sure if it was a new sign up thing.  But I had an offer to double my deposit.  I will say, gambling twice as much money in my pajamas and never being around people, sounds kind of sweet.  But I knew it could also be dangerous so I didn’t do it.

I didn’t want to go back out since I had almost broke my budget in less than an hour, so I went to sleep to prepare myself for winning a bazillion dollars tomorrow.

Las Vegas Trip Report: My Last Day in Sin City

My last day in Las Vegas starts at the Four Queens hotel.   My handwriting is horrible so it appears as if I either started the day off by going to Petco, or Petra.  I most certainly did not travel to a pet store, nor did I travel to the country of Jordan.  If anyone has any ideas where I actually was, feel free to let me know!

I had breakfast at Magnolias at Four Queens, to use up my comps here.  I wanted to play live Keno, but it was not open this early.  Is this even possible?  Why am I having such a horrible time playing live Keno in Las Vegas?  The house odds are very high, why would you not want me to give you my money?

I walked over to Fremont for Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and my last time visiting my favorite SuperTimes Pay machines here.  I was  hoping for a parting gift here.   These have been my favorite STP machines for as long as I have been playing video poker. I visit them on every trip.  You would think that would count for something, but my babies felt that they were the ones who deserved the parting gift, and happily accepted it in cash form.

I played some Ultimate X.  I did:

$35 – $60
$25 – $60
$20 – $70
$20 – $0
$20 – $0
$20 – $40
$20 – $0

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I was here quite some time.

On my way back to my room (no no no no nooooooooooo) I stopped and played the Buffalo slot machine that was nice to me last night.  I turned $60 into $150.

Then it was time to leave.  Sigh.  One last view of Las Vegas outside of my hotel room window:
four queens las vegas strip viewOnce at the airport, I killed some time trying to figure out who has the WiFi name “I Will Shank  You Hard.”

shank

And here is where we wound up today:

Gambling Day: + $0
Gambling Trip: + $990
Miscellaneous: (tip, coffee, Diet Pepsi at the airport):  $10.23
Comps used: Four Queens breakfast
Freebies:  nada

If I had not hit that one Royal Flush, I would have been down $10 gambling.

The grand total of non-gaming money I spent in Las Vegas was $616.77, the bulk of that was made up of cigarettes and resort fees.  In addition, I also paid for airfare, a few hotel nights and my bus pass before I left.

I have had a bunch of people let me know they are sad to see the Las Vegas trip reports end.  I appreciate the kind words.  I truly do.   But it is time for me to move on.   Although I ended up in the black with gambling, I had a bunch of days where I had zero fun because all I did was lose.   Life is not about the end game for me.  It is about living today.

Even when having a bad day in a foreign country, there are still multiple exciting things going on.  Oh look at that sign in broken English!  Oh look at this local custom I am experiencing for the first time!  Look at that view of a place on Earth I had only seen in pictures before.  And so on.  I just really have grown tired of “Oh hey, look at the Dunkin Donuts sign behind my favorite SuperTimes Pay machines at the Fremont casino!”

If you are still itching for some more fun Las Vegas trip reports, make sure to check out my buddy Royal Flusher.  He is hilarious and also, a degenerate gambler.  We love degenerate gamblers.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Last Full Day in Las Vegas

This morning, I woke up at the California hotel in Downtown Las Vegas for my last full day in Las Vegas.  Aw.

I walked over to The D for breakfast, using a voucher from a mailer.  I had French Toast.  It was really good and after the $10 voucher, cost me $1.35.  I miss when this casino loved me and sent me offers.  OH WELL.

I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some iced coffee and then played in Binions.   Last full day = slot play to win big = $216 win.

216 buffalo slot machine win

I tried playing Double Double Bonus video poker on quarters, but the stupid button was stuck so I had to keep slamming it.  I just cashed out.  Got my voucher for a deck of cards, threw out my voucher for a deck of cards and headed back to California.  I am ending a two night comped stay here and have yet to put any money through any Boyd machine.  This is the beauty of knowing you are not coming back, you do not have to keep your comps.  I ran through $60 and got nothing.

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I checked out and walked over to the Four Queens to check in for my last night.  This room was completely covered by Hotwire credit I got for my Henderson room not having the advertised casino.  Score!

Dropped off my stuff and went gambling!  There is a penny machine named Cirque something, near the elevators, that I have won on before.  I won again!  Then I went on a Buffalo slot kick and could not stop hitting the bonus.  I cashed out up $220.

I got on a bus and went to Palace Station.  Partly because I wanted to play here, partly because I want to buy a shit ton of cheap cigarettes before going home.  I had visions of drinking Starbucks while having a huge win on my last day.  Sadly, only the Starbucks dream was realized.

From here, I went to Longhorn.

I loved this casino so much.  If I were returning and had no comps, I would not even hesitate to stay here again.  I played some quarter Double Double Bonus video poker, some four card Cleopatra Keno and some quarter single line Cleopatra Keno.  Nope, nope and nope.

Dinner was using my points.  I had steak and baked potato.  It was decent and for free, even more so.

I played after eating and turned $20 into $50 on Cleopatra Keno.  Oh hey, let me go cash out.  I get to the TITO machine and realize I didn’t actually cash  out.  Idiot!  Luckily, the credits were still on the machine when I got back.

From  here, the most obvious thing I could do was visit Cromwell one last time to play my beloved Ultimate X machine.  I know I am pushing it here.  There is no way this machine is still going to love me after all these tries.  It has to suck up my money at some point.  It is my last night here, what are the chances she still loves me?

Turned out they were very high.

[000259]

I also got this cool hand that led to nothing:

dealt flush ultimate xFrom here, I walked through Flamingo to take the monorail to the 108 bus.  I am willing to pay for the monorail to avoid getting on the Deuce bus.  But it turns out I do not have to.  Someone getting off the monorail offered me an unused ticket for free.  Score!

I get back Downtown and stop at Dunkin Donuts, obviously.  Then I played at The D.

the d las vegas

I played at the upstairs bar.  Whenever I play here, I always have a large iced coffee with me.  Whenever I play here with a large iced coffee, the bartender will ask me over and over if I want a drink.  This never used to happen to me when I drank in Las Vegas.

I quickly lost $100 and walked over to Four Queens to play some Buffalo.  No matter what I did, I could not stop hitting the bonus.  I left up $235.

I finally went to bed at 1:00 am and did so only because I need to get up early to go home.

Gambling Day: + $300
Gambling Trip: + $990
Miscellaneous: (breakfast, tips, coffee, cigarettes):  $67.92
Comps used: California room, The D breakfast, Longhorn dinner
Freebies:  nada

Sunday, January 10, 2016
Breakfast: MSS free ACG 7-3 $11.99
Check into
Lunch:
Dinner:
Binions burger