Christmas Trip to Las Vegas: Good Thing I Am Not Gambling Today.

Saturday, December 20, 2014: Day Five of Thirteen

Today I am checking out of MGM Grand and moving to Main Street Station. Since I am fully paying for my room at MSS through an Orbitz sale, I do not have to play to earn my keep. Therefore, I have decided to use today to repair my budget by not gambling at all except for using my free play.

I called the Bell Desk at MGM to have my bag stored. Then I try and check out of the room. The televison check out is giving me an error (remember when it told me I was checked out days ago? Clearly this thing needs to be fixed.) However, MGM emailed me a link to check out on my phone. Guess what, doesn’t work and it gives me a 702 area code to call. I am not going to direct dial the MGM Grand so I pick up the phone in my room and dial the front desk. It took all about one ring before I realized that screw this, why am I putting effort in to check out of your malfunctioning hotel? So I leave my room without checking out. Interestingly enough, a few days later I discovered that I was charged for two night’s resort fee, not three.  This probably has to do with the two different room confirmations.  So I guess I owe MGM Grand $28, but damned if I am going to contact them to tell them that.  Serves you right for having ridiculous resort fees to being with.

Today I am going to Green Valley Ranch for a MyVegas buffet. This takes about an hour on the bus. Who wants to ride the bus that far on vacation? Well, me for example. It keeps me from gambling for the time I am on the bus. See?

On the bus, there is a screaming maniac kid. Not only is it screaming, it keeps pushing the button for the stops so we keep stopping when we do not need to. It’s mother is yelling in its face “CALL THE WAAAAAMBULANCE” because she is a good mother who believes in nurturing her child.

These screams went above and beyond typical screaming kid. At one point the bus driver asks her over the P.A. system if the kid is alright. After a while, I realize that it kind of sounds like Liam of Filip and Liam fame screaming. The difference is that when a child makes these noises, it is nerve grating but when a cute little puppy makes them, it is so adorable. Aw, lookit Liam! He is clearly upset and trying to tell his mommy something. Aw, poor baby, what is it Liam? What’s bothering you? Aw, yes you are just so damn adorable!

That kid? Not so adorable.

We passed Shenandoah, which is Wayne Newton’s ranch.  I thought it was so weird that Wayne Newton lived on a major road and not off in the middle of the desert like I assumed he did.  I thought I would get off the bus on my way back and take pictures but I just really didn’t feel like it when we passed it again.  I don’t like Wayne Newton and I am a horrible blogger who could not be bothered to take a picture of something people might actually find interesting to see.

Green Valley Ranch is really nice.  I would have stayed here this trip (free via MyVegas) if their airport shuttle ran just a little bit later.  My flight landed too late for me to catch it.  Outside they have a sort of little cutesy town thing with shopping going on.  This is as far as I went because the casino was behind me.

Green Valley Ranch Las Vegas town square

Green Valley Ranch Las Vegas casinoI decided to play $10 at GVR, because I am not gambling today. I won $15 but put that back, also because I am not gambling today.

I took the bus back to MGM to grab my bag and head downtown. I missed the WAX bus by a few minutes and the next one is in an hour. I have several other options to get Downtown but I choose to sit and wait for the WAX because I just have no interest in walking to any of my other choices.  That is the thing about Las Vegas.  Nothing is easy if you do not drive and I bet a lot of things are not easy even if you do drive.

Sitting with me at the bus stop are two homeless alcoholics. I know this because they were talking about being both homeless and alcoholics. They started off arguing about $.76. I guess two beers are $2.52 and one only contributed $.52 and the other one had to pay $2. Then $.52 cent guy pulls out a hamburger and $2 guy is instantly furious because if $.52 guy can afford a hamburger, he can afford to pay for the fair half of the beers. But $.52 cent guy did not buy the hamburger. Someone bought it for him last night and he was so drunk he passed out using it as a pillow. When he got woken up soaking wet by sprinklers, he realized he had not only the burger, but a beer as well. Breakfast of champions.

$.52 threw a piece of the bun and a bunch of pigeons flew to grab at it. He then throws another piece further onto Tropicana and says “Let’s see one of them get hit by a car going for it” and a few seconds later, a car indeed barrels into the pigeons. One got hit and feathers flew everywhere but it still flew away so I guess maybe it was okay.  I sat there trying to not react because up to this point, all three of us were sharing a bench and they had pretty much ignored me.  I wasn’t really ready to open myself up to more than just eavesdropping for blog material.

So I bit back my screams of horror and learned a lot more about them by just sitting there. $2 guy has been drunk every day for 20 years, $.52 guy has fifteen years without one day of sobriety except for the occasional lock up. I was curious about how old they were but I had no intentions of joining the conversation.

$.52 cent guy is excited to spend his first New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas because he has heard it is an insane time. This also made me wonder where he was at this time last year. It would seem he just moved to Las Vegas but he is sleeping in places that are not an apartment, so does that count as moving somewhere? I really don’t know.

Eventually the bus came. The driver pulled up far away from the curb. When I went to get on, my bag missed the step up and bumped into the bus. The driver yells at me “Pick up your damn feet when you walk.” Oh so the two homeless alcoholics I just spent the past hour with did nothing to annoy me, but you, the bus driver, you I want to slap.  Good job.

I get to Main Street Station to check in.

The woman behind the counter looks me up and says “you are here for two nights.” No, I am here for one. I wonder what would have happened if I did not correct her. My room is prepaid via Orbitz. I have room 1224, which is a handicapped room as you can tell from the hallway via the two peep holes.

handicapped door

I have only stayed here one time and it was many, many years ago with my mother.  I always intended to come back but my offers come from California next door.  But since I am paying, why not pick the one I wanted to return to?

The room is pretty decent and if you can use the simple zoom function on your camera, you can make it look like you had a gorgeous mountain view right outside your window.

Main Street Station Las Vegas bed Main Street Station Las Vegas roomMain Street Las Vegas room view of mountains

Main Street Station:

Main Street Station Las VegasI am not gambling today so I go out to gamble. I have free play from both the Las Vegas Advisor and the American Casino Guide. While collecting my Four Queens slot play, I find a penny on heads. I then proceed to lose my free play lightening quick.

I lose my whopping $5 The D free play and then I try my Binions free play. I lose it but I have accumulated four points on my card during it. You need five points to get a swipe in their motherlode promotion, so I put in a $5 to get there. Before I know it, I am dealt four Aces. It would have been nice to get the kicker, or to be playing something other than nickels. But it was a win and I was happy to have it.  When I hit five points, I swiped my card at the promo kiosk and I won a deck of cards.  Boo.

I walked back to Main Street Station, losing $10 on some beer themed slot machine because I am not gambling today.

I took a break in the room and then went back out to use my freeplay from Las Vegas Club, Plaza and El Cortez. This was quite the painful experience.

I decide to play at Plaza first, then just load Las Vegas Club and play that on my way back from El Cortez. Because I am not gambling today so I want Las Vegas Club to be last since it is closest to my hotel. Well tied with Plaza but I hate the Plaza and do not want to have to go there twice.

Pretty much every machine in the Plaza has a sign on it that it does not take free play. Finally I find a nickel Keno machine that takes free play. Or that’s what the liar liar pants on fire sticker says. It will not take my free play and now I cannot use it anywhere else because when I try, I am told my account is in use. Back to the player’s club where I am told I need to wait ten minutes for my card to unlock.

I walk out of the Plaza and am waiting for the light to change when some guy says “Smile!” to me. I am for whatever reason, constantly having complete strangers telling me to smile or that “it can’t be that bad!” and I want to scream “WHAT can’t be that bad?” This happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. Excitedly on my way to see my favorite band, hitting Aces with a Kicker and mentally skipping through a casino, winning five thousand dollars, it does not matter what is going on in my life. There will always be a stranger there to tell me to cheer up.

So this guy will not stop, which is how this goes. Every time I have this conversation, it never ends. No matter what I say or do, even if I force a smile, it will never end. The conversation will go on until I walk away. Which I cannot do because the light is red. After several rounds of this guy telling me to smile, me forcing smiling to try and make him stop, him going on and on and on and on and on about fucking smiling, he says “I bet you get this a lot” and I sigh and start to explain that yes, I do. And I go on to tell him I have no idea what to do about it. Strangers keep approaching me telling me to smile, am I supposed to walk around with a fake smile plastered on my face for the benefit of strangers (this is where I stop speaking outloud and continue on the conversation inside my head) and who the hell stands at a don’t walk sign smiling away like a maniac? Seriously, have you ever seen a non-crazy, non-crack head standing at a don’t walk just sign smiling away? NO! So why am I expected to do this? GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE.

And the guy’s response is “Wow, you are a real bitch” to which my eloquent response was “No YOU suck my dick.” and then then light turned green and I walked.

I get my free play loaded at Las Vegas Club and I get error messages when I go to use it. I just can’t. So I leave.

Slotzilla, Fremont Street’s zip line:


El Cortez. I get $15 from my free play. I head back to Plaza/Las Vegas Club, stopping at Binions to play Cleopatra Keno with my El Cortez win because I am not gambling today.

At Las Vegas Club, I finally get my freeplay to work and I turn $10 into $5. I’ll take it.

Then the Plaza. There are like two machines in this entire casino that take free play. I play a Cleopatra tiles slot just to get it over with and I actually hit a bonus and win $80. Surprise, yay!

I play a bit on my way back to my room and end up bringing back $65 of the $100 I got from my free play. Good thing I am not gambling today or else I would have brought back less.

Here was my itinerary for the day.  I switched out Sunset Station for Green Valley Ranch and did not eat dinner at all, which I did not realize until I typed this out.

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Breakfast: Sunset Station 8-11, 11-4 (MyVegas)
Check into Main Street Station (SDX)
Dinner: California Prime Rib 4-10

7 thoughts on “Christmas Trip to Las Vegas: Good Thing I Am Not Gambling Today.

  1. Joanne

    As stated many times before this Jennifer, you ARE hysterical!! Sorry to laugh out loud as I read you tripped and bumped into the bus. Sounds like the bus driver is the one who needs to smile and suck your dick as it were. A couple of trips ago, I was losing big time and walking back to Fremont from mid strip. I was very thirsty so I stopped in at a convenience store and bought a slushie drink, which after throwing so much money away, seemed like very good value. I had a bus day pass and by the time I reached the Riviera, I was ready to hop on and enjoy the already paid for ride back. Well, Mr. Bus Driver wouldn’t let me on with my slushie and I’ll be damned if I was throwing that sucker away. I decided to park myself at a Cleopatra II machine inside the Riviera and finish my slushie. To make a long, and still exciting story short, I ended up cashing out up $1300, yes you read it right, $1300. All the while I am thinking THANK YOU MR. BUS DRIVER…that was the BEST. SLUSHIE. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe you had the willpower for a non gambling day. I love riding the city bus on the periphery of Vegas. It’s the cheaper day pass and oh, so interesting.

    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      Thanks so much Joanna! You are pretty amusing as all hell too!

      I love the story about the Riviera and the slushie. That is one incredibly lucky slushie! I have a similar story coming up soon!

      I bought a monthly bus pass for this trip, knowing I would be taking the bus very often. It seemed like a better idea than buying day passes as I go. I just couldn’t use it for the Deuce, which is the last bus in the world anyone should want to take anyway. I don’t do much on the Strip so I was all good.

    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      I once accidentally said that aloud at work and it became an office catch phrase. I absolutely did not intend for that to happen.

  2. Catherine

    Really enjoying your reports. I can’t believe there will be none from LV in 2015 but I can understand that you want to visit new places.

    I think people mess with me a lot in LV and AC, until I read your adventures. So funny and well told.

  3. Lexi

    Hahaha I love your story about the homeless people. I’m unfortunate enough to live around the corner from a half way house and I always hear them talking about the weirdest shit while waiting for the bus.

  4. Pingback: Las Vegas Trip Report: Moving From Bellagio to Four Queens - i put my life on a shelf

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