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.
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?
And then it starts.
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.
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:
$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.