Las Vegas Trip Report: The One Where I Purposely Choose a Crappy Room Because I Am an Idiot

Friday, April 24, 2009 – Day One of Eleven

Today I left work early and headed for the airport.  I am on a US Airways flight pretty much only because I forgot they charge a luggage fee.

I arrive at the airport and check the departures.  Sure enough, my flight is already showing a delay.  This happens every time.  Every time I am told it’s because I’m leaving during rush hour.  Well this time I have photographic proof I am cursed.  Do you see all these flights?  Also leaving during rush hour?   DO YOU SEE that the ONE flight that is delayed is mine? Do you?  DO YOUOUOUOUOU?!?!?


Finally it’s time to go through security.  Then wait at the gate. Then wait for the previous flight to deplane  Then wait for my flight to board.

Today US Airways is being VERY strict about the two bag carry on rule.  I’ve never seen it enforced like this before.  I kind of like seeing people getting upset because they don’t want to follow it.  I then get angry at the chick on the plane who is whining about “that stupid bitch” who “made me put my purse in my suitcase, what the fuck is her problem?”   But don’t worry Dear Readers.  It seems karma took care of her.  As the flight went on, we all learned she is suffering from her first yeast infection.  I am also going to guess that it is coupled with an ear infection.  This is the only explanation I can come up with as to why she would discuss this at such an incredibly loud volume.

Did I mention how much I love flying and being in such close quarters with PEOPLE?  Oh how I love it.  I love people and I love having them on top of me.  The stupider, the closer. It’s the biggest joy I can think of in life!  YAY!

As I glance at my notes to see what happens next, I see I wrote “get your arm out of my face”  Oh that’s right.  I had one of those people next to me. One who likes to point out the window when I am sitting in the window seat.  One who has to put her entire arm across my face to point out the window.

When I win the Megabucks, I am going to build a miniature-to-scale Las Vegas in my back yard.  The only people allowed inside will be Diet Pepsi vendors, Dunkin Donuts employees and maybe I’ll allow a Walgreens to be built.  Maybe.

[2014 called.  It wants you to know that my new Megabucks plans involve me buying a mountain and constructing a pug-shaped house on top of it.  My pug house will have a moat around it, with the pug’s cute little pink tongue acting as the draw bridge.  Awwww]

My flight is supposed to leave at 5:50. At 6:53 they announce we don’t even have a slot for takeoff yet.

At 7:12, they announce we are in slot number ten.

At 7:27, finally leave the ground.

It’s not the part about the late flight that bothers me so much as it is the whole SITTING ON THE TARMAC FOREVER BEFORE WE CAN TAKE OFF part that bothers me.


FINALLY.  We are in Las Vegas.  We arrive 9:40.  As we were doing our final descent, I was gawking out the window and vowed to put $100 into a Megabucks slot machine at the first casino I could see from the air. Okay let’s pay attention   What’s that?  It’s neon. focus, what is it? WHAT IS IT?  Oh hey it’s the California hotel!  Okay $100 in a Megabucks slot machine in the California casino it is!

Tonight I decide to take a cab from the airport.  At least this was my plan until I went outside and saw the taxi line.   Oh no.  I don’t want to take a bus because I don’t feel like walking two blocks with my luggage.

[2014 called again.  It wants you to know I now feel like an asshole for ever having brought a HUGE suitcase anywhere on a nine day trip.  I can now do a carry on for a full month]

So I decide to take a shuttle.  BIG MISTAKE.   I wait close to an hour for a shuttle to pull up.  I could have just waited for a cab.

At least I win big tonight by there only being TWO stops on the shuttle before my hotel.   After me, a couple was getting dropped off at the Gold Spike.  They were leaving for the airport the next morning at 8:00.  So their first trip in Las Vegas totaled nine hours.  I’ll admit, I was very curious about this and did want to ask for details.  But at this point, I am just done with the human race, so I don’t.

The first hotel of this trip is the El Cortez.

I am here for three nights, comped.  I originally had booked a room in the tower.  Then I had to redo my trip to change the dates.  When I called the change the dates, I was told I could not have a Tower room for my new dates because it was their “Cash is King” weekend and they were sold out of rooms in the tower.   I was absolutely fine with this, I have been very curious to stay in a Pavilion room and here’s my chance!

I check and the check-in-ling asks me if I requested a Pavilion Room.  I ask “what?” and he elaborates “Were you told you couldn’t have a tower room?”  I don’t know what to say because I think he may be trying to give me a tower room.  I don’t answer his question and say “I am booked for a Pavilion room” and he says “well we have room in the tower…….” NO.  I psyched myself up for a Pavilion room!  GIVE ME A PAVILION ROOM PLEASE!!!  He does.  I hate it.  It’s my own fault.

That “balcony” I read about outside the Pavilion rooms?  Well I now understand the workings of it.  Just like it was described, the rooms are outside above the parking garage.  So when you step outside from the elevator, you are on a “balcony”.  If you get a room with a “balcony”, you are damn lucky because its one hell of a view when you exit your room.

El Cortez Pavillion Room view Las VegasEl Cortez Las Vegas Pavillion Room "Balcony"El Cortez Las Vegas Pavillion Room "Balcony"El Cortez Las Vegas Pavillion Room "Balcony"El Cortez Las Vegas Pavillion Room "Balcony"

Walking outside to/from my room on that “balcony” was so awesome.  As I was arriving, it was what shants and hoodie weather.  There is nothing better in life than shants and hoodie weather.

I have room 5526.  One bonus feature that the tower rooms lack is a THERMOSTAT with DEGREES on it.  That’s right folks.  You can pick the temperature you want.  No longer do you have to play with the unmarked wheel and sleep with the window open to allow the hot desert air offset the arctic cold setting. Which seems to be the one setting the tower rooms have on their air conditioning.

Here is my room.  That I chose.  I chose THIS room.  What an idiot.

El Cortez Las Vegas Pavillion Room

My room view:

El Cortez Las Vegas Pavillion Room room viewAnd the outdoor walkway to my room:

El Cortez Las Vegas Pavillion Room

I have to stop at the Player’s Club to get a new card since mine expired in January.  My new one expires in July.  What is this thing with expiration dates on the cards?  The only other place I can think of that does this is the Palms.  Why does the El Cortez want you wait on lines all the damn time?

I get my free play from American Casino Guide and Las Vegas Advisor coupon books loaded onto my card.  I also got my entry for the Saturday night drawing, that I got as part of a mailer, all settled.

The following is in my notes: “It’s 11:50.  As always,  I should just go to bed, as always, I won’t, AS ALWAYS I am going to lose all my money and regret not going to bed”

Gee, that sentence sounds familiar.  I wonder if it’s possible I’ve written similar in the past?

Here is what my notes say:

Free play =

$20 – $20
$20 – $0
On a Viva Monopoly slot

Invaders From the Planet Moolah doubled every five I put in it.

This is not all that clear to me what I did/played/won/lost.

The next sentence though says “Had a lot of money.  Multi Strike Super Times Pay video poker took a bunch”  Ah that makes sense!

My next entry notes “I am at Cafe Cortez, eating scrambled eggs and water.  I have $30 left for tonight, I’ts 1:12 am”.

I go back to the slots and play Invaders From the Planet Moolah again, get nothing.  I play Viva Monopoly and get a bunch of bonuses.

I get back to my room and OH YEAH – I’ll mention this.  I’ve decided on this trip to keep all my cash out TITO tickets (those are Ticket in/Ticket Out tickets, which replace slot machines paying  you in coins) until the end of my trip.  This way, I have all my winnings. This is a good idea, right?  So I had $70 to spend and I came back to the room with $155 in TITO tickets

I am in bed at 2:40 am and I’m ahead for the trip so far.

Good night Las Vegas.  I’ve missed you.

Want to read more? You can find the next chapters here: two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven!