Las Vegas Trip Report: March 24, 2002 – Day One of Six – The One Where I Hate the MTA

Note:  This is an older Las Vegas trip report that was written back in 2002.  Most of this information is now outdated and a lot of what is mentioned no longer exists.  

Sunday, March 24, 2002 – Day One of Six

This trip was a Christmas present for my mother, who has never seen Las Vegas and has always wanted to. I covered all expenses, including her gambling budget.

This trip was abnormal for me because my mother has Cancer. She cannot go for hours and hours and hours like I am accustomed to doing. I had to adjust so we could spend a lot of time in the hotel room for her to rest. I absolutely did not mind doing this for her. I just want to warn you that if you are reading this looking for tales of wild debauchery, there will be none.

The day before we leave, I have to go to Long Island from Brooklyn to collect my mother for her trip to Las Vegas! I leave my apartment and walk to the subway. It’s only running to Coney Island. I need to go in the other direction. YOU SON OF A BITCH.

I end up missing my train to Long Island. I now have to wait two hours. I am livid.

After an hour and 45 minutes, they announce that there was a fatality on the Babylon line and now you have to take a shuttle bus. Die everyone die. Oh wait…….too late……….

Anyway, my sister agrees to pick me up in Brentwood, which is on a completely different train line. I should have done that TWO HOURS AGO.

I collect my mother and my sister drops us back off at a train station and back to Brooklyn we go!

The next morning, we arrive at the airport two hours early, as normal. But what was not normal is that we had just enough time to check our bags, grab a coffee and board the plane. I’m used to sitting around for hours when I arrive that early. No more.

We flew on National Airlilnes. We left 45 minutes late and arrived over an hour late. By the time the plane landed, we were just so out of it.

We took the Las Vegas Limo shuttle to the Barbary Coast. We were told our room wouldn’t be ready for two hours. Fine with us – we are starving.

It is Sunday. Most buffets are doing Champagne Brunch today. I am not a champagne drinker and my mother can’t have any alcohol. But we want a buffet because hey – it’s Las Vegas and we want a buffet. So we go to the Monte Carlo which has a nice priced Sunday brunch buffet. We eat. We then have one more hour to kill before our room is ready. Of course, we head to the slots.

I played a slot named Easy Street and lost about $50. My mother played nickel Bingo. I don’t know what she lost or won but I bet she lost a lot. Her gambling experience is limited to going to Atlantic City once in her life. It took her a little while to figure out how to work the machine.

I caught her playing one lousy credit at a time on a nickel machine. She would also hit the max credits button and not understand why she lost her money so fast. I was trying to show her how to play but she was so impatient that she just kept pushing random buttons and losing all her money. I finally grew impatient with her (like mother, like daughter) and left her alone. I came back three minutes later to find some man hitting on my mother as she was playing. That must be a signal – time to go check into the hotel!

We get back to the Barbary Coast. They have no double rooms available until tomorrow. What do you mean you have no double rooms available?!? We were told our double room would be available in two hours.

By now we are really cranky, and very tired. My mother is overdue on her pain medication, which means she is even crankier than I am and even more tied. We want to check into the room. We got the whole “a reservation is not a guarantee” speech which did not answer the “WHY DID YOU TELL US TWO HOURS!??!?!?” question.

We finally go to our room,which features one bed. We had to call housekeeping three times for a rollaway bed. It arrives and we pass out cold.

Here are pictures of the room view.

[These are the only pictures I can find of this trip.  This was before the days of digital cameras or camera phones.  I did not even own a cell phone back in 2002]

Note that the Bellagio Spa Tower did not exist yet, and you can still see Jockey Club.

View of Eiffel Tower Las Vegas from Barbary Coast window View of Bellagio and Ballys sign from Barbary Coast Las Vegas

We set the alarm to wake up at six, giving us plenty of time to get dressed and get to Treasure Island in time for our 8:00 dinner reservation at Treasure Island’s Buccaneer Bay restaurant.  Dinner is a freebie, thanks to Wagerworks.

[2014 called. It wants you to know that back in the day old school, there was an online slot game called Wagerworks. You would play for free and get real life comps. If you are a Las Vegas addict in current times, you probably play MyVegas on Facebook. It was very similar to that in that you got free stuff for FREE from MGM Properties for playing free online games]

The alarm goes off and I am EXHAUSTED. I take a shower and get dressed. From our window we have a perfect view of the Bellagio fountains. But I can’t stop wondering – why is it light outside? I had checked the weather website before we left for sunset times, hoping to have our reservations for Top of the World restaurant later in the week during sunset. Sunset was before 6:00 this week. But we had set our alarm for 6:00, I had taken a shower, blow dried my hair, gotten dressed and it was still light outside? I do a time check. The alarm was not set for 6:00 – it was set for 4:00. No wonder we were so exhausted after a three hour nap. We only slept for one hour. Oh well, time to go and gamble.

We head to Treasure Island. I instantly win $50 on a nickel Fortune Cookie slot machine. This is looking good.

We go to eat. We are not fancy people and I honestly think this was the first time either of us was in a nice restaurant. I am dead serious here. I have never had anyone pull out my chair for me and place my napkin on my lap for me.

We were a little disoriented from the traveling and had no idea when to present the Wagerworks coupon. Our waiter was extremely nice to us about this. We had a window seat and got to see the Pirate Show perfectly. However, you can’t hear it that well from inside the restaurant.

Dinner was Filet Mignon and a shared chocolate soufflé. Neither of us had ever had a chocolate soufflé, or any soufflé for that matter. Stupid little things like this were exciting for us.

After eating, we went back to the casino and lost some more money.

We were back in bed by 11. Exhausted.

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