Tag Archives: Las Vegas Trip Report

Las Vegas Trip Report: Being Oblivious to a Shooting on the Strip

My sunlight alarm clock failed me today.  I slept until 9:00 am, even with the blinds completely open in the desert.

I am still at Fremont hotel, tonight will be my last night here before I move to the Strip.

I got up and got dressed.  Then something tragic happened.  My lucky penny from yesterday fell onto the floor and landed on tails.  Oh hell no.  I took a bunch of pennies out of my wallet and threw those around and picked up the ones that landed on heads.   The floor now has many pennies on tails scattered about and walking in my room means looking out for landmines.

I should also mention my current first world problem.  This is a problem that every person who plays slots, while being comped, faces.  Loose change.  I probably have about thirteen dollars in loose change on me by now.  All those times you cash out at an odd number really add up.  Since I am using cash for nothing, all my meals are comped, I am basically only able to get rid of $.33 every time I buy a Dunkin Donuts large iced coffee.  I cannot keep up with the growing change.  Even with my quarters out of my bag, set aside to play Sigma Derby, my bag is getting heavier and heavier with all this change.

I started my day playing Cleopatra Keno on a machine I have never played on before. All my normal Keno machines near the lobby are full so I had to seek out newer, funner machines.   This one hated being a Keno machine and had no problems letting me know this.  So I switched her to Double Double Bonus video poker and she rewarded me kindly.

quarter twos with kicker video poker fremont casino las vegas

quarter eights fremont casino las vegas

quarter jacks fremont casino las vegas

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I cashed out, grabbed breakfast to go and went to my room to eat.

Next up, I decided to get a head start on my plan to visit every Strip casino.  I agreed ahead of time I could skip SLS, but every other one was a must.  I haven’t been in some of these properties in many years.   I spend so much time just gambling, I thought it would be nice to get out and about and have to keep moving.

I got on the SDX bus and almost didn’t make it to the Strip.  We stopped at Bonneville transit center.  There were security guards on every bus.  I thought at the time, that this had to do with a gunman at Bellagio the night before.

Some guy got on the bus without a pass and the security guards kept telling him to get off.  He would not. This went on for so long that I considered giving up and going back to Fremont Street.  But I didn’t.   I also considered getting off this bus and getting on a Deuce bus instead.  But I didn’t.

This guy kept refusing to budge.  So we sat there and watched it escalate.  Finally someone intervened and tried to hand the guy $5 so he could pay to ride the bus.  Security blocked this and the next thing I know, this little guy took on three large security guards and pretty much won.  Until they pulled out the pepper spray.   It was an amusing viewing of human nature.  All the tourists gasped in horror and ran to the front of the bus.  All the locals grabbed their cell phones and ran to the back to begin filming.

A whole lotta bloodshed later, the guy was on the ground in handcuffs while the three bloodied and exhausted security guards stood there, gasping for breath.   Finally, we were free to go.

Once we hit Caesars, there was an announcement that the Bellagio stop was closed and we would be re-routed.  I still thought this was because of the Bellagio gunman.  We got back on the Strip on Tropicana and I continued down to Mandalay Bay.  I cannot remember the last time I was here.

mandalay bay las vegas

I sit down to play.  My first visit to the Strip on this trip.   Intending to go to every Strip casino.   It was one hell of a bus ride there.  I just want to sit and unwind and play.

I didn’t even get through one cigarette before my money was gone.  Insert a second $20, gone.  Third, gone.  Fuck me, this is how it is going to go.

I am not going to sit here throwing away more money just for the hell of it so I get up and leave, even though I really would prefer to just stay here for awhile.

Next up is Excalibur.  I skipped Luxor because I had a MyVegas buffet to redeem at Excalibur and it was much later than I planned to be here, because of the whole bus debacle.

excalibur las vegas

The new and improved Excalibur brunch buffet is really good.  I am in love with the fact that they have self serve drinks, which include Sobe pomegranate water.  This stuff is soooooo good.
After eating, I stop to play and lose $60 real quick.  I could double back to Luxor, but instead decide I will go to Orleans, then come back to Hooters, Tropicana and hit Luxor then.  But as I was walking to the bus stop, a WAX bus was pulling up.  I took it as a sign and got on it, headed back to Downtown.   I have been gone three hours now and all I have done was hit two casinos, lost more than half a day’s budget and consumed way too much Sobe water.

As I am on the bus, people are talking about the Bellagio gunman and how he escaped on a bus.  Or so I thought.  Since I have not turned on the news once since I have been here, I didn’t yet know that there were two separate incidents in the past 24 hours, both involving men with guns at Bellagio.  One was the gunman that I knew about.  The second one that I didn’t realize happened, was where a man with a gun got on a Deuce bus at the Bellagio stop and shot and killed a person.  Thus began an hours-long standoff with police.

A friend of mine was staying at Cosmopolitan.  The Bellagio bus stop is pretty much right outside the Cosmopolitan entrance. Just a few feet.  Cosmopolitan cleared their floor and sent all the hotel guests back to their rooms.  My friend was sequestered in her room for a bit, with this entire thing happening under her balcony.  Here is a photo she took:

cosmopolitan balcony

That is some scary shit.  This probably started as I was still at Bonneville with the whole security scuffle.  This was also the reason my bus was rerouted.  I had no idea at all that any of this was going on.

Once I was back Downtown, I went gambling.  I walked over to El Cortez and played an old school Buffalo slot machine.  I won $200, no photo.

I walked back to Fremont and again, I had to herd a bunch of bar drinkers away from the Bonus Streak Ultimate X penny machines so I could play.

This wasn’t working for me because I could not take being in the middle of a drunk hangout spot.  So I decided to go to Santa Fe Station. On the way to the bus stop, I took some photos of Fremont Street.

This is I think where the strip club used to be. Now it is a lone food truck.

food truck fremont street las vegas

binions las vegas..

four queens las vegas golden gate las vegasplaza las vegas plaza mural las vegasThe bus ride to Santa Fe Station is about half an hour.  It takes longer to get down the Strip on the Deuce.  My first time here, I had an accidental $852.50 win on video Keno.  So now I want to go here on every trip, obviously.   There was even more incentive when they were still participating in MyVegas and I could get a free meal for traveling here.  But still, I am willing to take a ride.
santa fe station las vegas

My biggest win here was discovering a new drink at Starbucks.  Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato.  Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.  This drink was so delicious that I actually said “This is so delicious” aloud to myself when I took my first sip.

I played around and lost.  I stopped at the gift shop to use my points for free cigarettes.   Then I walked to the bus stop.  And then I checked the bus schedule, which I should have done before leaving the casino.  I have an hour to wait.  I am not going back in there, they will steal all my money.   I did consider going back for another Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato and had to stop myself.

Side note, ordering that drink requires speaking more syllables than I wish to use when speaking to a stranger.

I take the bus back Downtown.  I stop at the Double Double Bonus video poker machine I won on this morning and hit four of a kind nines.  This seems like a good place to stop, as I am up $300 for the day.  So I do.

quarter nines fremont casino las vegas

Good night Fremont Street.  Bonus photo of California that I forgot to include in my last installment.

California neon

 

Find a Penny, Pick It Up and All Day Long You’ll Have Good Luck!

Once again, I went to bed with the blinds open so that the sun was my alarm clock.  I am still at Fremont hotel.  This morning I lingered around my room for awhile to delay my scheduled degeneracy.   I was out by 9:30.

I stopped at the Cleopatra Keno machines near the lobby.  These machines are a mere 43 steps from the room elevators.  Super convenient for me.

I lost $10 before winning $55.  I cashed out with $53.

Breakfast was at Binions today, using comps.  Once  I was done eating, I continued on my quest to play a minimum of $20 in every Downtown casino.  For all the time I spend down here, it sure has been a long time since I have darkened the doors of Golden Nugget and Golden Gate.  Maybe I just don’t like gold?

My first stop though, was Plaza.  I have a free play coupon and I want to win big with it.  The gambling gods denied me my wish.

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Next was Golden Gate.  I haven’t been in here since the renovations.  It looks completely different.   A good blogger would have photos to show you.  So I do not have photos to show you.

I lost playing Cleopatra Keno.  Then I lost playing Buffalo.  Then lost some more playing Cleopatra Keno again.

Up next was Golden Nugget.  I took advantage of being here by stopping at Starbucks for a venti iced green tea latte.  These are so good.  I knew I was going to lose here, but I had to try.  Golden Nugget is very Strip-like in every way, including that it stole my money with the quickness.

I went back to my room for a nap, but I could not sleep.  So I decided to take the free shuttle over to Sam’s Town and use my free play coupons.

I got off the shuttle and instead of immediately entering the casino, I walked to Boulder Highway to stop at the Rebel gas station for cheap cigarettes.   On the ground outside, was a penny on heads.  This must mean my luck is about to change!

Oh hey, look at that!

quarter jacks sams town

OH HEY LOOK AT THAT.

dealt quarter aces sams town

First person to mention the lack of a kicker will accidentally hit max bet on their next time at a slot machine and lose all their money.

I came back to Fremont and went to my room to make out with my winnings.  Then I continued on my quest to visit every Downtown casino.  This is day three of trying to accomplish this.  How on earth am I going to handle my goal of visiting every Strip casino this trip, if I cannot manage to get through all these tiny, clustered places?

As I walked over to Main Street Station, I stopped at Lappert’s for an iced chai latte.   I took some photos of the ice cream flavors for anyone who is interested.

lapperts ice cream flavors at california las vegas lapperts ice cream flavors california las vegasI played in Main Street Station and my penny was still holding strong.

quarter twos main street station video poker las vegas quarter sixes

I left Main Street Station a winner!   I went to play in California and hit $80 on a Buffalo slot machine.  Today is such a great day!

I decided to celebrate my wins not by degenerate gambling, but by getting a massage at Happy Feet at El Cortez.  I love this place.  $20 for an hour long foot massage.   I have never seen anyone else in here, so I am scared they will not last long.  So everyone please, PLEASE, please go here so they stay in business.

I felt so good after my massage.  I sat down and played a Buffalo slot where you play four games at one time.  I was surprised that I was able to last on here without going broke.  I cashed out so many times that I had to keep cashing my TITO tickets because I was out of cash.  I left here up $300.

On my way back to my room at Fremont, I had to “GET OFF MY LAWN” some party goers who were hanging out at the Ultimate X Bonus Streak machines.  They may have cursed me because I could not win a damned thing.

Off to bed I go, up $600 for the day WAHOO!

The Surprise Las Vegas Trip Report

Hi Guys!  So I decided to go to Vegas and not tell anyone.  I figured I could handle acknowledging maybe three people doing a smug “I told you so” about me not going back.  I will also let you know I have already acknowledged four of these comments.  So if you must, feel free.  But I am going to ignore you.

I had some vacation time booked from work.  I was going to go somewhere.  I booked flights to and from Vegas.  Then I got buyer’s remorse and cancelled them within 24 hours.

I kept watching the rates and eventually, booked again.  Then came time to book my rooms.

It started with Boyd being a dick.  If you are a Boyd player, you already know the deal.  If you are not a Boyd player, then let me summarize it for you.  Boyd completely stopped their offers for a tiny bit.  Looking back, we now all know they were just adjusting their comp system so your comped nights could be used at all properties, rather than separate offers for separate properties.  But at the time, we did not know this because there was no communication.  I did however, have my Sapphire reward which is three free nights, immediately after making Sapphire.

My Sapphire reward was good at any Boyd property.  My choices for other nights were to stay at Orleans or pay for a room.  I decided I was never going to stay at Orleans again.  I love that hotel and casino but honestly, I never leave it when I am there. It does not matter what my plans are, I can never leave.  I just sit for hours and go degenerate.  Sometimes I try to leave.  Sometimes I even make it outside.  But when I start walking to the bus stop, I get so annoyed at the lengths it takes to get anywhere that I go back inside.

(Yes, I am aware of the free shuttle, which goes nowhere I would want to go.)

So I decided to book and pay for Four Queens on Hotwire.  You can pick out which one is Four Queen because it is the only three star hotel without a resort fee.  It is usually around $30, which makes it cheaper than paying a resort fee on a comped Strip hotel.

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The last two nights were at the Mirage, from a MyVegas reward.  I had to pay the resort fee, but it evens out because by staying at an MLife property, I was able to use rewards that you can only use when staying at an MLife property.  Which means I got to use two rewards for the Bellagio buffet and $25 free play.

I get six rewards because degenerate.  So I booked a bunch of crap, not sure what I would exactly be using.  It ended up being brunch at Excalibur and breakfast at Mirage.  I also got a free candy bar from Hexx.

I really liked having a short and secret trip booked.  There wasn’t the build up, the insane time spent making an itinerary.  It felt light and care free.

I was armed with my American Casino Guide, but had issues getting my Member Rewards Book from Las Vegas Advisor.  They mailed it to me twice, and the post office ate it twice.  I did not expect them to keep sending me books.  But at the same time, I wanted my book.  I knew I could go pick it up, but I don’t drive and wasn’t really into taking the bus there from Downtown.  Luckily for me, they offered to have it dropped off at my hotel.  This company gets a ton of shit for their lack of customer service, but I have to say that they truly went above and beyond for me and I am so grateful.

I booked a flight that left NYC a bit earlier than normal so I arrived a little bit earlier than normal.  This seemed fair since my trip was going to be really short (for me.)  I actually got to see daylight outside the plane window.

view of daylight from flight to las vegas

view from plane window flight to vegasview from flight to las vegas

I landed in the JetBlue terminal, which McCarran likes to call the International Terminal without any consideration for people flying JetBlue who do not know they are now in the International Terminal since why would they be if they are not flying international?  I did not know where to catch the WAX bus here.  The signage was the opposite of helpful. So I took the shuttle that goes between terminals.  As I was getting off the shuttle at the OG terminal, the WAX bus was pulling in.  Wahoo!

As the bus is about to reach Bonneville Transit Center, I remember that I had downloaded “Luck Be A Lady Tonight” to my MP3 player, to bring me luck in Las Vegas.   I quickly put it on, in hopes that I can get through one full play before reaching my hotel.  I did, which was somehow the first time I had ever heard this song in it’s entirety?   It is supposed to be a light, fun song.  Yet somehow I got mad at it, like who the fuck are you to tell me what a lady does and does not do? Yes, there is something wrong with me.

I get off the bus and check into Four Queens.  I let the woman checking me in know that I would like a smoking room, but if she does not have one, that is totally fine.  When you book through Hotwire, they automatically add your preference as non smoking.  The last time i was here, you may remember I begged and begged for a smoking room, I will take your worst room ever, please.  And they gave me their worst room ever.  This time though, I am only going to be in my room for a few hours so I can live with whatever they give me.

She lets me know she does have a smoking room. YAY.  She hands me my keys and my Las Vegas Advisor that was dropped off.   I go to my room.  I unlock the door and inside is a suite.   SWEET!

four queens las vegas suitefour queens las vegas suite roomfour queens las vegas suite bathroomfou queens las vegas suite makeup areafour queens las vegas suite shower

Of course this is completely wasted on me because GAMBLOR, but it was still pretty cool.

I went outside and crossed the street to Binions.  My plan for this trip was to establish myself at both Binions and Four Queens.  Both properties share an owner, with only Four Queens having hotel rooms. I figured one full day of play at each may get me on their radar.  I have danced on their radar before, but fell completely off it. I’d like to try again.

At Binions, i had $10 free play from my Member Rewards book.  Turned that into $100 on Keno. This would be a very nice first night cash out, go to bed and still have a full budget with an additional $100.  But you know, the whole thing where I planned to give Binions a full play day?  That gave me the green light to lose that hundred, plus a full day’s budget, so I could hopefully get on the radar for a comped $30/night hotel.  Because obviously.

I played around for three hours.  I was up and down and up and down.  This was my biggest up:

dollar jacks binions

Binions has a Motherlode promotion.  You get to swipe up to three times a day.  At 5 points, 40 points and 300 points.   I got three swipes.  The first was for a free gift, that I didn’t even bother asking what it was.  The second was for $10 off their cafe.  This is an excellent prize.  The third was for $50 free slot play.  That was incredibly exciting for me.   I played it on a Buffalo slot machine and lost.  And kept going and lost some more.

I grabbed french fries and a coke from McDonalds and was in my room by midnight.  That was when I realized I did not remember to use my American Casino Guide for double points at Binions, up to 500.  I was not going back out to do that.  So sleep it was.

I ended my first night down $100.  Yes, even with the two big wins.  Because possible comps on a $30/night hotel.  Because degenerate.  I didn’t check my little cheat sheet or else I would have stopped earlier.  200 points gets you a buy one, get one offer.  500 points gets you a full comp. I did 400 points.  Great job.  Idiot.

Las Vegas Christmas Trip: Last Full Day

Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!  Don’t you hate waking up in Las Vegas knowing it is your last full day here?   I woke up at California hotel at 6:00 am and was out by 7:30.

First stop, Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee.  Second stop, the machine that dealt me Aces yesterday.  The screen is messed up and I cannot get it to change over to quarters.  Fuck it, it is my last day.  I will play $.50.

YAY.

fifty cent eights

Then I moved to nickel Ultimate X.  Got some decent hits here, including everyone’s favorite, Aces with a Kicker. Continue reading

ultimate x eights multiplieraces kicker ultimate xI am already up $181 and I haven’t even had breakfast yet.  This is my first lucky streak of this trip and it is my last full day!

I went back to California and had breakfast in their coffee shop.  My lucky streak continued when I got six pieces of toast instead of 4.  What a day!

I played some Double Double Bonus video poker at California, on the machine that likes to deal me quads.  There is a progressive Royal Flush on here that is over $1700.  If I do not hit it, I hope someone else does soon so I can stop feeding it.

I went back to Fremont.  My preferred Ultimate X machine was flashing “Call Attendant” and the fifty cent game was now stuck on Jacks or Better.  No thank you.

I played some SuperTimes Pay.   She was nice to me.  Although between you and me, she could have been nicer.

stp aces

Back to California to use my STP winnings to try for that $1700+ Royal.  Nope.

I went up to my room to take a nap. I had a dream that I won a ton of money and got it in cash.  When I got home, I found out I had all fake bills.  Can you imagine?  That was the first time I woke up from a big win dream, glad it was just a dream.

I went back out and played all over Fremont Street.  Every machine in every casino hates me.  I went to The D to use all the quarters I have collected during this trip on Sigma Derby.  I am losing, as I should be because I am in fact, a loser.  I am ready to play to what is going to be my last game.  And up comes a combo with 200-1 odds.  I have three quarters in the game.  I then take the lucky quarter out of my bra, that has lived there since the first night of my trip and add it.  If this combo hits, I win $200.

Did it hit?

NO OF COURSE IT DIDN’T HIT.  I just told you I am a loser.  Sigh.

Somehow it is 11:00 pm.  I stop for dinner at Binions and go over my choices here.

I originally booked a flight home at 7:00 am tomorrow.  I did this because it was super cheap.   Cancelling it would cost more than the flight.  So when I saw a very cheap flight leaving at midnight, I decided I would book a second flight.  So now I can either continue gambling and probably have to catch the 7:00 am flight because I am broke.  Or I could go to bed and spend the day in Vegas.

Find out which one I chose in the next installment…

Las Vegas Christmas Trip Report: Returning Downtown to Fremont Street

Despite how insanely comfortable my bed was here at Green Valley Ranch, I was wide awake at 4:00 am.  Let’s…go gamble?

I stop for coffee at The Grand Cafe.  Meaning I ordered coffee, realized I didn’t put any cash in my wallet, and had to walk away to go back to my room which is a million miles away.  Halfway there I realized hurr durr, I own both credit cards AND I have comps on my Stations card.  I get that taken care of, sit down at a machine and HURR DURR HI I HAVE NO CASH ON ME.

Back to the room, back to the casino.

I decide to play Buffalo.  I can never say enough how much I love these games.  I am playing one of the ones with the super sized screen.  I get one bonus symbol, then a second, then a guy walks by and smacks my machine yelling “GET IT!  GET IT!  GET IT!” and I do!  And I win zero!  Oh.

I keep playing and get another bonus.  This time I win $118.  WOO!

I go back up to my room, it is only 5:30.  I pack my stuff and lay down for an hour.  Then it is back out for breakfast.  I get a buffet, free from MyVegas.  My goal is to catch the 9:00 shuttle to the airport, so I can catch the WAX bus to downtown.  I am moving to my last hotel of this trip today, California.  I am very anxious to get down there because I want to be there NOW.

Let me tell you guys something.  I do not know how I got this lucky.  But my shuttle from Green Valley Ranch pulled into Zero Level at the airport, just as the WAX was pulling up.  I was in my room at California by 10:00.  That is right.  I left Green Valley Ranch on a shuttle at 9:00 am, took a bus downtown and was checked in, and inside my room, only one hour later.  It was a Christmas-Eve-Eve miracle.

California has remodeled a bunch of their rooms, but I am given an old one.  I don’t care because I love this hotel and would happily accept any room here.  Except that one where the roof leaked onto my bed and soaked it.

On my way out, I stop to rub Buddha’s belly. I tell him all about how I was in his birth country earlier this year.  He just laughed at me.

california hotel vegas buddha

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I got coffee at Dunkin Donuts and then went nutso in Fremont.  I am going to play EVERY MACHINE IN THIS CASINO.

Dealt Aces:

dealt aces

I came back to California and played quarter Double Double Bonus video poker.  I hit nines.

california ninesThen I try the new version of Lobstermania.  This was my mother’s favorite slot machine and I feel obligated to play it.  This machine is pissing me off.  How can you have three full rows of the same symbol and it is not a win?  I am becoming one of those psychopaths you see on slot machines that yell at them.  I keep giving it the finger. I am wondering if security is going to come and escort me out.  NEENER NEENER JOKE’S ON YOU. I LIVE HERE.

Finally I break away from the machine.  I feel my sanity coming back.  I turn around and give the machine the finger one last time and start playing a Buffalo slot machine.  I turn a $20 into $40 and set off to eat lunch at the California’s Courtyard Cafe.

I get an omelette and some more coffee because I clearly need the caffeine.  I take some notes, and pull out my phone to write the time.  It is only 12:43.   I am not sure why time is moving to unbelievably slow today.  But this is not a complaint.

I went upstairs to take a nap.  Then I woke up and decided to take the bus to Cosmopolitan to get that $15 free play they emailed me about.  When I got there, the free play would not work.  I went to the player’s club and was told that I was using a room key and not a slot card.  Which was really, REALLY weird since it was the same card I used the other day to generate the free play.  So my information is still on there from a year (two years?) ago.

I lost the $15 free play and another $60.  Hint: This is why casinos offer you free play. They know you will lose more cash.

On the way back to my hotel, I noticed that Fremont Santa is now charging for photos. What a fucking rip off.

fremont santa

I headed back to California and played a bit before bed.  I got dealt Jacks, which is the second time today I got a dealt quad.

california dealt jacks

Time for bed, this was my room view at night:

california hotel room view
Gambling Day: + $200
Gambling Trip: + $170
Miscellaneous: (water, bus pass, Dunkin Donuts, tips) $22.36
Comps used: California room (not sure how much this would have cost, $40-40-ish?), $10 California dining credit that came with my offer, $15 free play Cosmopolitan
Coupons: Nope.
Freebies: Green Valley Ranch buffet from MyVegas = $7.99 + tax

Today’s itinerary:

Friday, December 23, 2016
Breakfast:  Green Valley Ranch 8-11 MyVegas
Check into California
El Cortez ATM promo 5% back in free play
Lunch:
Dinner:
 
 California dining credit with offer
Downtown Grand 5x / 500 points = pull tab
Fitzgeralds $5 free play for every 50 points ACG/LVA

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!

Continue reading

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