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Las Vegas Trip Report: the Sky Is Blue but There Is a Black Cloud Hanging Over Me

I was asleep at Planet Hollywood when I am awoken by this loud as all fuck noise.  At first I think it is my phone.  I jump out of bed to make it stop, why is it so fucking LOUD.  But it isn’t stopping.  I turn on the light and realize it is the fire alarm.  It is 3:00 am and the fire alarm is going off, louder than anything that was ever loud before it.  It is so loud.  SO. FUCKING. LOUD.

I don’t know what to do.  Obviously you are supposed to do something, like leave your room.  But I don’t want to.  I am comfy in my jam jams and just want my heart to stop palpitating.  The alarm is not stopping.  There are no announcements.  I know to not call the front desk, I will be one of a million.  I peek out the peep hole on my door and there is nothing out there.  Fuck I guess I will get dressed and go downstairs.

As I am putting my shoes on, it stops.  Then comes the announcement that it was a false alarm.  Then that announcement begins repeating a million fucking times.  Holy shit.  I came to Vegas to win a million dollars but the real million dollar win will be me inventing a system for hotels where their guests can push a button to acknowledge they heard the first 75 announcements that it was a false alarm.  Then it can fucking STOP IT ALREADY.

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There is no way in hell I am going to fall back asleep so I go outside.  I get Starbucks and cross the road to Cosmopolitan.  Worst mistake ever.  Cosmopolitan loved me at one point.  They sent me a teaser offer.  But I blew it.  It was a bad trip and I could not afford to gamble enough to keep them sending me offers.  But I for some reason, keep chasing them.  I don’t know why I do this.  I don’t normally do this.  But with Cosmo, I do.  And I lose way beyond what I am allowed to.  Then I leave knowing I could have paid for two nights with what I just lost in a few hours.

I played a fuckton of old school Buffalo and never hit a bonus, which is insane.  I walked back to Planet Hollywood, hanging my head in shame.

At Planet Hollywood, I was going to play $20.  I did not have my card.  I played $20 anyway and ended up there for over an hour on one $20 bill.   Not getting any points for it.  Because asshole.

I went up to my room to grab my Las Vegas Advisor to use my $10 off coupon for a breakfast buffet at Planet Hollywood.  This is my absolute favorite buffet in all of Las Vegas.  Or at least it was.  Until today.   I didn’t realize it would be holiday brunch, although I should have realized it.  So it was more expensive than usual.

Drinks are now self serve, which I like.  No waiting for someone to bring you something.  The orange juice needed to be changed out, it was pouring something closer to Tang from the two dispensers I tried.  I didn’t have a spoon for my coffee so I had to get back up and get that.  The scrambled eggs were raw.

I am having a terrible morning and now my favorite place to eat has forsaken me as well.  Sigh.

I go to the room and say fuck it, I am out of here.   I attempt to shower before packing and in my shower is a penny on tails.  ARE. YOU. FUCKING. KIDDING. ME.

I leave without showering, planning to do so at California.  When I go outside, the sun burns my retinas.  But that beautiful blue sky…

las vegas strip arialas vegas strip cosmopolitan

I take the Deuce to Oakey, and get off to buy cheaper cigarettes at 7-11.  Then I wait for the Deuce again, which never comes.   Then when it finally does, the driver does not stop.

A man comes crossing the street yelling to me “Can I ask you a question?”  It is 110 degrees outside, he has on a sweater and is clearly on something.  I say “yes” just because I obviously don’t have a choice so why anger him?  He thanks me profusely, tells me most people are afraid of him because he looks like a methamphetamine addict.  Then he giggles “Or a serial killer” and laughs even harder.  Dear kind sir:  If you are a serial killer, just please, take me now.  Anything that cuts this conversation short, I am down for it.

He wanted bus directions.  Thankfully not for anywhere the Deuce goes.  I point him to where he needs to go.  He thanks me and actually walks away.  Had my luck turned?

Finally another Deuce comes.  And stops.   I get to California and am told I cannot check in because it is too early.  Of course.  I have checked into this hotel early a million times. Including at 6:00 am when I wasn’t even trying to.  I was trying to check my luggage but the Bell Desk was closed.  So I got checked in instead.

But of course today, I cannot check in. FINE.

I sit in the lobby a bit and use their internet to play MyVegas on my phone for a little while.  Then I try for the nickel Keno progressives.  Nada.  Finally I get a room.

I got one of them there new, fancy rooms.  It looks nicer.  The bed doesn’t seem new though.  I am probably the only person who misses the old air conditioning system.  You used to be able to put a luggage rack on top of it and let the air blow up to dry your sink washed clothes.  Now there’s a fancy schmancy air conditioning vent. Oh well.

california hotel las vegas remodeled roomcalifornia hotel las vegas room remodeledcalifornia hotel las vegas remodeled bathroomcalifornia hotel las vegas remodeled shower

At least my room view luck is improving?

california hotel vegas room view

california hotel las vegas room view

I shower and go right to bed.  It is 2:00.

I woke up at 5:00.  According to my notes, I attempted to go to the Strip but it was too hot.  Why on Earth would I want to go to the Strip when I am on such a losing streak?!  The Binions thermometer said it was 117.  I don’t think it was correct, but it does feel like 2837483 degrees outside.

I play around Binions.   I cannot seem to get to 40 points for the second tier of the Motherlode promotion.  Everything I touch turns to broke.  I did get one spin for 5 points and won $5 free play.  And then I lost $5 free play.

I walked over to Main Street Station and played some slots on the second floor at California.  They hated me just as much as the slots on the first floor of California.  I remembered I had $10 free play with my room offer. I went to get that loaded and played it on a Buffalo slot machine. An $80 win later, I am finally cashing out for cash for the first time today.

I got dinner to go at Triple 7 Brew Pub.   I have $10 dining credit with my offer so I charged it to my room.  Then I went to my room and cried.  I mean slept.  After crying.

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sky is blue

Another Surprise Trip to Las Vegas? Sure, Why Not?

Or rather, what about another two surprise trips to Las Vegas?

Yes, I know.  “I thought you were never going to Vegas again neener neener I told you so…”

My job decided last minute that we would be getting five days off for Fourth of July.  I am not sure if you have ever tried to book a last minute trip on a major holiday weekend.  Well I now have and I will tell you, it is expensive to book last minute.  Las Vegas was the cheapest option even with inflated airfare and gambling budget.  Then again in August, I was reminded I had two free days to use.  These days needed to be used in August.  Again, while not a major holiday, apparently planning any summer travel last minute is really expensive.

So yes, if I find out last minute I have extended time off work, and that time is not long enough to do things like I would like to, such as go to Turkmenistan, then I will be boring and predictable and go to Vegas.

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Booking a room for the first trip was a bit annoying to say the least.  Boyd offers are back, but they start July 1.  I was going to be there either June 29 or June 30.  Rates everywhere for Friday, June 30 were insane.  Because of the holiday weekend.  The only comp I could get for July 1 was at Boyd.

I found I could get a MyVegas reward for June 29.  So I booked New York, New York as I had a great feeling about this place.  It was my favorite stop on my Strip crawl earlier this year.  I won $600 and got a massage.

I was able to book Planet Hollywood for Friday.  Comp + resort fee (fuck you.)  I have actually never stayed here.  I stayed at Aladdin, but never Planet Hollywood.  I considered cancelling New York, New York to save a move and spend both nights at Planet Hollywood, but eh, screw it.

Next three nights were celebrating the return of Boyd comps with a stay at California.  When I booked, I chose a newly renovated room.

Final night was going to be at Linq.  I have never stayed here as Linq.  Probably a dozen times as Imperial Palace, I think maybe once as The Quad (that is a stupid name) but never since the renovations.

These room moves were choppy and could have been planned better had I been given more than one week’s notice about my trip.  But if my biggest problem is that my room  moves in Vegas are awkwardly scheduled, I am a lucky person.

I left my job early and went to the airport.  Outside security, I saw a penny on tails.  Right past security, I saw a penny on heads.  I picked up the latter and put it in my bra.

I board my flight.  A loud woman comes on afterwards and I hear her asking the woman behind me “Who is sitting here?”  The woman behind me says “I don’t know.”  Loud Woman then begins to talk about how she isn’t sure where she wants to sit.  She is in an aisle seat and cannot decide if she wants the left or right one.  She wants to be next to someone interesting.  You don’t get to choose, you sit in your assigned seat.  The woman behind me tells her “Well my mother died today, so I booked an hour ago and I picked this seat because the middle one was empty.”  Loud Woman offered her condolences and then sat on the other side, quietly.

The flight went on forever.  When we were landing, I had that thing that happens often, where it feels like my forehead is being injected with very long needles. I don’t know what causes it, I  just know it huuurrrrrrrrts.

We land in Terminal 3.  Just like my trip back in March, I could not find the bus stop.  Screw it, I’ll take a cab and we can stop for cheap cigarettes.   I do and we do.  The trip to New York, New York, including the stop and a tip, came to $27.

At check in, I am asked if I want a high floor or low floor. High floor please.  I get a room on the sixth floor. Why even bother asking?

My view:

new york new york las vegas room view

And the room:

new york new york las vegas bednew york new york las vegas room

I stop for Starbucks and then go to the Buffalo slot machine that gave me $600 back in March.  Of course, two idiots are sitting at my machine and the one next to it.  Each playing one penny at a time.  To get cocktail service.  They have a million empty bottles and a whole lot of limes all over the machines.  Like ON the buttons.  So not only are you cockblocking me from my machine, you are also both fucking slobs.  And the cocktail waitress keeps serving them.

I played next to them for a bit.  Then I just get agitated and decide it is stupid to throw money into a machine I do not want to play, just to keep my eyes on the one I do want to play.  So I grab a slice of pizza for $6.44 and head to bed, beyond annoyed.

This is what a SIX DOLLARS AND FORTY FOUR CENTS slice of pizza looks like.

new york new york pizza

Las Vegas Trip Report: Last Day of a Winning Trip.

I wake up at Mirage this morning, and I don’t want to go home.  I really don’t.  I sit and check flights, considering staying an extra day, like I did back in December.  In the end, I agree to go home.  But I am not happy about it.

I am so exhausted from my insistence of visiting every Strip casino, and doing it all in two days.   I would love to just stay in this bed for a few more hours, but not allowed.

I got dressed and walked over to Bellagio to use a free MyVegas buffet reward.  For anyone who says  “How hard is it to mess up breakfast?” I present to you a tray of salmonella.

salmonella bellagio buffet las vegas

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No, that is not cheese.

I lose $40 here on Cleopatra Keno.  Cross the street to Planet Hollywood and cashed out even on Cleopatra Keno. Over to Paris where I redeem a free candy bar at Hexx, via MyVegas of course.  These are your choices for this reward:
free hexx candy bar las vegasIn Paris, I lost $40.  Not to be outdone by her fancy sister, Ballys stole $140 from  me.  Dammit. Maybe I did make the right decision to not extend my trip.

One last loss through Mirage.  On the Buffalo machine that gave me my huge win.  I guess I will not be visiting the High Limit area on this trip.

chihuly mirage high limit las vegas chihuly mirage las vegas high limit slots

I have a couple of hours to kill before going to the airport. I was not sure what I was going to do.  But I decided to do something I have never done on my last day.   Get a massage.

I called Happy Feet at El Cortez and made an appointment.  I took a cab to Four Queens and checked my bag.  I was really short on time to make my appointment so I could only go semi-degenerate.

Walked over to El Cortez and got an hour long foot massage.  This was the best idea I have ever had.  It curbed the last day desperate attempt to win a bazillion dollars.  And when I was done, I was short on time.  But not short enough that I had to forfeit one last round of Buffalo.  I love you Buffalo.

buffalo win four queens buffalo win second four queens las vegas

I left Las Vegas with $2400.  This sounds amazing.   But in all fairness, I was here for seven days.  Which means my budget at $200/day is $1400 total (Thanks to Patricia for correcting my original figure of $2400!)  So I did bring home my entire budget, plus an extra $1000 WOO!

When I got to the airport, I checked my email and saw that Cosmopolitan had sent me free play via email.  They did this back in December too.  If I had caught it before I left, I would have gone there instead of Downtown for my massage / Buffalo combo.  I am kind of glad I didn’t.  But it will forever haunt me wondering what would have happened if I did.  That’s the thing about Las Vegas.  You never know what will happen.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Visiting Strip Casinos

When we last left off, I had just had my biggest win of any Vegas trip.  I went to my room for a break.  But not for long because I have a ticket for Mystere, right next door at Treasure Island.  I took some pretty photos on my walk over.

las vegas strip from miragemirage dolphin fountains las vegaswynn palazzo las vegastreasure island las vegas sign

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I stopped to play some Buffalo and I guess today is OH HEY BUFFALO DAY YAY.
treasure island buffalo winI cashed that baby out and went to see Mystere again.  I absolutely love this show.

Afterwards, I was starving.  My itinerary said to go to Ellis Island for dinner.  My common sense said to continue working on my goal of playing in every casino on the Strip.  My gambling addiction said to go Downtown and gamble.   So Downtown we went!  While walking to the bus, I saw these fountains at Wynn I had never seen before.  Are they new or am I just oblivious?
wynn las vegas fountainAlso, can we talk about how much I love the camera on my new phone?  Samsung Galaxy S7.
treasure island las vegas nightI went to Binions and stopped to a burger.  While doing so, I somehow calmed the fuck down and decided to follow my common sense side and go back to the Strip to continue on visiting every casino.

First stop:  Stratosphere!
stratosphere las vegas

I didn’t venture very far into the casino because I found a Buffalo slot machine and played that.  I cashed out even after a bonus.  I went back outside and took the bus to Circus Circus.

circus circus hotel las vegas circus circus las vegascircus circus casino entrance

I guess Circus Circus either doesn’t take MLife cards, they still have their own slot club.  I feel like I had this information in the back of my head, but I totally forgot about it.  So I didn’t use a card here, which I wish I would have since I did end up playing for a long time on a Buffalo machine that kept bringing me back up to $20 every time I got down.

Then I switched machines and hit a bonus for $280.  Not sure why I do not have a photo of this?

I cashed out and stopped in the restroom before leaving.  As I was in the stall, I hear two women going at it.  By “it” I mean screaming about wanting to fuck each other up over some guy.  I am sitting there waiting for it to go beyond screaming at each other and for fists to start flying.  This is going on FOREVER and I say fuck it, I can’t spend the rest of my night in this stall.  I get out and discover it is ONE crazy lady fighting with herself.  She is doing both “parts” of the arguing, with herself, in the mirror.  Okay great.

Next up is Slots a Fun.

slots a fun las vegas casino entrance

To say this place is depressing is an under statement.  It is mostly empty, most of the machines have broken bill acceptors.  The one machine I could find to take my money had broken buttons so I had to touch the screen to hold cards.  I wasn’t planning on staying long but I felt bad for the poor cocktail waitress working in a graveyard so I ordered a soda from her.

On my way out, I saw security chase a family out from their bowling area because they had little kids.  You need to be 21 to be inside the casino.   Ah duh.

I would recommend that if you are in Vegas with friends and want to hang out with just your friends, this might be the place for it.  You would have it all to yourself.

slots a fun las vegas beer pongslots a fun las vegas

There was a woman vomiting into a trash can to the right of me as I took these photos.

My next stop was Encore.

encore las vegas

Obligatory photo of the Resorts World sign.

resorts world las vegas

And the butterfly statue.

encore las vegas butterflies

I played Buffalo slots here, of course.  I was on my third $20 when I hit a bonus for $50 and decided that was my cue to go.   I probably would have stayed longer, but I have places to go and money to lose.  As I was cashing out, I saw a penny on heads on the ground. I picked that up.  I also heard a THUMP and realized I had left my brand-new-just-purchased-at-Walgreens Diet Pepsi at my machine and that was the sound of someone throwing it out.

Obviously I rescued it because I am at fancy Encore and it is MY Diet Pepsi dammit.

I walked between Encore and Wynn and accidentally found the Popeye statue.  I would tell you what this is about, except I have no idea.

popeye statue wynn las vegas

While trying to find a machine to play, I found a Wynn Megabucks machine and figured this would be my only opportunity to win the Megabucks.  I allow myself to put a $100 through.  Normally a $100 bill would be too rich for my blood, but I won $1800 today so why not?

wynn megabucks machine las vegas

I didn’t win the Megabucks.

encore las vegas flowers

Next stop is Palazzo.  I lost here real quick and moved onto my least favorite place, The Venetian.  This place reeks so bad.

venetian rialto bridge las vegas

I stopped at Walgreens again to get some more drinks, and to get rid of some change.  My purchase came to $7.99 and I got mad and told the cashier I was giving him 99 cents in change.  He was fine with it and I unloaded a fuckton of nickels on him.

In the Venetian, I actually won $100 on a Cleopatra Keno.   Some machines here have USB ports to charge your phones.

venetian las vegas plug and play machines

There were also these signs on the TITO cash out/ATM machines.  I wonder how many issues they had with this that they had to put signs up.  How degenerate do you have to be to try and take a cash advance on your BUSINESS credit card?!

venetian las vegas business cards

Next up was Casino Royale.

casino royale las vegas lit up night

I was too lazy to get a card here so I just lost quick and left.

I wanted to continue but I stopped myself from pulling an all nighter and just gambling until the morning came.  I kind of wish I had kept going.

Back at Mirage, I was happy to give back $200 of my winnings before going to bed.

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

 

Las Vegas: Hopping Around Between MyVegas Rewards

The beds at Red Rock are so comfortable.  I had my longest night’s sleep here.  I could have slept many more hours, but I need to eat and skedaddle as I have plans today.

First stop, Player’s Club to get my free MyVegas buffet loaded.  The line for the buffet was so long.  It is every time I come here.  It honestly is no wonder they discontinued their relationship with MyVegas.  Quite frankly, they don’t need it.

I play around a bit but I am short on time as I need to be on the 11:00 shuttle.  When I originally planned this trip, I was going to take the airport shuttle to the airport, and switch over to the Green Valley Ranch airport shuttle, as I am staying there tonight. However this changed slightly when I decided to get my hair done.  I am overdue for a Keratin treatment and my roots are insanely imitating what they looked like back in the 80’s.

Since I have been traveling so much, I didn’t have time to get this done before I left home.  I don’t really have time to get it done when I get back home.  So why not get it done in Vegas?  I will either be curbing a gambling loss, or preserving a win by being out of a casino for a few hours.  Right?

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I had booked a Groupon for a place that was super conveniently located at the transfer point between the 201 bus and the 111, which is the bus that goes directly to Green Valley Ranch.

I step outside to get the shuttle and it is pouring rain.  This is normally lucky for me, but not today.  Not when I am getting a Keratin treatment.  You cannot get your hair wet for 72 hours after.

I make it to my hair appointment, completely soaked.  I get Keratin treatments every three months or so, to have perfectly straight hair. I am a Groupon superfan and am always going to different places to take advantage of the discount.   It needs to be said that this is the best place I have ever gotten it done.  I have never gotten a bad treatment, I have never had results come out different.  But what made this the best place ever was that instead of just sitting in a chair for two hours, Annette put on a movie for me to watch.  The most simplistic touch made the time fly by.  I cannot recommend this place enough.  She did a great job, she was the nicest woman and the time flew by.  If you are ever going to get a Keratin treatment in Vegas, I cannot recommend Annette enough.  You can contact her at: 1.702.542.3949.

When I was done, it was still pouring rain outside.  Annette suggested I take an Uber, I suggested no.  She helped me get my hair into a plastic shower cap to prevent it from getting wet.

I venture outside with a plastic shower cap on, and my hoodie over it.  You can still see the shower cap on my forehead but honestly, I don’t give a shit.  What is going to happen when complete strangers see me in a shower cap in public?  If anything, it will discourage strangers from talking to me, right?

WRONG.

I make my way to the 111 bus stop.  There is a guy there, looks to be in his mid-late 20’s.   He is doing something on his phone.  Then he turns to me and starts telling me he doesn’t know what to do about his girlfriend.  She doesn’t trust him, always wants to know where he is.  I give some sort of response like “sucks dude”, thinking he would spot my magical “DON’T TALK TO ME” shower cap.  But maybe because it was clear, he didn’t spot it and kept talking.

The bus is never coming, this I know.  It is just not possible that a bus is ever going to show up on a day where it is pouring rain in the desert, on a day when I cannot get my head wet, on a day when any stranger is talking to me, on a day when a stranger is talking to me when I have a shower cap on in public.

Since we are going to be there awhile, I start to give him real advice.  You know, if she is acting like this, it is because she has no self esteem. She is going to keep accusing you of cheating and she is going to keep on telling you that you are going to leave her.  And when you decide you have had enough of the accusations, you ARE going to leave.  Then she is going to yell “I TOLD YOU SO” behind you.  Without ever realizing people don’t leave because she isn’t good enough, people leave because she keeps accusing them of wanting to leave.

She needs to work on her own issues, because those are what is causing this rift.  It is up to you how deep into that  you want to go.  She is going to take any suggesting that she needs to work on herself, as proof that you don’t care about her.  She will feel like you are saying she isn’t good enough and needs to change.  Those are HER issues, not yours.

How can you have a relationship with a person when all they do is push and push?  She is going to continue this self destructive behavior.  It is going to grow and grow and every person who dates her after you, is going to have escalated the pattern.  Do you really want to live your life like this?  Do I really want to be sitting at a bus stop in the rain, wearing a shower cap on my head, giving you this advice?

Then comes more life’s problems.  This guy’s family is constantly criticizing him for how he spends his money, how he smokes weed, etc.  But he has a job and supports himself so why do they care?  Well Guy, consider maybe not having such a close relationship with these people.  They can only know about you, what you let them know about you.  You do not need to share every detail of your life with your family.  For your own sake, cut them back a little bit.  If they are criticizing you for stuff, don’t let them know about that stuff.

Is that a bus?  No?  FUCK.

He listens to me and then starts having some sort of fit.  Physical fit.  He walks away as his body begins jerking around seemingly uncontrollably. NOW the bus is coming.  I almost want to yell “The bus is coming!” so he doesn’t miss it, as he is pretty far away now.  I really don’t because come on now.

I get on the bus. close my eyes, and “wake up” at Green Valley Ranch.

It is still raining, I am still wearing my shower cap.

I have visited this property a few times, but this is my first time staying here.  The layout is kind of odd.  Most casino hotels have the hotel built on top of the casino.  Green Valley Ranch has the hotel built on the same level as the casino, but separated from the casino. What this basically means is TOO LONG TO WALK.

It took me awhile to figure out where the hell the hotel check in is.  As I am finally approaching it, I reach under my hood and pull off my shower cap and discard it in a trash can.

green valley ranch hotel reception

At check in, the guy confirms bed type and smoking preference. I tell him I absolutely do not care about bed type, but I would like a smoking room.  He intently stares down, typing on his keyboard, looks a bit flustered and excuses himself.  I am left standing there thinking I will now have to beg for a smoking room. Third hotel in a row!  Can Degenerate Gambler be declared as some sort of mental handicap that requires me to have a smoking room so that I do not lose all my money smoking a cigarette?

The guy comes back and tells me that all their smoking rooms are “out of service” but he got the okay to upgrade me to a balcony suite, so I can smoke outside.  Sweet!  But it is raining and I cannot get my hair wet and I threw out my shower cap.

I am in room 2021.  I step off the elevator and see this helpful sign.  Oh my room should be….um?   I look at the room number again.  Look at the sign again.  Why does this sign not have 2021?

room sign

I take a gamble and walk towards the left and find my room.  This is a really nice room.  If it were not raining, I would love to sit out on my balcony.

green valley ranch balcony green valley ranch pool view rain green valley ranch las vegas henderson green valley ranch balcony view rain

I drop my stuff off and head out.   I am on the second floor, and so is the casino.  I just have to walk to the end of the hallway and enter another hallway through this door.  At the end of THAT hallway is the casino.

green valley ranch casino entrancegreen valley ranch henderson las vegas

My first stop is Starbucks.  It is literally located in the absolute furthest place it could be from my room.  I get a Venti Peppermint Mocha and start to gamble. It has been several hours and I am fiending to go.

I start at Ultimate X video poker and get this baby:

ultimate x fours

 

Followed up by every degenerate video pokers player’s dream.  It’s legal name is “Multi Strike Super Times Pay” but we all know it by it’s street name, which is Crack.  This game is so hard to find.  As a matter of fact, I have only seen it one other time in my life, at the El Cortez.  I am stoked as all hell to be playing it again.

multi strike super times pay

If you are not a video poker player, you are probably skipping this paragraph but I am going to keep typing anyway.  The idea of this game is that there are four hands.  If you win, you move up a line.   Each line has a multiplier.  So you want to (a) get to the top line and (b) have a big win up there.

I get this son of a bitch on the top line. Four to the Royal.  With an 8x multiplier. If that Queen had been a Jack of Diamonds, I would have won $1600. HATE.

super times pay multi strike four to royal

I cash out and move on.

I was all over this casino looking for the Cleopatra Keno I had played on my last trip here.  I could not find it.  I then decide to find the entrance I took last time, thinking maybe that would help me getting a better grasp of where to look.  Still nothing.   I got distracted by a Buffalo slot machine and played that for awhile. I love this game and all the versions.

Then some video poker where I had a win:
green valley ranch quarter foursSoon I am out of cash and starving.  I went to The Grand Cafe for dinner.  It came to $12.98 and I comped it.  Then back to my room.  It has finally stopped raining but since my balcony does not have anything over it, the furniture was completely soaked through.  Oh well…

Gambling Day: + $80
Gambling Trip: – $30
Miscellaneous: (water, Starbucks, tips, including tips for my hair): $96
Comps used: $12.98 dinner at Green Valley Ranch
Coupons: Groupon for my hair – does this count?
Freebies: Free night at Green Valley Ranch, calculated on the rate showing the day I booked it = $175.87 via MyVegas (this includes room cost, tax and resort fee, I paid zero), free buffet at Red Rock via MyVegas = $6.99 (x two since it was for two, + tax), $10 meal at Binions from the Motherlode promotion.

Today’s itinerary:

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Breakfast: Red Rock 8-11 MyVegas
Check into Green Valley Ranch
Hair: 1:00
Lunch:
Dinner: Green Valley Ranch 4-9 $14.99 comps/ $18.99 half off LVA

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

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Las Vegas Trip Report The One With The Rat

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: Last Full Day in Las Vegas

This morning, I woke up at the California hotel in Downtown Las Vegas for my last full day in Las Vegas.  Aw.

I walked over to The D for breakfast, using a voucher from a mailer.  I had French Toast.  It was really good and after the $10 voucher, cost me $1.35.  I miss when this casino loved me and sent me offers.  OH WELL.

I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some iced coffee and then played in Binions.   Last full day = slot play to win big = $216 win.

216 buffalo slot machine win

I tried playing Double Double Bonus video poker on quarters, but the stupid button was stuck so I had to keep slamming it.  I just cashed out.  Got my voucher for a deck of cards, threw out my voucher for a deck of cards and headed back to California.  I am ending a two night comped stay here and have yet to put any money through any Boyd machine.  This is the beauty of knowing you are not coming back, you do not have to keep your comps.  I ran through $60 and got nothing.

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I checked out and walked over to the Four Queens to check in for my last night.  This room was completely covered by Hotwire credit I got for my Henderson room not having the advertised casino.  Score!

Dropped off my stuff and went gambling!  There is a penny machine named Cirque something, near the elevators, that I have won on before.  I won again!  Then I went on a Buffalo slot kick and could not stop hitting the bonus.  I cashed out up $220.

I got on a bus and went to Palace Station.  Partly because I wanted to play here, partly because I want to buy a shit ton of cheap cigarettes before going home.  I had visions of drinking Starbucks while having a huge win on my last day.  Sadly, only the Starbucks dream was realized.

From here, I went to Longhorn.

I loved this casino so much.  If I were returning and had no comps, I would not even hesitate to stay here again.  I played some quarter Double Double Bonus video poker, some four card Cleopatra Keno and some quarter single line Cleopatra Keno.  Nope, nope and nope.

Dinner was using my points.  I had steak and baked potato.  It was decent and for free, even more so.

I played after eating and turned $20 into $50 on Cleopatra Keno.  Oh hey, let me go cash out.  I get to the TITO machine and realize I didn’t actually cash  out.  Idiot!  Luckily, the credits were still on the machine when I got back.

From  here, the most obvious thing I could do was visit Cromwell one last time to play my beloved Ultimate X machine.  I know I am pushing it here.  There is no way this machine is still going to love me after all these tries.  It has to suck up my money at some point.  It is my last night here, what are the chances she still loves me?

Turned out they were very high.

[000259]

I also got this cool hand that led to nothing:

dealt flush ultimate xFrom here, I walked through Flamingo to take the monorail to the 108 bus.  I am willing to pay for the monorail to avoid getting on the Deuce bus.  But it turns out I do not have to.  Someone getting off the monorail offered me an unused ticket for free.  Score!

I get back Downtown and stop at Dunkin Donuts, obviously.  Then I played at The D.

the d las vegas

I played at the upstairs bar.  Whenever I play here, I always have a large iced coffee with me.  Whenever I play here with a large iced coffee, the bartender will ask me over and over if I want a drink.  This never used to happen to me when I drank in Las Vegas.

I quickly lost $100 and walked over to Four Queens to play some Buffalo.  No matter what I did, I could not stop hitting the bonus.  I left up $235.

I finally went to bed at 1:00 am and did so only because I need to get up early to go home.

Gambling Day: + $300
Gambling Trip: + $990
Miscellaneous: (breakfast, tips, coffee, cigarettes):  $67.92
Comps used: California room, The D breakfast, Longhorn dinner
Freebies:  nada

Sunday, January 10, 2016
Breakfast: MSS free ACG 7-3 $11.99
Check into
Lunch:
Dinner:
Binions burger

Las Vegas Trip Report: Visiting My Beloved Riviera

I am at California hotel in Downtown Las Vegas.  I didn’t sleep all that well because I am on a party floor.  There are several rooms with what appears to be a very large, extended family, who are celebrating their “Most Important People on Earth” win and being the most important people on Earth, they have no reason to consider that anyone else may be trying to sleep.  Must be nice!

Today I am headed to the Strip.  I want to eat breakfast at Planet Hollywood and visit my beloved Riviera.   Breakfast is $10 off with the Las Vegas Advisor coupon.  I had some comps as well and it ended up costing me $1.07.

There is only one other table near me with people at it.   Either my server was invisible or I was, because I only saw her one time.  That’s okay though because this buffet has smoothies.

After eating, I got an iced coffee from Starbucks and walked across the street to Bellagio.  I wanted to play in Cosmopolitan, but I had only been inside one time during this trip and lost money.  I love Cosmopolitan too much to risk losing a second time and killing my extreme love for this place forever.

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I attempted to get photos of the Bellagio Conservatory, but of course, it is closed as they do the change over from Christmas to Chinese New Year.

bellagio conservatory las vegas changeover to chinese new year bellagio conservatory las vegas closed bellagio conservatory las vegas construction bellagio las vegas conservatory construction

Of course, I took these two photos, as I do on every trip and probably did earlier in this trip:

paris las vegaslas vegas strip from bellagio people mover

Bellagio interior walkway:

bellagio walkway las vegas bellagio walkway las vegas chinese new yearBellagio reception and Chihuly ceiling:

bellagio las vegas receptionchihuly ceiling bellagio las vegas

I played $20 in Cleopatra and cashed out when my iced coffee was empty, which also nicely coincided with my $20 now being $40.

Across the street to Cromwell to my Ultimate X machine!   This machine was so nice to me this entire trip and continued loving me today!  I have been fantasizing about this machine since coming home.

two x 3 ultimate xkings x 4 ultimate x

I left here up $220.

I walked over to Ellis Island, stopping in Westin for Starbucks.  Here is a view of the High Roller from this way.

high roller las vegasInside Starbucks, there was a man on line behind me who was on the phone, talking about how he lost his wallet and could only eat at Starbucks for the rest of his trip, because they would let him charge it to his room.  Not sure how he was going to do that without ID but not my problem.

I went to put some half and half in my coffee and discovered that some asshole had unscrewed the top so it spilled all over.

At Ellis Island, I have free play coupons from both American Casino Guide and Las Vegas Advisor.  I get $10 from one and $20 from the other (You get to pick a chip for your free play and the $20 was just me being lucky.)  I was hoping to have a great free play day like I did last week.   I was almost at zero with it when I had a $30 win on four card nickel Keno.  I cashed out and ran.

I tried taking the 202 to the 108 to get to Mardi Gras casino to use my free play coupon in Las Vegas Advisor but I don’t think the 108 stops there on the way downtown because I didn’t see it.  My bus driver also did not stop at Westgate, even though I rang the bell.  I had to walk back from the Sahara monorail station.

westgate las vegasI had $10 free play here from Las Vegas Advisor.  I tried finding the player’s club, looking in the spot it was in the last time I was here.  A woman asks me if I need help. I tell her I am looking for the player’s club.  She asks me “Did you get your free play and show tickets?”  Oh you are a time share person.  I say “I just need to find the player’s club.”  “What do you do for a living?”  I answered “nothing.”   She says it must be nice, I say it is.  I don’t have any idea why I am lying to her, other than I do not want to talk to  her.

The player’s club is now merged with the cashier.  This means the line is twice as long and with only one person working it, three times as slow.

I get my free play and lose it.  Then I went degenerate on a Buffalo slot machine.   I haven’t really gone degenerate in days.  As much as I enjoy shoving all my cash into a machine and having zero wins, I left here angry at myself.

I crossed the street to walk past my beloved Riviera.

riviera las vegas signriviera las vegas convention center closed riviera las vegas convention center expansion riviera las vegas food court sign riviera las vegas neon museum sign riviera las vegas sidewalk

riviera las vegas riviera las vegas zone change sign

WAH.

I walked over to Encore, intending to take Strip photos.  I got a few of Encore, which is better than I did last time.

wynn butterfliesencore las vegas butteryfly sculpture

encore las vegas

I broke even on Cleopatra Keno.

I wanted to keep going and perhaps end up at Cromwell again, for my beloved Ultimate X machine, but the sun was killing me.  So I took the Deuce back Downtown from Wynn.   It was 2:31 when I boarded the bus.

I took a nap and then went to El Cortez to visit Happy Feet massage.  $20 for an hour long foot massage, yes please!

You walk up the spiral staircase near reception.  When I got up there, I was offered free water or tea.  Then I was taken to the room.   There are a whole lot of massage beds in there, no privacy.  But you aren’t getting undressed so who cares?  I was the only person in there at this time (7:00 pm.)   There is a hook behind your bed to hang your stuff.  This is easily the best bargain in all of Las Vegas.  I tipped $20 so even for $40 total, seriously best bargain.

Afterwards, I played some Cleopatra Keno.  I cannot win.  I just cannot.  I  used to spend hoursssssss at these machines at El Cortez.  Now?  Nope.

I did a final desperate try at four card Keno and it laughed in my face as it took my money.

I stopped at Binions of course.  I love this casino.  Always have, always will.   I won no money, but did win another deck of cards.  No, thank you.

On my way back to the room, I bought McDonalds because 24 hour breakfast.  Suck it.

Gambling Day: + $30
Gambling Trip: + $690
Miscellaneous: (breakfast, tips, coffee, water, soda, massage and McDonalds):  $61.32
Comps used: California room
Freebies:  nope.

Saturday, January 9, 2016
Breakfast: Red Rock buffet 8-11 free MyVegas
Lunch:
Dinner:
California prime rib points
The D up to $100 free play ACG