Tag Archives: solo female travel

Goodbye to Las Vegas Club, Glitter Gulch, Mermaids and All My Money.

This morning I woke up at California hotel and began to pack for a move to Four Queens.   As I was doing this, I found a can of Pringles in my bag that I had forgot about.  I then picked it up, the top fell off and now my suitcase is filled with a million potato chip crumbs.  ARGH.  I am done with this place.  I finish packing and check out.  I leave my keys in the room because I do not need them anymore.  The second the door shuts I realize there is Diet Pepsi in my refrigerator.  Damn it all to hell.

I check my bags at the Four Queens Bell Desk and get on a bus.   Today I am going to the Mirage to visit the beautiful Buffalo slot machine that gave me $1800 back in March.

I took the CX bus to Treasure Island.  It is hot out.  I walk through Treasure Island to take the tram.   The tram is not running.  I walk back through Treasure Island to get outside to walk in the heat, so much  heat.  HOT BURNING DEATH FIREBALL SKY.

But it is pretty.

las vegas strip from mirage

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I stop at Starbucks and order an iced green tea latte please!  I get a hot green tea latte.  NO.  DO NOT WANT.  REMAKE IT.  BAH.  GROSS.  HOT.  NO.

I walk over to my Buffalo machine and a woman is playing it.  I walk around the entire length of the casino to kill time and come back.  She is still playing it.  I do another loop.   Still there.  I become increasingly cranky.   I sit down and play $20 in Double Double Bonus video poker.  I lose it.  I go back.  The woman is still there.  I decide to get the fuck out of here.  If all I want to do is play that one machine, I need to stop.

I go across the street and catch The Deuce bus back to downtown.  I check into Four Queens.  It doesn’t look fancy but I still love it.

four queens las vegas hotel room

And of course, the same view I have had more times than I could count.

four queens hotel las vegas room view

I took a nap and woke up defeated.  I go home tomorrow guys, where is any win?

I still had a bunch of quarters so I went to play Sigma Derby next door at The D.  I didn’t win.   I kind of gave up and went back to my room.  I figured tomorrow is my last day, let’s go nuts in the morning before my flight.

Fast forward to the next morning and I had my biggest win of the entire trip!

buffalo stampede slot machine win

Yep, a whopping $108. Oh well, better than nothing.  But still close to nothing.

It is a good thing I am a lazy blogger.  If I had written this up when I got home, I might have remembered how much of a loser this trip was, and not have booked the next one.  But I am.  So I didn’t.  And I did.

Bonus photo of Mermaids, Glitter Gulch and Las Vegas Club being prepared to be made a distant memory.   Just like my gambling budget.

fremont street las vegas las vegas club glitter gulch mermaids closed

 

Las Vegas Trip Report: Have Bad Luck, Will Travel

One thing I love about waking up in Las Vegas is that anything can happen on that day.  You legit have no clue what notes you will be writing out when you get back to your room tonight.  This morning I am looking out my window at the California hotel at 7:00 am and wishing for the gambling gods to PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE before I get dressed and go out for the day.

I am out by 8:30.  I find a penny on heads outside the elevator.  Excellent sign.

I play my Buffalo machine here and lose.  I decide to put a $20 into quarter Double Double Bonus video poker machine and lose that too.  As I am playing it, I have the realization that I have barely played any video poker this trip.  This probably explains why I am doing so terribly.  My last trip was Buffalo win heavy but I was just incredibly lucky.

That said, I walked over to Binions and played BUFFALO.  Nope, still not a winner.

I wanted to have breakfast at Magnolia’s at Four Queens since I have accumulated a bunch of comps here, but the line in insane.  Back to Binions I go.  I get an omelet and have to pay a couple of dollars for it.  Such sacrilege in a town where I am used to comps.   I get an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts and try the casino in Binions again.  The only win I get is the Motherlode promotion which gives me a free root beer float.  I’ll save this for later.

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Back at California, I go to the ATM because I have to go to the ATM.  Dammit.  It has been quite some time since I have played this particular machine.  I don’t like it very much.

I play around a bit.  I get a surprise feature on my Buffalo machine and win $50.  I am back in my room at 10:30 am.

All Boyd players will forever remember that time when Boyd didn’t do offers for a tiny bit, while they were redoing their system to have all properties included on offers.   I was so happy when the offers came back.  But I am bludgeoning all future offers by losing and not playing anywhere near what they would like me to.  But I am not playing that game because my days of taking long trips and needing as many comped nights as possible, are long gone.

I nap and go back out.  I take the WAX bus to MGM Grand, with a change purse full of quarters to play Sigma Derby.  Nope, all the seats are taken.  Now I have to lug these quarters around haaaaaaate.  I play a $20 in Keno and lose it instantly, disgusted with myself.  Who the hell authorized me to put money in a Strip machine when I was on such a losing streak?!?

I use a MyVegas reward for a very early dinner buffet.   It is priced at $42.99 for the holiday, yeeeeeeesh.  Do people really pay these prices?   I suppose so.   This buffet is not the best.  But for free, it is worth the cost.  I get a line pass, which I first thought was related to it being a MyVegas reward.  But nope.  It is because I am now Pearl.  I had no idea.

I leave here and take the bus to Orleans, where I lose some money.  Then I take the shuttle to Gold Coast.  It does not go right to the Gold Coast.  It stops at the Strip first.  It no longer stops at Cromwell, but back by the High Roller.  It would be convenient to go to Ellis Island if it were not a bazillion degrees outside.

boyd orleans gold coast strip shuttle

At Gold Coast, I have a coupon for $10 slot match play from Las Vegas Advisor.  I get on a small winning streak.

First up:

quarter four of a kind queens

Second up is four of a kind threes, that I do not have a photo of.  But you can see evidence of it in the totals in round three:

quarter four of a kind nines

I want to keep playing so very badly.  Like I never want to leave ever.  But because I am on such a suck streak, I have to leave while I am absolutely definitely ahead.  I am sorry magical machine at the Gold Coast.  I will be back to visit you, I promise.

I go outside and take the bus to Ellis Island.  I have coupons for free play here, and for a free t-shirt.  I lost the free play and then I lost $75.  And I lost my pride at having walked out of Gold Coast instead of going degenerate.  I should have gone degenerate at a machine that was paying me.  Such goes gambling.

I got back on the bus and went to Longhorn.  I love this place.  I actually looked into staying here on this trip.  They now charge a $6.77 resort fee, which I find infuriating.  It includes laundry facilities.  Does this mean you can do your laundry for free?  I would like to know.  I did my laundry here when I stayed here over a year ago.  And I paid for it.  If the laundry is now free, then the $5 slot match play they give you at check in + laundry, cancels out the resort fee.  If laundry is not free and they are actually listing having a washing machine that you pay to use, as part of what is included in the resort fee, then fuck you.

longhorn casino las vegas

I played here for hours.   I got here at 9:00.  When I left, it was 1:00 am.  I had the American Casino Guide for $5 free play.  I put that and a $20 into four card Cleopatra Keno.  I never hit zero.  I never got over $60.  But I got hours of play.  This was so much fun for me.  Just playing.  I haven’t really done this at all this trip because I keep losing.

Once I realize I am almost out of cigarettes, it is time to leave.  I took the BHX bus back.  It leaves you on Ogden and Las Vegas Boulevard.   The walk on Ogden back to California is fine.  Some people are scared of Ogden. The Gold Spike used to be very frightening to people.  Now the sidewalk outside is full of younger people, super drunk and super stupid.  And also super predictable with a girl on her cell phone screaming at her boyfriend, then bursting into tears about it to her friends, who assure her she can do better and let’s go get drunker.

As I continue my walk,  my thoughts are of this and how Vegas has certainly changed if Ogden is no longer scary.  Then I find myself frozen with fear, the only body part I am able to move are my vocal chords, which are vibrating with me screaming.   Because up ahead, is a roach the size of an airplane.   I don’t know what to do.  Wait yes I do.  I will cross the street. He starts walking towards the street.  He is now like a black cat who’s path I cannot cross, but he is not leaving me with a choice as he appears to walk even faster than I can.   Do I stay on the sidewalk as he is now in the street?  Do I cross the street?   What if he makes it across before I do?  What if I do not cross the street and stay on the sidewalk and he reverses and comes back to kill me?  Why are there no cars coming to kill him?  Where are all the drug addicts, murderers and rapists who are supposed to be lining this street?  WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME?!?

Fuck this.  I run past this thing.  RUN past this thing.   I run to the light and bolt across the street against the red light.  Once there I feel safer.  But I continue walking quickly until I am safe inside California.  WHEW.

I go to my room and pack for my move to The Linq tomorrow.  But I don’t want to move to The Linq.  I really do want to stay there since I have not.  But I don’t want to deal with having to go to the airport from there.  Before I left home, I had priced Four Queens for my last night and it was around $70 on every site I checked.  I decide to check it again now, ten hours before I would be attempting to check in.  And I found it for $45 on Orbitz.  Quick math of The Linq resort fee + probably a cab to the airport = SOLD.  Four Queens it is.

And off to bed I go.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Depositing My Money Around the Vegas Valley

If you are just tuning in, let me catch you up:  I am waking up at California on day four of one of my most unlucky trips to Las Vegas.   It isn’t just the losing, although there is plenty of that.  It is the fire alarms, the lack of early check ins and the methamphetamine serial killer that would not take my life yesterday.

I am up at 5:12 and I catch the 6:12 am WAX bus to Hooters.  Except the WAX  bus does not stop AT Hooters.  Which I did not realize until we were passing it without stopping.  I got off at the next stop and made the long walk back in the desert summer sun.  Hate.

I have both the Las Vegas Advisor and American Casino Guide coupons for $10 free play at Hooters.  Do you want to guess how that went?   Exactly.

Then I went to Tropicana.  But I do not have my card.  And I am too lazy / heat exhausted to care.  So I just keep playing random Buffalo machines, making my way from the entrance I entered, to the exit on the other side.  Where I left with way less money than I entered with.

tropicana hotel las vegas

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I crossed the pedestrian bridge to Excalibur to use a MyVegas reward for weekend brunch.   I didn’t go in the Pearl line because I didn’t know I could.  There were also only two people in front of me.  One who was causing a major ruckus.  She wanted to charge her breakfast to her room.  But her name was not on her room. The cashier suggests she get the person who’s name the room is registered under, to call the front desk and have her name added so she can charge to the room.  But that person has already checked out and gone to the airport.

Then she wanted to use someone else’s card but didn’t have ID because she was not that someone else.  She was getting more angry and belligerent.  The second cashier had to stop and get involved.  So now I am simply standing there for maybe fifteen minutes as this woman pitches a fit and refuses to budge.  With the only two cashiers trying to explain NO to her.   As she is refusing to accept NO for an answer.

Finally I get in.  I go bolting for the Sobe water and all that comes out is fizz . Sobe water is not fizzy.  That’s fine, I will go to the other side.  Where the Sobe water is not working .  WHY GOD WHY.

After eating, I went to the overpriced store outside the buffet to check on my Pug wallet that I want, but will not purchase.

Then I took the WAX back downtown and got me some Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.  It was delicious.

I played in Binions on an old school Buffalo slot machine.  This particular one seems to like when you only play one coin per line, so $.40 cent bets.   Which is fine by me since I am on a massive losing streak.   One bonus turned my $20 to $80.  I had enough points for one Motherlode spin and I won a free gift that I did not bother trying to redeem.

I exited out back, past the slot machine graveyard inside the back of Binions.  I got in trouble for taking this photo.

binions slot machine graveyard

Work has begun on demolishing Las Vegas Club.  Home of my first casino comp.  Even when I was not staying here, I would take the elevator up to the hotel room floors to get a Diet Pepsi on my way back to my room at California, which is a Coke property.

las vegas club demolition sign

I played my Buffalo machine here.  I seem to have one in every casino.  This one gave me $100 from a $10.   Sweet, sweet Buffalo.

I am back in my room at 11;30 and I take a nap.  I am up and back out at my Buffalo machine at Cailfornia.  I get a $60 bonus.

I walk outside to catch the 106 bus.  I have to run for it but I make it.  Tonight’s destination is Texas Station.  Why?  Because why not?

texas station las vegas sign

Since I am on a losing streak, I change the rest of today’s budget into all $5 bills and play minimum bets on Buffalo.   I played about 15 different Buffalo machines in here.  This place is Buffalo mecca for sure.

On my last play, I got less than 40 credits left and decided to play down to zero by playing 20 lines, than 5.  Then one line with three credits per line.   And I hit a bonus.  You mother fucker.  I don’t want a bonus when I am playing THREE CENTS.  I won $3 and played that down and left down $60.

I took the bus back Downtown.  Thankfully I did not have to wait long for it because it is hot out.

The bus leaves you on the side of Plaza and Las Vegas Club.   I looked up and was shocked that I never noticed this before.  The side of Las Vegas Club looks like a stadium!

las vegas club stadium

I grab fries from McDonalds and head to my room.   I am in bed by 11:00.

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

Las Vegas Trip Report: Moving from New York, New York to Planet Hollywood

I wake up at New York, New York.  It is 6:30 am.  I am out by 7:00 and I make a beeline to MY Buffalo slot machine that I could not play last night.  I cash out up $25.

I walk over to Excalibur to use a MyVegas reward for breakfast.  It is so incredibly hot, even this early in the morning.  Bonus: The Excalibur MLife desk doesn’t open until 8:00 so I have half an hour to kill.  Wish I would have known this when I was still at MY Buffalo machine at New York, New York.

I play nickel Caveman Keno machine, one nickel at a time.  Surprisingly, I double a $5 and then it is time to go.

The Excalibur buffet is very good nowadays.  And I am not just saying this because I love that they have Sobe water as a drink option.

I head back to New York, New York  I love the view of the casino from the escalator.

new york new york las vegas casino

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I also love it from down inside the casino!

new york casino las vegas

I go on an insane losing streak.  Then I got myself back a bit on video poker hitting first 8’s and then a straight flush. I do not have a photo of the straight flush because savvy gambler that I am, did not realize I hit it until I saw the credits jumped after I hit “deal” on the next hand.

double double bonus video poker 4oak 8s new york new york casino las vegas

I go upstairs to collect my crap and move to Planet Hollywood.  Honestly, I should have just not booked a MyVegas room at all.  Or cancelled it and stayed at Planet Hollywood so I would not have to move.  The main feature of using a MyVegas reward for rooms is that you can then use certain dining rewards you cannot use if  you are not staying at an MLife property.  But it is a holiday weekend so everything is blacked out anyway.  I get fixated on the amount of MyVegas points I have and keep booking rooms I don’t really want.  I need to stop doing that.  I am going to stop doing that.

On my way out, I play MY Buffalo machine one last time and cash out up $80. I have also made Pearl status at MLife, which I wasn’t trying for.  The best perk of Pearl status is free parking and I do not drive.

I walked to Planet Hollywood in the heat.  Yes I know.  YOU would have taken a cab or Uber or Lyft.  But I would not.  It is just a thing about living in NYC.  Every day a cab is an option but that doesn’t mean you go ahead and take one.

I stop at the Walgreens right before Planet Hollywood to get some water.  The woman in front of me puts her stuff down and asks where there is a garbage can.  Outside.  She walks away to go outside and the cashier starts ringing her up.  Are you fucking kidding me.  She walked OUTSIDE and I am standing here INSIDE.  Ring ME up.

I get to Planet Hollywood and no, just no.   The amount of people in the lobby.  I would be hard pressed to remember any time in my life when I saw this many people in a hotel lobby.  I checked in using the kiosk and there was a charge for early check in.  I have never paid this before, I would normally opt to simply drop my bags over and come back later.  But today, I decide to pay it.  I think it was $30, but I could be wrong about that.

I have never stayed here as Planet Hollywood.  I have stayed when it was Aladdin.  I missed the entire Planet Hollywood themed rooms phase and I have a newly renovated one.

planet hollywood hotel las vegas bathroom planet hollywood las vegas room

With this weirdo room view, which I know is just a crappy view of vents and stuff.  But it is oddly satisfying.  I think because it looks like a space ship on an alien planet.

planet hollywood las vegas room view

I decide I am going to take a nap, which justifies paying the early check in fee.  But I am a liar and instead, I go out and gamble until way past check in time.  I wish I could tell you that “Black pail I did $3” means I won a million dollars as that is what it looks like my notes from this afternoon say.  But it doesn’t so that mystery remains unsolved as of yet.

I came back to the room with enough time to take a quick nap before going to see Ka, courtesy of MyVegas.  But when I woke up from my nap, the last thing I wanted to do was go OUTSIDE to get to MGM Grand to see Ka.

So I stayed inside and played Buffalo for a few hours until I was starving.  Then I went to McDonalds because I do that in Vegas.  And it pisses people off.  Sorry, not sorry.

I was in my room and asleep at 10:00.  Until the fire alarm went off   But that’s tomorrow’s sad story.

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Planet Hollywood Hotel canva

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 Trip Report: My Last Day in Sin City

My last day in Las Vegas starts at the Four Queens hotel.   My handwriting is horrible so it appears as if I either started the day off by going to Petco, or Petra.  I most certainly did not travel to a pet store, nor did I travel to the country of Jordan.  If anyone has any ideas where I actually was, feel free to let me know!

I had breakfast at Magnolias at Four Queens, to use up my comps here.  I wanted to play live Keno, but it was not open this early.  Is this even possible?  Why am I having such a horrible time playing live Keno in Las Vegas?  The house odds are very high, why would you not want me to give you my money?

I walked over to Fremont for Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and my last time visiting my favorite SuperTimes Pay machines here.  I was  hoping for a parting gift here.   These have been my favorite STP machines for as long as I have been playing video poker. I visit them on every trip.  You would think that would count for something, but my babies felt that they were the ones who deserved the parting gift, and happily accepted it in cash form.

I played some Ultimate X.  I did:

$35 – $60
$25 – $60
$20 – $70
$20 – $0
$20 – $0
$20 – $40
$20 – $0

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I was here quite some time.

On my way back to my room (no no no no nooooooooooo) I stopped and played the Buffalo slot machine that was nice to me last night.  I turned $60 into $150.

Then it was time to leave.  Sigh.  One last view of Las Vegas outside of my hotel room window:
four queens las vegas strip viewOnce at the airport, I killed some time trying to figure out who has the WiFi name “I Will Shank  You Hard.”

shank

And here is where we wound up today:

Gambling Day: + $0
Gambling Trip: + $990
Miscellaneous: (tip, coffee, Diet Pepsi at the airport):  $10.23
Comps used: Four Queens breakfast
Freebies:  nada

If I had not hit that one Royal Flush, I would have been down $10 gambling.

The grand total of non-gaming money I spent in Las Vegas was $616.77, the bulk of that was made up of cigarettes and resort fees.  In addition, I also paid for airfare, a few hotel nights and my bus pass before I left.

I have had a bunch of people let me know they are sad to see the Las Vegas trip reports end.  I appreciate the kind words.  I truly do.   But it is time for me to move on.   Although I ended up in the black with gambling, I had a bunch of days where I had zero fun because all I did was lose.   Life is not about the end game for me.  It is about living today.

Even when having a bad day in a foreign country, there are still multiple exciting things going on.  Oh look at that sign in broken English!  Oh look at this local custom I am experiencing for the first time!  Look at that view of a place on Earth I had only seen in pictures before.  And so on.  I just really have grown tired of “Oh hey, look at the Dunkin Donuts sign behind my favorite SuperTimes Pay machines at the Fremont casino!”

If you are still itching for some more fun Las Vegas trip reports, make sure to check out my buddy Royal Flusher.  He is hilarious and also, a degenerate gambler.  We love degenerate gamblers.

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: The Boring, Rainy Day Where I Check into Longhorn

My alarm went off this morning at the Mirage hotel and instantly, there was pain shooting through the side of my face, pouring out of my ear.  My throat is swollen.  I don’t want to get up.  Not now, not ever.

I am supposed to be eating breakfast at Bellagio this morning.  I have to do this today as the only way I can redeem my MyVegas reward is if I am staying at an MLife property, and this is the one and only time I will be doing that on this trip.  But I don’t want to get up.  You can’t make me.  So I went back to bed.  Now that I am home, I hate myself so much.  I have 1.5 million points to use on MyVegas that I will never be able to use.  And I really should have done this.

I also again missed my opportunity to take photos of the Bellagio conservatory.  I really suck.

I showered and got dressed and ate at the Mirage buffet, free via MyVegas.  I was so surprised the buffet was empty.  There were a million people at the elevators.  CES starts today.  My personal hell on earth.

I get seated and am told drinks are self service.  I like this because it means I am not reliant on a server to bring me more coffee.  I don’t like this because it confuses the tipping.  Who am I tipping and for what?  The woman who asked me if I wanted hot sauce?   Does she get the same tip as someone who serves me beverages?  Do I tip myself for serving me beverages?  I have no idea.

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This buffet isn’t really good.   It is extremely spread out.  I guess when it is not empty it seems normal.  It just seemed to me that there was a lot of walking and not a lot of decent choices for food.  But the coffee was the best I have had so far this trip, and that includes my many trips to Dunkin Donuts.  Good job, Mirage!

Love theater at Mirage:

mirage love theater las vegas

I decided in advance that I would not be gambling today because I need to stop having losing days.  That said, it is raining outside and I always win when it rains.  So I try $10 in Keno and lose.  Sigh.

I go upstairs, pack and try and check out on the television.  I keep getting an error message telling me to call the front desk.  No.  I will not.  I will simply leave without checking out.

I walk over to Flamingo and catch the 202 to my spa appointment.  When we stopped at Gold Coast, the world’s most annoying man got on the bus.  I hate this person so much.  It seemed that he wanted to eat the Gold Coast buffet, but they would not let him pay for his daughter’s buffet with whatever option of payment he was trying to use, because she is under 21.  (She was with him, and appeared to be about ten.)   I have no idea if he was trying to use a coupon or voucher or what.  I just know that he was not happy about  this and would not shut the fuck up about it.  On and on about how the customer is always right, how the daughter needs to stay in school so she doesn’t end up doing an idiot job like buffet cashier.  At some point, a teen aged guy came down the bus stairs and recognized this guy, asks him “You go to (whatever)  park, right?” The guy confirms yes, he does.  The teenager says “I work there, I see you a lot” and says hello and good bye.  When the teenager gets off the bus, the man goes into a rant to his daughter about how only stupid people work at parks.  If this guy wasn’t so lazy, he could go to college and get a real job.   How do you fucking know this guy is not going to college while working?  GOD SHUT UP.  But nope, this teenager must be lazy and according to this man, he is going to end up working at the Gold Coast buffet one day.   I must have been on this bus for eleven hours because that is how long  these life’s lessons went on.  Every time the topic of conversation changed, it would go right back to the Gold Coast buffet.  So. Painful.  He even made his daughter rip up a business card from the Gold Coast manager.  How dare they not allow him to have whatever he wants, despite there being rules.  Do they not know who he is?  He will never play there again and he is excited to see the day they inevitably go out of business over this huge faux pas on their part.  OH GOD SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.  You are riding a bus in Las Vegas.  You are not the high societal man you think you are.  Buddy.

I am having a microdermabrasion and pumpkin peel.  I believe this took just over half an hour and left my skin feeling nice and soft.  The aesthetician asked me where I was going after this (I had my bag with me) and I lied and said Sam’s Town because I didn’t feel like explaining that no, I know what Longhorn is like, no I don’t care, yes I am going to be fine.  Well it turns out she was going near there after this, and do I want a ride.  What an extremely nice gesture.  But I have errands to run / don’t like accepting favors from strangers, so I politely declined.

From here, I took the bus to the Las Vegas Advisor office to pick up my coupon book for 2016.    It is now pouring out and walking in the rain with my bag would have seemed like death, except the walk takes you past a homeless village with people living under tarps and tents, so really….I was the most fortunate person heading down that street in this rain.

las vegas advisor

I continued on from here to Boulder Highway and switched buses to get to Longhorn.  This whole trip took a very long time.  I get that people who drive everywhere in their normal lives view a fifteen minute bus ride as the end of the world and a waste of their WHOLE ENTIRE DAY OH MY GOD.  But the way they picture that fifteen minute bus ride to be, was exactly how this whole entire ordeal was really for me.

Longhorn hotel.  Loved it!  I would stay here again forever and ever.  It is not a fancy five star hotel, so no one should be expecting that.  I paid $40/night during CES. Have you ever checked prices for Las Vegas hotel rooms during CES?  Please do not do so if you are faint at heart.  Places like Circus Circus manor rooms were over $200, as were El Cortez pavillion rooms.  Even the Hostel Cat was sold out of private rooms!

Plus, there is no resort fee, you get free coffee in the lobby in the mornings, and you get a coupon book when you check in.   I got $5 free play, there was a match play in there, and slot club points that got me a free meal (and then some) just with those points, before I even played.  I cannot say enough about this place.  They also have self service laundry.  I needed that at this point in the trip.

longhorn hotel las vegas longhorn hotel room las vegas longhorn las vegas hotel room

longhorn hotel bathroom las vegas

I was also given a peep show outside my window.   Down below, there is a pool and a hot tub.  Three women were in the hot tub (why I do not know, it is FREEZING and pouring outside) and then they decided to go in the pool (see aforementioned WHY.)   Two make it in, one slips and falls and lands flat on the ground, sans her bathing suit bottom, which is somehow around her ankles.  Yeesh.

Now that I had my Las Vegas Advisor coupon book, I was itching to go downtown and gamble.  So I did.

I took the bus and walked through Four Queens, stopping to use my $10 free play on Cleopatra Keno.  I won $15.  This is off to a good start!  I got some Dunkin Donuts and then continued, with the Plaza as my next stop, where my free play vanished lightning quick.

Up next, Binions.  I got to play for a while but never really hit a cash out point.   I did get enough points to do a daily swipe at their promotions booth and won a deck of cards.  If I had collected the decks of cards every time I have won one, I could build a life sized mansion out of them.

it is still pouring outside.  I love how the neon reflects on Fremont Street in the rain.

fremont street las vegas rain reflecting neon

Next stop is The D where I had $5 from a mailer…until I had nothing from a mailer.  That $5 was gone in seconds.

I walked over to Downtown Grand.  I really do not like this place.  And it does not like me.  Free play, shmee play.  Gave me nothing.

Last stop on my free play run is the El Cortez.  Surely I am going to win big here.  I mean, I have had more than my share of bad luck on this run so destiny owes it to me to win.  Right?  Wrong.  I lost the free play.  Then I converted all my points into free play and lost that too.  I was playing Cleopatra Keno, $5 at a time on nickels.   I never once even got it converted to $5 cash, let alone doubling the $5, which is my preferred cash out point.  Sigh.

I took the bus back to Longhorn and called it a very unsuccessful night.  You know, because it was.

Gambling Day: – $10
Gambling Trip: – $10
Miscellaneous: (tips, water and Diet Pepsi):  $34
Comps used: nada
Freebies:  Mirage breakfast, free via MyVegas

Itinerary:
Tuesday, January 5, 2015

Breakfast: Bellagio buffet 7-11 free MyVegas
Eiffel Tower half off $14 LVA 10-5
Check into Longhorn
$10 for $5 ACG
$10 for $5 hotel
2400 points hotel
Lunch:
Dinner:
Boulder Station half off LVA 4-9 $9.99
Plaza 10x slots

Las Vegas Trip Report: I Love “Love” And the Mirage

My alarm went off at 6:00 am this morning, on purpose.  My brilliant logic was that since I am at Cromwell, I can simply walk across the street at an insanely early hour and get pictures of the Bellagio conservatory before everyone else wakes up.  But when I woke up, I laughed at myself and went back to sleep.  Now I am kind of annoyed because I am doing that thing where I have 20 days in Las Vegas and am somehow still not doing all the things I wanted to do.  Like walk across the street and take pictures.  Sigh.

I went downstairs for some coffee.  I ended up drinking seventeen cups total during my stay here at Cromwell.  That makes the resort fee kinda sorta almost not really fair.

Every gambler knows about the $200 cup of coffee.  You go downstairs in the morning, you order a cup of coffee from the cocktail waitress.  You lose $200 before she comes back with your coffee.  Since Cromwell has free coffee, I am trading out the $200 cup of coffee for the $100 cigarette.   The hotel is non smoking, so I can only smoke down here or outside.  I am not going to go outside when there are video poker machines inside so…

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I went back upstairs and I had two text messages. One confirming my facial appointment for tomorrow, one from my landlord’s daughter, letting me know they are raising my rent.  Ah 2016 and your technology.

I packed and checked out and walked over to the Mirage, taking some photos along the way.

venetian palazzo las vegas venetian canal las vegas palazzo venetian las vegas las vegas strip casino royale caesars las vegas forum shops

I am spending one night at Mirage courtesy of a MyVegas reward.   I have only stayed here one time before, and that was when Wagerworks existed.   On that first trip, two things happened.  One, I took a bus trip to Laughlin, and two, on the bus, they showed “Vegas Vacation” which was the first time I saw that movie somehow.  I remember thinking “This is the fucking coolest thing ever!  That is MY HOTEL in the movie!!!”  The second thing was that:  I used to be completely obsessed with having room photos of every hotel room I stayed at in Las Vegas.  On this trip, I used a disposable camera (that shows how long ago this was) and none of them came out.  So bummed!   So I always wanted to stay here again and fifteen years later, here I am!

I tried to check in. The woman at the desk told me it would be $30 for early check in and I told her she could suck it.  Okay I didn’t really, but I also did not pay for early check in.  I stashed my bags with the Bell Desk and headed to Red Rock to use a MyVegas buffet reward.

I took the Deuce bus to the Sahara Express bus.  This latter was a weird bus ride.   I got on the bus on the East Side of Sahara.  This is good to note since most people think you have to cross over and catch it on the West Side, outside the Bonanza gift shop.  You don’t, it stops on both sides.  Or at least it is supposed to.  My driver didn’t stop at the stop outside the gift shop and some man went ballistic on him and cursed him out.  Lots of other people joined in, asking why the driver did not stop in very violent ways.

From here, the driver kept making stops but telling people to go through the back door and not pay.  I am really not sure what this guy’s deal was.  But he got me to Red Rock, so who cares.

The buffet line here was insanely long.  It took well over half an hour to get seated.  It was like this when I was here one day for lunch last year as well.

There was a woman with a Boston Terrier service dog.   He made my day.  So adorable.

After eating, as well as before eating, I played some Cleopatra Keno.  I could not hit for shit.  I said screw it and went for broke and soon enough, broke I was.  I saved $5 to try some live Keno later tonight.  Because it is always a good idea to keep moving to games with more of a house edge as you are losing.

I took the bus back to the Mirage.  There were two LOUD women sitting behind me.  The one who was slightly less loud than the other one, kept sucking on her teeth.  This was painful.  Then a woman gets on the bus with what appears to be two babies that she is snuggling.  But she has no stroller and…wait, those aren’t babies, they are dolls.  She is now the center of attention with people asking her a million questions about her babies.   One is hers, the other is adopted.  This is why they look different. Oh.

We passed my beloved Riviera and I got all sad.  I love this place so much and her being gone really was the final straw for me in the downfall of Las Vegas’s appeal.  I let you take the Stardust and Westward Ho, I draw the line at my beloved Riviera.  I need to go and get some photos of her before they demolish her.  Bastards.

I got room number 20102.  This room is really nice.  This is a hotel where I get it that people love it.

mirage hotel las vegas bed

mirage hotel las vegas bathroommirage hotel las vegas roomI spent some time working on my blog and then before I knew it, it was time to go see Love.

I had picked up my tickets a few days ago at the box office at Bellagio.  Then I got a voicemail telling me I was given the wrong tickets.  So I had to stop at the Love box office to exchange them.  I am now in the very last row.  This wasn’t so bad as that whole “there are no bad seats in the entire theater” thing is true.  The man next to me LOVED Love.  He knew every word to every song, and alternated between playing the air drums and air guitar.  I love this show too, despite not liking The Beatles.  It is very busy and I think you would probably have to watch it fifty times to see everything that is going on.

After the show, I tried my hardest to play live Keno but either the Mirage does not have live Keno, or else I could not find live Keno.  Do casinos really not have live Keno?  This is the second time on this trip that this happened to me.

I was happy to settle for video Keno though.  And it was happy to take my money and not give me anything in return.

Gambling Day: – $200
Gambling Trip: + $0
Miscellaneous: (tips):  $8.00
Comps used: nada
Freebies:  Two cups of fancy schmancy coffee from Cromwell, Mirage room (MyVegas), Love ticket (MyVegas) and Red Rock buffet (MyVegas)

My itinerary for today?  Well no.  I only checked into Mirage and saw Love.  Oops?

Monday, January 4, 2016
Breakfast: Jackson’s Tavern $20 free play LVA 6020 Flamingo 202 @ Duneville
Check into Mirage 
Lunch:
Gold Coast $10 free play LVA
High Roller $10 off LVA
Dinner:
Bellagio buffet 3-10 free MyVegas
Love 9:30