Las Vegas Trip Report: The One Where Everything Went Wrong

Note:  This is an older Las Vegas trip report that I am posting for the entertainment of Las Vegas addicts and anyone else who loves fun.  It was written back in 2008.  Most of this information is now outdated and some places mentioned no longer exist.

Thursday, December 25, 2008 – Day Fourteen of Twenty One

I wake up at Ballys at 8:30 am.  I walk over to the Flamingo to register for the Winterfest slot tournament that I am here on an offer for. I was too late to do the tournament yesterday, so I get to do it twice today.  But they only have one time slot that I want available. Death.

I eat breakfast at the Flamingo coffee shop. Eggs Benedict and coffee comes to $18.04. I’m really not downtown any longer with these prices. I also don’t have enough points to cover it since I have barely played anything at any Harrahs property in a really long time.

I settle in and play some Super Times Pay video poker. I got the multiplier a bunch but it never paid more than zero. I got 10’s once, sans multiplier.

Next up, I play a Lucky Meerkats slot machine and make a $10 bill magically turn into a $50.

It is 11:28 so I take a break and write the above notes, smoke a cigarette and then head to the spa for a Shiradira treatment. This treatment sucked. The Flamingo website makes it sound like you get massaged while they drip soothing oil onto your forehead to open your third eye. What it actually was, was a 90 second massage and then oil dripping on your forehead (this part was nice) and a therapist who could not fit my hair into a towel after many tries because “it’s too long”.  She kept trying and ended up yanking it out of my head so many times until I offered to just do it myself.  Yes it’s long but it’s thin and I can fit it into a towel. Yes I have experience being that it’s my own hair, but you should have experience too being that you are performing a $100 treatment that involves fitting hair into a towel.

Also, you give them your credit card when you first come in and they keep it open so you can add a tip at the end.   The therapist got me at the lockers to close it out, in front of her. Normally this is done at the desk as you are leaving, by reception, not by the actual therapist. I just thought this was a tacky procedure because if I wanted to stiff her, I had to do it with her watching.

They do have Vichy showers here though so it wasn’t a total loss.  As I was blow drying my hair after showering, there was a young girl there – I’m getting old now so I refer to mid-20’s as “young”. She started talking to me about how “isn’t this nice?” and how it’s so much better spending your Christmas treating yourself to a spa treatment IN LAS VEGAS than it is being home and being all stressed out and miserable with your relatives. I agree with her 2389472984293874293%, which is why I’m here.  But my thoughts drift to my mother and how I wish I was spending Christmas with her. it’s been close to three years since she died and even typing this is making me cry.


My phone completely died while I was getting my treatment. The screen is all black and can’t see any texts. I tried to turn it on and off fifty times, nothing. I contemplate buying a new one. I make it as far as the Mirage before I finally just smash it into a metal pole and voila – it works again. Walk back, stopping at Harrahs for Starbucks.

When I am back at the Flamingo, I want to play Lucky Meerkats but the entire aisle is full of a group of people who are just sitting there hanging out and zero of them are playing any machine. I try Super Times Pay video poker again and get nothing much.  Then I try a White Orchard slot machine. this game takes 80 cents and if you can get a bonus, you do pretty well. I get a bonus. It keeps retriggering so many times that my Total Rewards card times out. It ends with me getting $81.60.

It is now time for me to do the Winterfest tournament .  The woman next to me tells me she hopes she wins because she has lost $2k a day for the past two days. Yeesh. She has lost as much in two days as I have planned to lose for my entire 21 day trip. I keep this information to myself.

They announce they cancelled three sessions today due to lack of attendance, so the final round will have less people in it.  Now your chances of winning are higher.  My session isn’t even full. So as crowded as the strip is getting, Harrahs could not get enough people in for free rooms and a free tournament to run all the sessions of the tournament.  Interesting.

I go and smoke between my two sessions and it’s raining out. Even though I am usually lucky in the rain, I still do horrible and don’t get anywhere near the high scores. I play around Flamingo and get nothing. I play around Ballys and win and put it back. I am bored. I don’t like the strip.

Tonight I am still staying at Ballys but I also need to check in at Fitzgeralds. My Fitzgeralds offer was for three nights and the offer expired Sunday.  I needed a room for Monday. So I had to pay for Monday.  But then I booked the offer starting a day early since (a) my offer was for three nights and (b) so I could just go right to my room that would be waiting for me when I made the hotel switch.  Then I avoid dealing with checking in early tomorrow and the ever so slight possiblity being told check in isn’t until three. This pretty much never happens ever.  But wouldn’t it suck if it did and I could have just checked in the night before for no additional cost?

My original plan was to take the Deuce bus downtown, check into Fitzgeralds, see Marley and Me and go back to Ballys. However I am growing crankier by the minute because I hate the Las Vegas Strip.  So I decide I to just check out of Ballys entirely and head to Fitzgeralds. I go up to my Ballys room to get my stuff.  Someone is smoking massive amounts of weed in their room and the entire hallway REEKS of it.

I left Ballys without actually checking out.  This is something all double and triple bookers in Las Vegas are accustomed to doing.  Housekeeping will see tomorrow morning that you are gone and they will check you out.  Easy Peasy.

I took a cab to Fitzgeralds.  The driver takes Paradise down and explains to me that (a) he is doing this and (b) why. He seems a bit defensive as he is offering this information to me and I tell him that no, I am glad he is going this way and thank you. The cab was only $15, which is what it cost me to get to the Riviera from downtown the other day when the driver took the strip. I give him $20.

I check into Fitzgeralds. I get room 1217. It’s a bit grungier than the rooms I have had here before. The sheets are noticeably scratchy, the faucet in the sink doesn’t really reach into the sink – the water flows pretty much right onto the counter. So when you wash your hands, the water goes all over the place.  Then you are touching the sink to try and get the water to flow onto your hands. The toilet is also running. I don’t care too much about any of this, just noting it.

Also, much like my room last time, the drapes have a rather large gap in them:

Fitzgeralds Las Vegas room


Fitzgeralds room Las VegasFitzgeralds Las Vegas room

I turn on the television just to see how much movies are here, now that this seems to be my new thing.  As I hit “enter” to get what I think is going to be a preview/price screen, the movie starts. No!  Fuck. It’s also $12.99, leaving Palazzo in the top spot for cheapest.  I could have watched this movie when I was there, on a nice flat screen.  Instead I am accidentally watching it on a television that sounds like a mini helicopter is taking off.

I’m not ready to watch a movie mind you, I just wanted to see how much it is. I still have my coat on for crissakes.  But it’s started so I watch it. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.   Verdict = it’s not worth $12.99.

Oh and of course, as I am standing there still in my coat when it starts on accident, I realize I left my glasses at Ballys.  So I have to go put my contacts in so I can see this movie I don’t want to see, but feel obligated to watch because I caused this myself.

After the movie I never wanted to watch, I go downstairs and I lose and lose and lose and lose and lose.  I go outside to get some Diet Pepsi and its FREEZING and very windy and rainy. I’m done. I take my Diet Pepsi back to my room and go to bed without even eating dinner. Or lunch for that matter. I fall asleep at 11:30 and at midnight, the alarm clock goes off because the last guest in this room had it set for midnight.

So to recap:

  • I couldn’t get the time slot I wanted in the tournament
  • My spa treatment was crappy
  • My phone broke
  • I left my glasses behind when I switched hotels
  • I accidentally rented a movie I did not want to see
  • I was a victim to someone else leaving the alarm clock set in my room

Merry Christmas. Here are some pictures:

Fremont Street Christmas treeFremont Street Las Vegas

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