I have never posted a trip report but thought I would give it a try.
I begin with the day before we leave Tulsa for Vegas.
Living in Oklahoma we do not often enjoy warm, sunny sun bathing
weather until late June or so. I am not a tanning bed person so I
decide to try my luck with the sunless tanning lotions.
The night before we leave I take a good hour to carefully
rub this fake tan all over my body, Taking the warning on
the bottle seriously to avoid the knee areas and such. As
I jump into bed I look and see that the lotion has changed
little the tone of my snow white skin.
Upon waking the next morning I am shocked to see that I
now have a nice deep fake tan going. Forgetting that my
Hubby, Charlie is color blind, I ask him if it looks like a natural
tan. He assures me I look like the typical sun worshipper. Upon
further inspection I notice that my ankles and toes are still
snow white along with many other areas that I somehow missed.
Deciding not to arrive multicolored in Vegas I take a long bath
scrubbing furiously with a loofa sponge feeling like I am
removing skin along with the fake tan. Thank goodness I
decided not to apply this to my face.
Lesson learned, Fake tans are just that and are not for me.
Finally time to head to the Tulsa Airport. My hubby's friend
drops us off at the airport and we locate the Champion Air
Gate. Check in was super fast and our first big bonus,,,
We get seats on the emergency exit row. Now I am just over
5 ft tall and hubby is only 5'7" but I am a bit clousterphobic
so seats on the emergency exit row is like first class to me.
Our flight is just over 1 1/2 hours. We are white knuckled as
the plane hits turbulence. The stewardess is really getting
pissed with people falling into her as she tries to serve drinks.
She gets on the overhead and announces "That if we desire
to have drinks served we are to stay seated." The turbulence
had already convinced me to remain seated with my seat
belt on but I was amazed at the idiots that still were bobbing
around the airplane like it was social hour at their favorite
bar. Finally this really Big Guy is standing in the aisle talking,
another strong bout of turbulence and yep, down he goes.
He lands across the laps of a couple people and all are
covered in various drinks. After that it seemed that no one
moved from their designated seat until we landed.
We are then in the race with the rest of the passengers to
see who can get to the baggage claim area first. I personally
have learned through the years that you only end up standing
there waiting for the luggage to arrive. I am a smoker so I
step out side for a dose of nicotine while the hubby waits
for the luggage. We were at terminal Two. I read on this board
that Terminal one has a hotel check in desk for the MGM Grand. We
figure it would take longer to take the shuttle from Terminal one to
Terminal two than it would to just wait and check in at the MGM
Now the hubby, Charlie gets really ticked because he discovers that
about 50 other people stole "Our" idea to tie fancy red ribbons
to our black luggage so they are easy to spot on the carousel.
Hubby is grabbing bag after bag that he spots a red ribbon
attached. After about 30 minutes and all bags are claimed
but we are standing there empty handed. I am about to panic.
Our last trip to Vegas 2 years ago for New Years our luggage
disappeared and was not returned to us until the last day of
our stay. Hubby reminds me that we are still joined by the
majority of people from our flight and most all of them are
also empty handed. Finally, 45 minutes later the luggage
arrives and we head for the line for a cab.
The line for those waiting for a cab is about 100 people deep.
We opted for a cab after reading on this board that the cost
is about the same for a cab as it is for one of the shuttle buses
since we are staying at the MGM. About 30 minutes later we
are in a cab and headed for the MGM. The cabbie does not
follow the flow of traffic exiting the airport. He said he knows
of a short cut. Not really sure if it was a shortcut or not, The cab
tab was right about $10.00. Hubby hands him $15.00 as he unloads
This is our first stay and the MGM and I must say, I would definitely
stay here again. The check in had about 10 clerks and each line
had about 10 guests waiting. 15 minutes later we are heading to
our room. I did not try to "tip" for an upgraded room. We were
assigned room 24-220 It was about halfway down the long hall
from the elevator. The room view was of Hooters, The airport
runway and the mountains. We have experienced parking garage
views or the trash dumpster views so this was not at all bad.
We unpack our luggage, lock valuables in the room safe and head for the casino. We get our player club cards. Charlie heads for the blackjack tables and I to the slots. The MGM has signs that tell you they will not rate you at the tables if you play less than $15.00 a hand so I doubt we receive any comps on this trip
I really like the cool multilevel slot machines with the bonus rounds
but quickly did the math, The Bonus Party machine had up to 30 lines and up to 20 hits per line. It was a nickle machine so if I played the max bet each spin it was $1.50 for just one hit per line. That would be $30.00 each spin if I played the max. Gees, I am one of those people that would say, "You will never see me playing one of those $5.00 per spin slot machines." Nope, I am playing it safe and playing all 30 lines at one hit per line till I hit it "big" then I will increase the level of play. About 20 spins into it I had lost $20.00 and decided to go see how the hubby was doing at the blackjack tables.
He too was not on the winning side of the game so we
decided to walk across the street to Hooters for dinner. I just
ordered hot wings and so did Charlie. We were really disappointed
because the food was not as good as our home town Hooters, If you can classify hot wings ever as "good" We get the check and discover they charged us an additional 20% to sit in the band area. We had not asked to be seated in the "band" area and were a bit upset for the thrown in charge.
Back to the MGM more blackjack and slots, We were both down a
couple hundred each so decided to call it a day.
Day Two-Our first full Day in Vegas
We Oklahoma is on Central Standard Time. Vegas is Pacific Daylight Time. So we are two hours ahead. This means our normal time we wake is 6 am CST which is 4 am PST. We woke and could not fall back to sleep. The bed was so comfortable. The room temperature was perfect. With our room almost on the airport runway we seldom heard an airplane but the darn central standard time was interrupting our rest. Nothing to do but shower, Dress and go search for food.
We ended up at the buffet at the MGM. It was about $15.00 per person for breakfast. They told us upon check in we had a $25.00 food credit so we opted to blow the entire amount and then some. Food was really poor. The fruit was good but other than that, Everything was pretty bland. Charlie opted for an omelet and he said it was better than cardboard. (I will have to ask him about his cardboard eating days as they must have been before my time)
I was complaining to Charlie how terrible the drink service was last night so he decided we would walk to the corner gas station and pick up a 12 pack of Bud Light. Ok, we all know that the corner store in our home town is just a hop, skip and jump away. The corner stores in Vegas are 1/2 a mile from anything. There we are walking with a case of buds down the strip in Vegas, through the Casino and up the elevators to the 24the floor. Charlie then takes the dry cleaner bag, lines one of the trash cans, Instant Ice chest, and heads for the ice machine. Being married to a red neck has definite advantages.
We get bored with the MGM casino and decide to head down the strip. We dive in and out of casinos along the way being sure to leave $20.00 bills in each we visit.
I think it was O'Sheas or Bills Casino that had this huge sale on really top quality shirts and jackets. Charlie decides he and his two sons must have one of the "suede" look CSI Jackets for the bargain price of $20.00. What he was not thinking was that we were a good mile or two from our hotel and heading to the Frontier which was even further away. So there he was with a huge garbage size bag containing 3 coats to lug down the strip.
There is allot of construction. Most sidewalks are barely wide enough for two people to walk side by side. I am noticing a huge amount of people riding on these scooter chairs. You know, the ones that are like electric wheel chairs. Don't get me wrong, I have relatives that could not live day to day life without this assistance but these people riding the scooters on the strip would about run over people and in some narrow areas we found ourselves backed against construction barricades to keep from being ran over. That makes me wonder, How the heck do they get these scooters to Vegas? Do they check them in at the airport? Did we miss the scooter rental facilities in the casinos or on the strip?
We walked and walked finally making it to the Frontier. We gambled
there, had the buffet and headed back to the MGM. We lost more
money, The buffet was just OK and the walk back was terrible.
I was sick of paying $3.00 for bottled water. I was determined to find
a water fountain and refill the bottles we had. We went in each casino from the frontier to the MGM and could not locate one public water drinking fountain. Hours later we finally made it back to the MGM. That reminds me, I was going to try to find a website that would tell me just how far it is from the MGM to the Frontier. Anyone know?
We have friends that live about 10 miles off the strip. They called
and asked that we go out with them for dinner. They took us to some tiny bar, I forget the name but Doug told us it was the original Coyote Ugly Bar. We kicked down a cold one and headed for the Casinos.
Our friends, Doug and Brenda suggested we have dinner at a little
cafe downstairs in Bunions. They told us Binions has a $5.99 steak dinner. Its not on the menu, You have to ask for it. (Like the Ellis Island Steak Dinner we read about on this board) Charlie and I opted for the $5.99 deal while Brenda and Doug went for the special of the day, a $6.99 chicken fried steak dinner. The meals were huge, Doug and Brenda ended up having theirs boxed to take home. The steaks on the $5.99 special were delicious. thick cuts that were tender and juicy. The four of us ate for less than $40.00
Doug and Brenda cruised us around Vegas in their little red Mustange convertible. After an hour cruise we were beat. (We are still fighting the dreaded Central Standard Time Versus Pacific time) Charlie goes back to visit with the blackjack dealers. I told him it is a shame he has to pay people to visit with him so I offer to
keep him company in the room for a bargain price. He said that sounded like prostitution and he read on this board that it is illegal on the strip in Vegas. Not wanting to commit a crime and risk arrest I head to a warm bath and comfy bed. Charlie opts for more BJ. He returns to the room around midnight swearing that the dealers at the BJ tables love to let you get up a few hundred just so they and the pit boss can laugh when you loose it all back again.
Charlie decides he much more enjoys losing BJ at $5.00 a hand instead of $15.00. We walk to McDonalds for Breakfast then head back down the strip, We have not yet learned the cost of stopping by the slot machines so we leave a sizeable trail of cash once again. We decide we really enjoyed losing money in the downtown casinos. $5. for an all day pass we take the new Deuce Bus, the Double decker public transit buses. They had cool air and were really quite clean. You can get on and off all you want for the
$5.00 all day pass. After the second or third time we reboarded the bus I noticed Charlie was practically knocking me down to obtain a window seat. We always rode on the upper deck of the bus. It finally hit me, The view! From the second level of the bus you were at
the perfect angle to get, as Charlie Described it, "The best view in Vegas" Not that you have to try hard to check out female cleavage in Vegas but this top of the bus view made Charlie totally forget about losing at blackjack.
One of the Time Share people gave us two " free" tickets to see the comedian/magician, Mac King. We headed to Harrahs to the mid afternoon show. While standing in line we read the small print on the tickets and discovered the tickets require a one drink minimum
at $9.99 each plus gratuities. We decided what the heck. We had heard good things about Mac King. After waiting in line about 30 min we were seated on the very back row. They crammed us at a small table with 4 other strangers. You then had to go stand in line to obtain your $9.99 drink. They are smart at this. They take your money before you enter and give you a drink ticket. You then opt to stand in line with about 200 others waiting for this drink. Yep, I am cheap so I stood in line missing the first 20 or so minutes of the show for our drinks. I see when I returned to our tiny table and 4 strangers that there were huge booths behind us and they were all empty. Charlie and I moved to the roomy booths. We reclined back with our drinks in hand to enjoy the Mac King show.
I realized about 10 minutes after I sat down the signs around the stage did not contain Mac Kings picture or name. I do not recall this guys name but the comedian/magician we were watching was not Mac King. He was an OK comedian and did magic tricks. I had seen most all the magic routines before performed by other magicians in the past. One trick he did was cool. He had a spiral drawn on a poster board in a circle shape. He told everyone to focus on the center of the spiral and it spun around for 30 seconds.
He then stopped spinning the spiral and told everyone to focus on his head. When you looked at his head it appeared to be shrinking right on top of his shoulders. Then he began spinning the spiral in the opposite direction for 30 seconds. Again he stopped
the spinning spiral and we stared at his head and it began to become huge. That was to cool.
Back to Binions Cafe for Lunch, Another wonderful $5.99 steak dinner and we strolled the downtown casinos. We went to a little kinda dumpy casino call Mermaids. We found these 5 coin nickel Betty Boop slots along the wall. I put $20.00 in one and proceeded to loose. These were actual coin fed and coin pay machines. This was Charlies second trip to Vegas and he actually asked me how to operate a coin fed machine. He really thought it was a total pain feeding the machine a nickel at a time but finally got the hang of it. Guess I could have let him in on the secret that you can take the cup of coins to the cashier and change them back to bills. After I was about even I cashed out.
I always find it amusing watching people play coin machines. When I am home I may see a nickel on a counter top and never take the time to pick it up. When someone drops a nickel at a slot machine in Vegas they will crawl all over the nasty floor to retrieve it.
Now I remember about playing with coins, Nasty, Nasty black fingers. I gave Charlie half my nickels and he played the Betty Boop Machine next to me. He could not loose. 4 hours later he was still on the original $10.00 he started with. He decided to go to another casino and play the tables. I continued to play the nickel machine so sure it would hit the $20 million progressive jackpot.
About an hour later a drunk guy came and sat at the machine next to me. He proceeded to beg for coins and was really making me anxious. After about 30 minutes later he passed out in his chair. Security came and attempted to make him leave. I was really tired of the whole situation. The drunk guy was a little skinny guy and here are two rather large security guards trying to "ask" him to leave. I ended up collecting my nickels and hit the door.
I called Charlie on his cell phone. We met at the bus stop and headed back to the MGM. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to ride the deuce from downtown to the MGM grand so this is something to keep in mind if you have show tickets.
Back on the Deuce and we headed back to the MGM. We went to the room to clean up. We then walked to explore the pool area. At the MGM you walk about a mile through the hotel to get to the pool area. You exit the hotel and come to a gated area. You then must present your room key and photo ID to a clerk who runs it through a
card scanner. If you are a registered guest they present you with a huge beach towel and you are allowed to proceed to the many pool and hot tub areas. Two of the swimming pools were closed so the ones that were open were crowded.
Charlie wanted to check out the Adult Only Pool. Sorry Charlie, No topless women, Gees, I did not realize what a breast guy Charlie is. He quickly loses interest in the pool areas and is ready for dinner. We exit through some turn stiles in which a hotel attendant is there to confiscate the free huge beach towels.
We went to the Rain Forrest for dinner. It is cool cause if you do not want to stand in the long line and wait for a table you can belly up to the bar if you do not mind eating at the bar. Charlie was thrilled cause he was betting on Dallas and the basketball game was being played on a TV at the bar. They had this dinner special for $24.99. It was coleslaw, Bar-B-Que ribs, a small steak, 5 huge coconut shrimp on a skewer and fries. I was not hungry so I ordered the hot crab dip and chips for $9.99. We had a coupon for a free appetizer at the Rain Forest. (The coupon book was in a rack in the cab we took from the airport) Anyway, be careful if you decide to split a dinner in Vegas. The rain forest charges $5.00 extra to give you a separate plate and silverware. Our bartender/waiter
informed us of this when we ordered. I told him we were not going to spilt the dinner. I swear he watched us like a hawk as we ate daring me to take a bite of Charlies dinner. We one upped him and asked for a go box for the left overs, hehehehe.
Our flight departed at 9 am Vegas time. We checked out at 6:30 am and took a cab to the airport. Checked in rather quickly and once again were able to get seats on the roomy emergency exit row.
Of course you have to check in two hours early so we grabbed a breakfast sandwich at Hardies. Nearly $7 a person for a breakfast sandwich, tots and coffee. This is double what it is at home.
I decided to go back through security and out to smoke. The airport security people were soooo nice. I stopped and asked where I should go to smoke. The guy said I would have to go all the way out of the terminal to the "designated" smoking area. He said would watch for me and help cut me through the line when I returned. Another security guy handed me a lighter so I would not have to fight with matches.
It makes me wonder if I were dying of lung cancer from smoking if they would donate a lung. Nothing like down home hospitality when dealing with an addiction.
Yep, They took out the indoor smoking areas in the Tulsa and Las Vegas Airports. So we can no longer share our second hand smoke. Face it Smokers, Soon we are going to be banned from all public areas, Time to really focus on giving up the addiction. I found it amusing that smoking is now banned in most areas of Vegas. You can smoke while in the casino but at the restaurants that surround the casino floor smoking is banned.
We entered the plane on time but something about the wind held us on the tarmac for an hour. I just know some day some nutty smoker is gonna go ballistic when they are held hostage on a tarmac. It is one thing to know you have an 90 min flight. but when that 90 minutes turns into hours smokers can go nuts.
All though the flight sat on the tarmac an hour we made up time and arrived back in Tulsa just 30 minutes late.
We played the luggage-go-round game for another hour and finally on our way home.
Since so many of you stole our idea of placing red ribbons on luggage to make them easier to identify Charlie came up with a new idea,,,,
I did not have the heart to tell him he missed the dozens of suit cases with neon tape as he was diving for the red ribbons.
We had a great time. Thanks for reading this long report