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Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Detroit, Michigan
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Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Trip Report – 9/6 through 9/10/2010 – Four Queens, Harrahs, Viva Elvis, Human Nature

(Low Roller Report With Costs Included To Help Anyone Out There On A Budget)

This was our annual trip to Vegas, been there maybe ten times. Losing count. We are a married couple, aged 60 and 63, which sounds old, but we don't feel old. We don't have blue hair yet. We don't gamble enough to get comped rooms, etc. Rely on coupons and Harrahs Total Rewards points from our Harrahs Visa. I guess you'd call us low rollers. Our gambling allowance is maybe $50 per day per person. We have a good time, though.

Day One 9/6/ 2010 - Flew out of Grand Rapids on Allegiant on the BOGO Airfare + Hotel Deal. We were quite satisfied with everything, including price. Had to book two nights through the Airline, picked Four Queens as we like to stay downtown a couple nights anyway. Grand total for two non-stop round trip flights and two nights at Four Queens was $480, which included all taxes, 911 fees, etc. etc. Planes on time coming and going, plus you can carry on one bag per person without extra fees. You are guaranteed a seat, so no need to pay extra to reserve a specific seat as long as you don't care where you sit.

Took the CAT 108 from airport to downtown, cost $2 apiece. Speedy, painless, cheap. Of course, you have to be using carry on luggage if you are relying on city transportation. Got to Four Queens, got standard room on the 19th floor. Clean room and bathroom, coffee pot in room, AC working fine, looked like a new and modern flat screen TV. This will do just fine. First stop after unpacking (it's 5:30 p.m. Vegas time by now) was the Firefly at the Plaza for Happy Hour. Good choice. I had a sangria and Mr. V had a mojito, plus had to try the famous dates and also an empanadas small plate. Delicious, just enough to take the edge off. Total for two drinks, two appetizers and tip - $20. Next got $5 freeplay at the Plaza using the ACG coupon. Played slots for about a half an hour, came out even and moved on to the Vegas Club to use their $5 freeplay from ACG and about the same result after 30 minutes. Moved on to the Golden Gate for two shrimp cocktails, using the BOGO from the Fremont Street coupons. Played briefly at Golden Gate. Both Mr. V and myself still even gambling wise.

Next stop, the El Cortez, to use the $10 Freeplay ACG coupon. Stayed there about 30 minutes. Still neither of us has lost any of our own money. (You know this will eventually change.) Walked back down to the canopy, enjoyed the hourly shows and minor penny slot gambling at Fitzgeralds, Binions, etc. Purchased two HUGE microbrews from the Chicago Brew Company at Four Queens using the BOGO coupon in our Four Queens Funbook. This came to $5 plus tip for two whopping big beers. After the final canopy show, went to Magnolias for two prime rib dinners using the BOGO from our Four Queens Funbook. Then, played on the $10 freeplay we got in our Four Queens Funbook, but won zilch. Turned in around 3:00 a.m. Vegas time, so we had been up about 24 hours by now.

Day Two - 9-7-2010

Got up, made coffee in the room, dressed and headed over to the Gold Spike. Just had to check it out and so glad we did. Had breakfast at the diner. Clean, modern, pretty, lots of white furniture. We both had Rib Eye steaks and eggs which were excellent. Used the BOGO from the ACG and with tip this came to $9. Then, out to the bar for two free bloody marys using the ACG coupon. By now it's lightly raining so we decided to play for a while in the spotless clean updated casino. I hit four deuces on a nickel video poker and won $50. That's a big win for two low rollers like us. Played penny slots a bit longer, then left. Back to Fremont street and played at the Fremont for a while. Staying about even, plus still ahead from my 4 deuces. Mr. V had to have another shrimp cocktail at Golden Gate (he loves those things) and I played a bit more. Back to the room around 2:00 p.m.., got dressed a little better for our trip to Aria.

Now, here is the deal on riding the CAT. We walked over to the Downtown Transit Station, about a five minute, safe, painless walk from the Four Queens. Showed our out of state picture ID's and both got our Senior ID's, which are free and good for five years. (Must be 60 or over). We could then purchase a 72 hour All Access Bus Pass for $7.50 per person. You can ride any bus – the ACE, the Deuce, the 108 to the airport, anything, for 72 full hours. The people at the Downtown Transit Station were very kind and helpful. The whole procedure was truly simple and now we are all set for the rest of the trip transportation wise, including return to the airport on Friday afternoon.

Took the ACE to the Bellagio, walked through Bellagio to the Tram to City Center. Picked up our Viva Elvis tickets, which I had ordered about two months prior on the Summer of Cirque promotion - $55 per person. After we picked up our tickets, went to the Aria casino. Here our luck ran out. Neither Mr. V nor I won anything. We both thought the slots were really tight. Then, we walked up to one of the casino bars for a beer (as had not seen a cocktail waitress) and were informed the cheapest draft beer was $8. Boy, we are not impressed with Aria or City Center. Passed on the beers, went back to sit down at the slots and slowly play our pennies (as we are not winning). Finally a cocktail waitress comes by and we at least get two drinks. Anyway, after more losing on quarter video poker and penny slots, time to head over to the Viva Elvis Theater. The show was amazing. We both really, really enjoyed it. I used to say Love was my favorite Vegas show, but I think it's a tie now between Love and Viva Elvis. Be warned...the theater is freezing cold.

After Viva Elvis, walked and walked to Crystals to find the Todd English Pub for appetizers and the famous nickel beer night which I had read about on these chatboards. Forgetaboutit! It wasn't even 9:00 p.m., yet and the line to get in went on for ever and ever. Mainly young people waiting to get in for nickel beer. Good luck to them. We gave up on the Todd English Pub, walked and walked and walked (do you get the idea we are not impressed with City Center?) and caught the ACE back to downtown.

Once downtown, we went to Benny's Bullpen at Binions for the $10 pizza and beer special. Boy, was this nice. Huge comfy leather easy chairs, lots of sports on the TV screens, pleasant staff and the pizza was fantastic, not to mention the 60 ounce pitcher of beer that the two of us finished with no problem. Plus, I had about $2.50 in comp dollars on my Binions card, so it only cost us $7.50 plus tip for this very nice experience.. A little more penny slots, at Binions and Four Queens, no big wins, so to bed around 2:30 a.m.

Day Three – 9-8-2010 (Are you getting bored yet? Because we're not.)

Up, coffee in room, and over to the Fremont Buffet, from which I was not expecting much. Was I wrong. This was a great buffet for breakfast. Omlette station and fresh made to order pancakes plus all the other breakfast goodies. I thought it would be cheap, because it was, but it was quite good. Using the BOGO Fremont coupon plus tip, I think this came to $8 total.

Packed up, checked out of the Four Queens and hopped on the Deuce to Harrahs. Booked this on the Harrahs website plugging in my TR number and got a standard room for $30 per night (and remember, no resort fees.) Even though only 10:30 a.m., they let us check in to our room and it was very nice, clean, updated, nice bed and bedding. Unpacked. Mr. V stayed in the room and read the newspaper while I made a mad dash over to the Flamingo to pick up our Nathan Burton tickets for this afternoon and our Human Nature tickets for tonight. Then, around noon we hopped on the shuttle to the Rio to get a few hours in at their very lovely pool area, which is open to the public free of charge. (You know, of course, that the Harrahs pool is just a concrete square. So if a pool is a big thing to you, I'd go elsewhere.) They do check your bags, though, to make sure you are not smuggling in booze. The Rio pool is really lovely, laid back, no trouble finding a chair, music but not too loud, a couple nice hot tubs, boy, was that nice. Around 3:00 p.m. We took the shuttle back to Harrahs and over to the Flamingo for Nathan Burton at 4:00 p.m. Had two free tickets from the Vegas4Locals coupon page. This show was very good and funny. We enjoyed it. After Nathan Burton, we stopped at O'Sheas for a bit. They have 99 cent frozen Baileys slushies so need I say more? Played a bit. Back to Harrahs to get ready for our show tonight.

We saw Human Nature at Imperial Palace. I had previously obtained tickets on the HalfPriceShows website, I think the grand total for two tickets was $70. This show was spectacular. Please, please, do yourself a favor, and see this show next time you are in Vegas before you cannot afford these guys anymore. Wonderful. Following our show, our ticket stubs got us into the Rock House Bar for a free drink. We both had a free beer, but not much was going on yet (the guy said the music didn't start till around 9:30 p.m.,), so we walked back to Harrahs for dinner at the KGB Hamburger Restaurant. This was very good. Mr. V had the four cheese hamburger and I had the thanksgiving turkey burger, both came with fries. Food was very good, servings were huge, nice friendly waitress. We just drank water as we had just had a beer, so it cost around $25, but I paid for this using our accumulated TR points, plus cash tip. Would definitely eat there again. After dinner, went back to play video poker and penny slots at O'Sheas and more 99 cent frozen Baileys for a while. Then, played at Harrahs for a while. The slots were ok at O'Sheas, really tight at Harrahs, or maybe it was just not my day to win, who knows? Hit the hay around 3:00 a.m.

Day Four – 9-9-2010

Up around 9:00 a.m., and on the first shuttle to Rio at 10:00 a.m. Had breakfast buffet at the Rio using the BOGO from the ACG and then paid for remainder with Harrahs TR points. Had read that the Rio Buffet had gone downhill, but it didn't seem that way to me. Everything was excellent. Then, a few quality hours out at the Rio pool and hot tubs. Nice, nice. Around 2:00 p.m. We hopped back on the Rio Shuttle back to Harrahs and walked down to Bills for Big Elvis. Got our drinks, got our table, the lounge was filled up by 2:30 p.m. And Big Elvis never showed. Well, I guess everyone deserves a day off, but they should have made an announcement that he wasn't coming. So, we left Bills at 3:00 p.m. And walked down to Planet Hollywood. Mr. V won a free lettuce wrap appetizer at PF Changs on the free pull slot machine outside of PH, so that made up our minds about where to have dinner. Dashed over to the V Theater to pick up show tickets for tonight, then played at the PH casino for a while and we did pretty well for low rollers, plus a couple free drinks. This was nice. Dashed back to Harrahs to change clothes (had to stop at O'Sheas for Bailey slushies on the way).

Our show this evening was the Mentalist at the V Theater at PH. If you go on the Gerry McCrambridge webside and sign his guest book, they e-mail you a coupon for two free show tickets. Have to buy one drink apiece for $10 and pay $5 p.p. Box office charge, but still a great deal I think. The show was simply amazing and we were glad we had selected this show. This guy is astounding and you will not be disappointed. Following the Mentalist show, we had dinner at PF Changs. Used the free lettuce wraps coupon Mr. V had won, and split a shrimp and lobster sauce entree. Split the Banana Spring Rolls for dessert. Everything was just delicious. Used my TR points to pay for this night, plus cash tip.

Walked across the street to the Bellagio and the Fontana Lounge. Diane Diaz was the entertainment, plus we ran out to the terrace for the fountain shows. We both just had a beer. Then, had to see the flowers and play in the casino for a bit. Actually, came out ahead on the penny slots at Bellagio, plus a free peach bellini while playing. Can't beat that. Back down to Harrahs and their tight slots, so to bed.

Last Day – 9-10-2010.

Slept in till about 9:30 a.m. Up, dressed, etc. Went to the Flavors Buffet at Harrahs, using the ACG $5 off coupon and TR points for two breakfast buffets. This buffet was very good. Played a few penny slots, then time to pack up (had requested a noon check out which was much appreciated.) Time to leave. Took the 202 Bus to transfer to the 108 Bus to the airport. The whole trip took about 40 minutes and was quite painless. In fact got to the airport much quicker than we thought, so found a bar in the airport and had a couple more beers while waiting for our flight home. Flight home was smooth and on time. Thus the end of another wonderful Vegas trip. No big wins, obviously, but our meager bankrolls lasted for the five days. To me, that's a winning trip.

Sorry this was so long. I personally never tire of reading other people's trip reports and learn much from them. Hope this helped someone. See you next year. Love, Vegaholic.

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woodstock, ct
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1. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

I never get tired of trip reports either! I'm happy for the reviews, I've been debating Viva Elvis for the next trip. Good job!

Alaska
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2. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Your TR was not boring at all. Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

Skimo

Houston
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3. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Thanks for your trip report - especially about Human Nature and Viva Elvis. I am looking for a good show for our trip the end of October and both are possibilities. Sounds like you had a grand time!

Miami, Florida
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4. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Outstanding TR. You all packed a wollop in those few days. Most of here like to learn new ways to save as well. We stayed at Harrahs in August and with the ACG had a great time with those coupons.

texas
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5. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Thank you so much. We are not high rollers either, so enjoyed that you had a great time without thousands of dollars spent.

You actually mentioned a couple places that I had read about, so will definitely put your report in my faves to look at when we go in May. The pizza place at Binions, because we will be with 2 21 year olds and know they will like that. Also the Bailey's slushies sound so great. The KGB burger place also sounds good, as we like burgers. Can you tell us what a thanksgiving turkey burger was? Sounds interesting.

Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

The Thanksgiving Turkey Burger is a turkey burger (not ground turkey, more like a chopped turkey) with stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, lettuce and tomato. Yummmmm. I was so glad I tried it. My husband thought his four cheese cheeseburger was excellent too. The burgers are HUGE, and come with more fries than you can finish.

texas
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7. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

yummy!

Ontario, Canada
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8. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Good trip report !! Lots of tips for budget travellers. I know I will be trying out some of them in December. Thanks again !!

Newcastle, UK
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9. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

If you hadn't said..............I would have had you down for 30's max.

Loved you TR.

Live to the fullest!

Cheers

Davy !!!

Florida
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10. Re: Long Trip Report 9-6-2010 through 9-10-2010

Did you say your in your 60's. You could put many a 30 yr old to shame. Great TR. This is what this forum is for. You just eplained how many people could afford Vegas, see everything, eat great, and even gamble on a budget. Many people that think they can't afford Vegas, you just showed them how. With some style I might add. I loved it. Just one more for the baby boomers. What a generation.

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