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TR: 10/10 – 10/15: 3 Hotels, 2 much fam, 1 engagement
A little background – this was a belated birthday trip that I pretty much orchestrated with lots of great advice from TA and from other blogs etc. Family, friends etc had promised to come and for the most part many of them stepped up and did their part. This was my 6th trip and my GF’s first. We had a few other newbies but mostly we had all been 3-6 times since 2007 or so. I will say between the booze and the fellowship, some of the days blend together, but I will do my best
My GF and I stayed at PH comped for 4 nights and 1 surprise night in a Wrap Around at Cosmo – my buddies stayed under my name at Aria for 2 nights and my parents stayed at the Cosmo in a fountain view. Also saw the insides of several PH rooms as well. A pretty nice variety for just 5 nights.
The plan was for my GF and I to leave Wed morning and get a couple days to ourselves before the masses arrived late Thursday or Friday. At the last minute 2 of my college buddies joined in and decided to come Wed and Thurs before heading off to LA on Friday. I was fine with my buddies coming and so was my GF, as they are not huge gamblers and we don’t get to see each other that often. At the last minute my GF’s mother decided to come Wed night; I was less than thrilled but it quickly became apparent that she is a true gambler of gamblers and you can leave her in front of a machine anywhere in Clark County and she does not care what happens around her or where you go without her! I am surprised she makes it out of the airport. The rest of the group including my parents, my GF’s sisters and some good friends were coming Thurs/Friday from various points around the country.
My father was kind enough to drive us to DTW, but that meant leaving for the airport on his schedule so we arrived about 2 and a half hours before our flight took off. Thanks to TA I was tipped off a long ways back about the new SW flights direct from DTW to LAS. Several of us got great rates and the no bag fees are a nice bonus that I am used to when flying Delta with my Delta Am/Ex.
Flight was uneventful and we landed just about on schedule. I must say I was amazed that we literally walked off the plane, stopped at a bathroom and proceeded to baggage claim as our bags were rolling off the line. After a quick cab ride to PH – maybe $14 we were on the hotel grounds maybe 30 mins after landing!
I have always been a believer in the $20 trick and don’t try to make a big secret of the whole thing. I am friendly, say hello and call the person by their name and hand them my CC and the $20 and usually just say “Thanks and this is for you.” We were comped for 5 nights in a Hip Room, no view. I was emailed an offer to upgrade to Strip View about a week before but passed. Perhaps it was because of the $20, perhaps because it was a Wednesday at 1:00 pm, but we were upgraded to a resort room 22nd floor looking right over the pool and the fountains. The room was very spacious with a double vanity and plenty of other space for friends to stop by for a drink or just to say hello. There was no real closet, just an extended tv stand with a small closet attached.
I will add a few things about PH – the hotel is dark in the halls, but the elevators were quick and it seemed very clean to me. Maid service was good (we tipped a few bucks each day) and being so close to the Miracle Mile Shops and ABC Store is a great bonus. None of our friends and family tried the $20 trick at check in and all received basic rooms with little or no view. The rooms I saw were reasonably well appointed and clean, but the one small window did make them feel dark and confiding.
After checking in and a stop at the ABC store we hit the strip with cocktails in hand! We walked through Paris, Bally’s and Bill’s. Played some VP at Bills Bar and the drink service was great, played for a while and had some nice cold draft beers and cocktails and then took off for Flamingo. A brief stop for some Blackjack at the Margaritaville provided a few decent Margaritas, but not much in the way of wins.
Continued moving down the wave of CET properties stopping in here and there for some VP play and eventually stopped at Casino Royale. A decent run of VP and BJ Switch garnered us a couple hundred dollars. (Side Story) As I was leaving the bar with a $1 Michelob in hand, I walked to the strip and realized I had lost my wallet! WTF!!!! I run back to the bar, no wallet, run back to the bathroom, nothing! So I stopped at security and amazingly a guard found my wallet as I had left it on the floor. I must have missed my shorts pocket but was incredibly lucky none the less that a security guard found it and turned it right in.
Incredibly relieved after a near disaster, we headed over to the V/P – stopped in a cute little candy shop just inside the Venetian and seeking a bite to eat, made our way upstairs to Sushi Samba Happy Hour at the Palazzo. Had a couple Mojitos and a few basic sushi rolls and we were out the door for under $35 with tip. Sushi was basic, mojitos were good – for a decent happy hour at the price I would go back.
We were planning to head back to Yolos at PH for some happy hour margs, but the HH ended at 5:00 and we just ended up grabbing a couple of sandwiches from Earl of Sandwich, which would become a trend.
Our Chicago friends were coming in round 7:30 so we showered and checked them into the Aria around 6:30 – there was no line and check in at Aria was quick or easy. They requested 2 queen beds, no smoking and that request was made. 10th floor looking over the entrance – the room was gorgeous, well-appointed with excellent technology features. The Aria is a beautiful place and I would surely stay there on a future trip.
After getting my buddies checked in and playing some VP at an Aria Bar and getting a few delicious and pricey drinks at the bar near the main elevators we headed over the Pub at Monte Carlo. I really like craft beers and the Pub had some really nice choices to satisfy our group. My buddies ate and their meals looked good, we just had several beers and ended up paying with some express comps.
We played some BJ at Monte Carlo and lost, which would become a trend of the trip… Headed back to PH, at this point it was pouring rain, the streets were flooding and it was starting to get late. We tried to head down to Casino Royale for some cheap gambling, but we could not get past the IP lake front property. Hung out at the Flamingo until the rain slowed and called it a night back at PH.
Wow glad they found your wallet and congrats on the engagement
Wake up with a sore throat and hung over as all can be! Luckily the water from the ABC Shop was handy and still bathing in some ice. After a shower and another Earl’s I was feeling better and ready to go! Played a bunch of VP and drank some Bloody Mary’s at the Bar near the TR counter and Planet Dailles. Service was good and the VP lasted a while. Headed over to the sports book to place a bet on the Tigers – I was singing Justin Verlander’s praises and telling everyone I could that JV would cash for Tiger Backers.
We hung out at PH until some more friends came into town and eventually we all met up and headed over to the Caesars Food Court near the Forum Shops for lunch. If you are looking for something quick that is not half bad, there are a lot of choices. I went with the BBQ Pork Platter with Mac/Cheese and a couple bud lights. It was around $30 but was more food than I could eat.
After lunch we strolled through the forum shops (I got lost in there as usual but we saw Dick Butkis where Pete Rose Normally is located) and eventually made our way to Casino Royale and to the Palazzo. Lost about 10 hands in a row at the Palazzo in BJ, but made a late rally and broke about even after an hour.
I really like the Palazzo, the high ceilings make the place feel bright and airy and the champagne bar is a nice place to play some VP. Another place on the list of hotels I would like to stay at. My family has stayed there before and loved it, but I was excluded on that trip.
After some VP at Palazzo we walked it back to PH at had a nice Happy Hour at Yolos in the PH lobby. The Margaritas are not bad for $5 and some of the snacks and tacos were not too bad either. We picked up the tab for the 6 of us, it was about $120 with tip and for a quick HH bite I would come back.
We had decided to watch the Tigers and Steelers game at the Sportsbook at Mandalay Bay – we showered and changed and started walking towards MGM. Some of our group was meeting friends at MGM to later head to Tao, so it was a convenient drop off location. We took the tram from Excalibur to Mandy and ended up getting a table in the bar at the Mandy Sportsbook with a great view. One odd thing that happened: I had purchased a couple beers and some Champagne at the Mandalay Place Mall and later my friends that joined us came with Fat Tuesday Drinks – a waitress came up to us and said we could not bring in outside drinks (I get that) but she said we could stay, however never came back to offer us drinks from that bar. Oh well, we walked up to Fat Tuesdays for some refills and after the Tigers win we left Mandalay Bay excited and well served.
Some of our group that just arrived that day was heading back to PH, so we walked through Luxor and Excalibur and then stopped at NYNY. Grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Japanese/Chinese place near the Time Square Bar. Service was fast and they let us keep our slushy drinks from Fat Tuesdays. Had some sushi, some dumplings, some chicken, it was not too bad and very quick!
Our group was down to 4 and my Chicago buddies were going to Club Haze at Aria, my GF and I wanted to gamble and we headed over to PH for some slots and VP and called it an earlier than normal evening around midnight.
Great so far. Laughed out loud about your GF's Mom! She and I would get along great. LOL. Good detail on the rooms at PH. Have not stayed there since it was the Aladdin so know the basic footprint.
You are not the first person to mention the walkway thru the IP construction is a problem when it rains. Guess they figure it does not rain enough to do something about it. Not good.
Looking forward to the rest.
You can never have too much family
I would have too much family togetherness in LV for sure!!
Waiting for more.
Great TR so far!
Woke up and felt ok – I was looking for a little more than just Earl’s for Breakfast so we walked to Paris for a couple Crepes. Crepes were solid, ham and cheese for me and the 3 cheese for her – I have been there before and would go back.
Spent the next couple hours at Bally’s playing 3 card poker, roulette, and VP at the main bar in the casino. No great successes, but a nice $100 win at a WofF slot covered most of those losses. We headed back to Gustav’s bar at Paris to wait for our friends that had gone down to see the Shark Reek at Mandalay bay (they were less than thrilled) as well as some family getting into town as well. We all met up shortly after noon and walked over to bills for some cheap drinks and gambling. Now I end up going to Bill’s a lot almost every trip, yet I never ever win there. A couple hundred dollars later I got a call from my parents who were arriving at the Cosmo and everyone was eager to check out their Fountain View Room.
The Cosmo is really an amazing place; the room was on the 53rd floor looking right down on the fountains. Great bathroom, sitting area where you could entertain, I told my GF we would stay there sometime; little did she know it would be in 48 hours. We all grabbed a slice down at the secret pizza place, which was quite tasty and shared a few beers of PBR and Stone IPA in a red solo cup. BTW it is at this point when my gf and I got our first of several "you left with out me" text messages. The group got split and some of them did not get to see the room or the fountains from the Cosmo. It was much about nothing in by book, by the tension lingered amongst sisters and their mother for some time.
We all went our separate ways and reconvened at The Palm restaurant at Caesars for their happy hour in the bar around 5:30 pm. This is truly a must attend! Lots of food options, lots of nice drink choices and the pricing is tremendous. We left after about 90 minutes, full and happy – my bill was maybe $60.00. It is obviously not a meal at the Palm, but it is a nice alternative. PS - we chose this spot mostly due to my gf's mother complaining on past trips about spending too much on food, drinks etc - I am still waiting for her to buy me my first drink or dinner, but I will not hold my breath. In the end the Palm HH worked out great and everyone seemed happy.
We headed over to Mirage where I grabbed a slush drink at the Rhumbar stand that would be my undoing. Played some BJ and lost again – but my mother had wondered off and was turning pennies into gold. She would end up down a little bit for the weekend but for about 60 minutes she turned $20 into about $400. Multiple 4 of Kinds and small slot wins and she thought she was riding high. My father does not gamble and was ready to go to bed, my mother wanted to ride her hot hand which had carried over to the TI, but he won out and she would be regretting that for days.
Because of the slush drink the night gets really foggy from here, I know my GF and I gambled late at Casino Royale winning a good sum of money on BJ Switch and I know I ate Earl’s again – beyond that I got nothing for you!
LMAO those slushy drinks will kill you. Good Tr so far.
Great TR, can't wait for more, especially the surprise stay at Cosmo!!