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TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

Saint Clair Shores...
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TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

Another great vacation in Vegas with hubby and I, along with Sis and BIL. We were there for 9 days. Spent 2 nights downtown and then the other 7 on the strip. This is the first time that we've every stayed downtown and it was enjoyable. Not going to do a full trip report as it's the usual drinking, eating, gambling, walking, spending time by the pool, having a great time in Vegas report. What I'll do is break it down by category and write a little about all the places we went, where we stayed, eating and then finish it off with the crappy end. Let me tell you not the way I wanted to end the vacation. Will post in replies.

Ontario, Canada
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1. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

We had a crappy end as well and ended up with the Norwalk virus. Glad it was out of my system for the flight home. I can't wait to see your TR!

Saint Clair Shores...
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2. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

So lets start with where we stayed.

The D - being from Michigan we figured that we would try The D. The rates for the 2 nights were very good. In total we paid $130 which included the resort fee. We have never stayed downtown. Usually we stay on the strip for our entire stay, but we decided to split it up this time. The room was just a basic room. Nothing to write home about. It was clean, a place to sleep and take showers. Didn't get a chance to go to the pool. I did like the Longbar. Service was hit or miss both days at the bar. Didn't spend too much gambling there, but the service on the floor was good. Hubby and I agreed that two nights downtown was just the right amount of time for us. Would stay there again if we decided to stay downtown again.

Polo Towers - this has pretty much become our go to place to stay. When we travel to Vegas we usually spend at least 7 - 9 days there. We exchange our timeshare so for us it is a great deal. We love having a kitchen and the rooms are quite large. This time we had a 2 room lock out. Sis/BIL had the big room and we took the smaller room. We were a little concerned with sleeping on a murphy bed for 7 nights, but it was very comfortable. Had we not known it was a murphy bed we never would have been able to tell the difference. We liked having a small fridge in our room as well. We kept the door open between the rooms, except for when we were sleeping so it worked out well for us. I know that people complain because of the "walk" to the strip. Not sure what they have to complain about. It takes literally two minutes to get to the strip. They just redid the pool area with new cabanas that have retractable roofs and new lounge chairs. If you're looking for a party pool type atmosphere than this is not the place to stay. Not to say that we didn't have fun with the other guests, but if you are looking for a lot of action pool side this is not the place. We've stayed here many times and will continue to stay here for those long trips.

Saint Clair Shores...
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3. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

I should say that we traveled from 5/15 - 5/24.

Okay back to the trip report. All of us put together a list of all the things we want to do every time we go to Vegas. Of course Sis and I usually have more on our list than the boys. We always say we are going to see this/go eat here/try this, but we usually don't get through very much of our list. We do make some plans, but we leave a lot to chance as well. This time we were determined to actually do something/make plans. So let's move on to things we did/attractions.

Shark Reef - Two free tickets through MyVegas. It was a nice way to kill a couple of hours. We all thought it was going to be much bigger than it actually was. There were some very interesting animals and it was cool to see all the fish. Glad that we got the tickets for free or I would have been disappointed at having to pay full price.

Carrot Top - Buy one/get one through MyVegas. Hubby and I are not fans at all. Sis/BIL had seen him the last time they went and told us that we had to go see him. So the four of us went together. Let me tell you he was hilarious. We laughed the entire time. Even if you aren't a fan I would definitely recommend going to see him. Great show!

Battlefield Vegas (shooting range) - We were in Vegas on hubby's actual birthday. The last time we went to Vegas we had thought about going shooting, but thought it was a little pricey. Hubby always said that he wanted to do this so I surprised him on his birthday with this. I had spent quite a bit of time corresponding with the facility asking a ton of questions. They responded quickly and were very informative. Wasn't sure if I should book a package or let hubby choose what he wanted to shoot. They suggested that when hubby and BIL arrived they would take the time and describe all the options available to them. Hubby said they were very informative and answered all their questions. In the end both of them decided to create their own shooting package. Don't ask me what they shot, but I do know that they both choose guns that they had never shot or would ever have the option of shooting. I did do quite a bit of research before choosing and I found BV had the most options available. They also pick up/drop off in a Humvee. Hubby had no idea, even when the Humvee got there, where he was going so it was a great surprise. Hubby said it was great driving down the strip in the Humvee. I had paid for hubby's package up front and he had $200 to use. They worked with hubby and BIL to make sure that they got the most for their money. Hubby did say that they deserve a great rating and would recommend to anyone that wanted to go shooting.

Frankie Moreno (Stratosphere) - BIL booked this for my sister's birthday as a surprise (her birthday was earlier in the month). I imagine that this is what the old lounge acts were like. It was set up like a lounge with booths and tables. This guy is amazing. He definitely doesn't get enough advertisement. Think of a lounge act that is updated with a big band type feel with a modern twist. He writes his own music and does some covers. They were showing some film before it started and he actually won Star Search when he was 11 yrs old. He plays all his own instruments and his brothers are also in the band. Come to find out that he writes a lot of music for other bands/groups/singers. He wrote a song for Christina Aguillera that she just recorded and wrote a song for Ray Charles that he was in the process of recording before he passed away. Kind of makes me think of Neil Sedaka. He wrote all those songs for all these other people that no one knew about. Frankie puts on a great show and is quite the singer. Ladies you will also be happy to know that he is quite the looker! This is on our list to go see again and highly recommended. We liked him so much that I actually bought one of his CD's after the show. If you get the chance go see this show. It's well worth it.

Liberace items at Cosmo (Free) - we had actually walked outside and saw all the Liberace stuff inside so we turned around and went back in to walk through. They don't have a lot of stuff, but enough to keep you occupied for about 1/2 hour. The outfits were simply amazing to see close up. They also had his car in the Cosmo as well. Never had the chance to visit the Liberace museum, but if this is any indication of the stuff they had there I wish they would reopen. All the items on display had placards that gave a really good explanation of the item. Not sure how long it's going to be there, but worth the quick walk through.

Saint Clair Shores...
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4. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

Moving onto one of my favorite subjects - food. I am a big foodie. Love to cook and try all kinds of different kinds of food. Love being in Vegas because there are so many options to choose from, many that we do not have the opportunity to try at home. We don't mind spending the money on a good meal especially when the food is amazing. We also have no problem eating at a corner bar where they have great burgers. We are open to all types of food at all price points. One of the things we said that we would do this time is not go to any restaurant that we had been to before. We wanted to try all new places this time. It was hard because we have so many places that we love eating at when we are in Vegas.

American Coney Island (The D) - Okay so we are from Michigan and have so many coney island restaurant choices. We gave it a try and for us it was just all right. Would not eat here again. If you've never had a coney than you have nothing to compare it to and would probably say it was good.

The D Grill (The D) - had lunch here and it was good. Loved the décor, atmosphere and they had quite a few choices. The food was good and the service was spot on. Would definitely recommend.

Magnolia's (Downtown) - had breakfast here on Friday. Busy little place. Thought it was a little overpriced for breakfast, but they did provide large portions. Service was good.

Tony Roma's (Downtown) - we went for the steak and lobster $11.99 special. Waited about 30 minutes to be seated. Very busy. The steaks and lobster were small which we expected for that price. Hubby eat his steak and more than half of my steak and I ate both lobsters. The steaks were cooked nicely. One lobster was a little tough and the other was cooked nicely. Both of us had the baked potatoes and hubby had the French onion soup appetizer. Service was good. For the price we aren't going to complain. Would we go back, maybe, but we would try something different.

Mermaids - deep fried foods! This was Thursday night about midnight after quite a few drinks stop. I wanted something deep fried. Stood in line to order and they close promptly at midnight. So never got to even order. Would go back just to try a deep fried goody!

Main Street Station Buffet - Went on Saturday morning and did not realize that on the weekend they have a champagne brunch. It was $11.99 a person with all the champagne you could drink. Well the mimosa's were horrible. Could not even drink it. Must be the cheapest champagne and orange juice ever used. The buffet was nice, lots of choices with a made to order omelet station. Not our favorite, but not bad either.

Brands (Monte Carlo) -Went here on Saturday night. We were all in the mood for a nice steak dinner. We must have tried to get reservations at 5 - 6 other steak places that night and every place that we wanted to go to was booked. We tried calling and using open table, but nothing was to be had. We saw that Brands had some good reviews and they had times available so we thought we would give it a try. I'm glad that we did. The four of us decided to split the 80oz Porterhouse dinner for four. The steak was amazing and cooked perfectly. We ordered the creamed spinach and the garlic mashies as sides. The creamed spinach was so good and the garlic mashies were yummy. I know that we had appetizers as well, but didn't write down what we had. I do remember that what ever we ordered we all shared and liked. We each had one drink as well. We split the meal and it was $160 a couple. We had so much steak left over that we took it home and made steak and eggs the next day for breakfast. Well worth the price. The only issue was the service. Not sure if they were short handed, but the restaurant was not full and it took forever for the server to come by, get our drinks, take our order and check to make sure everything was good. Not going to complain about the time it took for the steak. You can't cook an 80oz steak in 5 minutes. For such a high end place we were very disappointed with the lack of service. Not sure if the service is an issue here all the time. Would definitely recommend, but if their service is an issue make sure that you leave yourselves enough time if you have somewhere to be.

Saint Clair Shores...
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5. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

Will continue tomorrow.

Saint Clair Shores...
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6. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

Continuing with the food reviews.

Jasmine Brunch (Bellagio) This is only offered on Sundays from 11am - 2:30pm. My sister has wanted to eat here for a very long time. This was her choice as her birthday meal. We made reservations 3 months in advance. We were seated in the middle of the restaurant at the 5 top table that was overlooking the bottom section of the restaurant with a perfect view of the fountains. We were definitely underdressed. We weren't dressed like slobs or anything like that, but most people were dressed nicer than us. I think that a nice sun dress for women and either khaki's or nice dress shorts with a collared shirt for men would suffice. There were men in suits and women with very nice dresses on. We didn't feel out of place at all. The restaurant is beautifully decorated. Service was top notch. The food was absolutely fantastic. We all tried a little of everything and shared so we didn't stuff ourselves, but could try as much as possible. They food was all high end and all fresh as could be. They did have a omelet station, sushi, crab legs, shrimp, duck, a make to order soup station and so many other choices that I can't even remember. The only thing that we all tried that we did not like was the lobster pot pie. It was horrible. We all took one bite and were done with it. They had a separate room just for all the desserts. Our reservation was for noon. We knew that we didn't want to be rushed and wanted to have time to relax and enjoy ourselves. That we did! We didn't leave until almost 2pm. It was a little on the expensive side, but considering the choices and the quality, it was well worth it. We each had one drink with our meals. It came to $170 a couple. Worth every penny. Will definitely return.

Nine Fine Irishmen (NYNY) - MyVegas lunch coupon - Hubby and I have had appetizers and drinks here, but have never had a full meal. We decided that we would try it for lunch. It was a beautiful afternoon so we choose to sit outside. The boys both had fish and chips and sis and I both had the BMT. We all had several drinks. My gosh the food is good here. Can not say enough good things about this place. Will definitely go back. Service was very good. They applied a $21 credit to each of our bills from the myvegas coupon so a total of $42 off our bill. Didn't write what we spent, but I do remember that we both said that with drinks and meals it was not expensive.

McDonalds - we were just so full and didn't want big meals again so McDonalds fit the bill for dinner. Would have been better if hubby didn't drop the bag on the way to the hotel and spill all the fries!

Margaritaville - We knew that we didn't want a big meal for lunch as we were going out for hubby's birthday that night. We just started walking down the strip and we all decided this was a good choice. We really wanted to sit outside, but they informed us the outside seating is only open on the weekends. Initially we were just going to split the nachos, but that changed. Sis and I split the shrimp skillet appetizer (was just all right - would not order again) and the shrimp louie salad. The salad was big enough for us both to split and we didn't even finish it. Hubby had the Jamican wings, which were very good and soup and BIL had the coconut shrimp which was also very good. Food was good and hit the spot. Service was just all right. Sis had a coupon for a free dessert so we all split the key lime pie. Now I've tried key lime pie in the past and did not really care for it. Not sure what they do to their key lime pie, but it was fantastic. I would go back just for the pie.

Table 10 (Emeril Lagasse @ Palazzo) - This was hubby choice for his birthday dinner. He made an excellent choice. This place knows the meaning of service. Everyone was very professional and right on cue. When we made the reservations we let them know it was for hubby's birthday. They brought each of us a small tomato/basil/mozzarella salad on the house to start. That was very nice and very tasty. Sis/BIL choose from the tasting menu and added on additional appetizers. They had the marrow bones and the gumbo as appetizers. The tasting menu was four courses. As the food kept coming they both said that they shouldn't have ordered the extra apps as they were getting full. Sis had a salad, the gnocci, short ribs and the tiramisu for dessert. The gnocci had a mushroom sauce. Wow they were good. The short rib was not only delicious, but so tender. BIL had the spicy fried bacon, smelt, chicken and chocolate mousse. The smelt were very good, the bacon was just eh and the chicken was good. They both ended up taking their desserts home and we all split them for breakfast the next day. Now I am not a coffee drinker at all. Usually don't care for tiramisu as it usually has a heavy coffee taste. Holy moly was this tiramisu great. Would go back just for the dessert. BIL choc mousse was heaven.

Hubby had the gumbo as an appetizer and the duck with apples and sausage for dinner. Both were so very good. I had the beef tartar as an appetizer. Let me tell you this was the best beef tartare I've ever had. I had the lamb shank and the mushroom risotto for dinner. Yummy, yummy, yummy. We couldn't finish all of the food they brought us. Hubby had 2 beers and our bill came to $140 a couple. Great price for an amazing meal. Will go back as they had so many other things on the menu that we all wanted to try.

Buffet of buffets - courtesy of TR credit card. Applied for the card and received the 24 hour buffet of buffet for 2. Now I am not a big eater and don't really enjoy buffets. On the other hand hubby loves buffets so this was for him.

Bacchanal Buffet - There was an upcharge for us to go here which was not a problem. I know that lots of people give this buffet amazing reviews. Hubby and I thought that it was good. Lots of choices and fresh food, but didn't think it was great. Would we go back, probably not. Would not have been happy had we paid full price, but for the cost of the upcharge, which I think was $30 it was worth it.

Paris Buffet - Again hubby loves buffets. We were both extremely disappointed. Glad it was free because I would not have been happy had we had to pay for this. Plenty of choices, but really nothing stood out taste wise. Definitely would not go back.

As I side note hubby said that he thinks he's done with the buffets in Vegas. We've tried quite a few of them and he just hasn't been blown away by any of them yet. We did say that we would try the buffet at the Wynn and the Wicked Spoon buffet next time to see how those are. Hopefully one of those makes hubby love his buffet again!

Top of the World (Stratosphere) - we went here as part of a package deal that BIL got for my sister's birthday. You were guaranteed window seating at the restaurant and then priority seating at the Frankie Moreno show. Our plan was to come here and have a couple of after dinner drinks and dessert. BIL and I had the chocolate overload dessert (not the right name of it). It was a chocolate cake with a mousse and berry filling. Hubby had the banana's foster and sis had the sorbet with fresh berries. All of the desserts were amazing, along with the view. We looked over the dinner menu and found that it had quite a few items that we would all have tried and the prices were very reasonable. This is definitely on our short list for our next visit.

Room Service @ Polo Towers - As many times as we've stayed here we have never ordered the "room service". Hubby and I were hungry, but we just didn't feel like going anywhere to eat. The menu in the room has quite a few choices. It's not actual room service. You call the number listed on the menu, give them your order and they let you know how long it will take to be delivered. A little on the expensive side, but when you don't feel like going anywhere it's worth the price. Amazingly the food was very good, delivered on time and still hot. I ordered the 1000 island burger and had a choice of a side. I ordered a salad. The burger was huge and had a double patty. The meat itself was very tasty. I could only eat a 1/4 of it. Hubby ordered the triple decker BLT and cole slaw. With delivery and tip it was $30 for our lunches. Well worth every penny for the convenience, but the taste was a huge plus.

Friday night dinner fiasco - So our plan had been to go to Mon Ami Gabi for dinner our last night. Hubby and I both decided that we just didn't want another big dinner. We both wanted some BBQ type food. I was also really tired on Friday, but just thought that it was our last day and the 9 days of drinking, walking, eating was catching up to me. Boy was I ever wrong on that one.

That day we walked from our hotel down to MGM and spent some time there. From there we went to NYNY and proceeded to walk down that side of the strip to the Cosmo. They are doing some construction on that side of the strip and we had to walk up/down a ton of steps. I was just exhausted and again thought I really am getting old. I'm not old by any means, I'm only 52 yrs old, in good shape, exercise and eat well. If I only knew what was wrong then. At the Cosmo we smell some BBQ food and ask one of the pit bosses where the smell is coming from. He says that it is probably coming for Bubba Gumps. Since we had said that we were going to try and not eat anywhere we've eaten at before I tell the pit boss that we are looking for a BBQ place and did he have any suggestions. He said that he's heard some really good things about Lynyrd Skynyrd's restaurant at Excalibur.

I tell hubby what the pit boss says and we decide to walk all the way back to Excalibur. Well we get to the Excalibur and lo and behold the darn restaurant had closed over a year ago. By know I am done, I'm hungry, I'm tired and I'm crabby. In the end we decide that we are just going to go back to Bubba Gumps to eat. I inform hubby that I am not walking back to where we just came from so we take a cab. The meal did it's job of providing us much needed sustenance. Not a bad place, but not at the top of our list.

NZ
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7. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

My imagination is running overtime. I hope you come back to finish soon.

Tempe, AZ
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8. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

Yeah, I really hope this BBQ/Bubba Gump story isn't the crappy ending. Would be highly anticlimactic.

Saint Clair Shores...
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9. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

The Crappy End

Wake up Saturday morning and I'm not feeling well. I'm exhausted, I'm a little achey, my legs are really sore. I also have a pain in my back that comes and go. I tell hubby if we weren't leaving today we would be spending the day at the pool. I just figure that I caught a cold. I sleep almost the entire flight home. We stop on the way home for the airport to get dinner. I have no appetite.

Wake up on Sunday and I feel like crap. I feel 30% worse than the day before. I go from feeling that I'm standing in a freezer one minute to feeling like I'm in an oven the next minute. My entire body aches, I have no appetite. I know that I have to eat, but nothing tastes good. I know that if I'm not going to eat I at least have to stay hydrated, but again nothing tastes good or quenches my thirst. I don't move from the couch all day.

Wake up on Monday and I'm feeling even worse. I feel at least another 30% worse than the day before. My body still aches, still having chills and then feeling hot. Medicine is not working. If I didn't have an appetite the day before, I have no appetite this day. I'm also a little nauseous. I still try to keep myself hydrated. I know that I'm sick, but just think that I have a horrible flu. I don't move from the couch again today. I tried all my old standbys that have worked in the past when I'm sick. I try ginger ale, chocolate shake, ice cream, chicken noodle soup, juice box, plain noodles, toast... not one single thing tastes good or helps. Hubby asks if I'm going to work tomorrow (Tuesday). I tell him well I really don't have a choice since I've been on vacation for 10 days. I go to bed thinking that I'll be all right in the morning. I wake up in the middle of the night and know that there is no way that I'm going to work in the morning.

Tuesday - If it's at all humanly possible I wake up feeling 100 times worse than I have for the last 3 days. I am so weak, dizzy and nauseous. Hubby asks if I'm going to the doctor. I tell him I know I should, but I don't think I can drive. I don't even take a shower because I'm afraid that I'm going to pass out/fall. I can not keep anything, and I mean nothing down. If feels like I have the worse flu ever coupled with the worse hangover ever. Can't think of any other way to explain it. This is the sickest I've ever been in my entire life. The day drags on and I am getting worse as the day goes on. Hubby comes home from work and I standing at the door with my glasses and ID in hand telling him that he has to take me to the hospital right now.

We get to the hospital and I have a fever of over 101. They ask how long have I had the fever. I tell them I have no idea, but I've probably had one since Sunday. I feel like I'm on my death bed. They get me into a room and immediately start an IV. I am so dehydrated that they have a hard time. They do the usual hospital stuff, but add in chest xrays and a cat scan of my chest and stomach. I knew when we got there that they were probably going to admit me if for nothing else, because I was so dehydrated. After a while doctor comes in and tells me that they are admitting me as I have pneumonia. What, pneumonia you have got to be kidding me. Not only do I have pneumonia, but have bacterial and viral pneumonia!

Finally get me into a room, hubby and son go home and they start antibiotics and all the other goodies. They come in during the night to take my vitals and I have a fever of 103. They start icing me down. For the next 2 1/2 days my fever keeps spiking up to 103. They bring it down and it goes right back up again. They have to give me medication for the vomiting and nauseous. I have a terrible headache. I feel horrible.

I have a very nice 4 1/2 day stay in the hospital. Come home on Friday and stay home for the next 5 days. In total I'm out of work almost 3 weeks. I go back to the doctor for a recheck and he tells me that I was one very sick girl. He can't believe that I was as sick as I was and waited as long as I did before going to the hospital. I was so sick that I actually had sepsis - infection had gone into my blood stream. He says I'm lucky that I went in when I did.

Looking back now I realize that about Tuesday/Wednesday of the week we were on vacation I started not feeling well. At that time I just thought "boy I just can't hang, drink, stay up late, eat such heavy food, walk as much as I used to." There was one night that I told hubby I was tired and just wanted to go back to the room. It was only 10pm and I was asleep by 10:30pm. That is so not me. I have never been that sick in my entire life. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. It's been 2 weeks and I'm still only at 70%. They say it's going to take about 5 - 6 weeks before I start feeling better. They said that I may have had something before I went, but definitely caught the pneumonia while in Vegas and just got worse from there.

Final thoughts/observations coming up next.

Tempe, AZ
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10. Re: TR: Crappy end to a great vacation

Wow. Glad to hear you're somewhat better. That's terrible.