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Father/Daughters Trip 26-31 May
Father / Daughters Trip 26-31 May 2012
My 14th trip to Vegas, and my first with my two daughters who I shall refer to as ‘M’ and ‘A’. Both are in their late 20s and we don’t see each other often.
I departed podunk Pensacola, FL airport at 12:45 pm headed for Atlanta. It was an uneventful flight and amazingly the airports did not seem ‘as’ crowded as usual. Grabbed a beer at TGIF in Atlanta and soon was on my way to Mecca with a full flight.
I was seated between families of Mexicans and some East Indians in full traditional dress in the rows behind me. They were conversing in their native languages and could have been saying anything about me they wanted but I was oblivious watching ‘National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation’ and ‘The Hangover’, while reading snippets from my book ‘I’ll Mature When I’m Dead’ by Dave Barry. This book is now my bible on how to live life!
Soon enough we arrived at McCarran and I finally disembarked from row 45 about a half hour after we started deplaning. Made my way to baggage and for the first time ever had to sit with my bag and wait instead of running out of the terminal to start my vacation. That would have been rude considering my daughters were about 30 minutes behind me on another flight coming in from St. Louis!
Their flight was delayed so I cooled my heels for almost an hour before they arrived. Hugs all around and off to get their bags and then we jumped on the shuttle to the car rental center. There was very little wait for bags or transportation. I heard several times before the day was over from service personnel that this was one of the slowest Memorial Day weekends in 16 years. Indeed, there did not seem to be as many people around as most of the times I’ve spent this holiday here over the past 5 years.
I have a Dollar Express card so we bypassed the small line and went straight to the garage to pick up the full sized car I had arranged. $199 for 5 days seemed like a good deal and we were given a choice of a row of bohemothmobiles of which I chose the largest – a Ford Crown Victoria. It was a good choice because we filled the trunk of that whale with all our bags. Cranked up that sucker and we’re off to the Orleans via Las Vegas Blvd, just as the lights were coming on at dusk – a glorious sight indeed!
I used valet to park since we had so many bags and there was no one in line for check in – win! Got rooms 1030 and 1032 with views of the strip just like I had asked for so my oldest (M), who had never been to Vegas, could have a nice view from her room. My youngest (A) has been about 4 times before.
We were all hungry so we dumped our stuff in the rooms and agreed on Big Al’s Oyster Bar for dinner (a tradition of mine). I had the shrimp cocktail and the girls split the shrimp alfredo; we all had a cup of Big Al’s outstanding clam chowder.
Bellies full we explored the casino. It was now time to get serious and I bellied up to the Crawfish bar for some Crown Royal and VP. It never fails; 5 minutes after I started playing, someone tried to bum a cigarette. “Shop is down that way” I politely, or not so politely told him.
It seemed as if I was just getting started and the girls came by to tell me they were going to bed – it was about 10 pm! But they were tired from their travels and were ready for some shuteye.
As for me I’m no quitter so I bounced all over the casino playing at the various VP bars. At one point my good friend HomerSimpson969 (Mike) stopped by to say hello. We had a nice chat about how his trip had been so far; he was leaving on Monday to go home.
After that it was like Groundhog Day. I played and played and although my money seemed to last quite a while I never saw one four of a kind. By 1:30 am I’d had enough and tucked my tail between my legs and went to bed.
Sunday 27 May, 2012
Of course I can never sleep on my first night so after four hours of tossing and turning I decided to get up and have some coffee and catch up on my trip report. By 6 am I was ready to roll so I headed down to Java Vegas to see if free internet was still available.
After doing some online stuff I returned my laptop to the room and went down for a little early morning play. Got an iced coffee from Java Vegas and bounced around a bit. No wins but no major losses.
By 7am the girls were up and hungry! We headed to the Courtyard Café and enjoyed Eggs Benedict (me), Pancakes and eggs (A), and Eggs and bacon (M). It was all fresh and good and reasonably priced. They even brought us complimentary chocolate chip coffee cake as an appetizer – very yummy.
We took the Ark, which we named it, down to MGM for some touristy fun. I tried the Lion’s Share (still not a millionaire) and MegaBucks (won $30 – Woot! Woot!). We walked up to the M&M store and took some fun photos, then made our way all the way up to Cosmopolitan. It was fun to see the excited look on M’s face as she took it all in for the first time.
We made our way back down to MGM via New York New York taking lots of photos along the way.
We retrieved the Ark and stopped by Walgreen’s for some supplies. I had to replace my humidifier as the one I brought with me had apparently bitten the dust. It was leaking like a siv.
We had a fancy lunch at the Orleans sports book with one $1.50 hot dog apiece which we consumed in the Mardi Gras lounge. The girls wanted pool time and I don’t do pools or sun much due to my Scandinavian fish-belly-white skin. That was all the excuse I needed for some VP and beers.
Before starting out I picked up tickets to Big Al’s Comedy Club, the girls’ choice for the evening’s entertainment. With a 2 for 1 coupon courtesy of Orleans 3 tickets only cost $39.95. A real bargain if the show is any good.
I met up with my friend Mike (Isles1) at the Alligator bar. We chatted and played for awhile. He had just arrived and his room wasn’t ready yet.
I hit four deuces on Double Bonus poker for $100 but it went downhill from there. I’m still within my daily bankroll but decided to take a break and come up to the room for awhile. Caught up on my notes and extracted a bit more cash from the safe.
The girls and I had dinner at Coasta Cantina. Isles1 joined us. I had the Chimichanga, A had the enchiladas, M had a fruit plate, and Mike had the fajitas. We gorged ourselves like we were on death row. It was all excellent.
Not long after we headed over to Big Al’s Comedy Club. The headliner, Rob Sherwood, was pretty funny but the others not so much. The show lasted about an hour and twenty minutes; worth the $20 per ticket IMHO.
After that the girls went to get ice cream and I did what I do best – drink and gamble. I got some traction with several 4OAKs on Double Bonus Poker, and even a couple of quads on Bonus Poker Deluxe for $100 each. Keno has sucked this trip and I’ve just about stopped playing it.
At the end of the day, which for me was about 1am, I ‘hadn’t lost much’ but it still wasn’t a winning day. Still it had been fun and we’d done a lot.
Monday, 28 May, 2012
Ah another day in Vegas! I managed to sleep until 7am and got ready for another day. Headed down to Java Vegas for more ice coffee and a banana. Hoping to hit In-and-Out Burger today as the girls have never experienced it.
So after some online time the girls and I grabbed the Ark and headed down to TI to show M the northern part of the strip. Parking was pretty easy and the crowds were rather light.
I had not had much of a breakfast so we stopped at Starbucks we and each got an iced coffee and I got a blueberry scone. The route we took was TI to Mirage, Mirage to the Forum shops (to show the girls the spiral escalator), through Caesar’s, then over to Bellagio for the conservatory and chocolate fountain. M was enjoying this even more than yesterday, I think, as she was constantly smiling and we took many photos. Some of these are going to be my favorites for years to come.
After Bellagio we crossed over the pedestrian bridges and made our way up to Flamingo, passed the IP and Casino Royale, then into Venetian. The Rock was the Madame Tussauds wax figure on display and M posed with him.
We walked through the Venetian shops and then over to Palazzo. Palazzo had a patriotic display by the waterfall so we snapped some photos.
Finally it was into Wynn for a bit and then over the pedestrian bridges again to TI where we retrieved the car and programmed In-and-Out Burger into Lola, my new GPS. Lola took us on a merry chase but we finally arrived at In-and-Out on West Sahara. I had my fries ‘Animal Style’ and they were fantastic!
After that great meal Lola took us back to the Orleans but took us in a circle once. I guess a 99 dollar GPS isn’t the most reliable tool to have.
By now it was late afternoon and the girls wanted pool time so I went off to relax the best way I know how – VP and Crown Royal!
And then, depression set in. I had a great afternoon but with what I would describe as ‘textbook losses’. My bankroll has just about disappeared every day, although I’ve had much play (and many Crowns) for my money.
I had hit two straight flushes, very unusual, which kept me afloat, but I was still losing. The bride called and is over a hundred ahead in Biloxi. Good for her. Please give me some of that luck.
The girls and I ended up eating at TGIF so that everyone could have as light or as heavy a meal as desired. A, always hungry, had chicken with mashed potatoes, M had broccoli and cheese soup, I had chicken skewers with rice and broccoli. All seemed satisfied with their choices.
We hit the shuttle to Bill’s and watched 4 fountain shows. Of course we took way too many photos and videos. The crowd was slammed! Great shows though. While one of the shows were finishing up a couple next to us got engaged. The lady was crying tears of joy and we snapped a photo to record the grand event.
The girls saw Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story on the strip and had to have a photo with them. I provided the tip and camera work.
We checked out the Sugar Factory on the way back. Thought we’d grab a meal there later in the trip.
We took the shuttle back to Orleans. I was going to upload the way too many fountain photos I’d taken.
Where the hell is my camera cable? Oh well. I’ll look tomorrow.
After we got back from the strip we parted ways. An hour or so later daughter M caught up with me at the Alligator bar looking bored. I asked her if she wanted to play VP with me and it was on. Do you know, that girl brought me major luck! After losing a hundred or so, we ended recouping that and quite a bit more with 5 out of 5 on keno, four deuces on Bonus VP, and other hits over a few hours. We put in our latest night yet and had a ball shooting the bull over anything and everything. It was a good night.
Hit the hay about 2 am. Duck (Dave) had called earlier and we planned to get together. All in all, a great day in Vegas!
Tuesday, 29 May, 2012
Even after a 2 am bedtime with a snoot full of Crown I was still up at the crack of 5:30 am. I think I may have a big time crash coming my way!
Plans were in flux today so I made my way down for coffee and nickel 3-play VP for awhile. The progressive was up to $2,600 and I would love to snag it!
A short while later the girls were ready for breakfast so we had another great meal at the Courtyard Café. M had ham steak and eggs, A had corn beef hash and eggs, and I wisely had a fruit cup and a side of bacon.
I called Duck (Dave) and arranged to meet at the Flamingo, so off we went in the Ark and parked in their self-parking garage. After meeting Duck we showed M some of the few properties left she hadn’t seen including Bally’s, Paris, and Planet Hollywood.
On the way back we stopped for a slice of Pizza at the place I can never remember the name of across from the Paris buffet. As we ate we decided what to do next and ended up taking a drive out to Red Rock. I’ve been here a few times before but it never fails to impress. The girls really enjoyed it.
We dropped Duck off at Bill’s and M went to meet a friend who was just arriving today. A and I drove back to Orleans and she headed for the pool and I to my vices.
A couple of hours later M showed up with her friend; they were off to party on the strip. Daughter A decided to stick with me for dinner and join M and her friends later.
We chose Koji Sushi Bar and Chinese Bistro for dinner. It was awesome! I had Kung Pao Chicken and A had a beef dish with string beans. We shared and absolutely enjoyed it. After dinner A was off to the strip via the shuttle to join M which meant it was finally gambling time for me.
We had a fortune cookie with our lucky numbers on the fortune. I figured what the hell and punched in 5 of the 6 on keno at the Piano bar. Boom! A few spins later 5 out of 5 for $205! Very smart those Chinese!
Then next 6 or 7 hours were a blur of mini wins and a small comeback. I went to bed full of Crown and with a restored 50 percent of my bankroll. Hope springs anew!
Wednesday, 30 May, 2012
I awoke at 5:30am to our last full day after actually getting about 5 hours sleep. I felt great.
Today was going to be a busy day. JohnVegas from England called me yesterday and were planning to meet around 3pm at the Orleans. Lunch was planned at Palms with Isles1 and Duck at noon. We also had to be at Tix4Tonight at 9:45 at Fashion Show mall. In the evening at 6:30 we planned to attend the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur. I was hoping for a relaxing last day but it wasn’t gonna happen!
I met the girls for breakfast at the Courtyard Café about 8:15 am. I only had a bagel in anticipation of the heavy lunch at Garduno's at Palms, and the equally heavy dinner at the Tournament of Kings later. The girls had heavy breakfasts, as usual, although M doesn’t usually eat with the gusto of A!
We drove to TI and parked in the self parking garage. Turns out my youngest, A, is a better navigator than Lola, my not so trusty GPS who had led us astray on more than one occasion.
We met M’s friends and headed over to Tickets4Tonight at Fashion Show Mall. We were first in line and after a short wait we secured our tickets for the Tournament of Kings and also decided on going to Madame Tussauds wax museum.
We all walked down to Venetian via Palazzo and enjoyed the museum. We took a lot of crazy, goofy photos which will no doubt bring you seconds of laughter when you get to see them in the links I’ve provided below.
After the museum M went with her friends for more buffoonery on the strip. They would meet us at Excalibur later that afternoon.
A and I headed to Palms for lunch at Garduno’s with Duck and Isles1. This was Isles1’s idea as the place is closing in September and he had a coupon for a decent discount. We enjoyed various Mexican dishes. I chose a burrito with beef. They have a salsa bar where you can choose sauces of varying strength and other condiments. The food was delicious and the final bill for all four of us was only about $24.
A and I returned to Orleans where I met up with Duck and Isles1 again at the Alligator bar for good conversation, beer, and gambling. I tried, at the suggestion of another bartender, a Bud Light Platinum which was pretty damned good. My luck was holding and I managed a small win on Bonus Poker.
I had to head to my room to change as I had stained my brand new Red Rock polo top with salsa. I hope it comes out as I love this shirt.
Cleaned up a bit and waited for JohnVegas to call. We had arranged for me to be in my room when he arrived so he could contact me since he had no cell phone.
John called right on time and I met him at the Alligator bar. We enjoyed some Crown Royal, good conversation and bit of VP. It was great to finally meet him after conversing online all these years.
Our visit had to end as I and A had to get to Excalibur for the show. I had made the decision that we would take a cab since I had planned to have a few Crowns that afternoon. Our driver was a good guy and we made it to Excalibur in short order. The fare was only $8.50 plus tip.
We met with M and her friends from Arizona and headed into the showroom. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the premise of this show. There is jousting and the like while you consume food you can only eat with your hands – no utensils are provided. The meal consisted of chicken, small baked potatoes, broccoli, bread, etc. It was ok, but nothing to write home about. The show itself was $46 at Tix4Tonight which included the meal. I personally think it was overpriced but the girls seemed to enjoy it. Be prepared if you go that this is a family oriented show and there are going to be lots and lots of kids!
After the show A and I grabbed a cab back to Orleans. This was the last hurrah for gambling. I planned to go to bed no later than 1 am and get up around 6 am so I could take A and M to The Sugar Factory at Paris for one last breakfast.
I still had about half my bankroll so I knew I could bump up the bets. I started playing at the Mardi Gras bar and I took a deep breath and bumped it up to 50 cents instead of a quarter. I know, what a rebel, huh?
The girls found me later at the Piano bar and we enjoyed the band and some drinks. I wasn’t winning but we were having fun.
A headed to bed and M went with her friends to see the new Avengers movie. I was holding my own but headed over to the Alligator bar and was playing along smartly when I heard that much hated line I’ve heard over the years… “Are ya winnin’ honey?”
Yes, I’d been trapped again by a Vegas hooker. I knew what came next. I cashed out and ran. I’m such a coward.
And that, my friends, is what jinxed me. I was doing quite well. But after being forced to leave a winning machine by a Vegas hooker who I didn’t want to deal with, it all went south.
Long story short the gambling was a losing process. I saw Isles1 one last time just before I headed off to bed at 1 am.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
All good things must come to an end. It was only 4 am when I awoke but I had felt inclined to pack and get ready for the day. I took the bags down to the Ark and drove it over to the gas station across the street to top off the tank. I love this noble machine. It takes speed bumps with great stride. It accelerates with ease. I’m an old man in an old man’s machine. One with the road!
I took my remaining bankroll and played dollar VP. Great idea for about an hour, then all went south one final time. No Aces, no Royal. Just not enough time or luck. Shazbot!
The girls were right on time at 7:15 am. We drove down to Bill’s and self parked, then walked over to Sugar Factory at Paris for breakfast. A had what I would refer to as a candy bar with chocolate drizzle, M had an omelet, and I had Eggs Benedict, although it was not the traditional style. It was ok, just not my cup of tea.
After breakfast it was time to head back and drop off the girls. I stuck around long enough to lose another hundred bucks during conservative betting while the girls enjoyed the pool. I had to leave earlier than they did so we said our goodbyes and I headed to the rental car facility.
Took the shuttle to the airport and had a bit of Starbucks then tried some Triple Triple Diamond slots. While I was playing some guy threw a twenty into a Red-White-and-Blue machine and immediately hit two red sevens and a triple symbol for over 1300 credits. He jumped around like he was Muhammad Ali. I really hated that guy.
Flight home was uneventful. Both planes seemed extremely warm but the bloody mary’s were tasty. I purchased the fruit and cheese snack plate for $7. It was pretty tasty and not too heavy.
So now I’m back and posting photos and the trip report and reflecting on the trip. It was a whirlwind tour of Vegas. I don’t think I’ve ever covered so much ground in a single trip.
I just remembered the sleeping guy at the Alligator bar (no photo) and the guy lying on the sidewalk at Flamingo with one shoe off (photo exists – A took it – I’ll post it).
So thanks for reading. Another trip in the books!
Too many photos can be seen here:
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