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The "I'm Insane" Trip: Nov. 27-Dec. 14

Discussion in 'Full Las Vegas Trip Reports' started by joshj, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    It didn't start this way. A friend of mine from another country was visiting Vegas for a couple of weeks, and he began gently encouraging me to join him. For the last few years my pattern was predictable: Vegas in Spring, Atlantic City in the fall and a two-night overnight at my local right after Christmas.

    But then I started working through the offers and flights. I didn't take one of the vacation weeks I normally did, so I had some time off. I also can work remotely so I do that sometimes when I travel to so I can spend more time in a place. (Having work to do also keeps me more disciplined on weeknights haha)

    I began piecing together a Dec. 3-13 trip. As I worked on it and watched flights, the day after Thanksgiving looked to be cheaper. My plans evolved. And then when I went to do the actual final booking, I found a daytime flight on the 14th which would avoid a red-eye, and the best departure date for that was actually the evening of the day before Thanksgiving. And so my original 10-night plan has evolved into a 17-night one. (I got my lovely seat 23F on AA's Airbus plane going out as well.)

    I have never been away from home consistently for that amount of time - when I've been traveling a lot I usually have a day or two breather in between. This of course means this will also be my longest stay in Vegas by far - the last trip was 9 days.

    Based on the success of my last trip with bankroll, I have a similar plan for this one. But I'm prepping a lot more diversions/things to do outside of gambling, including continuing my plan of having new things to try/do each visit. I have not done any of the tall stuff, so some combination of Eiffel Tower/Strat/High Roller is likely in the cards. I will do at least one of FlyLINQ/Slotzilla, and I will get on at least one of those darned roller coasters this time. My friend and I have planned a single night to Laughlin mid-stream. I'm considering one of those helicopter tours too.

    I'm well set up on rooms, food, and so forth which will also allow me to maximize my budget on keeping busy during the trip.

    I've got some really old posts on my site that walk through some of my planning for this trip, but I'll probably update the info and trim it back somewhat and share on here as things get closer. It's crazy that the planning for this trip began in May and November is finally here. 9 more days... it's finally feeling real!
     
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  2. Goldenknight

    Goldenknight Palladium

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    Godspeed, I bailed early on my last trip that was scheduled for 6 nights and I couldn't even make it that long :tearsofjoy:
     
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  3. BoVegas

    BoVegas Silver

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    Looking forward to your TR.
     
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  4. emmas

    emmas Gold
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    Wow, that's quite a trip. Good luck.
     
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  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane Theoretical Video Poker Addict
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    I guess we'll let you join...
    Who is the European traveler in this story by the trip dates? Haha

    Good luck!
     
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  6. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    Good hunch ;) He's a friend I made in another community last year and we just hit it off. He and I have a similar mindset to trip planning, but he just plans bigger since his trip is longer. But I've always had the mindset that if I'm going to fly cross country it won't be for a long weekend. I just didn't expect to ultimately do 17 nights... when he's only doing 15 hahaha

    Normally I plan trips solo, so this has been fun to plan something with someone else where some meals are together, some aren't, etc. And it'll be good to have someone around for the duration!
     
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  7. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    I'm coming up on 24 hours before departure now! I've been slowly getting myself organized this week. Went to my bank and got some cash envelopes so I can separate out my bankroll somewhat. The envelope system in various forms has been very good for me to avoid over playing early and bombing out altogether - I've brought home about half my bankroll the last two trips. I have most of my bankroll on me; I'm leaving 20% in the bank and will pull money only if needed, another way of trying to encourage myself not to go nuts given such a long trip :)

    I've organized players cards, clothes (lots of layers; it looks to mirror how the temperatures have been for me lately at home), an umbrella (it looks like it'll be a bit wet for at least a portion of my trip, so might as well prepare for that) and other things. I've been pre-purchasing some experiences the last 48 hours due to sales and specials on some of the websites that are getting me strong value for the dollar.

    I have a general game plan for what I plan on doing; included in my list of activities are a day and night time visit to the to top of a few tall things - Eiffel Tower, the Stratosphere and the High Roller. I have not done any of them, so with all this time on my hands there I might as well do all three :)

    I think this will also be the trip I finally hit up Circus Circus, to check it out before any major changes come under Phil Ruffin, and also to get a ride on the Adventuredome roller coasters :)

    My hotel line-up:

    Nov 27-Nov 28: Luxor suite
    Nov 29-Dec 2: Planet Hollywood
    Dec. 1-3: OYO (overlap hotel)
    Dec 3-5: Luxor suite
    Dec 6-7: PH
    Dec 8: One night diversion to Laughlin
    Dec 9-11: Wynn (courtesy Wynn Slots app)
    Dec 11-13: Luxor (Dec 11 overlaps)

    Since I'm working half days while on this trip, the overlap hotels will ensure I can work uninterrupted.

    As far as gambling is concerned, I have some offers to leverage throughout the trip to give me some free play/bet opportunities, and I have some leftover coupons from ACG/LVA to further pad out my opportunities. I have had insanely good luck on Video Poker the past year (a couple of royals on quarters, some awesome runs on DSTP), so I am probably going to learn on that more this trip and see how it goes. @tringlomane was there for a good run last year in Vegas too... probably should've been a sign to stick with it more :)
     
  8. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    OK American Airlines, you win again.

    In May, when I flew to Vegas, I flew out from a tiny airport near my home (and I'm doing the same this trip). You take the puddle hopper to the hub and then the longer flight gets me to Vegas. When I checked in then, I got the same offer I got today during check-in. I accepted it again.

    Option 1: The normal way. Pay $30 to check a bag. Have one personal item and carry-on. Normal seating. (I paid for seat 23 F for the longer flight already, so big deal.)
    Option 2: Pay $47 to upgrade the puddle hopper flight to first class. Check two bags to my destination, so the carry-on can be taken out of my hands and I just have the personal item. The more comfortable/wider first class seat, with extra beverage service. Have both checked bags red tagged so they'll be basically first off in Las Vegas.

    That $17 is so worth it to me. It's perfectly priced - not enough to make me stress it, and offers enough bang for the buck.

    My partner, who is flying to see family and whose first flight will be on the same plane as mine, upgraded too, and the computer sat us directly across the aisle from each other. Perfect.

    Boarding passes are good, I'm basically packed... now, just gotta make it through a half day at work :)
     
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  9. Spivderman

    Spivderman Gold
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    That extra $17 is a hard yes, every time.
     
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  10. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph I think I'm addicted to Vegas...
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    Long trips are great! Hope you have a fun and lucky time!!!
     
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  11. MNSlotLover

    MNSlotLover Ainsworth Whisperer
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    I can’t imagine 17 days in Vegas! I’m very interested in following along to see how this goes.

    Best of luck!
     
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  12. Tanyamr

    Tanyamr Bronze

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    I’m 9 days down with 11 to go. Self control with the daily gambling budget has been challenging :(o_O:mad:
    There is a more relaxed feel to a long trip, not rushing around to get all the boxes ticked.
    Have a ball. :tongueclosed:
     
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  13. Pebbles

    Pebbles Member

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    Enjoy your 17 day trip. Coming from the UK, we try to extend our trips for as long as possible. We just got back Wednesday from a 42 day trip.
     
  14. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    So far this is how I feel too. Some plans get pushed out without fear of missing it because there is not enough time later. That makes it easier for me by far if I am just feeling tired or lazy :)
     
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  15. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    17 was hard to wrap my head around. I cannot imagine 42 but if you can make it work that is a great block of time to enjoy! Hope your trip was enjoyable!
     
  16. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    So clearly I got here and dived in to activities but today is the first day where I am working a partial day and so now normal life creeps back in a bit. I will catch this up and get back to live reporting over the coming days.

    DAY 0: Wednesday, Nov. 27

    My office wrapped for the day at 3 which offered plenty of time to get prepped and over to the tiny regional airport. As always, no lines because there is 50 people on three flights a day. The upgrade to First Class was great once more as they took my two bags and all I had to navigate with was my backpack. We got our pre flight beverage which was nice too.

    The first puddle hopping flight was delayed and a very bumpy ride; no drink service during the flight because of safety issues. But everything at the connecting airport was delayed too so no big deal.

    My partner flew that leg with me before going off to see family on his own; we had ramen at the airport which was weird compared to fast food but nice, although crazy expensive for what it was.

    Then the longer flight, with good old seat 23F.

    [​IMG]

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    Lucky me though got a young kid with a penchant for kicking the seat behind me, and a guy in the row in front who thought that extra space should be for him, but i was able to nap and such for enough of the flight.

    [​IMG]

    I arrived just after midnight Vegas time, nearly an hour later than originally scheduled, but thanks to my luggage being red tagged I was out of the airport fast.

    My mobile check in had an issue requiring a visit to the front desk. Unfortunately when I got to Luxor, they were short staffed for the holiday and there was no Gold line or mobile check in line available so I had to wait in this:

    [​IMG]

    To the credit of the Luxor staff that line resulted in a less than half hour wait... they were definitely hustling.

    I had an amazing 1200 sq ft one bedroom suite there. I will share a bit of that in the Day 1 update. I attempted to make things happen on the casino floor before bed but no dice. I opted to get some rest as I had a couple of activities planned before my friend arrives in the afternoon.
     
  17. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    DAY 1: Thursday, November 28

    First off, a couple of pictures of the suite:

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    This is among the nicest rooms I have ever had in Vegas and was nicer than I was expecting. Although I would only get two nights in it I am happy I had it at all!

    First stop of the day after Excalibur buffet for breakfast was to go to Bellagio. I knew they were swapping out the conservatory soon for the holidays and wanted to check out the current exhibit before they did. It was pretty cool!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I took the monorail to/from MGM Grand because my step count was already getting up there, and then caught the WAX bus over to the airport to meet my friend, who had arrived. He picked up his rental car, checked into his hotel, and we went to Gold Coast for dinner. (He chose it as a cheap and likely not busy location for Thanksgiving and he was right.)

    I played through coupons from the coupon book there with success and then we headed back to his hotel, the Mandalay Bay, for the night.

    The gambling there was much better than the previous night.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The Brazilian Beauty was my last bonus of the night; I went to bed after that, slightly up for the trip thus far.
     
  18. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    I should note that you are going to see a lot of low rolling in the front half of this trip at a minimum. I have never had the fortune of being around casinos for two weeks plus so I am aiming to pace myself carefully.

    I also did not come out with my traditional Vegas budget, although I have enough to make it work. So don’t look for much in the way of big bets here for now :)

    DAY 2: Friday, November 29

    Today for food I took advantage of the all day wristband at Excalibur buffet. They had a holiday offering and I find their buffet to be basic, but comfortable food wise.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We played a bit at Excalibur before and after breakfast, and after I had checked out of Luxor. They then dropped me off at Planet Hollywood to check in to my next home. My room there would be for four days, the longest home of my visit.

    I ended up with a great view by the elevators, but a wall that shared with the elevators so it could be a bit noisy at times. Thankfully I can sleep through just about anything.

    I killed some time playing at various properties owned by Caesars while they did a Walmart run and noticed something odd. Linq has a newer card management system with on screen info and they had a Spin 2 Win icon showing.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I have seen this elsewhere but never at a Corporate Vegas property. Even more interesting was the earning of Reward Credits. If you have a bunch of properties with the same expected payback but one gives you a bonus, that is intriguing to me.

    I cannot find any information on it so I am not sure if it was a test or just a Thanksgiving weekend promotion they were doing as it was gone by the time I went through again.

    Sadly the game is the most exciting thing I have to show for my play at the Linq that day. I ended up with a second spin that gave me 150 RCs.

    My friends caught up with me at the Linq and we did the High Roller. We meant to do a daytime viewing but ended up after redeeming our tickets bought online catching it as the sun going down. Quite remarkable!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    After High Roller we grabbed dinner at Excalibur. After gambling a bit more, we headed back to the Caesars side of the strip and parted ways.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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    After doing some solo gambling I met up with @KingJasonSlots, who was in town for his first ever group pull. We went into high limit and he chose a machine next to high limit Dancing Drums. I figured I could bet one gold symbol x1 at 80 cents to keep to my betting plans and that worked out great :)

    [​IMG]

    We had a great time on the floor of the Cosmopolitan for a couple of hours and then it was late so we parted company and said we were going to bed. Neither of us quite made it back without hitting up another machine haha

    This was my last solid hit of the night:

    [​IMG]

    It was a fun but packed day. And by the end of the second day I had walked a literal marathon. Thursday I came to realize I had taken over 28,000 steps, a new high for me, beating a Vegas trip a couple of years ago. And I managed to follow that up with another more than 25,000 steps. That works out to over 26 miles!

    I am not sure where I found the energy to do that - I work from home nowadays and if I walk from the office to the kitchen that is a lot - but I worked in New York City for years where 15,000 daily steps was not unusual. But I am over two years removed from that at this point so I was pleasantly surprised I was holding it together this well so far.

    But I was tired, with lots more to do on Saturday, so I headed to bed.
     
  19. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    DAY 3: Saturday, November 30

    [​IMG]

    Although my room was in a noisy location, I did enjoy my view at Planet Hollywood!

    I slept in after a couple of nights of less sleep, grabbed some food and then headed to the Cosmo for @KingJasonSlots first ever group pull! It was a lot of fun and had a spectacular finish.

    Afterwards we had a nice gathering and reception in his wraparound suite. It was great to chat with a number of people and get to know some others in the community!

    [​IMG]

    I then headed downtown as I had match play and free play at The D and Golden Gate. I converted my match play successfully and not much came from the slots.

    [​IMG]

    I went to the Plaza where I tread water but nothing spectacular happened... this was my best shot from it:

    [​IMG]

    My friends met up with me there and had better luck.

    I ate at The D Grill with my friends and then we went to Aria for a mini group pull among our friend group. Each put in $50 and we each got $55 back - I will take it!

    [​IMG]

    I returned to Cosmo where I chased this sucker. Ended up $20 down when I could have been as much as $50 ahead if I had left at the right time. Blah!

    I wrapped my night and headed back to PH for bed. The gambling today was pretty mediocre... not a lot to get my momentum up. But it is early days yet.
     
  20. joshj

    joshj Silver

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    DAY 4: Sunday, December 1

    Today began with an early trip back to downtown. My friend and I joined The Slot Cats, Heidi and Fred, for their Coffee with the Cats morning live stream at El Cortez.

    [​IMG]

    Afterwards we went our separate ways for breakfast; I went to The D Grill to use food comps. Then we headed to the Plaza for some bingo.

    [​IMG]

    I had never played casino bingo before but Heidi and I had match plays so we figured why not? I did not get bingo but my friend did!

    We played slots a bit. I noticed a Wheel of Fortune 4D with an interesting setup and opted to play it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After that Heidi and I decided to hit Golden Gate and The D to use up my match play and free plays.

    The free play at Golden Gate went well.

    [​IMG]

    The Match Play at The D, not so much. Had a double down opportunity with a $25 match that failed and I couldn’t recover.

    My friend had raced ahead to the Strat so Heidi offered to give me a ride to catch up. On the way out my eye caught another Wheel of Fortune setup that I decided to try...

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Up $100 in about 30 seconds. Works for me!

    Next up was a trip to the Skypod at the top of the Strat. This was another one on my to do list I was happy to achieve.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    My friend needed to pick up monorail tickets he bought so we stopped into the Sahara for a bit. The renovations are coming along alright but it was dead.

    Next stop was Palace Station to meet up with a couple of locals and Vegas friends for dinner at the buffet. I also had some time on a full pay video poker machine for a bit.

    Then we went back to Paris, where my friend and I gambled a bit. This was my best hit of the evening there.

    [​IMG]

    I returned to Planet Hollywood, played a bit, and went to bed on the early side. Starting Monday I work a half day each day for the week, so needed to get up early enough to eat beforehand.
     
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