WARNING: As usual, I had great intentions of a quickie, less-detailed report this time. Sigh. It just seems that my brain is not wired like that. Good Luck.
Book time away from work.
Pack a lunch.
Hope you enjoy. ;-)
**** Well, what the heck? I am on page 75 (without the photos) and only about half-way through.
You’d better grab a sleeping bag for power naps too, if you are going to read it all.
Oh yeah, and as someone once mentioned to me, when I wrote a 'long' report...better have a notepad and pencil, in case you want to make comments. It seems that some readers have less than perfect memories, and forget what they wanted to say, once their brain has been numbed by the entire tale.
Well, it was coming up on that time of year again. Blonde4Ever had her annual Halloween Meet planned in Las Vegas, and I had the opportunity to be her ‘Roomie’ again. But nope…not going to be in town in 2016. L
Tom had put a deposit down for an Alaskan Cruise for 2017, so he suggested that I had to give Vegas a pass, as we needed to save every penny, to get the final payment ready. (Insert your favourite swear word here, with great emphasis…). This actually DID happen.
I glanced at the LasVegas4Ever Message Board every once in a while, but it hurt too much to be there watching all of the plans everyone was making for the Fall. Yep, DID happen.
In August, I opened up one of many Las Vegas mailers I receive monthly, and began to sob.
“♪Oh, dear”, said Tom. “What can the matter be?♫”
I gave him the finger, and ran into the bathroom in tears (those of you who have met me, can imagine me doing this, right?). Once I had calmed down a bit, I exited, and handed Tom the soggy piece of cardboard.
He read the blurry lines and said, “Geez”, I can see what has upset you. You are being offered 3 free night’s accommodation, AND two tickets to see Elton John during the time Bonnie is going to be in Vegas.” He frowned and said, “That’s rather mean of them, when you can’t go this year.” This May or May NOT have happened, exactly.
much more was said, but I MIGHT have moped around a
My birthday month was coming up, and I usually make a big deal of it…whole month entitlement, and such, because after all, how many more will I get to celebrate? I was feeling sorry for myself, and I MAY or May Not have made Tom’s life less than cheerful.
One morning, after my deepening depression had kept me in bed longer than usual, I got up and headed for the kitchen island to have my breakfast. There was an 8 x 10” piece of paper on my placemat. It said “Westjet” at the top, and “Happy Birthday” at the bottom.
Huh? Westjet sent me an early birthday greeting?
No silly….. Tom bought me a flight to Vegas, and gave me his blessing to go on the Halloween trip (with a limited budget of course.)
What a sweetie! This MAY or May Not have changed my mood immediately, and I might STILL be smiling 2 months later. ;-)
The weather in Ontario was co-operating so far, and I still had some Summery clothes in the cupboard, so, not too much digging to do for my ‘stuff’.
After all the packing and planning, I found myself getting on my Westjet flight a few weeks later, and anticipating another great trip with my Roomie!
Blonde was flying out of Detroit and would arrive before 1 p.m. and I was coming into McCarran about an hour later. Shuttles would whisk us off to Bally’s, and hopefully she would be all checked in when I got there.
“WHAAAAAH, I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP ON THE STREET!”
I arrived at Pearson Airport in Toronto with plenty of time to spare. I had not flown on Westjet in a few years (Air Canada Rouge usually had slightly better prices when it was time to book.) My last two flights were not happy fizzy parties, so I decided to pay a bit more (and avoid a red eye coming home) and fly Westjet again.
I had a boarding pass already and an employee directed me towards an area where there were two chutes on the wall. People were putting their suitcases in them and no employees were touching the luggage. First time I had seen this.
So, I walked up to one just after a fellow had left, and was lifting my rolling duffle and reading the little picture sign, trying to figure out which way to put the suitcase in (wheels up, first or last ‘in’ etc.) Over to my right, a Westjet gal chatted with a co-worker, nearby.
Suddenly she shouted “Wait! You going to Las Vegas, girl?”
I said that I was.
“Well, you put that bag in there, you be doing Las Vegas naked, girl. This is for domestic flights only."
"You have to take your bag down there….” and she pointed further along, down the concourse.
I MAY or may not have nearly peed myself (I had just arrived after a two hour car ride, you know…) I’m just SO glad that she had glanced up in time.
I have never been comfortable travelling since we were told we cannot wear a money-belt through the security scanner. It is not too bad when I am with Tom and we can keep a watch on each others’ bags on the belt, but when alone, I am always nervous about having my cash in a bag that is out of my hands and sometimes out of my sight.
The security personnel told us all to push our bags right into the scanner this time, and I waited until the fellow behind me had put his boxes on the belt and pushed mine up.
I was then ‘chosen’ to go through the scanner, which meant I had to move over to another line at that point.
When I finished, I walked to the belt to retrieve my carry on, purse and shoes and my sweater coat. My carry on was there. The shoes were there and the sweater was there. The fellow who had put his stuff right up next to mine on the other side was emptying his boxes.
I don’t THINK I yelled, but I suppose I MAY have done so. My PURSE was missing! The security LADY at the end of the line came right over. “It can’t be missing. No-one could take it.”
“But it’s gone! This man’s stuff went on right after mine, and he just got it. I had two bins and the one with my purse in it, only has the other things that were with it there now…the purse is missing!”
I was panicked because I had no idea what the person in FRONT of me had looked like, or whether they were male or female. If they had removed my purse, it was probably long gone…as was all my money and papers.
LADY went over to the fellow sitting in front of the scanner….and spoke with him. He had, it seemed wanted to take a second look at my purse, and had pulled it back, and re-binned it, and put it through again after the bins behind mine, to run through the scanner again. He was doing that …very slowly…right then. He must really focus on his task, because he had not heard any of the ruckus apparently.
It was a cloudy day in Toronto when I arrived, but as we waited for our flight, the weather improved and everything on the way to Las Vegas was smooth and comfortable. I had my usual window seat, thanks to checking in online, right at the ‘24 hours before the flight’ mark..
Hmmm, interestingly, after I was seated and had used a LysoI disinfectant wipe on my tray and seat arms, I noticed that the airlines finally have decided what may appeal to many of their passengers’ mindsets…
Now, instead of suggesting that you may ‘take’ the in-flight magazine when you leave the plane, they use different wording…
I suppose this allows us to access our inner-rebel, but without any negative consequences. I May or May NOT have stolen the magazine (…or even read it..)
We had a minor medical emergency called, about half way through the flight, and many of us crossed our fingers, hoping that we would not have to land somewhere before we touched Vegas soil. Nothing further was said until we landed at McCarran, and then we were asked to remain seated while the Paramedics came onto the plane to remove the passenger.
Surprisingly, the lady (and her companion who I had seen request assistance for her mid-flight) marched up the aisle and met the Paramedics at the entrance door to the plane. After a short discussion, the medics turned around and left. I did not realize that this was possible, once they had been called.
It occurred to me that the passenger May or May NOT have had travel insurance, and wanted to avoid a big medical bill before even getting out of the airport.
As we had made our landing approach, driving rain hit the plane windows…no pretty Strip views to welcome this group of sun-seekers. I have never landed in this weather before, but my enthusiasm wasn’t dampened a bit!
On the other hand….…..since the luggage trolleys in Las Vegas do not have covers like the ones in Toronto do, my bag was quite wet when I retrieved it from the carrousel.
No matter…I was in WONDERFUL-LAND!
I made my way out into the rain, and headed for the closest ‘shuttle shack’, which was ‘Showtime’, and purchased one-way transport to the Strip.
I learned long ago, thanks to hearing about other people’s negative tales, to never to purchase a ‘return’ ticket. You cannot always count on the Company to give you a timely and reliable ride back to the airport.
They already have your money…and if they do not keep their part of the bargain, you are the one who has a lot of stress, making other arrangements while under pressure to get to your flight on time. (And of course, then you have paid TWICE for the transportation back to the Airport.)
The shuttle driver picked me and an Asian couple (with little English) up, and we were all going to Bally’s. No-one else seemed to be coming, so he headed out, telling us he had some passengers to pick up at Terminal 1.
His radio was quite loud and the lady across from me was trying to ask questions (for instance about where she could purchase food for her room, where the closest grocery was etc.) Since her voice was soft, and he was trying to give her info, (and that led to more questions etc.) he turned his radio down.
When we arrived at Terminal 1, he was met by a very unhappy supervisor who asked him about his radio, as she had tried to reach him a number of times. When she could not determine his arrival time, she had called another shuttle driver in, and now would let HIM take the full load.
With a very large scowl, she sent him on his way, with a warning about turning the radio down again. I felt bad for him, when we got to the hotel, and he ended up with only my $1 tip….
I arrived at Bally’s a bit wet, but very happy, and looked around the lobby for my Roomie. I figured I’d see her in line, or hopefully she had got an early check-in, and would be coming down from our room, to greet me. No sign of her, so I settled in against a pillar to wait.
After about a half hour (since she WAS supposed to arrive about an hour before me) I was getting concerned.
When the ‘Platinum’ line was empty for a moment, I went up to the clerk and explained my situation. I asked her if she could check to see if my friend had arrived yet. I explained the situation, and gave her as many details about the booking as I knew, and she tapped on the keyboard a bit, and then told me that B had not checked in at that point. (I was later told by a retired Hotel employee, that the clerk MAY or May Not have broken some rules, by giving me that information.)
Now, I have been chided by many, over the years, because I am a techno dinosaur, and do not carry a cell phone. If Blonde was having difficulty getting to Las Vegas, it would be hard for her to reach me. Since the rain was heavy when I flew in, perhaps it had caused disruptions in other parts of the U.S. and her flight had been cancelled. Her Father in Law was elderly and not in good health. Had there been a last minute issue? Did her plane have mechanical problems? Had she fallen ill at the last moment?
I started to sweat. (This MAY or May Not have been exacerbated by the fact that I was still wearing long pants, and sweater for travelling, which I had planned on discarding shortly after I arrived, but was stuck with at the moment).
What if I ended up homeless in Las Vegas? How would I manage to get rooms at a price I could afford over the upcoming Halloween Weekend.
I suddenly had a great idea. Perhaps my lost Roomie had been able to send me an email, or facebook message. I had my tablet in my carry-on, and you can get free Wifi in Bally’s lobby. I juggled my many bags, and dug it out, only to discover that it had somehow turned itself on (well, a button had been pushed) while it was up in the overhead bin, and it was completely dead.
So, you say…what’s the big deal?
Plug it in, you say???
I have a Samsung Android tablet. Unlike an Apple product, it May or May NOT be able to be used while it is charging. Oh, heck. It definitely cannot be used until it charges again, damn thing.
I stood against the pillar and then against a half-wall, scanning all directions for a Sparkly Blonde (Arctic Blonde?), for the next half hour before the tourists all around me, MAY have observed me falling to my knees in gratitude, when I spotted her making her way down the lobby corridor.
She was able to check into our Jubilee Tower Room quickly, with the clerk asking us if we’d like bottles of water, (Oh, YES!) and we headed on up, exchanging details of our journeys as we walked.
Our room was great, as expected, putting us in the same location and with a view that we have shared in the past. We had a fridge and a coffee maker, which I love.
Oh, and we got a thermostat that Blonde May or May Not have claimed did not go above 69 degrees F.
My Sparkly Roomie had a gift certificate to BLT Steakhouse, at Bally’s, where we would enjoy our evening meal, and after a quick ‘unpack’ (which May or may NOT have happened, since I am insanely slow as I empty my ‘stuff’ out of bags and try to designate exactly the right spot for everything) we changed out of travelling clothes, and headed to the restaurant’s bar for ½ priced Happy Hour cocktails.
OH, wait! I forgot to say that first, Blonde had to carefully reach into her over-packed suitcase, and remove the wrapping from a liter bottle of what turned out to be something I had never heard of before. It was “Gentleman Jack”….a Smooth Tennessee Whiskey, that might well be the end of me…. She lovingly placed it next to the glasses and ice bucket on our dresser, before we headed downstairs.
I am not much of a drinker, but this visit began a slippery slide for me during the trip, with Blonde poised behind me, and nudging me over the edge.
Since we were there slightly before the dinner hour began (this was necessary for medicinal purposes, because the flight had aggravated Blonde’s current hip soreness) we had one side of the pleasant BLT bar area to ourselves.
There were restaurant staff members, including the Maitre De, at the back of the long room, being briefed by someone from the kitchen, on the upcoming dinner menu. I’ve only seen this on a cruise ship in the past. Interesting…. Oh, and I noticed that they did not all cheer like the ‘Team’ at Walmart does after their pep talk.
Bonnie ordered a Rusty Nail or two (Scotch Whiskey and Drambuie) and I chose a cocktail (“First Lady”) from the menu. Mine was light tasting, and not too strong, but my Roomie’s nearly floored me, when I took a wee sip to try it.
Um, I usually ask for a ‘half-shot’ of anything I order, even on the Casino Floor. (Blush) My ‘First Lady’ had a whole lot more liquor in it, of course, so I had to be careful. It has always been my experience that body weight does not have much to do with alcohol tolerance, but that metabolism (mine is snail-driven) does.
We chatted with our personable server, once seated. She agreed to take a photo, before we had food all over our faces.....
Blonde and I had discussed the menu the previous week and had made our choices ahead of time. We would share the Lobster Cobb Salad….
Order the Porterhouse (medium rare) to share…
And I would get the side dish of Asparagus and she chose her favourite ‘creamed spinach’…
The side dishes were $11 each according to the online menu, which we had checked just before leaving home. I assumed they would be large and serve us both, easily. I was surprised when we got the ‘little’ bowls, but then was surprised again, once we divided the veggies up and there seemed to be plenty.
In case you noticed above, that the asparagus looks a little strange, it was because “Asparagus is out of Season, so we have Brussels Sprouts now.”
So many surprises! I would have thought that a high-end steak house ordered stuff from wherever it was fresh, and in season. I dunno……..I’m not a gourmand, so do not have much chance to check these things out.
The restaurant’s Signature piece is their Popover Duo, that is served at the beginning of each meal. I ate a bit of mine, and it was nice…
They also brought out a bread basket, sweet butter, and some crostini with a small jar of duck pate, topped by red-wine jelly. THIS was delicious!
My Dinner Plate
After we ate until bursting, and declined dessert, there were two little brownies brought out, ‘Chef’s Compliments’. I took one small bite, but was not tempted beyond that, as I am a fudgy brownie lover, and these were sort of insipid, I thought.
Our meal was tasty, and service excellent. Blonde had a discount code to use, as well as the gift card that covered our meal, so we just had to tip generously.
I did not compare all of the prices, but the side dishes were $12 and not $11, and when we questioned that, the server said some prices had gone up the previous week, but sometimes the ‘online’ menu does not catch up for a while. They might want to change that.
Because I am trying to eat fewer carbohydrates, and more protein at the moment, I opted to take the 4 pieces of steak that were left on the board with me, to enjoy for breakfast in the room over a couple of days.
I took my fancy steak bag up to the room,
We then said our good-byes, as we each had dates with our favourite slot machines until bedtime. I managed to turn $60 into .97 rather quickly, and felt that my time would be better spent walking around the room, with things from my suitcase in my hand, trying to figure out where I’d put them, LOL.
We had a visit planned to ROSS Dress for Less (On ‘Old People’s Discount Day!) first thing in the morning, so did not plan a late night….and fatigue did help us to keep that promise to ourselves.
I took a few photos of our view, and noticed that the corridor with the palm trees, benches etc. where you had entered the Bazaar Shops was in disarray, and it looked like they were tearing out the one bit of green space, and adding more shops. Sad…