November 18-25, 2006 - Las Vegas Vacation

We took our 3rd year anniversary trip back to Las Vegas. Flew American airlines from Knoxville to Dallas/Fort Worth to Las Vegas. I started hurting before the flight so I took an Actiq to calm the pain. The first flight on AA was pretty good, we had the exit row, and had lots of leg room. We got into Dallas/Ft. Worth on time and went to the Blue Mesa for lunch. I wasn't feeling very well and subsequently the food didn't taste good (although Kathy liked hers). On the next flight Kathy & I were again in exit row seats, but in separate rows. I nice lady next to me updated to first class so Kathy could sit by me. Good thing. The seat had a bad spot and I started hurting more and more. It was torture by the time I got off the plane. It was 4:00 pm in Las Vegas and the sun was getting ready to set... but very pretty. We picked up a Cadillac DTS at Alamo and headed to the Venetian. We went up Las Vegas Boulevard (big mistake due to the stop lights and traffic). Finally we got off the strip and took the back roads to the hotel. After check-in we went to the room to lay down...yeah! I took another Actiq to stop the pain. We then got up to go to "Bahama Breeze" for diner. This is our favorite restaurant in America, since we first went to one in Orlando on our honeymoon. Of course after the Actiq, my meal tasted horrible. Since I couldn't find my tennis shoes for the trip, we went to New Balance out by Green Valley Ranch (my favorite casino). We got back to the Venetian late, 10pm, so quickly went to bed.
Kathy woke up at 3am (time to take Whitney to work), but I talked Kathy into just going back to sleep. We finally slept until 9am, so ordered breakfast in bed. Nice! We took a short tour of the Venetian "Canyon Ranch Spa" so Kathy could run. Way over priced and cramped, so I went out to the hot tub (water warm, air cold) and Kathy went for a run up "the Strip" to the Stratosphere and back. We stayed around the hot tub for a while, then went back to the room to rest. I finally took an Actiq, so we got up to go gamble for a bit. I wasn't ready yet, so we strolled along the "Shoppes along the grand canal". We purchased a few trinkets, got a boot polish and window shopped for a necklace for Kathy ($12,000 on sale for $7,900) and a new wedding ring for Alan ($12,000 on sale for $7,900). We decided to wait until after we won big money.
We went down to the Venetian casino area and I still didn't have a good feeling about playing, but Kathy talked me into it. We hit the slots and I quickly won $45. Kathy was up 1 dollar, but then quickly lost another tenner. We headed across the street to the Mirage. Their I won again, and Kathy initially lost, but finally ended up in the win column. We crossed back over the street to the Flamingo. Kathy did very well and I did okay. But on the way out I decided to hit the Roulette wheel. I played my normal "slice of the pie" 1-3-13-24-36 and won on 24 for $175. Yeah! We were on a roll.....somewhat due to pain. We walked down to the Barbary Coast and went directly to a wall of (10) 25 cent Wheel of Fortune machines (Kathy's favorite). We were up about $25, when Kathy came up with the idea of playing each machine until we hit the free spin. Then we didn't do so well. Kathy played 5 machines and got 4 spins. I play 3 and got spins with my initial winnings, but had to dump and bunch more money into the final 2 machines to get the spin. So moral of story is "Quit while you're ahead"! My feet started hurting very bad so we headed back toward the Venetian. We stopped at the Flamingo for a pig-out buffet. Kathy got a 2 for 1 coupon, but gave it away because we didn't have the players card. I went over to a girl to sign up, but ended up with a 5 dollar off coupon. What a rip-off!! The food was good, but not worth the money, but it gave my feet time to quit hurting so bad. We stopped at the O'Shea's where I played Roulette again 1-3-13-24-36, but didn't win. I played again, this time for (8) numbers 00-1-3-13-15-24-34-36 and hit the 00. Yeah!! We stopped at a "going out of business sale" (perpetual I'm sure) and bought a bunch a nice Christmas presents (can't tell you yet!). Then we headed back to the room around 9pm. Kathy quickly fell asleep but I couldn't. I started hurting really bad, so I ended up taking half an Actiq around midnight. Kathy woke up at 3am (to take Whitney to work). She couldn't sleep, so she snuck downstairs to do a little gambling. She didn't tell me about her losses, but did admit that I'm the lucky one and said she'd never bet again without me. She came back to bed, and we slept until 7am. I wrote up this portion of the vacation and tallied the winnings. I couldn't believe I had won that much. Yeah!! And Kathy actual was ahead, only $3.75, but definitely a winner (until the late morning excursion).
Wednesday we slept in late due to pain and finally got off to breakfast around 10am. We drove off the strip and ate at IHOP. Then we drove to Henderson to Ethel-M for chocolate. The price has continued to escalate to an unbelievable $29.95 per pound. We used to at least find a sale occasionally, but for the last two trips, it's been too pricey. We then decided to head to a mall for gift certificates for Shannon and David. Afterwards we searched for a wine shop for bottles for the Thanksgiving dinner. Decent wine shops are few and far between. We went back to the Venetian and spent the afternoon at the 10th floor pool and hot tub. It's a lot quieter than the main pools on the 3rd floor. At 5pm we went to a David Sperry's basketball scrimmage. We didn't get in until the 3rd quarter was almost over. But this was good, because the bleacher seats were really hard to sit upon. His team lost, but it was a good game . For dinner, everyone went to a pizza place. Back at the Venetian by 8pm, and I tried to attempt a BM, but couldn't. Kathy wanted to go gambling, but the bed was calling way louder.
Thursday morning was not a good day for me. I was in an extreme amount of pain and didn't get any relief until around 1pm. We then went to Nancy Peruse's house for Thanksgiving Dinner. I mostly laid on the couch due to pain. The food was wonderful, as was the company. We left around 8pm to go home, but decided to stop at the new Red Rock Casino. We went into the high roller room and on a $5 Wheel of Fortune machine, proceeded to lose $5. Then we walked around the casino and started to see what the rooms were like, but decided it wasn't a casino for us (too young of a crowd). We stopped by a roulette table and I waited 1 spin of the table and when 1 of my numbers didn't hit I proceeded to place (5) $20 bets on my numbers 1-3-13-24-36. Well..... I hit 13, for a total of $700. Kathy couldn't believe it at first. She didn't know I had placed that large of bet. We quickly let after 15 minutes of excitement. We went back to the Venetian where I proceeded to lose part of my winnings.
Friday we slept in until it was time to go to the airport at 11am. We had fairly uneventful flights home (except for the pain) and got in around 11:30pm. Of course we went to Tim and Franci's house to pickup our totally missed Kenai. Due to the activity level it took 6 days to recover.

Final win/loss tally -

Alan took $600 and Kathy took $300 that we allowed ourselves to lose.

Las Vegas advice -

Rent a car! They are only around $150 a week for midsize or $250 for luxury. Drive to a casino and use the valet! I usually tip a few dollars (depending on the winnings). Watch the roulette wheel previous numbers and bet on the "outside" (red or black, odd or even). If you are going to stay at one casino and gamble for extended periods, get the players card, otherwise don't bother. Food is plentiful and typically not cheap. I personally think the casino restaurants are way over priced. But there are so many to choose from, it's hard to decide.

Photos -