Hotel Stayed At: Caesar's Palace, Mandalay Bay - part 1
Report by: Dr Bob <email@example.com> From: Lubbock Texas
It has taken me longer than I expected to find the time to sit down and write this - hope you find it enjoyable and informative.
We planned this trip to coincide with our sons finishing school, and for us all to go to the Jimmy Buffett concert in Vegas. As budding Parrotheads, my boys could sing the words to "Fins" before they started kindergarten.
We flew direct from Lubbock to LAS via Southwest on Sat May 25. On time arrival and no problems with the flight.
Took a cab from McCarren to Caesar's which was driven by a NASCAR wannabe. We flew down the back streets, through apartment building parking lots, and made it to Caesar's front door in 10 minutes! The boys said that the cab trip was better than any roller coaster they had ridden before.
Checked into Caesar's around noon. I had a comp for two nights in the Palace Tower as a result of prior play, so we got a room with two queen beds for the 4 of us. The room was spectacular. Much nicer than the standard room in the other tower. The bathroom was all marble, with an oversized whirlpool tub and separate shower.
We walked around the Forum and the boys scoped out potential souveniers. We ate a "snack" at the Mexican place in the mall, and my wife and I drank a couple of margaritas. We rode the "Race for Atlantis" 3D ride - it was OK, but paled in comparison to the Luxor VR ride we would do later.
The wife and kids went back up to the room, and I went to the casino cage. I had arranged to transfer my line of credit from Bally's to Caesar's several weeks prior, and even called to assure all was well. Unfortunately, when I got to the cage, the cashier could not find anything about it in the computer system. And, being Saturday, they could not call my bank at home. Thankfully, the cashier got together with a compatriot at Bally's, and got things worked out for me. Now being financially solvent, I graciously donated several hundred bucks at a craps table before meeting the crew upstairs.
We got cleaned up and walked to dinner. On their only prior trip to Vegas, our sons had been impressed with the food and the atmosphere at Battista's Hole-in-the-Wall. We were seated right away (with our reservations) and had a good dinner. The food is OK but nothing spectacular. The memorable part of the dinner is the strolling accordian player - this guy is maybe 5 foot tall at most, and sings maybe 4 or 5 words to each song he plays, but he puts on a great show.
Back to Caesar's after dinner. I tried craps, BJ, and even some video poker. Up and down all evening, finishing down another couple of hundred for the session.
The next morning, I was the first one up. I made a run to the food court for fresh pastries, coffee, and milk. After everyone had a little something in their stomachs, it was time to hit the pool.
The swimming pool at Caesar's is classical in its apperance. The center of the pool has statuary and fountains that the boys swam around. After the obligate dip, I sat along the side and ordered Mimosas. The pool attendants and waitresses were very attentive, and earned the tips we gave them.
After lounging by the pool for a couple of hours, it was time to get into Parrothead party mode! We went back up to the room, got on our concert gear, and headed off to the pre-concert party being held in the MGM theme park. The concert was not to start until 8PM, but the theme park opened at 2. We walked down to Bally's and caught the monorail to the MGM there. As we unloaded, we followed the tropical crowd into the lobby. There we saw a bit of what was to come - there were 5 guys standing in the formal marble lobby in grass skirts and coconut bras. I realized that I was horribly underdressed only in my Hawaiian shirt.
We made it out to the party, snapping pictures left and right. Getting into the spirit of things, our older son decided to buy a shark hat (with the jaws open and fitting over his head). Our younger son chose a hat shaped like a true parrot's head. There was a band covering Buffett songs, and the 4 or 5 hundred of us there all sang along. Around 5PM, we decided it was dinner time - of course we had to have the "Cheeseburgers in Paradise". After a couple of more sets by the band and a couple more margaritas for my sweetie and me, it was time to start the migration to the arena for the concert.
Once inside the arena, we queued up in line for t-shirts. Taking care of the folks back home, we bought 14 in all.
Then we got seated. We had bought the tickets over the 'net via Ticketmaster the day they went on sale. We were in the center, 10 rows off the floor. The crowd worked itself into a frenzied state while waiting for "Bubba" to hit the stage. At one point, there must have been over 100 beach balls that had been blown up and were being batted around the arena!
The show started right at 8. Jimmy and the Coral Reefers put on a tremendous performance. He took a break for 15 or 20 minutes around 10, and didn't stop coming out for encores until almost 11:30.
We gathered up our t-shirts and hats and leis and our tired bones, and headed back to Caesar's. No gambling for this tired warrior this night.
The next morning, after the coffee and crossiant run, I did hit the craps table once more. Up and down again (more down than up). Never could hit a hot roll. Even tried the dark side, but the table was choppy to the point that the house took money from both sides.
We gathered our stuff up and repacked for the move to Mandalay. When I checked out, our total bill was for $30 - the amount of the two breakfasts and the poolside drinks. The person at the check out counter offered to call one of the casino hosts to get them to wipe that out, too, but I declined.
Outside to catch a cab, and move down the Strip for more adventures.
Please see part 2
Dr Bob <firstname.lastname@example.org> - Lubbock Texas