Note: This post is a continuation from part two.

My late “early” night after our big (to us) win the night before meant that, by the time I actually woke up, I had no idea my dad had left and gone on a long run down the strip.

He went down past the fashion show shops all the way to Genting boulevard across from the Encore entrance. And back. Impressive. 

Being the hero he is, he showed up again with my Starbucks order and we were scrambling to make the most of the day. 

It wasn’t much after 8am that we were sitting on the balcony and enjoying the crisp calm Vegas morning. Our original plan was to visit the Wicked Spoon Buffet and be among the first in line when it opened at 9am, but we both decided we were yet again not up for a huge breakfast. 

I still haven’t been to a real Vegas Buffet (or a fake one, for that matter) and my wife says she’s glad she still has the chance to experience it with me for the first time. 

We mingled in the room for a while as my dad packed up and we got ready for the room to turn over to my solo hideaway. The housekeeper came early and we were just fine with letting her in and getting on my way. 

I left $20 on the bed and politely asked her to provide all-new linens and she said she’d be sure to do so. 

10:30AM Area 15 

This place does not exist. At least, that’s what they tell you like 100 times as you go through initial security. I don’t remember that from before. 

Anyways, since we didn’t do the buffet, we arrived a bit early for our Omega Mart reservation time. I showed my dad up to the arcade Kathryn and I enjoyed so much before. They had moved the games around a bit and the two person shooter wasn’t working, so we spent our time on pinball and racing games. 

No bitch lady here.  

We ran out of time pretty quickly and wound up with extra coins that we gave to a couple on our way out. 

Next thing you know we were in line for Omega Mart and I was really excited to see what my dad thought of the whole thing. I figured he’d either really dig it or really hate it. 

Unlike when I went before, we opted for a “boop card” because I thought my dad might enjoy trying to follow the storyline and solving the mystery. 

Augmented reality mirror at Omega Mart in Las Vegas

My struggle during this would be to try and let my dad explore somewhat organically. This was rather difficult because I knew what most things were and what to expect, so I kind of wanted to prod us in certain directions. 

Omega Mart was a ton of fun again, but going the second time it definitely lost a bit of its wow factor. We were in and out fairly quickly, though I felt like we explored every area we needed to see.

My dad would describe it as a kind of scavenger hunt maze sort of deal. I think he enjoyed it for the novelty and such, but wasn’t super amazed. So, in the end, it turns out that it is possible to be between loving it and hating it. Surprise, surprise. 

We took an Uber back to the Cosmopolitan and my dad quickly retrieved his bags as his buddies were on the way to pick him up for his second half of the trip.

We briefly reflected on the amazing trip, hugged, and said our goodbyes. 

1pm: Solo time begins

After he left, I took a moment to open another Fiji water, call my wife, and sit out on the balcony for a bit. She was not have a good time at home with our son. Apparently become quite difficult and basically made everything as difficult as possible. 

It was definitely a bummer to hear. None of my calls with Kathryn on this trip were particularly joyful — I could feel her pain and there simply wasn’t much I could do to help. It’s certainly hard to brag about your good time when someone you love is back home miserable. 

I went down to Hattie B’s for lunch. It wasn’t a terrible line despite the fact they were changing out a fryer in the small kitchen area and it looked like a terrible time to be working there. 

I took it back to the room, and when I arrived, the Fiji water had already been replaced on the mini bar. This kind of quick replenishment without leaving a trace happened several times on the trip. I never saw them, but the staff was on their game! 

I recorded some audio recaps of the trip to help me keep track of things and enjoyed Hattie B’s. It may just be the food I miss the most from my time living in Nashville. It’s always great to get a taste in Vegas. 

I took a brief nap as you may have noticed that my sleep routine was less than healthy. Then, I woke up, mixed a Vodka RedBull (I guess the nap wasn’t enough, lol) and got ready for a great second half of the day!

Relaxing on the balcony I noticed a huge dust cloud coming into town. Or just a cloud cloud? Anyways, the town turned unusually cloudy for the rest of the trip at this point. I’m thrilled, though, that it was beautiful while my dad and I were together. I was, however, wondering how it would impact his golf games over the coming days. 

A dust cloud coming toward the Las Vegas strip

 

I took a few pictures and I was back out on the town. 

3:45PM: The cocktail crawl commences

My first stop was Resorts World. I find that I keep wanting to come back here despite its relatively minimal personality and my lack of a playing card membership (intentional to help ensure I concentrate my play at MGM). It’s new, professional, clean feel is just nice and I really love the idea of sitting at the center bar with easy access to drinks and a video roulette game on the counter. 

Unfortunately, the center bar was packed today. I circled it several times trying to find a machine that would do it for me, and it just wasn’t happening. 

4:30PM: Gatsby’s

Then, I noticed that Gatsby’s was just opening and I had the opportunity to finally enjoy it for the first time. I sat at the bar with some fairly basic, classic slot game — Kitty Glitter, perhaps — and waited semi-patiently as the bartender caught up to the three or four orders from the small smattering of patrons who had arrived just before me. 

In the end, I got a delightful mojito and was quite happy. Though boredom crept in pretty quickly, and boredom has no place in Vegas. 

 

A mojito cocktail at Gatsby's in Resorts World Las Vegas

I did a quick glance around the mall area, particularly dwelling on the Stardust sign art, and made my way downtown. 

I Ubered to Circa and, this time, was actually taken to the Garage Mahal. I took the stairs up to the bridge and crossed main street, pausing to enjoy the view.

I crossed back over to The Plaza without giving Circa too much of a glance, and headed to check out the inside of the new Brian Christopher slots area. 

It was clean and fine, but small and overall not enough to hold my attention for long (despite a great job with decorations for such a small space). I did a lap around the inside of the Plaza’s casino area and then made my way to the new carousel bar which was on the top of my to-do list for today. 

5:30PM: Carousel Bar

It was pretty dang hot and I’m not sure whatever cooling systems they’ve tried to implement were doing much good. But I was too excited to let it deter me, though judging by the empty seats, a lot of folks did. 

The view from Carousel Bar at Plaza Las Vegas

I chose a seat near the street to get a good view of the Fremont Street Experience. It took a minute to get someone’s attention, but once she noticed I was there, the service was lovely. I got their fancy pina colada that comes in a hollow pineapple. Great stuff. 

At one point, a guy came and sat right next to me and really wanted to chat. He made it clear that the girl he walked in with and left in the booth behind me was his sister. Not a girlfriend or wife. My guard was up pretty high and it brought down my experience just a bit. I, of course, assume he’s going to try to con me or distract me or something else nefarious. Heck, I even moved my drink closer to me and in such a way that my arm was between him and my drink. 

But in the end nothing happened. He talked with the bartender a lot, too (talked about how ridiculous it was that a beer at the carousel bar is $12 and inside the casino bar it’s literally half the price at $6), so maybe he’s just really friendly? Maybe he was interested in being my special friend? I have no idea. Weird experience, though. It just felt off and you’ve got to take care of yourself in these kinds of situations.

A pina colada at Carousel Bar at the Plaza Las Vegas

 

In my typical fashion, I tried to milk every last second out of my experience there while still leaving with enough time to not stress about making my next officially-scheduled event. 

I took one last long look around at the Carousel bar, The Plaza, what I could see of the Fremont Street Experience, and Main Street in general. Then I requested an Uber and walked towards the Garage Mahal to pick it up. 

Then I waited. 

And waited. 

I watched on the Uber app as my driver took a number of wrong turns including going to the Uber drop off area outside the Circa entrance instead of the Garage Mahal. Then I waited some more. 

Finally, the van pulled up and I got into a terribly-smelling old van. I just prayed I’d be safe and… that my nose would get used to the smell before I suffocated. 

We were headed to New York-New York to go see Mad Apple — my first ever Cirque show (can you believe it?). I’ve heard lots of great things about this show and that if you don’t think you’d really be into traditional Cirque kinds of performances (I don’t think I really would be in the mood for one of these while in Vegas), this is a great one to see. 

But after we got off the highway and headed towards New York-New York, my anxiety about time really started to grow. The streets were packed. We were entangled in a huge traffic jam. 

Damn you, F1! This had to be yet another casualty of the shitshow that is the preparation for Formula 1. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a local who works amongst this nonsense.

But this delay was terrible. 

F1 stinks! It’s total BS! It… was actually the fault of a UFC fight going on across the street at MGM Grand.

But the Formula 1 stuff still sucks and I bet it still contributed somehow. 

I rushed out of the Uber into the fresh (comparatively) exhaust-filled air of the New York-New York porte cochere and into the casino. Found my way to the Mad Apple show with what turned out to be plenty of time. 

7:00PM Mad Apple

Mad Apple at New York-New York Las Vegas

 

I even had time to stop by the showroom bar for a Sprite and vodka. I once again was not carded. I hadn’t thought about it much, but that meant I hadn’t been carded all day. Man, I’m old ;) 

I strategically picked a row towards the back and on an aisle. However, I did make sure it was on the lower level and right in the center. This is a good balance of value, privacy, and convenience. It’s not a massive theater, but does feel bigger than something like Absinthe. 

The show was upbeat and kind of a more hip-hop focused variety show like Absinthe with a comedian that did a bit of crowd work. It’s not nearly as offensive as Absinthe (both the show and the comedian), but also not was funny or memorable. 

I’m not really into “New York culture” (whatever that means — fast-paced, super pop or hip hop music, concrete jungle and loud people, perhaps?), but this show was really enjoyable and energizing. I can see why people recommend it for those who aren’t prudes, but want a more respectable show that won’t put you to sleep like some other Cirque shows. 

I left feeling super energized and “into” the New York vibe. It was kind of like I was in a New York state of mind or something. So, I spent some time walking around the casino and admiring the theme. 

I don’t remember if I gambled any, but it clearly wasn’t substantial. 

___________

 

I haven’t talked about it much, but I split up my gambling between loyalty programs so that it would help me maintain a respectable theo. This was still an MGM day (and every day was a Cosmo day), but I’d be pivoting to Caesars at midnight. 

Caesars doesn’t seem to like my play, which is weird, because I thought I gave them fairly good numbers in comparison to MGM properties, though my budgets have increased over the years at about the same pace as I’ve also transitioned into more of an MGM loyalist. So perhaps their record of my earliest low-rolling days has hurt me. But I’ve always heard that Caesars gives pretty strong comps for mid-level gamblers, so it kind of puzzles me. 

That said, I dedicated a single day to do all of my Caesars play, and that was to start at midnight. More on that in a bit. 

__________

8:30PM: Exploring the strip

I then walked out of the Hershey’s store and up the bridge towards MGM Grand. I spent time marveling at the view from that bridge and crossed over briefly to spend a few moments on the other side. 

I then made my way back across and towards center strip — stopping at Park MGM to cash out a ticket I had forgotten earlier in the trip. 

Then, for some ridiculous reason I decided to stop at the CVS on the way back towards Cosmo to get a small case of water and some beer. I wanted some for the room to save money. 

Of course, the walk all the way back to Cosmo, and the all the way to the back to the elevators, and all the way up and to the room is… way longer than one ever expects. 

It was dumb, but probably saved me like $50 ;) 

11:00PM: Gambling

I relaxed in the room for a moment and then went down to play my trusted Top Dollar machine. It was taken, so I settled for one just around the corner. 

After a while I actually got a bonus! I’m fairly conservative when it comes to taking the offer on Top Dollar, but somehow I still ended up with $5 from a $1.50 bet. I would have been better not getting the bonus and just taking the symbols (assuming I got almost literally any other symbol on that third line).  Seriously, that line of symbols should at least be some sort of line hit. 

I then hustled over to Bellagio to play a few spins before the midnight cutoff. I didn’t want to go over or risk killing my daily average with two $3 spins at 12:01. 

I had a good run with decent drink services and played right up until 11:59 and then… it was Caesars day. I was actually pretty dang pumped. 

12:00AM: Caesars day begins

I made my way from within Bellagio over towards Caesars and then crossed over to the other side to make my way to Flamingo. 

Goodness gracious has the Caesars side become trashy. 

It’s just so disappointing and reassures me that I made the right decision to become an MGM loyalist. 

I decided I’d lose no more than $100 on this run and it only took one casino: Flamingo. 

I had a great trip there previously, so I wanted to relive the classic magic a bit. 

I played a terrible progressive-style machine (Regal riches — picture below) that always screws me over (I’m learning to just stay away from them because they just take my money and I can’t seem to make myself stop until my budget is basically eliminated or otherwise regretfully smaller). And not only did Caesars take my money with a single game, the first half was plagued by some ridiculously trashy fight. 

 

A bigger, middle-aged woman sat down at a machine near me loudly bitching about some transgression with her belly hanging out and boobs bursting from what looked like basically just a swimming suit top. 

Then a friend or family member came to speak with her and the two ended up yelling and fighting and then another woman across the way joined in… The woman who approached the first was clearly trying to make peace between the other two, but it just did no good. 

All the while, not a hint of security or staff to calm things down. Just another day in Flamingo, I guess. 

Good riddance. 

Poorer, disgusted, and longing for my beloved Cosmopolitan, I booked it towards the purple goddess. I almost stopped at Dirt Dog at the Grand Bazaar shops in front of the Horseshoe, but there was a huge line so I scurried on. 

12:58AM: Relaxing at Cosmo

Back in the room, I took advantage of the cheap beers I brought back earlier and spent some more time on the balcony. It was just after 1am (given that I left Bellagio right at midnight and how long it takes to first get to Flamingo, play, and then walk back from Flamingo to Cosmopolitan and to the room… that shows just how briefly my time lasted on that side of things. Okay I’ve made my point, I think). 

 

I really spent quite a while enjoying the balcony and an incredible traffic debacle from people leaving Bellagio’s parking garage. Well, it looked like people leaving all up and down the strip. The strip was packed with cars and people seemed to be barely moving. 

I watched from above like a real life experience from Sim City when you do a poor job with transportation infrastructure. 

It was quite wild. I started rooting for cars to see who would make it out first. I watched as some people merged like jerks and others politely helped out their fellow motorists. 

And before you think I was just drunk and amazed by the dumbest thing… the next morning my Vegas groups were filled with comments about the traffic issues the night prior. 

A combination of big name shows, UFC, and regular Saturday night crowds converged for quite the scene. I’m not the only one who noticed and found it shocking / amazing, okay? 

I did make it back down to the casino for some final spins. There wasn’t a whole lot to note — The regular BS win on Buffalo Gold Revolution ($17 on a $1.50 bet… really?!?!) and a decent one on Golden Century kept me from completely going under. Thankfully the first couple of days had been kind and all was okay. 

Sometime just after 3am, I made my bed perfect to enjoy the five-star luxury. I made sure things were nice and clean to enjoy a pleasant morning and a great view from my balcony, and off to sleep I drifted…