This is a continuation of October 2022 Las Vegas Trip Report Part 1 and Part 2.

Remember how I woke up feeling shockingly great yesterday morning? I was chipper and ready to get down to the pool and take on the day.  It was amazing. 

This morning was the complete opposite. 

I specifically remember laying in bed audibly groaning for like 20 minutes before finally sitting up. 

The only redeeming thing was that my view was stunning. I crawled over so my head was close to the window and just looked out forever. I remember seeing people outside that looked like they were carrying our Las Vegas Pool bags already on the way to a great, relaxing day. 

A view from the bed at Flamingo Las Vegas

 

This was my last day in Vegas and I needed to get back on my feet — quick. 

Thankfully, today was IV day. I had only scheduled one this time to save a bit of money. And it worked out because I was so chipper the day before anyways. 

I got dressed and dragged myself downstairs for an 11am appointment. 

I ubered to Cosmo (where you’ll find RevIV) and made it in plenty of time. I purchased some snacks at the little shop next to Eggslut on the second floor, but didn’t really have time to break them open. 

11:00am RevIV – Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

This time, I raised the only concern that I had from previous visits — sometimes I leave feeling super jittery and almost worse than when I came in. At least for a while. 

They walked me through some things and we decided to leave the Decadron out of the IV mix. This is a sort of steroid to perk you back up. But it didn’t have a good effect on me and there’s always RedBull. 

They seated me in, unfortunately, the lamest room I’d encountered yet. This one was pretty much just a plain room with a couch and a TV. No massage chair. No window with an awesome view. Sad day. 

But it passed quickly enough. I poked around on my phone and passed the time itching to get back out. 

When it was done… thank God… I felt a good bit better. 

I’d still say it wasn’t a “Miracle,” but it was good. 

The other thing I did differently this time was opt for just their standard recovery IV drip instead of the “Royal Flush.” Well, I think I did this last time, too. The only difference is that a Royal Flush has an extra bag of “plain” IV fluids. All the meds — anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea, B vitamins,  etc. come in the first bag. So you’re not missing too much.   

I made my way back to Flamingo, finished putting myself back together and had a few crackers. Then, by 1pm I was on my way for my last day tradition of visiting Luxor. 

On my way, I made a final pass by the construction (or… de-construction??) of the Bally’s sign. 

A small YESCO signs banner hangs on a fence around the Bally's sign being decommissioned off the Las Vegas strip.

1:45pm Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

I don’t love that Uber drops you off at the side of the Luxor property instead of the big grand front entrance. I understand why, but arriving and then walking a quarter mile up a halfway, even if it is lined with cool egyptian themed-decorations, is kind of a letdown. 

Anyways, I found my way towards the front of the casino area and at a familiar bar I once sat at during a quick 20 minute stop on the way back to the airport after a trip with my parents. 

I got a RedBull vodka, of course. Time to get this last afternoon rockin. 

By 2pm, I was ready to put my TITO, saved from when I forgot to cash out on my last trip, into a machine and finally redeem that $129. 

I chose the bright, annoying Crystal’s game. It’s so gaudy that I think I really like it. Lol The real reason I’m attracted to this game, however, is the chance I’ll hear the guy say, “one more!”  If you know, you know. 

After just a few spins (or maybe even on my very first spin), I got the crystal bonus and won almost $70 on like $1.20 bet! Ahh… this is why I love coming to Luxor. 

A bonus on the Crystal slot machine at Luxor Las Vegas

 

I’d go on to walk around Luxor and rack up quite a few bonuses (Don’t worry, I’d end up giving back most of my winnings). I ventured upstairs and considered, once again, doing the Titanic exhibit, but I think it’s something my wife might really enjoy and so I’ll save it for her. If it leaves before I get the chance to see it, it won’t be the end of the world. 

After about an hour or so at Luxor, I decided to check-in on tickets for David Copperfield. I’m usually such a planner, but I wasn’t sure what my vibe would be like today, so I roughly planned to see the 4pm show I saw on the schedule, but never actually bought tickets. I’d decided I really wanted to go to give the day something “grand” to anchor it.

Well, either the show was canceled, I was too late to get tickets, or I imagined the whole thing to begin with. Either way, it became apparent that I had missed my opportunity to really see any big production afternoon show on a Monday in Vegas (already a bit of a hard-to-find kind of deal). This was a bit of a bummer, but not the end of the world. See folks… this is why planning is so important! 

Or maybe not, because it allowed me to have a bit of spontaneity and an unexpected adventure… 

One of my other backup ideas was to see Big Elvis (do we need an Elvis-themed Las Vegas T-shirt? Probably can’t afford the licensing… hmmm). He had a 5pm show at the Harrah’s Piano Bar, so I roughly planned to make it. 

I played a bit while longer, got a free beer from the waitress, and enjoyed a quick facetime chat with a friend. I wanted, but never could quite manage to find an open slot to play Invaders from the Planet Moolah. It’s a wacky, fun game that’s quite popular at the moment. There was a bank of at least four machines, but they were always taken. Argh. 

I decided I’d head towards New-York, New-York. I definitely wanted to see this property during this trip and I also wanted to start to make my way back towards Harrah’s for that 5pm Big Elvis show at the Piano Bar. 

I made my way to the Uber pickup area and called for a ride. I waited. And waited. Finally, somebody super far away (for Vegas… it was only like 15 mins) picked up the ride. I thought that was ridiculous and I decided, since it was a beautiful day, I’d walk. 

I didn’t regret the decision at all, actually. It was nice to be out walking in a quieter part of the strip. I made sure to take some time to reflect on how blessed I am to be able to do this. 

I passed Excalibur, still waiting until that “right” time to finally see the inside of that place for the first time. 

I did kick myself just a bit seeing that there’s a pedestrian bridge that connects Luxor to Excalibur. I knew this, but had forgotten. And it’s right above the Uber area. So, it may have been a better use of time (and kept me inside), but I was happy overall. 

I waived at Tropicana as I reminded myself that I had no interest in visiting. 

3:30pm New-York, New-York Casino 

When I made it up the walkway to cross over from Excalibur, I was delighted to see the New-York style signage. I walked inside to a hot dog place on my left and a newspaper / convenience store stand on my right. I grabbed a giant Las Vegas-themed Coors Light and headed down to the casino floor. 

A Las Vegas-themed Coors Light can at the New-York, New-York casino.

That’s when it hit me. If I couldn’t get a huge thrill out of seeing a big show like David Copperfield, maybe today was the day to ride the roller coaster. 

You know what? 

I think it is. 

I wandered around a bit until I found signs for the roller coaster. Up the stairs I went. Man was I excited. 

My only concern was what to do with all of the stuff I was lugging around with me. I’d managed not to get robbed or lose anything important this far, and I didn’t want anything to fall out when I was upside down or for it to get taken by someone outside the coaster. 

At the top of the stairs I was greeted by a small arcade… and a bank of lockers. Woo! 

I purchased a one-time ride card and access to a locker. Beer in. Wallet in. Phone and bag of random supplies all in. 

The line for the coaster was almost nonexistent. I walked through a maze of line queue barriers. It was cool because they had everything themed for Halloween. It was actually a pretty impressive display. 

When I arrived towards the front of the line, it became apparent I’d be paired with the guy standing in front of me. Maybe a couple of years younger than myself, this short, 20-something guy quickly became my best friend. 

He was hilarious. Perhaps a bit flamboyant — he made no secret that he was terrified

For such a short line, it did seem to take a while for our train to come around. Plenty of time to change our minds. 

But we made it on, smiled for the photographer that came by (now I wish I had purchased those photos, lol), and away we went. 

Perhaps the drinks doing their magic. Perhaps the thrill of Vegas. Perhaps the distraction of someone way more nervous than myself. 

Whatever the reason, I wasn’t all that scared on the way up. Usually, the climb to the top of a coaster is a bit terrifying for me, but I love the rest of the ride. 

Anyways, the ascent went quickly and the view was heavenly. I cherished the unique angle to admire my favorite city. 

The ride itself was smooth (I’ve heard a lot of people say the opposite). And it was BLAST! 

I tried to capture the views as photos in my mind as we soared up and down, upside down, and looped around and around. 

It was over before I knew it and I kind of wished I had purchased an unlimited ride pass. It was so much fun! 

I plan to be back. 

I regrettably passed on the opportunity to purchase photos, retrieved my belongings, and headed towards the casino floor. 

I was starting to lose track of time a bit. 

I found a promising Dancing Drums machine and proceeded to lose $100. But I made it last, though I was a bit grumpy that a server never made their way over so I could at least get a free drink out of the loss. 

Before I knew it, it was about 4:15 or so. 

Big Elvis in 45 minutes and an airport in three sad hours :(. 

I needed to hustle, so I made my way out from the front of New-York, New-York and started to walk down the main drag. 

I passed Park MGM and Eataly. Trendy people. Someday they’ll be carrying things like our Las Vegas-themed clutch

I walked past the CVS and up and over the walkway that goes over the roadway to City Center. 

Oh no… Cosmopolitan. A jewel. A siren call. Should I stop??? 

4:35pm Cosmopolitan 

No. that’s not a misprint. The brilliance in me, at 4:35 with a plan to be at Harrah’s by 5pm, decided I just absolutely couldn’t pass up one more chance to enjoy my favorite property for what might be months and months (and months). 

I entered through the upstairs walkway entrance, past the blow out place (I still don’t really get it), and down the escalator with eyes on the chandelier bar the whole time. 

I found my favorite Top Dollar machine, which was pretty much along the path to head right back out the entrance on the Bellagio side. Almost “on the way,” as I’d convince myself. 

4:48pm Top Dollar bonus 

I got a bonus at 4:48pm. I took an offer of 30 credits for a $7.50 win on top of $5 I was already ahead. 

In five minutes I was up about $12.50 and I was well aware of the mistake I had made. I took my money and got out fast. 

Getting to Harrahs was going to be near impossible. 

Plus, I regret doing this because of something I’ve become a bit more knowledgeable about over the past couple of years. I knew better at the time, but still really screwed this up. 

I wasn’t staying at Cosmo. I hadn’t gambled there at all today. 

Now, I just put like $10 coin-in to a single slot machine and left. Are you kidding me?!?! My player average, or rating, or whatever you want to call it, must have taken a serious hit. 

I’ve yet to call to collect on my latest comp offer, but geez do I bet that screwed things up. Certainly they’re smart enough for their system to look past an anomaly like this, right?! 

RIGHT?!

Wait. Wait, wait, wait… Didn’t I hit Cosmo last night after midnight? So… this morning? Whew! Daily average crisis averted.

4:52pm The Sprint

I did this to myself, but I barely remember the panicked hustle from Cosmo to Harrah’s. I was already behind and now I was in dire straits. I missed the David Copperfield show (or maybe there was none at all) and now I was in danger of missing Big Elvis. 

Plus, this was a bummer as I look back on it because I couldn’t properly soak up my last views of the center strip. 

As I finally passed The Linq and rounded the corner where Guy Fieri’s restaurant jaunts out onto the walkway, I could see Carnival Court first and then hear the music of Elvis. Then, up and to the left… a packed Harrah’s Piano Bar. 

Maybe I could at least catch a glimpse? 

I tried to peek in from the outside seating, but he wasn’t seated near the pianos in the center. I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him.

I walked in towards the big side entrance to Harrahs where a crowd maybe 3-4 people thick were all vying for a glimpse of “the king.” 

But the actual entrance to the bar had an opening. I walked up and looked around the room. There was Big Elvis sitting along the wall to my right — his back up against the barrier to the Harrah’s casino floor with the crowd of folks looking on. 

I desperately scanned for an open table. There was little hope. 

But then, directly across the room and to the right, way in the back corner against the wall, was a tiny table with one chair. It was empty. 

So how does this thing work? Do I wait to be seated? Do I watch what other people do? 

I was bold for once. I walked straight through that room and over to that table and took a seat. 

“Nobody’s stopping me!” I thought. 

Did I just land a seat with a dead-on, though distant, view of the show? 

You bet. 

5:10pm Big Elvis at The Harrah’s Piano Bar

Big Elvis’ voice was wonderful. The show, though little more than himself and a sound technician running a small P.A. system, was pretty wonderful. 

The crowd was packed for the little venue and rather energetic. 

Big Elvis spent most of the time seated on a giant thrown, but would get up on occasion to jiggle his hips. Sometimes for less than a couple of seconds before sitting back down. Sorry for the terrible images below — I didn’t get any stills, so these are snapped from a few short videos I took: 

Pictures of the Big Elvis show at Harrahs Las Vegas

He played most of the songs you’d expect — Viva Las Vegas, Suspicious Minds (which pulled in a crowd of couples dancing) Can’t Help Falling in Love, Return to Sender, Blue Suede Shoes, In the Ghetto, etc. 

At least, those are what I remember. 

I was well pleased and eventually enjoyed a beer and a RedBull. The waitress really only came by once to take my order and then deliver the drinks with the check. A bit of a shame because I would have spent more. That said, it was like $20 before tip for just those two things, so it’s not like they didn’t make hefty margins off me. 

After the show, I managed to snag a picture with him (no, not sharing it here!). I was thrilled to finally see this guy. I’ve heard a lot about him on various Vegas blogs, etc. 

Too bad I didn’t think to at least have him sign a Las Vegas sticker or something.

6:00pm Back to Flamingo

I had about an hour before I needed to head for the airport. I always try to arrive a couple of hours early and my flight departure time was scheduled for 9:15. Usually I’m there with almost too much time to spare, but I can’t stand the stress of cutting it super close. Somehow, this fear just barely nudges out an unbearable desire to stay as long as possible. 

Anyways, I made it back to my room at the Flamingo and started to pack things up. I was quite tired and exhausted from a great trip, but definitely didn’t want to leave. 

I was pretty organized, so I was able to take my time and listen to my podcast, read a few pages from my book, and listen to lots of Vegas songs while I looked out the window and golden hour glistening on the strip. 

Starting at around 6:30, maybe because it was golden hour and they were filming something (that’s my best guess – bolstered by the fact it was a Monday and that can slow things down a bit, too), the Bellagio fountains started going off almost constantly. Pretty much for the rest of the time in my room, the fountains were going. 

I watched the lights all around the strip start to turn on — including the giant bulbs on the rooftop below my room that lit up the Flamingo. 

I put $20 on the bed for the housekeeper and slowly turned off the lights. I must have looked back at the view out of the room a dozen times before finally leaving the room behind. 

Do I sound dramatic? Probably, but it IS dramatic to me, man!! 

Then I took one last picture outside as I tried to admire the strip for a final time for months to come.

A picture of the marquee at Flamingo Las Vegas

7:20pm Airport and flight home

I took an uneventful Uber to the airport and made it through security fairly smoothly. I was hungry (have you heard me mention a meal lately?) and knew I still had a long journey home. 

I found a Starbucks and got a Sausage, Egg, and Cheese sandwich and a shaken espresso. 

Watched the end of the Chiefs game (Monday night football!) on my phone. I think we played Denver. Pretty sure we won, too :) 

The flight wasn’t too full, so I benefited from an empty middle seat. Yahoo! 

Watched some sort of a monster movie (Godzilla or something) free on Southwest on my phone and also jumped between podcasts and a bunch of Matt Bridger vlogs I downloaded for just this occasion. 

When I landed at MCI (also known unofficially as KCI), it was pretty lovely not to have any checked bags. And the way the super-sucky airport is setup, does have plenty of advantages that I still think is pretty cool. In this case, I was able to walk out of the gate and some 40 steps later I was outside with a view of the bus area for The Parking Spot. Too bad it was 2:00am and busses would take forever

But something really cool happened…. 

2:15am Tuesday — The Motorcade

If you’ve stuck around this long, God bless you. You’ll be rewarded with this cool story. 

As I was walking out through the sliding glass doors to the outside, having come freshly off the plane (maybe there was a bathroom stop) just moments before, I noticed a somewhat unassuming young-ish couple that I’d normally have never remembered again. 

They walked out basically right in front of me and then I immediately saw a row of black SUVs approaching the sidewalk. 

I thought to myself how neat it was that it kind of looked like a motorcade. I’ve always wanted to be a part of one myself. 

Then, they all approached and stopped along the sidewalk. Armed guards jumped out — at least four of them. The drivers remained in the car and, and as I remember it at least, there were more guards in the passenger seats. 

They approached this young couple and surrounded them like Secret Service. One guard opened the doors of the middle vehicle for them to get in, another guard took their bags and the others kept a tight perimeter. 

It. Was. Wild. 

Amazing. Wild. 

Then, as fast as they appeared, the motorcade was gone. 

Amazing. 

I have no idea who these people were. Perhaps a speaker or someone for a corporate event and the company sent quite the welcoming for them. The couple did seem a bit surprised I suppose. 

Maybe they won a huge jackpot in Vegas and someone (or even themselves) saw to it that they arrived home safe. I did notice that it was a private security firm — not a law enforcement agency. 

Who knows. 

But, even in line for the buses to The Parking Spot and on the way over, everyone was talking about what they had seen. People were wondering why they weren’t on an airline with first class if they were so important (instead of Southwest). 

But no matter what, it was a surprising, very cool way to cap off one heck of a trip. I’d return pretty satisfied again. Not as fulfilled as my last Las Vegas trip which was a bit longer and during which my wife accompanied me for a portion. But I was still plenty happy. 

These long trip reports are proof of it. I’m thrilled to have these to look back on as I try to keep my various trips sorted in my brain. 

Thanks for reading. 

Viva Las Vegas.