Thanksgiving Weekend Trip Report

For my 5th Las Vegas trip of 2012 I visited this past weekend after Thanksgiving.  My initial thoughts were that the Strip wouldn’t be busy because hotel rates are traditionally the cheapest during this time meaning that casinos have a tough time getting bookings.  According to the internet though, Thanksgiving tends to be crowded.  As it turns out I would say it was definitely one of the slower weekends but not as slow as the middle of the week.

Luck was with me to start the trip.  The plane we were boarding got in 20 minutes early so we boarded early.  We would have left early, but unfortunately 5 idiots got on the plane 1 minute before we were supposed to leave.  I’m not sure who does this or how it happened but I thought the airplane doors were supposed to close 5 minutes before takeoff.  Despite leaving on time we still got in about 20 minutes early, which is win in my book.

We walked into a cab, as they were there waiting in the airport slots.  This is completely not normal.  Even coming in really late on a weekend I have had to go through at least a small cab queue.  The cab ride was going well until we hit a ton of traffic on Flamingo.  So the cab was about $10 more than normal.  As we pull into Caesar’s though there were about average number of people and we were the very next people in line to check in with 4 employees working.

Normally I would try the $20 trick for 2 nights.  The last time I stayed at Caesars it got me a Palace tower room with a great view of the pool instead of the Roman tower.  The reason I didn’t this time was because I paid a little extra for the Forum Tower and I figured if I tried it they wouldn’t upgrade me.  However the guy tried to upgrade me for $50 a night to the Augustus tower, which is their second best after Octavius.  My room was 5330, and the elevators happen to be past the sports book, which is almost to the Forum Shops.  The elevator locations in Caesars are ridiculous but I guess that is what you get for so many towers spread out.  The elevators say floors 50-65 or something but being on floor 53, really meant I was on floor 4.  It was  a pretty crummy view because the Colosseum blocked almost all of it.  At least I could see a bit of Treasure Island and the Flamingo.

The room however was very nice.  The only things worse than the Palace Tower room was the carpet, the dated furniture, and of course the view.  There was a TV in the mirror in the bathroom, which I think my Palace room did not have.  There was a mini bar, a standard safe, and a radio with an iPod hookup.

The first order of business was food.  Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars was too full, so we decided to use one of my perks of being a Pearl Mlife member and use the accelerated line at The Buffet at Bellagio.  This worked out great as there were only two parties in front of us and we sat down in less than 8 minutes.  It was a holiday buffet so it was $45 instead of $40.  I have only eaten at Bellagio for brunch before and while their dinner is better I would say it misses the mark of the best buffets.  The best buffets of course being Bacchanal, Wicked Spoon, and Wynn.

After that we headed to MGM to pre-game because that is were my friends were staying.  After a little whipped cream vodka, and Avion tequila we headed to coyote ugly.  They were charging a $5 cover and it definitely seemed less crowded than normal.  I have only been inside it once for their 2-for-1 drink coupons they pass out but there are not too many bars that cater that kind of crowd so I would think it gets packed most weekends.

My friends were feeling a little sick the next day so my Fiance and I decided to try Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood.  I have heard good things about it but have never been there myself.  She won $20 dining credit at a spinning wheel promotion outside of Caesars so it made it even more appealing.  It was not very crowded at noon on a Sunday and it was Champagne brunch.  For $30 we got unlimited champagne and a mediocre buffet.  Almost everything was average and the only thing I really liked was the seafood section.  It is definitely better than Excalibur type buffets but it falls near the bottom of the heavy hitters.  I would say it is just below Treasure Island, just because the dessert was very limited.

After losing some money we went to Todd English pub for dinner.  It wasn’t very crowded at all, but I think restaurants in Crystals always have a tough time getting customers.  We picked it because the Packer game was on, which went awful, but the food was good.  After that more spirits were consumed and we went to dueling pianos at The Bar at Times Square in New York-New York.

The last day started out with some more gambling at Monte Carlo.  Then we had the best meal of the trip at Bacchanal buffet.  There was no line, but it took 15 minutes to get seated because the TV crew of House of Lies was there for lunch.  There were at least 100 of them I’d guess and we saw the star, Kristen Bell.

The last day is always my favorite day to gamble because walking around is exhausting and you get to sit down when you gamble.  I always wish I would win a bunch the first day that I can ride out the rest of the trip with but that has never happened and I doubt it will.  So to end the trip we stopped by Cosmopolitan and Bellagio to waste the rest of our money.  Then as usual we had to stop by Earl of Sandwich before leaving.  My new favorite is the All American and I think I am addicted to Turkey Cranberry.

My next trip is in January, assuming the world doesn’t end.  So until then keep stopping by for deals!