Ok – so here is how the flight situation worked out:
So, I had to call “guest relations” at 6am and plead my case —which I just did – they informed me they were unable to do anything on flights that had not yet occurred but were going to transfer me back to reservations to see what they could do — well, they stated because it was a flight booked with points, they could refund my points and I could re-book when the points became available in 72 hours — naturally, that would not be enough time and the points would not cover the flight — so I had to decide whether to end the trip early and leave tonight or not — oh, the good news, instead of charging me $100 to “re-deposit” my points, they were only going to charge me $50 — my parents stepped in with some frequent flyer miles and all was resolved – so, I am staying until Monday — talk about a rigmarole.
Started the day per the above and hen checked out the Monte Carlo and called a Lyft — I was sent a text message that my driver was deaf and I should allow them to direct me where to sit in the car. The drive hopped out and I made some hand gestures to him while he looked at me quizzically – apparently, he was not deaf at all and said Lyft has been putting that alert on his rides forever and he cannot get them to stop — he was a Vietnamese “boat person” who came to Las Vegas 38 years ago at the age of 19 — became a US citizen within 5 years and worked for the City of Las Vegas for 32 years before retiring. He was out of control – hilarious, gregarious – telling me Lyft and Uber like to advertise that you can make so much money but he stated he only made minimum wage – but, since he gets a pension, he said he basically drives for Lyft just to get out of the house and talk to people.
Checked into the Linq and they gave me a Suite:
Met up with Chris from Faces and Aces and headed over for a lunch meet-up at El segundo sol over at the Fashion Show Mall with Julian, Kelli, Mitch and Dr. Kev — had the braised beef taco platter – was delicious and would definitely eat there again.
Afterwards, headed back to the Linq to relax before heading to Downtown Las Vegas for dinner and the High Limit slot pull.
Once again, for some reason, I received a text message that my Lyft driver was deaf and/or heard of hearing — hmmmmmm. The Lyft driver arrived in a brand new BMW X5 — maybe I need to get on that #LyftStatus ? Although my driver was not hard of hearing, she was Cuban with a thick accent and was playing some dance music — communication with her was at a premium but it was a fun ride downtown. Upon arriving, I headed to the Golden Nugget where I found out I actually had $75 in play-til-you-lose promo chips. I tucked those into my pocket and did some people watching on Fremont Street:
As #Oceans14XL descended upon Downtown – including the newly arrived @whispers_vegas and his buddy Andrew – we headed over to @CarsonKitchen — which was very “hipster”-ish but the food was undeniably delicious – especially the fried chicken skins with honey, the 4-cheese Mac ‘n cheese and the bacon jam. We sat on the rooftop at a table for 12 and throughly enjoyed ourselves. The conversation soon turned to the high Limit slot pull that was to be our post-dinner entertainment. Everyone from #Oceans14XL and some of those who could not attend but where there in spirit put in $50 each and we were going to go for broke on High Limit slot machine pulls in an effort to make some serious cash.
We decided we would have this event at The D and everyone involved was laughing and having a great time as Chris and Julian moved from person to person interviewing them about their trip thus far and their expectations for the High Limit slot pull. However, all was not to be so shiny and happy. There were a couple of other people playing in the High Limit room and one gentleman (and I use that term loosely) was watching his wife play and decided that all the fun of #Oceans14XL was too much for him to handle as he attempted to tell us to stop videotaping and being so boisterous. Apparently, he thought we were videotaping his wife at the machine and did not like that we were laughing and having fun in a casino. Julian – ever the diplomat – asked the guy why he was being so aggressive and that we were all just having fun. Mr. So-and-So did not appreciate Julian’s question and moved towards him, getting up in his (as the kids say these days) grill and beginning to become more aggressive — it really felt as if they were about to come to blows but the man came to his senses and left — however, he reappeared moments later to retrieve his wife and inform us he had notified security. I guess having fun in a casino is a reportable offense.
About 5 minutes later, Paul Blart showed up and began asking us questions about what we were doing in the High Limit slots area — we all replied that we were about to play some serious coin on the machines as a group. The security guard seemed befuddled by this and attempted to interrogate us as to how we all knew one another — someone made the “mistake” of stating we are playing a slot machine as a “team”–well, this guy must have just read “Bringing Down the House” as it appeared he thought he would be responsible for taking down a High Limit slot machine team — finally, his awkward line of questioning ceased and we proceeded to play our group $1200.
What happened next can be counted among the most embarrassing things I have experienced. We loaded the $1200 into the machine and each person took turns pressing the Max Bet spin button — after about 10 pulls on a Wheel of Fortune Machine, we had not hit for anything — time to switch machines — everyone was still excited and we next tried a Top Dollar machine and BAM!!! we hit – for $5 lol — about 5 spins later we upped the ante to $25 per spin and our efforts were unnoticed by the machine as we did not hit for ANYTHING. We finally switched back to $5 per spin and hit twice more for $5 each –basically – on $1200 worth of High Limit slot machine spins – we hit for a total of $15 — no wonder I avoid slot machines like the plague — it just seems so unlikely that in $1200 worth of pulls, we would not hit for anything more than $5 — although we were all disappointed – it was the experience itself that we were there for and that was well worth it.
After the High Limit slot fiasco (lol), everyone dispersed and I headed back to the Golden Nugget to play my $75 in promo chips. I sat down at a $25 blackjack table, won the first two hands, lost the next two, won the next two and lost the final one for a profit of $100.
Trip now +1150
I headed back to The Linq and was relaxing int he room when Chris and Joe informed me they were also headed back to the The LinQ — I met them on the casino floor and Joe decided he wanted to try his luck at the blackjack table. This is when we ran into “Mr. Blackjack”. This was a guy sitting at a $15 blackjack table and basically announcing his strategies and such, his leg up on the chair next to him – holding court like Caligula. We were not sure whether he was drunk or “on the spectrum” but Chris called me over to the spot he was playing and asked me to play his hands for him as he ‘had to’ get some audio of Mr. Blackjack — I played his hand while attempting to help Joe play his but, I think, part of the fun for a first-time blackjack player is just doing what you feel and letting the luck happen. A few hands later, Chris came back and said he could not get any clear audio of Mr. Blackjack as the music from O’Sheas was deafening. Eventually, Mr. Blackjack colored in his chips and, who appears, once again, as if out of the mist, was @_Lucky45 who’s color commentary was priceless. A few minutes later, the one and only Eric Rosenthal showed up and we all decided we would head over to The Cromwell to play at a table together. As if decreed by fiat, there was a totally open $25 blackjack table and we all sat down to play. People watching the millennial club-goers was an exercise in trying to keep our eyeballs in our heads as the outfits they were wearing were, indeed, barely there. The dealer was very friendly, but the cards were not — the dealer kept prompting Joe to head over to the dance floor at the lounge near where we played to become a “Joe sandwich” between some ladies that were doing their thing on the dance floor – unfortunately, Joe did not oblige — the lure of the blackjack table was too much. After an hour or so of playing, we all hovered around even, plus or minus a few chips and began leaving the table like the Oceans 11 crew left the front of the Bellagio Fountains at the end of that movie.
So ended Day 4 – it had a mixture of everything – fun , laughter, fisticuffs (well, almost) and a great time gambling with the #Oceans14XL posse!