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Living like a high roller! Las Vegas September 2022

Living like a high roller! Las Vegas September 2022

Old Jan 23, 23, 9:11 am
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Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Delray Beach, FL
Programs: Delta Skymiles Gold Card holder, JetBlue Trueblue, HiltonHonors, Hertz #1 Club Gold
Posts: 288
Living like a high roller! Las Vegas September 2022

Introduction: Hello again everyone and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you are having a Happy New Year! While I am extremely busy with my wonderful job working in front facing customer service for a major hotel chain in Northern Palm Beach County in beautiful Florida. Even though I am very busy, when able, I cannot wait to take you back to my phenomenal trip to Las Vegas in September 2022. At the time of my booking, in February 2022, Vegas came to mind, as I had fond memories from going there as a child with my parents and I had not been there in over 20-years! I was last there with my parents from the end of June through the beginning of July 2001, when I was 8-years old going on 9-years old. While I was unable to gamble for obvious reasons (not being 21 years of age or older), I remember still having a blast as there were many fun activities I did there like checking out all of the larger than life hotels (especially on The Strip), shopping, checking out the attractions like Siegfried and Roy's show at the Mirage, visiting the Adventuredome amusement park at Circus Circus, hanging out at the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel, and eating at great restaurants! For some reason, my family and I stopped traveling to Vegas after that time for unknown reasons, but from what a dear friend told me, it could have been that they had Vegas fatigue, as when you go so many times, it gets tiring as it is a very stimulating city. However, I was fascinated to see how Vegas had changed from when I was last there, as new resorts such as the Wynn/Encore, Cosmopolitan, and Resorts World to name a few did not exist when I went to Vegas before this trip, some venues like the The Forum Shops at Caesar's expanded, and some venues such as the Hard Rock Hotel closed, so in those 20-years, Vegas changed a lot! Even the airport, which was once known as Las Vegas McCarran International Airport was renamed Harry Reid International Airport in remembrance of the late Nevada Senator from 1987-2017 and during those years, Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2015. In addition to all of the changes that Vegas has undergone, I would be experiencing Vegas from a new perspective, as I am now an adult and while not much of a gambler (don't fear, if you don't gamble you will still have an amazing time in Sin City!), I would get to do a little gambling. I also planned to add some new places to visit, like Fremont Street and Downtown Vegas, which I never went to and even try a Vegas buffet, which I did not have a chance to try on previous trips. Also, while not as cheap as it used to be, Vegas is still cheaper to visit than some other U.S. cities, like New York and Los Angeles thanks in part to significant revenue from gambling, which is part of the reason why hotel rates can be lower on average than other U.S. cities. With these facts in mind, going to Vegas last Summer was an easy decision. Now Viva Las Vegas and onto the TR!

*Before Trip:
At the time of planning my trip at the end of February 2022, I was approaching one year at my job, which I had attained in March 2021. With this in mind, I knew I would get five days of paid time off plus I get two days off per week. In addition, due to the high season at my job being from mid-December until mid-April, those dates were out. I further checked the meeting and events calendar at my work, so I would not miss times that are too busy and decided to book my original trip from Sunday, August 21st, 2022 until Friday, August 26th, 2022. Originally, my family friend, who is my Mom's oldest friend, was planning to join me. While he is of my Mother's generation, he has a youthful demeanor and we share many of the same interests, like a love of classic rock and just living life to the fullest! Booking my hotel was easy, as I found out there was a branch of the hotel chain I work for right on the Vegas Strip, as that was where I wanted to stay so we would be close to everything and not need a rental car. That hotel was the newly built Resorts World, which opened in 2021 after the Stardust, in that same location, closed in 2007. This hotel would work well as while it was on the Northern end of The Strip, it was still close to other points of interest like Circus Circus, Wynn/Encore Resorts, Venetian/Palazzo, Trump Hotel, and Fashion Show Mall. In addition, with many restaurants, shops, and a great looking pool area, it would be the perfect place for us to chill when not touring. As I was booking Resorts World, I learned that the building was owned by Genting, a conglomerate out of Malaysia that operates many casinos around the world, including Resorts World Las Vegas. For their hotel operation, they partnered with Hilton in February 2020 (Hilton partners with Resorts World on Las Vegas Strip VIDEO | Las Vegas Review-Journal (reviewjournal.com)). This resulted in the property having over 3,500 rooms with three different hotels within the building, with the most (1,774 rooms) under the Hilton brand, 1,496 rooms belonging to Hilton's luxury Conrad brand, and 236 rooms belonging to Crockfords by LXR, one of Hilton's other luxury brands. While the Hilton looked very nice and I would have been very happy staying there, especially on my employee discount, I decided to splurge and stay at the Conrad, as it was a mere $30/night difference and would enable me to stay at a ***** hotel, which while rare, would be a treat since I usually only stay in ***-**** hotels on average. In addition, the price would put me at less than $100/night, which is not bad at all (cannot tell you rate for privacy reasons). With that decision in mind, I found a room with 2 Queen Beds on my employee discount and booked it.
Next up was booking our flights. When I used to travel to Vegas with my parents, I used to fly from New York-John. F Kennedy International to Vegas, usually on Delta or America West (now defunct since they merged with US Airways and later American). Since my two closest airports to my residence in Delray Beach are Palm Beach International (PBI) in West Palm Beach (closest and easiest option) and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International (FLL) in Fort Lauderdale, I checked them first. I wanted to fly nonstop, but due to COVID-19 still going on and fewer staff, jetBlue, which has a nonstop between FLL and Vegas only had an evening flight going to Vegas, which would not have worked as well since I wanted to maximize my time in Vegas, especially with only five days. We looked into flying American Airlines out of Miami, since they had a nonstop earlier in the day, but with the facts that Miami International is a little over an hour away from us and the fact that my friend didn't want to have to wake up really early to get there, we ruled it out. We looked at one stop flights to Vegas from PBI and FLL and lo-and-behold, Delta had a reasonable round trip fare. The flight via Atlanta would leave at 8:00AM, but this was no issue since we could get to PBI later than MIA due to a less than 30-minute drive to the airport and much lesser check-in and security lines versus the neighboring airports down south. Even with about an hour and half layover in Atlanta, we would still be in Vegas a little after twelve noon, leaving half a day. Going home, we would take a redeye flight via JFK, which while tiring, would be nice as it would maximize our time in Vegas on the last day. Excited, we went ahead and booked this flight. I also asked for Sunday, August 21st, 2022 until Saturday, August 27th, 2022 (since my redeye to JFK would have me land on Saturday) off from work and my request was granted! Sadly, later in March 2022, my family friend was unable to join me due to other obligations, so he ended up using his portion of the refunded e-credit to fly from PBI to JFK on Delta as he had to be in the New York area for about a month and he paid me back. In addition, I rebooked a room with a King Bed since I would sadly be by myself. Since I still had a lot of e-credit left over, I ended up upgrading to First Class on my flights since I had enough to do so and aside from flying First Class once on Delta between NYC and PBI sometime in the 1990s and on America West from LAS-JFK in July 2001, after my family and I received an operational upgrade due to a longer than expected delay. I was even more excited by this prospect, as DL has a a pretty good domestic First Class product from what I have seen and even more exciting was that on the leg from LAS-JFK, the aircraft was up gauged from a Boeing 737-900 to a Boeing 757-200 with Delta One lie flats, which would make for an especially restful redeye. Unfortunately, this did not last as in May 2022, the LAS-JFK leg was down gauged to a 737-900 again. Still, it would be exciting to fly First Class even on a 737-900.
Another change I made on June 23rd, 2022 was that I rebooked my hotel at the Crockfords by LXR, as from what I had read, it was even better than Conrad and with my employee discount, came out to the same price as the former.


Unfortunately, in July 2022, my doctor found a foreign object in the sole of my left foot. While it did not hurt at all, he referred me to a podiatrist, who had to surgically remove it and I was lucky, as while it did not hurt, had the object gone further into my foot, it could have impacted the nerves. Thank G-d my doctor and podiatrist took care of this problem before it became worse. Due to this new fact, since I could not do too much lower body exercise and had to bandage my left foot for three weeks, at my podiatrists advice, I rescheduled my trip to two weeks later for Sunday, September 4th through Friday, September 9th, 2022, as he informed me that by then, I should be fully recovered. With this in mind, I first looked for a new hotel reservation. While Crockfords by LXR and Hilton were sold out, I lucked out and was able to find a room at the Conrad at an employee discount from 9/4/2022-9/9/2022, so I booked it right away!

The next step was to rebook my flight. While I could not find First Class fares to/from LAS, as the fares were much higher than when I booked since it was much closer to my date of travel, I still found fares that would not break my ecredit in Comfort+, which would get me a roomier seat, perfect for this flight since I was the extra room would be appreciated for the transcontinental flight. I have also flown Comfort+ a few times in the past and have enjoyed it. For my flight to Vegas on Sunday, September 4th, 2022, I would first fly on Delta 2124 from West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) to Atlanta, which would leave at 8:00AM and arrive at 9:42AM. I would have just under an hour and a half to change planes onto Delta 660, which would leave Atlanta at 11:05AM Eastern Time and arrive in Las Vegas at 12:09PM Pacific Time. What made these flights even more interesting would be that I would be on two aircraft I had never been on before, which included a Delta configured Airbus A321 from PBI-ATL (I had been on an A321 once before but not with DL) and a Boeing 757-300 from ATL-LAS (aircraft I had never been on).


Going home, I would fly from Las Vegas to Atlanta on Delta 660, which would depart from Las Vegas at 2:51PM Pacific Time and would arrive in Atlanta at 9:52PM Eastern Time. I would have a tighter 43-minute layover in Atlanta, with Delta 2133, the last flight to West Palm Beach of the day, departing from Atlanta at 10:35PM and arriving the next day at 12:24AM. The aircraft operating these flights would be a Boeing 757-300 from LAS-ATL and an Airbus A321 from ATL-PBI.


For seats on these flights, I opted for 10F on DL2124: PBI-ATL, as on these aircraft, there is no bulkhead in front of the seat and only a curtain dividing C+ and F, meaning even more room than the Comfort+ standard, which is 34 of pitch. This is similar to the front row of C+ of some other Delta aircraft, I have been on, including the Airbus A319 and A320 and makes these C+ seats feel more like First Class. On DL2133: ATL-PBI, I opted for 10A for the same reasons as DL2124. I opted for the A and F seats as when available, I prefer a window seat. As for DL660: ATL-LAS and DL660: LAS-ATL, I opted for seats 17A and 19F, since the first row of C+ was unavailable and these seats also got good reviews. With my accommodations and flights booked, I then asked my employer for my new dates off and my request was granted! With the hard parts of my accommodations and flights booked, I could then focus on some more fun stuff. I then researched the top buffets in Las Vegas and based on critic and guest reviews, the top 4 buffets in Vegas were Bacchanal at Caesars Palace, Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan, The Buffet at Bellagio, and The Buffet at Wynn. All four sounded good, but of the four, The Buffet at Wynn and Bacchanal sounded the best. Ultimately, the impressive selection of seafood at Bacchanal, including lobster claws at dinner, crab legs, shrimp, and more called my name as I do love splurging on delicious seafood. For these reasons, the Bacchanal won out, so I decided to book two reservations there on OpenTable (Bacchanal uses them to handle their reservations and waits there, even with a reservation, can be long!). Wanting to start my vacation off with an amazing meal, I booked my first reservation on my arrival date of Sunday, September 4th, 2022 at 6:00PM, as I would first check in at the Conrad, relax by the pool, get ready for dinner, and then head to Caesars, where I would plan on spending my evening.

I decided to book a second reservation at Bacchanal on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022 at 4:30PM, as I knew there were many items and would not be able to try them all on my first visit. Worst case scenario if I did not like it, I could always cancel the second reservation. In addition, I was also able to place my allergies in OpenTable and Ramon, one of the very helpful managers at Bacchanal, reached out and told me that accommodating my allergies would be no issue, making me feel very reassured.

The next thing I decided to look into for my trip were attractions. Originally, my big ticket item was going to be that I would go on a half day tour that would take me to the Seven Magic Mountains (a desert art installation a bit south of Vegas), Boulder City (a historic city near the Hoover Dam), and of course, the Hoover Dam, as I wanted to get an outdoor feel of Vegas. In addition, I had not seen these attractions before. Unfortunately, since I did not want to put too much stress on my foot as I was not sure how I would be after my minor surgery, I decided to stay closer to the city. Naturally, I figured a magic show would be a good way to get a feel of Vegas. I looked at the various magicians and based on reviews, decided to see Murray the Magician, as I enjoyed his appearances on Pawn Stars and liked his illusions. I booked his show at the Tropicana on Thursday, September 8th, 2022 at 4:00PM. Thanks to a Flash Sale on Vegas.com, a highly recommended ticket broker, I got a good seat for less than $50 with taxes and fees.


Unfortunately, about a week later, I found out that Murray the Magician would be dark during my trip, as I received an email from Vegas.com. Luckily, I got a refund with no issue and decided to look at other shows. One show I really wanted to see was Love by Cirque du Soleil ️-The Beatles LOVE at The Mirage, as I am a huge Beatles fan and would have loved seeing it combined with Cirq du Soleils pageantry. Unfortunately, this was also dark during my visit, so I continued to do more research. On the recommendation of one of my friends at work and my Mother, I decided on David Copperfield, as they said he is a phenomenal magician. I did some research and liked what I saw, so I decided to book his 7:00PM show at the MGM Grand on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022.

Still wanting to do something outdoors but with less activity than say going to the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon (hard to reach without a car or I would have gone here), or the Valley of Fire, I looked into other possibilities closer to the city and based on a couple of guidebooks I read, found the Springs Preserve, a nature preserve approximately built around the Las Vegas Springs, the original source of water for Las Vegas located three miles west of Downtown Las Vegas (
Springs Preserve Homepage) . With walking trails, botanical gardens, nature exhibits, and the Nevada State Museum, it would make for a nice break from the neon jungle of Las Vegas haha!

With my trip planned out, even with my medical snafu, all I had to do was wait and be excited! I only had to do one last little bit of planning on August 31st, 2022, which was to put in my room requests for my stay in Vegas. After leaving work that day from my PM shift, which ends at 11:00PM, I then called the Conrad at Resorts World after beginning my drive home. I spoke to Helen, the agent who took my call and she could not have been kinder or more helpful! I explained to her that I wanted to make a few requests to optimize my stay. For my stay, I requested a room on a higher floor and that I would arrive around 2:00PM the earliest, so I could take a shot at an earlier check in, as their check in time is at 4:00PM. Helen said that while she could not guarantee my requests, she would do her very best to honor them. I then asked her about storing a grocery delivery if I were to arrive earlier than check in time? Helen explained that unfortunately, the Front Desk did not have refrigerators or a grocery storage area, so she suggested doing a grocery pickup on the way from the airport to the hotel. I appreciated this bit of information and it factored into my decision on how I would pick up groceries, as I wanted to have some food and beverages in my room. Thankful for Helen's help, we then concluded the call and I was even more excited! The days flew and before I knew it, I only had one day until I would go to Vegas!

a) Before Airport::
After about six months had passed since I had booked my original trip, Saturday, September 3rd, 2022 had arrived! This meant I only had a day until I would head to Sin City and one AM shift from 7:00AM-3:00PM at my amazing job in guest service at the hotel where I work stood between me and my trip. I knew it would be a busy day, as we had a large number of check ins, so the day would fly! I awakened at 4:50AM, allowing myself plenty of time to awaken, get ready, and have breakfast. Since I was ready a bit ahead of schedule, I decided to check the weather for my trip. Unsurprisingly, it was sweltering! While South Florida is hot and humid during the Summer, Vegas was even hotter, with the temperature at the moment I checked being 90 degrees in the early morning hours, with a daytime high of 108 degrees!

Looking at temperatures during the course of my trip, the heat would be on, with daily highs in the upper 100s to mid 110s and lows in the mid 80s.

Comparatively, the temperature in Delray Beach was 78 degrees. The daytime high would only be 93 degrees, still hot, although 15 degrees cooler than Sin City.

While I would be away, the daily highs would be in the low 90s and the lows would be in the upper 70s. And I thought Florida in the Summer was hot haha!


I then left home at 6:15AM, driving through the western suburbs of Delray Beach before reaching I-95 north. The drive went well, save for some rain near West Palm Beach but the skies then cleared once I reached Palm Beach Gardens. I then got to work a little early, clocking in at 6:58AM and reporting for duty. Until about 8:40AM, I was busy doing my morning tasks. Lucky for me, I had a small break, so I took advantage by checking in for my flight, as my phone and Apple Watch had alerted me that it was time to check in.



Two minutes after I had logged onto the Fly Delta App, I had my boarding passes for both my flights, which included DL2124 from PBI to ATL and DL660 from ATL to LAS.


Now back to work, I enjoyed taking care of our guests and being with my friends/coworkers. The time flew and before I knew it, it was 3:00 PM. I was done for the day but before I left, I had bid my friends/coworkers a fond farewell, looking forward to seeing them after I would return to work eight days later. With my day complete, I then called my Mom, who asked if I could stop at Whole Foods, so I could pick up some gluten free bread and other food items for the house? I was happy to help and less than ten minutes after I left work, arrived at the Whole Foods at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens, an open air shopping center near the Gardens Mall. Once I arrived there, I got the items needed, including the cans of tuna my Mother likes, two loaves Food For Life Gluten Free Bread, and since I wanted to take it easy that night, an Amy's Gluten Free Pizza. The store was crowded, but even so, check out was efficient and friendly. At 4:02PM, I then hit the road, only having to make one more stop at the bank before I would get home. From Whole Foods, I then turned out of Downtown Palm Beach Gardens, taking a left onto FL-A1A Alt./FL-811 and then following the flyover ramp onto I-95 southbound towards West Palm Beach.Traffic was light and my drive went especially quickly, as I called a couple of close friends, who were unable to join me for this trip, to bid them farewell for the time being. It was wonderful touching base with them and with the time going by quickly, I found myself at Exit 52: FL-806 (Atlantic Avenue) in Delray Beach just a little over half an hour after leaving the Whole Foods in Palm Beach Gardens. It was a little before 5:00PM and on the way back to the house, I stopped at a branch of my bank's ATM to withdraw some bills. Once that task was complete, I then drove the last mile and half to my home and met Mom. I thought my errands were over, but we just had to pick up a few more things at the nearby Publix on Atlantic Avenue near Hagen Ranch Road, which was fine by me since I enjoy shopping there and would not have the chance to shop there while in Vegas. While there, we picked a few things Mom would need for the house as well some items for my lunch that I would brown bag. With our shopping complete, we then headed home. Since the majority of my packing was complete, I just packed a few last minute items, plugged my iPhone and Apple Watch in for charging, ate a dinner of an Amy's Gluten Free Pizza, and made my lunch of smoked salmon, goat cheese, and gluten free bread. I then spent time relaxing with my Mother and dogs, but the time ran away with me and it was almost 10:00PM. My only last order of business was to order some groceries for pickup from Walmart, including some cheese and fruit to eat for breakfast, sunscreen, and of course, bottles of flat and sparkling water to stay hydrated. My plan would be to have my rideshare stop at the Walmart on Eastern Avenue on the way to Resorts World, as it is by far the closest option to the airport. However, I got some flight notifications so I went ahead and checked those before ordering groceries. I first learned that the Airbus A321 operating DL2124 from PBI-ATL had arrived from ATL as DL1242 at 7:50PM and it would spend the night in PBI until it would return to ATL as DL2124 at 8:00AM the following morning.

My flight was scheduled for an on time departure at 8:00AM, with a boarding time at 7:20AM.

I was then offered an upgrade to First Class on DL2124 but there was no need for it.

Since I would have one suitcase I opted to check a bag, which was free thanks to my Delta Skymiles Gold Amex.


Next, my flight information for both DL2124 from PBI to ATL and DL660 from ATL to LAS was presented. From what I could see, my flights would arrive and depart from two different concourses, with DL2124 from PBI arriving at ATL's Gate B31 and DL660 to LAS departing from Gate D34. While it would take a little extra time, from what friends who have connected in ATL told me, as long as I followed the signage and used the The Plane Train, ATL's people mover connecting the terminal and airside concourses, I would have no trouble making my flights.


I then placed my order for groceries through the Walmart app and by 10:21PM, I had completed my order.


Sunday, 9/4/2022-DL2124: PBI-ATL and DL660: ATL-LAS Part 1:

*Flight Information:
Airline and flight number: Delta Air Lines (DL) 2124
Departure Airport: Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), West Palm Beach, FL
Arrival Airport: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Atlanta, GA
Departure Airport Terminal, Gate: Concourse C, Gate C4
Arrival Airport Terminal, Gate: South Terminal, Gate D14
Aircraft type, registration: Airbus A321, N334DN
Class of Service, Seat: Comfort+, 10F
Scheduled Departure Time/Actual Departure Time: 8:00AM/7:58AM
Scheduled Arrival Time/Actual Arrival Time: 9:42AM/9:20AM


*SPECIAL NOTES:
-First time flying to ATL
-Second time in Georgia (The first time I was in Georgia was when I moved to Florida with my Mother at the end of 2016, when we stopped outside of Savannah at a Kroger to use the restroom and get a coffee during our drive from NY to FL.)
-First time in Atlanta
-First time flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
-First time on a Delta Airbus A321 (I was on an Airbus A321 one other time in May 2018 from JFK-FLL, but it was on jetBlue)
-Second time on an Airbus A321 overall
-First time flying between PBI and ATL


b) Getting to Airport:
While I did not get that many hours of sleep, as I only went to sleep at 10:30PM the night before, I still felt fairly rested after my iPhone's alarm awakened me at 3:15AM. Once I awakened, I then decided to check my flight information again. I saw an update that the aircraft operating DL660 from ATL to LAS would be departing on time from FLL to ATL at 7:30AM as DL1550 and arriving in at ATL at 9:22AM.

After checking my flight information, I unplugged my iPhone and Apple Watch and placed their chargers into my drawstring bag, cleaned up, and got dressed. By the time all was said and done, it was close to 4:45AM. At that time, I went out to my car and put my bags in the trunk, since I was all packed. I then ate a breakfast of white cheddar melted on gluten free bread, a banana, coffee, and orange juice As I was eating, my Mother awakened. This worked out well, as she offered to drive me to PBI. While my original plan was to take a rideshare or car service so my Mother wouldn't have to drive me due to the early departure time, she offered to drive me a week prior to my trip, which was an offer I accepted so I would not have to worry about booking a ride to the airport and the best part, I would get to spend a little extra time with my Mother before I departed, a win win! I then saw another notification at 5:12AM on my phone that DL2124 to ATL would be departing on time from PBI's Gate C4.

After that, I then fed our dogs and I spent time embracing them and talking to them, as in addition to my Mother, I would miss them a lot while I was away. A short time later, my Mother was then ready to go. By the time we left the house and pulled out of our driveway behind the wheel of my Kia Forte, the time was 5:45AM, so I would have no trouble making my flight. We left our neighborhood, turning right onto El Clair Ranch Road southbound, followed by a left onto Atlantic Avenue (FL-806) eastbound towards Interstate 95, Downtown Delray, and local beaches. The skies were still dark and thanks to it being very early and on a Sunday, there was very little traffic on the roads. As we drove eastbound down Atlantic Avenue, we passed various communities and shopping centers in suburban Delray, making good time. Less than ten minutes after we left the house, my Mother then snapped a picture of the overhead sign leading to Interstate 95 northbound towards West Palm Beach on her iPhone.

Once we had the signal, we merged onto I-95 northbound. With little traffic on the road, we breezed up the interstate through more of Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lantana, Lake Worth Beach, and West Palm Beach until we reached Exit 69: Belvedere Road-Palm Beach International Airport. We exited I-95, following the ramp for the airport and then following the airport roadways for the parking garage. As usual, thanks to clear and concise signage and a logical layout, we had no trouble finding a space for my car. In fact, we lucked out as we found a space on the Fourth Floor of the garage, just one level above the Departures Level of the terminal and not far from the elevators leading into the terminal. Talk about a win win! Here's a shot of my car parked.

I then went to my trunk, unloading my belongings. We arrived at PBI at about 6:10AM, only 25-minutes after we left our home. Once I had my belongings, me and my Mother snapped a selfie on her phone.



Now ready to go, me and my Mother made our way to the elevators to the terminal, feeling the balmy air even though the sky was still dark. It was becoming real to me that for the first time in over 20-years, I would be going to Vegas!

c) At Airport:
After a smooth ride to the airport from our home, me and my Mother took the elevator one flight down from the Fourth Floor of the parking garage to the Departures Level. One of the things I love about PBI is that in comparison to many other airports, parking is very convenient, as it is placed very close to the terminal, making it extremely easy for those driving/getting a ride from private vehicles to/from the airport and this time was definitely no exception. Once downstairs, me and my Mother then made our way to the Delta check-in counter. Since I had last been to PBI, I noticed that the renovations that had gone on over the past few years to modernize the Departures area were complete. While there was nothing wrong with the former style, as it was very clean and cheerful, the new style was definitely more modern. While the old style had pinkish-orange terracotta tiles and carpeting, the newer style PBI adapted had white concrete floors, shaped in diamond patterns with small blue tiles in the middle. In addition, it appeared they had put bright energy efficient lighting on the ceiling. While the Departures Area was definitely more modern and perhaps just a tad more pedestrian, some things never change, as I found the Departures Area to be immaculately clean and cheerful, just like before.

Once at the check-in counter, there were a few people in front of us waiting to check in, but even so, we waited less than five minutes, which was when we were assisted by Joy, one of the Check-In Agents. Joy was jovial and very efficient, as we made small talk and she performed her tasks, such as scanning my ID and checking my suitcase, which weighed 45 pounds, only five pounds shy of the 50 pound limit. When Joy pulled up my information, she noticed right off of the bat that I was going to Las Vegas via ATL. While Joy was tagging my bag and as my boarding pass was printing, Joy could not help but sing a few bars of "Viva Las Vegas"by Elvis Presley, which set me in the mood for my trip even more! With check-in now complete, Joy pointed me in the direction of the escalators adjacent to the Delta counter and bid me and my Mother a fond farewell. As we headed downstairs to the Pre-Security portion of the Main Terminal, where a few restaurants, shops, and a putting green are located, I noticed a small exhibit dedicated to David McCampbell USN, a World War II Naval Flying Ace from Palm Beach County. It is a fitting exhibit as the Main Terminal, which opened in 1988, was named after him in his honor (History | Palm Beach International Airport | PBI (pbia.org)).

We then headed down the escalator into the Pre-Security portion of the Main Terminal, which is bright, cheerful, and kind of Floridian in character, with pink and white tiled flooring. However, it felt a little lonely as there were not many people this early in the day. Here's a shot of the Main Terminal looking towards Concourses A and B:

And looking towards Concourse C, where I saw a few more passengers, mainly lining up for security:

Since I had just under an hour until my flight would board, with the time being 6:25AM (thank you iPhone time stamp!), I decided to spend some time with my Mother and get coffee from Starbucks.


While we normally have never had an issue with this Starbucks, unfortunately, it was just not operating to standard this morning. While the lady who assisted us seemed efficient at first (although not overly friendly), she unfortunately got both of our orders incorrect, as she put almond milk instead of whole milk in my coffee with whole milk and two sugars and instead of giving my Mother her Black Pike Place coffee she ordered, the gave her a Bold coffee, which she did not want. Now, this would not have been an issue normally, as we all make mistakes (I will be the first to admit I have made many mistakes), however, the ladies working at this Starbucks failed to take ownership of the situation, instead arguing that they gave us the correct drinks. I must note that we have never had an issue with this Starbucks, busy as it normally is so this may have been just a fluke. Thankfully, the ladies working at this Starbucks ultimately took responsibility and gave us the correct drinks, which were very good! For those who wonder if I complained after this Starbucks experience, I did not as time was flying and I wanted to spend time with my Mother. We took a seat at one of the comfortable chairs with a small table in between next to Oceanfront News and relaxed for a bit, enjoying our coffees and relaxing, While there, my Mother got this photo of me.

As we were relaxing, a friendly if not comical older gentleman, who I later learned was traveling to Providence, RI (also via ATL), razzed me about my Yankees hat, asking me how I could still root for the Yankees even though they lost the previous night's game? I told him it was far from over, as the Yankees were still doing well, placing first in the American League East at the time. Since it was getting closer to the time I needed to be at my gate, we decided to both use the restroom before parting ways. While my Mother went to the restroom first, I watched her purse and once she returned, I went after. As usual, I found the restrooms to be immaculate and well stocked! Since the time was nearing 7:00AM and boarding was at 7:20AM, we parted ways. As Mom said goodbye, she hugged me tight and wished me a wonderful and safe trip! I told her I would call her once I was in Atlanta, so she would know I made the first part of my journey safe and sound. I then lined up for security and the friendly and efficient TSA Officers had me through in less than five minutes. While there, a female Delta Flight Attendant who was middle aged and had blonde hair asked where I was going? I told her I was going to Vegas via Atlanta on Delta 2124 and she enthusiastically replied that she would be on my flight, saying I would be in for a great flight! I couldn't agree more and my mood was even more excited than before! I then made my way to Gate C4, where I had 20-minutes until my flight would board.

On my way to the gate, I was even able to see some action across the tarmac at Concourse B. From left to right, I spotted N339PL, an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Gate B10 that arrived from Charlotte the night before as American 1833 and would heading back there that morning as American 1845. Further to the right of N339PL, I spotted N404UA, a United Airbus A320 that arrived from Newark the previous morning as United 1139, but was delayed for close to 18-hours due to inclement weather in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. It would finally fly back to Newark as United 1546 that morning.

I then headed over to Gate C4 and got a picture of N334DN, the Airbus A321 that would operate Delta 2124 to Atlanta. It had arrived from Atlanta the night before as Delta 1242 and spent the night at PBI.


The gate was crowded and since the last time I had flown out of PBI in November 2018, I noticed they updated the chairs, added a long table with stools as well as outlets and USB ports for charging electronics, and new waste receptacles.


I then got another shot of N334DN.

Followed by a close up of N339PL.

And for my last plane pic at the gate, a nose shot of N334DN, my ride to Atlanta.

As the boarding time for my flight neared, the same older gentleman from earlier bumped into me again. We were both pleasantly surprised our paths crossed again and struck up a conversation. The older gentleman asked where I was headed and I told him I was headed to Las Vegas for the first time in over 20-years. He was excited for me and said he loved Vegas and was hoping to go back sometime. He then told me he would be flying to Providence, RI via Atlanta, as he was looking to buy the new generation of the Lexus NX300 small SUV, which was not yet available at many Lexus dealerships in South Florida. Since he was unable to find the exact color and options of the Lexus NX300 he wanted in Florida, he researched outside of Florida and found exactly what he wanted at a Lexus dealer in Rhode Island. I was amazed and told him I understand, as I know from friends who work in auto sales as well as following the news that the automotive supply chain is still messed up, due to residual effects of COVID-19 on the economy as well as in certain cases, parts shortages. He then said once he picked up the car in Rhode Island, he would drive the car back to Palm Beach County. I told him while this would be tiring, as he would have to take Interstate 95 a long way down the Eastern Seaboard, it would also be fun as I recall fond memories taking I-95 from New York to Florida with my Mom and pets during our move. Anyway, the time flew by and as we were conversing, the gate agents began the boarding process for Delta 2124 to Atlanta right on time at 7:20AM. Before they invited Comfort+ passengers to board, I snapped a final selfie by the gate.


A few minutes after the gate agents had commenced boarding, Comfort+ passengers were then invited to board. I joined the rest of the Comfort+ and other passengers invited to board. From what I could tell, boarding was pretty orderly even with this being a full flight. The two gate agents working Gate C4 were polite and professional, scanning my boarding pass and warmly wishing me a good flight. As I made my way down the jetway to board the Airbus A321 operating my flight to Atlanta, I was in a happy state of disbelief that I would be on my way to Vegas!

Last edited by WolfieG; Jan 24, 23 at 9:08 am
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Old Jan 23, 23, 3:52 pm
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Nice trip report. Love your Star of David!
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Old Jan 24, 23, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by CosmosHuman View Post
Nice trip report. Love your Star of David!
Thank you CosmosHuman! Stay tuned my friend this is just the beginning. Thank you so much it was a gift from my Mother on one of my birthdays. I am always proud to wear it!
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Old Jan 24, 23, 9:54 am
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Your reports are always very detailed, perhaps the most detailed on FT.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Your reports are always very detailed, perhaps the most detailed on FT.
Offerendum welcome back! Aww shucks you're kind I would say my reviews are perhaps among the most detailed on FT, as I enjoy putting in all of the details for my TR. However, I must say that you and all of the other FTers have amazing TRs and make me strive to be among the best! Thank you so so much for your kind words and stay tuned, as there is even more to come!
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Old Jan 24, 23, 7:15 pm
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Wolfie, As a Floridian who has never been to Las Vegas I'm looking forward to your trip report. I'm particularly interested in
your dining reviews. I find it challenging to eat gluten free on the road. I like the idea of ordering some groceries in advance for pickup even if it is fruit and cheese from Walmart.
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Old Jan 24, 23, 8:00 pm
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Enjoying the detail of this trip. Looking forward to the rest. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!
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Old Jan 25, 23, 1:35 pm
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Great reading so far WolfieG - thanks for taking the time to write up, looking forward to the rest
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Old Jan 25, 23, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by brandie View Post
Wolfie, As a Floridian who has never been to Las Vegas I'm looking forward to your trip report. I'm particularly interested in
your dining reviews. I find it challenging to eat gluten free on the road. I like the idea of ordering some groceries in advance for pickup even if it is fruit and cheese from Walmart.
Hi brandie and welcome! Cannot wait to write more and always a pleasure to meet a fellow Floridian! Don't fear as I will have plenty of dining reviews for you . Understandable some places it can be more challenging than others but I will say that I have had more good experiences than bad in my travels and day to day. Me too I love ordering groceries on the road myself, especially for breakfast and sometimes lunch as it saves time and money when touring. No shame in some fruit and cheese from Walmart .
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Old Jan 25, 23, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by theshaun View Post
Enjoying the detail of this trip. Looking forward to the rest. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!
Thank you the shaun! I cannot wait to share even more of my adventures!
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Old Jan 25, 23, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
Great reading so far WolfieG - thanks for taking the time to write up, looking forward to the rest
Thank you mikeyfly! You're very welcome it's my pleasure to write up and I cannot wait to share more about my trip!
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Old Jan 25, 23, 7:26 pm
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I love those pics of the Delta plane at sunrise. Nice report!
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Old Jan 26, 23, 1:08 am
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As a European I still find it utterly amazing how little paid leave you Americans receive.
In my country you would get all public holidays off (8 days) then 21 days a year to take whenever you want within reason. And most employers add more days for long service.
maternity is 12 months. 6 months at full pay. And thats not that generous.
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Old Jan 26, 23, 1:48 pm
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big yay - I am so happy for you! Ill always love the nyc TR. Ive been excited to read this for awhile. I just wanted a block of undistracted Time :-)
i went to Vegas too often as a child and was last there ages ago. I was able to cap my gambling costs to $50 due to tipping over a single 8-10 hour session in downtown Vegas. I had enough fun to know that Ill never want to return.

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Your reports are always very detailed, perhaps the most detailed on FT.
I love the details so much. The solo sabbatical TR has even more details and photos of topless hardbody men. Tons.

Originally Posted by brandie View Post
Wolfie, As a Floridian who has never been to Las Vegas I'm looking forward to your trip report. I'm particularly interested in
your dining reviews. I find it challenging to eat gluten free on the road. I like the idea of ordering some groceries in advance for pickup even if it is fruit and cheese from Walmart.
I hope that you can make it to Vegas. Just stick with your firm budget. :-)

Originally Posted by settlenick View Post
As a European I still find it utterly amazing how little paid leave you Americans receive.
In my country you would get all public holidays off (8 days) then 21 days a year to take whenever you want within reason. And most employers add more days for long service.
maternity is 12 months. 6 months at full pay. And thats not that generous.
Different cultures for sure. Healthcare is another factor. Ditto for taxes eg a Europe vat of 15-20% while USA vat (sales tax) rarely exceeds 10%. Tons of trade-offs that get tricky to compare. I always encourage envious Americans to relocate because they legally CAN
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Old Jan 26, 23, 1:56 pm
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Btw so nice that you and your mother went to Pbi together. I just had luncheon with my mother yesterday. So its special and lucky to do this when possible. Any of us can die of something at any given moment so lucky us for being FlyerTalkers who can have time with our mothers.
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