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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Umm no thanks Air Canada

Day 1

Welcome to the full Las Vegas Scrouge Trip report!

I have probably never planned a Las Vegas gambling trip in as much detail as this one. I've documented and chronicled all the hand-wringing decision making, the tough choices, the pathetic (yet potentially savvy) scrounges that will stretch my bankroll. (Yes, that will be me trying to flog my old red and blue cap Silver Strikes outside the Four Queens.)

But as all days, the day finally arrived. I was booked on a mid-afternoon flight out of Flusherville Regional Aerodrome. After a long 4 hour layover, I'd be out of Toronto on Air Canada's Rouge flight 1853 (supposedly) leaving at 8:55pm.

That flight never leaves on time though.

I'd had a choice to take a later flight out of Flusherville, but those tiny turboprop flights all use the same plane over and over, and one delay or mechanical problem cascades to all the later flights. And in increment weather (which you can count on, one at time), the regional flights are the first to be canceled.

I've suffered this fate on prior trips, so I left myself quite a margin of error. If I know anything, it's how to error.

The day before, doing on-line check-in, I was offered an upgrade to Business Class. For a mere $374. Plus taxes.

And it's a one-way upgrade.

Now, before you think "Flushie, that is crazy, this is supposed to be a budget trip, you ass!", consider this.

This is the seating plan for AC ROUdGE:

But no, no thanks Air Canada. I would skip your hoidy toidy upgrade. You can mind your own business class!

As part of my scroungy planning, I packed a surfeit (aka a lot) of emergency nuts, and those little single serve cheeses, for punishment breakfasts and such should things go badly. I'd left three or four notes around the house, including two in the car, to make sure I didn't forget to take them from the fridge and put them into my suitcase, just before leaving for the airport.

(Yes, I have forgotten the punishment cheese before. Live and learn.)

Video poker, and all gambling pursuits, are mathematically driven pursuits with 'luck' expressed as normal statistically expected variance, and a range of randomly selected outcomes having differing 'values' assigned by the participants in such exercises.

There is no karma, luck, or pre-determination involved, any more than the earth orbits the sun, and not the other way around. And as such, I gave the Money Wheel a very good spiritual shake-down. I'm leaving nothing to chance.
This money wheel needs some upgrades.
It was an absolutely perfect day in Flusherville. About 78 degrees, sunny with scattered cloud, light breezes. And, actually, my flight was delayed. What else is new. I found a nice spot to camp out and ruminate over whether I could really pull this trip off and gamble for 12 days with a measley $1000 without losing my temper and blowing it all in the first 36 hours.

Don't laugh, on the May 2015: What Goes Around Spins Around Trip Report!, I ended up down $2200 in the first 24 hours. Yeah. I know.
Grass nice for rumination. And hopefully not ruination.
 We finally got away and, other than dodging a few storms, had an inconsequential (if buttally painful - ooh those hard seats) flight.
Ever wonder what would happen if the large metal object spinning at 500,000 RPM two feet from your head could do if it broke free? At least it wouldn't be a messy death much. Crikey.
I'd been unsuccessful at procuring a Maple Leaf Lounge pass for either free, or the going rate of about $40, and opted for the pay-as-you-go Plaza Premium lounge for $33 tax included for two hours of food, drink, and lounging. I used a $10 off online coupon, and congratulated my scroungy self.

"When my two hours are up, do you drag me out?" I asked the Registration Sheila.

"Yes, we will know."

"But you actually come and drag me out right? Like physically?"

"Yes," she said. "We drag you out, kicking and screaming, if necessary."

I liked this R.S.

"And those heel marks there in the flooring, those are from previous loungers that wouldn't leave when their two hours were up, right?"

"We're going to paint those over to hide the heel marks. You won't be able to see a thing!"

With the $10 off, I thought the Plaza Premium lounge was a good deal. I'd probably spend $20 to $25 on a burger and a beer outside in the noisy concourse. Much better to enjoy some relaxation and comfy chairs. And there was enough food to make a decent dinner out of, including a hot beef bulgogi dish to provide some real protein.
Let's start with a cappuccino laced with a free pour of C.C., courtesy moi.

Next time, I'm packing only 1 shirt and filling the carry-on with emergency beer.
I've seen better. But it'll do.
Profiteroles and Corn, just like Aunt Mary used to serve!
This dinner looks faintly healthy, full of Vitamin Wine.
Because they are with fruit, these profiteroles have no calories. None. Zero.
My time in the lounge was good. I chilled out, had dinner, relaxed... I thought it was a good value for $33, not sure about if I'd paid the full $44.

When my two hours was up, a couple of guys with noses that had been broken two or three times stood next to me with their arms crossed, and stern looks on their faces, like they were on a reality show and posing for opening credits.

I took the hint, packed up, and moved on to my gate, good ole lucky F61, which has no meaning in real life to me whatsoever, but what the hell, it might as well be lucky F61.

I was on my way to Vegas with exactly $1,324 for gambling and expenses. And not a penny more.

The $1K Scrounge Trip - June 2016: All Posts

Planning the $1K Scrounge Trip - June 2016

It's as easy as falling off a bike...
Check your emergency nuts and click Facebook Like!

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