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7/27-7/31 Monte Carlo and Las Vegas Club

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Falcon_Rob, Aug 4, 2003.

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  1. Falcon_Rob

    Falcon_Rob Flying Winnebago

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,304
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20

    My Trip Report

    7/27-7/31 Monte Carlo and Las Vegas Club

    Introduction

    This was my third trip to Vegas, but I’m a newbie to this site, so this’ll be my first trip report. I've stayed at the Riviera and Tropicana during my first 2 trips. After reading the reports from some of the pros (most notably Hurricane Mikey), I’ll do my best! It’s a pretty long one (5 Word pages).

    Unlike the first couple of trips to Vegas, this was to be mainly a family vacation, with my parents tagging along (my mom’s first trip). I had my “moments†this trip, but if you’re looking for non-stop tales of drunk midgets and debauchery, you might be a bit disappointed. The midgets were only slightly buzzed and the debauchery was merely tomfoolery at best. This was also my first trip during the summer, so I was greatly anticipating (and dreading) the heat.

    Sunday 7/27 - Travel Day and Arrival

    Flight out of Columbus, Ohio was delayed for a while due to thunderstorms, but that just hacked a couple hours off our layover at O’Hare, so it turned out okay. I bought a good deal on Orbits for $230 round-trip, but it included that connection in Chicago AND a late arrival in Vegas. We pulled into the gate at McCarron around 11:15pm, got off the plane, and I heard the first pings of the slot machines off in the distance. YEP, I’m back in Vegas!!! Our baggage was the 2nd, 3rd and 4th bags to roll out, so already I’m thinking that’s a great omen. After fleeing the inappropriately loud commercial sound system at baggage claim, we caught a taxi and made it to Monte Carlo. Upon check-in, the lady tells us that the Monte Carlo is overbooked, so she needs her manager to approve all check-ins. I basically took that to mean NOT to try the $20 trick, or make any special requests. We got a pretty good room on the 23rd floor, close to the elevator, and nice view of the Rio, Palms, and Orleans, with a view of the fountains if you pressed your face right up to the glass! It was also 2-bed and nonsmoking as requested.

    Since it was now around 3:30am (OHIO time), my dad went right to bed while my mom and I checked out the property. The flight must have taken a lot out of me, because the adrenaline rush I was expecting never came, and we were both in the room and asleep by 1:30am.

    Monday 7/28 - South Strip, 51's Baseball, My 1st Trip Downtown, Feast at Golden Gate

    Got up Monday morning and all three of us hit MC’s breakfast buffet. I am not very picky when it comes to food, so just about anything will do for me, but I did think this was some of the best bacon I’ve ever tasted for some reason.

    After breakfast, and after coating myself with 45 SPF sunscreen (a sweater in a bottle as I like to refer to it), my mom and I set out to roam the strip while my dad stayed behind at the MC to play the slots and relax. This would become a theme, because my dad does have some mobility problems, AND can’t stand heat of any kind. In fairness, he was thoroughly warned of all of this before the flight tickets were purchased. My goal for the trip was to show my mom as much of the Strip as possible, since this might be her only trip to Vegas. Over the next few hours we were able to roam around in NYNY, see the lions at MGM, do a free pull outside Tropicana, and walk through Excaliber, the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. While at MB, we picked up the tickets my parents had for Mamma Mia that night, and spent the $15 each for the Shark Reef. I would recommend the Reef, even though it might be a little overpriced. It’s a pretty relaxing way to kill an hour or two (as their add slogan goes).

    So far my mom was extremely impressed with the atmosphere at NYNY and the casino at MB. We caught the tram back to Excaliber and walked through NYNY again to get to MC. This is where I would part company with the folks for the night. After showering up, I caught a taxi downtown while my parents ventured to MB for the show. I guess there was a huge accident on I-15 (including a fatality), so the cabbie used LV Boulevard the whole way. Being a former roadie for Motley Crue, he had some great stories to tell while we were stuck in traffic. I didn’t feel like he was feeding me BS, but even if he was, the entertainment value of the trip was worth a hefty tip at the end. Plus, he filled me in with some info. such as never asking to take the tunnel from the airport (a fact I picked up on from one of Mikey’s reports but never understood), and how to ask for a free cab ride if going to a gentlemen’s club (since the cabbies always get at least $20/head from the club).

    He dropped me off behind the LVC and I went to check-in. This was the designated night to be away from the parents (which I knew I’d need), and the $17 price I got for the room from Expedia was nice. While waiting to check-in, I could sense having just missed something important, since many of the people on this Board had been standing where I was standing as recently as the previous day! After reading the reports, I was apparently sensing their soakings at the BJ tables!

    Check-in was slow and painful, but I found the room to be quite adequate for $17. Room #609 in the South tower, with a safe, working AC, ESPN (Yeeeaaaaa!) and all the liquid soap you could ever want (I forgot to ask for bar soap). After getting settled in the room, I went downstairs and out of the entrance to take in downtown Las Vegas. I don’t know why I had never made it downtown in my previous two trips, but I realize now that it was a mistake not to visit before now! I took an instant liking to Fremont Street! These are my kind of people!

    After walking around for a while, I caught a cab out of Fitzgerald’s for Cashman Field to catch the baseball game (LV 51’s vs. Albuquerque Isotopes). I won’t go into details about the game, but I will say that I would NOT recommend catching a game here unless you’re a big minor league baseball freak like myself. The stadium was surprisingly run-down, the attendance was only about ¼ capacity, and there was NOTHING to do in the immediate area around the complex. BTW, the 51’s were destroyed 11-6, but their mascot (an alien named Cosmo) ranks up there with some of the best mascots I’ve ever seen!

    After getting a cab back to LVC, I was good and ready to see the sites. In the next few hours, I visited the Fitz, Fremont, Binions, 4-Queens, Golden Nugget, Golden Gate, Plaza, Main St. Station, and finally settled in at California after finding a $3 BJ table. The quick highlights of those visits was winning $80 on a wheel of fortune machine at the Fitz, taking a leak in a urinal built into a piece of the actual Berlin Wall at Main St., and watching my first, and so far only, laser light show at midnight. The drink service at California was excellent, as I easily got a great buzz going at the low-rollers table. It was about 4am when I decided to finally check out that shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate. I am usually leery about eating bargain seafood in the middle of a desert, but I figured EVERYONE on the T2V Boards can’t be wrong. I ended up combining the shrimp with the $1.99 breakfast special. So at 4:15am, I sat down to a feast of biscuits and gravy, toast, bacon, eggs, shrimp cocktail, a sprite, and a half a bottle of lukewarm Bud Light that I brought over from California, all for $3!! Only in Vegas!

    After my feast, I wandered back to Fremont where I learned how to play single and double deck BJ (I had only ever played with shoes until now) while playing head-to-head with a nice dealer from Ethiopia. At 6am, I finally made it back to LVC and hit the sack! Whew, this was a full day!!

    Tuesday 7/29 - Center Strip, Ellis Island Steak, Big Elvis, St. Mark's Square, Sahara

    After a 3 hour sleep (or nap), I got up and checked out of LVC (again, slow and painful) and made my way over to Binions for “breakfastâ€. It actually consisted of a bowl of that chili Hurricane Mikey likes so much (as you can see, my eating habits aren’t that great in Sin City). Sorry Mikey, but the chili didn’t do it for me! Maybe I got a bad batch, but I think their secret ingredient was grease, and I wouldn’t try it again!

    I shared a Lincoln Town Car (private driver) out of the Nugget with a family going to Center Strip, and the ride only cost me $12 plus tip! After meeting back up with my parents, my mom and I set out for center strip while my dad stayed behind again to play some more slots. Our first stop was Alladin and the Desert Passage. My mom really enjoyed the shopping, but the indoor thunderstorm was not working. BTW, there’s a store in the Passage named “FCUKâ€. Does that name mean anything, or did some dude name it that simply for a sick tourist’s (me) photo opportunity!?!? After the Alladin was Paris, which my mom had an affection for since she’s been to France 2 times. Then to Bally’s, which wasn’t anything to write home about.

    After Bally’s, I forced my mom to walk the 2 blocks to Ellis Island to try that steak people on here seem to rave about. I was NOT disappointed!!! It was an extremely good 10oz. sirloin cut at $4.95, with a salad, mashed potatoes and steamed veggies (plus a $1 homemade root beer). YUM!! YUM!! However, I did drop $50 at a BJ table there, so I guess the steak cost me more than I expected!

    A quick cab ride (the heat was getting to us) got us to the Barbary Coast, where one of the highlights of the trip awaited me. After receiving a quick tour of a room there from a nice bellhop (the rooms are really nice), my mom and I found Big Elvis, BC’s lounge act from 3-6pm. This guy was awesome! If you closed your eyes, you could barely tell the difference between him and the real thing! We stayed there for almost an hour listening to him and relaxing.

    From the BC, we roamed through the Flamingo (saw the wildlife), Casino Royal (saw scarier wildlife), Imperial Palace (ran for our lives) and the Venetian. St. Mark’s Square in the V may have been the highlight of my mom’s trip! I’m usually not into artsy fartsy crap, but even I was impressed with this place! We stayed in the square for over an hour, enjoying the free show and gawking at the living statues and gondola rides.

    After crossing the street to Treasure Island, we viewed their Pirate Show set (in construction). There is no water in it at this point, so we could see the big hole where the entire ship sank into during the old show. We took the tram to the Mirage to see the white Tigers and a cab back to MC. There were no big plans that night, so I showered up and had dinner at the MC buffet with my dad. No complaints from me on the food.

    I then headed off on my own again, to MGM to buy a stuffed lion for my mom who had eyed it the day before. I saw the lions again (the males this time), and caught the Strip trolley from the pick-up point at the Trop to go to the Sahara for more low limit BJ. There was nothing special about this trip, except for my standard line about the drink service there being as dry as the Sahara, which I use every time I’m in this place! It usually gets a laugh, but it was a tough crowd that night. Justin from Michigan was my favorite dealer (despite being a wolverine!). I finally cabbed it back to MC, and crashed (the 3 hour sleep the night before had served me well).

    Wednesday 7/30 - Caesar's Palace, Bellagio, Penn & Teller, Gold Coast, Boardwalk

    After eating breakfast with my dad at MC’s buffet again, my mom and I set out for Caesar’s Palace. It was a pretty short walk, but by this day, the heat was getting really old! It didn’t help that the tram from MC to the Bellagio is out of service right now. After arriving at Caesar’s, it didn’t take us long to get lost, and we spent over 4 hours in there! I had forgotten how enormous that place is. The free show (not sure of the name but it’s about Atlantis) was excellent, but we did not do the 3-D ride. FAO Shwartz and Antiquities are by far my favorite stores in there, and my mom enjoyed EVERYTHING!

    After Ceasar’s was Bellagio. The Conservatory was nice, and this was my mom’s first and only chance to view the fountains! This show was set to Sinatra singing “Luck Be a Ladyâ€. After walking back to MC, we met up with my dad and we all cabbed it over to the Rio for the Penn & Teller show. Since we were early, we decided to check out the World Buffet. Once again, you’ll find no complaints from me on the food, but I thought the price was a few dollars too high.

    After the meal came the only real disappointment of the trip. I had high expectations for P & T, but was only moderately entertained. It wasn’t the laugh riot I was expecting, just a good solid (but overpriced) show. I saw Amazing Jonathon last trip, and he was much better! My parents agreed that the show was somewhat lackluster.

    After the show, mom and dad cabbed it back to MC, and I walked to the Palms, and then the Gold Coast. I loved the vibe I got from the Coast!!! It was a much better vibe than the Rio and Palms combined, plus I won $100 at a $5 BJ table. Gold Coast also had the best odds at their sports book that I had seen the entire trip. This could be a possibility for a home base during a future trip, perhaps during March Madness.

    I cabbed it back to the MC, but wasn’t nearly ready for bed yet, so I used a 2 for 1 homebrew coupon at the MC microbrew (yes, I drank them both) and headed over to the Boardwalk for more cheap BJ. This was a fun way to kill a couple of hours (drink service had its moments) as I met a lot of fun people and dealers, and won another $80. I then walked back to MC, won a quick $20 and headed to bed around 5am. These BJ winnings basically evened me up for the trip (I had a few slot losses I haven’t mentioned).

    Thursday 7/31 - Departure

    I had visions of getting in some more BJ on this final day, but the lack of sleep this trip finally caught up to me as I slept until my parents woke me to pack up and leave. We ate breakfast at the MC café, and I vowed NOT to gamble another nickel at this point, since I wanted to leave on a good streak from the night before. The trip to the airport was a sad one, since I didn’t want to leave, but it was a pretty darn fun trip. My mom had a great time, my dad was so-so (he obviously will never go back during the summer). At the airport, our flight was actually delayed due to a thunderstorm! This was the first time I’d ever seen rain in vegas! After a layover in Denver, we finally got back to Columbus at 11pm EST.

    Final Thoughts

    The channel #9 on the headphones on United Airlines lets you listen to the air traffic controllers and the cockpit, which is surprisingly interesting.

    The Monte Carlo was a great stay and I would recommend it! The room was nice, amenities were great, service was exceptional for the most part, price was right ($69/nt.), and the location is good. The plumbing is a little loud, but not too bad.

    Downtown was a blast!!! I will be back!

    I visited a total of 3 microbrews this trip, and my nod goes to Main Street Station as being my favorite.

    Vegas is NOT a very good place for people on a diet!

    Phyliss, a BJ dealer at the California, gets my vote for favorite dealer of the trip, although Aimee at the GC had the best assets. ;)

    The Las Vegas Club was a great valued hotel! I just wish the check-in/out was quicker.

    My parents highly recommend Mamma Mia!

    I wish the shuttles between the GC, Orleans and BC would run later than midnight.

    Places I still need to visit: Orleans, Gold Spike, El Cortez, Lady Luck, Tuscany, etc.

    The Rio and Palms gave me very bad vibes, not sure why.

    My next trip may very well be off-strip and/or downtown. Possibly LVC and GC.

    The $4.95 Ellis Island steak was NOT a disappointment……same with Big Elvis!

    I LOVE LAS VEGAS!!! Thanks for reading my report
     
  2. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Hey Rob--

    Thanks for the props! I'm glad you had a great time with the family, and got some quality time down on Fremont Street.

    Funny, we've never had a problem checking into the LV Club, although, last time there was only one gal at the front desk.

    Great Report!

    Mikey
     
  3. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,621
    Location:
    Sunshine State
    Rob,

    Great report. By the way...that FCUK store is..

    French Connection United Kingdom...I only know

    this because my neighbors are from London and

    they have bought me a few of those t shirts..

    which I don't wear in public ;)

    Sunni :cool:
     
  4. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
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    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    33
    Hi Rob, nice trip report for a first-timer! Sounds like you had a great time! [​IMG]
     
  5. ilovevegasbaby

    ilovevegasbaby Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    280
    Rob-
    Thanks for sharing your trip report. It made me laugh a few times. It sounds like you were able to balance your trip with your parents pretty well. You sound like a great son. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ohio Bino

    Ohio Bino Tourist

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    northern Ohio
    Rob
    Great report. Don't expect anything that elaborate from me. I also have trouble getting around{new hips} and have rented an electric cart. We'll be there four nights and it only costs $100.00. Yeah it takes away from my gambling money but I get to see everything.
    Ohio Bino
    2 days and counting
     
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