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August TR (Bally's, Shows, Food, Stupid Parents, Pawn Stars)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by RWDPeanut, Sep 4, 2009.

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  1. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    I have been on the message board for about a year now and have been to Vegas 3 times during that period. However, this is my first TR – hope you enjoy! :beer:

    Who - My wife and I (Total spontaneous trip planed a month in advance)

    Dates – Check in Saturday 8/29 and Check out Tuesday 9/1

    Budget - $1,000 for me and a separate $500 for wife (Gambling, Cabs, and tip money only)

    Flight – We flew Southwest out of Chicago-Midway non-stop to Vegas. Everything about the flight went smooth from boarding to take off to landing. This is rare for me as we always run into some type of issue flying! We left 9 AM Chicago time and landed aprox. 11:30 AM Vegas time

    Hotel – We had 3 night comp at Bally’s and this is one of my favorite places to stay and play. I love the central location as you can easily walk to Flamingo, Paris, PH, Caesars, Bellagio and the limits at Bally’s are always reasonable. I do not need a fancy room in Vegas, but I do not want a crappy room. The check in line was about 2 hours long so we decided to go grab some food and play for a while which turned out to be a smart idea because when we returned a few hours later the line was gone! I gave the front desk girl $20 and asked for the North tower with a fountain view, if available, and she smiled and set us up with that request. I was pretty happy because the South tower sucks and I don’t like waking up to a view of a roof. Overall, the staff was friendly, maid service was good, and the room was fairly clean. Our clock was broke, but we called them and they replaced it right away.

    Food – I had about $300 in Harrah’s rewards credits so we spent a lot of time in the St Louis Café in Paris. This place is just OK and I would not eat here if I had to actually pay. The service is usually slow and the food is average. We only ate here for late night snacks or breakfast (really can’t screw up eggs and toast). I would recommend this for late night and breakfast, but find somewhere better for lunch and dinner. We also ate at Le Creperie and JJ’s in Paris with the rewards credits. (Warning, Rant Coming: JJ’s in Paris is terrible! The food is good, however the people that work there and the service is so bad. We ordered a pizza and every time it was ready, the guy would give an individual slice to a customer and then apologize. I was getting so mad because I know they use the top oven for whole pizza orders and the bottom oven for individual slices so I know for a fact they kept giving away our pizza, I watched it. Also, so many people were complaining that they were overcharged, got the wrong sandwich, and got wrong change. It was always a madhouse in there and no leadership. No one speaks English in there and they just seem not to care. A guy and some lady both yelled they need someone that speaks English because they were short changed on $100 and the workers could not understand what No Mayo meant and they were making no attempt to fix the situation.

    Red Square (Mandalay Bay) – This was my second time at Red square in Mandalay Bay and I have to say this place is really good. The menu is not big, but the dishes they have are really good – I got the Filet and it was perfect. They also have some really great drinks and they make a really good Mojito, which is hard to find. Also, the Vodka flights are awesome. We got the “Around the World” flight and they were all good except for Canada, so we downed the other 3 and then a few drinks to make the Canada go down better! The “Mother Land” is still my favorite Red Square Vodka flight. The service was good, the manager comes around, and if you have dined with them before they make a point of making you feel welcomed. They know when you came last, what you ate/drink, who you were with, how much you spent, what you like, etc. They really personalize your experience and make you feel good. The only annoying thing was the table behind us was 6 total D-bag 40 year old guys who thought they were so awesome and would not sit still! Although, they did entertain us because they thought they were so cool, but really were losers.

    Japonaise (Mirage) – This was my first time here and I would never go back. This just isn’t my thing and I don’t like Sushi, which is why you go here. My wife really enjoyed the Sushi, but she said it wasn’t anything spectacular. We sat in the lounge and I felt like a giant sitting on the miniature seats and tables, and the service was terrible. The place was almost empty and our server would disappear for 15 – 20 minutes. The portions are tiny, the drinks are overpriced, and the food is average. We have a Japonaise in Chicago and people warned me about it, but I went anyway! Only go here if you want to feel “in” and “be seen.” You can get better sushi and service elsewhere in Vegas.

    Isla (TI) – Third time at Isla and I am never disappointed here. I personally think that this is the best Mexican on the strip. The chips, salsa, and guacamole are so awesome and the burrito and steak pyramid is awesome! The portions are large, the service is always good, and the price is reasonable. Isla also makes a really good Mojito. We originally went at 4 PM to get chips, guacamole and drinks, but it quickly turned into getting dinner too! The place was empty when we got there, but it was 4PM on Monday.

    Shows –

    Terry Fator
    We booked ahead of time and got 25% off tickets. Very funny show, not a bad seat in the house, and I would see this again. I would recommend this show to everyone as this guy is REALLY talented.

    Beatles Love Show -
    We booked ahead of time and got 40% off tickets. This show was weird, boring, and just not my taste. Maybe others would like this, but expect to see the hippie Beatles songs and the typical weird Cirque stuff. I wouldn’t recommend this and would not go back.

    Gambling – Since I was with my wife, we played mostly slots. Saturday we stayed pretty even. We were not losing much and we did not hit anything big at all, so we literally were about even all day. We played at Bally’s, Mirage, and Mandalay Bay Saturday. Bally’s has great drink service most of the time so I love playing there. I don’t care if I lose, just keep the drinks coming, that is all I care about, I know I will lose my money. Mirage drinks service was bad and in my past experience, it usually is bad. I think I am officially crossing Mirage off my list – My pet peeve is bad drink service/rude cocktail waitresses. Mandalay Bay service was good – it usually is. Sorry, no Exciting gambling stories for Saturday or Sunday. We mostly played Hot Hot Penney, Buck’s Ahoy, All that Glitters, Zues (I hate you Zues), Hot Hot Super Jackpot, Kitty Glitter, and those type of Penney – nickel slots.

    Monday is when it got good. I finally got to play some Let it Ride/3 card poker bonus for a few hours at Bally’s. I started out with 4 straight 3 of a kinds in let Ride and a pair for the 3 card poker bonus. After about an hour I turned my $100 into $400. The dealers and people at the table were all friendly and it was a good time overall. The drinks came flowing in constantly and after about 4 hours I cashed out with $200. I made $100, had a ton of fun, and was pretty buzzed, and to me, those 3 things are a huge win! I gave up chasing big money in Vegas, I would always get mad and disappointed. Now, I try to make a small profit by playing smart, have a good time, and get free drinks. Next, we went to TI and we each made about $100 over 4 hours on slots (mostly Hot Hot Penney and Hot Hot Super Jackpot). The 4th hour I hit a $400 spin on the Hot Hot Super Jackpot machine in TI by the sportsbook – I was so excited. I then walked over to the sportsbook and saw 5 out of 6 of my baseball bets won and I profited about $150 on that. Overall, Monday was a great day with winning and drinks. I came home with about $500, which means I won money after you factor in tips, cab rides, and other miscellaneous money spent.

    Notes and Observations

    • Leaving is sad and the flight back was a non event. Having an 18 month old boy to go back home to really does make leaving a lot easier then it use to be.

    • My wife and I are 29 and have an 18 month old boy and I can never imagine taking him to Vegas before he is 21. We saw HUNDREDS of people pushing strollers down the strip and through the Casino’s. It would be 1 AM and we would see couples, clearly drunk, with drinks around heir neck, pushing a baby in a stroller. I may get bashed for this, but if you take anyone under 16 to Vegas you are a terrible and selfish parent (Some exceptions apply such as a Vegas Wedding that you need to attend, but it would be hard to argue that bringing your kid to Vegas is a good vacation/idea). Why would you subject babies/toddlers to Vegas? They can get hurt late at night walking down the strip. Why would you allow your 10 or 11 year old to see gambling, drunk idiots (like myself), and porn everywhere. It makes no sense to me. Go ahead and bring your 16 year old or older because they know what that stuff means, but still, they will be bored. Vegas is doing a great job discourage kids and I hope they intensify that. I want an adult playground, not a psuedo Disney World. Also, get your damn stroller and kids out of my damn way!!! I am so sick of letting lose in Vegas and then having to stumble over kids and strollers. I am so sick of getting in the elevator and 4 kids jump in pushing all the buttons – I am not in Disney world!!!

    • Overall Service in Vegas seems to be getting better. Most places we went, the staff was friendly and asked what they can do for us. (JJ’s, Sportsbooks, and Mirage are the exceptions).

    • Sportsbooks need to get rid of drink tickets and just give out drinks. Ever since sportsbooks went to tickets, they are always empty. The horse racing industry will be dead in 10 years in Vegas unless some major changes are made. The Sportsbooks also act like they are doing you a favor by taking your bet and I do not like that attitude

    • We saw Rick and Big Hoss from Pawn stars at the airport when we landed. They were outside by the cab line smoking and the looked pissed. I love that show and I said “Hi” and they said “Hi” back. They seemed pretty cool and it was cool to see them. When we were in the Terry Fator line, we were standing behind Christy Swanson and man, she was really hot. She played Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she was also on skating with the stars.

    Two additional notes/observations:


    1. One of the coolest things for me is getting up early in the morning and walking around the strip for a few minutes with a baileys and coffee. Then come back to the hotel (Paris or Bally's) and play some slots and get some more bailey's and coffee. It is eeirie and calming being the only person with 25 feet playing a slot and the coctail waitress is quick and friendly.

    2. Next person or group of people that stops walking and turns around dead in their tracks when I am behind them and/or next person or group of people that are walking around not looking at all where they are going becuase they are staring at evertything is going to get knocked into the fountains, volcano, off a walkway or (insert your own landmark).

    HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT – I am open to suggestions on how to improve my next TR.
     
  2. aer2001

    aer2001 Low-Roller

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    Great TR! Sounds like you had an awesome time. I agree about the parents with babies/toddlers in Vegas. I couldn't believe it the last time we were there, and that was before I had a kid of my own. And I'm glad that you guys survived spending 4 days away from your 18 month old. It gives me hope that I'll survive spending 4 days away from my 16 month old when we go in October! :D
     
  3. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    By day 2 you really start to miss them! :cry: The only comforting thing was we knew he was having a blast with Grandma and Grandpa!
     
  4. sporty8705

    sporty8705 VIP Whale

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    I feel the opposite. I think its fine if kids are in Vegas as some hotels cater to them, Excalibur and Circus Circus. I however, dont think its ok to have the kids out on the strip past 8. I think its worse when your drunk and its 2am and the baby is crying. babys dont belong there, after 4 its ok IMHO...
     
  5. 21wins

    21wins VIP Whale

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    Nice TR.

    We were out in Vegas last week too. Last Sunday(8/30) we went to the "Pawn Stars" pawn shop. The "old man" (grandfather)was the only one there at the time(hoping to run into Chumlee).

    We saw Stacey Kibler(WWE and Dancing with the Stars fame) as we were passing by Jet Nightclub in the Mirage-she was a special guest that night at Jet.
    We saw Love too. My wife loved it. Me, as a big Beatles fan liked the music but found the show just alright IMO.
     
  6. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    Yeah, we were planning on swinging by the Pawn shop, but since we saw them at the airport it saved us a trip. HA. Glad she liked Love - The music was good, but the show wierd.
     
  7. Falcon_Rob

    Falcon_Rob Flying Winnebago

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    If you NEVER play Let-It-Ride again, you may go down as the only person in history to have an overall win at that blasted game!:evillaugh

    I love that Pawn Stars show as well. I learn a little something new everytime I watch that. The thing that surprises me, as a local, is the fact that Rick always "knows a guy" in town! Vegas is a decent sized town, but the number of "local experts" is shocking. Got a 1950's old Coke machine that needs overhauled....he knows a guy! Got a table-top original Pac Man machine that needs fixed.....he knows a guy! Need an appraisal on a weird Native American totem stick with a deer's head and chicken leg attached.....he knows a guy!!!
     
  8. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    LOL! My wife says the same thing!!!!
     
  9. char arts

    char arts Tourist

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    pawn stars

    Hi Just wondering if anyone has been to the actual Pawn Star shop? if so, how did you get there? by cab or bus? we are going in early November and definitely want to go to that pawn shop Will appreciate any extra info on this thanks
     
  10. BubbaD

    BubbaD Tourist

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    Great TR!!:peace:
     
  11. Alasted

    Alasted Tourist

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    I have to respectfully disagree with your comments about kids, Peanut. Las Vegas holds many of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm forever grateful that my parents chose Vegas for a lot of our family vacations. (And no, my folks didn't subject me to any inebriated stroller rides at 1 AM. :))

    Even with the de-family-izing of Vegas, there are still more places for youngsters than just Excalibur and Circus Circus. Don't get me wrong, though--I agree that kids can be totally annoying.

    Overall, good TR with useful information. I was planning to try Japonais, but I think I'll give that place a pass after reading your report.


    A cursory Google search revealed the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop's address:

    713 Las Vegas Blvd S
    Las Vegas, NV 89101-6755

    I've never been there, so I couldn't tell you if that place is anything like it appears on the show.
     
  12. marcianofan

    marcianofan Low-Roller

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    I'm just estimating but I believe its basically half way between the Stratosphere and the fremont street experience, on LV BLVD and on the east side of the BLVD, next door to the showgirls porn store.Side note, park on the south side of the pawn store. Last visit I wasn't paying attention and parked on the north side and almost got a ticket for parking in the city lot reserved for LV official vehicles. Its not a bad store, lots of jewelry if you like that with some other odds and ends to look at.
     
  13. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Enjoyed the TR!

    Must check out this Pawn Stars show.
     
  14. 21wins

    21wins VIP Whale

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    I was there last Sunday and saw the old man. I had a rental car for the trip. I saw a limo dropping a couple off at the shop too.

    It's right down the street(maybe less than a half mile) from the Strat on the other side of the street.

    They have a deal now in the shop that if you buy a Pawn Stars t shirt for $20 you can get a picture with the old man and he'll autograph it for you-I didn't do this.

    The shop itself looks real small to me compared to how it looks on tv.

    They still have the pac man machine and the $300 pistol that Rick bought and needed to refurbish in the shop. Along with Olympic medals and lots anmd lots of jewelry, tvs, wheels and rims and bikes and generators(pawn shop stuff).

    Overall, I would recommend anyone who watches the show to go check it out.

    The people who work there seem pretty cool to people who are just"looking around".

    One guy who worked there asked if I had ever seen the show and if I liked it. I told him that is why we are here. He seemed to appreciate it.
     
  15. Jamie in PA

    Jamie in PA High-Roller

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    I'm sorry, I have to agree. Vegas is no place for small children. We too see them late at night crying while thier parents are schlepping them all over the place. Disney! Take them to Disney! Or the beach or anywhere else. Good trip report. We like to stay at Bally's too.
     
  16. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

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    great report, I agree, knock them in the fountains, street, etc.

    so where/how did you get terry fater tickets for 50% off in advance? My wife want's to go and I don't like the prices (full) I see for good seats.
     
  17. Hoopswife

    Hoopswife Low-Roller

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    Very nice report. I agree with you about small children in strollers at night. Unreal. I have two girls, 7 and 11 and they love our Vegas stories and pictures and one of these trips we will take them with us, but with a sitter and one of her friends so we can go gamble in the evenings and the sitter can stay with them in the room and watch movies, play board games etc. During the day the sitter and her friend can go do their thing and we will take our kids to the pool or do the various activities which are kid appropriate which we talk to them about. They understand that Vegas is a fun crazy place for adults and there are things for kids to see, but evening is for adults and not appropriate for them. They get that. Of course, we have been saying this for 2 years now and it hasn't happened, but anyway, I hope we would do it appropriately as there are some great things there they would love to see. But I don't think that's what you are talking about.

    Short story about kids......, we are Bally's people and last trip I was enjoying my early morning pool time and there were 2 boys in the pool, probably 7 and 8 or near that, pretty much being a pain in the a** and jmping in practically on top of people etc. Finally a lifeguard told them out of the pool and they wouldn't get out, security was called. Long story short, the PARENTS WERE NOT AT THE POOL!!!! Unbelievable. Truly, those people should be shot in my opinion. Rant over!

    Sorry, got away from myself! We love Bally's too. I love the bartenders there (sadly, they know my name and my drink order and welcome me back) and the last time we were there and checked in at poker room the poker room manager (probably there is a title for that, but... :) ) called my husband and I by name and asked us if we wanted our "usual" game. Uh oh. I must be spending too much time in the poker room. I was also surprised that several dealers remembered us by name as well. Pretty impressive I thought since we are only out there twice a year usually, but three times this year. I love the service I get at Bally's.

    Sounds like you had a good trip! I enjoyed your report. Hope you get back there soon and that you and your son survived the separation :)
     
  18. winterman

    winterman Tourist

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    I agree with many of the thoughts that Las Vegas is not a place for young children especially seeing them in the casino and being up at rediciously late hours of the night. I do like Hoopswife's philosophy of taking their children to Las Vegas when they reach an appropriate age AND accompanied by an adult for night time supervision.
     
  19. RWDPeanut

    RWDPeanut Low-Roller

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    I am really losing it, I got the tickets 25% off from the link below-- All the seats looked good, the theater was really small.

    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45997
     
  20. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    I'm not much for the little kids late at night, although I do notice a lot of them are foreign - and they may be running on totally different internal time zones than we are. It may be better for them to stay up later in fact to keep them on a consistent internal clock. My 25 yr old son was up on midwest time zone and in bed by midwest time zone when he went with us in the spring - said there was no way he was going to screw up his body by changing zones. Unlike his mother and grandmother.............................:rolleyes2:

    My 16.5 year old daughter would LOVE to go with me, however, I am not comfortable with her wandering through the mall herself - mainly because she is not familiar with location, etc. She says, oh I'll just go shopping and lay a the pool. But I can't psychologically let her wander off by herself like that when we are NOT at home or Disneyworld, LOL. I seriously considered T-Day weekend last year, but plane prices didn't come down enough - now I don't have the cash for 2 tix this year. I just love to sit at the penny slots by myself and I can't just let her wander by herself.

    Now if someone can provide me with a fake i.d. for her, she can sit there with me and we can chat...............(She thinks slots are stupid so I wouldn't have to worry about her playing LOL).
     
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