This Trip Report is brought to you by: "Pre-NEW YEARS Celebration" at The California Hotel and Casino. 3 comped nights with Saturday Dinner and Cocktails. $2K in cash prizes given away. Over 400 people took them up on this offer. Checked in at 11am after the uneventful 286 mile, 4 hour drive. My East Tower Room is on the very Southeast corner. The window faces Ogden Ave looking east and gives the impression I'm right over the street. It is the closest room to FSE and I can see the canopy just over the LVC parking garage. I never heard any of the FSE noise. There is a stairwell nearby with outdoor landings where smokers have obviously got around the "No Smoking on this Floor" rule. A down-on-his-luck gambler would be wise to avoid this landing because it makes a fine launch pad should they opt to end the pain. $9.99 in-room wifi for 24 hours. Nice, smallish room but it's a suite compared to a Golden Gate room I also booked. One King bed leaves some room to move around. I wouldn't recommend twin beds. Small bathroom with small toilet. If the Vanity partition wasn't there I'd have a clear view of the 32 inch Flat TV from the Throne. It has a quiet A/C unit. The tub drain works good. Hot water takes a couple of minutes to get here indicating some shower mixing valves are failing by letting the cold water leak into the hot water system. Check valves in the main risers will improve this condition. Nice to have the mini-fridge in the room. Garage Elevators are close to the East Tower elevators for fast access to the car. Also close to the Crap Pit and Keno. First order of business is lunch at the highly recommended MSS buffet and then MSS Craps, only to leave the table with an extra $175. Pretty good start. I stroll FSE for my version of a Casino Crawl, sprinkling in other VegasMessageBoard points of interest. First up is a 50 cent Hamms at LVC. I've been trying to get me a Hamms for the last two trips but each time they've been out. One last chance to "Wow" me. Just my luck they have it tonite and, Wow, it's not a very good beer. Still I had to cross it off my list and got 2 for a buck and gave the bartender a $2 tip. Choked them down, walked to Plaza and signed up for their player card. Sharon says new member Promo is 50% loss Free Play refund for first 24 hours. A lot of small print to read. Certain machines only, blah blah blah. Popped a $50 in a bar VP, drank a few bourbon and Cokes and played it down to $30 before cashing out. Let's see the offers flow in now. North end Plaza food court has a McDonalds, Mexican grill, Cafe\coffee bar, and a Subway. Sports book has 10 barkaloungers in front of several big screens. If you can get one for NFL that'd be decent to watch there if the TV's are good but which I failed to take note of. Even though they're on my list I decided not to go into LaBayou or Mermaids. From reading of them pushing drinks I don't want to get too messed up this early in the day. There is a 4Queens outdoor Bar that just opened a month ago. Five HD TV's line the back wall. It's right next to the Zipline landing structure so expect a traffic jam at peak hours because there's only a few feet of space there. Otherwise a cool outdoor spot to watch games if you don't mind standing. A Photo Magic sits o/s the Fremont. Not the same company as the Carnival Court one but same concept. Did not see pricing. I notice more homeless and their signs. Some seem to be enterprising "FSE characters" with signs offering anything for money. I can see this cutting into the homeless take and rendering them as just part of the background so they better come up with a new and flashier way to beg. Didn't notice any Guardian Angels unless they were dressed as Time Share hawkers. Two very cool Led Zepplin Tribute musicians playing amplified modified looking cellos. They are near the very Big Xmas tree across from 3rd St Stage. I never saw them after today which is a shame because they were really good. I hit The D for a losing craps session and a few more bourbon and Cokes. Took a short walk araouind the place and saw that the Cafe will open soon but the steakhouse is still under remodeling. They now have Baccarat in a new Hi limit Area along the Main Casino east wall. They added a third indoor escalator between the existing two. They are messing with your head by showing video of you getting on at the top of the landing and playing it on the screen just before the end of the ride. It's a head-on shot so you see yourself walking right at you. The video is a little shaded and reminds me of Disneylands Haunted Mansion where the ghosts sit in with you at the end of the ride. It's also just like the pictures of yourself on the thrill rides and I'm sure after it catches on some flashing will occur. In the Main Casino is a free photo kiosk you can immediately Share the pic online. What happens in the The D is apparently now Public Domain. I walked into Neonopolis and up to Drink&Drag but it was closed. No idea what time it is other than it's too early for the Fremont East bars to be open. Wanted to flashback and play some Galaxian or Asteroids at Insert Coins. Over to Hennesy's for $3 bourbon and Coke. They have other cheap beer and drinks with live music. A lone guitarist was setting up as I left. No sign of Slotzilla. Got the Zipline clerk all depressed asking about it because they have to leave to make way for it. A new vendor on FSE hand-crafts plaster busts of your head. Didn't see a price but pretty cool. UWashington and Boise State fans in town for Maaco LV Bowl. BSU had their band and a pep rally outside the Cal on a closed Ogden Ave I could hear from the room. 9p - 1am End of the World Party! w/ Arena on FSE MainSt stage They came out with the same set line up as last few times I saw them. They're talented and pretty good but I'll focus on seeing YBR now. It was way too cold for an outdoor concert that I've already seen so I bolted to the Cal for some Craps. The Pass Line was King that night as several shooters had solid rolls and when the table cooled I color up for the last time this night. I wind up ahead $700 on the day. Dec 22 Saturday Sat at the Market St Cafe counter for breakfast. Pretty good 8oz Steak and eggs. Over-easy eggs were perfect. Decent hash browns in quality and quantity. Steak hard to cut but musta been dull knife because meat was succulent and tasty dipped in A1. Only $11 after 25% tip. I checked in at the Golden Gate, only to double-book an expiring December 3 night comp. The micro sized room has new decor and modern toilet since the last time I stayed. In-room Kuerig coffee for $2 and a basket of $2 snacks sits on the dresser. The A\C makes a very noisy rattling and I will need earplugs if I stay here. HD 30inch TV with Channel Guide browsing. Modern bathroom fixtures except the sink looks and feels old. I used the accompanied $10 free play at the main GG bar. Played max credits for only 2 hands and was suddenly done because I didn't change to a quarter from $1 because I am dumb. I begin the gambling day with my increased bank roll by blowing $200 at The D crap table. I hit a few numbers but no one had any hot rolls like yesterday. Won $170 on a greyhound race at Fremont. Trifecta, keyed the 1 with 6-7-8 for $6 total bet. The 1 dog was a monster favorite but 6 and 8 were medium odds for a nice cash in Grade A at Palm Beach. Asked a cabbie how much to Texas Station from the California. He says "about $14" so I figure a $20 bill to get back if I take the bus over there tonight. Killing time until the 5pm Cocktail Dinner I played some craps at the Cal. Bought in for $160, cashed $200 after tokes. Pretty good spread in the Ohana Maile rooms. Prime Rib, chicken, salads, sides. They gave away a total of $2K in $50, $100 and $250 cash prizes. I was shutout in prize money. After dinner I was planning on the trek to Texas Station to see 80's rockers Yellow Brick Road. I decided to stay put and see YBR on another trip to which I will include a Thursday night when they play on FSE. They also play South Point on Fridays and Texas Station Saturdays. South Point has a cover with the other two free admission. Check their Facebook page for more. I start at the GG for no particular reason. Lost a hundie at Craps then brought out another for Let It Ride. Better luck here with several pairs and hit a Flush with $10 on the 3 bets. I felt the cards cool and cashed $300 after tokes. I had to walk back to the Crap table and show the Stickwoman my 3 Black chips since she gave me so much grief for losing on her watch. I figure parting with $100 at the Plaza Let It Ride and Craps was in order. Not much luck at LIR so I enter the Twilight Zone I thought was just Plaza Craps. Not very sophisticated players and the dealers seem like they would rather be elsewhere. No one was tipping so when I tossed out a Two-Way Yo jaws dropped. I keep re-upping my usual Two-Way Hard Way Parlays and the Dealers warmed and we enjoyed the mutual respect I am accustomed to. I eventually empty my rail but not before a few exciting chances at hitting the second half of our Two-Way-Parlay bets. The Dealers and I traded "Thank You's" and I was outta there. Had some drink tickets from the Fremont Book so I take that as a sign to go use them. I bet a couple more races then over to the Pit. Alcohol influence made me sit at a "Super Fun" 21 table and pull out $40. Had a roller coaster ride until I manufactured my last $5 back into $40 and got the heck away from there. I found myself drawn to the $5 Crap table. Split my $40 on the Five and Nine just waiting for it to disappear so I can head over to MSS but the shooter kept rolling numbers and pretty soon I cashed $180 and head over to MSS. I had one of the best times ever at the MSS Crap table. Bought in for $200 and ordered a bourbon and Coke. Tipped her a red and she kept 'em coming. Everyone on my end was in a great mood and we hit it off from the start. They said it has been a rough table but that quickly changed. The dice come over to our side and the first guy makes us a few bucks with some repeat numbers and maybe a point or two. Next two rollers don't fare so well and then I get the dice. Right out of a cheap Vegas movie I roll numbers like a madman while winning 4 points. One stretch I rolled Hard 6's and 8's with me smart enough to have a Nickel on them. A real Man would have Parlayed but since I have a dismal Parlay success rate I only pressed one unit after they'd hit and again after the third hit then won the $15 Hard 8 a final time. After the table cooled I just played the reds in my rail then finally cashed $450 in Greens and headed to the Cal. Don't remember too much of my play at The Cal this night. Kinda remember losing $200 at Craps then struggling with my card key to get in the room next door. Dec 23 Sunday Bfast at Market St counter again. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. Recovering in the room for the first NFL game. Steelers\Bengals and Cowboys\Saints on TV. Two good ones to keep me channel flipping. Strolled the FSE while the Ravens clocked the Gmen. The Bears covered to make the 4th leg of my 5 Team Parlay. I need the SF/SEA OVER at 39 to win $200 on a $10 bet. I almost bet $100 on the UNDER to guarantee me a $100 win but decided to let Fate decide. Don't know why but I was inclined to play Craps at the 4Queens. I ease in the game (point is Five) placing a $10 Nine. Shooter immediately rolls my Nine. I drop a white and press to $25. Boom, back with a Nine. A quick $35 to the rail. One or two rolls later another Nine. Rail the Quarter and place the reds. Some rolls later I doubled up my $100 buy in. Next shooter is older lady hitting 2 points for rambunctious table fun. Her man-toy does OK and after an anti-climactic follow up I cash out $315 after tokes. Expecting the next session to be fruitless I sacrificed the $100 at a Binions Crap table. That's the way it's been this trip. Win, lose, win, lose, win, lose. Hit the777 Brew Pub bar for the pepperoni pizza and a few High Roller Gold brews to watch the Niners\Seahawks game. I highly recommend the High Roller Gold brew and the pizza was awesome. SEA and SF exceed the OVER so I collect $210. Christmas Day I didn't feel like packing up and moving to the GG so I parted with the $31 Sapphire rate for another night here. $35 after taxes and no Resort Fee. Slept in and had lunch at Dupars for some excellent Prime Rib. A $15 food comp came with the GG comped room so I got the big cut and man, was it good. It was easily an inch thick, cooked to get the red out and served with fries and stir fry veggies. Regular price is only $17.99 I think. At the Cal Crap table I bought in for $100. Lasted for a spell then was down to my last $5 so I Parlayed a Whirl expecting to lose. It won with Snake-Eyes and then Ace-Deuce. I bring the $96 down and milk that for awhile. The rest of the night was pretty much all losses, opposite of the last two nights. Tues Dec 26 Cal Club for Teriyaki Beef Bowl Bfast because they were out of chicken. Just OK for the $6. I hit a Station Casino for my last hurrah before the drive home. $100 buy in with one older gent rolling. Gary is a regular and they say he's pretty good. We trade turns and he eventually wins a 4 Point Fire for 30X. I had a Two-Way Fire with $1 each and the Boy's were appreciative of that and the other bets I made for them. I got to see firsthand the advantage to tipping when my "$5 Five" turned into a "$5 Four" right as a Four was rolled. They also left some of my Hard-Ways up "by accident" I am sure. I rolled one more turn and left with an extra $175 after tokes. Pretty good trip. Things to do next trip: YBR, find those celloists again, visit the Strip, El Cortez, Gold Spike, Fremont East bars, maybe get one of those busts.