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December 5-12 (It's gonna be a long one!)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by RoryGentry, Dec 6, 2010.

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  1. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3

    My Trip Report

    December 5-12 (Area 51, dune buggy racing, Penn & Teller, Peepshow, Pawn Stars, etc.)

    I'll warn you now- this will probably become quite long! I'm going to try to write a little bit each day, and I will update this original post so that everything stays in one place.

    I HAVE ADDED PHOTOS IN THE REPLIES TO THIS THREAD.

    SUNDAY 5th
    Pretty boring day, really…

    Arrived at the airport “bright and early†(even though it was still dark) for my SouthWest flight. Check-in was easy, and I snagged a window seat. I’m not a small guy (50†chest, big shoulders), so I always feel a little bit sorry for whoever sits by me. I’m just a wide guy. Another guy of similar size took the aisle seat just as they announced this was a full flight. We looked at each other, looked at the empty seat between us, and both snickered. Luckily for us, this was the only seat that was actually empty on the flight! The plane was de-iced and we were on our way after a short delay. Country music duet “Joey & Rory†were on our flight, so for only the second time in my life, I met someone with the same first name as me. The only bad part about the flight was the woman sitting behind me, who spoke in a shouting voice. She was telling her friend (first time flyer) that it was a 2 hour 15 minute flight. (Departing IND at 7:45am, arriving LAS 9am.) Nobody ever taught this woman about flying and time zones. 2.5 hours into the flight, and she’s worried that the pilot is lost. 3 hours in, and she’s asking the stewardess if everything is OK. Everyone else is laughing at her.

    Made it to Vegas, hopped on the free shuttle to Palace Station with no problems. It was about 10am, so my room was not ready. I gave my bags to the bellhop, and wandered the property a bit. I didn’t want to go too far because I needed to come back soon to see if the room was ready, so I went to check out the UFC tent sale in the parking lot. I was getting pretty hungry, so I decided to go back into Palace Station and have their buffet, called “The Feast.†It was terrible! I have no idea why there was such a long line, because many people looked like locals. It was $8.99, and the selections at “The Feast†were sad. They were serving brunch, so I started with eggs, bacon, hash browns. This was OK, but I never got the ketchup or hot sauce I had requested. I decided to try the lunch side- dry fried chicken on the first trip, dry roast beef on the second trip. No corn, no green beans, no carrots… I guess mashed potatoes counted as my veggies. I also never got a refill on my drink, which was gone with the first plate. Terrible food, terrible service at “The Feast.†Don’t go there!

    My room was ready around noon. I got checked in and took my bags upstairs to lounge for a while. It was “freshly cleaned,†because the bathroom floor still had wet mop swirls on it, and there was a used Q-tip on the floor from where it appeared that they had emptied the trash can. Yuck. Everything else looked nice. Great shower.

    Around 5pm I strolled west on Sahara, because I was told there were some small local restaurants (including 2 Thai places). I walked several blocks and found the local places all seemed to be closed on Sunday! I grabbed a sandwich and walked back to the hotel, where my room key no longer worked. I made 3 trips from the 11th floor to the front desk, telling them that the key lock wouldn’t even light up. They finally sent security to meet me at my room, and they couldn’t open it either. (Security Officer Dominique was nice, though.) After an hour and 5 minutes of hassles, maintenance finally showed up to open the door. They had to replace a battery in the card reader, which took another 35 minutes. (Maintenance guy Shannon was really nice.) By 9pm, I decided to just hit the sheets and watch some TV because I’d had a long day and morning was going to come early. I flipped back the covers and found hair on my sheets near the pillow! (Long ones, not short.) I was really surprised by this, because for the most part, this property seems very clean and well-maintained. Oh well. I was tired, so I used a lint roller to grab the few hairs and I went to bed. (Very comfy bed, by the way.)


    MONDAY 6th
    Day 1 of training was very good. After training, I changed clothes and waited over 30 minutes for a cab in front of Palace Station. With the NFR rodeo deal going on, I guess that’s where they all were. Luckily, I had befriended my shuttle driver when he picked me up at the airport yesterday. I had missed the last shuttle from Palace Station to the strip at 4:30pm, and the next one would not run until 6pm. My friend saw me waiting in the taxi line, and asked where I was going. I told him I needed to get to the Rio, and he whispered, “come with me.†He was on his way to the airport and was not allowed to take people to the strip on this trip, but Bally’s wasn’t really out of his way… so he made a very quick stop for me. I tipped him $10, because from Bally’s I could catch a free shuttle to Rio. I figured that he saved me a $20 cab ride, so a $10 tip was worth it.

    I caught the free shuttle from Bally’s to Rio with no problem. While waiting for that shuttle, I met a couple who stays at Rio 3-4 times a year. They recommended that I eat at the All-American Bar & Grill in Rio. I found it pretty quickly, so I decided to give it a shot. I had a 16 ounce prime rib with mixed vegetables and a baked potato- it was very good! I felt fortunate to get this recommendation, because my steak was perfect. I don’t know what they put on the outside of the baked potato (possibly something mixed with sea salt), but it was great. Total damage was $26.63 for the meal and a drink. I would go back here again.

    After finishing my meal I slowly strolled over to the Penn & Teller Theater. I only had about a 30 minute wait before the doors opened, and I made my way down to my seat. I was in the front row, center seat- Section 2, Row AA, Seat 6 for anyone who needs seat numbers for future reference. I thought Penn & Teller’s show was VERY good. If you go to this show, get there early. There is an opportunity to go on the stage and inspect some props before the show. Even sitting in the front row, there was only 1 trick I could figure out. It was a very fun show, plenty of comedy, LOTS of audience participation… well worth the admission price, even at full price. Following the show Penn & Teller hung out in the lobby, signed autographs, took photos with fans, and chatted with everyone. Since I had been in the front row, I was one of the last ones out. When I met Teller, I told him that I had read some stories about his house. He was very excited to talk about it, and we spent 10-15 minutes chatting. (Most people were spending a minute or so saying hello, but I got lucky by being at the end of the line.)

    I hopped on the free shuttle from the Rio to Harrah’s, and caught a cab from Harrah’s back to Palace Station. Fare was only $13 and change, so not too bad. Off to bed somewhat early so I can get up early for training tomorrow. Tomorrow’s agenda: Spice Market Buffet, and Peepshow!


    TUESDAY 7th
    Another day of training. After class, I went down to Planet Hollywood. I figured I would get there early since I had a ticket to see “Peepshow†tonight, so I might as well wander through the shops and grab dinner. While hanging out, I received compliments from not one, but TWO of the pleasure pit girls. I didn’t think it was that phenomenal, but I guess it looked good. (Black slacks and shirt, black vest with black paisley design, and white tie with white paisley design.) I was really looking forward to the Spice Market today, but I didn’t have enough of an appetite to justify it. I stopped by the Earl of Sandwich instead, and had the holiday sandwich. I would put it in the top 5 sandwiches of all time- it had turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberries on it.

    I took a walk through the Miracle Mile shops, and spent most of my time in the Wyland Gallery. They carry works by Chris DeRubeis, which I love to look at. I really enjoy his abstract art. You can view some of it here, but the photos absolutely do no justice to it: http://www.derubeisfineart.com/gal-abstract.html. The colors and depth simply are not picked up by a photograph. While in the shop I met Yuka, who I thoroughly enjoyed talking with.

    Showtime was approaching, so I headed toward the Chi Showroom where Peepshow is performed. When the doors opened, I was one of the first few people in. The room is small enough that there probably isn’t a bad seat, but I did like where I sat. (Section 102, Row I, Seat 14.) I sat in the first row of actual “seats.†Immediately in front of me was a long row of seats that was more like a long couch, and in front of that were tables. What I liked about my seat was that I was higher than the “couch†in front of me, so I didn’t have to look up as high as those closer to the stage did. What I didn’t like was how narrow the seat was! I’m a pretty big guy- fortunately my belly is in front of me, and not on my sides, but I have pretty wide shoulders. The guy on my right was about my size, and the lady who sat on my other side was very big. We were really crammed in there. For the price of the ticket, I would have liked to have been more comfortable. The arms of the seat were kind of high, too. It was just a really odd feeling seat. Once the show started, I enjoyed it. Holly Madison definitely isn’t much of a performer- she’s just kind of “in†the show. She shows up, says a line or 2, and then gets ushered off as the other performers take over. Some of the performers were pretty good. Two ladies in particular really had voices and belted out their songs quite well. The sound in the room wasn’t overwhelming, though. The girls are pretty, and they seemed to enjoy themselves when they performed. There is plenty of skin in this show, so if that offends you… well, I guess you shouldn’t have bought tickets to something called “Peepshow!†There was one scene that involved 3 girls in a tank of milk that made for an interesting visual effect.

    About 20 minutes after the performance was the meet and greet with Holly. They moved everyone down to a specific section near the stage, where you showed your meet and greet ticket and ID for the champagne toast. An employee sold programs from the Peepshow gift shop, which I was happy to see because I didn’t buy anything before the show. Holly arrived wearing a blue Las Vegas track suit. She was very personable, and you actually got to spend a few minutes chatting with her. In addition to whatever item you might have purchased, she also signs an 8x10 glossy photo for you. She mentioned that I was her first “Rory,†and liked my name. :) She asks how you want your photo signed, where you are from, what you are doing in Las Vegas, where you are staying, etc. It was just small talk, but nice. When I told her that I was there for a hostage negotiator’s conference, I really got her attention. (She probably doesn’t hear that one very often.) I probably got more time with her than others did because she was interested in this and asked a lot of questions. Holly is just as pretty in person as she is on TV (her eyes make me melt), and I don’t know what she was wearing, but she smelled like the perfect combination of heaven and sin all in one. :) She also commented on my outfit, so I guess I was looking better than I thought. :) After the show, I went back to Palace Station.


    WEDNESDAY 8th
    My training ended around noon, so I went to check out of Palace Station. Although work had paid for the room 2 months in advance, I had learned of a billing problem when I checked in on Sunday. I had work call and take care of this Monday morning, but when I checked out, the same amount was still showing up as a pending balance. I had to put this amount on my own credit card. I don’t know what the problem is with their billing department, but this was really becoming a pain in the butt. Before leaving, I stopped by The Broiler steakhouse in Palace Station for lunch. I had a $10 coupon to use, which helped with the bill. (Thanks to board member Westie!)

    I grabbed a cab and made my move to Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, where I have stayed before. I was given room #138 on the first floor, which is just 2 doors from the elevator. Very convenient. My window faced the moving walkway in front of Bally’s, and I could see the Bellagio fountains from there. It wasn’t a perfect view, but I could see it, and didn’t pay for the upgraded room with what I guess is a better view of the fountain.

    I checked the half price ticket booth at Bill’s for Amazing Jonathan tickets, but was told they didn’t have that show today. I wandered down to the Harmon Theater to buy a ticket for Amazing Jonathan’s show, but was told it might be canceled tonight. I was told to check back around 6:30pm. When I called back, there was no answer, so I guess the show was canceled.

    Since I was in the area, I popped into the Hard Rock Café on the strip for dinner. Before going upstairs to eat, I saw a leather jacket I liked in the shop. It was a $300 jacket on sale for $200. I tried one on, but couldn’t decide if I should get it or not. I told the employee that I was going to go upstairs to eat, and I’d think about it. He told me if I ate there, he could give me another 20% off if I brought my receipt back. I went upstairs, and they were not busy. The greeter still wanted to seat me at the bar, but I told her that I had been walking a lot and would prefer a table or a booth. I wound up being seated at a tall bar table. :( I was going to ask to be moved, but decided that I wasn’t going to be there for very long, so I stayed put. My waitress was there quickly to take my drink order. I told her that I was pretty thirsty, and I wouldn’t be offended if she brought 2 glasses to save herself a trip. She told me not to worry, and that she’d be around plenty for refills. My food arrived quickly (Tupelo tenders with spicy sauce), but my drink was already dry. The chicken isn’t what I’d call hot, but it does have a spicy kick and I was hoping for a refill pretty soon. 3 large booths got seated beside me, and now my waitress was busy. I started asking other employees for a refill, but they couldn’t do it for some reason. It seemed like my waitress was the only one working, and nobody else could be bothered. I didn’t get a refill until I was about 6 bites away from being finished. Considering that I was thirsty when I arrived and I ordered spicy food, I wasn’t too happy with the service. The food quality was fine, though. The waitress did bring another refill when she dropped off my bill.

    I went back downstairs at the Hard Rock and decided to buy the jacket. The extra 20% dropped the price to $160, so it was a pretty good deal. (Plus I hadn’t brought a coat with me.)

    I started walking the strip, and stopped outside Planet Hollywood. The marquee said there would be a red carpet for a screening of Kevin Spacey’s new movie, “Casino Jack,†at 7:30pm. I decided to check it out. (The red carpet, not the movie.) I thought it would already be packed, but surprisingly, I wound up right against the barricade by the carpet. Kevin Spacey and Holly Madison were the only 2 stars there, and sadly, I really couldn’t get a very good photo of Kevin Spacey. There were 6 paparazzi there, and they were practically shoulder to shoulder. They must have been 6’1â€, and Kevin is only about 5’9â€. I got a couple of pictures of him, but nothing great. Holly interviewed him about his movie following the walk. When this was over, I did my favorite Vegas activity- just walking the strip, people watching. Las Vegas is like a human zoo.


    THURSDAY 9th
    This was my first day to sleep in. I decided to go to the Hash House A Go Go at Imperial Palace for breakfast. I had the French toast with scrambled eggs and crispy potatoes, and it was pretty good. I’m not much of a breakfast eater, so I was stuffed. The best part was watching the four tiny girls at the table next to me freak out over the portion size when their food arrived. They were amazed, and I think I heard an “oh my God, look how much is still left†after every bite.

    I walked north on the strip to the Palazzo, where I tried to buy a 3-day pass on The Deuce. The bus driver said he didn’t sell 3 day passes, and I asked where I could buy one because I saw it advertised on the sign at the bus stand. He simply said, “you can’t buy it on the bus†instead of telling me where to get one. Not too helpful. (I later figured out that some of the bus stops have vending machines for these.) I got off the bus and walked into the casino because I didn’t have exact change for the 24 hour Deuce pass. Once I had change, I grabbed the next Deuce north.

    The bus driver mentioned that the “Pawn Stars†shop was 3 blocks from our next stop, so I decided to check it out. I was glad I did. Despite being crammed full of gawkers, I found a decent deal. I bought 5 space shuttle mission commemorative coins, and they were all relatively old ones. (I have a small collection of these.) I normally have paid about $55 for these coins in the past, and I got all of these for an average of $40 each. Not a bad deal. While I was looking over the coins, they were ushering people out so that they could prepare for filming. I never did see the main guys from the show out on the floor.

    I made my way up to Fremont Street, where I had a poker chip made at one of the vendors. I’ve done this before for friends, and decided to do one for myself. He used the photo of me and Holly Madison from the SD card in my camera for the front of the chip, and it looked pretty good.

    I had done a pretty good amount of walking, so I decided to head back to my hotel and wait for my friends who were driving in from California. A couple of hours later I hopped on The Deuce, rode it to Mandalay Bay, and my friends picked me up there as they were coming into town. (This helped them to avoid some of the strip traffic.)

    We went to Texas de Brazil for dinner, which is a Brazilian steakhouse south of the strip. I enjoy a good Brazilian steakhouse, and this one did not disappoint. I would say their salad bar was better than many Brazilian steakhouses I’ve been to. We were there kind of late, so it wasn’t too busy. The servers were all over us, regardless of whether we were showing the green card (“more meatâ€) or red card (“no more for meâ€). Everyone enjoyed this meal, and I’d happily go back again. It was also nice to be away from the normal strip crowd, too.

    After dinner, we went back to Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall so that my friends could get checked in. They hadn’t slept much the night before, so we played a few slots before they called it a night. I took one more walk up the strip to Walgreen’s, where I picked up some drinks to have in the room. I was tired of walking, so I waited on the bus for 55 minutes. (It was supposed to run every 20 minutes.) I gave up and got a cab.


    FRIDAY 10th
    We got up this morning, and got ready for the folks from Sun Buggy to pick us up. We had breakfast in the Victorian Room at Bill’s, and had plenty of time for them to pick us up. The driver from Sun Buggy was actually about 20 minutes early, so we got a quicker start than we had anticipated.

    We had a great time with the folks at Sun Buggy. If you want something to do that is off the strip, I would highly recommended doing this. We did the 90-minute Mini Baja Chase (http://www.sunbuggy.net/Adventure-The-Vegas-Mini-Baja-Chase-X.sun), and had a ton of fun. We are all racing fans anyway, and most of our vacations usually revolve around something having to do with racing. What you do is try to keep up with the guide, who leads the way through 15,000 acres of sand dunes. We had been told not to worry if we fell behind, because he would come back for us. Being experienced racers, he did not take it easy on us. He opened up a pretty good lead at times, but he couldn’t lose us. I really enjoyed the challenge of keeping up, because it was the first time I had done this kind of driving. After we were done, they shuttled us back to our hotel where we cleaned up and took a walk down the strip.

    We decided to eat at the Earl of Sandwich, which was the second time I had been there… but I didn’t mind, because that holiday sandwich is just that good. :) We played a few slots in each casino we passed as we made our way back to Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall.


    SATURDAY 11th
    We got up slightly early, piled in the truck, and had breakfast at a Pilot/ KFC on our way out of town. Today’s destination: Area 51.

    Being from the Midwest, I love seeing the mountains. My friends from California don’t get it, but mountains are an amazing thing to me. The drive to Rachel, NV is fairly scenic and I enjoyed it. It takes about an hour and a half to get there. Directions to get there are all over the internet, but this is what I used, and it was very accurate: http://www.dreamlandresort.com/maps/directions.html. (We double-checked it on GPS.)

    We stopped for the usual photos- the Extraterrestrial Highway sign, the “black mailbox†(which is white), etc. The mailbox is fun to read- people from Australia, Italy, Singapore, and places I couldn’t read (Asian) had signed it. I added my name to it as well.

    We decided to go to the Little A’Le’Inn for lunch before venturing to the Area 51 gate, because we thought we might get some good advice. Just before the Little A’Le’Inn, the GPS showed something called “Historical Marker Road.†We turned onto this road, and eventually reached a point where we had to park the truck and get out on foot. It seemed like an old mining camp, with several ruins of old cabins, etc scattered around. We never did find the historical marker, but I did (unwisely) crawl into something that looked like an entrance to a mine. I think it was actually just a reinforced room, probably for cold storage of food or something like that. I wouldn't recommend crawling into a place like this, but I'm a big dumb animal, and I'm prone to doing dangerous things. :)

    We had lunch at the Little A’Le’Inn- I had their “famous Alien burger†with chips for $5.50. It was a decent little sandwich for the price, and considering the location, I didn’t exactly have high expectations. What surprised me about this place was how expensive their souvenirs were. I probably would have brought back a bunch of stuff for friends if coffee mugs and magnets didn’t cost an arm and a leg. The folks who work there are really nice, and seem to really love talking with tourists. I gave them one of my police patches to put on the wall. While chatting, we learned from the staff that there was a second gate to Area 51 that we did not know about. Our plan of “lunch first†paid off.

    After lunch, we went about a mile back down Highway 375 to an unmarked dirt road. The GPS identified it as “Anous Mine Road.†We drove for about 8 miles before the road was suddenly paved again, and a short distance away was a gate. There were also 2 guard house buildings, cameras on poles, etc. it looked kind of menacing. There are either sensors in the road or motion sensors near the gate, because when we started getting close the lights on the gate started flashing at us. I don’t know why, but I had a funny little nervous feeling in my stomach. You can’t see any guards or anything like that, but you get a distinct feeling that “I’m not supposed to be here!†We drove to within 15 feet of the gates, and my buddy started to turn the truck around. He said I was “giggling like a schoolgirl†as I rolled down my window to take pictures of the gates and the signs that clearly say “PHOTOGRAPHY OF THIS AREA IS PROHIBITED.†We shot a couple of photos and decided to clear out of the area before someone decided to come out and “check my camera.â€

    We drove back to Highway 375, and went about 19 miles back down the highway to the mailbox. (You can also go to the first road past the mailbox, because it T’s with this road. That road is also unmarked, but it shows up as “51 Road†or “Groom Road†on GPS.) We went about 13 miles down the dirt road before I spotted the first guard truck parked on top of a hill. They were clearly watching us, because each time we came around a curve, we could see that their headlights were pointing right at us. They were turning the truck to watch us, and obviously wanted us to see their lights. I’m not one to get nervous, but I was definitely feeling that way. Something about being near the “most famous secret place in the world†will do that to you.

    When we came around the last bend in the road, we were suddenly right at the “do not cross†line marking the edge of the base. Just like the first gate, the dirt road that (allegedly) leads to nowhere suddenly turned into pavement again. There were signs on each side of the road, orange sticks about every 10 yards from the side of the road marking the perimeter of the base, and of course, the guard truck on the hill. We could see that the guards were watching us with binoculars. I shot a couple of photos from the truck before we turned around. As my buddy started to drive away, I told him to stop. I was not going to drive all the way out there and not be able to say that I got out of the truck! :haha: I jumped out and ran to the front of our vehicle, and immediately saw the guard truck on top of the hill start heading toward us. As I watched it, another truck immediately took its place on top of the hill. NOW I'm DEFINITELY nervous. We couldn’t see the guard shack or anything, so who knows how many were behind that hill. I calmly but quickly started walking back to our vehicle as the guard truck rumbled swiftly down the hill, kicking up dust. I was saying to my buddy, “Let’s go! Put it in gear! They are coming down the hill!†as I got back in. I’m sure they wouldn’t have done anything to us, but there is a really eerie feeling about being that far out in the middle of nowhere, with “men in black†driving toward you in a truck. We stopped less than a mile down the road and everyone got out of the truck. We could still see the guard on the hill as we collected some rocks as souvenirs. (The top-secret military installation doesn’t have a gift shop.) In the end, it was just a drive in the desert to see some signs, but it was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I went. In fact, I’d do it again just to say I did. :) We were treated to a beautiful sunset as we left.

    When we got back to Las Vegas, we went to Fremont Street and rode the zip line. We just did one ride, but it was a lot of fun. They have 3 deals: 1 ride= $20, repeat ride= $15, all day pass= $50. If I was staying downtown, I think I would buy the all day pass. The ride itself takes about 25 seconds, and you get up to about 25mph. The end is almost violent- when I hit the end of the line, I nearly swung upside down! The crowd was cheering as we went overhead. People seem to love watching the zip line riders.

    After the zip line, we went to dinner at the Lotus of Siam. I’ve been to Thailand, and I eat Thai food about once a week. I had very high expectations for this restaurant because it has won many awards, and the chef is said to be the best Thai chef in America. Having said that… the food was good. I would not say that it was great, and I would not say that it was authentic, but it was very good. It seemed to me that this restaurant has done to Thai food what too many restaurants do- they have “Americanized†their food. We ordered 2 appetizers and 3 entrees, and each of us sampled everything. I intentionally ordered Rad Na (aka Pad Rad Na, Pad Rad Nar) because it is my favorite dish. I knew I could make a good comparison to Rad Na that I ate in Thailand, and often eat at my favorite Thai place back home. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the food from Lotus of Siam, and most people would probably really like it, but I would not call it authentic Thai food. What really shocked me is that I ordered it “hot,†and they don’t put peppers in the food! You have to add the heat with some condiments that they bring to your table. This is almost sacrilegious in Thai cooking. Again, don’t get me wrong. The food was tasty, but if you are really into Thai, don’t let the hype of this restaurant get your hopes too high. Two appetizers, three entrees, and three drinks cost us $56, so the price is reasonable.

    I went back to the room and put on my dress clothes again, since it was Saturday night and I was leaving the next day. Might as well look nice and go out with a bang, right? We wandered the strip again, stopping to have drinks and play slots here and there. A waitress in Caesar’s asked if I had just gotten married, which I found quite odd. She said that I looked very nice, and wondered what the occasion was. That’s when my buddy jumped in. He was wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans, sitting at the slot machine right next to me. I didn’t hear the start of the story, but he told her that we were “location scouts†for the TV show “Undercover Boss.†We were allegedly seeing how people were treated based on how they were dressed (him in a t-shirt, me in a silk shirt and tie, etc). The girl had not seen the show, but she talked to one of her waitress friends as she got our drinks. She came back gushing about how cool the show sounded, and asked if we were going to do it there. We told her that we wanted to do a Las Vegas episode, but we didn’t know if we wanted to do a dealer’s job, a server’s job, or a concierge type service. It was a pretty good story- I guess you had to hear it firsthand. :) If nothing else, it was fun trying not to laugh at my buddy. I just kept butting in to say, “This is our problem. We’re not supposed to tell people about this, and he likes to tell everyone.†Her response was, “So you must be the smart one. Are you his boss?†:haha:


    SUNDAY 12th
    I got a late checkout at Bill’s. Despite having a late checkout and having the do not disturb sign on the door, housekeeping knocked twice and told me to “call the front desk.â€

    I stored my stuff in my friend’s room, and we went to the Spice Market buffet for the Sunday champagne brunch. It took about 30 minutes to get in since it was noon, but considering the number of people there, that was not bad at all. They had my favorite item on the buffet- buffalo shrimp. I had a few plates of this, and enjoyed every bite. When my buddy tried it he said the shrimp was cold. He must have gotten an odd spoonful or something, because mine was warm and good. The lasagna from the Italian bar was pretty good, too.

    There were some issues with my flight back home on Southwest. With all of the snow in the Midwest my flight had disappeared, changed, and then the flight re-appeared. Then we had 2 gate changes. They offered a $300 voucher plus the cost of the departing flight ($139 for me) if anyone wanted to bump to tomorrow night’s flight, and I almost took them up on it. Indianapolis was one of the few Midwest airports still open, and I decided that flying back the next day might be even worse. Much to my surprise, we arrived in Indianapolis 5 minutes early. There were a lot of people sleeping in the Indianapolis airport, because all of their destination airports were snowed shut. I was fortunate to make it home on time.

    So, there you have it... the full trip report. Hope it wasn't too painful!

    I HAVE ADDED PHOTOS IN THE REPLIES TO THIS THREAD.
     
  2. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

    Joined:
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    Good start. Or, at least a good start to the TR...I hope you get your room cleaned a little better today!

    May I suggest that you use different posts for each of your entries, rather than updating your original one? That way, we will know if/when you’ve made the new entry. Plus, it can be kind of a pain to have to go through the original post trying to find out where you left off last time. Just my two cents. :peace:
     
  3. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    anglo american in Tampa
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    No – please leave it in one thread. Fragmented trip reports are difficult to follow – even more so if they drop off the front page.


    @ “thecarve†To find the latest posts just click on the green square with the small down arrow next to the thread title – this will take you to the first unread post in the thread!! It’s a far easier way to navigate that remember which part of 6 different posts you last read! :thumbsup:

    nice start to the report - looking forward to the rest of it!
     
  4. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    That's not what he means. what thecarve is suggesting is to post updates as a new post in this thread (thus bumping the thread up), as opposed to just updating the first post.
     
  5. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    Oh I see!

    My bad – sorry – that’s what I get for trying to read it while I should be working!!
     
  6. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    pretty entertaining stuff! the lady on the plane was hilarious, she must have thought you were half way to Mumbai!

    almost as entertaining is the debate over the format of the trip report.:evillaugh
     
  7. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    My update for Monday has been added to the first post in this thread.

    I'll make a short post like this when I update 1) to keep the entire report together, and 2) so people can see when there is something new. Hopefully that will satisfy both sides. :)
     
  8. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Great stuff so far, I'm glad you mentioned that Penn and Teller hang out after the show, it's one of my favorite things about them in that they are extremely gracious, pose for pictures, autographs and have no issues engaging anyone after a show, it's extremely refreshing.
     
  9. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Great TR so far...:thumbsup:
     
  10. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    I'm enjoying your report. The Feast used to be very good, but my recent two trips reflect your findings.
     
  11. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    Palace station photos

    Sorry, guys. I got distracted while in Vegas, and didn't do the nightly updates as I had planned. I did keep some notes though, and I have updated the report. I think it is done. :) I'll attach a few photos in replies to this thread.

    These photos are from my room at Palace Station (Room #11009).
     
  12. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    Bill's Gamblin' Hall photos

    These photos are from my room at Bill's Gamblin' Hall (Room #138).

    One thing I love about this room is the amount of floor space. You aren't constantly walking around the end of the bed or a desk or a chair. It has 4 wooden chairs- the only thing I'd change is to give up a couple of those, and add a more comfortable lounging chair.
     
  13. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    Penn & Teller

    A couple of pics from the Penn & Teller show.
     
  14. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    Holly Madison's Peepshow

    A few photos from Holly Madison's Peepshow.
     
  15. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    SunBuggy.net dune buggy racing

    Some pics from our Mini Baja Experience with the folks from www.SunBuggy.net.
     
  16. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    Area 51 photos

    Photos from our trip to Rachel, NV and the gates of Area 51- the most famous secret place in the world!

    The Extraterrestrial Highway, the famous "black mailbox" (which has been painted white), and the Little A'Le'Inn diner.
     
  17. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    Area 51- Anous Mine Road gate

    The gate to Area 51 on Anous Mine Road.

    I photoshopped the second one so that you can read the signs by the gate.
     
  18. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    Area 51- Groom Road gate

    The boundary of Area 51 on Groom Road (aka 51 Road), and the guard trucks mentioned in the trip report.

    The first photo is our first real glimpse of the Area 51 security force.

    The second photo shows the boundary of Area 51, but there is no actual gate here. Notice how it changes from a dirt road to a paved road again as you enter the base? The third photo is a close-up view of one of the signs.

    In the fourth photo, you can see the passenger in the guard truck looking at me with binoculars. Notice there is just one truck in this photo.

    In the last photo, you can see the first guard truck that started heading toward us when I got out of our vehicle- it is at the crest of the roadway on the hill. Right behind it a second truck has pulled up to take the first one's place.
     
  19. sulobo

    sulobo Low-Roller

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    Great report . I read about 80% of it and skimmed the rest. I was looking for gambling report. I can't even walk through or by a casino without putting at least a 20 in a machine. (LOL)
    Then again I don't come home with nice leather jackets from Hard Rock.
     
  20. RoryGentry

    RoryGentry Tourist

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    I'm not really a gambler. We would sit down at a slot machine to take a rest and get a drink, and mostly chat.
     
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