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Do you remember your first trip to Vegas??

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by VegasDiva, Oct 12, 2015.

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  1. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    This month will mark my first trip to Vegas Halloween weekend 2005...... I had not been to Vegas since 1973, prior to that!
    jam packed times Heres some highlights


    Two gal pals and I decided we should go and we did ~ had a blast

    Left Friday Oct 28 , left Monday Oct 31
    Stayed at the then Imperial Palace!
    first meal in vegas was the buffett (never ate there again lol)
    saw Barry Manilow at the then LVH
    I think we hit every casino from Mandalay Bay to Riviera
    including the Stardust - I loved the marquee
    and the New Frontier!

    since then I've been back the following trips

    Sept 2006- took daughter for her 21st ~ 3 NIGHTS
    saw Crazy Girls, stayed off strip and BW Mardi Gras

    Nov 2007~ 6 NIGHTS with 4 gal pals, also did a quick trip to the west rim /skywalk of Grand Canyon
    stayed at Flamingo and MBay , saw Mama Mia

    Oct 2008- 5 nights with a gal pal ~
    stayed at Harrahs comp'd , saw Bette Midlar and Phantom of the opera
    day trip to Laughlin

    2009- two trips
    June /July ~ 50th bday trip with a gal pal ~ 4NIGHTS stayed at MBay and Flamingo ~ saw Lion King was put up in a 2bdrm suite at MB all comp'd ,
    Nov ~ 5 NIGHTS ~with husband (his only trip , he doesn't like to fly lol) ~ stayed MB and Paris ~ saw Jersey Boys ~i'd love to get him back , he really enjoyed Vegas

    Jan 2011~ 5 NIGHT~ gal pal ~ stayed at CP and Bellagio (both comp'd) ~
    saw Divas and Human Nature

    May 2012~5 Nights again same gal pal ~ stayed at Harrahs and Bellagio (both comp'd) ~
    saw Mob Experience at the Tropicana (now gone) ~ saw the motown show in PH mall ~ HItzville

    Feb 2014 ~ 5 nights , same gal pal ~ stayed at harrahs and at Cosmo (comp'd) - had suite overlooking the fountains
    Saw Jersey Boys again (at Paris) and Raiding the rock Vault (my fav show EVER ) at LVH /Westgate

    Jan 2015- gal pal again, ~ and harrahs and NY NY both comp'd
    saw Elton John , and Raiding the Rock Vault (at Tropicana now) and Australian Bee Gees at Excalibur (good show)

    April 2015 ~ different gal pal (her 2nd trip to Vegas , first was 2008)
    Stayed at NY NY and Harrahs (comp'd)
    I had gotten comp'd tickets to Elton again! so took her as she loves him ..... we also saw Raiding the Rock Vault, and jersey boys
    did the Bellagio Tea at Petrussian Bar , saw the Secret Garden at the Mirage, saw Big Elvis, saw Mac King and Piano Bar at NY NY , Paris and Harrahs


    in the past 10 years the strip has changed so much ..... always evolving and rebranding ........
    we now have City Centre , my first trip still had the Boardwalk hotel there!
    Monte Carlo /NY NY is changing withthe new arena
    High Roller has been added with the changes in the Linq

    Palazzo was just being built on my first trip
    Stardust / New Frontier still there , now only a shell of a new building remain
    Riv was still there
    Sahara was stilll there

    I've not been downtown since 2009 trip with hubby
    so can't comment on any changes there

    I know many of you started going to Vegas several years before me
    and some are just on a first trip!

    It's always a fun time! at least for me
    a nice balance of gambling , peoplewatching, shows, food and just R n R time
    I'm jonesing for another trip! hopefull next Spring and the Cdn dollar will not be as brutal with the USA dollar !
    Enjoy your trips everyone
     
  2. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    Coming up on 10 years since my first trip of the "modern" era (my wife and I took our honeymoon there in Oct 2005, that had been my first trip since 1989).

    In 1989...
    Stayed at Imperial Palace
    Saw Louis Anderson and Marilyn McCoo at the Desert Inn
    Got married at Las Vegas Wedding Gardens (that marriage, by the way, didn't last the year)
    Ate at Primavera at Caesars Palace for our wedding dinner
    Saw some sort of La Cage type show at Riviera (free tickets from sitting through a time share presentation)
    Went to Hoover Dam
    Had a buffet dinner at the Dunes
    Took the city bus to Wet and Wild

    In 2005...
    Stayed at the Sahara
    Saw Fremont Street Experience for the first time
    Took a brunch cruise on Lake Mead, then went on Hoover Dam tour
    Saw Tournament of Kings at Excalibur
    Saw Mamma Mia! at the Mandalay Bay
    Ate at The Steak House at Circus Circus
    Went to the top of the Stratosphere while it was raining. Buckets were all over the indoor observation deck
    Walked through the M&M Store and Coca-Cola Stores like they were the neatest things in the world (and haven't been back to either in 13 subsequent trips!)
    Sahara Av at Las Vegas Blvd was flooded for a day while we were there
     
    Super Bowl with my son
    2017 USBC Open Championships
  3. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Coming up on my 10th or 11th year and 10th or 11th trip (I can't remember). I went w/my middle sister the first time - Sahara on either a Vegas.com or Expedia deal. Subsequent trips found us frequenting Excalibur the most, but also MGM, Monte Carlo, Rio, Mirage, Vdara, whatever that timeshare is by South Point, and Mirage (not in that order). About the third trip or so we added in my baby sister. And two or three trips later, my middle sister's friend got hooked. This next trip it's back to the three of us (so was last year's trip and the year before) and it's also another new hotel for us - The Linq. Every trip is different, but never a dull moment.
     
  4. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    1986. with a buddy of mine and we still try to do a Vegas trip every year since 2002..

    Vegas World deal that cost $185 IIRC with $500 free play and open bar..(Just sign room # on reciept) Just crazy as we were AC vets already and no VP bars yet to get comped.
    That fact and also some additional intoxicants brought along made it a funass trip..Having drinks on a half-full fight to LV from Newark and smoking allowed,chatting with a FA.
    We hit all the casinos in walking distance and also cabbed down to Barbary Coast and that area.

    I remember walking across the CaesarsPalace parking lot to the casino (I think where they used to hold the big events)
    Vegas world was undergoing constuction/renovation I belive now was for the Strat and one night security went room to room to hand out flashlights as the power was going to be off..

    Being on a real low budget was lucky enough to pad the bankroll a bit with a 3 team Basketball parlay that paid under $200 but a big boost...
    Just a blast to see all the different games going on as AC still does not have that action..And the board all lit up in a sportsbook wow

    One night looking for some food we saw the sign for the GoldenSteer and had the best meal ever..Really needed it after running on fumes..
    Flight back home on National cancelled,ended up at Laguardia about midnight and found a driver to take us to Newark lot...Cheap $100 or so...
    Don't think I had a drink for a couple weeks after so many Coors...
    But Thanks Bob Stupak for the trip!
     
  5. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    I dont' remember Vegas World!

    last time I saw the Dunes, was in 1973
     
  6. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    Back when I used to blog, I wrote a six part series about the evolution of Las Vegas. It began with my recollection of my very first visit in 1988. Sorry it's so long.

    I first experienced Las Vegas while passing through on my way from Denver to Los Angeles. I had just turned twenty one and I was flat broke. My younger brother had an available bedroom in his apartment in Southern California and had invited me to come and start a new life. Real estate was booming in California and I quickly landed a job shuffling mortgage paperwork for a bank in Costa Mesa, California while I was still living in Denver. On a July afternoon, I loaded up my convertible with what few possessions I had and hit the road.

    My mom had booked a room for me in a motel that she had seen from her hotel window during past trips to Las Vegas, and it had looked clean to her. I drove all night long through the Utah desert and arrived in Las Vegas just before noon the next day. I hauled my worldly possessions - a television and a microwave - upstairs to my motel room to keep them from being stolen, and passed out from exhaustion. Several hours later, I woke up refreshed and ready to see what I could see of Last Vegas that night, knowing I had to hit the road in the morning. I had a new job to start on Monday and I still had three hundred miles to drive.

    With less than a hundred dollars to my name, I couldn’t afford to gamble. But I had never been in Las Vegas before, so I had to try at least once didn’t I? I made my way down to the motel’s small casino where there were about twenty slot machines to choose from. It seemed that no two were alike. The whole process of gambling intimidated me, but I assumed that I would need to buy a roll of quarters from the cashier. The universal ease of playing a slot machine had not been lost on me.

    I made my way to a slot machine and begin inserting quarters and pulling the handle. Within a few pulls, three red 7’s appeared on behind the glass. I had hit a jackpot! A large casually dressed woman sidled over to me to tell me that she had been playing that machine all weekend and asked if she could borrow a few dollars of my jackpot. I declined and put all my quarters into a plastic bucket so the cashier could change them into folding money. I walked out of the little casino with eighty or ninety dollars that I didn’t have just moments before! I was all alone and surrounded by neon. I felt grown up – invigorated – excited by the possibilities of the night. Who knew what I would see and experience?

    I walked toward the Strip from the motel. In those days, the Strip was much smaller, but seemed even more out of place against the suburban streets that surrounded it than it does today. The whole city had maybe 400,000 residents. Any building that was more than ten stories tall looked mammoth compared to the surrounding small suburban structures.

    When I reached the corner of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, I was like a deer in headlights – neon headlights. The buildings themselves were not particularly impressive; but the marquees were a sight to see! The Dunes sat on the site where the Bellagio stands today. Its marquee must have been twenty stories tall. The whole thing was lined in red neon whose bulbs were illuminated in succession making the lights appear to snake up the sign's humongous support beams ending at a point at the top shaped somewhat like a spade on a playing card.

    The top of the marquee advertised the showroom’s latest topless review. It had a name that exuded electricity, excitement and burlesque – all in two words. The show producer’s name was proudly displayed over the show’s name as if that would make it even more compelling to come and see the show. I had never heard of this show’s producer but I was sure that everyone else had.

    There were no pedestrian bridges allowing people to stroll slowly from casino to casino, just throngs of people and cars all converged on the same intersection. All of the people were very enthusiastic and you could tell there was something different about this crowd. Cars and people jostled through the intersection seeing which group could push the other out of the way. The lights of the marquees danced and sang. Bally’s, The Dunes, The Flamingo Hilton, and Caesars Palace all jockeyed for position enticing customers with food, drink, shows, and loose slots. There was a charge in the air that was palpable. There was an unspoken promise being whispered to my subconscious by all that surrounded me; a promise of earthly pleasures and excitement just waiting to be plucked as easily as picking up a penny from the ground.

    Encouraged by my recent good fortune, I succumbed to the Dunes’ enticing marquee and walked into the closest annex of the Dunes casino, an extension of the main casino called the “Dunes Oasis”. Later, I heard locals refer to it as the Dunes “O’anus”, but it was the first time I’d ever seen the inside of a large casino so it was exciting to me. The entrance to the casino was flanked by neon palm trees. The vibrant carpet inside was dizzying. In years to come, I often wondered whose job it was to look at a swatch of wildly colored carpet, and proclaim with confidence, “We’ll take three acres of the pink and orange stuff.”

    Each side of the main walkway was lined with gaming tables. I stood looking at the top of one of them, trying to understand the layout. There were no other players. The dealer could tell that I was apprehensive so she said that she would be happy to teach me to play. Nervously, I followed her instructions and plunked down a few dollars to exchange for chips. The table minimum was $3.00, but I bravely sat down at the table anyway, putting myself in the dealer’s hands. I don’t remember now whether I won or lost, but either way it was fascinating and I had finally had the chance to sit at a real blackjack table and play! I left the Oasis with renewed confidence and made my way toward the big daddy of them all – Caesars Palace.

    Though gigantic by its neighbors’ standards, in these days, Caesars only had one gaming area with tables. There was also a high limit slot area, some less expensive slots scattered around, and of course their famous newly built sports book with its theater sized screens. The whole place was much smaller than what is considered today to be a casino aimed at local players.

    The main gaming area was a round room, which still exists today I believe. The ceiling had rows of crystals hanging in lines that met in the center of the room’s opulent domed ceiling. The dealers all wore medallions with the likeness of an emperor on them. Some of the customers wore these medallions as well, but only a few. It was immediately understood that to wear one these medallions meant that you were a VIP – an invited guest of the casino.

    There were dozens of gorgeous cocktail waitresses working the crowd, all wearing what appeared to be roman togas that were cut short to show off their shapely legs. The head of each cocktail waitress was crowned with a perfectly matched cone-shaped wig whose end supported a long strand of hair that hung down to the waitresses’ shoulders.
    Betting minimums at Caesars Palace were higher than at the Dunes. The lowest I could find was an astronomical $5.00 per hand or spin of the wheel. I was far too nervous to play blackjack here, but I was intrigued by the roulette wheel. I understood nothing about the game, but I was sure that if I bet on red or black that I could feign confidence. I placed a few dollars on the table and was handed a few $5.00 chips. I put one of the chips on black and surveyed the other players.

    The other players were dressed so elegantly. One older man and his wife looked like they had come from a black tie function. She wore an aqua full-length evening dress and had taken great pains to match her eye shadow. Carefully created grey curls hung down in front of her bejeweled ears. The other players bet wildly spreading their brightly colored chips all over the center of the table. Somehow, the croupier managed to straighten up everyone’s chips before the roulette ball fell into a slot on the wheel. While the players waited breathlessly, most puffed away on complementary cigarettes they had just plucked from a large highly polished wooden box that was kept full by the casino.

    The ball fell and bounced around the wheel before coming to rest in a black slot. Some players whooped while others remained quiet and stone faced. The mounting tensions was too much for me to handle so I scooped up my two $5.00 chips and made my way to the cashier’s cage

    The next morning I left for my new home in California. But my I now had a soft spot in my heart for Las Vegas. It was a place of unrivaled unreality, yet at the same time it was very real. It was an escape from the everyday where anyone could feel exuberant and glamorous – even become someone else for a few days, perhaps a Roman Emperor.
     
  7. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    September 17-21, 2009. I was 22.

    6 am flight from Toronto with a layover in Chicago. Got to Vegas around noon. I had been up all night for a buddies birthday and my dad picked up my buddy and I (both half drunk) at 3:00 am to go to the airport. Arrived in Vegas, took a shuttle to PH which obviously too the back way into PH. Had ZERO idea where to go or what to do, I was just going to Vegas because I loved to drink and loved to gamble, so it seemed like the place to go!

    I remember stepping outside onto harmon street from PH (and this was before they expanded the miracle mile and before Aria was built) and the only hotel I saw was the Polo Towers and sort of MGM in the distance. I remember saying to my buddy "the Vegas strip isn't nearly as cool as I thought it would be." Eventually we found Las Vegas Boulevard and I have been in love ever since. Things I most remember about that trip:

    O'Sheas (the old one). I probably spent 80% of my trip inside there, eating Burger King 3-4 times a day. God I loved that place.

    Drinking on the street. I remember how sketched out we were about doing it for the first time. We must have asked 100 people if it was alright before we finally did it. By the end of the trip I had taken a pic, beer in hand, with a cop on the street.

    Planet Hollywood. Loved the vibe in the casino and still do. If the LINQ didn't exist, it would definitely be where I stay every trip. The Pleasure Pit was (and still is) amazing and I loved the miracle mile. I had Cheeseburger Las Vegas and Blondies on my first trip and have eaten there all 10 trips now. PH also had me with the promotion we booked under: one large bottle of booze per night. We ended up taking a couple home.
     
  8. bdautch

    bdautch High-Roller

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    1993. I was a young naive hick. Hell, I even had a respectable complexion. The worst part, in retrospect, was that I stayed with my mom who lived in Henderson. The best part was that she left for work at 7 am, and told me to have her car back by that time. I pulled in around 6:58, all disheveled and buttons mis-buttoned and what not. She took one look at me, her mouth opened three quarters of the way, and I just tossed her the keys and went to bed. I woke up as she arrived back home after work.
     
  9. LV2GAMBLE

    LV2GAMBLE Low-Roller

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    Our 1st trip was for my 40th birthday, and it was just a couple months after 911 (December 2001). Made me scared to fly!! We stayed at the old Imperial Palace because it was kind of cheap and we didn't know any better. We had 4 kids at home so our budget was pretty small, we we really didn't know what to expect. The spouse spend their allowance in 2.5 days of our 4-day trip, so that was a bummer.
    But, we had fun and went back again the next year because we got some great rates. AND.....of course we were hooked. Took a few years off as the kids got a little older but, we've regained our freedom now that our kids are all adults, and are debt free. Now we do Vegas 2-3 times a year and look forward to it every time. Counting down.......tick.tock..
     
    Always seems so far away............
  10. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    It was years agi before mirage , excal and luxor if that gives you a time frame.

    On that corner there was no mgm, only the trop and what ever I dont recall where nyny is.

    It was hot and took forever walking between casinos.

    They would make you dump out your beer if you came in with one. security was right there at the door to make sure you didnt pull a fast one.

    Parking lots in the front of casinos but really dudnt help much if you were drunk and walking.

    Fremont street was so far away you didnt even think about it.

    You hear all this talk of the glory days in old vegas but this is what the reality was like. Sure, a steak dinner was $2.99 but you only made $800 a month take home so its not like they were giving it away.

    the slots were coin in so you had to chanhe your money once you went in and there was no cards to track your play.

    You might get noticed at the tables but you have to think that a $5 table back then was a decent amount of gaming so that was the only way to get noticed.

    They did have free cigs at the black jack tables so that was a benny.

    The tip for cocktails was $1. so do the math.

    No really super cheap rooms, decent room prices but thats about it.
     
  11. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Yup, stayed at mgm, 2000 super bowl nyg/balt. My uncle had a 2 bedroom suite. Ate at brown derby a bunch of times for dinner, went to the sb party, was on vivren most of the trip, went to studio 54 and gambled my ass off (tons of let it ride). Great times.
     
  12. mdk63

    mdk63 Tourist

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    Oh 'ya.

    Was moving from the frigid upper Midwest to L.A. in August heat. Spent the night in some flea bag motel near strip not knowing any better. I took a whopping $20 bankroll and $10 for drinking as I was on extremely limited budget. Played $2 Blackjack and drank beer after beer never up or down more than $10 bucks at "Silver City" or some small place like that. Cashed out at $30 and went to a craps table and went on miracle "Craps Virgin" run having no idea what was going on. Boxman yelling at me, table got real crowded and I really don't know anything about the game except to not throw 7's once you make the point. Someone taught me how to play the come and soon I had bets all over the table.

    Walked away with $850 in green and red chips (couldn't get an accurate count, too drunk) or more that I never colored up on as I didn't know you could do that. My pockets were stuffed and I emptied them in disarray at the cashier's cage.

    Vegas got it's $850 back over the years, but that was a great "hook" to get me to come back again and again.
     
  13. Shaunny11

    Shaunny11 Tourist

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    December 1990 and we stayed at The Barbary Coast. My parents took me for my birthday and I wasn't of age but that didn't stop me. I loved it from the time I stepped off the plane and I didn't go as frequently throughout my 20's but have made many many trips since. My first show was Jubilee and at the time it was amazing to me. Walking the strip and seeing all the lights and the action had me hooked. I won on what seemed to be every Red White and Blue machine I touched...haven't really won since lol. I remember going over to The Dunes for $1 hot dog and beer I think it had to be after 1 am?? Funny the little things we remember.
     
  14. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    I was about 23. Stayed at NYNY with a male friend who was my "date" for a wedding, the reason I came. I was a bridesmaid and it was a classic case of people marrying too young. It was a cheesy but festive affair at Excalibur. They were separated after less than a year. My "date" never even showed up for the ceremony. To this day I suspect he decided to play poker instead but he had some other lame excuse. I had $40 to my name and fortunately the bride was covering all meals for her broke ass bridesmaids. Stayed drunk the entire weekend and remember very little of it, but came back a few months later with friends who were attending a wedding where... You guessed, the couple broke up less than a year later.

    Mr. K. and I were married in Vegas, but we decided the key to not getting the Vegas wedding curse was to do it up classic style. Little White Wedding Chapel, no guests. It's worked so far!
     
  15. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    1997, I was 13. We were taking a family trip to Disney Land and stopped in Vegas for like half a day on the drive there. I never seen anything like it before and loved it, even at a young age I knew it was a place I had to visit again.
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I remember my first Las Vegas trip (1970s) almost as if yesterday.

    On all of my trips, I think I'm still looking for that first trip.

    I haven't found it.

    But I've had a great time looking for it! :)
     
  17. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    1973 and I was 14 enroute to Disneyland , too!
    Like you , I got caught up in the glitz, the neon, the bright lights
    never made it back til 2005!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Awesome stories everyone!
    Thanks for sharing

    :)
     
  18. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Very first trip was in 1979...but it doesn't really count... played machines at the Flamingo for a few hours & got a plane back to Houston.
    First overnight was in 1981...me and the maintence guy at work flew out there, stayed in a "barracks" cinder-block room at the rear of the Stardust...$19/night total room cost. Played mostly 4-deck blackjack at the Stardust. Smoked cigarettes from out of the little plastic tray at every blackjack table (half Marlboro...half Salems in those trays.)
    Ate all of our meals at Toucan Harry's. Played 7-stud at The Marina... actually won! Lost playing blackjack. After coming back home, I started the process of learning basic strategy & learning how to count...

    Strip hotels that weren't there yet?
    Manadalay, Monte Carlo, Luxor, the new MGM, Excalibur, Bellagio, Mirage, TI, Harrah's, PH, Aria, Wynn/Encore, Venetian.

    Hotels that were there but aren't anymore?
    Marina, Sands, Dunes, Castaways, Barbary Coast, the Holiday, Silver Slipper, Silver City, Alladin, Desert Inn, Frontier, Westward Ho, Riv (of course), Vegas World, Landmark, and my beloved Stardust (RIP :cry: ).
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  19. rvallez6

    rvallez6 Low-Roller

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    That's funny, reminds me of something from my first trip. I flew in my first time with my wife and my brother and his wife drove in. Along the way they came across a strip of casinos (not sure exactly where this was), but he was saying how underwhelmed he was of Las Vegas until he realized it wasn't Vegas at all. Once he did finally arrive, he was blown away, as I was.
     
  20. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I remember a lot of details but not all of them.

    First trip was early June, 2005. Stayed at Monte Carlo with a childhood friend, and a buddy of his. Rollaway bed.

    Had some sort of ridiculous cash budget of about $400 for everything (gambling, eating, fun).

    Ate mostly at buffets (Flamingo and Monte Carlo), and MC food court.

    Saw a few burlusque shows. Crazy Horse Paris (think it was called La Femme or something then), and I think Bite (that may have been 2007) and a show in Desert Passage (think it was X burlesque)

    Blew through the bankroll on the last night playing blackjack too late, and ended up killing time the last day waiting for my flight. The main thing that struck me the last day was not that I was out of gambling money, but that absent that, and absent the buddies I had followed around, I had very little idea what there was to see or do on my own. They left early and I was flying back on the red-eye, and I was in one of the most fun places in the world looking for ways to kill time with no idea what my options were.

    Took a lot of lessons from that trip

    1) I love vegas
    2) Gambling bankroll and spending money separate.
    3) Budget gaming per day if your plan is to be gaming each day.
    4) Sometimes its time to call it a night
    5) Plan ahead, do some research and don't rely on others to be your tour guide. Not fair to them or helpful to you.
     
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