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Downtown & the Strip November TR

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by kim2vegas, Dec 5, 2008.

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  1. kim2vegas

    kim2vegas Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    November 20th-26th 2008: Las Vegas!

    Please bear with me as I have never written a trip report before; I enjoyed reading them so much on this board before my trip, I thought it was only proper to pass on the favor so that some of you may find some helpful tips in my TR!

    The flight to LV: We got a great deal on travelocity from Tampa to LV for $580 including tax total for Steve & I. The flight was uneventful... but LONG as always. We had a layover in Atlanta and the Atlanta to LV flight was a bit delayed. I was going out to Vegas with a badly sprained ankle from the week before; I had a lovely big, black "boot" (air cast) that went from just below my knee covering my foot; because of this... we got great bulk head seating on both legs of the trip out there! And... the flight had the in-seat TVs so we were able to watch some shows & play some in-flight trivia on the way to Vegas!

    Arrival: Our bags came quickly! (this may have been in part that we were a bit slow to get to the baggage claim. I had to stop and adjust- re-velcro- my cast and then I was kind of a slow walker) My air cast helped again in the cab line... man, was it long! An airport worker saw my cast and let us cut in line and go straight to a taxi! Wow... what good luck this cast was bringing! ;) at this point it was 9:30pm Vegas time... after midnight FL time.

    First 3 nights stay: We stayed at the Golden Nugget downtown. This was the first time that Steve & I had stayed downtown. We were very excited! We had a great deal $59 Thursday night, $69 Fri & Sat night for a North (nicer!) tower king/non-smoking room. Our room was great- but geez... that is the smallest safe ever! And... it was broken. We called maintenance, they came up within 15 minutes to fix it! Yeah! We can go have a drink and look around now! We walked around the casino to see where the table games were, poker room, looked at the slots, etc. We wanted to sign up for the players club card. We got in line, but no one was there... hmmm... Ok, Steve you go to the bar & get us a beer. I will stand in line and wait. There were about 5 of us in line for a good 15 minutes... no one showed up. No sign, nothing. We asked a pit boss... oh, they close at 11pm. Well, go figure. Beer in hand, we decided the players card could wait until tomorrow and we hit a 1cent slot machine. That is one thing that we both noticed this trip... there were sooooo many more 1cent slots than we remember seeing last year. [​IMG]

    Steve got tired about an hour later (he had worked that day until we left for the airport, I had taken the day off) and went up to bed around 12:30 Vegas time...3:30am FL. I was on a roll hitting for $20 here and $15 here so I decided to stay down a bit longer. When I finally called it a night, I was up about $90! Sweet! (FYI... we are not high rollers. We take money to gamble with and when that is gone, it is gone... our entertainment for the week!)

    We both woke up to the construction noise around 7am. Yuck... who wants to wake up to that? Oh well, we were in Vegas- glad to be up! We had a coupon for $5 off the buffet at the Nugget, we went to eat breakfast there. It was OK. not great, but not bad.

    After breakfast we walked around Freemont a bit; we went over to Binions, over to the 4Qs and just wandered until we made our way to Walgreens. We needed to pick up some lotion and a few other toiletries. Unfortunately, Steve had to work some this trip... he brought his laptop & had the hotel phone :( Boo! Who schedules a deadline the Monday after Thanksgiving? Regardless... Steve left me at the Fitz to play some and went back to work at the hotel room. I like the Fitz, however their drink service in the back is terrible. I just wanted a diet coke. Oh well, I finally moved up to the 1cent slotland closer to the front- a server found me! And... so did my lucky streak! I was playing off of winnings... and won again; I put some back in and by the time I met up with Steve for lunch, I was up total for the trip $140!

    Truthfully, I can not remember where we ate lunch. After we ate (assuming that we did eat...) we took a trip down to El Cortez. I had never been there and neither had Steve; I was excited about $0.25 roullette! It is definitely an interesting place. No flashing doors that are open saying come in, play here... in fact, we almost didn't know if we were opening the right doors! We walked around a bit, signed up for the players card (geez... I think this entire trip we came home with a nice tote bag (4Queens) 12 decks of cards and a couple of pictures of us with a million bucks (binions). We got some $10 slot play here and there as well, but nothing big for signing up) We played some slots for a bit... hey... they claimed they were "looser"... I think there was an extra o in that... I was a loser at the slots at El Co. So was Steve, although less of a loser than me. Steve went to play Craps, I hit the roullette table. $0.25 chips, $1 minimums... fun! I put down a 20 and got my huge stack of chips. The most interesting character sat next to me... interesting is subjective. He basically covered every number with chips... very random and his "system" was to put the chips down on numbers that you do NOT want to hit, wait for the dealer to throw the ball, then you place your REAL bets. Ha! fooled the dealer & the casino! Needless to say, this system was not working out for him well this day. He was down $350 at $0.25 chip table. Yikes. Not to worry, he explained, yesterday he won $700. He plays everyday. All day. "Who can be expected to live on unemployment. It will not pay my bills, so I play roullette." Hmm. Well, I will leave my thoughts to myself on that one. Needless to say I was entertained, if not a bit saddened, by my company at the roullette table. I ended up playing for an hour, walking away about $7 up after tipping.

    We headed back under the canapoy and went to Binions. Steve went to check out the poker room, I took some pictures. Wow, I really liked the look of Binions. We both signed up for the players club and got two pictures taken with the stacks of $1million. They are cute pictures! If I remember to scan them, I will post a link. Steve decided that he would play poker here later in the evening. We were getting hungry, and went to the coffee shop at the Vegas Club. We had a 2-4-1 hamburger coupon. My goodness- that was a good hamburger! Really... and HUGE!!!! We played at the Vegas club for a bit and then went out and watched the overhead lights for one show. I was more impressed this year than last with the FSE lightshow... I do not know why, maybe just better music this year? [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Steve went to play poker and I went to find some slots. I was still playing on winnings, although with every random $20 in a slot with no return, it was dwindling! We called it an early night after a couple of drinks while playing. We were both in bed before midnight Friday night.

    Saturday we woke up and decided to go to Binions café for breakfast, we quickly changed our minds after looking at the line. We ended up at another buffet… I want to say the 4Qs, but I can not remember. It was good. I wish I could remember which casino it was in! After breakfast, we walked around a bit and played some slots and took some more pictures. We went to lunch at the big Pint restaurant/bar (I forget the name) on Freemont outside of the canopy. You can not miss the place, the pint glass is 8 stories tall at least. I had purchased a $25 gift certificate on restaurants.com for $2; our total for an appetizer, two lunches & three beers was a whopping $14 +tip! Great deal. Good food. We then took a cab to our 2pm reservation at the Neon Boneyard tour! It is about a mile walk from downtown, however with my ankle, even in the boot, we decided to cab it. The Neon Boneyard was interesting. There are hundreds of old neon signs from all around Vegas in a chain link fenced in dirt lot. Well… two different dirt lots. We learned a bit of Vegas history and took some great pictures of an old wedding chapel sign, the old Nugget sign, we saw the StarDust letters (HUGE! Each single letter is taller than Steve) and more. I really enjoyed this tour and it was a nice break from the casinos. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    After the tour, we cabbed it back to downtown. We started making our way towards Main Street Station for our “meet-up” that I had posted with the hopes of meeting some people from the boards. We had never been to MSS. It was neat and I loved the old wood in the casino and bar. We hopped up to the 777 Brew Pub bar and got a beer. I got the light brew, Steve drank the ale. No one from the boards ended up coming, but we met a nice guy that lived in Vegas who talked us into eating dinner there! Wow… it was great! I had the BIGGEST… it looked like I had only had a bite when I was done, but I swear I ate! Bowl of black bean soup; we had gotten their garlic fries for an appetizer, yummy! After dinner and another beer, we decided to drop a $20 in the slots. No luck. I was now back to even, done playing with the casinos money. Boo! But, expected!

    We stopped by the Cal, quickly lost money at craps. We then opted to try Bingo. I had never played Bingo and was hoping for the B-7 Take Me To Heaven fun times that I had seen on TV and in movies… no such luck. My goodness was Bingo confusing. No more simple line that you have to get… there is a flying kite, double line, no free spot, and so many more I can not recall them all. It was a bit entertaining, but not enough to try it again. Steve was bored out of his mind. After Bingo, we decided to listen to the band out on FSE for a bit, watch this funny guy dance, and have a drink. After a while, we remembered… deep fried oreos! We headed into Mermaids and got an order of oreos and a twinkie to split. We each had a bite- yummy! But, I had no more. Steve went to go play poker at Golden Nugget, I lost money at the slots at Binions. Steve was not having a good poker trip, the cards were just not coming to him.

    Sunday morning, we woke up and ate at Binions café; the line was non-existent today. Maybe we just beat it by getting there early. It was a good breakfast. Steve had the egg & bacon $2.99 special, I had bluberry pancakes $4.99 I think; great food. Great price. After a final walk down freemont and to the knick-knack souvenir shop, we checked out of Golden Nugget and took a cab to our home for the next 3 days… the Flamingo on the strip.

    The next 3 days of our trip will have to wait for a bit; I will try to finish up the TR this weekend.

    Kim
     
  2. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    :nworthy: Great TR so far. Thanks!
     
  3. kim2vegas

    kim2vegas Tourist

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    Final 3 days... cont.

    Ok- finishing up the TR where I left off… I just couldn't wait until this weekend. I had to share it while I still remembered what little order of things I do!

    We arrived at the Flamingo around 11am. We were able to check-in and go directly to our room. We opted for inexpensive for this portion of the stay. The room was $45 a night! It was not a Go room, just the basics. It was fine, although the sheets & pillows at the Golden Nugget were so much better. We actually had a nice view; we could see the Eiffel tower from our room! Oh well, really… with the exception of Steve working a bit each weekday… we really just slept, showered & changed in the room!

    Speaking of work; Steve had to get right to work when we checked in. I decided to explore the Flamingo & go next door to Bill’s for a bit; Steve called me and texted me when I didn’t answer… CALL ME. When I finally heard my phone beeping, I called him. He had checked the printout for our Mama Mia Sunday night show tickets, they were not for Sunday 7pm… they were for Saturday (last night) 10pm. What? Why would I have purchased those tickets? Long story short, the guy from Mandalay Bay Box Office said to buy tickets for tonights 7pm show and they would refund us Saturday’s tickets when we came to will call. Crisis averted, hopefully. Steve went back to working, I went back to feeding money into the Flamingo. I then discovered Rapid Roullette. I loved this game! It is a bit quicker than your normal roulette game; there is still a dealer, still a live wheel and ball; it is just that everyone has there own screen and your chips/bets are digital on your individual computer screen. I put $20 down and started playing! One hour and a couple of free cocktails later, I was up $17! Not much, but a nice way to waste time to wait for Steve. Steve finally called it quits for the day and we walked down to the Outback and had lunch. The Outback was just like any around the country, we just felt like a sandwich though, not a buffet or anything. After lunch, we made our way back towards Bills and stopped into multiple places along the way. We had a coupon for a free drink at OSheas & had a drink at the bar. We played at Bills for a while: while there, “Bill” a character like Mickey Mouse was wondering around the casino; of course… I got my picture taken with him! We headed back up to the room to get dressed for Mama Mia.

    We took a cab down to Mandalay Bay. I had never been this far down on the strip. We got there around 4:30pm; we headed over to the Will Call and… of course, mass confusion over our two days of tickets. Long story short, after a lot of waiting and discussing with managers, they refunded our Sunday night tickets, and reprinted our Saturday night original mess-up tickets for Sunday night. Confusing. But, we got better seats (thanks, again to “the boot”) and they did indeed refund the tickets to my CC. Before the show, we ate at a restaurant at Mandalay Bay. It was nice. A little pricey, but nice. I had the grilled cheese (fancy cheese & bread) and tomato soup. I was in a soup mood this trip, even though it was not very cold. After we ate, we played a few slots and got a drink; we then headed off to see Mama Mia.

    Steve & I had purposely not watched this movie when it came out as we wanted to see the play for the first time knowing the story. I really liked it. Steve liked it OK. It was definitely more of a female show; there was not a bad seat in the house, however… our seats were great! (Again, thanks to the boot)

    After the show, we took the tram over to the Luxor. It is impressive on the outside, bland and boring once you walk through the door. It did have some cool Egyptian theme in the entrance, and then the casino… boring. Steve ended up winning about $60 on a slot here- Happy Days I think it was! I lost my $20 that I put in the machine. We decided to head back towards our section of the strip so Steve could play some poker at the Flamingo and I could play some Rapid Roulette. We cabbed it back to a night of losing for us both. Steve said that this trip could not be worse for cards for him… about 15 hours total poker play for him and only 5 hands that were playable. He said that when he did call or raise on a crappy hand, everyone folded because he had played so little. Oh well, better luck next time.

    Monday we headed down to Harrahs buffet for breakfast. We had a $5 off each coupon. I really like this buffet. Good food, great selection, with the coupon, decent prices! Steve had to get back to work which left me to go and spend money playing. I walked around a bit, still slowly, but my ankle was getting a bit better as the week went on. I lost some more money, but slower as I had a couple of mini-winning streaks. ***inserted portion I forgot!***Steve met me and we went and took a cab to the Venetian! I had never been to the Venetian, it was beautiful. I really wanted to do a gondola ride. Then... we found out $64 for the ride? Nah. I would rather wait until we make it to Italy in a couple of years. We did go to Madamme Tussads though. I had a 2-4-1 ticket. We had a lot of fun! It is very interactive with the wax people! Then we walked to TI and then took a cab back as my ankle was getting a little bothersome with all of the walking; end of forgotten portion*** went and had a hotdog & nachos and a beer at OSheas. We played some at IP (as I had never been in there) and laughed and talked to the bartender at the bar near the celebriDEALERs (whatever they call them). We then went over to try a little rapid roulette. We evened out… well, I lost my $20, Steve made $17- so that is kind of evening out! We then strolled down to Harrahs little shops and did some looking, hit the slots on the way back. We decided that the BBQ we had heard so much about at Ellis Island was sounding good. We had never been there, had coupons for 2-4-1 BBQ dinner & 4 free drinks at the bar. Score! Sounds good to me! We cabbed it (only $6…but remember, my ankle) over to Ellis Island. My goodness, the BBQ was good. And HUGE. I have no clue how anyone could eat all of that. Half a slab of ribs (Steve said the best ribs he has ever had), ½ chicken, coleslaw, corn on the cob, baked beans, garlic bread. Wow. Plus… both of our meals, plus 1 beer each… came to a whopping $13 +tip. Wow. Our 4 free drinks at the bar were great! We played some slots, I actually won about $40 at Ellis Island. Steve played some craps and lost it back… we then headed back to the Flamingo for another losing night in poker for Steve and slots for me.

    Tuesday morning Steve had to wake up early- 6am Vegas time- for a conference call for work. Wow, what a vacation. He was super sweet, and took the call outside of the room and allowed me to sleep until 8:30 when he came up with a coffee for me. He was going to work until 11am. I went and walked around and played my new favorite 1cent slot… MEGAsomething. I can not remember the name, but it was fun and took a long time to lose your money! Steve didn’t make it until 11, he was fed up with work so he met me downstairs and we walked over to Paris for breakfast in their café. While waiting for our food, I played Keno- it was fun! But, after winning $5 (breaking even) I lost it on the next game. Oh well, passed the time while waiting for breakfast. The food was good, and… it was a reasonable portion. I think we both ALMOST finished our plates this meal (a first for the entire trip). We caught a cab over to the Rio in hopes to see the Carnival in the Sky… as an FYI, that is only done Thursday –Sunday. As we found out. Also, Rio did not have great drink service at the slots. We didn’t stay for too long. We did eat at this little hamburger shop/bar there. It was pretty good. Steve was excited because they had a bacon burger with fried egg on top. Two of his favorite things… We took the shuttle back to Paris. Steve wanted to check out the poker room at Planet Hollywood, he wasn’t impressed and didn’t think that it deserved a trip down there later that evening. We then went to see Big Elvis at Bill’s Gambling Hall. We got a table about 30 minutes before the show began. He looks great & puts on a great show as always! We met some great people from the UK sitting at the table next to us; we ended up visiting with them and having a few drinks with them… enough to take us through ANOTHER Big Elvis show! Afterwards, they invited us to keep the party going at Harrahs. We needed to get something to eat if we were to continue to drink. We had the buffet at Flamingo with a coupon… not a great buffet. Just OK food, very little selection. We went to Harrahs and looked for the bar they said they would be at, but couldn’t find it or them. Oh well. We went to the sports lounge, had a beer and watched some ESPN. Steve checked out the poker room, I hit the 1cent slots. Poker was a bust for Steve again tonight. I had a bit better luck on the slots tonight; since it was our last night in Vegas, we decided to keep drinking and keep playing for a bit. I showed Steve my new favorite MEGA machine. We sat down at the machine… Bam! He won $200! Yeah! Part of our money back! I sat down once he cashed out… Bam! Another $100 win! Yeah! Shortly after our “big wins” we decided to call it a night around 2:30 am.

    Our last morning in Vegas Steve had to work again. While he worked, I packed our stuff, went and got coffee, and then we checked out at exactly 11am. It had been a beautiful weather week in Vegas, but this day… it was gloomy and cried rain for us leaving. We checked our bags and headed over to Ceasars. We had lunch at the food court there, got lost walking around and played some slots. We spent a good portion of the day at Ceasars. We then headed over to Bill’s to play there a bit more; we were getting Vegas’ed out a bit. We had dinner at the Victoria Room at Bills and then headed to the airport for our overnight flight home.

    We were sad to leave, but happy at the same time. We returned Thanksgiving morning and had a nice time with our family, and then a nice nap! We came back from Vegas with about 30% of what we had taken as gambling money and a lot of fun memories… and a sinus cold/cough!

    I had a great time as I knew that we would; however, I think next year if we go, we will stay downtown the whole time and just wonder down to the strip to see a show or for a change of pace. We both just really felt more at ease downtown.

    Thanks for reading if you have made it this far!

    Kim
     
  4. kim2vegas

    kim2vegas Tourist

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  5. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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    A very well-written and interesting report.....thanks for taking the time!
     
  6. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Nice tr

    Very nice TR thanks for writing it.

    :beer:
     
  7. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Nice TR and fun pics. I've yet to get to the Neon graveyard myself. And you're right, the main attraction of Luxor is just the entrance.
     
  8. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Very nice tr. How hard was it to get a taxi from Ellis Island?
     
    Back where we belong
  9. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the TR. Glad you Mamma Mia tickets worked out!
     
  10. kim2vegas

    kim2vegas Tourist

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    Cab from Ellis Island

    I am not certain if we lucked out or not; but as we stepped outside of Ellis Island, there was a cab driving up. He ended up parking- we started walking over to him, he asked if we needed a cab? We said yes, but was he off his shift? Just then, his friend, another cabbie meeting him to eat dinner/gamble/talk/who knows pulled up and said get in. He was HAPPY to take us. They said it was kind of slow. So, I think if you just have someone at Ellis Island call, they should be quick.

    Heck... getting a cab from the Neon Boneyard only took a phone call and a 4 minute wait!

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my TR!

    Kim
     
  11. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Wonderful trip report!

    Next time I am traveling with one of those BOOT things on my foot! LOL!
    It seemed to bring you luck in lots of situations!

    I am amazed that you managed as much walking as you did!
     
  12. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thanks for your well written and informative TR. Very enjoyable read. One of these days we're gonna have to try the BBQ at Ellis Island.

    later, GVJ
     
  13. Blondie76

    Blondie76 Low-Roller

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    I enjoyed reading your TR. I would like to stay DT at some point for a few nights of a trip. I haven't convinced hubby of it yet. Thanks for posting. :)
     
  14. tnkc

    tnkc High-Roller

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    Thanks for your TR...this is exactly what we like to do; split our time between downtown and the strip. I really want to visit the boneyard. Appreciate the link to the pics...I was going to ask. I have that exact same pic of Shaq at Tussaud's...but he's wearing a "Heat" jersey! They keep having to change it.
     
  15. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

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    nice TR and pics:thumbsup:
     
  16. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    great tr!

    I did the bbq combo last week at Ellis Island too! Excellent isn't it!

    BTW - joint he players club - showing your card gets another couple of bucks off. We were billed $9 for a meal for 2 with the 241..


    :thumbsup:
     
  17. Sierra

    Sierra Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the trip report!

    I'd like to try Rapid Roulette this trip; it sounded like you stayed pretty even. What was your strategy, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  18. kim2vegas

    kim2vegas Tourist

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    :)

    Thanks everyone for reading my TR. Now that it has been a couple of weeks... I want to start planning for next year ;)

    Sierra, Rapid Roulette, like real roulette in my opinion is chance; there are some books out there that tell you some "tips" for playing. But, I think it is just luck. The good thing about Rapid Roulette was the $2.50 minimum with $0.50 chips; so, $20 can last you a while! I stuck with my "lucky" numbers that I play. Also, watch what the past numbers were; if you see that the number 20 has come up 3 times in the last 15 rolls, put some money on 20. I like the "corner" bets; I do not know what these are really called, however you place your chip in the 4 corners of 4 numbers; if any of those four numbers hit, you get paid 8:1 on the bet. I figure I cover more of the board that way. I stayed pretty even, if not ahead, on roulette/rapid roulette this trip; but... you can always drop in just a couple of spins. Gambling. Go figure ;)

    I had fun with RR though and you should try it! It was a good hour or so time killer for me on $20- much longer than $20 would last me on a slot!

    Kim
     
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