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First Downtown Trip 11/24 - 11/27

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Lmadrid, Nov 28, 2002.

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  1. Lmadrid

    Lmadrid Tourist

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    Boston, MA but originally from San Antonio, TX

    My Trip Report

    Although we visit Freemont street everytime we visit Vegas, this was our first trip staying "off-strip".

    Sunday, Nov. 24th

    We managed to get up and on the road at 4:30am to make our 6am flight. Amazing how the only time there is no traffic in Boston is 4:30am. Anyway, no problems with security. :D haha We flew America West. We usually get direct flights, but had a layover on this one in Columbus. We managed to get emergency exit row seats on both flights, which was great. We're pretty tall...5'10" and 6'1" and we both had about a foot in between our knees and the seat in front of us. I'm in love with the emergency exit row. Anyway, we got to Vegas about 10:30am. What a great sight out the window. We were surprised at how long and chaotic the security lines were, so we made mental notes to get to the airport early when we left. We decided to take a shuttle to the Golden Nugget b/c we weren't sure how much it would cost in a cab considering everyone takes the tunnel now and it cost us over $20 to get to the Mirage last time. So, it only cost us $11 on Bell Trans...took a little longer than the cab, but we got there so early it didn't make that big of a difference. We were able to check into our room at the Golden Nugget when we got there, which was nice. I have to say that I was really impressed with the Nugget. We just stayed at the Mirage in August, and I think our room at the Nugget was better, and it was half the price. The decor was the same (all the south tower rooms were just redone), the room seemed a little bigger, and the bathroom was almost twice the size and not as dark. So, it was a nice surprise.

    After getting settled in the room we went straight to the sports book to watch football. The Pats had the early game so we only caught the second half. But, it was another week for the underdogs so neither of us did well with our picks. At this time we were starving, so we headed over to their buffet. It was $23 for the 2 of us b/c it was their Sunday Champagne Brunch. The food was good..mix of breakfast and lunch foods. I had the cheese blintzes, bacon, biscuits, ham, fried chicken.... did I mention we were starving... :D Of course, when I saw the screw off top champagne I was scared, but it wasn't terrible, so I managed 3 glasses. After we ate we went back up to our room to let our stomachs adapt and take a little nap since we'd been up so early. About 5pm we walked up and down and around Freemont to scope everything out. I think on our other trips we'd never spent more than a couple hours down there, so there was still lots to see. The Neonoplis is a cute place. They're even building a new Walgreen's on Freemont. WAHOO!..(also, the CVS is done by Monte Carlo, so it looks like the strip finally got the hint that we needed drug stores) We made our way over to Main Street Station and California to see those places for the 1st time. We went back to the Nugget, signed up for the player's club, and went to gamble. Tim's a blackjack player and like all the doubledeck $5 tables. I finally discovered video poker. I've always said I wanted to try it, but never remember until I've lost all my money :D Let's just say, I LOVE video poker. Even though it took all my money, I had so much fun, and the money lasted alot longer than a regular slot machine. So, it kept me entertained. We turned in a bit early for us, but we're not used to getting up at 3am. I'm down $50 and Tim is about even.

    Monday, Nov. 25th

    We slept in ;) [​IMG] but got up and going about 11am. We went to Carson Street Cafe for lunch after a recommendation from you guys. It was very good. I had the Monterey Chicken Sandwich (grilled chix, avacado, and pepperjack cheese) and Tim had the Texas Barbeque Burger. The service was very friendly. We decided to go to the strip for the day. So, we went to the bus station...saw some interesting "locals". We got off at Treasure Island and walked around. I played video poker at Mirage for a while. We left there and went to Ceasar's Palace. We've been to those Forum Shops alot, but we always find something to buy. Tim amused himself in the retro store for a while and I found video poker that was 1, 2, 5, and 25 cents :D We finally left there and decided to walk over to Bally's. In all the times we've been before we'd never stepped foot in there or seen their rooms. So, Tim went to the front desk to get room information and they let us go up and see one of their suites. I was surprised it was so nice. It was room 697, looked right out onto Flamingo Rd. It had a REALLY big jacuzzi tub that looked out the window, but was off in the back with the whole bathroom, which was raised 2 steps from the bedroom. It wasn't closed in with any doors though. It was like U shaped. The right side of the U had the sinks and mirrors, the back part of the U had a toilet closet, shower stall, and beday (sp?) closet, and then the left side of the U had the clothes' closet. The big tub was right in the middle (there was a small support wall placed behind it which in a sense blocked the view of the shower from the bedroom, but if you wanted to sneek a peak it would be quite simple =) haha Anyway, it was quite a nice room and was only $109 per night. Anyway, we moved along over to the Bellagio. Tim found a blackjack table he liked. I sat and watched since I had been losing everything so far. I must be lucky to be around though b/c Tim did well. I went to sit at some empty machinces behind the table b/c my feet hurt, and the woman who'd sat by me hit the 1,000 on the Wheel of Fortune spin wheel. We left there after a while. We were able to catch a fountain show on the way in and out and it's still impressive after all these times. Well, we walked down and went to the Monte Carlo casino. Tim found another table he liked, I sat at an empty machine behind his table to rest my feet, and the woman across from me hit for 800!!!! I couldn't believe it. Tim started losing, so, we left. By now it was almost 8pm, so we headed over to the MGM to go have dinner at Ricardo's...our favorite Mexican place in town. It was very good and we had 2 fishbowl sized margaritas. We gambled a little there after dinner but the place was cold. We got on the bus at MGM (not the express) and it took us about 45 minutes to get back to Freemont. We gambled a little more but went off to bed about midnight. I was now down about $100, Tim was up a little bit.

    Tuesday, Nov. 26th

    Hmmmmmmmmm we slept in again. [​IMG] We got up a little later, but hey, it's a vacation. We went over to Neonopolis to eat at one of their restaraunts. We picked the Mexican place La Salsa. I think there's one of these at the Luxor and Forum shops. It was OK. Tim almost attempted "The Burrito Challenge" but decided against it. (it's a 48oz. marg and a HUGE burrito, almost triple the size of a regular one). We went through all the little souvenier shops on the block and managed to spend money on a bunch of junk. We went casino hopping at all the places, but spent most of our time at Binion's. I think that's Tim's new favorite place. He played blackjack for about 3 hours there. They were having a drawing for a bunch of different things, you got a ticket for every blackjack you hit, but with all our tickets we didn't win any of it. We also played at Freemont and Golden Nugget. I did a lot more video poker at the Nugget. I won enough to take me back up to only $10 down for the trip. Tim had gone about $100 down, but he had fun. We had planned on going to dinner at Hugo's Cellar or The Range Steakhouse but we weren't hungry until after 10pm and we also didn't feel like getting dressed up. We eventually went to Carson Street Cafe again. I had the fried shrimp dinner and Tim had some shrimp scampi linguini. Both were good. He wanted the shrimp cocktail appetizer, but it was $8!!!! I told him no way, he could have it for .99 down the street!! hahaha I couldn't come back here and tell you guys I'd paid $8 for a shrimp cocktail, even if it was jumbo sized!!!! We ended up heading to bed about 3am.

    Thursday, Nov. 27th

    We extended the check out to 1pm, held our bags after, and went back to Neonopolis for food. Tim gave a second thought about the Burrito Challenge, but there was no way he was eating a huge burrito if I had to sit on a plane with him for 5 hours!! [​IMG] We went to the salloon instead. We went back to the Nugget and TIm mangaged to gamble away another $100. We left early for the airport and took a taxi this time. We got there at 2:30 to make time for security for our 5pm flight... And OF COURSE, there was NOOOOO line at security this time. I did get wanded and patted, but that's the way it goes. We had a bunch of time to kill and I ended up losing another $40 in video poker...which brought my losing tally to $150. We were able to get exit row seats again and had a direct flight this time. We got back to Boston at 1am, and I still managed to get up early today and bake my pie for dinner.

    My Final Thoughts:
    -The addition of Neonoplis to Freemont makes it a better place for families than it was before. It has a HUGE arcade and a movie theater. Plus, the Walgreen's will be helpful down there.

    -The Golden Nugget is a gem in an area some people think less of b/c it's not as glamourous as the strip. I know it's owned by MGM//Mirage Co., and it sure was nice. Great room, great price, great employees.

    -I have decided after MUCH experimentation that my favorite flavors of daquiris from La Bayou are a mixture of Brain Freeze, Watermelon Shock, and Hurricane. Ricardo's still has the best Margaritas.

    -Even though we didn't eat at fancy places and see shows, we still had plenty to do and had a great time. It was more relaxing than our past trips that had alot of "planned" entertainment and dining.

    -I am addicted to Video Poker.

    Thanks for all the info on downtown. I'd say our venture down there was a success.

    [ November 28, 2002, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: Lmadrid ]
     
  2. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    I am so glad you enjoyed your downtown stay! The GN is wonderful.

    I've been collecting a lot of info. on VP, like where to find full pay machines (particularly Deuces Wild) and would be happy to share that knowledge with you! I'm also quite addicted. Have you been practicing with Winpoker? I've had it for 2 1/2 years now and still practice regularly. :cool: Hey, I agree with your hubby about the blackjack at Binion's. I'm not sure why, but I like the atmosphere.
     
  3. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

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    lmadrid

    Great report! I played vp for the 1st time last trip. After about the first $50 ad no win I gave it up. I guess I could have give it another try at another casino. Oh well, There is always next time. Everytime we get ready to go back we say we are going to stay down town, then The Riviera offers us a deal that we just can't pass up.
     
  4. Nevada Kid

    Nevada Kid VIP Whale

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    Sounds like a fun trip. I'm glad they're putting in a Walgreens downtown, that will be nice!
     
  5. Lmadrid

    Lmadrid Tourist

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    Yes, I'd love VP info. I figured there was some sort of strategy but I was just "winging it." I gues I don't know the difference between full pay and not, but I did walk around and see which had highest pay. Anyway, I still had fun and it kept me occupied longer than a regular slot.

    Yes, the Walgreens will be convenient once it's opened. It was almost complete. The whole place just seems to be really coming up....really clean, i feel safe, and there's alot to do. I really liked it.
     
  6. DebB

    DebB Low-Roller

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    Nice report, always good to get details of non-strip fun too.

    I also love video poker and it is way more fun when you know
    the games and have some idea of how to find better-paying
    machines -- and ones with games you know too.

    My first goal in vp was to lose slowly. Having
    mastered that, I got winpoker for practice at home and when
    on sale for Las Vegas Advisor subscribers, I got the video
    poker strategy cards. greatstuffforgamblers.com is
    the retail site I believe. Now I sometimes do well, and
    other times at least make my money last a long time --
    and get slot club points (and room offers) from casinos.

    Thanks for the report.
     
  7. Dutchguy

    Dutchguy Low-Roller

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    Lmadrid
    A few years back when my wife and I were checking into Bally's the clerk told us that the standard room that came with our air/hotel package was not available. He asked,'would you mind taking a suite at no extra charge?' Trying not to jump up and down and giggle, we agreed to take the suite. When we got to our floor, we opened the double doors to the room and began to explore the place. Very nice! It looked just like you described it. I think the best part was the sofa in front of the wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling window that overlooked the intersection of Flamingo and the Strip. After seeing the room, I went back down to the clerk at check-in and slipped him $40.00 bucks. Some people say their room in Vegas is not that important b/c you are never in it, but when you have a jacuzzi suite waiting for you, the whole trip seems better.

    [ November 29, 2002, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: Dutchguy ]
     
  8. Booger

    Booger Tourist

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    Glad to hear that you liked Downtown.Can't go
    wrong at the Nugget,the nicest place Downtown.
    Get a program for your computer and practice VP,
    you'll enjoy it much more,lose much less.
    Thanks for the Vegas fix!!

    Booger
     
  9. Lmadrid

    Lmadrid Tourist

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    Dutchguy----you're right! I had forgotten about the floor to ceiling windows. The room we looked at even had a balcony.

    Thanks everyone for the info on video poker stratedy. I'll try and find some stuff and hopefully be prepared by our next trip. Where do I get this "Winpoker"?

    [ December 01, 2002, 08:43 AM: Message edited by: Lmadrid ]
     
  10. AzSteve

    AzSteve Tourist

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    Lmadrid:

    Excellent trip report.

    I too am a convert from slots to video poker. Two weeks ago was my first attempt & I did quite well in Laughlin, well at least almost broke even. One of my friends even hit a Royal which was so cool.

    Bigdogmom:
    I will be going to Vegas at the end of Feb & would really like to see any info you might have on full pay deuces wild machines. We will be staying at the Riviera but, I am sure we will be going downtown as well.
     
  11. Steve in RI.

    Steve in RI. Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed your trip report. Like you, I have been to Vegas a few times, but always stayed on the trip. Next October will spend a few nights at The Golden Nugget and a few on the strip. I got a calendar for 2003 at work today and figured the current countdown.

    T- 304!

    I will probably make a few trips to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in CT. during that time but NOTHING BEATS VEGAS BABY!
     
  12. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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  13. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    As of August anyway, there were 25c FPDW at the Plaza, Las Vegas Club, and the California. I was told that there were a few at El Cortez, but I never found them.

    I played on a 25c JOB full pay machine at Las Vegas Club, and someone just told me that there are nickel JOB full pay machines at the Plaza. (on a Gamemaker type machine).

    I've heard that Barbary Coast has some 25c FPDW machines. But my best advice is to get your butt over to the Orleans; it's full pay VP heaven!

    I'll do some updating after my upcoming trip; I'm T-10 days!!! :cool:
     
  14. Beef

    Beef Low-Roller

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    That Winpoker kicks my ass (even with the trainer) just like the real thing. I can't seem to win squat for real or playing!!! Maybe I should start a "Unlucky" thread... :mad:
     
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