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First Vegas trip / first trip report.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by screech, Apr 25, 2004.

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  1. screech

    screech Tourist

    Oct 4, 2003

    My Trip Report

    This is the same report I posted on another message board in case anyone thinks it looks familiar.

    We made our first trip to Las Vegas this last week April 17th – 22nd. A very nice driver from LVL named Claude took us to Fitzgerald’s where we had been booked in a Club 21 room. I happened to mention to someone named Cindy in some email correspondence that we were coming to Las Vegas to get married, and she said she’d make sure we got a nice room. It was wonderful having a coffee pot in the room! I’m not even sure what most of the other 21 special amenities were. I just wanted the coffee pot. We threw everything in the room and headed out into the street to look around. WOW! How much fun is this place!?! Constant music playing in the street, little shopping kiosks with a wide variety of interesting things, bands playing, girls giving out beads, a parade, and lots of pretty lights! We were soooooooo the hick tourists, it’s unbelievable. EVERYTHING was exciting to us! My soon-to-be husband kept dragging me in and out of Mermaids and LaBayou just to see how long it took us to get the coveted gold beads. I came home with 19 necklaces myself and I’m sure he had at least that many too. We caught the Odessy show and the Disco show on the canopy. HOW COOL! Everybody was dancing and singing to the disco one. We finally decided to get some supper around 10:30 and ended up at Magnolia’s Veranda. GREAT steak sandwich. Then back to the Fitz to gamble a little before bed since it was going on 2:00 am “our timeâ€. I found my very favorite slot machine in Las Vegas that night at Fitzgerald’s. The lone quarter Elvis machine by the McDonald’s up front. My first gambling trip and I played for close to an hour on $2, and went up to our room the first night with $200 more than I came with! Great start to a great vacation.

    Sunday we started the day with the buffet at Fremont. We both thought it was pretty good. I had wanted to check out the Main Street Station buffet, but was nervous about the people getting sick there. Then we walked over to the court house, which is extremely close and convenient for any of you out there wondering. We started the “parade†it seems. We were the first couple in there....but there were 5 others by the time we left and it was only around 10:00 in the morning. We took all our paperwork back to our room and decided to just stick close to “home†and try to relax until the wedding. Graceland told us the driver would call about an hour before the ceremony to set everything up, so we had until 5:00 before we needed to be back in the room. So we wandered in and out of all the downtown casinos and souvenir shops. We grabbed t-shirts for all the kids and some cheap little things for the adults. (plus they all ended up with beads). We had a late lunch at Binion’s. The food was ok, not as good as Magnolia’s....but the waitress was great. We stuck a few quarters in machines here and there, but nothing really hit. We were both starting to get a little anxious about the wedding so we went on up and hung out in the room slowly getting ready while we waited for the limo driver to call.

    When it was time, he showed up in a long white limo and took us to this cute little chapel right by a “Live Nude Girls†place. (ha ha). When you’ve never been there before and all you see of these chapels is the pictures in the websites, you get a totally different idea of what the area around them is like. They seem so pretty and green like they’re in a nice residential area or something. When you see them in person, they are all surrounded by cement and strip clubs and adult books stores. But it was beautiful on the inside and the people working there were very nice and friendly. The minister was a wonderful lady and we both really enjoyed her words and the way she did the ceremony. I even had Elvis walk me down the aisle and sing to us after the ceremony. It was absolutely perfect for us! I recommend Graceland to anyone looking for a chapel in Vegas. Wonderfully meaningful, simple and fun all at the same time. After the wedding, we went back to the room to change back in to normal clothes, then we walked down to the corner of Main and Fremont. We had sent the webcam link to all of our family so that they could see us. New hubby called his folks first to let them know we were on our way to the corner, and when we got there I called my mom and dad since they had my daughter with them We walked back and forth at least a dozen times waving and talking to my little girl on the phone. In case anyone was looking at the webcam Sunday evening and saw a couple of idiots walking back and forth waving.......that was us. We eventually headed back to the Fitz to watch the classic rock show from the 2nd floor balcony. Excellent place to watch the light show! It was kind of strange because they were working on it farther down the street and some of the segments were “off†from the music. We had the best place to watch it. We had a late dinner at Limerick’s and were not impressed. The food was fine and we got a good steak and lobster deal because it was after 9:00 by that time, but the service was very slow . Wouldn’t recommend the place to others. Then we finished up with a little more gambling and Elvis handed me $165 for my $10 before I headed for bed.

    Monday we grabbed breakfast at the Shamrock Cafe and it was pretty good. We packed up our stuff and headed down the street for one last look before we headed to the strip. I couldn’t get Elvis to give me anything so we checked out and grabbed a cab to Tropicana. The line to check in was very long, but I figured it might be because of that NAB convention. The room wasn’t ready yet, so we stored our luggage at the bell desk and took a look around. We went back to the promotion booth to get our slot cards, coupons and free deck of cards. It was a little after 1:00, so we used the coupons for the 2 for 1 burger dinner at Calypso’s. Very good burgers! Looked around for an Elvis machine here and found three right by the elevators. Played for awhile but got nowhere, so checked to see if our room was ready. A very nice lady (they were all very nice at the front desk of Tropicana) found out the room that we had been assigned wasn’t ready yet, but saw from some notes that we were on our honeymoon so she put us in a better room that was ready. We went from the 12th floor with a south view to an 18th floor corner room with a beautiful view of the strip heading north! If you’re heading to Tropicana, room 1803 in the Paradise Tower was a very nice room in our opinion. We decided to hang out at this corner our first day, so we took the skywalk over to MGM to check out the lion. There were none there Monday for some reason, so we went on out and wandered in and out of M&M world, and the Coke place, and over to Walgreen's to drop off some film. (We voted that Walgreen's should have a slot card because we spent more time there than anywhere. Plus they are all over the place.) We didn't know how long it would take to wander around, so we crossed over to Monte Carlo then and thought it was a very pretty place. Maybe a little boring, but pretty. Back this way to NYNY and both really liked the layout of this one. We didn't stay long anywhere yet since we just wanted to make sure we saw what they all looked like. Walked around the corner to catch the skywalk to Excalibur and found the 9/11 tribute. That made me cry, and I thought it was a very nice touch. At Excalibur we bought tickets to Tournament of Kings. Looked around for Elvis machines and then grabbed the monorail to Mandalay Bay. It was a very pretty place, but we both felt too "simple" and out of place there and headed back to Luxor. That was pretty cool. New hubby says that is where he'd like to stay the next time, in a pyramid room. Signed up for our cards while there and looked around at the architecture a little. Ran back to Trop to regroup for a few minutes before dinner. LOVED the dinner show at Excalibur! I know it's not for everyone, but we both had a ball there. We took some pictures of the lights from the skywalks and did a little gambling at Trop with no luck. Elvis only liked me at Fitzgeralds.

    Tuesday we had breakfast at Legends Deli. Nice little egg sandwich. We then took off to see what was farther north. We made another stop at MGM first, and there was a lion there that morning so we got a few pictures. At Aladdin, NH got a free hat which he gave to his son when we got home. I liked it in there. I don't think I'll be too thrilled with a Planet Hollywood. Next was Paris which I fell in love with. How beautiful is that!?! Bally's was boring, but we grabbed our slot cards there. We stuck our heads in Barbary Coast and lost some money in an Elvis machine. (he just doesn't like me on the strip) On to Flamingo where we played some random quarter machines, not accomplishing much, and then went out to look at the wildlife exhibit. Very pretty out there with the flamingos and penguins and stuff. Took some pictures and decided to catch the afternoon show. I know alot of folks don't have much good to say about Bottoms Up, but I had promised my new groom that we would see a topless show of some kind, and he didn't care much if it was classy or not. We actually both got a big kick out of it! He said he liked the old, raunchy humor more than watching some artsy type dance numbers. So I saved some money and kept my promise. We might be in the minority, but we really enjoyed it. We had lunch at Subway (with coupons/stamps from home) and then checked out Imperial Palace. YUCK! That place smelled bad. We stayed long enough to see the cars, but we both agreed that is one place we'll never go into again. On to Harrah's where NH got his picture taken with a showgirl and we both called home to check in. I wanted to hang out at the Carnival Court for awhile, but I guess NH just wasn't into it 'cause we were on to Casino Royale where we signed up for cards and promptly lost the $50 credit they gave us to play with. Nothing there kept us interested so we ventured on up to Venetian. OMG what a beautiful place!! We took lots of pictures in the wax museum and a couple of the gondolas. The ceilings in this place are gorgeous! That's as far north as we decided to walk that day, so we crossed the strip to TI. That sign made me ill and I've never even been there before to see the old one. It just looks stupid. We looked at the ships and looked inside the casino for a few minutes, but didn't bother with the Sirens show. On to Mirage where it was still too early to catch the volcano, so we went inside to see the aquarium and the white tigers. The Secret Garden was already closed for the day, so we missed all of that too. Pretty poor timing on when to hit Mirage. Too late for the dolphins and too early for the volcano. We actually didn't like it here. It was waaaaaaaay too crowded for our taste. Left there and headed in to the Forum Shoppes to see the big aquarium and living statues. Never found either of them, and both agreed that Ceasar's was 10 Xs too big for either of us to enjoy. By now our feet were starting to growl at us, but Bellagio was next and I wanted to see the fountains and the conservatory. NH was not impressed with the flowers, but we both loved the fountains. We caught two shows before we headed down the road looking for food. Actually by now I was hobbling on blisters, so we stopped at Boardwalk for a few minutes. I just wanted to play long enough to grab a drink because I heard there was good service here....but never once saw a waitress. Gave up and took my dying feet back to Tropicana for a late dinner of steak and crab legs at Calypso's. Then made about $40-$50 in some quarter machine I don't remember the name of just behind the elevator wall, and went up to bed.

    Woke up Wednesday barely able to walk, so we checked out those 24 hour bus passes (which are a wonderful thing and should have been used on Tuesday), and headed to the north end of the strip. We got off at Peppermill for breakfast since I had heard alot about it. Neither of us was very impressed for the price, but it was alright. New hubby had wanted to see the Guiness Book of World Records museum, so we wasted some time in there. We spent all of Wednesday morning wandering in and out of the casinos at the north end without staying long. I did really like slots-o-fun though. I got a chance to try out a roulette table for awhile. I only played $20, but it seemed to last me an awful long time and after winning some and losing some, I walked away with $12 dollars. That was an awful lot of fun and entertainment for 8 bucks. I definitely want to go back there the next time. We visited all of the north end except for Sahara and Stratosphere and still couldn't really win anything like we could downtown, so we hopped on the bus and headed back to Fremont street for awhile that afternoon. Someone was on my Elvis machine, so we just wandered around for awhile, did a little more shopping, and decided that downtown felt like home to us. I like the strip more than he does, but we both felt more comfortable and "at home" downtown. Maybe since we are from such a small town, the closeness and street-fair type quality just made us more comfortable. After a few hours downtown, we grabbed the bus back to the strip and got off back by our corner. We had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe at MGM and then headed back up to catch another fountain show. My feet were still killing me, but the buses all seemed to have disappeared, so we hobbled back up to Bellagio only to find out it was too windy for the fountains that evening. I pouted all the way back to NYNY where we sat down and played the Saturday Night Live machines for awhile and both of us walked away with over a $135 profit. I got a T-shirt from NYNY for the few points I had on my card. I never thought to see if I could get t-shirts at the other MGM properties with those same points. Not very experienced with the slot cards and point stuff yet. As a matter of fact, I left one of my slot cards in the SNL quarter machine. Why don't one of you go play it and rack up my points for me!?! Tried to gather up stuff as much as possible and get it put away before bed Wednesday. I hated to go to bed because it was our last night.

    Thursday we took all our stuff down to the bell desk and checked out before heading off for Paris. I wanted to try the breakfast buffet that everyone raves about. Line was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long for us, so we turned around and went back to the spice market at Aladdin. Both of us really enjoyed this buffet! I can't imagine there was anything we needed at Paris that we couldn't find here. Decided to spend our last few hours visiting our favorite places one last time. We really both liked the corner we stayed on best of all the strip. Tried a few more spins on the SNL machines at NYNY but they didn't cooperate that morning. Went back in Luxor and Excalibur for awhile and got a couple of dollar tokens for keepsakes. Had about an hour and a half before we'd need to grab a cab for the airport, so we had a quick lunch, played our last few dollars at the Trop and watched the Airplay show right before we left. Flight back was fine and uneventful. Very tired and stiff and both of us were ready to go back. Already planning another trip for fall of 2005. I hope you enjoyed our trip report and that it wasn't too long and rambling.

    In summary:
    1. We are probably downtown people. Next time we'll stay 3 nights downtown and 2 on the strip.
    2. Favorite looking hotel/casinos were Paris, Venetian, NYNY, Luxor and Excalibur.
    3. Favorite things to see/do were Tournament of Kings, fountains, and Fremont Street Experience.
    4. Favorite games were Elvis quarter slots at Fitz, SNL at NYNY and roulette table at slots-o-fun.
  2. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

    Nov 11, 2003
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report, you can't imagine how sore your feet get until you actually experience it, we now say to H*** with fashion, it's runners and orthotics all the way ( sorry, I am Canadian, we call tennis shoes runners) Good idea to stay both downtown and the Strip. Cheers to a long, healthy, happy life together!!!! [​IMG]
  3. Waltysmom

    Waltysmom Tourist

    Mar 18, 2004
    Great trip report! I like that same corner (NYNY, Luxor, Excalibur-especially Excal) for some reason too! Maybe I feel at home there because I don't have to worry about having my makeup and clothing perfect all the time! [​IMG]
    Anyway, thanks for posting.

  4. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

    Jan 29, 2002
    Upstate New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like you had a great first trip to Vegas. My husband and I spent our first time in Vegas at the Tropicana. It was nice and I liked Calypso restaurant and their burgers too. Their pool area is nice but can get packed real fast (like 7am). We too enjoyed "Bottoms Up". I'm glad to hear someone else likes their show too.
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