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Hot Time in the Old (Down)Town....

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Andsen, Aug 22, 2003.

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  1. Andsen

    Andsen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    I had anticipated that the weather would be like last August when I found it not bad as compared to the hot humid Wabash Valley I had left. Was I ever wrong-it was brutal!

    I don't make notes or accounting spreadsheets while in Vegas so I'll just go into what I remember and lie about the rest like everyone else.

    I left home about 5 hours prior to scheduled lift off as it is a 3 hour drive to Indianapolis and I knew they were working on the roads (ain't they always?). Arrived at the airport and was at the gate in about a ½ hour. I had tried to pre-print my boarding pass but couldn't as it was a code-share flight. Likewise when I tried to check in at US Air they sent me to United. Might've saved 10 minutes or so if I had a computer printed boarding pass but it really didn't make any difference as the flight was late anyhow. I asked for a bump but they said there were extra seats. Flight to ORD was ultra short and they didn't even offer beverage service. We arrived late at the furthest gate from my next departure gate (natcherly) and I hadda hoof it in a hurry from one concourse to the next through the underground tunnel-no shortline railroad for Chicagoans. At the departure gate they were announcing a 40 minute delay and asking for bumping volunteers via their message board but by the time I got there they had all they needed.

    Flight finally got off 1 hour late (so much for the #1 on time airline!) and they gave us box lunches and beverage service. I got Bloody Mary mix and got the whole can plus a glass of ice with lime wedge (talk about asking for it). Promptly took my flask of vodka and made the real thing (screw the airline and their $5 drink). The guy setting in the middle seat really gave me dirty looks and I thought he might complain to the Stew (I started back in the pre flight-attendant days) but didn't care as I was pretty sure they wouldn't stop and put me off. In retrospect he mighta just been PO'd that I didn't offer him a slug! The box lunch was just the same as an America West Snack Sack. Tasted like the same sandwich as I had two years ago only older. The corn chips did go good with the BM though and the Oreos were great-all two of them.

    Arrived about 40 minutes late and took the Short Line railroad to baggage claim and then to the CAT stop just as a 109 bus pulled in. Started to get on but he cautioned that it was a southbound. About 10 minutes later a Paradise-Swenson came along and I finally got to ride that route. Went to the DTC and cut through the park to the Lady Luck (about a block). The gal at the desk was real apologetic as there were no non-smoking rooms left (I smoke cigars in Vegas but never in my room). She said I could change the next day if I wanted but I told her it didn't matter as long as it didn't smell like an ashtray just so it was high up. She put me on the top floor (17) of the east tower. Said the west tower was taller but the water was shut off from 10am-3pm due to remodeling.

    The room was a pleasant surprise, I hadn't remembered it being that nice the last time I was there (west tower?) and I was only paying the $12.95 rate (no upgrade). Two queen beds, refrigerator, coffee maker/coffee, hair dryer, iron/board, table and two chairs plus a dresser. No safe. Extremely clean, in good repair with newer furniture. The carpeting was clean and spot free but had traffic patterns wore in it. There was a letter on the table telling about all the improvements the new owners were gonna make and new carpeting throughout was high on the list. View was across the street to the west tower but I don't come to Vegas to set in my room and stare out the window.

    Headed out for the GG and a traditional shrimp cocktail, then across the street to see the Sunspots but they were on vacation (the subs weren't bad though). Remembered that bigdogmom had said she would be playing the bank of 5 cent FPJOBs that night so I thought I'd go introduce myself. I picked out a likely looking lady and went up,"Hi. Are you bigdogmom?" Thought there were gonna be two hits. When she hit me and I hit the floor. Memo to self; Use extreme caution when approaching a stranger with a "board handle". Hastened over to the Winners Circle were I found a $.25 FPJOB and regained my composure. Played for about an hour swapping dollars then to the California were I had the obligatory Prime Rib. On to the ElCo for some BJ. I Finally got to bed about 2 am (4am Central Time) down a few bucks-$20+.

    Got up early as I had made reservations to make the free Laughlin tour. I hadn't liked it last time but so many people on this board and others had found otherwise that I wanted to give it another try. Stopped off at the bar for my morning Bloody Mary-excellent-much better than the Fitz or 4Q's, and then got on the shuttle to Showtime Tours terminal. They had a busload from the Strip that took off right away but the rest of us hadda stand in the blazing heat (they had misters but they were in the sun-you had a choice-misters or shade)for a full 45 minutes while they got a bus and driver from Triple J for us. Memo to self-never again use Showtime.

    We did the standard bit; across the dam (pix taking stop) and then the lonngg sightless trip through the Arizona desert, crossing back into Nevada at Bullhead City. Then to the Edgewater were we got our funbook and were turned loose. You no longer get a choice of dinner buffet so I headed to the lunch buffet, Then it was on down the river walk. In case no one's ever told you, it's always at least 10 degrees hotter in Laughlin than Vegas. I took my time from the Edgewater to the Colorado Bell to the Pioneer to the Golden Nugget dropping a few bucks at each and having a beer. Going back between the GN and the Pioneer it hit me hard. I got a pulsing, rushing sound in my ears and couldn't catch my breath. Oh, oh the big one. Luckily I made the Pioneer and sat down for a while while a nice security guy got me some water. Memo to self; A Cardiac Cripple should not go to Laughlin in the summer. I slowly (this time with water-no beer) made it back to the Edgewater and the bus. The driver apologized for the AC saying it was over 120 with a 50% humidity outside. Hopefully the bus would start to cool down after the mountain climb (it did-15 minutes outa Vegas!). At least we had a decent movie(The Out of Towners) to take our mind off our discomfort. Then we discovered that we were spread out all over Vegas so he started dropping people off at the south end of the Strip and working north. Got to the first stop (Luxor) at 8pm and finally to the LL at 9:55. Memo to self; Never go back to Laughlin. Down another $20+.

    Headed straight to the ElCo for more BJ. Also planned on getting the Graveyard steak deal but just wasn't hungry. Played 'til about 3am then back to the Lady and bed. Mainly traded dollars at the ElCo so tally for the day/night was a negative $20 or so.

    Thursday morning it was down to the bar for my morning Bloody Mary and some FPJOB at the bartop machines. Then over to the ElCo for a comped breakfast and some FPJOB at my favorite of all machine in Vegas. Had traded dollars (maybe up a couple) at the Lady but won about $80 on my favorite. Then I started doing casino crawling visiting FPJOB machines at the Plaza (both the nickel and quarter ones), LVC, and Fremont. Between the Plaza and the LVC I paused for a shrimp cocktail at the GG. Then it was back to the Lady and some bartop FPJOB again. My drinks were, of course, comped but I noted they had $1 Mich Light. Every place else seems to have raised prices and there are few places to get a buck drink anymore, Even the 4Q's street front draft is a buck and a quarter as is the ElCo special of the month. Then it was up to the room to shower and change as my son & wife were due at 4:30. They had driven past Downtown on a previous trip but the FSE was off (timing bad?) and it didn't look that interesting so this was their first real Vegas experience for a pair of dedicated Strippers.

    We caught the Larry G. Jones (they were impressed) show at the Fitz and then wandered down Fremont seeing the various casinos (the sports memorabilia at the LVC, the gold nugget at same) and took my son to pee on the Berlin Wall (what are fathers for). I showed them a little about FPJOB at Main Street Station. My son works for a casino (and was there on casino business/expense account) but really didn't understand VP. He decided to get into it as a break from BJ, his favorite.

    I had planned on going to Hugo's for dinner but was unable to get reservations for 7pm when we wanted to eat. Second choice was the Redwood Bar and Grill but it's closed on Thursday so we ate at the Pasta Pirate. Great food-great price.

    I then took him to Binions for the traditional, best Blackjack in Vegas and, thank the powers what are, there was a $5 table with two seats. We played for about 2 hours winning a small amount ($50/him-$75/me) while his wife, Debbie lost a little to the slots (she couldn't get into VP). Then we went to catch the comedian, The Turkey Man-Wild Billy Tucker, at the Fitz. Show at 10:30 for 1 drink ($3). This was the first time I had seen him and he was great!! Everyone agreed. Memo to self; do this show again as he plays to the audience and every show would be different. Then it was down to the casino to see Michael Lee. There was a young couple dancing 40's type jive and they were fantastic! Everybody just cleared the floor and cheered them on. Evidently amateur contestants or maybe even professionals, it was a fantastic show. Michael now has a sax player who plays along with him and as usual he is the greatest "lounge show" in Vegas. In between the jive pair my kids got to dance a few dances to some great music.

    Then it was on to the 4Q's for some more BJ. We played for a coupla hours and I was up a hundred or so but then the table turned and I quickly lost $50 so I quit and watched Debbie win a few bucks on the slots. Jim finally threw it in and we headed for the Lady. Got on a BJ table there and started out good. Now I only drink CC & water with a twist at BJ as I can (usually) drink that all night with only a modest buzz. I noticed immediately that my drink was several shades darker at the Lady and you definitely could taste the booze! After a couple I just wasn't capable of playing any longer and was losing to stupid mistakes. Note to self; Drink beer at the Ladies tables. Jim also gave up shortly thereafter and we called it a night at 4am (he stopped off at the tables when he got back to the Luxor for another coupla hours-kids!). I'm about even for the whole trip now.

    Got up late (for me-9am) the next morning and packed for the transition to the El Cortez.
    On the way to check out I stopped at the bar for a coupla BM's. It helped my poor old fogged brain and I figured I could make the rest of the day. I walked the two blocks to the ElCo and was, of course, early for check in so I gave my bag to the bellman with a coupla bucks and told him to take it to my room when it was ready. Had a comped breakfast again and spent most of the afternoon at my favorite FPJOB winning about $50.

    Went up to my room to shower and change and was I ever pleasantly surprised-Booger does not speak with forked tongue! The room was very large with 2 double beds, a dresser, desk and chair and a "separate" sitting area with love seat, upholstered chair and glass coffee table. All really clean, in great shape (including the carpet) and with a view of the Strip. Towels were fluffy and plentiful (as they were at the Lady). It was a little short on extras-no iron/board, coffee maker, fridge, etc. but I never use them anyway. Memo to self; Stay here again even if you gotta pay and definitely if comped.

    Grabbed the Cat down to the Barbary Coast and the shuttle to the Gold Coast. Noticed on my way through Big Elvis wasn't there and the kids hadn't found him earlier in the day? At the GC I went and picked up our tickets to Serendipity at the box office and was on my way to the sports bar when the kids hailed me, They were at the bar playing VP so I joined them for a little while. Gave them a choice of the Arriva, Monterey Room or the buffet. They wanted to try the buffet so off we went. Had the usual great meal and a $5 bottle of wine that was really good.

    Got to the show just as it started. Folks this is one of the best shows/values in Vegas. A must see and only$25 with dinner at any of the above restaurants. Note to self; Be sure and take Gerry if the show is still there in April. Then we jumped across the street to the Rio using the shortcut but were still too late for the last Masquerade show. Saw some of the Bevertainers-not impressed. Took a few photos then back to the GC.

    We could only get into a shoe game at the main pit and we both were losing our butts so we went to the auxiliary west pit. I might as well have stayed were I was. We both lost pretty heavily (for me-$150) but it was their last night in town so we stayed longer than we should have. They were really impressed with the Gold Coast and may stay there in the future-their first "locals" casino. Then they drove me back to Downtown about 11pm as they hadda pack, get gas, sleep, etc. I'm not a driver in Vegas but I sure enjoyed cruising the Strip in a convertible. They did too as it was the only time they had it that it was cool enough to put the top down.

    They dropped me off at the corner of Main and Fremont and I ambled on down the street stopping at the Fitz for some more of Michael but he wasn't there. Evidently Friday and Saturday late they have a combo playing. There was a Bachlorette party group there dancing it up. I got roped into the dirtiest bogey I've ever done with about 4 gals. Note to self; Visit more Bachlorete parties.

    Finally got back to the ElCo about 1:30am and hit the BJ tables. Was doing real good-up about $200 for the day total when these newbies sat down on either side of me. I mean they had never played the game or even read about it. They would bust and not turn their cards over, same with black jack. They would ask advice and then do the opposite. Of course they couldn't lose even when they split tens. Between them they had 12 blackjacks in 10 hands. All 10 hands I had from 13-16 and lost every one! I quit and went to bed up only about $100, Note to self; Ask Mikey about sticking cigars in idiots ears.

    Saturday I decided I hadda spend some time on the Strip so I had my BM (not as good as the Lady but serviceable) and grabbed a CAT down to the TI. Looked at the big hole in the ground where the battle used to take place and then proceeded to walk down the Strip. Not too crowded but a lot of kids. Got as far as Bally's and thought what an ass, I'm just punishing my self-there's nothing to do (for me) on the Strip. Thought about going across the street for a great $1.25 hot-dog at the BC but decided to go to Ellis Island for a great steak at $4.95 instead. Wasn't disappointed. Played a little BJ but it just wasn't right so I went over to Harrahs and caught the shuttle to Sams Town. Played a little JOB there but again it just didn't feel right. Note to self; You can get along nicely without the Strip.

    Went back to Downtown and was gonna see Jump, Jive & Wail at the Fremont but they were on vacation. Went to the Fitz hoping to catch Divalicious but they were having two special shows to celebrate Elvis' death so I decided to take one in. Basically the guy just doesn't sound like Elvis (at least compared to Big Elvis) but he does have a good voice although different. He does have all the moves and the gals love him. Still feel it's worth the 1 drink if you're in the area. The memorial consisted of everybody getting a candle and lighting it to Viva Las Vegas. Back to the ElCo for more BJ. Then off to bed about 3am about even for the day.

    Sunday was kinda a day of rest. I tried the buffet breakfast at the ELCo. Note to self; Never again eat the buffet-go for the great $1.75 bacon & eggs w/taters & coffee instead! I walked down to the Lady for my BM and played some JOB at the bar for a coupla hours then went to the Plaza were I did more JOB and so on through the MSS and Fremont. I decided it was about time for my first visit to the Western and hiked off in that direction. Another surprise , the casino wasn't that bad; not good but definitely much better than the Gold Spike. I got back to the ElCo and just hadda take a nap for about an hour. Got up and played some more JOB on my favorite machine- up about $50. I wasn't really hungry (the buffet wasn't that good but I did eat a lot) so I went to the Lady and got the $.99 hot-dog and beer. Not that great and it did give me enough gas to run a Vette. Then over to the Fitz for Divalicious. I luckily got seated on the aisle down front and was the one the good looking gals picked on burying my head between their boobs and rubbing there lower regions against my beer belly. Note to self; DO NOT have LL hot-dog & beer before going to Divalicious. Not exactly a lap dance and done for the laughter of the females in the audience, it still was well worth the 1 drink fare. Then down to the casino for some more Michael Lee. The Jivesters were back and I spent another hour being entertained for nothing (although I did buy a drink at the bar).

    Then back to the ElCo for my last night (morning) of BJ. Was slowly but surely building my stake when two more guys sat down that didn't know the game although the one was imparting all his knowledge (0%) to the other. They shoulda known better. The other two were just kids (early 20's) but these guys were in their 40's. I stayed through two losing hands (they didn't lose) and then the whole table just got up and walked. One guy said"must be a bad table" to which the other replied "maybe it's us". Note to self; Don't feel bad about hurting their feelings in the future. I tried another table but the mood was spoiled plus I hadda get up early the next morning so I called it quits about 2am.

    Got up about 8:30 and packed; then down to the Lady for my BM (did I mention they are really good) then up the street to the Fremont buffet for breakfast. Had wanted to give MSS another chance this trip but I didn't have much time and I knew the Fremont was good, priced right and quick. Then back to the ElCo for my luggage and check out. Passed my favorite JOB on the way out and just hadda put a twenty in. Cashed out 10 minutes later $31.50. Not great but I left on a winning note.

    Caught the 109 to the airport and was though security and had my boarding pass in about an hour. LAS security has gotten good and fast-no more Russian Mafia rejects. Got the window seat next to the last row and this BIG fat momma wedges into the middle seat slopping over on me and puts her 60# son in the aisle seat! I got up and moved to the last aisle (unoccupied) and discovered that was her plan. Her family put all the armrests up and had seats A thru F. I didn't mind though as I put the armrests up, laid down and napped all the way to Denver.

    Barely had time to walk from one end of the concourse to the other to catch my last flight which was in final boarding. Got seat F in the third row (right behind the bulkhead) so I had plenty of room on this flight too with no one in the middle seat. Was out the parking lot within a half hour of hitting IND and home in about 3 hours.

    Great trip overall-didn't hook up but there was this 4Q's dealer that was available if I coulda stayed another day. Note to self: Look her up next trip without Gerry. Enjoyed my time showing the kids around the real Vegas-really surprised them but I don't think they're quite ready to be Downtowners-just visitors.

    Didn't really check my gambling results as I don't separate my money but use gambling money for most things. Put airfare ($146), hotel bill ($42.75), Pasta Pirate ($58) and Serendipity/dinner ($89.25) on plastic. Everything else was outa the gambling budget-tips, shows, transportation, drinks, food (including two meals in Indiana), parking (IND $31.50), etc. I got home with exactly $120 less than I had left with so I would guess that I really had won a modest amount but the trip woulda been worth many times that amount any place else!
     
  2. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
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    4,984
    Location:
    Illinois
    Very informative. I picked up on a lot of things to do downtown. I'm headed out again in a couple days and had plannned to stay on North Strip, but will definitely get downtown more than I planned.
    The Fitz entertainment options sound just right for the price. Likewise with bunking at Cortez. have never done it, but will in the future on your recomendation.
    As a frugalist myself, I appreciate your approach to the Vegas experience.
     
  3. kamil

    kamil Tourist

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    Plainsboro, New Jersey
    Great Stuff.

    Can't wait to stay for the first time downtown.

    I got you at 2.5 gallons of BM, is that sound right ?!?! :D
     
  4. Andsen

    Andsen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Yeah, just about that much per morning. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    Andsen, I just started reading your report - you really came looking for me??? That is SO funny! I was at those machines for a while, but they just weren't doing so well so I moved over to a bank of nickel (not full pay) DW machines towards the back bar at the Plaza. I WAS at the FPJOB machines for quite a while on Wed. night, playing and talking to an older lady sitting by me.

    Hey, you weren't walking through LVC on Thursday morning (or was it Wednesday?) and saying "hello" to someone you thought might be me by any chance, were you? A nice looking older (not THAT old) gentleman walked by me, looked right at me and said hello, but I had no idea who he was! :cool:
    My mystery man!

    I've got to write my TR this weekend... [​IMG]
     
  6. Lmadrid

    Lmadrid Tourist

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    You know, now that the whole "BYOB" on board discussion has popped up a couple times, I actually noticed on my flight to San Diego(American) that the flight attendent actually made a statement in their little shpeil forbidding the consumption of alcohol on the plane that isn't provided by a flight attendent. :rolleyes: A couple of people get drunk and rowdy on a plane and ruin it for the rest of us. But, I guess unless they actually see you drink it they can't do anything.
     
  7. Andsen

    Andsen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    bigdogmom-
    Couldn't have been Wednesday as that was my trip to hell day. Mighta been Thursday. Don't really remember what time I was in the LVC but I do have a tendency to greet all the good-looking young ladies. Of course only if they are by themselves-still have the scars from the last escorted lady. Afraid it's gonna remain a mystery. :confused:
     
  8. UnicornTX

    UnicornTX Tourist

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    Amarillo, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    I sure enjoyed reading your great trip report! I'm definitely going to try the Bloody Mary at LL.
    Thanks,
    T-14 [​IMG]
     
  9. Andsen

    Andsen Well-Known Member

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    Unicorn-
    Definitely give them a try. Just remember the LL drinks seem to be much stronger than the rest of the casinos. Kinda like 4-5 years ago at the Plaza or when they useta bring around the drink carts at the Lady. Don't know if the new management is aware that the drinks are being mixed that strong but you definitely wanna watch yourself or they'll "slip" up on you real quick. Enjoy! [​IMG]
     
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