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In a galaxy far far away...................

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Billy from TX., Feb 3, 2003.

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  1. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Wylie, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6

    My Trip Report

    January 26-30,2003

    ****WARNING 14 PAGES LONG*****

    Day 1

    Okay, I am going to start out with the airport even though I told myself I would not add the boring details at DFW, but something very different happened and I feel like I must share.

    Our plane was scheduled to take off at 6 a.m. for a nonstop flight from DFW to Las Vegas on Sunday January 26. We arrived at the airport at about 4:15 a.m. and checked our luggage and got through security with as much touchy feely as they could possibly manage. Here is the problem. After everyone had boarded the plane and the doors were shut the pilot on the speaker apologized for a delay, but they were awaiting some final paperwork before we were cleared for takeoff. About 10 minutes later he further apologized again and stated that he was going to be completely honest with us and that we were going to be furthered delayed due to the third pilot had forgotten his wallet along with his pilots license at home and his wife was on the way with it and would be about another 35 minutes. This is a bad start to what I promised myself and my lovely wife was going to be a good trip. Well, about 40 minutes later his wallet was delivered and we were on our way. It was now 7:15 a.m. After we were in the air the pilot once again apologized and promised to make up some of our lost time. After quite a bit of turbulence over New Mexico we finally arrived only 45 minutes late.

    Went down to retrieve our luggage and Brandy was quite surprised to see a neatly uniformed limo driver waiting near our luggage carousel with a sign that had our name on it. Another surprise birthday present that she loved. By the way, the limo company we used was Las Vegas Limo and they were great from the time I booked until we were dropped off at our hotel. I would highly recommend this limo company and driver to anyone. The price was only $38.00 for an hour and the driver stopped at The Las Vegas sign on the south end of the strip and took our picture. We then went the long way to The Riviera on the north end of the strip. I tipped her ten bucks and she was greatly appreciated.

    When we went in to see if we could check in early there was a sign in front of the lobby desk that there was no early check ins and that check in would not be available until after 3 p.m. We checked our luggage in with the bell desk and went on the search for breakfast. Since we were so close we decided to take Lmadrids advice and try out the Peppermill coffee shop and it was delicious. Brandy and I both had a simple breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes and toast. We could not finish all of it. It was a large plate full. The coffee was great and the atmosphere was as well.

    After breakfast we decide to go and ask about an early check in. Once we did we were surprised that they said all they had was suite on the first floor for $20.00 extra a night. We said what the hell and went for it. We had already paid for 4 nights through our package that we had gotten through MLT Vacations. We were only planning on staying for 3 nights because I had gotten Brandy another surprise, a Jacuzzi suite at The Luxor , for our last night there. But for some odd reason the lady said we had to pay the $20.00 a night for 4 nights and when we checked out then they would reimburse us the $20.00 bucks for the last night. So that’s what we did.

    The room was great. We added pictures and you will find the link at the end of this report. The only thing that we did not like about the room was that it was on the first floor right next to the swimming pool. The pool was not the problem but we did not like being on the first floor. Any way we figured this might be our last trip to sin city for a while so why not make it a great one.

    We unpacked and did what every human on the planet would most likely do in this position. No it was not that……..We went and dropped about ten bucks a piece in the closest slot machine we could find. We got nothing in return. We had 2 tickets being held for us at the box office for the Rivs Super Bowl Party later that afternoon so we went and got those. After some small problem of finding our name in there computer we finally got the tickets.

    We decided to catch a bus to The Mirage and pick up our Danny Gan tickets for Wednesday night. More about him later. While at The Mirage we decided to see the dolphin habitat since I promised Brandy we would check it out on the last two trips and never did. It was $10 bucks a piece and that got you into both the dolphins and the secret garden of S&R. Not really a big secret so we skipped that part. The dolphins were pretty cool and we both thought that the $10 bucks alone was good enough for the dolphins. We got some great pictures. I’m really liking this digital camera I got before we left. Its pretty handy.

    After we got through the Dolphin Habitat, we decided to check out there table situation. They were pretty packed mostly due to the big game. All the tables were full and we could not find a $5 bj table to save our lives. There were a few , but no room for 2 rookies like us. We found a half empty roulette table that was a $10 table but since there was not a lot of action the dealer was nice enough to make an exception to my wife and let her place $5 bets. It was cool since we had never played roulette either. I helped her out with a couple of bets and so did the dealer. He could tell we were newbies to the game. He was not one of those boring dealers that we had heard the The Mirage was full of. The pit boss even walked over and struck up a converstion with us. He liked my shirt that I was wearing. It was a dark black button up shirt with about a hundred different beer prints all over it. I called it my party shirt. Anyway, Brandy made her $50 last about thirty minutes and then we were off to The Venetian to check out Madame Tussaud’s wax museum .

    I don’t remember what we paid but it was worth it because we got some good pics out of this as well . Of course we found a $4 off coupon the next day that would of saved us $8 for the both of us. It was a really cool place and I highly recommend that everyone check it out at least once during a trip in Vegas.

    After the museum we decided to head back down to The Riv to get ready for the big game. Again we took the bus.

    After getting back to The Riviera we decide that we had about an hour before we needed to get freshened up for the party. We hit the machines again because all the lower limit tables were full. The Riviera’s low limit tables start at $5 as well. I always said that I wanted to put at least $50 through a $5 slot machine just to chance that we might get a bigger pay off. My $50 went fast, but Brandy turned her $50 into $250 in about ten minutes. This trip is starting out good. We cashed out and headed to the room to clean up.

    The super bowl party was great. ( I think ) It was open bar and open buffet. This was not just an ordinary buffet either. It was huge!! There was buffalo wings, pizza, subs, philly cheese steaks, tacos, chips, dips, spring rolls, cakes, ice creams and much much more. The open bar consisted of everything that you could possibly imagine. Not every bar had liquor though. There was about 20 bars set up and half of them had beer and the other half had beer and mixed drinks. There were cocktail waitresses and waiters that were going around the room ,but we had assigned seating at a table right next to a bar and in between 2 huge screens. There were screens all over, about 40 all together and they were big projection screens. There were Budweiser girls on hand handing out souvenirs. We also got a gift as well when we showed our tickets at the entrance . We both got a souvenir football, a SB XXXVII hat and a SB XXXVII shirt. All the tables sat about ten people and the tables were huge. Each table had different cheerleading pom poms and small pennants and megaphones from different teams throughout the league. We live near Dallas and Brandy is a big Cowboy’s fan, but I am partial to the Redskins and always have been. Toward the end of the game the trading with different tables began for the pennants and I managed to trade a Broncos pennant for a Redskins Pennant. All the people at our table was routing for Oakland (suckers) and Brandy and I placed a bet on Tampa Bay. They had a betting station set up at the back of the room for everyone to get there bets in. I have never placed a sports bet before and the guy at the betting table helped me out. I told him I wanted the Bucs and the points and he said that he would set up a parlay bet for the Bucs to win with over or under the 44 combine points. I took a chance and placed $20 on the Bucs and over the 44 Combine points. It payed me $72 at the end. I’ll admit that I was lucky and probably would not have gotten the right pick without the help of the guy taking the bet. Anyway the party was great. It took me the whole game to smoke my cigar and I drank about a gallon and half of Vodka and orange juice. I kept going back to the same bar and felt bad because I was never tipping the bar tender. During the fourth quarter I got him to break a $100 bill and gave him a tip. I meant to give him a $5 but after counting my money after we left I realized that he got a $25 tip. Now I understand why he was thanking me so much and the drinks from that point on got stronger and stronger. Oh well, we had a great time and it was well worth the time and money that we spent while we were there. Danny White, Roger Craig and Deacon Jones was there talking in between quarters and signing autographs. The line for autographs were too long and I could not get in there for that but I got some good pics. There were also professional cheerleaders on hand and doing skits during commercials. They were also having drawings for autographed memorabilia every time a team scored. We did not win anything, but the memorabilia they were giving away was worth quite a bit of money. All in all it was a good time. I’ll never forget what I can remember right now. It got a bit hazy for a while.

    After the party we went to cash in our sports wager ticket but the line was too long. Apparently it was not such a sucker bet after all. The line went from the sports book and wrapped around inside the casino. We decided to wait until later the next day to cash in.

    Since it was still early we decided to go downtown to The El Cortez. Neither one of us had never been there and have heard a lot of good things from everyone on the board. We caught a cab and was there in about ten minutes. There was a lot of traffic due to the game just ending. The cab driver that we got said that he had never been to The El Cortez, but knew that it was downtown. After getting closer we seen the big El Cortez sign on its building and quickly pointed it out. The cab driver stated that he has lived in Vegas for about three years but just started cab driving on the weekends. We got to The Cortez and began playing some quarter slots. We won some and lost some. Mostly lost some. I walked up to one of the many vp machines and placed about $5 in quarters in the machine and it was then I noticed that it took the quarters, but did not give me any credits. I began touching the screen and realized that it was locked up. I got a change person over and explained to him what had happened. He then began chewing me out for putting that many quarters in without noticing that it was not giving me the credits. As I began retaliating against him for chewing me out he interrupted me by getting on his walkie talkie and called for slot maintenance. When he arrived and confirmed that the machine was locked up the slot attendant asked again why I put so many quarters in without noticing that I wasn’t getting the credits. Every time I tried to defend myself he would interrupt me. I finally told him that he owes me about $6 and he gave it to me and I walked off before I got really mad and the alcohol started doing the talking. We immediately cashed out about a $30 loss for the place and left. I don’t think that I’ll be going back there again. Machines seemed very tight and the service was bad. (my own opinion)

    Next, we walked down to Binion’s to see if things would get better. The walk was okay. A lot of people on the board asks about the walk between FSE and El Cortez. It was well lit and there were a few people walking the same route. We felt safe.

    Once in Binions we quickly noticed that all the tables were full. It did not matter what the minimum was or if it was bj, roulette, or craps. They were all full. We lost about $20 a piece on some Elvis and Wheel of Fortune machines and decided to give it up for the night. Drink service was slow as well, but of course we were playing quarter slots. We caught a cab back to The Riv and figured we would get back downtown before our trip was over, but we didn’t. I was reminded when we got home on how this was a bad decision when my daughter noticed that we did not have any beads from La Bayou.
    Once back at the Riv we returned to our room. It was about midnight and we had been up for a long long time.

    Day 2

    We woke around 6:30 a.m. After showering and lounging around until about 8:30 a.m. we decided to eat breakfast at The Paris Buffet. We took a cab this time and was surprised by getting another cabbie that did not know is way around very well. Its real easy. You go south on the strip until you get to The Paris Hotel, right? No, he went out in front of the Riv pulled a u-turn and headed around what he was calling traffic. It was dead on the strip. Remind you this is the morning after the Super Bowl and everyone was still asleep. There was no traffic on the Strip. He ended up getting caught up in some construction getting back on to the strip and we were detained for about five minutes while a crane was trying to get situated. Our $6 or $7 fare just turned into almost $12 then to top it off the guy try to hustle a tip out of me and was upset when I did not give him one. Now, I consider myself a descent tipper, but I refuse to give one for poor service, esp. if you try to hustle a tip from me. Anyway, we made it inside finally and followed the signs to the Buffet. We were quickly seated because there were no lines what so ever. This was kinda weird because when we left the Riv there buffet had a line a mile long and everyone knows that there buffet sucks. After being seated we checked out the grub. It was definitely well laid out. I agree with a lot of members, this buffet is the best breakfast buffet I have had in Vegas, but in my own opinion I think it is hard to screw up breakfast. One thing that no one mentioned is the deal that the Paris buffet has in the mornings from 8a.m. until 10a.m. and that is the .99 bloody mary. We did not try them but sounds like a good deal to me. We thought it was funny that the staff talks to you with a French accent, but when they talk to each other right in front of you they talk in there regular voice. Their accents were good for the most part. It was fun trying to talk back with one.

    After the Buffet we checked out some of the shops inside the hotel. Nothing special! The same old stuff that all the other shops have. There special stores that they had were pretty expensive. On the way out we ended up in Ballys some how. I wasn’t aware that they were connected. We took a picture of the $1,000,000 they had in a glass case. That was kind of interested. I figured Vegas is the only place we’ll ever see that.

    After leaving Bally’s we walked across the street to Bellagio and got some pictures of there glass art ceiling and some in the Botanical Garden. It was pretty neat. Right outside their garden there was an art store that sold the glass art by the artist that created the glass ceiling sculpture. It was interesting. They had two pieces that sold for $65,000 a piece and there were two men in there ready to purchase both of them. Only in Vegas!! I asked the nice lady in the art gallery there if I could take pictures and she quickly, but politely said no. Brandy and I spoke to her for a few minutes and she was very nice. She gave us a lot of information about various artists. She didn’t have to do that. She can obviously tell that we could not afford any of the pieces. I was afraid that since this was the Bellagio that she wouldn’t give us the time of day, but that wasn’t the case. We went out to the casino and watched some guys playing black jack at $500 a hand. That was fun. The lowest table we found was $25 a hand and there was only one of those. After watching some other high rollers awhile we decided to walk down to NY NY.

    First place at NY NY we went to was the 911 memorial out front under the Statue of Liberty. They still had it blocked off with a wall around it so you can’t see what they are doing. There was a big sign in front of the wall that said that they were creating a memorial and would be completed in the near future but did not state when. I tried to get in to take a picture but of course I couldn’t. Maybe it will be done soon and someone can get some pictures of it for us.

    NY NY was a fun place to hang out and play some slots. They had $5 bj, but their tables were closed. Only a few $25 tables were available. We played some slots for a couple hours. We played all denominations and were up and down. We cashed out and stopped about $20 ahead. It was about 12:30 by this time so we decided to get something quick and easy to eat. We both decided on pizza from there little pizza shop in their food corridor. We both had a slice and a beer. It was good and we had eaten there on our last trip. The atmosphere was pretty cool. They have a cigar booth on the other side of the pizza jint that I checked out. I was going to take Hurricane Mikey’s advice and try a Macanudo, but they wanted about $25 for one. Too steep for me. I’ll stick to my pack of Camels.

    We then decided to go and check out some low limit tables at the Tropicana. We first stopped outside to get our free pull on the slot to try and win The Red Mustang knowing damn well that we were going to walk away with a deck of cards. What we did not know was that the guy monitoring the free pull was going to explain in detail to each and every person after their free pull where they get there cards and there free coupons to the gamblers museum. I swear it would take him a good 30-45 seconds to read everything on the back of a card that he gives you that tells you where to go to get your free deck of cards. It wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t 20 people standing in line. After listening to his speech about how dumb people are that do win the car and trade the car in for about $12,000 in cash. He said that they give 3 or 4 cars away a year, but no one has ever taken the car yet. They always take the cash. What would you do?

    Any way, we made it inside and got our free deck of cards and coupon sheet. If your planning on being inside The Tropicana for awhile then the sheet of coupons aren’t bad. Some include 2 for 1 drinks at any casino bar, $1 margaritas at any casino bar, 2 for 1 burger at Calypsos Café, .75 ice cream in there parlor and a match play coupon at any of there table games. We used the 2 for 1 burger. Its not a bad burger, but the service inside there Café was horrible. The manager was chewing a waitress out right behind us for returning to work without a doctors note. Very unprofessional, but the burger was good and one was free. It came with fries and a drink. ($7.50 value)

    Okay, time to gamble. There were some $3 tables but again they were so full that we couldn’t get in. We waited for about an hour, but no one was budging. We went to the main casino bar and played some $! Video poker and black jack. At one point I was up about $40 but I put it right back in. By the way if any one wants an easy way to get drinks comped, go to this casino bar and play a few hands of .25 cent video poker every so often and the bartenders will keep them coming. We had good drink service while we were there and Brandy was only playing quarters and she only played when she needed a drink. Got it get back from the man some how……

    After a few drinks we headed over to MGM. We did not gamble there. We went in mainly to look for some 2 for 1 coupon for their buffet when we signed up for a players card, but the lady said they only give those out if you are staying there at the hotel. Oh well, I tried. After watching the lions sleep for awhile we got bored and went over to the M&M and Coca Cola stores next to MGM. It was a pretty cool place. The M&M store had about every color of M&M possible. They had colors that you will never see in a package of M&Ms. The Coke store was cool to see all the different merchandise, but it was too pricey. After that we caught a bus back to the Riv. We got two free comedy club tickets when we checked in and wanted to get something to eat and relax back in the room before the show.

    After chilling out and cleaning up we decided to give the slots another chance. After all we had so much luck the past 2 years there at the Riviera. Not this time!!! We played quarters we lost. We played dollars we lost. We played nickels we lost. Just Sucks!!! We decide just to grab a burger from Burger King in the Riv’s food court.

    After eating it was about time to get to the show. It was the 10 p.m. show and they started seating at about 9:30. We were still early so we both put a $5 bill in some nickel machines. Whatta you know, we started winning. That $5 I put in turned quickly into $20. Then the$20 turned into $30. Then the $30 turned into $40. Brandy was up about $25 as well. By this time it is 10:00 and we were still winning. We decide to get out while we were ahead. We made it to the comedy show about five minutes before it started.

    Now as most of you know, Brandy and I have always stayed at the Riviera and have seen the comedy acts also the past two years. They have always been hilarious. Not this time. There were three comedians. The first two all but got booed off the stage. They even started making comments about how bad they sucked. The third one was a comedian-magician. Now this guy was funny. He even made jokes about how the other two guys sucked. He was a good act but not worth the twenty something bucks that the show would have normally cost. Don’t let this review stop any of you from going. I think it was just a bad night for the Comedy Club. Like I said the last two times that we went, they were hilarious. You can find 2 for 1 coupons if you check around. I got some from Bill Here’s web site.

    After the show we went back to some nickel sots and of course did not cash out a winner. We decided to walk down to the Saharah and check on there $1 tables. Of course there standard bj was all full this late at night. They had a some room at a “no bust “ blackjack table for a buck, but I was not sure how that worked. I seen a lady win a few hands in a row and she had gotten over 21. Does anyone know how this works? I played some roulette and won a few and lost a few. It was fun and cheap. We also played the slots of course and lost. By this time we were down the whole trip about $300 and decided to head back to the room.

    Originally we had planned to check out the Cannery on Tuesday, since Dave Berman gave it a good such a good review, but we needed to get away from the casinos for a day, so we decided to try and get a Hoover Dam tour booked through the Riv. When we got back. We decided this on our walk from the Saharah back down to The Riv. Some members have also asked about how safe that walk is and I thought it was safe. As long as you don’t mind seeing the X rated fliers all over the ground.

    When we got back to the Riv we successfully booked a tour to the Hoover Dam for Tuesday. It was booked with Showtime Tours and they were to pick us up at 7:30 a.m., so we decided to call it a night and get some sleep. By this time it was close to 2 a.m.

    Day 3

    We awoke at 6 a.m. with our wake up call. Got a shower and headed out the door. We did not have a lot of time for breakfast and since neither one of us was hungry, we just grabbed a coffee and a banana from the coffee stand near the lobby. At 7:30 on the dot the driver arrived and we went to the main station to be placed on the correct bus. There were 2 buses. One was for the short 4 hour tour and the other was for our 8 hour tour. We decided to take the longer tour for obvious reasons. We went on the same tour 2 tears ago on our first trip and absolutely loved it. A lot of people think that we were crazy for paying to see a massive hole in the ground, but we loved it the first time and we really enjoyed it this time as well. After about a 30 minute wait we were off. The bus was about 3/4s of the way full and the driver said that he had not had a full bus since September 11, 2001. He said that they had 12 buses going to the dam every day and now they were down to 2. The only reason he has his job is because he has been there for 25 years. He was very knowledgeable and humorous. He kept every one interested in what was going on. The funny thing is that Brandy and I were the youngest by at least 20 years out of our group. It didn’t matter. Everyone was very nice and talkative, but not too talkative if you know what I mean. We became friends with an elderly retired couple from Canada. He was a retired truck driver and she was a retired nurse. Both were very nice people. They had been married for 40 years and seemed like they were very happy together. It was nice to spend a day with someone that you just met and get along with so well. We will never forget them.

    Once at the Dam we had to drive up to the security check point. Something that was added after 911. A state trooper boarded the bus and did a quick walk through check for any thing obviously wrong. After his check he quickly thanked everyone for visiting and exited the bus. After the driver parked the bus we were guided from the parking garage to the tourist entrance below where we had to go through a metal detector. Something else new since 911. There were some climbers on the rock structure just above the garage working. It looked as if they were checking for loose rocks. Once down in the tourist entrance we were guided into a theater and watched a 12 minute film on how the Dam was constructed and named. After that film we were guided into yet another theater and listened to a short intro on how the dam produces electricity to Arizona, California and Nevada. It was interesting to learn that only 3% of Las Vegas’ power comes from Hoover Dam. After that intro we were led out and introduced to our dam tour guide and were told that we could take all the dam pictures we wanted. (No four letter words) I was disappointed that since 911 we can not go down to the very bottom of the Dam. We were only aloud to go as far as to see the generators and then went right back up. Same price as before. I felt like I wasn’t getting a full tour. I understood though, it was for security reasons. I wouldn’t want to imagine what it would be like if something happened there. It would be devastating. After the guided tour there was still about an hour left, so we just walked across the top of the dam and got some pictures. We had to be back at the bus at 12:40 so we started heading that way. We arrived at the parking garage a few minutes early so we checked out the souvenir shop and just sat and talked to our new Canadian friends. Before we new it was time to board the bus. After getting on the bus the driver did a count. Well every one sat in there same seats except a female couple that sat in the two seats directly in front of us. They sat down as the driver was walking through counting empty seats. During this time they realized everyone was sitting in the same seats as before, so they moved to the back of the bus. As they did the driver seen them just sitting down so he subtracted two empty seats. He thought that they had just gotten on the bus. The driver thought he had the right amount of empty seats so he started up the bus and started to leave when Brandy yelled out that we were still missing two people that was sitting in front of us. He immediately stopped the bus and recounted, sure enough we were missing two people. Why is it that there is always someone in the bunch that just doesn’t listen. We waited about 15 minutes and sure enough they finally came walking up like they did not know what all the fuss was about. Some peoples children!!!!

    After getting the right amount of people on the bus we headed out to The Hacienda Casino to get our free lunch buffet that came with the tour. I will not elaborate, but the buffet sucked. I guess it was more of a locals place. You had your choice of fried chicken or baked chicken. That’s all I got to say about that……

    After our wonderful meal we walked outside and there was a path that went around the back side of a mountain and had some benches that had a wonderful view of Lake Mead. It was beautiful and of course I had to take pictures. The driver pointed out the trail when we first got there and urged us to stay on the trail if we decided to walk it. He said that a lady did not follow his instructions on another tour back from the dam and fell down the side of a steep embankment and broke both her legs. He said that she was careflighted out and that it placed them about 2 hours behind schedule. Like I said, â€some peoples childrenâ€.

    After we boarded the bus and our count was good we were off to Ethel M’s Chocolate factory. We watched them make some candy and they had this neat machine that would take your picture and put it on a big candy bar. It cost only $7.50 and it only takes about twenty minutes. We did not do that but another couple did. It turned out pretty good.

    After the chocolate tour we headed back to the strip. Again the driver being a humorous person he started talking about how he has solid proof that Elvis is alive and is being protected by the governments witness protection program after being involved in a sting operation with the DEA. He was very serious on this matter and welcomed more discussion on the topic. He got it. A lot of the tourist began telling him how crazy he was. The funny thing is that he had a few believing him. As he continued with his Elvis bit he began dropping people off at there hotels. We made seventeen stops before arriving at the Riv. We gave him a $10 tip because he brought along a few of his own video tapes to keep us entertained. He was very nice and knowledgeable about the whole dam tour.

    We got back to our room at about 5:30 p.m. and was exhausted. We decided that we were very hungry but did not feel like going out to dinner. I went down to La Salsa inside the Rivs fast food corridor and grabbed us something while Brandy chilled out in the room. After eating in our room we decided to get tickets to see Crazy Girls. For those of you who have not heard about this show, it is a topless show with a comedian in between the dance routines. I had a two for one coupon and thought I would take advantage of it since we never seen it before. Of course I talked this over with Brandy first. We got tickets to see the late show that started at 9:30. We of course gambled on the slots again until time to be seated. And of course we started winning right before time to be seated. We were up on this session about $40 bucks when we decided to get to our seats. As far as the show goes. I thought the girls were very pretty, but every routine seemed a bit sleazy. Brandy was very uncomfortable and I convinced her that I needed to finish watching for the sake of this board. Don’t get me wrong about Brandy not liking a show just because it is topless. We went our first year to see the topless version of Follies Bergere and she thought that was a good show.

    After the show we decided not to gamble anymore tonight, so we walked to the Stratosphere to waist time up in the tower. I forget what it cost us, but it wasn’t much. It was pretty nice night up there. I tried to convince Brandy that we should check out the roller coaster up there, but she wouldn’t have it. So we just hung out up there on top then went to the bar above the Top of The World restaurant and had a few drinks. It was a nice cozy atmosphere. Thanks Sonya for that tip!!!

    After a few drinks we decided to cab back to the room. Once back at the Riviera, we changed our minds and walked across the street to the Stardust . We both decided that we would only gamble about $20 a piece. We checked out the tables but all they had was mostly $10 minimum and we had already lost a lot at this point and wasn’t ready to cash in the farm just yet. We both decided to play mostly nickels after we both lost about $10 in quarters. I think I’ll stick to nickels for now on. I played for about an hour on the same $5 that I put into a I dream of Jeanie machine. I also liked the way she said “welcome masterâ€. After a hour or two of this we cashed out about even with the $40 we walked in with. Back across the street and time for bed. We were going to get up early and prepare for our move to The Luxor.

    Day 4

    We were actually supposed to go skydiving today, but that was cancelled earlier the day before when I called to confirm our pickup for today and they said that they do not have tandem jumps on Wednesdays. When I through a fit, they offered to mail me to certificates for 2 free tandem jumps for both Brandy and I on our next trip. The booking agent was supposed to call last week and reschedule the jump for another day of our trip, but as I explained to the guy on the phone that he did not and that we already had other plans for the other days on our trip and would not be able to reschedule. After I got off the phone with him, Brandy and I decided that this was okay because we had only gotten a 2 for 1 deal for skydiving that was going to cost us $200. Now we both get to jump for free next time and we have $200 extra to play with.

    We were up after about 4 hours of sleep. Brandy began packing for our move to the Luxor, a birthday present that I surprised her with about a week before leaving. While she was packing I went to the front desk to check out. Upon check out I received a refund for the last night $20 upgrade plus the $3.77 energy charge that I had to pay at checkin for all nights. (what a rip-off) I then headed back to the room to help pack. After packing we caught a cab to the Luxor. The cabbie was one that did not say a word, even after telling him where we were going and asking him how he was doing. He took the strip all the way down, which I agreed was probably a good idea since it was about 8:30 a.m. and traffic on the highway was pretty bad. It was actually a quick trip because there was no traffic on the strip. Once we arrived at the Luxor the cabbie quickly grabbed our luggage after opening the door for Brandy. I paid him with a couple bucks tip and went to see if we could check in. It was only 9 a.m. We have only been in the Luxor once and this was on our first trip a couple years ago.

    After walking up to the front desk and noticing that there was no one at check in or at check out I didn’t know if this was a bad sign or not. We went up to the first person and spoke with Edward. After asking about an early checked in, he asked for the name. He confirmed that we had a Jacuzzi suite, but it was not ready yet. He asked me to wait while he checked on some other options. After a few minutes he said that he had a Jacuzzi room on the 30th floor in the pyramid. I said that was great. He then said that he wouldn’t be able to let me have it until after 12:30. We didn’t even have to think about it. 12:30 was a lot better than 3 p.m.. So he got my card so he could scan it and my license. After that we checked our bags with the bell hop we headed for the buffet.

    We were standing in the corridor area just above the escalators and in front of the casino when aways behind me I heard someone calling my name. I turned around to see Edward (the man at the front desk) running toward me hollering my name. We began walking toward him and could tell that he was out of breath. The first thing I thought was that I had left my wallet behind. Apparently after we had left the front desk area his supervisor walked up and asked what we were checking on. When he told her then she said to go ahead and get us checked in. That was awesome. If we were at the Riviera they would not have even thought about chasing us down. When we returned to the front desk the guy was still out of breath. I thanked him for the effort and ended up tipping the guy $20. I also asked him about a late checkout since our flight did not depart Thursday until 6 p.m. He gave us a 3 p.m. check out at no extra charge. Beats the hell out of 11 a.m. We decided to go ahead and check out the room and call for our bags after we got up to the room.

    The room was great. The view was okay. It was of Mandalay Bay. I was not about to complain since we got the early check in and late check out. Although I would have like the view of the south strip better. The Jacuzzi was right near the window. So, what’s the first thing we did. Well, I’ll let you guess….. After our bags were brought up we decided to freshen up and check out the casino. So much for the breakfast buffet since it was now after 1 p.m. We checked out the casinos at Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, and back to NY NY. I really am beginning to like NY NY. Not just the casino, but the whole place. Maybe we’ll stay there next time. I have always said the reason for staying at the Riv every time was because we didn’t need a real nice and expensive room since we were hardly there. I think that now that we have seen other rooms I have changed my thoughts on this. I still think the rooms at the Riv are okay though.

    We grabbed something quick to eat and decided to go back to the north end of the strip to do some souvenir shopping since that’s where a lot of the good shops are that don’t cost you an arm and a leg. This was a good thing and a bad one. The good is that we bought a lot of junk for the kids and our parents for hardly nothing. I got some nice posters of Elvis and two of the Rat Pack. Those will make a great addition to our game room. The bad is that we had 6 p.m. reservations at Charlie Palmer Steak ( Four Seasons) and had lost total track of time. It was already 5:30 and we had tickets for Danny Gans at 8 p.m. We decided to blow off our dinner reservations wich turned out to be a good thing and I’ll explain that a bit later. We finished our shopping and took the bus back to our room. After showering and getting ready for Danny Gans it was already after 7 p.m. We already had our tickets, so we knew we would be alright. Just no time to eat before the show. We grabbed a cab and headed for the Mirage.

    We arrived at The Danny Gan theatre about 7:40 and noticed that they had already began seating. I also know that they had a huge bar at the entrance. Brandy decided on just a coke and I decided on this huge fruity drink. I don’t even remember the name of it. It cost $8.50 and you would think that for $8.50 I could remember the name. I do remember the bartender throwing a few extra of this and that in it. She said that I would have no problems sleeping tonight. She was right. We quickly got in line to be seated. After handing our tickets to the guy at the front of the line, he noticed that we had paid for the good seats and pointed in another direction for us to go and said that we had a special entrance. We did have a special entrance right up front next to the stage. We were seated in our assigned seats in row JJ and was 6 rows back from the front and all the way to the left of the stage. It was awesome. 8:00 p.m. on the dot the lights were dimmed, the music began and Danny Boy took the stage. He was GREAT!!!! He did impersonations of everyone from Dean Martin to Forest Gump and from George Burns to Sylvester Stone in Rocky II. The show was about and hour and a half and we laughed from the time he came on stage until we went to bed. And then we woke up laughing he was that good. I would highly recommend this show. The seats we had were $100 a piece and we ordered them online about 2 months ago. Worth every penny.

    After the show, Brandy wasn’t feeling good. She had a horrible migraine starting up. I don’t know if it was from running around all day, not eating yet, laughing so hard or all of the above. We went straight to the Mirage’s café near the Danny Gan Theatre and was quickly seated. After we ordered our meals, I walked next door to there little shop and bought a bottle of $5 bottle of advil. (4 pills) When I returned with the pills, Brandy excused herself. She ended up getting sick. When she returned she tried to eat, but just couldn’t. We got it to go and headed to the room. When we got back to the room she was able to get some food down and began feeling much better. She went to bed and I went to gamble. I didn’t want to leave the Luxor’s casino in case Brandy felt like joining me she could find me near a bj table or some nickel slots. She never came. After a couple hours and about $20 down for the session I called it quits for the night and went to the room. I watched the end of Conan with Brandy and then we both went to sleep.

    Day 5

    We woke around 9 a.m. and was in no hurry to get up since we had a late check out. We lounged around the room and made a few calls to the kids with our cell phone. The cell phone worked great our entire trip. We got a real weak signal in our room at the Luxor but it still worked. After taking showers and getting packed we headed down to check out. We still had a couple hours before needing to leave for the airport so we checked our bags with the bell desk and headed to The Tropicana to play some more bj. We did our free pull again out front with the same guy that wanted to read everything to you.. Brandy pulled first and whatta you know she won 2 for 1 tickets to Follies Bergere. I won another deck of cards. We didn’t have time for the show so we decided to keep the voucher and give it to some one on the board. It expires at the end of March. After a few drinks and some bj we left down for the session about $40. We decide no more gambling. Until we got to the airport of course. We decided to go back to NY NY. No gambling, just hanging out. It’s a fun place to people watch. We seen or should I say we first heard a women over by some slots yelling and screaming. We went to investigate thinking some one just hit a jack pot. When we got there we seen and heard this women yelling and screaming at her husband. He obviously said something that did not go well with the missus. She made a complete fool out of him and herself. He just sat there and took it. He didn’t budge. I thought it was funny, but Brandy just gave me one of those looks like, don’t ever think about talking to me like that in public. See, we don’t even know who is at fault and the men always get blamed for being the wrong one.

    After the free show we watched we headed back to the Luxor to get our bags and make the lonely trip to the airport. We got a cab and the cab lady was very interesting. She talked the whole time about aliens and Area 51. Very freaky!! We checked our bags at the curb which was a first and very nice. The security check went very fast. We headed by our gate and grabbed some tacos from Taco Hell. After eating I wanted to play some slots. I was very lucky last trip and won about $300 and was hoping for the same outcome. The outcome was not as good, although it went well. Brandy decided not to play and just chilled out with a crossword puzzle book. I played quarter slots and turned $20 into about $60. I cashed out and played nickel slots and turned another $20 into about $40. I then played dollars and turned $10 into $60. They say that airport slot are the worst to play, but I have always done good there. I decided to chill out with Brandy and then board our plane. BYE BYE VEGAS!!!! The flight home went well and we made it back about 30 minutes early.

    Final thoughts:

    Transportation- We mostly took the bus everywhere which saved us a lot. I think next time I’ll take Jimbo’s advice and get a couple of those passes. All the cabbies got a tip except when we went to Paris for breakfast. The guy was a jerk.

    Entertainment- we did or seen just about everything we wanted to with the exception of skydiving and bungee jumping. We went to bungee jump but the wait was about 2 hours. We should have waited. That would have been time that we weren’t gambling.
    Danny Gans was great-Crazy Girls wasn’t worth the money or the time. The Rivs comedy club has been better. The super bowl party was great. Well worth the time and definitely worth the money. The Hoover Dam is always a good get away. Very interesting stuff. We also did not make it to the Elvis Muesem. Just not enough time in one trip. Next time we want plan so much.

    Dining- Paris breakfast was about the best meal we had. We just seemed to be in too big of a hurry to stop and check out better places to eat. Next time we’ll have to slow down a bit.

    Gambling- Not so great. We have done a lot better the last 2 times that we have gone. Total loss was about $500. Better luck next time. Our timing on the lower limit tables were awful. El Cortez sucks. (imo)

    Overall- We were there for a total of 5 full days. I think that was way too long. Next time we will maybe stay for 3 or 4 days.
    Even with all of our losses in gambling we had a great time. Can’t wait until we get back.
    It may be awhile before our return. We promised the kids that they would get a trip to Disney World in late summer. We also have plans to do some remodeling on our home.

    I hope this trip report was not too long or boring.

    Hey Mikey,
    I almost match your 15 pages. Mine was only 14 pages.

    P.S. I will add the link to the pics later. I am having some technical difficulties with the web site.
     
  2. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Billy--

    Great Report... $25 for a friggin cigar that costs 6 bucks everywhere else. What a ripoff... (That's why we buy 'em before we go, usually ;) )

    Sounds like ya'll did a whole lotta walkin' around the south strip.

    Mikey
     
  3. Lmadrid

    Lmadrid Tourist

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    The superbowl party sounds pretty cool. Makes me want to go next year!! I think the Secret Garden is the best part, but I like the lions and tigers they have. I agree with you about Danny Gans though, he's hilarious. Also glad you had a good experience with the Luxor. I had a bunch of jewelry stolen from my bags there, so I've been quite sour on them, but nice to see they do have some people there concerned about customer service! Sounds like you had a great time and got alot of things in!! Can't wait to see the pictures!!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. rugbysteve

    rugbysteve Low-Roller

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    Nice Billy,
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I think you got the El cortez trip a little distorted from reading the board. It's not a destination that you leave the strip for... it's a spot to sneak away when you are already downtown.. and want a quick $1 craps game. Yeah, it's a rundown pit... that's what makes it a fun "sneak-away" from Freemeont street.. not a cab ride from the strip... just my 2 cents. I also agree that 5 days is too long for the amount of boozing that occurs.. I find that 3 nigths is all the body can handle. Thanks for the great write-up.. I know you have been looking forward to the big trip for a long time. Have you started planning the next one?
     
  5. AzSteve

    AzSteve Tourist

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    Hi Billy,

    Awesome report. My wife and I are all set for a trip staying at the Riv from Feb 26th - Mar 1st, going with some NASCAR friends. I have stayed at the Riv before and actually got a pretty good room as well although it was on one of the higher floors. Glad you and your wife had an awesome time & thanks for all the great hints.

    Bye, steve
     
  6. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

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    We didn't make a special trip downtown just for the El Cortez. We were planning on hitting everything down there but was warn down by the attitude that we recieved at the Coretez.
    I would like to start planning anothere Vegas trip, but we are gonna hit Disney World first with the kids before another Vegas trip.

    Any info on Disney World would be appreciated. We'll probally drive> mY wife has been several times as a kid, but our kids and I have never been.

    Thanks for the kindness!!
     
  7. Ronster

    Ronster Tourist

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    Good Report. Was it you Billy who said in a pre-trip report that you were going to do alot of planning this time around? If so, I think you just showed that planning the whole trip dosen't work in vegas. I like to make a few reservations for those shows that you cannot get in without. But I think that vegas is a hour by hour trip. Your mood changes so much. You have to figure that the fast pace will catch up with you. It seems like it caught up to your wife. Taken a beating in the casino's will make a difference.
    It changes your whole mood. Seems like everytime you started doing well on the slots, you had to run into a show. In the past I have blown off dinner reservations because I was having a good time were I was and didn't want to leave. So when I go to vegas, I just wing it. I might make one reservation for a show, but thats it. Thanks for the report. P.S. I can tell you all you want to know about Disney in Florida. Been there more times then I remember. My Mom lives 20 Mins away.
     
  8. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

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    What a great trip report! I liked the little details you added that really "fleshed out" the report.

    I'm sorry that Brandy had that bout of not feeling well. I have to say that once I paid for super expensive OTC medicine in Vegas (e.g. $5 for the advil) that I make sure I pack my own.

    It's too bad that you didn't get to eat your steak dinner at Charlie Palmers, but I guess things worked out since that was the same night that Brandy wasn't feeling well.

    I think you got the short end of the stick when you traded the Broncos pennant for the Redskins - lol GO BRONCOS!!!

    Glad you had a great time!
     
  9. Ries27

    Ries27 Tourist

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    That was a great read. Thanks for all the detail... sounds like you had a great time.

    I was surprised to read that the minimums were so high during the week. Do you think this was just to cash in on the post-Super Bowl crowds, or are minimums generally on the rise? I'll be in Vegas for the first time in T-24 [​IMG] , so I'm trying to find the most up-to-date info on all that stuff.
     
  10. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

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    Ries27
    I think that the casinos took advantage of the post superbowl crowd. I talked to quit a few people who scheduled there entire vacation around that superbowl. It was very crowded through out the entire week.
     
  11. hamster

    hamster Guest

    Thanks for that great trip report! I was wondering what the Riviera Superbowl party was like and it sure sounded fun! If you don't mind my asking, how much did the tickets cost? I'm thinking I ought to go next year.
     
  12. tammigirl

    tammigirl Tourist

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    i just bought danny gans tickets so im glad i read your review we have row dd center 4 rows back im taking it that those are good seats. [​IMG]
     
  13. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

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    Hamster
    superbowl tickets were comped to us. They are normally $135 a piece.

    Tammigirl
    row dd center is perfect. Thats right up front. We were 6 rows back and to the far left.
     
  14. Booger

    Booger Tourist

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    Great Report!

    Sorry you had such a bad experience at the ElCo,
    Oh Well,that sucks.I know what you mean about
    NYNY,I really like walking around there myself,
    but I don't know WHY?

    Booger
     
  15. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    Glad you had a good trip. Past trips I've enjoyed the dam and S&R garden as well. The Super Bowl Party sounded like a lot a fun. Thanks for the TR [​IMG]
     
  16. punkypete

    punkypete Tourist

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    Nice report ... I'm sure you will go back soon to take advantage of the "free" skydiving.
    I read somewhere that the "Riv's" superbowl party is one of the best in town. Sure sounded like a lot of fun!!! [​IMG]
     
  17. hamster

    hamster Guest

    Thanks for the info on the Superbowl party tickets!
     
  18. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    I just got around to reading your report, Billy. Good read! You guys packed a lot into your vacation!

    Nothing worse than getting a migraine in LV... except maybe for getting one on your honeymoon (happened to me!) :eek:
     
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