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Islander's First Trip to Vegas Jan 25-Jan 31 (many pictures)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by sapphirebhs, Mar 11, 2011.

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  1. sapphirebhs

    sapphirebhs Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Edit: I figured out how to add pictures within the post without going to the website so happy reading

    Larger and more photos can be seen here: http://theinsiter.blogspot.com/p/trip-diaries-las-vegas.html

    I will update my trip report daily as it is a lot to type at once. Please check back for updates.

    First time in Las Vegas January 25 - 30th

    Wednesday Day 1

    Travelling with boyfriend who shall be named Kevin for the purposes of this post. Delta flight was not bad: lots of snacks, lots of pretzels and beverages. We connected in Atlanta where the weather was windy and cold but our flight still arrived in Vegas on time at 11:30pm.Vegas was chilly (in the 50s Fahrenheit) but not as chilly as Atlanta.

    Get off the plane and see slot machines in the gate. Wow. Snap pic. Coming from a country where it is illegal for the locals to gamble while tourists can do so in our very own land, the site of slots in a gate amazes me.

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    We get our bags and decide to take the shared shuttle service thinking that it would be cheaper which it was not. I would only advise it if you are travelling solo so you would only have to pay $7 per person or if you have a lot of bags that cannot fit into a taxi and then we also had to wait for more persons to come into the shuttle. First time in Vegas, I just wanted to see the strip ASAP!

    We check into the Mirage and use the $20 trick with no problem. We were upgraded to a strip view room on the 17th floor. At the time there were no more king beds available so they would put us in a room with 2 queens until the morning. No problem.

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    was happy with the room. Some people complain about the Mirage bathrooms being small but it's a good enough size for me since I will hardly be in the room. Now we venture onto the strip. It is after 1am on a Tuesday night so the strip was relatively quiet but I was just snapping away.

    Walking from Caesar's Palace, we were offered weed by a friendly patron. We laughed. In Vegas for 2 hours and offered weed already? Too bad that we don't smoke it.

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    We went back to the Mirage and ate at the Samba Steakhouse which was only opened that late because Carnegie Deli was being cleaned. We just got chicken fingers ($15 for 5 chicken strips, price gouging) and fries. Just before our food came out, this drunk guy sitting 4 tables over from us vomited on the floor. We did not see him vomit but the couple who was already eating next to us, saw it and then promptly left telling us "Good luck". We thought about getting food to go but that was right when the waitress brought out the food and we were like oh well.

    They asked the drunk guy's friend if he wanted them to escort his friend in a wheelchair but the guy said no and carried his stumbling friend out. We went to sleep at 3am (our bodies were on Eastern time which was 6am) so we were exhausted. Next time we will catch an earlier flight.

    First night. Weed offers? Drunk Guys? Vomit? What else is in store....
     
  2. Sniff009

    Sniff009 Low-Roller

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    Looking forward to more and keep it up! Great pics!
     
  3. Reed

    Reed High-Roller

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    Quite a first night! Looking forward to the rest of the trip report.
     
  4. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report, keep it coming

    I have never been offered marijuana or drugs of any kind in Las Vegas. And I have been there a LOT.

    I love a person's first trip report of their first trip.

    Everything is so amazing and new to you.

    Looking forward to more.
     
  5. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    Hey we might have crossed paths , no I didn't offer you weed or get sick in a restaurant lol, but I was in Vegas Jan 23-28th and did get over to the Mirage on the 27th, ate at BB Kings

    Looking forward to the rest of the TR :)

    lol @ your wide -eyed amazement at the slots in the airport, I admit I was the same on my first trip , too :)
     
  6. abbo1963

    abbo1963 Tourist

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    Interesting start vegas does offer it all good and bad looking forward to reading more do love the newbie TR's:cheers:
     
  7. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    Great pics:clap: Never had anyone offer us weed in Vegas in 5 trips. Of course, we're old (50-ish):rolleyes2:

    Looking forward to the rest of your TR. Always great to read a newbies reactions and compare them with my first time.
     
  8. sapphirebhs

    sapphirebhs Tourist

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    Las Vegas Day 2

    Edit: I added the pics to the board

    More Pics of Day 2 can be seen here: Trip Diaries Las Vegas Day 2

    Wednesday Day 2


    We got the all day bus pass for $7 to head to Town Square, the shopping plaza at the South end of the strip.

    I asked the bus guard (I don't know what they are called) where is this famous In N Out I keep reading about all over the net. She points down Tropicana Avenue and said right over there, you see the big yellow sign? She said you would have to catch another bus to get there or a taxi because it's not "walkable" from the Strip.

    A lesbian couple sitting next to us chimed in, the dominant of the two said "Oh it's walkable, you just catch the bus to Tropicana and you walk straight over. The burgers are awesome." Then I asked "Is it better than Five Guys?" She said "Oh waaaay better than Five Guys, I live in the East Coast now and that's all we have out here but I love In N Out."

    My boyfriend who has quite the appetite and loves Five Guys was like oh we have to try that while we're here.

    On the bus monitor, it says next stop Town Square so we get ready. Then we see the bus zooms past Town Square. WTH? All the passengers look at each other and say that's our stop. Hmmm I guess we are suppose to push that red button. The bus takes us down to the outlets on the South end of the Strip so we got off there and walked around. Found a few bargains then left.

    Then we catch another bus to go to Town Square and my boyfriend starts b*tching about how he is starving and has not eaten all day. As for myself, I just want to shop but we stop for something to eat just so he could let me shop in peace. We go to this sushi place called Kabuki.

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    We both get the lunch box specials. He gets the bigger one being the greedy person that he is. I get the smaller one and we each got a sushi roll.

    We enjoyed our food, it was very filling and our bill came to less than $60 including drinks. The prices were very reasonable and the waitress was exceptionally nice. Not sure if she was actually Japanese or Chinese but who cares.

    We shop and catch the bus back to the Strip. It is now almost 5pm or 5:30. We stop and watch the Bellagio Fountain show.

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    We have tickets to see the 7:30pm showing Cirque du Soleil Mystere at Treasure Island. We go back to the room and change. Time to get all dressed up on a night on the town in Vegas! I put on a LBD (little black dress) with heels and he puts on a button up shirt, jeans and dress shoes and catch the tram from Mirage to TI.

    So there's a crowd of people on the tram dressed in t-shirts and sneakers. They must be going to hang out in the casino. So we get our tickets from the box office and go in the theater. Oh wait. The same people from the tram are in the theater and 95% of the people are dressed that way. There are only a handful of other people that are dressed up like us. Hmmm Americans must not dress up for these things. Oh well...

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    The Mystere show is awesome! My favorite part were the two men who balanced off of each other. Wow what strength, it looked really painful but they made it look so easy. It was not 9pm yet. We were on the guest list to go to Surrender but too early to go there. When in doubt, time to eat.

    I did research on the internet beforehand and my list of must eat places were: Raku, Lotus of Siam, Burger Bar, at least one buffet, and one high end place like L'Atelier or Guy Savoy.

    My boyfriend just wanted to try In N Out after he heard it was soooo good.

    We decided to head to Raku ,a Japanese grill place.

    The restaurant was in a strip mall type plaza in Chinatown. It was relatively small and had a cozy atmosphere. I like to go to an Asian place and see that Asians actually eat there too, that must be the food is good right? The waitress was really friendly and explained the dishes to us. The most memorable dishes were the juicy deep fried chicken (how typical), chicken breast wrapped in chicken skin, the tofu, the lamb, the asparagus and the chocolate lava cake along with a few glasses of sake. Also note they bake the chocolate cake fresh and it takes 10 minutes once you order but it is worth it.

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    I did not take pics of all of the food but it was very good. They serve in tapas style (small plate portions) so you can taste various things. Our bill came to $96 including 3 glasses of sake which were $8 per glass.

    By this time it's around 10:30 and we had to the Encore hotel to go to Surrender nightclub for their industry night. The Encore is a gorgeous hotel. The lobby and casino are decorated with rich vibrant shades of red and pink. The vibe there is somewhat laidback but it is a Wednesday night.

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    We are on the guest list - girls are free but non-local men pay $40??? No free drink, no anything? I guess this is one of the more "high class clubs". All of the male staff are dressed in their snazziest shoots and do not smile. They have a very serious look on their faces similar to that of Secret Service agents.

    The club is beautiful and has a good crowd. It is indoor and outdoor. The outdoor is area is a beach club in the summertime with many pools and a few bar areas while the indoor has one bar, poles for their numerous dancers and many tables reserved for bottle service.

    Apparently, there is a size 2 requirement for waitresses who work there. Back home, they like women with a more voluptuous body but these girls fit into that West Coast ideal. There were a few in particular who had very obvious breast augmentations but who am I to judge?

    This club has 10-15 dancers on poles at a time and each one of them as a replacement and then they have a replacement. Wow, they made our home clubs look so small time.

    The club played all techno and electronic dance music non-stop. I like techno but after 3 hours straight, I was starting to feel a little loopy. Also there was nowhere to sit down inside unless you had bottle service, you get what you pay for so ladies with heels be aware. Reserved tables lined all the of the walls and were in the middle of what was suppose to be the dance floor, I'm assuming. There were places to sit outside but it was so freaking cold.

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    You can tell it's locals night because it seems like most of the patrons know each other.

    Feet are hurting, no bottle service, it's cold outside, techno music. I had an okay time but unless you have bottle service

    My favorite actor is Jason Statham, not because of his acting skills but because I think he is as Americans would say "hot". His body, face, accent just make me melts.

    You may wondering why I am saying this. Well we head back to the hotel around 3 or 4am. I check my Facebook and see that Surrender has posted that Jason Statham is at the club after his movie premiere.

    What? I was in the same spot as Jason Statham and I did not see him? Can we go back to the club like now?
     
  9. Sklem211

    Sklem211 High-Roller

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    I'll come clean...you all do it too so don't hate! lol...We were walking down the strip and could smell it, and I was like "do you smell that", and sure enough, some guy was like "you want some, I can make it happen, keep it down", so my gf hands him a $20 and he gives a girl walking in the other direction the money and she gives him the weed and he gives it to us. I was amazed at how it happened and how quick it happened!
     
  10. sapphirebhs

    sapphirebhs Tourist

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    Where I am from, it's illegal for citizens or residents to gamble so seeing slots in the airport was awesome. Not sure if the odds are winning are that high though. As for the weed, lol at the girl giving him the weed, they sound very organized.
     
  11. PWiddy

    PWiddy Low-Roller

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    nice report...thanks for sharing. going in May and may check out Surrender....if it's warm out, there are plenty of seats outside though right?
     
  12. sapphirebhs

    sapphirebhs Tourist

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    Yeah not really seats but a lot of ledges you can sit on surrounding the pool.
     
  13. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Great report and great pics! :peace:
     
  14. abbo1963

    abbo1963 Tourist

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    looking forward to more
     
  15. sapphirebhs

    sapphirebhs Tourist

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    Las Vegas Day 3

    Go here for more pics: Trip Diaries - Las Vegas - Day 3

    Thursday Jan 27

    This is the day of much anticipated visit to In N Out Burger! I put on my new cute ballet flats and then we hit up Fashion Show Mall. After being hyped up for this In N Out, his idea is to walk there, eat and we would be so full from this magnificent burger that we could just catch a taxi back. Sounds great in theory.

    After walking around in the mall, I say let's catch the bus to Tropicana and walk to the burger joint but noooo he said let's walk down the strip so we get to say we walked the strip and then eat. Hmmm....the place looks closer on the bus but we'll see.

    Walking, walking, walking....more walking....45 minutes later, shoots we're just at City Centre. My cute ballet flats were apparently not made for walking as they had been rubbing my Achilles heel but we managed to take a few pics.

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    More walking, walking, walking, we finally reach Tropicana Avenue. It took us a while to figure out which part of the road to walk on to get over to In N Out because from the strip, it looks like you are walking onto a highway and risking your life but there is a sidewalk and intersection with a pedestrian crossing.. While walking near the overpass, a random homeless guy was peeing in the bushes. All of this for a burger?

    Ahhh we reach our destination. All in all, we walked a total of one hour and 25 minutes from Fashion Show Mall to In N Out Burger while stopping to ask for directions and few times and getting lost because we walked under the overpass instead of on the overpass. We were sweating in January and I now had two blisters on my Achilles heel from the friction of my shoes.

    The place was packed. I got the animal style burger with well done fries and chocolate milkshake while he got the animal style 2 x 2 burger with regular fries. All his excitement to eat a burger so big and satisfying that we would not be able to walk back, a burger so mind-blowing and we got this: see picture on website link above.

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    Mind you, the burgers were really good for fast food burgers. I knew it was fast food but he didn't. He thought it was going to be one of those humongous burgers, you know the kind you pay $20 for. We enjoyed the food but men should just listen and take the bus.

    We caught a taxi to Ross on the south end of the Strip and checked out the Coca-Cola store and M&M store. It was Thursday and the weekend Vegas crowd was already pouring in. There were twice as many people walking the streets as the day before and I loved the energy of the city.

    We went back to the hotel to rest then dinner at Envy Steakhouse in the Renaissance hotel. We had a Travelzoo voucher for a 4 course meal for two for only $79 (not including gratuity and tax).

    The steakhouse had a nice cozy vibe with comfortable booths and the service was impeccable. We never had to ask for anything, a refill, a fork, nothing. They started us off with a bread basket followed by an amazing artichoke and brie soup.

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    Then we had a choice of a salad or fried calamari. We both got the calamari followed by the main course which was a choice of chicken or filet mignon. He got the chicken and I got the steak. Dessert was a choice of chocolate lava cake and something else. I am a chocolate fanatic so that's all I needed to hear.

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    Overall, we enjoyed the food and it was very filling. We thought it would be gourmet portions but we could not finish it all.

    Back to the hotel. We were on the guest list for Tao nightclub but that long walk had us exhausted and we were so full from our food. We just slept haha. Thank you In N Out.
     
  16. sapphirebhs

    sapphirebhs Tourist

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    Las Vegas Final Days

    Trip Diaries - Las Vegas - Rest of the Trip
    Las Vegas finale

    See more and bigger pics at website here

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    Friday January 28
    Okay. I'm going to do a shorter report for the remaining days. This day we spent exploring the different casinos. Ran into a random drunk guy at 10am who told us how he had not slept for 18 hours and hooked up with an Indian girl the night before. When he told her wanted to eat an In N Out burger, she got upset saying she was Hindu and believes cows are sacred. He told her that they were made to be eaten and she got mad and left lol. We caught the Mac King show in Harrah's at 3. Gambled in O'Shea's and enjoyed the 99 cents Frozen Baileys hmmmm. We spent most of the time playing Blackjack which we suck at. Back in our country, it is illegal for locals to gamble so we were newbies. We lost in total $100 today gambling. Small compared to a lot of folks.

    Walked around the Cosmopolitan. One word: shiny. It looks nice but I wasn't blown away by it.

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    We bought alcohol from the liquor store nearest to the Mirage and went back to the room to get tipsy. After the alcohol wore off and we lost some in gambling, we caught a cab to Lotus of Siam. The strip mall which it is in looks shady and there was a random guy asking for a donation outside but they awesome food. He had the wings for appetizer and beef strips for entree while I had the bacon wrapped prawns for appetizer and drunken noodle soup with seafood as main course.

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    Ahhh...got on the VIP guest list for Jet Nightclub where they had DJ Clue's birthday bash. Don't remember much after an hour in the club but I know some pole dancing was involved, along with giving high fives to random people in the street and a 4am run to McDonald's.

    Saturday January 29

    Woke up with a semi-hangover.

    Went to Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay. We were smart enough to catch the bus this time. Went at 12 noon, peak lunch time, long line, half an hour wait. We had the Hubert Keller burger, I had sweet potato fries and he had regular fries and we both had milkshakes. I enjoyed the food and was stuffed.

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    Went to Tao later that night. The club is very Vegas. Multiple levels, rooms, dancers everywhere, girls with pasties laying in tubs, giving each other massages. I never got the pretend lesbian fetish with some folks but oh well. The main dance floor was too packed but there was plenty space to walk around.

    As we left, they gave all the girls Tao flip flops to relax your feet after wearing heels I am guessing. They were good quality and very comfortable.

    More gambling in the casino. Started playing the table roulette and started winning finally! Won $100. Wished I had played this game from the beginning instead of blackjack oh well. It's 4am now and had to catch a 7am flight.

    Vegas was awesome, I enjoyed staying at the Mirage with its central location. I gained 10 pounds on this trip but hey it's Vegas.
     
  17. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

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    Love the pictures! Great TR, sounds like you guys have a lot of fun doing everything - especially eating! lol. I was chuckling at your description of the theatre patrons. It's a shame no one dresses up for shows anymore, and not just doesn't dress up there seem to be a disproportionate amount of people in schmatas.

    Thanks so much for all the photos!
     
  18. etm117

    etm117 Low-Roller

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    Great report and great pics!
     
  19. sapphirebhs

    sapphirebhs Tourist

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    Yeah, I thought that it would be like it is on TV where you see all the women in cocktail dresses but it seems like people only dress up for the clubs.
     
  20. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Great report and pictures. It sounded like you had a great trip.:thumbsup:
     
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