Vegas Trip Report January 11-15 (Golden Nugget) **sorry it took me so long to post this ... enjoy!! Sunday 1/11/04 My girlfriend, Chrystal and I woke up at 6AM to get to Austin Bergstrom International Airport in time for our 7:45 flight to Vegas. We flew SWA. It was a good flight and hardly anyone on the plane. It went by quick because we have a nice mini DVD player, so we watched a movie and before we knew it we were landing in Vegas just before 9AM local time. We went straight to the baggage claim, got our luggage and waited about 15 minutes for my parents, who were coming in from Dallas on America West. We all said our hellos and proceeded to the Dollar car rental shuttle. I cannot tell you how convenient it is to have a Fast Lane membership. The driver drove us directly to our car (a dodge Durango; only $120 for 5 days) and we only had to sign out at the exit gate (very fast and easy)! Being that it was so early we knew we could not yet check in to the nugget, so we headed for the Bellagio for Sunday brunch. It was an excellent feast, however a bit pricey ($30pp). Before we left Bellagio we all had to get our first bit of gambling in, and letâ€™s say it didnâ€™t go over so great for me; I dropped $50 in 10 minutes at the craps tables. We finally headed over to the nugget around 11:30AM and checked in. For those of you who are curious, the $20 trick does in fact work at the nugget. I flashed the money in my hand and we were able to get upgraded to the north tower for no extra charge for 2 rooms. Once we settled in to our rooms we all went out to roam downtown. Binionâ€™s was closed, F$@%!!! They closed it down 24 hours before I stepped off the plane. Due to this unfortunate situation I found myself wandering into Fitzgeraldâ€™s for some craps. They had $3 tables with 10X odds. The service was very friendly and the cocktail service was never ending. I am not much of a drinker, but that was a different story at Fitz!! Chrystal played with me at the craps table for awhile and then headed over to play some slots with my parents. I played for about 3 hours and left the table pretty much even. I left and met back up with everyone at the nugget for a little rest. My girlfriend and I decided we wanted a good dinner, so we headed over to the Center Stage in the Plaza. Great Fillet Mignon and awesome ambience for a reasonable price!!! My girlfriend was ready to go back to the room after dinner, but I was only getting started. I walked her back to the nugget and headed for ElCo!! Dollar Craps, seedy place, shady people, and beaten down dealers spells FUN!!! I stayed and played at ElCo for a few hours and finally returned to the room around 2AM. Monday 1/12/04 We woke up around 9AM and went to Carson street for breakfast. Best biscuits and gravy in the world!!! I played for a while in the nugget and stayed even at the craps table for a couple of hours. We all met up around noon and hopped into the car to go on a day trip to hoover dam. I have been to Vegas countless times and never went to see it, so we went this time. It was a site to see and we had a great time getting away from the tables for awhile. On our way back my parents spotted a sign along the boulder hwy that said $2 Margaritas. They insisted on stopping at this rundown place; well let me tell you, there is much to be seen off the beaten path!! The name of this place was rail road pass. We went in and it was like one of those movies where the 4 people walk in and the music stops as everyone turns to look at the â€˜out of placeâ€™ folks walking in! That; however, wasnâ€™t going to stop the folks from getting their Margaritas!!! As my folks and my girlfriend got their ritas and hit the slot pit, I of course sought out the craps area and noticed all the green chips and saw the number 25 on the minimum plaque and thought this was way out of place and just didnâ€™t fit considering the fact that this place even made ElCo look like the Four Seasons. Well, at closer glance I realized the minimum was $0.25. I couldnâ€™t believe it, and asked the box man what max odds were and he said 10X! Wow, what a place after all. I did get some weird looks from the other players for playing $1 on the line with max odds, like I was some kind of a high roller or something. Well, needless to say, I had a great time at this table and walked away with about a $40 profit, not bad for an hour of play!! We finally got back on the road and back to the hotel for some rest. After resting up a bit and awaiting my father who had half a liter of bourbon and was quite colorful, we went to get dinner. We all headed to the California and ate at Redwood. Great porterhouse special! Mom and Dad were ready to go back to bed after our great meal, but Chrystal and I decided to stay out and play! I dragged her to ElCo for some $1 craps, we had lots of fun making fun of the worldâ€™s most annoying man and I managed to sock away a little more money, but I think she was a little scared of the weird people in the place. We left ElCo via cracktown avenue and got some late night food at the cafe at 4 queens, good cheeseburger! We ended up going to bed around 3. Tuesday 1/13/04 Great day!! I woke up before Chrystal and headed downstairs for some early gambling. I was off to a great start in finding a hot craps table at the nugget. I pocketed over $150 in just under an hour! I was feeling great!!! Chrystal came down and we went to the buffet at the nugget, it was very good and cheap!! Around noon we all decided to jump in the trusty rental car to do some sight seeing on the strip. We headed to the Venetian first. My mom showed much interest in going to the art exhibit at the Guggenheim collection. The Venetian is one of the coolest places on the strip; I am always taken back by the incredible efforts that went into the design of this place. We did go to see the Guggenheim collection and it was very interesting. I am not an art expert in anyway, but I enjoyed the exhibit very much. After the Venetian, my Dad said he wanted to see Paris. I had stayed their before and thought it was a neat place, but will never again return, as the staff, in my experience is extremely uninviting. We went to Paris and went to the top of the tower. I must say it is an awesome view of the South end of the Strip. From Paris we went to check out the Dessert Passage in Aladdin, very neat, much like the Forum at Caesars, only Moroccan. After much walking we were all feeling a little low on blood sugar, so we grabbed a bite to eat and Chrystal and I had to part with my parents as we had to catch the Lance Burton Show at Monte Carlo. Good show, highly recommended!! On a side note, minutes before the show we decided to put a few dollars in the Slots at MC, I lost as usual (never much luck for me in slots), but Chrystal hit the 1000 coin payout spin on the $0.25 Wheel of â€œmisâ€Fortune!!! We almost missed the show, but we werenâ€™t going to leave the cash money behind for a second!!! We finally got back to Downtown and did some gambling at 4Q and decided to play some $2 Craps over at the Plaza, oh do I love that lovely smell of the Plaza!! I was still on a hot streak at the craps tables and won a couple hundred dollars that night before calling it quits and getting some light night grub at Carson Street. We ended up going back to the room around 3AM. Wednesday 1/14/04 After our late night adventure the previous night, I had to get up at 8AM to drive my Parents to the airport. We got there with plenty of time and said our goodbyes and they were on their way back to Dallas. I was sorry they couldnâ€™t stay one more night, as we were all having such a great time! When I got back to the hotel I knew Chrystal would still be asleep, so I decided to play a little. I hit the craps table and won a little over $100 in a matter of minutes. Not wanting to give it back, I left the craps table and decided to try putting $40 in 1 dollar WOF machine. I almost never play slots, but after seeing Chrystalâ€™s luck from the previous night I had to give it a shot. To my delight I got to spin within 3 plays. The spin landed on $200. Good enough for me. I cashed out and went back to the room a very happy man! Had I known this would be the end of my 3 day lucky streak in Vegas, I would have savored the victory more!!!! I went back to the room to be greeted by a very cheerful Chrystal (please note the sarcasm). She loves it when I wake her up in the morning (again note the sarcasm). We got room service; Pancakes, eggs. Pretty good, but not as good as Carson Street! We both decided to do some sightseeing to avoid the tables for awhile. We went to Mandalay Bay to see the Shark Reef. It was a really good experience. I am fascinated with marine life and loved everything about this tour. Everyone should put this on their list of places to see while in Vegas! For lunch we had to go to In N Out Burger; cheap, delicious, and fast!!! Before heading downtown, we had to be sure to catch the Bellagio fountain show, and it was awesome as usual. Back to good olâ€™ Downtown; We both had some money to play with!!! Uh oh, we were expecting to win, but we hit the mother of losing streaks in our quest for financial prosperity!! First we went to the Plaza, Lost $200, then to the nugget, another $200. Everything we touched lost. I was still pretty much even for the trip, but I really thought Iâ€™d come home with a little extra this time around, Oh well!! We went to the snack bar at GN for some sandwiches and back to the room with tails between our legs!! We ate our sandwiches and rented a movie and went to bed with hopes for a better tomorrow!! Thursday 1/15/04 (Last Day) There was some kind of maintenance problem on the floor above us and we woke up to a loud banging sound. Well, it was our last day, good to get up and enjoy our final day in town. We packed up and got ready. I checked out of the room on the TV and we proceeded downstairs to leave out bags with the bell stand. We ate our final delicious breakfast at Carson Street; get the Nugget French Toast!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, after breakfast we thought it would be a good time to gamble a little, you wouldnâ€™t believe me if I told you, our streak got even worse, could not win to save our lives. We both stopped and said thatâ€™s it!!! No more gambling for us meant doing a little sightseeing. We loaded up the trusty rental and headed for the Mirage to see the Tigers and Dolphins. I thought this was one of the most fun tours ever. Chrystal and I had a great time watching the dolphins perform their tricks and entertain the crowd. The tigers were fun to look at too, but I liked the dolphins more. The Mirage is a beautiful place. I had never been in it before, but will go back sometime to stay here. I was very impressed with this property; however, the buffet needs some work! We were pretty much out of time for anything else, so headed to the Dollar Car Rental airport location to return the car. After I signed the car back over to them, we got on the shuttle and checked in at the SWA counter. Our flight left at 7:30 PM, so we did not get back to Austin until after midnight (local time). We got home and CRASHED OUT!!!!!!! This was one of my all time best trips to Vegas, sure I had a losing streak at the end, but that is to be expected. All in all I came out OK. I left Austin with $1000 and came back with $650. I am happy as hell to come back with anything at all!!!!! Check out our trip photos!!