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oct 29-31, smoky, windy, but frugal

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Nov 5, 2003.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    Frugality was the goal on this trip and I'm glad to report it was accomplished.
    Started off trip with .99 Whopper from Burger King a couple blocks north of Midway Airport.
    Arrived at McCarren (5:30 pm) an hour late via SWA. Took the 1.25 fare CAT bus (from suggestions found on travel2vegas board) downtown to Plaza.
    Had never taken bus from airport, but it worked slick as a whistle. I never knew there was another level below the shuttle pickup.
    Waited maybe two minutes for bus to show and we were on our way. The 1/2 hour to get downtown compares favorably with shuttles that you often have to wait to be filled.
    Walked four blocks from DTC to Plaza. Quick check-in (first night $30, second night free LVA coupon).
    First stop was California Club coffeeshop for 5.99 Prime Rib dinner. That includes a nice salad bar and cherries jubilee for dessert. California is an under-rated food establishment. The Pasta Pirate and Redwood also have good food at reasonable prices.
    Checked out FSE, free entertainment at Fitzgeralds and shot some $1 craps at Cortez. Rounded evening off with .99 GC shrimp.
    For those that were in Vegas on that Wednesday (29th) can certainly attest to the smoky conditions from the SoCal fires. Yes, it did blow all the way to Vegas. You couldn't even see the Stratosphere . Many folks with masks on.
    Thursday, the smoke wasn't as bad, but day started windy. So much, that went I went on my morning run, I had to use the Golden Nugget parking garage instead of venturing out on the open roads. On advantage of using parking garages for running is less traffic to contend than on the roads.
    After run, jumped on the bus and purchased one day pass ($5). Unlimited travel anywhere i nthe city the bus goes - can't beat that.
    I have to give the bus drivers credit. They put up with a lot, from the tourists on the strip route that aren't sure how this bus thing works to the Vegas lowlifes who give them crap.
    With the Slots-A-Fun crap table right at one of the stops, made it very easy to get off bus, play a few rolls and catch another bus. Who's in a hurry.
    Nursed a couple donuts for breakfast ($1 total) and then proceeded to Sapphire Club for late morning entertainment. I'm not much of a strip club afficiando, but last May, took my wheelchair friend in wheelchair and discovered you could go for free at that time of day, plus nobody pressured you to buy drinks.
    Here is a trick if you do not want to use up your hard-earned cash on tips for the girls. Offer to give them a neck, back, leg and/or foot massage. Some appreciate this more than paper money. The only time it works is in morning when things are low-key and very few customers are present.
    Lunched at the Todai japanese seafood buffet for lunch. Regular price is $14.95, but "Whats On" mag has $5 coupon in it.
    I've ate at the Todai in San Diego and the Vegas one isn't as good. But, for $9.95, a great value.
    Todai does not have good locale, kind of off the beaten pass of the south side of the Alladin on Harmon Ave. Not a huge crowd dining there.
    After messing around on the Strip with various free attractions. I still get a kick out of the Bellagio water show. I don't know what it is about it, but I would rather see that than the volcano, TI show, etc.
    Took advantage of the free Viva Las Vegas afternoon show at the Strat. Actually, it comes out to $9.15 when the drink and gratuity is included.
    It was worth it. The second comedian was exteremly funny. I forget his name already.
    I did intend to see new TI show, but decided against fighting crowds. Took bus to Trop and opted for Casino Hall of Fame (free with coupon). If you like old Vegas, this is worth a stop.
    After craps at Sahara (I like the open spaces in their casino), time to head back downtown.
    More free entertainment at the Fitz. The 1st floor has a solid lounge singer and 2nd floor has actual free shows with purchase of one drink. Worth checking out.
    Even though, I wasn't hungry, still had the $5.99 prime rib special again because it is such a good deal. Suggestion- if you go there in evening, it is often a wait to get table, instead walk on through and grab seat at counter.
    More craps at Plaza that night and next morning. Had Plaza breakfast buffet (free with coupon). If it wasn't free, would not have ate it. It not that great, but it does fill you up before catching you plane.
    My 24-hour bus pass was still good for another hour. That gave me time to walk to the DTC and ctach the 109 for the trip back to McCarren and 10:00 am flight back to Midway.
    Used one-day free parking coupon for 59th-St. parking area south of Midway and total bill for 3 days was only $12.75.
    Total expenses: $243
    Round trip flight (with promo code) $146
    Lodging $33
    Parking $13
    Meals $24
    Tips $10
    Entertainment $11
    Bus travel $6

    With gambling thrown into the mix, came out $330 ahead, thus paying all expenses with $87 left over. Where else in America can someone have so much for fun for so little cost.
     
  2. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Awesome! Jimbo will be so proud of you! :D

    Kitty
     
  3. duffelbag don

    duffelbag don Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Can't beat those trips where you come home with more money than you left with. It must have been that Archer Ave. whopper!
     
  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Good job, chef, especially on the tables to come out up three bills playing low limit games . But only $10 in tips? You're not stiffing the waitstaff, are ya? [​IMG]
     
  5. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    Way to go, Chef! [​IMG]
     
  6. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    doctor al,
    I know $10 seems low for tips, but food expenses were only about $35 (adding on coupon savings).
    Believe me, the tips to the cocktial servers and pit guys at craps tables was substantially higher, but that is included in total gambling won/loss column.
     
  7. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

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    chef,
    Thanks for telling us how to have a good time and not spend a lot of money. [​IMG]

    sunni
    T-17
     
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