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Sept 8/13 Vegas

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by searbyb, Sep 26, 2002.

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  1. searbyb

    searbyb Tourist

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    411
    Location:
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27

    My Trip Report

    Hi Hoya and all,

    Sorry for the delay - I have to do a little work to pay for these trips!!

    Before continuing I should add to the "pre Vegas" entry, that we came via Pahrump and I cannot see what the fuss is about - what a strange place - it certainly needs something to put it on the map! ;)

    Secondly on arrival we missed the turning for the Mirage reception and finished up going back on the I5 towards LA! Anyway we came back down the Strip to the sound of Elvis and Viva Las Vegas on the CD, there can't be a better way to arrive.

    To carry on..........

    After check in at the Mirage we went straight over to Casino Royale for free Margaritas and my inauguration to Craps. Gail has an aversion to alcohol but said the Margaritas were great - no chance of failing the breathalyser after one of those then! :rolleyes:

    As for craps - I must say I didn't feel really comfortable the whole time whether it was because 7 came up far too often or because I got a rollicking for not throwing the dice to the end of the pit, but after about 20 minutes and $34 down I came away. I won't dignify my exit by describing it as "colouring up" although that may describe me! [​IMG] Somehow I never got around to it again.

    It was now around 8.30 so we went downtown to the Golden Gate for our 99c shrimp cocktails - great value (mind you this was after asking for them at the Golden Nugget initially - what a dumbo!). Then it was some indifferent slot play and back to bed.

    Monday morning we had the breakfast buffet at Mirage before an 8.00am start for the Grand Canyon West. I had bought the drive yourself audio tape from http://www.drive-yourselftours.com and I must say this was tremendous value. The commentary starts at Hoover Dam and incorporates many attractions on the way to the West Rim before ending at Kingman. In fact we did not have time to do everything on the tape, there were enough points of interest for a further day's trip.

    One word of caution, the drive does incorporate 14 miles (28 in total) of driving on unmade dirt roads, not quite 4x4 territory but my Buick Century was relieved to see tarmac again! The West Rim is great, the Indian Tour and Barbecue is a bit steep at $37 but they have to make what they can, in any case the views were worth every cent. The accent is on undeveloped nature, there are no guard rails or signs of commercialism unlike the South Rim and the views were every bit as stunning.

    We got back to Mirage around 9.00 to find WagerWorks closed, we had booked a WW buffet for that evening so we charged it to the room and resolved to see them in the morning.

    On Tuesday we saw the WagerWorks girl who said she could not credit the buffet I had charged but would give us a comp for later in the week - she also gave us the two we had already qualified for so that was fine. We then drove to MGM Grand to pick up our WW EFX tickets and also a buffet for that night, there was no problem and we were told they were good seats. Then it was across to NY NY to pick up 6 rollercoaster rides (WW again). Geoff and I went on twice each but Gail refused. After that Gail went off to check out Big Elvis at Barbary Coast and Geoff and I went to Beltz for a little shopping. We all met up back at Mirage to change and back to the MGM for the Buffet and EFX. The seats were great - just by the small podium Rick comes out to early in the show, and the show itself was superb - perhaps we are easily pleased but we really enjoyed it. [​IMG]

    Then it was back to the Mirage via Casino Royale - but the Margaritas were closed - I had one unhappy wife! [​IMG]

    Wednesday we had buffet breakfast at Mirage before going up to NYNY to see the 9/11 displays and spent a few moments remembering those who fell that day.

    We dropped Geoff off downtown and drove back via Circus Circus which was the first casino I visited when we were there 23 years ago - nothing had changed except I couldn't find the 25c Blackjack tables! We also saw the bungee jumping outside - that was quickly added to the list of things I would never have the nerve to do!

    We all met up back at Barbary Coast in time for Big Elvis at 2.00. Pete is really very good and it was a nice relaxing way to spend a couple of hours. This was also where I found the 9/6 Jacks or Better machines, Geoff and I could not lose. By the end of the holiday we had recouped some of our previous losses. We then returned showered and went off to Bellagio for the first of two WW buffets. Very good quality - with lots of fish and strange ethnic dishes. We enjoyed it but I'm not sure it is worth the thick end of $25. Of the three (Mirage, MGM and Bellagio) we were more than happy with Mirage - perhaps we are easily pleased.

    And so to bed.........

    Thursday we were down for the usual buffet breakfast and picked up our Dolphin Habitat tickets. We spent a pleasant half hour relaxing by the pool waiting for it to open and really enjoyed the Habitat part self guided tour. I have mixed feelings about animals in captivity but felt I could accept Siegfried and Roy's justification. Gail said she could happily have spent hours just watching the dolphins. Then it was off to the Stratosphere for the 2.00 p.m. showing of "Viva Las Vegas". For the cost of a drink it was a great way to spend an hour(apart from the dodgy Welsh compere!), and professes to give a glimpse of a traditional Las Vegas afternoon show. With a very small cast of singer, 5 dancers, compere, magician/animal act and comedian they did a great job and were sufficiently confident to stick around and meet the punters afterwards. After this it was the mandatory trip up the Tower where my vertigo nearly got the better of me - I had this feeling of standing inside a doughnut that was about to go crashing to earth down the column! [​IMG] Anyway I overcame this long enough for Geoff to do both rides - his verdict - the High Roller is disappointing but the Big Shot is super!

    Then change and off for our second Bellagio buffet followed by the nighttime strip helicopter ride. This was fantastic it lasted for about 12 minutes, which doesn't sound long, but gave us fine views all the way to down town round the Strat and back for $50, wonderful value. We got the Papillon bus to drop us off at the Barbary Coast to win back some more of our cash and then off to bed.

    Friday we checked out and set off to Oakhurst ready for the Yosemite leg of our holiday, of which more later.

    [ September 27, 2002, 05:12 AM: Message edited by: searbyb ]
     
  2. Mikey Boy

    Mikey Boy Guest

    Great trip report searbyb! :cool: Sounds like you had a great time. [​IMG]

    How long did it take to do the drive-yourself-tour to the West Rim? I am thinking about visiting the Grand Canyon with my mother during our November trip. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  3. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
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    3,957
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA, USA
    Terrific! Looks like you packed quite a bit into a short trip! Good for you!
     
  4. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    In case anyone asks, I will quote Forrest Gump. "We are not Relations"

    Mikey
     
  5. searbyb

    searbyb Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    East Yorkshire, UK
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    27
    Hi Mikey Boy,

    For the West Rim tour we set off from Mirage at 8.00am arrivinc at Hoover Dam around 8.30. We spent an hour at the Dam because it was Geoff's first time. I was disappointed that because of 9/11 you can no longer take the tour down to the generator room etc - the Art Deco design is simply fabulous.

    The map that comes with the tape is very detailed and shows an itinerary that could total over 300 miles.

    Being selective we visited Willow Beach and Temple Bar before taking the Pierce Ferry road to Diamond Bar (dirt) road to Grand Canyon West. Speed on the dirt section are limited to around 20mph or less so we arrived around 1.00 in time for lunch at the rim. We did the Indian tour leaving the reservation about 5.00 we continued to Pierce Ferry and South Cove before setting off back arriving at Mirage at 8.00pm.

    So we took a full 12 hours and still did not visit the hot springs, Chloride or Kingman.

    The commentary supplied is very detailed and comprehensive and as I say contains enough for at least two days trips.

    I don't know how old your Mum is but the dirt section is VERY bumpy in parts and may not be suitable for the very elderly.

    To LV Terry - Yes we do pack a lot in when you have to come 5,500 miles before you start you tend to want to see and do as much as possible - although after reading the report I think we probably do too much.

    Next year looks like being two weeks in Florida so it should be a little more relaxing! I've just got to figure out a way to come home via Vegas!!
     
  6. Mikey Boy

    Mikey Boy Guest

    Hi searbyb! Thanks for the detailed info about the canyon excursion. :D My mom's only 51 years young, so I hope that the bumps in the road won't pose a problem. So to drive to the G.C. including stopping at the dam and various places took about 12 hours... hmmmm... that's something to think about... :rolleyes: thanks again.

    Hurricane Mikey: Wassup? You've got a cool name, dude! (and like you said - we are not relations :cool: take it easy...

    Mikey
     
  7. searbyb

    searbyb Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Mikey Boy,

    Although we spent 12 hours, all of it (except possibly the off-road part) was interesting and enjoyable - there was no experience of time dragging. If you were to just go directly to the Rim and return you could do the journey well under 8 hours. We stopped quite frequently to enjoy the views and take photos (I've enough opics of Joshua Trees to start my own forest!)

    I suggest you buy the tape at $14.99 listen through and decide what you want to do. That was what we did.

    By the way I've corrected the link in my report - the original one didn't work.
     
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