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Stratosphere, Sept. 5-10 part 1

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by writes4me, Sep 15, 2005.

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  1. writes4me

    writes4me Tourist

    Aug 11, 2005

    My Trip Report

    I was going to write a novel of our time there but I've decided to try and include the highlights(lots of food reviews, we ate half of Las Vegas), with prices, opinions, suggestions and strange observations.

    Took the Bell Trans van from the airport, $13 for both of us, a one way trip.
    My, my how the airport had changed. It was way bigger than we remembered. One funny thing--funny to a non-smoker anyway--was a big glass room where all the smokers had to stand. In the center of the room were slot machines. I'd swear the cubical was so thick you had to squint to see the people. It reminded me of a zoo. I was almost surprised there wasn't a sign warning folks not to feed the bears.

    We stayed at the Strat and we will defiinitely stay there again!
    Great room on 21st floor over looking the strip (actually The big freakin Wynn blocked some of the view :eek:). We had to pay $10 a night more but it was worth it. We stayed in room 32160, World Tower 1. Only thing we didn't like was there was no safe in the room and every other hotel we'd stayed at had one.

    We got a Strat Funbook when we checked in and used it right away to get 2 for 1 Hagendaz (spelling) ice cream. Then, mollified on an ice cream high, we waddled down the street (or up the street in this case since we were going North), to a place recommended by Frommer's Travel Guide: a diner named Tiffany's. It was in a rougher part of town but it was broad daylight and I have a huge husband. The meal cost about $17 for everything and it was filling (meatloaf, corn, mashed potatoes, the works) but that's all I could say for it. It wasn't anything like Frommer's had said but the waitress was really nice and she took good care of us dispite the so-so food.

    We rolled back down the street and went to our room. Crash for about 2 hours, waiting for blissful darkness and a relative drop in temperature. Did I mention it was BLISTERING freakin' hot? Coming from the groinal region of Texas, we know about hot. Dry hot can still be HOT!

    About 8:00, 90something degrees, we started trekking down the strip to the bright lights. We stopped at the Sahara, signed up for their club card, got a fun book because we were new sign-ups and used the free $10 slot play. That ten went quick with no returns. :blah: Hubby had gone on a beer diet and because he was looking way too happy I drug him off to the buffet. Nice to get some food with your alcohol consumption. But had we known how bad the food was going to be I think we'd have rather gone hungry. The buffet was $21 for two people and, how shall I put this, "it stank on ice." Truly, magnificently disgusting. I've tasted cardboard with more flavor.

    Going on another tip from another member's trip report, we toddled down to the Riviera and "Penny Town." Yeah!!! Penny Town. What a great place to have a little fun. Hubby won about $75 off several machines. His favorite was the Fist Full Of Dollars. We have our own way of playing. We'd find a machine, sink a couple of buck in it. If it was paying piddly amounts or nothing we moved to a new machine. If it was going to give you something, we usually found it did so in the first few minutes. Once you won say $10+ (less amounts for some machines) we'd get up and move along. One good payout seemed to be about it. After the payout you started sinking back all your winnings into the machine and we didn't have much to begin with.

    Circus Circus was giving us a siren's call from across the street and we followed the herd across. Observation: People in front of the Westard Ho, Slots of Fun and Circus Circus, seem to have a death wish. I saw more folks walking out blindly in front of traffic and wincing, thinking they were going to get hit. It was like watching a game of real-life 'Frogger'.

    Don't know what called us to go to Circus Circus. The players club sign up was closed. The place was dead. No one looked happy. We sat down, put a few coins in and didn't make anything. A waitress came over and I gave her a $1 tip. Poor thing nearly feel into tears. You'd think that tip was the biggest thing to come her way all night. She practically ran back and brought me another drink and kept thanking me. It was almost embarrassing.

    Hubby wanted to slink through Slots of Fun, or as we called it thereafter, Sluts of Fun. What a wild ride. It was claustrophobic city. We pulled the handle on the big slot out front but didn't get anything and gladly walked away.

    We looked up the street and there was the Strat, a great phallic symbol in Sin City. It didn't look all that far away. We started walking. Ever have one of those dreams where you keep going toward something and the closer you get the further the object becomes? It was exactly like that. We walked and walked and....I swear the building kept moving away.

    Made it to be about 3AM (that was 6AM our time). Observation: All the urban legends about oxygen in the air at casinos must have some reality. We were going and blowing just fine after 24 hours on our feet. Also, really odd, every morning I was there I kept waking up at 5:30 or 6AM and walking over to the curtains. I peer out at the rising sun, groan and go back to bed. I don't know what the he** I expected to see out the window. Perhaps I just wanted to make sure I was really in Vegas. It was either that, or Area 51 was controlling my brain since I'd left my aluminum foil hat at home. :goofy:

    Hubby was ready for action at 7:30. I told him to come back for me later. Any getting up for me before 10AM would be dangerous to his health. He quietly slipped out, ate a steak and egg breakfast at Lucky's (The Strats 24 hour diner) and joined a group of newbie Hold'em poker playing lessons at 8:30. Hubby was having a grand old time. He met this Irish guy who wandered up to the table and plopped himself down in the next chair. "What are ya doing?" he asked. "Learning poker," hubby answered. "Oh, eye," the Irish guy nodded. "Is it played with them wee cards?" (I'd love to tell you I was making all this up, but it's the truth. The guy was a walking, talking charactaure of every stereotypical Irish joke. Nice though, really funny.)
    Hubby looked over at the guy and started laughing. "What day is it?" the Irish guy asked. "Tuesday," hubby said. "Oh, I'm fooking wrecked," the irish guy said. "Why do you want to know what day it is?" someone else at the table asked. The irish guy squinted at them and said, "See I went into this pub on Saturday. Me and my mates and we dinna come out till just a little while ago. It was sunny out. We went in when it was dark. Damnest thing you ever saw, the sun." Everybody sorta looked blank at the Irish guy and my husband, who like me doesn't have a shy bone in his body, said, "you went in on a Saturday and came out on Tuesday?" "Ai, ain't it grand being in Vegas? Lovely place, lovely pubs." He shook his head and said grinning, "I must look a fooking wreck." No one responded and the lessons continued. First barmaid to walk by the Irish guy yelled for her to bring him a Bud.

    Hubby came up to the room about 10:30 waving a white flag and approaching me with all the caution used by big game hunters on safari. (Did I mention I'm not a joyful morning individual?) He didn't have to worry much though, I'd been half awake anyway for nearly an hour. He told me all the details of what went on at the poker lessons and that he wanted to enter the newbie tournament the next day. I told him it would cost him the princely sum of $20 for me to play at the penny machines while he was gone.

    We caught the CAT bus beside the hotel and bought those $5 all day pass things that are good for 24hrs. It saved us a lot. We were on and off the bus all day. We ate lunch at the Monte Carlo. A Terrific Place To Eat - Dragon Noodle- $6.95 each. Hubby had Shredded Pork with Cabbage, I had Cashew Chicken. Great Oriental Food. Next we caught the free tram to Bellagio and walked through the lobby. All I can say is "Wow!" The hand blown glass flowers on the ceiling are stunning. The garden next to it is just grand. Don't miss a chance to walk under the water arches. At first I thought the water must be running on some sort of clear rod but it is all water. I forgot the scientific explaination but it is written on a little sign inside the garden. It's fantastic what they did with water there.

    We went next to Excalibur and stayed all of 5 mins. They were supposed to have some sort of give away going on but we never found it and to be honest we weren't as impressed as we thought we might be. Ah, well. There was another free tram down to the Luxor and we climbed aboard. The Luxor was awesome inside. It looked like Queer Eye For The Egyptian had come in and decorated the place. We wished we could have ridden up an incline elevator but that was only for guests. :eek: Still, we had fun. We took a couple of rides on those simulator games, "Race For the Obolisk," and "Dracula's Castle." It was about $30 for both of us and when they say you are going to get jerked around in those things, they mean it!! Those simulators are not smooth in the least. It was still fun though, even for a couple of middle agers like us.

    On the agenda after that was back on the free tram to Mandalay Bay. Lovely place but didn't see why everyone was so thrilled by it. I mean it was nice and all but it looked like a lot of the other ritzy places but without a signature look. Even the trees in the stairwell needed dusting, someone had even written their name in the dust of one leaf. We did like seeing the big fish tank in the lobby. That was great. I kept wondering if the fish knew they were in a desert. Poor old things swimming around and around. Wish I'd brought my fishing pole. We ate frozen custard at the Chocolate Swan. Lovely, creamy, cold. Great stuff. About $4 a piece.

    I'll write more later. If you can stand to read it. :)
  2. nbg

    nbg Low-Roller

    Dec 27, 2001
    South West UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I can! Keep it coming :)
  3. scubapro5

    scubapro5 Tourist

    Jul 28, 2005
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Very entertaining to read!!

    Look forward to part 2 :)
  4. Jacko

    Jacko Tourist

    Jun 16, 2004

    Yeah, give us more!

    Did the beer drinking Hubby have a Pabst Blue Ribbon draft at Penny Town?

    What details can you give us about the Sahara buffet?

    Seems there is a lot of dining that was left out for such a long trip.

    Looking foward to part 2!
  5. kitson

    kitson VIP Whale

    Apr 20, 2004
    queer eye for the egyptian! now thats funny!
  6. writes4me

    writes4me Tourist

    Aug 11, 2005
    A bit more info

    Hubby was on a steady diet of Heineken. :ssst:
    The Sahara Buffet had all the normal buffet fare, an Italian station, carving station, mexican food station, american deep fat greasy fried station and the most bland desserts anyone ever ate. The food was really awful. If you remember what you ate at a school cafeteria, that was it tasted like, mass food taste with all the spice of a Mc'd's happy meal.
    Weird you don't think we ate enough, haha. It seemed like to us that we ate all the time. We both came back a few pounds heavier.

  7. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

    Jan 8, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Here's a tip: leave the drapes open, that way you don't have to get out of bed to look out the window and re-check that yes, you really are in Vegas. Works even if the sun is already up too :thumbsup:
  8. biggestbooner

    biggestbooner Tourist

    Aug 10, 2005
    Sure glad to hear the tram between Bellagio and MC is working again. That is one of the grungier walks (especially because of the porno guys).
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