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Trip Report – 12 June to 23 June 05 Part 3

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by patternot, Jul 6, 2005.

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  1. patternot

    patternot Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Trip Report – 12 June to 23 June 05 Part 3

    No TR to Vegas would be complete without mentioning gambling. I’ve also covered our trip to the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon and a few other bits of information that some people may find interesting.

    Gambling

    We never hit the ‘big one,’ but from the points on our One Players card we managed to play about $2500 mostly in the MC on the slots and came back about $30 up. If you take in to account the free drinks then we probably did quite well overall. I did want to try my hand at poker but I never got the courage up to sit at a table for fear of being laughed at.

    Our preferred game was the 25 cent Wheel of Fortune slots and Lesley admitted on the way home that she got a bit addicted to playing them. It’s quite exciting when you get to spin the wheel and there were a few occasions where I heard Lesley shouting loudly ‘Come on 1000,’ to the machine, which is completely out of character for her. She reminded me of Marge Simpson when she became addicted to gambling.

    We did try some of the $1 slots and had a few good results but I didn’t like the speed at which you could go through a $100 before you were on to your second drink!

    I wasn’t as lucky as Lesley on the slots and she carried me for most of the holiday with her gambling wins. I even entered the slot tournament at the MC and managed to come last. I wouldn’t care but the old lady playing next to me looked like she had arthritis and only hit the spin button a few times but she still got a better score than me.

    We played in most casinos we visited with mixed results but the slots in the MC seemed to be the loosest but this is probably because we did most of our gambling there. I found the MGM to have the tightest slots and I think I lost about $300 there before calling it quits. Winning a couple of hundred off Mr Wynn was cool and the Bellagio gave us a few nice returns.

    I started to get in to video poker before I left and I could see that I could get quite addicted to it if given the time. I’ve actually got a hold of a video poker emulator for my PC just to keep me going before my next trip.

    Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon Coach Tour

    I know this board is about Vegas but I thought I would mention our trip to the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon in case anybody else was thinking about taking a trip to them. I booked the trip over the web with Vision Holidays before we left and it cost about $100 each incl tax.

    We were picked up at the MC at 6:30am and dropped back at 09:00pm so if anybody is thinking about this tour please be advised that it is a long day.

    We stopped first at the Hoover Dam but we were only given about ten minutes to view the whole thing and this was from a distance. It is certainly impressive but I was a bit peeved that I didn’t have time to look around, get up close and take some photos but we were on a tight schedule.

    After several mini stops we arrived just outside the Grand Canyon National Park and stopped for lunch at a Quality Inn hotel. I think I should sue for false advertising as the buffet they laid on wouldn’t know Quality if it came up and hit it on the back of the head. The food that was served was disgusting and I only ate a couple of bits of watermelon to keep me going. If you take this trip head over to McDonalds on the other side of the road or make sure you bring your own food.

    The Grand Canyon was spectacular and I think I used two 512mb photo cards in about ten minutes. We had a couple of stops around the rim of the Canyon and I think that on my next visit I’ll take the pony trek right down to the base of the canyon. Lesley also met a new friend in the form of a squirrel that followed her around for just about the whole time during one of our stops. It obviously didn’t realise that we had just been to the Quality Inn for lunch and the last thing we would have done was take doggy bags with us. I also think we would have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals if we had fed it with any of the lunch.

    Lesley's new friend: http://www.travel2vegas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=29&stc=1

    Me @ the Grand Canyon: http://www.travel2vegas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=28&stc=1

    After the Grand Canyon we made our way back to Vegas. On our way back it was amazing looking over the desert as the sun was going down. Everything had this strange glow to it and I wish I could have pitched up a chair and sat there watching the sun go down whilst drinking a few really good malts. Possibly something to do next time.

    I would say that the trip was reasonably good value apart from the awful lunch. The driver was quite funny and gave a good deal of information about the places we visited and I would certainly recommend the trip to anybody considering visiting the Grand Canyon. If you are more interested in the Hoover Dam then I would suggest a more specific trip.

    Shopping

    This was almost a daily event in the afternoon to escape the sun and we mainly went to the Fashion Mall and Premium Outlets mall. We got some great bargains and I now have a new wardrobe to last me till our next trip to the US – probably Florida. My wife has already commented that I look almost respectable now when I go out!

    Anybody visiting Vegas from the UK should make a point of going to the Premium Outlets mall as there are some great shops and you can pick up semi-designer gear for about a quarter of the price in the UK. We got a taxi there and back which cost about $15 each way from the MC but I believe that there is a shuttle bus that also goes there from some of the hotels.

    Final Thoughts

    I had planned to try and do as much as possible when we were in Vegas but the days just seemed to pass us by quickly. I could probably write several pages on what I wish we had done but I suppose this means that we still have lots to see and do on our next trip. To be honest I could have spent most my evenings going up and down the strip just looking at the buildings as I’m a big fan of architecture if Lesley had let me (okay I’m easily pleased and a bit of a boring old fart).

    During our stay we met some really nice people, both workers and other visitors and this just made the trip all the better. I did find it funny when I told people we were from Scotland as a lot of them would say ‘oh that’s the place in Braveheart.’ I just wish I’d brought a broadsword and blue face paint with me and then I could have stood on the strip shouting ‘Freedom!’

    One thing I do wish that we had done was see a show but we couldn’t decide on what to see. I wanted to see Barry Manilow and Lesley wanted to see We Will Rock You but by the time we had agreed on what to see the ticket prices were really quite high.

    We also never made it downtown this time and I would have liked to have spent a bit of time in the casinos. I also never saw Mikey but by the time we visit again he will hopefully be one of the pit bosses at the Wynn .

    It’s probably going to be four or five years before we make it back to Vegas again, by which time they will probably have built a few more casinos and knocked a few of the older ones down so there will be even more places to explore. I’ll keep monitoring this board from time-to-time to keep up with what’s going on but I’ll not be visiting too often as it will only make me wish I could go sooner.

    Hope this TR wasn’t too boring.

    All the very best.

    Phil
     
  2. CamelClutch

    CamelClutch Low-Roller

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    Nice report, Phil! Very well written, and great pics. Sounds like you had a great time (except for the cafe incident).

    And if you had painted your face blue and brought a broadsword--tough to get that through airport security, I'd imagine--you could tell people that you were headed to Excalibur to seek revenge! You could probably raise a small army along the way...
     
  3. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Too bad you didn't get to downtown, but it sounds like you packed enough into your trip as is.

    I'd pay to see the broadsword and facepaint.
    ;)
     
  4. cowgirl

    cowgirl Tourist

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    Just read the three installments of your trip report. You are a wonderful writer with a great wry sense of humor. It sounds like you had a really great trip with the exception of the Cafe. I definitely think you handled that much better than I would. I wouldn't have paid them a dime after all that grief.
    Love your idea of the blue paint and sword. With all the strange people you see in Vegas you probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow!
    Thanks for the great report and I hope you get back to Vegas sooner than you think.
     
  5. SweetP

    SweetP Low-Roller

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    Great Scot Trip Report! Enjoyed it very much. The MC looks more appealing to me every day.
     
  6. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Nice report! Just walking around gawking at buildings and people in Vegas is easily one of the cheapest and best forms of entertainment. I have to agree that food overall at the Grand Canyon is sub-par. McDonald's is about the best I think I've had there, sad to say (and I normally despise Mickey D's).

    Weren't you the one who was going to pack your kilt? Did you, and did you wear it if the answer is yes?
     
  7. tara

    tara Low-Roller

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    Excellent report! Very well written and informative. We are staying at the Monte Carlo next week and I haven't been able to find much info on people staying there. Thanks for the info and the pics. I'll be sure to stay away from the cafe!
     
  8. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    thanks for taking the time to write up your report, I really enjoyed it. Glad to see that you got your fridge without having to do the "Breast milk and Insulin" routine. You'll like the Mirage if you ever stay there. I'm staying there again in September and can't wait. Loved the McDonalds comment about Burger Bar. I find it hard to believe that any restaurant could be that bad. :confused:
     
  9. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

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    Thanks for taking the time to write your terrific report!! I was howling when you were describing the exchange with the clerk about the fridge!!

    It sounds like you had a great time, took things in stride and enjoyed the experience..........
     
  10. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

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    Great trip report. I liked the Marge Simpson comment - too funny.

    It did sound like you had a great time though and packed in a lot of activities.
     
  11. patternot

    patternot Tourist

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    Thanks for the feedback from everybody.

    Coaster Kikky - I never took a kilt to Vegas as it took too much space up in our luggage and it was a bit too heavy. I probably wouldn't have worn it anyway as the temperatures were topping out in the high 90's up to about 105 when we were there. Even if I'd gone 'commando,' (no underwear for anybody who doesn't know) like a true Scot I think it would have been way too hot to be wearing the best part of 8lb of wool round my waist.

    I think I'll invest in some tartan shorts for my next trip and look like the typicl Scot abroad.

    All the best

    Phil
     
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