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Trip report 09/17 to 09/21/07 (long)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Pete and Shellie, Oct 11, 2007.

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  1. Pete and Shellie

    Pete and Shellie Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2001
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Lima

    My Trip Report

    This was my 5th trip to Las Vegas and my husband's 7th, although the last time we were there was actually 3 years ago. We flew out on our 13th anniversary. He booked our airfare with Southwest out of Columbus for $150 (including taxes) per person nonstop. The plane ride out was completely full. We packed carry-on style so we had to be careful what to take. I was not aware until he told me that you can no longer have any form of liquid over 3 ounces carried on the plane, which means if your roll-on deodorant is 3.5 ounces, forget about it! Since we usually hit a store to buy a 12-pack of beer and some bottled water for the room anyway, I said fine we pack carry on and I'll just buy shampoo when we get there. Besides the guy 2 rows back who never stopped talking the entire way there, the plane ride was fairly uneventful. We printed out our boarding passes 24 hours prior to flight so we would have an A, meaning we get to board in the first 1/3 of passengers. Even though we were there first our mistake was waiting in seats for the flight before us to completely empty the line thinking we would then go up to park ourselves in the A line at the front. Apparently, a lot of people were waiting for our flight too and the few seconds we spent discussing should we go ahead meant we had about 15 people parked in front of us in the A line. Lesson learned and fixed on the flight home.

    Oh, let me mention our flight was leaving at 5:50 p.m. and we thought to avoid Columbus rush-hour traffic we would arrive extra early and eat at one of the restaurants in the airport. We had done this in the past at a Max & Erma's. We looked at the map, saw a Damon's near our gate right after security, and proceeded through security only to realize that it was not only not open but not completely built! And there wasn't anything to be had besides some cold-cut sandwiches by a vendor in our entire concourse. Neither of us wanted to deal with security twice so we were pretty hungry by the time we arrived in Las Vegas.

    We had made reservations with Dollar Rent-A-Car long before our trip and kept watching to see if the rental price went down. It did, twice. By the time it was all said and done we got our Honda Civic for $12 a day plus tax. Pretty good deal. With tax, our total for having the car from 7:30 p.m. Monday to 4:00 p.m. Friday was $75. One thing that was different from years ago was that to be a Dollar Express member you now have to register with a credit card, although you can still cancel and rebook without penalties, and before we left on Monday I noticed while looking at my online banking that Dollar Rent-A-Car had "hit" our credit card for $350. I figured it was the same thing hotels do where they "test" your card to see if it will accept enough for any extra money you may incur, etc., and that was the case.

    When we landed, we headed straight for the transportation shuttles over to the Car Rental parking garage, which is also new since we were there last. It went very smoothly and we didn't have to wait at all (also usually a benefit of packing carry-on style). We got the Honda Civic and while driving down the strip toward Harrah's the skyline showed big old Trump in the background. This is a complete change to the skyline and since we are NOT Trump fans of course we hated it.

    We made our way to Harrah's where my husband had booked reservations for $59 a night plus tax for 4 nights. When he originally made the reservation he told me he didn't figure that is where we would end up as he continually checks room prices at lots of strip casinos, but it did end up being the best rate he came up with. We try to stay someplace new each time and this seemed like a good location. (We have previously stayed at Tropicana, IP, Flamingo, Bally, Excalibur, and Mirage with Mirage being my hands down favorite so far). Ahead of time, my husband debated the whole offer/don't offer the check-in person money to get a nice room. He decided to not after much reading of the message boards. We had reserved a no-smoking king bed room and they didn't have such a room available, so she offered us a 2 doubles room. You would think not having what we reserved available in addition to it being our anniversary (which he told her and it really was) that she might have at least tried to give us a nice view if nothing else, but nope. We reserved king and got 2 doubles on the 6th floor of the Mardi Gras Tower overlooking a fountain near the pool (they have to have the most boring pool on the strip) AND it was right next to the Carnival Court, which bumped LOUDLY with music until 2:30 a.m. every night. And I do mean LOUDLY, think teenager with giant subwoofers in his car driving by your house constantly until 2:30 a.m. Also, walls are pretty thin there; I could hear people like they were right on top of me when they were out in the hall or next door. These rooms apparently were renovated recently and there was a decent bathroom with flat screen TV in the bathroom corner. Otherwise it was a very blah room, which doesn't suck when you are only paying $59 a night and hardly in it anyway. I will say it had a comfortable bed.

    As soon as we settled our stuff in, we had to find food because we were starving (remember no dinner) by this time. We walked down to the Mirage, which I have always loved, thinking we would eat at the California Pizza Kitchen and update our slot cards. By this time, it was 9:30 at night and there was still a rather long line of people waiting to get into the CPK. We stood at the end for about a minute when a guy from CPK comes by saying 2, looking for 2 people to sit at the bar, any 2's? Everyone else apparently was more than 2 because we snagged that and got seated right away at the bar, which was great because we like to sit at the bar anyway and watch the ovens and pizza making. We split a barbecue chicken pizza with 2 beers and an iced tea for $32 with tip. Food was excellent. Service was excellent. Fellow sitting next to me had a program for LOVE The Beatles Cirque du Soleil show at the Mirage. I asked him if he had seen it yet and was it good as we had tickets to see it on Thursday. There was a bit of a long pause before he answered and then he asked "Do you like the Beatles?" I said yes as I am a huge long-time Beatles fan. He then replied, "Then you will like it." I thought this was a bit of an odd exchange, he was friendly and talkative otherwise but somewhat reserved about his answer to this. (I discovered why later).

    We renewed our slot cards and I wanted to go by the front desk to see the aquarium because I love that and it was still closed :( Bummer. The atrium was still as lovely as I remembered but I have to say the Mirage no longer has the same "feel" it once had. Something is different and I cannot exactly put my finger on it. Also, it doesn't smell good like it used to (yes, I know what the smell was, but I liked it!). We read where other people said it wasn't the same since Steve Wynn sold it and I found that to be true of our visits there this trip. We played slots for a bit with no luck and hubby's machine got "stuck" and it took FOREVER for an attendant to come and assist him. We then made our way down to watch the Bellagio fountain show. We stayed for 2 shows and it still gives me goose bumps. This is one of my all-time favorite things to do while in Las Vegas and I could stand there all night. Gotta love the fountains.

    We walked across the street and went to Bally's because I wanted to hit the Tequila Bar and use a buy one get one coupon we got at check-in from Harrah's. When we stayed at Bally's I had been to this bar and had the best margarita of my life. The bartender hand made it with fresh limes and oranges and we got to watch and it was semifrozen when he finished. I have raved about this margarita ever since. Silly me. This time I got 2 on the rocks margaritas made with mix I could have purchased from Walgreens that were sour and terrible and cost $9 WITH THE COUPON. I actually asked the rude bartender if he was kidding $9 bucks for the cost of 1 drink and he said no. Nothing like ruining a good memory with a crappy experience and margaritas so bad we ended up throwing them out. Vegas really isn't cheap anymore, at least not on the strip. Whatever happened to let me make you happy and get you toasted so you will gamble your money away? After paying strip prices for food/drinks there is less to gamble with! (This just adds to hubby being convinced we need to start staying downtown.)

    We then walked way back the other way toward the Wynn. My husband was basically not going to rest until he saw it. Last time we were there it wasn't built yet. He has been following Steve Wynn for years, and because he is so amused, we actually own 10 shares of Wynn stock. As we were walking up to it to go in, I told him, "See that front left wheel on that garbage can over there? That's what you own." Well, I thought it was funny anyway ;)

    While walking past the Venetian on the way to Wynn, there was a strong sewer smell and construction zone that had to be walked through. First impression was disappointing. Entrance was dead and empty restroom was dirty, VERY dirty. (Surprising as Las Vegas I will say usually has the cleanest restrooms of anyplace I've ever been.) We got slot cards and hubby blew the $10 worth of free play they give with e-mail address. She mentioned with new sign up if you accumulated 100 points in 3 days you would get 2 free buffets. By the time we left there I had already accumulated 45 points and was only down $5 due to finding a very loose 5 cent progressive machine (rwb 7s). I should mention things have changed since I have been there. A machine that is 5 cents isn't a 5 cent risk per spin, it is $1.25 per spin based on 5 credits per 5 lines. This is why you see so many more penny and nickle slots now. This particular machine was pretty loose and I thought if we did come back within the 3 days likely getting from 45 to 100 credits wouldn't take long at all. Should mention that the play at Mirage and the lengthy time playing at Wynn produced not one single offer of a cocktail and we did not find any 9/6 video poker machines at either place. There is an area in the Wynn with real trees and flowers and flower balls (bouquets of real flowers shaped into circles that hang from the trees), which is very beautiful and the mosaic tiles in the floor also are very beautiful. It is an elegant place but we didn't find it any more impressive (and maybe less so) than The Bellagio. Walked back to Harrah's and hit the sack. Thankfully it was after 2 a.m. and the loud thumping music from the Carnival Court ends at 2:30 a.m.

    Day 2: Even though we had gone to bed late, I was up at the crack of dawn wide awake due to taking 12-hour Claritin-D for the plane ride. Hubby was still in dreamland, so I went out and asked a maid for a do-not-disturb sign as our room didn't have one and then went down and got 2 regular coffees from Starbucks and a cherry danish. (There are 2 Starbucks in Harrah's for some reason, very near each other but on different floors.)

    We got in the car and headed downtown to Main Street Station where we parked in their self park lot for free (apparently it is only free during the day, at night you pay $3 bucks and get it reimbursed at the cashier). This lot is right across the street from the main entrance and very convenient. We like the feel of Main Street Station so much we felt completely foolish for never having visited it before. It was full of character and completely charming with lots of intricate oak woodwork and stained glass windows. It is classy without being over the top. The prices for drinks here are very reasonable too (yup, still grumpy about the Bally margaritas).

    My husband had a flyer from Billhere (LV newsgroup aficionado) that needed redeemed into coupons at the O2 bar stand in the middle of Fremont Street so we walked there from MSS and got the coupons. We knew that Binions also had an offer for $10 free play with slot card sign up so we went in to get that. They actually let us both have $10 free play, some places only let one of us because we share an address and they put us on the same card. We didn't stay very long, but I managed to turn my $10 in free play into $50 bucks before we left :) Their free play is different than the Wynn where we had to put in money with pin# and it counted it back to us as we lost it; at Binion's it just flat out gives you the $10 credit with pin#.

    Hubby told me about the upgrade Golden Nugget had done to their pool area and I wanted to see it, so we walked over there to have a peek. The pool is very well done with lounge chairs permanently placed right in the water and a slide that goes through the middle of a shark aquarium! Even though we weren't staying there we had no trouble seeing all of this as their pool is completely visible from inside the GN. Actually, it is almost as if the people at the pool are on display to those inside, which is a little unsettling depending on who is out in their Speedos and bikinis, but that's a different story altogether ;)

    I noticed a sign on the way past the Las Vegas Club advertising $2 frozen drinks and we went in and got 2 strawberry daiquiris for the walk back to MSS.

    One of the coupons my husband got was for buy one get one free buffet if you sign up for their slot club at Main Street Station. We did this (they also gave us 2 decks of cards and I am a card junkie) and after playing for awhile both had lunch at their Garden Court Buffet for a grand total of $8.50. The food was good, not outstanding, but very decent and a nice selection. We gambled a bit more, mostly video poker, and then went in to a lovely bar called the Triple 7 Microbrewery for happy hour beers. This bar also has a great feel and beautiful woodwork. Again, drink prices very reasonable compared to the strip. Beers were $2 each for a tall draft. I tried the High Roller Gold and husband had some sort of wheat pale ale, I didn't care for hubby's much but liked mine and he liked his, so I guess it worked out okay.

    Our next stop was a Walgreens where we proceeded to argue about shampoo and a credit card. He wanted me to just pick one already and I was then irritated when he went to pay. You have to understand, we have a gold card from our credit union that earns points, so I told him up front I wanted all expenses for the trip to go on this card and I would check it for errors and pay it when we got home. Even though this has been the plan on almost every vacation we have taken and we do this at home too, he proceeded to pull it halfway out of his wallet and give me the quizzical "this one?" look every time he went to pay for something. Argh!! It drives me freakin' nuts. I just want to scream. (oh ayuh, I'm over it now.)

    Our next intended destination was the Pinball Hall of Fame. Hubby is a long-time pinball fanatic and only found out about this in the last year. Due to traffic (which was bad all over), it felt like a long journey but it is located only 3 miles east of the strip on Tropicana and Pecos. Despite the name, it is not so much a hall of fame as it is a section of strip mall someone rented and then just jam packed full of pinball machines. Every possible inch of floor space was utilized for pinball machines. They were back to back and side by side of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Every generation was represented. Hubby was in seventh heaven. All the machines were playable (amazing in itself) and hubby proceeded to try out various machines. Oddly enough, they did not happen to have the machine we own but he found a lot of old classics and played several from various different eras. The closest it came to being anything like a "museum" was the fact that each machine had an index card on the front that told what year it was made, where it originated from, and a bit about its history and/or restoration. Of note, I was the only female in the place.

    We drove to the Tropicana to get Comedy Stop tickets for the 8 p.m. nonsmoking show and because we felt like we were so close we decided to go ahead and drive down the strip to Harrah's to go back to our room. Big mistake! It took us 30 minutes to go 3 blocks on the strip on a Tuesday! There was a little store just around the corner from Harrah's and we stopped to get a 12-pack of beer and bottled water for the room. (We pack a soft cooler in our luggage and then keep it full of ice and beverages.) Did I mention one of my husbands all-time favorite things about LV is that you can walk around anywhere anytime with a beer or beverage of choice in your hand?

    After resting back at our room, we went the back way to the Tropicana to go to our Comedy Stop show. We had half an hour to kill when we got there and both lost at least $10 in record time. The Tropicana was packed with people too. We went up to get seated and I got a $2 popcorn on the way in. We didn't offer the maître 'd any money for good seats and I liked our seats just fine. We weren't at the front but we could see everything. Our tickets were good for 1 drink each and I had an amaretto sour and hubby had a beer. Our host was Jimmy Walker and the 2 comedians were okay but not great, definitely not as good an experience as our last stop at the Trop. The last time I left after seeing Tommy Blaze (who we didn't know beforehand) and had laughed so hard I had a side ache. This time the comedians were just so-so and not really even worth the $29.90 we paid (after $5 coupon). Still, not something you do everyday, at least not where we live.

    By now it was 10:30ish and we next headed to Ellis Island for the famous $4.99 that is now $6.99 steak special. This is a small, smoky, and crowded place. We stopped at the hostess station and she gave us #58 and said it was going to be at least an hour. We walked around for a minute or two and hubby got a beer from the bar (which was only a buck). I was feeling sluggish and told him I was going to go lounge on a bench just inside by the hostess station and he could just gamble for awhile. He put his cell on buzz and left me there. They seated #46 while I was sitting there and I suddenly found myself sitting all alone. I think most people went out to gamble while waiting or maybe they were in the bathroom. All I know is I was the only person sitting in the waiting area and a middle-aged blond from the restaurant walks up to the hostess stand, looks around, looks at me, and asks what my number is. I tell her #58. She looks around again, shrugs her shoulders, and says, "Eh, no one else is right here, let's go sit you down." I was literally seated at a table within about 7 minutes of walking in the door to the place. I buzzed my husband who had never even had time to play so much as a hand or a pull on a machine. That was a definite stroke of good luck and being in the right place at the right time. We both ordered the steak special, which the waiter felt obligated to point out, "You know it is 6.99 now, right?" Since hubby had read this on the message boards, we already knew. They also have microbrewed beer and I noticed that they had root beer listed with the beers. I have no idea if they make their own root beer or not, but it was absolutely delicious and reminded us both of old-fashioned root beer stands from when we were kids. The food took a very long time to arrive but was really good. Hubby thought it was even better than I did, but then he seems to think everything about Las Vegas is better than I do. Oh, and as we were sitting waiting for our check, the hostess station called out #57…… you might recall our number was #58, so needless to say, our getting seated when we did was a stroke of amazing luck. (The only kind of luck I was to have on this trip, but alas, I had fun.)

    We then went back to the strip and played a little at Harrah's with no luck. It was too crowded and I just really do not care for Harrah's. Their cocktail service is also nonexistent. I don't hate it as much as Riviera or Monte Carlo (bad vibes all around from those 2), but I just don't care for it. I was starting to get a little slap happy from lack of sleep but we walked over to Flamingo where I found a Spin Poker machine, which on this trip I had decided was my thing. Hubby had a minor bit of luck on a double diamond machine and left $60 up. We then went back to Harrah's and called it a night. Hubby is now telling me he thinks it is pathetic we went to bed so "early" every night. We weren't in bed before 2 a.m. any night (which is technically 5 a.m. to us EST Ohio people) and yet this is "early." Go figure.

    Day 3: Up too early again, but this time took hubby with me downstairs to Starbucks where we both decided to order something we never had before. I chose a caramel frappuccino and he chose a caramel macchiato (hot). They were expensive and absolutely delicious. I now know why people go to Starbucks (we don't have one) but it isn't for coffee, it is for dessert in a cup! This was the day we had planned out for driving up Mt. Charleston. On previous trips we had only gone the short route through Red Rock Canyon, which we liked, so we thought we'd do something new. It did seem to take a long time to get there but it was very beautiful (something like 45 to 50 miles). It was at least 25 degrees cooler up here with a breeze. We stopped at some sort of visitor center partway up and looked at the trail map. We didn't plan to actually hike but wanted to see which way we wanted to drive. We ended up stopping several places and taking pictures. We got lots of nice pictures but didn't venture too far out; I didn't really want to see a bobcat or anything up close. Not that we heard any either. We went up as far as 8500 feet elevation and when we got out of the car to walk and take pictures we both could tell a very big difference in the air and it was much harder to breathe normally just walking a few feet.

    On the way back toward Las Vegas, around 2ish, we stopped at Sante Fe Station where we ate at their Quiznos (best sandwich I ever had). We played slots for a bit and I tried the penny game everyone has been talking about called Goldfish or Go Fish (whatever). Again, penny slot but at least a $1 per spin based on lines. Banks of these machines were constantly full everywhere we went but I just didn't see what the fuss was all about. Sante Fe was not crowded at all like the strip and we were offered cocktails.

    We then went back to our room to relax and change to go out to dinner with a childhood friend of hubby's and his wife who happen to now live in Las Vegas. First, we had a bit of a tiff over the fact that I refused to delete a picture from our laptop that I had taken the previous day, but again that's another story… While I was changing and we were cooling off from our spat, hubby walked down in front of the Imperial Palace webcam and called a friend in Ohio who got on the webcam to see him and capture the picture. They were highly amused by this. After having the fight with hubby, I was in a drinking mood, and called friends up to tell them to have the bottle of tequila ready. We stopped at their house to visit for awhile where I proceeded to do shots with his wife and laugh a lot. We then all went to the far west side of town and had dinner at the Outside Inn (more shots). They say they are known for their fried fish special and 3 of us had that. Food was delicious. Hubby says his chicken was excellent too. Service was pretty slow. Apparently, as hubby tells me, a fight broke out at the bar and cops were called while we were there. Funny, I don't remember a thing about that…

    After we left our friends, we went and checked out Red Rock Station. It was very nice. Hubby says he thinks it is as nice if not nicer than any newer property on the strip. (Not quite as fancy maybe). Not too crowded for 10 to 11 p.m. on a Wednesday. We played here for awhile. More Spin Poker for me, dunno why but I just love this game. Took 215 back to south end of strip and then went and played in Harrah's again before bed. (Much better than going across town with stoplights). Again, no cocktail service at all.

    Day 4: Hubby skipped the coffee this morning since we woke up later but I got a frappuccino on our way out. I may be hooked. Good thing we don't have a Starbucks where I live. We walked down to the Wynn again and it was much busier than our visit on Monday night. The waterfall by the ice cream shop was empty due to repairs, which was kind of a bummer, but they were actively working on it. We played here again for probably an hour or so, I wanted to find that same rwb 7s machine I had played Monday because it was so loose. We thought we located it but either it wasn't it (good possibility) or my luck with it had changed. Still had fun though and we both did get cocktail offers while playing here though it was still too early in the day for us to care. We made a quick trip over to the Fashion Show Mall just because we had never been in it and we were in and out in 10 minutes. Looked just like any other mall to me.

    We then drove to the Palms and ate lunch at Gardunos. Excellent Mexican food but they give way too much. We could have easily split an entrée. Lunch cost $38.60 with tip. We played video poker for awhile here and then went over to check out the Gold Coast. This place has kind of a generic feel to it but we were offered cocktails several times while here. Hubby won $120 on a Wheel of Fortune spin and I just continued to lose my funds.

    Next, we went back to Harrah's, changed clothes for the LOVE show at the Mirage, and relaxed in our room for a bit (no fighting this time) before going back downstairs to play video poker and slots for awhile. Me again with the Spin Poker, I am really amused by this one. Again, not a single cocktail offer while playing at Harrah's. When it was time, we used a kiosk in the elevator area to print off our return flight boarding passes. Convenient feature but I did wonder what help I would have received had it malfunctioned and not printed my boarding passes. I could always reprint at the airport but this kiosk charged a buck a pass. (I know, I know, I'm in Vegas throwing my money away gambling and I'm worried about $2??)

    We walked over to Mirage for the Cirque du Soleil Beatles LOVE show. It was crazy busy there, especially considering it wasn't even the weekend yet. My husband is a big reader of the forums at http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/ and sometime back in July he read where
    Ticketmaster was doing a promotion on several Cirque du Soleil shows where you could get the best seats for $50. For the love show, this means we got the $165 seats for $50. So my total for 2 of us to see LOVE was $116 including tax. Pretty awesome deal and yes the seats were extremely good seats, better than we anticipated actually. On the way back to the LOVE theatre you walk over white flooring that is lit from underneath in a kaleidoscope of colors. There is a gift shop to the right and much to promote a 60s atmosphere all the way to the actual theatre, which was very nicely done but smaller than I had thought it would be. We stopped at the concession stand before going in and each got a keepsake LOVE cup, one with beer and one with a fruity cocktail with a Beatles song name. I also had to have popcorn as I am a popcorn junkie and never seem to get enough on vacation. Total for these 2 drinks and 1 popcorn? $26.45 Yikes! But what the hell, I'm not on vacation every day. The show itself had spectacular sound and for any Beatles fan is a real treat. There were particularly good moments of the boys just riffing on each other and goofing around played in silhouette, which we really enjoyed. However, if you are not a Beatles fan and ARE a Cirque du Soleil fan, you will be disappointed. I'm not quite sure how this even got to be called a Cirque show as there was very little about it that would go along with their usual stunning acrobatics and amazing feats. I've been to Mystere, Varekai, Corteo and another one the name escapes and I know what was missing. I kept waiting for that part of the show to start and finally about halfway through the show I realized it wasn't going to. I just enjoyed the heck out of the music and dancing but it wasn't all that I had expected, especially from a Cirque show with a full-time theatre. (And I would guess this explains the reserved tone of the guy at the CPK bar.) Mystere is still hands down the best show I have ever been to in my life. It is truly indescribable and I can't wait to see O someday too.

    After the show, I took the rest of my giant LOVE drink and we walked down to the Bellagio so I could catch the fountains again. We watched 1 show together and then hubby left me there to watch more while he went to get the car. He then called my cellphone when he was about to be in front of the Bellagio and I ran and jumped in the car and we were off! I got to see 2 more shows while waiting, which made me quite happy. I just love those fountains.

    We took I-15 to downtown and parked once again at Main Street Station. We were both hungry for ribs and wanted to go to the Tony Roma's - not to be confused with the awesome Dallas Cowboy's quarterback ;) - in the Fremont Casino. We have been to it before and love their ribs. We got to the hostess station and gave our name and party of 2 and she says, "I'll get you in if at all possible but right now my wait time exceeds my open time." I decided to hope for the best and sat down. Hubby wandered around for a bit and then sat down with me. We watched a lot of people come in and get told the same thing. I think they could have stayed busy all night if they stayed open that long. We did actually get called for a table and decided to split a full rack of ribs with an extra order of fries. The ribs were so darn good I later wished I had just ordered my own rack and skipped the sides altogether. Fall off the bone delicious! While we were waiting for our check, I noticed the 11 o'clock Fremont Street Experience light show was about to start and I left hubby there to finish up and raced outside to catch it. Afterwards hubby caught up with me and we walked through Binions where we saw part of a Dancing Cowgirls show on a stage in the middle of the casino. We did a bit of gambling, hit a couple of souvenir shops, and saw the midnight light show. It actually rained a bit through the light show and we then went back to gamble some more at Main Street Station before heading back to "the strip" via Las Vegas Blvd. Took lots of night pics out of the car on way back and reminded hubby to soak it all in while he could. We didn't want to give in and go to bed right away as it was our last night so we stayed up and played a little more before bed at Harrah's.

    Day 5 (Friday): We checked our bill with the account feature via television and then checked out that way. Stopped for Frappuccino and macchiato at Starbucks on our way out heading for Green Valley Ranch. Hubby loved it and I thought it was very nice as well. Played for awhile on another Spin Poker machine and then a penny 100 hand video poker machine. Good cocktail offers. Drove back to the strip and parked at the Luxor. We walked to Excalibur and ate lunch at Dick's Last Resort. If you haven't heard of this, it is the "rude" restaurant. Their whole gimmick is obnoxious and funny wait staff. They throw your silverware at you, yell across the room, place paper hats on guests with absurd and sometimes lewd sayings. Our waiter took a picture of his butt before he took a picture of us with out camera. He also asked what I do for a living and when I said transcription, he smacked a pen down on the table and said, "Good, you should be able to handle writing down what you want." Also, I had asked for ice water and he brought me a silver bucket full of ice water with an enormous straw and said, "There, now you won't be buggin' me for more." I was way more amused than my husband and even put my loud shrill 2-finger whistle to good use ;) The food was really good albeit pricey and I'm glad we went.

    We next walked down to the NY NY where it was packed and played slots for awhile with no wins. It was starting to get late on us so we walked back towards our car at the Luxor and played there for awhile. Hubby had some small wins but nothing to write home about. I played a popcorn slot machine that I swear malfunctioned as I was playing full credits and got the symbol to play the popcorn part at the top and yet didn't get to play. Hmph!

    We left and stopped to gas up the rental car. Car rental return was smooth and easy. Airport check-in for security had a long line but moved very quickly. Our flight showed 1/2 hour delay on screen that really turned out to be 1 hour and we later learned there were tornado warnings for Las Vegas as we were leaving! (freakish). Plane was only 2/3 full on flight home and we got smart and got the front of the A line and got to sit in the bulkhead so we had plenty of leg room.

    In summary, the strip was exceptionally (too much so for our taste) busy for weekdays and there were too many Britney Spears wanna-be females dressed embarrassingly like whores. I think we only saw maybe 2 out of 100 who were actually wearing clothes that were the correct size for them. What is it with girls these days not looking in the mirror before they leave their room? Do they really think muffin tops and too small clothes while tottering around in heels they can't manage is a good look? Cocktail service on the strip was poor, almost nonexistent. Main Street Station, Red Rock, and GVR were all as nice as anything on the strip and less expensive with great cocktail service. I believe we will be staying downtown next trip and visiting the strip instead of the other way around. Also, the drive up Mt. Charleston was worth the trip and a very pleasant experience. If you planned ahead you could even do some nice hiking up there depending on the season. I'm sure we will be back someday, sooner rather than later if hubby has anything to say about it.
     
  2. tcocona

    tcocona Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Virginia
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    Trip report of Pete& Shellie

    Great trip report.One of the best I have ever read onthe board!!!!!!
     
  3. Texas Pam

    Texas Pam Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Terrific report... and what a great trip you had - you did all my favorite things. I normally go alone because my husband and I always have "issues", especially when we travel. The break by myself is great for both of us - and I have so much fun. Glad you shared about Mt. Charleston -I'd like to go there and when I asked about it on the "other message board" I got some very rude feedback... so thanks for kindly giving the info I was looking for!
     
  4. sporty8705

    sporty8705 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    i too hate the golfish game that is at least 100 per game. i also hate the popcorn one too. but thats just me
     
  5. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    Shellie....great TR! The thing that's missing from the Mirage..... except for a few palm trees in the atrium, the "entire" tropical theme in the casino is gone. After MGM bought it, they ripped it all out and replaced it w/ bare ceilings and a primarily dark wood, glass and hanging (??) metal decor....:rolleyes2:
     
  6. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    averill park (near albany) ny
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    Fine report with many useful details. Thanks for posting. I wonder if there are any kiosks for checking in downtown.
     
  7. rmtush

    rmtush Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
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    Great report sounds like fun. Cant wait till its my turn
     
  8. Traveling1

    Traveling1 Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
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    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Thanks for the great trip report! I am even more looking forward to my trip on the 22nd!! Since you have been to both Mt Charleston and Red Rock... which would you recommend if only having one day with a car? My other thought was valley of fire...but I am leaning toward red rock so I can also check out the red rock resort.

    Thanks again for the great report. :)
     
  9. goodml

    goodml Tourist

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    Great trip report! I was LMAO when I read about your hubby issues. Are you sure that wasn't MY husband you had with you?:D
     
  10. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

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    Great TR....made the first hour of work go by really fast ;)
     
  11. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Great report! I too love the fountains at Bellagio. I'm actually amazed you got such crappy cocktail services at Harrah's. Normally I get great service everywhere but the Strat. Sounds like the two of you had a great trip-even with the marital skirmishes (my hubby and I too have some "issues" when traveling).
     
  12. Pete and Shellie

    Pete and Shellie Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2001
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    Lima
    If I had not been to either Red Rock or Mt. Charleston I would choose Red Rock. Not because its nicer, but just because its so much quicker to get to. Both were very, very impressive. I'll add that when we went to Red Rock several years ago we also went onto Bonnie Springs and went horseback riding,[first time for both of us], Would recommend the riding, but did'nt care to much for Bonnie Springs.
     
  13. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Very nice report. I agree with you about the comparision between the Wynn and the Bellagio. I too was expecting a lot more from the Wynn. We found drink service to be spotty at times on the strip when we were there in August. Sometimes it would be really good and, then, times it could be nonexistent.
     
    Back where we belong
  14. rushvegas

    rushvegas Tourist

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    Nice TR. Gets me excited for my upcoming trip.
     
  15. LadyNoah

    LadyNoah Tourist

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    Great TR! I'm trying to absorb them all so I can make a decent first TR next week. :eek:Thanks for "taking" us along!
     
  16. TypeOfan

    TypeOfan Tourist

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    Mar 21, 2004
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    Location:
    Alabama
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    I really liked your TR, lots of detail--that's the way I like 'em! :)
     
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