Sunday 25 May 2003 After 3 planes (Sydney-Auckland-LA-Las Vegas) and 24 hours later (including US immigration and customs at LA, having mysuitcase searched and told totake off my shoes for security reasons) I finally arrived at McCarran Airport at 2.05pm Sunday. I caught the train from arrivals to the baggage claim. The train went through a tunnel and then above ground. I took a taxi to the Golden Nugget. It cost $26.70. I had booked the Early Bird Summer Special $39/69, $25 food credit and coupon book. The coupons had expired but I was told I could still use them. I asked for a room away from the elevator and it was the the 4th last room on the floor! But it only took approx 1 min to walk to the elevator. I got a large king bed non smoking room and was impressed except for the shower which was only a trickle of water unitl I discovered you had to pull out the handle! After I had freshened up I went to Carson's Cafe and ate a Texas BBQ Burger with fries and 2 glasses of fresh lemonade (1 free refill). It was delicious! I charged it to my room as part of the $25 credit. Then I looked around the casino which was pretty busy. I won 70c on a 5c Frog Prince slot. Then I popped into Binions and Golden Gate and played a few slots and lost. I stopped by the ABC store in Fremont St to buy some water and went back to the Nugget and relaxed in my room and then went to bed. Monday 26 May 2003 Finally fell asleep between 12pm-1am. It was quite noisy with people coming and going and doors slamming until 12pm. Got up at 8.39am, was ready at 9.45am. Went down for breakfast but everywhere was packed, including Starbucks because of Memorial Day. Went back to room and ate an apricot and coconut bar from home and left $1 tip for maid. Finally went out at 10.30am. Asked at ABC store for bus timetable and couldn't understand the lady when she said somewhere at the back. Couldn't find it there. Asked security guy on bicycle where the 301 bus stop was and he didn't know, he said follow the couple who were asking his partner the same thing. It was a bit seedy at the top of Fremont St where the Plaza is and a couple of iffy looking people about. Found the 108 bus stop - $2. Got off at Sahara , played penny Hillbillies slots. When I tried to cash out 46c the ticket got stuck and meanwhile a cocktail lady came by and I asked for a rum and coke. She asked where I was from and I said Australia and she said she liked my voice. She was pretty quick, about 5 mins and I tipped her $1. After Sahara (no change person came so I left my 46c in machine) I walked to Tourist Info at Convention Centre. It took approx 12 mins and it was HOT! I was exahusted when I got there. They don't have bus timetables there but I got brochures and a couple of maps and the nice man told me where to go to catch the bus down the strip for the bus depot to get a bus timetable. About another 10 mins walk and I get to Walgreens and bought face cleanser for about half the the price at home and 2 Charles Worthington Takeaways (shampoo and conditiioner) for $1.99 each, cleanser $3.99. Bargain. The Revlon lippy is about $6 AU cheaper than home. Then walked across road to Stardust. Tony Roma's not open for lunch so went to Swenson's icecream and had a cup with blackberry and rainbow sherbert. $4.17. Nice though. Then joined slot club, asked change lady about Piggy Banking machines, they didn't have any. Played a few penny slots, won several times on My Rich Uncle, I liked that one. Then caught bus to depot, paid 25c for a timetable and $30 for a 30 day bus pass. It felt 1% scary in there with people sitting there waiting for their bus? Then walked back to the Nugget and rested! Found 2 Piggy Bankings at Nugget at 19 and 26 coins but a woman was playing the 26 coin one. At 4.30pm I was hungry so I went to Tony Romas at the Fremont. I had the sampler plate with 4 different sauces. They didn't taste that much different except for the chili one and there wasn't much sauce for $15.99 including fries. I had a rootbeer too. It cost $19.61 and I tipped $3 so it cost $22.61. Tipping is such a pain!It was expensive for what I got, 1/2 kilo of USA spare ribs but it was tender, not like when I try to cook them at home! Then I found 3 Piggy Banking machines at the back and won a 32 coin bank on my 2nd coin! But after I won it didn't adjust the bank. And the left one was at 32 and I must have put $3 in and nothing! Plus some of the quarters didn't register. I think both of them were broken. The middle one was 17 coins. I played MRU and $3 at 5c lasted as long as 60c at 1c at Stardust. Had a free margarita but it was mostly ice and tipped $1. Free cocktails are a bit dear! Some of the slots were really noisy - the Elvira one nearly deafened me! I couldn't play it. Joined the 4 Queens slot club , then went to ABC shop and got postcards. Someone was playing Piggy at Nugget when I got back so retired at 7.45pm and ate a jam Krispy Kreme donut I'd bought from Walgreens. Tuesday 27 May 2003 This morning I woke up with my left eye very swollen, the 2nd worst ever!. I have a peanut allergy that makes my eyes swollen and red sometimes. I thought it must have been the Krispy Kreme doughnut! It looked awful! I wore my sunglasses and bought antihistamines from the Nugget giftshop, $11.24 incl. tax. What a rip off! Then I had brekky at the buffet, $7.24 incl. tax. There were so many yummy looking pastries and donuts it was unbelievable! I had 2 glasses of nice oj, 2 little sausages, bacon and home fries. I took a little box of granola and a little grape jelly for souvenirs. Then I had a piece of watermelon and a piece of honey dew. They also had cold cuts and salads. It was very good for the price. One of the Piggybankings is broken this morning, it has out of service taped across the coin slot. Rang the Benedryl helpline about the antihistamines, she said they're not for swollenness. So I took the bus to Walgreens oppsoite Stardust and asked the chemist and showed him my awful eye and he said yes they're the right ones. He didn't even flinch when I showed him my eye! Then I walked across the road to Stardust but somoneone was playing the loose 1c MRU. Then I caught the bus to MGM, played MRU @ 5c. I put in $1 and cashed out $15! I got the safe bonus and a will bonus. The will bonus was really good. Saw 3 Piggybankings but under 25 coins. Then wen to lion habitat, saw one lion. Then walked over bridge to NYNY, played Monopoly Hot Property 5c, put in $1 cashed out $2.50, then played 5c MRU, cashed out $3.45, so made $2.45 profit. Then had a slice of Sbarro supreme pizza and a pink lemonade, then played $1 in MRU and lost. Then WALKED to Fashion Show Mall! I was half dead when I got there! Finally found Waldenbooks, and bought a few books. Then had to wait for a bus as one was full at 2.30pm going downtown - unbelievable! Finally got back at approx 3pm. I was dying for a Starbucks, got the choc malt frappucino - yummy! My eye had shrunk to half by now and I took 2 more pills. I had to wear sunglasses all day to avoid scaring people :-( Went to ABC shop for water and oj and lemonade snapple. Then went to California. I thought they were the home of the penny slots. HA! There were hardly any! Then went over the bridge to Main St Station, only 2 MRU, too glary with the lights, so went to Fremont, checked out the Piggbanking, under 25 coins, played a tight MRU, then went to Binions, got a bottle of water but it was only 335 mls but tipped $1! I can get a 750 ml bottle of water from Walgreens for 79c!! Then I went to Fitzgeralds, got $10 in 50c chips for roulette, won on the last spin for $36, $26 profit! It was a $2 table minimum. Then went to 4 Queens, got a white choc mousse at TCBY it didn't taste like white choc mousse, just vanilla. Then played 1c MRU for $2 for a while but only one safe bonus but I won 40 and 100 credits plus smaller ones. I love MRU! There was a band playing in the Fremont St Experience. They were too loud! I was the only one covering my ears when I was outside. Then I went back to the Nugget, someone was playing Piggybanking. Went to roulette, 16 and 18 appeared three times each, table min $5, got $20 of chips in $1, put 4 bets on, didn't win, disappointed. Cashed out $4 in chips because I acciddentally put an extra $1 on. Bought a vanilla creme frappucino at Starbucks, not very creamy, really icy. The choc malt one was better. My eye had gone down more but it was red underneath so it looked as if I was sunburned. I took 6 antihistamines today, the maximum doseage. 3 busrides today, so $6 on bus pass. Wednesday 28 May 2003 - 116F (44C)!!!! I had Belgian Waffle Utopia at Carsons Cafe and a large oj for brekky. The large oj wasn't very large but cost $3.50! The waffle was huge! It had blueberry sauce, fresh banana, rockmelon, honeydew, pineapple and 4 perfect yummy strawberries. There must have been a whole banana there! I couldn't eat it all. I charged it to my room, so I've gotten 2 meals out of the $25 credit which is good. Then I went to Fitzgeralds to play roulette. It was 25c chips and $1 table minimum. I bought $20 worth. I studied the numbers and marked them on my wheel photocopy. There were 4 BIG numbers but only one came up! While I was playing they put it up to 50c chips and $2 minimum. I cashed out for $7.75 so now I'm -$2.25 on the whole roulette gambling. Bummer. I had 3 dealers in an hour while I was there but they don't make a big deal out of switching dealers like they do at Star City in Sydney. Then I went back to my room and had a rest. Then went down to the buffet for lunch at 2pm. $8.31 - what a rip off! It was so disappointing! Half the stuff was left over from brekky, cold cuts and donuts and pastries, bacon, sausages, home fries. They hardly had any hot lunch stuff - fish in cream sauce, beef spareribs, oxtail, steak in gravy, boiled potato, honey dipped fried chicken, spanish rice, carved turkey, ham or beef. Hardly any salads. Some fresh fruit like they had at brekky. I had turkey, some of which was still pink, so not cooked properly, one tiny chicken thigh, a little bit of cucumber salad which had yucky vinegar on it and a tablespoon of spanish rice. Then I had a blueberry danish and an apple danish but didn't eat the outside circles. Then my eye started to get that itchy feeling but so far (at 7.05pm) it hasn't swollen up again. It's nearly normal now and 99% of the redness has gone. Then decided to go to Gold Coast for cheap rum. I left at 3.05pm, got back to Nugget at approx 5.30pm. WHAT A NIGHTMARE! Got a strip bus with NO AIRCONDITIONING!! It was 10 degrees hotter in that stupid bus! Finally got to Barbary Coast at 4pm, Big Elvis was on, at first I thought it was the real Elvis! He was sitting on stage singing and behind him was a screen with images of Elvis. It was too loud for me so I can't go to his show. You could hear him right through the casino. It was very loud when you approached the lounge where he was. Asked at change counter where to get shuttle, must have waited 10 mins in 116F, it finally came. Only took about 5 mins to Gold Coast. Played 2 MRU @ 5c but could barely hear the MRU music because of other slots and stupid loudspeaker music. Some of the slots were very loud and others were too soft. I love the MRU music so there wasn't any point playng them. I saw a non smoking slot section which is a good idea. Went to liquor shop, bought 375ml of Bacardi for $4.59 incl. tax. Bargain! Later I saw the same bottle for $9.99 at Excalibur's sundries shop. Then I had a caramel creme Java Kula from Seattles Best Coffee which is just like a Starbucks frappucino. I'd never been to Seattle's Best Coffee before. It seems a clone of Starbucks. Then I got shuttle back to Barbary Coast, I got on it but some people couldn't and I think they'd been waiting longer than me. Oh dear. Then I walked to bus stop at Flamingo, watied for at least 10 mins for the bus, at least it had air con, had to stand all the way to Stratosphere . Some guys got on through the back door without paying. A scary tough looking guy got on and I was a bit scared but he got off before me. I finally got back to Fremont St, went to souvenir shop, got a calendar for me, a fridge magnet (can't find it now) and a black jack strategy card. Then I rested for an hour or so before dinner. I used up $8 on bus pass today. Went to Tony Romas at Frmeont about 8pm, I heard there was a 5-10 min wait so played MRU at 4 Queens. I spent $2 on 1c x 3 lines on the machine I played yesterday, then moved to the 3rd machine which was looser and I got 3 safe bonuses and 100 credit win as well as smaller wins. Then I cashed out 59 credits and played the first machine as the 3rd was next to the 4th one which was very loud and the 3rd one was so soft I couldn't hear. But the first machine was tight so I lost pretty quickly. Then went back to Tony Romas about 8.45pm, got seated right away. I had 1/2 an onion loaf and Carolina Honey wings and a rootbeer. It was $13.18 and I left $15.00. Then went back to Nugget and went to bed. Thursday 29 May 2003 Had a bad night. Couldn't go to sleep until 5AM! At 3am my eye seemed to be swelling again so I took 2 more anithistamines. I got up at 8.15am and it was quite normal swollen so I took 2 more pills. IT WASNT THE KRISPY KREME DONUT, IT WAS TONY ROMAS THAT MADE MY EYE SWELL!!!! Went to Carsons Cafe and had to wait 5-10 mins for a table. Had Belgian waffle with strawberries and can cream. Lots of yummy strawberries! And a large oj. Charged it to my room but left $1.65 cash tip. Then at 10.15am I had a free blackjack lesson from the floor supervisor. A guy turned up for it too. I thought maybe they would give us strategy cards but they didn't. He said you could buy it at the gift shop for $1.50 and I bought mine for 99c yesterday from the souvenir shop. Then I played a few hands of $2 roulette betting on black and came out even. Then I checked out Las Vegas Club and Plaza, then went to Fitzgeralds to check out blackjack but lowest game was $3 and I wanted $1 or $2. Then I played MRU at 4 Queens on 3rd machine on $5 for an hour, came out even. Then I had Noble Roman pepperoni pizza and rootbeer. It was nice but very greasy. Then went back to Nugget to rest for about 45 minas before going to the free Fitzgerald's magic show, Arian Black's Secrets. There was a young male assistant who did good sleight of hand tricks and he operates the lights. He didn't appear again but I thought he was better than the female assistant Tina. IMHO she was very slim and annoyingly cheesy and young, but maybe she was supposed to seem cheesy. Arian was blonde, at least in her thirties and a little cheesy. I didn't think her slight of hand tricks were that good. I think the male assistant should get his own show! The music was SO LOUD, I had to put my fingers in my ears for most of it so that detracted from the enjoyment of the show. Her dog came on too, it was a cute English sheepdog/airdale. I think the show lasted for an hour. I had to buy a bottle of water for $3 and I tipped 50c because I'm sick of tipping $1 for a tiny 335ml bottle of water! Then I went to TCBY at 4 Queens and had a dutch chocolate cup. Then I played $5 in MRU on the 3rd, 4th and first machines but it didn't last long. Then I went to Subway at 4 Queens and got a spicy italian and took it back to my room for dinner, but the salami wasn't as good as the Subway salami at home so that was disappointing. Friday 29 May 2003 104F/40C! I can't believe it's Friday already! Had grape jam on croissant, 3 glasses of oj, the drink lady was slow getting to me and I had to ask the buslady for a drink before the drink lady came so I didn't leave a tip because I was dying of thirst! Cinnamon roll not as good as mine and it tasted a bit like 5 spice powder in it as well and a yummy pastry with some kind of cream cheese. I didn't think I'd like it but I did. Then I caught the 301 bus to the layover point past Mandalay Bay, saw Little Chapel of the West. Then had to wait 20 mins for the 303 Belz Factory Outlet bus. Thank goodness there was a tent for a bus shelter because it was in the middle of nowhere and hot! Finally got to Belz at 11.10am, caught bus from downtown at 9.45am! I was disappointed at BFO. A lot of clothes shops with expensive clothes except one that had cheap t-shirts but they were very small sizes. Got a fitted Egyptian cotton 250 thread count sheet for $5.49 and 3 kitchen towels for 90c each. Bargain! The sheet is so smooth and soft, it feels like butter! Had Dreyers NY blueberry cheescake icecream but it didn't taste like cheesecake. Then I had a slice of pepperoni and sausage pan Sbarro pizza for lunch but I don't like the pan as much as the regular base. Then I caught bus back to Ceaser's Palace Forum Shops. Went into FAO Schwarz, bought a small white teddy bear called Mr Quimby and some jelly belly beans and other lollies, self serve. Then I fell over on a stupid large keyboard sticking out next to a large tree house which was what I was looking at. A lady asked if I was all right. I'd said the s word. I was so embarrassed! It's amazing I didn't have a bruise. My left leg and some of my right side was sore afterwards. No one from FAO Schwarz bothered to see if I was all right. Then I went to Bath and Body Works which is like Body Shop and got vanilla sugar creamy body wash and a cake of vanilla sugar soap for myself. The vanilla body wash is divine! Then I lined up at Promotions desk for at least 5 mins to find out about the free pull to win a $1,000,000 shoping spree. It was miles away! I don't think they want people finding it. I had to show my driver's licence and my receipts. I got 3 pulls even though I only made 2 purchases. On my 3rd pull I won 2 free passes to Race to Atlantis. Then I had to find an exit, then took a photo of the front gardens, then waited at least 12 mins for the bus, than had to stand until Riviera. The bus was full all the way to Fremont St! My feet were killing me! Then just had time to dump my stuff at Nugget, then went over to Fitzgeralds at 5pm to see Larry G Jones free but a $3 drink minimum. I had a gin and tonic and tipped 50c. He was good but it wasn't for me. The sound was too loud. It's only a small showroom and there were 80-90 people there, double that of the magic show yesterday. He started off doing singers from the 50s. I'm too young for those sorts of impressions. I drank my g&t and walked out after 15 mins. Then I went to ABC shop for souvenirs and water and a packet of corn chips since they were only made from corn, corn oil and salt. Went to Steve Connolly's tribute to Evlis at Fitzgeralds at 7pm, free with a $3 drink minimum. He was really good and not as loud as Larry. A magician came on first, he's 17 and the youngest working magician in Vegas. Then Elvis came on at 7.20pm. He was young, slim, goodlooking Elvis. He has a website, www.spiritoftheking.com. IMHO he had the voice right and dark good looks but he didn't actually look exactly like Elvis unless you had bad eyesight. He sang Heartbreak Hotel, Love Me Tender, Burning Love, That's Alright, some songs on the guitar and finished off with Viva Las Vegas and we all clapped and sang along. It was great. I'd given the waitress $5.50 for my drink and asked her for $2 change but she pretended not to hear me and moved away. So then I had to flag her down again and ask for my $2 change which was a bit embarrassing but there was no way I was going to tip her $2.50 for a $3 drink! The show finished at 8pm and you could get an authographed photo of him for $5 or a t-shirt or CD. But why you would want a CD of him I have no idea, when you can have the real thing on CD! Then I went to 4Queens and played MRU, put in $2, cashed out $3 pretty quickly. Then I went back to Nugget and Carson's coffee shop and had a fresh lemonade and a San Franciso sourdough burger which had provolone cheese, mushrooms, onions, burger on grilled sourdough. But I think they put butter on the outside of the sourdough because it didn't look like the toast I make at home and it didn't taste like soughdough, it just tasted ordinary. I had to put salt on the fries because everything tasted so bland! Disappointing. The Texas BBQ burger was so much better! I charged the meal to my room, then went to bed. Saturday 31 May 2003 Had a grande cramel frappucino for brekky from Starbucks but it looked like a venti! Then I had a free pull at 4Queens on the way to bus stop. I just missed the bus but only had to wait 5 mins for the next one. It only took 25 mins to get to Bellagio, pretty good! The Bellagio was beautiful! I loved it! I couldn't find MRU but they had some 2c slots. I played $1 on 2c Jeannie and lost. I looked at all the gift shops, then went to the art gallery, $15 for Andy Warhol collection. I thought they would have the masters they're supposed to have there but it was just Andy Warhol so that was disappointing. Then I looked at the pool area, very nice with little knot gardens but you could see and hear construction next door which was a shame. Then I went to the conservatory, lovely! Then I went to Paris and looked at the shops. They had a patisserie with beautiful little French cakes for $4.50 or $5 each but nowhere to eat them! How silly. They had a creperie too, $4.95 for a dessert crepe but then you had to find a table after you bought it, unless you were with someone who could grab a table. How silly! There was a cobbled walkway for the shops. Then I went to the lunch buffet, $18.18 with tax. First I had to line up at 12.25pm to pay. Then I had to go on another line to wait to be seated. The hostess and waitresses were dressed in French costume. Altogether it took about 10 mins to get in. I had 2 cokes, the drink service was pretty prompt so I tipped $1 at the end. I went to the Alsace station and got a thin porkchop which was lukewarm and tough, 2 pieces of veal sausage with onion marmalade which were hot and nice and a little piece of roast lamb which was too pink except for a bit on the edge. Then I went to another station and had mandarin duck because I love duck. The plates were very hot and the duck pieces were tiny and tough. Then I went to the patisseire section. I was a bit disappointed because on the menu it said desserts from the patisserie so I thought they'd be the same as in the shop but they weren't. I had a little croissant, nicer than the one at the Nugget buffet, a tiny choc eclair that had custard in it and a little cream puff with strawberrry icing that had berry patisserie cream in it. Yummy! I had some more of the berry puffs! They were the best thing about the buffet. But otherwise it was disappoonting for $18.18. At that price I expect hot food to be hot and edible! Then I played 5c MRU, put in $10.60 and cashed out $15. Then I went on the Eiffel Tower ride which cost $12. They take your photo and you can buy it when you come down for $20. What a rip off! I liked being at the top of the Eiffel tower, you get a good view. Then I played MRU and made $2.50 profit. Then I caught the bus outside Paris and went downtown. I walked over to Lady Luck, didn't see any Elvises although they were having an Elvis Impersonator convention there. I didn't realise there was an Elvis showcase but it had started by the time I got there and by that stage I was a bit tired of shows. Then I went to 4Queens, had another free pull and another free pen. Then played MRU and broke even. After that I went back to the Nugget, got a free gin and tonic from one of my coupons. Then went to my room and packed most of my stuff for moving hotels tomorrow. Then went to McDonalds at Fitzgeralds, had a nice triple raspberry shake. Then played MRU at 4Queens for a while, got 2 will bonuses. Then back to Nugget and another free drink. Then I went to my room and watched the Martha Stewart movie with Cybil Shephard, I thought it was very good. Then went to sleep. Used $4 on bus pass today.