*Mods: If you need to move this until Saturday 7/7, that's fine, just please move it back* - Calling this TR "Semi-Live", but will try to provide daily updates. - This will be my 6th straight trip to downtown during the summer (10th trip overall). Each summer, my wife, myself and various family members on my wife's side of the family spend a few days in downtown. Over the years, the group has evolved to include family friends as well. This year's group will consist of about 12 people. - For the summer trips, we always book our stay at the Golden Nugget since we typically will all pitch in one of the days to rent a couple of the gazebos in the pool area. This year, we are taking an extended trip of 7 total days that will be split between the first 3 days at the California and the remaining 4 days at Golden Nugget. Room at the California is comped up front (likely to include F&B comped at the end) and, as in previous years, we will be staying in the Gold Tower during our tenure at Golden Nugget. - This is our first week long trip - it seems many on the board like to travel 7 days and we are giving it a shot. Hopefully our luck doesn't run out before the 7 days are up! Last year, we had an interesting experience flying Spirit in the middle of their employee negotiations that made the news. At the time, I vowed to not fly with them again unless they were by far the cheapest option. This year, between shuffling dates and flight costs not dropping as they have in previous years, we're back on Spirit (they were by far the cheapest option at the time we booked) - hopefully they've gotten their act together by now (atleast as best can expected!). Thankfully, flying on Saturdays did get us down to about $150 per person round trip with checked bag each way. Total flight + lodging cost ends up being more than last year given that we are staying one weekend night at the Nugget (not comped). - The amount and variety of gambling within our group is all over the map. Since I spend the majority of my time gambling, that will be the TR's main focus. I'm almost exclusively a $0.25 level and lower video poker player, but will occasionally play blackjack or craps if I feel like I need a change of pace. This trip, I'll likely be sticking with JOB, with some NSUD and BP mixed in when necessary. So there will be a lot of time spent gambling at Four Queens and the Boyd properties. We do typically stop in at the El Cortez and at the D for Sigma Derby. - Since I do play at a lower level and typically spend 12+ hours each day gambling, I do always split the trip bankroll by day and session. If I have a rough stretch during a session, I move down in denomination once I reach a certain level. For example, if I start out with 1000 credits at the $0.25 denom, I will switch down to the $0.10 denom once I reach $100 remaining on the machine (ie, 1000 credits at the $0.10 denom). I'll repeat the same process from $0.10 to $0.05 denom if need be, but of course, my hope is to be able to play at the $0.25 denom the whole trip (wish me luck!). Here's a brief summary of the activities our group has planned for this year: - Partial pool day at the Golden Nugget. Cabana/Gazebo rental is charged by the day (roughly 10 AM - 6 PM). We've always enjoyed doing this for a relaxing "break" from the gambling and not having to fight the crowds for lounge chairs given the size our of group. - Hash House A Go-Go - we stumbled upon this restaurant inside the Plaza last year while trying to find a replacement for DuPar's when they closed. We found the food to be above average for the price and were shocked at how much food you actually get for what you order. Hopefully things have stayed the same! - Brunch Buffet @ Main Street Station - we always seem to be arriving/leaving Vegas when this buffet is offered and want to try it out this trip. We've been happy with the Main Street buffet in the past and expect this to be much of the same. - Market Street Cafe - Definitely counting on some late night visits for the Oxtail Soup! - California Noodle House - I know there's mixed reviews on this place, along with the fact that it replaced a popular restaurant. Willing to give it a shot this trip - PopUp Pizza - This place opened recently inside the Plaza and they have a coupon in ACG which is apparently good for a Buy 1 Get 1 Free Whole pizza - and they're open until 2 AM...count me in! - Spend lots of time at the MSS Boar's Head Bar - Spend lots of time at the Cal alcoves - Spend lots of time at the upright JOB machines at 4 Queens - Receive 100 Scratch Cards in 7 Days of play at Main Street Station - Consume as much alcohol as possible in 7 days - This year, given the extended days, we will also be doing something we haven't done on previous trips - buying supplies for the room. After reading some reviews/tips on the best way to do this, we've decided to shop at the stores outside of the Downtown area to avoid the markups of the Walgreens/ABC stores. However, given that we would rather not spend our time in Vegas grocery shopping, we are going to attempt to place an order for store pickup at one of the big box chains and have our Uber/Lyft driver make a pit stop there on the way to downtown. I hope this experience goes as smoothly as it does locally and will post about the experience at some future point in the trip report. Feel free to follow along!