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april 6-9 outing

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Apr 27, 2002.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002

    My Trip Report

    Flew from Chicago Midway to Las Vegas on saturday, April 6. Great start to the trip via taking a volunteer bump to a flight 3 hours later. For three of us, that came out to $913 flight credit ($200 apiece plus 1/2 of airfare cost) for a later date. Thanks Soutwest for basically paying for the trip.
    Still got in to LV by 5:00 pm. Got the rental car from Dollar (originally we considered taking the shuttles and walking and foregoing car, but if you figure three roundtrips to and from airport that's $30 already. Total price with taxes for three days was $75 and it was worth it to have wheels) and headed to Westward Ho.
    Had never stayed at the Ho, as it's called. After staying at MGM last time, weren't sure what we would think of the Ho.
    It was a pleasant surprise. Exactly, as everyone has said about it, nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. It has outdoor pools and hot tubs, lots of security, decent staffers, etc.
    Our luck continued that day as by the time we got there, all the rooms were booked and we ended up in one of their 3-bedroom apartments (for same price as a regular room). I was not even aware they had these apts until we got there.
    Since my daughter was celebrating her 21st B-Day on Saturday, I took her to the Ho Margarita Bar for one of their 99centers. A line about 15 deep, and that seemed to be about average for whenever she'd go to get one. We also tried splitting one of their 99 cent 3/4 pound hot dogs. Couldn't do it and probably didn't want to anyway.
    The three of us tried to get on the Slots-A-Fun crap table, but it was too crowded. It's great playing in the open air and being right on the street. Apparently, lots of other people feel the same way. Plus, a $1 minimum doesn't hurt in drawing the masses.
    Instead, we headed downtown and enjoyed the nightlife of Fremont St. Since it was Saturday, a couple live bands were playing and it was definetly a hopping place. The downtown has got a special feeling to it.
    Found a $1 crap table at Cortez and introduced the daughter to the fine art of rolling dice. She immensely enjoyed it and we had a grand time as a family (father, son and daughter) being around the old crap table. Plus, we all came out with more $ than we started with.
    The daughter was intrigued by the concept of cocktail waitresses bringing you drinks for free while you play.
    A traditional 99 cent shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate and back to the Ho for much needed rest.
    Up and at them for an adequate Ho breakfast buffet and off for some perfunctory sightseeing on the South Strip. Later on, had to stop at Gold Coast for outstanding dinner buffet. Highly recomend it to anyone and you can't beat price.
    Then drove across to top floor of east parking garage of Rio for nifty view of the Strip. While there, took in the Rio Masquerade. Kind of fun to see. Scoped out there seafood buffet. Looked impressive, but a bit scared off by price.
    Did some more driving to see the sights and got a photo by the famous "welcome to Vegas" sign.
    Back to Slots-A-Fun, but crap table again crowded. What the heck. We made out okay at Cortez, so why not go back.
    This time, it wasn't the warm fuzzy feeling we had the night before. Primarilly, because we all lost money instead of winning. It's funny how your perspective on life changes when you lose at the tables instead of winning at them.
    Interesting at the Cortez that night with a new table guy working. You could tell he was having a hard time keeping up with the bets and paying people off. I felt bad for him when some of the patrons started suggesting he get his OJT elsewhere. But, I guess you have to start somewhere, and what better place than the Cortez.
    I also didn't appreciate the guy next to me criticizing my betting strategies. Isn't gambling protocol to mind your own business.
    After the trip back (thanks heavens we got the car) to the Ho, the kids retired and I became obsessed with getting my money back.
    Why not use the Stardust, right next door, for such an endeavour. Plus, I could get it done a lot faster since all their tables are $5 minimum. Or, I could go down the tubes faster, as well.
    Well, that's about what happened to me. I started out by losing and began to walk away from the table. For some reason, though, I just had to go back one more time.
    I caught a couple breaks and then found a good luck charm in an older women who was throwing. She won a lot of money for me and I'm back in the black.
    Finally, back to the Ho for a restful night's sleep. You do sleep better when you're ahead of the game instead of behind.
    On Monday, we're all up and off to the Red Rock Canyon for rock climbing. On the east side of the canyon, climbed a mountain and were able to see all the way to Vegas.
    It's good to get away from town and do something like that. You can even climb out there without needing ropes and all that extra gear.
    After a session in the Ho's outdoor pool and hot tub, it's off to Orleans for the Monday Nite seafood buffet. Comparable to the Gold Coast and old Reserve at Henderson with all the different stations. For $15 apiece, well worth it. Plenty of different seafoood.
    Saw the battleships go at it at Treasure Island, toured the Bellagio, Mirage, did some race-horse betting (even though none of us knew anything about it, but the races were originating from our home state in Illinois) in the luxurious Mandaley Bay sports book.
    Final day consisted of 2-1 breakfast buffet (there were some coupons from Dollar in rental car) at Sahara and then some craps. Daughter found it fascinating that you could get stuff like a salad bar and roast beef and mashed potatoes for breakfast, besides the regular fare. It was quite a cultural shock going from her college town of Normal, IL to Las Vegas. And believe me, she didn't even see half of what goes on here.
    Didn't expect to see it there, but Sahara had a $1 crap table. We played all day until we had to leave for the flight (5:55 departure).
    Craps can be a lot of fun if you establish a repoire with your fellow shooters. A good mix of strangers from diverse backgrounds brought together at a point in time for one shared experience - that of shooting craps.
    A guy from England, a humorous African-American that knew all the crap lingo, an older lady that kept a notebook on what was rolled each time, two or three regulars, a girl that was learning the game and the three of us. We just had a grand old time.
    Even left with $120 ahead for the day. Could have been more, but on the very last roll before leaving, I had all kinds of bets placed on everything in hopes of making a minor killing before leaving. The only thing that could have cut my knees out was rolling a seven on the very next roll. Well, that's what happened and that one of the many things that makes Vegas Vegas.
    On to the best airline in the USA, Southwest for the non-stop home.
    Did hate to leave that beautiful 80 degree sunny weather, but we'll be flying back in July for some Death Valley/southern Utah backpacking with Vegas sandwiched in between.

    [ April 27, 2002: Message edited by: chef ]</p>
  2. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

    Oct 8, 2000
    Laconia, NH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like you did a bit of everything in one short trip and all quality time to boot! Nice report.

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