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Aug 27 - 31, New York New York

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by winterintheblood, Sep 1, 2004.

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  1. winterintheblood

    winterintheblood Tourist

    Aug 11, 2004

    My Trip Report

    Thanks to everyone who answered my silly questions over the last few weeks. I found a wealth of helpful info on these boards!

    The cast: Me and my husband. We’re both 29. We’ve been to Las Vegas 3x together before this trip. Last August 30 we got married at an off-strip chapel; this was our anniversary trip. This time we stayed at New York New York. We like to gamble but don’t have a huge bankroll: about $300-350 per day (each).

    Here is a breakdown of what you will find below:
    - Getting to Las Vegas
    - New York New York
    - Folies Bergere
    - MGM Grand Spa
    - Monorail
    - Gallagher’s Steakhouse
    - Leaving Las Vegas

    -- FRIDAY--

    Getting to Las Vegas

    We began our trip in Oxnard, California. We left after work on Friday afternoon, with plans to stop in Barstow for the night and move on to Vegas early Saturday morning. Traffic was OK except for on the 126 by Magic Mountain and a stretch of the 5, which were both pretty bad. We arrived in Barstow at the Days Inn, and the only thing I can say about that place is that it isn’t quite as bad as it looks. We ate dinner that night at Bun Boy. The food was pretty bad, except for the vegetable soup and the ranch dressing on the salad, which were both good. (There is a chain restaurant called Luby’s where I’m from, and a saying when I was little was “Eat at Luby’s, get big boobiesâ€. Well, now I have a new saying; “Eat at Bun Boy, get a big gut cramp.â€)

    -- SATURDAY --

    We got up early on Saturday and hit the road. Stopped at Primm to look around and to donate $5 to a video poker machine. Drove on to Las Vegas and stopped at The Palms for their breakfast buffet. We got there in time for the champagne brunch ($14 or so), which included the regular breakfast fare, shrimp, crab legs (hot and/or cold), Chinese food, chicken fried steak, pasta, and deserts/pastries. The food was all very good. We then sat down to some DBVP, and I lost $20 while hubby won some. I then moved on to another machine, where I won back my $20. Hubby continued to play and lost his original $20.

    New York New York

    That was enough of the Palms, so we hopped in the car and headed on over to NYNY to try for an early check-in (about 11 a.m.). There was absolutely no line to check-in, and we upgraded to one of the renovated rooms with a view. The renovated rooms were recently redone with marble baths, new wallpaper, carpet, furniture, larger TVs, and so on. We were very happy with our room. It was very stylized, with silver/gray wallpaper and gray marble bathroom. The TV was (I think) 27†flat-screen. There is no closet but there is an armoire where you can hang your clothes. We lived out of our suitcases instead. There is an iron and full-sized ironing board for your ironing pleasure. The in-room safe was very handy. It’s easy to set up your security code, and it’s so nice to have that peace of mind when you leave for the day. Our room was on the 35th floor of the Empire tower, and looked out over Excalibur, Tropicana and the south end of the strip. The roller coaster ran below our window (way below). We could hear it now and then but it wasn’t loud enough to bother us. One of the TV channels features Rita Rudner doing a tour of the hotel and casino. Parts of it were helpful and funny. She visits the spa and calls the pedicure chair a “foot toilet†which cracked me up because I’m easily amused.

    Walking Around, ESPN Zone

    We signed up for the MGM properties player’s club card and set out to do some gambling. We played some video poker and blackjack, won a little, lost a little. We headed over to MGM Grand to hit 32 Degrees and also find the Spa, since I would be spa-ing it up on Sunday. We made the 30-mile trek back through the Studio Walk thing out to the Spa. On the way we got some big frozen drinks from 32 Degrees. I had the Cherry Daiquiri, which was good. My hubby had the margarita, which he said was “OK.†We passed by the Monorail station. No one waiting in line or anything -- note to self. The spa is at the very end of the Studio Walk. Also noted. We then turned back around and headed back to the casino. We played a little VP here, and they have the horse derby thing, where the plastic horses race around the track. We love that so we played it for a while. It’s not as cool as the racing camels at Luxor.

    We then headed over to Tropicana to pick up our tickets at Will Call for Folies Bergere. I had ordered these online and paid around $62 each for them. They were ready as promised so we grabbed them and headed back to NYNY. I was needing something to eat, but we weren’t hungry enough for a full meal, so we headed to ESPN Zone. We got one of the “good†tables (one of the tables with the personal TV in it). Last time we were here, their buffalo wings were so good we tipped the wing-maker guy. So we ordered the wings and nachos. The wings were delicious again, and the nachos were also very good. We tried to charge our lunch to our room, but “the machine†was not working, whatever that means. So we had to pay the regular way. We then walked over to Luxor and played the racing camels. I sat down and put in some quarters, played a few rounds and woops, the service light came on and my game froze up. Stupid Camels! So my hubby said he’ll wait for the service guy and I can go play video poker. I went to the closest one, put in a $20, played one hand, and woops, the service light came on and my game froze up. Stupid Luxor! My husband found this very funny. 10 minutes later the service guy came over and fixed both of the problems and all was well in camel land again. For those of you interested, the Camels at Luxor are right outside the Sports Book. The cocktail service is ALWAYS GREAT here. We ordered Coronas when we sat down, and every 15 minutes or so after that, along came the nice lady with more cold beers.

    Folies Bergere

    That night, we got dressed up and went to Folies Bergere. We picked Folies because I wanted to see a real “Vegas†show, with sequins and feathers. My husband agreed because, you know, boobs. Anyway, the theater was smaller than I expected. On our last trip we saw Siegfried & Roy and Blue Man Group, and they were both in much bigger theaters (by the way, we absolutely loved Blue Man, and thought S & R was mediocre – one of those things you do as part of the Vegas experience, but would not do again). So we made our way down to our booth seat, and found that we had to sit in the booth with 2 strangers. NOT my idea of a good time. I’m not antisocial, but those booths are pretty small and once I sat down I couldn’t move around at all. It was 20 minutes until showtime so we decided to go back out to the bar until the last minute. When we got back, we did some creative moving around and found an almost comfortable seating arrangement.

    As for the show:
    On a scale of 1-10, I give the Folies a 5. See below for a detailed report.

    Theme: The overall theme of the show was good. It was a “women through the ages†story, exploring the idea of beauty through the years, beginning in 1850, continuing through present day (Victorian era, a French Can-Can number, flappers and vamps, 50’s poodle-skirts, 60’s love-in hippies, and then the theme kind of fizzled and went back to “showgirls in feathers†or what-have-you.

    Showgirls: The showgirls were a strange mix. They are all freakishly tall, and most of them are freakishly thin also. My husband and I found it not attractive or sexy at all to look at rail-thin showgirls with protruding ribs. Also, there was one girl with really HUGE breasts (relatively speaking, as all the others were pretty much flat!) and she was very distracting. Not in a good or bad way, just that you always noticed her. Another one of the girls was obviously new to the show, as she always looked down at her feet or at other dancers, and she screwed up a lot. She was even more distracting than “Boobs†was.

    Costumes: The costumes were cool. Lots of sparkly beads, feathers, sequins, huge headdresses, etc. The different costumes for each era worked well and were visually interesting.

    Singing: The Host guy had a pretty good voice, but he seemed to be trying to making it very lounge-esque. That got annoying at times. The women who sang were pretty bad. One did a short opera song, which was good.

    Dancing: The showgirls were pretty good, but I didn’t see the level of real dance I expected to see. There was a ballet number, and the Can-Can was very entertaining, but there was a lot of walking up and down stairs, and prancing back and forth across the stage, which got old. My biggest complaint: The male dancers had HORRIBLE choreography, and also they were BAD DANCERS. A few of them were passable, and a few were good gymnasts, but the choreography was so bad they all just looked like dorks in a seventh grade student-run production of Grease. When the poor boys skipped out on stage snapping and smiling, I could only shake my head. Poor bastards.

    The Half-Time Show! Wally Eastwood was the high point of this show. He performs a half-time show of juggling and comedy. He is very funny and he can juggle like nobody’s business! He was by far our favorite part of the show.

    All in all, Folies was OK to see ONCE, though I can see no reason to recommend this show above Jubilee or the others. We felt like we had been Siegfried & Royed again.

    We went back to NYNY and played a little, then to bed!

    -- SUNDAY --

    We woke up early on Sunday. I was going to the Spa at 11 and Hubby was playing in a poker tournament at Luxor at 10. We got up and went our separate ways. Hubby played in a hold-em tournament of some kind at Luxor w/ a $25 buy-in. There was one at 10 and one at 12. I don’t know much, except that he had fun and won a small cash prize at one and was beat out early at the other. It’s a good way to spend 3 hours while the wife is at the spa, I think!

    The Spa at MGM Grand

    I booked the Pamper Plan, which included a body scrub, swedish massage, cleansing facial, and pedicure, all for around $250. I arrived at the spa 30 minutes early, and they checked me in issued me a locker, robe, towels, and sandals. The jacuzzi was almost full so I hit the steam sauna for about 15 minutes. I LOVED the steam sauna. I could’ve sat in there all day. I then went to the “Relaxation Room†to wait for my appointment. In here there was a big-screen TV, several couches and big comfy chairs, magazines, and also fruit, granola bars, and water.

    Body Scrub (done by Sheila)
    The Body Scrub is like a car wash, except you’re the car. I was instructed to lay down on the table and cover my “area†with a pillow case. Ha ha. The girl left the room while I disrobed and got all situated, then came back in and began the scrub. There were several jets of water that spray (nice and hot) down over the table. Then the body scrub of my choice (the Mint Coffee scrub) was drizzled all over arms, legs, back, feet, and then rubbed and scrubbed all over. Once I got over the intrusiveness of that, it was nice. Just like a car. Scrub, rinse, scrub, rinse. All done. The coffee mint was very messy, and I found little pieces of it between my toes (and elsewhere) throughout the day.

    Swedish Massage (done by Zoe)
    This was a typical massage, not too light or too brutal. It was very nice and relaxing. The temperature in the room and background music were just right.

    Cleansing Facial (done by a girl whose name I can’t remember because I’m a terrible person)
    This was very nice. She cleansed my skin 2 times and then did an alphahydroxy peel, which isn’t as painful as it sounds. Then she did some kind of mask and let me sit for a few minutes. Then she removed the mask and did a toner and moisturizer, and that was it. It was relaxing and my skin felt softer afterwards.

    Pedicure (done by Sabrina)
    Hooray for the foot toilet! Pedicures are great. This one included a soak in the jetted-tub of the pedicure chair, some clipping, smoothing, and filing, and more soaking, then a massage with some kind of lotion, and then nail polish. It was all very good.

    Sabrina and Sheila get lots of my respect (and nice tips), because those are dirty jobs!

    Walking Around – PF Chang’s

    After leaving the spa (sniff, sniff) I headed over to Luxor to meet my hubby after his poker tournament. We ate at Quiznos there because it was handy. It was also expensive and mediocre! Whee! Then we realized we were friggin tired, so we went back to NYNY for a nap. Ah, much better! We showered and dressed and hit the street for PF Chang’s. We love PF Chang’s and there’s not one near us here in Oxnard. So we made it to Aladdin and went to put our names on the list. Turned out that there was some problem in the kitchen so they weren’t taking names at the moment. Crap! We had been looking forward to their ultra-spicy pin noodle soup (something like that) for weeks! They told us to check back later. So we went out to the Desert Passage to stroll around, and I needed some Visine because my contacts were killing me. I found a bottle of Visine... for $9!!! Thanks, Alladin! We played some VP and then checked back at PF Chang’s and get a pager. They told us it would be about an hour, so we plopped down at a VP machine. We each put $20 in, hit Deal, and BZZZZZZ, the pager went off. An hour? More like 5 minutes! Oh well. So we both had to cash out and carry our bucket of quarters to dinner. What dorks. We ordered the chicken lettuce wraps and the spicy soup. The lettuce wraps were delicious as always, but the soup... surprise, no spice AT ALL. It was like chicken broth with some shrimp and bean sprouts. ?? Bummer. We asked the waiter what’s up with the soup, and he checked with the manager or whoever and then took the soup off our bill. The honey shrimp and chang’s spicy chicken were delish as always.

    We decided to stop in at Monte Carlo for a while. That’s where we stayed on our last trip and we had good luck gambling there. I sat at my trusty VP machine and played for about 1.5 hours on 20 bucks, then lost. Then I played my mom’s favorite nickel slot The Sphinx, just because I knew she liked it. I played for about 2 hours on 10 dollars. I love that! But, since I was at a nickel machine, and in a corner of the casino, there was NO drink service. I started feeling ill at about midnight and had to go back to the room. Happy Anniversary! Hubby got home a few hours later and is up $300 after playing blackjack. Good!


    We woke up at about 11 a.m. – woops, overslept a little. We were starving so we went down to America to eat. The restaurant was pretty cool, and the Black & Bleu burger was VERY GOOD. Our waitress was very attentive at first, but then took about 20 minutes to bring the check after we finished eating.

    Monorail and Downtown

    We decided to spend the day downtown, as my Hubby wanted to poker it up at Binions for a while and I can always find some 9/6 JOB downtown. So we decided to try out the new monorail. We went to the MGM station and after no line and a very easy ticket-buying experience, we got on board and were cruising. This worked very well for us. We took the monorail all the way to Sahara . The stops at each station were short and smooth. No problems at all. At Sahara we caught a taxi to Fremont Street. The driver didn’t speak any English and didn’t know what “Binion’s†meant, but he finally figured it out somehow. I left the Hubby at Binions and then went to Golden Gate to hit the VP. There is one bank near the doors that has been very good to me on our last 2 trips. I sat here for about 30 minutes and came out even. Oh well. I got a phone call from hubby saying he entered a $60 buy-in tournament. Guess I better keep myself entertained for a while. I went into Fremont Street and found a nickel slot called “My Rich Uncle†which looked amusing. I sat down and put in $10 and 2.5 hours later, cashed out with $90. That’s pretty good for me. Luckily it was TITO and I didn’t have to haul around buckets of nickels. Somewhere in there I also played Leprechaun’s Gold, which was cute.

    The hubby finished his poker tournament, and we headed to Mermaids for a twinkie and the drawing. We lost the drawing, but when it comes to a deep fried twinkie, everyone wins! Good times.

    We caught a taxi from Golden Nugget back to NYNY, so we could get ready for our 9:00 dinner reservation at Gallagher’s.


    I had asked the pedicure lady, Sabrina, where I could get a good steak in a semi-relaxed atmosphere. She suggested Gallagher’s. Gallagher’s is the steakhouse inside the NYNY casino. It includes a small bar area and 3 or 4 dining rooms. We had made a reservation earlier in the day, so there was no wait. One of the first things we noticed was the crazy amount of waiters running around (no waitresses as far as I saw). There were several echelons: the suited manager-type waiter, the black-vested order-taking waiter, and several sub-strata of food-carriers and various water minions. We were seated in a back room and given menus. Within a few moments, one of the water minions asked for our drink order. We both ordered iced tea, and this is how the water guy responded, “Would you like some water? Iced water? Bottled Water? Sparkling mineral water?†And we said, “Iced tea,†and he said, “Water?†and we figured this could go on and on so we ordered some bottled water. A few moments later a different water minion arrived and poured some water (GASP!) from a pitcher! Shortly thereafter the black-vested waiter arrived and looked quizzically at our water, and turned on his heel and strutted out. Seconds later water minion #2 arrived and removed the offending REGULAR water, and then water minion #3 arrived with some bottled Evian and clean glasses! (All of this without a word, mind you. Hubby and I were just watching, amused.) He poured our GOOD water and put the remaining water in an ice bucket at the end of our table. Whew! What a relief, we can now drink our “approved†water.

    One of the mid-level waiters (somewhere between water minion and black-vest, we think) arrived and took our appetizer order. 2 salads please. He brought bread (which was VERY good) and then the salads came. They were also very good. We both wanted to order the Prime Rib, but when the black-vest came to take our dinner order he informed us that they were OUT of prime rib. That bugged me, but I rolled with it and ordered the Cowboy Steak (bone-in ribeye), and hubby ordered the Porterhouse. We ordered (stupid a la carte) side items: baked potato and green beans. They were both fine but neither worth $7. $7 for about 30 green beans? Sheesh. Anyway, the steaks were big and good but not the best I’ve had. The service was good. The restaurant is VERY loud for some reason. The bill was about $130 after tip, which was about twice what the experience was worth. I guess they charge so much because they have to pay six million waiters. We were glad we went, because apparently going out somewhere like that is something you have to do every now and then in Vegas... but all in all we felt SIEGFRIED & ROYED YET AGAIN!

    We decided to stay at NYNY and gamble for a while. I played some VP and then settled in at a nickel machine called Cops & Donuts, which was fun. I started with $20 and ended up with $100 or so. We retired to the room fairly early, because it was our anniversary!

    -- TUESDAY --

    Up early as we wanted to leave town before 11 to miss California rush-hour traffic. We checked out and headed to the valet pick-up area. The Valet and Bellhops were very prompt bringing out our car and luggage. Good job! We went by the Gambler’s General Store and bought some used playing cards for the hubby’s local poker nights. We were going to buy some of the good poker chips, but decided to order them online and have them embossed to say ANTE UP, BITCH. What do you think?

    Leaving Las Vegas

    We hit the 15 at 11 a.m. and made it back to Oxnard by 4:30. The traffic was fine and we missed all rush hour traffic. We made it back with less than half of the gambling $ we set off with, which is more than we expected to return with. Overall it was a very good, fun, enjoyable anniversary weekend.


    - The Spa at MGM Grand is a great way to spend a few hours.
    - America makes a tasty burger.
    - The monorail is good.
    - Downtown is where it’s at! We’re staying downtown next time!
    - Mermaids’ twinkies are like a little piece of deep-frie heaven... on a stick.
    - NYNY has good rooms!
    - ESPN Zone makes great wings!
    - Get great drink service at Luxor Camel Races.

    - Folies Bergere is basically the old “razzle dazzleâ€.

    - Gallagher’s is way overrated.

    - Eat at Bun Boy, get a big gut cramp.

  2. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

    Dec 5, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well it sounds like a great trip! Congrats on coming home with atleast some of the money you left with! I always seem to spend or gamble away everything. Oxnard, huh? Your not to far from me! I'm in the Woodland Hills/ Calabasas area!
  3. veck101

    veck101 Tourist

    Jul 8, 2003
    I think the head waiter guy is called a Maitre'd.

    I've always wanted to go to go to the Oxnard Strawberry Festival on the way to Santa Barbara.

    Speaking of fruit, are there cherry festivals in Woodland Hills/Calabasas Typhanie? (just kidding)

    Big ups to the 805!
  4. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Sep 21, 2002
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Great trip report! I was laughing all the way through it.

    Gallagher's IS over rated. We went there once just to say that we've tried it, don't plan on going back. We had the signature dry steaks, which were in fact dry.

    I'll have to try the camel racing at Luxor.
  5. EMT Mike

    EMT Mike Guest

    [​IMG] that was truly funny. Stupid camels, stupid luxor, stupid a la carte. ROFLMAO!!!
  6. winterintheblood

    winterintheblood Tourist

    Aug 11, 2004
    Thanks! I'm glad it wasn't too boring.
  7. yellfore99

    yellfore99 Tourist

    May 14, 2004
    What a fun read Winter. I've played those horses at MGM but did not know about the camels at Luxor. Will check those out next time for sure. We were upgraded to the newly remodeled rooms at the NYNY a few weeks ago too. Not bad for the price. But like you, we are going to stay downtown next time. Really like the overall vibe there.
  8. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    That was a fun read. "foot toilet" would get a giggle from me too.
  9. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

    Jan 29, 2002
    Upstate New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    LOFLMAO!!! GREAT trip report. The minute you mentioned the camel races at Luxor I started cracking up laughing because when we were there in April of 2002 our friends loved playing that game and they kept getting drinks faster than I did and I was just across the bar from them.

    I think you should have the poker chips embossed with your saying - that is too funny!
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