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Half of a year old trip report! Err...

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by boudicca, Sep 14, 2004.

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  1. Hi all! Let me just say I enjoy the T2V trip reports the most of any site around because you folks seem to have the most fun. Anyway, I found this while cleaning up my hard drive yesterday, and thought someone might enjoy half of a trip report from November of last year. Right? Right?! (The last few days my husband got the flu and I lost a lot of money, so really this is the best part.) Anyway, here goes..

    My husband and I visited Las Vegas for our six month anniversary. We're both in our late twenties. This was our our fourth trip to LV in three years, and our longest trip at 7 nights. We can't wait to go back.

    Casinos we visited for the first time: Paris Las Vegas, Green Valley Ranch, Hard Rock, and California
    Games we played for the first time: Poker, Keno, Roulette, Let it Ride
    Attractions we saw for the first time: Star Trek Experience, the Eiffel Tower Experience, Jubilee!

    November 18

    The flight, Alaska Airlines direct, seemed to take forever to get there. Instead of the usual landing path perpendicular to the Strip, the plane came in right beside it all the way. The landing was smooth, and after the longest wait in the world (the true meaning of anticipation is standing in McCarren airport, waiting for your luggage with the smell of stale cigarette smoke and money in the air) we had our luggage and were on the way to the Dollar lot. The full-size vehicle selection at 11pm on a Tuesday were pretty lame, but we were satisfied with a Neon -- but no CD player! We had burned a few "Vegas Mix" CDs before we left, but c'est la vie.

    We drove up and down the Strip before heading to the hotel, and noted the construction at Mandalay Bay, Flamingo, Caesars, and of course the goofy new Fashion Show cloud and the new Wynn casino. Time to start our trip! We were staying at the Orleans the first three nights. Check-in was smooth, and before long we playing at the FPDB bartop machines, drinking Bloody Marys. Adrian hit his first quad (he's usually a blackjack player) quickly, and after a cheap graveyard breakfast at the coffee shop we headed back up to the room.

    While getting ready for bed I discovered that the drain in the sink was filling up with dirty water (ew!), so we decided to ask for a new room in the morning.

    November 19

    First full day! I love the luxury of knowing there's a complete trip full of promise in front of us. First thing, we spoke with the front desk about the sink and without hesitation she moved us to the room across the hall (1437) which had a Strip view. Quite pleased with their customer service, we grabbed a quick meal at the coffee shop and headed upstairs to move. I'm usually not the type to worry too much about a room with a view, but I thought the view from our new room was absolutely stunning! We could see everything from Mandalay Bay to Rio. The room itself was spacious and clean, with two queen beds (although we had wanted a single king), a sitting area, and a bathroom with a seperate sink area. Fed, watered, and ready to go, we hopped in the rental car and headed down to Comdex.

    Adrian and I both work in the computer industry, but this was only our second Comdex -- and it was noticably smaller than last year. We quickly covered all the booths, and I insisted we quench our thirst at Quark's with one of the infamous Warp Core Drives. 10 ounces of rum (of which I drank around 8 since Adrian was driving) and a plate of "isolinear chips and dip" later, I was, quite frankly dear reader, completely plastered. At some point a Klingon passed by the table and ordered me to get another drink, but I informed him that to my shame the battle had been lost and inebriation had fully set in. He cursed me in Klingon and moved on. (I love this town.) After a quick stop in the giftshop and a photo shoot of me trying to fight the statue of the Lizard Man from the infamous original "gunpowder" episode, we rejoined our galaxy and checked out the Hilton casino.

    Nothing much really caught our eye, but we each put $10 in the MegaBucks machine. (I've never bothered to play the MegaBucks before, but decided to this time so when someone else wins I can cheerfully complain about them taking my money. I like to do my part.) Satisfied, we made the death march back to the convention centre parking lot and returned to the Orleans.

    It was still early, so we decided to eat at the lunch buffet. It was very reasonably priced, and quite good with a nice salad bar and peel-and-eat shrimp (which I *love*). Afterwards we picked up a six pack and went back to our room to freshen up. Once there we realized we didn't have a bottle opener for the beer, but being entirely too lazy to go back downstairs Adrian cunningly opened them by slamming the top down on our doorhandle with his hand. (Yes, he did get a bruise. No, after three Heinikens he didn't really care.)

    At around 8 we decided to take the shuttle to the Barbary Coast. One arrived within five minutes, and we were on the Strip shortly thereafter. We aren't really Strip people, but we decided to hit Barbary Coast and Casino Royale for cheap drinks. (I was asked for ID at at least half the bars we visited over the trip, which pleased this 29-year old to no end. Bless you, Bartenders of Las Vegas!) At CR we played some .02 slots to pass the time, and were reminded of how silly video slots are (just our opinion). Three turnips equals ten credits, but two tractors diagonal to some blonde guy is 125 credits! Wheeeee! By this point I had been drunk for about six hours, and was ready to head back to the Orleans. Once there Adrian played $3 blackjack and I drank coffee and Baileys at the bartop VPDB. (And hit two quads of 4, but I was too drunk to appreciate what would turn out to be my most winning day.) At some point before I fell asleep on the bar we had another graveyard meal at the coffee shop and made it back to the room. (On the way back I bought my first keno ticket with a matchplay coupon from the hotel funbook.. and lost. What a suprise!)

    November 20

    I was woken up at 9:30 by a semi-frantic Adrian: "Get up! I didn't set the alarm properly, and we're going to be late for the poker class!" I vaguely remember making some drunken pledge the night before that we would go to the 10am hold'em lesson at the Excalibur, but it was only with the most extreme stregnth of character that I pulled myself out of bed and into some clothes. We rushed to the car and drove briskly down the road to the Excalibur, with me spending the whole time trying to use enough blush to make my raggedy carcass look like a living being and not some creature that was likely to try and snack on your brains. (It didn't help.) We lumbered through the casino, hair sticking up straight, finally catching site of the poker room and jogging to get there at the stroke of 10am only to see.. a sign saying "Poker lessons daily at 2pm". I laughed somewhat hysterically.

    We went back to the Orleans, and laid really still for a couple of hours.

    The poker lesson, once we had made it back (it filled up about 20 minutes early, so don't dawdle), wasn't really that valuable. We had both played Hold'em on Hoyle Casino, and the dealer basically just went over a handout in great detail. The real benefit was the 1-3 game for the newbies that followed the lesson. Most of the players were beginners at any type of poker, and the game was quite fun. At one point one of the new players left and was replaced by this loud man with his own lucky rock who I (mentally) nicknamed "Big Mouth, Short Stack" because he kept complaining about the "fish" ruining his hands. (The fact that he was playing at a 1-3 table next to a large sign saying, "Learn how to play poker!" seemed to elude him.) Eventually he ran out of money. Ha ha.

    We each played for about an hour and a half, and ended up with a ten dollar win total. Sweet! We were complete (happy) nervous wrecks when we were done, and upon reflection realized that neither of us degenerate gamblers had ordered a drink from the cocktail waitress because it would break our concentration. Great game, poker.

    Before heading back to the Orleans we stopped off at Bally's/Paris to use our billhere.com coupon for half-priced Jubilee! tickets. That done, we decided to wander through Paris, which we had never visited before, and check out the "Eiffel Tower Experience". I thought Paris was quite nice, and the pseudo-outside courtyard where the entrance to the Tower is located was very well done. (The fake French was taken to some silly extremes, though: "Le Restrooms"? "Le Casino"? My favourite was all the signs pointing to the half-French "Eiffel Tour" instead of the fully correct "Tour Eiffel".) We bought tickets for the Tower using another half-price coupon, and one scary elevator ride later we were on the observation deck enjoying the truely amazing views. We both agreed that the Eiffel Tower was less expensive, less busy, and less irritating than the Stratosphere . We enjoyed the view for fifteen minutes or so, took a few photos, and then decided that our alcohol consumption was dangerously low and we had best get back to the hotel to remedy the situation.

    First stop back at the Orleans was Brendan's Irish Pub, to use our funbook coupon for two free beers. The beers were adequate, but I thought the pub was pretty empty and low on ambience. (On the other hand, I found out later that Adrian had noticed that the pub bar was the order area for one of the more, erm, ample cocktail waitresses, and felt that the ambience was just fine.) Next stop was the buffet, which I had won two free meal comps to earlier (due to a combination of a new signup special and a losing a little too much the night before). In four trips to LV it was our very first "comp", and we ordered a bottle of horrible $5 wine with dinner to celebrate our luck so far. The dinner buffet was actually quite similar to the lunch buffet, and while it was good it probably wouldn't have been worth the extra money.

    After dinner Adrian hit the blackjack, and I continued my love-hate relationship with the FPDB bartop machines. At about 2am I had managed to claw my way back to the positive side of the accounting ledger, and decided to take a stroll and check on Adrian. (I was also getting tired of being chatted up by various single men. Gentlemen, when you see a woman with a big 'ol wedding ring playing a machine by herself, it does not mean she wants company. End of lecture.) While wandering around I spotted an older couple playing slots: he was falling asleep in front of the machine, and she was sitting a couple of chairs away poking him with her cane when he stopped hitting the buttons. (Will that be us in forty years?) Anyway, after some helpful wifely prodding Adrian was ready to leave the table (about even from when he sat down hours earlier), and we hit the coffee shop one last time for their graveyard breakfast specials and went to bed.

    November 21

    Today we had to check out of the Orleans and move Downtown to the Four Queens. We got up, packed our bags, said goodbye to the amazing view, and efficiently checked out. We put our luggage in the car and went to Don Miguel's for one of the $5.95 lunch specials. Thirty-five minutes later we were almost literally waddling out of the place! Every table gets a free basket of chips and a selection of salsa, guacamole, and warm refried beans for dipping. The lunches themselves were huge, piled with meat, rice, and beans -- and it was delicious! We will definitely eat here again one day.

    After a refueling meal we hopped in the car and headed for the Green Valley Ranch, where Michael Jackson was reported to be hiding out. I had wanted to see the place anyway, and we figured with the media frenzy going on there we would get two attractions for one drive. We almost immediately got lost in Henderson (the map we bought at the Orleans gift shop was almost completely inadequate for anything beyond Las Vegas Boulevard), and probably would have given up if I hadn't printed out the CheapoVegas "Outlying Off-Strip" map before leaving home.

    We noticed the multiple satellite trucks before we noticed the casino itself, and spent a good few minutes driving slowing behind all the reporters doing live reports and enjoyed being total slack-jawed yokels in front of the media. Our fleeting moments of fame being up, we went into the casino itself. GVR is really beautiful, with glass and carved ceilings and plenty of shiny, clean machines to play. In fact, everything was so shiny and classy that I immediately got the willies and insisted we continue on to dingy downtown where we belonged.

    On the way to Downtown we did a driving tour of various locals joints, braving eight-lane highways to see Sunset Station, Sams Town, Boulder Station, Castaways, and Arizona Charlie's East. Once we reached Downtown, we had to drive around the block five times before successfully finding the valet parking (we wouldn't usually bother, but check-in and out is so much more civilized if someone else looks after the car), and once we did it took about five minutes for a valet to notice us. We didn't care though -- we're still on vacation, baby! Check-in was quick and smooth. We were put in the North Tower, which apparently is more worn than the South Tower. The room was clean but cramped, with the little touches one comes to expect from Downtown like ciggie burns in the blanket and a remote control without a functioning "Power On" button. (Adrian noted later that due to buying our room online through a discounter we must have been put in the Loser Tower with all the potheads and people with enormous handlebar mustaches (of which we are neither).) Truth be told, the room was a bit of a letdown after the spacious and very pleasant Orleans room, but it was just a place to sleep, and within hours I had re-adjusted to the Downtown way of life.

    One benefit to our room was that the elevators were steps from Fremont Street and the King's Bar (the front bar at the 4Q's), which had become a regular hangout on previous trips. Ready to get drinking, we wandered out and into the Golden Nugget next door. We had intended to see the actual nugget of gold, but instead got lost and left without ever finding it. Instead we wandered down to the California, which we had never visited before, to try their $5.95 prime rib special. The special included a trip to the salad bar, a potato, green beans, dessert, and the biggest piece of prime rib we've ever seen. All in all a great deal!
  2. Coecat

    Coecat Low-Roller

    Aug 21, 2001
    Thanks for posting your belated report! I enjoyed reading it, laughing at several points, especially the mental picture of you with lots of blush and hair sticking straight arriving very early for the poker lesson! My husband and I and friends were at the Orleans about a week before you last year. My husband was in charge of the trip report and, needless to say, he never finished it. I may post it if I can dig it up. Thanks again for the entertaining read.
  3. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

    Jan 8, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Oh yes, this was good for several laugh out loud moments (not always appreciated when one is at work, but that's my problem, not yours LOL). I also liked the "raggedy carcass" appearance, and espeically enjoyed hearing about you being cursed at in Klingon. What a great town!

    And since you've played poker on Hoyle, should I ask if "big mouth/short stack" was Eddie?
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