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March Nascar, Flamingo, Bellagio, Venentian

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by littleshelby, May 3, 2006.

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  1. littleshelby

    littleshelby Newbie

    Jan 20, 2006

    My Trip Report

    This is my first trip report. I understand that a grade will be deducted for handing my report in late. I’ve made it long for extra credit. There may be some useless information for Nascar fans going to the 2007 race.

    Thursday March 9th my husband I had an uneventful flight on Alaska out of Seattle. Arrived around 11:00 Checked in to our room at the Flamingo at the Airport check in…highly recommended use of time while waiting for baggage. Called a girlfriend who is a Vegas resident for pickup. Dropped our bags with the Flamingo bell hop and we were off. We made the most of the time with our old friend catching up on stories . She chauffeured us to some off strip areas including the Bass Pro shops where we purchased rain gear, parkas, hats, and gloves. – more on that later. Highly recommend Bass Pro shops as a great off strip destination. One of the highlights of the afternoon was Spending 20 minutes at the tropical fish tank at the adjoining casino identifying all of the characters from finding Nemo. Returned to our friend’s beautiful home for cocktail hour(s) where her husband joined us. It took an extraordinary amount of time to get the bunch of us organized and into a car for dinner on the strip. We missed 2 consecutive dinner reservations in the process. Unfortunately I was only wearing a light jacket and the temperature had dropped to about 50 and the wind had started blowing.

    Finally around 8:00 PM we all arrived at the Flamingo. Husband and I went up to the room to put on cozy warm clothes and we joined our Friends at Margaretville. A quick word on the Flamingo…maybe a bit threadbare. You can not beat the strip location, size of rooms and casino. There were tons of Nascar fans there and they seemed to really be enjoying themselves.

    Upon arriving at Batista’s Hole in the Wall for dinner at 10:30, I now know why they could so easily accommodate our 3 consecutive dinner reservation changes. This place would have been great if I were 21 in college and wanted all the free wine I could drink with dinner. At 42 years old and already sporting a good buzz that we paid top dollar for at Margaretville this wasn’t my best choice. The food at Batista’s was a C+. I was mortified that I suggested we eat there. After dinner the group of us then went to the Mandalay Bay to play black jack. The Mandalay was very proud to take our money and they didn’t waste anytime doing it with the $25.00 minimums. A couple observations about the Mandalay: Lots of guys willing to sit at a $25.00 minimum table but not willing to spend more the $1.25 on a cigar at the Pump & Sip. Imagine if your neighbors at home partied all night like the Rum Jungle every night!

    Friday the 10th and I’m so happy to wake up in the huge comfortable room in the Flamingo. Indulged my husband with the luxury of coffee, a paper and a cigarette in bed, I enjoyed the view of the strip and watched the palm trees whip in the furious wind. Sat down for a good but expensive breakfast at the Tropical Breeze café. If I were to do it over again I’d have walked the 50 yards to the Barbary Coast for breakfast at the Victorian room. The weather had now dropped to 44 degrees and was nothing like a tropical breeze.

    From there we irritated a cab driver to no end by taking a cab from the Flamingo to the Bellagio. We dropped our bags with the Bellagio Bell hop and I parted ways with my husband…he was off to Nascar qualifying at the track and I was out for a day of exploring. A few highlights or our day: The conservatory at Bellagio was dazzling…I always forget what a simple pleasure it is. I skipped lunch and opted for pistachio Gelato at Jean Philippe Patisserie- This is one of the little things about Vegas that brings me back. The Bellagio spa. Ahhhh. I did the Refresher mini facial which is a tremendous value. Next time I will do the signature facial. I was so windburned and tired from all the walking…you would have never know it I felt so relaxed afterward. My husband drank beer all day at the freezing windy track. I understand that temperatures were in the 30’s with the wind blowing.

    Our plan was to meet at the Petrossian Lobby bar at Bellagio between 6:00 and 7:00 to go on to a cocktail party for some Nascar fans, and then on to Downtown for steaks at Binion’s horseshoe. Apparently the traffic coming back from the track was horrible Friday evening and no one’s cell phone by mine worked. I proceeded to be entertained at the bar while I waited for my husband until 8:30. Desperately in need of food, the room service hamburger at the Bellagio was pretty yummy. Husband remained missing in action.

    Saturday the 11th we caught a tour coach to the track for the Busch race We bundled up in our long johns, sweaters, rain gear, gloves, extra socks and hats. Basically we were dressed to go elk hunting. Jean Philippe Patisserie for coffee and pastry. Cheese Danish heaven. Our seats at LVMS were in Earnhardt Terrace. Not a bad seat in Earnhardt Terrace. At around 11:00 AM it snowed. We had extra gloves and sweaters so we shared them with some of the folks sitting around us in the grandstands. While they were drying off the track we went off to find our buddies’ tailgate party in the vast parking lot. (We are parked next to the Chevy van with the Earnhardt flag and the porta potty where pretty funny directions all things considered) Nothing like old friends, freezing weather, a barbeque and tons of beer. We were primed for the Busch race and didn’t care that the wind chill factor was in the 20’s…celebrated Kasey Kahne’s victory all the way back to the Bellagio

    Arrived back at Bellagio at around 7:00 PM Saturday night looking sorely out of place among the high heels and glitter in our elk hunting gear and boots. On to the Bellagio Buffet. The crab legs in butter were wasted on us since we didn’t have the energy to crack the crab, I considered just having a bowl of melted butter. In fact the whole thing was wasted on us..or we were too tired to enjoy it. We did appreciate that the wait staff kept filling up our water glasses since we were so dehydrated. I don’t feel that I have adequately reviewed this dining experience.

    Sunday the 12th back for more pastries and LVMS. We had pit passes prior to the race which was a great photo opportunity for silly pictures on pit row. The weather was now in the high 40’s and we had reason to celebrate. Premier sports travel provided an awesome lunch… hamburgers and steaks. We were expecting a bag of chips and a cold sandwich. Nice. The race was great. I especially enjoyed listening to Tony Stewart call Kyle Busch his best friend over the race scanner…there was something said about doing something to his Mother. Class act Tony. Traffic leaving LVMS is legendary. We took the short cut route and it still took us nearly 2 hours to get back to the strip. This isn’t such a bad thing if you are ready for a refreshing little nap to jumpstart the evenings activities. Back at Bellagio I see the Bellagio fountains for the first time ever just as we are walking in the door. Neato. We dressed and ate dinner at Noodles. This was a well priced choice for good comfort food with large portions. Rested and Fed we finally make our way on to the casino floor for some extended gaming. The Bellagio Slots happily entertained us for 3 or 4 hours -never more than up or down several hundred and ending the night ever so slightly behind after enjoying the terrific cocktail service. The Bellagio is a fine hotel. I felt our room was very dim and somewhat small. I’ll go back for the spa experience alone.

    Monday March 13th. Early morning and we rendevous at the bank of slot machines from the previous evening. Our goal is the triple seven out each machine in a bank. We executed well and triple seven out 6 of the 8 machines. Drank our comped bloody mary’s, cashed our meager winnings, check out and taxied to the Venetian to drop our bags. Noticed that some idiot was out swimming in the Bellagio pool. The sun is shining and it is a muggy 52 degrees perfect for a stroll down the strip. The one penny Sea monkey Game at the Barbary Coast entertains us while we wait for a table at the Victorian room. You can’t win against the Sea Monkey’s. You can’t escape the silly slot machine tune getting stuck in your head. I have so many good things to say about Barbary coast and the Victorian room, they have all been said a million times. With the afternoon free we head over to one of my favorite gaming sights…..

    The Mirage. The remodel looks great, and I don’t think the construction would dissuade me from staying there. The high roller gaming areas are even more sophisticated. It appears they removed all of the ladies restrooms to accommodate the changes. The afternoon of Slots and cocktail service were very relaxing. As with the rest of our gambling experiences there were no big losses or wins at the slots from us or anyone else we talked to.

    Late afternoon after the check inn rush is over. We head back to the Venetian for check in. I don’t know about the $20.00 trick or anything else. I think just being nice and easy going works very well. The economy weekday rate internet booked room turned into a top floor Prima suite. We were a bit shell shocked when we walked through the double doors down our private marble hallway. I like the idea of having a shower large enough to wash a car in. My tired aching feet loved the jetted tub. The Venetian staff fawned over us every where we went and it was really a treat. We relaxed, headed over to Harrahs to check out their crowded gaming floor for a bit. I mentioned going back to the Venetian and staying in the Prima Suite again to my husband yesterday and you should have seen the grin on this face.

    Delmonico’s for dinner. On the positive side the steak and attention from the wait staff gave us was excellent. My husband had the French onion soup as appetizer and he didn’t say a word as he happily spooned it up. I had the Foie Gras.. I am a bit of a foodie so I understand that Foie Gras can be served warm or cold and it is excellent both ways. They served an enormous appetizer portion of foie gras. I don’t know what went wrong…it was served warm but the middle was ice cold which is pretty yucky when you consider what it is. For our main courses my husband had a rib steak special and I had tenderloin. The steaks were as good as it gets. Don’t miss the creamed spinach. The plain grey walls and stark atmosphere are done that way to make the food shine. What a bunch of bunk! I could hear each conversations of the tables near to ours, I could hear the at the wait staff talking in the kitchen. Later that evening I hear a gunshot as I drift off to sleep. Damn Pirates at TI across the street!

    Tuesday March 13th. Pack and depart. But not before a walk in the scorching 60 degree weather to Wynn. Last year we were in Vegas for the Wynn grand opening so our first experience of Wynn was tainted by the massive crowd. On a Tuesday morning the only thing that seemed to be open in the Wynn was Up Parasol…boring. The lack of human life was chilling.

    Final thoughts. It was really really cold. We came prepared and had a ton of fun. Nascar fans are so very very nice and mild mannered. Nascar weekend in Vegas was the friendliest place on earth. From my review you can see that I was somewhat disappointed with every meal but breakfast…so you can bet that the next time I won’t be messing with any fine dining experiences.
  2. aggie182

    aggie182 Off Key and Out of Tune

    Mar 20, 2005
    Missouri City, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great TR. I am ready for my next trip. Isn't Barbary Coast awesome?
  3. dung bug

    dung bug Low-Roller

    Dec 12, 2005
    Houston, Tx
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report...thanks for sharing.
  4. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002
    I remember how chilly it was at that time as we rolled into town that Sunday. That had to be a bummer for you.
    However, it sounded like you lived the high life while you were in Vegas. I'm not a NASCAR guy, but was enlightened by your descriptions of your experiences.
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