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oct 23-26

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Nov 8, 2004.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002

    My Trip Report

    Let me start by saying the original plan was to come out a week earlier and take the Dept. of Energy tour of nuclear test sites (about 50 miles northwest of Vegas). I was already signed up and had my security clearance, but got bogged down at work and couldn't get away.
    Fortunately, SWA has a liberal cancellation policy and I was able to re-book without penalty for a week later. Oh well, I missed the DOE tour, but still managed to make it to Vegas.
    Speaking of SWA, we (son and I) took the last flight out of Midway at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night. Only 28 passnegers on board. An employee told me that SWA still comes out okay because they fill the weight of the plane up with cargo.
    I know some people have had problems with Dollar, but as a fastlane member, I'm in and out in no time flat. This was no exception.
    Believe it or not, we were only in town until Tuesday morning, but used whole tank of gas. I think a car is essential when in Vegas.
    The plan on Saturday night was to make it all-nighter because a.) we did not have a reservation anywhere b.) we wanted to see if we could do it. Thanks to all of you that offered suggestions on what to see and do.
    We immediately went to the Bellagio for some serious crap-shooting. Last trip, we made out like bandits, this time we just barely treaded water.
    Speaking of water, we drove into the Bellagio just as the fountains were doing their thing. That's was a great intro to our Vegas trip. Is it okay for a man to say he is enthralled by the fountains?
    We continued our upscale gambling at the Venetian, but our luck wasn't any better, both of us coming out in the negative column. At least we were staying awake. Only four hours till sunrise. Can we make it?
    The answer was no. Bear in mind, the two hour time change from the midwest made it even harder, plus not winning dampered our enthusiam level.
    Someone had suggested getting in a poker game as a means for making it through the night. That may have done the job, but neither of us were experienced. A few of you suggested a father-son nudie club bonding experience, nor did that get
    off the ground.
    Needless to say, about 3:30 a.m., we became sleepy. Our plan to stay up did not work, and worse, we had no place to retire to.
    We did have the compact rental car. Unfortunately, Vegas is lit up from one side of town to another. We drove as far north as the Sante Fe Station and couldn't not find a quiet, dark place to sleep. So we went south, and again nothing.
    Finally, we headed south of Henderson on Boulder Hwy. to a casino/hotel called Railroad Pass. We found an RV parking lot and fell soundly asleep in the car.
    We will likely not try an all-nighter again, or if we do, we'll have a hotel lined up to stay in.
    We got up about 7:00 and headed back into town. Our first stop was the brunch at Main Street Station. We had never been there, but heard good things about MSS. It was just fine, especially after living out of a car the few hours previous.
    Since it was Sunday, that meant spending time in sports books watching the NFL. That's always a good time, checking out several games at once and sharing the ups and down of a game with new-found fellow betting friends.
    We started at the Mandalay Bay and hit a few other places. I lost both my parlays. The college games are so much easier to pick than the pros.
    Later that afternoon, we checked into the Las Vegas Club, using the LVA 2-1 coupon ($30 first night, second night free). We had the North Tower and were quite pleased.
    Nothing significant to report the rest of the day other than more crap-shooting, another buffet (Boulder Station) and general sight-seeing.
    The station buffets are underrated. For the price, they are an excellent value. At Boulder, I had a superb dessrt - a very moist warm banana nut cake (I think it had chocolate in it, as well). Top it with frozen vanilla yogurt and as the cliche goes, 'it's too die for'.
    It was a surprise because my impression of buffet-type desserts, even at the fancier joints, isn't very high.
    Monday took us out of town to Red Rock Canyon for a day of hiking. We spend a lot of time in southern Utah back-country and while the canyon at Red Rock isn't as expansive, it makes a nice climb.
    After bulding up an appetite, it was time to hit up one of my new favorites - the Rio buffet. We went at 3:15 and got in for lunch prices (dinner prices start at 3:30), plus we had a $5 off apiece coupon. Thus, for $10 each, we had quite the meal.
    I put this one up there with Bellagio, GVR and Alladin, not so much because of its size, but its selection - Vietnamese soup station, sushi, three kinds of crab legs (that they will heat up), and everything else in between. Really, there's too much to mention.
    We spent two hours and were never rushed. The crab legs (I forget which type) were the best I've had on a Vegas buffet.
    After eating, we headed back to Railroad Pass to give them some gambling action - the least we could do for sleeping in their parking lot for free. My son hit some numbers, but I exhausted my bankroll by poor table bet management.
    With the trip winding down, we made our way back to the Strip for more Vegas living. We wrapped up the evening with a return to downtown. I've got to admit, I got a bigger kick out of the old cheesier FSE than the new versions.
    Still, the downtown is always a good time. For the first time, and I apologize to dr. al, I did not make in the doors of El Cortez for craps.
    I finally have a winning session at craps. I did not get all back that I had lost, but at least made reduced my loss column. Thank you LVC.
    I've heard Mikey talk about playing there, but I'd never tried it, usually doing the Plaza.
    I will return. The sides of the table had a nice bounce to them.
    Got up early and caught the 7:30 a.m. SWA flight back to Midway. While on the plane, starting reading the college football lines and kicked myself for not making a bet before I left town on Ball State (+22 at home) against Northern Illinois. A decent-sized wager could have got me back to even.
    Sure enough, a few days later, I watched my alma mater NIU stuggle to win in overtime and miss the spread by a longshot.
    On a scale of 1-10 among Vegas journies I've made, I'd rate this trip a 4.
    The highlights were canyoning at Red Rock, the banana nut dessert at Boulder Station, getting hot, albeit briefly, at a LVC crap table, enjoying the fountains at Bellagio, spending time with my son and the Rio buffet.

    [ November 08, 2004, 06:19 PM: Message edited by: chef ]
  2. Jer

    Jer I kinda did a thing...

    Jan 20, 2002
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Very nice Chef... But why a 4?

    Glad you spent some good quality time with your son!
  3. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like it was actually a pretty interesting trip. IMO, all-nighters are hard to plan, they just sort of happen, or they don't. It's ok about the El Co, but next time for sure... [​IMG] ;)
  4. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

    Aug 4, 2003
    Southern California
    All-nighters are one of those things where you end up falling asleep when you plan for them and you end up pulling one when you don't want to.

    Thanks for the trip report chef! I might have to look into that Rio Buffet since you recommended it.
  5. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Sep 21, 2002
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Nice trip report. I don't think that I could pull an all nighter either. Those days are long behind me.

    Sounds like everything worked out though. I have to say that I make it a point to catch several Bellagio fountain shows everytime I'm in Vegas. It's even better while catching lunch or dinner at Mon Ami Gabi at the same time.
  6. boxcars

    boxcars High-Roller

    May 19, 2004
    North Dakota
    Nice report Chef! I can't wait to take my son when he's old enough. Only 16 more years! :cool:

    Actually... he'll be with me in a few weeks in Vegas (but guess that's not quite the same!)
  7. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002
    Vegas Jer,
    I gave it a 4 not because I didn't enjoy ourselves, but on a relative scale, I have had much better trips.
    First of all, having to switch things around kind of took me out of the mood. I was really geared up for the nuke tour.
    Secondly, I had been very busy at work and wasn't in a relaxed frame of mind when I left.
    Third, I'm a huge fan of that hot southwest clime and the weather had just broke (started to get cool down) a few days earlier.
    Fourth, dropping quid dampens the spirits.
    Fifth, I usually check in with some friends I have made out there over the years and didn't get a chance to do that.
    Finally, other than the time at the canyon, it never seemed like we got in the relaxed mode. It was too much of a rush trip, without the proper planning.
    All in all, I just feel fortunate we were able to be in Vegas. What a great town.
  8. vegashost

    vegashost Guest

    I think it was a great trip. I'm sure you ha dbetter times, but nothing beats a father and son tag team duo. Next time you come out here, give me a shout. I'll set you up for a rockstar night. Filled with booze, limos and strippers. Believe me, you will not want to go to bed.
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