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San Diego to LV Dec 7-Dec 21 Road trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by rsees, Dec 23, 2009.

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  1. rsees

    rsees Low-Roller

    Mar 11, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    What else do you do when unemployed, but go to Las Vegas for a vacation. We spent 10 days at The El Cortez, and 4 days at the Sahara. I never thought I would say this but actually do enjoy staying downtown for convenience of walking from casino to casino and great values close by. As stated on the board its not for everyone based on the surroundings/rough neighborhood. Many times traveling there on business I used to stay why are these people staying down here??? Its crappy looking compared to the South Strip and doesn't give a true picture of Vegas. Know I know why people enjoy downtown.

    My wife and I left Dec 7 monday from San Diego for the 6 hr drive. I keep the cruise on at 60mph to save gas, though it probably ticks people off that I am driving below the posted limit. Trucks even pass me but we are in no hurry when on vacation.

    This is a long report but will post some tips up front, do's and donts in my opinion. My wife only plays slots, and I play a little BJ and occasional slots (like free play) , but were not too heavy of gamblers. The only heavy is from the buffets:peace: Also I try to list total prices for the wife and I to see how much you can save with coupons and planning!!!

    Tips- buy a POV, and ACG coupon book. Well worth the price and it gives you an excuse to use the match play! Also an Entertainment book would help. We actually paid $0 for 10 days at The El Cortez with a rebate from the book.
    Trinity Life Center 1000 E. St Louis for fellowship while in LV.

    Do's- Do your homework and read this board !:licklips:
    Also check out www.KSHP.com well in advance of your trip, this is a must. I will share the prices we paid for some shows and restaurants in the detailed report. For food choices via KSHP certificates -try the following: Bagel Cafe, Roberto's, Carl's Jr,and Badger Cafe. For huge discounts on shows I bought via KSHP were Voices,Louie Anderson, and Matsuri. They have many more but we ran out of days with all the other stuff via Craig's list etc. PS Human Nature was on holiday so we missed them. Other recommends-Tuscany's on flamingo cantina Mex Rest, Red Rock Buffet, Ellis Island BBQ, and also the other restaurant for steak special, Gardonias at the palms,Sunset Station buffet, Rampart buffet. ALSO- you don't need to stay at The Sahara but daily you can get a $5 voucher good for any restaurant in the hotel. You can go to the small walk up cafe and get a free coffee and donut or...with the $5 cert.

    DONT's-Eat at Gold Strike at Jean NV.:vomit: Skip the East Side Cannery buffet, but try the Cannery in N Las Vegas. Hooters-food is very marginal.You pay for the view!!

    Detailed trip report:
    Dec 7 Left San Diego and stopped at the Gold Strike in Jean Nevada using a 241 POV coupon. The buffet was bad even for $5 for 2 people. We tried it once! We will chalk it up as a learning experience. Rolled up to The El Cortez around 1pm and they let us check in early. I asked for an upgrade from the pavilion rooms, but she said $10 a night extra, I said were fine. The rooms were only about $20 per night anyway with no addl fees! The pavilion rooms are clean but no table to eat at and most of the room is filled up with 2 beds, but it works. We ate at binions coffeshop as they had great Prime Rib Dinners for $7 in the past and I know they were closing for good in a week or so. $17 for 2 of us with the binions card.

    12/8 tues-Breakfast at Fitz 2 eggs,toast, and hash-brows for both of us $5. They have a great price on some bfast,lunch,and dinner items. Lunch was 2 burgers at Binions using a 241 POV coupon $8 for 2 of us.
    Dinner was at The Cannery in N Las Vegas. They have a great buffet compared to the East Side Cannery in our opinion. I had a 241 from the ACG but some how lost it from the hotel to the car. We had to pay $25 for both of us. I was bummed to lose it but:cry:

    12/9 Wed 241 at binions from an old fun book we had consisting of a ham steak,eggs,hash browns, and toast. $10 for 2 of us. We skipped lunch as breakfast was filling and headed out for an early dinner to see a show at State Line. We used a 241 from ACG for Emerald Island Casino in Henderson. This is a little casino and a drive from downtown but they did have good quality food. I had a rib,and chicken platter, and the wife had a shrimp dinner. I would recommend this place $20 for the total bill. There are several coupons in the ACG so check them out as stated. I was impressed by the quality of the food. Though it WAS too Smokey!!! They need better ventilation:vomit:
    From Henderson we drove to State line- Buffalo Bills Arena to see Michael McDonald (formerly of the Doobie Brothers way back when). Us old timers will remember him. We got 2 great tickets for $50 from Craig's list and picked them up when we drove to vegas. They were great floor seats and a nice show. He did a mix of Christmas tunes and some of his other known stuff including a few Doobie Bros hits. It was a nice arena and well worth the price.

    12/10 Early lunch at Tacone's in Planet Hollywood. used a 241 and each had a wrap, with home made potato chips which are tasty $9. From there we went to the Tropicana to participate in Lets Make A Deal. Its free and it was a way to kill some of the day. It is a laborious process to get from the line to actually getting in the studio(4 hrs including taping) but was a first time experience to participate in the taping of a show. We didn't dress up but still had fun. If you go, get there early and if you dress up you have a better chance of getting on the show and to try and win something. They have a screener/producer who asks ?'s and that's how they seem to pick people based on their enthusiasm etc... We then went to The Gold Coast buffet using a 241 for $14. The buffet wasn't too bad but the coupon helped digestion. We then went to see Andrew Dice Clay at the Riviera. We got 2 tix for $15 from KSHP.com. I new he had a foul mouth but it was a worthless show. Why do comedians think the more you swear the funnier you are? That doesn't work for me.

    12/11 Lunch at Roberto's $5 for $10 for both of us using a KSHP certificate. We each had a carne asada burrito. They are huge and worth it! They are in San Diego and have the same consistency as in Vegas. I love this place!!!
    For dinner we used another kshp certificate for China Mama for $7 for $10. I was disappointed with the food and the dinner I ordered had no rice! What a crime. The wife had shrimp and noodles and the shrimp were SHRIMPY. After the disappointing dinner we headed over to the MGM to see KA. we got 2 tix on line for $147. That was a great price compared to the normal rate. I thought the show was great. I was amazed by the stage rotation/movement! We had descent seats though off to the side. You cant expect center seats paying a discount price though.

    12/12 Breakfast at the Poker Palace-maddy paddys 241 $8. The place is in N Las vegas and a little rough neighborhood. i heard about it from the board and finally made it there. It is not the cleanest place but filling and they had some good prices on breakfast specials. For lunch we got some to go orders at the Hilton using free vouchers I had. Dinner was at Tuscany's Hotel in the Mexican Cantina off flamingo. We have been there several times and the quality is great. you can use a POV 241 and they even have coupons in the LV magazines around town you can clip for free. I would recommend this place. the wife had seafood enchiladas, and i had Chicken something for $20. The nights show was George Wallace at the Flamingo. We got 2 tix for $30 from Craig's list. He was pretty good though a liberal:poke: Plus he dissed my Cleveland Browns :nono:. For the price we paid it was ok,clean, and had some funny moments.

    12/13 Started off the morning at Trinity church at 1000 E St Louis. If you are a believer (and if not why not) this is a great place to fellowship. They put on a nice Christmas program, which reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas! For Brunch we went to Gardonias at the Palms. We had a 50% off from POV and paid $17. They had an outstanding brunch and I read the reviews earlier on the ACG newsletter. We marked it as a thing to do and it was worth it. I think I am still tasting the bacon and french toast!!! Plus they had other things including Mexican food which I indulged in an enchilada . Great food and always tastes better with a 241. For dinner the wife and i split a sandwich from the Golden Gate Cafe using a 241 ACG for $5. We were stuffed from brunch. We then went to the Hilton to see Lani Misaluchi in the show they call Voices. We got tix at KSHP for $24 for both of us. This was a great show! This woman can sing, and I was amazed. She did an opera number (I am no opera fan) but it was amazing to hear that loud singing voice coming from a small woman. She has quite a range and sang rock, to country, to contemporary and did a few impressions. I would recommend this just to hear this woman's voice.

    12/14 Back to N Las Vegas to the Silver Nugget for lunch at Renee's Coffee Shop. The wife and i had a wrap for $5 using a 241 POV. It was ok but if not for the coupon we would not go back. For early dinner we rushed into The Badger Cafe and got a pastrami sand for me and the wife had fried shrimp.It was another KSHP certificate $5 deal for $10 worth of food! The food was good and would go back there and sit down for a nice meal, its not fancy but good food. We ate it on the way to see Matsuri at imperial palace as we were running late. Matsuri was pretty good. We got tix from KSHP $19 for 2 tix-what a deal. The acrobats are energetic for a small setting show. I would give it a B-. It was refreshing to see though. Not a bad seat in the theater.

    12/15 late breakfast/lunch at Santa Fe Station. 241 POV for $8. They have a fantastic buffet, and I strongly recommend it. Use your players card and get $2 off each as well. For dinner we used a KSHP certificate for $9 for $30 worth of food at Hooters.The food was marginal! I guess you pay for the view:rolleyes2: I would not go there to eat again though maybe the chicken wings might be worth it. We started off with a 1/2 lb of shrimp appetizer. I had a Philly cheese steak, and the wife had a burger. Cross it off you list! After that we went to the Excalibur to see Louie Anderson. 2 tix from KSHP for $33 a great deal and a good,clean,funny show. I would recommend him. I liked him better than George Wallace.

    12/16 The wife slept in so i went to Maddy Paddys for a Free meal using a ACG coupon. I had a huge ham steak, eggs, and hash browns. On the way back to the hotel the wife wanted donuts. Man its hard to find an independent donut shop in LV. It seems like there is one on every corner in San Diego. For late lunch we went to Rampart Casino. The 241 POV was used for $10. They do have a good buffet and would recommend it. They have some fresh ice cream with many flavors to choose! I had to have 2 servings:ssst:. For a late night snack we went to fremont St and had a shrimp cocktail 241 at the Golden Gate. Then over to a place that advertises 99 cent hot dogs,deep fried twinkies, oreos etc. I forgot the name of the place but you know! The wife and I had a Nathans hot dog . For $1 a piece they were not bad. I know they have a Nathans at NYNY and you would probably pay $4 each for a dog.

    12/17 Wife and I used a little comp 4's and coupons for basically a free breakfast in the El Cortez cafe. They have descent food and gave $5 off with their coupon books we got checking in. We checked out at noon and I called the Sahara to see if we could check in early. No problem they said! My wife had 3 days free if she entered the free slot tourney so this is why we stayed there.:cheers: and we used comps for 1 other free night. After throwing our baggage in the hotel we went to the East Side Cannery for the lunch buffet. Using a 241 in the ACG it was $9. As stated earlier skip the East Side Cannery for the buffet. The Cannery in N LV is much better. Though if you go to the East Side try SNAPS. They have excellent sandwiches! We then went to see Rick Thomas magic show at the Sahara. We got a 241 from the hotel and paid $48. It was a good show and he had some good tricks. I'm not a big magician fan (once you see 1...) but it was good.He uses some big tigers but not enough, and had a little too much dancing in between but not a bad show. Check it out if you get a 241. For late dinner we went to the Ellis Island BBQ! If you haven't read the reviews go there!We have been here several times and the 241 from POV came to $13. You get a ton of food. One tip is get the 1/2 chicken and ribs. My wife got 1/2 rack of ribs and I got just as much ribs with my combo plate:faint:

    12/18 Bagel Cafe is a new place we tried and used a KSHP certificate and ate for $5 on a $15 value certificate. THIS place is great! We highly recommend it. They use fresh ingredients. The hash browns were not frozen patties but fresh shredded potatoes. Everything was great, check it out.:nworthy: We went to the Orleans Feast Buffet using a 241 from POV $17 for both of us. It was a little higher than normal because it was seafood night. I think it was marginal for a buffet. After that we went upstairs to the Orleans Arena to see a Christian Artist Toby Mac. We got in for $10 each plus an unwrapped toy! They have a lot of energy,great tunes but are loud. We had great seats and enjoyed it immensely.

    12/19 Breakfast for free using comps/ and $5 coupons from the Sahara. I had the french toast which is good and you get 3 pcs instead of the usual 2 pcs at many restaurants. My wife had an omelet, hash browns ,and toast. Lunch was using another KSHP certificate for $5 getting $10 worth of food at Pinks at PH. I thought this place was over-rated. There is one in Hollywood which I have never been to but the one here is pricey. My wife just got chili cheese fries and I got the chile. I made the mistake thinking it was actually chili-it was what they put on the fries. I ate 2 spoons and decided to try and take it back. They gladly took it back and asked if I wanted something else. I just settled for a mustard dog. I don't know if its usual practice there but I got 2 dogs on 1 bun. The quality of the dogs were actually good but still for the money its a pricey shop. Maybe the one in Hollywood is the way to go? Late dinner was old reliable Ellis Island for the 10 oz steak special for $7 each. The wife and I printed out the coupon for the free drink which they used to give with the special. Do that and you save $4. I had a root beer which they make great!:beer: I will recommend this place again to anyone if you don't know about it. The steak special is a good quality 10 oz steak, with potato, and fresh green beans.

    12/20 We got up early and headed to church again at Trinity Life Center 1000 E. St Louis for a refreshing service. I went to the overly priced Cinnabon at fashion show mall. I had a KSHP certificate I got free. It was $5 and needless to say 1 pecan cinnamon roll is around $5. I haven't been there in ages and now I know why. They are too pricey, though I must say good tasting. I ate it while watching the Cleveland Browns beat the Chiefs:thumbsup: For lunch I had a KSHP cert paying from Carl's Jr $5for $10 worth of food. I enjoyed the Jalapeno burger with a side of fried zucchini, and the wife got a big carl and fries. For dinner we went to Red Rock Casino for a 241 POV and payed $19. It seemed high but maybe sundays are higher priced. Once again they do have a fantastic buffet and use your players card for $2 each off reg price. I highly recommend this place. FYI- It is about 18 miles 1 way from The Sahara.

    12/21 Sahara $5 comps printed from the players club. Go there and spin the wheel to try to win $10K. And ask for the complimentary $5 food voucher. They are giving them out since the buffet is closed for remodel. I DO NOT recommend their buffet(they should shut it permanently) so take advantage of their $5 off and you can get something free like we did for the trip home. my wife got a cup of coffee and 1 Krispy cream donut. I got 3 donuts- Free. Go get the spin and voucher. You don't even have to stay there.

    With donuts and coffee we headed home and got back safely at 1 pm. We will be back next year with POV,ACG,Ent book, and KSHP certificates in hand.In addition to a new job- Lord willing.
    Merry Christmas.
  2. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

    Apr 23, 2009
    Calgary , Alberta , Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like you both had a lovely trip, and certainly made use of a heap of coupons!! Well done!!
  3. sailor53

    sailor53 Tourist

    Jan 18, 2006
    Pensacola, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report. Hope the job hunt goes well. Thanks for posting!
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