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Trip Report October 2018 - Mirage and Plaza

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Adepizza, Dec 28, 2018.

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  1. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    TR Sep 30 - Oct 10
    Apologies for the lateness of this TR, which is also on Trip Advisor. After every trip I am full of good intentions and start writing one only to give in half way through – but this time I was determined to complete it. Just a bit of background to the trip – I’m a 50(ish) guy from the north of England and I was joined by my best friend J together with S and N (who were spending two nights in Vegas before going on to LA for four nights and returning to Vegas for the final three nights but doing mainly their own thing). It is J's third time in Vegas and my eighth I think. Neither of us are high rollers and we stick mostly to slots with the odd bit of VP thrown in for good measure (me). We had a ‘to do’ list that, as usual, we didn't complete but we had a good attempt and had lots of fun trying.
     
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  2. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    Day one - Sunday
    We were flying Thomas Cook economy from Manchester and as is customary we started by visiting the Aspire Lounge at Terminal 3, thanks to a lift to the airport from Son 1. I had two
    complimentary passes via American Express so it was certainly good value for money and there is something quite naughty about breakfasting on wine and sausage butties, especially as I had been on a low carb diet for the previous eight weeks. The 09.15 flights were fine, although delayed by an hour, and the free headrest entertainment was sufficient for me, especially the music. Landed at 13.10 Vegas time and going through Immigration was a breeze using the automated system, via witnessing someone dropping and smashing their haul of Duty Free, and off to the Mirage via Lyft. I'm not convinced that there is still enough signage directing passengers to the Drive Share pick up as we struggled to find it again this year, as did our driver, but after the initial frustration J and I reached the Mirage ($18 with tip) to start two nights comped care of MyVegas, with S and N heading to The STRAT . I had contemplated trying the $20 trick/bribe at check-in in order to get an upgrade on our standard two queen room but the line was long and, as we wanted to drop our luggage off and head out, we decided to use the express check-in which had no line. This worked well and we were in the room in no time. The room was fine as usual (I like the various USB and A/V connections) so we dropped our luggage off, had a quick freshen up and headed off out to our first activity of the trip - the High Roller.
    Neither of us have a head for heights, especially J, but we booked and paid for this online prior to arriving to minimise either of us chickening out, and to be double sure we booked the happy (half) hour. The ride was fantastic and I was surprised that I wasn't fazed by the height at all. I was especially proud of J, who bravely ventured from the seat to touch the rail by the window. There were eight of us in total in the pod and it took about 40 minutes to revolve fully, seeing a fountain show on the way round. The barmaid was pretty grumpy, there was hardly any interaction with the group and certainly no shot at 'the top' of the ride, but we still tipped her at the end anyway. We took the ride in the late afternoon and I would imagine it's a different experience to do it in the evening. After this we had a mooch through the Cromwell and played a couple of slots. J had a theory that the uglier a machine, the less people were likely to play it and therefore it would be keen to pay out! She found some kind of older gorilla-based machine and I sat next on a lion-themed one and we came away $10 and $25 up respectively. Next we went to meet S and N at the Interlude bar for happy hour and take in a live band.
    We arrived a little early for the $3 cocktails but I decided to buy a couple of drinks anyway and listen to the band. The drinks were pretty expensive - $36 for 2 (welcome to Vegas!) but the band were great, even playing my request of some CCR. N got a second round of HH drinks and I got talking to a friendly couple from Ohio who were into the band too. When I went to buy a third round I was told that HH was over, despite the bartender knowing that I had been waiting for a while prior to getting served. We opted not to continue patronising the bar, said goodbye to S and N and headed back to the Mirage to take of some free drinks and slot action before going to LVB for supper. I can’t remember anything special about the burgers, although at this stage I would’ve eaten a scabby dog! I really like the Mirage as it has a light, fresh and airy feeling and has a good location on the strip. I can't think of anything remarkable that happened during the rest of the evening but I was about even for the day and we turned in around 11.00, having been up for 28 hours.
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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  3. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    Day Two - Monday
    The dreaded jet lag means that we are both awake around 3.00, so what can you do? Go out and be degenerate (tm Royalflusher) of course, so we went next door to TI around 4.00. I like Vegas at this time in the day, especially on the first, full day of the holiday and knowing that there eight more fun-filled nights in store. In TI I found a Batman and Robin slot and couldn't stop getting bonuses. After it started to settle down i.e. stop paying out, I went to find the newish Kronos machine that I had seen in the Matt Bridger and Nicky Furmage vlogs. One was located and I played at the lowest denomination without the extra bonus boost, hitting a full line of Kronos' in the first column and getting the bonus a $50 hit. This meant a trip to the CVS to get supplies of booze and diet Coke for the room and then hit the Mirage pool for an hour and a half, which is about all I can take as I get really restless and feel the effects of the sun.
    For lunch we headed to the buffet at Mirage as we both had a MyVegas comp and we were certainly both ready for food by now. It is agreed that this is not the best buffet in town, but with wine and beer included it certainly has to be one of the best value ones. We chilled out with wine and cheese and various other nibbles before going for dessert, something which I rarely have as I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I had cheesecake with maple syrup and I can heartily recommend it.
    After lunch we headed over to Flamingo as J wanted the see the real flamingos and I managed to get the now traditional photo of her wearing a daft flamingo hat. She then got a photo of the Bugsy Siegel plaque which details the history of him and his involvement with the Flamingo. I'm surprised that more isn't made of this feature (we asked a security guy where it was located and he didn't know, although he was spotted smoking weed in the flamingo attraction so probably wasn't the most attentive of employees to ask). Perhaps the management doesn't wish to promote this chapter in the Flamingo's history and it is of no interest to the millennials? It was then time to meet S and N in the bar at Harrahs in time to see Big Elvis, another one on the 'to do' list. I'm not particularly much of an Elvis fan but he was very entertaining and we ended up sitting next to the great couple from Ohio from the previous night, joking that I needed to get a restraining order taken out! Next was a visit to Casino Royale. There's nothing to report here apart from the loss of the $1 Michelobs, to be replaced by a larger choice of $3 beers. What was noticed, however, was that the place seemed to have gone downhill, if possible, with the staff being miserable and a general air of apathy in the casino. Machines seemed dirty, glasses weren't collected and overflowing ashtrays weren't emptied.
    From one extreme to another, the next port of call was the Venetian. It's a beautiful casino that I have not had the pleasure (nor the budget) to stay in yet and where I experienced a first for me - an Adios Motherlover. For years I have been ordering the usual, boring vodka diet, merlot or Corona and on this trip it occurred to me to that I should be more adventurous, especially in a swankier casino like the Venetian. Well, I had two and then couldn't find my way back from the bathroom and I had the call J to retrieve me! I put it down to jet lag... On the way back from the bathroom I saw a girl win $4,000 after hitting 8 Quick Hit symbols on $1.50 a spin, and it wasn't my slightly inebriated state as I took a photo in evidence, most of which contained the actual win, although at one point I did think that she thought that I was going to mug her! IMG_5814.JPG BRTB1947.JPG CMMZ9142.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  4. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    Day Three - Tuesday
    This morning we went to the Bellagio where I hit a Flintstones slot for $115 on a 60c spin, which is always nice before breakfast, and then to check out via Caesar's and the usual photo of me in front of a Rod Stewart sign (there's a running joke that I look like Rod, which I don't but I always get compared to him when in Vegas - this year I was called Rod seven times, Paul McCartney twice, John Lennon twice and 'one of the Beatles' once!).
    Due to my winnings I decided to pay the resort fees in cash at check out from the Mirage rather than by credit card. For those of you that are using MyVegas rewards, I was able to use the $50 in free play at the Mirage despite using a reward to stay there. I turned it into $35 in real money on 75c Buffalo Grand. We said goodbye to the Strip, and to S and N who were off to LA, for the time being, got a Lyft to the Plaza ($11.69) and managed to check in early, securing a room in the north tower looking right down Fremont with a view across to the building work at the 18 Fremont site. I know that this room is on the noisy side but I figured that we wouldn't be getting back to the room before midnight and when we did we would be ready to crash out. All the staff at the Plaza were great but the rooms are really starting to show their age and are due for a refurb, with carpet torn at the edges, light switches that don't actually operate anything, broken window frames etc. I think we would've stayed at Main Street Station as it's a good value destination even with the new resort fees but it was fully booked. We got a decent rate at Plaza via Expedia, even though I'd rather book directly, but they couldn't match the price.
    The first walk down Fremont of the holiday took us into the Golden Gate, which looks a lot better since the refurb and the expansion into the old La Bayou. I don’t miss La Bayou but I certainly miss Mermaids and its old school ‘charm’. We will never see the likes of it again, certainly not Downtown, and whilst I certainly won’t miss the restrooms it was a great place to load up on free drinks. In the Golden Gate I wanted to give the Timber Wolf Grand slot a go that I had seen Matt Bridger play in one of his vlogs, which is essentially Buffalo Grand in wolf form. As I am an Owls fan, as is Matt, and you need three or more owls to hit the bonus then it’s sure to pay out, right? Well, it gave me a good spanking without a bonus or any significant wins, but I will not be defeated and will return and show it who’s boss!
    He headed over to the Fremont for $1.99 frozen margaritas – always a very refreshing pre-breakfast wake me up – before making our way down to El Cortez, which is J’s favourite casino, and playing Flintstones for another bonus before settling on side-by-side Invaders Return Form the Planet Moolah machines. These games are fun, especially the comedy ‘moo’ sounds. We then had a walk up to Binions to use a few rewards I had courtesy of their app. It was quite simply to reclaim the rewards, which were two drinks and $25 food credit at the café, in the form of vouchers but the staff just didn’t seem bothered. I like the casino itself as it has some quite goods slots, but after the hotel closed the customer service seems to have gone downhill. Since the opening of the thrift shop-style clothing mall at the rear it reminds me of the final days of Las Vegas Club, and we all know what happened there.
    Dinner was had at Café Binions care of the $25 credit and I had creamy shrimp alfredo with garlic bread (very nice with lots of king prawns) and J had rosemary chicken wrap which she also enjoyed. The service was very friendly and the staff were suitably tipped.
    Then it was off out to mingle with the masses on Fremont street, taking a couple of ‘travellers’ with us care of two more Binions comp drink vouchers. The band at the Plaza stage was Spandex Nation, a great hair metal act that we both enjoyed, as did most of the crowd. Following a few more hours visiting most of the downtown casinos it was time to grab some supper, which tonight was courtesy of the cheap and cheerful(!) Lanai Express at the back of the Fremont in the ‘food court’ area. Two main courses with rice were taken back to the room and eaten with watching garbage TV with Fremont Street still happening in the background. The food was ok for the price, $7 or $8 I think, with enough left over for breakfast – hey, we’re in Vegas to gamble, right?
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  5. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    Day Four - Wednesday
    Waking relatively unscathed from the previous night’s supper and upping the ante by finishing it off for breakfast (see, I told you we were here to gamble!) we headed out for some action. We got an Uber over to Rio ($12.86) as we decided to check out several off-strip properties that we hadn't visited before and tick a few more things off the ‘to do’ list. It was pretty quiet in the Rio this morning with not much going off. The Kiss mini golf is now situated here and I would’ve had a round but it was closed. I think we spent less than half an hour in the Rio and as there wasn't much to keep us there we walked over to Gold Coast. Everything about this casino shouts Boyd's, from the older clientele to the slew of video poker machines and the slightly outdated furnishing. Again, there didn't seem much to keep us in there that we couldn't get Downtown so we then had a walk over to the Palms. Although the six lane roads have designated pedestrian crossing zones it's still a little hairy crossing them, especially for UK visitors who are used to traffic coming in the opposite direction, but we didn't get killed so that's a bonus! The Palms is more like it - we were greeted by the sight of a Damien Hirst shark artwork at the Unknown bar upon entering and the whole casino had a light and luxurious feeling to it. The whole place is currently undergoing a renovation and I can't comment on how it was before, but it feels like a top end Strip property now. After risking life and limb navigating the various multi-lane roads it was time to have a well-earned drink, which were enjoyed at a Kronos machine and resulted in a $40 profit. I love this town!
    Next was a walk to the Strip for lunch at Grimaldi’s in Palazzo as we had a voucher for a free pizza. We ordered an 18” with jalapeños together with a bottle of Coppola Rosso. The pizza was one of, if not the best I’ve ever had and I’d happily return there again, even though the service wasn’t the best despite it being pretty quiet. We both left the restaurant satisfied and headed north to the Wynn in search of a particular machine. Walking through the entrance and foyer it soon becomes apparent that this is an upmarket casino – a carousel made of flowers anyone – but we didn’t have time to stop as we were on a quest, the quest for (Monty Python and the) Holy Grail! We really enjoyed playing this game last year in the Plaza, but it is no longer there, so we are here to invest some time and money in order have some fun, have a few wins and maybe a drink or two. Ni!! Well, we certainly had a few bonuses – the killer bunny bonuses mainly, and lovely red wine in beautiful glasses which J became attached to…, and we left the lovely Wynn in profit and headed north again towards another casino on the ‘to do’ list.
    There is not a great deal between Wynn and SLS, apart from the chance of getting mugged/stabbed/lucky, and as it would only cost a few bucks in a Lyft/Uber we did what any sensible person would do, we walked. Of course, these things always look closer than they really are but half an hour later or so we were walking towards the entrance of the SLS, greeted by the sickly smell of weed. The SLS appears to be a destination of millennials that can’t afford to stay further south on the Strip and there was much whooping inside the casino, boring RnB music and little substance or class. We stayed and played for a while but we didn’t feel the vibe, if there was one so we left and continued our journey north to the Strat. I’m a fan of the happy hour at Level 107, although I remember J actually crying at the height of it last year, bless her, but have never really spent any time in the casino. We had maybe an hour in there, grabbed a drink or two, and then took a Lyft ($8.80) back to the Plaza for a freshen up before another walk down Fremont, but this time to go further in order to tick yet another thing off the ‘to do’ list.
    I think this is the third time we’ve been to Atomic Liquors but this time it was actually open! I appreciate that it is not quite how it used to be, but we still had a great time checking out the place, having our photograph taken by the cool barmaid and enjoying the good music.
    Supper was two takeaway pizzas from Triple 7 at MSS which never fails to satisfy. We like MSS and would’ve stayed there for the final 7 days but it was either ridiculously expensive or fully booked. However I think it needs to up its game in the casino, certainly as far as slots are concerned because there was a distinct lack of current machines there, and there are still some (Big Ben etc) that are still there that I saw on my very first visit to Vegas around nine years ago and they were pretty dated then! With Boyd’s now charging a resort fee I think they are at a turning point, especially as they don’t have a pool.
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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  6. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    I find the same theory works on strippers too!

    Man you guys sure got around town. Fun report!
     
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  7. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I am enjoying your trip report and look forward to the next instalment.
     
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  8. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    Thanks Breanna61, here's the next instalment -

    Day Five - Thursday
    I’m a big lover of Mexican food and we don’t get much of the real stuff back in the UK, so this morning was a venture out to have lunch at a place I have read great reviews about - Tacos el Gordo. The location we decided to visit was on East Charleston Blvd which was only a couple of miles away from Downtown. I wouldn’t say that it was the most pleasant of walks, but we were happy to get there. The place is a canteen type (cantina?) of place and appeared to be truly authentic. We had three tacos between us – adobada, carne asada and maybe a chicken one(?) with fries and everything was absolutely delicious. I would recommend eating here, or at one of their other branches, but I wouldn’t walk to this one at night.
    As we were in the area we then went to Ross where I got a couple of things for my kids for Christmas and then onto Albertsons where we bought some lightweight groceries that we can’t get at home (mostly Mexican stuff for me) but avoided getting any Mexican oregano. Although it’s probably the best in the world, I didn’t want to go through the trouble of having my luggage searched again after it was flagged up on the x-ray last year!
    A Lyft back to the Plaza ($8.27) to drop off our purchases and then a walk down to the Golden Nugget to take in the happy hour at Chart House as I had some Landrys point to use. J had a couple of mojitos, I had two glasses of merlot and all were delicious. It’s a lovely bar to sit at for a while but the money won’t lose itself so it was time to head down Fremont Street again. I attempted to pay the bill with my Landrys points but was told, for the fourth year running, that I couldn’t use the points against alcohol, despite what it states on their website. The manager was called who recognised me from previous years and we joked about how I was being a pain again, but he sorted the issue out and we were on our way to the Downtown Grand for some more slot action. We really like the DTG as it has great drink service, great music and plenty of options for dining. I understand that the pool is the second best Downtown too, I’m really tempted to stay in the future.
    I had a bit of luck on The Flintstones and LOTR (The Fellowship) but J was on fire and won her first ever jackpot on Heidi’s Beer Haus (ok, it was only the minor pretzel bonus but you always remember your first, right?) and then she hit the unicow bonus on Invaders Return from the Planet Moolah for 200 free spins which generated a win of $100 which isn’t bad at all for 35c a spin! It was time to head back to the Plaza via a nightcap at Binions where I used a couple more of my rewards for two well drinks.
    Supper was courtesy of Triple 7 again with J having a very suspicious looking hot dog and with me having a classic cheeseburger. I think it is fair to say that I enjoyed my burger more that J enjoyed her hot do(n)g and it certainly didn’t look any better on the table the following morning – even I declined to finish it off for breakfast!

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  9. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    Day Six - Friday
    This morning we were on another off-strip adventure so we bought 8 hour tickets for the RTC and rode to our first destination and another one on my ‘to do’ list - The Stage Door. So much has been said about this venue, good and bad, but it is certainly an historic location akin to the Doubledown Saloon but without the live bands. We arrived around 09.30am to find three security guards at the door, which I wasn’t sure was worrying or reassuring, and a mostly full bar comprising of a cross section of degenerates, loud yet friendly. I managed to squeeze in at the bar next to a cool Huggy Bear-type character and grab a couple of beers for us which we consumed at the empty small bar and enjoyed people watching. I would’ve been happy to stay longer, played some VP at the bar and had a few more ‘breakfast’ drinks but it didn’t look like there would be any room at the main bar and, as we had other things planned and plenty of chance to lose money later we headed out of the bar, took a left down East Flamingo to the Tuscany, which was purely a nostalgia trip to see how it is following a stay there to years ago when I was attacked by a killer bird in the car park. The casino seemed to be a lot smaller than I remember it as a guest, but it was handy for the Strip whilst also having large rooms. The walk around Tuscany didn’t take too long so it was time for breakfast via the Tupac memorial traffic lights to Johnny Rockets, which is nothing fancy but does the job and, hey we’re on holiday and allowed burger for breakfast!
    The next venue involved a walk back to the Strip through Bally’s, a bus down to Tropicana and then another eastwards to the Pinball Hall of Fame. This was another venue on the ‘to do’ list and I was aware that it may not have been J’s kind of thing – a load of retro pinballs and games which is essentially a geek’s paradise – but she liked it as much as I did. It’s a great place to change up some quarters and spend an hour or so recreating your childhood (depending on how old you are) and enjoying something different to the normal Vegas experience. The museum really is a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of the workers and volunteers who keep it going and I would recommend it if anyone has an interest in the nostalgia of pinball and video games or if anyone would like an hour or so away from the action.
    We headed back towards Downtown on the RTC westward along Tropicana and then up the Strip and alighted somewhere near the Arts quarter to check out some thrift stores (closed), Velveteen Rabbit (closed) , taking selfies with Snowball the Cat (Google it) and visiting the Oddities shop which , although slightly contrived, Is certainly worth a visit and a peruse. From here we walked(!) back to the Plaza for a quick refresh, grab a couple of well-earned travellers and headed to MSS for something that I have never seen despite having stayed there many times. There are some antiques upstairs including Winston Churchill’s snooker/billiards table and it was good to cross them off the list via a security guard who questioned what we were going upstairs for, only to help us out when we explained what we were up to.
    From MSS we had a walk down Fremont taking in all the casinos on the right until finding Timber Wolf Grand in the Four Queens and my chance to get my revenge! Well that didn’t happen, I can tell you now. Why can’t I win on this machine? Should I give up as it seems the owls in the game are about as successful as the Owls back home (SWFC)? Should I drop the faith? Yes, I bloody well should, so we had a walk down to El Co where we had planned to see Rita Lim/Joey Ugartein the lounge bar. The band were great but it was spoiled by a few people in the bar who clearly hadn’t come to see the band and were shouting to each other over the music, which really effed me off. There was a whole casino where they could’ve had a drink, talked and high fived each other without annoying those trying to enjoy the talented band and, being British, I was almost forced to write them a stern letter!
    We had a walk back up Fremont via most of the casino and caught 80’s Station on the 1st Street stage. They were pretty good until they started played some rap so we retreated to the Triple 7 at MSS for a couple of excellent pizzas and then back to the Plaza to crash out for the evening.
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  10. ttaylor001

    ttaylor001 Tourist

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    Wow you sure can get around! I am amazed at all you can accomplish in one day. I am enjoying your report, looking forward to more.
     
  11. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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    Great report!
    You guys indeed did a lot in Vegas.
     
  12. Mirageluvr

    Mirageluvr VIP Whale

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    Thanks for all the detail and insight provided on your trip report. Simply outstanding.
     
  13. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

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    Thank you all for your replies. Here is the next episode -

    Day Seven - Saturday
    What better way to start a weekend than waking up in Vegas? Even though the sound of construction from 18 Fremont (the actual name is being announced soon) disturbed us it didn’t dampen our spirit at all. However, there was something we encountered for the first time in Vegas as we ventured outside – rain! The temperature had dropped and I had to wear trousers instead of shorts. Still, it was to be business as usual so we headed down to Fremont for a breakfast frozen margarita and then to Binions to use a couple more drinks rewards and a bit of success for both of us on side by side Batman v Cat Woman(?) slots.
    Then it was off to our new favourite casino – the Downtown Grand. I had reasonable success on Cleopatra Pinball without getting the bonus, had a small bonus on Flintstones but nothing on the new Star Trek slot, which was fun and gave J a little love. Free drinks in hand (it had dawned on us that we could order ‘champagne’ instead of the usual vodka diet coke) we decided to try the Sharknado slot. Neither of us have seen the film(s) but we have seen various vlogs and it looked like fun, especially the bonus. We pooled our financial resources for a duo pull (does that sound wrong?!) and were down to our last $2.40 when we hit the bonus for $140, giving us a profit of $60.
    Time to stretch our legs with a walk up to Main Street Station and tick something off the list – go upstairs and check out the various antiques. I found the lift but we were stopped by a security guard who asked where we were going. When we told him where and why he was fine and we made our way up to see, amongst other things, Winston Churchill’s snooker table. It was an experience and good to view the casino from a different angle. Then we hit the Boar’s head bar to play some VP and we found two empty seats next to a Canadian couple. They were really friendly, as are most people in Vegas, and we spent half an hour talking, drinking and playing VP. It was a great vibe and I think it will now be yet another Vegas tradition.
    We went back to the Plaza and got changed into Hawaiian gear as it was now it was time to cross off something else from the ‘to do’ list - Frankie’s Tiki Room. This was something we were both looking forward to and a Lyft ($7.98) with the very engaging Jamal dropped us at the door in a couple of minutes. As we approached the entrance a girl saw us and shouted “Tiki closed”. I couldn’t believe it as we’d had this arranged for a while, as you can probably tell from the Hawaiian attire, and were both very disappointed. “You must be joking, we’ve travelled 5,000 miles to visit this bar and it’s closed?!” “No” she said, “tiki CLOTHES”, pointing at us in our tiki finery. “You’ve both made an effort to visit here!” Well, we certainly had and as we entered we descended into darkness akin to another favourite place of ours, the Double Down Saloon. Guided by the lights of VP at the bar, and not for the first time, we managed to find a table and order cocktails. The lovely and very efficient girl working the bar made us two delicious drinks that must’ve been pretty strong as I can’t remember what they were called, and the second round didn’t help! The bar is pretty cool with B&W B movies of a Hawaiian style playing on CRT TVs behind the bar. We got talking to a cool guy called Gram/Graham and we talked about dive bars and music from the early 80’s such as Dead Kennedys, The Descendants etc. Drinks drunk and friends made it was time to head back Downtown so stepping back outside, eyes blinking in the sunlight, we had a moment of genius – it wasn’t that far in a Lyft so it wouldn’t take long to walk back, right? Well, we headed back along the I15 around the back of the shopping outlet, behind the Smith Centre and within spitting distance of the Plaza and the rest of Downtown with only one thing in our way – the train track! A slight detour northwards led us down the tunnel linking up with South Main Street, via some quite interesting characters, and to salvation in the shape of the Plaza. We hit Kronos for a bit of success and then the new Animal House slot. I couldn’t get arrested on it but J came away up. I really wish they had the Monty Python and the Holy Grail slot as they did last year because it was a lot of fun. J then headed up to the room for the night and I stayed downstairs, catching a bit of the band, who were playing funk-type music, and investing the last of my daily budget before crashing out myself.
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  14. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
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    Great report so far, Rod! :D :poke:

    I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

    RICHARD
     
    An "Egg-citing" Pre-Easter Trip!
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  15. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
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    Richard, you cheeky thing! lol

    Day Eight – Sunday
    S and N were back from LA and booked into the Plaza as well but weren’t coming out to play as they were off to the Grand Canyon. They had originally planned to visit the south Rim, but N had done quite a lot of driving and didn’t feel like another 10 hours on the road.
    Talking of Vegas traditions, breakfast was champagne brunch courtesy of the Garden Court buffet at MSS. We visit here every trip and, whilst it’s not the best buffet in Vegas, it’s certainly really good value and a great way to start the day. Feeling full we then headed back down Fremont Street to show El Cortez some love. We both have a soft spot for this place and its old school charm, and on the way down we saw a naked guy getting arrested at 10am – you’ve got to love Vegas! Further down the street we saw a jacket, then a pair of shoes, followed by a T shirt, jeans and underpants. You could see where he had walked and started stripping off…
    We played IRFTP Moolah, Flintstones and I had a bit of success on Aladdin 3D, all washed down with a couple of après brunch merlots, followed by a visit to the DTG where J won her first ever jackpot on LOTR Rule Them All slot. Ok, it was the mini jackpot but she was pleased to have broken her jackpot duck. Winners are grinners!!

    Tonight was the night for our once-a-holiday swanky meal and this year it was our first time at Oscar’s at Plaza. We nipped back to the room to freshen up and get changed (well, you’ve got to make an effort) and headed up to the restaurant. As we arrived during happy hour we took advantage of it, ordering two classes of wine to enjoy whist we waited for our table to be ready, and five minutes later we were called through. After consulting the menu we both opted for French onion soup, Spilotro skirt steak for me and crab stuffed jumbo shrimp for J. We both really enjoyed the soup, which was rich and delicious, and J really like the shrimp. My steak was great although the mashed potatoes were stone cold, which I mentioned to the waiter but he didn’t do anything to rectify it. Thanks for that. We declined dessert, used our Tix 4 Dinner cards to get 30% off bill and then went for a walk down Fremont to yet another place to cross of the list - Atomic Liquors. However, as it had been several hours since we last had a gamble we crossed the road to the Golden Gate as I had an appointment with Timber Wolf Grand and a desire to hit a bonus. Spinning 75c and trying my best I just couldn’t hit it. However, I did hit 13 x wolves over 5 reels which won me a cool $200, which is pretty good for a 75c non-bonus win! Having feeling that I had finally conquered the wolf, despite not getting a bonus, we walked down to Atomic Liquors.
    The area after the container park is always interesting after dark, but we got there safely after previously visiting twice in the daytime to find it closed. The bar is dark, cool and we encountered a friendly bar maid who told us about it and took our photo. A couple of drinks later and with mission accomplished we headed back to the Plaza, possibly via a couple of other casinos but I can’t remember if I’m being honest, and called it a night after another great day in this wonderful town.

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  16. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

    Joined:
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    Day Nine – Monday
    Breakfast was skipped today as we were saving ourselves for a large lunch, although we nearly went to the Fremont buffet for their salad bar which we usually try and squeeze in as it makes us feel like we've eaten healthily for a change. We met up with S and N and they had their photos taken with the $1 million at Binions before we introduced them to the delights of a frozen margarita at the Fremont followed by a tour of Downtown – they loved El Cortez and the vintage machines upstairs at the D. We left them to do their own thing and we casino hopped, both doing pretty well on various machines including VP, blackjack and Kiss, Heidi and Goldfish slots.
    All this winning made us ready for lunch and it was off to the Grotto for happy hour. We had a $10 pizza and a glass of wine each, which were great, and I used $25 of Landrys points to pay towards it, but again there was an issue with redemption of points against the alcohol, which is now getting annoying. It took a manager to sort it out eventually, but this is a problem I have encountered on several occasions and one that I wish Landrys would sort out. I have a soft spot for the Nugget as it was the second place that I ever stayed at in Vegas and it’s a nice casino with a reasonable selection of slots, but if they are not careful then I’ll take my low rolling elsewhere!

    I think we hit every casino on Fremont this afternoon and we eventually worked up an appetite for dinner so, being British, it was time to find something we’ve missed since being in Vegas – a curry. This was to be courtesy of Turmeric which is down Fremont opposite the Container Park. I’m not sure why Indian food isn’t as popular in the US as much as it is in the UK. Maybe it’s down the historical immigration? There is nothing from the interior to tell you that it is an Indian restaurant and the large TV behind the bar is really distracting and not needed. We had poppadoms with their Indian pickles and chutneys to start with, which were a bit weird, and for main course J had chicken tikka masala which she really enjoyed although she said it was on the mild side, and I had chicken vindaloo, both with accompanying rice and naan bread. I found my vindaloo a little on the sweet side and not spicy enough and probably the best part of the meal was the delicious naans, just like back home. Because we’d eaten all of the bread and most of the rice that came with the main course we were full of carbs and ended up having half of our mains boxed to go and set off back to the Plaza.
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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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  17. miss_sonja

    miss_sonja Low-Roller

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    Great details! Better late than never! Looking forward to the rest of the trip!
     
  18. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good stuff so far!
     
  19. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day ten – Tuesday
    This is always the worst day – the day to check out and go home – but first we had our leftover curry for breakfast. It’s often said that curry tastes better the next day, but on this occasion I have to disagree! At checkout I was able to pay the resort fees in cash due to my unprecedented yet modest winnings. Thanks to S and N we managed to book the shuttle from the Plaza to the airport, which was a forgettable journey, mainly because I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. After tipping the driver, dropping off the luggage and going through security we took part in our final Vegas tradition, a last blast final junk food meal, this time at Burger King with J enjoying a jalapeño burger (which I wish I’d also had) whilst I had a cheese and bacon burger with shared fries and onion rings. We caught up with S and N after they had discovered they could go for a smoke at the in-lounge casino. J and I held back from any further gambling at this point, which surprised me at least, and we all boarded, hit the sky above the Atlantic and made the 5,000 miles in 10 hours.
    Upon landing we heard that N had left his wallet at McCarran so frantic phone calls were made by him to cancel credit cards and report it to security back at LAS. Son 1 collected J and I from the airport at 8.00am, for which we were very grateful, and we loaded up his car and headed back over the Snake Pass to leave another great Vegas holiday behind and to soak up the dreaded jet lag and return to work. ..the next day.
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  20. Adepizza

    Adepizza Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Conclusion and Observations
    I have a new found love of The Strip and hope to stay for a little longer on the next visit. We didn’t venture any further south of Paris/Bellagio on this trip as we were busy having a good time where we were.

    Downtown Grand has taken over from MSS as probably my new favourite casino Downtown casino with great music, good slots and fantastic drinks service. I would seriously consider staying here on my next trip if the price was right.

    The sickly stink of weed is everywhere, it really turns my stomach, and for the first time whilst in Vegas I was offered coke and weed (the guy offering the coke said I could try before I buy – what a nice man!).

    October is a great time of year to go to Vegas as the temperatures are more bearable yet time by the pool is still an option, the crowds have subsided and the prices of flights and rooms are lower.

    Lyft seemed better to use than Uber even though a lot of the drivers drive for both companies. I was able to use some free credit for signing up and as most places now have Wi-Fi it made sense to use ride share rather than cabs. In fact, I don’t think we took a single cab all trip.

    I can see why people make vlogs as I’ve had quite a problem writing this up because remembering things without making notes can be difficult, especially after visiting Frankie’s! However, I’m not sure it’s something that I will be getting involved in as there are a few people out there who do a better job than I could and, as J has mentioned, my vlogs would probably need a lot of editing in order to remove the many profanities and un-PC opinions!

    N found his wallet a month later in a little-used pocket of his jacket.

    Pedometer - 125km=78 miles. Not bad for 9 days!

    I went with a budget for nine days and came back with three day’s budget, which is a win in my eyes. I was able to pay all of the resort fees in cash and the remainder covers Christmas expenses.

    Things still not crossed off the list include Pizza Rock, Dinos, Hard Hat Lounge, Fat Tuesday, White Castle Carnival Court, In n Out Burger etc, so I guess that means another trip next year, right?
     
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