Sunday August 12, 2007

I left San Diego at 8am and had little to no traffic throughout most of my drive. My first stop on my trip was for gas in and put $20 in the gas tank. I then continued and stopped off at a Greek café and had a great strawberry milkshake. I continued until I reach Vegas at 1 pm. My first stop was Silverton Casino where I played Gems Wild Tiles, a 1 cent video slot. I kept loosing on that until I finally won about $4.00 and cashed out. I walked out with just a few cents more then I left. I drove over to Fremont Street and parked at the El Cortez. I walked through the casino and made a stop at Fremont Casino and ended up loosing a few dollars on a slot machine. I decided to continue walking Fremont Street and went into Binion's, where I like to play with the actual coins. I lost another $20 on slots and decided I wasn't winning much there. I went over to the Golden Gate Casino and joined their new players club and got a free 6 pack of Pepsi. Their players club is pretty weird, where you can earn points for a 6 pack of Miller Lite or a shrimp cocktail. I have enjoyed playing at the California, so I walked over there to my lucky slot machine, $.25 Blazing 7's, but it quickly ate $40. I had enough of that so I took a break and had lunch at the Aloha Specialties on the second floor of the California. I had a Bento Plate, Teriyaki steak, chicken, and Spam all over rice. I thought it was pretty below average.

I checked into the MGM Grand and received a room in the West Wing, one of the updated rooms. My original booking was for a Grand Tower, but I wrote a comment asking for a West Wing room when I made my reservations. The room was very nice and modern, definitely somewhere I would want to stay at again if traveling alone. My reservation included a $25 dining credit, so I had dinner at the Studio Café and had a Bellini to drink ($9), made of Champaign and I think strawberry pure, and the Fish N Chips ($16). Both were very good, however the Bellini was pretty small, like the size of a glass of Champaign. The picture of it looked much larger. Total for dinner was $27 plus $5 tip. I then headed over to the West Wing bar, where I was to receive 2 free drinks. I ordered a Jack and Coke, but since it was "happy hour," I received a double. I am not much of a drinker and this was way too strong for me. I only had about half and left the rest.

I walked off my dinner by going to Mandalay Bay and picking up my tickets for Mamma Mia for Tuesday and also headed over to NYNY for my Zumanity tickets. I tried to pick up the tickets for "O," but the box office had closed.

I was getting thirsty, so I got a papaya Boba tea drink next to the Hawaiian Market place, and was very good! I then went back to the MGM and played the Sigma Derby machine, and lost every time, but it was only a couple dollars. I would have lost more, but I couldn't easily get quarters.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I checked out of the MGM at 11 am and drove over to Ellis Island. I signed up for their player's card and was told I had a $5 credit which can be used tomorrow. I stayed around for a little while and played keno and lost about $30. I drove over to Casino Royale and checked into room #332. I went downstairs and bought a foot long Subway sandwich for lunch. I then picked up my tickets at the Mirage for tonight's show, LOVE. I then ran over to the Venetian and picked up players card, which came with $15 slot play. I played some slots and won $15.

I went to Wynn and got a players card, which came with $10 in free slot play. I ended up loosing the money and put $20 in and won $50. I kept playing and walked out up $10. I made the long walk back to the Casino Royal and purchased 2 frozen margaritas, 1 lime and 1 strawberry. They were very good on such a hot summer day.

That evening, I went to the Mirage and went to see LOVE. While there, I wanted to get some coffee before the show started, but the espresso machine was broken! I ended up getting frozen mango tea zing at the Roasted Bean. I quickly drank that and went in to see LOVE. It was fantastic! So much was going on, I didn't know where to look. The seat was only $50, the best money I have ever spent! I then literally ran across the street to the Venetian to see Phantom. The show was wonderful, it seemed a little long, running almost 2 hours. It probably seemed long because it started at 9:30 and the person next to me feel asleep and was almost falling on me. I sat towards the back of the theater, on the bottom level. Next time, I would try to get a closer seat. The theater was far from sold out, so they were moving some people closer to the stage. I would definitely go back and see it again.
For a late dinner, I went to Burger King at O'sheas. I took it back to my room and finished off my night watching a little tv.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I woke up and went to Albertsons and picked up some drinks, water, and snacks, total spent $38. I then went over to Ellis Island to use my casino comp, but it was apparently not on there yet. Some local gave me his beer mug, so it was not a complete loss. I went back to Casino Royale and walked over to Fashion Show Mall and walked around. I didn't find anything interesting, all I purchased was some lunch at Ichiban at Fashion Show and had Orange Chicken and Chicken Teriyaki. I was so full as I walked over to Bill's Gamblin Hall. I had to wait around for a couple hours before Big Elvis came out. The show was an hour and while I was there CBS local station 8 was there filming most of his show. I went back to my room and rested for a little while and tried to walk to the Mandalay Bay. I got as far as the Excalibur and decided I better catch the tram over to the Mandalay Bay if I wanted to see Mamma Mia on time. I played a little bit of slots before the show and lost my small gambling allowance. Mamma Mia started at 7:30 and was good, but not as good as I thought it would be. The performers and musicians were wonderful, but trying to work a story line around pre-written songs didn't flow well. Maybe it was because I am not a huge ABBA fun or the fact I only know a few of their songs. I thought Phantom was a much better show; however, the ending was my favorite. My favorite character was Rosie, she had such a great personality and was obviously having a great time. I think she is one of the understudies, as I could not find her in the playbill. The show got out at a little before 10. I walked on foot to Caesars Palace looking for the Pussycat dancers and dealers. There was a huge line for Pure that wrapped around the area. I didn't have much money on hand, so I didn't play any games. I stopped by Burger King again for dinner, costing only $6.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wednesday morning I left Casino Royale Hotel and headed to Valley of Fire. The trip was about an hour long and I refilled fuel at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza, a small Indian reservation with a gas station. In my change, I received a WheresGeorge bill. I continued a few more miles and came across a snake in the middle of the road. I would not have noticed it, but it very quickly stated slithering across the road. I tried to swerve, but I am not sure if I hit it. I paid my $6 entrance fee and continued on the road. Valley of Fire was beautiful, such a beautiful view and I got to see some petroglyphs. I then went drove to the Lost City Museum, paying a $3 entrance fee and saw some artifacts that were from the native Indians. The museum was kind of boring, definitely not recommended. I got back to Vegas around 3pm. I had lunch at the Carnegie Delicatessen & Restaurant at the Mirage. I ordered the Reuben Sandwich and a slice of strawberry cheesecake. They were both wonderful! The cheesecake was the best I have ever had! The only thing I would complain about was the total price of $28.50.

I finished up lunch and went over to the Imperial Palace for the first time. I went ahead and signed up for a players card and quickly lost $20 on slots. Not satisfied on loosing enough money, I went over to Harrah's and gave them another $20. I decided to take a break and go back to the hotel room and take a nap before the "O" show at 10:30.

I went to Bellagio and as I was walking there, it began to rain. I quickly ran inside and waited a couple hours before the show started. I played a little video blackjack and slots, but lost $20, do you notice a trend? "O" started on time at 10:30 and was amazing! It was well worth the $150. The performers and musicians obviously practice so much and are the best at what they do. I was in the second row and was in a "wet seat," however I didn't get very wet. By the end of the show I was completely dry. We walked out of the theater at 12:10. I stopped by McDonalds on the way back to the hotel and picked up a Big Mac meal, I had already spent enough money for the day.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I woke up at 9 and got ready to go out for the day. I went to Green Valley Ranch Casino and took a look at the casino I had watched on tv for a season. I then went to South Coast to inquire about tickets to see Dat Phan, winner of Last Comic Standing, but decided not to get tickets. I didn't gamble at either place and went back to the casino. I walked over to Harrah's and caught the shuttle over to Rio. I walked across the street to Gold Coast. I signed up for their players card and had their buffet, which was $8. The buffet was bland buffet food, like something from Hometown buffet. I went back to Rio and waited around for the Rio Sky show and thought it was a nice free show for the afternoon. I caught the shuttle back to Harrah's and walked back to the hotel and rested before the night's show of Celine Dion.

When I had left to Green Valley Ranch, earlier in the morning, a police car pulled into the drive way of the Casino Royale. I didn't know what was going on, so I just kept on going. When I was watching tv in my room, they said someone was spotted with a shotgun, which turned out to be a fake. If I had only left 5 minutes later, I would have been right in the middle of everything.

I went over to Imperial Palace and saw the auto collection. I found a free coupon for admission in one of the free magazines in the lobby of the IP. I don't know if I would have paid full admission, but I am glad I saw it. They had a large collection of Rolls-Royce Phantoms, the Ford Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch movie, and the Beatle from Herbie.

The Celine Dion show started 20 minutes late, during that time they were zooming in and out on people trying to entertain us. I suspect they were taking a long time getting the show just right, because they had been on vacation and this was their first night back. The show was just wonderful! Well worth the $105. I had purchased the cheapest seat in the house and now regret not purchasing one closer. At the end of her show, she sang a "special" song dedicated to Elvis, remembering 30 years of his death. The show was exactly two hours long. She sounded exactly like how she sounds on CD. I couldn't believe it. Usually when you hear a live concert in person or on tv, they sound different in person, but not Celine. I highly recommend it! This is her last year in Vegas, so if you are in town see her. Before I was not that big of a fan, but I was very impressed with her singing abilities, her band, and the 40 or so dancers.
I ended my night at Burger King as usual and went to bed.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I checkout of Casino Royale around 10. Overall, the Casino Royale was an ok cheap hotel. Every night at 12am-3am a garbage truck came to pick up the dumpster at Harrah's and throughout the night people were sorting out glass bottles. Very loud! The only other problem was that the safe in the room didn't work. I did enjoy the mini refrigerator inside the room as well as the coffee maker.

After checking out I went to the Hofbrauhaus. I remember hearing something about it while listening to the Living in Las Vegas Podcast. So I went to try to buy a shirt I saw someone wearing, but they were all out of my size. Disappointed, I walked across the street to the Hard Rock Casino and looked at all the memorabilia. I was getting hungry, so I drove over to the Orleans for the first time and ate at their buffet. It was only $9 for lunch and I left a $2 tip. The food was plain buffet food, but definitely better then the Gold Coast. I put $20 into a slot machine and immediately won $2. I immediately cashed out and left. I checked into the Plaza Hotel on Fremont Street. The line went pretty fast checking in and was given a room with two twin beds with a pool view. I had requested a King bed originally, but they were all occupied. The room was very clean and the air conditioning was kept the room very cold on a 106 degree day. I went over to 4 Queens for lunch at the Chicago Brewing Company for dinner. I had the BBQ Chicken pizza and a Ramblin Reck beer.

I thought about seeing the comedian Dat Phan at South Point, but due to a possible thunderstorm, I decided against it. Instead, I just wandered Fremont Street and gambled a little. I had dinner at Lanai Express, inside the Fremont Hotel and Casino.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I woke up at 9 and went over to the California and had their breakfast buffet. The cost was only $5.25 plus tip. It was ok food, consisting of scrambled eggs, white rice, biscuits and gravy, and some other breakfast food. I then walked down Fremont Street to the El Cortez, for $10 free slot play for signing up for a players card with a coupon. I won $7 and left. I then drove over to the Sahara, as I had never been there before. I lost $10 on slots and decided I had enough of playing there. I went to Luv It Frozen Custard, which is across a block away from the Stratosphere. I had read about it online and had the Luv It Special, vanilla custard, with strawberries, pecans, whip cream, and a cherry ($5.25). It was really good! I went back to the Plaza Hotel and walked back over to the California. I had heard my aunt and uncle were staying there for a class reunion, but I couldn't find them. I went back to my room and rested before heading off to see Zumanity.

I left the hotel and drove over and parked at the Wynn, thinking the show was at TI. Well, the show is actually at the NyNy which is on the other end of the strip. I stopped off at some daiquiri place and bout a $12, 20 once strawberry for $12. yummy! I decided to take the Duce because it was so hot walking that far. I took that duce and decided to get on it and take it all the way down and back, because I had a couple hours to kill. I didn't realize I had to switch buses and wait for another bus. Luckily, a new bus drove up and took me back to the strip. I didn't want to get lost again, so I immediately got off and walked to the NyNy, which probably would have been less walking and quicker if I had done that in the first place.

I thought the Zumanity show was not good at all. I don't even think it should be called a Cirque du Soleil show. There was a little acrobats and most of it was comedy and dancing. This is after seeing O and LOVE, so maybe I saw the best shows first. Anyways, I won't be seeing that one ever again or recommending it to anyone I know. After the show I went back to the Plaza and walked over to Golden Gate and bought a 99 cent shrimp cocktail which was very good. Still hungry, I went over and bought some deep fried Twinkies and Oreo's. They were very good, but couldn't finish both. I then went back to my room and rested before I left to go back home.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I woke up at 6:30 and packed up all my items. I had checked out and had breakfast at the 777 buffet at the Plaza. The Plaza hotel over all was an older casino and was showing its age. However, I wouldn't think twice about staying there again. Breakfast was only $7.77 and was worth exactly that. Basic food, like eggs, fruit, and potatoes. I got on the road at 8 and drove back home to San Diego. It took exactly 5 hours and made great time.

Total cost of trip: $1,861.28, including hotel, food, gas, and gambling for myself.