Sunday, September 25, 2011

Las Vegas - May 29-June 1, 2011

After six long months of unemployment for me, we went out to Las Vegas over Memorial weekend to celebrate my new job starting the following week. It had been a year since our last trip so it was great to be back in Las Vegas! We left on Sunday, May 29th and returned on Wednesday June 1st. We both used frequent flyer miles to obtain discounted flights on this trip, since we did not have quite enough miles for free flights. We stayed at the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. This was our second stay at the Golden Nugget. Last time we stayed in the Carson Tower rooms. Since we were celebrating this time and it was not much more money, we stayed in the Rush Tower on this trip. The upgrade was worth it. I think we have to stay in these from now on. The tower just opened in 2009 and the rooms are still in like new condition, very nice and modern.  Almost as nice as the new rooms at the Mirage actually. And a lot cheaper too. 

We started off by playing some slots at the GN. I got a 100 credit spin on Wheel of Fortune. First time for that! Yay! We headed over to Main Street Station for a late lunch at 777 Brewpub.  This place is always very solid and they have lots of big screen TVs so it is a great place to watch football or basketball games. They have a nice variety on the menu too; everything from burgers to nachos to sushi and beer. We started off with oyster shooters and a beer for both of us. Here is a photo of the remnants. 

We each had a sandwich and fries as well. After lunch, I think we played a few slots and headed over to the Golden Gate. For some reason, Golden Gate is our favorite place to play blackjack. They have good 3-2 payouts and the dancing dealers are fun, plus the fun music keeps me going longer than normal. 
We started with breakfast at DuPar’s on Monday. It was a pretty good breakfast. We got a lot of food. People rave about the pancakes and while they are probably the best I have had in Las Vegas, they were not the best I’ve had. (Al’s Breakfast in Minneapolis has the best.) 
We spent Monday by the pool at the GN. We sprang for reserved loungers in the Hide Out area of the pool. This means the chair is yours all day, no need to save it with a towel or wait for a chair to open. I think it was $20 per lounger. It was a lot less crowded in the Hide Out, and a lot quieter since kids are not allowed. I’d definitely pay for a chair at this pool again. We were not feeling great, so we mostly had pop and bottled water to drink. 
After the pool, and a shower, we stopped at The Grotto restaurant at the Golden Nugget for some happy hour drinks and appetizers. 

Then we wandered around Fremont a bit casino hopping and playing assorted slots. We stopped in at the El Cortez for the 2 for 1 martini happy hour. We tried to play some blackjack here too, but we kept ending up with poor players at our table. As we headed back down Fremont we stopped at the Vue Bar for a drink and watched the people on the zip line go by on Fremont. Looks fun, but I’m not sure I’d like being that high up. Next, we went back to the Golden Gate for some blackjack before dinner. We were playing with this old guy and the employees seemed to know him by name and he was playing pretty big most of the time. Then, we got a brand new dealer. She was petrified. Shaking like a leaf. She did ok, but screwed up a couple times pretty badly. The pit boss gave the 3 of us at our table comped dinners at DuPar’s for $20 each I think. Yay! So we ended up going back there for dinner. We both had prime rib which was pretty good. I also got lemon meringue pie to take back to the room, which was very good. I think we called it a night after a very late dinner. 

Tuesday we went to the Strip for the whole day. We had gotten a certificate for Hash House A Go Go online so we went there for breakfast. Very good as always. We had a bit of a wait this time though. 

After breakfast we wandered the strip and went to the Bellagio and then the Cosmpolitan. At the Cosmo I played some slots and did especially well on a game called Mars Needs Women. I got the bonus round and played for 4 or 5 rounds. I think I put $5 in the machine and cashed out with $130. Excellent! I also found the Art Vending Machine and got a tiny box of art for $5. Next we went over to Cabo Wabo at Planet Hollywood. I paid $18 for 2 beers. Ripoff. So we went inside to recoup that loss. Got a free beer at least while playing some machines. 
Next, we took a taxi over to the Palms and played slots there for awhile. Next up, Gold Coast. Played blackjack there for quite awhile. I think I maybe broke even. Then we took a cab to In n Out burger. Yum. Second time at In n Out and it is great. Why do we not have these in MN?

Next we headed to the Flamingo and wandered around there a bit and got drinks at Margaritaville. Loaded Landsharks are the best! They add lime tequila to the top of your beer so it is extra strong and limey.
We were going to grab the bus back to downtown, but we went into the Wynn and kept walking to the Peppermill for drinks. 

Had a round there and got a cab back to the Golden Gate. We intended to pay blackjack there but we did not feel like it and just called it a night. Long, long day of walking! 
The last day we got up and went to the Golden Nugget buffet for breakfast since we had a 2 for 1 coupon. It was underwhelming. The food was so-so and they did not have that much selection. For downtown buffets Main Street Station has a cheaper buffet with more selection and better quality food. (The best overall buffet in Las Vegas is probably Bellagio or Wynn.)
Next we wandered a bit and ended up a Main Street Station and played blackjack there for awhile. We both did quite well there if I recall correctly. By this time it was lunchtime and we decided to try Aloha Specialties at the California. I think I had the garlic chicken which came with a ton of white rice and some really good macaroni salad. After lunch, it was time to head for the airport. Another trip over. 
Overall, I did very well on this trip, coming home with almost the same amount of cash I arrived with. I probably spent some cash as well, so I am pretty sure I was up on the weekend. DH did not have as great of luck, but he had a fun time overall.