After an uneventful flight, on arrival to Las Vegas our bags came out pretty quickly and the taxi line was very short; surprisingly we ended up with a wonderful taxi driver. He asked which way we wanted to take to our destination and everything and was very nice. I found this to be a nice change from other taxi drivers I've run into on past trips. First time for everything I guess.
We booked the Rush Tower at the Golden Nugget on this trip. The Rush Tower check in line was very short, only one person ahead of us. We had a nice view of Fremont street and we were close to the elevator, but not too close so that we heard it all night. The one drawback to a room on this side was that you could hear the bands on Fremont well into the night. We were out later than that most nights, and the latest they played was 2am on the weekends, but if you are en early-to-bed type of person you might want a room on the other side of the Rush Tower.
After dropping our things off in the room we headed downstairs at the Nugget to play a few slots and wander around and see what had changed since our last trip in June. Next, we headed over to the Golden Gate for some blackjack and stayed there for quite some time. I did quite well, enjoyed quite a few drinks courtesy of the excellent Golden Gate cocktail waitresses and ended the night up a bit.
Thursday, November 22nd
The Rush Tower rooms are great, though I've decided that the rain water shower heads are quite nice, but they are just not effective for washing long hair. Not enough water pressure. I must say, I do love the robes in the room at the GN. The magnifying mirror is a nice feature too.
After breakfast we met up with John's mom Susan and her husband Al, who were staying over at the El Cortez for the weekend. We spent the day casino hopping downtown with them and using different coupons from the American Casino Guide. By the way, for some reason, at the Vegas Club they asked to see the ACG card and made us sign it in order to get the free slot play. I don't recall them doing that in the past.
We ended up getting a reservation at Island Sushi for our Thanksgiving dinner that evening. We were going to try Binion's Steakhouse, but at the last minute we needed to add two more people to the reservation and Binion's could not accommodate us unfortunately. Island Sushi ended up being very good, but the food arrived very, very slowly for some reason. No explanations were ever given. We just enjoyed the company and the holiday dinner out.
John started with the pear salad.
I had the butternut squash soup.
I had the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi.
John had the turkey dinner.
We both had the malassadas for dessert, which was basically a donut type dessert. Quite tasty.
Friday, November 23rd
The next day we started off by meeting at DuPar's for breakfast with everyone. There was a bit of a line, but it went fairly quickly.
Pancakes with ground beef patty.
I just had eggs, bacon and hash browns with sourdough toast.
Al's son Brent and his partner Robert wanted to do some sightseeing around Las Vegas. Since John's mom and Al had a car, as did Brent and Robert, we could drive rather than take taxis around. So first we were off to the Silverton to see the very large saltwater aquarium there. We saw the divers feeding the manta rays and the fish. Pretty cool for a free attraction. I found it oddly relaxing to sit and watch the fish. It looked like a nice casino, though we did not play here. On break!
Our friends Megan and Jason from Madison, Wisconsin, had arrived and we headed back to the Golden Nugget to meet up with them. Susan and Al and Brent and Robert decided to do own thing this evening so we could hang out with Megan and Jason. We decided to try the happy hour at Red Sushi at the Golden Nugget for happy hour. We were seated right away and they had some good deals on food and drinks. I can't find the happy hour menu online, but there was a flier in our check in folder with a menu and prices.
Pork belly skewers, they were ok, not my favorite.
Spicy tuna rolls, quite good!
Tempura shrimp rolls
After happy hour, we casino hopped a bit with Megan and Jason for the rest of the night. Much later on, we stopped in at the 777 brewpub at Main Street Station and had some nachos for a late evening snack as we were all starving again for some reason. The nachos were dubbed the bean water nachos as they got super soggy right away from the black beans. We destroyed them though! I only have a sad photo of the destroyed nachos, which I will spare you all the misery of seeing. The nachos were not very good, but they tasted ok enough and we were like rabid wolverines at that point. Anyway, after we ate we wandered around some more and of course, ended up at the Golden Gate with friends in tow this time. We played blackjack for the rest of the night and called it a day around 1am. Whew! Long day!
Saturday, November 24th
We started off the day with breakfast at DuPar's with Megan and Jason. I forgot to take photos, but we went here three times on this trip, so I don't think photos are necessary anyway. You get the idea! I think we went on Saturday as Megan and Jason wanted to try it and on Friday because we wanted Susan and Al to try it.
After breakfast, we went to watch a little college football and then it was already almost time for our Neon Museum tour. I was looking forward to this tour a lot. The Neon Museum recently finished their visitor's center and they are giving tours on a regular basis now. Previously, you had to wait outside in the park for your tour time to begin and there were no facilities at all.
Inside the visitor center.
The front of visitor center with sign and park in the background.
The tour was about an hour long and the guide was excellent. If you like Vegas history or like to take photos, this is a great tour. The museum was just a five minute cab ride from the Golden Nugget, but you go through a bad neighborhood, so I would not recommend walking there. If anyone has more questions about the Neon Museum feel free to message me. I loved it and highly recommend the tour!
After the Neon Museum, we headed back to the Nugget and watched the end of the Badger football game. I believe the game ended badly for Wisconsin, so no additional comment there. We went back to our rooms to freshen up and decided to try the Grotto at Golden Nugget for dinner.
The bruschetta was excellent. Lots of garlic flavor and the balsamic vinegar added a nice contrast.
Penne diavolo chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms and asparagus with a spicy rosa sauce.
Pollo romano. Megan said it was great.
Sausage and peppers pizza.
Rigatoni della sansoni- rigatoni with meat sauce and meatballs. The meatballs were gigantic!
Coconut cream pie.
We all enjoyed the Grotto a lot. The food and service were both excellent and we were seated on the area with a view of the pool, so the people watching was excellent as well.
After dinner, we went over to the Golden Gate for more blackjack punishment. We had a fun time, but I don't think anyone won much money. We wandered over to Binion's and decided to have some late night eats at the Binion's Cafe. The player's club desk had just closed so we could not use the ACG coupon unfortunately. While we waited for our food we enjoyed watching people play the Wheel of #1 game. What a dumb game. Always landed on 1. What's the point?? Anyway, I think we went to bed at 1am.
Chili dog with fries.
Cheeseburger with fries. It was just ok. Nothing that great. It was reasonably priced I guess. The service left a lot to be desired. The server was grumpy and our food took forever to arrive. I don't think that we would go back.
Sunday, November 25th
We started Sunday off by watching the Minnesota Vikings game at the Rush Lounge at the Golden Nugget with John's mom, Al, Megan, Jason, John and I. A few people went to Starbucks for breakfast and I went over to Dunkin Donuts at the Fremont to grab some breakfast. The Vikings lost. We told Jason not to bet on them, but he did not listen!
Then we did a bit of casino hopping and went to the 777 pub for lunch, thinking they would have the games on TV. Turns out they don't have the NFL Sunday Ticket package, so they only had 1-2 games on tv. No wonder it was not very busy.
Oyster shooters and peel and eat shrimp.
Sausage pizza. Not good. Megan did not even finish one piece.
Chicken fingers and fries.
Spicy tuna rolls.I was just not that impressed with the 777 pub on this trip. Either I am sick of it or the quality is slipping a bit. The service was good though.
We all lost a bit on blackjack at Main Street and then we went back to Nugget to get ready to go to the Strip. Finally. I felt like we barely went to the strip on this trip! I kind of missed it! I was getting bored with downtown. I can't wait till some of the new dining options that are supposed to be coming downtown open up. That will improve things a lot I think.
Next, we headed down to the Palazzo to watch the Packers game at Lagasse Stadium. Oh, is this place cool! We had made reservations so we arrived right before the game started, though it did not seem very busy. I think the people from that Shahs of Sunset reality show were there for awhile. At least Megan thought it was them. I have no clue. We were seated not in the stadium seating area, but in a lounge area behind the main bar. It was a great place to watch the game and the food was great!
We started with a pretzel, tuna poke and chicken wings. Oh my goodness, the wings were awesome! The pretzel was very good too. I can't wait to go back and order those wings again!
The steak sandwich was excellent as well. The truffle fries were good too.
Po' boy sandwich, jambalaya and macaroni and cheese.All of the food at Lagasse Stadium was great. I think we will have to make it a point to come back here again. I liked that you could reserve a table and we did not have any trouble meeting the $50 minimum per person. The service was quite good as well. I don't think we ever really waited for anything at all.
Of course, after the game we decided to head back downtown and play blackjack at the Golden Gate for the rest of the night. I should maybe explain in more detail why we ended up at the Golden Gate every night. We received great drink service, the dealers were all very fun and very nice and the blackjack had good 3-2 payouts. You just can't find that on the strip anymore. I think we were up till 1 or 2am again.
Monday, November 26th
Departure day. Boo. We had to get up a little bit early so we'd have time to eat breakfast, pack and get to the airport by 1pm. We went to DuPar's for breakfast again, because the night before John went to check on his account at the Golden Gate and discovered he had $30 in comp dollars on his card, which he was really excited about. So we ate there again. But it was free this time!
French toast with a side of bacon.
Ground beef patty, scrambled egg whites, hash browns and sourdough toast.
After breakfast, we stopped in at the ABC store for some macadamia nuts to take home and said goodbye to Megan and Jason. I think they were heading to Hash House for breakfast and they did not have to go home until Tuesday. I think they spent some time by the pool that afternoon.
John's mom and Al came to our hotel to meet up with us for a bit and we chatted with them as we packed up our suitcases in the room. They had driven to Las Vegas from Lead, South Dakota, and were heading home on Tuesday as well, with an overnight pitstop in Mesquite, Nevada. Sounds like it was a long drive, but they were not interested in flying.
We ran into some traffic on the way to the airport, but still arrived in plenty of time. Our flight home was on time and uneventful. And it was freezing cold when we got home to Minnesota. I really enjoyed the nice 70 degree weather in Las Vegas during this trip, though it did get a bit chilly at night, down into the 40's some nights.
This trip was full of new things for us from the Neon Museum to the Pinball Museum and having friends and family around was very fun, and we were busy during the whole trip. I feel like this was the first trip I really spent some time away from the strip and/or downtown and saw the rest of the city of Las Vegas!