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My first TR.....

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Chicago, IL
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My first TR.....

THis is my first ever trip report, so be kind :-)

About us: My friend, SW (54) and I (43) are teachers and this was our third annual girls Vegas trip together. I have been to LV about 8 or 9 additional times. Having always stayed on the strip, we decided to give downtown a try. We booked a air/hotel package thru Southwest vacations, staying at the Golden Nugget. We found out considentally that two other teachers that we work with would also be in Vegas at the same time. They are about 20 years younger, however, and would be staying on the strip.

I will post the rest as a reply.

Romeoville, Illinois
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1. Re: My first TR.....

pnmbr. looking forward to your first TR, also enjoy hearing about the downtown comments..... hope you had a great time.

Acton, Canada
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2. Re: My first TR.....

Looking forward to this, we stay at the GN next month!

Orange, California
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3. Re: My first TR.....

Looking forward to your TR as well. Hitting the GN next week for the first time DT stay.

tucson
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4. Re: My first TR.....

can't wait!

Chicago, IL
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5. Re: My first TR.....

Tuesday:

We had an early flight from Chicago to LV. Flight was uneventful. Cab to DT cost about $35 with tip. We arrived at the Nugget at about 11:00 am and were quite pleased that our room was ready. The standard room with the SW package was a Gold Tower double. I knew from TA that doubles in the other towers weren;t plentiful,so I didn't bother to request an upgrade. We were pleased with the room - 22nd floor, just steps from the elevator. I have never stayed at the more upscale properties (Wynn, Encore, Venetian), but I would say the room at the GN was just as nice as any property I have ever stayed at in LV (Mirage, TI, Monte Carlo).

We quickly unpacked and headed down to "play". We are not high rollers. We stick to penny slots, mainly max lines, one or two bet per line. We each budget about $100/day in gambling losses, and before we left the GN, we were down about half that :-( We headed over to Golden Gate for shrimp cocktail. YUM! We had buy one get one coupons, so we each ate 2! LOL! we just wondered and played some more. We were tired and down almost our full $100 each! Headed to the room for a nap before dinner.

Had dinner at the Flame. Used a $50 restaurant.com GC. We both had NY strip. Shared mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. Too full for dessert. DInner was great! Highly recommend the Flame. We then just wondered about Fremont some more. Caught the Nancy Rayguns for the first time (we would see them 2 more times...hahaha). We played the giant video blackjack at LV Club for an hour or so ($2 min). Had a BLAST.....and our money went MUCH slower. In fact, I think we both broke even. Drink service was very plentiful. Called in a relatively early night (for LV, anyway), and back to the room around 1 am.

Wednesday:

Went to the GN bufet for breakfast. We were late arriving, and ended up there as they were switching from breakfast to lunch. I wouldn't recommend this buffet. It was OK, but nothing stands out....well, except that the eggs benedict was HORRIBLE.

Took the express bus to the strip. We stayed on to drive the whole strip and on the way "back", got off at the Wynn. Beautiful place indeed. Had a water at the bar. I don't think we gambled (I can't believe it). We then headed across to Fashion Show Mall. We were seeking out the dice charm at Pandora that is exclusive to LV. Found it....and LOTS more!

Headed over to TI to meet our other teacher friends for dinner. While we waited we played some slots. FInally, I hit for like $40. Not much....but at least it was a win!

We had a groupon for Isla. While the food there was very good using the groupon was a pain in the A$$! First we were told we could not sit in the reatuarant as we had planned to order only apps and drinks. OK....sat in the bar area (not real comfy). Waitress comes over and says we can't use groupon on hapy hour items. it does not say this on the groupon. In fact, I inquired about such before buying the groupon. Manager comes over and points to where it says "can't be used with other discount coupons" and insists that means happy hour. UGH! While we aren't happy, we don't want a hassle on our vacation so we let it go. We then request to be seated in the restaurant and just enjoy a good meal at a discount.

Played some mroe slots after dinner. The 2 younger girls had never played, so we :showed" them what to do. THey lost, but both SW and I hit or $100 each! YAY! I told you....we're not big spenders!

The younger 2 had tix for THunder Down UNder at Excalibur so they headed over there. SW and I went to the wax museum. WE HAD A BLAST! Corny, I know! we took every pic and pose imagineable and just made fun of the whole experience!

Grabbed the SDX back DT around 11. The 2 younger girls decided to grab a cab and join us for the rest of the evening, as they wanted to see Fremont at night. We watched the light show, and the Nancy Rayguns (again). It's a good thing I am a child of the 80s and LOVE that music! We took them to Mermaids (without warning them about the coins). They got quite a kick out of all the coins coming out of the machines. THey headed back to the strip and we retired about 2 am.

Thursday:

Cabana day at the GN! We were soooooo looking forward to this day! THe girls were joining us again DT to share the cabana. We reserved a Tank cabana, but it was on the 3rd floor above the big pool. Steps away from the hideout (adult) pool. This was one of the highlights of our trip! We took full advantage arriving about 1030 am. We did bring a bottle of tequila, as well as some beer. No one checked bags. The cabana came with water and a fruit/cheese platter. We ended up spending a lot of time sitting in the hideout pool and just talking. We did order a few buckets of beer and had lunch in the cabana. We finished up around 7 pm, as our friends had a night tour booked they had to get to. Best $175 spent!

We headed over to Magnolia's to use our 2for1 coupons for dinner. We had the prime rib. It was very good. Played some more along Fremont. Saw the Nancy Rayguns.....AGAIN! LOL! Went and had our $1 beer at The Vue Bar at the Fitz. Turned in about 3 am.

Friday:

Took a cab to Gold Coast. We were looking forward to dim sum at Ping Pang Pong....and we weren't disappointed! YUM! We wanted MORE....but were stuffed! Will just have to go back again to try the things we couldn't this trip. The gold Coast was HORRIBLE to us in terms of gambling. Lost $40 in about half hour! Decided to get the free shuttle to the strip.

Walked over to the Cosmopolitan. WHAT A PROPERTY! WOW! WOW! WOW! We had decided we would take advantage of the $100 loss reimbursement they were offering. And guess what? We COULDN'T lose! LOL! We were committed to this $100 loss. Played max bet on every spin. I was down pretty low at one point...about $75 lost...and then.....won $100! We ended up leaving ahead....me about $20.....SW about $100.

Funny side story: As we were wandering thru the Cosmo, we came across the area where they have the pool table, sofas, chairs, ottomans. We sat down for a rest, put our feet up and FELL ASLEEP! Next thing we know, there is a security guard reminding us that we can't sleep there. How embarrassing!!!!! LOL

We then headed over to Bill's to check out the 5 o'clock Big Elvis show. We had a couple $7 pitchers. The show was really good! He has quite a voice. We really enjoyed it.

TIme to go to Vegas for Barry Manilow! Upon entering the theater we noticed it was FREEZING!!!! To make matters worse, our tickets (from Travelzoo), were 2nd to last row and directly under an air conditioning vent. Within about 15 mins, my nails and lips were blue. We noticed the usher moving people up front to fill vacant seats . We inquired and were moved up about 10 rows. Much better (view and temp). The show was PEHNOMENAL!!!! I really love Barry. I grew up going to his concerts with my mom. Very high energy. Much better than cirque shows I have seen in Vegas in the past. We left the theater snging and smiling :-)

We had 10 pm dinner ressies at Mon Ami Gabi. We only waited about 10 mins for our patio seat, right on the railing. It was a beautiful evening for dining on the patio, watching the Bellagio fountains and all the passers-by. We even got to see the cast and crew of the new Vegas Strip show go by a few times! We shared the baked brie. SW had the scallops and I had the steak bernaise. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. SW had the mousse for dessert and I had the creme brulee (my fave). It was the perfect "last night" in Vegas.

We then headed down the strip, stopping on each casino, dropping a $20 and moving on to the next. We figured we would just keep going until we were pooped or kit the last casino, whichever came first! We stoped for some souveniers at Margaritaville. Ended up at Harrah's for dueling pianos where the younger girls met us for a final cocktail. Stayed there until about 330. Took a cab back to the Nugget. Played a bit and in the bed around 5.

Saturday:

THis was our last day in Vegas. We had a late flight out, so we checked out luggage with the bell. Headed over to the California and ended up graping a small bite and some coffee. Played for while. Headed to Main Street. Played there for a couple hours. Won a bit.

Back at the GN, we had our final Vegas meal at the Chart House. EXCELLENT. I had mahi-mahi, and SW had fish and chips. THen it was a few bucks more in the slots and off to the airort :-(

And that's it! Now I am home an missing Las Vegas. Thanks to everyone on TA for all the tips. It was a great trip and everything went very smoothly. While I am always open to spontaneity, I like to have a "loose" plan to guide things along and TA really halps with that!

Feel free to ask any questions and I will answer them best I can :-)

P.S. I also have to add that I quit smoking about a month before this trip. I was a bit worried as Vegas and smoking have always gone hand in hand for me. I am happy to say, I did quite well. Never had or even wanted a cigarette. In fact, at one point I got really sick when someone next to me lit up. And I must also say the DT properties were much smokier than the Strip properties (except the Nugget).

Edited: 01 August 2011, 05:52
yourstarla
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6. Re: My first TR.....

I love that you fell asleep in the public area. That cracks me up. But I've been so tired in Vegas a few times that it totally could have been me. I have passed out on the floor at LAS before though. :)

Thanks for sharing your report with us! Glad you enjoyed the GN. The cabana day sounds great.

Kansas City...
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7. Re: My first TR.....

Loved your trip report! Still laughing about falling asleep! Sounds like you both had a wonderful time - thanks for sharng!

Acton, Canada
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8. Re: My first TR.....

Nice TR! :) I'm glad the cabana was nice, I can't wait to hit the pool there.

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: My first TR.....

P.P.S. Sorry for all the typos!!!!!! I'm TIRED! LOL!

Los Angeles, CA
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10. Re: My first TR.....

I enjoyed your trip report very much. Thanks!