Better late than never!
Day number 2 arrived and even though we got to sleep late the night before, daylight was burning so we got up early in search for coffee. The Aria has the most wonderful coffee shop which is attached to the Jean Philippe cafe. They have an exquisite array of chocolate goodies and several displays made of chocolate. Since Halloween is approaching, most were themed in this way. The coffee is really good too but just about as expensive as Starbucks. Two regular no-frill coffees came to almost $6.
Our plan for this day was to go downtown before the crowds hit. If you walk across the walkway to Walgreens and Planet Hollywood, here is a bus stop right there. We caught these guys singing at the bottom of the escalator. What are these guys doing on the strip? They need to go on America’s Got Talent – I could’ve listened to them for hours!
Bus passes are done a little differently now than the last time we went downtown several years ago. Used to, you would just give exact change to the driver (from what I remember). Now there is an automated machine in which you choose the pass you want and insert your money. You show the driver when you board the bus. It was $8 for an all day ride pass. Much cheaper than a cab.
There are many stops between the Aria and downtown so it took us a really long time to get there…approximately 45 minutes or so. However you get dropped off right in front of Fremont Street and granted you get a seat…it’s a comfy ride.
Downtown was a ghost town since it was pretty early. First stop was into the “D” Hotel and casino where I could see the gleam of an old-style Elvis 3-reel slot machine calling my name. These used to be a favorite for my husband and I. We still love them but haven’t seen them in years. The “D” has one right up front. After sinking in a $20 and making $15, we headed to the players club to see about a card (I know, we should’ve done that first) Here we find out that the “D” is actually the old Fitzgerald’s…which we both already had cards for. So, we weren’t eligible for any of the new player card sign up free play (I think it was only $10 anyway).
Fremont Street was decorated for Halloween. Looks like it would be a pretty cool place to be on Oct. 31. We stopped to take a picture with a friend:
Next was the casino next door and I have no memory of what the name of it is! I think it was the 4 Queens? I know that we tried the slot pull out front and didn’t win anything. We walked around a bit to see what was there and then enjoyed some more coffee at Starbucks. We then walked into what would be our favorite place of the day.
“Le Bayou” is a little tiny casino with only slot machines. They still spit out coins! The ladies stand out front with beads and entry tickets into a drawing that they have every 30 minutes for a pull on their promo machine. This is the casino that my husband told me about where they have a bank of 4 Elvis slot machines. I made a B-line for the back while my mom heard the Penguins calling her name again. I sat at the first machine…2 pulls…got the SPIN…Elvis sang and bam! $15.00 (60 credits). Started cashing out my coins and put another $20 in the next machine…1 pull this time and SPIN! Elvis and $15….I literally did this on every one of the machines. In a row. Made a quick $45, all in quarters. It was beautiful. In the meantime, my mom was making a profit on the Penguins. They were having a good old time leaping and swimming around racking up credits.
Seeing as how it was nearing noon at this point, I used some of my winnings and treated myself to a yummy drink (something with Vodka in it) from the small daiquiri bar in the back. While we waited for the 12 noon drawing, I lost probably another $10 in some other machines (damn Davinci Diamonds struck again!) but all in all, it was a lot of fun.
In order to balance out the drink, it was time for shrimp cocktail. Last time we went to Golden Gate for their famous $.99 shrimp cocktail….it was in fact $.99 and it was served from a walk up counter, which was more or less cafeteria style. Now, it is $2.99 and you have to go into the restaurant and wait to be served. We just sat up at the bar and devoured two very yummy shrimp cocktails. Total bill with tip was about $10. Now that’s what I call a cheap lunch!
Next was the Plaza which we didn’t visit last time. We got players cards and entered their slot tournament for new members. Not that I thought we would win anything, but it was a fun way to waste some time. And, waste time we did because we didn’t even come close to 1st or 2nd place! I still wonder what that guy won.
I had to try Kitty Glitter and some panda machine that my husband was telling me about. Apparently he and my dad did really well with the panda but I just lost $15. Then on the way out I saw another one of my husband’s favorites Dirty Dancing and won a really small progressive. When you watch the video please don’t think that is my normal voice – remember I had just finished my yummy drink and was feeling very happy!
I took my $10 and we walked over to the opposite side of the street. This is where I see the signs for “Golden Goose” and “Glitter Gulch”. Even in spite of the large “Gentlemen’s Club” banner….I ask my mom “What is that? We should go in there and check that casino out!” She says “No Jenn, that’s a strip club I think”…I say, “Nah, it’s not! I’m pretty sure it’s a casino”…she says “Uh Jenn, look at the sign..” I looked up, pulled down my sunglasses and said “Ooooooohhhh Yeeeeeaaaahhh, ok let’s not” . Like I said, I had just finished my drink with nothing more than 10 shrimp and a coffee in my stomach.
Binions was next and I’m always lured by the giant slot machines so $15 in and nothing out – hey, it was worth a shot. We signed up for their card and got a free deck of cards. It was close to 1pm by now and actually was getting really crowded. We took this as our cue to go back to the strip for the remainder of the day. I passed by this hotdog stand and just thought the sin was funny so I took a picture of it:
Going Northbound, the bus picks up on the corner right outside of the Heart Attack Grill. It was a really long ride back, almost an hour and the bus was packed to standing room only by the time we got to our stop at the Wynn.
We visited the Wynn and hit some slots there. The most I won was a $50 fish pick on “Reel ‘Em In” (the fun 3 reel one with the fishing bonus). I lost at pretty much every other machine I touched. After the Wynn, we made our way over to the Palazzo and Venetian. My mom found and fell in love with the new Wicked Witch of Oz machine and even though she didn’t profit much, I heard a bunch of squealing and laughing coming from her direction as I was getting slapped around by my machine around the corner.
The Venetian, as usual was brutal. I never win a damn thing there and don’t know why I even continue to play in that casino. We had planned on eating at Noodle Asia but my mom is allergic to MSG and the lady at the hostess stand told us that they do include it in their food. Total bummer because we were really looking forward to it. I don’t understand why Asian restaurants still use that in their cooking, it’s really not necessary.
At this point we were hungry but had no idea where or what to eat. We decided to go into Paris and eat at one of the places within the Bally’s/Paris walkway. I took this picture as we entered the casino just because it says “Le” Casino and reminded me of Le Clown. There you go Le Clown, you even made it into one of my vacations!
We had eaten at the pizza place in there once and it was pretty good. Before we got to the pizza place there was an Italian restaurant called Le Provencal. (Another “Le” place) It was really nice inside but very empty. We should’ve taken that hint. Our waiter came over and started to describe the special, which was a $45 per person steak dinner….I had to cut him off and let him know that we are both vegetarians before he wasted all that breath. You would’ve thought I told him we were lepers! We got a very snide “Oh” and a frown as he took the special menus off the table. I ordered a salad and mom ordered a small cappelini to go with the two flatbreads. Well….the flatbreads were Le Gross.
Both flatbreads were cooked to a saltine cracker like consistency and very greasy. I ate half of mine (2 pieces) but mom only ate one of hers. We told the waiter it was horrible and he asked if we wanted more! The sauce on the cappelini was watery and bland. Everything was just nasty and our bill came to over $40. We watched as the manager walked around playing on his iPhone and chatting with the cooks. I don’t think that our waiter said anything to him about the food being less than favorable. I made sure to take a picture of the menu so I can pass the word along to everyone – DON’T eat here!
Shortly after (and I mean very shortly after), my stomach was protesting that garbage which I had just ate and I spent a good 30 minutes in the restroom. No kidding – three trips, back and forth…back and forth…. This is probably way too much information but I was feeling a lot better after my visits to the porcelain god!
By this time it had gotten dark and I have to admit, I hate walking around on the strip after dark. I just feel vulnerable and creepy. Even with my husband, I’d rather just stay inside. We jaunted back to the Aria and walked over to Monte Carlo via the indoor walkway – I love that you can get to a totally different casino/hotel and never go outside. We played there for a while…I tried mom’s favorite Penguin machine and didn’t do so well. Then I found a Hangover machine which is only $1.00 to play all 4 games. I hit a few bonuses. Here are a couple of them:
Nevermind that I didn’t make much, I love those bonuses. I tried to show mom how to play craps via the bubble craps machine and quickly lost $10. Talk about bad luck….first come out roll was snake eyes….2nd roll was a point on 6 and then the next was 7 out. Ridiculous! I was like “yeah, I don’t like this machine anyway…stupid machine.”
We spent the next several hours plugging away at the slots…trying a bunch of new ones along with some regular favorites like the Playboy machine. I was playing at a bank of about 8 of them and was able to hit small bonuses on each one. I got one on video.
We called it a night around 1am and still had to get our stuff together for the morning, since it would be check out day. I didn’t profit any for the evening and retired with only about $250 of my bankroll still in tact.
After getting up early to try and enjoy the last few hours of our time in Vegas, my mom and I ventured over to Planet Hollywood to grab some coffee and walk around. I played a few machines there but ended up $40 in the hole. I decided that was it for my play this trip.
I was extremely….and I mean beyond extremely exhausted by the time we went back to the hotel to grab our bags and head to the airport. Our flight wasn’t until 245pm but I was so tired it didn’t bother me that we got there 2 ½ hours early. We grabbed a sandwich at the Port of Subs inside the terminal ($12 for a sandwich, drink and chips!) and later had a beer before getting on our very packed flight. I slept almost the entire flight.
So there you have it, our quick mother daughter Vegas trip. It was a good time and although we didn’t win the big one, that’s ok because memories make me rich. Going back in February with the hubs!