1944 Las Vegas

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
Trip End Jan 11, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

We landed back at the Venetian. Randy had never been and I think it was definitely something to hit. We headed straight to the Venetian shops and he was impressed right away. Not only were the gondolas impressive, but the level of detail in the Venetian were great. We saw the security guards in authentic Venetian attire and we noticed that the window designs for the outdoor facades were rarely repeated. And the layout of the shops were amazing. It wanders like a real city and ends in a town square where everything is laid out. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time there. Plus, Randy said he wanted to have pasta in the Venetian because..."themery". So we searched for a decent place to eat, and we did. I hadn't eaten a full meal the entire trip because I had just recovered from the stomach flu. But that day, I was excited for the pasta. I had spaghetti with salmon in pink sauce. While waiting for the meal, we experienced some typical seedy horrible Vegas behaviors that should never be repeated. There was a living statue right across from us at the "sidewalk cafe". I had noticed that the statue would wink at the ladies whenever they passed by or he would stare at their front or back side as they passed. It occurred every single time. But in the end, we decided to not condemn the man for doing so. He has to stand still in one position for a very long time and he must run out of things to do and think about while he's there, so if he has to look at ladies inappropriately, then it's what has to be. And the other bad behaviors was the way that people were eating at the sidewalk cafe. There was the couple who were each on their own cellphones not talking with each other but with others and had a complete disregard for the other person sitting at the table. There was the CES convention-goers who were gluttonous and took in every single food-item or alcoholic beverage at the restaurant. There were the people who were judging people's fashion and were so obsessed with their image and perception that they couldn't be comfortable with their own skin. It was a bit unnerving to see the West coast personality traits rear up at that time. But it's life.

Then we headed off afterward. We landed at Treasure Island. We finally decided to sit down at a table. We played blackjack. Randy isn't exactly great at the game. He's more of a slots guy, but he doesn't like the randomness of slots anymore and he wanted to get into a table game this time around. He wanted to try his luck at a poker table. But I also know he's not the type to lay down anything near 100 for his bank. And to play a poker table, you need at least that minimum. So we played 5 dollar blackjack. He often made the wrong move. He liked hitting when the dealer was showing a bust card. Eventually our dealer, Kathy, asked him if he really wanted to do certain things. She would chastise him for not doubling on an 11 or hitting when he didn't need to. She was really helpful to him so that he could learn what the book said. Of course, he managed to ignore the book sometimes, but often it didn't end up badly. But I'm a guy who sticks to the book no matter how much it hurts. There was a guy from the UK at our table as well. And I'm surprised he didn't get angry with the way we were playing and all. Eventually Kathy got tired of asking Randy what to do so she would start ignoring his hand signals or quickly move over him if she knew what he should do. I'm glad she did that, and in retrospect Randy did too. I remember looking over at him once when he wanted to hit and she just ignored him. I think he had a 14 or something but the dealer was showing a bust card. She ended up busting and she made the right move for him. I ended up tipping her quite a bit because she was pretty fun. Then the next guy came in for Kathy's break. I lost quite a bit with him. Eventually I went down to my last 24 bucks. And I started with 90. So I went all in. I won that hand and got 48. I briefly thought about cutting my losses, but I knew I just couldn't. I let it ride. I was dealt an 11. How cruel, with no money to double with. Or did I, so I put another 48 on the table. I played a hand worth 96 dollars actually. Wow. I ended up winning that hand because the dealer busted anyway. So I made up my losses and ended up about 40 in profit. All in two hands pretty much. So we left.

We went into the Mirage because Randy had never been. It was nothing special really. Then we went into the Wynn because neither of us had ever been inside. The Wynn was very impressive. We didn't hit the floor, but just looking at the shops was amazing. It had every top label and was just like going to 5th Avenue or Michigan Avenue. It even had curved escalators, and I found that to be genius. The Wynn is very opulent and it's not very surprising. It was definitely one of the highlights of the strip, but it's also the most recent hotel to open. It took me quite a while to recalibrate because I was still reeling from the shock of the 100 dollar hand.

And continuing with the trend of visiting hotels we hadn't been in before, we saw the Frontier in the distance and decided to go there. We didn't regret it. Earlier in the day I told Randy my three criteria for a good casino. Since I'm the AC expert and I'd also been to Vegas, I thought I should impart upon him my knowledge of casino "themery". I told him that the best indication of a casino is its cocktail waitresses. That's pretty obvious, but it's the best indicator. The second factor was ceiling height. Little Six Casino has much lower ceilings compared to Mystic Lake Casino, and I remember the Borgata's ceiling to be very high and well-decorated. And the third indicator was number of mirrors. This was the least reliable factor, but I felt it to be a good one. I specifically remember the Sands and Trump Plaza to have a lot of mirrors and I remember those as not being the best out there. And when we got to the Frontier, we hit every single factor very reliably. The Frontier had the seventy-year-old cocktail waitresses, they had low ceilings (the smoke lingers), and plenty of mirrors. I think the mirrors give the impression of more space, and that's why casinos tend to like them. Or low-level security. When we entered the door, we saw great things. We saw the cowboy-themed slot machines which we took our picture with and we also saw casino "war" the table game. I mean red dog (acey-deucy) is pretty much close to war and it's a fairly acceptable table game, but just plain "war"? We thought that was only Lampoon's Vegas Vacation. We didn't know it was real. We had a hoot at the Frontier to say the least.

Finally we headed off to the other side of the strip. We went off to New York New York to find some low-level tables but we couldn't find them. But we did eat at the ESPN Zone because Randy needed to see the UNI scores. That's his alma mater. The service there was sub-par. And UNI lost in overtime. Needless to say, Randy was not pleased. But he did like the atmosphere of New York New York. So we went off to Excalibur. We knew we could find a 5-dollar table there even though it was night. We did. We played some one-deck blackjack but didn't fare well. When we went to multi-deck, we still didn't do well. Randy didn't lose as much at first, but we both lost our bankroll for there and fairly quickly as well. The Excalibur did not leave a good taste in our mouth.

That was pretty much our signal to start heading off yonder. We were tired and almost fell asleep at dinner. Then we lost a significant amount. But there was still the free entertainment to see! So we headed off to the pirate show. And getting from the Excalibur to TI was not a short walk. We left at 8 and barely made the 8:30 show. We even had to run a bit of the way just to make it. The show itself was alright, I hadn't seen this one before. And we got pretty good views considering we just arrived on time. But I was dead tired from doing some competitive speed-walking. Then in the middle of the show, the sound just stopped and everyone left the stage. Apparently there was technically difficulties. Boo. I was looking forward to the show too. The funniest part was the announcer when he announced to tell the "boy ship" actors to go back. I misheard and thought they said "bullsh**" actors to go home.

Considering our luck, we went back to the Flamingo. But not wanting to leave, I went into the Barbary Coast casino. It was this little thing right beside the Flamingo and I was curious how bad it was going to be. Actually it wasn't too bad. The ceilings were low, but the cocktail waitresses weren't so bad and there weren't many mirrors at all. But there was a lounge show, so Randy had to absolutely see one. So we went and watched a bit. He was a bit peeved though because he got a drink at the bar and they didn't have Jim Beam, but it also cost 5 bucks and was severely watered down. But the band was classic Vegas, and that's what we wanted.

After that, we finally left. And it was about 10:30 or something like that. We spent about 24 hrs in Vegas and got as much out of it as we could. There really wasn't much that we could think of that we hadn't gotten. We missed out on a buffet or a 99-cent shrimp cocktail. And we were kinda bummed we didn't hit the Hooters hotel actually. But other than that, we were satisfied with what we had, but we knew that we could've stayed much much longer.
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