Date of Trip: November 30, 2004 to December 03, 2004
Hotel Stayed At: Barbary Coast
Report by: Ralph <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: Fort Worth, TX
3 nights at the Barbary Coast.
My wife and I got married on my 37th birthday, so for our 20th anniversary and my birthday, we had to go to Vegas!
We originally planned to take her mother along, but at the last minute, she was taken ill and had to undergo surgery, so she couldn’t make the trip. I am happy to report that she is doing fine now!
Anyway, I found that American Airlines will not give you a refund for an unused ticket; they will just postpone your trip for up to a year from the date the ticket was purchased. This at first angered me, until I realized that it is a perfect excuse for us to go again next spring!
Anyway, flew American out of DFW and landed at LAS at around 1:30 PM. I had reserved a car from Dollar, but after I read the fine print on their website, I cancelled and we just took a shuttle to the hotel. We were going to be mid-strip anyway, and there were just too many odd rules to rent a car. We got to the Barbary with no problem, and checked right in. Small hotel, no lines. We got a room on the top (4th) floor, with no 20$ trick, (small hotel, early afternoon), and had a great view of Bally’s across the street, and the Bellagio fountains across the other street.
The room was large and very nicely appointed. The bathroom was small, but why would you need a large bathroom? The window that opens in the shower area is a nice touch. It’s always nice to get fresh air in the bathroom!
The first afternoon, we just walked around and played a few slots, and then went over to Bally’s, through there to the Paris, then to the Aladdin, then back to the BC and then to bed. We got slot cards and played a little at each place. Most BJ rules are pretty bad on the strip, so I was planning on playing a little downtown later in our stay.
Next morning, we had to try the breakfast buffet over at the Paris, and it was nice, but not great. Actually, I don’t know what would make a breakfast great, but this wasn’t it. This was our day for exploring, so we taxied downtown and walked around a bit. We saw the Golden Nugget and Neonopolis, then headed down to the Plaza to check out the BJ games. I found a DD game with good rules, and proceeded to get my clock cleaned. Lost $100 in about 15 minutes. I have got to learn how to play this game!
All this time, the wife was playing nickel and penny slots, having a blast, and coming out ahead a few dollars each time. I think next trip, I’ll play the slots some more.
We taxied back to the Barbary, and had lunch at the Victorian Room, (coffee shop). Good food, reasonable prices. We then walked down to the Venetian, stopping in at everything along the way, and then crossed the street to Caesars Palace, wandered around for awhile, hopelessly lost, until we finally found our way out, then walked back to the BC for dinner. The weather during our stay was wonderful: bright sunshine, light breezes, and highs in the 50’s. It was great walking weather.
That evening was our anniversary dinner at Drai’s in the BC. This was highly recommended by everyone on the web who recommended a restaurant, and they were not exaggerating. This has to be one of the few restaurants in Vegas that has a dress code. This was also the only time in Vegas I have worn a tie! It was a very romantic, quiet meal with impeccable service, great food, and the worst martini I have ever had. I must say, that I am a beer drinker, and this was also the first martini I had ever had. If this is what it takes to be “cool”, I’ll just stay a hick from Cowtown, thanks. Anyway, the bill, (including the martini and tip), was around $150, and worth every penny.
After our meal, we walked down Flamingo road to the end of the block and found a convenience store where we bought sodas and beer, and took them back to the room. If you use one of the trash cans instead of the ice bucket, you can ice down 8 – 12 cans at a time!
The next morning, my wife was going to meet a friend who lives in Vegas, and they were going to check out the stamping stores around town, so I was on my own. I walked north again, and stopped by the Imperial Palace to see the auto collection. It was better when I saw it 10 years ago. (See my trip report from 1994 when we stayed at the Rio). Luckily, you get a free coupon when you sign up for the slot club, so at least I didn’t have to pay.
I moseyed through all the casinos up to the Venetian, playing a little in each one, just enough to get on their mailing lists. I’m hoping to get some bargains in the mail from some of them, but nothing yet. I found I had some luck at the machines around the cars. I would play until I was over my buy-in, then go to the next machine. No big wins, but no big losses, either. Money lasts a lot longer when playing a quarter or two at a time than when playing $5.00 at a time.
I had lunch back at the BC, and tried the Chinese food at the Victorian Room. Excellent food, and very reasonable price. I laid down for a nap, and slept until the wife got back from her excursion.
We walked across the street, and the sun was just going down, and the temperature was going down with it. We stood in front the Ballagio and watched the fountain show. I have to tell you, It sounded really stupid when I started hearing about it, and even when I saw it in the movies or on TV, but when you stand in front of the hotel, and watch the fountains while the music plays, it takes your breath away. You have to see this when you get to Vegas. By the way, the Bellagio is absolutely beautiful. We went to the Conservatory, but they were still in the middle of setting up for the Christmas display. We met a couple of English ladies who happened to be from the same neighborhood I lived in when my dad was stationed in England in the Air Force in 1960! Talk about a small world!
We walked down to the NYNY, and had supper there. It wasn’t the taste sensation I was expecting. We walked to the Excalibur and trammed over to Mandalay Bay just to see it. I had read that the first episode of “Las Vegas” was filmed here, but they must have turned up the lights to do it! Beautiful hotel, by the way. Played a little here, then trammed back to the Excal, then taxied back to the BC.
Next morning, we got packed and checked out on the TV in the room. This is very convenient! Left our bags with the bell desk, and used our coupons to play Pai-Gow and BJ. I still don’t know the first thing about Pai-Gow, and don’t know near enough about BJ either. I need to study up before our next trip.
Walked over to the IP, and checked on slot points. Not enough to even register on the terminal! Nothing to speak of at the BC, either. No matter, there’s always next spring!
Taxied to the airport, and flew back to DFW, landing about 3:00. We then had to wait for an hour for our gate to be vacated, because the plane there had some sort of problem. Finally got off and went home.
Took $1000, came home with $300. Not too bad. I’ll chalk this trip up as a learning experience. After all, college tuition is a lot more expensive, and you don’t have nearly as much fun! I know, I’ve been to six colleges!