Las Vegas 9/8 - 9/13/02

This review is dedicated to the BPE team on ET5. You know who you are!

Day one 9/8:
My day starts EARLY! 3:30 AM EDT, yes folks, not even the chickens are up. I have a 5 am ride on the K-Town Shuttle. I arrive at the Hampton off Cedar Bluff after eating breakfast at the Waffle House (boy am I glad they are open 24 hours!). The shuttle gets me to BNA (Nashville Airport) at 6:30am CDT. My flight out is scheduled for 8:10 on Southwest. After a stopover in Phoenix, AZ, it's on to the City of Lights, the City that never sleeps, Las Vegas, NV!
We arrive at LAS (Las Vegas McCarrin Airport) 10 minutes early. The pilot must have really been flying (get it?). Anyhow, it's off to Alamo to get my rental car. I've rented cars from LAS before (Dollar last time) so I'm used to waiting but TWO HOURS? And this car (a Mitsubihi Lancer) was a piece of junk (I've sent a complaint to Alamo and have YET to hear from them). At least the A/C worked.
Arriving at my hotel, the Westward Ho,I find I am in room 1112. The WH gives guests a really nice package when you checkin. You get booklets of drink coupons (good for water, alcoholic drinks or beer) and food coupons. Both are unlimited, all you have to do is go back to the customer service desk for more. The room is more like a motel 6 room, small but functional. Hey, when you're in Vegas, how long are you going to be in the room anyway? After an early morning, and an even earlier breakfast, it's time for food and my first of many buffets. I try the buffet in the WH and it wasn't that bad. I had heard horror stories about it from various sources, but the food was hot and tasted good. The price was right too ($7.99 with the $1 coupon from the room). Now, nap time with an alarm setting for 5pm.
I awake and head to the Luxor to see the Blue Man Group. This is a FANTASTIC show and I recommend any and all ages for this one. It's worth the money!
Off to bed and day two.

Day two 9/9:
Not an early start today 9am and I'm out of bed, shower and ready for breakfast. Another buffet? Of course!
I have a golf tee time this morning at 11:02 so after I eat, it's off to find the course. Silverstone which is not in, but near Vegas. This is a 27 hole course with the mountain, valley and desert 9. I am teamed up with Wally Smith (hi Wally!). The carts even have a GPS system that tells you how far the hole is from where your cart is located and the price wasn't that bad ($50). Wally mentions that he is a member of the club and invites me to play for 1/2 price ($25) on Wednesday. Hey! Twist my arm will you? I agree, of course!.
After golf, it's off to the MGM where I will be seeing George Carlin, but first, dinner. Now, I remember George and his "hippy dippy weatherman" sketch he did. For some reason, George has gotten cynical. His show was very depressing. I expected something different, especially after paying $60. I'm sorta glad I went, but I don't think I'd do it again.

Day three 9/10:
I have nothing scheduled for today. I had previous ordered coupons to use while I am here from Bill Here. Some offer free stuff (hats, dice, playing cards), some offer money off. So I have one for $3 off on Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. This is a ride, show, museum combined. It's really fun if you like Star Trek, especially The Next Generation. You might actually run into a Klingon or a Ferengi. After 4 rides (one price lets you do "the experience" all day), I head off for some more coupon spending.
Around 2 or 3 (who wears a watch?)I head to Red Rock canyon. I had never seen it and thought it would make a good afternoon ride. It was! After 60 miles of wonderfull landscape with signs that say "beware of wild burros" I find Terrible's Casino. Now, with a name like that I had to go in. After a few bottles of water and some gambling, I leave for Vegas and dinner again. This day was spent mostly casino hopping and sightseeing.

Day Four 9/11:
9am arrives again (I had to set my alarm), shower, breakfast and off to NYNY Casino for a short time. I had heard that they were going to have some goings on for the 9/11 anniversary. I arrive and they have a moment of silence and everyone sings God Bless America. It was very nice. After 30 - 45 mins, I leave for the golf course and meet up with Wally again. Another bad day on the course (one of these days I'm actually going to learn how to play golf. Yea, right!). After golf, it's back to the casinos for more action. The dice tables were good to me as I won $130 (started with $20, ended up with $150).
At 8:30, I head toward downtown and the Golden Nugget to see The Amazing Jonathan. This is supposed to be a magic/comedy show. It's more comedy than magic as Jonathan pulls a member of the audience to the stage and starts having fun with him right away. Jonathan's assistant plays the ultimate bubble headed blonde. This show is VERY sexually expicit. Now I know why it was at 10pm. A $40 cost for this one. And I would go see Jonathan again, unlike George Carlin, Jonathan's show was FUNNY!

Day Five 9/12:
No shows scheduled for today so more coupon spending. I run from casino to casino. I have two really good coupons. The first gives me $40 of slot play for $20 and I got a really nice Jacket. And the second is $20 in the ESPNZone's arcade for $10. Much fun was had especially on the bowling alley.
Dinner, now there's a story! I had a coupon for the Stardust where all you have to do is join their slot club, play the penny slots and accumulate one point and you can eat a FREE dinner buffet! I get the slot card, insert $10 in the machine and start playing. Well about 5 - 10 minutes later, the machine tells me I've got my point. I cash out and head to the cashier's cage. You get a receipt instead of money, and my receipt was for $9.80. I got to eat dinner for twenty cents. This is a FULL buffet!

Day Six 9/13:
More gambling since I have nothing scheduled for today. I hit a three of a kind on three card poker $150 comes my way. All totaled for the week (after eating, buying stuff and gambling) I had brought $400 with me. I brought home $100. Not a bad week! I also do some sightseeing again. Back to NYNY (this is the only casino in Vegas that serves Pepsi!). Also they had some piano players after 8pm in a bar that I went to a few nights. I visit M&M world and the world of Coca-cola. Go to the Venitian, Paris, Caesar's Palace, MGM (the lion habitat), Casino Royale, Harrah's and Circus Circus (free Circus acts). After a fun week, I did manage to find the Jacuzzi at my hotel and enjoyed same. I really enjoy Vegas and I am looking forward to my next trip. I flew out at 9:20 on Saturday.

Various rants: The Westward Ho will NOT let you charge any food, drinks, extras to your room. Their excuse? "Our computers aren't setup to do that." (Of course I told them I could fix that) This, above everything else, will keep me from staying there again.
The car: I really hated the Lancer. And after getting an upgrade to it, I thought I should have gotten a refund, but didn't. Alamo, why haven't you responded to my letter?
I want to again thank AAA for setting up this trip. $598 for Airfare, room and rental car. How can you beat a price like that?
I was considering going to Disney World again and I'm glad I didn't from the weather reports I saw, Florida got soaked all week due to a tropical storm. My vacation would have been ruined. The only rain I saw in Vegas was about ten minutes worth.
For various pictures from my trip, click here.

Comments? Questions? Please refer them to me Bob Werner
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