Las Vegas Trip Report

June 12-15, 1998


Day One - Friday, June 12, 1998

Drove to San Jose Airport. I checked in the bags while Dan parked the car in Long Term parking.

In line at gate A1, I was eavesdropping on the couple behind me in line. It was their first trip to Las Vegas and she was already planning their next trip. I gave them a handful of our southwest Airlines Drink tickets because we had so many. I should have recruited her to the newsgroup. Considering the fact that she was planning her second trip before she took her first, she was a natural for our group.

While waiting for the flight to board at 9:05pm, game 5 was on the TV. There was one loud Bulls fan and about a dozen Utah Jazz fans. Dan, of course, because of his bizarre testosterone deficiency, could care less who was playing. I thought the last few minutes of the game were exciting and I got caught up in the game. Dan got out the journal and started to write some pseudo-intellectual stream of consciousness stuff.

Utah ended up winning by one or two points in the last few seconds (I couldn't see the bottom of the screen to see the score, but I know it was close ). It was very exciting and all lost on Dan.

I had the 30th boarding pass, so I got on the plane in the first group. I got a window seat on the left side of the plane, just in front of the window. Dan, with boarding pass number 31, got on in the second group.

*** Note: Dan's comments in this trip report will be indicated with this font style***

We were somewhere over Barstow when the drugs began to take effect. Well, OK - It was just a Heineken.

I had recently read "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and I was happy to be returning to Vegas myself. Not that our trip would be anything like the one in the book. It was not 1971 and we were not Hunter Thompson and Grace Slick.

Besides, who need psychedelic drugs when you have the Fremont Street Experience? - Dan

As a treat and a surprise, the in flight magazine had an interview with Chris Carter, talking about the new X-Files movie. That kept us occupied for most of the flight. We also had our peanut "feast" and I had a margarita, Dan had a Heineken.

The flight was pretty good, but there was quite a bit of turbulence. It wasn't bad enough that anyone spilled his or her drink.

We landed at that last gate. 23 or 32.. Dyslexia is acting up again. .... Never can remember and started the long hike to baggage claim. On the way we passed a Megabucks machine showing the jackpot at $17,060,000! I've got to give it a try!

We got to baggage claim and as usual, can't figure out which carousel is for our flight. I kept telling Dan that I saw our suitcase, but he kept insisting that we were on a different carousel because he didn't recognize any of the people and the carousel listed a different flight number. Seemed logical, but then again, this is Vegas!

He wandered off to look at the other carousels. On a hunch, I walked over to the suspicious suitcase and discovered... it was ours. Men! I found Dan and we headed out to find the Alamo bus.

Of course, with two directions to choose from, I chose the wrong doors. We finally found our way and crossed the street a little bit in front of the Alamo bus. Dan ran over three old ladies, one small child and a dog running for the bus! I took my time and still had to wait for the bus to leave. Again... Men!

Our Quicksilver card had arrived earlier this afternoon.... Perfect timing. We tried it out for the first time and it is pretty slick! We bypassed the line (although it was pretty short.. probably only 20 people in line), slid our card through the machine, selected "no" to the gas option and printed out our contract. We were off to find A-23 and our Oldsmobile Cutlass. It was white of course. What is it with all the rental cars in Las Vegas being white?

We originally intended to take the scenic route to downtown via the strip, but my bladder had other plans. We ended up taking a scary tour of the industrial area behind Vacation Village (across LV Blvd) and the Miller warehouse before ending up back on Las Vegas Boulevard again. Apparently, Dan was trying to find the freeway. Again... Men!

We had a wonderful tour of parts Vegas most tourists don't get to see! - Dan

We drove down to Tropicana to cut over to the freeway. We saw the lights on the Luxor and the construction on Manda (lay Bay... the sign's not finished.. it just says "manda" on one side). It is really big.. and it does look just like the Mirage. I can't wait to look at it more closely in the daytime.

I was very impressed with the new MGM lion and fountain. I had feared the worst from reports on the newsgroup, but I really like it.

On to the freeway and to Main Street Station. We had made reservations with LVRS and I was worried about it. We walked right into the registration area at 11:30pm and checked in with no problems. I had reserved a non-smoking king, but I requested that be changed so that we were away from the train. We got a smoking room (although it didn't smell like one.. less smoky than the casino!) with two queen beds instead. We parked in the garage and went up to room 711.

Our room was pretty decent sized, but sparsely furnished. Behind the door is a small closet area (no safe). The bathroom is opposite it. It is small and functional with a sink and mirror and a separate toilet and shower/tub separated by a door. Then there is a big empty wall space on the left, only an armoire and TV and a huge mirror on what is probably 30-35' of wall. Two queen-sized beds and a nightstand are on the right and a small table with two chairs is by the shuttered windows.

Our view was of the casino roof, Las Vegas Club, Plaza and end of Fremont Street. Off in the distance you could see the Stratosphere Tower. It was a decent view. Not as good as the one we had at Treasure Island, but second best.. better than we had at Circus Circus and Golden Nugget on previous trips.

I had just enough time for a potty break before Dan was dragging me downstairs to catch the last Fremont Street Experience show at midnight. The show started as we were approaching the Plaza. I was sure that Dan was going to run again like he did for the Alamo bus.

We stood by Glitter Gulch to watch the country theme show. (For what it's worth, I think the view of the show is better on the other end of the street, closer to Fitzgerald's). I also think that the people watching is more fun than the light show once you've seen them all a few times.

Apparently we were the only people not drunk on Fremont Street that night. We walked down to Golden Nugget before deciding we would be happier going back to MSS for some food! Unfortunately the café had just closed at midnight. So, we gave the brewpub another try. (We had gone there last October and had the server from hell. We ordered the Buffalo wings and they were too hot to eat... and normally, we like hot food). We sat at the Video Poker table for two in the back corner. We split an order of French fries and a steak and chili quesidilla. Dan had a pale ale and I had a coke. The tab came to $10. (Including a $2 tip.)

If you appreciate fine beer DO NOT miss Main Street's Marker Pale Ale! - Dan

The video poker machine wasn't a good one. (don't hate me Skip!) It was a multigame and I played Bonus Poker with the 1/2/3/4/5/7/(25,40,80)/50/250 payout. The machine was hot! My first few hands were... 3 of a kind, flush, two pair, 3 of a kind, full house, four of a kind (6's), straight and then a non-winning hand. It was great!

Any machine that gives you lots of winning hands is a good one! - Dan

Unfortunately, I forgot all about the 4-of a kind scratch off card thing so I didn't say anything, but probably no big loss based upon the rest of my experience with the scratch off cards.

We played and ate until the Diva show started. The show is really good, but it is just TOO FRIGGIN LOUD!!!!! I can't stand it for very long so we cashed out about $30 ahead for both of us (Dan didn't do as well as I did).

We moved to a regular Bonus Poker machine for an hour or so. I was up and down and I ended up breaking even on that machine. Dan informed me he was done gambling for the evening as it was well past his bedtime and he was getting stupid. I couldn't resist trying the Triple Play Bonus Poker and went looking. All I could find was $0.05, so I sat down with $10.

Dan went across the "bridge" to see the California and I promptly hit 4-Aces! I sure wished I had been playing $0.25 or dollar machines! I got a scratch off ticket and won..... $1.00. Big deal!

Dan came back and I cashed out with $25.00, up $15.00. I ended up with a $45 profit for the evening. Not high rolling, but mine.

We went back up to our room. Let me say this, Main Street Station is great for low rollers. The rooms are quiet (except for the squeaky doors. And you can hear really loud people in the hallway sometimes, but not just walking, it has to be shouting people) but the talking elevator makes me crazy. "Seventh floor.. going down.. watch your step.. blah blah blah." That's going to get old really fast!

I curled up on the bed with the magazines to get some ideas for what we should do tomorrow and tried to drink lots of water. Finally at 2:45am, Dan had enough. He changed out of his clothes and went to bed. He pulled the covers over his head and he was out. I stayed up to write in my journal.

A couple of pages into writing, Dan was sound asleep and I saw this huge black thing run across the floor and under my book bag by the armoire. Of course, I acted like a girl and freaked out, scaring poor Dan to death. He jumped up and moved the book bag to find a great big cricket!

He caught it in a cup and against my wishes, flushed it. I don't know what else he could have done in his pajamas at 3:30am on the 7th floor with windows that won't open and there was no way I was sleeping with that big bug in the room. Oh well. Sorry, cricket. I hope you weren't supposed to bring us good luck!

Dan went back to bed and I continued writing. I looked out the window and there were not people outside anymore. Just the occasional car on Main Street. So far the trip was pretty good!

End of Day One