1st trip to VEGAS !
I'm just " joe six pack " factory worker , never really been on a vacation too far from home before ( as an adult ) . Our kids are grown with jobs of their own and I just up and told my wife we're going to VEGAS .
Researched "everything" online , joined all the hotel & airline email list , finally got a bargin @ Ballys ( $49 ) , too good to turn down . Airline tickets from east-southeast USA can be expensive , cheapest I found , priceline.com a little less than $600 for 2 roundtrip . I don't like mystery schedules , BUT , trip turned out great , better than I could find elsewhere , flight times were fine , no redeye , no long layovers . Easy check-in with US Airways in VEGAS airport , other airline check-in lines were long , some major carriers had very long lines @noon on a friday . Amazing you can just print out a piece of paper on your printer and walk right up to the airline ticket window and fly , easy as pie . US Airways plane trip was great , ( both ways ) , no problems , good service , flights landed a little ahead of schedule everytime , GOOD JOB .
Landed in Las Vegas , decided to take a taxi to Bally's , fast and only about $10 ( depending on time of day ) , other options were available , such as , we could have checked into hotel right there at airport near the bagagge claim and we could have taken a shuttle to hotel and saved a little $ , but we were a little jet lagged from the 3 hour time change and just wanted to relax , quick as possible .
Ballys was GREAT , VERY large clean room on 5th floor with great view from balcony windows , refrigerator , couch and chairs , table and chairs , lighting fast elevators , ( one second per floor ) , nice cool pool , no problems , Excellent stay ! everything worked fine , all elevators , moving sidewalks to strip , phones , fountains ... everything was up and running . Great "job" , Ballys ! , really enjoyed the stay , no hidden charges @ check out , ( we did not drink the large bottles of spring water ($4) in the room or use the in-room safe $3 ) , I did however use a computer downstairs to check my email , internet service was available in room but I don't have a laptop , for $15 you can sit down in an office "cube" with computer & printer in the Paris business services office , on the left in the Ballys to Paris connector/shopping walkway . Very nice that you can walk right into the Paris without going outside , it's like two hotels in one . Another word about Ballys , the housecleaning service was outstanding , no matter how late we slept ( one pm sometimes ) , housecleaning always found a time every day to do a spectacular job and never knocked on the door , I only saw them once , down the hall , in 5 days , Great job .
We walked the strip , went into almost all the hotels just to look and gambled a little in most of the casinos , ( a lot in some others ) . In Ballys push the POOL button in the elevator , it takes you one floor below the lobby , exit to the left , there is a whole shopping and slot machine area there , walk to the end and take the doors out on the left , cross the street to the Bourbon Street hotel/casino , great cheap food there , we had $1.99 breakfast special ( til 2 pm ) , steak or large slice of ham with hashbrowns 2 eggs & toast , it was amazingly GREAT , also had the $7.77 steak & lobster with baked potato supper , awesome for the price , prices not advertised on menu , just ask for the specials . Bourbon Street is not fancy but nice enough for "joe six pack" , opinions may vary , anyway you can also catch a very nice & quick bus to Sam's Town from the Bourbon Street entrance , Sam's Town is a large hotel/casino quite a ways out from the strip , but the shuttle bus service is very good and has many locations to choose from once at Sam's Town and free to all . Sam's town has a food court , ( MacDonalds type and so on .. ) , also has some modest priced restaurants and 2 or 3 floors of casinos , lots of low $ table games and tons of video poker machines . Had a fairly nice time at Sam's Town .
First couple of days we walked the strip , awesome sights especially @ night , photos can NOT do it justice , the size , the lights , fountains , buildings , on and on ... are just larger than life and must be experienced LIVE to be believed and fully appreciated . You can smoke and drink just about any and everywhere .
We took a taxi to downtown Vegas , Fremont street experience ( looks like a half a mile long light show above the downtown hotel/casinos ) , was great , we ate at the Califorina , wife had a huge rack of king crab legs for $8.99 and I had spaghetti & salad bar for $5.95 , really good ! We are smokers and got to sit right down , non-smokers had to wait a few minutes , WoW ! great food and cheap , I saw others checking out and using their casino advantage card , paying like almost nothing . Walked down to the Golden Nugget and saw several of the largest golden nuggets on public display , the largest is over 61 lbs found by a guy with a metal dectector in 6" of dirt behind his trailor home in Australia .
We had a great time , everyday saw something different and wonderful , wonderful things ... reminds me of the King TUT tour at the Luxor , wife and I both like ancient Egypt stories on TV , and we loved the Luxor's whole theme , well worth a look .
Overall , as far as looks go , my wife liked the MGM Grand , lots of marble and large old movie photos abound . As for " joe six pack " here , I was overall visually most impressed , inside and out by the Paris . Look around you can find coupons for almost anything , we joined the casinos gambling clubs ( free ) and got free or 2 for 1 show tickets , those gambling club cards are like credit cards , you stick them into the machines and acumulate perk points.
A few words about my experience @ gambling in Vegas , it seemed like I won early on anywhere I went , mostly we played 25 cents slots . Trouble is , it's very hard to leave a casino you just got to , so needless to say we helped out the Las Vegas economy . But I actually spent less than I expected to , this " joe six packs " budget was NOT busted , I came home with over $300 in pocket from a long "fight" with a 12X 25 cent slot machine @ the Golden Nugget on our last night/morning in VEGAS . Free drinks ( anykind , sodas , import beer , fancy mixed drinks ...) are free flowing at any casino I visited , brought right to your machine or gaming table . Gotta love that ! There is a free strip trolley that we used for sight seeing all the of strip , but it stops @ almost every hotel/casino , so for traveling to specific locations it became tiresome for us , need $1.65 ( no change ) , to ride . Many venues have free shuttles , no problem getting around in Vegas , lots of traffic with aggresive drivers so be careful crossing the streets , it's so easy to look away from the road for drivers and walkers alike .
We are very glad we came to Las Vegas , we will be back soon , we absolutely had no problems anywhere , there were a few areas of the sidewalks on the strip where people are trying to hand out advertisements but they never said a word or put the advertisement in front of us , they just kept making a snapping noise with the advertisements , not very loud though , no problem , just kept walking . Lots of security in all the main areas of the strip and downtown , walking and bicycle so they were close at hand , but we never saw any trouble at all , @ one offstrip casino a guy got up from a slot machine with credits/$ still in it , to go to the bathroom , while he was gone some young guys walked over and started playing his credits on the slot machine , guy came back from restroom and was upset naturally but the situation was resolved with very few harsh words , a casino person mediated an on the spot resolution , situation over , real quick , no problems , I was standing there waiting on the wife from the restroom and was surprised how easily and quickly this dispute was handled . Maybe we need some of these casino people in Washington DC , they're good .
Everywhere we went , hotel / casino or restaurant the restrooms were very clean , Vegas must pride itself on extra clean restrooms . You know some places you visit , you try to hold it til you get back to your hotel room , not in Vegas , clean as a whistle , everywhere we went .
Just got back from Vegas as I write this , still trying to come down off this Vegas "high" . What else can I say , we LOVED VEGAS !!! .. now if I could just get the wife to dress up in a bathing suit and bring free beer to me @ the computer .....