It's like Marmite
21.05.2012 - 24.05.2012 34 °C
Room 21221, Golden Nugget
24 May, 3.50pm
You either love it or hate it. We love it. And we love to see how this city has changed, a lot for the good, but not all.
As you sit playing your chosen gambling game (we find Video Poker almost profitable if played properly) you listen out for call of the drinks waitress. "Cocktails" (pr CAAKTAYYELS). If you're gambling, even on a 1c machine, you're entitled to a "free" drink, though a dollar tip is expected.
These waitresses can be buxom youngsters to aged, toothless hags, all in extremely short, "sexy" outfits. The older the waitress, the more downmarket the casino.
Unfortunately no photography allowed in Casinos so we have no evidence of this. But take our word.
We now always stay at the Golden Nugget, in the new "Rush Tower" which has its own entrance and valet parking. We were lucky enough to get the room we hoped for. High up (21st floor out of 25) with a view towards the strip. So, this is our view:-
After a cruise up and down The Strip we were ready for bed, but only after some VP (Video Poker) where Bob almost immediately won $100. This has been the pattern for most of our sessions: nearly always walking away with a small profit.
Next morning it was off to Caesars Palace to collect our tickets for the Elton concert on Thursday.
Of course it wasn't to be as we learned this morning that Elton was urgently taken to hospital early yesterday with respiratory problems. So our concert is cancelled. We will automatically get a refund. Elton was released from hospital so hopefully he will soon recover.
I nearly typed Elvis, instead of Elton then. Was it Antonia who asked if we had yet seen Elvis? Well, of course we have:-
Tuesday evening we repeated our "special treat" from last visit. Dinner at dusk in the restaurant at the top of the Stratosphere tower. Of course, it rotates every hour or so.
The only morning we could fit it in, so Wednesday we drove down the Strip to the poshest of the casinos (resorts) that of Encore, which is the even-more-upmarket and OTT sister property of (Steve) Wynn's. All very posh. And very camp!
John's Eggs Benedict (a very light breakfast!)
Bob's Corned Beef Hash:-
We've found the posher the place, the more polite and friendly the Valet parking boys/girls are. Valet parking adds enormously to our fun when here. Instead of bothering about finding a parking place, THEY do it. For free (well, small tip expected on car return, as ever).
There's sometimes a problem in the evenings when Valet Parking can be full. Last night, it was full at Manday Bay so we just drove round to their adjoined and also very posh and expensive "THE Hotel". "Are we checking in sir?". "Nope". "OK. Good luck!". Only in America.
Fremont Street (not THE Hotel!):-
Arthur's stretch Hummer limo:-
Today we explored new civic projects aimed at regenerating Downtown.
A new arts centre built in traditional art deco style and there's a new convention centre as well as new Clark County admin HQ all on land "on the wrong side of the tracks".
No breakfast today so we needed coffee. We decided to return to Bellagio (pr BELLAAAAAJIO).
A lot busier than the last time we were there in 2001, 2 days after 9/11 when the place was deserted.
Finally we visited the Mob Museum. Another Downtown project. The story of the mob in Las Vegas and throught the USA. Fascinating. An excellent museum.
This guide at the museum, it turned out, was a Brit, now living in Las Vegas, who used to have an apartment near Cartagena. (We've heard much talk of "not liking Americans". Well, almost without fail, we have found every single person we have encountered to be friendly and polite. Politeness is so much a way of life. And they are all interested to talk to us and find out about our trip).
Finally to the downside of changes here. Following the corporate greed of the 2000s when they bought up and blew up a number of iconic casinos in order to build ginormous resorts, at least 3 of these projects went belly up and there are now huge tracts of land on the strip either empty and barren, or containing half-built and also empty tower blocks. Also, a lot of the traditional neon lights have gone and our traditional drive up the Strip, for Bob to film the lights, was not as exciting as it used to be.
Still damn exciting, though. Just Love Drivin' in Las Vegas!
While I've been typing this, Bob has been sorting out the packing. Tomorrow we are off to Flagstaff via long, empty sections of Route 66. We'll be leaving early at it's a big drive