September 5-12, 2009 - Las Vegas

Here are photos taken while in Las Vegas -
Miscellaneous Photos around Las Vegas
Photos of Red Rocks Park
Photos the Valley of Fire Park
Photos of Neon Museum - Bone Yard
Photos of Gambling Winnings and Win/Loss Spreadsheet
Photos of Flowers purchased for Anniversary

Here is a blog of our anniversary trip to Las Vegas, Nevada -
Las Vegas - September 5 to 12, 2009
6th Anniversary Vacation
We flew on Delta Airlines, using our Chase Credit card points.
We booked an RCI time-share rental at $238 for the week at the Grandview at Las Vegas. This is a newer resort 6 or so miles south of the main strip casinos, but next door to the new South Point casino.

Saturday, we left Knoxville around 9am, flew to Atlanta for an hour layover, then flew the 4 hours to Las Vegas. We didn't get lucky with exit row seats, but it wasn't too bad. We got in around 12:30pm. After picking up our car, we drove to the Grandview. It was a very busy weekend, but they gave a end, corner room in the Iris building (oldest on site - 5 years). This is a nice quiet building with a pool mostly frequented by older folks. There is another building the blocks a lot of the sun, yeah! Saturday evening we decided to go out for dinner. We ate at "El Jefe" 9925 S Eastern Ave. (702-453-5333). The food was good, but a little pricey. The best was the happy hour drinks. Afterwards, we decided to go to Green Valley Ranch casino (used to be my favorite place during the "American Casino" TV show). I quickly dropped $200 on Roulette, then proceeded to drop $40 more in the slots (bad night). Kathy played lots of different slots and ended up only losing $5.61. We lost a total of $245.61 on Saturday. Afterwards we went to a Wal-mart to pickup a few supplies and went back to the room.

Sunday, Kathy slept in until around 9am. I, on the other hand was up at 3am. I watched TV for a while, then put on my clothes and walked next door to South Point casino. I played a few 25 cent slots where I hit 112, then 95 coins on $40 worth of bets. I then went over to the roulette tables and with my normal bet won $225 on the 2nd spin. I then walked over to the next table put down my $100 and lost 4 spins. I then put down another $100 and won $250. Feeling lucky I put down another $100 and won $250 again. It was still too early to wake up Kathy, so I proceeded to put down another $25 which I lost. On the way out of South Point I stopped at the Bell Desk to order flowers for our anniversary. Saturday was 7 years since I met Kathy and 6 years since I had married her. It took 6 phone calls (45 minutes) to find a florist who had at least 1 of the 4 flowers we used in our wedding ceremony (Starburst Lilly). I then took off in the car for a donut run. It took around 45 minutes to find a Krispy Kreme shop, so went ahead and purchased a dozen donuts. After I had been back around an hour (9 am), Kathy finally woke up. We piddled around the room (I was trying to stall until the flowers would show up at 11am). Finally they showed up and Kathy was both surprised and thrilled. We then headed down to the large pool area in the resort. It was very sunny and hot, and it took a while to find a couple of chairs that we could position in the shade of 2 palm trees. We had to move every 10 minutes to keep in the shade. Kathy had a sandwich (expensive and just okay), while I read a book. For dinner we decided to go to "Bahama Breeze", one of our favorite restaurants (1st went to one on our honeymoon in Orlando area). The food was good, but they no longer serve the Ahi Tuna (sad for me). We went decided to go to Fremont Street to do a little gambling. We dropped off our car at the 4 Queens hotel and then proceeded to start the evening of gambling. We hit the 4 Queens, Fremont, Fitzgerald, Binion's, Mermaid, Las Vegas Club and Golden Nugget. I got really lucky on the roulette and won $426, lost $55.25 to slots and Kathy won $43.40 to a total winnings of $413.05. We won a total of $793.05 on Sunday. We went home tired and went right to sleep.

Monday we got up late again and piddled around until around 10am. We stopped and at breakfast at the Cracked Egg (Ste 480, 1000 N Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, NV -702-868-5505). The food was pretty cheap and good. We then decided to take a drive to Hoover Dam. Once we got into Boulder City, the line was miles long going to the dam (didn't think about Labor Day crowds). We turned around and drove up to Henderson, NV and took highway 564/166 beside Lake Las Vegas and went into the Lake Mead recreation area ($5 for day pass). We then drove highway 147 (Lake Mead Boulevard) to highway 167 (Northshore Road). This is the back way up to the Valley of Fire. There were very few cars and a beautiful drive through the mountains. We stopped for pictures at several places and at a spring in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of kids playing in (it smelled of sulphur). We also drove a side road down to Lake Mead at Echo Cove. This is a marina area with house boats for rent. We took some photos of wild sheep getting water down by the lake. We were going to walk around, but the temperature was well over 100. We then drove up to the Valley of Fire recreation area. We had gone on a 4-wheeling adventure 6 years ago with Kathy's district group. We just drove around since it was too hot. Then drove back to the Grandview. We laid around the pool for a few hours in the early evening, but it was too windy and hot still, so back to the room.

Tuesday we got up early for a trip to our favorite - Red Rock Canyon. We were on the road around 8am and got to the park around 9am. We stopped at the visitor center and bought a few cards and a magnet. We then drove the loop to the very back area and walked the Lost Creek trail. It says it is any easy trail of 0.7 miles, but felt more like 2.0 miles. You had to scramble up and down rocks (many lovingly placed as steps) until you reached the very back wall of a mountain. It felt 20 degrees cooler in the shade of the mountain. On the way back down there was a little stream, but we were too hot to go in. We drove out of the park knowing we had now completed all the easy trails and that next time, we were in trouble. We stopped at the Red Rocks casino on the way back into town. We ate at Fat-Burger (just okay). We then went to play a few slots where I quickly dropped $100 to $64, while Kathy stayed even. I then went to the roulette table and lost a quick $100, then decided to give it one more go and one on the first try to walk away with $250. Kathy ended up losing only $18.05. We then spent about an hour looking for the Season 3 disk of Showtime's Dexter. Then we decided to go down to the strip for a little more gambling. We took the car to Treasure Island for valet. I had made a stiff margarita drink and since we had been up for hours we decided it was time to get started drinking. I had mixed the drink, but didn't have ice yet, so Kathy went up to one of the T.I. restaurants and filled the bottle with ice. Note - this is a quart sippy type water bottle. Kathy almost fell down with the first drink (I guess it was a little strong). We started gambling with my $100 in the slots where I eventually lost down to $65. I gave this ticket to Kathy to go play slots while I played roulette. I lost $200 on 8 spins of the ball, while Kathy won the ticket up to $274, so almost broke even. We then walked over to the Venetian to try our luck. I put $100 in the slots and lost down to $72.45, while Kathy lost $20 pretty quick. I then went to the roulette tables and quickly dropped $300. I moved to a 2nd table and put down $20 on my 5 numbers and hit for $700. Kathy had lost another $20, but we walked out of the Venetian with $240+. On the way out I got one of the waitresses to bring 5 margaritas for $20 so we could refill our drink bottle. They tasted better than my drink, but weren't as strong. We then walked over to the new Palazzo (Venetian owned) casino. It is a beautiful place. Kathy lost $30 on slots while I lost $100 on the slots, so over to the roulette where on my 1st spin I won and walked away with $250. Then we started walking down the strip into the smaller casinos. We went to Harrah's where we lost $240, Imperial Palace where I won $400. On the way to the next place, we stopped off to refill our drink bottle for the 3rd and last time. Then we went into O-Shea's where I lost $100, Flamingo's where I lost $200 and then finally into Bill's. I lost $200 pretty quick at roulette and decided I still wasn't ready to go. I put down another $100 and play $20 each on the 5 numbers. I hit '3' for $700, yeah! I gave the croupier $15 of the $20 bet and left a $5 chip on '3' to play for the dealer, and it hit. The dealer got a $15 and a $175 tip. She was completely surprised (and so were all the other players at the table). We one a total of $514.02 on Tuesday. We left to go home (around 8pm by now) and on the way stopped for McDonald's. We went back to the room, ate and finally decided we were both pretty drunk. Kathy wasn't feeling well, so she went next door to South Point and bough a couple of slices of pizza. After several hours, we both finally fell asleep.

Wednesday I woke up pretty early and felt really good considering the drinking on Tuesday. Unfortunately, Kathy didn't feel so well. We ate breakfast at the room and got ready to leave around 11am for our tour of the Neon Museum. This is a really neat place where they store old signs. Some of the signs are being rebuilt, but it is a slow process. See some of the photos of the signs. Afterwards, we decided to head to Ethel-M chocolates. On the way, we stopped at the Boulder Station casino to eat and do a little gambling. We ate at the Boulder Cafe, food was okay and relatively inexpensive. We then gambled where Kathy lost $40 on slots, I won $25 on slots and then hit the 1st spin of the roulette to walk away with $250. We then drove to Ethel-M chocolate factory. The factory was actually working (unusual). We had a couple of samples, but nothing was on sale, so we left. Then we spent the next 2 hours trying to find T-shirts with the name Henderson on them (instead of the ubiquitous Las Vegas). We finally found some at the downtown Henderson Convention Center.....yeah.....after 5 years of looking, finally we found them! We decided to go do a little more gambling, so we headed up to Boulder City again. We stopped at a shop with 1000's of yard art (mostly from Mexico). The hispanic man inside barely spoke english, when I asked if he had a website or shipped items. He told me I had to wait 3 days and the give him a call - Hacienda Interiors, Boulder City, NV 702-294-0079. We'll see if we can order items. We then went to the Railroad Pass casino, a really old casino between Boulder City and Henderson/Las Vegas to try out the 25 cent roulette table. Kathy and I sat down to play, Kathy with $10 in 25 cent chips and Alan with $100 in $1 chips. We played around 10 spins and neither of us won one spin. We then drove back toward home and wanted to stop at a cute little casino Wildfire in Henderson. It was nice, new, clean, but didn't have our slots or roulette. We drove back to the Grandview, stopping for more water and snacks. Back at the room, we decided to go over to South Point to get something to eat (oh yeah...and to gamble). We played a few slots, Kathy losing $20, while I went up to $45 ahead. Then I went to the roulette table and lost $200. We then walked around until we could find our type of slots. We played a bank of 8 slots and I won 1350 coins on a 25 cent slot and Kathy won around 200 coins, we played another bank of slots and ended up with Kathy winning $223.60 out of $30 and Alan winning $297.45 out of $20. I dropped a quick $100 on 5 $20 numbers on the roulette wheel, but all in all, we left winners. We won a total of $196.80 on Wednesday. We got some food at the Coronado Cafe and took in back to the room. We started watching Dexter Season 3, but found out we had all ready seen then 1st few episodes.

Thursday I woke up at So, I did a load of laundry and watched tv. Kathy woke up around 8am. We were tired from the week so we laid around the room. Kathy went over to South Point for lunch at lost $20. Afterwards we went to the pool for the day. For supper we went to Shuck's on Flamingo Road, near Kim and Dave Sperry. We met Kim and Shannon for dinner and sat for hours talking. Shannon is a junior in high school now and quite busy. After dinner, Kathy and I went to the new M casino, one of the furthest south casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard. I ended up losing $40 in the slots and $200 at roulette. Kathy was up to around $55 for a while, but ended up losing $90.

Friday we spent the day at the resort in the room all morning and at the pool after lunch. We went to a football game at Shannon's school at 6:30pm. Shannon is in the dance club and they performed during half-time. Kim and Dave had let us use 2 stadium seats, but by the end of half-time, I was in pain. We were supposed to go out to eat and go gambling with Kim and Dave, but somehow plans changed. Kathy watched the game for another hour while I waited in the car. We finally ended up leaving around 9:30pm. Since we had to get up really early for the flight home, we just went back to the resort to pack and get some sleep.

Saturday morning we were up at 5am, showed, packed and were out the door just before 6am. Our flight was at 7:45am and luckily we were close to the airport. The car rental return is quick and the bus ride to the airport is short, so even though we were running late, we still got to the gate 45 minutes before take off. I asked the gate attendants for exit row, which they said they had none, but as we were walking away, an agent called out that 2 were available. Lucky us! There was a 2 hour layover in Atlanta, but for some reason I was feeling a little nauseous, but made it home without getting sick.