First things first. This was another really good day at the poker tables. Somewhere north of $250 won playing $6-12 Hold’em. I am definitely getting better… and the cards are running my way.
OK – now to the real events of the day.
Earlier, we had played in the ‘No risk slot tournament’ at Aladdin. It’s actually pretty cool. You play in the tournament… and lose and then you get $10 in free slot play and a $20 comp for food. So, for $30 you get the chance to win and you get your money back.
And, Aladdin’s not stupid, because the food brought us back.
I have always been a huge fan of the buffets at Mirage and Bellagio (Bellagio with cracked King Crab legs). However, I could easily be won over by Aladdin. This is also an excellent buffet with pretty much everything you’d want. The quality seems excellent. There are a half dozen (or more) separate stations with individual specialties.
One thing I don’t like about Aladdin (and Bellagio and a few others) is where you retrieve your car from valet parking. It is under cover and stiflingly hot!
Helaine wanted to try and get some beads and maybe a Chippendale’s shirt for Steffie, so we headed to the Rio. Here’s another hotel I can take or leave. We tried their buffet years ago and I found it very un-special. There’s no poker for me, and the casino is ho-hum. But, they do have the Masquerade in the Sky.
The show this year was different from what we had seen in the past… but they’re all pretty similar. I was somewhat surprised at the number of beads thrown, which I remember as being more in years past.
All week I had been asking Helaine to go downtown. Downtown is where Vegas used to be, before the Strip cam into being. It has been a difficult journey for the hotels there. They’re older, more cramped, without good parking. Many of the older ones like Binions have very low ceilings and, when last I entered, were quite smoky.
We pulled into the valet stand at the Golden Nugget. Valet was full, but I said I was staying at Mirage (same owner) and after looking at my key, they let me in. It is very convenient to park at the GN valet. You’re less than a block from Fremont Street.
Before the hourly Fremont Street Experience started, Helaine took me to the Golden Gate Hotel. This is a Las Vegas tradition… actually more like a legend. You can go to the Golden Gate and get 99 cent shrimp cocktails!
They were very good. The sauce is strong and tangy. The tiny shrimp are more texture than taste. But, it’s amazing that it’s still 99 cents.
The Fremont Street experience, with thousands (maybe millions) of lights projected above your head and set to music, was very good. Fremont Street itself is a little bit like New Years Eve in Times Square or Mardis Gras in the French Quarter. And, there are every type of person you would and wouldn’t want to meet.
It’s a shame we’ll have to leave tomorrow. Helaine is starting to get melancholy. It will be nice to get back to Steffie and my folks, but this has been a really great vacation, and as always, we’ve done a lot.