Las Vegas Journals

Turning 30 in VEGAS!

Best of IgoUgo

A January 2002 trip to Las Vegas by Carmen

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada More Photos
Quote: I was dreading the big 3-0, so instead, I planned a fun trip to look forward to. Vegas was the perfect place!

Turning 30 in VEGAS!

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Overview

Bellagio Fountains Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
This trip was a birthday celebration, so I'd have to say that the highlight was actually surviving the dreaded 30th birthday ranks pretty high. But here are some others: 1. Dancing the night away at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay: I brought in year 30 at a very appropriate 80s night, where I scored some free tickets from a very cute boy standing in line who was also celebrating his birthday. 2. Playing blackjack on Freemont Street: It's not on the strip, but a quick cab ride will take you to "old Vegas" -- where the odds are better and you can play blackjack. I didn't see one table on the strip for less than . 3. Visiting the hotels: The hotels themselves...Read More

Luxor Las Vegas

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Hotel | "Luxor"

Quote:
For not being a 5-star hotel, it was a pretty nice place to stay. We stayed in the Pyramid, and had a nice view of the strip - not to mention the backside of the sphinx. Ha. The rooms were clean, our room looked out over the casino floor. It was quiet in the room, you couldn't hear the buzzing and the dinging of the casino. There were places to get food (Mc.Ds, Lil' Ceasars, etc). The hotel had a gambling club - if you spent $25 in slots, you got a $25 air voucher. You could also use your card at Mandalay Bay, Excaliber and a few other casinos.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 8, 2002

Luxor Las Vegas
3900 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119-1000
702-262-4444

Prime Steakhouse

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Restaurant

Prime Steakhouse Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
I'd flipped through the Zaggat's guide before my trip to find just the right place for a great birthday steak in Vegas. The Prime had come highly recommended, so I'd booked my birthday dinner on that merit. I've got to say, I didn't plan on the restaurant being as fancy as it was, but it wasn't overwhealming. Decor was masculine, brown and blue, but elegant. The waiters even threw in some snooty for good measure. I had requested a window seat, so that we could watch the famous fountains dance while we ate. We couldn't hear the music from inside, but the show was still spectacular. And boy, did they know how to make a steak! They spoiled me for steak for the rest of my life. I ordered ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 8, 2002

Prime Steakhouse
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
+1 702 693 7223

Fremont Street Experience

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Attraction | "Fremont Street"

Quote:
I spent much of my time in Vegas searching for a blackjack table where I could play for less than $5 a hand. Unlike some other visitors, I was not a high-roller. Plus, I'm not very good, so I didn't want to loose $5 each time I played. Who knew I'd have to leave the strip entirely to find cheaper tables -- not to mention better odds. Fremont Street is a hop, skip and a jump (actually, it's a 5 minute cab ride up the interstate) away from the hustle and bustle of the strip. Actually, many of the images that people associate with Vegas - like the neon cowboy - aren't on the strip, but on Freemont Street. When you get there, it looks very familiar, like things you've seen on the travel channel -- ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 16, 2002

Fremont Street Experience
Westernmost 5 Blocks Of Fremont
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
(702) 678 5777

House of Blues

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Attraction

Quote:
Perhaps it was because it was my birthday, and I was turning 30, but the House of Blues was the coolest spot I found in Vegas. My friend and I went to 80s night, and managed to score some free tickets to get in. (We later found out that the Vegas guidebook also had free passes). There was a flavored oxygen bar - which was new to me. (The guy I talked to said it gave him a little buzz, and that you could chose one flavor or combine the flavors.) The dance floor was huge, and packed. You just couldn't stop dancing. Each time the song ended, another one started and you just couldn't resist. The crowd was young, and there were a lot of birthdays - the DJs announced them. Drinks were a little pricey, but s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 8, 2002

House of Blues
3950 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
+1 702 632 7000

Times Square Bar

Attraction

Quote:
My friend and I had gone to New York, NY hotel to try and ride the roller coaster (whose cars are painted to look like yellow cabs)-- but to our dismay, it was closed. We were tired and hungry -- it being 1 a.m. at this point, so we got a slice of New York pizza and grabed a table to watch people go by. I kept hearing this music that made me want to hum. After we had finished eating and resting, I made it my purpose to find where this intoxicating music was coming from. My ears led me to the Times Square Bar. Inside, the raucus grew louder. You see, this was a dueling piano bar, and everyone -- I mean everyone -- was singing along to traditional piano bar tunes like Piano Man and Margaritaville...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 8, 2002

Times Square Bar
New York-New York Hotel & Casino Las Vegas / 3790 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 740-6969

Gondola Ride in the Venetian Hotel

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Yes, we were the typical tourists. But it's Vegas, everything's tacky! We bought our tickets for $15 and had about an hour wait, which we used to explore this beautiful hotel. When we boarded the gondola, there was yet another photo op. Again, we looked so good (we had a joke that we looked hot in Vegas) that we bought the photo. Our guide's name was Alfredo. I'm not kidding. He had lived in Italy and also had performed in "Cats." He sang two songs to us in Italian as he steered us down the canal. I didn't understand the words, but the songs were beautiful anyway. The trip along the river was just peaceful. Though I've never been to Venice, that's how I would imagine it to look - thou...Read More

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Attraction | "The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign"

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Ok, I'm always the goofy tourist wherever I go, but this is a neat story I thought I'd share.

Everyone has seen images of the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. Well, it sits at the end of the Strip in either direction. I wanted to get a picture of it, so we hailed a cab and told him to take us there. He parked illegally for us and waited as we snapped some pics for posterity.

The only problem was, that I then left my camera in a cab. Never did get it back.

So, we bought a disposable camera, hailed another cab, and went back to the sign for our night shots. Unfortunately, the flash didn't work so well. Thank goodness the sign was lit. :)

It's a perfect photo op.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
Median At 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

Vegas Ceilings (Don't forget to look up)

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Story/Tip

Mandalay Bay Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
I know that Vegas is just an explotion to the senses. There are always bells ringing, lights flashing, quarters dropping. There is so much to see that you can't possibly see it all. My advice to you is this: look up. Take the time to look at what's over your head. The most astounding ceiling is in Ceasar's Palace, where the "sky" morphs from morning, to high noon, to dusk, to dark -- all in an hour's time. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was real. Mandalay Bay features glass flowers surrounding the light features in the lobby. Perhaps reminding you to visit the botanical gardens, but I think it's just Vegas flash. Paris has the cathedral-looking ceilings, and the V...Read More

The hotels are the attraction

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Story/Tip

Mirage Volcano Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Forget spending money on a Vegas show. You can see all the Vegas splendor you want, for free. In addition, there are many "shows" that happen at the hotels that don't cost you a penny. For example, there's the volcano at the Mirage hotel. Every half hour, the volcano "erupts". First, you hear the rumbling. Then, you see the smoke billowing from the top of the mountain. Slowly, the orange "lava" starts to flow over the side, followed by spurts of fire and lava plumes. By the end of the show, the area around the base of the volcano is on fire, and the heat barrages your face. My favorite show was probably the dancing fountains at the Bellagio. The water shoots "dance" to the music, foll...Read More