Las Vegas Journals

Nothing Vague about Vegas

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A May 2006 trip to Las Vegas by two cruisers

Lion, lyin. Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada More Photos
Quote: Everything is BOLD in Vegas. Colors, BOLD. Buildings, BOLD. Entertainment, BOLD. Music, BOLD. Even the elegant is BOLD. And that’s OK with me!

Nothing Vague about Vegas

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Overview

Lion, lyin'. Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Las Vegas can be a bit overwhelming if you are used to operating at a slower pace. First of all you are offered so many things to choose from, you must either gear up or be prepared. We opted for be prepared. Using the Internet, guidebooks, and recommendations from friends we sorted out ahead of time the "Top Ten List": 1)Visit my nephew2)Avenue Q3)Bellagio Gallery and Conservatory4)Aladdin Casino and Desert Passage5)Bellagio Fountains6)Luxor Casino and King Tut exhibit7)MGM Grand Casino and Lion Habitat8)Ride a monorail9)Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Garden10)Sunset Station CasinoCasinos. We grew to love those slot machines....Read More

The Carriage House

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Hotel

The Carriage House Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Our timeshare trade was at The Carriage House (105 E. Harmon Ave), a nine-story suite hotel that is just two short (but unshaded) blocks from The Strip. It is located between the Aladdin and the MGM Grand. There is a lovely pool just steps away from the hotel entrance that is nicely shaded by neighboring building in the afternoon. A small vending area is the only source of food on the premises since Joey’s Bistro their penthouse restaurant went out of business. That was our main disappointment in this hotel. We had planned to entertain some relatives by taking them to Joey's. Most floors have a guest laundry conveniently located near the elevators. We were assigned a studio suite. It had a large we...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 2, 2006

The Carriage House
105 East Harmon Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 798-1020

Desert Passage at the Aladdin

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Attraction | "Aladdin Casino and Desert Passage"

Desert Passage at the Aladdin Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We planned a 9am to 5pm day at the Aladdin. Our first adventure was to enter the Desert Passage from the Harmon Avenue entrance. Little did we know this would bring us right into the most dramatic section of the Desert Passage. On weekdays every hour on the hour, and weekends every half hour the Rainstorm arrives. It starts with a few rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightening. These build and intensify as sprinkles of rain progress to a downpour. The odd thing is the rain only falls in the harbor. OK, there is some overspray into the walkway, but no one gets drenched. There are 140 stores and 10 restaurants that make up the Desert passage. All store exteriors follow the desert metropolis theme. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 21, 2006

Desert Passage at the Aladdin
3663 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89019
(888) 800-8284

Bellagio

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Hotel

Bellagio Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
On a previous trip to Las Vegas we discovered the beauty of the Bellagio Fountains as viewed at night from the sidewalk. When I think of Las Vegas, that is the first image that comes to mind. This trip we wanted to spend part of a day with my nephew. I decided it would be fun to explore the rest of the Bellagio. Located in the heart of The Strip this elegant hotel/casino was inspired by Northern Italian buildings near Lake Como. Our first “oh, my” moment came when we entered the lobby and saw the Dale Chihuly art glass ceiling. The scale of the objects is massive. The art glass is formed into shapes similar to Morning Glories with a wide range of bold colors. At the far end of the lobby The...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 21, 2006

Bellagio
3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 693-7111

Ethel M's Chocolates and Cactus Garden

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Attraction | "Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Garden"

Ethel M's Chocolates and Cactus Garden Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
A small marvel is located in nearby Henderson at Sunset Way and Mountain Vista. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden is well worth the visit. Named for the mother of the founder of the Mars Candy Company, Ethel M’s is a local favorite. Bypass the entryway gift shop, and go directly to the factory viewing windows. We have been here twice and have only been able to see the crew cleaning up and shutting down the production line. Descriptions and photos are displayed below the windows to the workrooms so you can get an idea of what goes on here during working hours. Don’t feel bad if you miss it, they still give you free samples before turning you into the showroom. Boxes of wonderful chocolate...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 22, 2006

Ethel M's Chocolates and Cactus Garden
2 Cactus Garden Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada
(800) 438-4356

Wynn Las Vegas

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Attraction

BIG BOLD flowers. Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
One of the newest and most elaborate hotel/casinos in Las Vegas is the Wynn. After spending just an evening here, my lasting impression is BIG FLOWERS. The lobby had a canopy of blooming trees with big balls of flowers that look like hydrangeas on steroids. This motif seemed to repeat throughout. There are at least 15 restaurants to choose from. If you crave and can afford fine dining, this is the place for you. The restaurant we chose was from their casual dining list. Terrace Pointe Café overlooks the pool and gardens. Tables are spaced far enough apart that conversation at your table can flow freely and your neighbors don’t jostle you. I had an Asian chicken salad that had the coldest crispest l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2006

Wynn Las Vegas
3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
702 770 7000

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

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Attraction | "MGM Grand Hotel Casino"

MGM Lion in the hotel lobby Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
The taxi deposited us at the MGM main entrance. Stepping into the lobby I was awed by its size. I wonder if it is ever crowded in there. In the center was a gold lion on a pedestal. Every few steps there was a bronze tile in the floor with the lion logo. Lets face it, there were lions everywhere. But that is what we came to see. That and the slot machines.The massive casino occupies the space of four football fields. At last I found a good use for football fields. We wandered around until we found the type of video slots we like best. My husband found a spot where he could also watch the lions in the Lion Habitat. The MGM has six real lions. Only two are released into the habitat at the same...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2006

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada

Luxor Las Vegas

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Attraction | "Luxor Hotel Casino"

King Tut's treasure Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
The taxi dropped us off and the “look at that”s started. This place has to be the award-winner for theme detail. Egyptian art is everywhere you look, such as colossal statues of pharaohs, columns with hieroglyphics, and of course the sphinx in front of the building. The only thing missing was Steve Martin, “walking like an Egyptian.” One annoying aspect we encountered at the Luxor was the constant assault by time-share representatives. They approached us almost everywhere we went. This is a good way to score show tickets if you do have time to throw away. Instead we searched out “All that Glitters” and “Gem Hunters”.Pyramid Café is a good spot for lunch. The menu has pizza, sandw...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 22, 2006

Luxor Las Vegas
3900 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 262-4444

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

Attraction | "Excalibur Hotel Casino"

Quote:
We took advantage of the free monorail. We boarded at the foot of the sphinx and first rode to Mandalay Bay, then back to the Luxor and on to Excalibur. Our contacts with the staff at Aladdin, Bellagio, Wynn, MGM Grand, and Luxor had all been satisfactory. We accepted that as the standard for Vegas. Then we visited the Excalibur. The staff we talked to were universally surly. This was also the shoddiest casino we had been in. This includes the food court area. The Krispy Kreams we bought weren’t the only things that were sticky. We hailed a cab.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 22, 2006

Excalibur Hotel and Casino
3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 597-7777

New York New York Hotel and Casino

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Attraction | "New York, New York"

Lady Liberty imitates Marilyn Monroe Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Just like the real New York, New York, floor space is at a premium. There is no outsized lobby here. The emphasis is on the vertical. Look up from your slot machine and admire the details of the New York theme. We looked up and got a kick out of seeing the Statue of Liberty posed like Marilyn Monroe over the subway grate. The casino was upgrading or installing a large section of new video style slot machines. Other areas of the casino were set in Central Park, or Times Square. A row of shops imitated SoHo, flanked part of the casino. My husband had very good luck with his favorite game. My favorite game wasn’t available yet. I ran through my gambling allowance quickly, and then wandered the “city” sig...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 22, 2006

New York New York Hotel and Casino
3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada

Station Casinos - Sunset Station

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Attraction

Station Casinos - Sunset Station Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We had been told to go to the Sunset Station to see their unusual use of stained glass. It's true, the bar and gaming table area of this casino are sheltered by great swooping amoeba shapes of stained glass lighted ceilings. The style reminds me of Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi. We had never seen anything like it before. There is a large casino, several restaurants, and 13 movie theaters. Sunset Station is located in Henderson. Frankly it looks a little strange to see this behemoth of glitter set down in the suburbs. We were told this is more of a local’s casino. We had lunch at the Sunset Café a coffee shop where a Keno hostess circulates picking up Keno bets from the tables. We ate teri...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 22, 2006

Station Casinos - Sunset Station
1301 W. Sunset
Las Vegas, Nevada 89014
(888) 786-7389