It was hot, I was sweating and tired. But here's my journal about Las Vegas.


Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on April 14, 2003

Las Vegas was built in the dessert solely to attract people and separate them from their money. Go to the Bellagio and try their buffet and watch their water fountain show in the evening. Take a day trip to visit the Grand Canyon or Boulder City to see the Hoover Dam. ${QuickSuggestions} Get a Misty Mate for each person to help keep cooler during the hot summer. A water sprayer with a fine mist will do, too.


${BestWay} It seems like you have to drive to the area you want to be, or in our case, to the Las Vegas Strip. Find a parking spot and then walk until you drop (at least it seems to feel that way). It was ideal for the casinos. It was hot outside, so walk in for some air-conditioned relief. The only places to sit down are right in front of their money-taking machines. Get up, walk awhile more in the hot sun, and repeat the cycle. It doesn't help to be out of shape.

Bellagio Buffet

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on April 15, 2003

At the Bellagio Buffet, you queue up to pay and then queue up again to be seated. We were seated after 30 minutes of waiting, but it looked like the queues could have been a lot longer, because there were areas roped off for lines of people. The place has a nice elegance to it in spite of all the noise from people, plates, and silverware.

We arrived for their Saturday Champagne Brunch, the second most expensive buffet because it included the champagne. The freshly squeezed orange juice was excellent. The food was very good in general, but I was quite disappointed with their version of fried rice. I had some wonderful roast leg of lamb (rare, of course), which was very, very good and tasty. I also had some very good, rare prime rib.

They had the typical large cooked shrimp, but all they did was boil them and present them with some dipping sauce—nothing special about that. There were lots of different desserts, including fresh watermelon and pastries of various kinds. After several trips back and forth to the buffet, they were closing down to set up for the dinner buffet, but I was quite full.

The Bellagio buffet is definitely worth a trip at least once during your visit to Las Vegas. I could have managed without the champagne and saved on the bill since I don’t drink the bubbly, call to find out their other buffets and pass on the Saturday Champagne Brunch. If I ever make it back to Las Vegas, I will most certainly want to stop in here again. Our tab for two came to $59, including tax and tip.

They are open for breakfast Monday through Friday from 8 to 10:30am. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11am to 4pm. And you can get dinner Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10pm, Fridays from 4 to 11pm, Saturdays from 4:30 to 11pm, and Sundays from 4:30 to 10pm.
Bellagio Buffet
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 650-9459

Florida Café Cuban Restaurant

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on May 8, 2003

I saw billboards and an advertisement on the Internet for the Florida Café Cuban Restaurant, which piqued my curiosity.

We found the restaurant, but finding the place to pull off the road to park took a few rounds around the area. You need to just pull right into a motel parking lot adjacent to the restaurant and park in the back.

Once we parked, we walked in, were seated, and then placed our order. The quantities of food are huge. I ordered a shake or drink made from a fruit that I didn't recognize, but it tasted very good.

I wanted to taste some sweet fried plantains and asked for a side order, but I didn't know that my entree already came with some, and I just had too much of it.

It is open from 7am to 10pm.

Florida Cafe Cuban Restaurant
1401 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89104

Grocery Outlet

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on May 13, 2003

Grocery Outlet has locations in the western US and Hawaii. Its focus is to buy merchants' oversupplies, goods about to expire, or inventories of business that didn't sell or went under for cut-rate prices, and resell them to customers. The inventory constantly changes. The bread prices here are good, and everything they sell is guaranteed. Any purchase you're not pleased with, you can return for a refund.

Open Mon to Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 9am-8pm.

Telephone: (510) 465-5649.

Las Vegas Outlet Center (Belz)
7400 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89123
+1 702 896 5599

Fountains of Bellagio

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by panda2 on May 31, 2003

The fountains of Bellagio are a must-see attraction; it's their breathtaking water show with a choreographed mix of water, music, and light movement. It's very popular and becomes very crowded.


Mondays-Fridays 3-7pm, every 1/2 hour; 7pm-midnight, every 15 minutes

Saturdays-Sundays noon-7pm, every 1/2 hour; 7pm-midnight, every 15 minutes.

The Fountains of Bellagio Music has 46 show tracks.

Bellagio Fountains
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 693-7111

Hoover Dam

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by panda2 on September 20, 2004

Hoover Dam is near Boulder City, located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas on US Highway 93. From Las Vegas, go southeast on I-515, turn into US-93, and continue until you reach the dam.

The Hoover Dam is a great building achievement for its time. Built during the Depression era when work was scarce, selected workers were paid $4 a day for their labor, completing in under five years.

We went in June on a very hot summer day. This is one of the must-see attractions in the US. After parking, we queued up to pay the admission, then entered a theater for a brief overview orientation of the facility and its history. Next, we queued up for a ride down the elevator to see the generators. Water is passed through the turbines and through a narrowing funnel where the force and speed accelerates before hitting the turbine fins to generate electricity.

We were quite impressed with the massive size of this facility. Another short tour was provided on the top of the facility inside another theatre where there is a miniature model of the surrounding land area.

Parking: $5
Parking Garage Hours: 8am-6pm
Admission: Adults (17-61) $10; Seniors (62+), Military, Dependants $8; Juniors (7-16) $4; Children (0-6) Free
Visitor Center Hours: 9am-5pm

Telephone: +1.702.294.3517
Tour Reservations: +1.866.291.8687, +1.702.597.5970

Hoover Dam
US Highway 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89101

Fremont Street Experience

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on October 27, 2004

The Fremont Street Experience

The light show is bedazzling at first, but after a while I got tired of looking up; in the end, it was just another gimmick. The sound quality was okay, not great. The Fremont Street Experience was lacking something and not such a fulfilling experience. It was near where I was staying, so it wasn't so much effort to come see this. I wouldn't say this is a must-see attraction.

There's a strategy to revitalize the area by attracting more shoppers and tourists into the once-thriving old downtown, now past its prime and showing its age. It's five blocks long, and the street is closed off to automobile traffic. Businesses line the street with tables for dining and drinking at their establishments.

Phone: (800) 249-3559 or (702) 678-5777

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

Las Vegas Lounge

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on November 1, 2004

Las Vegas Lounge is a 24-hour bar with transsexual dancing entertainment at 10pm. The place's looks had seen better nights. It wasn't very crowded, with just a few transsexuals mingling. Action can be had easily. Drink prices were decent. Public parking available. There are several other entertainment places in the run-down complex.

Phone: (702) 737-9350

Las Vegas Lounge
900 East Karen Ave
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
+1 702 737 9350

Monte Carlo Resort & Casino - Pools

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on November 10, 2006

The Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, their pools with 21,000 square feet for entertaining. The pools are very clean and not over-chlorinated. There are three pools: a regular pool, a wave pool, a "Lazy River," along with a hot tub, which was clean and not overly hot. The service was good. Kids in the hot tub are allowed but didn't get too strict when a father brought his little girl in with him for a while.

The regular pool with 1,900 square feet was good, but plain compared to the other two pools.

The Lazy River have tubes if you want to float around you can relax, get some sun or read and be pushed around and not even realize, with 11,000 square feet of cascading waterfalls that you could go under.

The Wave Pool, the waves generated would stop every 15 minutes for 5 minutes. It really simulated the ocean. There was no sand, but was realistic. The lifeguards at all the pools weren't very strict but could probably get you out of the water, if it was an emergency, within a minute.

Consider this hotel for their swimming pools. Open mid-February thru November, check their website for up to date information.
Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
3770 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109

LAS - Las Vegas McCarran International Airport

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on October 31, 2004

LAS - Las Vegas McCarran International Airport has two terminals and four concourses, with international arrivals in Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is the larger of the two terminals, with four sets of gates: A1-24, B1-24, C1-24, and D1-43.

Ground transportation includes shuttle, bus, and taxi. Routes 108 and 109 come through the airport. Car rental companies are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, Payless Car Rental, Sav-mor, and Thrifty.

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