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Dave Goes To Las Vegas!


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OK, as always, before we begin, it is time to review Dave's Rules Of Engagement for his PTRs:

 

- I am a writer. I like to write, get paid to write, and think people should read more. So there may be more text here than you might expect. Think of it as a learning opportunity.

 

- I am completely insane, and many of these captions will make zero sense and/or likely offend someone. As always, I apologize in advance.

 

- I am not a great photographer. Some images of "questionable" quality may make it into this PTR. You have been warned!

 

So ready? Let's begin!

 

So about a month or so ago, I was supposed to go off to Maine for almost a month to take a variety of video/animation classes. Well, these classes ended up being canceled, which left me with a large hole in my schedule. Deciding that sitting around and watching infomercials for days on end was probably NOT a good idea ("Really, I can buy and sell real estate with no money down?!? Clearly I need to know more!"), I decided to take a trip. And since I had not been to Vegas in two years, it seemed like the perfect place to visit. So off I went!

 

Now, most people go to Vegas to gamble, but not me. I go there to eat! Seriously, the town is PACKED with all sorts of awesome restaurants, some of which you'll see here, and all of which that will be covered in more detail in Dave's Restaurant & Food Thread (you are reading this thread, correct?!? If not, start doing so now, as it is very educational and entertaining!). I managed to make it to a couple of new places this time around, along with a visit to one of my all-time favorite restaurants. There were also a number of margaritas consumed (shocking, I know!), and I walked all over the place with my trusty companion.

 

I do have to comment on the supposed "deadness" of Vegas in this economy, which I found out is A TOTAL LIE! Seriously, the place was packed. You could barely walk up and down the strip at some spots, and I could not believe how busy some of the hotels were. Talking to some of the people working at the various restaurants, they all said their business is off a bit, but it's not as bad as people are making it out to be. I'm sure this is not the experience of every place, but I was amazed at how busy things were. Good for Vegas, bad for me, as people generally annoy me (again, I know, shocking!).

 

Anyway, here are some photos of random things I saw, including a coaster. Enjoy!

 

dt

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And we conclude this update with a photo of the Monte Carlo. Why, you ask? Because this is the hotel for the LAS VEGAS ADD-ON FOR THE WEST COAST TRIP!!! Yes, I and many other people will be descending on Vegas in August! Hilarity should ensue. Thanks for viewing! Hope you enjoyed this update! Until next time, have a giant carnivorous bee-free day...

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FIRE RULES!

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I saw this show one night. While I think the Cirque show in Orlando might be a little better, this was still entertaining. It was no Ice Bat's Strippers & Chainsaws Revue (Now With More Napalm!), but really, could anything compare to that? I thought not...

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Hey Elissa!

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Margarita!

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Feel free to make your own jokes here...

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Diablo's Box Of Angry Calamari is the BEST MENU ITEM NAME EVER! I hate calamari, and yet I'd almost order it just to support them coming up with such an awesome name!

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Ice Bat was also amused by this. I tried to line up the shot so it looked like he was being poked by said devil girl with said pitchfork, but failed. I really should not be allowed to own a camera...

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I did not eat here, but had to take a picture of the place, since it features a devil girl with a pitchfork

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BEST. WAFFLES. EVER.

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This makes me think of Sharks In Venice! Which needed more sharks and less Venice. And less Stephen Baldwin. That's my movie review for the day.

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More Venetian hotness

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Random waterfall

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That salad was just one of the tasty things I ate at the Delmonico Grill, which is located inside The Venetian. One of the best places to get steak ever!

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Hey Elissa!

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A Smart Car & Ice Bat are two of Falafel's favorite things. If there was also a box of Chik-Fil-A nuggets in this photo, she would achieve orgasm just by looking at it.

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Hey Falafel!

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THERE'S A GIANT PEPSI SIGN ON THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING! No wonder Manhattan Express blows. Pepsi is horrible, and infects anything near it like some sort of space plague. Mystery solved!

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I did figure out why the ride sucks, though.

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Letting Ice Bat feast upon your brain would be a lot less painful than riding this piece of crap.

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Seriously, this thing is, um, not good

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Hey, look what's hiding back there - DEATH!

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Just like being in Pennsylvania!

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Coming soon - Ice Bat's Casino Of Horror & Fear. Make your reservations now!

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So I'm walking down the street, and...OMG! CONSTRUCTION UPDATE!!!

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Strip shot

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Further evidence that hell exists

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Again, once you've seen the real thing, this doesn't quite impress.

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Not as impressive as the real thing, mainly because there are not 5000 cars all driving around it in complete chaos, which is still one of the most insane things I have ever seen.

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Ice Bat is also enjoying the nice weather.

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More random outside stuff

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One of the items I ate while here, a chicken quesadilla. A much more high-end one than you'd get at Baja Fresh, obviously. And oh so tasty...

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Margarita!

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...THE MESA GRILL! This place was one of the main reasons I returned to Vegas, and it did not disappoint!

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Caesar's Palace, which is the home of...

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Random statues

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So after the fog rolled in, the sea monster came up from the depths and began to feast on the unsuspecting...OK, no, actually this is just some sort of fountain show. But the whole "sea monster eating people" thing would entertain.

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...SINCE IT WAS REALLY NICE OUTSIDE! Stupid Maryland has been freezing cold since like November, so it was nice to be outside without some sort of gore-tex survival parka on.

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Lower half of the room. I brought my laptop so I could annoy people on the internet even if not at home. I actually did not spend a lot of time in the room...

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Since I annoy pretty much everyone on the planet, I find myself once again traveling with Ice Bat, who is already hogging the bed...

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And it features rooms that are twice the size of my old apartment. And also does not feature neighbors that get hauled off by the police on a weekly basis, again like my old apartment complex.

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So I stayed at The Venetian, which is a great place and I highly recommend staying here. And as you can see, it's sort of nice...

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If you are still in Vegas, you should really check out the Cuban Restaurant in the Holiday Inn...I dunno what the name of it is...but the locals are pretty familiar (I just jump in a taxi and they take me there).

 

My family is Cuban and they rate it as one of the best Cuban restaurants out there. (order shredded pork and plantanos maduros....I don’t eat meat, but the plantanos are excellent).

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Thank you for patronizing the greatest steakhouse ever! OooooooooooooooH GOD I LOVE DELMONICOS! It makes me cry whenever I see that place, cause it's so damn awesome!

 

Oh... ...Pink Taco! I'm in!

 

Only thing better than Diablo's box of angry calamary would be Diablo's box of angry calamari with teeth! But still... ...me Likey!

 

Awesome TR Dave. I miss Las Vegas.

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For those doing the Vegas add-on...

 

Monte Carlo has newly remodeled rooms and a great place to drink.

 

Diablo's Cantina rocks!

 

Great TR Dave! Makes me want to head out to Vegas...

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If you are still in Vegas / go again, go to Bouchon (in the Venetian). Its owned by the nation's best chef and while its all simple food its damn delicious. I'd recommend the roasted chicken, which was by far one of the best things I've eaten. Mesa Grill is amazing as well, but I'd give the edge to Bouchon.

 

Also one of the pictures of the Venetian is actually in the Palazzo, which is also a very nice place to stay.

 

Glad you survived or decided not to brave Manhattan Express so you could bring us this update!

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Great report! I agree in that when we visited Vegas days before WCB, it did not seem like there was an economic depression at all - the place was hopping and it was during the mid-week. Granted St. Patrick's Day figured to be a party when we were there, but days before and after that it was still pretty crowded in the streets.

 

Venetian was awesome to explore, but we cheaped out and stayed at the Tropicana (four nights) and Stratosphere (one night). We did manage to get in Speed, but only looked and marveled at the pure and utter failure that is Adventuredome and Manhattan Express.

 

It's also fun to try to find the last of the decent restaurants that have the cheap(er) meals. We found a good lobster dinner at the Trop for $18.95 and my Dad and Uncle found a surf and turf w/lobster tail for like $8.95 at some ghetto casino in North Las Vegas.

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The thing that has been hurting Vegas is that people are still coming---but spending way less than they used to. Room rates are way down and there's not nearly as many high rollers.

 

For the first time ever I got offers from the Bellagio for $99 rooms (and $89 for THE Hotel, and $79 for Mandalay Bay, and even $110 for Wynn!). When things were good...I only got offers from Monte Carlo and MGM (the two hotels I usually stay at) for nearly the same rates.

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Ah, yes, the trouble with writing....

 

Deciding that sitting around and watching infomercials for days on end was probably NOT a good idea ("Really, I can buy and sell real estate with no money down?!? Clearly I need to know more!"), I decided to take a trip.

 

...and being your own boss, perhaps?

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Ice Bat keeps getting better looking every time I see him!

 

I love his tan out there in the Vegas sun.

 

Tell me, how many Ice Babes did Ice Bat score with??

 

 

Long live Ice Bat!

 

 

Peace, Big Mike

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Great update Dave. I cannot wait for the Vegas add-on and the inevitable TPR insanity which will ensue. I can only imagine how insane we will all be for a post trip add-on to Vegas...TPR take-over of the Donnie and Marie show!!!

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Having fully adjusted to my new home, I can't look at these pictures without sunglasses, and even then, my pale skin sunburns just looking at the outside shots. My god it looks Hot and Sunny there.

 

that calamari is the best menu item ever!!

 

when we were flying out to Ohio..actually, when we were flying out to ATLANTA..Stupid Delta it was overnight on the HOTTEST PLANE IN THE UNIVERSE. (alas, this does not mean there were sexy topless stewardessessess) the redeeming, maybe, thing about the flight was we had satellite tv, which was not interesting until about 2 am, from there i spent a good amount of time amusing myself with informercials, all the while trying to forget that my brain and skin had melted and i was melded to the seat. At least i had Chick-fil-a waiting for me in the Hotlanta (also HOT!? wtf??) airport.

(i didn't see any giraffes in the hotlanta airport, they may have all moved to terre haute by now... there weren't any on the moving walkways, and we all know the conveyor belt is there favorite form of transport)

 

Fun TR Dave! And the pictures are getting way better!

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I had an ex-girlfriend (emphasis on the "ex") who made me take her on the gondola ride at The Venetian once. I timed it and, after it was over, divided it by the cost. It came out to ten cents per second!

 

But other than that, Vegas is pretty cool. I especially like the $6 international breakfast buffet at the Gold Coast. I also loved the $13 prime rib dinner at the Victorian Room of the Barbary Coast, but I guess the Barbary no longer exists. Oh well. That's Vegas.

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I also loved the $13 prime rib dinner at the Victorian Room of the Barbary Coast, but I guess the Barbary no longer exists. Oh well. That's Vegas.

 

Its still around its just a different casino now. I think its Bill's Gambling Hall & Saloon. Not sure how many changes have been made but Drai's is still there and they have reasonably priced rooms with flat screen tvs.

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Dave, I haver to agree on the TOGO Death Machine known as the manhattan express. I gave it a ride only because I got comps due to being in vegas for my honeymoon. The thing sucks and left me in bad neck and shouder pain for three days after riding, made for an interesting flight back home the day after. Wife and I enjoyed the Venetian Gondola Ride, I agree that more sharks would make the thing an e-ticket and something the midwesterners would enjoy...

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OK, time for some comments:

 

No pictures of Ice Bat accepting a porn flyer on the strip?

 

Sadly, I did not take a picture of the INSANE GAUNTLET OF PORN SNAPPERS! At one point on my strip walk (I put in ten miles that day!), there was a section where there were about ten porn slappers on each side of the sidewalk, all attempting to hand out their wares to people. Never has so much porn been thrust at humans at one time! Seriously, this was amazing, and I am really annoyed at myself for not getting a picture of this.

 

It seemed like there were a lot more porn slappers out this time than the last time I visited. There is usually only this level of activity when something like NAB is in town, so it was a bit surprising.

 

Dave, I'm disappointed! Pespi Max is where it's at!

 

Emily, you know I worship you and all, but Pepsi is satan's bile.

 

I think Ice Bat should have at least ridden Manhatten Express.

 

I wouldn't subject prisoners to that piece of crap.

 

On an unrelated topic, hope you noticed the quote in my signature...

 

If you are still in Vegas / go again, go to Bouchon (in the Venetian). Its owned by the nation's best chef and while its all simple food its damn delicious. I'd recommend the roasted chicken, which was by far one of the best things I've eaten. Mesa Grill is amazing as well, but I'd give the edge to Bouchon.

 

I did eat breakfast there (that's where the waffle picture came from). I had heard from many different people that the breakfast is the best in Vegas, and they might be right, as it was just amazing. Bouchon is on my list to get dinner at the next time I'm there. I also want to try and get to Nobu. And Mesa Grill still rules.

 

The thing that has been hurting Vegas is that people are still coming---but spending way less than they used to. Room rates are way down and there's not nearly as many high rollers.

 

This is probably true. At the same time, from my totally unscientific observations, some places were just crazy busy. The Venetian casino was PACKED at all hours, and all the restaurants were full every time I ate at one of them. Some places were busier than others (The Wynn seemed kind of dead), but in general, there just seemed to be a lot more people around than the last time I was there, which was at pretty much the same time of year.

 

Room rates are down, though. My Venetian room was less than it was the last time, which I was not going to complain about.

 

Dave - not sure if you took my advice and had a snack at the Pink Taco or not, but even seeing the logo brings back tasty memories for me. I love their salsa.

 

I did indeed take your advice, and greatly enjoyed my lunch at the Pink Taco. Photos of the food will show up later in my Food thread. I agree, the salsa there is really good! Thanks again for the recommendation. Hopefully the steakhouse at the Hard Rock that you recommended will be re-opened the next time I visit, so I can try that out.

 

Ice Bat keeps getting better looking every time I see him!

 

I love his tan out there in the Vegas sun.

 

Tell me, how many Ice Babes did Ice Bat score with??

 

Sadly, I suspect that Ice Bat would be far more popular with the ladies than I ever have been or will be...

 

Great update Dave. I cannot wait for the Vegas add-on and the inevitable TPR insanity which will ensue. I can only imagine how insane we will all be for a post trip add-on to Vegas...TPR take-over of the Donnie and Marie show!!!

 

I agree. Except for the Donny & Marie show. I think I'd rather ride Manhattan Express...

 

Having fully adjusted to my new home, I can't look at these pictures without sunglasses, and even then, my pale skin sunburns just looking at the outside shots. My god it looks Hot and Sunny there.

 

As we both know, our preferences for hot/cold weather are one of the very few differences we have. It wasn't that hot when I was there, but compared to the stupid cold/damp/near constant rain/no sun of Maryland that I've been putting up with since November, it was awesome.

 

And I am still sad that we never got to do our evening of infomercial viewing.

 

Excellent trip report! I am hoping for my first Vegas vacation next year, but pretty much that is on my every growing list of things that are only going to happen in the alternate universe that exists in my mind....

 

This made me laugh and also made me sort of sad at the same time. Hopefully you'll get out there and have an awesome time. And remember, if I'm ever in your area, you get a tasty steak!

 

Glad people enjoyed this little slice of nonsense. I'll try to post another PTR this week...

 

dt

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