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  1. #1

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    We were somewhere on the edge of the desert near Barstow when the drugs began to take hold........


    Wait, wait, strike that; I'm thinking of Hunter S Thompson, back before Johnny Depp went to sea. This was last week; normal service has been resumed as soon as possible; please return the stewardess to her original upright position.

    Hotel

    OK, like HST, we checked into Children-Children.....I mean Circus Circus. We're not the types that need our hands held at a hotel. Just give us a clean bed with functional plumbing, AC and TV and we're generally fine. The rooms was actually quite nice; we'd made a point of getting one of the most recently refurbished-comfortable bed, flat screen, no problem. Unless you're one of the picky types that wants to have the bed made up with clean sheets before you arrive. Oh, they came to do it-at about 11 PM. The next day our asked for extra pillows arrived after a mere nine hours and three requests. Both the boy and I had money taken by the vending machine, at least he was able to share in the Vegas experience of putting money in a machine and not getting anything in return. (BTW, ever find it weird that a kid can't put one quarter in a slot machine to potentially win $1,000,000, but putting fifty bucks through an arcade game for tickets that can be exchanged for a plastic harmonica with a retail value of 89 cents is fine? Odd, that.) Oh, yeah, at least one of the four elevators was always malfunctioning (door stuck open-door closes but no movement-doors close with movement but no lights). After about the third of these incidents, I trotted down to talk with a supervisor. He said there was no record of these in the computer. Apparently I wasn't complaining in the correct manner; clearly my fault

    Our last visit in 2002 we had a timeshare swap that overlooked the Bellagio fountains (which beat paying Bellagio prices and looking at the timeshare). Our view this time fell short,


    Well, the Kenyan acrobats on the midway were impressive; grown men limbo-ing under a 1 foot bar; that's something.

    Buffets


    Palace Station

    I promise, this story does have some good, and even great moments, but none of them happened here. The Station casinos cater to locals, and this one was close, so we had dinner there one night. It wasn't bad, better than Hometown Buffet, but we could have done better.

    The Orleans

    We'd had Sunday Brunch here before, and it's a good for the price choice. Bacon was limp, but everything else was fine.

    Paris

    One might expect that this would be the best of the three, and one would be correct. Had some chicken tortelini (sp?), roast duck, potatoes au gratin, creme brulee, made to order crepes and more. It's a bit more expensive than some others; save $10 by going at lunch. Lunch ended at 3:30, and the line got noticeably longer as that time approached.

    Gambling

    Although it's a hole in the wall, the dealers at Slots o Fun, adjacent to CC were very friendly on both craps and blackjack. The one dealer in CC on the BJ table was a total stiff, and I didn't stay long. Final tally:

    Video Poker down $60
    Craps plus $8
    Blackjack plus $45
    Sports pending the Stanley Cup and college football champions.
    Go Sharks! Roll Tide!

    Love-Cirque du Soleil-The Mirage

    I was wary; chopping up music by the Fabs and re-editing. But one day I heard part of the soundtrack in a store, and it sounded OK. It was about 20 years ago today that I was first told the CDS puts on an entertaining evening. I figured this was going to be something that I would either really love or really hate. Well........

    !!! Obscene Gerund Amazing !!!

    Rides and Amusements

    Desparado-Buffalo Bills Casino (Primm, NV)

    The first hyper coaster in the west, and I still prefer it to the slightly taller Goliath due to it's longer length, sustained speed and more hills with air time. It's gotten a bit rougher, but not too bad, especially compared to

    Manhatten Express-New York New York

    Now apparently called Roller Coaster, this has gone from rough to downright unpleasant-beyond Viper rough. Not since I was 5 years old have I ever wanted a coaster to end.

    Speed-The Ride

    My favorite coaster on the strip was closed for the season!?!

    Tower Rides-Stratophere

    Big Shot-It's the Maliboomer 1000 feet in the air. Whoo-hoo!

    Intensity-A circle of 5 parirs of seats are suspended from a J-shaped support, which swings you over the side of the tower and spins. Not big on spinning these days, but had to go for it. It was over before I felt queasy.

    X-treme-Picture a straight roller coaster track about 100 feet long. It tips over the edge of a tower 100s of feet above the ground, and doesn't stop until you reach the end, then tips up and back again. First time I've ever admitted to the boy that I was nervous before a ride. Mag brakes mean the stop is not too abrupt. Winner!

    Adventuredome-Circus Circus

    Comparing this to DL would be like comparing Sizzler to Steakhouse 55, and I'm not a moron. For what it is, and about $20 for an all day pass, it ain't bad. Canyon Blaster is a decent coaster. When I first read the description, I figured it was just an indoor version of The Demon at Great America, but it's better than that. Not worth $7 for one ride, but check it out if you get a day pass.





    I took one spin on the new Disc-O which spins while going back and forth on a U shaped track. It's fun but once was enough; another 10 seconds would've done me in.



    While I was gambling, the boy was at the AD, and spent 3-4 hours straight playing lazer tag (not an extra cost surprisingly). He got me in there once, and anhialated me. I got even on Buzz and Midway Mania after we got to DL. There was an extra charge for the rock climbing wall. He was once invited to join an indoor rock climbing team, and is very much in his element climbing.





    Valley of Fire State Park

    But why a fake rock when there are real ones 40 miles north of town. Just exit by the Sinclair station on the reservation with the massive selection of fireworks, drive a dozen miles through the desert, and, well, these say more than words.


























    After we left Vegas, it was off to Walt's original Magic Kingdom. Lots of words and pics are here:
    Thankful for DL and my camera: Nov. 26-30

    Thanks for looking!

    A bientot.
    Last edited by ralfrick; 12-02-2008 at 03:22 PM.
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  2. #2

    • rainy day girl
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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    Cool TR, and those are some amazing pictures! The Valley of Fire pics are just breathtaking, what a cool place to get to see. And love the Hunter S Thompson reference. Hilarious.
    Looking for the truth about giraffes? http://www.menacinggiraffes.blogspot.com/

  3. #3

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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    Amazing desert photos! Thanks for sharing them!


  4. #4

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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    We can't stop here, this is bat country!!!

    Awesome pictures and report! The colors from the Valley of Fire are amazing! I look forward to seeing more trip reports from you in the future!




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  5. #5

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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    The rumor is that Speed: The Ride may not return at all. It's future is very uncertain at this point. The Sarah is considering a make over/upgrade of the hotel, and pictures released of this new look do not include Speed at all.
    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

  6. #6

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    The rumor is that Speed: The Ride may not return at all. It's future is very uncertain at this point. The Sarah is considering a make over/upgrade of the hotel, and pictures released of this new look do not include Speed at all.
    First no more dollar craps, and now this?


    I do have a money making idea for the Statosphere, though. Charge men $5 each to perform urinectomies over the side. I mean the beer sales alone... Mentioned this to a guy at a BJ table, and said he'd hold it for hours beforehand. It's amazing what pops into one's brain while spinning 1000 feet up.

    A bientot.
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    Feed your head!


    You've read it; you can't unread it!

  7. #7

    • Circle of Ancients
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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    Awesome pics Ralfrick. It was awesome meeting you on Sunday and talking coaster talk.

    The valley of fire pics are amazing!!!

    Glad you had a great time.

    That's a bummer if Speed is gone. It's without question the best coaster in Vegas. I'm sure it will get picked up by some park, it's a small, but interesting foot-print. Some park can make it work I'm sure. Even say ... Buffalo Bills maybe???


  8. #8

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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    Love the pics of Valley of Fire. The last time I visited there was when the Excalibur was being built. Those pictures are making me want to go again!

  9. #9

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    Last time we'd gone, we went to Red Rock Canyon, which is closer, but Valley of Fire is much cooler.

    A bientot.
    Remember
    What the dormouse said
    Feed your head!


    You've read it; you can't unread it!

  10. #10

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    Have been looking at some of the stuff we brought home, and this stood out. In the back of the Vegas 2 Go magazine found in our room, there is a coupon for the Disney Character Warehouse, so look for that if you plan to shop there. Also, took a close look at these casino Tip Cards we received. One has strategies for improving your odds at roulette. Let me be blunt. If you think there is a way to improve your odds at roulette, other than finding a single zero wheel, you have no business in a casino. Pretty much every bet has the same house edge.

    A bientot.
    Remember
    What the dormouse said
    Feed your head!


    You've read it; you can't unread it!

  11. #11

    • FastPass n00b
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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    I figured Speed: The Ride's days were numbered since Vegas is taking away all the fun stuff and replacing it with the old Sin City stuff. I know it's supposed to be an adult playground and stuff, but I'm an adult and I LOVED Speed: The Ride. After Star Trek: The Experience shut down I just don't care anymore.

    Las Vegas has lost me. If they think luxury condos and laughably expensive shows are going to get me to drive 300 traffic-congested miles to Vegas, then they have another thought coming. Recently they've been removing all the FUN stuff and building luxury condos that maybe 2% of the population actually cares about. Not to mention the fantasy and theming that made it special have been a lost cause for years.

    No, Las Vegas was a fun place to blow a month's salary in one night but now it's just a playground for the ultra-rich.

  12. #12

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    Re: Coasting to Vegas and Valley of Fire-Nov. 22-26

    At last word, Star Trek is expected to return in a venue closer to the downtown area. So cross your fingers, but hopefully not all is lost. But I know what you mean.
    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

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