LasVegasJunkie shares Part 1 of his Memorial Day Weekend Vegas Trip Report.
After visiting Las Vegas in January of this year for my birthday, and again in March for CONEXPO, my wife and I decided to plan another two-day trip to Las Vegas in May over the long Memorial Weekend. The plan for this trip was to be like tourists and do touristy type stuff we always say we’re going to do but never get a chance to… because…gambling and day-drinking. On the agenda for our trip were visits to the Neon Museum Sunday night to snap awesome night time photos of the lighted signs, dinner reservations for Monday night to Andrea’s at Encore to review the Impossible Burger, a couple of dinners at Pizza Rock, a quick bite at Lotto Pizza since the rumor is business is sluggish and operations may cease soon. Head over to Freedom Beat to see what their food was like, give Project BBQ a try while people watching under the Fremont Street Canopy, and of course squeeze in a meal at Peppermill. I had also planned on meeting up with the crew from 360-Vegas Vacation 4 but was unable to make any of the planned events because of my degenerate slot-jockeying and blackjack sessions.
My wife had to work on Sunday morning so the plan was to hit the road late in the afternoon and get to Las Vegas early in the evening. My wife got home and freshened up while I loaded up the car; we hit the road at 3:28 pm. Interstate 15 North was wide open with hardly any other cars on the road, we pulled into the Downtown Grand valet at 6:35 pm and were checked-in and in our room by 7:15 pm. Unfortunately, during the check-in process, there was a problem with our reservation and they were forced to upgrade us to a suite with two bathrooms, a living room area with couch and mini fridge, and awesome views of 3rd Street.
After dropping off our stuff and unwinding a bit we walked over to Pizza Rock for dinner, we ordered the meatballs as an appetizer and a St. Anthony pizza. This was my third time ordering the St. Anthony pizza; it comes with mozzarella, fennel sausage, Italian sausage, garlic, roasted red peppers, ricotta, basil, hot red pepper oil, 2 cage free eggs, and a heart attack on the side.
After dinner my wife and I had about an hour to kill before we needed to catch a Lyft to the Neon Museum for our 10:00 pm tour; we walked across the street to the Downtown Grand casino and gambled. I lost $1 over the hour, not bad. My wife played with $30, I am not sure what she cashed out at but I know she never put money back into the machine. After gambling, we caught our Lyft and headed over to the Neon Museum for our tour. I highly recommend it if you have never been, we had planned on visiting for the past 2-3 years but like I stated earlier, Gamblor and day drinking always got in the way. The weather at 10 pm at night was perfect and all the signs that had been refurbished were lit and those that were not refurbished had colored spotlights positioned on them. Some of my favorite signs were of the Riviera, Stardust, Sahara, La Concha, and Liberace signature.
After taking approximately 1,568,398 photos at the Neon Museum we headed back to the Downtown Grand to pick-up where we left off, gambling. I proceeded to lose $200 in twelve hands at the blackjack table betting $25 a hand; after losing the $200 I called it a day on the tables and headed over to the slots. My wife was having good luck with her $30 on the Wheel of Fortune slots so I sat down at a Buffalo Deluxe near her and turned my $99 TITO ticket into $450 and cashed out at an even $400. The Buffalo Deluxe win saved my ass from the quick beat down I suffered at the blackjack table; total gambling revenue for the day +$100.
At about 2:30 am we both had had enough gambling for the night and decided to grab a bite to eat at Chef Scott Commings Freedom Beat before heading up to the room for the night. I don’t recall what my wife ordered but I had the IPA Burger that comes with caramelized onions, fried pickles [I ordered sans pickles], and cheese sauce. I was really looking forward to that burger but unfortunately, the whole experience was a mess; the burger was extremely dry and the patty was burnt beyond recognition, both mine and my wife’s fries were served cold, and the service was terribly slow. We finished around half our meal; we paid the bill and called it a night.
On Monday morning my wife and I decided to go to the pool and lay out and kill some time instead of spending our entire trip in the casino, we got to the pool around 9:00 am and found two open lounge chairs near the pool. We lasted about 90 minutes before the sun and heat forced us back to the comfort of our air conditioned room. My wife hung out in the room while I went down to the casino and had a rematch with the blackjack table from last night; I cashed in $300 plus a $10 match play. I played $25 a hand and over the course of half an hour and got up to a high $450 before they switched up the dealer on me. After the dealer switch and losing a few hands in a row, I cashed out at $305 bringing my blackjack session win to +$5. I walked over to the cage and cashed in my chips and headed over to the same Buffalo Deluxe machine from the night before. I told myself I would only lose $100 and once I did I would go up to the room to shower and get ready to go out so I slipped in a cool crisp $100 and off I went. Next thing I know I’m getting bonus after bonus and end up winning +$625 bringing me to a total of $725, I played that down to $650 and cashed out. Slot session +$550. As I am getting ready to leave a nice dressed man named Tom introduced himself to me, he is the casino host who helped me book my room a few weeks earlier, he congratulates me on my wins and up to my room I go.
Once in the room, we decided to go across the street and grab a light lunch at Triple George Grill. Having stayed at Downtown Grand nine times over the past year we would always see the Triple George Grill but never opted to eat there, I am very glad we did this time. Lunch consisted of fish tacos for me, seared ahi for my wife, and an order of 3G house cut fries. The fish tacos were extremely flavorful; the fish was cooked to perfection and the salsa and guacamole on top complimented the fish perfectly. The seared ahi was on par with some of the fancier restaurants we have eaten at on the strip. The 3G fries were to die for! It comes with three orders of fries each seasoned differently; traditional seasoning, Cajun, and truffle seasoning. I give Triple George Grill an A+ for service, an A+ for their quality of food, and an A+ for the overall cleanliness of the restaurant and bar area.
After lunch we had a few hours to pass until our dinner reservations at Andrea’s at 8:00 pm, we decided to walk under the shade of the Fremont Street Canopy and people watch as we made our way to the Downtown Container Park. On the way to and from the Container Park, I snapped a few pictures of the construction [and lack thereof at the Plaza’s Beer Garden] updates on Fremont Street. I also took a few photos of Vegas Vick and Vickie, I’m glad I did as Vegas Vickie is due to come down on Monday, June 12 for up to $100K in restoration.