Saturday, we got up and headed down to the Strip. We decided to park at Caesar’s because it was centrally-located, though soon discovered that you have to walk about a million miles through the parking lot and the casino even to get out to the Strip.
Bally stopped to say hi to his casino (still under renovation, at least near the front entrance), and then we went to Paris for breakfast at one of our favorite spots, JJ’s Boulangerie.
From there, we went back through Bally’s, and crossed over to Drai’s/The Cromwell. It used to be the Barbary Coast/Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and is now really fancy, though that means you probably can’t get a crappy $2 margarita anymore. It’s a fine tradeoff.
We cut through the Flamingo, and decided to stop out back to see their namesakes. I’m a fan of the turtles with their names painted on their shells, too.
If you go out the side door of the Flamingo, you’ll find yourself in The Linq. The open-air mall and observation wheel were all new since our previous visit, and I was really excited to see them! (Technically, the Linq is the former Imperial Palace.)
The High Roller is impressive, not to mention photogenic.
FYI, the Linq has a cupcake ATM. We didn’t really want cupcakes (it was apparently out of order anyway), but still. Cupcake ATM.
There are a bunch of bars and restaurants along the block-long pedestrian walkway. Most of them are large national chains, but they’re pretty fun regardless. After looking at the menu at Brooklyn Bowl, we decided we should have lunch there. Having just had breakfast, though, we figured we’d go have a beer or two first. We headed into the Yardhouse to watch some football (which we conveniently had also bet on the previous night).
From there, we went to go check out O’Shea’s. I’d heard over a year ago that it would be closed permanently, but apparently the Caesar’s group changed their minds. It lives on at the Linq, though it’s only a tiny portion of what it used to be. It’s a big room attached to the side of the Linq/Imperial Palace, but it has much of the same trappings, like cheap drinks and tables, and beer pong. Plus it smells a lot better than it used to.
We didn’t see Lucky there, but we did see a good enough version of him outside:
We spent longer than expected wandering around there and the Linq, so then it was time for a late lunch. We walked over to Brooklyn Bowl and took the escalator up to the second floor. They had a small bar area there with TVs showing the games, so we grabbed seats at the bar and ordered food and beer. Our bartender was awesome, and kept trying to convince us to stay until happy hour, which was something like two hours away.
We decided to go back to the Flamingo and do some gambling, since it’d been at least 12 hours since we’d given money away. One of my longstanding goals was to make an irresponsibly large bet on something, and I’d decided on craps. Matt’s not a fan of dice, but he decided he’d try it out this time. I set down a $50 bet on the pass line, and he made a $10 bet. We didn’t crap out, so I put another $50 behind my bet. On the very next roll we won, so I ended up with $200 instead of the nothing I’d expected. I put my initial stake to the side, and we decided to keep playing.
We were there a long time, because the table was running hot. At one point, Matt made a joke about getting an oversized check as a prize for something, and the old guy standing next to him perked up and said, “hey, I have one of those!” He then proceeded to tell us a story about how he won half a million dollars in the lottery several years ago, and had moved to Vegas to become a gambler. Three years later, he’d burned through his money and had to move back home. But he got to keep the giant check, so that was something.
Our lottery friend knew a lot about craps, so he taught us some of the more advanced betting techniques. We also got to experience the world’s longest streak at craps (for me, at least)… we were all waiting on a four, and the British guy rolling just kept going and going. When we finally hit a four, we all erupted in yelling. It was fantastic.
It was dark by the time we left, so it was time for the High Roller. Admission is something like $25, but Matt’s only cost $5 because of their Movember deal. We got tickets, bought glasses of champagne to take along, and went to board. There was virtually no wait, despite it being Saturday night.
We piled into a pod with a few other people, and off we went. The views of the Strip were spectacular, though very few of my pictures turned out due to the glass and movement. Still, it was great.
The whole trip takes a little over half an hour. We hopped off and decided to walk over to the Cosmopolitan for dinner. First, we had to make the obligatory stop at the Chandelier bar, because when you get the chance to have a cocktail in a chandelier, you take it.
Post-drink, we went over to China Poblano and sat at the bar for dinner. It’s one of our favorite places in Vegas, so we’ve been there a lot.
After dinner, we walked all the way back to Caesar’s to get the car, and headed back downtown to the Plaza. We parked, and decided to walk down to Atomic Liquors, a divey bar we’d been meaning to check out forever. It was a little over a mile down Fremont Street, far past the ‘Experience’ and the pedestrian avenue.
They have several of the old neon signs from the Neon Museum set up along the way. Also, the El Corez’ signs are their own museum. It’s oldtimey.
Atomic Liquors was nearly empty, probably something to do with the fact that it was after 1am. But the bartender was super-friendly, and we met a guy at the bar (we called him Vegas Dennis… I have no idea what his real name was) who regaled us with stories about how horrible it was living in downtown Las Vegas. We stayed there talking far too long, and then decided to stop into the El Cortez on the way back for some gambling, which was an equally bad decision. I don’t really know how much I gambled there, but apparently I didn’t do too badly, since I still had money left the next day.
If you don’t have a stumbling, blurry night in DTLV, you should definitely put it on your life to-do list. It’s important.