Saturday, May 5, 2012

Las Vegas / Palm Desert: Wednesday, May 2 - Las Vegas

Once again we slept in and didn’t get out and going until after ten.  We spent a little time gambling at Harrah’s and then we decided to take the monorail to the Paris and have lunch at the café there.  After lunch we gambled a little at the Paris and then we took the monorail back and spent some time in the Imperial Palace.  The Imperial Palace is kind of dumpy, but fun sometimes.  After that it was back to Harrah’s for a little R&R and then we took a taxi to downtown Las Vegas. 

Downtown Las Vegas is the original hotel / casino area and most of the hotels and casinos are old.  We hadn’t been downtown at night since they built the Fremont Street Experience so we wanted to go see it when it was all lit up.  The Fremont Street Experience is a large dome that is several blocks long covering Fremont Street which is closed off to traffic.  The dome consists of many small lights which make it like an enormous screen where they can do different types of displays and shows, very neat looking.  Fremont Street was packed with people and very noisy.  There was all kinds of music, vendors, street entertainers, people dressed in various costumes and many other diversions.  Fremont Street is lined with bars, casinos and all sorts of tourist traps; a lot of action to take in, but a lot of fun, especially if you are young.  One thing they have added recently is a zip line that runs most of the length of the street which seems to be very popular.  Every time you looked up it seemed there were three or four people zipping by above you.
Fremont Street Zipliners going by overhead
The beginning of the Fremont Street Experience

We started to get hungry so I convinced Val to try the Flame Steakhouse at the El Cortez Hotel and Casino which is down in the East Fremont Street area.  She was a little leery as it wasn’t in the best area, but I had read about it and convinced her it would be all right.  The restaurant was redone several years ago in the style of old time Vegas and that was the feeling we got there.  The staff was very friendly, there was a piano player playing and overall our experience was great.  The only weak spot were the steaks themselves, Val had prime rib and I had a filet mignon, and they were both pretty mediocre.  The sides were very good though and considering the cost, it was a pretty decent meal, but when you call yourself a steakhouse, you should have good steaks.  Maybe we were just there on an off night.

After dinner it was back to Fremont Street to try a little gambling there.  I had a terrible night, not winning a thing and soon tired of the noise and crowds and was ready to go back to the Strip.  Val however, was winning quite a bit and not surprisingly, having a great time.  Finally though, it was getting late and we caught a cab back to Harrah’s and called it a night.  Downtown Las Vegas was fun and filled with energy, but I’m not sure I would stay down there.  There isn’t much to do outside of gambling and drinking and while I like to gamble, I don’t want to do it all the time and I also rarely drink.  It is a fun place though and we will certainly pay it another visit.  Another fun day, but only one day left, and as usual in Las Vegas time just seems to be flying by.

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