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Why I Left Las Vegas – Part 2

This part two of “Why I Left Las Vegas.” Click here for part one.

California

When I was I deciding whether or not to accept the job in Las Vegas, my friend told me that I shouldn’t worry about leaving California; Los Angeles would be just a short drive away and I could come back whenever it was needed.  This ended up being a double-edged sword – I was able to participate in many activities back…

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Why I Left Las Vegas – Part 1

Yesterday marked an odd anniversary for me: one year ago I packed up the car again and left Las Vegas.  It was a day that seemed inevitable but also felt like it would never arrive.  When it finally did come, I was ill-prepared for it.  As I have mentioned previously, Vegas was full of emotional highs and lows for me and my last day was no exception.  (more…)

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LINQ and High Roller Add Something New to The Strip

I found this article from USA Todayregarding the opening of the LINQ and the High Roller on the Las Vegas Strip.  On my last trip to Vegas I was able to spend some time at the LINQ and there is no denying that it is certainly different from other properties on The Strip.  It’s a development that encourages walking around; the kind of place you might spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.  What is absent,…

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Dutch Phantom of the Opera

I recently found this Dutch version of the title song from Phantom of the Opera.  While this isn’t specifically Las Vegas related, I thought it was fun enough to share.  It also got me thinking…would the Vegas production of Phantom have done better had it been in Dutch? Maybe German or Chinese would have been more popular.  (more…)

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For my last trip to Las Vegas, my friend and I were leaving after work and wanted something inexpensive for the first night since we would not spend much time in the room.  When I stay Downtown, I usually stay the Golden Nugget or El Cortez, but I wanted to try something new.  The price for the California Hotel & Casinowas only around $50 with no resort fee and we had never stayed there before,…

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Part of the reason for my recent trip to Las Vegas was that my friend had won a free night stay at the Paris Hotel and Casinofrom his work.  I’m not sure why a one night stay somewhere would be a prize, but I suppose that is a topic for another blog.  I had never stayed at the Paris (though I did find $20 there once), so it seemed like a good excuse to drive across the Mojave, even though I had…

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New Things I Tried in Vegas

Many of my Las Vegas trips have been with my good friend who recently accepted a job on the other side of the country (the humid side).  As part of his send off, we decided to take a quick roadtrip to Vegas.  My guess is that we have probably gone to Vegas together at least 20 times, so by now everything is pretty familiar.  However, there are two new things we did on this trip that are…

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Caesars Palace Entrance — 1993

My mom recently found some home movies that include our first trip to Las Vegas in 1993.  I will post more from these videos soon, but wanted to share this video of the Caesars Palace entrance and moving walkway.  (more…)

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Win a Trip to Las Vegas

I just discovered that the Travel Channel is having a contest for a 5-night stay in Las Vegas…

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Last month my friend, a recent transplant to Vegas, and I had the opportunity to attend a preview dinner, called The Underground Supper Club, on board the X Train.  I had been tentatively planning a trip to Las Vegas, but was on the fence about it.  However, as soon as I was confirmed for the dinner I was, uh, all aboard with the idea and excitedly made the arrangements.

I have been following the developments of the Vegas X Train since it was first announced that it would begin offering service in 2012.  While the original date, and a few others since then, have come and gone, the X Train folks have made positive progress towards their goal and have started moving from the theoretical to the tangible – most notably with the acquisition, delivery, and outfitting of some of their train cars.

It should be noted that at the time of the preview dinner, there was no locomotive – just the club car and the dining car.  So there was no trip involved, just a dinner on a stationary train.  The train was parked at XTreme Manufacturing on a railroad siding behind their building.  This will not be the station for the X Train, just where the outfitting was completed.  Our RSVP included very specific instructions to park in a lot across the street from XTreme Manufacturing but to not walk across the street and instead to take a complimentary shuttle.  This certainly added an interesting mystique to the event, but was likely due to the fact that the area is a little on sketchy side.

After our one-minute shuttle ride, we were promptly welcomed aboard the X Train and given a free drink, with more free drinks to come. The two train cars are former Amtrak cars that were renovated, modernized, and had a sleek, casino-esque look.

The club car in particular is very inviting with subdued lighting, comfortable lounge chairs, and just a general relaxed but elegant atmosphere.  This car has its own bar and, once the train service begins, will be available for private events.  I envision it being very popular for bachelor parties and Hollywood-type shindigs.

The dining car has a long, open kitchen to showcase the chef’s creations.  After the kitchen is small dining area.  This part of the car is more reminiscent of Amtrak café cars, but is still very comfortable. The real treat here, however, is to see the kitchen staff create some beautiful and tasty food in a cramped train kitchen.

The food itself was simply awesome.  The eight course meal consisted of small plates and each one was artistically crafted and delicious.  The one dish the really stood out, due to its showmanship, was the Donut Flambé.  As the names suggests, the cooks flambé miniature donuts on a serving cart in front of the passengers.  This finale was a highlight of the evening and was enjoyed by all – guests who have been wooed with free alcohol are easily impressed by fire.

During the dinner we had the opportunity to meet another blogger who wrote her own blog about the event.  We had a great time talking to her and learning about her experiences in Vegas.  And, in case you are curious, yes I am the one who “had hosted around 100” CourchSurfers.  And the correct number is now 105.

While I have previously been skeptical of the X Train’s delayed implementation schedule and the location of their Las Vegas train station, I was very impressed by this event and the work they have completed on the train cars.  If they maintain this level of service and quality, it will be a success.

Underground Supper Club Last month my friend, a recent transplant to Vegas, and I had the opportunity to attend a preview dinner, called The Underground Supper Club, on board the X Train.