Wednesday, April 21, 2021


 IMPORTANT:  I forgot that to get the full trip report, you have to hit "older posts" in the bottom right hand corner of the first loaded blog page. Then the rest of the trip report should load. Sorry.

This is a very, very long trip report and certainly is more than anyone wants to read.

However, I write primarily to remember what happened and what I was thinking. In a year, the events will be muddled by the feckless fading atrophy of my mind.

So, blogging and  posting this trip report helps me to remember, and reviewing it before the next trip, will help me to plan and pack.

I do arrange the details of the trip in what I call snippets, so a reader can skim to topics of interest and avoid the rest.

It is not chronological.

Still, even the snippets are long.


I've had many health issues these past couple of years, and both my wife and I were unsure of my going solo to Vegas at all and especially for such a long while. But I have relatives for an emergency, who live right around the little casino, Longhorn, where I had chosen to stay.

And if I found I had overshot my abilities, I could just stay at the Longhorn with 24 hour food, video poker, and a pool.

So, wanting to seize the day, I gave it a shot. After all, I am not getting any younger.

However, a week before I left I was wondering whether I had bit off more than I could chew by staying almost two weeks.

The day I flew out, however, I was sorry I had not booked for three weeks.

And it ended up being better than I could ever imagine. In fact, I am still astounded by what I could accomplish.

It was life changing.

However, my pace needed to be slow. When I was tired, I needed to sleep. When I met a day with little energy, I had to just stay locally, perhaps just in the Longhorn.

Many thanks to the Vegas Message Board and its very informative posters. Their information let me plan more easily, and settled my anxieties about buses.

Well, I hope there is some detail or two, packed in this long report, that will help you plan your next trip.

Thanks for reading.



Staying at the Longhorn in Vegas for 12 nights is more of a challenge than just staying in Vegas for a few nights.

For a short trip, what is forgotten or poorly planned needs to be tolerated for just a short while.

Not so for a longer stay.

Also, I am on a diet of low sugar, low salt, low carbs. I expect to go off diet while in Vegas, but I can arrange my room, so I'm not off diet for many meals.

I also go solo. Sometimes I'd much rather pick up a simple snack meal in my room than sit by myself in a restaurant. There I can write, listen to computer music, or the television.

And I have to do what my body demands. When it is time to sleep, I sleep. When I have a low energy day, I stay close to the room.

Gone are the days of flat out party.

My first trip to Vegas, my buddy and I made a pact to not sleep for the three days we were there. We were in Palace Station, and they had a shuttle to other Station casinos. We'd catch naps on the shuttle bus.

I'd often stay up late through the night playing live poker, especially at the Golden Nugget where in past days the bonus hands doubled in late night and early morning.

I played there once a few trips ago and had a great time with a guy I met, ordering Fireballs one after the other.

Then I returned to the Cal, slept a couple hours, and still under the influence, too my bags on the bus to my next destination, a night at Excalibur.

Those days are gone.

These things were of great help:

(some I packed; some I sent by Amazon to my nephew ahead of the visit, some I bought at Walmarts)

  • I carried with me daily one of those bags that are sectioned to hold six bottles of wine. I loved it. It held my plastic bib, my Benson's substitute salt, my Brother Bru Bru no salt or sugar hot sauce, my sun glasses, a bottle of water or seltzer, garlic powder, American casino guide coupons, whatever I wanted. Unlike a regular cloth bag, the sections separated things, so they were easy to find.

  • A small, folding electric hot water heater that turns off when done. Perfect for either tea or coffee.

  • A small stainless steel funnel that fits a ceramic cup and allows for dripped coffee

  • A ceramic cup, two small plates, a soup sized cup

  • Real silverware: two knives, two, spoons, two forks, wine and bottle opener, sharp knife, kitchen scissors

  • Ground coffee and Truvia packages.

  • Bar of Fels Napha laundry soap.

  • Steel metal scratcher

  • Teflon scratcher.

  • Clips for shades that don't quite close

  • Small flashlight

  • Rubber bands, plastic bags, and twisters.

  • room snacks

  • salt and pepper. I carry Benson's salt substitute.

  • Hot sauce. I need a salt free version. I like Brother Bru-Bru's original. {This trip I took the Chipolte and it is not as good.}

  • A couple cloth napkins

  • small lemon juice

  • garlic powder

  • corn tortillas (low salt)

  • rice cakes

  • Favorite drinks. I drink NA beer and took along a few cans of something from athletic brewery.

  • a few honey crisp apples

  • jar of Crazy Richard's peanut butter. When I packed a half jar from home, I had some sugar free chocolate from Penn Yan's Amish store and dropped them in the top of the jar. My suitcase was in the Vegas heat at my nephews house, and the chocolate melted into the peanut butter. Very good. Next time I'll do that on purpose.

I found I was quite comfortable, overall, and next trip I may well stay for three weeks.



One of the reasons I have not been flying is that I am not comfortable for more than 3 hours. Flights from Albany to Vegas, which used to be nonstop and under five hours are gone. Six is the best time, and some are seven and eight. For a while I could get a nonstop to Denver, stay over and see my son, lovely daughter-in-law, and then head out to Vegas.

That non-stop is also gone.

Actually, I can fly to Tampa from Albany and rest a bit, and then fly non-stop to Denver or Vegas in a much more comfortable manner. And the total air time is less than flying Albany to Vegas.

My wife and I were going to Denver to see the new granddaughter. So, to add in a Vegas trip, added just one short flight. The plane from Denver to Las Vegas was easy. Quick. Basically, for the cost of one two hour ride I could add two weeks of vacation in Vegas.

I imagine we will visit the granddaughter again, and we can use the same pattern, adding in a Vegas trip for very little extra money.

It was a crowded plane going from Denver to Vegas. Few seats were left. In front of me two Black women were delightfully full of anticipated joy. 

 One turned around and asked me my name.

 Then she told me her name was Bunny. Appropriate for Easter Sunday. This was Bunny's Easter trip.

I can't believe how much I can get into the suitcase and still not be overweight.  I'm happy to have bought such a light suitcase.

There is no way to easily prepare for security. It is different each place. Slip on shoes are very helpful. Next year I won't need to take off my shoes. There were no belt issues.

I did get a pat down at each place. I never was sure why.

Inadvertently, I had left a can of NA beer in my carry on from when I took my Blackhawk trip on the bus. I must have missed it when I packed.

There are places in this backpack where things hide out just as those socks do in the dryer.

What a mess while they tried to find what was setting off the alarm.

I was very embarrassed.


It cost $23 plus tip to catch an Uber with just me as a passenger to the airport.

I arrived in back in Crystal River at about midnight Florida time, and Elizabeth greeted me with a homemade and delicious chicken soup accompanied with a few key lime seltzers.

The journey went very smoothly, but I am still very uncomfortable flying even these relatively short flights.

Other issues I worried about were no problem. This one just doesn't go away.

I shared a row of seats with two of the largest women on the plane, so we that were wedged into a sort of forced intimacy, so to speak

However, they also giggled and talked Spanish together for a good portion of the trip, so I was well entertained, although they did not know it until one shook my hand at that end and said, "Nice to meet you," and I answered "Mucho gusto"..

I only followed small bits of the conversation about their nail colorings and their reservations about some Americanos in Georgia, but their Spanish was very clear and I caught enough of it to be entertained.

They did not seem delighted to know that the old gringo on the aisle had been listening to more than they had expected.

"Hablo solo un poco," I said when they asked if I spoke Spanish. And that is perfectly true.

However, I don't know if they believed me.

Anyway, I am safe, seem healthy, and getting ready for Florida adventures and a summer of bluegills. (Well, today I am ready for sleeping, seltzer, and more sleeping.) I found I gained five pounds on my food fling, so I'll be eating more in the correct manner to get that gone.

Much of it was water weight that dissipated over the next two days.

Buddy Mike picked me up at the airport at ten thirty.

He loves to drive.

He does the pickup at Tampa with perfect timing. He has done it so many times.

Now, there is a pal. He loved my stories, and we had a good visit back to Meadowcrest.

Without him I would have stayed overnight somewhere as Elizabeth does not like driving after dark into Tampa.

He is a grand friend. He does so much for us.



My reasons for choosing this spot for my two week stay in Vegas probably do not reflect what most folks want when they go to Vegas.

However, age has crept up on me, and I don't much like large crowds or have the stamina to see late night shows.

I don't navigate well.

I get confused easily.

Longhorn strengths for me included:

  • It was the cheapest in all Vegas.

  • It was near a Walmarts, so I could get room foods that better fit my diets, or anything I might have forgotten to pack.

  • I did go off diet for certain meals, but going solo, I would rather just grab something tasty and listen to WRVO NPR in my room.

  • It had a coin laundry which is luxury compared to my bar of Fels Naptha and a tub or often just the sink.

  • And coin here is not a euphemism. It took quarters only. A dollar got Tide soap. Another dollar for clorox. Another got dryer sheets. Two got the shortest wash. Two more got a fairly long dry. Two washers, two dryers open 24 hours and everything worked.

  • It had a tub. Doc says I should soak once a day in oatmeal. These tubs are small with short sides. This is perfect for me because I have trouble getting out of them if they are deep. This one is easier to exit than my jacuzzi tub at home.

  • It was just steps to two bus routes, Boulder Highway and 202 Flamingo to the strip.

  • Some of the best VP left in Vegas is along the Boulder highway: Sam's town, Boulder Station, Arizona Charlie's. In addition, a live poker game happens at Boulder Station. 3-6 limit. This turned out to not be so great.

  • This casino is very small. It is easier for me to negotiate. A walk from room to elevator was short, no winding mazes.

  • There is not good VP, but I played a Bonus Poker 7/5 with a Progressive royal here that charted out to about 98%. Not great. But with little mobility, sleepless nights, etc. I have to give up something. Also, on Thursdays they have a promotion that matches any royal with the same amount in free play. So, that ups the EV.

  • There are elevators

  • The Chuckwagon served delicious, inexpensive food 24/7.

The rooms were clean and there was a flat screen TV, good window curtains, a fine desk for the computer, plenty of drawers and nooks for clothes, and a small refrigerator so I could keep my room food fresh.

There was no clock, but I have time on my computer, a phone with an alarm, and the hotel does wake up calls.

There was no coffee pot, but I bring a little folding water heater and a stainless steel drip funnel. I like to make just one half cup at a time and then the coffee does not get cold.

The same pot makes tea, and unlike doing that in some coffee pot after coffee has been brewed, there are no left over flavors because the coffee is external to the boiling pot. This trip I brought a blend of left over coffee from Denver and bought some San Francisco Kona coffee at Walmarts blend that my nephew ground for me.

I also use the pot to make no salt bouillon with garlic spice and any left over vegetables from the restaurant. Except broccoli. I hate broccoli in soup unless it is a cheese soup. To make soup I bring a soup cup, which is also a fine cup for steeping tea, letting it cool, and making iced tea later.

However, I plugged the hot pot into the same strip that served the television and the refrigerator and clicked the circuit off. It took me a while to get the television back.

After that, I plugged in the bathroom. That makes sense anyway because the water is there.

The rooms were quiet enough, but not like those plush no noise places. I could hear murmurings of conversation as I fell asleep. I think once I heard a television. once I just barely heard a snorer. If there were to be a huge fight in the next room, I'd hear it. However, after my first night, I did not seem to have neighbors very often.

All in all, there is the sense that I had gone back into time here at the Longhorn. This is the Vegas I remember when I started getting basic, inexpensive rooms. With the resort fee and taxes and room charge, it cost me $600 for twelve nights, starting on a Sunday and ending on a Friday.

I booked on, but I'll book directly next time, so if I do feel unable to get around, and if I choose to gamble here more than late nights and small amounts, I can use the points to pay for rooms. They seem to add up fairly quickly.

I got 500 points just for checking in. Folks who never had a card would get 1000. That is enough for a free strawberry shortcake. Also, they gave me a logo mask that they sell for $7, and a small plastic logo water bottle, a coupon for $2 off $10 at Chuckwagon, some free slot play, and one free drink at the bar.

Doesn't that remind you of old Vegas with her bling?

Oh, on some booking sites it said the wifi came with a charge. Basic wifi does not. It is included in the nightly resort fee

unless you need something more advanced.

Here is printed clarification:

The Longhorn Casino & Hotel on Boulder Hwy. charges $7.90 ($8.93 after tax) resort fee per night. It covers pool, hot tub and wifi. This info came from an email from the property.

I usually make some conversation in Vegas, but it is hard with masks and distance.

I miss that because then I really am solo.

There were quite a few Spanish speakers, but it went too fast. even when it was not mask muffled, for me to comprehend much.

There were some young people, especially later at night. However, it was generally filled with old codgers like me.

In reviews I read some reports of security being abrasive to guests.

I did not see any of that. What I saw was security laughing and joking with some the regulars, holding doors for me, asking me if I needed anything, and in general being both professional and friendly.

But then I don't often break rules.

I saw one, who when patrolling our hallway, lightly pushed on each door to see it was fully latched. The doors latched well, but it was good to pull them and check. Once I left mine ajar to wait for help with my television, and security was there asking why it was ajar.

There were also in reviews some reports of poor wifi, and the desk clerk agreed that it sometimes happens, especially to some laptops.

I called ahead and told the clerk it was important to me, and she figured a room on the second floor would be my best bet. 228 was my room. I had full bars. A few times it did not load right away or there was an interruption in service, but for what I do, it was just perfect and better than some I have experienced in pricy places, including the house we rented in Denver.

The television had a huge selection in channels and did not have that annoying stutter that sometimes comes with modern sophisticated systems. I had that verbal stutter at the fancy Monarch in Blackhawk, CO. And the remote is a retired, one eyed guy's dream. Very simple. Change channel, change volume, mute, turn on, turn off. I want one of these for home.

Uni it was called. I can't find it on the internet. There were no numbers on the remote, and there were not a million buttons to confuse me.

There was a televised chart in the system that posted which channels were on which numbers and I just would scroll to them.

I dislike most television, and no commercials. However, I love TCM, and they had it. That is rare in Vegas. Sadly, I have watched TCM so often during lock down at home that I've just about seen everything in the 30's or 40's. I watched one I had seen while I unpacked, but not much after that.

There was at least one other channel without commercials, and I watched the end of Mrs. Doubtfire on it, but I don't know the number or name.


menu:CHUCKWAGON RESTAURANT – Your Vintage Vegas Destination (

In reviews of cheap eats in Vegas the Chuckwagon at the Longhorn is sometimes mentioned.  More often it is completely ignored.

I think it probably overall is the cheapest place to eat in Vegas.

And the food is good and available 24/7.

I ate the $9 porterhouse steak quite a few times. There was a choice of potato and I picked the mashed. It came with some brown gravy. The vegetable once was a mixture of green beans and other bits and it was very good. Once it was a corn mix. Once it was a broccoli but that was not my favorite.

I had a turkey casserole and it was good, but not spectacular.

I had the steak and lobster. It was good, but the steak was tough in some sections. I liked the porterhouse better. Of course, the lobster tails, coming in frozen, are not as good a fresh lobster from Maine, bought live and cooked at home. But I liked a taste of their lobster just the same.

The service was excellent. There was a 30 minute to an hour wait time because it is a popular place for locals. Some meals can be take out, and that goes more quickly, but the porterhouse cannot.

It was not a quiet retreat, but it was not overly noisy. Conversation was easy. There may have been some light music from the casino, but it was not what I experience everywhere I go to eat. There were no annoying sports televisions in my face.

I asked for medium rare, and that is what I got each time. It even had that little plastic marker to indicate how it was cooked. Since my first steak was not a really thick steak, I marvel that a chef can get this right. I am often in restaurants where they don't.

Served with the steak was Heinz 57 and A1 sauce. I use neither.

I just drank water and it was refilled in a timely manner without my needing to ask, but always with my option to say no.

I found the second steak a bit thicker. That might explain that this one picked up more grill flavor as it must have cooked longer to get it to medium rare.

A roll came with the meal. I rarely eat the rolls in restaurants, but this one was very tasty, again more like the old days.

I also went down for a graveyard specials when I woke in the middle of the night and was restless.

The $1.49 biscuit and gravy was good. It is a plain gravy, not rich in sausage, but it was good. It was a good portion as well. I was laughing as I tipped because I can't remember tipping over 100% of a meal.

One midnight I had played live poker at the Nugget for about ten hours,  and then took the long bus ride back.  I had not eaten since morning and I added the pancakes. 

 They were incredible! All you can eat was $2.29, but the first order was all I could eat. The plates are larger than the average diner plates.

If paid by charge card, the receipt comes with a series of tips, mathematically computed for our convenience. Very helpful.

I kept looking at the dessert case. There were so many delightful choices.

Unfortunately, at this age, I just don't have the appetite I once had.

Then one night I had a bit of appetite. It was late, and I had not eaten since morning. I had the $7 turkey casserole special and decided to follow with a $3 slice of pecan pie. It was good, but I could only finish half, so the rest of it went into the refrigerator for another day.

This night I sat in the far back corner. The table there moves so that I'm comfortable in the booth seat, facing all the action. Some of the booths are too tight for me to eat comfortably.

I don't usually like eating solo, but this was a great seat with fine perspective on people passing. Then too, I've gone so many times now that all the waitresses know me and say hi.

I like them.

There was one fellow cleaning down tables who was new. He had a speech impediment. So he really had to struggle to be heard through his mask. Yet he was very responsive if called over.

However, my waitress must have gone home, and when it came time for a bill, I had to ask for it. I asked this fellow and he was just fine getting me the bill.

That only happened once.

One older waitress here only wears a plastic face shield. I guess that is allowed.

I sure liked watching people, although I could not hear anything. I was sorry because there was one fellow who was telling stories and was very animated. I wanted to hear his stories.

I have really liked this place.

The turkey casserole was just okay. It was bits of turkey, green beans, some other vegetables and some mashed potatoes all combined. I like more spice, but I always carry with me my Benson's salt substitute and there was pepper. I also was carrying my no salt, no sugar, no anything Brother Bru Bru hot sauce, but it did not seem right for the turkey. I had it on vegetables.

When I was planning this trip, I was very hyped about getting some upscale meals at The Angry Butcher at Sam's or The Broiler at Boulder Station. However, it never worked out that when I was in those places, I wanted to eat. I tried too late at the Broiler after live poker. It closed at ten.

I saw both and they looked great if you were not eating solo. Expensive, but a real treat.


All varieties of beer could be had at $1.50 each at the Longhorn. The bar was packed.

I got Heineken 00 NA while gambling, and it was tasty. I had not liked it very much in New York. Perhaps bottles taste better than cans. It was common in other places as well. It does not end up being my favorite, but it works, and I'm not afraid of having a few because unlike other NA, this one has no alcohol.

One night the drink service was slow so I took my free drink coupon and a dollar tip to the bar. The bartender was very efficient in spite of a fully packed bar.






They now deal to 8 people, with particians in between and an uninforced rule on masks.

After each the entire personal area is wiped down.

I was surprised that the plastic partitions were still easy to talk through

although reflections sometimes made it seem like the fellow next to me had cards when he did not.

However, talk was fairly limited to those players sitting near or the voice was raised a good bit.

There was a new use for a card protector. With it, the reflection of my cards which made them seem to be in front of my neighbor made clear what I was seeing in the partician.

The game was really a 2-4 dream. It was very loose with some very poor players.

I was up $100, but only $60 when I decided to quit. Players had gotten better and I had gotten too loose.

I started playing just after noon. I quit just after 10 PM and quite a number of those large 11.55 oz bottles of Perrier with a lime forced down into the bottle.

A Marine Viet Nam vet named Mark turned me on to the soft jazz sounds of Kenny D.

He had gotten this music for his father who loved old jazz.

I asked what music did your father like.

He heard, “What was your father like,” and I got the grandest run of childhood stories and memories from this Marine.

Barbecue and church and prejudice in the Air Force where his father had done service.

Mark's father would invite all his fellow airmen to a grand barbecue in his driveway, and he did know how to do barbecue.

Prejudiced whites not only did not come, but gave those white folks who did come a very hard time when they were back on the job.

The woman next to me and her brother-in-law only spoke Spanish, but I did not try mine because the rule is English only, and they were having a hard time enforcing it.

It used to be just during a hand. Now it is at all times.

One loud fellow never stopped talking and every so often he would change his seat and make people stand.

I was first playing at the end of the table and I don't see well enough to play comfortably. I asked for a seat change button, indicating I wanted a middle seat if one became available.

Seat change guy had no such button when he attempted to take a middle seat that came open. The player next to me spoke up to the dealer and I got the seat.

The fellow was a pushy fellow. He said, “I have this, this, and this and I'm already here.”

What you don't have is the ticket,” I countered, showing him my seat change button.

Many of the players lost calling second best hands. It was haard to know what to do sometimes because they would bet on just a high pair.

One fellow just could not understand how he lost with his flopped straight to my flopped flush, and my inside draw on a straight flush for bonus money. He had bet it. I had only called because I had the 5-8 of diamonds from the blind and a higher flush could beat me. This guy was oblivious to the flush.


2-4 poker is as much about the poker as it is about the players.

At this table I met a teacher from Hawaii who had taught Hawaiian language and culture there for 40 years. Very interesting. We shared teaching stories for a while between hands.

A few years back at this same table I had met a young woman from an Alaskan who explained how her village prepared the salmon.

Also at this table was a Texan who now lives in Vegas and a fellow from California who had experiences soot from the fires.


This time there were a couple brothers from Wisconsin who were on their way from this game to Portland, as well as a guy from Oklahoma who had horses.

I shared with him this old Arlo Guthrie song:
Many a month has come and gone
Since I've wandered from my home
In those Oklahoma hills
Where I was born

Many a page of my life has turned
Many lessons I have learned
And I feel like in those hills
Where I belong

Way down yonder in the Indian nation
Ridin' my pony on the reservation
In the Oklahoma hills where I was born

Way down yonder in the Indian nation
A cowboy's life is my occupation
In the Oklahoma Hills where I was born

But as I sit here today
Many mile's I am away
From the place I rode my pony
Through the draw

Where the oak and black-jack trees
Kiss the playful prairie breeze
And I feel back in those hills
Where I belong

Oklahoma also had a brother who lived in Penn Yan on Keuka Lake in the New York finger lakes. My last road trip before the Covid lockdown had been to Penn Yan.

I also told him that in the literary publication out of the Penn Yan library, Bluff and Vine, I had published five haikus, each about a different Finger Lakes fish, and that I had submitted four poems for their next edition.

I'm not sure how the table felt about having a published poet at their poker table.

At one end of the table for a while was a retired Air Force vet who had been to an astounding number of places in the world. He would be sent in, fix a certain type of problem, and then leave for somewhere else.

He had been to Torrejon, Spain where I was stationed, but he did not seem to know anything about Torrejon or Madrid. I suppose if you just duck in and duck out of a country, and probably spend most of your time with other military on the base, you don't really get much of a travel experience.

He had been to Antartica.

He had loved Australia. But he passed on the myth that McDonald's used kangaroo meat for the hamburgers there. It started, as far as I can tell, when Jack in the Box tried to pass off some kangaroo as beef and were caught.

He also claimed that in Austrailia gas was currently $8 a gallon and so we had nothing to whine about here in the US, but I can't find anything like those numbers.

I found nothing like he reported.

FuelPrice Australia | Australian fuel pricing trends

When I researched back to earlier decades, the gas was incredibly cheap, just as it was in the US.

So while poker players may be interesting, some of their stories may just be their own mental fantasies.

It makes me wonder if he also exaggerated his career details.

At any rate, he was soon out of money and off to explore downtown, Las Vegas.

Next to me sat a dark haired woman from Albuquerque. She was very friendly and very attractive.

We joked a bit.

She was friendly, but soon she was on her phone.

She did not play well. While I was in the bathroom, she hit a straight flush, but she did not know that she needed 10 dollars in the pot for the bonus. Too bad.

I had the best hand of my Vegas trip at this table.

I was dealt 3-5 offsuit in the big blind. Most players called the two dollars and I checked.

The flop gave me an inside straight draw by putting up the deuce and the six.

Then the betting started.

The flop, in stages of betting, was capped.

I was squeezed into the cap and uncomfortable, but I felt sure many people had big cards.

The turn was a 4 and made my straight. I bet, and again before we were done the pot was capped at $10.

The river was something like a seven. Again the pot was capped.

One player said he was just betting because he was on tilt, and I believed him.

So, I took down a pot of well over a hundred dollars.

I had been forty dollars down, and I never went below my buy in again, although some of my winnings were lost before I left.


I went to Boulder Station to try the 3-6 game. I like 3-6 better than 2-4. However, I found the players very tight and the pots very small. Perhaps they were gathered just to try for the bad beat as it was up to $196,000.

That happens, and it would also explain why the place was packed.

The people were not in a party mood. They were uninteresting and just there for the poker. So, it was dull.

I won a string of hands which at any other game would have made me a nice profit, but with those small pots I just ended up a few dollars.

I also found the Casino hard to navigate and incredibly crowded. I don't see well, and I get lost easily. It was not like Sam's Town where there is a central isle and great signage. I find it easy to navigate that place.

Finally, to come back on the bus, I had to either walk a long, long way up to light and a long, long way back, or jaywalk.

I should not be jaywalking on Boulder Highway, especially at night, but I did it this once.

I picked a turn off lane, made it there, rested, and then did the rest.

I hated the bus stop. It was in front of some closed business and gated. It was very quiet. One fellow came while I waited. I was not comfortable after dark there.

So, I won't go to Boulder Station again unless I am on my way downtown and just stop off for a visit. The bus stop for buses going toward downtown is right in front of the casino.





I chased the Longhorn royal on the 7/5 progressive right up to $1199.98 one day and then gave it a rest for a while.

On Thursdays the Longhorn adds a match free play up to one thousand dollars in free play to any royal.

That certainly adds to the EV.

The following Thursday I chased again until the day ended. By that time I could have hit the royal, paid the taxes and still had a good hit. The progressive was up to $1290.

I did not often do well at the Longhorn, but I did once hit quad Aces for $100, and on my last day, while I waited for breakfast, I was nearly down $40, but hit a quad and ended ahead a few dollars.

Some of the reason I play at the Longhorn is that at times I do not have much energy for walking, even the short walk to Sam's Town. In the old days I would never have played these low pay tables.

I also should add that the accumulation of points is much faster at the Longhorn than other places, more like I remember it used to be. That shaves a bit of the downside of the low pay tables.

Also, the points are worth the same in cashback as they are in food comps, and they stay on the Player's card forever, so if I go back a year from now, a few will be waiting for me. Most other casinos erase points after three months. And B Connected has been recalibrated so that a tourist coming just once a year hardly earns anything.


I played full pay deuces wild at Sam's Town. One night I broke even; another night I lost $100 playing dimes. (one has to be a special kind of bad VP player to lose a hundred playing dimes....well, that's me.)

That is very discouraging. I got good advice from the Veggas Message Board expert VP players. I've been practicing, I carry Linda Boyd's strategy card, but my VP game I don't think is as good as my live poker.

The next time I went back to my old and well loved game of 10/7 Double Bonus. Again I played in dimes. I liked it better, and I'm pretty well going to abandon Deuces wild games for Double Bonus if Sam's keeps it in the inventory in nickles and dimes.

On that Sunday at Sam's Town, when I lost at dimes there was no crowding. Even Boulder Highway traffic was down a bit. Sam's was not crowded at all. I easily found a spot to play. The only noise was that damn Buffalo machine shouting out all the time.

Okay, Okay, I know there are many lovers of that slot, some of them are my friends, but it is the most obnoxious game for those who are playing video poker and trying to concentrate on hard choices.

And the one at Sam's is exceptionally loud.

It should be played with earphones.

It completely drowned out the ding of my game that tells me I have a hand.

Then there were the repeated, over and over and over and over again the often repeated explanation on the PA about the rule to wear masks.

Is there anyone now who does not know it is a rule?

Some don't follow it, but they certainly know the rule.

It is as annoying as that often repeated message at the airports 911 warning about not abandoning luggage and not taking stuff from others. “If anyone gives you anything.... and blah, blah, blah.”

I did report a piece of abandoned luggage one time years ago at the Albany airport. An old woman hopped in the car that picked her up and left her bag on the sidewalk.

Just forgot, I suppose.

But out came the bomb checking team, and I moved down and away from the luggage.

Hey, old woman or not, ya never know. Why, she might have been to Vegas and lost $100 in Sam's Town video poker playing dimes, and so have become so damn crazy mad that she wanted to blow something up.

However, I take responsibility for all the noise bothering me, because I forgot to pack my noise reduction ear muffs. They make a great different in ambiance. Although I still can't hear the ding.

I have on order a new and less cumbersome pair with good reviews. Next time I'll be prepared.

If there actually are some people who really still don't know the rules require a mask, perhaps they could be escorted out to an outside casino wall, blindfolded, and shot.

Then that announcement would be unnecessary.

I'm sure the message will not change the habits of the, “mask around my neck folks,” or those of the, "I don't actually breathe through my nose, so I don't need that covered."

Excuse me for ranting, but did I mention I lost a hundred playing dimes?
I walked the courtyard and it was delightful with all the lights and sounds. I did not see the wolf, if he is still appearing. The bear waved at me from above the rushing waterfall, and the owl turned his head and hooted in a very authentic tone. I have owls hooting in the night around where I live in Burden Lake. They sound like this animated fellow.
I was going to grab a selfie of me eating a $2 McDonald's hamburger and send it to fellow Vegas Message board member, zignerlv, just to raze him a bit because he rages about the take over of food outlets at Sam's by chains.

But I had to save my appetite for the $7 special at the Longhorn, which on Sundays is turkey casserole, a glob of turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, and other unidentifiable bits.

It was good enough, but not my favorite.
I had taken the bus up to Sam's, but walked back in the delightful evening air. There were few people walking along Boulder highway, at least on the RV side of the road. It was delightful, and I was again amazed that I could do it so easily and remain fresh for supper.

Walking anywhere or just sometimes standing has tired me out lately.
I still don't know how to evaluate the safety of walking Boulder Highway at night. I could have gotten more into populated areas if I had crossed to Walmarts plaza.

But this quiet path is very pleasant and has lots of old memories as I often walked it to get to the East Side Cannery back in the days when it was open, or to the Nevada Palace before that.

My relatives who live in the area tell me it is safe in that stretch.

I never worried about such things, but I see myself as an easy target, and as one who no longer would have much ability to resist.

Of course, had they taken all my money, I'd have just said to them, “You missed $100 because I lost it at Sam's playing Full Pay Deuces Wild in dimes.” Suckaaaaah!!


The old progressive VP at the Vue bar upstairs at the D is still there with progressives for royal, straight flushes, and those lower paying quads of 5 to K.

I played twice.

I only hit the lower paying quad progressive for an extra seven dollars.

I love the Vue, but I won't go there at night again.

It is just too noisy. People at tables were shouting in such a loud voice, that I suspect they could be heard all the way to Longhorn. That and the music took away the comfort. I really do need to my construction ear phones next trip.

Earlier in the day this can be a very quiet area, although the Vegas which will after all restrictions are lifted will be so crowded I doubt anyplace will be quiet.

The Vue Bar Progressive and the Golden Nugget live poker tend to make me think I might like splitting my next trip between Long Horn and the Four Queens in order to get access to those plays.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021




I made it from a coupon run and steak and eggs special at Ellis Island to the Bellagio Conservatory to see the latest display and the lobby to see that spectacular chihuly glass blown ceiling display.

I remembered it was just a short walk to the Bellagio, but for some reason, since I had last walked it, city planners had moved Bally's, Planet Hollywood, Paris and the Bellagio much farther apart from one another.

So it was a challenge, and very tiring.

However, to soften the affect of temperatures approaching 90 degrees, nature had kindly created a strong wind that kept us all cool.

Of course, there is never anywhere to sit for a bit and rest up between stretches.

Vegas does not want us to sit unless we are gambling. But I did remember the Deuce bus stop where there was one bench and I sat there resting with another disheveled old fellow. Neither of us was going to take the bus, but we could rest.

He was also collecting cigarette butts that folks had discarded, but I did not need to do that because I don't smoke.

I knew just where to enter Bellagio. There is a short escalator going into the Bellagio, and then a long shaded path, somewhat elevated which really gives a grand view of the neighboring casinos.

After a long meandering walk on that elevated path, I went into the main lobby to see the chihuly.

Then I stopped and listened to a bit of really fine piano coming from the lounge. I could have rested there, but I'm just too cheap to pay ten dollars for a seltzer, just for a temporary seat.

Why, I'd just stopped with coupons at Ellis island on the way down and had an entire steak and eggs breakfast special for just $6.99,(reduced from $11.99) and in my American Casino Guide couponing and free play, I won. I lost the $10 craps matchplay, but I got to roll the dice. 10 was the point. I did not add free odds. I don't know why. But on my third role I sevened out, so it worked in my favor. I left Ellis ahead $5.

I was sorry to see the new Ellis Island had no full pay VP at the quarter level. It is at the dollar level only.

They did, however, have some roulette machines that were single zero. That meant 2.70% house advantage, reduced from the unplayable 5.6% of a 2 zero wheel. So I used that to qualify for freeplay and to play it.

I made the famous low volatility bet. A dollar on the black, and a dollar on the last column which is mostly red. I went up and down, but quit ahead each session.

I was well entertained at the restaurant. There was a 40 minute wait, but since I was only one, they had a spot for me in the lounge and seated me right away.

I sat in the back, facing the bar and all the action.

In came eight pretty young women and I delighted in watching them. They were there for a while, until one realized that Ellis was not very Vegan, and she was. So they left without ordering.

Then a Spanish family took their spot, and I could hear some of it, and follow a bit. My Spanish has dwindled, and I like it when I get to listen.

Anyway, when I got to the Bellagio Conservatory, I tried to cheat and enter the exit, but I got caught with two other fellows and politely asked to join the line at the entrance. That is new, to restrict crowds during covid, but it meant twenty more minutes of standing that I did not welcome.

I endured.

The display was wonderful, all flowers and flower constructions and a great Buddha section and a fine elephant spraying water, and two large displays of hummingbirds.

I was delighted with it, and delighted to have made the walk, my longest hike since well before Covid.

The wind gave the six sets of flowered girls (who were looking for folks to pay to have their photos taken with them) a real challenge and a couple decided to abandon their regular spot and look for a wind sheltered area back at Bally's.

So, I followed two of them, with their tall feathers reaching high into the air.

They are very sexy from the back because the fine mesh they wear makes it look like they are naked.

And that broke some of the weariness of the walk.

I took another rest on my bus stop bench. This time by myself.

And then I made the last part of the hike back.

My only disappointments were the fountains did not seem to be working, and Bally's poker room was closed that day.

However, in truth I was so exhausted that I would not have made a very good poker player, and the fountains not working made me not feel bad about missing escargot and steak steak au poivre at Mon Ami Gabe.

I took the bus back and slept like a dead man for about three hours, and then arranged to see relatives.