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Las Vegas et ceteras
woofmutt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2604
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2003-06-09 4:56 pm   Permalink

Since everyone's always going and always seems to be looking for interetsing stuff...

Mandalay Bay is often overlooked by visitors but it's a really swell casino that's worth the trip (at the south end of the strip next to Luxor, so it's not a stretch). The casino is swank and the high concept restaurants (Rum Jungle has been mentioned here before) are worth a look-see. What's really cool is Mandalay Bay's fountain area out front. Mountains of rocks, plants, stone elephants, giant urns overflowing with water, and a huge "temple" structure. It's really great at night when you'll pretty much have it all to yourself as very few venture out there. Take a drink with you, but not one from the casino bars which are overpriced and lousy.

Imperial Palace is worth a walk through if your one of those who whine for "old Vegas". The casino is low ceilinged and cramped, mostly utilitarian except for really cool Chinese serpentine dragon decorations. The very small Mai Tai Bar at the back of the casino has some Chinese decor and has a definite dive bar feel to it (borrowed atmosphere from the casino). In the casino men's room the sink area has a huge selection of hairsprays, tonics, gels, shaving creams, and colognes favored by the over 60 set. There's an attendant who also has a shoe shine stand. Upstairs (or up broken escalator as was the case) is the Tiki themed Emperor's Buffet. A floor above that is a small dim piano bar area surrounded by themed restaurants. The Imperial Palace also has a great classic car collection which you can get into for free if you hunt the kiosks and in room mags for a coupon.

You'll be thrilled to know a good sized chunk of the front of the Flamingo is currently being remodeled into...Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville!!!

Somewhat across from the Stardust at 2958 Las Vegas Blvd S is the Peppermill restaurant. Its Fireside Lounge (mentioned here before) is very cool. Inside it's like late 1979 with low backed deep red velvet-esque booths, lots of brass trim, mirrored walls, fake trees, and dim light. The focal point of the lounge is a round aqua pool of bubbling water with flames. There's seating around the fire water and with the bubbling noise and sunken pit design it sort of feels like sitting in a dry hot tub. The waitresses all wear full length black gowns split up to the thigh and they sit down with you to take your order. The drinks are mostly tropical, large and well garnished, fairly good and seemingly completely lacking in alcohol (this was from a sample of 5 different drinks on two different nights). Avoid their Zombie which tasted like it was made with sour mix and more sour mix. One door over from the Peppermill is La Concha Motel which has a super googie wavy roofed office building with a mostly original interior (the desk clerk didn't mind the googie admiring visitors).

Signage...The best night time drive is heading north on the strip from Sands Ave to downtown. There's the nice cluster of casinos in the Stardust to Sahara area and north of that are a lot of small motels with really great neon (much of it kept in full working order). This stretch of Las Vegas Blvd isn't as heavily packed on weekend nights, so drivng isn't much of a pain. If you're a fan of old motels you'll appreciate the design and layouts of many of the properties. For a daytime drive head east on Fremont street from Las Vegas Blvd. There are tons of great motels signs along the way (until Sahara). Some of them are just the remnant forms, but you can still enjoy the design. Only a few of these have working neon, that's why it's a good day time drive.

More signange...Downtown's Neonopolis has more restored classic neon signs like the ones that were installed on Fremont street a few years back.

Natural life...The Desert Demonstration Garden at 3701 W Alta Drive is really nice, free, and I've never seen it very busy...Plant World is a large commercial nursery at 5301 W Charelston. Lots of interesting live stuff you don't see in most of the U.S. What makes it a fun visit are the numerous parrots they keep on perches throughout the nursery...Red Rock Canyon park is way out west on Charelston and well worth a visit (more red rocks can be seen north of Las Vegas at Valley of Fire State Park, more of a day trip destination)...If you visit Red Rock continue west on 159 (Charleston) until you come to Cactus Joes at ("Cactus Sale" signs along the road will alert you). It's a sprawling cactus nursery which also has tons of affordably priced pots and concrete garden stuff and mounds of different colored chunks of glass. The people who run it are incredibly layed back and friendly.





 
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Tikitack
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 43
From: Southern Cali
Posted: 2003-06-10 8:18 pm   Permalink

Hey we're staying at the Flamingo on July 3rd and 4th!!!

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2003-06-11 12:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-06-10 20:18, Tikitack wrote:
Hey we're staying at the Flamingo on July 3rd and 4th!!!



You're going to LOVE the pool! Also, if you like Burlesque see the show called "Bottom's Up!" at the Flamingo. It's a bawdy show that hasn't changed much in 40 years.
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Frenchy Polynesia
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Joined: Apr 05, 2002
Posts: 0
Posted: 2003-06-11 2:39 pm   Permalink

Darnit, guys - why didn't I get this info before my first-ever trip to Vegas last weekend?!!?

(I'm making arrangements to have my b-day at the Daly City Peppermill this year, btw - the Peppermill ROCKS!)
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2003-06-11 2:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-06-11 14:39, Frenchy Polynesia wrote:
Darnit, guys - why didn't I get this info before my first-ever trip to Vegas last weekend?!!?

(I'm making arrangements to have my b-day at the Daly City Peppermill this year, btw - the Peppermill ROCKS!)



Sorry Frenchy, but lots of this info is on old TC posts. Try a search on Mondo Tiki.

How was your trip?

I love the Peppermill! I think the only one I have NOT been to is Daly City. Have been to Concord, Reno, Vegas, and Sacramento locations.
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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2003-06-11 3:07 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-06-11 14:39, Frenchy Polynesia wrote:
(I'm making arrangements to have my b-day at the Daly City Peppermill this year, btw - the Peppermill ROCKS!)



I took one of my friends from L.A. to the Daly City Peppermill when she was here on a recent visit. All she could say was "I CAN'T STOP SMILING!"

She later told me that the Daly City and Vegas Peppermills are identical.

--cindy

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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2003-06-11 3:10 pm   Permalink

Just went to the Daly City one two weeks ago. It the only one I've been to. It's classic. Brass & neon everywhere, very late 70s feel. Fake blooming cherry blossom trees. Got the big signature drink. Can't remember what it's called, but it was blue and suprisingly good. Also incredibly strong. My plans of running errands in Daly City were put on hold for about two hours as I enjoyed the flaming waters and then some chicken fried steak. Nothing like getting plowed and eating fried meat. Goooood afternoon.

We'll be hitting the Reno one in late July.


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2003-06-11 3:16 pm   Permalink

Many years ago, I had to go to Concord for a solo business trip. I was all alone out there in that sea of concrete & car dealerships, and didn't know what to do to entertain myself, so I stumbled across the Peppermills. I'd never heard of Peppermills before, and when I went into the bar -- so surreal. I felt like I'd just stepped into a time warp. The bar was totally empty, I was just sitting in there drinking alone. I was quite unsettled by the whole experience; I liked the place, and I felt dirty for liking it.

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Cultjam
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 21, 2002
Posts: 367
From: Phoenix, Arizona
Posted: 2003-06-11 3:32 pm   Permalink

It's a required ritual of mine to have a Bloody Mary in the Peppermill Lounge on the last morning of every trip to Vegas or Reno. It's been years since I've been to Reno but on my last trip to Vegas (for Mondo of course) I was horrified to see small flat screen tvs wrapped above the fireplace in the lounge and over the bar. It used to be a dark, calm and quiet retreat from the brightness and clamor outside, you could be hypnotized by the flames in the water. That small space of nirvana has now been usurped by blasting surround sound music and in-your-face video.

Hopefully the other two have not been ruined by these travesties. I had no idea there was a third location!


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2003-06-11 3:45 pm   Permalink

All of the Peppermill lounges I've been to look the same - hooray! The Reno Peppermill hotel also has other lounges such as the one filled with aquariums. It was great but I heard they changed it recently. You'll have to give us a report Martin. Don't forget to see the miniature golf course with huge moai while in Reno (it's on South Virginia Street). And of course Trader Dick's. Are you staying at the Nugget? Best place to stay in my book. That or one of the neat old motels downtown.
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2003-06-11 4:41 pm   Permalink

We were planning on staying at the Nugget for easy Dick access. (Hmm, that sure came out wrong). I looked at the Peppermill for a change of pace, but it's too pricey for this trip. Can't wait to check out all of the Peppermill lounges. One stop crawl! I understand there's even a legitimate art museum in Reno now. Imagine that! Love the Moai- easy to see from the freeway. Every city should have a roadside moai.

And of course, no stop would be complete without a visit to:



I prefer the Palace.


 
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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2003-06-11 4:53 pm   Permalink


Without a visit to the National Bowling Center, no trip to Reno is complete!

http://www.renolaketahoe.com/bowl/stadium/?PHPSESSID=2b5372bfb346b22aeba3d79901a2af0a
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2003-06-11 5:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-06-11 16:41, martiki6 wrote:I understand there's even a legitimate art museum in Reno now. Imagine that!



There's also a great auto museum downtown but I have not been there. I'm getting hungry for an Awful-Awful burger!
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2003-06-11 5:15 pm   Permalink

The auto museum is top-notch! Fantastic collection! More fun, (but probably not as valuable) as the one at Blackhawk.

Remind me where the awful-awful burger is again. I saw it on Insomniac the other day, but I can't remember where it was.


 
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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2003-06-11 5:23 pm   Permalink


Is that the Harrah's car collection you're talking about?


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