Las Vegas Weekend

California Hotel

Downtown will
eat you alive.


Part 1 - The Arrival

Driving from Denver, Matt and Amy arrived first and checked into the top-floor (Floor 7) suites at the Gold Spike in Downtown. Disappointed only begins to describe how they felt by these $33 rooms. They were not prepared to be dropped into the lap of luxury, but that's exactly what they found themselves.

Here we are walking.

From Left to Right: Steve, Brett, Robert, Amy, Dan, Ghizal and Matt make a show of force on Fremont Street.

A stay at the Gold Spike should be characterized by mouse holes, dirty fixtures and trash under the beds. Instead, the suites were recently renovated, clean with new carpet, and huge. One suite had three full sized rooms: a sitting room with a new large television, sofa (which folded out into a bed), table, desk and a balcony; a bedroom with two new beds with new sheets and blankets, another new television and another balcony; and finally an oversized bathroom and closet. The joint felt intimidating, and the normal amount of damage our group would have normally done seemed inappropriate in such posh surroundings. It meant we would have to cause our trouble elsewhere.

Robert arrived next, which was a boon, because one goal of this trip was to make him eat until he threw up, and the earlier he started his eating rampage the better. Last time, it took nine hamburgers and about three pounds of fries, and he lost it all right in front of the Greyhound Station. He swore to have transformed into a more responsible glutton. Nobody bought it.

The Gold Spike suite sitting room - where
danger and action happen!

The sleeping room - where down time and
Atomic Fireball wars are inevitable.

Mark and Dan were due to arrive from San Francisco right around this time, but just as their plane began its descent, a massive dust storm blew through town and their plane was diverted back to California, never to return. Well, not until 11 pm or so. In the meantime, an always hungry Robert became a willing participant in the mission to make him vomit by wolfing down a Lady Luck foot long weiner.

Matt, Amy and Robert were joined by Phil and Ghizal, who rolled in from Southern California, and tried to get food at the Main Street Station Buffet, but it was closing just as they showed up at ten pm. Plus, on Friday night it was one of those fancy-shmancy seafood buffets the casinos want you to think is some special treat.

Down the street, the Paradise Buffet at the Fremont had the same stupid deal, so the hungry travelers ended up at the Dugout Coffee Shop at the Las Vegas Club. On the way through the hotel, they took in a live radio broadcast of some guy interviewing washed-up former Dodgers Steve Yeager and Jay Johnstone. Jay has always thought himself a funny guy, but he seemed to have no sense of humor at our yelled insults regarding his lousy career as a journeyman. Steve "Boomer" Yeager willingly posed for pictures, and smiled at our chants of "Boomer", but he refused to answer our queries about the memorabilia scam in which he is currently embroiled back in California. Also, nobody else bothered to show up to watch these two former not-so-greats.

Brett poses with a Dodger that was nobody's childhood idol, Steve Yeager.

Once seated in the Dugout, Matt immediately had to leave to meet Dan and Mark's late plane at McCarran Airport. Fortunately, Robert used Matt's absence to take one small step for gastrointestinal injury and one giant step for vomiting by eating his own meal of spaghetti as well as Matt's eggs, toast, hash browns and bacon, some fries and Amy's pancakes. Upon finishing, he did not look the worse for wear, but he did walk slower and he made several pit stops.

Meanwhile, Mark and Dan were busy finally landing in Las Vegas and feeling very left out of the loop as they stepped off the plane to the open arms of nobody. You see, Matt arrived a little late due to bad information from the airline, and Dan and Mark panicked and didn't wait by their gate. So they headed out to the downtown shuttles, which actually service the hotels on the strip, and go only grudgingly anywhere near downtown. After arriving downtown and stiffing the driver, much to his chagrin, they ran


Phil and Ghizal "goof" at a dangerous crime scene.

into the Gold Spike, and were immediately coated with a fine silt layer of cigarette smoke and dust. They were at last met with thekind of camradarie they deserve, from everyone involved.

Well, almost everyone. Phil and Ghizal had wandered down the street from the hotel and witnessed a stabbing. Two drunks were fighting and one took a broken bottle and fileted the other. This was pretty exciting to Phil and Ghizal.

They got up close and watched the police cleaning up the store windows and washing rivers of blood down the gutter. Phil wanted to get a little closer and get some blood for his collection. He ignored the police warnings and started scooping some into a sandwich baggy.

For anyone that thinks this was a great idea, it wasn't and Phil got arrested and hauled to the detention center.

He wasn't even drunk yet.


On to Part 2

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