Out for a hike in Colombia, South America. Photo taken November 25, 2015.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vegas (day 2)

Busy day yesterday! Started off by driving down to the strip. Lots of free parking, so we pulled into the self park behind the New York, New York buildings near the end of the strip near the airport.

Across the street from there is the MGM building where magician David Copperfield performs. It's also the location of the slightly hard to find CBS Television Research Center. Finally found it and signed up for their 10:25am screening. What happens is they sit you down to watch a TV show and you rate it with a little handheld gizmo as you're watching the show. We were told it would take "just over an hour", and we sat down with 5 other people to watch an unaired episode of CSI: New York.

Looking down the strip from the MGM overhead walkway.

When it was over, they asked the other people if they wanted to join a focus discussion group that afternoon for an hour or so that would pay $50 cash each. We weren't eligible because we're Canadians! Stupid Canada! They gave us a folder of useless 1/2 price coupons for our time. Oh well.

Then it was time to make some money. I got out my list of casino's that offer cash to sign up for their players clubs and we went walking down the strip.

New York, New York.

Long story short, we visited about 5 or 6 casinos and they gave us between $5-10 each in slot machine money. We turned that promotional play into $46.71 in cold hard cash! Of course we spent a lot of time wandering around in between visiting those players clubs.

Lots of people along the strip dressed up as various entertainers wanting you to donate them a dollar or two for a photo opportunity.

The new "Chandalier bar" in the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

Caesars Palace.

The fountain show at the Bellagio. It just happened to be on while we were walking by but it's a better show at night so we'll go see it again tonight.

We contacted our friends Geoff and Fran who came into town this afternoon. They're staying at the Golden Nugget which is in the old downtown section of Vegas near Freemont Street. We had to walk all the way back to the car at the other end of the strip, and by that time it was getting into rush hour. But we made it to their place around 5:30pm. We met Geoff and Fran back in the summer of 2008 when we were both workcamping at the KOA in Prince Edward Island and have kept in touch but this is the first time we've seen them since then.

This is an actual building! Neat stuff!

I had "two for one" coupons for the Main Street Station Buffet. This place has great reviews and was supposed to be one of the top five buffets in Las Vegas. Thursday night was their Steak and Scampi night at $13.99 each. With taxes and the use of the coupons, the total cost for the 4 of us was $30.25. But the steak was terrible, none of the four of us could eat it! Tough as a piece of rubber! We complained, but didn't get much response. We were disappointed and we thought the cheaper Fiesta buffet from Wednesday night was better.

Freemont Street at night is kinda neat, and it's fun watching the people. It's easy to get distracted in Vegas...quite a few of the ladies wear some interesting clothing!

Freemont Street at night.

Ruth and the bright lights at night.

There is far too much to see and do here. We're doing some hiking with couchsurfing host Mick this morning, and then we're heading back down to the strip this evening to see some of the free shows. We had a discussion with a time share person but we refused to do it unless we got free tickets to a Cirque de Soleil show as well as dinner and free buffet coupons. They had cheaper no-name shows that were free but I wanted a good show. She wanted $30 each in "taxes and fees" for the Cirque show, and by the time we were done she was down to $10 each. I want it for free! She gave us her phone number and I think it's going to come together.


  1. We are staying at the Main Street RV Park in Downtown next week...where did you get the 2 for 1 buffet coupons?

  2. What a great day and interesting post. You certainly know how to work the deals. I was not familiar with the CBS research center.

  3. Sounds like fun, I have only been to Vegas once, in 1989. I may go through there next year. I am keeping notes on my iPhone about the CBS place and other things you mention. THANKS!!! Two for one coupons won't help me unless I pick up someone along the way, LOL.

  4. you are definitely doing better on the money thing than we did last year in Vegas. I am inspired!

  5. I knew there must be some drawback to being a Canadian but up until now I didn't know of one. Too bad about the $100 bucks but congrats on turning the free money into over $40.

  6. If you two get to see Cirque de Soleil for free, you definitely get a huge gold star! That would be amazing and absolutely worth $10! I have to say that it's very strange seeing Ruth with the lights of Vegas behind her but I'm glad you are having such a great time. I forgot about the lights downtown. Glad you didn't miss them. You bet like we do... not at all!

  7. I love the fountains at the Bellagio. I could watch them all day long and it's free. I'm reminded of our time last winter in Yuma. There was a casino that gave the 55+ crowd $10 in free slot play every Monday. We never gambled there but got our free $10 several weeks in a row. At the end we had accumulated over $70 free money between the two of us. We ate their buffet once, but it was terrible so never ate there again. Glad you're having a good time. Last year when we were in Vegas we found many of the casinos are owned by the same corporation so you could only get one player card with "free" money at one of them. Still lots of other fish in the sea. Enjoy your hiking! I agree that the Cirque shows are very good and worth a little extra money if that's what you need to do. We saw the original one at Treasure Island and really enjoyed it.

  8. Good haggling! Keep it up!!

  9. So many times those "cheap" meals are exactly that. I can't wait to see what you final total is in winnings on "their" money is. That will give Paul and I a challenge to see if we can at least equal it. Although you two may be more lucky than we are...hehe
    Enjoy your Vegas experience. ~wheresweaver

  10. We loved the Bellagio night water show! Can't beat the bright lights of Vegas!

  11. The research and patience in Vegas you can enjoy it very reasonably. Have fun.

  12. I am sure the "Americans Only" rule at CBS would apply even if you were Mexican, French, Italian or any other "non American" nationality. I am not sure it would be fair to call all countries other than the USA "stupid" because of this. But I am sure this is not what you meant.

    1. Okay, so it wasn't a fair comment. But I was just venting my frustration at being a Canadian instead of an American at that particular time.


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