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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Freak for a week on Fremont

Wandering Fremont on Halloween weekend featured the freaks for a week mingling with the DTLV lifers. Music, hula hoops, costumes.

DTLV, FSE, Las Vegas, Vegas Fremont
Vegas makes your eyes light up

Las Vegas, Vegas, Halloween
For the last time, don’t bring your kids to Vegas!

(Full disclosure: I’ve brought my kids to Vegas. You’ve just never seen us. But that’s a whole different blog.)

The Long Bar at the D had been exceptionally great to me on this football Sunday. I was up a few hundred dollars after hitting quad pointies and jacks. I had won $39 on matchplays from the D.

If you go to the D, even a little, go to the player’s card desk. Ask if you have any promotions. I routinely have $5 in free food, $10 or so in free play, and a $10 matchplay promo. I don’t get any emails or snail mail offers from the D, but when I ask, I have offers available.

On this fine Sunday, I sauntered up to Matilda behind the desk, and she hooked a sista up.

My bankroll had been properly resuscitated, and I was up for the trip.


DTLV, FSE, Las Vegas, Vegas Fremont, aces, DDP
Pointes at the D

While I wouldn’t want to admit this in some circles, I had finally had enough gambling. Well, almost. I cashed in my $5 in free food at American Coney Island hotdogs at the D, then wandered over to Binions for their Motherlode promotion. I needed a whopping five points on my card to swipe for a prize. I won $40 at double double (animal-style) video poker after a nice quad king hit. Then I won an ice cream cone from the deli on the Motherlode promo. I admit. I was hoping for a little free play. But a prize is a prize

DTLV, FSE, Las Vegas, Vegas, Fremont, Binions
 "shout" voucher on the counter was the real win

Mel, the counter guy, glared at me. “Seriously?!” he muttered.Mel captured the disgruntled bitterness of Binion’s perfectly. Don’t get me wrong. Binions blackjack is a hoot, even at 6:5 for a BJ. Their live poker is less of a shark tank that just about anywhere. Only Binions has the legendary Priscilla. Overall, though, the vibe is exactly that: “seriously?!” I mean, it’s Vegas, and you could be anywhere. So why would you be at Binion's?

The featured Sunday Night football game was about to kick off at Uncle Derek’s Watch Zone at the D’s event center, so back through the sea of freaks I went.

DTLV, FSE, Las Vegas, Vegas, Fremont

The Fremont Street Boogie (Monster)

DTLV, FSE, Las Vegas, Vegas Fremont
He almost had enough cups for beer pong
(and I really hope that's beer...)

 Again I was covered with a wet blanket of ‘tude from Elaine, the rent-a-security lady as I went back in. I found a seat at the table, among the many, many available seats at the table. The Events Center featured a drink promo: 25 beers for $150.


I bought a soda for $6. The outdoor venue featured a massive screen and two smaller ones. The sound system is the same used for their concert productions. During the commercials, a DJ turned off the TV audio and played some sweet, old school rock-n-roll. He fell asleep at the wheel a few times, and forgot to turn off the tunes when the game came back on. The sun set over the desert, casting long shadows. The indigo of the night sky began to color in, bringing the tingle and excitement of another night in Vegas where anything could happen.

DTLV, FSE, Las Vegas, Vegas, Fremont, watch zone, football

DTLV, FSE, Las Vegas, Vegas, Fremont, watch zone, football
Crickets... at the football game

I asked Elaine if there was a water fountain. She barely looked up from her iTurd phone. “No,” she said. Fine. I went back to Fremont, bought a bottle of water, and came back.

“You can’t bring that in,” Elaine sneered. She must have had the night off from Binion’s.
“What? The sign says I can’t bring alcohol. It’s water, and it’s sealed.”
“NO OUTSIDE DRINK,” Elaine said.
She hadn’t bothered to tell me that water was for sale. Guess she was too engrossed in Fakebook. Here I am, one of ten whole customers in the gigantic place. Eleven, if you count Uncle Derek. He had been sitting with buddies at the table next to mine.

I said, “I’m just going to video this,” and starting rolling with my phone.

“Do you work for Derek?” I asked. At the D, everyone, to a person, from the bartenders to the pit bosses to Matilda at the players club desk, had been fun, warm and welcoming.

Her tone changed. She didn’t, she said. She backtracked, became fake friendly, and let me in with my water.

Too late, though. The vibe had changed for me after another unpleasant interaction with Elaine. The relaxing, fun atmosphere, the night sky coming and the pink/orange hues in the distance, the gentle breeze, the giant screen and amazing speakers, lost its luster. I left, grabbed my bag from the nice luggage guy, and took a Lyft to the best football venue I’d experienced all day.

The Cromwell.

First, though, I did the kiosk check-in at the Linq. This is AWESOME. No line, no people, no awkward conversation. Yes, free room. Yes, I’ll pay the $30 resort fee. Boom. Got my keys, dropped my bag in my room, and settled into the nearby Cromwell Sports Book just after halftime.

On one giant screen, Sunday night football. On the second giant screen, the epic game 5 of this year’s World Series, the one that went for five hours, ten innings and ended 12-13.

Cromwell, Las Vegas, Vegas, football

How I love thee, ye olde Cromwell Sportse Booke


The Steelers held on to win over the Lions in an epic battle. I sauntered off to my room at the Linq, complete with a bunkbed and strange mirror.

the Linq, bunkbed, Vegas, Las Vegas, Vegas strip
If I'm gonna fall out of bed in Vegas, I'd rather it's close to the floor.

I fell fast asleep on a non-bunkbed as the 10th inning began. Ah, the blissful slumber after a dreamy, long trip to Vegas. Five nights of free rooms, up five hundy, five or six new friends, and so many new favorite memories of fabulous Las Vegas.

I woke up in time for one last strip run, this time through the Park near New York, New York.

Las Vegas, the Park, New York, New York, Vegas strip
Does this skyscraper make my butt look big?

Las Vegas, the Park, New York, New York, Vegas strip
Brooklyn Bridge, Vegas style

Las Vegas, the Park, New York, New York, Vegas strip
How I feel after sipping a Verbena at Cosmo

I packed up my stuff, and followed the signs to the rideshare. It’s way behind the Linq, in the flood zone, where tall walls surround the people like a deep, concrete canyon. As in the kind of tall walls that make cell reception impossible.

Linq is French for "flood zone"

The people around me and I were all clearly having trouble getting lyft or uber apps to work. A man in a minivan with a Lyft sign pulled up, and waited for his fare.

“My app won’t work,” I said. “Can I pay you cash for a ride to the airport?”

He agreed if his scheduled pick-up didn’t show. Soon we were off. Israel was from El Salvador originally. He’d been an electrician for 30 years before he retired. He’d spent the last three years of his career wiring the high end rooms of the Cosmopolitan.

Usually, I stay awake long enough to bid a high flying adieu and thank you out the right side of the plane’s windows. Not this time. I was asleep before the Frontier flight had left the runway. Asleep, and dreaming of next time.

McCarren, library, Vegas, Las Vegas airport
If by "library", you mean "bar".  
(Actual wall ad in terminal 3 at McCarran).


    1. New rule - if you have a bunk bed in your room, you have to use it for an activity.

    2. I like to put the dead hookers on the top bunk.

    3. What about that Chiefs stocking cap I keep seeing?


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