Tag Archives: buffet

Where to Eat and Drink for Cheap in Las Vegas!

Where to Eat and Drink for Cheap in Las Vegas!

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Welcome to Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Las Vegas, Nevada!
FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Are you hungry? Are you thirsty?
Do you want to eat? Do you want to drink?
Back in the day, it was all about “butts in the seats”
as one Pit Boss at Caesars Palace used to say to us.
Rooms, Food, Drinks, Cigars, Entertainment, ALL OF IT WAS COMPED!
It was all about GAMBLING and MONEY ON THE TABLE (or in the slot machine).
The casino winnings paid for everything, and the customer (PLAYER) was king!
And even if you lost your entire bankroll, you had a great time in Las Vegas.
And now, they “nickel and dime” you everywhere. Resort Fees. Paid Parking.
Entertainment Fees and Taxes. Upgrade Fees. Pool Fees. Reservation Fees.
AND WHAT THE FUCK IS THE DEAL WITH THE $20.00+ COCKTAILS?
Room rates fluctuate like airline ticket prices, and aggregators sell the leftovers.

And back in the day, the ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT Buffet, and $1.99 Steak & Eggs,
were draws to bring people into the casino and keep the players fed and inside.
But now Las Vegas is an International Dining Mecca! Cheap eats are hard to find.
FOOD and BEVERAGE is a major expense for any Las Vegas vacation.
It’s hard to find good food at good prices, but inexpensive dining options
outside the food court and not “fast food” are all around town!

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Here’s a list of some good dining options that won’t drain your wallet:

Ocean One Bar & Grille at Planet Hollywood*
3 Cocktails for $10.00 All Day Every Day
– requires a player’s card, and some restrictions apply
$3.00 Bottle of Beer (Imported and Domestic) and Frozen Drinks
$4.99 Lunch Menu! All Entrees!
$5.99 Breakfast, $9.99 Dinner

La Salsa Cantina at Planet Hollywood*
$4.79 Breakfast Special, and the 99 Cent Bloody Mary

Blondie’s at Planet Hollywood*
$3.99 Big Burrito or Egg Breakfast before 11:00am
Happy Hour Monday – Friday 3:00pm – 6:00pm and 9:00pm – Midnight
$20 All-You-Can-Drink Well Drinks and Draft Beer

Pin-Up Pizza at Planet Hollywood*
$8.99 Big Slice of Cheese Pizza

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PBR American Bar and Grill at Rock Bar at Planet Hollywood*
$5.95 Breakfast Special Monday-Thursday All Day
$9.95 Breakfastl Friday-Sunday All Day (same food, higher price)
Happy Hour Specials Monday – Thursday 2:00pm – 6:00pm
2 for 1 Cocktails, 50% OFF Draft Beer and Pizzas

Cafe Hollywood at Planet Hollywood*
$14.99 Prime Rib Dinner with potato, vegetables and salad

Ketchup Burger Bar at Planet Hollywood*
$5.00 Classic Burger Monday – Friday 11:00am – 3:00pm
$7.00 Vegas Dog
Happy Hour Specials! Monday – Friday 3:00pm – 6:00pm
and Sunday – Thursday 10:00pm – Close
$6.00 Spiked Shakes, $7.00 Premium Cocktails, $6.00 Hot Dogs
“To Go” Bar with $4.00 Well and 7.00 Premium Cocktails,
Drinks and $3.00 Domestic Tall Boys, $5.00 Beers and Shots,
and the $5.00 Classic Burger
2 for 1 Signature Hot Dogs on Tuesday
2 for 1 Chicken Tenders on Wednesday
$3 Bud Light Draft Beer All Day Everyday

Earl of Sandwich at Planet Hollywood*
Sandwiches under $10.00

*Located Inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood

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In-N-Out Burger at the Linq Promenade 11:00am – 1:00am
also located at 4888 Dean Martin Drive 10:30am – 1:00am
also located at 2900 W. Sahara Avenue 10:30am – 1:00am
also located at 4705 S. Maryland Parkway 10:30am – 1:00am
also located at 3882 Blue Diamond Road 10:30am – 1:00am
also located at 1960 Rock Springs Drive 10:30am – 1:00am
(and many other locations around the Las Vegas valley now)
$4.89 Double-Double Cheeseburger

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In-N-Out Burger in Las Vegas, Nevada

Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza at the Linq Promenade
$4.50 Cheese Pizza Slice
$8 Pizza Slice and Beer Monday – Friday 2:00pm – 6:00pm

Slice of Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Place Shops
$4.95 Slice of Cheese Pizza, $5.45 Pepperoni

Shake Shack at New York New York
$5.19 Shack Burger 11:00am – 9:00pm

Dirt Dog at the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Hotel and Casino
$7.95 – $10.00 Specialty Hot Dogs

Wahlburgers at the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Hotel and Casino
$11.45 “Our Burger” (10:00am – 10:00pm)

America Restaurant at New York New York
$19.95 Steak Dinner (filet mignon or ribeye) 5:00pm – Close

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Mon Ami Gabi Cafe and Bar at Paris Hotel and Casino
$29.99 Steak and Fries

Pizza Cake at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino
$7.00 Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Snacks at Bellagio Hotel and Casino
$6.00 Margarita Pizza Slice, $7.00 Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Secret Pizza at The Cosmopolitan Hotel (3rd Floor, next to Blue Ribbon)
$6.99 Pizza Slice 11:00am – 4:00am

Casino Royale (Best Western Plus)
$2.49 Foot Long Nathan’s Hot Dog (toppings additional $1.00)
$2.19 Corn Dog and cheap eats until 1:00am weekdays, 3:00am weekends
$3.00 Bottle of Beer (Domestic and Imported) All Day (24/7)
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White Castle at Casino Royale
$1.29 Slider Burger

The SteakHouse at Circus Circus (not cheap, but a good value)
$60 – $75 Entree served with potato or rice, soup or salad, and bread

Canonita at The Venetian Hotel and Casino
Happy Hour Specials 3:00pm – 600pm and 9:00pm – Close
$4.00 Cocktails, $5.00 Margaritas, $5.50 Wine

Le Macaron at The Venetian Hotel and Casino
(experience the hidden patio with the great view upstairs)
$2.95 per macaron (cookie), $4.95 Scoop of Ice Cream

Peppermill (open 24 Hours)
$34 16oz Porterhouse or 12oz New York Steak, with fries
(baked potato available 11:00am – 1:00am), and soup or salad
NOTE: All of the entrees are huge “double” portion sized

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664 TJ Birrieria Tacos (next to the Wynn Hotel)
$3.00 Tacos

Tacos El Gordo on Convention Center Drive
$2.89 Tacos al pastor and other cheap Mexican food

Tacos El Pastor
$3.19 Tacos al pastor and other cheap Mexican food

Stage Door Casino and Bar (behind the Cromwell, off strip)
Convenience and Liquor Store too.
$1.00 Bottle of Budweiser or Michelob Beer
$2.00 Bud Light Draft Beer, $3.00 Corona and Modelo Beer
$5.00 Wine, Cocktails, or Shots
$2.50 1/4 pound Hot Dog, $3.25 Hot and Beer Special

Ellis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery – Village Pub
$6.99 Steak Dinner Special, $7.99 Top Sirloin Steak
$7.99 10oz Steak and Eggs Breakfast 11:00pm – 11:00am
– requires players card
$15.99 King Cut Prime Rib Dinner, (Double Cut for $32.00)
$13.99 New York Steak Dinner, $11.99 Top Sirloin Steak Dinner
$2.50 Draft Beers ($3.00 at Front Yard)
$6.00 Flight of 5 Beers (secret menu item)

Village Pub & Cafe has 13 locations in Las Vegas (owned by Ellis Island)
$2.50 Draft Beers

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Gold Coast Buffet at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
$7.99 All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast Buffet ($6.99 w/Player’s card)
– CURRENTLY CLOSED due to CoronaVirus Pandemic (may not re-open)

Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ
$10.99 Brisket Sandwich, $29.00 Duo Meat Plate with chipotlé slaw
$12 “Ribbed for Your Pleasure” Bloody Mary (with St. Louis rib and a slider)

Fremont Casino on Fremont Street (Filament Bar or The Bar)
$3.00 Heineken or Bud Light Lime Beer
Lanai Express at the Fremont Casino
.99 Cent Shrimp Cocktail!
Tony Roma’s at the Fremont Hotel & Casino
$8.99 “Earlybird” Prime Rib Dinner Special (4:30pm – 6:30pm)
$11.99 Steak and Lobster Dinner Special (9:00pm – 11:00pm)

Saltgrass Steak House at the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street
$23.99 8oz or $25.99 10oz Top Sirloin Steak Dinner

Binion’s Cafe at Binion’s on Fremont Street
$6.49 Binion’s Famous Burger 11:00am – 2:00am

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NOTE: NO CANS OR BOTTLES ON FREMONT STREET!
ASK FOR A “To Go” PLASTIC CUP AT THE BAR

Market Street Cafe at The California Hotel & Casino
$9.99 Prime Rib Dinner (4:00pm – 11:00pm)
$11.99 Oxtail Soup (11:00pm – 9:00am)

Siegel’s 1941 at the El Cortez Hotel & Casino
$14.95 Prime Rib Dinner

Evel Pie in Downtown Las Vegas
$7.50 Slice of Cheese Pizza and a House Beer

Letty’s
$2.00 Tacos on TacoTuesday
$3.00 Taquitos or Empanadita during Happy Hour
$5.00 Margaritas during Happy Hour

Le Thai in Downtown Las Vegas East
$9.95 Thai Lunch Special 11:00am – 3:00pm Monday – Friday,
12:00Noon – 3:00pm on Saturday
Happy Hour 3:00pm – 6:00pm Monday – Friday
Appetizer and Drink Specials!

Frankie’s Tiki Room (off strip, open 24 Hours per day)
$12 Tiki Cocktails! Don’t Drink and Drive!
Have a designated driver or take Uber/Lyft home!
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Coronado Cafe at the South Point Hotel and Casino
$2.45 “Old Vegas Style” Bay Shrimp Cocktail
“Graveyard Specials” $3.95 Breakfast Special Midnight to 6am
$3.95 1/2 pound Cheeseburger and Fries Midnight to 6am
$5.45 Steak and Eggs Midnight to 6am

South Point Hotel and Casino
$1.25 Hot Dogs (limit 3 per person) at the Hot Dog Court
$13.95 South Point All-You-Can-Eat Garden Buffet Breakfast Special
($9.95 w/Player’s card – see the AYCE Buffet section below)

Herbs & Rye Steakhouse (2 miles off strip on Sahara) Closed on Sunday!
Happy Hour 5:00pm – 8:00pm and 12Midnight – 3:00am
Drink Specials! 50% OFF Appetizers,
and 50% OFF Steaks (~$35.00 Steak Dinner)

Big Wong (off strip, Chinatown)
Salt & Pepper Fried Chicken Wings and other good food
Read our previous Blog Post – the link is below

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Big B’s Texas BBQ (off strip)
$23.99 Three Meat Plate with 2 sides and cornbread

Jessie Rae’s BBQ (1-1/2 mile off strip)
$16.99 Two Meat Platter with Cole slaw
Daily Specials: Wagyu Tri Tip Wednesday, Beef Ribs Thursday/Sunday,
Smoked Filet Mignon Tenderloin Friday, and Smoked Prime Rib Saturday

Hard Hat Historic Lounge (off strip, open 24 Hours)
$14.00 Cheese Pizza + $1.00 per topping , $16 Vegan Pizza

Longhorn Casino & Hotel (off strip Boulder Highway)
$3.99 Large Shrimp Cocktail
$5.99 Ham Steak and Eggs
$8.95 Porterhouse Steak Special
$13.95 One Pound Monster Burger w/Fries

Skyline Hotel and Casino (off strip Boulder Highway)
$1.50 Shrimp Cocktail

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Las Vegas All-You-Can-Eat Buffets
that are OPEN (as of 8-12-2021):

The Garden Buffet at South Point Hotel and Casino – The Best Buffet Value!
Breakfast with bottomless Bloody Mary: $13.95 ($9.95 w/Player’s Card)
Lunch: $16.95 ($12.95 w/Player’s Card)
Champagne Brunch with bottomless Mimosa: $22.95 ($18.95 w/Player’s Card)
Prime Rib and Shrimp Dinner: $23.95 ($19.95 w/Player’s Card 4:00pm – 10:00pm)
Seafood Night Dinner: $33.95 ($29.95 w/Player’s Card)

The Circus Circus Buffet $19.99 – $25.99
The Buffet at Excalibur $24.99 – $29.99 (Only Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
MGM Grand Buffet $27.99 – $36.99 JUST SAY NO TO THE MGM BUFFET!
(read our previous Blog Post, we did not have a good experience)

And these Fantastic Hotel Buffets are OPEN but they are NOT CHEAP.
They are actually very expensive, so bring your appetite when you go!

The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace $74.99
(with an $19.99 all-you-can-drink add-on)

The Wicked Spoon Buffet at Cosmopolitan
MON – FRI
Breakfast: $38.00 adults | $19.00 children (age 5-10)
Lunch: $45.00 adults | $22.50 children (age 5-10)
SAT & SUN
Brunch: $48.00 | $24.00 children (ages 5 – 10)
BOTTOMLESS BEVERAGES add-on $21.00 per person (2-hour limit)
Bottomless Mimosas, Champagne, Bloody Mary, or Bud Light Draft

The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas
Breakfast on Mon, Thurs, and Fri: $38.99
Brunch on Mon, Thurs, and Fri: $45.99 – Sat and Sun: $48.99
Dinner on Sun, Mon, and Thurs: $64.99
Gourmet Dinner Fri and Sat: $69.99

The Buffet at Bellagio
bellagio buffet

NOTE: The Pricing and Hours of Operation may vary,
and are alway subject to change at any time for any reason.
Always check to see if the location is open, if a reservation is required,
(their pandemic requirements), and confirm the pricing ahead of time!
And then you won’t be surprised.

Additionally, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,
some restaurants and bars are CLOSING PERMANENTLY!
We removed two from this list today because they just went out of business.

IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO TIP RIGHT,
YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO DRINK IN A BAR
OR EAT IN A RESTAURANT!

Go to a Liquor or Convenience Store
and eat and drink in your hotel room.

NOTE: Walgreens, CVS, and ABC Stores $2.00 – $5.00 Beer
are much cheaper than the hotel stores and gift shops.
You can find all kinds of prepackage food and snacks
(and more things you may need),
along with cheap beer, wine, booze, and bottled water,
at the Chain Stores on The Strip and Downtown.

TIP: Get a hotel/motel room with a kitchen or kitchenette!
You can bring food with you or buy food at a market or store.
Prepare your own meals/snacks and save money on food.
Request a refrigerator for your Hotel room if not provided, and say you
have “special diet requirements” to avoid an additional “refrigerator fee”
(kosher, diabetic, vegan, etc., and the fee to avoid is usually $25.00).

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Bread + Cheese +tinfoil +hot hotel iron = Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

Hotel Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:
2 Slices of Bread (butter optional)
2 Slices of Cheese
Optional: add other ingredients like sandwich meat, onions, etc.
Directions:
Tinfoil – make a cheese sandwich, wrap it in tinfoil
Heat the Hotel iron provided in your room to high heat.
Use the hot hotel iron to “grill” the sandwich.
Do not use uncooked meats! If using butter, use it lightly.
Do not use the ironing board or any flammable surface for “grilling”
CAUTION: Make sure you have ventilation, or are using the bathroom fan,
and avoid burning the sandwich. Do not trigger the SMOKE/FIRE ALARM! 
Be sure to unplug and let the iron cool completely before storing it away.
NOTE: The hot iron will toast the bread and melt the cheese,
but will not be hot enough to cook uncooked meats.
Use extreme caution when using an iron in a Hotel/Motel room!


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Dinner at Big Wong & Dessert at Milkywave in Las Vegas!

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NOTE: The information in this Blog Post was gathered from several YouTube vids, our experiences, and some other places. And some of those YouTube vids were based on the info included in the “Las Vegas Cheap Sheet” seen here. We did not refer to this list or add it to this Blog Post until after we were almost finished creating it, but we want to make sure to pay tribute to one of the original references for Cheap Eats in Las Vegas. Thank you Steve!

The Las Vegas Cheap Sheet (since 1991):
The most recent version, created by Steve Gustafson
LV Cheap Sheet 8:21

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Casino Royale! Get $20.00 Match Play when you sign up for a Player’s Card!

NOTE: We constructed this Blog Post before the CoronaVirus Pandemic.
And because of COVID-19 we do not recommend travel to Las Vegas at this time.
However, many people are traveling and we are looking for new PAID OPPORTUNITIES.
So the above information is shared for FREE. (Follow, LIKE, Share, etc.) 
And here are some Nevada Travel Guidelines you should follow:

Nevada travel guidelines

Please just STAYTHEFUCKHOME!

end




Dead in the Dome 2.0!

Dead in the Dome 2.0!
One More Saturday Night!
(Saturday – night number one – November 9, 2019)

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Dead in the Dome 2.0 at the Wisdome L.A.

“Dead in the Dome 2.0”
a concert with Melvin Seals and the Jerry Garcia Band
with Steve Kimock and DJ Logic
and Samskara at the Wisdome in DTLA.

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NOTE: The concert was November 9th, 2019. We started this Blog Post and then it sat all through November-December, and now it’s January 2020. So we are finally posting it.

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Jerry Garcia

 

The Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) is a San Francisco Bay Area rock band. It was founded in 1975 by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. It and his collaboration with David Grisman (Grateful Dawg) were the most important of his many side projects before his death in 1995. The JGB continues to tour with Melvin Seals and Steve Kimock.

 

 

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Downtown Los Angeles! Somewhere near the Urth Cafe in a kinda sketchy part of the Arts District is WisDome.LA. It’s a collection of container buildings and geo-domes. Enter through a container Box Office and “Lobby”. The open air space and astroturf with psychedelic mood lighting puts you in the mood for “Dead In the Dome 2.0”!

The WisDome Facilities:

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The large Domes contain the exhibits and the performance venue. One had the Samskara visual art exhibit, one had mirrors, one just had psychedelic projections and music with cushions on the floor to sit and lie on, and one had the stage and projection setup for the band’s performance with dance space, chair seating and reclined VIP viewing sofa seats.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

The restrooms (Banos) are in a portable trailer with tall stairs to negotiate and a swinging door that might knock you out. The VIP Section was fenced off and adjacent to a two-story container building, with the bottom floor seating available as a VIP lounge space and the upstairs used as the Artist Dressing and Green Room area. There was a vegan food truck and a cocktail bar serving food and drink. And there was a small Merchandise Dome and a few Vendor Tents and Tables set up outside selling cool “Shakedown Street” stuff. There was a cold Mediterranean food buffet inside the VIP.

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Samskara Art Exhibition – the walkthrough experience:

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

And here is only a small sampling of the Visual Art:

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NOTE: Samskara = Very trippy psychedelic art that was also interactive. The art changed colors on it’s own, depending on lighting and “mood” settings. And there’s an APP for viewing the art that adds a whole other dimension of psychedelia! It has to be seen to be experienced. There was also video art with both small, medium and very large screens for art viewing. And more cushions on the floor for sitting and lying down on while viewing. We also shot some video of the experience, so check it out!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

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Inside one of the Domes there was a giant kaleidoscope type projection set to music being projected, and unfortunately our pictures just don’t do the effects justice. They were very beautiful 3-D CGI graphics that moved and morphed. There was another Dome that had mirrors reflection different graphic patterns.

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

“The VIP Experience”
included a COLD vegan Middle Eastern vegan buffet and one drink ticket.

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We sampled most of the items and the food kinda totally sucked.
(Seriously, how do you screw up hummus?)
So, vodka and sprite for a liquid dinner!

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NOTE: There was a guy doing promotions for a Cannabis Ginger Lemonade in the VIP Section, so we sampled one, and then added vodka/sprite to make a “Mary Jane Mule”.

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Bob Minkin, the photographer, was at the show vending his “Just Jerry” book. He also shared a live presentation before the concert with projections and commentary on some of his fantastic photos from the book in the Main Dome.

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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and Other Vendors:

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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Embroidered GD Patches on a Leather Vest

THE SHOW!
Melvin Seals and The Jerry Garcia Band with Steve Kimock and DJ Logic!
(with cool projections of Jerry Garcia’s art on the Dome tuned to the music)

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

The JGB Band ROCKED! It was a great show musically! Melvin Seals and Steve Kimock played great and brought back sweet memories of Jerry as the band performed some JGB setlist staples:

Steve played so well, the band made him a permanent member a couple weeks later! Well deserved and a great addition to The JGB! There were a couple moments during the show that took me right back to seeing Jerry in the 80s at The Stone in San Francisco.

The projections were cool, and added to the experience, but the focus was on the band. the music, and the lightshow, and since we didn’t add any psychedelic enhancement to our experience, the visual effects were secondary to the concert experience.

NOTE: The concert was billed as a “2 Night Event”, but we only went on Saturday.

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NOW HERE IS THE THING! VERY IMPORTANT! AND ALSO A RANT!

We paid a lot more for the VIP experience and recliner sofa seats upfront near the stage. And when the concert started our viewing experience was ruined by the standing crowd that was allowed in front of the stage and in the aisle next to our low lounge seat.
And there were NO USHERS, STAFF OR SECURITY PEOPLE ANYWHERE! Seriously, we went looking and had to go to the Tech Staff at the sound/light/projection board and ask if there was anyone! We went outside to find someone and encountered a private security guard who told us that he wasn’t security for the concert, but he would try to find someone. So we went back and tried to enjoy the first set with the rude millennial jerkoffs who never saw Jerry standing in the aisle blocking the audience’s view of the stage and completely inconsiderate of anyone else. So, at the Intermission we went and found the PERSON IN CHARGE and told him what’s up. He was apologetic and responded to the problems and for the Second Set there were Ushers placed to keep the dance floor crowd on the dance floor at the back of the house. Of course, it was too little too late, and there still a crowd in front of the stage (and it’s always the tall people who do the one step right, one step left dance of course). The PERSON IN CHARGE told me they would refund my ticket, and they did!

Thank you WisDome.LA for the Tremendous Customer Service and satisfaction!

That being said, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SECURITY AT THE VENUE!
The Deadhead crowd was older and very well behaved, with the exception of the Millennials who never saw Jerry, and the lack of Security and easily identifiable Staff, was still a problem! We would not recommend anyone we know attend an event until they fix this problem! If there had been an Emergency or a Situation, it would have not gone well. Additionally the Door Security at the Box Office was almost non-existent: there was no search or surveillance security that we could detect. It’s a really nice facility and the concept is great, but we didn’t feel safe. And all it takes is one unfortunate incident that gets some press and no one will ever go there again…remember Westwood?

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Urth Caffe in DTLA

After the show, we walked the two blocks back to our car. There is lots of street parking, but it fills up if there’s an event, and the neighborhood remains sketchy…. so we found a parking space across from the Urth Caffe (got lucky) because it’s well lit and there’s a lot of foot traffic. Also, they have a clean restroom without a line for use before and after the event, which is a definite benefit. And we drove home without incident.

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Update 01-09-19: Found this. Thank you Trixie!

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Update 1-16-2020: Pictures of Jerry Garcia from our Blog Archives:

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Las Vegas, Nevada! “Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

Las Vegas, Nevada!
“Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

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Back from Las Vegas.
A fun trip to “Sin City”
Happy to be Home!

JOSHWILLTRAVEL! And travel to Las Vegas last week is what we did.*

*well, it wasn’t last week…. more like last month. Tempus fugit!

We were invited (very last minute) to our friend Frank’s 65th Birthday Adventure:
(via a series of text messages)
– Come to Vegas if you want we have extra rooms
– We arrive Wed and lots of different rooms. Party on Saturday
– The party at Topgolf should be good even if you dont golf. Has a private pool for us
– Then we got a big cabana by our pool Friday Saturday and Sunday

So, let me think about it….. and Road Trip to Vegas!
Left the beautiful San Fernando Valley at 1:30am on Thursday morning.
Highways to Las Vegas: 101north-134west-210west-10west-15north
We drove a rental truck, a no-frills silver Nissan Frontier, with unlimited miles.
No traffic! Driving 285 miles at night with the truckers on I-15 north.

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“World’s Tallest Thermometer” in Baker, California

Stopped along the way in Baker, California, for gas and to see the “World’s Tallest Thermometer” once again lighting the side of the 15 freeway. It was “non-operational” for many years, but has been repaired and now it is again a beacon at night on the desert highway.
NOTE: Gas prices were “too f*ckin’ high” in Baker! 

Stateline! No stopping until we get to town.

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Stateline! Primm, Nevada

Arrived at South Point Hotel and Casino before 6am on Thursday.

We have always heard good things about the SouthPoint. People regularly recommend their buffet as being very good. They were also recently featured in the Showtime series “Action” about legal sports gambling, so as we rolled into town we decided to stop there.

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SouthPoint Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

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Self Parking at SouthPoint is FREE. We parked outside, instead of in the structure, and it was only a short walk to the Casino entrance. We had to go to the High Limit Slots counter to get a Player’s Card because the Club Desk doesn’t open until 7am. We played some blackjack and a little video poker and won a little money.

We also earned 300 club points which entitled us to “spin the wheel” and we won 5000 points (so we cashed them out for $15.00), wandered around the casino, and then headed for their Breakfast Buffet.

NOTE: Get the SouthPoint Player’s Card and the Breakfast Buffet is only $9.95 + tax
(Really nice breakfast buffet for ~$11.00 + $5.00 tip for our server/waitperson)

Breakfast Buffet Time! The Las Vegas “Buffet Experience”! And we were hungry…..

On The Menu: Everything. It was a Good Buffet!

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After breakfast we headed out and drove to the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort near the MGM Grand and across the street from TopGolf at the south end of the strip.
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Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

Parked near Tower 3, walked to registration at Tower 2 and Checked In.
Our friends had the rooms reserved and a quick phone call was made, our ID was checked, and we were handed a keycard and welcome instructions. We walked back to Tower 3 and met one of our friends in the lobby. She gave us the “nickel tour” of the resort property and showed us the adult pool and the cabana they had reserved for our party weekend. We walked back to Tower 3 and grabbed our luggage and weekend supplies out of the truck and rode the elevator upstairs.

The SMELL in the hall.
Okay, something died. rotting trash beyond rotting. it was terrible. really terrible.
FOR THE WHOLE TIME! It was disgusting. It reeked. It stank.
Yes, we complained. And they tried to mitigate the smell with deodorizers and sprays, but they should have called for sanitary cleanup immediately. They were really good about apologizing and they gave our hosts credit for the inconvenience.

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“It’s Kubrickian!”

The Sweet Suite!
Tower 3, Room 392 at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort:

Happily, the smell was only in the hallway. Once inside the room, a “lock-out” connecting room, adjacent to the first room our hosts stayed in…. they moved to the Presidential Suite, and her brother moved into their room. More on that later.

Each room had a nice kitchen area, living room space and private bedroom and bath. Mine was a little smaller than the room next door which also had a bar and bar seating in the living room space. I was very happy with the accommodations and also the fact that it was FREE! My hosts were treated to drinks, gifts and other forms of thanks all week long in appreciation for the invitation.

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After the little tour of the resort the it was nappy time. Then once we were awake and active again, we joined our friends for a quick visit to the TopGolf mega-entertainment center across the street. We met our friends in the inside bar and had a cocktail while they finished their food (we were still full from the morning buffet).

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Our friend’s birthday party was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in the Chairman’s Suite, complete with private pool and lunch buffet, so they went to check it out.  More on that party later……
We wandered around and toured the massive four deck facility. There were lots of bar and seating areas, and a public pool area with lounges, private cabanas and a “swim-up” bar. There were televisions and monitors everywhere, and really big multi-screens by the pool and in the gathering and game areas. And there were a ton of people having fun at midday on Thursday! The Golf Area has private driving areas for rent, with computer monitoring, that tracks your ball and gives you distance, replay, and other fun golf info. And of course there is plenty of food and beverage service available everywhere.
Just mind the warning signs and watch for errant golf balls and clubs!
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And then back across the street to the resort.
Our friends moved their stuff to the Presidential Suite with a Private Veranda and we hung out there and waited for them to get settled in.
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We made a run to the local market and picked up provision for the week. And then later we went back across the street to TopGolf for a late dinner.

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TopGolf Photo Op!

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On The Menu: More cocktails
and Boneless BBQ Wings w/veggies & ranch dressing at one of the bars.
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FRIDAY at the Wyndham

Good morning! Cabana Time!
Our Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

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Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday began the same way each day: Tiki drinks for brunch! And some kind of food from the resort kitchen, along with snacks we brought from the room.

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The cabana was equipped with a nice television and a noisy ceiling fan, and the public smoking area was right next door and there was a public cabana in that area. Most of the pool cabanas were positioned in the sun, and must have been really hot inside, while our cabana was on the other side and in the shade set back but facing the adult pool area.

 

Dinner time on Friday, and we had a meeting in the Presidential Suite to decide where to go to eat. There are many choices, so the group reviewed them, and eventually decided to go to Burger Bar (inside the Luxor Hotel, which we didn’t know at the time).

NOTE: Everything we did took a long time to get it together and actually do it. It wasn’t a problem, and we resolved to just ride along and see what happens (most of the time).

And then it started raining. A real Desert Storm! And a wet Friday night.
One of our new friends was the non-drinking designated driver, and he was a cool dude. But his driving was not cool. And it was dark and wet and it took a long time to get there. And then we toured the parking lot, for a long time, before finally parking.

We made our way into the Luxor and found the Burger Bar. Basically a $20 hamburger without anything else, so we decided to go spend our money at The Peppermill instead.

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MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on a Rainy Night in Las Vegas, Nevada

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And so, after another wild ride in the rain around Las Vegas, we arrived for Dinner and Drinks at The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge!

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We had dinner and tiki drinks in the restaurant and then went into the lounge and had more drinks. The rain was really coming down and we were in no hurry to leave, so we rode out the storm in the lounge and met some fun new people.
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On The Menu: Tiki Cocktails!
A Lava Flow and a nice Beef Dip Sandwich with fries and extra au jus

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A good time was had by all! We enjoyed our dinner and drinks at The Peppermill. Frank had a big Scorpion drink (in a glass, not a bowl) and the rest of us had a few different drinks from their cocktail menu too.

One more drive around Vegas in the rain and back to the resort. We survived! We returned to the Presidential Suite and then back to our suite in the other tower. We decided to take a hot bath and then sleep in the next day.

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“Wanna take a bath?”

SATURDAY at the Wyndham and TopGolf

Cabana Time! Basically the same routine as Friday: tiki drinks, food, people hanging out and new friends stopping by until it was time to get it together and head over to TopGolf for the big shindig!

Frank’s 65th Birthday Party in the Chairman’s Suite at TopGolf – Saturday 2-5pm
Golf, balls, a buffet, more drinks and a private swimming pool just for us.

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Party at TopGolf in Las Vegas, Nevada!

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The Guest of Honor in the Private Pool in the Chairman’s Suite

On The Menu: Tacos (chicken, steak and pork), Sliders (cheeseburgers, battered fish and pulled pork), chips with salsa and guacamole, salads, and of course more tiki cocktails!

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The party was a lot of fun, we got out drink on, and there was too much food! We ended up taking a lot of it back to the resort afterwards. There was golfing (unlimited balls, or something like that) and swimming too. The pictures are just a sample before it got crazy wild.

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A beautiful day at TopGolf Las Vegas!

Saturday Night in Vegas!

And so we returned to the resort and hung out until it got dark. We decided our next destination would be (more) Tropical Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room! 

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Saturday Night on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

After the wild road trip on Friday night, we decided we would drive to Frankie’s and meet the crew there. We cruised past The Strip and downtown to the bar.

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More cocktails! Famous tiki drinks! And it was really dark inside.
Here are some pics:

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We enjoyed a Mai Tai and then there was a lot of conversation and more drinks. We moved around from our table in the cabana to a seat at the bar. Lots of kitsch and weird decor to see, even in the dark. Eventually, they decided to return to the resort and we decided to go back to The Strip and have some Las Vegas fun.

We drove to The Wynn, Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – FREE SELF PARKING!
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The Wynn is a beautiful property! And it was crowded, which was nice. We played a little and wandered around taking in the different areas of the casino and environs. We had some luck and cashed out and drove back to the resort and went to bed.

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SUNDAY (Mother’s Day) morning after waking up and getting ready, we walked over to the Presidential Suite for Breakfast/Brunch and more Cabana Time! It was a leisurely day of drinking and hanging out. There may have been an afternoon nap involved.

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So we were volunteered to cook and we grilled some steaks for dinner at 9:30pm on Sunday at the community BBQ Grills. There’s a curfew for cooking at 10pm, so we had to be quick! We took them upstairs and enjoyed a great meal on the private veranda (and of course, there were more cocktails).

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Then we went on a mission to The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign!
It was designed by Nevada-born graphic designer Betty Willis (1923-2015) in 1959.
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“The rounded diamond shape of the sign was inspired by the Goodyear logo and the idea for the starburst came from the one in Disneyland’s emblem, which to her meant a happy destination. The seven silver dollars were a symbol of good luck for visitors entering the world’s gambling capital. (Betty) Willis’s design was never trademarked.”

The sign was built by a small local company Western Electric Displays Inc, aka Western Neon. Western Neon was bought by YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) and they have maintained the sign ever since. The original sign has been rebuilt, restored, and recognized as a cultural and historic landmark for the City of Las Vegas over the years.

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Safe and legal public access to the sign was finally made possible in 2008, when parking spaces and a pedestrian walkway were finally constructed. Clark County and the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office had the sign listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

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NOTE: It was “Helldorado Days” a big holiday in the State of Nevada. There was a parade on Saturday and the Rodeo and other events were happening all weekend in downtown Las Vegas and on Fremont Street. So, we didn’t go there.

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Old Vegas! Glitter Gulch!

We returned to the resort and stayed up until MONDAY morning!
“It’s HOT in the Hot Tub!” 
And sometime before dawn we hit the Jacuzzi and Pool! (the pool and jacuzzi at Tower 3 are open 24 hours) It was very Early AM, at Tower 3, after it was cleaned, before the crowd and we were almost alone.

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We had stayed up all night and after our adventures we finally decided to try out the 24 hour pool and jacuzzi in our Tower. The pool area was empty except for one couple, so we waited until they were out of the water and then we moved in. We spent about a half hour enjoying the warm, bubbly spa, and swam in the cool pool until the calm was interrupted by two small children and their mother….. as we left the pool area at 6am the mother was screaming at the children in the shallow end of the pool, “Get over here dammit, you pulled this sh*t all yesterday, I’m not gonna have it today!” 

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Went up to the room and took a hot shower, ate some leftover tacos, and went to bed.
Requested and was given a late checkout time of 12 noon via the telephone.

And then,
Housekeeping knocked on my door three different times between 9:30 and 11am!
AND THERE WAS A “DO NOT DISTURB” SIGN HANGING ON THE DOOR HANDLE!
They also started cleaning the other half of the “lockout suite” and made noise like they were doing construction next door, making it impossible to sleep.

NOTE: We complained and Dan, the resort manager, gave us a $50 credit to use at our choice of restaurants “off-property” at a Caesars Hotel (there was a list of restaurants to choose from at each hotel) for our inconvenience and also took care of our friends who invited us. That’s real good hospitality!

Checked out of the Wyndham and drove back over to the Wynn. FREE Self Parking again.

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We walked to the Palazzo and Venetian, then went outside, crossed Las Vegas Blvd and went over to the Mirage. It was a beautiful day, but it was too hot of course.

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We visited the MLife desk, and asked about a MyVegas room rate. They offered us a Monday night room for $63.00 + taxes and the ridiculous resort fee, so we passed.

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We walked through the Forum Shops to Caesars Palace and enjoyed the weirdness!

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Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino was once the best place to stay and play in Las Vegas. Then they turned it into “Disneyland”, and they threw away all the class and quality that made it great. And then they added RESORT FEES and PAID PARKING.

We went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and got a seat a the bar, but when we looked at the menu there was nothing that we wanted to order…. so we thanked them and left. We wandered around Caesars enjoying the sights while trying to decide where to eat.

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The Bar and Sportsbook at Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Then we decided on dinner at Rao’s Italian Kitchen, Las Vegas at Caesars Palace!
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On The Menu: Good bread, an excellent Caesar salad and their tasty meat lasagna.
We ate the salad and half of the lasagna and bread, and had the other half packed “to go”.
No drinks or wine because we were driving later, so only ice water with dinner.

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It was getting dark after dinner, so we started walking back, watched the sunset behind Caesars Palace across the street, and then stopped at Harrah’s and the old Casino Royale on The Strip.

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Casino Royale!

 

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And then we walked back to the Wynn. We enjoyed our after dinner walk at night and took in the sights along The Strip on our way back. We returned to our car and hit the road. Destination: Los Angeles.

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LEAVING LAS VEGAS around 9:30pm on Monday.
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Stopped at the new Mega-Gas Station Terrible’s Road House on the way back to California and filled up the gas tank and emptied mine. They have 100 pumps for “rush hour”, but the place was almost empty when we stopped in around 10pm on Monday night.

It was a quick stop, with lots of light and easy highway access. After getting gas, we took some pics and then got back in the rental truck and made a non-stop, no traffic, night drive back to Los Angeles. Home again before 2am. Had a really fun trip!

SouthPoint Hotel and Casino

Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

TopGolf

Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge

Frankie’s Tiki Room

The Wynn Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

 

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GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

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NOTE: For ThrowbackThursday and FlashbackFriday we found this Blog draft. We laid out all the type and captions back in 2013 and never added the pics or details. So we went to the files for collateral from the convention, found old travel picture files on our other laptop for pictures that were never seen and also went hunting for the pics that we had already downloaded or posted, then we filled in all the details we could remember and constructed this Blog! And even though the event happened in 2013 we still hope you will enjoy this Blog for TravelTuesday in 2017!

We were invited to attend the GBTA 2013 Convention as a “Hosted Buyer”, but we had prior commitments and could only attend the first and second day of the event. So we made a one-night hotel reservation and arranged to attend the “preview day” on Sunday and the first day on Monday.

GBTA 2013 Convention Schedule for Sunday and Monday:
(Vendor Parties not shown) CLICK to SEE A LARGER PIC!

Road Trip to San Diego! – Ride along with me!

It was a foggy Sunday morning when we woke up very early and hit the road to San Diego. We left the San Fernando Valley at 7am to avoid traffic and drove south on the 405 and 5 freeways for about three hours. We were successful and drove fast (we also took pictures as we went) but other drivers were driving really fast! We were really amazed at the speed of some of the cars passing us at very high speeds like we were parked.

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GBTA 2013! – On The Road to San Diego (405 freeway south to 5 freeway south)

Ride along with me to San Diego, just click on the pics below:

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GBTA 2013! – Downtown San Diego

Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego (A Hilton Hotel)

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego Atrium & Skylight

We arrived in San Diego and found our hotel, the Embassy Suites Downtown, sometime after 9am. We found metered street parking two blocks away from the hotel which was FREE and available because it was Sunday. We walked over to the hotel, had breakfast at the complimentary buffet and got an early check in.

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GBTA 2013! – Breakfast Buffet at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

We went up to the room, checked it out and dropped our luggage. We set up the laptop, hooked into the hotel’s wi-fi and did our morning business via the internet and cell phone.

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After a short time in the room, we walked over to the Hyatt Regency and caught the Free Shuttle to the Convention Center.

Sunday was a “preview” day, so it was not very crowded, just busy. There were a lot of people checking in and the vendors and staff were making preparations for the week ahead. The Exhibition Hall didn’t open until Monday, but we were invited to the “First-Timers” lunch and the Welcome Party at the Hilton on Sunday evening.

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GBTA 2013! Global Business Travel Association Convention in San Diego

We rode the shuttle to the Convention Center, walked to Check-In, checked in and got our credentials, and then we walked to the “first timers” lunch in an adjacent meeting hall.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center

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GBTA 2013! – “First Timers” Lunch, Orientation and Welcome

On The Menu: Turkey sandwich with mozzarella cheese balls, lettuce & tomato and a slice of apple pie with iced tea, water and coffee

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After lunch, we attended the “Going Global” session, walked around the Convention Center and then we walked to the shuttle pickup point, rode the shuttle back to the Hyatt and then walked back to our hotel. We cleaned up and enjoyed a free cocktail and complimentary appetizers at the Embassy Suites’ afternoon Happy Hour downstairs.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

After the Happy Hour we drove over to the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and paid $15 to park for the Welcome Reception and Party on the Great Lawn which runs along the Marina.  An outdoor evening buffet for 7000 people or so, with beer/wine and magaritas at the bar.

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

NOTE: It was a huge convention! Every hotel in San Diego remotely close to the Convention Center was at capacity and filled with Travel Agents, Vendors, Travel Writers and other attendees from all over the United States and other parts of the world. We commented on the size of the crowd to a staff person at the Convention Center and they just laughed because Comic-Con had been in town the week before and the size of GBTA convention wasn’t even close to the overflow crowd for Comic-Con.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2103 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

On The Menu at the Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront:
Buffalo chicken meatballs, lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce, pasta in lobster sauce, pita chips and a bunch of types of hummus, prime rib sliders with cheese, chicken potstickers, veggie potstickers, pork potstickers, other stuff too, and then on to the dessert table! Nice truffle selection, chocolate covered strawberries, candy lollipops in a bunch of weird flavors and mini-pastries…

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset Over A Sea of Travel Industry at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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We walked to over to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant for the next party. It was a long “Las Vegas” walk just after dark along the Marina and Bayfront to get to Roy’s, but it was worth it! We immediately regretted eating at the Welcome Party Buffet, because there was an amazing assortment of incredible food at Roy’s!

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GBTA 2013! – The Kitchen at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in San Diego

There were all kinds of sushi and cut rolls, egg rolls, chicken and beef satay skewers, Hawaiian style ribs, other tasty appetizers and finger foods, fresh fruit and a lot of fancy desserts. We ate and drank and networked until it got too crowded inside the large restaurant and we didn’t take any pictures (except the one of the kitchen above). We left the party early and took a little food “to go” for later at the hotel. We didn’t want to do anymore walking or make the long dark walk back to the Hilton parking structure, so we negotiated with a pedal cab guy and survived a really fast and wild nighttime ride back to the hotel along the Bayfront for $10+tip.

We walked to our car and drove back to the Embassy Suites. We valet parked our car at the hotel and retired to our hotel room. We did some work, ate the “to go” food (ribs, sushi and little chocolate balls) after midnight and went to bed.

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Monday morning, we were up early and we enjoyed the Embassy Suites’ breakfast buffet again. We took the food up to the room, ate and did some more work, and then packed up our stuff, went downstairs and had a second breakfast. After eating again we got our stuff and checked out of the hotel. We picked up the car from the valet, drove to over the Convention Center and paid to park there. Parking was $15 for all day until midnight.