Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 61

The Time Mookie And Megan Stayed at Circus Circus (Manors)

During my Senior year of college, "Megan (*)" suggested that her and I should go to Las Vegas for Spring Break.  It sounded great on the surface, especially since it was somewhere I'd always wanted to go.  But with things the way they were (broke and poor college student), I figured this Spring Break would be just like all my previous ones - working full-time manning the Sporting Goods counter at Walmart.

I should also mention that at this point:

1. I had never been on a plane anywhere. Ever.
2. I had never purchased anything that cost that much on a credit card.
3. I'm an incredibly indecisive puss when it comes to pulling the trigger on such things.

Megan of course knows these things (much to her chagrin), so she went online and found a pretty decent deal on airfare just to show me what it would cost.  I agreed that it was not a bad deal, but yet my sissy-ass indecisiveness was battling the potential fun that could be had.  I had no real reason to say "no" other than my fear of charging up my credit card, but my desire for fun was trying to push that fear aside.  Sensing I was pretty much on the verge of saying "yes," she asked "Do you want me to book it?" This was naturally followed by a few more minutes of me saying "I don't know." about 50 times.

Finally I realized I was being a wuss about it and would forever regret it if we didn't go. So I took off my panties, put on my big boy shorts and asked her to book it.  She called me back a short time later said we were going to Las Vegas for Spring Break. Boom.

Since we didn't get a hotel/fight package combo, Megan asked me to secure the hotel accommodations.  In the little research I had done, I knew that Circus Circus was probably the cheaper way to go.  If you are not familiar with the layout of The Strip in Las Vegas, it is an approximately five-mile stretch of road called Las Vegas Boulevard.  Circus Circus is located towards the northern end, while most of the cool places are (of course) in the middle or towards the south end.  I knew we were going to walk everywhere regardless of where we stayed, so I figured the fact that Circus Circus was mildly out of the way was easily trumped by its cheap nightly room rate.

I called up Circus Circus and made reservations for us for the 3 nights we were going to be there.  The lady told me that the rooms they had available were in "The Manors" part of the hotel.  "Ok, sure."  I had no idea what this meant and was just excited to get a room at $29.99 plus whatever fees they tack on.  Needless to say my naivete about Vegas (and not asking the right questions in general) was going to bite me in the ass.

We left on an early Saturday morning flight, made a connection in Denver, and landed in Vegas before lunch.  It was funny - because our flights were so early, AND because we were going back two time zones - we got breakfast on both legs of the flight - which was nice.  What was even nicer was that since I had never flown before, Megan let me have the window seat so I could take in the view from 30,000 ft.  It was also great because I was easily able to catch a glimpse of The Strip for the first time while taxi-ing on the the tarmac to the terminal.  I just remember thinking that Vegas was the coolest place ever.  Again, I had never flown before and NOW I was in Las Vegas of all places.  It was a big day for me for sure.

We decided to take a cab, so we found one that would take us to Circus Circus.  It goes without saying the cab driver was middle eastern and spoke very broken English.  Unfortunately for us (as I said before), Circus Circus is pretty much the farthest point on the The Strip from the airport so that cab ride was not cheap.  Welcome to Las Vegas newbies.  I remember watching the meter on the dash ticking away as we drove up The Strip, and thinking "Oh my God."

We entered the glorious gaudiness that is Circus Circus and went to check in.  If you have never been to Circus Circus before, it is certainly a sight to behold.  For one thing, it is an older establishment - and it shows.  Secondly, they take the "circus" thing literally - everything is circus themed.  Not only do they have have a live circus within the casino, it also looks like a clown had a wet dream and then threw up all over the place.  Upon checking in, the desk clerk reminded us that we were staying in The Manors.  "OK.  What is that?"   Much to our disappointment, we found out that the "Circus Circus Manors" are clear across the Circus property, and are actually known as the "Circus Circus Manors Motor Lodge."  W.T. F.

Was there a shuttle?  Of course not silly people!  The desk lady said we could take a cab, but after dumping almost $30 on Abdul's Taxi Service to get here, we decided to pass on that expenditure.  So with luggage in hand - we walked.  Awesome.

I have to admit the rooms were not that bad in terms of cleanliness, however they continued the clown vomit/ejaculate motif from the main casino.  Picture lots of circus-tent stripes, balloons, and even more stripes.  Thankfully they refrained from clown pictures, because everyone knows clowns are f'n creepy.

Needless to say, after our early morning flight and the "setback" of being relegated to the motor lodge, we decided to take a nap before we had any more "adventures" that day.

Eventually we set out and made our way down The Strip to see the sights.

During our three days there we had a great time.  We had some fun and successful gaming at O'Sheas, we won tickets to a show at the old Westward Ho Hotel and Casino (a whole story in itself), and we were able to visit several casinos that are no longer around anymore (like the aforementioned Westward Ho, The Sands, Frontier, Stardust, and Desert Inn).  PLUS!  We even got "the big drinks" at Slots of Fun.  If you have never had the big drinks in Vegas, you have to get one.  Its a 3-foot tall plastic tube with a ballooned bottom, and a really long straw.  It essentially looks like a giant vase.  They fill them up with ice and booze, and you can stumble all over town with them... which you know...is nice.  I don't remember it tasting that great, but that's not the point.  Big drinks are cool.  Plus we saw and walked through pretty much every casino up and down both sides of The Strip.  (Just a hint:  Every casino has a machine that goes "Ding ding ding ding ding ding" in annoying tone that you swear follows you everywhere.)  The only real downside to the entire trip was walking cllleeeeeear back to our hotel room at the end of the day.

Which is really the point of this whole story:  The walking to and from this hotel.

As our starting point at the hotel was quite far removed from everything, it pretty much meant a 10 minute walk from our room to The Strip, and then a 45 minute walk minimum to get to the "good" casinos down the road.  Then when you get to the good stuff, you know you are going to keep walking and walking.  Before you know it, you want to go back to your hotel and its going to be an hour walk back...easy.  Comfy shoes are a necessity.

After a few days of doing this numerous times, our desire to wander real far down The Strip became less and less each day. By the last day if we wanted to go anywhere further down The Strip, we utilized a cheap-ass trolley to catch rides up and down The Strip.  It wasn't the most speedy type of travel, but it was truly money well spent indeed.

So with that, let me leave you with this advice:
If you don't mind walking an extra mile going to and from your room just to get to The Strip, one-way walks down The Strip that take an hour, and if you don't mind delusional circus furnishings....I say go for it...you should stay at The Circus Circus Manors Motor Lodge.
"That there is a RV." - Cousin Eddie

Otherwise - You will need to front a little more cash and stay somewhere near the middle of The Strip.

Trust me and do that.  Your feet will thank you.

OH!  I forgot to mention the fact Circus Circus Hotel and Casino has an RV park as well!  If you are lucky and get a room on the 3rd floor of one of the Manor buildings, you will have a great view of the RV lot AND the RV facility swimming pool!

You know...just in case you needed any more advice about staying there.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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