Saturday, August 18, 2001

Paris, Las Vegas





One of the tricks of getting around in Las Vegas is knowing which casinos are owned by the same companies. See, there's not very efficient public transportation on the Strip. There's buses. There's a trolley system, which was hard to find and when Christina did find it, she said it took forever. But if you want modern mass transportation, you have to content yourself with going between casinos in the same "family."

Friday morning we got up finally hungry. We wanted to try one of the better buffets in town, so we decided to head to the Paris casino. The taxi line at the Excalibur looked way too long, so we crossed the street to the MGM Grand. Well, maybe that wasn't the most efficient choice. The MGM Grand is huge -- it's the biggest hotel in the world, and the casino itself is cavernous. After working our way to the back of the property, we waited for a few minutes in the baking heat for the tram to Bally's. After a short journey via the backs of the casino's, we arrived to Bally's, our destination. Sort of.

You see, instead of getting a permit to build a new casino for Paris, Bally's (well, actually the people who own the rights to the name "Bally's", but never mind because it only gets more confusing) got a permit to build Paris as an extension to Bally's. So wandering through the Bally's casino and asking three or four people for directions got us pointed in the direction of the Paris hall o' shops (with the appropriate French motif and a very similar fake sky to the Venetian). After a brief wait in line, and forking over $20/person, we were ready for the best food we'd have in Las Vegas.

Wow. Here's my recommendation. If you're ever in Vegas, go to the Paris buffet. But don't eat for 24 hours ahead of the time. Everything was delicious, but it was hard for me to stuff it all in my face. Especially by the time we got to dessert. I guess Paris suffers in some reviews compared to other buffets because of the lack of variety of the food (most of it is French-themed), but oh is it good. I was a little bit turned off by the sight of people lining up to pile 20 or so shrimps on their plate -- especially because they missed the scrumptious salmon right next to it. I can't praise this food enough.

After lunch, we headed back to Bally's, where we played the slots and video poker machines briefly. Christina inexplicably turned down an offer of a free drink, and then we were on our way back to Excalibur via the MGM Grand.
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