Las Vegas… where to begin?


Sunday

We flew out of Atlanta on Sunday around 8:00pm and were at our hotel on the Vegas strip by 11:00pm thanks to the 3-hour time change. We stayed at what is now called The Cromwell, Las Vegas’ “Luxury Boutique Resort.”

The lot on which The Cromwell sits was originally Empey’s Desert Villa, built in 1952. Empey’s was raised and replaced by the Barbary Coast in 1979.  The Barbary Coast was purchased by Harrah’s in 2007 who rebranded it as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon. It was then sold to Caesars in 2013 who gave it a complete make-over and rebranded it as The Cromwell. The rooms were on par with a nice room at a Hilton and not the huge mega-suites that you sometimes find in the other resorts like the Venetian where I stayed during my last visit to Vegas in 1999.  I will say, Las Vegas is a completely different-looking place than what I recall from 18 years back, which was even then completely different from what I recall from my last visit as a California resident back in 1989 for the annual Hobie Cat sailing regatta at Lake Mead.

 Vegas then (60’s) and now (2017). The Bellagio’s lake sits on the same site as the old Dunes parking lot, casino and hotel.  Bally’s is where the Bonanza sign and parking lot was and you can see Empey’s Desert Villa behind the Bonanza sign.


Monday

Given the 3-hour time difference I found myself awake at 4:00am thinking it was 7:00am at first. After getting my bearings but realizing there was no way I’d be going back to sleep I fired up my laptop and knocked out a few blog entries from last week. I had not yet connected to the internet so everything I did was off-line and would get published later in the week once I rejoined the connected world. I was still connected via my iPhone for work and Samsung 4S for personal stuff, so I was not truly off-line for this vacation: I’m actually not sure how to do that anymore. But, I digress

After getting my blogs finished I decided to quietly slip out of the room and get in a brisk morning walk so that Debbie could sleep-in.  After my 2 mile walk, Debbie was up and around and we then made our way down the strip a half-mile to the Mirage Casino and Resort for a late breakfast. After breakfast we wandered around the strip checking out casinos for a while just to see what there was to see during the day.

Debbie was blown away by the Venetian with its indoor re-creation of the Venice, Italy canals complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers and the Grand Plaza with its sky-scape ceiling.  This is where I stayed during my last visit to Vegas in 1999: I had a 650 square foot suite to myself… what a waste!  I should have taken Debbie along back then.

 

As in the past and as we’ve seen in Key West, lots of hustlers were lined up in front of all the resorts and other places along the strip trying to slip you handbills, cards or coupons for “deals” on shows, strip clubs and just about everything else. A nice pair of dark sunglasses and otherwise being engaged in a good conversation with Debbie helped us navigate the sidewalk with minimum disruptions.   The heat was oppressive, to say the least: 105° F and you didn’t dare walk anywhere except in the shade of the Casino’s and Resorts. But, it’s a dry heat so you never seemed to break out in a sweat.

I think it was around 1:30pm when we decided to check-out the rooftop pool at The  Cromwell and catch a little sun.  Of course, it wasn’t so much a pool as it was a night club called Drais that also happened to have a pool.

The view of the Bellagio and surrounding areas was pretty spectacular, but so were the cost of drinks: $45 for a 20 ounce Strawberry Daiquiri and $18 for a bucket of three (3) 12oz cans of Diet Coke.  Interestingly enough, the cost of food was quite reasonable… but we passed on it just the same.  It felt good to get a little sun and to relax, so from that standpoint it was worth it… well, not really but I’ll continue to tell myself that it was just the same.

We had tickets to Frederic Da Silva’s Paranormal Mind Reading Show at Bally’s casino & resort right across the street from our hotel at 4:00pm. With the late breakfast and passing on the light lunch at the pool, by 3:30 we knew we’d need a little something on our stomachs to carry us over to dinner after the show. I used that as an excuse to introduce Debbie to In-and-Out Burger and their Double-Double Animal Style [includes extra Thousand Island spread, mustard grilled patties, and extra pickles] by bringing one back to the hotel while she was getting ready up in our room. While she initially said she didn’t really want to eat anything, I enticed her into sharing a few bites of the burger and some fries before we headed off to the show: it was a much-needed afternoon snack! We were both in need of some food and the burger hit the spot and made it a lot easier to enjoy the show since we weren’t distracted by empty stomachs.

The show itself was really amazing. It was a very small theater that sat perhaps 150 guests. Frederic Da Silva put on an incredible performance, having two-to-four audience members on stage with him at any one time for the duration of the hour-long show, including a few who were seated near us and clearly tourists. We have no idea how he was able to do what he did and neither were the folks who were randomly selected via frisbee toss to come on stage.  I’ll include a link to a video because, as I said, it’s too hard to describe what he did other than to amaze and surprise the audience with his ability to seemingly predict what someone had in a pocket, stop a watch at the time someone secretly visualized, or even figure out the name of a person someone was thinking about. And, lest anyone think he had the theater rigged with cameras, he invited all of the show guests to meet him in the commons area outside the theater for an impromptu encore performance that continued to challenge logic.  After the bonus show we walked a short distance through the Bally Resort complex to the adjoining Paris Resort and Hexx Kitchen where we had dinner.

We struck up a wonderful conversation with two other couples during the Frederic Da Silva show who suggested we take in one of the Vegas Burlesque Shows somewhere on the strip.  It turns out the Flamingo still had such a show so we headed there since it was right next to The  Cromwell.  We stopped over at the Bellagio Fountain’s on our way as the water shows on the quarter hours were all choreographed to different music and equally amazing if not downright mesmerizing.

The Flamingo’s Burlesque Show was held in a small theater called Bugsy’s Cabaret, an homage to the Flamingo’s former mob front man Bugsy Siegel. As we and the other two couples entered the theater the doorman offered an unsolicted upgrade of our general seating to VIP for an out-of-pocket tip. It was more than worth it as the VIP upgrade gave us seats that were a lot more comfortable than the ones we would have been sitting in for the 70-minute long dance and stand-up comedy show.  We had a great time, but I was expecting to see something of a 30’s style fan dancer, old-time show instead of a contemporary fast-paced Time’s Square dance show, with a strip-club flair.  The stand-up came on 20 minutes into the show and did a 10-minute routine that was pretty good and also helped to break-up the non-stop dance action which… at least to me, was a bit tiring. In fact, I think I dozed-off for a few minutes during the dance segment after the stand-up.  Then again, I’d been awake since 4:00am Pacific Time and it was close to 1:00am Eastern Time when the show let out so being a little tired was probably OK. Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the two couples who joined us: just first class folks who know how to enjoy life and who seemed more like family than mere acquaintances after just a few hours.

After leaving the Flamingo Debbie and I parted company with our show companions and headed off to see if we couldn’t find a nightclub where we could do a bit of dancing.  Amazingly, on a Monday night in Vegas they were far and few between.  The clubs that were open seemed to be booked for private events, had massive waiting lines or were playing what I call “thumpy-bumpy noise” instead of recognizable music.  We made one last try to see if the nightclub at the Cosmopolitan might not be too crowded. Alas, there were easily 100 people waiting to get in at 11:45pm so we decided to give it up and head for home but not before Debbie struck a pose along side a big red shoe.  The bright spot about being out late was catching the final water show at the Bellagio where the fountains were choreographed to support the Star Spangled Banner at midnight; worth it!

All told, we probably walked about 5-6 miles during the day while enjoying 105*F temperatures with almost no humidity.  This would be the norm over the next two days as well!


Tuesday

We had a pretty busy day ahead of us on Tuesday with a trip to and tour of the Hoover Dam and the Cirque du Soleil show “O” at the Bellagio at 9:30pm.  Our tour bus would be leaving from the resort at 10:00am sharp which gave us a couple of hours in the morning for breakfast and anything else we might want to do.  We decided to walk the half mile or so to the Denny’s on the strip across from the Mirage Casino & Resort as there was also a Walgreen’s that would hopefully have Debbie’s Caffeine-Free Diet Cokes, since the CVS next to our hotel did not.  It was nice to get in that morning walk again as it’s just a great way to start the day.   Of course, what was interesting was seeing some of the same people out at 7:30am who were just coming out at 11:00pm the night before, and by people I mean ladies of the night and apparently the morning.  There were also quite a few panhandlers and homeless-looking folks scattered about the strip, most of whom were getting rousted by the Vegas Metro Police.

Interestingly enough, up and until this trip I didn’t realize the Vegas Strip isn’t in Las Vegas nor is the Welcome to Las Vegas sign: they’re actually in the unincorporated city of Paradise, Nevada.  You have to head about 4 miles north from the Bellagio to get to the other ‘Vegas” casinos like the Golden Nugget and Frontier on Freemont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, passing through Winchester.  There are also the other unincorporated cities of North Las Vegas, Spring Valley, Enterprise, Whitney and Henderson.  Who knew?

We did a little exploring after our breakfast at Denny’s.  After about what amounted to a 1.5 mile walk we headed back to The Cromwell to get changed for our trip to the Hoover Dam at 10:00am.

The tour we took was operated by Grey Line Tours and it’s one I’d recommend.  Rather than getting on a bus that has pick-up locations all over the Strip, this tour has one pick-up and drop-off point at Bally’s that shaves almost an hour off the entire tour.  Of course, what made our 45-minute long, 35-mile trip to the dam so good was the bus driver, aka., Uncle Russell.  Uncle Russell was a retired Marine with a really twisted sense of humor and a seemingly endless amount of information regarding the history of Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam.  We learned as much or more from him that we did from Wikipedia or during our tour of the Dam.  And, he was as lively and informative before the tour as he was after the tour, taking several small detours along the way so we could see some of the often by-passed sites like some of the original homes built to house the people in Boulder who built the dam. The other visitors on the tour were all into the entire Uncle Russell thing and we had a blast!  What an amazing group we fell into!

As far as the Hoover Dam Tour goes, worth it!  I’ve been over the dam in the past but never bothered to spend the time to take a tour: what a mistake that was.  However, it was actually better taking the tour as a first timer with Debbie since I had to shut-up and listen instead of commenting, which I tend to do when I know just enough about a subject to be dangerous. But, it was truly amazing to see the challenges the engineers, geologists, architects and builders had to overcome to create the dam. The sheer size and scale of the project was almost too hard to appreciate in just a short tour with a 15 minute movie.  Just totally blown away…

    

On our way back to town Uncle Russell was kind enough to take us across the bypass bridge into Arizona and then make a U-turn so we could see the dam from the best vantage point short of being in a helicopter.  He also took a small detour so we could see big horn sheep grazing in a local park, the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign for a photo op and even the MGM Grand’s Mansion with its 29 suites that go for anywhere from $5,000 a night to $25,000 a night before dropping us back off at Bally’s casino & resort.

The one thing we hadn’t been able to do since our Denny’s omelet at 8:00am was eat. So, as soon as we stepped off the bus we were on our way through The Cromwell and Flamingo Casinos to the alley between the Flamingo and Linq casino where In-and-Out Burger was located.  Thankfully the lines weren’t too long as we were both incredibly hungry but, even still, we simply split a #1: Double-Double Burger (two patties & two pieces of cheese) grilled animal style with a side of fries and a soft drink.  It was the perfect meal for a late lunch at 2:30pm.  We wandered into the Harley-Davidson dealer across the street to see if they had any “must have” shirts or blouses: they didn’t.  After that we headed back to our room at The Cromwell so we could relax and clean-up a bit before dinner: we had another busy night ahead of us.

For dinner we headed back to the Paris Casino and Resort since it was right across the street from the Bellagio where we had tickets for the 9:00pm Cirque du Soleil show called “O”.  This is the show where a massive water tank is used as the primary stage and performers come out of and disappear into the tank.  It also turns out there is a specialized platform in the tank that’s raised and lowered to support different effects and different acts.  As for the show, although some of the acts shown here have been retired and replaced by other, the following video gives you a sampling of the experience. There’s purportedly a storyline for the show, but I’ll be darned if I could have told you what it was after the show or today.  That’s also true of the second Cirque show we saw while we were in Vegas; pretty unusual but then again these were the first permanent Cirque shows we’ve been to.

From Wikipedia: O is a water-themed stage production by Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian circus and entertainment company. The show has been in permanent residence at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, since October 1998. O, whose name is pronounced the same way as eau, the French word for “water”, takes place in, around and above a 1.5-million-US-gallon pool of water. The O theatre, which is designed to resemble a 14th-century European opera house, has 1,800 seats, thus allowing the performance to be watched by 3,600 people a night since the performance usually plays twice in a given day, also designed to meet the special demands of the show.  

The show has 150 stage technicians and a cast of 85 acrobats, synchronized swimmers and divers performing in and above the massive pool. When maintenance needs to be performed, the pool is drained in about 12 hours to the Bellagio Lake, causing the lake’s water level to rise 1 inch. The pool is kept at 88 °F (31 °C) and has an underwater communication system and regulators that allow performers to breathe underwater. Every member of the cast is scuba-certified.

The underwater stage lift was produced by Handling Specialty. In order for the platform stage to rise and fall in the water without a wake, the surface of the stage has thousands of tiny holes which were drilled out by the Cirque du Soleil team.

Heaters under each seat help control the theatre temperature for the audience; the goal is to maintain two temperature zones in the theatre. The stage is kept at a higher temperature while the audience area is kept at a lower temperature. A temperature sensor every few seats in the theatre helps to ensure the audience area is maintained at the correct temperature.

To minimize damage to the musical instruments, the musicians play from glass enclosures in the theater. Some of the musical instruments used in the show are more than 100 years old. The unique string instrument heard in the soundtrack of O is an erhu, a traditional Chinese bowed string instrument.

To maintain a fresh look on the performers, some performers have multiple sets of costumes so they may reappear dry despite having been in the water. Some of the costumes only have a lifespan of approximately 20 shows due to the bromide and chlorine in the water.

We had seats next to another couple who were also from the Atlanta area; they were a lot of fun and it was so very nice having someone to share post-show impressions and cocktails with.  While I’ve seen a few negative reviews of the show I don’t know how that’s possible. The first time I saw one of the Cirque shows back in the late 80’s I was simply blown away by the way they staged, decorated, costumed and produced the shows and music as it was like nothing else I’d ever seen.  The show “O” simply raised the bar on all of that to a level that was as amazing as my first Cirque.  The folks sitting next to us for the show were equally amazed by the show which was their very first time to a Cirque performance.

It was around 11:00pm when we finished the show at the Bellagio and, as we did the previous night, we went out in search of a nightclub where we could dance. As we wandered past Harrah’s we ran into Elvis and even though they are just guys out trying to earn a buck for posing for a photo, it was worth it: totally a Vegas thing.

At the same place where we ran into Elvis we found a small semi-enclosed nightclub called Carnival with a live band playing 80s & 90’s cover music.  It was exactly what we were looking for… but almost as soon as we started dancing another gal who looked to be intoxicated while dancing tripped over her own feet and fell head first into Debbie and hit her head against Debbie’s right temple and hard!  This is exactly the same place where Debbie’s head trauma occurred during our October 2015 accident down in Daytona Beach.  Thankfully, it was just a hard hit and Debbie while stunned and growing a bump was otherwise not seriously hurt but certainly shaken.

It goes without saying, that incident put an end to dancing at that club as the place was filled with people who were stumbling around.   In fact, it really put a damper on the entire evening. Well, almost… it was close to 1:00pm and we were both hungry so I introduced Debbie to another old favorite of mine from Chicago: a midnight snack at White Castle!  We split a sack of 4 sliders (small, square hamburgers), fries and a soft drink.  While the White Castle burgers are a lot like the ones they serve here in Atlanta at Krystal’s, I still think the White Castle are better! And make no mistake about it, White Castle was the first slider, circa 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, and the first fast-food chain restaurant.  Krystal’s was founded in Chattanooga, TN, in 1932 after one of the founders visited a White Castle.

With Debbie’s head feeling a bit better, we headed back to The Cromwell and were finally in bed around 1:30am.  It had been another long day with a lot of time spent out walking in the 105 degree heat: we were asleep in no time.


Wednesday

We started off Wednesday pretty much the same way we started Tuesday with a walk down the street to Denny’s for breakfast. On the docket today was a visit to “The City of Las Vegas” and the casino’s along Freemont Street in the old downtown area.  The 5-mile trip took about 20 minutes as the main drag through town is a labyrinth of stop lights that are anything but synchronized to keep traffic flowing.

Our first stop was the Mob Museum; from Wikipedia: The Mob Museum, officially the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a history museum located in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. Opened on February 14th, 2012, the Mob Museum is dedicated to featuring the artifacts, stories, and history of organized crime in the United States, as well as the actions and initiatives by law enforcement to prevent such crimes. 

mobmuseumThe Museum is housed in the former Las Vegas Post Office and Courthouse, which was built in 1933 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is located on Stewart Avenue, two blocks north of Fremont Street, the main artery of the downtown casino district.

Developed under the creative direction of Dennis Barrie, co-creator of the International Spy Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the museum is governed by a non-profit board, the “300 Stewart Avenue Corporation,” in partnership with the City of Las Vegas. The museum is dedicated to the contentious relationship between organized crime and law enforcement within the historical context of Las Vegas and the entire United States.

The Mob Museum was awarded accreditation on March 1, 2017, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This distinction means our Museum meets National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. museums and we join a select community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to these standards and best practices.

While I’d read mixed reviews about the museum, it was fascinating!  I only wish we’d have planned to have more time to spend there; the hour and a half we allocated ahead of grabbing lunch on Freemont Street just wasn’t enough.  Of course, now we need to go back and watch the Godfather movies, Casino and a host of other documentaries on organized crime as we saw just enough to pique our interests.

We went to the Golden Nugget for lunch and to otherwise check out the casino, pool and of course “the” golden nugget, aka, “the hand of faith” a 61 lb solid gold nugget discovered in Australia by someone using a metal detector.  The Golden Nugget casino bought the thing for $1M.  The Golden Nugget is easily the nicest casino along Freemont Street which has been converted into a mall with a canopy  that is covered with thousands of programmable LEDs for evening light shows.  It actually took me a few minutes to get my bearings on Freemont Street as most of the original casino facades had to be completed reworked to fit under the canopy.

The covered mall was created by closing down Freemont to traffic and installing all kinds of overhead structures, lighting and the like.  Clearly, a ton of money has been put into keeping the old downtown area in business and it looks like a tough uphill battle.  Unlike the strip that had a few panhandlers and homeless-looking folks wandering around, the Freemont Street mall was teeming with them, to the point of feeling uncomfortable at times.  I’ll leave it alone at that.  I’m glad that we went over to the Freemont Street mall, but pretty sure that’s not where I’d want to spend my evenings.  But, if for no other reason, the trip is worth it just to see the Mob Museum!

We had tickets for the 7:00pm Cirque du soleil show Mystere at the Treasure Island Casino and Resort so we needed to get back to The Cromwell around 3:00pm so we’d have enough time to get ready for the evening and then to make our way over to Treasure Island for dinner before the show.  We actually lucked out as we were getting ready to walk over to Treasure Island when we learned The Cromwell offered guests SUV service around the strip for just tip money before 8:00pm. Given how hot it was in the late afternoon, that seemed like a pretty good way to make the 8/10th of a mile trip!

Cirque du Soleil “Mystere” at Treasure Island.  What can I say, it was amazing and once again we found ourselves seated next to a folks who were mostly new to the Cirque experience and a joy to be around since they were getting the full “O.M.G.” Cirque experience.  The show it self is pretty hard to describe but like “O” it didn’t really seem to have a story line like most all of the other shows we’ve seen listed below, notwithstanding oVo which had a storyline that wasn’t a storyline and was generally a mess:

  • Le Cirque Réinventé, 1987
  • Nouvelle Expérience, 1991
  • Saltimbanco, 1993
  • Alegria, 1994
  • Quidam, 1996
  • Dralion, 1997
  • Varekai, 2002
  • Kooza, 2007
  • oVo, 2010
  • Totem, 2012
  • Amaluna, 2014

From Wikipedia: Mystère is one of six resident Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, the others being O, Zumanity, Kà, Love, and Michael Jackson: One. Mystère was first performed on December 25, 1993 . As with many Cirque du Soleil productions, Mystère features a mixture of circus skills, dance, elaborate sets, opera, worldbeat music, and street theatre-style comedy.

The idea for Mystère started around 1990. It was originally planned for Caesars Palace with a theme based on Greek and Roman mythology. The plan, however, was scrapped by the casino executives, who thought the project would be too financially risky. Mystère was very different from the typical material they were used to in a Las Vegas show. Treasure Island picked up the show three years later. Mystère was the first Cirque de Soleil show that would have its own theater, rather than touring with a circus tent and a permanent base in Las Vegas. 

The theater is unique and seats 1,541. The stage measures 120 feet by 70 feet deep and covers approximately 10,032 square feet. The stage floor is made of a layer of Base Mat, which is rubber made from recycled old tires and sneakers. This helps give the stage some bounce for tumbling. This is held together by polyurethane adhesive and covered with thousands of gallons of liquid that dries onto the surface. The Downstage D Lift is 36 feet in diameter and includes a 28-foot revolving stage. The revolving stage rotates up to 10 revolutions per minute. Props, equipment, and performers are elevated to stage level from the basement or trap by four moving lifts. 

The taiko drums in Mystère are created by the Japanese company Asano Taiko, located in Mattō, Ishikawa Prefecture. The largest drum in Mystère is the ōdaiko, which is 6 feet in diameter and 15 feet in length, and weighs half a ton. Due to the large size of the drum, it had to be brought into the theatre during construction. Since the completion of the theatre the drum can not be removed, as no door is large enough to accommodate it.

We wandered up the strip after the show and caught the 9:00pm Volcano Eruption at the Mirage.  It was a bit hokey-looking but the heat that thing let off was on par with standing in front of a burning building!  And the show went on for about 4 minutes.  Not sure I’d build my evening schedule around the eruption, but really glad that we caught it as it’s been a fixture in Vegas since 1989.

While out on the town in Vegas ended up running into someone we knew who knew someone else who knew a couple who were in one of the suites on the 39th floor of the Cosmopolitan with a room that overlooked the Bellagio fountains. They said the view was spectacular and a must see so we took them up on an offer to see how the well-to-do do Vegas. Wow, what a view!  The photo below is actually one that our friends shared as mine were all taken with my crappy Samsung 4S camera which does not perform well in low light or at night.  We were able to catch a couple of the ‘every 15 minute’ water shows from up on high and it was spectacular.  Unfortunately, we were obviously way too far from the fountains to hear the music that goes along with the light and water shows and that’s half of the magic. But, it was truly a great experience and capped off our trip quite nicely as there was something of a party going on in the room while we were there.

We headed back to The Cromwell around 11:00pm as it would be impossible to top the evening we’d had.  Best to quit while you’re ahead.


Thursday

On Thursday I was up at 5:00am and on my work computer for a few hours trying to get a jump-start on some reports that I need to review and then consolidate each week ahead of some analysis I knock out every Friday morning.  Debbie was sound asleep for the entire time, so that was good as there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep while someone else in banging on a keyboard.

We wandered around the strip for a while just to make sure there wasn’t anything we needed to buy before heading back to get our bags packed and having brunch at the Flamingo.  We headed to the airport around 1:00pm to catch our 4:15pm flight back to Atlanta.  We were dragging a bit by this time as we’d probably walked about 25 miles over the course of the past four days and definitely had a few more cocktails than normal over the same period of time.

Our flight home was uneventful, other than the usual hassles we seem to encounter on those rare occasions when we fly.  And, it’s always at the smaller airports as we head home, e.g., Key West, Philly, Allentown, etc.  Just one of the reasons we try to visit places that aren’t more than a day’s drive or two days ride on the motorcycle!

What else can I say about the Vegas trip: it was simply amazing. The people we met and visited with throughout our travels and while we were in Vegas were all pleasant, engaging and never had a negative thing to say which is extremely rare!  Just positive energy all-around… which is what you want when you’re trying to enjoy life and have new experiences!


The Weekend

Once we were back at home it was mostly about getting caught up on work and the honey do’s.

I was up early on Friday morning and spent the better part of 2 hours working on my weekly analysis and reports so I could get those out by 9:00am while Debbie slept in.

The afternoon was consumed with yard work as the lawn had already gone to seed since Sunday morning and the hedges needed trimming, etc.  Debbie was inside knocking out several loads of laundry. In addition to all of our clothing from the trip, the kids and grandkids had been staying at the house for a couple of nights while the wood floors in their new house we’re being repaired and refinished to correct a problem their builder had created, so there were a few extra loads of bed linens and towels to take care of.

Around 4:30pm it was time to get cleaned up and head to Loco’s for our Finally a Friday routine.  David & Deb were on hand and we had a really good time… in fact, we may have over achieved!  Debbie and Deb were in rare form and it was quite the evening as they kept our barkeepers Brian and Billy entertained.  I think David and I were solving the problems of the world, or was it plotting the overthrow of the world: I get the two challenges confused at times.  I want to say that we didn’t get home until almost 10:30pm. Again, it was a heck of a way to cap off one of the most amazing trips we’ve taken in a long time for a variety of reasons.  I mean, really… the only thing we didn’t do was gamble.  Well OK, Debbie dropped $20 in the slots and had only a smile to show for it.

I was up at 4:00am on Saturday and headed into the office at 5:00am to knock out about four hours of unplanned work due to a deadline that moved up by two days while I was out-of-town.  I had that done and was on my way home around 9:30am.  Debbie had been up for a while but had gone back to bed as she was still struggling with the east coast / west coast time change.  It was around 11:30am when we got ourselves sorted out and headed off for some down time away from home and other things that would otherwise keep us from relaxing.

We didn’t get back home until Sunday afternoon and with the yard work and real work out-of-the-way from Friday, it gave us an opportunity to head out for a few hours on our Harley, Blue.  We headed out on a little 91-mile ride the back way to Cartersville with a stop at Southern Devil Harley-Davidson.

As often times happens when we visit certain Harley dealers, Horsetown, or Skips in Daytona, I found a couple of tops for Debbie while we were there. Yes, as always, she makes them look amazing!

With her new tops in the saddlebag, we headed north toward Fairmount then jumped on Salacoa Road to enjoy the twisties into Reinhardt College.  We came back through Canton and kinda hoped that some friends who’d gone out boating at 12:30pm might have been back at home by the time we were near their home at the lake but, alas, they were still on the boat around 4:15pm.  So we made our way home around 6:00pm and swapped out the motorcycle for the truck then headed to Loco Willy’s for dinner.

Willy’s was pretty quiet when we arrived and just about the time we finished up our ribs with jalapeno slaw and fries our friends David & Deb came in and joined us.  We hung out there until just before the puck dropped on Game 6 of the Stanley Cup.  We headed home and both fell asleep watching the cup but thankfully, woke up in time to catch the final moments of the game when the Penguins clinched the series!

That was that for our weekend.  Again, just one of the most amazing weeks we’ve every had where we’d had so much packed into the Vegas trip that it “seemed like” we’d been going 24/7 for two weeks, not just one.  The word count on this blog alone would suggest that as well… sorry about that.

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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