Sunday Morning (February 17th) we got up early and were on the road by 6:30am. There was a fantastic sunrise coming up behind the surrounding mountains. We stopped at a casino in Tonopah, Nevada for breakfast and a little stretch before heading to Las Vegas. We got to Las Vegas and realized that the RV park at Sam's Town would be full because we were arriving in the middle of the President's Day holiday weekend. We attempted to settle into a spot at the far end of a Wal Mart parking lot but the security guy came along and informed us that the laws had changed in Nevada and there was no more over night parking in any store parking lot. After he pulled away, a pick-up truck pulled up and the man driving the truck asked us if the security guy had run us out. We told him, yes he had and at the point he said "follow us, we're parked in the parking lot of The Orleans casino and there's plenty of room there." So off we went following this nice couple from Red Deer, Alberta Canada. We parked in front of their big 5th Wheel and visited with them for awhile and "hit the hay." Monday morning, we headed down to the old section of Las Vegas (we missed that last year). We were starving and had been told that the buffet at the Mainstreet Station casino was delicious and inexpensive. We were able to find a parking place close by so went there to eat first. I was stunned at the beauty of the inside of this building. And the food was plentiful and delicious. After eating we wandered thru old Las Vegas. It was interesting but the casinos interiors are old & dated. (I guess that's why they call it old Las Vegas.)
We drove around and looked at other parts of the town and finally headed to Sam's Town where we got a nice spot with full hook-ups. And right next to the shower. (The camper has a small shower but it's a real pain to use it). We noticed that there's a huge amount of construction going on in Vegas. Not only houses, condos and apartments but also in buildings that look like possible office complexes and casinos. I guess they don't know the economy is bad. We also noticed the huge amount of people gambling in the casinos. Apparently there are a lot of people that have money to loose.
Tuesday morning we headed to the main part of town and found a parking lot near the casinos we didn't get to last year. On this day we went into the Luxor, Mandalay Bay and the Excalibur Casinos. If you go beyond the gambling, they all offer something unique to the person wandering thru. I was especially interested in seeing the inside of the Luxor. I flew into Las Vegas on my way to Los Angeles several years ago and the sight of that black pyramid building has stuck in my mind. It truly is unusual and beautiful inside.
Tuesday afternoon we went back to the outskirts of town and met Bob's brother and sister in law at Boulder Station for their dinner buffet. We took advantage of the buffet's several times....and to some people, buffet means gorging yourself. But I actually like them better than ordering off the menu. I can have as many veggies, salad and other good things as I want and I always leave the potatoes and bread behind. So I feel for some people, buffet's are the way to go. After dinner we came back to Sam's Town and wandered around inside their big building. There's a huge waterfall and wildlife display in the very middle of the building that I find very intriguing. We then went back to the camper and took showers. I figured out the showers are very crowded in the morning, so by taking a shower at night....I had the place to myself.
Wednesday morning we went back down to the strip and parked in the Hilton's parking lot. We got tickets to ride the monorail that runs thru several of the casinos. On this day we visited the Imperial Palace, Caesar's Palace & the Flamingo. At the Imperial Palace there's a fantastic old car museum. We were given coupon books that allowed us admission to the museum at no cost. At the Flamingo we wandered back to their outdoor area and viewed their display of beautiful flamingos. And finally Caesar's Palace....oh my ! What an elaborate place !! I was awestruck. And of course this is where Celine Dion just completed her 5 year run and now Bette Midler is there. I could never afford tickets to see Bette Midler...but I love her music so I went into the Bette Midler shop and bought 2 of her music CD's.
We got back to Bob's truck about 6:15pm it was dark, we were both admiring the full moon. Then as we were driving along Bob said "there's something wrong with the moon...it's disappearing. I got on my cell phone and called my daughter (they know everything that's going on) and asked if there was an eclipse. She said "yes there is, the kids are outside watching it right now." So that explained what we were seeing. It's funny how out of touch you are when you're away from home.
Thursday morning we drove over to the laundry room at the RV park so I could do laundry. While the clothes were washing & drying we cleaned up the camper, got rid of garbage, filled up the water tank and emptied the other tanks (have to do that once in awhile) and when the laundry was down we checked out of Sam's Town RV park.
We stopped back at Boulder Station for buffet lunch and then headed out of Las Vegas towards Pasadena, California. We stopped at a very unusual looking casino in Primm, Nevada called Buffalo Bills Casino. It had a roller coaster starting inside the building and running around the outside of the building. There was also a water ride inside the building. We wandered around there for about 30 minutes and then it was back into the truck. Our next unusual stop was at Baker, California. There's a gas station/mini mart there that boasts the worlds tallest thermometer. It was getting dark so I didn't get a picture of it. But I asked the man tending the store, how high he'd seen the temperature rise. He said one summer it reached 120 degrees. The day/evening we were there it was at 65 degrees. We continued on, getting gas at Victorville, CA where the wind was blowing so hard I could barelyopen the door of the truck to get out and stretch my legs.
At 8:30pm we pulled up to the beautiful home of Bob's daughter and son in law on the hillside of Pasadena. It was 56 degrees and raining~I felt like I was back in Washington state.