Finishing up in Las Vegas

Sunday April 30th 2017

This was my last full day in Las Vegas for this trip. After three weeks I am ready to get out of town. I really think this town is better in small doses.

My focus today was getting ready to travel tomorrow. I got the laundry done this morning. Unlike yesterday’s rush on washing, I was the only user of the washing machines this morning. By the time my stuff was in the drier, a couple of other people had arrived to start their laundry. This RV resort has a very nice laundry. I’ll miss it.

This afternoon I made one last Las Vegas casino visit. I went to the Orleans Resort and Casino on the west side of the strip. Traffic wasn’t too bad getting there, but the return trip later in the day was slow. I will not miss the traffic in this city. My reason for going to the casino was to empty my slot account of free play cash value. I’ve been accumulating point for the last five years or so. The free play value was only about twenty five dollars, but I don’t want it to disappear before I visit another Boyd casino.

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Moon over Las Vegas. (I didn’t have a picture to include. I went outside and pointed the camera at the sky.)

The good news is that using the twenty five dollars of free play I made over one hundred dollars of real money. With that positive return I have spent less from my gambling budget than I planned. I still have a week or two remaining in Nevada so I need to continue my disciplined spending. It isn’t really hard. After I was in town for a day or two I’d played half a dozen slot machines and my itch was satisfied. Since then I only played when I had a reason like killing time before a show or the challenge of a casino promotion. My fascination with the machines is not the gambling, but the algorithms and technology used to implement the machines.

Tomorrow night I will be in the middle of the state of Nevada. The available campgrounds are group at the bigger towns, but the towns are few and far between. I understand there are also many wide places and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land along the road suitable for overnight stops. How far north I’ll get and where I will stop is unknown. If I stop between the towns, I may not have internet or cell phone access. In that case, this blog will be delayed until the next day.

A Lazy Saturday in Las Vegas

Saturday April 29th 2017

The wind continued overnight and into the day today. The temperature recovered a little into the low 80s. As the day progressed, the wind started to die down. This evening, as I write this blog entry, it is perfectly calm outside. Bopefully, it will stay calm for the next few days.

I started the day off very slowly. The morning was over by the time my coffee pot was empty. I watched TV and caught up on my Internet reading as I sipped my coffee. When I came up for air, I decided to take advantage of my proximity to the laundry and get one last load done before I move on Monday. Unfortunately, all eight of the washing machines were in use. I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

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View to the east from Green Valley Ranch Resort Casino

Many of the residents of this RV park are departing. I presume their rent is up at the end of the month. As a result the park is getting quieter and less active. When I first arrived there were many people out walking and the dog park that I can see from my RV was in constant use. Now, I don’t see many people out and about at all.

This afternoon I went out for a drive. I didn’t have any where I was going. I just knew I needed to get out. I ended up at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino. They were having promotion that awarded free slot play to all slot players at random times during the day. I low bet my twenty dollar budget for over two hours. Just before I was out of money I got lucky. All of the slot players were awarded one hundred dollars in free slot play.

I played the hundred dollars through the machine to turn it into cash. With the losses in the conversion process, I walked away with fifty five dollars. So I made a thirty five dollar profit in two and half hours. I’ll probably give it to another casino tomorrow. I enjoyed the slot play and I’m keeping to my self imposed limits. If it wasn’t for the casino promotion I wouldn’t have been playing at all.

Winding down in Las Vegas

Friday April 28th 2017

The wind is becoming a real annoyance. It seems like every day for the last week the wind has played a prominent role in the weather and thus what can be comfortably done outside. A north wind in excess of twenty miles per hour with higher gusts has been the focus all day. The wind direction has also kept the temperature down into the low 70s. This trend is forecast to continue through the weekend.

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Today’s flower blossom picture.

I had to go out for breakfast this morning. I didn’t have anything to go with my coffee. Dunkin Donuts came to my rescue with a large black coffee and two bagels. It was an expensive breakfast. I deposited the fifteen dollar profit from last nights slot play into the slots at Sam’s Town Casino while I drank my coffee. On the plus side it kept me from drinking the coffee too fast.

After breakfast at the casino I went to the Walmart Super Center across the street to replenish my food supply. I got plenty of items to go with my morning coffee and hopefully enough other groceries so I will not run out before I get to the Reno NV area next week. Just to be sure, I’ll probably make another quick stop for groceries on Sunday. I leave here on Monday morning.

I’m ready to leave. I am running out of things I want or can do. I have put off going out to the Lake Mead National Recreation area because of the wind. It is supposed to be even worst in that area. Similarly, driving in the opposite direction to Pahrump NV is not high on my list because of the wind and the lack of a specific destination. Just seeing the sights is fun in good conditions or the first time around. It wouldn’t be either.

Cirque du Soleil The Beatles Love

Thursday April 27th 2017

The theme for the day was wind. It was coming from the north again today. The orientation of my RV makes that the most annoying direction for the wind. The whistles, rattles and shakes are the worst when the wind is from that direction.

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I spent the early part of the day doing chores around the RV. I’m starting to get some of the checklist items complete for my departure from Las Vegas on Monday. After three weeks here a lot of things need to be put away. Many things need to wait until closer to departure time. Safety items like tire pressure need to be checked and topped off if necessary, but that will wait until the morning before travel. Particularly in this hot climate, I need to check the pressure before the sun heats up the tires.

I’ve also been working on my plans. Once I committed to the extra week here, I stopped planning. That wasn’t the smartest decision, since I still need to make reservations for a number of stays. I’m going to put a stake in the ground by making reservations in the Glacier National Park area for the end of June. Then I can fill in the time between now and then.

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Late this afternoon I drove up to the strip. Tonight was the performance of Cirque du Soleil The Beatles Love that I extended my stay in Las Vegas to see. It was well worth it. This continues to be one of my favorite Cirque shows. It uses dance and acrobatics set to Beatles music to tell a story. To the extent that the Beatles wrote most of their songs from their experiences the performance tells the story of the Beatles. So the show often tells the story of their loves and loses. Other song lyrics just stand alone. For example, while the recorded lyrics to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds plays, a woman acrobat performance on a rope high above the stage with hundreds of blinking LED lights flickered about the theater. The finally uses Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with, I think, slightly modified lyrics to say thank you and good-bye.

This show is a theater in the round performance. Artists enter from eight different openings in the seating area and from above and below. It is jam packed with action. Projections onto smoke and screens augments the performance. The audience even gets involved with things like giant  balloons that come out into the audience to be batted around.

I had a seat at the end of a row on one of the main aisles. It wasn’t a bad seat, but it did allow me to see everybody that needed to leave the section of seats. I can’t understand why so many people have itchy feet or weak bladders. It was only about and hour and a half show, but after about 15 minutes a steady stream of people in and out of the seating area began. They returned empty handed, so they weren’t going to the concession. The number of people way exceed a reasonable number of unhealthy or chronically ill attendees. Go before the show or wait people.

Shopping without Buying

Wednesday April 26th 2017

The day started cloudy and calm and ended sunny and windy. The temperature topped out in the mid 80s. The next few days are forecast to be increasingly windy. The wind is getting to be a pain in the posterior. In addition to the noise it makes by flapping awnings and such, it is interfering with my satellite TV reception. The dish is locked on through a tree when it is calm, but when the wind is blowing it is intermittent.

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Setting sun reflecting on the mountain behind the RV Resort.

Today was a slow day. I went in search of a backup battery for my camera. It has run out of juice at the wrong time more often than I like. My first stop was Fry’s Electronics. This is a west coast chain of electronics stores that everything from a resistor to a high speed computer. If you combine Best Buy, Radio Shack, the best computer store you know and an appliance specialty store you start to get the concept of Fry’s. I felt like a pig in mud.

I found the battery I needed, but I didn’t buy it. They only had the Canon labeled battery for close to sixty dollars. The third party batteries on the internet are only about fifteen dollars. Fry’s had the third party batteries for other cameras but not for mine. There were many empty space on the rack. Later in the day I found a similar problem at Best Buy.

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Overall I spent more than an hour in Fry’s checking out things I like but have no place for or any real need for. This was not my first time in the store and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

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I got back to my RV home around four. As usual, in the afternoon I have to turn on the air conditioner to keep the inside of the RV comfortable. The lack of shade allows the sun to get the inside of the motorhome into the high 90s. With both ACs on I can get the temperature down into the 70s in about a half an hour. Unfortunately, all this in and out of AC with cold drafts has my nose running. I can’t win.

Laughlin, NV

Tuesday April 25th 2017

In yesterday’s blog entry I commented on the wind not being as bad as advertised. I think I pushed karma too far. Overnight the wind picked up out of the north and rocked and rattled the RV all night long. A north wind seems to hit the motorhome almost broadside on the passenger side of the vehicle. I got up to shut windows and then tried to get back to sleep. The wind managed to wake me up several times during the night.

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Casino resorts along the side of the Colorado River in Laughlin, NV.

I was waiting for a day with calm winds to drive the one hundred or so miles to Laughlin NV on the Colorado river. The forecast for the rest of the week calls for the wind to continue. So, I decided to head for Laughlin today despite the wind. The wind pushed me around and caused the car to down shift on level ground a couple of times. Driving took a little more attention today, but the desert and mountain views were worth it. I’ve made the trip several times before so I knew to slow down from seventy five to twenty five going through the town of Searchlight NV. As usual, I passed someone having a visit with a police officer.

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The tour boat from the Riverside Resort and Casino.

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Tour boat form the Colorado Bell Casino Resort.

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One of several Jet Skis on the river.

Laughlin NV has a strip of casinos on the Colorado River just below the Davis Dam. I didn’t visit for the casinos, although I did leave twenty dollars in a combination of four casinos I passed through. I came for the river. Watching the people and action on the river is fun. I had thoughts of taking a river cruise but I didn’t plan ahead. The timing of the boat trips was wrong for a ride today.

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Duck family. The dark spot above the duckling is a large fish in the water under the duckling.

I did manage to get a good animal fix. The river water is high and moving rapidly. They must be releasing a good amount through the Davis dam. In the shallows at the river’s side there are large fish visible. One “knowledgeable” tourist was calling them Carp and another was calling them Catfish. If I have to guess I’d go with Carp, but I’m guessing with the worst of the guessers. Suffice it to say they were big ground feeding fish.

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Mr and Mrs Mallard.

Along with the fish, I saw several pairs of ducks. One set of Mallards had a single duckling with them as they swam against the current. I think if they got more than a few feet from shore the duckling would be taken away by the current. Maybe that’s what happened to its siblings.

I drove back to Las Vegas after about three hours in the Laughlin area. I arrived back in Las Vegas just in time for rush hour. I abandon the highway and made my way home on surface streets. I had to stop at a lot of traffic lights, but luckily never spent more than one light waiting to get through the intersections. Las Vegas has traffic at all times of day. The long afternoon rush is terrible.

A quick trip to the Las Vegas Strip

Monday April 24th 2017

This morning I watched my neighbors pack up and depart the RV resort. According to my original plan I would have been moving on today as well. I’ve extended my stay here until next Monday. The park is starting to thin out. My first week here was the Nevada school vacation week so the park had a few families. This past week there were still plenty of residents, but starting yesterday many people have been moving on. Tonight I can see many empty sites in the park.

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Flower arrangement in the Mirage Resort atrium.

Today was not as windy as I had expected from the forecast. It was fairly strong early, but by afternoon it was not a big influence. Clouds moved in later in the day and kept the temperature in the low 80s.

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Nice to see some ordinary Petunias after some of the more exotic desert flowers I saw yesterday.

This afternoon I drove to Sam’s Town Resort and Casino and took their shuttle to Harrah’s on the Las Vegas Strip. By doing this I avoid paying for parking and/or a lot of walking. My goal was to check out the Mirage Resort and the Treasure Island Resort. Mirage is across the strip from Harrah’s and TI is next door. As expected nothing significant had changed. It was nice to check out the atrium garden area in the Mirage. The waterfall area has some nice tropical plantings.

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Fountain show in front of the Wynn Resort with the Fashion Show Mall in the background.

I took the tram from Mirage to the TI then walked through the casino and out to the overhead walkway to the Fashion Show mall. From there I crossed back over the strip to the front of the Wynn Resort then back across Sands Blvd to the Palazzo and Venetian Resort. Walking south on the strip I passed Casino Royal to get back to Harrah’s. Two and a half hours after arriving on the strip I boarded the shuttle back to Sam’s Town.

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Butterfly sculptures in the Palazzo Resort.

I had supper at Panda Express in Sam’s Town then drove back the two blocks to the RV resort. A little TV and a little Blog writing and thus ends my day in Las Vegas.