Our last full day in Vegas...


...was a day of touring by various methods.  I'd forgotten that #1 on my list when we had the car was driving to the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.  I really wanted a match for Osh Vegas!  I knew it was a bit of a hike from Planet Hollywood... but too far??  We decided to walk in that direction -- we hadn't gone that way before -- past MGM, toward M&M World, and ask someone who looked like they might know if a) it was walkable and b) within walking distance.  I asked a store clerk, who hemmed and hawed a bit, but in the end we all decided it was -- or, if it wasn't, we'd just turn around or catch a cab or a bus or something.  We bought a day-long bus pass along the way.


New York! New York!

It was a long walk in the morning sun, past long-gone hotels and casinos, not always on a paved sidewalk, but not battling any sort of crowd, and we made it!  Jumping for joy!
The whole bus thing on that end of town was... well, I suggest figuring out how it works BEFORE the buses start going by.  We walked back up a ways and eventually caught a Deuce.  We had front-row seats on the upper deck and a somewhat entertaining driver who left the PA open, so we heard some interesting goings-on from passengers below, and decided to take it all the way up -- the poor man's tour of The Strip -- figuring the bus would just turn around and head back.  It sort of worked like that, but kind of not.  In hindsight, we should have stopped at Fremont Street and caught an Ace back; instead, we disembarked and reembarked on the same bus (front row seats again, tho!)... and it was a very long tour.

By then, we were hungry!  We had a little something to eat and took some time to rest at the hotel before heading back out again.


We walked up toward The Venetian, where Sharon (a fan of The View) met Whoopi Goldberg outside of Madame Tussaud's.
The final destination was Fremont Street Experience, as recommended by our brother and several others.  This time, we caught the Ace bus (there and back) for a much quicker ride!

We saw (and these photos are from) the Don McLean's American Pie show.  We also saw Doors Strange Days, but I only listened and watched that one.  Worn out and with a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call looming, we didn't stay out too late!

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I had a fabulous time in Fabulous Las Vegas!  Thank you, Sharon, for the idea -- and for letting me run with it!  For one who doesn't often plan these things, I think I planned well -- and, more or less, things went as planned.  I left wanting more -- there's plenty that I did not see (neon graveyard, for one BIG thing) -- and that's a good thing!  About the only thing that could have made it better was coming home having won a little jackpot -- just a little one!

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Tom Jones at the MGM Grand in August.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday road trip


I'll try not to load this post with too many photos, but no promises.  It was all so fantastic and I took a bunch.

Tuesday was road trip day.  We rented a car and #1* on the list was a visit to Hash House A Go Go for breakfast, #2 was Gail Knits, #3 was Hoover Dam, and #4 was Valley of Fire.  Red Rock Canyon was a late suggestion for #5 from a valet at Planet Hollywood -- who did not blink, by the way, when the answer to "Where are you going?" was "To a yarn store!"  In fact, he told me of a similar trek while on vacation once with a girlfriend -- he wasn't all that enthused, and I'm not sure he had full understanding, but he was aware of the need to seek out yarn stores on vacation, and he did not judge.  Heh.

#1.  Hash House A Go Go!  Thank you, Caro; seconded by Susan!!  (May I suggest that the next time you're planning a trip somewhere, throw it out to Facebook -- I had the most wonderful response from people I know and trust!)

Yeah.  Even Sharon's simple eggs, ham and potato breakfast was huge.  I had a hash made with fresh mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and fresh spinach with my biscuit and egg.  I'd seen the Hash House A Go Go location at the Imperial Palace, but we drove to the one on Sahara because it was "just down the street" from...

#2.  Gail Knits!  Thank you, Jennifer!  I didn't take any photos, but I did buy a Crazy Zauberball to remember the visit to Vegas and to use in my current Parcheesi project.  We also talked bratwurst and cheese curds with an employee (maybe a customer?) who'd once lived in Wisconsin.

#3.  Hoover Dam.  I didn't do any planning for this visit, just knew that we needed to go.  We didn't go on an organized tour, either, though perhaps we should have -- amazingly beautiful and completely fascinating, in any case.


This bridge.  Oh.my.GOD, this bridge is SO DAMN HIGH.  I don't think I'd ever be able to drive over it, or even be driven over it.  Really and truly.  I'm not sure I'd be able to walk over it... maybe straight down the middle and without looking either left or right -- straight ahead, eyes on the prize (the other side), baby!  Maybe I could crawl over.  I get vertigo just thinking about being up there.
#4.  Valley of Fire.  We drove a few miles into Arizona before turning around and driving back over the dam, then into Lake Mead National Recreation Area on our way through Valley of Fire.  Simply gorgeous.

It got too late to also visit Red Rock Canyon, so #5 became a stop at In-n-Out Burger, instead.  (Thanks, again, to Jennifer!)  Really, terrifically, YUM!!

And then we went "home" -- Planet Hollywood -- and enjoyed a lovely sunset.


Sharon and I agree that without this little road trip, we'd both feel very differently (not as good) about our trip to Las Vegas.

*#1 was supposed to be the Las Vegas sign!!  Ooops!  Tomorrow is another day.

Can you believe I went to Las Vegas?

Srsly.  I've never actually articulated my Top 10 Places To Go... but if I did, I don't think Las Vegas was in there.  Italy, Ireland, Greece, St. John, Newfoundland, Labrador, Arizona, St. Louis, Charleston, Disneyland... they'd be in there.

Now?  Well, I could go back!

I maybe should have been a pilot... this is my second-least favorite seat on the plane... even so, the view from up there is one of my favorite things in the world.

It was 59F, cloudy, and windy when we landed.  This was the (fisheye) view from our room.  That shut me up right quick.  The Bellagio (and fountains), Caesar's Palace, Mirage, and Paris -- with Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe (and Barry Manilow) -- all right there.  I never tired of the view.

Monday morning dawned "quiet" and clear -- and warmer!


Barry Manilow was next door at Paris!

But not right away warmer, so we spent some morning time viewing the auto collection at the Imperial Palace.  I could easily fill my fantasy 20-car garage from this collection.


This one's for Mom & Joe -- who are driving through Italy as we speak!

Donny and Marie were at the Flamingo -- next to Barry Manilow at Paris and across from Cher at Caesar's Palace.

Margaritas in ridiculous light-up souvenir Planet Hollywood glasses (we fell for it!) at lunch!
Our big event on Monday was seeing the Cirque du Soleil show "LOVE" at the Mirage.  Loved it!