Friday, December 28, 2007

Sam’s Town RV Park, Las Vegas, Nv

Friday: Breakfast at the Casino buffet, again. Much the same as yesterday but for $4 it was good.

Lou and Dawn continued on their shopping destinations around Pahrump. I took my shower and checked email. I then started preparing to leave. Dumped and flushed the tanks and filled the water tank. I left the site about 1115. First stop was to get gas. It was $3.03 at Terrible's station out front. Much nicer than in Death Valley ($4.05) or even at home ($3.40). We met at Walmart's for a little grocery shopping then we were off toward Las Vegas. We arrived in Las Vegas about 2:30. We were waiting at the signal at Dean Martin and Tropicanna and looked across the street and saw brother Ernie backing his truck into a space at the Wild Wild West casino/truck stop (WWW). A moment later Ernie called and said he had arrived. Ha Ha, we knew that already. We were headed to the Rio. We planned to park in their lot but when we arrived they had a motocross event in the lot and over sized vehicle parking was prohibited until 1/3. So we headed off to Sam's Town where we'll stay until 1/3. We didn't expect the other casino's would have had room for RV's either during the holiday.

We headed over to the WWW to meet Ernie for dinner. Ernie and Lou had BBQ ribs, Dawn had prime rid and I had a bowl of chowder and shared theirs. We still took home a rack of ribs and most of the prime rib. All was good. We topped off the evening with a look at the show in the shy at the Rio and then called it a day.

The weather seems much warmer since the wind died. As we came over the summit there was a touch of snow on the ground. It's 40 degrees here at 10pm, much warmer than the other night in Pahrump.

Saturday: Ernie came over to Sam's and we had Sam's champagne brunch buffet. Very good. After breakfast, Ernie and I went over to the Wild Wild West (WWW) to work on his truck. He has more sound equipment to install in the dash. We worked all day routing cables and such. He also has a computer stand to install. It requires the removal of the passenger seat to install a base plate. We removed it but didn't get the plate installed. We also have to replace the XM radio antenna which is bad. Noticed after routing the cable through some tight spots.

Dinner was back at Sam's cafe. Lou and I had the blue plate specials, pot roast. Ernie and the soup and salad bar and Dawn had fettuccine which included the soup and salad bar.

Sunday: Up late. Lou was up early to get over to Walmart's to get fixings for dinner. I drained the tank and filled to water. It's so cold we're using the water tank and pump for our showers.

More of the same today Lou and Dawn shopping, Ernie and I working on the truck. We finished replacing Ernie's XM antenna and got the computer mount installed. Then we had lunch at the WWW and checked out some of the machines. Ernie did very well at the machines and at the blackjack table I had no luck, as usual so I didn't try the tables.

We stopped by Walmart's for some Christmas gift getting. We then had Lou's homemade beef stroganoff at the RV. Excellent dinner. For desert we had Dewar's peppermint stick ice milk, a Bakersfield treat.

Monday: Last day of 2007. I got up early and drove the car across town to the Volvo dealer to have the check engine light problem looked at. Lou had called last week to make an appointment and was told no appointment was needed for today because they only had six cars coming in. They wouldn't give her an appointment. Lou managed to talk me into taking the car over so she could work on her dolls. Traffic was light. When I spoke to the service technician he asked if I had an appointment, I didn't . He said he'd try to get it done. I left the car and walked back toward town on Sahara. I called Lou to let her know the status. She called the rep and explained what had happened to no avail. I called Ernie and let him know I was in the near his place at the Wild Wild West and we could have breakfast. We met a half hour later after I'd walked several miles, almost to his place. Ernie drove me back to Sam's Town to the RV.

We had breakfast at their buffet and then Ernie went his way to do laundry. Very shortly thereafter the service rep called to say the car was ready, just a clogged vacuum hose and a little adjustment. Maybe Lou did have influence? Lou and I caught the bus and headed back to the dealer.

The bus ride was very informative. We got lots of information from the locals about the downtown new years party. We also picked up an information sheet on the special bus service tonight. It's wise to not drive on New Year's eve so we're rinding the bus downtown.

We enjoyed most of the evening relaxing at home and about 9pm walked over to catch the bus about two bocks away. The bus service was supposed to be every 30 minutes but we waited more than an hour before the first bus came by. Since Sam's is the turnaround point for the route, and a lot of people were waiting, when the first bus came by heading from down town, we ran across the street and caught it. Before the bus returned to the stop we had been waiting at, the double decker bus was more than full and leaving passengers at the stops.

Most of the passengers had obviously been celebrating for quite some time already. The bus took more than an hour to get downtown because it stopped at every stop where people were waiting and basically no one got on or off the bus. When we arrived downtown, we made a quick pit stop at Bally's on the back side, away from the crowds on the strip.

Ernie Dawn and Lou on New Years In Las Vegas.JPG 2008 New Years crowd in Las Vegas.JPG
We met brother Ernie about 11pm in front of the Bellagio fountains. He had an easy walk from his place at the Wild Wild West. Actually, the crowds weren't too bad and we enjoyed the fireworks at midnight easily seeing three of the displays. We all departed shortly thereafter. Ernie plans on leaving in the morning and we just needed to make our way home. We walked out Flamingo Blvd to Terrible's Casino to catch the return bus. After waiting with a large crowd for an hour and a half and not seeing any bus going our direction, we went inside and warmed up, played the machines and had an early breakfast. About 3:30 we tried again and caught a nice bus with lots of room. We topped off the evening with a visit to Walmart's, across the street from Sam's Town for milk and got to bed about 4:30am.

A coupe of observations: Las Vegas doesn't seem to have their act together to handle big crowds. The bus system seemed to be totally incompetent. There were plenty of buses and not much traffic but they just didn't arrive at the bus stops. In our 1.5 hour wait to return home, we saw 12 buses head into town and none come out of town. We were at the location they were supposed to turn around due to the street closure. if they had there would have been no delays. They close down Las Vegas Blvd for the "party". They also close all the pedestrian overpasses presumably to prevent their collapse and or to protect the idiots that might fall off and they put fences down the middle of Las Vegas Blvd to maintain an emergency corridor. The corridor only seemed to have cross access every mile or so if you wanted to get to the other side of the street as we did, it was difficult. Add to that they designed the street with permanent pedestrian barriers at each corner to force pedestrians up onto the now closed overpasses and you can easily imagine the problem presented to pedestrian movement. Obviously, the city planners couldn't. Similar crowds in San Francisco are handled much better.

Despite our adventure, we enjoyed the show though it is likely an addition to our "been there, done that" list.

Ernie woke us in the morning. He needed some assistance putting on new struts on his jeep's rear door hatch. The thing must weigh about 100 lbs with bad or no struts and it takes more than one set of hands to replace them. That done, he packed away some of the stoganoff we had the other night and some of the Dewar's peppermint ice milk and was on his way.

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