Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Las Vegas Christmas

Tuesday: (12/23) We left Bakersfield at 1030 after a nice breakfast of Helen's left overs. I had checked the weather earlier and confirmed the winds shouldn't be too bad. We're to meet brother Ernie this evening. He's driving in from LA with a load. The weather was good all the way, no real winds at all and clear skies most of the way. We arrived at about 4pm. We did see some snow on the side of the road near Tehachapi and on the road summits nearer Las Vegas. We checked with security at the Rio Casino, our usual hangout, and they no longer allow RV's overnight. We had heard they now prohibited RV's but that doesn't always mean it will be so. The security guard confirmed that the reason was one idiot RVer that dumped his holding tanks and the casino was fined $400,000 plus the cleanup costs so now RVs are not welcome at any of Harrah's casinos here. We went over to The Orleans Casino and they welcomed us. Ernie came over and we went over to the Black Bear Diner for too much diner. We then visited the casino.

Our Campsite At The Orleans Casino, Las vegas.JPG

The oversize parking area is a mix of trucks and RV's. Most of the trucks are together further out. We parked next to two small Toyota class C RVs. A while later, there arose such a clatter, I stuck my head out to see what was the mater. It wasn't Santa. Beyond the two small RV's, a refrigerated bobtail truck was parked. The driver was probably enjoying the casino. The refrigeration unit on his truck would start and stop automatically. When it ran it was noisier than a locomotive with a thrown rod. We can sleep through anything so ignored it. When we woke up, both small RV's had moved across the lot.
Wednesday: (12/24) Lou fixed pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Brother Ernie came over for breakfast. After breakfast we went out looking at the possible RV parks for our stay but, being very thrifty, decided our location at the Orleans Casino was as good as anyplace. We stopped at a thrift store on Boulder Hwy and made our way to the Pet Kingdom pet store on Tropicana near Eastern.

Cat In A Bunny Corral.JPG Cat In A Bunny Corral.JPG Cat In A Hammock.JPG

It's a great store with many exotic pets. There are three house cats as well that make themselves quite at home. Two of them were comfy in separate Bunnie corrals and a third was perched above the cash register. One of the cats for sale and himself comfortable in his hammock.

We were a bit hungry so we went next door to a King Ranch Market (2475 E Tropicanna) very much like the Ranch Market in Bakersfield. A Mexican market with a really good taqueria. Lou and I had chile relleno and Dawn had a Central American tamale. Everything was excellent. We did a little grocery shopping and refilled our drinking water bottles as well. We then headed on home and invited Ernie over. We'll probably relax here and in the casino this evening.
Thursday: (12/25) Christmas. We went over to the Wild Wild West Casino where Ernie is staying. We enjoyed breakfast and then borrowed a shower in his room. After breakfast we went over to the Mandalay Bay Casino to the Shark Reef Aquarium. Next stop after a walk of Ernie's dogs was a visit to the Flamingo Casino to see the flamingos. Ernie wanted to get some pictures. I didn't bring my camera . To see Ernie's pictures go to these links: Sharks and Flamingos. And then it was time for an early dinner at The Orleans buffet. The buffet was excellent and only $16, about half of most of the buffets on the strip. The crowd wasn't bad when we dined but when we left the line was out the door. Something about a big meal causes us to seek rest so we relaxed the rest of the evening.

Friday: (12/26) The wind really blew last night and we had a good rain. It also got down to 29 degrees. In the morning the sky was clear and the wind still gusty so the ground dried out. Lou and Dawn are off thrifting. Lou has a map of Las Vegas with markers for each shop. Somehow she finds them all and even her way back to our home base here? Ernie and I are are each updating our blogs and publishing pictures. Lou and Dawn had a salad at Jerry's Nugget Casino, in North Las Vegas where all the thrift stores they're visiting are. Ernie and I got together in the afternoon for lunch at Slots of Fun for hot dogs.

Fremont Street Experience.JPG Fremont Street Experience.JPG
Later met the girls and went to see the Fremont Street Experience downtown Las Vegas. They have a huge tv screen under the roof over the street for three blocks. It was quite interesting but quite cold as well and the wind was blowing we watched three of the shows that differ each hour and visited the casinos in between. After our first show we stopped in the Vegas Club's Great Momments Cafe and had their $2.99 ½ a sandwitch and a cup of soup. It was excellent. The sandwiches were made with a really good bread and the Manhattan chowder was the best we've ever had. Ernie had a grilled cheese sandwich. After the third show we headed just North of town to Jerry's Nugget Casino for desert. They have the absolute best deserts in town. It's a real good thing we don't live here!
Saturday: (12/27) Ernie came over to the RV for breakfast this morning. Then he returned to his base to handle normal chores while we went off to play. We went over to the thrift store and picked up Lou's chest of drawers. She had measured the rear of the wagon to be sure it would fit. it does but just barely. The chest is exactly sized to fit a wall in her craft room and she's been looking for a chest for quite a while. The store is close to down town so we headed on downtown again and visited the casinos. Then we stopped at the Main Street Antique Mall, quite an interesting place to look around.

Haufbrahaus Las Vegas.JPG
Then we were getting hungry so we called Ernie and met at the HofbrÀuhaus Restaurant at Paradise and Harmon. We have to stop by whenever were here. Above, a performer plays his huge horn.
Then we headed out to the Silverton Casino, actually the Bass Pro Outdoor World store there. I found some good hiking boots. It took a combination of three pairs of boots to make a pair that fit both feet. They were all the same size but each different enough for my feet to feel the difference. Dawn found a good sausage making book as well.

Sunday: (12/28) Breakfast with Ernie at the Wild Wild West casino again. We also borrowed few more showers before we said goodbye to Ernie and the doggies. He's headed off toward Utah with his load today.

An interesting note, we learned from our neighbor here at The Orleans that there is a sanitary dump at the Wild Wild West. Hadn't thought of that. It costs $7 but may be worth a visit if we're ever in need.

We headed out to the outlet mall South of town at Spring Valley Road and Las Vegas Blvd. Lou and Dawn wanted to visit a particular shop where they've found clothes they like before. The didn't find much, but I did. I found some of the western short sleeved shirts I were for a good price. Dawn did get some turtle neck shirts as well.

We then stopped by a market and got more soy milk, this time the light version to try out. We also got some salad mix and drinking water refills. We returned to the RV and enjoyed a nice chef's salad for lunch.

After lunch it was nap time. I did take a moment to install the new paper towel holders I picked up over at Pismo Beach. They really work so much nicer than the ones. The new holders have a rod clear through the towel roll and don't fall off when using a towel like the previous holders that just tried to grip the ends. I also caught up on the blog. Later we decided to take the shuttle downtown. Actually we tried to take it to Sam's Town casino, another of the Coast Casino's but they don't go there dirrectly and then it only runs every 2 hours so we just looked around the strip for a while until it was time for dinner and then had dinner at the Gold Coast Casino. While Lou and Dawn gambled, I walked across the street to the Rio and saw one of their Show In The Sky performances. They've changed entirely but are still good. A final shuttle ride home to The Orleans and we called it a night

Monday: (12/29) Another sunny clear day, though still very cool when the sun is gone.

Lou fixed corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast.

We went out shopping today to the Mall on Maryland Ave. Dawn had to check at the bookstore and both Lou and Dawn at the Bon Worth clothing shop. We managed to fill the day with our mostly looking. We shared a combo of vegetables, cashew chicken and orange chicken for our lunch and enjoyed our afternoon tea.

Still in the eat at home mode, Lou fixed chicken baked potatoes and baked pumpkin for dinner with raw mixed vegetables.

About 7:30 we headed over to Sam's Town casino and watched the light show and looked around. They've remodeled some since our visit last year.

Tuesday: (12/30) Another nice day. When that sun is out it's great weather. Today, the reality of living in an RV has raised it's head. It's time to dump the tanks. So today is a take care of business day. Holding tanks dumped, laundry cleaned, and grocery shopping. We'll be here through new years eve but then move to the Valley Of Fire on New Years day.

Wednesday: (12/31) Today was another shopping day. We had a list.

Our first stop was the International market at Tropicanna and Decauter. We got all sorts of stuff to try out. Much more thanwe shoud have. We're in for some new culinary delights.

Next stop, Trader Joe's again. We've been trying various soy milk products and found the organic unsweetened soy milk from the shelf not the dairy case is the closest to a milk taste. It doesn't need refrigeration until opened either so is ideal for use in the boondocks.

Next stop Long's drugs for disposable washclothes (big wet-ones). Good for spit bathing.

Next Costco for blue towels. Blue towels hold together in use and we use them for everything. Saves on laundry costs. They are half the cost of most other sources at Costco.

And finally, a stop at Smith's market for some last essentials. Here we found something we've been looking for at all markets for months, canned grapefruit. They had both regular and pink.

The weather is quite nice this evening for the fireworks. We're enjoying the view from the parking lot here overlooking the downtown fireworks. Last year we were here and rode the bus to the strip. They set off synchronized fireworks from several casino rooftops. We hadn't heard of it before but evidently they caught the Monte Carlo hotel roof on fire so this year all the fireworks was on the ground and unsynchronized, behind the casinos. Cute idea. No one had a good view, not even the TV cameras. All probably because one fire watcher enjoyed his beer instead of watching for embers. I doubt they will be doing it this way next year. We enjoyed the evening at the RV with a little visit to the casino.

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