Las Vegas, January 13 to 20, 2019

We took a small vacation this week. Yes, I know some of you think we are on vacation all the time. A few months ago good friends Lynn and Julie contacted us and said they were going to be in Las Vegas in January and would we come and see them. We did not have to think long about it! They have come to see us on the road a few times, so this time it was our turn to go and see them!

Originally we were just going to drive up to Vegas for an extended weekend but with the screw up last week we decided to cut our stay in the Palm Springs area short. Our route from Indian Wells area to Las Vegas took us south of Joshua Tree National Park and up the eastern side of the park. Then it was pretty much straight north up the side of California before crossing in to Nevada and into the Las Vegas area. The 5-1/2 hour drive was actually quite nice as we had mountains in every direction and for most of the drive we were on regular 2 lane roads and not freeways. It was a nice change from the big city congestion and Interstate traffic.

Another person to visit in Vegas is our sister in law’s mother, Barb, but more importantly, our Scotch drinking friend from Scotland! After looking at a few different options where we could park our home close to Barb’s place in Anthem City (Henderson) we decided to check with Harvest Hosts. We were very pleased to find out that the Revere Golf Club, which is the golf course where she lives, is a member. We got to park in the parking lot, 600 meters from the golf course and a 5 minute walk from Barb’s house. They also gave us 20% off their green fees. Free parking AND cheaper golf at a great course, priceless!

After we got set up we walked over to Barb’s, where we were welcomed with some very nice scotch. We relaxed for a bit in her beautiful home before heading out for dinner and a visit to one of her scotch stores. After stopping for more scotch at Barb’s after supper, we walked over to the patio at the club house. It felt a little weird being the only two people at the golf course at night. However, the view from the patio over the lights of Vegas and the strip was amazing.

With a mid morning tee off booked for Monday morning we got to sleep in, but when we woke up Vegas had cooled off and clouded over. We bumped our tee off back an hour hoping that the mercury would rise at least to 10C, it did get up to about 12C. It has been a long time since we have golfed in full pants and shoes. June actually had a toque on!

The course was beautiful and challenging but the golf was good, even if it was a little cold. Since we considered this our home, we invited Barb over for dinner in the club house, but before eating took a trip to her “other” scotch store. After dinner we shared a drink of scotch with her over a game of Mexican Train Dominos. With the time getting late we thanked her for her hospitality and we said our good byes.

Our commute from Henderson to Sam’s Town KOA and Casino in Las Vegas was a short one. With rain in the forecast for the whole day we got set up in the campground and then walked over to the casino. One of the perks of the campground is that they have coupons for discounts at the casino. June used one for a manicure and then we got a couple of 2 for 1 drinks at Happy Hour. We finished our rain day at a nice steak house in the casino. The other bonus of staying at Sam’s Town KOA is that they have a free shuttle service to the Strip as well as Downtown.

Larry, June, Julie and Lynn?

Lynn and Julie arrived on Wednesday. Their flight from Toronto ended up taking them 14 hours! Due to the US Government shut down, having to arrive early at Pearson Airport because of US Custom Agents, de-icing and the line up for take off again delaying them. Once they arrived in Vegas it took them an hour to get to their hotel from the airport due to their shuttle. Needless to say they were tired and hungry when we met them for dinner.

The next day we caught the shuttle back to the Strip and walked and walked with the mandatory visit to the M&M store. We checked out numerous casinos and then ended up at New York, New York for dinner.

We have been in Vegas several times but had never been to Freemont Street, so that was where we explored the next day. For Christmas 2017 Wanda had given us a coupon for a Big City Hunt, a scavenger hunt that uses your phone and gps to explore cities around the world. We had not used it yet and decided to share the experience with Lynn and Julie and use it to explore Freemont Street and the surrounding downtown area.

It was fun and took us to some areas that we would not have found on our own. One area was the oldest running casino in Las Vegas, the El Cortez, where we found a very good margarita, in fact, we found two! Here was the first and only time we played any of the casino games. As we were drinking June put two dollars into a video poker machine, 10 minutes later she doubled her money! A 100% return and cashed out with $4, the cashier was very impressed. We were told that Vegas is known for prime rib and the El Cortez had a prime rib plate for $12.95 so we went back later for dinner.

We then headed back to the Strip as we had tickets for Love, the Cirque de Soleil Beatles show. After the show we caught the “volcano” show outside the Mirage before catching the shuttle home.

Our last day in Vegas Lynn and Julie came over to us during the afternoon to check out Sam’s Town and our location. After a getting pedicures and a massage, all four of us caught the shuttle to downtown.

We had been to Freemont Street the day before but in the evening it is a different experience. Not only are the casino neon signs flashing, the Freemont Street Experience is flashing from above. This is on the world’s largest video screen that covers many blocks of the street. Lights flashing all around and buskers on the street it was a very splashy way to finish our Vegas stay.

We all hopped on the shuttle to go back to the strip and after saying our sad good-bye’s it was time to get back on the road the next morning.

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