Friday, February 2, 2018
It’s moving day. Bye bye Laughlin. It was an okay rest stop, but it is a bit too senior citizen for me, even though I am one myself. Vegas is more my style. So, we are off to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, a short, quite, uneventful hour ride to Havasu Falls RV Resort. To do this, we become time travelers, doing the time warp. We cross the Colorado River into Arizona, leaving Pacific Time. Now we’re in Mountain Time, making it an hour later. We drive down 95 and cross into California putting us back into Pacific Time, an hour earlier. Then it’s back into Arizona and Mountain Time again. Enough to make your head spin!
There are plenty of license plates from the western US, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska, to name a few. Not to be outdone, there are lots of Canada plates as well. What I don’t understand is how all these people can live here for the winter packed in like sardines. We have been in tight spots, but this is, well, all I can say is….yikes! I don’t know their monthly rate, but a night here will set you back fifty bucks. Small pool, a closet they threw a few pieces of exercise equipment into and no cable.
Some resort. Our neighbor on our utility side sits outside watching his television all day right on top of us. Glad we’re only here a few days.
Once we setup, we take a drive to the mall we pass on our way to the campground. There aren’t many food choices, actually only two, and one is more of a coffee shop, so our choice is Chicago Grill. They offer a pastrami sandwich, but I find out it’s on a very anemic roll, not rye, so that food choice is out the window. I get a sausage sandwich on the same kind of anemic roll. I have to tell them not to put mustard or provolone on, this would be blasphemy, and there is no red gravy either. It’s not a nice piece of sausage, but cut up pieces with some peppers and onions. Taste wise, it was edible, but nowhere near a real sausage sandwich. Alex didn’t fare much better, but he had no complaints about his beer
We stroll over to the movie theater and what do you know, they serve beer and wine, my kind of theater. Plus food. We get the website from an employee so we can checkout movie times for later and then hit the food concession stand for Dippin’ Dots. We sit on a bench to enjoy our ice cream then head back home.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
We’re off to Kingman to visit Alpacas of the Southwest. I would love to raise them when we finally find a home, so this is the perfect opportunity to see a working farm and gain valuable information.
It is supposed to be fifty two miles to the ranch, but somehow we didn’t get on the right road, 68, for those fifty two miles. Instead, we went a bit farther south and then had to get back on Boundary Cone Road to Oatman and on Old Route 66. This time we didn’t stop in Oatman, but continued on through town to Kingman. This was one time I’m glad we made a mistake!
This is the Old Route 66, the original highway traveled by those early adventurers, with modern road repairs, of course. The road has a twenty mile an hour speed limit and once you start on it you can understand why. It is hairpin turns with steep inclines and just as steep declines. The scenery is to die for, but please stay on the road. Most of the road has no guard rails. Occasionally, there is a buildup of stone to keep you from going off the road. It is a tight squeeze if another vehicle is coming in the other direction. This is not a road for any size RV! Along the way, there is a bluff with a dirt clearing for people to pull off and climb up to see the view. Wow! I don’t know if it is real or just a memorial, but there is a cemetery built into the rocks when you get to the top. There are all sorts of crosses and tombstones working their way down the slope.
When you reach the halfway point between Oatman and Kingman, the road levels off, straightens out and the speed limit increases. There is a kind of rest area, store along this stretch, in the middle of nowhere. Make a stop, if nothing else but to take in the charm and the scenery. This way took us longer to get to Kingman, but it was worth it to have traveled the Old Mother Road.
When we got to the alpaca farm, the gate was locked, but two phone calls later and we were in. There was a family already there in the barn for the tour, so we joined the group. The owner was very helpful and informative answering my questions telling us what to look for in livestock, how to shear and all about mating and birth. These last two topics seemed to upset the father who was in our group and he actually covers the ears on his young son. Go figure!
After the tour, you go to the store where you pay your nine dollar per car entry fee. Here you can purchase alpaca socks, sweaters, rugs, headbands and other items. I got a purple pair of socks and a pair of reversible gloves, to take care of the two parts of my body that get cold when the temperature drops below seventy.
Going home, we get on the correct road and since we haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast, we make a stop at Sonic for lunner. Lunner is becoming a habit!
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
We’re meeting the gang for brunch at Laughlin Ranch in Bullhead City. We’re the first to arrive and get a table for six overlooking the golf course. Laughlin Ranch is a planned community with fine dining, spas and golf. Patty’s sister and her husband lived here till about a year ago then sold and moved to their present house. When Patty and Bruce get there, they are alone. Her sister and her husband had other things to do. Our table for six becomes a table for four.
As it turns out, brunch is only served on Sunday, so we had lunch. I had the most interesting Chicken Caesar salad. No pieces of Romaine lettuce, but the entire leaf! After lunch we sat on the patio chatting and watching the golfers on the green and the ducks in the pond in front of us. When the afternoon turned towards evening, we wandered back home.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The search goes on today for a place to park ourselves in Florida for the winter. Then the shuttle bus to the casino for the buffet. But first, the Classic Car Museum. Alex found his dream car, a 1972 Corvette. A surprise to me because he had a 1965 Stingray that he totaled. I would have thought he would dream of another, but no. So many cars from so many different eras. I found mine, a Clenet. It was for sale at $25,000. If I lived in one place, I would consider it, but I don’t think it would tow well. A girl can dream!
Monday, January 29, 2018
Today we’re driving to Oatman, Arizona, in the Black Mountains, to check out this old mining town on Route 66. Over one hundred years ago, two miners struck a $10 million gold find in 1915. Oatman quickly became a town of more than 3,500.
Oatman was named in honor of Olive Oatman, a young girl, who was kidnapped by an Apache tribe, sold to Mojave Indians and later rescued in a trade in 1857 near the current site of the town. If you have ever watched the television show “Hell on Wheels”, the character Eva had a tattoo on her chin given to her by the Indians who captured her and held her as a slave. The markings tell what family owns her. Olive was marked as well.
But Oatman’s glory was short lived. A fire in 1921 burned down much of the smaller buildings. Three years later the main mining company, shut down. The town survived by catering to travelers on old Route 66. In the late 1950’s to 1960’s, the route became what is now Interstate 40, bypassing them and nearly killing Oatman.
Oatman is an authentic old western town with burros roaming the streets and staged gunfights. You can buy food and hand feed these tame burros. They are so tame that they walk right up to you looking for food. If you have no food, you are of no interest to them and they move on. You also have to watch where you step on the streets or wooden sidewalks. The burros relieve themselves wherever they want and with it comes the smell. Some people might not like this, but I find it a little slice of the past.
The Oatman Hotel, built in 1902, is the oldest two-story adobe structure in Mojave County. It is said to be haunted. When Clark Gable and Carol Lombard married in Kingman, Arizona in 1939, they honeymooned here in, of course, the honeymoon suite. The town was also use as a location for several movies such as “How The West Was Won”, “Foxfire”and “Edge of Eternity”.
We drive south on 95 and turn onto Boundary Cone Road. Once we make the turn, it’s about thirteen miles up the mountains till, we reach Oatman. We park Sergio on the street in front of a shop and start walking only to be confronted by burros. They are everywhere looking for food. We walk up the street going into the different shops. The gunfight is about to start in the street in front of the Oatman Hotel and we stop to watch. We are standing on Route 66. This is a real live road where traffic stops while the gunfight happens. Granted, it’s not a busy road, but cars are backed up, maybe two or three each way, while the fun goes on. When we reach the Post Office, the end of the old town, we head back down on the other side of the street till we get to Olive Oatman Restaurant and Saloon. This is a good spot for lunch, then again, it’s really lunner, the meal somewhere between lunch and dinner. After we eat, we finish walking the street and then head back to the car.
On our way back down the mountain, we take the fork in the road towards Golden Shores to admire the rough terrain. We get back to the campground as the sun is setting. Arizona sunsets are vibrant bursts of color. Very pretty to see.
Sunday, January 28, 2018
Day two to finish cleaning, oiling the wood and laundry. Whew! We take the shuttle bus, and our two complimentary tickets, over to the buffet for dinner. Not five star, but editable. We seek out the classic car collection, but they close at eight. We wouldn’t have much time to look at all the cars, so we put that on the list for another day. This hotel has it all. A bowling alley, laser tag, arcade, movie theater, pool, spa. Something for everyone of every age. After wandering around the hotel and casino getting the lay of the land, we head back.
Saturday, January 27, 2018
We haven’t cleaned in quite awhile. We have Vegas dirt and worse, Death Valley dirt, including the dust storm dirt. Time to do a good cleaning, plus oil the wood. All this twenty percent humidity is causing everything to dry out, me included. So the day is spent cleaning and doing laundry. Bedding, Afghans, rugs, you name it, it’s getting washed. I say the day, but it’s a short day. We’re meeting everyone at four thirty for dinner. Early, I know, but we’re all going to see Elvis afterwards.
The interesting thing about Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona is they are separated by the Colorado River. The Colorado River is also the line that separates time zones. In Laughlin, you are in Pacific time. In Bullhead City, you are in Mountain. What that means is, if it is four thirty in Laughlin, it is five thirty in Bullhead City. Things can get confusing. Keep this in mind!
We drive over to the Golden Nugget in Laughlin on Casino Drive, where the Sawgrass Steakhouse is located. It is a very nice Texas themed restaurant serving steaks, ribs, seafood and chicken. We’re a few minutes early, so while Alex waits, I head out to the river to check out the scenery. We will be a party of six and find we can’t be seated until everyone is present. By chatting up the hostess, Alex at least gets our name on the waiting list. It’s almost five when everyone arrives and we are seated at the window overlooking the river. The talk turns to the Elvis tickets Patty’s sister got for all of us. I ask what time is the show. Seven is the answer. In Laughlin or Bullhead City? Bulkhead City. So that means six o’clock Laughlin time. It’s ten after five Laughlin time. That gives us fifty minutes to eat and drive to the show, and we didn’t even order yet. Quick get the waitress, hurry and order, chow down, zip across the river and race thirty minutes down 95. It was after eight when we arrived.
This Elvis impersonator, Chad Collins, was one of the best I’ve seen. He looked like him, in his younger days, and sounded remarkably like him. True to Elvis, he played to the ladies, and they loved it. It was a great show!
Friday, January 26, 2018
It’s moving day, again! Only this time it’s a bit different, Patty and Bruce are coming with us in the RV to Laughlin. Patty’s sister and her husband live, during the winter months, on the other side of the Colorado River from Laughlin in Bullhead City, Arizona. They will be staying there while on the next leg of their vacation.
Once we eat, Alex and I start our usual moving day routine with a few new twists. First off, we need to get Sergio as empty as possible to hold Patty and Bruce’s luggage. To get space for Patty and me to sit at the dining room table, we have to move the coffee table to the back bathroom. It usually sits next to the table. That accomplished, it’s business as usual. Patty texts me when they are coming across the skywalk and I drive to the entrance to load the luggage. Unfortunately, there is no room for passengers in Sergio once the luggage is in, so they have to walk to our campsite. Alex and I do our hookup of Sergio and off to Laughlin we go.
We stop for lunch in Searchlite, Nevada at Terrible’s Roadhouse. It seems Terrible’s is to the Nevada Arizona area as Three Bears is to Alaska. They’re everywhere, selling everything. Restaurants, gas, food. You can’t escape them, but who would want to. After an enjoyable lunch, it’s back on the road again.
Our destination for the next week is Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino RV Park. With almost six hundred RV spots built into tiers on the hill, this place is big. We’re assigned a spot one level from the top, right next to the bathrooms. The perk, no neighbor. The sites aren’t deep, but they are wide, giving you a place for your coach and a place for your car with some room to spare. And there is cable. There is one big problem, the slope of the concrete driveway to get into the spot. The angle is so steep we were digging the hitch into the concrete. It took a great deal of maneuvering to get into the spot. I even went back to the office to see if we could get another spot. No luck. Everywhere you look there are gouge marks, even on the highway pulling out of the park. Not just here, but everywhere you go, restaurants and other casinos. It was even tough for Sergio being so low to the ground.
While we’re setting up, Patty’s sister and her husband arrive. After introductions, they check out Claudia, then they’re off. We finish setting up and relax with a dinner of pasta and sausage. It’s been a long day.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Last night we agreed to meet for breakfast at a restaurant inside Circus Circus called Vince Neil’s. For those non heavy metal fans, he is the lead singer of Motley Crue. The restaurant is more of a bar that serves food than it is a restaurant. Motley Crue memorabilia is the decor. They advertise some great breakfasts, so we are giving it a try. I’m having steak and eggs for $10.99. There is no cheap food in Vegas anymore!
After breakfast, Patty is trying her hand on the penny slots. The house wins. No surprise there, but it was fun. We wander up to the Midway and Alex and I take a virtual reality tour. Alex opts for a terror tour and I check out beautiful earth. This was not the best virtual reality I have experienced. I’ll pass next time. Next up, aqua massages. This is awesome! You lie down on a massage table while you are fully clothed, except for your shoes. I do recommend taking off your belt and emptying your pockets to get the best massage. They close the lid and then the magic happens. There is a full length bladder in the lid that has water in it. The water starts pulsating down your body, then back up again. This continues for the length of your massage. You can get ten or twenty minute massages. Alex went first for a twenty minute session. While he was in the chamber, I was using the Echo Massager Pro Shiatsu Massager on my neck and shoulders. I was in heaven. When Alex came out of his massage, I had him try it. We were hooked. Because we were buying one, his massage was free and I got a free ten minute massage! Now it’s mid afternoon, so we go back to our respective lodgings to get ready for our trek to the Luxor tonight to see Criss Angel MindFreak.
At four thirty, we meet at the strip entrance of Circus Circus to catch the bus down to the Luxor. Our choice for dinner is their buffet located downstairs, called More Buffet. Then it’s off to see Criss Angel MindFreak. My brain still thinks him a young man, but in reality, he’s fifty! The theater is decorated in a surreal, mad hatter rabbit kind of theme. Like something out of a bad Alice in Wonderland nightmare. Very bizarre, but very cool and very apropos. His show chronicles his life and rise to stardom, with his amazing feats shown and performed along the way. There is a comedic magician trying to upstage Criss at every turn. Quite the entertaining show. He is a true showman!
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
After we get up and have something to eat, we do a few things around the coach and wait for our friends, Bruce and Patty, to come alive after their midnight journey into Las Vegas. Around eleven, Alex gives Bruce a call and we agree to meet in the hotel lobby of Circus Circus for brunch at the buffet. Everyone but me, the oddball, has breakfast, I have lunch. We stroll up to the Midway, and catch the clowns, acrobats and trapeze show.
Patty sits at a few slots and wins a whopping twenty seven cents after putting in ten bucks. She’s only playing penny slots, but she had fun! It’s late in the afternoon, so we head to our respective lodgings to get ready for our show tonight, then meet by at the casino to head to the Tropicana to see Rich Little, comedian and impersonator extraordinaire. And yes, as he says, he’s still alive.
Patty and Bruce get their bus passes and we catch the bus down to the Trop. Once inside, we go to the ticket booth to pick up our tickets, then head to Robert Irvine’s Public House to get a quick bite, personalized pan pizzas. They have a varied menu, but pizza is always a quick bet, and in this case, a good one.
Rich Little is playing in the Laugh Factory, a small, intimate club with tables and a bar. More wine, please. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. He does impersonations of all the greats, mixed in with video of old clips, his drawings of celebrities and his own personal history. When he did George Burns, you would swear it was really him. Not only did he sound like him, but he looked just like him! Jack Benny, Dean Martin, I felt like I went back in time. If you are under 50, you might not appreciate the characters he portrayed, but the comedy would still hold.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tonight friends are flying in from Florida. They aren’t getting in till late. More like early tomorrow morning. Tonight we are seeing Blue Man Group at the Luxor, one of my favorite shows in my favorite hotel. Whoever came up with the Blue Man concept, had to have dropped boo-coo acid back in the day. If this was around then, well, nothing would have been accomplished, but a good deal if fun would have been had.
So before we go to the show we go shoe shopping for Alex and me. My favorite Sketcher work shoes exploded and died in Death Valley and Alex is in desperate need, what with those hobbit feet of his. After we buy a bunch of shoes, we stop at Joanne’s to get the fabric to make the long snake to fit on the big slide to keep Mother Nature out, then stop at Bed Bath & Beyond for our Soda Stream refill. We like our seltzer and one bottle of the CO2 carbonator beats many bottles of seltzer or soda. It’s all about space.
Since we have come back to America, we have been seeing television ads for The Good Foot Store, a place for inserts for your shoes to correct your walk. Since Alex has bad feet, and lately a bad hip, we decide to give it a try. They are expensive, but hopefully they work. A quick stop at In N Out Burger and we are back at the coach dropping off our stuff. Then we get our bus tickets and head down to the Luxor on the south end of the strip.
After we pick up our show tickets, we make a fast stop at the food court. There is a Nathan’s so our choice is set. We each get a foot long NY dog and share fries. To wash it all down, a Dos Equis for Alex and a Merlot for me. Then into the theater after my handbag is searched. Can’t be too careful. The October first massacre, the worst in US history, happened next door at the Mandalay Bay. It is a very eerie feeling walking in the building’s shadow, knowing 58 people were killed there and another 851 injured. It is still a wound this party city feels deeply.
We are five rows from the stage. Three young guys come in and sit in the seats next to me. The digital marquee starts rolling with its crazy, insane stuff to do or say. The crowd responds and the noise level is off the charts. My three seat mates sit quietly with their hands folded in their laps. I lean over and ask if this is their first time seeing Blue Man and they tell me it is. I tell them “I’m sorry, but you’re sitting next to the wrong people. We’re big fans. It’s going to get crazy.” The Group did their antics and the place was jumping. When the streamers and confetti rained down, these guys did everything to avoid having anything touch them, like they would die if they came in contact with any of it. They were definitely in the wrong show! Crazy stiffs excluded, we had a great time as usual. It you’re a bit off the wall, you’ll like Blue Man. If you bounce off the walls, you’ll love them. Otherwise, find a different show. Blue Man’s not for you.