Saturday, July 22, 2006

Road Trip to Las Vegas and Tucson

Hello to everyone again. I've not posted in a while. The computer has been at Gateway for a repair, and then it was lost in the delivery system for over a week, but it finally arrived back home on Monday, and things are all loaded again and seem to work fine. Fingers Crossed!

After Demi died, we took off on a much-deserved roadtrip. It was great to get away, but it was filled with some sadness knowing that we would have no frantic hello's waiting for us when we returned home. Of course, we are now in no hurry to rush home to relieve a dogsitter.

Anyway, we headed up to Las Vegas for five days. The weather was nice and dry, hot of course, but we're used to it. One thing, though: smoke from the big Yucca Valley fire drifted directly over Vegas and that made for some beautiful sundowns and sunrises -- just like being on another planet.

Eddie and I don't gamble, so that's no big draw for us, but we do like to just relax and see what's going on around town.

One place I must pass on to everyone is Terrible's Casino at the corner of Flamingo and Paradise. The coffee shop upstairs near the bingo room is a real find. The menu is varied and priced right. If you lived in town, you'd be eating leftovers for lunch the next day, guaranteed. Between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. they have a late night breakfast menu which is not to be believed for the amount of food and the cheap prices. Do not miss this one.

Our friends Brian and Don who live in town told us if we liked the Wynn Hotel that we'd flip over the new Red Rock Resort. It's on the far west side of town, way out on Charleston near the 215 Beltway highway. We drove out there midmorning and it looked like it wasn't even open. But it was and parts of the resort are still being worked on. We tried the buffet for an early lunch, it was quite good. I must say, though, that the Vegas buffets have all started to look and taste alike. So not bad, but not fabulous either. But you must go out there and see the place. It will knock your socks off!

On Friday we left early and drove to Tucson for a few days there. I had never driven that route before, U.S. 93, and I didn't know what to expect. A lot of U.S. highways are one lane each direction, but this was really nice. They're upgrading the road, even a new bridge over the Colorado to avoid having to cross the Hoover Dam. The scenery was spectacular and the road was very uncrowded. We especially were taken with the town of Wickenburg, AZ. Just like you'd expect a small town to look like, and it's only about 50 miles to central Phoenix.

When in Tucson, we ended up staying at a place called the Smuggler's Inn. Our usual place, the Radisson Suites, was fully booked, as were most other places, due to a Jehovah's Witness convention in town over the weeked. For $55 a night it was just fine, but the place had an eerie, not occupied and uncared-for feel to it. No complaints, though; it came with a daily cocktail and buffet breakfast, so it really was a bargain. When checking out, I asked the kid behind the desk, "What's up with this place? Is it being sold, or what?" And in a soft voice he said it had been sold and that the 31st of July is their last day. So that explained everything. Next time in Tucson the building will probably we bulldozed and an office already on its way to completion.

We were lucky enough to experience a real summertime monsoonal evening thunder and lightning storm. It was awesome!!

Palm Springs has had record-breaking heat, yes, even for us, and it's been a bit of a challenge. Yesterday's high was 120 degrees. Last night at 11:30 it was still 102 degrees! Today it's forecasted to be about the same, so I expect more indoor activities again.

We've been too hot to cook, so thank goodness for the freezer which is filled with enough goodies to last through World War III.

That's it for now, and I'll try to post more often.

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