Las Vegas, Nevada

6/26/2018 to 7/6/2018

Downtown Las Vegas, The Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon.

And please don't come to Las Vegas this time of the year. It's too hot!

Tuesday 6/26/2018     The drive to Las Vegas was only 138 miles. It was mostly flat, dry desert but we did drive through some scenic mountains for a short time. We are staying at another Thousand Trails campground in Vegas for 11 nights. I know that's a long time here but we wanted to stretch out our stay over the Fourth of July holiday and these 11 nights won't cost us anything. Plus there's always something to do in Vegas. We're not too happy with this campground because the sites are very close together and there's no shade, plus it's so hot here that I don't think we are going to be outside very much.  Our air conditioning can't keep up with the heat. It will only cool down about 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature. It was 113 degrees outside today and we are staying in a big aluminum box. Once we got set up we took a short ride to get fuel and also stopped at a casino called Sam's Town which was close by. We walked around a little, lost a few bucks, and had lunch. We've been here years ago but it was a nice break from the heat.

We have been having trouble with our iPhone batteries for a while. Since we are now in a populated area we decided to get new ones put in. We both have the older iPhone 5s and the batteries sometimes go dead before the end of the day. I just did a Google search and picked out a phone repair shop nearby. I called them up and they quoted me a price of $30.00 each and they said we could just wait for them.  We waited about 40 minutes and they returned our phones to us.  Rose's started up just fine but mine wouldn't turn on.  The repairman was certain that after I charged it up, it would turn on so I brought it back to the trailer and plugged it in.  

Wednesday 6/27/2018     I woke up this morning and guess what, no cell phone.  Immediately after breakfast, we returned to the cell phone repair store to get it fixed.  He said he would need an hour or two and that he would call us when it was fixed.  We had some time to fill so we decided to drive to the MGM to walk around the casino.  We spent less than an hour there and not too much money.  We then drove to a casino called South Point that we had never been to before.  It was pretty nice but the highlight for me was the Steak n Shake inside.  I haven't seen one in a while and was craving the double steakburger.  South Point casino is far south of the strip and is an entertainment destination. Not only is it a casino but it also has a 16-screen movie theater, 11 restaurants, and a 64 lane bowling center.  We never did get a call from the cell repair shop so after about four hours we went back.  The repairman at first tried to blame me saying that my phone had water damage but I knew that never happened.  I don't know why but they seem to look for ways to blame you instead of admitting that they broke something as they were taking the old battery out.  He said he would do a factory reset so I could take it back to the trailer and reload my information on it.  Luckily I backed up both phones before we took them in thinking something like this might happen. I spent most of the evening reloading it and did get it working 100% once again.  It's amazing how much I use my phone and there were a lot of things I couldn't do that one night without it. A happy ending.........

Thursday 6/28/2018     Our first destination this morning was a laundromat.  It was just a short drive from the trailer and was a nice, clean place.  It was expensive though and it didn't accept cash.  You had to load a dollar amount on to a card and charge it to your credit card.  It was $3.25 a wash load and .25 cents every eight minutes to dry.  After we brought the clean laundry back to the trailer we drove to the casino just a half mile up the road called Boulder Station.  One nice feature is that you can park out front of the casino for free and not have to use a parking deck that costs $15.00.  We just roamed around there for awhile and then left and drove a half mile down the road to another casino called Arizona Charlie's.  We didn't stay long and afterward returned to the trailer for a rest until evening when we drove downtown to Fremont Street.  Fremont Street has many casinos that are close together so you can walk out of one and walk right into another.  We walked the entire length of the street and visited each casino and probably left a little cash in each one.  Years ago they installed a canopy over most of the street that is covered with colored light bulbs and every hour after dark they put on a light show with music.  The Light Show video screen is 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above Fremont Street’s renowned pedestrian mall. There is also every kind of sideshow on the street that you can imagine.  Slight of hand magicians, artists, superhero costumes, contortionists, bands, DJ's, showgirls and just some general freaks asking for money.  It's really quite a spectacle.

Friday 6/29/2018     Today was the day we ventured out to the Las Vegas Blvd. Strip.  We parked in the deck at the MGM and it cost us $15.00.  Not too long ago all parking in Vegas was free but now 90% of the hotels charge to park.  We began walking through all the hotels that we could to soak up the air conditioning and always left a little bit of money behind.  Around lunchtime, we were in New York, New York and decided to have some fish and chips in their food court.  Their food court is set up to resemble New York City neighborhoods with their row houses,  apartments, shops, and diners.  On the way out we went through the Hershey store and snagged us some free samples of a Hershey Kiss with a hazelnut inside.  Outside someone offered to take our photo with the Hershey characters.  We continued making our way down Las Vegas Blvd. stopping in to see the sights and donate some cash in each casino we visited.  It was extremely sunny and hot but we managed to stay out for six hours and walked a total of eight miles before we drove back to the RV park.

Saturday & Sunday 6/30/2018 & 7/1/2018     We took the weekend off from Vegas and just hung around the trailer and tried to keep cool.

Monday 7/2/2018     Mondays at South Point Casino's cinemas is a senior discount day.  You can watch a movie for $4.00 and they also give you a big break on the concessions.  We watched Jurassic World:  Fallen Kingdom and had a large buttered popcorn and Coke.  After the movie, we roamed around the casino and played some more slot machines but soon grew bored of losing and headed back to watch another movie.  This time we saw a comedy called Tag.  The two movies we saw were very different but each was good. We also took part in a free slot tournament earlier in the day but we didn't stick around for the results.

Tuesday 7/3/2018     We took a trip to the Hoover Dam today which is about a 45-minute drive from Vegas.  We were last here over 20 years ago when we took all the kids for a visit. I think all that the kids remember is that it was a 110-degree day and after the dam tour I ran ahead to start the car to cool it off and locked the keys in the car.  We had to wait for help to open the door but at least the air conditioning was running.  

After 9-11 they began security measures at the dam so we first had to drive through a checkpoint.  We needed to pull over to the side so they could look into the bed of the truck under the cover.  Then we drove to the parking deck which costs $10.00 and had to drive up to the top level all the way into the back corner before we could park.  The elevators were backed up so we walked down the five levels until we came to the walkway to the visitors center.  There you have to go through an airport like security and put your personal items on the belt to go through an x-ray machine and you have to walk through a scanner.  Then you wait in line to buy tickets.  We wanted the full experience which is a 12-minute movie, browsing the museum, a guided generator tour and the finally a tour of the tunnels and the walk on the top of the dam.  This costs $30.00 each.  We also had a drink in the cafe and visited the gift shop.  I really don't remember it being so crowded our last visit but today it was full of tourists.  After the tour, we walked around the area until we'd had our fill of the dam view, then we began the very hot, five-level walk up to the truck.  Next, we drove over the dam which used to be highway 93.  Several years back they built a new very impressive bridge. You can still drive over the dam but it's mainly just for a scenic drive, the main highway traffic now goes over the new bridge.  We drove the short distance to the new bridge and parked.  Of course, this was another long walk up steps to the new bridge but that's where we took the most impressive photos.  I am always fascinated by dams and tend to stop at every one we see on our way, but this is the dam of all dams and I really enjoyed touring it.


Wednesday 7/4/2018     Today was the 4th of July and I was hoping that downtown Vegas and Fremont Street would be doing something special. We got down there early and planned on sticking around until it got dark to see the light show. We parked at the Main Street Station parking lot that has a huge sign that says "Free Parking" and in small letters "With Validation". Once we got into the casino we found out that you had to spend a lot of money on food or gambling to get validated so I guess we will have to pay to park. We did sign up for the Main Street Station rewards card which gave us a discount on a slot tournament. We both qualified at the 2:00 tournament and needed to return for the finals at 4:00. So we walked around checking out a few other casinos, had something to eat and then returned for the finals. Sadly neither of us won. First prize was only $ 110.00 but we had fun participating. 

Fremont Street was starting to get busy and they had part of it blocked off. We found out that they were setting up a stage for Billy Ray Cyrus. We walked up and down Fremont Street a couple of times just to see everything. Because of the live concert, there wasn't any light show. We took a few pictures, watched some of the street performers, gambled a little more and then headed back. 

Thursday 7/5/2018     When we went to the strip the other day we were only able to walk through a few of the casinos on the southern end of the strip so today we wanted to check out some on the other end. Doing an online search I found out that the Venetian had free parking in their deck so that's where we started. The casinos on the strip attract the more affluent gamblers. They are all gigantic hotels and casinos and most also have some type of mall or shopping center inside them. It's very easy to spend a long time just walking around looking at everything. The Venetian is one of my favorites. The attention to detail is amazing. They have a water canal inside with gondolas that you can ride in. The shopping center is modeled after Venice and even the ceiling is painted to look like a beautiful blue sky. A great place to visit.

From the Venetian, we moved on to The Wynn, The Encore, Treasure Island and then to the Mirage. We spent the day just walking through these hotels, casinos and shopping centers.

Friday 7/6/2018    We took a drive today to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  It's not too far away from the Vegas strip, only about 30 miles. There is a main road that goes through the center of the park which is a 13-mile, one-way scenic drive.  From this main road, you can stop at the scenic overlooks and view the rock formations or take a hike.  We were not hiking today as it was a high of 110 degrees.  They have a very nice visitor's center which we roamed around and watched a short movie.  The outside grounds of the center were also very nice with a lot of informational signs and viewing platforms.  We took our time driving the scenic road and when we left the park found our way to a little gem of a town called Blue Diamond.  It was a mining town in the past and there are still small little houses, a post office, sheriff's office, an elementary school and an old mercantile store.  There are only about 300 people living in this tiny, quaint town but they still have all the necessary government services.  We only managed to take a picture of the road sign on the way out of town.  They seem to have a great sense of humor.  After that, we drove to the Red Rock Casino and enjoyed a buffet lunch (our first one since we arrived in Vegas), did a little losing and then went back to the trailer for our last night in town.



Saturday 7/7/2018     Today we packed up and started our trip to Tucson, Arizona to visit with Nikki, Joe, Joey, Don and the kids.

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