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Friday, October 31, 2014

Hoover Dam and Bridge

Boy they must be having nasty weather at home in Indiana. How do I know? Because the darn phone kept going off all night with weather alerts! DROID!! DROID!! – Need to shut the alerts down if we want any sleep.
Funny thing happened yesterday – well a couple of things actually but this one was unexpected. After I posted the blog about the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign I got a Tweet from "the SIGN" – it thanked me for the pictures but didn’t sound pleased about the mention of the BandAid! Weird.
We went out to breakfast yesterday a.m. then headed down Boulder Highway to visit Hoover Dam – actually more to see the Bridge from the Dam. And had an interesting interaction with the Police. As it turned out it was a good thing we did. But first – why did they stop us? Well one of the things we do when we go to Mexico is take our current years license plate off the car and put an old expired one on it. They tend to disappear in Mexico – though we’ve never lost one there. [Don’t ask why it was already on the car - point of contention.] Anyway. Unfortunately the expired plate on Willie was from Nevada – and wouldn’t you know a police car ended up in the lane behind us. Whoops! Red flashing lights. Bill pulled over. When the officer came up to the car Bill tried to explain why we had the expired plate on the car and told him we had our current Indiana plate in the back. “Should I get it and show it to you?”  “NO – Don’t get out of the car.” Okay. Then another police car pulled up and stopped. Lovely. We were informed it was a $400 fine to have an illegal plate on the car. Eventually they let Bill out to get the Indiana plate and they wanted to see the current Indiana registration too. No problem – gave it to them. OH OH PROBLEM! The registration we had in the Jeep was the 2015 registration for the Mustang (at home in the garage) Both cars registrations come due and are paid at the same time and when “someone” put the papers in the cars they were switched. OH BOY. By now the police and Bill were friends…admiring the Jeep and talking about Mexico. They checked the registration on their computer and made Bill change the plate and wished us a good day. No ticket. Thank Goodness.
BUT now we really had a problem – to get into Mexico we need the original current registration for the Jeep. And a copy of it for them. We have a copy of the correct one but not the original. Good thing we found out now. Got a hold of our house sitter and she will send it to us.
So off we went to the dam. First took a detour to a lookout over Lake Meade. This is one of my favorite desert plants. The Ocotillo.
And the lake and one of its marinas. Look how low the water is. The marina has been moved a couple of times. The old water line is the area where the light and dark rock/dirt meet.
Continuing on – The new road over the bridge is so nice, we forgot how narrow and twisty the old road over the dam was.  And there is still a check point before you can drive out onto the Dam. Guess our names must not be on their computers as they let us through.
Stopped at the information about the bridge. From here people can walk up the mountain and walk on the bridge. We didn’t do that. Just read some of the information about it. Also lots of info about it on the net. 
Looking at the bridge from the road leading to the dam. It is amazing. We watched it being built over the years. Now we just drive over it so I wanted to see it from below.
Looking the other way towards the Dam. 
Driving across the Dam – lots of people walking around, The two parking lots right next to the dam cost $10 to park – I’m glad we’ve parked there in the past and toured the Dam years ago. So wasn’t interested in parking.
On the Arizona side at a free parking lot. Looking down on the dam. The bridge in view on the left is the bridge before THE bridge.
A look at the low lake from the Dam area.
The walkway leading down to the dam and visitor center. The black square shows the size of bag you can take with you. My purse was bigger than the square – so guess if we’d gone down I couldn’t take it.
Continuing on up the AZ side – now that is a curve!
I want one of these! 
Back on the Nevada side a sculpture honoring the workers.
Another view of the bride over the river. Can you imagine working on that.
Looking up to the underside of the bridge.
Back in Boulder City we stopped at a place that sold stuff made from Alpaca fur. An unusual sign. It is so soft. Didn’t even look at the price.
Aren’t these cute! So soft.
And another museum in Vegas. Haven’t gone to it yet either.
Lots of race stuff today. Truck and Cup qualifying and the truck race tonight. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome To Las Vegas

Strange I thought I posted this earlier but guess I got distracted or something. So here it is now. 
Boring day to write about yesterday. Didn’t even go out to eat!
We did go to Fry’s to pick up Bill’s sunglasses – thank goodness – they are the clip on type that attach to his regular glasses. And the company quit making them so he just can’t buy another pair.
Then we went looking for the cords we use to tie the curtains back. Found a Michaels and a Hobby Lobby but no ties. In the process of hunting for Michaels we stopped at a Sam’s Club and got some croissants – theirs are very good. And some black pepper – do you believe I left home with out some. How can one forget black pepper? 
By this time we were in the area we used to live in so just drove around a bit checking things out. The thing I like about Vegas is that it has so much wide open space. Then in to an Albertson’s grocery store. Their deli has some of the best fried chicken ever made. Picked up a few things and a bag of chicken then headed home.
The weather here remains nice – not too hot but warm. The wind has stopped blowing so there is some smog in the air but it doesn’t seem to bother Bill.
I looked up the big Ferris wheel to see how much it cost to ride it. $25 per person during the day. $35 per person at night. It takes one half hour to make the revolution. Not sure I want to spend that much…40 people CAN fit in one capsule. WOW fear of heights and claustrophobic all at once. Do want to get a closer look at it though.
We did do a touristy thing though. Stopped at the Famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign and took pictures. The city has built a parking area and landscaped around the sign so people can get up close and personal with it. See the Show Girls? And the guy with the white cap with the safari cloth on it, he will use your camera and take your picture for a “tip.”
The Show Girls – note the tattoos on one and the Band-Aid on the others leg. They didn't notice me taking their picture so I didn't have to "tip" them.
I caught this shot of Bill. Thought the people on the right would never get done. They had a new camera and no one could figure it out.
And he took this of me.
Just a plane landing at the airport right across the street. The pilot had 14 freckles on his nose.
We also drove out to Hoover Dam to look at the new bridge from the Dam but that will wait until tomorrow - 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Erotica and Machine Guns - That's Vegas

We got out and about yesterday. Willie is running fine, no more weird noises when we stop. We found an upholster who can get the foam we need for the dinette bench seat I always sit on to use the laptop. It is getting a little saggy. While wandering around town looking for the place – Tried using Streets and Trips – sent us to the wrong place. Then the GPS – it had no idea where to send us. Finally asked Bill’s phone and voila – showed us exactly where to go and how to get there. Notice I said “asked” – still amazes me that I can just talk to it and it responds right away. So where I’m going with this is this.
In our wandering around we passed it. Had no idea such a place existed. I looked it up on the web later. Interesting.
Then we headed south on the strip. Have to take photos of the strip. Going by Caesars Palace. Lots and lots of people walking along the sidewalks. And lots of characters to get your picture taken with. 
New York New York and Lady Liberty.
Then across the street the Excalibur – Dating myself I remember when it was built. It was so amazing. And now it is cute but so tacky looking.
Past the Luxor. Travel the world in a couple of miles.
I saw this sign and when I told Bill I want to go do that. He almost wrecked the car laughing. So guess we won’t go. Wonder if I can convince our son to go?
And then our destination. Fry’s Electronics. Love the place. So much neat stuff. The entrance looks like an old fashioned slot machine. The barriers in front are made to look like stacks of silver dollars.
We wandered around in there for quite a while, buying a couple of small things. Checked out the big “As Sold on TV” area and got a grill mat for the BBQ. And looked for a “Twitter for Dummies” book. They didn’t have one.
So back in the car Bill discovered his clip on sunglasses that had been in his shirt pocket weren’t there. Back into the store and we walked around everywhere we’d been. No glasses. He checked with lost and found. No glasses. Crap. Left them our phone number just in case.
Would you believe that about an hour after we got home they called. They had the glasses so we’ll go pick them up today.
Yesterday afternoon Bill was outside polishing and working on Willie – and he continues to feel good.
Watching the morning news now – will be so glad when the election is over. What a travesty. 100 million dollars to get a job that pays 300,000!!!!
And people still say “Aren’t you afraid to go to Mexico. People get killed there.” Well they just arrested a guy that killed seven people in INDIANA.
Other than going to Fry’s to get his glasses no plans for today

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Another day in Las Vegas

Another morning in Las Vegas – sun is up and so are we. Got kind of cool last night – but will be in the upper 70’s today. Bill continues to feel GOOD!
Got Willie, the Jeep, home in the afternoon. He got new rear universal joints and an oil change so he should be good for the rest of the year – we hope.
Just a couple of pictures of the campground. Up close and personal. But the location and price is good.

After getting the car we went out for a while. Visited with our daughter-in-law then to the grocery store and to get my hair cut. Don’t know why I ever let it grow. It took me a while to convince the girl I really wanted it cut “that” short. I said “real short” She said “about one inch.”  I said “no, much shorter” Finally convinced her to use the short clippers – but she was nervous about it. Afraid I’d be upset it was so short. I think she was glad to see me happy and leaving. It was so nice to look in the mirror this morning and not seeing “that stuff” sticking up all over my head.
No plans for today except maybe going to the big electronics store Fry’s – always like to go there. And to Hobby Lobby to get some drapery tie backs.

I had to laugh yesterday – we were driving up one of the main roads – Desert Inn - here – and the road alone is almost as wide as our whole town! It is four wide lanes each direction. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Willie is getting old too

Yesterday, Sunday, was a quiet day. Didn’t want to drive the Jeep any where until we know what is wrong with it. 
So we just strolled around the campground, watched TV (Cup race) and read. Also did the accumulated laundry. Always glad to get it done when I’ve let it pile up.
We got neighbors who have spread out. Their rug is a foot or so into our campsite. Don’t really mind as we weren’t using that area anyway. What I do mind is they’ve spread their chairs out there too and like to sit outside and SMOKE. So guess we’ll be keeping our windows closed evenings from now on.
Found out what is wrong with Willie and he is in getting repaired now. Should be fixed by later this afternoon. Bad ball joints. Guess he is like us – the years and miles tend to add up.
Did some cleaning and rearranging this morning and some knitting – otherwise just waiting. Need to go to grocery store later. And get my hair cut. My experiment in letting it grow is OVER. Cannot stand it any longer so going back to my very short style.
Bill continues to feel good – but now I’m the one sneezing – It is just the dry weather. Hopefully I’ll adjust in a couple of days

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Las Vegas Baby!

Very early Sunday morning. What am I doing up already? Just couldn’t sleep any longer.
We watched the soccer game yesterday – not the score we would have liked but it was a good game. Then I watched the Truck race – pretty good race. Lots of bumpin’ and bangin’ went on. Today is the Cup race.
Weather here is pretty warm up in the high 80s – with a pretty good breeze yesterday. And today is supposed to be the same. The humidity is very low so both Bill and I are stuffed up but he didn’t seem to be sneezing and wiping his nose and eyes quite as much. Sure hope he finds some relief. Guess we’ll see later today.
Didn’t do much – took Willie to the car wash – he had road tar all over him so now looks spiffy again. BUT – don’t know what it is about Vegas but he is acting up again! He is stuttering when slowing down. Transmission or brakes?  Mechanic time Monday.  Then we went to the big Flea Market here to go to the “As Seen on TV” store and it was closed. Then to the Argentine market where Bill shopped. Stocking up on GOOD stuff. It is nice to be in a big city where you can find all kinds of good stuff.

Drove down a few blocks of The Strip on the way home. Maybe some new construction going on. Couldn’t tell for sure. One new place – where the old Sahara was – is open. It’s called SLS. Didn’t look very pretty. Lots and lots of traffic and lots and lots of people on the sidewalks. Busier than I've seen it in a while. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's Friday we must be in Las Vegas.

So what day is today? That happens when traveling (and getting older) – at least I know where I am. And after thinking I do know what day it is. Friday evening and we are in Las Vegas, NV.
Last time I wrote we were headed to Cottonwood. A rather uneventful trip. Except for the weird stuff along the highway. A case in point. Plaster animals on a hill near a “Indian Trading Post.”
Some pretty trees on I-17 heading down the hill from Flagstaff to Cottonwood. Sorry about the reflections. They were really pretty. And the sky was so blue.
Just a picture of the Alfa in the 1000 Trails campground. 
Everything was so green this year. And the campground was really full. Guess a lot of people are starting to travel again.
So we didn’t stay there very long as Bill’s allergies came back with a force! Then I happened to read that the Verde Valley is a terrible area for pollens etc. Great! So we left way before we planned to.
This morning leaving the campground we saw this hot air balloon taking off. Notice the haze over the valley. More about that later.
Just a picture of the window in the door of the Alfa with the sun shining through it. I’m surprised it has lasted as long as it has – about eight years of travel. Bill did a good job on it.
Just west of Flagstaff we saw a sign “Caution smoke ahead – controlled burn.” Wow no kidding about the smoke. That was what we saw over Cottonwood too. It got kind of thick for a while.
We left Arizona around 8:00 and got to Vegas around 1:00 – with a stop for gas and lots of slowing for smoke (two times) and lots of construction on I-40. That highway really needed the work. A little over 300 miles to the 1000 Trails park in Vegas. This park too is FULL. But we got a 50 amp site way in the back.
Oh before I forget – just coming into Boulder City I saw a sign next to the highway – a picture of mountain goats. I turned to Bill and said, “Do you think any one has ever seen a mountain goat around here?” A couple of minutes later we saw a bunch of cars parked along the road and why were they parked there” Because there was a HERD of MOUNTAIN GOATS along side the highway. And I was so surprised I didn’t think to pick up my camera.
After getting here just settled in and sat for a while then went out to eat at Blueberry Hill restaurant. Got the senior dinner special which comes with desert. So we got two pieces of carrot cake to bring . Those of you who have followed this blog for a few years might remember the “Tale of the disappearing carrot cake”. We brought it home, put it in the refrigerator and when I went to get it – it was gone! Neither the cake nor the styrofoam box it came in ever showed up.
So that’s where we are…Tomorrow morning we have to watch the El Classico soccer game between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Then if the truck race is still on the end of it.

And Sunday the NASCAR race. Other than that no plans right now. Except maybe for doing some laundry.
The weather here is warm 88 when we got here. And no wind. Sure made it for nicer driving for Bill.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Mexico and the El Rancho Hotel

Monday morning we left the Tucumcari campground around 8:00 and drove right up the highway about a mile and stopped at a Flying J for diesel – needed over 80 gallons – good thing we got that 13 gallons when we did. Also had breakfast then on our way towards Gallup, NM.
The weather was basically good. Some rain off in the distance. Made for some weird clouds. This one looked like a flying saucer.
And a heavier storm off to our north behind the pretty red hills.
We didn’t get into any rain but it had just passed through this area – the road was still pretty wet.
We got to Gallup in the afternoon – after a 320 mile drive. I think this is the first time EVER that there wasn’t any wind on the I-40. Sure makes for an easier drive. We stayed at the USA RV Park in Gallup right on Route 66. It is a nice clean campground. Lots of pull-throughs, good size spaces, 50 amps and WiFi. Also spaces without trees so we could catch the satellite for the TV. Only drawback it is under the flight pattern for the small airport. And across the street from the RR tracks. But during the night both are relatively quiet.  
We unhooked the car and took a drive down 66 as I’ve always wanted to stop and see the El Rancho Hotel. So off we went looking for it. Lots of 1950/60 motels along the street.
This surprised me I didn’t know they still made Schlitz – that was the beer my Dad always drank.
We found the Hotel. Couldn’t get a real good picture of the front of it cause the sun was right behind above it.
A National Historic Site– it was built in 1937 as a base for movie productions and has a lot of movie history. 
It was built by the brother of film director D W Griffith. The casts and crew for over 14 films stayed there during production. Here is some interesting information about the El Rancho Hotel in its heyday.  
The main lobby is very different. Old west – hunting lodge type. Lots of wood and big heavy furniture. Animal heads, woven rugs, fireplace. Makes you want to sit down and spend some time there.
Curved staircases lead upstairs.
The fireplace.
The stairs and animals.
Player piano in the lobby.
The balcony above the lobby. Nice wood floors and comfortable furniture. 
Looking down into the lobby.
One of the hallways. Lots of art work and the rooms are named for movie stars.
The shoe shine stand in the lobby.
There is also a bar, restaurant and of course, gift shop.
I’m glad we stopped and looked around, been curious about it every time we got through Gallup.  
Driving back to the campground. There are lots and lots of older motels on the street.
And what isn’t a motel is a place selling Authentic Indian Jewelry. Hundreds of stores it seemed like one after the other.
The next morning, Tuesday we headed for Arizona where we are now. Just south of Sedona. Another post...
The weather here in Cottonwood is beautiful - blue skys and warm. In fact warm enough to run the air conditioning during the day. 
And the bad news is Bill's allergies were back in full force yesterday. Had a really miserable day. So don't know what we'll do now- stay here for a while and hope he gets better or move on to Vegas or somewhere else - looking for relief. Our reservations for here are until the 28th...
Fixed an oven roast with potatoes and carrots for Bill for his birthday dinner last night. Turned out good.