We’re on vacation…

February 14th – 21st 2020

I know there are a lot of you thinking “your going on vacation from your vacation”!

Yes…as hard as it is to believe our day to day live in the coach is our lifestyle and it is not a vacation…actually everything that we did in sticks and bricks happens in the coach, meals, laundry, everything as it used to be, oh the view out our windows may change but it is our day to day life whether it’s working at a campground or just escaping the cold weather in the winter that all stays the same.

The view from our window

Day one

We loaded up the toad and drove across Las Vegas to the Marriott Grand Chateau which is our home base for our timeshare, check in time is 4 pm but we checked in at 3 pm, I mean what are they going to do, check out is 10 am that’s five hours to get the suite in order. We are on the twentieth floor, so about mid way up the tower as there are 37 floors with a pool on the 38th on the roof. We have a two bedroom suite and are being joined by Teresa and Anito, who will be flying in from Toronto later this evening, Miss Laurie and I went out to Excalibur’s Buffet this evening, it is reasonable close to us and through our play on the “My Vegas” app, we got a two for one buffet special (ya it’s valentines but I’m still Scottish), their buffet is pretty average for the older casinos on the strip but tonight the smoked roast beef seemed exceptional. We ventured back to the condo for the evening, I headed to bed around ten, while Miss Laurie was going to stay up to greet our guests as their flight had been delayed before leaving Toronto.

Day two

Coffee and Baileys at 6 am, the same way most of our mornings start. We find it improves our attitude to start that way, because everyone else was late to bed last night, I get a few minutes to put down some thought while they are fresh. We have no hard plans for today other than it would be a great day to take in Fremont street, which is the original Vegas strip. Well a lazy casual morning catching up with our friends, our first big outing is a trip to a grocery store for a few supplies, then by the sound of it maybe an afternoon nap before a big night on Fremont in old town Vegas. Well today unfolded pretty much as I suspected, a trip to a grocery store, where we purchased too many groceries, a quick overview of the strip, a nice lunch of cheese and crackers prepared by Miss Teresa and Miss Laurie followed by some down time as every one prepared for a trip downtown to The Fremont Experience which has a plethora of entertainment with three live bands, multiple buskers displaying (exposing) more talents than you could imagine or even cared to imagine. We tracked down a barbecue spot in the back of Binions Gambling House with only five items on the menu, I was all over the rack of ribs, excellent smoked ribs with enough bark to indicate a good pit master, service was quick, portions large, sides were flavourful. Traffic was just pretty much normal, although there was an NHL game on at the T-Mobile arena that I didn’t take into account when planning my route, we parked in Binions parking garage and got a parking comp from the restaurant. Miss Teresa was the big winner on the slots doubling her money…which she splurged on Gelatos for the group back at the resort…Thanks Miss T.

Overhead show on Fremont.

Day three

Sunday morning, coffee, Baileys, Las Vegas…yes it is starting out as another good day, again no real plan for the day, in fact here is all I know for sure…we are having dinner at the condo, who is cooking is waiting for a coin flip…I think some exploring of the casinos close to us is what is on the agenda for today. It’s Daytona 500 day and the race starts at 11 am Pacific time, so I will be keeping an eye of the race either at the condo or in a sports book at one of the casinos…oh darn the 500 has been rained out until tomorrow let’s face it when politicians go to any sporting event they always brings a dark cloud to that event, this one had rain as well. So we did a little exploring today, we took in the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood, shops and restaurants at Paris, and the grandeur of the displays at Bellagio, in fact I even won a couple of bucks while playing the slots. And on the way back to the condo the girls got thirsty, I mean what could possibly go wrong…just asking for a friend.

Thirsty girls!

Well our day slowed down after the ladies had a their refreshments, and we decided to stay in for the evening, where Miss Teresa being fully refreshed from her beverage, prepared dinner and we had a relaxing evening as we discussed most of the problems of the world, family, friends, and of course the easiest people in the world to pick on the politicians on both sides of the boarder, similar to children they have no concept of right from wrong and they are such easy picking, just like picking low hanging fruit…just saying

Day four

Monday morning, family day for our visitors from Ontario, and Presidents’ Day here in the United States although that has to be a bit of a struggle right now. The running of the the Daytona 500 is going to be completed this afternoon if the Florida weather cooperates. Coffee with Baileys, the perfect combination for blog writing, I find it quiet and peaceful for the first couple of hours in the morning, I get a chance to reflect on the previous day, and put some my thoughts together (I know some of you find that scary and questionable) for the blog. I think today we are going to take a shuttle further up the strip, to see the sights and then catch an early buffet for dinner on the way back…at least that was the discussion last evening.

Floral display at The Wynn Casino

Well it was a long day today as we took in the sights at The Wynn and Encore casino, then crossed over to the the Venetian and Palatzo casino, then off to the Mirage for an early dinner, since the Mirages M-life system was down we were forced to play the slots for a half an hour, Anito was the big winner this evening scoring 1000 coins on a quarter machine and I scored about $50 dollars on a penny video machine…I guess dinner will be on The Mirage and My Vegas tonight…can you say score. So here is the problem with buffets in Vegas, there are way too many choices and I just can’t eat enough. After dinner we had to kill a few minutes before the volcano show so Miss Laurie took a turn at one of the new 4D video machines, and unbelievably she scored about $45 dollars. We had got a shuttle ride up to the Wynn from the resort and had planned to Uber back to the resort but decided to walk back to wear off some of the buffet, and as luck would have it we caught the water show at the Bellagio which was as amazing as always.

Water display at The Mirage Casino

Day five

Tuesday morning and you guessed it, coffee with Baileys, but today we are heading south today on US-93 to the Hoover Dam. Miss Laurie and I had not been out the dam for over ten years, and we (or at least I) have always been amazed at the engineering feat, the size of this undertaking back in the thirty’s and still a very valuable part of hydro power production for Arizona and Nevada. And of course the day we went out to the dam all the tours were shut down, but we did get a chance to stop at the new bridge on highway 93 that takes traffic off of the top of the dam, but we made our way up to the walkway on the bridge and found it to almost be as an amazing undertaking as the dam itself.

View of the dam from the new bridge…notice the bridge shadow

A quick look at the level of lake Mead which was formed by the Hoover dam and seeing it down well over one hundred feet from its previous levels, it is a true picture of climate change as much as some politicians have their heads up their ass’s, the hoax is real. The dam houses 17 turbines capable of producing hydro electric energy to two states. Since 9/11, security has been increased at the dam, every vehicle is stopped and checked before allowing it to proceed to the dam, that is why the opening of the new bridge in 2010, has reduced the trip from Kingman AZ to Boulder NV by as much as two hours. I will do a blog on the Hoover dam in the near future.

The dam turbine rooms and the new bridge on US-93

The high water line as shown in this photo, the level is down more than 120 feet (36 metres) and although presently higher than the last five years it is down more than 40% of its capacity. In fact the turbines are being replaced with wider blade turbines capable of working with less water flow.

On our way back into Las Vegas we took a little detour to the Ethel M Chocolate factory, Miss Laurie and I had been there before, there is a tour of the product facility as well as a large cactus garden that can be explored. There is no charge for the experience but I bet you can’t escape with out buying some of the pecan brittle…it is almost orgasmic. After we arrived back at the condo Miss Laurie prepared dinner, so we were able to just kick back and relax after a busy day of playing tourist, after all we are are never going to be able to explore everything in just a week, there is just too much around the area to see and do.

Day six

You maybe noticing a trend as coffee and Baileys at 6 am seems almost like a given, I am not saying it’s a bad thing, but it could be a very hard habit to break…just saying. We were treated to bacon and eggs this morning, thanks to Chef Anito…we made it to the 5th floor pool this morning, to enjoy some of the Nevada sun before we ventured off to the strip.

Bird sanctuary at the Flamingo Casino

Today we are heading to the old Flamingo Casino to take in the feeding time at their bird sanctuary, they have a pair of pelicans that were injured and have lost part of their wings. I think we all learned quite a bit today, and any day you can teach this old dog something, it’s been a good day. Miss Laurie was the big winner today, put $10 into a video machine and pulled $105 out, what has been our saviour is that we have busy moving from one venue to another I’m thinking as we are tiring there could be more sitting in our future as long as it’s not in front of a slot machine I think we may escape the strip up a few bucks. Our afternoon was spent window shopping through the Caesar Forum shops and ended with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory at Caesars then a walk back to the condo again to wear off a little dinner, but we got back to the resort in time for a wine and cheese tasting in the lobby with some live entertainment.

Vanilla bean cheesecake…Yummmmm

Day seven

Today is going to be a sad day as Teresa and Anito fly out this evening, so I’m not sure what today will bring, but I’m going to start with a coffee and Baileys, I mean why would I stop something that works…like seriously. Miss Laurie made omelettes for everyone this morning, mushroom and cheese, we had some eggs to use up, when we went shopping last weekend Albrersons grocery store they had a dozen large eggs on for $0.12, with an electronic coupon, pretty hard to pass up eggs for a penny a piece…even if your not Scottish.

Mimosas in the lobby at the Marriott

So today we started our adventures with mimosas in the lobby before we ventured off to the Luxor casino, and Excalibur’s, and New York casinos, we just couldn’t make it to Mandalay Bay. We all seemed too be running out of steam, and as I suspected those comfortable chairs in front of the slot machines seemed to be finding more of our butts in them, and while our winning streak seemed to be holding, you just know it’s about to run out…this is not our first rodeo. We headed back to the condo where Teresa and Anito finished their packing and Miss Laurie heated up a frozen pizza for lunch, so we had a couple of hours of down time before heading out for dinner at the buffet at Bellagio. The evening temperatures were till in the high 50’s or mid teens on which ever scale you use, it’s Thursday night and the casinos are filling up, table games seem to be taking over for slot machine, but what we found even more than that, there are a lot more restaurants and bars built along the casino walls, a lot less slot machine so I have to assume the return per square foot must be better at a bar than at a slot machine, and at the price they charge for cocktails, I almost thought I was at a sporting event….just saying.

The buffet at the Bellagio is one of the best on the strip, and our whole party agreed this was the best that we had visited. Both the selection of choices, and the way they keep the spots fresh and full, and the items that they serve at the carving station or the crab legs they give you huge servings, not the three legs at a time like at some buffet stations hand out. The problem with big portions, now at our age I’m looking for smaller portions so I can enjoy more variety, I know I know, some people are never happy…but as this week comes to a close and we prepare to say goodbye to the Las Vegas strip. We just had to wander through the Cosmopolitan casino on our way back to the condo so Miss Teresa could see the chandelier bar and all the shining things. We made it back to the resort and said our goodbyes to Teresa and Anito, then walked them down to an Uber to catch a late night flight back to the Great White North.

A view from the Bellagio across the strip

Day eight

Oh no we are out of Baileys, well there was enough for my first couple of cups this morning, but now how will I ever be able to survive? We said goodbye to the Teresa and Anito last evening, it was sad to see them leave but I think they have had a good time, as they had been told a week was too long to spend in Vegas, cause there is nothing to do but gamble. There are leaving having most likely spending less than an hour gambling, but exhausted from seeing many of the venues available to everyone. Our check out time is 10 am so not a lot of extra time to add to the blog this morning, as Miss Laurie is off to see and rescue her fur baby, Mr. Sam if he is even speaking to us this morning. It has been a great week, although the week has flew by, we will head back to our coach to enjoy a few days just kicking back, which is pretty much normal after a week on the strip, and as great as the variety is at the buffets, I do miss Miss Laurie’s cooking and we both missed our bed. It was after our multi stays with Marriott that we realized how much of a difference a good mattress makes and it seems now we have surpassed the Marriott’s quality.