Relaxing Sunday

Oh, so relaxing! We slept in today, had a simple breakfast of fruit and coffee while sitting on our balcony chatting. While I worked a little more on figuring out WordPress, Jeff fired up Duolingo on his IPad to practice his Spanish.

Today’s agenda is simple: we’re going to wander the Strip a little more. It is 1’o’clock before we gather our “expedition” stuff and leave the condo. Have you seen a cupcake ATM? We pass this one regularly…

Cupcake ATM

I pick our sightseeing and I choose Ceasar’s Palace. We’ll walk over, see the decor, check out the classic ‘Atlantis’ fountain show and hang out a bit. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the mysterious land of Atlantis the answer can be found at Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas! Though it isn’t a long walk (by Vegas standards) we are hot by the time we get there and the air conditioning feels great (and I HATE air conditioning)!

The public seating areas are fun. This is a photo of the back of a chair. The other side is the chair; you can really get into somebody’s head. LOL

There are so many designers, high priced shops not just in this “Forum Shops” area of Ceasar’s, but throughout Vegas, and we wonder how they all stay in business, how well they do and who the heck shops in them?! I guess for some people that shopping is the reason to visit Las Vegas. We walk past all the shops to the Atlantis fountain area. I had forgotten that there is an aquarium here – it is well done – a circular aquarium surrounded by a seating bench. Since we have about 20 minutes before the next show we watch the wide variety of sea life and snap some photos.





The Atlantis show begins and we, along with a large crowd, enjoy the animatronic king (whom I assume is Neptune) try to decide if his daughter or son should assume the throne. The daughter (water) and son (fire) get along like, well, fire and water. Rather than have them feuding, the king decides that Atlantis will be destroyed by fire and will sink into the ocean – which happens before our eyes.
So, now you know what happened to the Lost City of Atlantis!

We’ve spent a good two hours hanging out at Ceasar’s and decide to head by home. On our way back we notice a novelty shop, a political novelty shop and, of course, we have to check it out. The store is “balanced” with merchandise for/against Trump and Clinton, and there are some supportive Obama shirts. There were at least three t-shirts of varying degrees of inflammatory-ness that I wanted. I finally chose a “Make America Kind Again” shirt, figuring who can argue with that sentiment?

Back at the condo we walk over to the complex’s Activities Center. I had noticed several shelves of donated (or left behind) paperbacks and want to pick up some vacation reading. I got a couple of books and Jeff picked up a Phase 10 card game. Treasures in hand we go back to the condo where Jeff ops to take a nap while I change into my swimsuit, grab a towel, sunglasses, water, one of the books and go down to the pool. Aaahhh… Now the sun has set and I realize I’m starving. I pack up my pool stuff; we’ve not eaten since breakfast – time to remedy that.

We walk back to the Strip, walk down quite a ways to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner not because it is high on our list of ‘great’ restaurants but because in Vegas it has second floor outdoor balcony seating overlooking the Strip. Great view! After our late dinner, we stop and wait to see the Bellagio fountains. The fountains danced to Michael Jackson’s song “Billie Jean” and the show was GREAT. The fountains and the timing of the music were amazing; we’ve seen the fountains about a thousand times, but never a show this good. It was a wonderful way to end the day and after a long walk we’re ready for bed.

Hope to see you tomorrow (we’re going to do something special).

And we’re walkin’….

Today, Saturday, we are going to walk around the Strip. One of the places we are planning to visit is the Bellagio hotel which has a magnificent conservatory. Basically today we’re going to wander a bit, see what casinos have come and gone, check that our favorite noodles place is still here and maybe pick up a few more groceries. We really didn’t buy any lunch stuff so a couple of ready made salads are sounding good for later.

After a quick breakfast, courtesy of Jeff, of scrambled eggs, juice, toast and several cups of coffee we get ready to head out for our walk. Sunscreen, water bottles, money, sunglasses, hats – its as though we’re going on an expedition. Leaving our comfy, cool condo, the outside air hits us with full force; whew, it’s hot! It takes roughly 15 minutes to get to the Strip and once there we go to Walgreens to check prices. The bananas at Vons were completely green and we want to buy a couple of bananas, “to-go” salady things for later, stuff like that. We walk through Jeff’s favorite ‘craps’ casino to check the price at the tables. This little casino caters to young adults and the tables here are usually less expensive than other casinos. Jeff likes to play the $3 tables; in the nicer casinos, the tables start at $10 or $25 and there’s no way he’s doing that! Then we walk the opposite way down the Strip to a CVS to check prices there and then around the outside area of multiple shops checking that “Ramen-Ya” is still around. Yup!

By now we’re very hot and sweaty. See ‘walking’ on the Strip is a misnomer as really you basically shuffle along with the hordes. People stop right in front of you to take a photo, veer in and out of the crowd; it isn’t like walking down a normal sidewalk.

We pop into the Bellagio to see the conservatory. You’ve probably seen photos or videos of the dancing water fountains outside the Bellagio. Inside the lobby the ceiling is comprised of gigantic glass flowers by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly ceiling

On we go into the conservatory. The displays in the conservatory are incredible and change at least seasonally.This display is dominated by a towering Kabuki.



This Kabuki is 28 feet tall.


Look at his collar, sash, the Y in his kimono and his cumber bun as these are all decorated with preserved flowers. To be specific, roses: 900 deep purple, 900 deep red, 1,100 red, 500 red/cream bi-color, 252 dark pink, 225 fresh green, 225 dark green, and hydrangeas: 2,000 white. This reminded us a lot of the Rose Parade floats, but, of course, all the flowers there are fresh.

Throughout the conservatory which, by the way, is enclosed with a glass ceiling allowing the natural sunlight in, are other iconic Japanese cultural examples.

A tea room, a Shinto shrine, a flower finch, flower turtle, a tea room…

Tea, anyone?












We spent a good hour taking a relaxing stroll through the beautiful room.

Once we had our fill of jaw-dropping floral art, we went back into the hotel lobby and sat under the Chihuly ceiling and shared a bag of trail mix.

Fortified with raisins, chocolate chips and other trail mix yummies, we decide to walk back home, stopping along the way for our extra groceries, which turned out to include beer and frozen margaritas in bags. Now, who that of that great idea??

Back home we nap; somehow even though I didn’t wake up this morning until 11:10 a.m., I do need a nap.

For dinner Jeff grills salmon (did I mention that our complex includes several outdoor gas grills along with four swimming pools?!) – while I microwave a couple of potatoes and cook the frozen broccoli. An excellent dinner!

Afterwards, while Jeff watches the “The Road to Perdition” on HBO I struggle to figure out this blogging site. How am I doing so far?

That’s about it for today. I hope you enjoyed NOT walking through the crowds in the oppressive heat and still getting to enjoy this day in Las Vegas.

Until tomorrow…



Vegas, Baby! (Friday)

So, loyal readers, here is my first blogging attempt in a new format. I am still mourning the soon to be demised “Travelpod” site that I loved so much, but realize I’d better move on. Here we are on WordPress. Bear with me as I learn this new tool…things like “how do I upload a photo?” and “Seriously, you’re going to charge me for uploading a video?”

Anyway, Jeff and I have been to Las Vegas many times, and I thought you might enjoy some tales from us “high rollers” (NOT!). As our trips go, we really don’t consider Vegas a vacation because we’ve been here so often. This time, however, we are staying in a condo instead of a hotel room and our packing will be a little different. I’ve put coffee and coffee filters into the suitcase. Jeff has thrown in a bag of carrots…yes, weird, I know! Did you notice I said “suitcase?” Between the two of us we’re taking one suitcase for the week, and since you see that we’ve packed things like carrots, obviously we aren’t taking a lot in the way of clothes. After all, what do you really need beside a couple of pairs of shorts, shirts and swimsuits?

Our flight isn’t until 3:30, so I clean the house, do the laundry, stuff like that; it will be nice to come back to a tidy home. Tom is off the hook as our private chauffeur so we drive to DIA and eventually we board our flight for the 90 minute trip to the Land of Lost Wages.

After landing we hopped on an airport shuttle to our condo. Unfortunately, we landed at rush hour, on a Friday night, on a holiday weekend. It took us longer to get to our place than to fly to Las Vegas! We’re beat, but we do need to go to the grocery store. After we unpack, we grab the map we got at the registration desk, our empty backpacks and head for Von’s. It looks very walkable and close. Good thing because it’s getting dark.

Well, looks can be deceiving!!! It is a long, long walk and we are going through a sketchy neighborhood. I can’t even describe how sketchy it is! We stop at a 7-11 to ask the security guide outside (I told you it was sketchy.) how much further the store was – just two blocks. Well, we’ve come this far…I muttered threats to Jeff “If I get killed walking to the grocery store, I’m gonna kill you…” hahahaha.  We agree that if we arrive at Von’s unscathed we’d call a taxi to take us back.

Shopping completed, an uneventful and welcome return trip via cab and we settled in on the couch for a dinner of microwave popcorn and beer.

Time for bed and tomorrow we’ll get down to doing whatever it is that people do here…