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Las Vegas, Nevada

Adult Playground of the World

May, 2001 - VNEA Pool Tournament

We arrived in Vegas none the worse for wear totally enthused and full of stories about our trip. It was time to buckle down and get to the task at hand. Both Karen and I were playing in the Pool Tournament and refereeing when not playing - in between making plans for next year's road trip.

Karen drove home with hubby Steve that year. I think she must have pre-planned that just in case we were in "kill" mode by the time we got to Vegas.  However, we ended up following each other home on the highway.  We stayed at Jackpot, Nevada the first night and Great Falls, Montana the final night.

May, 2002 - VNEA Pool Tournament

This year we refereed the VNEA pool tournament in Vegas, so spent 10 sunless days inside the Riviera Hotel, constantly wishing we were on the road.  We did a small tourist afternoon at Liberace's museum and then a fast shopping spree (20 min) at the Outlet Mall on the west side of Vegas to buy attire for the evening banquet.

Fifteen miles outside of Vegas we found our first cactus tree and of course had to take a picture.  Then we boogied into the desert and off in search of ghost towns.

January, 2006
In late December, 2005, Reg from Australia came to North America. Robin wasn't able to come which was a bit of a disappointment. Reg and I spent time touring around Calgary then hopped a plane to Vegas on January 1st, 2006. The Pauleys from Indiana met us there.
Vegas Connection Slideshow
Vegas Connection Photo Album
Love Birds
Talking to Aunt Rita

Christmas in Vegas

We decided ahead of time to have our Christmas in Vegas together so we made a makeshift Christmas Tree out of the lamp. We covered it with a towel and plastered bows all over it. Of course the gifts from Australia were the highlight of our Santa tree. Reg gave Bill and Becky some TimTams. A Tim Tam is a chocolate covered malted biscuit filled with chocolate cream filling - delicious.

Australian Books
Whatever it was - it must have been funny.
Reg gave me two books, Great Aussie Slang and Ultimate Aussie Insults & Jokes.  Now I will know what those Aussies are talking about. I have to admit when someone told me I was "fair dinkum" I thought I was being insulted. No worries mate.
On the Strip
Colts Fan (one anyway)
Definitely not nickels
Getting the hang of it now mate
Breakfast at the IHop - 2 pm
Bill's Hummer ?

We spent a lot of time up and down the Strip. Franny and I bought some sparkley false eyelashes (much to Bill's horror ha ha and mom wasn't too impressed either). We looked quite beautiful (I thought).

We headed for the Excalibur - supposedly so that Franny could have some fun too doing kids stuff. So? Who are all these adults playing like a bunch of kids. We had to do everything - play the arcade, buy flashing necklaces, win stuffed toys, chew bubble gum and ride the roller coaster - well Bill and Becky did - not a chance of me getting on it. I did get brave though and go up the Stratosphere Tower. It was OK but I stayed in the middle and left the overlooking to the rest of the gang.

The Kids
Bill's Hummer ?
"The Vegas Connection"
Reg, from Australia, Bill Becky and Franny from Indiana and me from Canada.
Three Adults, one Child, and one Chicken - ME!!
The Eifel Tower. Nope - sorry - not for me. I had tried to go up the Tower before and came right back down so I knew I didn't want to try again. I was allowed to get into the picture though then waited in the casino for everyone to come back. Suited me just fine.

May, 2006 - VNEA Tournament
This year our travels were going to take us back to Las Vegas.  The pool team Karen and I played on won the trip to the International Valley 8 Ball Tournament held every year at the Riviera. The "Guys & Dolls" Pool Team was a throw together group of players and it turned out to be the greatest team. Everyone got along and we had great food, fun, and team spirit all year. We played 100% at playoffs, never lost a game and our trip to Vegas was secured.
After leaving Rhyolite, we traveled south on Hwy 95 through Pahrump (name makes me laugh) and into Vegas from the west. It was time to "let the games begin". Our team played exceptionally well and survived until the last match before the "big" board (final playoffs).
The guys wanted to enter into the hardluck tournament but Karen and I were anxious to get back on the road.  So, we bid them good luck, left them to their playing, checked out early, and were on our way again.  Oh yeah, Karen got to spend two nights with her hubby, Steve, while in Vegas.

June, 2010

Vegas Disaster

We arrived in Vegas at 8:30pm - DISASTER!! On checking in at the Riviera I realized I didn't have my wallet. We searched the car high and low - no wallet. The last time we used my Visa was for gas in Hurricane, Utah. We phoned the gas station and the McDonalds but no luck - no wallet. Fortunately, we had enough cash on hand to pay for two days at the hotel and one day of internet. Panic set in and the next three hours were spent on the phone and emails cancelling all my bank accounts, Visa, paypal automatic payments and anything else I could think of. Fortunately, my drivers license and birth certificate were still inside my passport folder so the only significant losses I had were my bank cards, Visa cards and about $100.00 cash. I emailed my office requesting some back up funds and Visa arranged to provide me with emergency funds wired to a Western Union.

Finally at 1:30 am I could breathe easy and get some sleep. Now wouldn't THAT make a great Visa commercial? All that panic then me sleeping like a baby!!

In response to my email, Sharon (from my office) phoned first thing in the morning to make sure we were OK and to let me know that arrangements were in the works to get some funds to us. Once Gloria got back to the office, Steve would be able to pick up a cheque to deposit for us to draw cash out each day with Karen's ATM.

In the meantime, we went to Western Union and picked up the cash Visa had wired. So our slight disaster was now under control. We headed to the factory outlook to buy some summer clothes and a new wallet for me. More good news came shortly after that. The gas station phoned to tell me that someone had handed in my wallet. So we headed back up I-15 to Hurricane - 125 miles - to pick it up. Even better news - all my cards and even the cash were still in it. Apparently someone did hand it to them but the clerk forgot to tell the night shift that it was there. No harm done.

The wallet was intact, all credit cards and cash not touched. I tried to find the good samaritan but no one knew who the young man was. I wanted to give him the cash in the wallet for his honesty. It was a nice feeling to know that there are honest people wherever you travel.

Riviera Hotel

Karen took pictures of the room because we both had the feeling it would be our last trip to the Riviera. We'd heard that the Pool Tournaments were being moved from this location and honestly - the Riviera is badly in need of an overhaul and new management that gives a damn. For example, my bed had a flat sheet for the bottom. That would be OK except it was a single sheet and didn't go to the end of the bed. When I stretched out my feet were on the mattress cover. The towels were hard as rocks - no softener in the wash. Seems like they are just trying to cut small corners. We have the feeling another dinosaur is going to feel the effect of dynamite. Too bad because walking into the lobby felt like "coming home" for us.

The Riviera opened on April 20, 1955 as the first high-rise and the ninth resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The Riviera is one of the oldest and most famous casino resorts in Las Vegas. The Riviera also broke new ground in its design. Previously, strip resorts resembled roadside motor courts.

The opening of the Riviera, along with the Dunes and the Royal Nevada casino resorts, within a month were the subject of a famous issue of Life Magazine, on June 20, 1955 with a Moulin Rouge showgirl on its cover. The headline was "Las Vegas-Is Boom Overextended?" and a story about how Las Vegas had built too many hotel rooms to be profitable. Liberace was the featured headliner at the resort's opening, and for many years afterward.

May, 2014 - VNEA Pool Tournament
Back to Las Vegas for this year's spring trip. Our pool team, Broadstrokes, decided - win or lose - to head for Vegas for the International Tournament. Everyone is flying except me. Who needs an excuse for a road trip? I'll be hauling all the cues with me so they don't have to be checked into baggage on the flights. We met for one last practice on Wednesday. Everyone is revved. Now that the time is actually upon us, we're all pretty excited. Deanna keeps talking about activities that involve wearing a bathing suit. YIKES!
Testing the New Camera

May 22, 2014

I arrived just after noon. We are staying at the Tahiti Village for the next 3 days. Deana and Alex arrived on Sunday. We went to Target so I could buy a new camera. I broke mine yesterday in Zion Park. I tripped over a root at a lookout and fell - smashing my camera against a rock on the way down. I'm glad my camera was the only thing I broke.

After Target, we went grocery shopping, then back to a hotel for a barbeque. We picked up Glenda at the airport at 8:30. It wasn't long before lights out. We were all pretty tired.

May 23, 2014

Today would be our last day of free time to mess around before the singles tournament. The early risers down the hall jolted me out of bed at 9:00 for coffee on the Lanai. We then headed to Bally's for a couple of hours to check out the Tournament venue and practice some pool. We dropped our cues off to get new tips. The matches are all computerized now. Tournament Link

Glenda's New Best Friend - Terrible Herbst

The highlight of Glenda's day wasn't necessarily buying beer - but being asked for ID in order to do it. When the clerk said "can I see your ID please" I looked behind me in the line to see if someone younger had butt in. Nope. No one was there. Glenda did a happy dance and I piddled my pants laughing. Unfortunately for me, the laughing continued when Glenda insisted we were on the 5th floor and couldn't figure out what alien had taken her room. Apparently 5451 means: Building 5 - 4th Floor - Room 51.

Lazy River

We then embarked on our great adventure of the afternoon - tubing down the Lazy River. Remember the bathing suit? They got me into it. Everything went smoothly until it was time to actually mount the tube. As Glenda and Deana drifted merrily on their way I was left behind virtually upside down, gasping for air, stuck in the tube with one leg up and one leg down - a 65 year old's version of the splits. My pleas for help landed on deaf ears and it two rounds before we were able to get me stopped and back to the loading zone. With the assistance of Deana and two good samaritans we managed to get me unstuck and in the proper to position to hop on the tube. It's amazing just how easy it was with a bit of know-how.

The Tahiti Village pool area has a 1/8 mile long Lazy River. It encompasses over 18,000 square feet of pool decking with numerous thatch umbrellas and lounge chairs. The Lazy River is heated to over 80 degrees in the winter and a cooling mid 70's during the summer. There are four waterfalls along the passage.
The Cirque du Soleil website describes "O" as "An aquatic masterpiece of surrealism and theatrical romance. World-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, divers and characters perform in, on, and above water to create a breathtaking experience." Cirque du Soleil

We ended our day with Cirque du Soleil presentation of "O" at the Bellagio. The choreography and amazing special effects were beyond imagination. It is an aquatic theme and so well synchronized that it passed from one scene to next effortlessly. The entertainment was continual and the 2 1/2 hours passed very quickly.

"O" premiered on October 15th, 1998. The name was derived from the phonetic spelling of the French word eau, meaning water. Water-resistant materials had to be used in the construction of the theater as well as all the props, costumes and makeup. The costumes used by the performers were nearly $10,000 each and needed to be made of material that resisted the effects of the chlorine and bromide in the water. The makeup that had been used in past shows was unsuitable for submerged performers, requiring a new waterproof formulation.

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

The first thing you notice when you enter the Bellagio is the fragrance coming from the flowers. The current exhibit is Summer Garden Party. Bellagio Conservatory. In total, there are five seasonal themes that the Conservatory undergoes:

  • Chinese New Year. From January to mid-March, the Conservatory celebrates the Chinese New Year including the animal of that particular year.
  • Spring. The theme then changes over to the Spring display, which lasts until May, and usually features a butterfly house.
  • Summer. During Memorial Day weekend, Bellagio then switches over to its All-American Summer display, featuring a large re-creation of the Liberty Bell, as well as several American flags throughout the Conservatory.
  • Fall. From late September until Thanksgiving weekend, the Fall display features several varieties of chrysanthemum and large pumpkins.
  • Winter. Finally, after Thanksgiving, the winter display is dominated by its large centerpiece Christmas Tree and several varieties of poinsettia.
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
After the Show

Saturday, May 24th - Singles

Alex started at 9:00, Deana and I started at 10:30 and Glenda started at 1:30. When all was said and done for the day, Alex ended at 385-512, Deana at 65-96. Doreen at 49-64, and hotshot Glenda landed a spot in 33-48. She won $100.00. By the time Glenda and I finished the night - we couldn't care less about winning any more. Just get us to bed - now!!

It was 1:30 am when we finally got back to the hotel. Glenda actually made me stop at Terrible's to buy some beer for Gina. I'm sure it was just an excuse to be asked for her ID again. I think she's addicted to the high it gives her.

Gina arrived tonight - just in time to give Glenda a foot massage before heading off to bed.

Sunday, May 25th - Singles Continues

We had to check out of Tahiti Village this morning and move to Cancun Resort Villas where we will be staying for the balance of the Tournament. Deana and Alex have a penthouse suite and Lucille and I have a two bedroom unit.

Glenda's Win - $100.00

Singles continued at Bally's. Deana and Alex registered in the Sports Division. Glenda, Gina and I were in cheerleader mode. Alex finished in 41-44. Deana finished in 65 to 96. Tournament Link

We ended our day with dinner at Chili's, a quick stop at Target so I could buy a Keurig Mini, then Albertsons to stock up on groceries for the week. We now have a couple of days off before the Team Tournament starts.

Monday, May 26th

My morning was spent doing some laundry and relaxing. Lucille arrived today at noon. Once we got her settled in we headed to the pool for a cool dip. We had an appointment at 3:00 for a group pedicure. Temperature was 108°.

The Group Pedicure

Who would have thought that getting a pedicure could be so much fun. Glenda wanted to paint her nails the colour of pool balls 1-8. In the end the two extra toes were painted white for the cue ball and brown for the cue stick.

The Line Up
8 Ball Toes

Tuesday & Wednesday, May 27-28 - Team Play

Our games began at 11:30 am on Tuesday. We were back on the tables at at 9:00 am Wednesday for our final game in the regular division. It was a long exhausting road but we won all our B Side matches and landed a spot on the on the Big Board. Although we were knocked out, we have to take pride in the fact that we made it to the Big Board. We ended up placing 25-32. When all was said and done, we won $200.00. Tournament Link

Main Board Matches
  1. 11:30 am Miller Lite Girls (Illinois) - Loss
  2. 7:00 pm Victorious Secret (Edmonton) - Win
  3. 9:30 pm Tableshakers (Thunder Bay) - Win
  4. 9:00 am Madison Street (Ohio) - Win
Big Board Matches
  1. 2:00 pm No Balls @ All (Regina) - Loss
  2. 5:00 pm Hotel Security (Winnipeg) - Loss
Between Matches
Gina sees the 8 Ball Toes

Thursday, May 29th

For some reason our "sleep in day" started at 8:00 am. Coffee was on the Lanai at 9:00. Topic of discussion was "the good old days". Alex was still playing through the B Side so he was long gone. Glenda, Deana and Lucille wanted to spend some time at the pool. Getting me into a bathing suit again was not going to happen. I went to Kohl's to buy a Fiesta Water Jug.

Deana and Glenda tried to get Lucille to ride with them in the water tube but throwing herself down a hole into the bowels of the earth and exiting at 30 mph into parts unknown was not Lucille's idea of adventure. Besides, someone needed to take the pictures!!
Shortly after 3:00 pm we headed to Bally's to watch Alex's match and cash our whopping $200.00 cheque. Alex's game was already over. They had won their match and would be playing back to back until midnight or until eliminated so we left Alex to his playing and headed to the Peppermill for supper.

Brass Asses

Glenda wanted to get her annual picture at the brass asses (Crazy Girls) so that was first on the agenda. This was a "virgin brass ass" for Lucille and I and, as it turned out, also a first for the random white shirted tourist. Notice though, he wanted to sample (butt) was much afraid of getting too close. Brass Asses finished, we headed to the Peppermill for dinner.

Fremont Street Experience

We made our way to Fremont to experience "Old Las Vegas". The Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall and attraction in downtown Las Vegas. It occupies the westernmost 5 blocks of Fremont Street, including the area known for years as "Glitter Gulch". The main attraction is a barrel vault canopy, 90 feet high and four blocks long.

What Happens in Vegas - Gets Put in Jumpy's Blog

WOW. Our senses were bombarded with a variety of musical genres, ranging from electric cello to saxophone to classic rock, and visually from cookie monster (Glenda's latest squeeze), Vegas show girls, Michael Jackson and Elvis impersonators to village people, the gladiator and some bizarre outfits that left us completely bewildered. Even our noses were overloaded by aerosol spray works of art and a variety of excessive perfume application and food vendors.

Gina, Glenda, Deana and Lucille, danced, laughed and drank the night away. By 11:00 pm I had finished my "been there done that" Fremont Street Experience so being the considerate chauffeur that I am, I left my precious cargo to their own devices - namely the local cab company. Rumor has it, they couldn't figure out how to get a cab until nearly 3:00 am.

Carl (Safe-Sax) Ferris

Carl Ferris has played in many lounges in Las Vegas. For over 10 years, he has been a featured performer at the Fremont Street Experience. We watched Carl serenade this lady. I'm not sure who was happier - the lady or her husband. They were both beaming. Carl Safe-Sax Ferris

Gina's Squeezes
OMG - Ménage à Trois?

July, 2014 - Summer Sizzler

Sunday, July 20th

I arrived in Las Vegas early afternoon. My room was ready so I was able to check in early enough to avoid the crowds. I purchased show tickets for Shania and registered for the Luau. I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and wandering around the hotel. I've decided that I may have to put that damn bathing suit on again and hit the Lazy River.

Monday, July 21st

I decided to visit some quilt shops today that weren't too far from the hotel. Surprise! What didn't look very far on google was about 12 miles each way. No problem though. Vegas is so easy to get around. Everything is straight and at right angles. Weather was 105° by noon.

The Christmas Goose

I visited The Christmas Goose. By the time I left, I had registered in two classes, purchased everything I needed and pre-cut the material for one of the classes. My first class is tomorrow for the pattern Buttercup. The second class is Thursday for a Table Topper. The Christmas Goose

After getting myself set up at the Christmas Goose, I visited the Fabric Boutique then headed to the I-Hop for lunch, did some grocery shopping, and headed back to the hotel. I had dinner at Chili's then my evening was spent doing laundry.

Tuesday, July 22

Today was very unique. Starting with the Buttercup Pattern quilting class in the morning and ending with the Shania Twain concert in the evening, everything was just a bit out of the ordinary.

Buttercup Quilt Class

I arrived at the Christmas Goose just after 10:00 in the morning for the first of two classes I registered in. Knowing that you are going to learn a new quilt block is interesting and intriguing but discovering that your teacher is the inventor of the pattern is pretty darn special. It was her time teaching a quilt class and I felt very privileged to be a part of it.

As it turns out Vic has created and published several quilt patterns. She should patent them but she already knows that. Having the talent and being able to create seems to be all the satisfaction she needs. She just wants to share. Vic says her passion is crafting, quilting and all things artsy - that someday she'll retire and live the dream...quilting, beading, writing patterns and going to sew-ins!! Zany Quilter

Shania: Still the One

Never before have I been to a concert when the announcer actually said they wanted us to basically "misbehave". Apparently, this concert was being recorded for promotional purposes and they really wanted the audience to be a bit rowdy. Then, to add to the strange rules, we were allowed to take pictures throughout the whole concert.

Eat your hearts out Shania fans. I was front row with a legal camera! And what a great concert it was. My seat was on stage left. I had the isle seat and a full view of the stage. It was fabulous and I took pictures like crazy. Unfortunately, Shania doesn't stand still so many of my pictures were motion blurred.

The show was non stop. The transition between sets was well orchestrated and kudos to Shania - she managed to get changed and back on stage in the time of one song. Shania sang every song I wanted to hear including my three favorites - Honey I'm Home, Any Man of Mine, and Rock this Country.

Most surprising was that she had two horses on stage during the show. With lights and cameras flashing, people dancing erratically all over the stage, the loud music and the crowd whistling, clapping an cheering, I was absolutely amazed that these two horses were truthfully the most relaxed animals in The Colosseum.

Wednesday, July 23rd

I spent today relaxing in the morning. I slept until after 10:00. About 3:00 in the afternoon I decided maybe I should head to the Rio and check out the pool tournament since it is the reason I'm even here. I managed to watch the games of a few teams that I know then headed to the Outback for dinner. I have to be up early tomorrow to take in the second quilt class that I registered for.

Thursday, July 24th - Table Top Quilt Class

Today I took the table top quilt class from Joyce. The pattern is cut on an angle so when sewn together it creates a chevron. I need to buy a special ruler for this quilt so will have to shop around on my way home. I did manage to get all my strips cut before the class was over so I can at least finish the quilt.

I spent the evening at the hotel. Supper was leftovers from the Outback yesterday. After supper I sat in the hot tub and relaxed poolside.

Friday, July 25th - Quiltique

I visited the Quiltique Sew Unique in Henderson this afternoon. I ended up buying four more of Vic's patterns. I hope I'll be able to figure them out without her beside me. I also bought three kits, one rooster style placemats, a wacky log cabin and a children's quilt. Some day I'll stop buying material and start sewing! Quiltique

Today is my last day in Vegas. Time to get organized, repack the car, and be ready to go in the morning. Somehow I got my reservation mixed up and to my surprise, at 3:00 pm I discovered I was supposed to have checked out this morning. They managed to let me extend my stay by one day but if I had known I certainly could have used the extra day to travel to Oatman then head home from there. By the time I found out thought it was too late. I had already overstayed my checkout time and stuck with the cost for the extra day.

I made one more visit to the Christmas Goose then headed back to the hotel. I did some laundry and hauled some things down to the car before calling it a day.

October, 2014

We were up relatively early and both of us were ready to head out the door by 9:30 am. We had our breakfast at the IHOP before heading out for the day. We had already mapped our way to Red Rock Canyon via the Christmas Goose Quilt Shop. I bought a couple to shelf dolls and Karen fell in love with a quilt but didn't quite buy it. $1000 was a tad more than she wanted to pay. Quilt shopping finished, we headed to hwy 159 to Red Rock Canyon.

It's amazing that we have spent so much time in Las Vegas over the years and never really bothered to take in some of the sites just outside of town. Highways included hwy 159 to Red Rock Canyon and hwy 160 (Blue Diamond Road) back to Vegas.

Red Rock Canyon

The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about 15 miles west of Las Vegas, is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and protected as a National Conservation Area.

The conservation area showcases a set of large red rock formations - a set of sandstone peaks and walls called the Keystone Thrust. The walls are up to 3,000 feet high with the highest point being La Madre Mountain at 8,154 feet.

The Visitors Center features Earth, Water, Air and Fire and has a section for each with a tremendous amount of information, photographs and samples. It was very impressive. The also have a protected tortoise habitat but we didn't see any tortoises.

Mojave Max

The Conservation Area is protected habitat for the Desert Tortoise. A mascot tortoise, named Mojave Max, was kept at the Visitors Center and died on July 2nd, 2008 of natural causes at the age of 65. A successor has not been named.

Old Spanish Trail

Explored, in part, by Spanish explorers as early as the late 1500s, the Old Spanish Trail is a historical trade route which connected the New Mexico settlements near Santa Fe with that of southern California. Approximately 1,200 miles long, it ran through areas of high mountains, arid deserts, and deep canyons.

The Old Spanish Trail is considered one of the most arduous of all trade routes ever established in the United States. The Trail saw extensive use by pack trains from about 1830 until the mid-1850s.

Towards the southern end of the National Conservation Area are Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, the western ghost town replica of Bonnie Springs, and the village of Blue Diamond.

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

In the mid-1830s, a campsite was established along the wash that runs through the ranch. The spring-fed creek and grassy meadows formed an oasis for travelers using the alternate route of the Spanish Trail through Cottonwood Valley. The use of the site by pack and wagon trains continued until their replacement by the railroad in 1905. This remote trail was also used extensively by outlaws involved in Indian slave trading, horse stealing and raids upon passing caravans.

Bonnie Springs

Bonnie Springs Ranch was first constructed in 1843, as a stopover for wagon trains going to California down the Old Spanish Trail. In 1846, General Fremont on his way to California stopped at Bonnie Springs Ranch to gear up for his trip through Death Valley.

Wild Burros - Bonnie Springs

The 220,000 acre Red Rock Herd Management Area contains both wild horses and burros. The burros often congregate near Bonnie Springs, Spring Mountain Ranch and the town of Blue Diamond along State Route 159.

Blue Diamond

Blue Diamond, originally known as Cottonwood Springs, changed its name when the Blue Diamond Company took ownership of the mine and built corporate housing for the workers. The Company started plans to develop the land in October 1923, when Las Vegas' population was only 5,000. Mules and hand laborers also built 11½ miles of railroad, and rock from the mine was hauled six miles down the hill to the track until it was more complete.

Blue Diamond was originally a stop on the Old Spanish Trail between 1830 and 1848. The trail was then used as a wagon road for the Mormons until 1905.

Our little excursion complete, we headed back to the hotel for a relaxing hour at the hot tub and then supper at the Outback. We did some grocery shopping, then drove the Strip. After all, it wouldn't seem right to be in Vegas and not even see the Strip!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

We arrived back in Las Vegas just as the sun was setting. Karen caught this sunset while I was in the Tahiti Village checking in.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our last day was a lazy one. We woke up at 10:30 am had our showers and headed to IHOP for breakfast. We drove west on Russell and visited some of the rentals that are available. I liked two of them - Spanish Ridge and San Tropez. Both were really nice complexes and reasonable rates. We then went to the furniture rental showroom at Cort to see what can be found for furniture rentals. At least I now have an estimate monthly rental figure. It certainly gives me something to consider to escape the snow.

Lazy River

By the time we finished looking at the rentals and furniture, we were both ready for the Lazy River. We got ourselves on the tubes and we were off. It was colder than the last time I was on the river but the water was quite warm. Karen didn't want to get her hair wet. Ha Ha - as if!! After the river, we had a relaxing soak in the hot tub.

Riviera Hotel

We went for dinner an then cruised the Strip. We parked at the Riv and wandered around the casino area. We didn't even recognize the hotel. Katy's is gone. Actually, all the familiar restaurants are gone. The registration has been moved to the convention center entrance. The valet parking access from Las Vegas Blvd. has been removed and is self parking now. Most of the stores are gone. The Art Gallery and clothing store are gone - replaced by a Tattoo Shop. There is no upstairs buffet any more.

In the Casino, Nickel Heaven is gone. Keno area now contains some pool tables - not sure why. The wide open vacant spaces where slot machines used to be is really noticeable. I never was able to navigate my way around the hotel and casino but I have to admit absolutely nothing except the swimming pool looks the same as when we stayed there for the pool tournaments.

January 30 - 31, 2015

January 30, 2015

I checked in to the Tahiti Village. My room wasn't ready so I went to the Factory Outlet and bought a new pair of sandals. My old ones are falling apart. Maybe I didn't need to get a new pair. If this weather doesn't improve, I wont be needing sandals anyway. I think it's probably warmer at home. How far south do I need to go?


Once my room was organized, I headed to Qultique in Henderson. This is a fabulous shop and one of my favorites. In addition to a huge selection of fabric, notions and kits, they sell machines and furniture. I didn't buy much but spent an enjoyable hour wandering around the store. I'll probably visit them again in May so will be able to buy more when I have my car and don't have to worry about hauling everything home. Quiltique

January 31, 2015

What a relaxing day I had. I was up early and did some laundry before heading out for the day. The rain has stopped and the sun is shining. There are still some high clouds but nothing like yesterday.

The Christmas Goose

First stop today was the Christmas Goose. I bought a bunch of Buggy Barn books that I don't have. Between books and material, my carry on is going to be quite heavy. I think I might have to ship some things home by FedEx or pay for an extra bag to check in. The Christmas Goose


Once I finished at the Christmas Goose and came to the conclusion I might have to ship things, I headed back to Quiltique to pick up the material I saw yesterday. It's from the Moda A La Carte group. I bought some fat quarters, 5" Charms, and enough material for the backing.

It's not hard to get inspired. If ever there was something that could push me to move to Las Vegas (besides the wonderful weather and the general lack of winter) these two quilt shops would be it. Each shop has it's own unique style. The Christmas Goose has a very country primitive feel while Quiltique leans to the modern and bright. The Christmas Goose is small and cozy and Quiltique is wide open and spacious. Both are extremely well stocked. Both have separate classrooms and both provide lots of classes. Who could ask for more?

May, 2015 - Quiltaway

Let the Quilting Begin

I was full of good intentions when I went to bed. I was going to get up early, do some laundry and head to the Christmas Goose. Well, early started at 11:10 am when I finally opened my eyes. Coffee started at 11:12, laundry at 11:20, shower at 11:45, email at 12:15, and finally at 12:45 I was ready to head out the door.

Saturday, May 9th

The Christmas Goose

First on my list for today was the Christmas Goose where I picked out five more fat quarters. I also bought some Loralie Designs panels (Church Ladies, Carousel and Up and Away) and a wooden Singer Wall Rack. There are no classes scheduled this week that were not part of a 2 or 3 week class. The Christmas Goose


Next stop was Quiltique and that was my undoing. The great thing about this shop is their displays. Everything is totally inspiring. Then to make matters worse, they make kits for the patterns with a sample quilt to match - and - it's "fat quarter" heaven. I'm in, hook, line and sinker! No classes available here either. Quiltique

The highlight of my afternoon was running into into Vic at Quiltique. It was nice to visit with her again. She told me about some more shops at St. George, Utah. I'll have to make sure to stop there on my way home. Vic has created and published several quilt patterns. She told me last year that her passion is crafting, quilting and all things artsy - that someday she'll retire and live the dream. Zany Quilter
I stopped a Chili's for supper before calling is a day. I unloaded all my treasures and hauled them to my room to sort. I have enough fat quarters now to make the Travel Quilt but I'm going to wait until I get home. I still want to visit more shops on the way home.

Sunday, May 10th

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and grannies out there. I often think of my mother when I quilt - not because she was a quilter but because I was NOT an enthusiastic sewer. My mother was an accomplished seamstress and she made a lot of my clothes as I was growing up. In grade nine mom actually finished my "silly" (as she described it) apron for me.

My Journey Alone

There was a point when I was a teenager my dad would not give me money to buy clothes - but would give me money to buy material - as much as I wanted as long as I made the clothes myself. Of course, the results were exactly what my parents wanted. I learned how to sew - fast. My mom helped me but as soon as I was working and could afford to buy clothes, my sewing days stopped. Forty five years later, I caught the quilting bug.

Quilting was on my bucket list. Somehow that bucket overflowed and flooded my life. Now, as I'm happily quilting away, I only wish my mom was still here so I could share my enjoyment with her. I know she would laugh at the irony of it. I wish I could show her my finished projects, my flops, and my UFO's. I wish we could go to shop hops, retreats and sew ins together. Who knows? Maybe she would take up quilting. I miss you mom, so very much.

Berenstain Bears - Beary Happy Birthday

I started the Berenstain Bears - Beary Happy Birthday by Moda quilt this morning. I'm using the pattern Quatrefoil that I found on Missouri Star Quilt Company. I ran short of the white polka dot material that I want to use for the sashing so had to order it online. It should arrive shortly after I get home. The blocks are finished and ready to go.

Monday, May 11th

This morning I visited Quiltique where I purchased the fabric for my Comedy Cats. I decided to do it also with the quatrefoil pattern using black, turquoise and pink. I then went to the Christmas Goose where I purchased two books, Laps from Fats and More Laps from Fats.

The rest of the day and evening was spent quilting. I finished the Berenstain Bears quilt and started the Comedy Cats. I also managed to finish the binding on one of the quilts I brought along.

Tuesday, May 12th

It's hard to believe my time here is half over. I did some grocery shopping this morning then back to quilting. I finished all the Comedy Cats blocks. Tomorrow I'll do the sashing.

Wednesday, May 13th

Today I never left the hotel. I finished the Comedy Cats quilt and also managed to finish the binding on another quilt that I brought along. I packed most of the material and quilts in preparation of leaving on Saturday. The next two days will be spent hand sewing and touring around Vegas.

After supper I went for a relaxing soak in the hot tub. It was after 8:00 pm and dark already. I was the only one in the tub. It is a 24 hour adult spa and very peaceful. Next time I go, I'll make sure it's later again.

Thursday, May 14th

I finished the binding on another quilt then decided to head to the quilt shops for one more visit. I found the white polka dot material at the Christmas Goose so now I have enough to finish the Berenstain Bears quilt. The off to Quiltique where I finally broke down and bought a couple yards of Vegas material. It's hard not to get wrapped up in the theme when it's all around you.

Friday, May 15th

Today I actually went shopping - at the Premium Outlet. It has a Sketchers and I wanted to check out their shoes. I ended up buying some flip flops but most of the shoes were too wide for my foot. I was a bit disappointed. They look so comfortable in the advertisements. Lunch was at the IHOP for my usual stuffed French Toast with "extra" whipped cream.

Once back at the hotel, I packed up my sewing and hauled it along with my extra bags out to the car. This afternoon was spent doing laundry and getting ready to leave tomorrow morning.

May 4th, 2015 - Goodbye to a Grand Old Lady

Riviera Hotel
April 29th, 1955 - May 4th, 2015

After 60 years shining down on the Las Vegas Strip, one of the oldest and most famous casino resorts in Las Vegas has closed. The Riviera operated from April 29th, 1955 to May 4th, 2015. An implosion date has not yet been set yet but is expected to happen before the end of the year.

The Riviera (colloquially, "the Riv") was the first high-rise and the ninth resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Liberace was the featured headliner at the resort's opening. Way ahead of it's time, the hotel had over 2,100 rooms and 110,000 sq ft of gaming space. The Riviera broke new ground in its design. Previously, Strip resorts resembled roadside motor courts. Riviera Hotel

Colorful Owners and Managers

The casino was first proposed by Detroit mobster William Bischoff as the Casa Blanca, and received a gaming license in 1952. Bischoff later withdrew from the project, which was taken over by Miami businessman Samuel Cohen. Harpo and Gummo Marx held minority interests at the opening.

The Riviera casino went bankrupt just three months after opening. A group of former Flamingo Hotel managers led by Gus Greenbaum took over operation of the property, leasing it from the ownership group. Greenbaum had recently retired, and it was widely suspected that he was coerced to return to work by threats from Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo. Greenbaum's drug and gambling addictions led to his embezzling from the casino. In December 1958, Greenbaum and his wife were murdered in their Phoenix, Arizona home, reportedly on the orders of either Meyer Lansky or Tony Accardo.

Dean Martin was hired in 1969 to perform in the casino's showroom, and was given a 10 percent interest in the Riviera. Martin left in 1972, after management refused his request to cut his performance schedule from two nightly shows to one. The Riviera bought back his shares.

Famous Entertainers

Over the years The Riviera has headlined some of the best and most famous entertainers, including, just to mention a few:

  • Paul Anka
  • Ann-Margret
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Harry Belafonte
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Peter Lawford
  • Phyllis Diller
  • Betty Grable
  • Bob Hope
  • Liberace
  • Shirley MacLaine
  • Dean Martin
  • Anne Murray
  • Dolly Parton
  • Elvis Presley
  • Debbie Reynolds
  • Don Rickles
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Mickey Rooney
  • Dinah Shore
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Red Skelton
  • Connie Stevens
  • Barbra Streisand

Alone and Lonely

The decline in popularity of the Riviera was caused in part by the decline of pedestrian foot traffic in the vicinity. Previously, the Riviera was surrounded by the Stardust, New Frontier, and Westward Ho, properties which were demolished to make room for new construction. A shutdown in the new construction in progress left the Riv alone and lifeless at the end of the Strip - her only friend Circus Circus across the street.

2016 Quiltaway - May 9 - 17, 2016

Wedneday, May 9 - Las Vegas

I arrived about 1.30 pm, checked in and spent an hour or so unpacking and setting up my sewing machine. With great difficulty and much grunting and groaning I managed to move the patio table into the living room. I hope I can get it back out there when I leave.

Quiltique, Henderson, Nevada

Once I was all settled I went to Quiltique and picked up some more black and white fat quarters, a couple of yards of black and white polka dot and solid black Kona. I'll go to the Christmas Goose tomorrow before I make a decision on the background fabric. I want to find Swiss Dots in white with black dots.

I went to the Outback for supper and did some grocery shopping. I really needed to do some laundry so I headed back to the hotel, relaxed and watched Dancing with the Stars.

Tuesday, May 10 - Let the Quilting Begin

OK, everything is ready to go but me. First of all I slept until noon! Then by the time I had breakfast, checked my email, and showered, it was nearly 3:00 pm. If I didn't get moving, I wouldn't get to the Christmas Goose before closing!

The Christmas Goose

I headed to the Christmas Goose where I found the Swiss Dots fabric I wanted for my background. After that it was a disaster. I couldn't leave with just one fat quarter. No, not me. I found a kit to go with a pattern the store was developing using fabric from Sweetwater Volume II by Moda. I also bought a whole bunch of other inspiring fabric including some wonderful fabric to compliment my panel Perfect Pitch by Dan Morris.

JoAnn Fabric, Las Vegas, Nevada

My next stop was JoAnn Fabric to look for terry fabric for Karen. I think I found what she is looking for. I picked up a fat quarter and I also found a cute pre-quilted black and white fabric. I bought enough to make a One Hour Basket to hold my black and white fabric. So cute! Finally, at 10:00 pm, black and white basket finished, I'm ready for bed. Maybe tomorrow will be more productive.

Wednesday, May 11th

My day started slow but not as slow as yesterday. I was up before 10:00 and rolling. First thing I wanted to do was get a cord for my camera so I could upload my pictures. Easier said than done. Five stores and two hours later I finally found one at Walmart.

I finally started my black and white stars this afternoon and I managed to get three done before heading to bed. I'm really liking the black stars on a white background. Each star will have the black box in it. I did pick up some fat quarters with some color in them so I will have to decide whether to keep the theme true black and white or slip a little color in. I still have lots or time to decide. Who knows when I'll actually finish the quilt.

Thursday, May 12

I've settled into a routine - sleep until 9:30, put on the coffee, open emails, then be lazy the rest of the day. I managed to make one more star before noon.

I have company coming for dinner tonight so I needed to put away my sewing, get showered and head to the grocery store. Karen's sister and hubby along with two inlaws are in Vegas this week. We talked Jim into doing steaks on the barbeque. I'll make some potato salad and a green salad. Add to that french bread, jelly and whipped cream for desert and I'm ready to go.

Friday, May 13 - My Number!

I'm not sure if 13 is my lucky or unlucky number. It seems that everything good - and everything bad has the number 13 somehow in it. Either way, it's my number. Embrace the day!

I woke up this morning, stumbled to the kitchen to make coffee, and stepped in the puddle of water. I called maintenance and a hour later it was determined that the dishwasher is leaking. They said I could still use it as they will have to not only change the dishwasher but also that part of the floor. I think I'll just wash things by hand.

I sewed until about 1:00 then headed to JoAnn Fabrics to pick up Karen's terry cloth. I stopped at the Christmas Goose first to pick up some more background material.

Day of the Dead Kitties
Done with the west side, I headed to Quiltique in Henderson to buy some more fabric from the Day of the Dead line by Timeless Treasures. I made a star this morning with it. Despite the name, the fabric is so cute. I picked up both the kitties and pups. I also bought some Timeless Treasures Black Iguana and turquoise grunge to use for cornerstones and binding. I decided to do this one for my guild charity quilt.
I decided to stay an extra 2 days but I'll have to change rooms. I'm not sure if they will be moving me today or tomorrow or wait until Monday. I went to the adult spa tonight. It is so relaxing. There were quite a few people in the tub tonight so I didn't stay too long.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I couldn't believe it when I opened my eyes this morning - it was 11:30 meaning I slept 11 hours. I'm going to be in big trouble if that little habit continues!

I needed a spool of white thread and the Christmas Goose had a sale on today - 3 yards for $27.00. Where else would I go? I ended up buying some more of my background fabric plus some white with black possibly for my border.

When I was at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday I pick up some more pre-quilted material. Today I made another basket. Why? Damned if I know. I also finished the black and white blocks so now I'll start working on the Day of Dead kitties and pups.

The temperature hit 100° - at least my car thermometer said so. I've been drinking water and eating popsicles all day.

Sunday, May 15

I started my Day of the Dead quilt today. The fabric is from Timeless Treasures. I'm using the kitties and pups but I also bought Timeless Treasures Black Iguana and turquoise grunge for the cornerstones and binding.

Day of the Dead Kitties
Day of the Dead Pups
Turquoise Grunge
Black Iguana

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. The three day holiday from October 31st to November 2nd is a gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world.

Monday, May 16

First thing this morning was the move. Thankfully, they sent a bellhop to help me. I can't believe how much stuff I accumulated in just one week. The good news is that I packed the extra material and put the bag in the car. Now it doesn't seem so bad. Moving the table back out to the balcony was much easier than bringing it in. The room they gave me is on the third floor overlooking the barbeque pit. I can at least stand out on the balcony - which I couldn't do on the 9th floor - just too high for me. I couldn't even look over the railing.

I spent a couple of hours quilting, then went for groceries. I also went to Quiltique and picked up some kitty fabric to use as a border on the Day of Dead quilt. I spent the evening watching TV and relaxing. It was especially nice to sit on my balcony and enjoy the evening sunset and the beautiful gardens of the hotel. Note to myself - ask for the lower floors next time I book.
I got a call from Karen this afternoon. She is going to fly into Vegas tomorrow and ride with me to Oatman, Bluff and home. Yeah! It will be a short trip for Karen but it'll be fun. At least she'll be able to visit Brenda and the donkeys and we can play on highway 261. For me it'll be great to have company homeward bound.

Tuesday, May 17

I bounced between quilting and reading on my balcony most of my day. I have my stars pinned all around the room. It looks quite funny. I packed up my sewing machine, cutting boards, rulers, and coffee pot and took everything out to the car in preparation for leaving tomorrow.

Karen arrived safe and sound about 9:30 pm. We got her settled in and now heading to bed. Have to be up pretty early. We want to be in Oatman early afternoon.

2017 Quiltaway - May 13 - 29, 2017

Saturday, May 13 - Let the Quilting Begin

I arrived in Vegas about 1:00 pm. My room wasn't ready and they said they would phone me when it was. What to do while I waited? Of course, head for the Christmas Goose. I then went to Quiltique - just because.

Christmas Goose - Pajama Party

Well, this is first time I've gone to a pajama party on my travels but that's exactly what I did. The Christmas Goose was having a Pajama Party 6 to midnight and they just happened to have a spot available. Some of the ladies arrived in their pajamas and two had the same ones - pink with sewing machines on them. It was so much fun. Since I'm travelling alone, I don't have pajamas. It just wouldn't be right to arrive in what I sleep in!

The shop provided dinner - chicken, salads and a pile full of deserts. Some of the regular ladies also brought treats. There were hourly sales with the final one from 11: 00 - 12:00 being 30% off all fabric. I was just too tired to shop. (Is that possible?) The Christmas Goose

I decided to start sewing the bindings on the placemats for retreat. I actually got 12 done. I finally conked out about 11:00 - but then still had to go grocery shopping.  It was 12:30 before I got back to the hotel and by the time I lugged my sewing stuff into my room and parked the car it was after 1:00.  I didn't get to bed until 2:00!

Sunday, May 14

Happy Mother's Day to all moms. I often think of my mother when I quilt. Mother's Day always seems to happen while I'm here. I remember many years going to Kelowna for the Mother's Day weekend to help her plant her flowers. So now, instead, I'm here quilting and thinking about my mother. I wish I could share my projects, my flops, and my UFO's with her. I miss you mom.

I crashed until 11:30 this morning. First things first - coffee and breakfast. I brought my Keurig so I can finally have a decent coffee. My room is on the 3rd floor facing the lazy river. At least I can stand on my balcony and look over it. I actually sat on my balcony and drank my coffee. I truly love it here!

I'm being lazy today. Doing some laundry and setting up my sewing stuff. No plans - except to clean out my car and maybe go the Outback tonight for dinner.

On the Wall - Placemats

I figured since I got such a good jump on binding the placemats last night, I would continue working on them today. It was nearly 4:00 before I got started and then I took a break to go to Outback. Finally at 9:30 pm they are all finished. I can't take credit for these placemats. It was a joint effort between Sally, Marilynn and myself.

Monday, May 15

I managed to get out of bed earlier today - 10:30. Ha! I think I'm going to sleep my holiday away. I went to The Christmas Goose in the afternoon to find border fabric for Paul's quilt. Once I got it home, it wasn't quite right so I'll go to Quiltique tomorrow and see what they have. I may end up having to order it online.

I booked myself into two Sit and Sew days for the next two Wednesdays at the Christmas Goose. I also enrolled in a class on Friday called Hope Chest Quilt. For the charm squares, I bought Kansas Troubles Thistle Farm, Sunflower Song and Bees 'n Blooms. I also bought a rust zinger from Bees 'n Blooms and the green floral from Thistle Farm for the border.

Thistle Farm

Sunflower Song

Bees 'n Blooms

Tuesday, May 16

I think I'm getting back to normal. I was up and rolling by 9:00. I had coffee and breakfast, read my emails, cleaned up my suite, had my shower, started the dishwasher and headed to Quiltique - all before 10:30.


Success! I found the matching fabric for Paul's Quilt. It is from Bee Inspired by Deb Strain. So now I can finish the borders. I also bought some grey and black from the same line to add to the fabric I got in Sisters. And, for no reason at all, I bought some black and white polka dot. Quiltique

2017 Row by Row - On the Go

Quiltique had some of this year's Row by Row fabric so I bought the strip panel, license plates and road trip for the back. I'll have to watch for it along the way to pick up some of the solid coordinating fabric. I find this years fabric a bit drab compared to previous years. There is a "Quilt Stories" fabric complete with pictures, sayings and patterns. I think I will get some of that when I go back to Quiltique. I might want to use it for the back instead of the road trip fabric.

On the Bed - Yellow Brick Road - Play Your Song

After messing around for almost a year, I finally have this quilt finished. There isn't a wall wide enough in my room to hang a quilt and I couldn't take the pictures down so I had to lay it on my bed for the picture. I really like the way these fabrics play with each other, truly having distinct light, medium and dark with great transition fabrics making a good combination for the Yellow Brick Road pattern.

A friend of mine is a fiddle player. He's retiring soon and one of these days he will be moving home to Ontario. I decided this musical fabric would make the perfect going away quilt for him.

Play Your Song

Play Your Song is a classic collection designed by Wilmington Prints with musical motifs in black, gray, white, ivory, gold and tan. I added a few extra blacks and dark golds to deepen the overall effect. For the back I'm using The Celestial Collection by Jason Yenter.

Wednesday, May 17th

I went to the Sit and Sew day at the Christmas Goose from 10:30 to 5:30. There was a lady there that taught a class I took in July 2014 plus another lady that I had met before. It was a fun day with lots of laughs. Some pretty interesting stories came out - not going to repeat all of them here - but most interesting was that one of the ladies knew a murder victim that was featured on America's Most Wanted. I remember seeing the episode.

On the Wall - Victoria's Quilt #1

I made a Victoria's Quilt from a panel fabric. Then cut the scraps up to start a modified Sixes and Tens. I bought enough orange fabric for the zinger on the second quilt and both bindings. I'll work on the Sixes and Tens tomorrow. I had to fold the quilt in four to get it on the wall. No more climbing up on the dresser in the bedroom to get a picture. It's too dangerous. Besides I'm afraid of heights.

On the way home from quilting, I stopped at the Outback for some take out. I started to cut the sashing for the Sixes and Tens then went down to the hot tub before calling it a night.

Thursday, May 18th

I got off to a slow start this morning. I did some laundry and cleaned up my suite. It was noon before I started sewing. I continued with the Sixes and Tens then at 2:30 headed to Quiltique to buy the Quilt Stories fabric.

It is still quite cool 65° and really windy today - 50 mph. This is like a blizzard here - blowing dust, power outages and trees blown down. Apparently the same weather system that is causing snow in Colorado is causing cold weather and wind in Vegas. They reported on the weather forecast that the wind will disappear and Vegas will get back to normal - expected 95° by the weekend. The weatherman said "after today, we can say goodbye to 70° weather until sometime in October".

Row by Row - Quilt Stories

This is a really fun part of the Row by Row fabric this year. Someone called it "Quilt Stories". I love the pictures and sayings in it. My favourite is "No Quilt Police".

There are all sorts of graphics including pins, sewing machines, thimbles, a tomato pin cushion, quilt blocks, scissors and buttons.

I particularly like the Quilter's Rules:

  • You can never have enough fabric.
  • If you see a quilt shop, you must step in to pet the fabrics.
  • You must build a stash to fill up at least one large closet.
  • Sewing daily is required, doing housework is completely optional.
  • When travelling, you must drive to all quilt shops within a 30 miles radius of your final destination.
  • Yes, it's official, quilting is a form of therapy.

Friday, May 19th

I was up early again this morning and off to the Christmas Goose for the Hope Chest class. This is a really neat block - a disappearing four patch. I managed to get four of 35 blocks done, then just started cutting the rest. The Charm Pack I'm using is Thistle Farm by Kansas Troubles. I'm not sure if I'll manage to get this one done before I leave. I have some other quilts I want to finish first. Hope Chest Free Pattern

I checked with the Concierge to see what shows are playing and found out that I could get tickets for two shows for $20.00 if I take in the sales promotion breakfast. OK, works for me. I get breakfast and two tickets. Hope they aren't too pushy. Next week I'm going to Cirque Du Soleil Beatles Love at the Mirage and Menopause at Harrah's.

I went to Stir Crazy Mongolian Grill for dinner. It's quite different than the Hu Hot experience in Kalispell - not quite as much fun and no showmanship at the grill. The food was just as good though.

I'm not going to do any more sewing tonight. My shoulder is sore from sewing all day. I'm heading down to soak in the hot tub - then off to bed.

Saturday, May 20th

I went to the presentation this morning but ended up not staying for it. The good news is that I still got the vouchers for the shows. I caught the shuttle to the Mirage and Harrah's. I'm going to Beatles Love on Monday and Menopause on Tuesday. Just a half hour in the two hotels reminded me why I don't want to be on the Strip. A week of that and I'd go crazy. I couldn't get back to Tahiti Village fast enough.

On the Wall - Victoria's Quilt #2

This quilt is a modified Sixes and Tens - my name for it - "Something Shiny". It was made from scraps from the panel fabric. There is still enough fabric to make another quilt - but I'll save that for another time. At this point I'm getting tired of this fabric and want to move on.

I spent the afternoon quilting then did some grocery shopping and stopped at the Outback for dinner. I had to do some housecleaning tonight. What a mess I have! I could really use a vacuum - but there isn't one in the cupboard. I still have two more days before I get housekeeping!

Sunday, May 21st

I slept late again this morning so it was afternoon before I got quilting. I started working on Sharon's Canada 150 Quilt. There was enough fabric left over from the fat quarters to make two quilts - at least the blocks. I cut the left over fabric into 5 inch charm squares so will have to find a pattern and buy some extra background material. I'll head to the shops tomorrow to see what I can find.

In the evening I went to Target to pick up some Zip Lock bags and some fruit. Then back to finish the Canada 150 Quilt - at least up to the borders.

Monday, May 22nd

By the time I went to Quiltique and The Christmas Goose and back to the hotel, I only had two hours before I needed to leave for the show. I cut the fabric to finish the Canada 150 Quilt and started to cut some of the fabric for my Cool Cats Quilt. I caught the hotel shuttle at 6:00. It stops right at the Mirage.

Cirque du Soleil - The Beatles Love

What an incredible show. The music of course was all Beatles but not so much the early days. That, for me, was a bit of a disappointment but they really covered all their music - start to finish. The show wrapped up with "All You Need Is Love". The advertisements say "The Beatles changed the world. LOVE, Cirque du Soleil's interpretation of their legacy, has changed entertainment."

The show plays at a specially built circular theatre with seats 360 degrees around the stage. Apparently, the furthest seat from the absolute center of the stage is only 98 feet. The light displays were like none other I've ever seen. In true Cirque du Soleil form, the costumes, choreography, acrobats, music and dancing were totally "Beatles" right down to the constant use of Volkswagen"Beatles" as stage props. There was even a flower child Volkswagen Van.

By the time I got back to the hotel, it was 9:30 and I went Denny's to eat. I didn't get any more quilting done but I have nothing to do tomorrow until I leave to see Menopause. Now, if I can just get out of bed - I might get something done!

Tuesday, May 23rd

At least I was out of bed at a decent time this morning. I did some housekeeping, dishes and garbage detail then settled down to quilt. Today was a bit more productive. I finished Sharon's Canada 150 Quilt and started on the Cool Cats before getting ready to head to the strip for Menopause.

On the Wall - Canada 150 Quilt

Finally - Sharon's Canada 150 Quilt is on the wall. I hope Sharon appreciates the extra little treat I slipped into the quilt to satisfy her "moose" affection. Take a close look at some of the red pieces! I forgot to bring the outside border we had picked for the quilt so had to use a different one. It's almost the same and just as effective.

Menopause - The Musical

OK - Menopause - where do I begin? This is the funniest show I have ever seen. I laughed so hard I was crying. How can they turn something so normal, something so frustrating, something that happens to every woman - no exceptions - into something so incredibly funny. The words to the songs were all changed to describe symptoms of menopause. I tried hard to remember everything they said and sang but there was just too much. It just kept coming - bang, bang, bang - until I couldn't remember anything. All I did was laugh my head off and wipe my eyes.

Luckily, after the show they had CD's and a Music Book - with ALL the words for sale. I bought them. At least I can look things up and re-read what they said and hear again everything they sang. What do four women - a Soap Star, a Businesswoman, an Earth Mother, and a housewife from Iowa - all shopping at Bloomingdales in New York have in common? Menopause. Add to the mix "Shirley" from Laverne & Shirley and you have a recipe for something beyond belief.

They talked and sang about everything - hot flashes, night sweats, the urge to kill, the urge to cry, weight gain, a shrinking bladder, memory loss, and sexual problems and at the same time trying to deal with husbands, children and aging mothers. One liners about armpits growing another armpit, the skin under the arms flapping in the breeze, and looking in the mirror and seeing your mother all reminded me of a certain friend but I wouldn't dare say who without her permission.

How they could turn songs like Puff The Magic Dragon YMCA, My Guy, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Great Pretender and California Girls into explaining menopause is an amazing feat in itself. At one point the Soap Star went into the audience singing Hot Flash and the lucky guy she picked on now has an experience he will never forget. I think the funniest part was the Iowa housewife singing "Only You" to her pink vibrator. That did me in. I laughed so hard watching her antics I didn't even hear the words. I had to buy the CD with the book about the show and all the words to the song.

Only you can make my world seem right
Only you can make this darkness light
Only you and you alone can thrill me like you do
Forget my man, for now it's only you.

It was nearly 10:00 by the time I got back to the hotel. I watched the end of the Dancing With The Stars Finale so I didn't get any further quilting done. I packed up my sewing machine and project to take with me to the Christmas Goose for the Sit and Sew tomorrow.

The weather is finally Las Vegas normal. It has hit 100° twice this week. Hard to believe it was at 60° when I arrived. It's nice to sit on the deck. I have sun in the morning and shade in the evening. It's lovely.

Wednesday, May 24th

Temperature was over 100° again today. I'm sitting on my balcony with my computer and coffee. It's still 95°. Someone told me it snowed in Calgary today - hard to imagine when it's this hot here.

Today was the Sit and Sew at the Christmas Goose. One of the ladies asked me to bring my pattern for tissue box covers today so she could do one. We both made a cover. I'll email her the pattern when I get home. I finished cutting the rest of the Hope Chest blocks but didn't start to sew them.

It been a lot of fun socializing with the ladies that I've met of the last two weeks and it was a bit sad to say good-bye. See you next year!

Tonight I continued working on my Cool Cats. So far there are three on the wall. I bought another panel at the Christmas Goose today because there are two cats that are too big for my pattern. I'm going to find another pattern to put them in - so will eventually end up with two quilts - or maybe some Kiddy Kat quilts.

On The Wall

Thursday, May 25th

I decided to take a trip to Oatman now rather than spending the extra time when I leave. Highways today included I-215 and I-515 east, US 95 south, State 163 east to Laughlin, then AZ State 95 south, Boundary Cone Road (County 153) east, Route 66 (County Road 10) to Oatman, Historic Route 66 to Kingman, US 93 north, State 68 west to Laughlin, and finally US 95 and I-515 and I-215 back to the hotel. Seems rather convoluted but it's the most fun and scenic way to go. Google Map

It was after 8:00 before I got back to Vegas. No quilting done today.

Friday, May 26th

I spent the whole day and night watching the pool at Bally's. It was great to visit with old friends and acquaintances, get caught up on all the news and watch some great pool again. Yesterday was 9 Ball. I watched Leon plow his way through the A Side and then get knocked down to the B Side in the final match.

I also watched Darrell lose his first game and then relentlessly work his way through the B Side to reach the final match. In the end - the final B Side match is going to be between Leon and Darrell. They play Sunday morning. All that work and two guys from Calgary lord over a few hundred players and end up playing each other! Sheesh they could have done that at home any night of league or Friday night at the pool hall.

I was totally exhausted when I got home at 1:00 am. Being a spectator is hard work - plus I was frozen to the bone. I forgot that I should wear socks and shoes and bring a sweater. Leon reminded me that Karen and I always brought sweaters when we came to watch. Now, if he could remember that - why couldn't I?  I did a lot of snuggling up to Mic and Leon - just to keep my shoulders warm of course. I wont be going back to watch the 8 Ball matches and I will be gone before the team play. I can still keep track of everyone's games and progress on the tournament website. VNEA Tournament Results

Saturday, May 27th

I slept late again but that's wasn't surprising after the day I had yesterday and the late hour I got home. I did some laundry and cleaned up my suite before starting to quilt again. I'd like to get the Cool Cats blocks done before I leave. After supper, I finished the Ohio Stars and started cutting the Spinning Stars - six to go. I then went to the spa for a hot tub. Twenty minutes in the tub does wonders for tired legs and feet.

On The Wall

Sunday, May 28th

One more day and now the pressure is on to finish the cool cats. The Spinning Stars went faster than the Ohio Star - no points to match. I have some cats left over, so maybe I'll use them to make another quilt or some Kiddy Kat Quilts.

On The Wall

Once I finished the stars, I started to pack up all my sewing stuff. I called for a bell hope to help me load everything into my car this evening. In the morning all I have to do is drag my suitcase so it will be easy. I'm really looking forward to getting home. I feel like I've been gone forever and I really miss Snoopy.

I'm going to drive home through the mountains rather than I-15. It will take an extra day but it's a much prettier drive. I'm booked into Cactus Petes tomorrow night. Then I'll go to Missoula or Kalispell on Tuesday and home on Wednesday.

2018 - Quiltaway - May 4 - 11, 2018

Project Neon - Las Vegas, Nevada

I arrived in Las Vegas about 3:00 pm. Everything went smoothly until I ran into a major traffic jam on I-15. The on/off ramps don't exist any more. The usual 5-6 lanes is crawling along on two. What a nightmare! Dubbed Project Neon, the 3.7-mile-long widening of Interstate 15 is Nevada’s largest and most expensive public works project. Project Neon

I checked into the Tahiti Village then headed to the Christmas Goose to find out what classes are being held this week. I signed up for a class on Thursday - Counting Stars.

I then went through a car wash, stopped for groceries and finally dragged myself back to the hotel. I ran a load of wash and relaxed on my balcony while it dried. I think tomorrow I want to sleep until noon!

Saturday, May 5

Let the sewing and relaxing begin. I didn't sleep until noon - but just about. It is so quiet in my room that when I did finally wake up I had no idea if it was 6:00 or 10:30. Well, it wasn't 6:00.

I brought everything into my room and now have a pile of fabric, fat quarters and all the stuff I brought with me to sort through. The ironing board is set up with a new cover.

I dragged the dresser from the bedroom out to the living room to use as my cutting table. The chair in the bedroom sits higher so I brought it along too. The stools at the counter have been replaced with the ironing board. I put them along the empty wall in the living room - stacked high with my projects. The extra dining room chair is in the living room. OK I'm ready! I'm sure Tahiti Village would be horrified to see the furniture all re-arranged. It's a good thing they don't come in to clean during the week - only if requested and I'm certainly not going to do that.

I pretty well wasted the rest of the day. First I headed out to find a beauty salon so I could get a hair cut. I needed one before I left but thought I could last until I got home. I didn't last. It was 4:30 before I was finished.

Quiltique, Henderson, Nevada

Since I was half way there I headed to Quiltique. They close at 6:00 and I left just before closing armed with more fat quarters and some background fabric for the class on Thursday. Quiltique

I stopped at the Outback to pick up some bloomin' onion petals. It was 7:00 before I got back to the hotel. To complete my day, I decided to make a Spinning Star for my travel quilt. I managed to iron some fat quarters and cut the 5 1/2 inch shadow squares. Maybe I'll be more productive tomorrow.

Sunday, May 6

Today I finally got busy. I finished cutting 14 squares and sewed three together in the afternoon. I never left the resort but did go to Dennys for dinner. After supper I finished the fourth block then headed to the hot tub before settling in for the night. Tomorrow, I might work on the Vintage Trucks! I also need to go to the Christmas Goose to pick out the fabric for the Thursday class.

Monday, May 7

This morning I continued working on the stars then started cutting the piano keys and 3 1/2 inch squares with the left overs from the fat quarters. I now have enough to make a Victoria's Quilt.

Christmas Goose, Las Vegas

The Christmas Goose is my favourite shop in Vegas. After lunch I went there to pick out my fabric for the class on Thursday. They didn't have a jelly roll in what I wanted so I bought the fabric pieces. I booked myself into the "Projects on the Go" sessions from 6:00 - 8:00 tonight and did the cutting for my class. Christmas Goose

Sew Little Time, Las Vegas

I stopped into this shop this afternoon. I'd never been to it before so decided to check it out. It is a small shop and has a good selection of fabric and a lot of hand work and long arm supplies. Sew Little Time

Everyone in Vegas is pretty excited about the Golden Knights - even at the quilt shop. The Knights became the first team in NHL history to sweep their first playoff series in their inaugural season. The Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks and advanced to the Western Conference finals.
It was after 9:00 before I got back to the hotel. All I did today was cut cut cut. I only added one star to the wall. I had better get more productive tomorrow. Temperature topped 100° today and is expected to hit 103 by mid week. I watched Dancing with the Stars, then headed to bed.

Tuesday, May 8

Today was definitely more productive. In the morning I decided is needed to cleans house and do some laundry. It was my day for housekeeping so now I'm clean and ready to mess it all up again. If I find one more thing to cut, I think I'll throw it out! In the afternoon I went to Quiltique to get oil for my machine.

I continued with the stars and started sewing the piano keys together. I calculate I need 120 of them. Yikes! Not sure what I'm going to do about the corners yet but will decide that once the quilt is sewn together. Finally, the stars are done.

On the Wall
I booked my hotel at Williams, Arizona for Saturday night and Bluff, Utah for Sunday. After that, I don't know where I'll be or which roads I want to take going home. I plan to stop in at Oatman on my way to Williams on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 9

I spent most of the day sewing the threes together for the nine patches. I also had four extra centres from the panel so decided to cut four more stars to finish them too. Now there are 16 Stars on the wall! OK. I'm officially sick of doing stars!

Four More On the Wall

I went to the Outback for dinner. Tonight I had to pack up all my sewing gear for the class tomorrow. I even asked for a wake up call - no sleeping until 11:00 tomorrow! Now that's going to be a shock to my system.

Temperature today hit 105°. Before heading to bed, I started cutting the balance of the fat quarters into strips for a Detour quilt.

Thursday, May 10

Today I was jolted out of bed by the wake up call at 9:00 am! Time to get up and get to the Christmas Goose for my class. I had to leave by 9:30 to get there in time. Traffic has been heavy along the route (I assume because of the 1-15 closures) but I got there in good time.

Counting Stars Class - Christmas Goose

Counting Stars by Cozy Quilt Designs is a complex-looking block created by a simple block, with sashing and cornerstones. The combination makes a beautiful quilt with a stunning secondary design. It is a Cozy Strip Club Pattern designed for 2½" Strips. Counting Stars - Cozy Quilt

My fabric is from Kansas Troubles so the effect of the quilt will be quite different than the picture. There will be a distinct dark and light and it will lean towards primitive and earthy rather than modern. When I look at the pictures all I see is the white triangles rather than the stars.

It was nearly 5:00 by the time I got back to the hotel. I finished cutting the strips for the Detour quilt then went to Chilli's for supper.

I'm pretty tired tonight. It was a long day so I'm heading to bed early.

Friday, May 11

Not much sewing today. I finished sewing the balance of sixes for the nine patches. I don't have quite enough for a second quilt but maybe I can figure it out with some borders.

Christmas Goose - 25th Goosiversary

In the afternoon, I went to the 25th Anniversary celebrations at the Christmas Goose. They called it their "Goosiversary". The classroom was a quilter's playground. They had several "Make and Take" stations. I spent the whole afternoon in there. I made a pin cushion out of a wooden spool - absolutely adorable. I also painted a barn star - the Ohio Star.

I got back to the hotel about 5:30. I had to move all the furniture back where it belongs and then I started to pack things up for tomorrow morning. It's going to take some creative packing to get everything comfortably in the car. Fitting the flannel in without it blocking my view is the big thing.

It's hard to believe that my week is over. I asked for a wake up call for 9:00. I want to get on the road about 10:00 so I'm in Oatman around noon.

2019 Quiltaway - May 4-11, 2019

The Christmas Goose, Las Vegas, Nevada

I stopped in at the shop to check out their calendar for this week. I signed up for two classes - a Sew Day on Wednesday and a Twisted Batiks Bag by Melon Patch Designs on Thursday. I had to buy a ruler for making pinwheels "Lil' Twister". I also need a charm pack so I think I'll head to Quiltique tomorrow. A bag! I'm making a bag? I see another UFO coming! The Christmas Goose

I checked into the hotel about 5:00 pm, organized the kitchen, unpacked my clothes, did some laundry and them became totally lazy. I didn't even unload my sewing machine. Usually I go grocery shopping and through the car wash to get the bugs off. I never left the hotel. It will have to wait until tomorrow. I watched TV for a bit and went to bed at 9:30.

Sunday, May 5

OK I'm relaxed. The first time I opened my eyes it was 8:30 am. I slept 11 hours. I think I was a bit too lazy last night. I certainly wasn't happy with myself when I realized this morning that I didn't have cream for my coffee. I had to use the "lightener" supplied by the hotel. Yuk!

I left the hotel just after lunch. First on the agenda, get the car washed and the bugs off. I then went to Quiltique and discovered they are closed on Sundays. I did my grocery shopping and headed back to the hotel.

Finally, I unloaded my sewing machine and all my sewing paraphernalia. I didn't have a very productive day. I did manage to sort my fat quarters into colours - then quilt four kiddy kat quilts and cut the binding. I'll square them on a large cutting board on Wednesday at the Christmas Goose. I cut the placemats and started to prepare the binding. Before shutting down, I cleaned and oiled my machine.

That was my day - 10:30 and I'm off to bed.

Monday, May 6

I was up and rolling by 9:00. I finished sewing the binding on six placemats and quilted four kiddy kat quilts - all before noon. I tried to stay an extra night here but the hotel is full on Saturday so I booked my hotels for Saturday in Williams and Sunday in Bluff. I'm looking forward to getting to Oatman and visiting Brenda and the donkeys.

Quiltique, Henderson, Nevada

I headed to Quiltique in the afternoon to pick up my supplies for the class on Thursday. Not surprising, I didn't want batiks to make the bag so ended up buying a black, grey and white charm pack and coordinating fabrics - Chalk and Charcoal by Jennifer Smpou. This is really outside my box!

I also picked up another machine oiler for my travel bag. When I oiled my machine last night, the tube had leaked. I have an oiler at home and it never leaks. Quiltique

I stopped at the Outback and picked up take out for my dinner and headed back to the hotel for the evening. I cut more kiddy kat quilts and binding and started to cut my fat quarters. I've decided to do Yellow Brick Road because it has six inch squares and three different blocks. I probably have enough fat quarters for a king size quilt - but more fabric than I need isn't something new! I'll use them all and maybe I'll have enough left over for a Victoria's quilt.

Tuesday, May 7

I spent the whole day binding the placemats and quilting the kiddy kat quilts in preparation for the Sew Day tomorrow at Christmas Goose. OK I'm officially sick of kiddy kat quilts and placemats and I still have to do the cutting and binding tomorrow - and then that's the end! I'm not going to do any more until I get home. It's hard to believe that I'm now half way through my time here and I haven't even started a quilt!

Yellow Brick Road

I checked the pattern and I was three fat quarters shy of a king size quilt. I did have fabric for the kiddy kat quilts with me that fit perfectly. The fabric I added was bought at Sewing Sensation in Calgary. So - now I'm cutting enough for a king size quilt. The next two days are filled with classes so I'll only have Friday to start making the blocks. There is so much sewing and cutting to be done before even starting to put the the blocks together I doubt I'll get anything on the wall!

Wednesday, May 8

Well, here's a first - it actually rained last night. My bright and shiny car had rain/dust spots all over it. More in the forecast. Temperature is in the low 80°' - 15° below normal. Thunder and lightning in the forecast for the weekend. Wow! Is it possible that I might see a flash flood? We know they exist but I have never seen one.

Sew Day, Christmas Goose

I arrived at 10:30 and sewed until 4:30. My back was starting to get sore so it was time to quit for a few hours. I did manage to cut and bind three kiddy kat quilts and finish the binding on half the placemats. I picked up take out from the Outback and headed to the hotel for the night.

I finished binding the placemats and cut the balance of my fat quarters for the Yellow Brick Road quilt. I'm off to bed early as I have another day at the Christmas Goose tomorrow for the bag class.

Thursday, May 9

I was at the Christmas Goose all day for the Twisted Batiks Bag by Melon Patch Designs. This pattern uses the Lil' Twister Tool by Twister Sisters. I opened the charm pack I bought for it and instantly said "no" and headed into the shop to pick up a Kansas Troubles charm pack. The only one they had was Harvest Hill - perfect. Why I thought I could go "modern" is beyond me.

I didn't finish the bag today but I do like it so I think I'll try to get it done and not let it join my other UFO's!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Flood Advisory and Flash Flood Warning
Thursday, May 9, 2019

This trip is certainly one all about weather. Strange things are happening in Las Vegas - it's raining, as in wet roads, windshields wipers and dirty cars. They are tracking the "storm" on the news and the areas it affects. There is no hail, not much wind and certainly no snow. But there is thunder, lightning, flood warnings and flash flood warnings for Death Valley National Park, Eastern Sierra Slopes, Las Vegas Valley, Clark County, Spring Mountains-Red Rock Canyon, and Nye County. Copious amounts of precipitation is in the forecast for the Southern Great Basin and parts of the Mojave Desert region through Friday.

Friday, May 10, 2019

My last day here. It has gone so fast. I slept until 10:30. It's so quiet in my room when I wake up I have no idea if it's 6:00 am or noon. Apparently, I slept through quite a lightning show last night. There was still water on my balcony this morning.

On the Wall

I did finally get something to put on the wall today - my two panels for my bag. I was going to continue but I don't like their instructions for sewing on the bottom. I want to wait until I get home and Carol can have a look at it.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sewing the strips together for the Yellow Brick Road. I ended up having to pick out 16 strips. In my enthusiasm I sewed 48 instead of 32. Seems to me that's exactly what I did last time I made the pattern.

At 6:00 I started to pack up my sewing stuff and haul things out to the car in preparation for leaving in the morning. I have a parking stall right outside the main door so I don't want to go out for dinner. I used up some of the food left in the fridge.


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