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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.
"The Vegas Connection"
Reg, from Australia, Bill Becky and Franny from Indiana and me from Canada.
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)
Defintely 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 sparkly 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
More Kids
The Vegas Connection
Three Adults, one Child, and one Chicken - ME!!

The Eiffel 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!

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.

Testing the New Camera
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 Soliel 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.

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.

Glenda's Win - $100.00

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


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!!

Tueaday, 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 Stip - her only friend Circus Circus across the street.


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