Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vegas Hotels!

We are back home.  Exhausted. Using Smilebox one more time because it's easier than uploading. 

Beautiful, beautiful hotels:

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Will be looking at blogs later this week - I promise!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Last Day Off the Strip with The Writer and Sammy!

Not to worry we have spent plenty of time touring the beautiful hotels and casinos here while we are in Las Vegas.  I have some stunning pictures of those hotels, their lobbies and their unique decor.

However, my internet connection here is very slow and I have found that I can easily share some pictues via my Smilebox link.

Today the four of us ventured up to Mt. Charleston to experience some cooler weather and see what this area had to offer.

Nice drive, beautiful scenery and at the end of the trip a lovely lodge with good food.  You can't ask for much more than that!

Here are a few pictures from our day there.

I give many thanks to Suzan at  Old Grey Mare who was so generous with her time to talk with me and give me some suggestions for side trips "off the strip".  (She lives in Vegas and has a beautiful blog and a unique/gorgeous style in general - thanks so much Suzan!) Please check her out!  Blogland is a wonderful place!

And also thanks to the random man I sat next to on the plane. He will probably never know that we went twice to Battista's, checked out Sam's Town and then ventured over to another neighborhood Casino/Resort which we really liked and would definitely return to.

Let's hope my seatmate on the return trip is equally interesting and informative - do you think he might have some pre-wedding advice?

Pretty pictures of hotels to come during the week.  They do it right here!

An exhausted Boston Lady is checking out!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada - Another Gem Off the Strip!

Please enjoy this slideshow of our day to Red Rock Canyon in Nevada!

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"The Last Dam Tour is at 4pm!"

How many times can you listen to that without laughing?  Oh, those crazy Hoover Dam folks, they use every opportunity to exploit that word and pretty soon everyone IS laughing.

As you can guess, we visited this awesome testament to engineering and construction ingenuity on Wednesday.  About a 45 minute drive from "the strip" and well worth the drive.

Along the way you will see a lovely overview of Lake Mead, the lake that was formed by Hoover Dam.  It was a bit of a hazy day, but the view was nonetheless beautiful.

The last 15 minutes of the drive to Hoover Dam is full of twists and turns and the final turn brings you to the first view of the dam.

It is spectacular to see for the first time. 
 And this wasn't my first time to see it, but it was my first time to tour it.

Construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931 and was completed two years ahead of schedule in 1935. It was built to control the flooding of the Colorado river that would occur during the spring thaws and preserve that water to last throughout the year.  Thus putting an end to the destructive drought/flood cycle that was destroying crops and communities.

Concrete was poured into large rectangular molds 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 3 years.  All digging equipment was steam operated and the manpower was staggerng.

You can see by the above photo that every man on the job was necessary and the equipment they used was primitive by today's standards.  Just take a look a this "safety belt" the jackhammer operators wore while clinging to the rocky wall.

By elevator our tour took us 54 stories below the surface and as you can see by these tunnels, this was not a tour for anyone with claustrophobia.

At the end of these tunnels we were shown the heart of Hoover Dam.  The turbines that use the water to generate electricity to a large part of the region.

This is one government project that has paid for itself over the years and has brought prosperity to parts of Nevada and California that previously did not have proper irrigation and electricity. 

These beautiful terrazo floors were installed in the observation area in 1935 and are a testament to the durability of that type of flooring as any good Floridian can tell you.  Tens of millions of feet have walked across this floor, yet it looks as good as it probably did 76 years ago.

Back up on top of the dam we were able to take in the beautiful view of the bridge that spans the gap above the dam.

And the interesting cantilevered towers that carry the power lines along the gorge.

Next stop was for lunch in the small burg of Boulder City, the original housing settlement for the thousands of workers who completed this tremendous feat and their families.  Today Boulder city is a quaint small town with at least one awesome family-run restaurant.

The Coffee Cup Cafe in Boulder City.

The owners are Big Bob Seger fans which appealed to Mr. Tennis. Lots of water-skiing memorabilia on the inside as nearby Lake Mead is one of the water-ski capitals in the U.S.

And yes, it was hot!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Way Off The Vegas Strip with The Writer

Coincindentally while we are visiting here in Vegas, our son, The Writer has just released his latest video for Reason.TV which has to do with a settlement of people out in the desert not far from here.

I don't get into politics on my blog, but I can't help being a proud mother and give friends and family a chance to see the work into which my son is pouring his heart and soul.

Here he is with me on an obviously cold Florida day last fall.

It is his voice in the voiceover and it is he at the end of the video asking the question of the reluctant politician.

Gotta go check on those lions in the lobby!  The lazy bones were sleeping last time I looked.

Tomorrow I will have some pictures up of our trip to Hoover Dam.

Off The Strip for Dinner

Did you guess where we are staying?  Here's another hint:

And yes, there are lions everywhere, not just in the lobby, although they are my favorite thing about this massive 5500 room hotel.

(photo credit goes to Mr. Tennis' iphone which takes fabulous pictures)

Pretty, pretty lobby.

And our room is ultra-cool, which is good in a super hot/dry climate.

First night here we explored a bit, and ended up at an "old" Las Vegas hangout for dinner.  The gentleman who sat beside me on the plane told me about this little restaurant that used to be frequented by the infamous "Rat Pack" among others.  It took us awhile, but we found it.

It was so off the beaten path that we weren't even sure we were at the right place, especially when confronted with a plain front door without a lot of adornment.

But, when we walked in we knew we had hit pay dirt.

Lots of stuff hanging from the ceiling.

Celebrity pictures lining the walls.

One of Orlando Grandma's favorite performers had been there!

And these wonderfully displayed little liquor bottles collected for who knows how many years.

And this was just one wall!


And last, but not least, Uncle Johnny had been a regular!

He was good friends with the original owner and when we told the current owner that we had the same last name he told us, "Oh yes. He used to hang out here a lot with Battista!".

Here they are in a late picture together.

The food was generous and tasty and they provide free wine with any dinner purchase - a plus for us!

The dinner's are actually even more reasonable than this menu shows.  It seems to vary by whatever day or decade you are there! De-lish either way.

There's even an accordian player (named Gordie- we think he is an original to the place) who strolls around and plays some italian favorites. (And BTW he is standing up next to a seated Mr. Tennis)

Good food, good value, good ambiance, and a taste of old Las Vegas off the strip, just go to the corner of Flamingo and Audrie, right beside Bally's! I think we will be back!

Wait until you see what we did on Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Kind of Like Being Home - Just Bigger Cats

I survived the flight today, even with a changeover!  We arrived to very hot weather (110 today - but we are told it feels like 104).

Look what I found in the lobby of our hotel!

I won't miss our critters at all with these beauties to keep me company.

Can you guess the name of our hotel?  Lovely pictures to come of the spectacular lobby and clever room.

Here's a sneak peak at a feature I have never seen in a hotel bathroom before.

It's a tv that's part of the mirror over the sink - wouldn't want to fix your hair or shave without knowing what's going on out in the real world.

Ciao, or rather, meow!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yep, That's Right, I'm Flying Tomorrow.

Not Darcy, me, The Boston Lady.  But her expression shows how I'm feeling about that flight:  excited, nervous, spooked.

Going to Vegas, hoping to see lots of interesting things that I can share with you, my friends.  Next time you hear from me I will be in dry, 108 degress weather, but I won't be spooked.  At least not until the day before our return flight.

Friday, August 19, 2011

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation...

Of course, this "we" is not the humans that are allowed to live at Boston Manor, but "them" - you know who they are.

- spent a lot of time panting this summer, just for the heck of it!

Who can resist me?

- lots of sulking and hiding due to presence of "that other kitty" who likes to jump me at random moments. However, I quite liked that little whipper-snapper, Zeke who visited here for a week.

HE respected me!

- spent a lot of time scanning the skies for those afternoon thunderstorms.  Sometimes they came and I was not wearing my Thundershirt!  Liked that little Zeke-kitty, I protected him.

 - well since I am so important I spent a lot of time sitting in the sun, not worrying about a thing.  I also found a new place to hide and jump out from to frighten that scaredy-cat Bumby. I didn't like that Zeke - took too much attention away from moi!

Whattya mean Zeke will be here next week?   Nooooooo!