The trip to Las Vegas began last week, on Thursday 2.21.2008. We piled all the book orders, luggage, dog, and of course my knitting projects into the car and left the house. Dropping these things off at their proper places along the way we finally made it to the INSANE “terrorist free zone” affectionately called the Atlanta Airport. Don’t get me wrong, stripping for a crowd would not have been so bad, if I was getting paid for it. Ahh, the pleasures of 21st century travel. At least I was able to take my knitting on the plane. Sharp, metal needles with a long nylon cord are ok, unopened water bottles in plastic containers, NOT ALLOWED! We went through the exact same “security” process on the way home as well and needless to say, I did not feel any safer, just more exhausted. I love my boat…
Mr. K was able to work on the ever frustrating Sudoku puzzle on the plane and we shared a breakfast of champions provided by the flight attendants, after the initial hour of riding through turbulent thunderstorms had ended. No kidding, I actually saw the plane flexing in the middle, like I was on a roller coaster ride.
The actual time we spent in Las Vegas was wonderful, as always. We stayed at Sam’s Town just off Boulder Highway. This is a place that we love to play, but we had never stayed in the hotel before. The room was much better than others we had stayed in on previous trips and this will probably be our hotel of choice for future trips as well. The room was an “inside” room, so our view was of the waterfall and gardens that they have created within the courtyard area.
There were plenty of places to eat and none of them were on the list as healthy establishments, for sure. We enjoyed burgers at Fatburger and wings at my favorite wing joint, Hooters. Our favorite place to eat in all of Las Vegas, however, is a little place tucked away in the ***** * just off the strip. The place is called Ellis Island and is the best place in all of Nevada to get ribs and a beer. The beers are micro-brewed on site and are $1 each. The full plate of ribs is $7.99. Ribs, beans, and corn on the cob are the only thing they serve. There are no menus, but if you get there too late (after 4:00pm) the wait time for a table is minimum of one hour. We have waited 3 hours for a table before. Believe it or not, it was worth it! The Krispy Kreme doughnut shop inside the Excalibur resort is fun to watch, and it is even more fun to eat the hot doughnuts right off the line. We ended our stay by getting cheesecake take out from the Cheesecake Factory. Yum, Yum!
Since we had rented a car, we took a Sunday drive out to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Crossing over into Arizona and back again into Nevada we were able to get a good look at Lake Mead and the new bypass bridge that they are building to divert large trucks and heavy traffic off the actual dam structure. We were amazed at how much the lake was down since the last time we had been there. In the photos below you can see acres of bare land where there should be water. The marina tow boat was busy moving sections of their docks further out into deeper water in order to keep the boats floating.
There is never a shortage of things to do or things to see in Las Vegas. We visited some of our favorite casinos. There are very few that we prefer to play at, but several that we enjoy visiting for the scenery. The Bellagio has an atrium area that is always being reinvented for the current season or event. We really enjoy the Christmas display in this atrium. Since this was February, the display had been changed to the theme of the Chinese New Year. All the plants in the atrium area are living and they always smell so wonderful.
We also took time to walk the strip again, taking in the sights of New York, NY, the Venetian, and the brand new Palazzo. The Venetian has a waterway running through the mall area and you can take a ride in a gondola for a price. This one came complete with a singing gondolier (oarsman). She could really sing! The white statue in the photo is actually a living person. It was fun watching the “statue” scare people who were approaching trying to figure out if she was real or not.
Off the strip our favorite place to play is the Palms, four of a kind seemed like the hand of the week. Our game of choice is video poker, Jacks or Better. We hit several four of a kind hands each, but the royal flush remained elusive this time around. The Rio is another place we like to visit for the atmosphere. In the afternoon and evening they have a carnival show throughout the casino where they throw beads and dance. Makes me want to visit the real Rio!
One of the best parts of the trip was meeting new friends and Secret of the Stole Sponsors. Below from left to right is Susie Rose, me, and Beverly. They met me at a local yarn shop called Wooly Wonders and we had a really wonderful visit. Susie Rose taught me how to use my spindle which I have owned for about 5 years now and not touched. Thanks Susie Rose! Beverly is a member of the Secret of the Stole groups and both of them are super new knitty friends of mine!
Last, but not least, is Robbie of Ruby Vegas designs. You will have to look very hard to find a more genuine, friendly, and energetic person than Robbie. She is the Secret of the Stole shawl pin designer. I finally got the chance to meet her in person and it was a thrill!
We had a wonderful trip (not counting the lovely airport hassles). Now that we have had our annual Las Vegas fix, it is time to refocus on the Caribbean. Perhaps the Florida Keys????…or beyond…stay tuned.