Saturday, March 30, 2013

VEGAS–PART 7

CAESARS PALACE

For those of you who have already been to Caesars Palace – stop now and go on to the next Blog.

“Caesars Palace” is really synonymous with “Las Vegas” don’t you think.  I didn’t feel any desire to go traipsing around through all the MEGA Hotels and Casinos but felt a stop in Vegas had to include Caesars Palace.  I mean EVERYBODY has heard of Caesars Palace right.

Dean and Deb offered to take me there one evening and I’m sure glad they were with me !!  I definitely would not have seen as much and DEFINITELY would have gotten lost !!  LOL

The ‘name’ is very prominent all over the place.

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As soon as you enter you see that CANADA is well represented.  I mean where else but Caesars Palace would you find THREE MAJOR CELEBRITIES --  Shania – Sassy - Celine.  You see when you’re that famous you only need to go by one name.

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This is the INSIDE.  Nope, I swear I am NOT outside.

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Pretty realistic looking huh.

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A couple of short videos to give you a better concept of the ‘ceiling’ and the INSIDE of this place.  The quality of the videos is not great because they were taken with my cheap Walmart camera.

This is a HUGE aquarium within the Hotel.  I took this picture so Jim would know there’s lots of fishing in Vegas !! LOL

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More pictures as we walked around.

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Dean wanted to take me to see the water show that is held every hour at The Bellagio Hotel.  So that required us going outside on a GORGEOUS night and walking a little.

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THIS is why you DON’T drive or ride The Strip !!  This is what the traffic is like all the time.

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The following is from the Hotel’s Website:

“A refreshing addition to your entertainment options, the Fountains of Bellagio were destined to romance your senses. Take in a complimentary Las Vegas show of water, music and light thoughtfully interwoven to mesmerize its admirers. All for your amusement, the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived amazes against the beautiful backdrop of Las Vegas' lavender sky. Each dynamic performance from the Fountains collection is unique in its expression and interpretation. Fall in love with the stunning nature of this unprecedented aquatic accomplishment while relishing a clever concert of opera, classical and Broadway tunes.”

I took a few short videos of this ‘performance’.  LOVED IT  !!  I wish I could have taken longer videos but then the file size is just too large to upload and insert into the Blog.  But at least these little videos will give you an idea of what the water show was like.  Apparently there is different music each night.

Now enough with all this silliness of amazing real life like looking ceilings; a beautiful warm WINTER night; fountain shows etc. etc.

I decided I was going GAMBLING !!!  Yup, You heard it right.  I gave much consideration to the amount of money I was going to LOSE !!  FIVE DOLLARS ($5.00) was the enormous amount I had decided on.

This truly was my FIRST time ever in a Casino and I found it quite exciting and amazing.  So here I am about to insert my first bit of money into a machine I had no clue about.  Dean was wonderful though and guided me through it all.

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I liked this machine because I got to pull the handle like you see on TV.

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But I like this game more – I had played ‘21’ with my Father many, many times.

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VERY STRESSFUL !!!  Do I “Hit” or do I “Stay” ??

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Check out the bottom right hand corner.  Yes you see it correctly – that’s TEN DOLLARS ($10.00).  I’ve DOUBLED my money.

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I ain’t no fool !  I’m cashing out – high roller that I am.

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Thanks Dean and Deb !

Thursday, March 28, 2013

HOOVER DAM

Today Bennie and I packed a lunch, put a book in the saddlebags and off we went to see the Hoover Dam.  We passed the exit coming here while in the Motorhome.  But it was a short 40 mile ride back on yet another GORGEOUS day here in Las Vegas !

The ride there and coming back was fantastic and I only got lost twice.  Once trying to get there and once trying to find my way back.  LOL

The first thing we encountered was a very long back-up of traffic just getting through the “Inspection Checkpoint”.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, checkpoints were established to provide security control by restricting certain vehicles from crossing the dam.”

This was the line-up behind me.

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It was insanely busy with bumper to bumper stop and go traffic.  Jeeze, don’t people stay home anymore !!  It was the middle of the week in frikkin’ March and yet there still were thousands of people going through there.  When I got home Dean reminded me it was Spring Break.   Ahhhh.

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Getting through the main congested area wasn’t fun because again the pipes just got too stinkin’ HOT.  There are numerous parking lots and pull-out areas and the first one I saw I pulled in to let Bennie out and give him some water and mainly to let the pipes cool down.

Although I was RIGHT THERE I never got to see the actual Dam.  That would have involved parking the bike and a LOT of walking and it was too hot for that.  To say nothing of trying to get through the people.

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But despite that it really is an impressive area to see….

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This is where we found a lovely spot to sit back and have lunch.  See my feet !!  I relaxed there for awhile and read my book.

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I was entertained by several chipmunks (?) scurrying around trying to get nibbles of food.

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Next up – Caesars Palace !  We did that the other night but I took sooooo many pics and videos I haven’t had a chance to sort through them yet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

INSTALLING A HOLDING TANK VENT

Installing one of those Cyclone RV Holding Tank Vents is very easy.  Lots of step by step videos on YouTube.  I watched them and decided to tackle the job.

I have two vents and my Brother installed the first one on our trip across the Country in October – incorrectly I might add !!  So now that I know how to do it CORRECTLY I will have to fix that one.

Yup, An easy peasy job – unless you are ME !!  NOTHING is easy peasy when it comes to ME !!  Just look at how they put the wiring for my Solar !!  Wrapped all around the skylight – the holding tank vent AND the fan vent cover !!

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And even one wire was inserted behind the bolts that holds the fan vent cover !!

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So I had to get all the caulking or putty (whatever it is that they use) off in order to give me enough slack to get the holding tank cap off. I know this wiring is very expensive but I would have gladly paid the money for an extra few feet to give some slack !!

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And yes, you guessed it – I also had to remove the fan vent cover !!

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Look how close the holding tank vent is to the skylight !  Now I had to remove all the goop to get to the screws to get this thing off.

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Hours later – and countless trips up and down the ladder I’m almost done.  One of the more difficult parts was getting those three little screws in.  You have to put them as low as possible and under that round ‘collar’ part.  With so much in the way it was almost impossible to get a grip on the screws to tighten them.  But I persevered !!

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Hours and hours and hours – up and down the ladder a gazillion times – and finally the job is DONE !!  Yes, I know, the caulking job is very messy but I didn’t care at that point.

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I then had to re-secure the solar wiring.

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And NOW I have to do this one PROPERLY !  But trust me, it will not be in the near future !!

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And let me tell you I paid dearly for completing this little task.  This old body is NOT meant to be climbing up and down that ladder as many times as I did !!  I was in agony that night and for the next two days and even today my left hip is very, very sore.  Walking is painful and I’m still limping some.

Monday, March 25, 2013

VEGAS–PART 6

RESTING – CHORES – LAKE MEAD

After my incident of ‘riding’ The Strip I needed a few days off.  I was still tired and my shoulder was still nagging me a little.

Did I mention that my new ‘home’ also has a pool and hot tub ?

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So I started to putter around to start to ‘try’ to get some of the desert dust/sand out of the rig.  I don’t think it will ever be all out.

And Bennie, as always, front and centre helping !!

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I used my new battery watering system for the first time.  LOVE IT !!  Everybody should have one – especially if, like me, you now have six batteries.  The tubes are all hooked up to the batteries so all I have to do is pop the adaptor on and put the open end into the distilled water jug and pump.

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I marked where it was at before I started so I would know how much water the batteries took.  Took it all !  They must have been thirsty !

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LAKE MEAD

“Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States in maximum water capacity. It is located on the Colorado River about 24 mi (39 km) from the Strip southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is 112 miles (180 km) long when the lake is full, has 550 miles (890 km) of shoreline, is around 500 feet at greatest depth, has 247 square miles (640 km2) of surface, and when filled to capacity, 28 million acre-feet of water. However, the lake has not reached this capacity in more than a decade, due to increasing droughts.”

Now that is one BIG Lake !!

Dean offered to take me to Lake Mead and show me around.  I was curious about it as I had read there are FREE boondocking places there.

There are also places with full-hook-ups (don’t know the price) and several places where you can dry camp for $10.00 a day.  I like FREE better.

Can you see the rigs way down there ??  No idea how they got them there ‘cause I wouldn’t dream of taking my rig there !!

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I wasn’t overly impressed with Lake Mead.  I found it to be quite barren and desolate.

You need one of these suckers (Dean’s Jeep) to drive around this particular boondocking area.

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But the whole area is so large and it has great winding roads in great condition.  Would make for a wonderful motorcycle ride through there.  But stay on the pavement !!  LOL

Sunday, March 24, 2013

VEGAS–PART 5

RIDING THE STRIP

And I mean as in riding the bike through there at night.  WHAT A MISTAKE !!  Don’t do it.

I don’t ride after dark anymore but it was a beautiful evening (once again) and with all the lights I was ok with riding at night.

It was glorious until I actually reached The Strip but then the traffic was bumper to bumper and the heat built.  Being in such a congested area and of course with all the lights, the temperature rose by 20 degrees at least.

The pipes on the bike got scorching HOT in no time.  Every time I stopped (and that was every minute or so) I shut the bike off so they wouldn’t get any hotter.

And I mean HOT as in burning the thighs of my leg.  Nope, not fun at all.

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I did manage to get a few more pics of the motorcycle coming out of the Building.  I thought that was pretty cool.

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I found a place to park and checked out the HD Cafe.  Quite disappointing really.  Lots of people there eating and drinking but as I didn’t want to do either I just walked through the restaurant area.  And the ‘retail store’ was teenie – about the size of a large closet !  Just a few T-Shirts.

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But now I can say I did ‘walk The Strip’ – if only for a few blocks.

And I got much better picture of the Eiffel Tower.

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By the time I got back home I was exhausted and not fit to look at !  LOL  My left shoulder was very sore from all the clutch action necessary while riding through The Strip.  Nope won’t do that again.

Best way to do it is have someone else drive (like when D&D drove me there the first night I arrived) so you can be free to look around.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

VEGAS–PART 4

RIDING RED ROCK CANYON

One of the things Dean (my Host) suggested I do was ride the Red Rock Canyon Loop.  So Bennie and I packed our lunch and off we went.

This is a one way 12 miles/20 km Loop and was really nice to ride – albeit I would have preferred to put a bit more speed into it.  Posted speed limit (at it’s maximum point) was 35MPH and less in many places along the route.

Here’s a bit of info on it from Google:

“Less than 20 minutes from Las Vegas, canyons made of sandstone cliffs dominate the vista. Created by millions of years of geological forces, fractured faults where the earth’s crust collided and fossilized sand dunes, this area is a large contrast to the city.

This scenic route travels through the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Take advantage of the various pullouts, especially High Point Overlook which is just above 4,000 feet of elevation and provides a spectacular panoramic view of the canyon and surrounding beauty.”

It reminded me of riding The Dragon – the big difference of course is that SPEED is not what this ride was all about.

But it sure had the same numerous curves and switchbacks.

There were lots of places to pull over at lookouts but it was very sunny and very hot.

I pulled over and stopped the bike to take this Video:

But I did eventually find the perfect one, complete with picnic tables – even one in the shade – where Bennie and I stopped to have our lunch.

This is the kinda place where you could spend a very relaxing day.  Lots of hiking if that’s what you like or simply bring a lunch and a good book and you are set.

Yes, Another place I would definitely come back to.  There is a small fee to enter – $3.00 for a motorcycle.  If you are in the Vegas area this is a must-do in my opinion.

Next up “Riding” The Strip….

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

VEGAS–PART 3

FREEMONT STREET EXPERIENCE

I LOVED this place – much more so than The Strip and it is outside also, although you feel like you are inside. 

There is a ton of information on Freemont Street on the Internet but here is just a snippet I obtained from Google:

“It is covered by a canopy that is 90 ft (27 m) high at the peak and four blocks, or approximately 1,500 ft (460 m), in length.

It is a five-block section of Fremont Street that is closed to automobile traffic.

While Las Vegas is known for never turning the outside casino lights off, each show begins by turning off the lights on all of the buildings, including the casinos, under the canopy. Before each show, one bidirectional street that crosses the Experience is blocked off for safety reasons.

Concerts, usually free, are also held on two sound stages. The venue has become a major tourist attraction for downtown Las Vegas.”

This is the entrance to it:

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And GASP what is the first thing I see…….

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And NATURALLY I had to have my picture taken in front of the store….

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I did go in and browse but didn’t buy anything.

There were ‘characters’ walking around ie. Batman, SpiderMan etc. etc. and it wouldn’t be Vegas if you didn’t see at least one ELVIS.  Deb insisted I get my pic taken with KISS.  Not sure why ‘cause I’ve never been a KISS fan….

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What totally blew me away was watching this guy create some awesome paintings using only SPRAY PAINT !!  I watched him make this piece from start to finish…..

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Here is a short video of him in action.  I wish I had taken a longer video.

The piece sold almost immediately.

The following videos are all very short.  I took them while we were walking through this place.  Several of them are of the ‘canopy’ and a concert being shown via this canopy.

I will say again I really enjoyed the Freemont Street Experience and would go back there again.

Next up – riding the Red Rock Canyon Loop.