wordy wednesday

so the sign says ...

However I am going to break the rule and tell you all about it.

First I want to thank Mary for being such a delightful travel companion, for putting up with my whining when we got suck in the Forum shopping trap from which it seemed there was no way out ... no, seriously ... for being the best driver/photo op spotter: she pulls over as soon as you go OH LOOK ...doesn't get angry when you muck up the GPS but most of all for being my friend.

We arrived at McCarran Airport from our respective hometowns last Wednesday, cabbing to our hotel, Treasure Island (TI) was chosen for the low room rate and location.  I said lets sleep cheap (but clean) and spend on food and fun.  And we did.

You can not go anywhere in Las Vegas without walking through a casino.

Yes, I wasted $5 whole dollars playing an electronic slot machine without any clue what the heck I was doing but that was it.  The rest of my money was spent on fabulous food (and shopping): we had Mexican for lunch the first day, dinner that night was at Rao, if you dont know it, Google it, its one of the oldest Italian restaurants in New York City, almost impossible to get a reservation but in Vegas,  Baby, we just walked it, of course it was late but if you think NY is a city that never sleeps, trust me Vegas has been awake longer!

We'd walked all over Vegas, seen almost every hotel lobby and casino and shop, rode on trams, experienced the fire display at the Mirage and the water display at the Bellagio; saw statuesque show girls posing with adults and kids (truly odd), a wedding at the Venetian along side a faux bridge/canal and I discovered there is no such thing as too casual in Vegas.

It was after that that we got lost ... trapped in an endless walkway filled with high end shops of all sorts and all I wanted was to get back to TI and sleep.

Thursday, having our fill of the city, we rented a car and drove out to Springs Preserve an amazing park about 15 miles outside of town where the desert is celebrated with all sorts of flowering plants, trees, cacti and workshops for kids.

On the way back we turned off the annoying GPS and just drove.  We had Indian food for dinner at a small local restaurant where we were the only diners but the food was superb.  How'd we find it?  I downloaded the YELP app!

Driving back into town, because I misentered the destination address on the GPS, we ended up stumbling upon the Fremont Street Experience.  Trust me, it is indeed an experience you must see.  There's a limited exhibition of some of the old neon hotel signs and I learned shooting at night needs a tripod.

On Friday we drove out to Red Rock Canyon.  A 30 minute drive with lovely scenery to keep you from getting bored but nothing compares with the panorama of mountains and desert that literally takes your breath away: so amazingly beautiful, so open, so limitless in feeling.

There's a 13 mile winding drive, first up and then down the mountains the scenic drive has areas along the way to get out and take photos ... or hike ... we saw a guy with two dogs waaaaaaaaaaaay up on top of one of the mountains.  We decided we'd leave the hiking to them and stick to the drive and a visit to the visitors center ... I love gift shops.

Back to Vegas to drop off the car, lunch at the Wynn's delicious '8' restaurant for Asian food then a return to TI to relax, refresh and dress for Cirque de Soleil's LOVE at the Mirage.   Its an experience that defies description except to say it was superb from start to finish and I would see it again in a heart beat.

It was a wonderful trip in every respect .. well except for that Forum no exit thing ... until ...

I flew JetBlue, love them.

I had free tickets and so I sprung for the 'more room' seats upfront which entitles you to board right after those who have kids or need assistance and you get first crack at the overhead.  I was in row 3 and the flight attendant said it was a full plane but it seemed  as if no one was claiming the middle and aisle seats in my row, row 3, until this guy boarded, dropped a carry bag on the aisle seat and walked back out.

I intended on sleeping all the way home.  I also took xanax to ensure said sleep.  I discovered that a 2 year old screaming, crying, climbing in the seat next to you can negate xanax's slumber effect.

The short version of this vent/whine is that Grandma in aisle 4 spent pre-flight time amping up the 2 yr old so that dad could not get him to sit still and/or stop crying and lets face it 4.5 hrs of a restless child is no picnic on or off a plane.

Ten minutes before we were due to land I leaned over the still squirming/screaming child to tell the dad: "I know you have a lot to deal with, but I want off this plane as quickly as possible so be prepared to let me get out and off."

He did.

When JetBlue sent its follow up customer survey I offered a suggestion that they designate the last 3-5 rows of each plane for use by people traveling with children.  Its closer to the bathrooms with the changing tables and sound does not travel forward.

I hope they listen.


  1. Great post.!!
    I love Vegas.. even got married there.. Bob's company paid for a
    suite at the Mirage.. back when it was new... we go back every 3 to 5 years. The drive to Grand Canyon isn't that bad.. and gets me out of the casinos.

  2. Well, if I hadn't already wanted to do Las Vegas, your post would have made me want to! It seems such a surreal city, to say the least. And those Red Rocks...can see the ghost of John Wayne riding right along...

    Sorry about your screaming child. My pet peeve is that plus the people who pull themselves up out of their seat by using your headrest. Now my hair is longer, so I imagine my hair will be in their grip, too.

  3. I love kids - I have two boys and 5 grandchildren but I hate being seated near kids on a plane, especially when they sit behind me and insist on kicking the back of my seat. :(

    I'm so glad you decided to break your rule and tell us about your trip and share your photos. :)

  4. I'm so happy you posted of your fabulous trip! I really want to experience Las Vegas one day, and your pictures show the diverse activities one can take in on their trip! Except for the horrible plane trip (I would have given that child my 'stink eye'...which my kids say will shut any of them up lol) it sounds as if you had an excellent trip. So envious that you were able to see Love! Can't wait to see more pictures!

  5. wordy indeed..lol

    I must say, I love the non-Vegas pics best.
    And totally agree about the screaming kid on a plane thing. I sometimes think that is what help will be like...eternity on a plane next to a screaming tot.

  6. I LOVE the pic of the showgirls and the 2 boys!!

    I'm glad you had a good trip screaming child and shopping center prison aside

  7. sounds fab. shopping and not plugging the slots!
    I'm a map girl, no GPS for me, I can get confused without electronic assistance.
    Your pics are wonderful. I only wish you could capture and express the smell of the desert.

  8. Awesome post! Glad you went out driving, that's always so much fun. And good suggestion to JetBlue if you ask me...

  9. :D
    Great post. Sounds like a wonderful get away.
    I keep checking your blog on Rosie updates. Is the ring worm cleared and is her dental surgery scheduled?

  10. Vegas is fun! However - you do get tired of playing slots. Truly. (although I've seen some people glued to machines)

    And - NO - I didn't know he was back! Why didn't you tell me earlier?? :0)

  11. I loved reading about your trip and seeing the photos! You should write about things more often.

    Sorry the flight home was so bad. I'm sure that Dad was upset that he wasn't able to calm his child down. It's hard on everyone hearing a child whine and cry non-stop. I know you were glad to get off the plane.

  12. I'm glad you had such a great time. Too bad about the flight home. I love the showgirl and kidlet photo and I love your neon dedelstein!

  13. lookslike you had a great time. there is so much to see and get to from vegas besides gambling. next time I would suggest the valley of fire way way better then red rock canyon in my opinion.

  14. Love the travelogue. And the plane trip home was done with great humor (more or less!)...nothing worse than screaming little brats on a plane!

    I don't remember the Vegas you saw. Of course, I was only there once, in 1946! It was so hot, my mother burned her hand badly on the car steering wheel after it had been sitting in the sun for an hour or so!

    P.S. You're right about bad karma!

  15. Sounds like a great trip - I like your idea of Vegas!

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  16. Still, it sounds like a lovely vacation. So glad you got out of town to see the sights!

  17. Sounds like you had a wonderful LV experience. Were you there for Blogworld?

  18. Love Vegas and there is no way to describe the LOVE show...it is an amazing experience! Going to see the new Elvis show which I hear is similar..will let you know. I will take a crying child any day instead of sitting next to someone who does not believe in deo and soap:-)

  19. Sounds like a great time. Never been to Vegas. Always say I'm going to go. It's probably only an hour or so flight for me!
    I am flying at the end of the month. I feel bad for the parents, but....I would not want that for 6 hours. You were very polite. :)

  20. Sounds like a (mostly) wonderful trip. I went to a wedding out there years ago. We stayed in Mesquite, though which is about an hour north. Went into Vegas twice but it wasn't my thing. I don't think I'd be saying that if I'd gone with you. Those old signs sound fun, as did most of your trip.

  21. What a wide range of experiences. Sounds like you had a great time with a great friend, and those times are invaluable.

    wv: nontati On the plane ride home from Vegas, a hot toddy was needed but a nontati was all that was available.

  22. Vegas itself is honestly not for me. I've been, twice, and though I did have good food, and some fun, I find myself very overstimulated there, and it makes me feel jumpy.
    The surrounding countryside, however, is a completely different story...

  23. Well, I for one, am envious of your navigating skills. Years ago when my brother-in-law got married in Vegas, my husband and I tried to find Spring Preserve. No luck. Looks beautiful. And those street lights what an awesome find! A lot of times I find that the sidetracks are the best. Definitely good for finding something you didn't expect.

  24. I see Mary not only walked your arse off , she drove it off too! What fun you had. Thanks for the blow by blow. My lips are sealed.

  25. What a 99% great trip! Never been and can't wait to go to Vegas. Good that your vacation was so wonderful...except the kid part. (sigh)

  26. Sounds like a wonderful vacation. Love the pics and I know you have a "few" more!

  27. Sounds like a great trip. I enjoyed your shots and loved the ones of the mountains.

  28. wow! what a great trip you had Daryl!
    I love how you traveled outside of Vegas to take in some of the more natural beauty.
    & how cool it must have been to see 'Love'!
    sorry to hear about the unruly child, you were so understanding towards the Dad considering everything that transpired.
    thanks for sharing your time with us.
    : )

  29. GREAT photo tour!
    It's all true, but I still have to go there at least once a year...

  30. Finally got a chance to stop by and read about your Vegas trip. Sounds like you had a whole bunch of fun (excluding the getting lost at Caesars and the screaming child - I certainly hope Jet Blue does the right thing and offers you a little bit of a make up.)

    Looking forward to more photos!

  31. Of course, I do have to say that one of the draws of LV as a vacation spot, for me, is that you can not only win back all of your expenses, but maybe more besides. To not gamble in Vegas is, to me, like going to a brothel to listen to the piano player.

  32. Wow that looks like a mad place Daryl. One day I hope to see it. It's so cool that it's surrounded by the gorgeous desert and mountains. It's good you can find calm and quiet there too if you want to.

  33. everything about your trip sounds FABBY (except for the screaming baby). i've had a screaming baby on a plane - it's a horrible situation - i always broke out in a cold sweat, but now i DON'T have screaming babies, i have sadly lost my patience for them too!!!


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