Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas

Well sort of.  We were there for 3 weeks and got together with 3 sets of friends.

We had made reservations on Nellis AFB at the Desert Eagle Famcamp for two weeks and then had to extend through the 19th so we could get together with Jessica and Sandy who drove up from Phoenix.

We arrived at the Nellis FamCamp and got set up.  VERY nice military RV park...large spaces, about half of them are pull thru, cement pads, picnic table and very nice landscaping.  We were one of the lucky ones and had shade on our site.  We have gotten in the habit of asking to have a site where our door faces either North or East...this one face Northeast.  Perfect!
We started our stay with a visit to the Thunderbird Museum on the base.  Unfortunately, because of 9/11 the base was at level Bravo and we couldn't get a tour of the hanger, and the Thunderbirds weren't in town anyway.  But we did enjoy the museum and picked up a few freeby stickers for the grandkids.

There were jets flying above and around the area.  I don't know if they were back up Thunderbird pilots or other's practicing, but it was exciting to watch them from our front porch.  Dave got the camera out and tried to capture some good shots.  Here's two of his best.

Our next outing was to Hoover Dam.  Dave had seen it from the air when he was crewing on helicopters in the Army and also driven over it when he was a truck driver, but since he had not been able to ever stop and I had never even been in this part of the country we drove on out.  We drove via Lake Mead, which was very very low.  Lots of people out enjoying the water.

Can't really tell from this picture, but silly me never got a picture that showed all the activity.

We didn't pay to go in the Museum or inside the dam tour.  Parking in the parking garage was $10 and then you paid to get in the museum.  We just didn't feel it was worth it.  Here's a few more pictures:
 This is the new bridge....too high for me to walk on!!

Beth suggested we should drive up to Mt. Charleston and enjoy the views, so we did.  Nice drive out of town and even nicer to leave the 100 degree heat and walk around in some nice 70 degree weather.  Nothing too interesting up there, just nice to get into cooler weather.

One other thing we did this first week was go to the Pinball Hall of Fame.  What a BLAST!  Rows and rows of new, old and very old machines.  They also had old video games; pacman, asteroids, shooting games.  We got $20 in quarters and off we went...before we knew it 2 1/2 hours had slid by.  Best $20 we ever spent!

Dinner with Beth Mohr on Friday the 9th of Sept, picked up our tickets, that she so graciously got a good deal for us, for The Blue Man Group at the Venetian.  She had us meet her at a locals favorite mexican restaurant, Don Juan's on Main street.  It was a very nice place and the food was great. The wait staff were all very friendly and for those of you who know Beth, they all loved her!  We so enjoyed our time with her and had a chance to spend more time with her, but more on that later.

Since we had made plans to meet our niece Nicki and her two boys in Barstow, CA on the 11th, we had decided to rent a small car for the weekend.  With the price of the rental and the higher gas mileage than the truck, we actually saved money.  We ended up getting it for a week instead of only the weekend because Dave took the truck into a Ford dealer on the previous Tuesday to have the cruise control checked out.  It stopped working completely on our way from Grand Junction, Co.  Anyway, they also found something else (under warranty) and they were going to have the truck for a minimum of all day Wednesday, so he just rented the car for the week.  A Dodge Caliber...reminded me of a smaller, less equipped version of my Dodge Journey!

Back to The Blue Man Group.  We valet parked and headed through the casino/hotel to the theater....a 10 minute fast walk (all these hotel/casinos are HUGE) as we thought we were running a little late.  We had an AWESOME time.  Our seats were AWESOME!  The show was AWESOME!  the venue was AWESOME!  If you ever get a chance to see their show, do it.  It's a complete sight, sound and physical experience.  We sat just above the "wet" seats and Dave was even selected as a participant...by virtue of the seat he was sitting in :).  A tube of Tobelrone on his lap that one of the Blue men picked up and had another guy in the audience try to get some in his mouth.  He then set it back in Dave's lap.  doesn't sound too thrilling, but was pretty fun at the time. We then headed out to drive down the strip and back to our home.

We left early on  Sunday morning for Barstow, excited to see Nicole, Jeffrey and Keegan!  It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get there and we met at a restaurant for lunch.  Sorry, can't remember the name....CoCo's or something like that.  We then went to the Barstow Railroad museum and then over to the Route 66 musuem..both on opposite ends of the same restored railway station and Harvey House.  The Route 66 museum was actually more interesting than the railroad musuem, but the boys had fun climbing on the old trains outside for a while.  We then headed over to "the best ice cream in town" for some ice cream and sat around and talked some more.  About 4:00 we had to say goodbye and hit the road.  LOVED spending time with Nicki and the boys.....we haven't seen her in about 5 years and had never met Teagan!  Loved our time with them and hope we can work out something for Phoenix or Albuquerque next year.

Jeffrey, Keegan and me playing checkers

This entry is a bit long and I've left out some other activities we did and some other observations.  So, I have decided to split it up and do another entry later for the rest.  Hang on for Part two.

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