September 24-26 2014

Welcome to Viva! Las Vegas...
...and a couple of fun-packed days with Paul and Gretchen, here at the observation deck of Stratosphere.
We took the shuttle tour from our accommodation at the Tahiti Resort to Red Rock Canyon.

Air, Fire, Water, Earth - the Visitors Center has displays on all these topics and additionally...
...a large collection of...
No matter how many times I visit Red Rock Canyon it is always delightful.
Here's Gretchen wearing her perfect shirt for the occasion.
The tour makes many stops for a short walk and some photo ops.
Another one...
...and more.

Looks good, but you can't feel it from the picture. It was 100 degrees under blazing sun.
Me, seeking refuge from the blazing sun.
We had an evening out mostly at Bellagio. This is just the intro to Dancing Waters, So Cool!
And the piano bar.
And the Chihuly ceiling.
The next morning we took the long ride down the strip from MGM (photos from the shaded bus window), past City Center...
...past Caesars...
...all the way to Startosphere. We took the ride up to the viewing deck where the views were good but that's now why most people come.

They come to JUMP OFF.
That's right, they jump off the top. We didn't.

Then we went back to the Tahiti and I left shortly thereafter.

I took Virgin America both ways and it was very good. I would choose them even and that's saying a lot.
March 15 2013

On the road to Viva! Las Vegas!! We made it all the way to Duarte before Richard ran out of musical versions of Viva! Las Vegas to play, and that's a lot of versions of Viva! Las Vegas.

(Out the car window.)
Richard, Carl, and Ben on our first pit stop. Oh look! In 'n Out Burger. Let's eat.
Back on the road again. You know you do need some serious power to run all those video poker machines and pumpin' a/c.

(Out the car window.)
From the entrance to Vdara in City Center.
We enjoyed the amenities at Bellagio including a stroll around the fountains, the piano bar, and some amazing at the décor in the atrium, and the views of Gay Paree.
The waterwall at Aria.
Carl's pictures from City Center.

From Vdara, the view out the bedroom windows facing North away from the strip.
March 16

Good morning, let's Eat Allll The Food.
After our allll you can eat breakfast buffet we decided to take a spin out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for some fresh air and exercise.

This is Carl's shot just outside the car doors. Wow.

Photo! Photo!
It's so beautiful, so fresh and natural and not a power line in sight, and just 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.
Mmmm, nice.

How did it get like this? I remember not one single fact from geology class. Fortunately I have Ms Wiki to remember for me.
Did we do the .7 mile walk or the 1.2 mile walk? Not so far in either case but excellent, good air and a good stretch.
There were many of these bikers out for some hill climbing and we appreciated their youth and vigor.
Then we met up with Les who had just finished with his conference ready for f.u.n!
First stop, dinner at Firefly Tapas with an added attraction of Suzanne, the woman who will be running the writing program Les designed and built and worked on for 15 years at MIT. After dinner Suzanne had to catch her flight home which was too bad because everyone was enjoying her company.

We ate plate after plate after plate of delicious tapas. And drank a couple pitchers of pomegranate mojitos. Olé!
Back to the hotel in preparation for an evening out, and Carl was with us, and, well, you know.
Let's go to a casino! We had moved in the morning from Vdara to where Les was staying at the Hilton Grand Vacation Suites way down at the far north end of the strip next door to Circus Circus and across from The Riviera.

We spent most of our time at Encore, a Wynn hotel famous for Surrender, a nightclub that draws the most stupendous crowds.

The guys gambled some, yes, but mostly they were standing around slack-jawed watching the parade of a thousand curvaceous young women dressed in identical five inch heels and five inch skirts. You would not believe.
March 17

We had a big (big!) Las Vegas breakfast at the Omelet House and then drove back to LA in five easy hours.

Happy Birthday Les, and Congratulations, here's to a retirement that continues as it began.
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