Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Friday, Sept. 3rd

After seeing Kathleen Madigan and hearing all about Woodrow's evening at Penn & Teller, we got to bed really late. When I awoke Friday morning, Amy had to go to work (awwwwww!), and I felt like garbage. My ears were driving me absolutely batty; they were completely stopped up. Don't ever go to the desert with a cold. You don't want to know what the dry air does to your sinuses. Trust me on this.

So I didn't want to leave the house. I just wanted to veg in front of the TV, but this was a short trip and Woodrow's only foreseeable opportunity to see the sights, so I pulled myself together and drove the short distance out of town to Red Rock Canyon. This place is very cool -- I'm not sure if it's a state park or a national park, but it's a lot like Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains in that you can check in, tour a visitor's center, and then drive around a one-way loop with lots of overlooks and places to park and go hiking.

The visitor's center was cool. I'm not that fond of indoor exhibits, though, and neither is Woodrow. We went out back and looked at the tortoises in pens. Poor tortoises!!!! On the other hand, they have a cushy life with someone feeding them all the time. They had these incredibly cute little squirrel-chipmunk type animals scurrying all over the place.

Once we started driving the loop, I really started to enjoy and appreciate the desert landscape. It goes for miles and is just utterly untouched and pristine. Not as soft and green as the Smokies, but incredibly colorful nonetheless with all the layers of rock in different shades of red. I think Woodrow and I stopped at almost every place we could. If it had been less windy, perhaps we would have hiked more, but the dust was flying in our eyes, and with my sinuses and ears, I didn't have any tolerance for it.

It sprinkled a little late that afternoon -- the drops of water evaporated within seconds of hitting the pavement.

After everyone was home, we decided to go to the "local" casino for dinner at their buffet. Buffets in Las Vegas are very affordable, you know, and this spot way off the strip was no exception. We kept making Paul say his Vegas litany -- it's a result of the fact that you have to turn left on Las Vegas boulevard to get to their house. You say, "Turn left then on Vegas," and Paul launches into:
"THENNNNNN ONNNNNN VEGAS! DanTannagoesintoacasinowithtwobeautifulwomenand

[Transl: Dan Tanna goes into a casino with two beautiful women and finds himself in trouble with the mob.]

You have to say it *just right*. Paul is an expert at it, and Woodrow never tired of hearing it!

When we finally finished making repeated trips to the buffet, Amy & Paul gambled a little -- a *very* little -- and I took Woodrow to the arcade to play some quarters away. You would think I was letting him gamble, the way he got so excited over some of those video games! That casino has an ice skating rink, which we checked out for whenever I let Emily come out to visit. She goes nowhere without her skates these days!

After that, we decided that the only thing we hadn't done that we would really like to do was to visit the Fremont Street Experience. So we drove allllll the way to old downtown Las Vegas and parked in a garage for $2. TWO BUCKS!!!! Sometimes the prices out there really freak me out. Talk about cheap! We wandered around for a bit, trying to find out when the next show would be. The Fremont Street Experience is the place with the ceiling that ... Oh, c'mon, you already know. I don't have to explain this. Music. Lights. Images on the ceiling. Very cool.

And we paid TWO BUCKS for parking!!!!!! I love Las Vegas.

Woodrow got thirsty, so we bought a bottle of water for him at a store. Then we bought a dice shirt for him from a street vendor -- that shirt is *way* too cheezy for words, and I love it!!!

The show finally started, and I don't know what I loved more, watching the ceiling myself or taking pics of Amy and Woodrow and the ceiling during the show. I nearly cried, it was so pretty!!!!!

There was a rock band on a side street, and they had go-go dancers bopping on top of their speakers for a big, rowdy crowd, so I was kinda ready to leave just because... well, it was Las Vegas and Woodrow is *so* young and innocent. So we left.

On the way back to Amy's house, we stopped at Fat Burger for one last, perfect chocolate milk shake. I love Fat Burger. But I love the milkshakes *more*.

We fired up the spa and all put on our swimsuits to soak in the hot tub for a while before bed.

All in all, it was a perfect ending to a lovely visit with my sister in her new house.


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