Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back from Vegas, Baby!

Oh my - and I want to go right back, LOL!  Weather was announced by the pilot as we zoomed in over my hometown from the southwest that the temperature was 59 degrees F.  Yeah, right!  It was fricking COLD out there, but at least there is no snow on the ground! I'm already coughing and hacking again from the surfeit of allergens suspended in the air, and shivering underneath a mondo large sweater because, despite the house being heated to 65 degrees F, there is still chill dampness in the air.  I hate this frigging climate. 

As the taxi whisked me home from the airport, I found myself wondering "where are all the cars?  Where are all the people?"  Every single thing that I saw at Mitchell International Airport was CLOSED.  And things actually were semi-busy for this time of night (my flight landed at 10 p.m. and arrived at the terminal about 6 minutes later).  Five flights arrived more or less within 30 minutes of each other so luggage pick-up was crowded with many hundreds of people looking for their checked bags.  But - no restaurants or bars open (could have used a quick drink); no sundries shops open!  TSA checkpoints CLOSED!  If that doesn't define Milwaukee as a hick town, I don't know what does. 

There were all of three (yes, three) cabs in the taxi queque when I finally wheeled my bag out to "Ground Transportation."  I got the second taxi in line and was home in about 12 minutes.  It's good to be back home, but it sucks, too!  Already I miss the hustle and the bustle of the Las Vegas Strip, despite the often claustrophobic conditons of trying to walk along Las Vegas Boulevard and, despite living out of suitcase for the past four days, I miss sleeping in my kingsized bed with the door to my own private balcony open, with just a sheet on to keep me "warm."  Ahhhh....

I sure do wish I could afford to live in New York City when I retire.  I love the weather in Las Vegas, even the tremendous strangling heat Mr. Don and I experienced when visiting for my birthday a couple years ago in August, but I won't kid you.  It was brutal.  The weather was breaking temperature records then.  Interestingly, while Mr. Don and I were breakfasting at the Peppermill a few days ago ( a sentimental visit; the prices are no longer what I consider a bargain but the food is still good and we never felt pressured to leave our table once we finished eating.  We left a generous tip in consequence -- ) we both couldn't help but overhear a conversation taking place right next to us between a local talking to a young guy who was hopeful of moving to LV.  The local was telling him that last year summer temperatures broke all-time record highs. That was an eye-opener.  All-time highs had been broken while Mr. Don and I were there in August, 2009.  And in 2010, new all-time highs were set. Whoa!  I've a feeling that will become the new normal now that climate changes are settling in over our part of the globe.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time! Good company, good food - I'm sure Mr. Don still has not begun to talk himself out and now he'll have to wait until our trip to Spain in January, 2012 to exercise his vocal chords to such effect again. 

I ran around this morning taking some photos at nearby Caesar's Palace, one of my favorite hang-outs.  It has changed so much over the years from the first time I saw it way back in 1981 (that Las Vegas is almost now totally disappeared and certainly the Caesar's Palace from that era is long gone).  I had taken several photos when venturing out early in the morning (early for Las Vegas, that is) but discovered, much to my dismay, that my memory card was full and nothing recorded).  My frustration and disappointment - well, to make a long story short, Mr. Don gave me a spare memory card he had yesterday (that is, on Good Friday), but we were so busy at Georgia and Michelle's place putting together a gas barbecue grill for 'Sis that I never took the camera out of my purse.

Sis pulled out a large cardboard box to the covered patio area yesterday about 1:30 p.m.  "Here's the grill," she proudly announced.  OH SHIT, I said to myself.  Maybe I said it out loud, too. 

And I tell you I never want to undertake such a frigging project ever ever again.  The miracle is that the damn thing did eventually get put together, after we had to partially deconstruct it at least 3 separate times because somehow a prior vital step had got overlooked -- and it didn't blow up when Sis tested it out. I suppose it's a miracle since we ended up with a few of "those" and did not have enough of "them" to construct the grill according to the instructions (if we'd done it right, that is). 

In any event, we got damn good grilled steaks off of it for our efforts.  And now Sis and Michelle have a gas grill. But I swore to the Goddess that if I ever give up using my Weber charcoal grill, I will get only get a gas grill if it is fully put together beforehand by EXPERTS, and personally delivered, set-up and tested before I ever use it! And I will never undertake such a project again.  Ever.  I'd rather write a thesus.

Here are some photographs from the grounds of Caesar's ever-changing Palace.  They provide a beautiful, peaceful and cool oasis amidst the hustle-bustle and they front right on Las Vegas Boulevard.  The grounds and location also provide endless spectacular views of the Las Vegas Strip both north and south.

Just starting on the north path off Las Vegas Boulevard on to Caesar's Palace garden grounds. 
Everywhere, roses are in full bloom in Las Vegas.

Looking at one of Harrah's Casino and Resort iconic signs with the "Jesters"  as I walked toward the entrance to the new Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace (on the left).  This is looking toward the northeast. 

This is a shot of the Imperial Palace, which is located just to the south of Harrah's, as I panned my camera from the
north to the south.  My room at the IP was on the 15th floor looking out toward this view.  Gorgeous! 

On the grounds of Caesar's Palace, looking south toward the City Center and the Cosmopolitan.  Everywhere are
banks of flowers, especially this time of year, fragrant roses.  The groundskeepers do a magnificent job. In front
of the hedge, wave after wave of fragrant petunias. 

On my way out of the Forum Shops, I took this photo of the large fountain area just to the south of the main entrance.
As you can see, it was a beautiful day, about 80 degrees F, a breeze out of the south, not too strong, just enough to provide some cooling. The sun is extremely intense.  I got a sunburn without even trying. 

More photos tomorrow.

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