donderdag 28 november 2013

27 nov: Trona, Ca - Las Vegas, NV

We started the day with another great homecooked meal; eggs and bacon and "biscuits" and some fruit. while we were enjoying our food, Robert said "Americans sure know how to make their bacon" they do!!
we didnt have a lot of time as we had a long drive to Vegas. With pain in our hearts we said goodbye to our friends, after promising to be back.

[while I write this, Las Vegas appears up in the distance. GOOD heavens its such an ugly town by daylight!!] Oohh now we have some time left we're going to get lunch at the same Trader Joe's where I murdered this laptop last time. Thats going to be interesting.]

Because of heavy storms and rainshowers, we had to chance our plans. the road through Death Vally was closed so we're not able to see Zabriski point, the sanddunes etc. Zabriski only with a huge detour, so we decided to let it be and drive straight to Las Vegas, esp because we expected buisy roads.
Another long drive trhough the desert, but this time it was only boring and not scary anymore (the desert can be scary I think) on our way we saw lots and lots of parked RV's that had dirtbikes with them and a lot of dirtbike riders in the dirt (oh great how well derscibed)
We passed the town of Red Mountain, population 130, with old old houses that looked like they would fall apart, old rusty trailers, lots of abandoned houses and sheds. Most of the rundown houses had very nice cars on the driveway :-)

We drove to Barstow where we got back on the I-15, but first we needed to get gas and coffee. Getting gas in the States is always a challenge for us (just like getting showers to work) but we did ok. Its a bit difficult because we dont know how big the tank of this car is.
For some reason we always end up in Barstow :-)

Great! I dropped my Barstow coffee in the car and it missed my laptop by INCHES. It did soak my seat. yay.

I-15 to Vegas, kinda boring after seeing it one time (and that one time was 2005 :-) stopped at stateline/Primm for bathroom break. Funny to be back there, we saw CCRevisted there 6 mnts ago! Also found nice sunglasses. tried to pay with my creditcard (never had one before, we were always able to pay with debitcard in the USA)it went kinda like "like this?" "no, like that!" "oh, like this?" "no, otherway round!" "like this?" "no, strip on that side!" "like this?" no, turn it around!"
then "sorry, I'm European" and the girl laughed out loud.

Check in at the hotel was at 3pm, and we were too early, ... so last minute discission to go to ... Trader Joes to get lunch and roadsnacks for the trip to San Francisco tomorrow (actually planned that for this evening in a different shop) it was weird to be back at the place were I killed my laptop. This time it survived.
It was a nice experience in the shop. First of all, when we walked in, they played Fogerty with Rocknroll Girls on the radio! AGAIN yeah I cant just go in a Trader Joe's quickly nomatter what I tell myself (Or Robert) picked out a healthy lunch, bought bulk fruits, and I found oatmeal without sugar, the same I use at home! I dont know if I'll be able to prepare it in hotels, otherways it will go home with me :-) some other stuff and we had lunch in the car, and then we drove to the Hard Rock.

So, Las Vegas AGAIN!

We checked in, friendly guy (everyone was very friendly, incl the random staff worker who waved bye bye to us when we left the parking on thursday morning. we smiled and wove back. I hope he understand he made our morning) I asked the man "will shops and things be closed earlier because of Thanksgiving tomorrow?" he laughed and said "this is Vegas baby, nothing closes earlier"
He seriously gave us a MAP of how to get to our room :-D
We had a good deal with the room (, and no they dont pay me) and it was ofcourse very nice. Not as huge as our 4 persons room 6 years ago, but still very laaaarge. Nice bed, superb matrass, everything nice. we sorted out our stuff, looked up some adresses again and went into town.

first stop: the Neon Museum. It had crossed my path earlier and a while ago I started reading about it, and I could make Robert enthousiastic for it too, so that was our first goal, a tour at the Neon museum by night.
We didnt book the tour so we hoped we could fit in.
First of all, our GPS never heard of N Las Vegas Blvd (he did know S Las Vegas blvd) but i managed to find Neon Museum between points of interest.
We drove north on the Strip (is it still called the Strip there?) passed the Pawn Stars shop, with a line of people in front, and Fremont street, with lots of light and it looked really cool at first glimpse. GPS told it was right there at Fremont, so we drove around the block a few times but didnt see anything. we wanted to turn around but no u-turns alowed so we drove quite far and then we all of a sudden saw it in the distance!
Well, it was closed. Bummer. At home, i especially looked for it on their website but it didnt say ANYTHING about being closed earlier today!! I was really really bummed and taking sneak peaks in the yard with all the unlit neonsigns didnt make it any better.

Okay, number two on the list then: the Pawn Stars pawnshop.
we parked and got out full of excitement because it was really cool to be there, we used to watch it all the time at home (its not on anymore in Belgium) Then a guy walked to his car, saw me and said "it's closed! they closed at 5 today!"
WHAT?! No!
Well, thats how it is, and it wont change by getting really pissed off, so we looked around, looked in the show through the window, took pictures and everything. It was not the real deal, but fun anyway.
All the time cars kept stopping in the parking lot and people with happy faces got out untill you heard someone say "its closed!"
Robert looked into the shop and said "you know what would REALLY piss me off? If I saw a Creedence poster on the wall that I dont have yet for a good price" :-D

Next stop on the list was a recordshop on E Sahara blvd, that was supposed to be opened till 11pm today. After getting lost and driving 25 times around the block, we found out it was CLOSED.

we sat in the car and wondered what now. Well, never give up, so we went to the next adress on the list; ZIA records on W Sahara (turned out to be near Trader Joes)

They were OPEN OPEN OPEN <3 <3 <3
Spent an good hour there, I thought it was a bit of a weird shop (qua people) Robert liked it but he didnt really find anything. In the mean time I looked at the other stuff they sold like band merchandise and stuff from movies and tv like Dr Who (I should have bought the Dalek stressball) and guitar-shaped spatulas etc.
We bought a present for someone and when we paid it was clear that they never have tourists or out of towners around but hey.

We still needed to eat, and we decided to go back to Fremont street,we would have all the time for that now, and we wanted to do that for a while too.
We parked somewhere and walked up to Fremont Street.

The first time I got to Las Vegas, years ago, I was dissapointed to see that the casinos on the Strip didnt look like the imagine I had in my head. It took a few years to find out, that the image of Las Vegas I had in my head, was actually downtown Las Vegas, Fremont street, like it was in the old days, with cool 50's and 60's stuff, incl the waving cowboy neonsign.

So, stepping up Fremont Street was quite a shock. A few years ago, they build some kind of roof thing over the street to display a lightshow (called "the Fremont Street experience") but for me that roof made it look like a mall, Robert said it too later.
Las Vegas never fails to amaze me. Everytime when I think I've seen it all :-D
There were girls dancing on bars not wearing much. There was also a guy dancing on a bar, at least that's something. There where lots of "actors" walking around waiting for you to take your picture with them. We saw a few Elvisses, Batmen and Kiss-members, but most types were showgirls, or half naked girls wearing "naughty" outfits. Boobies and buttcheeks everywhere. Some girls were only wearing nipple "thingies" (like burlesque dancers). I thought the showgirls were cool, esp the ones that were covered up a bit. (I'm getting old :-D) with pretty costumes and pretty make up. (some of  those girls just showed off their boobs and butts) some of them were really flexibel!!! Had my picture taken with two really pretty girls who could lift their legs in their neck (almost) but it's on Roberts camera so it might take a while to show up online.
So, with all the half naked women walking around, and being in America, I was a bit surprised to see all these families with (young) children!
We both liked all the neon lights, and I finally saw the waving cowboy :-) Too bad of that "mall-feeling" but it was still nice to be there.
We saw the famous "Heart Attack Grill" where you can eat for free if you're over 350 lbs (for the europeans: REALLY FAT) The waitresses are dressed like nurses and the customers get a hospital shirt to wear :-) )outside was a scale to step on, wich I did. i cant remember how much it was and I looked at the numbers going "??"

we decided to leave this part of Fremont and walk ahead. (other part of Fremont). This is downtown Las Vegas and we were prepared to see a lot of weirdos of all kind but it wasnt that bad.  Smaller casino's here and bars and also some fun neonlights.

And something called "Container Park" At home thats something you bring your waste for recycling, and we took a look because it looked pretty. They stacked freight containers and inside each were little shops, galeries, bars and restaurants. Very nice done.
Lot of security people walking around, (like in the casinos) all very friendly, and willing to talk about what was going on here.(this project)

we were getting tired and really hungry and decided to go back to the hotel. By the time we were ready to eat, we were so tired and confused about what Karl told us about getting the "backstage pass" card and getting a good meal somewhere, so we just walked in one of the restaurants and ordered spaghetti and something I forgot the name of, but it was totally not what I expected. Still good.
After the meal we were ready to gamble a bit, and I won 5 dollar but lost them again. Yeah, we're the big fish :-D
I hope I'm able to post the little video I shot, when I won a bit!
Time to go to back to our huge room and to bed.

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