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A Week in Las Vegas, Nevada

May 26, 2006

Hello from Las Vegas, Nevada. But first let me tell you about the trip getting here. As I mentioned at the conclusion of my last update, we were going to be driving through southern Utah along Hwy 89. This route took us through Zion National Park and it was beautiful. Because the roads were old and narrow, we had to unhook the Blazer from the motorhome. They were meant for the old cars of the 1920's and 1930's. But the canyons and cliffs were spectacular and we can't wait to get back there during our Utah visit.

Ok, back to Las Vegas. Did you know that Las Vegas means "The Meadows". The valley was originally settled by two large ranches around a spring creating the lush oasis. That's were the name comes from.

Anyway, we arrived to hot 100+ temperatures on Wednesday evening and setup camp. We are staying at the Outdoor Resorts RV Park just south of the Las Vegas Strip. This place is probably the most luxurious RV park we've seen. Fortunately we had a 50% off coupon from when we purchased the RV at LazyDays. Outdoor Resorts is an owner occupied RV park, almost like condos. All of the spacious sites are paved with full hook-ups including cable and landscaping. About half of the sites within this resort are privately owned and have been upgraded to include even more landscaping for a tropical look. Most of them also have patio furniture, outdoor storage room, and a huge outdoor kitchen with stainless steel appliances. I'd also have to say that most of the motorhomes here are more than $500k coaches too.

On Thursday after the boys finished their homeschool lessons, we went down to Circus Circus Casino. It is probably the most family friendly casino here. They have an indoor amusement park complete with a roller coaster, water ride, and other activities. As soon as we entered the hotel lobby looking for the roller coasters, we were nabbed by a greeter who could tell what we were looking for. FREE TICKETS! Ok, so that's not exactly what we were looking for but it works. He took us over to this counter for Tahiti Village timeshare resort. After hearing that we would get free wristbands for the amusement park and a free Las Vegas buffet dinner, we signed up to sit through the timeshare presentation that afternoon. Just three hours of our time would save us about $150.

While we waited for our presentation, we went upstairs to the arcade area, played some games and watched a few of the circus acts. Then we had to go back downstairs and was shuttled down the street to the timeshare resort. After it was all over, we said no thanks to the timeshare and picked up our certificates for the free stuff. By the time we returned to Circus Circus, it was 4:00 p.m. and the rides closed at 6:00 p.m. Therefore we decided to come back on Friday when we had more time to ride the rides. So we just drove around a little before returning back to the RV. Even though we hadn't done much, sitting through a timeshare presentation can be exhausting.

Friday came and our plans quickly changed. Lucas had developed a swollen cheek overnight and we thought he may have caught the mumps. Researching the internet throughout the day, it didn't appear as though anything needed to be done except to wait out the 5 days for him to get better. By late afternoon though Cricket was still worried that we should see a doctor, so she called the free "Ask A Nurse" number to get more information. She was then directed to go to a 24 hour clinic to get Lucas checked out. As it turned out, he didn't have the mumps but a cavity causing an infection. He was prescribed some antibiotics for the infection and referred to a dentist. We set the dentist appointment of for 7:00 am Monday morning.

Ok now since it was just a bad tooth, we headed back into Las Vegas on Saturday. This time we went to the Stratosphere Tower first. At 1149 feet, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the United States and the tallest building west of the Mississippi. And at the top of it they have three thrill rides. We stopped by the observation deck first to look out over the city before heading up to the roof where the rides were. Once we got to the top, Cricket and Lucas were the only ones who wanted to ride anything. However Lucas was too short and Cricket didn't want to go by herself. If these rides were on the ground, it wouldn't be a problem. But at over 1100 feet, I chickened out! So we left, going downstairs for lunch in their buffet.

Once we arrived back at Circus Circus we remembered one thing: today was Saturday and there wasn't very many other places for parents to take their kids in Las Vegas. Wow, this place was packed compared to when we were here the other day! After getting our wristbands, we went to the water ride first. It wasn't too bad. We got a little wet. Then we went over to the roller coaster. It didn't look like much. All you could see was the main drop and two loops. The rest was hidden. It was about a 30 minute wait due to the crowds. (The other day we could have rode all the rides in just 30 minutes!) Once we got on the roller coaster, it turned out to be better than it looked. The tunnels were dark and made for a fun ride. After that, even the boys didn't want to deal with the crowds anymore so we just went to the arcade area.

After the boys spent all their money in the arcade, it was still only about 3:00 in the afternoon and we were not yet hungry because of the big lunch we ate. But we were tired and headed home. It was too hot outside to go anywhere else. By dinner time none of us felt like driving back to Circus Circus to use our buffet tickets so we ate at the RV. And they were only good for 48 hours so they became worthless. Oh well.

Sunday was too hot to do anything during the day. Cricket and the boys stayed home. After a while, I got bored and headed out to do some Geocaching. Later that evening, Cricket and I went to the Sahara. Cricket first played some BlackJack, but didn't do so well there. Then we found a Texas Holdem table where instead of playing against other players you go heads-up against the dealer. She played while I watched and actually recouped her loss from the BlackJack table. After a couple of hours, we returned home.

We woke up early Monday morning in order to make our 7:00 a.m. appointment at the dentists office. After examining Lucas, the dentist determined he needed a cap on his tooth. Because he had already eaten before hand, he couldn't do it then. We rescheduled another appointment for Tuesday to have his tooth capped. Also on Tuesday he received a full dental exam and we then returned on Thursday to have a full cleaning performed and his molars sealed.

We also had Adam examined and he needs a more thorough cleaning. This normally requires four separate visits. However, they can also accomplish this by surgical means putting Adam to sleep and doing it all at one time. Because of previous experiences with Adam at the dentist, we opted for this method. This couldn't be done until June 21st, so we'll have to make a trip back from northern California which is about 8 hours away.

So we spent most of the time here in Las Vegas in the motorhome because of the heat. I did some Geocaching on a couple of occasions. Then Cricket and I went out on a couple of nights. I think we all gained a few pounds from the buffets in town as well!

Well now we're are sitting here on a Friday about noon waiting for the mail to arrive. As soon as it gets here we will be off to Southern California.

See you next time,

Above: Fremont Street during the day. Below: Fremont Street at night with the worlds largest video screen.