Posts Tagged ‘Travel Tales-West Coast’

Westward Ho! 4/26/12-4/28/12

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Note: Westward Ho! covers April 25, 3012-May 8, 2012. This posting covers our next  2 1/2 days in Las Vegas.

Up early. Too cool to swim, so we went shopping on “The Strip,” as it is called. Most of the major hotels and casinos and shops are on The Strip. Since we had rented a car, we drove to the Wynn Hotel and parked there so we could walk around. Here is a photo of a beautiful sculpture in front of the Wynn.

We browsed the stores. Alan purchased three pairs of nice slacks in a mall. Then we went to Nieman-Marcus  and I tried on a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes that I loved, but not in love enough to pay $650 for them! Lovely but ludicrous!




After returning to our hotel we just relaxed and then met my son Ira for a special 70 anniversary showing of Casablanca on a big screen at one of the hotels called The Orleans, where we stayed once before. It was off The Strip, but close by. I don’t think I ever saw it on a big screen and it was terrific! I love Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It was a lovely day and evening. I am beginning to unwind from all the preparations to travel and the flight itself.





4/27- Up at 6 am, feeling well rested. Using an extra laptop my son left me yesterday, I checked my emails and deleted those that were unimportant. After Alan got up and showered we went downstairs to a small restaurant in THE Hotel. It was quiet and restful, not like the eateries in the area between our hotel and the main hotel called Mandalay Bay Hotel. We went to the post office to buy stamps for postcards and then to the pool for R & R. Still not that hot, thank goodness, so we just lounged on one of the couches and chairs near the pool, but in the shade. This hotel has several pools, one of which makes waves!



In the evening we went to dinner with my son and daughter-in-law, who finally finished her work at the radio station for the week. Went back to The Orleans for dinner and to see Dennis Miller, the comedian. (see photo below). He was very sharp and entertaining, a sophisticated kind of humor with a political bent. I was asleep by 10:30 pm. No trouble sleeping! Alan went downstairs to do a little gambling. He won last night, but lost tonight.



4/28- Our last morning in Las Vegas. We fly out this afternoon. Ira & Samantha picked us up for breakfast and we went to Bagelmania. Great Jewish Deli in Las Vegas! I had an old fashioned egg cream, which I haven’t had in years.



After a hearty breakfast, we went to see where my son and wife live on the outskirts of Vegas. Once we left The Strip with the foliage that is not necessarily native to Nevada, I felt as though I was in a wasteland. Everything was dry and barren, just like the desert it really is without the hotels and their greenery. Rents are “dirt cheap,” because Vegas was hit very hard by the recession.

These flowers in front of the Wynn Hotel are not native to Nevada, I am sure.

Sam & I went shoe shopping and she took me to a great supermarket called Glazier’s. Seems that Mr. & Mrs. Glazier, who owned stores in Chicago, moved to Las Vegas to retire. Mr. Glazier became bored and opened up a market in the neighborhood where Ira & Sam live. It was similar to a Whole Foods, with Mrs. Glazier’s recipes in the take-out section. For two years it has received the Best of  Las Vegas award in the Las Vegas Review Journal Poll. So if you go to Vegas and crave some good supermarket fare, try Glazier’s.

We said our good-byes and took the plane in the late afternoon for our next destination: Los Angeles and Alan’s son & partner’s home in West Hollywood, where some of the stars live.  Las Vegas is like Disney World for Adults, all glitz & glitter on The Strip and all dry and barren away from “the action.” Lots to do if you stay where the action is, but glad we just visit and not live there. This will be Ira & Sam’s first summer there, so we will get reports on living in the desert, I am sure!

Westward Ho! 4/25/12

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Note: Westward Ho! covers April 25, 3012-May 8, 2012

At the end of April and the beginning of May, my husband and I made a two-week itinerary to see his son Jay in L.A., my son Ira in Las Vegas, and my two daughters, one in San Luis Obispo (Central Calif.) & one in Berkeley (Northern Calif.) with their respective partners. My son had moved to Calif. & then later to Nevada about 23 years ago, Alan’s son about 20 years ago, my older daughter two years ago, and my youngest daughter only 6 months ago.

Since this was our first trip to see all of them, I thought I would keep a journal, perhaps not so exotic as A Room in Rome, which I posted last summer, but maybe interesting enough to warrant sharing places we went and photos of the western part of our large country.

California map
Here is a map of California, but you can also see Las Vegas, Nevada to the right of Mt. Whitney. L.A. is below the red letters of California, San Luis Obispo (SLO) is directly west & a little south of Las Vegas, and Berkeley is in the north a little above San Francisco, but not labeled on this map. We covered a lot of territory in 2 weeks!

Wed., 4/25, 10:20 am– Sitting at the airport, waiting for our plane. Not crowded, but then it’s a Wednesday and off-season, so a good time to fly. Our first stop in Las Vegas to see my “digital” son Ira and my daughter-in-law Samantha. They recently moved to Vegas from Reno, which is better for us because we can take a non-stop flight. USAir goes directly to L.V., but not directly to Reno.

We packed “tight,” with only carry-on luggage. Quite a challenge, but then this year has been a challenge for me with my youngest child and her partner moving to Calif., my mother-in-law’s death (which I posted in March), and my grandson’s announcement that he will not be on the Temple campus in Philadelphia, but rather studying in Rome at the Temple- Rome program. I am happy for my daughter and grandson’s opportunities, but sad that now all my kids are so far away, like the title of Carole King’s song from the 1970s.

This Spring also brought changes in our apartment, with new bamboo floors in the den and living room, creating a mess in our apartment, complicated by the fact that they crimped our TV cable and we had to wait two weeks before everything was fixed. In between we had Passover with a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and changing my clothes over from winter to summer. I really need this vacation and plan to do a lot of my favorite activity: Nothing!

My dining room before vacation when we had wood floors installed . I needed to get away from this mess!

Arrived in Las Vegas by dinnertime in the Pacific Time Zone. Had dinner with my son. Sam was still working. We went to an Ethiopian restaurant with very flavorful veggies and beans on injera bread, a type of spongy bread used in Ethiopia that is supposedly gluten-free. (Food for my wheat restricted diet.) The bread is used to scoop up the food without traditional utensils.

Picture of Ehtiopian injera bread covered with veggies & I spices and lamb. (I had a veggie injera platter.) Spongy bread is broken off with the hands and wrapped around the food.

After dinner, Ira took us back to our hotel, called THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay because I was exhausted from the flight & started feeling my eyes close. Enough for one day! Ira didn’t mind. He is my oldest child and my only son, most like me, so very easy to be with because his hyperactive mind is like mine.  He looks good with a snippet of gray at his temples. He will be 49 on his next birthday, which makes me almost 75! Hard to believe, but the calendar doesn’t lie! Off to sleep….

Internet Photo of THE Hotel @ Mandalay Bay. It was off season so we were able to get a special rate for a suite, which was nice, but far to walk from THE Hotel to the other parts of the mall it was in that housed restaurants, the pool, the Mandalay Bay main hotel, etc..