Tuesday, 10 September 2013

225 Las Vegas - again

Thursday 5th September
Vegas continued.

The journey was pretty straight forward, but long.  We found the garage for the Flamingo hotel and booked in at about 7pm.  Our great intentions of partying, disappeared and as much as we could muster was a short walk around, dinner and bed.  Age is a serious leveler. 

Friday 6th Sept 2013
Miles Today  0 Total  20,036

We had thought we would walk up and down Vegas today and do all the things we hadn't  done last time we were here or in fact last night. However that didn't happen.
I wanted to go shopping so that I could look my best for Donny tonight and Ray was just very patient.  However, the crowds, the endless bars, casinos and revelers carrying 3 liters of margarita in a souvenir glass, whilst staggering down the Strip in impossibly high heels, beat us down. Plus when we walked through the Belaggio Hotel shopping mall, and nothing in the windows had a price tag  or had size zero on it, I knew Donny was going to miss out on my best efforts.  I decided that my childhood crush, the teenager of my dreams couldn't possibly be so shallow, so would be happy that I had made the effort anyway.  (Yeah way to go girl!  I'm happy in my little place).
As it happened we wandered into our previous hotel, the Planet Hollywood, and discovered a whole inside shopping area, done out in a very Disney fashion, that we didn't even know existed.  We also found the the Flamingo had a small park with a selection of flamingo's and other water birds, it is quite restful away from all the bells and cheers and sobbing of the casino areas.

The Flamingo hotel garden with er.....Flamingos

And a couple of previously injured, non flying, pelicans.

and turtles too. These were around 8" across.

an idiot in stilettos.
The shopping mall, "The mile long Mall" had this as a permanent display.

They look better on Karen

I know we look happy but, Coors Light is like fortified tap water.

Well 7pm arrived and Ray and I raced down the stairs, Ray only because I was pulling him.  We were sat in front of the stage and unfortunately, no photo's or video were allowed, so you don't get to see me kissing Donny and Ray dancing with Marie.  Okay, sorry, slipped back into the dreaming...
The show was great fun, and Marie turned out to be fantastic, she could sing, country, rock and roll and she sang opera,"Nesan Dorma", it was amazing.  Donny was fantastic as well, but the reason for the cancelled show was he has injured himself.  He had detached his gluteus medius  tendons and he had just had an operation to re attach them.  He was not allowed to dance and so spent a lot of the time on a stool and walked with a cane.  You could see he was in pain, but in my eyes it was worth waiting for, Ray was quite taken with Marie, so we left happy, it was good fun and a good show.
We wandered back through the casino and decided that we couldn't leave Vegas for the last time without at least having a bet at a table, so we chose a Blackjack table.  We got 20 dollars worth of chips and beginners luck, we won 116 dollars and got 2 free drinks.  We were happy, not being gamblers, we thought we'd won the lottery.  We took the money and ran.

Saturday 7th Sept 2013
Miles Today 407 Total  20,443

We are not sad to see the last of Vegas, today was a bit of shopping on the outskirts of town for some much needed replacements and then we drove the long journey back to Bear and Stephanie's.

The usual gun section in the sports shop.

Man on the left, Ladies on the right !

The fishing section of the shop. It was massive.
They both had musical engagements, so we stopped off for a beer in Solvange, which looks beautiful at night time with all the lights and then we headed home and had an early night, grateful for the beautiful peace and quiet.  Oh we made sure the cats were alright and found this seriously ugly bug, one of those, only a mother could love, in the house, even the cats were unsure.
Turns out to be a Jerusalem Cricket. It was about 1.5" long and harmless.

We captured it and hoped Bear would know what it was, we have never seen anything like it.
The wheel rim had arrived, Rick I seriously love you, Ray say's your an okay guy.

Sunday 8th Sept 2013
Miles Today 0 Total

Ray was up at the crack of dawn, wanting to do manly things after being made to deal with Vegas again.
We had to interrupt him to feed him, our hosts took us to another great breakfast joint, and then Bear was off to a jamming session and Stephanie was going to prune trees.  We met Bears mother, who was very patient with us as we incorrectly named her plants, she is a very talented gardener, and smiled sweetly at us as we pointed and showed ourselves up.  
I sunned myself back at the "Ranch" and had a complete cat fix.   Whilst Ray did the important stuff, you know, like make sure the bike works and reinventing (OK, rebuilding) the rear wheel.
Stephanie did a meal, and later that evening, when Bear returned,  we spent a lovely evening sitting out on the deck, drinking beers, eating chocolate and crisps, a lot of star gazing, unbelievable how many you can see and the milky way.
We discussed the world and the politics of it all. 
I find that as an ex police officer, in my job, I had to be impartial in my dealings and with my political views.  It is lovely now to be able to speak freely.  It may not suit everybody, but boy it feels good.  The other thing that has become apparent is, if  I'm asked about any situations that happened to me, or Ray, and let's face it, Ray had to deal with the worst, I am now happy to swing the lead, (tell you the tail till you are bored).  It happened to another Karen, I lost a lot of sleep at the time, but nothing compared to Ray, It's like I'm telling a story of a different  person.  Strange, but weirdly liberating, oh no too much hippy talk.. love you guy's !!!!

Monday 9th Sept 2013
Miles Today 217  Total  20,660

Stephanie had to be up early, so we were there at 6.30am for a farewell committee.  Poor soul's they must be glad to get their space back.

Camping on the deck

Steph and Bears place, deep in the woods among millionaires houses.

Bear left not too long after and then we took the hire car back and set off on our way North, towards San Francisco.
When we had set off the temperature was 31C and we were in T shirts. As we got closer to the coast it got suddenly colder and colder and by the time we had gone 70 miles we had our thermal jackets and our biker jackets on. It was now only 16C. We stopped for a bowl of soup at a little seaside town of Morro Bay.The sea mist was rolling in and we were freezing.
Whilst having lunch we could hear seals barking and went to find out why. It was a fish processing deck and the seals were doing the dog beside the table thing.

The seals are circling around for the fish waste
Further up the coast we came upon a stretch of beach that was famous for grazing sea lions. We were not disapointed. These guys were huge.

for some reason, they like to throw sand over themselves. Stops sunburn maybe.

Further up the road we came across a herd of Elk on the move and Karen managed to capture a rut.

"I want the one in the beige hoof shaped stilettos", "Nope, I claimed her first"

As we grove further up the coast and through a small town called Big Sur the sea mist, although blocking our view of the coast was seriously spooky.
The sea mist rolling over the road

At higher levels you could see over the mist.

This was just plain wierd

This gives a better perspective of it.
Sadly the mist ruined what is one of the prettiest and most famous scenic drives in the USA.
We arrived in Carmel-by-the-sea at around 7pm. Carmel was made famous in 1988 by Clint Eastwood, a very popular actor of the time, being elected Mayor with his election promise being to wake the town up and stop petty bureaucracy in the towns council.
Whilst looking for a motel we stumbled upon the Carmel Mission. It is a Catholic church built around 1770.

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