Thursday, 17 March 2011

03/03/2011 - 16/03/2011 LV - Death Valley - LV

One thing that I did forget to mention in the previous Blog was that when we were waiting for our driver and passenger chairs to be re-upholstered, we needed to move sites.  Well of course we didn't have any chairs so out came the camper chair for Dave to drive - luckily we didn't need to go far.

03/03/2011 - LV Speedway.  Today we headed on over to the LV Speedway for NASCAR (never thought it would be something that  I would do).  The first bonus was that when we pulled along the RV Park is that the Nellis Air Force Base is just across the ride.  We have front row seats for all the flying over of the Jets, Bombers, Thunderbirds and other assorted aircraft.  The Thunderbirds are also at this base at the moment as they will be doing a flyover on Saturday and Sunday.  Another first for me I never thought I could just sit and watch these magnificent flying craft take off, fly, do some tricks and land, for hours on end.  I've seen some aircraft that really look like UFO's.  In the afternoon we went for a wander over to the track for a look around.  Inside the track the Sam's Town 300 Practice was going on and it wasn't long before the Big Fella had his fingers in his ears trying to drown out the noise - it was a lot louder than listening to the Jets etc fly over. So our first stop tomorrow will be to get the Big Fella some ear plugs.  After we had wandered back to our RV Site we got talking to our neighbours at the back (Linda and Ray).  They have been coming to this track ever since it opened and have spare tickets where they are sitting - a lot higher up and a lot less noisy.  So they gracefully offered us their spare tickets.  Apparently it has taken them a while to get these season tickets - 7 years- so we are very luck and very grateful - they could spare Dave's ears.  I mean it's not as if he hasn't had to put up with a lot of noise lately, and I speak so softly, you think he would be used to it by now.

04/03/2011 - LV Speedway.  On our way over to the track we visited our other next door neighbours to the left who didn't have any tickets for Friday - so they got lucky and got our tickets.  We said to them that if they wanted any more for Saturday / Sunday to let us know and we would sell them ours, so that we could give Linda and Ray some money to give to their friends who unfortunately had to pull out at the last minute.  We wandered over to the track to see the Kobalt Tools 400 qualifying.  The new seats that we have are fantastic, they are up a lot higher so you can see the entire track and the noise isn't so deafening (although the Big Fella still had his ear plugs in).  We were lucky enough to see Marcus Ambrose (from Tasmania) qualify 2nd on the Pole.  His average speed was approx. 300km's per hour.  Back in Stubbie that evening our two neighbours dropped by to thank us for the seats and then bought our tickets for Saturday and Sunday - so at least we can give Linda and Ray some money to give to their friends.

 05/03/2011 - LV Speedway.  Today the helicopters started flying in - it is $500 for a round trip from Las Vegas - it is amazing just how many people use this mode of transport.  We wandered around the Track area etc.  We have estimated that there would be close to 4000 RV's here - it really is amazing.  We watched the Sam's Town 300 race.  It is 300 miles, the track is 1.5 miles long so it was 200 laps.  Dave and I where actually relieved when we found out it was 200 laps, being the novices that we are we thought it was 300 laps - it was going to be a long day.  After about 50 laps we were starting to count down, but a nice cold Strawberry Margarita fixed that problem so we sat back and enjoyed the rest of the race before heading back to Stubbie.  After a wee rest for the Big Fella we went and had a drink with our next door neighbours - who gave us some interesting facts.  NASCAR racing started out in the deep south, when the moonshine runners started to suped up their cars to outrun the police. Then of course everyone was bragging that they had the fastest car, so of course they started to race around a dirt track - and that's where it all began.  After dinner we then headed on over to Ray and Linda's place for yet another drink (so much for drying out), where they tried and enjoyed some of Dave's Bundy Rum, their enjoyment didn't last too long when the Big Fella bought out the Vegemite - I think Linda's comment was that she didn't really go for it.

 06/03/2011 - LV Speedway.  The day for the Big Race has arrived and as we found out it starts early.  We were woken up by helicopters flying over at 6:00am.  We headed on over to the track around 10:30, where we wandered around for a bit (oh and bought some Daiquiris) before heading on up to our seats.  The Las Vegas Speedway has seating for approximately 150,000 it was going to be a busy day.  The Kobalt 400 is 400 miles - better keep those ice cold drinks coming.  One of the pre race activities was watching a helicopter doing some stunts over the side of the track - this was incredible, I've never seen a helicopter being maneuvered like that.  We thoroughly enjoyed the race and we were very glad that we came - I loved the social side and watching all the people and cars / trucks.  We did feel left out though as we were about the only ones that didn't have flags flying from their Rigs, racing stripes down the side of either car / track and or RV and we didn't have the right apparel to wear, everyone seems to have a Shirt and Jacket supporting their team.  Another thing that interested Dave and I was to count how many people could fit on top of one RV - 13 was
 the most that we could count.  Marcos Ambrose finished in 4th place, which we thought was a great result.  After the race we wandered back to the RV park and had a few drinks first with our neighbours on our left Rick and Gary. Rick was talking about one of his mates who is a producer for The Legends Show, so he is going to try and get some free tickets for us - what a bonus, but of course that means we will need to hang around Vegas for another couple of days.  After drinks with Rick and Gary, we wandered over to our neighbours at the back, Ray and Linda, for a quick chat and time to say good bye.

07/03/2011 - Today we need to pack up and move on - of course into Vegas.  I know this might come as a complete surprise, but I think we were in the last group of 10 to leave - remembering there was about 4000 RV's here - oh well some things never change.

08/03/2011 -10/03/2011. We arrive back into Vegas - and have decided that it is time to get our front TV fixed - so the Big Fella gets it out and takes it over to a repair shop.  The TV intermittently goes all static - of course it doesn't always happen when you want it to.  So after Dave drops it off at the shop - it sits there going for a day or two before it actual happens.  We've had a couple of relaxing days and have decided that tomorrow we will head off to Death Valley and wait for the diagnosis on the TV.

11/03/2011 - Today we have arrived at Death Valley and go and take a look at the golf course just across the road and book ourselves in for a game of golf - yeah.  The Big Fella is excited it's his first chance (other than the driving range) to try out his new clubs. For me this will be the first time I've even hit the clubs - so we are both looking forward to it - of course like usual there is always a bet on it - we decided that The Big Fella would give me 14 shots. After organising our golf etc we drove up to Dante's view for a spectacular view looking down at the Badlands. It is just so beautiful to sit out in the middle of nowhere and look up at the night sky - very relaxing and quiet - a bit of a change from the last few weeks.

 12/03/2011 - Of course we are both up bright and early ready to hit the course.  The Furnace Creek Golf course is 214 feet below sea level - the lowest golf course in the world.  Well I don't want to brag - but hey it doesn't happen too often (okay never) after about 11 holes it was all over - I was 9 holes up on the Big Fella.  I was still really nervous as I have never ever ever even come close to beating the Big Fella off the stick.  I was two shots up after the first nine and coming into the 18th hole I only had to Bogey it to beat him - but yep you guessed it I choked - double Bogey - but still I'm so so happy we tied off the stick.  Something that I will remember for a very long time - I'm sure the Big Fella will try to forget it and get his revenge today. By the way we both had an 86.  One of the little quirks about this course is that when you need to go to the cafe / bar you just drive your cart right upto the window and order - you gotta love it.

13/03/2011 - Time to move to another campsite in Death Valley so off we go to Stovepipe Wells.  Today we have decided to go up to Darwin Falls and then up to Scotty's Castle.  The hike into Darwin Falls was quite an interesting hike - only for us a bit disappointing when you got to the Falls itself, it was small - but oh well we got some great exercise and really enjoyed the hike in and hike.  After Darwin Falls we head on up to Death Valley Scotty's Castle.

14/03/2011 - This morning we headed on up to the Mosaic Canyon for a 4 mile hike - what great exercise, there was a lot of uphill scrambling over rocks and boulders.  The hike was really beautiful seeing the different colours in their rocks and mountains and then to see how smooth some of the rocks were was just unbelievable, the rocks were so smooth that on the way down you just slide down them like a slippery slide, it was a lot easier coming down than going up.  After our hike we set off for Pahrump a little town we had noticed on the way up.  We are staying at Terrible's Casino RV Park - of course.  We are not far from a golf course - so of course the first thing we do is go and check it out - the Big Fella is keen for revenge.  The course looks absolutely magnificent and green - out in the middle of a desert.  The cost for playing before 12:00 is $65, after 12 $45 and then after 2 $25 which includes the cost of the cart - so we are all set-up for tee off at 2:10pm.  I must admit I'm scared, but I will always have Death Valley to remember.

15/03/2011 - Well - he got me by +6.  The Big Fella played really well and sunk some great putts.  The course 'Moutain Falls Golf Club' was absolutely beautiful and for me very challenging. It was hard to believe that you were playing out in the desert.  The grass was so green, off the fairways was just desert and then you would look up and the tops of the mountains were covered in snow.  Dave did say it was one of the best courses he has ever played.  I felt like I was at the beach - I kept finding those frustrating sand bunkers.  We played with two lovely people June and Gene from Colorado.  They were really surprised at how far the Big Fella and I could hit the ball and even more surprised at the accuracy of the Big Fella (show-off).  At one stage Gene hit a great shot which we all applauded and he then said that even a blind squirrel will find some nuts.  All in all  a great day.

16/03/2011 - Today will be spent in Pahrump and then we will be starting our journey over to Arizona - of course via Vegas.  I keep telling The Big Fella that all roads go through Vegas...  I had a lovely morning sitting outside of Stubbie feeding some of the local ducks.  They would let you hand feed them but they were quite vicious and it reminded me of Moose at a Buffet.

Another thing I didn't mention in the earlier blog was that Sim and H were so very kind in giving Dave and I each a gift before they left.  They got the Big Fella a lovely bell so that he could ring it in the morning for when he is ready for his breakfast in bed - as if he needs one, and then I got a lovely cup from Vegas - saying I got smashed in Vegas - as if I need reminding, I can still remember the hangover from hell, not the actual night.  Now after a couple of weeks of hearing Dave ring his bell - I'm ready to put it where the sun doesn't shine....

Saturday, 5 March 2011

02/02/2011 - 28/02/2011 - Las Vegas - San Francisco - LA - Las Vegas

The girls have arrived and I've been trying to update the Blog - but I must admit this is one of the hardest blogs to write, I can't seem to remember the days too clearly, okay I can remember some of the days but not the nights or the early mornings they all seem to blur together. One of the great things about having Sim and H here is that there is always one of us who remembers the nights / early mornings and is more than happy to replay the events for the other one / two. So here goes, but I do apologise if this is inaccurate, but this is the best that my memory can do.

02/02/2011 - Las Vegas - I didn't get a lot of sleep last night I was so excited that Simone and Heather were about to arrive - a bit like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning. We arrived at the airport early - not wanting to miss them coming down the escalator. Unfortunately, their flight had been changed - even though they were still arriving at the same time - their carrier and flight number had changed, we did not know this. So I was pacing up and down the arrival point - not so patiently. And then all of a sudden we could see this big black boot coming down the escalators and I knew they had arrived. It was so great to see them, I was so excited - they looked fantastic, perhaps a bit tired. We all piled into Shooter and headed off to the RV Park at Circus Circus. The girls unpacked had a shower, and the first of many many many many wines to come before we headed out to Circus Circus for dinner, drinks and a bit of a gamble. I knew after our first pitcher of Margarita's at dinner that it was only going to get ugly from here - 21 days to go...
03/02/2011 - Today the girls and I headed off to do a bit of shopping at the Outlets - a few bargains were found before we headed back home to Stubbie to have a bite to eat before going out to the Bellagio and Caesars Palace. The big fella was good enough to be our driver and dropped us off outside the Bellagio - Simmy's foot has come in handy. We had a great night out and all arrived home safely - even though H had a bit of trouble negotiating the stairs into Stubbie.

04/02/2011 - Today we went to Bally's to the Price is Right Show - we had a great night but unfortunately none of us where called up, so we didn't get a chance to win any prizes. After the Price is Right we headed on out to the Paris Casino. Yet again another night full of drinking and gambling - fun all around.

05/02/2011 - Tonight we all head on out to the Italian Restaurant at New York New York for a lovely meal. After dinner we do a bit of gambling before saying goodbye to the big fella. After New York New York we head on over to the MGM and for me it really gets ugly. We end up drinking well into the night before hitting the nightclubs (yes I thought I was 20 again - and no my dancing hasn't improved). I believe we got home around 4:30 - my memory failed me around midnight. H's memory didn't fail here and she was so happy to let Simmy and I know how much fun we had. I must admit I couldn't stop laughing when H
recalled the story of whilst we were in the first night club, Simmy decided that her foot was way to sore after all her dancing and walking that night and couldn't possible walk to the taxi, so H organised a wheel-chair for her. But of course, I wasn't ready to go home yet (so H tells me) and decided that we really really needed to go to another nightclub, so Simmy being a great team player asked the guy who was pushing her in the wheel chair to take her into the nightclub - where I believe we kept on dancing, well that's what I called it.

06/02/2011 - I spent nearly all the day and night nursing an awful hangover. The girls went and did a bit of souvenir shopping and then stayed in Stubbie and played some cards and yes drank some more wine.  I couldn't even stand the smell of it.

07/02/2011 - Today we have decided to start the drive to San Francisco. I must admit I'm still recovering from my hangover. We drive for about an hour before we get to our first stop Buffalo Bills, Pimm Valley. Sim and H go and visit the Outlet Shops and then being real troopers decided to head on over to the casino, I'm staying in.

08/02/2011 - Today we drive from Pimm Valley to San Fernando. On the way we stop at some more outlet shops, where not only do I leave my mobile phone in the leather shop, I also need to purchase a new leather jacket, as I left my leather jacket in a taxi. (I finally confessed to The Big Fella a few days after the girls left). When we arrived in San Fernando I needed to go and purchase a new phone, so whilst we were out we stopped off at the Red Lobster for a delicious meal, where I could finally stomach an alcohol beverage.

09/02/2011 - San Fernando - San Francisco. The drive from San Fernanco to San Francisco is quiet a long boring drive (about 6 hours drive) - not for Sim though, she has found her place on the lounge and can fall to sleep in about 10 minutes after we head off, not great company for H, who doesn't have this luxury. We had been driving for about an hour or two when we pull over to change drivers and Sim wakes up and asks if we are there yet.

10/02/2011 - San Fran - Today we have dropped the girls off at the wharf area to do the Hop-on Hop-off tour that goes around the city and surrounding areas including the Golden Gate Bridge.  Unfortunately, we dropped the girls off at one of the hop-on hop-off tours that only does the city.  So the girls didn't get the real feel of the city and were disappointed with San Fran.

11/02/2011 - San Fran - Today the girls are going on the Alcatraz Tour - this time we took them to the ticket counter and made sure they purchased the right tickets.  Dave and I wandered around and looked at the sights - Dave was thinking about buying a new lens for the camera, but decided against it.  When the girls arrived back from Alcatraz (which they really enjoyed) we went for lunch down at the Fishermans Wharf.  Well that was enough walking around for Sim, so we headed on back to Stubbie - which of course meant cards and wine (again).

12/02/2011 - San Fran - Shooter needs to go into the workshop so us girls catch a taxi down to the wharf area.  We all jumped on the Cable Cars to take us into the downtown area.  We managed to get a bit of shopping in before heading to The Cheesecake Factory for a delicious lunch - oh and a bottle of wine.  So after the wine we decided to head back to Stubbie and yes you guessed it more wine and more cards.

13/02/2011 - San Fran - San Simeon.  On our drive down the coastline we stopped for a break to enjoy the scenery and let the Big Fella have some afternoon team - of course us girls opted for a glass of wine.  We were lucky enough to spot a couple of whales. We then went to see the Elephant Seals and the Squirrels.  It was the first time that H had seen wild squirrels and they were so friendly they would come right up to you - hoping for food of course.  It was really amusing to watch H and Sim try to get close to them - they had a fear of them biting them.  We spent the night at the National Park and had a great BBQ dinner of Salmon and Salad whilst sitting around the campfire having a few drinks - I think this was one of Dave's favourite nights.
14/02/2011 - San Simeon - LA - The drive down the coastline is spectacular and Dave and I spotted a beautiful RV Park right on the beach that we would love to go back to when the weather warms up - we are really looking forward to getting some warmer weather.

15/02/2011 - LA - Today we head on down to Santa Monica for a go on the Segways (something I've always wanted to do).  The Big Fella decided to give the Segways a miss, so he was our photographer for the day.  We had originally planned on doing a 2 hour guided tour - but there was no tours operating so we opted for the 2 hour hire.  Learning to ride the Segways in the office was quite funny - you need to be able to control the Segways before heading out.  One of our little tests was to ride around and through two hats, of course one of us just happened
to ride over the hat (H) lucky we were still getting the hang of it and it wasn't a child.  We were told before we left the office that if it started to rain that we were to return immediately, originally we had been told that we would be given a credit if we couldn't complete the two hours because of the weather.  We told the instructor (very patient instructor) that we were not going to be in LA long.  After we had paid cash and were on our way she did let us know that if we only used one hour (due to weather) that she would refund (cash) half our fees.  We had rode the Segways from Santa Monica Pier down to Venice Beach when it
started to rain - so we decided to head back to the office were we received half our money back - what a bonus.  We really had got the hang of the Segways and we were all happy to go back - so in the end it worked out better than we could of planned.  After our exhausting day we went to Forrest Gumps restaurant.  We then went up to a viewing point to see the Hollywood sign then onto Hollywood Boulevard before heading on over to Rodeo Drive.

16/02/2011 - LA - Pimm.  On our way back to Pimm we needed to stop at the outlet stores to pick up my lost phone.  After picking up the phone we decided that it was time for Simmy to get behind the wheel of Stubbie - I don't know who was more nervous Simmy or Heather.  Simmy did really well for the couple of miles that she drove - except she kept speeding and Dave had to remind her to slow down.  When we arrived at Pimm we went out to dinner at Denny's before hitting the slots.  I forgot to mention earlier that we decided to have a kitty for a gambling fund - so far we had put in about $50.00 each and we were now up to $400.00 - we were very happy about that - as we had been doing some gambling.

17/02/2011 - Pimm - LV.  Before we were on our way back to Vegas, it was H's turn to hop in the driving seat (in the car park), so after a couple of laps around the car park, Dave jumped into the drivers seat and we were on our way back to the bright lights.  Simmy actually sat up the front and even though it was a 45 minutes drive managed to stay away.  When we arrived back to the park the girls thought it would be great to get on top of Stubbie and take some photos.  Of course it was a lot easier going up then down.  Sim had a go at getting down first, but then decided that H should show her the way.  The Big Fella was down the bottom to catch them both.  Tonight we went to the Hooters Casino (off the strip) for a bite to eat and of course a gamble and some drinks. 

18/02/2011 - LV.  Tonight we are going to see 'O' Cirque De Soleil at the Bellagio, the 9pm session. Whilst we were out doing a bit of shopping we all (the girls that is) purchased some false eyelashes, of course we walked out of the store without the glue, so back in H goes to buy some.  I was the first person to get their eyelashes done, H was doing a great job until Simmy decided to help and put one of the eyelashes on upside down.  Lets just say that the eyelashes were not that successful, I was the only one who ended up going out with them on.  We went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner prior to heading on
over to the Bellagio - we watched the show which was disappointing for a Cirque De Soleil,  Not only was the show disappointing the gambling hasn't been going to well - and our funds are dwindling fast.  But the drinking is still continuing - thank goodness we only need to tip a dollar or two for our drinks - otherwise our pockets would be empty.
19/02/2011 - LV.  Tonight the girls and I were heading out to see some of the other Casino's, so the Big Fella (yet again) dropped us off at Excalibur, where we had a few drinks lost some more of our Kitty, so decided to go to the Luxor, were the pattern continued before we headed onto Mandalay Bay Casino for a taxi back to Circus Circus.

20/02/2011 - LV.  Today we head on down to downtown Las Vegas.  Dave and I really love the old downtown and I think so do Heather and Simmy now.  The old downtown is a mall with more of the older type casinos on either side, it is great just to walk down and watch everything that is going on.  Of course the girls still had to stop at every souvenir shop along the way of course as you can tell by the photo below Dave just loves his shopping.  We decided to hang around until the night lights are turned on. So of course off to the Golden Nugget were we continued our down hill slide, the Kitty is now running low and needs a top up.

21/02/2011 - LV - More shopping today and then off to the Hypnotist show.  Whilst we are waiting outside to go we get to meet the Hypnotist Michael John's.  When they call for volunteers onto the stage H is up and running.  There are10 people up on stage.  Micheal John's tries to hypnotise them all - but only 8 go under - thank goodness H is one of them.  One of the acts that the hypnotist gets them to do is to pretend they are smoking dope - he has told them that they will have no adverse effects and that for tonight it is totally legal.  Watching H trying to smoke this was one of the funniest things I have ever seen (wish I had my Teena ladies on)  nearly every time she tried to bring this imaginary smoke up to her mouth she missed, she was really giving herself a few upper cuts, sometimes the nose, the forehead or even the chin. 

22/02/2011 - LV - Last minute shopping, then off to Circus Circus and Slots of Fun for the girls last night - I'm starting to get sad..  I'm sure that Dave is hiding is sadness.

23/02/2011 - LV - Time for the girls to pack their bags.  After the girls have packed their bags we head off to an Olive Garden prior to dropping the girls off at the airport.  I must admit I was very sad to see them go.  I gave Simmy one last quick hug before saying good-bye.  I had just turned around to start walking away when the tears came flowing fast.

A couple of little notes:

It took Sim 2 weeks before she asked how to turn the stove on so she could make her first cup of tea.
H really loves her Club sandwiches.
4 bottles of wine a night is not enough before going out.
We should of put a plastic cover under where Simmy slept - she really does dribble (with her mouthguard in).
Any spare time that we had was filled in with drinking and cards - oh how I miss my cards and beating Sim.
Sim can sleep anywhere at anytime - much like her husband.
My Liver has been drowned - I need some recovery time and some AFD's (Alcohol Free Days as H calls them).  I don't need that last drink.
Sim shouldn't buy white...
A two day hangover, a lost leather jacket is way too high a price to pay for a night I can't even remember.
I learnt that I can make really good poached eggs - but make a woeful cup of tea.
I have some really wonderful memories and absolutely loved having them both here.

23/02/2010 - 02/03/2011 - LV.  Dave and I are still in LV - getting a few things down to Stubbie.  We now have new upholstery on our front chairs, new foam in our dinning seats, carpets have been shampooed plus many more little chores have been completed.  Tomorrow we are heading over to the Las Vegas Speedway for the NASCAR races - apparently this is something that you must do - so more on that in the next Blog.