Friday, April 10, 2015

2015-4, Las Vegas Nevada and Laughlin Nevada


Las Vegas continued
Laughlin Nevada

showing my route circling around and back to Tuscon
this leg of the journey: (Las Vegas to Laughlin)
Campground:  Duck Creek Rv park, see previous report

Campground:  Riverside Rv Resort, Laughlin NV.  A casino campground, $99 weekly rate.  This was a special spring deal.  Full hookups. Cable TV included though I’m having trouble connecting.

Love, The Beatles, Cirque de Soleil

Entrance to the Beatles "Love" show

It’s Easter Sunday and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the day than to attend the Beatle’s show, LOVE.  I drove into town around 4:30 in the afternoon giving me plenty of time to walk the famous Las Vegas strip and tour the Venetian Hotel and Casino before heading across the street to the Mirage.  The Venetian was built to resemble Florence Italy and the grand canal.  It’s one very large shopping mall to my way of thinking with gondola’s slowly being navigated along the mostly interior canals surrounding by multiple restaurants and high end shops.  I toured the photography art work of Ilk, famous for his large photos of  outdoor scenes.  Ranging in price from the $7,000 on upward range.  He’s noted for selling one photo taken in Antelope Canyon for six million dollars.  The highest price ever paid for a single photograph.

Back at the Mirage I wandered through the casino area before going into the show, put one dollar in a slot machine and after a few turns of the wheel, I’d won $5.  The excitement continued to build waiting for the doors of the theatre to open.  My seat would be up a grand staircase and then down the isle putting me about 2/3’s of the way up from the stage.  A perfect location for a Cirque de Soleil performance.

a tour of the Venetian before the Beatles show

looking back at the Mirage

and down the street the Wynn

Inside the Venetian 

no photos of the presentation of course
The Beatles show "LOVE"
The theater was divided by transparent screens dividing the area into 4 quadrants.  Large screens high above the audience displayed moving clouds, the screens also showing images of clouds initially.  Once the show started, the screens parted, the actors performed many of the Cirque de Soleil acrobatic feats all visually enhancing and interpreting each Beatles song to perfection.  Stages and sets would rise up from beneath the stage or actors and props would enter from all four corners of the platforms.  Huge gaps would remain in the floor, making me wonder how the performers could keep from dropping off the stage.  The music, sound, lighting effects and acrobatic as well as modern operatic movements was a delight to see.  The mix of video imagery of the Beatles, live performers, color and superb sound system made for a show I’ll remember for a very long time.  At one point in the show, a large white sheet unfolded from center stage, billowing upwards as attendants carried it ¾’s of the way up the isles in all directions into the audience.  Much of the audience now under the rolling, billowing cloud.  I was just above where it ended and was able to see the scene as if floating above and below the cloud at the same time.  Vegas sure knows how to put on a show.  The Beatles performed for 8 years before it was all over.  Those 8 years changed many of our lives as we grew up with that first wave of  British musicians.  Glad it’s been a part of my life.  What a great way to see it retold in today’s vernacular.

the Mirage Hotel/Casino

I’m very pleased with the location of the campground I’m staying at, Duck Creek Rv Park.  Right out the back door is a county park with lots of grass and trees bordering the park.  Even better, only about a mile and a half away is the Clark County Wetlands Park.  It has 5 trailheads along the water shed.  What a great place to get my walking in.  As you may know, I’ve been diagnosed with per-diabetes and I’m working hard to get my diet under control and walking each day.  Today I did the Duck Creek trailhead.  A wonderful paved path around the wetlands as well as numerous well packed sand paths to explore throughout the park.  So unusual to see ponds and creek with lots of water rushing through it and all those wetland grasses and shrubs.  Just something one doesn’t usually see out in a desert environment.

Las Vegas (meaning meadow) once had numerous springs

both paved and dirt paths available

most of the water is run-off and waster water being recycled

the wetland interpretative center

RV Tip:  Every Rv-er who has an occasion to use the onboard water pump while accessing the water in their holding tank, knows how noisy that pump is.  The main culprit is often the water pipes leading up to the shower faucet.  I took sections of the insulation foam used to wrap your hoses and water pipes during a freeze and used it as a sound insulation inside the camper.  It was easy to get access to the shower pipes as well as a few others from the basement access panel in my camper.  The water pump still makes noise, but it’s not that loud rattling sound caused by the pipes banging against the shower walls.

Besides gambling and shows each of the casinos also has some sort of attraction to see, from water fountain shows, gondolas, shark encounters and many more.  But Las Vegas also has a few bonafide museums.  I went to the Mob Museum today.  It’s officially the national museum of organized crime and law enforcement.  It’s appropriately housed in the original Las Vegas Federal Courthouse.  A little pricey to get in, $20 plus $5 for parking.  The museum is on three floors and covers mobs and crime in the U.S.  particularly after prohibition started in the U.S.  Making room for gangsters to sell illegal booze, expanding into gambling and sex, extortion and all the other crimes that come along with the Mob scene.  It was interesting for sure, but somewhat depressing as well, at least to me.  They did have a room devoted to President Kennedy’s assassination with strong implications of a tie in with the mob.  A very compelling argument I might add.

the Mob Museum

a wall full of Mobsters

early gambling in Vegas

the first person to get a gambling license was a woman

the good guys fight crime
a popular theme for comics and kids toys

from the steps of the Mob Museum looking south

Another major museum in town is the National Atomic Testing Museum.  An interesting fact is that folks living in Las Vegas would often view the above ground nuclear explosions at the Nevada Testing Site.  (1951-1963) I understand they also have an exhibit on area 51 but most people thinks in garbage.

Distance Traveled:  97 miles

view from top tier of Riverside RV Park

An easy morning drive to Laughlin Nevada.  I checked in early at the Riverside Casino Rv park with well over 500 campsites.  I was able to get a 50amp full hookup site on the second level and along with a great rate of $99 for 7 days, I also received buffet coupons for two free Breakfast buffets and two free lunch or dinner buffets.  When I signed up for their players club card I was given a couple for half off a buffet.  So the meals alone are saving me around $45.

views from the Riverside Casino where I'm having "free"
Breakfast and Lunches... what a view of the Colorado River

Lazy days spent along the Colorado River in the towns of Bullhead City Arizona and Laughlin Nevada, across the river from each other.  Bullhead is where most of the people live and shop.  The Laughlin side is where all the casinos and shows are located.  I’ll probably do a boat ride, drive over to the ghost town of Oatman and maybe drive on a rugged part of the old route 66 to Kingman.

This leg of my journey will be just to relax and have some downtime.  Read a book, walk along the river walk, take a nap when I feel like it.  Yes, life is good.

Additional photos on PICASA

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