Dinner at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas!

Thai Food Dinner at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas!

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And we went back to Las Vegas last week! SUPRISE!
A fast drive on Sunday night, a free room, and good friends waiting to have fun!
How could we refuse the invitation?
We stayed until Thursday, so on Tuesday night we went out for delicious Thai food at the famous Lotus of Siam restaurant.  Word has been out on this restaurant for years and we’ve always wanted to try it. The original location is being renovated, but they recently opened a second location in the “Chinatown Strip”, and we drove over for an early meal.

On The Menu: Chicken satay, mee grob noodles, shrimp pad Thai, beef panang, steamed rice, and a few tiki cocktails!

Everything was great! We were seated without having to wait. The service was good. The food was delicious and well timed. We ordered just enough and there were no leftovers. We left full and happy. Always a good way to start the night in Vegas.

NOTE: When we left every table was seated and there was a line out the door waiting to get in. So, HOT TIP Go Early if you don’t want to wait!

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The Bar at the Lotus of Siam Restaurant in Las Vegas

And then after dinner went over to The Golden Tiki for more cocktails and fun.

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“Trader Vic’s” Mai Tai at The Golden Tiki in Las Vegas

Lotus of Siam – Las Vegas, Nevada

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On the way to the Las Vegas Sign

On the way to the Las Vegas Sign (an add-on to our Las Vegas Blog Post)

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Legal Cannabis in Las Vegas! There’s a dispensary on every street now! There are FREE UBER and FREE LYFT and other car services that will pick you up and take you to a legal dispensary (for medical and recreational use) and then they will take you back to wherever after you make a purchase. There are many, many choices if you want to visit.

3am Saturday Night/Sunday Morning – F*ck Planet 13 These Guys!

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F*ck Planet 13 Las Vegas!

Rude Security Guy at the Planet 13 check-in desk:
“You have to move your car”

JoshWillTravel
(suprised by the rude tone/power trip):
Okay, I’ll move it across the street.

THE REEF Dispensary!
So we walked back to our rental truck and drove it literally across the street.

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THE REEF Dispensary – Las Vegas, Nevada

And we found the Whiz Khalifa at THE REEF dispensary! This place was very cool!

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No pretense or bulls*t here like the place across the street.
Walk right in. They have retail merchandise and photo op cutouts as you enter. And they have the products ready for purchase. There’s a paper menu of their current inventory and deals, and you order at the counter. The Cashier window was closed, so you pay at the counter too. It was a good “no hassle” experience, the choices were many and the prices were cool (for Vegas), and we would absolutely return here next time.

NOTE: We gifted the Whiz Khalifa to our gracious Host and the Birthday Boy!

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“Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

 

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Las Vegas, Nevada! “Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

Las Vegas, Nevada!
“Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

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Back from Las Vegas.
A fun trip to “Sin City”
Happy to be Home!

JOSHWILLTRAVEL! And travel to Las Vegas last week is what we did.*

*well, it wasn’t last week…. more like last month. Tempus fugit!

We were invited (very last minute) to our friend Frank’s 65th Birthday Adventure:
(via a series of text messages)
– Come to Vegas if you want we have extra rooms
– We arrive Wed and lots of different rooms. Party on Saturday
– The party at Topgolf should be good even if you dont golf. Has a private pool for us
– Then we got a big cabana by our pool Friday Saturday and Sunday

So, let me think about it….. and Road Trip to Vegas!
Left the beautiful San Fernando Valley at 1:30am on Thursday morning.
Highways to Las Vegas: 101north-134west-210west-10west-15north
We drove a rental truck, a no-frills silver Nissan Frontier, with unlimited miles.
No traffic! Driving 285 miles at night with the truckers on I-15 north.

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“World’s Tallest Thermometer” in Baker, California

Stopped along the way in Baker, California, for gas and to see the “World’s Tallest Thermometer” once again lighting the side of the 15 freeway. It was “non-operational” for many years, but has been repaired and now it is again a beacon at night on the desert highway.
NOTE: Gas prices were “too f*ckin’ high” in Baker! 

Stateline! No stopping until we get to town.

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Stateline! Primm, Nevada

Arrived at South Point Hotel and Casino before 6am on Thursday.

We have always heard good things about the SouthPoint. People regularly recommend their buffet as being very good. They were also recently featured in the Showtime series “Action” about legal sports gambling, so as we rolled into town we decided to stop there.

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SouthPoint Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

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Self Parking at SouthPoint is FREE. We parked outside, instead of in the structure, and it was only a short walk to the Casino entrance. We had to go to the High Limit Slots counter to get a Player’s Card because the Club Desk doesn’t open until 7am. We played some blackjack and a little video poker and won a little money.

We also earned 300 club points which entitled us to “spin the wheel” and we won 5000 points (so we cashed them out for $15.00), wandered around the casino, and then headed for their Breakfast Buffet.

NOTE: Get the SouthPoint Player’s Card and the Breakfast Buffet is only $9.95 + tax
(Really nice breakfast buffet for ~$11.00 + $5.00 tip for our server/waitperson)

Breakfast Buffet Time! The Las Vegas “Buffet Experience”! And we were hungry…..

On The Menu: Everything. It was a Good Buffet!

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After breakfast we headed out and drove to the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort near the MGM Grand and across the street from TopGolf at the south end of the strip.
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Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

Parked near Tower 3, walked to registration at Tower 2 and Checked In.
Our friends had the rooms reserved and a quick phone call was made, our ID was checked, and we were handed a keycard and welcome instructions. We walked back to Tower 3 and met one of our friends in the lobby. She gave us the “nickel tour” of the resort property and showed us the adult pool and the cabana they had reserved for our party weekend. We walked back to Tower 3 and grabbed our luggage and weekend supplies out of the truck and rode the elevator upstairs.

The SMELL in the hall.
Okay, something died. rotting trash beyond rotting. it was terrible. really terrible.
FOR THE WHOLE TIME! It was disgusting. It reeked. It stank.
Yes, we complained. And they tried to mitigate the smell with deodorizers and sprays, but they should have called for sanitary cleanup immediately. They were really good about apologizing and they gave our hosts credit for the inconvenience.

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“It’s Kubrickian!”

The Sweet Suite!
Tower 3, Room 392 at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort:

Happily, the smell was only in the hallway. Once inside the room, a “lock-out” connecting room, adjacent to the first room our hosts stayed in…. they moved to the Presidential Suite, and her brother moved into their room. More on that later.

Each room had a nice kitchen area, living room space and private bedroom and bath. Mine was a little smaller than the room next door which also had a bar and bar seating in the living room space. I was very happy with the accommodations and also the fact that it was FREE! My hosts were treated to drinks, gifts and other forms of thanks all week long in appreciation for the invitation.

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After the little tour of the resort the it was nappy time. Then once we were awake and active again, we joined our friends for a quick visit to the TopGolf mega-entertainment center across the street. We met our friends in the inside bar and had a cocktail while they finished their food (we were still full from the morning buffet).

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Our friend’s birthday party was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in the Chairman’s Suite, complete with private pool and lunch buffet, so they went to check it out.  More on that party later……
We wandered around and toured the massive four deck facility. There were lots of bar and seating areas, and a public pool area with lounges, private cabanas and a “swim-up” bar. There were televisions and monitors everywhere, and really big multi-screens by the pool and in the gathering and game areas. And there were a ton of people having fun at midday on Thursday! The Golf Area has private driving areas for rent, with computer monitoring, that tracks your ball and gives you distance, replay, and other fun golf info. And of course there is plenty of food and beverage service available everywhere.
Just mind the warning signs and watch for errant golf balls and clubs!
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And then back across the street to the resort.
Our friends moved their stuff to the Presidential Suite with a Private Veranda and we hung out there and waited for them to get settled in.
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We made a run to the local market and picked up provision for the week. And then later we went back across the street to TopGolf for a late dinner.

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TopGolf Photo Op!

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On The Menu: More cocktails
and Boneless BBQ Wings w/veggies & ranch dressing at one of the bars.
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FRIDAY at the Wyndham

Good morning! Cabana Time!
Our Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

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Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday began the same way each day: Tiki drinks for brunch! And some kind of food from the resort kitchen, along with snacks we brought from the room.

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The cabana was equipped with a nice television and a noisy ceiling fan, and the public smoking area was right next door and there was a public cabana in that area. Most of the pool cabanas were positioned in the sun, and must have been really hot inside, while our cabana was on the other side and in the shade set back but facing the adult pool area.

 

Dinner time on Friday, and we had a meeting in the Presidential Suite to decide where to go to eat. There are many choices, so the group reviewed them, and eventually decided to go to Burger Bar (inside the Luxor Hotel, which we didn’t know at the time).

NOTE: Everything we did took a long time to get it together and actually do it. It wasn’t a problem, and we resolved to just ride along and see what happens (most of the time).

And then it started raining. A real Desert Storm! And a wet Friday night.
One of our new friends was the non-drinking designated driver, and he was a cool dude. But his driving was not cool. And it was dark and wet and it took a long time to get there. And then we toured the parking lot, for a long time, before finally parking.

We made our way into the Luxor and found the Burger Bar. Basically a $20 hamburger without anything else, so we decided to go spend our money at The Peppermill instead.

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MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on a Rainy Night in Las Vegas, Nevada

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And so, after another wild ride in the rain around Las Vegas, we arrived for Dinner and Drinks at The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge!

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We had dinner and tiki drinks in the restaurant and then went into the lounge and had more drinks. The rain was really coming down and we were in no hurry to leave, so we rode out the storm in the lounge and met some fun new people.
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On The Menu: Tiki Cocktails!
A Lava Flow and a nice Beef Dip Sandwich with fries and extra au jus

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A good time was had by all! We enjoyed our dinner and drinks at The Peppermill. Frank had a big Scorpion drink (in a glass, not a bowl) and the rest of us had a few different drinks from their cocktail menu too.

One more drive around Vegas in the rain and back to the resort. We survived! We returned to the Presidential Suite and then back to our suite in the other tower. We decided to take a hot bath and then sleep in the next day.

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“Wanna take a bath?”

SATURDAY at the Wyndham and TopGolf

Cabana Time! Basically the same routine as Friday: tiki drinks, food, people hanging out and new friends stopping by until it was time to get it together and head over to TopGolf for the big shindig!

Frank’s 65th Birthday Party in the Chairman’s Suite at TopGolf – Saturday 2-5pm
Golf, balls, a buffet, more drinks and a private swimming pool just for us.

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Party at TopGolf in Las Vegas, Nevada!

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The Guest of Honor in the Private Pool in the Chairman’s Suite

On The Menu: Tacos (chicken, steak and pork), Sliders (cheeseburgers, battered fish and pulled pork), chips with salsa and guacamole, salads, and of course more tiki cocktails!

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The party was a lot of fun, we got out drink on, and there was too much food! We ended up taking a lot of it back to the resort afterwards. There was golfing (unlimited balls, or something like that) and swimming too. The pictures are just a sample before it got crazy wild.

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A beautiful day at TopGolf Las Vegas!

Saturday Night in Vegas!

And so we returned to the resort and hung out until it got dark. We decided our next destination would be (more) Tropical Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room! 

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Saturday Night on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

After the wild road trip on Friday night, we decided we would drive to Frankie’s and meet the crew there. We cruised past The Strip and downtown to the bar.

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More cocktails! Famous tiki drinks! And it was really dark inside.
Here are some pics:

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We enjoyed a Mai Tai and then there was a lot of conversation and more drinks. We moved around from our table in the cabana to a seat at the bar. Lots of kitsch and weird decor to see, even in the dark. Eventually, they decided to return to the resort and we decided to go back to The Strip and have some Las Vegas fun.

We drove to The Wynn, Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – FREE SELF PARKING!
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The Wynn is a beautiful property! And it was crowded, which was nice. We played a little and wandered around taking in the different areas of the casino and environs. We had some luck and cashed out and drove back to the resort and went to bed.

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SUNDAY (Mother’s Day) morning after waking up and getting ready, we walked over to the Presidential Suite for Breakfast/Brunch and more Cabana Time! It was a leisurely day of drinking and hanging out. There may have been an afternoon nap involved.

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So we were volunteered to cook and we grilled some steaks for dinner at 9:30pm on Sunday at the community BBQ Grills. There’s a curfew for cooking at 10pm, so we had to be quick! We took them upstairs and enjoyed a great meal on the private veranda (and of course, there were more cocktails).

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Then we went on a mission to The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign!
It was designed by Nevada-born graphic designer Betty Willis (1923-2015) in 1959.
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“The rounded diamond shape of the sign was inspired by the Goodyear logo and the idea for the starburst came from the one in Disneyland’s emblem, which to her meant a happy destination. The seven silver dollars were a symbol of good luck for visitors entering the world’s gambling capital. (Betty) Willis’s design was never trademarked.”

The sign was built by a small local company Western Electric Displays Inc, aka Western Neon. Western Neon was bought by YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) and they have maintained the sign ever since. The original sign has been rebuilt, restored, and recognized as a cultural and historic landmark for the City of Las Vegas over the years.

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Safe and legal public access to the sign was finally made possible in 2008, when parking spaces and a pedestrian walkway were finally constructed. Clark County and the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office had the sign listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

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NOTE: It was “Helldorado Days” a big holiday in the State of Nevada. There was a parade on Saturday and the Rodeo and other events were happening all weekend in downtown Las Vegas and on Fremont Street. So, we didn’t go there.

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Old Vegas! Glitter Gulch!

We returned to the resort and stayed up until MONDAY morning!
“It’s HOT in the Hot Tub!” 
And sometime before dawn we hit the Jacuzzi and Pool! (the pool and jacuzzi at Tower 3 are open 24 hours) It was very Early AM, at Tower 3, after it was cleaned, before the crowd and we were almost alone.

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We had stayed up all night and after our adventures we finally decided to try out the 24 hour pool and jacuzzi in our Tower. The pool area was empty except for one couple, so we waited until they were out of the water and then we moved in. We spent about a half hour enjoying the warm, bubbly spa, and swam in the cool pool until the calm was interrupted by two small children and their mother….. as we left the pool area at 6am the mother was screaming at the children in the shallow end of the pool, “Get over here dammit, you pulled this sh*t all yesterday, I’m not gonna have it today!” 

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Went up to the room and took a hot shower, ate some leftover tacos, and went to bed.
Requested and was given a late checkout time of 12 noon via the telephone.

And then,
Housekeeping knocked on my door three different times between 9:30 and 11am!
AND THERE WAS A “DO NOT DISTURB” SIGN HANGING ON THE DOOR HANDLE!
They also started cleaning the other half of the “lockout suite” and made noise like they were doing construction next door, making it impossible to sleep.

NOTE: We complained and Dan, the resort manager, gave us a $50 credit to use at our choice of restaurants “off-property” at a Caesars Hotel (there was a list of restaurants to choose from at each hotel) for our inconvenience and also took care of our friends who invited us. That’s real good hospitality!

Checked out of the Wyndham and drove back over to the Wynn. FREE Self Parking again.

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We walked to the Palazzo and Venetian, then went outside, crossed Las Vegas Blvd and went over to the Mirage. It was a beautiful day, but it was too hot of course.

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We visited the MLife desk, and asked about a MyVegas room rate. They offered us a Monday night room for $63.00 + taxes and the ridiculous resort fee, so we passed.

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We walked through the Forum Shops to Caesars Palace and enjoyed the weirdness!

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Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino was once the best place to stay and play in Las Vegas. Then they turned it into “Disneyland”, and they threw away all the class and quality that made it great. And then they added RESORT FEES and PAID PARKING.

We went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and got a seat a the bar, but when we looked at the menu there was nothing that we wanted to order…. so we thanked them and left. We wandered around Caesars enjoying the sights while trying to decide where to eat.

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The Bar and Sportsbook at Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Then we decided on dinner at Rao’s Italian Kitchen, Las Vegas at Caesars Palace!
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On The Menu: Good bread, an excellent Caesar salad and their tasty meat lasagna.
We ate the salad and half of the lasagna and bread, and had the other half packed “to go”.
No drinks or wine because we were driving later, so only ice water with dinner.

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It was getting dark after dinner, so we started walking back, watched the sunset behind Caesars Palace across the street, and then stopped at Harrah’s and the old Casino Royale on The Strip.

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Casino Royale!

 

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And then we walked back to the Wynn. We enjoyed our after dinner walk at night and took in the sights along The Strip on our way back. We returned to our car and hit the road. Destination: Los Angeles.

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LEAVING LAS VEGAS around 9:30pm on Monday.
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Stopped at the new Mega-Gas Station Terrible’s Road House on the way back to California and filled up the gas tank and emptied mine. They have 100 pumps for “rush hour”, but the place was almost empty when we stopped in around 10pm on Monday night.

It was a quick stop, with lots of light and easy highway access. After getting gas, we took some pics and then got back in the rental truck and made a non-stop, no traffic, night drive back to Los Angeles. Home again before 2am. Had a really fun trip!

SouthPoint Hotel and Casino

Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

TopGolf

Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge

Frankie’s Tiki Room

The Wynn Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! 2018 is OVER! Our “End of the Year Review”

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! 2018 is OVER!
Our “End of the Year Review”
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Another new year.
Three hundred sixty five days!
The future is here.

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Okay, so it’s January 10th, 2019. We’ve been working on this Blog Post since just before New Year’s and it’s not going to get finished… so we are posting it “AS IS”. Enjoy it!

JANUARY 2018

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!

And so, GOODBYE 2018!
“Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split you!”
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We hope year 2019 kicks 2018’s ass, the way 2018 kicked ours!

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And Santa’s  job is done for the year. He’ll be back to judging you next week.

GOOD KHARMA for 2018:
Flooding in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara, forced family to evacuate. They and their little dog were our houseguests for three weeks in January and February. They had previously evacuated during the Thomas Fire and also stayed with us then.

And the Not So Good News:
On January 13, an early morning ballistic missile alert was sent across Hawaii in error, and revoked after 38 minutes, prompting changes to the warning system.
On January 25, the “Doomsday clock” was moved by 30 seconds to 2 minutes to midnight by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,  now the closest since the 1950s.

Kilroy Was Here! (pic from October 2017, read the Blog Post from January 2018)
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February

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! February 4th, 2018
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Philadelphia Eagles 41 – New England Patriots 33
The second time that the Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis, MN
NBC’s broadcast had the smallest audience in 9 years,
with an average of only 103.4 million viewers

On Feb 6th, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket.

The XXIII Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea begin on February 9th.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!
2018 was the Year of the Male Yang Brown Earth Dog

2019 will be the Year of the Female Yin Brown Earth Pig.

Mom’s Very Special Birthday Party at Melisse Restaurant
in West Los Angeles in February was a great event!

March

90th Academy Awards on March 4th:
“The Shape of Water” wins Best Picture and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro
Gary Oldman wins Best Actor for “Darkest Hour”, Frances McDormand wins Best Actress for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Mississippi”, and Jordan Peele wins Best Original Screenplay for “Get Out”. “Remember Me’ from the film “Coco” wins Best Original Song.
And a new envelope procedure was begun to make sure the presenters are given the correct envelope for the category they are about to present after “Envelopegate” in 2017.
The 2018 Academy Awards on ABC had 26.5 million viewers across the almost 4 hour show, a decline of 20% over 2017’s show and the worst viewership ever.

THE DAY OF THE DUDE March 6th
“You’re a Lebowski. I’m a Lebowski.”
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The oldest “message in a bottle” was found in western Australia. It was thrown from German sailing ship Paula on June 12, 1886, 132 years ago!
And they also found the sunken American aircraft carrier the USS Lexington in Australia. It was lost during World War II’s Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.

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Sunset in Oakland, California

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the “Highest overdose death rates ever recorded in the US”: 142000 overdoses in year 2016-17.

On March 20th,  Donald Trump meets with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House.

“March for Our Lives” rallies held in Washington D.C., most U.S. cities, and around the world to protest gun violence on March 24th. Thousands and thousands of people attend.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on March 26th, adult film star Stormy Daniels goes public about sex with Donald Trump, the $130000 payoff from Michael Cohen, and then later being threatened to keep quiet.

April

HAPPY REX MANNING DAY!
April 8th is always Rex Manning Day!
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On April 14th, Beyoncé Knowles is the first African-American woman to headline the Coachella Music Festival. Her performance is the most-watched ever on YouTube!

Donald Trump hosts his first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron on April 24th.

Bill Cosby found guilty of sexual assault in Pennsylvania on April 26th. He and Roman Polanski are expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on May 3rd.

Things That Really Don’t Matter but are considered really important:
On April 26th, 4 quarterbacks were chosen in the top 10 during the first round of the NFL Draft for the first time in history. On April 27th, the Swedish band ABBA announced they have recorded new songs for the first time since 1982. On April 29th, “The Simpsons” animated series passed “Gunsmoke” (with 635 episodes) as the television series with the highest episode count. And on April 30th, “Avengers: Infinity War” set a new box office record for a film’s opening weekend earning $250 million in the United States and $630 million worldwide.

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Mt. Shasta

“Truckin’, got my chips cashed in.
Keep truckin’, like the doo-dah man
Together more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.”

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Mt. Ashland in the Siskiyou Pass, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon – “A Gathering of Friends” Saturday, April 14th
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Lee Weisel RIP

In April we had a “Bilbo Baggins” party for my father Lee Weisel (now of blessed memory) at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Oregon. He was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other associated illnesses and passed in May. It was a swell party and good time was had by everyone!

We made three hard road trips from Los Angeles to Ashland and back between January and June. The first to take care of him, the second for the party and the third for the funeral. Rest in Peace Dad.

 

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”  ~ T. S. Eliot

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Double Rainbow Over the Comfort Inn & Suites at Oregon Exit 19

 

The first LEGAL 4-20 celebration in California in April!
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Recreational use of marijuana became legal in California on January 1st.
And as of November, ten states now have legal “recreational” marijuana!

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CA, OR, WA, AK, NV, CO, MI, MA, VT & ME

The whole country of Canada legalized marijuana this year too!
The Canadian Cannabis Act made weed legal across the nation on October 17th!

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Oh Canada!

May

The Kilauea volcano on the Big Island Hawaii begins erupting and forces the evacuation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and residential areas on May 3rd.

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Kilauea Volcano on Big Island Hawaii

California becomes the worlds fifth largest economy passing Great Britain on May 4th.

Justify wins the 144th Kentucky Derby On May 5th and the 142nd Preakness Stakes on May 19th! And on June 9th, Justify wins the 150th Belmont Stakes with 58 year old jockey Mike Smith and becomes the 13th Triple Crown winner!

 

Vladimir Putin is sworn in as Russian President for another 6 years on May 7, having won the election with over 75% of the vote (and the murder of his political rivals).

Global tourism accounts for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions according to a University of Sydney study.

On May 14th, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal law banning sports gambling in most states.

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A $5 Bet wins $100000 Parley For New Years 2019!

 

American actress Meghan Markle married English Prince Harry at a ceremony in Windsor Castle, joining the British royal family on May 19th. Queen Elizabeth II grants them the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Donald Trump posthumously pardons boxer Jack Johnson on May 24th for a racially orientated criminal conviction: transporting a white woman across state lines. Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury in June, 1913, despite the fact that the incidents used to convict him took place before the passage of the Mann Act.
NOTE: Credit should go to Sylvester Stallone for convincing Trump!

HAPPY TOWEL DAY! May 25th “Don’t Panic”
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June

Net neutrality is repealed by The Federal Communications Commission on June 11th.

Donald Trump and Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un meet in Singapore on June 12th.

FIFA World Cup begins on June 14th in Moscow, Russia.

On June 22, comedian John Oliver and the HBO website on the Chinese social media platform Weibo was blocked by censors after a hilarious 20 minute segment on Chinese dictator Xi Jinping ran on June 17th. Oliver made fun of the Chinese president’s apparent sensitivity over comparisons of his figure with that of Winnie the Pooh and called Xi the “creepy uncle who imprisons 800000 people in his basement” while criticizing China’s Human Right record and their crackdown on any form of political or social dissent.
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On June 28th, a lone gunman attacked the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, killing nine people,

July

“The Boss” joined the family in July.

Care and training for the new puppy!

August

Birthday Dinner at Larsen’s Steakhouse in August

Camp Envy – Burning Man 2018 (August September)

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CAMP ENVY PRIZE for BURNING MAN 2018

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TRAINWRECK! (via Camp Envy stream) at Burning Man 2018

We didn’t go to Burning Man in 2018 (read the previous Blog Post) but we participated in the event via Camp Envy (online webstream, webpage and fb group) on the interweb.
NOTE: We want to go back to Burning Man in 2019…. we think.

September

Happy Rosh Hashanah! (the Jewish New Year)
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October

Inktober!

Dinner Party at Mozza Osteria in October

LOTTERY FEVER!

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“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

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October 20th
Celebrate LA!
The Dodgers win the pennant!
World Series choke time

October 28th – CHOKE.
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World Series Game 5: Red Sox 5, Dodgers 1
THE RED SOX WIN THE SERIES!
And it’s all over now, Dodger Blue. They suckered you in again and took your money again. You bought your hats, jerseys, bobbleheads and other blue merch. You don’t get to watch the game on TV (FU TWC), and how much did you spend on tickets, parking and overpriced concessions to see them play at Chavez Ravine? And now when it counts, they fold like a bad poker hand and let you down again. But, maybe next year…..
THE CURSE OF TIME-WARNER/SPORTSNET CONTINUES.

Halloween

November

THE MIDTERM ELECTION on November 6th!

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WE VOTED!

 

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Veterans Day 2018!
100 Year Anniversary of the End of World War I on 11/11 at 11:11am.
Please remember and honor all the men and women, living and dead,
that have loyally served the United States!
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ArtRising in Reseda, California
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2018 was a Big Year for Natural Disasters!
2017 was a record year in the United Sates for cost of natural disasters: $306 billion
2018 will break that record.
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VOLCANOES!
The Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has been active for 35 years and this year the eruption in May-June-July destroyed more than 700 homes and impacted the tourism industry. Kilauea continues to erupt at the summit and from the Puʻu ʻOʻo vent in the East Rift Zone, producing lava that flows to the ocean.
The Anak Krakakau volcano in Indonesia triggered a tsunami on Saturday, December 22, and killed more than 400 people. Airplane flights have been rerouted and the crater’s status was just raised to high alert, the second-highest level.
The Fuego volcano’s sudden eruption in southern Guatemala on June 3 killed 194 people and more than 230 people are still missing. ~21000 acres of farmland was also destroyed.
And volcanoes also caused fires, floods, smaller tsunamis and earthquakes.

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Lava Flow from the Kilauea Volcano On the Big Island of Hawaii

EARTHQUAKES!
There were 15 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 7.0 in 2018:
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HURRICANES!
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was an above-average and damaging Atlantic hurricane season with 15 named storms with 2 major hurricanes Category 3+: Florence and Michael. 154 people died and the cost of damages exceeded USD$33.3 billion (2018).

NOTE: Puerto Rico has still not recovered from Hurricane Maria in September of 2017. 4645 people died (as per a Harvard study in May) and it caused over $43 billion in economic losses.

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Puerto Rican Lives Matter Too!

FLOODS!
Flooding was a major problem around the world in 2018. North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and South America all experienced record floods this year.

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FIRESTORMS!

Big fires in California and Oregon this year: The Woolsey Fire in Thousand Oaks, the Camp Fire in Northern California (the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history killed 86 people), the Mendocino Complex Fire in July was California’s largest fire by burned area ever (and it destroyed nearly half a million acres), the Thomas Fire in Ventura County (December 2017), and the Crater Lake and other adjacent Oregon fires this summer broke all records. Wildfires also killed more than 70 people in Greece and following the longest sustained drought on record, more than 50 fires in the Swedish Arctic Circle burned uncontrollably in July.
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The Last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood

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The Last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch

For 10 years the name only promised one thing, Josh and Josh….
and usually they were lying. All good things must come to an end, right?

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No matter where you go, there you are.

Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims
LIVE at Joe’s in Burbank on 11-16-18!
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In honor of Steamboat Willie and Mickey’s 90th:
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Disneyland - Mark Twain's Steamboat b&w

Tom Sawyer’s Island, Mark Twain’s Steamboat & Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland –  taken in Black & White in 1994

Tom Sawyer’s Island, Mark Twain’s Steamboat & Big Thunder Mountain
Taken in black and white in 1994 at Disneyland (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving Feast 2018

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Thanksgiving 2018

and the REAL TURKEY and the bird he was “pardoning”:

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“Don’t worry Donny, he won’t talk to Mueller”

Haiku for nothing?
Now you must pay the piper!
Pony up some dough.

On November 20th, the Rolling Stones announced they would tour again in 2019!
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“If you start me up I’ll never stop
Never stop, never stop, never stop
You make a grown man cry”

December

90000 Unsolicited Hits on Our Blog in early December! THANK YOU!

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90000 Unsolicited Hits on Our Blog in December! THANK YOU!

And as of the date of this Blog Post was published
we have passed 92650 Unsolicited Hits!

December Holiday Season

December 21st: Happy Winter Solstice! A full “Cold Moon” and the Ursids meteor shower! The last time the full moon occurred on Winter Solstice was 2010, and it won’t happen again until 2094! Celebrate the first day of Winter!

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Egg Nog!

Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the study, not a creature was stirring except my little buddy. The cell phones were charging by the desktop hard drive, with high hopes that AmazonPrime would arrive. No children, just dogs asleep on the bed, waiting for dinner and soon to be fed. And me in pajamas, awake from a nap, drinking my coffee and writing this crap… Happy Christmas Eve! (just a little poem I wrote)

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Egg Nog!

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Had enough Christmas yet?

 

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2016, REMEMBER WHEN?

12-30-18: Los Angeles Chargers 23 – Denver Broncos 9 (at Mile High)
Is Tim Tebow available?
And so ends another terrible season for the Denver Broncos…. 6 wins, 10 losses?
Someone’s getting fired.

December is cold
And still waiting for winter
A new year arrives

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Eat, Drink and Be Happy. We’re all gonna die.

Dad left us in May. And our old friends John “Wheels” Wheeler and Joreth Toropov left the party early this year too. John tragically in July and Joreth suddenly in October. Both left us way too soon. May the Four Winds blow them safely home.

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Tom Petty RIP

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Stan Lee RIP

 

 

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Roy Clark RIP

And WE REMEMBER THE VICTIMS OF MASS MURDER in 2018. Never forget.

On February 14th, 17 people were killed and 17 injured in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A shooting at Santa Fe High School in Houston, Texas killed 10 people, and wounded 13 more on May 18th. 11 people were murdered (including Holocaust survivors) in an anti-Semetic “hate crime” on the Tree of Life Jewish Temple in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27th. The deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States’ history. 

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The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA

And the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks killed 12 people and the gunman, and injured at least 10 more on November 7th. Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus was killed by CHP friendly fire during the attack.

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The Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA

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The Borderline Bar & Grill Victims

We Remember. “May their memory be a blessing!”

NOTE: There were many other “Shootings in 2018” with multiple victims, and these are just the two of the worst and most recent Mass Murders in the United States. So, THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS for the Victim’s friends and families and BUSINESS AS USUAL for the GOP Republicans, the NRA, the Gun Manufacturers and Retailers.

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It’s been four years and I still miss this guy.

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We are glad that 2018 is over. It was not a great year.
But, we did gain a new family member. And he’s such a good boy!

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And “The Boss” got bigger too! (a recent December pic)

Where were you 35 years ago? We were at the San Francisco (now the Bill Graham Memorial) Civic Auditorium for night number 4 of the 1983-84 New Year’s Eve Run and The Band was the opening act for the Grateful Dead on New Years Eve!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8vKVPx2-Lc

RECENT 2018 BLOG POSTS:

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2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Bottom’s Up!

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Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

FOLLOW us on Twitter and Periscope> http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE> http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

Plan for 2019 (cup of water… check):

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“Beef Jerky For Everyone”

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SCREENSHOTS FROM BURNING MAN 2018 CAMP ENVY LIVE STREAM

SCREENSHOTS FROM THE BURNING MAN 2018 LIVE STREAM

The THEME this year was “I, Robot”.
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70000 Participants together in Black Rock City
in the northern Nevada desert
August 25 – September 3, 2018

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Black Rock City, Black Rock Desert – Google Maps (for education use)

Every year, thousands gather in the Nevada desert to erect a vivid temporary city devoted to art, community & 10 guiding principles including “radical self-expression.” – Wikipedia

BIG THANKS TO CAMP ENVY and @MotorBikeMatt for the stream!

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The Man Burns in 2014!

Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome……
Burning Man isn’t your usual festival. It’s a city wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the experience.
from the Burning Man website

Couch trippin’ Burning Man 2018 with Camp Envy and the webcam LiveStream!

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Burning Man 2018! “They’re combing the desert!”

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1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
— Isaac Asimov, I, Robot

LAST YEAR WAS BETTER…. but we decided long ago that we weren’t going in 2018 and other circumstances have also prevented a possible last minute “grab and go” adventure.
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This year’s Burning Man began with a huge BUMMER!

August 21, 2018 Statement on Police Activity on the Road to BRC:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, is conducting intensive law enforcement operations on Highway 447 in Wadsworth and Nixon. Many of these stops progress into lengthy vehicle searches, and they are using dogs to inspect vehicles. We’ve been told this operation will continue throughout the week and possibly into next week, when the Burning Man event is officially underway….

“U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officers are stopping many vehicles traveling to the event. Reasons provided by officers for the traffic stops include: speeding, going too slow, not stopping at stop signs, crossing the centerline or even a tire touching the centerline, partially obscured license plates, and dim or non-functioning tail lights. These stops often involve police dogs and lengthy searches of vehicles. Many of our staff and volunteers report they were not breaking any traffic laws, but were stopped anyway.”
from The Jackrabbit Speaks, August 22nd, 2018

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DILDO AKBAR! The HERO of Burning Man 2018!

And so… we participated from afar with Camp Envy on Facebook.

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Taking “Big Imagination” (the airplane fuselage) for a ride on The Playa!

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NOTE: As of September 14th, “The largest art car at Burning Man, a partially reassembled 747 airplane, remains parked on the Black Rock Desert two weeks after the event. The plane was moved further into the hard-packed playa about 12 miles away from the Burning Man site, said Rudy Evenson, acting communications chief of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Nevada.” – Reno Gazette Journal

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UPDATE: The plane was eventually moved to private land near the Black Rock Desert where it currently sits waiting for next year….
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Daft-Punk

Trash Fence at Midnight?

 

 

 

 

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Dust in the Wind MotherF*cker!  Tuesday’s Whiteout!

 

Tuesday Night’s Drone Show over Black Rock City!
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Tuesday Night’s Drone Show over Black Rock City!

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Tuesday Night’s Drone Show over Black Rock City!

The Drone Show for Larry!
Even watching it via the webstream, it was pretty cool.
Must have been really far out seeing it live.

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Drone shot from the Temple to The Man

 

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Center Camp at night

 

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Party at the Pyramid!

Pictures from The Playa (ripped from the interweb):
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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

Friday’s “Magic Hour”

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Friday Night on the way to the Trainwreck

TRAINWRECK on Friday Night!

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Prepping the Great Trainwreck on Friday Afternoon

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The Flying Morgans at the Great Trainwreck! I know them! (not my pic)

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The Great Trainwreck Illuminated!

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THE GREAT TRAINWRECK! (this pic won a prize)

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I wanna Sammich now!

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NOTE: Confession time. This Blog Post was laid out in early September and then shelved until early October, and then shelved again until December 2018. Too many distractions and not enough motivation to finish. We apologize for our interweb absence and hope you will forgive us. We have posted other Blog Posts during the intervals, so please check out the ARCHIVES going back to February 2013. (see the Sidebar>>>>>>>)

We grabbed many screen captures during the week of webcam broadcasting from Camp Envy, and then we ripped some other pics from different places. Enjoy the education!

The Man Burns on Saturday Night!

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Saturday Afternoon

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Prepping The Man for Saturday Night’s Burn

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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One More Saturday Night!

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…..and Sunday Morning After

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The Exodus Begins before the Temple burn on Sunday

The Temple Burns on Sunday Night!

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The Temple 2018 (not my pic)

Harvey

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey wrote the Ten Principles in 2004

The 10 Principles of Burning Man

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Gifting
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

Decommodification
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Participation
Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediacy
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

 

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Larry Harvey RIP “May the Four Winds Blow Him Safely Home”

 

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Prepping the Temple on Sunday evening

 

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The Temple burns on Sunday Night!

 

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The Man burns while flipping the bird and pissing fireworks!

After the EXODUS! “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.”
What once was, and all that remains, now must vanish until next year.

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Monday Morning on The Playa

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Monday Morning After the Temple Burn

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F*ck Yer Burn! It was better last year! (not my pic)

Again, BIG THANKS! HUGE THANKS! To Camp Envy and @MotorbikeMatt!

Most pics screenshot from the Webcam LiveStream – used with “permission”

It was better next year…….
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Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

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WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDS BY GALACTIC SEABASS AND MARK DAY!

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Out of Order!

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The Man Burns in 2018 (as seem on the web stream)

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The Man Burns in 2017! (not my pic, I was there)

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Are we done yet?

 

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MOVE BURNING MAN TO CALIFORNIA!

Move the Burning Man event to California and away from the BIA!

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Cuddeback Dry Lake Bed near Ridgecrest, California (not my pic)

There is a dry lakebed (Cuddeback Lake) near Ridgecrest, CA (BLM land) that could accomodate the Burning Man event. The economic impact of the event would be year round and millions of dollars for the county and state. The access and location would be much better than their current location and they wouldn’t have to deal with Nevada. I spoke with the CEO/President of the Chamber of Commerce and they would be interested in talking with Burning Man. Have a nice day.

UPDATE 10-22-18: So, yeah, it was a pretty dumb idea. But maybe someday….

NOTE: New Blog posts coming soon! Just gotta finish them….

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RETURN TO HOMEPAGE> http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
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Burning Man! Wednesday night update

Wednesday night update

Back in Los Angeles.
The Aftermath!
We’ve been cleaning for a week!
Everything was so dirty and dusty.
And it doesn’t come off with water, or soap and water….
Everything has to be washed with a distilled white vinegar solution to remove the Playa dust and dirt. It took three days to clean all the crud off my little bike!

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It took a whole day to clean Vanessa (the cargo van). We cleaned it, and then cleaned it again, and then took it and had it washed, and then cleaned it again. Vanessa was returned the next morning cleaner than when we picked her up.

And we’re still doing laundry! We did three days of laundry (clothes, sleeping bags, etc.) and we washed the inner tent and rainfly today, now there’s only the outer tent and a little bedding left and then some stuff we want to re-wash again.

We double bagged all our stuff and still had to clean everything! We had plastic baggies inside bigger baggies, inside trash bags and things still got dusted.

All our metal items (flashlights, cooking stuff, tools, knives, etc. in addition to our bike) had to be cleaned thoroughly because the alkali dust will quickly rust and corrode anything metal.

In addition to cleaning, we’ve been eating good food and sleeping in our nice comfy bed. And spending a lot of time with our three dogs, who really missed us a lot too.

The best thing about Harrah’s in Reno was the Chinese food and the breakfast buffet, in addition to air conditioning, running water, a toilet, a hot shower & bath, clean towels, and a king-size bed to sleep in.

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Post-Playa Pool Party in Reno, Nevada

We’ve laid out and written some of the first Blog, but we’ve been really busy and really tired since returning home. So, hopefully this update will keep you interested in reading more.

We dropped off the three “disposable” cameras we shot of Burning Man today for processing, printing and scanning. Hopefully it will be worth the money and we’ll get some good pics from the cameras. We remember shooting pics of our camp, the Phoenix burning at sunrise, some mutant vehicles, art, fire, and Davina the Dragon. Not sure what else is there, so we want to see the pics too!

So tired, we went to bed.  MORE TO COME SOON!

 

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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