150000 HITS! THANK YOU! HAPPY 4th OF JULY!

150000 HITS! THANK YOU! Happy 4th of July!

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HAPPY 4th OF JULY! CELEBRATE FREEDOM & LIBERTY!

One Hundred Fifty Thousand Unsolicited Hits!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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ONEHUNDREDFIFTYTHOUSAND! THANK YOU!

How many Blog hits?
One hundred fifty thousand!
Thank you for the LOVE!

Greetings and Thanks from the JOSHWILLTRAVEL HOME OFFICE!

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If you are reading this, THANK YOU!
Thank you for tuning us in. Thank you for reading our Blog!
THIS IS A MILESTONE. We started this Blog in February of 2013.
Yes, we have a “Seven Year Itch” and sometimes think about not blogging,
but it has been valuable to our experience during four months of Forced Lockdown.
(There are currently 50 Parts to our CoronaVirus! daily diary – read them!)
We thought about all the restaurants we “reviewed” and how they have to change their entire business model or go out of business. We thought about all the travel companies, vendors, and travel consultants we know that don’t have any business right now.
AND FUCK THE AIRLINES, HOTEL COMPANIES, CRUISE LINES AND CASINOS!
And please STOP BUYING THINGS “MADE IN CHINA” – SERIOUSLY JUST STOP!

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We are very glad you have chosen to spend a little of your online time here.

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“There is the theory of the moebius. A twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop, from which there is no escape. When we reach that point, whatever happened will happen again.” – Lieutenant Commander Worf, Star Trek: TNG, “Time Squared”

 

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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“Say what you will about science…”

Logic follows clearly defined rules and tests for critical thinking. Logic also seeks tangible, visible or audible proof of a sound thought process by reasoning.

Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) invented logic. He wrote the first known treatises of logical theory and taught the first logic classes in history. He was a student of Plato who was a student of Socrates.

The 2 types of logical arguments:
deductive and inductive reasoning provide evidence of the truth

logic

Science is the study of the natural world through observation and experiment.

Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work. It is the body of knowledge accumulated through discoveries about all the things in the universe.

Science is valued because the application of scientific knowledge helps satisfy many basic human needs and improve quality of life and standards of living.

“Science affects us all, every day of the year,
from the moment we wake up,
all day long, and through the night”

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

FUN!
More fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Prisoner of Fun

I’m Still a Prisoner of Fun!

The very Definition of FUN>

Noun: enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure.
A source of fun, playful behavior or good humor, behavior or an activity that is intended purely for amusement and should not be interpreted as having serious or malicious purposes, (a place or event) providing entertainment or leisure activities for children.
Adjective: providing amusement, amusing, entertaining, enjoyable, lively, pleasant, pleasurable, pleasing, boisterous, convivial, or merry
Verb: to speak or act in a way that is not serious, to joke or tease.

Spongebob’s Definition:
F- is for friends who do stuff together!
U- is for you and me!
N- is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!

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From Scot Nery’s Blog:
We can trick people into really enjoying themselves and paying for fun. We just need to accept that they’re probably not going to pay for the fun directly. Here are some things to consider for the way we package fun entertainment.

  • coolness. people want something that’s cool and coolness can be expensive
  • social status. Like a selfie museum, it’s not always about being cool. It could be about looking valueable as an employee, or seeming like you fit in
  • memorable experience. A vacation is an example.
  • edifying experience. Maybe it’s educational or strengthening?
  • something expensive PLUS. The Palazzo circus show promotes themselves as a gourmet dinner plus entertainment.
  • connection to fame. See someone famous and be tricked into having fun
  • stress relief. If you ask adults why they play video games, they’re more likely to say this reason than simply that it’s fun, because stress relief is important
  • kids fun. if we give a kid something fun to do, it can be joyful to watch and also take away our headache for a little bit.
  • brand engagement. A good tv commercial is fun and it also is worth money to the brand because audiences deem it attention-worthy.

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

The scientific method is a method of investigation involving experimentation and observation to acquire new knowledge, solve problems, and answer questions.

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Scientific method involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions. A hypothesis is a conjecture, based on knowledge obtained while seeking answers to the question.

The 3 principles of scientific thinking
The scientific method is practiced within a context of scientific thinking, and scientific (and critical) thinking is based on three things:
1. Using empirical evidence (empiricism), data collected through direct observation and/or experimentation. Observations are based on specific events that have already happened and can be verified by others as true or false.
2. Practicing logical reasoning (rationalism),
3. Possessing a skeptical attitude (skepticism) about presumed knowledge

The 9 steps of the scientific method in order
The scientific method and consists of the following eight steps:
1. Objective observation (remain totally value free when studying; try to remain totally unbiased in all investigations and experiments)
2. Ask a testable question,
3. Gather information and background research,
4. State a hypothesis (and make predictions based on it),
5. Design and perform the experiment and test the hypothesis (and predictions),
6. Collect data and make conclusions,
7. Draw conclusions and report,
8. Evaluate (and use the results to draw conclusions and refine the hypothesis, make new hypotheses and/or predictions)
9. Publish findings (optional).

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When conducting research, scientists use the scientific method to collect measurable, empirical evidence in experiments related to a hypothesis (often in the form of an if/then statement), the results aiming to support or contradict a theory.

Scientific knowledge allows us to develop new technologies, solve practical problems, and make informed decisions

Five skills scientists use in observation to learn about the world:
(we observe objects and events using all of our five senses)
1. communicating,
2. classifying,
3. measuring,
4. inferring,
5. predicting.

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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PEACE AND LOVE!

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HAPPY 44th OF JULY! CELEBRATE EQUALITY!

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She Blinded Me With Science!
Synth-Pop and New Wave from 1982
Songwriters: Jonathan Kerr / Thomas Dolby
2313
It’s poetry in motion
She turned her tender eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
Mm, but she blinded me with science
She blinded me with science
And failed me in biology, yeh yeh
Now uh, huh huh
When I’m dancing close to her
Blinding me with science, science
Science
I can smell the chemicals
Blinding me with science, science
Science
Science
Mm, but it’s poetry in motion
And when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
She blinded me with science
She blinded me with science
And failed me in geometry
When she’s dancing next to me
Blinding me with science, science
Science
Mmm mmm, mmm mmm, mmm
I can hear machinery
Blinding me with science, science
Science
Huh, it’s poetry in motion
And now she’s making love to me
The spheres’re in commotion
The elements in harmony
She blinded me with science
She blinded me with science
And hit me with technology
Good heavens Miss Sakamoto, you’re beautiful
I, I don’t believe it
There she goes again
She’s tidied up and I can’t find anything
All my tubes and wires
And careful notes
And antiquated notions
But, it’s poetry in motion
And when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
Unh, she’s blinding me with science
She blinded me with science
She blinded me with SCIENCE!

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! ❤ 

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Monty Python’s “Galaxy Song”:



CHEERS! A toast to you our loyal readers! THANK YOU!

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Celebrate 150000 HITS by Poppin’ Corks!

 



 

Dinner Party at Mistral French Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, CA

Birthday Dinner Party at Mistral French Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, CA

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NOTE: We didn’t take pics for this Blog Post.
Originally we weren’t even going to write a Blog Post for this dinner party. So, only two pics of the food were taken (using the flash and we felt self conscious about doing it) .

Birthday Dinner Party early on Monday Evening. Reservation for 5:45pm.

Valet Parking ($7+tip) or Metered Street Parking? We valet parked.
We didn’t drive, instead we rode along as a passenger. There was FREE parking at the meters (because it was President’s Day, a national holiday) on Ventura Blvd across the street from the restaurant, but instead we paid to valet park the car.

(Hey, look it’s Michael Milken! They must be celebrating his Trump Pardon!)
NOTE: News about the Trump Pardons for the 11 guilty white collar criminals wasn’t made public until the day after our dinner party. Milken pled guilty to 6 felonies and was fined $600million on April 24, 1990: “I transgressed certain of the laws and regulations that govern our industry. I was wrong in doing so and knew that at that time and I am pleading guilty to these offenses.” He only served 22 months in Federal prison.

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Mistral Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, CA (not our pic)

Birthday Dinner Party! Table for 10, ready and waiting when when we arrived. Only nine people showed, because one had to work, and only one person was 20 minutes late.

(Hey, it’s Rick Chambers, TV News Anchorman for KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles!)

Why is it so dark inside the restaurant?
Why do I need a flashlight (phone light) to read the menu?
Holy Sh*t! Look at the prices! This is going be expensive.
The Wine List is RIDICULOUS (as in That’s a helluva markup!)

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Mistral Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, CA (not our pic)

“Gracious personalized service presents traditional French cuisine that is beautifully complemented by our luxurious bistro setting. Your grand celebrations to convivial family dining are equally at home in our elegant Bistro. Having been named one of the area’s finest dining establishments for over 30 years, join us to experience our lauded cuisine in an unparalleled and intimate setting.” 

And then we had a really nice gourmet dinner. The food and the service were both great.
On The Menu: tuna tartare appetizer, Caesar salad, steak with garlic slices, fries, bread & butter, chocolate soufflé, vanilla bean creme brûlée, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a coke.

Sparkling or tap water? Tap water with ice.
Red Wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon
(they have a $30 per bottle corkage fee if you want to bring your own)
Cheese Puff amuse bouche – small and tasty, bite-sized, warm, crispy, cheesy puff pastry
Bread and Butter – fresh baked, warm and tasty
Tuna Tartare appetizer w/8 small toast slices, small endive leaves, and 2 cucumber slices
Caesar salad – (we asked to have it packed “to go” because everyone else had their salad course while we ate our tuna tartare appetizer)
Steak (medium rare) with Garlic Slices and Shoestring Fries

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Steak with Garlic Slices and Fries

4 Chocolate Soufflés with whipped cream (for the table to share)
We ordered 3 at the beginning of the meal and one was added:
Complimentary for the “Birthday Guest”
Served with a candle and a chorus of “Happy Birthday To You!’
We had a small taste of the chocolate soufflé but also ordered a Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée for our dessert (and we passed on the coffee/espresso and just drank coke).

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Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée

NOTE: As we enjoyed our fancy expensive dinner, we watched homeless street people walk by the large picture window that faces onto Ventura Blvd and it was really weird.

Mistral13422 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA  mistralrestaurant.com

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One of The 50 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles!

 



 

The Habit Burger!

The Habit Burger!
“Respect The Burger”
The Habit Burger Grill!

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The Habit Burger Grill

Best “Fast Food” Burger? (it’s not fast-food, it’s fast casual)
It’s not In-N-Out Burger anymore (and “those are good burgers”).
It is The Habit Burger Grill!

The Habit Burger Grill’s Mission Statement:
“To become everyone’s favorite Habit, one burger at a time.”

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Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with Cheese, Fries and Onion Rings

On The Menu: Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with double cheese (lettuce only),
fries, onion rings and a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream

“The Habit is known for its award-winning Charburger which features 100% fresh, ground beef, grilled over an open flame and topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, fresh tomato, crisp lettuce and mayo served on a toasted bun.”

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Double BBQ Bacon Charburger with Cheese and Grilled Onions

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!

The Habit was opened in 1969 as a burger stand in Goleta Beach near Santa Barbara, California, by two brothers who borrowed money from their mother. The company is now headquartered in Irvine, California, and they have over 265 restaurant locations, and 23 are in Los Angeles.
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From http://www.thehabitburger.com:
About The Habit Restaurants, Inc.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and handcrafted sandwiches featuring USDA choice sirloin steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 and most recently named the winner of USA Today’s 10 Best in Regional Fast Food. The Habit has since grown to over 265 restaurants in 13 states throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Washington as well as six international locations.

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The Habit Burger Grill

ORDER UP! Place your order at the counter. Know what you want to order in advance! There is a big menu board. The menu is pretty simple: Burgers, sandwich variations on a burger bun (albacore tuna, tri-tip steak & chicken), salads, kids meals, sides, drinks and real milkshakes.

We recommend you speak loud and clear when ordering, and that you listen when they read the order back really fast. Why? Because they get the order wrong about 50% of the time…. Whatever the reason, the communication or the order between the register and the kitchen area is messed up. They use a ticket/receipt system, and somehow the cooks mess up the order half the time. And then they check the order at the ready counter and then read it back when they hand you the food at pickup, so you would think they could get it right.

AND SOMEHOW THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD ALWAYS BRINGS US BACK!

NOTE: On occasion, in the past, we have telephoned and/or emailed the Corporate Office with our complaints about errors in the burger order, and they have been great about apologizing and mailing us “Free Burger” coupons to compensate us for their problems.

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Always VERY CLEAN! There is a small interior dining area and a large outside patio at The Habit near us. We think the interior dining space is too small, but we often get our food “To Go”, so it’s usually not a problem. There are only two registers at the front counter, and when it gets busy there is often a line to order. The open kitchen allows you to watch the crew prep, cook and tray your food. There is a soda fountain/condiment bar with a pickled pepper buffet with three kinds of peppers (jalapeño, pepperoncini, and banana) to accompany your food.

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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“The waiting is the hardest part.” – WAIT FOR IT! It doesn’t take that long.
Their slogan “Fresh is worth the wait” is front and center on the large square pagers they use to notify customers that the order is ready.  And the burger is worth it. You get hot and fresh cooked food (if it doesn’t sit too long on the order up counter) and it really makes a difference. It also removes the “fast-food” label and it becomes a “fast casual” dining experience. Whatever they want to call it, it’s a pretty good cheeseburger.

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Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with Cheese, Fries and Onion Rings

The Habit Burger Grill – many locations (maybe one near you)

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Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with Cheese, Fries and Onion Rings

Supper at Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ in Las Vegas

Suppertime at Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ in Las Vegas

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Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ in Las Vegas, Nevada

Just up the escalator from the casino at The LINQ hotel is a “trending” restaurant, the Hash House A Go Go, that we have heard talked about and wanted to check out. Monday afternoon we were hungry and cruising the fabulous Las Vegas Strip and decided to have an early dinner.

Hash House A Go Go has four locations in Las Vegas. They are originally from San Diego and they have single locations in Reno and a couple other states.

Celebrity autographed menus are framed and posted in the landing area/lobby/overflow waiting room at the top of the elevator, with a merchandise display and menu board. There is also a Selfie Machine that will take your pic and post it to social media for free.

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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Hash House A Go Go Merch Display!

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Hash House A Go Go Lobby Menu Board

Sign at the Host Desk:

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“Twisted Farm Food”
They have a very large menu. Most everything is served 24/7.
And they charge La$ Vega$ $trip Ca$ino prices.
Definitely a “tourist trap”, but the food was good.

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THE SPECIAL LAMINATED MENU: (with cocktails and souvenirs for sale)

On the Menu: Burger with 2 patties stuffed with cheese, bacon, avocado, side of crispy fries and coffee to drink. We asked for BBQ sauce (and they charged us an additional $1 – TOTAL BULLSHIT charging for condiments!).

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Our friends shared the French Toast and a fruit plate, and we took the leftovers back to the resort after dinner and some more fun. And the service was not great.

The food was good and the portions are huge! The coffee was advertised as “bottomless” but the waitress didn’t come back to refill it, so we asked for a cup of coffee “to go” before leaving.

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Apple Mimosa served in a souvenir Leg!

and then later we had Monday Night Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room!

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Monday Night Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ – Las Vegas

Frankie’s Tiki Room – Las Vegas

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NOTE: Souvenir Hash House A Go Go mug from the LINQ in Las Vegas.
It was only an extra $3 with a cup of coffee (cheap), and it came in a box that didn’t quite fit the mug because of the way it’s slanted. The coffee was served in a regular cup along with the food. But the mug doesn’t say “Las Vegas” on it, so what’s the point?

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Bought the mug “sight unseen” from the menu. Was bummed it didn’t say Las Vegas when we unboxed it the next morning. But then what’s $3 dollars more when you’re throwing your money around in Las Vegas? BIG THANKS TO FRANK!

 



 

 

 

Dinner at Big Wong & Dessert at Milkywave in Las Vegas!

Dinner at Big Wong in Las Vegas!

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Big Wong Restaurant in Las Vegas

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?  So, it’s Wednesday night in Las Vegas and what should we eat?

Food and Wine magazine recommended Big Wong asian restaurant, also in the “Chinatown Strip” and they said you get a lot of really good food for a really good price.
Well, okay then……

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Located in the Seoul Plaza, it’s almost a “hole-in-the-wall”, with no-frills, a very spartan dining room, and pictures of the food on the walls. Low overhead means lower prices, and we did dinner for less than half the amount we spent on dinner at Lotus of Siam.

Yes, the atmosphere was rather cafeteria like, but the food was AWESOME!

On The Menu: Salt & pepper fried chicken wings with jalapeños, thin sliced rib-eye steak with potatoes and steamed rice, wor wonton soup with noodles, fried chicken over steamed rice, mango pudding, and a Dr Pepper.

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!

We would definitely return to this restaurant next time.
The salt & pepper friend chicken wings were A-number one!

And then we wandered across the parking lot back to the car and decided to check out the MilkyWave shaved ice cream place (also in the Seoul Plaza).

Dessert at MilkyWave! SHAVED ICE CREAM! (not shaved ice)

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We enjoyed the “small” Choco Loco!
Chocolate ice cream, brownie bites, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce & whipped cream!
Our friends shared a vanilla-caramel-banana one too.

Yeah it was good. Would return here as well.

And then after dinner and dessert we went back to Frankie’s Tiki Room for cocktails!

Big Wong – Las Vegas, Nevada

Milkywave – Las Vegas Nevada

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Big Wong Restaurant – “The Aftermath”

 



 

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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NOVEMBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019

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“Bladerunner” The Future is NOW!

Silence is the sound
Cold night, First of November
Waiting for the Sun

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Feliz Dia de Los Muertos!

November the third,
Did you fall backwards last night?
Daylight Savings time!

FALL BACKWARD! Get an extra hour…. daylight savings sucks.

BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

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BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA

On The Menu: BBQ baby back ribs, beer battered onion rings, fried mac’n’cheese, baked beans, pickled onion, bread (& mini cornbread muffins) and butter and a coke to drink.

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Bread, mini cornbread muffins and butter

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BBQ baby back ribs, beer battered onion rings, fried mac’n’cheese, baked beans, pickled onion, bread (& mini cornbread muffins) and butter and a coke

MONDAY! Read our previous Blog Post “Someone’s Got a Case of the Mondays”

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The Boys say “Good Morning!”

They erected a new statue on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills and Ringo Starr was there for the dedication! “PEACE AND LOVE!”

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“PEACE AND LOVE!” Statue in Beverly Hills, California

And here in Los Angeles we remember the Borderline Saloon mass shooting and the Woolsey Fire that burned everything all the way to Malibu last year in November 2018.

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One Year Later – Remember The Things We Lost In The Woolsey Fire!

NOTE: Please read our previous Blog Posts about the Paramount Ranch and the fire.

We are WORLDWIDE! Here are all the places we’ve been Nov 3-7, 2019:

November 9, 2019 – (One More Saturday Night) Went to the WisDome in downtown Los Angeles for a VIP Experience “Dead in the Dome 2.0” with Melvin Seals, the Jerry Garcia Band, Steve Kimock and DJ Logic with art projections by Jerry Garcia.
Coming Soon to a Blog Post near you!

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“Dead in the Dome” 11-9-19

Veteran’s Day 2019 – We thank all those who have served their country.

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Veteran’s Day 2019! Wave That Flag!

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And it’s only the 12th…. TUESDAY! TUESDAY MORNING! TUESDAY AFTERNOON!

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“When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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“Enjoyin’ My Coffee”

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BBRRRRRRR! Arctic Blast!

Return to Ashland, Oregon and Oakland, California in May-June 2019

Return to Ashland, Oregon and Oakland, California
May – June 2019

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Ashland, Oregon Visitor’s Map

It’s been a year (and a half) since we planted my father’s body in the ground in Southern Oregon. The headstone unveiling, after a year of mourning, is a Jewish tradition, so we returned to Ashland for the dedication, to see family, and to take care of a little business.

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Lee Weisel RIP

NOTE: We started this Blog Post in June after we got back and now it is October.
It is finally time to finish and publish it as promised. There are a lot of previous Blog Posts about Ashland, Oregon! If you are interested in more travel and tourism info, you should search for them using the SEARCH BOX or checking out The Archives.

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon!
Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon via I-5 north
Thurs 10:15pm – Fri 8:25am

“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel
There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel”

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We have found the drive from Los Angeles is much better at night. Interstate 5 between The Grapevine and Sacramento and Sacramento and Redding is a long flat drive through the Central Valley of California. There are a lot of “big rig” trucks and only two lanes most of the way, which makes for slow tourists trying to pass, and that creates dangerous situations when other drivers “can’t wait” and do stupid things. So, there are not a lot of tourists if you drive after 9pm, most are asleep for the night, and the truckers have restrictions on the hours they can drive, so many of them have to stop and rest. And that means less traffic, less stupid drivers, fewer cops and better road conditions if you don’t mind driving at night and the bugs on your windshield. Also, the heat and sun can be terrible during the day (even with air conditioning) so there’s that too.

Sunrise at Lake Shasta

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Sunrise at Lake Shasta, California

If the timing is right, you will get a beautiful sunrise sometime after you pass Redding! Sunrise on Mount Shasta, or coming through the Siskiyou Pass, is a fine experience. There are nice places to stop along the way if you get tired: rest stops, motels, casinos and trucker rest areas along the highway (both commercial and off-ramp/road-side turnouts). We like to drive straight through, stopping only for gas and rest breaks, if we’re doing it at night. We pack food, drink and a change of clothes. Our car is prepared for roadside emergencies, and we have the enhanced auto club coverage with 100 miles towing for our long road trips.

Breakfast at the Morning Glory Cafe in Ashland, Oregon!

We arrived in Ashland early morning and decided to stop for a big breakfast at the Morning Glory Cafe. We like the place but it can get very busy. Free parking next door at the M-otel. We parked, stretched, and then we got a seat at the counter without having to wait and enjoyed our food.

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The Morning Glory Cafe in Ashland

On The Menu: Belgian Bacon Waffle with walnut butter, marionberry jam and maple syrup, fresh orange juice and coffee

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After breakfast we drove to the motel and tried to get an early check-in, but no luck. So, we went thrifting/antiquing for a couple hours. We drove to Medford and back, made a few stops, and drove to The Ranch. We hung out until it was time to check-in, then drove back to the motel and moved into our room.

Family stuff all weekend and then Dad’s headstone unveiling on Sunday afternoon.
Most of the family activities were small and personal and we didn’t take pictures. We had family dinner at The Ranch on Friday, dinner at Beasy’s on The Creek in Ashland on Saturday, and a post-ceremony gathering at The Ranch after the unveiling on Sunday.

Our accommodations for the weekend:
Comfort Inn in Ashland, Oregon – 3 nights (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Breakfast and Free WiFi included

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Comfort Inn in Ashland, Oregon (at exit 19)

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The room was spacious, clean and equipped with a fridge and microwave. There was also a large “Jacuzzi Tub” in the room, set in a weird space adjacent. We were told it was the only room with this kind of tub. There was also a skylight in the weird space, and there was no way to cover it or block the light from the rest of the room, which was a problem because we like it dark. We got some black trash bags and tape from the front desk and tried to jury rig a “blackout” shade, but it was not very successful.

We could have moved to another room, but it was also graduation weekend for the local high schools and Southern Oregon University in Ashland, so everything was booked solid on Friday night everywhere in Jackson county, so we just decided to go with it and enjoy the tub.

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Bubble Bath in the “Jacuzzi Tub” at the Comfort Inn

We stayed here last year for the funeral weekend and it was a pretty good “no frills” option, convenient to roads that lead to The Ranch. And yes we were invited to stay at the house, but we would be surrounded by family, and without private space, so we spent the additional money for the motel room and “peace of mind”.

The Comfort Inn has a nice daily Breakfast Buffet served in a large dining room next to the lobby. The start serving the hot breakfast early and it’s a pretty nice spread with good options. And they also have FREE coffee all day and night.

On The Menu: scrambled eggs with bacon or sausage, Mexican egg scramble, waffles (make them yourself), fresh fruit, cereals, milk, juices, coffee, tea, bagels, bread for toasting, mini-croissants, donuts, muffins, yogurt and more.

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View of the Rogue Valley from The Ranch

Family Dinner at The Ranch on Friday night

After checking in, cleaning up, and taking a short nap at the motel, we drove back to The Ranch and had a nice dinner with the immediate family. After dinner we stopped at the market, bought provisions for the weekend and a bottle of Mister Bubble, and then returned to the motel and took a long hot bubble bath in the in-room “Jacuzzi Tub”.

We slept and woke up early on Saturday. After enjoying the breakfast buffet at the motel, we went back to bed. We woke up, got ready and went up to The Ranch to be social, and then went into Ashland, and then up to Medford, before returning to the motel to clean up and get ready for dinner.

Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek on Saturday night

The family went out to dinner at Beasy’s on The Creek in downtown Ashland. It was Dad’s favorite restaurant for entertaining, the Chef/Owner is a good friend, and we had his “Bilbo Baggin’s” Farewell Party for all his friends there. It was a great meal but there was a lot of emotional stuff happening at the table during dinner.

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Chef Rob in the Kitchen at Beasy’s on The Creek in Ashland, Oregon

On The Menu:
6oz filet with 2 prawns, broccoli, potatoes au gratin, clam chowder, bread and butter, wine, a coke, and pot du chocolate for dessert.
Pressed pinot noir red wine with dinner.

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“Surf & Turf” Dinner at Beazy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Oregon

After dinner we went back to the motel and tried to sleep, but we couldn’t. Too much stuff going on in our head and not tired/insomnia. It was a long night at the motel. We finally fell asleep for a little while and then hit the Sunday breakfast buffet. We hung out until it was time to caravan over to the cemetery for Dad’s headstone unveiling.

It was a truly beautiful day and the weather was absolutely perfect. There was a gathering of family and close friends at the gravesite, and the Rabbi performed a brief service to dedicate the headstone. It is a Jewish tradition to wait a year (and mourn the dead) before placing the headstone at the grave. And so, we gathered and the headstone was unveiled, and it was a very emotional afternoon. Then after the service we went back to The Ranch for a reception and celebration of his life with more food and drink.

After the reception we went back to the motel and took a nap, and when we woke up we hung out until we got hungry. We drove up to Medford to the In-n-Out Burger (the first one in the state) and got some late-night food.

Dinner at In-n-Out Burger in Medford, Oregon on Sunday night

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In-N-Out Burger in Medford, Oregon

Got that In-n-Out Urge! Also, there aren’t a lot of late night options on Sunday in Ashland, so two Double-Double cheeseburgers and a chocolate shake was a terrific choice for familiar and inexpensive comfort food after a long and emotional day.

 

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In-n-Out Double-Double Cheeseburger

We returned to the motel, took another hot bath in the “Jacuzzi Tub”, took a hot shower, and tried to sleep. When the morning came around we woke up and enjoyed the breakfast buffet again. We packed up our stuff and loaded the car and checked out of the Comfort Inn at noon on Monday.

Family stuff is just exhausting! Our brother flew in Saturday morning and left on Sunday afternoon. Our east coast aunt left on the early morning flight to New York from Medford with a layover in Denver. Our sister left on a later flight Monday for Los Angeles with a layover in San Francisco. And our other aunt and uncle (and their caregiver) left Tuesday around noon on a flight to Phoenix, Arizona.

We moved to The Ranch for the next two nights (Monday and Tuesday) after my brother, sister and east coast aunt had left town. We checked out of the motel and moved into our east coast aunt’s guest room, which used to be my father’s office. It was weird being in the space and sleeping in a bed located where his desk once was, and there were still remnants of his office stuff and the same pictures on the wall to add to the weirdness….

We stayed around the house and there was an afternoon nap, before we went out to dinner in downtown Ashland.

Dinner at Lark’s Kitchen at the Historic Ashland Springs Hotel on Monday evening

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The Historic Ashland Springs Hotel (from an earlier visit)

We went out to eat again with our aunt and uncle (and their caregiver) and stepmother at Lark’s Country Kitchen in the Historic Ashland Springs Hotel. Our aunt and uncle wanted a good burger. and they have a good burger on the lunch menu, also available “off the menu” at dinner on request. We called and confirmed this and made an early reservation. There is no theatre in Ashland on Mondays, the stages are dark, and the OSF has the day off, so there was no pre-theatre dinner rush to worry about. We enjoyed a wonderful relaxed dinner in the dining room with a nice view of Ashland’s main drag, also less crowded on Monday, but alway good for people watching.

On The Menu:
Fried chicken breast with bacon gravy, mashed red potatoes, and sub asparagus for collared greens. Sea Smoke Southing pinot noir red wine and a coke to drink.

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The fried chicken breast was excellent! And everyone enjoyed the burgers too. After dinner, we returned to The Ranch and tried to sleep. It was another long night.

Tuesday was a “take care of business” day. We had a mission to document the details of the Music Master Tape Library and go through a few boxes of Dad’s family photographs. It took all day to complete the tasks, and we had leftovers from the weekend for dinner, packed most of our stuff, and went to bed early.

Ashland, Oregon to Oakland, California on Wednesday morning 8am – 1:30pm

We woke up very early, loaded the car, had a quick breakfast sandwich, and hit the road headed south on Wednesday morning with our friend’s house in Oakland, California as our afternoon destination. It was another beautiful day and the drive was pretty easy. We stopped for gas in Santa Nella and missed the I-505 intersection at Winters. So we had to go further south (80 to 680 to Walnut Creek) to go east into the Bay Area. The “detour” added a little extra time, but it was another beautiful day, so we didn’t mind too much. There was a little traffic coming into Oakland, but it was a really nice drive.

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Mount Shasta, California (from the I-5 freeway)

NOTE: WATCH OUT FOR THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL!
There were a lot of cops on the road during the daytime. They drive marked cruisers, Ford Mustangs and SUVs, as well as unmarked cars (white and blue spotted this trip). Watch your speed, watch your mirrors, and watch out for hidden speed traps!

Wednesday Afternoon in Oakland, California (well, actually in Piedmont)

We arrived at our friend’s house and parked around 1:30pm in the afternoon. And after a quick stop there to refresh and relax, we decided to go afternoon day drinking at a local bar within walking distance and then have something to eat TBD nearby in the neighborhood.

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Kerry House in Oakland, California

First stop was Kerry House, a divey neighborhood bar with cheap drinks, on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland.  Asked if they had “fresh cream” and ordered a White Russian (aka “a caucasian” made with vodka, coffee liqueur and fresh half&half) when the bartender said yes. Then we waited while the doorman went to the corner store and bought small cartons of milk and half&half, so yes it was fresh! We also had some chips and our friend had a couple of Cosmopolitans (vodka and cranberry juice).

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We offered to take our friend out to lunch or dinner, whatever they wanted. The sushi restaurant didn’t open until 5pm, and with our day drinking and another stop at the nearby coffee house for an Italian espresso with whipped cream, we could have gone there. Instead it was decided that we would cook dinner for our friend, so we went to the local market and bought some good food to prepare and consume at her house.

On The Menu: Chef JoshWillTravel did a great job!
Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs and steamed broccoli for dinner
with pita chips and hummus appetizer to start

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Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Steamed Broccoli

We prepped the food and put the ribs in the oven to cook for an hour and a half.
Then we had a little nap during the Basketball Game which was being played in Oakland.

Final Score: Toronto Raptors 123 – Golden State Warriors 109 (series tied 1-1)

After the game was over, we enjoyed a very nice dinner and hung out until 11pm.
Then we hit the road again for another long night drive to Los Angeles. Because of traffic (caused by the game and construction) we had to go north to go east to go south and we added some extra miles, but probably saved some time by following Google Map back to I-5 south.

“No more speed, I’m almost there
Gotta keep cool now, gotta take care”

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TunnelVision!

Oakland to Los Angeles, California
Wednesday night 11pm – Thursday morning 5:30am
Antioch Bridge $6.00 Toll Fee (crossed it around midnight leaving the Bay Area)

Antioch

Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Photo of the Antioch Bridge

The least-traveled and probably least known of the region’s toll bridges, the Antioch Bridge, is a steel plate-girder automobile/bicycle/pedestrian bridge that crosses the San Joaquin River. The Antioch Bridge links Antioch with Sherman Island in southern Sacramento County, near the city of Rio Vista.

Once we reached the I-5 south it was an uneventful drive, with a stop to fill the gas tank and empty the bladder and a rest stop to stretch and use the restroom. There was a lot of construction work and one bad traffic accident ( a car went off the highway and into a deep ditch off the elevated road) and we were pretty sure there were fatalities as we passed. Another obvious reason to ALWAYS DRIVE SAFE and PAY ATTENTION!

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Incident on the I-5 Freeway South on Thursday Morning

We arrived in the San Fernando Valley just before 5:30am and as we reached the 405 freeway north, there was already “stop and go” traffic at the 101 intersection, so we exited and took surface streets home, with a quick stop at our PO Box to pick up the mail.

Comfort Inn – Ashland, Oregon

Morning Glory Cafe – Ashland, Oregon

Beazy’s On The Creek – Ashland, Oregon

In-n-Out Burger – Medford, Oregon

Lark’s Country Kitchen (at the Ashland Springs Hotel) – Ashland, Oregon

Kerry House – Piedmont Av, Oakland, California

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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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Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims!

FRIDAY NIGHT WAS ROCKIN’ FOR A GREAT CAUSE!

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Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims LIVE at Joe’s in Burbank on 11-16-18!
Maureen & the Mercury 5, Doña Oxford, the Brian Hogan Band, the Crown City Bombers, James Intveld, and Lil Mo and the Dynaflos!

BIG THANKS TO MAUREEN & LIL MO!
BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PLAYED, PARTICIPATED IN PUTTIN’ ON THE SHOW OR WHO ATTENDED AND GAVE MONEY TO AID THE FIRE VICTIMS!
BIG THANKS TO JOE’S GREAT AMERICAN BAR & GRILL FOR THE VENUE!

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The 101 Ventura Freeway East – Going to Burbank!

LIVE at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill in Burbank!  

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Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

 

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Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

 

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Stiff Drinks at Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

Raffle, Silent Auction (with very cool stuff)
and Merchandise Sales to benefit the victims!

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Great Music All Night Long!

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Maureen making announcement! Let the show begin!

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