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

“Oscar, Oscar, who will win?”

“Oscar, Oscar!”
The 92nd Academy Awards 2020

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“It’s a wonderful night for Oscar,
Oscar, Oscar, who will win?”

 

 

 

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Live on ABC TELEVISION at 8pm EST
from the Hollywood&Highland Entertainment Complex
and the KODAK DOLBY Theatre in Hollywood!

NO HOST! (again)
Why? Billy Crystal wasn’t available?

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Oscar’s full name is “the Academy Award of Merit”

The first Academy Awards was held in May, 1929 at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The awards ceremony was first broadcast on radio in 1930 and on ABC television in 1953.

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Hollywood&Highland Enterainment Complex

WINTER STORM WARNING!
Yes, it does rain in Southern California.
And it’s raining on the Red Carpet at the Oscars today!
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WHO WILL WIN BEST DIRECTOR? – winner: Bong Joon-Ho “Parasite”
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Bong Joon-Ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”

 

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WHICH FILM WILL WIN BEST PICTURE? – winner: “Parasite”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”
“Marriage Story”
“Parasite”
“1917”

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Angelina Jolie on the Red Carpet

“It’s your big night Oscar,
What a sight Oscar,
Tomorrow’s stars and stars from way back when,
So, keep your speeches tight fellas,
We’d like to finish by tonight fellas,
On behalf of the Academy,
A billion people tuning in to see,
Little Oscar’s turning ninety-two tonight.”

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Louis B. Mayer July 12, 1884 – October 29, 1957

Louis B. Mayer co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios in 1924, and for 30 years, he was the most powerful producer and studio executive in Hollywood.

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#MeToo

Accused rapist Harvey Weinstein is one of the most award-winning producers in history. Films he was involved in at Miramax and The Weinstein Co. won 81 Academy Awards and (in 2015) he was second only to Steven Spielberg in the number of times thanked in Oscar acceptance speeches. Weinstein was expelled from the Academy, Hollywood, and the entertainment industry following numerous sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations going public last year. The Academy’s Board of Governors voted in an emergency meeting to remove Weinstein and said in a statement:
“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”

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“It’s time for Oscar to take center stage,
This guy’s had work done, he never shows his age,
He’s ninety-two now, but still all the rage,
That’s why the Oscar, that is why the Oscar,
That’s why Oscar is a champ!

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The Streaker at the Oscars!

Robert Opel a conceptual artist, photographer, gallery owner, teacher, and gay rights activist “streaked” the Academy Awards on live television. He ran onstage nude flashing a peace sign at the 46th award ceremony in 1974.

David Niven, the Host of the show (interrupted while introducing Elizabeth Taylor):
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen…. Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

After running offstage, Opel put on a jumpsuit and blended in with the reporters. When he was caught, he wasn’t arrested, he was taken backstage and gave a press conference.

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We like Sally Field!

“And I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.”
– Sally Field accepting the Best Actress Academy Award in 1985 for “Places in the Heart”
(She also won a Best Actress Oscar for “Norma Rae” in 1980)

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Francis Ford Coppola

“Who knows who will win the Oscar,
Only Price-Waterhouse can say,
So, if you want the answers…
…May I have the envelope please!”

Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers count all the ballots, oversee Academy elections (as well as the Oscars) and they also do the Academy’s taxes.
The Academy has used sealed envelopes to protect the names of the winners since 1941.

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Julia Phillips, Producer & Author April 7, 1944 – January 1, 2002

Julia Phillips was the first female producer to win an Academy Award for Best Picture for “The Sting” in 1974. And at age twenty-nine, at the time, she was also the youngest person to win an Oscar for Best Picture. She also produced “Taxi Driver” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” with her husband Michael Phillips. In 1991, she wrote the book “You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again” a revealing tell-all memoir about her experiences in Hollywood.

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The Red Carpet coverage on ABC SUCKED!
Who thought Billy Porter would be a good host/interviewer?

LIVE BLOGGING THE OSCARS 2020! (and we’ll finish editing later)
“Oscar, Oscar! Who will win?”

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Popcorn Time!

Big commercial for Marvel’s “Black Widow”
Sunday 5pm PST

The Opening Number –  Janell Monae PLEASE GET BACK ON THE STAGE.
And more Billy Porter…. and celebrity audience participation too.
Singing. Dancing. Pyro effects. Hip Hop dancers in funky costumes.
They’re so excited. It was actually kinda lame.

Steve Martin and Chris Rock (ex-Oscar Hosts) do the opening mono dialogue.
Chris Rock “Jeff Bezos is so rich” jokes. Chris and Steve joke about the nominees.
Chris Rock: “Cynthia Erivo did such a good job hiding Black people in Harriet, The Academy got her to hide all the Black nominees.”OSCAR SO WHITE DIG
Steve Martin (to under the stage): “Eddie, I loved you in Dolemite!”

The Best Supporting Actor montage
Brad Pitt wins as expected for “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”.
And Brad starts by calling out the GOP Senate!
(He gets more time than John Bolton did last week!)
Shoutout to Quentin Tarantino. Shoutout to Stunt Coordinators and Stunt People!

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Brad Pitt – Best Supporting Actor!

cut to: commercials
Cadillac w/Regina King, Rolex, M&Ms, Samsung folding phone,
Postmates, Verizon, ABC promo “For Life”

Beanie Feldstein intros
Mindy Kaling presenting Best Animated Feature Film
“Toy Story 4” wins. Cut to Robert Iger smiling.
And Best Animated Short Film too.
“Hair Love” wins. Did you see it?
Hooray for positive representation of African Americans!
Normalize Black Hair! Political mention of the Crown Act.

Josh Gad introduces Idina Menzel “Into The Unknown” Best Song performance
with foreign language singers/performers (but no subtitles)

92nd Annual Academy Awards - Show

cut to: commercials
Disney+, TurboTax (do not attempt), M&Ms, Hulu promo, …… dogs were barking,
Mercedes Benz, Park MGM Las Vegas, Spectrum Mobile

Kelly Marie Tran and Questlove intros
Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves (“the power of a good script”)
Best Original Screenplay – clips with subtitles! and a translator for “Parasite”
“Parasite” wins.  “Great honor” and speeches in Japanese (with a translator)

Natalie Portman and some kid? (Timothy Chalamet) present Best Adapted Screenplay
WHAT IS FUNNY ABOUT HITLER? and then “Jojo Rabbit” wins.
NOTE: He says that the Shoah foundation and families of Holocaust survivors
approved of the film and that Mel Brooks liked it.

Shia Lebeof and Zach, a special needs individual disabled guy from the film “Peanut Butter”, present Best Live Action Short Film
“The Neighbor’s Window” wins. Guy nobody knows makes a speech about his mom.
Marshall Curry Productions: watch it now for FREE at http://www.theneighborswindow.com

cut to: commercials
Verizon (gay son accepted by family!), McDonald’s, Cadillac,
unfunnt ABC promo for “The Conners” Live

Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig “ACTING!” (funny pissed off – “That was an act.”)
Best Production Design – and the clips didn’t really show any serious production design
“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” wins.
A tribute to the Sweeney Sisters! They sing a funny little Best Costume Design duet.
“Little Women” wins. Jacqueline Durran’s speech was short and sweet and British.

Another Best Song performance.
Musical Number (but that’s not Lizzo) without introduction….

NOTE: There were a lot of weird pauses and dead moments during the live broadcast mostly before the transitions and commercial breaks, so was it caused by technical stuff or just by the technical director?

cut to: commercials
Quibi (black woman President), Natalie Portman for Miss Dior, Verizon/Apple iPhone11, Google (film locations), ABC promo The Bachelor (funny Ghost tribute with Whoopee!)

Best Documentary Feature Film presentation (looked like another ABC promo)
Mark Ruffalo presents the clips without any description of the films
“American Factory” wins. Bald woman and man from Ohio. “Go Buckeyes!”
(Cancer survivor) Shout out to the other Documentary nominees!
The Obamas’ company Higher Ground wins an Oscar for their first production!
Best Documentary Short Film
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re A Girl)” wins.
Lesbian name dropping Frank Capra! “Four decades in this business”
Shoutout to girls! Shoutout to Girl Crew! Hooray Lesbians!

Mahershala Ali presents Best Supporting Actress
Laura Dern wins for “Marriage Story”! BIG CONGRATULATIONS!
We worked with her on HBO’s “Afterburn” in 1991-92
Shoutout to her parents Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.
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cut to commercials:
Cadillac (with Regina King), M&Ms, Indeed (hooray for the janitor), Hulu promo “Little Fires Everywhere”, FX on Hulu promo Mrs America (with Cate Blanchett). Disneyland/Walt Disney World Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, Mercedes Benz GLC

Anthony Ramos who? Oh, from “Hamilton” (no wonder we don’t know hime) intros
Lin Manuel Miranda intros the Song Montage: clips from Risky Business, Rocky, Breakfast Club, Say Anything, Purple Rain, Titanic, The Bodyguard, Ghost, La Bamba, Almost Famous, Waynes World, Slumdog Millionaire, Footloose, The Graduate, Moulin Rouge, Do The Right Thing, Back To The Future, Reservoir Dogs, Deliverance, and 8 Mile.

Eminem rises to the stage!
“Lose Yourself In The Music The Moment” Rap performance time. (censored)
And the Hollywood crowd goes wild. But WTF is he doing here?

cut to: commercials
McDonald’s, “NO.” Discover, Quibi, Biktarvy (HIV medicine with gay kiss), “YES. Discover, ABC promo Modern Family, ABC promo For Life

Oscar Issac and Selma Hayek-(married name) present
Best Sound Editing – SPOILER ALERT for all the films!
“Ford v Ferrari” Donald Sylvester wins.
“probably the last film made by 20th Century Fox”
Shout out to James Mangold the director – “should have been nominated”
Best Sound Mixing – “1917” Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson win.
Thank yous and a shout out to Sam Mendes.

“Toy Story 4” Best Song performance
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” by Randy Newman on a Steinway & Sons piano.
Robert Iger approves. Randy Newman is really old.

cut to: commercials
Kinder Bueno chocolate bar, Microsoft Surface, Quibi, BMW Grand Coup 2, Hulu promo Motherland, Honda, ABC promo After The Awards

Questlove, Rap (freestyle) performance recap of the show so far by Indian Guy (you don’t know….

Will Ferrell and Julia Louie-Dreyfus present Best Cinematography – HAHAHAHAHA!
“1917” (of course) Roger Deakins thanks everyone and a shout out to Sam Mendes.
and Best Film Editing “Ford v Ferrari” Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
Thank yous (some in Spanish) and shout out to James Mangold
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Academy President David Rubin – The Academy Museum is almost open!
Intro Tom Hanks! Tom introduces the Academy Museum at Fairfax and Wilshire.
Opens December 2020 Tom Hanks: “I am Spartacus”

cut to: commercials
Rolex, M&Ms, Capital One Eno, The 1619 Project (slavery), Cadillac, ABC promo For Life

Sessy Bates intros The Oscars music director
Cynthia Erivo “Stand Up” Best Song Performance from “Harriet” big musical number

cut to: commercials
Apple iPhone 11 Verizon, Quibi, Facebook (groups with Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone), NatGeo promo Aretha Franklin, Lexus, Delta AMEX (Cadillac Ranch daughter), ABC promo News and Jimmy Kimmel

Rebel Wilson and James Corden in their bad “Cats” costumes and makeup! HAHAHAHAHA! Presenting Best Visual Effects! Playing with the microphone stand!
“1917” wins. Thank you Sam Mendes. Thank you.
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Ray Romano and Sandra Oh present Best Makeup and Hair
Ray Romano: “And I’m Charlize Theron” Best Joke! HAHAHAHAHA
“Bombshell” wins.“Thank you, it’s a great honor.” Shout out to Charlize!
(and they play off/cut the other two winners without letting them speech)

cut to: commercials
Cadillac (parkour stunts and driving), Colgate, NCL – Norwegian Cruise Line, Kellogg’s Special K, Verizon (immigrant family connecting), ABC promo GMA – Good Morning America

Penelope Cruz v.o. (shoutouts Pedro Almodovar and Fellini) with montage
Penelope presents Best International Feature Film to “Parasite” of course. Thank you great honor, Japanese translator shoutout to the new name of the category and all the actors and crew members from the film in the audience.
“I’m ready to drink tonight…until the next morning.”

Elton John! Best Song performance from “Rocketman” on a red Yamaha piano

cut to: commercials
M&Ms, FX Network (give you a headache) promo, ABC promo American Idol “Tiny Dancer” “Almost Famous” ripoff Ryan Seacrest driving the bus, Mercedes Benz GLS SUV, Spectrum, Disneyland/Walt Disney World Rise of the Resistance (again)

Taika Waititi – Shoutout to  the Native American Tribes of Los Angeles
Lunch awards last week you didn’t see. Wes Studi and Geena Davis

Gal Gadot, Sigourney Weaver, and Brie Larson “Superhero Women”
Start female fight club and “no shirts for men, with sushi and tequila”
intro Female Conductor –
First time in Oscar history! She conducts the Best Original Score music medley.
“The Joker” Holder Gunhadottir wins. Her dress is very sparkly under the lights!
Best Original Song – Elton John and Bernie Taupin win for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again”!
Bernie makes the speech and Elton finishes the thank yous (a brief long winded ramble).

cut to: commercials
(restroom break) Rolex

Spike Lee presents Best Directing – Bong Joon Ho “Parasite” wins again!
And the crowd goes wild…. Japanese translator
Then he quotes Martin Scorcese and gets a standing ovation!
Shoutout to Quentin Tarentino! “Thank you I will drink until next morning!”

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Bong Joon-Ho will drink until next morning!

NOTE: And apparently they did drink until next morning, starting at the Governor’s Ball, then the Vanity Fair party and after that at Sabon restaurant in Koreatown until 5am!

Steven Spielberg introduces the In Memoriam Death Montage
with Billie Eilish and Phinneas performing “Yesterday” live onstage.

cut to: commercials
Verizon, Adobe (Gene Wilder singing Willie Wonka), ABC promo For Life, ABC promo The Connors Live

George McKai in the balcony introduces
Olivia Coleman onstage to presents Best Actor
“Last year was the best night of my husband life.” – HAHAHAHAHA
And Joaquin Phoenix wins for “The Joker” as expected
and now time for his big political speech…..
(yeah, it’s been way longer than 45 seconds, c’mon please play him off)
Then he quotes a River Phoenix lyric and says thank you.

Rami Malek presents Best Actress
Renee Zellweger wins for “Judy” as expected
Lots of thank yous. Thanks her agents and long time manager John Carrabino.
And then she rambles and goes way overtime… gracious but not memorable.

cut to: commercials
Google, M&Ms, Samsung, Quibi, Corona Premier lite beer, Verizon

Jane Fonda presents Best Picture
“Oscar, Oscar, who will win?”
“Parasite” wins! And the crowd goes wild! Standing ovation!
First Foreign Language Film to Win Best Picture!
The cast and crew take the stage!
Japanese translator producer Kwak Se
The audience won’t let them play them off!
Speech in English by one of the actresses thanking the director,
all their supporters, and their Korean film audience.
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Jane Fonda closes the show: “Goodnight and Thank You for Watching.”
Sunday 8:33pm PST

cut to: commercials
ABC promo For Life, ABC promo The Connors Live, ABC promo Jimmy Kimmel tomorrow, Oscars legal statement, ABC promo American Idol, ABC promo The Connors Live, Rolex, Jaguar, MikeBloomberg2020 political ad (with Barack Obama), ABC promo ABC News, ABC promo Jimmy Kimmel , Mazda, The Good Feet Store, Disney+ Timmy Failure, ABC promo ABC News

“After The Oscars”
The Governors Ball at Hollywood&Highland with George Pennachio on ABC.

And we say GOODNIGHT and THANK YOU for reading this Blog Post!

PARTY TIME HOLLYWOOD STYLE! WHERE’S MY DAMN LIMO?

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The End



 

Route 66 for TravelTuesday 2020!

ROUTE 66 for TravelTuesday 2020!
It’s the First Tuesday in February!
January is now in the history books.
Football Season is over.
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Where do you want to go this year?
Destination Unknown?
Domestic or International?
First Class or Coach?
Planes, Trains, Automobiles, or Boats?
Flying, riding, driving, or cruising?
Do you travel with a group, a spouse, a friend, or go it alone?
Would you like fries with that?

TAKE A ROUTE 66 ROAD TRIP! – “Hit the road Jack!”

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START!
Route 66 originally began on Jackson Boulevard at Michigan Avenue in Chicago. (1926)
In 1933, the beginning (and ending) was moved east onto reclaimed land for the Chicago World Fair to Jackson Boulevard and Lake Shore Drive.
In 1955, Jackson Boulevard became a one way street west of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street became westbound US-66. However, the start of US-66 remained on Jackson Boulevard at Lake Shore Drive on Lake Michigan.

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Flag of the City of Chicago

Adams Street at Michigan Avenue is currently marked as the starting point (but Route 66 never started there) and the intersection of Jackson Blvd and Michigan Avenue is marked as the end in Chicago.

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FINISH!
Route 66 originally ended at 7th and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles (1926). Now, Route 66 ends at Lincoln Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, California.

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Flag of the State of California

The “TOURIST ENDING” is the Will Rogers Plaque in the Palisades Park at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard and the official  “End of the Trail” sign (placed in 2009) at the Santa Monica Pier (opened in 1909).

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US Route 66 – established 1926

Route 66
written by Bobby Troup
“If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.
It winds from Chicago to LA,
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.
Now you go through Saint Louis, Joplin, Missouri,
And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona. Don’t forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino.
Won’t you get hip to this timely tip
When you make that California trip
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.”

Route 66 (United States Highway 66)
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aka the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America, or “the Mother Road”
‎30 hours of driving, 2448 miles, three time zones and 8 (or 9) states,
from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California:

Illinois: Chicago, Pontiac, Lincoln, Springfield (the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln)
Missouri: Chain of Rocks Bridge, St. Louis, The Gateway Arch, Sullivan, the Meramec Caverns, Cuba, Rolla, Springfield
(Kansas): Baxter Springs
Oklahoma:
 Claremont, Catoosa, the Blue Whale, Tulsa, Sapulpa, Oklahoma City, El Reno, Clinton, the Route 66 Museum, Elk City, the Pony Bridge
Texas: Amarillo, the Cadillac Ranch, Vega
New Mexico: Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, the Acoma Pueblo (the oldest inhabited community in North America since 1150), Gallup
Arizona: Lupton, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Winslow, Flagstaff, the Lowell Observatory, William, Seligman, Kingman, Grand Canyon National Park, Oatman
(Nevada): Las Vegas
California: Needles, Joshua Tree National Park, Barstow, the Route 66 Mother Road Museum, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernadino, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean

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Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California!

“Keep your eyes on the road
Your hands upon the wheel
Yeah, we’re going to the roadhouse
Gonna have a real good-time”
Roadhouse Blues by The Doors
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“The Grapes of Wrath” 1939 Film


In 1984, the final stretch of US Highway 66 in Arizona was decommissioned after the completion of I-40 north of Williams.  The highway was decertified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation the following year in 1985 and US-66 was officially removed from the map.

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GO WEST!

Cyrus Avery, the “Father of Route 66”, created and promoted the highway during his lifetime

The Iconic Volkswagen Microbus!

The VW bus is the brainchild of Ben Pon, a Dutch importer of Beetles to the Netherlands, who saw the market for a small bus and in 1947 sketched out a concept that VW liked.

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March 8, 1950 – The Volkswagen Type 2 (or the Transporter) goes into production!
aka VW Bus, Bus, Microbus, “Combi”, “Splittie”, “Bulli”, and Hippie Wagon,

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The VW Bus was only the second product made by Volkswagen (the first was the Beetle). In 1972, the VW Beetle passed the Ford Model T and became the world’s best-selling car, with over 15 million automobiles produced.

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“Hippie Bus”

Volkswagen, or “People’s Car” (from the German language)

In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Nazi Germany. He wanted new roads (the Autobahn) and an inexpensive, fuel-efficient, mass-produced automobile for the people. Ferdinand Porsche, an Austrian engineer, was commissioned to design an affordable small car. In 1938, work began on the Volkswagen factory, located in present-day Wolfsburg, Germany, but full-scale production didn’t begin until after World War II.

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Before World War II, it wasn’t called a Volkswagen Beetle but instead was named the KDF Wagen, a reference to the Hitler Youth motto “Kraft durch Freude” or “Strength through Joy.”

Josef Ganz, a German-Jewish engineer developed and patented many concepts for the VW Beetle and his name was removed on purpose by the Nazis. Ganz faced lawsuits over his patents, and a halt to his benefits from his previous employers Mercedes-Benz, Adler and BMW. He lost his position as editor-in-chief of “Motor-Kritik” and the Gestapo arrested him for alleged blackmail of the industry. He was threatened with assassination, forced into exile and forgotten. He died from a heart attack, unmarried and childless, at age 59 in Australia in 1967. 

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Porsche’s Concept: “A lightweight, inexpensive, streamlined car with independent suspension and swing axles in the rear of the car” – helping navigate “rough roads,”

Allied bombing destroyed most of the VW plant, which produced military vehicles for the Nazis during WWII. After their defeat, the British Government decided the plant would be a benefit for West Germany if it resumed manufacturing the Beetle.

Historic Route 66 – the oldest Route 66 website!
Where Historic Route 66 meets the Internet> https://www.historic66.com

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!
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van_road_trip
“The future’s uncertain and the end is always near.
Let it roll, baby, roll
 – Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll – Let it roll, all night long.”
– Roadhouse Blues 
by The Doors

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“Ramming Speed!”

 



UPDATE: February 8, 2020 – TRAVEL ALERT! NOVEL CORONAVIRUS!

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Friends, the Coronavirus World Health Crisis is at Epidemic/Pandemic level and still hasn’t peaked. Please rethink (cancel) any and all travel plans you may have until the emergency is over.

Updated WHO advice about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV>
www.who.int/ith/2019-nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic/en/ (Jan 27, 2020)

 



 

January 2020

January 2020
Tempus fugit! Time flies!

STORMWATCH! THURSDAY the 16th at 9pm PST:
It’s raining and snowing in Southern California tonight.
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And it’s been snowing all day in Ashland, Oregon,
and across Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

The rain has passed
So goes winter in L.A.
And here comes the Sun!

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TBT: ThrowbackThursday (still true today)

The Emancipation Proclamation (Proclamation 95),
was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862,
and put into effect on January 1, 1863:
“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom….”
All slaves held within the 10 states not under Union control were declared to be FREE!
The original five page document of the Emancipation Proclamation
is in the National Archives of the United States in Washington, DC.

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The Emancipation Proclamation

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Today, January 16 is Appreciate a Dragon Day!

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January 17 is the Anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake

26 years ago, on 1-17-94, we woke up in the dark at 4:30am to the 6.7 Northridge Earthquake shaking the bed and the sound of things falling! As we opened our eyes, the TV fell off the stand in the bedroom with a crash and the sound of glass breaking could be heard as things fell out of cabinets in the kitchen of our 4th floor apartment. Damage at home was pretty minimal and we had earthquake insurance that covered most of it! Our storage unit in Northridge was another story however (yellow tagged and closed for repairs for a year), and then we had to rescue our Grandmother (of blessed memory) who was trapped in her damaged condominium in Sherman Oaks.

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ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT BIG ONE?
PLAN AHEAD! BE PREPARED!

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This weekend the NFL Football Championship Games will be played!
Two Winners will go to the Super Bowl in Miami, Florida on February 2, 2020.

Tennessee Titans v. Kansas City Chiefs – Green Bay Packers v. San Francisco 49ers
Who are you rooting for?

MONDAY January 20 is Martin Luther King Jr Day
(Read the previous Blog Post – link below)

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new-year-date

 

 

January 25 is Chinese Lunar New Year
Happy Year of the White Metal Male Rat!
(Read the previous Blog Post – link below)

 

“Don’t forget your booties, ’cause it’s cold outside.”
February 2 is always – Groundhog Day!

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“Don’t Drive Angry!”

And the Super Bowl is also on February 2, 2020!
(and we know we just told you so)

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Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida
Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!
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RECENT POSTS:
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Read the previous Blog Post “It’s Groundhog Day!” from 2019
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/its-groundhog-day-2/

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“Feeling a little blue is normal in January” – Marilu Henner

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.



 

Vintage Disney Storage Finds #9

Vintage Disney Storage Finds #9
actually a really cool
Vintage Disney Thrift Store Find!

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Friday is Tie Day Today!
2 Mickey Mouse Ties by Cervantes – Made in USA!
Walt Disney Productions – 100% Qiana Nylon
(vintage neckwear 1960s – 1970s)

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Mickey Mouse Tie by Cervantes – Made in USA

Scored these two “near mint” vintage Mickey Mouse (basketball) Ties by Cervantes this week at a local thrift store.  Did a little research, and very happy with our finds!

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Walt Disney Productions Made in USA 100% Qiana Nylon

Qiana: a silky nylon fiber developed in 1962 at the DuPont Experimental Station by Stanley Brooke Speck and introduced to the public by Dupont in 1968.
Qiana is described in US patent 3249591 as a polyamide fabric having improved resilience and silk-like hand, combined with superior wash-wear performance.

Walt Disney incorporated as Walt Disney Productions on December 16, 1929. Four companies were brought under the corporate name replacing Walt and Roy Disney’s partnership: Walt Disney Productions, Ltd.; Walt Disney Enterprises; Liled Realty & Investment Company, Ltd.; and Disney Film Recording Company, Ltd. The company retained the name for more than 50 years until it was renamed The Walt Disney Company in February, 1986.

NOTE: Items marked Walt Disney Productions (WDP) are vintage and made before 1986. It’s a great way to date Disney souvenirs.

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Rudy Cervantes inspecting his Mickey Mouse ties in Los Angeles 1976

“A tie ends up in the closet because it doesn’t make a statement”
– Rudy Cervantes

Rudy Cervantes made Mickey Mouse Ties under license from Walt Disney Productions. He also made logo and novelty ties for many other companies, sports teams and brands.

Rudy Cervantes with Tommy Lasorda (Los Angeles Dodgers), George Steinbrenner (New York Yankees) and Walter Lantz (Woody Woodpecker & Friends):

Rudy Cervantes Neckwear Inc. (established in 1962)
9025 Lindante Dr., Whittier, CA 90603  213-747-9348

“Frank G-D it’s Tie Day”

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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>

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE> http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com
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Mickey Mouse Tie by Cervantes – Walt Disney Productions – Made in USA

 



 

OCTOBER 2019 Taimane in Malibu, Rocktoberfest, and Halloween!

OCTOBER 2019 – Taimane in Malibu, Rocktoberfest, and Halloween!

And so it is ROCK-TOBER again, and Halloween is on the doorstep.
Thanksgiving and “the Winter Holidays” (Christmas) are waiting in the wings.
Where does the time go? What happened to this year? Tempus Fugit! Time flies.

A Blog Post in three parts: first, some LIVE MUSIC Taimane in Malibu, second, a review of the month of October, and third, a little fun with “The Big Lebowski” and “Office Space”.

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US 101 North – Ventura Highway

Thursday’s sunset on the 101 freeway on the way to Pepperdine University in Malibu.

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Taimane LIVE at Pepperdine University 10-17-19

NOTE: Taimane is pronounced Tie-mane-ee

Taimane and her Quartet – Elemental Tour
with special guest Polynesian Dancers
in the Smothers Theatre at 8pm
2019 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Favorite Entertainer of the Year!
A wonderful showcase and celebration of Polynesian culture.

with added bonus “It’s All Black & White” Contemporary Art exhibit
in the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art next door – FREE Admission!
(see our previous Blog Post for pictures of the art)

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“It’s All Black & White” Art at Pepperdine University

One Ticket to the show: $20+$2 service charge = $22 Total!
and FREE PARKING if you park in the shuttle lot and ride.
(and $7 to park nearby if you don’t want to shuttle)

“She shreds on ukulele and rocks everything from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin. Somehow she manages to not only rock out but connect the audience with meaningful Hawaiian traditions and dances.” – Austin American-Statesman

It was an easy drive from the San Fernando Valley to Malibu. There was only a little stopped traffic caused by the stoplight and left-turning cars at the intersection of Las Virgenes and Mulholland going through the Santa Monica Mountains to the beach. Our destination: Pepperdine University on the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) above the Pacific Ocean.

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US 101 Freeway (north/west)- Ventura Highway at Sunset

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View of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean from Pepperdine at night

We parked for FREE in the shuttle lot and after a short ride we were at the Smothers Theatre picking up our ticket at WillCall. It was a beautiful evening at the beach! We arrived early, walked around a little, took some pictures of the campus, and then visited the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art next door and experienced the “It’s All Black & White” contemporary art exhibit for FREE! (pictures of the art in our previous Blog Post)

Lovely fountains, the Palm Court next to the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, steps that lead down to the lower campus and a Starbuck’s, the parking lot and the Smothers Theatre at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts – Pepperdine University in Malibu.

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And when they opened the house doors, we went to find our seat. Orchestra Row B, on the side aisle. The show started about 15 minutes late, and then it was magic time! Taimane has a beautiful voice  and she jams on the ukulele (and guitar)! She talked directly to the audience, introduced each section/song during the performance and created a intimate relationship with the audience. Her quartet were also amazing! She was accompanied by a guitar, violin and percussion (actually a trio) and two wonderful dancers who performed hula and haka dances during a few of her pieces. We enjoyed the show very much! We love LIVE MUSIC! And the performance was really fun.

One of the reasons we chose a seat on the side was in case video recording was allowed…. and it was! The lighting and our cheap cel phone camera made it difficult to get good pictures (as you can see, we had the same problem at Lebowskifest), but the videos we shot came out pretty good and did a good job of capturing the musical performance.

A couple interesting points: 1. The theatre space makes the performance different from a club venue or music stage, and the audience response was great, but somewhat subdued.
2. The actual show length was kind of short. They started late and played a short first set, then there was an intermission, and a longer second set.  And done before 10:30. There was time for more music (at least another song), and there could and should have been a little or a lot more music, and maybe less introduction. But for only $22 for the ticket we should just shut up, because it was a fabulous performance that we really enjoyed.

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NOTE: Why does this always happen? The nice (old) couple behind me sat down and started talking…. season ticket holders? They knew nothing about the artist or the music.
And they had a wonderful experience! We know because they talked….

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During Intermission and after the show, Taimane worked the “Merch” table, signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone! The other musicians and the dancers also came and mingled with the crowd and everyone was very friendly.

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Spotted this car in the shuttle parking lot after the show! Lots of vintage stickers too.

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We rode the shuttle back to the parking lot and walked to our car enjoying the view of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean at night from the university heights. We once lived in the Pacific Palisades on the Pacific Coast Highway just south of Malibu with a panoramic view of the ocean and we really miss enjoying it 24/7.  We drove south on PCH and then back to the San Fernando Valley through Topanga Canyon. There was construction and we had to stop twice for traffic when it was just a single lane. There were too many slow drivers and one crazy tailgater, but we got home eventually without incident.

Ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner performs
at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
(Right Click and “Open in New Window”)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ-_ZO9AlMo
and her page on fb> www.facebook.com/taimanegardner

NOTE: The three Taimane live performance videos we shot have been uploaded to our personal fb page and may soon be available on our YouTube channel, if we can figure out how to upload them from our cheapo camera. Her videos on YouTube rock!

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“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working,
every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it.
So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”
– Peter Gibbons, Office Space

Here is our old 2010 commercial real estate office space in West Los Angeles:

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Our CUBICLE in the West Los Angeles Office

As a Hollywood Talent Manager we worked from the Home Office for over 10 years. It was a big change having to wake up, get ready and then drive to work to get to the office and our work desk in our cubicle space. Try doing the 405 Freeway Crawl for a year! It was only 12 miles, but it could take well over an hour to get from the Valley to West L.A. And the drive “over the hill” isn’t much better using the canyon roads, as we found out working at the Century City adjacent Talent Agency. It sucks to arrive at work already stressed out from the drive, and then to still have to be present and accounted for all day. And then stress out on the drive home in horrible traffic again after work…….

Agent, Agent, Agent! Three jobs in a row:
Commercial Real Estate (sales & leasing) Agent – nice cubicle in nice office as seen above.
Hollywood Talent Agent – had our own office, but it really was just a “private” cubicle.
Luxury Travel Advisor/Travel Agent – didn’t even get walls, just got an open desk space.

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Milton: “I believe you have my stapler.”

And at present we are back in the Home Office, Right now, we are finishing this Blog Post in our bathrobe at 4:30am while drinking coffee and watching reruns (that we’ve already seen too many times) of “Two And A Half Men”.
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So OCTOBERFEST!
Rock Out it’s ROCKTOBERFEST!
And INKTOBER too!

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Happy Halloween 2019!

September 29: Happy Rosh Hashanah! Happy Jewish New Year!
(we celebrate for 2 days, and observe the holiday for 10 days)

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Happy Jewish New Year!

October 8 was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement
(lots of prayers and fasting on the holiest day of the year)
A personal message from JoshWillTravel:
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Remember The Las Vegas Massacre on the Las Vegas Strip?
October 1st was the 2 year anniversary of the Route91 Harvest Music Festival:
58 people killed and 422 wounded.
October 27th is the 1 year anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life (L’Simcha congregation) Synagogue Shooting: 11 people killed and 7 others injured.

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“Enjoy Every Sandwich”

October is the tenth month of the year
Autumn in the Northern hemisphere
October’s birthstones are tourmaline and opal
Zodiac signs for October are Libra and Scorpio
And it’s National Pizza, Popcorn Poppin’, Pork, and Seafood Month!

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“Callin’ Oates” Your EMERGENCY Hall & Oates Hotline!

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We called it. It is real. “Whoaaaaa, here she comes…..”

October 20 – Remembering Tom Petty on his birthday.
Gone too soon. May his memory and music be a blessing!

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Happy BACK TO THE FUTURE DAY 2019!

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Oct 25 is St Crispin’s Day!
“This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd” – Henry V
The Battle of Agincourt was fought on this day in 1415.

He stomped on the Terra.
Remembering Wolodia Grajonca (aka Bill Graham) today.
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019!
Still on OCTOBER 31st for now…
Watch for a new Halloween Blog Post coming soon!

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Happy Halloween 2019!

“They did the Mash, They did the Monster Mash!”

The Dude Abides. And where did the year go?
How is it the end of October already?
TIME. TIME. TIME.
“It’s astoundingTime is fleeting. Madness takes it’s toll” – Riff Raff

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“Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism.
An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.”

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“And even if he’s a lazy man, and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide.”

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

“Shomer Shabbos!” Friday at dusk until Saturday at sunset!

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“SHOMER F*CKIN’ SHABBOS!”

The Sheriff of Malibu: (a F*ckin’ Fascist!)
“I don’t like your jerk-off name, I don’t like your jerk-off face,

I don’t like your jerk-off behavior, and I don’t like you, jerk-off.”

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“Stay out of Malibu, Lebowski! Stay out of Malibu, Deadbeat! Keep your ugly fuckin’ goldbrickin’ ass out of my beach community.”

“I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.”

bzCemBG
The Dude Abides.

“Come, come, leave business to idlers, and wisdom to fools:
they have need of ’em: wit be my faculty, and pleasure my occupation,
and let father Time shake his glass.”
~William Congreve

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.         …I’m dreaming of a White Russian.

“Uh, I am not Mr. Lebowski. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude.
So that’s what you call me. You know uh, that or uh, his Dudeness,
or uh Duder or uh, El Duderino, if you know you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”

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The JoshWillTravel AdventureScope on Youtube> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

Have you seen my IMDB? http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0918756/

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“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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“For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone.” – Psalms 103:16

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FULL MOON FEVER!

OUR RECENT BLOG POSTS:
(we’ve been on a roll and these are all new!)



 

Rancho Los Encinos in Encino, California

Rancho Los Encinos in Encino, California

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Los Encinos State Historic Park 2017

“Los Encinos State Historic Park, just northeast of the intersection of Balboa and Ventura Boulevards in Encino, California, was the hub of Rancho El Encino. Located in the San Fernando Valley, this California rancho includes the original eight-room de la Ossa Adobe, the two-story limestone Garnier building, a blacksmith shop, a natural spring, and a pond.”

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Rancho Los Encinos 1949

“The natural spring provided a year-round source of water for the ancient, autonomous, village of Siutcanga.  The village was home to Chumash, Tongva, and Tataviam people, who later were called “Fernandeños” by the Spanish due to the enslavement of these three groups to the San Fernando Mission.  An excellent description of this village was recorded as part of the 1769 Portola Expedition. This Spanish expedition reached the San Fernando Valley and named it “El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de Los Encinos” (The Valley of St. Catherine of Bononia of the Oaks).”

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Rancho El Encino 1880s

September 4th, 1781 – El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles is founded!

“Located along a significant travel route between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the property passed through many hands between the 1840s and the early 20th century. Today, the park contains exhibits related to the agricultural enterprises of Rancho El Encino’s various owners, including Mission Indian, Mexican Californio, French, and French Basque families.”

National Register of Historic Places: NPS-71000142
and California Historical Landmark Number 689

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Dogs are allowed (on leash)

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California Department of Parks & Recreation – Los Encinos State Historical Park
www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=619

Los Encinos Docent Association http://los-encinos.org

Read our Blog Post about the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, with a view of the park>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/dinner-at-the-lakeside-cafe-in-encino/

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Los Encinos State Historic Park
16756 Moorpark St., Encino CA 91436-1068 (No Parking Lot – Street Parking Only!)
The Park is Open Wed – Sun 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Admission is FREE!
The Visitors’ Center in the Garnier Building is open during regular park hours.

 



 

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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The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign Webcam>
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