November 21 to December 2, 2008 - Thanksgiving Week in Las Vegas

Kathy and I went to Las Vegas over the Thanksgiving Week. We stayed at the Cliffs at Peace Canyon (RCI timeshare). This was our second time staying there. It is a nice quiet resort on the west side of Las Vegas. It is near Kathy's friend, Kim Sperry. We had a typical, nice, vacation. We spent an afternoon on Red Rock canyon, a whole day driving to Death Valley and spent Thanksgiving at Nancy Peruse (Kim's mother-in-law). We did our typical gambling. Kathy lost money, but due to my luck at Roulette, we almost broke even. Kathy travelled home Saturday on her birthday, while I stayed through Tuesday so I could attend an AutoCAD Developers conference.

Here are links to photos of activities during our trip -
Death Valley
Red Rocks
Thanksgiving with Sperry Family

Here is a blog of our trip -
Friday 11-21
8:30pm and I haven't started packing yet. This was a first for me with Kathy finished packing before me. Kathy fell asleep around 10pm, but I didn't drop off until 1am.
Saturday 11-22
I woke up at 4am, Kathy at 5am. Finished packing and headed to the airport. Franci was super nice to pick us up and drive us there. The plane flights were to Atlanta, then Las Vegas. The flight out of Atlanta was late (as usual) and we got into Las Vegas 45 minutes late, around 1:30pm. We picked up a nice "Pacifica" and headed to the Cliffs at Peace Canyon. We had stayed there a few years before and it's an 'Ok' RCI place. We checked in and headed to 'Shucks' to have a late lunch. Back at the room around 4pm, I completely crashed and slept for an hour. woke up, watched TV until 8pm and slept for 11 hours.
Sunday 11-23
We didn't get up until around 7am (10 our time). Kathy got up slowly and went on a 2 mile run around the resort. We showered and went to eat at Egg Works. The food was pretty good. We over ordered and ended up with a $41 bill with tip. We then went to the Red Rock Casino. We looked for our favorite slot machine "Double Triple Diamond Deluxe With Cheese", but they didn't have any. I went to the Roulette table with $100. Played 1st spin $1 each using my usual numbers 1-3-14-24-36 (slice of the pie). I then changed to $5 per number. Then on the 3rd spin won $175. I left the table with $195 in chips. Kathy went off to the slots and quickly lost $40. We then went together slotting and I lost $20 and Kathy lost $20 more. We came back to the room. Kathy took a nice nap while I fooled around on the internet looking for vintage posters. We left the room around 4pm to head to the "Strip" to see our Cirque d'Soleil show "O" at 7:30pm. We arrived at the Bellagio, valeted the car, picked up the "O" tickets and let to find food. Across the road was Planet Hollywood. We went in and immediately found our "Slot". We played to the tune of $60 and lost it all. Since we were hungry we headed to P.F. Chang's, one of Kathy's favorite restaurants. We had a nice meal, then before heading back to Bellagio, I stopped to play the PH roulette....I lost $100. Oh well..the PH is a BAD place to play. We left for the Bellagio and the "O". The show was pretty good. The acrobatics was phenomenal. Some of comics were not so good, but overall it was a solid 8. We then headed to the gambling area. I started with $100 and after playing about 10 machine in 30 minutes, ended up with $29.25. Kathy did much better at the slots. She started with $40 and ended up with $82. We then went over to the roulette wheel. I started with $100 and after the 2nd spin won $175. I played a little more and won another $175. I walked away with $290. Kathy wanted to play another $1 slot (2 play) and quickly won $57. Overall, the Bellagio is a Great place to win!!!! We finally headed back to the Cliffs and got back around 11:30pm. Kathy, as usual, fell asleep within minutes. It took me until 1am to finally dose off.
Monday 11-24
Woke up to abruptly when my cell phone rang at 8am. The call was about the ongoing problems with breakup of Therese and Keren. Apparently Keren cleaned out the bank account. If we weren't on vacation and weren't so close, I'd go over there in kick Keren in the pants for treating Therese so badly. It took Kathy quite a while to talk down Therese and Dianne, so that we could get up and get going for the day. 1st stop was Egg Works. Again the food was great. We ordered a little more realistically and the bill ended up at $31 with tip (and we had a half omelette and half order scrambled eggs with cheese). We the went back to the Cliffs and prepared for a day at Red Rocks. This is one of our favorite places to visit in Las Vegas. Even though we can't hike like we would like, we still enjoy the park. We did short hikes at Callico Hills #1, Willow Springs and Ice Box Canyon. It was a beautiful clear, sunny day around 65 degrees. With a little exhaustion we headed back to the Cliffs, laid down for a while and then went to the pool and hot tub. It's super quiet this time of year (although a little cold). Around 5:30pm we left to head to downtown Las Vegas (Freemont Street). We left the car at the Las Vegas Club casino valet. We searched for a restaurant and ended up at the 4 Queens. We were going to eat at Hugo's Cellar (based on a recommendation from one of the locals at the Cliffs), but decided to not spend so much and ate at the Magnolia's Veranda. The food was good and cheap. Kathy had Chicken Soup (very good) and Grilled Cheese sandwich (okay), while I had Louisiana Gumbo (very good) and Wing Dings (spicy and okay). We gambled at the 4 Queens, but I lost the records. We then went in and out of the different casino's along Freemont Street. We played at Binion's, Golden Nugget, Freemont, Fitzgerald and the Las Vegas Club. Overall I won $225 at Roulette, lost $115 at Slots, while Kathy lost $110 at Slots for break even night. Yeah!
Tuesday 11-25
This was a quiet day at the Cliffs.
Wednesday 11-26
We woke up early and headed to Death Valley. It was a long trip, but we had fun. We drove via I-95 to Beatty, NV. We stopped at the Beatty Museum Historical Society for a view of mostly mining items. From Beatty we drove on Highway 374 (Daylight Pass Road) to Rhyolite to view the ghost town. It was raining, so we didn't get out. At the entrance to Death Valley we stopped and paid the park fee $20 and walked around a little looking for fossils (never found any). We drove into Death Valley and took the Daylight Pass Cutoff to Highway 178/190. It had been raining (1 of only around 8 days a year), so there was water in the valley floor and in puddles along the road. We stopped at the Park Headquarters, where Kathy bought 6 hats with Road Runners on the front. This is the name of Kathy's work group. We also bought Daddy Bogan a Big Horn Sheep cap for taking care of Kenai. At ate at one of the restaurants near the Park Headquarters, the food was just okay, but it was very expensive. After lunch we headed south on 178/190 to 178 south to Badwater, the "lowest" place in America. We walked around on the salt flats and took pictures. We drove back north to the Natural Bridge. There we walked the .6 miles to the bridge and a little past. We then drove north again until we got to Artist's Drive. It was afternoon, so the sun was beautiful on the west facing hills. Afterwards we drove 178 to 190 to Furnace Creek Road to a road that went up to Dante's View road. It was close to sundown, but the rain clouds were hanging around. It took some good pictures of the sunset and finally the clouds moved a little and was able to take a few pictures of Death Valley floor. On the way home, we went to South Point Casino on S. Las Vegas Blvd for a little gambling. We ate at Primarily Prime Rib. The food was pretty good and not too expensive. Afterwards we went for gambling. At first I lost around $80 on the slots while Kathy came out around $8 ahead. On the way out I stopped for a quick spin of the wheel. The dealer initially shorted me $5. He made some snide remarks to his boss, but I didn't let it bother me too much. I played 5-$5 bets two times, then played 5-$10 bets and won $350. Yeah for me.
Thursday 11-27
We woke up late and layed around until 2pm. On the way to Nancy Peruse's house for Thanksgiving, we stopped at Whole Foods for flowers, wine and chocolate. We had a wonderful dinner with the Sperry's, Nancy and some of her family. I ended up in the bed soon after dinner with pain.
Friday 11-28
We woke up late again and layed around until 11pm. We then went to Nancy's again for a Christmas Cookie baking day. I basically watched TV and tested the cookies.
Saturday 11-29
Kathy's Birthday. We had to get up at 4am to get Kathy off on a 7:30am flight. I went back to the Cliffs and lazed around until 12pm. I then headed to Terrible's Casino on Flamingo and Paradise. I checked in but the room wasn't ready. I played roulette and quickly won $225, then played slots for a while and lost only $20. I then went to the room and laid around all day.
Sunday 11-30
Sunday morning I lazed around again until check out. The check out line was long, so I went to the roulette table and won $225 again. Thanks Terrible's for paying me to stay! I left and went to the Venetian around 1pm. I watch football for a while, then headed out to the pool around 2pm. The 4th floor pool closed at 4pm, so I then went up to the 10th floor pool. I sat in or around the hot tub until around 8pm. I then had dinner and went to the room.
Monday 12-1
I woke up late and ran down to sign up for the Autodesk Developer Network meetings. With little time left, I went back to the room for a needed ablation and breakfast. I spent the morning 8-12 in meetings about AutoCad 2010. Lunch was provided, so I sat around talking to other developers. After lunch I sat (mostly in pain) for more meetings about Architect, Revit and other Autodesk products. At 5pm we were bused to the ESPN Zone upstairs banquet room for food, drinks and amusement games. I sat with more developers and chatted about developments. I left at 8pm to go back to the room for an early flight. I didn't get to sleep until around 1pm.
Tuesday 12-2
I woke up at 3am and hurried for a 6am flight. I dropped off the car and rode the bus to the airport. After checking in and before security I noticed I had forgotten my handicap parking pass. I had time, but decided not to chance it. The flights home were uneventful but not without the usual pain. Glad to be home with my wife, pets, bed, remote and TV.