Our trip to Death Valley – a photo post!

Last week we took advantage of some very cheap airfare down to Las Vegas, a place we enjoy visiting every so often. We stayed at our favorite hotel (the SouthPoint) and rented a car as we always do.  We have our little “routine” – upon arriving at the airport: we take the shuttle to the car rental center, grab our car, and head directly to In-N-Out for awesome burgers. Then we check in to the hotel, settle in to our room, play a few slot machines, and have dinner somewhere.  We don’t stay up crazy-late because who wants to feel icky the next day?  Not us. We’re way too old for that.  We also love to go to shows and have seen probably 20 shows in Vegas, most of which have been excellent.  Since we’ve seen so many Cirque du Soliel shows, we decided to try something different this time.  We went to see a winner of America’s Got Talent, a magician called Mat Franco.  What a great show! Completely family friendly and yet totally captivating and amazing.  Young Mat is such a personable fellow, and you’ve just gotta love a guy who does a tribute to his biggest fan in every show – his Grandma!! Anyway, we didn’t want to spend all our time in (smoky) casinos, so we decided to head on over to a place we’d only ever heard about, Death Valley National Park. It took about 2 hours (an easy drive) to get there. Our entry was free, since one of us is over the age of 62 and has a “Golden Age” pass {get one for $10 if you’re over that magic age – it’s good for the rest of your life!!!}.  Apparently Death Valley is known not only for extreme temperatures (134 degrees F), but also for the mining of Borax.  I remember my Dad washing up every evening after work with “Boraxo”…. and I also remember putting powdered Borax into my laundry years ago.borax

 Anyway, enough rambling on —-I hope you enjoy my photos.  🙂

DV1

DV2

DV3

DV4

DV5

DV6

DV7

DV8

DV9

DV10

DV11

DV12

DV13

DV14

DV15

DV16

Viva Las Vegas!

fabulous las vegasWe just got back from a very fun 3 days in Las Vegas, Nevada!  Ok, I know it’s known as “sin city” but to be honest, we are not very “sinful” when we go there.  And just to prove “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is wrong — I’m here to actually TELL what all we did!  🙂  First off, I am a bargain hunter of the biggest kind.  I am always on the lookout for a deal, whether it be grocery shopping or travel plans.  If I find a deal, I silently scream with joy!  Our entire trip to Vegas turned out to be “a deal”.  With direct flights for only $59 each way (I love Allegiant Air!) the airfare was indeed “a deal”.  In our depressed economy, Las Vegas is hurting and if you are at all interested in going, NOW is the time.  Our beautiful hotel room (king, non-smoking) on the 24th floor was just $60 a night.  Plus, we got a $50 resort credit.  That means we ate dinner, a midnight snack, and breakfast buffet for FREE.  Oh, and a free bottle of wine with dinner came in the coupon book we got upon arriving.  The first night we had a ball, playing the penny slots, and even hit a few “big” jackpots.  Yeah, allright, to us, a “big” jackpot is $30 or so.  It was loads of fun.  The next morning we used our 2 for 1 breakfast buffet coupon, and enjoyed a very tasty and filling meal.  (I love 2 for 1 coupons!!)   After breakfast, we hopped into our rental car and headed down the strip.  We wanted to get to the HALF PRICE ticket booth and snag some cheap show tickets!  Since we have been to Las Vegas a few times in the past, we’ve seen all of the Cirque du Soliel shows (they are all fantastic, with MYSTERE being our personal favorite).  We’ve seen Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, La Reve, and who knows what else.  So this trip we had no idea what to see.  The only Cirque du Soliel production we had not seen was Criss Angel “Believe” and after reading the reviews tripadvisor.com, we decided to give it a miss.  So, what was left?? After checking out more reviews on tripadvisor, I decided to go for….. donny marie

Yes, Donny and Marie!  Dear Hubby was not impressed with my decision, but I assured him that from what I had read, everyone really enjoys their show.  I will admit it, he was skeptical!  I think the fact that we got tickets for half-price was helpful in getting him to The Flamingo for the show.   May I mention right now that driving in Las Vegas at the moment is a total mess!!!!  Flamingo Road, Tropicana Ave, and the I-15 are all torn up and getting from here to there is truly no fun.  But we arrived in plenty of time, navigated the Flamingo’s parking garage, and settled in for the show.  It was fabulous! These folks are show-biz savvy and put on a fantastic show.  Lots of singing, dancing, costume changes, and a great band.  We both left there totally impressed.

Our hotel also has a 16 screen theater, and prior to leaving for the Donny and Marie show, we got our $3 matinee movie in, with a coupon for FREE popcorn!  We saw Angels and Demons starring Tom Hanks — thoroughly enjoyed that as well!  south point We soooo enjoy staying at the South Point Hotel Casino.  It’s south of “the strip” and  therefore less populated, easier to get to and from, only 3 years old, and shoot, they offer some fantastic deals!

On our last day in Las Vegas, we decided to check out the new “M Casino Hotel not far from the South Point.  I’d read, again on Tripadvisor, that it was a brand new place and should be visited.  We drove the 5 minutes or so from the South Point, to the M – just in time for lunch.  We decided to try out their buffet.  I was soooo impressed with the entire place!  Nice, clean, new, marble floors, etc etc.  We liked it so much that next time, we might actually stay there!!  M resort casinoThe buffet was the best I have personally ever had in Las Vegas… the food actually tasted like I’d cooked it myself!  The desserts were also so delightful, and while we didn’t partake at lunch time, they offer free beer and wine with your buffet as well — unheard of in Vegas!  By the time we’d tried out a few of their penny slots, and won a bit I might add, we headed for the airport.  Time to come back to reality.  Three days in Vegas is plenty — I was ready for the peace and calm of home.  But shoot, it was fun while it lasted.  And the deals in Vegas are endless if you just look!!