God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Las Vegas

I have just spent 2+ hours trying to find a decent blog template to match with any number of winter/holiday header photos I have.  What an ordeal.  I'm not thrilled about the way things are looking right now but I am (no surprise) tired of playing with it ... so I will catch you up on my life these past several days without my computer.

Most of you assumed that my computer was going away for some repairs or upgrades of some sort.  I can understand why you thought that, but the computer stayed right here on the dining room table.  It was me who went away.  I didn't want to post ahead of time that I would be gone for a few days & I'm sure you can understand that decision   : )

John has been wanting us to travel someplace together for months now, but with my surgery & health issues it hasn't been possible.  Although my health is still rather iffy, I figured I was well enough to go somewhere for a few days.  John decided we'd go to Las Vegas.  He had been there not long ago & really enjoyed himself.  He loved the weather & enjoyed walking around & seeing all the hotels.

I had been to Las Vegas when I was 19 ... 41 years ago.  Two friends & I decided to leave home (Pittsburgh) & move to California. Hard as it is to imagine, I was a model during the brief time we lived there.  The photographer I worked for took several of us girls to Las Vegas for 2 days for a photo shoot at a nearby ghost town.  It being my first time away from home, I was in awe of being someplace so famous that I had only seen & heard about on TV.  Here I am back then ... 1972.  I asked the photographer to take a picture of me as we were heading back home so I could remember my visit.

I had hoped that John would be able to take my photo with this scene in the background ... kind of a "then & now" kind of thing, depressing at that would be ... lol! Unfortunately, that sign ... that whole area is no longer the same.  I guess I didn't really expect it to be, but I hoped that the hotel would have had the sign on their grounds somewhere.  They didn't.  This is a photo I found online of the Las Vegas strip when I was there.
Here it is today.
You just can't imagine what it's like being there unless you've been there.  New York City, San Francisco, London ... nowhere I've been comes close to the constant bombardment of noise, advertising, excess & overindulgence. 

It rarely rains very much in Las Vegas, but it started raining the day we arrived & it never stopped until our last day there. Three days of constant rain.  It was also windy & cold.  Thankfully everything is close to everything else so it was easy to duck in & out of hotels, casinos, & shopping malls. Before we left the devil's playground, I did a bit of research & found that there is a great cross stitch shop & knitting shop in the town of Las Vegas (not on the strip) & I was looking forward to visiting them, but the weather was just too miserable to catch buses & trot a few blocks to get to these places.  

We saw a couple shows while we were there. Jersey Boys, which is the story of how the Four Seasons got together, & a show called Divas.  Both were okay.  Nothing to write home about ... or in this case, nothing to write a blog post about   : )   

The shopping opportunities were beyond my imagination!  I had a lot of fun looking through the different stores.  We found a Teavana & I stocked up on some yummy teas while there   : )   The food offerings were also amazing!  I will miss having all that good food!  I went off my diet while we were there & ate such things as pizza & burgers & fries & chocolate, yet I only gained a pound & a half.  Maybe I can chalk that up to all the walking we did   : )

I took very few photos because of the weather.  It was so cold that it snowed on the surrounding mountains so I did take photos of those   : )

The hotels & malls were in the process of getting their Christmas decorations out on display.  Here is a photo I took in the Wynn hotel.  Those Christmas baubles are actually made of all different kinds of live flowers.
We asked a security guard to take our photo in front of one of the displays in the Encore hotel.  Of course we blocked out most of it!  
Here's the display without us being in the way.
I thought it was pretty cool   : )

This next photo is the ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio hotel.  The ceiling is like this all year.  All those flowers are made from colored glass.
In this same hotel there was a French patisserie, Jean Philippe Patisserie.  I couldn't pass up having some French pastries!  They weren't as good as they are in France, but I enjoyed the vanilla eclair I decided to have. I took a few photos of all the sweet baked goodies to show you   : ) 

There was a chocolate fountain there because Jean Philippe not only makes pastries, he makes chocolates.  There was a plaque next to the fountain telling how it is the largest chocolate fountain in the world. There is a place for white chocolate, dark chocolate, & milk chocolate.
I took this next photo while on a portico of the Bellagio.  It shows the Paris hotel in the background with a replica of the Eiffel Tower which is half the size of the original tower in France.  John & I went up to the top to look at the views.  Quite scary for someone who is afraid of heights but once I got up there I felt safe.  It's all enclosed so no chance of slipping & falling out   : )
We stayed at the Trump hotel.
I meant to take photos of our room, but every time I thought of doing that we had our stuff laying everywhere.  I did take some photos of the bathroom though.  All marble & glass.  The shower was huge!  (Yes, that's a bit of the bedroom in the second photo.  We had a one bedroom suite.)

Our first night there we decided to take the hotel van to Cesar's Palace.  While waiting at a light to turn left, a car plowed into the back of us & hit hard.  It's amazing that the driver was not hurt.  He wasn't paying any attention at all ... he just rammed into the back of the van at high speed.  The front of his car was totally demolished.  There were 10 of us in the van.  John felt some back pain.  I had a pinch in my neck that shot a kind of electrical jolt across my face to my eye.  We reported this to the hotel & had to fill out a bunch of forms.  We seem to be getting better.  I hope so.

Our flights to Vegas were uneventful but the return flights were exciting   : )   The connecting flight in Denver was late coming in so we ended up leaving late.  It was snowing to beat the band (I loved it!) & by the time we all got on the plane & the plane was de-iced, we were too late getting to Chicago to make our connection to Cincinnati.  We had to kill 3 hours waiting for the next flight to take off.  It was snowing in Chicago too, by the way, & I loved it there also   : )   We arrived in Cincinnati at 10:00 p.m. & yes, it was snowing   : )   We got back home at about 12:30 this morning.  No snowing here but it had snowed.  There was snow laying here & there in the yard.  It did snow earlier this evening, however, so woo-hoo!!!  

Getting back into the swing of things is a little difficult due to the 3-hour time difference between here & Las Vegas.  It is going on 12:30 a.m. right now & I am wide away.  My body thinks it's 9:30 I guess   : )   Tomorrow we are picking up some meds, some groceries, & I'm hoping to maybe find a fresh turkey breast at this late date.  I would not have had the time to defrost a frozen one after getting home.  If I can't find one, we'll be having some spaghetti for Thanksgiving dinner   : )

Are you still being thankful?  I hope so! Today I am thankful that we were kept safe during our trip.  

I'm sorry this post is so long ... & probably so boring ... but there you have it.  I've caught you up   : ) 


Robin said...

Not boring at all. Thank you for a glimpse into you trip. You tell it well and it made me feel like I was there with you. Too bad you couldn't get that then and now photo. That would have been awesome.

Sarah in Stitches said...

Sounds like a great trip! I know what you mean about jet lag, although whenever we travel to the States/Europe we end up with an eight-hour time difference sometimes and can't sleep properly for a week! Very glad you got home safe and sound :D

Chris said...

Wow! What a trip! I love seeing the pics of you and Vegas back in the day. I haven't been there in about 17 years and I am sure that it has changed a lot.
I hope that you are home and getting back to the every day. Have a warm cozy Thanksgiving!-I could go for an éclair right about now...

P.J. said...

Oh how fun for you two!! Hubby and I just went to Vegas in Feb; it had been over 20 yrs since I was last there...know what you mean...wow it has changed. So glad you two had a good time on your little get-a-way. Glad you are home safe and sound for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Catherine said...

So glad you were able to have some time away!! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

Mii Stitch said...

Wow!! What a trip!! I felt I was dreaming when I went to New York, all these tall buildings, traffic, advertising. It was buzzing with life & I loved it :) I can't even imagine how I'd feel in Las Vegas :) Looks A-MA-ZING!!! Glad you had a lovely time (& even found some French stuff ;) ) but most importantly, came back safe. Take care xxx

Lee said...

I SO enjoyed reading this! I'm glad your trip was fun, despite the weather.
I went to the needlework shop when I was in LV for a convention in April. I rented a car for the day and off I went! Stitchers Paradise was very nice, so if you're ever back that way...

Maureen said...

Thanks for taking us along on your trip. In the before and after picture of the strip I thought what a shame they let the buildings block the horizon like that. Your pictures are so pretty. The glass flowers amazing. Fun to see how different areas glam it up for Christmas. Delighted to read you also got to enjoy some snow as you traveled!

Vickie said...

First of all Shirlee,you can't tell us all about your horsey face anymore, ever!!! You used to model!! Such a neat photo you shared from way back then. How adventurous!
It all looks mind blowing. And I thought Willy Wonka had the biggest chocolate fountain?! You know. The one Augustus fell into? ;)

Melody said...

Shirlee, it sounds like a fun trip! We would like to go someday. I think the ceiling of glass flowers is one of my favorite things you shared. How pretty! I'm glad you are home safe and sound.

Simply Victoria said...

Wow! A model? You have been holding out on us : )
The photos of everything are certainly spectacular. too bad you didn't make it to the stores you wanted.
Glad you are safely back!

gracie said...

Sounds like you and John had a wonderful time despite the weather. One of these days Dennis and I plan to get there....hope you find the turkey breast.

Joyce Mayer said...

Wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing, Miss Shirlee, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Prudence ♥

cucki said...

So beautiful pictures...very pretty...
Happy thanksgiving dear.
Big hugs x

Michelle said...

Oh my it sounds like you had a wonderful time and your pictures are stunning - what a delight to look at x

Kaisievic said...

A wonderful post, Shirlee. Las Vegas is on my list so lovely to have a glimpse of it on your trip. It sounds so exciting!

Linda said...

Not boring at all Shirlee. Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I live about 12 hours by car from Vegas and have never been there. Maybe someday.


Pam in IL said...

How lucky to get a trip away! I'm not surprised you had snow in Chicago, although we didn't have any snow in my town.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS--I think your blog looks great

marly said...

I'll take spaghetti over turkey any day. I ordered a FRESH breast and it came in frozen. ??? They told me it was fresh when they froze it!!! Enjoy Thanksgiving.

Minnie said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip to Las Vegas. Happy Thanksgiving!

Nancy said...

UGH!!! I wish I would have known that you were coming here. Yep, I am still here in Vegas and not in Montana. I know that I owe you an email but I have been pretty busy with work and a few other things. I would have met with you and taken you to the cross stitch store and knitting shop. Dang!!! Come for another visit soon!!

Judy said...

Thanks for sharing pictures of your trip. Especially the then and now. I've been there a few times and always amazed by it. Glad you enjoyed the snow. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Judy heartland stitcher

Stitchy Mc Floss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shebafudge said...

Sounds like you had an amazing trip. Trust you to take photos of the mountains! Thank you for sharing what a great time you had. I feel like I was there! xx

Maggee said...

Well, that certainly never came to mind that you would be out west!! Sounds like it was a great trip, despite all the little bumps along the way and that one BIG bump in the van! Hope that you have a yummy Thanksgiving dinner tonight and we shall 'chat' later! Hugs!

Myra said...

Well it looks like the two of you had a great trip other than the bump up. I hope there are no lasting effects. A model??? Who knew and do tell. :o)

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I'm glad you had a good getaway together. Las Vegas is someplace we've talked about going someday. You know, just to see the spectacle of it all. Glad you made it home safe and sound.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

What a great trip with all its up and downs and bumps!

And you used to be a model??? I'm another one who will never believe you when you do yourself down in the future. Even if there are more wrinkles, I bet you have amazing bone structure. Class lasts!

Thank you for all the photos, especially the chocolate fountain (Willy Wonka's WAS bigger though!) and the patisserie. Yummy.

Anne said...

What a fabulous trip!! You stayed at Caesar's Palace?! Wow!! That photo of you from 1972 is amazing. Too bad it rained but I'm glad you didn't let it dampen your fun..hehee. Love the glass ceiling! I've seen that artist before. I hope you and John are okay and not feeling any after effects of that accident. Take care my friend!!