Just returning back from a 3 day trip to Vegas, I made it out of the airport between the storms; no problem on this end as rain had stopped.
Las Vegas was sunny and 70 degrees. Wednesday, I boarded a tour bus to Laughlin which is a gem about an hour and a half through the desert. Passing through Searchlight, there's a stoplight, casino and only 50 people live here today. In 1897, it was a mining town bigger than Vegas and supposedly it would take a searchlight to find gold ore there. Also local women were banned in the casino in the 1940s as there was a bordello there and men working on the Hoover Dam went there.
Laughlin is on the Colorado River with Nevada on one side and Arizona on the other side of the river. There's a free boat going across the river and another boat costing $4 going from one end, Don Laughlin Casino, to the Golden Nugget Casino. It's about three football lengths to walk as I walked the length and back to a few of the 10 casinos.
It's scenic - you see boats going to the London Bridge, dinner cruises and the Pioneer Casino is playing Christmas country music. People are friendly sitting on benches will easily talk to you. Casinos are Atlantis, Colorado Bell, Edgewater and more. It's good for a day trip, casinos are quiet (not winning) and life comes to a standstill here, virtually no traffic, as peaceful as could be.
Back in Vegas, there's a lot of free entertainment, 70s band at Paris, dueling pianos at Harrahs where there was a bachelor party ongoing, and I can't even mention downtown as there were things I can't publish here. Let's just say you thought you've seen everything but you haven't until you've been downtown. I found the best dining bargain at the California Hotel where there's a prime rib dinner and dessert for $10 where a ubiquitous hamburger averages $15 except at McDonalds.
I should mention the room at the Flamingo which was a bargain at $10 a night, ultra modern, floor to ceiling windows. I could look down and see the flamingos and coy (sp.) in the lagoon. There's also whistling ducks, pelicans and a toucan bird near the parking lot. They had a large pool but closed for the season. I'd recommend this hotel; it's right in the mix on the strip, no resort fees either.
Anyways, I've been too verbose so hope I see some of you at the next events - lunch at a Pakistan Restaurant in Dublin, happy hour in Pleasanton and Christmas party at Trader Vics.
I'm also going on the January Caribbean cruise; I have a roommate but maybe more of you will come along as we'll have a fantastic time as usual...