Thursday, November 7, 2013

Las Vegas Flashback ~ October 25, 2013

Rod describes the drive from Bakersfield to Las Vegas as miles and miles of miles and miles. Truer words were never spoken, but the desert has magic and mystery at every turn.

Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day,
rarely of what they had seen.
Louis L'Amour

Arrived in Las Vegas in the early afternoon and were immediately introduced to the "Spaghetti Bowl". We may complain about Bay Area roads, but nothing holds a candle to this maze. Driving on city streets in Vegas is no picnic either so we decided then and there to leave Pearl parked at the hotel for the weekend. Time to walk, take a taxi or hop the monorail to get around town.

Picked up the event tickets at the Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV and headed east to find our hotel. In the 4500 block of Las Vegas Boulevard we stopped in our tracks at the site of the "Pink Elephant" Motel.  

circa 1962
 circa 2013
Circa 2013 

A mere 27 years ago we spent our second night as Mr. and Mrs. here, in what we've always described as the quintessential dive. The only difference today is that it's now listed on the Roadside America website as an Offbeat Tourist Attraction. Rumor has it the elephant came from Disney World and used to trumpet loudly, but after causing several accidents the owner was told to remove the sound mechanism. Can we pick 'em or what?

Once settled at the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) we had a bite to eat and left for the event. We ask the concierge about getting a taxi to the venue. He points to the place to be and said "tell the driver not to take the Strip, it's the long way around". Taxis charge by the time it takes you to get where you're going and this city has really long signals.

Thomas & Mack Center

Thomas and Mack has at least 50 steps up to the front entrance. On the left side of the staircase is an escalator. We started up the stairs and a gentleman standing nearby said "You might want to consider taking the escalator, its the one free thing you'll get in Las Vegas." We decided on the stairs because we wanted some exercise, but after three days in Vegas we got his point. Our seats were up another 77 stairs overlooking the center of the arena. Needless to say our knees got some exercise over the weekend.  

The defending world champion Silvano Alves arrived in Vegas with a 538.5 point lead over J.B. Mauney and then J.B. took the lead by 30.75 points after Round 2 on Thursday. Silvano reclaimed the No. 1 position tonight by 19.75 points. The fans are going nuts as the suspense builds, the atmosphere is electric. The bulls are also vying for a world championship. Will be it be Asteroid or Bushwacker?
 Asteroid JB interior
Add to the mix and the world's greatest (singing and dancing) rodeo clown, Flint Rasmussen, and you've got the total package, pure entertainment every night of the event.
After letting the crowd thin a bit we head out to get a taxi back to the hotel. There are only 500 people in a line. It took over an hour but it was a balmy 70 degrees and we had a great conversation with a couple from Quebec who had flown in for a birthday celebration. Once back at the hotel we grabbed a bite to eat and unwound in the casino for a bit. Well tomorrow is here, we best get some shuteye.