Friday, January 20, 2017

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

January 2017 - Las Vegas NV

Can you believe I bought this box of chocolates on December 27 BEFORE New Year's??

Last week's posts about our trip

Saturday we had, according to John, the best buffet breakfast in a Hilton hotel, the Double tree in Tucson. It was complimentary as Gold Honors. The servers helped make it great too.
We were on the road by 8:30 and it was 51 F.

We had rain on and off all the way.

Leaving Tucson the highways are decorative.

Crossing into California we had to stop for an agricultural inspection.

We cut into California for a bit, do not stop for gas! It was $3.79 a gallon compared to an average across our travels was $2.20.

Also DO NOT speed through Needles or Searchlight, you will be stopped!

Once we hit the outskirts of Vegas we made a stop for groceries (Saturday dinner and Sunday morning breakfast only) at Whole Foods in Henderson. What a great store! Lots of gluten free.

We had been seeing rainbows for a couple of hours but this was the best as we got back into the car at Whole Foods.

We checked into Grand Desert, a Wyndham resort we have stayed at previously. We really like this resort but as usual we were subjected to the pressure of attending a sales pitch. This is extremely annoying as VIP owners, and this is often a repeated complaint on TripAdvisor. But we're pros.. and TripAdvisor (another owner) suggested just unplugging the unit's phones to avoid them!

We're on the 13th floor smack in the middle of this photo.


As I said, though, we do like the resort and we are here for fifteen days.
This is our view.

Sunday so nice not to rush after a week of getting on the road.
I was up at 6:45 and took this photo.

Bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then we went to Smith's for some groceries and wine. Bologna sandwiches for lunch, haven't had one of those in a long time.
Then, it is Sunday so that means John is glued to the football!

Monday after we both caught up on news, blogs and TV shows we headed out after lunch with no plans other than going to Bellagio to the conservatory.

On the way we caught this photo of Big Elvis and his partner outside Harrah's before his afternoon show.

Chinese New Year click here for more Bellagio photos.

Year of the Rooster

A Dragon and a Dog

From there we walked outside enjoying the sunshine over to LINQ.

A stop at Yard House for a beer.

Tuesday we went to see Hidden Figures, it was so good, we laughed and cried. We go to the Brenden Theatres at the Palms Casino. It is only $5 on Tuesday with a player's card from the casino and $4 on Thursdays!!

Wednesday John golfed at Stallion Mountain.

I went shopping at the Fashion Mall on the Strip. I stopped and had a NON gluten free delicious slice of pizza.
Didn't buy anything but took some photos.

A run to Whole Foods for a few items, not a bad view on the way for groceries. Clouding over rain is expected, an unusual event here.

Then watched Gone Girl on TV, I had read the book but not seen the movie and we both really enjoyed it, with John saying "you women, are really conniving".

Thursday it rained overnight, a rare occurrence in Vegas. We headed to Caesar's for lunch.

Head Games

Chinese New Year

Lunch at Gordon Ramsey's Pub and Grill in Caesar's Palace. The server was very accommodating about gluten free. When John ordered the truffle fries he mentioned thay are coated in flour, no order. John had the butter chicken curry which the server substitued the nann bread with kettle chips.

I had the cheese and charcuterie plate  which I think I've had the last two times here.

In Venetian.

John got this great shot of the Rialto Bridge.

Friday was a rainy damp grey day perfect for our plans.
First stop the south factory outlets.
I wanted new sandals, check plus another pair since the second pair were $20.
T- shirt dress.
Then I wanted a couple of pairs of shorts and some t-shirts for Mexico. Check, found them at Greg Norman's.
John got new casual shoes.

We did a quick run to Smith's for crab legs for dinner. $9.99 a pound!

Then the movies Sleepless with Jamie Foxx. Was an exciting good thriller that took place here in Las Vegas.

Came home and P.S. I Love You was on with Gerard Butler, what's not to love??


Some people think we are "on vacation" and are eating out and going places all the time. Not so, this is simply our "winter home", it just is in various places for four months.
We still have to do dishes, laundry, make the bed, cook meals. What is nice in a timeshare (in the past we have rented places where we have to clean everything) we get a weekly full clean, linens changed, floors swept. And mid week we also get a trash and tidy where they replace the linens and take the trash out.
Yes, we do eat out, but that can get expensive, and more importantly, we prefer our own cooking on a day to day basis. We love vegetables and you don't get many when you eat out. As well, we can control our food portions and John is gluten free so it is harder to find restaurants that will provide options.
We are going to try Mon Ami Gabi as they provide gluten free toast with their pate and we both love that dish. Reservation is made for Monday.
Many of the Italian restaurants here offer gluten free pasta.

Saturday - hamburger patty, mashed potatoes beans and gravy. Comfort food after being on the road for seven days.

Sunday - shepherd's pie -I loosely used my usual recipe with beef. c I had bought a large package of hamburger yesterday at Whole Foods so I made more mashed potatoes (had some leftover from last night) and added fresh corn. Also used the rest of a box of gravy I had bought at WF. I also added mozzarella cheese into the mashed potatoes. Normally I would add cheddar but we had mozzarella.

Monday - roast chicken, roast potatoes, mashed turnip and carrots with gravy.

Tuesday -  leftover shepherd's pie

Wednesday - chicken wraps with onions, green peppers

Thursday - chicken soup with carrots, onions, celery. Also added the rest of the GF pasta we had leftover from Florida.

Friday - steamed cab legs with crusty garlic bread.

Finally finished a book this month. Some have been nogo's after a couple of pages and a couple I borrowed from the library I had already read and realized after a page or two also.

Nutshell normally I really enjoy Ian McEwan but wasn't a fan of this one.
Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse but John's not here. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month old resident of Trudy's womb.


  1. Tinsel Town! I especially like your "Somewhere over the rainbow" header.

  2. What an adventure! Vegas has never appealed to me because I don't enjoy gambling but the more I've heard and seen the last few years the more I think I would love it! The food sounds awesome and I love the sights in the pictures you shared. We enjoyed the Gone Girl movie as well. I had read the book but my husband hadn't but we both really liked it. I had high hopes for it after the cast Ben Affleck because he was just who I imagined Nick looking like. Have a great week!

  3. Wow only in Vegas!! Those heads, big Elvis, etc. Great rainbow shot.

    And I agree, as much as I like eating out once in a while, on a day-to-day basis, I'd rather eat home-cooked food.

    I'm not a fan of McEwan, so I'll just pass on the book.

  4. Looks like you had a delightful trip. I'm envious of your lifestyle and hope that my husband and I will be able to travel more. I've never been to Las Vegas and would love to go there sometime, especially after seeing your photos.

  5. I see a lot of great architecture! Sounds like a great trip!

  6. Never been to Vegas, but would love to go. Your post makes it look so inviting! And now I'm really hungry, too!

    Happy Saturday!
    ~ Joy @ joysweb

  7. Wonderful photos, and what a great trip! I love Shepherd's Pie.


  8. It looks like you had a great time with a wide variety of things to see and do. We always look out for deals too. Thanks for including my Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop at the end of the post!

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