Sunday, April 21, 2024

Monday Mural

 I'm linking up at Monday Mural

March 2024 - Las Vegas NM

At Area 15.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Driving the Old Strip

 March 2024 - Las Vegas NV

More from our 2024 road trip, with two weeks in Las Vegas.

I had done a post of motels in 2015 when we were in Las Vegas. 

At that time I had written about the DTP DownTown Project Las Vegas created by Tony Hsieh, who passed away in 2020.
We spotted this mural in March 2024.

Downtowner now advertises itself as a newly renovated boutique motel.

The Hacienda Horse and Rider was the first sign to be put on display on Fremont Street. Originally installed in 1967 at the Hacienda Hotel, it was formerly located at 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South. It can now be found at the intersection of Fremont Street Experience and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Here's a better photo from 2015.

The Horseshoe Casino 1951.

Benny Binion bought the Eldorado Club and Hotel Apache in 1951, re-opening them as Binion's Horseshoe (also called the Horseshoe Casino). The casino's interior had a frontier flavor, like an old-style riverboat, with low ceilings and velvet wallpaper. It was the first casino in downtown Las Vegas (also called Glitter Gulch) to replace sawdust-covered floors with carpeting, and was the first to offer comps to all gamblers, not just those who bet big money. Binion also instituted high table limits. When Binion first opened the Horseshoe, he set the craps table limit at $500—ten times higher than any other casino in Las Vegas at the time. Ultimately, Binion's raised the table limit to $10,000 and even eliminated table limits completely at times, which was an immediate hit.

Binion's on Fremont, formerly The Horseshoe.

Missing for almost two decades from the city where it all started, the legendary Horseshoe brand officially returned to Las Vegas in April 2023.
Horseshoe Las Vegas (formerly Bally's) is honoring the moniker's past, celebrating new amenities and looking ahead to again hosting the World Series of Poker.
Jack Binion, son of gambler and Las Vegas casino legend Benny Binion, who opened the original Horseshoe downtown in 1951, was on hand for the grand opening. The Horseshoe brand has been absent since the original Binion's Horseshoe was bought by Harrah's (now Caesars Entertainment) and renamed Binion's Gambling Hall in 2005.

Neon Boneyard 2013 the museum features a restored lobby shell from the defunct La Concha Motel as its visitors' center.
The La Concha was opened by M.K. Doumani. When it opened, the La Concha was one of the larger properties on the Las Vegas Strip. Various celebrities had stayed at the motel, including Ronald Reagan, Ann-Margret, Flip Wilson, Muhammad Ali, and the Carpenters. The La Concha was featured in the 1995 film Casino.
I see the Hard Rock guitar has been added.

The Hard Rock Café debuted just off the Las Vegas Strip along Paradise Road in 1990. Modeled after a Gibson Les Paul played by Pete Townshend of The Who, it stood for 26 years before being taken down in 2017.
The restored sign consists of approximately 4,110 feet of neon tubing, which is over ¾ of a mile. The Hard Rock Café guitar restoration was made possible by generous donors from around the world, contributing $350,000 to restore the sign and provide for its ongoing care.

Neon guitar signs became the symbol world-wide for the Hard Rock brand. This Las Vegas guitar sign is important because it was the flagship -- the first Hard Rock Café guitar sign in the world. It graced the corner of Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue from 1990 – 2017 and was featured in Hollywood films like Honey I Blew Up the Kid and National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation.

The restoration project involved an estimated 1,650 man hours which included rebuilding the sign in six sections: four body sections, one neck section and one head section. The letters spelling “Hard Rock Café” consist of 1,538 10-watt clear incandescent light bulbs. Approximately 4,110 feet -- more than three quarters of a mile -- of neon tubing glows on the sign with more than 700 individual neon units. Neon colors used in the sign are Ruby Red, Clear Red, 3500K White and Yellow Gold II. The sign majestically stands more than 80-feet tall with a 24-foot girth.
2017 photo.

Dino's is open 24 hours a day, everyday!
Once voted Best Dive by Playboy, Dino’s is one of the oldest bars in downtown Las Vegas, NV. Dubbing itself “The Last Neighborhood Bar in Las Vegas,” Dino’s was originally called Ringside Liquors and owned by mobster Eddie Trascher. The bar was renamed Dino’s Lounge after it was purchased by a new owner, Rinaldo Dean (“Dino”) Bartolomucci, in 1962.

Being a 24-hour bar, some might be surprised to find out that Dino’s has closed on a few occasions in its 50+ year history – the first time for a private party, the second time for the shooting of a movie Lucky You, and the third time for Playboy (Germany).

The production crew for the 2007 movie Lucky You starring Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana spent approximately nine days filming in the parking lot of Dino’s. While no filming actually took place inside the bar, characters were filmed going in and out of the establishment and Dino’s neon green sign can even be seen in the film’s trailer.
Sounds like a movie we have to watch.

The Bow & Arrow Motel was located on Las Vegas Boulevard at Wyoming Avenue near Dino’s. The sign is believed to have been installed at the motel during the late 1950s or early 60s.

Elvis Slept Here.” Normandie Motel, 708 Las Vegas Blvd S, 1998. Diane Hertz owned the motel and crafted its slogan. After the motel was demolished she donated the sign to the Neon Museum, and it now stands between the road on Las Vegas Blvd North & Stewart.

On the far left, built in 1958 as Chevron Motel replacing the original Chevron Auto Court Motel. It became High Hat Regency in 1987.

Built in 1952 and opens as Glenn Vegas Motel. Renamed Vegas Holiday Motel (1960s), Fun City (1980s). Closed in 2020. East wing demolished in 2020.

Chapel of the Bells opened in 1957 and relocated to this location in the 1960s.

The newest, full service, stand alone wedding facility (not attached to a strip mall or a hotel or casino) to be built on the Las Vegas Strip in 30 years.

Opened as Ak-Sar-Ben Motel in the early 1950s. Became Lone Palm Motel in the mid 1950s. Closed in the late 1980s. Today the location is taken by New York New York!

A permit was issued to E.A. and O.W. Clark to build the 8-unit Clark Auto Court in 1939. The motel, originally designated 1900 Fremont, was on the southeast corner of Fremont & Bruce. The name Clark Inn and 1800 address was established in the 40s. It closed in 1987.

Golden Inn was built by Albert and J.T. Franklin in 1960. The motel was demolished in 2004, and replaced with The Ogden.
The Golden Inn neon sign went to the Neon Museum, and later in 2022 was installed on the median of Las Vegas Blvd near Bridger.

The Hotel Apache was originally opened by the Silvagni family in 1932. The family came to Las Vegas as a cement contractor for the Hoover Dam project and realized the workers needed a place to get away from their work and the heat of the desert. It was the first in Las Vegas to air-condition its hotel lobby and have air curtains at the entrance to the hotel. The hotel was eventually acquired by Benny Binion and was the place to stay for many Hollywood movie stars like Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and Lucille Ball. It was also the first in Las Vegas with an electrically operated elevator, fully carpeted casino and made poker a mainstream casino game.

Built in 1972, the abandoned Little Hotel Rooming House has been shuttered for over 25 years. It boomed when downtown Las Vegas and Fremont Street were the wild wests of Sin City- if walls could talk they would tell crazy stories.

Click here for:

Mon March 11 Day 1 Toronto to Fort Wayne
Tue Mar 12 Day 2  Fort Wayne to St. Louis
Mar 13 Day 3  St. Louis
Mar 14 Day 4  St. Louis MO to Tulsa OK
Mar 18 Day 8 Las Vegas
Mon Tue Mar 25 - 28 Day 15-18 Las Vegas see Weekly Recap Route 66 Coffee
Sat Mar 30 Day 20 Las Vegas see Weekly Recap Brioche
Tue Apr 9 Day 30 Toledo OH to Toronto ON see Weekly Recap Mustang Ridge Coffee

Cupla Coffee

 Linking up with Marg at The Intrepid Reader
Weekend Coffee Share
Sunday Salon

April 2024 - Toronto ON

April 2024 - Salt Lake City UT

Our usual lazy weekend, The Masters occupied most of John's time. While I binged on Great British Bake Off Season 14.
John got the balcony set up for spring/summer as the spider guys are coming this week.

I went to get a hair cut and then popped into Winners, Shoe Company (nope, they didn't have our Sketchers) and gasp! I saw Cleo's boarded up, but they had moved a few doors into the old Reitman's, a smaller footprint.
My Sketchers.

It was an interesting morning, all kinds of sirens on Gardiner as I was on the bus, then the bomb squad and ambulance outside Union as I walked by.

John went golfing.

Spiderman in lobby.

Union Station banners for the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) Centennial. 

Bomb squad and ambulance outside.

Walking through Brookfield Place.

As I walk into Longo's (local grocery chain) around noon the fire alarm is going but everyone is going about their business. I get the ground beef I wanted for dinner and then spotted hams, so I grabbed one of those. Now the building security is announcing that the fire department is on its way and the store is saying everyone must leave. As we left we were directed to the exit by the Arena as he said "there is an active fire above us".

As we leave the fire fighters are entering.

Outside we can see and smell the smoke as the sirens blare.

BTW this building houses underground parking, Longo's on lower level, main level is a sports store, TD Bank, two restaurants and LCBO. There is also an escalator to take you to the PATH which will take you into the ScotiaBank Arena, Union Station and connects to many other high rises.
Le Germain Hotel has 167 rooms, then there are offices and condos. The building has 44 floors.

The entire street is closed off as glass had fallen onto the sidewalk.

I decided to head home and found a new plaque outside Union Station, RCAF Colours.
In military terms, the word “Colours” usually refers to consecrated ceremonial flags carried by certain Canadian Armed Forces combatant formations and units. These unique flags are a unit’s most prized possession. On September 1, 2017, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) received new Colours, retiring their former Colours, which were presented in 1982 and reflected the Air Force’s previous identity as Air Command. Honouring the relationship between the RCAF and the Toronto Maple Leafs, on February 10, 2018, in a ceremony held before a hockey match between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators, the RCAF entrusted their retired Colours to the guardianship of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I NEED these shoes in 💚colour!

Getting home took 45 minutes since York was closed due to fire and everyone had to take Bremner to get on the Gardiner at Spadina.

I collected our tax documents for the accountant which resulted in a ton of papers for shredding, after I had John look through them, in case he wanted to keep any of them (1 golf club, putter invoice).

So Tuesday I went back for my groceries, due to the lane closures the bus was running ten minutes behind.
John took the car to get the snow tires removed.

Wednesday was wet and dull. John scanned the tax documents to the accountant.
I worked on some blogs and organizing our vacation photos.
I created a post showing some t-shirts at the M&M store in Las Vegas.

Thursday I just did a Longo run and ended up with an invite to Ladies Tea by a woman in the building that I chatted with on the bus.

Friday was another wet rainy morning so John did a grocery run. I decided not to go out and we agreed on a movie afternoon. The sun them came out...
Popcorn and movies.

Saturday roast pork and potatoes, honey buttered carrots
Sunday sweet and sour pork with fridge leftovers
Monday bacon and mushroom (lingering in fridge) Alfredo. John's original request and then I had to abandon my groceries due to fire.
Tuesday ham, mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts. $16 ham made 3X2 dinners and made 6X2 lunches, making my favourite ham salad. I also will make a quiche on the weekend.
Wednesday hamburger patties mashed potatoes and beans
Thursday ham, mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts
Friday steak frites



The Beekeeper - 2024 Adam Clay is a beekeeper, but someone very important to him is scammed and driven to harm. However, what these power and money hungry scammers don't know, is that Clay is an agent in a classified program called Beekeepers, and they underestimate how much of a threat he is. Adam sets out on a quest of vengeance, where he hunts and kills those responsible for the incident.
Fun, spoofy movie.

The Gentlemen 2019 A talented American graduate of Oxford, using his unique skills, and audacity, creates a marijuana empire using the estates of impoverished British aristocrats. However, when he tries to sell his empire to a fellow American billionaire, a chain of events unfolds, involving blackmail, deception, mayhem and murder between street thugs, Russian oligarchs, Triad gangsters and gutter journalists.
This was such a fun, entertaining action comedy film.

Surrounded is a 2023 western drama film. Former Buffalo Soldier Mo Washington travels West to lay claim on a gold mine. After her stagecoach is ambushed, Mo is tasked with holding a dangerous outlaw captive and must survive the day when the bandit's gang tries to free him.

Spencer 2021 Diana Spencer, struggling with mental-health problems during her Christmas holidays with the Royal Family at their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, decides to end her decade-long marriage to Prince Charles.
As the New York Times stated:
“Spencer” is a Christmas movie, in which a big, dysfunctional family gathers at the holiday to feast, exchange gifts and engage in peculiar traditions meant to provide “a bit of fun.”
“Spencer” is a horror movie about a fragile woman held captive in a spooky mansion, tormented by sadistic monsters and their treacherous minions.
“Spencer” is a psychological thriller about a powerful, unaccountable authoritarian cabal conspiring to crush the spirit of an independent-minded rebel.

Jackie 2016 Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

Parish 2023 series season 1 - Follows a taxi driver whose life is turned upside down when he agrees to pick-up a Zimbabwean gangster mostly known for exploiting undocumented immigrants at the U.S. southern ports.

Caught In His Web 2022 Three girls are tormented by a mysterious cyberbully by the name "Blake" who makes them send nude photos, harasses them and tracks their every move, so they decide to seek help from a detective to unmask their harasser.

Score: A Hockey Musical a cheesy, satire of musicals, but it was fun to watch.
A young hockey player goes from an unknown to a star in a very short time (John McDermott, Noah Reid, Hawksley Workman, Dave Bidini).

I am still working my way through The Tudors.


I finished The Swimming Pool, a bit predictable and like watching a train wreck, I had to finish it. BUT the ending surprised me!

I started Past Lying and I am enjoying it, set in Edinburgh during the lockdown.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Natural Bridges National Park

 April 2006 - Natural Bridges National Park Utah

In 2006 we did a road trip around New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, click here for more of that trip.

Natural Bridges National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located about 50 miles northwest of the Four Corners boundary of southeast Utah, in the western United States, at the junction of White Canyon and Armstrong Canyon, part of the Colorado River drainage.