Quick getaway

Well, a bad influence convinced me to go back to Las Vegas over Labor Day weekend… Okay, it didn’t take much convincing – I’m a sucker for flash and glitter and shiny lights.

Great view of Hoover Dam on the flight out

Great view of Hoover Dam on the flight out

We stayed at New York, New York. The room was an okay size. The thermostat had two settings – low and high and it seemed like only one vent in the room. So after a day of 104+ degrees, while it was cooler than outside, it wasn’t an expansive hotel level of cold. There was plenty of closet space and the safe was large enough for a thin laptop. Room and bathroom were clean and the beds were fairly comfortable.

Marshmallow pillows, though.

Marshmallow pillows, though.

We couldn’t seem to get the right number of washcloths without calling housekeeping and a room service cart with dirty dishes and food sat in the hallway down from us for over 24 hours. Seems picky, I know. And the cab driver from the airport did tell us that they were expecting 300,000 visitors that weekend, 100,000 more than last year. So I’m sure they were very, very busy. But food in the hallway for more than a full day is a little odd to encounter in a hotel where the rooms normally cost a lot more than a Holiday Inn.

IMG_3641For the cost of a room there, you can find a bigger room, probably with better air conditioning somewhere else, even on The Strip to say nothing of on Fremont. But it does seem like they have more restaurant choices in their little borough-neighborhood mock-up than a lot of the other hotels do. Hardly any of them seem to stay open late, but that’s okay. Their casino area has some of the coolest video slots I’ve seen yet. A couple banks of machines with the MOST flashy lights, glittery wheels, spin like crazy for no reason reels EVER. Epileptic fit inducing to the max. In other words, AWESOME. Oh, and alien cow abduction themed slots!

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Not as bright or as big a city, but still fun!

IMG_3472Last Saturday my mother, mother-in-law and I went on a little jaunt to Des Moines, IA. The occasion was that I had found out about a tea room in New Virginia. And that is on the way to Des Moines, where there is chocolate and tea!

IMG_0397The tea room is Miss Spenser’s Special Teas. It is truly out in the middle of nowhere, about 2 hours from Kansas City and 45 minutes from Des Moines. It is a family run operation on a farm.

This particular tea was centered around Black Beauty (the book, not the tea).

This particular tea was centered around Black Beauty (the book, not the tea).

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Bright Lights, Big City The Finale

IMG_3370And into the final stretch. This may not have seemed like a 3 post-worthy series, but it really wore me out thinking about the trip. It seemed when we were there like we weren’t doing much. Looking back on the limited notes I took at the end of each day to remind myself of things, and then going through to put them into complete sentences with photos and links… it made me realize that we actually did do quite a bit.

IMG_3396On Sunday we headed out first thing to Central Park. Denzil wanted to see Belvedere Castle and there were several iconic things that I wanted to make sure to see.

IMG_3381We followed our taxi driver’s recommendation and started out at the 79th Street entrance on the west side of the park. There are large outcroppings of rock in this area, which was a surprise to me. I thought most of the park was lawn and trees with some water here and there.

Q02A0717We wandered around a bit and stumbled on the Shakespeare garden, which was neat. Wild and overgrown looking but still looking like it was planned.

Very lush in appearance.

Very lush in appearance.

Unfortunately, the sun was never quite right for us to get any good shots of Belvedere Castle, a miniature castle built in 1869 that is now used by the National Weather Service. There are tons of statues scattered throughout the park. The only one we went specifically to see was the Alice in Wonderland statue.

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