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Published: February 3rd 2015
This was across the way from our hotel in Gallup.
So we are up relatively early about 8 am. Uncle Buddy was up earlier and ate breakfast at the hotel then visited with other guests. Hubby and I just had a snack at the gas station while filling up. Stopped at the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert NP - no cost as Uncle Buddy has a permanent NP card.
We did the scenic drive which is not a loop you go in the east entry just a bit off 40 then out the west right at 40. Part of the old route 66 is still actually in the park. Painted Desert portion first - very scenic views and very pretty. My hubby got to try out our new camera. Then came the Petrified Forest - not what I was expecting at all - I mean I wasn’t expecting scared trees but at least some trees. Evidently this was a forest in pre-historic era then the trees fossilized into rock logs. There is a museum at the end of the drive that explains a bit better and of course rangers for questions. We did a few very short “hikes” but not much! We did check out the museum
Painted Desert overlook
Uncle Buddy and I taking the scenery
and they also had a rock gallery / shop. I love rocks! In we went - well half of the store is touristy stuff but the other half is some true Native American art. I like to get a bargain but didn’t think it would happen here - wrong! I was able to get a beautiful stone/glass soap dish for $15 (the guys called it an ash tray) also got a small petrified wood display piece that was rough on top and polished on bottom for $25. I have seen pieces like I got for much more! This stop took about 2 hours or so but if you like to hike or just sit and look in peace you could spend maybe half a day. About an hour down the road we stopped in Winslow, AZ. My husband loves music so really wanted to make a quick stop. They have a “Standin on a Corner Park” - a little city park - free.
Finding parking was easy but it was a Sunday at lunch time. I can see how it maybe a bit more difficult on a busy Saturday. A few fun photos then we
decided we were hungry. Found a little café on their part of Route 66 - Dar's Route 66 Diner. Great sandwiches and hand cut fries! Service about what you can expect in a small town diner. A bit of Route 66 souvenir shopping then back on the road. This is really just a quick road stop for some photos - we stayed about 30 or 40 minutes with lunch.
We passed through Williams, Az where we will be staying later in the week. The next part was a bit long till we got closer to Lake Mead my husband and I had never been to Vegas ... Uncle Buddy had been once but like 25 years ago. I was very anxious and excited to get there. Crossed over the Pat Tillman Bridge and I was hoping to see the Hoover Dam / Lake Mead but the barriers are too high. Down through Boulder, NV and finally into Las Vegas about 5pm.
We checked into The Orleans Hotel. It is "off strip" which is not what most first timers to Vegas do but I had reasons for this. First of all my husband and Uncle Buddy need
David at Petrified Forest
David - my husband and our driver!
to be somewhere they can get downtime from a lot of excitement - I thought this was the best option. Also I got really good room rates as I gamble in other states at other Boyd Gaming properties. We hauled all our things from the front parking area down the way to the lobby as Hubby will not valet - he is very picky about who drives Patti. Check in was very smooth. I let the lady know that this was our first trip. She asked what I exactly wanted. I wanted the highest floor available near the elevator with any view. She upgraded me to a mini-suite on the top floor a very close walk to the elevator. Uncle Buddy wanted a smoking room on a high floor with a strip view. He got floor 17th with an upgraded premium room and his strip view. Even with the resort fees/taxes well under $100 a night for both rooms. The rooms were very nice and very clean. Exactly what I expected from a Boyd hotel.
We had intended on a bit of a rest but the whoo hoo got to us. So we got dressed
A close up look at the petrified wood.
for the night and headed out.
We parked at Caesar’s Palace then went straight to the Absinthe box office quite a hike. This is a show I really wanted to see. Clerk was very nice and even had coupons. A bit expensive but worth it. We chose the 10pm show.
We headed over the bridge to Margaritaville for dinner - yes a chain sort of but Uncle Buddy wanted to eat here. We decided to eat first before the fun went in overdrive. Great dinner/drinks/floor show. We had a very good waiter very nice and plenty of tips for around town.
Then we decided to gamble a bit in the small Margaritaville and the Flamingo casinos. Uncle Buddy and I played some blackjack - no big wins but a very very nice dealer. I found one of my very favorite machines to play. This is where Uncle Buddy’s winning ways started; he sat next to me and next thing we know he turns $20 into $200 or so. Time to cash out.
We headed back over the bridge for the show about 9:30 sat in the seating area of the Roman Plaza drinking/people watching. Seating a
Wall Mural @ Winslow, AZ
The girl in the flatbed Ford
bit late for the show but no issues with our view of the show. Awesome show and glad I picked it. The show is in a old time tent with all kinds of strange things to see. It is cozy quarters but pretty unbelievable on the acts. There is also plenty of not child friendly humor - very adult show. A bit of burlesque too. They have a signature Absinthe drink - Uncle Buddy and I should have had one but we had two. That on top of earlier evening drinks we were flying high.
Back through Caesars to the car - some craziness there. Uncle Buddy at 64 years old did a bit of twerking right in the Caesar's main lobby. Hilarious. We gambled our way back to the car.
After a pretty full day we got back to the hotel around 1 am. My husband was done and went to bed. Uncle Buddy and I kept at it another hour or so - lost track of time at this point.
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