Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A little Vegas goes a long way

May 29-31, 2014
Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort
Las Vegas, Nevada

*Note: This post is behind almost two weeks! We are now in the LA area enjoying a busy time with grandchildren.

Leaving Moab, we faced a long travel day of 465 miles to get to Vegas. Our commitment to see the grandkids in LA by June 1st motivated us to go for it and get this long day of interstate driving behind us.

boring vegas drive

We managed to pull out about 7:30 am—pretty good for us—with a plan to take a break in St. George for a long lunch and fuel stop—340 miles down the road. When we stopped at a Pilot station for fuel, a man came up to Vic and recommended he check the pressure in the driver’s side tire. The pressure was fine, but this fellow noticed that the tire looked funny. He suggested we check the shocks. There happened to be a service station that specialized in truck wheels and parts a few miles back so we headed down there to have the shocks checked. Turns out one in the front and one in the back were badly worn, so we had them all replaced in about a half hour’s time. Stuff happens and we would rather be safe with a much better ride and protect our tires than the alternative.

Thankfully, we only had a little over a hundred miles to go after the new shocks were installed. Our plan was to stay at the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort where we once had a lovely time with Mr. and Mrs. HeyDuke (two years ago). The sites they put you in with the Passport America discount are on the less desirable side of the park, but they are certainly adequate with full hook-ups. The other amenities make this place feel like a true resort with two beautiful pools, a spa, a cute little café, and fancy lobby.

With two days to see what’s new in Vegas, our plan for day one was to get in some walking along the strip to wander around in some of the big hotels. Parking is free at all the casinos, but most are parking garages—definitely not for us when we require 9’ clearance with the kayaks on top of the car. We did finally find a large outdoor lot behind the Excalibur Hotel and headed out from there.

There are indoor walkways that connect many of the hotels—rather a good choice for a day with a predicted high of 100. You can also choose the option of riding a free tram partway or ride a longer route on the monorail for a fee. We walked indoors when we could, and outdoors when needed, from Mandalay Bay to Treasure Island and back, a distance of at least six miles. We stopped for lunch at a Thai restaurant in Bally’s, a welcome break from the madness of casinos, high-end designer shops, and masses of people. In spite of our less than enthusiastic attitude toward Vegas, we did enjoy some of the more eye-catching sights along the way.

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas is a half scale model with a restaurant on the 46th floor

House of Blues has big name performers in the Mandalay Hotel

Hard to tell from the photo, but this Statue of Liberty, in New York, New York, is entirely made of Jelly Beans

The fabulous Luxor Hotel in the shape of a pyramid has many Egyptian hieroglyphs

The pool area at Mandalay Bay has several features including a wave machine and a lazy river

The Big Apple roller coaster at New York, New York includes a 180 degree spiral

The opulent lobby at Paris Las Vegas includes several crystal chandeliers meant to resemble Versailles Palace

Stained glass ceiling between Bally's and Paris casinos

A couple of Transformer characters hanging out on the strip in 100 heat!

This spectacular four story wine tower at Aureole's in Mandalay Bay houses 3200 bottles
which can be searched via a touch screen wine list. 

The popularity of oxygen bars in Vegas most likely relates to the effect of
smoky casino environments, the prevalence of hangovers, and lack of sleep. 

By the time we returned in the late afternoon, we were too weary to head out again for some night life. We both concluded that we already felt like we had enough of Vegas. We found prices to be higher than we remembered them to be when we came here pre-motorhome, but then realized that was ten years ago! Driving around the hotels and the strip wasn’t bad, but walking from place to place in the heat was exhausting.

The question of how to spend day two was a bit vexing. We decided to take a ride in the morning to see the famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop with the guys that are on television. It is located in the old downtown area which also happens to be near Zappo’s corporate headquarters which was having their annual “Shoe Down” sale open to the public.

We actually went to the Zappo’s sale first and were quite impressed with how well it was organized and run for the number of shoppers who showed up.


There were lots of temptations but the recent purchase of my new cowgirl boots kept me in check. Still it was fun to look, especially at these Frye boots they had for 45% discount. Good thing, I have no more room for boots.

Less than a mile away down Las Vegas Blvd., we pulled up to the parking lot next to the Pawn Shop. I had heard that sometimes there could be a line to get in, but not today. We walked right in and were surprised to see how neatly everything was arranged. It didn’t really have the character you would expect from the television show; of course, not having the Pawn Stars around made it seem like just an ordinary store.

Not as thrilling as we thought. Too bad we didn’t have a rare collector’s item to sell as the rumor is there is a film crew on hand with at least one of the stars in the backroom available to come out and negotiate when needed.

We saved the afternoon for a time to relax and enjoy the pool before going out for a night on the town. After reviewing lots of choices we decided to have a casual Italian meal at the Tuscan Grille in Town Square, a lovely outdoor mall not far from the strip and then find some free live music at the Rio or one of the other big hotels.

After a really great meal at the Tuscan Grille, we headed to the Rio. Yikes. The place was amass with people because the World Series of Poker was going on there. Plan B, we headed toward the strip with plans to check out the Wynn or Venetian but lost our enthusiasm pretty quickly. We happily headed back to our cozy nest in the motorhome, both feeling fine about skipping the Vegas nightlife (two nights in a row).

The iconic Caesars Palace lights up a lengthy block of the strip

Staying home gave us a chance to pack up and get ready for another unlovely drive on I-15 to the LA area. Destination: Orangeland RV Resort, a park we discovered last year that we really like. The best part: it is only a twenty minute drive to the home of my step-daughter, son-in-law, and three grandsons. Yippee!


  1. Your stay in Vegas sounds a lot like ours! Since we don't really like huge crowds, it was easy to go home...we had planned on visiting the Pawn Stars, but didn't make it.
    Glad to hear you are all settled in at Orangeland and enjoying family time.

  2. 465 miles in one day. Wow - I could never do that. AND you got new shocks too. Pretty amazing and lucky that guy noticed it and even more lucky that there was somewhere that could fix it in half an hour. You are a lucky pair, that's all. Thanks for the pictures of Vegas. It's really not my kind of place so I doubt I'll ever go there. Nice to see it through your eyes.

  3. Thank goodness Valley of Fire and Lake Mead were so close. They kept us out of Vegas except for a few hours.

    Have a wonderful time with grandchildren. I am sure they are so excited about you and Vic being in town. Looking forward to activities with the kids:)

  4. WOW....how nice of that guy to notice your tires.

    My gosh, that RV Resort's check in area looks like an expensive hotel lobby.

    We had the best time in LV. Just people watching is entertainment.

    Hope you are having a wonderful time with the grandkids.

  5. We did Las Vegas last year, and one day was enough. I am sorry I didn't know about the Zappos outpost there. They are my absolute FAVORITE shoe vendor. When you have terrible feet, a flexible return policy is a must. Thanks for the tip on the LA RV park, I'd like to see LA but could never figure out where to stay. Enjoy the kids!

  6. It's been so many years since I was last in Vegas that I know I will find it much changed. Love Zappos ... especially their free return policy and quick shipping.


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