MORE  PICTURES  FROM  MY  POST  THE  LAS  VEGAS  STRIP  OR  DOWNTOWN  LAS  VEGAS ?  WHERE  SHOULD  I  STAY  WHEN  I  GO  TO  LAS  VEGAS ?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA – THE LAS VEGAS STRIP OR DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS ? WHERE SHOULD I STAY WHEN I GO TO LAS VEGAS ?

FB_IMG_1500913506497FB_IMG_1500913494497FB_IMG_1500913470650FB_IMG_1500913401718FB_IMG_1500913398340FB_IMG_1500909509863FB_IMG_1500907658227FB_IMG_1500909472369FB_IMG_1500908949970First  of  all ,  not  that  many  people  who  come  to  Las  Vegas  for  the  first  time  are even   aware  that  there  is  a  Downtown  area  of  town .

There  is  and  it’s  actually  the  oldest  section  of  town .

The  Las  Vegas  Strip  is  the  place  that  most  everyone  knows  and  associates  with  Sin  City .

All those  fancy  and flashy  hotels  all in your  face .

Not  to  mention  the  fancier  nightlife  with the  clubs  all trying  to  outdo each  other  with well  known  djs .

But some  of  you  would  be  surprised  to  learn  that  all those  casino  resorts  from  the  Mandalay  Bay  at the  beginning  of  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  all the  way  down  to  the  Stratosphere  at the  end of  the  Strip  are actually  located  in  the  incorporate  city  of  Paradise ,  Nevada .

But I guess  if you  win a lot of  money  at the  tables  and  slots ,  you’d  be in Paradise  for  awhile ,  too  .

Seriously ,  though ,  lots  of  tourists  who have never been  to  Las  Vegas  or even  the ones who  have  many times, want to  know  :

When  I  come  to  Las Vegas ,  should  I  stay  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip ,  also  known  as  Las Vegas  Boulevard  or should  I  stay in   Downtown  Las Vegas ,  where most  of  the  hotels  are on Fremont  Street ?

As someone  who  has lived and worked in  Downtown  Las  Vegas  for  three  years  and  has been  to the  Las  Vegas  Strip  more times than I  have fingers and  toes ,  I  think  I  have  some  street  cred  here .

Where should  you  stay?

It all depends ,  really .

Do you  want  to  be where the  major  action  in  Las Vegas  is?

Or do  you  want it quiet?

This  is  Las Vegas ,  folks ,  good  luck  with  that  quiet  thingy .

The Las  Vegas  Strip  or  Downtown  Las  Vegas  can give  you  both .

The  hotels  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip  are the  ones  that  you  see in every  picture  of  Las Vegas .

You  want  to  see The  Eiffel  Tower  without  traveling  to  Paris ,  France ?

There’s  the  Paris  Las  Vegas  Hotel  with the smaller  version  of  all things Paris ,  France  right  in front  of  you .

You  don’t  want  to  travel  to  Egypt ,  but that hotel  that’s  shaped  like  a  pyramid  looks  very interesting  to  you .

That’s  Luxor ,  people .

Or maybe  you  want to  see a replica of  ”  the  glory  that  was  Rome  ” ?

The  ginormous  Ceasars  Palace  is the  place  you want  to  be.

You  say that  you  want  to  stay  on  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  but  some  of  these  hotel  casinos  are way too  overwhelming  for  you .

How  about  the  quiet  elegance  of  the  Bellagio  or the  simple  elegance  of  The  Wynn  or its  sister  property ,  Encore  at  The  Wynn ?

You  say  that  you  brought  the  kids  with  you ?

How about  Circus  Circus  or the   Excalibur ?  Or even The  Stratosphere ?

Now   that you’ve  heard about  the  Las  Vegas  Strip ,  just  what  does  Downtown  Las  Vegas  have  for  you ?

Will you  see things  that  you’ve  never  seen  before  like on the  Las  Vegas  Strip ?

This is  Las  Vegas ,  folks .

Of course  you  will .

Where else  would  you  see  a  Dennys  Restaurant  with  a  wedding  chapel  or a  restaurant  called  The  Heart  Attack  Grill   where people  can weigh  themselves  right  outside  of  the  restaurant ?

Want  more  craziness ?

Take  a  ride on that zip line  that  flies  over  you  and  several  thousands  of  visitors   at the  Fremont  Street  Experience .

Yes ,  that  is  a  humongous  slot  machine  that people  are  shooting  out  of .

The  zip line  is called   “Slotzilla .

There’s  not  a  lot  of  casinos  Downtown .

There’s  only  11  of them and  most  of  them  are located  around  the  Fremont  Street  Experience .

If  you  want  a friendly  atmosphere ,  Downtown  Las  Vegas  is the  place  for  you .

There’s  a  light  show  every night  here from 8 pm  until  Midnight .

It’s  loud ,  but  this  is  Vegas  after  all .

From  Seventh  Street  up to  111th  Street ,  this area  of Downtown  is known  as   Fremont  Street  East .

You’ll  find  clubs, restaurants  and  a place  called  the  Downtown  Container  Park where everything  seems  to  be  made  from  old  shipping  containers .

There’s  even  a  Praying  Mantis  in front  of  the  building .

This being  Las  Vegas ,  even the  insects  have  to  put on a show ,  so at night ,  the Praying  Mantis  lights  up too .

I  would  say that this  is as far as  you  should  venture  on Fremont  Street .

After 11th  Street ,  there’s  no need to  venture  any further  down  Fremont  Street .

If you  decide  to  stay  on  the  Las  Vegas  Strip ,  but you  want  to  go Downtown ,  you  can  get  there  by public  transportation ,  either  the  Deuce  or the  SDX  can get you  there  and  back  .

So where would  I  advise  you  to  stay ?

In spite  of  the  glitter  and  glamour  of the  Las  Vegas  and  the  fact  that  some  areas  around  Downtown  are  sketchy ,  I  would  still  say stay on  Fremont  Street ,  Downtown  Las  Vegas .

The  hotels  are  much  cheaper  and  unlike  many ,  if not  all  the  casinos hotels  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip ,  some  of  the  hotels  don’t  have  a resort  fee ,  where  you  basically  pay for  everything  on top  of  paying  for  your stay and not to mention that they charge   $100   for incidentals ,  which  you get back when you  check out.

Providing  that you haven’t  used up $100   worth of  incidentals  ,  of course .

Some  of  the  hotels  collect  the  fees  when you  check  in ,  others when you  check  out .

Paying  the  resort  fees  are  not  optional ,  by the  way .

For  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  hotels ,  the  fees  can  range  from   $23  a night  all the  way  up  to   $35  a night .

The  hotels  Downtown  that  do have  a  resort  fee  charge   $  9  to   $20  a night ,  and no not  paying  the  fees  isn’t  an option  here  either .

From  Las  Vegas  McCarron  International  Airport ,  shuttles  can  get you  to  both  those  fancy  hotels  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip  as well  as  the  not  so  fancy  hotels  Downtown  that  you  and  the  family  decide  to  stay  at.

LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA – SO YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED?

FB_IMG_1500913890252Even  though  you’re  going  to  Las  Vegas  for  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  the  city ,  we know  the  real  reason  why  the  two  of  you  are  so  excited  about  going  to  ”  Sin  City  ” .

No, it’s  not  to  gamble ,  see a show ,  go crazy at the  buffets or the clubs ,  that’s  going  to  come  later.

You’ve  come  here  to  get married  and  the two  of  you  aren’t  the  only  ones .

Las  Vegas  isn’t  the  marriage  capital  of  the  United  States ,  it  just  seems  that  way .

You’d  better  believe  that  February  14th ,  Valentines  Day ,  is one of  the  biggest  days  in town .

Couples  are getting  married ,  and  this  city  makes  it  so easy for couples of all  genders to do so .

There’s  no  waiting  period  and you  don’t  need  to  take  a  blood  test.

What  you  do need  is proof  that you’re  over  18  years  old ,  like  a  social  security  card ,  drivers  license  and  a  passport  if you  aren’t  from  the  United  States .

You’ll  also  need   $77  to get  that  marriage  license  at the  Clark  County  Marriage  License  Bureau ,  which is  on Las  Vegas  Boulevard ,  but in Downtown  Las  Vegas .

You can do this  the same  day  that  you  want  to  get married  as the  bureau  is open  every  day  from  8 am  until  Midnight .

Once you  get  that  marriage  license ,  you can  have a  big fancy wedding  later in the week  or so at one of  the  casino  chapels  or seeing  that  this  is  the  Entertainment  capital  of  the  United  States ,  you can get married  the same day by an Elvis  Presley  impersonator ,  at a drive  thru  wedding  chapel   no less .

Don’t  be surprised  if  you  happen  to  be  visiting  Las Vegas  and right  there on the  Las  Vegas  Strip  or  Downtown  Las Vegas ,  someone  is walking  around  wearing    a  wedding  gown  on or carrying  a  bouquet  in her  hands .

Don’t  be  surprised  if  you happen  to  be  eating  at the  newest  Dennys  Restaurant  on Fremont  Street  and you happen  to  see a a couple  that  just  got  married .

This  might  be  the  only  Dennys  in the  country  with a  wedding  chapel .

They can  even  make you   “pancake  wedding  cake . ”

This  is  Las  Vegas ,  after  all .

Anything  is possible  here .

LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA – YES , YOU CAN TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION HERE .

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So  you  want  to  save  some  money  when  you  finally  go  on  that  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Las  Vegas ?

You  could  take  an  Uber  or  a  taxi  on  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  or  down  to  the  Fremont  Street  Experience ,  but  why  not  do  what  the  locals  and  the  thousands  of  other  visitors  do  when  they  come  to  town ?

They  take  the  bus .

There’s  also  a  monorail  here ,  but  not  many  people  take  it  as  it’s  out  of  the  way  and  it  only  goes  from  MGM  Grand  to  the  SLS  Hotel .

Now ,  if  you  happen  to  be  going  to  an  event  at  the  Las  Vegas  Convention  Center ,  the  monorail  will  work  fine  for  you .

But  let’s  get  back  to  public  transportation  in  the  city .

There  are  two  buses  that  visitors  to  Las  Vegas  use  a  lot  while  in  town .

One  route  is  called  ”  The  Deuce  ” ,  which  is  a double  decker  bus  and  makes  stops  at  all  the  casinos  on  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  from  Mandalay  Bay  all  the  way  down  to  the  El  Cortez  Hotel  and  Casino ,  which  is  located  Downtown .

El  Cortez  was  the  first  casino  that  mobster  Bugsy  Siegel  owned .

Also  downtown  is  the  National  Museum  of  Organized  Crime  and  Law  Enforcement ,  better  known  as  the  ”  Mob  Museum  ” .

The  Deuce  bus  runs  past  the  museum  also .

The  Deuce  bus  runs  24  hours ,  seven  days  a  week .

If  you  don’t  want  to  take  the  Deuce ,  which  can  get  crowded  and  is  quite  slow ,  take  the  other  bus  that  runs  all  the  way  from  the  South  Strip  Transit  Center  all  the  way  up  to  the  Las  Vegas  North  Premium  Outlet ,  which  is  located  close  to  Downtown  Las  Vegas .

It’s  called  the  Strip  Downtown  Express  or  the  SDX  for  short .

This  bus  does  run  every  day ,  but  only  from  9am  until  Midnight  and  it  doesn’t  stop  at  all  the  casinos  on  the  Strip ,  but  in  some  cases ,  it  does  share  bus  stops  with  the  Deuce .

If  you’re  going  to  be  visiting  Las  Vegas  longer  than  a  day ,  I  would  advise  spending  $  20  for  a  three  day  pass ,  which  you  can  use  on both  buses ,  but  not  the  Monorail .

Both  buses  only  take  exact  change  and  you  can  pay  on  both  buses  or  at  the  machines  that  are  located  at  each  bus  stop  before  you  get  on .

At  the  machines  besides  bills  and  coins ,  you  can  also  pay  with  your  debit  or  credit  card .

Have  your  fare  card  handy  and  out  when  you  ride  the  SDX .

Las  Vegas  transit  policemen  and  policewomen  will  be  on  the  bus  along  with  you  to  make  sure  that  you  have  your  fare  card  handy .

You  might  be  asked  to  show  it just to make  sure  that  the  card  hasn’t  expired .

Trust  me ,  you  don’t  want  to  act  the  fool  on  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Sin  City  if  you  have  your  fare  card  and  for  some  reason  only  known  to  you ,  you  refuse  to  show  it when  asked  to .

These  officers  carry  not  only  handcuffs  but  loaded  guns  too ,  and  they  AREN’T  afraid  to  use  either  of  them .

Don’t  even  think  about  it ,  just have your  fare  card  handy  and  enjoy  Las  Vegas .

LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA – GETTING TO KNOW SIN CITY , SORT OF .

OFB_IMG_1501169677536You’ve  seen  all  of  those  commercials  about  the  city .

You  know  the  ones  I’m  talking  about .

“What  happens  here ,  stays  here . ”

Yeah, sure  you’re  right .

You  know  that’s  not  even  the  truth .

Come  on   now ,  we  saw  your  Facebook  and Instagram  photos  where  you and your  besties  are acting  the  fool  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip .

Your  parents  even  recognized  you doing  things  that  they certainly  didn’t  teach  you  back  home  in  North  Dakota .

Was  that your  grandmother  with you  at the  Chippendale  Theater  at  The Rio  Casino  and  Hotel ? !

Some  of  us  even  saw  your  tweet  on Twitter  .

”  # GETTING  LIT  IN  VEGAS  ”  “#  ALL  ABOUT  THAT  VEGAS  LIFE  ”

It’s  not  only  known  as  “Sin  City”  ,  but to  the  millions  of  people  driving  up from  Los Angeles ,  it’s  sort  of  a  suburb  of  LA LA  Land .

There’s  another  way  to  describe  the  city .

New  York  City  on  steroids .

Trust  me  on  this  one.

I  lived  in  New  York ,  Los  Angeles  AND  LAS  VEGAS .

I’ll  say  it  again  in case  you  missed  it  the  first  time  I  said  it .

Las  Vegas  is  New  York  City  on  steroids ,  the  kind  the  doctor  shouldn’t  even  prescribe  to  you, even  if  you  do  need  it .

This  city  is  24  /  7 ,  just  like  New  York  City .

It  seems  as  though  people  don’t  sleep  here  either .

They  aren’t  just  here  to  lose  their  money  at  the  casinos .

Nope ,  they’re  here  to  party  and  eat  at  all  those  restaurants  and  buffets  that they  heard  a lot  about  back in Tokyo  or   Portland ,  Maine .

Las  Vegas  seems  to  reinvent  itself  not  every  few  years ,  how  about  every  few  months ?

Even  the  old  hotels  being  imploded  to create  even fancier  hotels seem  to  draw crowds .

It’s  just  another  show  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip .

The  city  used  to  be  a  place  where  the  stars  went  to  be  seen  and  heard .

Families  wanted  to  get  in all this  fun  as well .

As  much as  you  want  to  bring  the  kids  with  you ,  leave  them  at home .

No  really ,  leave  little  Jack  and  Jill  at home  with  the  grandparents  or a babysitter ,  even  though  they want to  see the fake  castle  at Excalibur  Hotel  and Casino .

They said they want  to  go to  Circus  Circus  and take in the rides at the  Adventure  Dome, plus they want to  see the guy that looks  like a  lion at Luxor ?

It’s  not a lion, it’s  a sphinx  .

Remind them that Las Vegas  isn’t  Disneyland .

It’s  Disneyland  for adults .

There’s  so much  to do  and see in this  city and it’s  not  even  the  capital  of  Nevada .

More about  Las Vegas  in some  of  my later  posts  about  this  city .

Now ,  I’ll  bet you’re  wondering  just what  is a post  about  Las Vegas  doing  on  a blog post  called  30

 

Plus  Teams ,  30 Plus  Dreams ?

It’s  not  a side  trip ,  even though  it’s  close  to  Los  Angeles ,  Denver ,  Phoenix ,  and Salt  Lake  City .

Oh no .

This wild  and  crazy  city  is the  newest  stop  on the  30 Plus  Teams  Tour .

Beginning  in October  of  this  year  at the  T Mobile    Arena ,  the  National  Hockey  League  welcomes  team  number  31 ,  the   Vegas  Golden  Knights  .

This  already  crazy city  just  got  a little  crazier  with their  first  professional  sports  team .

LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA- TRYING TO LEAVE ON A JET BLUE PLANE

FB_IMG_1501159878484FB_IMG_1501159862716FB_IMG_1501159859682FB_IMG_1501159892351I’m  really  excited  about  going  to  Las Vegas ,  Nevada ,  but then I  get really  excited  about  going  anywhere  whether  it’s  a  30 Plus  Teams  Tour  or  not .

Or  at  least  I  was  until  I  reached  JFK ,  which  is  the airport  basically  in my backyard .

Jet  Blue  airlines  had told me via email  to be prepared  for  delays  at the  airport  due to  the  major  construction  that  always  seems  to  go  on at this  airport   so I  knew what  to expect .

I always  try to   get to  the  airport  or bus terminal  early  because  I  hate being rushed and I  also  like  to  people  watch.

I  checked  in for my flight ,  JetBlue  flight  7-Eleven  JFK New York  to Las Vegas  McCarron  International  Airport .

The  departure  time was  6:30pm ,  NewYork  time arriving  at  9:20pm ,  Las Vegas  time .

With  the  time  change ,  it would  be  a  five hour  and  50 minute  flight .

That’s  right ,  I  said  supposed  to  leave  at  6:30pm .

As  I  looked  down  at  my phone ,  I had received  another  email  from  Jet  Blue .

My flight ,  which  originated  from  San  Juan ,  Puerto  Rico ,  was going  to  be late  getting  to New York   and therefore  we would be  delayed  leaving  JFK  but also  arriving  in  Las  Vegas .

How  much  delayed  at JFK ?

”  Just  an hour  “,  was the  word from  the  gate  agents .

The  “just  one  hour  ” turned  into  almost  two hours and the gate  changed as well from Gate 18 to Gate 2.

Finally ,  around  8 pm ,  our row numbers  were finally  called .

HELLO  LAS  VEGAS ! !

Or so we thought .

This  is  JFK ,   nothing  ever goes  smoothly  at this  airport ,  including  airplanes  taking  off when  they’re  supposed  to .

It’s  like  the  New York

 

City  traffic  during  rush  hour ,  bumper  to bumper .

Nobody  is  going  ANY WHERE ,  even  on an airplane  runway .

So for  another  hour, or so it seemed ,  I  wasn’t  leaving  on a JetBlue  flight  and neither  were the  other  passengers .

Around  9:30pm  or so, the pilot  said  those  words we all wanted  to  hear

“WE  ARE READY FOR  TAKEOFF.”

By the   grace  of  God ,  Las Vegas ,  Nevada ,  here I  come!

 

 

 

THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY IF I COULD SPEAK TO MY YOUNGER SELF .

FB_IMG_1501064026943As I  get  ready  to  make  another  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  I   have to  reflect  on  some  things .

What  would  I  say  to  a younger  me if I  could  go back  in time ?

Now , when  I  say my younger  self, I’m  referring  to  that  18  year  old  girl  just getting  out of  Catholic  School   all the way up to  that  35  year  old  woman ,  who  seemed  to  be  depressed  about  how  her  life  was  going .

I  was  also  extremely  sensitive  to  criticism  of  any  kind  from anyone .

I’d  like  to  say  that  at  age  36  that I  had my life  together ,  but that  would  be  a  big fat  lie .

I   honestly  didn’t .

It  wasn’t  until  I  reached  the age of  43  that I  really  got my act  together .

I  can remember  crying  on my 30th  birthday ,  because  silly  old  me, I thought  my  life  was  over .

I  don’t  cry on my birthdays  anymore ,  even if  I don’t  celebrate  the  day with friends or if someone  forgets  to wish  me happy  birthday .

Because  at 64 ,  everyday  that  the  Good  Lord  gets  me  up, it’s  a reason  to  celebrate .

I  would  tell  the  18  year  old  me  that  in spite  of  all the  information  you  learned  in college ,  I   wouldn’t  waste  my parents  money  or my time  by attending  college .

I   would  have  gone  to  work  right  after  high  school  and  made  my own  money  instead .

Speaking  of dollar  dollar bills ,  y’all ,  I   would  have  learned  to  handle  it a whole  lot  better .

I  can  honestly  say  that  I’ve  gotten  somewhat  better  at this ,  too.

I  would  definitely  tell  my younger  self  not to be  so sensitive  to  criticism  from  friends  and  especially  some  family  members .

I   can say that  I’ve  gotten  my PhD  in  this  department .

My educated  advice  on this to my younger  self  would  be ,  if someone  has a problem  with  you, no matter  if it’s  family  or friends, go that Taylor  Swift  route.

Shake it off .

That’s  their  issues ,  not yours .

I’m  very  happy  with  my  older  self .

Special  thanks  and shout outs  to some  family  members  too numerous  to mention  and to my ”  Circle  of  Sisters  ”   who  have  been  there  for me then and now ,  Michele ,  Sue ,  Lisa ,  Carol ,  Shoshanna ,  Myra ,  Theresa  and Soccoro .

Thank you  and God  bless  you ,  ladies .

I  would  tell  my  younger  self  to appreciate  my parents  a lot  more than  I did.

Now that both  of  them  are gone ,  it’s  a little  hard  to  tell them  how I feel .

I  would  tell  my younger  self  to get out  there  and  travel  much  more  than I did  and to be aware that the United  States  wasn’t  the only  country  in the  world .

There’s  a  whole  lot  of  countries  out there that  I  could  only  dream  about  going  to  let alone  trying  to  visit  one day.

I  would  have  gotten  a  passport  a heck  of  a  lot  sooner .

Finally ,  my younger  self  would  have  not  only  thought  about  having  the  idea  of  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  but actually  going on one .