Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Summer Travels Are Over, Time to Catch Up On Blogs! - Wed., Oct.11, 2017

I feel like such a random writer these days. I'm way behind on blogs and need to finish up on our Hawaii vacation from November/December 2016, our trip around the southeast in April/May 2017, one last blog from the eclipse trip in August, and our most recent vacation to Nevada/Arizona/New Mexico. So hang on, we're going on a verbal time-travel mission. It might not be pretty because it won't be in any particular order. I'll start with our most recent expedition first.

You last heard from us at Picacho Peak RV Resort in Eloy, Arizona. It was a nice enough RV park with a beautiful view of Picacho Peak. Next time we're in the area, it would be nice to spend time at the state park next door, visit Rooster Cogburn's Ostrich Ranch next door on the other side of the RV park, go to Pima Air and Space Museum, the largest aircraft boneyard in the world at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Saguaro National Park, and so much more. As Bob says "We're not done with this part of the country yet."

Sunday, October 1, 2017:

Bob is in training for San Antonio's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in December. This morning, he needed to run 14 miles. This is a problem when the temperature is 96 degrees. So, he decided to get up at 4:00 a.m. (crazy, right?) to get his run in before it got too hot. 

I, on the other hand, attempted to sleep in. The cats had other ideas and woke me up for their breakfast. 

Since I was up anyway, I decided to go out and take "golden hour" photos of Picacho Peak. The lighting was beautiful as the sun came up.

Beauty and Rigamarole at
Picacho Peak RV Resort
Picacho Peak and saguaro cactus
I ate breakfast while I waited for Bob to return from his run and got the 5th wheel ready to roll. Bob came back, showered, put away all outside paraphernalia (electric cord, water hose, surge protector, chocks), and hooked us up. Meanwhile, I had cleaned and cut up celery and made chicken salad for our lunch. We exited the RV park before check-out time and headed northwest to Las Vegas.

We had smooth sailing (sorry for the mixed metaphor) all the way to Las Vegas. We checked into our site at Las Vegas RV Resort by 5:00 p.m. After we set up and got situated, we headed over to Bob's mom's house for dinner. Since our microwave was kaput, we had Chicken Tikka Masala to cook so we took that along with rice. Bob's sister made a cabbage salad, Bob's niece, Emily, brought a sub sandwich to share and Bob's mom made chocolate chip cookies. We had a very nice dinner and enjoyed catching up on what everyone's been up to. 

After dinner, we brought in the leftover art from our move into our new manufactured home. [Note: When we collected art in our 3,200 sq. ft. home in Washington state, and then moved into a 1,400 sq. ft. home in Hawaii, we did not have room for all our art. From Hawaii, we moved into our 5th wheel where we had no room for art. All of our art was in storage from 6 to 11 years!] We let Bob's mom, sister, and niece pick out pieces they wanted. What was left we brought back to San Antonio with us.

The Neon Museum lobby (this reminds me of
Stitch of Lilo and Stitch).

After dinner and dealing with art, Bob and I had a date to see The Neon Museum. It's a small place and you have to book a tour. I called in the afternoon as we were driving north to find out if they had a tour for tonight (the only free night we had). They did...at 11:40 p.m. Cool. We booked it. I really wanted to see the outdoor museum at night when they light up 11 of the old neon (and other) Las Vegas signs from days of yore. 

We arrived at the museum about 10:45 p.m. That gave us time to read some of the history in their lobby and peruse the gift shop. 

People were mentioning there was an active shooter on The Strip. Alarming, to say the least. All they knew was it was on the south strip and we were at the north end. 

We had about 15 minutes to spare so we sat in their outdoor courtyard. People were on their smartphones talking about a shooting at a music festival. At that point, no one really knew what was going on because it had just happened. All kinds of rumors were swirling about, none of them were good news. 

We were all appalled at what we were hearing and seeing, posts from people at the festival, posts with people getting shot, people trying to flee, and of others lying injured and bleeding on the ground. We checked our phones, too. 

At 11:40 out tour guide took us out into the neon sign boneyard. What a unique collection. 
From Binion's Horseshoe
The Golden Nugget
Our tour guide - Genevieve -
born and raised in Las Vegas
The Lido
Showboat Casino
Binion's Horseshoe
On Sassy Sally's marquee, Genevieve pointed out the subliminal message, the two "S"s in the middle of Sassy are dollar signs.

Sassy Sally's

We learned about all the colors of neon and the gases that create them. Some gases can be combined to create other colors. Neon is orange, hydrogen is red, argon is blue, helium is yellow, carbon dioxide is white, and mercury is blue. 

An intricate neon sign
In the Yucca photo above, notice the white "flowers" of the yucca plant. According to our tour guide, those squiggly lines are very hard to achieve when bending neon glass tubes. She said a master craftsman must have created the flower portion.

All kinds of signs can be found here
Algiers Hotel
In addition to the Tam O'Shanter sign below, underneath it you can see a large tam o'shanter cap sculpture.
Tam O'Shanter
How very Texan
Below is a large sculpture of a pool player. You can see how big it is by the people standing under it. I shot it from different angles so you can see the detail. The artist even put in knuckles and fingernails.

Of course, wedding chapels had to be represented.

Sign for an Asian restaurant (no neon, though)
My very favorite neon sign was Liberace's signature. He always did a little doodle at the bottom of his signature. Look closely and you will see a piano under this signature. Classy!

The Stardust and Riviera signs
Bob in front of the Sahara sign
I will always remember the Sahara (which was torn down a few years ago) for it's super-fast, out-and-back, frontward, then reverse, roller-coaster ride. It was thrilling. My sister and I took my mom on it during her 80th birthday road trip. She was terrified. 
Frontier with massive longhorn horns
La Concha Motel (it's the lobby of the museum now)
Me with the ugly duckling
At the end of the tour, we passed under the Riviera and Tropicana signs on the way into the gift shop.

There is so much Vegas history here. We highly recommend you visit to learn all about it.

Tour over. Time to head back to the 5th wheel and get some sleep.

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