(Note to subscribers: Earlier this week I had a “senior moment”. Somehow I accidently published this article long before it was ready for Easin’ Along readers. As a result, you received an email and I apologize for that. Here is the latest chapter in Sherman’s March to the Sea.)
Sometimes it’s just better to be lucky. We left Arizona on a gorgeous day and began making our way toward Nevada in a northwesterly direction. We had a five-hour drive ahead of us to Las Vegas and a bit further to Nellis Air Force Base on the north side of town. We had been told that Las Vegas traffic could be heavy and Sherman (our Cruise America RV) doesn’t like heavy.
The drive was going well but as we approached Lake Mead traffic began to thicken up. That’s when the thought hit me…maybe we could get complimentary rooms at Harrah’s. Easin’ Along readers may recall that when we were driving to Shreveport ahead of a big storm, we called Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Bossier City, LA to ask if rooms were available. We received a complimentary room that night because we are members of the Harrah’s rewards program. Maybe we should try our luck again.
I placed a call to the hotel, gave them my rewards number and asked about rates and availability for two nights. I was put on hold and then…Bingo! Like three cherries rolling up on a slot machine, we were told that we had complimentary rooms for two nights. There were high fives all around. Even Sherman was looking forward to a couple of nights on the prowl…after all, “it’s Vegas, Baby”!
The sun was low in the sky as we pulled into town. Our GPS led us toward the hotel, but it was slow going. Finally, we made a right turn and found ourselves among some huge high rise hotels and casinos. It had been thirty years since I had been in Las Vegas and a lot had changed in that time. This is a big city now. Sherman marched down the strip like he owned it.
Check-in took some time, but it was worth the wait. We were given a large suite with a view looking to the east. Dark was approaching and the contrast of the evening sky and the Ferris wheel behind the hotel made for some interesting pictures. After dinner in the hotel, we made our way to the casino to see if we could capitalize on our good fortune for this day.
The next morning we took it kinda lazily. Although living in Sherman was in no way a hardship, it was nice to have large beds and a big shower. I looked out of the window and could see Sherman all by himself in the parking lot and gave him a big wave. He looked a bit lonely out there.
Our first task for the day was to drive out to Nellis Air Force Base and do some commissary shopping. We also wanted to check out the camping area for future reference having been told that it was one of the nicest campgrounds in the military inventory. The drive from Harrah’s took about 25 minutes going north along I-15.
The campground was nearly full. There had been a NASCAR race in Las Vegas the previous week and some of the race fans were still enjoying the Las Vegas atmosphere. I am always amazed by the size of some of the RVs and this campground was loaded with a few whoppers. Altogether, the campground was laid out nicely with full hookups and Wi-Fi. We hope to come back.
In addition to having a nice campground, Nellis AFB also has a great commissary and we had no trouble finding enough provisions to get us to California. From the commissary parking lot, there was a lovely view of the snow-capped peaks in the distance. Again, we were blessed with amazing weather and I wanted to capture it with the camera.
Back in town, it was time to walk the city. This week was a big one in Las Vegas as it was the beginning of NCAA March Madness, the college basketball tournament. There were thousands of gamblers in town to fill out brackets and have a few bracket parties at the same time. The sidewalks were filled with fans waving banners of their favorite team while checking out whatever temptation was available.
We saw it all. There were scantily clad ladies making themselves available for picture posing that were upset when I took their picture before realizing that I needed to pay them. They got over it. I spotted only two Elvis impersonators, and only one of them was singing (badly). Sidewalk buskers were everywhere playing instruments, dancing, and some who were hawking escorts for the evening. I decided I couldn’t live like this and moved off the sidewalk and into one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever seen…The Bellagio.
The lobby of the hotel was enormous and made to look like a grand Italian Villa. The ceiling of the lobby was adorned with brightly colored Chihuly glass flowers and I found it almost impossible to stop staring at the color. There were huge sculptures elaborately decorated with flowers both real and artificial. This was an entertainment venue in itself. We walked outside to watch the fountain display. After our visit, I concluded that gambling must be good business.
That evening we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner of Bouillabaisse in the hotel before trying out our luck once more. I did ok…Helen probably should have stayed in the room. Nevertheless, we had fun and called it an early evening.
Sometimes it’s good to be lucky. Walking back to our complimentary suite, we still considered ourselves to be extremely fortunate in many ways. We’re living our dream and doing it while Easin’ Along the retired road. We’re both glad and lucky that you came with us.
Next week—Point Mugu, California, and our grandchildren will join us!!