Las Vegas 2009

Några Amerikanska bekanta bad mig skriva en blog när jag skulle åka till USA 2009. Den bloggen finns inte längre kvar, men jag sparade på den här sidan inläggen jag skrev då.  Jag tycker det är kul att ha kvar dagboksanteckningarna som minne av min resa. Den gången var det andra gången jag åkte till Las Vegas och stannade ett par veckor. Sedan dess har det blivit varje år fram till nu.
4 May 2009

 Now I’m packed. No, that’s not what I meant. I mean my bags are packed. And I’m ready to go. My house sitter arrived today. He will stay in my house for one week and take care of the mail and water my plants. Both my plants. I wanted him to pay my bills while I’m gone, but he said no. When he leaves my neighbors will take care of my mail. (But they will not pay my bills). They can put some trash in my garbage can and park one of their cars by my house to make it look like someone is home. Just to fool the bad guys. I also have some lights that automatically goes on in the evening, alarm, web cams, and steel bars on the basement windows. So don’t try anything.I’m used to travel, both at my job and private so I’m very organized. I have had a list for many years with everything I need when I travel and I modify it slightly for every trip. I can’t remember that I ever have forgot anything and you should know that I have lots of things in my suitcase. Not much clothes but lots of computer stuff, cables, chargers, cameras, phones, GPS and some tools
5 May 2009

Alarm clock woke me up at 06:30. A friend of mine (yes, I have one friend) drove me to Stockholm-Arlanda airport. Was at the terminal before 8 o’clock.  Scandinavian Airlines (Airbus A330) to Chicago and United (Airbus A320) to Las Vegas. In Chicago I had to take my luggage and myself through customs, and take the train to terminal 1. Landed in Las Vegas 16:15. Train to baggage claim. Waited. Shuttle bus to car rental central. Drove rented car to the hotel. Was at the hotel at 17:10. Now the time is 20:30. I have been awake from 06:30 to 20:30 + 9h = 23 hours. Now I’m tired.
6 May 2009

Nothing much has happened today. I have been very tired today too, woke up early but stayed in bed until 7 o’clock. Feels better after I took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. Did some shopping, bread, butter and some chocolate cookies to have with my Swedish coffee. Yes, I bring Swedish coffee when I go to the states. I don’t want to be rude but it’s very hard to find real Coffee here. I stay at the same hotel as last year when I was here. I like this hotel. I have living room, bed room and a kitchen where I can cook, if I could cook. The Orleans Casino is across the street and they have lots of restaurants and a great buffet and I can play at their card tables if I only knew how. But I don’t. Cyber friend Clamchucker made a comment to yesterdays post to tell me his stepdaughter lives in Vegas and can teach me blackjack. Hmm…My hotel has a small pool but I don’t have to use it, I have a bathtub in my bathroom. The hotel is 2 miles off the strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) and that is not walking distance, not here and not for me anyway. But it’s no problem to take the car. It’s free parking at all casinos. And gas is cheap compared to what I pay at home.
Today’s weather: Clear sky. Temperature 6pm,   91 ºF = 33ºC probably 4-5 deg warmer at midday.
Stupid as always. Was hungry this afternoon.  Went across the street to the buffet in The Orleans Casino. Ate too much.  And after that I couldn’t leave without dessert. Big frozen yogurt (chocolate) and a big brownie. Pain in the stomach.
 What are you going to do in Vegas? That is the question everyone ask when I tell them I’m going on vacation. As I don’t know the answer I say “there are so many things to see”. The truth is, I think it’s so cool just to be here. (The weather is not cool thou). When I’m home there are so many things I have to do but here I can do whatever I want (within the law). Like today, when I select a random street and just drive to see where it leads. I ended up outside the city below a big mountain. A click on the GPS and it will guide me back to my hotel. I call it random sightseeing. I can’t do that at home, I don’t have time for it. And at home it should be very boring.
I also went to Bellagio Casino just to see if it was as luxury inside as it looks outside. Did some video filming on the street outside Bellagio. Went to the big outlet mall to see if I could find a pair of shoes, but I didn’t find anything I liked.
Weather report 13:00 – Clear sky, 95 ºF = 35ºC, no wind.
8 May 2009

Went north on Interstate 15 but it had been faster to walk on the freeway. At one intersection it took half an hour to drive half a mile. That is 1 (one) mph. And the speed limit was 65mph. Took a look at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where they have NASCAR races among other things but it was no activity there. Went by Nellis Air Force Base but I saw no airplanes.
At the afternoon I went to downtown to take a look at the Golden Nugget Casino. And WOW that was a great place. They had the biggest gold nugget on display with a weight of 61 lb, that’s 27.7 kg. Pure gold, found on ground by some lucky guy. They also had a big swimming pool, called The Tank, with a big aquarium with big fish and sharks in the middle. (What happens if the glass cracks and the sharks leaks out in the pool?)
The plan is; tomorrow I will go and take a look at the Hoover dam and in the evening go and see a show with Gordie Brown. A nice girl that I met at Golden Nugget promised me a ticket to the tomorrow show.
9 May 2009

Today I was a real tourist. Went to the Hoover dam with my video camera. There must have been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit there, and converted to Celsius that will be very hot.
Saturday evening = Showtime! Went to the Gordie Brown show at Golden Nugget. I hadn’t heard of him before I came to Vegas. On the posters it says “Comedy – Music – Impressions”, and that was exactly what it was. He was so good at the impressions of all the singers and actors and I was laughing so hard that I could hardly breathe.  His Michael Jackson and Jack Nicholson where unbelievable funny. He must have done one hundred persons during the show, including president Buch and Obama.
10 May 2009

Today I was at the Valley of Fire State Park. Here is a link Valley of Fire State Park First stop was at the Atlas Rock. As the brochure says “Outstanding examples of ancient Indian rock art or petroglyphs”. It’s like what the Vikings did back in Sweden when they did the rune stones, but these arts on the rock is 4000 years old!
Next stop at the trail at Mouse’s Tank. When I had waked about half a mile (800m) along the trail I got lost. Couldn’t see any trail markers. Lost in the desert at 100°F. This place is not like the Sahara desert where you can see the horizon many miles away. Here we have rocks and sandstone formations and bushes. And rattlesnakes. I was thinking; how would an Anasazi Pueblo Indian who lived here 1000 years ago do. Start to follow my own footprints back.
Back to the car, drive to the next stop, White Domes. Walked the trail, 2,2km. Very hot. Could see some ruin after a house. And that was something that was build when they was filming for the western movie The Professionals (with Claudia Cardinale) 1966. Was very happy to be back to my rented Hyundai. I was sending a prayer to the one that invented the air conditioning. Then I went home. Now I call the hotel my home. Chinese takeout fast food and a shower.
Walk over to The Orleans across the street to watch the Paul Anka show. He is celebrating 50 years as an artist this year. What a show! He was great. (His Swedish wife Anna was sitting right in front of me).
11 May 2009

I use to sit by the pool in the evening reading a book. I have come to page 200 in the book I’m reading now and nothing interesting has happend. So today I went to a bookstore to find someting more interesting. Went home for coffee and ice cream and then I drove to the strip to do some sightseeing.  I hadn’t been to the Venetian Casino before so I desided to take a look. What a place! You can take a ride in a Italian gondola in the canal and eat at one of the restaurants at the square. It looks so real but everything is inside the building at the third floor. Then I was trying to walk to some other places on the strip but it was to hot. Home again and pizza at the Orleans. At about 6 o’clock the sun is not so hot so I went back to the strip to se someting more. Came just in time to see the show outside the Treasure Island. Lots of pirates (half of them girls with very little clothes on) and pirate ships. Then I had my first Vanilla Ice Coffee at Starbucks. It was better than I expected
12 May 2009

Today I saw some clouds in the sky. Not any black rain clouds, only some white fluffy things. I have been used to the temperature here now. When I went outside this morning it was only 24°C (75°F) and I was thinking; oh, it’s really cold today. I was trying to do some shopping, and I was so happy to find a pair of jeans in my size, but that was the only thing I found. Went to the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville store but the “Cheeseburger in Paradise” t-shirts where sold out. The one I bought in Key West many years ago is worn out. I also feel worn out today. I don’t know why, but I do. It’s a hard life to be on vacation. Well, actually it’s not, I wish I could stay here for at least a month, until the temperature reach above 40°C and then go home to cool down.
13 May 2009

Today I went hiking. Red Rock Canyon is only 25 minutes by car from my hotel.
The first trail I tried to follow ended after only a few hundred yards in a ravine with no exit other the one I came in through. I guess I was off trail (again). Next trail was called Calico tanks. Lots of climbing and the round trip was 4km and what they call “gain” was 140m. That means the end of trail is 140m (450ft) higher than the start. It took about 2 hours to go the 2km and back. About 1h40m up and 20m down. To climb those 2.5miles don’t sound much, but the preparation I have done for this kind of thing is sitting in an office for 20 years. Now I’m just sitting here. Have no power left to do anything more today.
14 May 2009

Nothing much happened today. I was tired after the hike yesterday. I did some shopping and was driving around. In the evening I went to Fremont Street with my video camera and made a video of the light show (search for “Fremont Street Experience” on Google).
Weather today: Same as always.
15 May 2009

Today I was at 8400 feet. Not in an airplane but in my car (the Hyundai). I took US95 up to Mt Charleston. That was nothing like Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire where I was before. High altitude and big forest. And it was very cold and I saw lots of snow. I don’t know how cold it was, Mr. Avis, the man I rented the car of, didn’t buy the option of an OAT indicator. (OAT = Outside Air Temperature), but it was cold. I didn’t know there was such thing, but I came to the Las Vegas Ski Resort. It was closed but there was some snow in the ski slopes. Next time I go to Vegas I will go in January and bring my skis. Ha HA, that was a joke. I was trying to follow some trails but it was very hard. I only had sandwiches, water and Pepsi, I should have brought an oxygen bottle. Now I’m back at base camp (my hotel) and the time is 6.30 pm and the temperature is 31°C – 88°F and I am going to sit by the pool eating ice cream.
16 May 2009

I was at The Venetian several hours. Looking at the shops, but they are nothing for me. It’s a cool place. I sat at the St. Mark’s Square and had an Italian Chocolate ice cream cone looking at the gondolas gliding by in the canal. In the afternoon I went to the outlet center and those stores was more for me.
17 May 2009

I’m so tired of this blog. I don’t want to write anything today. And I’m so filled up with food from the Orleans buffet. Nothing happened today, and tomorrow is the last day here. And on Tuesday morning I will go home to poverty and misery.
18 May 2009

Up till today the weather has been the same every day, but today the weather has change. Lots of clouds and very windy. And warmer, today is the first day it’s been over 100. 38.5°C = 101°F.
Today I was at the Atomic Testing Museum. It was very interesting. Link
And tomorrow I’m going home. I have to leave the hotel at 6 o’clock in the morning.
Leaving Las Vegas. That was the worst movie I’ve ever seen about Vegas. A man, played by Nicolas Cage, came to Vegas to drink himself to death. Don’t rent that DVD. Rent “Honeymoon in Vegas”, also with Nicolas Cage, that’s a good one. But those movies have nothing to do with me, I just come to think about them when I’m sitting here and am sad because I have to leave Vegas.
Anders Eriksson

13 januari 2020