We started our month in Las Vegas by meeting our friends Jim and Darleen Jackson for a great Mexican lunch, which is ironic since we met them on our trip to Mexico. We then followed them to Las Vegas International Speedway where Darleen drove a Ferrari around the road course as part of her birthday present. It was great watching her get faster and faster each lap. We then took them to Downtown Las Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience. Still a pretty tacky place, but we had fun watching all the "different" people. They now have a zip line over the street and it was fun watching others fly overhead. We ended a fun day at a local brewery, sampling their wares .
My cousin Mike and his wife Jeannie were in town visiting their son Matt, his wife Kristin and their two children, Brandon and Kate. So we got together for their final three days in Vegas. We started off birding the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and then on to Mt. Charleston, where there was still plenty of snow on the ground. We were fortunate to get 6 life birds for Jeannie and 2 for Mike. A very productive day capped off with dinner at BJ's Restaurant and Brewery, and a visit with Matt and his family. Mike and I then played golf the next two days at two great courses in the hills surrounding Vegas. Always fun times visiting with them and we are looking forward to seeing them in Montana in June.
On our first Friday night in town we went to see Jerry Seinfeld at Caesars Palace. The man is a comic genius. Made us laugh without telling one joke, just making observations on everyday life that had us roaring. The next week we saw the Terry Fator Show, he is the ventriloquist, impersonator who was the first America's Got Talent winner. He has many puppets that he makes sing like Kermit the Frog, Elvis, Lady Gaga, Donald Trump and many more. It was a very entertaining show.
On the suggestion of our friend from El Mirage, Gloria Burke, we visited the Shelby Heritage Center at the south end of the Strip here in Vegas. They have all the makes and models of the Cobra and Mustangs that they have made and are still producing on display. They have over 150 people working there today and you can buy a Cobra and frame for around $150,000. The engine and transmission are extra. We took at least one day each week to go sightseeing outside of the city. We drove out to Hoover Dam and walked out on the new bridge for a view of the dam. We then stopped for burgers and beer at The Boulder Brewing Company. The following week we drove over to Red Rock Conservation Area Park and checked out Desert Tortoise and also watched a few rock climbers on the red cliffs.
One evening we had a great dinner at the Stratosphere's Top of the World restaurant. Besides having a great meal with a great view we were able to watch the Sky Jumpers fly by while we were eating. Looked like fun but not sure we want to try it, maybe next time. We also attended opening day of the Las Vegas Foodie Fest. Over 50 food trucks parked at a local casino. We had to wait for over an hour while a heavy thunder storm came through, with hail, and heavy rain. It was well worth the wait as we sampled Lobster Rolls and then tried bacon wrapped Oreo cookies dipped in batter and then fried.
Thanks to El Nino the Southwest is getting much needed rain. This April was the wettest ever recorded in Las Vegas. We are sure it had something to do with us spending the month here. Along with the rain we have had very gusty winds with the storms. We had to batten down the hatches a few time during our stay. In the higher elevations around Las Vegas, above 6500 feet they had snow. So we drove up to Mount Charleston Lodge for lunch and a hot buttered rum. While we were there it started to snow and we got a taste of winter for an hour or so. That's the way we like it, we go to the snow instead of it coming to us.
During our final weekend we had the pleasure of visiting one of Josie's nephews who lives here in Las Vegas. We had a delightful dinner and visit with Norm and his wife Deb. Norm is a very successful food salesman and he and Deb are quite the foodies. They prepared a both tasty and visual feast as you can see from the picture below. Josie had not seen Norm in over 45 years so we spent the remainder of the evening catching up while drinking fine wine and scotch. Their dog Baxter also entertained us and he also wanted to get in the pictures. It was a very nice evening and a great way to spend one of our last days in Vegas. Tomorrow we drive 75 mile to Mesquite Nevada.