O – Day 69


Day 69 – June 8, 2003 – Sunday

Bozzie Jane is back! I picked her up at the Las Vegas airport this morning. We drove around Las Vegas a while, walked around a while, had lunch at the Harley Davidson Cafe, then went to the Bellaggio to see “O” as a birthday gift to Boz from son Ryan. Thanks Ryan!!!

Boz was to arrive around noon, so I slept later than normal, worked on the website, and then headed to the airport. I was really pleased to see Bozzie Jane’s smiling face!

The temperature on the car was 108. This was definitely the hottest it has been, and we were feeling the heat! We drove around a bit, and then we stopped for lunch.

Lunch was very good at the Harley Davidson Cafe — excellent barbeque brisket sandwich. The decor was great — lots of Harleys and one huge wall that is filled with an equally huge American flag. Bikers tend to be extremely patriotic. Boz and I both were so taken with our waitress, Amanda, that we were hounding son Ryan Windsor to go to Vegas to stop in for lunch to meet her. Amanda has an interesting story; she was a missionary, and she wants to be a teacher. There’s a big need for teachers in ever-expanding Las Vegas, so she finds herself in the most unlikely place for her — working as a waitress in a bar and restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip while she goes to school to finish her degree. Her friends are shocked because she hates motorcycles, and she is very religious, and to even be in Las Vegas was unbelievable to those who know her. But, she’s excited about teaching. She’s 25 but looks like she’s 18, so teaching high school students is a bit of a problem; the boys are always after her. I asked her what is unique about her (something I ask a lot of people), and she said she didn’t have a story, but I think her story has already been told.

My barbeque sandwich was good. Boz’s soup was good, but she immediately became sick. So, we went back to the hotel for Boz to rest.

Ryan arranged great seats for us at “O.” There isn’t a word to describe “O.” It was simply an UNBELIEVABLE show. Our mouths were hanging open, as were the mouths of everyone we saw. One minute, people were running across the stage, and the next minute, someone was diving from 100 feet above into a pool of water that almost magically appears at that same spot on the stage. The stage floor moves up and down over a very deep swimming pool that holds 1.8 million gallons of 85-degree water. You just can’t figure out how in the world they did the things that they did.

After the show, we walked around the Strip for a while and took a lot of photos. We did our patented $100 on red at a roulette wheel at the Bellaggio, and we lost. So, we are down $202 in our gambling thus far. Bozzie chose a different table than the first one we went to; you just have to follow your instincts. We slapped our $100 on red, and it came up black. We then managed to do something that may have never been done before — we put $5 into a slot machine a nickel at a time, and we never won once. That’s 100 coins dropped into a slot machine one at a time, and we never got a single solitary nickel in return. Down $207 and counting….

Boz and I felt the Bellaggio was the best hotel in Vegas (from what we could see just walking around), with New York New York ranked second. The inside of the Bellagio was just incredible. There were beautiful pools of water surrounded by real flowers; the glass ceiling was incredible; and the woodwork and just everything in the place appeared to be absolutely the best of everything. It was really fun to see the Bellagio.

New York, New York had a wonderful 9/11 memorial that was very impressive, and a lot of people were looking at it.

We were shocked that there were so many people handing out cards for “strippers” on the street. It is hard to imagine that many strippers even exist, but we saw hundreds and hundreds of these people. There must be thousands and thousands of “strippers.”

M&M’s World was fun — incredibly vibrant colors everywhere, and tons of M&M’s and M&M’s stuff.

Our overall impression of Las Vegas was that it was very clean except for the cards people throw on the ground that they don’t want from the people who hand them to them about “strippers.” There was a significant upgrade in the quality of the hotels and overall appearance of Vegas since we were both last here together in 1980.

I received a lovely string of purple dice beads from two brothers who own Nose Rings & Toe Things on the Strip. They saw the beads, heard the Floating Neutrinos story, and the rest is history. If you need beads, a toe thing, a nose ring, or even a toe ring or a nose thing while in Vegas, be sure to stop and tell them we sent you.

The temperature hit 108 today, so Vegas is a pretty good bet to win our Hottest Award.

Bozzie Jane started feeling bad again in the middle of the night, so we will head to the doctor in the morning.

We learned today that the craziest of ideas can become a huge success. Surely many people thought Bugsy Siegel’s idea was the craziest. Bugsy Siegel was a gangster. He envisioned building a large casino and hotel in the desert that would attract gamblers from around the country. His vision was fueled by the fact that gambling had been legalized in Nevada in 1931 to entertain the influx of construction workers building the Hoover Dam. This had launched a population boom, giving the Valley’s economy a significant boost during the Great Depression. Some gambling existed in Las Vegas in the 30’s, but it was concentrated in several downtown casinos along Fremont Street that catered to these workers. The famous Las Vegas Strip area was nothing but desert before it became a glimmer in Bugsy’s eyes.

Bugsy came to Las Vegas in 1941, backed by an organized crime syndicate, to establish a gambling service. He convinced his mobster associates to back his venture. He decided to call the new hotel and casino “The Flamingo,” his pet name for his girlfriend. He opened The Flamingo Hotel on what would become the Las Vegas Strip on December 26, 1946.

Las Vegas is now the center of gambling in the United States and the world. Las Vegas is commonly known as The Entertainment Capital of the World — famous for its massive and lavish casino resorts, availability of alcoholic beverages at any time (as is true throughout Nevada), and various degrees of adult entertainment (including “strippers). The city’s glamorous image has made it a popular setting for movies and TV programs. What a crazy idea, and what a success.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Las Vegas Nevada — Harley Davidson Cafe — Bellaggio — O — M&M’s World — The Las Vegas Strip