Get off the Strip – Visit Old Downtown Las Vegas For a Really Good Time!

August 1st, 2008

Plaza in Las Vegas at Night by Sheree Zielke

My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary yesterday.  Our formal plans had us dining at a very cool eatery called “The Bootlegger Italian Bistro,”  in South Las Vegas. We had eaten there when we first arrived in Vegas and thought it would be a nice place, with its classic old gangster ambience, to have our anniversary dinner.

But our plans changed.  Vegas has a way of doing that to plans.  So, we cancelled our reservations in favor of another place.  And we are so glad we did.  We had one of our best times yet in Las Vegas.

Read on . . .

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Vegas is Hurting! Time to Book Your Hotel for Cheap!

July 31st, 2008

Venetian Hotel in Vegas by Sheree Zielke

I rode the Las Vegas monorail today; it runs along the backyards of Vegas’s giant hotels, all the way from the MGM to the Safari.

From its windows, you can see things you wouldn’t ordinarily glimpse from the Strip, like pools, and lounge chairs, and tanned bodies in tiny swimsuits, and white towels, and — wait a minute! — why are so many of those lounge chairs EMPTY?

Come to think of it, the traffic on the strip seems much lighter than I remember.  The casinos seem quieter and less crammed.  And the buffet restaurant lines are shorter, or even non-existent.

Where are the people?  It’s the middle of summer.  Shouldn’t this top American vacation destination be overflowing with visitors?  I am curious, so I ask around.

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Las Vegas, Nevada: Insight and Quick Travel Tips

July 30th, 2008

Las Vegas Old Sign by Sheree Zielke

Are you planning a trip to that Mecca of Nevada: Las Vegas?  Maybe you have never visited this city of bright lights and money-grabbing  slots, or maybe you haven’t been there in awhile. 

The good news?  Many things haven’t changed. 

The better news? Many things have changed.  Especially at the airport and at the car rental building. 

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Take a Trip Back to Yesterday: Travel the Historic Route 66 for a Magical Adventure!

July 30th, 2008

Blue Car in Seligman Arizona by Sheree Zielke

There are almost no words to describe traveling an authentic portion of Route 66.  If time machines exist, then this is one of the finest. 

There is an ambience of days gone by, the good old days, when Mom and Dad packed up the old Chevy with 3.5 kids, a dog, a cooler, Dad in his best driving hat, and Mom in her finest traveling clothes, and hit the road in search of adventures, or maybe a new life on the other side of Amercia.

The atmosphere, the sense of nostalgia along “The Mother Road” is so poignant, so acute, that it will bring tears to your eyes.  At least, it did, to mine. 

My husband and I set out yesterday in search of Americana history.  We left Vegas about 7 AM and reached Kingman, Arizona about 3 hours later.  With a few stops in the desert along the way, we had set up the perfect photo safari.  But we had no idea just how perfect our day was going to be.  Because the adventure that is Route 66 still lay ahead of us.

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Las Vegas Neon Museum – A Photographer’s Dream Location!

July 29th, 2008

Golden Sign by Sheree Zielke

There is a place in Las Vegas that very few visitors know about.  Even fewer will ever see it. It is a place called, “The Boneyard,” and it is a photographer’s dream, even if all you can get is a glimpse through the thick mesh and wire fence surrounding the compound.

The Boneyard is aptly named as it is a sanctuary for old Las Vegas neon signs – the bones of historic Vegas, if you will.

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The Best Show to See in Las Vegas? The “V” Show!

July 28th, 2008

 

I’m jaded when it comes to variety acts.  I have owned an entertainment company for more than a quarter century, and there really isn’t much out there that turns my crank. I have had my fill of jugglers, magicians and comedians.  I am married to a magician, and I still teach interactive comedy theatre, so, it is with great pleasure that I can say I have found a really good variety show in Vegas that’s not only fresh and exciting — it’s actually fun.

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Rexall Edmonton IndyCar — Great weather, great time, great race!

July 28th, 2008

Rexall Edmonton IndyCar Gate Sign by Sheree Zielke

It’s all over for another year in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The race has been run – the IndyCar race, that is, since Champ Car merged with the Indy League earlier this year.  It was the debut IRL race for Edmonton, and by all accounts, it was a success.  Especially for at least one driver.

The big winner?  Scott Dixon, of New Zealand (It was Scott Dixon’s 5th win for 2008.)  He was followed by “Dancing With the Stars” champ, Helio Castroneves, then Justin Wilson, and finally, Canadian Champ Car driver, Paul Tracy, who had fought his way up from  his 16th  starting position.

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Air Canada Complaint: How I Got Results FAST!

July 22nd, 2008

Montreal Airport by Sheree Zielke

There I sat, minding my own business, reading my book when the most amazing thing happened.  I gasped and shrieked as a storm erupted from the ceiling above my head.  Tiny ice pellets fell all over me.  What was this?  I was stunned because I was sitting in the middle of a sleet storm while ON BOARD an Air Canada plane.

I felt it was worth mentioning to Air Canada’s customer service.  How did I do it?  Did I get any reaction?  What I did may be of help to you in your next encounter with Air Canada customer service following a less than exemplary Air Canada flight.  Read on . . .

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New York City’s Central Park Zoo – Terrific? Or Just Too Tiny?

July 14th, 2008

Emerald Boa at Central Park Zoo by Sheree Zielke

Harry Smith, from the CBS Early Show, referred to this zoo as a “zoolet.”  And he’s right.  New York’s Central Park zoo is a very tiny animal sanctuary, but it does prove the old adage that “Good things come in small packages.”

The Central Park zoo is the perfect destination if your time and your cash are a little short.  The admission price is tiny, and it’ll take only a couple of hours to look around, but the animals are very exotic, and the little haven has a very inviting ambience.

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Las Vegas Side Trip: Mojave Desert, Ghost Towns and the Historic Mother of all Roads: Route 66!

July 11th, 2008

Motel Sign in Las Vegas, Nevada by Sheree Zielke

Planning our next trip is nearly as much fun as taking the trip itself.  Well, nearly.

My husband and I are bound for one of our favorite hot spots, and I mean, hot! Las Vegas, Nevada.  But we aren’t really into the Strip; we tend to tool around in other parts of Vegas, spending most of our time off the Strip, visiting spots like the Nevada Atomic Testing Museum.

But we have gotten the Route 66 bug, so we’ll go further afield this time.  Also, known as the “Mother Road,” Route 66 is just barely visible on modern maps, but a little research shows parts of the roadway can be reached in just under a two-hour drive from Vegas.  But it’ll be one hot drive, since we’ll be headed right into the Mojave Desert, at the height of summer heat.  But the photo opportunities are just too hard to resist.

Read on . . .

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