Friday, November 11, 2005

We're ready.

My drive home from work takes me along the south end of the airport runways, then I turn right heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip). I drive about a mile then turn west and head for home, about three miles further out. Driving along the end of the runways I go by the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. This is about my only interface with tourists on a regular basis.

Here’s a bunch of them now, bused down to have their photos taken in front of the sign. I snapped this driving by – traffic usually has to slow to look at what’s going on. Sometimes it’s a fashion shoot, sometimes just a couple, and sometimes a movie or TV star doing an advertisement or a movie scene. The center divider is big enough for them to park on, but sometimes people just block the fast lane and hop out for a pic. The street is three lanes in each direction here, with the sign in the center divider. Behind the sign are the golden Mandalay Bay towers, which is the most southern of the strip hotels. To the left the trees are around a big golf course.

Sitting at the next light, just up from the sign, I am entertained by several of the large billboards that fill up this area. Most are for the assorted shows around town, to get the tourists as they drive in. Unfortunately most people driving in come up I-15 which no longer goes by the sign, it’s on the ‘old road’ up from LA. If you fly in then you can go from the airport right up behind the strip hotels, and you don’t pass this way either.

As you can see, Vegas is gearing back from the 90's when everything seemed made for people to bring there kids here. We are going back to more topless shows, no full nudity in the casino shows yet - used to have for the big shows in the 60's and 70's, covered (well, not quite covered) in feathers and glitter.

Last night I hit the local Von’s supermarket to stock up for our guests. I tried to take photos of the store, but the aisles are too close together for much of a shot. This is the fruit and veggie aisle.

We’ve got fresh stuff all year round, either from California when in season or South America when the stuff is cheaper from down there. A pretty good selection. We are out from the summer season of peaches and plums to winter pears and apples. About eight different kids of apples, six kinds of pears. Always a variety of citrus.

We fixed up the two front bedrooms for our guests. In the middle room we pulled out the thirty year old carpet and put down a Pergo wood floor. Pulled off the wallpaper, put in a new ceiling fan/light and put a closet set in with a ceiling light in there.

This is what the closet looks like. The center section has shelves on top to pile stuff and drawers below, so that we don’t have to put a dresser or furniture in the room to hold clothes. There are rods on both sides to hang clothes, and we put new bi-fold louvered doors on as well.

We also purchased beds for the group.

Two cribs and a Spongebob toddler bed.

Here is part of the fleet that we got, just waiting for the three boys to come in.

They are scheduled to land here in Vegas in about six hours, and we are ready for them (we think).

For Clare:

1. A clean house, just waiting for guests.
2. Everything inside smelling fresh.
3. My neighbor loaning me his big mini van, which has three rows of seats so everybody can fit inside of one vehicle.

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