Monday, April 6, 2015

Nicole's Easter Adventure with Family in Las Vegas

Nicole spent some time with her dad's side of the family.  In Summerlin, the radiant sun rose over the Las Vegas Valley in the morning.  It started off cooler from the night time, and then through out the day, it got warmer and warmer.  For April, Las Vegas has been around 70 degrees, which is perfect sunny weather.  It's only Spring, but in the desert, it feels like summertime.  The weather in Nevada has been a little windy, but not too bad. If summer is your favorite time of the year,  Las Vegas is the place to live.

On Easter Sunday, Nicole put on her tropical sun dress from Justice. Nicole brushed her hair and curled it all by herself.  Nicole is so grown up, dressing herself and curling her hair all by herself.  Nicole is growing up so fast. She also took a full frontal view of her floor length dress.  I love Nicole's hair and her dress.  Nicole keeps her room so neat and organized.  She makes her bed everyday.  She is a very neat child.  She cleans her room and never complains.  I think she looks great.


The chihuahua, Bella, had to put on her Easter dress too.  Nicole has a hot pink and white flowery dress with hearts all over it. Bella didn't want to wear her dress, but Nicole put it on her anyway.  Bella didn't want to have her photo taken either so she hid underneath the bed.  I think Bella is camera shy.  Bella looks great too.


This is Uncle Rick.  Uncle Rick is a twin brother to Nicole's dad, Nick. Uncle Rick and dad, Nick, are not identical.  Though Rick and Nick were born minutes apart, they each have their own look.  Uncle Rick is a lot of fun.  He is really easy going.  He likes to play thumb war with Nicole.  Uncle Rick likes to fight Nicole over the remote control for the TV.  Luckily, Nicole won the remote control and turned the TV on cartoons.  Uncle Rick gave up the remote control.  Uncle Rick is a pretty nice guy.

Uncle Rick

Bella was very shy.  She did not want to come out from under the bed.  Nicole brought Bella out so that she could visit with Grandma Barbara.  Nicole had a good visit with her dad's side of the family.

Nicole, Bella, and Grandma Barbara.

The next day, Nicole left Las Vegas for Utah.  One of the iconic last things to see of the I-15 freeway is the Meadow Gold factory in North Las Vegas.  I think some of the last iconic things to see in North Las Vegas are all the businesses.  The last things at the North end of Las Vegas are probably the Las Vegas Speedway, and a truck stop breakfast place called the Iron Skillet  Nicole took a picture of the Meadow Gold.  Meadow Gold also runs through St. George, Utah.  Nicole took several pictures out of the window so some of the photos might have a reflection on it.

Meadow Gold
Las Vegas, NV

Mesquite, Nevada is one of the best places outside of Las Vegas to stay.  Mesquite, Nevada is located on the state line between Nevada and corner of Arizona and Southern Utah.  Since gambling is illegal in Arizona and Utah, residents of the surrounding states cross the state line into Nevada to go to Mesquite to gamble, drink, watch shows, and stay at the resorts.  I recommend these resorts in Mesquite for a few reasons.  Mesquite is a quiet retirement town.  Unlike in Las Vegas, in Mesquite, there's virtually no traffic.  The hotels are cheap year round.

Virgin River Casino is the most family friendly place in Mesquite, Nevada to stay.  Currently the Virgin River Casino has rooms starting at $24.99.  A family could stay on the resort for weeks for not too much money.  Most of the rooms at Virgin River have two queen beds.  They are roomy and nice.  There are several swimming pools and hot tubs across the property.  Virgin River has a movie theater, a bowling alley, an arcade, a sports book, and free entertainment.  I never go to the Virgin River buffet (it's expensive).  It's better to go to the River Cafe and order the special.  The prime rib with potato and side salad is especially good there.  The pies at the River Cafe are delicious. Virgin River also has a McDonald's and gas station across the street. It's probably one of the most convenient casinos there.

My other favorite is Casablanca Casino in Mesquite, Nevada.  Casablanca starts about $60 per night for a standard room.  It's expensive for a few reasons.  Casablanca is a wedding destination. There is an outdoor white chapel by a fountain where couples can get married.  All of the bedding in the rooms are gleaming white.  The theme is exotic with palm trees and bamboo.  There is also a glorious towering water fountain swimming pool fully equipped with a grotto, water slide and hot tub.  There is also an onsite massage parlor and an onsite beauty salon.  Casablanca owns a golfing area and can include golfing package. Inside Casablanca, they have Casa Cafe that is your best bet.  On salads, the best dressing to order is the house dressing.  The buffet at Casablanca is so-so, and Katherine's Restaurant is over priced fine dining.  Katherine's is kind of stuffy rich bar area where everything costs a lot and is average quality.  Casablanca is near Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, and Little Caesars.  There is also a McDonald's across the parking lot and a liquor store in walking distance.

Eureka is the last casino I want to talk about in Mesquite, Nevada.  Rooms start at $69 a night, and it's a sky rise sort of casino.  Eureka has one small pool that all of the residents have to share. It was bought by an Oriental family and since then has not been very people friendly.  Everything is remodeled, and pricy.  The Mason Street Courtyard Cafe used to be much cheaper.  Since the change in ownership, the food is weird and not for my palate.  Gregory's Fine Dining is still pretty popular.  We have gone there and like their fine dining experience.  There is an amazingly huge must see fish tank in Eureka casino.  Some of my friends like going to BINGO night.  There is also a penny slot area in Eureka that is very popular. Mesquite is a great resort vacation get away.  I recommend all of the hotel/casinos there.

Mesquite, Nevada

Past Mesquite, there is a dangerous drive on the Interstate-15 called "The Gorge."  The Gorge is located on Arizona's Northwestern corner.  The drive is a narrow 2 lane drive (two lanes in each direction) that often has road work and is down to one lane in either direction.  Traffic gets backed up and can be slow.  The dangers of driving through this are that with the heat, drivers often experience tire blow outs.  Even new tires can be blown out due to heat and pressure.  The twisted roads have 2,000 foot plus drops guarded by a three foot cement wall.  My friend's fiance died when his car was struck and went over the wall.  It's a very dangerous area to drive.  The other danger is falling rocks.  The rocks are generally not that big, but when they land on windshields on vehicles, they chip the glass so badly that the windshield has to be replaced (this has happened to me several times).  It is a beautiful view, and many people like to climb down The Gorge and make their way to the Virgin River below.  It is a popular and free hiking area.

The ridges in these rock formations of The Gorge below are where road construction used dynamite to clear the roadways and eliminate rock slides.   The Gorge is a very dangerous drive.

Here is one of the many three foot high cement walls in The Gorge.  As you can see from the skidded area, sometimes cars go to fast or turn too hard and ram into the wall.  Road construction crews have built in wired areas to keep cars that are going in opposite directions from going over the wall.

Here is the entry point for The Grand Canyon State, Arizona.  From this point on, along the freeway, it's desolate.  This is not the place to run out of gas.  It's sandy desert that is dry with lots of brush.  There are no amenities, and no bathrooms.  If you need to go, you have to wait or go behind a bush.  Yes, it is that primitive. The nearest gas stations are miles away in St. George, Utah. 

After some curvy roads around mountain passes, there is the state line for The Beehive State, Utah.  This entry point is near St. George, Utah, the most populated area in Southern Utah.  Utah is the 2nd fastest growing state in the U.S.  It's becoming more and more popular each year.  

Nicole is back in Utah!!! Hoo-ray...  She gives her mom big hugs. Nicole has an Easter basket waiting for her from mom and family.  Her Easter basket is full of candy with a Thumper bunny and a photo book for all of her memories.  Nicole's Easter was the best. Thanks for reading!

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