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March, 2009

Sunday, March 1 - Tuesday, March 3:

Sunday morning was quite windy so we put off leaving Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino until later in the day.  We ate lunch at the brunch buffet.  It was reasonably priced with good food, but of course more expensive than the regular lunch or breakfast buffet.  After lunch the wind had quit gusting enough that we decided to get on down the road.
 
The desert was quite beautiful looking at during our drive.  Many of the wildflowers are blooming and were lovely to see.  We stopped for gas at one of the last Flying J truck stops in Arizona.  It was so incredibly busy.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen a gas station so busy.  I think there were many people returning home from their weekend trips.  It’s good to see people out traveling and having fun but boy the traffic was heavy.
 
We drove to the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, California (photo).  There is a very large parking area for RVs and a large separate area for trucks.  I thought it was a noisy area because it is close to the highway, but Mac said he didn’t think so.  He said parking near the train track back in Van Horn, TX was noisy because of the sudden noise of the train passing would wake him up all night long but the steady drone of traffic didn’t bother him at all. 
 
We stayed here 2 nights.  We ate in the restaurant and had the buffet also.  The buffet was quite good and we managed to eat healthy.  The one weird thing was that the restaurant had instant coffee yet the casino served brewed coffee.  You’d think the restaurant would serve brewed coffee; I was completely disappointed when I got my coffee.  But the food on the buffet made up for that disappointment.
 
The weather has been very warm.  It’s been nice to sleep without blanket and quilt but during the day it started to get very uncomfortable in the RV.  If we were staying in the area we’d probably hook up the swamp cooler to stay comfortable.  But we left on Tuesday after lunch so no need to waste the water.  One thing that was very fun for me was a video poker game called Quick Quads.  It was lots of fun to play especially when I hit the quads the machine shouts out “Quick Quads”, loads of fun and quite addicting.  I think I like this game and look forward to playing more of it when we get to Vegas.
 
On Tuesday after lunch we left and drove west on I-10.  We were amazed at the acres and acres of wind farm in the Palm Springs area.  I looked it up online and found that there are about 4,000 of various sizes of wind turbines and that together they provide enough power to power Palm Springs and all of the Coachella Valley area.  Really incredible to see and I can see why they put them here.  It was pretty windy when we drove through the area.
 
I can’t remember where it was but we were going to stop at a rest area but when we drove in it was quite crowded.  There was a group of people around and this guy pointed at us and then when Mac opened his window the guy was telling us about some woman who won this huge amount of money at the casino is right over there we should go over and shake her hand, etc.  I just didn’t feel comfortable so we didn’t stop at the rest area.  We drove down the road several miles and then pulled over at a wide pull-off.  It’s good advice to everyone to always trust your instincts and don’t ignore them.  You never know but it could save your life or at least a lot of trouble.  So if you’re ever in a situation where your guts are telling you to leave then do so. 
 
There was a lot of traffic but we weren’t stuck in any so that was nice.  We drove safely to our destination of Seal Beach Navy Base RV Park and arrived around 4.  We’re here in the area again for work.  Mac will be working the CSHA Conference in Long Beach through Saturday. 
 
We set up on our RV site and got a nice surprise.  On the spot right across from us is a RV that is exactly like ours but shorter, and of course cleaner.  We haven’t seen many RVs the same color as ours in quite some time.
 
Later we drove to Ralph’s grocery store and picked up some supplies.  Prices are a tad more expensive than what I’m used to seeing but this is a major metro area so that is to be expected.  There were lots of veggies that we don’t see often elsewhere like broccolini, yellow and orange tomatoes and several items that we’ve not seen before.  We weren’t too adventurous; we stuck with the tried and true like potatoes and broccoli.

Wednesday, March 4 - Saturday, March 7:

Work, work, and more work.  We’re here for the conference as mentioned earlier.  Mac has been working every day at it and arriving home very tired.  I went shopping one day after dropping him off at the conference.  I picked thrift stores that were close to our location. 
 
I did do some laundry while he was working.  The RV Park here has free washer and dryers.  Great bonus!  So I’ve been walking the laundry over and doing at least one load a day getting it all done.  Other than Mac working not much has been going on around here.
 
We stopped at a Wal-Mart in Long Beach and it’s the first time we’ve been to one that has a parking garage next to.  Space is at a premium around this area and can’t be wasted on parking.
 
Sunday, March 8:
 
Today we went to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.  Great Place!  We thoroughly loved seeing all the different fish.  We had lunch splitting a sandwich and salad.  After visiting the aquarium we walked around the harbor admiring the view.
 
When we were done visiting the aquarium area we drove to San Pedro and stopped at a park above the water and admired the view from there.  We drove along the shoreline and stopped when we could to admire the views of the water.  It’s really quite beautiful.  There are a lot of parks around the area to see and admire the water from.  We had a great day visiting the aquarium and seeing the ocean.  It was a very nice afternoon.
 
Later we drove back to the RV and rested for the evening.  Mac fixed us a wonderful dinner of teriyaki chicken and stir fried vegetables.  Yum, yum!

Photos from Long Beach and the Aquarium

Click to see all 30 photos

Monday, March 9 - Tuesday, March 10:

Disney has a wonderful offer this year through June of a free 3 day visit for any military including retirees.  We picked up a 3 day park hopper for me for only $88 through the base.  Great Deal!  Monday afternoon we drove over to Disneyland.  It’s our first visit to this Disney Park.  There is a huge parking garage with six levels and 10,250 parking spaces!  It actually was much easier parking there than I thought it would be.  There are escalators and elevators to get you to the trams that take you over to the theme parks. 
 
Monday afternoon we visited Disneyland theme park and also walked through Downtown Disney.  We had a great time walking around admiring the park.  There are many similarities to the parks in Orlando and yet there are many differences.  The one thing that is definitely the same is the people there are really nice.  They seem to be having a great time while working.  Everyone is always so nice when we visit. 
 
We both took our jackets and were glad that we did too.  It was rather chilly especially if there was a breeze or if we were in the shade.  I think it was only in the 60’s.  We rode the Pirates of the Caribbean and I got pretty wet which added to the chilly feeling I had.  But it was fun and we had a great time. 
 
For dinner Monday evening we ate at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney.  We shared an order of ribs.  The sandwiches looked great that we saw at other tables.  Afterwards we came home to the RV and rested our weary legs.
 
Tuesday afternoon we went to Disney’s California Adventure Park.  We had a lot of fun.  One ride they have is really awesome.  Soaring Over California was a great ride, we highly recommend that you not miss it.  Afterwards we walked back over to Disneyland.  On Monday the line was about an hour long to ride the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.  Tuesday’s line was only about 20 minutes so we got in line for the fun. 
 
While we were in line Mac saw a girl wearing a hat that is just perfect for granddaughter Amanda.  It was a mortarboard with Class of 2009 embroidered on it and Mickey Ears on top.  It’s a perfect gift for Amanda since she’s graduating from high school this year.  After asking the girl where she got her hat we went in search of the store, The Mad Hatter, appropriate name for a store that sells hats.
 
Of course after we found the hat we had to find souvenirs for others in the family.  So we had some fun shopping before we left Disney.  On the way home Tuesday evening we stopped at El Pollo Loco http://www.elpolloloco.com/ and had some healthier dinner alternatives.  We’re trying to eat healthier and smaller portions even when we’re out and about.
 
Wednesday, March 11 – Thursday, March 12:
 
Wednesday we didn’t go anywhere.  We stayed home and caught up on work and did some laundry.  We got things packed away to leave on Thursday.
 
Thursday after doing some work we finished up getting the RV ready to go.  We stopped at the RV wash and gave the RV a much needed bath.  It sure looked better when we were done. 
 
We hooked the car to the RV and away we drove.  We really enjoyed our visit and still have many places that we’d like to visit in the area but we must move on.  We’ll be back another year to visit more.
 
Getting out of LA wasn’t too bad today; no traffic delays at all, nice easy drive.  We got on I-15 and headed towards Vegas.  For some reason we were extremely tired this afternoon and had to take a nap.  We stopped at a large dirt parking area where several vehicles park for going off road.  We took a short nap and then headed out again.
 
We stopped in Baker CA for gas and then stopped for dinner at the Mad Greek Restaurant.  We’d seen it on the travel channel and remembered it when we got to the area.  We each had a gyros and it was pretty good.  I really liked the sauce that comes with it to put on the gyro.  It was full of chunks of cucumbers and onions.  But I thought the meat was kind of dry.  I also thought the prices were pretty high.  I think it was over $9.00 for the gyro which was served with rice.  A little pricey but it was fun to stop at, rest from the drive and admire all the Greek décor and items around the restaurant.
 
We continued on to Vegas and arrived at Nellis AFB FamCamp about 8:30.  We watched the last half of Survivor on TV and then goofed off for a while before heading to bed.

Photos, where are the photos!?  Click here, or click on any photo below.

 

Friday, March 13 - Friday March 20:

I mentioned that we’re at the Nellis AFB FamCamp, the Desert Eagle RV Park.  We’re in the overflow dry camping area which we love to do.  We’re saving lots of money by not being on full hook-ups.  Those solar panels are paying for themselves.  There aren’t as many RVs here this year as there were last year.  Last year there were several RVs in this section but this year there are only a couple of us.  I wonder where everyone is this year?  The weather is great, the nights aren’t too chilly and the days are warm. 
 
We went shopping over the weekend at the outlets and found some good bargains.  We also hit the Disney Outlets and found a few more items for souvenirs.  There are 2 different Disney outlet stores in Vegas.  One has stuff from the Disney stores located in malls; the other outlet has stuff from the theme parks, mostly Disneyland.  We had a great time and picked up several nice items for family members.
 
I’ve hit a few thrift stores and had a blast looking at various items and books.  I love it when I find a book on my list of books I want to read.  It’s much cheaper to buy the books at a thrift store than at a retail store.  I found a first edition November 2008 book that in the stores is over $25 but I only paid $2.99 for it.  I love finding bargains like that.
 
Of course we’ve been to several of the casinos and played.  We’ve eaten at several of the buffets at our favorite casinos and enjoyed the meals.  We’re trying to eat healthy at the buffets but it is hard to find low fat foods. 
 
The most exciting thing that’s happened recently is that between Mac and I we hit 8 royal flushes Thursday night!  Unfortunately they were on the penny machine so they were only $40 each but still it was so much fun to hit them.  We were playing penny 50 play 9/6 Jacks or Better and playing all 50 hands at a time.  So that’s like playing a 50 cent machine.  We were extremely lucky and hit several 4’s of a kind and of course all those royal flushes.  We had a blast and left with money in our pockets.  I think I’d like to play those again. 

Saturday, March 21 - Saturday March 28:

I should blog more frequently because I start forgetting what we’ve done that people might enjoy reading about but I’ll try. 
 
Saturday, March 21 we went to a buffet lunch with a group from the local vpFREE online forum.  There were 6 people at this including us.  It was fun to meet with others who enjoy playing video poker as much as we do. 
 
Wednesday’s seem to be the day for most thrift stores to have their senior sale day so I hit the thrift stores on that day.  This last Wednesday I did find several nice items for us and loved saving even more money with the discount. 
 
Saturday March 28 Mac and I did a couple of things we’ve wanted to do and never have done while here.  First we had breakfast at a local restaurant we’ve wanted to try,  Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant  It was very good and we enjoyed it.
 
Next we went to the flea market which locally are called swap meets. Broad Acres Swap Meet  First time we’ve been to this one and probably the last time too.  There wasn’t much at this one that we were interested in looking at.  It’s got a lot of new, inexpensive younger people stuff and a lot of Mexican stuff.  There is a large Mexican population locally so this stuff is what they want.  I think I prefer the flea markets in Florida that we’ve been to.  In Florida since the demographics are different the flea markets of course have items that will sell there. 
 
It was interesting to see some fresh coconuts on ice that were used to serve coconut water.  Mac being the adventurous guy that he is decided to try some; I just had a sip of his. 
 
We’ve been to a few casinos this week, like you didn’t expect that huh?  We’ve enjoyed playing the 50 play Jacks or Better that I mentioned earlier in the month.  Though we haven’t had as good results as we did the first time we played them.  We also have enjoyed playing deuces wild at a couple of different casinos.  Last night Mac hit 4 deuces three times on the same machine and had a great profit for the evening.  I think he cashed out around $800.  He’s now up for the year as he likes to tell me, but I may soon catch up and pass him!
 
Of course all this fun has to be paid for so we have been working our day jobs.  Mac is starting the busy season now so he’ll be working more each day.  So I’ll have to think of something to do to keep me busy while he’s working.  Hmmm, I wonder what I could do in Vegas…

Rubber Roof Update  Some of you will remember when we bought this RV in 2004 the rubber roof was in bad shape.  Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a replacement roof I spent a little over $200 for a 5 gallon can of a product called "Liquid Roof".  That repair worked great, but we knew it wouldn't last forever.  The old cracks are showing through the new surface so I'll be recoating the roof again in the near future.

Sunday, March 29 - Tuesday, March 31:

On Sunday evening we went to dinner at the Aliante Casino.  They have a steak house that is called the  MRKT Sea & Land.  They also have a special deal going on Sunday through Thursday that is a big savings.  Everything on the menu is 1/2 price if you pay with points.  Mac ordered scallops and enjoyed them.  I ordered chicken and it was a small whole chicken!  Needless to say I had a lot left to bring home.  We enjoyed our dinner very much and hope to eat at this restaurant again soon.
 
Monday we went and picked up our mail then we played at the Aliante and had the buffet for dinner.  We’ve decided that we don’t enjoy this buffet as much as some of the other buffets we’ve had. 
 
We like playing at the Aliante Casino; it’s close to where our RV is, it has a lot of full pay deuces machines, it’s clean and the music is nice.  We play and enjoy ourselves, use the points to pay for food at one of the restaurants or we can use them at any of the other Station Casinos. 
 
Tuesday we went to the Tuscany and earned 10 times points.  Then we went to the Palms and earned enough points for one of their offers that ended on this day.  We then had dinner at the buffet.  I really enjoy the gyro meat, it’s so tender.   We then came back to the RV and did some laundry.  The fun never ends around here.
 
Chris was talking about the Palms, and their buffet.  The owner of the Palms, George Maloof, is Lebanese and the buffet has a good selection of Lebanese dishes.  I enjoy them about once a week.  Another nice touch is the self service espresso machine where you can also make your own cappuccino, cafe latte, cafe mocha, etc.  The Palms Buffet has improved over the last few years and is now one of our favorites.  One reason is the variety, and they change the menu slightly from day to day.  Many buffets in Las Vegas have the same thing over and over, and even if it's good it gets boring.  Our favorite buffets now are Red Rock, Palms, and Green Valley Ranch.

Continue reading -- April 2009

 

What did we do in March of years past?  Click below to see.

 

March 2008

March 2007

March 2006

March 2005

 

 

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