Room 203, Hilton Garden Inn, Kalispell, Montana
Actually, it's a no contest as they are both winners in their own way. One reason we love travelling here is the extreme contrasts. Yet, somehow the people are much the same. Except for Las Vegas: weird, very weird. Well, most are. On our last night in Vegas, (never call it Vegas) sorry, Las Vegas, as we went into the much loved "Carson Street Cafe" in the Golden Nugget for our now favourite supper of steak ñ eggs. Too late, really, we should have been having an early night but s*d it, this is Vega.... Las Vegas.
Sorry, yes, as we were having our Steak ñ Eggs (about $13 for New York Strip steak tender and tasty, hashbrowns, two eggs etc plus toast plus jam). Arthur gives it **** ("steak should be bigger, about 32 oz"). As we were having our Steak ñ Eggs we were debating whether we would spot a "normal looking" person. But really, we did not manage it.
Earlier we'd finished our gambling on the poker machines without any big wins. Bob has the occasional run but, we were down over all but within the limits we'd set. The only way to gamble, like having a good meal. Spend your stake, then stop ("and have a steak": Arthur).
We learned that, soon after we'd had breakfast in Encore with Bette Midler's sister (thanks, Paul), Sharon and Ossie Osbourne had lunch there. That was a narrow squeak. (She is appearing in the US Dance programme, thing). It is the place to be seen, y' know.
After Encore and Wynn's we cruised to the other end of the Strip to another favourite from the past, Mandalay Bay. It is the last big casino on the Strip and almost opposite the airport. It is less brash and possibly more stylish than OTT Wynn's and Encore. But, unlike Encore, they did not have an air-conditioned little lounge to wait in whilst the valet fetched your car. What ARE things coming to? They did have large fans blowing a misting spray all over us, however, which fogged up John's glasses.
The following day we re-visited Circus Circus (which had been our first hotel when we visited in 1981). Not much change except it is grubbier and has had little spent of it. And loads of kids which, of course, in most casinos are neither seen nor heard! Here we tackled the roulette table with others' bets.
Roulette is actually one of the worst games to play as, third only to the "Wheel of Fortune" and "Keno" (a sort of bingo), the odds are very much in favour of the house. Be that as it may, there was one winner. 34, Eric. But we had not put the full amount on the one number, Eric, (got Email afterwards) but there are winnings of $35, thanks to 34 and the numbers around it coming up a couple of times. $10 please!
I have a feeling Harvey did not approve of the Circus Circus and her customary luck was not with us.
Las Vegas is probably 6 times the size it was in 1981, when we first visited it. So it has become a busy city in its own right. It went through a phase of being "family friendly" but the casino owners now seem to think the future lies with the discerning adult. So Las Vegas is returning very much to its "Sin City" reputation, with quite blatant advertising for services which Arthur and Stanley did not understand!
Will now leave Las Vegas sadly behind, with a few images and video clips.
Before that, I must note here, else I'll forget, that the hotel we are in right now in Kalispell, is being invaded by hundreds of old ladies for some sort of reunion. It sounds like the ones in the room next to us are breaking it up. If you hear no more after this Blog, you know what has happened. Rural old ladies are very dangerous here. You've heard of Grizzlies?
Above is the reception area in the Golden Nugget
Above from our special meal in Binion's Steakhouse on the top floor of Binion's Casino. The meal is John's "Prime Rib", the smallest available (although the waiter, Bill, did say they had been rather generous with the serving). Enough meat for a family of 6 plus shepherd's pie the next day!
Finally, the contrast. A taster from Glacier NP. Will try and do more on this later. If not, there is another gap as we travel through the night in an Amtrak sleeper car, on the way to Portland Oregon. That's Saturday night.
That's the view from our room on Wednesday
And we thought we had a big car before. Here is our latest (on the left, a Chevvy "Suburban") parked next to what we had before, a Ford Explorer. It's the size of a small tank.
Bye for now. Off to do some posing...