S: Las Vegas - May 2009
BC: Till next time....
1: Condo at the Carriage House
3: Construction continues along the strip. The Cosmopolitan will be across from MGM, near New York NY
4: We walked along the strip to take in the sights. The Bellagio and Paris Hotels are easy to spot
6: Jeanette & Wayne stop in front of the Bellagio to rest. When entering the Bellagio, small hot air balloons are overhead.
8: The first day to view the lions in the MGM habitat we had 2 sleepy females. One finally stretched and opened her eyes.
9: On Monday, we left the lights of Vegas and headed to Death Valley. On the way, we checked out some ghost towns. | Along the way, we didn't pass up much.
10: Gold Point, Nevada | 50 0riginal buildings still standing. | But we think the Griswolds moved in. | We didn't get out of the car.
11: Once we got over the shock of Gold Point, we made our way back to Death Valley National Park. We past Last Chance mine a mile before the park's entrance. I was surprised to see different flowering plants lining the roadway.
12: One side of the road appeared to be large boulders perched on the hillside ready to slide down and the other was porous with lots of nooks and crannies for wildlife to take shelter. Wayne pasted up a car with a very small trailer attached- I snapped a pic as he flew by.
13: As we drove through the park, we noticed places where lots of greenery was growing and knew a spring must be near. Sure enough, we rounded a corner and stopped in to visit Scotty's castle.
14: Death Valley Ranch was built by owner Albert Johnson in 1927. How Johnson's ranch came to be called Scotty's Castle, is a tribute to Walter E. Scott, who during a lifetime of shameless self-promotion, hustling and swindling, came to be known as Death Valley Scotty or Scotty's castle. At 16, Walter joined the Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show as a stunt Rider. He learned how to perform, touring the US and Europe for 12 years. While in NY he met Ella Milius and married 6 months later. He unsuccessfully tried his hand at gold mining in Colorado. His attempt to rejoin the show failed, so he used his acting skills to convince the wealthy to buy a stake in a fictitious gold mine in Death Valley. Walter would faithfully write his investors to tell them of the lucrative strikes made in Death Valley, but never shipped any profits. When they would want to visit the mine, he would tell them how hot it was and that Indian raids were common.
15: He boarded a train to bring them some gold, but the bag was 'stolen' before he reached them. The papers picked up on the story which launched Walter in his spree of self promotion. The more stories they wrote, the more Walter spun tales. He met Albert Johnson in 1901 and Johnson agreed to finance some mining. Johnson was persistent and visited Death Valley and found no mine. However, he enjoyed the climate and its effects on his poor health. During a lawsuit Scotty admitted that his mine was a myth and he was discredited. Johnson formed a friendship with Scotty by that time. When Johnson began building his home, Scotty referred to it as his castle. Johnson never corrected the story.
16: We walked around outside while waiting for a tour of the house. | Walter Scott died at 82 and is buried on the property next to his dog Windy. | We also noticed the car with the cute small trailer also stopped at Scotty's castle.
18: Inside Scotty's Castle - large open great room with a guest room for Scotty.
19: The room intended for the library became a dining room for all their guest. They spared no expense and installed hand painted tile in the kitchen and bath
21: They had several guest suites for entertaining and a large music room on one wing. After Johnson died, Scotty moved into the Castle and each night regaled paying guests with his exploits over the past century. He had reached the pinnacle of his fame, becoming a tourist attraction in his own right.
23: We left Scotty's Castle and drove out of Death Valley towards Beatty and the ghost town just beyond - Rhyolite.
24: Town of Beatty - in the middle of the desert.
26: The Bottle House - All walls are made out of bottles and mud. On the side of the home, there were several other things made with broken glass - dog house, wishing well and small city
27: Cook Bank
28: General Store
29: Railroad station & Casino
30: Several sculptures were on the road leading into and out of Rhyolite.
31: After Rhyolite, we made our way back through the desert to the lights of Vegas
32: The Venetian with the canal shops and the gondola boats
34: View of Treasure Island and the statue along the strip of Sigfried and Roy
35: Cool motorcycle in TI for the Sirens
36: Trump tower over Treasury Island. The Fashion Mall on the side.
37: The Palazzo - inside and out.
38: The Wynn - inside and out.
40: Excalibur - Jeanette getting paid after first time playing craps. Profit $28. Don't laugh, it is a profit, not a loss
41: New York
44: The lioness was quite playful, but the lion wanted to sleep. She dropped the spool on his foot and froze. He raised up and stared her down. You can see he's still sleepy. He looked my way and I snapped the picture of this beautiful lion.
49: All of a sudden, she threw her head back and roared. Then she went back to playing with her ball.
55: So far the best Cirque Du Soleil show we've seen.
56: We took a break from gambling and walked around the Flamingo Habitat
58: A beautiful Black swan was grooming itself by one of the small waterfalls with giant fish swimming near him.
66: We also had tickets for a show at Bellagio. It's the Cirque de Soleil show called O with a stage that changes from water to a stage. The change was so smooth and the diving was great. Before the show, we enjoyed watching the fountain show in front of the Bellagio.
71: As usual, we enjoyed our trip to Vegas. This time we kept some of their money instead of leaving ours.