The Mandalay Bay Shark Reef is a must-see when in Las Vegas. The first few exhibits feature crocodiles, reptiles, piranha, and this beauty…
Then you see sharks — lots and lots of sharks. You’d think with a dozen species to take aim at, you’d capture at least one good shot. Nope, not even my video did them justice. I did have better luck with the jellies…
And I couldn’t get enough of these guys…
Some of the larger sharks get to roam around in a 1.3 million gallon tank, one of the largest in North America.
While most people would agree Las Vegas is more of a Disney for adults, there are clearly some world-class family attractions here, as well. It was refreshing to witness children of all ages having a great time here. By the time I finished the tour, I felt like a child again, myself! A fun day.
I get so intensely focused when I’m in Vegas sometimes, I’ve admittedly missed a couple of my monthly One-Day Fun-Days. These are days I do nothing work-related, project-related, or gambling-related — just fun. I really intend to commit to this the remainder of 2016. It’s important!
I’m really beginning to settle into my part-time residency in Las Vegas. I’m preparing to rent a mailbox, a storage unit, and eventually apply for a Nevada drivers license and tags — it’s a process.
I’m also realizing that my June/July summer jobs really requires my presence in Vegas for most of May, as well. I need this time not only for meetings and credentialing, but also for catching up on any projects that need attention before I begin working 7 days a week.
Most importantly, I’ve determined it’s a time for enjoying Las Vegas entertainment! I rarely have to pay anything for tickets, thanks to my connections. And when I do, it’s either a good locals’ deal or a Groupon that gets me in the door.
Recycled Percussion was formed on kind of a fluke when the group competed at their high school talent show with some drumsticks and buckets. For the next ten years they toured the country before landing on America’s Got Talent and then making Las Vegas their home base. These days they perform at Planet Hollywood.
Just be aware that when you attend this show, you are expected to participate! Prior to entering the theater you’re given a drumstick and asked to select a pot or pan. I selected a nice-sized pot to produce a solid bass sound…
After some fun audience-participation numbers, Recycled Percussion went to work and really showcased their talents. I’d recommend this show to anyone…
You rarely see more than a sprinkle or a spit in Las Vegas, but when it actually does rain…
An hour later I nearly got stranded a couple miles from camp as the flood channels began pouring over the streets. With as many flash floods as there were in the valley yesterday, it’s amazing there were only a handful of rescues! I’m going to enjoy the wet weather while I can — there’s only a couple more days of it…
There aren’t many amenities at my Las Vegas home base these days.
After a wind storm planted a tree in our clubhouse a few weeks ago, it was pretty clear our activity center would have to be rebuilt. More bad news followed, however. Our pool’s foundation was cracked. And the structural integrity of our welcome center, office, and store was also compromised. The entire hub of this campground will have to be demolished!
Not having access to any amenities, it’s as good a time as any to set up camp in the back row against the wall. With only a quiet retirement community a fair distance behind my campsite, I’m able to set up my nifty 10 x 10 popup tent and create a cozy little yard for myself. With no RVs directly behind me and plenty of space, this is the perfect spot to do some home improvement projects.
So I’ve decided to settle in for the summer! Work starts on May 15th, and it’s time I dig in and get things done during the next 6 weeks rather than travel. And where will I go at the end of July? To seek even warmer temperatures on a 5-week tour of ARIZONA! Well, it’s certainly not the first place I’d choose to spend the entire month of August, but it’s largely a business trip.
I suspect, much like my last business trip to Fresno, parts of the journey will be an absolute blast. But I’ve already made a decision that my fall adventure will be spontaneous fun only — no business!
Typically when I spend a few days in a new town, I get caught up in all the tourist attractions and do quite a bit of exploring. So every morning here in Palm Springs I’d get out of bed and hop on the computer to check out all the neat things I was going to do…
And then I gave up. Why? Because I was simply having too much fun taking advantage of all the amenities and activities Palm Springs RV Resort has to offer! At least a dozen activities take place every day here. I got pretty caught up in water volleyball and “pickleball”, which is sort of like tennis played with wiffle balls and paddles.
In one of the activity centers, I participated in a card game called “65”, which is kind of like rummy except nearly 1/3 of the deck are wild cards. Needless to say, there is very little skill involved, but the conversation was certainly interesting.
I’m learning more about the Thousand Trails culture. It seems many of these activities are common to several of the Southern California properties and many of these full-timers sort of bounce around and enjoy each others’ company everywhere they go. It’s kind of a neat way to retire.
One of the things I’ve always worried about being on the road a lot is regular exercise. I’m now finding out the privileges of this membership. I don’t think I’m going to have any excuse not to get back into shape…
While there isn’t much selection in Fresno, I chose this particular park over the state park because it doesn’t offer any distractions that would keep me from accomplishing the task at hand. It worked. While it is a cozy little park, it’s kind of in a ho-hum area.
I managed to get my booth set up in quick fashion. While preparations afforded me little time for recreation, I did get to swing by Selma, the raisin capital of the world. The Sun-Maid gift shop not only offers a wide array of x-covered raisins at reasonable prices, they give away free samples of the very boxes of raisins I grew up on. And the raisins tasted exactly the same as I remember — kinda ho-hum.
My first trade show event in many years was also ho-hum. Our booth did not do particularly well even despite the event being well-attended. It was a learning experience in which I realized I’ll have to diversify and make certain adjustments at fairground-type venues. (I’m grateful that I had a poker room at my disposal. My earnings will easily pay for the trip).
The feature attraction at the Fresno Home and Garden Show is the “Tiny House Village.” This is where people flock to stand in line and tour a bunch of tiny little cabins and comment on how “cute” they are. They are cute, just highly impractical. This one, for instance, has a shower but apparently no drain.
Fresno boasts the most impressive county fairgrounds I’ve ever seen. It seems all the locals have fond memories here, and I can see why — it’s very kid-friendly and offers several places to sit down and relax. And if you can’t afford the theme-park attractions, the pirate-ship playground is absolutely spectacular.
I look forward to visiting Fresno again when I’m not working. There’s a lot of exploring to be done and poker to be played here. This time around, I have to start heading back towards Vegas, but I think this area is going to be calling my name in a few weeks…
Tehachapi is famous for an engineering marvel that helped connect the railways from Los Angeles to San Francisco. While the summit is only a little over 4,000 feet, the pass is very steep and treacherous. Thus, the Tehachapi loop…
When your in the area, the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum is a must-see — and it’s free…
And if you have a healthy heart, be sure to visit Barbie’s Primo Burgers for a plate of pastrami chili cheese fries!
Mountain Valley RV Park is situated between a vineyard, a private airport, and a windmill farm on the horizon. Within walking distance of the campground is the pilot school with a unique little coffee shop in it.
My trip into California went reasonably well. The dreaded ascent up Baker Grade on I-15 wasn’t all that bad. I turned off the A/C, rolled down the windows, and paced myself with the truckers in the slow lane. The one time I tried to pass a truck was the only instance my engine started to overheat — so I didn’t do that again.
I have to believe this westbound climb is a little less intense than the eastbound version — which I’m going to avoid coming back by visiting the Quartzsite area briefly on the return voyage.
Click Any Photo To Enlarge! ” * ” Definition on Common Terms Page Current Venue: Las Vegas, NV
Campground: Thousand Trails
There’s a local television ad that always makes me laugh. It’s a weatherman that leads off with, “I’ve always had a fascination with Las Vegas weather…”
The punch line, of course, is that there IS no Las Vegas weather. In all the time I’ve spent here, I’ve seen little more than a drizzle only once. The closest thing we have to weather is wind storms. Our clubhouse just got the worst of one…
It appears there will be no activities for awhile. No church, free coffee, bingo, or Direct TV on the big screen. The pool may not even reopen for a couple weeks.
But I’ll hardly miss any of it. I’m BUSY! I’ll only have 2 days off before my business trip to California, and I’m way behind. This will be my first trade show in years, and it’s been quite a learning experience, already.
But this crash course has been good for me. Not only will it help prepare me quicker for Quartzsite next January, but it also made me realize I’d be in over my head right now if I tried to do too many shows. I’ve decided over the next couple years I’ll only focus on 2-3 traveling gigs. It only makes sense that while I’m spending the most time in Las Vegas, that I devote more time on events here.
My most fantastic revelation is that I don’t NEED to work so hard when I’m traveling! With my Thousand Trails membership my living expenses are exactly the same here as they are down the road. My only extra expense when I leave town is a little bit of gas money. Now that I’ve upgraded my membership, I have over 40 campgrounds throughout California, Oregon, and Washington — many within a couple hours of each other.
My upcoming trip to Fresno was originally intended to be an indefinite 3-month excursion into Northern California. This may turn into a quick SoCal journey right back to Vegas to work for a few days. If that’s the case, I may be right back on the road in April…
It’s good to have friends with complimentary show tickets. I probably appreciate Jennifer Lopez more as an actress than I do as a singer, and would never have spent the $180 on my seat. But I have to say, J-Lo puts her heart and soul into her performance, is a terrific dancer, and would recommend her show to anyone. (I heard her middle, front-row seats were close to $2000). It truly was an impressive concert.
Super Bowl parties in Vegas are not cheap, either. Luckily, I was covered once again. Free food, free drinks, and a fun crowd made for a good time at the Gold Nugget (even though I was rooting for the Panthers). I think Super Bowl parties in Vegas only take a back seat to actually being at the stadium in person!
But as fun as Las Vegas is, I’m really eager to get back on the road, sometimes. I think right now I’m especially excited about my Thousand Trails membership. I upgraded to a two-zone pass — giving me access to over 40 campgrounds in California, Oregon, and Washington. Most of these are within 150 miles of each other. This comes out to $20 per week and $50-60 in gasoline between most campgrounds.
But I’ve been trying too hard to make “working” vacations out of my trips. Because it seems I’ve been creating unnecessary scheduling conflicts with my trade shows, I’ve decided I’m only going to focus on 1-2 traveling gigs per year until I’m on the road full-time, again. In the meantime, I’m going to start having FUN on my trips! Between my seasonal work and my awesome Thousand Trails benefits, I can just “take off” for weeks at a time at little cost or consequence.
I’ll focus my business efforts on nationwide sponsorships, while setting up as a vendor in Quartzsite and Vegas, mostly. When the time is right, maybe 3 years from now, I’ll “demote” myself and work only summers in Las Vegas while I expand my trade show circuit as a vendor. There’s no hurry to do a lot of out-of-town events right now. I can travel and play poker, instead. And when poker’s no good, I can simply stay a couple weeks at a resort before I come back to Vegas and work! (I can pick up shifts year-round, at my own discretion).
I have a good gig. Now it’s time to take advantage of it…