Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving With Escapees

100_9521One of the reasons we came to this RV park was to have a place to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.  As we indicated in a recent post, when we called to check availability they asked us to join the Thanksgiving potluck before we even had the chance to ask if they were having one.  We estimate about 150 of us gathered in the Activity Center.  We all contributed to buy the turkeys and everything else was potluck.  I was anxious to do a little cooking so I didn’t make just one dish – I made three.  I made a dressing that has spicy sausage, apples, and chestnuts in it.  My pumpkin pie was perfect if I say so myself.  And I also mixed up some sliced cucumbers in sour cream.


100_9522We had some nice conversation over Thanksgiving dinner and all came away stuffed to the gills.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time.  Tomorrow they will have a potluck supper to help all of us rid ourselves of all these leftovers.  But I still have a hankering to cook so I thought I would make jalapeno pie.  Gary got some of the leftover turkey – enough that he will be able to make his leftover turkey soup one of these days.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away………

We arrived here on Thursday.  There was a little bit of rain in the final stretches of the drive.  Fortunately, we were able to set up without it raining.  But shortly after we were set up, the rains came…..and it rained, and it rained, and it rained.   This is Arizona, the land of sunshine.  It rained Thursday night.  It rained more all day and night Friday.  It rained on Saturday.  And on Sunday it was mostly cloudy with periodic rain.  We had the entire month’s worth of rain in our first four days here.  All totaled, there was about 2 inches of rain here in the desert where we are camped.  We were feeling a bit like hermits holed up in the motor home.  Gary got in plenty of football watching.  I played a lot on my new computer.

We were able to get out for the Sunday night ice cream social, a regular event at Escapees RV parks.  And finally today, the sun was out – not a cloud in the sky.  We went over to the clubhouse in the morning for the power walking video.  Thereafter, we washed the motor home and the car.  We had not been in a park since Salt Lake City that would allow us to wash them.  It was around three hours of a lot of scrubbing and wiping for both of us.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Is this going to be a rant about the US Congress?  We haven’t written any rants, or social commentaries as we call them, in quite awhile.  It would be easy to do this week when the Senate majority party voted by just a simple majority to limit the ability of the minority to use the fillibuster and thereby require a 60 vote super majority for Presidental appointments including judges.  The charge to change the rules was led by Harry Reid who just a few short years ago when he was Minority Leader said such a move would be “Unamerican”.   Then Senator Obama who at that time said, “You know, the Founders designed this system, as frustrating it is, to make sure that there’s a broad consensus before the country moves forward.” now welcomed the change as President Obama.  Shouldn’t a rule change to take away the 60 vote super majority and its 200 years of history require at least a 60 vote majority itself?

Well, this post wasn’t intended to be a rant even though we slipped one in there.  This post is about our travels from Kingman to CONGRESS, ARIZONA.  On Thursday, we packed up and rolled out of Kingman.  We stopped at a Speedco for an oil change which delayed us for 3 and 1/2 hours mainly because of a long wait to get into a bay.  Speedco wasn’t too speedy this stop.  Fortunately we only had a bit over a hundred miles to go after we got out of there. 

100_9485Most of our trip was on Arizona Highway 93, the main artery between Phoenix and Las Vegas.  The road was generally undulating with wide sweeping curves as it passed through the mountains of Arizona.  We started seeing Saguaro catit.  And we also passed through an area with a large concentration of Joshua Trees.



Congress, about an hour northwest of Phoenix, is the home of an Escapees (the full timing club we belong to) RV Park – North Ranch.  We will be here through at least Thanksgiving and likely until after New Year’s unless it becomes too cold in which case we will head further south in Arizona.  We were at an Escapees park last Thanksgiving in Texas and when we called North Ranch to make sure they had space, they asked us if we wanted to sign up for their Thanksgiving potluck before we could even ask about it.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Laughlin/Bullhead City

100_9471While in Kingman, we camped in an area known as Golden Valley, an unincorporated town northeast over a mountain range from city of Kingman.  We camped in a Passport American Park – Tradewinds -- that caters largely to frugal snowbirders; they have a monthly rate of $200 plus electric.  The grounds were all packed crushed stone with old farm equipment for decoration.

Another attraction of this park is that it is less than 20 miles to the Colorado River and the casinos of Laughlin, Nevada and its companion city of Bullhead City, Arizona.  But within that 20 mile stretch there is a elevation drop of  over 3,000 feet down to the river.  It still amazes us the cuts this river has made over the eons of time.

2013-11-19_21-39-37_272We made two trips down to the river.  The first was at night.  It was very dark that night even with the lights of the casinos of Laughlin down the road.  With a continuous down grade of 6% for about 12 miles it was a little scary in the desert darkness on a road we had never traveled.  We stopped at the brewpub of the Colorado Belle Casino.  There brews were not all that good.  They had more than a bit of diacetyl in them.  This is the taste of butterscotch in beer that is given off by the yeast early in the fermentation process.  But it you give the yeast a chance, it will clean up after itself and reabsorb this off taste.  Unfortunately some small breweries rush the process and pull the beer off of the yeast before the reabsorption occurs and the butterscotch taste is left in the beer.

I cashed in a free play from our casino coupon book and turned it into a whopping $5.  Our poker pro played a tournament but didn’t have any luck.

On our second trip to the river, we didn’t go to any casinos.  We were hungry and went to a Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and wound up staying and playing a few hours of Buzztime Trivia.  It is a trivia game that is fed by satelllite to a number of of bars and restaurants across the US and Canada.  At the end of each game your receive statistics for your establishment as well as across all locations and for all players.  We had one game where we had the second highest score on the network.

Oh, and one last note.  We were able to buy regular unleaded in the Kingman area for $2.98 a gallon.  If memory serves us correctly -- and that would be a huge assumption -- this is the first time we have paid less than $3 a gallon in the over two years that we have been fulltiming.  Now, if only the days would return when diesel prices were lower than than gasoline………………

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kingman, Arizona

100_9425Our next destination after Las Vegas was Kingman, Arizona.  After sitting for a bit over six weeks, it was with a slight bit of apprehension that we fired up the rig.  It turned right over as always, the slides pulled in, and the chassis aired up exactly as it was supposed to and always has for us.  We rolled south out of Las Vegas and across the new Hoover Dam bridge we had visited during our Vegas stay.  It was as uneventful in the motor home as it was as the car.  We pulled into the left lane of the two on our side of the bridge as the road signs indicated.  We could just barely see over the outer walls of the bridge.  There weren’t any winds blowing through the canyon that day.  There was nothing to it.  And we caught the shot below right of the ribbons of road on the other side of the bridge in this barren rocky landscape.


100_9437At our first rest stop after crossing the bridge, we caught some great views of the Colorado River south of Hoover Dam passing through the rocky terrain it had cut a channel through.

We were going to Kingman for some personal business.  About 35 years ago, Gary bought some investment property in that area.  It had been a number of years since we were last down that way so we wanted to go visit the “ranch” and check out land values in the area.  Our parcel was once part of a large cattle ranch.  The roads back to it get progressively rougher so we rented a 4X4 pickup truck to get back there.  The last mile is just a jeep trail not really wide enough for a rented truck so we parked and walked back in the rest of the way.  Land prices peaked there a few years back and then declined along with the housing bust.  They have recovered a bit so we will be getting it on the market within the next year.  Anyone need a half-mile square of Arizona property that has a spring, trees, and some amazing views?


Kingman was a good place to decompress a bit from Vegas.  Kingman is a growing town and the valley is surrounded by various ranges of mountains.  It was a significant stop on Route 66 and is in the heart of the longest remaining continuous stretch of that storied highway.  We were taking in bit of the highway in the older section of the town when we just happened to see a building that had Black Bridge Brewery written on its window.  We stopped and found a new brewery that was only about two months old and wasn’t yet even in the the listing of Brewing News.  We gave the owner/brewer a copy of the magazine article about our travels and brewery visits.  He is a now former homebrewer who is living the dream of opening his own brewery business.  He was using equipment he had improvised instead of commercial brewing equipment.  He was putting out great brew and seemed to be attracting a crowd each of the three times we wound up visiting his establishment.

We rode up into the Hualapai Mountains where a number of people of Kingman live partially to escape the summer heat of the valley.  We envision our property looking like this one of these days.  We caught a shop of some strange-looking wildlife up in those mountains as well.  Beware!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Las Vegas Retrospective

100_9208Yes, we have moved on from Las Vegas; we packed up and left Monday morning.  We have been finishing up our Vegas blogs.  This will be our last one – a look back on our stay in Vegas.

We had always wanted to experience an extended stay in Las Vegas.  When we made our first trip as full-timers from Michigan to become Texans, Gary had thought for a bit about making a detour from Texas to Vegas on our way to the Atlantic.  But that notion was quickly discarded with a quick check of the mileage that would have been involved.

We stuck with our north/south travel loop plans until near the end of 2 and 1/2 loops we finally got our shot at Vegas.  We wound up spending 45 nights – the second longest stay of any of our camping to date.  The weather was fabulous.  It was about 10 degrees above average throughout most of our stay.  Daily highs ranged from the low 70 to low 80s with sun every day.

100_9202-003We found that if you plan and work at it a bit the city really can still be done on the cheap.  The RV Park, although largely a parking lot, was among the very cheapest we had ever used.  The city bus system worked great for us and it was nice just largely to park the car for an extended period of time.  We drove the fewest miles that we had in a long time.  The American Casino Guide coupon book paid for itself many times over.

IMG_0340We didn’t spend any money on big headliner entertainment, but we may regret that we didn’t get to the Terry Fator show which was the one show we really had a hankering to see.  But we did go to a comedy club show free from our coupon book that had us laughing out loud throughout.  And we enjoyed all the free shows on Fremont Street including the Lt. Dan Band and some lounge shows as well.  And, oh, did we mention that I ran into Donny and Marie?

IMG_0277Food and drink were very good and cheap in the downtown area and having our own brewpub at Main Street Station was fantastic.  We splurged three times on the spectacular buffet at Bellagio, but saved a ton by “pulling a Mark” on each visit.  We would definitely stay in the downtown again.



1026131543-002It certainly didn’t hurt that our luck was quite good as well.  Gary came to town as a newly self-proclaimed poker pro.  After a very slow start, he made a very impressive recovery.  He didn’t cash in any of his first six tournaments but in the subsequent 20 tournaments he played, he cashed seven times including four wins.  He found smaller stakes tournaments at the Plaza hotel and was able to have success.  He spent about a thousand dollars on entry fees and won about eleven hundred from prize pools.  His biggest win was at the Stratosphere where he and four others “chopped” the prize pool for $375 each out of a starting field of over 70 players.  I am not sure how we would survive on  $100 of “professional” income over a 45-day period, but I am impressed just the same that he could go to Vegas and leave a winner at poker.  He also won small amounts at other table games including blackjack and had some small losses on the machines.  And he won the autographed football in the Monday Night Football drawing as well.

My gambling was highlighted by my $850 win with four of a kind at Let It Ride.  I plowed a couple hundred of that back trying for another big strike that didn’t come.  Otherwise, I mainly played the machines which were reasonably good to me as well but overall likely represented a bit of a loss.  And then there was my win of the TV in the MNF drawing.

100_5778-001We didn’t spend all of our time in the casino areas.  We got out and saw various areas of the city.  We took in some garage sales and got some really great buys.  We bought and sold stuff off of Craigslist including buying a “new” bike for Gary and a “new” slim digital camera.  We sold my iPad as I purchased a new laptop because I wanted a real keyboard rather than a virtual one.  And for years to come while watching TV shows, we will be saying, “we were there”.  Halloween in Vegas is another thing we will remember about our stay for a long time too.

100_9385We said way back at the beginning of our stay that we would be evaluating Vegas as a possible home for us whenever it is that we leave the road.  So how did it measure up on that score?  On the positive side, it is amazing how much is always going on in this city.  There is so much to do at all times.  If one is careful, it can be a cheap place to live.  We like some of the neighborhoods we saw in the periphery of the city.  It is also a place where family and friends would be likely to visit.  On the other hand, it is a very exploitative place in every sense of the word.  All these billion dollar casinos weren’t built on winners.  Especially off the downtown area, the homeless and other examples of despair are ever present.  It seemed that in our Craigslist dealings whether buying or selling everyone we were dealing with was always trying to beat us.  We can hold our own in negotiations, but it seems rather ruthless here at all times.  We didn’t get a feel that there is a great sense of community in Las Vegas.  There is not a lot to rally around as a city. It seems a rather impersonal place.  The summer heat could be oppressive, but we have plans to have a smaller RV to escape to cooler climates in summers in the future.  And one big thing Vegas lacks is an ocean or a gulf.  We really enjoy the beach and the sea and there is not much sea in Vegas.  It is probably a place that we will visit rather than live in.

Click on the following link to see our pictures from Las Vegas:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Taste of Detroit in Las Vegas

100_9398We found a local delicacy in Las Vegas – a Detroit food delicacy – the coney dog.  There is a hotel/casino in downtown Las Vegas that has a lot of connection to Detroit – The D.  The D was previously known as Fitzgerald's which was owned by a Detroiter named Don Barden.  Don was a Detroit entrepreneur who got in on the ground floor of cable television.  At one time the cable system in our Detroit suburb was Barden Cablevision.  He then won the cable franchise to wire the entire city of Detroit.  Don then got the casino bug and was awarded one of the franchises to build casinos in Gary, Indiana.  When Detroit was authorized to award three casino franchises for the city, Don was the highest profile bidder in the process, but wasn’t awarded one of the franchises.  Later Don came up with a very highly publicized plan to build a  billion dollar Detroit casino and theme park in partnership with Michael Jackson, if only if a fourth Detroit casino license would be issued.  That proposal that was rejected despite its huge hype.  In 2001 he bought Fitzgerald’s and became the first black casino owner in Las Vegas.

Two brothers and Detroit area industrialists bought Fitzgerald’s from Don Barden’s estate.  They remodeled it and renamed it The D.  The “D” is believed to stand for some combination of downtown, Detroit, and the nickname of one of the owners.

220px-Lafayette_And_American_Coney_IslandsNow, back to the coney dogs.  They are not a Coney Island, New York creation.  They are a creation of Greek immigrants to Michigan.  This version of the hot dog is one that employs a hot dog or mild sausage in a natural casing for a bit of a crunch when you bite into it.  It is topped with a slightly spicy beanless chili and then further topped with chopped raw sweet onions and mustard and served in a steamed warm bun.  It has been a local delicacy of Detroit since the early 1900s when a Greek immigrant started selling them on the city streets of Detroit.  He then opened a restaurant, American Coney Island.  He helped his brother immigrate into the US and his brother then opened a Coney Island right next door, Lafayette Coney Island, which used a different hot dog and chili.  Ever since there has been the ongoing battle among Detroiters as to which coney dog is the best.  And it has been the subject of many a TV food show as well.  It is to Detroit what the cheese steak wars of Gino’s and Pat’s are to Philadelphia.

Well, the Detroit-area owners of The D in Las Vegas wanted a true taste of Detroit in their casino.  They invited American Coney Island to open in their casino.  The restaurant opens right on to Fremont street our the front of The D.  You don’t have to pass into the casino to enter the restaurant.  Of course there is an entryway from the restaurant into the casino.  The Las Vegas store now sells more conies a day than the original in Detroit.  Shown below is the storefront in Las Vegas and our order of two coney dogs and a side of chili fries – a wonderful taste of Detroit in Las Vegas.


Now I am more than a bit of an aficionado of coney dogs.  My first job at the age of 15 was as a server in a coney island restaurant.  So which coney is the best – American or Lafayette?  NEITHER, it has to be Senate Coney Island the place where I worked.  They have the best no-bean chili for a coney dog I have ever eaten.  And they have multiple locations about the Detroit area.

A Family Visit in Vegas

IMG_0406Mark of “pulling a Mark” fame wasn’t the only person we know who we saw in Vegas.  I was catching up with Facebook one day and remarked to Gary, My nephew Chuck is here in Las Vegas.  So I sent him a message and while he was here he and his friend Amanda came downtown to visit with us. 


100_9376It was the first trip to Vegas for either of them and, of course, was an exciting time for them.  To make matters even better, Chuck hit a slot machine for a very good win early on in their stay.  And they were doing it all  They hit the strip but also visited Red Rocks and Hoover Dam and were also planning to go down to Arizona to the Sky Walk at the west rim of the Grand Canyon.  I went to Fremont Street with them and we saw the Viva Vision and the picture-for-hire people.  We also went to see the swimming pool at the Golden Nugget that has a clear water slide that passes through a shark tank

100_4572We also exited our motor home one day and looked over a few spaces and saw a familiar fifth wheel.  A year ago in Livingston, Texas we were just about the same distance from the same fifth wheel in an Escapees RV Park.  At the right is the picture we took of Jim and Renee at last year’s Thanksgiving potluck.  We were supposed to meet up with them on Halloween on Fremont Street, but it was such a madhouse that we never made the connection.  But it sounds like our travels will cross again a couple more times in the coming months.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

More Monday Night Football and More Pawn Stars

First, let’s start with an update on the TV I won in the Monday Night Football raffle.  We offered it to a couple of workers in the casinos and on Craigslist, but when that wasn’t working, we traced some of the markings on the box and figured out that the casino had purchased it at an area Walmart.  So I drove it over there in the car and explained everything.  They checked it out and after some huddling and hand wringing they approved a full refund and issued me a Walmart gift card in the amount of $214. 

IMG_0322So, what did we do last Monday night – yep, Monday Night Football at the Lucky 777 Brewpub.  It was a game of interest to us as fans of the Detroit Lions – the Green Bay Packers versus the Chicago Bears – we wanted them both to lose.  Now we are getting this routine down a bit.  They always ask a few trivia questions from the Sunday games.  Before we head over Gary studied up on the big performances of Sunday.  Early on, the announcer asks, “how many touchdown passes did Ben Roethlisberger throw?”.  Gary leaps to his feet and shouts out “four” and becomes the proud owner of a shot glass and a shot.  They ask for volunteers to play beer pong.  I stand and wave my hand, am selected, head over and promptly bounce a ping pong ball into a fish bowl – Dos Equis t-shirt with “stay thirsty, my friends” scripted on it.  No, we didn’t win another TV at the end of the game, but they also have a major prize drawing at halftime.  Again, the drum is spun.  A ticket was pulled.  The announcer reads Gary ……..   Sure enough Gary won the halftime drawing and receives a football autographed by Hall-of- Fame running back, Marshall Faulk.  There are likely two hundred tickets or more in this drum each week and we won two drawings between us.

IMG_0320-001So where does Pawn Stars enter this blogpost.  Well, we thought about taking the football to them to see if they would want to put us on TV trying to sell it to them.  But that seemed so improbable that we decided to take it to the store of the guy they always call in when they are appraising an item of sports memorabilia – Jeremy Brown.  He runs a shop in the downtown called Ultimate Sports Cards and Memorabilia.  Jeremy wasn’t there, but we offered it up to his associate running the store at that time.  He declined to make an offer as it didn’t come with a certificate of authenticity.  But he tells us in all likelihood it is real and that we should be able to sell it for $75 to $150 without authentication and maybe twice that much if we have it professionally authenticated.  This Monday Night Football thing really worked for us.

100_9394And in the same complex we see a store by the name of Toy Shack which has “Pawn Stars Toy Expert” written on the door.  It is owned and operated by Johnny Jimenez the guy who they call in to appraise toys.  Ah, but we didn’t have any toys to offer up short of some of Alley cat’s toys and she wasn’t about to part with any of them.

100_9379One day were were reading about events in the downtown area and we read that there would be a poker tournament to benefit the Clark County Museum.  The administrator of this museum is Mark Hall-Patton who is another of the authenticators on the Pawn Stars show.  It says there will be a red carpet event before the tournament so we headed over for a look.  We captured this shot of Mr. Mark resplendent in top hat.  He is probably the biggest celebrity museum administrator in the country.

Gary has offered to be the expert appraiser of motor homes for the Pawn Stars, but the phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the wall.

All this Pawn Stars stuff really is big business for Las Vegas and vice versa.  They even announce on the city busses where to get off for a pawn visit.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lt. Dan Band

How lucky were we for a Veteran’s Day celebration?  It is tough to keep up with all that may be going on in Las Vegas.  We overhead a bit of a conversation and asked, “did you say the Lt Dan Band will be performing on Fremont Street”?  Sure enough, Saturday night Gary Sinise and his Lt Dan Band gave a free concert on one of the stages on Fremont Street.  And if you are one of the three people in the world who doesn’t know the Lt. Dan character, you will just have to Google it.


IMG_0366Gary Sinise created his Lt Dan Band about 10 years ago and has played hundreds of concerts around the world entertaining troops and benefiting the USO.  This is no small production.  There are 12 people in the band and there is a supporting staff as well.  They play a lot of upbeat cover music that keeps the crowd singing and waving the little American flags they passed out.  They even had Gary Sinise up on the Viva Vision canopy.

A lot of Veteran’s were there for the concert and we made our small contributions to the Gary Sinise Foundation and the USO.  We salute all the Veterans and current service members on this special day!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Shirt Off Gary’s Back–For $40?

IMG_0343We made another foray to the strip and hit the Bellagio buffet for the third time.  We also caught a bit of a lounge show at Harrah’s featuring “Big Elvis”.  This big Elvis is really big, once tipping the scales at over 500 pounds.  He has done over 7,000 lounge shows in his career.  Big Elvis mainly sits in his Big Elvis chair, but he does put on a great performance.




IMG_0336We also walked through the Flamingo Hotel to tour their gardens that feature what else – pink Flamingos.







IMG_0365We passed this one store in the Flamingo selling men’s clothing that was, well, way out there.  They had extreme paisley sports coats, every form of ruffled shirt imaginable, and the craziest shoes we ever had seen.  We asked the salesperson just who buys this stuff, and he informed us that is it largely the club crowd that want something extreme to wear when hitting the clubbing circuit.  Gary spotted the sale rack where he scored this shirt for 75% off its tagged price of $48.  At $12, he had to have it.  The next day, he wore it to the poker table.  One guy became so enamored with it that he offered Gary $40 for it and an exchange of the t-shirt he was wearing.  The money was actually out there on the table.  It is tough to turn down such a profit, but Gary really likes the shirt and didn’t want to make another trip down to the Flamingo.  He told the guy where we purchased it and of all things he gave Gary a breakfast bar for the information.  I have to say, this shirt certainly attracts a lot of attention and commentary.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pawn Stars Spinoffs

Just as we watch the show Pawn Stars, we have also been watching its spinoffs – Rick’s Restorations and Count’s Kustoms.  So if we visited the pawn shop, we might as well visit their shops as well.


IMG_0296Neither one was too far from our downtown location.  First we headed over to Rick’s.  They gave us a guided tour of the facilities.  That consisted mainly of walking down an L-shaped hallway and peering in a few windows of work rooms.  We saw “Cowboy” in the woodshop building a crate.  But we also happened by on a day that they were doing some taping so we caught glimpses of Rick, Kelly, and Tyler as well.




IMG_0311From Rick’s we proceeded over to Count’s.  You don’t get to see the workshop (best we can tell, there is not a great deal to it).  But there is a collection of Count’s cars and motorcycles that you tour and just as at the pawn shop and at Rick’s, there is a large selection of apparel and trinkets and trash that you can purchase.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Top Of The Stratosphere

Another place we like to visit in Las Vegas is the tower at the Stratosphere hotel.  It’s tower is the tallest structure in Las Vegas and the ninth tallest in the United States.  There is a revolving restaurant in the tower as well as an observation deck and thrill rides.  Yes, for whatever reason there are amusement (if they can possibly be called amusement) rides at the top of an 1,150 foot tall tower.  This time we went up to the observation deck for a view of the city at night. We had a “twofer” from our coupon book.   A few years back, we dined at the restaurant for one of my birthdays but you don’t get to enjoy the crisp night air inside in the tower that we experienced this time.


100_9361Here is a view of the strip from the observation deck





100_9349And here is a view of downtown with one of the rides as it has rotated out beyond the guardrail and is about to open up and start spinning all outside the perimeter of the tower.  There is a “demon drop” ride that falls from a vertical structure sticking up out of the top of the tower.  There is a another that propels a little car out over the edge of the tower down an inclined track and there is also bungee jumping.  There is no way I am even thinking of trying these rides.

But the Stratosphere Tower is going to have some new competition for city viewing.  Caesar's Entertainment (formerly known as Harrah’s) is building a gigantic Ferris Wheel behind the Flamingo Hotel that will be taller than the London Eye.  Here it is under construction with the installation shown at the left of one of the very first cars it will carry.  And if that isn’t crazy enough, at the west end of Fremont Street they are building this giant slot machine known as Slotzilla and there will be a zip line from the top of it that will carry you the length of Fremont Street underneath the Viva Vision canopy and above the crowd below.  It’s always something in Las Vegas.