We were somewhere near Barstow, on the edge of the desert...
riot girl
ladyjulian
….when a lump of iron in the middle of the road coincided with the front wheel of the hire car (a ver' nice one, by the way, with leather seats and AC that chills you to the very core) and the rim blew out.

However, up to that point, things are pretty good.  We got through the notoriously arsey LAX immigration with the assistance of my London Underground "baby on board" badge, which I must have somehow forgotten to take off my brand new, previously unworn jacket.  We found the hire car place with relative ease - and discovered that you can't buy a SIM card compatible with a UK iPad, so we were on paper maps and navigation, but that was okay - the route was simple.  We stopped at the Lincoln Motel in Pasadena, by which time we were too tired to do anything apart from look for some dinner, sourced at the Panda Express, which was like the Chinese buffets at Camden Lock, but with an all-American mission statement, which ran along the lines of "We aim to deliver an authentic Asian dining experience through inspiring people to improve their lives."  Presumably because after a polystyrene tray of their rather disappointing food, you look at your life, shake your head sadly and think "I really must do better than this."

The next day we woke up at about 5am, and decided it was too nice outside to do anything but get up and take the mountain road, the Angeles Crest Highway, over towards Barstow.  We stopped to pick up some fruit at the Walmart (local peaches - mmm) and stopped for a second breakfast at the Evergreen Cafe at the other end of the mountains.  We were aiming to get to Las Vegas the same day, but it was just after the mountain road, a mile up the Interstate 5, that the aforementioned lump of iron took out the wheel.

A highway patrol officer stopped for us and called Alamo which was kind of him.  A roadside assistance vehicle arrived for us, realised that there was nothing he could do without a spare wheel, and dropped us a mile down the road at the McDonalds to wait for the tow truck.

Sadly, the Roolz say that the tow truck couldn't tow the car unless we were with it.  Which we weren't.  And although it had to come past the McDonalds, it wasn't prepared to stop and get us.  So we ended up with them sending a cab for us and a truck to collect the car, which took a while, but sorted us out eventually.

We got as far as Barstow that night in a new car (a HUGE SUV, this thing will go over lumps of iron in the road no problem) and stayed at the Route 66 Motel.  Which was amazing.  The owner suggested we go to Rosita's up the road for dinner, and I had a burrito the size of my head.  Seriously good food.  By that time we'd not had anything since second breakfast at about 10am (the McDonalds was great for AC and wifi, less good for food) so we even managed to finish the enormous portions.  
Tags:

And on to Vegas
riot girl
ladyjulian
Leaving Barstow, after an IHOP breakfast, we headed over to Vegas.  It was a reasonably long drive but the SUV and the long, wide roads made it a pleasure.  C did most of the driving on the basis that the size of the spaceship was quite intimidating and I was struggling with the clutch, or lack of it.  The car has a pedal RIGHT where the clutch should be which is a parking brake!

The desert is majorly…. desert-y.  I hadn't seen a cactus outside a plant pot on a bathroom windowsill before. It's a seriously hostile climate and I really want a book on the local history now!

Pikey doesn't seem to be an insult round here though.  There were lots of trailer / caravan settlements which looked semi-transient.  That looks like a hard way to live - who knows what the inhabitants do for a living.

The approach to Vegas looks remarkably like one of the slave towns from Game of Thrones.  The rough sand and stones of the desert give way to beautifully manufactured bridges and structures, all made out of the same stuff, so it's only as you get near that you realise what it is.  The hotels loom into sight and we could see ours (the Luxor) from quite a distance, as it's a pyramid.  Next door is one called the Excalibur, which is a Disney style fairy tale castle with pink and blue turrets.

Inside is aggressively air-conditioned, which it needs to be.  I'm still unsure whether I'm dead impressed with Vegas or totally appalled by it.  The casinos are heaving with people, many in electric scooters, pushing money (tokens?) into the machines.  There are shows, exhibitions, food and drink places everywhere, and the hotels join up so you can go next door to the Excalibur.  We did that but it was a little disappointing - you don't  know which one you're in, so it actually makes no difference.

We went to see the "Bodies" exhibition - I'd seen it in London and loved it.  It was a bit odd looking at the foetus ones and thinking "I've got one of those in me!"  Then we walked over to the Shark Reef at the Mandalay, which was a huge aquarium - loved it.

 The hotel room we have has two exhibitions and a show thrown in free, as well as all you can eat buffet (thank you to the gamblers and drinkers for subsidising our stay!)  Unfortunately the show we wanted to see wasn't available, leaving us with the choice between the stripper show and Menopause! The Musical.  On the basis that the strip show was likely to be quite unpleasant, we chose the Menopause one.

Oh my goodness.  The actors were, on the plus side, extremely good, very enthusiastic despite the small audience, and the new-lyrics-to-well-known-songs thing was moderately clever, but they were horribly let down by a script that was disjointed and just plain crappy.  It's a peculiarity of Vegas that while it boasts strip shows, legal brothels (I think), and encourages people to "get their Lux on," illustrated by a man and woman climbing into bed together if you weren't sure what that is, the audience collapsed in embarrassed giggles at a song about a vibrator.  None of it would have been censored on the Radio 4 comedy slot, but it was being treated as though it were the raciest thing since forever.

This morning we stopped off for brunch (free mimosas, or buck's fizz as we know it, so I asked the barman to make me one which was 90% orange juice which he obligingly did) and then thought we'd look around outside the hotel.  If you want to see a Las Vegas concierge look thoroughly confused, ask where the nearest bookshop is.  Hint: there isn't one.  In the whole of Las Vegas, the bookshop is the university bookshop.  Borders went bust, and that was it.  I guess people aren't here to read!

This afternoon we're off to the Titanic exhibition (the exhibitions are oddly all about mortality) and then possibly to see what's offered at the spa.  Then tomorrow it's back in the spaceship for more road trip!
Tags:

And on to Vegas
riot girl
ladyjulian
Leaving Barstow, after an IHOP breakfast, we headed over to Vegas.  It was a reasonably long drive but the SUV and the long, wide roads made it a pleasure.  C did most of the driving on the basis that the size of the spaceship was quite intimidating and I was struggling with the clutch, or lack of it.  The car has a pedal RIGHT where the clutch should be which is a parking brake!

The desert is majorly…. desert-y.  I hadn't seen a cactus outside a plant pot on a bathroom windowsill before. It's a seriously hostile climate and I really want a book on the local history now!

Pikey doesn't seem to be an insult round here though.  There were lots of trailer / caravan settlements which looked semi-transient.  That looks like a hard way to live - who knows what the inhabitants do for a living.

The approach to Vegas looks remarkably like one of the slave towns from Game of Thrones.  The rough sand and stones of the desert give way to beautifully manufactured bridges and structures, all made out of the same stuff, so it's only as you get near that you realise what it is.  The hotels loom into sight and we could see ours (the Luxor) from quite a distance, as it's a pyramid.  Next door is one called the Excalibur, which is a Disney style fairy tale castle with pink and blue turrets.

Inside is aggressively air-conditioned, which it needs to be.  I'm still unsure whether I'm dead impressed with Vegas or totally appalled by it.  The casinos are heaving with people, many in electric scooters, pushing money (tokens?) into the machines.  There are shows, exhibitions, food and drink places everywhere, and the hotels join up so you can go next door to the Excalibur.  We did that but it was a little disappointing - you don't  know which one you're in, so it actually makes no difference.

We went to see the "Bodies" exhibition - I'd seen it in London and loved it.  It was a bit odd looking at the foetus ones and thinking "I've got one of those in me!"  Then we walked over to the Shark Reef at the Mandalay, which was a huge aquarium - loved it.

 The hotel room we have has two exhibitions and a show thrown in free, as well as all you can eat buffet (thank you to the gamblers and drinkers for subsidising our stay!)  Unfortunately the show we wanted to see wasn't available, leaving us with the choice between the stripper show and Menopause! The Musical.  On the basis that the strip show was likely to be quite unpleasant, we chose the Menopause one.

Oh my goodness.  The actors were, on the plus side, extremely good, very enthusiastic despite the small audience, and the new-lyrics-to-well-known-songs thing was moderately clever, but they were horribly let down by a script that was disjointed and just plain crappy.  It's a peculiarity of Vegas that while it boasts strip shows, legal brothels (I think), and encourages people to "get their Lux on," illustrated by a man and woman climbing into bed together if you weren't sure what that is, the audience collapsed in embarrassed giggles at a song about a vibrator.  None of it would have been censored on the Radio 4 comedy slot, but it was being treated as though it were the raciest thing since forever.

This morning we stopped off for brunch (free mimosas, or buck's fizz as we know it, so I asked the barman to make me one which was 90% orange juice which he obligingly did) and then thought we'd look around outside the hotel.  If you want to see a Las Vegas concierge look thoroughly confused, ask where the nearest bookshop is.  Hint: there isn't one.  In the whole of Las Vegas, the bookshop is the university bookshop.  Borders went bust, and that was it.  I guess people aren't here to read!

This afternoon we're off to the Titanic exhibition (the exhibitions are oddly all about mortality) and then possibly to see what's offered at the spa.  Then tomorrow it's back in the spaceship for more road trip!
Tags:

?

Log in

No account? Create an account