It’s been an odd summer

With the cost of travel going up and up we have had to look into more domestic vacations or should I call them “staycations”. My wife had planned a trip to Greece for her birthday but thanks to and British Airlines they screwed that up big time.

So late July we decided the grandson wanted to go visit his uncle in Arizona, with the cost of airline tickets we thought it would be a better idea to make it a Grandpa and Grandson road trip. Now to save fuel I chose to take my 2011 Mini Cooper at 45MPG this would be best for fuel mileage.

Things I had to think about,it had 80K miles plus miles would it make it, the cooling system had just been rebuilt and I just put new tires on it so I said let,s give it a try. From Reno, I knew it was going to be getting hotter the farther south we drove.

Plan was Reno, Tonopah,Las Vegas,Phonix then Tuson AZ. My daughter came home from work with the covid so it was a pack and go so we didn’t get it. If you have ever driven from Reno to Vegas you know there is not much to see.

Clown Motel

Our first stop was the clown motel and they have the option of getting an EMT device to look for ghosts. After looking around the town we waited for the sun to go down to go to the cemetery they have next door to the motel. Donta was looking around with the device and saw that there was a ghost nearby and all the adults nearby watching yelled”because you are standing on his grave” that was funny.

Our next stop was Las Vegas somewhere Donta had never been, I let him know it was going to be boring until he turned 21. I like Freemont St for the light show and the Casino so we stayed down there. It was not planned for us to leave so early so we had a few days in Vegas. He was not that impressed with the light show on Freemont ( teenagers ). He did get to ride on the “Deuce” the double-decker bus while surfing on his phone so he liked that.

The next day we took the “Dam tour” and just like my kids he liked making the “Dam jokes”

Hover Dam

Now we had been in Vegas for 2 days and I still didn’t need gas in the car that I filled up in Reno, but on the way back from the Hover Dam we fueled up. It’s been anywhere from 106 to 110 degrees since we got into Vegas. We tried the pool at the hotel but the white tile around the pool was so hot we couldn’t get to it.

After talking with the wife ( Grandma ) she said it would be ok to do the night Helicopter tour of the strip before we left. I don’t know why I have never done this before but it was so cool. Youtube video can be found at

Next stop Williams AZ, oh and have I told you the roads in AZ suck, potholes the size of my car. Now I have never driven this route before and leaving Las Vegas for Arizona was just what I expected, desert and a lot of nothing. As we passed Kingman AZ we started to climb and once we got up In the hills everything started turning green. The temperature started to drop, and I was wondering why anyone would anywhere else in Arizona. The town was so small and cute and route 66 is right in the middle.

After this it was into more heat and Phonix to drop him off at my son’s house for a week.

I want to go on a real vacation

After the last year and staying in the US or Mexico I am ready to go on an real vacation. We have one planned it’s just the numbers keep going up and we have no Idea if we will get into Italy.

The flights and hotels are booked now lets see how fare we make it. The last trip to Mexico was a surprise visit to some friends that were down there and they didn’t know we were coming. We started taking photos in the same locations they were posing photos,and they jut thought we had been here before. We had to call them and let them know we are in Mexico.

Also I wanted to test the mileage in the Cooper Mini so we headed off to Vegas from Reno. This is about a 8 hour drive ( about 450 miles ) what we did was fill up the tank before leaving town and off we went. Wanted to see if I could make it on one tank, normally we would stop 1/2 way down and fuel up for the rest of the trip. This time we just got a hotel room and spent the night to break up the trip. We stayed at a hotel on Fremont street this time and I think I like that better then the strip, everything is in walking distance. Got to Fremont street 428 miles with 252 miles to go.

To Vegas and back

A weekend away to see a Radio/Podcast show I have been listening to for years. The Mike O Meara show is a podcast I have been listening to for years, and I have been to a few of the live shows before. But never in Vegas, that a horse of a different color. Driving from Reno to Vegas was the first task that needed to be done and on the way down its always best to go halfway. Between the 2 cities, it Tonopah, Nevada, we stayed at the Tonopan Station last time so we wanted to try something new this time.

The Mizpah hotel was what we decided at this time, and I think it was a good choice. What a page of Nevada history to visit. The wood bars and chandeliers in the lobby were impressive, and the old vault was not a treasure trove of old memorabilia.

The staff was friendly ( and way overworked ) the bartender was giving out drinks at the bar on the floor and was the person at the cash out cage. At the bar, while we were gaming they said they could not “comp” the drinks ( gin and club and 7 and 7 ) but could discount them and I found that odd, as for the same drinks in Reno and Vegas the drinks are on the house if you are gaming enough money.


Next pit stop was more or less just photo shoots on the way, I guess now would be a good time to explain why we are going to Vegas. There was a Radio¬† ( Don and Mike )show that turned into a podcast ( The Mike O’Meara Show )¬† that is doing a live Las Vegas show that I wanted to see. I have been to the live shows they have done before and have a great time every time I go.

Then there is the Vegas factor, the wife got us tickets to see Cher Saturday night and I have never seen her so good time will be had by all. What I mean about the “Vegas factor” is the booze, the day of the TMOS show by the time we got there after the long drive I was feeling no pain. And the bar at the show was pouring some good drinks. Needless to say, I got way too drunk to fast and once the bar at the show closed I was out of there, missed a good half of the show.

Now Saturday rolls around and in Vegas, the drinks start early, as you know. Can you see where this is going? I should say the Cher show from what I remember was great, loved the way she talked to the crowd and the costume changes were awesome.