Nice! Naughty! Nice and naughty!

| The usual suspects motored to Las Vegas for a weekend of shows and sightseeing. It was a cold and windy Saturday morning when we left, and remained overcast for the entire trip.

Carousel Cafe, Twentynine Palms

Our first stop was for breakfast at The Carousel Cafe in Twentynine Palms. We happened onto this place by chance a few years ago and have returned again and again, attracted by the copious servings of comfort food and perky, friendly staff. With our tummies full we then set off across the desert following our usual route through the Mojave National Preserve.

I bought a mug to support this small business

A terrific surprise was waiting for us at the Kelso train station, now a visitor center. The lunch counter is now open for business and run as The Beanery by a couple from Yucca Valley. We had coffee and resolved to stop again for lunch on the way home, which we did. Delicious sandwiches!

In Las Vegas we checked into Bally's and found ourselves in the most distant room possible on the 22nd floor, overlooking the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and E Flamingo Rd. The few people (3) staffing the reception desk have a most unusual work routine: check one person in, operating in slo-mo, then take a break (or go home, as one did). I did not time the ordeal, but it was definitely an ordeal. Of the three people at the counter only one was actually making an effort. At one point she remarked loudly to the next guest, "It looks like I'm working by myself here." The other two were unphased and continued their passive resistance.

Saturday night we had tickets to the opening of Dancing With The Stars, Live in Las Vegas!


This was a spectacular and fun performance featuring the Las Vegas troupe, headlined by professionals Lacey Schwimmer and Dmitry Chaplin, and featuring Carson Kressley and Joey Fatone as "hosts." Interesting show, with live action interwoven with video clips from the current and past seasons of DWTS. Bruno and Len got a lot of screen time, Carrie Ann almost none.

Bridge on the new bypass road

Sunday was sightseeing day. We began by going across the street to the Victorian Cafe at Bill's, where breakfast was advertised in big type at $4.99. What we had not noticed was the fine print that said the price was only good from 11pm to 6am! Oh, well!

We drove out to Hoover Dam where there is a new visitor center and parking garage. A bypass with a spectacular new bridge (opened to traffic in 2010) provides a stunning view for people brave enough to walk out onto the span 900 feet up. (Views for motor traffic are blocked by solid barriers.) Alas, mechanical problems forced the tours of the turbines to be closed.

Friend Jim found this "time-lapse" video showing the construction of the bridge

After a late lunch, we drove out to Red Rock Canyon with amazing rock formations. I've been out there other times, and I marvel each time.


Réal had free drink coupons for Fun Hog Ranch, so we stopped for a drink, or two, after our sightseeing. It was a fun bar, and Réal was welcomed with open arms when we walked in (everybody knows Réal).

On Sunday night (OK, 11:59pm is really Monday morning) we had tickets to Barelesque, Las Vegas Broadway Bares III.


Faithful readers will recall that a few years ago we went to New York to see Broadway Bares, one of the main fundraisers for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway Bares, a nicely naughty strip show, was created by Broadway choreographer Jerry Mitchell, and the show has raised millions and millions of dollars over the years. This was the third year of the Las Vegas spin-off (but first I'd heard of it), and the most successful to date. The show in Las Vegas is hosted at Planet Hollywood in the Chi theatre, home of Peep Show, also created by Jerry Mitchell.

We had a wonderful view of the show from our front-row seats in the VIP section. Up close and personal, indeed!

Three artists were in the theatre making real-time paintings of the show; these were auctioned off to raise additional money. Carson Kressley (yes, that Carson Kressley) bought one of them for $1500!

View slideshow

After a very short night, we got up on Monday morning to head home. We decided to just have coffee and pastry at Nosh, right by the elevators from our room. It seems that the staff at Nosh was trained at the reception desk! A long, unmoving line of customers waited while a single person took orders at the register and another person in a chef's hat prepared whatever needed preparing. All work was performed as inefficiently and slowly as possible.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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