Saturday, October 13, 2018

Vignettes from Laughlin

While we waited for their flight to come, we followed their orders and got something to eat.  The choices at McCallen Int'l Airport, baggage area were Jack in the Box or Wendys, home of the square hamburgers.  While I sat on the smokers bench, puffing away, surrounded by our luggage - one roll-on (checked) and two carry ons, he went to Wendy's and foraged.  We haven't "had Wendy's" for ages and my first bite was something of a shock.  Pure salt.  However, by the last bite, I was thinking, "You know, Wendy's isn't all bad."  Since we still had an hour and a half wait for their flight, we repaired to a bar on the next flight up.  It was marked by a blue neon sign that read "Smoking" first time we've ever seen that!  And welcome it was, too.  A beer each, an interesting chat with Sean, former bartender heading home from a girls' weekend out.   Airport bars are expensive.  Her normal-sized bloody mary was $17.

Getting anywhere involving a plane is complicated - weather delays (theirs) getting the bus to the centralized rental car place.  Consolidating all of the rental firms in one building means that you stand in line and the line is long out in the shadeless  the sun.  The bus a/c would put paid to that.  With dispatch.

Got the car, piled our stuff in and off we went to Laughlin.  A two hour drive in black darkness down the twisty, turn-y desolate road.  Very few other cars, desert on both sides with no towns, gas stations - totally isolated.  I couldn't help wondering how the rescue helicopter would find us and how long it would take to get there if one of us had a heart attack or similar.  The return to MCarran was bright sunshine and a lot more traffic.   Reassuring.

At the hotel (Golden Nugget) we checked in, agree to cart our luggage up to our rooms and meet again in the lobby.  Red reported that they had two queen beds and not the king I had ordered.  I volunteered to get it changed, but Red said, "Nah, I'll find some nice looking couple in the casino and sell them the empty bed for $50/night."  It was 8 p.m.

Next morning, waiting for Himself to complete his toilette I sat and stared at the river - mesmerizing.

We breakfasted at Claim Jumpers and Barbara won $24 on her first Keno hand.  We agreed this was a good omen and indeed it proved to be - Richie and Red, team betting, won a grand total each of $1,100.

For lunch we walked along the river walkway next door to the Pioneer and their Bumbleberry Flats restaurant American Comfort Food" .  Never having heard of Fried Deviled Eggs, I ordered them.  The egg halves were battered and then fried.  Not a real good idea … Red said his was the best hamburger he'd ever had.

Something else I think they pioneered - four of the booths had beer taps set in the wall and you served yourself from them.  The beers are sold by the ounce.  I remember Budweiser was 28 cents an ounce.

We had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. which is so kitschy it is hard to take it all in.  Each table has a flip sign for service,  Red means "Stop! I want/need" whatever, but the blue side means, "We're fine."  (go away)   Our server was from South Africa and quite the card.  Leaving I asked him if he's considered stand-up comedian and he laughed and said, "By the time I got a career going I'd be in a wheelchair!"

We did the USS Riverside boat cruise up and down the river ($12 each for a 90 minute ride.) another afternoon, toured the Don Laughlin Car Museum ($2)and in addition to various cars, motorcycles and scooters. they have a black/white tow truck (1937) for the exclusive use of the Los Angeles Police Department.   Didja ever?  We have visited a number of car museums and that was definitely a first.

Friday morning we breakfasted again at Claim Jumper and Barbara pointed this out to me:  French Toast Carrot Cake:  Two carrot cake wedges, with mandarin oranges, toffee pecan and cream cheese frosting ($10.99 - you're on your own for the paramedics.

Photos to follow when I download the phone.

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