2018 Sep 02 | Las Vegas with Ogii's brother for Labor Day

Up at 3:30am on Saturday to beat the traffic to Vegas.

I drive, Ogii sleeps.

Cool house on the east side of Bakersfield.

A long train going through the hills.


Some amazing decks on these houses.

Funny bumps on the hills.

So many windmills.

We met up with Ogii's brother and then ate at Peggy Sue's.


Snapping a pic with Elvis.

This piece of metal got stuck under the car. Glad it didn't go into the tire.

There was a big accident on the highway, so we stayed on the small road beside it for a few miles and saved nearly an hour.

Another slowdown.

Lots of traffic, although for the most part it moved fairly quickly.

This car had DO and JO, Ogii's and my initials, and 88, Chinese lucky numbers, so we decided to stay behind him for a while.

Resting up for a fun weekend.

Well, that's one way to wear a hoodie if your legs get cold.

Solar farm.

So bright.

Google Navigation welcomes us to Nevada.

Never realized the orange vs green FedEx difference.

Seven Magic Mountains.

Hello, Vegas.

Yep, definitely Vegas.

We stayed at the Stratosphere. While walking through the casino, we saw this, which felt like an old-school horse-racing game but made more modern.

People loved playing this game.

Our room.

Hmm, there's still has a cup of water on the floor. I wonder how well it's been cleaned.

View from the window, looking north.

Gotta buy some playing cards from the hotel.

Ogii and her brother went shopping at the outlet mall. I stayed at the hotel. I figured all I'd need would be a bit of money, my ID, and my room key.

There are multiple elevators and different ones do and don't go to different floors; it's confusing.

There are two pools, but to get to them from the elevators, you have to walk by a bunch of hotel rooms. I'm really glad we didn't get one of these rooms; there are people walking by non-stop.

There's a concert tonight.

The band setting up.

The main pool.

The other direction.

From the corner with the Stratosphere tower.

Volleyball in the pool.

A bar.

Looking towards the strip.

They're renovating these buildings right next door.

There was also a pool on the roof, which is top-optional and adults-only. I think I can follow these two to it.

Although only one woman was topless when I was there.

The view.

They had a bar here as well.

Palm tree and Stratosphere.

There was a mall on the second floor, but it wasn't very well advertisd, so it seemed like people could stay in the hotel and casino for days and not even know it was there.

A store with light-up clothing.

It was pretty empty.

Adult clothing store.

Redneck Comedy Magic, that's a weird combo.

Another comedy club right next door.

Magic shop.

An arcade.

Four-player Pac-Man.

Pool table and air hockey.

It's a little too early for Halloween; I wonder why they have this decoration.

Put your picture in 3D plastic.

The candy store was closed.

Peeking in.

A map of the mall.

Ogii and her brother are back; time for dinner at the buffet.

Good timing; we barely had to wait but a big line was forming behind us.

At the buffet.

Meat station.

Sushi rolls.

Lots of food.

Always love the dessert section.


Digging in.

I noticed Ogii loves her little screen cleaner I got at a Coastal Vision CE.

As we were staying there, we got a discount on the Michael Jackson Live show.

It was only like $20 more for front-row seats, so we got those.


The Michael Jackson singer.

Ogii enjoying the show.

The singer came down into the crowd.

With some dancers.

The tables sat four, so we had one empty seat at our table. A woman took it and at one point, the singer came and grabbed her phone, walked around the stage singing to it...

... and then brought it back. Pretty cool for her, but if she hadn't bought that seat, it would have been my phone.

Jackson Five.

Black light outfits.


More dancers.

Simple lighting.

The finale.

By a cutout.

Wandering the mall. There were these VR headset pods that let you go on a little ride. There was almost never anybody in them when we walked by, though.

Looking at bags.

There were multiple empty stores; one problem of being far away from the higher concentration of casinos farther south on the strip. Maybe I could put my pictures in here, but I don't think it'd work very well.

We took a taxi to the south end of the strip with the plan of walking it back north. First stop: Mandalay Bay.

Nice car.

The Luxor light reflected in the side of the pyramid.

In front of Luxor.

The entrance.


Neat lamps.

Dick's Last Resort.

In front of Excalibur.

And New Nork New York.

Games inside.

Candy store.

An a walkway over the strip.

MGM lion.

Over here the VR chairs were packed. Location truly is the most important thing.

Long lines to get into nightclubs; we're too old for that now.



Bellagio fountains.

With showgirls.

Games by Caesars Palace.

Hell's Kitchen.

Ogii with a Gordon Ramsay video.

Nice statue.



Aw, we missed the volcano.


They have a nice poker room and not too long of a waiting list, but we have to keep moving.

The canals out front.

The Palazzo has amazing roofs.

Treasure Island.

Neat motorcycle.

This pool was drained for repairs.

The Wynn.

Upscale shops inside.

Carousel made of flowers.

Gorgeous lights.

Nice trees.

Flower hot air balloon.

A giant bear.


A huge line, but it's just for some tacos place.

Circus Circus.

Ah yeah, beer pong.

Playing slots.

Gotta love the pennies.

Fun carpet.

Pool tables.

It's been a long walk; gotta stretch.

We're almost there.

Weed shop.

And we made it. We left Mandalay Bay at 9:00pm and arrived at Stratosphere at 1:00am, so it took us 4 hours to make the walk, right about what I had estimated.

Ogii is ready for bed.

Everyone eating at McDonalds.

Neat lights.

Sunday morning we went to a Buddhist temple.

Ogii's former coworker from Los Angeles is the wife of the head monk there.

Lighting incense.


We fixed her Fitbit while we were there.

One nice thing about staying at the Stratosphere is it's easy to see and therefore get to.

Very pretty photo.

Some huge pizzas.

Tennis was on.

As was football.

Aw, Khalil Mack left Oakland to go to Chicago. He was amazing.

Sunday afternoon we were going to play the tournament at noon but there weren't enough players signed up, so they cancelled it and we played cash instead. Although a few people showed up late, so we could have played the tournament, but it was too late.

That's not so good.

A bit better.

That's what I'm talking about.

They had an aces cracked promotion; if you lost with AA, you won $50. I lost with aces twice, once against Ogii in this hand when she made trip deuces, and Ogii lost with them once, so we made $150 of the promotion. Then I also won another $50 for having the high hand of the hour with a full house. We made more in promotions than from the game itself.

We made a mini Stratosphere tower out of chips.

Ogii's brother decided to play slots instead of poker.

Then we headed up to the pool.

Ogii relaxing.

Me resting.

Then we went up to the observation deck at the top.

Looking out the window.

It's a long ways down.

The pool from above.

The strip.

A colorful bar.

You could go outside, too.

Down the strip.


Neat snacks.

They had alcoholic shakes.

Shake and ice cream cone.

The strip later at night.

Downtown to the north.

Time for dinner.

Oreo churro.

There's a nice area in front, but behind the will is a bunch of crap behind the wall.

Lots of outfits.

Me getting ready to SkyJump.

At the top.

On the edge.

Coming down.

Uh oh, not much money left.

And after leaving a little tip for the maids, I'm down to 0.

Up before 4am to beat the traffic back to Los Angeles.

A few cars in front and a few behind, but we're all moving full speed with no slowdowns.


Back in California.

Normally it's a 4-hour drive between the two cities, but if you leave too late, even at 5 or 6am, it turns into a 10-hour one, so glad we left early and avoided that.

More traffic in the front now.

And behind, but we're still moving fast.


Out of focus sunrise.

Sunrise over the hill.

Sunrise between palm trees.