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The Long Journey To Vegas - Sept 2016

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Sonya, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    It has been way too long since my last Vegas trip for a variety of stupid reasons, mostly involving a health problem. There were some other times when I felt too busy, but that's just craziness. :haha: I had already made some arrangements to visit my parents in Idaho for a few days in late September when my Buffoons said they were going to be meeting up in Vegas a few days later. It was like kismet, so I was on board!

    Making this trip happen was not always easy. Some of my doctors did not want me to go, for fear that I will do some damage or have a reaction to some of the medication I am taking when mixed with alcohol. My husband isn't the most enthusiastic about my Vegas obsession, but worked with me to make sure that things were covered at home so I could go. I started looking to book a room and rates were super high. I was considering staying Off-Strip to fit the room into my budget, but thanks to some generous people here, I had some coupons and discounts I could use and contacted @PHVHost to ask about which days I could use those discounts. He surprised me by saying he would help me out with my room. So I had my room on The Strip and would be halfway there already, so it was on like Donkey Kong. ;)

    I'm going to try to do this trip a day at a time. I'm already playing catch-up, so there may be some random things inserted in live, but I'll try to label the Full Day parts of the TR.

    Day One: Home - Idaho

    NOTE: This section DOES NOT HAVE ANY VEGAS CONTENT.

    My first day started early with me trying to get on the 7am ferry. I am not typically a "morning person" so this was a challenge. I managed to get out of the house, but they stopped loading about 6 cars in front of me. Then they let one or two cars on at a time, so I knew they were almost full. I was just hoping I wouldn't be the first car not to make it on. I hate that. But, surprise!! I got on the boat along with 5 cards behind me. PHEW!

    ByeHome.jpg
    Bye Bye Home!

    GMorningMountain.jpg
    Good morning, Mountain!

    The drive through Washington was mostly uneventful. Some morning commute traffic, but once I was across Lake Washington, it was smooth sailing over the pass. (@Camp Rusty , not sure if you were there, but I shouted "Hi Rusty!" out the window when I went by your neighborhood.) Stopped for some coffee at Snoqualmie summit and then pushed through to Oregon.

    Just across the Columbia River, the rain started falling. It was light, but seemed very Oregon-y. By the time I got to Pendleton, it was POURING rain. I stopped for gas and since Oregon doesn't let you self-serve, some poor soul had to run out in the rain and do it for me. We chatted a bit and I went into the station for a potty break. On my way out, he was huddled inside his hoody, under the eaves in front of the store. Poor guy. I told him to stay dry and he said "doubtful". We chatted for 3-4 minutes and as I left, he told me to drive safe.

    Just south of Pendleton, there is this long grade up the mountain. It's very busy with trucks and has a steep grade, sharp turns and some pretty big drop offs on the side. It can be precarious on a good weather day and I was not looking forward to it in the heavy rain. Just as I got to the bottom of the grade, there was a DOT truck on the side of the road, the guy turned on the sign that said, "Wreck Ahead, Use Caution". Uh oh. The rain was still really coming down as I climbed, and about 3/4 of the way up, there was a semi-truck facing the wrong direction. Cones were around it on the ground, and Highway Patrol had just arrived and were putting out flares. Can you imagine what it would look like to have a semi-truck in front of you spin out and do a 180? I can't, but I am pretty sure that if I hadn't have stopped to talk to the guy at the gas station, I would have found out. Another PHEW!!

    At the top of the pass, the rain wasn't any better, but now the cloud layer was involved and it was like driving in The Nothing. I couldn't see much more than 20 feet in front of my car, so more slow going. Water was pooling and passing trucks became an issue as they would hit a puddle and it was like someone dumped a bucket of water on the car. I mostly just drove by hope, assuming I could keep it on the road.

    Stopped at the Rest Area at the top and had some lunch in the car while watching people dashing through the rain to the bathroom. As I was walking back to my car, I saw a couple leisurely walking with their umbrellas. I commented that they seemed prepared and must be from Oregon. The wife said, "Of course.". It made me laugh.

    By the time I was down to La Grande, the rain was mostly a drizzle. I was a little disappointed at the low clouds, because that view of the Wallowa mountains is one of my favorites. Oh well, pushed through La Grande and towards Idaho.

    NoMountains.jpg
    No Mountains :(

    As I got closer to the border with Idaho, I was ready for an afternoon coffee for the final push, but I couldn't find anywhere. I even pulled off the road to ask Google Maps and it said "Nampa", which is close to my parents. Ugh. I kept driving, but was looking for any kind of coffee stand. Once I was off the interstate, I thought I saw a small pink shack on the side of the road ahead and thought, "At last! Coffee!", but when I got there, it was just a weird pink shack that didn't have anything to do with coffee. :cry: Oh well, I was at my parents a few minutes later.

    I unloaded my stuff from the car and mom was super excited I was there. She had to show me all the things and tell me about this and that. That went on until dinner. Had a nice time catching up with my parents and talking about some of the things going on with their house. As usual, mom had planned a busy schedule for us. I started to get worried that I'd be too tired by the time I got to Vegas. :)

    We watched a movie together and then I went to 'my room' to watch a little TV and catch up on the computer before bed.
     
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  2. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Good start. Do your parents live in the house you grew up in?
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  3. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    No. They moved to the Pismo Beach area from my 2nd childhood home about 15 years ago and moved again to the Boise area about a year ago when they downsized.
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Get on those computer repairs!
     
  5. blackjacker2

    blackjacker2 Low-Roller

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    I like the report so far, what a great adventure. You've got me on google maps checking out where all those places are as I am not familiar with all the US geography. Wow still 630 miles from Vegas. Keep us updated and I hope it all goes well. For all you do for us, you deserve a great time.:nworthy:
     
  6. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    This is a cool read - I know nothing about Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, so I'm learning something. Great scenery!
     
  7. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    Love a good road trip. Between my trips from the Okanogan to Seattle and Reno I have covered most of your route so far. If you keep driving on to Vegas however I think I loose you somewhere south of Wells.
     
  8. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Cosmo is having some kind of system failure so I can't play any networked machine. Hrm.. EggSlut it is then.
     
  9. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Day Two: Quilt Show

    NOTE: This section DOES NOT HAVE ANY VEGAS CONTENT.

    My whole purpose for the trip to Idaho was to support my mom at the State Quilt Show. She had done a pieced quilt of my dog from my favorite photo of her at the beach. She entered it in her guild and won first place, so it went on to State. She was nervous about entering her quilts when she was so new to the area, so I promised to join her for moral support.

    My dad decided to join us for the show, which surprised me. We all piled in the car and headed to the Expo Center. We saw a lot of amazing quilts, but I'm pretty sure none of you care about that. :)

    Here are a couple of the ones my mom entered in the show:

    Ruby.jpg
    Ruby

    Sashiko.jpg
    Sashiko

    Trees.jpg

    We made it about halfway through the show when they made an announcement that they were about to do the colors ceremony. There was a flag ceremony and after that, the quilt guild presented quilts to some veterans. It was really great to see all the Americana quilts and how appreciative the vets were with their gifts.

    We left Dad to watch the rest of the presentations and mom and I blazed through the rest of the show. We went back to get Dad and then headed to the "professional" section of the show. They had a woman there who did two-sided quilts. I'm not sure a non-quilter will appreciate how amazing these are, but here are a couple photos. It's basically two quilts at the same time, but changing out the bobbin thread and giving them a day/night appearance. I was wowed and I'm not a quilter, just the daughter of one. :)

    Heron1.jpg
    Front (sorry it's blurry)

    Heron2.jpg
    Back

    We talked to the woman who did the quilts and mom really wanted this book she had about how she does these quilts, but she balked at the $30 price. I went ahead and bought it for her as I often decide I don't "need" these things at the yarn shows I go to and then later regret not getting them. She was really happy about the book and I kept catching her looking through it for the rest of my trip. Good Daughter Points Scored!

    We did a couple errands on the way back to the house and then got cleaned up for dinner. We had reservations at Barbacoa in Boise. Anyone know Ti Amo in Laguna Beach? It's the same people who did this restaurant. It has some funky decor and a good vibe. I'd been wanting to try it since they took my sister there last year.

    We started out with cocktails. Mom ordered a "Girl", which was a lemon drop kind of concoction. Dad got a gin and tonic, extra dry. I finally decided on a "Chill" - Peach Ciroc (for you @BeeeJay ), cranberry, lime and a mango popcicle in it. So good!

    Chill.jpg
    Chill. Notice that the glass contains another glass made of ice. So great!

    We started with appetizers - Calamari Fritti with four dipping sauces - Habanero Tartar, Chipotle Ranch, Marinara and Smoked Chili Vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was our favorite, but all were great. We also got a Duck Quesadilla with a mango slaw. It was fantastic.

    DuckQues.jpg
    DuckQuesadilla

    Main Course Time - Mom had Oso Bucco with Spinach Fettuccine, Dad chose Filet Mignon Tips with Fettuccine, I chose Coulotte Steak & Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a side salad. It was all delicious, but way too much food. We got some serious doggy bags for later.

    SteakShrimp.jpg
    Steak&Shrimp

    OsoBucco.jpg
    OsoBucco

    SteakTips.jpg
    Steak Tips

    On the way out, mom insisted I visit the ladies' room to see the decor. It looked like Vegas. Kind of like a pink version of Cosmo. :) Then, in each stall was a shoe. I embarrassed my mom by taking pictures of a couple of them.

    Peacock.jpg
    ScrewYou.jpg

    We spent the rest of the night in a food coma in front of the TV. We watched a movie and then it was bed time. I went into the guest room to do some email catch-up and check the board.
     
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  10. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Day Three - McCall and Payette Lake

    NOTE: This section DOES NOT HAVE ANY VEGAS CONTENT.

    Today we decided would be a day trip day. My parents live a couple hours from one of my favorite Idaho resort towns, McCall, Idaho. It's on the shore of Payette Lake and has some amazing back roads into the wilderness. I had hoped to get some photos of the trees changing, but we were a couple weeks early.

    We drove out along the Payette River and I commented about how I love to stop at those little campsites along the road in Washington. Mom said she never stops and I told her she was missing out. I guess she agreed, because she screeched to a stop on the side of the road past one of the spots. She used the backup camera in her new car to make her way backwards down the steep dirt road, which alarmed my dad, but just made me laugh. It was like an E-Ticket Disney ride.

    PayetteRiver.jpg

    For about the last 10 years, my mother has traveled around the world with a 4' tall, inflatable Christmas Tree. She likes to take a photo of her and Dad with it for their Christmas Card. That tree has seen some amazing places. Israel, on the old course at St Andrews, Paris, Fiji, etc. Last year was the closing of Spyglass, where my parents were members my whole life, to represent the closing of the California chapter of their lives. This year she chose on top of Osprey Point at Payette Lake, to represent their new home. I had to help dad get up and down the rocky trail, but we made it to the top for the vista and I took several shots of them with the tree. I took some photos for me too as I love that lake.

    PayetteLake.jpg

    SonyaDad.jpg

    We went down to the main beach area in the park and had a picnic lunch. Fried chicken, deviled eggs, some veggie sticks and lemonade. It was a bit brisk and windy, but still had an enjoyable time.

    We decided to drive around the lake to look for some color, but didn't find much.

    McCallColor.jpg

    McCallPond.jpg

    We stopped in town to get some stuff from this wonderful bakery they have, but they had already closed. Sometimes they sell out and close early. I guess we missed out. :( We also stopped at the quilt shop so mom could look again at the sample for a project she is doing. They had a shop-dog who just leaned against me the whole time. I gave her many pets and loves. Sure made me miss my Ruby. I know she's having a good time at home with Dan and our pet sitter, Gemma, but I love when she travels with me and my time on the road hasn't been the same without her.

    We were exhausted when we got back home and just heated up our leftovers from Barbacoa and shared them among all of us. Still yummy the second time around.
     
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  11. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer Low-Roller

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    Interesting report so far, Sonya! Was that the Kingston ferry? I've golfed all over the Kitsap peninsula and up to Port Angeles (as well as everywhere from Seattle to the border). We've also driven the I90/I84/I80 route as you did, usually with a tent trailer in tow ... made that hill out of the Columbia river really interesting.

    I think you mentioned somewhere earlier you'll be going down US 93 via Jackpot .... yup, camped there (attached to the casino) as well as Winnemuca on US 95. Rather than take I5 to Vegas/Palm Springs, we'll drive that route, although we'll take I15 through 'civilisation' rather than US 93.

    GG
     
    Visiting en route to Palm Springs
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  12. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Low-Roller

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    Love Love Idaho, went salmon fishing in Orofino a few years back and was amazed to see cows grazing on the sides of mountains and also the sun rose at 430 am, quite different than the deep south
     
    Here I come Aloha Specialties
    My goal is to not stay sober
  13. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    No, it's the Bainbridge-Seattle ferry. I went through Seattle on I-90 over the pass, to I-82, cut across on 221 to I-84 to Idaho. I'm not sure I'd enjoy towing anything up that pass. I do go to Jackpot later, but I haven't written that part yet. ;) I think I'm going to go home via I-95.

    One of the best things about summer up in the north. The sun rises early and stays light until 10pm. Of course, the opposite in winter sucks. It gets dark in Seattle around 3:30pm. :( We call winter the Dark Season, especially since most of our days are overcast and drizzly.
     
  14. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice start! Look forward to reading more!
     
  15. Sparky4

    Sparky4 Low-Roller

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    Great pictures! I'm the biggest weather weenie, I would have had a nervous breakdown making that drive the first day!
     
    10th anniversary
  16. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Sonya,

    Great start! Very interesting pre-Vegas adventures!

    You reminded me of something:
    There's a quilting network on our local cable, but it's always "block"ed. :haha:
    (Oops...this isn't the Bad Joke of the Day thread!)

    I'm looking forward to your continued journey!
    Thanks so much! Hope you have a lucky VMB wristband for this trip!

    RICHARD
     
  17. LandryBalla9

    LandryBalla9 High-Roller

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    Also never been to that part of the country but now I want to, so bucolic!
     
  18. UncleFester

    UncleFester Tourist

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    Seattle here. 54 trips to lv. Thank you for the wonderful views of your travel. You and Westie have inspired us with the beauty of the PNW. Have a memorable trip.
     
  19. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    @Sonya, love the non-Vegas part of your trip! We road trip it to Las Vegas every time, so I enjoy seeing how others travel by car.

    Your mom's quilts are gorgeous! What talent! I love how your parents have the little Christmas tree with them on their travels.

    Can't wait to hear more and hope you have a fabulous time in Sin City!

    Vegasworm
     
  20. blackjacker2

    blackjacker2 Low-Roller

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    Great read and beautiful pictures. Keep the the report going, really enjoying it. How many more days with your parents?