Valley of Fire

Of all the trips I’ve made to Nevada, I’d never been to the Valley of Fire State Park. A few weeks ago, I visited this magnificent natural wonder – well worth the drive from Vegas – to witness firsthand the breathtaking beauty of these incredible rock formations.

Going for an Ansel Adams vibe on this photo.

Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area covering nearly 46,000 acres located 16 miles south of Overton, Nevada. The state park derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. Wikipedia

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, a “must see” in Vegas

Just back from my first flight since February 2020, for a small family reunion with all four of us vaccinated. Spending time together sans masks, with laughter, hugs and fun was a gift after months of pandemic isolation. When in Vegas, we always visit the fabulous Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Their Conservatory and Botanical Gardens change seasonally and the horticultural creativity and scale of their displays are inspired and breathtaking.

Scenes from Nevada

The beauty of Nevada continues to thrill me. Since my sister and brother-in-law moved here last fall I’ve made several trips and am more in love with it each time.

One of the highlights, the pool at sunset overlooking the iconic Las Vegas strip, surrounded by mountains.

Scenes from Las Vegas – Springs Preserve

from Wikipedia: Las Vegas Springs Preserve consists of 180 acres dedicated to nature walks and displays and is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Valley Water District. The Preserve is located approximately three miles west of downtown Las Vegas.

My recent trip to Nevada included a family reunion which in and of itself was filled with a lot of laughter, simultaneous conversations and catching up on each others lives. That would have been more than enough but my sister, a new Nevada resident, had researched area attractions that would appeal to our gang. Not only was Springs Preserve a huge hit, it was much more than we could’ve anticipated. We availed ourselves two of the many offerings, the Butterfly Habitat and the Botanical Gardens.


Self Care, part thirteen & my second solo trip

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In my last post I talked about my first solo trip since losing Spence and how empowering it felt to reconnect with my love of travel and regain the confidence to do it alone.

The winter of 2018 seemed longer, colder and drearier than any in the past.  Spurred on by the successful trip to Scottsdale I asked myself “where next?”

My next hurdle was to return to a place where Spence and I had many fun times, Laughlin Nevada.  I needed find out if I could go back and create new memories.

By now, I’d passed the one year mark since my loss, had one solo trip under my belt and knew that the time was right.  I felt Spence’s presence at every turn as though he was sending me good luck.

Just a few of my slot winnings over the course of my stay!

Situated along the Colorado River with Bullhead City Arizona across the way, Laughlin was a balmy and beautiful respite from the cold and snow I’d left behind.  The hotel pool and the riverwalk were perfect breaks from the casino as was a spa day at Laughlin Ranch.

Of course I had to post a few fine dining photos……

They say “you can’t go home again”.  They would be wrong –  my trip to Laughlin made me realize that it’s all about timing, readiness and a desire to reclaim my happiness.

Travels in Nevada – Laughlin

Spence and I love Laughlin Nevada and just returned from a comped stay at our favorite Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino.

Located right on the Colorado River, in the middle of the Riverwalk that connects all hotels and casinos on the watr, we love the location. The comfort of the rooms, friendly staff, cleanliness of the casino and hotel, great restaurants, comped drinks and lovely landscaped atrium with hundreds of Bromelaids and trees with waterfall make this a desert oasis.  Having visited all the area casinos, hands down – it’s the best casino with the most fun and up to date slot machines.

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This was EXCITING!!

Bubba Gump’s, Saltgrass Steak House and Claim Jumper are the featured restaurants as well as an on-site Starbucks and a deli!  Bubba Gumps has both indoor and outdoor, on the water seating.

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Saltgrass Steakhouse had Country Fried Steak which was delicious and for one of the happy hours, Spence and I split an appetizer with our drinks.

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Range Rattlers, are shrimp and cheese stuffed jalapenos which were HOT!  Seriously HOT!

Good times to be sure!  We had breakfast every morning at the Claim Jumper – the best soft breakfast tacos (2) were a great start to every day.

The Riverwalk is a nice way to see both the Colorado River and visit other casinos.  We loved walking here, safe and a good way to get in some exercise! And as we did, you can take the Water Taxi anywhere up and down the river for $4 per ride/per person.

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The pool area

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The pool

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There were a couple of visitors

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Hello Ducky

Just a few more interesting photos….