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Monday, May 1, 2023

handrolls and neon signs and mob bosses, oh my

immediately after the hub's birthday, we set out on a little road trip for the bean's spring break.  at this school they get a two-week break, which is honestly incredibly well-deserved.  their workload is pretty intense and grueling, so we were all looking forward to a change of scenery and some time to just relax and decompress.  although we had a good chunk of time to play with, we decided to keep it simple and headed out to vegas for a few days.  one of the hub's clients-turned-friend had offered up their home for us to stay in, which was awesome.  and so after getting packed up, we hopped into the truck and hit the road.

of course, we stopped at eddie world in yermo for a potty break and grab some snacks.

and as we drove along, we found ourselves in the middle of a crazy sandstorm that you can't really see in this picture.

we found our way to the house, which is just about 15 minutes away from the strip in a quiet gated neighborhood with its own golf course.  it's a new build, having been completed last year, and was really nice but still comfy and stocked with all the newest and coolest high tech gadgets.

after we'd picked out our bedrooms and brought our stuff in and got settled, we hopped back into the truck to head off in search of food.  on our way, we passed allegiant stadium where we'd rocked out at two BTS concerts just a year ago.

we decided to try a new-ish hand roll restaurant that the client had recommended, taking seats at the sushi bar and ordering some poke for an appetizer before diving into a fun selection of hand rolls.

did you know that chupa chups made sodas?  i only knew them for the lollipops that the spice girls made famous back in the 90s.  anyway, this was the sparkling grape soda and it was light and delicious.

our activity for the evening was a guided tour at the neon museum.  i've always wanted to check this place out, but our usual trips to vegas don't really include sightseeing of this sort.  this time though, a visit here was a perfect outing - despite the chilly and windy weather conditions.

my pictures are a little out of order because i didn't actually take this one until we were all done, but i thought it was cool that even the building that houses the visitors' center is of some historic significance to las vegas.  this mid-century modern building was originally located on las vegas boulevard next to the riviera hotel and served as the lobby for the la concha motel.

here's one of their original signs, restored to its former glory and displayed in the boneyard.

this is the first bit of signage you get to see when you start the tour.

binions horseshoe was the first casino in vegas to install carpeting that replaced the sawdust-covered floors, and the first to offer high limit gambling. benny binion was a convicted criminal, busted for things like moonshining during prohibition and murder and was one of the first mob bosses in the area.  sounds like a nice guy.  anyway, this was part of the "H" wall at the casino, installed as part of a big remodel in 1961.

here's the view from where our tour of the 2-acre boneyard began.  

this 80-foot tall neon hard rock cafe sign was taken down in 2017, and the museum crowdfunded for funds  that went towards its restoration.  it took two years to complete and is the museum's largest restoration project to date.

our tour guide was really friendly and knowledgeable, sharing a wealth of information about las vegas history as we walked through the boneyard.  i recognized a lot of them from family trips to vegas through the years, and it was a fun walk down memory lane.

i love looking at the really old historic stuff, like this.

this skull used to be part of the pirate show at treasure island, back in the days when vegas thought it could be more family-friendly and rolled out shows and amusement parks to attract visitors.  it didn't really work, and so stuff like this now lives here.

not everything at the museum is casino and hotel related.  they've rescued signage from wedding chapels and restaurants too.

the tickets we bought included some sort of light show after the guided tour, but it was so chilly and we were super unprepared.  and so after we hit the gift shop for a couple of souvenirs (like a magnet to add to our collection on the fridge at home), we headed on outta there.

we decided to find something for dessert before going back to the house and ended up at a little cafe called is sweet.  along with our lattes, we had their honey toast - basically squares of toasted pound cake served with a variety of fun toppings like peanut butter, maple syrup, nutella, whipped cream, berries - you get it.

i think we all passed out cold the moment our heads hit the pillow once we got back to the house.  it'd been a long day, and it was only day one of the break.  phew.

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