This morning Vanessa wasn't feeling so good (it has been very hot indeed here - over 41 C - and her body is still working its way into Pacific Standard Time) so she returned to bed while Hilary and Ruairidh headed back to the Strip so that he could revisit the O
shop when it wasn't crowded, and they could both have a look at Caesar's Palace, which they thought was delightfully tacky compared to, say, the Venetian. What was I doing in the meaantime? Well, just across the road from our hotel is this museum, which I felt I had to take a look at.
It contains all kinds of things, such as one of the original graphite blocks from the first nuclear reactor
ever built and a piece of genuine trinitite, the metamorphic rock created when the first atom bomb melted some of the New Mexico desert.
They also have a big exhibit on "Area 51", the various experimentsl aircraft that were tested there, and the many supposed UFO sightings in the vicinity.
In the afternoon, Hilary and I went back up the Strip to Stratosphere, which is a fairly undistinguished hotel and casino with one unique selling point: the tallest building in the USA west of the Mississippi. There are white-knuckle rides at the top (on the 108th floor).
And having been ID'd (along with Hilary) for the first time when buying alcohol in Arizona, we received our first seniors' discounts when buying tickets for Stratosphere.
In the early evening we made our way through town to where Joe and B live. They had invited us to come over to swim in their pool, chill by it, and have a Mexican meal with them. Their place is amazing: pop over to Joe's blog
for pictures of their new kitchen. In temperatures of 43 C we were only too happy to jump into the pool. I intended to take some pictures, but I left my camera in the car, and while we were in the pool, chilling with our Margaritas, the weather in Las Vegas took a diustinct turn for the worse. First came the lightning - stupendous quantities of it - then the temperature began to fall and the wind got up (doing its best to relocate Joe's garden sunshades). Finally it began to rain torrential monsoon rain, and yes, we are clearly trailing it with us. Anyway, we all retreated indoors, where I was surprised to see that the hammering rain didn't deter a hummingbird from visiting one of Joe's bird feeders. The radio began to broadcast sever weather warnings, and it occurred to us that maybe tomorrow's planned helicopter trip to the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon might not be going to take place.... Anyway, I never got round to bringing in my camera, so I have no pictures of the splendid meal which B (and Joe) cooked for us. Suffice it to say it was wonderful for food, good company, and conversation, and once again they made us very welcome indeed. Thanks again, guys: you made Las Vegas very special for us. And we got back to our hotel with only a few sets of traffic lights knocked out by the weather.
I decided a few days ago that this would be have to be the music for our warm welcome and good cheer at Joe's (and B's) place. And while he may not be old I'm sure he'd get a discount at Stratosphere.