Leaving Las Vegas 

Sat at McCarran International Airport. 22.10.17 contempting future shivers. But the release of my new instrumental album 8 Sabbats arrives 31st October

https://claudinewestmusic.com/2017/09/12/8-sabbats/



Vs


OMG!

Watch the flight


Caesar’s Palace: For English folk the have not been here. This is nothing like ‘Blackpool’ or ‘Skegvegas.’ With the likes of Elton John performing during our stay. This hotel casino is massive! We found it rather overwhelming. Advice. . Bring plenty of money as it’s expensive. Having a flutter is fun. If you win.. walk away. It’s very easy to get over excited and blow your winnings. Vegas is a money vacuum. Caesar’s is fun, crazy, you can people watch and go wild. Meet some great friendly folk to chat to. Lots of photo opportunities. It’s also ‘poser’ central. This place drips $$$. We loved relaxing at the pool area (sun and fun in October when you are from cold, windy England is just a beautiful experience) April or October are the best months to come unless you want to be roasted in July. We tried the $50 buffet breakfast / brunch. Oh wow! Endless food and booze consumption. A play on the machines will get you free drinks. So it’s worth balancing small best for most return via booze and a flutter. Like I’ve said nothing is cheap. You have to go downtown for ‘cheaper.’you also have to add tax to any advertised price. 
Our room was massive. Our bed in the Palace Tower was really comfortable. Note. Keep valuables and ‘change’ in your safe. Or the maids ‘might just mistake it for a tip!’ You will definitely tot up your step count. Service is always good, from the waitresses, valets, cab drivers, staff in general. Also take time to explore the other hotels on the strip and the Bellagio fountains water display next door. 

Summary. It’s a trip of a lifetime. If you like nightlife, crazy times, gambling, food and excess. You will love it here. 

We love the beach, the woods, the quite. So this was pretty overwhelming at times. But such an experience. We also need to eat a plant food diet for a while ;-p 

I’ve got back into Bloody Mary drinkies. 


‘Art Garfunkel’ text when in San Francisco 


See you next time….. 

in flight photos

We then arrived back … welcome home 

A Last Day In Paradise

As the last full day here reality hits. We are going to miss the sunshine. But have the hot tub and kitty cats to go back to. With Ange’s new found love of American Football. We have experienced a lot. 

Watch Video>>>

Couldn’t do everything, but got a glimpse of life in LA. Tourism in Vegas and we got to go to The Castro in San Francisco. We don’t want to eat bacon for a while upon our return. The walking has done us good. The sun has definitely raised our vitamin D and happiness levels. Zuma Beach and Malibu has been both Mine and Ange’s favourite place. Vegas is Vegas. It’s a crazy place. Maybe we will come back to Vegas in 10 years. Who knows. Definitely Los Angeles and San Francisco. Won’t miss the cheesy feet smell each time we walk past the ‘posh shops’ at Caesar’s Palace, each time we come and go to our room. It nearly put me off Cheetos for life! 

21.10.17 (T-Minus 8 hours, Pacific time, plus tax and tips) Buffet Breakfast at Balleys. 
Flamingos at The Flamingo and Pelicans. 


A bit of a flutter. I’m no gambler, I’m a creative. I’ll stick to what I’m good at. 


Pool chillout afternoon and then a ‘last night’ family Italian Dinner at Maggiano’s (really good food!) and bed. 

Lovely time had on this adventure to San Francisco, Orange County, Los Angeles, Through the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas, Lake, Mead, The Hoover Dam on the Nevada / Arizona State Line. Great holiday and experience. Really relaxed. Vegas is a crazy place. Looking forward to a proper pot of tea and a fig roll. Get ready for the jet lag…. 

In the back of a Cab on the way back tonight. 

Relevant 

Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Fremont Street and more…

20.10.17 Boulder City certainly lives up to its name. Arid, rocks… 

Lake Mead. We were one of the last boats allowed out on Lake Mead due to the wind… which got worse. So what does Ange do? Speed up! Soaked at the front and back of the boat.


Lake Mead video 

 Lots of carp. 


The Hoover Dam on the Nevada/ Arizona state line. Is a spectacular feat of engineering. Video >>>>

We then drove the rental car back to Fremont Street. Where we had been warned there were ‘freaks!’ This was the old Las Vegas. It is the Las Vegas that Ange said she had envisioned and we felt quite at home. 

Nothing to see here… 

Mmmmm Chilli Dogs. 

We then spent our evening firstly watching the Bellagio Fountains water show


Later wandering round The Strip. Watching a covers band in the street, buskers, went to the Flamingo casino to see them. They were in bed. Daytime visit then! 

Video here >>>

It was rather entertaining and a great atmosphere . With a variety of tramps, buskers, drunks and folk enjoying ourselves. 

Talented Balloon lady at The Flamingo. She made a guitar and tarot card. 


Great day! Knackered 

Clange Poolside With Cactus Bob

19.10.17 Have you ever got suntan lotion in your eyes? Sweet Jesus! It’s was like fire water. Red eye! I managed to run it into both. Ensued a massive BF. Unable to see properly. Ange had to guide me to the restroom for damp tissue application. 

Apart from that. We spent a day relaxing at the pool with a few slushy margaritas and Pina Coladas. Bliss. Note photo by Ange of Julie and I snoring after…


 We also got chatting to Cactus Bob from LA. What a dude! He runs his one man restaurant. The wake up bomb..There really are better lives out there than the cold, darkness, misery, grind. 


Watch the video

We then went for a stuff ones face buffet at The Bellagio. 

Their wonderful ‘Fall’ display. Watch the video

And finally. The Las Vegas Strip. Our bemused cab driver. Having left The Bellagio, which is literally next to Caesar’s Palace. We’d eaten too much. The day at the pool had been exhausting wIth much needed chillaxation!

While moanung to him with our ‘funny accents’ while ‘Jesus Saves’ and ‘repent evil spirits’ (rants/ protests / preaching… whatever you call it.) about the hidden tax. So whatever you buy in America. Whatever the advertised price. They then add the tax on. With additional ‘tips’ expected/to be given for everything. Whether I’m this is just tourist extortion or the norm. It takes a calculator and faffing about. If is says $20 I want to pay $20!

Video 😉

23:38 bedtime…

Me: “Ange turn over you are snoring”

Ange “I’m awake… I’m dreaming about sausages, gravy and mash”

Me: “So you are clearly not awake then…”

Turns over and snores… asleep… 

Just One Venetian Vegas Cornetto 

After the Caesars buffet breakfast/ brunch. We went for a trotsy to The Venetian. A beautiful hotel with Gondola rides. A more chilled out atmosphere compared to Caesars Palace. Don’t get me wrong it’s all very spectacular. It’s like Blackpool and Skegness on speed, acid, cocaine with a dash of napalm and a hint of cyanide. This place makes, breaks, escapes. It’s spectacular.


 The Venetian has crystals and relaxing vibes.. it’s rather beautiful. One can get lost inside with the being ‘outside’ illusion. With shop assistants in doorways trying to entice people in. Everything is nicely done to help you. But with the want of a tip. The free drinks while playing in the casino are provided with a tip for the waitress. With the random shouts from winners echoing. The smokey atmosphere. There is opportunity if your lucky clover is on your side. The temptation for out of control gambling, in the hope of dollars is imprinted of every face. From the weary to the wide eyes excited ones. 

 It’s hot now. Apparently July is so hot it melts tyres! We went on the outside gondola ride. With some top tips from our Gondolier. I asked.. we got! We were treated to mash up of ‘O Sole Mio’ & Just One Cornetto. Brilliant!

Watch video ..


With a quick Jim Beam Apple to keep my strength up. 

Ange and I went to an Oxygen bar. After a shot of go go juice, various vibrating things. 


I don’t think I’ll ever look at a nasal cannula in the same way again! We then double bubbled our bliss and went for a massage, followed by a dip in Caesars pool. After all of the travelling. Time to chill is good. My Brother is busy legging it about lots of hotels. Ange and I are kind of grinding to a halt now and relaxing. A few dabbles on the ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ casino machines. Has winner winner chicken dinner paid for 2 breakfasts! I don’t think we will ever visit a seaside arcade again for the 2p machines. This is just the bitch! The amount of money spent here by people is just phenomenal. The glitz, the glam, the sunshine, the lights. It’s just an experience that we are glad we had. 

We finished the evening at Hooters #vegas 

The sunshine is doing my mood wonders. One has a hint of dread going back to the cold and darkness and ‘normality’ of England. I think I might suffer SAD all year round there…..:-0 

LA to Vegas

Driving 260 miles along Interstate 15. One canyon leads to another. The desert is not an attractive beast. We played count the bush. For the driest desert in North America. It’s no camping trip. A landscape without refrain.





After a quick stop off at Barlow for a corn dog and Wetzel’s Pretzels. 


There really is no mercy from the sun or shelter for those stranded in the Mojave Desert. It’s truly relentless. Of if my favourite songs: My track ‘Solstice’ by Earth Tree Healing accompanies my short video. 

Video #1

Then you can watch LA to Vegas Video #2 featuring us! Julie managed to get pop down her tits. 

The quickening desert mirrors itself. With my head lolling about as consciousness began to leave me. We arrived in Vegas. Dropped off the Dodge and Taxied to the strip. Meeting the wonderful Sancia. She filled us in on some essentials. Laughter at the talk of Tramps, a little lost in accents. They turned to ‘Trumps’ which was funnier. 

We passed Mandalay Bay. Where the recent massacre occurred. #vegasStrong 


Upon arrival. We dragged our road weary assets to at our room. Which is possibly bigger than our house and garden. The bed is so comfortable! Then my excited and silently determined Brother, escorted us all on a long walk… well getting anywhere even in Caesars Palace is a marathon. 

Next to Guy Fieri’s for beer, Trash Can Nachos, a Motley Que Sandwich! Wow! 

We all had a little flutter in the casino. Ange came out $100 in profit. So that payed for dinner! 
​​

Day 4 San Francisco and Art Garfunkel 

11.10.17 Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, The Castro. Final day in San Fran before we fly to LA. 

Watch the video here

We spent the day tram travelling first. 


  The then open top bus tour, over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.

 We love it there. Ice cream in waffle cones, watching the world go by. 


We ventured into Galerie Electra. Where I noticed a stunning oil painting of a tree. With its orange and red textures. Just mesmerising. With more beautiful oil paintings. We had a lovely chat with their curator. Where the light catches the colours and paint. (I must email her my art website links) Talking about the 60’s in London, The Doors, life, the San Francisco homeless population. The beauty and serenity of trees and grounding. A wonderful soul she is. 


Taking a ferry trip back. We then ventured to The Castro. Wow! We felt so comfortable. 

We ate lunch at Harvey’s which does amazing food and salads.


Cocktails at Twin peaks.

 We met an got chatting to a great couple who invited us to the local ‘Midnight Sun.’

 

Cocktails a go go with champagne slush and cosmopolitans. Talking Trump, Harvey Milk, best local places, bitch fits, whistling, relationships, America, dogs, and wonderful things…The horror of the wildfires, vineyards. How people barely escaped in Napa Valley. 

We then stumbled rather tipsy… past Castro Theatre and decided to go see Art Garfunkel talk about his book! (no photos or filming allowed- Commonwealth Club rules! ) People here are so friendly. We bought a coke and milk duds and settled in the beautiful theatre with the homely smell of popcorn circulating in this stunning place. I sit there taking it all in, while Ange discussed the horrors of Uk Politics and Teresa May with a Gentleman next to her. Art has the most relaxing voice. I could listen to hours about his life, music and walking travels. A treat to see a legend. 


Today America woke me up. Today I saw beyond the grind. I saw a better life. 
More pics of the day

Claudine West (2017)

Go here>>> https://claudinewestmusic.com/

Music https://claudinewestmusic.com/discography/

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https://claudinewestart.wordpress.com/

Claudsville Blogs and Biog of a Bog Woppit

My name is Claudine West. These are excepts of this present life as me. 2016 was rather fabulous making music, writing, recording, gigging, doing the full time day job. Looking after wife and cats, mowing the lawn, breathing in the sea. Exploring Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Writing recording and releasing more meditation music under ‘Earth Tree Healing’…. Being happy. 

https://claudinewestmusic.com/ 

These are my blogs and here is the Kindle book.

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Rounders At 40!

I’m sat here aching. I’m struggling and ‘wusslike’ after such fun on a sunny Sunday afternoon. A rather brilliant weekend I might add. It began on a tired friday afternoon. The nature of my day job, means lots of walking around hospitals sorting problems out and trying to avoid problems. Friday afternoons is mostly, a ‘catch up on emails and finish off the week.’ Not this one. So feeling tired and aching like a bitches anal gland.  After helping sort another crisis. Home at last! Then, off out to band rehearsals. Due to a broken computer at our usual studio. Ange had to book a last minute one elsewhere. Arriving in the car. I noted how sunburnt Dave, our bass player looked. I commented. Only then to realise. It was the 4 flights of stairs he has lugged equipment up, that actually caused the rouge rupture look. So with already aching legs I ascended with my cymbals. (Swearing profusely and trying not to be rude and seem ungrateful at the no lift situation!)  In a very small room hot and sweltering like a greenhouse without glass. I felt like a borrower in a dolls house attic. About to have a claustrophobic panic attack. (that what its all about though.. it’s fun, really it is! ) Talk of new songs called bearded clams, razor face, big bag of weed.  Blinded by one’s own sweat. The horrific trickle down ones back that ends slithering into one’s bum crack. That night’s smell of ‘off’ biscuits will haunt me forever I thought it was my trainers…!!. Thank goodness for showers and washing machines! Have as remarked before its never wise to sniff a drummers drum stool after a gig? #advice there for you ;-0   It was nice getting a round of applause after performing ‘Weevil K’inevil’ from studio staff and appreciative visitors/other band. Then offered a possible gig too. Brucie Bonus! Now we are not a band that sings our own praises and promotes how fooking wonderful and amazing we all are. Thats for delusional, up their own arse cock nuggets. Which tend to hear something different that what a talented ear can hear. Anyway… I slept like a damp log in the dark Friday night.

Saturday AM arrived. Truly excited. We headed off to pick up PP our Subway Circus vocalist and tootled off to Abbey Lane studios in Derby. Even though we are Nottingham based. Fate, cancellations, offers, thoughts and finds and gut instincts  lead us there.  We weren’t disappointed. With the faint sound of troffing cobs and crisps in my headphones before live takes. I chuckled at my past rock and roll lifestyle choices. Musing my non hangover the next day. You can read the full blog and see some pics/ videos here BLOG- SUBWAY CIRCUS ABBEY ROAD

What a brilliant day! We got offered a gig there too!  Then.. a rush back to Nottingham.  A friend’s birthday dinner (great Tapas) and a few drinkies. Eventually we got home. Exhausted but very contented and happy.

Sunday AM It started with rain. But then the sun came again. A band and friends gathering at Bramcote Park. (Lacking toilets mind)

Now… I’ve not played rounders since school. I was always good with coordination. (My later slogging didn’t disappoint me… You never lose it! )

Upon my first catch attempt. I fell to the ground. Twisted (already killing knees from Friday’s stairs)  As the juggling balls, slogging, slipping, running, laughter ensued. How I laughed.. and laughed. We decided it was our Band Ep launch rounders match. Recorded on the 18/07/15 and released streaming on the 20th. (As was recorded live in 4 hours with a  few one take wonders with only vocals and a couple of its overdubs.) Not bragging or owt 😉  But that’s what accomplished musicians and bands should be able to do. If they work hard and practice at their instruments and music effectively. Not poncy cheating! What you hear recorded is what you hear live. That is what makes me so proud of the guys.

After a waz in the bushes after a group troffathon. Hysterics at dog walkers dogs not giving up attempting to raid our picnic. I had the Benny Hill Show theme tune going off in my head.  I was ready for game 2! I though I was going to boff up my salmon bagels. With a slice each homemade Gooseberry and a blackcurrant cake (Thanks Jenny) The Ron Burgundy Rounders commenced.So I cracked open the wine.

Then Ange wacked herself in the eye with the ball she was bowled. A little bit of pee came out of me! Injury 2! PP (Our vocalist) Then wacked the tennis ball into the ovaries of the bowler. The poor lass hit the floor and had to be lifted up. Commenting she never wanted children anyway. The slogger bloke of the match smacked his own elbow with the bat.  I hear the clunk from 3rd base. I felt it for him. I really did. Dave, our bass player did an awesome juggling catch then dropped it. Multiple defenders ran at each other nearing collision to all catch the same ball. Then dropped it. PP then slipped and twisted his ankle. I couldn’t take any more laughter. Catching the poor kid out! We were reminded by her (really funny) Mum how cruel it was! It was just a great day. More ‘tournaments to come’ We won!

I’m now on day 2 of pain, aches and moaning.  Worth it though. Being 40 is fun. Making the music I love with brilliant blokes.

Our EP ‘All Alone’ Is worth a listen. We are in the process of gathering a fan base, being new. Many Thanks.

– Claudine