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/



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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… 

Clange Do Battlefield Vegas! 

18.10.17 With wilder eyes wide open. This desert never sleeps. We began with a nice breakfast at Payard Bakery in Caesar’s Palace.


Then did a mini video blog at the pool

After shooting our bazookas off at Battlefield Vegas. An experience I’ll possibly never get to do again. The recoil is bruising, the noise deafening… next time I watch an action film I’ll remeber this.. Bar a zombie apocalypse or playing Grand Theft Auto. That was my PMT release gun style!

Watch Ange

Watch my Brother and Slomo Mini Gun

Surrounded by #vegasStrong hash tags after the awful Mandalay Bay Massacre. Which we keep passing on the strip. The whole gun law thing in America. ‘Guns don’t kill.. People kill’ its a debate that will rage on. I enjoyed this in a very controlled safe environment. I couldn’t shoot a bird or animal in reality. A paper target and ultimately vegetarianism is my only choice.

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We went for an American Style ‘Taco Bell! ‘‘Twas lovely. We fed the little birdies.

After the taxi driver had attempted to drop us off at the furthest away one. We got dropped off further away. We walked the strip. In hindsight it was closer to walk from Caesars Palace! So the ticket selling, CD (give away but harass for a donation knobheads, harassment continued. One shouted his daughter was born gay! Clearly Ange and I are card carrying Lesbians! Another told us to smile.. Fcuk off! And then for the finale.. one asked what the best thing about Vegas was? Ange shouted “Not being harassed!” He looked bemused. Someone asked if my Brother was his wife’s dad….


Then we tootled off to the pool for a few hours messing about.

A little flutter in the casino. Then dinner at New York New York Hotel at Gallagher’s.


Due to the mahosive size of Caesar’s Palace and The Strip trotting about as well as troffathons. We are putting in the step count too. (mum) Balanced indulging.

Zuma Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Fat Sal’s, Rodeo Drive… and then…. 

14th October 2017 (Bear in mind I’m 8 hours behind UK time and write this upon return to wifi and hotel in our evenings and during travels)

So began another sunny day with breakfast  today at John O’Groats, great pancakes! 

Paul Tyler. Lovely bloke. Ange walked in with ‘my’ Sonic Youth T-Shirt. He told her the band used to frequent here, as one of their mothers used to live nearby. 

We then travelled down the Pacific Coast Highway in October sunshine. I strongly feel I must live in Malibu. 

Tour guide Ange (Ariel Cadaver / Jennifer Bilathorpe the 3rd) did a commentary – Watch the video: 

We then went to Zuma beach. The locals beach. The Pacific Ocean is a beautiful thing. With its powerful waves crashing and pulling me closer into its world. Just beautiful. Again we stood out like the tourists we are on Earth. Ange chatted to a nice couple. They apologised for the wildfires, saying the smoke stopped a better view of the coast. Bless. No apologies….The air feels fresher than Nottingham and my sinuses clearer….if that’s anything to go by? The Pacific Ocean is an amazing thing. I look upon each sea and ocean I visit in this world as an energy, entity to be respected and absorbed. No Jaws or Jellies. So all good! 

Oh and ice freeze head and internal organ killers…. 

Next stop Santa Monica Pier and beach. Let the pictures here talk…

Dinner on Gayley Avenue at Fat Sal’s. I had one of the best sandwiches of my life here. Go there! The ‘Jaime’ OMG! Ange had The ‘Joey.’

And a drive around Beverley Hills, Rodeo Drive. Posh shops. Give me a music shop any day! A different world of wealth and labels that you can’t take with you at clogs popping time. Give me a free sea breeze any day. 

I do feel really comfortable in Los Angeles. It’s like coming home in some past or future life. LA is huge. Love the city of Angels quickening sunsets.


And then… After 5 days of utter bitch fits, meaning, withdrawal… Walmart saved the day with a $13 kettle and PG tips. What goes soon to Vegas… will stay in Vegas! I’m not bringing the bloody kettle back Angela! 

Domestic laundry bliss…. with wifey Ange (Snorey McSnore curtain inhailer extraordinaire) 

Day 5 Hello LA

12.10.17 Today we waved goodbye to San Francisco 


…for now and flew through smokey skies to Los Angeles. 

Video here

With my Brother turning into Sweary Mary every time I recorded a video clip. (I’m clearly Angelic and never utter such words) 

Whilst choosing the Dodge rental from the row. Ange ad my Bto clearly did not see the bloke sat in his choice. Ignoring the warning from us. They both proceeded to open the boot and door. He hastily drove off while we pissed. 


Checking into Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel. It feels like a proper holiday hotel. We stuffed our faces with burgers and some Mahosive pizza. Dropped the kids off st the pool. Then headed out to Long Beach. I was grateful to be sat in the front. As poor Ange and Adele bore the brunt of the air con blow back brother fart. 

Heading off to Long Beach for a paddle and Ice Cream. I got foot pecked by a pigeon. Then Alfred Hitchcock and the cast of birds from ‘The Birds’ descended for some waffle cone! 


After doing their Mitch Buchannon impressions. ( I had chortled at the new Baywatch on the plane from the UK)


We then drove off to look at The Wueen Mary Ship Hotel 

With the Englishman in LA, I’m sure my Bro after this one trip now has at least 2 parking tickets and a ‘Running the stop sign fine’ heading his way :-0 


Going supermarket shopping for snacks on the way home. Resulted in more Cheetos (omg I love them) for me and the only shite English tea bags we could find for Ange’s addiction to tea. She has been in withdrawal for days now. Is almost not herself. Any longer and she will break! Watching her try to salvage a simple cup using a coffee percolater was desperate. I must now intervene and search google maps to find a proper tea place! 

Never mind what happens. You can’t beat a good squirt! 


Could Diet Squirt be the new box ticker?

With Adele, my Sister-in-Law almost having  an Memory Lane laughing fit Tena Lady binge pop pants asthma attack. As we drove past a 7-11. (my bro years ago had been too busy looking at his phone, not seeing the bright yellow raised curb before the glass entrance doors. Proceeded to trip and go flying into and through them with such s bang. Everyone turned, went quiet and asked him if he was ok. He tried to act casual. Adele was nearly hospitalised due to not being able to catch her breath and near asthma attack, due to laughing so much. Even though I was not there, I can fully visualise this and the noise, also due to the memories of accidents my ‘accident prone’ Bro had when we were kids.  

An evening poo and then dip in the jacuzzi followed by lager, chilli cheese dip with hit pretzels. Set are arses up for Univeral Studios tomorrow! 


I really, really like Los Angeles. 

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

The Indian Somerset Summer and Chalice Well

September brings sweeter things. They do say life begins at 40. It actually begins at conception. I’m just a lot more settled and content now. How we afford adventure: Cutting back on brands, materialism, hangovers.  We Invest in memories, experience, admiring the beauty of the greenery that surrounds us. Both of us have challenging day jobs and lots to do once they end each day. This was needed. When you work hard for holidays. Its feels really satisfying to get them.  It especially helped us as a couple reconnect and relax exploring new places.

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The sun certainly shone on the blessed on the adventure we undertook late september 2015. Its was perfect weather. Sat in my bra in the garden in the morning with a cup of tea; blissful.

Somerset 2015

Somerset 2015

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We stayed with friends at ‘Westham Farmhouse, Wedmore Somerset. Sloping floors, bats at dusk. a lovely fire the was lit when darkness descended promptly by 7. Doorways and low ceilings that invited to off guard of us tall folk to smack our heads on.  Which we did with varying consequences a good few times.

Day 1 :   A mid afternoon arrival then unpacking = Ange throwing her clothes all over the floor.  We spent the evening at The Wellington arms. Watching the Rugby World Cup England v’s Wales. Everyone seems to be called Dave. We were met with Gentlemen getting us seats and made very welcome. Nice Somerset cider. Double jack Daniels. Cute dog. England Lost. #gutted but great match. Well done Wales. Good night!

Day 2 : Beautiful Indian summers day. We went for a walk through farmers fields. As usual we got lost.  We were met by aggressive sheep stomping at us, giving us the evil eye. I really don’t know what happens when sheep attack?  Upon finding civilisation we found a local pub..The Sexeys Arms. Everyone is called Dave! They called us Davina. A few brandys and pork scratchings later. We headed off for dinner with the gang.

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One of the dogs, a Chihuahua had a lucky escape in the garden. After a peregrine falcon swept down! A few hours respite and it was off to The Glastonbury Tor to watch the Full Eclipse Blood Moon. Now that is a trek up to the top. After an almost night shift in a really cool place. Plus  randomly bumping into our friend Linda (but nothing is random)

Day 3:  Watching dragonflies in the garden. Was spent exploring Glastonbury town. A nice lunch at The Lazy Gecko Cafe. A few crystal purchases and a load of books for our collection.

What followed:

We visited Dunster Castle, (being members of The national Trust-it was FREE!)  Burnum On Sea, West on Super Mare, Blue Anchor.

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Glastonbury Abbey : We meditated in the sunshine in the orchard. Wandered through the ruins. Contemplated how good it would be with a few more fences in a zombie apocalypse. The Chalice well was just special..really special. Watch:

Rich’s Cider Farm and Wookie Hole were delightful.

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Finally Cheddar Gorge: (it’s not made of cheese) This place is spectacular. We will return.

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Timelapse :

Somerset 2015 = Beautiful County, wonderful friendly people. Clange will return.  Thank you.

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