Just a few second week things…

On Tuesday after I dropped Jan off, I moved to a cheaper hotel for the week until my apartment was ready on September 8.  I found Boulder Station for $35 a night.  In a worse neighborhood but actually a much nicer hotel than the Excalibur.  Really nice valet staff took good care of my car.  I figured out my route to school and all was good.

On Friday night, I went to see Air Supply at the Orleans.  I had some silly but pretty specific goals for this new life:  No phone to answer all day, no email to answer, not having to be anywhere at 8am, easy access to music and shows and an airport where I could fly anywhere on any airline.  So far, so good.

I have not really thought about Air Supply in a lot of years but there they were, almost right in front of me.  The show was pretty good…all of the old songs, the little guy Russell may have lost a note or two but he sounded pretty good.  The taller one, Graham I think, always did write better than he sang so nothing changed.  He writes poetry now and read one.  He wanted us to buy a book.  I didn’t.  Both came down into the audience and were handily groped by several women so a good time was had by all.   I tried for show pics but the lighting was not great.  Here is their poster. I talked to the couple next to me and they go to a lot of shows and tell me that a casino near me called South Pointe always has fun oldie shows that are reasonable.  Its a couple of miles away and an easy entrance.  Excited about that.

I have no email, no ringing phone and school starts at 10am.  I have not flown anywhere but I’m thinking all of the other goals are attainable.

On Monday, Labor Day, I went to see the 51’s, an AAA club of the NY Mets.  It was their last game of the season and they’d lost their playoff hopes the night before and because the Mets are in a pennant race, their team had been poached pretty good so they were pretty low energy and they lost.  It was hot but a nice time.  I sat in front of these ladies, one in 70’s, other 85 who went to every game.  They were true fans and I always respect that.  It was really, really hot but there was pretty good shade and they had dollar hot dogs.  And as I was in the team shop, I figured out the 51’s refer to area 51, a place in Nevada famous for UFO’s, among other things.  The team mascot is an alien.  There is more info on Area 51 here.

On my last night at the hotel, I was sitting & reading when I heard water hit the window.  I thought, wow it’s raining…and it sort of was…in my room.  They had a fire alarm issue with the sprinklers going off on the 8th floor (I was on 5).  Apparently someone had hung clothes on the little fire alarm thing in the room.  For future reference, not a good idea.  I ended up moving to another room for that one night.

Luckily, now, I’m home and getting settled is a good thing for me.

Dealer school

Tuesday afternoon, I started dealer school.  So far I’ve learned to cut checques (divide chips), shuffle and pitch cards while playing blackjack.  I’ve mostly got that down.

Today, I started baccarat, a completely foreign game to me that is the next big thing.  It’s a pretty easy and quick game but there are definitely rules I have to learn and I need some speed.  Next is Pai-Gow poker which I play so hopefully that one will go pretty quickly.  Then lots of practice and I’m ready for an audition for a job.

The school is great because they have contacts at the “starter houses” who are always looking for dealers and because you are their student for life.  Even when I’m working I can come by and practice and learn from the staff, all of who are or have been dealers in every game for years.  It’s a great safety net.  All of the staff has been extremely helpful.

And my bonus has been my new friend Lula who I met the first day.  A recent transplant like me (from North Carolina) we have become fast friends.  I even went to her sister’s house for a cookout on Labor day weekend Sunday.  She’s an amazing lady that God put in my life.

First week in Vegas

We rolled in late Wednesday night and checked into the Excalibur Hotel.  So tired!!

I’ve stayed at the Excalibur before and it was never fancy but it was ok.  Now it needs a huge facelift.  It’s not a complete dump but it’s cheap for a reason.

On Thursday we started on the task at hand.  I went to Chase bank to open an account and the banker Brad gave me some insight in apartments.  We went to several places and I ended up really liking one he recommended.  Day 1, I rented the apartment I have now.  Mine is not as pretty as the model of course but I like it and I think it’s home, not just a box.  It’s 2 bedroom and 2 bath and I’m ready for guests!!

We went downtown one day and there was a guy in Binions at the bank setting up tables and I asked to talk to him.  I was hoping for a dealer school recommendation and he did not have one but said when I was finished they’d certainly call me back.  He gave me his card and he was the assistant casino manager.  Cool.

We went down the strip one day, ending up eating at the food court at Ceasar’s Palace, and then desert at the Cheesecake Factory, always a good idea.  Then I made a great purchase of a phone case with a built in charger…big problem solved.

We watched the dancing light show at the Bellagio and got to take this pretty picture:

And of course, we cannot be exploring the strip without a pic of Jan with Buck, Winnie & Chip
On Sunday, we explored my new neighborhood and found all the important things…Target, Walmart, Whole foods, Costco. Just as a side note, bought the best tuna I’ve ever eaten at Whole Foods. 
First thing Monday, we went to PCI Dealer school, the one that had the best reviews online.  We met Jesse and his crew and I was very impressed.  Later, we went exploring to Luxor and Mandaley Bay.  One of them had a shop with Pete Rose there signing autographs.  Least expensive was $75 so you will have to take my word for it.  We then had some good but overpriced spinach-artichoke dip and a couple of fancy drinks as our last hurrah.  
Jan left on Tuesday morning.  I managed to get her to the airport and we did not get run over.  I have to admit it was a little bit of a scary moment because I was here, alone.
But all was going to be good!!  After I dropped Jan off, I started dealer school!!

On the road …

We left at 4am (ok, close to)…and drove 19 hours.  Lots of road time.  But there are a few pics to share from the short stops:

This is a statue in Gallup, NM that honors the Code Talkers from WW II.  Read more about these amazing guys here:  http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwarii/a/navajacode.htm

And some snaps to the Eagles:

Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.  

Moving day

On Tuesday, August 11, my last day of work, I came home to my POD.  And on Wednesday, my birthday, we loaded.  Well, Steve’s wife Lizabeth, her son’s Michael, Joshua and Grayson came to load!! They did a great job.  And on Thursday, the Pod went to storage for a month and I spent a couple of nights at Jan’s and headed to Dallas.  After the Dallas trip, we headed to Vegas…

Joshua, Michael, Grayson, my moving crew!   Not sure where Liz was…

Garage Sale Day

I’m going to step back just a little to between the decision and the trip.  Back to Amazing Garage Sale Saturday!!

So moving means purging so…time for a garage sale!!   Deborah and I picked our hot Saturday.  We had a few customers early, as usual.  We met Gigi the dachshund who came for a visit (her mommy had to come get her).  We negotiated, We laughed with and talked to our customers.  A few people that I knew came by.  I enjoyed very much.  But I’d not seen anything yet!   First my friend Randy and his son Colt came by with donuts and I thought how sweet!!  Then, Lorraine came by and she brought queso.  I’m a little slow, still did not think anything of it.  Then here came Carol with cookies and I’m starting to get a little suspicious!  Cathy brought a meat and cheese tray.  Jan and Cindy brought fruit. Polly brought cookies.  Robbie and Kyle brought cake.  Alice brought churro wheels.  And I’m sure I forgot someone or something.  It was a surprise garage sale party, arranged by Lorraine!   I enjoyed tremendously!!   Amazing!!  

And we sold everything!  Well, we got rid of everything and made some $$.

I love these people

This one has Kyle and Marsha

New adventure, new blog

I’ve been blogging for awhile & I’m aware that blogging is old fashioned but to am I.  I tried the Tumblr thing but I find it’s too cool for me.  So instead of trying to be something I’m not (one of my resolutions) but ready for a change, I decided to start a new blog for a new city.  Welcome to Clear Blue Windows.

For the record, the old one is still up at http://www.sneakers57.blogspot.com but I won’t be updating it anymore but it will be still be there.

The new journey really started a couple of years ago when I decided to leave Wright Elementary at the end of the school year.  Our principal was retiring and our secretary and nurse had been transferred and I knew I did not to be at the school without them.  Plus I was making slave wages.  I put my house on 87th St on the market and fully intended to move out of town.  My parents and both of my sisters had passed away. I have my nephew Steve but he has another life.  I felt then that if I was going to move somewhere else then was the time.  Basically, the only time I’d lived far away was in 1984 when I moved to San Antonio. I was miserable.  I never was meant to see my mother twice a year.  I know some can but I never had that in me.  And I always knew I’d be the caretaker of my mom & dad so I knew I would stay put as long as they were alive.  But then, in 2013, I was offered a great job at Texas Tech and I went for it.

Fast forward to July 2015.  I liked my job alot.  I worked with great people who I hope I can consider friends for the rest of my life. But I was restless.  And then one day I was headed to work north on Milwaukee and got into the nightmare of turning right onto the Marsha Sharp Freeway.  There are blocks and blocks worth of cars trying to turn out of one lane because of the never ending road construction.  So I was sitting there in the sheep lane and I watched this little car zoom right past and then stop in the 2nd lane and then turn right.  I watched her do it for a week before I decided to follow her.  Before I did it, I realized that I’d spent my entire life in the lane I was told to be in.   When I started turning from the other lane, it was very liberating.  And I decided that day that I was moving to Las Vegas.

The first time I visited Las Vegas, a whole bunch of years ago, I thought that dealing cards would be a great retirement job. I get to get paid to play cards!  I love to play but hate to lose.  It’s a win-win for me.   I put my house on the market and sold it in 2 days.  I quit my job.  And I made plans to move.  I loaded my POD and my friend Jan and I headed to Vegas to find a place to live and to find a dealer school.

Soooo…the adventure begins!!