Laughlin, NV and Lake Havasu, AZ
July 28-31, 2007
Cooler full of ice? Check. Two golf bags? Check. Sunscreen? Yep, two kinds. Check, Check.
Here we are, its Saturday, July 28th at 7:30am… and we are SO ready for this vacation. It’s going to be fabulous. Four blissful days in the desert sun to be spent swimming, reading, sleeping and golfing. What could be better?
Around 9am, we entered the desert. It was beautiful out. It’s amazing how all of a sudden the landscape changes and the greenery disappears. The lush mountains become brown piles of rocks, and the trees become cacti and tumble weeds. But it sure is beautiful.
Our first stop is Lake Havasu. It’s pretty much where Nevada, Arizona and California all meet up… about four hours from LA. We had the AC on in the car the whole way, so when we started to get close, I rolled my window down. Yep. It’s darn hot out…a cool 112 degrees. It feels like someone is pointing a blow dryer right on your face. Awesome. Roll that window back up… we’re cranking the AC again!
We arrived in Lake Havasu around lunch time and our first stop was the Coyote Bar and Grill. It felt a little bit red neck, but the food was great and the service was good. We got greasy Jalapeno poppers. Exactly what you need on a 112 degree day. haha. After we ate lunch, we decided to go check out the "London Bridge". Yep, that’s right… the London Bridge. It’s the actual bridge from London that was "falling down" fifty years ago. Lake Havasu bought it, and they shipped it out here! So there it was, the actual one. I found out later that if you look closely, there are even German bullet marks from WWII! This is History, people!
The London Bridge over Lake Havasu.
"London Bridge is Falling Down…"
They even have weird things that actually came from London!
Here’s me on top of the bridge. Probably getting a sunburn. Great.
When Lake Havasu bought the Bridge from London (which cost them $5 Million), they also got the light posts for free. Real, authentic London Light Posts!
When Irving was 9, he visited here.. but he says he doesn’t really remember. But isn’t this a great picture?
But the lake isn’t all history. They like to have fun here too. See the "Ice Boat"? They bring ice around to all the boats docked there. But the funny thing is.. their sign boats "Ice.. Made from Scratch"…does anyone else find that strange? What else is it going to be made of? lol
All the party boats docked on the beach.
On the way back from the London Bridge, we saw the weirdest car accident. Basically, this lady was too busy smoking her cigarette and plowed right into the car next to us. The airbags inflated, and the cars were smoking and a windshield shattered. Crazy! After making sure they were ok, we kept on driving.
After all the sightseeing, we spend the rest of the day at our camp site. We stayed at the Windsor Beach Campground, which is operated by the Arizona State Park system. Since it was so darn hot, there were only about 3 campers in the whole place, so we had no problem finding a great site right next to the lake. We swam in the lake, then sat on the beach for a while… then swam again… then fried in the sun. We repeated this process about four times throughout the afternoon. It was great. We had our little lounge chairs, umbrella, books, beers and towels. It was great! We even played a few rounds of "Skipbo" when we got bored.
Around 5pm or so, we went to have dinner at a realllly nice restaurant called "Cha-Bones"! It was a fancy place, but they let us in anyways. 🙂
After dinner… we found the Ranger’s Station and went to pay for our camp site. Once we were in the cabin, I couldn’t help but notice the "BEWARE OF RATTLESNAKES" signs everywhere. I took a safety brochure about them just to be safe. I asked the ranger "You guys don’t have those here, right?" She answered: "Um, yea we do. If you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone". Great. They also had signs warning you about tarantulas, scorpions and…bobcats? Yes. They actually have bobcats in Lake Havasu. I’m never going camping again.
We got back to our campsite and the sun was starting to set. Irving decided to take a sunset swim.
The colors in the sky were really amazing… they really were this pink and purple. It was truly a sight to see.
I mean, look at those colors!!!
But then we realized that even though those clouds were beautiful…they meant RAIN! Then it started to thunder and lightening. I mean, realllly lightening.. like I’ve never seen before. So Irving finished his swim, and I tried to get things ready for the night. As I was walking back to the car to get the tent and stuff ready…. there it is, right in front of me… a snake!!! I screamed so loud, that I heard people two campsites over say "What’s wrong with that lady?"… Then they yelled "Is it a snake?" I yelled "YESSS!!!" Then they yelled, "Is it a rattler?" Then Irving came over and got dangerously close to it and said "Nope". So I Yelled "IT’S NOT A RATTLER, BUT IT’S STILL A SNAKE!" It slithered away, but that was it for me. I’m not sleeping outside tonight. So I crawled into the car and refused to move. Irving said "I came here to camp, so I’m going to set up the tent". So he goes on to set up the tent by himself, while I watch. haha.
Right before the rain.
By now, the Lightening storm is coming closer and closer. I can actually see bolts of it now. Scary, close, electrifying bolts. I’m yelling to Irving, "You’re going to get electrocuted if you’re holding a hammer when the lightening strikes". So finally, he finishes putting it up and joins me in the car.
We’re watching the Lightening storm and I tell him that even though I have to pee real bad, I’m still not getting out of the car until morning. It’s extremely hot (low 100s) and we have the windows cracked. Then, the rain starts. Not just tiny droplets, but HUGE plops of water. The winds are going crazy, and I’m told that this is a monsoon. The car is shaking, and at this point, since water is coming in, we have to close the windows. We are now suffocating in 100 degree humid heat inside a car. Good thing I brought my portable fan with me. Too bad it broke 5 minutes after I started using it. Irving’s like "This is dumb. We’re going to die of heat". I’m like "Too bad, I’m not getting out of this car.. what if the snake uses my tent to find cover from the rain? I’m not taking any chances." So in the middle of the rain storm, I made Irving go take the tent down so we can get out of there. He’s over there with no shirt on, in the rain, with lightening bolts all around, taking down the tent, which is now a big muddy mess. We threw the soaking wet muddy tent into the car, on top of everything else… and we’re trying to figure out what our options are. The good news is the campsite was only $14 so its not a big loss if we leave. We can drive to Laughlin, NV now, and see if we can check in early.. we can hang out in the casinos until dawn…At this point, any of those things sounds better than sitting in the rattlesnake infested monsooning campground.
So off we go… driving out of the campground we realize that there are flash floods all around us. We’re not talking streams of water…we’re talking RIVERS… full fledged 3-foot deep rivers. There is no way a car (let alone a 2005 Scion XA) can make it through that thing… We see a cop and we ask for directions out of there. (Note: Irving still has no shirt on) he tells us that we can avoid the floods by "backtracking, taking a left and going around Wal-Mart back to the highway". Irving and I looked at each other: WAL-MART! We can hang out in Wal-Mart and kill some time and stay dry. So we get there, and Irving realizes that he doesn’t know where his shirt is. I argue that it’s probably in the car and we’ll find it later. So he gets another shirt, and we go to Wal-Mart and buy some stuff (Dishwashing Detergent haha, a notebook, a Golf Glove for me…) When we were done with Wal-Mart, Irving looked at me and said "I think I left my shirt by the river when I went swimming". I glared, and said "who cares, I’ll buy you a new one". He said "No, I like that shirt, I’m going back for it". So now I find myself back in the car, heading BACK into the rattlesnake infested monsooning campground. Once we get back there, I said "I’m still not getting out, you’re on your own". So he grabbed the flashlight and tried to find his shirt. A few minutes later, he comes back and says "I cant find it. I think its gone". I said "Well, I’m not getting out to help you look for it, so you better go look again. Maybe the wind took it." SO he went back to the river and finally he found it. Gross. Its covered in mud. That too goes in the back of the car. Awesome.
Using our same little detour as before, we got out of there, avoided the floods, and began our drive to Laughlin, NV. It was about an hour drive, and we arrived at the AVI Resort (where we had hotel reservations for the following two nights). We arrived at around 1am and walked up to the front desk and proudly announced that we were here to "check in early" for the following night. The lady laughed and said the rates were up because they were almost sold out. We decided we’d save the money and sleep in the parking lot. Then security told us that we weren’t allowed to do that. So we found a truck stop across the street and decided to sleep there. I was getting comfy in the front seat of the car, when some sketchy guy pulls up next to us. He didn’t do anything, but we realized that it was dumb to sleep in a truck stop. I’ve watched way too many "unsolved mysteries" to know that that situation never turns out good. So Irving called his mom who told him "Um, you probably should never make your girlfriend sleep in a car on purpose". So he relented, and at 2am, we forked over the money and got ourselves a nice big room and had a good night’s rest. Finally, this day in hell, is over. 🙂
We woke up to see that the AVI resort is beautiful. It’s nothing fancy… it’s literally an oasis in the middle of the desert, but it really is beautiful.
The Avi right on the Colorado River!
We ate breakfast and decided to spend part of Sunday by the pool. When we got there, there was a sign that said "No outside Beverages Allowed"… this even included water! What??!?! It’s 112 degrees out, how can you not allow people to have a bottle of water? That’s just ridiculous. We were rebellious and snuck water in. Geez.
The AVI Pool.
We also went to the Sports Book and put money on the Red Sox game. Irving watched the game, while I used the little mini tv’s to channel surf. It was fun, but a little boring. haha. But after that, we took the free shuttle into Downtown Laughlin. It was great to see the other hotels/casinos there… but it was too hot to really walk anywhere, so we went outlet shopping instead. We did have time to see one of the hotels though. It’s called the Colorado Belle. It’s a hotel right on the river that really looks like a steamboat! How cool!
Then, we got ice cream, and played Skipbo inside while waited for the shuttle to come back and pick us up.
Once we got back, we went to have dinner at the Casino Buffet. Then we went to see the Simpson’s movie in the theater.
On Monday, we got up at 5:30am to try to play a round of golf before the weather got too unbearable. I was excited because I could wear my new golf outfit. haha. They gave us a golf cart that had a cooler in it with two cold bottles of water! Nice! I honestly have to say that I only played about 14 holes, but it was fun. Here’s a few shots! (Notice my new glove that I got at Wal-Mart a few days before!)
We’re such athletes. Hahaha!
I only like golf because the clothes are so darn cute!
This is me when I gave up and started taking self portraits on the golf cart. haha!
Looks hot, huh?
And a few more action shots…
Notice the tee in the top right corner.
After a long morning out on the course, we decided to spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool and playing Bingo! That’s right, Irving and I played Bingo. And we had a blast!
Above is the movie theater we went to, and to the left is the Bingo Hall!
At first, we had no idea how to play. We felt silly in a whole room full of old people and smokers… but we settled in and got all our Bingo cards ready. We bought all the extra bonus cards too, even though we weren’t quite sure what those were for exactly. haha. We were in the middle of one of the bonus games and instead of getting a regular bingo, you would win if you had a "starburst" design. It was kind of like a star on your bingo card. And all of a sudden, I heard them call out a number, and I looked over at Irving’s card and
I said: "Oh my god, Irving, you have a Bingo!"
Irving: "I do? Really?"
Me: "Yea, scream Bingo, you have it! Scream it!"
Lady across from us: "Do you have the line across the middle too?"
Irving: "Um, no I don’t".
Me: "Uh… NO BIIINGOO!!! NO BINNGOO!"
It was quite funny if you were there. hahaha. They must have been like "here come the new kids". haha So anyways, a little later on, I actually did have a bingo, and I won $20. Not bad considering we only paid $3 to play! haha
After an amusing game of Bingo, we headed to the pool for a little bit.
A few other things we did that day:
-Watched Ratatouille in the theater
-Played another round of Bingo, where I lost the $20 I had previously won!
-Swam in the River (not the pool!)
-Oh, and I also saw a sign in the casino that said "No Credit Card Excepted". I thought that was pretty funny!
The Colorado River!
On Tuesday, we got up early and enjoyed our buffet breakfast. Then, we packed up and headed towards Laughlin again. Irving wanted to play a round of golf at this really nice golf course. They even have air conditioned Golf Carts! How cool is that!
There’s Irving in his cool little golf cart!
I didn’t think I could handle another 18 holes in 112 degree heat, so I went to the Spa! It was a really nice spa called Laughlin Ranch. I went to the gym there, then swam and hung out by the pool all day. It was so nice and relaxing!
What a great, relaxing weekend in the desert!