Well, it turns out I was wrong. I had another posting today in me...
I've left Las Vegas and do what I do every year at CES -- stay my last night in Primm, Nevada, since it's 30 minutes closer to Los Angeles, and makes for a shorter drive on Friday. Primm isn't much of a "town," it sits on the California-Nevada border and largely exists as a location for three casino/hotels (owned by the same group) the moment travels cross the state line.
The hotels aren't any great shakes, but nice enough. (And actually get some okay name-entertainment. Patti LaBelle is here in a couple weeks, and LeeAnn Rimes comes in February.) Two of them are fairly similar -- Whiskey Pete's and Buffalo Bill's -- and less expensive than the third. But because of a screw-up a few years ago, I was given a few free nights at any location of my choice. So, I chose the higher-end place, Priimm Valley Resort. (The name alone tells you it's better.) Indeed, the rooms are quite a bit nicer (not so much the casino), and since it's only about $10 more a nice, I've stayed here since. The rooms have high beds, nicer bedding and desks, and (notably) flat screen TVs. And this year they've added free Wi-Fi (hence me posting this...) and HD cable channels. I've settled in for a nice night of ESPN basketball. (UCLA is on right now, which is good -- though they stink this year, which is less good... UPDATE: they actually beat Stanford in double-overtime, ending a five-game losing streak.)
Primm Valley Resort also has a few actual-okay restaurants here. One is inside the place, an Original Pancake House, which is part of a small, extremely good chain that I grew up on in Chicago. Their apple pancake is otherworldly. (Some people swear by their German pancake. Lovers of the restaurant tend to be split into fighting sides. Apple pancake R Us...) The only reason I haven't eaten there in Primm is that I can go to it when I’m back in Chicago -- and always do, since one of the branches is two miles from my dad. (In Chicago, when the Original Pancake House wanted to come into the city, they teamed up with a local group, so they’re known there as Walker Bros. Original Pancake House.)
The other reason I haven't eaten there in Primm is because there's another solid option. That's becacuse the other good restaurant is the Mad Greek, which is a recent second location of a pretty good, well-known Greek restaurant in the middle of nowhere, Baker, California, which is the gateway to Death Valley. (Hey, I said it was the middle of nowhere.) Because I love Greek food, this is where I’ve gone the last few years that I’ve stayed here, and will go there tonight.
One other oddity about this tiny blip at the state border: there is a seriously high-end outlet mall here – and it's literally connected to this particular hotel, the Primm Valley Resort. You walk through the casino, and go through a hallway, then down an escalator, and you’re in the mall. Among the stores are outlets for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Walker-Sonoma, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, LaCoste, Tommy Bahama, Ann Klein, and lots more. I even bought a couple of shirts today, and a pair of pants – nothing fancy, more Elisbergian, at a Van Heusen store.
Anyway, this should be my final posting before returning home. And that should still be on schedule. I expect I'll get back online in the afternoon, after I've gotten settled. Hopefully, the elves at the homestead will help make that go smoothly. But being elves, who knows?
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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