An accomplished day... Getting it all together... Stormy weather in the desert...

The yellow Costco bag was filled with the remainder of the packages we handled yesterday which included the new portable scanner we ordered when our old unit broke in Minneapolis.
Lately, we're reminded of those last two months we spent in the US going back and forth between Scottsdale, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada after we'd left Minnesota on October 31, 2012.  We had so much to do.

Now, as we wind down our last less than two weeks in the US, we find ourselves making phone calls, straightening out a number of pesky issues and concerns that were difficult to handle on Skype with an often poor signal. 

Yesterday, I spent 52 minutes on a phone call with a financial institution in correcting an excess of security/password access issues that we were never able to correct from afar.  As much as we'd like to believe that "everything" can be conducted online, it's not always the case.  A phone call may provide a better solution.
Yesterday, we drove to Stephanie Street to take a few photos before the storms rolled in.  Sunset Station.
With our current SIM cards through US provider T-Mobile expiring shortly after we leave the US, the luxury of picking up the smart phone to make a call will be gone.  As we purchase SIM cards in each country, they don't include making international calls at reasonable rates. 

Calling internationally is often as high as $2 to $3 a minute making no sense for any calls we may need to make.  Instead, we use our Nevada Skype phone number ($5 a month) from which we can call anywhere in the world for approximately $1.20 per hour.

Making these Skype calls requires a decent Wi-Fi connection, uses considerable data and may or may not have a clear connection.  At this time, until cellular service is international, this is what we have to work with. 
"Sunset Station opened on June 10, 1997. While Station Casinos had successful openings with Boulder Station and Texas Station in the mid-1990s, Sunset Station was considered a demonstration of the company's ability to develop and market a locals casino that was upscale. Following the success of Sunset Station, Station Casinos continued to open locals casinos that were more upscale, such as Green Valley Ranch (2001) and Red Rock Resort (2006)."
Some have suggested we use a SAT (satellite) phone but these types of phones are heavy, costly and impractical for our use.  Once we install a SIM card in our unlocked phones upon arriving in any country, we have local and emergency cell service. 

As for phone data, we usually purchase an amount of data for those times we're out and about and need "Map" services or other online access.  Once we're inside our vacation/holiday home, the full house Wi-Fi allows us to use data on our phones.  Generally, this works OK.

As an avid listener to pod casts when unable to sleep, which seems to lull me back to sleep, having data on my phone becomes an important feature.  We both read news and books on our phones while in bed. 
It wasn't very busy in the parking lot enabling us to take photos of the massive casino located on 98 acres in Henderson.
Yea, we know about all the warnings that staring at any screens at bedtime may inhibit sleep but we've both found doing so seems to aid us in getting to sleep.  We don't necessarily pay a lot of attention to what "they" say when so much "they've" said is proving to be inaccurate and misleading through more current and comprehensive research.  No, I won't get out my soapbox on this topic.

Yesterday was a highly productive day.  We went through all the mail we'd collected the prior day from the mailing service which included several pieces of snail mail and no less than 20 boxes, mostly small items we'd purchased for the next few years of travel.

Included in the boxes were my Africa boots which I'll be wearing again in seven months.  In an effort to keep my total number of pairs of shoes down to five, I'm going to leave my tennis shoes in our oversized mailbox at the mailing service for future use.  Once we're done in Africa in 2019, I'll send them the boots to store until I may need them again.
Contained inside this massive structure is "Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center opened in April 2005. At the time of its opening, the 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2), the 72-lane bowling alley was the largest in Las Vegas and at a cost of $26 million, was also the most expensive in the country. In 2007, the alley hosted the PBA Tour's Motel 6 Classic."
Today, I was hoping to visit Susan if the weather improved.  There's what's considered "monsoons" transpiring right now including flash floods in areas of the freeway I'd be using to drive the long distance to her home. 

After speaking with Susan we decided it made no sense for me to come today with the flash floods on the freeway and many traffic slowing accidents.  So far, I haven't missed visiting her every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Instead, I'll visit tomorrow.

Last night, we had a great dinner with Richard at an old favorite of mine, Cheesecake Factory.  None of us ordered desserts but we enjoyed our meals; spaghetti and meatballs for Tom, Cobb Salad for me and a chicken dish for Richard. The portions were huge, more than we needed but it was hard to resist "cleaning our plates." 
Since we chose not to gamble while traveling the world, fearful of losing money and impacting our strict budget, we don't bother to go into casinos.  Although, sometimes while here we do plan to tour a few of the new casinos of the strip if time allows.
After a long hiatus from bread and gluten, Tom ate his share of the complimentary bread along with the huge plate of pasta.  Later, back at Richard's home, he was suffering from awful indigestion from the carb-laden gluten-rich meal.  I guess that says it all.  I didn't comment.  He knows what's good and not so good for him.

Tonight, we'll dine in making bun-less grass-fed beef burgers and turkey burgers (Richard doesn't eat beef) with lots of vegetable sides and salad.  We'll be back tomorrow with more!

Again, thanks to our readers for hanging in there with us during this less-than-eventful period of time in the US.  In 13 days we'll be returning to our world travels!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 19, 2016:
There was no post one year ago today, due to a continuing poor Wi-Fi signal aboard the Viking Mekong. 

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