Travel Blog


Fairfield Inn, Las Cruces, New Mexico

March 26th, 2013 ernie Posted in Our Trip 2011 No Comments »

Fairfield Inn, Las Cruces, New MexicoWe recently stayed at the Fairfield Inn in Las Cruces New Mexico on our way to California for a three month stay in Palm Springs, California. We have cruised across Texas where the speed limits are 80 miles an hour and were looking for a good place to stay for the night. We decided to try the Farifield Inn for a change.  They are part of the Marriott chain and we enjoy the Marriott hotels so we thought we would try one of their other chains of hotels.

Fairfield Inn – Marriott

The WiFi did not work well. It was slow and unpredictable and pages took a very long time to loan. I used the internet a great deal while traveling and found it totally unsatisfactory. Breakfast was ok. They provide a cold breakfast in the same way that many of their competitors do. It met our needs but was nothing to write home about.

The rooms were clean and comfortable and if you are just stopping for the night, then they meet this need very well. Prices were competitive and for what we were looking for, there was not problem. We went next door to a restaurant called the Unno restaurant, for a couple of beers and something to eat. On a scale of 1 to 10, where a Texas Roadhouse is an 8, this restaurant was around a 5. Met our needs, but not a place I would go back to.

In fact, having stayed in this area. I do not think I will be returning to this particular hotel or to even this chain of hotels. There are better choices at the same prices.

More about locations in New Mexico, click here.

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AVI Hotel & Casino Resort

March 1st, 2013 ernie Posted in Casinos, Our Trip 2011 No Comments »

AVI Hotel & Casino ResortThe AVI hotel and casino is located on the Colorado river south of Laughlin , Nevada. They have a large beach area on the river with lots of sand, a really nice pool area with lots of palm trees and a large lawn area for your pets to run off some steam. They also have an RV park and golf course near by. It is a bit isolated in that you must drive a few miles to either Bullhead Arizona or to Laughlin Nevada. It is a nice place to visit, although the casino can be very smokey at times due to all of the people who still smoke and play the slots.

AVI Hotel & Casino Resort

The AVI casino is a relatively small casino, but still has all of the popular machines that people look for. They have a  really great buffet as well with reasonable prices. The only issue for the writer is the amount of second hand smoke that exists in the casino. They really need more air circulation.

There is also a golf course and a large RV parking area as well. There seems to always a lot of people with RVs staying here. So it must be reasonably priced and have all of what they need. Many people will spend a week or so in their RV’s parked near the casino and use the casino facilities. It is a nice place to spend some time especially along the beach at the Colorado River.

They also have a farmers market going on as well. Not sure what days this runs. Perhaps someone can comment.

Note that in the summer time the temperatures can rise well above one hundred during the day and remain in the high 90’s at night. If you are planning to spend some time in this ares in the summer make sure you have access to air conditioning. Otherwise you may be quite uncomfortable trying to sleep at night .

For more posts about casinos and slot cards, click here.

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Snow Bird Travel 2011-1

February 20th, 2011 ernie Posted in Our Trip 2011 No Comments »

This is a continuation of our blog about our travels during the winter and spring of 2011. If you missed our first post about Snow Bird Traveling, you can review it by clicking here or on Snow Bird Travel. We left off our last post as we were heading to Bisbee, Arizona and Benson.

Snow Bird Traveling – Bisbee Arizona

Bisbee is an old historic mining town close to the border with Mexico. A mine still operates there, however the town and businesses have seen better days when the copper mines were running at full tilt. The historic section of Bisbee is now confined to old antique shops, 60’s style hippies and old saloons. There are a few bed and breakfast places as well as hotels in the area.

However there is not a lot to do in the area, other than relax, enjoy a coffee, visit the many art and craft shops . We had lunch at the Savory Spot and did not find it to be the most enjoyable place, however it was very interesting due to the clientele that were having lunch while we had ours. You can read more about snow bird traveling in Bisbee and our lunch experience as well as see several pictures, click here.

Benson Arizona

Next we went to Benson, Arizona for the night. Nothing special about Benson, however the hotel we stay at is called the Desert Rose and we consider it one of the nicest places to stay at on our trip. Clean, decorated in desert tones, great value, only $80 per night which includes breakfast and WiFi and close to Bisbee, Tombstone, Tucson, PIMA Museum, the Bone Yard, the Titan Missile Museum and Old Town Tucson to name a few. All are within an hour driving and most are less than 30 minutes drive from the hotel.

Titan Missile Museum

We visited the Titan Missile Museum on this trip and I have to say it is one of the highlights of our trip. For those of you who may not be aware, during the cold war both Russia and the US had many missiles aimed at each other armed with Nuclear weapons.  The Russians located Nuclear war heads in Cuba during the 60’s which precipitated the Bay of Pigs confrontation and lead to the US building these missile sites.

There were 54 missiles located around the US all aimed at various locations in Russia. They could be launched within 1 minute of getting the launch order once Russian missiles were detected. Canada and NORAD played a significant part of the early warning system.

These missiles have been replaced by newer more sophisticated systems, and all were taken out of service in favor of new more sophisticated systems. This site is the only one left and has been converted into a museum. For more information and pictures, click here.

We are also taking advantage of a free rooms offer from the Aquarius hotel while we stay here in Laughlin, Nevada for a few days, also again because of the slot cards that we use. We have had breakfast as well on the comps which was also actually a brunch. There are lots of snow bird traveling deals in the Laughlin area.

We had one of the best omelets we have had on our trip.  If you would like more information about the Aquarius Hotel, click here. For more information about slot cards and why you should always carry and use them when you are playing the slots at any of the hotels, click here.

Las Vegas Nevada

On to Vegas and the Mirage hotel.  We ate at the Carnegie Deli at the Mirage today for lunch. We shared a pastrami on rye sandwich which had to be 5 inches tall and a plate of french fries that was more than enough for 4 people. The food is really good and there is lots of it, so if you want to share the restaurant will not mind.

When we stay at the Mirage Hotel we always try to go to Kokomos restaurant. This is stylish contemporary restaurant bordering on the lush tropical jungle that patrons must pass through on their way to the casino. I always order the 8oz fillet .  The pool was closed for maintenance so we did not get a chance to use it. When we are in Vegas, we like to go to all of our favorite places such as the Bellagio, the Mirage and the Wynn hotels. For pictures of the Mirage hotel, and more information about Las Vegas, click here.

Palm Springs California

We arrived in Palm Springs on the 1st of Feb were we will stay for the next month. These are relaxing days spent in the sun, going for coffee, hiking and swimming in the pool at the Deauville (Click Here for Information) were we stay.

The Deauville is a luxury condo that comes with 3 pools and hot tubs, tennis courts and a gym along with underground parking. It is located in downtown Palm Springs, which allows us to walk to almost everything. One place we went for brunch was a place called Leon’s! This restaurant is located at Indian Canyons Golf course and they offer brunch ordered off a menu with unlimited champagne for $15 per person. Click here for several pictures and a view of one of the cutest golf carts we have seen.

I surprised my wife on Valentines with a trip to Las Vegas, staying at the Wynn Hotel and Casino for two days. We met her girlfriend there, which was another surprise. She won a jackpot on a nickel machine, $5280!

We have included other posts about various topics in and around Palm Springs. They are listed on the right hand side under recent posts. More to come in our next major post about our trip in 2011! We are off to Bullhead Arizona for the month of March, 2011. there are lots of snow bird traveling throughout the US.

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San Antonio, Texas

January 27th, 2011 ernie Posted in Our Trip 2011 1 Comment »

San AntonioSan Antonio is a great place to visit, especially along the historic  River Walk. This canal is actually part of the San Antonio river that the city has taken and turned into  a canal that runs through the downtown area of the city. It is  lined with hotels that back onto the canal and has been named the River Walk, there are numerous outdoor patios and restaurants, as well as boat rides with tour guides that you can even book your supper on. A really happening place were thousands stroll along either side of the canal every day. If you have not been here, it is well worth the visit, especially in warm weather when you can sit outside and enjoy the sun and a nice cold beer.

Some restaurants will also have music in the evening for everyone to enjoy. On cool nights many will also place heaters at strategic points to keep diners warm while they enjoy their dinner. There is definitely a Mexican influence in this part of the United States. There are many Mexican restaurants and so we had our first Mexican meal of the trip.  Very enjoyable! You can stroll along both sides of the canal for perhaps half a mile review the restaurants and then decide which one you want to return to for your dinner or lunch. There is not much open for breakfast.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn, downtown off Bowie street. The Hampton Inn has free parking, free wifi and free breakfast included with the price of the hotel which is a good deal, especially for downtown hotels. It is also with easy walking distance to all of the major downtown attractions.  The Hampton Inns are always clean and always dependable.

The Alamo

You cannot visit San Antonio, without visiting the Alamo.  The Hampton Inn downtown is about two blocks from the River Walk and also two blocks  from the Alamo, one of the most historic places in Texas. On past trips we have toured the Alamo and seen the movie that depicts the story of the last stand at the Alamo as the Texans tried to with stand Santa Anna’s Mexican armies onslaught! It is a really moving piece and well worth seeing by everyone!

You can picture yourself being there facing over whelming odds knowing that help is not going to get to you in time. Every man is willing to fight to the last man standing because Santa Anna has promised the sword to every Texan in the fort.  The story is compelling and exciting and memorable. It brought tears to our eyes as we pictured how patriotic these frontiersman were. Although Sam Houston did not reach the fort in time to save the Texans, he did defeat the Mexican army and retake the Alamo from the Mexicans, setting up the situation for Texas to become a US state.

Historic District

On the morning of our second day we went for a long walk into the historic district of downtown San Antonio. This is an area were homes were built-in the late 1800’s and most are mansions with grand pillars supporting upstairs balconies on grounds that are well manicured. There is a historical society which authenticates and ensure standards are followed in the maintenance of the homes along with any changes that may be considered by the owners. Some are open for tours, although on Sunday when we visited they were all closed. There are also a few that operate as bed and breakfast accommodations, which would be really neat to stay at.

Chilli’s on the River Walk

We ended up at Chilli’s for supper on our second night and it turned out that it was happy hour. Happy hour in Chillis is for patrons sitting at the bar whenever there is a football game on and of course at this time of year there is almost always a football game playing. A large draft was $3.25 and all appetizers were half price! The Green Bay Packers won and are on the way to the Super Bowl!

This last picture on the left was included to show how beautiful the area is. It is not related to Chillis.

A warning about San Antonio. While it is a safe place to walk around, the city applies a hefty tax on rooms. For a room that cost me $116 at the Hampton Inn, there was tax of $18 added to the cost, which I find pretty hefty and much more than many other cities we have stayed in. I guess the money is used to fund the River Walk maintenance etc.

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