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Old Las Vegas

When I was a kid, my family would take road trips to see our relatives in Nebraska and Montana. These were long drives in the station wagon from California, the trips were always during summer vacation, and we didn't have air conditioning. The visits themselves were always about eating, 'visiting', and adult conversations that sent me to bed early. I can't say I enjoyed any of it but there was one highlight.

Every year we would leave California through Las Vegas! The strip, the lights, the fancy ladies in the lobbies (which I later found out were hookers), being rushed through the casino because I was a minor, that was exciting..Back then Las Vegas was glamorous but still had a casual and sometimes cowboy feel to it. It wasn't unusual to see someone in a cowboy hat as I passed through the casino. When I would have dinner in the casino coffee shop at night (always with my mom, my dad was nowhere to be found) I would see showgirls and showboys on a break between shows in their full make-up. It was hard for me not to stare at how beautiful they were.

As I was going through some old family photos I found a couple shots we took. These were off the balcony of the Dunes hotel (which is where the Bellagio is today)

 This is a view of the strip facing north
That is The Flamingo to the right
This is a view of the strip facing south (check out the price of gas!)
Both photos were taken about 1965

This is hanging out at the pool at the Riveria 
Photo was taken in the late 60s or early 70s

I remember in the early 70s seeing Nancy Sinatra with the Muppets (how random is that?!?!). It was a great show with her and her husband at the International Hotel (it later became the Hilton and now it is???). She sang and danced with many of the muppet characters. Here is a little clipping I found online of the show.

To read more about Jim Henson and the show check out

I didn't realize until I became an adult that you could leave the state of California without going through Las Vegas. As a tourist we would always take the little soaps with us from our hotel rooms as a souvenir. After going to lots of estate sales I can tell you, with out a doubt, other visitors loved to take home match books, postcards, towels, and ashtrays. I could not resist curating for Just the Good Stuff this set of glass ashtrays from Las Vegas hotels:

Check out my little store Just the Good Stuff for additional fun, kitschy items!!

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