Valley of Fire – A Nevada state park and awesome day trip.

Like most things in life I saw this park on Facebook and thought it would be a great trip for my dad and I to explore the beautiful red rocks of the Valley of Fire. I have driven by the entrance several times unknowingly on the way to Mesquite and Southern Utah in the past. This time however, was a full deep dive into one of Nevada’s hidden gems. Just off the 15 N interstate on the way to Salt Lake City from Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire exposes it’s magnificent landscape for park attendees. Admission is $10 or $9 with a veterans discount and the park closes at sundown. I got out of the car several times to take short hikes around the natural wonders and snap photos. I was fascinated by the red sand that is extremely fine like the white sand found at Pebble Beach located in and around the rock formations. The park also boasts ancient hieroglyphs from long lost tribes of the southwest and many unique rock figurations including an arch that is quite simply cool. My dad and I made the trip in late March and it wasn’t hot at all. After several hours in the park we decided to stop for a bite to eat at a restaurant named The Inside Scoop. The food portions were most generous and the milkshake was killer. I highly recommend this day trip for locals and tourists looking to get away from the strip. You can find the Valley of Fire at 29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040.

Oak Quarry Golf Course – Hit your ball of the rocks and score!

Wow this course is a one of a kind. Big rocks that you can ricochet your ball off onto greens and a track that you will never forget. One of my Facebook friends posted this course on her timeline and I knew I had to go check it out. Living in So. California for over a decade, I had never heard of it. The clubhouse and cart barn are pretty standard, but the golf carts are top notch with awesome GPS and big comfortable chairs. The layout is unique to say the least with challenging tee shots and slick greens. I was hitting the ball well that day, but I found the course to be a perfect challenge of the need for distance, control and accuracy. My only complaint was the tightly packed grass in the fairways which have a matted down feeling when hitting iron shots, but that was probably due to the time of year in early spring. I highly recommend this course for the challenge and photo opportunities. Oak Quarry can be found at  7151 Sierra Ave, Riverside, CA 92509. Their website can be found by clicking here.

3 days of golf and decadent dinners with old friends.

I got a message from my friend Rocky about an upcoming PGA pro-am event sponsored by the Iowa PGA. I was happy to say yes to an amazing event held at 3 of Las Vegas’s premier courses. One of which has been on my bucket list for years, Southern Highlands. The other 2 Rio Secco and Cascata I had played before, but my round at Cascata was cut short due to inclement weather so I was happy to get back out to Boulder City to enjoy another 18 holes. It was great to hang out with my friends Frank, Rocky, Tilly and a new friend Jeff. I had not seen them in years and we had the chance to catch up on old times. We didn’t play that great, but we made up for the lack of scoring at some nice restaurants in town including Nora’s Italian cuisine and STK steakhouse at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino.

2020 a beautiful and dangerous rocky road! A year we will never forget.

Rocky Road

It started off as a new decade, a glimpse into uncharted territory . An election year, a leap year, and the year of the rat in the Chinese Zodiac. I found myself starting a new business,. Nomadic Nolan’s Travel and kicked off things with a trip to Mexico City to give a review of North America’s largest metropolis and explore my roots. On that trip, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on my last day before returning home. I remember getting a work out in at the hotel gym and shedding tears while I exercised. As expected I had great food in Mexico, and went to the ancient city of Teotihuacan to visit the pyramids. A few weeks later I went to Miami for more business and had great Cuban food. Then came March and along came Covid. Our economy was floored, months of lock down and gaining weight. I spent many days wondering when things would be normal again. Things got worse, then got better and then we were somewhat free again during the summer. I decided to take road trips with my dad. We visited some of the greatest parks and attractions in the SW United States including Zion, The Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Sedona Arizona, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, Bryce Canyon and I played golf at some of the most epic courses these eyes have ever seen. The Lakers won the NBA title, and the Dodgers won the World Series. Joe Biden defeated Trump. I made a trip to LA to play Wilshire country club with my good friend John and saw my friends Ryan, Dave & Jenny while I was there. Drewski was in the mix and Rachel Rach was there to have some fun too. I even made it to Hawaii to see Jamonica, Mike, Kayla, Aden, and Vanessa. CJ, Chris and Garrett were there for me this year and countless others reached out to me to see how I was doing. 2020 was a time for growth, a time of reflection, a time of conspiracy, a time of fear, and a time of appreciation. There are so many things that happened that I am thankful for in 2020 and as bad as things were, there were so many wonderful bright spots I will never forget… Cheers to all of you and Happy New Year! Let’s have a great 2021. God bless you all from Nomadic Nolan!

Nevada & California 2020 Pandemic Travels – Second stop South Lake Tahoe, NV, Harrah’s Hotel and Casino

We woke up early and left Tonopah for South Lake Tahoe on Tuesday morning June 30th…  On our way out of town, we stopped for some photos at the Clown Hotel.  The drive starts to get interesting around Walker Lake, then again as you near Lake Tahoe on the Nevada 207 West.  Other than that expect a rather desolate drive.   As we drove into Tahoe, climbing the massive winding highway, we were looking for something to eat before we checked into Harrah’s at 3 pm.  We found the perfect place near the beach named Jimmy’s Restaurant which is nestled at the base of the Landing Tahoe Resort and Spa.  We ordered fish tacos with Australian Sea Bass and the Caesar salad with blackened shrimp that were absolutely out of this world.  I would go back just for the shrimp they were that good.  After our meal we checked into Harrah’s and we were happy to see all the precautions the hotel was taking to address Covid 19.  Everyone was required to wear masks, there were temperature checks upon arrival, and some amenities were closed like the valet, room service, and housekeeping during the stay.  The staff took good care of us and got us a room on the 11th floor with amazing views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding forest.  The hotel is a solid 3.5 and could use some additional upgrades, but overall it was a good choice for our stay… Harrah’s Lake Tahoe is located right on the Nevada/California state line and the address is 15 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449.  To be continued.

Nevada & California 2020 Pandemic Travels – First stop Tonopah, NV

After being locked in the home for months due to Covid 19, my dad and I decided it was time to hit the open road.  Our destination was Lake Tahoe for it’s pristine waters, golf courses, and historic nature drive.  We had no idea what we were getting into so I hit the net to plan out a route.  After a few articles, trip advisories and YouTube videos, I decided we would drive from Las Vegas to Tonopah, NV.  Tonopah is home of the Stealth Bomber and about a four hour drive from Sin City.  The town is known for its star gazing and a few iconic hotels, one in which is haunted by ghosts!  The Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah has a century’s worth of history and some supposed paranormal activity.  I thought it would be cool to run into a ghost and have a story so here is what happened.  I wanted to see what the vibe was like before committing to a room for the night, and upon questioning the front desk attendant I decided I would give it a green light.  After all we were only staying for a night, and right next door there is a casino, dining available in the lobby restaurant, and a few shops and restaurants all within walking distance.  Tonopah, is a really cute small town and is basically all on one street so think of it as a perfect place to stretch out half way between Vegas and Lake Tahoe.  We checked into our room and had 3 hours of relax time before the restaurant opened.  This would be our first dining experience since Covid took over our lives, and we were happy to see only one other couple in the restaurant and the staff wearing masks.  My dad is 77 and has a compromised immune system, so this hotel and restaurant passed all of our tests.  We had a few drinks before eating so we were all giggly and ordered way too much food.  My dad had a massive burger with fries, and I ordered the chicken fajitas with a appetizer portion of buffalo wings.  WAY TOO MUCH FOOD!  Hah! After that it was nighty night for the both of us.  We headed back up to the room and crashed, no ghost sightings, no casino, just about a 30 minute get up session to pee and I walked outside to see what the stars looked like, but we were in too much light and I wasn’t about to walk to the star gazing spot by myself in a small town.  I went back to the room thinking I might see one of the small children or the lady in red dress spirits the receptionist and Mizpah paper told me about, but nada.  I crashed and the next morning dad and I had coffee, checked out and stopped at the Clown Hotel, the other iconic hotel, and snapped some photos by the enormous Clowns outside of the reception area.  Then it was on to Tahoe…  Tonopah, Nevada can be reached very easily from Las Vegas by taking the 95 North highway.  Both the Mizpah, & Clown Hotels are on the 95 North as well.

I would give the Mizpah a solid 3 stars for it’s history, country club vibe, and on-sight museum.  Although very small, basically just a room, the hotel has a nice collection of artifacts from the surrounding area, a cool bar, and lovely little restaurant called The Pittman Cafe, named after Key Pittman a former Senator from Nevada.  You can find out more information about the Mizpah here.

To be continued… In my next post I will cover our route to Tahoe, our stay at the Harrahs South Lake Tahoe, and the golf experience at Edgewood Golf Course.

 

Pandemic travels road trip 2020.

 

Book Flights, Hotels & More on CaseyNolan.Com

Like an angel from heaven my friend Antonio came to me with an amazing opportunity to become an independent travel agent.  I’ll be up front, because of my love for vacations and blogging he had my ear as soon as he said travel.  After hearing him out and going over the process I signed up and launched my own travel portal where you, your friends, and family can now book flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.  That’s right!  You can now book travel on caseynolan.com & booking is simple.  Click on the Book Travel button on the menu bar above or click here to start planning your next trip.   Also, please leverage the information and blog posts on my site to get ideas, and you’re always welcome to reach out to me by email to ask any questions.  Happy travels!

 

 

Terrace after hours Las Vegas @ Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club

If you want to dance the night away into the wee hours of the morning with an awesome view of Las Vegas and women walking around in lingerie then this is the spot to go to.  I’ve been here several times, but my friend Jaime Narvaez happened to be spinning records on Sunday over Labor day weekend and boy did he not disappoint.  My happy feet were moving and the eye candy was on point.  I had so much fun and will be going back for more.  You can find Terrace on the top level of Larry Flynt’s Huster club at 6007 Dean Martin Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89118.  Also, the entrance is on the south side of the building and not through the main entrance of the Hustler Club.

 

The Golden Steer Las Vegas

The Golden Steer has been a staple of Las Vegas for many decades, yet I have eluded this timeless masterpiece without much intrigue.  If it wasn’t for a recent post by my friend who had alas entered this marvelous steakhouse and wrote about it, I perhaps would be without a review of my own.   The Golden Steer on Sahara about a block down from the corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvd is home to Las Vegas’s biggest baked potato, an assortment of steaks, seafood, salads, and pasta.  It is a throw back to the days when waiters wore bow ties and the dark ambiance will have you feeling like you’re dining in the 1960’s.  I took my father here for his 76th birthday, and although the Steer had an hour wait, we entertained ourselves with video poker and complimentary drinks at the bar.  For dinner we had the porterhouse, and the filet mignon and lobster tail combination that came with a salad, and side choice being the gargantuan sized baked potato.   You can find the Golden Steer at 308 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102.