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November 21, 2008

Blogging Note

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I always thought it interesting that other people would fall into travel routines. For example, a couple my parents knew would regularly travel to Honolulu every year near Christmas time.

Now it seems Nancy and I have the same disease (if that's what it is): her ski week at Lake Tahoe in January, Santa Barbara in early November and Las Vegas during Thanksgiving week. (The latter is because, when I was still working, I would only have to take three days of leave time while being away for seven days -- the balance being weekends and a two-day holiday.)

We hop the plane to Vegas tomorrow. I'll pack my trusty MacBook and post as best I can. Otherwise, I'll keep my eyes open and have my camera at the ready for blog-worthy grist. I'll be visiting the new Palazzo hotel complex (part of the endangered Sands empire) and will check progress on the big glass 'n' steel project along The Strip between the Monte Carlo and the Bellagio. It was mostly steelwork a year ago. I read that there are financing problems, so I'll be interested in seeing where things stand now in terms of being completed. It's interesting in that "name" architects were hired and the depictions of the completed project suggest that the shebang will be the usual (yawn) Modernism -- and totally out of character so far as the rest of the 'hood is concerned.



posted by Donald at November 21, 2008



You don't go into a much detail about a subject many of us soon-to-be seniors are worried about: How do you afford this lifestyle?

The Karaoke Queen and I recently bought a timeshare, and we're hoping that that helps us to afford to travel. At least the lodging is paid for in advance. All that we have to come up with is the airfare and food.

How are you managing?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on November 21, 2008 9:03 AM

ST -- My wife bought a couple time-shares many years before we met and married; that accounts for the annual Tahoe and LV trips.

I'm not a time-share fan in the sense that I would never buy one. The way I see it is that I'm too old to get total value for the amount spent. (Compare the purchase price to what it would cost to simply use hotels or motels.)

As best I can tell, they make sense if (1) you are young enough that the price and annual fees are less than cumulative hotel bills would be for similar vacations over time, and (2) you totally love the destination and feel compelled to visit the place once a year for the rest of your days. (Yes, I know you can trade, but that can be tedious to do.)

Nancy also bought into Worldmark, a Wyndham subsidiary that has a large presence here in the west. You aren't tied to one site and, under certain conditions, can use the places as inexpensive hotels. But again, it would take years to balance the cost and flexibility of going to motels.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on November 21, 2008 10:09 AM

Donald, but what is that "big glass and steel project"? Is it a hotel, an office building, an apartment rental, a retail mall, an small industrial enterprise lease?
See, the style of the building is dictated by its purpose. I suppose you can, after Victorian fashion, make an office tower to look like a XXX joint on steroids; that, actually, will be totally in Vegas tradition - but would you want to?
Cities are interesting places because they are such a melange of various styles, concepts and personalities. Why would you want to make all the buildings uniform?

Posted by: Tatyana on November 21, 2008 10:22 AM

Thanks, Donald.

Our timeshare is not limited to a single location.

We can go just about anywhere in the world.

I left the financial part up to the Karaoke Queen. I'm hopeless in that part of life, so I don't know what the fees will be.

We bought the timeshare with another couple as partners. Now, I just hope that we can afford the airfare.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on November 21, 2008 10:27 AM

ST -- Oh, and the recent California trip lodging was about half motels and the rest a combination of Worldmark condos-as-motels and staying with friends.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on November 21, 2008 10:47 AM

Tat -- As best I recall, it's to be condos, a hotel, shopping and some sort of casino. On/near the present Strip, only condos are non-themed architecture. I will post photos when I return.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on November 21, 2008 10:52 AM

We've had a week in Madeira three times in the last six years, going early in January when the price is low. Not convenient for the US, but wonderful from Britain.

Posted by: dearieme on November 21, 2008 12:03 PM

Don't forget, you'll also get to visit your daughter in Vegas.

Posted by: E. Pittenger on November 21, 2008 9:04 PM

I am not happy with the word "melange" as used above.

Posted by: Sister Wolf on November 23, 2008 3:30 AM

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