Sunday, March 4, 2012

Shopping extravaganza

We are at the Walmart at Arroyo Crossing in Las Vegas, Nevada (map). Arroyo Crossing is an enormous suburban shopping center that is less than a year old; all the stores, Walmart included, are faced in a desert southwestern theme of alternating shades and textures of stucco -- it's all very frou-frou. As long as we were here, we went shopping, making this an expensive "free" overnight spot.

Ironically, the reason we chose this particular Walmart in this particular shopping center is that it was the closest one with a Banfield pet hospital inside a Petsmart store, or so we thought. That's what Google told us, and also what the Petsmart web site told us. Unfortunately, when we went into the store at the end of the evening to pick up prescription cat food, we learned that the Banfield's opening has been delayed twice, and they won't open now until March 17th. No Banfield means no prescription diet, even though the space for it on the shelves sits forlornly empty. Harumph -- we will now need to trundle over to a different Petsmart to pick up the food; fortunately, there are Walmarts next door to the next two nearest Petsmarts as well.

Had we learned about this when we arrived, we might have simply continued on to one of those other locations -- we had them as a backup plan in case we arrived here to find No Overnight Parking signs, something we half expected in such a yuppie shopping center. No signs were in evidence and there were even another couple rigs here last night, and so we settled in when we arrived. We walked across to the Marshall's and Ross stores across the street, where I ended up with some much-needed new shoes, and I walked over to the Home Depot to return some unneeded parts from the great bathroom wall project while Louise checked out Michael's and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Then we wandered over to Putter's for dinner, as Louise found a nice coupon on line. We were disappointed that the dining room was closed due to a staff shortage, so we had to eat in the bar. That was a bit smoky, but for pub food, it was decent, and the price was right. After dinner we strolled over to Office Depot and then to the aforementioned non-existent Banfield, so we were well-entrenched and already had had a beer by the time we realized we'd need to go elsewhere.

As long as we were already here, we also had a half-off coupon for brunch this morning at Mimi's Café, after which we popped in to Mens Wearhouse briefly before finally doing our grocery shopping at Walmart. In all, we did the circuit of a half dozen or so stores and will have left a bit of our cash behind here at Arroyo Crossing.

B&B took all the way to Friday afternoon to wrap up the wall repair. In part that was due to constant interruptions from other projects, and in part it was due to Joe just coming up to speed on carpentry -- the final dress panel for the wall had to be made twice as the first attempt did not fit properly. We were in no hurry, and with a 15-amp power outlet it was actually a great spot in the very cold nighttime temperatures last week. Gary did not charge me for all of Joe's time, given the fairly slow learning process toward the end, and we ended up settling for a flat $800 for the repair.

The end result looks fine. I ended up running over to Home Depot and picking up a can of expanding foam to seal better around the window, and also some transition molding to cover the seam between the old and new materials. This latter item ended up being an aluminum strip intended to transition from carpet to tile, and I spray-painted it black with the same stuff we used on the outside trim. As long as we were changing out hardware, I also picked up a new and slightly classier tissue paper holder. We opted to secure the new wall treatment with screws, along with the trim and TP holder, rather than glue, so that it can be removed later for inspection.

Gary let us keep the extension cord running out of the shop for another night, so we just spent Friday night at the shop as well, and yesterday we topped up the water tank before leaving to come here. It was a fine place to be for one more night, but getting the dog over to the dirt for her walk was tiresome, and we really needed supplies, so we were glad to get rolling mid-afternoon.

Thursday evening fellow bus owners Jim and Cheryl, who have been staying in Las Vegas at the Oasis RV park for the last few weeks, came over for a visit. We enjoyed catching up with them after an absence of many years -- the last time we saw them was at Bus'n' USA. We all drove over to nearby McMullan's Pub, just around the corner from the Orleans, for dinner. They were just about to leave town, trying to time their departure to miss some snow in the northwest on their way home to Oregon.

I expect we will end up at another Walmart, adjacent to a Petsmart, tonight. Then tomorrow we'll head over to one of our casino spots -- I am leaning towards Paris again. We'd head out to the desert for another week if not for the fact that friends Ben and Karen will be returning from Hawaii Tuesday morning, and I'd like to wrap up whatever I can on their cantankerous generator before we all part ways. If we can get that out of the way early in the week, we can head back out to the desert for a while before we need to be in Death Valley.

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