Loflin Yard Downtown Memphis

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Ice houses. Beer gardens. Memphis. Didn’t have one… until now. There are many of these places in Texas; San Antonio to be exact. You eat some food, drink some beer with friends and enjoy the day or evening. The environment is very casual.

Near noon I received a text from a friend. “Lunch? Downtown? I got a place picked out.” The place? Loflin Yard.

Loflin Yard Memphis 9

Located in downtown Memphis, almost behind the train station, you will find this oasis. The property is rather large. My guess is there could be several hundred people at the joint but because the place has so much space, the “Yard” would not feel crowded.

Loflin Yard Memphis Diagram

Chairs? Provided. Sit back and relax. Tables? There are small tables scattered all along the fence.

Loflin Yard Memphis 7

Or you could sit at a larger table under a covered patio near the kitchen.

Loflin Yard Memphis

Or you could sit at a small table along the outer fence. Or sit in the center of the court yard, it is covered as well.

Loflin Yard Memphis 4

There is no wait service. You order your food and drinks at two small windows near the kitchen.

Loflin Yard Memphis Menu

The staff give you a number on a stand, and you wait for your food to arrive where you sit.

Loflin Yard Memphis Menu 2

We ordered a brisket sandwich and it was very good.

Loflin Yard Sandwich Memphis

We also ordered the cheese plate. Also very good.

Loflin Yard Memphis Cheese Plate

Your drinks can be ordered along with your food, or you can order at the bar.

Loflin Yard Bar Memphis

There is even a small patio upstairs that looks out onto the yard.

Like music? Loflin Yard plays good music. You sit back, relax, have a cold drink and catch up with your friends.

Loflin Yard Memphis 6

We assumed the place would be packed because of Mothers Day, but it wasn’t. We were told that the place WAS packed the night before. There were so many people Saturday night, that the menu was shortened considerably on Sunday because the restaurant ran out of items. The food that was available was very good.

Got dogs? Bring them. The Yard appears to be dog friendly. And kid friendly.

Am I going back? Yes I am. Good times and good food can be found here at Loflin Yard. Check it out Memphis. The only thing I am wondering is when will Cooper Young get a beer garden / ice house?

Running in Cooper Young, Salad, Bicycle Chain, The 14th Colony

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Weekend Memphis. Get moving!

Last week I started running… again. I ran pretty often when we lived in Germantown. I was up to 5 miles of running a day. Then summer arrived. When you wake up at 5:30 a.m. to run to beat the heat; well that says it all. In the recent past, my knees have been the problem due to a couple of bicycle accidents. My knees are holding up now, but my core and back are not. (Bicycle repair and lifting heavy objects as of lately.) But I do want to continue to run. It’s good for you! I’m running 2 miles a day in Cooper Young.

Also good for you are salads. Cucumbers, pickles, carrots, and berries. Delicious!

salad (2)

I’ve gone back to my tried and proven better eating program; oatmeal for breakfast, a big salad for lunch (with some protein), and a smaller dinner.

salad

Add in some exercise before and after work and there you have it. No big secret. Calories in, calories burned.

Beer! I’ve been trying new beers.

beers

Cash Saver on Madison has a very good selection of single beers. The one I like lately is the Rogue Farms Chipotle. Nice, light and smooth. Go get some. Not Your Fathers; “excellent”! Abita Spiced? I thought there would be some heat to this beer. I was wrong. Abita Spiced is… okay. I may have to try another new beer tonight.

Speaking of bicycles, I purchased a new chain. Now I just have to change the chain out, which I have never attempted in the past. Wish me luck.

If you need a book to read, may I suggest Steve Berry’s latest book; The 14th Colony.

steve berry 14th colony

The cold war, weapons of mass destruction, spies on each side, and no one knows who is on who’s side. I believe this would be Berry’s best book to date. Check the book out (really) from the Memphis Public Library.

I am praying that I miss the rain tomorrow so I can commute to work and back via the bicycle and the Greenline. Put some miles on that bicycle! Have a great week and I will see YOU back here again for more bikes, books, and… salads. Cheers.

 

 

New Orleans, The Skull Crusher, How to open a beer in a hotel room, Gumbo, Museum Of Death New Orleans, Flowers

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Last week we drove south to the big, happening city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. First time there. The city was bigger than expected. Of course we stopped in Jackson for some food, but also for some drinks. I spotted a growler station that you could just walk up to and fill your growler. That’s new to me.

Growler Station MS

A friend said he had witnessed the same thing while in the deep south. No wait, just fill it up. Easy. Instead of a growler, I grabbed six bottles. But… back at the hotel room, I couldn’t find my bottle opener that I stash in my luggage. “Just go down to the front desk” my wife told me. “No. That would require me putting on pants.” That was my answer. There HAS to be a way to open this bottle in the hotel room. There MUST be a way. Hello Google. And then I found THIS video. And guess what. It works. The internet is good for something. I also found THIS bar. You know, if you ever need a “Skull Crusher”.

Skull Crusher

Oddly enough, my head has felt like I’ve had a couple of Skull Crushers the night before.

Next up, New Orleans jelly bean. After a day in Hattiesburg, Mississippi we headed south to New Orleans for a day. 18 hour in the Big Easy.

Jackson Square New Orleans

We stayed in the French Quarter as usual. After stowing the luggage, we hit the streets. I headed to Desire on Bourbon for gumbo as usual. Love me the gumbo.

Desire Oyster Bar

Desire Gumbo New Orleans

Next we stopped in at Felipes bar for some food and drinks. I began to eye the shirt of the guy sitting next to me.

Museum of Death Sticker

“Uhhh… where did you get that shirt?” I REALLY wanted that shirt. “I’m the manager of the Museum of Death.” Ohhhh… kayyyyy. So we talked about… death. Good talk. Me, I like a good mystery. Jack the Ripper, Zodiac, J.F.K. and Oswald, stuff like that. The manager of the museum knew his stuff. He invited me to check the museum out the next day. After the casino, and a few more drinks, we called it a night.

The next morning we checked into Johnny Poor Boys for breakfast. Good and cheap. That done, I walked on over to the Museum of Death New Orleans.

Museum of Death New Orleans

If you want some good, weird shirts, this is the place to go. The shirt I wanted was out of stock, but that was okay. I will go back to find it in a few weeks. I did pick up a sticker, and placed it on my bicycle. I also checked out the museum. $15 to get in. Let me tell you, it is pretty crazy. They got a Bundy wall, and a Manson wall. A car wreck wall as well. And a casket, “Do not open”. Who opens a casket? There are a ton of newspaper reports, and lots of psych evals on these killers. If you are not into death, this place is not for you. I will say the museum is interesting though. And if you have questions, ask the manager. He has answers for you. There were many stories from the past that I had forgotten about.

After the museum, I walked on over to the square for some lunch. More gumbo. I always check this kitchen out; Café Pontalba. And I always order the same thing, gumbo. Oink. Love me the gumbo.

We walked around the Quarter some more. If the guitar thing doesn’t work out, Ritchie Blackmore could always work here.

Smoke on the Water New Orleans

Good times had by all in the Big Easy.

Everybody wants some.

Everybody wants some

Good movie. We checked it out today. Will it win an academy award? No. But it was still a good movie. Brings back memories of doing dumb stuff with my old friends. And yes, I have been to some of “those” college parties. And no, I do not remember them, at all. Well maybe a little.

Best botanist in Memphis? Maybe I am.

Flowers

Done. See YOU back here for more beers, gumbo and bikes. Cheers.

Overton Square Crawfish Festival 2016, Box Boy Art, Let’s Go Memphis Bicycle Shirt

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And so ends another Overton Square Crawfish Festival. I rolled up on my bicycle yesterday at noon.

Overton Square Crawfish Festival 2016

There was plenty of items to purchase other than crawfish. I found this very cool shirt.

Lets Go Memphis Bicycle Shirt

Let’s Go Memphis!

I also stopped by a booth (BoxBoy) that featured very different items. My kind of stuff. Different. Look for more of this stuff at the Cooper Young Festival in a few months. I spotted this item.

Wonder Woman Art Box Boy

My wife likes the old Wonder Woman television show.  How did Wonder Woman ever find the door to her invisible plane?

And how about the crawfish?

Overton Square Crawfish Festival 2016 2

Get some.

The band Walrus played Young Avenue Deli last night. If you don’t know the local band, they played covers of college radio bands back in the day; The Cult, Adam Ant, Bowie. So how was the show? The band played well. The singer belted the tunes out like the original front men. The horn section was spot on. But… the show just wasn’t that good. The audience was made up of many 45+ old men and women. For some reason many of the guys decided to wear their checkered work shirts to the bar. You know you can wear something else to the bar, right? I did sing along to a few songs. I just wish the show was better.

I finished the day today by firing up the grill. This fire starter works great. Love it.

Fire Starter for Grill

Just a man and his grill. The burgers, steak and chicken all came out great!

Come back for more beers, bikes and BBQ Memphis.

The Gardner Heist Book, The Greenline Cordova Extension, The Italian Film Festival Memphis 2016, Overton Square Crawfish Festival 2016

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Midweek post Memphis; because I can.

Recently I downloaded a book from the Memphis Public Library because I believed the book would be “okay”. I was wrong. THIS is a good book.

The Gardner Heist Ulrich Boser

The Gardner Museum heist is world famous because the paintings have yet to be found. Although there are many theories about the heist, nothing has panned out yet. Every few years, there are newspaper reports about the case, but nothing has changed. World famous paintings have been stolen. When I started to read the book, I thought it would be a casual read, but the book is really, really good. The author goes into detail about the mysterious and dark underworld of the stolen art market. Nothing is what it seems. People steal art for money or just because they like the piece of work (which I totally understand). Art moves people for a variety of reasons. If the work strikes you emotionally, you have to have the artwork. And some people will do anything to get a particular painting. Check the book out, The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser. It’s a good one.

Italian Film Festival. Memphis. GO! We did. Since I took my bicycle to work, I planned ahead to get to the University of Memphis on time for the film. Pedal, pedal, pedal. I pushed and timed myself to get to the event on time. Everything went as planned, sort of… Heading south on Highland, I ran into this:

South Highland Street Construction

Yes, the sidewalk on the west side of Highland was closed due to construction. (I was using the sidewalk because the current time was 6:00 p.m.; rush hour traffic. Thanks, but no thanks. I really do not trust Memphis motorists during rush hour on Highland. Maybe Central but not Highland.) I pedaled really fast, just as the light turned red, to get past the construction zone.

Finally I made it to the University and changed clothes. Before:

Bicycle Riding Clothing Memphis

After:

Memphis Biycle Commuter

Yes, serious face. My bicycle face. Or my “I hope no one walks in as I take photos of myself in the bathroom, because that would be weird and embarrassing” face.

The film we saw at the Italian Film Festival?  Noi Ela Giulia.

noi el giulia

A REALLY great movie. Buy, rent or stream the film. Do it. The movie shows how life can take a turn for the better. Watch the film with a loved one, open a bottle of wine and laugh out loud.

A few days ago, I decided to try out the new Greenline Extension towards Cordova. Although the sign says closed, and the trail is not officially opened yet, I had to try the new extension out.

Mempis Greenline Extension 5

I am glad I did. The trail is fantastic.

Memphis Greenline Extension 3

When I attended the public meeting a couple of years ago, the photos that were used during the presentation were taken during the winter, which made for stark views of the proposed trail. Now? The trail looks fantastic. Memphis, Shelby County and Cordova are VERY LUCKY to have this trail.

Memphis Greenline Extension

The views are wonderful. My only complaints were the traffic at the intersections for one. Those intersections were very sketchy.

Memphis Greenline Extension 4

If you are using the Greenline Extension, please be very careful. And yes, many people were walking, running and cycling on the new bike / ped path. Since the trail has yet to be completed there are a couple of “trenches” at the intersections in the trail.

Memphis Greenline Extension 2

Taking a wheel into one of these trenches would be very bad. And I am not sure of the purpose of the trench in the trail. Other than a few problems, the trail is very excellent. Try the new Greenline Extension out, but be careful.

I do remember the public meeting I attended a couple of years ago hearing about this new trail. The neighborhood association president for Cordova spoke about the neighborhood concerns about “Cyclists and runners stealing cars” in the Cordova neighborhood along the new Greenline Extension. That is exactly what I think of when I get on my bicycle; finding a car in Cordova I can steal. The neighborhood association also wanted a gate along the Greenline Extension to keep Greenline users out of the neighborhood. “A one way gate for the neighborhood residents”. Awesome. Oddly enough, when I was riding the new trail, it appeared that many Cordova residents were walking, running or riding along the trail. So much for your gate Cordova. WE ARE COMING FOR YOUR CARS CORDOVA!

The Overton Square Crawfish Festival 2016 is nearly upon us. I attend yearly. Mudbugs. Get some.

Overton Square Crawfish

The weather should be nice. Get there early. The street will be crowded.

Overton Square Crawfish Festival

See YOU at the Overton Square Crawfish Festival 2016.

Done. See YOU back here for more soon. Cheers.

Bikes, Beers, Books, Burgers

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Weekend Memphis. And a beautiful weekend it is. I took the bicycle out for a ride to Cooper Young for some Soul Fish Café. Every time I order the same thing; small catfish basket, french fries and hush puppies. Good as usual. Love me the Soul Fish Café.

Soul Fish Memphis 2

I also planned ahead and took an empty small growler with me to Hammer and Ale. My mistake? Thinking that the new beer from Fat Bottom, Lychee Weisse, would still be on tap. Friday evening Hammer had an event and the Lychee Weisse keg was done in less than two hours. Doh! So now I have to wait for a new keg to arrive next week. Never under estimate Memphis beer drinkers. My go to beer? Yazoo Hefe. Delicious.

Yazoo Hefe I should have just purchased a half growler (or full growler), the beer is soooo good. Just in time for spring.

Today we ventured out of the house for the book store; The Book Sellers at Laurelwood. Love me a good bookstore. I found a few books I was interested in. I do want to do some research regarding the book reviews for some of these following books.

ripperI always love a good Ripper book. This one looked interesting. (Amazon gives this book 3.5 out of 5 stars).

fifth gospelThe Fifth Gospel gets 4 out of 5 stars from Amazon.

finders keepers

Finders Keepers rates 4.5 out of 5 stars, but there are fewer reviews for the book.

gary gygaxI really, really, really want to read this book. The reviews of this book are good; 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The latest book I finished reading; Wool (the Silo Series) was a good read. Lots of twists and turns and an unexpected ending.

wool book hugh howey

I highly recommend this book. Now I have to read the others books by the same author.

One of my favorite festivals returns to Memphis, the Italian Film Festival. We have attended for the last several years and have always been pleased with the films. It’s FREE! Good movies featured and it’s free. What more do you want? The series is playing at the University of Memphis. GO!

italian film fest 2012

The rest of my day? Just a man and his grill. Gonna start a fire.

Steak on the grill

Caveman style. Burgers, steak and maybe some chicken.

Done. See YOU back here for more bikes, books, beers and burgers. Cheers.

Ghost River Tap Room, Memphis Greenline Extension, Wool Book, 10 Cloverfield Lane

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Easter Memphis. Get out!

There are a few items on my list today. As I predicted (sort of) Ghost River will open a tap room. Finally. I asked a rep several years ago about a tap room. Her response? “Where would we put it?” Technically correct. Production was maxed out. There was no room for a tap room. And… Harahan Bridge  project was just a future plan. Now that the bike / ped bridge is becoming a reality, Ghost River is in the perfect place to catch those thirsty riders. I am looking forward to having a beer on the way back across the river. Read more about the tap room from the Commercial Appeal here.

Taste The Flavors Memphis Beer Ghost River

Bikes? Yes bikes. The Greenline Extension is in the news because of the construction going on at Germantown Parkway. There is even news that cyclists are using the “almost ready” trail. I may have to swing by that way this week to take some photos. Usually I cut down to Gardner Road and then enter Shelby Farms from the west side of the park. I may have to change the route and check out the new extension soon. Read more about the construction for the Greenline Extension here in the Commercial Appeal.

greenline sign

And speaking of bikes, this news is not good. “Amid cycling boom, penalties for errant drivers remain light.” The story is by Scott McFetridge. I’ve heard of this in the past. Get a jury to side with a cyclist. Good luck with that. Unless you are on the bike, riding down the road, the general motoring public unfortunately does not understand how difficult it can be at times. Potholes, debris on the road, motorists running red lights, motorists who cannot wait for you to cross the street (even though the cyclist has the right of way) are a near daily problem for myself. The guy a few weeks ago insisted that I could not ride by bicycle on the street in Shelby Farms. Gimme 3 feet people, gimme 3 feet. Not. Asking. A lot.

abandoned bicycle

And now two topics about isolation. If you enjoy a good mystery, get the series Silo by Hugh Howey. Don’t take my word. There are only over 11+ THOUSAND great reviews for this series. Really, the books are excellent. You think you know, and then you don’t know. Then you think you get it, but you don’t. The series really is a good one. Check it out.

wool book hugh howey

Don’t have time to read a book? Then check out THIS movie:

10 cloverfield lane

This film is a fantastic psychological thriller. You think you get it, but you don’t. Then you think you know what’s going on, but you are wrong. THEN you think you know it all, but you don’t. Great suspense and great acting. Check it out Memphis.

Done. See YOU back here for more bikes, beers and books. Cheers.

Bike to Work, Bike Nerds Podcast, Memphis Flyer Beer Review, Greenline Construction, Community Coffee, Continuing Education

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Welcome to Warm(er) weather Memphis!

Last Monday morning I left for work earlier than usual just to get on the road with my bicycle. The two week rainstorm had trapped most of Memphis indoors. It felt GREAT to get outside and ride. I was able to ride with only shorts and a t-shirt as well. Spring is here! (about time too). Here is what my morning commute looked like:

Bicycle Commute To work

If you like bicycles and listen to podcasts, there is a new podcast for you. Bike Nerds Podcast serves up the topic of bicycles and how they change people and communities. Good stuff. I’ve listened to the first two episodes; the shows are good and the hosts are smart (local peeps). Episode 2 is really powerful. Give Bike Nerds Podcast a listen.

Germantown Parkway will be under construction for the next month due to the Greenline extension heading east. Read it here from the Memphis Daily News:

“On the first day of spring, Sunday, March 20, construction will begin on the Shelby Farms Greenline crossing of Germantown Parkway.

Work crews will begin northbound and southbound lane shifts, which are necessary to build the median shelter that will allow those using the greenline to cross the busy parkway with a wait in the middle.

The temporary lane closures in both directions begin at 7 a.m. Sunday morning and will remain in place for about a month.

The greenline is being extended from its current terminus on Mullins Station Road near the Shelby County Corrections Center eastward to the old Cordova Train Station, which is east of the Germantown Parkway crossing.”

I cannot wait for the construction to end and the extension to open. More miles of trails please.

Beer. Memphis has beer. The Memphis Flyer rated Memphis beer recently. I always enjoy the Memphis Flyer beer reviews. The article tells you what’s new, what I should try, ect. Read more about Memphis local beer here from the Memphis Flyer.

tiny bomb wiseacre

Coffee. I like that too. Even though I forgot to drink coffee Friday (long story), I picked some up at the grocery store. Community Coffee Mardi Gras King Cake. Cinnamon and vanilla flavor.

Community Coffee King Cake

Or as I like to call it; delicious. Really. Try some.

Back to school time. I started a continuing education class last week.

Excel 2013

The good news was that I didn’t take the Level I class. I’m pretty up to speed with the Level II class. Hopefully I can attend the Level III class in the near future. And yes, it feels very weird to be in an “education” environment. Who’s the old dude? I’m only 28 years older than most students on campus.

Done. See YOU back here for more bikes, coffee and Excel 2013. Cheers.

 

Second Line Memphis, Hueys Windows, Cafe Ole, Canned Wine, Memphis Flooding, Iron Maiden Plane Damaged, Fallout New Vegas

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Weekend Memphis. Get out… in the rain.

There has been so much rain recently I have not been using my bicycle for two weeks. But that will change next week. Greenline, here I come.

News, news, news. Midtown Hueys has had some changes. That big wall with all the graffiti has been opened up with large windows. I can’t wait to see the changes at Hueys. Read more about the change in Hueys here from Memphis Daily News.

If you like Second Line in Midtown, soon the restaurant will be open for lunch. This is GREAT. The $10 lunch special is on my list to try at this excellent diner.

Second Line Memphis

Starting March 25th, you can get in line at Second Line beginning at 11:00 a.m. Go! As you can see from the photo above, the food is great. $10 and you are covered. Read more about the Second Line here from the Commercial Appeal.

We were out at Café Ole for drinks in Cooper Young last week. That outdoor patio? It looks different. cafe ole memphis patio 2

cafe ole patio memphis

The interior courtyard? That looks different too. Concrete table tops are being added to the joint. I’m still sticking to drinks and not food at the place. ONE margarita seems to get me off to a great start in the evening on the patio.

Joes Wine and Liquor has wine in cans. Yes cans.

Joes Wine in a can

From what I have been told, the wine in cans thing has been going over well. Why not. It’s easier to carry a can of wine than a box of wine or a bottle as well.

Back to the rain. As I was walking at Shelby Farms, I noticed a large sheet of “white” along the Wolf River. I did a double take and saw that the “white” area was water. A large amount of water. With nowhere for the water to go, the water is rising up from the Wolf River into Shelby Farms.

Memphis Flooding Wolf River

That is some water.

And bad news from the Maiden tour. While refueling Ed Force One, there was an accident and the engines were damaged. At this point of the tour, the band and crew are having to tour the old way, via buses and trucks.

Ed Force One Iron Maiden Damaged 2016

Most bands would give up and cancel the tour. Not Maiden though. They are pushing on. But that is the way Maiden do things; they don’t give up on the fans.

Iron Maiden Book of Souls Mandalay

Give ’em hell boys!

Ah, look what I received in the mail today. Fall Out New Vegas.

Fall Out New Vegas

Good. I get to explore Las Vegas after the apocalypse. Nice one. Yes, I have already started the game. Viva Las Vegas.

Done. See YOU back here for more beers and video games. Cheers.

Living Loud in Las Vegas, Iron Maiden 2016 Tour

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“Viva Las Vegas. Viva Las Vegas.” Yes, I spent a few days in Las Vegas and lived to tell the tale. Live music? Check. Good food? Check. Gambling? Check. Let the games begin!

Last week, I took Uber to the airport for a Southwest flight to Las Vegas. It took a few hours to get to the west coast, and the flight was uneventful. Picked up a cab at the airport and I made my way to the hotel; Luxor.

Powerslave Las Vegas

Why Luxor? I didn’t pick the hotel. The concert my friends and I were attending was right next door. And… I was “sharing” (more like crashing the party) a room with an old friend. The first thing I noticed were the prices for beer. I hope you budgeted for beer money, because beer on the Strip is expensive. In the casino, you can purchase 2 beers and get a FREE shot for $9. Outside of the casino at a gas station, you could purchase 3 beers for $9. And these were macro beers to boot.

We did do some gambling in the Luxor and New York New York. Even while playing until 2:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. Central Standard Time) free beer while gambling was spotty at best. At 1:30 a.m. the wait staff seemed to be the best at giving you free drinks when the casinos cleared out. At that time we ordered beers every time the waitress passed by. Day one, you are done.

(If you need to keep your curtains closed in your hotel room, try this:

Keep your curtains closed hotel room

take he hanger from the closet and use the clips to keep the curtains closed. I found this at Lifehacker.com.)

The sun rose over a million hangovers in Las Vegas. Mistake number one, take aspirin BEFORE you go to sleep. I had looked up things to do in Las Vegas and found the Pinball Hall of Fame on the list. Wait. What? Old video games? From the 1980’s? Yes, my friends and I were about to travel back in time to the year 1982 (after a short cab ride). Just east of the airport is the Pinball Hall of Fame. If you like pinball, this is your place. If you like old video games, this is really your place. Games to be found here? Tron

Tron Game

Gauntlet, Defender, Pacman, Asteroids

Asteroids Game

Star Wars

Star Wars Game

Centipede

Centipede Game

and many more. I changed out my $5 bill for quarters and hit the games. And my gaming skills were a bit rusty since 1982. “I used to kill on this game!” Well, not anymore. I made it to level 2 on the old Tron game. Same thing for Asteroids. If it takes you an hour and a half to lose $5 in Las Vegas, you are doing very well.

(You can also take use the Computerized Sex Tester machine found on the far left of the entrance.

Sex Tester Game

Basically you put money in the machine and the machine beeps and lights up for 5 seconds and gives you the test results; “You are Tarzan of the bedroom”. I guess the machine was right. Or you just put $.50 in the machine for nothing.)

After the 1980’s video games, we headed over to the Gas and Sip next door and found more beers to buy. Uber was activated and a Dodge Charger showed up to take us back to the hotel. The driver was very cool and we chatted about the show coming up that evening.

Show time. Iron Maiden. Book of Souls world tour.

Iron Maiden Book of Souls Mandalay

What shirt do I to wear to the show? I only have six to choose from:

Iron Maiden Shirts

Of course we had the setlist added to our phones. We made our way to the show late since we didn’t care to see the opening band. As we walked up to the theater at Mandalay, we noticed THOUSANDS of people lined up to get in. The show was about to begin and all of these people were in this crazy long line. What the hell? Just as I made remarks about event planning, the line started to move very quickly. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one that noticed things had backed up outside of the venue. Once inside we made our way to our seats… the second to last row of the venue. Beer prices inside? Try $13 for ONE beer. Yeah, I will go without a beer for 2 hours.

The show? Great.

Iron Maiden Las Vegas 2016 in concert

Iron Maiden Las Vegas 2016

My friends and I stood and sang along to each and every song, as we have done since 1982 at each Maiden event. The song selection was very good for the show. Two hours later, it was difficult to hear or speak. But we had a great time. Now, for more gambling and beers.

The sun rose over a million hangovers in Las Vegas…. no wait. I took my aspirin before going to sleep this time. This morning my friend (from next door) and I decided to make a trip downtown. I wanted to check out a brewery for a fabled jalapeno beer, and he wanted to take some photos. We both purchased a 24 hour ride bus ticket and headed downtown. After riding for 40 minutes we arrived. He started to take pictures and I found “Eat” downtown. (707 E. Carson Ave)

Eat Las Vegas Sign

The reviews were good here and the place appeared to be full of locals. We ordered our food and waited for good things. My omelette tasted just fine.

Eat Restaurant Las Vegas

The toast was fantastic. Potatoes on the side were also good. I’d go back here.

I found a bicycle rack across the street. When I snapped the photo I couldn’t tell how the picture would turn out, but I love it.

Las Vegas Bicycle

Next up? Finding the phantom jalapeno beer. Banger Brewing (450 Fremont St) is located downtown off 0f Fremont Street. I was a bit unsettled about ordering the jalapeno beer, since a local brewer told me the beer was very spicy. I ordered up the elusive beer El Heffe (jalapeno beer) fearlfully.

Banger Brewery Las Vegas El Jeffe

And the beer was… okay. I thought the spice would hit me hard, but it didn’t. The jalapeno flavor came through, slightly. Just a little heat too. Oh well. We stayed and had another beer, then headed back to the hotel.

While walking we did find THIS random skull.

Skull Downtown Las Vegas 3

The mesh and fence make for good texture for the photo. The photo almost looks like a drawing or a sketch.

If I were going again to Las Vegas, I would probably skip Fremont Street. While we were downtown at night we were offered drugs over and over again. And… you can buy drinks in the clubs and casinos and take them onto Fremont Street. You can’t buy a beer at the store next door and take it on the street. The employee at the cash register places the beer in a bag and ties the bag off. I do understand that the hotels and casinos are attempting to protect their drink profits, but this is a crazy rule. (Notice, I believe this is a RULE, not a law because your drink can be CONFISCATED if you take the drink out of the bag, but no citation written.) What did we do? We purchased beers at the store, walked outside and opened the beer. If you are in New Orleans, go to a store and buy a drink, you can take the drink on Bourbon Street. It does not matter WHERE you purchased the drink. Telling me WHERE I buy the drink should matter WHERE I can drink the drink is ridiculous. Was this rule ignored on Fremont Street? Yes it was.

Another rule / law in Las Vegas; you can’t take your drink on the bus. I get it. Not a problem. But here is the kicker; you can’t drink your drink on the street at a bus stop? What? As I was finishing my $9 beer at the bus stop, the bus “policeman” told me I couldn’t drink my drink at the bus stop, standing outside on the street. “Can I drink over there?” pointing ten feet away at a trash can. Yes, I could finish my beer at the trash can. Very weird. If you want to read more about alcohol in Las Vegas, go here.

Yes, a good trip to Las Vegas. When I picked up the car in the Memphis Airport parking garage, I found THIS band playing a song on the radio:

Iron Maiden Where Eagles Dare

Synchronicity? Maybe. By the end of the journey I was tired of cheap beer and losing slot machines, but we had fun. See YOU again for more beers, slot machines and old video games. Cheers.

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