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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 30, 2010

Winter in desert city quite nice


By Rodney Lee

OK, anytime is a good time for a Vegas vacation. We all agree on that. But do you have a favorite time to be in Vegas?

Paula and I love the cold weather of the winter. A couple of times, we've gone to Vegas on the weekend following Thanksgiving when it was the National Finals Rodeo week. It spans two weekends and during that week, the Fremont Experience mall is packed every night with bands and events on every stage. We see real bow-legged cowboys wearing their NFR jackets or "duster" riding coats and cowgirls with their long blond hair under their Stetson cowboy hats; very different from the paniolo we see once in a while here in the Islands.

When we head on down to the Strip, we see limousines pull up and watch as big-bellied men get out with their huge Western belt buckles or younger men in Western coats and bolo ties. My imagination starts to run wild and I imagine them as rich ranchers like J.R. Ewing from the Southfork Ranch from the TV show "Dallas."

At the Las Vegas Convention Center, there are tons of booths selling everything from custom saddles to Lucchese boots to lassos. Paula and I actually visited one of those expos as I was in the market for a nice duster coat. We stuck out like a sore thumb as the only Asians walking around in there.

Another plus of traveling during that time is the Christmas sales going on at the malls. My favorite Vegas radio station KSNE (Sunny 106.5) plays Christmas music all the time, and the cold winter air allows us to bundle up with layers of clothing and snuggle as we walk around outside.

The only drawback is that it cuts into our Christmas shopping time so when we return home, we have to do some serious gift shopping. That, plus when the bills start rolling in, we have to pay off not only the trip, but the shopping we did for ourselves in Vegas and the Christmas shopping we did when we returned home. Double whammy.

Nowadays, our favorite time to head to Vegas is in January during Paula's birthday after the holidays are done and we're more relaxed. Plus, it spreads out the bills. We also used to go in July for my birthday, but the summer heat was just too much for us.

On one trip, we happened to be there during NASCAR week. That was quite an experience: Events every night on the Fremont Experience mall such as NFR week, but the crowd was quite different. Unlike the gentlemanly cowboys and the sweet Southern Belles, it was more of a rowdy bunch like Daisy Duke and the Dukes of Hazard.

When is your favorite time of the year to visit Vegas? Perhaps to celebrate a birthday or wedding anniversary? Or when the University of Hawaii is playing UNLV in a football game? Log on to www.vegasbaby.honadvblogs.com, and share with us.