United States Canadian Boarder

Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?

With the attention given to the billions of dollars that would be needed to put up and maintain a wall between the United States and Mexicoir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=d615bf8748259770891cf54e92b9090b& cb=1533571706761 - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?, something that should come to mind is the boarder between U.S. and Canadair?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=b50fccda9435745100405cac0542313c& cb=1533571697639 - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?. (officially known as the International Boundaryir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=3cc06da6cce45e42f4cc035a5059fe37& cb=1533571686334 - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?). Some have asked the question:

 

Is there a wall between The United States and Canada?

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Douglas Chapel, Avid follower of Canadian politics; general Canadaphile

No, there is certainly nothing that would be understood as a wall along any significant part of the U.S.-Canada border. But keep in mind that the border is thousands of kilometers long, and it varies significantly as you move along it, and one thing that varies is how “fortified” the border is. The U.S.-Canadian border is frequently described as being the longest “undefended” border in the world, but that refers to the fact that the U.S. and Canadian militaries do not maintain installations along the border that are directed at each other. The law enforcement agencies of both countries certainly patrol the border very seriously, and crossing the border is serious business.

Like I said, it depends on where you are. The somewhat famous twin towns of Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont, are basically a single town bisected by the border, where the border occasionally runs directly through buildings. Huge expanses of the border are uninhabited wilderness; over a thousand kilometers of the border between Alaska and Yukon is remote taiga and tundra. A significant part of the border is water – from the western end of Lake Superior through to the St. Lawrence River, the only way to cross the border is by bridge, tunnel, or boat, generally crossing waterways that would be difficult to swim under even the best of conditions. These defined crossing points create natural choke points that make it easy to manage customs without need for any kind of wall. The busiest crossing on the entire border, between Detroit and Windsor, is alertly guarded on both sides by police who will question you pretty thoroughly on what your plans are.

ir?t=loudplace 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=1552388956 - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0813939542&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=loudplace 20&language=en US - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?ir?t=loudplace 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=0813939542 - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=1552388956&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=loudplace 20&language=en US - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?ir?t=loudplace 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=1552388956 - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00VMMXAES&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=loudplace 20&language=en US - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?ir?t=loudplace 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B00VMMXAES - Boarder wall between the U.S. and Canada?

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20170318 051556 240x172 - Las Vegas in March

Las Vegas in March

One of my recent trips to Las Vegas, Nevada.

The girl and I get out to Vegas from Chicago quite a bit. While we do like to check in on Mom who lives in the in the greater Vegasland (that can be a thing – like “Chicagolandir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=879b5314e0ee739a65a4f4a5fd930358& cb=1524160164609 - Las Vegas in March“… maybe?), of course we’re going to take advantage of some comped hotel rooms and spend some nights on The Strip.

Here are some scenes from one of my rare Vegas “boys trip”.

Indoors, Las Vegas

I took advantage of some nights I got comp’d at Tropicana and let one of my buddies crash at my free digs while another old friend also stayed economically at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, just down The Strip.

A view from my Tropicana Hotel ir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=d9cd44cce503a33bce37be65b16fae89& cb=1524158111913 - Las Vegas in Marchroom.

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View across the Las Vegas Strip from the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While I have actually bypassed the poker tableir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=0054a27c29599ec598231a95c1a864b7& cb=1524162330750 - Las Vegas in March on a trip or two with the Girl, there was no passing it up on a trip with two other poker players. I still find it odd that players are allowed to use mobile devices at the tables and will always think it’s just strange to be taking pictures in a place where they might have tackled you if you busted out ol’ Polaroidir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=fff38aa4c38de9caa91faf8f57127700& cb=1524162311133 - Las Vegas in March. I like to sneak a pic every now and then to make me feel like on of the sneaky peeps in that Breaking Vegasir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=ded0384ff315af34cb6539f4ae8458fe& cb=1524162297478 - Las Vegas in March series.

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The Poker Room at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Avoid the slot machines if you can, unless you’re sitting at penny slots waiting for free drinks (“free” as in at least a buck per drink – don’t be a cheapskate). After some drinks, I tend to not follow my own good advice. Something about those oval “Double Diamonds”…

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One of our best spins – a bar and two Double Diamonds!

Out on The Strip

Sometimes it’s a dirty guy in a dirty Minions costumes, sometimes it’s some higher-talent entertainment.

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A full band of street musicians on the Las Vegas Strip at night.

They came to the right city if they were lookin’ for sinners..

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Some concerned citizens attempting to warn the sinners on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Flamingo is a classic and one of our favorites. Many fond memories for many people here.

 

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The lighted “High Roller” observation wheel reflects off the Flamingo Hotel.

When I heard that the Monte Carloir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=17deb026cc6271950f4f507474866b7c& cb=1524160449683 - Las Vegas in March was was soon to be no more (remodeled and renamed), I had to grab some for the little Vegas shrine I have going in our living room.

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A nice pile of $1 poker chips from the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada

There have been concerts on some very nice pro-caliber stages just outside of New York New Yorkir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=4161585c73257cecf2047252659b81d4& cb=1524160481123 - Las Vegas in March.

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Pro-level concert stage set up on The Strip sidewalk outside of the New York, New York Hotel and Casino.

There’s always more to see

I can’t believe we waited so long to finally check out the Neon Museum. You can check out a little info on it and some nice nighttime shots on one of my other regular with-the-girl trips here.

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The Neon Museum at night, Downtown Las Vegas

So much to see in and around Vegas – our second home. We’re going to park a few pictures here but stay tuned for our tips, recommendations, warnings, etc! You can also go to the menu on our main loudplace.com page and select Vegas from the “Travel” menu item.

Please don’t forget to comment below!

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Riviera Hotel and Casino Sign

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas

 

Founded in 1996, the Neon Museumir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=8836a238d06e2ed073ebf2902c546aa8& cb=1524157164753 - The Neon Museum in Las Vegas is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegasir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=6e18fc9938c04f3b4ee56145cb0ddd17& cb=1524157180939 - The Neon Museum in Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. The Neon Museum campus includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, a visitors’ center housed inside the former La Concha Motelir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=64e2ef08b8e340455b57e1ae3dca25c8& cb=1524157202446 - The Neon Museum in Las Vegas lobby and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery which houses additional rescued signs and is available for weddings, special events, photo shoots and educational programs.

Due to the nature of their collection, the Neon Museum Boneyard is only available to the public through an hour long guided tour.  Tours are available seven days a week and tour times vary based on the season.

Dedicated individuals from the private sector, as well as corporate and government entities, worked collaboratively to promote the preservation of these national treasures as significant pieces of artistic and historical importance. Each sign in the Neon Museum’s collection offers a unique story about the personalities who created it, what inspired it, where and when it was made, and the role it played in Las Vegas’ distinctive history.

In addition, the Neon Museum collection chronicles changes and trends in sign design and technology through pieces ranging from the 1930sir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=f8febf12ea4b0af635501e653360c662& cb=1524157368004 - The Neon Museum in Las Vegas to the present day.

Public education, outreach, research, archival preservation and a grant-funded neon sign survey represent a selection of the museum’s ongoing projects.

(source: neonmuseum.org)

Here are some shots of inside the Neon Museum at night, from our last visit there.

 

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The Drew Hotel and Casino

New Vegas Hotel and Casino finally set to open – AP

Regina Garcia Cano, Associated Press February 12, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Fontainebleau is no more. Call it The Drew Las Vegas.

The hulking, bluish casino-resort, which has sat unfinished on the Las Vegas Strip since 2009 and became a poster child of the Great Recession, is now scheduled to open in late 2020 under a partnership between hospitality giant Marriott International and New York-based global real estate firm Witkoff.

The new luxury property, which will feature a casino and approximately 4,000 rooms and suites, announced Monday that it also will be home to the Strip’s first JW Marriott.

“It is going to be a design-forward building, and when we bring it all together, people are going to say, ‘I really want to come back,'” Steven Witkoff, chairman and CEO of the real estate firm, told The Associated Press ahead of the announcement. “The structure here is so well-conceived, even from nine years ago, that there are a lot of possibilities for us to put our imprint from a design standpoint on that property.”

The site near the Circus Circus and SLS hotel-casinos, as well as the Las Vegas Convention Center, has been dormant since 2009, about two years after privately held Fontainebleau Resorts LLC began work on the $2.9 billion, 3,900-room project. The 63-story tower was 70 percent finished when the recession stopped construction.

Business magnate Carl Icahn and his firm, Icahn NV Gaming Acquisition LLC, bought the property out of bankruptcy in 2010 for $150 million. Witkoff and Miami-based investment firm New Valley LLC purchased it for $600 million in August.

“We think that growth is coming and is going to come here,” Witkoff said.

The planned resort will include 500,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, as well as a variety of entertainment, nightlife, retail and more than 20 dining options. The building’s design has not been finalized, but the existing pool deck will be “reimagined,” Witkoff said, in a way that it will differentiate the property from others in Las Vegas.

Marriot’s top-end, boutique-style “Edition” brand will debut in Las Vegas at The Drew. The company, whose loyalty program has more than 100 million members, will manage the three hotels.

The Strip has not seen a casino-resort open since 2010, when The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas began operations.

Las Vegas hospitality industry veteran John Unwin, who took control of a half-finished Cosmopolitan in 2009, will be involved in overseeing the development, launch and operations of The Drew through the consulting firm Two Blackbirds Hospitality.

Tony Capuano, executive vice president and global chief development officer at Marriott International, said the company was particularly attracted to this project by the half-million square feet of convention and meeting space, which would be among the largest on the Strip.

“Las Vegas is obviously an extraordinary market, principally driven by leisure transients and group business, and when you look at the facilities program for the complex, it is uniquely positioned to take advantage of both of those strong demand sectors,” he said. “Obviously, with almost 4,000 rooms, it gives you the scale and footprint to compete with many of the large, well-known casino-hotels on the Strip.”

The Drew will be one of two resorts expected to open on the northern end of Strip in 2020. The other planned project is the years-delayed multibillion-dollar Resorts World Las Vegas, which will cater to Sin City’s Chinese and Chinese-American tourists. Both sites are within a mile (1.61 kilometer) of each other, in a less-trafficked area of the tourist corridor.

The combined addition of 7,000 rooms to the area will come at the same time that a mega expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center is expected to be completed. The agency responsible for promoting the destination has projected that the 1.4 million-square-foot (130,064-square-meter) expansion and renovation of the existing facilities will attract 600,000 more visitors every year.

Witkoff said a bridge will connect The Drew to the expanded convention center.

“We believe this is a portion of the Strip whose time has come,” Witkoff said.

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Surfing in Tamarindo

Taking pictures of Surfers in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Taking pictures with what we call the “actual camera” at our hotel in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

I really need to figure out these settings one day. If only there was a place I could find a video…

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Grand Canyon

My Trip to the Grand Canyon

Here’s a little bit of my view of the Grand Canyon in November 2017. Needless to say, it’s a place everyone should get to if given the opportunity. – Jon

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20171009 011112 240x172 - Busker performs his version of John Lennon's "Imagine"

Busker performs his version of John Lennon’s “Imagine”

I love me some street musician performances. This busker gave the commuters chances to sing along though he picked up the crowd’s slack just fine. A very nice version of John Lennonir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a48f407d3ae63af5a4f186df016a1d19& cb=1507585568678 - Busker performs his version of John Lennon's "Imagine"‘s “Imagineir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=caaed2e9271674dc67319e6b990c0379& cb=1507585597197 - Busker performs his version of John Lennon's "Imagine"” on the Chicago Blue Line subway ir?source=bk&t=312land 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a5da5bb4bd18172b2ed8bc5d2a10c562& cb=1507585633371 - Busker performs his version of John Lennon's "Imagine"platform.  Something about the trust involved in being blind and having the money bucket out on the L platform adds a bit to the feeling of the song.

You’ll want to watch through to the end. This guy knows how to use the moving trains to his advantage!

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South Shore line sign as seen from inside the train

Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana

Whenever I find myself on a non-L, non-subway train (Metra, Amtrak, etc), I think “Now why don’t I use this as a mode of transportation more often??”.  At about 10 bucks a pop, we were able to get from Millennium Station in downtown Chicago IL to Michigan City Indiana (Home of the Lighthouse Outlet Mall).

southshore line ticket stub min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana

 

Even the simplest of  views can seem more interesting from the comfort of a train that is replacing the effort (and risk) of driving.

 

20170831 143504 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170831 145359 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170831 150205 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170831 153412 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170831 155638 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170904 173753 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170904 173935 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170904 173955 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City Indiana20170831 160203 min - Southshore Line train from downtown Chicago to Michigan City IndianaHere’s something for the historical record. A view from the Southshore line from Millennium Station to Michigan City Indiana.

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Tropicana Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

The make-over of Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

I’m Back in Las Vegas with The Girl to visit Mom and decided to show her the new and improved Tropicana Las Vegas. There was a pretty long stretch of time where The Trop was falling just a liiiiiittle bit into disrepair. Maybe “disrepair” is too strong of a description but it surely wasn’t what it used to be and what it is now. The improvements to the Tropicana hotel and casino have been impressive and well worth checking out. It’s still on it’s own corner, of course, providing a change of pace if you’re used to hanging out more in what we refer to as “the middle of the strip”. A quick jaunt across the pedestrian walkway/overpass brings you to the Excalibur tram which can take you to Luxor and to Mandalay Bay at “the end of the strip”. This is just one of many nice views of the hotel property, from the hotel property, and a fair representation of the Hotel and Casino’s feel.

IMG 20170815 232536 980 840x840 - The make-over of Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Check back in to the Vegas  section for updates and views of the ever-changing landscape. -j

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PUP on Friday, Day 2 of Lollapalooza 2017 in Grant Park Chicago Illinois

Lollapalooza 2017, Friday (Day 2).

Fresh off an early exit the night before due to a storm evacuation, we make sure log enough Lolla hours and get Grant Park around Noon.

PUP was a great way to start the day out with some rock n’ roll.

20170804 143429 min - Lollapalooza 2017, Friday (Day 2).

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Here is some casual footage to provide a sample of their show


I dust off the Girl’s 1991 Lollapalooza (The FIRST Lollapalooza) once each year

20170804 144413a - Lollapalooza 2017, Friday (Day 2).

[more later… off to day 3]

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