Sunday, October 28, 2012


Sunday, gorgeous weather and what a better day to visit the zoo. The Roos-N-More zoo is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes from Las Vegas strip. They have approximately 160 animals and they are clean and well attended. This zoo is a privately owned non-profit organization. Admission is $10 and they have private tours for an additional fee. 

Being among animals is not a comfort zone for me, but I enjoyed petting a few of them and I was brave enough to have them put a snake on me. The animals were cute, cute, as you will see below. Since it was the Halloween weekend, the zoo and the animals were decorated for the occasion.

Camel in the Halloween spirit.


I love rocking chairs.  Perfect to take a short break at the zoo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Today I had the honor and privilege of having lunch at the Hartland Mansion located at Sixth and Charleston, downtown Las Vegas.  What a magnificent visit that was.  For about two hours I was transported to old glamorous Las Vegas enjoying the feeling of being back in time.  The mansion goes back to 1940 and originally there were two houses that eventually were joined through a massive renovation.  At the time, the mansion was approximately 13,000 square feet.  In those days, the Sixth Street District was a high-end residential neighborhood where people in the casino and hotel industry used to live, including Howard Hughes and the Binions.   In 1978, the Hart family bought the mansion with renovations undergoing.  The Harts completed the renovations. 

In 1980 and 1981, the mansion had two fires.  Mrs. Hart made the decision to renovate the mansion to its original design but enlarged the design to 31,000 square feet.  The rebuilding and restoration took nearly 7 years to complete.  These are just brief facts regarding the history of what it’s called today the Hartland Mansion.  But the mansion has history to easily write a book.  Which reminds me that Mrs. Hart told us that she is writing a book that should be completed in a near future.  Now that I’ve been there and met the owners, I can’t wait to read that book.  It is also said that Elvis stayed in from time to time when he wanted to escape the Hilton for a while.  In fact, the house has a bedroom that they call the Elvis room.  Lots of fun times were had at this mansion.  If each wall could talk…

These days the Hartland Mansion is opened for parties, weddings and scheduled tours.  I went there to have lunch today with several local meetups in a combined event.  They won’t open the mansion for less than 30 people.

The moment you enter the mansion, you are immediately transported to the great old Las Vegas.  The majestic double-curved stairways and checkerboard floors are really impressive.  Mrs. Hart and Larry, her son, were very pleasant and welcoming.   Mrs. Hart is a sweet lady and she shared with us some interesting and humorous things about her personal life and life in the mansion in “those” days.  Her son Garry gave us the tour of the mansion and I was going crazy between wanting to listen to him and taking pictures.   To me, it was magical looking at the decoration, the many decorated bathrooms, the accessories, the pianos, the collections, photos, memorabilia and antiques.  I learned that a scene from the film “Casino” was filmed in the living room.  Now I want to watch that movie again since I barely remember anything. 

The truth is that this year I have done a number of things that were beyond my imagination.  I had never heard about this mansion before.  People in the group that have lived in Las Vegas for 20+ years, had never heard about this mansion either. 

Every day I love more living in Las Vegas.  And I love exploring the new as much as the old.  The Hartland Mansion is one of Las Vegas best kept secrets.  Well, maybe not anymore.  Viva Las Vegas!

Elvis room

Toni Hart, the owner

Toni Hart when she was younger.