To Tip Or Not To Tip


Everybody in Las Vegas is always looking for a tip. Aren't you paid a salary? I don't get paid tips when flying as a flight attendant and serving you a cocktail. I get paid a salary and don't expect one. But with the economy here in the United States & Las Vegas, such as it is-everyone is looking for extra tips.


I'm bringing this up for a reason. This is the second time this week, that I have had additional gratuity charges put on my credit card charge. I have had enough and now I'm calling the restaurants to reverse these charges. I'm not naming restaurants, but you need to be aware of this. The first one was a restaurant where I gave a server a cash tip-25%, signed my bill, totaled the food only, only to find they added an additional $2 onto my bill for an additional gratuity on the credit card. Then, last night I went to a well known BBQ chain, had a take out order (I'm sorry I don't tip for take out orders, especially since they spent less than 2 minutes with me) and then this morning found someone had added $1.03 gratuity to a totaled out bill. Are you kidding me!


This has happened to me quite a bit lately and I'm tired of it. The first 2 times was a $1 extra each and I said ok, I'll let it go. But not anymore.


Also, I don't know if you are aware of this, but numerous restaurants are putting Covid 19 charges on bills, about $2 per person. You do not have to pay this, tell them to take this off the bill. Also, certain health care services (specifically dentists) are now placing $30-50 fees on their bills to make up for lost revenue during the Pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need to conscious of where our money is going.


My rant of the day. Please excuse me.


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Lowe's Is Offering Free Christmas Tree Delivery This Year

Stay home and stay safe, thanks to the company's complimentary service.

Lowe’s has found a way to check off one box on your holiday to-do list. The retailer is offering to deliver your fresh Christmas tree for free.

No more tying it to the top of your SUV. You've got plenty of other things to do, including figuring out your holiday menu, buying presents, decorating the home, and hanging your ornaments on that fresh tree. There’s always plenty of tasks to get done, and though it is the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the most stressful, too

Lowe's service is new this year and part of the company's "Lowe's Goes Home for the Holidays" campaign, which also includes holiday deals and new delivery options. Beginning on October 30, you can buy a fresh tree and have it delivered right to your front door at no extra cost. Other holiday items, including fresh-cut wreaths and tree stands, will also be available for free delivery. (Just as long as your purchase is more than $45.)


You Can Sleep With Elephants Under the Stars in a 'Jungle Bubble' in Thailand


The Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in northern Thailand is giving the term “close to nature” a whole new meaning.


The stunning resort is gaining major buzz, thanks to its transparent luxury bubble suites, called Jungle Bubbles, which happen to be located in an area heavily trafficked by local elephants. That means guests will likely wake up each morning with a curious pachyderm or two staring them down.


According to the property, the unique 236-square-foot bubbles were designed by Eye in the Sky and constructed with high-tech polyester fabric to ensure their integrity over time.


Inside, the bubbles are air-conditioned to maximize comfort, and feature a large bedroom with a king bed and living space with a seating area. And don’t worry about having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and accidentally running into an elephant, as there is a full en-suite (and nontransparent) bathroom as well. In fact, guests never have to leave the transparent dome, as staff will bring along a dinner basket, so visitors can watch the sun go down while animals cruise by.

Oh, and by the way, these aren’t just any elephants. According to the property, the 22 elephants living on the grounds have been rescued from Thailand's city streets and now get to live out their days in total peace.


Guests can get even more insight into their animal neighbors during one of the property’s Walking With Giants tours. On the tour, guests will take part in a walk accompanied by either a vet or biologist to learn about “how these intelligent creatures think and behave,” Etienne De Villiers, Anantara’s cluster director of public relations, explained to Apartment Therapy. De Villiers added, “Guests can observe the elephants’ social interaction in their native habitat. The fun of either a river bath or mud playtime demonstrates just how cheeky these graceful animals can be.”


Book a stay at the resort, adding a night in a bubble suite for $585/night for two people.


This Man Spent Quarantine Recreating Disneyland's Matterhorn Roller Coaster in His Backyard



California’s Disneyland has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that hasn’t stopped one man from riding the Matterhorn roller coaster. From his backyard. 

Sean LaRochelle from Napa, California decided to use his lockdown time pursuing an unique interest. He recreated Disneyland’s two-story Matterhorn roller coaster in his family’s backyard. LaRochelle began construction of the coaster in March and finished it in July. 

"They talk about all the negatives of COVID, but one of the benefits of COVID is you have all this time and you realize you know, what can I be doing with all this time?” LaRochelle told local ABC News. "I always wanted to build a ride and Disney rides are always special to me because they're themed, they tell a unique story.


The backyard Matterhorn is complete with Swiss flags, waterfalls and a one-person car that sends riders whirling around the coaster track. There’s even an animatronic yeti and an original soundtrack, according to the Napa Valley Register.

The construction was a family affair. It was built in the backyard of Sean’s parents, Jacques and Diane LaRochelle, and with the help of his siblings, Michael, Mark and Nicole. Engineering skills run in the family and they all worked full-time to help construct the 20-foot attraction. About 30 friends came to the backyard attraction to assist in the construction, while socially distancing. 

LaRochelle, who is currently studying architecture in graduate school, estimates it cost about $15,000 to build his backyard coaster. 

California’s Disneyland is the only Disney theme park that has remained closed since the start of the pandemic in March. Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a team to out-of-state theme parks to research the possibility of reopening Disneyland. Although Disneyland Paris had reopened in the summer for visitors, it shut back down last month after a second wave of coronavirus spread across Europe. 


See I can still inspire you to travel. Look what great ideas I have today. Personally, when the price comes down, I can see myself in the bubble with the elephants in Thailand-this would be my third trip to Thailand.


Until next time.


Val Brown