Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Dock is in - Big Moon Record?

Today was predicted to be 70 degrees, but it was not!  Unless 40 is the new 70.
Glenn had planned to put in his dock at Big Moon Lake, and it got done.  
I got there when most of the work was done.
Dana and I supervised the work from shore.
 At least this year they had waders to wear.

 Trying to remember how it goes back together.

 Trusting the waders not to leak.  Braver than I am.

 I had my mittens on while I was taking pictures, don't be fooled, it was stinking cold!!
Jake and Jackson with their light sabers
Picking up pine cones with Grandma.
 Jackson picked up 153 pine cones and Grandma was paying 1 cent per pine cone,
so lots of money had to be counted.
$1.53; I was thinking I should go out and pick up about 2,000 cones so I could have lunch money. was too cold.

Kathy and Jackson & Dana/Jake started playing Trouble.
Dana and his partner Jake playing Trouble Game
I was cold and hungry so I headed towards home.


But on my way, I drove into Veteran's Park near Cameron, just about 3 miles from home.
I saw some wood ducks from far away, first time that I have ever seen them, so I will go back and try to get closer, on a warmer day!
 Wood Ducks
 Red Sled at Veteran's Park in Cameron
Wood Ducks
When I got home, I turned on the furnace and the gas fireplace and poured a glass of wine. 
I'm still cold.
The weatherman reminds us that while it did not get to 70 today, it was one degree higher than average for this date.  I believe him, but I am still cold.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A try out and an invite for Jack

Great Nephew Jack tried out for a traveling 6th grade basketball team, The Wisconsin Fury, and he was invited to play on the team.
As you can see the games are not too close to home, so I am not very optimistic that I will get to any of these games, but we'll see.
Congratulations Jack!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Who's been eating my house?

Off and on this winter, the cats & I have heard a little gnawing noise in the wall.  
I think this guy is the guilty party.  
He is kinda cute though.

He finally saw me and then ducked behind the feeder.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vegas Baby! The ride home

Our flight was not until mid afternoon, but due to checkout time, we had to leave the Wyndam before noon, so we arranged our shuttle to take us to the airport and planned to have plenty of wait time there.
The shuttle driver was a real peach.  She chatted with us and as it turned out, gave us a tour of the strip.  She picked us up first and then had pick ups at 4 other hotels on the strip.  We had plenty of time and it was a good way to see the sights.
The MillerCoors Distributor Convention was coming to town as we were leaving.
It would have been fun to be there at the same time and see some of my pals, owell, next time..
We arrived at the Vegas airport with plenty of time to spare, which was good, as Dad got to have the full pat down at Security since he could not do the body scanner.
Ev and I got through Security without a problem.
I felt bad for the TSA guy who obviously felt bad about having to give Dad the treatment, 
but it is the job since Dad could not do the body scanner.
Our wheelchair driver told me later that it is good that no one saw me taking these pictures, 
it is frowned upon.  Ooops.
Well, by this time, I was tired, and I can only imagine how pooped the folks were.
We had plenty of wait time for our flight, Dad caught a few zzzzz's.

The flight home was fine, and after a fashion, the Des Moines folks helped us with wheelchairs.
(The guy who helped push the wheelchair also had to go out and park the plane.)
We found the shuttle to the parking lot, hopped in the car and headed for Belmond.
Once we got unloaded and in the apartment, we sealed the deal with a nightcap.
Home Sweet Home & Celebrating our Vegas adventure!
At least this time it was 2:30am Iowa time!

*'•.¸[̲̅̅H̲̅][̲̅̅A̲̅][̲̅̅P̲̅][̲̅̅P̲̅][̲̅̅Y̲̅] [̲̅̅B̲̅][̲̅̅I̲̅][̲̅̅R̲̅][̲̅̅T̲̅][̲̅̅H̲̅][̲̅̅D̲̅][̲̅̅A̲̅][̲̅̅Y̲̅]•.¸*

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vegas Baby Day 3

So, our last day in Vegas.
We again enjoyed being lazy at our condo but the kids hit the strip early and made a full day of it.
The plan was to finally get our buffet supper, so I agreed to get the folks to Harrahs where the kids would meet us with the wheelchairs and we would eat.
The folks and I had another lunch of leftovers, which worked out so great, and then they took a nap.
I headed down to the pool to spend a little time outside.
I had a little Coors Light on ice while I enjoyed the view
Palm trees and flowers in bloom.
I also did a little shopping at the gift shop at the Wyndam.
Ev and I each came home with a shiny Vegas bag.
Gotta have something shiny from Las Vegas!

We did meet up with the kids and had the buffet.
The folks and I took the shuttle back to the Wyndam and the kids stopped by later.
The kids had an earlier flight than we did, so they wanted to say goodnight and goodbye before they went off to bed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vegas Baby!

This is the view from our suite at The Wyndam Grand Desert.  We have many fun stories for the blog once I am home.

Wanda from my Android

Vegas Baby! Day 2

Laila had to leave so she was up and on her way early.

Dad & Ev and I slept in and took it easy.
We had lots of left overs from the night before at Bootleggers, so we had lunch in our condo.
Our view was of the back side of the strip, but impressive none the less.

Again the kids went on their way, but we decided to go to a show at Harrah's that night,
The Legends in Concert.  The tickets included a buffet, so the plan was to see the show and then eat.

 We started out night out in the bar at the Wyndam.  The folks and I enjoyed a drink.

 The bartender took this picture for us.
Dana, Wanda, Erin, Dad, Ev, Michelle and Andrew
Michelle and Andy
Erin and Dana
The show was good.  
Impersonators performed as Dean Martin, Elvis, Lady Gaga, Donna Summer, and Rod Stewart.
Michelle, Elvis and Erin
After the show we headed for the buffet, but when we got there they said it was closed.  But, we were told that we could go to the buffet at the Imperial Palace instead, with our coupons, so off we went.
It was good that the kids had checked out wheelchairs from Harrahs so the folks could ride, because we little did we know that we would travel far before we finally had dinner.
I am not sure how many elevators we rode in or how many miles we pushed the chairs, 
but you can see where we started on the first floor of Harrahs 
and ended on the 5th floor of the Imperial Palace.

We finally found the buffet at the Imperial Palace, but it was closed as well,
so we ended up with dinner at Ginseng, which was very good food, 
but of course they didn't take our buffet ticket.
 After midnight when we were finally finished eating.  Owell, that's Vegas.

The kids took us to the taxi station at the Imperial Palace 
and we headed back to the Wyndam for a nightcap, 
and they did what kids do in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A little Vegas

I have lots to write about the Las Vegas trip, but for now, here are is a photo of the group.
Michelle & Andy, Laila & Wanda, Dana & Erin
and Dad & Ev

Vegas Baby!

It all started in September of 2011, having a late night 'afterglow' drink after the Seabee Reunion.  How it all happened, I'm not exactly sure, but by the end of the evening Dad & Ev and I had agreed to meet Andy & Michelle and Dana & Erin in Las Vegas in March 2012.
So, the plan was hatched for a trip to the desert to begin the celebrating of Dad's 90th.
After much discussion about whether to drive from Iowa with a stop in Denver, or to drive to Denver and fly on to Las Vegas, in the end it was decided that I would drive to Iowa and Dad & Ev and I would fly out of Des Moines and meet the kids in Las Vegas.
Andy and Michelle were our hosts since they have the timeshare.
Laila was invited to join us, and it worked out that she could plan to come also.
Here's how it all turned out....from my viewpoint.
Our (Dad, Ev & I) flight left Des Moines Monday evening at 8:20pm.  Wanting to be sure that we were there with time to spare, we arrived at the airport by about 5pm which gave us over an hour wait until the ticket counter opened.  
We had requested wheel chair assistance from the ticket counter to the airplane for both Dad & Ev but because this is such a small airport, I agreed to push one wheelchair if they could supply a pusher for the other, which they did.
We took off towards our gate.
When we got to Security, it was kind of hectic.
Taking off shoes, managing canes, emptying pockets, 
we had all that time to wait and still we had not prepared.
Des Moines just recently installed the full body scanners which makes it really quick to get through security for most folks.  But it requires you to hold your hands over your head (like the A in YMCA) for 3 seconds.
Ev did fine, I did fine, but once through I was scurrying to grab out items that had gone through the Xray machine and I turned around just in time to see Dad pulling his pants back up.
Because he had on some new jeans that are kind of loose, and he had to send his belt through Xray, when they asked him to raise his hands over his head....well, down went his pants.
We had already told everyone that this trip was to start the celebrating of Dad's 90th birthday.
The Security workers all had a chuckle over Dad losing his pants.
It made me wonder if this was the beginning of the trip, what would happen next?

The flight went fine.
It was a little confusing that the front row was reserved for handicap, so we had the second row, and then when some last minute boarders showed up and they were allowed to sit there, I was even more confused why the folks were not sitting in that front bulk head row.
It really didn't make too much difference and the guy in front of Dad felt so bad that his seat kept drifting back, that he bought Dad a drink (which he shared with Ev).
The worst part was that the front bathroom was out of order, so during the flight, Dad had to manage his way the entire length of the plane to get to the restroom.
This gave me lots of worry time as the flight was a little bumpy now and then, but as usual, I worried for no reason.
Internet photo
We arrived in Las Vegas on time, caught our shuttle to the Wyndam time share and caught up with the kids.
 The kids had already had a long day of travel, shopping and a trip to Hoover Dam, but they came to our room for a night cap, pizza for a very late supper and some had a nap.
I think it was almost 2am Vegas time when we finally went to bed (4am Iowa time!)
The kids had stocked our room with adult refreshments, snacks and breakfast supplies including coffee.
Dad was delighted to see apples, bananas, honey and bread for toast.
We had a nice kitchen so we were all set to make our breakfast the next day.
Laila stayed overnight with us, my room had 2 big beds and the folks had their own Master Suite with bath.
Day One was a big success...all the travel done and everyone safe and sound.
It was the plan that the kids would do their own thing and we would try to plan to do something together in the evenings, 
so Tuesday was a rest up day, with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for lunch.
Laila was our lunch chef.

The plan was for us all to meet up for a Dinner party for Dad's birthday.
Laila was going home on Wednesday so Tuesday night was planned as big party night.
I had asked around about where to go, and we decided to choose Bootleggers for our gathering.
The kids (Dana & Erin, Andy & Michelle) spent their day checking out The Strip.
Laila and I went up to her hotel, The Riviera and retrieved her stuff so she could spend her last night in Vegas with us in the condo, the folks took a nap.
While Laila and I were out and about, we asked the concierge at the time share for advice on how to get 8 of us transported to Bootleggers for our 6:30pm reservation.
As it turned out, we were able to schedule a free complimentary limo ride.
Michelle & Andy, Laila, Wanda, Dana & Erin
Dad & Ev
Waiting in the lobby of the Wyndam for our ride.
Our driver Lee, assisted Ev into the limousine first.

Dad was the last to get in, he had the best seat in the house.

The fun was in full swing now.
Erin was very entertaining during the limo ride.
There is a video that will remain in the vault (what happens in Vegas....)
but we got a good laugh when she was so surprised that the guy who opened the door to help us out of the limo at our destination was the same guy who had helped us get in.
Hmmm...I guess she didn't know he was also the driver.
Once we were seated at The Bootlegger Bistro, and started having a little happy hour, the music started.
The entertainment was piano music by legendary jazz musician Gus Mancuso
After two trays of Antipasti for appetizer, we each had a delicious meal.

After dinner, the entertainment added another artist.  A singer named Maggie Peterson, who is married to Gus Mancuso, sang several songs.  She was delightful.
She has real star quality, 
and rightly so as she had a singing and television career which included The Andy Griffith Show.
She finished her songs and was sitting up in the bar with friends, and I boldly went and asked if she would consider singing another song in honor of Dad's birthday.  
She graciously agreed and sang "It Had To Be You".

Andy & Michelle
Erin and Dana
Dad and Laila
Ev, Dad, Laila (my arm)
Here a couple of videos from our evening at Bootleggers Bistro
Video 1 - Happy Birthday
Video 2 - It Had To Be You

Our limo driver picked us up when we were done and took us back to the Wyndam.
It was a very fun night, and as usual a little afterglow back at our room.


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