Friday, July 30, 2010

Orange Creamsicles and Spider bites

Wednesday, July 28, 2010, we finally got some serious rain. I can't remember the last time our lawn was thoroughly watered by something other than the sprinkler and hose I drag around. It overflowed some gutters and was complete with thunder and lightening. Mike and I sat on the front porch and enjoyed it. Until we wondered how badly the gutters were overflowing at his mom's house. When that happens, it comes DOWN the driveway and into her carport and even the house! So we rushed over there. No damage, and no over flowing gutters over there, thankfully.
Thursday morning when we went walking, we went past the irrigation gutter at the top of our street. It was running orange. Orange, like the color of orange creamsicles. People say we have red hills, but they are wrong. The hills and the dirt that runs off them into the gutters with a hard rain are orange. It was kind of pretty, in a "dirt"y sort of way. But not pretty enough to scoop some up and freeze it into a popsicle. ha. (Gail hates the flavor of orange creamsicles.)

And around the first of July, I noticed a red area on the top of my left shoulder. It was bright red, oval, about 2 inches in diameter. It didn't hurt, wasn't swollen, or itch terribly, but it did feel a little warm to the touch. Of course, after touching it, it DID itch a little more, so I put on hydrocortizone cream for about a week, and it stayed the same. Gail thought it might be getting larger, so we drew a circle around the edge of it one day with a permanent marker so we could track the size. It was STILL very red and just sort of itchy. That just managed to get marker all over my clothes. But the size didn't change significantly. After another week, I got some good ol' home remedy sticky pine gum salve and tried that for a few days and by then it'd been three weeks and it was fading quickly. There was a small-ish bump in the middle where there might have been a bite. So it faded over the next week. It was almost all gone, but I was looking just the other day at the coloring. It was still slightly darker than the surrounding skin, but only very VERY slightly. THEN--it got little bumpies all over it, kind of like heat rash or pimples. And in a BIGGER area--about 5 inches in diameter all over my shoulder! How weird. It's not really itchy, it is not red, it's not hot, it's not dying tissue that Nick keeps trying to scare me with (Really, it's not. it's just his weird sense of humor and love of big words). So, I guess whatever it was that bit me must have had some kind of toxin that my body is struggling to expel. I'm very glad it's not been systemic. Although, perhaps I can blame anything on flashes? laziness? not wanting to do the dishes? Maybe I CAN milk this for whatever it's worth. In any case, it's been about a month since I first noticed the red spot. Maybe it wasn't a spider. Or was... and I'll soon have super powers!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Las Vegas in the Summer time

What were we THINKING? It was only 116 degrees. Fahrenheit. Yeah, hot. And I was dumb and didn't change into cooler pants and ended up walking around in jeans. June 19-21, 2010.

Mike and I went to Las Vegas Monday afternoon. We had an appointment for a Vacation Ownership presentation. Time shares. Yeah, well, we like a little get-away once in while. Together. Seems all our little and big trips of late have not been with each other, so that was the goal. Not to buy a timeshare, but to spend some time together. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. I think I worked all of 12 hours all week long in the library. That's 1 and one half days. Woo hoo! fun times.

Other than being incredibly hot outside, the resort we stayed in was quite nice. Nothing fancy or over-the-top like the model room they showed us. The model show room definitely had the "vegas" look about it. Red and black color scheme, etc. Too much. Ours was cool greens, browns and very nicely equipped with all we needed. And The pool was indoors! I was kind of bummed about that , but their reasoning was so they could offer a year-round pool for all their peeps. That makes sense. It was small, but very refreshing. I did some nice little water aerobics. We swam on Monday evening, went out onto the patio to dry off and watch the planes land at the airport. We like planes and airports, so that was kind of fun. And--bonus only in Las Vegas--you don't even get cold standing out in the wind because it's still hot at night and you just dry right off.

On our drive to Las Vegas, we took a detour to see the fire results at Warm Springs outside of Glendale, NV. This is where Mike had gone camping with Scouts earlier in the year and had such a fun time. Then, they heard there was a fire and it was burned up. Boy, was it! I actually snapped a few pictures of it. But who wants to look at burned up palm trees in the desert? I'll not be posting those, I think. However, you should know, those were the only pictures I took the whole three days! ha. Just didn't think about it.

On Monday afternoon and evening after checking in at our hotel, we drove to the Strip and walked around to see if we could find half-price show tickets for "The Phantom of the Opera." And we did! They are pricey no matter what, but we really thought it would be nice to see a show while down there. The other thing we'd hoped to spend time doing was that we wanted to spend at least part of one afternoon and attend the temple. Well, I checked the church website later that evening in the hotel. Guess what the maintenance closure dates are for the Las Vegas Temple? Yep, July 19 through August somethingth. Figures. We always seem to run into that or Stake Conferences where ever we go on vacations. ha.

Monday night we ate at a buffet on Fremont Street. The Paradise Buffet maybe? I don't know. They all look the same. But we ate WAAAYY too much yummy food. Including prime rib, and some of the best coconut macaroons I think I've ever had for dessert. It's the little things. We were going to wait for the Fremont Street experience, but decided to do it after our Phantom show. We had tickets for a 7 pm show and would be out by 8:30 or 9 pm. Plenty of time to do more stuff another night.

Tuesday morning we had to listen to their time share presentation. We took three hours to tell them, "Thanks, but no thanks." Although, I think Mike was ready to buy. No, I KNOW he was! Even after "The Talk." ['we are not buying a timeshare!' talk] I have to keep reminding him I just saved him $32, 000, so please can we go out to dinner now? ha. It was a good company, so if you are shopping (and Mike HAS been shopping and studying and researching for YEARS, literally, and knows what's out there) let me know and I'll give you a very good recommendation.

On Tuesday afternoon, we went to the Venetian to find the theater for the evening performance, ate some lunch at the food court, wandered through the shops, enjoyed the living statues, then took a hike to the Bellagio. We watched one water show, then went inside to the Botanical Garden, I showed Mike the Chocolate fountain, then we went out and watched another water show. We walked through Bellagio's shops, wandered through Caesar's Palace to stay out of the heat as much as we could, then made it back in time to rest a bit by a slot machine before lining up for the show. Slot machines don't take coins most places. Not that I would have put any in and spoiled my nearly perfect record. No, it is a perfect record. I've never put money in a machine. But Mike would have played a penny machine for a quarter's worth. But, no coins, so no business from us.

The show was really wonderful. In spite of having the "cheap" tickets, they were great seats for US because we could see what the ticket holders on the floor could NOT see, and that was the chandelier, as it was hanging, swinging, dropping, etc. Pretty impressive from where we were. We really enjoyed it, and I as read through the playbill, those are some pretty impressive actors and singers in those roles.

We watched the Mirage Volcano eruption from the balcony at the Venetian after the show, we ALMOST went out for ice cream, but there was not an ice cream shop to be found in the downtown Fremont street area. They would have made a killing, as hot as it was. We hung out there, people watching for a while, enjoyed the Freemont Street Experience light show, drank water to try and keep cool. By the time we got back to our room, it was late, we didn't get our ice cream, but that's OK. We'd eaten plenty that day.

Wednesday, no set things to do. We went to the Factory Outlet stores on the south of the strip. As much as I don't like shopping, every few years I enjoy a trip there to get some things I like at the Burlington Brands store. So I did. I got some shirts. I shopped. And I even enjoyed it for the most part. They didn't have EVERYthing I wanted to get, but I did OK. Now I can replace a couple of my more ratty shirts. Mike and I also shopped at the Bass Pro Shop because that was what our free gift was for spending the time to tell the VACATION OWNERSHIP people (they never call it time shares anymore ). $75 in gift cards at Bass PRo. So we found a nice cooler and bought it. Coolers are nice to have and ours were broken and worn out.

We drove home, eating one more over-filling buffet before arriving at home around 7 p.m. Cedar City felt SOOOOO nice and cool after that hot spot on the planet. Even 90 degrees plus today was almost enjoyable. Really, who can stand to live in heat like that? Yechh! But, we did have a nice time together and are glad we went.

I think I hit all the high points, Mom!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


June 23 was our travel date. Mom and I had practically no difficulty difficulty getting to Boston. Seth drove us to the shuttle stop in St. George. We made it in the nick of time. The ride was fine to Las Vegas Airport. We breezed right through security and got to the gate in no time. We had plenty of time to wait, as the shuttle choices were either to get us there with only 30 minutes to spare, or 2 1/2 hour. We opted for the longer one.
The picture about is the only picture I took while we rode our trolley around Boston on Thursday the 24th of June. "Old Town Trolley" Sound familiar? I think I've ridden one of those in Savannah, Georgia. I was just so busy looking around, listening to the narration that I didn't even think about taking pictures. Except the one above of the Boston Public Library. Of course. ;-)

We also had lunch on the wharf that day. I believe we ate at "Legal Sea Foods" or something. It was air conditioned, and that was a MUST at this point. The trolley was not air-conditioned and we were melting. I asked the people across to take a nice tacky touristy picture of us eating together.

Following our meal, we went on a harbor cruise around Boston Harbor. It was also narrated. I took quite a few pictures here (I'd remembered the purpose of a camera by this time), but because my new computer uploads photos ridiculously S L O W L Y, I'm only putting in a couple of the whole trip. Talk about frustrating. That's why I seldom blog. I was just getting the hang of it, then they go and change my computer. Grrr.
Back to Boston. Here's the lovely sky line. It was a lovely day. About 94 degrees. I thought the Harbor Cruise would be cool and breezy, but it was not. It was hot and breezy. I enjoyed the narration, though.
Above: this is as close as we got to the USS Constitution. "Old Ironsides" Bunker Hill monument is the obelisk you can see in the background.

Our Adventure in Boston was complete in a lot of ways because we Drove to the Alewife "T" station, rode the subway into town, changed lines, found the trolley stop, rode the trolley around for about 2 hours, ate out on the Wharf, took the Harbor Cruise, then took a different "T" back to the station and found our car (it'd rained there), drove it to our hotel--and we were tired! It was enough. The trolley ride showed us lots of sites we'd never have been able to walk around in to see, so that was a good thing. It was very hot, however. Even the subway underground stations were stifling hot. Most of the elevators worked, though, so that was another good thing.

The next day, Friday, we went to the temple. It's in Belmont and we actually drove past it on our way to the subway station the previous day. Our hotel was clear out in Burlington. We enjoyed staying there (well, I did) because I could find the grocery store, it was close to the freeway AND it was an extended stay so we cooked our instant oatmeal breakfast each day that I'd brought and we had fruit and juice. I'm sure Mike was glad he didn't have to be there to share in the instant oatmeal breakfasts. ha.

The temple was lovely. The session was small. The people were nice. One lady had just been to Cedar City Utah to attend her niece's graduation from SUU. Nice photo, huh?
After we went back to the hotel room to change and grab a snack to go, we drove to Lexington and found an American Heritate museum or something like that, where we caught another trolly! Yay for Trollies! This one was air conditioned and our guide was a sweet lady who was costumed. We drove past the sites in Lexington and Concord, and when we got to Concord, we got out (except Mom, who waited on the bus) and walked over the old North Bridge over the Concord River (?), saw some monuments, took many more pictures, walked past the "Old Manse" and read plaques and listened to more narration about the Revolutionary War. The tour was nice. Again, it was incredibly hot while we were waiting for it outside the museum, so the air conditioning felt sooooo very nice. I stopped and parked next to the green in Lexington AFTER the tour to take some more photos. It was kind of different because the tour included tickets to go into a few of the places she pointed out, but they didn't stop. We would have had to gone back on our own to go on those building tours. I decided those two activities were plenty. We ate at Chili's in Burlington and retired fairly early. I spent the evenings studying my maps and game plan for the next day's drive.

The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts.

A Minute Man monument by the bridge.
This is out of order It's Athena's driveway in New Hampshire. Pretty, huh?
Saturday the 26th of June was the purpose of this little jaunt to the North East. This is the church in Andover, Massachusetts. It's very ornate, from the 1700's, and not very typical of most of the little New England chapels we saw everywhere. I took more photos. You can ask me for my York Photo password if you want to see the rest. Or go look at my scrap bag. ha.

Berenice is standing by a "Holt" grave stone.
We traveled to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on Sunday Morning. It was rainy and cool. We drove past Lake Winnepesaukee and it is the first vacation destination spot in America. At least, that's what the sign outside town said. I missed a turn and we were a tad late for church, but we got in and sat down during the opening song. So, technically, we were not late, according to my granddaughter's definition of being late for church! ha.

Church was small, nice, and we left before Relief Society to drive on up to Athena's. We had lunch with her and her husband at a little local (teeny tiny) general store. We went to their cute home and visited, Athena and I went for a short bike ride up their lane, a little walk through the woods. Gee, I really do need to post those pictures...I'll try to insert them later. Eh, maybe not. They'd probably delete the ones I already have posted. Don't think it hasn't happened because it has. Can you see why I am a challenged blogger?

We spent the night at a bed and breakfast called "Riverbend Inn" in Chochorua, left the next morning for Vermont. It rained the whole night long, so things were quite wet. Especially in Sharon Vermont. Below is a photo of me and Berenice standing by the monument. We had a great tour of the place in a little golf-cart car. It was pleasant and breezy, helping us to feel more comfortable in all that heat and humidity. It is a beautiful area and the visitor's center and grounds are just gorgeous and immaculate.

Yeah, well. There WAS a picture here of me and Berenice, but it deleted when I backspaced. And now it's gone and I'm not going out to find it. Have you noticed there's no "undo" in these templates? Grrr.

So, we went to Plymouth. Here's some pictures. I'm going to bed. G'nite from the bloggerly challenged! Anybody want to write my blog for me? I give up.