Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Las Vegas Days

Well friends, I'm back. It was a wonderful pre-winter interlude, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Or so they say!!! It was a delightful trip. The weather was fantastic most of the time. It did rain on Thanksgiving Day, but we weren't unhappy. They so badly need rain. Their normal rainfall is 4.5 inches of rain per year and this year they are at about 1.2. At least they were before Thanksgiving. I think it rained about 1/2 inch that day.

They are so unused to rain that that amount of rainfall causes flooding. That just boggles my mind, but many roads were flooded.

Even though Brian and Gretchen had to work while we were there, we managed to get a lot of play time in too. Tuesday we went to the Springs Preserve. This is the site of the original spring on which Las Vegas was founded. Today, it is a site that not only educates about the history of Las Vegas, but also teaches the importance of conservation of water and other resources. Gretchen, being a very ardent conservationist, volunteers at the preserve. Of course, that made her a perfect tour guide.

Brian, Gretchen and Jim as the tour begins.

All the buildings are constructed so that they can catch and store rain water, one of the most precious commodities in the desert.

The temperatures in Las Vegas are still in the 60's and 70's so, as you can see, the flora is still thriving.

The bunnies and grey fox are indigenous to the desert. I can't tell you how many shots it took me to get a decent pic of the bunnies. The grey fox is in a den and easier to photograph.

Of course, the children had to play.

Wednesday found us busily preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner. Gretchen had to work, but Brian {who is the Thanksgiving chef} spent a good part of the day in the kitchen.

Jim is a very good prep cook. Lest you think I contributed nothing to the dinner, let me say that I made the stuffing. It was passable, but not my best effort.

Brian's apple pie. Isn't that a masterpiece? Oh yes, I also made a pumpkin crisp, but it wasn't quite as beautiful as this.

The turkey - also ala Brian.

Gretchen's beautiful table. I did make the name cards.

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day. Of course, I had to watch the Macy's parade. That is one of my traditions. Because Brian had to work in the evening, we ate early. Our friend, Bonnie, joined us. It was so good to see her. We had a wonderful dinner and a delightful time of fellowship. Who could ask for more???

Friday morning, we took a long walk to help counter the effects of the amount of food we consumed on Thanksgiving. Although we thought we would never eat again, of course, we did. Both Gretchen and Brian worked on Friday. Jim and I took Gretchen to work and kept her car. We went to a movie in the evening. Pam's recommendation: Skip Quantom of Solace.

Saturday was decorating day. Jim and Brian went to the storage facility and brought all the Christmas decorations home. I took Gretchen to work and relaxed while they worked.

It was really nice on the patio, just relaxing and drinking my coffee.

Sunday was another absolutely gorgeous day. We went to church. It is always nice to worship with our children. Gretchen is singing with the Praise Band now and it was nice to hear her sing. After church Jim took us out to lunch and then we dropped Gretchen off at work. We did a little shopping at Lush. I could have spent mucho $$$, but did control myself.

We decided to see another movie. Pam's recommendation: Australia is worth the price of the ticket just for the beautiful scenery. The story was predictable and long, but still fairly entertaining.

The last day of a visit is always a little sad for me. I hate the thought of leaving the kids, plus I dread the flight home. That being said, the day sped by. We took a long walk again. Gretchen and I walked side by side and had a good chance for a farewell talk. I really miss my girls. After the kids left for work, we took a little nap. The evening sped by as we had to pack and prepare for our leave taking.

In spite of my dread, the flight home was smooth. Gretchen took us to the airport at "Zero past Dark" {her words}. We kissed her goodbye until February and boarded our plane for New York. I'm sad/happy all at the same time. It was a wonderful visit. Brian and Gretchen are happy and safe. I'll see them again in about ten weeks. It's okay.

I'll close with pictures of my grand-cats. This is especially for Nancy. They are odd little kitties.
This is Fiona, a very snooty cat.
I actually think Lani might like me. She just has a funny way of showing it.
Hey, thanks for sticking with me through this longggg post.
~Hippo Hugs~


Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Pam,

I have been looking forward to your Las Vegas post, and I haven't been disappointed!

Love all the beautiful pictures. The Spring Preserve looks interesting, and oh, it's so nice to see some beautiful flowers on a cold December day, and I always love pictures of animals, of course!

Oh, my that Turkey looks absolutely perfect! And the pie is a masterpiece, just as you said! ( I ended up making two turkey breasts, as everyone likes the white meat the best, and there were 8 of us at my house.)

Thank you for sharing your wonderful Thanksgiving in Vegas. I enjoyed reading about it and seeing all the beautiful pictures. ( And you made it home just fine. Like you, I always dread flying, and was of course, worried while the girls were flying home. I always breathe a sigh of relief when they're on the ground again. I know I shouldn't be feeling that way, but I do. )

Have a wonderful rest of the week. I'm still a bit under the weather, but much better than a few days ago.

Hugs abd blessings,


camport said...

Men that can cook are the very best kind. What a beautiful pie!

Glad you got to have a nice visit with another coming fairly soon. I know what it's like to not have family on holidays from the daughters side, and am sure she was just as glad to have you as you were to be there.


Monogram Queen said...

Oh I enjoyed this so much! I am so glad you had an enjoyable visit and they will be back in NY before you know.
Yes, parting is sweet sorrow....

Thank you for your prayers and uplifting comments to me. They have really been a big help and so needed!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome home and HUGS. Mixed feelings are such a hard thing...

Also, your dinner is making me hungry all over again!

Winifred said...

Looks like you all had a lovely time together. That's nice, those memories are precious.

That apple pie looks scrumptious, I could almost taste it.

Fiona looks a bit like my Oscar!

Dana said...

what a fun trip and that turkey is making me hungry!

Nancy said...

I've been checking quite frequently for a new post! My, Gretchen is the spitting image of you!!!

Sounds like you had a great visit! I am happy for you, Pam. I suppose I take it for granted, but I am so fortunate that my daughter lives just 4 miles from me. I don't get to see Tim as often, but we do talk on the phone every day, several times! When we lived in IN, I couldn't stand not seeing them, so we moved back. It just tore me apart. Stosh quit his job after 23 years with that company. Neither of us liked the cold weather after having lived in SC 3 years prior to that move. He didn't like it there, either.

Your tour pics were great! Strange how anything can grow in that sand, but the flowers were so pretty!

That pie!!! It was gorgeous!!! Is Brian a chef? If not, then he shoud be! Your dinner looked lovely! We had a nice dinner at Tammy's. Now we are getting revved up for Christmas and New Year's! LOL

The cats are beautiful!!! Fiona looks like my Callie, but mine is kind of a faded-out calico. Identical facewise, though! And believe it or not, I have one that looks like Lani, too! His name is Sunshine...he's still quite feral, though. You might know, with me having 33 that it was a good chance that I'd have at least one that was a look-alike! LOL I love cats....I love dogs, too, but I don't want to have to get up early to walk a dog. My cats all take themselves to the bathroom, and that suits me just fine. LOL

Glad you had a safe trip home. Won't be long, and you'll all be together again!

Oh, drop by my blog...I have an award waiting for you!

(((((( HUGS ))))))

Tracy said...

I enjoyed reading your recap. Welcome home.