Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Clean Fun in a Worldly Setting

Well, if you've followed Heather's or Carl's blogs by now you'd know we spent a marvelous weekend in Vegas last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We stayed in a three bedroom condo in our Hilton timeshare building. (at this point I pause because I can't for the life of me get a photo to post in under an hour--any hints?) I think we planned it well. Carol handled the housing--getting a 3 bedroom condo for us and the Phoenicians (Hev, Brandon, two kids, David) and then 2 one bedroom condos for the Ferndaliens and the Springvillains (not too evil those villains). Carol and I arrived late Thursday night. The next morning we awoke to chirping grandsons. I had a hankering to visit the "best breakfast in Vegas" (you can google it yourselves) at the Egg Works. We drove north on Flamingo Blvd so far we swore we could see Oregon, but enjoyed the goods. I had their famous Spinach Benny (as in eggs Benedict) and all was well with the world. Back home, Brandon and Hev cashed in their Christmas promises from us to get them their choice of spa treatments in the timeshare. Skipping lunch to get ready, we went to the famous Spice Buffet at the Planet Hollywood for our venture into the buffet line. Getting there around 5:00 p.m. maybe we got a price break, but it was still about $60 for two. The Phoenicians decided to walk the 4 mile trek from the condo to the buffet, so we started the King Crab legs, barbecued lamb and fried shrimp without them. They finally showed up all tuckered out, but willing to take a stab at the sushi, seafood enchiladas, pork ribs and all else that makes this place a piece of heaven. Carol and I took our departure and hustled over to the Palazzo theater to catch "Jersey Boys", a spectacular live musical about the formation, performances and breakups of the 4 Seasons. In true Vegas fashion, drum sets disappeared into the floor, microphones arose from nowhere and over 20 songs were presented in perfect four part harmony. I had a grin the whole night. Back to the condo, I then ran to the airport to collect the Ferndalians, and barely got them back in time to guide David in to the timeshare. Carl and Devin had arrived at the backdoor without my knowledge. What a fun reunion that was into the night. Saturday we served breakfast for all ala Ken and Mary McCain in our fairly roomy kitchen. I went with Aaron and Candace & babe to see Hoover Dam and the awesome bridge they are building just downstream over the top of the canyon. The others went to the strip to visit the Mandalay aquariums. The big event for the evening was a steak fry down at the grills by the pool. Aaron and Carol did the honors and brought them back upstairs where DB had chopped up the salad and the baked potatoes came out of the oven. Laugh, eat, watch the muted Oklahoma-Texas basketball game on a muted plasma television. Old people went to bed while others went out to see the sights and dabble in the dark arts of blackjack. Fortunately they were all broke within 20 minutes, so we face no Satanic challenge from the weekend. Sunday came too soon as we packed up, checked out and sat in the lobby, chilling. The Ferndalians and the Kennewickians drove around town for a while, waiting for our Allegiant flights home. We went to the temple and did some geocaching, then it was time to call it quits. What a whirlwind that was! But we had great housing, great food, great entertainment and great family in spite of it all. Carol wants to go every two years so we can catch these top Vegas shows. AND...we all want more King Crab.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Visit to Elk Country

President's day involved a trip with our "empty nesters" group into the foothills on the east side of the Cascades. We have lived here for 34 years and never once went to see the winter feeding of the wild elk and bighorn sheep. They come down out of the mountains and used to wreak havoc on Farmer John's crops and trees and anything they could munch. So, a consortium financed construction of an "elk fence" at the highway and figured to feed the elk with surplus hay once per day. Total herd we watched get fed was over 1,000 elk.

This last picture is of an adjoining area for feeding the wild bighorn sheep. Hard to see but there is one in the rocks at left center. They ate before we got there so we didn't get to see very many. Afterwards we all drove into Yakima and ate at Miner's, an institution for all my kids.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Intro to the blogworld

This is a man and his grandchild at the Lagoon at Waikelaua Hilton resort near Kona. I got the exhausting job of sitting while his mom and dad and my wife (aka grandma) went snorkeling. It tires me just to remember. I think I'll have another fresh pineapple juice, please!