Thursday, December 24, 2009

All I want for Christmas

The girls were rather difficult to shop for this year. Because their lists were composed of impossibilities.

Things like dogs. Winning lottery tickets. Baby sisters. So not gonna happen.

With list like this. One would think that really. And truly. They are lacking for nothing. They have what they need. And they also have what they might want.

When I took them for their annual visit with Santa. Madalyn asked for a dsi. Katie asked for World Peace.

I hope that Santa brings them an instruction manual on manners. Or living a whine free life. Or maybe one on peaceful siblings. Yep. We are all looking for impossibilities.

So...what about you? What is Santa bringing you and yours?

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vegas, Baby part IV

Where did we leave off? Like a month ago? We went to Hoover dam on the dam bus. Went to a chocolate factory. I think it's a conspiracy. They do not provide lunch...or even an opportunity to lunch. So. When you get to the chocolate buy. And buy. And buy some more. Becaues you are so hungry. You rationalize that you are getting chocolate for your children. Your mom. Your best friend. And then when you arrive back at the dam bus you eat someone's chocolate. Not that this happened to me or anything. It just might happen. So if you go to Vegas on the dam bus. Bring a snack.

We got back to our hotel around 2. Had a yummy meal in the food court. And I decided that my feet had recuperated enough to go and explore more along the strip. Not to walk along the strip. But to schlep over to the bus stop. And ride the 56 miles to the other end of the strip. We got off at the Venetian with absolutely no idea as to what to do next.We admired the outside and the gondolas. And then walked across the street to the Mirage.

It is an odd thing. When you cross the street. To go from the Venetian side to the Mirage side. Because all of a sudden the temperature drops like 10 degrees. It's cool. And rather refreshing. Considering that we are in Vegas. And it's hot. And we've walked 65 miles just to get across the street. Or maybe it was all a mirage.

As we walked along, the landscaping is really lush. There are all these coves of waterfalls. And it's very tropical. But tropical with airconditioning. How ever do they do that? We finally got into the hotel and decided to go back to Siegfried and Roy's secret garden. I had kinda gotten confused. I was thinking that you could see the tigers for free. But I was thinking of the lions at the MGM grand (which we never actually got to see). Which are free. Siegfried and Roy's exhibit? Yeah. Free? Not so much. So when we got to the ticket window it was truly a decision of whether or not we'd pay the $16 a person to get in or not.

And then we decided. Well. I decided. Made the executive decision. That since we walked 24 miles through the hotel and casino back to the Secret Garden...we may as well go on in. And let me tell you. It was worth it. I wasn't so sure at first. Because we got to the dolphin pool first. And it was practically empty. Because they were in the process of refurbishing it. There were two small pools nearby. And there was a lone dolphin hanging out. But as we progressed further back, there was a large pool. With lots of dolphins. Who seemed to be just as curious about the visitors as we were about them.

They would circle around...eyeballing us. They were close enough to touch. Not that we did. Cause I didn't walk 326 miles to get kicked out.After gawking at dolphins...we walked further back and found llamas. Or are they alpacas? Leopards. Or is it a panther? And white lions. The male lion was just pacing. And roaring. I think he was ready for dinner. (Either that or he was just having a friendly conversation with the lion around the corner as they called to each other the whole time we were there.) And the female. Can you not just see the thought bubble? I think she was ready to put a muzzle on those two lions.

And then there were the infamous white tigers. They were just gorgeous. And again. So close you could touch them. Not that we did. (miles and miles of walking) But they were amazing. They responded to the calls and clicks. And they were so playful. They would take turns playing tag. Chasing each other all around the enclosure. And then falling into a pile of kitties. And then the next tiger would take a turn being "it."And even when we left (only because they were closing - cause I could have watched them for much longer!) they followed us...perhaps wondering why we weren't going to watch them play anymore!We walked out of the secret garden and went back inside the casino in search of a seat of some sort so that I could rest my aching toes. We people watched. Lamented the fact that we could not afford tickets to see "Love." And then realized that there IS a free show at the Mirage. And it was back outside. To the outdoor airconditioning. By the waterfalls. And that is the Mirage volcano.

I wasn't sure where we should stand because there was more than one big rock area that could be transformed into a volcano. So we stood. Watched the sky get dark. And all strip become blazing with light.We walked. Trying to find the perfect spot. I am sure that it was no more than 2. Or 7 miles. And we waited some more.

And then the show began. With jungle type music. Maybe didgeridoo. Maybe they just borrowed the soundtrack from "Survivor." But the volcano was quite cool. With lots of flames. And explosions.

And then it all went dark again. We hobbled over to the bus stop. Made our way back to the Monte Carlo. And our last night on the thirteenth floor before we moved on up the street.

So...what about you? Where is the best place you have been to see animals? Ever been to a volcano - real or otherwise?

Catch up on our Vegas adventures:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3 part 1

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Laws-a-mercy. Where has the time gone? And I left you at such a cliffhanger in my trip. I mean. I am sure that you have just been hanging. And wondering what on earth we are going to do after our trip to the Hoover Dam. Well. You'll just have to hang on to your hats a bit longer. And I'll fill you in on the flotsam and jetsam and minutiae that fill my day.

Right before Thanksgiving, my aunt and a bunch of cousins came to visit. We visited. Chatted. Ate lots of PW's brisket. But. I did not take one picture. Not one. I am not sure where I put my brain. Or my camera.

Ugh. And then there is the car. The car that just this summer turned that 100K mark. The car that is otherwise known as the money pit. It died when we went on our cruise last year. It has had flat tires. Battery issues. Electrical issues. Mental issues. So when the check engine light came on, we once again headed to the dealer. While they rubbed their hands together and praised my American lemon. But this time. I just got the minimum amount of work done to make that light go away. And I promptly drove to the Toyota dealership and traded that sucka in. And now. We have a lovely new Sienna gracing my garage.

Lizzy spent Thanksgiving with us. We had a great day. With turkey. More recipes from PW. Family. Friends. And "V." Yes. "V." The original. Oh my goodness. We laughed so hard. And that scene of Diana eating the guinea pig was played over and over again. What? Isn't that how ya'll spent your day?

What about black Friday. Did you shop? Lizzy and I shopped. And I realized how easy Katie is to buy presents for. And how difficult Madalyn is. Especially when her list includes impossibles. Like her own house. A laptop. And a baby sister. But what is the most difficult is my husband. Who is impossible to buy for. Because he doesn't want anything. I had a stroke of genius last year in getting him reusable shopping bags. But this year I got nothin'. Any ideas? What are ya'll getting your significant others??

Did you know that if you create a wishlist on Amazon, you could win a $25,000 gift card? Wait. Forget I told you that.

Speaking of Amazon. Did I tell you that I finally earned money from my blog? Do you see all those book covers there on the left? Well, if you click on those. You will bring up Amazon. You can read more about the book. You can look at other books. Order books. And if you do make a purchase. I get a percentage. A very small percentage. Teeny-tiny. So. After almost 2 years of blogging. I finally earned a $10 gift card.

Oh. Did you want to know what I bought? I did not buy a Christmas gift. I bought a book. For me. It's rather shocking. I am a library girl. But for this book. I didn't want to wait. I got "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner. And wow. What an amazing book. I don't think I have been this riveted to a story since "The Hunger Games." (August 24, 2010 - due date for book three. Not that I am counting.)Have you read either one?

And speaking of books. I just finished a really good one. "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate." It's the story of a girl on the cusp. It's 1899. She is about to enter into a new century. She is about to enter her teen years. Her family is changing. She has an aversion to the female role she is supposed to play. She is trying to figure out who she is. I don't know how to describe except that it was an absolute delight. I wonder if my bookclub would be willing to read it...

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Event Chasing at the Georgia/Georgia Tech game

The day finally arrived. And Michael got to see his alma mater in its ultimate rivalry: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs the Georgia Bulldogs. Tech was favored to win. But. It did not happen. They were plagued by injuries. And the dawgs got bragging rights. For now.

Go read Michael's post over at event chasers. And while you are there...see if you can sign up to be a chaser too!

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