Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's been a while...

I'm back.

Yesterday was my first day back to work in a week and a half. I had eleven-hundred-something unread mail messages in my mail reader. Eight hundred or so were immediately trash and several more were scan-and-delete. Hot items: I'm getting a new IP phone and users are entering cents in the dollar fields even though the ".00" follows the input box. Yeah, I didn't miss much.

Except for my usual blog reads. I missed those. I'll try to catch up soon.

We took The Girl to her camp in Williamsburg on Sunday and The Boy to his on Monday. He goes to Camp Greentop, a special needs camp up in the mountains about a half-mile from Camp David. Every year I have to wear my sunglasses to hide my eyes. I always tear-up even though I know the routine, what's going to happen. There's a staff person at the end of the drive who asks your camper's name and gives you the check-in procedure sheet. They radio ahead and say who is coming. By the time you turn the corner the staff have lined the parking lot and are cheering for your camper. Every single camper. Every single year. It's moving to see so many young people who care about working at a camp for special needs kids.

Then Dan and I flew to Las Vegas. I'd never been to Vegas before and I wasn't expecting it to be that big (or hot). On a map the strip looks like a couple blocks long but those couple blocks are three miles long in reality. The hotel properties are huge and take up a lot of space. Each seem to be designed to be self-contained so you never have to leave for your dining, drinking, shopping, spa, sleeping, swimming, gambling needs. They reminded me of over-grown cruise ships.

We got a deal for a air & hotel package and stayed at the Excalibur, which is a fine hotel, but certainly not luxurious or posh. Lots of kids. I guess because it's cheap inexpensive.

Tuesday we drove to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. The water level is, to me, astonishing low. I guess with global warming there isn't as much snow in the Rockies to melt as there used to be. We did the power plant tour and saw huge generators that supply juice to Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. Our tour guide was a squirrelly little guy with weird speech patterns. I think I heard most of what he was saying. We were told there are 4,360,000 cubic yards of concrete in the dam more than once.

We also stopped at the Lake Mead Recreation area and went swimming. I'm a beach girl, I didn't like the squooshy muddy lake floor, but I'm glad I went (it was hot).

I took $60 to the casino to play roulette and came back with $188.

Tuesday night we went to the Venetian to see The Blue Man Group. Way cool. We sat in the balcony and still managed to get pulled into the show. Well, Dan did, he was asked to throw candy into the mouth of a Blue Man, except in gestures, no words. Did I say it was way cool?

After the show we ate at Bouchon, also at the Venetian, to celebrate our anniversary. Very, very good food.

Wednesday we drove out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area with a stop at Jack-in-the-Box for tacos and the Red Rock Resort and Casino. (Lost $14 at the roulette table.)

Wednesday night we had dinner at the Cravings buffet at the Mirage and then went to Folies Bergere at the Tropicana. (Pronounced foe-LEE bare-zhair in case you've never had French lessons as I haven't.) Folies is a typical Vegas-style show girl show with lots of feathers and skin and is the "longest running show in the US," or so they tell us. I was surprised by two things: A-cup girls can still get work in Vegas (even I'm big enough to work in Vegas!), and how fit these women are. The only way you can tell the younger ones from the older ones is how deep their smile lines are, there are no other wrinkles anywhere else on their bodies. Anywhere. Oh my goodness, they give a whole new meaning to "taut." I'm not taut enough to work in Vegas.

Thursday we flew home and had a 3-hour layover in Denver. That's what we get for the cheap tickets, I guess. On the whole, the trip was great and I had a good time hanging out with Dan without the kids. I'd go to Vegas again, I suppose. But not in July. It was much too hot. You know that blast of heat you feel when you open the oven to put in a tray of cookies dinner? Vegas in July is like living in that blast all the time.

Friday we picked up Fern at camp then attended AM's perennial Fourth-of-July party which was rained out again and had a good time anyway and since we walked over, we had to stay until the rain let up.

Saturday I sewed like crazy on the Girl Scout vests, getting them ready for the girls' trip to Savannah. Sunday Dan, Fern and I went to an Orioles game and I sewed more. I worked on and finished about 25 vests for all the girls and I'm a bit tired of seeing little round badges everywhere and that hideous green color. I'm finally done, and now I'm going to cash my checks.

Monday we sent Fern off to day camp and drove up to get Kevin at camp. He got glowing reports from the counselors and really seemed to have a great time. And yesterday was my first day back to work and that's where this post started.

I'll post pictures when I find the sync cable for my camera.


Maddy said...

Yes I was inundated with junk mail, email and telephone calls after a month away.

Having just spent the entire morning shopping for my daughter's camp I am now officially bankrupt.

It sounds like that special camp is a very special camp, I'd have had to wear those 1980's bee sunglasses.

AM Kingsfield said...


Anne said...

whew, i'm too flabby to work in vegas, or whew, 11-hundred messages?

greeny said...

I love long posts! I am completely caught up with Anne. Moving on to AM.

I loved being in a pool in Vegas with that blast of heat. And the football-shaped pool drinks went down amazingly well in that heat. But I never did that well in roulette. Way to go!