Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Errands -- Friday, Dec. 30, 2011

Sparks, NV: Today we ran errands: gas, Costco, AAA, Home Depot, Famous Footwear, WalMart, K-Mart...everything within about 15 minutes of our RV Park.

In the evening we watched "Bourne Supremacy."

Nice day to catch up on shopping.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leaving Las Vegas -- Thurs., Dec. 29, 2011

Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park, Sparks: We got up super early (5:30 am), had breakfast, spent some time online, worked on the jigsaw puzzle and left Laura's house about 8:30 a.m. A meeting was scheduled at 9:30 a.m. with our renter in our Las Vegas house.

After the meeting, we headed north for Death Valley National Park.

On U.S. 95 north of Las Vegas we found the historic marker for the Nevada "Test Site." Any of you who grew up in the late 50's, early 60's may remember news of the bomb testing and mushroom clouds in the Nevada desert with houses being flattened or all the windows blowing out. This is the place...

A coyote ran along the road by us at one point...good wildlife sighting.

First stop: Rhyolite, a ghost town. Semi-interesting. Here's some pics:
House made from beer bottles.

Back to U.S. 95 to head north to Scotty's Castle. When we arrived at Scotty's Castle, the next castle tour was in ten minutes. Good timing. What a lovely oasis in the desert. We took the house tour, but not the underground tour. Next time we will plan to do the underground tour. Fascinating tour with a great Park Ranger guide.
Good reference map.

Death Valley Ranch aka "Scotty's Castle"


Original name of the property.

Dining room with original tableware.

Kitchen sink and counter.

Two ovens, two warming ovens, six burners.

Exit to outside from music room.

What a nice break in our long-drive-of-a-day. We even bought sandwiches and chips for lunch at the National Park Visitor Center.

Time for the rest of the drive back to Sparks. We would have liked to stop in Hawthorne, NV to see the museums, but they were closed by the time we passed through. We did have a beautiful high desert sunset...

Got home about 9:00 p.m...a 12-hour day. Everything was fine with the 5er after being gone for six days. Nothing frozen!

Hoover Dam, "The Descendants" -- Wed., Dec. 28

Boulder City & Henderson, NV: We got up "early" to go to Hoover Dam and arrived at the trailhead parking lot to walk up to the new bridge about 9:00 a.m. We avoided the major crowds; however, there were still four large buses and the trailhead parking lot was almost full. We got some good pics from the bridge and trail.

Hoover Dam

From the new bridge walkway.

Sign on the bridge.
Walking back into Nevada
From the bridge trailhead, we drove down across the dam and parked on the Arizona side of the dam for free. 
Parking at the lots closest to the visitor center and dam cost $7.00. We don't mind walking.

Hoover Dam is such a spectacular place to visit. Man's ingenuity is awe-inspiring! We paid $8.00 to tour the Visitor Center. Unfortunately, we didn't know the tour didn't include the movie. In order to see the movie, you have to purchase at least the one-hour powerhouse tour for $11.00. We would have if we had known. The visitor center was still interesting.
Pat Tillman Bridge viewed from Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam Visitor Center

Hoover Dam: looking down from the top.

Love these art deco Winged Figures of the Republic art pieces from the 1930s!


Bob checking out the power lines.
Winged Figures of the Republic
 After our dam visit, we went back to Bob's sister's house for lunch. Then it was off to see "The Descendants" with George Clooney. Bob and his mom loved the movie. To me, it was an okay story, with some great Hawaiian scenery.

This evening we chilled at the house. I worked on another, harder jigsaw puzzle and we watched "Storage Wars" (about five episodes). Hadn't ever seen the show before and it's pretty interesting. We also watched a couple episodes of "Dog the Bounty Hunter."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mellow, relaxing day -- Tues., Dec. 27

Henderson, NV
The air bed is getting worse. We again filled it about four times during the night when:
a) we felt like we were both rolling out of the same side of the bed;
b) we woke up folded in the middle, i.e., our bodies were in a "V" shape--heads and feet up in the air, butt down on the ground; 
c) we were mattress hot dogs;
d) I felt like I was being absorbed by a pod from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." I was in the middle of the bed almost on the floor, both sides of the air bed were enclosing me and the fitted sheet snapped over my head! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I had to disentangle myself from the sheets, blankets and bed to roll out onto the floor.

After a leisurely breakfast, Bob and I took off for Camping World. For Christmas we received some Camping World gift cards. We went to look, not sure what we would buy. I found a nice, over-the-sink, thick, hard plastic cutting board, some mesh drains to keep hair and food debris out of our grey water tanks, silverware holder, and outdoor thermometer.

Our journey continued with a drive to the new bridge which bypasses Hoover Dam. We could not believe the traffic jam going into Boulder City. It was around noon and it seemed everyone had the same idea. When we saw the solid line of cars going to the dam and visitor center, we opted to stay on the bypass bridge, crossed over into Arizona, then turned around and went back to Bob's mom's house. We decided if we wanted to walk onto the bridge and go to the dam visitor's center, we would go back early on Wednesday morning before the crowds descended.

Tuesday afternoon we hung out at Bob's sister's house.

Tuesday evening we headed over to north Las Vegas to visit our good friends, Kris and Rich and their two Siamese kitties, Carly and Taylor. Such a nice visit. We got to see the new Pergo floor they're putting in so Kris will have a nice dance studio, as well as their new downstairs sun room/"kitty playroom" addition. I got to spend time playing with the kitties while we talked with Kris and Rich. For dinner, we headed out to the "Three Angry Wives Pub" where we had an excellent meal. Thank you Kris and Rich for sharing your home and kitties with us.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Henderson, NV: Slept in (as much as possible with the "bun" bed). After breakfast, Bob's mom, sister and I went to "Hugo" in 3-D. I loved this movie as much the second time as I did the first. Louise and Laura enjoyed it as well. 

Some people have said they thought the movie was "slow" in the beginning. In my opinion, the beginning was the build-up: introducing characters, the story-line, and setting the scene for what was to come. It makes me wonder if movies like Mission Impossible, Transformers and other slam, bang, explosive, action-packed movies have ruined great story-telling. To me, a good movie, like a good book, introduces the characters, sets the stage, may bring in a mystery, then proceeds to tie everything together in a rich tapestry of a story.

While we were at the movies, Bob drove to northeastern Las Vegas to check on our rental house. The renter was not home, so Bob texted him and arranged to meet him Thursday a.m. as we are headed out of town. 

For dinner we had delicious Christmas leftovers. After dinner, Bob, his mom and I went to see "War Horse" which was another very good movie.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas with Bob's Family

Henderson, NV: Wake up time was 7:00 a.m. Laura was already up making stuffing and getting the turkey ready for the oven. Bob filled stockings and went for a walk.

Laura, Christy and I made breakfast around 9:30 a.m. I cooked the scrambled eggs, Christy made turkey and pork bacon, Laura made cinnamon rolls with orange icing.

After breakfast we opened some of the gifts, but waited until the rest of the family arrived to open the remainder of the presents.

Around 3:00 p.m., Janice and James arrived with their families. Some of us worked on a jigsaw puzzle while others talked. We had a large turkey and ham dinner with mashed potatoes, roasted yams, fresh veggies, biscuits, stuffing, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce.

Dinner settings for 16!

Christy and Emily

Christmas decor.

Louise with 2012 quilt calendar.
Emily, James & Jayce with Legos.

Rich and Shay intently puzzled.

Susan reading "Falling Up" by Shel Silverstein to Emily. Christy reflected in mirror.

The remainder of the presents were opened after dinner and the jigsaw puzzle finished. Dessert consisted of either cheesecake or pumpkin pie.
"Tooniverse" puzzle completed. 550 pieces.
Aaron, Emily, Bob


Louise and Aaron hugging goodbye. Christy saying goodbye to someone out of photo range.

Brothers--Aaron & Bob.

By the time dishes were done and everyone headed home, it was about 9:30 p.m.

Bedtime rolled around and we were faced with "the air bed." It started out nice and firm. By four a.m., I couldn't stay on my side of the bed and kept rolling toward Bob. By morning, both of us were like hot dogs in the bottom of the "bun." The bed had rolled up around us. I wish I had taken a photo!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Water in the Desert

Sparks to Las Vegas, NV: Reservoirs, lakes, streams, canals...who would have thought there was so much water in the desert? I didn't. For eight hours, we drove from Sparks, NV to Henderson, NV, and saw Carson Lake, Walker Lake, a reservoir, and a couple of rivers. Seeing the blue water after miles upon miles of brown sagebrush was a welcome sight.

At the south end of Walker Lake, I saw odd structures in the distance. As we drove closer, we could see row after row of large buildings, and mounded dirt structures. Turns out it was the Hawthorne Army Depot: On our way back, we plan to stop at the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum to see ammunition from the past.

At Tonopah, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant for a very good lunch. We started seeing yucca trees south of Tonopah and saw a large sand dune area called "Big Dune."

We arrived in Henderson around 5:00 p.m. Bob's mom and sister had spaghetti dinner cooking. Bob's brother, Aaron; niece, Emily, and brother's girlfriend, Christy were visiting from Kentucky and joined us for dinner. It was a very good dinner.

Around 9:30 pm our evening wound down. Bob and I stayed in the guest bedroom in a double-sized air bed. When we went to sleep everything was fine, air bed was firm. By morning, I was falling into Bob as the air bed had lost air overnight. It was very hard to roll over. I ended up rolling out of the air bed onto the floor to get out of bed.