Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Las Vegas Road trip - Part 2

We met up with Karan, Chris's aunt who flew in to join us, at the campground. The nice thing about having parents who drive an RV, she didn't have to worry with lost luggage at the airport. We all grabbed our bags and headed to the Mirage Hotel and Casino to check in. Chris was able to get us upgraded to a newly remodeled King size room on the 15th floor, with a spectacular view of the strip. Granted, we were the next to last room on the hallway, so we got our walking in, but the accommodations were great.

After warming up on the gaming floor, we were off to dinner with Winnebago, which was another hike across the casino. After dinner, the product intro, and a walk through of the new products, we were all off to Fremont Street for the nightly light show. Fremont street reminded me of a mixture of Philadelphia and Tunica with the type of tourists, but non the less the light show was something to mark off my list of places and things to see. From Fremont street, Chris, Karan and I ventured back to the strip and ended up at Paris, and the tour of the Eiffel Tower. Non of us expected it to be as high up as it was, but we lucked out and were able to catch the second half of the Bellagio water show from up above, as well as a great view of the strip.

Tuesday, the 5 of us visited the mall for a little shopping, then Chris and I were off to explore the strip. This being his 4th or 5th trip and my first, he had a list of places for us to explore. We visited Treasure Island, Harrah's, The Venetian, MGM Grand, the M&M factory, and by the time we returned, I was exhausted. I did learn quickly these properties aren't just next door to each other. They each take up at least a city block, and non of them make it easy to get from one to the other. That evening we had dinner with Winnebago, gambled, and then I was off to bed.

This is the ceiling in the Venetian. Everywhere had amazing artwork!


New York, New York

Wednesday proved to be a much more relaxing day. After breakfast with Winnebago, the boys were off to their activities, and the girls had a day to ourselves. Johnny went to the shooting range, and Chris played in a golf tournament. He was able to see Ray Romano there playing in a different tournament.

We, the girls, took a little time that morning to increase our winnings on the casino floor, visited the local coffee shop, and then took the tour of the dolphin and tiger exhibit. Since the Mirage is known for the Siegfried and Roy white tiger show, they have a nice exhibit of large cats, along with dolphins. Soon after, we were off to Treasure Island to the spa for a little relaxation. I had no idea how sore I was, until we left, and I completed my relaxing day with a great nap!

That evening was a nice dinner with Winnebago, followed by all the dealer awards. We skipped out halfway through to attend the Cirque de Soleil show of "Love". It was nothing short of amazing, and I highly recommend it to anyone.

We departed Thursday morning, headed back home and arrived Saturday afternoon. It was a great trip, and Chris and I were able to have a much needed vacation before our new addition to the family arrives in August.

Las Vegas Road trip - Part 1

Chris's grandparents, Johnny & Polly Bishop, better known to everyone as Johnny and Mama (maw-maw), invited us to join them in a 33 ft Winnebago Journey, along with their 3 Pomeranians, as they travelled I-40 to Las Vegas. The purpose of the trip was to attend the 2008 Winnebago Dealer Days, hosted at the Mirage Casino. This is the yearly showcase of the new products Winnebago is offering, as well as awards and entertainment.

We all departed Collierville Friday afternoon, May 9th, 4 adults, 3 dogs, and a partridge in a pear tree headed westbound on I-40. This was my first RV road trip. Chris grew up on them, since this is the family business. I kept myself entertained by taking up knitting for this trip. Granted, I cheated and used the Knifty Knitter, but by the end of the trip I had completed a baby blanket and pillow --- not bad for a novice! Also, for someone who is 6 months pregnant, having a restroom on board was very nice, not to mention the accessible kitchen and refrigerator. It is a great way to travel!

By Sunday, we were in the middle of the desert. I noticed while I was still sleeping in the bed (another nice bonus), we had made a turn, which meant we were off the interstate, headed deep into the desert. Sunday was a day filled with sightseeing not only from the RV, but in person.
Our first visit was 4 Corners. This being the location where Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah all meet, literally in the middle of nowhere. There were a few other tourists there, but I wouldn't want to break down in a vehicle on the way, because there is no cell service, no sign of civilization for miles.
4 Corners Marker

It's me (and Riley) in 4 states at once!

Next we were off to see Monument Valley. I'm told by the senior member of the trip, Johnny, this is where a many John Wayne westerns were filmed. It was very pretty and amazing to see these huge rock/dirt formations just jutting up from the flat desert.

Our final stop was the Grand Canyon, and wow, was it grand. I'm like everyone else who has seen all the pictures, but until you see this massive creation up close and in person, it's hard to conceptualize how large it really is. It was quite hazy when we visited, hence the picture quality, but non the less, it was spectacular.

Chris, me, mama, and Johnny. This picture was taken by a MSU alumni, who just happened to be from Memphis, and was driving across country with her mom, who was moving from Collierville to Arizona. Small world!!!

Sunday night we camped in Laughin, AZ which is right on the Colorado River, and only a short drive to Bolder City, NV, better known as the location of the Hoover Dam. We arrived around 10:30 local time, and Chris and I walked over the dam bridge, and signed up for a full tour of the dam. We were able to go inside the Nevada side power plant, and then up into the dam, and look out one of the vents. I figured this vent would be only 2-3 feet from seeing it on the dam wall, but it's a good 5-6 feet when standing next to it. It still amazes me the engineering knowledge and construction that went into this.

The new bridge, which will divert traffic off of the Hoover Dam. Expected completion is 2010.

Lake Mead

Nevada power plant

Once we left Hoover Dam, we arrived at the Circus Circus KOA campground, which is where Mama and Johnny camped with the dogs while we were there.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What a weekend – part 2

Friday, May 2, was a very exciting day for my side of the family. My younger brother, David, finally graduated from MSU. Granted, he did the 6 year college experience in Industrial Engineering, but he was interrupted multiple times with military duty, which included two tours in Iraq. David signed up for the Air Force National Guard out of Meridian only days before September 11, 2001. He wasn’t even finished with high school, but he has enjoyed this job and his unit in Meridian. He also did an extended co-op work term with Eaton Aerospace in Ridgeland last January – August. He currently holds the rank of Technical Staff Sergeant, and will soon attend an officer training program in Knoxville this summer to become an officer, and be promoted to a 2nd Lieutenant (I think).

We all gathered at my grandmothers house for an early dinner, then went outside and took some family photos, which were then used as a Mother’s Day gift the next day. The graduation ceremony was long, but a success non the less.

Saturday was spent with the 6 of us (mom, dad, David, me, Chris, and Granny Ann) all touring the new Union on campus, and a visit to the Barnes and Noble, followed up with lunch at Oby’s. I miss Oby’s, and Chris and I try and stop by for a visit whenever we are in town.

After lunch mom and dad departed for home, and took Millie with them. She’ll be visiting the grandparents for 2-3 weeks while Chris and I take our vacation to Las Vegas – more on that to come. I was sad to see her go, and I miss her, but she is being spoiled beyond belief by her grandparents.

What a weekend - part 1

Let me begin with the middle of last week. As posted in prior blog entries, we have been working on many updates to our humble abode since moving in. The last of our major list of projects is to paint the living room. One small problem, we can't just paint the living room. The wall continues up to the top of the foyer (estimated 25 feet high), up the stair case, down the hall, the paint just doesn't stop. In addition, we have one wall with built-in book cases that were installed post new home construction, and the color is one to two shades off from the rest of the trim paint. Annoying to me; no one else even notices. Anyway, with my expanding waste line, and Chris's lack of fondness of being 25 feet up on an unstable ladder, we opted to leave this project to the professionals. So Chris talked to a painter, and he gave us a much better quote than painter #1, and he was able to start this weekend. Wonderful!

So, I spent Wednesday and Thursday night, removing items from the bookshelves, unloading the china from the china cabinet, taking down pictures, etc. We were also having them fill in all the nail holes of the new molding around the new wood floors - master bedroom, living room, hallway, dining room. We also figured, while they were here to get a fresh coat on the 2 bedrooms upstairs, one being the future residence of Riley Nichols.

The painters showed up promptly at 8 am Friday morning with supplies in hand. I was packed and heading out the door at 9 for an extended weekend in Starkville & Columbus. Chris followed behind me after lunch. With the painters working hard, I was off to celebrate my brother’s birthday and college graduation all in one day.