Friday, May 31, 2013

Day One Hundred Fifty One 2013

Everywhere he goes, people say, “What a cute little girl!” Even when he’s wearing obviously male clothing~like dinosaur or super hero shirts. Grandson Knox will be 18 months old June 2. His hair has grown long and sometimes wild, so his mom decided [reluctantly] it was time to cut those pretty curls.
Our long time friend and local barber, Russell, did the honors. Knox sat in his grandpa’s lap and got to wear the puppy-decorated cape.
Major dislike for the barber began when Russell wet Knox’s hair and started cutting.
At first he was resigned to the situation. Can you see that teardrop on his sad little face?
Curl after curl came off. His mom saved every one that could be saved.
Then full blown rebellion set in when the barber turned on the buzz clipper.
When the deed was done, his hair was shorter, the tears dried up, and he totally enjoyed the sucker Russell gave him. Now he looks like a little boy. Those curls will most likely grow back. As it turns out, he’s naturally got curl to his hair.
Grandson Elijah was also ready for a haircut. His mom thought he should try a Mohawk. At first, he rebelled against that idea.
The more he thought about it, the more he figured he might like it. So Russell went to work shaping and clipping.
Elijah was a bit unsure during the whole process.
Russell put some styling product in it, blew it dry and made it stand up.
He ended up liking his cut. I think it looks kind of edgy and pretty cool.
Great job, Barber Russell! And I’m so glad Neil and I got to witness this historic appearance-changing occasion. It’s T G I F, y’all! Hope yours was historic.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day One Hundred Fifty 2013

Back To Normal…………
Life can be pretty amazing. I mean, this morning, Neil and I were in Las Vegas, Nevada, saying so long to that crazy but fun alien planet, and this afternoon, we were back in our home town, sitting on the bleachers at the ball park with daughters Holly and Kelly and granddaughter Shelby and grandson Knox, watching grandson Elijah play his last T Ball game of the season. We are blessed. Life is good. Life is back to normal.

Day One Hundred Forty Nine 2013

PARTING SHOTS ~ Our last full day in Las Vegas was random
Neil and I have enjoyed staying on the 24th floor at The Mirage on the Las Vegas strip ~ our home away from home. We could look out our window toward the right side of the building and see that picture of the Beatles looking back at us.
We visited the Venetian this morning. Our daughter Kelly saw it when she was here and was impressed by it. Now we know why.
It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen here ~ a replica of Venice, Italy, complete with Gondola rides throughout the complex.
We didn’t ride the Gondola. We just browsed. This gondolier [a woman] was singing beautifully as she coasted through the canal.
I stepped up to Zoltar to check him out and he started talking to me, trying to lure me into some fortune-telling. All I could think of was what happened to Tom Hanks in the movie ‘Big’, so I didn’t take Zoltar up on his offer. Creepy.
The Venetian was so peaceful and relaxing to stroll through.
The sky looked so real. The place if filled with casinos and expensive shops and restaurants.
Inside the Venetian ~ this is so Las Vegas where everything is over the top and exaggerated beyond belief with color and sound.
The Statue of Liberty replica outside of New York New York
If I didn’t go anywhere else in this town, I was determined to see this iconic sign up close and take some pictures. This is what you see when you’re leaving Vegas.
This is probably one of the most photographed icons in this town and the first thing you see when you drive down the strip.
There was a line of people waiting their turn at a chance to make their picture here. Neil and I didn’t have the patience to wait and didn’t care if there were other people in our pictures.
We ran into Elvis on the way back to the car. He set up shop in the welcome sign parking lot, so he was hard to avoid. Of course he asked me if I wanted a picture with him and his vintage car. He wasn’t charging anything, but didn’t mind if you made a love donation. How could I say no?
This was his idea, not mine, but, again, how could I say no? [No extra love charge]. He said, ‘I love ya, baby.’ I said, ‘I love you, too, Elvis. I’m glad you’re still alive.’ He autographed a picture of himself for us and even provided a zip bag to carry it in. Viva, Las Vegas!
You can see the pyramid from the interstate. [Palm tree in the way but we were rushing by and I had to get what I could snap on the fly].
The shiny golden MGM Grand lion ~ rawr!
Just like being in Paris only not. I think there’s a restaurant in there somewhere.
One of the historic roads in Las Vegas
Neil and I decided to make the short trip to see Hoover Dam. It’s in Boulder City and only 30 miles from Las Vegas, so we figured we’d be crazy not to go see it while we’re here. This is Lake Mead,  the 16th largest man-made lake in the world and one of the largest man-made lakes in the Western Hemisphere. Also, it is the most naturally colorful thing in all of Nevada, apparently.
On the road to Boulder City, home of Hoover Dam. The landscape is nothing but mountains, rocks, boulders, and scrub brush.
Being from the lush green state of Tennessee, my mind is boggled that people actually choose to live in this brown terrain. No offense to you South westerners, but I’ll take my green Southeast any day of the week.
The blue of Lake Mead breaks up the harshness of this land. Lake Mead is the only source of water for the Las Vegas/surrounding area. And it is being used up by the ever growing population, so there are water restrictions. You will not see a blade of grass on anyone’s lawn. They aren’t allowed to water it. So newer housing developments don’t even plant the stuff.
Hoover Dam is an amazing engineering feat built during the Depression by thousands of men who had to endure the scorching heat with no shade or shelter or means of transportation other than bringing in supplies on boats on the Colorado River. They had to repel sheer cliffs to build this dam and over a hundred lost their lives in the process.
This is a memorial to all those who lost their lives.
The Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is an arch bridge in the United States that spans the Colorado River between the states of Arizona and Nevada. The bridge is located within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area approximately 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, and carries U.S. Route 93 over the Colorado River. Opened in 2010, it was the key component of the Hoover Dam Bypass project, which rerouted US 93 from its previous routing along the top of Hoover Dam and removed several hairpin turns and blind curves from the route. It is jointly named for Mike O'Callaghan, Governor of Nevada from 1971–1979, and Pat Tillman, a football player who left his football career with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the United States Army and was later killed in Afghanistan. The bridge was the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States, and it incorporates the widest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. At 840 feet (260 m) above the Colorado River, it is the second-highest bridge in the United States, following the Royal Gorge Bridge. The bridge was completed in 2010 and the entire bypass route opened to vehicle traffic on October 19, 2010.'Callaghan%E2%80%93Pat_Tillman_Memorial_Bridge
Looking down from the top
The dam is built between Nevada and Arizona. You can straddle this line and be standing in two states and two time zones at once. Pretty cool.
Hoover Dam spans the Colorado River in Black Canyon between Arizona and Nevada, some 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas Nevada. Constructed in the 1930s, the concrete arch-gravity structure was intended to prevent flooding as well as provide much-needed irrigation and hydroelectric power to arid regions of states like California and Arizona. It was originally known as Boulder Dam, but was renamed in 1947 in honor of Herbert Hoover, who as U.S. secretary of commerce and the 31st U.S. president proved instrumental in getting the dam built.  At 726 feet high and 1,244 feet long, Hoover Dam was one of the largest man-made structures in the world at the time of its construction, and one of the world's largest producers of hydroelectric power.  At 726 feet (221 m) high–twice the height of the Statue of Liberty–and 1,244 feet (379 m) long, the dam weighs more than 6.6 million tons. At its base, where the maximum water pressure is 45,000 pounds per square foot, are huge generators that could produce up to 3 million horsepower and provide electricity for three states. The building of the dam created Lake Mead, which extends for 550 miles of shoreline and 247 miles of area, and is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.  Neil and I walked across the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge to get a full view of the front of the dam. Couldn’t help thinking of those workers who sweltered in that heat during construction. They said at times, the temperature reached 130 degrees. It sure felt like that today. It is an amazing sight to see, and I’m glad we took the time to visit.
On the way back to Las Vegas, we saw this road sign. You probably can’t read it [click on pic to enlarge], but this is the exit for Needles. If you are a Peanuts fan, you’ll know that Needles, California, is where Snoopy’s brother, Spike, lives.
Las Vegas skyline ~ see the pyramid?
Neil and I have really enjoyed our time here. It’s great fun to be able to visit a place I’ve only dreamed of visiting and seeing all the cool stuff I got to see and do this week.
There is a volcano at The Mirage, and every night on the hour between 8 and 12, it blows flames and spews lava to the beat of jungle drums, and those flames in the water also dance and pulse to the beat of the music. You can feel the heat of the flames on your face. I took many pictures, but none of them does any justice to this event. Las Vegas is a colorful noisy circus. I can’t believe I got to see it.