Saturday, May 14, 2011

Road Trip Days 5 thru 7

I am back from 11 days on the road and have a lot of catching up to do. I am sorry I could not keep up while we were still on the road but here is the continuing story of Road Trip 2011. 

Day 5

Visited with my uncle and his family today. Met my Aunt's daughter. Linda. Found out that Aunt and Uncle have never had gelato and took them with my Mom to a gelato place in Old Town in Scottsdale. Was very pleased to find this place had a sugar free/milk fat free deep, dark chocolate mock gelato for me to enjoy. I had a small and it was tasty but I question whether they were honest about it not having milk fat. 
Had dates with sugar free coconut for dessert after dinner. I think I need to stay away from dates and figs for awhile. I like the sweet taste a little too much. That is a slippery slope for me.

Day 6
We planned to get up at 6am and head for the Grand Canyon. A car alarm went off outside our hotel room at 4am and did not stop for 30 minutes so we just got up and four and left the hotel by 5am. We took a terrific mountain road up to the Grand Canyon access roads and had a really nice smooth ride. We stopped for breakfast near the canyon. I had an omelet with green chili and sausage. 

My mom is not agile and does not tend to walk well or far. Today was an awesome day because she walked a full mile to the viewing sites around the canyon. She was a real trooper today and her willingness to give it a try meant that I had the experience I was seeking in my first visit to what the Native Americans have named "Mountains Lying Down." I expected we would only have an hour or two at the park due to my mom's limitations but we explored for four hours! Thank you Mommy!
After the canyon we made our way back to the roads that would take us west to Las Vegas. The scenery and views across Arizona to Nevada were wonderful to see. I am so glad we traveled in daylight for this part of the trip. We stopped to view Lake Mead at the border of Arizona and Nevada. I was so blown away by the vivid azure coloring of the lake against the Nevada desert that I forgot to take a photo. (sorry). 

We checked in at La Quinta in Las Vegas - literally across from the airport runways. Despite the proximity to the airport the room was extremely sound proof. I would stay there again. We decide to take it easy this night and order dinner in. I ordered a salad and fries. The menu reads that the fries are supposed to come with ketchup. They arrive without ketchup or salt. I do not eat them. The salad was good. Mom had stuffed shells and garlic bread. I do not eat the bread but I want it! I wanted the ketchup, too - and I am glad they forgot it. 

Mom and I decide to go to bed early and were in bed, half listening to an Everyone Loves Raymond episode when at at 10:30PM Mom jumped out of bed and starting taking apart her belongings. The episode was about Ray's checkbook and Mom suddenly realized she no longer had her checkbook with her. She also was missing her address book in which she unwisely keeps her account numbers, codes, etc. We immediately called the bank and put holds on all her accounts. I then called the hotel and Scottsdale and yes, they found her checkbook and address book and would lock it in their safe until we could get back there on Sunday. We were both relieved to know where things were but now we were wide awake and pumped up with adrenaline and it was midnight. What the heck: we got dressed, got into the car and took a night ride through the Vegas Strip. 

I first saw Las Vegas as a child in 1968. I have not been there since 1984. The difference is like night and day. It is a totally different place. Here is how I can best describe it: Times Square on a summer evening, at the moment that all the Broadway shows let out, add in the crowds of fashion week, Fleet week and then move it all to the desert and add the pavilions of Disney's Epcot and then scrunch it all into a smaller square acreage - that is Las Vegas at midnight. 

Day 7
This morning my husband flies in. His flight is due to land from Florida at 10am. I awake to find text messages saying he took off on time (4:55AM Vegas time). Mom and I dress and drive to Whole Foods for a snack for Larry when he arrives, lunch for for mom since she is staying at the hotel today and food to bring with us when we start for home tomorrow. Larry lands while we are at Whole Foods, which is only a few minutes from the airport. We arrive to pick Larry up just as he comes outside with his suitcase. 

Larry and I plan to spend a few hours and dollars at the Bellagio. We arrive at 11:30 in the morning. By 2:30 I am up $200. We have planned to have lunch at the Bellagios amazing buffet. It was worth every penny and it become our lunch and our dinner. From the crab legs to the shrimp to the sushi to the different cooked fish, lamp and beef entrees it was a feast. I avoided the creamed potato and pasta dishes. I skipped the expanded brunch stations of pastries, waffles and such. I skipped the cheese dishes, bypassed the buttered foods and enjoyed fresh salads, roasted and marinated vegetables. I faltered at the dessert bar and studied everything seeking out something I could have. They had sugar free offerings that did not have dairy so even here I could find something tasty. 

After lunch we took a walk around the hotel and then back to the casino to win another three hundred dollars. That was our signal to leave - get out with the money - now! We returned to the hotel at 7pm, checked up on Mom to see if she needed anything, then went to the airport viewing spot across from the hotel to watch about 8 different flights come in. We called it a night early. We knew tomorrow was going to be a full day but we had to idea just how busy . . . 


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