Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas

Last weekend I met up with Toni, my former law partner and friend for over 30 years for a Spa-Girls Weekend in Las Vegas. I can´t believe it has really been 30 years, but we met the first day of law school in 1978. Neither of us has changed a bit, of course.

I had a blast, and I think she did, too. The National Indian Rodeo Finals, or something like that, was being held at our hotel, Southpoint Hotel and Casino, so we decided to go watch them for a while on Friday night. It had been quite a while since I had seen a rodeo, and I don´t remember it being this rough. The steers in the steer wrestling competition were big! And the bucking horses really went at it. Quite a few of the guys went limping out of the arena. In other words, it was a great show.

Even better than the rodeo was the Indian market that was held at the same time. Great jewelry, clothes, ropes, boots--everything the cowboy needed or wanted. I bought a pair of beautiful inlaid turquoise earings in the shape of the bear. Toni found a great vest and necklace. We had only been in Vegas a few hours, but we were off to a great start.

Saturday was Spa Day. I would love to tell you how great the Hot Rocks Massage was, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Toni had the best one is all that I can say.

After getting all relaxed and soothed, we were ready for the Strip. We taxied to the Bellagio and stuffed ourselves at their buffet. I would tell you that Toni couldn´t eat just one crab leg, and I couldn´t eat just one dessert, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But I did skip all those fattening vegetables.

After the great dinner, we waddled through The Bellagio. It has a huge display of Chihuli glass in its lobby. Looking at it and the flowers in the Conservatory are two of the best free things to do there. It makes donating a few dollars in the slots less painful.

Next we tried our luck at New York New York. I hit it big at the Wheel for 20 huge dollars. Seriously huge. They were gold disks about 5 inches in diameter. No hiding that win!

We decided to have a drink in the Big Spenders Bar, or whatever they call it, to celebrate. This was a fun way to donate back the 20 bucks since I was destined to lose it into a machine if I went back to playing. Better to sample their coffee and Amaretta. Yummy.

We were on the go non-stop from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. Then we had to head back to reality. I would love to tell you all the wild things we did, but what happens in .....

Can´t wait to do it again!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bicycle Days

Sunday was a great bicycle day, as was today, so we biked to lunch both days. On Sunday we took a long bike ride first, then rode to the Granite Falls golf course for a hot dog.

Kent in front of the snack bar.

Their chili dogs are great. Made with Dillon´s chili, they are a meal in a bun. We each had one of them and then waddled on home.

Posted by PicasaToday was equally great biking weather, so we road to Dillon´s for lunch. They have great specials, and I rarely get to go there except on the weekends. Today the special was Taco Salad, which Kent had. I had a half order of Nachos, which I have never had here. Yummy.

The swan in the photo isn´t real, which is a disappointment. The Association rules forbid us from putting out plastic flowers or yard ornaments, so I think they should have real swans. So do the coyotes.
But at a distance they look real, and unless you´ve read this fine print, you probably think they are.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sun City Grand Wildlife

It is time to leave Yellowstone behind and get back to reality. The trip had only lasted a week, but I managed to write about it for a month. Plus I am now working on the Yellowstone scrapbook. Getting a lot of bang for those dollars. :)

But now that the hot summer is over, the snow birds and other wildlife are returning to Sun City Grand. It's time to put the vacation behind me and focus on the local fun.

The Harris Hawks are back. I have seen them flying and yesterday saw three of them perched on streetlights. They are always a treat to see. The photo above was taken last year. I hope to get an even better picture this year, but this one will have to do in the meantime.

Harris Hawks are sociable, unlike the Red-Tail Hawks that we saw in Ohio. You can usually see all three Harris Hawks together. When I was driving into Grand yesterday, they were perched on three light poles, all in a row, next to one of the golf courses. Guess it was lunch time.

This photo is my favorite. This visiting coyote was on my back porch, and she had a pup with her, too. The pup is at the top of the photo, but hard to see. This was taken in 2006. Since then I have seen lots of coyotes, including one on my walk on Friday morning. But this is the only one of two that I saw on my porch, and the only one I was able to photograph. I keep hoping she'll come back.

Posted by PicasaThis Great Horned Owl was sitting in my neighbor's yard one summer evening in 2007. It had been extremely hot for days, but that night the wind began blowing. It was hot air, of course, but at least it was a great breeze. This fellow perched on the stump and spread his wings out, apparently to get cooled off. I was amazed! He stayed there for over an hour.

They stay in Grand all year, but I rarely see them. But we have been hearing them the last few weeks since we have been able to keep the windows open. One night the whoooo's were so loud that he (she) must have been in my neighbor's tree.

A couple of nights ago, Kent and I were walking at dusk. One of them flew about 10 to 15 feet in front of us. He was totally silent. No swooshing or flapping of wings at all. Just a whisper of air as he glided by. A few minutes later, when we were on the walking trail, we saw him again. This time he was perched on the high wall that separates Grand from Highway 303. A great hunting site.

Currently, the best SCG wildlife are bobcats. I have not yet seen one, but other people have. In fact, one of Kent's friends sent photos of a bobcat and two kittens that were hanging out on his porch. How lucky is that! He doesn't live far from us, so I am keeping my eyes open. And buying cat food.