Friends

Las Vegas

Yea!  A trip with friends!

Janet, Julie and I hit Las Vegas March 13 – 15.  I can’t say that I love Las Vegas, but I CAN say that I love Janet and Julie, and I love time spent visiting with my friends and seeing new things.  This is basically what this trip is all about.

For years (2002 through 2006 – 5 years) we did this every year.  I think we were all too busy in 2007 & 2008.  In 2009, Janet and I went to Winnemucca to see Julie.  I am happy that we got to go to ‘Vegas again this spring!

We stayed at the Luxor this year…Julie actually got us a room in the pyramid.  Most of the time we were there, the weather was chilly and windy, so we didn’t get in the pool.  We walked around the Strip on the last day, since it actually warmed up to 70° for us.  We did a little shopping, and a little eating.  We went to the Bellagio, and saw the exhibit they had with giant flowers and mushrooms, and ‘Sculpted European Olive Trees’.  I am not sure what the exhibit was really all about, but it was interesting, and some good photos were taken.

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Bellagio Exhibit:

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Also while we were there, we went to the ‘Bodies’ exhibit (at Luxor).  It was awesome!  If they had allowed cameras anywhere NEAR the exhibition (which they didn’t), you[‘d be seeing lots of pictures of muscles, nervous systems, bones, etc.  The exhibit was fascinating.  All I was allowed to take a photo of was the outside of it.

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It really was a great trip, although short.  I really want to do this EVERY year until I am old and (more) wrinkly, and can no longer move easily.  🙂

Winnemucca, And Julie!

Wow. My trip to Winnemucca. So much to tell. I scarcely know where to start! I guess the train would be a good place to start.

Train from Green River, Utah to Winnemucca, NV: Scheduled trip – 5:58pm pick up in Green River. 5:30am delivery in Winnemucca. Our trip – 1:30am (7 1/2 hours late) pick up in Green River, 3:30pm delivery in Winnemucca (10 hours late).

December 10 – Rich drove us to Green River (50 miles north of Moab), arriving there at 7:45pm (we had gone to the website, and it said the train would be there at 8:15pm). We waited, and waited, and WAITED. I kept calling the update phone number, and all the way until 9:00, it said 8:15. After that, an agent told me there had been a train derailment in Grand Junction, CO, and it wouldn’t be there until 1:00am. Lucky we had a car to stay in, as it was about 2 degrees outside (this is NOT an exaggeration).

The train ride itself was lots of fun. Because the train was late, we got to see everything between Salt Lake City and Winnemucca in the daylight. I saw the Momen Tree for the first time (though from a distance). I got one photo of it, and that photo is bad.

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Janet and I each got our own set of 2 seats for the whole trip there. In Salt Lake City (about a third of the way to Winnemucca) a lady with 2 little kids got on, and sat right in front of us. The rest of the trip consisted of her kids running around the train, and squealing, and the lady yelling at them to stop, but not actually doing anything about them or disciplining them. GRRRR.  Janet on the train, and a picture of the observation car:

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December 11 – We got to Winnemucca at about 3:30pm, and Julie met us at the train station. YEA! We went to her house and dropped off our stuff, and met her doggies, Bernice and Cash. Bernice is a very well behaved St. Bernard, and Cash is a very SPASTIC German Shepard. Cash is cute, though. They both are. Here is a photo of Bernice sitting on Julie’s chest (she just backed up and sat there), and Cash, at the very calmest he was while we were there:

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We immediately went out to dinner. It was great to see Julie! After that, we went back to her house, hung out, and had some cocktails.

December 12 -Got up and went to breakfast at Sid’s (I think that’s the name of it) restaurant.  Looked like Mel’s Diner.  I had a delicious omelette.  It was snowing, and there wasn’t much to do after that, so (since I had my GPS loaded with a bunch of Winnemucca geocaches) we went geocaching.  We searched for 4, and found 3 of them.  It was rough with 7 or so inches of snow on the ground.  We kind of gave up after a while.  Janet didn’t have snow boots, so Julie and I went searching for them, and Janet took photos.  Here is one of the pictures of us after we actually found one, some quails we saw along the way, and two of the 3 of us at the site of another:

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We went to Jack in the Box for lunch, and went home to get ready for Julie’s company Christmas dinner/party that night.  It was interesting to go to a dinner for a company that I didn’t belong to.  I was disappointed for Julie, because she didn’t win anything from the fabulous gift table.  Here are Janet, me and Julie in Julie’s kitchen just before the party.

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We left the party early, and went home.  Hooray for home!

December 13 – I am actually not sure what we really did.  It really was just nice to visit Julie.  I hate that all my girlfriends live so far away.  I do know that we ate at Long John Silver’s for lunch, and at a restaurant called Dos Amigos for dinner.  They had GREAT food!  After that, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights, which was nice, too.  A LOT of people put a lot of effort into their holiday lights displays.  Here is one of the more decorated houses, and one that I SWEAR had light-up holiday hippos on their lawn, but I was ASSURED by my buddies that they are bears.  I am skeptical.

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We watched the movie Seven Pounds that night.  It was really good, but definitely a Four-Kleenex movie.  Sad.  I recommend it, but be prepared.  Here we are before the movie.

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December 14 – Julie took us on a Winnemucca tour.  We saw the sights.  Below are the Winners Casino, the Winnemucca courthouse, Winnemucca Blvd, and I was really excited to find out that Winnemucca has a community garden!

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The most exciting part of the tour was a drive-by of the local ‘houses of ill repute’ in Winnemucca.  Note the red lights on the signs…

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At about 2:00 that after noon, Janet had an appointment to get a tattoo.  This was her second one, and it went REALLY quickly, and turned out great!

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Julie took us to the train station at 8:15 that night.  Miraculously, it was only 30 minutes late.  We didn’t run into problems until we ran over some debris on the train tracks, and had an air hose blow (or something).  When we arrived at Salt Lake City (at about 4:00am), we had to replace one of the locomotives (train engine), because it wouldn’t pull a load, or supply power to the train.  We had to sit there and wait for about 3 and a half hours for a Union Pacific locomotive to show up, attach itself to our train, and be tested.  I guess it worked, because we started moving again at about 8:00am.  After that, the trip home was pretty uneventful.  The scenery was great, and it was interesting to see the route from the tracks, rather than a road I have driven many, many times.  I got photos of the BIG windmills they recently installed at the mouth of Spanish Fork canyon, a few where you can see the funny-looking yellow Union Pacific engine, and some decent photos of Helper, UT (which, apparently, is a historic train town).

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Thanks, Julie, for everything!  …and thanks, Janet for being an AWESOME traveling companion!  I had a great time!  I’m looking forward to a visit to Winnemucca in much fairer weather sometime soon.

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