Thursday, May 17, 2018

Road trip 2017!

Road Trip 2017

From California to Indiana

Our friend Bunny moved across the country-perfect excuse for a road trip!

Battle Mountain, Nevada:  Oh man, we drove as far as we could after packing everything in.  Sadly that meant Battle Mountain.  The Big Chief motel was trying harder than average-cleaner, more spruced up and multiple flower pots.  
Northern Nevada in a nutshell.

Rawlins, Wyoming:  No time to hike, but driving past the Great Salt Lake is always a bit surreal.  We ended the day in Wyoming where I walked past the local history museum (sadly closed).  

I need to know where they got the dino!  I assume it represents all the fossils?  Clearly I need to visit again when they are open.

Original schoolhouse-I like the informational plaque so the museum doesn't have to actually be open.  Also, I wonder exactly how many visitors it gets when it is open.

I think this is a good idea let's assume the tree is no longer living

ugg-sorry for the blurry picture, but you get the idea!

The wildlife coexist easily with the town.  A family group strolled down a couple streets stopping for snacks here and there.

York, Nebraska:  Nebraska is always better to drive through than I fear-more trees, more rolling hills, more sights.
Great historical stop on the Lincoln ( L I N C O L N) Highway

This is how you know you are on the Lincoln Highway :)

We managed to be there at the same time as a pack of camp teens so I only snuck in a few random photos.

This is my fave.

Then we got to the actual town for the night.
Look how fun they are!  

Go back in time a few decades at the Chances "R" Diner.  

Turns out they have a water tower art project.  Give artists mini water towers and place the results about town.

Peoria, Illinois:Hmm, I guess I didn't take any photos from this next part.  We stopped in Coralville, Iowa to see an old friend-lovely!  Throughout Iowa enormous trucks transport wind turbine blades which makes the drive more interesting.

Bloomington, Indiana:  Here are the things that haven't changed in the last 20 years.

The entrance to the main campus

and the people coming and going.

The chicken salad sandwich at Dagwoods-wow, so happy to eat this again.

My bike shop!!

And the game store where dh and I started our now massive collection.  Ah, good times, good times.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Books and spring wild flowers April - June 2017

Books and spring wild flowers  April - June 2017

The flowers are from a hike in Steven's Creek Park

-by Terry Pratchet-continuing to work my way through the Discworld
Mort: Death gets an apprentice, trouble ensues.
Sourcery: Wizard magic vs Sourcer magic-leave Rincewind and the Luggage in a cliffhanger.
Pyramids:  I wanted to learn more about the Assassins Guild...hope that is in a later book.
Guards! Guards!:  Intro to The Watch and Sam Vimes, started a little on the down side but I really like how it ended. Also, love The Librarian!
Eric: Good fun but not my fav.

 Miner's Lettuce-we all had to try a bit-not bad!

Graphic novels/comics
Ms Marvel, 1-2:  Excellent!!
Hardy Boys:  oof, this is not really good, entertaining and short, but...I don't need the next one.
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery:  Big book 1, vol. 1-3:  The neighbor has been devouring these.  Totally well written, but a little too gross for me to read a lot.

-by Ian Flemming
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:  I love this from my childhood and had to re-read it....and then realized I was missing the last 20 paged-had to order a used copy that looks alike to finish-phew!

-by David Sedaris
Lets Talk About Diabetes With Owls:  listened to this as an audio book read by the author-excellent. Not as funny as his first books, but worth hearing.

-by Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children:  Has been on my list to read for years-finally!  Nicely written, keeps you moving along.  Good mix of a standard coming of age with supernatural.

-by Susan Cain
Quiet:  I am a little late to this and so maybe I have already heard all the best parts from other folks/internet, but it felt like it could use a little editing.  But the content is excellent and good to think about.

-by Arnaldur Indidason
Jar City:  Mystery set in Reykjavik!  I think I read it a couple years ago, but no harm in a good re-read.

-by Gregory McGuire
After Alice:  meh.  I love the concept of the rework of a classic story and I even like that this is from the POV who follows Alice. I still didn't love it, I find his writing hit or miss....and yet I continue readying them.

-by Lee Jackson
Dirty Old London The Fight Against Filth:  The history of how we collectively get rid of our waste when we start being urban beings.  Super interesting-everything from horse waste, people waste, corpses, ash.

-by Tolkien
The Hobbit:  Did this by audio book on a long road trip.  Obviously excellent.

-by Deborah Howe
Bunnicula:  Also audio book on the road trip.  I remember this from my youth and it didn't disappoint!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Las Vegas, Dec 2016

Las Vegas, Dec 2016

This was the trip of shows and buffets, basically stuff we don't do anywhere else!  We were there for 4 days-longer than any previous trip and I knew that it could be too much so I had rules.  One buffet per day and and break in the afternoon for a nap/gym time-this is a marathon, not a sprint!  

First buffet-Mandalay Bay:  excellent mimosas, bubbles delivered by the waitress, add your own orange juice.  No pressure to move on, wide variety of choices, prime rib is nice though not amazing.

We often stop at The Bellagio for drinks at the piano bar-perfect place for people watching and reviewing our history of The Perfect Manhattan.  This time we chatted up Mark, the barman, about The Perfect Manhattan Trip and we believe that he is The One who made The Perfect Manhattan!  He has been working the same bar since The Bellagio opened-crazy!

Second buffet: Luxor!  Mimosas are weak and premixed in a giant container.  Large selection, prime rib is fine and no one cares how long you sit.  We took a mid meal break to play a round of Isle of Trains before getting another plate. 

New to me condiment-onion crunch-not something you want all the time but we had to try it in Vegas.  This was just before our viewing of the Zombie burlesque show-not something you want all the time but we had to try it in Vegas.

Ah, the Tuaca girls...

Classic afternoon magician show and this guy is polished, he has been doing it for basically ever.  I think he keeps 5 goldfish and a guinea pig (or 2?) in his pants!

Third buffet was Caesars-blew my mind.  Everything is just a level nicer.  Mimosas are premixed but at a good ratio, prime rib is very good.  Many selections at each station and always one thing that is super fancy.  I really loved the Asian soup station where you could get miso or ramen or pho or Singaporean seafood.  There will likely always be a line to get in and they definitely monitor your time/alcohol intake.

I still love the Turrell that is in the monorail stop at the Aria....

Love the focus on art at The Cosmopolitan
trippy floor tiles

Repurposed cigarette vending machines.  Artists make small pieces that can fit in a playing card sized box and you can buy them from the machine-brilliant!  Three machines had a nice variety of art, but they were sold out of the mini monsters-still, we got some interesting stuff!

Fourth buffet was Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan.  This was amazing.  Mimosas were excellent-mix your own and we were left with bottle at the table.  Prime rib was superior.  Not as many choices, but each item is super nice and plated for you.  We were a giant group of 10 and yet our wait was not long.  Rather than monitor every group, they close in the middle of the afternoon and we did great as some of the last people to leave lunch.

Mr. Piffles!

Piff the Magic Dragon and crew.  Magic show with entertaining storyline.  Hit the big time in England, so pleased we got to see it in Vegas.

Our final show was the Cirque/Michael Jackson show One.  Glad we saw it, but they tried to hard to make it a story.  Also, it is obviously popular so it is in a huge theater and I prefer the smaller venues.

Even the Taco Bell in Vegas is fancy!