Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Las Vegas Parks ~ Aliante Nature Discovery Park

9.3.18 Aliante Nature Discovery Park
We've driven past this park in North Las Vegas several times in our comings and goings, so Bill and I finally pulled in to take a look.

It's still a bit too hot for me to spend too much time walking around, or hiking, as Bill likes to call it, so we meandered around this little lake, around the playground and took a few pictures.

The southern part of the park is home to a library Mary and I visited, tennis courts, a sand volleyball court and quite a few picnic tables. There are always people in parks here, probably because it's where the most grass is located! We only found the other side with the pond, waterfall and children's area this day Bill and I were out.

The waterfall feature is really pretty, but the pond was horribly dirty. There's a lot of wind here, blowing trash around all the time. A lot of trash, because, apparently, people here don't think they should take their trash with them after their gatherings. They leave it all over the tables and the wind picks it up and spreads it everywhere.

There were plenty of geese and ducks around. We heard their presence as soon as we got out of the car and noticed their trail of droppings everywhere long before we actually caught sight of them. 

We walked over, carefully, to see them in this little part of the pond where there was a sign prominently near the water's edge to not feed the birds.
 The birds were making a bee line across the water to a little family who had a huge bag of bread...feeding the birds. Their young son squealed with delight as the birds made their way to the area near the table they were seated.
 I came up next to them and asked if they minded if I took some pictures and said, after a snap or two,
 "You know, geese bite."
The mom screeched with horror and stood on the bench to get away from the ferocious creatures as I walked away, giggling just a little to myself.

Bill and I wandered around the pond, spying a few little turtles sunning themselves on the shore only to hop into the water as we got close. No pictures of those little guys. 

As you round the pond and the other side of the waterfall, there is a children's playground with some impressive toys to climb on and a 'fountain' area for kids to play in, a wonderful feature for the parks here with the heat. Of course, the playground is more sand than grass, so I can only imagine the wet, sandy children all piling into their parent's mini-vans to head home. They all looked like they were having a great time, though.
I didn't take pictures where the kids were playing. The playground was full of families and children, so I thought it was best to not plaster the kids faces all over my public blog. I'll have to go back and grab a couple when there is not so many people frolicking.

The dinosaur sculptures were cool! There is a sand area where kids can 'dig' for fossils. I only saw one child partaking in that adventure in the hot sand.

The weather is starting to cool down a bit, so wandering parks will be a bit more fun for me. The triple digits should be hibernating for fall and winter; something I am truly looking forward to.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

And.... She's 21!

She's been waiting a long time for this day to come! Didn't we all? It was especially hard once we moved to Las Vegas. If you're not 21 you can't go into a lot of places. Well, you can, but you're prohibited in doing things. No drinking, no gambling. You can't even stand in certain places! It was very aggravating for Mary when her Aunt and Uncle were here for a visit and we had to change tables in a restaurant because the one we had been seated at was in the bar.

So close, but so far away for a couple of months here.

When we first moved to Vegas, Dayna was SO excited to plan Mary's 21st birthday.

(in a sort of evil big sister kind of way)

We had a practice run, of sorts, with my niece, Katie, back in November. Dayna performed a 'controlled drunk' for Katie and it was hilarious. We walked around the Strip, in and out of some casinos, and watched Katie get drunk and funny. So cute. And we were safe, watching over her as she consumed.
I didn't take pictures of Katie while we were drinking. If I did, I wouldn't post those here. Not without written permission, anyway.

All Mary wanted for her 21st was to spend time with her sister and her cousin. We've lived so far away from them for too long. It was SO good to see everyone.

Dayna, Bryan, Katie & Paris drove up on Thursday and we were off to the Strip in the afternoon. Mary was pretty adamant that she wasn't going to get drunk, but, whether she really did it willingly or was just appeasing her sister, I don't know.
We started out at Fat Tuesday for some frozen drinks. We found one that Mary could tolerate. She doesn't like the strawberry margarita that I like, so she tasted a couple and landed on a coconut flavor one that I can't think of the name. As we walked around she was encouraged to 'drink up' by her drunk coordinator, Dayna.

My three favorite girls

We came upon some random guys on the corner who had snakes! I saw them and started talking to them while everyone was walking ahead of me. They had to come back to see what I was doing!
 Mary had some slot machine lessons. Dayna popped in twenty bucks and Mary cashed out with thirty something, which paid for the Long Island Iced Teas at the bar.
Bill was the cup holder for the many trips to the Ladies Room. He wasn't drinking all of those.

 This is where it started getting serious.
 I don't know what they were drinking, but I knew that when Mary stood up...
her world was going to change.

 No more walking on her own. And we didn't make it back to that bar. That may have been a good thing.
 We intended on feeding her and were seated in a restaurant nearby, but things turned hinky and we left. She was pretty happy while we sat there, though, especially when she recognized us!
We decided to head home. Bryan and Dayna were her crutches. She told Bryan, 'You know you're my brother, now, right?' and went on and on about cinnamon and ranch. (You had to be there.) Bill and I were the designated driver's for the night. We had shared one drink when we first got there, but by the time we headed home we were good to go. 

We had two cars, so Bill, Dayna and Mary got home first, while Bryan, Katie, Paris and I stopped to pick up some food before we got home. By the time we got there, Dayna had Mary changed and showered. We tried to get her to eat, but she was falling asleep with french fries in her hand. We tucked her in, hoping she wouldn't wake up and be sick, but put a trash can nearby...just in case.

She woke up fine in the morning! We were all pretty surprised. She has no memory of events following the multiple shots at the last bar. 

I don't think this will be repeated anytime soon, but it was fun.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Leaving on a Jet Plane

May 9th found Mary and I on a flight from Savannah, Georgia to Las Vegas, Nevada to join Bill where he'd been working for six months. The dogs were on an earlier flight wondering what the hell was going on.

We all arrived safe and sound and wondering what the hell was next!

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A look back sometimes.

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