As I look at my blog post from last year – I read how it was SNOWING here in the Pacific Northwest! What a good “April Fool’s” that was!!
This year – it’s still pretty cold out – but at least it’s SUNNY!!
I am very mischievous by nature and have pulled some WONDERFUL April Fool’s “pranks” over the years – my family knows me well – and never know just what I’ll do to them on this day!! My favorite one happened when my husband Greg was in seminary down in Ft. Worth, Texas. Our children were 5 and 1 at the time – we lived in the family housing directly across the highway from the seminary. Greg would take the car over to school and park it there all day. I had no need for the car – I was a stay at home Mommy with two young children. So it was on this April 1st – of about 1993 that I put Shawn in the stroller and said to 5-year-old Ashlee – let’s walk over to Daddy’s school and play a trick on him! She loved “tricks” of any kind – (still does) and thought this was a great idea! We walked over to where Greg had parked the car – unlocked it – and I put the kids in the car – the stroller in the trunk of the car – and off we drove! I was sure to park the car VERY FAR from our apartment so Greg wouldn’t see it – and went about my day. Later that day Greg came in – and said, “Cindy – did you come and take the car?” and I – who have the greatest “poker face” in the world – said, “No – can’t you remember where you parked the car”? I must have been pretty convincing because he was really starting to think he was “losing it” and I saw him mentally going back over exactly where he thought he might have parked the car. I let him go on – (it wasn’t TOO long) finally panicking and thinking “maybe the car is stolen” – when FINALLY I told him that we had moved the car – APRIL FOOLS!!!! He wasn’t as mad as he was RELIEVED!!! We were VERY poor in those days. (har har!!!)
One year I told our children, 9 and 5 (after a carefully planned trip to Disneyland) that we weren’t able to go after all. (Sigh) Silence. Disbelief. Almost tears. “Mommy!!! – Really????” “Well…” I said, “NO NOT REALLY!! – APRIL FOOL’S”!!!!! (har har!!!) I know – I’m TERRIBLE!!! It’s all in good fun folks!
Hope you have some fun memories of this day – and nothing TOO painful!!!
Tomorrow Greg and I take off to Leavenworth – a quaint Bavarian town east of Seattle about 2 1/2 hours – in Washington State. We love this town and have many fond memories of going there over the years. We are going to see the production of “Sound of Music” in the Amphitheater and are so excited – as we have seen this before several years ago – and it was truly excellent!
In preparation for our trip we have been having fun recalling music from our past – and our youth. Yes it was the 70’s. And yes it makes us happy. No apologies for that. We all need a little “happy” – don’t we?
So I’ve downloaded Fleetwood Mac – the Commodores – Simon and Garfunkel – Lynryd Skynrd – Earth Wind and Fire and Chicago to name a few. Five Cd’s of music to ROCK OUT with while traveling – so FUN!!
Included below is a sample of what we will be listening to tomorrow. Enjoy!
The Grand Canyon is NOT a trivial thing – gotcha to read my blog! I need to say that it has always been a life long dream to see the Grand Canyon – and you have to go there on purpose – as it is a drive from ANYWHERE around it! But our very gracious friends decided that we needed to experience it – and I was so glad they suggested it! It took us 4+ hours to get there – okay it was mainly because of me. I’m a really terrible traveler – and Mike would not let me forget it – with all his remarks about having to stop at every rest stop along the way – so I could find a bathroom! I kept telling him, “I’m a GIRL!!” Yeah – I still don’t think he totally grasped the concept. Oh well – we pushed onward and forward towards the Grand Canyon – after stopping numerous times along the way and even stopping for lunch 🙂
No words can explain the Grand Canyon. Unless you’ve seen it up close and personal – you can’t describe it. God’s great masterpiece. There was a plaque posted by one of the ledges that perfectly describes the beauty that we saw – I will include it below. How anyone can still say, “there is no God” after seeing this – escapes me. We had a great time – took enormous amounts of pictures – enjoyed being with our friends and had true bonding experiences – especially in the car!! We even got to talk to some other friends on the cell phone who live in the Grand Canyon Valley. It was impossible to hook up with them because the Grand Canyon is HUGE!! But the phone brings you closer – especially while you’re there in person.
After that incredible day – 14 hours all told from start to finish – we were pretty exhausted! We now had moved to our new room at the hotel – and returned to find that they had not cleaned our room while we were gone – but we were too tired to really care – just jumped into bed and slept and slept and SLEPT!!! Still tired the next day – Greg went to breakfast at a great little place called “The Cracked Egg” with our good friend Lee Coate. His family lives there and they are involved with a great church where he is on staff, called “The Crossing”. So happy for them! I’m just a little bitter – no one brought me back some of their famous coffee cake! That’s okay. I survived the disappointment – and made due with a breakfast sandwich and a coffee from Starbucks. We spent the rest of the morning walking around “the strip” and looking and taking a lot of pictures before Mike came and picked us up and took us to his house. That was so much fun – seeing his pool out back – and watching his stellar surround sound system!
After a nice rest at Mike and Carmen’s house – we then took off again in the car to “Red Rock Canyon” just outside of Vegas – where I got some fantastic pictures! Then we were off to a buffet at a hotel near where they live – not on “the strip”. It was fabulous!
The highlight of the trip (other than the Grand Canyon – oh and we passed by the Hoover Dam too) was going to the “old” part of Vegas – where the first casinos and hotels were before they built “the strip”. They have something there called “The Fremont Street Experience” where they show this amazing music video above you – it goes on for blocks an blocks – it’s pretty AMAZING! The song was Don MClean’s “American Pie” and Mike boasts that he knew ALL the words to the song. Yes – that’s right – it was a sing along! So Fun!! Then a band called “Rare Earth” performed in the center of the street – so cool! All summer long different bands come and perform – all for FREE!
Well – we had an amazing time that day. On Sunday, Lee sent his intern to pick us up and go the “The Crossing” for the 11:30 service. It was amazing. If we lived in Vegas – that’s where we would be going to church. After church we went with Lee, Tanya and family to “California Pizza” for lunch. That was so fun to see another part of Vegas with them.
After lunch Lee dropped us off at the “Venetian” hotel and we experienced a little bit of Venice – complete with gondolas. It was so great – and next time I’m in Vegas – that’s where I want to stay – if I can afford it! We must have walked around for hours – it seemed like it – and we were so tired!! But at least the weather was in our favor – the whole time we were there it was not above 80 – so great!
We got to the airport 3 hours early – because everyone told us to. And we always do what we’re told. Well – Greg does. I don’t always 😉 But anyway – we got there and were bored out of our minds! What do you do for 3 hours at a small airport while waiting for a 9:30pm flight??? I’m just glad Greg brought his laptop – and that there was an Internet connection. At SeaTac – there isn’t!! So we ate and wandered around and played on the computer and finally was time to board our flight.
And now we’re home – and our son didn’t burn the house down while we were gone. Small blessings in a busy life 🙂
So we are finally home after a busy and action packed 4 days away! We had never been to Las Vegas before and since we know people down there – we decided it would be a great time to visit – free mileage points for the airfare and hotel – we even got to stay at a 5 star hotel – Caesar’s Palace! All paid for by those travel points on Visa 🙂
Caesar’s Palace turned out to be a beautiful place – every hotel has a huge casino inside – but our room on the 13th floor turned out to be less than okay – primarily due to the paper thin walls. They had put us in an adjoining room – (one on each side) and you could hear even normal conversation coming from the next room. We understood that this is the city that doesn’t sleep and were prepared for “partying” from time to time from the neighbors – but this was simply too much – especially at 2:00am – and beyond – with paper thin walls. So we called downstairs at 3:00am and – yes – we complained! They moved us to a different room – in the middle of the night – which was interesting – but we said – “hey – we’re on vacation!” I was still in my pj’s and we tore the room up getting all of “stuff” together enough to change rooms. The Bell Hop was so nice and we moved down the hall – but that room was awful – smelled like smoke and the bed was hard! I know – picky, picky – but we were going to be there 2 more nights and we needed a good bed! So we waited by the elevator while they tried to find us another room – not an easy task in the middle of the night. People were pouring out of the elevator’s – I’m in my pj’s – it was not pretty. FINALLY after what seemed like hours – they found us a “handicapped” accessible room on the 14th floor – with a better view of the strip and a comfy bed. This room had a HUGE bathroom – the shower could easily fit 2 people – and there was a mirror above the bed – how crazy is that??? Hmmmm. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a hotel that had that 🙂 I just knew it would make great blog material somehow – my mind is always thinking!!
More adventures to come – as I ponder our experiences in Vegas and surrounding areas….