Saturday, November 21, 2009

Boy, Are We Outa Place!

Well, I see it's been nearly a year since my last post. Much has happened in that year. Most recently, we were sent to Las Vegas to work on the 'City Center' project. Turns out the entire project is the largest construction site in the world. Of course, Duane's piece of it is a small corner that will eventually be another Mastro's Ocean Club.

After being sent out here, we did a two week stint in Newport Beach, CA working on another Mastro's. We (I) thoroughly enjoyed our time there as the weather was heavenly. Of course, it was crowded and 'touristy', but the sites, smells, sounds, and mid-70's weather every day was wonderful. But I don't remember seeing one other person that looked 'rednecky' or 'homey' like from the country.

We've also been sent to Beverly Hills a few times to check the progress of electrical upgrades being done on the project we had to leave earlier this year. Again, the weather was heavenly. People were friendly, sites were beautiful, and the weather was perfect. And I don't even have to say that I didn't see anything resembling 'our' kind of folks roaming the streets on Wilshire Blvd. or Rodeo Drive!

So here we are in Las Vegas until the end of 2009 and believe me, this is NOT my home! The streets are elbow to elbow crowded with tourists seeing the sights, gambling, attending shows, etc. Also on those streets are illegal immigrants passing out business cards for prostitutes - it's legal here, ya know. On those cards are various poses of very beautiful girls with next to nothing or nothing on, along with their names and phone numbers. These cards are handed to whomever will take one, but mostly land on the street. It's just ugly and the people who hand out these cards, I'm sure, are just trying to feed their families, but they are annoying. People bring their children with them out here so they are subject to the discarded 'ladies' cards on the street as well. YOu can't help see them - they're as vast as the pavement! And then there's the weather. The weather in the summer here is unbearable - one day it was 115 degrees with no humidity. I may as well be sticking myself in an oven! As much as I've lamented over Florida's humidity and hot weather, I would gladly take it over the oven effect. And as you can imagine, you see 'all sorts' of folks out here.

The PBR finals were recently in town and I felt like I belonged as I looked around and saw people in jeans and cowboy hats and boots, and just plain folks! Even with that two week visit from 'our kind of people', we still felt out of place here. Gambling, drinking, clubbing, and wildness is the common thread that wove everyone else together. We just don't fit into that group no matter how 'folksy' any of them appear to be. We just can't feel good about putting our hard-earned money into a machine that blinks lights, twirls colored dials, and says 'you're done' at the end without giving us anything. Now if we got a piece of bubble gum out of that machine or a stuffed animal or even a card that supposedly had our future predicted on it, that would be different. That means we'd be getting something, whether worth anything or not, for our dollar. It's just amazing that people come out here and continually put money in these things and wait for money back. That BIG win. The BIG payoff that is advertised on billboards, in magazines, on signs, TV, and various other avenues of media. Yeah.......we're SO outa place out here!

When we told everyone at home where we were being sent, we got all sorts of responses with 'knowing' looks and winks. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas is what we continually heard. So I guess that means that our sitting on the sofa every evening watching TV, just like we do at home in FL, won't be broadcast all over the world for everyone to know. Call us old fuddy-duddies with no sense of adventure, but we're content to stay put.

We've taken several trips out of town to see various sights around the area such as the Valley of Fire, Red Rock, and Mt. Charleston. Now those are worth the effort! Seeing God's creation and the breathtaking way He put it all together is just amazing! So I guess that's it. This world is NOT our home, we're just passing through and headed to our home in heaven! We won't feel outa place there!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving Adventures

Christopher was here for a week, which included Thanksgiving, and we went to my sister Kathy’s in Tucson. First, though, we took him up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and all along the path we took that first weekend we were here. He loved it. On the way back, we took a different route and stumbled onto the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen. We passed it and went back because Christopher wanted a picture. When we were driving by the second time, we saw an ‘Open House’ sign on the gate. It was built by Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia and the owners of that company are living there. Go to their website and take a look at these homes that are custom built and designed. There are no words to describe the beauty and the pictures really don’t do these homes justice. Not only did we get a tour of the home, but these people know George Bush, Sr. and have had quite a parade of celebrities of such through their home. They have a Harley with signatures all over the gas tank from Mr. Bush, Norman Swartzkopf, Oliver North, Arnold Swartzenegger, and others. (They’re republicans, can ya tell?) Anyway, they also have a Hummer H-1 with an American flag painted on one side and Canadian on the other (she’s American, he’s Canadian), which also bears signatures of these folks. The property was bought from the Reagan’s after the estate was settled and the Reagan ranch is across the road from this home. Anyway, we also went to the San Diego zoo, which is something Duane has always wanted to do. It was big, nice and well maintained. Again, people out here are so friendly that it made the visit even more enjoyable. Christopher loved it, too, but Duane was the big kid that day. We also went to the Griffith Observatory the night before Christopher went home. It’s up in the Hollywood hills so we were close to the big sign. The city, the sunset, the sights were unbelievable!

We went to Kathy’s on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and stayed until Saturday. We stopped in Palm Springs on our way to look at the next project and also to buy a Honeybaked ham. While standing in line at the ham store, we talked with some residents about their weather. Seems it gets up near 130 in the summer. AGH!!!! It cools down to 90 or so in the evenings, but everyone is warned to stay in the air conditioning during the day. We're gong to enjoy every moment of this weather here for sure as it seems we'll be there over the summer. Maybe not until 2010, but definitely summer. Oh yeah, we saw three Rolls Royce cars within a one block area while there. Where do these people get all that money??? I'm looking for a money tree - everything else is great out here so there has gotta be one somewhere!!!

Thanksgiving Day was extremely fattening and entertaining. Caitlin’s best friend, Becky, was visiting from Hollywood with a client. Becky is a talent agent and publicist and the client is an actor. Very nice. We spent several hours around the table talking and laughing and just having a great time! On Saturday, we went to Phoenix and had dinner with Duane’s cousin and drove home that night. It was a good week and Christopher loved it out here. We did find out that while we were out of town, a host of celebrities ate at the restaurant Duane is renovating and Duane just missed Billy Crystal on Friday. Seems they both go to the same pizza parlor near Rodeo Drive!!

The weather continues to be beautiful and we've been told that it rarely, if ever, gets below 58! Very little humidity and lots of sunshine make for great hair days!!! Oh yeah, we experienced our first CA earthquake on Thursday evening. It was about 8:30 and centered 120 miles from here and 5.5 on the richter scale. It was like riding a wave and only lasted several seconds, but weird, very weird.

Well, we're leaving Friday to go home for a few weeks. Actually, we're flying to Chicago for the company Christmas party on Friday and then flying to Orlando on Saturday. I'll be there until the 4th and Duane will be back here from the 15th to the 23rd and then home. Guess that's it. If I don't post again before Christmas, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Remember to say Merry Christmas everywhere you go to offset those just 'Holidaying' us!! Love to all!!!!