Monday, April 21, 2014

Vacation Wrap-Up (Part 3 of 3)

And here's a final wrap up of our vacation...mostly random musings...

  • This vacation allowed me to knock two more goals off of my annual goal list--visiting San Francisco and visiting my family.
  • We each took a small suitcase and a small backpack with us (both were easily carried onto the plane so we didn't have to pay to check baggage) and we still had a bunch of clothes that we didn't wear!
  • Airport USOs are awesome!  This is such a great service for military members.  Free everything: coffee, food, info, bag check, shower facilities sometimes, wi fi, computers to use, bunk rooms sometimes, etc.  And the volunteer staff are wonderful as well.
  • I will definitely want to go back and see more of San Francisco.  I am a bit disappointed that the BART system doesn't have a day pass like many city transit systems.  You have to pay per trip which can really rack up the charges!
  • Going back to visit our home town was kind of bittersweet.  We were happy to see friends we hadn't seen in ages, less happy that as everyone is getting older (most of our friends are in their 60s and 70s) they are also getting sicker and dying (one friend has stage 4 lung cancer, one has stage 4 colon cancer, another friend will soon go on permanent dialysis, and when I asked another person we ran into at the buffet how his wife was he said she died unexpectedly a couple of months ago...all of this happened in ONE DAY!  At this point I pretty much didn't want to hear from anyone else unless they were young and healthy.  Sad).
  • After a week of grey, rainy Washington weather I was SO HAPPY to get back to the hot, sunny weather of Las Vegas.  Should I become wealthy, however, I think it would be nice to have a summer home in Washington and live there only for June, July, and August when the weather is much more pleasant.
  • Due to all of the wet weather, the myriad shades of green and profusion of flowers everywhere are a bright spot (pun intended) in an often dismal place.
  • My friend's "adopted" two year old grandson (no relation but she makes a better grandma than most) cracked me up.  I asked him what the dog says (he barks), I asked him what a pig says (he oinked), then I asked him what the cat says and he scrunched up his face and hissed.  Seems the cat has learned to stay out of his way since he learned how to walk.
  • I can literally tolerate my family about once a year, for a day at most (fortunately my friend understands this so we stay with her when we are in town).  I have no idea how my classy grandmother and well educated, hard working great aunts and uncles ended up with a family legacy that is more a mix of Teen Mom/Honey Boo Boo/Duck Dynasty (minus the money) than anything else.  
  • I didn't realize how enmeshed we were in our small town until every single place we went (buffet, casino, mall, restaurants) people came up to ask how we've been.  I miss that sense of community here in Las Vegas.
Now that our vacation is done, I am NOT SPENDING ANY MONEY until fall.  I want to work, work, work all summer and save up a lot of money for a really great vacation in the fall (hopefully a trip to the East Coast, a volksmarch festival, a cruise, and a trip to the UK followed by a trip to Asia).

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