Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Travel, Ravel, a Wedding & some Monkeying Around

It's awfully nice to go....and well....I'm back :) As some of you may remember from a few weeks ago, we had received a wedding invitation from one of my cousins who lives in Kenai. Kenai is a very nice small town right on the Kenai River, about a 3-4 hour drive from Anchorage. Her wedding was in Laughlin, Nevada.....just a few hours from Las Vegas. The man and I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to take a little family vacation (we haven't had more than a couple of alone together times other than a few overnights in the camper at a campground less than an hour from home in the past 4 years!) Our DD had another commitment, a very successful memorial fundraising barrelrace and kind friends offered to keep an eye on everyone. Another plus, my very favorite Aunt, Uncle and some of my cousins also planned to attend. I saw a few of them a couple of years ago on my last trip to Oklahoma, but others I hadn't seen in 11 years.... It would be an opportunity to reconnect, and what the heck, it's Vegas baby, there's always something to do!

I had just received my RAVELRY invite and had no time to do anything but reply to a few friends and look at how my "notebook" and "bookshelf" and project links work. I can't wait to do some serious uploading this weekend. I can see myself using this for all sorts of project ideas and information links. Even the man was impressed with it and clicked around a bit (and that's sayin' a LOT!) couldn't believe it was a public service donated by some really nice knitting folk...again...impressed. Anyway, I decided to pick a portable project and following the crowd, I chose the Monkey sock pattern from Knitty and some Tofutsie from stash. I made it this far before we hit Seattle.

The flight to Vegas was shorter but rather bumpy...and my accursed air sickness hit again. Oh well, glad it was a short flight. The man and I checked into our hotel, The Monte Carlo,
and grabbed some lunch, did some walking around, and called it an early night. The next day, we went to see Bodies the Exhibition and the Titanic Artifact Exhibition (the man is quite the Titanic buff). Both of these, I felt, were very interesting and overall worth seeing. Later, my favorite aunt & uncle and cousins showed up!

My wonderful Uncle Paul & Aunt Gloria. Shhhhh....don't tell anyone, but Aunt Gloria loooooves to gamble!

My baby cousin Mandy (the youngest of "my generation" of cousins) was married on Saturday on a Celebration Riverboat Cruise on the Colorado River! It was a really nice time and wonderful to see everyone. When I was a little girl, Mandy's mom, my Aunt Frieda, used to dress me up and take me to church on Sundays. On Saturday nights, though, I'd sleep in the bed between her and my Aunt Faye and listen to them talk about all those "teenager' things. When they would talk about things they didn't want me to ask about or repeat inadvertently (usually boys or sex or something), they'd let me listen to the transistor radio with their earphones! I told DD that story and she asked "what's a transistor radio?"......generation gap! When I was older, Mandy's dad, Uncle Larry, fixed me up with one of his younger friends and we dated for a while. I wonder whatever happened to Tootie? (yes, that was his name...)

Uncle Larry, Aunt Frieda, new Cousin-in-Law Ted, Cousin Mandy, Ted's mom.

You may have noticed that my cousin Mandy is stunning. It's true. She's even prettier in person. And she's sweet and spunky as she can be. That's my baby cousin................

Hmmmm......my pics are out of order and I'm too lazy to change them around....so, the night before the wedding, my Aunt Gloria, Uncle Paul, Cousins Holly & Sara, and I went to see Cirque du Soleil "O" (go to the link for "O" under Discover our Shows and watch the video for a temptation!) at the Bellagio. First of all, the Bellagio is incredible! The Chihuly glass ceiling is gorgeous. I felt very much like a peasant accidently walking through a sumptuous castle gawking and turning to see everything! Cirque Du Soleil's "O" was enchanting as well. I could easily see it time and time again because there's no way your mind and eyes can attend to everything happening around the stage! Seriously, if you have time, check out the link to it! New life mission...see all the Cirque Du Soleil shows. Just loved it!

Cousin Sara, Aunt Gloria, Cousin Holly & Me at the Bellagio getting ready to see "O". Hey Barbara, recognize that shawl from San Francisco? Sigh......I lost it somewhere in the parking lot or casino the day of the wedding, so lightweight it slipped from my arm or bag and I didn't even know it was gone. Oh well. At least it wasn't one of my knitted ones, right?

Like, I said, the photos are out of order. The Colorado River was pretty choppy on the wedding day. There was a casualty. One of the flower girls, (the next generation....I guess that makes us a second cousin?) got a little seasick. Poor sweet girl!

Now, I don't know if this picture is blurry because the boat was moving or blurry because I'd had a few too many champagne toasts, but this is bride Cousin Mandy with her older brother and sister (Twin Cousins Lori & Shawn). Lori is mom to seasick flower girl. All in all it was really a lovely wedding and nice to spend time and renew relationships and reconnect with folks. I guess that's what it means to value family, making the effort to maintain the connections...regardless of the outcome. Maybe they'll head north to visit now that Alaska has claimed two of Lynnie's Granddaughters (as we are generally referred to by the very elderly in the family).

It was really a nice trip, but Vegas is not someplace I want to spend more than a few days. Too stinky with cigarette smoke, too surreal with lovely women dressed like hootchie mamas drinking cocktails in casinos at 6:30am.....too much stimulation. There was one true disappointment ,however. I LOVE roller coasters...or I think I used to LOVE rollercoasters. I haven't been on one in over 15 years! But I promised to ride the roller coaster at the top of the Stratosphere with cousins Holly & Sara. This roller coaster is 900 feet above the ground.
Here's a lil' YouTube link of someone else's ride:
Sadly, the roller coaster was demolished over a year ago...and far more extreme rides were erected in its place. Not for me. So we all went over to NewYork NewYork for the rollercoaster there. Let's just say....maybe it was a hot flash at the end, maybe it was the two marguerita's in the couple of hours preceding the ride....maybe I'm just too darn old for this stuff anymore...but my knees were shaking and my legs were wobbly as I got off after the ride, and I was ugly sick within about 15 minutes. I think that'll be the last time I pay $14 to throw up thank you very much.

I did get quite a bit done on the Monkey sock all considered. I turned the heel and am cruising on the gusset right now!

I'm needing to go do laundry and take stock of what groceries are needed....knit amongst yourselves til I get back!


Joan said...

Whew, I'm exhausted!
Who babysat GC? Bride is stunning. (You couldn't talk her out of it, huh? ;-p )
I hated Monkey Socks, no horizontal stretch to the pattern. Thanks gawd my giftee had very slender feet and calves.
I'll be checking you on on Ravelry. I like persuing everyone's stash to see what I like. Ha!

Minnie~Knits said...

I have a baby cousin Mandy, too! Yes, her name is Mandy, and we always used to call her "Baby MONDEE" to tease her ;-)
I Loved Monkey Socks! Well actually I loved the pattern; which is 75% of the reason I knit. (I mean, do I NEED felted clogs, NO, but the pattern is just so cool.)
I will say hi to you on Ravelry. IN LIKE A MONTH OR SOMETHING. In the meantime, I plan taking my camera to the yarn store, so I can impress Joan with my faux-stash. LOL

Libby said...


Your post is exhausting to read! I'm glad that you had a GREAT time at the wedding.


Arctic Knitter said...

Welcome back - sounds like such a great trip!
I'll add you as a friend on ravelry - isn't it a hoot. Now I'll never get any work done.

Agree - Las Vegas is best enjoyed in small bits.

Grace Yaskovic said...

http://www.blackrayne.com/pages/batty.html, but if you clicked on the word washcloth its supposed to take you there. I see your weekend wedding was as exhausting as mine but it covered more days, when I saw Monkeying around I raised my eyebrows a bit but then remembered the socks!!!! Head cold is better for the blocker now he needs an attitude adjustment!!!

Allison said...

Seems like everyone is making those Monkey socks - I'm going to have to give them a try!