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Maine 2018 Trip Report Part 2

Thursday we woke and got ready to head to Waterville.  The plan was to meet up with my cousin Dot and her sister Helen for brunch at Governors restaurant.  This has been a bit of tradition for a while now.  Dot basically raised me and my brother when my parents were going through a divorce from my age of 10 to 13.  They shuttled us over to Dot’s to spend the night so they could fight without us there.  Like we didn’t know what was going on.  Heh.
At any rate, some of my happiest memories of that time are of getting to go over to Dot’s house.  As long as it wasn’t a school night, we got to stay up late and we ate actually ate our dinner around a table and talked.  Plus she had a fireplace and that was just super cool to me.  She basically let us be kids without getting too out of control.  She was much more than just a cousin to me.  She was a staple in all of the Wheelock grandchildren.  Spending time with Dottie was an amazing luxury and I miss it.  She shaped a lot of my happiness in my childhood.
She is now 93 years old and is as sharp as a tack.  She and Helen together are like watching a stand up act.  They are just so funny and on it.  I can’t even explain unless you knew them, but they are so smart and funny and I just adore them.

We met them at the restaurant and had a wonderful brunch.  Dot and Helen had just gotten new hearing aids like my mom, so they all compared notes.  We ate until we were silly full and then headed over to Kmart to do a little shopping.
Once we were done, we bid them ado and headed to Clinton to meet up with my bestie from high school Kimmy and her daughter Emily.

Kimmy is my true best friend.  I have known her since I was 14 years old and we got up to a lot of mischief when we were young.  We have remained friends for all these years and while I moved away and we don’t keep in contact like we should, when we meet up it’s like no time has passed.  She couldn’t get rid of me if she tried. 🙂
As I stated in the last entry, she has had a lot of health problems in the last two years. It infuriates me because they were all brought on my the medical establishment for what should have been a routine surgery…but I digress. That is not my tale to tell. It just kills me that she has had to go through all the shit that she has lately. She was the hardest working person next to my mother that I’ve ever known. When mom and I were poor with no food, she would use her meager “leftover” earnings to bring us the smallest amount of food, and it meant THE WORLD to us.
At any rate, last year she was still in the hospital when I saw her, so it was nice to see her in her home with her daughter.

We spent about three hours and we all got to play with her two white kitties. Mom was in HEAVEN, having just had to put her own cat down a couple months ago. She’s always been a cat person and she had to live 26 years without one once I was born as I am allergic.
Kim’s daughter Emily is one of the most well adjusted teenagers I have ever met. She takes great care of her mother and has a genuine love for life and doesn’t seem to fall into the pitfalls of teenage drama, like I have seen happen. This speaks volumes about how Kimmy raised her.

After our visit, we stopped at Cappza’s pizza on the way home for a proper hamburg pizza.  The best place to have it when I grew up there was Sonny’s in Fairfield.  It was a staple in our house and we had it often.  From everything I have heard in the last few years, Sonny’s changed hands and changed their recipe.  Cappza’s was recommended as a suitable replacement and it sure was.  Tastes just like Sonny’s to me.
Friday morning we had to check out of the hotel.  I was going to miss it, but not the price tag.  Check out was painless and we were off to pick up my mom.  There was a Thai food restaurant at the Augusta airport that Rob and I have always wanted to try but never seemed to be able to fit into our schedule.  Well, Friday was Rob’s birthday and he demanded Thai food dammit!  🙂  Mom is skeptical of anything that isn’t meat, potatoes or pasta, but since it was Rob’s birthday, she agreed to go with us.

She ended up enjoying everything and we brought home lots of leftovers for her.

My memory at this point is fuzzy of that night, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t do much else.  We spent the night at mom’s and the next day we drove the car back to the airport to turn it in and catch our flight.

Our puddle jumper to Boston was bumpy.  It was very cloudy and it was raining in Boston.  I was not pleased, but we did make it there safely.  Once there we endured a four or five hour layover.  Lots of sitting around reading and playing on our phones.

The flight home was pretty okay once we got above the rain clouds.  I watched Ladybird which was pretty cool and listened to some podcasts.  About an hour before we were to reach San Jose, a woman came up to the front where we were seated to wait for the restroom.  I wasn’t paying that much attention until all of a sudden the people opposite us were pressing the call button repeatedly and waiving for the flight attendants.
I couldn’t see what was going on because there was a panel there where the woman was, but the next thing I know the flight attendants are on the intercom asking if there are any doctors or nurses on the plane.  Talk about a panic attack.
Long story short, the woman felt faint and they sat her down.  A couple of doctors or nurses came up to the front and from what I could see, they basically just sat around and shot the shit with each other while keeping the woman seated in the galley.
When we were cleared for landing, they sat the lady in an empty seat in the front and we landed safely.  She waited there until we all left the plane.  I hope she was okay.

The plane ride itself took about an hour longer than scheduled because apparently there were winds in the midwest.  To avoid them, they took us up through Canada and back down, tacking on an extra hour to the flight.  While I was grateful for the fact that we had less turbulence, it meant we were going to miss our shuttle home.  We would land just in time to catch it, but the fact that we had to wait for luggage meant we would miss it.
That also meant we would have to wait two hours for the next shuttle.  Like the day hadn’t been long enough already!
So we made our way to baggage claim and waited on our luggage resigned to the fact that we would not be getting home until about three in the morning.
We pulled out bags alongside us as we made our way to the shuttle bus pick up area.  We saw a gentleman sprinting there in front of us and we figured he was probably on our flight and was in the same predicament, but he was on his phone and looking around fervently.  As we settled in at the pickup spot, the guy kept darting out into the road, obviously looking for something.  A few seconds later a Monterey Airbus pulled up.  The bus we thought we missed.  The bus that THANKFULLY was running 45 minutes late!
We were thrilled!!  And it turned out that guy had been on the phone with the dispatch and they were telling him it was coming as he was speaking to them.
The rest of the trip home was uneventful. My father in law picked us up and brought us to his house where our car and our dogs were.  We loaded up both and were on our way home.

Overall it was a very good trip.  Got some good Mom time in and some alone/vacation time as well.
The more I go back to Maine, the more I realize that the friends that I see aren’t as plentiful as I used to, but these are the friends that put the effort into contacting me and making sure that we see each other when I come out.  The friends that I have had forever and the ones that I can always pick right back up with no matter how much time has passed since we have spoken.  So while I didn’t get to see “everyone” I got to see the ones that counted.

Next trip: VEGAS BABY!  I can’t wait for December!

 

Maine Trip Report 2018 Part One

Dear readers, I am afraid our tale of travel starts on a sour note this time.
We had booked our trip with our usual flight – a red eye out of San Jose to Boston on Friday night after work, followed by a three hour layover in Bean Town on Saturday morning and a Cape Air puddle jumper to Augusta, ME.  We have used this route for years and never had a problem.
Welp, not this time.  We began to get notices of a flight delay in the late afternoon.  It started with a half an hour and grew to an hour and then by the time we pulled up to Rob’s parents house so they could drop us off at the shuttle, it was saying it was delayed until midnight.  It was then that I got an email from JetBlue telling us that the delay was going to cause us to miss our connecting flight in Boston to Augusta and that we should call them ASAP to rectify the situation.
Rob hopped on the phone to them while I called the shuttle to tell them we would not be making the shuttle we paid for and would need the later one.  They were perfectly fine and the change was made in minutes.  JetBlue however took much  longer.
Long story short: Jetblue re-booked us on a flight the next morning out of San Francisco at eight with a connecting puddle jumper in Boston an hour after we landed.
While that got us to Augusta only 8 hours later than we would have, it put a huge snag in getting our rental car because they would be closed by the time we got there and wouldn’t reopen until Monday.
Side note here – we didn’t think about this until we had gotten home – JetBlue could have saved a lot of problems for us by keeping us on the delayed San Jose flight and simply moving us to that later Cape Air flight.  Why they didn’t think of this I do not know, because it would have saved them a lot of money too.  Instead they booked us on the San Fran flight and put us in the extra leg room seats no extra charge on our flight there and back at no extra charge.
Another side note – the San Jose flight ended up not being delayed as much as they thought and we would have made the connecting flight on the original flight plan.
While all of this was frustrating to us the first day of our trip, it was what it was and we can’t change it now.
So we got up at one thirty Saturday morning, showered and drove to Rob’s parents so his dad could drive us to the Marina shuttle bus pick up at 3:45 AM.  Tired yet?  Yeah, so were we.

The first thing I learned about flying out of SF instead of SJ is that the plane is nicer.  There is a 1st class cabin and the coach seats are a bit nicer and have touchscreen tablets in the back of the headrests with more entertainment options than the SJ flight.  Not a huge selling point, but it was nice just the same.

Both flights went off without a hitch.  While we were waiting in Boston for our flight, Rob emailed the local Hertz counter in Augusta where we had our rental car reservations and told our tale of woe.  They wrote back and asked for some information including pictures of our drivers licenses and told us that they would leave the keys and the contract with the Cape Air desk in Augusta.  So even though the car place would be closed, we would get our rental car.  HUGE relief as we wouldn’t have to rearrange so many plans when we got there.
The car they had waiting for us was a brand new Ford Fusion.  It had 2000 miles on it and was super fancy inside.  It literally took me ten minutes once inside the car, to figure out how to start it.


With a quick stop at Hannafords to get some simple groceries for dinner that night we headed up to my mom’s apartment and crashed.
The original plan was to have dinner at Red Barn with my adopted sister Naomi and her brood, but we arrived to late.  We moved the plans to lunch the next day and had an easy dinner at moms that night.

The next day we got up and met Naomi, her husband Dan and all five of their combined children.  I had to pick them up in shifts. LOL!


We had a lovely lunch at the Red Barn(my favorite restaurant in all of Maine) and it was good to catch up.  Originally mom was going to join us but she felt a bit unsteady on her feet that morning and declined.  On the way back I brought Naomi up to the apartment so they could visit since they hadn’t seen each other in years.
After I brought Nae home Rob and I took a trip to Walmart for all the things we might have forgotten and then rested a bit at moms before heading out to meet one of my oldest friends Katherine at Big G’s for an early dinner.

We had a great visit and then it was off to moms for an early night as we were still adjusting to the time difference.

Monday was Moms favorite day of each trip as it was Casino day!!  We packed up our bags again and drove an hour or so to Oxford Maine.  Home of one of the two casinos that Maine has to offer.  We have been to both and mom prefers this one, so that is where we go from now on.  Last year they were working on the hotel that would attach to the casino but it wasn’t done so we stayed across the street at a Hampton Inn.  It had a shuttle bus that went to and from the Casino but Mom had a really hard time with the stairs on it so she was super looking forward to being able to just take an elevator down to the casino whenever she wanted on this trip.
Check in was painless.  We had originally booked a regular room for us and an ADA room for Mom because last year the bed was too high for her in a regular room.  Welp, the ADA room was clear at the end of the hall and our room was right by the elevators.  Since the bed heights were the same she opted to switch rooms with us so she would have less walking to do.  The result was we had a funky shower but a MUCH bigger room than normal.

Mom soon realized that going down the casino without us wasn’t a good idea.  She didn’t divulge to us how much money she lost in the hour she went without us, but she said she probably shouldn’t have done it.
When we eventually did go down together, we all stuck pretty close.  The way we play slots is just for fun.  We find three machines next to each other and then we all take turns on our machines.  Mom will play a round and we will watch, then Rob will play around and Mom and I will watch and so on and so forth.  It makes the time stretch and therefore we don’t spend as much money as if we were just sitting there hitting the button over and over.

After a few hours we called it a night, getting some food from the “pub” right before the elevators to the rooms that was surprisingly good and heading up to the rooms.

The next morning we hit the slots one more time for Mom before heading out.  We cashed out all her tickets and it turned out that she had broken even on the trip.  She was very pleased.
We drove straight through to Mom’s apartment and spent a little time with her there.  This was our free day.  We had booked a hotel room for the next three nights.  Most of our days were to be spent out and about with Mom and friends but that day, it was ours.
We stopped at Target and then checked into the brand new Homewood Suites in Augusta.  It was AMAZING!  It was pricier than we wanted to pay, but in the end it was worth every penny.  Plus, since I am a Hilton Reward member, this will serve towards points on our next trip.

It was basically a little studio apartment and it fit our needs wonderfully.  We relaxed and watched TV  and I hit the pool.  It was fabulous.

Wednesday we were supposed to meet up with my bestie from High School Kimmy.  She has had a lot of health problems in the last year and a half and she texted me that morning that she wasn’t feeling up for it so we said no problem.  We changed our plans a little.  We had originally planned to take Mom to her favorite ice cream place on Friday, but since we now had the afternoon free, we called picked her up and took her out.

When we were done, Mom wasn’t ready to go home yet.  She rarely gets out and about so she suggested we go for a drive.
We ended up in Lewiston at the Marden’s there.  I hadn’t been there in years and I was excited for Rob to see one of the original locations.  He had been to the new one in Waterville, but it wasn’t the same.

We got quite a few little trinkets and then headed home.  Mom hadn’t been on the back-road to Lewiston and back for easily 20 years so it was fun for her to see what was new and what was still there.  She kept us entertained will all her stories of what “used to be there.”  🙂

We dropped her off and took off for another night of TV, pool and relaxation.  We had a couple of salads delivered that night simply because we were sick of fried foods at that point.

 

My Morning Routine

In an effort to start blogging more I am starting to use writing prompts, this is my first one.

I’m pretty sure that this type of prompt is for someone who doesn’t just roll out of bed and go to work like me, but I’ll humor it anyway.

On weekdays I set my alarm for 7:00 AM.  I have to be into work at nine.  I will then hit my snooze button several times.  On a good day I will wake right before the final snooze and check out the social media on my phone, but most days I just snooze it until eight and haul my tired ass out of bed.
I then brush my hair, weigh myself and get in the shower.
Shower takes very little time on a good day.  Shampoo, Condition, wipe down the old bod and rinse.  Done.  Some days there is shaving involved and that does take a few extra minutes.
Out of the shower I towel off and put my hair up in a turban to get it out of the way.  Next is the brushing of the teeth, followed by applying deodorant.  This is very important.  If I don’t do this in order, I will tend to forget a step and no one wants that.  After deodorant, I liberally apply neck and chest cream and a little bit of moisturizer to my cheeks if it is the winter because that shit gets dry.  I have super sensitive skin and can only put a small number of things on my face without causing problems.  I know this will come back to bite me in the ass and already is in the wrinkle department, but I can’t walk around looking like a lobster either.
Next I Qtip the ears and head into the bedroom where I get dressed.  Dressing is not a huge ordeal for me as I only have a few different sets of clothes that I wear on a daily basis.  Mostly jeans and ill fitting shirts.  My body is still a work in progress after losing 30 lbs last year and I’ve yet to update my wardrobe much.  Plus I’m only going to work and as much as I love my co-workers, they’ve seen me before and I don’t really need to impress.
After I am dressed, I grab my phone and Ipad off their respective chargers and go back into the bathroom where I remove the turban and brush out my hair.  I fantasize about doing something fancy with it, but it’s wet and I don’t have time so I part it on the right side and brush out the tangles.
Out in the living room/kitchen I grab whatever lunch we prepared from the night before and stuff it into my backpack, adding some fruit or hard boiled eggs or bread to toast for breakfast.  I make sure I have everything I need and then head out the door.  OCD makes me stop and make sure I’ve shut the fridge door and that none of the heaters are still on and then I’m in my car.
Once at work I put my breakfast/lunch in the fridge and gather my tea and water.  I gave up caffeine a few months ago when my anxiety was peaking, but I really missed having something hot to drink in the morning.  I’ve never been a fan of tea, but with a big of research I discovered Roiboos Tea(pronounced RoyBoss).  It is a sweeter tea that has no caffeine and a relaxing property about it.  I have fallen in love with it and start every morning with it.  I add  a splash of vanilla coffee creamer and a tsp of honey and I’m good to go.
With beverages in hand I return to my desk and if I hadn’t had the foresight or time the previous night to arrange my vitamins I will do so.  I split them into three doses because there is a lot of them and put them in their respective shot glasses.
The rest is boring work stuff.
Fascinating no?

 

Letter to my 15ish year old self

Dear Kelly,

Hey girl.  So I noticed that you were going through some shit.  Like, seriously angsty shit.  And I totally get that some of it is legit.

It’s not fun to get beaten up by your brother like you do.  It’s even worse when people laugh at your problem and tell you that all siblings fight and that you are being super over dramatic.  It’s even more worse when they do that behind your back and you hear about it after they told you how much they believe you and want to help you out of your situation.  It sucks.

On this one, I can’t say that it won’t be a hard road ahead.  It’s going to take years of therapy as an adult and a serious case of PTSD and let’s face it, a bunch of different meds until you find the right one…but you will survive.  You will not only survive, but you will eventually rise above it and be able to tolerate your brother in small doses.  He was going through a lot of shit too and you just happened to be the nearest punching bag…literally.  Your fears that he is going to grow up to beat his future wife are unfounded, thankfully.  He has found a balance.

On that note, that cutting thing that you are doing to fill the void?  Knock it off.  It feels like the right thing to do and I know that you just want to “feel the pain” to make it go away, but seriously.  Knock it the fuck off.  Later in life, you are going to wish that you don’t have so many scars.  Because guuurrrrlll, we are going to have stretch marks and the two together are just not pretty.

Okay, now that the hard stuff is out of the way, you will find love.  It will NOT be with any of the guys you had one sided crushes on in high school, but you will.  I know it is painful to think that ***** and ***** will never know you exist, let alone be your first kiss, but I promise you that there are much better men out there and you will meet “the one”.  Also, stop basing your importance in life on the fact that you have to have a man and be in love.  If you can just let go of that, you can do amazing things.  Realize that your self worth is not based on the fact that you are loved by a member of the opposite sex.  You are having Daddy issues and that is a whole other blog…  😉

Also, don’t fall for the first guy that is cute and winks in your direction.  You may feel like no guy will ever go for you and you better jump on that train before it speeds away, but that is so not true.  You want to go with your heart and flip head over heels, but take a step back and look at it reasonably.  (PS: I know that you will never do this because when you are a teen, there is no taking a step back and looking at it reasonably, at the prospect of love – especially first love)  If you could do this, you might save yourself a few months of heartache.

Your friends are not always your friends and that is okay.  High school is a fucking cesspool of human emotions and hormones.  Every single person there is learning to try and be their own person while wanting desperately to be accepted, just like you.  Here’s the thing, the acceptance part doesn’t mean shit.  It feels like it does at your age…very much.  It feels like your world is going to end when your “friends” decide they no longer like you for whatever reason and leave you sitting alone in the dark.  It’s okay to feel that, because it does indeed suck ass.  However, you cannot control how or why they came to that decision.  I can almost guarantee you that it was influenced by something someone that they admired said and it caused this sort of ripple effect.  Whether or not they agreed with that person, they didn’t want to be the person that they would insult next and cause their own social problem, so they played along.  It sucks.  It is inevitable.  Children are childish.

This next one goes along the same vein…Fuck their judgements.  Like seriously.  What you love today and tomorrow is going to have absolutely no bearing on your friends or foes lives in the future, so fuck ’em.  Love that band that everyone hates.  Enjoy writing stories, songs or poems that other people think are stupid.  Dance when everyone is snickering.  ENJOY YOUR LIFE.  It is not for other people to dictate to you how to live your life.  This will be the hardest lesson to learn and more than likely, you won’t even realize it until you are well into adulthood.  I’m sad about that, because I think about all the years of creativity wasted.

Peer pressure is dumb.  When your friends tells you that they would feel much more comfortable with you if you just took a drag off their cigarette(and this is totally going to happen to you), stick to your guns and say no.  You won’t want to do it, but you will feel pressured into it and that will in turn break that seal that you had on the fear of smoking/drinking/whatever.  A fear of smoking is a healthy thing.  Once you take that drag you will no longer care about how it might affect you.  You already did it and you are still alive!  So now it’s not biggie and you will try to bum smokes from friends.  You aren’t addicted yet, but dang…aren’t I cool because all my friends smoke and now I do too.  You will soon become handcuffed to a very unhealthy and expensive habit.

And, take it easy on your mom.  She is also going through her own personal hell right now and on top of that she is responsible for two lives other than her own.  She is doing the best she can and that is all she can do.  You asking for things you don’t need and cannot afford are not helping.  She feels guilty and responsible for the fact that your dad isn’t around and you are fucked up by it.  She will go out of her way to get you that coveted item you think you need, even if it means going in to debt.  You don’t understand that now, or maybe you do and don’t care.  She just wants you to be happy, but she also doesn’t want you to follow in her footsteps in the bad decisions that she has made.  She worries constantly about how you are going to turn out because she is working 60 hours a week to support you and cannot be there as much as she likes.  So please, lighten up on her.  You and your brother are pretty much all that she has right now and you are both being dicks.

I realize this is all very well for my 43 year old self to tell you.  I’ve lived it.  But in the end, I know that you are stubborn and you want to make your own mistakes.  I can’t stop you from doing that.  I can only caution you and hope you heed my warnings.  Knowing myself like I do, I’m sure you won’t.  Everything is a learning process, and I wouldn’t be the person that I am if I didn’t go through all the angst of my teenage/early 20’s years.

But seriously, don’t start smoking!

Ch-Ch-Changes

I guess given my last post, that it is safe to say that I have been feeling out of sorts since Rob’s heart attack.  This is totally understandable…but it wasn’t to me.
I didn’t know what to feel, because this has never happened before.  I felt like I had to be the strongest person on the planet and play super hero because he was the one that had a major health issue.  He was the “weak” party in our partnership now and I had to therefore take over all the duties of the household…whatever that means.
Long story short – I was a hot mess.  A red hot mess.  I would be strong at home and pretend like everything was okay and spend my day at work having panic attacks and crying jags like they were going out of style.
I was in a constant state of panic.  There was nothing else for me.  I didn’t just fall into “My Crazy” this time.  I held my nose and jumped right in.
It was horrible and exhausting and I knew I couldn’t keep it up.
After a little bit of research, I signed up for some online therapy.  I’m not stranger to therapy, having done an 8 year stint in my late teens/early 20’s.  I know that it works for me, but it’s so expensive and who has time to go into a weekly session?
The online therapy was much cheaper than in person when you took into consideration that you can write to them whenever you want and as much as you want and they would address your issues at least once a workday.
I have to say that so far it is really working for me.  The first thing that my therapist asked me was what I was doing to take care of myself after Rob’s heart attack.
Wait, what?  Take care of myself??  Um, I’m doing all I can just to make sure everything is going smoothly and Rob is doing okay.
She put a voice to the thought in my head that kept saying: “Everyone keeps asking how Rob is doing, but what about how I”M doing???”  It felt so selfish to think that, but she told me it was totally valid and normal.  What a relief!
On her suggestion, I started to research mediation and self hypnosis.  I’ve been dabbling in that this week and I have to say I am feeling a lot better.  It’s a combination of things actually.
I’ve cut out caffeine, which only fed my anxiety.  Instead of coffee in the morning, I drink a steaming mug of Roiboos tea and I love it.  It has a naturally calming effect and relaxes me.  I have started lightly meditating with the help of an app on my phone, the same with some hypnotherapy session.  I just started that the other day so I’m not sure how well that will go.  It’s more for my specific anxiety of flying/driving, but on Thursday night I used the deep sleep session and holy cow did I wake up more refreshed than I have in weeks!
I’m taking my vitamins.  The only thing I haven’t gotten around to is exercising again, but I will.  I have faith.
So my initial reaction to the online counseling is a hearty thumbs up.  It’s not for everyone obviously – but as a person who would rather express herself on the page instead of face to face, this is perfect for me and I see myself benefiting it from it a lot.

 

A Glimpse Into My Anxiety

I never used to have anxiety.  I miss those days.  I can roughly pinpoint the period when it started for me and that would be back in 2003-5 when I was working a very high stress job and was not getting very much sleep.  We would work well into the night and have to be back at work first thing in the morning.
It started as a fear of being on the freeway.  All the cars whizzing around us at top speed suddenly made me panic.  It never had before and it confused the heck out of both my husband and I when we would take our trips out to Las Vegas from where we lived at Phoenix at the time.
It progressed into agoraphobia.  I remember exactly the day that happened.  I was wearing heels on a smoke break at work.  My friend DD and I were just chatting it up when all of a sudden I looked around and felt dizzy.  I felt unsafe, like I might fall down because there was nothing around me that would secure me.  That spiraled into a very long prison of anxiety that kept me from wanting to go into open spaces, like parking lots and any sort of area where I couldn’t grab onto a wall or something similar.  It only abated once we quit our jobs and moved to California.  While we were starting over, I was free of the long stress filled hours at a job that I hated.  I began to feel half way normal again.  I was still afraid of freeways and heights, but no longer felt the need to hold on to something as I was walking in open spaces.
Lately, the anxiety has been coming back.  I wasn’t sure what was happening other than just random panic attacks for no apparent reason.  At some points it was because I knew we would be traveling and I hate flying and freeways so either way sucked for me.  I found relief in some herbal calming supplements, but it wasn’t helping the underlying issue.
Two weeks ago my husband was admitted to the hospital for an angioplasty that was needed because of the heart attack he had earlier in the week.  I have pretty much thought I have been having a heart attack every day since this happened.
I can reason away part of it because of the strain my upper back has been under and how that effects my pectoral muscles in my chest, thus giving me chest pain.
What I am saying is, that I latch on to panic.  I don’t know how to stop it.
Yesterday, we broke protocol and left the house.  We went to the movies to see The Last Jedi.  After I gathered our snacks and we settled in to watch the 80 hours of previews, I found myself looking around at anyone that had just joined us in the theater.
I kept thinking: “Is that the shooter?”  “Are they going to the be the one that stands up and blows us all to pieces?”
At one point just before the lights dimmed, an older man came in wearing a red baseball cap and a backpack.  In my mind he was wearing a Trump hat and his backpack was full of explosives.  This was non negotiable, it was truth.  I panicked and wondered if I could convince Rob to leave the theater.
I didn’t of course, but I spent the first 20 minutes of the movie eyeing the fella in the cap and wondering when the bullets were going to start flying.
These feelings are very real in my head.  I know it sounds crazy, and it is amazing to me that I can keep them as in control as I do when I am actually feeling them, but they FEEL REAL.  I had no doubt that the man in the red ball cap was going to kill us all.  It wasn’t a question.  The question was how to escape when it happened.
Afterwards I feel stupid, of course.  When nothing happens, I feel like an ass for being so paranoid.  I wish that I could make myself calm down, but it’s getting worse.
Driving and flying, I get.  Those are two situations where you are supposed to be a bit fearful.  That you cannot control the things going on around you to a point.   You feel sort of helpless.
I SHOULD NOT FEEL PANIC FOR LEAVING MY HOUSE TO GO TO A MOVIE.  I just shouldn’t.  But I do.  Yes, part of it is my own crazy, but part of it is the world we live in right now.  This shit only used to happen in horror movies, now it is an almost daily occurrence.  I hate it.
My fears were abating and I was feeling normal for a good while.  It felt nice and I liked it.  But the last couple of years, I can’t trust my fellow man.  It scares the hell out of me.  I don’t want to leave my house.  Seriously.  I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE MY HOUSE!  This is not normal or healthy and I don’t know what to do.  I don’t have an answer.
But now is not the time to talk about gun control. It’s NEVER time to talk about gun control.

Broken Husband

So some serious stuff has been going down in the Mackadoo Estates.
The Monday before last my husband was complaining of being run down.  He figured he was coming down with a cold or blamed it on the super late gig he had the night before.  I believe on Tuesday it was, he stayed home from work.
When questioned what was going on, he just said: “I feel weird…but I took some cold medicine and that is what happens when I take cold meds.”  The next day he still felt “weird” and under the weather, but he is in the year end time for his work and had to go in.  The next few days were a lot of the same.  Going into work and coming home and going to bed really early.  Sleeping for almost 12 hours a night – and that is highly unusual for him.
Rob and I have a compromise when it comes to sickness.  If it isn’t getting better in a few days, we go to the doctor.  Usually, we never have to resort to that, but we have a couple times.
Late in the week he started complaining of jaw pain.  It was always on both sides so that ruled out a cavity.  I wondered about TMJ, but he was able to stave it off with Advil so we let it go.
That weekend he let me know that he had sometimes been having chest pressure with the jaw pain.  He had looked it up and those were symptoms of a mild heart attack.
Long story short…
On Sunday night we had an argument discussion about how he wasn’t going Urgent Care per our agreement and that wasn’t fair.  He wasn’t getting any better, he was just getting by.  He swore that if he wasn’t 100 percent better in the morning he would go to the Doc In A Box.  Fine.
Monday morning he woke me up saying that he wasn’t feeling well, but that his work was waiting for an important document to be emailed and if they had gotten it by 8:30 he would head into work and then to Urgent Care.  If not he would head to Urgent Care and then work.
So I headed into work and on my first morning break I found an email from him stating he was too sick to drive himself to UC.  He said maybe he would have me bring him later that night when I got home, or in the morning.  I called him and told him I was coming home to get him.
My work was so cool about the whole thing, I gave them the readers digest version and they said: “see ya!” and I was out the door.
The wait time at UC was about an hour and a half.  An hour and a half of sitting in a room full of sick people.  One kid in particular who had never been taught to cover his cough and was hacking openly around the room while he looked for magazines to read.  Not cool.
When we finally got into a room they performed an EKG and deemed it had a slight abnormality.  Given his symptoms and the EKG she directed us to the ER.  She told us that there was a blood test that could determine whether or not he had had a heart attack and only the hospital could perform it.  They gave him some Aspirin to chew and made us sign a waiver that we were not going to be transported by ambulance and off we went.
At this point I am freaking out.  I mean, I know we looked up the symptoms and heart attack was one of the causes, but that couldn’t possibly be what had happened!  My husband is only 50 years old!  Plus, he’s my husband, so he’s invincible duh!  However, I hold my shit together because this is just the beginning of our journey and I can’t fall apart yet.
I drive him to the ER and because the UC had faxed over the info, we were taken in 1st thing for another EKG.  After that it was a lot of waiting around and then answering questions, then waiting around and checking vitals, then waiting around and verifying insurance, then waiting around and getting a blood test.  The ER was absolutely slammed and so we are now again subjected to a bunch of ppl hacking their heads off.
Finally we get an ER room and he is hooked up to a monitor.  After a few minutes the ER doc pokes his head in and says that not all the labs are back but it looks like he did in fact have a heart attack and they are waiting on the rest of the labs and someone from radiology to take a chest xray.  He quickly starts to disappear behind the curtain, but um no.
“I’m sorry, which labs are back and how do you know that he had a heart attack?”  Asked the normally soft spoken wife.
The doc then went on to explain to us that when one has any sort of heart trauma, a chemical is released into the bloodstream and stays there for like a week (details are sort of fuzzy on this so I might have the timeframe wrong).  The test did show that chemical in Rob’s blood.  He told us he would be back when he knew more.
People began to come in and out and check on different things and Rob started cracking jokes.  Like he didn’t have a care in the world.  I will always thank him for that and I suspect the whole reason he did it was to keep me from melting down.
Everything else happened at a lightening quick pace.  The chest xray showed his heart was not too large and his lungs were not filled with fluid so that was good news.  A cardiologist came in and explained they would need to perform an angiogram to check his heart for blockages.  They would go in either thru his groin or his wrist and shoot some dye into his arteries to see what was going on.  She gave us three scenarios:
1) No blockages and it was just some random heart blood vessel blip.
2) Blockages that are not too severe that they can insert balloons and stents to clear them.
3) Major blockages and they need to go in for open heart surgery.
They gave us all the specifics of everything so we understood that if they had to do stents that he would have to be on a blood thinner for at least a year as well as all the risks for surgery.
Before I knew it, they were rolling him out of the room and I was driving home to let the dogs out and feed them, have a small breakdown and head back.
In the hour and a half it took for me to do that, he was already out and in good spirits.
They had found one artery that was 100 percent blocked so they put in one stent and that was that.  He was told that he was on bedrest for the next couple of hours and he was not to put any sort of stress or pressure on the right wrist where they had performed the angioplasty.
They brought him some food, but he had passed the point of starvation hunger where his stomach could tolerate much.  He had a little bit of chicken noodle soup and a bite of bread and then I brought a basin over because he was ready to hurl.  He managed to keep it down but we then had to figure out the bed pan situation because he had to pee.
With that taken care of he took a little more food and was ready to rest.  I think we saw a nurse that explained more at some point but honestly, things were a bit of a blur by that time.  I was running on sheer adrenaline and was ready to crash at any moment.
Eventually Rob told me to go home and go to sleep, there was nothing more I could do since he was going to go to sleep.  So I did.
I must say this.  I texted a few ppl while I was waiting in the ER for Rob and every single one of them offered to come sit with me.  I’m not saying that that I don’t know how much my friends mean to me, I’m just saying that it takes a crisis like this to put it in perspective.
So I went home and the dogs were very confused as to why Father wasn’t home with us.  The fact that I was bawling my head off probably did not help the situation.  I got on chat with my good friend Koly who immediately offered to come down and spend the night.  I politely refused because I was not in a way where I could see anyone face to face. Chat was fine because I could walk away, but I was basically an emotional wreck and to have someone in front of me telling me it would be fine would be my breaking point.
I tossed and turned all night getting very little sleep.  I hadn’t realized it at the time, but the way I was sitting all day in the waiting room chairs while staring down at my phone had strained my upper back pretty badly.  That in turn was calling on my pectoral muscles to compensate.  So basically every time I laid down I would get a pain in my chest and be convinced I was having a heart attack as well.  Did I mention I’m a hypochondriac?  Yeah, there is that.  Every single pain, I was wide awake thinking: “No Kelly, you cannot have a heart attack now!  Rob is having his.  I cannot afford to upset him at this stage in the game!”  I know, I’m quite the prize.
In the morning work had already cleared me not to come in.  We were told by the nurse that it was hopeful Rob would be discharged that day.  I showered and contemplated a cat nap, but I was plagued by the same problems as the night before.
Eventually around 8 or so Rob texted me that he had no news, but to head on over whenever I wanted, so I did.
We spent the day hanging out in his room.  When he slept I would go out and find a comfy chair in the lobby to rest on since his room only had one of the waiting room chairs to sit in.
After his walking around with no complications and staying until the afternoon, he was finally discharged.  He is to be on 5 different meds and we have a follow up appointment with the cardiologist that performed the angioplasty on Tuesday to go over all the information.
I went into work on Wednesday because Rob said he felt fine.  I kept my phone out with permission from my boss’ in case he needed anything(he didn’t), and by mid day I had this wicked tickle in the back of my throat.  I kept clearing my throat and then there was a flood of post nasal drip that was happening.  Our office Christmas party was that night so while I attended that, my heart wasn’t in it.  I wasn’t feeling well and I was just wanting to be with my husband.  I did have fun, but was glad to get home where I could get comfy and make sure Rob was okay.
Thursday morning I woke feeling decidedly under the weather, but not so much that I couldn’t go into work.  I had the post nasal drip thing and was feeling kind of funky as well has a dry cough and a feeling of weirdness.
The weirdness turned out to be a fever.  I checked my fever at work and found it to be about 101.5 at the max.  I took and Advil and finished what I needed to workwise before heading home around three.
Now the last thing I wanted was for Rob to catch whatever this plague was that I picked up in UC so we brought down the air mattress from storage and put that in the front room for him to sleep on.
I went to sleep around six that night but couldn’t get any solid sleep until around eleven.  Every time I laid down I would start coughing.  I managed to get about six hours of sweaty sleep.  My fever had gone down to 99.6 but was still lingering.  I took another Advil and then a shower and was off to work.  I was still icky but felt better than I had the night before when I had no appetite and no interest in doing anything but laying in bed.
Made it through work sanitizing my hands every five seconds and covering cough so not to get my coworkers sick and headed home.  I posted up in the bedroom with my laptop and wrote most of this blog before conking out and getting a really good nights sleep finally.
I woke up around three this morning coughing and hacking up all the crap that had been ingested into my lungs over the past couple of days, but my fever had finally broken without the assistance of Advil and overall I felt pretty darn good comparatively.  Dropped off again around six thirty this morning and woke drenched in sweat around 10:30.
The bed in the bedroom has been stripped and dressed with fresh bedding and Rob is napping in there while I enjoy feeling mostly human for the first time in a couple of days.  All my germy sheets an blankets are in the process of being laundered and even though it is cold, I have some windows open to get some clean air circulating.
So far Rob swears he doesn’t like he is getting sick.   And the good news is that he has been taking Congaplex (an all natural immune booster) since last Monday at my request when he thought he was getting sick, so hopefully that will work in his favor.  *knocks wood*  I really don’t want him to get this.  The coughing alone would cause such stress on his newly mending body.  Ug.
So that has been my week.
What I have learned from this adventure (that is not over yet):
I have amazing friends and family.  Again, not that I didn’t know that before, but when put to the test it proves to you who really cares about you and who doesn’t and ppl really stepped up.
I am stronger than I think I am.  Not by much, because I’m pretty much a basketcase 80% of the time.  However when I need to be, I can hold it together to get what needs to be done.  When it is done, I will crawl into the corner and cry for hours, but NOT until then.
Stress + The Flu = An excellent weight loss tool.  As of this morning, I have lost 7 pounds since Monday.  😉
In all seriousness though, while this week has been rough and I still haven’t fully comprehended it all yet, I am grateful.  I’m so grateful that we caught it when we did.  I’m so grateful that we heeded the warning signs and didn’t take it that lightly.  I’m grateful for the amazing technology in modern medicine (while I may not agree with all of it) that got my husband on the way to healing so quickly.
Also, hug your friends and family and tell them you love them.  Every day.

Vegas Trip Report 2017

We left around nine in the morning on Saturday the 18th from Monterey California. We normally head out after work on that Friday night but a friend of ours was having a Pre Thanksgiving party in Tehachapi so we just rearranged our plans by half a day. The result was more traffic than we are used to, but we still made really good time.

The party was nice, lots of great food and great people. We stayed for about two hours before hitting the road again.

The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful, thank goodness. We arrived with plenty of time to check in for our one night at the Downtown Grand and grab some food for later before getting ready for the show of the night.

We had never stayed at the Downtown Grand and since the price was right and we like to hit downtown at least once per trip we booked the first night there. It was sheer luck that we found out a few days prior to leaving that GWAR would be playing downtown that night.

I was not familiar with their music, but obviously knew of them from their wild stage antics. My husband had always wanted to see them, but without actually putting in much of an effort to make that happen. So when this landed in our laps, he was pretty happy.

We checked into the room with no problem. The room was cute but quirky. There was no temperature control in the room. There was this weird vent thing that led directly to outside, but no real way to control how warm or cool it was. It turned out to be a non issue for us because we were literally in the room to sleep and shower, but it was just weird to me.

My husband headed out to see the opening bands for the show and I walked down to Pizza Rock to get some calzones for when we got back from the show. I brought them back up to the room and had some drinks while waiting for my husband to text that GWAR was about to go on.

When he did, I walked down to the venue and joined him. We were pretty close, I’d say about third row on the right.

The show was totally worth it. It was loud and I couldn’t understand any of the lyrics, but the theatrics and stage blood that showered the audience was just hilarious and a great time. We got soaked as did the rest of the audience and we loved every minute of it.

As we walked back to our room, people were waiting in line to get into a club. One kid looked at me and said: “Where did you get all the blood??”

I said: “GWAR baby!” and he said: “OH MY GOD, NO WAY!!!” It was pretty funny and proves that to some people, seeing a GWAR show can be a bit of a bragging right.

We were exhausted from the drive and the show so we got back up to the room, ate and hit the bed right after a quick shower to wash the blood off. (BTW, it took a total of two showers and multiple scrubbing to get that crap completely off. Also, the bra I wore to the show is stained forever. I soaked it for two days and it looks like a weird tie dye massacre)

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Day Two

Woke up and showered again. This was the day we were to move over to the Flamingo, but had a little time to kill. We headed over to a dispensary. My husband has a medical card and had visited this particular location before, but since it is legal now this was my first chance to go in and check it out. Pot is not my cup of tea. It makes me feel very out of sorts and not in a good way most of the time so I can only handle the tiniest quantities and generally try to avoid it, but it was really cool to see all the stuff and the whole process of obtaining it.

From there we hit the grocery store next door to get more water, sodas and snacks and finally headed over to the Flamingo. Interesting thing that has changed from last year is they are charging for parking now unless you are a platinum or up member. I guess this is just the way it is going to be from now on with all the big casinos in Vegas. Sucks.

On a plus side, you can see the Bellagio fountains from the top floor of the parking garage.

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Checked into the room early. Our room was not ready but a similar room was if we were interested. It wasn’t as nice as we usually have in the GO rooms off of the Spa tower but getting able to check in early for a slightly less nice room was worth it to me so we said yes.

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We relaxed in the room for a bit. My husband opted for a nap and I headed downstairs to gamble for a few. Didn’t have much luck, but a couple of Buffalo machines kept me busy for a little while.

Tail tucked between my legs, I returned to the room to find an awake and very hungry husband. We decided on Margaritaville for some take out and ventured back downstairs. While we waited a took a few more pics of the surrounding strip area.

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We didn’t do much else this day because we wanted a day to chill before the next couple of busy days.

Day Three 

Hotel room change. We had double booked the Flamingo with a two night MyVegas comp at the Mirage.

Our original plan was to grab some White Castle and hit the wax museum this morning before checking into the Mirage, but my husband’s stomach has other ideas.

I’m pretty sure he has gallstones and has for a couple of years, but he refuses to go to the doctor. Anyhoo, had a flair up this morning and it took until around noon until he felt better.

No biggie as we had no plans on Friday so we will just figured we would move the museum to that day.

We got up, showered and caught a cab to The Mirage. We didn’t realize how close it was so we figured we would probably just walk back when we return to the Flamingo on Wednesday.

Check in was a breeze. I didn’t do the 20 dollar trick but was offered a one bedroom suite for 75 bucks a night and took it. Since this reservation was a Myvegas comp, I had no problem with this at all. The desk clerk said it’s normally 150 for this upgrade but because the week before thanksgiving is a slower time The had cut the price.

At any rate, this suite was bigger than my friggin house. I’m pretty sure I want to live there.

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We enjoyed the room very much but soon it was time to get ready for our 5:00PM reservation for Portofino. We got a 2 for 1 entree comp via MyVegas so we got dressed up and headed out.

It was all very nice. The food was amazing. I felt the service could have been a little faster given how few there were in their at that time of night. It took us about fifteen minutes to settle our bill after we gave them our credit card. Also, there was a photographer going around taking pictures of people before their meal and I found that a little obnoxious, but that’s just me. Overall though, we really enjoyed it.

We ordered the Burrata Agnolotti and the Veal Osso Buco. We shared them both and each was equally good.
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Once dinner was done we headed over to the theater to see the Beatles LOVE Circ show. We both got tickets comped by MyVegas and since we had never seen a Circ show, we were really excited!


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The show did not disappoint! I’m really afraid of heights and our seats were in the third tier, so I was a little freaked out at first, but once the show got started I was just in awe! So much talent and the music and effects! Everything was just fantastic!

Once the show was over we didn’t really want to leave the room because it was so nice. Eventually I went down to Pantry to get a midnight snack and was waited on by a fella with a mullet tucked into his collar. Listening to him try and flirt with the chick beside me and seem super intelligent, made me giggle. A lot.
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He couldn’t have been more than 18 if he was a day.

Back up in the room we ate, watched TV and hit the hay

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Day Four

Today was my girls day. My friend Koly was in town as well and she was going to treat me to a Spa day at the Reliquary Spa at the Hard Rock. We arrived around 11:00 and spent a couple hours in the saltwater pool before getting our individual massages and then hitting the hot tub and the pool yet again. I have no pictures because this was all about us and the relaxation. I rarely get to spend this much time with Koly anymore so this was very nice just to catch up and hang out.

Around four we got showered and ready to head over to Harrah’s. We had comp tickets to Menopause the Musical and wanted to get a bite at the Diamond lounge before the show. That is exactly what we did.

I have seen Menopause years ago with my mom. I decided to see it again for two reasons. 1, I am much more closer to the change than I ever was when I first saw it and can relate a lot more and 2, I was excited about the addition of Cindy Williams.

Well, #2 turned out to be a bust as she had injured herself and would not be in the show that night. There was no understudy, and the show was the same as when I saw it before. That tells me that Cindy Williams is probably only there to give sight gags. What I saw on youtube backs that up, but I was still disappointed I didn’t get to see her. I am a HUGE fan of Laverne & Shirley.

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Still, it was a really nice day and I was glad I got to share it with Koly. She actually owns a theater company where we live (it’s how we met) and it was interesting to just be with her in an audience where she or I had nothing to do with the show. Normally she is directing and I’m acting. It was funny when we compared notes after, how we had mentally casted the roles with the local talent we are familiar with in our area and we were both pretty much in agreement. LOL!

We said our goodbyes and I headed back to the Mirage.

My husband had decided to head back over to the Flamingo that day since he had more toys in our room there. He didn’t want to be bored and watch TV all day in the room when he had his guitar and paint supplies over at the other room. He’s not much of a gambler.

I got up to the room and had some cocktails. I went downstairs and played some machines but my luck was just not with me this trip at all. I machine hopped more than I cared to and couldn’t hit a thing. Finally, I threw in the towel and hit Pantry for another midnight snack to soak up the cocktails. Mullet boy was there but this time I was waited on by a large man with a booming accent that kept calling me sweetheart, honey and baby (icky shudder!), at least the fish and chips were good.

 

Day Five

 

 Twas a sad, sad day when we had to leave that beautiful suite at the Mirage, but it had to happen.

My husband had walked over some time in the early morning and joined me in slumber. We woke up early enough that I could take a swim in the giant jetted tub. The funny thing was that it seemed to be pressure sensitive. My husband tried to take a shower while I was in the bath and it wouldn’t turn on. When I got out of the tub to take a look it started up. We let it run and then my husband stepped into the tub and it stopped. Weird.

Anyway, check out was no problem and we headed back over to the Flamingo to slum it the rest of the trip. :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:

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As we were walking back, we decided to get the White Castle that we skipped the morning my husband wasn’t feeling good. We walked over to Casino Royale, got a sack full of burgers and headed back to the Flamingo.

This day (Wednesday) was a planned relax day. We played some gamble and while we didn’t have much luck, we at least broke even this time.

Dinner was Chinese food from the food court. Hey, I said we were going to be slumming it.

 

:)Day Six

We slept in this morning and then made our way over to the Oyster Bar at Harrah’s to use our Celebration Dinner. We printed the voucher back when we were in town in May, but never got the chance to lose it. As we were packing for this trip, we couldn’t find the voucher. I was pissed because that is a hundred dollars worth of food, but couldn’t be too upset because it is “free”. At the last minute we found it hidden in a crossword puzzle book. :rolleyes:

This was Thanksgiving Day, but it wasn’t crowded. I imagine most people were hitting the buffets for traditional holiday food. We got the Lobster Bisque in a bread bowl and the OB’s Pan Roast to split and then we also got the Seafood Risotto and the Bourbon Street Jambalaya for take out for dinner that night. I’m not a huge fan of seafood (a cardinal sin when you are from Maine) but I did enjoy everything. The bisque was AMAZING!

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When we headed back up to our room at the Flamingo, housekeeping was servicing our room so we dropped the food and headed back downstairs. At this point all the smoke and dry air are really messing with my sinuses, or I’m getting sick. Either way, standing in the smokey casino is not my favorite thing to do at that moment. I hit the sports book to place a bet for a friend and then we decided to hit the Habitat to kill some time.

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I’d like to report that the night ended with a wonderful gambling session that recouped our losses, but I can’t. Well, I mean, I COULD, but it wouldn’t be true.

I’m just glad we planned more things to do this trip than rely on gambling because it obviously wasn’t happening for us.

 

 Day Seven(the final full day)

We had left this day free because we didn’t know if we would just be completely exhausted or if we would need an extra day to fit something in we skipped.

Turns out the only thing we really skipped was the Wax Museum. We had originally planned for Afternoon Tea at the Bellagio when we started making plans, but decided to save it until next year since we plan on staying at Caesar’s and it would be closer.

We hemmed and hawwed a but and decided to hit the wax museum. We hadn’t been in years and I had a MyVegas comp for a free ticket, it was within walking distance, so why not!

Madame Tussade’s is always good for some cheesy fun photo ops.

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So that was our afternoon, we stopped at Casino Royale and got our players cards on they way back. They offer a promotion that after you lose your first 20 bucks with them, they will put another 20 on your card to use in a machine. Which they did.

To use my “extra” 20 we finally found two Buffalo Gold Machines available. I was puttering along, getting a bunch of small bonuses and feeling good. Not huge wins, but small payouts that were adding up.

The person in the third machine got up and was filled by a woman that stuck in her twenty bucks and immediately pulled in two huge bonuses in a row. As my mother would say: “She sucked all the luck out of our machines!” She ended up cashing out 400+ that I could see and we sat there and played ourselves down to cashing out at least 20 dollars ahead. 🙁

Feeling defeated for gambling this trip, we headed back to the Flamingo. On the way Hubs said he wanted Chipoltle, but changed his mind as soon as he walked into the place. It wasn’t dirty per say, but compared to the one we have her in Monterey, it wasn’t exactly sparkling clean either. Undecided on dinner, we went around and around and eventually decided on Johnny Rockets in the food court. He wanted In & Out, and while I am a huge fan, we have those chains here on the west coast and we don’t have a Johnny Rockets. Also, we got the fries from Nathans Hot Dogs, because they are bomb.

That night we were tucked into bed pretty early. We had plans to meet our friend D and F at Eggworks for breakfast at nine in the morning so we had to get up early and then get on the road.

Day Eight

Hubs had another gallstone attack this morning. He asked me to take the first shower, which I did and then he asked me to message D & F and ask if we could move breakfast up an hour. They were cool with it and I let him “sleep it off”.

He woke up feeling much better around eight thirty. I had done the rest of the packing and made the first run to the car while he hopped in the shower.

Checked out and the only snag was the parking. Flamingo is charging for parking now but it’s supposed to be free if you are a higher card member. I tried to pay at the kiosk outside of the parking garage and it wouldn’t take my diamond card. I called for assistance and was told that we never should have taken a ticket when we first parked and that all we had to do was insert our diamond card when we exited. This was NOT was I was told when I checked in and specifically asked about parking.

At any rate, I met my husband and that car and we tried what I was told at the exit. It still didn’t accept my card and had to call for assistance again. We read her the numbers on my card and she released the gate. There was another car parked at a separate exit stall that was there longer than we were that I suspect was having the same problem. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was an irritation. If you are going to charge for parking, get your crap together. My card was a working card as of that morning, there was no reason why it shouldn’t have scanned.

Anyhoo, we hit the road and met our friends at Eggworks on Flamingo. I had never been before but it was really good. Our friends got there first which was good since it is a fairly small place with lines out the door, and they were able to snag us a table. Great food and good company, but soon it was time to hit the road.

Side note from last year: Last year we met a bunch of friends in Vegas for the four day weekend. Hubs and I arriving early and them all driving out on the night before Thanksgiving and leaving on the following Sunday. We left on that Saturday to beat the traffic and it was glorious. From what we were told from our friends, depending on when they left the traffic on Sunday was horrible to downright insane.

Last year, we also left around eight in the morning and drove straight home.

This trip because of Hubby’s attack and the breakfast, we didn’t get on the road until eleven in the morning. Right around check out time.

While there were a couple of accidents listed on the Waze app, the only other thing I can figure is that all the people who sat in traffic on Sunday of last year, thought they would get a jump on it this year and leave on Saturday. Traffic was insane!

Not as insane as a friends had it last year on Sunday, but easily the worst WE had ever seen it. What normally takes us 7.5 hours to drive home took us about 10. I was not a fan. Next year we are leaving at the crack of dawn.

At any rate, we got home and rescued our dogs and slept all the next day.

Overall it was a very good trip. Getting to live like high rollers for a night with a suite, a fancy dinner and a show was just amazing. I loved it. But I’m glad to be home and have a little more structure in my life.

Until next time…

1st Solo Trip to Vegas – picture heavy.

The first thing I did was unpack and get out of my sweaty clothes.  Vegas is HOT AF in June.  I had a couple of drinks in the room and then got redressed and ventured downstairs in search of dinner.  I already knew what I wanted and where I wanted it.
I got to Hash House A Go Go and ordered a BBBLT and sweet potato fries to go.
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IMG_0704The BBBLT is basically a BLT, with a crap-ton of bacon on it.  It was gooooood!
I tried to play some gamble, but I was just too tired.
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I headed up to my room and watched some crappy TV until I fell alseep.
My grocery delivery from Von’s was set for the hour block between 11:00 AM and Noon.  I set my alarm for 10:30 and snoozed it a few times.  It was not enough sleep.  I managed to peel myself out of bed five before eleven, brush my teeth and hair and throw on last nights clothes in preparation for my impending delivery.
Around 11:45 I’m beginning to get a little worried.  By 12:30 I am on the phone with the help line from the Von’s delivery website.  After about ten minutes on hold I get a nice customer service woman that informs me that they had IT issues early in the day and the delivery guy will be leaving the store in about fifteen minutes.  I am fifth in line for delivery.  I asked for an ETA and she said at least two hours.
Okay fine.  I’m not happy about it and I wish they would have called the customers to let them know there was a delay, but there isn’t much I can do at that point and now I know I can at least shower.
Which I do, and then I headed downstairs to the gift store to get some crackers and a ginger ale.  I didn’t want to buy too much because I have a lot of snacks and soda and water coming from the delivery, but I needed something because I had drunk all the water in the room and needed to take my meds.
Back up in the room, I had what was leftover of my sandwich from the night before and some crackers.  I updated my social media and had some drinks.  I was really entertained by my pool view in the room.

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I wasn’t that upset at the wait at that point, because part of this trip was to have some downtime…I just didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t in control of when that time would be.
Around three in the afternoon, I get a call from the delivery driver that he was about ten minutes out.
About 25 minutes later I get a call from the bell desk saying that my items had been delivered and would I like them to bring them up?  Relieved that I might be able to salvage part of the day, I say yes.
The bell desk brings up a bunch of stuff in bags as well as my 12 pack of soda and 2 six packs of water.  I chat with the gentleman as he unloads about how this is a great service and he is surprised more ppl don’t take advantage of it.  I tip him and he leaves.
I go straight to the water and soda and put some of them into the mini fridge.  I approach the rest of the bags and right away I know something is wrong.  I had ordered one large bottle of cheap vodka, a box of pop tarts, a bag of doritos, cheetos and a box of mini chocolate chip cookies in addition to the soda and water and these bags were decidedly smaller bottle shaped.
I opened everything to discover 8 bottles of champagne, 1 large bottle of merlot, a bunch of bananas, 2 limes and a half dozen roma tomatoes.
I almost cried.
I had two options.  I could pretend that nothing happened, go downstairs and get my snacks and booze and get on with my day, or I could call and report it.  What would you do?
Knowing what I know now, I would have ignored it.  However, the nature of the goods told me it was someone having a small party.  And what if it was a wedding party?  Their day has been ruined when they get my order of cheap booze and junk food!  I couldn’t stand the thought of it, so I hopped on the phone to customer service assuming that they would come right back and pick up the wrong items so they could get them to the appropriate party.
After another fifteen minutes on hold I finally got another lovely woman on the line that was very sympathetic and I went through the whole story.  We went over what I was supposed to get and what I got instead and a half an hour later she said she would have someone come pick up the wrong items but she couldn’t get a delivery out to me with my correct items until the next day between 11 AM and 1 PM.
At this point I should have said forget it, but there was nothing urgent in my order.  I had some booze with me that I had brought in my suitcase and there were plenty of food options around.  I said that was fine.  I asked if I could just leave the wrong items with the bell desk and have the driver pick them up.  She said she didn’t see why not and she would put a note in the account.
Fine.
I hang up and text my husband all that is going on and then call down to the bell desk.  I explain the situation and they inform me that they cannot just keep the items there.  They are not allowed to have food or beverage sitting around there.  They said once I hear from the driver, I am allowed to bring them down and they will deliver them to the driver.
Now I am crying.  Did I mention I was PMSing?  Yeah.  I hang up.  I am defeated.  I want to say fuck the whole thing, but now I am in it because they know I have these wrong items that are WAY more expensive than what I purchased and they have my credit card on file.
I call back the customer service line and see if I can get an ETA on the driver.  After a half an hour on hold I get a nice gentleman that tells me there is nothing on my account about someone picking them up.  We go round and round and finally he tells me that they will just pick up the items when they drop off my correct items.  I tell him to note the account and take his name and hang up.  Exhausted.
At this point it’s well into the evening and the thought of trying to “catch up” on the things I wanted to do that day was just too much for my over tired brain.  So I headed down to the casino to play some slots.
The Karma Gods were good to me that night.  The machines were keeping me above water and the cocktail service was fast.  Before I knew it it was eleven o clock, I was starving and could barely keep my eyes open.
I headed to Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar and ordered the Mac N Cheese burger to go.  A cutie pie of a bartender took my order and flirted with me, ensuring a big tip.  I got my burger and headed up to my room.

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Yes, that is delicious mac and cheese oozing out the top of that burger.  It was as disgustingly good as it looks.

Saturday morning I woke up at 11:00 and showered.  I packed up all the wrong items Von’s had shipped to me in my suitcase and waited for the call.  Finally at around 12:30 I get a call that the guy is ten minutes away.  He had no idea he was supposed to be picking up anything, but quickly agreed to it no problem.  I told him I would meet him down at the Valet and headed down to the entrance of the casino where the uber driver had dropped me at when I first arrived Friday morning.
Fifteen minutes later I get a call from the driver asking which valet I was at.  I told him the front entrance.  He said he was at the back valet by the High Roller.  He said to give him ten minutes and he’d come around front.
Twelve minutes later I get a call saying they won’t let him into the front valet because his truck is too big.  I told him I would come to him and call him when I get to the back valet.
Only, I couldn’t find the back valet.  I managed to find the uber pick up at the bus lobby somewhere around the side of the casino and called the guy back.  He said that he couldn’t park there either, but for me to hold tight, he was grabbing a hand truck and coming to me.  And he did.
Five minutes later a very apologetic man greeted me and we exchanged our goods.
By 1:30 I was finally done with the Von’s fiasco and delivered the correct crap up to my room.

IMG_0750I had a few drinks in the room and watched in amusement as there was a twerking competition at the pool from my view.

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I had originally planned on seeing Menopause the Musical that day but since I had already seen it and the tickets were free, I opted out in favor of doing the Cosmo and Bellagio that I was supposed to do the day before.
I grabbed a Lyft over to The Cosmopolitan and headed up to the second floor of the Chandelier Bar.

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This bar is just stunning.  It was also a very relaxing environment.  If the drinks weren’t fifteen bucks a pop I could have stayed here most of the afternoon and just chilled.  However, I was on a mission.  I bellied up to the bar and ordered my Verbena.
I had never had one before but had heard all about them.  It is their signature drink, but it is not on the menu.  It is basically a margarita.  It’s tequila, lemongrass syrup and lemon juice mostly, but the key ingredient is the Szechuan Button.

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The button is actually a flower.  It’s purpose is to activate your salivary glands to make you a super taster.  Thus changing the taste of the drink with each sip.
As the bartender brought over my drink he asked if I had ever had one before.  I shook my head so he explained that I should take a sip of the drink first to get the original tasted, then I was to chew the “button” and get it all around in my mouth and tongue before swallowing the flower.  Then as it made my mouth go off like a sparkler, I should drink more of the drink and get all the different tastes.
I did as he said, tho I did not swallow the flower.  For some reason in my head I was scared of what it might do to my stomach if it was going to do funny things to my mouth.  At any rate, as I spit the flower into my napkin discreetly, I began to feel the buzz in my mouth.  Just little tingles at first that became a pins and needles sensation.  You know how it feels when you foot goes to sleep and the feeling starts to come back.  That buzzy, prickly feeling?  Yeah, that was happening to my entire mouth.

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 My face after chewing the “button”

So it did alter the taste of the drink quite a bit and it was a really good experience that I am glad I tried…but I really can’t stand the taste of tequila, so I wouldn’t get it again.  I wonder if you can request the flower with other drinks…hmmm.
Once I had finished the drink and my mouth returned to normal, I paid my bill and set off for EggSlut.  I wasn’t that hungry so I got the bacon egg and cheese sandwich to go and headed over to the Bellagio.
There was a fountain show going on just as I approached.

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Inside I visited the Conservatory which was done up in an Asian theme.

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After that I was going to Uber back over to the Linq, but I realized I would be able to catch the hot food being served at the Diamond Lounge at Harrah’s so I had the driver take me there instead.
There was a small line, but for free food and drinks, I was willing to wait five minutes.

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After I ate, I headed to the high limit slots.  Rob had wanted me to run a hundred thru a machine on so many pulls to see what I would get.  I managed to screw it up and lost the hundred pretty quickly.

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I walked back to the Linq and rested in the room for a bit, before heading down to the Flamingo and gambling some more.  I gambled at the Linq and Flamingo, but the machines had dried up on me.  Knowing I had to get up in the morning for my flight and that I would be depressed if I lost anymore money, I hit up Haught Doggery for some mini corn dogs and headed back up to my room.

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I packed up most of my stuff, ate and went to bed.

Sunday morning I woke up, showered and packed the rest of my crap up.
I ubered to the airport (first uber driver called me twice, couldn’t find my location AT THE UBER PICK UP and canceled the transaction) and waited around for my flight.
There was a slight delay, but once they fixed whatever the problem was, they herded us like a bunch of cattle onto the plane.  “All zones boarding!  Doors will close in five minutes!!”  Like it was our fault that the delay happened.
Once we took off I experienced some of the worst turbulence I have ever had in my life.  I know it’s bumpy going in and out of Vegas due to the extreme heat, but this was bad.  At one point I could feel the plane drop a few hundred feet all at once.  It was seriously freaking me out since I hate flying in the first place.
Finally after about fifteen minutes of being tossed around it settled into a nice smooth flight.

So that was my first solo trip to Vegas.  A very large comedy of errors.
Knowing what I know now, I would have just let the whole Von’s thing slide and gone to the CVS down the street, leaving the champagne to the hotel maid as a tip.  It would have been money lost, but in the long run my time would have been better spent on such a short trip.
But hindsight is 20/20 and at the time I thought I was doing the right thing.
I still had fun, it just wasn’t the fantastic weekend I had planned for myself.
Either way, Vegas is out of my system for now and I will do whatever I didn’t do this trip when we go for a week in November.

 

Our newest addition.

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I would like you guys to meet Chewie.  She is the newest addition to our household.
We adopted her on Saturday afternoon from the local SPCA.
We’ve been thinking about getting another dog for a while now.  As you know dear reader, Pappy passed in November of last year.  We wanted to wait a while for obvious reasons, but lately the time has just seemed right.  I was involved in a play for quite a few months but it closed a couple of weeks ago and a castmate of mine from that play works at the SPCA so she kept sending me pictures.  I would check out the website quite often.  In fact, in a funny twist of fate we almost adopted a dog that a co-worker of mine ended up adopting.  It was meant to be that we didn’t because those two are just like peas in a pod.
I’m not sure why, but this weekend just felt right.  We perused the website and picked out three dogs we wanted to see.  The first was a dog named princess.  She was a terrier/chihuahua mix.  We got there as soon as they opened on Saturday and while Rob walked the length of the dog kennels, I made a bee line for Princess and headed straight into her “condo”.
They board the dogs two to a “condo” so and as I walked in, an attendant was cuddling Princess’ roommate Pop Tart.  She was a funny looking fuzzy little thing but I paid her no mind.  I headed straight for Princess and scooped her up.  She was very affectionate but a little high strung.  I put her down and said hello to the attendant.  He told me that Pop Tart was the most relaxed dog he had ever seen.  I reached down and petted her and was shocked at how soft her fur was.  She looked like she would be a wire haired, but she was smooth as silk.
Rob came in and joined us and we both became very focused on Pop Tart, petting her and asking questions.  Eventually my castmate Leia showed up and by that time we had already decided.  We wanted Pop Tart.
We took her outside and walked around with her a bit.  Because we have another dog we are required to interact them together and see if it is a good fit, so Rob headed out to our car to get Shilo, while a dog behaviorist came at got me and Pop Tart.
We interacted them in a part of the facility that was very loud and Pop Tart was cowering and basically shutting down.  The behaviorist asked us to go to more quiet location and when we got there the dog was much more at ease.  We all talked for a while and watched the dogs, who were very indifferent to each other before deciding to proceed with the paperwork.
Long story short, we renamed her Chewie because of her resemblance to Chewbacca and took her home.
She was very timid the first day but seemed kind of okay.  By the second day she wasn’t eating and didn’t move from the couch.  The third day she still hadn’t eaten and by the fourth day I was frantic.  I scoured the internet and everything pointed to her just being scared and stressed out.  One website said to boil up some chicken and try that.
So last night I stopped at the market on the way home and bought one lonely chicken breast.  I brought it home and boiled it.  I put some calming essential oil in my diffuser and took the chicken off the stove to cool.
The smell of the chicken hit the air and I could tell Chewie was interested.  I pulled off a little piece and made sure it was cool enough before bringing it over to her.  She sniffed it, put it in her mouth and spit it back out.  I placed it next to her mouth where she was laying on the couch and stepped away.  She quickly scarfed it up.
My heart was dancing with joy as I pulled a couple more pinches of chicken off and brought them back over, sharing with Shilo as well.  Chewie ate them with no hesitation and jumped off the couch to follow me back into the kitchen when I went to get more.
I put some shreds in her bowl and she ate them up with vigor.  I put some more in her bowl and added a little kibble.  She quickly ate around the kibble and looked at me for more chicken.
Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.  🙂
This morning my husband said she ate kibble with no issue and again tonight.  She also has much more pep in her step and is much more social with us.
She is a very sweet girl and I’m so excited to have her in our family.

About Me

 

I am a 40 something married woman living in California.
I enjoy knitting and crocheting, watching crap movies, snuggling with my two adorable dogs and trying to be a good person.

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