Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Comical

One of John's co-workers has an interest in comic books and memorabilia and recently bought a new Star Wars book.

A customer of John's also has the exact same issue and the guys at the shop thought it would be funny to play a prank on the co-worker by destroying the book in hopes the co-worker would believe it was HIS new issue when he returns from vacation.

Aren't they just TERRIBLE?!?!  These are John's work of art ...

In Memory of David

David was a big bear and liked by many people in the shop where my husband worked. You only heard what a genuinely nice guy he was. He was on vacation riding his motorcycle in Glacier National Park when he was hit by a car.

Would he have survived if he was driving a car and not on a bike? Maybe...but we will never know. It does not matter whether he should have driven instead of riding. What matters is that we lost a friend. He could have very well been working at his desk when his time came ... but he was doing what he loved, sitting on his Harley with the wind blowing through his hair and no doubt he had the biggest grin on his face.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nap Time

Like clockwork each evening around 10 p.m., the house is quiet without the sound of the soft pads from little paws hopping around and paper fluttering to the floor, knocked of the counter by mischievous kitties.

We only need to look up above the fireplace to find Havi turned in for the night. I can also find there during mid-day naps and one of her favorite toys nearby.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bare Pool and Bangkok 9

What else is there left to do on Sunday when chores are done and the weather is gorgeous outside but go to the pool? We picked up our friend Jameie on our way to the Mirage and soon we were poolside. I can't tell you how much I needed some down time and girl time...
...and food from one of our favorite Thai restaurants, Bangkok 9. It has been ages since we dropped in for a meal and the waitress made sure we knew that, LOL. This is one of my favorite dishes, yum seafood salad. John had the chicken with bean thread noodle dish and the basil chicken wing appetizer was YUMMY!!
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Riding with Rafe

My husband's friend, Rafe, joined us Saturday morning for a ride around the neighborhood. We took a different route than I had before going down Maryland Parkway and a right at Pebble all the way to Starbucks on Green Valley. After some coffee we head down Wigwam to Gibson and up the hill to Horizon Ridge.
Near the last 1/3 leg of our route, I was seriously huffing and puffing. I had warned Rafe that this would be a slow ride and he would be better off putting on his jogging shoes to keep pace with us but I didn't think I was in this bad of a shape. I had ridden along Horizon before but I was struggling a bit to keep up with the guys.
16.95 hours later we were home. We were out for 1 3/4 hours but our total riding time was 1:11:48 and I really enjoyed this route even though the last part worked me a bit. As John put my bike away he noticed that my brakes were rubbing. Rafe thought he had heard it during our ride. No wonder it seems I had to pedal harder than usual, LOL!! Oh well...it will only make me stronger.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pet the Kitty

Pet the Kitty
-by Johnny

What's that?
It's a cat.
Boy it's fat.
Looks like it ate a rat.
I'm going to kill it with a bat that fat rat eating cat.
SPLAT!! =]

My husband wrote this for me back when we were dating. I had captured it for safekeeping in an e-mail and sent it to the author in November of 2006. I received a reply today ... like a message in a bottle we've relayed it back and forth. I still think (as I had the first day I received it) that the prose is cute as hell, LOL. Though it will never be awarded a Nobel Prize, it has always been a winner in my book. :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Day of Summer


They are sun worshipers just like us. Hope you survived the longest day of the year. :-)

John told me that he had heard about a study where they put pet cams on the collars of cats and discovered that these felines spend most of the time (they are awake) peering out the window so he'll open the shades every morning for the girls in spite of the summer heat that comes through. Havi is so white, I suppose she can stand to get a tan right?
I thought that is so sweet of him to consider their needs as if we don't already pamper them. He treats Elgy and Havi like his daughters; his anthropomorphisms never fail to make me smile (and I am just as guilty).

Then the other day I heard him ask someone, "Do you have animals?"
 
Animals?!?!  John I hope you weren't referring to our pets, LOL!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Maple Tree

For Father's Day, we went to the Maple Tree with John and Maggie. On Spring Mountain this local award-winning mom-and-pop is not much farther west of Hot-N-Juicy restaurant. You can read more about it in the Las Vegas Review Journal article and find better photos on usmenuguide.com along with some information and interesting facts about the place.
All I know was the fried bread was really YUMMY! Johnny had two (the second without the maple syrup) and this was MY breakfast! Kid you not, this thing was as large as an open 15" screen laptop. I ate that maple ham without regard for the afternoon we would spend by the DayDream pool later that same day.

I was just happy to spend the day with my favorite family in this (new to us) countryside kitchen.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bike Ride to Stratosphere Pool

We rode the route I refer to as the Green Valley loop but I was out of steam as we rode by Starbucks so instead of climbing the Green Valley (of Death) loop, we road straight towards Pecos and up St. Rose (the hill was not as steep).

At the top there was a small patch on the bike path that is absolutely beautiful to ride through. I hope the it develops to a longer route. Once again the wind was blowing and if I had not drafted John, I would not have made it home and BOY was I glad the ride was over. Still I had fun though and we rode about 18.46 miles.

We were definitely ready for some pool time but felt like being low-key. Some friends had told us about the topless pool on the fifth floor at the Stratosphere. We've been meaning to check it out for years and there was no better time than today to do so. 
There wasn't a whole lot of people and I must admit, it was nice and relaxing. Many reviews we've read mentioned that it was not pretentious and we'd have to agree. There's a bucket of sunscreen guest can help themselves to, the drinks are cheap, and I love the lounge chairs with the shade to keep the sun off your face, LOL!! There's only one bathroom for the women but it didn't seem to be a problem. I was surprised how clear the water was compared to other pools (they could be cloudy due to suncreen ... or the size of the pool for the number of people in them).

I truly enjoyed the panoramic view from the Strip to the outskirts of the city and the surrounding mountain ranges and how quiet it was even as more people filled the chairs. Even the folks screaming on the rides from atop was kind of entertaining to hear, LOL. The music wasn't too loud as I scoured cooking magazines for recipes to inspire me for the the work week to come. I would definitely visit this pool again and am glad we tried some place new. From a new riding route to the Stratosphere pool with John, my time off has been fantastic!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life is Grand

For the longest time we've been telling ourselves that we will visit the Grand Canyon soon but kept putting it off. I guess we took for granted one of the greatest natural wonders of the world because it is in our backyard and we could go whenever since it is only a drive away. This time around I had to take vacation days (because I had reached the max amount I could accrue) and with no excuses left we jumped in the car to visit the geological feature!
Early Thursday morning we started our journey towards Boulder City making a quick stop at the best donut shop in Vegas--Friendly Donut House. Boy oh boy were their pastries YUMMY! They looked so beautiful in the showcase I wanted to try each and every one of them but then we would never make it to the Grand Canyon.
After a beautiful drive, we stopped in Williams (the gateway to the Grand Canyon) for coffee. There is a really cute coffee shop called the American Flyer (probably named after the movie) and they have excellent mochas. We wished we could have explored the historical town along Route 66 but we had an agenda so we didn't stick around long.
Soon we were at the South Rim peering down a canyon over a mile deep ... and not just any canyon folks -- the Grand Canyon!! All the photos I have seen did not prepare me to see the beautiful sight before my eyes. My knees were weak as I crept up to the cliffs and peered down. There is a small, paved pathway along the canyon but NOTHING will stop anyone from walking right over the edge (like John did in this photo) and plunging to their death (and sadly it has happened). But I hope the park stays that way, wide open with no guard rails so anyone can admire mother nature as close as they want to...at their own risk. Can you spot John standing on the cliff on the far right in this photo?
If you click on the photo above to see a larger image, you can spot John sitting on the edge. I took a couple videos a panoramic view while standing at the edge and while walking on the path (don't worry, I zoomed in so it looks like I am closer than I actually was). Due to John's knees, we didn't get to hike and we would have liked to visit other parts of the rim but were on limited time.
In some parts of the rim, very few people will walk to so you can sit quietly, undisturbed and inhale the view. I'm really hanging on to John for dear life because I felt like I would teeter over any second! Eventually we had our picnic and pried ourselves away, back towards the visitor's center. You can really lose track of time there. Compared to the thousand of years it took the Colorado to carve the layers of rocks to form its steep walled canyons, the hours we spent there merely only a blink of time.
We made a quick stop at BedRock City (that place is wild!) on our way back to Williams.
Before our drive home, we sampled a couple pints of refreshing beer from the local brewery. Then we soon were home ... and I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rough Ride

I took some time off from work to stay at home and since I didn't have any grand plans thought it would be a good chance to ride with John around the neighborhood. He's lucky he doesn't have to be at his shop until mid-morning so it was a good opportunity for us to hit the road together.

Mentally I was ready for another ride on the road but my legs weren't. I think they were still sore from the weekend. The breeze felt like stronger when we're moving, blowing against me as I pedaled behind him. It was hard for me to keep up this time but by now I am getting use to drafting him and staring at his bum in my face. It's not so bad really. ;-)
Our ride took us across the I-15 towards Southern Highlands. Up to the point where we made a right turn after the freeway, the road was a slight incline. Though I was relieved to be meandering downhill past the beautiful neighborhoods, I knew it would be painful time coming back. There was often a big gap between us but every now and then John would slow down so I can catch up. Oh this was no Sunday ride ... my legs were burning but having him push me was good because I only want to get stronger and faster on the bike.

My favorite part is when we are finally in the home stretch on Highway 146 and I get to scream down the path along St. Rose topping 30 miles per hour. The rush I felt was a mixture of relief and adrenaline because I had ridden almost 15 1/2 miles ... and that's more than I had hoped for.

Tomorrow I will get to spend the day with my mum-in-law for lunch and some shopping.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lake Mead

When I woke up at 2 .m. with terrible stomach cramps and didn't sleep until the early morning of Sunday, I was afraid we would have to bow out on lake time. My torso hurt so bad, I was curled up on the couch and could hardly move...there was no way we could go out on the lake with our friends on this gorgeous, sunny day.

I picked up the phone and called my friend as soon as I could, choking back my disappointment. I had not seen Ryan and Kristen since mid-March and looked forward to catching up with them. They were expecting their first child and I had wanted to hear about the good news and details in person.
As it got closer to the late morning, I started to feel better ... good enough to get up and walk so were were off Lake Mead!

We met our friends at the dock of Callville Bay, a place that is oh so familiar to us. Standing with their Raena (Ryan and Kristen's bullmastiff) was Jameie and her son Teagan who would be joining us for the day. As we rode out on Lake Mead with the wind through our hair, I was at the same time scared to be surrounded by a mass of water and excited to stretch out on little Sandy Beach once again. Soon enough we were there.

Throughout the day John swam with Teagan (who was in the water more than he was out, LOL) while I hung back on the beach and caught up with Kristen. It also was nice getting to know Jameie and her son. It is easy for time to pass and soon it was time to leave the lake. We parted with our friends and with the view of the lake behind us, we drove towards home for some down time before the start of the work week.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

International Market

After riding, John had errands to do while I met up with my co-worker Wendy in China Town for dim-sum. We ate until we were stuffed for a mere Andrew Jackson--sweet!
For weeks Wendy and I have been wanting to check out the International Market.They have aisles and aisles of ethnic food. We wandered from row to row and found ourselves in Italy, China, and Germany. You can get a variety of sausages, frozen fish, fresh produce, fresh fish, and grains...the list is endless. It is a like a Costco warehouse! There is even a Food2Go deli with ready to eat dishes but our stomachs were still full from lunch.

Wendy also found a whisk with which she can beat ostrich eggs and I can finally stick to any diet by having only one spoonful, LOL. We spent hours and still didn't see everything so we have another trip planned. Maybe my husband will be able to join us next time since he missed out on all the fun.
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Ride to Green Valley

We started from home near the Henderson Executive Airport and took Horizon Ridge all the way past our old house on Gibson to Las Palmas Entrada ...
...and looped back down through Green Valley on Wigwam (past this wash/reservoir which become home to several ducks)...
to Starbucks! This location is a great cycling meeting place. Riders gather there for big group rides before heading out to the destination on the weekends.
After coffee and oatmeal, we rode on Green Valley to Horizon Ridge all the way home.
I had SO MUCH FUN!! The weather was perfect, the route had rolling hills, and as we rode through the neighborhoods I lost track of distance and time riding next to (and chatting) with my sweetheart. Before I knew it, we had ridden 20 miles! This was our route (click it to view a larger image) and I can't wait to ride again.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tapas at Match

It's Friday and we didn't feel like cooking but we weren't that hungry so we decided to check out a place we've been meaning to try called Match. We tried several of the tapas from the menu like the sashimi salad, dragon balls (ground and fried eel and tuna), oysters, and some sort of seafood ceviche with Lhasa and San Miguel beer -- yum-yum! If you are in the area, we recommend the restaurant (it is modern with dark wood and stonework and the price is reasonable).

Neo-traditional

Look at any shoe and the toe box looks like the one pictured below on the left. For a top of the line cycling shoe, the 2010 Specialized S-Works Dual Boa should have put function before fashion (though sometimes it's better to look good than be good).

High performance cycling shoes should put the latter before the former, function before fashion. Not say the Specialized pair aren't good shoes ... but one maker improved upon traditional and designed their footwear shaped like a foot!

I don't know about you but the tips of my feet don't come to a point in the middle. My Flintstone feet would be much more comfortable in the Bont Cycling shoes (pictured on the right). They are also 100% heat moldable and the foot sits in a carbon tub chassis as opposed to a flat sole, so they fit like gloves just like spandex on Cancellara's bottom (HOT!). When all is said and done, form follows function and they still look cool.

My husband is a dealer for Bont Cycling shoes and as soon as I can stop crashing with the shoes I have, he'll get me either a pink or green pair. It's too bad I have to choose but they retail at $400 so (since they are all hand made) maybe I can get a custom one with the colors of my choosing!

BARE Pool

After all that riding, I only wanted to lounge by the pool. Besides, we weren't done celebrating John's birthday weekend so we made our way to BARE Pool at the Mirage.
The pitchers of mojitos and raspberry lemonades quenched our thirst and the light meal of coconut shrimp and mini lobster tacos hit the spot! It was a VERY hot day so we kept hydrated (with water too) and soaked in the pool. Surprisingly there were quite a few people at the pool on Sunday so that was nice to see. Now I will be ready for another work week!
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Ride to the M Casino

For the past year, I have been working so much with very little time to enjoy my hobbies, let alone use my road bike. After celebrating Memorial Day and Johnny's birthday, we needed to get out for some fresh air so early Sunday morning, we got on our bikes and rode to the M Casino.

Riding along the St. Rose freeway towards Las Vegas Boulevard, I felt how out of shape I was as I huffed and puffed to keep up with John. Lucky for me, he was taking it easy because of his injured knee and we were happy to be outside riding together.
When we made it to the M Casino at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard, we turned left towards Gene and rode out for 4 or 5 miles. Up to that point, there was some wind and it made it harder for me to pedal up the slight incline. Still, the breeze was refreshing and kept me cool during the ride.
When we finally turned around, the wind was at our backs and it felt like the earth stood still. There wasn't much traffic around and it was very quiet and peaceful. Heading home was easier because it was all downgrade so we flew home! I think we barely rode 10 miles in about 40 minutes but I have to say 1) it was more than I have done in quite some time and 2) I was just thrilled to be on the road and outside without crashing for once (though I had some close calls, LOL). Still I had fun and looked forward to riding again.
This was our route on MapMyRide.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Birthday Boy

John and Maggie came over to celebrate Johnny's birthday. I made the Perfect Mai Tai. Sorry I didn't take photos but here is the recipe from Allrecipes.com:

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons light rum
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 3 tablespoons 151 proof rum
  • 3 tablespoons orange curacao (orange flavored
  • liqueur)
  • 3 tablespoons almond flavored syrup
  • 3 tablespoons simple syrup (1 part boiling water, dissolve 2 parts sugar until consistency is like syrup)
  • 1-7/8 limes, juiced
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • garnish (sliced fresh pineapple, mint, maraschino cherries)

Directions:
1) In a large jar or drink cooler, combine the light rum, dark rum, 151 rum, orange liqueur, almond syrup, simple syrup, and lime juice.
2) Stir and top off with orange juice. Do not use grenadine if you want the true Mai Tai!
3) Serve in 8 to 12 ounce glasses with ice. Garnish with fresh pineapple slices, mint, and maraschino cherries.
I don't remember what the birthday card said but the look on Johnny's face was all I needed.

For dinner I made a cranberry, blue cheese salad (I would share the recipe but it is premade from Costco) to eat with Salmon Burgers for which I had a recipe that called for chopped fresh salmon. Then I thought, why ruin a perfect piece of fresh fish? So this is what I did:
1) season a fillet of salmon with seafood seasoning, dried basil, and garlic powder then throw it on the grill
2) mixed olive oil mayonnaise, sliced green onions, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to make an aioli spread
3) layer on top toasted herbed focaccia bread: aioli, salmon, tomatoes, lettuce, red onions, and pickles (I like spicy). Yum-yum!!
Maggie made him his favorite dessert ... chocolate cream pie. Since there was no way a piece could be saved for Grandma and Jan, I took a photo to share instead.
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Save Water, Drink Margaritas

It is a desert out here so I agree with the slogan of one of our favorite Mexican restaurant when they say, "Save Water, Drink Margaritas". So that's what we did at La Loma Lindo Michoachan in Henderson. The establishment sits atop a hill and overlooks the Las Vegas Strip. The staff is always so friendly and quick -- we've never had a bad meal or terrible time there. How could we when the margaritas are so good?!
This week was a string of birthdays for the boys in my family, John and my two nephews.
 
Caleb in Hawaii (May '10)
 
Kyren after visiting baby Jesus (December '09). Small bald thing not so scary, eh?
 
Kyren with sister sitting on Santa's lap (December '09). Big bearded man--very scary!!
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