Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time Off

We are finally taking some time off together and since our trip will not start until the early part of this coming week we slowly eased into our vacation.  What do we usually do on weekend mornings if we are in town?  Go on a bike ride but it was a short one at that.  The weather was very warm and humid so we only got in an hour and a half before we were back inside.  It seemed the day would be better spent relaxing by a pool and so we decided to go to Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay Bay.

It's a topless pool with a cover charge of $50 for men and $20 for women, and in a way keeps the pool from overcrowding.  I had always scoffed at the idea of paying to show my breasts (even though I keep my top on) but a) John has never visited this pool and b) the cover includes seating on cushioned chaise lounges if you get there early enough so these reasons justified our trip to the day-club.  Our next visits will be free of cover now that we have a season pass.

We must admit the staff and servers were all attentive and friendly, and the food was of better quality than other pools we've experienced.  The two of us had plenty to eat and drink: beach chicken nachos, hero panini, piña colada, coconut mango water, melon daiquiri, iced tea, and a few Bloody Mary's for about $75?  Then again the drinks were virgins and we needed liquids because the temperature only got hotter later in to the afternoon (so much so, the glue on my magazines softened and loosened the pages, LOL).  I still think that's not bad for a lovely afternoon by the pool!

After that we had some grocery shopping to do but I sidetracked us before our destination with a quick detour in to the Jerky Outlet of Las Vegas ( ... their website is not quite ready) on Las Vegas Boulevard near Windmill.  Bags, walls, and barrells full of jerky -- I was in jerky heaven!!  From the typical beef and turkey jerky to the more exotic alligator, elk, and kangaroo jerky.  You can purchase by the bag or pound and some of the jerky are dry (which I like) to refrigerated (they will keep for 10 hours before needing to keep cool). They also carry candy corn, cheese curds, fried peanuts that you can eat shell and all, and t-shirts (the PETA was cute...which stands for People Eating Tasty Animals).

We left with a bit of everything in hand including Cajun fried peanuts and garlic dill mozzarella cheese curds.  After we grabbed a few items from the grocery store, I couldn't help but get the jumbo gumball out of the machine, LOL.  That thing was the size of a tangerine, maybe larger ... and looked tastier than it really was.  Too sweet and tough to chew -- but it was our day together of bike riding, pool time, and jerky heaven.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Doing What I Enjoy

At my friend's wedding several months ago, the designated photography caught me in a moment. In the photo on the bottom left, my knee has fresh scrapes from crashing in a bike race the weekend before. It was a beautiful wedding of two of the most gorgeous couples I know aboard a yacht in Newport Bay.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thai After Ready to Die

While John's dad was out of town for a worshop, we took the opportunity to go to dinner with our mom Maggie who chose to stay behind instead of going to Elko. After visiting a couple establishments, we ended dining at Pink Kaow Thai Restaurant (near Eastern and I-215) to which John has never been.

Dinner at Pin Kaow Thai Restaurant
We started out with the Stuffed Chicken Wings (boneless chicken wings stuffed with ground pork, glass noodles and vegetables, deep fried. Served with sweet and sour sauce and cucumber salad.).
For dinner, Maggie had the Chicken Spicy Basil (sautéed basil leaves with onion, jalapeno, bell pepper in Thai spicy sauce).  Johnny almost always picks the Pad Thai (rice noodles sautéed with bean sprout, egg and crushed peanuts in Thai special recipe) and he loved it. I ordered the Seafood Surprise (combination of seafood with Thai spicy sauce)...level 8 for spiciness and I was pleasantly surprised.  Everything was fabulous and it was a very nice evening to spend with Mom.  We went to Mr. D's afterward for a frozen custard cone.

The night was the silver lining to a hell-of-a-day for me on the bike. John and I rode a new route (below) since I've never ridden to the Lake Mead entrance from Sunrise Mountain.  I enjoyed the ride for the most part but we had a late start and so after 30 miles in to the ride, we were clear across town and it was getting HOT. 104 degrees hot and keep in mind we've been under the cruel beams of the sun with no shelter.
Sunrise Mountain Loop
We went down several wrong streets trying to find our way...
Near intersection of Warm Springs and Lake Mead Drive
...and when we were on the right path, it was beautiful but way, way too hot for me and I struggled to keep myself cool under the heat as we road through the park to the other side of the entrance.  We stopped to cool off several more times during our ride, once at John's parents' house, and another time inside a gas station to top off our water bottles and guzzle down ice-cold drinks.  Before we got back on our bikes at the last stop we poured the remaining of the gallon of water on our heads and I filled my bra with ice for the road.

Still the unforgiving Las Vegas sun was cruel and with about 15 miles left to go, I stopped and sought shelter inside a sandwich shop.  John rode alone the rest of the way home to get the car and picked me up from where we parted (after we ate lunch there at Jimmy John's...great sandwiches by the way.)  In the seven years I've lived in this desert and I have never been beat so badly by it's blistering heat like I did that day.  Lesson learned I will get out to ride earlier or better to stay indoors next time!

East Lake Mead Parkway heading towards park entrance

The Best Caramel Apple Covered in Chocolate and Pecans

We've only visited ethel's Chocolates Botanical Cactus Garden in the winter, to walk through the Christmas light displays of the cactus garden but I don't think we've ever visited the Ethel M Chocolate Factory during the middle of the year.  Last Sunday was the perfect opportunity and so we went to get me a caramel apple covered in chocolate and pecans (I've been talking about eating one ever since I saw a show on t.v.)...and oh boy was it so ooey gooey Gooo-OOOD!!

Even though the place is out of our way, we had a perfectly good reason to get out for a little treat. Of course I had to have a pressed penny for my collection too.

Besides, I needed a little reward for our bike rides in the crazy heat last weekend.  Earlier that day, John and I rode to John's parents house in Boulder City and had breakfast with Maggie.  By the time we were close to home, the temperature was in the three digits so we stopped by a 7-Eleven for some slushie to keep our core body stats down.  We have stopped at that convenience store before but never noticed the railcar named Jumbo Junction in the background.  What neat things we come upon during our riding adventures.

Related Posts: Winter Dinner '07 and the Christmas Lights at Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Big Thirst

I am so thirsty...and only this Pellegrino and Blood Orange soda will quench it!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Horny Toad

This little lizard was sunbathing on Las Vegas Boulevard this morning.  I spotted him on the shoulder of the road coming back from my bike ride to Jean, NV.  He posed patiently while I took several photos of him.  I think this shot is his favorite.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear Grandpa

My Dad's big birthday is today and this is his grandson (my nephew) wishing him happy birthday wearing his own birthday suit.