Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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It’s about time to actually see VEGAS, don’t you think?

Well, FINALLY… it’s time to actually SEE Las Vegas!

First stop, the Boulder Casino for their Buffet Breakfast.  Yum!  Signed up for their players card to get a discount on their breakfast and then enjoyed it!  So delicious!
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Next, we went back to RV to drop off the car, then walked to the bus stop and took the bus in, as it was a cheap fee to ride all day and was easy to see most of the strip that way.  We stopped along the different casino stops along the strip.  Since I’ve been to Vegas many times, I kind of knew which casinos would be good to show Ivan and Christopher to get them a good taste of Vegas.  Although, there were casinos that I hadn’t been to, and ones I heard we should visit…

Our first stop was the Wynn…
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We were out the entire day and saw so much… Ivan was worn out… but since it was very late, we just decided to stop at the Fremont Experience before heading back to the RV Park and getting that done as well… so we did that.  It was great.  The music was set to Imagine Dragons.  Great show.  If we had more energy, we’d have stayed for the next show, which we heard would have been set to The Who, and we are all fans, but we were too tired to wait around another hour… we are now West Coasters, so we’ll be back… we can see more shows later.
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We barely made it to the RV, it had been a super long day!  We were heading out the next day to get home… after another buffet, we had decided! lol


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Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam!

Up ridiculously early to go hiking!  When the weather gets to temps of about 110 degrees in the desert, you start thinking that you must get up around 5 am to do any sort of physical exercise… and that’s what Christopher and I did… however, that doesn’t mean that we were quite awake and thinking like we normally do… it was VERY early and we weren’t quite ourselves at that time of morning… however, we woke up fairly quickly.  We met Samia at a gas station near Red Rock Casino and parked her car at the Casino, then we drove up to the Canyon.  We had scoped out a trail, but then found another that sounded like fun… and started that one.  We chose Calico Tanks.  We had hoped we’d see water.
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Calico Tanks was 2.5 miles and was listed as Moderate for the type of trail it was… and promised a great view of Las Vegas.  The one we were going to do was 3.3 miles…
Well, after our hike, we were SO glad we went on the 2.5 mile one, because by the time we finished, #1, it was SOOO HOT!  #2, we were out of water! #3 MODERATE was something we had to reconsider, there were parts to this trail that we were able to do, however, we needed each other for support and if we’d known, we’d have carried less… I’d not have brought my Canon camera, I’d have brought my fanny pack to carry things, so both of my hands were free, etc…
However, we TRULY had a great time!  We were just EXHAUSTED! LOL

Said goodbye to Samia, what a great time we had with her!  Headed back to the RV to pick up Ivan… fix some sandwiches and grab drinks and then head out to Hoover Dam.  Very impressive!  Sad about the water levels, but cool to see the dam!  Also the new bridge, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, across from the dam as well… which we walked across both structures, in the heat… it was a great day for exercise!
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We called it a day when we returned to the RV and just relaxed… the following day would be our “Tour Vegas” day!


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Heading to Vegas, Baby!

We got up fairly early and my cousin, Leni, came over to say goodbye to us!  We were told that her and Sondra would be heading out to California the following week and would see us at my cousin, Rick’s home the following Sunday for our “welcome-back-home-to-California” Party! Yay!  So, it was just a see-you-later to her and a hug and goodbye to Natasha and the boys!  Boy, we sure had a great time with family!  Loved our time there!
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We headed on down to Vegas next!  RV drove VERY well!  Whew!  Also, we started to FINALLY experience those HIGH TEMPS we knew we were going to expect… The scenery was very beautiful… we drove past the Salton Sea and the Inyo Forest.  Experienced some crazy drivers heading into Vegas… Not quite sure what their hurry is… 2 lane highway, full of people, not sure how much further up they think they can get if they go around cars, but more power to them… Geez!
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We got in to Vegas, at the King’s Row RV Park later in the afternoon.  We were pretty tired… heat and driving does that to ya.  Ivan just wanted to rest, so Christopher and I went to a Walmart and picked up some water and not sure what else and then rested a bit more before we headed to the Silverton Casino to meet my dear friend, Samia, for dinner.  She and I had gone to high school together about 30 years ago!  
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We hadn’t seen each other for about 25 years!  It was soooo good to see her again!  Dinner was a Polynesian buffet and it was delicious!  We were all pretty tired, though, so we made plans to meet early the following morning to hike Red Rock Canyon and we called it a night.


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Gardnerville, NV and South Lake Tahoe!

Our RV was still in the shop for repairs and we were told that today would be the day we could pick it up, however, we really wanted to go exploring! So, we got out of the house early and headed up to South Lake Tahoe. My cousin, Natasha, wanted to show us the Tallac property, which is a lovely site of three museums, the Pope Estate, the Baldwin Estate and Valhalla… this is a leisurely stroll through buildings and homes to give one the sense of what it was like to live lakeside years ago. With the beauty of the day and weather, it was perfect for us to be there.
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Of course, before we even got out to start our siteseeing, we were called to pick up the RV, but we just told them we’d be there to pick it up before they closed for the day, we were enjoying our time by the lake.
After the Tallac properties, Natasha took us on a hike that gave us a lovely view of the lake. We really enjoyed it, but got a bit nervous at the end when we all had to scale a huge rock for that lovely view! I think we’d have been fine, except that we were in the presence of two very young children and so Christopher and I were a little on edge. Christopher lifted first one, then the other up to me and I was like, “sit down, DO NOT MOVE!” and freaking out til all of us were on this rock and able to hold on to their little hands! NERVOUS! LOL But, they survived to scamper down the mountain. Whew! They are good boys! Maybe they were nervous, too?
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We headed to the RV Repair and after $800 spent to repair the fuel pump, we discovered that we had another problem that was repaired as well… Much to our delight. When we bought this Class A, we were told that our fuel gauge did not work and that it would cost $1,500 to fix. The dealer didn’t want to do it, or if they did, they wanted to have us pay for half to fix it and this on top of our price. We weren’t going to do that. So, we ended up getting them to take off $1,000 on the price of the RV and we drove off the lot with full intent to just jot down our mileage and get gas at every 250 miles across America, which is what we have been doing. Well, they fixed the fuel pump and guess what? Fuel Gauge automatically fixed itself! WOOHOO! BONUS! THANK YOU! That made us VERY happy!

Last night with my cousins, and my cousin, Sondra (Natasha’s sister) came out to visit. It was great seeing her again… (Ivan and Christopher have never met her)… and then we all headed to bed to leave in the morning for SIN CITY!


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Cousin time, while waiting on RV repairs

We woke up after a great night’s sleep to a home cooked breakfast by my cousin, Natasha. The boys are young and so energetic, but they are all so sweet! I taught Aden (the oldest) the card game Speed. That game kept my brother and I busy for hours when I was young. We heard from the repair shop and our fuel filter is clogged and the fuel pump definitely needs to be replaced. We won’t be picking it up till Wednesday, so I had to call the campground again and see if we were able to still get our reservation. They were great about it. But we hoped to get Thursday night, too and .38 Special is coming into town, so they aren’t too sure about that. They would try working on it for us.
With that sort of handled, we decided to get some sightseeing done and went to Virginia City. On the way there, our dentist back in Scranton called letting us know of a credit on our account and if we wanted to leave it there our have it refunded… What luck and timing! As we are moving west, we couldn’t keep it with them, so the refund would help pay for our current RV repairs. What relief! Back to our trip to Virginia City…
What a very cool town!
We saw St.Mary’s of the Mountains first. Nevada’s first Catholic Church.
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Then we walked the main street that had tons of shops and lots of places you can walk into with historical information about the town.
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Lots of photo ops as well… Kind of reminiscent of Wall Drug in South Dakota.
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Just a fun place to go and spend some time. We got some fudge from Grandma’s Kitchen to enjoy later.
We left there and drove to my cousin’s clothing consignment shop in North Carson City called “Its a Girl Thang”. I completely forgot to take pictures… But if you ever find yourself there, drop by.
We picked up pizza at Costco for dinner and that was it for the night. Fudge for dessert. Yum!


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Our drive to Nevada… And break down.

We left Twin Falls on Sunday. The RV had run a bit warm heading into Idaho, so we checked our fluids before heading out and filled up with coolant before heading out.
We got one last visit from my girlfriend, Terrie and her daughter, Sami, and showed them our new home. They approved.:-)
Then, we headed out. We don’t like to drive more than 300 miles per day, it just gets too exhausting, as we are driving separately.
Our first stop would be to gas up in Jackpot, Nv.
You know you hit Nevada state line when you immediately see the casinos line up.
Then we headed for Winnemucca, Nv and a Wal-Mart for our overnight stop.
It was a nice stop.
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We had a nice sunset in Winnemucca.
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We saw the Sierra mountains on this trip.
The next day, we drove straight through with our hope to be in Carson Valley campground in Minden, Nv near my cousin’s place.
Well, we got to Carson City, which was pretty close, actually, before the RV started popping and stalling out in traffic. Uggh!
We ended up having to pull off into a Lowe’s parking lot and calling around to see if anyone could fix it. Finally, we found an auto shop in Carson city that would look at it the next morning… We had less than an hour to secure the cats and pack up. My cousin said we all could come over to her place. We were so lucky to have that option!
Next to Lowe’s was a Petco, so we were able to get two cat carriers and then a portable litter box. Then quickly packed our clothes. A bit stressful, to say the least.
Tow truck showed up and took our home away. That is a helpless feeling.
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Our cats hated being boxed up. They aren’t quite warming up to my cousin’s place either. Nutter is hiding under a bed, Puddin’ is trying to take over the house and make it her own and hiss and swat and the other two kitties that lived here.
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We are hoping to get our home back soon so that they can get back to their safe space quickly.
We are much more adaptable to change than they are, it seems.
My cousins welcomed us with open hearts and arms and a nice home cooked meal with cherry pie for dessert. Wonderful feeling to have a family support system:-)
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Twin Falls, Idaho… More than just potatoes!

We got to Twin Falls on Friday and are leaving this morning. My friend, Terrie, and her family live here. She and I met many years ago when my brother dated her. Things worked out perfectly, we say… Because her and I have become great friends from day one:-)
When I find some old pics of us, I will edit them into the post here.
Anyway… Her family is from England. Actually her mother is. From Braintree. Which is actually where Ivan’s sister lived. Small world, isn’t it? We pulled into town, settled in to the 93 RV Park, when she can actually see from her back porch and then drove over for a full on English meal of roast beef, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and even spotted dick for dessert.

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Lots of wonderful conversation… Reminiscing between Terrie and I, new friendships made with Ivan and Christopher and her family. It was a great time! We also met the new family weed-eating goat. Just brought home that morning… So cute!

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Her daughter, Dani, reminded us that the movie Trainwreck with Amy Schumer was opening at the theatres and so since we all wanted to see it, we just headed to their nearest mall to see it. Fun!

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The next morning, we were served a wonderful breakfast by Terrie and then shown the sites by her daughter, Sami, and herself. We went to Balanced Rock… Wow! That was fun! We all hiked to the top and crawled all over rocks, but the climb down was SCARY!!! Yet, we all survived!

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Then it was off to Centennial Park… Views of their Perrine bridge and a waterfall there that you can walk behind.

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Then on to Shoshone Falls! So pretty, though we were told that the local farmers have already dipped into the water supply for their fields or the water level would be way higher!

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Then on to Derkey lake, then on to her mom and dad’s (Marion and Howard) for another lovely dinner! Amazing!

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Afterwards, we checked out snake river and the Evil Knievel failed jump site and Perrine bridge. Ending up seeing some base jumpers jump from bridge. Free entertainment right there!

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What an amazing time we have had here! They are like family to us!
Can’t wait to see them again!

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We had a bonus last night, too…
Remember our friends in Iowa? Remember Christopher’s friend Tyson… Six years old? He missed him and apparently wanted to talk to him, so last night, after dinner, Chris got a Facebook chat phone call from Tyson. How sweet was that? Making friends! Making memories! Love that!

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