Monday, November 23, 2009

Mother/Daughter Support Squad to Las Vegas

See Spot Run and I have arrived in Las Vegas.  Nellis Air Force Base, to be exact, where my husband is starting a job managing airlift operations for a huge military exercise called Red Flag. 

We will be here through Thursday, and going home to Montana on Friday.  Would you like to come along and see some of what we’ve seen? 

First item the list of things I like:  The sunshine.  There is snow on the ground at home in Montana.  But here, we’ve had constant sun and days warm enough to wear sandals with my jeans.   

I also like that the air base where my husband is now stationed happens to have the largest solar power plant in North America.  It’s easy to find things not to like about the military establishment, but I’m proud of this fact.     

Here’s a picture of President Obama visiting the solar array at Nellis in June 2009. 

Moving away from the base, we have started looking around Las Vegas.  While I generally didn’t like the Las Vegas Strip at all, especially the people handing out pornography to my husband on the street, in front of my twelve-year-old daughter—which caused me eventually to walk in front of both of them and loudly tell the hawkers to leave us alone—I did like the ceiling at the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace.  Here’s a view of the inside of the shops taken outside Spago, which was not open yet when we arrived there.   

We did have delicious salads for lunch at a surprisingly elegant place at the other end of the mall.  Oddly, it’s called The Cheesecake Factory.  I liked our lunch, too.   

Today we visited Hoover Dam, about an hour to the east on the border of Nevada and Arizona.  I was especially taken by the bronze sculptures called Winged Figures of the Republic.  Whatever you think about the U.S. government damming the Colorado River within an inch of its life for the sake of “making the desert bloom as a rose,” it’s hard not to admire the engineering prowess inherent in this dam, and the artistic vision of the Norwegian sculptor Oskar J.W. Hansen, who designed these figures in the 1930s. 

Without the dam on the river, there would be no water for Las Vegas.  Would that be a bad thing?  I’m not sure.  Certainly I wouldn’t want anyone to question the worth of my hometown.  I’m doing my best to appreciate this one. 

Tomorrow we look at thrift shops and neighborhoods where my husband might find accommodations.  I have some work to do and SSR has homework.  The next day, we’ll visit Death Valley, California.  I’m looking forward to that, as well as Thanksgiving Dinner at Todd’s Unique Dining, a local restaurant that comes with high marks for its innovative young chef. 


After that, SSR and I will be on an airplane back to Montana, and my hubby will stay here until Christmas. 

As with all situations, there are things to like and not to like about this one.  Mostly we’re glad we’re together. 

With best wishes to all my American friends celebrating Thanksgiving this week, and international readers who have visited in the past weeks.  I’m thankful for you. 



Saz said...

your post reminds me gently to stop moaning about the things I cannot that thing change itself. I have no control and finally perhaps I can see a chink of light that is acceptance. thanks

Zuzana said...

Lovely pictures, looks like you had a great stay.
I have visited Hoover Dam two times and each time it is an experience. I love Las Vegas, it is a playground like no other.;)

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

What a lovely post! The photos were great, but I especially loved hearing about you 'walking interference' to protect your loved ones from pornography. Bravo! What a woman.

ethelmaepotter! said...

What fabulous pictures. I love that ceiling, too, and the Cheesecake Factory gets high marks everywhere, from everyone. I'll have to try it myself one day.

Lori ann said...

Oh Sallymandy,
i am glad you are together too. and i'm glad it's temporary. it is only temporary if i remember correctly.
I've never liked Las Vegas. Well, i take that back, not far outside the city is the beautiful desert and a place called Red Rock, we used to rock climb at. It's worth the drive to see the lovely rock formations.
Death Valley is nice too. If you can drive to the lowest point (its on the map) my kids loved to stand in the spot which is the lowest in the contiguous U.S. (and Mt. Whitney, the highest point is not that much farther away).
I think you'll probably not take your daughter to the strip again. Even though they've tried to market it to families, it's not.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

PurestGreen said...

Oh you must post photos of death valley - it sounds so mysterious and I've always want to go. I have convinced myself of the magic of the changing light and the countless subtleties.

Glad you have a good time. Christmas isn't too far away.

Rosaria Williams said...

Some things are too big to change, some too little to matter. We deal with what's in front of us, one day at a time.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Deborah said...

Sallymandy, do enjoy your time together and the new sights you're taking in. And good on you for running interference with porn hucksters! Way to set an example for your daughter!

Relyn Lawson said...

What an incredible image! That top picture makes me smile. Tomorrow is bound to be crazy. So tonight while it is quiet, I wanted to wish you and yours the happiest, most delicious of Thanksgivings. Happy Turkey Day, my friend.

Berowne said...

You are quie sensibly avoiding Death Valley in the summer.

Northmoon said...

I'm not much of a traveller, but some day I would like to see the 'badlands' of the American south west desert. Product of my early TV experiences with westerns!

I admire your attitute toward Las Vegas.

Hope you and your family had a good Thanksgiving. Only four weeks to Christmas. (Yikes)

xxx said...

There's something quite weird about the ceiling in the shopping area.... my first thought was of the movie 'the truman show' or something along those lines.

Change is a challenge... you're going to have an exciting time sourcing beauty and I look forward to what you will share with us here in blogland :)

best wishes

aims said...

Las Vegas isn't bad - if you only visit a couple of times. There's so much else besides the strip and Vermont Street - but they should be seen at least once. As for the hawkers - just don't make eye contact.

The Hoover Dam supplies power for so many regions that it truly is a thing of wonder. Like everything else - this is some good in everything.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Ciao Sallymandy!
What a wonderful way to return to blogging, with your lovely words of strength and acceptance, curiosity and flexibility reverberating after reading this elegant post. You are an exceptional woman, and I admire the way you gracefully navigate the currents of your life.

Lola xx