Sunday, May 22, 2016

Las Vegas

Destination: Las Vegas/Lake Mead, Nevada
After a week in Vegas and two buffets that took the skills of a hedonistic olympian to conquer, my abdomen is now distended to abominable proportions. The last time I did this sort of damage to myself was years ago when Hana and I went to an asian buffet and I thought it would be fun to eat all the crab rangoon in the house. A city in the desert known for inspiring a setting aside of all inhibitions, gluttony was the sin that got the best of us. Even worst yet was a waste of food that I am not proud of at all. I can at least find some peace in the fact that there are pigs on a farm who are getting a good meal out of all the food I put on a plate and could not finish. 

 While another trip to Vegas was not on my bucket list, I had to humor my wife. With temperatures in the 90's without a tree to hide under, I found myself counting the days until we could head back out to the hills with plenty of shade, clear streams, and cool nights. Hana had never been out here, so she had to at least see it once. We only spent a few hours on the strip, did not gamble a dime, and worked our way through the crowds of party people to see the big visual display of various hotels and casinos that lure people in to play russian roulette with their morality as well as their bank accounts. 
The Vegas Strip
One thing I noticed about Vegas is that the indoors and outdoors smells like someone dropped a large bottle of cologne on the entire city. Underneath the scents of synthetic vanilla and fruit, one will catch a whiff of sewage. I am also pretty sure that the rumor of oxygen being pumped into the hotels to keep one from sleeping is true, alone with the subliminal messages underneath every bad top 40 song that has been played over the radio millions of times. "I know I shouldn't, but I will" was the message of one glamorous blond woman in heavy lipstick on one of the many video advertisements. While I'm at it, can someone tell me why David Copperfield, Lionol Ritchie, and Donnie & Marie have not aged? It leads me to think that in the back dressing rooms of the stars there may be a few hidden Dorian Grey paintings. 

The "Old Strip"
  Overwhelmed by the traffic and drunk drivers, Hana was ready to turn around and skip the strip entirely. I would not have minded, but after making the argument that I did not sit baking in the sun for a week to skip the opportunity for her to see what vanity fair was all about, she gave in. She was especially happy that I found a free parking spot. I mainly just wanted to walk off a fraction of the buffet I had earlier, and since the temperature was in the low 80's the weather was tolerable. It's a dry heat they all say, but I am one that could easily make a home inside a refrigerator and still catch a tan. 

  There were not many outdoor adventures this week. The dogs had a hard time with the heat, and the howling coyotes at night clued me in not to take a chance walking them too far in the evening. There was one night I heard a pack of them raise a ruckus outside our rv briefly. While Frankie would show no fear, I don't think he and I alone could do much damage to a pack of wild and hungry coyotes. We camped out on Lake Mead, which despite the heat did offer a nice view. A view that people pay a quarter million to see out the windows of their homes, while the trailer and rv people pay much less and abide closer. 

The view of Lake Mead from our window
   Hana and I surprisingly did not fight this week at all, and underneath the blinding haze of the blistering sun, it was more or less a romantic week for us. What has come over us I don't know, but we did consider even a second marriage from an Elvis Impersonator. Being opposites in almost every way imaginable it is not always easy for us, but then again I doubt it is much different for anyone else. People may wonder if living in a small space causes a couple to fight more. That has not been the case for us, but often being on the move with long drives can be nerve wrecking, and while both of us may intend to yell at the situation, our frustration unfortunately gets taken out on one another. One challenge we have had in our marriage no matter where we have lived is having completely different beliefs and views of the world, which i will add I am not in the mainstream as ways of thinking, and doubt I will ever be, unless I should somehow be turned over to a reprobate mind. If one looks beneath the details and ticks that causes them to fight, the love that brought you together can be found. Marriages in all situations take effort, and the good things in life do not come easy.

  Frankie and I have also been extra special buddies this week. While we always have been, he has not left my side in the evenings until it is time to be fed in the morning. It has been hard for me to practice my guitar as much as I wanted to when that little guy so full of emotions looks at me with a sort of wide eyed droopy look on his face. I am thinking he likes the warmer weather just like his mommy, and like her during the cooler weather, he will hide under a pile of blankets. During the warmer weather he will usually hang out with me all night, and sleep under my chin. I cannot thank God enough for these dogs we have, for both him and maya have blessed both of our lives in immeasurable ways.

 One thing I can appreciate being nearer to larger cities is the access to a variety of grocery stores. But the traffic and crowds dull my sense of peace. Next week we will be headed for California, and will work our way up to Eugene, Oregon where we will take a rest for a few weeks. I stocked up on organic apples and such, and am ready for the mountains again. If the options are to deal with a crowd of people, or a few bears and other wild animals, I will take the animals. I am also hoping to burn off some of this extra baggage while I am at it, expecting the next few hikes to feel like someone dropped a ten pound dumbell in my backpack. Off to the Yosemite National forest we go where my soul and digestive system will get a much needed break. 


Container Park art