Apr 13, 2017

Does anyone know………

….about the stamp Colin got on his passport?

We normally drive the RV into and out of the USA and border agents do not stamp our passport. On his recent trip back from Canada to see his Mom, his passport was stamped at the airport by Homeland Security with an arrival date into the US. Included into that stamp was a date that he has to be out of the US. When we cross into Canada in a few days how will the US know that he has exited the country? We pull up to the Canadian border and are processed into Canada but not out of the US.

Any thoughts on what to do about his US stamp? Do you think it is okay to just ignore it? Will it be a problem next time we enter the US?

I tried to do a post last evening about our last days in Vegas but spent 2 hours fighting with the internet here are the RV Park in Ely. We left Vegas yesterday morning and have now have some ver long driving days ahead of us. Will try to post tonight.

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Apr 12, 2017

Letting our hair down in Las Vegas

Colin was a very exhausted hubby when he got back from seeing his Mom.  We spoke for several hours, finally slept and talked it out again the next morning.

We both had a tentative let’s check this out while here in Vegas.  We both had the Titanic exhibit on our list at the Luxor.

This is the actual boarding pass that passengers received in order to board.  We each received one as we entered the exhibit.

On the back of our boarding pass  we were each given information on the passenger that we would have been had we boarded the Titanic on its maiden and final voyage.  It made the exhibit all the more interesting.  I have to say that in fact it was riveting.  The cost for seniors was $27.00 and we spent close to two hours inside.  One views this fascinating exhibit at your own pace.  There are many artifacts brought up from the ocean floor and much information provided about the Titanic from construction to destruction.

This is a third class cabin shared by four.  In 1912 the cost was $40.00, not a lot in this day but a fortune way back then.

As we walked thru and read the various plaques one could not help but be drawn into the scenario.  This exhibit was very encompassing. As we walked through 3rd class we could hear the sound of the engines which  never stopped.  I’m certain that that sound 24/7 would have done me in.

This is a first class cabin.  Not shown is a desk to the right at the foot of the bed and the bathroom.

This is called the “Big Piece” and it is an actual piece of the ship brought up from 2.5 miles below the surface of the ocean where the ship was found.  That feat took many years and two attempts.  When you stand next to it you are overwhelmed at the enormity of the ship as well as the construction and this is just a very tiny piece  of the Titanic. There are many articles online about the construction details, the strength of the ship and more.  What is most tragic is that a simple thing such as the two sailors on duty that night ( for only a two hour shift ) who were responsible for visual observation had no binoculars.  They had been left behind in the haste to launch the ship. That was the reason that the iceberg was never spotted until the last few minutes before collision.

So many other details were mentioned such as those who died were as a result of ice cold waters, not drowning, not a painless death.  Sadly the first in the lifeboats were the first class passengers who filled their boats with personal possessions rather then other passengers.  At the end of the tour there is a wall listing first class, second class, third class and crew under the category of survival or not.  The person on my boarding pass, Mrs. John Morgan Davies and her two children survived.  Colin’s passenger, Mr. John Henry Chapman did not.  They had all been in second class.  I saw one twenty something year old with tears in his eyes once he discovered that he had died.  The volunteer in the area tried to tell him that he was a hero by putting ladies and children in the lifeboats ahead of him.  He was still most upset, it really is a great exhibit.  I was rather emotional myself and was tearing up.

As we exited the area and started to wander about I was surprised to see the O2 bar and these folks sitting there.  I guess they might have been trying to get rid of a hangover or whatever.  We saw more of these oxygen bars as we walked the strip.

Next to New York, New York is a new green area called ‘The Park”. Mostly restaurants but also many toys for kids and adults.  A fun space to wander through.  At certain times there are a variety of live performances.

We moved back inside the NY, NY casino to look for a place for dinner. Can you spot me?

We decided on the Broadway Grill where we had the most delicious salmon burgers ever.  I can hardly wait to go back.

From there we walked over to the MGM to take the tram which is now called the mono rail. In the olden days it was free and now it is $5.00 one way…..rip off.  They call that progress??  Before we never noticed the amount of people who now just appear on the street and do some ??dancing or jiggling or wave their hands and expect a tip.  Can you see the ‘person’ in the middle?  She is naked other than a tutu and is thrusting her  enormous weight around hoping for dollar bills.  Vegas has changed since we were here last!

I guess it is free entertainment for the masses.

We walked through the Venetian, a very large and well done casino. Over the years we have seen 99% of them.  Somehow we managed to miss the Trump casino, no loss for me.

Most casinos have something unique to see.  These gondoliers even sang.

…..and many shops with an increasing amount of items to tempt you with. I did go in to look at the bag with the bling, $375.00!

I can’t remember if this was in the Venetian but now some places don’t even have a real person at the tables but a video with a lovely lady.

We even found my favorite machine at the Flamingo at the end of the evening where I did a bit of gambling.  It was the old fashion type complete with the one arm to pull.  We had fun for about an hour making just enough money to keep us entertained but in the end Vegas kept my initial investment.  In the past we have always won something but not this year.

We did have a fun afternoon and evening , I think we were out for close to ten hours and manged to get many steps added to my Fitbit. Of the eight casinos we were in, the Venetian was our favorite.  This area is the Piazza San Marco.  Back on thee strip we just loved walking the streets and enjoying the sights and the lights.

 

 

 

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Apr 08, 2017

Que pasa and Mommio update

I just want to thank you all for your emails and blog comments.  I don’t think that I could have got through this last week and a half without your tremendous support.  While Colin was back in Canada I did manage to get my travel records updated and most importantly I got my emails up to date, more or less.  I even got some laundry done and tidied up the RV a bit.

We had freezing temps when we arrived and even had the heat on for a while.  The next day it was sweltering and today we have wind warnings and the RV has been rocking.

I also managed to get the A/C unit broken or at least I thought that it was.  I ended up calling the office and they sent someone around who got someone else who knew about electricity.  The someone was so tall that the top of his head brushed the ceiling of our rig.  Turns out that somehow the breaker tripped and shut the A/C unit down.  That was an easy fix but I still want to know why it happened.

This was taken a few years ago as the girls hunted for crabs.  That is Carmeh doing the digging while Caeli waits for the crab to appear.

On the way to the laundry room yesterday I came across a dog pen with two chocolate dachshunds.  They were lovely doxies but I just couldn’t bring myself to pet them or stay and visit for more than a moment.  Turns out that they had a third girl which had to be put down a few weeks ago, she was almost twelve just like Caeli.  I saw another go past earlier today.  My heart is still very very tender and sore.

It turns out that there are two sets of people here in Las Vegas that I know and another who is a blog reader who reached out.  Thank you for offering to visit but I really needed the last few days on my own.  Plus I was either on the phone or chatting online with Colin most of the day.  I did need to be here to go over some ideas re Mommio and to encourage him.

This was taken in Kelowna when we just had the RV on our beach site and still lived in the house across the road.

July of 2009 was her last visit to Kelowna.

So what can I tell you about Mommio.  Colin was told by his brothers this last Wednesday that he better get to Winnipeg ASAP so instead of driving home and then flying to Winnipeg he left this last Thursday.  He found her looking very frail and lost.  One day she was at her home and the next she was in hospital.  It seems to go back to her stopping her meds which led to her not eating and going downhill.  She immediately perked up when Colin showed up and even began to eat.  He managed to get her hearing aids and asked the nurses to put them in everyday.  Suddenly there was better communication.  He sat by her bedside and chatted when she was awake.  He even brought a few of the girls toys and she cuddled the toys as she slept.  She was lonely and in a foreign environment surrounded by loud noises and people she did not know.  I stayed up late last night pulling out photos of her and Colin and he took the bus very early this morning to Walmart and at 7AM they were printing out photos.  He got to the hospital in time for breakfast and taped the photos to the wall.  She said “now I don’t feel alone anymore”.  So that is what Colin has been doing plus much much more.  She loved her TimBit treats.  I also suggested getting her some Ensure with the extra protein and she is actually enjoying it.  He also got her a bunch of magazines to look at.  She had nothing and was just laying there staring into space with nothing to connect her to the present and to reality.

We drove the RV to Winnipeg in June of 2015 to visit Mommio.  Three days before we left Carmeh had become paralyzed.  What a trip that was! Now the girls are gone and Mommio is not doing well. This was the last time that I saw Mommio.

Meanwhile it has been decided (not by us) that she can never go back to living alone and so her apartment was being cleaned out.  She is on a list for a care facility of some sort.  She of course needs to be assessed and to start eating and walking again before that will happen.  I don’t have too many details but at supper last night they announced that they were moving her to another room as she no longer needed such direct and constant care.  Boy, Colin sure must have perked her up.  Sadly the room is old and smells and is most depressing.  She had a bad night last night and the nurse told him that she was calling his name in the night to come and save her.  So many challenges ahead.  Yes there is family back in Winnipeg but Colin and his Mom have always been very close.

Mommio at 100 in October 2014.

On her 101st on October 29, 2015, Colin went back to Winnipeg for a second time that year.  He never ever missed celebrating her birthday.

So Colin did the best he could and tried to set some routines for her and the nursing staff.  He did all he could do for now.  He is on his way back to Vegas tonight and I’m sure that it was most difficult to leave his Mom laying in that hospital bed all alone and like a tiny doll.  We will take a few days to regroup and to relax and then head home and decide what we can do next regarding Mommio.  We love her so much and know how difficult it must be for her to suddenly go from being 100% independent to 100% dependent.  There is nothing wrong with her physically, she just become weak and unable to be on her own.  Colin is most concerned at how frail she has become since he saw her last October.  She has lived a long life and will possibly go into a decline due to her care and surroundings.  It is so very very sad. There is not much we can do as we live so far away.

Mommio and our bird Cheikka in 2009

Carmeh loved Cheikka while Caeli merely tolerated her.

 

 

 

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Apr 07, 2017

A story about the girls and a butterfly

On our last full day on the Isla this plant finally bloomed.  I had planted it the end of November and I got my first two flowers just after the girls were gone.

We have had two sets of dachshunds in our life.  Channel died at almost three during back surgery and then Cloii died at five from poisoning in Mexico.  We had already got Carmeh as a replacement for Channel.  She was a puppy when Cloii died but once Cloii was buried she sat on her grave ever single day until we left Mexico.  Soon after we got back home we got Caeli.  So we really had two different sets of girls.  Channel and Cloii were not with us long and both died tragically.  Carmeh and Caeli were with each other and us for a long time which made it more difficult to say goodbye.

Channel and Cloii, a photo taken of a framed photo that we carry in the RV.

Caeli on our last sunset together.

…and Carmeh her trusty companion.  Towards the end Carmeh took turns with Caeli and let her be the alpha dog at times.

Channel loved birds and butterflies and would watch them for hours.  An hour before her second surgery we took her outside and sat on the grass and watched her watch them.  That was our last memory of her.  We have a piece of artwork in our yard which is a doxie watching a butterfly.

So ten days ago when we were putting them to rest on the Isla I stood with Carmeh in my arms at the back of the RV waiting for Colin who had gone to pick up the vet at the panga.  Carmeh was always there waiting for Colin when he went out and I didn’t want her to wait alone.  Suddenly a large blue and black butterfly flitted directly in front of us to catch our attention.  As it flew away two orange butterflies came by and floated back and forth in front of us for over five minutes.  They flew away just as Colin drove up.  I knew that they were a sign from our first set of dachshunds that Caeli and Carmeh were going to be well received and cared for.  That thought gave me the strength to do what needed to be done.

The next day as we were packing up Colin found a butterfly on our black tow shield, its pastel colors made it stand out, wanting to be observed.  Colin thought that it was dead and brought it inside for me to see.  He set it next to my desk where it sat with me for a few hours.  I went outside to help with something and we both came back inside.  The butterfly was gone.

We found it fluttering against the window wanting to go out.

Colin ever so gently carried it outside and placed it on the lovely flower arrangement that we had received from some of the RVers on behalf of the girls.  A few hours later we had to move the bouquet to another area as we were doing some power washing.  It stayed with the bouquet for the move and long thereafter.

At dusk when we went to look for the butterfly, it was gone.

We are confident that it will be flitting around our garden for a long time.

We were blessed to have had this visit.  I like to think that it was a message to us.  Why else would a butterfly play dead and sit next to me for a few hours and then go outside and perch on our memorial flowers for so long?  Our girls were now all together.  How special it was to have nature give us this message.

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Apr 06, 2017

Mexico to Las Vegas and onto Winnipeg

What a whirlwind few days it has been.   We drove 512 miles from the Isla to San Carlos last Sunday.

Last Tuesday, the 28th, was our final family beach walk.  Special love pats to Carmeh in front and to Caeli behind.

It was also the day that Eric came to put our repaired awning back on. We did have to move our RV off our site from about noon till 5PM, somewhat unsettling considering the circumstances.  We had to do the move as the palapa prohibited our awning from being put out.  It took a great deal of time and effort but Eric did get the job done as well as a few other small to do’s on the list.

Caeli got in her last bark fest at the horses happily heading home down the beach.

Carmeh just being her very special self.  Not much left to her, so very thin.

Our drive from the Isla de la Piedra to San Carlos saw some sad things such as this doble remolque accident.  The cab and the first load went down to the ground.

Here two lanes are becoming three.

Lots of lovely scenery to view as we travel a very modern and perfect highway.

Aah, fields and fields as far the eye can see of vineyards.  I wonder if I will ever sample a bottle of wine made from these grapes.

Just in case your phone needs some help along the road from Santa Ana to Lukeville.

Our crossing into the USA was the easiest ever in our RVing life.  Not one single question.  Perhaps they got all the info they needed by scanning our passport into their new system.

As it was so early in the afternoon we decided to keep on driving.

We were surprised to see the cost of diesel @ 2.64 ( cash ) at Gila Bend.  I guess prices are just going up everywhere.  From there we were heading to the Passport America park at Gila Bend but somehow ended up heading to I10 and Buckeye.  Fortunately there was a returno and we were only out 12 miles.  So our second day ended at 453 miles.  We were both exhausted not only from the drive but from reminiscing about our darling girls.

On Tuesday we would have and could have driven further but long ago I had made a reservation at one of our favorite family stops, Lake Havasu State Park.  With having already made a date change, our cost for one night was up to 45.00US so we decided to stop after only 210 miles.  We did mange to make some stops in Parker at Spanky’s RV for some parts  ( my kitchen light had burned out after years and years of service )and at a Safeway for wine and a Walmart for food.

We lucked out with a beautiful view from our dining room window.  We were happy to be here but so glad that it was in a site that we have not camped in before with the girls.  Site 37 will be our new favorite.

By the time we did a few chores and tidied up, it was sunset.

Almost as good as the Isla…….  Can you believe that we were so tired that we skipped dinner and were in bed by 8PM?

Yesterday was a 150 mile drive to Las Vegas. Is that snow up there?

We did stop in Searchlight for breakfast which was a first and we did enjoy it.  Once we arrived at the Las Vegas RV Resort which was suggested by a blog reader ( thank you ), we got down to doing a full set up including car hand wash  ( it cost 25.00 to do a full wash but we used our on board Mexico water  in a bucket at no charge,  🙂 ) and front RV window wash.  As we have no idea how long we will be here, we set up our satellite TV dish., changed the bedding, etc.  We both were feeling run down and had a few naps.  After a very light dinner we were in bed by 9PM.

This was the standard site we were supposed to be in but the occupants had not yet left when we arrived.  You had to fit between the lines with your hook ups at the back of the site.  Our sewer would not have reached and the girls would have had no where to pee.

At check in I mentioned that we were here because of Mommio and of course that we were still mourning our girls.  We were  upgraded to a deluxe site at no extra charge.  More space between units and a pull thru site.  The cost is about $5.00 more per night which we did not have to pay this time but I would gladly do so next time.

Our first Vegas sunset.

Colin flew off this morning to see his Mom in Winnipeg.  It has been a long day for me.  I plan to catch up on all my emails and posts over over the next few days.

 

 

 

 

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