Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Good Times Redux

Below are some leftover images from our last trip to Southern California in May. This coming 4th of July weekend we’ll be driving to Los Angeles again to spend a few days there.

Saturday morning we’ll meet Robert for breakfast, spend a few hours at the beach and then head on over to Hollywood to see “In the Heights” at the Pantages. And there’s a good change we may be celebrating Independence Day at Disneyland.

All in all, sounds like George and I will reprise our good times in the Golden State.

Now if the rest of this work week would just move a little faster...

Interesting flowers along the Pacific Palisades

The sandy beach with the Santa Monica Pier in the background

Birds of Paradise were blooming everywhere

An old L.A. landmark, the Farmer’s Market on Third Street and Fairfax Avenue

Santa Monica’s Ocean Front

The historic carousel at the Santa Monica Pier

Interesting trees in Los Feliz

Along the sandy beaches towards Venice

A restored trolley at The Grove shopping district

Friday, June 25, 2010

Math Problem

A Facebook friend posted this on his page the other day, which he got from an old classmate of his. I think this is pretty funny. And also somewhat revealing what it says about society.

“Math is like sex:
add the bed, subtract the clothes,
divide the legs and pray to the heavens above
you don’t multiply!”

Of course, if certain people would actually use their heads, like they would for solving a math problem, and pray much less to some science-fictiony fantasy creature sitting on Cloud 9, than the world wouldn't have to deal with the seemingly endless multiplication of idiocy.

I said certain people...

Just sayin’.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Putting on the Brakes

It has been another few busy weeks. What else is new, right? It seems like there is hardly time to just take a little breather every once in a while.

On top of work, there are constantly chores and other duties which needs tending to. And even though George already had his commencement ceremony, he still has two more classes to finish up.

I have to stop getting too wrought up about the news. There are days were I literally want to scream after reading certain headlines and articles. Why is the human race doing everything in its power to destroy the only livable planet in this solar system? How much more profit is needed to satisfy greedy shareholders. How much more aggression and pain needs to be afflicted to make a statement. Hasn’t history already given enough examples for society to realize that we need to rethink and change our way of life. But our society has become so apathetic and complacent to a point where I feel it’s already to late to save ourselves from ourselves.

With all the craziness going on all around us, George and I try to squeeze in some quality time as much as possible. More people should try that. Putting on the brakes to stop for a moment and simply enjoy...life. Because this one life is all we have. It’s already too short the way it is and far to precious to waste.

Below are some of those savoring little moments in our lives...a blooming flower, a leisurely drive through town, a home-cooked meal enjoyed in the patio of our backyard. Or just each other’s company.

Isn’t that what it’s really all about?

The desert bird of paradise is blooming in our backyard

Driving leisurely through town

An evening stroll along the Las Vegas Strip after a nice dinner

We love being home just as much...

...as being out and about to see what else is going on in this crazy town. This is the lobby of Red Rock Station, one of our favorite local’s casinos

Enjoying life

Monday, June 7, 2010

Class of 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you the Class of 2010!

Saturday was a big day for George. He graduated to receive his Master in Education.

His brother Thomas drove from California to join us for this joyous occasion and spent the weekend at our house. And on Saturday morning the whole gang witnessed the ceremony at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Along with thousands of other spectators whom were all cheering for the accomplishments of their loved ones.

It goes on this way. No, no, that way! George's mother and brother trying to dress him up appropriately.

That's my George. I'm so proud of him.

One proud and happy family. No, the dork in the blue shirt is not part of it!

After the ceremony, we all celebrated at Strings, our favorite Italian restaurant. The rest of the day basically consisted of eating food.

Where's the food? Here we are waiting for the rest of the family to arrive at Strings.

Later that evening, George, Thomas and I spent a fun evening on the Las Vegas “Strip.” And wouldn’t you know...The eating frenzy continued! As if it was even possible to stuff ourselves with more food. But here we were, having a good time.

The brothers on the Strip.

Congratulations, George. All the studying and hard work paid off. Next item on the list of reaching high goals...the United States Secretary of Education.

Or just a nice teaching position. That would be great too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

More of Tucson

Our second day in Tucson started with George making us all some oatmeal for breakfast. After lounging around a bit to digesting our breakfast, playing with the cats and enjoying the moment, Homer drove us to the West Section of Saguaro National Park.

George cooking oatmeal on Homer’s vitage 1950’s kitchen range

Cute little Snowball

Bunny hopped by from time to time

Those saguaros cacti are quite an impressive sight to behold. Most of them were in bloom as well, which just added to the magnificent beauty of this landscape. Before heading to a trail we stopped at the Park Ranger’s station to pay the entrance fee and to look at some exhibits. The three of us were also all goggle-eyed over some rather handsome Park Ranger. Cliché be damned...a man in uniform is hot.

Later, Homer took us on a more rugged hike, where we saw more saguaros, plenty of birds and lizards and some old Native-American petroglyphs. The weather that day proved to be more on the hot side so we were working up quite a sweat during our hike. But it was a very rewarding experience and worth every single drop.

Which ones are the saguaros?

We would return to the city in the early afternoon and have some sandwiches at Eegee’s and then buy some groceries for a pool party later that day. Homer made some yummy tortilla wraps, some filled with either a mix of refried beans and curry paste or cream cheese and red peppers. I noshed some while he was preparing the wraps and they were delicious.

A clever sign we saw in one of the stores. On the other hand, having to point out that this sign was meant as a joke also said a lot.

We then drove over to a beautifully restored Victorian-style house, where the pool party was already happening. We met more of Homer’s friends, had a few drinks, some snacks and soaked in the pool for most of the afternoon. A wonderful time was had by all.

And just when you thought we couldn’t possible eat any more food, George suggested to order in some pizza from that marvelous pizza parlor we had dinner at the evening before. So we ordered two large pizzas from the Brooklyn Pizza Company. It was so good! We can highly recommend this place. We don’t even have a great pizza place like that in Las Vegas. Or we just haven’t found it yet. Later that night we visited some of Homer’s friends in the neighborhood, had one or two more drinks, some chats and with that our second day slowly came to a close.

Our third and last day in Tucson was spent mostly at Cobban and Ray’s place, which is about a 90-minute drive from Tucson. The landscape around their beautiful home is really spectacular. Tall mountains and a prairie-like plateau with high grasses is surrounding their estate. In the near distance one can see some mountain range across the Mexican border. We had a great time with Cobban and Ray and enjoyed their conversations, their delicious fruit salad and a refreshing dip or two in their pool.

George sitting at Homer’s computer to check his e-mails. Here is where all the magic for “Homer’s World” happens. However, Puff would rather be petted.

Unfortunately, all good things eventually come to an end. So we said our good-byes to our gracious hosts Cobban and Ray and then returned back to Tucson, where Homer dropped us off at the airport for our evening flight back home to Las Vegas.

And so ended our long Memorial Day weekend in Southern Arizona. It was one of the best getaways ever. Thanks to Homer, Cobban, Ray and many of their friends we were able to forget about the troubles of world for a few moments and just simply enjoy life.

And what can be more precious than that?

Goodbye Tucson. Ready for take-off!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Day in Tucson

Here are some additional photos from our Memorial Day weekend trip to Tucson, Arizona.

Leaving Las Vegas...McCarran Int.’l Airport and one of their satellite terminals, the C Gates, which serves Southwest flights exclusively. Here’s where our journey to Tuscon started.

Homer made us yummylicious home-made waffles with bananas foster topping for breakfast the next morning. Did I mention that they were yummylicious? On our first outing in and around Tucson, Homer took us to the San Xavier del Bac mission. It’s located on the Tohono O’odham San Xavier Indian Reservation, outside the city and was built between 1783 and 1797.

The inside of the mission is quite elaborately decorated with statues, moldings, paintings and frescoes.

It has a beautiful courtyard in a very serene setting.

Photo-op in front of La Misión San Xavier del Bac

Afterwards, Homer took us into downtown Tucson to see the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, the old Fort Tucson, which dates back to the late 1770’s. He was involved in some of the archaeological digs and helped to design the current trail and exhibits.

Next on the list was lunch. Not that we weren’t already stuffed from Homer’s divine breakfast waffles, but we did finish our plates at Rosa’s Mexican Food restaurant, one of Homer’s favorite hangouts. Absolutely delicious. And yes, we still ordered some of the best flans ever for dessert. Somehow we managed to make room for that.

Homer was eyeing a cute waiter at Rosa’s. And may I add that he has a very good eye for these sort of things.

After this enormous lunch of divine deliciousness, Homer took us to the Sweetwater Wetlands. It is a water treatment facility which was turned into a park-like wildlife habitat with educational trails. A very lush and green little oasis and perfect for bird watching.

We returned to Homer’s comfy casa and took a little nap. Homer’s kitties decided to continue their day-long nap right alongside with us...

Puff loves to be scratched around the neck

...or on top of us. Joey finds George to be an extremely comfortable mattress.

Later that afternoon we drove to the 4th Avenue Promenade, which is lined with funky little stores, restaurants, coffee houses and bars. A restored vintage street car, or trolley, runs up and down this street which adds to the charm of this area.

We ended that day by driving up Sentinel Peak to enjoy a pretty view over the city of Tucson at sunset.

The view of Tucson from Sentinel Peak