Neighborhood Walks in Summerlin (Las Vegas)

I’ve been taking morning walks around the neighborhood before it gets too hot. It is so beautiful, especially in the shade – lol! Summerlin is quite lovely (similar to Irvine, CA) and the best place to live in Las Vegas, in our opinion, and where you can find more California transplants than anywhere else in the Valley, but our old neighborhood in Southern Highlands still holds our heart.

I thought I’d share a few videos from my morning walks taken from my iphone (still working on my “YouTube” voice – lol!) And in the third video, I mistakenly called the new condos “apartments.” Ooops!

I haven’t figured out how to add captions to correct wrong information, and not sure I will take the time to figure it out. My youtube adventures are just for fun, as writing and music are my main priorities. But sharing videos is also a creative endeavor so you never know. I may even get out the GoPro again.

Hope you enjoy a peek into this new Las Vegas world we’re experiencing – at least for the moment. 🙂

Neighborhood Park, Summerlin (Las Vegas)

Single Family Homes, Summerlin (Las Vegas)

Townhome Community (with peek at new Condos), Summerlin (Las Vegas)

Money Pit, Kitty Haven, Awesome Studio

The master toilet was leaking. Rich took a photo to submit for repair but, first, after work he planned to see if he could tighten it and maybe that would do the trick. In the meantime, the second floor toilet decided to stop up. I got out the handy plunger and while I seemed to be making progress, I gave it a final flush and it blew like a volcano. Huge amounts of water regurgitating round after round.

I called Rich and while talking to him, I did my best to turn off the water but first turned in the wrong direction. Finally, I got the water off and Rich was on his way and I started mopping up the volume of water all over the bathroom and kitchen floor. Thankfully, it didn’t get beyond that.

Rich called the plumber – the company we’d used before when we lived here – and they sent out a technician within two hours. So all is well that end’s well – just our bank account is a bit lighter. Sure, we could have submitted it for repair but the soonest anybody would come out for an “emergency,” if they deem it one, is 48 hours. On most cases, they have a full 30 days to repair something. So, we’re pretty much getting the fixes done ourselves. What a money pit.

I’ve never really had to deal with anything like this before. Most of my life – childhood and adult – I’ve lived in new homes or had a 24-hour apartment maintenance service. Nothing like finally learning some basics at my age – lol!

We are settling in here, and it’ll be good to get most of the things fixed on our list. The cats are loving it! Daisy loves the master bedroom on the third floor – it’s her queendom, and both cats love the stairs.

I’m loving my studio. We got a really nice automatic portable heater that’s working well for the cooler time of year. And just before the hot weather arrives, we’ll make sure they do fix the A/C in here. Something about a missing remote and/or locked box – maybe. Guess we’ll find out then. Hopefully.

I really love having a separate space for my writing and music – especially for music. I stayed out here all day yesterday.

Studio

Balcony between house and studio

Studio setup

More Moving with Cats Fun: Florida Storm Kicks us in the A** and Daisy Hides in the Dishwasher

So we headed for I-10, which goes all the way to Santa Monica, for our eventual destination of Las Vegas. But first Florida had to have her say in our leaving once again. This was the worst storm we’ve ever been in. Lightning right over our heads, buckets of rain so bad I don’t know how Rich could even drive, thunderous roars. This went on for hours – until we crossed the border into Alabama. Whew! Never want to be in one of those storms again!

Unlike our very first cross-country move when we moved from Oregon to Ohio along I-70 with 10-hour days, our days on this route were no more than 8 hours long. We stopped just north of New Orleans in Covington on I-10. I don’t recall any weirdness that night.

The next day we were thrilled to cross the Mississippi and stay over at one of our favorite hotels in San Antonio. Why? Chester’s Burgers and Beer. Yep, Rich just walks over there, gets our burgers and beer and walks back. No problem. And delicious Texas food! But they’ve removed the carpet, like so many are doing these days (Disney, for example), and I detest wood floors in a hotel room. I want the warmth and passing of carpet when I’m in a strange place, getting up in the middle of the night. Daisy hated walking on the wood floors.

The next night was El Paso, the place I dreaded the most and why last time we took I-40, which was a huge mistake. This time around I was rather impressed with El Paso – it’s coming into its own. I wouldn’t mind returning on a pleasure trip – the food is awesome and then there’s Carlsbad Caverns, of course. Haven’t done that since I was 8.

New Mexico was a welcome sight – after the border patrol, of course – and then our last night on the road was in Phoenix. Goodyear, AZ, actually, and we were very impressed with Good Year. We could see ourselves living there. I forgot to mention how Daisy would hide every morning just past first light, knowing we were going to put her in a cage. At each place we stopped, would check out all the possibilities so we’d know where to look for her. Well, here she was able to squeeze underneath the cabinet framing and climb underneath the dishwasher.

We waited for her to come out but after awhile, we realized she wasn’t coming out and we needed to get on the road to get the keys to our Vegas rental by a certain time. So we called Maintenance and he eventually had to remove the dishwasher in order to get her out. He says he has to rescue a cat or dog at least two or three times a year, but this was a first for the dishwasher! Crazy Daisy!

The day’s drive was only about 4 hours to Las Vegas, but we stopped by the rental company right away with the cats. The plan was for me to stay with the in the car while Rich got the keys. We’d already signed the lease and paid the deposit online before we left Florida. Well, that’s when all the rental fun began – just as bad as when we were trying to rent a house in Orlando. He insisted we both come in with our cats so he could read the lease aloud to us.

If you get the idea this guy was a real jerk, well your instincts are correct. He went on and on and on about worst case scenarios and when I mentioned the casita, he said this house didn’t have one and said, “Are you sure you’re renting *my* house?” It isn’t *his* house, he’s just an employee of the company handling the rentals of another one of those enormous companies who snapped up repos and are now renting them out. But I think he was right about one thing. Basically, you’re only guaranteed a place to sleep. More on that fun in future posts.

Welcome to Las Vegas – home sweet home – lol!

Welcome Home to Florida

We caught an early flight out of Las Vegas yesterday morning and as the plane circled over our former home, heading out into the open desert, I said something like, “What a pile of dirt!” – lol!

It had been an emotional roller coaster revisiting the place we’d called home for 9 years. I was reminded not only of the excitement we’d had flying in from San Francisco and staying in different hotel properties, but also living there. I was also reminded of why we felt compelled to leave.

The flight on Southwest was pretty good going back – the service was quite attentive – and before we knew it, we were landing in Orlando via over Tampa to avoid some storms. What a sight for sore eyes! I mean, literally! All the greenery and water! What a contrast from the Las Vegas desert.

And I began to feel a renewal of my original love for Florida as we drove the hour back home. So pretty. So peaceful. Sunny but not too sunny. Hot but not too too hot – even the humidity is a welcome relief from the oven-like temps of Vegas. Maybe that was the point of the trip for me. For Rich, well, he had a very productive week at work. Everybody so excited to see him. They’d love to have him back at headquarters but I don’t think I could live there again.

We’re definitely looking forward to getting back to Disney, and especially for the Food & Wine Festival. Rich’s brother will be here for that – looking forward to reconnecting like we did on our trip in 2010. What a year that was – doing the F&W Festival with our Disney friends and family. Looking forward to seeing who we can meet and connect with this year.

We stopped at our little downtown deli and Rich got us some sandwiches to take home because neither of us wanted to prepare food. We noticed a musician set up outside the market/deli area and we stopped for a listen and offered a tip. I took some video and captured a pic of that. What a fabulous welcome home!

Nothing Better than a Day by a Vegas Pool

Remembering my younger days when you sat out by a Vegas pool and when you wanted a drink, you just popped up your little umbrella on the back of your chaise. See my novel, The Tom Jones Club, for more of that retro Vegas experience.

Getting a drink this morning was a little more challenging but eventually I got one. Swimming, summing, sipping, and a bit of songwriting and story writing – what gets better than that?

Pool Day in Las Vegas

Like so many mornings before here in the desert, the sun awakens me with a morning kiss. Rich brings back coffee and pastries from Starbucks before heading off to work.

Last night we had dinner at the Noodle Bar – amazing San Francisco/Hong Kong-style food – and a drink in our favorite red chairs back at the Lucky Bar. This time I avoided martinis, although Rich’s Dirty Ketel One Martini was pretty tasty. Rich had Pho and I had Wor Wonton Soup with a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay in the Lucky Bar after. Tonight we’ll have an early night for the early morning flight.

After Rich left for work, I think of things to do to kill time until the pool opens at 9. I log into a Logic Pro X lesson and then take a break, not awake enough to think too much.

I think of the fun I had yesterday taking photos of our neighborhood park in Southern Highlands. And that reminds me of my father and his love of photography and the photos he took of the giant Sequoia trees when we visited him when he was living just outside the National Park.

It’s hard to believe he’s gone. It’s been 4 weeks now, but being here in Las Vegas, I can imagine he’s still in his home in Fresno, just like I can imagine Skipper, now gone for 6 weeks, and Lovey, gone for a year and a half, in our house waiting for us to come just as they always did.

I remember how my father enjoyed Bellagio – he wanted to live there. Like father, like daughter. Yes, Las Vegas tugs on my heartstrings and it will be difficult to fly back to Florida. It’s all a bit surreal and hard to believe we live there and not here.

I suppose there’s a bigger purpose to this trip. Perhaps it’s a step forward in the healing process, to experience the emotions, somehow getting closure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day in the Neighborhood

Last night I had the strongest martini I’d ever had – wow! I could barely get out of bed this morning. I don’t think it had anything to do with how amazed I was that the view of the Las Vegas Strip from my bed was lit up all night long – lol! You don’t see that in Florida. How soon we forget what a place is like.

Rich brought us some coffee and breakfast from Starbucks in the lobby and then I rode with him to work to have the rental car. So today I drove through the old neighborhood just to see it. Not much has changed in the almost 16 months since we moved away. The new emergency room was finished and open and I hear it’s pretty awesome.

i couldn’t get inside our gated community (although it looks like they’re still having problems with the gate), so I just did a drive by and then drove to our favorite park and walked a bit of the trail. I was overcome by the feeling of being home. Of course, to my psyche, Skipper and Lovey are waiting for me in the house – not on the Rainbow Bridge. I could have stayed for hours but I had to get back to the hotel to get ready for lunch with Rich and our friend John.

So nice to see a familiar face – lunch at Lola’s was awesome! Rich then dropped John off at work and me back at the hotel.

I remember how difficult it is to live here – the heat is so intense as is the sun blinding. The best part about Vegas is staying in a hotel casino in a separate world than the harsh reality of the desert. Still, there are so many memories here, so many things that feel like home.