On our vacation Chris and I visited:
- Baker, CA (we ate at The Mad Greek)
- Las Vegas (driving through but could not find the casino hotel with the roller coaster on the top)
- Mesquite, NV (where we spent the night at the Oasis Hotel and Casino and lost money.)
- Zion, UT (we camped, rode the shuttle with our bikes, and I yelled at Chris for trying to instruct me on how to shift my bike (while bicycling downhill at 21 mph)
- Coral Pink Sand State Park, Utah (we *borrowed* some pink sand.)
- North Rim of the Grand Canyon (it snowed, was crowded and we could barely see into the canyon yet still beautiful.)
- Vermillion Cliffs, AZ
- Sedona, AZ (we stayed at L'Auberge and drove out to Enchantment resort. (note to self --need tons of money!)
- Laughlin, NV (we lost more money -- I won $11.00 on some East Indian themed penny slot machine and I cashed out before I lost that. We also took the opportunity to walk in the evening heat (you would have been proud).
- Badwater, Death Valley, CA. (the lowest point in the U.S. 289 feet below sea level.)
- Bishop, CA (we stayed at a hotel with a bed that made me feel as though my kidneys were punched the next morning.)
- Mono Lake, CA (Drive by)
- Yosemite, CA (Drive through)
While on our vacation we mostly ate crappy food though a few times I paid attention to things I *should* eat over things that were available like when I ordered a salad at the Mad Greek. I am so spoiled with fresh vegetables in California. Every salad I ordered throughout the trip mentioned baby greens on the menu and I'd order the salad thinking I was going to get baby greens but what I'd receive is small baby pieces of head lettuce with one or two pieces of shriveling baby greens sitting on top of the baby pieces of head lettuce. Mostly we ate crap.
The weather was quite warm in most places. In Zion, I got into the Virgin River in my (lymphedema) compression hose -- sort of a virgin in the Virgin River. I had thought about using compression hose in a swimming pool (swimming is supposed to be great exercise for people with lymphedema) but hadn't be courageous enough or stupid enough to do venture out in public yet in wet compression hose. (I am coming to a theater near you.)
I also drank too much (for me) booze while away. Though I have to confess the best drink was Ruby Red vodka with cranberry -- add half a lime and call this one ("that one!") healthy. I had the best intentions with regard to not drinking and what I would eat but those intentions didn't manifest (-- guess it takes more than wishing). I even brought brown rice to cook but I didn't cook it until the night I arrived home.
After visiting a few casinos, I confess that casino life looks like it's not for me. Lots of folks who like to gamble seem to like to smoke, and I don't like to be around ciggie smoke, (I am an ex-smoker from years and years ago). I notice that many of these people don't look very healthy. They seem to have shrunken heads -- not all of them but many of them appear as if they have done loads of meth (or crank or some kind of one-syllabled illegal drug for years), and as a consequence, shriveled their brains and shrunken their heads, tanned their skin from living in a desert community (where there are a majority of casinos) and then they decided to go gambling, surrounding themselves with ciggie smoke, drinking booze while bathed in neon lights, the bonging and clanging, bells and general noise ever present. And lots of wasted money, some paid as small tips to the old waitresses wearing really short skirts, showing really long cleavage walking in a casino'd haze quietly hawking wares, "Cocktail (long pause) Cocktail."
And I worry, "Do I look like these people because I am here among them?" and then I remember that no matter what we look like on the outside, we are all just like each other on the inside only some of us have shriveled in places way more visible to the public. And I shouldn't be so quick to judge.