Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Party is Over

It seems I can no longer use myspace at work. Access denied. Someone told me that the site was under criminal investigation. This must be why. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Last week I went out west. That's right, I took myself on a little vacation. I hopped on a plane Saturday morning and flew to Tucson. Dad was there waiting for me when I arrived. We went for brunch and ended up having some really interesting conversation. I say interesting because he revealed somethings about my family that I never knew about. I could tell it was going to be a good week.

After brunch while heading back to his place I was talking about the different things I wanted to do and see while I was out there. Very casually, and this is very much my Dad, he mentions that he might have to go up to Vegas that week. I ask what for and he tells me that his RV, which has just been sitting on his property not being used, was being put into a rental program and he needed to bring it to Vegas where the main office was. He was going to get the most business there. So I say, "sure, I'll go to Vegas with you!" He says, "good, because it's tomorrow morning. I've already made the reservation." We stayed at the only campground on the strip. Circus Circus. That was Sunday night and then we bummed around for most of Monday before heading out of town to take at least 3 or 4 hours off the drive back. I think I was in Vegas long enough for it to be a tease and make me want to actually plan a trip there. I gambled a little at Circus Circus, a little at Stardust, and a little at Flamingo. I didn't win anything. Saw the rose garden tribute to Bugsy Seagal. Bugsy thought it would be a great idea to open up a casino in the desert. He used a lot of mafia money to make it happen and was eventually killed by the mafia for doing it. Boy was he right though.

Tuesday we finished the drive. We didn't do any siteseeing that day.

Wednesday, Dad and I went to the Air Force Base in Tucson. We paid to go on the bus tour through the boneyard. It's known as an airplane graveyard, but I think the Air Force people are offended by that because actually only about a 4th of the many miles of retired airplanes are actually for parts. All the other planes if need be can be ready and put into flight again. Very impressive tour though. Good museum too. We walked through the Air Force One used by Kennedy and then Johnson between 1961-65. My Dad believes that it was the very first Air Force One and designed by Jackie Kennedy. I'll have to look that up. He may be right.

Thursday, Dad, Stepmom, and I drove down to Nogales, Mexico. First time in Mexico for me. Everyone knows it's a very poor country, but seeing it first hand is different. There are no emissions laws, so there are a bunch of cars driving around blowing stinky exhaust and burning oil. We parked on the United States side and walked across the border. To drive over you have to purchase insurance. If you don't and someone hits you, the police take your car. Quite a scam. As soon as we walked over people were trying to sell us stuff and offering to write us presciptions. There is a pharmacy every 3 or 4 doors. I was tempted but decided not to. There are all kinds of vendors selling rugs, blankets. jewelry, hats, holsters, and all kinds of stuff. They are very determined to get you in their store and you won't leave Mexico empty handed. But you never pay what they originally ask. They want you to bargain with them and the best thing to do is seem unsure and walk out of the store. I had a guy follow me down the street trying to sell me a silver chain. It started at $20 and by the end he was ready to sell it me for $8. I didn't buy it. I did buy a black leather cowboy hat and some other little things. One of the venders offered me a shot of Tequila while trying to make a sale, to which I accepted. After I made a purchase he offered me another, to which I accepted. That part of Mexico is fun. What's bad are the little poor kids on the street trying to sell you gum and bracelets and things like that. Their sad little faces make them very difficult to resist. All and all a fun day though.

Friday we hiked a mile and a half through the mountains and Apache Pass to see the ruins of Fort Bowie. Then hiked a mile and a half back. It took us an hour and a half to get up there and a half hour to get back. Mostly downhill on the way back and we weren't stopping to read things.

I left on Saturday and it was almost 80. Got back to Chicago around 6:00 pm and it was snowing and 31. All and all, a great vacation. Now I'm at work.


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