Friday, June 30, 2006

Lake Mead, NV

Lake Mead

I just got back from a family vacation in Lake Mead, just outside of Las Vegas. Vegas is a bizarre little city. The Vegas airport is instantly recognisable upon disembarking because of the electronic dinging that you later identify as the sound of hundreds of slot machines that line the corridors. People have a lot of time to kill in Vegas, and most don't wait to leave the airport before gambling.

The strip is unempressive from the air. My trip was so short I didn't have a chance to go see the sights. But then, I'm not a gambler, so I think the pleasures of giant casinos would be lost on me. Drea and Jason picked me up, and we drove to Lake Mead where Grandma and Ken had rented a 70' houseboat complete with water slide, hot tub, ski boat, and two skidoos. Mom, Dad and Allie came in a few hours behind me. Hail, hail, the gang's all here.

Once I put my swimsuit on it didn't come off again until it was time to dry it out and put it back in my backpack to leave. The weather was scorching. Anywhere from a "cool" 95 to 115. Dawnie and I found the best way to handle it was to lounge around on the deck for half an hour at a time (I wearing SPF 50, she trying to become Puerto Rican by the end of the week) and then run for a dip to get hair and swimsuit wet. We had enough food to save Napoleon's ill-fated army. Everyone still remembered the turkey sandwich fiasco in Florida (most of the family can't look at a turkey sandwich without shuddering) and came armed with junk food. We also sent the parents to the store for Malibu Rum, tequila, vodka, and something for Drea. We're not a heavy drinking family at gatherings, so the selection was odd for us. But what better place than on a houseboat for Margaritas and Malibu Cherry Limeaids? There was also beer, but as Dad put it, 'I drove all the way to Nevada and all you have is light beer?!" Ken of course provided the zinfandel for the barbecues.

We spent a lot of time moving the houseboat trying to find the perfect spot. The boys fished, each catching at least one. There was waterskiing, and we all dinked around on the skidoos. And of course rummycubes and monopoly. One evening our entertainment was a fantastic heat lightning storm. I provided a medly of "I will go down with this ship" by Dido, and various songs from Titanic. Wednesday night Nick and Allie built a bonfire on the beach. At one point he added a mound of tumbleweed, and the fire was suddenly at eye level from the second story. Little piros, all of them. I'm suprised Drea wasn't down there dancing to the heathen gods as usual.

Thursday morning I had to catch a flight, which I missed, and then flew standby the rest of the day. In the break between I caught the hotel shuttle to the Hilton, where there is a Star Trek exhibit, but it wasn't open yet. So I have a lovely dark picture of the gated off Promenade. And I played one dollar on the five cent machine at gate 26 just to say I gambled once in Vegas. Woohoo.

And after all the ribbing my family gave me over my SPF 50, guess what they wanted me to leave with them when I packed...