Saturday, July 17, 2010

The East Coast Family Comes West (Long overdue post)

My mother, sister and nephew came for a visit over a month ago. Yes, I tend to procrastinate.
Dad stayed in Maryland to spend Father's Day in
peace. lol

This is a picture of David playing a slot machine for the first time. I hope, truly hope, that he takes after his mother and not me when it comes to gambling. To borrow from a Jimmy Buffet song, I've made enough money to buy Miami and pissed it all away in a bunch of effing slot machines. My sister, on the other hand is NOT a gambler. I remember a trip to Atlantic City over 15 years ago where my aunt gave us each some money to gamble with. $20? $50? I can't actually remember the amount but I do remember vividy that once that money was gone, my sister was DONE gambling for that trip. On this trip David was enthusiastically encouraging us all to play MegaBucks. Since we were at the Palms and I'm not supposed to play progressives at work, I took a pass. My mother put in $3 and lost. My sister put in $3 and hit bar, triple bar, 5X for $75. Did she take another spin? Nope. She cashed it out. Later in the trip I think she put $6 in a machine. That was the extent of her trying her luck.
We stayed at my place on the first night. I threw a spare mattress on the living room floor and David and I "camped out" there while my mother and sister slept in my bed. I didn't get much sleep but we were up with the sun in the morning and hit the road for California. One bathroom break and one food stop later we were in San Diego. There is a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING between here and there.
The USS Midway was our first stop. David is very interested in the military and I knew he would like that tour.

After the Midway tour we took a two hour cuise of both the North and South portions of San Diego Bay. Both sections of the tour gave great views of billions (trillions?) of dollars worth of naval ships and submarines. I had taken this same cruise on my first visit to San Diego a few years ago but it was enjoyable the second time around as well.

We then headed a little north of San Diego to Harrah's Rincon. I was able to get a comped room for two nights there and the "free" room was enough to convince me to stay there. By then, due to the lack of sleep and a ton of driving I was dragging ass. When I went to check in, I was told that there were no two-bed rooms available. Given the choice of sleeping in the car or sleeping on a roll-away or a sofa I chose not to sleep in the car but I did have a little melt down. For that I apologize to my family. That's not a side of me you are used to seeing. Again, sorry.

The next day we headed to LegoLand. When planning this visit I gave David the choice of LegoLand, SeaWorld or DisneyLand. I was a little surprised when he picked LegoLand, but so be it. LegoLand, like all theme parks, was expensive. Interesting,but expensive.
I managed to get extremely sunburnt. My sister a little less so but still red as a beet.
I thought I was in Southern California, but Las Vegas had followed me, aparently. Yep, LegoLand has recreated the "Strip" in Lego blocks.

After a long day at the park we headed west for the last time looking for a beach, any beach. Not being familiar with the area I didn't know exactly where we would end up, but I knew if we kept going west we'd end up running into the ocean at some point. That point turned out to be Oceanside.

We fooled around on the beach for an hour or so and just before departing David decided to lose a tooth. We found the tooth and headed back to Harrah's.
We switched rooms so that we could all sleep in a bed that night and as the rest of the family was settling in (and I was waiting for them to settle so I could go lose an insane amount of money downstairs in the casino) I felt something that didn't seem right. My sister and nephew were on the bed, mom was in the bathroom and I was sitting in a chair. The room started moving and then it stopped. I asked my sister if she had felt it and she said YES SHE HAD. It started moving again. Once it stopped the second time we both said EARTHQUAKE! David was a little freaked-out but I thought it was kind of neat.
Mom, however, claims to have felt nothing. How she didn't feel it I'll never understand. She said she thought she felt the bed shake the night before while the rest of us were asleep and as it turns out there was a smaller quake that night. So the rest of us slept through one and she somehow "missed" the larger one the next night.

The next day we headed back to Las Vegas........

to be continued.

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