Category Archives: Travel

rock at your own risk

This weekend, we flew to Vegas for about 30 hours, to celebrate our friend’s 50th birthday. We’ve been doing this basic trip to Vegas and back since we were in our 20s. This was the first time we’d been in at least five years.

Turns out the Vegas you visit when you’re 50 and don’t drink is VERY different from the Vegas you went fucking bananas in when you were in your 20s. We pre-gamed Saturday night with a nap, went to a fancy dinner and a fantastic show, and then really went nuts with two desserts: cake pops in the restaurant, and then gelato in the casino.

Off. The. Chain.

I bet on the Kings to win, which they did. I ended Saturday night $19.05 ahead, and I was asleep before midnight.

Sunday, we went to the Rio (WOW it has really fallen into … wow) to play KISS mini golf, and visit this museum that a cynical Gen X punk who doesn’t particularly care for KISS (Strutter notwithstanding) could maybe call a monument to Gene Simmons’ willingness to license his name to literally anything in the world.

Here’s the thing. The best time I had during my 30ish hours in Vegas? It was playing stupid KISS mini golf. It wasn’t even a good mini golf course; it was just stupid fun with my best friend and two of our closest friends in the world.

I got a hole in one, and I ended with the lowest score, so we memorialized the occasion in the appropriate way:

I wanna rock and roll for about twenty minutes and get to bed at a reasonable hour every day.

When we were walking to our gate at the airport, Anne and I talked about how different the experience was for us, compared to the way it was when we were younger. I initially thought I’d outgrown Vegas, but I don’t think that’s right. I think that I’m just not that interested in what Vegas has to offer, and that’s totally fine. I don’t like to gamble and I don’t drink, so I’m not exactly in the demo, right? But we still had a GREAT time, and I think that, if we choose to go in the future, it’ll be similar to this trip: a fancy meal, a great show, and we’re back in the Valley before anyone notices we were ever gone.

Daily December 19

Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh nineteen.

So we are still in the mountains for another hour or so, and I’m sitting next to the fireplace, having my coffee and looking through imgur, because I already looked through the news and it was equal parts infuriating and depressing.

Side note: Google Play Newsstand is a great app, and I never would have tried it, because the News and Weather app on my phone opens articles with the most obnoxious, intrusive ads I have ever seen. Seriously, ads that take over the entire screen and want to install shit so I can dismiss them. Come on, Google. 

But yesterday, I was looking to see if there was a Daily Beast app, and it opened Daily Beast as a subscription in Play Newsstand, and I ended up staying in that app for awhile, discovering that it’s really easy to build a great digest to browse in the morning while you’re having your coffee.

Okay, so back to my point.

I’m browsing imgur, and I came across this adorable gif of hockey player Ilya Kovalchuck and figure skater I don’t know her first name Morozov skating a routine together at the KHL all-star game.

It made me smile, and I need to embrace and enjoy everything that makes me smile right now, because the alternative is to put on the lead apron and see if I can find the bottom of the pit.

Because it’s an interesting data point: this is the first post over ever put on my blog that was composed entirely in the WordPress app on my phone. It’s a pretty decent editor, all things considered. Maybe it’s my configuration, but the only issue I had is that it won’t let me upload any media.

Daily December 18

Anne and I snuck away for the weekend. Last night, we watched a movie called Hell or High Water that we both really liked. All I knew going into it was that Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine were in a movie set in Texas about brothers who are robbing banks to save their family ranch, so I won’t say more about it than that. I recommend it, though: 4 out of 5.

We also went for a long walk in the woods, and managed not to get eaten by a bear.

We have returned to Castle Wheaton. Here’s a story about a different castle.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-9-14-38-amDriving on the left side of the road was nerve wracking as hell. The roads in Scotland seem to be much more narrow than the roads I’m used to, and Anne kept telling me that I was veering close to the left shoulder, almost letting the wheels go off the road.

It took me nearly two full days of driving, but I did get used to it, and I even figured out the proper way to navigate a roundabout, which was not the victory it may sound like, because it was the final roundabout I used before we returned the rental car.

Scotland was the most beautiful place I’ve been that wasn’t in the South Pacific. The highlands were just breathtaking, and for some reason we got perfectly clear skies and sunshine the whole time we were there. The thing I wasn’t prepared for at all, though, was how dark it got at night. There weren’t any streetlights. Now, Americans, let me be clear: I don’t mean that there weren’t a lot of streetlights, or that the streetlights were dim. I mean that there were literally zero streetlights. When we drove back to the house we were staying in after dinner in Portree one night, I could only see as far as my car’s headlights, which wasn’t even 30 feet, before the darkness swallowed up the light.

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