Sunday, April 3, 2011

Home from Vegas, Part I

The trip to Vegas last week was too short but resplendent with good memories. On the way home I ended up checking my carry on size bag because it was so heavy with all my slot machine winnings.....not; but that's beside the point. My third trip to Vegas was not about the Strip at all even though I did drop some bills into a few machines in a several casinos over my three days. Didn't win a damn thing and I should know better. But...

The trip was about reconnecting with Pate, my girlfriend of 25 years; one I consider near and dear to my heart but with whom I've rarely telephoned in the 20 years we've lived so far apart.We write letters and emails and now we text. This is all because of my quirks, not hers. She puts up with me.

After a few years working together in Houston, she moved to Tampa and I moved to Seattle. We lived about as far from each other as you could get, on the diagonal, and still live in the southern 48 states. Through the years there have been visits every few years but never enough. Once we met in Albuquerque for a gal's weekend adventure to Santa Fe. Another time we met in Huntsville (Alabama, not Texas), dropped my son Chris off at Space Camp and took off on a car trip with our then two younger kids through through Tennessee. The last two visits have not been visits at all since they involved weddings of my oldest and then her oldest child.  It's impossible to count those quick weekends as quality time spent in each others company  since it's all about getting our kids down the aisle.

Pate moved to Vegas last fall and calls a silver Airstream trailer her home. She knows it's likely not permanent although she did allow that downsizing and living in an RV full time is not necessarily an outrageous thought. She and her husband, who's still in Florida getting ready to move West, just might. I spent three great days and nights calling the Oasis RV Resort home. Pate's trailer was a dwarf compared to the "big rigs" on either side. But inside, we had all the amenities. If there's a toilet and a refrigerator, I'm in heaven.

Pate knows her neighbors; I was surprised to learn that a large percentage of the folks staying at  the Oasis are semi-permanently parked there with their huge class A RVs, pets, and small cars in tow for trips about town. For those not savvy with the terminology, the class A is a motor-home, all in one and some look like large buses. They were everywhere at the Oasis.

Pate (and Ed's) Airstream in Vegas
Pate's neighbors are great folk. Everyone is (or seems) so happy, chilled out, laid back and in a good mood. I've always loved that about the RV life. It may be a total facade but I don't think so. Every time we journeyed out in our humble, little tent trailer and pulled into a place with hook-ups (that's a good), we knew we'd landed in friendly territory.  I met Russ with his 150 pound Great Dane who gave me slobbery kisses. I sat outside on a glorious, sunny and warm day with Pate, Chet, and Steve enjoying chocolate mousse vegan style. Amazing.

An interesting trailer. Aruba?

"Brutus" watches Animal Planet when not catching some fresh air

The secret vegan ingredient in chocolate mousse? Shh. Avocado.Delicious

Pate and I enjoyed great food, drink, and conversation inside the Airstream as well. Life is sweet.

Staples; plus lime and ice

Outfitted with Internet

Goes well with rum and coke
More later. Part II  is another post.

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