Well, Dad and I are back from our un-Christmas in Vegas, complete with pictures and memories of holidays in the very big, very weird city. ;-)

We had a touch of trouble actually GETTING to Vegas, since we were due to fly through Chicago *ahem*. Instead we did what Dad dubbed a "circular tour of the United States" by flying from Evansville to Memphis, Memphis to Dallas, and Dallas to Vegas.

But hey, we got there!

So what did we do while we were there?

Gawked at the Chihuly ceiling and Conservatory in our hotel, the Bellagio...

Chiluly Ceiling

Bellagio Conservatory

We rambled through enormous hotels like the MGM Grand, New York, Paris, and our favorite, the Venetian...

Our Turn

We ate a spectacular Christmas dinner at Sensi, complete with a glassed view of the kitchen. It was like sitting in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef!

Christmas Dinner

We ate crepes poolside, because, well, we could. ;-)


We marveled at the Bellagio fountain shows - once we caught them!


We watched dolphins frolic and big cats (leopards, lions and tigers) eye us warily...

Lookie There!

We watched the Sirens show at TI, and the volcano erupt at the Mirage...

Volcano VI

We also wandered through malls, ate delicious food, watched the Mystere Cirque du Soleil show, and generally walked our legs off every day. But for me, the highlight of the trip?

Taking a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon.

Not only was it spectacular, but I totally want to learn how to fly a helicopter now. So. Much. Fun. What an memorable trip...

Let's go!


The Strip from the air...

Amazing View

Lake Mead...

Lake Mead

Hoover Dam...

Hoover Dam III

And the Grand Canyon itself...

Colorado River II

Veering Off

We're Here!


What a great un-Christmas trip! Wanna see the whole trip set? Check it out on Flickr (warning: there are a lot of pictures of drool-worthy food, mostly taken for Don to gawk at!)...

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So, about a month ago, Dad and I took a trip back to England to visit family for a couple of weeks. Most of our time we spent hanging out with family, catching up, and just abdicating responsibility to the world for a while, though we did manage to squeeze in a few tourist-y things, as well as some new adventures. And hey, I even managed to write 10,000 words of my novel while we were there. ;-)

Though the weather didn't cooperate, we had a great trip with a lot of family, food, and of course, photos. ;-)


I do love a pebble beach...(the beach in Eastbourne, where my grandmother lives)...

Self Portrait

Dad and I took a boat ride to see the lighthouse on Beachy Head in Eastbourne...

The Lighthouse

We ate at several lovely pubs...

The Cricketer's Arms

Typical Pub

Dad and I toured the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, which was fantastic, then wandered around The Lanes...

I'm Here Too!

October 31

Dad Too!

We zipped up to London for a day to catch up with Dad's best man from 40+ years ago!


Then we drove "cross country" to Wales to spend a week in Hay on Wye, the "town of books", where our cousin Pat lives...

Early Morning View

November 3

Hay Castle


Dad and I took a day trip to Bath - home of Regency novels, Roman baths, and lovely architecture...

Famous Milsom Street...

Milsom Street!

Famous "Royal Crescent"...

Better View


The famous, amazing Roman Baths...

We're Here!

First View

Sacred Spring

The (famous) Abbey...

The Abbey

The Abbey

And, of course, famous Pulteney Bridge across the River Avon, where shops are a part of the bridge...

November 6


Pulteney Bridge Shops

I also very much enjoyed motorway driving. ;-)

November 8

But after a week of lovely food, meeting new people, watching elections, writing, reading and resting, it was time to cross the Severn Bridge back to Eastbourne to make our journey home...

Severn Bridge II

Goodbye, England!

November 9

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("My" room at cousin Pat's house in Hay-on-Wye)

On Monday evening, Dad and I will be winging our way across the Atlantic for a two-week visit to the family in England. Mum had long wanted Dad to go home to see his family, and I'm tagging along for company, as she wanted me to.

We don't have much sightseeing or tourist-y things on the schedule - just lots of family, relaxing, strolling, my first Guy Fawkes Day in England and hopefully, a few trips to Sainsbury's. ;-)

While in England, I will have another challenge to take on, though.

The beginning of NaNoWriMo!

Oh yes, for the sixth time, I'm going to try and write a novel in a month, even though I'll be in a foreign country at the mercy of my father's laptop (and his willingness to part with it!) for the first nine days of this journey.

But hey, it's all good. What's a few days here and there when you're writing a 50,000 word novel? ;-)

In any case, I'm not sure if I'll be blogging from the motherland or if I'll just stack up my camera card until I return, but either way, I'll see y'all soon!

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Things around this blog have been quiet, as I finally took a few days of vacation and got outta town!


My sister and I took our annual "sisters weekend" last weekend, this time with a destination in North Carolina: the Biltmore!

We had fantastic weather, a great vacation package, a wonderful visit, lots of pictures taken, a lot of laughs, some good relaxing and only got stuck in traffic once. ;-)

I've never been to North Carolina, so I loved getting to see the Smokies and enjoying the vistas. *grin*

Anyhoo, it was a fantastic trip, and it was REALLY hard to go back to work...I need a vacation from the vacation, methinks...

We toured "the big house"...

October 12

We marveled at the architecture and the grounds...

Side View

We ate lots of tasty food!


We drank a lot of coffee and saw lots of pretty plants...


We visited the winery and did some tasting...

The Cellars...

We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and saw lovely vistas...

October 14

What a fantastic autumn trip - thanks, Mich! :-)

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Y'all may have noticed I was off the grid for a few days there...I spent a week in Chicago with my family, seeing a cousin from England who is traveling 'round the world, and stopped in the Midwest to say 'allo, 'allo!

We packed a lot of sightseeing into just a few days, but made sure to leave time for lovely meals and leisurely coffee in the morning! We stayed at a fabulous boutique hotel (Hotel Indigo) in the Gold Coast, which was just lovely as well. Wanna see what we did?

Welcome to Illinois!

Welcome to Illinois

My super cool hotel room...

My Room II

All together at last!

First Dinner

We visited Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Oak Park, which was fantastic:

Pat and I

We walked all 'round Millenium Park, and took self-potraits in "The Bean":

And Without Flash

We took a river architecture tour from Navy Pier, which was fantastic:

Window Washer

I braved the top of the Sears Tower, despite my fear of heights!

Being Brave

I insisted on a stop at Giordano's for Chicago style pizza. ;-)


We saw the absolutely gorgeous Chicago Botanic Garden, complete with trolley rides!


We had an awesome, awesome steak dinner at Ruth's Chris:

Family Photo

We went to the Chicago Art Institute, where I saw my Monets, and had my own Ferris Bueller moment with this painting... :-)

Georges Seurat

I also threw down major coin at Crate and Barrel while the "elderlies" looked on, and Dad filed an incident report for slicing his hand open:


And before we knew it, we were back home again in Indiana...

Back Roads to Indiana

We had a fabulous time, and it reminded me again how much I love Chicago!

(The entire huge, honkin' photo set is right here)

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