Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Well,..what do they say again plans of mice and men oft go astray...?
We never made it to Kingman on our anniversary due to the weather man predicting snow and high winds in the mountains!
Not to be deterred by this we opted to go to Laughlin instead and visit 'Casino Row' since the weather here in the valley was going to be nice, at least until somewhere in the afternoon, after which it was supposed to cloud up some.

Laughlin's casino's are much smaller and much less luxurious than the ones I've seen in Vegas and overall they look a little 'tired'. Laughlin in general seems to have fallen on tough times, same as everywhere, with the economy in the state it is and all, and looks rather rough around the edges I must say.
The city itself claims it makes it a welcome alternative to those who find Vegas too loud, too unfriendly, too expensive and sometimes too dirty or seedy and boasts being friendlier, 'rustic' and slow. I guess that's another way of putting it!

Laughlin is the third most visited casino and resort destination in the state after Las Vegas and Reno, and is one of the top five destinations for American RV enthusiasts.

It was founded in 1964 by Las Vegas casino owner, Don Laughlin. He flew his helicopter over the site one day and saw potential in it. So he purchased some land and built the Riverside, a small motel and casino. It quickly became a huge success and went through various expansions. A city had to be named where it lay, so it was named Laughlin after its founder.

The 1980s saw huge growth in Laughlin as eight other large casino resorts rose up south of the Riverside. To accommodate the increasing traffic between Laughlin and neighboring Bullhead City, Don Laughlin spent $3.5 million to build a bridge between the two cities, which he donated to Nevada and Arizona.

I think we liked the Colorado Bell best, having the biggest curb-appeal and an interior theme somewhere in between the Titanic and a pirate ship.
We don't gamble much, thinking it a waste of our precious money, so I can't say much about the casino-end of it other than to me it sounded just like all the other ones I've been in!

We walked along the boardwalk which borders the Colorado River and connects the Riverside with the Colorado Bell and enjoyed a nice Starbucks Latte on one of the benches along the way looking out over the river.
There is a water taxi that shuttles between casinos and also brings you to the other side, to the parking lots along the river in Bullhead city and there's a peddle boat that takes you for a tour along the river banks and which claims to serve the best Margarita's in town.

We had a nice buffet lunch in the 'Bell'. In terms of dining, the operative word in Laughlin is still "cheap", ours cost us $7.95. Had it been Wednesday we could have had it for $4.95! Oh well...

Laughlin doesn't have long-running, permanent entertainment shows like Vegas, but it does get concerts on tour all the time. Only the artists that perform here tend to be names that haven't been popular since the seventies or before. 
Some of the celebrities being promoted for upcoming tours are Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, The Diamonds, Smokey Robinson, Merle Haggard and Engelbert Humperdinck. I didn't know they were still performing ........ to be honest, I didn't know some of them were still alive!

After lunch we took a short trip to the Davis Dam, a dam on the Colorado River about 70 miles (110 km) downstream from Hoover Dam and 88 miles upstream from Parker Dam that impounds the Colorado River and forms Lake Mohave.

I'm not much into dams (how un-dutch) but it's something to see and there's not too much of that around here!

We also visited the Colorado River Historical Society Museum.
It's housed in an old church building and has displays, artifacts and memorabilia of the Tri-State area.

Also on the property is the first post office in Bullhead City. The building was originally located in Oatman. It was brought to Bullhead in the late 1920's or early 1930's to serve as a general store.

So that was it for our wedding anniversary. A nice relaxed day during which we actually talked a lot about our live together so far. It was nice to reminiscence, we already made so many great memories. Good times, tough times, but we're still together and enjoying it!
Let's hear it for another 12,5!

By the way, I found some more about wedding anniversaries:

The earliest references to wedding anniversaries date from the 1800's. They seem to have originated in the Germanic region, where the custom was for the spouse to give his wife a silver garland when they had been married for twenty-five years. Gold became the second traditional wedding anniversary, after fifty years.
Note however that the average life expectancy was not as long as it is today ! In several European countries, therefore twelve and a half years of marriage were celebrated using Copper as the anniversary symbol. Around 1875, another newcomer was the fifth anniversary, with wood.
Later, more materials were added, and the list was continuously updated by commercial companies, to increase the sales of presents. 


Monday, February 18, 2013

Have you ever eaten elk? Or deer? Well, we hadn't but that has changed since last Friday night when Jim and Linda threw an impromptu venison BBQ!
They were leaving the campground and had some elk and deer in their freezer that they didn't want to take with them on the road so they figured we might as well all have a sample.
They made some huge elk burgers, big slabs of (white tail) deer steaks and side dishes were brought by all attending.
The weather was great so we could actually hang around the BBQ outside for a while while the meat was cooking.

We both really liked the elk, the deer a little less but that might have been because it was a little too rare for our taste.
We only had a small group showing up, I guess not everybody was brave enough to try it, so there was way too much meat and I ended up overeating as usual at these potlucks. I swear, next time I'll eat less, I'm always stuffed!

I had a good laugh over Sue's T-shirt that she had specially made somewhere:


She and her husband have woken up in the mornings on more than one occasion during their travels asking each other " Where the f.. are we?" so they call themselves proud members of the' Fugarwi Tribe' :)

After the meal some hung around to play poker. James is trying to teach me (I'm a terrible card player) so until I'll get the hang of it I prefer to just watch.  (they try to make me play but I'm pretty sure it's only because they want my money! Not that the stakes are that high, the buy-in is only $5, but still...)

I've been working hard on my New Years resolutions and I'm proud to say that I made good on one of them! Voila, I finally finished my socks!
They came out really good, fit me like a glove (or a sock) and are really comfy. They have a nice circle pattern on the cuff but it's rather hard to see  in the picture because of the striped wool I used.

So now I can start something new. I have a couple of different hand spun yarns laying around, now I just have to figure out what to make ?
Nothing much else to report for now other than the fact that tomorrow is going to be an important day for us!
It will be the day of our 12-1/2 wedding anniversary. Can you believe it? Twelve and a half years?!
Now I probably have to explain to my American audience that in the Dutch culture, the 12-1/2 year wedding anniversary is a huge deal. While some might mark their tenth anniversary as an important milestone here, it’s the 12-1/2 anniversary (half of 25) that brings on the congratulations and celebration in the Netherlands.
The Dutch don’t hold any significance for 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 year anniversaries but choose to celebrate the all too metric 12.5 years (!), 25 year and 50 year anniversaries only!! Funny!

So although this would normally (if you have your family or friends around) ask for a big party we've decided to keep it small and private and finally make that day trip to Kingman tomorrow, have a nice drive through the mountains and come back via Laughlin where we'll have a nice dinner at one of the casinos.
I'll post about it soon but here's one of our wedding pictures of
8-19-2000, cute! 



Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sunrise over the Mohave Valley at around 7 am when I start cleaning the restrooms.  
It's been a rather boring couple of weeks here in the valley, nuttin' much going on at all. The weather stayed cool and very windy, forcing most of us to stay inside most of the time.
We've been working our 3 days on and 4 off without much interesting happening in that department either.
That is until the last 2 days when all of a sudden the weather turned and we had a couple of gorgeous days well into the 70 degrees! Everybody that had been hibernating came out of their rigs and various blindingly white body parts were exposed to the blessed sunshine!
Since we had not been able to do much yard work until now we tackled a couple of areas at the front of the Park while we could.

Before                                                                      After
This bougainvillea was completely overgrown with grab (crap!) grass. It took me a while to pull it out while trying to avoid it's nasty thorns. Despite my gloves I wasn't very successful. My arms are looking like the cat attacked me something terrible and I have some nice big thorns deeply embedded in my fingers that will have to fester out by themselves I'm afraid. 

Here's some pics of James 'in action' at the office. There's usually very little going on. (they're already getting nervous when they have 2 arrivals ;)

Still, at the end of the day it's nice to put your feet up!

Last week I managed to add another library card to my collection. The Mohave County library encompasses a huge district from Lake Havasu in the south to Cloride in the north and has a rather large e-book selection which is the (only) part of the library that I'm interested in.
With my 'local card' there was no problem at all to apply and get the card and like the previous ones I acquired this one was free also.
I'm getting quite the library to choose from!

Like I said I've got not much to talk about or many pictures to show so I'll bore you with another one of my baking accomplishments.

These are (half) whole wheat baguettes made from the same 'no knead bread' recipe I used before. Since I forgot to check on them at their final baking stage  (I was fighting with that nasty Bougainvillea) they got a little too crunchy maybe, although James thought they were perfect.
But than, he's rather partial off course (or doesn't want to jeopardize any future baking?)....

Unfortunately, the weather isn't going to 'hold', they're predicting rain for the weekend. It sure looks like it!