Traveling through Vegas and back

I spent the long weekend in Willow Valley, AZ (just past Laughlin/Bullhead City, near the Colorado River) with my son and his family. I couldn’t find a direct flight out there so I flew into Las Vegas and drove through to Laughlin (which takes less than 2 hours). I haven’t done any traveling in a long time and when you don’t do something for a while, you forget how much you love it. I arrived in Vegas in the evening just after 7, and it took 2 hours to get a rental car and find my way to the highway, but once I got on that highway it felt so damn good. The moon was full (thank god, cause it was would’ve been dark as hell without it), and I didn’t really know how to get to where I was going when I first got on the road, but I worked that all out. Being on a highway I’d never been on before, driving through the occasional small patch of lit up town — I felt like a little girl — so excited, so adventurous. And I remembered again how much I enjoy seeing new places for the first time on my own. Traveling with friends and loved ones is fun, too, but there’s something slightly more raw about going by myself — I process things differently without someone else around to influence my mood or my perceptions.

And I had so much fun hanging out with the family. That part of my family is something of an anomaly in my life. Everyone they know seems to think it’s weird that I’m such a part of their lives (ex old lady hanging out with the new wife). And from an outsider’s view, I don’t quite fit in (just look at the photos :), but I have so much fun with them — I don’t get to do it very often so every time I do it’s like realizing for the first time (again) how much I enjoy being with them. We had a giant brawl on Saturday night, but by Sunday afternoon were sitting on the beach again, by the river, enjoying ourselves (almost) as though nothing happened. And I love that we can do that — talk through the worst shit and still be friends. And that my son gets to see that — not that I want him to see that — but I like that he sees that we work through our crap together because of him. Because if it wasn’t for him, they wouldn’t be a part of my life in any way.

Josh is getting so mature. We had our little sex talk. And we talked about drugs and alcohol and smoking (I’ve been hearing so many commercials lately about how kids whose parents talk about it are less likely to do it :). He told me about a friend of his who’s fucked up beyond anything I can even imagine — at 11 years old his father kicked him out of the house one night and he slept in the driveway of a dairy by Josh’s house cause he couldn’t wake anyone up at 2 in the morning. How can you do that to an 11 year old child? It breaks my heart.

But besides all that seriousness, we had fun in the water, chasing uncle Casey around on the Seadoo, playing games in the sand, throwing rocks. It was hotter than anything I’ve experienced for a while, but even that was novel and enjoyable.

And on the way back — I couldn’t drive through Vegas without at least stopping once and playing roulette so I spent 20 bucks in New York New York after having a nice breakfast on Monday morning. There’s something about Vegas, too, that’s so exciting — leaving there on Friday night, the lights got to me. It’s not so impressive during the day, but the hotels are so big, there’re so many people wandering around — you can’t help but be drawn in a little. It took me over 12 hours to finally get back to my house from the time I started out in the morning. That breakfast and the really sweet old dealer at the roulette table flirting with me, was the best thing that happened all day.

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