- Monday, April 08, 2002

The drive from Steamboat Springs, Co. to Las Vegas was uneventful despite the splendor of passing through the Colorado Front Range. The only major city we passed through was Grand Junction in which we spent the night in the front parking lot of a VW Mechanic! We also shipped ~1/2 of our clothes home in order to make the van more livable.

Using our 2001 Eddie Bauer Map (thanks Mom!), we found Freemont Indian State Park about 165 miles west of the Colorado/Utah border. There was not a car in sight at 11pm as we drove 10 miles outside town to find the deserted campground. The empty, seemingly non-descript campground, was wonder of nature once we awoke in the morning. The terrain around the park resembled photos we’ve seen of Bryce Canyon-giant stalagmites everywhere! We were hoping to get some time in skiing on our way to Vegas since our health was finally restored. After barely making it up the pass in Brian Head, Utah (Heimo was a bit altitude-challenged), we took one look at the slushy snow and decided to power on to Vegas and ski later in our trip.

Greeted by the lights of the Las Vegas Strip at about 10:30pm, we rolled into Linda & Joel’s (Marisa’s mom/step-dad) new home a day early to surprise Marisa’s mom. Our arrival in Vegas coincided with Joel’s arrival in Vegas to live permanently after commuting back and forth from Houston for the past 9 months. We spent our time helping organize, unpack, and of course with computer stuff. We were also lucky enough to get to spend some quality time with Linda’s cousins Michael & Barbara who had come in for a week’s visit. Coincidentally, Marisa’s dad and step-mom (Mike & Barb—also!) were in Vegas visiting Barb’s mom. We had a great week with family.

Highlights of Vegas include:

- Hiking Red Rock Canyon with Joel
- Water aerobics with Mom (not Dave!)
- Dave’s 1st visit to the strip—Mom, Joel, and pastrami at The Stage Deli
- Hiking at the Nature preserve with Dad, Barb, and Barb’s mom
- Dave’s 2nd visit to the strip—included several drinks to ease the harshness of the Vegas lights as well as a chance meeting with Dad & Barb for a great dinner
- And of course, 1st night of Passover at a Casino Seder with 600 over-the-hill retirees. Dave sang 3 songs (must’ve been the Maneschevitz) but refused the gefilte fish yet again.

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