What We Did Today

It’s the first day of Spring Break! Here’s what we did today.

Painted a choo-choo train figurine:

Played in the kiddie pool in the backyard:

Took naps then did a few activity sheets:

Played outside on Wildman’s “park”:

And had a snack:

Tomorrow we’re Orlando bound. My mom managed to get the day off! Woo hoo!


A Day That Changed My Family Forever

Yesterday, April 6th, marked the 40th anniversary of my grandparents’ death. I never knew them. They died in an explosion centered at their sporting goods store in Richmond, IN. Thirty-nine other people were killed that horrible day. My mom and aunt survived. They were 16 and 11, respectively. It was a tragedy that rocked my family. There is still so much pain and hurt over that devastating event. We hardly ever talk about it. The details I was given were sketchy at best.

Then my mom called today with news of the anniversary. I didn’t realize that it had been 40 years since the event. The topic has been hush-hush for years that I never knew the exact date of the explosion. And I never brought it up for fear of rehashing bad memories.

Here is the website commemorating the anniversary. And here is the website of the video that has been made about the explosion. My grandparents were Louise and Donald Marting, owners of Marting Arms.

Article about my clearing my family’s name.

The details about my family are not 100% accurate. My mother was not downtown at the time of the explosion. She was out riding horses with her friend. She saw the smoke from the stables. My aunt was the only one who was downtown. She and her grandmother, Jane Erbse, were heading toward Marting Arms. That part is true. There are other discrepancies that I won’t get into.

I want my mom and my aunt to tell their story. I’m working on my mother but I don’t know if she’ll ever do it. It’s so painful for them.  Understandably so.

Vegas Trip: Part I

I thought I’d share the rambling e-mail I sent OneScrappyGal about my Vegas trip. Pardon the run-on sentences, huge paragraphs and bad grammar. I just wanted to get it down. I have yet to write up the rest of the story. Stay tuned, I’m working on it. 🙂

We had a great time in Las Vegas. I got there at about 4:30 PM on Friday. Delta didn’t put my luggage on my flight from Atlanta to Vegas so I was without my stuff for a bit. I called Delta to bitch them out but that’s kind of hard to do when their customer service has been outsourced to India. The Indian guy could care less about my plight. He had a standard list of questions and limited information. He told me that my bag had arrived in Las Vegas and had been picked up by the delivery service. He proceeded to tell me that the delivery service would drop it off at my hotel before 8 AM on Saturday. I, of course, told him that was unacceptable since I could see the airport from my hotel and was only in town for less than 2 days. He didn’t care. My friend, Dr. Cindita, then got on the phone and somehow got a person to call the delivery company requesting them to drop the bag off ASAP. Thankfully, it arrived after we had eaten dinner (buffet at Wynn hotel is unbelievable, for $40 it should be, right?!). I was so happy to have my toothbrush and underwear!!!! I didn’t mind not having anything else. But I had to have my own toothbrush and underwear! I suppose I could have bought these in one of the shops at the Palazzo if I had to but the thought of spending a small fortune on a pair of underwear is a little daunting.
(I proceeded to stay up a full 24 hours on Friday. And, me being the mom that I am, woke up after only sleeping for 4 1/2 hours. I couldn’t sleep past noon even though the blackout shades were drawn in the room. I was up and ready to go. I guess the kids have conditioned me.)
After dinner at Wynn on Friday night, we went back to our 800 ft2 suite to get ready to go out. Our suite was larger than Dr. Cindita’s San Francisco condo! I haven’t been ‘out’ in a heck of a long time and certainly not in Vegas so I wasn’t real sure what to expect… We ended up going back to Wynn to go to Tryst. Let me tell you, I’ve never seen anything like the queue to get into a Las Vegas nightclub. The lines were tremendously long. They had two lines- one for the poor schmucks hoping to get in and one for the chosen few who would actually get to go in. I’m not entirely sure how you get to cross the rope into the ‘chosen’ line but somehow one of the gatekeepers with his little clipboard and headset took notice of our party and let us in. I think it has a lot to do with maintaining the guy:girl ratio. He saw a party of 4 ladies and decided to let us cross over. The other ways to get in: pay for bottle service with a table reservation and know somebody at the club who can get you on the list. It’s a crazy, networked culture of party people. I was so out of my element.
Tryst was what I expected. It was crowded beyond belief, smoky and loud. They only played 30-second clips of songs which was a little strange. It was like a club for people with ADD. We had a few drinks, wandered around and eventually located the stripper pole in the back. We stood around watching the skinny, drunk chicks work the pole for most of the evening. It was entertaining, to say the least. A European in a black cat suit and high-heeled boots with legwarmers was my personal favorite. No, I didn’t get on the pole. It looked fun though…

We went to Jay Z’s 40/40 club on Friday night as well. It was dead so we left. Either the sports bar concept is totally wrong for a Las Vegas nightclub or the club promoters are doing a lousy job.

The hotels are so over-the-top amazing that it was hard to take it all in. We did a little sightseeing on Saturday. I got to see the inside of Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio and New York, New York. The water show at the Bellagio was choreographed to music. It was spectacular. Dr. Cindita and I rode the Manhattan Express roller coaster at New York, New York. It was fun but I think I sustained a head injury from all the bouncing.

I learned that smoking indoors and prostitution are both legal in LV. Nice.

Saturday was Kiki’s official birthday. So we got gussied up to go out that night. Kiki works for Ulta and brought us all false eyelashes. Thankfully, her friend, Rach, put them on for me as I have not freakin’ clue how to do that. We had dinner reservations at Tao in The Venetian. It was a gorgeous restaurant with Asian food. I use the broad term ‘Asian’ because they had Thai dishes, Japanese dishes, Chinese dishes, etc. We ordered a bunch of different appetizers and entrees to share. Yum! Apparently Tao transforms from restaurant to club each night. Right before we left a server came by our table to stamp our left wrists with the words “line pass”. I guess that’s also how you can cross the rope into the ‘chosen’ line… 🙂
After Tao we took a taxi to The Palms… A guy we went to high school with lives in Vegas and is a dancer… He was able to get our names on the list at Moon and we didn’t have to pay a cover charge. Woo hoo! That whole evening was an experience, to say the least… To be continued… 🙂

I’m so thankful that I don’t lead a partying lifestyle. I don’t know how people do it. Staying up late, drinking all the time, feeling like crap the next day- just isn’t for me.