Closing Out Trip #3

Wednesday night Adam, Ryan, and Kayla arrived at our home in Las Vegas.  It was so nice to see them again and we were amazed at how much Kayla had changed since our departure 6 weeks earlier.  We really enjoyed watching Kayla and Wilma’s reunion. They were very excited to see each other!  Too cute.

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Adam and Ryan were in town to begin their house shopping, so we baby-sat Kayla for a few days while they explored several neighborhoods and open homes.  Thursday was playground day and Friday was pool day!

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Friday night, our in-laws, Mike and Kim Sheffield, flew in from Fresno to join the house hunt and to visit with us.  I know the kids appreciated their input on home upgrades, and we appreciated their company.  We enjoyed a great lasagna pizza from Red Rock Pizzeria while doting over Kayla (Adam and Ryan attended the Tiger Woods benefit at the MGM…guess they are already in Vegas Mode).

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Off to the Strip

Sunday, before dropping the Mike and Kim off at the airport, we all toured a couple of Adam and Ryan’s “favorites so far” and then had a really nice lunch at Rachel’s Kitchen in Henderson, NV.

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Thanks Mike and Kim for joining us in Vegas!  Hopefully we can get together for a trip in the future (that trip to Sequoia NP sounds good)!

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Sunday we got a surprise visit from Brett Shapiro, my first cousin once removed (son of first cousin and fellow traveler Jill Shapiro).  We last saw Brett in LA, on our 2014 road trip, so we were so happy he contacted us while he was visiting Vegas (ironically also doing some house shopping).  Brett joined us for a Shake Shack burger dinner Sunday night at our very warm Vegas home (air conditioner broke…..ugh).  It was great seeing him and catching up (and the Shake Shack burgers were really good).

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Monday morning the kids flew home to CA, and we set off for our last stop, a return to the La Quinta Inn in Bakersfield.  We decided to stop in Barstow for lunch…..at the same Panera Bread where Wilma had her first horrible bout of diarrhea (see 4/8 post, “A Pooped Pup or a Pup’s Poop”). It was high 90’s outside and we remembered the covered patio at the Truck wash next to the restaurant (where we feverishly cleaned up Wilma). So why not return, have a nice picnic lunch at the Truck Wash, and reminisce about last trip to Barstow! BTW, I’m happy to report that Wilma has been perfectly healthy since her face swelling incident on Mother’s Day.

Tuesday we successfully ended “our first extensive dog trip” after a night in Bakersfield at the La Quinta Inn, the very same hotel in which we spent our first night.  Of course, since this would be our last night in a hotel for several weeks, we had to be given a room that smelled like rotten fish.  Although I don’t think Wilma minded the odor, we requested a room change, and were gratefully upgraded to a one bedroom suite.  It was 104 degrees in Bakersfield Monday so Wilma really enjoyed having the extra space in our air-conditioned room.

On our way home Tuesday we passed through the small town of McFarland.  For those of you who have seen the movie “McFarland USA”, the high school is just a stone’s throw off highway 99. It was fun to do a drive-by and snap a couple pictures (Go Danny Diaz!).

We arrived home Tuesday afternoon and are looking forward to a restful 4 weeks before leaving again for a family reunion in Denver.

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Trip stats:  8,000 miles driven, 25 cities, 19 states, 5 state parks, 1 rattle snake encounter, 3 veterinarian visits, 1 haircut, 1 tire rotation, at least 100 people met because of Wilma!

Best Hotel:  Aloft Oklahoma City

Best Scenic Drive:  Tie between Nashville to Asheville and Grand Junction to St. George

Worst Hotel: Comfort Inn and Suites, Charleston WV

Least Scenic Drive: Omaha to North Platte, NE

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