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Ode to Summer

Family Time, life, Mothering 101, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized

I’ve been buried eyes deep in packing boxes, fresh from the “big move.” Racing to make the new house “home” so that we can get back to the pace of real life again. You’ll hear more about that adventure soon. Since I haven’t had much time to write, I thought I’d post my first “guest blogger” and share this lovely article, Ode to Summer, with you.

Enjoy!  I think you’ll enjoy it as much as  I did when I read it.

Ode to Summer

Those lazy, crazy days of summer! Photo Credit Suzanne Scheve 2017

I’m sitting on a California beach watching my daughter jump the waves. This year we swapped our annual crazy road trip for a stay on the west coast, and at the end of an idyllic, albeit busy, ten day vacation with my family, I suddenly find myself staring at a new school year lurking just around the corner. While I’m excited to get my class list and finish organizing my room, I’m definitely not ready for summer’s last hurrah.

Summers Past

When I was my daughter’s age, I counted the days to our annual two-week beach trip by number of sleeps until the big day arrived.    We didn’t own a car, so travel was by motor coach to the south coast of England, a 7-8 hour mostly tedious journey, endless motorways finally giving way to the first views of the twinkling blue waves at the bottom of the hill as we pulled into the bus station at our destination.

We always stayed at a B&B for our fortnight of sand, sea, and sun; usually chosen sight-unseen from a holiday book, sandwiched somewhere along a row of Victorian three-storey homes, mostly the same on the outside, but revealing the personal stamp of the owners on the inside.  Creaky floorboards, uneven staircases, and old paisley carpets were de rigeur, however; along with the smells of morning bacon wafting up the stairs as we woke to the alarm call of the gulls wheeling in the impossibly-blue skies; the sound of stainless steel spoons in bowls of cereal, the scrape of knives and forks as you ate up every scrap of that full English breakfast which always tasted better on holiday.

Nell at the beach, Cardiff, CA. Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

Sand Castles and Salty-Sea-Lips

Most days were unplanned but usually had the same routine –  heading down the Chine to the beach with a towel (sometimes splurging on a deck chair); digging sand castles with a new bucket and spade; salty-sea-lips, mixed in with the taste of suncream and lunchtime baps filled with tomatoes, cheese, the obligatory packet of crisps,  and some form of lunchmeat.  Most importantly, it was essential to time the return to the B&B perfectly so that we’d be first to stake a claim on the communal bathroom – otherwise we’d be relegated to a quick cold dip in the tub, or worse, a ‘lick and a promise’ with Quickies and cold water in our attic twin room.  The bedroom sink did double duty as an underwear rinsing station too: M&S smalls hung to dry on a makeshift clothesline outside the window – and never a problem until one day a gust of wind blew a very sparkly pair of my purple knickers off the window sill and onto the No Vacancy sign in the parking area, where they remained until Mum rather sheepishly reclaimed them before dinner that night.

On the days when the tide was high and the beach area was reduced to a few feet, we’d take day trips to explore nearby towns and sights: a local safari park and forest, miniature recreations of British and worldwide monuments; we’d play mini-golf or time-waste in thAe penny arcade; or shop for souvenirs at Beale’s or W.H. Smith’s.  In the evenings, we’d walk into town or hop on the open top bus and ride the cliff roads with views of the bay: the Aqua show, Pier Theatre, and the fairy lights in the Public Gardens were always at the top of our post-dinner to-do list.

Sometimes we would go to the pictures – I remember seeing the Sound of Music for the first time and crushing on Colonel Von Trapp; belly-laughing at the corny jokes of Airplane!; and the summer of the disaster movie – Earthquake with the simulated shaking in the theatre; Towering Inferno with a sweaty Paul Newman and George Kennedy; and Jaws of course, after which every innocuous black shape in the sea caused a mild panic on the beach.

Years later, I look back at old photographs and find great joy in those memories of childhood summer holidays.  How lucky I was!  And how lucky I am in my summers now, to be able to spend many days off with my own daughter.   My Junes are filled with swim team and Vacation Bible School – quite possibly the best summer invention ever; my Julys and early Augusts calendared with trips by road or plane to visit family.

This summer, my goal was to get my house in order and focus (my one little word for 2017) on the myriad personal projects I never have time for during the school year.  I’ve organized and reorganized my pantry, kitchen, and the bedrooms; prepped for my new classroom; purged, tossed, and shredded paper piles; donated, sold, and put away the contents of my closet; finally tackled my tangled up jewellery boxes;  read more books for pleasure than for professional development; and most importantly, carved out serious quality time making new summer memories with my girl.

My grand daughter, Nell and “grand dog” Toro, a.k.a “Mush” Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

Last week, on our connecting flight here, I found myself sitting next to a mother who had recently lost her Navy son to a tragic accident.  She was on her way to give comfort to her daughter-in-law, who was drowning in despair, struggling to come up for air with a seven-month old son.  We talked about loss; about hanging on to faith by your fingernails when everything seems overwhelming; how there is no timeline on grief; how anxiety and depression can overwhelm your soul in those early days of loss; and how the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel can seem as unattainable as the summit of Everest when the pain of loss is but a few days old.

Time Waits for No Man……. or Woman

In 9 days, I will be exactly the same age as my husband was when he left this earth – 52 years and 98 days old.  28 days after that will be the 6th anniversary of his passing.  My daughter is a rising 5th grader who will turn 11 in October.   She tells me she remembers his voice.  I hear his laugh in hers, and see his kindness in her thoughtful ways.  She is his legacy of love.

Stopping the clock to freeze our favourite moments in time; pushing the snooze button on summer; tweaking the past with a time-turner – these are not available options for us.  In times of loss, it’s easy to clutch at the past, as a drowning man grabs for a lifebelt.  Time passes, and the rawness of immediate grief gives way to what is often called a new normal (I hate that term by the way); we resolve to go forward; to try to live our best lives, appreciate what we have, while we have it.  To be present in the moment and enjoy those simpler pleasures.  Dust bunnies and laundry can wait til tomorrow. Our lives shouldn’t be measured by piles of stuff, but too often, those piles become our defining memories.

Simple Pleasure of Summer

So summer of 2017, here’s to you and your simple pleasures…..

….to lazy days of walking on the beach and jumping the waves….

…..to that can’t-put-down novel and languishing in luscious language……

…..to sunburned shoulders and freckled faces…..

…..,to diving in the deep end of a pool and blowing bubbles through noses….

…..to cold pizza and icecream for breakfast, juicy watermelon dripping down chins, and everything good to eat…..

…to sleeping in on weekday mornings, and napping on the wraparound porch as the hummingbirds dive bomb the hanging baskets like kamikaze pilots…..

Cheers to you, summer…..

Cardiff-by-the-Sea CA. Beach. Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

A bit about the author:

Suzanne Scheve is a single mom and a third grade teacher living in Houston, Texas, with her daughter, dog, and cat.  She enjoys traveling, cooking, eating anything on a plate, and hanging with her extended family in California, St. Louis, and on the East Coast.

Suzanne is also my step-daughter, from a previous marriage (it’s complicated, and FAR too difficult to explain here! She is also the fabulous mother of my only Granddaughter, Nell. Suzanne is a talented writer and photographer, in addition to her other previously named skills. I will vouch for her love for travel, cooking and eating! I have witnessed her abilities in all 3 activities!

Just days after they were with us for our summer visit, and their return home to Houston, Hurricane Harvey hit. Luckily, their home wasn’t damaged, and they were not impacted as severely as many there were.  We are blessed to have these two females as a vibrant and important part of our family.

You can find more of Suzanne’s writings at https://suiteanglaise.wordpress.com

By the way, If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, do it now! As soon as the boxes and clutter are cleared away, and I can get back to “real life” I’m going to be running some fabulous “subscriber only” contests!  You don’t want to miss your chance at fabulous free stuff—- do you?SUBSCRIBE ALREADY!

 

My “New Guy” Turned Out to Be a Real Dummy!

Fabulous After 50, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

One of the thousands of Rosebuds at the San Jose Rose Garden.

Don and I just had a quick little get away to the San Jose area.  (If you are anywhere near my age, the song, “Do you know the way to San Jose” popped in your head the minute you read where we had been, didn’t it? Come on, admit it!) Typically, when I am up in that area, I’m a San Francisco girl.  I can’t ever get enough of that city!  But this trip, we didn’t even venture into the city. We stayed right around the San Jose area.

We had a fun and relaxing time, and got in a lot of sightseeing. The first evening in town, we had dinner at a fabulous restaurant in Palo Alto called St. Michael’s Alley. If you are in that area and have a chance, I’d highly recommend it! We were at a private dinner function in a back dining room, with limited menu choices.  I got a scallop dish that was out of this world, and Don had lamb.  Let me tell you, I’d go back for either one of those dishes!  My seared sea scallops were served on a slice of Yukon potatoes, with a bit of bacon on top and an herb butter sauce.  I’m not too proud to admit, it was all I could do not to pick up the plate and lick it! Don of then started his meal with a delicious Lobster bisque and I had a wonderful salad of a variety of tomatoes with burrata.  Yummm!  We even went all out and ordered dessert.  The service was impeccable, the company was delightful and the setting was lovely.  Try it out if you get to Palo Alto, or frankly, anywhere in the nearby area!  It would be worth going a bit out of your way for.

Kind of A Dummy!

(I thought my new crush was kind of  cute, but it turned out, he was kind of a “dummy” and not much of a conversationalist either!)

The next day, after a relaxing breakfast and a read of the paper, Don wanted to go to the Computer History Museum, in Mountain View. Now mind you, a girl who really isn’t all that techy wouldn’t put this “tourist attraction” at the top of her list, but since he accommodates my every whim, how could I possibly say no?  This museum gives you info on “computers” all the way back to the abacus! I will admit, it was more interesting than I expected it to be!

Sitting by my new crush!

My favorite part of the museum was the crash test dummy.  I just had to have my picture done with him!  Turn out, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, as they say!  Not much of a conversationalist either!

Don enjoyed himself, and that’s what matters most!

Don was checking out his photos after “geeking out!”

Then we were off to a delicious lunch.  Don’t you just love how, nowadays, you just ask for the top restaurants near you, and WHAM- you can find a delicious place to eat, without taking much of a risk of getting a bad meal! Thanks to “Siri” and her help, we found The Voya Restaurant, in Mountain View.  The restaurant was an unexpected delight!  We had a charming server, and we went with his suggestion of a house specialty pork dish, Cochinita Pibil which we shared.  It proved to be as delicious as he promised, and more than enough to fill us up!  Once again, I’d suggest stopping by if you are in the area.  It’s well worth the trip!

Enjoying a fabulous “get away” lunch at the Voya Restaurant, Mountain View, CA

The Winchester  Mystery House

The back garden of the Winchester Mystery House

Then, on we went to a tourist attraction I’ve wanted to see for over 30 years- The Winchester Mystery House.  We were there for HOURS, and even then, the tours we took only covered less than 100 of the 160 rooms in the house!  This woman didn’t know the meaning of “enough is enough!”  I won’t cover this attraction in too much detail, because I plan another blog about it soon.  My suggestion is that when you go- wear comfortable shoes!  Just on the main tour alone, you cover more than 1 mile, and I can’t even begin to imagine how many steps, up and down, down and up!

Our evening ended up with seeing the movie Dunkirk and my dinner was a HUGE ice cream cone at the theater.  I guess I subscribe to the saying “Life is short, eat dessert first!”  I figured I could use the “I’m on vacation” excuse for this one!

San Jose Rose Garden is a spectacular treat for the senses! Not to mention, it’s FREE!

He Never Promised Me a Rose Garden…….

Hundreds and hundreds of rose bushes make up this spectacular, world famous rose garden! The perimeter of the garden has beautiful, stately Redwood trees.  What a beautiful combination!

Our last day, we went to see the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which has been voted “the world’s best rose garden.”  It is truly a beautiful sight to see, with literally hundreds of rose varieties, and they are surrounded by beautiful redwoods.  Dead center in the middle of the roses is a beautiful fountain.  At first glance, the fountain almost looks like it is made of crystal or clear glass.  The whole park is a delight to see.

When you first see the fountain, it appears to be made of glass or crystal!

We were told by a volunteer who was cutting back some of the roses that just before Mother’s Day is the most spectacular time to see the roses here. We plan to return, Don with camera and tripod in hand to capture the beautiful sight!

Beautiful roses, every size, every color, and all with different scents!

No matter where we travel, we always seem to have a great adventure, and it’s always fun to share it with my friends!

My theory is that money spent on travel is the best money you will ever spend!  DON’T WAIT until you have money and time to take the biggest trip possible!  Fit in those little 2 or  day adventures into your life! They are well worth it, and can be done on a budget, if that is what you need to do!

Tsk, Tsk, TSA!

My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

If you’ve done much traveling over the past few years, I’m sure you have experienced opening your suitcase to find a white card, about 3 1/2″ x 8 1/2″  to inform you that TSA has done a “safety inspection” of your suitcase.  I have had it happen.  On more than one occasion. (The picture below shows the lovely little form they leave in your suitcase. If you’ve been so lucky to have your bag inspected you will recognize this.)

TSA Safety Inspection…….You may note that nowhere does this say that TSA has been given permission to go on a “search and destroy mission.” Only that they may inspect your items………https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening

I’m the first person to vote for taking necessary precautions to keep our country, airports and aircraft safe.  By all means. I’m sure there is not another American who would want to see a repeat of the awful events of 911.

But the people at TSA obviously have no regard for your items in your suitcase, or how they handle them.

Explain to me this—- does an inspection of your bag result  in your bag looking like it was ransacked by orangutans in the jungle searching for bananas?  Or perhaps an 8 year old frantically searching for his iPad so he can play his favorite video game?  Do you remember the old luggage commercial, where they had an ape throw the suitcase out of the airplane, then stomp on it a number of times to prove its durability?  Evidently, the same apes are still employed at the airport, only they now work for TSA.  Someone told them that the bananas are stored at the bottom of each suitcase, and if they look hard enough, they may find them!

That is the condition my bag has been left on in  more than one occasion.  We just flew up to San Jose, a short 1 hour flight.  My bag was just slightly larger than a carry on size, and I had all my makeup, lotions and potions in it, so of course I checked it.  (Anyone who has traveled with me knows the makeup bag is about 18 pounds alone.  So I’m a bit high maintenance, what can I say?)

When we arrived at our destination, I quickly needed to change for a meeting we were attending.  I opened my bag, to find everything in it jumbled about.  This particular bag is very deep on both sides of the zipper, so there is a zippered panel which separates both sides to keep everything neat. On the bottom side of the bag is an elastic thingy that clips to keep your hanging clothes in place.  The zipped separator was undone, as was the elastic thingy. (In case you are wondering, elastic thingy is the technical term for this apparatus. Just sayin’….)

Believe it or not, this had previously been a neatly packed suitcase. When I opened it, the strapping was undone, the zipper compartment on the other side was undone, and my clothes spilled EVERYwhere when I opened it up. SERIOUSLY TSA? Is this REALLY the way to do things?

I was a little shocked, because I knew this was not how I left things when I packed my bag just a few hours before.  Then it began to hit me………. I’ll bet TSA has had their grubby little hands in my suitcase……… SURE ENOUGH!  There was that telltale white notification.. “Notice of baggage inspection.” While telling that TSA is required by law to inspect all bags, and that some bags are opened and inspected, it’s the second paragraph which is interesting.  The notification states, as follows: During the inspection, your bag and its contents may have been searched for prohibited items.  At the completion of the inspection, the contents were returned to your bag.”

Seriously TSA?

Nowhere in that statement do I see it stating that the contents will be thrown into a giant mixer, tossed around for 15 minutes then thrown back into the bag by gorillas.

The strangest and most disturbing time TSA “hit” my suitcase was a few years ago, when I was……. uh….. single, and going to meet a male friend (OK, a “friend with benefits” if you must).  I opened my suitcase to find it totally in disarray, as described above……. with one exception.  Evidently, Mr. TSA wanted to give his vote on his favorite garments in the suitcase.  In so doing, although he had destroyed the folding and organization of everything in the suitcase, he had layed out, EVER SO CAREFULLY, my red bustier, matching panties, garter,stockings and matching shoes!  COME ON YOU FUCKING PERV!  Really?  You have to riffle through and destroy all of my clothes in the name of “national security” and can’t take a moment to check the suitcase’s contents carefully— YET you have time to lay my lingerie out in a nice little “Flat Stanley” type of ensemble on top of everything, right along with the  card?  Seems to be going a bit far, don’t you think?

It doesn’t end there though. He had even gone so far as to go into my cosmetics bag and get out the lube and condoms. SERIOUSLY?????? They were also laid out with the outfit.

Nice touch TSA!

Nice touch TSA! Not only did he lay out his favorite outfit, but he went so far as to go into my cosmetic bag and take OUT the KY and put it with the outfit! I think he had a hard time deciding between the gold shoes and the red shoes with this outfit, so he gave me the option of deciding!

I even took the time to snap a picture of it, and send it off to TSA.  Never did get a response.  They probably have the photo of my red lingerie ensemble up in the men’s john there, with TSA agents wacking off to it daily!

My advice to you is to be careful what you pack. You just may provide the fodder for some TSA perv to get his jollys at work that day!

PS…….. Don is convinced that my publishing this article will result in me no longer getting the “TSA Pass” when I travel.  I somehow get it every time I go through the airport.  I don’t think enough people really read my shit that TSA is going to put me on the “most wanted” list at the airport.

 

 

What Happens in Vegas……..

Cocktail Time, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

World’s Biggest “Royal” Martini!

This martini is even too big for me! On Fremont Street- Old Las Vegas

This martini is even too big for me! On Fremont Street- Old Las Vegas

You know the old saying, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”?  In some cases, that may be a good thing!  If you’ve been in Vegas more than an hour, and haven’t seen something, you must not have left your hotel room!

I thought I’d take a few minutes and just post some of the crazy and silly things we saw on our little 3 day Vegas getaway………

Park on Fremont

While on Fremont Street we came across a crazy little restaurant for lunch.  Park on Fremont, at 506 Fremont. It looked like it was right out of a Tim Burton film.  I absolutely loved the wacky decor!  The courtyard in the back was as cute as could be, but too damned hot to sit out there while we were there. We were just about the only people in the place, and the food and service were both rather enjoyable. We were happy to find it.  I’d suggest you go if you are in the area!

Interior of Park on Fremont

The interior of this place is funky, weird and fabulous! Behind the bar a fireplace surround is used for the beer taps. Everywhere you look, there are things that are, well……. unexpected, in the decor.  I loved all of the strange quirks!

 

Strange picture

One of the strange pictures in the place. Sad thing is, I think I may have once dated this guy!

 

Hallway at Park at Fremont

Even the hallway at Park at Fremont has an interesting vibe! The wallpaper is a bit creepy, look closely at the girl repeated throughout.  There are different chandeliers staggered all the way down the hall.  I fell in love with the colorful one shown in the front! Don’t be surprised if you come to my house someday and see an assortment of different chandeliers staggered down my hallway!

 

Park on Freemont

Another strange picture. The girls dress is made of meat and sausages…… The bodice is a muscle…

 

Check out the lady's face and pose!

This picture was out in the couryard. It’s one of those things you may not pick up on at first, but when you do……….

 

Park on Fremont, Courtyard

The courtyard was really charming and eclectic. I’d love to go back when the weather permits.

Heart Attack Grill. Does America REALLY need this?

Heart attack grill sign

The Heart Attack Grill. OK, not my cup of tea, but there is a HUGE scale outside, and if you weigh over 350 pounds you eat free here……. Go figure!

Sign over the huge scale

If you stand on this huge scale and weigh over 350 pounds, I guess bells and whistles go off and you get to eat free. Now THERE is an honor I hope to never have bestowed on me!

Heart attack grill door

The door at the Heart Attack Grill.  Only in Las Vegas! This place is crazy!  Not my style, but pretty damn funny!

 

Heart attack grill

At the heart attack grill, hospital gowns are considered “mandatory clothing.” After you enter, they take you through an area to “suit you up.”  Not my style, not enough bling for me! But then, I’m the woman who refused to wear a hospital gown to give birth to my daughter.  I had to get special permission from the head of the hospital to bring my own “cute” gown.  After all, there are pictures of such events!

Fun on Fremont Street!

Over Fremont Street

I ziplined over Fremont Street. That’s why I couldn’t eat at the Heart Attack Grill. I may not have made the weight limit for the ride!

Funny Guy on Fremont Street

Don and I came across this funny guy on Fremont street. What a kick he was!

 

Street Comedian

This is the other side of this guys sign. He was a pretty entertaining and nice man!

 

Under arrest in Vegas

Don was put under arrest on the strip! My man is the biggest “boy scout” in the world, but I think he might have gone into a life of crime if these two were going to dole out the punishment!

 

Vegas Cops

I’m not certain what he did to be put under arrest, but he didn’t seem to mind! I didn’t even know they made butts like that! Holy Cow!

 

Naked guy in Vegas

So, Don gets arrested by the best butts in town and I get this naked guy! What is wrong with this picture? The Bodies Exhibit at Ballys was pretty interesting!  Hey, do you like my blingy handbag? If so, check out my shopping page and you can have one yourself!

 

Big Balls in Las Vegas

Only in Las Vegas would you see a booth selling “Big Balls.” I have to confess, I really wanted the large disco ball……Is it just me, or does this kiosk look like it belongs in New Orleans? Check out the zipliners up above!

What Happens to Old Strippers? Ask Don!

Retired Stripper

Did you ever wonder what happened to old strippers? Well, I guess the mystery is solved! Don went from beautiful cops, to dilapitated stripper! You really CAN’T make this shit up!

 

The Mentalist

We went to see the show, “The Mentalist”. What a fabulous show! He knew things about Don & I that no one should know! Go see this show if you are in Vegas! It was fabulous!

Himalayan Salt Cave

After such a difficult few days, what could I do but relax at the Spa? This is the Himalayan Salt cave, experienced after our couples’ massage!

 

 

The Stuff America Is Made Of!

My Humble Opinion, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Royal Ramblings!, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner

Peggy Sue Sign

You have probably seen it many times if you have driven to Vegas! It is a classic out in the middle of no where! It truly is “The Stuff America is Made Of!”

If you’ve driven to Las Vegas from San Diego, you’ve seen this little gem.  I’ve driven past it untold dozens of times, but never stopped in.  In the middle of absolutely NO WHERE, Yermo to be precise, is Peggy Sue’s Diner.  The stuff America is made of.  Or WAS made of at one time.

“Happy Days” Revisited

Peggy Sue, Betty Boop

When you walk through the door, this is what greets you. Well only the Betty Boop part of this picture. Usually I am not actually there to greet people!

When you step through the door it’s like stepping back in history.  Its “Happy Days” revisited.   Back to a day when America was wholesome, when families were intact. A time when mom’s job was to stay at home and take care of the kids, and no one had to worry if some psycho was going to go into their child’s classroom and open fire.  That innocent time in America is where you are transported the moment you step through the door of Peggy Sue’s diner.  50’s music is playing.  The walls are lined, top to bottom with memorabilia from days gone by, old concert and movie posters and photos of every  movie star you can imagine, some from years ago, some more recent.  You could literally spend hours looking at this bit history from the 50’s and 60’s in our great country.

As you enter, you are greeted with a life sized statue of Betty Boop.  When you step into the original part of the restaurant, the diner portion, you’ll see a waitress wearing a turquoise and pink uniform, reminiscent of the old diner waitresses, right down to the bobby socks.  She’ll tell you, in a friendly voice to “follow the yellow brick road” and seat yourself wherever you’d like.  Sure enough, as you look down you’ll see a path of yellow linoleum running right through the middle of the floor.

Bursting With Pies, Fries and Other Treats!

Peggy Sue Pie case

There are two pie cases filled with fresh baked pies. The servers are always running top speed to take care of the customers!

As you pass through the diner portion there are two cases filled with freshly baked pies.  I remember those same style of pie cases from my local childhood restaurants in the Midwest.

Is it hokey?  Sure it is.  But somehow, you can’t help but feel happy.  Once you sit down, you will also find a menu resplendent with food from days gone by.  Burgers, fries  and shakes, of course.  Also, from “back in the day”- Meatloaf, Liver and Onions (bacon and extra $1.29), and chicken fried steak.  On the pink menu (what other color could it POSSIBLY be?) is the story of how Peggy Sue’s came to be.

Elvis, Shelley and Patti

We HAD to pose in front of Elvis! The trip wouldn’t be complete without Elvis! After all, doesn’t Elvis simblify “The Stuff America is Made Of?”

Service With a Smile!

Our waitress, Shelley (sorry you PC people, but back in the day, that’s what they were called, and in Peggy Sue’s you ARE back in the day) looked like she could have been on board at Peggy Sue’s for the past 30 or 40 years, but as it turned out, she is actually pretty new to the place, under two years.  She took care of us the way you’d expect.  Efficiently, friendly and with time for a kind word and conversation, not to mention, she took time for a picture with Elvis and me!

Peggy Sue's bathroom

This is in Peggy Sue’s ladies room! It gave me a bit of a start when I first walked in!

As soon as we were seated, I had to take a trip into the ladies room and met with a brief shock!  I rushed through the door, and did a quick doubletake!  There was a gentleman, standing at a urinal doing his business!  I quickly realized that it was simply a mannequin in front of a painted urinal! Peggy Sue had pulled a fast one on me, and it gave me a chuckle.  Once again, corny, but good ol’ fashioned fun.  Painted next to the sinks was a sign that requested you “remain seated throughout the performance.” Another corny, but wholesome joke.

Our food came, and it proved to be far more than we needed.  Don started out with a chocolate shake,  then moved on to a burger and fries. I ordered something that I seldom see on a menu any more, but do love- Liver and Onions.  Again, something that takes me back to days gone by!  I enjoyed it thoroughly!

You Can Shop Til You Drop!

Peggy Sues Memorabilia Store

Collections of all sorts are found here- Wizard of Oz, Betty Boop, Marily Monroe, Coca-Cola, Elvis……. You name it, you can find it!

Not to be missed is their gift shop, another trip down memory lane.  Coca-cola memorabilia, every  of bottled soda you can imagine, Wizard of Oz collections, tin lunchboxes, Marilyn Monroe knick-knacks, 8×10 photos of old time stars, you name it!  Fun to peruse.  My treasure for the day?  Don got me a wineglass that says “Queen Bee” on it!

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew!

Diner-Sour Park

Diner-Sour Park was an experience! Kids would love it! There was a pond with dozens of turtles in addition to the dinasour sculptures.

Exit the back door of the gift shop and you move on to another chapter in the kitschy “American Tourist” scene known as Peggy Sue’s.  They have their own “Diner-saur Park.”  An area with metal dinosaur and King Kong sculptures, a water fall and a pond with seemingly hundreds of turtles swimming around (two in the process of mating while we were taking our little tour,  I might add!) Hokey, Smarmy……. The stuff that kids never forget when you are on vacation and let them take a few minutes to enjoy.

Dino- Sour Park @ Peggy Sue's

This tall sculpture is part of the park behind Peggy-Sue’s.

Will I stop at Peggy Sue’s again?  You bet your sweet ass I will.  It will probably become a part of my “Vegas drive ritual!”  I’m just sorry that I never discovered it when we took my kids to Vegas the many times we made the drive.  Their dad’s family ran diners, and this would have been a bit of history they would have loved.

Check it out the next time you drive to Vegas.  You’ll be glad you took the time.

 

Luscious Lemon Drop Martini

Cocktail Time, Fabulous After 50, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Travel and Adventure
A Lemondrop, fit for a Queen!

This lemon drop is the best you’ll ever find! Fit for a queen!

Luscious Lemon Drop Martinis

Last fall I went on a cruise with girlfriends. The cruise was with Norwegian on the Getaway.  One of the bartenders prepared a lemon drop martini that was SO delicious. We would see this bartender every time we wanted a drink…  Seriously, we would traverse up and down from different floors, and from one end of the ship to the other, just to go to his bar to have him make them for us!  I watched what he did, and adapted this recipe from his example. The golden honey color of these lemon drop martinis will let your guests know that this drink is something different from the usual pale and tart ho-hum lemon drop!

W Our bartender on the NCL Getaway, mixing his delicious lemon drop martinis. He took such pride in what he did, and seemed so pleased when we came to see him each evening!

Luscious Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

In a small sandwich sized zip-lock bag mix superfine sugar with a few drops of yellow food coloring, and a few drops of Orange or lemon flavoring until sugar is a consistent color and flavoring is mixed in. Pour into a plate. (After my event, I put leftover sugar into a zip lock bag and use at my next event.)

Slice lemons some in wedges, to run around the rims of your glasses.  Others in round slices to use as a garnish on the glass.

Use Lemon wedges to moisten edge of glasses, and dip into your colored sugar mixture.  This can be done before your event, so you don’t have to take time once your guests arrive.

 

2 parts lemon flavored vodka (put in freezer for a day or two before event to get as cold as possible)

1 part lemonade

¼ part orange juice

½ part sweet & sour bar mix (pre-chill)

¼ part simple syrup

Put all ingredients into a shaker, pour into sugared martini glasses and garnish with a lemon slice.

Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun!

Lemondrop martinis

My niece, Kelly and me, enjoying one of our lemon drop martinis on our cruise.