After a wonderful month visiting with Lin, we bid Boston adieu and headed to Las Vegas. David's family lives there and, if you'll remember, we bought a house out there last Spring and we haven't been back since. David's sisters, Mary and Karen, have been keeping the proverbial home fires burning, but it's about time we returned to remember just what we bought.
Lin dropped us (and 4 large duffels, 2 suitcases, a backpack with two laptops and another larger than practical carry-bag) off at Boston's Logan Airport. Departing wasn't quite as traumatic this time. In the past we knew it might be another year or more before we'd see each other again. This time, we're hoping to get back to Boston for a few days in October, so no tears were shed.
Our 2-1/2 hour flight connected at Chicago's Midway Airport, a distant and bedraggled cousin of the glitzy O'Hare Airport. Midway's ill-kept terminal was depressing 20 years ago and it's still depressing. There were signs that said “Excuse the carpeting … we're hoping to replace them this autumn.” I think we saw that same sign in 1996 when we passed through then. We were glad it was only a one-hour layover and a quick plane change. Once on the plane, we settled in for another four hours of flying time and arrived, no worse for wear, but definitely tuckered out, in Las Vegas right on time. Mary was waiting for us with a cart, forewarned of all the luggage that was traveling with us. The heat hit us as soon as we left the terminal … all 109 degrees F of it. We crammed all the luggage and ourselves into her Kia Soul. We were home and unloading by 10:30 pm Pacific time … 1:30 am for us. Quick hellos and hugs and we were off to bed.
Over a couple of days, we've adjusted to the time change. The temps have been well over 100 F since we arrived. “It's a dry heat”, we're told. Quite honestly, 100 F is hot even with low humidity. We're still managing to walk every morning, but it's at a much slower pace. By mid-afternoon, it's literally hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk.
The landscape has changed drastically: flat desert compared to hills and trees. Flora is hardy and sparse. Cactus, yucca and sagebrush rule instead of dense evergreens and ferns.
Rather than counting flying fish in the scuppers each morning, we count bunnies (desert cottontails) which seem to be in great numbers. Our highest count to date is 15 … one of which was in our front yard. We see pigeons, doves, starlings and hummingbirds now rather than bluejays, robins and cardinals.
It's a far cry from the sea and definitely different from Boston, but we like the change. We'll be here about a month before heading back to Chesapeake, Virginia where Cups is patiently waiting for us. Desert life makes us appreciate going back to Nine of Cups all the more. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.