Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009 from Las Vegas

Andre and me on The Strip in Las Vegas at midnight.

Celebrating the New Year with some Andre champagne.

Daniel and his cousin Erika and her daughter Diana.

Daniel's cousin Isabel and her daughters.

Gisel, the youngest child of Lety's brother Moises and his wife Candy.

Hiking in the hills above Moy and Candy's house in Las Vegas.

Red Rocks State Park outside Las Vegas.

Lake Mead next to Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam, built between 1931-35, in the Great Depression.

Daniel at the border...of Nevada and Arizona.

New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.

On the way to Las Vegas we stopped off at Daniel's cousin's house in Colton, California near Riverside. They're all planning to go back to Mexico soon because their father isn't doing well. It will be a big adjustment for their daughters who were born in the U.S. But fortunately, they're all excellent students and completely bilingual already.

Here in Las Vegas we've been staying with Lety's brother Moises (same name as her husband, Daniel's brother) and his wife Candy and their four kids. Lety's parents are visiting also, with her brother Hector. They'll be going back to Mexico in a few days, after a month of vacations in the U.S.

Daniel, Andre and I did a lot of hiking in the area, in the mountains near the house, in Red Rocks, and around Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. It's amazing to appreciate the engineering involved in building the dam, especially when you consider it was constructed about 70 years ago.

For New Year's Eve we enjoyed a seafood feast at Red Lobster, then joined the crowds on Las Vegas Blvd. which had been closed off to car traffic. It reminded me a bit of downtown Santa Cruz on Halloween -- the women were all dressed in tiny, skimpy, sexy outfits, despite the cool night air. Thousands of people were enjoying themselves while the police watched on the sidelines. The fireworks show was amazing.

Today we'll take off for Mammoth Lakes.