Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Lights

Last night, on Christmas Eve, I went for a walk in a nearby neighborhood and took pictures of several highly decorated houses. Traffic on these streets last night was more than I expected, with many people parking their cars and walking up the street to see the many decorated houses. People were laughing and talking and it was a very festive atmosphere.

You can click on the pictures for a larger version, tho these that I post have been reduced in size from the original.

Fortunately, it stopped raining/drizzling long enough to check out these lights.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Las Vegas Wedding

Drove to Las Vegas for a Dec 11 wedding - Sally and Ted got married. They live in Illinois, so it was nice that they had the wedding within driving distance of me. For those who don't know Sally, she's my sister.

Here's the happy couple:

The reception was in the Eiffel Tower restaurant in the Paris hotel on the strip. It was a small reception of just a couple dozen people. Photo below is of Brion, Sally, Ted and me.

As is normally the case, there was lots to see and do, but I didn't take any pictures. I snagged the pictures above from my sister's facebook page.

Spending Christmas in southern California. The kids are flying in from out of town, so it should be a fun time. Maybe I'll take some pictures while they're here...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Joshua Tree National Park

In 18 years of living in southern California, I'd never been to Joshua Tree. The high desert is beautiful, if a bit on the chilly side, this time of year.

Driving through the park, we stopped at the cholla gardens. There were thousands of these cactus plants in a small area. They're somewhat soft and fuzzy looking, aren't they? But DON'T TOUCH! They aren't soft at all!

There's an overlook where we stopped to take a look into the valley. You can see for miles and miles. The haze wasn't too bad on the day we stopped.

Now, big rocks and Joshua trees are what we come to see here! There are campsites among some of the big rocks. We didn't stay here this time, tho. Maybe in the springtime when it's warmer.

We hiked up to Lost Horse Mine. Approximately 10,000 ounces of gold were mined from here between 1894 and 1931. You can read about it here.

I'm hoping to visit all of the national parks in the west at some point. It may take a while, tho. Stay tuned.