Archive for March, 2018

Patty and I got back to Kansas City today after several days in Berkeley, CA, and Las Vegas.

Patty goes to Berkeley just about every year on WomenSpirit business, displaying and selling clergy garments to students and faculty at seminaries. Sometimes I go along and help with loading, unloading, hanging and packing of robes, blouses, stoles, dresses and other clerical garments. (She won’t let me sell; I’m a bit too enthusiastic.)

With at least eight seminaries, the Bay Area is a good market for WomenSpirit, and, of course, it’s a beautiful area to visit. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to get over to San Francisco, which partly accounts for the paucity of photos from the Bay Area.

Las Vegas was a bonus. Our 28-year-old son Charlie has lived there the last few years, working toward a master’s degree in environmental health physics, and until this weekend, Patty and I had not been out to visit him.

I ┬áhadn’t been to Las Vegas in about 40 years. I was single and alone back then and had a terrible time. It’s not a place to go by yourself. This trip, though, was memorable in a good way, especially with Charlie serving as guide, driver and entertainment coordinator.

If you’ve been there, you know the throng of humanity in the casinos, bars, restaurants and on the streets and in the hotels is astounding. Even more astounding, I’m sure, is the amount of money the Las Vegas entertainment and hospitality industry generates each day. Everywhere you go — downtown, The Strip, the suburbs — hordes of people are assembled, and cash, credit cards and chips are continuously changing hands.

It was ┬áno surprise to me to find that between 2006 and 2016 Nevada’s population grew by 16.5% — nearly twice the 8.3% national growth rate.

…With all those people and all the drinking that takes place, the fun sometimes gets out of hand. On Friday night, I was nearly the victim of a boisterous young man’s disregard for his fellow fun seekers. I was in a restroom stall at one of the Fremont Street casinos when I heard a loud, unintelligible exclamation from the stall beside me. Next thing I know, a beer bottle clanged to the floor in my stall, the drunken young man having lofted it over the divider.

Fortunately, the bottle didn’t break when it hit the floor. I don’t know how close it came to hitting me, but it could at least have left a bump.

I made a mental note of the young man — little guy wearing jeans and a black ball cap — as I left the restroom but didn’t say a word. Mini crisis averted…I just hope no one was injured because of his recklessness that night.

Now, here are the photos…

From the grounds of the Pacific School of Religion, a seminary in Berkeley, we had an alluring view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The stone entryway to the seminary offices.

Other than the view of the mountains to the west of Las Vegas, the transition from Berkeley was abrupt. McCarron International Airport (below) is modern and efficient, but it’s the slot machines that grab arriving visitors’ attention.


Paris like you’ve never seen it.

In Las Vegas, it’s just a hop, skip and jump from Paris to Hollywood.

The Fountains of Bellagio are one of the top visitor attractions on The Strip…

…and we were there, despite it being cold and windy Saturday night.

“The Chandelier” is a three-level lounge at the Cosmopolitan casino, also on The Strip.

And here’s what pays for all the glitter.

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