Saturday, May 31, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. We went to Las Vegas for a short vacation and I needed a few weeks to recuperate after we came back.

We stayed with our friend Chris who was kind enough to let us use her very peppy car. Diane had a very good time driving it. Gas was a bargain at just under $4.00 a gallon. It was surreal the first day we arrived and jumped in the car to go visit our house. As we drove through some very affluent neighborhoods, we saw the multi-million dollar properties sitting vacant with boarded up windows and doors. The once lush professionally landscaped yards were dry and barren. It was very sad. It was also a reality check for us.

When we arrived at our house, we were overcome by the realization that the property was deteriorating in our absence. We still have the water on and the yard and pool maintained but the level of overgrowth in the yard was shocking. We only managed to lose one cherry tree. I guess we are lucky for that. The inside was very dirty/dusty from being vacant. Of course we had the normal occurrences in a vacant house of people using the washroom and not flushing. Overall, the house looked pretty shabby. Another reality check. The houses on the market in Las Vegas that are in foreclosure were built from 2004 up to the present. All of them with all the whistles and bells. This is an older circa 1980’s house. Yes, it has a fantastic property but it is still very dated. With 2 plus years worth of surplus homes in foreclosure, on the market in Las Vegas, we needed to get real and get this house sold. We called the realtor and dramatically reduced the price. I will keep you updated on this front as things develop.

We had a great time in Las Vegas seeing all our friends. The highlight for Diane was the Bally’s Sterling brunch. She gorges herself on lobster and I gorge myself on caviar. We all gorge ourselves on champagne. We had a great party at Chris’s house and another fantastic party at John and Leanne’s. Their son Jack, the child Diane and I would have loved to have had, has grown so much and is such a great person. We love him very much. Robert and Dani Bell’s girls Piper and Bijou have both grown and really blossomed. We got to take Kyle, Brenda’s daughter out for a very grownup birthday dinner at 17 complete with wine and several deserts. Of course her mother and Grandmother were with, as it was Chris’s birthday, as well.

It was wonderful to get back to Canada. It was 114 degrees the day we left Las Vegas. It is 75 degrees here today. We have planted our gardens with veggies. It has been a glorious day. Actually the past several weekends have been glorious. When my friend Teresa visited Victoria last year at this time, we would get up every morning and have coffee on the deck listening to the birds, watching the eagle fly overhead and enjoying the sun. She would jokingly say to me, "Ahhhh, another shitty day here in paradise."

My job is being posted as a full time permanent position next week. Of course, I will apply. Some of the angst from the B&E has abated and I don’t feel so driven to work at Costco because it is down the street. If I got the job full time permanent at UVic, it would give me a little more security and a chance at another pension.

We have a full summer planned. We recently learned that WestJet will be flying non-stop from Victoria to Las Vegas starting in September. We have been thinking about American Thanksgiving and Black Friday . . .

I hope I will have more good news to post next week. Stay tuned, things are fantastic in the best place on Earth.