I’m not going to be stoic about this. I think I will just fill you in on the holiday travels.


I put a considerable amount of miles on the Honda Element this season. Naturally I started in Denver and made my way South East so that I could pass through the land that the current book I am reading talks about. Honestly, American History, as important as it is, just bores me. This book is now the exception and quite possibly a new doorway into future readings. The book, “Halfbreed”, is the story of George Bent a half Cheyenne and half white warrior with a most interesting past. A major incident in George’s life takes place along the Sand Creek in Southeastern Colorado. George was a survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre. I will leave the details out as it is not one of the US’ finest moments and I don’t wish to spoil the book.


After passing Sand Creek and trying to envision the massive tribal movements of the American Indians I made way for Texas. I decided to try my new GPS to navigate me to home. Needless to say I saw more of Texas than I honestly needed to and ended up staying in some town in central Texas that I have already forgotten, except for the counter lady who checked me in to a fairly decent, minus the smell, hotel. I entered the lobby and immediately wanted to never breathe again. The strong smell of cigarettes assaulted my nose as I passed the non-smoking sign. Then I saw her. The Central Texas gem of an older women who was missing all but about 3 of her teeth greeted me with a smile. For a moment I thought I had passed out along the road somewhere and was dreaming and somehow ended up in the mind of Jeff Foxworthy. She kindly checked me in and I went away mildly entertained and nearly turning blue for the lack of breathable air.


I decided to reset the GPS and head for San Antonio and then on to Victoria. Victoria was no less impressive than it was the year before. In fact I was very impressed with the amount of coffee shops that were popping up and the free internet that they provide. I would certainly like to mention the Long Leaf Coffee shop downtown, my personal ticket to reality. Please support this place along with other downtown businesses. Victoria has such a charming downtown that really should be utilized more.


The visit home was pretty typical, family and friends and not enough time to see them all. I stopped buy the sushi place and had the best sushi I have ever consumed! Unfortunately, it was accompanied by crappy service, which seemed to be the theme for dining in Victoria. Still though, the sushi was amazing! I would like to offer a word of advice to the businesses of Victoria; service is dyeing, if you can keep it alive in your business your business will thrive and given the restaurant saturation of Victoria, it would be wise to brush up on the service aspect. A word of standard to the consumers; don’t put up with sub-standard service.


I said good bye to Victoria once again and headed for Fort Hood to visit a dear friend of mine. The flash backs of my time there flooded my brain but I forced them out and was able to enjoy a wonderful lunch with dear friends.


Dallas was now in full view. I stopped for coffee and conversation with an old friend who was having troubles that I hope I shed some light on. I contemplated remaining in Dallas overnight but headed on to Lowell, Arkansas to visit another old friend and again I played traveling counselor. I must say that Fayetteville, Arkansas was quite a cool college town with several drinking establishments that cater to those who are fond of the hops. I did learn that in Fayetteville you can be charged with a DWI if you have access to your keys while you are drinking. That’s right, if you are near your automobile, say, getting into a cab that is parked near your car, and you have your keys, you can be arrested. Well, that’s the rumor mill version anyway.


After much drama in Lowell I headed for Lincoln, NE to ring in the New Year with great friends. Who knew Lincoln would be such a good time? The Embassy Suites hotel in Downtown Lincoln throws a mean party. The Groove Puppets put on a great show. The one thing I must mention about this band is that whoever was running sound knew what they were doing. The noise level was perfect. The evening seemed to fly! One minute I was dancing and then it was New Years. I don’t even remember the countdown but I do remember the kiss…and then promptly passing out. DOH!


Then on to Vegas! WOOHOO! A few nights at the New York New York and bumming around the sin city should start the New Year off just right. The Hotel was great, especially the pizza at Sirrico’s, the most amazing pizza ever! We took in 2 shows while we were there. The Phantom of the Opera was amazing. I personally like the movie better but I have nothing bad to say about the show. It’s a must see and if you go, either sit just behind the chandelier or underneath it.


Okay, now for the real review. The next show we took in was the new Chris Angle/Cirque du Soleil spectacular “Believe”. The theatrics, costumes, makeup and music were no less than amazing. Cirque once again performs with spectacular precision. The magic, however, was not up to par with the “Mindfreak” show. I was very disappointed in Chris Angel’s performance and found myself at one point wanting to shove him off stage so the Cirque folks could come back on. Overall, the show was pretty good and I certainly wouldn’t talk you out of going to see it. The theatrics alone were worth the ticket price plus the $45 drinks (2 drinks about 24 ounces a piece). Yeah..About that.


Back to NE and then on to Denver with expired plates. Not a bad bit of traveling for the Holidays. Now it’s on to the resolutions that I haven’t made yet, back to work and back to school. I hope this blog finds you in good spirits and may your new year bring fortune and happiness.