899C43C5-AA9E-4A4C-8476-31A8BBA992AEWhen Donna and I take road trips, I post Facebook and Twitter (and now Mastodon) updates with the prefix OTR, for “on the road.” We’re back home in Tucson, safe & sound, hence “OTR Fini.”

We loaded the truck with gifts and gingerbread house construction materials and spent Christmas with our son Greg, daughter-in-law Beth, and grandchildren Taylor and Quentin in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas. Drove up Thursday, back on Tuesday, the idea being to avoid Christmas weekend traffic on Friday and Monday — which, to our surprise, we did. The roads were clear and we made good time.

The dogs stayed home in the care of our daughter Polly, who had to work and couldn’t come along. On past road trips, there’s been at least one dog in the car, usually on one of our laps. As much as we love them, driving eight hours each way was far more pleasant without them. During a potty break in Kingman on the way home, I set up a podcast titled “Ultra” on the iPhone, then played it over the truck’s radio via Bluetooth as we drove. Who says old folks can’t keep up with technology? We were so wrapped up in Rachel Maddow’s story about American pro-Nazi insurrectionists of the 1930s and 40s, the miles flew by.

Beautiful Kingman, Arizona, home town of … well, there you go.
Beth & Donna

Earlier this year, Greg and Beth moved into a new house in a gated 55+ community in Lake Las Vegas. Since Quentin was home from college and using the guest bedroom, we stayed in a nearby resort hotel. We visited, we cooked, we ate, we unwrapped presents, we entertained family and friends … it was a thoroughly old-fashioned domestic family Christmas, a wonderful time.

Our hotel room patio
Christmas Eve paella
Christmas morning: Greg, Beth, Jordan (Taylor’s SO), Taylor, Quentin

Donna came down with a cold and cough that night, which persisted throughout our drive home Tuesday, so she broke out a Covid self-test kit on our arrival. Negative, but she’ll test again today. We’re supposed to go to a party on New Year’s Eve, and we don’t want to pass whatever it is on to someone else.

More about those Las Vegas “lakes” in a future post. For now, we’re loving the memories of our family Christmas; loving being reunited with our daughter, our home, and our dogs. Hope your Christmas was a merry one too!

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