Welcome to the Neighborhoood

It was such a great feeling to be home last week, but yesterday it was time to get back on the road.  Shannon and I landed in Los Angeles at 12:30 AM Pacific and retrieved the car and trailer.  We arrived just in time for the trailer, security was posting a warning that it would be towed in the morning.  Anxious to get to Las Vegas to meet up with friends, we figured maybe we should take advantage of the quiet night time highways to get clear of Los Angeles.  Once on the road, we just kept driving and driving until 5 AM.  Exhausted we pulled off the road at a TA truck stop and camped out in the back of the car along side the semis for the remainder of the night (or morning).  After a couple hours, we met our very nice neighbor to the right, Dan, who we talked to for a bit and also kindly took some photos for us.  Our neighbor to the left seems slightly more reclusive, maybe a welcome to the neighborhood basket would break the ice?

Just  about lunch time we passed The Mad Greek where they claimed the best gyro.  We’re both gyro lovers, so we couldn’t refuse the best.  Seems as though the owners made that assumption without traveling too far…it was more in the range of festival food.  Lately I’ve received a number of recommendations from friends and family encouraging me to change my diet suggesting that a healthier diet may improve my medical condition.  I have been told by all of my doctors that this will not cure me, and have taken a stance that I am going to continue to eat the food that makes me happy while able.  However, with another upset stomach after lunch, I decided maybe it is time to start taking baby steps toward a healthier diet.  To start, I have decided to cut back and possibly eliminate sodas and fried foods…baby steps.

When we arrived in Las Vegas, we met up with Johnny Z, Brendon & Lysa and their three kids.  They had already gotten us set up in a very nice condo.  While we waited for the rest of the Ginna crew to arrive, we lounged around the pool and had a few drinks.  As I stared up at the palm trees surrounded by a perfectly blue sky with the moon in the background, I reiterated to myself David’s phrase, “this does not suck.”

With everyone in town, Dan, Scott, Laurie, Johnny Z, Brendon, Lysa, Jarred, Benjamin, and Cadence, it was time to hit The South Point Casino directly next door.  We started with their buffet.  In an effort to follow my new dietary commitment, I had salmon, chicken, tortellini, and mashed potatoes in a very moderate proportion, and washed it down with cranberry juice.  Not an easy task at an all you can eat buffet.  Next it was time for some small stakes gambling.  Brendon and I started at the blackjack tables where I set out $40 for the night.  My problem in the past has always been not knowing when to walk, so I decided to try a new strategy, separate my winnings from my starting chips and when my starting chips are gone, I’m done.  I had a very lucky night; at the blackjack table I won $35.  Next, Dan introduced me to video poker where I won an additional $10.  Now up by $45 and feeling very lucky, I took $15 to the roulette table and put it on red.  Things were falling in my favor that night, we hit red, and I walked away from the night $60 richer.  Maybe not that much money, but I had a great night with all of our friends.


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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10 Responses to Welcome to the Neighborhoood

  1. Your Volvo fits right in with the others. These are some great pictures.

  2. Cousin Mike says:

    Morning. It’s 4:30am here, which means that it’s 1:30am where you are. I’ve gotten used to not calling anyone on the west coast until after 12pm EST through dealings with a pole vault pole manufacturer in Carson City, NV (which by the way I am hopeful will be delivered today–currently traveling from Newark, NJ to Rochester).
    Ok, I’ve always been a fan of eating healthy. The power of natural food is well documented. It’s not fun, but it’s well documented. Heaven knows I’m not a doctor, but eating healthier and doing some exercise can’t hurt. By exercise I mean more than the 12 oz. curls.
    I can’t resist. When I heard you were taking “Baby steps” and cutting out soda…

    • bhoefen says:

      12 oz curls? If you noticed from the Las Vegas photos, we’re doing 24 oz curls. You ‘re memory of all of these classic videos kills me. You have a mental library that allows you to pull clips for every situation. Each one pulls back memories, love it!

  3. Janet Jackson says:

    Hi Bret. I have finally caught up with your blog. I just spent two days reading all your
    entries and all the replies – laughing and crying, reminiscing and remembering. Its
    been wonderful to follow your journey across the country. Bernie and I love road trips
    too, and have been to all these places…what a trip down memory lane. We now look
    forward to traveling through Alaska with you. I see you were in Raleigh…I wish we had
    known (or you had known we were back here). We would have had a party! We just
    returned from a new adventure, 3 weeks in Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Puebla and Mexico City…the people, food, art, archaeological sites…all fantastic! We want to go
    back. Stay positive like you are and have been. Love to Shannon, Besty and Jim

    • bhoefen says:

      Great to hear from you Jan. If we travel back through Raleigh we will be sure to contact you. Your travels through Mexico sound amazing! I would love to cross the border, but I’m unfamiliar with the territory, and it seems like so many warn against it?

  4. Debbie says:


    Bret–such wonderful news that its not spread! Mom, Dad and I are so happy to hear the great news. Small miracles–that’s what we asked for and got!

    Love the pics of you and Shannon that she sent me. I immediately printed them out and added to the “Bret and Shannon Hall of Fame” pics that decorate my office. It totally made my Valentine’s Day 🙂

    I hope you guys get to do something uber romantic tonight-like having dinner at Paris or the Bellagio while overlooking the Bellagio fountains. I have Valentine’s Day cards for you both, but I will put them in the box with your Christmas presents, LOL!

    Shannon! if you go into a casino, place a bet on number 19 on the roulette wheel. It’s my lucky number. And if you guys really want to do something fun and interesting, go to that Pawn shop that they highlight on the History Channel “Pawn Stars”. It’s a hoot and free! Well, free if you don’t buy anything. Maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll be shooting that day too.

    But on this date especially–know that you both are loved so very much. You both are MY Valentines and I’m sending out all the love I feel for you!!!


    • bhoefen says:

      Happy Valentine’s Day! We had a great time climbing out on that ice for those pictures…honored that you printed them. Still working on my Valentine’s post, not quite as romantic as you had alluded to, but very memorable. We’ll be sure to put some chips on 19 for you.

  5. Amber says:

    Happy Valentines Day to my new favorite couple I have never met! God Bless you both!

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