Bellagio Christmas 2014

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Nothing is more delightful than happy penguins doing their thing at the Bellagio gardens in Las Vegas. Penguins are so adorable.

This penguin likes to play peek-a-boo. One has to be quick to see him peek out of the side window or the top of the igloo.

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There are twelve penguins in all. They just wander around doing their thing.

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I didn’t know that penguins built igloos, but as you can see, the Bellagio penguins do.

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The Christmas tree is magnificent. It is extra large and covered with so many decorations. It is a work of art.

The balls used for decoration are huge and very beautiful. Someone has a wonderful imagination.

 

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At the base of the tree are two large snow globes with a family scene. Houses are nestled in the white snow-like flowers of the village. A train travels through the village. Men are often seen viewing the train and talking. Maybe they are talking about their train experiences.

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Look closely and you will see smoke rising from the chimney of this house.

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This is Mama bear.

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Mama Bear is very large.

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She works for Coca-Cola.

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These are her baby bears.

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The Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio are a true gift to the city of Las Vegas and all the visitors who come to our fair city. Special thanks to all the people responsible for making this magic happen from Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try.

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Technology

Printer

So many technological things have happened in the last ten years it is mind boggling when we stop to think about it. To me, 3D printing is the most amazing of all. I recently posted a video of a child receiving a new hand thanks to 3D printing. The hand cost $20. When I saw the video, I was jumping for joy.

I guess we have become used to the new technology. We are used to new wonders and accept advancements as every day happenings and we update programs every day.

Computers make all of this magic happen. Computers use operating systems. Microsoft currently uses 8.1. To have printers function with Microsoft 8.1, a print driver, or printer program, is required. Printer manufactures have to update all of their print drivers every time there is an operating system update. There are tons of printers.

We have an older model Canon color printer that works as good as the day we took it out of the package. We use it primarily now to print our Christmas cards. This year, we could not find the updated print driver for Microsoft 8.1. After extensive research, Steve called Canon support. It was Cyber Monday. To make a long story short, Steve was told the Canon printer we have is no longer supported. The guy on the phone said: “It is Cyber Monday, you should be able to get a good deal on a new printer today.”

My reaction to that comment was very personal. I thought, “Just because I am old doesn’t mean I should be thrown away.” Totally irrational thought I know, but our Canon printer is in perfectly good shape. It is not right to “throw it away” in some land fill.  I felt very sad.

Then my very brilliant husband had an idea. He retrieved a laptop we have that has Microsoft 7.0 as the operating system. He connected it to the printer and we were in business. We printed the Christmas cards and all was well with the world.

We have stored the laptop with the printer hoping to use them together next year.

It doesn’t seem right that a big company such as Canon can just eliminate print drivers and render a printer unusable. We need to take care of our earth.  Just because new printers are affordable doesn’t mean old ones should be thrown away if they are in good working condition.

What is your opinion?

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Charity

Toy

Christmas is a very special season to me. It is a time for remembering years gone by and the lessons learned from those times. December is a time for giving to those less fortunate than us. It is a time to be more thoughtful. A time to show more happiness. The holidays is a time to make contact with people we haven’t talked with in a while. It is a time for giving.

Giving comes in many ways. When Steve and I were first married, we didn’t have much money, but we had a huge Christmas list. To ensure everyone had a gift, we made fudge; chocolate, peanut butter and divinity. We packaged it in fancy packages and tied it with a pretty bow. A few years into our marriage, when we had more money, we stopped giving fudge and gave purchased gifts. One by one, the people who used to receive the fudge quietly told me how much they missed the gift that was made just for them.

Steve had a friend named Mrs. Hendi. She lived to be 107. When Steve took me to meet her, she declared it a great holiday. She told me how much she admired Steve because he took the time to visit her and treat her as an equal. She said there are two types of old people; those who lose their mind – the lucky ones. The second kind are the ones who retain their brain power, but lose their body mobility. Because Mrs. Hindi was not able to get around, people treated her as if she was not there. Steve always treated her as the lady she was before old age took her dignity. Steve treated her like the lady she was.

When Chris and Thom were about twelve and nine they started early with their requests for Christmas gifts. I was disappointed by their greediness. In an effort to teach them it feels better to give than receive, I declared we would make all of our Christmas gifts that year. It would be a family affair. The four of us worked together to make the best gifts ever. It was only by accident that the whole event didn’t turn into disaster. I overheard Chris say to Thom, “I can hardly wait to see what Mom and Dad are going to make for us.” Ooops! Steve and I hadn’t made anything for the boys. You can be sure we got busy and made a string art for both of them.

There are a lot of homeless people in our city. They occupy the street corners at stop lights. When the light turns red, they walk between the cars and ask for money. We try to have a dollar for them. Friends who have seen us give money to homeless people ask if that is wise. Sometimes they make comments about the person using the money for beer or drugs. Steve and I don’t care what they do with the money. It is not our job to judge.

In the winter we give out socks along with the dollar. Our hero, Mark Horvath, told us the homeless appreciate clean socks more than any single item. In Las Vegas it is against the law to feed or cloth the homeless. It must be done through an organized church or charitable agency.

This Christmas season Steve and I will be calling those people we haven’t talked with in a while. The gift of time is the most precious gift any of us can give or receive. Make someone happy. Give them a call or visit them. You are a very special person. Happy Holidays.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If you Try

 

 

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Proud Parents

 

 

Chris Pic

Steve and I had a wonderfully unique experience this weekend. We were guests of Chris Brogan at the premier showing of the documentary film Rise of the Entrepreneur: The Search for a Better Way.

Rise -B00k

 

After the red carpet, we entered the grand ball room. It was interesting to watch the giant overhead camera roam the room and see our picture flashed on the screens, just like in Hollywood.

Name tags

Because Chris stars in the film, we got to sit in the upfront VIP section. That was good because it allowed me to take some pictures.

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Picture by Chris Brogan

Michael Firestone from mjliveshow.com gave a great pre show performance as Michael Jackson.

Movie

Chris in the movie.

 

After the film, the members of the cast, who starred in the film, were invited on stage.  Chris is the second one from the left. Each person was asked their opinion of the film. There was a very large audience.

Chris humored me and let me take pictures of him by the posters in the lobby.

The evening was totally magical.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Three Cities in One Day 

 

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When you start early with a plan in mind, it is amazing how much area you can cover. Such was the case when we went to visit our friend Leslie in Orange City and to then to explore St Augustine. Palatka was a bonus.

We went to Orange City, Florida to see Leslie London. She went to high school with me (Diane). She and I have been working on next year’s class reunion. She and Steve have also bonded over computer questions and comparisons as they both have the same kind of new computer. Did you hear about it? It is the computer with the red lettering on black keys. Mike and Corky Eden came along for the ride.

Weeble

While enjoying refreshing drinks at Leslie’s, I opened my gift. It is a second generation weeble from the Fisher Price toy collection her daughter had when she was a little girl. Isn’t he lovely? I am so happy. I like weebles, because I am like a weeble. I wobble, but I don’t fall down.

Leslie took us to lunch at Perkins. The food and the service was excellent. Leslie is still the hostess with the mostess – just like she was back in our hometown. Thank you Leslie for being you.

Fountain of Youth

After lunch with Leslie, we traveled to St. Augustine, where Juan Ponce de León allegedly discovered the Fountain of Youth. It must be true, because there is a park at the location.

Train

We didn’t have a lot of time to spend in St. Augustine. A friend of Mike’s said “we must take the train tour around the city.” We did and are very happy we did. We got to see the highlights of the city and learn enough to know that we want to make a return trip when we have more time to spend.

 

We saw many art shops we would like to explore. There are tours available for the chocolate factory, the distillery, and forts.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

Not to be missed is Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.

Flagar

Henry Morrison Flager, self-made millionaire from Standard Oil Company, had a big influence on the St. Augustine architecture in the late 1800’s. Sadly I do not have a lot of pictures to show you, but let me tell you, his work is beautiful.

Our tour guide showed us Flager College and explained that it used to be the Pounce de Leon Hotel, the first of the Flager Hotels. It was built in 1888 and had running water. Mr. Flager hired Thomas Edison, the inventor, to install electricity in his hotel. Mr. Flager also hired Louis Comfort Tiffany to decorate his hotel with Tiffany glass.

Picture by Corky Eden

Picture by Corky Eden

Members of the St. Augustine community are very proud of the Deaf and Blind school in the city. Students from all of Florida come to this school.

Picture by Corky Eden

Picture by Corky Eden

St. Augustine is full of history. A great feature of the Red Train Tours is that the rider can get on and off the train to visit at the various stops along the way.

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In 1965 a 400 foot tall cross was erected on the same place Father Franciso Lopez said his first mass in St. Augustine.  There is so much to see and so much to learn about St. Augustine, we highly recommend you visit this great city.

Picture by Corky Eden

Picture by Corky Eden

Corky and I have many pictures of the St. Augustine light house, but we never got up close to the light house. When we got close, it was closing time and everyone was ready to leave. We were fortunate to get this great picture.

Newspaper

Picture by Corky Eden

Our last place of the day to visit was Palatka, Florida. Our friend Corky Eden lived there when she was in high school and junior high. We were hungry and asked Corky if she had any recommendations. She said she ate mostly at Angel’s Dinner, but that was a long time ago.

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We took a drive over and sure enough, Angel’s diner was there just the same as when Corky was there last time.

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Picture by Corky Eden

This is an old time napkin holder made of metal with a chrome front. The owner of the diner has taken very good care of everything.

Picture by Corky Eden

Picture by Corky Eden

The restrooms are still on the outside of the diner. Outside plumbing isn’t bad when it is in a warm state.
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The food was good and the service was exceptional. The lovely young waitress was more than happy to take our picture.

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After dinner we rode around town and Corky pointed out points of interest.

We had a great day and look forward to our next adventure.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

 

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SeaWorld

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SeaWorld is celebrating 50 years of service to the community. We stopped by to join the celebration. There is so much to see and do.

There are interactive animal exhibits, rides, and roller coasters. The Kraken may be the most well-known and the scariest as it turns upside down as it gives each rider a thrill.

SeaWorld is a theme park and a zoological park where animals are studied. The effect of garbage left of beaches and dumped into the ocean is being studied. SeaWorld is working with WashedAshore.org to make a difference.

In the pictures above, The Sea Anemone, is lovely until you look at it close up. That is when you realize they are made of discarded garbage found on public beaches. This refuse is having a harmful impact on our sea life.

The Sea Horse

The Fish

The Octopus

Picture by Corky Eden

Picture by Corky Eden

Shamu Stadium is the performance arena for the seven killer whales of SeaWorld. Trainers/performers no longer go in the water with the killer whales. That practice stopped in February 2010 when a trainer was drowned by a killer whale. The whales now perform with instructions given by trainers standing on the sidelines.

Dolphin

The Blue Horizons show features dolphins, macaws and an Andean condor interacting with human acrobats and divers. The choreographed performance is magnificent.  As each player does their part, a feeling of awe invades the mind and asks the question, how can they fly through the air and swim in the water to create this magical event?

Animals

A most fascinating and enjoyable event is Pets Ahoy. A rat opens the show as he strolls across the stage. Then there are about twenty cats and twenty dogs who ring door bells, go here and there, climb stairs, pull ropes, ring bells and do their thing. There is a skunk, a pig and I probably missed some other cuties. The ending is when two dogs get married and drive off in their car. Wikipedia says the play features animals that have been rescued from local animal shelters.  Steve and I were amazed that cats could be trained to perform.

Under the Sea

Picture by Corky Eden

The aquariums of SeaWorld are beautiful and plentiful. They contain many colorful fish that swim to an individualized path so as not to collide with their neighbor. I want to experience it as I watch it and capture the feelings to remember it again later when I look at the picture. The mystery of nature is so life giving.

In the sea

Picture by Corky Eden

Greg and Carol get a more “up close and personal” experience as they walk through the sea. It is a most unusual experience.

Picture by Corky Eden

Picture by Corky Eden

Mike demonstrates the size of a great white shark’s jaws. Thankfully only the jaws are left and the shark is no more.

Stingray

We fed and played with the stingrays. We watched the dolphins perform. We dodged some rain drops. We had a great day.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

Lighthouse

 

 

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Vacation – Part One

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We just returned from vacation. It was most enjoyable because of all the wonderful people we were with.

We started our vacation in Clearwater, FL at the home of our friends Angela and Tony Limosani. They used to live across the street from us some twenty years ago when we both lived in Revere, MA. They are wonderful people.

The picture on the left below was taken when they were younger and always ready to party. The picture on the right is a current picture. They have been married 63 years. They are still very much in love and care for each other deeply.

Tony does most of the cooking. He cooks in such an artful manner, everything has an exquisite taste. I gained four pounds during the three days we spent with them.  I don’t know if is the fact that Tony is Italian or just his and Angela’s giving nature, but it is most difficult to say no to their insistence to eat more food.

Steve, Diane and Trinity

Steve, Diane and Trinity

We were short on time, but not short on adventure when we visited Cate Colgan and Marty Seyler. We had hugs all around including Chloe and Trinity. It was so good to see them again. We had a tasty lunch at The Green Market Restaurant. You can order two half salads, which is what Steve and I had. When the waitress served us, we thought she had made a mistake because it was so large.

Shopping at Beals

Shopping at Bealls

After lunch we went shopping at Beals, a store new to me. Cate is so much fun to shop with. AND both Cate and Marty are great at helping to find a particular size or style. Cate was wearing a lovely top with a sea horse. When I mentioned how much I liked it, she asked if I was familiar with Bealls. The best part is that Bealls has a .com after their name. Woot!

The other fun part of our visit was MY appreciation of Marty’s new Lincoln. I have liked Lincolns for many years, especially the old wide bodied ones. Marty offered me the opportunity to drive her car, but I declined.  When we were almost back to their house, she pulled over to the side of the road and insisted I drive. Wow! It was awesome! I am so happy Marty has a nice ride.

Our next meet-up was at the Orlando airport where we picked up Mike and Corky Eden, our next door neighbors from Las Vegas. We also picked up Greg and Karol Heiser from Livonia, Michigan. Karol is Michael Eden’s sister.

We checked into Mike and Corky’s timeshare in Kissimmee ready to have some fun. We had an early dinner, went grocery shopping and then settled back to appreciate the swimming pool and the hot tub.

Hello vacation! Our day started with a vision of loveliness as we watched hot air balloons float by our windows.

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Early morning balloons by Corliss Eden

After the balloons and breakfast, we were off to Epcot. You may be interested to know that EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Other people have said it stands for Every Person Comes Out Tired.


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Steve and I like everything about Epcot. No matter how many times we visit, we get excited. Following Walt Disney’s vision of having an experimental prototype community, there is always something new to see and some new adventure to experience.

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“Soarin” has been a feature attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida since 2005, but this is the first time that Steve and I have been on the ride. We sat in a theater-like seat and soared over part of California. Parts of the ride was like hang gliding. It was a wonderful experience.

We visited the various countries of the world show case and enjoyed the 360 motion picture vision of Canada and China. No matter how many times we visit, it never gets old.

Epcot Fireworks by Benjamin D. Esham

Epcot Fireworks by Benjamin D. Esham

The grand finale of each day at Disney is the fireworks display which is the best I have ever seen. The fireworks are coordinated with music and song providing a smorgasbord of enjoyment for the senses.

Come back again on Wednesday for part 2 of our vacation.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

 

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When Dreams Come True

Fator 6

Terry Fator is one of America’s greatest performers, but it wasn’t until he hit the magic number of 42 years of age that everything fell into place and he was discovered by the world.

42 became a magical number when Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy became a popular book. Five books were written in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series between 1979 and 1992 (wiki.) 42 became the meaning of life. 42 became the answer to everything – even if the answer 42 didn’t make any sense.

According to Wikipedia, Terry Fator was thinking about giving up when he took one more chance and tried out for America’s Got Talent in 2007 at the age of 42.

I remember the appearance. Terry Fator was entertaining. He had a great voice. His puppets were almost human and he had a good skit. We were happy that he won America’s Got Talent and went to Las Vegas. Steve and I had no idea that we would also move to Las Vegas and see Terry Fator live at the Mirage.

Seven years later, Terry Fator is still new and fresh and his show is full of fun and laughter. His material is family friendly. He is not sitting on his laurels. In an interview I listened to, he said he is constantly striving to improve the show.

If you want a fun filled experience, we highly recommend that you go see Terry Fator at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Below are some of the puppets from his show.

Winston the Impersonating Turtle with Terry Fator

Winston the Impersonating Turtle with Terry Fator

I am glad Terry Fator followed his dream. I appreciate the way he thanks the members of the armed services and other public services such as the fire department. The “good” story about who Terry Fator is as a person is almost as good as his show. Live long and prosper sir.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

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Beautiful Bellagio Gardens


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As we entered the Bellagio Gardens we were greeted by this beautiful horse. It is so festive in the field of flowers, apples and pumpkins.

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Close to the horse is a trough full of apples. It also has water that sprouts up amongst the apples.

 

There were squirrels in the branches of the talking tree. The acorns were nearly as big as the squirrels.


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The Talking Tree is so unique. The eyes move and he talks directly to you. It is a wonderful work of art. It is fun to watch the little ones gaze at him in amazement.

 

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To the left of the Talking Tree, a colt was resting in the field of flowers. It is oh so beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

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Across the pond, Smokey the bear and Smokey Jr. were in attendance.

 

 

 

 

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The waterwheel at the mill is magnificent. I always take several pictures, but I have yet to capture what I see. It evokes so many memories and emotions.

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Look closely and you will see a live bird in the Fire Island Chrysanthemums. There were several birds in the area of the cafe. I’m not sure who was more excited, the birds or the customers.

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The pumpkins are beautiful and some of them very large. According to the sign, the pumpkins are gown specifically for the Bellagio. The largest ones weigh between 600-1000 pounds.

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Red Tree Yellow Sky by Georgia O’Keeffe is the painting displayed in flowers. It is very nice and a tribute to the master herself.

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The ENT  – a name derived from the Anglo Saxton word for giant, are mythical creatures from middle earth closely related to Talking Trees.

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We were so excited to see two young ents have joined the fall celebration. As you can see, they too are enjoying the bountiful harvest at the Bellagio.

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

Steve and I always enjoy visiting the Bellagio Gardens. Although it is always busy, as you can see in the picture, people are happy and friendly. We are forever thankful to the Bellagio for making this wonderful experience available and free to the public. It truly is a treasured gift. If you don’t have the opportunity to visit the gardens in person, we hope you will enjoy these pictures.

 

Mom Pop Pow – where you can do it if you try.

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