Luckily I was sitting down…..!

Jean and I went on our first overseas trip last week for over a year. So glad we did it. Planning was needed, but life is there to be taken, guys!

Jean hates leaving our house, security wise. I just tell her to chill. We have an alarm etc, and I also place a strategic security coffee cup on our sitting room coffee table to make the home look occupied! Perhaps we should booby trap the house in the future. Despite having no house left, at least if robbed we would have the satisfaction of blowing the thieving scum to kingdom come.

I booked the week away just about a month ago. When our son heard, he asked if he and his wife could come as they had some time off.  We were delighted. Extra hands with luggage and any travelling challenges would be great! Oh, and yes it would be nice to have you around as well!

The flight was great, and it’s amazing that an endless supply of caramel popcorn can make the price of the tickets actually seem quite reasonable really!

My compliments go to British Airways, whose attention to detail with mobility assistance was superb. Please, please, if you need help, use it. I wouldn’t have been able to walk the distances at Heathrow now, and it was great in a buggy. It made the whole experience a breeze. I told the driver to act like Louis Hamilton trying to pass that Rosberg chappy! He did!

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These guys didn’t stand a chance! Out of the way, now!

And then they let me use my rollator all the way up to the plane, and just stowed it in the cabin like a child’s push chair. Easy! We now know that seemingly big tasks are still doable.

Once in the USA, I was so so pleased I took the rollator. For those of you in the same situation as me please just do it. I am totally over the embarrassment of people viewing the sight of a handsome 50 something year old pushing one. I was able to take myself distances unheard of for ages. It’s all about adaptation and acceptance. I know Las Vegas very well, and it’s a vast place. I had planned taxis to go where we wanted. However, in the end I used the rollator a great deal more. I am not yet ready for a wheelchair and I will not fall into one until safety dictates. Slowly a lot of my worries evaporated and we were able to do a lot of what we have always done in Sin City.

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We even met a lady on the flight who used a powered wheelchair that had been put in the hold. She just drove off once reunited with it in Vegas! No stopping her!

Before using a walking aid, I made an interesting calculation. Just taking the one disease, MND/ALS, which has a lifetime risk of 1/400, you would expect to see several if not 10s of people in their 50s on the streets in walkers/wheelchairs in reasonable sized towns. We don’t though. And then thinking of all the other conditions, why don’t we see people out more using such aids? There is only one answer to this. People must hide themselves away. Get out there guys! You will find that the public are so respectful. I was nervous, but now I am relieved.

Vegas is about daytime sun bathing, night-time food and fun. Due to my mobility, I have to be very careful near swimming pools. Not only the obvious things, but as my whole body motion is changing, things like shifting my body around on a sun bed can be challenging. One of the effects I found was that my swimming shorts would rise up, and split my difference, if you know what I mean?  I think I may have exposed a bit of flesh now and then. I checked the Vegas news and there were no reports of a bleach-white Englishman terrorising the holiday makers with his plums, so all ok.

I love America, and the country really is set up for people with mobility issues. No other country can match. However, what is it with their loos, and the high water level!? It is just so close to one’s bottom and things! And also there seems to be an obsession with putting straws in every single soft drink. They think they might be helping, but Jeesh it’s easier to drink straight from the glass, as well as saving my eyes!

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We did a mini adventure out to the Hoover Dam, which if you are ever out in Vegas is so worth a visit. Simply put, it is a staggering wonder. The incredible  technology and human achievement brought vast wealth and paved the future for California and Nevada. It is a true example of America at its best. Built in the Great Depression, it depicts the importance of significant infrastructure projects in reviving economic prosperity. Actually, I read an interesting comparison, that the amount of concrete needed to build Donald Trump’s proposed Mexican wall would be three times the amount used in the Hoover Dam! And of course, in stark contrast to the Dam it would bring zero if not negative economic benefit! That’s as about as political as I will get!

We also ventured further out into the desert, to an abandoned gold mine near the remote town of Nelson. Seriously hot, just look at the mirage on the road. Thanks for driving and the idea of doing it in the first place, Howard. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Jeesh, it was remote, we were absolutely the only car on the road. Interestingly enough, it was one of the filming locations for the 1997 Kurt Russell film, Breakdown. It’s definitely worth watching, one of my favourites. At the time it received little attention, but since has become a bit of a classic. It’s filmed in several locations across Arizona, Nevada, California and Utah. Absolutely superb scenery. This was a real bonus for me.

Back at the hotel pool cafe, our daughter-in-law, Margot, chose breakfast in Las Vegas to inform Jean and I that unless she gets a good portion of oats in the morning she really can’t face the day! Luckily, I was sitting down and didn’t have a mouth full of food. Margot, we will tell you some other phrases that you need to be careful with in the UK!

Unfortunately Lord Lee Bragg followed us to the states, and he seems to have infiltrated the hotel business! We were staying at the Bellagio, but I noticed these napkins. He told the manager he could print at a discount!

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I think even Vegas will find him scandalous.

Thank goodness it’s only these napkins. Anyway we left the great town, and took some final snaps to remind us until our next visit.

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We arrived safely back in the UK, without injury and no use of that essential travel insurance! NEVER forget it, guys!

Same time next week viewers, give or take a bit of jet leg.

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