My husband’s mother is Mom. His Step-mother is Mama. My mother is Mummy. T grew up in New York and his Mom recently bought a house near Syracuse. In the midst of the busy move, she decided to take a break and come to the West coast for a holiday. The last time she was here to visit T was in 2009 and he didn’t have much furniture then. She and Grammy had to stay in a hotel. Now that we’re more settled in, I wanted to make sure she felt comfortable staying at her only son’s house while she visits for a week.
T’s been busy with his game and he didn’t have much time to take her out himself. He did get to spend a few hours a day with her and we went out for meals together. I think perhaps her favourite day might have been when he drove her to Mount Charleston. Just the day before, he drove 4.5hrs to Culver City to attend Indiecade (and another 4.5hrs back that night).
The last time I saw my MIL was last Christmas when I brought my family to meet T’s. I feel bad that T only sees his Mom a few days a year because he relocated to Nevada for work, so while she visited, I tried to do as much as I could with her.
This MIL is not the shopping type – unlike my Mum who can walk for hours at a mall. She loves nature, reading, arts and crafts, and antiquing. So while she was here, we drove around a lot just to see the sights. I took her to visit a super quaint village about 15 minutes away from where we live – they have 1 Elementary school, maybe about 50 quaint cottages and a general store that also houses the Sheriff’s department.
Mom is a very interesting person. She trained as a teacher (with a Masters in Education) before going back to school to get her nursing degree for better career prospects. There are some things she knows a lot of but they’re not just book-ish stuff. She’s almost 70 and recently just painted the interior of her own house. She also makes her own curtains for her windows, stains furniture and re-upholsteres old chairs. Her favourite activity now that she’s retired is… GARDENING! (While she was describing to me how she digs trenches and moves soil around to plant everything from roses to asparagus, I got really tired for her!) So of course, we had to visit some nurseries while she was in Las Vegas.
– The Strip (just riding through it in the car)
– Island Malaysian Cuisine for some Southeast Asian food which she’s never had. She wanted Cashew Chicken or Sweet and Sour but we ended up getting Nasi Goreng Ayam with Kuah Satay (aka Chicken Fried Rice and Sweet Peanut Sauce).
– Mount Charleston (a 1hr drive from Las Vegas) where the trees grow green and tall (but the Aspens were turning Orange at this time of year). There is also a ski resort in operation during Winter.
– The Buffet At Wynn for lunch which had diabetic-friendly, Vegan and gluten-free options clearly marked. USA Today also recommended it as one of 5 Best Buffets in Las Vegas.
– The newly opened Downtown Summerlin (directions to this place on their flyer was vague but I found it once I figured out I just have to go to Summerlin). We walked around and went in and out of several shops. It wasn’t my MIL’s cup of tea at all but we did sit down and have a nice frozen strawberry lemonade and some pretzels. I can’t imagine shopping there in Summer. The shops are really spread far apart and there’s hardly any shade. But we’ll see when the real test comes in the form of my sisters and Mum in December.
– Downtown Las Vegas where we walked the old part of Las Vegas (the one you see in old movies) and Fremont East which houses Downtown Container Park and is also known as the hipster part of Las Vegas. Not that my mother-in-law cares about the hipsters or even knows what they are but there are cool little shops and cafes that dot the street. And it seems like it’s even more hipster than it was when I last was there in August. Hopefully it’ll grow exponentially and combat the commercialisation that is signature of Las Vegas.
And because it was her last night here in Las Vegas, we went out to dinner together yesterday. My mother-in-law is a very thrifty person and seldom affords herself any luxuries especially since she chose early retirement. Dining out at The Cheesecake Factory and Olive Garden are rare treats to her, so that’s what we did. She wanted dinner at Olive Garden, we had dinner at Olive Garden.