Aloha in Las Vegas

Nani, Don and me

It was very early on a dark, cloudy morning. LA was shrouded in a thick marine layer, one day after my little grandson, Nico, turned 9-months old. Five hours on the road meant to me, pack a picnic! A bunch of beautiful red/purple kale became the base for a chopped salad with slices of pear and cashews. Egg salad I made the day before was finger food as a dip for organic potato chips and slices of cucumber. Now we’re packed and ready to hit the road at 7am for Las Vegas!  Above the marine layer just outside of Victorville on I-15, the heavens cleared and blue skies greeted us the rest of the way. We rolled into Vegas around 2pm to reunite with our Hawaiian extended family, Don and Nani. The last time we saw them was three years ago at The Bamboo Restaurant in Hawi, the local hang for residents of North Kohala on the Big Island. Nani is seventh generation born in Kohala, originally from Okinawa. Don, a Norwegian, was sailing around the world and landed on the Big Island well over thirty years ago. That’s about when they met and they have been in love ever since. To say they are family is an understatement. I feel we have known them since the beginning of time! We wisked them off to Red Rock Canyon, about 30-minutes from Sin City. Nani was already expressing gratitude for relieving them from the extreme stimulation and excesses of Vegas.  The gorgeous Red Rock formations in the vastness of the desert were a contrast to the jungles of the northern-most tip of the Island of Hawaii, absent of the fragrance of orchids and plumeria, jasmine and gardenia. Instead, a pre-historic stillness permeated the air. Ancient swirls of sandstone footprints and petroglyphs dating back to ancient times had a familiarity to the ones Nani was familiar with in Hawaii. Two hours cruising around the canyon flew by. We were all getting hungry, so Jered punched in “organic Indian restaurant” into GPS. We drove back into LV to a strip mall atmosphere. Opening the door to Origin India was like opening a treasure chest. We had a deliciously delightful meal reminiscing and bringing each other up-to-date on family and friends. I’d go there anytime, but with Don and Nani it was paradise. Well, it was time to return them to their hotel. Aloha, dear friends.

Candice and me

Turning again to the GPS, we tuned to our next destination in Henderson, where we would spend the night. My friend Candice and her family have lived in Nevada for over a dozen years. They decided to base themselves in a dry desert environment because it is a conducive climate for their internet business, making robotic parts.  I’ve known Candice since she was in the sixth grade. Her friendship began with my youngest daughter at a Montessori school in LA. Now she’s a mom of three darling boys and married to her college sweetheart. We were welcomed by Tek, her oldest at 5, and Kip, 4. Looking down, a little baby, her youngest Sen, crawled up to see who in the world was visiting! Candice’s joy is astronomical. She’s a very hard-working wife and mother, really keeping a very tight ship. She graciously showed us to her guestroom and began getting her children ready for bed. That was the exit sign for Jered and I to take a long walk after driving for so many hours all day long. In Candice’s subdivision was an amazing display of Halloween decorations… a real sense of community spirit. Next day we were treated to a a tour of their business, Pololu. It is so rewarding to know two young people making a life together that is booming in business as well as family. From their days at MIT to now employing sixty people, these are two kids who started from the ground up in middle class families and are making their way in the world. Hooray!

Panevino Restaurant

By noon, we said our goodbyes and headed to the nearest organic restaurant before driving back to LA. What a find! In a nearby industrial park we found another treasure called Panevino. OMG! The manager gifted us with his latest creation: vegan chocolate pudding! I will show you the recipe asap.

LA skies driving into town

We feel so blessed to have friends like these folks. It was a whirlwind 36-hours of travel. So much so that I slept until 10am the next morning!

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3 Responses to Aloha in Las Vegas

  1. Old Vegas Lover says:

    Oh Donna !

    So excited that you got to go back to Las Vegas !
    It’s been so long ago, but I’m hoping to see you and
    Ann-Margret perform with Tom Jones soon !

    Last Vegas – Maybe I’ll try to find love again in Vegas ! – 2013
    She’s A Lady – Tom Jones in Las Vegas – 1981
    Viva Las Vegas – I love-a my baby ! – 1964
    C’mon Everybody – Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret
    Will someone tell this Romeo I’m not his Juliet ?
    Juliet why are you such a female protagonist ?
    The gentleman’s all wet ! Splash !
    The Lady Loves Me – Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret – Viva Las Vegas
    Stop What Your Doing To Me – The Playthings – 1965
    When – The Kalin Twins – When will you be mine ? – 1959
    The Stageit Twins – 2000
    Crazy For This Girl – Evan and Jaron
    We could make it look real couldn’t we ?
    Next Best Thing To Love – Moondoggie and Gidget – 1959
    Baby, Now That I’ve Found You – The Foundations – 1967
    Be My Baby – The Ronettes with Ronnie Spector – 1965
    If morning’s echo says we sinned
    Well, it was what I wanted now
    Angel Of The Morning – Billie Davis – 1967
    One wonderful moment you were mine !
    One Wonderful Moment – The Shakers – 1967
    Don’t Worry Baby – The Beach Boys -1964
    It Only Hurts When I Cry – Donna Loren – 1965
    Oh Donna ! I can still remember our first kiss !
    It Only Hurts When I Cry – Donna Loren – 2013
    Don’t Worry Baby – Ronnie Spector – 2012
    Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – The Sherilles – 1960
    The Reason Why – The Dolls – Northern Soul – 1966
    Come on baby rock me a little while ! – USA – 1965
    Take Me In Your Arms – Donna Loren – Northern Soul
    It’s Gonna Take A Miracle – The Royalettes – 1965
    Better to cry today then tomorrow !
    Rare Teenage Pop – 1960 – 1965
    The one you can’t have is the one that you want the most !
    The One You Can’t Have – The Honeys – 1963
    One broken lover’s heart for sale for a penny !
    One Broken Heart For Sale – Elvis Presley – 1963
    Girls in bikinis steal the show ! Yah Hey !
    Among The Young – Donna Loren – Beachgirl – 1964
    Your lips excite and delight me !
    It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley – 1960
    Donna Loren look-a-like 5 feet 4 inches 125 pounds
    From This Moment – Celeste Kellogg – Beachgal – 2013

  2. Christmas Carolers says:

    Merry Christmas Donna !

    We wish you joyful merriment in the holidays !

    Christmas Music of Traditional Christmas Carols
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
    Top Ten Christmas Songs of Smile Productions
    Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley and Martina McBride – 1971
    Blue Christmas – Amy Andrews – 2012
    White Christmas – Jody Quine – 2013
    I’m Coming Out For Christmas – Crystal Bowersox – 2013
    All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey – 2009
    I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Kelly Clarkson – 2012
    Let It Snow – Michael Buble -2012
    Michael Buble and Carley Rae Jepsen – 2012
    Rockn’ Around The Christmas Tree and Jingle Bell Rock
    Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Miley Cryus – 2009
    Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Donna Loren – 1964
    Merry Christmas Baby – Beach Boys – 1964
    Merry Christmas Baby – Elvis Presley – 1971
    Merry Christmas Baby – Donna Loren – 2010

  3. Humankind says:

    Humankind Thanks You For Your Love !
    Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela
    Tribute Poem for Nelson Mandela
    End Of Hate Poem
    Love or Hate Humankind
    Kindness is not meanness
    Forgiveness is not punishing
    Love is not hating
    Love is not sorrow
    We can only feel love or sorrow
    When you feel sorry for yourself
    Others can only feel sorry for you
    Sorry you cannot love yourself
    Sorry no one else can love you
    Your sorrow is not love
    Your hatred is not love
    Forgive and forget your hatred
    Forgive all of your children
    Show kindness to your children
    Love all of your children
    Love with all of your heart
    Hate or Love Humankind
    United States Tribute Poem for Nelson Mandela
    His Day Is Done Poem – Maya Angelou – State Department
    I can’t feel without your love !
    Without You – Otan Vargas – 2010
    It Only Hurts When I Cry – Donna Loren – 1965
    It Only Hurts When I cry – Donna Loren – 2013
    We will remember that you loved us all !

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