What a vacation! We are usually only gone for a weekend with a day or two on either side. This time we were gone for about ten days. We had a great time. The down side was coming home to a stack of phone messages to return and a foot high stack of mail.

Mayhem as usual was great fun! We had Thursday a.m. to visit the Heritage Museum. Chose that over the zoo because it was pouring rain. For lunch, we went to our favorite Ahmad’s Persian Restaurant and we weren’t disappointed. Ahmad remembered us and called us California as soon as spotted us. Speaking of restaurants we found another good in the Old Marketplace, M’s Pub.

When we returned to our hotel, Pat Lang, our Omaha friend, came to visit us in our room. The opening buffet was that night. Mayhem is a bit like a family reunion because so many of the same people, writers and readers, attend year after year. So much fun to see and visit with everyone. I won’t name all the authors and fans that I’m particularly fond of–suffice it to say that I was happy to see them all.

Friday and Saturday were filled with intriguing panels and 20 minute conversations with authors.

Friday night was the Sisters in Crime buffet–good food and lots of great conversation. Saturday night was the mystery dinner where my hubby played Rick Bogart in a silly take-off of Casablanca. Everyone laughed a lot.

Sunday morning was the brunch with an interview of Margaret Maron by Nancy Pickard. Again, good food, conversations and goodbyes. Hubby and I were met at the front of the hotel by son-in-law, Mike, in his little Scion. He drove us and our luggage to Council Bluffs IA where daughter Dana, the golden retriever named Archie and the motor home awaited us. From IA we drove back into Nebraska and took some time out to visit an arch that goes over the highway and tells all about the western migration with pictures and tour.

We arrived in Breckenridge CO that night and parked the RV in the wonderful park with snow capped mountains all around. We swam in an indoor pool. Played a silly game. The next morning we visited the town of Frisco, window shopped and toured their museum of old homes and cabins. Had lunch in Breckenridge at Bubba Gump’s, then headed back to the RV park in a rain storm. We were treated to a magnificent thunder storm, then it snowed with huge flakes. The sky cleared and we went to bed. In the a.m. we were surprised by snow covering the ground.

From CO we headed to Utah and another campground. Early up the next morning so we could reach Las Vegas in time for me to take care of some business with my sister. Of course we spent time with sis and b-i-l before going to Circus Circus to the KOA there. You haven’t lived until you’ve stayed in a casino parking lot laughingly called a campground. From there we hightailed it home.

At home we made discoveries like there is a problem with our water system. Had to shut down half the house. Fortunately, the other half is working so we just changed bedrooms for awhile. The cats knocked the screen out in my office window, so that had to be fixed. Poor hubby. Today he was elected hamburger and hotdog cook after church.

Now, this coming week I play catch-up. I’m promoting the fact that Fringe Benefits, my bad copy novel is now available as an e-book from Fictionwise. In August, the next in my Tempe Crabtree series, Judgment Fire, will make it’s debut so I’m preparing for that promotion too.

It’s fun to go away, but so good to be back home.


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