Yes, my friends, I'm finally back from Christmas vacation. I traveled about 2500 miles in total through sunshine, snow, and ice. The trip to SLC was uneventful, but traveling from SLC to Las Vega for my brother's wedding was quite an adventure. There was a huge blizzard the day after Christmas and many of the mountain passes we drove through were icy. Near Parowan (in UT) I started fishtailing on the ice, but managed to bring the truck back under control. It was pretty scary, though, and my husband decided to take over driving at that point. I was shaking for ten minutes after that. He drove the rest of the way to Las Vegas white-knuckled until we got past St. George where the roads were clear. We drove back to Dallas on Sunday and it looks like we left just in time since now there's snow in Vegas!
It was nice not to talk about science for a week. The only science-related things I remember saying was briefly explaining my thesis project to a couple family members. After that, they would nod their head and move quickly on to another topic. Feel the love.
I took quite a few pictures, but as I don't have a digital camera, the film will probably languish in my camera bag for months until my husband gets fed up and insists I develop the pictures. He's much better at stuff like that than I am. I do have one finished roll, so I'll try to develop it this week so I can post some pics on this site.
Some of you may have noticed that I went to Las Vegas for my brother's wedding. No, it was not an Elvis-chapel-o-love type wedding if that's what you're thinking. It was a traditional Mormon (LDS) wedding at the Las Vegas temple with the traditional reception at a local LDS chapel afterwards. There are actually quite a few Mormons in the Las Vegas area. They make up about 12% of the population of southern Nevada (for perspective Mormons make up 1-2% of the population nationwide). Brigham Young sent settlers to Las Vegas in 1855 to build a fort there, the first non-Native American settlement in the valley. More history of Las Vegas here.
Anyway, in an LDS marriage ceremony, you'd better make sure you're marrying the right person, because we don't marry "until death do us part," but "for time and all eternity" i.e. even after death. Really, I think this is a beautiful, romantic concept for those of us with good marriages. But if the thought of being with your spouse forever seems horrifying to you, then LDS temple marriage is not for you.