Hart of Dixie - a new show.

I was contacted whilst having a ball in Vegas by a lovely lady to tell me about a new show called Hart of Dixie on a channel called Really, which I admit I hadn't heard of until now. I'm not a massive telly-watcher so it takes something pretty good to get my attention, however with the lure of a special advanced screening and a little bit of intrigue into what the program would be like I watched it the evening we got home, through tired, jet-lagged eyes.

I was quite pleasantly surprised. I do quite like Rachel Bilson already (not as much as Jonathan does though!) and I found her easy to watch and quite likeable. She has an amazing wardrobe in the first episode and I did feel quite envious at her perfectly put together ensembles and the waves in her hair which I can never seem to achieve.

I've never had a Doctor who looks like this...

This is a show I will definitely give another go, maybe watching another one or two episodes before I decide if I will stick with it. It's definitely easy viewing and has the promise of lots of romance, twists and turns, and of course, great outfits!

Hart of Dixie airs tonight at 8pm on Really but if you'd like to watch it online you can catch it here. You'll have to let me know what you think!

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We took a walk to Shih Tzu Beach this afternoon for the last time this season.  Too hot during the summer to really enjoy the island.  We'll be back in October or November. 

On our way we were stopped by a park ranger who asked, "Where are you going with the dog?"

"Off the state park on the other side of the tent sites," I replied.

"Well, you have to cross the park to get there."

"Yes, I know but was told as long as I carried her it was OK."

"Who told you that?"


"Nick?  When was that?"

"Yes, Nick told me that just before he left on Monday."

"Are you aware that there is a law against pets on any part of the beach on the island?  They just don't enforce it."

I wanted to reply that they don't enforce it because it would hurt tourism and also because people live on the beach and of course their dogs run and play behind their houses.

He was at a loss for words because it was his boss that gave me the OK so as I continued to walk away I said, "If anyone complains just say that I was off the park with my dog."

We continued on to the far side of the moon which is about a half mile away and once there I let Xi run and play and splash in the water then we sat for awhile on our beach chairs.  I said my goodbys to the ocean... for a few months anyway... then we started our trek back to camp.

I was paid up for another night but decided to return home.  Didn't like the feeling I got from my encounter with the park ranger.  I know that he will make his feelings known to the manager and I may eventually be told I can no longer carry my pet across the park beach.  I'm giving a lot of thought to finding another place to stay.

Placed a Peace Rock and loaded up and left.

On our way off the island we stopped at the end near the bridge where the marina is and a large parking area for beach access.  I inquired within the marina if I could park my RV in the lot while enjoying the beach and was told yes, however, just for the day.  Any overnight RV parking would have to be for a fee in a park.

That's the marina on the left.  We're standing on the levee crossover facing the bridge leaving the island.

Right next to this beach access is the RV park belonging to the marina.  It's $40 a night but I like the location.

That camper in the center has the best location and beach access in the park.  It's only a few steps to the beach.  However, the guest has rented it for the whole summer.  This park gets the same customers every year.  I imagine it would be hard to get any of the prime sites as they are reserved year round.

It's a really nice part of the island.

There is always a lot of activity going on with fishing rodeos, live bands, a place to eat, a lounge for drinking, a gift shop, and live or boiled seafood.  Along side of the marina is a large, lighted, fishing pier that goes out into the bay.  I would have lots to do for entertainment if I could get used to the cost which is really too high for my budget.  I'll have to give it a lot of thought.

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Las Vegas: part 2 - our hotel (the Bellagio).

I couldn't blog about our trip and not mention the fabulous hotel we stayed in - the Bellagio. We knew it would be very luxurious and of course we saw pictures on the website before our trip, but it was even better than we had imagined.

Even the lobby, with its 18 foot ceiling and huge glass sculpture display, is stunning. The sculpture is comprised of around 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers. It is very impressive as you can see from my photos.

As you pass through the lobby and towards the back of the hotel you can see the Botanical Gardens where you will find plants, flowers, ponds, water features, bridges and a merry-go-round. All inside a hotel you say? It is Vegas after all!

Our favourite part of the hotel was the fountains which put on a show at the front of the hotel throughout the day and night. The first time I saw them I was blown away by how incredible they were. We never got bored of watching the different routines which were put to different pieces of music each time, and we would always stand to watch if we were passing.

At night they were even more spectacular especially from above which we were lucky enough to see, as my Sister's room overlooked them. 

The fountains at the Bellagio - Las Vegas. from Victoria Jackson on Vimeo.

(This is my own music played over the top as the video didn't catch all of the music which was playing at the time)

I have put together a video of one of the fountain displays we watched which should give you a good idea of how brilliant they were (you can skip to the end if you want to see the big finish).

Have you stayed here, or anywhere else along the strip? I loved having a nosy at the different hotels! If you visit Vegas but don't stay here I would definitely recommend that you watch the fountains, especially on an evening if you can!
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My friend Sylvia came by for a visit today with her daughter Michelle and her daughter Bailey.  They wanted to take some photos of little 2 year old Bailey on the beach as this is the first time she's ever seen the Gulf or the beach.  This was something I knew I would enjoy.  I don't remember the first time I saw the Gulf but I have many memories of time spent here in my early teens.  However, there are no photos of those times.  How I wish there were.

Michelle, Xi Shi, Bailey, and Sylvia

Notice where Xi Shi is sitting.  Bailey is afraid of her.  She said the dog looked mad and would have nothing to do with her.  Xi Shi wanted to play with her and kept trying to lick her face.  Poor little Xi.

Took a few photos of everyone at the coach then we headed for the beach.  Bailey's mom had gotten her a sand bucket and shovel as well as sunglasses, a beach hat, bathing suit and beach shoes.  She was ready to go.

Such a sweet child.

Bailey's mom showing her what the bucket and shovel are for.

Once she got the hang of that...

... It's time to say hello to the ocean.  She was afraid at first but we took our time and let her know that she was safe.

She really didn't know what to make of it.  The movement of the water made her dizzy.

She lost her balance and fell down at one point.  We were anxious to make sure she did not have a negative experience so we explained that it was OK to fall down in the water.  Then we spent some time each holding one of her hands and I stopped taking photos so we could show her it was fun to splash the water and get wet.  I bent down and took her hand and showed her how we could catch a wave.  She liked that and after awhile was laughing and doing it on her own.

It took a while to get that smile.

Her mom kept encouraging her to go into the water a little further, and she did.

Then it was time to take a break and get into some shade.  There was an available sheltered picnic table and we all enjoyed that for a time.  She got to wear her new sunglasses and pose for the camera. 

A cool rinse off before leaving the beach.

Nice and dry and in her new beach hoodie she's ready to go back to the campsite for some snacks and a cool drink.

What an experience for her.  Now she'll have these photos to help her remember when she saw the ocean for the first time.

It was my priviledge, Bailey, to be a part of this day with you.

Thank you all for coming to visit with me and Xi.

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Las Vegas: part 1 - our Instagram photos.

It has been a little while since I posted anything and that's because I've been on holiday, and subsequently suffering from terrible jet lag! But it has been worth it as we've had an amazing time.

On Monday 16 April Jonathan and I travelled down to a hotel by Gatwick airport with my parents, where we met up with my Sister and her (now) husband plus some of their friends who were also staying over the night before the flight. The following morning we jetted off to sunny Las Vegas and that's where we stayed for 7 nights, at the Bellagio to be precise.

We all had a great time and the wedding, which took place on the terrace at the Bellagio, was beautiful. My Sister and her husband, Steve, are currently sunning themselves in Hawaii before returning to Las Vegas for a few nights before coming home.

I have tons of photos to sort through and organise so in the meantime here are a few photos I put through Instagram which some of you may have seen if you follow me on there. Some of them turned out pretty well, especially the Grand Canyon photo. 

I'll be back very soon with lots more photos and stories of what we have been getting up to!

 Adele & Steve on their wedding day (we popped to the Vegas sign after the ceremony)
The Bellagio fountains at night, from Adele & Steve's room

Inside Caeser's Palace hotel
In the Botanical Gardens inside the Bellagio hotel

Sitting up front with the pilot on our helicopter ride over the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and the 'strip'
A view over the Grand Canyon

 Jellyfish at the Shark Reef inside the Mandalay Bay hotel
Cookie dough cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory (we only made it as far as pudding once!)

Part of our bathroom at the Bellagio
& the lifts

 Some of the American sweets we bought
The lobby ceiling inside the Venetian hotel

Some of the hotels, including Paris, at night
Gambling time!
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We waited till late this afternoon, as the sun was going down, to go to the far side of the moon where my little Xi Shi has been banished - for merely being a dog.  We packed up our beach cart and headed out to the pavilion.  I rolled Xi Shi onto the beach and she sat up and looked out at the water as we went around the tenting area and followed the water's edge till we were off of the state park.

I let her out of the cart and she immediately took off running because she knew she wasn't on leash.  I let her go as far as she wanted and called out to her now and then to return to me, which she did.  She played a while in the surf and then ran as fast as she could stopping only to look back and see if I was following.   She had a great time and so did I. 

When we returned, I rinsed her off at the shower on the pier and then we went back to our campsite.  It was a really long walk to and from the far side of the moon and I figure it will do wonders for my exercise regime.  However, being that far away from the people on the beach and not having to worry about anyone complaining about my dog, was a relief to me.   In fact, I've named that part of the beach after Xi Shi Quan and call it "Shih Tzu Beach" as it is now going to be our little spot -  off the park.  

It was another great day at the beach. 
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Xi Shi and I stayed in bed till noon today.  My sunburn is better but still hurts so I stayed in my pajamas most of the day.  Got dressed this afternoon and walked to the pavilion to see what was going on with all those busses.  There were 5 bus loads of school children from the Baton Rouge area that came to plant seedlings on the beach today.

Once they were all gone and there was no one on the beach I let Xi go on the sand for a little while.  We sat at the picnic table and I took photos of us.  Then we headed back to our campsite.

The beach to the right of us is the new designated tenting area.  Beyond that is where the park manager said I could let Xi run and play if I carried her there.  We'll go there tomorrow.

The campground is filling up as we get closer to the weekend.

I took her off leash and we played fetch in our large front yard.  I'm trying to teach her how to stay in the yard and near the coach without being on leash.  It's working.   When Pat showed up this evening to pick me up for our dinner date, she obeyed my command to "stay" and not run towards his car.  I was so proud of her.  However, when he got out of the car, she ran to him... command or no command she was going to go and greet her friend.

He had just sat down at the table when his phone rang.  Xi was not getting the attention she usually gets from him and her face showed it.

I hated to leave her alone but I put her into the coach and left with Pat, hoping that she wouldn't bark.

We got to the marina just as the sun was setting over Caminada Bay.  I love this deck.  The rocking chairs are a nice touch and very comfortable. 

Not a lot of boats in the marina tonight.

The view from our table in the cafe.

The cafe was closed but the owner's daughter said she could make us the roast beef sandwiches we wanted.  We felt so special.  How nice of her to do that.  We sat at my favorite table by the windows and had a great view. 

My iPhone does not take good photos at night as this photo of the front of the marina shows.

I had a nice time and always enjoy Pat's company.

Xi Shi was so glad to see us when we got back.  She barked and talked and barked some more.  It took awhile to calm her down.  Now she is sleeping next to me and very happy that her Momi is home.

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