SENIOR MOMENTS: A Birthday Trip to Las Vegas

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By PHIL SHIGEKUNI

This year, my wife, Marion, turns 75. To celebrate we drove to Las Vegas, and our daughter, Laurie, with her husband, Stan, flew in from San Francisco. We met them at the airport and the four of us drove on to play a late afternoon round of golf at Black Mountain, a course close by in Henderson. It was a little on the warm side, but still pleasant toward evening. Even though the course was being re-seeded, we had fun playing.

The next morning, Stan and I played a course in North Las Vegas called Silverstone. His brother, Vernon, drove in from L.A. and joined us there. He is a structural engineer, and a few years ago worked on a building on the Strip.

While the three of us played golf, Marion and Laurie went shopping at the Premium Outlet Mall close to downtown. Although we were celebrating Marion’s birthday, the few goodies they came back with were from Marion for Laurie. I don’t know how true this is of JA mothers in general, but Marion has a hard time receiving anything. She would much rather get things for others.

Stan and Laurie had a room at a hotel on the Strip. Marion and I stayed at — where else? The California Hotel downtown.

The birthday dinner was a treat from Stan and Laurie at the Wynn Hotel on the Strip. They said their buffet was voted the best by some Las Vegas survey. The food was varied and delicious.

After dinner we decided to do a little gambling, but the minimum bets for blackjack on the Strip were too high, so we drove downtown to the Cal.

In driving Stan and Laurie back to their hotel later that evening, I encountered one of the trials of being a “more mature” senior (78). I took the wrong freeway in heading back to the hotel, and when I got re-oriented I turned one block short of Las Vegas Boulevard.

The next morning when we picked up Stan and Laurie to take them to the airport, Laurie told me she did not want me to drive by myself at night anymore!

I did not argue with her, but I honestly think that given the same circumstances, I would have made the same driving errors 10-20 years ago. I suppose I have to just tell myself I have to expect this kind of surveillance from my child as part of where I am in my lifespan.

Marion and I are doing all we can to be proactive. She walks five miles a day and I jog/walk three miles, three or four days a week. Also, as I mentioned in an earlier column, we both attend the chi fung weight training class held by Rev. Leo Fong twice a week. This, in combination with being careful about our diets, is what we do to age as gracefully as possible.

When we got home, I got the usual question asked when returning from Las Vegas. “So, how did you do?” My evasive reply: “We really had a lot of fun!” — which we did.

The author with his wife, Marion, and daughter, Laurie.

Phil Shigekuni writes from San Fernando Valley and can be contacted at [email protected] The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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