October was an extremely eventful month for me. It started with a very exciting trip to Las Vegas with my good friend, Barbara. Her son, Robert, was getting married out there on 3rd October to his partner, Samantha. It was unlike any wedding I've ever attended before, with them exchanging their wedding vows in the middle of the Nevada Desert, at a location called The Valley of Fire. The Valley acquired its name by the fact that the sunlight throws swirls of patterned colours onto the red sandstone rocks.
It was truly exciting to attend a wedding outdoors in a geologically scenic part of the world. To add to it, the Minister who married them was a previous Hollywood Stuntman and had also been the voice of Big Bird in the 1980's children’s show, Sesame Street - which was rather surreal! After the ceremony, a limo took us back to The Vegas Strip where we enjoyed a celebratory meal at Caesar’s Palace.
After all the wedding festivities had taken place, it was only right that I explored the sights Nevada had to offer. I went on an excursion to The Hoover Dam, an impressive feat of engineering and far more exciting than I had expected, which is always a good thing.
No trip to Vegas would be complete without seeing The Grand Canyon, one of the world's top five must-see destinations. The sheer area the canyon covers is mesmerising, with rock formations as far as the eye can see. This is a constantly changing landscape, as the North American tectonic plate is moving west and colliding with the Pacific plate, together with ongoing water erosion. While I was there, I had arranged a ‘Skywalk’ which allows you to take in more of the landscape from a glass-floored and glass-sided walkway that juts out part way across the Canyon. Albeit a bit unnerving at first, being stood on glass looking down to the river 2,000 feet below, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone!
After returning from my holiday, I just had one week until my son’s wedding on 17th October (cue all of the last minute preparations)! Family and friends came from many parts of England, as well as further afield, namely Germany and Italy to be with them on their special day. The ceremony took place at St Charles Church in Grange-over-Sands, and the reception was held at The Netherwood Hotel. All the meticulous planning paid off as everything went smoothly and everybody thoroughly enjoyed their day, in particular, Simon and his bride, Sarah. Even the weather was superb, and I think even warmer than what we'd had in summer!
Now that we are well into November, life is almost back to normal - before the Christmas season begins at least. I am hoping for a relatively stress-free Christmas this year as I have invited myself to Simon and Sarah’s house. I suggested it would be a good idea for them to cook for their first married Christmas, and they took the bait!