Summer vacation has ended.

My 3 day outing to the Kern River Valley with Cooper and her friend Robyn, both 13 was mostly sweet.

I enjoy spending time with my friend Sherry who put us up in her lovely home over looking Lake Isabella. She and I passed the 3 day road trip test last Nov when we drove across country to Nashville then me on to SC to see my grand daughter, Ireland, born which I missed by 5 hours.

By the time I dropped her off at The Farm we could have gotten married but alas, we are both glaringly hetero. During our trip we found out that BOTH our given names at birth were Cheryl Ann, we are both Leo & Sheep according to the Chinese calendar if you believe the place mats where the pork is glazed neon red. (maybe more on that trip later)

Cooper and her friend Robyn were good kids except for having that irritating sense of entitlement that comes from parents and grandparents who indulge them excessively; an attitude that I find hard to tolerate. Robyn actually complained to Cooper because she had to help carry the food cooler and my chair-after I had bought them new tubes and driven them there, bought the rafting tickets- blah blah.

But we had fun. They tubed through the jutting rocks down the river, paddled with gusto in the grade 2 & 3 rapids when the guide said paddle and Rose, Sherry’s lovely daughter and her b-friend, Brandon, took them to a rock that was so high they looked like miniature people from the bottom but still they courageously jumped into the river (Cooper always 1st of course) and had a blast.

The following week Cooper and I headed to Vegas. It’s pure delight to view this cuidad de avaricia (one of the 7 deadly sins but I prefer slothfulness) through the eyes of wonder that a child has rather than my own wearied & jaded vision. I did feel pangs of jealousy when she said that she and her friend planned to come back and that “they were going to ride all of the rides.” I asked, “Why won’t you ride them with me?” With a look that stated my question was stupid, she said, “It’s different. You’re my grandmother.” Ahhh. It’s my money and generous countenance she appreciates.

We sat with a Chinese family to see Dirk Arthur’s Extreme magic. The magic was fine, even good but the use of gorgeous rare tigers in Las Vegas makes me nauseous. Men have such egos.

We even viewed Siegfreid & Roys garden zoo with the lion and tiger retirees from their show. They were all napping because retirees can do that at their leisure.

In the small building where garden zoo there is a large cardboard cutout of the two men in their heyday. Roy is wearing sexy black leather pants and a white shirt with the buttons open to his nipples and is straddling a large gorgeous white tiger. I asked the docent how Roy was doing and where the tiger that mauled him was. She said, “It’s here somewhere, but I’ve never seen it.” I’m thinking buried.

Go see LOVE. The choreography, costumes, acrobatics, and of course the Beatles sound track makes for a truly feel good, spellbinding evening.

The next day we had lunch at the Top Of The World-isn’t that just like Las Vegas to compare their five star restaurant with the arctic. I had the 2 martini lunch. 2 martinis and a bowl of lobster bisque. Cooper had a virgin pina colada, a chicken Cesar salad & a sculpted chocolate replica of the Stratosphere.

Instead of going to the Grand Canyon we went to the Fashion Mall. The thinking here is that the GC will be there and doesn’t change much but fashions go and come with such rapidity you need to be quick. It was interesting. I cashed out my Christmas Club $ that had reached a big 80.00 and gave it to her- I will be long gone come Christmas. She spent most of it at Wet Seal, a clothing store that specializes in teen garb-cute, short, revealing, stuff that did not give my matronly body even the illusion of perky.

In Macy’s matron department I tried on an orange cotton, wrap around dress. Cooper looked at me. “Yur kidding. Right?” I bought it.

I wore a simple black linen shift with slits on the sides to LOVE. She said it wasn’t very hip. Which poses the questions. How long exactly do we need to be hip? The dress breathes, covers body imperfections that don’t exist in her world, and in my life inevitable vino tinto stains. But I’ve decided to shorten it. It will be hipper. And the legs are good; the ankles still shapely.

We toured the Hoover Dam. Enough said.

She is home and I’ve decided this was my last summer as hostess of teenagers. But, Cooper wants to go to England. That I can do. Another year. After I’ve recovered.