Ryan shot archery in the morning and placed #49 in the country. As any good Texan does, we celebrated by eating Mexican food. The restaurant’s guacamole was less than satisfactory, but one cannot expect much when not in the deep South. Next, was the Hoover Dam. My brother and Dad opted out of this adventure.
Ryan: I’ve seen the Hoover Dam three times now. Once was enough.
Me: I feel the same way about your face.
So, off we went. When we arrived, we headed down to security. It was the airport all over again. Ellie went through, no problems. My grandma went through, no problems. I went through, no problems. My mom goes through: Lights, sirens, security goes off.
Security Lady: Ma’am, we need to take a look through your purse.
She sorts through it.
Security Lady: Uh huh. Yes. This is it. Ma’am, are these your cashews and goldfish?
Security Lady: These are not allowed inside.
Mom: Oh. What about my tic-tacs?
Security Lady: Your tic-tacs are fine. Now, we can send these items back to your home, or you can eat them now.
Mom: I think we’ll just eat them now.
Security Lady: The door is over there.
With our heads down and tails between our legs, we walked back out and sat on the bench of shame to eat the food my mother tried to smuggle through into Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, the joke was on the security lady because the most dangerous food was the tic-tac my mother has a terrible addiction to.
Stranger 1: How did you shoot today?
Me: Uh, what?
Stranger 1: How did you shoot today?
Me: Oh. My brother’s the archer.
But, life continued on. We went back through security and got our tickets to go under the Hoover dam and see the power plant inside. Henceforth, we were hurried into a room to watch a movie. It was all about the engineering and blah blah blah smart people stuff.
Woman: The elevators are broken, while we fix them, look at the museum and we will call you back when they are ready.
We continued to wait for the tour, but they were never ready.
Stranger 2: What kind of bow do you shoot?
Me: My brother shoots. Not me.
Stranger 2: Oh.
We went through museum twice. The first time, nothing was making sense until we realized we were going through the museum backwards. So, we went through it again, this time, the right direction. But twice was plenty and we wandered back down to the elevators.
Us: How long will the wait be?
Person in Charge: Oh yeah, did nobody tell you, the elevators are officially out for the day, but luckily, you can get in the line—it looks like it ends all the way over there—and get money back on your tickets.
And that’s what we did. We waited, waited, and waited in line. Finally, after I turned 100 years old, we received our money back. We stepped outside and took a walk down the hoover dam. We walked through Nevada AND Arizona time zones. Here I made another friend.
Stranger 3: Look, [insert random name here], it’s a fellow archer
We looked at deep hills, water bluer than you’ve ever imagined, and glittering lights in the setting sun.
My and my beautiful momma.
Ellie and I holding our hair because of this pesky thing we call wind.
The view between the time zones of Nevada and Arizona.
There was a huge bridge across the horizon. My grandma—with a tremendous fear of heights—did not want to walk across it. She also, had no desire to be near the edge of the Hoover Dam wall. Other people visiting did not have this dam fear.
Stranger 4: Hey! Look! We’re wearing matching shirts!
Me: Oh yay. How adorable.
Mom: Who wants to find the long bridge and torture grandma by going across it?
Ellie (chanting): Torture Mawmaw! Torture Mawmaw!
Mom (finds entrance to bridge): Oh, darn. It’s closed now.
Grandma: What a crying shame.
So, we called the end to our adventure for the day. Next was food—obviously, the most important part of the day—we had to wait in the hotel for everyone to get back and headed all the way down the elevators, through the smoke, the casino, and two sets of doors. At that point, my dad remembered he parked on the other side of the hotel. We all turned around back through the casino, through the smoke, passed an impressive number of inappropriate sites, and made it to the parking garage. After we were all loaded up, Ellie sat beside me and started digging though her back pack.
Me: What are you looking for?
Ellie: Nothing you need to worry about.
Turned out, we did need to worry about it, because she’d brought the expensive family camera with her. Like she brought the expensive family camera as if it were one of her plastic ponies and coloring books in her backpack.