Monthly Archives: March 2015

Leaving Las Vegas

All vacations come to an end and it was time to fly back home.  Koko saw a grownup game at the airport that made him laugh.  It was about beavers!

First he read the writing…

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Then he laughed so hard!

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As mom, Don and Koko flew up and up in the airplane, they saw the Wynn Hotel where they went swimming.  Isn’t it huge?  The big pools look tiny from way up high, don’t they?

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Koko was really happy that the seats Don booked had lots of legroom (lots and lots of it).  It was the purr-fect place to have a baby tiger nap on the way home from a fun-filled trip.

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More Vegas Fun

Mom and Koko spent three days hanging around Las Vegas and that was fun.

But one day Koko was surprised by Don showing up!  He and Koko hung out at the poolside at the Wynn Hotel and got some more rays.

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And do you remember how Koko wanted to go in the giant ferris wheel?  Well, he finally got his wish!  He could see ALL of Las Vegas, near and far.  He was so excited about the ride he took very few pictures. He figures he will always remember, in his tiger mind, how beautiful the lights were.

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Mom and Don really liked the ride too.  Koko took this picture of them. Mom wore that fancy dress she bought at Christmastime with Koko.  He thought she looked very pretty in it.  Don’t you agree?

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The trio walked all around Las Vegas that night and saw the beautiful sights. This picture was taken just outside the Bellagio Hotel, where they have the most amazing water fountains playing sometimes.

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Mom won money playing a Wheel of Fortune slot machine.  It’s a game only grownups can play because it takes a lot of maturity to play this game responsibly.  Koko just watched in amazement at how lucky mom was!

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Sparkles and Italy

Mom and Koko spent a lot of time walking together alone in the huge hotels and shopping malls of Las Vegas.  They took so many pictures it would be impossible to post all of them.  But here are a few highlights.

First, Mom saw tons and tons of sparkles and bling in Las Vegas.  She thought these gem-encrusted balls were pretty amusing.  Koko liked the mask and thought Eli would really like it.

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Next mom went to a crystal store called Swarovsky to buy replacement earrings. Sadly she lost one of her special diamond earrings she bought herself a while back, so she decided to replace it with something just as sparkly but not as expensive.  This was a good place to find it!  Koko was sitting on the counter looking at more sparkles when this photo was taken.

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Mom and Koko made friends with the sales lady at the Swarovsky store.

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Next Mom and Koko went to a hotel that looks like it’s from Italy!  First they saw a replica of the Statue of David by Michelangelo.  Not the Teenage Mutant Turtle!  The famous sculptor and painter!

Mom and Koko were embarrassed at first…

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Then they kept on looking and giggling!

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The ceilings showed art that looks just like the paintings of Michelangelo too!  The real ones can be seen in Italy.

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The outside of the hotel had neat bridges and canals just like Venice, Italy.

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This is a neat panoramic of the canals in Venice.

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Koko sort of wanted to go for a gondola ride but didn’t want to get too close to the water in case he might fall in! 2015-03-11 12.48.06

Paris, Nevada

Koko really liked the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.  He had never been to the real Paris, like Mom, so he figured this was as close as it would get for him.

Here he is looking up at the Eiffel Tower .

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Mom and Koko posed by the tower. Koko felt dizzy looking straight up at the tall, tall tower.

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Then they went inside and were amazed to see it looks like you’re outside! Isn’t that a cool optical illusion?  It’s INSIDE a building during the day but looks like you’re outside on the streets of Paris at night.  Isnt’ that cool!

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Koko liked the pretty chandeliers and tried to jump up to touch the crystals.

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Mom and Koko posed by the huge crystal lights and took lots of pictures.  The hotel staff thought they were silly and giggled.

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Then mom and Koko went up on the pool level and saw the tower again. Koko thought it was a really neat building and hopes he can build one someday out of lego or blocks with Eli.

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Koko got a super awesome tan beside some loud German tourists. Mom ignored them by listening to music on her new iPhone and relaxing.  She explained to Koko that sometimes you just have to ignore loud noises by blocking them out with nice music.

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Sightseeing in Las Vegas with a Tiger

Koko and Mom woke the next morning and went straight outside to see the flamingoes that make the Flamingo Hotel so famous.  Aren’t they cute?

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Koko was amazed how many real and pretend Flamingoes there were!

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Again Koko saw the HUGE ferris wheel and said, “We should go on that!”

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Here is the casino part of the hotel.  This is where people bet money and hope to make lots more.  Usually people just lose lots of money.  Koko thought that was funny.

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A really nice security guard named Hilton gave Mom and Koko a special tour of the pool area.  He was very friendly. Mom said he should get a job at the Hilton Hotel.

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Mom and Koko walked around the city and under the giant Ferris Wheel!

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Here is is from far away.  It is GIANT!  It is SO big it makes the hotels around it look puny.  And the palm trees look more like tiny weeds.

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Koko asked Mom to take picture of this giant metal bull on the front of a building.

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Kiki thought he saw real bunnies then realized they are just ladies in costumes. Sort of like how Eli sometimes dresses up like a tiger or Batman!

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Koko had no idea where they were flying, but he didn’t mind.  The plane trip alone was tons of fun!  But then the landscape outside got more and more interesting, a lot like San Diego.

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The plane got lower and lower and Koko saw a town.

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There was a long strip of BIG buildings.

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Then Koko heard the plane’s captain say, “Welcome to Las Vegas!”

Koko and mom got a shuttle and made their way to the Flamingo Hotel!  It had a lot of pink, way more than at the underwear store, but Koko didn’t mind.  He was dazzled by all the lights!

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Mom dressed into summer clothes because Las Vegas is much hotter than Kamloops, at least in the winter.

Mom stuck Koko in her sparkly bag because she was pretty sure some people would be spooked by a Tiger on the Las Vegas strip!

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Mom and Koko saw the world’s biggest ferris wheel and thought it would be VERY neat to ride.  Maybe on another night…

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Here is the hotel from across a very big intersection.  Koko had to be sure to hold hands when crossing.

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Koko was confused when he and mom saw the Eiffel Tower and said, “this must be Paris!” but mom told him there is a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas.  Silly tiger!

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Yay! Another Plane Trip!

After all the orchestra and symphony rehearsals and concerts were done, Mom and Koko went to the airport in Kamloops for a flight. Did you know Kamloops has an airport?  The last time Mom flew out of this airport she was pregnant with Ryan!  That was waaaayyy back in 2000 when mom first played with the Kamloops Symphony and was a guest violin player with an Opera company in Dawson Creek!  It’s been a long time and mom looks forward to flying out of this airport many more times in months to come!


Koko was super excited to fly out!


Here is what Kamloops looks like after the snow is gone but before the leaves come back in Spring.


This is what the mountains between Kamloops and Vancouver look like from above!


We landed in Vancouver and Koko thought the airport was HUGE!


Then we saw some HUGE animals!  Koko took this picture of mom.


Here’s a selfie with a Tiger, a Moose and a Mom!

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Koko liked Mr. Bear!

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Mom was inspired to howl with the wolf!

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My my, Mr. Wolf, what big Teeth you have!

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Yuck!  Mom went underwear shopping at a store with WAY too much pink!

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Koko felt very small in this big airport.  The ceilings were way, way up there!

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Koko found a really cool collection of Donald Duck toys at our departure gate.  We gave up on counting them because there were too many for baby tigers to count.

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We got onto ANOTHER plane on our way to a surprise place.

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Koko really liked seeing the super big mountains.

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Another Orchestra?

Just when Koko thought the symphony was done, mom still had her usual Sunday rehearsal with the Brandenburg Orchestra.  Mom is a sectionleader with this orchestra, which means she is the boss of the second violins and helps them to make their bows all go the right direction at the same time and she gives them hints to play the music more beautifully.  Mom enjoys being a member of these two groups because she says music “feeds her soul.”  Koko found that comment to be confusing because no one EATS music there!

Here is Koko helping Mom play violin and lead some of the second violin players.


Here is mom’s violin teacher and symphony colleague, Jane.  She really liked the cuddle Koko gave her!


Mom likes to enjoy some really yummy food when she is in Kamloops with orchestra.  It’s tricky being there because she doesn’t have a house to go to and cook, but Koko didn’t seem to mind eating nothing but restaurant food the whole time!

Mom does this so much with symphony and orchestra weekends she has even made friends with some of the restaurant owners!  Koko got to meet some of these friends: the owner and her son at the Indian restaurant!


Koko Joins the Symphony!

How many baby tigers do you think have been to the symphony?  I am guessing very few. Well, this baby tiger did even better than that!  He got to experience what it is like to play IN the symphony with Mom!

Here is Koko getting the violin ready to play with the Kamloops Symphony!


Next Koko went to a rehearsal.  This is a fancy word for “practice.”  He met some really nice musicians who made a lot of noise. At first the musicians were nervous that there was a tiger in the rehearsal space!

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But soon enough Koko had taught them how to be fierce like tigers and they were getting along just fine!

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The symphony’s flute player, Jeff, did such a good tiger roar it even scared Mom!

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The next day he and Mom out on the stage during another rehearsal.  He was nervous seeing the big stage and hundreds of seats out in front, but Mom told him to start by waving the conductor’s stick when no one else was around. He enjoyed this so much he asked if he could conduct the concert.  Maybe next time, Koko.


Koko tried playing the French Horn, but just fell inside the bell!  Silly Tiger!


He then saw the Double Bass, which is a lot like a GIANT violin.


Then he tried playing the Timpani.  He loved the way they sounded like big, booming bombs when he hit the mallets hard!


He finished off playing in the second violin section with mom.  At one point he was spooked by the nearby viola section, which looked a lot like it was overtaken by pirates!  Mom laughed and said, “Silly tiger, those are just viola players. That’s just the way they dress.”


Here is some of the wind section and the violin sections just before the last rehearsal, which they call the “dress rehearsal.”  Koko was confused because no one wore dresses!

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Koko was amazed how LONG the musicians must rehearse.  It is hours and hours of practice, but mom says it is worth it for the beautiful music they make together.  The treat at the end is to play the concert. Okay, and it is always a special treat for all the musicians to have dinner a drinks after the rehearsals together.  So much of what makes music fun is the relationships the musicians develop together.

This picture shows mom and Koko spending time with lots of wind players, the conductor and a bass player.  She was the only violinist, but then again, Koko was the only TIGER!


At the end, Mom and Koko were so busy playing in the concert they didn’t take pictures of it.  But here is a picture of them as they were about to go on stage to perform!

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And here is a picture of them after the concert coming back to mom’s billets’ house.  Billets are really nice people who let musicians who live far away stay in their homes during concerts.  It is so much easier for mom to do this than to drive home at midnight, but it also means she misses her Eli!

You can’t really see Koko because he fell asleep in her purse during the drive home! Can you see his paw inside the red purse?

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Here is mom with her billet friends, Kyle, JP and Ryan.  Mom was happy to have played another concert, but so sad it would be another month until she could do it again with the Kamloops Symphony.

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