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We had a really good Christmas trip to Las Vegas, arriving the Thursday before Christmas and leaving three days later on Christmas Day.

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Chef Scott Conant, a celebrity chef that’s hard to miss if you watch the Food Network Channel at all. We

Chef Scott Conant

 had stopped in to confirm our dinner reservations at his restaurant, Scarpetta in the Cosmopolitan resort, and he was standing by the front desk. He was very gracious, but it was a shock to turn around and see someone you recognize from television.

We stayed at the Vdara Hotel, which was wonderful. The accommodations were great and the spa where we indulged in a massage was very nice.

There were a couple of downsides. My knees gave me a lot of trouble. The steroid injection I had before we left doesn’t seem to have helped and I’m going to schedule the MRI to see if there is anything but RA going on. Of course, I did a lot of walking — probably 2-3 miles a day, so that didn’t help things.

We got a nice surprise on the trip back. Both my husband and I are signed up for TSA’s Global Entry Program (GOES) and completed the enrollment for the trusted traveler “fast lane” entry through American Airlines. It lets you bypass some of the yucky parts of travel — like taking off your shoes and taking your 3-oz bag and your computer out of your suitcase. We weren’t aware that they had implemented the special lanes at Las Vegas, so it was a treat. Of course, I still had to be scanned since my hip and shoulder replacements trip the metal detector, but it was nice to skip some of the other tediousness of air travel.

I guess the really bad news is that on Christmas day we got word that my step-mother was admitted to the hospital. She has not been in great health for the last few years and she’s been in the hospital multiple times in the past few months. She’s over 80 and even small things can become quickly serious. I remain optimistic that she’ll recover in good time, but it is still a serious situation.

Now it’s back to reality and work, although the office is down to a skeleton crew this week between the holidays. I’m treating myself by coming in a bit later in the morning and only working 8 hours a day.

I hope your holiday celebrations were joyful and that those you love were blessed with good health. Thanks for checking in.