Good morning Everyone,

When I sign on to write a carepage, our last post is listed. Where did the last month go?! We have been very busy and have many new firsts – too many to post at once, so you can look forward to more frequent notes from us this month.

To begin we had a recent adventure filled with 1st’s for both of us. We used our points to go to Las Vegas! Corey and I helped my sister, Diane and my godson, Andrew move into his first college apartment; not my first move your child into a college apartment but more importantly…my sole purpose – my experience building IKEA furniture!

It was our first flying solo with one suitcase; this was a very big deal (remember the days we packed a bag for medical supplies, a bag for bedding/her clothes and a bag for me). The only extra bag is for a luggage carrier for the wheelchair we check at the gate. Corey can now walk down the ramp with her cane (and my guarded assistance) to board the plane. She gets an aisle seat and I climb over her to sit in the middle seat, haha. She handled the flight very well and fortunately, didn’t have to use the restroom while in flight (I was very grateful for that’s a very tricky maneuver for the two of us to fit in that small space!)

I was most concerned with the heat this time of year (averaged 104) but she handled that well too. We were only out of the air conditioning for short spurts walking in/out of Bed, Bath & Beyond and Staples. If you didn’t notice, I wrote WE and WALKING. Several times through the trip, Corey didn’t use her wheelchair as she has developed her long distance walking. She even pushed the cart in Staples for her cousin’s school supplies.

The trip wasn’t all work, after all we were in Vegas! Now that Corey is over 21, she played her first Roulette wheel. It was a $10 bet (very pricey from our comfort zone of penny slots). She won twice and lost twice…losing her original $10 BUT she stood at the table and placed her own bets! She had fun walking around the casino for about 700′ then rested before our dinner reservation.

We asked Corey to choose one restaurant of the hundreds in Vegas. She picked Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace; the casino is celebrating their 50th year. As we walked into the restaurant, we met Caesar and Cleopatra with their entourage. Of course we took advantage of the photo opportunity. For those of you on facebook, I will be posting her pics and a short video of her walking on my page.

Caesar and Cleopatra weren’t the only celebrities there that night, COREY became the celebrity too. The restaurant manager noticed Corey’s entrance and came to introduce himself. She told him she wanted to meet Gordon Ramsay because she wanted to be a Chef. We gave him the back story of her recovery and he instantly was her newest fan. He shared her story with his staff and after dinner we were visited by Chef Christina Wilson. Chef Christina was the season 10 winner of Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay’s Executive Chef for the U.S. restaurants.

Christina sat with Corey for about 20 minutes talking about their love of cooking, their shared roots in the Philly area and when they will see each other again! If it works out, Christina MIGHT be able to arrange a future meeting with Gordon Ramsay himself at the Atlantic City restaurant. Wouldn’t that be amazing!! Christina shared her contact information so Corey can keep in touch about her continued recovery and new culinary creations.

On our way to the airport for our flight home, we noticed the line at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign was not as long as when we arrived. We were leaving Las Vegas but didn’t care…we took advantage of the photo opportunity. My sister Diane captured a video of Corey walking to the sign (I was not guarding her for about 20′)

Good news, Corey handled the heat, the crowds and the noise very well. She was very tired by the end of every day because of the over-stimulation but only had a few meltdowns and better news…she remembers SOME of the trip…”the girl that was the Chef”…if that’s the only memory she has, we won more than any casino in Vegas!

Never Give Up and Never Give In – xoxo