Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

The Countdown is On

Now that my 'Road Home' Dim Sum Dinner & a Movie is a fait accompli, it's time to turn my attention toward preparing for my trip to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Yosemite. I will be taking my laptop along and will be composing a journal of my trip in lieu of my daily Adventures in Asian Food and Film. The Recipes & Photos, along with my film review of The Road Home, will appear at the end of the month as usual. Right now, I'm busy packing.

Why am I going to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in the middle of winter? may ask.

Well...Rene is a caricature artist. He entertains at parties and other special events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and when it's open, he manages the caricature concession at Six Flags Marine World. He is a very talented artist and a wonderful entertainer. Every year, caricature artists from all over the country (and a few international ones too, especially from Japan), get together to share their craft. They set up their easels in a big hotel ballroom and draw like crazy for three straight days. They have competitions for speed, best likeness, use of color, best humor, etc. On the last day, they all vote, and the winners are announced at a formal dinner. It's kind of like the Academy Awards for caricaturing. This year, it's being held in Las Vegas [again].

It's great fun, and I always tag along. Over the past six years since we've been attending, it's been held in San Diego, Atlanta, Las Vegas (twice) and Orlando (twice). We always manage to fit in as much sightseeing as we can, especially this time with the detours to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. I also take along my laptop and a writing project or two so I have something to do on my own while Rene immerses himself in the festivities. I'm somewhat of a recluse and can only handle that kind of intense social activity for a couple hours at a time. So I sleep in, read, write, browse the Internet, watch movies on TV, explore the hotel facilities and surroundings on my own, and then in the evening, I saunter down to the ballroom to bring Rene a snack and see what all those crazy caricaturists have been working on all day. Then when it's over, Rene and I spend a couple more days by ourselves, exploring the city and local environs before we head home.