Viva Las Vegas

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hey, you.  Yes, it's been like a month since I last checked in.  And the excuse is still the same - too many long days at work (think minimums of 10 hours) make it difficult to want to come home and stare at another computer screen.  Sometimes you need to just unplug and read or work out or just not be connected to the internet, you know??

Anyway.  I do have things to catch up on.  I'll start with our trip to Las Vegas back in March.  I wish I could express the sense of freedom and excitement I had when I fled my office on Tuesday afternoon!  Such giddiness and glee.  L and I headed out on a Wednesday morning and took our first Virgin flights.  We're usually pretty dedicated to flying American so L can keep his status, but we thought it would be fun to try Virgin and the price was right.  Check out the sweet ambient lighting:

Yes, that's black-ish purple and reddish-pink lighting.  All the planes are like that.

And the individual touch screens at each seat:

You use them to order food, create a playlist to listen to, buy movies or TV shows, or to watch TV.  I tried to go with the Funkin Margarita Mix, but sadly, they were out on that flight.  So instead, I opted for a split of Karma champagne.  Clearly Virgin America is marketing towards the 18-35 demographic and I bought right into what they were selling.  Honestly, the music thing was probably my favorite feature.  Pretty decent compilation of artists and it was fun to make my own little playlist to rock out to.

We had a layover in San Francisco and we grabbed a light snack at Cat Cora's restaurant, where I ordered my first of many Manhattans for the trip:

Our chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries were really good - I totally recommend it if you ever find yourself in need of something yummy and fresh and light in the SF airport:

After our snack, it was time to board our connecting flight.  This made us laugh:

Anyway, we got to Vegas and stayed at Aria (again), which was amazing (again).  We were meeting four other couples there, but we decided to have dinner on our own on our first night of vacation.  I picked Lavo as our dining destination.  The only down side is that by the time we got to the restaurant for our 8:30 p.m. reservations, it felt like 11:30 p.m. to us.  It didn't help that we'd gotten up at the same time we do for work every day in order to get to the airport on time.  So we were pretty sleepy.  But dinner was great - check out this horrible picture of my meal:

It really was delicious.  Our original plan was to meet up with the two other couples that were in Vegas at that point (the missing two couples arrived Thursday morning), but we were so sleepy and full when we finally finished dinner that we ended up just going back to our room and calling it a night. 

The next morning, we met one of the couples that arrived Thursday morning for breakfast.  The venue: Imperial Palace's Hash House a Go Go.  I'll be honest, I was insanely skeptical.  I mean, not to sound snobby (okay it totally sounds super snobby), but it's the freaking Imperial Palace.  Not exactly a place a want to spend a lot of time.  But L has told me about this place for years and it was one of THE things he wanted to do while we were there, so off we went to meet The Ps and Mr. P's boss for breakfast.  And I must say, I was delightfully surprised by my meal!  The food portions are far bigger than any one person ever needs on their own.  Mr. P's boss ordered some sort of breakfast pot pie and I swear to you, the pie crust looked like a sombrero turned upside down. Not even exaggerating.  I tried to get a picture, but it's really hard and awkward to ask your friend's big-wig attorney boss if you can photograph his meal when you just met a half hour earlier.  So it didn't happen.  But here's a picture of my delicious tangerine mimosa:

L and I split chicken and waffles.

Look closely - bacon is INSIDE THE WAFFLE.  Also, if you look in the upper right corner of that pic, you'll see some of the sombrero pot pie.

Meanwhile, Mrs. P ordered some kind of crazy bacon bloody mary and I think some kind of hash, but honestly I was so focused on L's and my chicken and waffle order that I can't remember what that is on her plate:

It definitely doesn't look like hash.  But whatever.  Mrs. P, the other three girls, and I spent that day at the spa in Aria and it was amazing.  I highly recommend their facilities.  Except for the part where the spa pool overlooks the stupid lounge/club pool.  Too much ridiculously loud music - not at all relaxing, but the heated outdoor pool was still quite nice. As were the lounge chairs by it.  Mrs. P and I both took brief naps out there in between hopping among the whirlpools, steam room, sauna, etc. 

TIME OUT: I have Gossip Girl on in the background while I write this.  I'm sorry, but WHAT IS GOING ON WITH DAN'S HAIR??  I mean, I get that the WB/now the CW requires approval before the stars of its shows cut their hair (we all remember the Felicity fiasco), but come on.  Dan's hair is horrible.  It's starting to look a bit like he's channeling the Upper East Side version of Kenny Powers.  And if you don't know who Kenny Powers is, you are missing out on something delightful in life.  Go rent Season 1.  Your boyfriend/husband will thank you.  And me for telling you.

Time in.  Anyway, the spa is awesome.  That was my only pool day and due to my phone not working and one of the girls I was with having a penchant for the "see and be seen" lifestyle (which, unbeknownst to me, took the other four girls to Liquid, aka, the club pool), I ended up only getting about 45 minutes of late afternoon sun.  But that was fine, as I got to read a lot and just relax.  And then I went back up to the spa to shower and get ready for dinner.

Thursday night was supposed to be our "big" dinner night.  The parents of one of the girls we were with are members of the Foundation Room at the House of Blues and they made reservations for us.  It's a reaaaaally long story, but after a lot of drama, six of the ten of us ended up taking this ridiculousness to dinner:

Yes, it's a stretch Hummer limo.  Because that's necessary.  The extra dumb parts of this: we didn't bring alcohol with us and we literally just went straight from Aria to Mandalay Bay.  No cruising up and down the strip or anything.  Thus, why do six people need a limo?  Originally, all ten of us were looking for an easy way to get everyone down to dinner at the same time, but a LOT of drama ensued and in the end, only eight of us went to dinner.  While we waited for the last couple to arrive, we enjoyed the views of the strip:

Pretty awesome, right??  Sadly, this was not the best meal I've ever eaten in Vegas, but to be fair, I've had some really good meals there, so maybe it was unfair of me to walk in expected something that would make me remember the food forever.  Four of the eight plates were good; the other four were just... not.  But the company was great, and that's really what matters.  We were at dinner for a looooooong time and towards the end of our meal, drama from the missing couple started to heat up again so we all went back to Aria to try and help calm things down.  That actually resulted in everyone going to bed around midnight, which was probably better in the long run.  I will say that Frohn Dancis is a REALLY good friend and he and the Redhead totally took one for the team that night with regards to the drama that was going on.

Friday morning, L and I decided to walk down the strip and enjoy the pretty weather (the weather, btw, was SO AMAZING - sunny and warm, but not too hot and not too cold.  Perfection).  The Ps had gotten up early, too, and had ended up at Paris, so L and I met them there and gambled a little bit.  Then we all meandered on down to The Venetian to meet two other couples for brunch at Bouchon.  But don't worry - we did stop on the way so that the boys could take a picture with a Transformer.

So back to Bouchon.  This was the food and beverage highlight of the trip for me.  It was just so good.  The setting is so nice and quiet and private (we ate in the courtyard several stories up) and the day was just gorgeous.  The Manhattans were freaking awesome.  I have no pictures of anything we ate or drank because it was too good to stop and snap away. 

After that, we grabbed cabs and went to the Stratosphere.  Yes, the Stratosphere.  (And yes, this was definitely one of the weirder trips to Vegas for me and L.)  Anyway, The Redhead had never been to Vegas before and she loves rollercoasters, etc., so she wanted to go ride the rides there.  So off we went!  The Redhead, L, Mrs. P, and Frohn Dancis all went up to partake in adrenaline-rushing activities, while Mr. P and the Ks and I all gambled a bit.  Mildly awkward moment: when the craps dealer kept on referring to me as Mr. P's wife and to him as my husband. (Back story: we dated briefly a long time ago and we're totally good friends now, but we rarely discuss our previous relationship in a straightforward manner. It's usually always references in passing to an event that happened or something we did together, but we talk about the event or thing, not about us.  This came after Mr. K made really awkward, pointed comments to me the night before about how Mr. P and I used to date... it was just a lot of unnecessary awkwardness for me.)  No amount of mentioning that my husband and Mr. P's wife were supposed to be coming down from the rides soon could dissuade the dealer from believing that we were together.  Anyway, the Ks got bored and went back to Aria to take naps, so Mr. P taught me how to play roulette, so that was fun. Sadly, neither of us won much.  Once our other halves were done riding rides, we all headed back to Aria so the boys could all watch the Baylor/Xavier game.

The ladies, on the other hand, took advantage of that time to lounge around and get relax and leisurely get ready for our dinner that night.  I managed to make it down just in time to catch the last quarter of the game, which happened to be the first time during the entire trip that I had seen the Gamblor, and I even got some bonus points for supporting L's team by throwing on a very classy BU fake tattoo on my left shoulder.  It should be noted that I was definitely wearing a one-shoulder dress.  Yes, I'm one classy chick.  But it was funny and it washed off, so I was willing to look ridiculous for one night in Vegas if it could make L and his friends laugh.  I meant to take a picture but I totally forgot (of course).  But I did manage to get a pic of a delightful sidecar that I sipped on while waiting for all the girls to appear for dinner:

Dinner was at L's favorite casual restaurant in Vegas: Firefly.  The Redhead, Mrs. P, and I all thoroughly enjoyed the sangria.

After dinner, the Ps and L and I headed back to Aria and the other couples went to see a show.  The Ps ended up winning quite a bit of money (yea for them!), while L and I decidedly did not.

Saturday was spent playing craps at the Monte Carlo with the whole group.  I found that in the days leading up to our trip, L had spent time thinking up things he could yell for different rolls.  The best one was what he decided for a hard ten (hard ten = two fives).  What did he yell?  "CEDAR FEVER!"  Yes, it's stupid but it's totally funny, especially when you're not expecting it.  (There's also a little bit of logic to it... both words have five letters, just as each dice has five dots for a hard ten roll.)  Also it's especially funny if you actually know what cedar fever is.  FYI, most people in Vegas don't know what cedar fever is and, as such, looked at us as though we were foreign anytime anyone in the group made reference to rolling cedar fever. The best was when Frohn Dancis threw $10 on the table, looked the dealer in the eye, and said, "Ten dollar cedar fever."  He got a blank stare in return, to which Frohn explained it was a hard ten.  You probably had to be there for any/all of that to be funny, but I assure you it was hilarious.

Anyway, it was a long, strange trip to Vegas.  L and I both agreed it was neither of our favorite visits, but it was just so nice to get away from work and not have to worry about anything for a few days and it was great to see some good friends and hang out.  And that was Spring Break 2012.

Raining on Your Sunday

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm in the midst of a very annoying Sunday night.  The only things that could make it better would be if I didn't have to go to work tomorrow and/or if L wasn't traveling for work this week OR if he was just coming home earlier than late Friday night.  Ugh.  Weekends are just not long enough.

I asked L if he would go with me to get a pedicure (and he agreed to get one - this is huge.  The man needs some serious callous removal help) and he accidentally stayed on the phone with The DA too long (they had lots of catching up to do; the DA hadn't gotten a recap of Spring Break '12).  So instead of getting our feet done, we agreed to unload the dishwasher together because L knows that's a chore I hate.  Not quite a fair trade, but I'll get a pedicure later this week so it doesn't matter.  Anyway, as we were unloading the dishwasher, I managed to drop a dinner plate and break it.  In the process of it falling, the dinner plate hit a salad plate that was still in the dishwasher and chipped the rim and cracked the plate.  It's still usable, so you better believe it's in the cabinet right now.  You could go ahead and say I'm down a full place setting of my everyday china, though.  Grr.  Then I spent two hours ironing - another chore I detest.  Which is why it took two hours.  I refuse to hang things up in the closet if they need to be ironed, so I stockpile my ironing for weeks and I just couldn't add anything else to my ironing pile and not go crazy.  And we got our taxes back and found out how much we owe... ugh.  But at least our taxes are done.  That's definitely a good thing.

And then there was dinner.  L said he'd make take care of it.  We had friends over last night to watch the final four basketball games and L smoked a brisket and ribs and we had hamburger patties ready to go in case anyone preferred a burger to smoked meats.  No one did, so we had a whole tray of hamburger patties to either freeze or eat.  We agreed to eat burgers tonight and L fired up the grill as I slaved away at the ironing board while watching episodes of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta and The Secret Circle (don't judge me.  You have to do SOMETHING to make ironing less of a burden).  Thirty minutes later, it was announced that the burgers were ready.  In the meantime, L's fantasy baseball league draft began, so he told me dinner was on the counter.  I walked in and found this:

I have no idea how I didn't see this coming.  Of course my jaw hit the floor, my eyes briefly bugged out, and I panicked for a moment.  Why?  Because L leaves tomorrow morning for a full week.  That is a plate of seven cooked hamburger patties.  I ran back to the office and whispered (so as not to be heard on the conference call that accompanies every fantasy draft he participates in with his college friends), "Oh. My. Gosh. IDIDN'TKNOWYOUWEREGOINGTOMAKEALLTHOSEBURGERS!  I thought you were going to make TWO and freeze the rest!!!"  Luckily L had the sound mind to get up and leave his draft for a moment and come into the kitchen where he asked me, "Well you're going to eat two, right?"  Because I've ever eaten two burgers in one meal in my whole life.  Can we also take a moment to question who wants a wife that will down two burgers after eating a late brunch and an afternoon of repotting three pots of plants and ironing?  Not exactly an afternoon of intense calorie burning.  I nicely explained that no, I'd just be eating one and L let me know he was particularly hungry this evening and would likely be eating two.  This still leaves me with FOUR BURGERS to consume this week all by myself.  That won't be happening.  L knows I've been on a workout regiment lately and watching what I eat.  Four hamburgers in a week doesn't exactly fit into my plan, particularly when I have brisket and a huge container of baked beans also waiting in the fridge to be consumed.  Again, I have no idea how I didn't see this coming.  I know his inner voice always says, "Make more food - don't save it and make it later." 

Ugh.  I have a feeling it's going to be a really long week.  The weekend definitely went by quickly, but then, of course it did.  I was on call for work this weekend and when you get calls all Friday night and again Saturday morning regarding urgent requests, it kind of kills your relaxation time.  Frustrating for sure. 

Things to look forward to: Mad Men and Game of Thrones are on tonight.  And so is Eastbound and Down.  I won't be watching all of those this evening but I'll have stuff to look forward to later this week.  And I'll be heading to Miami on Friday afternoon for a bachelorette party.  And L will be back when I get home on Sunday night, so I'm already looking forward to that.

I leave you with this thought from the one and only Kenny Powers: it's hard to be Charles in Charge when you're f-ing Scott Baio. 
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