Saturday, May 28, 2011

New kitchen!

Through a great gift (wedding present) and wonderful sacrifice of my amazing in-laws, we have a brand new kitchen!!!! There is still more work to do (flooring, back-splash, paint, kick-plates, etc) but I still sigh every time I use this fabulous new kitchen! Enjoy the transformation!




Vegas Baby!

So, recently, a friend and I met in Vegas...but here's how it all started...

My friend Kim texted me one day and said, "Wanna run away with me to Vegas?" I laughed and texted back something like, "Can't go until after state testing...sorry!" About a week later, it was my turn to text and suggest a getaway to Vegas. She texted back and said she would love to go. I laughed it off and mentioned it to Simon. He asked if we were really going to go, to which I replied, "Kim will never really do it." Later that same evening, Kim called and asked if I seriously wanted to go to Vegas. And the planning began....Simon found a great deal on a plane ticket and the dates were set: May 18-23. I found a great deal on a room at the Stratosphere. Before I knew it...the day had come.
I went to work on Wednesday (May 18th), came home and packed, and left for Vegas about 11 that night. My plane arrived just before midnight Vegas time (about 2 am TX time). I found a shuttle and was on my way to the hotel.
When I checked in, the lady said they didn't have the room I ordered, so they found me a different one for the night. I settled in pretty quickly and fell asleep. After all, Kim would be arriving the next day and I wanted to have plenty of energy to explore and have fun!
Thursday morning I woke up and got ready. My intention was to wander around the hotel and find some breakfast (since I had already been starving the night before when I went to bed and it was now some 8 hours later). I took the elevator down and quickly became tired of the casino lights and noise...and lack of food. I decided to wander out the front door and see what was outside. The weather was absolutely perfect!!! I crossed the street and quickly found an IHOP...but I was in Vegas. I could eat at IHOP at home. I thought, "I'll walk a little further and if I don't find anything, I'll come back here." Well, about an hour and a half later, I found myself near the southern end of the strip. This is between a 3 and 5 mile walk (can't remember how far I got). I stopped on the way for a smoothie at McDonalds (I realized that I had walked away from an IHOP because I could get that in TX, but by the time I reached McDonalds I was really hungry and tired of waiting for food). This stroll confirms something about myself that I have recently learned: vacationing for me is less about "do this and this and this and this and this" and more about enjoying where I am. I had a similar experience in San Fransisco this past Christmas...Simon and I walked to Chinatown and then just kept walking...before we knew it we were at the pier. I'm not sure if this makes me old or not, but I really enjoy it.
Eventually, Kim showed up. She was slightly delayed because of rain, snow, and almost running out of gas. I made her pick me up at the south end of the strip (there was no way I was walking all the way back!) and after a few U-turns, we finally found each other. It was so good to see my good friend. The last time we had seen each other was at the end of my wedding reception, nearly 21 months before. We headed back to the hotel and proceeded to be assigned to our new room. We had paid for the cheapest room and I was not the least bit worried about the view (wasn't really planning on spending much time there anyway!). However, when we got into our new room, I was so excited! Not only did we have a great view of the pool and mountains, but we looked right up onto the tall part of the Stratosphere and had a great view of where people fall when they choose to jump off the top (a service they pay for...not out of desperation after losing their life savings at the slot machine or blackjack tables).

Alright...for those of you who made it this far...I applaud you. However, I have bad news...after my two week vacation in England, I have forgotten everything I did in Vegas. I really want to get the England blog done, so I may or may not come back to this at a later point. Quick run down of the rest of Vegas: lots and lots of eating, Cirque du Soliel show, Jabbowakeez show, Treasure Island buffet (YUM!), poolside chilling, Ethel M chocolate factory (free samples!) and much more fun. Thanks Kim for being an amazing friend to run away with.

Desserts from Treasure Island Buffet