Wednesday, August 31, 2016

leaving las vegas

being in vegas, we slept in a bit the next morning.  although you know how when you know when you're heading home, all you want to do is pack up and get the hell outta there?  we were kinda feeling that vibe a little.  the hub had to take a conference call first, so while he did that i headed downstairs and grabbed us a little caffeine.  the line was crazy long, of course.


and then we gathered the few things we'd brought for our quickie trip, tossed them into our bags and went downstairs to check out and leave them at the bell desk while we went off in search of some actual breakfast.  it was pretty stinking hot outside already, but a little bit of walking always does ya good.  not to mention, our destination was going to require a little pre-grubbing exercise.  burn off a few of those calories before they actually go in.

our destination?  the venetian:



having been introduced to it during our road trip to napa, we wanted more bouchon.


this is why we walked - the assortment of bouchon pastries.  cheese danish, chocolate and blueberry croissants, and a pecan sticky bun.  super delicious, all of it.


a stroll through the grand canal shoppes brought us past this, an even bigger and better christian louboutin shop:


and i lamented the fact that we wouldn't be able to stick around for this.


every day's a wedding day in vegas.


the giant wheel at the linq hotel reminded me of the london eye.


back at caesars, the hub decided to try his luck at one of the wheel of fortune machines.  sadly, all he did was feed the damn thing.  isn't that always what happens on your last shot on your way out of vegas?


then we sat at the valet station for awhile, watching the hustle and bustle of people arriving and departing, marveling at what a lot of them were wearing, and sweating our asses off.


those crazy looking colorful rocks were about 15 minutes out of vegas.  it turned out to be a $3.5 million art installation that opened this past may and is only available for viewing for two years.  i read up on it on the official website, but remember that most art is over my head and i don't remember much of what it said.  all i know is that it was fun to look at, something bright and colorful in the middle of the desert.



you park in the small lot and go through this gate:


there are small signs along the pathway that give some details about the rocks, but this is the one that caught my attention:


see?  super random and unexpected, like a giant unicorn flew over the desert and shat on it.



the rest of our drive home was uneventful, and i fell asleep for a chunk of it.  oops.  the girls were happy to see us, especially since we came in with a bag full of bouchon treats.  and the hub and i are contemplating doing another quick getaway like this the next time MIL comes to town.  it was really nice to have some time alone, and you know you gotta get it whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

just a quickie, he said

with MIL still in town and the bean still on summer vacation, the hub and i decided to take advantage on a random tuesday morning and headed out for an impromptu vegas trip.  like, a super quickie - one night only, just enough to have some alone time.  i really couldn't have told you how long it had been since the two of us drove out to sin city for some grown-up fun, and we were pretty excited for date night.


i used to really dread the drive out to vegas.  it's three hours of nothing but desert to look at, with only two radio stations to choose from for the drive.  but it seemed that all of the road tripping we've done lately has changed my outlook on that ride, and it's now gone from "gah, three long hours!" to "ah, only three hours!" and in no time, we were at stateline, a mere half hour from the bright lights of the big city.


we were intrigued by the sight of these brightly painted rocks off in the distance, and a quick google search told me that it was some sort of temporary art installation.  we figured we'd just hit it on the way home the next day.


because he knows how much i love the cheesy photo ops, the hub drove us right to the famous vegas sign.  there was quite a line of folks looking for the same thing, and we waited for a few minutes before we decided to just take what we could get even if someone might have been in the background.


and then i got my first look at the strip in quite a long time.  the last time i was here was about three years ago.



the burger joint owned by marky mark and co. didn't look very exciting.


and i was super amused at the giant signs for shows that took me back to - oh, about 1978 or so.


we were staying at caesars palace for the night, but we'd arrived way earlier than check-in time.  so we left our luggage at the bell desk, checked ourselves in at the self-serve kiosk, and wandered through the casino and into the forum shops to find some entertainment.


remember how easily entertained i am.  because i'm a 10-year-old, apparently.


we decided to have a lovely lunch at joe's stone crab at the end of the shops, splitting a fantastic seafood cocktail tower plus a super delicious crab roll.  so, so, so good.



then the hub decided that it was time for me to enjoy some spa time while he headed off to the cigar lounge.  i mean, you don't have to ask me twice.


i spent a quiet half hour in the spa facilities before my massage appointment, trying out the sauna (not my thing) and one of the hot tubs in the back that was unoccupied the entire time i was there.  this didn't last very long though, because i hadn't brought a swimsuit and tested my comfort level going in in my birthday suit.  i guess i'm really a prude at heart though, because i was anxious the whole time and didn't even last for five minutes before i got out and put my robe back on.  too bad, because i could really have used a soak for my tired muscles.  oh well.

the massage was fantastic, and i lingered for awhile afterwards.  i enjoyed a nice long hot shower using all four showerheads, taking my time putting myself back together, and eventually heading out to walk the shops at a leisurely pace.  i did a lot of daydreaming about hitting it big in a casino and then going on a crazy shopping spree here:


i eyed this photo op, but didn't want to ask anyone else to take a picture and so i settled for just a picture OF it instead.


and then to pep myself up for a fun vegas night, i stopped for a drink.



our room was finally ready, and the hub was already up there relaxing in front of the tv.  it took me awhile to find it, and it turned out to be just about the furthest freaking room in the entire resort.  at least it was a pretty nice room:


with a view of the pool area.


we got ready for dinner with a couple of the hub's friends who were also in vegas for the night.


we gorged ourselves at a brazilian bbq restaurant a little ways off the strip, and then i joined them at the cigar lounge to watch some olympics and shoot the shit a little.  when i'd had enough of the smoke, i headed out to try my luck at the slots.


let's just say that i didn't get to go back to that louboutin store.  boo.  maybe next time.

Monday, August 29, 2016

five years running

after doing it for the last four years, running the OC fair 5K seems to be a tradition for me.  it's always a good time, and because there are always those "fun detours" along the way, it's one that i never run hoping for a decent finish time.

this year, with the old lady nursing a sore ankle (but not wanting to miss out on the race), i was prepared to do a lot of walking.  totally fine, since i hadn't done a lot of running anyway.  i don't do a lot of summertime running because i'm a delicate flower who can't really handle being out there when it's over 75 degrees.

i was pretty excited to bust out my newest sparkle athletic skirt for the occasion:


we got there fairly early so we could snag a decent parking spot and allow us plenty of time to grab our bibs and t-shirts.  we killed some time sitting in the car, and then when it was about 15 minutes till go time we headed over towards the start.


as usual, my friend rudy novotny was the race announcer and i'm pretty sure i was beaming when he rattled off a list of shout-outs for a handful of runners by name...including me.  we listened to carrie underwood's rendition of the national anthem, and then we were off.


we got almost to the first mile marker before the old lady finally decided she needed a break and we slowed down to a walk.


and not long after that, the guy in first place was making his way towards the finish line.  yeah.  we weren't even halfway through and he was pretty much done.


no biggie, though.  we finally went through the gate and found ourselves inside the fairgrounds amongst all the fun stuff.



pretty soon, we were at the first "fun detour" - the basketball throw and the break-a-plate toss.



i totally missed the basket, but i was super stoked when i hucked the softball as hard as i could and broke one of the plastic plates in half.


we said hello to the horsies and passed the 2-mile marker.


by the way, if you happen to be running a race, especially one where the course becomes pretty damn narrow in some parts, please don't do this shit.  save it for strolling through the fair as you hunt for a churro or something.


fun detour #2 - the super slide!



there were photo ops with the fair food mascots, but we'd already wasted plenty of time at the detours and the walking.  i snapped a few quick shots as we passed by.



from previous experience, i knew we were almost done by the time we got here:



this was somewhat new, though.  i didn't remember this little pavilion before entering the amphitheater having been there before.  or it was there and i was totally oblivious.  could go either way.




i haven't stopped at fun detour #3 since my first go-round at this race.  and since we really weren't in a hurry at all, we decided to scamper down the stairs and take advantage of the photo op.  it's kind of cool to stand down there and look out at the audience - basically the only time i can pretend i'm a legit rock star.




and then it was time to head back to the course and finish off this sucker.


all done!  yay!


i even got to sneak in a quick hello and photo with my friend rudy.  he's such a sweet guy.


by now, you probably know that starbucks is my go-to for a post-race beverage.  we took turns heading into the restroom to get cleaned up and changed for a little disneyland fun, and i'd packed a couple of these for us to use.  they're seriously a lifesaver for times like this.


see?  all cleaned up.


it was a pretty busy day at the 'land, and our first stop when we got through the gates was to grab a fastpass for our favorite ride:


we were starving so we headed over to rancho del zocalo for some delicious mexican food.


afterwards, we spent a little time browsing through the shops and hanging out doing some peoplewatching.  our fastpass time came pretty quickly, and after this:


we were done.  it'd been quite a day, and we headed home and collapsed on the couch for nap time.

until next year, OC fair!
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