Friday, September 11, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

After that last post, I was definitely in need of a vacation. So Wednesday morning we headed out to Bullhead City (about 90 minutes southeast of Vegas) where my sister, Andrea, lives. She had graciously agreed to watch all of our children while we went and played. The kids were so excited about spending a few days with their cousins, they made the ride a little frustrating with all the "when are we going to be there" comments. We arrived about 12:30, stayed about an hour and then were on our way.

One thing I have always wanted to do is stay in a five star hotel. We got a great deal on a suite at the Venetian Resort on the strip. Included in the deal was a $50 debit card we could use in any of the slots machines. Being on the casino floor kind of creeped us out, so we hastily decided to get rid of the money and be done. We ended up at the $5 slop machines trying to get rid of the money faster when I happened to get lucky and win $75 dollars. We immediately cashed out and later that week I went to Ann Taylor and bought a new dress. (See below)

I absolutely loved the Venetian, my only complaint was the nasty cigarrette smoke they were trying to cover up with some disgusting febreze product. Thankfully our suite was smoke free and we were a good 30 floors above all the action. Here is Paul standing at the window of our suite - we had a pretty good view of Las Vegas and the new casino being built across the street.

This is the entry to the suite

This is looking back at the front door (there is actually a second bathroom off to the left hand side of the picture)

This is the bedroom

This is looking out from the bedroom into the living room

This is the living room. (The suite actually had 3 flat screen TV's in it - crazy)

The whole concept of the Venetian Resort is to resemble the streets of Italy. The inside of the casino has this amazing ceiling that makes you feel outside. The whole bottom part is a river that you can take gondola rides down - with a guy that steers the gondola and sings at you. (Note: I had to have a gondola ride - so Paul reluctantly agreed although he would rather have sat it out, since the ride takes you all through the casino and everyone usually stops and stares!)

An artistic piece on the ceiling with umbrellas. What you can't see if the tiny tubes of light that run down mimicking rainfall.

We had a jetted spa tub in the bathroom and it was awesome. As you can see I learned the hard way not to put bubble bath in a jetted tub!

A couple of views from our gondola ride

On Thursday morning we decided to go to the temple. I toured the Las Vegas temple as a teenager and was blown away by its beauty. So I was very excited to be able to return and go through it. After the temple, we went and had lunch, did some shopping and checked into our room at the Wynn Resort. This is where Paul's conference was being held. It was a very fancy room with a great view and several private amenities, like it's own pool deck, it's own elevators and check in area - it was very high end.

We thought these green couches were kind of funny

Check out the architeture of this place - it was incredible. No expense was spared in decorating.

A picture snapped from our car as we drove down of the strip of the New York New York casino.

Another roadside picture of the mock Eiffel Tower

Paul and I in the lush gardens of the Wynn Resort on our last night in Vegas.

As I packed up our stuff to leave, I snapped this picture of the skyline from our room. The only bad thing about this particular hotel is that it is right across the strip from the treasure island casino. And everynight Treasure Island puts on this show in front of it's casino and they let off canon balls and fireworks and it's a big hoopla. It was great until it was almost midnight and we were ready to sleep, not watch pirates dueling and bombs going off. Plus we also heard an amazing amount of sirens going into the late night and we can only assume the strip is not the best place to be in the middle of the night.

A special thanks to my sister who watched out kids - we are hoping to return the favor soon! We had a great time and look forward to our next vacation.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not a great day

Tomorrow we are leaving for Las Vegas. So today I had big plans to get alot accomplished. That did not happen. I went out to my car at 9:25 this morning with the intent of dropping Joel off at Stacie's so I could go to my public speaking class and, of all days to do it, deliver a speech. I strap Joel in, turn the key - and nothing. Turn the key again - nothing. I run in and call Stacie in a panic because I will be toast if I don't give my speech.
She graciously offers to let me borrow her van so I can race to school. I get to the school in record time, slide into my seat just as the teacher is starting class and notice it's really stuffy in the classroom. My teacher says, oh FYI the air-conditioner is NOT working. So I give my speech, finish class and race back to Stacie's house. She drops back off at home where I call my other neighbor, Emily, and ask her if she would please pick my kids up from school at 3. She is more than willing to do that and give my van a jump start. Between the two of us rather incompetent car jumping women, we manage to properly jump start my van. YES!
I race over to checker auto where I bought the battery only to have them tell me the battery is fine, but I should go to a repair shop and have it charged! Ummm I thought they charged batteries there..... so I run to a automotive shop, and they are baffled as to why checker sent me to them and they send me to another Checker. Thankfully I am close to my house and they agree to charge the battery but it will take an hour!
Did I mention I had Joel with me? It was almost 2pm by this time and so I think....what's a little walk home going to do? Okay it sucked! I had to carry Joel the whole 5 blocks because if I didn't, he would jump stop and "smell the flowers". I did not have on walking shoes of any kind and I could feel the blisters forming with each step. By the time I got home, I was COVERED in sweat - oh by the way it was 107 degrees outside and about 70% humid. I kicked off my shoes and discovered two blisters, I had sweat dripping into my eyes and I could barely see so I had to head immediately for the nearest bathroom and wash up. Joel was all sweaty, but after a couple rounds of water he went down for a very late nap. I laid in my garments on top of my bed with the air conditioner on 77 and the fan going full blast. After 20 minutes I cooled off enough to feel comfortable but by that time the kids were coming home and then we had to go get the van which needed, no surprise, a new battery.
But once it was installed the van started right up! YES! Now I am on my way to get fast food for my family because I haven't been home long enough to do a single thing today. Now I have to pack for a 5 days trip by tonight. Oh the joy! I have decided cars are really a great blessing and so are great friends!! Thanks so much Emily and Stacie!!!