SPENDING A WEEK IN VEGAS - RECAP PART 1

28 September 2017

Now that I'm finally on the road to recovery (geez, it's been a long one!), I figured it was time to chat about our time in Vegas. Let's just hope reliving it all doesn't send me crawling right on back to bed. As I mentioned in the last post, Vegas took a tole on my fragile self. But, from what I've heard, if we all came back rested and refreshed, then we were probably doing something wrong while we were there.

It's funny because before we left, and even while we were there, people seemed so surprised when they heard we'd be spending a full week in Vegas. Now I can finally see why! It's not that there's not enough to keep you occupied for seven days, it's that there's too much, and trying to keep up with it all will eventually wear you out. Or, in my case, confine you to a bed for a few days when you return home. Lesson learned. 




But just like with most places, Vegas can be however you want it to be, and while every day and night weren't filled with experiences that would make it in another Hangover movie, our friends and I did try to keep busy and take advantage of the time we had there, and we also tried to live it up and do a few things that we wouldn't normally do otherwise because...YOLO! If my recovery time didn't make me sound old, then that saying probably did, hey? I don't even know if anyone says that anymore, but it was definitely the saying of our trip. That, and the flying money emoji symbol because Vegas sure is damn expensive and every day we just kept laughing (or sobbing) as we watched all of our money fly off to never ever land.

It was our first time going to Vegas (but not for our two friends who went with us), so not only were we excited to get away and hang out with our friends, but we were also excited to see what Vegas was all about. We had a few shows booked before we left, and we had an idea of a few things we'd like to do, but for the most part we kept our days unplanned - a decision that often back fired on the four most indecisive people ever! But somehow we managed to make it through and fill up our days, even if it did take an hour of 'I don't care's' before we left our hotel.

We had about 8 or 9 hours of travelling ahead of us, but luckily with a 6am flight and a 4.5 hour time difference, we had arrived and were checked into our hotel, the MGM Grand, by the early afternoon. Since the MGM is located towards the beginning of the strip, we didn't get to see much of the flashiness that Vegas has to offer on the drive there, but we sure did get a glimpse of it when we walked into our hotel. With the boxing ring and gold lion statue right at the entrance, the huge lobby with tv screens playing loud music, the crowds of people, and the ginormous casino that we had to walk through to get to our rooms, we were immediately struck with that unique Vegas feel, and we knew right then and there that we were in for some real fun.





Our first impression of our hotel, besides it fitting right in with the atmosphere, was that the rooms were nice and clean, but on the smaller side. We were staying in the west wing, and from what we heard, the rooms were bigger in other sections of the hotel. But the hotel itself was awesome (did I mention oversized?) and there were so many great restaurants and bars inside that you didn't even need to leave if you didn't want to. And their outside pool area was ahhmazing, but I'll get into that a little later. Overall we were happy with our hotel choice.

While it was located on the strip, if I were ever to return and prices were similar, I'd probably first look at hotels located a little more in the middle. We ubered quite a bit towards the end, because after a few nights of two girls walking miles in heels, we quickly realized it was better to dish out a few extra dollars to save whatever was left of our poor feet. And something tells me even the guys in their comfy shoes didn't mind getting picked up and dropped right off at the door. While everything looks pretty close from a distance, you'll quickly realize that the strip is deceiving. And plus, at the MGM, it takes a good ten minutes to walk to your room once you're even inside. #saveyourfeet





Day 1: Checking in to the MGM Grand, exploring the strip, dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, frozen cocktails at Fat Tuesday's, drinks at the Skyfall Lounge, late night snack at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.


After checking in and changing into our shorts (hello crazy high Vegas temps!), we were off to hit up the famous strip. After walking our legs off and only making it as far as Ceasers Palace, we stopped in for an early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was here where we had our first cheers to the beginning of a great week we had ahead, and to thank our friends again for the best wedding gift. It was also here where Todd pointed out Katy Hearn and Haydn Schneider- fitness gurus we've been following on Instagram for quite some time. But this wouldn't be the only people that Todd would scout out during our time in Vegas. As he would say, "I'm just like the beagle!". I swear he has an act (or a nose) for finding high profile people!

After eating, and while hopping around from hotel to hotel on the strip, we stopped into Fat Tuesday's for the most potent drinks. We didn't have any room left after our meal to enjoy our cheesecake, but somehow drinking our body weight in frozen drinks made sense. But I mean, can one even say they've done Vegas if they didn't walk the strip with a 2 foot drink? I didn't think so!

My first impression of the strip? Flashy, definitely flashy. Just as I expected. But, it really wasn't so much of the actual view of the strip that caught my attention, it was the inside of the hotels that did. Going in each and every one of them is an adventure in itself because they're all so unique and they all offer so much to see and do!

Later that evening we went to the Skyfall Lounge in Delano to enjoy some classier looking drinks and the beautiful view that the city has to offer. It was a great way to end our first day in Vegas. Actually, that's a lie, I just remembered we ended it with stuffing our faces with pizza and truffle fries when we got back to our hotel. Okay, so an even better way then to end our first day!









Day 2: Breakfast at Avenue Cafe, roller coaster at New York-New York, Ice bar at Minus 5, milkshakes at Holsteins, shopping at Miracle Mile shops, dinner at Dicks Last Resort, Zumanity Cirque du Soleil show, Coyote Ugly Bar.


Gosh, even writing all of that is making me feel tired. I don't remember this day feeling busy, but it definitely sounds like it was. We didn't have anything planned during the day, so after eating breakfast at our hotel, we wandered around a bit deciding what we should do. As I mentioned before, it was the usual start to our day.

After pretty much swearing off roller coasters years ago, somehow I ended up on the one at New York-New York. As soon as I was locked into my seat I started questioning what I was doing. But here's the thing, I hate not experiencing things that everyone else is doing. If everyone else around me is having fun, then gosh darnit I want to be right alongside them having fun too, even if it means not actually having any fun at all and wanting to throw up the entire time. Ha! But, thankfully it was a short ride and that no breakfast foods arose during the process. I'm even more thankful that no one decided to do any more crazy adventures that week because my anxiety and I could not have taken anything else.

It was then off to the Ice Bar at Mandalay Bay to have some drinks in freezing cold temperatures and to laugh at ourselves for dishing out money to go there. Did you ever do something that turned out to be so worth it just because of how ridiculous it was? Well that was the Ice Bar for us. We had paid money to put on winter jackets and gloves to go to a freezing cold bar that was completely empty. But it turned out to be a really fun(ny) experience nonetheless. We all agreed that maybe it would have been better (although not as funny) at night, and with a lot more people present.

Next was boozey milkshakes at Holsteins. OMG, you guys! If you ever go to Vegas, skip a meal and head here instead. I promise you they'll taste as good as they look. I can not, however, promise you that you'll fit into your clothes for that night. Or for the rest of your time in Vegas for that matter.

We had a busy night ahead and it started off with dinner at Dick's Last Resort. This is a casual restaurant where the staff purposely treat you like crap and poke fun at you. The four of us agreed that the food wasn't very good at all, but we did have a few laughs while we were there. It was fun to try, but after doing it once you wouldn't feel the need to ever go back again. Then it was off to our first cirque du soleil show; Zumanity. We thought the show was great and the acrobatics part was amazing. We discovered later though that it didn't hold a candle to the second show we'd see later in the week.

We ended the night at the Coyote Ugly bar and this turned out to be one of the funnest (and least sober) nights of our trip. The atmosphere was just plain fun and very laid back. We watched girls dancing on bars and other people from the crowd getting hauled up on the stage all night long. If you're looking for a non-club night in Vegas, I'd highly recommend this place (although my memory and judgment could have been a teeny tiny bit impaired from that night!).








Wait, that's totally a lie again. We actually ended the night at an Oxygen bar where Todd and our friend thought getting oxygen (and massages!!) at 3am would help with their hangovers in the morning.  FYI - it doesn't! Not at all. 




But, you'll hear all about the hangovers that occurred on Day 3 on the next post.

Disclaimer: Due to the integrity of myself and others, only 5% of the photos that were taken in Vegas are shown.

Until next time.

CURRENTLY I'M....

22 September 2017

Happy Friday! Thank god we made it to Friday. I've only been back to work a few days since returning home from Vegas, but boy has this been one heck of a week. Actually, the last few weeks have been pretty craaazy, and if you've ever been to Las Vegas then I'm sure you sure know why. But if not, lemme tell you, that place is definitely not for the weak...aka me!!!

I'm currently feeling like I've been ran over by a garbage truck, so with that said, I figured a "currently" post to ease myself back in was the way to go. Luckily these posts don't require much too much thought or brain power, which is exactly what's needed right about now because there's really not much, if anything, left upstairs at the moment. 

WONDERING: When I'll ever recover from Vegas? Oh, and how much cold medicine is too much to consume in 12 hours? We had the best time on our trip, but I have definitely been suffering since we've been back. Between the non stop week and the horrible cold I caught the last night we were there, I have been feeling completely run down and defeated. I've been sleeping and popping cold pills like crazy over the last few days, so I'm waiting any minute to start feeling like my old, pre-Vegas self! You won Vegas, you won!




THINKING: About, despite my body shutting down on me after, we had such a great time in Vegas! We had 7 full days (and of course nights) of non stop fun with our friends, and I can't believe it's over already. The weather was great, the food was great, the shows were great, you name it...it was all great. Expect a recap as soon as I come back down from all the cold medication I've been consuming!


WATCHING: I finished watching the last episode of Bachelor in Paradise a few days ago and, I gotta say, I really liked this season. I actually have the last episode on again as I'm writing this for some background noise and to drown out the ringing in my ears from this cold!! That's probably not the smartest idea because for every sentence I've written so far, I catch myself being glued to the tv for like ten minutes or more. How can one concentrate when they keep bringing up the Dean love triangle? So, did you watch? What did you think? At the beginning I debated about doing weekly Bachelor in Paradise recaps, but with the busy summer I had and with the show airing two times a week, I figured there was no way I could keep up with that. This girl knows her laziness!!


LOVING: This bracelet my sister (and nephews and niece) gave me as part of my birthday gift. I'm absolutely in love with it, and it's something I'll wear a lot and cherish forever! I gave her the "Mama Bear" one when she was pregnant with her third child, so I love that we now have matching ones. Such a cute gift!




LOOKING FORWARD TO: Digging out my fall clothes and embracing the cozy fall fashion (and maybe adding a few things in the process too). Hey, if you can't beat 'em, you join 'em, right? While I wish that summer could stay for a little bit longer, I do look forward to (mostly) everything that comes along with the next season. Hopefully we'll spend more time at our cabin soon because cabin days and nights in the fall are the best - cuddling up in a mountain of blankets while reading a good book with the stove on and a cup of coffee (and having nothing else to do...or more specifically, not having the option of doing anything else) sounds like perfection to me!


WANTING:
With that said, ALL OF THE CUTE FALL CLOTHES! What's some fall things you're loving right now?


NEEDING: To layoff the junk food, eat a vegetable (garden) and to hit the gym ASAP! You don't truly appreciate just how much better you feel when you're taking care of yourself than you do after you return home from a vacation that involves no sleep and no movement but all of the food and all of the drinks. I say that as I'm chowing down on a big bag of Doritos....


IN SHOCK THAT:  Kylie Jenner is pregnant! What?!? Todd just told me so of course I had to get on Mr. Google to see if it's true, and gosh darnit it seems to be.


Okay, this has taken me way longer than I thought it was going to (damn you, Bachelor in Paradise reruns) and I'm sweating like crazy (damn you, cold), so that's where I'm going to have to end it for tonight. Have a great weekend! Oh, and happy first day of Fall!

Tell me, what are you currently up to?

Until next time.

MONDAY'S THOUGHTS

11 September 2017

Originally this was supposed to be a "Friday's thoughts" post, but since I didn't get it finished on Friday, I put the computer away and decided it was going to have to be a "Monday's thoughts" one instead. So, with that said, happy Monday! How was everyone's weekend? Let's start this off with a little weekend recap, shall we?


WEEKEND: We had our nephews 5th birthday party on Saturday and then later that night we went to Todd's brothers for some food, drinks, and a game of Cards Against Humanity. It's been a while since we've played this, but my gosh did we have fun! I've realized over the years that the 'make or break' of this game is who you play with, and I think we must have had thee best people playing because I can't remember the last time I've laughed so hard before. The belly type of, tear flowing, almost pee your pants laughs are definitely good for the soul, people!





BIRTHDAY: The weekend before last was my birthday and I had a great long weekend both celebrating and doing lots of relaxing! Todd and my mom were both out of town that weekend but I had some great friends who made the day extra special for me since they knew I'd be spending it alone. In the afternoon I was so shocked when I answered the door to see two of our friends holding a cake, flowers, and a Tim Hortons coffee for me! How unbelievably thoughtful?! Then later that night another one of my friends and I went out and had a great time over some food and drinks.


FALL CANDLES: While I'm still in denial that fall is quickly on it's way, I decided to stock up on all of the Bath & Body Works fall candles during their sale this weekend. Does it get any better than your house smelling like pumpkins, marshmallows and leaves? I think not!






OUR NEW BACHELOR: Arie, the runner up from Emily Maynard's season, was picked to be our next bachelor. Guys, were you as shocked as I was about this? I have a confession - I never watched Emily's season, so I feel totally out of the loop on this one. But, it's been so long since his season that I'm pretty sure even if you did watch, you kind of feel out of the loop too. How do you feel about it? Were you aboard the Peter train too? It looks like I'm going to have to go back in time and watch his season before the next one starts.


THE AWFUL HURRICANES: It's been absolutely devastating hearing about the damage and horrible affects that's been happening in the Carribean and the United States over the last few weeks. I really hope these hurricanes come to an end really soon and that everyone (and their loved ones) stay safe.


NEW WATCH: Todd got me a Daniel Wellington watch for my birthday and I am in love! I've been loving the simple look of these watches for a while now and the one he surprised me with is such a beautiful one. Good job, hubby! Up until this point I've owned one watch (a Michael Kors one that's like 5 years old), so it was definitely about time that I added another one to the collection.






WEDDING TRAILER: We got our wedding trailer back this week!! Eeeek! We're so happy with how it turned out and it makes us even more excited to see the full video. I can't wait to share all about our wedding with you guys soon.


iPHONE7: Someone dropped their phone and completely cracked their screen a few weeks ago. Unfortunately that someone was me. Since my apple care was expired I had to do an upgrade, so I finally went this weekend and got myself a new phone. Yayy to not being afraid of cutting my fingers anymore while using my phone. So far I see absolutely no difference though between the 6s and 7, besides the new headphones that I have to use now.


GOING TO VEGAS: For a wedding gift, our friends gave us tickets to go to Vegas together and we're leaving in just a few days!! Vegas plane tickets as a wedding gift?! Can you believe that? I swear I looked like a deer in headlights when we opened their gift the day after the wedding. I have never been so surprised over ANYTHING as I was over this, and I don't think ANYTHING will ever top this! The time is almost finally here and I'm so excited to hit the strip and see what Vegas is all about since we've never been before. Something tells me we're in for a lot of fun though. Please take it easy on us Vegas, we're fragile now!!!






That's it for now. Enjoy your week, everyone!

Until next time.

OUR REHEARSAL PARTY

07 September 2017

And I'm back and ready to share all about our rehearsal party. If you want to know how I was feeling earlier that day, you can read all about it here. Or, I can save you the ten minutes and just tell you that it was on this day when the wedding emotions finally kicked in and were sky high. But luckily, after a little mini stress attack, they went back down to normal and all was feeling great in the wedding world again!

The wedding emotions did kick back in again though, but they wern't feelings of stress or anxiety or worry. Nope, not at all! They were some of the best feelings that one could ever experience, and they happened just only a few hours later at our rehearsal.




Early on in the wedding planning, after the majority of the bigger decisions were made, we immediately started talking about what we wanted to do for the night of our rehearsal. We knew we wanted to do something because rehearsal parties are thee perfect way to kick off the wedding celebration. It's a chance to get some people to meet, others to come together again, and it also gives the couple a bit more time to spend with those they may not get to interact with as much as they'd like to on the day of the wedding. 

We just loved the idea of having more time to spend with our family and friends, simple as that. There's very, very few opportunities in your life when you can get everyone together, so why not take advantage when you can? I probably would have handed out an itinerary the week before the wedding, planning out every single minute of every single day so we could all be together if it was acceptable. It's not by the way, I already looked into that!

Since I couldn't go that crazy, I simmered down a bit and planned for a few fun things instead. Thursday night would be the rehearsal party, Friday would be a girls day and then a family dinner at Todd's brothers, the wedding would be Saturday, and then on Sunday we'd have a small get together at my parent's house.

Thursday night, and not Friday, was picked for the rehearsal party for two selfish reasons; so we could prolong the weekend fun, and most importantly, so that everyone could really enjoy themselves that night without having to worry about making it to the wedding on time. Alright, I'm sure it would have just been me and Todd worrying about that part, hence the selfish reasons, but gosh darnit it was our wedding and we wanted to let loose and have fun too!! And we did!! Boy, did we ever! And the best decision that was made during the entire wedding....was that one right there, friends!

The night started with the actual rehearsal at our wedding venue. As usual, we were running late, so with the mad panic of trying to make it on time, there wasn't much time to think about what exactly it was we were walking into. And it was all of our parents and bridal party and close friends just standing inside our venue, looking at us! We had walked into the best feeling EVER. It's a feeling that's hard to explain, but it's certainly one that I will never in my life forget. Never!

As special and as loved as I had felt at my bridal shower and bachelorette party, it was this moment right here that really put it over the top for me. With everyone around us and the excitement of the wedding being just two days away, I was officially on, what they'd call in the wedding biz., the wedding high.  And I did not want to come back down ever again....



Our wedding venue - Johnson's Geo Centre


After a quick run through of the wedding order (practicing both inside and outside because of the predicted weather forecast), we were all then off to the Quidi Vidi Brewery for some food and drinks. We love it here and so we thought it was the perfect casual place to choose for our rehearsal party. While we didn't have many out of province guests, it was still nice to party with local beers and true beautiful Newfoundland scenery all around us.


Our rehearsal party venue - Quidi Vidi Brewery


Besides the location, another thing that made this an easy choice for us was having the option of bringing in our own food or hiring a caterer here, instead of going somewhere like a restaurant or pub that only allowed us to order from their set menu. We ordered in pizzas and salads for the bridal party, their spouses and our parents, and then we opened the place up a little later to other family and friends where we had a caterer bring in different food trays and appetizers for everyone. By saving some money this way, we were able to do the one thing we really wanted to do for everyone, and that was to have an open bar! 









And it didn't take long that night for the drinks to get pourin', the music to get going, and the place to start filling up! It also didn't take very long for me and Todd to keep looking at each other with big smiles on our faces saying, "BEST NIGHT EVER"!! Because it truly was! But, before we knew it, it was around 1am, the brewery was closed, and there were eight of us piled into my dad's truck ready to go back home. Night 1 of the wedding festivities was over and I already wanted to slow time down.


My parents!!
I'm so thankful for all their help with this night!


The next morning all Todd and I could talk about was how much fun we had the night before. That's another great thing about choosing to have your rehearsal party two nights before the wedding - if you were planning on being apart the night before, you still get to stay together after the rehearsal and you get to talk and talk and talk not shut up about it in person.

And did I mention if you drink too much and sleep too little and end up having to wear sunglasses the next day it won't be at your wedding?

You guys, rehearsal parties are my favourite! 

Until next time.