Friday, August 20, 2010

Made it to the top 10! Help me w/ a vote!

Ok fellow bloggers, I am in need of some help!  I advanced to the top 10 in the photo contest I entered with a local radio station and need your vote to help me reach the top!  Just follow the link below and be sure to enter your email address in order for the vote to count.  I am picture number 10 when it asks for your favorite photo.  They won't send you any emails as long as you check "no" to receiving promos, concert announcements, etc.  Follow the link below and cast your vote!  THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

home again, home again, jiggity jig

Well, the time came just like it always does, to return to normal everyday life.  With our bags a little heavier and our pockets a little lighter, we would soon be back in the South.

We got home that night and could hear Jasper the second we got in the driveway because he definitely had heard us.  I opened the door to a very excited pooch and proceeded to take him to take backyard where I immediately noticed something different.  We bought a new patio set several months back so we could accommodate more people when friends came to visit, but we said we'd wait on buying the big umbrella that went with the set.  Well lo, and behold, there was our matching umbrella with a card taped to it and I instantly knew that my mom (who housesits and dogsits for us) was responsible for this anniversary surprise!  As I was saying "oh my gosh, look honey, look" she came out the door with a big smile on her face.  What can I say...she's pretty much the best!

She had set out our wedding cake topper to defrost so we could eat some for the traditional first anniversary ...and I have to admit, it really wasn't that bad.  A little freezer burnt, but I expected that.

I should have known better...
There's almost an identical pic
of this on our wedding day
I couldn't resist!

And as for those stuffed animals we won at Circus Circus...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our First Wedding Anniversary

was definitely one for the books!  We woke up that morning, well late morning, got ready and headed out for lunch at Pink's.

It's a famous hot dog shop that started in Los Angeles.  When we walked in, there was a wall to the right of signed pictures of celebrities who had visited there and some of the variations of hot dogs were named after them.  There was a Kim Kardashian dog, a Holly Madison dog, and my selection, the Mel B (taking it back to the spice girls) hot dog.  This selection had chili, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, guacamole, and jalapenos and for a girl who loves toppings and condiments, it was right up my alley!

From there we set out to visit Madame Tussaud's wax museum at The Venetian.  The camera flashes really do take away from the statues, because when you're standing there looking at them, they honestly look as though they could come alive at any point!  Here's just a few pictures from our visit...

Me with Justin Timberlake

 The Rock is the one on the right :)

the mayor of Las Vegas and 2 showgirls

maybe he was meant to be w/ George Clooney
our Jerry Springer moment

We were going to see Blue Man Group that night.

After we were finished at the museum, we met up with one of our friends who went to high school with Male Hale who happened to be in Vegas the same time we were....small world, huh?  We gambled with him for a bit and agreed we'd hang out later that night, but only after our celebratory dinner and show of course :)

Before we left Aria to go to dinner, we gave each other cards.  His anniversary present was a new Xbox,  but he got it about 2 weeks early because his completely bit the dust.  A new model recently came out and I knew I wanted to get it for him...because even when his old one was still functioning, I had heard how much better this one would be.  I didn't want him to go out and get one, so he was really surprised to come home one night before the trip and move a blanket off of his chair to find that box under it!  I asked him repeatedly to tell me something else so I would have something to give him on the actual date, but he told me that he loved his gift and didn't care if it was early and not to bother with anything else.  To my surprise when he slid my card towards me, there was a small white jewelry box with it.  I honestly felt as though the vacation was a big enough gift and he knows how I am about greeting cards, and how much I love them, so that was all I expected.  I opened the box and found...

I couldn't believe it.  An additional band, I was elated.  I slid it on my finger and looked at the guy I unconditionally love and felt like the luckiest girl alive to be with someone who makes me so incredibly happy, to be on a trip that we both had always hoped to take, and to know that I had the rest of my life to  not only cherish these memories, but make oh so many more!

He had made reservations at Tao which was an incredible Asian restaurant in The Venetian.  I absolutely love asian soups, sushi, cuisine, etc.  This is a summary I pulled from the website.

"TAO Las Vegas, located in the Grand Canal Shoppes in The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, is Las Vegas' hottest restaurant and lounge, all under one roof.  Considered to be one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas, TAO Asian Bistro blends great food, music, and people-watching to create the hippest "vibe dining" in town.  TAO Las Vegas is frequented by celebrities on a regular basis, such as Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Tommy Lee, Britney Spears, Jamie Foxx, Janet Jackson, Bono, and Madonna.  The Pan-Asian cuisine of TAP, which is prepared by Master Chefs, is coveted the world over."

The setting was dimly-lit, romantic, and posh all wrapped into one.  We kept an eye out for those celebrities, but sadly, no sightings to report!  We then headed over to the Blue Man Group Theatre that was also located  in The Venetian.  We gave the gentleman our tickets and he replied, "Umm, I'm sorry these tickets say Saturday August 7th".  Um, say whaaaat?  We had specifically told the concierge 2 days before that our anniversary was on the 8th and we needed tickets for a show on the 8th.  My mind was already going 100 miles an hour of what I'd like to say to her but we were then directed to someone who was much more attentive and understanding and breezed past that error!

waiting for the show to start
afterwards in the lobby of The Venetian

We weren't allowed to take pictures during the show, but I don't think my knee ever stopped bouncing or some part of me wasn't moving in my seat!  The way they are able to play their own material, and even songs that you and I both know, on things such as drain pipes to making neon paint rise and fall with every strike of their paddles, it was definitely a sight to see.

We took full advantage our last night in this non-stop city!  It poured down rain just before we went into dinner and when we came out of the show, the temperature had dropped to honestly what felt like the 70s.  We didn't break a sweat when we walked out, our shoes weren't melting to the pavement, so we walked...and we walked...and we walked....we saw so much that night!  And when I say we took full advantage, I mean we were climbing into bed as the sun was beginning to rise.  You can always sleep on a plane, but this was Vegas baby!  I hated to see the trip come to an end, but so glad that we were there for a special occasion and I loved watching the hubby just become overwhelmed with sights and sounds as soon as we stepped out that first day on the strip.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vegas - Day 2!

I have been to Vegas twice before.  Once when I was 7 or so, when my dad was still alive, and again for my 21st birthday.  When I went when I was younger, we stayed at Circus Circus.  While one parent was gambling, another was with me since I wasn't allowed in the gambling area.  I vividly remember playing all those midway games with my dad and ending up with so many stuffed animals we honestly had no clue how we could pack them in order to take them home!  My dad was one of those guys who cannot stand to lose, so if he didn't win the first time, he'd keep on until he could hand me that oversized pig or monkey and see the excitement in my face.  Needless to say, I wanted to revisit Circus Circus and see if it was still the same.  It took me back about 18 years when I saw that it was!

Me trying to hook a ring on top of a coke bottle

Knocking over some milk bottles

with a few of our winnings :)

caught him in a great pose...this one resulted in the biggest prize

Later that night we experienced a horrible mexican restaurant...which I couldn't believe even existed!  I am obsessed with mexican food, but was extremely disappointed in this place.  But our night quickly got better when we discovered a nightclub called "The Mix" on the 64th floor of Mandalay Bay.  This place had an amazing atmosphere and an unbelievable view!

from the balcony area

we're a little hung up on self portraits

Next we moved on to Luxor which is the big pyramid in the background.  I didn't take any pictures in there, except these two which just show how much more energy the hubby has than me into the wee hours!

I am throwing in the towel

He's still witty as ever and
wanting to be a pharoah guard
Adjusting to the 3 hour time difference was no challenge for him and by this time I knew I had to get it together!  My next entry will be Day 3, our actual anniversary, and it was definitely my favorite day!  Hope I'm keeping you entertained :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

that's what you get for waking up in Vegas! Day 1

365 days of love, tears, budgeting bills, folding clothes, washing dishes, lazy mornings, romantic nights, road trips, knockdown dragouts, endless laughter and I wouldn't trade this first year of marriage for anything in the world!

We set out last Friday for our anniversary trip to Las Vegas!  And after about 4 hours of flying we looked out the window and saw...

(granted the strip doesn't look cool from afar in the daytime, but we still got antsy!)

I kept telling him that there were even slot machines right where we would enter inside the airport...and he thought that was such an unbelievable thing.  I mean how are all those people on delayed flights gonna kill their time?  Needless to say, I didn't waste any time...

We then headed to baggage claim where we saw the tiniest man holding a sign that said "Hale" who proceeded to talk about jumping out of planes the entire time we waited for our bags.  He was such a tiny guy he couldn't even carry our oversized bag!  We watched him drag it for 5 seconds before the hubby stepped in and threw it up on his shoulder and gave me one of those "is he serious!?" looks.  When we got outside, little man directed us towards our limo and we were headed to the heart of it all!  I thought we would have been headed out in a cab, but he kept telling me how he wanted to make this trip special :)

I had told him all along that I didn't want to know where we were staying so I could be surprised....and well, as we were pulling up, heck, I still didn't know where we were staying!  I had never seen this place when I had been to Vegas before, yet I could tell we were on the strip.  Our hotel was called Aria and it had just been completed in December.  We were between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo and this is a picture I pulled from the internet of what it looks like.

These rooms would make you never want to get out of bed or the bathroom, haha!  The room was surrounded by curtains that would all pull back at the touch of a button.  From the tub or the bed or the living room area, we had an incredible view of what all was going on.

The touchscreen controls on the nightstand for curtains, temperature, tv, etc.
This was the toilet area...and that control pad definitely says "rear cleansing" and "front cleansing" as options!

Our tub

Our living room at night (sorry, it's blurry)

Living Room
Ok, ok, sorry, I got stuck on the room!  We set out to walk around and I am telling you it was HOT!  Our flip flops were sticking to the lie!  There wasn't any humidity, but it was such a dry hot heat.  I felt like the city had a heater turned on and pointing towards us. 

On our way to check out the MGM Grand

In front of the lion exhibit at MGM

"I put a dollar in, I won a car. I put a dollar in, I won a car."
- Vegas Vacation

First night out - this one is in Bellagio's flower garden

Bellagio's fountain and light show

 right after the show with
Paris' eiffel tower in the background

We went out after this to a nightclub, but this seems to be the only goofy picture I snapped....

Haha!  Giving our kisses to Vegas!  Day 2: Circus Circus and exploring more nightlife to come....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Contest! I'd love to have your help!!

Hey guys!

I entered a photo in Kiss FM's Kiss Your Summer Goodbye contest and would really appreciate your vote! It's a free vote and I would love to win one last trip to the beach! The prize also comes with a tanning package and since I can't tan, I'd be more than happy to give it away to someone!

Follow this link.

Last time I checked I was number 8 in the pictures, but if I'm not the picture is of me sitting down in a boat kissing a bottle of sunscreen! Because after all, the contest is Kiss Your Summer Goodbye! THANK YOU!!