Monday, February 17, 2014

A vacation! We went on a mini vacation!

On a scale of 1-10 how much do you love reading about other people's vacations?  If it's a 7 and above keep reading.!If it's a 4-6, skim the pictures and move on.  If it's a 3 and a below close the window now!  Vacation pictures and explanations abound!  I hope yur ready!

Our "vacation" was pretty spur of the moment.  About a week ago, Greg and I realized that we were looking at a three day weekend coming up- three days in which neither of us had to work, go to rehearsal, chaperon a school dance, teach a church lesson, NOTHING.  Three straight days with no responsibilities.  This has happened exactly never in our marriage- our schedules are terribly conflicting and it seems like we can never arrange our time off at the same time.  Anytime we go on vacation it is very deliberately planned, months ahead of time, so Greg can get off rehearsals and shows, and so that I'm not doing anything terribly important in my class and I can easily miss a day or two.

So when suddenly we were looking at three straight days with nothing to do, we knew we had to take advantage.  Las Vegas is a 5 1/2 hour drive and the weather was supposed to be in the high 70s.  We haven't seen high 70s since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon!  We dilly dallyed and went back and forth until the very last possible minute and then we just decided, yes, let's go.  Friday morning we booked a hotel room and Friday afternoon we were on the road.  See ya later, winter!

Friday was Valentine's Day so naturally we thought we'd get into our hotel and do something real sweet and romantic, like hit up a nice restaurant and enjoy the stars or something that you think when you're in a very good mood.  But.  The drive down took us close to two hours longer than we expected- there was road construction just outside of Utah that held us up over an hour and then the resort we were staying at was a full 30 minutes beyond Las Vegas.  I booked the resort using hotwire. If you've never used the site before, basically it works in that you can get last minute hotel rooms for cheap, but you don't know where your hotel will be until after you've booked.  I think this is so that you don't find out a hotel is giving away cheap rooms and hassle the hotel directly.  Who know?  I don't fully understand the logic, all I know is it's a bit of a gamble paying before you know what your hotel is.

Anyway.  The hotel we landed was the Westin at Lake Las Vegas.  The resort was awesome as was the price, but the location was terrible!  It was about 30 minutes away from downtown Las Vegas.  You can imagine that after 6 1/2 hours of driving we weren't too happy to realize our resort was 30+ extra minutes out.  And so we drove for 7 hours!  Yippee!

When we finally got to our hotel room, we were exhausted and frustrated.  The place was in the middle of nowhere- the nearest store was 10 or 15 minutes away- and it seemed like we had come all this way and paid all this money for a hotel just to sit in no man's land.  We were famished, but the last thing that we wanted to do was get back in that car and drive for 20 minutes looking for a place to eat.  It was technically Valentine's night, but neither of us felt like getting dolled up or waiting anywhere for food, so we got back in the dreaded corolla in our sweats and said we would eat at the first place we found.  All dreams of a romantic Valentine's night were dashed and the goal was to eat as quickly as possible and then fall asleep as quickly as possible.  We were ornery to the max, and if there's one thing I know for sure it is that people are not that different from babies- we are at our grumpiest when we are hungry or tired.  We were both.

Twenty minutes later we found a Panda Express and that was it.  Valentine's Day dinner!  Que romantico!

I really really really really hate Panda Express.  I always have, but then every time I see it I think for just one second that it might taste good. This is never true.  My last Panda experience was at my little sister's wedding (Sorry for throwing you under the bus, Mary!).  I was 10 weeks pregnant and in the throes of first trimester sickness and could barely stomach the smell in the room.  I tried to eat the chicken but it made me want to vomit, so I nibbled on some fried rice and tried to forget that Panda had ever been a part of my life.

Well, I was hungry enough that Valentine's Day night that I told Greg we could eat there even though my stomach knew better.  It was awful.  Cold, greasy chow mein and terribly fattening orange chicken with only a little bit of chicken and mostly a lot of sauce and a lot of breading.  This is my official declaration that I will not eat at Panda Express ever again.  Remind me if you ever feel me wavering.  Never again.  I WILL NOT DO IT!  (I also feel like now is a good time to tell you that when I was 17 I had a horrible experience with pringles and vowed to never eat another one.  I am going on 10+ pringle-less years, and I feel great.)

We were pretty miserable at that Panda table with our cold Chinese food and measly water cups.  We even ventured to go so far as to say we never should have come.  It was a waste of money and too far away and in two days we'd have to drive right back home.  Greg said we should have just spent the money on five nice dinners at Tepanyaki (our favorite restaurant) instead of blowing it all on some stupid resort in butt freaking Egypt.  I agreed.  Then Greg got a fortune that said he will make a lot of money and mine said I will lose all my money, so on top of tired and frustrated we were now confused about what we should do with our budget!

The night was horrible, but the good news is that everything looked up up up from there.  We ate dinner and went to sleep and after full tummies and eight hours of sleep, everything was better in the morning.  Isn't it always?  If you learn one thing from this post, let it be this- everything is better in the morning!  We figured out that we could take a free shuttle from our resort to the strip and wouldn't have to bother with traffic or parking.  At first we thought it would be annoying to be so far removed from everything, but it actually ended up being really nice.  We loved being able to get away to a quiet and relaxing place after the hustle and bustle of the strip and the casinos and the lights. The resort at a killer deal- less than $100 a night with two full pools, hot tub, fitness room, romantic camp fires all around the balconies, etc. and the hotel was even on a LAKE!  They had free pedal boats, kayaks, and paddle boards that you could take out on the lake.

So, we called Vegas home for two days and packed in everything in we could.  We walked the strip until our legs were going to fall off, we had our romantic Vday dinner a day late at Cheesecake Factory, we went shopping, we swam in 80 degree water, we took a dip in the hot tub.  We enjoyed the sun, we pedal boated the crap out of the lake, and we slept in until noon and made someone else make our bed. Twas wonderful!

And now, PICTURES!

^^ It had been so long since these poor legs had seen sun.

 ^^The lake.  See the paddleboarders behind me?  Also makeup is purely optional on vacation, of course!



^^The weather looks a bit cold because it was cloudy the first day, but it was perfect.  Low seventies and gorgeous.





 ^^The view from our room balcony.

^^ The bump decided to show its face for about four hours of vacation.  It's a very fickle bump- comes and goes whenever it pleases without warning and without apology.  Not the least bit reliable and a tad bit stubborn.  Bad signs for the baby to come?

^^ Pedal boat extraordinaire.

 ^^ Living the good life.  Also.  So many chins.

 ^^We're trying to master the art of selfies with a DSLR.  Wow!  It's not easy! Also I love this picture because you can clearly see one of the inherent differences in Greg and I-  he wore his mandatory life jacket the entire time on the pedal boat, and I took mine off the second we turned the corner from the resort.  Yet, somehow we make it work!

 ^^ I'm kind of totally in love with this goofball.  He didn't want to get sunburned on the lake and neither of us thought to pack sunscreen.  (When you've been doing beanies and gloves for four months, sunscreen just didn't come to your mind for packing essentials.)  So he covered up and about dang near roasted to death.  Those gingers got to be very careful with their skin, you know.  The sun is no laughing matter.

 ^^ Bumpin?




^^ Got all dolled up (by vacation standards) to go to the strip one night.  Greg put his arms around me as we watched the water show and I made googly eyes at him and tried to sneak kisses and he replied, "Gosh, I married a flirt!"

 ^^ I half believed I would never read by a pool again.  The winter has been long. Speaking of reading, are you reading I am Malala for February's book club?  We are discussing it next Thursday, February 27.  So far I am loving it.  I skim some of the stuff that gets real political, but the way education, women's rights, etc. is viewed in Pakistan is FASCINATING.


 ^^ Can you spot Greg?  We thought we owned the whole freaking resort.

^^ Apparently this is how Greg relaxes.  Don't we all?  Also he is showing off his wedding ring which I gave him for Valentine's Day.  It's his third.  I won't tell you what happened to the other two.  Wait.  Yes I will.  He lost them and he now only gets $30 rings from overstock.com and he only gets them on special occasions.  Someone's gotta discipline the ring-losing husband of mine!

And now I'm incredibly nostalgic for vacation as I'm shivering in my apartment on a dark, cold night writing this. How many days until summer?

25 comments:

  1. This seems like exactly the way my husband and I should do Vegas! I love the lights and sounds and he'd need a quiet place to retreat later. I'll have to check it out and see if I can talk him into it :-) Thanks for sharing - love the pictures!

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  2. How fun!! I love your little bump! And I am loving your swimsuit!

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  3. The bumpin' for the win!!

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  4. I am so glad that your vacation turned around. The resort looked so lovely and perfect and love that the whole pool area was yours for the taking, makes me want to go the same time as you guys to get that kind of enjoyment. I have never been to Vegas, but its high tops on my list of to-do's

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  5. Looks like a great vacation! I totally agree with you - everything is better in the morning. And about that wedding ring...that man better get it together! Hahaha.

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  6. That resort looks pretty nice actually! I'm glad you guys got away!

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  7. All's well that ends well! Your little baby bump is adorbs :)

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  8. Oh how lovely the 70s and sunny days sound! What a perfect little vacation! And you're little bump, when it decides to show itself, is adorable!!

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  9. 70 and sunny sounds so amazing. I can't remember what 70 feels like anymore. Come on summer!

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  10. Cute bump! We should compare. Oh wait, mine is gross, yours is cute.

    I love panda! Sorry, but the greasiness is just so good! But I'm with you on pringles. I've been pringle-free for probably 15 years. They always make me sick!

    Good time to get a vacation in. Hopefully it makes the last little bit of winter more tolerable!

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  11. Cute swimsuit!! I actually just finished a school trip where we stayed at ceasers palace so it was fun to see your pictures :) praying summer comes quickly!

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  12. Three things:
    What a delightful trip away, so glad it worked out.
    Your bump is adorable.
    Please tell me where you found that suit!

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  13. Spur of the moment vacations are the BEST! My husband and I did something really similar and went to SC, NC, and East TN over a 3 days weekend and it's still a favorite memory of mine!

    BTW... I, too, hate Panda Express. My husband LOVES it because of their diet peach green tea and wants to go there all the time. He went out and brought it home the day after we came home from the hospital with our son and I took one bite and just burst into tears because it tasted so bad to me. Hormones+yucky Chinese food=one horrifically embarrassing meltdown.

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  14. looks like you had a ton of fun! Thankfully the other two days made up for the sucky drive time and the distant resort worked out to your advantage :)

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  15. I've been to Panda Express three times with the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE. It ALWAYS tastes old. I love Chinese food, so keep givin it another chance. Now I know better. It's not just me. Thank you for this fantastic revelation. I will now NEVER go back. I'm glad y'all got away, and had a good time. Y'all deserved it. You always look so cute. Even when you think you don't. Pregnancy agrees with you. ; )

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  16. This seems like such an awesome quick vacation! It started out rough (although I LOVE Panda Express - so I would have been happy) but it got better. I'm so jeaous! Here in Chicago it's cold and miserable. Although it's going to be almost 40 this week. HEAT WAVE!

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  17. Wish I lived with in driving distance of Vegas....
    Looks like a fun vacation. :) What a cute little bump.

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  18. I am jealous I would love to be able to get away for a few days, but car repairs have put an end to that idea

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  19. I remember those bump days! When you wake up and there's nothing and by night you've got a bump of bloat? Hopefully you are skipping that though because it was uncomfortable. Just as this 36 week bump is. But it's a bit more fun since it comes with kicking. :)

    Glad you had a good little getaway! Those impromptu trips are sometimes the best.

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  20. looks like you had a great relaxing weekend other than the panda snafu!

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  21. That looks like so much fun! I could use a nice vacation right about now.

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  22. This sounds like our anniversary trip to Vegas last September. We basically just walked up and down the strip until our legs were going to fall off and then we slept a whole bunch. It was nice but probably won't do it again. Sometimes it is nice to just get away though!

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  23. I'm English and have only had the pleasure of Panda Express on my visits to the US. You made me laugh/wanna puke with your oh so realistic explanation of that slush. To people really call that food? Loving the Vegas photos, I'm envious that you can just get in a car and drive there. Amazing!

    ramblingrock.blogspot.com

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  24. Glad you had fun! That bump is definitely showing now ;)

    guesswhathollie.blogspot.co.uk

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  25. I am definitely living vicariously through you on this post! I want a vacation so bad. What awesome activities, even with the rough start. At least we are doing a night in Salt Lake for our anniversary. I bet you have some fun anniversary plans coming up soon.

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