Friday, April 05, 2019

Birthday Celebration and Las Vegas Wedding

Last weekend we flew to Las Vegas on a Friday to visit my husband's parents and attend a good friend's wedding on Saturday.

After we landed, his parents picked us up from the airport and we drove to Fremont Street. There's one of several new (to us) restaurants my husband suggested we go to as a late celebration of my birthday called Downtown Terrace located in the Downtown Container Park. If you haven't been to the Container Park in Las Vegas, it is a really neat place!

We LOVE it when we get to see John and Maggie!!
Downtown Terrace is not too big a place. The outdoor seats and window seats were all taken so we opt to sit at the bar (it's nice to chat with the bartenders anyway).

If you look at the menu, $16 for bottomless drinks is a GREAT deal (all day, every day with the order of an entree). The Bloody Mary is probably one of the most flavorful, spicy ones I've ever had at a bar. And the Bellinis are made with fresh peach puree and Peach Schnapps. SO, SO good!
As for the food, we had Shrimp Diablo, Shrimp Salads and a burger. All were delicious! We would go go back and eat there again.

Afterwards we lounged by the pool to soak in some sun. Most people would say I have a 'tan' but I really needed a tan. The winters in Reno are a full season and sometimes it feels longer. It seems we can never get enough sun in the high desert. So we take every opportunity to bake when we can! And we can never get enough time by the pool, either. Before we knew it, the sun had set and it was time for dinner.

Ooh ... the FOOD!! My mom-in-law is THE BEST! She knows I love appetizers as opposed to eating full meal and she made Bourbon Slushie (drink), her famous deviled eggs, crudites, the best stuffed jalapeno peppers, and the tastiest chicken wings. I could eat all of it again, just thinking about it.

Then I opened gifts from John, Maggie, Grandma and aunt Jan. I got the neatest card quilling card of a bicycle, gas range diffuser (because whenever I cook it always boils over or I overcook things. Okay, now I won't have an excuse.), the cutest yellow sandals by Kate Spade, and a red t-shirt of a dog riding a bicycle with a cat. The caption says, "Unlimited Pawsabilities" which I thought was quite clever. It was the cutest t-shirt. And also a super stylish blouse that ties at the waste - I can't wait to wear that too and I say this through clenched teeth ... as soon as the weather warms up!

My mom-in-law made me this cake ... I still fantasize about it because it is so dense and moist. I LOVED IT!! And got to bring home what was left. I'm not a desert person except for when the desert is Maggie's.

The next day John and his dad went to look at cars while the girls laid by the pool. It was cooler, but I didn't care as long as the sun was shining and I got to hang with my mom-in-law. I made Bloody Beers to drink (it's a Bloody Mary but made with beer instead of vodka and is refreshing on a hot day).
Then it was time to get ready for the wedding! So here we are all dressed up (before I put on my heels).
The wedding ceremony was the Boulder City Golf Club and the day could not have been more perfect. We were so happy to see these two tie the knot (finally). He was the best man at our wedding nearly 13 years ago. After he and his wife divorced, he met this wonderful lady and they dated for a very long time before saying "I do".

 The reception was at their friends' home on the golf course in the back yard. It was SO NICELY done and intimate. I wish I had taken more photos. There was a host bar, the caterer served street tacos, and desert from Nothing Bundt Cake.

What a nice wedding it was. The next day after breakfast, we went walking in the Lake Mead Recreational Area. There's a paved path for non-motorized use that we took from the neighborhood. The VIEWS are just incredible and desert flowers started to bloom.

Nice day, and nice weekend with family and friends!! That's what life is about, isn't it? So it was tough to leave. But what we had to look forward to seeing at home are our two girls so it's never a bad thing to come home.
LAS to Reno

Truckee River in Reno, NV

Thursday, July 05, 2018

4th of July Weekend in Vegas

This year Independence Day landed on a Wednesday. Both John and I had the day off from work but we did not make any plans. That is ... not until the two days prior when we decided to hop on a plane to Vegas after the work day on Tuesday and celebrate 17 years since we first met in California on the 4th of July! Where did all of those years go?

After checking in to the Mirage hotel around 8:30 p.m., we walked to the LINQ Promenade in search of some dinner.

Many of the hotel casinos close early so we decided to eat at an Italian Restaurant called Off the Strip. Outdoor dining is something we always prefer so we were sat on the patio so we could people watch.

After dinner, we hailed an UBER and drove to one of our favorite tiki bars -- the Golden Tiki on Spring Mountain.

If you have never been, it is a really neat place. They even offer food.

It was a very late night (for us) since our normal bed time is about 10 p.m. so getting to bed after 2 p.m. was rough.

The next morning, John's parents met as at the cafe in the hotel for breakfast. They looked so cute (and a lot younger than their age) but I did not get a chance to take a photo of them so you'll have to settle for a photo of this Bloody Mary (which was excellent by the way).

After breakfast we rushed back to our room to pack our bags and check out. The day was beautiful and so it was time to sit by the pool.

BARE is our favorite European style pool and are for those 21 years and older (because tops are optional, no photos are allowed in the pool area so we left our cameras in our bag and just enjoyed cooling off poolside and our surroundings).

If you want chairs to sit on, it starts at $300 for two (before taxes and gratuity) but it is worth having a place to put your bags and stretch out in the sun -- and it includes food and drink credits. For the two of us, it was hard to eat and drink that much (even with 32 ounce mixed drinks at $34) unless ... you prefer bottles.

We spent the whole entire afternoon meeting and chatting with others we met at the pool. Time flies when you're having fun and when the pool closed at 5 p.m. we made our way to the main pool and sat by the waterfall until it was time to get our bags from bag check and head to the airport.

The airport was dead and so going through security was easy. Plus we have TSA pre-check because I flew so much for work and John flies almost as much on companion pass (he flies for free wherever I fly and so can you and your companion if you want to ask me about it).

Where is everyone?!

Leaving Las Vegas

Lake Tahoe is just a 20-minute drive from our home.

Downtown Reno is a small Vegas block compared to the Strip
It was a whirlwind of a weekend and we wished we could have spent more time with John and Maggie but still we had SO, SO MUCH FUN!! There is never enough time, right? Never enough time with your loved ones. Now we are going on 18 years and looking back at all those years, we think we know where they all went. To memories like these. So CHEERS everyone and we hope you also had an awesome 4th of July!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bike Dinner Date

It has been a while since John and I rode our bikes together so we decided to ride to dinner. We were almost at our destination, John noticed a new restaurant that recently opened its doors called Morgan's Lobster Shack and Fish Market. We decided to give them a try.

 After we were seated, we had a cocktail. John started with whiskey and soda; I had a Moscow Mule (my new favorite drink these days). Dinner was a California Lobster Roll (for John) and homemade clam chowder with a glass of Chardonnay. It was so good! And I ordered Halibut, grilled with a side of sauces of my choosing (Italian tapenade, chili-lime and an Asian inspired sauce that was delicious) served over fresh greens with coleslaw. I chose to have a glass of prosecco with dinner (probably not the right pairing but, still) it was fabulous! And then...we couldn't resist the homemade desserts. I love bread pudding and they had blueberry bread pudding on the menu. John loves anything chocolate and the lava cake was calling his name. So we ordered both--the lava cake and the bread pudding.

We had been sitting outdoors on the patio (would you believe it? In the middle of November and I'm wearing shorts!) but with the sun going down it was starting to get chilly for both if us so we went upstairs to check out the bar area of the restaurant (you can also order food up there and dine with a view). Dessert was served to us upstairs and it was delicious with a night cap of Dissarono and soda. Yes, we definitely indulged for a meal out so I'm glad we rode our bikes!

Our ride was 7 miles roundtrip between home and the restaurant so it didn't take long and it was a nice ride on this beautiful fall evening. I think it was our first meal out since returning from Aruba.

Since we got back home it was nice to cook for ourselves, you know? But I will be out of town again for work so for this Monday's evening, it was great to not have to make dinner (and clean up) and, instead, just enjoy riding our bikes and spending the evening together.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Vegas Weekend

I was in Vegas this past week for work. Wednesday evening, my mom-in-law picked me up at the end of the day and we went to Town Square for something to eat and drink. The Loco Cantina was a restaurant we had never tried (and it just so happened it was still Happy Hour) so we sat down on the patio for margaritas and the taco sampler. The food and drinks were surprisingly good but the restaurant wasn't very busy (perhaps because it was mid-week) and so we hope business will be good for them and that they'll be around for our next visit. It was a lovely evening and we had a great time shopping afterwards.

The Loco Cantina restaurant and patio is on the second floor overlooking the shops.
Since it could be a while before the next time we'll see my parents in-law again, my husband John flew down Thursday and I would stay for the weekend in Vegas instead of returning home.

So he and his mom went to Town Square and had lunch at the Lazy Dog (another place we've been meaning to try. I couldn't get away from work so they sent me some photos to look forward to until the next time.

Friday, John and his dad went to the Carrol Shelby automobile museum and afterwards, had lunch at the Lazy Dog (again). I guess I'll have to wait to be part of the club ;-)

I had some things on my plate for work so there was no fun for me but I did take breaks to sit by the pool at the house and listen to the quiet of the world outside.

Then the weekend came and it was all a blur. We did go to the National Atomic Testing Museum (a really neat place located near UNLV. If you haven't been, we definitely recommend.) We played cards and ate a lot of good food (it is hard not to because my mom-in-law is a GREAT cook!!). The weather was really nice so sometimes we ate dinners outside.

My mom-in-law makes fabulous pancakes from scratch.

I'm not a great cook but I can make fruit salad!

Shortly before we started playing cards. Our favorite games: Canasta and Five Crowns.

I love Moscow Mules.

An apple torte my mom-in-law made. It was DELICIOUS!!

A Sugar Pumpking from my parents in-law's garden. We got to take one home!

John joined the card playing fun. He caught on quick and won the game.

Then it was time to go home.

Flying over Walker Lake.
It is always hard to leave because we enjoyed spending time with each other and had such a great weekend. But I have been away from home for an entire week I was ready to be back in Reno and see our kitties too. Soon enough, I'll be back in Vegas again.