Tuesday, June 22, 2010

There Should Be a Disclosure!

Thanks to the kindness of Ryan's awesome sisters and my parents, Ryan and I got to spent 5 days of kid-less bliss in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a pretty amazing place. I used to work with a girl from India. One time I asked her what surprised her the most when she came to America. She told me she was surprised by how normal it was. She expected more sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I can totally see that having spent the last week in Las Vegas. I'm not sure Vegas should really be considered America, at the very least there should be a disclosure for all international flights indicating that Las Vegas is a land of excess; there is too much of everything. Additionally, it should be noted that Las Vegas is in no way representative of the rest of the United States. I am as surprised as anyone when I see someone walking down the street with a 3 foot margarita.

While we were in Las Vegas we did partake of the excess. We stayed at the Paris Hotel and at the Palazzo (good thing we stayed there AFTER Paris or we would have been very disappointed with Paris). We went to Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill (my favorite thing we had was the Wild Mushroom Quesadilla with hummus and white truffle oil). The service was AMAZING and it was very relaxed and fun. Then we went to Tao, amazing atmosphere and good food. Then we went to J&G Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio before hitting Circ du soleil. Prime was amazing (we had 3 waiters). My favorite thing was the mac and cheese (made with a very sharp cheese) and of course the chili glazed lamb chops (the same ones I had at J&G Grill in Park City last year). Circ was beautiful and breath taking. Then we ate brunch at Tableau at the Winn, we had the best cerviche ever, it was definitely one of the most memorable things I have eaten. Then we ate at two Hubert Keller restaurants Burger Bar (casual dining) and Fleur de Lis. Burger Bar was good but Fleur de Lis was OUT OF THIS WORLD! The service was fantastic and not in a showy way (like Prime), they made us a special little desert for our anniversary and gave me a pink rose. It was definitely a complete meal experience Ryan had 4 courses and I had 3 (plus they gave us a complimentary amuse busch, anniversary desert, and little desert tasting plate from the pastry chef, yep that was three desert courses). I ordered from the Top Chef Masters menu which was awesome since I watched the whole show and LOVED Hubert Keller, he seemed like such a nice man (which was totally reflected in his restaurant). Ry had some kind of creamy onion and truffle soup that they poured at the table. The smell was divine and Ryan assures me it was the best thing he has ever eaten (which is saying a lot considering the week that we had). We also went to Penn and Teller, which was so fun. Ryan LOVES Penn and Teller. Penn seems like such a real person, I couldn't help thinking about his normal life during the show. I pictured him and his crazy mop of hair waking up in the morning grabbing a cup of coffee and taking a shower. I didn't contemplate the vivid details of the showering part, but I did wonder about his pajamas (is he a boxers and a undershirt kind of guy or a silk two-piece jammies kind of guy, I suspect boxers) and does he wash his hair everyday? does that make me wierd? Other than that we spent a lot of time seeing the sights and relaxing at the pool.
Our room at the Palazzo, even Fancy Nancy would agree it was pretty posh. Yes that is a full sized sectional couch. What you cannot feel is the amazing Egyptian cotton sheets on the bed that someone lovingly ironed just for me, and the SOFT velvet of the couch!
Ry and I in the Bellagio gardens, so whimsical and BEAUTIFUL.

Me at a kid-less brunch at Tableau. Look there is no kid goo on my shirt and I didn't have to pick anything up off the floor when we left! The opulence of the Wynn (and all the other new hotels) was pretty astounding.

Me at the entrance to Tao. The concrete tubs behind me were filled with water, flower petals and candles, and that was just the entrance. Inside was breath taking.

Ry and I at the Venetian. We wanted to go on a gondola ride until we realized that everyone stands around and stares at you and the gondoliers sing. Less romantic and more creepy.

The first night we got there we hung out with Ryan's brother Steve and his friend Judy. They were TONS of fun we laughed so much.

Me in our room at the Paris before we left for Mesa Grill.

Ry and I were amazed by the size of the Lions. Their heads and paws are GIANT!

Ry and I outside of MGM (now one of the more ghetto hotels, although it was one of the new nice hotels last time I was in Vegas. Like I said Vegas is a land of excess, even the hotels age prematurely).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sometimes it's Just Perfect

I am not especially nostalgic about places, maybe that it because we never lived in the same place more than a few years. I never imagine myself living in the same place for very long. Last night laying in bed I tried to remember my childhood homes. I caught glimpses but really the most vivid memories were of my Grandma Bassett's house in Delta. I can remember almost every detail with photographic likeness. I remember the smell of cookies, I remember the texture of the bed covers on the twin beds upstairs, I remember the exact location of the furniture, I remember watching the occasional glow of headlights from passing vehicles race around the bedroom upstairs as I was falling asleep, I remember the books, the secret cubbies, my aunts barbie dolls from the 60s, the rock houses we made for the wild cats on the cellar outside. The funny thing is that I have not been there since I was a little girl in the early 90s, when my grandma was no longer able to live on her own and the house was sold.

This nostalgia was the result of two perfect moments yesterday. I took the girls to my grandparents cabin this weekend. Most of the elements of the cabin are the same as they were in my childhood, the red carpet, the 1970's Mexican lighting fixtures, the avocado green laminate countertops, the flagstone patio...Sitting on that flagstone patio, watching my girls climb up the big railroad tie stairs (contemplating the 300 ways Chloe could hurt herself) I realized these were the same stairs that my parents watched me climb when I was Chloe's age. I was transported to Childhood, remembering the amazing times we had at the cabin, the same cabin where my kids are now experiencing the wonders of snakes, frogs, fishing, swimming, four-wheeler riding, and snowmobiling. It made me love the place so much more. It was a glimpse into my childhood that I could share with my kids. They could play pooh sticks in the river just like I did. They can ride down the red carpeted stairs on a pillow just like I did...

The second perfect moment was as we were riding down the canyon. I was in the back seat with Chloe and Emily. It had been a long day for the girls and they were starting to get grumpy. Grandpa decided to turn on a CD for the girls. "Our House" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young came on. Grandma, Grandpa and I were all singing the song loud and probably off key, the girls were happily clapping along and giggling, the warm afternoon light was filtering through the windows and everything for just a moment was perfect. I was filled with contentment, for a moment I was both a child in my parent's car, and a mom of two beautiful happy girls. I wanted to capture the moment, take a mental picture that I would never forget. I sat back, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and savored it...Then Chloe bit Emily, both girls started crying, I yelled at Emily to stop poking her sister, and everything was back to normal. The moment was gone, but not the memory.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010