Thursday, August 25, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!!!

Cole and I decided it was time for a little trip. We racked our brains and kept coming back to Las Vegas. We initially didn't think too much of it because neither of us are gamblers. Cole will do a little here and there, but overall we figured we could find somewhere better. Finally we said "why not?" there's an assortment of restaurants, shows, pools, etc... Let's do it! So now the search for a hotel. I had it narrowed down to a couple when my dad let me know that he and my mom had just found out they would be there the following weekend for a friend's birthday. He said if we waited to go when they did he could get our rooms comped(free). Umm, yeah! So we had it booked... Vegas, July 14th-18th(Thursday-Monday). It couldn't come soon enough.

Finally we were Vegas bound! We didn't get there until pretty late, I believe it was 10:00pm or so. Me, Cole and my dad headed to the Paris hotel where Cole and I would be staying that night until Caesars "opened up" the next night(Caesars is where we stayed the rest of the trip). We got checked in and took our things to the room and I did a quick little wardrobe change. You can't walk around the strip at night in jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops, right? Cole still thought I was crazy. He just doesn't get it. Our first goal was to head over to The Cosmopolitan to check it out and eat at Holstein's. Best burgers and milkshakes ever by the way. It was still me, Cole and my dad at this point. My mom and some of her friends met us there right when Cole and I were finishing up, so we said our "hellos" and "goodbyes" and off Cole and I went to explore the strip! We did ALOT of walking that night. I honestly didn't think we would walk THAT far down the strip just trying to find an adequate place for a drink. Cole's not a club guy, so the free entry bracelets we were randomly handed to get into Koi were of no use. There was some construction on the sidewalks/escalators so everything took extra long to get to. That and we were the only sober people. Fighting through a huge crowd of drunk tourists(when you're sober) is pretty much awful. Let me clarify, the reason it was awful is because I wore some new wedges that I did not realize would start digging into the back of my heel after only like half a mile of walking. So it's the first night and I haven't even been in Vegas for 3 hours and my feet are already bleeding. Awesome. If you haven't noticed, I tend to buy shoes that make me miserable. :-/ Anyways, we settled on Margaritaville. We had a couple of drinks there and headed back towards the Paris(my feet are REALLY hating me at this point). We stopped in at a place I had heard of, mainly because the Kardashians are always having birthday celebrations there. So yes, The Sugar Factory's paying Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe what I'm assuming is thousands of dollars an appearance worked on me. I had an awesome drink, it was an Almond Joy Martini that tasted just like it's name. We then headed into the casino and Cole played a little Craps. He won $157 pretty much right off the bat. We were pretty happy considering it had pretty much just paid for our first night. Then it was off to bed so we could rest up and be ready to explore the strip the next day.

A few pictures from the first night:

We woke up at a pretty decent time on Friday and loaded up and headed to Caesars Palace. We met my mom and dad there and got all checked in and put our luggage away and headed out for the day(just Cole and I). First I wanted to stop into Fat Tuesdays in the Forums shops in Caesars to get a Miami Vice w/ a shot of Malibu. Once I had my drink in hand and we had looked around the Forums shops for awhile we hit the strip! We pretty much just walked in and out of hotels that we had not been to before and people watched, etc... touristy stuff. We had planned on going to a french restaurant I had wanted to try called Bouchon for brunch. I wanted their french toast(it looks/sounds so good), but I decided I really wasn't in the mood for something sweet and we should just wing it. So when we got to The Palazzo/Venetian I remembered there was a Sushisamba. Cole agreed and off we went to find it. It was delicious! We sat at the sushi bar and each had a drink and a couple of rolls. Our waitress was super nice. She was almost a little nervous acting, but so sweet. I told Cole that I've read about celebrities eating here and he didn't believe me, so of course when the waitress came back I had to ask her. She said she had waited on Kourtney(who she said was super pretty in person, no surprise there) and Rob Kardashian, maybe Malika(Khloe's friend)and Scott once and Scott is completely as douchey in person as he is on the show. She said they spent about $400 and Scott didn't even tip 20% and acted arrogant(surprise, surprise). And she's heard from a friend that Kris(the mom) was SUPER cheap in one of the stores. I just love getting celebrity scoop from people. :) When we left, there was a random girl filling out an application to be a bartender at Sushisamba that asked if I could look up some drink recipes on my phone for her, haha. It only took about 5 minutes, but poor Cole had to go to the restroom so bad. Anyways, her name was Wren and she said if she gets the job she'll hook us up if we come visit her sometime(I had to add this part just in case bc I don't want to forget her name, ya never know!)
After that, we checked out The Wynn and from there headed back to CP, also making a stop into Rhumbar in The Mirage to have one of their famous mojitos. I highly recommend Rhumbar, we had a wonderful time out on the patio under the misters sitting on a couch with pillows.
We then stopped into Osheas casino so Cole could gamble a little and we noticed an oxygen bar. I had to talk Cole into it, but he was glad we did it. Although the girl who helped us was a little strange and may have left us sitting there too long. We sat there for like 45 minutes waiting on her to come give us our massage(it came with it). When we finally did get them, she pressed her stomach and boobs all up on your back and it was a little strange. I had to warn Cole because he gets a little freaked out about that kind of stuff. Once we left he said he totally felt violated, haha. Suuure... Anyways, it was definitely an experience and we were very relaxed. Once back, we rested for a minute to get our second wind and started getting ready. Before we knew it, it was almost 8:00. We hadn't eaten dinner and we had a show to catch at 10:00. We decided we'd just eat after the show so we just went down to The Seahorse Lounge at Caesars and had some drinks and hung out. Our bartender was so nice, she was pretty funny too. We had a good time talking to her. Around 9:30 we headed to the show! We saw Absinthe. It was really good. Really raunchy, I mean really raunchy. Lots of cussing, a little nudity, but if you can handle a little vulgarity I HIGHLY recommend you see this show. It takes place in a circus-like tent. So you are literally 5-10 feet from the performers. The strong men and the roller-skating couple were definitely my favorite acts. Angel from 'Holly's World' is also in it. She tap dances a little inside of a bubble of some sort. I expected her to be a little prettier honestly. After the show, as we were walking out of the tent, Angel was standing in the back where we had to walk right by her. I asked a girl that worked with her if she'd ask Angel if she'd come take a picture with us and the girl quickly said that she never takes pictures. I asked her to try anyways so she did. Angel looked our way and shook her head no. I understand, because I'm sure if one person does it then another will and so on, but still it made me not care for her as much. Cole actually got mad because he couldn't believe "a nobody" would act that way. It was actually pretty funny, it seems like it almost hurt his feelings. Maybe it was the ridiculously STRONG drink the bartender at the show had made him that got him all emotional?? :)
After that we found a restaurant in CP, Nero's, that was open all night and finally ate. Oh, let me add that this was after we walked all the way down to the Cosmpolitan to find the secret pizza place, which we did. The only problem was that the line was so looong. It'd been different if it were actually moving, but it wasn't, plus it was like 2am and I was STARVING. That's how we ended up at Nero's eating sandwiches and fries. After I ate I went to bed and Cole went to gamble. I won't bore you with the details, but Cole had a looong night that consisted of not being able to get into the room, me sleeping through him and CP security guards beating on the door, having to stay awake and gambling at Osheas until 7am, etc. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper when I finally opened the door.(Sorry for the extremely long paragraph. Going cross-eyed yet?)

So now it's Saturday morning and I figured it'd be best to let Cole get some sleep. While he did that I met up with my parents in the conservatory at The Bellagio so we could go have lunch at Olives. We sat out on the terrace over-looking the water show. I had the fig and prosciutto flatbread pizza. It was good, though I wouldn't get it again. After lunch I went to see if Cole was up and moving... nope. Once he got up we headed to The Mirage where we would be seeing Cirque De Soliel's Love. We decided we would have some drinks and appetizers before the show because we had late dinner reservations at Tao. We headed to Japonais and sat at the bar for a bit while we waited for Stack to open, once it was open we went over(it's right next to Japonais) we each had a drink and a couple of appetizers. We then headed to Rhumbar where we were going to meet up with my parents for a drink. My dad ordered a drink that had won a challenge on Food Network. It may have been one of the worst drinks I've ever tasted. I now do not trust those challenge shows. Anyways, I told him I'd drink it since I felt bad that I had recommended the place. I couldn't even finish it. The show was really good. There was so much going on it that there was never a dull moment. And of course Cole loved it because of his love of The Beatles. After the show we headed to Tao. We got there like 30 minutes early so we hung out at the bar for awhile and people watched- lots of pretty people here. Once we were seated we ordered an appetizer and then I had the miso glazed seabass. Hands down THE best fish I have ever eaten. So buttery-like and kind of sweet. If you ever go to Tao, do yourself a favor and order this. I talked Cole into ordering the wasabi crusted filet mignon. He was unimpressed and should've just ignored me completely and gotten the shrimp dish he had been eyeing. Oops! After that we headed back to Caesars. I went to the room and went to bed and Cole went down and gambled a bit... and saw Coco, Ice T's wife at the bar right off of Caesars casino. He said her butt is just as big as it looks on TV. That IS one serious booty.

We woke up Sunday morning and headed down to the pool. Once we got situated we each ordered a big ol' fruity drink(pina colada for me, bahama mama for Cole) and relaxed. We got a little antsy after about an hour and a half, plus we had a pretty nice little sweat worked up so we called it quits and went to get ready for the day. We decided lunch would be at Dos Caminos(Jessica Simpson goes there alot) at The Palazzo. Our little hike began. Unfortunately, Cole was not feeling 100% and needed food and water asap! Finally, after we found the restaurant he was able to get some water and food in him and started feeling better. Before he had any food or water in him, right when we sat down he asked me, "what do you think it feels like when you're about to have a seizure?" Hahaha. Luckily, we avoided the seizure and had ourselves a nice little lunch. I had a prickly pear margarita, it was very refreshing. They have great guacumole! We then headed back to CP to rest a little and then get ready for the night. We had dinner reservations at Olives in The Bellagio so we got there about thirty minutes before because we wanted a table on the terrace overlooking the fountains. The hostess said it'd be about an hour so we went and had a drink at a little outside pavillion between Caesars and The Bellagio. When we were finally in Olives we sat at the bar and I had a dirty martini, I mean, we were in a place called Olives so I'm thinking they were going to make a good one. It did not disappoint. We were seated at what I think was the best table on the terrace, right on the edge with a front row view. I LOVED watching the fountains, especially with the music that accompanied them. I had beef carpaccio as my meal and Cole had a really good braised short rib dish. It was a wonderful time. Although our waiter could've been better, he was having an obviously bad night... broken dish and a spilled glass of wine(neither when waiting on us). I'm just glad I wasn't the girl he spilled the wine on. :) After dinner we headed back to Caesars so Cole could play some Craps. We had a great time! We had alot of interesting people around us, so that made it nice. One guy was hilarious. At first we didn't like him because he was a bit over the top, obnoxious to the max. But once we got to know him a little he was hilarious. He bought in for me because he wanted me to roll the dice. I won $35! Big gambler here! Ha! There was a middle aged couple from Oklahoma too. The wife told me about how on their wedding day(11 yrs ago) when they were in Vegas playing Craps she was rolling really good and Paul Anka and a few of his friends were at the table. They ended up giving her $35,000 in chips, as a "tip" of sorts!! I didn't think I heard her correctly at first, but I did... $35,000 just handed to her... on her wedding day. Pretty awesome. We stayed there for a few hours and then Cole decided he needed a break and I decided that I needed a snack(I had only had an appetizer at dinner and ate maybe half of it) at 3 am. Geez... So off we head, to Planet Hollywood to try The Earl of Sandwich(I had read about it on tripadvisor). Looking back, I can't believe we walked that far for a mediocre sandwich. After my belly was full I called it a night and headed up to bed. Cole kept playing and had some interesting stories... he witnessed a guy win $53,000! He was nice enough to give Cole $200. He also made friends with four guys from Slovenia. They invited us to come visit them there. Haha. The guy later sent Cole a text of them staying in 'The Hangover' suite, which I think costs around $5,000 a night. Maybe we should go visit them afterall... ;)

It was Monday and time to head home. Nothing too exciting happened this day, just the usual checking out of the hotel, airport, etc... All in all it was an awesome and much needed trip! We had a blast and I can't wait to go back. And if you've made it this far, like I've said before, I get a bit word-y, aka- detail oriented because I like to have this for myself to read in the future. I have a bad memory, so I need this kind of stuff as a reminder. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I LOVE vacations continued, yet again...

It had been years since our last family trip. I believe the last one was to Grand Cayman in 2003. So my dad came up with the brilliant idea to go on another one! We chose Maui. It was beautiful.

March 31st, 2010- We arrived in Maui, picked up our rental car and headed to our condo. We stayed at the Sands of Kahana. It was a nice, spacious place. We decided to head downstairs to the condo's bar/restaurant and have our first drinks in Maui. I had a mediocre mai-tai. After that we went to a restaurant called Sansei, it was really good! There was about an hour wait so we sat at the bar and had some drinks and my brother made friends w/ the bartender, well kind of, I think it was love/hate. She was really sarcastic and liked to give him a hard time. She called him 'Texas' the whole time. And upon leaving the bar to walk back to our table I knocked over the barstool next to me, not because of the alcohol, but because that's just the type of thing I do. I don't think many people noticed though.:) Onto the food! Cole and I split a couple of things... the Matsuhisa Style Miso Butterfish(probably the best thing I ate the entire trip) and Panko Crusted Ahi Sashimi Sushi Roll, also very good. We wanted to go back to that restaurant before we had to leave, but there were just so many other places to try we never got the chance. We then headed back to the condo and hung out on the lanai for awhile.

April 1st- We headed to the town of Lahaina. If you've been to Maui, you've been to Lahaina. It's the main sight-seeing touristy town there. Lots of restaurants and shopping. We walked around a little and then had lunch at Lahaina Oyster Company. I had yet another mai tai because it was only like $3. You can't pass that up! For lunch I had a cup of clam chowder and some sort of ahi tuna wrap. It sounded good on the menu, but it did not translate well. Something about very lightly seared tuna not being served with arugula or wasabi or atleast sesame seeds isn't right. My fault for ordering it. Oh well, they had good fries! We then went on a whale watching excursion. It was really neat. We thought we might see a whale or two. By the end of the 2 hours we had seen about 10 and gotten pretty close to them. And we all became humpback whale experts. If you ask me something about a humpback whale there's probably like an 80% chance I will know the answer. Before going, there was maybe a .5% chance. After that we walked around some more and then went back to the condo and hung out. Most of the time at the condo consisted of us sitting on the lanai, looking out over the beautiful ocean or looking down below, people watching and now that we were whale experts and knew what to look for, we did alot of that too. We had a telescope that made it pretty cool. For dinner that night we went back to Lahaina and ate at a place called Kimo's. It was good, and the atmosphere was wonderful. We were just above the water on a big torch lit patio. I had garlic, lemon, and sweet basil glazed Opah(a type of white fish). For dessert we had a hula pie, it was basically layers of ice cream and oreo cookie crust topped with a mountain of whip cream. Good, not great.

April 2nd- The next day we planned on doing the Road to Hana. We left around 9 or so, so we got a little later start than we had wanted. We ended up stopping at Mama's Fish House in Paia. They weren't open just yet so we had to wait about 20 minutes and by the time lunch was over and done with we had spent a couple of hours there so we decided not to do the Road to Hana that day. Of course I have to tell you what I ate. Food is my favorite afterall. I ordered soup and an appetizer. I had the polynesian lobster soup with coconut, spinach and breadfruit crisp. It was tasty. Then I had blue prawns in tahitian vanilla bean and coconut milk sauce. Good, but I liked the soup better. My brother had their Maui onion soup and said it was awesome. For dessert we had to try the infamous black pearl dessert. It was chocolate mousse and liliko’i cream in a pastry seashell. It looked much prettier than it tasted. I still ate alot of it though. Once we left Mama's we decided to go to Iao Valley. It was neat to just walk around and see all the scenery and read the markers along the way. That night we made our way to Whaler's Village and walked around there. It was pretty much an outdoor mall that had restaurants/bars right by the water. We sat at the bar at a place called Leilani's. I'm the only one who ate. I had some sort of pork sandwich. It was decent. I will say that my dad now wonders how I stay thin with how much I eat. I do eat alot of small meals throughout the day, but in Hawaii I splurged a little and had alot of big meals throughout the day. :)

April 3rd- Me, Cole, my mom and dad woke up and decided to go eat at this restaurant I really wanted to try. It was literally a Gazebo, hence the name The Gazebo Restaurant. They are a breakfast/lunch place, but are known for their breakfast. We got ALOT of food! Cole and I split an omelette and an order of macadamia nut pancakes w/ coconut syrup and whipped cream. Probably the best pancakes I have ever eaten. So light and fluffy. Once we left there we went back to the condo and were shocked to see that my brother was up and moving. We just knew he would still be asleep. So me, him and Cole decided to make it a bar hopping day. My dad dropped us off at Whaler's Village and we walked over to the Westin to a bar called Tropica. I had read about this bar on They said Freddie, the bartender was awesome. Anyways, they were not yet open. So we decided to wait it out and go to the restaurant at the Westin. It was poolside so we had fun watching everybody and pointing out pretty girls. I'll just say that I have WAY better taste than my brother and Cole. Probably because I'm a girl and we are just pickier. Although I don't know how much that says about me since Cole married me. Hmm... Anyways, we each had a drink there and our waiter was awful. I ordered an awesome drink... it was a frozen creamy chocolate banana drink. I looked at the bill once it came and mine was priced at the non-alcoholic version. So I think I got gypped. I paid $8 for a milkshake and wasted alot of calories on a stupid non-alcoholic drink. Not that I'm a lush, but c'mon it's vacation. My brother said he thought it tasted too good to be alcoholic. It really was good. We then headed over to Hula Grill and stayed there a couple of hours. They were having happy hour specials on mai-tais. I don't think I'll have another mai-tai for a very long time, they were good, I just had SO many. Finally we made it over to Tropica and we were not disappointed! It was a great bar. The bartenders there were the best I've had anywhere. The one guy Freddie, really took pride in what he did and had created most of the drinks on the menu. I could just ask him about a drink and he would make each of us a taster. And when I say taster, it was basically a small wine glass, so really quite a bit. It was also funny to find out that he was a real-estate appraiser, which is what my dad, brother and Cole do. So they had alot to talk about. We stayed there most of the day. A lady came around selling leis and we spent $60 on 3 of them. Mine was pretty, but way too fragrant. It smelled good at first, but it kind of started giving me a headache because it smelled so sweet. Luckily my parents came and met up with us, so I passed my lei onto my mom. After that we went and ate at a place called Mala Ocean Tavern. We had some really good hamburgers. Then back to the condo we went!

April 4th- We decided it was time to do the Road to Hana. I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't super excited about this. It didn't really sound like a whole lot of fun to be trapped in the car for a good 6 hours. We got a pretty early start and off we were. We bought a CD that helped let you know what to be looking at and explaining the different sights you were seeing when you passed them. If you've never done the road to Hana, let me explain a little. It's basically this looong, winding, narrow road on the side of a cliff that you head up. There are alot of places to stop along the way. They have alot of fruit stands, places to get banana bread, waterfalls, etc... It was fun, but it was also a little rainy, which I know is very common. We were told over and over that we needed to drive all the way around, so that we could see the other side of Maui. Most people go up the road and back down the way they came. Well, we decided to go ahead and go around. It was BEAUTIFUL! The water was gorgeous and the views were breath-taking. We even saw some whales. It was REALLY scary though. These roads were much more narrow than the ones we had previously been on. You know it's a bad sign when the person driving the car(my dad) is going "oh lordy, oh lordy" while driving. Cole said his emotions were on a rollercoaster. He said he would look out the window at how pretty it was and then freak out about how close to the edge of the cliff we were. We had a good time laughing at his expense. I'm glad we did this, but I think my dad got a few more gray hairs from it. On the way back to the condo, the brakes in our van started acting up. The steering wheel started shaking uncontollably. It was because of all of the hills and my dad constantly having to kind of ride the brakes. Luckily we were close to the rental car place so we just went and changed out cars. After that, we went back to the condo and relaxed for a bit. We then headed into Lahaina and walked around and went to a couple of bars. For dinner we(me, Cole, and Josh) went to Lahaina Coolers and I ate this really good Evil Jungle Pasta dish. Afterwards I headed back to the condo with my parents while Cole and Josh stayed out late. Around 1am I am sound asleep and hear giggling and scratching at my window. It was Cole and my brother. They were trying to scare me and then asked me to let them in because they didn't have a working key. They then proceed to come in my room and giggle and laugh like little kids. I was so irritated, I kicked them out. Then they decide to go out on the lanai and throw pieces of toilet paper dipped in water(basically giant spit wads) onto the grill below. Cole cleaned it up though. And then they go and sit on the beach and have security called on them for being too loud. How old are they, 25 and 31. You wouldn't have known it. Oh well, they were having a good time I guess.

April 5- This was our day to go out on a boat and snorkel. It was an all day affair. We weren't on the water more than 5 minutes when we saw a whale breach. That was pretty neat. They served us lunch and we basically just hung out and looked at the pretty views. It was on The Trilogy boat, which we later found out was where an episode of the Bachelorette took place(Jillian's season). Cole was so funny, he didn't understand why all of the crew, mainly guys, had to be so good-looking. He was like "why do they all have to look like models?" Haha. My brother insured him it was only fair, considering all of the girls they had been getting to see the whole trip. It was my turn to have eye candy. I agreed. :) We went over to another island and set up camp basically. We snorkled as we pleased. Cole and I went out on our own, and my parents did the same. My brother didn't snorkel. After that, we had a small dinner of BBQ chicken, noodles, and peas made by the boat crew. We then headed back. We saw some more whales and they put this kind of gadget on the floor of the boat that amplified the whales "talking/singing." They also did this the first day we went whale watching. I forgot to mention that, but it was really cool. We then walked around Lahaina some more and decided to go to a restaurant called 'Cool Cats' it was the most reasonably priced place we had been, it was a cool little set up. You were basically overlooking the town. There was a guy there doing cover songs and he was REALLY good. We enjoyed listening to him ALOT. We then headed back to the condo, for our final night.

April 6- We got up and packed and headed to town to have lunch and kill some time before heading to the airport. We had lunch at 'Cool Cats' where we had been the previous night. Afterwards we stumbled upon a jewelry store where you pick your own oyster and whatever pearl it has inside of it, you make into jewelry. I got one that had a gold pearl in it and Cole got me a necklace. It definitely wasn't cheap so I appreciated it! Since we had spent so much money they let me pick another oyster and of course(they do this on purpose) I got an oyster that had 2 pearls in it. How convenient, now I needed matching earrings to go with my necklace. I fell for it, and my parents were nice enough to get the earrings for me. :) After Josh searched and searched and finally found Brock a great souvenir(a sharktooth necklace) we were airport bound. All in all, Maui was great! We had a wonderful time and saw so many neat things. Now I just hope we don't wait so long for our next family trip!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I LOVE vacations continued...

So in January I met up with my friend Ashlee and her boyfriend Jack for some drinks while she was in town. She mentioned something about me coming to stay with her in Los Angeles, I kind of shrugged it off at first, and then I started thinking "Why not???" So 3 weeks later I was L.A. bound!

I'll start off by saying that I've always had a slight interest in going to L.A. I am intrigued by Hollywood and all of the celebrity gossip. E! is one of my favorite channels after all. Pathetic, yes. Do I care? No. I'll just start off by saying that I didn't really have much of a clue on what to expect. Well, I had A FREAKING BLAST!! Ashlee showed me an awesome time! She was a great tour-guide. I'm trying to think of the best way to type this out, I guess this will have to do...

Thursday, Jan.28, 2010- I arrived in the early afternoon and the first thing we did was go eat. I think the place we went was called Jinky's, they had MASSIVE pancakes and chicken and apple sausage(sounds weird, but it's really good), it hit the spot! We then went to Ashlee's and unloaded all of my stuff and headed to Robertson Blvd. Let me just say, she was a great sport. She hardly ever went there, I think she said she had been once in the whole 5-6 years she's lived out there. Anyways, I had a great time just sight-seeing- which is a good thing because we sat in ALOT of traffic. We went through Mulholland Drive and Beverly Hills to get there. I loved Beverly Hills! We went to Kitson, walked past the Ivy, and looked in some other stores while on Robertson. It was fun. We then headed to The Grove. We didn't stay there long. Most of the stores they have there, we have here in TX so I wasn't real interested in shopping there. I just wanted to see this place since I read about it all the time in my US Weeklies. We then went back to her house to get ready for the night. We had reservations at Katsuya Hollywood. We got there and hung out at the bar area and each drank a lemondrop martini(so good!) while waiting for Ashlee's friend Callie to meet us. It was so funny seeing all of the paparazzi waiting outside for a chance to see a celebrity. We ate so good that night, one of the best meals I've ever had. We ordered 5 dishes and a bottle of wine between the 3 of us girls. 5 dishes sounds like alot, but it really wasn't much food. We had creamy rock shrimp, crispy rice w/ spicy tuna(my favorite by far!), Spicy Albacore Sashimi with Crispy Onion, Seared Albacore with Garlic Soy Lemon Butter and one other that I don't remember. Baked crab handroll maybe? And yes, I looked at the menu to remember. After dinner we met Ashlee's boyfriend Jack at his house. Just an FYI, Jack is the Jonas Bros. drummer and is Joe Jonas' roommate. The house was so nice, it was in the Hollywood Hills. Natalie Portman had actually just moved out of it. Anyways, we went there and had a glass of wine and then went to Bardot. It was a really fun, neat place. Derek Whibley from Sum 41 and Tyson Ritter from All-American rejects were there singing some covers. There was a girl there that was really good, probably actually my favorite performance, I just don't know her name. We were just hanging out and I was getting a chance to meet some of Ashlee's friends and what-not, and then all of the sudden Tyson Ritter was right behind us with his friends dancing. So we got a picture with him. He looked/acted a little out there. After that we went back to Jack's house and I got a chance to meet Joe Jonas. He was in his room on the computer with a girl. We went in there for a little while and talked and when we left the room Jack asked me if I knew who the girl was, I didn't. It ended up being one of The Veronicas. I'm not sure which one. They are really big in Australia. After that we called it a night.

Friday, Jan.29- We woke up, still wearing makeup from the previous night bc we stayed the night at Jack's and didn't have our things. Needless to say, I felt pretty "blah." Ashlee, Jack and I went to this little french restuarant and had brunch(chocolate and banana crepes for me). We then met Callie at Griffith Park and hiked up to the observatory. I was wearing Ashlee's clothes, including her shoes, which were super hard to hike up a steep hill in. They were digging into my ankles. It definitely made the hike much more difficult than it should have been. After that we went back to Ashlee's(I think. I might be leaving something out)and relaxed and just kind of hung out for a little bit. We got ready for the night, on the agenda... dinner at a mexican food restaurant called El Compandre and then Nick Jonas' show at The Wiltern. Before going to eat we stopped at the mall so Ashlee could get an outfit to wear the following night(performing w/ Kesha at Clive Davis' Grammy party) and we stopped into Arden B bc I decided I didn't like what I was wearing. Typical. I got a dress and then we went to this shoe store(forgot the name) and we both purchased some really uncomfortable shoes, but they were cute so it was totally worth it! Ashlee could probably deal with hers better than I did mine. I still have yet to wear mine since being home, but I do love them. Anyways, we hit the road and sat through traffic(we did this alot) and I changed clothes in the car. We had a nice little dinner which included flaming margaritas and then headed to The Wiltern. We were running a little late and of course at the worst time possible all of these bike riders, when I say bike I mean bicycles, came out of nowhere. We were stuck sitting at a light through like 3 light changes. They were never-ending and there were hundreds, heck it seemed like thousands! Haha. I was just kind of laughing about it, while Ashlee didn't seem to find it very amusing and began to honk at them. Turns out it was something like a midnight bike club. So finally we reach our destination. Jack wanted us to meet him in the backstage area to give us my pass, but we didn't know where it was so he had to come to the front. I now know why he wanted to meet us backstage. Girls were freaking out! Every one of them wanted their picture taken with him and Ashlee too. Even me at one point, I was like "I'm nobody, I promise." Haha. Finally we made into the auditorium. We sat with the Jonas Bros parents and little brother in the very back of the venue. We then went backstage and I met all of the Bros and a bunch of Disney people. I didn't know who most of them were. Kevin's wife, Danielle is tiny. I never thought she looked too small in magazines or anything, but she is super small in person. And Chelsea Staub(on their Disney show) is tiny as well, unlike she looks on TV. I know that shouldn't be relevant, but it just shows that the camera does add lbs. I did know who Demi Lovato was though and she came over and was super friendly and we all talked and what-not. I told her I needed to take a picture w/ her so that I had proof for my niece Gwyneth (she loves her, she even wrote a report on her)that I had met her. She kiddingly told me she would only take it "if she could have my shoes." Yes, the same uncomfortable, but really cute shoes that I NEVER wear. After the concert we headed back to Ashlee's to call it a some-what early night. She had an audition the next day, plus had to perform at the Grammy party that night.

Saturday, Jan.30- Our goal on Saturday was to go to the Santa Monica Pier, make it to an audition for a car commercial for Ashlee, plus Ashlee be ready and at The Beverly Hilton Hotel by 8:00 for the Grammy party. Not a big deal, right? Well, as I've mentioned before, L.A. traffic is awful and I'll bet we spent a good portion of my trip in Ashlee's car talking/gossiping and staring at red brakelights in front of us. So, we get to Santa Monica and 3rd St. Promenade. I really liked it there. Sooo much shopping to do and places to eat! We studied menus like crazy trying to decide which restuarant to eat at. Finally we picked one and Jack came and met us. The food was ok, I was just mainly enjoying people watching and talking with Ashlee and Jack. We walked through a farmer's market. I was secretly hoping to see Tori Spelling there. It seems like she goes to them quite often on her show. Nope, no celebrity sightings there. :( We just spent the afternoon hanging out there, never making it to the pier on the otherside. Which was totally fine by me. So we rushed to Ashlee's audition and waited for maybe 45 minutes or so, and just when she was about to give up and leave so that she could go home and get ready to dance at the Grammy party, they told her she could go in. Good thing, cause she got it!! She probably thought I was bored at the audition, but honestly it was pretty interesting for me to see. I knew I recognized a girl there and couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time and FINALLY figured it out, she was on a show I had watched a long time ago, about the making of the next Pussycat Dolls:Girlicious...or something like that. Anyways, after that we got ready for the night and Ashlee dropped me off at Starbucks right by the hotel where the party would be. I was so close, yet so far away. Everyone was walking past me in their tux's and dresses. I was only a little jealous. ;)Unfortunately couldn't go, it's obviously pretty exclusive. So my cousin Katie and her boyfriend Michael came and picked me up. We went to a restuarant called Ketchup. I had seen it on The Hills. Lame, I know. It was REALLY good! And nice. We had some drinks at the bar and then sat at our table and caught up. Katie was friends with every waiter there pretty much. She said they were all from TX and that they were in acting classes with her. We had lobster mac n' cheese w/ white truffle and crab, mini hotdogs(awesome! I could have eaten 10) and then this sampler of 3 different types of fries and 5 different dipping sauces or ketchups. That was just appetizers. I then had a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. It was so nice to catch up with Katie and get to know her boyfriend Michael. So Katie, if you ever read this, thank you! :) After dinner, Ashlee came and picked me up and we headed to Jack's house to pick him and his cousin up. We all then headed to Wonderland, a new club that one of Ashlee's friends, Mike Boogie(who kept telling me I looked like Kristen Stewart, yuck!) co-owns. He's part of the Dolce Group w/ Ashton Kutcher. So we go in and sit at his table, or in Ashlee's, sorry but I wasn't about to dance with a bunch of professional dancers, haha. I would've just looked silly. Brandy and RayJ were there filming their new show a few tables down from us. Once we left there we headed back to Jack's and hung out and talked a bit before we went to bed. I ran into Joe in the kitchen at like 2am as I was trying to get a glass of water. He had just gotten in from the Grammy party. And then off to the office I went to sleep on my blow-up mattress. Contrary to Joe's thinking we all slept in Jack's room together, haha.

Sunday, Jan.31- I woke up to hearing someone singing up stairs...guess who? I got a free Jonas Bro. concert, haha. Anyways, I got my bags ready and took them upstairs to the front door, my time in L.A. was coming to an end. :( I said my "good-byes" to Ashlee bc she had to go and rehearse for Justin Timberlake's and Timbaland's video that she was doing the next day. Anyways, Jack was nice enough to take me to the airport. And then I was home-bound! Believe it or not, that was a summary, ok well maybe a little more detailed than a summary. I had such a great time and can't wait to return! So Ashlee, if you ever read this... THANK YOU so much for showing me L.A. the right way! :)

Some pictures...
(with Ashlee at the concert)

(with Katie at Ketchup)

(with Nick Jonas backstage after the concert)

(with Demi Lovato and Shorty of the Beat Freaks backstage)

after we ate dinner at Katsuya, this is Callie and I w/ Dr. Geek...thought we were taking a picture, don't mind my cheesy smile :)

Nick Jonas concert(we were in the very back by the sound board)

I just wanted to get a little of the music, so sorry it's just a black screen...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I LOVE vacations!

I figured I might as well talk about my trips a little, while they are somewhat fresh on my mind. Like I have said in past posts, this is almost like a diary to me, so I like to reminisce and may get a little too detail oriented for your taste. So if I do I apologize, I just want to be able to look back on it. Enough about that!

I have been on 4 trips in the past year or so. One of them I already have a post about. So I will start with Cabo!

Place: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Time: July 7-12, 2009. The people: Me, Cole, Kellie, Scott, Lance, Taylor, Sarah, Drew, Kaci and Juan.

We went to Cabo thanks to Taylor. She has friends of the family that have a timeshare. We stayed in a very nice resort. I think it's probably fair to say that it is probably the nicest I've stayed in thus far. Me, Cole, Kellie and Scott arrived in Cabo a few days after everyone else. I didn't want to have to leave Garrett for too long. It was my first trip away and I just couldn't bare anymore than 5 nights away from him. The first night there we went to a restaurant called 'The Office.' It was on the beach and really fun. Good margaritas too! Although most every restaurant we ate at had good margaritas. And if you know me, you know my weakness for a good marg. I just can't get enough of them. Sorry, got a little sidetracked. After the restaurant we hiked to a place called 'Squid Roe.' It was a club type atmosphere. We had a good time dancing and hanging out there. The waiters were very interactive...VERY. Forgive me since it's almost been a year, I am a little foggy on details so I don't recall the order of some of the events. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think it will just be easier to summarize... There was lots of eating, lots of drinking, lots of laying out by the pool, lots of bar-hopping, and lots of great times. One of my favorite days was when Cole and I went into town and pretty much walked the entire place. Cole got a little frustrated w/ me because I kept saying I knew where we were going...I had no clue. But, after probably miles and miles of walking we finally got to the beach where all the little bars/restaurants were. We made a day of that and then Scott and Kellie met up with us while everyone else went on a sunset cruise. By the end of the night we were all together and went to a place called 'The Giggling Marlin' and then 'Cabo Wabo.' At some point we ended up eating tacos at some place where a guy had a wrestling mask on at 5 in the morning. Interesting night to say the least. I also can't forget to mention 'Gordo Lele's Taco Stand.' I was dead-set on going here due to the reviews I had read on trip advisor and I am so glad we did! The cab driver told us it was a "dirty place," which is never a good sign, esp. in Mexico. Anyways, it was just Cole and I and the place was literally a hole-in-the-wall. But man, they had awesome tacos! And he made me a fresh margarita too. My mouth is now watering. Did I mention Cole and I were the only ones in the restaurant? The cook and waiter pretty much sat there and stared at us the entire time we ate our meal. It didn't matter because those were the best tacos I have ever eaten!! So all in all, Cabo was awesome and I definitely want to go back! And thank you Taylor for inviting us! I'm hungry now, I'm going to go eat! I'll have to tell about my other trips in a later post. :)

A couple of pictures of us in Cabo...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A few things I should have mentioned in yesterday's post...

Yesterday I wrote a post on a whim and really quickly. I later thought about a couple of things I should have mentioned. The first thing being that my grandmother, Bebe, passed away on January 22, 2010. She had gone into the hospital over something pretty minor, then one thing after another seemed to go wrong and before long we watched Bebe fade away. It was devastating, and particularly hard to watch my mom and 2 aunts pretty much dedicate any free time that they had to helping her to try to recover and in the end, just trying to be comfortable. It was a long, hard road and she fought for quite sometime, but her body just couldn't take it anymore and we(Cole and I) said our last "good-byes" to Bebe at the hospital on January 21st, knowing the end was near. I will say that I find comfort in the 3rd to last time I saw Bebe. She wasn't necessarily doing well, but she was talking and aware. She had requested that I come up to the hospital and I am so glad I did! She was in a good mood, it could've been due to the medicine, but whatever it was, it was nice to see her smiling. She was telling me how much she liked my purse and jacket, and that I was getting too skinny. She asked me about my upcoming trip to California. She was just so alert and more talkative than even her normal, healthy self. I sometimes think back and wish I had gone to see her more, especially taken Garrett over to see her more. She only lived 10 minutes away from me and we hardly ever just stopped by. Although, I guess it was back in October(right before she went into the hospital) Garrett and I stopped by and spent about an hour with her just talking and playing, just the 3 of us. So I will go ahead and dedicate this post to Bebe. She may not have been your typical lovey-dovey, sweet little grandmother, but she was a great grandmother. She was so supportive in all that we did and genuinely loved all of us(her kids and grandkids). She will be and is greatly missed. I will cherish the memories I have of her forever. RIP Bebe.

On that note, as I said before, Bebe passed away on January 22nd. It just so happens that that is my cousin Katie's birthday. Speaking of Katie, she is pregnant! Like my segue? Haha, not at all forced. :) Anyways, I'm not sure how far along she is just yet, but we are all excited to meet our new little member of the family. So congrats Katie, Chris and Landen!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm baaaack!!! (for now)

Wow, it's been a REALLY long time since I've been on here. I got on to look for a recipe and realized that it was kind of fun catching up on some of the things I had forgotten about. I need to keep up with this a little better, even if it's just a couple of times a month. I had even forgotten my password!

There is no way to even begin to summarize the last year, partly because it would take too long, but mainly because I have a bad memory. Lots has happened, but one thing has stayed the same...Cole, Garrett and I are doing great and really enjoying our time together as a little family. It's hard to believe, but Garrett will be 2...T-W-O, in about 4 months!!! Time flies and he is just getting more and more fun. Along with the fun though, have come the tantrums and throwing fits, hence us having to leave Mother's Day lunch yesterday at Baja Grill a little early. But it is all well worth it, he is turning into such a fun and sweet little boy. Earlier today he had a giggling fit and couldn't stop laughing. I could just look at him and he would bust out laughing. He even snorted! It's moments like these that I love, and make even the hard times very well worth it.

A couple of professional pictures we had done back in November 2009...

And of course I have to post a recipe. It's only been a year! Haha. The one I am going to post is actually the one I came on here to look for. I could have sworn I had posted it before. I am going to make it at some point this week. I grew up eating this meal and have ALWAYS loved it. It really is very good and easy. Nothing beats easy in my opinion. I'm all about quick and simple! FYI: I got this recipe off of a blog, although this is identical to how my mom makes it.

Buttermilk Chicken

2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cleaned
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dip chicken into 1/2 cup buttermilk. Roll in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Melt butter in 13×9x2″ pan. Put chicken in pan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn each chicken breast over and bake for 15 more minutes.

Blend remaining 1 cup buttermilk and soup and pour over the chicken. Bake 15 minutes more, until sauce is bubbly.

*I have always had this with rice. It's so good the way the rice soaks up the buttermilk sauce. I'm sure it would be good w/ mashed potatoes if you aren't a rice fan. I also double the gravy by doubling the butter, buttermilk and soup.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kim told me I need to update this. I don't have much to talk about really, I mainly just wanted to put some pictures up. I think that will be the whole point of this post... pictures.

Father's Day 2009

Kellie's 'going away party' on 6/20/09 Love this! He was a little unsure of the dogs... Luckily he warmed up to them a bit... This picture might just be one of my all-time favorites of him