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Trying to remember that there is always a reason, always something that makes you smile during the day- recognizing the event, person or situation that made you smile will make your day seem that much better.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vegas Day three, four and five

So, I got pretty lax about taking pictures and decided to try to live for the moment while we were there...
It was nice to get caught up in what was going on and not always think about what we were doing and what pictures I could take.
Saturday we went over to Mandalay Bay and went to the Shark reef aquarium...which was fun.. We then went for another happy hour, this time on the 64th floor overlooking the strip at the MIX lounge.  What an amazing view...

My brother had bought tickets for Frank Marino's Diva's show.  It is a drag show at the Quad and it was hysterical.  Hubby wasn't quite sure about it...but I think he had the most fun!

Sunday we went to the Mandalay Bay again for the Gospel Brunch that they have at the House of Blues.  The food was amazing and the singing was great.  This was another discounted activity from My Vegas points.  We were a little surprised at how "preachy" it was considering it was in the middle of a casino...but we had a lot of fun.

My brother has an old high school friend that works at a bar off the strip called the Loose Caboose, so we went and hung out there on Sunday night for a few hours...it was nice to catch up with him and be able to just chill while taking in a bit of the local scene.
Hubby got his first taste of In and Out burger at the insistence of the cab driver.
We gambled a bit and went to bed since we needed to be up early on Monday to catch flights.

We really had an amazing time.  It is so awesome to spend quality time with my brother away from everyone.  I really like the guy he is dating and they complement each other very well.  I always get so excited when i see them together because they are really  really happy together....which I guess is all an older sister ever wants for her little brother, but it's super special because he was not always happy with who he was.  It's nice to see him with someone who is not only good to him, but who is good for him as well...if that even makes sense :)
Plus...I just like hanging out with my brother....

Hubby and I spent our anniversary on Monday on airplanes and in cars...so not terribly romantic...but I am always glad that we make it a point to go away to mark the passing of another year together...it seems hard to believe that we got married thirteen years ago....sometimes it feels like just yesterday and other times I could swear it is five times longer than that!  It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in life and everything going on (like the roof that is still not done) that it would be easy to make it just one more day...but every year we make it a priority to take at least a couple of days away to just chill and enjoy each other's company.

Love and hugs to you all...hope you enjoyed the pictures and our Vegas adventure!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Vegas...Day two

One thing there is a lot of in Vegas..
Timeshare salespeople...
I find it incredibly difficult to walk past them without saying anything....
It kind of goes against every single instinct and manner I have not to acknowledge when someone talks to me.
So, I will admit, I got us roped into a ninety minute presentation.
however, we got tickets for La Reve at the Wyn hotel for more than half off.
So that presentation was first thing Friday morning.
We managed to walk away with the tickets...and almost nothing else.
We did get suckered into buying a 7 night trip to anywhere we wanted to go...but the price was right and you all know I will use any excuse to go on vacation...this one we have to use in 18 months...
After that was over, we went back to the casino, ate at the buffet and gambled for a little while.
We went to the Pub at the Monte Carlo for Happy Hour
Brother and BF
Hubby and I 

Where a very nice Irish bar tender waited on us....he was fun!

We then got changed and went to the Wyn hotel for La Reve.
The hotel is amazingly beautiful...they really bring almost a Wonderland feeling to the inside...with everything from balls of flowers and blinking lights to a circular escalator and upside down parasols...it is worth walking through if you are ever in Vegas.
La Reve is a show that is reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil but is not done by the same company.  It is a water show and we had amazing seats- front row.
It was visually stunning, the choreography was phenomenal and it was just by far one of the best shows, if not the best that I have ever seen

flying from the ceilings


Flowers in bloom in the ceiling

 After the show was over, we grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and went up to bed.  This was the night that we discussed potentially staying up super late...we made it until about one am....party animals I tell ya!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vegas Day one

I am going to write a series of posts about what we did in Vegas....just because I want to chronicle the trip...
Day One-
Up super early (before the sun) to leave....
Hubby reminded me that when we got married he promised me a lifetime of sunrises and an eternity of sunsets....we got to watch the sunrise from the airplane...knowing that the sunset would be in Vegas...

It was a very long trip with a couple of stopovers...one in Baltimore (it was a little weird flying into Baltimore and not seeing my parents...but the layover was not long enough)
We then got on a plane and flew to Flint, Michigan.  We didn't get off the plane in Flint, but now we can say we were there.
Got to the hotel (the Monte Carlo) and checked in and went and grabbed lunch:
Super yummy Chinese place at the Monte Carlo....Lunch prices were fabulous....drink prices were expensive...
We were going to see separate shows that night so we agreed to meet back at the hotel after the shows to go to the Minus 5 Ice Bar (so fun)
The package that we bought for Vegas included hotel, flight and show tickets for one show.
Hubby has always wanted to go to one of those Medieval Times places that has the jousting shows, you eat dinner with your hands etc.  There was one down the street from my parent's old house and we never made it there so when that was one of the options, we decided to go ahead and do that.
He was thrilled.
The show was at Excalibur
Yes,  i would have much rather gone to the show at the bottom of the billboard.
We were seated in the Ireland section

We started off the night with a couple of drinks in metal souvenir mugs

The thing about these shows is that they serve you dinner...with no silverware....so you need to eat with your hands....
He was happy- could slurp the soup right out of the bowl!

Cornish Hens, broccoli, potatoes and bread...all without silverware..
The show was great!  The lighting, special effects and the acting were fun

We left the theatre and were walking back to our hotel to go gamble til the boys were done.  This was the first sunset of the trip
Against the backdrop of New York New York
We met up with the boys and went to the Minus 5 Ice bar....which is always fun.  It is a bar that is made out of ice.  They make a big deal when you go in, giving you parkas and optional fur coats....it is really a lot of fun...the was the first group picture of the trip ( it is a picture of a picture, so it's not the best)...
L to R: Brother's BF, Brother, me, hubby (without a jacket on..because really it's this cold in Maine for six months a year)

The cool (ha, no pun intended) thing about this and a bunch of other stuff we did on this trip is that a lot of it was free or deeply discounted.  My brother, his bf and I all play My Vegas slots on facebook.  By doing so,  you earn loyalty points that you can cash in for real stuff in Vegas.  So we each got entrance to the Ice Bar, a couple of free buffets, tickets to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, Monorail tickets, and some happy hour apps.  It was a great way to "do" the Vegas stuff without spending a lot of money...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Happens in Vegas....

gets chronicled in great detail on facebook...and of course on my blog.
We had a FANTASTIC trip...
We went with my brother and his boyfriend.
We saw a couple of shows, we gambled, we hung out in swanky lounges and drank, we caught the local scene, we laughed, we cried and we put a pause on the reality that is life for a little while.
All of my pictures were taken with my phone so I need to download them from facebook to post them...and I will.
But I just wanted to take a minute while I am still trying to readjust my time clock to East Coast time to tell you that I love VEGAS!!
It is a place, for me, that is so far outside of reality, so different from my every day life that it suspends time like no other place we travel.
I love our tropical vacations, but most of the time we get back wishing we could take a few days to recover.
Not Vegas though....the five days we were there was just enough time outside of normal that I came home feeling completely refreshed and ready to take on the world.
The stress of every day life is nonexistent when you are out there...walking around a larger than life city that allows you to be whatever you want to be...
The noise, clangs and non stop lights, for me, are a complete over stimulation of my brain.  I think the part that thinks about my every day life just shuts off so that I can process it all..
Plus, being in a completely different time zone from everyone in my real life means that when I look at my phone and discover that it is 8pm I can't really pick up the phone and call anyone...
It was a great trip...and i do promise a picture heavy post in the future....but until then, it's the end of another month, a reconfiguration of seating at work and the fifth annual (I think) Lazy Labor Day Lobster Lounge this weekend in Bangor....the end of the summer, the settling into fall and trying to get everything done to hibernate for the winter...
I hope that you all are doing well.....sending smiles and positive thoughts to your corners of the world.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Productive weekend

I am beyond excited about our trip this week..
We have spent most of the weekend on the phone with my brother making plans....
We all play the My Vegas slots game on Facebook and as a result have a ton of rewards points....
Lots of free stuff including:
Free buffets at the Monte Carlo where we are staying
Free admission to the Ice Bar (which is very fun)
Free tickets to the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blue at Mandalay Bay
Free late night food at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant
Three day passes to the monorail down the strip (very cool....especially when it's 105 degrees out side)
I am excited to go and get lost in a city...and spend some time with three of my favorite men in my life....
Hubby is excited too...this is our annual anniversary trip so it's always nice to spend some time celebrating our marriage (thirteen years this year...can you believe it..)
Hubby will get to go to the Knight's Table at Excalibur which he has wanted to do forever and we will be going to a drag show on Saturday night.
We are going to try to get tickets for La Reve on Friday night and catch up with an old high school friend of my brother's who works at one of the bars at The Palms on Sunday.
It will be here and gone before we know it....but it's awesome to look forward to..

I went out yesterday and did a day of pampering for myself....new hair cut and color....also some waxing and a massage....so nice..
We were able to celebrate my inlaws anniversary yesterday due to an impromptu visit...39 years...kind of crazy.

Lots to do this week....before we leave..but we are packed and just need to throw together some toiletries....hotel reservations are made by the airport for Weds. night and Monday due to early and late flights....

Hubby got a lot accomplished today...he hooked up the water and ice maker to the fridge (YAY) and put in a new door handle to the downstairs bathroom..with a lock...always nice to check things off the list..

I am heading to bed now...crazy week at work getting ready to be away...but a short one at that, so that will be a good thing..
Hope you are all doing well....thinking of you and sending lots of smiles and positive thoughts your way!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Over a week gone..

And there has been so much to post...
but none that lived up to number 500...
At this point, i figure if i wait for an epic post, you might never hear from me again :)
So...what better way to celebrate 500 posts than with a Thursdays smiles...
There are two sides to every single situation in my life right now...one that induces headaches from the stress and one that produces smiles...
so I figured, since I have been focused on the stressful side, I should look at the flip side of the coin...
1) the roof is over half way done.  I do have pictures on my phone and when it is finished, there will be a proper post...but it's almost there.  This makes me happy...it hasn't been an easy process at all and I have realized just how differently my dear husband and I approach things....but in the end it will be finished and we (hopefully) won't have to worry about any more water leaks....plus it's metal so snow will build up and it's black....makes the house look nice..
2) Work.  I have a job that pays me well and that challenges me most of the time.  There are some things that are being hashed out that will hopefully make things a bit easier....I love most of my coworkers and get an amazing amount of support from them.  It is a solid company that is going through some change which hopefully will lead to better opportunities...definitely something to smile about.
3) we are going away next week with my brother and his boyfriend to Vegas.  I CAN"T WAIT!!  It will be a good time in a super fun city that anything goes in.  We have some stuff planned, including a drag show, so it should be a ton of fun...plus it's always nice to get away
4) The insanely hot weather has broken (finally) and it is back to the Maine summers that we love...seventies during the day and fifties at night...perfect weather.
5) Labor Day is the weekend after next which means Lazy Labor Day Lobster Lounge...a fun weekend spend with the inlaws and the kids...lobsters, drinks, a bounce house, lots of pictures and just chilling for the weekend.  Always a good time
6) I am hoping that a dear friend of mine has good news tonight.  fingers crossed....
7) Pintrest always makes me smile.  It is beyond fun to see what everyone is pinning and what houses are going to look like, what people are having for dinner and what good ideas can be shared.  Wish I had thought of it..
8) Pickles...we made a lot of them and they are ready to eat.  We are cracking open the first jar tomorrow..nothing like the first jar of fresh pickles....
9) Friends...I honestly don't know what I would do without certain people in my life...whether they are blog friends, high school friends, college friends....they are all amazing and I am truly blessed to be part of their lives.
10) Lastly, and most importantly, my lovely husband.  Because of some of the stressful situations lately, we haven't always been seeing eye to eye...but as always, he is my rock.  Whether it's waking me up in the morning with a kiss before he leaves, coming home at night to a home cooked meal, snuggling on the couch or dinner out...he makes me feel like I have stability in my life.  When things are out of control or it's just been a really bad day...he does what he can to make it better.  I honestly don't know what I would do without him.

that's the 500th post....lots of reasons to smile and it's important for me to remember that for every icky situation, there is always a flip side....it takes some doing to recognize it sometimes...but it's always there...
Sending hugs and lots and lots of love and positive thoughts into the universe for all of you tonight...know that I think of you often...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Checking in..

Just a quick post as i am wiped out...
but some good things that have made me smile...
our roof is being started on Thursday...huge relief....lots of stress getting here..but we will have a new roof in a matter of weeks...fingers crossed it all goes smoothly...
We made pickles this weekend...
lots and lots of pickles....69 quarts and 5 half gallons I think was the final tally...
I have pictures that I will post soon...
Hubby is getting over a cold...it came and went pretty quickly...
this the time of year that I love....cool mornings and evenings but seventies and sunny during the day...makes me smile...and appreciate where I live..

I think of you all every day....sending hugs and love on the back of the star beams tonight...

By the way...my next post is number 500....i feel like I should have a party or something....maybe just some pictures...we will see...but I will gladly take any ideas you want to throw out!!