Monday, July 21, 2008

Out of my Twenties... Hello Thirty!!! Wierd.

So I had this brilliant idea. For my 30th Birthday, which was this year, I decided that I wanted to take a mini-vacation some place fun. Which of course meant leaving Idaho Falls. Ha ha. Thinking of all the places I could go, I figured Las Vegas sounded likely. My brother lives there with his wife, and they're fun. And what town has more going on at all hours of the night than Sin City? So I made plans, and to Las Vegas I went. I'd planned 3 days and 3 fun filled nights to celebrate a milestone birthday. The END of my 20s.

The drive down was nice and uneventful. Arriving in town, I took the shorter way that didn't go through or past the strip. Probably a good idea, even if it was only Thursday. That night wasn't anything spectacular, but it was nice just to be there.

Friday morning was my Birthday. My 30TH BIRTHDAY. Surprisingly I didn't really freak out. I woke up and smiled to myself. That morning I got up about noon, ate some cereal, took a shower, and then went shopping. Got some new clothes, which I hadn't done in a while, and also got some FAB-U-LUSS sunglasses from Dolce & Gabanna. No, I'm not a label whore, but can I just say that I look GREAT in designer sunglasses? A pair of shoes later, and I was satisfied. Everything but the glasses were on sale, and I spent less than I thought I would. Always a good thing. Once I was spent, we ran back home quick to get changed.

I was very excited for my birthday dinner. We'd gotten tickets to the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur, which is a dinner and joust... really a cheesy show set in the time of kings, but it was still really fun. I got dressed in my mirror heeled, silver leopard print spike heels, silky dress, and put my earrings on. I was ready. We went out to the casino and had a little time. So I played the slots for probably the second time in my life, and didn't win much, but was only out about a dollar. Once the show was about to start, we went down to the theater, and sat down in our section, which was Ireland. We had our own knight to cheer for which was fun. Even if the guy from France was cuter. They brought us out some soup, then a whole cornish hen with potatoes, broccoli, and a roll. Very tasty. So we watched the show, shouted "huzzah," and had a great time!

Afterwards we wandered the casino a bit more, then took a little trip around the strip. It was hot, and moderately humid. I LOVED it! Perfect night for walking around... except not so much when you're in mirror heeled, silver leopard print spike heels. I got blisters. But it was worth it to look that good on my birthday! We got home and went to bed about 2am (pacific time, so really 3am based on my usual time, which is mountian). All in all, a satisfying night.

Saturday we slept in (of course) and got up again about noon. We went out to breakfast where I devoured some delicious french toast, and then went back to Chris & Amber's to relax at the pool. There were kids, but not too many. The water felt great, there was a light breeze... and it was 105 degrees. I loved it! I sunscreened like mad to be safe and kept to the shade as much as possible. No sunburn for Rachel! Anywho, after we'd spent a few hours swimming and lounging on the chairs a bit (of course with my new sunglasses) we went back to the apartment, showered, and went out to the movies. Chris and I went to see "The Dark Knight" while Amber and Ryan went to see "Mama Mia." I felt bad splitting up, but turned out ok. They enjoyed their show, and Chris and I had fun telling the drunk guy down the row to shut up. Sigh. He eventually left, which was nice. But not until I finally lost my temper a bit and told him off. I can only take so many jelly doughnut comments before I've just had enough. I'm sorry. Afterwards we went out to the Venitian and ate in one of the cafe's at the hotel. The Lux Cafe I believe. Anywho, the food was great, the atmosphere was wonderful, and the dessert (raspberry white chocolate truffle cheesecake) delectable. We finished dinner about 12, then wandered around the hotel a bit, exploring the shops. There was a section on the 2nd floor that freaked me out a bit, as the ceiling was painted like the sky, and faux lighting made it feel more like 6 or 7 pm instead of 130am. It was weird, but I loved it. I didn't get a gondola ride, but I'll save that for another trip at another time...

It was another 2am morning, as we finished off the night with some beautiful gold sparklers that a dear friend saved just for my birthday. And I love sparklers. Another perfect ending to a GREAT day!

Leaving was sad, but necessary. However, I have a wonderful brother and sister-in-law to thank for helping give me the kind of birthday I wanted. I highly recommend their Chateau down in Henderson as a vacation spot. If you get the chance... GO! They are wonderful as hosts, and of course Las Vegas has a ton of things to do and enjoy. Check it out... and go visit. I promise you won't regret a single day. Thanks Chris and Amber and Ryan, for helping me turn 30 and enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rachel is Star Spangled

Happy Fourth of July! And for those that hate that phrase, Happy Independence day! I can't wait. Not only does it mean I get a day off paid, but it mean fireworks and barbecues; good food and good company; good fun and good times. You don't even need big plans, or to spend a lot of money. There's always something going on. It's one of my favorite holidays. I like the business, I like the noise, I love the festivities... and it means that my birthday is coming, too! Its just suits me and my love of crowds.

So my favorite 4th of July foods include bbq anything, popcorn, caramel apples, nachos, smoothies, slushies, lemonade, hotdogs, watermelon, ice cream, fruit salad, pasta salad, cookies, pie (with the right crust), cheesecake, brownies, strawberries, and whipped creme. Mmmm. Can you tell that I'm semi-dieting right now?

The food brings the people together, which is also fun. Picnics, barbecues, and just stopping by the booths at the street fair gather the masses into one place, where you run into people you haven't seen for years, or people that you've purposely avoided for years. Its fun, and maybe a little dangerous.

Last year was nearly a bust. I got up semi early to go to the parade, which was fun. And then I met some friends for a late breakfast at IHOP. After which, everyone wanted to go home and nap. BOR-ING. So a quick call revealed that some other friends were planning a picnic. So off I traipsed to the picnic. It was alright. Fun to be outside and enjoying life. But still not what I wanted. A quick call to a cousin later, I was at my cousins house, and still feeling antsy. So we packed into a car, with two other cousins, grabbed a quick smoothie, and went to the street fair downtown. It was fun to wander and see all that downtown Idaho Falls had to offer. It wasn't much, but was fun nevertheless. We saw art, heard music, ate food... I was in heaven! And then we got a great spot to watch the fireworks. People had staked out places with stakes and twine, but frankly, that's cheating and I'm sorry, but too bad. The nice thing? We had kids around so they weren't going to yell. And I can withstand even the dirtiest of dirty looks with no trouble at all. Take that grouchy America!

And this country... ah. She has her flaws, but she's beautiful and I'm grateful to live here. Even if it IS Idaho. Freedom is an amazing gift, and I relish it! I sometimes wish other people in this country weren't quite so free, but not much I can do about it. Other than grimace and grumble under my breath when I'm irritated. Well, we're all free, no matter who likes it. And I know it's cool to hate Americans and America. Heck, even most Americans hate Americans anymore. But I love my country and wouldn't go permanently foreign for anything in the world. There's nothing like this country, and hooray for us! Flaws and all!

Rachel and Jesse

Rachel and Jesse

Things Currently Making Me Happy

  • All the warm snuggly quilts Grandma made me
  • I have bangs again!
  • Jesse. He's just the best husband!!
  • Little secrets I get to keep
  • Sunshine

Things Currently Annoying Me

  • Dealing with a stubborn 4-year-old
  • I miss my family
  • Less time to spend with my husband and more time to be alone
  • Trying (unsuccessfully) to make friends with someone in my ward...
  • Will it ever be warm again?