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Archive for the ‘ Travel ’ Category

An Adventure Close to Home!

Our kids were gone for the weekend AND it just so happened to be my birthday! That was all the motivation we needed to pack a small bag and jump in the car. We convinced a couple friends to go too.

And off we went, to The Biggest Little City in the World, Reno, Nevada!

Biggest Little City

Just a short 4 hour drive from home, we pulled into the little city that never sleeps. We check into our hotel close to 11pm, and the activity buzzing around us made us feel like it more like 11 in the morning. It was a party from the second we walked in!

We stayed at The Silver Legacy.

BEST DECISION EVER.

You don’t even need to step outside…unless you dig those McDonalds Egg McMuffins, like we do, then you simply must walk across the street! Otherwise, since The Silver Legacy is connected to a few other casino/hotels, it was PERFECT. Everything we wanted was at our fingertips.

We didn’t need much. We wanted to have fun. It was my birthday for cryin out loud! Dancing, drinks, activity, food, games, prizes, live music, comedy shows, slot machines, craps, poker, spa, pool, hot tubs….it was all near us. Walking distance.

With no time to lose, we dropped our stuff in the room and headed back out into the action.

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We found some band members from Three Doors Down. They ended up being SUPER nice!IMG_4468IMG_4469

These guys found a big chair.IMG_4477

Nicolle found a giant elephant.

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I then had to save said elephant.IMG_4667

 

I found my happy place…IMG_4671

 

We made it until the wee hours of the morning. Then we needed a bit of sleep.

The next day was already here. I had BIG plans for the next day. Circus Circus. I am a grown up child. I would much rather play circus games than the slot machines, so that was the plan. Coffee, food and then GAMES!

One of us was WAY happier about Starbucks than the other.
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Game time!

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SUCCESS! Our loot!IMG_4674

YAY, MORE Friends joined us for the rest of the trip!

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Have YOU ever had a BEER FLOAT? Holy MESS!IMG_4679 IMG_4680 IMG_4678

Comedy show time!IMG_4681

FINALLY, sometime around midnight…or 2am…or 4ish…I really have NO idea what time it was….I got some birthday cake! Mmmmm! IMG_4682

Annnnnddd….our trip was complete. Fun was had. Laughter was abounding.

Super SUCCESSFUL little get-a-way. We will do it again. Hopefully sooner than later.

Some of our best little get-a-ways have been the ones we hardly even planned…

 

 

Ahhhhh…..New York!

I recently visited the East Coast. It was cold. It was awesome.

Spent some time with my mom, sister, her fiancé annndddd his family. Seriously AWESOME people. No really, do you ever meet new people and think to yourself, REALLY?!?! Are these people really this amazing? Yep, really! Met some new amazing people. Glad they will soon be a part of my extended family.

They threw an INCREDIBLE engagement party for my sis and her man. See the happy couple below!

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Me, my mom and my sisterMe, mom and sis

 

Teehee, its Aunt Linda!Aunt Linda and sister

Rob (or Robbie, the fiancé), Jaubrie (my sister) and Pam & Rob (Robbie’s parents) IMG_4090

Then….yes, then we skipped on over to the Big Apple to have a little more fun!

We pahked ahr cah in Jewsey….Jersey with NY in the background

We checked out Central ParkSis, Rob and Me

Obviously, we hit The Plaza. Had to see what sitting at the bar in the Plaza was like!
The tree at The Plaza

We found amazing NutcrackersGIANT Nutcracker

We were guest judges on The Voice….ok, maybe not exactly that…
I want YOU

We hung out with the NYPD…obviously…NYPD Yo!

Let me remind you all, NY knows how to PARTY…and in honor of our limited amount of time in The Big Apple, we kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning…yes, we were hailing a taxi at 4:30am to go back to our hotel.

Let me also tell you all, I am SOOOOO VERY THANKFUL that tattoo parlors are NOT open at 4:30am. Someone in our little party (no need to name names…MY SISTER…) was extremely insistent upon getting a tat immediately!

And although there was much, MUCH more to our trip….I don’t feel the need to bore any of you….EXCEPT….for our  visit to FAO Schwarts…

For you, MY FRIENDS….

This EXCLUSIVE video…. Only seen within my home prior to this….

Yes, I did get yelled at…and then ran away embarrassed!

 

************* WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER ***********

JAYMA MALME

Congratulations doll face!! Tweet me, email me, FB me or snail mail me your shipping address!

*Note to EVERYONE: Thanks SOOOO very much for entering my first giveaway. It was a HUGE success. Everyone who entered was assigned a number and I used www.random.org to generate the winning number.

*******************************************************

We aren’t really snackers. Unless the kids are bored, then they can’t seem to eat enough. But generally, we eat the normal 3 meals a day and that is really all we consume.

Unless we are going on a road trip.

Then, all rules, regulations and calories go OUT THE WINDOW.

We eat. and eat. aaannnnnddddd eat.

*insert random topic switch*

The other day, I got this email saying something like “Hey, you’re super awesome and we love how many people love you you seem to have a nice little following and we would like to send you our product to try and then offer a sweet giveaway to your readers, would you mind if we did that?”

I responded with “DUH!! Here is my shipping address!”

AFTER THAT, I researched the company and made sure they were legit! (my bad, I will try harder to swap these last 2 steps in the future.)

*switching back to previous topic*

You know what snacks I actually do like that are healthy…. APPLES. I really do love a good apple. Whole or sliced. Plain or dipped in peanut butter.

Of course, the best way to enjoy an apple is on a stick, dipped and lathered in caramel…..

But, have you ever had DRIED APPLES?

HOLY MMMMMmmmmm!

*topic switch*

GUESS WHO THAT COMPANY WAS?

Bare Fruit

FRUIT UNDRESSED! aka…. NAKED FRUIT!

*topic flip flop*

We loaded up the truck, packed the few snacks I could find in the pantry and then the kids noticed the box on the front porch.

*TOPIC MERGE – watch how smooth this is!*

I squealed with delight as I opened the box….. it was my free sample (HUGE BAG) of Cinnamon Apple Chips.

Oh my heavens….DELICIOUS!

Sweet, tart, organic, crunchy, gluten free, cinnamonny deliciousness.

There is a slight chance I didn’t share much.

So, they were excited that I enjoyed their product and want to offer one of my readers a FREE CASE. Entry is EASY.

1 – Like them on Facebook – click here –> Bare Fruit on Facebook and click the little like box

2 – Enter a comment below including your name, and make sure I can contact you if you win.

Deadline to enter is Tuesday, July 24th.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 25th.

I will use a random comment selector to pick the winner, so make sure you enter the comment!

Alright….are you ready?

K, GO, FIGHT, WIN!!!

 

Preface: We overbooked a few weeks this summer but CHOSE not to back out of any of it.

A quick Friday afternoon to Sunday morning camping trip.

It’s only 50 miles away. But it will take at least 3 hours to get there.

I need a drink for this drive.

I. LOVE. SQUIRT.

Giant love hearts. *swoooon*

One more quick stop, to “top off” the propane tank. That was already full. And we missed the minimum 5 gallon purchase sign. AT $3.47 a gallon.

That was an expensive top off.

Then we drove.

and drove.

aaannnndddd drove.

Around the lake.

For like ever.

And then we arrived.

A meadow in the middle of nowhere the trees. A little flat opening begging for tents and campers. No sign of the lake that we just drove around for HOURS.

No cell signal.

No electricity.

No toilet.

Again, no sign of the lake.

But there were bears.

I can do this.

I CAN DO THIS.

We had a GREAT time. We laughed, we rode bikes, rode quads, played card games, shot BB Guns, paint ball guns…

Time to rush home.

Commence 3+ hour drive home.

We broke down.

Notice the CLIFF on the left side.

And the MOUNTAIN on the other side.

Enter MacGyver.

The dude has brains.

Like MAD SKILLZ BRAINS.

After about 45 minutes or so, he got the truck running, with fear of it shutting off again, we BOLTED. Driving like mad around this bumpy, windy, scary dirt road.

Did you hear the BUMPY part?

We hit a bump a bit too hard. Huz says “UH OH.”

With the fear of the truck shutting off, we are in super frenzy mode to check the bikes on the bike rack.

This is what they looked like at the beginning of the trip.

They did NOT look like this anymore. They where on the ground.

Giant metal hitch mount rack = broken.

In lightening speed, we unhooked and untangled all the bikes, stuffed them all inside the camper and jumped back in the truck.

We made it home.

Just in time to shower, re-pack the 8yo and drive him up to his bible camp and race back a dinner party.

I forgot what I was coming home to.

Just before we left, the closet broke. Again.

HUGE MESS.

Current truck status: 98% fixed – turns out the alternator died.

Current bike status: 70% ok

Out of 4 bikes….

- one bent wheel
- one severed brake line
- one destroyed drink holder

Current closet status: 12% worse

Time to pack for the next trip.

 

Apparently I’m “THAT” Mom….

Yep. “That” kind of mom.

I really hope I don’t look as trashy in real life as I often FEEL.

We went “camping” last weekend. I put camping in quotes because we drove approximately 15 minutes from our house to a swanky RV Resort. With a swanky pool and a SPA. No, not the hot tub, which they has as well. A SPA…as in mani’s & pedi’s.

Well….

We had a GREAT time. Just hanging out with some good friends.

Dave even got us matching shirts & hats to celebrate our trip..


But the magic happened on the 2nd day… when my confidence was at its high.

Dude. I work out. I’m like fit in stuff. ISH. (I like to add ‘ish’ to the end of words in order to make them apply better.)

You play basketball…ya, well I can too.

You play football….ya, well ME TOO.

You can ride a RIP STIK…. Uh, duh….MEEE TOOOOO.

Oh wait…..

This little evil board of death only has 2, that’s right,
T-W-O WHEELS. And it’s all TWISTY in the center.

But NOOOOO…..

Do you really think that stopped me?

The crash was spectacular.

Some day I will learn to act my age.

Which also means some day I will accept my 30-something-ish age.

Some. Day.

It’s possible when that day comes upon me, I will be able to lay on my right side again.

Oh, that will be fantastic!

 

BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT…….EVER!

We drove down to Sacramento to see the amazing combination of Cirque Du Soleil & Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour. I was SOOO excited I could barely stand it. Two things that I LOVE. Together. In one shiny package.

We got the tickets in the middle of the road. Not the cheap seats, but not a box where they feed you or on the floor next to the stage. I thought our seats were excellent.

We got there early. We people watched. We giggled about the age range of fans that were in the audience. We admired all the iPhones around us and yes, I did ask the stranger in front of me what tags he was using as he was posting images to Instagram.

The music started. The lights dimmed.

The older gal next to Bryan YELLS “WE MISS YOU MICHAEL!”

A few characters appear on stage and the show begins. The skill of the dancers is almost unbearable. There were points where our jaws where dropped.

The music was outstanding. Obviously it was all Michael Jackson music, but the fact that it was all played LIVE with the exception of the audio of MJ… we were blown away. We felt each beat run through our bodies.

The ability for so many musicians and dancers to be perfectly in sync. The lights, the fog, the dynamics…so spectacular.

Fabulous is an understatement for the Lead Character in the show. He was phenomenal.

The slightly inebriated young ladies sitting next to me kept repeating “oh no he didn’t!”

Here’s the BUT…..

The mix of Cirque and MJ is where things got just a TINY bit disappointing. We’ve only seen one other Cirque show, Mystere, in 1998. I had NEVER seen anything like it. It was unbelievable and amazing mixed with spectacular jaw dropping stunts.

The combo of this MJ show didn’t mix enough true Cirque stunts. I expected trapeze work and trampolines. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few moments of incredible tumbling and work on the rings…but those where just a few moments in between dance numbers. And again, those dance numbers were magnificent!

Overall I would HIGHLY recommend this show. Without a doubt. But I would have liked to have my expectations set ahead of time.

Here is what to expect:

Fantastic, Amazing, Skillful, Stunning, Spectacular and Mind-Blowing music, dancing, lights, pyro-technics, stage effects and more.

Here’s what not to expect:

A traditional Cirque Du Soleil show.

——

One more pic before I hit publish…it has nothing to do with the show, but this is my post and it was my birthday….so there.

Here’s me and my hot date!

 

Biggest little weekend of Nostalgic FUN!

Great friends + road trip + Reno, NV = AWESOME WEEKEND!

I grew up here in NorCal and my parents would often pick us up from school on Friday and drive straight to Reno, NV for the weekend.

We often stayed at the Circus Circus hotel and obviously as kids we LOVED the Midway area. Games galore! Whenever we went on these spontaneous trips, my dad was always super generous. And by generous, I mean handing us money left and right to play games. Often he would even go to the carnival area and play the games with us. I remember this chicken flinging game…

I have GREAT memories of Reno, NV. Whether we were there for a car show (we never missed Hot August Nights, often we took one of my dads classic cars to show off) or just there for a quick weekend trip, it was NEVER a drag. My dad loved to gamble, and I remember him winning most of the time.

We ALWAYS ate at the steakhouse in Circus Circus called The Hickory Pit. I don’t believe it is called that anymore. We ordered the Prime Rib EVERY time.

I absolutely LOVE things that bring back super happy memories of my dad!!

Nostalgia.

This weekend was FULL of it. And it was good!

Some friends purchased a new car and had to pick it up in Reno. Therefore, they needed someone to take them to Reno. Our other friends offered to drive them. Either we invited ourselves or were invited to tag along…regardless of WHY we were going, we WERE going!!! Maybe we are cheap entertainment….

We shopped (AND shopped….AND SHOPPED) for HOURS.


This is why I can’t buy tall boots. I lack much distance between my bottom and feet. Although I must admit the UGG selection at this particular store was UH-MAZING!

Trish bought these and I was UBER-JEALOUS because I wanted the black ones and they didn’t have my size.

Hubs spoiled me with a hot new pair of jeans though. I can’t post the picture I have showing the jeans….

Then we got all dolled up to hit the town.

Me & Bry

Trish & Dave

Steve & Shannon

The whole crew

The girls…

The boys

Ooops, I meant to select this one…
 

We had pretty specific requirements for the evening.

1. TO HAVE FUN.

Ok, that was pretty much our only requirement. I may or may not have INSISTED that we go to Circus Circus.

We ate dinner at 11pm. Yes, 11pm.

Sometimes (ok, most of the time) I may be so whiney that I get my way….

We went to Circus Circus.

I FOUND THE CHICKEN GAME!

Yes, I got 1 out of about 8 chickens in a pot. I won a stuffed $100 bill. It was awesome.

We left Circus Circus shortly after I flung chickens across the room. We wanted to see other places.

We went across the street to the Silver Legacy. I should clarify that none of us are gamblers. We are ALL shoppers though. In case you didn’t know…

We walked around this casino looking at all the sights and flashing lights. We people watched. A couple of us decided to go out on a limb and put $5 into a penny slot machine. There are like 12 buttons you have to push in order to get the bar to pull down. It was complicated. I found this fabulous button that said repeat bet. I just pushed that over and over. Then as my huge amount was dwindling down, I selected the x20 per line button (or something like that). I won. It started dinging and flashing. I thought I may have hit a jackpot…I didn’t. I won $27. I was just as happy! I cashed out and was thrilled! My friend saw what button I pushed and she pushed that same button on her machine. She won also. She won $41. She cashed out as well. We were totally excited. We gambled for approximately 3 and a half minutes.

Then…..yes, then we went dancing!


(I have no idea what is happening here…)

The 6 of us danced and danced and danced. We LAUGHED until we cried. I think everyone should go dancing once in a while!

In fact, everyone should go to Reno once in a while. It was pretty much the best couples date night (and day) ever!

A Cruise with my own Paparazzi!

I was invited on a little trip. Just a simple little cruise to the Bahamas.

I had to weigh the pro’s & con’s. I only had one con. My husband was not invited.

But he put the phone call on speaker and said “Absolutely YES, I should go.” How could I argue with that! ;o)

4 day/5 night cruise from Port Canaveral, FL to the Bahamas on the Carnival Sensation. Heeeeerrrrreeeeee we go!

I wasn’t sure what this trip was going to entail since I was with my mom, an aunt, uncle, a boatload of cousins I had never met, my sister, her boyfriend…..and…..their hair stylist!

Yep, that’s right, they brought their HAIR STYLIST.

With such a large crowd, we didn’t need to all do the same stuff all the time, so I ended up spending some much needed time with my sister. With my sister came the boyfriend and the hair stylist. Sis & boyfriend were all cute and cuddly, that left me roaming the boat & the Bahamas with the hair stylist whom was MALE.  Awkward…..right….NOPE, not at all, wanna know why???

I GAVE HIM MY CAMERA!

WE HAD OUR OWN PAPARAZZI!

It was a BLAST!

We decided from the very beginning we were adding a special ‘dynamic’ to our trip. Picture Crashing. We jumped in MANY other peoples family pictures. We attacked random strangers and took pictures with them. We took advantage of as many opportunities as possible…. WE…HAD…FUN!

Here is my mom, my sister & her boyfriend.

He (Adam, the boyfriend) didn’t get the memo that we were picture crashing OTHER peoples pictures. NOT our own!

Here are a few complete strangers we found along the way….

I crashed the comedy show stage….

I sort of attacked the cruise director…..TWICE….

Fun times OFF the boat…just stepped off the boat with my sis & mom….we look soooo full of attitude!

We went to Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and had a TON of fun….we learned that there was a suite that used to be owned by Michael Jackson that now gets rented out for $25,000 a night. MJ is inspiring! ;o)

The fabulous cartwheel picture…

I have umpteen million more pictures…..but I think your eyes are likely bleeding by now. I will close with one more picture. Me and my momma. Mom, you are the VERY BEST and I can’t  thank you enough for such an AMAZING trip. I LOVE you TONS and cannot wait for our next trip!

Ok, I lied….just one more picture….

Are you ready for this????

Love you sister!!

So, here’s what happened, I see this awesome tweet by CarrieWChildren (who’s like a rockstar blogger, with like badges n stuff…)

I was all ‘awww, sad, nobody wants to help her out???’  BUT WAIT, maybe, JUST maybe I CAN DO IT….**MAYBE**

So I say, “Hey, I love to travel and I’m a pretty good non-professional travel agent n stuff…”

And I wait.

And wait.

I figured this classy gal probably doesn’t even follow lil ol me on twitter…just kiddin, I wasn’t really feeling that sorry for myself.

AND THEN SHE REPLIED. AND SAID YES!!!

*read the following at 10x the speed you would normally read* CRAP. What I have done. I have no idea what I am doing. Sure I love to travel, but to write about it?? What was I thinking?  I don’t even really know how to write. I just created a blog to goof around. I’m NOT a blogger…..

Well……here goes nothin! Follow me as we jump over to Carrie With Children and her Travel Tuesday section. We’re talking land, sea and air. Just click the little badge below!

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