Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vegas Baby!

The strip taken from the front of our hotel (Harrahs)
So our trip to Vegas has come and gone and I am sitting here wishing that it hadn't. It sucks that you spend months (sometime longer) planning and waiting and fantasizing about a vacation and then in a blink of an eye it's over. Why can't it be the other way around? It's like making a turkey dinner... You spend ALL day in the kitchen, basting and peeling and washing and cooking, and after you put your masterpiece meal on the table, everyone dives in and within 15 minutes, all thats left of an entire days work is more work. UGH. (sorry for the run-on sentence!)

Anyways, Oh my goodness what a great time in Vegas! If you've never been to sin city, you need to go!

My big brother Jody and his beautiful fiance Casey finally tied the knot, and a Vegas wedding was the way to do it! 4 entire days of sheer weddingy bliss (and my first vacation since our honey moon 8 years ago)!

Day 1 - We left our house at 5:30am in order to pick up our travel comrads (Jody, Casey, Adam, Lubi) and get to the Bellingham airport for our 9:30am flight. Once at the airport we were greeted by 4  more travel buddies which meant the party was officially starting! All 10 of us boarded the plane full of excitment, anticipation, and of course, a litte booze. Okay okay, alot of booze. (for those of you that don't know, Dan has a small fear of flying so we had him pretty much blitzed before the plane even took off the ground)...

Our plane finally touched down in hot sunny Las Vegas at 11:35am (where we joined the rest of our 32 travel comrads) and we were in a cab and off to the hotel by noon.  We all did a quick wardrobe change ( in otherwords, stripped off our hoodies and sweats and slipped on something a little less comfortable and a little more revealing ;) ) and then we're off to enjoy the days festivities (being 2 nights before the wedding it only made sense that the first night in vegas be the stag/stagette).  So, the men all went one way and the ladies went another.  The events that followed are unfortunately top secret and will only be revealed via torture method. I will however say, if you happen to see any pictures of me floating around facebook from this night, the ones of me dancing around and or on a stripper pole are photoshopped.

Day 2 - Waking up the morning after the stag/stagette was a bit of a challenge. In fact, most parties involved did not see the light of day till the mid afternoon ...I on the otherhand was wide awake at the crack of dawn. Even though my head didn't grace my pillow until nearly 4am, my internal alarm had me opening curtains and throwin' on a swimsuit by 9am. While everyone else slept the day away I went down to the pool and lounged in the 36 degree sun - much to my surprise, the groom (my brother) joined me for a while too. Anyways, after developing a rather severe headache from too much "fun", followed by not enough sleep, followed by
too much sun, I returned to my room to wake the sleeping dead.

Dan and I sitting outside of Ceasars Palace
Day 2 was pretty much a "free day" for everyone so Dan, Adam, Lubi, and I decided to take advantage of the free time and cruise the strip a little. I really am in awe of how amazing the Las Vegas architecture is. Every hotel I went in to had something different and something amazing. Each hotel was unique and so beautiful. You could literally spend an entire week just walking down the strip, taking everything in. So much to see. My favorite hotel was the Luxor - I would LOVE to go back to Vegas and stay there.. so cool! We also made a quick stop at New York New York to ride the rollercoaster which was awesome ( of course). My shoulders ended up bruising a little which I was not a fan of but the thrill of the ride made the after pain worth it! ( I am a huge rollercoaster junkie!).

Adam & Lubi strollin' down the street
After a long day of walking, shopping, and sight-seeing, the 4 of us joined back up with the rest of the group and went for dinner at margaritaville. As it turns out, I Love margaritaville... actually, I just love margaritas. Have you ever walked down a crowded street in 36 degree weather while drinking a margarita? It's lovely. Anyways, after dinner everyone went out and hit up a club so again Dan, Adam, Lubi and I decided to take a strole back down the strip to see some more of the sights. We managed to take in the Treasure Island show ( which was totally lame because we were too far away to really see anything) and then we saw the Bellagio Fountains which were so incredible. Probably one of my favorite moments in Vegas. We turned in about 2am that night to try and get rested up for the wedding the next day.

The Wedding Garden Chapel

Day 3 - The moment everyone had been waiting for..... The Wedding! I wasn't sure what to expect from a Las Vegas wedding - the only reference I had to a Las Vegas wedding was from that movie with Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz... I can't remember the name of it. Anyways, turns out that Las Vegas actually knows how to do weddings!!
I spent most of the morning/afternoon with Casey in her room while she got prepared for her big day. She has a couple ladies come in and do her hair and makeup while I force fed her a bagel and some fruit. Her hands were shaking so bad and she kept saying " it's really weird, I feel so nervous but yet i'm not nervous" She was funny. And SOOOOO nervous! I would have been nervous too had I been commiting to spend the rest of my life with my brother. I guess it's a little different for her though seeing as Jody isn't her brother... whatever, maybe that's a moo point. ( Did I use that right? Ever see the episode on friends where Joey says 'moo point' .. i've always wanted to try that saying out... i'm not sure how I feel about it now though, kind of feels weird and too random. Wow, if anything is random, it's this rabbit trail I am going down right now... okay, back to the story). Finally around 2:15pm Casey was ready and looking stunning! Jody and his BFF took a limo to the chapel ( just the two of them in one huge limo) and a few of us took another Limo to the chapel with Casey ( and by a few I mean 8 of us... it was so squishy... who got the bum end of that deal? Selfish men.) Anyways... we arrived at the chapel in one piece and that's all that matters ;)
The ceremony was short but really beautiful. At one point though it got a little uncomfortable when Jody tried to put Casey's ring on her finger and it wouldnt fit because her fingers were too swollen from all the salt in the margaritas the day before... umm, AWKWARD haha. Anyways, I somehow managed to hold it together and not make a crying fool of myself ( Probably due to the fact that Jody and Casey cannot be serious for longer than 3 minutes at a time and had everyone rollin' in laughter for the whole service...)

Jody & Casey walkin' after ceremony
After the I do's , we all walked from the chapel down to Fremont Street - another really amazing thing to see while in Vegas. Unfortunatley we were there in the afternoon so the light show wasn't happening but it was still a really cool street to visit! And the best part of fremont street... there is a margarita stand every 50 feet! Guess where our first stop was? :) A few of the people in our group found these gigantic football cups which held probably close to 50 ounces of fluid - they were half vodka half redbull... lets just say, those few people didn't last as long as the rest of us that day! Only in Vegas!

The after wedding dinner was held at the Gratto restaurant in the Golden Nugget Casino - the food was a'ight but the company was fantastic. There is nothing better than sitting down in a restaurant with a massive group of people who are happy and high on life ( or something else haha). Dan and I met alot of really cool people on this trip (friends and family of the bride and groom) and it was so much fun to be able to share this experience with all of them!

At Gratto after ceremony

That night the group split up and people scattered in all directions... Some went to see shows, others went to a concert, some just hung out at the casinos, but Dan and I got to hang with the bride and groom which I was super happy about. When you're traveling with a large group of people, all of whom are fighting for the attention of the same people, it can get interesting. I felt special that My brother chose to spend his evening with Dan and I when all his friends were there wanting to spend time with him too! Anyways... we just went back to margaritaville, had some drinks, late night food, and danced a bit - it was very enjoyable :)

umm... wow

me at midnight ..I haven't been up this late in years!

Jody, Casey, Me, Donna (Jodys sister), Donna (Caseys aunt) at Margaritaville
Day 4 - Sadly, our last day in Vegas. Not much to write home about from this day .... I woke up this day a little sad and a little happy. Sad because my first vacation in 8 years was coming to an end, but happy because I was finally on my way home to see my babies. Everyone from our party that was staying in our hotel met up in the lobby at 11am to checkout, then headed out for breakfast. We started off at Denny's but decided that waiting for 25 minutes on our last day in Vegas was just not an option... so we chose the next best thing... subway!! Mmmm mmmm good! Subway breakfast sandwhiches are one of my new favorite things! Anyways.. After breakfast, Dan, Jody, Casey, and I jumped into a cab and headed down to the Sahara hotel and Casino to go for a quick ( and I do mean quick) ride on the rollercoaster there.
If you ever go to Vegas and want a thrill... go for a ride on the SPEED at the Sahara. Oh My Lanta! I have never gotten off of a rollercoaster and been unable to feel my limbs before! This ride made me shake from head to toe! the rollercoaster goes from 0 to 70 (MPH) in like 2 seconds.. the entire ride only lasted for 28 seconds. It was absolutely insane. I didn't even realize what was happening until we were stopped again. Really, no matter how much I try to describe the ride, you won't understand. Just try it if you ever get the chance! So much fun!

After the rollercoaster, we all split up again and spent the last 2 hrs in Vegas on our own. Pretty much everyone just enjoyed a nice stroll down the strip with a margarita and took it the last few moments of sunshine... But not Dan and I. Nope! I decided that I wanted to use our last 2 hours to see miracle mile. So stupid. We literally had to jog to the shopping center because it was so far away and by the time we got there we only had about 15 minutes to look around before we had to turn and jog back. This mall is huge! 15 minutes doesnt even come close to scratching the surface. However, In those 15 minutes, I did manage to find a really great bag for my girlfriend Christina ( who took my baby for the 4 days we were gone, bless her poor exhausted heart! haha) so that kinda made the rushed trip all worth it. And then once we got back to the hotel, we picked up our luggage and jumped in a cab and headed off to the airport. The end.

Just kidding... You really think I would end my blog like that? Actually... I guess I kinda can end it there.. I've been writing this stupid blog for the better part of three days and I am kinda running out of steam! All in all, our trip was fantastic! If I ever get the chance to go to Las Vegas again, I will do it in a heart beat! So much to see, so much to do, and it really is just a fun city (maybe due to the margaritas?).

So.... when we goin' again?