Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dan's Haircut

I've been meaning to post these videos for a few weeks. Dan was asked to make a cameo appearance during his school's spring concert. They had an opera theme this year, so every grade sang classical opera songs in different languages. It was really impressive and the kids did a fantastic job, as always! I posted the video in a a few parts since there's a file size limit on downloading video. Sorry it's so choppy, but hopefully you get the idea of how cute it was. Enjoy!

The kids did an amazing job!

Who is that hairy man?

Ahh, much better!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

Dan was on spring break for two weeks, and his parents flew out to spend time with us! I didn't expect to get any time off from work, but thankfully some big projects were postponed, so I asked for a week of vacation time. There's nothing better than getting unexpected time off!

Dan's folks had a timeshare week they were itching to use, and we were more than happy to help them out! :) Plan A was to spend the week in San Francisco, but all the timeshares were booked solid there. So we quickly moved to Plan B ... Vegas, Baby!! All of us had been there for very brief visits before, but we were excited to explore the city and enjoy the hot summery weather for a week.

The iconic sign: Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!

Soon after we arrived, we met up with my former co-worker, Gary. He lives in the area and introduced us to one of our favorite new spots - Serendipity 3. They had the most decadent desserts, and it was fun to catch up with Gary since our days in Colorado.

Some of the best places to visit "in Las Vegas" are outside the city. We packed a picnic lunch and took a day trip to Hoover Dam.

We took a tour to see some of the inner workings of the dam, like the power generators.

Standing on the state line. Dad & Mom are in Nevada and Dan & I are in Arizona!

The new overlook bridge they built recently. It is high.

The spectacular view of Hoover Dam from the new bridge

Back to Las Vegas to enjoy The Strip at night!

No visit would be complete without watching the beautiful Bellagio fountain show

Or the volcano eruption at The Mirage

The next day, we went bargain hunting for show tickets

We saw "Jersey Boys: the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons". It was a great story and the singer who played Frankie Valli had the most incredible voice!

We spent an evening at the "Fremont Street Experience". This is in an older section of Las Vegas that's not super clean or safe, but they've worked hard to make Fremont Street more attractive to tourists. I was in sensory overload most of the time we were there - it was bustling with crowds, nonstop loud music, flashing lights everywhere, and crazy people dressed up in an assortment of costumes. I had to post some videos to give you an idea of how entertaining it was!

One of the street performers we enjoyed

Every hour, they showed a music video on the "ceiling" of Fremont Street. Everyone just stopped where they were and watched. We were told to keep one hand on our wallets, since this is a pickpocket's dream come true!

There was even a zipline above the street, so on top of everything else going on, you'd randomly hear people shreiking overhead.

This street artist was absolutely amazing! He sculpted people's faces in clay while they sat there. We saw him sculpt two people, and he really captured them!

We *somehow* found ourselves back at Serendipity 3 for dessert at 11 pm. You know what they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! (tell that to my scale - ha!)

We ordered two "Forbidden Broadway Sundaes" and split them. They were as big as our heads and full of chocolatey goodness!

We actually did no gambling while we were in Vegas, but we stopped in several casinos to see their decorations. The Bellagio had a gorgeous botanical garden.

The Venetian had elaborate ceilings (like the one above), and a canal that ran through their shopping mall, complete with gondolas!

New York, New York was fun to view from the outside. It wasn't as picture-worthy on the inside.

While we were in the area, we HAD to stop in the M&Ms store. Look at all the colors! Plus, you could personalize your M&Ms to say whatever you wanted.

This is what happens when Dan leaves me alone with a giant chocolate candy man. I just can't help myself! :)

The M&Ms race car

The MGM had a lion exhibit. Two lionesses were sleeping right on top of the viewer walkway when we stopped there the first time. I think it is so they'll be closer to their prey when the glass finally breaks!

They looked like roadkill from below. We walked back there later that day, and they were actually awake and playing with rubber balls.

We spent another fun day outside the city at Red Rocks Canyon.

Proof that the CR-V is still kickin' and taking us on fun road trips!

It was SUPER windy that day! Dan & Dad are leaning into the wind so they won't get blown away.

A beautiful view of the canyon and some Joshua trees

Our last night in Vegas, we saw Cirque du Soleil's "Ka". It was different from the typical Cirque shows we've seen, but I really enjoyed it. It told a clear story and the special effects they created with the stage were incredible!

It was a wonderful vacation, and we were thankful that Dan's parents could come and spend spring break with us. They're so fun to spend time with, and they're up for any adventure! :)

We weren't sure at first how we'd fill an entire week in Vegas since none of us is into gaming & gambling, which is all you hear about Las Vegas, but we actually ran out of time to do everything we wanted to! Besides all the sight-seeing, we also enjoyed our nice pool at the condo since the weather was in the 80s and 90s, and I squeezed in a couple of 4-mile runs, too, since I'm getting close enough to my half marathon that it's not a good idea to skip a week.

I think Dan and I may go back to Vegas again sometime soon to lounge by the pool and catch some shows that we weren't able to fit in last week!