Sunday, August 29, 2010

Straight out of a Pat Conroy Novel

We landed back in Seattle yesterday after spending a week in South Carolina. My images of the South are based off of what most of us rely on when we've never physically been somewhere: the media. The south to me, or at least the coastal south is full of moss covered trees and marshy beaches...basically how Pat Conroy has described it. And what a wonderful job he did. The real images matched my expectations. When asked what she might want from South Carolina Margaret joked that if I saw Mr. Conroy to grab a book and get an autograph, in which I replied I would grab two. Little to my knowledge that he lives on Fripp Island...and where did I spend 6 days last week? FRIPP ISLAND! No, I did not see him, but I thought it was a fun coincidence. Our trip was amazing, relaxing, and full of Ben's family who we hardly ever get to see. I'll post more pictures soon and tell some fun how there are alligators roaming around the island and on the golf course....scary. But until then here are some images of sweet South Carolina:

Off our back dock

By the boardwalk

Sunset off the dock

Gaye, Brian, and Ben
(It stormed this night as you can see from the clouds starting to form)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Viva Garth Vegas!

About six months ago, I got on a mailing list to be notified when Garth Brooks tickets were going on sale. Now I know some eyebrows just furrowed....and a question lept out of your mouth saying..."Garth Brooks?". Yes. Garth Brooks. He came out of retirement last year and is only playing shows at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, which are like gold to get your hands on. Why? Garth Brooks! The man used to sell out shows faster than anyone in history, and even if you think you do not know many GB are wrong. I bet you know at least least. Anyways, the tickets sold out uber fast, BUT if you got on the mailing list they saved some tickets...and lured you in with a package deal. An email came saying I had 48 hours to call and claim my concert tickets and two nights at the Wynn Resort...oh yes I will thank you. I think I called in three hours just to make sure they weren't really going to give my tickets away. SO a long story short, this last weekend two old married ladies traveled to VIVA LAS VEGAS! There were no heels worn, no clubs hopped, and minimal gambled, but Jordan and I had a blast!

We met in VLV around noon on Friday, walked out to a wall of heat and a taxi line that rivals any Disneyland ride and set out for the Wynn Resort. At first I was a little upset that we HAD to stay at the Wynn, but not when I walked through its front door. The resort is amazing (resembles Wonderland), so amazing, that Jordan and I jumped up and down when we saw our hotel bathroom. The bathroom people. Most people don't spend much time in their rooms in VLV, however it was so nice, it could have served as a vacation spot unto itself.

Friday afternoon was spent walking the strip, dodging in and out of casinos to 1) check them out, and 2) to get some much needed AC. Hot is an understatement. On our way back to the hotel we popped into the discount tickets area (I was looking for Cher) and saw Phantom of the Opera tickets 1/2 off...oh yes we will thank you. So we hurried back to the Wynn, showered and headed out to the Venetian where we got our free drink at Tao and off to the show. Apparently the Venetian spent $26 million to set up Phantom, and it was noticeable. The show was amazing (yes, I will be using that word a lot in this post). The actors were incredible, and the chandelier dropped it like it was hot. A burger at Margaritaville, one Bellagio water show, and two old married ladies were in bed by midnight (give us a little credit, this is WAY past our normal bedtimes and we had been up since 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. respectively).

Day 2 started off with Jordan sleeping in (a rarity for a mom with two almost two year old twins), and me swimming and lounging by the pool. I went down around 7:30 to avoid the crowds, but also because it was already 90 degrees. After a relaxing breakfast on the terrace we headed out to the older end of the strip and popped into Circus Circus. Now the last time I was in VLV, Jen, Greg, and I got stuck in Circus Circus...literally. We had to shoot out a back alley after wondering aimlessly for 20 minutes trying to find an exit. I do not have fond memories, but that is all changed. Not only did I win $8.70 on a penny machine (living the high life right?), but also played blackjack for an hour walking out with more money than I walked in with...woo hoo! We had as the sign said, "slots-o-fun." Back to the hotel, a chance meeting with an old college friend (Beth Wertz) and it was time to get ready for Garth! A pre-show mojito and we sat down to our front row balcony seats...about 12 rows away from GB (small scream of happiness).

There are few words to describe the show. It was Garth, his guitar, and a tour through his life including all the music that inspired him or his family. He played his classics, but also Haggard, Jones, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Elton John, Randy Travis, George Straight, etc. etc. etc. Even if you're not a country fan, or a GB fan, you would have still had a blast. He was hilarious, told all these great stories about how songs came about, sang a surprise duet with Trisha Yearwood, and the whole time was wearing Carhart jeans, a sweatshirt, and baseball hat. He was gracious, genuine, and very down to he played 30 minutes longer than expected, which was lame for the people waiting for the later concert I'm sure, but he could have played all night with no complaints in the audience. AMAZING!

Five hours of sleep and we were both back on planes out of VLV. It's definitely a different world down there, full of debauchery and any other word you can think of...but this old married lady had a fabulous time....slots o fun...if you will.