Tuesday, October 24, 2017

las vegas


This weekend was my fall break and my favorite band also happened to be playing in Vegas, plus we found $70 plane tickets and it was kind of all just a match made in heaven to take the trip! We flew out on Saturday and came back Monday, so it was very quick but really fun!


 It's going to be extremely difficult to ever drive to Vegas ever again. Flying was SO fast and convenient. Of course we took our Just Porter bags. I have talked about them many times before but they are the only bags we travel with. Plus for every bag you buy they donate a backpack full of school supplies to a student in need. We were given our first bag (Marks gray one) and then loved it so much we purchased mine (bigger and green).

After we checked into our hotel (Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino-off the strip but brand new and I highly recommend) we hurried to get ready for the night and headed to a buffet that Mark had heard about, the Bacchanal Buffet inside Caesar's Palace. I haven't been to a buffet in probably like ten years and I forgot how wonderful and crappy it is at the same time. I loved that Mark and I didn't have to decide what to eat-we each were able to have what we wanted. I hated how I felt after. Haha! The desserts here were all miniature, think miniature lava cake, tiramisu, creme brûlée, etc. That was the best part besides the spicy sausage.

My face when I realized how many calories I just consumed

 We were seeing Elton John in Caesar's Palace and we had an hour or so to kill before we needed to be at the concert hall so we decided to sit down and play some penny slots. I chose this Dolly Parton one because I thought it was funny.I have never played penny slots before so I just started pressing way random buttons. I ended up winning $80 in less than five minutes. Mark was in shock and we were both laughing so hard. Right after that I ran into a student who said..."Mrs. H??? Vegas....why!??!" and was in total shock. It was extremely funny to me.
 Elton John was so fantastic-better than I anticipated. The one downside is the seats are SO packed in there and I was sitting next to a person who should have purchased two seats and the girls next to Mark were very drunk and kept spilling beer all over him so we were very uncomfortable but tried to make the best of it!  
If you know me, like really know me, I have probably serenaded you with either Tiny Dancer or Bitch is Back. My sister is an EJ super fan so I think some rubbed off on me.  He was looking very old and kind of hobbling around so I don't know how much longer he will perform-I would highly recommend seeing him before he ends his residency!

The next day we woke up and ordered room service for the first time ever. The hotel we stayed at had very affordable room service. We got two breakfast meals that came with a drink for $20 total. It was really yummy too! Then we went shopping at the North Outlets which are huge and wonderful. They have a mix of designer stuff (I purchased my very first designer bag with some of my penny slot money!) and more affordable stuff. They have a great Adidas and Nike outlet as well. It was worth the stop! We spent a few hours there. 

Awkward selfies but I did my makeup really well this whole trip but you can't quite even see it-bummer.


 Of course we had to stop at Gyu Kaku, our favorite Yakiniku place! They have locations pretty much everywhere except Utah. Boo.

 The concert itself was so incredible! We had previously seen Arcade Fire when we were first married and it was good, but this one was great. I am not sure I have been to a better concert. The stage was square and the band constantly was rotating around, it felt like such an intimate party even though there were 12,000 people there. It was just so good! I am not one to sing and dance at concerts because I get too concerned about what other people think of me, but I was going crazy. 




The concert was at Mandalay Bay, which I was a little stressed about in light of recent events. They had heightened security-we went through multiple checkpoints and there were guards everywhere. Across the street where the shooting actually happened was completely untouched. They had roped everything off with caution tape and all the signs, garbage, stage etc was still there. It was incredibly sad and left me with an indescribable feeling. Especially because we were across the street attending a concert to have a good time, exactly what the concert goers were doing a few weeks ago. Here is the list of Go Fund Me accounts associated with the shooting. Here is a list of 30 things you can do to aide gun reform.
I don't believe in outlawing guns, we have one so I can feel safe when Mark is gone, but I do believe that no one needs a gun that holds so many bullets. When people talk about the Constitution and what our founding fathers would have wanted that doesn't make sense to me, their guns only held one bullet. They were still killing people with bayonets. Times have changed. As the weeks drag on from the Las Vegas shooting, people aren't talking about this issue anymore. We can't forget. Seeing the scene of the shooting really was a huge part of our trip for me and something I can't easily move past. 

Sorry to end this post on a "downer" but I don't feel right wasting any "influencer" power I have on superficial things when there are real fights to be fought.
We had a great time in Vegas and it was touching to see how the people of Vegas have rallied. I did get strep throat from the plane germs (??) or something, so I am down for a few days but hoping to get it together soon so I can celebrate Halloween! 
Have a good week!
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Los Angeles

Mark and I took a mini vacation last week! It was nice to get away and I have never really been to LA before so it was interesting to explore. We went to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl while we were there and all of the people I follow who live in LA were also there...and I saw no one. Haha! 
All of our Lyft drivers were so passionate about living in LA and while I get the appeal I would never ever live there. I just don't really see myself ever living in California in general! However it was nice to have a lot of services like Postmates and things like that, especially since we forgot shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste, we were able to Postmates it! Plus our airbnb owner offered to order us stuff from 2 hour Amazon prime! It's probably good we don't live there because it would be way too easy to buy things.
We flew in early Friday and were lucky enough to be able to check in to our airbnb early. We had the cutest airbnb and I wish we could find an apartment with the same layout. It was super nice. We crashed for a little bit and then went and ate some Korean fried chicken! We stopped at LACMA for a few hours but we weren't able to see anything big because we didn't schedule ahead of time. It was pretty cool to see Picasso's paintings and sculptures in person though!
We headed back to the airbnb for some rest time (I was still recovering from pneumonia and not feeling awesome in general so we had to take it easy) but we didn't stay for long before heading to the Dodgers game! This was so fun. The stadium is very vintage looking and I really loved it! The one bad thing is we had a 12 year old's birthday party in front of us, they brought like seriously over 20 little boys and they were kind of really obnoxious. They all had iPhones and apple watches and it made me grossed out. Getting home was also really funny, they have a gated area where you wait for your Uber/Lyft to pull into a numbered stall and they don't let you out of the gate until you can tell the guard your ride's stall number. We got into this big gated area and since there were so many people taking up the cell service, both Mark and I had none so we had to wait at least half hour before we could even request our ride, and then we waited close to an hour for our ride to get there. It was pretty nuts!
The next day we went to lunch and sat next to a famous person, a rapper from Wu-Tang Clan! It was very L.A it seemed. Haha! After lunch we went to this crazy record store that was ginormous! I have never seen anything like it and it was truly packed! Very cool. After buying a few records we headed up to Griffith Observatory which was a really pretty place to walk around in. The wind was blowing so hard and I had a dress on, so that wasn't excellent. I just tried to have a Marilyn Monroe moment and be fine with it! We went home and got ready for the concert and headed to Hollywood Bowl. We were lucky that our airbnb was within walking distance of it so we didn't have to deal with traffic! The concert was really good and the Hollywood Bowl is just really cool in general. 
After the concert we went to a Japanese restaurant and it was really yummy! The next day we had breakfast at this place Mark had heard about that serves interesting meat. We had foie gras which is duck liver and it was seriously so good! I was very surprised. It's called Animal and I would highly recommend eating there!
It was a good weekend even though I didn't feel totally awesome, but I have felt really good since coming back so I am hoping to feel totally normal soon!





















 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg