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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Las Vegas Light

When Michael's sister moved out to Las Vegas last August, we were sad to send her off to such a far away place but we also thought... Score! An awesome excuse to go on a Vegas Vacation!

But here's a fact that probably won't surprise you: Vegas has never been high on our list of places we have wanted to go.   But, guess what?  We loved it! So let me tell you about how we did Vegas, Blough Style...We'll call it Las Vegas Light. 

We are super thankful for having Jenelle and Junior host us for the week.  They were gracious hosts for allowing us to stay at their apartment and show us around their new stompin' grounds.

The nicest part about this vacation was it was was super chill.  We only had about three things that we absolutely wanted to do and see: See Jenelle's classroom, go to the Hoover Dam, and see the Las Vegas Strip.  So it was really great to spend 5 days doing those things and then casually deciding how else we were going to spend our time in Vegas.

The first full day of the trip we went to the Hoover Dam. Guess whose idea that was?  Yep! The other half of this blog's name: the nerd.

But it's not like I was against it! We had heard so many people say good things about the Hoover Dam, we just had to check it out.

It's only about an hour from Vegas so it is an easy day trip to make.  We highly recommend the extended tour.  You get to go deep inside the dam and the tour guide we had was fantastic! Well worth the $30 per person - especially if you are someone interested in engineering or American history.  Or if you are just a person. You'd probably like it too.  It was really good.
Although, I don't know if we can give quite the same blanket rave reviews about the museum that they have before you go on the tour.  It was hit or miss.

 Nerd Approved. 
Non-nerd not-so-approved. 

On Monday we went to Jenelle's classroom.  She teaches the 4th grade.  She won most creative for her "magic tree house" door decorations! Congrat's girl! I'm sure Ball State will be calling soon to film you and your door for one of those Education Redefined commercials.  Better keep the line open.

But seriously.  I love the ladder.  
It was really fun to see her classroom and hear about her kids.  It sounded like she has learned a lot this first year as a teacher.  The picture on the right is Jenelle and some of her reading buddies that she has for the kids to use during reading time.  Have you guys ever heard of Skippyjon Jones?  Neither had we but there may or may not have been an impromptu reading time in the classroom where we were introduced to him (the actual 4th graders were on spring break, it was just us).  I like him....for being a cat, or was he a chihuahua?  I'm still a little confused about that. 

Another thing we did was hit up some thrift stores in Vegas.  You know me, I love a good thrift store but it was a bit frustrating when the only thing feasible for me to buy needed to be able to fit in my suitcase.

But boundaries are probably a good thing to be added to my life so... I bought this scarf.  Because, you know, I have only, like, a couple (or 10) scarves.  Boundaries.  And wouldn't you know we just didn't have room in the suitcase for Michael to buy this shirt he found.  Darn suitcase weight restrictions! 

Ain't no boundary high enough or far enough to keep me from a ReStore! And look at this one we found in Las Vegas! And oh the things I would have purchased if I could have fit them on the plane!...
So. Much. Good. Stuff. SO MUCH! If you live in Las Vegas, would you do me a favor and go buy all the photo'd items.  The varying shades of sea glass tiles, the adorable coffee mugs, the lockers, the coolest headboards, this mirror, a $150 west elm pebble rug, this storage ottoman, and these tufted stools.  *Sigh* I have to move on now because I'm getting sad...

One night we went to Old Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street.  The cool thing about Fremont Street is that several blocks of the street are covered in a canopy of light bulbs that produce a dazzling light show.

The bad part about Fremont Street was that there were a lot of other "shows" going on (not pictured), if you know what I mean.  Was Downtown Las Vegas cool to see? Yes.  Would I go back next time I'm in Las Vegas?  No.  Not really our scene.

The next place we went was much more up our alley.  It was my favorite part of the trip.

Jenelle casually mentioned, "oh yeah.  There is this place called Red Rock Canyon that some people recommended.  They said there is a scenic drive that is really pretty.  I think it will only take about an hour once we get there.  Then we'll head to The Strip for the rest of the day."

"Ok!" we all agreed. 

Well none of us were expecting this.
This beautiful mountainous, desert-ous park! Oh if only we had packed our hiking shoes!!
Nevertheless, we made the most of what we were able to do!

 Can you tell we were blissfully unprepared for our surroundings.  

Red Rock Canyon?... We WILL be back WITH our hiking shoes.

Five hours later,on our last night in Vegas, we finally ended up on the Las Vegas Strip.   The first thing we did was hit up Madam Tussauds's Wax Museum.
Wax Museums = taking ridiculous pictures= our idea of a good time.
There were just too many so I had to pick my favorites. Because this blog post is getting out of hand.
After we were all cheesed out, we hit the strip.  We saw the volcano show at the Mirage.  We ate gelato at the Venetian.  We stood in awe of the beautiful hotels and their gleaming chandeliers.
I had to pull my one dollar bill out of a kiwi that some street magician had magically placed there. Wish we had gotten a picture of that! We saw Caesar's palace and all the anatomically correct statues. 
And we finally ended up at the Bellagio's fountain show.  We did not see all of the strip because we were exhausted, thirsty, and frankly, getting a little h-angry.
So we stopped at the stand-out restaurant from the whole week. Lola's - A Louisiana Restaurant.  We sat outside and we did what I always love to do when a vacation is coming to an end.  We played the favorites game.  Favorite activity, favorite thing you saw, favorite food, favorite hilarious moment. It helps to seal the memories, I think. 

Have you ever been to Vegas?  To the Hoover Dam? Red Rock Canyon?  How do you seal up your memories at the end of a trip? 

Don't miss a beat.  
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