Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Vegas Hotels

Laura – This one is dedicated to you!

Here are thirteen hotels I have stayed at in Las Vegas.

1. MGM Grand – This is currently my favorite overall. The rooms are not as nice as some others, but I like that it has a fun environment with people my age, the blackjack minimums are reasonable and there are plenty of restaurants and bars all in one place. It also helps that I have been lucky at the blackjack tables on my last couple visits. I always have fun here and love the smell in the lobby. I am glad they got rid of the Wizard of Oz theme because that was creepy.

2. Wynn – Definitely the most beautiful room and hotel I have stayed at in Vegas. It also has a more calming atmosphere. There are not tons of people milling around and overly loud music being blared everywhere. I find the atmosphere to be a little boring at the tables, but gambling gets way too expensive for me on the weekends anyway. Last time I was there the lowest blackjack table on a Saturday night was $50.

3. Harrah’s – I enjoyed my stay here, but probably wouldn’t stay again. The rooms are decent, but nothing special. The Carnival Court is fun in the afternoon. We saw Boogie Knights (they go by a few names) in the Carnival Court. They are an 80’s cover band that we used to see in Santa Barbara in college. Just make sure to get a room that doesn’t face the Carnival Court because it is really loud.

4. Tropicana – This place is a dump and should be torn down. I stayed here because one of my friends wanted to go to the pool, and then she canceled and didn’t come on the trip. I wore shoes at all times…even in the bathroom…it was that gross.

5. Paris – I like Paris. It’s nice and has a smaller casino, but I’ve never had good luck here. On a recent trip it looked to be getting run down and over run with people just walking through looking around. It has a great location, but could use more places to eat since everything had a really long wait for breakfast/lunch.

6. Imperial Palace – This place is just creepy to me for some reason. I stayed here long ago in college. I tagged along on the trip with some friends at the last minute because my boyfriend dumped me. The most interesting part of the trip was when one person came back to the room in the middle of the night saying he won a bunch of money (I forget how much) and that he was leaving. I wish I had that kind of control to be able to walk away when ahead. I have not stepped into this casino since that trip.

7. Flamingo – Another place I stayed because one of my friends wanted to go to the pool…she showed up to this trip (see # 4). The rooms aren’t very nice and everything is more “old” Vegas here. It has a good location, but all I did was sleep, shower and eat a couple meals here. Otherwise I got in a cab or walked to another casino.

8. Casino Royale – I used to really like gambling here because they had 25 cent craps so I could play forever. The rooms are nasty though. I stayed here with some extremely frugal people and we had 4 people per room to make it even worse. The lowlight was when the toilet broke and nobody would come to fix it so I fixed it.

9. Showboat – This is where I learned to gamble. My first 2 or 3 trips to Vegas were here for a college bowling tournament. I was 18 on my first visit and this place was low key enough that I could gamble a little and get away with it.

10. Embassy Suites – I stayed here with a bachelorette party because the bride’s sister worked for whichever hotel chain it is that owns Embassy Suites and got us a really cheap deal. I think I paid about $12 for my one night stay. It doesn’t have a casino, but they do have a van and driver that will take you anywhere you anywhere you want to go. I mostly ran across the (big) street to the Hard Rock. Seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time.

11. Excalibur – I stayed here a long time ago and don’t remember much about it other than it seemed like everything was an overgrown toy.

12. Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood) – This is where my husband and I stayed on our one and only trip to Vegas together. He took me for my birthday after we had been dating for a year or two. This is where he learned how much I love to gamble and the he doesn’t ever want to go to Vegas with me again. The room was nice and the bathroom was huge. We had a view of the Bellagio fountains across the street.

13. Barbary Coast (now Bill’s Gambling Hall) – This is another “old” Vegas type place. I didn’t like it, but it had a good location. It doesn’t have a cab stand so we had to go to another hotel to get a cab.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Music Monday - I Don't Like Mondays

I am starting something new that I just made up called Music Monday. Each Monday I will post a music video and either write about the song or a memory the song evokes. I think music more than anything else can bring you back to certain time or memory.

I have always liked the song "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats and it is actually quite a serious song. It is about a teenage girl in 1979 who went on a shooting spree at an elementary school playground. She killed two adults and injured eight children. She showed no remorse and when asked why she did it, she said, "I don't like Mondays".

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

As I previously wrote, I really enjoyed the book Bringing Down the House about the card counting MIT students. I watched the movie "21" last night that was based on the book. I was really excited to see the movie since I loved the book. I was so disappointed by the movie though! I thought the book read like a movie so if they just followed the book it would have made a great movie. The movie was sooo different! Pretty much the only thing that stayed true to the book was that there was a team of MIT students who counted cards. Almost everything else was changed. The movie wasn't very good and I didn't care about any of the characters since I knew the plot in the movie wasn't what happened in real life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

St. Michaels

We took a day trip today to St. Michaels which is a small town on the eastern shore of Maryland. I have been wanting to go there for a while and stay at the Inn at Perry Cabin, which was seen in the Wedding Crashers movie. We decided to take a day trip there first though before shelling out the money for a two night stay since they do not allow a one night stay over the weekend in the summer. It should have taken a little under two hours to drive there, but we hit lots of traffic due to accidents and people heading to the beach and it took us three hours and fifteen minutes! Yikes...pretty far for one way of a day trip. While driving through the small town, it wasn't quite what we were expecting. We thought it would focus more on the water, but the water was just in the background and a place to park boats. I had heard from co-workers that there is a restaurant on the water called the Crab Claw that is the place to eat. It was pretty crowded when we got there, but after a short wait got a table with a view of the water. I had a tasty muffin and bowl of clam chowder, but my main dish was just mediocre for the price. What I liked least was that they did not accept credit cards. After lunch we wandered through the town which mostly had antique/trinket/art shops and historic homes that have been converted to B&B's and then were ready to head home. It is a cute little town, but very touristy and we felt like we played right into it. We keep hoping to find a place within about a two hour drive where we can buy a weekend vacation home, but this wasn't the place. We are glad we went to see it, but we wouldn't go back.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

I am not sure if I am going to do the Thursday Thirteen anymore. For some reason, the Thursday Thirteen site did not post the link to my blog for my last few editions on their list. I emailed them twice asking if I was doing something wrong or if there was another problem, but I did not get a response.


My boss asked me to create another demotivational poster based on telling people to get their head out of their a**.

Here is my interpretation:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Circle Back

"Circle Back" is a term I hear a lot at work and cannot stand. People seem to use it when they don't know what to do or want to delay a conversation or doing work. Rarely do people actually "circle back"...they just say they will. I keep hearing it more and more so I made this demotivational poster online to convey what I think it really means.

According to NetLingo, the definition is: "Connecting with folks on a business issue and letting things happen, then going back to them after a few days or after things evolve. For example, "I will circle back with you in a few days on that compensation memo."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

American Boy

I just heard this song for the first time yesterday, but it's catchy and I like it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Please Vote

Please vote in my pet bakery name poll on the left side of the blog....and be honest! I don't want to use a name that nobody likes.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pink Purchases

I seem to be in a pink phase. Here are a couple of my recent purchases.

Pink laptop:

A pink feather boa for Minky, but he doesn't like wearing it:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Update on Me

It has been three weeks since my last Thursday Thirteen so here are thirteen things that have happened in the last three weeks that I have not written about yet.

1. My husband and I talked again about buying a vacation condo in Miami.

2. We have another leak in the house. There is a water stain on the ceiling of an upstairs bedroom. We have gone in the attic, but cannot trace the source yet.

3. July 3rd was the 10 year anniversary from when I met my husband at a Dodgers/Giants tail gate party at Candlestick Park, and 4 years from when we moved to Virginia.

4. We had a nice relaxing long 4th of July weekend.

5. My dad was diagnosed with melanoma, but the mole was removed and he is ok.

6. My new laptop finally arrived. It has been named “Big Pink”.

7. I started thinking about how to spend the remaining 10 days of vacation I need to take by the end of the year.

8. I finally got new contacts. It took 3 appointments so I can finally throw away the ones I have been wearing that are way past their prime.

9. Chinese food in Virginia is awful so I had pretty much given up on trying new places. I finally tried the Pei Wei chain that has popped up around here and it’s actually pretty good!

10. My dear friend Julie’s sister passed away from a long battle with ovarian cancer. Her family has had more than their share of tragedy in the past year so my heart goes out to them.

11. Le Tour de France started last weekend so we watch it every night.

12. The product I bought from my hair dresser last time that was meant to help defend against frizziness in the humidity is obviously not strong enough for the Virginia summer.

13. Hell's Kitchen ended this week so now I am down to only 1 show that I like to watch (So You Think You Can Dance).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

30 Seconds

Today was timed mile day at boot camp and I improved by 30 seconds which was my goal! We do this again in two weeks and I will be allowed to run at that point. My goal next time will be much more aggressive and I will try to lower my time by two minutes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Goleta Fire

Growing up in southern California, brush fires are nothing new. The smell of smoke and ash on the cars in the driveway is nothing out of the ordinary. Other than in Malibu, the fires tend to stay inland and haven't threatened any areas near where I lived since I was near the coast. Now there is a fire in Goleta, which is home to UCSB where I went to college. Although I no longer live there and have not visited in years, hearing about the fire and that thousands of homes have been evacuated because they are in danger is heart wrenching. So far no homes have burned and my thoughts are with all the resident and firefighters in the area that the fire gets contained so they can return home soon.

It Finally Arrived...Well, Almost

I ordered a new Dell laptop almost 4 weeks ago. When I ordered it I was told there was a 12 day delay on the battery, but that was ok with me since my only other option was to upgrade the battery for $169 to get it sooner, which didn't seem worth it to me. Well, I didn't realize a 12 day delay meant it wouldn't ship for almost 4 weeks. I think it arrived today, but I wasn't home to sign for it. If all goes well at work tomorrow I will come home early and work from home the rest of the day so I can sign for it. I'm a little worried if I will like it or not since I ordered it in pink...which upset my husband who believes he cannot use it because it's pink. I just hope it doesn't look bad or I will feel stupid.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Weight Watchers - Week # 2

Hmm...week 2 did not go so well. I did not stay within my points again and did not journal part of the week. I was really hungry all week, especially in the mornings. I think I need to focus on eating healthier food since I have been working out. I have been craving protein so I had some eggs for breakfast yesterday which helped keep me full longer. I was hoping to stay even this week, but I gained a little. I am not going to fall completely off the wagon though. Week 3 will be better!

Week 2 = +0.4
Total = -1.0