We just got back from four days in Vegas - went to Hugo's Cellar the first evening (Sunday) we were there, and had a lovely meal. We gambled a little bit (mostly Gordon gambled) and Gordon won about $175 on the slot machines.
Monday we arranged for tickets to see Blue Man Group, and gambled in the Venetian and Bellagio. We ate way too much, but I couldn't even tell you where or what we ate at this point. Gordon gambled some more and won about $100. I won $25 on a $1 on the penny slots. Blue Man Group was awesome! We had such fun at the show, and I loved it. Afterwards, they come out to the lobby for pictures, and one of them was coming down the hall and I noticed him and Gordon took my picture with him. He got a smudge of blue paint on my sweater that I hope comes out, but we had a ball with it, and it will have been worth it if the paint doesn't come out.
Tuesday we went to the pool while there was still shade over it, and then we had some lunch and went our separate ways for the afternoon. Gordon gambled and napped, and I went shopping at the Desert Shops at the Alladin. I bought some fun clothes and watched the thunderstorm that takes place every hour on the hour inside the shopping center, and then Gordon and I met up about 6:30 to get ready for dinner and to go down to the MGM for the evening. We took the Monorail from Bally's to the MGM and ate at the buffet (not great, but not bad) and went to meet a friend of Gordon's who works tech on the Cirque du Soleil show "Ka". We chatted for a moment before he had to get back to work, and then we went into the show.
If you like Cirque du Soleil, go see "Ka". The story is lovely, but the coolest thing about this show is the stage. It tilts, it turns, it twists, it becomes a wall, etc. Remarkable feat of engineering, and the stunts they do on it are equally impressive. To say it was jaw-dropping is not an exaggeration.
After "Ka", we gambled for a little bit more at the MGM, and then headed back to the Paris Hotel for the night. Neither of us was quite ready for sleep, though, so we gambled a bit more before turning in for the night.
This morning we got up, packed up, and then headed over to the café at Bally's for brunch - we got seated immediately, and then Gordon got his drink while we waited for the waitress to take our order. About 20 minutes later, we got up and left - no one had come to take our order, and we were both starving. We ended up going back to the place that we'd eaten at for lunch on Monday, and it wasn't great, but we wanted food IMMEDIATELY by then, so that was that. After we ate, we decided to gamble a little bit more before heading out, and I found the penny slots again and started playing with the $17.43 voucher that I'd started playing with last night (started with a $20). I got down to about $5, and then said that I was just going to do ONE 'max bet' on the machine.
I won $136.50. All told, I bet about $80 over the four days we were there, so between the $25 I won the other day and the money I won today, I cleared about 80 bucks. Gordon cleared about $200 all told, so we both did well and had a ball doing it.
The Paris Hotel is nice, but we weren't that thrilled with the restaurant choices or the shopping there - even though there's a walk-through to Bally's, I think that next time we'll stay at the Alladin or Cesar's Palace. Part of my beef with the Paris Hotel is that they didn't spell some of the French correctly in the hotel - for example, the sign inside each room that says to engage the lock has "S'il vous plaît" spelled wrong. One proofreading before a single sign was printed would have gone a long way. Also, housekeeping did just fine inside the room, but there were room service items that remained in the hallway for two days before they were removed.
Anyway, a great quick trip, and we're glad to have gone, and glad to be home. Just don't ask me how well I did on the BTD while I was there. Okay - I ate wheat, dairy, and corn every day while I was there. And I had a great time doing it. Sometimes you need a vacation from everything.....
Some friends and I went to a Bastille Day celebration yesterday (Bastille Day was Friday, but to get those weekend crowds....). We met up at the grounds of the Page Museum and went in to find something for lunch. Pickings were slim for this O, but I did find a Moroccan stand that had lamb, vegetables, and couscous. I got the plate without the couscous, and ate my six little bites of lamb and eight bites of vegetables. It was not much food, but it was a start.
I was tempted by the lovely baguettes and breads, but the last time I ate wheat, my back started hurting so much that eating wheat is just not worth the paybacks!
The Bastille Day celebration was just okay - apparently the first year they did it was the best, and this year was just okay. I did get some information about some francophone organizations here in LA, though, so for that it was definitely worth it.
The celebration was on the grounds of the Page Museum, too, which was interesting because the Page Museum is dedicated to researching and exhibiting the finds from the La Brea Tar Pits, which are on site. I'd never seen the tar pits before, and was fascinated by the whole process. We went inside the museum and wandered around the exhibit - all natural history stuff detailing when what animal went extinct, what animals there were in Southern California 30,000 years ago (lions, and tigers and bears! Oh, my!*). It was pretty cool, and we enjoyed the time there. After the museum, we went to Marie Callender's for something else to eat (where I was not compliant and had a spinach and artichoke dip with corn chips AND a mojito - YUM!) and then back to my friend's apartment and hung out for a bit until it was time to go to the Hollywood Bowl for the evening.
I'd never been to the Hollywood Bowl until last night, and it was awesome. We went to see the "Bollywood Night: AR Rahman & Musafir" The performers included: AR Rahman; Sukhwinder Singh; Hariharan; Sadhana Sargam; Madhushree; Naresh Iyer; Rajesh Raman; Sivamani; Anisha Nagarajan; Global Rhythms; Raagapella; Dancers from Bollywood Step Dance; Sher Foundation; Musafir. It was REALLY fun, even though we were in the nosebleed seats. I don't know Indian music much - I know the styles a bit, but no specific songs yet other than the few in my iPod, most of which are from the soundtrack to "Bride and Prejudice". I love it, though. Just love it. My friend is a fan of all things Indian, and knew some of the songs. Because of the theme for the evening, I was calling it the Bollywood Bowl, which made my friend giggle when I said it.
All in all, a really fun day, except for the sunburn on my shoulders - in spite of sunscreen! I think I just sweated it all off since it was SOOOO hot yesterday.
* In reality, the 'tiger' I'm referring to is the sabre-tooth CAT. I learned yesterday that what we know as the sabre-tooth tiger is not a tiger at all, but is more closely related to cats. I'm not sure how this all fits together, since I thought tigers were considered part of the 'big cats', but clearly I have a background in something other than science of any kind....
I've been looking for something part-time that pays reasonably well, and hadn't found anything in some time. Last week, Gordon's former law partner mentioned to him that she was looking for someone part-time. I happened to be in the car at the time, and said I might be interested in filling in short-term, or long-term if it seemed like a good fit for both of us.
Monday she called me and asked if I could fill in for a couple of weeks, and could I come in that afternoon. So I did, and we'll see how it works out. It's nice because she is very flexible with my schedule as I need to do things, and it is about 1/2 a mile from the house, so I can walk to and from work and get a little exercise in 5 days a week. AND I can wear jeans to work. AND I'm getting a decent hourly wage. AND it's only 3 hours a day.
Hope everyone had a nice Independence Day. I had a couple of parties to go to, which was fun, and we also went up to Ojai and Santa Barbara for the day on Sunday. All in all, a low key and nice holiday weekend.
I'm working on my reading for school now (we have a 5 day lab later this month) and trying to clear off my desk. Other than that, things here are quiet.
BTD-wise, I'm watching my portion sizes and cutting back on sugar and empty carbs. I'm losing weight, so it seems to be working, and so far it is painless. Next is to ramp up the exercise!
I realized in the last few days that I haven't posted on here in a while. I hadn't realized it had been a month, though! My apologies. Things have been crazy.....
I had my June weekend at school, and it was a really good weekend, as they all are.... Then on June 5th I flew to Texas to spend some time with my family. Spent a few days at my dad's, and then went to my mom's for 10 days. The reason behind the trip was not a fun one - my grandfather has been declining rapidly the last couple of months. He has Alzheimer's and went from living alone and driving one week, to not recognizing his apartment building the next. He then had a pacemaker put in and has been in and out of the hospital since then. I saw him daily while I was there, and I felt that he declined even while I was there. He doesn't know who anyone is, and doesn't know WHEN he is.
I did get to spend time with my mom and her cats and dogs, which was fun. She had two 9 week old kittens that I got to play with - THAT was fun.
I got back just over a week ago, and have been getting back to my usual routine. I did pretty well with the BTD during my trip, but I'm tightening up on things now to lose some of what I've gained since we got married! I'm enjoying eating a lot of fruit right now - mangos, cherries, blueberries, pears, etc. YUM!