Our Trip To Las Vegas


My husband and I were married in Las Vegas fifteen years ago. This is a picture of us on that day. My husband does not know I am sharing it. He. He. It is hard to believe this was us fifteen years ago. My hair was so short. And my husband has a beard now with (cough) grey hairs poking through. It is nice to look back at where we were. It makes me excited about where we are going.

I thought it would be a good idea to head back there for our anniversary. My husband and I both do not like to gamble. We don’t smoke. And, honestly, I am not fond of malls. I’ve never been to a strip club. I was not interested in any of the Circus du Soleil shows. And we would never just hang around a pool without our children (unless it was our own pool). Because of this, Las Vegas is generally not on our list of destinations to go to on our yearly romantic getaways.

But I decided we had not been there in almost nine years and maybe we would try it again.

Spoiler: there were good times and there were bad.

‘Tis life:


I got a fabulous deal on Hotwire for the Wynn Hotel. When we checked in, I mentioned we were there for our fifteenth wedding anniversary. They kindly upgraded us to a higher floor.



The hotel is amazing. Gorgeous. Stunning. It boasts the prettiest lobby I have ever seen. The most amazing scenery. The clientele leans towards the classy side. I have never seen so many beautiful women in one place. And of course, I broke out with the biggest zit on my chin just before we arrived. Truly showing I did not belong there.



The room was beautiful.


The hotel also sent up a sweet gift of chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary.


And all would have been well.

Better than well.

It would have, should have, could have been amazing.

There was just a slight problem of the air conditioning not working in our room. And not working in the room we were subsequently moved to.

I am a baby when it comes to heat. I cannot sleep in a warm room. This led to me having a meltdown and many sleepless nights.

Hence, I have made the determination I could only stay here in the wintertime, if we came to Las Vegas again. I have to have a working air conditioning system in my hotel room.

In. The. Desert.





The little cafe restaurant at this hotel is the best restaurant we ate at while in Las Vegas.


Oh my gosh! I am a nut for a tuna sandwich. And on a croissant? The biggest croissant I have ever seen?! Made by the chef there?! So good! I ate this three times during our stay (and gained FIVE pounds in four days! Back to reality).


They also had a seafood club that my husband said was excellent.


And lava cake?!


And unlimited mimosas for breakfast for $19!!!!!!!!


And strawberry waffles?! I also saw the most beautiful buttermilk biscuits on a tray on our last day and was bummed I had not tried them (I seriously cannot figure out why I gained five pounds).

I highly recommend this little cafe. We would stay at The Wynn again just for this restaurant.


We ate at Tom Culicchio’s Heritage Steakhouse, because my husband and I are huge fans of Top Chef. The meal here was the most I have ever spent on a dinner. We ordered the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu at $65. The filet mignon steaks were $59 each. Like most nice steakhouses, sides are not included. We did not have appetizers or soup or salad. The steaks were just okay.

However, our waiter was awesome. We loved him. He made the whole experience.

For the bottle of wine, two steaks, two sides, and two coffees our total was over $200 before tip.


But now we know.


We also ate, quite by accident, at Raos in Little Caesar’s. It was fine.

It was pretty. It was romantic. The food was decent. Again, we are really spoiled with the Italian restaurants in our town, so I have high standards. This restaurant is about a seven out of ten for me.

We had the lasagna and prime rib noodle special.

The creme brûlée was not good. That makes me sad. And the reason it got a lower rating.

And so this is why we ate all of our remainder of our meals at Terrace Pointe Cafe at The Wynn. That restaurant is a ten out of ten for me. It is really good. We tried a lot of things and everything was amazing. It was also reasonably priced for Las Vegas.


We went to three shows while we were there. I felt like Goldilocks. One was not good, the other leaning towards bad and one was just right.


My husband and I had never heard of Daniel Tosh before, but we love comedy shows. We like to see one comedy show on every trip we take together (our first date was to a comedy show). We went in to the show with open minds.

Daniel Tosh is? Not a nice guy. I did find a lot of his material offensive. However, some of it was funny. And I did find myself in hysterics at some points during the show. I would not see him again, but I honestly did not mind it. His bit is offending everyone and everything. He claims to get an absurd amount of death threats daily. I believe it. It is the shock factor. Honestly, after The Book of Mormon, this did not faze me.


We saw La Reve at The Wynn, because we were staying there and it was convenient.

Hmmmm. How can I say this?


It wasn’t my favorite?

The theater is gorgeous. The entertainers are so talented. It has all of the components of a good show. A really good show. Except for a story and good music. I think that was what was so upsetting. This could be a fantastic show, but they need to scrap the “plot” and start over with a new script, new choreography and new music.

La Reve means “The Dream” and I felt like it was definitely going to put me to sleep.


Finally, the “just right.” We went and saw Absinthe. This show was amazing. It is raunchy. I mean raunchy. I mean… Okay, you get it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Or taunt you? I guess it depends on what kind of a show you like. If you have a problem with nudity or cursing or profanity, then this show is not for you. I found it so funny. It was in the right context. The cast is wonderfully talented. It is a burlesque circus show in a very small tent. It is located at Caesar’s Palace. It was amazing. Ten out of ten from me.

There are acrobats, two women who do actual burlesque acts complete with a bubble splashing tank, a couple who perform the craziest act on roller skates, a comedian, and a tightrope.


I love a show called, “Teatro ZinZanni” which is a circus-like dinner theater show hosted by a drag queen that performs in Seattle (and used to also perform in San Francisco) in an old beautiful 1920’s circus tent . We have seen that show (it changes seasonally) four times. I was happy to find something similar to our old favorite.

I was captivated from the moment we sat down.

I would come to Las Vegas just to see this show again!


While my husband played in a poker tournament, I went and did some reviews at some of my favorite stores. Part one of my Anthropologie reviews is going up on Sunday. This is the outfit I wore when I went out by myself.


I bought one thing in Las Vegas. It is this summery yellow floral slip that I allowed myself to buy by claiming it was Vegas “underwear.” Yes, I can absolutely justify anything. Yes, this makes my husband a saint.


I wore it out one night with a different slip underneath it and a mustard cardigan over the top. This is because my feet were so swollen and blistered, I could not wear any of the cute dresses I had brought with me on the last night, because none of my high heels would fit on my feet. Thank you guys for telling me to bring comfy shoes. I would never have thought to bring flats otherwise. They were a lifesaver.


Our hotel was at the end of the strip and there was a lot of construction surrounding it. This meant a lot of taxi rides. Which resulted in a lot of overheards. And was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The taxi drivers here were friendlier than any I have ridden with in any other city.


One night when we were coming back to our hotel, a group of men were holding the door for people coming into the hotel. From watching “The Soup” on t.v., I knew immediately who one of the men was. It was the older gentlemen who is on that show “Gigilos.” I cross my heart that this was the same day I had put up my story about being mistaken as an escort and this time I had a male escort holding the door for me. The whole cast was there. I did not speak to them, but I noticed they were very polite to everyone as they made their way through the hotel.

And that was pretty much our trip. We will not be back for a long, long while. It will take my body some time to recuperate from that cigarette smoke. Broken down into ten descriptions:

Hot room

Expensive wine

Tuna croissants

Lots of shows

No sleep


Stuffy nose

Taxi drivers

The house wins


Have you been to Las Vegas? What was I missing? What is your favorite part?

P.S. In yesterday’s comments, Gwen had mused that it would be fun if other bloggers posted their wedding pictures today, too.

And Liana from Frock and Hound sweetly did. And it is gorgeous! Her wedding photo looks like a beautiful scene from a fairy tale. You can see it here, on her post A Look Back.

If you would like to share your wedding photo, please let me know and I will link it up here. Thank you! : )

Reading: The Husband’s Secret


My friend, Holli, had mentioned this book to me and since it was three days before I had to pick a book for our book club, I decided to research it.

It looked great. I liked the title.


I loved the title.

It made me giggle. Seriously, my heart is usually jostled at least once a week when it breaks into a rhythm of laughter I cannot control.

Because I just posted My Husband’s Secret a few days ago. And it still makes me giggle (stay tuned for part two) every time my husband pulls out his iPod.

Moving on to the review.


I ordered my copy from Amazon.

I usually always read the book I pick before I pick it for book club. But I was procrastinating. Actually, I was reading a fabulous fantasy series, but that would not be my book club’s cup of tea. I decided to spare them and pick a “chick lit.”

I read the book in two days. The end did make me cry. Just a bit. As all “what ifs” do. I don’t know about this book. It was a lot to process. Someone mentioned the book having ADHD in one of their reviews. That is a fair assessment.

I think I would give this book a 6.5 out of 10. It was not my favorite book (here I am being like those parents. “Now Jimmy, we don’t say we don’t like something. Just say it’s not your favorite.” Ahem). I was skeptical about this author because it seems she took every scenario in creative writing class and turned them into books. What if you got amnesia? What if you found a letter addressed to you? I do not know if I am being too critical. I never cared about any of the characters. I do not know why. She is very descriptive, but there is just an element of something missing that would have made me feel anything towards them.


You guys are all smart human beings. I am sure, you, like me, will guess the husband’s secret just by reading the back cover. Thankfully, there is another twist. Otherwise, the book would have gotten a three out of ten from me.

The book did reinforce my terror of children running into the road. It is a real and horrible thing.

And, there is a character in the book, Felicity. She used to be “fat” but has lost weight and is now beautiful. SIGH. The way she writes about this heavier girl made me tell my husband, “this author has never been heavy.” So, yea, hated (uh-oh! Look away Jimmy!) that part.

The ending was great, in my opinion. I did enjoy the quick flash forwards into the character’s lives. That was a nice touch. It was well done and well executed.

Most of the girls in book club gave this book a nine out of ten. It gets wonderful reviews on Amazon. I was just turned off by the Felicity character, the drawn out drama, and my lack of empathy for any of the characters.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Was I too harsh?

My Mother-In-Law


I think for years I let the stereotypes sit in my head. Define me. The bad relationship you are supposed to have with your in-laws. Or maybe I was holding on to the grudge that our wedding was not attended by most of his family (we did only give a month’s notice). Or it could be immaturity. Simple selfish childishness. I did get married at twenty-one, afterall. I had a lot of growing up to do.

But these are just excuses.

And excuses are as worth as much as you are willing to pay for them. Which is usually nothing at all.

So for many years our relationship was stupidly strained.

Of course, it wasn’t my fault. And do you know what I did to remedy our situation? Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

I think I felt threatened that my husband could love another woman who was a complete opposite of myself. And, yes, this deserves an eye roll.

For the last three years, though, my Mother-in-law has really tried. I mean she has been just incredibly kind.

And something happened.

I realized that she is a woman. Like me. (I’m quick.) With a son. Like me.

And she was probably heart broken to lose her son to another person. Like I will be.

She lives in another state and only visits for one week a year.

But when she is here, I really enjoy it.

I fought it for so many years.

And, yes, that fills me with self-loathing. And, yes, I have many regrets.

We are nothing alike. She loves camping. I loathe it. She loves the outdoors. I try to pretend I live in a biosphere. She hates shopping. I am an addict. She gardens. I buy flowers at the grocery store. She is adventurous. I am a scaredy cat. She is capable. I am reliant. She is tough. I am soft. She can make bread like nobody’s business. I am terrified of yeast. She keeps her hair super short so she can “go” in life. I hate the word, “go.”

The kids love it when she comes. She’s the grandma that buys water guns and has wars with them. She’ll play catch. And what I realize is that she brings and offers something to my children that I do not. She enriches their lives. In being opposite of me, they are learning from her different skills in this world. And what a beautiful, beautiful thing.

And you know what?

I really, really like her. As a person. Not just as someone I “have” to like.

I can see what my husband sees in her. Wink.


This last Christmas she did something for me that I would not even do for myself. Or maybe another person. I told you she’s a doer. She stood in line for five hours to buy me the new Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook and get it autographed to me.

I love the book.

I love the gesture more.

I love her.

Do you get along with your in-laws? How often do you see them?

Watching: The Book Of Mormon


I debated over writing this review. Mostly because I like to keep things light on this blog. Also, I did not want to invite a debate over this play. Because it is not worth my time. I have all ready wasted money on it. I hate to waste time even more.

I also never want to discuss religion on this blog, because it is just not something I care to discuss.

I also choose not bring up sex on this blog for much the same reason. When my children are out of the house, I might loosen up a bit. But for now those are my rules.

And in talking about this play, I would unfortunately have to bring up both of those words.

So, I decided not to write a review.


Every time I turn on the television, there is a commercial advertising this production with words it does not, in my humble opinion, deserve.

I would feel I am not being true to myself to not put this review out there. This is simply my opinion of the play. I am quite sure based on the laughter in the theater many people would disagree with me. However, here it is. Just this once. Me breaking my rules:

In one word, I would describe The Book Of Mormon play as puzzling.

And not in a good way.

I had been wanting to see The Book Of Mormon, the musical, for years. I am not a fan of South Park, but I absolutely loved the musical Avenue Q.

I did not really know what this play was about. I just knew everyone seemed to love it. It had won multiple awards. It was heralded as funny. Probably a little raunchy. It sounded like a great date night pick.

Idiotically, I did not read any reviews. I wanted it to be a surprise.

And it was.

Just not in the way that I hoped it would be.

I naively thought the play would be about Mormon boys knocking door to door and the funny capers they would witness and be subject to at different people’s homes. That just made the most sense to me.

I was entirely wrong.

This play does not want to make sense.

It simply wants to break down censors.


I knew I was in trouble from the beginning. Everyone was laughing and whooping throughout the beautiful Pantages Theater. And I was sitting there stunned. Because, to me, it was incredibly offensive. I looked at my husband and he had the same disgusted look on his face.

It was unbelievable. I felt like I was on Candid Camera. Or as if I was in a tent where everyone had smoked the magic fungi and I had only managed to contract a fungus.

I found this play to be very degrading to a great many people. It is immature. It relies heavily on shock value. As an adult who never felt the need to make up pretend words for genitals for a dialect with my children, I could not find the humor. Add in some sentences strewn in concerning random maggots and frogs. And those were the extent of the “jokes.” If I were to describe this play, that is what I would say it is about. Sentences with genitalia shouted out streamed with a random object and the f-word.

I would say it wasn’t really about religion. Maybe a bit. A little background about me: I am not Mormon. When I first heard about Mormon boys (when I was a Junior in high school) going on a two year mission, I was incredibly excited. I thought they were going to go search out treasure. Or fight dragons. I was very disappointed when I learned what they would really be doing. Boys in white shirts are incredibly different than knights on white horses. However, as a mother, my heart is softened when I see these young men far from home. In their handsome starched button down shirts and ties. They tug at my heart strings. I might not believe in what they are doing, but I can emphasize with how homesick they must feel. And I always give them water or a snack when they come by. I do not let them in. Most of them just want to pet my dogs. They miss that little bit of home. I would want someone to treat my son the same way if he was in their shoes.

I also feel we should be respectful of everyone’s religion, no matter what we think of it. A little poke is fine. A giant shove is another thing entirely. With all of that said, I found the song with the chorus, “F*** You God!” extremely unnecessary.

And their betrayal of Africans… I just could not believe it. I could not believe they found actors willing to play the roles. They made Africans a sad caricature of a race. It was horribly degrading. The reason this play got a 2 from me out of 10, and not a 1, is simply because the female lead was incredibly talented. Her voice. Probably the best I had heard in any musical. It is a shame it was being wasted on f-bombs and frogs.

Other offenses were the jokes about raping babies and female circumscion. Maybe I took too many Ethics Classes in college (one topic that happened to be discussed over and over again was female circumcision), but I am ashamed that this play is so highly revered in America. What does that say about us?

I kept imagining I was in the middle of a split screen. On one side you have us Americans watching this play and rolling in our seats at the man pronouncing that he is going to go rape a baby to cure his AIDS. And then I imagined the other side of the screen being the mother that this actually happened to that very day. To her baby. And her watching us laughing at the play. And her grief increasing tenfold at the plight of the human race.

It made me furious.

According to statistics, in the time period that I sat and watched this play, 655 more people contracted HIV. I am sorry, but to me, that is not funny. Nor is the thought that people are so desperate to cure themselves they will resort to raping children. Even babies.

My husband and I both agree that this production should be giving back some of their proceeds to the plight in this world that they so easily and carelessly mock.

And even if the play was not offensive, the music was forgettable. The jokes were flat. The storyline dragged on and was unbearably boring.

There were children there! Children! You guys, one song had the entire African male cast each strap on a giant three foot… hose…On stage. And act out…acts. And use the f-word for the act. What the heck were those parents thinking?

However, the cast got a standing ovation. We stood… And we left. As I was leaving I overheard a young man say to someone else, “I love this play! I have seen it three times this week! I have the whole thing memorized.”

I just don’t get it.

Thank God.

I am in no way a prude. In my circle of friends I would be described as a good time. The one that almost always has to make a few phone calls on Sunday mornings to apologize for my behavior the night before. I also am not bothered by curse words. So, for me to find this play offensive, well, it should not be taken lightly.

But neither should AIDS.

Or rape.

Or the perils of the third world.

Now I’m off to go get some cream. This fungus is itchy. I would hate for it to spread.