Looong Sad Two Days

Just got back from funeral for Brian’s grandma. This was different than his grandpa was a few months ago on the other side of his family. His grandma and grandpa on this side are members of the Byzantine Catholic Church. I’ve been to Roman Catholic Churches before and in general they’re not that far from Lutheran. I’ve been to a Roman Catholic Church funeral.

This was completely different; the entire thing was chanting/singing and it was very long. The Church was domed and had bright colored, odd paintings inside. I say odd because they reminded me a medieval paintings except we are not in medieval times. The priest dressed in red and swung incense (I have seen that part before). He spent a minute describing some of the symbolism for us. Altogether, it was very much a ritual and I think a comfort to his grandfather. And in the end, that’s all that matters.

It was different for me too this time because I had only met her once and I didn’t have much interaction with her since she could only speak very softly. It is always hard to see people you love upset and grieving, but it wasn’t as tough to stay collected as last time. She has been sick for a long time.

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Las Vegas and Wedding Fun

This past weekend we went to Las Vegas and then to Phoenix for Amy’s wedding. We pulled all our coins into cash (for an amazing $162 of fun money! Save your coins!) and flew out early early Friday morning, returning yesterday evening.

Las Vegas was amazing, I had so much fun. Okay, I clearly didn’t pack the right shoes, as evidenced by my feet, but overall it was a wonderful time. We stayed at the MGM Grand and spent Friday walking the casinos around that area and up the right side of the strip. That night we saw Ka by Cirque du Soleil. Simply amazing–the whole stage moved the entire time, great acrobatics and wonderful music which I will have to purchase now. We were up nearly 24 hours, I was crazy tired.

The next day we had breakfast at the Paris Buffet and had crepes (among other tasty foods!). Mine was blueberry with rasberry, nutella, and apricot sauce on the top. We spent the rest of the day going to the casinos on the left side and then to the Sahara which had my favorite game ever. There were no cheap Black Jack tables, but there was a $3 Black Jack machine. I came out ahead at $100! It was fun because you site around a “table” with a virtual dealer and there are 6 chairs around it, so you have real players next to you that can effect the hand. You can split and double down and all that good stuff. I could’ve stayed there for hours! Aside from that casino, my other favorites were all the ones with miniature cities inside of them–New York-New York, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Venetian, Excalibur (which was also cool because I love castles :)). I was pretty enthralled with the skies that changed colors and the canals in the Venetian. The Wynn was nice also with some really unique chandeliers that seemed to float in midair and the bright flowered carpeting.

I have to say that the “classic” casinos like MGM Grand and Belagio were not as impressive to me, and I really didn’t like Treasure Island. However, MGM had a nice lion display and Ka was located there as well as our dinner place which I will talk about in a moment. The free drinks while you gamble is pretty cool, and there was a “cheap” casino along the strip that had $1 margaritas and beer. We went to the pirate show on Saturday night, which was entertaining but I totally would’ve dropped that and went back to the Black Jack machine. I might be a dangerous person someday 😉 The pirate show was really cool because of the moving ships and the fire and fireworks but it was nice because we got to be really close up since TI is owned by MGM and so we were considered “VIP” audience members. My feet were just awful though and I got mildly claustrophobic and hot in the crowd, so that wasn’t as fun, but once the show started I was okay.

We ate dinner at Emeril’s Fish house and did the regular size tasting menu-6 courses!! I was worried because it had all kinds of strange fish and flavors on it, but it was all excellent. My least favorite was the herb crusted fish in the pecan sauce, just because I’m not a fan of sweet in that case. But everything was good, especially the beef in his special steak sauce, and the salad at the beginning with pine nuts, crab meat and a very light bacon dressing. We had Emeril house wines– I white and Brian red, both of which were superb.

The rest of the evening was spent at the pirate show and then traipsing around casinos, playing a slot here and there. A couple times I should’ve won big but I didn’t bet enough coins. In the end, we lost everything we came with for fun money, which was really the intention anyway and we had fun doing it!

We got our rental car on Sunday and drove through Hoover Dam on our 5 hour drive. It was a silver Toyota Corolla and drove pretty nice although Brian drove it the whole time so I can’t be too sure. Hoover Dam was pretty sweet, we stopped there for about a half hour and got some good pictures. I played around with my polarizer filter so we’ll see how those came out. The desert was beautiful, although Brian would know more since I fell asleep after about an hour of driving and came awake periodically. I felt like a cat, in the sunlight warm but still in the air conditioning. I was so lethargic. We arrived at our hotel, had about a half hour rest and drove to Amy’s wedding.

The Satisfied Frog was a nice outdoor/covered shelter place, very pretty with a fountain and bridge and of course, perfect Arizona weather! The food was very tasty, the DJ a bit loud but enthusiastic and it was really nice to see everyone again. Amy’s dress was beautiful, I loved the lace on it. We didn’t bring my camera to that, but I took a thousand pictures on other people’s cameras who I expect will share some photos with me!! haha.

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