Oh How I love Vegas!!

Imagine laying in bed, warm and cozy under the covers, dreaming away…when suddenly you are awoken, lights come on, a suitcase dropped next to the bed..and your wife standing next to you saying “Pack your Shit!  We’re leaving in an hour and we won’t be back until Monday”.  That is how my birthday weekend started.   See my wife’s reveal here.

Thursday morning, Feb 5, was a great way to wake up.  My 40th Birthday was on Feb 6, and my wife had planned an EPIC secret.  She put me in the car, drove me around the corner to collect her sister and her husband, and then began to drive towards the airport.  At the airport, I was not allowed to go to the ticket counter. My wife handled it, checking my bags and collecting my boarding passes. I knew from Wilmington we were going to Atlanta, but that was it.  Once we hit Atlanta, my wife went ahead and confirmed the gate we were departing from and then revealed it to me: LAS VEGAS!  What a great surprise!   What an EPIC way to start my 40th birthday weekend.  Little did I know, my wife had been planning this since last June, and had choreographed my parents coming to visit to watch the boys, my boys keeping me unaware of anything, and arranging friends and other family to meet us in Vegas.  I didn’t think she could keep secrets from me, but she did a great job.

Welcome to VEGAS!

Welcome to VEGAS!

So we had a 3 1/2 hour flight to Vegas.  Arrived around lunchtime, and proceeded to have an AWESOME weekend.  Had a 45 minute wait to check in at Harrah’s, but proceeded to find our beers in the adjacent market, and checked in.  We spent the majority of the first day just wandering around casinos and playing some penny slots.  We had to watch the show in front of Bellagio.  My boys like Oceans 11, so do we, so we had to watch.

Bellagio

Bellagio

Friday, the day of my 40th Birthday, started out beautifully.  Considering we were still working on Eastern Standard Time, we were both awake at 5:30am.

View from the room

View from the room

I felt guilty if I didn’t take a run, considering I knew the day would be spent consuming alcohol…possibly large amounts.  So we took a 4 mile jog up the strip.  What a beautiful morning.

My Awesome running partner in VEGAS!

My Awesome running partner in VEGAS!

We cleaned up and then wandered over to the dollar beer casino, grabbed a drink, and then hit the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian.  We walked, and mosied thru the shops and ended up at the Sin City Brewing tap room.  Great beer.  Good memories of our last visit to Vegas.   A friend from Wilmington that came out to party with us showed up, and we proceeded to Margaritaville for lunch.  The day was an amazing day, ended at Toby Keith’s Bar & Grille, and an early bedtime for us (with pizza).

Saturday started with a nice 6 mile jog. Another beautiful morning.  Weather was upper 50’s for the run.  Mid to upper 70’s for high temperatures.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.  We spent some time gambling with the penny slots, met some more friends, found lunch somewhere, and then proceeded to belly up to the Carnival Bar at Harrah’s.   I thought we’d spend an hour or so there.  Well, 5+ hours later, we left.  The bartenders there are amazing.  If you ‘ve never seen this and have been to Vegas, you must go.  The bartenders are crazy. Throwing bottles, pouring drinks from 5’ above the bar, dancing, singing, just crazy.  We had a blast.   Another early night was upon us, which we were happy about the next morning, as we felt much better than the majority of Vegas.  No hangovers for us.

Carnival Bar

Carnival Bar

We started Sunday with a large breakfast.  Much needed huge breakfast.  Needed to put some food in our systems. We played some more penny slots. I lost more.  Not too much more, this time.  After all the people in our party finally awoke and joined us, we took a limo to Old Downtown, where Golden Nugget and Fremont Street Experience is.

downtown

This was my first REAL visit to the old downtown area.  I made it there a few years ago, but was only there about 30 minutes (ask my wife the story of that one).  We walked around some, taking in the sights.  We found $3 blackjack and decided to play some.   Well, my wife bowed out after about 10 minutes due to the cards not going her way. I stayed, won back our initial investment, and then wham.  The dealer got hot. And I mean hot.  Scalding hot.   $100 gone in like 2 minutes.  4 hands.  OUCH!  So, I took my $100 beer and left the table.  We spent the rest of the day just wandering the area, sightseeing, having drinks.   If you have never been to Vegas, you see just about every thing.  Crazy people, I mean, you can see anything.

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget

Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience

Crazy people

Crazy people

My wife and I ventured to Container Park, just north     (I think north) of the downtown area.   What a cool little area.  This is a park, with small shops and restaurants around a large courtyard and playground area.  All the shops are made out of old shipping containers, stacked on top of each other.  What a great concept.  The outdoor courtyard had a lawn, kids running around, live music.  Great atmosphere. We visited Banger Brewing, had a nice tour, then headed back to Harrah’s.  We ended that night with a good seafood dinner in the hotel.

Container Park

Container Park

Well, most of our group went to bed. We hit the Carnival Bar again, and the Piano Bar pianobar  in the hotel, and had to force ourselves to get to bed at a reasonable hour for our return trip to NC.

Monday was our day to depart Vegas.  We were ready to go. Missed our kids.  Needed to get home to stop the bleeding of the bank account.  We had a great time. I had a great time. I was SOOOO surprised.  My wife did a great job surprising me.   She is amazing and I love her so very much!  I can’t think of a better way to spend my 40th birthday.  And just one of many events to make this year the EPIC-est year.

What did you do for your 40th?  Have you been to VEGAS?  Favorite thing in VEGAS?

friday morning view 2PS.  It was mentioned on the flight home that this was our last trip to VEGAS.  A week removed from the trip…..We Are Going Back!!

EPIC Update…..

What an EPIC beginning to 2015.  I mean, to be waken up at 4am the day before your birthday (see the revealing of the surprise here), rushed off to the airport by your wife, and end up in Vegas with friends and family, not knowing any of it until you see the departure gate at our 2nd airport….that is an EPIC beginning to a GREAT 40th Birthday weekend.   We saw so much, drank a few, slept some, drank some, gambled and lost money, we exercised some, played slots and lost money, drank some, missed some sleep, and had an all out fun vacation.

It ended last night by returning to Wilmington, NC (without our luggage). It was time to be home, we were ready to be home, and it was great to see the boys again.  There will be a much bigger recap , similar to the race recaps everyone is familiar with, to come soon, but this time it will be the VEGAS Recap.  Thanks for reading.

View from our window in Vegas!!

View from our window in Vegas!!

EPIC has just begun!

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Many of you may already know, but today I was awoken at 4am by my wife with a suitcase in her hand and the words coming from her mouth “pack your shit”. Well, the most epic-est year has begun with a surprise trip for my 40th birthday to VEGAS! Much more to come on this adventure.

Was it SUPER for you?

SuperBowlXLIXLogo

The Super Bowl is over.  The Patriots won!   Was it the outcome you wanted?  Did your team win?  Mine did, and I’m happy about it.  I’m glad it was a good game, not a blowout like last year or other Super Bowl’s in the past that I’ve seen that were over after the first quarter.  Glad to see that.  Statman was keeping track of all his favorite players, the lone Clemson player (Byron Maxwell), and wishing he could stay up to watch the Seahawks win (much to his dismay at breakfast this morning they did not).  Bookworm was half a sleep most of the game (except for when the food was put in front of him).  Bookworm had a busy weekend of sleepovers and playing Minecraft, which wiped him out.

But the real question is: “Was it super for you?”.   Did you have lots of friends over and have a viewing party?  Did you eat a lot of good food?  Drink a lot?  We kept it quite subdued at our house.  Kelli had a 20 mile run on Sunday (not failing to mention the 10 miler on Saturday), and being a school night, we decided not to have a party (much to our disappointment as we love to host a good party!).  We came up with an appetizer list earlier in the week, and made many of them from the list.  They were GOOD (my wife is such an amazing cook)!!  We started with some filo shells filled with bacon, cream cheese, some seasonings, and some other yummy stuff.  They were baked and were incredible.  Kelli can provide the recipe if you want it.  It was much better than the way I describe it.  We then had Chicken Parmesan meatballs, substituting turkey for the chicken, and no parmesan cheese filled middles.   I got this recipe from A Little of This and That, so thank you.  My wife also made a great buffalo chicken dip, with lots of cheese, some taco flavored grilled chicken, salsa, more salsa, and more cheese.  Add tortilla chips, some celery and carrots with ranch, and that was our buffet.  And boy did we ever eat alot.    Bookwork and StatMan enjoyed it themselves, and ate the filo shells before they even hit the table.

As for the commercials, was not very impressed. Some were funny. My favorite being the Snickers commercial with Marsha Brady, and then the poor polar bear not being drafted.  Other than that, I was disappointed and somewhat appalled by a few of them, as some were just utterly wrong.  I know the theme this year was targeting more family oriented ideas, but some of them went way too far.  I’m sure you could agree with those, so no need to re-hash them here.   If you want, feel free, I’ll comment back.

All in all, it was a good night.  We made up some fun games to pick while the game went on to keep it interesting.  We ate lots of food, drank a few beers     shinerand just enjoyed the company of our family.   The boys went to bed after the halftime show, which I must say is one of the better ones I have seen in the past several years.   Kelli and I watched the rest of the game, ate a few buffalo chicken boneless wings…and then called it a night.

So, for me I would say my super bowl viewing party WAS  super for me, as I was with the ones I want to spend my time with.

How was your night?  Was it SUPER?