Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gobble Gobble!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Last week was very busy with our anniversary trip to Las Vegas! It was the three year anniversary of our engagement and we tried our best to relive the moments that made it special the first time around, sans the engagement ring of course.

The weather didn't cooperate, but it didn't keep us down. For probably the first time ever, it rained three days straight in Vegas and we like to walk around. That proved challenging unfortunately, but we made the best of it and caught some breaks where the rain actually stopped.

Here's the view from our bed on the top floor of the Stratosphere. The vaulted ceilings up there make the room even nicer. 

LL is NOT drunk! The flash was just too bright for her and she couldn't keep her eyes fully open. We ate on Thursday night, the actually anniversary day, at the Eiffel Tower restaurant in the Paris hotel, which is where I proposed. We had a seat along the glass, much like we did in the picture above. The Bellagio fountains are in the background.

NOT drunk. Really!

My veal....yummy! 

An awesome pasta side dish with butternut squash, cranberries and some other little goodies. 

An anniversary mousse. Very good. It's not cheap up there by the way, $100 per person roughly.

Our view of the fountains.

Such a pretty sight!

The next night, we went to the seafood buffet at the Rio. They upped their prices so that it's $100 a couple, but still very good. 

We ate a LOT of crab legs. A LOT. But they also added duck (think Sun-wah for those who have been there) and lobster tails. Very good eating! Do you notice a theme?

LL made sure she kept her eyes open at The Hofbrauhaus, where we had a fine German meal and met a friend of LL's who happened to be in town with her boys! Good fun. This place is a huge German beer hall essentially complete with the band, lederhosen, busty waitresses, the whole nine yards. It really is a good time and not far from the MGM Grand. 

What do we have here? This is in a room at The Stratosphere, not the sports book, but another room, where on Sunday's they have all the NFL games on these huge TVs. You can bet, eat, drink and even play blackjack if you want. As it turns out, I won "the best seats in the house" drawing and we got to sit in these huge comfy chairs in the middle of the room with views of all the TVs as well as winning a free pizza and bucket of beers, which I parlayed into a pitcher of margaritas.  We watched the Bears game and the first half of the next game. It was pretty cool. 

On to the baby pictures! Yes, it was our first time away from Marissa (together) and LL's first time ever over night away from her. We held up pretty well and think Puerto Rico in March is definitely doable. Fortunately LL's parents were kind enough to watch her and send pictures, usually three times a day. Here's a sampling: 

 Now for some video. The first is in the glass elevator at the Rio and the second is in the huge sports room at the Stratosphere. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crazy Weather, Crazy Week

Another crazy week goes by without a post. Sigh. Well, here we go! 

Last weekend was the Bears/Lions game and this week it was the Bears/Ravens. If you look at the last entry, you'll notice a distinctly different weather outlook. The weather was nuts on Sunday, but it was fine for tailgating, 60 degrees+ though blustery. While I knew there was the possibility of rain and wind, little did I know that what was coming was much worse. 

When friends and family starting texting and calling me to "be safe", I should have become slightly worried. I wasn't though and there wasn't any rain until just about kick-off. 

And boy did it rain. For the first time ever for me, we were evacuated from our seats to the concourse. It certainly looked ominous at the start of the game, but again, what's a little rain?

Well, it was a LOT of rain. And lighting. And wind. Yeah, it was a typhoon.

This isn't our crew, but it gives you an idea of what the two hour delay was like. Fortunately, I was with friends and the beer was flowing. Seemed only like 45 minutes or so. Ha!

And this was what it looked like afterwards. Unfortunately it was even windier and about 30 degrees colder.

And this is part of the devastation down south of us about 90 minutes.

Look at this tornado swath!!

Sandwiched in between the Bears' games was a Blackhawks' game! We were back in our seats in the second row in 303 on the aisle. Great seats. It was replica ring night and while we didn't know, we got in before they ran out. After being inside for only about 5 minutes, we had two people come up to offer us money for our rings. One guy offered $40, but we turned him down. They are going for $60-$125 on Ebay!!

No post would be complete without a picture or two of our little 8 month old angel. 

Oh, and we had to do some baby proofing for when Marissa starts crawling. This week we got radiator covers and fenced off the spiral staircase. Next up: cabinet door latches.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finally, another update!

Okay, I have no time for a post, but just can't be going for weeks on end without creating one, so I'm making time.

ESDNM was in town the latter half of last week and upon his departure, I started prepping for the Bears game on Sunday.  ESDNM's visit went well, though again, I ate too much food. I think the problem isn't dinner, but lunch. Normally I have a fairly healthy and small lunch (as does ESDNM), but when we get together, bad things happen (like The Bagel and Penny's Noodles). Oh well, it's still worth it.

Then came Sunday. Oh man, what a day. The Bears lost on the last play of the game, essentially, but other than that it was outstanding. The weather was in the upper 40's and we had 25 people at our tailgate. Yes, 25. That's an insane number. It was great though and I can only begin to tell you the food we had, which I'm only going to mention the chili. First chili of the year at the game and I added something new this year: chipotle peppers! Deliciously spicy. Not a ton of them mind you, just a few. Next time it will be a few more. Last year I added the brown sugar and this year chipotle peppers. Nice!

Here are two pics. Look at that sky! It rained and then turned to snow on Monday. Whew, missed it by a day. And yes, that's my brother-in-law wearing a Lions jersey. My sister is next to him. 

Monday I had my doctors appointment, finally, for my potential hernia. Turns out they are pretty sure it's NOT a hernia, but instead just a strained muscle or strained group of muscles in my core. So he's recommending ibuprofen therapy, rest or aerobic activity but no weight lifting. That's going to be tough! Oh, and they weighed me at the office and said I was 198!! Holy crap! This morning though I was 188, so I'm okay again. Whew.

Little Marissa is 8 months old now!! Still adorable! She's not quite crawling yet, but is close. She's also starting to chew on some solid foods now. It's fun having her at the dinner table with us.

In this last one she has a carrot in her hand/mouth.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Wood cutting weekend

It was a busy weekend for me with the annual trip up to Ricardo's cabin for wood cutting weekend. Each year we go up there (about 30 minutes north of Madison), find dead trees, cut them up, split them so they can dry for the NEXT year's winter. This year we took down about the equivalent of eight trees or so. It seemed like a lot more than usual, but I think it was just harder than usual to get the trees to where we could work with them. 

Here are the pics!

Markakis chainsawing away on one of the trees. We grouped a bunch of them in this clearing up the yard from the house. 

We filled this trailer 1 1/2 times. 

Markakis (aka Nick) wanted a picture for his new girlfriend. Sap. 

I think this picture was what we split on Friday. 

Here's the end result. Not too shabby. 

So of course we had to be rewarded! This was Friday night's casualties.

And rewarded some more. This was after we finished on Sunday (just in time for kickoff of the noon games in fact!).

And the sunset on another productive woodcutting weekend. If you can blow this picture up, you can see the sun shining on the valley in the background. Very cool.