Viva Las Vegas Part Two

Our first day roaming around Las Vegas was amazing. We hit up a ton of major spots and hotels and walked until our feet could barely stand it! We started at the Palazzo and worked our way south on the strip until we hit the MGM Grand. Vegas is totally different in daylight than at night and the strip is pretty much dead until noon when all of the club goers and night owls wake up and start their day. But me sleep in on vacation? NO way! We were up at seven at out of the hotel by 8:30 with coffee in hand. 

The Mirage Beatles Love Entryway. You can even spot a shadowed husband down there!
Quick photo-op outside of the hotel before we started our day!
Street View of the Encore, Wynn and Venetian
The gorgeous Palazzo hotel which we loved. I would stay there in a heartbeat!

The amazing Venetian. No other hotel in Vegas compared to it. 
We were really let down with everything else after seeing it. It totally lived up to the hype.
We enjoyed lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe and enjoyed it immensely. We would recommend it if you’re in Vegas and want a cheaper but good meal. It’s very similar to the Cheesecake Factory and is open 24/7.
It was an absolutely beautiful day with better weather than we could have asked for!
We ate dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab and enjoyed walking around The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. 
The people watching is excellent in Vegas especially in the shopping malls.
We ended the night by catching the volcano show at the Mirage and wandering around the hotel. I was super excited to discover Kardashian Khaos was inside our own hotel although it was closed for the day.
There you have it for our Vegas day one. I have a lot more to 
show on day two with the hotels on the other side of the strip! Stay Tuned.

Viva Las Vegas Part One: The Arrival

We arrived in Vegas around 11 PM Christmas night! Since we flew back through the time zones our Christmas day was actually 27 hours rather than 24! I could hardly stand the excitement as I had booked a limo to pick us up from the airport that Mike had no idea about. It was a hard secret to keep but in the end he was really surprised! I wish I had snapped a photo of the chauffeur with her little suit on and the iPad she was holding with our names on but hey we were excited so we forgot! The limo was nice and stocked with beer and champagne(my fav) so we had a glass or two as we were on our way! As soon as we pulled out of the airport parking garage you could see the lights of The Strip! The chauffeur asked us if we wanted to go to the Welcome sign and of course we said yes! It is a little park smack dab in the middle of the road at the very end of the strip past Mandalay Bay. The chauffeur was very experienced with taking pictures at the sign and told us where we needed to stand to make sure we got a good shot. From there we rode down the strip to our hotel, The Mirage where we checked in and literally went straight to bed as we had a big day planned starting at 6:00 AM. The Strip is quite overwhelming with people and lights everywhere. It is a very energetic place and the sights are quite spectacular. Here are some pics I snapped in the limo on our ride into Vegas!!
I have so much more to share from this trip!

Hoover Dam

The time has come to finally share some of our Christmas vacation! Since we saw and did so much I will be sharing a little bit over a couple of weeks! 
We left Georgia on Christmas night to head out west and landed in Las Vegas around 11pm. For our first day I booked us a trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. As we set out on this tour it was the first time we had seen the desert since we had flown in under the cover of night. Lets just say it was amazing and it looked more like Mars there than we could have imagined. 
The first location on the tour was a stop off at the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam is located on the state line of Nevada and Arizona. There are actually two clocks flanking the dam showing the times in the different states. Just like everyone told me the dam appeared much smaller than it looks in movies and on television however, it was a sight to see. The rocks surrounding the canyon show the former water level which was so cool as you can clearly see where the water used to be as the rocks are white in color. There is a lot of history to read about the dam and how it was built back in 1933. We also made our way over the huge bypass bridge but you cannot see anything from the bridge because it is surrounded by concrete to shield cars from high winds. The Hoover Dam is a short trip from Vegas and if you’re out there I highly recommend you to check it out! I am hoping to return and to take the Dam tour!
Our first desert view
The backside of the Dam
Visitors center
Walls of the canyon showing the former water level of the Colorado River
Overpass bridge
There was a lot more to this vacay! Stay tuned!

Weekend Update: Thanksgiving Edition

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we traveled to Georgia to spend the holiday with my in-laws where we ate delicious food and enjoyed each others company. My beloved Gamecocks also beat our arch rival to make it 5 years in a row! It was a fabulous weekend and below are some highlights of our holiday!

Meeting my new “brother-in-law” for the first time!

The husband and I right before the turkey was put in the fryer
The finished product! It was the best turkey I’ve ever had!
The three Arnold pups!
Pumpkin getting in the Christmas spirit!
I hope y’all had a fabulous holiday weekend! I am so ready to experience the most exciting time of the year!
Stay southern,

Alternative Christmas Gift 2013

This year has been a WONDERFUL and adventurous year for Mike and I so we decided to keep up that trend for the holidays this year. We always have a hard time figuring out what to get for each other and truthfully it is so stressful, so this year I proposed a little different scenario to my husband. I never dreamed he’d say yes. So instead of giving each other gifts(that we probably wouldn’t be able to recall the next year) we have decided to spend that money(and a little extra) to head to Las Vegas after Christmas! Neither of us as ever been so we are extremely excited about the trip and about the holidays! And for me, it is that much sweeter that I do not have to stress over what to buy and will only need to stress about what to wear in the desert in winter!! We booked the trip last night and the countdown is on…46 days until Christmas and memories I am sure we’ll never forget!

Stay southern,

Honeymoon Five Months Later…

I just realized that I never shared about our wonderful honeymoon that we took two days after the wedding! Mike and I went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and stayed at the Secrets Royal Beach Resort. We had the most fantastic and relaxing time of our lives and we talk about it constantly. Hopefully one day we’ll make it back there. We chose to go to the DR as it is where Mike’s dad was born and lived part of his life. Granted we did not go to Santo Domingo, where he is from, but it made us feel closer and more relatable to him because we have now been to his home country. As for choosing what resort to stay at, I did my research. I spoke with friends who had traveled there, I read hundreds of reviews on Trip Advisor and I waited until I felt comfortable enough to book it. I am so glad we booked when we did as the same package went up $500 the following week and just one month later it was over $1000 higher than we paid. If you do your research you can really get some good deals traveling to the DR.
We went the first week of June and the weather was perfect with highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 70s. It only rained once that entire week and that was at night so we didn’t even care. The service at Secrets was unmatched to anywhere we had ever stayed. We loved the all-inclusive resort as once we arrived everything was taken care of from food to drinks to the entertainment they offered at night. My favorite thing about the resort is that you weren’t under any schedule to do anything, you could eat whenever you wanted, if you didn’t want to dress up and go to a restaurant you could just order room service! Another perk of the all-inclusive experience are the drinks. You can have them make any drink you can think of! My personal favorites were the sangria, the cuba libre light(rum and Diet Coke) and the Mamajuana which is a native drink made from allowing rum, red wine and honey soak in a bottle filled with tree bark and herbs. I know you’re probably thinking that it sounds gross but it was actually pretty tasty and powerful! We brought some home to drink on our first anniversary next year. 
We seriously had the most amazing time in the DR and it will be a vacation that we’ll never forget. It was totally worth every penny!

Stay southern,

Cheers to 10 Years!

Last weekend Mike and I traveled to South Carolina for my ten year high school reunion. It was a quick 36 hour trip but we had an amazing time hanging out with old friends and seeing some that I had not seen since the day we graduated. Everyone had really changed and some lead some really exciting and intriguing lives! Little ole’ me won the superlative for Most Changed which was pretty awesome! I always love going home as it gives me a feeling inside like no other. Everything is green, there are mountains in the distance and the air just feels cooler and crisper there. 

Pumpkin doing a little ‘front porch sittin’
Me and the bestie!
Newlyweds!

Stay southern,