Tag Archives: michancy

Fun Times in Vegas

This past weekend was a wonderful getaway.  Larry & I flew up on Thursday night to Las Vegas to meet up with Fran and Joel.  They were in this neck of the woods because they were headed to a conference in Phoenix this week, so why not meet up in a fun middle ground?  So of course, we were in for that!

We all stayed at the Palazzo, which was unsurprisingly fantastic.  It’s a huge hotel and has a smallish casino, to be honest.  But it was good enough as I ended up having quite a bit of luck playing there.  Well, the first night, not so much:  I decided to try Blackjack that Thursday night before going to bed and immediately lost $100.  ROUGH.  But it was on Friday when I played some craps and holy shit, I had a fantastic roll.  I was at the table by myself, which is usually a risky move, but it was $10 and sometimes it’s nice to not have the pressure of others betting on you and your roll. But that morning?  I was on fire.  I kept hitting the points and rolling 6s and 8s like crazy.  Started with $100 and walked away with $450.  That’s a nice session.    Our first activity that day was walking around the Strip in that area, as Fran hadn’t been in Vegas for over 40 years so it was worth walking her through a lot of it.   We walked south from the Palazzo, past the Venetian, Harrah’s, through Flamingo, then past Bally’s and into Paris.  We finally took a drink break at Paris and enjoyed the ambience.

After that respite, we crossed the street over to Caesars Palace as that is definitely something that can’t be missed when looking at over-the-top splendor.  The Forum Shoppes suitably impressed them, as did the curvy escalators!  After that, it was time to walk on back to the Palazzo and past the Mirage, which we’d return to on Saturday night.

Another drink stop back at the Palazzo casino bar area, and then it was finally time to get some Roulette in!  I don’t usually play, but it was the game that Fran was up for as Jon had asked her to play some #s.  Well, crazily enough, she was able to get some wins in – hell, so did I!  The best one was 33 hit, which I had bet on, and on the next spin, it came up again.  Sweet, and I had put another dollar on there.  35-1 odds, buddy!

That evening we had dinner at the Lavo Italian restaurant in the Palazzo, which was pretty great.  Joel’s boss and wife were also meeting us there for dinner.  The food was great, but I ended up unable to finish off my veal parmesan as it was ginormous.  But very good!

On Saturday morning, we awoke and instead of having breakfast again at the Grand Lux Cafe, we found Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro – quite a trek to find, but sooo damn good.  It’s a French restaurant and oh man, their weekend menu is delicious.  I ended up getting one of the specials, chicken with waffles, and it was fantastic.  Perfectly cooked chicken…bacon in the waffles….delicious.

After breakfast, that day’s walking adventure was to take the Monorail down to the MGM Grand so we could then not only see that but also see the New York New York casino.  We had to show them the fun theming there, even if it is kind of lame.  We then walked through the Excalibur and into the Luxor, where we had another drink break.  It was a lot of fun to stop there as they were playing music videos and all of them were just a blast to watch.  Larry & I could have probably hung out there, drank, and watched videos all afternoon!  We did then check out Mandalay Bay before catching a cab back to the hotel in order to get some rest.

We still had a fun night ahead, as we had gotten tickets to see the Beatles’ LOVE show at the Mirage!  Yay!  Michancy also joined us, so it was a blast.  I was excited to see it again (yes, again, I know) as for its 10th anniversary, they changed it up a little.  After having seen it, I think I preferred the original version to the tweaks that were implemented.  It’s not a giant overhaul by any means, but there did seem to be additions and removals that changed the overall excitement, maybe?  Regardless, still a great show and the newbies all loved it.  After the show, we then headed back to the Canal Shoppes and got dinner at Sushi Samba, which is quite an experience.  Really good food in a fun atmosphere.  Michancy suggested keeping going, but both Larry & I were done at that point, so we walked her to her car and then headed back to the hotel.

And then it was Sunday and time to go home.  We actually did have a good bit of fun in the morning, as we had breakfast at the Grand Lux again (their beignets were so good and their French Toast is insanely thick) and then after getting packed, we killed some more time at the casino, with Fran able to play roulette for a while longer and I went over and played craps again.  It was great as I was able to win some money – although not as much as some guys who were playing one of the particular-table bets I’d not seen before – Repeater bets, in which if you roll two 2s or three 3s or four 4s etc before 7-ing out, you get insane paydays.  It’s of course bigger at the 6 and 8 (120-1), but the 2/12 is still 50-1 I think, and it just goes up.  For those rolls in which craps numbers get rolled a lot, which sometimes happen, these bets are ridiculous.  One of the guys at the table literally won $1000 on those bets alone.  But I know full well that those are sucker bets too, as those great rolls don’t come all that often!

Anyway, it was wonderful to see Fran and Joel even if for a little while.  They drove off to Phoenix while Larry & I took our brief Southwest flight home.  I freakin’ love flying to Vegas now – so much less stressful.

A Christmas Catch-Up Post & Pics!

There’s been some fun few days during this holiday break, and that was helped a lot by Michancy coming down for Christmas.  She got here on Friday the 23rd, and that night we went out to Flapper’s Comedy Club in Burbank in the midst of a heavy heavy rain storm.  These were tickets that Larry had gotten for free and we were this close to abandoning it and staying in, but we somehow found the willpower to just go.   We got an Uber to make it easy on all of us, and did have plenty of wine before and during the show.  The kind of cool thing that did happen at Flappers is that we got there at 7, and the actual “show” (Jokes for Jews, no joke) started at 8, so there was a warm-up act.  At first I couldn’t roll my eyes harder as it was a woman singing while playing her banjo….and then I started hearing her voice more clearly and then really looking at her.   It was freakin’ Deven Green!  Or maybe you’ve heard of her as Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian?

Oh man, she is absolutely awesome in this character and has a whole slew of other topics if you choose to go down that rabbit hole.  But this one about abortion is my favorite – especially the line, “bottoms up, hooker!”  Deven Green also did some hilarious voiceovers on a series of videos that Brenda Dickson made back in the 80s, and if you can find them, great, but likely you won’t.  So it was a happy accident and surprise that we got to see her in person.  She’s very musically talented and was a lot of fun to watch and sing along with.  I did get a brief chance to tell her how much I loved her work, so I feel like that was all worth it.

Alright, here are the pictures from that day of Michancy’s arrival –

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 – Michancy Arrives

The next day we included culture as part of the day’s activities before we got to real work on making food for Christmas Day, so we drove nearby to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.  It’s a fabulous museum, convenient for us, not all that expensive, and has a wonderful collection of art without being overwhelming.  I think it gets lost in the shuffle of LACMA, the Broad, or the Getty(s), but Norton Simon stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these museums in terms of quality.  Highly recommended!

A big part of why I wanted to get over to the Norton Simon was that they had Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” on loan from the Chicago Art Institute, and I am always excited to go and see Van Gogh if I can.  It turns out this is actually the 2nd of 3 “The Bedroom” paintings that Van Gogh did.

There were quite a few other Van Gogh paintings there as well, but one that really caught my attention is one called “The Mulberry Tree.”  It’s quite arresting and I couldn’t help but be transfixed by it.  I ended up buying a copy of it for my mom as a Christmas gift to go along with some of the other Van Gogh prints she has.

Probably the best thing of the visit though was wandering around near the end of the visit around the Dutch / European wing and coming face to face with what is most certainly Larry’s doppelganger in portrait form.  It was quite shocking to see it and I had to have Larry take a picture with it.  I’m not wrong:

I’ve found Larry’s doppelganger

The artist did his own portrait and while you can look around at other portraits of him, they really don’t look much like Larry.  I think he was very generous with himself and that speaks highly of Larry.  It also seems like this is a definite costume contender for Halloween 2017.

Anyway, after that nice excursion, we grabbed a late lunch in Eagle Rock and then came back for the evening and watched Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Die Hard, as one does for Christmas.  Larry made amazing latkes, and all was well in the world.

Saturday, Dec 24, 2016 – Norton Simon and Other Adventures

One of the things we did that night was open our gifts – Larry got Bingo Bronson and a brand spanking new Apple Watch, while I got some of the Philips Hue lights I’ve been coveting for a long long time.  Believe me when I say those things are so freaking cool.  You can change the color of the light to pretty much anything, and it’s fantastic.

On Christmas, we went over to Mom’s house, as did Stacie & Trent.  It was a lot of fun – we played some games (Tower of Terror Jenga & Apples to Apples), ate a lot of good food, danced a lot, and overall enjoyed Christmas day.  We also watched my episode of Jeopardy, as Stacie hadn’t seen it.  Funny enough, I made Michancy watch that again on Friday, I think.  I’m definitely starting to get that out of my system?  Although each time I watch, I still am utterly compelled by the whole thing.  And I still don’t know the answers to many of the Earth Science questions.  🙂

Sunday, Dec 25, 2016 – Christmas with the Fam

Michancy ended up leaving the next day in the afternoon.  We were mostly recovering from all the wine that had been consumed over the last few days and didn’t do much of anything – I played (and finishing, later that evening) Uncharted 4, Larry & I watched Midnight Special, which was certainly an interesting movie but I’m not sure all the build up we had for it was warranted?

Since then, I’ve had the chance to clean up the house a bit, go see La La Land again (still fantastic and as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first time I saw it), play a lot of The Witcher 3 (good god, that game is so good and there’s so much good stuff to do in it), and today I went and rode the Gold Line again, this time from Sierra Madre Villa and on out to its new terminus in Azusa, then back.  

I’ve got my list of tasks to work through, some of which include getting these pictures out, maybe finishing up the honeymoon pictures FINALLY, as well as extending our lease another year.  Yep, not moving after 2 years this time.  Too many things up in the air right now to be moving and spending all that money to do so.

A Great Christmas Weekend

It really was a fun few days.  Michancy came down and had her first visit with us in a long time (perhaps Thanksgiving 2014?), and it went well.  We actually did some work to make our office able to handle the queen-size air mattress.  To do that, we got rid of the clunky TV that Larry’s been carrying around with him since the 80s (I kid, only slightly) and got a 40″ inch flat panel from Sony.  Super light weight and pretty inexpensive, and we were able to mount it on a wall.  Then I got some furniture sliders and put those underneath the legs of our credenzas, allowing us to slide them out of the way.  Voila!

New TV for the Office/Bedroom
New TV for the Office/Bedroom
Our guestroom kinda fits the queen bed!
Our guestroom kinda fits the queen bed!

Christmas Eve – Michancy Arrives!

24-Dec-2015 20:53, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
24-Dec-2015 21:13, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 640
24-Dec-2015 21:13, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
 

She made it down a little early to avoid bad traffic (which unfortunately would be inescapable on her return journey) and so it was just her and I for a little, and we discovered we had no vegan snack food.  Off to Ralph’s we went, and by the time we got back, Larry was home too.  Wine drinking ensued, and then we went and got sushi at nearby Akuma.    After that, I made Michancy watch Spy on Blu-Ray and I was pleased and surprised to discover it had an Unrated version that has significant additions and changes to scenes, making it even more funny.  I’m actually kind of shocked the scenes reviewing the assassin’s camera were even longer….so to speak.

Christmas Day – Morning Prep

25-Dec-2015 11:47, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 125
25-Dec-2015 11:48, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
25-Dec-2015 11:48, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
 
25-Dec-2015 11:48, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 280
25-Dec-2015 12:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
25-Dec-2015 12:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 
25-Dec-2015 12:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 400
Making mac & cheese
Making mac & cheese25-Dec-2015 12:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 400
25-Dec-2015 12:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 400
 
25-Dec-2015 12:02, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 400
25-Dec-2015 12:02, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320
25-Dec-2015 12:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
 
25-Dec-2015 12:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 220
25-Dec-2015 12:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
25-Dec-2015 12:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
 

Larry not only made his excellent mac and cheese to take with us to Mom’s, he also made a vegan version of shepherd’s pie.  I did not partake in that dish.  🙂

At Mom’s

We spent the afternoon and evening at my mom’s house, along with Stacie & Trent.  It was a lot of fun and we ended up opening our gifts there too.  I had picked up the LEGO Big Bang Theory set for my mom;  I picked up the BB-8 robot for Larry.  He got me a Fitbit which I’ve finally set up last night and I’m well on my way to tracking my fitness all day and night!  My mom got us some great Star Wars mugs too.  More drinking occurred, along with watching the Adele special on NBC, and of course plenty of dancing.  🙂

At Mom's
At Mom's25-Dec-2015 14:39, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 5.4mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
25-Dec-2015 14:40, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 5.4mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
25-Dec-2015 15:00, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 
25-Dec-2015 15:00, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.333 sec, ISO 800
25-Dec-2015 15:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 280
25-Dec-2015 15:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320
 
25-Dec-2015 15:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
25-Dec-2015 15:02, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 450
25-Dec-2015 15:03, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
 
25-Dec-2015 15:03, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 720
25-Dec-2015 15:03, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
25-Dec-2015 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 5.4mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
 
25-Dec-2015 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
25-Dec-2015 15:05, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 500
25-Dec-2015 15:05, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
 

Finally Home

Larry got to put BB-8 through its paces and we watched the best Christmas movie ever, Die Hard.

25-Dec-2015 19:47, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 400
25-Dec-2015 19:47, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 400
25-Dec-2015 19:48, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 
25-Dec-2015 19:51, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 34.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 800
25-Dec-2015 19:58, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.5 sec, ISO 800
25-Dec-2015 19:59, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.5 sec, ISO 800
 
25-Dec-2015 20:55, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 1 sec, ISO 800
25-Dec-2015 20:56, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.5 sec, ISO 800
25-Dec-2015 20:57, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.625 sec, ISO 800
 

Day After Christmas Fun: The Broad

Well, we first made our way to the Granville Cafe to get some breakfast and bloody marys, but after that, we thought about heading down to DTLA and visiting a new museum.  The Broad has just recently opened and it’s still fairly popular – especially since it’s free.  Also, there’s an Infinite Stars exhibit that people are all crazy for and which we ended up not getting to see as you have to get to the museum early and sign up for an appointed block of time.  Kinda like “Breathing Light” at the LACMA when it first opened.  Larry & I will have to try again as it does look like a cool thing – BUT, after waiting about an hour to get in, I think all three of us were happy to have visited the Broad as it’s a great collection focused on modern art.  Lots of fun stuff to see, like Koons sculptures (some of which were previously at the BCAM wing of the LACMA – it’s also a Broad-owned wing, hence the “B” in the name), Warhol art, and some awesome Lichtenstein pieces.  Modern art can be sometimes ridiculous, but it can also end up being quite interesting.

26-Dec-2015 14:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
The Broad's Veil
The Broad's Veil26-Dec-2015 14:16, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 14:16, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
 
26-Dec-2015 14:18, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 14:18, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.3, 17.6mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 14:18, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 
26-Dec-2015 14:43, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Up close to the Veil while waiting in line
Up close to the Veil while waiting in line26-Dec-2015 14:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 14:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 
26-Dec-2015 14:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
LA City Hall zoomed in
LA City Hall zoomed in26-Dec-2015 14:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 80.3mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 14:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 80.3mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
About to enter
About to enter26-Dec-2015 14:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 14:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.3, 17.6mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 14:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 220
 

Walking Grand Blvd and Grand Park

After seeing the museum, we walked along Grand Blvd towards Grand Park, passing by the Walt Disney Music Hall and the area around the Ahmanson.  Lots of great cultural venues all co-located in this area!  Grand Park is a place Larry and I had visited but it’s still situated in a very interesting location with the famous LA City Hall positioned at one end.  We ended up having a much-needed Starbucks break before continuing our walk back south.

26-Dec-2015 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
 
The neighboring Walt Disney Music Hall by Frank Gehry
The neighboring Walt Disney Music Hall by Frank Gehry26-Dec-2015 15:31, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:31, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:31, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 
26-Dec-2015 15:31, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:31, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
Looking down Grand
Looking down Grand26-Dec-2015 15:32, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
26-Dec-2015 15:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 
26-Dec-2015 15:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 15:34, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 

Angels Flight, Grand Central Market, Pershing Square, the Oviatt and Bottega Louie

The end of our adventure took us by the closed-down Angels Flight funicular, through the exciting Grand Central Market, over and through the Pershing Square area and past the upcoming site of our nuptials, the Oviatt Penthouse.  The final destination was over at Bottega Louie, which has become a very happy place to grab dinner in DTLA.  It’s just so good and such a great vibe.

The still-closed Angels Flight funicular
The still-closed Angels Flight funicular26-Dec-2015 16:22, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 5.4mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 16:22, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
The entrance - alas, you have to walk
The entrance - alas, you have to walk26-Dec-2015 16:23, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 140
 
26-Dec-2015 16:23, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 140
Inside Grand Central Market
Inside Grand Central Market26-Dec-2015 16:25, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
26-Dec-2015 16:25, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 400
 
26-Dec-2015 16:25, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
26-Dec-2015 16:34, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
Pershing Square
Pershing Square26-Dec-2015 16:34, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 125
 
Oviatt from a distance
Oviatt from a distance26-Dec-2015 16:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 16:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 57.3mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
26-Dec-2015 16:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
 
Zoomed in to the US Bank Tower
Zoomed in to the US Bank Tower26-Dec-2015 16:38, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 29.2mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 125
Dinner at Bottega Louie's!
Dinner at Bottega Louie's!26-Dec-2015 16:51, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
26-Dec-2015 16:51, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 

Then it was time to go home!  After some time relaxing back at the apartment, we ended up going back out to enjoy some of our local nightlife at a restaurant/bar called Jax.  It’s known around here as a place where live jazz is played every night – and of course Larry & I hadn’t gone yet since living here.  But hey, we made it under a year!  It was a lot of fun to go though and while I didn’t know what to expect (I DID expect it to look kind of like where Effie White sings in the Dreamgirls movie when she gets her first break on her comeback – I was wrong), it was pretty cool to get a seat right by the jazz group and just drink and enjoy the night.

Jazz setup at Jax
Jazz setup at Jax
Inside Jax for some jazz and drinks
Inside Jax for some jazz and drinks
Jazz Legacy was playing that night
Jazz Legacy was playing that night

 

On Sunday, Michancy was headed home.  We also had an appointment to meet with a wedding photographer which seemed to be a success way out in Simi Valley.  We had left at the same time as Michancy, and so when we got back and started cleaning up the room, we discovered Michancy had left her laptop bag.  Not good for her to not have that especially when it’s her work bag.  D’oh.  So she unfortunately had to turn around after being past Yermo on the drive to Vegas – we helped make it not too painful by driving out to Fontana to kind of meet halfway.  But yeah, she ended up having a horrific drive back as there was unreal traffic going to Vegas yesterday.  I’m still not sure why, as you’d think the main traffic pattern would be comign to LA, but I do indeed remember one holiday driving back to Vegas and it took me close to 7 hours because of snow on Halloran mountain.  UGH.

Anyway, it was a good visit and now I’m off for a week.  Thanks, PwC!  I better enjoy it as we all hit the ground running upon coming back as it’s busy season across the board.  FUN.

A Mid-Week Vegas Trip and We Saw Neon

While I spend this February in a kind of stasis while waiting for my new job to begin in March, I wanted to get in some fun activities.  Who knows how crazy life will be the rest of the year, right?  The easiest trip to set up ended up being Vegas, of course.  The previous Tuesday we had gone to my mom’s house and asked if she was up for a trip there, which of course was a yes.  So off we went this Tuesday morning for a quick 2-night trip (and I ended up getting us a mini-suite).

Feb 10, 2015 – Heading to Vegas and Arrival at Flamingo LV

10-Feb-2015 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 30.937mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100
10-Feb-2015 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 30.937mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 320
10-Feb-2015 11:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
10-Feb-2015 13:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
10-Feb-2015 13:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
10-Feb-2015 13:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 800
 
10-Feb-2015 13:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
10-Feb-2015 14:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.926mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
10-Feb-2015 14:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 13.607mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 400
 
10-Feb-2015 14:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 40.171mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 800
10-Feb-2015 14:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
10-Feb-2015 14:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 400
 
10-Feb-2015 17:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.782mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 250
10-Feb-2015 17:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.782mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 320
10-Feb-2015 17:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
 

I wouldn’t call this a successful gambling trip unlike my last one, but it was still a good time to get the hell out of dodge and have some fun.  The first day, while gambling sucked, we had a fabulous evening.  To start us off was an early dinner reservation at the new Giada de Laurentiis restaturant, Giada’s (natch), in the Cromwell Hotel (formerly Bill’s Gambling Hall, formerly Barbary Coast).  We could only get a 5:15 reservation but that turned out to be perfect as we got to see the sunlight go down AND we got a fabulous table at the window overlooking the Strip.  Prime real estate.

Dinner at Giada’s

10-Feb-2015 17:18
10-Feb-2015 17:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 200
10-Feb-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Feb-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 800
10-Feb-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5mm
 
10-Feb-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 800
10-Feb-2015 18:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 18:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Feb-2015 18:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 18:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 18:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Feb-2015 18:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
10-Feb-2015 18:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
 

Anyway, Giada’s was a very nice experience, but it’s wildly expensive and likely something we’ll do just this once.  Even Otto, which we went to the next day, wasn’t anywhere near as expensive as Giada’s.  You know what was the major expense?  The wine!  I know that no one has a gun to my head to drink it, but there were very few options for getting bottles of wine that weren’t 3-digits in price.  I mean, DAMN.   But at least we got to go there finally as my mom had been wanting to since it opened last year.

After that, we said goodbye to my mom (and my sobriety) and Michancy squired us away for a treat at an Asian dessert place in Chinatown.  I vaguely remember it but it was a fun experience as they handmade the desserts in front of us.  Very cool-looking interior too.  We then headed back to the Linq area and visited our standard place for late-night drinking and enjoyment, the Boulevard Bar.  Tuesday night was a jazz night and it was fabulous.   The Sprinkles Cupcakes was now open at the Linq too and I finally ended up having one – which again, I vaguely remember.  Really good though, and probably crucial to my hangover not being too terrible the next morning.  Scouts honor, no vomiting occurred during this trip!  I know, Shocker!

Post-Dinner Vegas with Michancy

10-Feb-2015 20:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
10-Feb-2015 20:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 20:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Feb-2015 20:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 20:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 20:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5mm
 
10-Feb-2015 20:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 20:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 20:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Feb-2015 20:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
10-Feb-2015 21:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 21:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 16.985mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Feb-2015 21:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Feb-2015 21:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 

I’ve had rough mornings in Vegas and luckily, this trip did not have any of those.  I wasn’t 100% by any means, but yeah, I do seem to fucking lose my mind every first night I have in Vegas.  Larry & I were talking this morning and I think it’s time to stop hitting up the Margaritaville 5 o’clock Somewhere bar first and ban margaritas from the drinking rotation.  I never stay with margaritas later that day so it’s just me asking for punishment.  Plus, the margaritas aren’t all that great and I’d be better off sticking with something less sugar-y and over the top.

But back to the next day in Vegas, Wednesday.  We all tried some more Blackjack at the Margaritaville Casino and again, we got pretty fucking destroyed there, fairly quickly.  The cards were NOT in our favor this trip.  Ooof.  After that, Larry & I did a quick walk-around in Caesar’s Palace and the Forum Shops which is always a nice way to kill time.  As we were there, I realized I wanted to finally head over to the Neon Graveyard Museum that I’d been wanting to see ever since I saw it on the Amazing Race.  Our friends Treva and Stuart actually just went there a few weeks ago so it was also fresh in my mind after seeing their FB photos of it.  So the itinerary was updated and even my mom was up for going as the gambling wasn’t getting any better, so why not step away for a little?  At the same time, Michancy called and asked us all to lunch, so it worked out that we went up to Downtown Vegas, which is where she has an office.  There’s a very young and hipster-y section of downtown nowadays, which is shocking.   It’s that area where we visited the Container Park a few trips ago and we went to the Carson Kitchen.  Very cool place and it felt like it would have been perfectly at home here in Los Feliz/Silver Lake.

After lunch, we said goodbye to Michancy and then the three of us drove nearby to the Neon Musuem – and it was fascinating.  Not only is this a non-profit museum attempting to preserve some of Vegas’ showy and glittery past by maintaining and preserving its neon heritage, you get a wildly interesting history lesson.  I definitely learned a lot about Vegas’ origins and past and our tour guide did a great job in telling lots of fun anecdotes and stories concerning casinos long gone.  Things like the mob’s influence are of course expected, but it was interesting to learn about Vegas being ahead of the curve in things like racial integration – obviously it’s great socially but Vegas is all about that $$$ and it’s stupid to isolate revenue streams.  Anyway, I took LOTS of pictures so here they are:

Feb 11, 2015 – The Vegas Neon Museum

11-Feb-2015 13:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100
11-Feb-2015 13:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 24.902mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
11-Feb-2015 13:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 46.103mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
11-Feb-2015 14:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
11-Feb-2015 14:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 36.909mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
11-Feb-2015 14:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 250
 
11-Feb-2015 14:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400
11-Feb-2015 14:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
11-Feb-2015 14:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 5.645mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 160
 
11-Feb-2015 14:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
11-Feb-2015 14:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
11-Feb-2015 14:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Feb-2015 14:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
11-Feb-2015 14:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.9mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
11-Feb-2015 14:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
 

If you ever get the chance to visit this place, Do So!  You won’t regret it.

That evening, Larry & I met up with Michancy again, this time over at Otto Pizzeria Enoteca in the Venetian Hotel.  I love this restaurant, and we’ve been to both this location and the original in NYC.  It has amazing pizzas along with basically everything else (fried mozzarella is always and forever amazing).  Shockingly and happily, our favorite kind of wine, Montepulciano, was available and looked to be the most affordable of their selections.  SCORE.  It was a great dinner and then a big table filled with lots of attractive men sat down near us, possibly a rugby team.  Michancy had promised us that this week in Vegas, rugby teams from around the world were here.  I’m not positive they were a rugby group, but I’m choosing to believe they were.

Dinner at Otto

11-Feb-2015 15:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 17.535mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
11-Feb-2015 15:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 43.645mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
11-Feb-2015 18:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Feb-2015 18:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 160
11-Feb-2015 18:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 18:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Feb-2015 18:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 18:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 18:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 
11-Feb-2015 18:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 18:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 18:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Feb-2015 18:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 28.223mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 18:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 75.35mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 18:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 35.864mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
 

We had a bit more adventure after Otto, as we then went down to the Planet Hollywood area, then walked around south towards Monte Carlo, before finally having a drink or two at Todd English’s Pub in the Aria Hotel at Citycenter.   After that we called it a night.  It was a lot of fun!

Wandering Vegas

11-Feb-2015 21:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 21:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
11-Feb-2015 21:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Feb-2015 21:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
 

We then went home the next morning!  Honestly, I think I like having a third night to do things in Vegas.  I didn’t gamble that much, which is probably for the best, but I would have liked to anyway.  I didn’t get to play craps this trip except for a quick turn at one of those automated craps machines where I actually had a good run of luck, turning $20 into $60.  Yay!  But yeah, better cards at blackjack would have been appreciated and some time at the craps table are necessary items for me – so next time!

Thanksgiving + Michancy

It’s been a good few days thus far, although I think perhaps we are drinking a tad too much to celebrate the times?  Ah, maybe not.  It’s all in service of having a great time, and that is something we are definitely still having.

So Michancy came out for the holiday, arriving on Tuesday.  We took her to Edendale for dinner as any good friend should do.  Then on Wednesday, after I got home from work, we went to Americana for the best dumplings in the city at Dim Tai Fung, and it was glorious.  Larry then produced a quite amazing Thanksgiving spread, cooking up some stupendous food for us and it was utter perfection.  Mom and Stacie came over for the goodness, including the food and the music.  70s pop / rock can’t be beat!

And now, Pictures!

25 Nov 2014 – Michancy Arrives; Edendale

25-Nov-2014 19:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 800
25-Nov-2014 19:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 320
25-Nov-2014 19:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 320
 
25-Nov-2014 19:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 800
25-Nov-2014 19:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
25-Nov-2014 20:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 6400
 
25-Nov-2014 20:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 2500
25-Nov-2014 20:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
25-Nov-2014 20:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 5000
 
25-Nov-2014 21:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
25-Nov-2014 21:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 640
25-Nov-2014 22:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 

27 Nov 2014 – Thanksgiving!

27-Nov-2014 10:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
27-Nov-2014 10:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 250
27-Nov-2014 10:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 
27-Nov-2014 10:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 400
27-Nov-2014 14:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.794mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
27-Nov-2014 14:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.794mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 
27-Nov-2014 14:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.794mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
27-Nov-2014 14:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
27-Nov-2014 14:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 200
 
27-Nov-2014 14:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.266mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
27-Nov-2014 14:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.14mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 400
27-Nov-2014 14:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 39.062mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
 
27-Nov-2014 14:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.645mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 500
27-Nov-2014 14:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.952mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 800
27-Nov-2014 14:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.952mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 800
 

And if you didn’t know, the teaser trailer for the next Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, was released, and holy moly, it’s awesome.  Nothing is given away and it’s hard to tell what is happening, but the moment you see the Millennium Falcon accompanied by the Star Wars fanfare, it’s time for the tears.  Can’t wait for December 2015!