11.30.2011

Denver, CO Temple, Thanksgiving

So, after a fun weekend of wedding and Vegas from 11/11 to 11/13, I then took a flight to Denver Colorado to see the LDS temple on Tuesday 11/15. I had planned it last year but had to cancel, and had to use the flight credits before they expired. Our budget was tight so we decided that I'd just book the original trip I had planned.

I have a life goal of doing a temple session in all of the US temples (maybe the world if I get the time). Denver's was built in 1986. My parents lived out there for awhile for my dad's work, and my sister was born in Aurora, so even though I only drove around for a day, I got a small sense of what they saw. Next time I want to go see the University of Denver where my dad earned his MBA. Enjoy the photos below.

The following weekend, Michael took photos for Vasty and Jeremy (see them here: MBKB) and they turned out great. I also tried to certify to be an ETS essay rater but the website isn't working on our home computer. So much for that! Maybe it wasn't meant to be.

Thanksgiving week/weekend was great. Michael's work had a feast, and the next day we drove up to Fresno and stayed at Bryan and Amanda's apartment. We enjoyed seeing family and relaxing. Then on Friday we drove to Carson City, Nevada and spent the evening and all of Saturday relaxing, exploring around town, and seeing the Muppet movie with Allyson and Peter (cheesiest movie ever). Speaking of cheese, Allyson made some yummy homemade mac n' cheese. I was reluctant to go home but we'll see everyone again soon.

Besides substitute teaching and other stuff, I've also wrapped all of the Christmas presents we have so far. The only people left that we want to shop for are my dad and each other. It'll be a small Christmas this year, but it's funny how materialistically smaller Christmases get, the more I love them simply because I'm with family.

hints of snow here and there

11.17.2011

Viva Las Vegas!

After Amanda's wedding on 11/11/11, Mike, his dad and stepmom and I drove to Las Vegas that night. It took about 6 hours to get to state line from Fresno since we had to backtrack down the 99 freeway, so we got there about 2:30 AM. Whiskey Pete's had turned off their card key machine (what hotel does that?) so we had to wait ten more minutes before heading to bed.



I was in my pajamas with my imitation Ugg boots from Costco, looking very disheveled, and grateful for a bed to sleep in considering we only got 3 hours of sleep the night before. Terri got the room for free, and they also gave her some free playing money, so she hit the slots to pass time and ended up having really good luck! So good that she stayed another 2 hours into the morning! Lucky duck.

We slept until 1 PM on Saturday (yes really, I'm ashamed but we needed it) and then drove across the way to Primm for lunch. Then we hit the outlets for some early Christmas shopping - love it. Afterward it got dark so it felt like we should be going to bed soon, but not in Vegas! We drove to the LDS temple and did a session. Their temple is really cool! I have a life goal of doing a session in all of the US temples, and hadn't done Vegas yet.



We then headed to The Orleans where Terri had more free rooms! That evening we started playing and had some snacks around their eateries. This was my first time gambling, so I was nervous at first but got really comfortable since you could play pennies, nickels, and dimes, so the money goes away slowly instead of quickly, haha! Michael and I were up and down and up and down, but by the end of our trip we were down, booo. One game I won $20, which was pretty cool. I'm glad we didn't gamble much, but I loved playing poker! So fun.



The next day we met up with our friends Devon and Vanessa and ate at the French Buffet downstairs. So yummy! They were both fun and funny to spend time with, I'm glad we met up! They celebrated their 2-year anniversary the next day :)

orleanscasino.com


Afterward, we gambled more, and Mike actually got to play poker at a table with real people - it's more fun for him rather than a machine. I love my machines though! Since we joined their points club for free, The Orleans may start mailing us free deals too. Mike got 1000 free points since it was his birthday month.

We played to have fun, and we totally did. It's more fun and lasts longer when you don't risk much. I remember when I was younger, my Uncle Leon won something like $10k and I think it was playing Keno, not sure. So, some are lucky! Terri got a really good machine and was doing well.

reminds me of the Hollywood Tower of Terror
We refilled this baby with Dr. Pepper at least 4 times. lol

Creepy faces!


Before we headed out of town, we walked around the Fremont Experience and saw some crazy people in costume, ziplining, etc. and took in the atmosphere.



After going home, I realized there was just something about Las Vegas that stayed with me, it makes me excited every time I think of it. I doubt it's the gambling bug, but more of everything combined: games, lights, atmosphere, lots of people, excitement, food, fun. It was the most fun trip Mike and I have had yet. Thank you Dad and Terri for taking us, we loved it! We should go again, maybe in January since it's my birthday month. We've been to the strip before, and while it's amazing inside the resorts, the one thing I don't like is people shoving inappropriate fliers in your face walking down the street. Yuck. The Orleans wasn't like that at all, we loved it.

VIVA LAS VEGAS!

11.16.2011

The Guest Perspective: Carlson Wedding

More catching up! Late last Thursday night, Mike and I drove to Chino and slept for a couple of hours at Mom & Dad Burr's house in order to leave at 5 AM (yikes) for Fresno. We didn't arrive in Chino until 1 AM because halfway there, I realized my temple recommend was on my desk. A grumpy Kelly went to sleep that night. We hit the road super early and snoozed on and off in the car. We got to the Fresno temple safely and loved seeing Amanda and Bryan's sealing. Love you both! Michael was asked to witness, I survived without any tears, and it was pretty cute to see them so shy and quiet. Especially the kiss over the altar - the sealer said "That's not as good as I saw on the invitation!" bahaha.

After the ceremony and photos around the temple, we went to a luncheon and ring ceremony where the new Carlsons introduced both sides of the family, and ate a yummy pork, mashed potato and asparagus meal. We then went back to the Nicholls' house to take naps, but Duke (their huge dog) was too upset at being stuck in his crate to let anyone sleep. I chatted with Christina and she let me cuddle with her upstairs :) Love you Christina!

The evening reception was nice. Me being a big pumpkin fan, I loved the spray-painted pumpkin idea on the snack and guest tables. I got a shot or two of the father-daughter dance because it always makes me teary-eyed remembering how I had that recently with my dad.

The photos we were able to take are from a "guest perspective" because we were part of the bride's family. It was fun editing them. These are lower-quality to make the webpage load easier.